Teepee Poles and Cloudy Weather

Back in June, when summer came quickly to heat up my new desert home, I was outside in front of my house watering my newly planted trees and bushes in the cool morning calmness, and a truck came down the normally quiet dirt road that I live on. This was especially unusual this early in the morning. It wasn’t one of the regular trucks of the neighbors I see go by.

As I usually do, I raised my hand in a neighborly wave, and the truck slowed to a stop. I made my way across the sandy distance to see what the person, a man, I could see, wanted. He was a Navajo who had seen the teepee poles standing on my property and was curious about them. I explained that I did not put them there, and wasn’t sure if they would ever have new ‘skins’, or what I would do with them. but in the mean time, I enjoyed the fact that the birds loved to perch on the end of those 20+ foot poles, as they were the tallest perches around.

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The Teepee poles on my property where the birds love to perch.

The man explained he was a horseshoer on his way to take care of some neighbor’s horses, which explained the early hour, as horseshoers like to do their work when it is not so hot. We chatted a bit about natural horse hoof care and nature, and he asked me if I was alone there. I was. Then as we chatted, he asked again. Are you alone here? Asking once seemed normal, but twice? Hmm. I chose to ignore. I do have the tendency to think if I ignore this, it will be fine. Or maybe it was that I don’t want to face the fact that I am alone here, and don’t really want to feel about that. The thought instead was, making some new friends would be nice.

He asked if he could stop by on his return, see the teepee site, and swap nature stories. I agreed, imagining sharing a casual ‘cuppa’ as they say in Australia (ie a cup of tea).

I had a nice experience with a Navajo elder a few months before, when the elder came to pick up a bed I had posted on Craig’s List. So I was telling myself it would be another nice connection, a friend to say hello to as they drive by these remote dirt roads.

An hour or two later, I heard the truck returning. He parked by the teepee poles, and as is a Navajo custom, he stayed in his truck until invited out. I invited him to see the poles. He was a big guy.

We chatted about the ceremonies of teepees and sweat lodges, and I noticed he repeated himself often. It was kind of irritating, but I still wasn’t really feeling the situation.

After about 10-15 minutes, we started back towards his truck. He had a cold, so I told him, ‘I would shake your hand, but you have a cold’ (he’d been coughing into his hands repeatedly). Yet he put his hand out anyway to shake mine. I didn’t want to be rude (addiction), so I shook it, despite my desire not to (lack of self honor/love). He kind of pulled me towards him as he shook my hand. Ick. Another warning if I had been humble to feeling. Then he opened his arms the way people do when they are requesting a hug.  My honest feeling was this feels bad, but I feel obligated to be nice. So again in my addiction of pleasing a man and ignoring the growing list of yucky vibes, I agreed and started to give him a hub. That is when it became obvious to me what was going on. He trapped me against him and attempted a kiss. I of course turned my head and tried to back away. He had me trapped. I got angry. At this close proximity, I could smell alcohol on his breath. I didn’t fight him or struggle, but said slowly and deliberately and with what I believed was authority (but was more a mix of anger and terror), “Take your arm off of me.” “Take your arm off of me”. Finally he did.

“Its time for you to go now,” I said. He asked for a final hug, as in ‘no bad feelings heh?’ What?! You gotta be kidding!. I said, “Sorry, pal, you just lost that privilege.”

He got in his truck and drove away.

And I cried the rest of the afternoon.

It has been pointed out to me, and now I too see patterns in myself of not telling myself the truth, not seeing the whole picture of a situation, not trusting my feelings, or not even recognizing or feeling when something is off. How does that kind of denial get established?

I was telling this story to my friend Julie, and she explained that she learned to pick up on expectations from men and confront them immediately with something like, “I am not interested in sex or a relationship; I am just being friendly, so don’t get any ideas.” (Not her exact words but something to that effect).

I had not learned that lesson.

This relatively gentle but effective Law of Attraction incident could have been a whole lot worse. But it didn’t need to be (at least right now). It was terrifying enough as it was, and I was able to access a whole bunch of emotions around the event, yet I can tell there is more than I am willing to feel right now. Some of the issues are: Why didn’t I feel the truth here?… which leads to… Why didn’t I WANT to feel the truth? Why was I willing to put having a friend above the truth of the unloving situation. How did I come to so habitually ignore my feelings and well being in order to please the male? 

Ignoring my feelings to please the male is obvious. I was trained my whole life to sacrifice myself and please both my dad and my mom, lest I receive their rejection and rage. And my mom was a great teacher of this error too, as she demonstrated throughout my life this very damaging habit of compromising her self-love and self-worth in order to please my dad (and society in general). So I learned this pattern very well. And it is so damaging! 

The feeling of being trapped and overpowered by the male was well highlighted in this event too. That clearly has to do with my dad, as he was a controlling bully, but also it feels generational, in other words, bigger than just events in my childhood, where it could be that some of these painful emotions were passed down from a whole line of women in our family history, who each refused to feel their emotions around these kinds of events.

No matter where painful, fearful emotions come from, if I am going to develop a relationship with God, I will need to take responsibility for these errors being trapped within myself by building my desire to feel the truth and the pain.

Regardless of how much crying I did as a result of this event at the time (which is good), I am learning that emotions are usually far bigger and more entrenched that we believe, due to the very lack of desire to feel the truth and pain of the issues that brings events like this in the first place. And sure enough, a few weeks after the incident, I became aware that I was in a lot of denial of how much fear and terror I carry around inside me all the time that this event was also trying to mobilize. Underneath a lot of denial, I feel very unsafe. At this later time, I was able to tap into this all-pervasive-seeming terror that also felt intergenerational. Jesus has taught recently that this is a certain kind of terror. He calls it ‘global’ terror, in that it effects so many aspects of our lives. I cannot even imagine what I would feel like inside if I did not have this global terror inside. I look forward to that day.

So I will keep praying to God to help me open to more of the fearful emotions inside, and keep visiting this event as long as it brings up emotions for me. Writing this all down has been good for me too. It brings these issues back to my awareness.