Know Me

Know Me

A Story by Carol Cashes
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Originally a blog, but decided I wanted to share with my new friends. To know me is to...

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A lot of the writing I’ve posted was written a while back and edited for posting on this site.  In re-reading my own material, I wondered where all these different voices came: from the small southern child who prays to God aand the Baby Jesus to The Grocer’s folksy anecdotes about the residents of Shiller’s Pond, from the sentient bridge who waxes philosophically about the only creatures of God who shed tears to the whimsically superstitious heroine of Widdershins, from the frightened woman who escapes her abuser to the hypothetical evaluation of a customer service employee who is not so “service” inclined any more…Shades of Sybil! 

A mental health expert, with numerous letters following his name, might offer all these different voices as proof positive of a fractured mind, splintered into pieces that manifest as different characters and voices in fiction.  Do I think my mind is fractured?  Nope.  Do I outwardly display bits and pieces of all my characters?  Yup.  *Spoiler Alert:  old and tired cliché*  You are the sum of your experiences. 

I agree, but with this qualifier:  Purpose is fluid.  When asked about their purpose in life, 100 people surveyed saaaaaiiiidd “serving God”, “serving others”, “loving and raising my children”, ahhhh, the list goes on.  But consider this:  purpose changes, almost daily, really.  Sometimes, I’m just putting in the time on my job to get home; other days, I’m only able to care for my disabled veteran spouse and my heathen furries.  There are days when I evaluate and tear apart people, experiences and myself for clarity that I might better understand motives for behaviors.  I can be shallow, selfish and self-serving and I can be earnest in my efforts to change my world: currently, I’m fighting and working with the VA for better and patient-centered care.  I can be silent and observant, looking for God’s hand in all things.  I can be a harsh judge of deliberate ignorance and pity-partiers.  All these and more, my purpose changes with my immediate circumstances, location and my interaction with the other members of the cast in the play called My Life.  If “all the world’s a stage”, then one act is a sentimental rom-com, but a gritty, and unblinking documentary in the next.  Drama, comedy, heartache and hilarity.

I am whatever I need to be to rise to the current occasion.  I have proven myself…to myself.  When I didn’t die from heartache, nor did I lose my life to one intent on taking it, I proved to myself that above all, I survive to live another day of monotony, grief, small and petty grievances, great love and momentous life-changing events:  I am a survivor…of life. 

I’ve learned to distinguish which problems are really mine:  I believe that if people would give back the problems that don’t really belong to them (i.e.:  other people’s behaviors), then they’d be released of about two-thirds of the current load they carry.   Imagine!  One third of your heartache and anger immediately dispatched when you give grief-givers their own crap back.  Yes, your heart aches when your children ache.  Yes, whatever the VA does, or doesn’t do, to my husband directly affects me.  Yes, I worry about my aging, soon-to-be blind mother who lives alone and who keeps her affairs close to her chest.  Yes, I miss my son, who is 35, unmarried, lives across the country and who doesn’t call his mother near often enough.  What I do not do is aid and abet serial pity partiers.  What I do not do is allow into my inner circle psychic vampires, who suck out all your sympathy and energy and offer none in return.  What I do not do is allow myself to regret helping someone.  If they turn on me, or attempt to abuse said help, that’s on them " not me.  I know, in my heart and conscience that I did the right thing.  After that, whatever they do, it’s not mine to question or demand reciprocation.  True service to others is not dependent on the return. 

Whew!  A little early in the day for ranting, and I have authors to read and reviews to respond to.  I have paychecks to dispense and phone calls to make.  I have groceries to buy and a home to return to.  I have a week-end ahead of me to write, do laundry, and to contemplate the ways of men and God. 

My heart-felt thanks to all who have welcomed me to this site and looked kindly at my meager attempts to join the ranks of phenomenally talented writers that post on this site.  I am amazed at the literary genius that some of you have demonstrated in even the smallest of offerings.  Since my arrival, I find I am always learning and discovering the new and endless ways of combining words to express thought and images. 

So, carry on, ye literary wonders.  Live to write another day.  Be still in yourselves and know you are blessed, those that record and leave for prosperity their musings and observations share more than earthly riches can buy and power can command.  All revolutions began with a writer.

 



© 2017 Carol Cashes



Author's Note

Carol Cashes
To know me is to love/hate me

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Reviews

"Do I outwardly display bits and pieces of all my characters? Yup. *Spoiler Alert: old and tired cliché* You are the sum of your experiences."
Yup, this is it! Twain said, "Write what you know," so it makes the most sense if you want a good, heartfelt piece like the writing I've read from you (and probably the rest as well)
"I have proven myself…to myself. When I didn’t die from heartache, nor did I lose my life to one intent on taking it, I proved to myself that above all, I survive to live another day of monotony, grief, small and petty grievances, great love and momentous life-changing events: I am a survivor…of life." Beautifully said and couldn't be more true

Reading this, I feel like I do know you a bit more, and it is nice to see someone who so boldly expresses their honest opinion and isn't afraid of people getting hurt over it
Keep on keepin' on, Carol :)

Posted 1 Week Ago


Nicely done. I've been dealing with hardcore issues on my job. It spoke to my heart . Life throws punches and you are up to handling it well. It is a factual, relatable life thought, well done.

Posted 3 Months Ago


Carol Cashes

3 Months Ago

I'm sorry you're having job problems. Jobs can consume your life, especially if you're working to l.. read more
Smart, perceptive and honest--also, rather comprehensive, for the size of this piece.
Like Pilate, I find no fault, here.
Brilliant!

Posted 3 Months Ago


Carol Cashes

3 Months Ago

Thank you for reading this little "piece o' my mind". I do ponder on weighty subjects now and then .. read more
The hardest thing I've ever done when going through one of the worst parts of my life; is say to myself, "Yep , you're important to this too". I completely agree, (to the point of nodding whilst reading) with every part of this. Or at least the many parts I can associate and empathise with.
This is not a railing against life's iniquites. This is a righteous and subtle confession of true and responsible humanity and is therefore intelligent and true.

Posted 3 Months Ago


Carol Cashes

3 Months Ago

Thank you very much for this, after the "altercation" I had this morning with another writer, I kind.. read more
Your 'ranting' went straight to my heart. I identified with almost everything. I too am a survivor, and like you, I have come to realise that if people 'turn on me, or attempt to abuse'. then that is their problem, not mine! And isn't life so much more fulfilling and interesting, if each day one can live a different part of oneself? Life is a continuum, and I don't think we ever actually 'arrive'.Thank you for your very intelligent write.

Posted 3 Months Ago


Carol Cashes

3 Months Ago

Wow, I really like your thought: "if each day one can live a different part of oneself?" I have a .. read more
Great Aunt Astri

3 Months Ago

Yes, awareness actually makes the blood run cooler, and then we are more able to cope to the stuff t.. read more
I'm very glad you're here, and imagine those who've met you feel the same. Oh, life and purpose--what a difficult, frightening and wonderful thing to ponder. Your thoughts on it show you to be no amateur.

Posted 3 Months Ago


Carol Cashes

3 Months Ago

Sam, you've been a huge support for me since my arrival and I've enjoyed your reviews and your own w.. read more
I choose love. I heard and felt every word here. We survive and we write to tell of it. I believe and so agree with you that we are blessed as children of a higher God. We should act that way. I am pretty new go the site also and with all my voices, I heartily welcome you Carol, with all of yours...

Posted 3 Months Ago


Carol Cashes

3 Months Ago

Thanks, and I guess welcome to you as well. But while I have tons of empathy-I can always see the o.. read more
Annette Pisano Higley

3 Months Ago

Thank you. I know- it's a wealth of riches. Have fun exploring!:)

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Added on June 24, 2017
Last Updated on June 24, 2017
Tags: essay

Author

Carol Cashes
Carol Cashes

Biloxi, MS



About
I'm very cynical, jaded, just this side of bitter and the only reason I haven't crossed that line is a good man loves me. I am extremely empathetic, but seldom sympathetic. I can be a ferociously lo.. more..

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