Abhor. That was one of my father’s favorite words. He’d pronounce it with emphasis on many of those long horse back rides we did together. It was at those times that he would unload his negative thoughts. Of which there were many. He did not hold back.

In the south at that time, the polite person smiled. Agreed. Was polite.

On the horseback rides, he could let me know his truth: “I loathe (another favorite word) that person. Just worthless. Useless. everything that came out of their mouth was drivel…”

He did not hold back. And nothing I said mattered. After all, I had been labelled “gullible”. I rarely saw as he did. But it did affect me.

It’s like a sense that there is always this dark underside that I’m not seeing. And that underside mattered more, since, basically, it meant the person (or thing) was no good. It’s odd how I thought for so long that it was NOT something I carried inside me. It was him. Not me.

But this odd thing has been happening. When I moved to NH now 4 years ago, I was, for the first time living alone. I was not at all at ease with this. I was REALLY not at ease with it. It all came to a head last year when I started working with my online art group. Without realizing what I’d done, I’d joined into a conversation that was routine – just as the rides with my father had been. But this time, the conversation was positive. Do you see the set up coming?

Deep down, my world was getting flipped. My conversations – the ongoing ones now – were no longer about “abhor”. And I became unwell. I had physical manifestations of acute pain all last spring. And some long crummy illness this past fall. The pain of not feeling well let me stay kind of in the place of “the world really does kind of stink.”

But now… oh no. I’m not feeling unwell. Pinch myself. I’m not feeling unhappy. Double pinch. I’m liking my life here, I love doing my art, I love writing my blog.

I’m oddly disconcerted: I don’t recognize my world right now.