More Gentle Memories, Why?

Surprisingly, at least to me, I had a really had time dealing with the flood of memories that came up when I opened that box of letters Monday night. I had a huge reaction where all the things I used to feel about myself and other people whomped me but good. I really had boxed those events and emotions up in my mind as well as the actual box!

As I blurted that all out to my therapist yesterday (good timing, that was), she was able to identify what was happening. That always helps, when I know what the heck is going on in my brain. She said I was having an emotional flashback. That made a lot of sense. She then explained the stages of it, which include numbness, re-feeling all hte feelings and their accompanying negative ickiness, and moving toward forgiving yourself and others, which lets you remember that while we all do things we regret or that aren’t really the kinds of things we prefer, we’re all human and doing our best, at the time.

So.

Also among the things I found were mementos of my time volunteering and working for La Leche League (breastfeeding support organization). I know I’m doing better about THAT time, because I no longer call it “a large, international nonprofit organization.” For a while there, I got sick when I said the name.

Oh heavens, look at all those memories! There are pins for each conference (2001 and 2003), our beloved LLLOnline pins (snazzy PCs in them!), LLLUSA (a quite dead organization I tried real hard to get to work well), the Alumnae organization (now Friends of LLL), and of course pins for how many years I served as a volunteer Leader. I’d really hoped for more years.

Luckily, I’m now able to enjoy memories of the good times I had and the great people I met, so all my little pins and souvenirs brings smiles to my faces now. I learned SO MUCH about parenting, leadership, and management from my time in LLL. I’m thankful to all my great mentors and friends. I was going to name a bunch, but the list got too long.

I guess I was processing all those love letters already. I don’t know how I could even keep all this stuff straight. What’s the gar that thinks it’s a carp about? He signifies LLL crap. My online team put carp on EVERYTHING at the time.

I think the reason these are more gentle memories is that I already worked on them when it was fresh. I didn’t just stuff this in a box and pretend it didn’t happen. So, after some healing time, these memories are okay for me.

You can tell I was in a scrapbooking phase. The woman in the foreground no longer interacts with me, but in the background is my friend, Marian (now 90 years old), a Founder of the organization, who always has been willing to try new things. She’s in a chat room with other volunteers. I’ll see her in November!

I’m even able to look back at photos of some of the people who treated me and my friends badly and just shake my head at how misguided they were. That’s a great step. However, I cropped them all out of these pictures. I have the POWER!

Nancy helped me a lot when all sorts of stuff was going on. It helps that she’s a professional therapist, herself. Now, who’s that she’s with? That’s “Flat Roberta,” a fascimile of my wise mentor, Roberta Bishop Johnson, who got me into this LLL thing in the first place, and shoved me in front of the Executive Director at LLLI and informed her I’d be making them a website. In 1995. Roberta was dealing with breast cancer, so she sent her proxy to our Texas LLL Conference in 2000, on her way back from South America. She went all over the place!

It’s helped to see some of the people who lost their volunteer positions now thriving in new areas. And I realize I am still good friends with many of the people I worked with back then. Just look at me and Kathy Parkes back in 2oo1! We’re still working together on the Friends of La Leche League Board.

Kathy and Lynne are both still my friends. I’m glad to get to work so closely with Kathy again. And whew, I’m okay with no more psychodrama, though it was very helpful at the time.

I hope you enjoy some of the stories and memories that I’m treasuring. Do read the photo captions.

I was already into the baggy tunic thing way back then. I think this is 1999, in Florida.

LLL friends: do you have any memories you’d like to share? Feel free to post!

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

4 thoughts on “More Gentle Memories, Why?”

  1. These memories harken back to our meeting as well. I still do communicate with Kate but know all but one of the folks in these pictures. Glad it has reached a time where these are gentle memories now. I recently opened a box of trinkets and found a teal c which brought back memories for me as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So much of what you wrote rings true for me too. But instead of commenting point by point, I’ll tell you how we first met, which I’m sure you don’t remember. It was at a meeting for LLL Division folks (remember Open Space?). I choose a session you were leading, not because I was interested in the topic, but because I had heard great things about you, read stuff you wrote and I wanted to see you in real life. I’m so glad I get to work with you now with Friends of LLL!

    Liked by 1 person

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