What’s in a name…

Someone asked me about the *) I used at the end of my name.
For those of you who have wondered and don’t know, here’s what I told her….

*) is a dandelion. its the head of the dandelion on its stem.
a dandelion is called a weed but it is the most resilient of all flowers and it goes through amazing transitions, always bouncing back.

it takes much to kill a dandelion, some say you can’t kill them.

we can get too complex and tangled and forget the simple and the basics
we can choke on a pride sandwich
we can run from every horse that’s thrown us till we have extinguished every offer in life.

the dandelion is a symbol of simplicity, humility, resilience and what I hope to strive for.
I use *), the symbol, as my signature.

I had immune deficiency most of my life, and had times I really struggled badly to breath or to breath without pain or have the strength to cough through some of the 3 mth long severe chest infections my body had no immunity to fight. One day when I was terribly sad about and tired about this I decided I was like a dandelion, the abuse in my childhood couldn’t kill me, immune deficiency couldn’t kill me, my mood disorder couldn’t kill me, my anxiety disorder couldn’t completely destroy all love of life, my compulsive disorder could only take my body and not the ‘me’ within it, my fragementation and tumbling and processing delay couldn’t close out all of life, chronic fatigue couldn’t steal my personhood…and I was always determined but not always so positively, determination is like a wild horse and it needed to be tamed enough that I could manage it constructively.

(you know this has set off an old cartoon intro in my head for an ancient cartoon called ‘Fearless Fly’… a send up of Superman….it goes…no flypaper can hold him, no insecticide can stop him…..you wonder where one learns these frameworks… see, its from some of the simple garbage on the idiot box… somehow our minds collect frameworks we don’t conciously understand just because they are useful).

Anyway, I used my determination in very different ways…

From 0-9 I tried merely to survive and to preserve the containment of ‘my world’.
From 9-13 I tried to catch up and walk a tightrope between stored learning and not lose the security of my own world.
From 14-17 I tried to destroy myself because I had no resources to care about myself and had internalised that my own world was worth nothing, less than nothing in the world around me.

From 18-25 I determined, in the absence of enough self love to do it out of care for myself, to help myself to spite those who gloated or advertised me as stupid, hopeless or crazy and keep myself safe from them.
From 26-30 I determined to reclaim the sanctity of my own world, to accept my individuality without shame and to do so simply because every person deserves a chance, even oneself.

From 30-now I have helped myself because I looked at this battlescarred veteran outside of myself like a stranger would and I decided she had earned my respect and deserved all the help the ‘I’ in me could find, however patchwork that ‘I’ was.

I also determined along the way to try to put down guilt when I found myself carrying it, to try to let go anger when it was destroying me, to try to have achievable expectations and not impossible ones that would bring me only bitterness, to try to accept that I was a flawed human and all humans are flawed whether they admit it or not, and to try to stop looking back and keep turning back to focus forward no matter who or what was shouting back there that I notice them.

For those who may find it useful,
this was my journey.

🙂 Donna Williams *)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top