THROAT CHAKRA by Gordon Malchek: Episode 3, Freedom is Hard

The first clue to my throat chakra problems popped up on our second wedding anniversary. Karen and I were spending two weeks apart for the first time since we’d sworn our vows. Now why don’t we think about that for a moment? Why do we swear our vows in the first place? Isn’t swearing considered a bad thing by religious folks and those who aspire to high moral standards? I could understand promising but why swearing?

That morning as I girded my loins to take the stage without my wife present to cover the back of the room with her extreme organizational skills and ability to sell more of my books and tapes I knew I faced a huge challenge. The tigress had trapped me most effectively. Her own separate sales business had been sold to a sizeable corporation for more money than I made in my first five years of public speaking so that she could concentrate on boosting my bottom line. She had single handedly turned Machek Motivation from borderline profitability to running solidly in the black.

Now a word about those loins I was girding. I’ve described Karen accurately as a smoking hot package of deadly femininity and she was all of that. It’s a good thing women can at least sometimes see more deeply than we shallow minded visually oriented men can because I’ve avoided describing myself for a reason. At five feet eight inches in height I’m one full inch shorter than the comely Karen and if I’m being honest I’m shaped like a pudgy pear except more lumpy than a good Bartlett. A Bartlett pear is not supposed to have love handles. One of my not so admiring schoolmates back in the day once described me as the Pillsbury doughboy without the shoulders. I’ve been nearsighted from birth and wore Coke bottle thick glasses until contact lenses improved enough to allow me to force them to ride atop my protesting eyeballs. Lasik surgery later saved me from that particular hell but not until long after I’d gotten into the public speaking arena and proved to multiple audiences that you really can look icky and still succeed on stage if you’re crazy enough to believe.

I was not happy that Karen had chosen to gallivant off on a free trip to Hawaii with friends which was disguised as a sales seminar. She should have been there with me. That’s what a wife is for, right? Certainly it could not have been jealousy or insecurity on my part as my manly macho self would never be subject to anything like that.

Worst of all was waking up with a sore throat that morning. In hindsight I suspect it had been building for a long time as Karen slowly and subtly took over my life and shut my self expression down bit by bit except when I was on stage. At the time I simply remember thinking it wasn’t nice of her to run off like that when I was getting sick like the little boy complaining because he’s not being catered to properly. All of this was also the beginning of my admitting anger to myself about being abandoned as my parents had abandoned me in my youth but the main thing was that all of a sudden I remembered being really really sick with every cold or flu or whatever in three counties when I was little. Then Dad left and Mom killed herself and I ran my mouth like a machine gun throughout the rest of my growing up years without getting sick often at all. Subconsciously I must have known but at the conscious level I was as ignorant as they come, just talking up a storm despite all obstacles and doing well with it.

But now I’d been shutting down even though I wasn’t yet aware of it and the molting chickens were coming home to roost and poop on my head. I tried cough drops and sore throat lozenges and even some of that horrible Cepacol or Chloraseptic spray or whatever it was that makes your taste buds wish they had never been born but does manage to numb the pain for a few minutes and then I went out to give my talk. The audience was surprisingly good and smart and receptive and participating so that I kept going throughout the day without even realizing during the lunch break that I was getting sicker not better. That night misery was king and the next and final day of the two day seminar was even worse.

Luckily I had most of the following week off and used it to visit a doctor I hated but the only one I knew would prescribe antibiotics without question, just don’t ever ask for a pain pill. Things were getting a little better by the next weekend at another seminar in a different city and I foolishly thought the worst was over. Even more foolishly I superstitiously decided it was Karen’s absence that had triggered my sickness. Totally missed the deeper truth that it had been her subtly cloying presence rather than her absence. Sales at the back of the room had been practically nonexistent without her there to sweet-talk the attendees; that bottom line fact was fact.

When she got back from Hawaii all tanned and exuding vitality to find me still slightly under the weather she went, “Aw-w-w-w, my poor baby!” And the cosmos save me from myself, I felt vindicated. Never again would she leave me in the lurch like that.

I was like a convicted felon thanking the Warden for locking the steel door to his prison cell or a slave thanking his master for the iron shackles surrounding his neck and ankles. Freedom is hard!

12 thoughts on “THROAT CHAKRA by Gordon Malchek: Episode 3, Freedom is Hard

  1. I had some girls shut me down in 6th grade. It caused me to quit talking to people until I was out of school. I came from a loud, exuberant family. These girls kept telling me I was too loud and talked too much. I finally came out of my shell again a couple of years after I got out of High School. They basically told me I had nothing interesting to say and they did not like me. I finally figured out that they did not like themselves and were very shallow girls that had no interests in anything of importance. I had a wide range of interests and knew quit a bit about many different subjects. I had a habit of talking to adults and being able to hold their interest. Some very unhappy girls made someone else unhappy because they were.

  2. Good for you for getting back out of your shell after being shut down during those teen years. It’s certainly been true in my experience that children who are mature beyond their years and able as you say to converse on many different subjects at an adult level are often discomfiting to so-called peers in their own chronological age group. And yes, that unhappy people so often prefer to make others unhappy as well because seeing anyone truly happy is enough to send them into screaming fits disguised as condescension.

    Aha! “Condescension” is the perfect title for Episode 4. I may have to rewrite about half of the text but it will be worth it. Thank you, Becky!

  3. Gordon, maybe it is because it is hitting close to home, but this chapter upset me. just as Becky points out, there are many people that cannot even understand what I am interested in, including my parents who did their best to mold me to their liking. I learned to shut up about some things and in middle school compartmentalized my friends and conversation topics so as to avoid problems. And I used songwriting to literally sing my heart out.
    As I write this I am getting insights, so thank you for making me uncomfortable! 🙂 Yep, first wife, parents, children, friends, cousins, all “conspired” with the Universe to try to shut me up… 😉 As Ghost would say, “karma sucks”. 😉
    Manny

  4. Becky, I didn’t miss that as I’ve seen you do that to Fred/Ghost during my lurking years and was delighted to have it happen to me.:D

    About all I can say to you, Manny, is you’re welcome? Maybe I’m on the right track as making people at least a little bit uncomfortable in my seminars usually meant I was cutting close enough to the bone to get their attention. Although I have to admit that’s a long list in your case when (first) wife, parents, children, friends and cousins were all in on the act of suppression. Congratulations on finding your musical voice. That’s something I don’t have or at least did not have when I was trying to sing as a teenager and realized two notes was about the extent of my vocal range. Timing has always been my salvation but range of notes had to be left to others. Whenever I hear a singer who can range all the way from yodeling to working those super low notes I’m properly amazed. Are we even of the same species? If not, could one of us be alien to Earth? If so, which one is the alien?

  5. Gordon, all I know is that I’ve seen non singers “learn” to sing by working the muscles and desiring to sing, over a few months. And, when they sop exercising their musical voice, it decays… even supposedly “tone deaf” people. Others, like me, are born with the skill (just as there are born athletes). Singing was the only way I could express myself safely as a child and teen.
    Last night I went to visit friends and played and sang for over 2 hours! And we all had a great time, “jamming” and laughing and sharing music. It was wonderful! Even my wife and daughter were enjoying it. 🙂
    All day I was conscious of when I was being asked to silence myself, and it made a difference.
    Thanks again!…………… Manny

  6. I had never heard about that. Glad to hear about your awesome jamming session. It really does make a difference when we’re aware of those asking or even silently wishing us to silence ourselves. And you’re welcome again!

  7. Manny: Your “safe” way to express yourself (singing) was my not-so-safe mode. Growing up, my mother loved my singing and songwriting, and my sisters didn’t mind it…but Dad was another matter altogether. He simply couldn’t tolerate it at all. Which was interesting as there’s a family photo of him in his World War II days in the Navy, posing on a beach wearing a bandana and plucking a ukulele. Could have been my voice, my volume, or jealousy because he either couldn’t sing or had been shut down in his turn, back in the day. Mostly, I suspect it was volume; he just couldn’t stand me belting out a tune (on or off key)…he’d seen combat, and maybe loud voices of any sort were deadly to him. I never knew for sure.

    But I did see one exception when I was in my midteens. The two of us were riding in the foothills a mile or so over the nearest ridge from the ranch house, checking on cattle. There was some distance between us, so perhaps he wasn’t “blown away” by my volume…as from the saddle I came out with the then-hit-song Saddle Tramp. He actually SMILED that time.

    Only time he ever did, though.

    “I might even ride up to Idaho
    And visit a cute little miss
    A sweet little someone I used to know
    And I might even stop long enough for a kiss

    Saddle tramp…saddle tramp…
    I’m as free as the breeze and I ride where I please
    Saddle tramp…saddle tramp…saddle tramp”

  8. Now that you mention it, my family liked me entertaining guests, but I had to practice in the basement, away from everone’s comments, criticisms and “can you help me with this instead of just goofing off?”. That’s actually why I really took off with the guitar: I couldn’t take the piano downstairs… LOL
    Hope all is going well for you and Pam and the critters at the Border Fort. 🙂
    Now, back to waiting for the next episode of Throat Chakra… 😉

  9. Ah. Pianos and basement travels…yeah, I get the point. One of my aunts had a piano but I never learned to play more than “Dragnet” on it.

    Gordon tells me he’s struggling some with Episode 4 (and it’s okay to rat him out) but he hopes to wrap it up sometime before Christmas. He didn’t say Christmas of which year, though….

  10. I like your writing style, Gordon. I guess I’m fortunate. I didn’t grow up being thwarted by my family. Just the opposite, in fact. They always encouraged me and complimented by talents.

    High schools kids, weren’t so kind. By the time I’d transferred to public high school after five years of Catholic school, I’d already learned in 6th, 7th and 8th grade what the public high school teachers were presenting to freshman and sophomores. As such, I was deemed a “bookworm” (my generation’s moniker for today’s “geeks”) and not very popular. I got over it though. And all those “cool” kids sang a different tune when I left home at the age of 18. Suddenly, I was cooler than cool. (SOBs!)

  11. I surely understand the “bookworm” concept, Shauna, being I dare say some years or decades older than you are. I did read a lot during high school but not so much the prescribed textbooks and qualified more as I guess a midrange academic loser with a mediocre mind and no work ethic whatsoever. That was wrong in the sense that I worked hard enough but refused to jump through hoops for teachers I did not respect and I did not respect very many of them. Although looking back I can say they were a lot better than what we see in today’s Wussification of America program. (Ghost would probably come up with a fancy acronym for that, WAAAH! or something, but I’m pretty sure you know what I mean. I didn’t like fighting and wasn’t ever very good at it when I did have to put of my fists but I didn’t cry in my cocoa if a presidential election went against the way I thought it should either. Nor did any of my generation that I knew about.

    I don’t know if any of my classmates thought I was cooler when I left the Fergusons’ foster home at age eighteen. In those days we ALL left home at eighteen or eyebrows were raised, sooner if possible when a foster home was involved.

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