I can’t sleep. This happens to me a lot as part and parcel of just being me but it’s particularly bad tonight. It has nothing to do with that asshat that threatened my life and then deleted all his tweets.
It has to do with Robert Godwin, Sr.
All I can see is this his victim, Mr. Godwin, in my head when I shut my eyes. I have no pity for myself or anything – this isn’t a “poor me” post. I often have to sit down and write out my thoughts in an effort to dispel and diffuse the shittiness of whatever is causing me not to get sleep. At the end of the day, my thoughts and anxieties are what keep my mind and body from resting. I constantly have to remind myself that I have control over my thoughts and no one else. Sometimes that takes me writing it out and since I’m self aware about my own bullshit, let’s take this ride together, if anything for educational purposes. Mind over matter.
In this case, they’re pretty normal fears and apprehensions stemming from a real life event. It’s not like I’m making up the sadness or the situation from which the condition stemmed. It’s sadness but not so intense that I feel I need to talk it out with anyone because I can’t handle it on my own. I’m not erroneously conflating my life or feelings with those of the victim or the family/community involved. I think there’s a difference between someone being sad by news that is genuinely depressing and that person processing it healthily and those that make it about themselves or their agenda for whatever reason. I’m in the former category.
Man, I really wish I could shut off my empathy sometimes but I guess that would make me a sociopath so maybe not a great wish. My momma told me once I have more empathy than most – and that that can be a blessing or a curse depending on how I wielded it. I really need to tattoo “listen to your Momma” on my hand or something but even then, I doubt I would listen until I’d first tried every other way by her way – and then come to find out she was right all along. I’m sure karma is going to give me a whole heaping helping of payback with my daughter when she’s a teenager. The other day she told me she couldn’t help me in the yard anymore because her back was feeling “emotional”. She’s 6 so she got a pass on the physical labor (and she’d done a lot already) but “emotional”? Really? I laughed but then I realized, “Oh God, I’m so much trouble when she turns 16, if not sooner.” Karma, you crafty bitch.
Anyway – empathy. I dabbled, as a young adult, with that whole Wicca stuff. For my own reasons, I went back to Christianity and I stand by that decision but I think, at the time, the concept of having control over things like my empathy and things in general made it an attractive avenue to explore for me personally. It was comforting to think a few rituals and spells could make bad things just “go away”. And, in some ways, the rituals helped but not in the way I wanted/expected. I wasn’t slaughtering goats or harming anyone – I was just trying to center myself and control my emotions, which I think people try to do on the daily – I just happen to have had a really intense “go big or go home” attitude in my youth. Capricious, I think is what they call it.
This isn’t an indictment against those that practice witchcraft – it’s not my thing but it might be yours. Where prayer to God and self reflection help me, I’m sure you derive a lot of peace from your own religion. That’s fine.
Prayer and self-reflection generally help me when I hear some particularly shitty news. Ever heard of the Serenity Prayer? It’s not just for alcoholics – it also works for overly empathetic control freaks like me. Or normal people. Whatever floats your proverbial boat, I suppose.
God grant me the power to change the things I can change.
The serenity to accept the things I cannot change.
And the wisdom to know the difference
Beautiful and simple, no? So, to go down the list:
Can I change what happened to Mr. Godwin? No, I can’t. I can’t bring him back, nor can I physically bring his killer to justice. I cannot do or say anything that will make this better. All I can do is be sad for the family and pray. Pray for guidance as I navigate my own emotions. Pray for peace in my mind so I can sleep. Pray moreover and more importantly for the family and friends of Mr. Godwin and Mr. Godwin himself. Pray for the police and first responders that they may find this coward murderer and bring him to justice and keep people safe from his violence.
All I can do is pray some more and that’s it. So that’s what I’ll do, and hopefully find sleep along the way.
If anything, the victim’s name is somewhat comforting if you’re looking for some faith-based comfort. Godwin. “God” and “win” comprise his name. Infer from that what you will but I take it as a sign that God will win this one – though it might not seem like it right now to us.
Goodnight, God bless and pray for God to win for Mr. Godwin and his family.