Mrs. Fred, that’s me, likes to tell Mr. Fred (my hubby) how exciting he looks in his Indiana Jones khaki shirt! He’s from New English so rarely needs a top coat or winter jacket here in the Appalachian Mountain towns. He is warm enough with his long sleeved khaki shirt over his uniform clothes. I think he sees the bedroom sparkle in my eyes
when he looks like Indiana Jones. My clue is that he has already worn out 2 khaki shirts and is on his 3rd one!
Indiana Jones intrigues me because, like myself, he barely got his breathe back to normal when the next: Wham! Bam! Run-for-your-life mess blew in. Each time I survived a traumatic abuse and loss adventure, I barely collected myself before the next user and abuser entered center stage on my timeline.
Now Mr. Jones was on dangerous quests for historical artifacts. My quests were sampling men of all educational, financial, and geographical specimens. The prize I sought was a man who I could make love me. I was perfecting myself to be the hostess with the ‘most-est’: cook, housekeeper, social hostess, dazzling appearance, conversationalist, and playmate (with and without bunny ears!)
Single airline flight attendants used to not even need a car. We lived near the airport & our apartment buildings provided limo service to the airport. I was standing in front of the apartment offices, in my hot pants uniform, awaiting my airport limo. Then my husband to be #2 drove up and told me I had amazing legs, actually he called them ‘wheels’. I thought he meant I was special. I had indeed heard about my legs from many a male passenger. But, not so. I was not special to him. He was just out and about ‘Going fishing’. I know that now.
Now, if you were a guy looking for free airline flights around the world and back, 80% percent discounts on hotel rooms, a personal bartender who brought home free booze bottles, and a roommate who wasn’t home that much to be a bother; where would you rent an apartment? Where would you go guppy fishing?
And I thought my #2 husband loved me. Well, I tried to make it work. I did. I did. We built a big jewelry business on my days off. We traveled in our motorhome from New Mexico to Atlanta to Houston making stops at retailers along the way and working tradeshows. We had 3 stores in the Houston area. I still flew and was graciously absorbing the public insults, and being physically choked and knocked around. One afternoon after 2 years of abstinence on his part toward me, he took me to a new bar a block from our house.
That bar had been a residential house with lots of rooms now dedicated to drinking areas. There was a nice old fashioned front porch with wooden swings facing each other. A swing was hung on each side of the main entrance.
My husband sat me in the swing with the large industrial fan behind it. He then went to order us a couple of drinks. I will never forget that shocking day. It took me by complete surprise. I had been struggling with inner ear dizzy issues while working flights, way too long. I had been surviving beatings, way to too long. My spouse had pointed a shot gun at my mom while in rage and I had had to stand between them to calm the matter. 3 FBI agents had knocked on my door and told me appalling things about his man. They left their business card in case I needed help. The list of Indiana Jones life threats is longer with that man, but not now here is the next bomb that went off!.
It was the sound of his voice over the loud speaker: “This is a public announcement. My wife is sitting on a swing outside. Here is a $100 bill and the key to the house for anyone who takes her off my hands. I am out of here!”
I knew he had fallen in love with one of our male employees at the store at the mall. He spent most nights with his apartment. I had been told never to enter the store again because Tyler, his lover, did not like me.
I sat on the swing with goblet in hand totally frozen. Repeated whispers bounced around in my mind. They said: ”What now?”
He walked out of Lizards and hissed: “The money and key are on the bar. Someone will come and take you.” I could not move a muscle.
The name of that bar was Lizards. That was my first memory branding event with the word lizards. There are more lizard events in my life.
If you missed episode 1 of my lizard stories, let me briefly explain. I lived in a third world country where gecko lizards are prolific. They are protective to houses since they prey on unwanted tropical insects and critters. All of those unwanted crawling pest are multiple times larger there than the ones found in American cities. Thank goodness, geckos hunt them down and eat them!
I was alarmed by geckos when I first got to Mexico. And I could not sleep as they revealed themselves on the ceilings each night. But then, each night, countless 6 by 1 inch centipedes also revealed themselves as they squirmed out of the electrical outlets! I learned to love geckos as I sat crunched up on a tiny wooden child’s chair in the middle of our empty living room holding my baby, rocking and singing to the Lord. The geckos hunted down the giant ‘100 legers’ and ate them! Hurray for geckos!
You know how chameleons are color changers? And you know how lizards regrow lost tails? Well, I like to compare lizards and their tails to we in addiction. I also compare their lizard tails to the different stages of working the 12 Steps of a recovery program. Bear with me and enjoy!
Let’s start with people, places and things. We are reminded in the rooms and in meetings of 12 Step recovery that if we hang around a barber shop we will eventually get a haircut. With chameleons, where they hang out is announced by their present color. Pretending lizards are folks in recovery, as they hang around addictive behavior environments their tail color tells where they have been.
As they hit bottom their tails are full of pain, cuts, bruises and temporary Band-Aids all due to repercussions of drinking and using.
When not able to take anymore, the lizard admits he has a problem and asks for help. He finally decides to go to any length to extract the addiction and old tail. Once doing the 90 meetings in 90 days, his old tail is gone and a new tail stump is born.
What is next to get done? The steps - the steps, getting a sponsor and really working with him, and turning his life over to the Will of God (as he understands God at this early phase of recovery). However, many of we lizards hem and haw to do all that. And new multiple tails begin to pop out as did Pinocchio’s nose. The multiple tails and Pinocchio’s tail-like nose are results of lying to oneself. “I’ve got this! I know what I am doing. I don’t need to do this program like that.”
The new multiple tails represent the switching of addictions. Remember the Chameleon’s tail tells the true tale of where the lizard hangs out!
There are over eating tails, overspending tails, anger rage tails, chase-the-women tails and many more.
Oh, Mr. Lizard drinks not and uses chemicals not. Still Mr. Lizard stays addicted until he works ALL 12 Steps. As he works the steps rapidly or slowly, he thirstily, stressfully totes around multi tails knocking into and knocking down those in his way.
As he finishes Steps 4 and 5, he feels a lightness beginning on his hind side. Then with Steps 6 and 7 he asks his newly understood Higher Power to make him aware of the meaning of the multi tails and character defects. He asks God to remove them. And his colored tails begin to shorten. After that he writes a list of those he has harmed and does his amends. Now, not only can he stand upright and see himself in the mirror without remorse, he starts accepting his own self-worth! Those new non-toxic attitudes turn his recovery tail into a one fresh and laundry clean extension of his Spirit.
Each 24 hours as he does his own inventory in Step 10; he quickly cleans his own house and does his readings. He is sure to mediate and his conscious contact with his higher power develops and strengthens.
(I call that my direct walky-talky line to God).
Each time he is conversing with God and expressing his love and gratitude, his new recovery tail begins to glow! That is known as walking in the sunlight of the Spirit. As he carries on daily duties in the darkness of this world; he spreads light so those around him can be relieved from grasping in the dark for a few minutes. For them it is like taking some time out to breathe easily a little while during their struggles in life.
My spouse and I are now tail glowing lizards! My spouse refers to recovery lizards with glowing tails as being a torch carrying the message (Step 12) by being a living example in silence. The silent treatment can be a fierce cold message from the black tails. Silence can be Grace healing messages from those of glowing tails.
I Corinthians 4:21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle Spirit”?
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Hi! I am Cindy Lizard. My Lizard Tales are stories of recovery & restoration. Why not join the Lizard Gang by submitting your story? Cindy will write it and get the artwork. She would love to hear from you! Enjoy the reads & please share our tales on Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.