2.38. I Am That Mother…

I will laugh with my son for hours.

I will encourage my child to make a mess just because we don’t always have to live inside the lines.

I will blast the music mid-afternoon and dance with my boy until we can’t stand anymore.

I will sing with my boy, at the top of our lungs, until our throats are hoarse…while driving down the highway.

I will spend lazy days, on the couch, in our pajamas, eating cake and ice cream for lunch because we can.

I will have an all night movie fest with my boy while eating popcorn and telling stories under our make-shift tent.

I will not have a heart attack when my son draws on the walls…his art isn’t doing any damage paint can’t eventually fix.

I will let my boy pick out his clothes, even if they don’t match and they include my pink cupcake bandanna.

I will enjoy listening to my son tell me stories, sing me songs, read to me in his own silly language.

Nevertheless,

I am that mother that will pay the bill at a restaurant and leave without eating a bite if my son gets out of hand.

I am that mother that will put back an entire cart of groceries if my son decides to have a full blown tantrum over not getting the ice cream he demands.

I am that mother that will take my son to the restroom for a moment of discipline if he decides the aisles are a good place to throw himself on the floor, hit, kick, or throw things.

I am that mother that does not believe in hitting when angry BUT I will give my son one swat to his behind if he remotely thinks it’s okay to say a potty mouth word he’s heard from who knows where. (I know my curse words of choice and those are not it).

I am that mother that will send my son to his room and leave the tv off all day as punishment.

I am that mother that will raise her voice when my boy does the exact opposite of everything I have asked him to do.

I am that mother that will ALWAYS talk to my son about why he has been disciplined/punished. I will ALWAYS explain to my son that I love him and I want his behavior to always reflect the wonder of his amazing spirit.

I am that mother that will correct my son when he is misbehaving AND reward him when he is doing wonderfully…or at least trying to.

I am that mother that doesn’t have all of the right answers.

I am that mother that struggles to find the line of nature and nurture.

I am that mother that tries every day to strengthen my sons ability to communicate his feelings instead of acting them out.

I am that mother that talks to her son like he is a human being. Not a puppet. Not a dog. Not a baby. A human being. With a heart. A soul. Feelings. Thoughts. Emotions. Opinions.

I am that mother that will never stop working at being better and encouraging my son to do just the same.

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2.37. In All Honesty

Spring is near…hell it’s Kansas so Spring may show up in August for all we know, but the overall symbolism of the season has set into full blast…kinda. Actually, it should be the opposite…the beginning of Winter. When life is ending, things die, everything is cold, quiet, and gloomy.

People say divorce is comparable to a death. And it is. The death of something you thought would last forever. Now, don’t have me mistaken with someone else; I chose to go through with my divorce…I asked for it. But I imagined it would be a rebirth. An opportunity for two miserable people to find their happiness again. What has manifested is a full blown war…a spiteful display of tyranny and a chaotic concert with nothing but hate blasting through the speakers.

 

I recently attended a class called FOCIS. Focus On Children In Separation. Sadly, that hasn’t been the case in the demise of my union. It has been an icy exchange. Something embedded with vengeance. Something VERY hard to deal with.

Before I go any further, let me make it very clear that I have no clue what I’m doing. That I’m making tons of mistakes. I am emotionally screwed right now. I have no idea how to have friendships, family ties, interactions with the adult species. The epitome of my understanding is with that of a three year old (my son) and even then…I get lost sometimes and just wish he would understand that I want to cry, to hide, to fade and not deal with the agony of breathing. But he will not understand my pain. He shouldn’t have to. He didn’t choose this. He sure as shit didn’t choose me.

During that FOCIS class, the instructor went over the 5 stages of grief, first really introduced by Elsabeth Kubler-Ross in her 1969 book “On Death and Dying.”

  1. Denial and Isolation
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression/Guilt
  5. Acceptance

According to the instructor, the journey through these stages…on average…can be between 18 months and 4 years. 4 YEARS!!!! I slip into each one of these stages, depending on the day.

I have isolated myself despite playing the open book. I have walked away from friendships without so much as a tear. Because these people will leave sooner or later. It always happens. It always will happen. So fuck it. There is no use in holding on to people who will throw me away like garbage.

I become so angry, it’s sickening. I hate people who are happy. I hate people who complain about petty shit. I hate people who have it all figured out. I hate people who have no emotional understanding. I hate people who assume I should just deal. I hate people who pass judgement on my every fucking move. I hate people who think, for one second, they could deal with this pain. I hate people who have never been single a day in their adult life telling me to not feel completely lost. I hate people who have no courage to be alone telling me to stay strong…ALONE. I hate people who use that bullshit line, “you think you’re the only one in the world who…” No shit I’m not the only one going through shit. But I’m living my life. Is a rape victim supposed to think, “well, someone else went through this and worse so I should just get over it.” UM, NO! I hate the bullshit optimism and then the continuous “whatever” mentality when everything doesn’t go as fucking wonderfully as you’ve tried to convince me it would. You were wrong. Accept it. Admit that being a part of my life was a mistake and walk away. I’m giving you the option. Because I hate, more than anything, anyone who will stay in my life and is miserable because of that connection. Just walk.

I have bargained. I will do anything. I will die if it means peace for my son. For people around me. I will shut up and take it. I will forget. I will forgive. I will pretend to be happy when I’m not. I will do whatever…if only…

I have fallen into depression. I feel guilt every fucking day for existing. For just being alive. Wouldn’t people be so much better off if I were gone? Wouldn’t they all just be happier if I never existed? I have cried myself to sleep and screamed to a God I don’t believe in. I have begged for mercy. I have prayed on the phone. I have called hotlines. I have puked out the remnants of an empty bottle. I have lost myself in the pure feeling of being a mistake. I have been ashamed of my feelings because I have a child and I should never think of my own end. What kind of mother am I if I don’t want to jump out of bed every day to look at my beautiful boy? I feel guilt that he got such a pathetic ass excuse of a mother as me. I feel guilt that I am not better. That I don’t even know how to be better.

Acceptance is supposed to be that one when things make sense and there is a sense of peace and clarity. But in my acceptance, I have come to an understanding that none of this pain will EVER go away. My life is meant to be shit. And it will never change. It will always be this hard. It will always be this dark. It will always hurt this much.

Feel free to have a rolling of the eyes session, a “this bitch swears” moment…I seriously don’t fucking care. These are my emotions. These are my thoughts. This is my life. It is not and does not have to be a part of yours.

In all honesty, there is only ONE thing I am certain about…just one…but it is the most important thing for me to know – I love my son. I love my baby boy with every ounce of my being. I do not care if not one single person on this planet cares about me as long as my son knows I love him and I live ONLY for him.

In all honesty, my son is the ONLY thing I’ve done right in my life. The ONLY thing I am proud to be a part of. The ONLY reason I have the tiniest glimmer of hope in my heart that this life can be beautiful. As hard as the days get, I know this life has possibility…for happiness, for love, for laughter, for growth, for beauty…ONLY because he is in it.

I am a flawed human being. I am struggling to find peace in this battle. I am lost, scared, uncertain, feeling broken…

BUT I am willing to continue my journey, no matter what, because my son will always know I kept going…despite it all…FOR HIM. Here’s to healing, to growing, to figuring me out. To fixing me. One stage at a time.

2.24. Parental Efforts

If you’ve gone through a divorce, you know life can be hard. If you’ve gone through a divorce with a child in the mix, you know life can be gut wrenching. But I have to tell myself, time and again, this isn’t about me. Revenge cannot exist when you have a child with someone because the only person you’d be punishing is the innocent. The one who didn’t ask for two parents who couldn’t resolve their shit.

I’ve been on the receiving end of the spiteful intent many times over the course of this divorce. I’ve been deprived of hearing my sons voice solely for the fact that it means so much to me. And as much as I want another to know what that agony feels like…I can’t.

He calls and I answer. But my son is somewhere between sleep and annoyance. He doesn’t want to talk on the phone and screams instead. The call ends. It could be just that. I answered. I did my duty. But is that all my duty entails? In my eyes, no. I sit with Hunter and talk to him. I ask him why he doesn’t want to talk on the phone. “I don’t want to talk to daddy because daddy is mean.”

And that breaks my heart. But I know my son can also say I’m mean because I won’t give him 5 cookies. So, I try again. I tell him that his daddy loves him. That his daddy called because he misses him and thinks he is very important. I tell him that his daddy is happy when he hears his voice just as I am when I call. I ask him if it’s okay to call daddy back and try again. He says okay. He calls and they share a moment on the phone. They laugh and say I love you. The conversation ends and it is good for them.

Now, my duty is fulfilled. At the end of the day, I may not like the person on the  other end of the line. I may feel that my son is being used as a pawn to punish me. BUT I know that despite my feelings, I cannot do the same things and feel good about the state of my soul. And so, I will encourage every phone call. I will encourage every visit. Because encouraging my son to love and know his father does not take away from our bond. It simply says that my son will know that I always put his needs before my own.

I can’t force anything. I can’t make strong bonds form. I can only nurture what is there. I can be strong for my angel and be there for him, to talk and work through the good and the bad.

Bottom line, we didn’t get stuck with each other. He got stuck with us.

2.17. The Purpose of A Life

Fingers across the sky

Ten paintbrushes designed to nurture dreams.

Fingers digging in the dirt

Ten shovels to clear your path…

The path to get you there.

Kiss the wind and taste the air

in which aspirations bloom from seedlings of hope.

A mother is your river.

One that flows for you, ethereal child.

This heart of mine is yours.

I breathe, solely, for you.

1.194 – Happy Birthday, Mother.

Dear Mother…

Today is your birthday – a day I should cherish. A day that subsequently gave me life. It’s been quite some time since words were shared. It’s been even longer since I’ve cared. And yet, here I am, writing to you…wanting nothing more than to say fuck you.

For not knowing how to love your daughters. For creating for soldiers of hate instead of faces of love. For abusing the only man that ever loved us without defiling our bodies, minds, souls. For loving money and dick more than your blood. For teaching us to hate ourselves, our skin, our minds, our voices. For creating a path of destruction.

I could hate you but I don’t.

I will never understand how this all came to be….how you gave up without ever trying…how you infected us with your worst features and took pride in damaging us. Setting us free into the world like a flock of demonic doves – deceivingly beautiful to taint good things.

But I will not fly for you. I will not spread your tyranny. I will not infect my kin as you did with free will and conviction.

I’m blowing out the candles, all 58 of them. I’m blowing out the flames that have seared my self-esteem for 28 years. I’m blowing out the candles and spending my time loving my son so he never knows doubt in me…never knows your plague.

Happy birthday to you. May your last candle burn out soon enough so the world can be free.

1.160 – Stelle (Stars)

If you don’t know Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” you’ve been living under a rock.  Needless to say, it’s one of my all time favorite paintings; it’s one of the first I can recall that really stayed with me. For whatever reason, it was the image I always went back to when I thought of what was beautiful.

At some point in my life, I started counting the stars (eleven and one moon). Those stars meant something to me. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure exactly what. Over the years, the meaning of those stars has shown it’s enchanting face.

In this life, we are lucky if we meet just one person that truly changes our world. We’re lucky if we meet a couple, a handful…eleven. I’m not going to pretend I’ve met my eleven stars. Up until this point, I’ve met a few. I’m not going to divulge who those people are or how many I’ve met. What I can and will divulge is that my son is not a star. He is the moon that brightens the sky beyond compare. (My son is my moon…kinda funny). Apples and oranges. Nonetheless, this is more of a tessellation of cosmic influence. Although they could never compare, the stars are important to the darkened town below. The placement of each intricate piece is fundamental to the growth and happiness of the town. That town is me and each star is a light in my life; someone who has changed me, influenced me, inspired me, encouraged me…to be greater than I was yesterday…in unison with the moon and the beams of light it effortlessly projects.

I have a new star. Someone who is my polar opposite. Someone who really can’t fathom how influential they are. Someone who compels me to soul-search. Someone who inspires me to look beyond what I normally focus on. A person who feeds a part of me that hasn’t been fed since my best friend left this life. A person who reminds me of my best friend in so many ways and in one that I have yet to reveal. Maybe someday I will.

It’s actually a lot harder to explain than I thought. But my stars mean something to me. My stars give me something that cannot be explained. My stars are not flawless. They are not diamonds in the sky. They are so much greater than that BECAUSE they are all flawed. When I told by best friend that he was a star, he laughed. “Me?” Yes you, dork. “Why,” he asked. Because I said so.

To the average individual, to care about a star in such a way would inevitably lead to a desire to reach into the heavens and pluck such purity from it’s place and get lost in possibility. Surprisingly enough, this star does not compel me to yearn for something which is not mine to be had. This star does not induce such feelings that would have previously haunted me in dreams. Don’t get me wrong, this star is absolutely alluring. Without a doubt, there is an enticing and pure aura that would drop any right-minded person to their knees…that was not a sexual innuendo, by the way. Simply a visual of what such light can do to one with weak bones and common sense. To best explain how I can be in the presence of such an appealing entity without temptation, I’ll ask you this: have you ever seen something so beautiful you stand back in admiration because you don’t want to get too close and possibly fuck it up? Such is the case with this star.

There is nothing to say that a star will shine forever. Sometimes, you are blessed with such entities and sometimes…as I have experienced…those stars fade and lose their glimmer. The sky is absent of their presence but their essence lives on. The spirit of their very being lingers throughout the universe and the world and all of its inhabitants are epically altered. Even by influencing just one.

I don’t know how long this light will shine. Nothing is guaranteed. Yes, the pessimist in me says this star will fade out much quicker than the others. However, there is no part of me that allows such a thought to hesitate in naming this individual a star in my sky. Perhaps, it will not be there tomorrow. Or some tomorrow. But for today,this light, along with the others, has shone me a path I would have otherwise missed in the darkness of my existence. For that alone, the memory of those moments will forever change who I am as a person. A true work-in-progress…this girls walks along the trail of tears with secure footing…in knowing I have not traveled through this life alone. I cannot reach out and hold those that have given…so much. But I will always care. No matter how far apart we are.

“Man awaits jewels in a crown. I admire the glittering light set forth from the unforgettable. The untouchable. The unmistakable. These precious gems in the sky. The stars are a gift from God. Love letters sent to remind us of what remains to be seen.” ~Euphoric Damnation

1.142 – Away We Go

Tomorrow will be my first time ever visiting Disney World. I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m antsy. I am many things. I look forward to feeling like a kid again. I look forward to seeing my son laugh and have a level of joy I have yet to gift him with.

But this trip means more to me than dressed up characters and amusement park smiles. If you told me, one year ago, that I would be taking this trip with my sister and her family…I would have told you that you were full of shit.

My family has always been broken. Someone is always not talking to someone else. The words “you’re dead to me,” fly around like a normal family’s “hello.”  I can’t count the number of times I was disowned in my adolescence. Hell, it still happens now. It’s as easy as saying “go ahead and block me,” on Facebook. Because, apparently, social media determines whether you act like you give a fuck about your family or not.

But this isn’t about the dark shadows. THIS is about something much more important. You can always talk about what you don’t have or you can treasure what you do. And what I have is a family vacation. A family bonding time. Children unified because their parents could get over their shit. Because everyone can look back and say, “I did fuck up and I’m sorry.”

When I was a kid, my mother was accused (and rightfully so) of stealing something from my dead uncles casket at his wake. That was the final straw and she was banished. Her siblings and her own mother detested her. In turn, my sister and I lost just about lost all contact with our family. Uncles and aunts vanished from our lives…not that we were ever close but fuck if we didn’t become nonexistent. Years passed without hearing a word about our cousins, babies born or any happenings of these people that were supposed to be family.

I blame my mother for this. I equally blame the adults who chose to give a fuck less about children who did nothing wrong. You don’t have to think I’m a great person…you don’t have to like a damned thing about me but at the end of the day; I was a child and those people gave up on getting to know me, being an influence or showing an inkling of humanity. For that I say: FUCK YOU AND THE EXCUSES YOU LIVE ON.

I swore I would not be like those people. But I was. I harbored pure hatred for my own blood. I swore I would never forgive for the pain I felt.

And then my father died.

I will protect my son from every source of pain, anguish, and unnecessary stress. That includes me. There is no reason to burden my child, no reason to stifle him, punish him, or deprive him because of mistakes made decades ago. And for that…in knowing that no day is guaranteed and I may never get the chance to be forgiven for all of the wrong I’ve done…I opened my heart to the possibility of things being okay. Of breaking the cycle. Of refusing to be like them.

I’m going to Disney World tomorrow. I’m going to share experiences with my family. I’m going to make memories. I’m going to see my son bond with his cousins and laugh the greatest of laughs. That is worth hours of self-reflection and compromise. Of hashing things out and admitting to mistakes. That is worth every damn tear I have ever shed. He is worth it.

Thank you Dad…for showing me what’s really important. For giving me back my sister. For giving my son family. For all of your love. I will do my part to keep this bond strong and return the favor.

And now…I’m off to my vacation. SEE YOU IN A WEEK!!!!

Much love, readers. To each and every one of you.

1.141 – Burning

My mother left. I hate authority.

My marriage failed. I hate relationships.

My best friend died. I avoid friendships.

My father died. I avoid love.

Any attempt to fight the inevitable is a losing battle. I’ve learned this lesson at least four times in my existence and probably much more than that. Some would say that this life is worth living, that I have so much to look forward to. But the sand is flowing through the hourglass and the the tears flood away the granules of salt destined to count the seconds until my demise. No, I will not live forever. And someday, my son will mourn me. Someday, my loved ones…the few I have left…they will be as tormented as I am right now.

How do you grieve? How long does it take? My mother gave up on me 27 years ago. Is 27 years enough? My marriage failed 2 years ago. Is 2 years enough? My best friend died 15 months ago. Is 15 months long enough? My father died 8 months ago. Is 8 months enough? I mean, when the fuck does it stop? When does it become okay? Does it ever? I want someone to tell me when! How! I need to know this shit is happening for a fucking reason. Cuz I’ve got nothing. I’ve got no fight in me.

I don’t trust anyone. I hate people who treat me like I’m expendable. I hate people who are nice to me. I hate people who think they know me. I hate people who really do see the damage despite my act. I hate people who want me to be “on” all the time. I hate people who assume it takes one. I hate walking alone. I hate silence. I hate wondering. I hate never knowing. I hate being so scared.

I want my father back. I want my best friend back. I want my hope back. I want a clean slate. A fresh start. I want to know my purpose. I am an aimless vessel, writhing in the flames of uncertainty.

1.140 – All The Things You Said

Someone’s playing the piano somewhere but I can’t hear the beauty of the art because you’re screaming again.

I disown you. You aren’t mine anymore.

Someone’s painting a masterpiece somewhere but I can’t see the smooth strokes of possibility because you’re screaming again.

No one will ever love you. No one wants you. You’re going to be alone. 

Someone’s singing a melody of hope wrapped in vines of tranquility and I can’t quite understand the words because you’re screaming again.

Why don’t you just kill yourself already.

Someone’s knocking at the door…convinced they can save me but I won’t open it because you’re screaming again.

All I can feel are the daggers of 10,268 days, 246,408 hours, 887,068,800 seconds. Of every living, breathing moment I didn’t choose to have…and yet, I’m still here…despite your screaming.

I wish you were never born. 

Some days, I feel the same way. I’d put on the headphones to stifle the sound, the gut-wrenching echoes of your vocal attacks but such things cannot kill the scars that fester in my mind.

1.137 – Invisible

When I was seventeen, my mother figured out that I was living with an eating disorder. I don’t say suffering, I don’t say struggling, I don’t say battling. I was living with it. I ate. I threw up. I hovered over the fridge at 3am and engulfed everything in sight only to vomit it in a toilet five minutes later. I’d gotten so good at it, I evolved from using my fingers to just thinking about it.

“Vomit, damn it.”

BOOM.

It was that simple. But I was discreet. Yeah, I’ve always been skinny but at that time, I was convinced I’d only stay that way if I kept my body as empty as my heart felt.

But she figured it out. She sat me down in her poor attempt at being a mother and asked “why are you doing this? What do you want from me?”

I never threw up with my mother in mind. I never thought, “this chicken thigh is for you, ma!” I threw up because it felt good. I threw up because I could control something. I threw up because I’d failed at trying to be a cutter so I needed something that was mine. I threw up because I didn’t feel so dirty. I threw up because I was convinced someone would love me if I was tiny. I threw up because  I didn’t have any other great attributes. I threw up because it felt good to flush away garbage and not have to carry it for years on end. I told myself I didn’t do it for her. I didn’t do it because I hated life, the world, myself.

“I just want you to see me,” I replied.

FUCK ME RUNNING…IT WAS ABOUT HER!!!!

WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just wanted her to see me. To acknowledge me. To say I was wanted. To say I was loved. To admit she messed up but she did care. To show one ounce of loving me more than she loved herself. To show some sense of pride in having had me. I wanted her to see me…as something good. She never did.

The story of my mother is a book all on it’s own. One I could not write because it’s one I couldn’t ever reread…relive. Not just for me. For my sisters. For my nieces. For my nephews. For my son. I cannot relive it all. Because poison kills. I made it threw once…just barely. I wouldn’t take my chances with a second go-around.

I haven’t forced myself to throw up in years. I think about it. Sometimes, I know this sounds stupid as all hell, I miss it. But I haven’t. Because I don’t care anymore.

Quite frankly, sometimes, I’d be happier if no one saw me at all.