1.190 – Quality vs. Quantity

“If you can’t handle me at my worst…

…You don’t deserve me at my best”

The clouds have rolled in and the storm is set to begin. The forecast is calling for guaranteed thunder, lightening, tornadoes, tsunami’s, and typhoons. The damage will probably be irreparable and the casualties of family bonds and friendships will be countless.

Fair-Weather Friend: A friend who is only a friend when circumstances are pleasant or profitable.

Fair-Weather Family: Someone who is family or acts like family when it’s easy for them to be, them change on you when it’s through thick and thin.

I could cry over what I feel my son and I have lost. Instead, I want to really focus on the people who HAVE been invested in the calm before the storm, the upcoming mayhem, and the potential rebuild that awaits.

 I want to say thank you to the friends and family who don’t depend on Facebook to be real friends and real family. The people who call to ask how Hunter is doing. The people who have set aside time in their busy lives to reach out and stay in touch. The people who have reached out more so when the clouds have set in INSTEAD of playing the vanishing act. The people who don’t just say “I love you,” “I care about you,” “I hope to see you soon,” but actually show that as fact.

I want to say thank you to the people who believe in me as a person. The people who don’t focus on my past and every mistake that I’ve ever made in my entire life. The people who appreciate me for the person I am striving to be. The people who have taken the genuine time to see beyond the hype. The people who have supported me as a dreamer and have motivated me to be a doer.

I want to say thank you to the people who have shown my son UNCONDITIONAL love. The people who have PROVEN that they love my son. The people who do not allow trivial adult nonsense to prevent them from reaching out and engaging with my son. The people who have opened their hearts, homes, and ears to my son. The people who have put forth effort to include my son in the happiness of their own lives.

I want to thank the people who have not shunned my son for the simple fact that he came out of my vagina. The people who do not put my son so far out of sight that he will inevitably end up out of mind.

In April 2012, my son and I enjoyed an amazing trip to Disney. It was the most wonderful trip of my life. Watching my son show such excitement to see all of his favorite characters, to play with his cousins, to laugh hysterically…it was magic. But the moment that stuck with me the most was seeing my sixteen year old nephew sit on the balcony and watch his brother and my son play. My nephew reached out to me and gave me a hug. He refused to let go. He cried. He held me tight and let the tears flow. He cannot speak. He has Cerebral Palsy and has never been able to say “I love you, titi.” But he told me. In that moment. Just as clearly as my son tells his tia that he loves her every time she calls.

These children are beating the adults. They are the real inspiration. The real conveyors of what it means to love unconditionally.

Thank you to those who have given me strength and hope. We’ve done the good. We’ve done the bad. The ugly is on its way. We may not have the masses supporting us but what we’ve got is real and will be there long after the storm passes.

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1.187 – Evils Voice

He berated her; calling her names for all the world to hear, mocking her in the presence of strangers. She didn’t say a word. She avoided all eye contact and just held the money in her hands while the cashier waited for some form of tender. The cart was full and she didn’t have enough money. And he humiliated her for it. He took out all of the things she had wanted and asked them to be removed from the final bill. He insulted her with each item he removed from the cart.

The transaction was over. And he continued. Vocalizing her inability to get a job. Blaming her for the job he was forced to take to provide for the household. He told her just how dumb she really was. Every time he walked by her, he leaned into her ear and mocked her a little bit more.

Their son sat five feet away.

This is not my story. This is the story of an unheard voice. One that has not had the courage to say “no more,” to the abuse. Purposefully demeaning someone for the sheer gratification of establishing control is sickening, repulsive, and pure evil.

I hope that girl finds her voice. I hope that man loses his. I hope that child learns that his father is an example of what NOT to be.

We have all heard the voice of evil. We have all been the voice of evil. If not our children, what is worth making the change?

I hope that woman figures it out. I know I have.

1.129 – A Million Petals

“Someone gave you flowers”

When I was in middle school, I had a really grouchy music teacher named Ms. Diaz. This woman scared the ever living piss out of me and everyone else I knew. But she loved what she did. And that was making us sing and dance like friggen smiley puppets. For our first performance, we had to sing some god awful song that I can’t even remember. But that’s irrelevant. What is relevant is that my parents didn’t show up. Yeah, that sucked.

The second performance of the year was the holiday set, which I was unbelievably excited for. My father was a self-proclaimed JewBan (Jewish and Cuban) and I was thrilled to have learned “This is Hanukkah.” The curtain went up and I was ready. We sang several holiday songs and I could see my mother and my father sitting toward the back. We’d just finished a set and the Hanukkah song was next. And that’s when my mother stood up, whacked my father on the shoulder and made her way out of the auditorium. Trying not to cry, I watched my father follow my mother out of the crowded venue. “It’s not really my thing,” she’d explained later. My father apologized when she was out of earshot. Yeah, that sucked too.

My mother and I fought the morning of my senior graduation. She’d called my father some awful names and I came to his defense. She slipped into the typical martyr act and hooped and hollered about how I showed her no love or respect…how I only regarded my father as if he were a saint. We went to my graduation and I left my parents in the car. The music played and I made my way to my seat. I got in line to receive my diploma and noticed that my father sat alone. My mothers seat was empty. When I got onstage, I looked around the gymnasium…only to notice my mother standing by the back entrance for a second. And then she walked away. Right before my name was called. Yeah, that sucked.

When I was in college, I was elated to get the role of Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie. I invited my mother. Why, I still don’t know. She called with 20 minutes to showtime saying she couldn’t make it because she was in the hospital after suffering a stroke. “Well, you sound fine,” I’d said. “Well, I don’t feel fine.” The show must go on. And it did. After the show, I called my mothers friend…to check in on her progress. “What do you mean hospital? I just got off the phone with her…um…she’s been at her boyfriends.” By the way, opening night was my birthday. Yeah, that blowed.

What the hell does any of this have to do with flowers?

Nothing.

And everything.

Before he passed away, my best friend used to listen to me talk…allowed me the chance to vent and babble on about these types of moments in my life. He listened until there was nothing left to say. And then, he’d say the same thing: “Here’s a flower.” It was an imaginary flower…a figurative flower.

The first time, I asked what the hell was I supposed to do with a pretend flower and I am trying to tell you why I am upset and you are not being a very good friend right now you butthead.

I’m giving you a flower, he said, because you cannot see the beauty in the world. You are too fixated on picking apart everything until all you see if something of uselessness…of ugliness. Even in the bad, there is good. I’m giving you this flower so you can pick at it to your hearts content…and then you can let it go.

He gave me a field of flowers.

But he was right. In every performance, I got to perform…despite seats being empty. In graduating, I reached a goal so many in my family did not. In theater, I got to play a part I respected and worked hard to get. I did not see the beauty and wonder of each moment because I allowed myself to tear it apart and fixate solely on the negative of it all.

Very shortly before he died, my BFF said something that sticks with me even now. “I hope there comes a time when I never have to give you a flower again. Not because I don’t want to but because you will have no reason to pick any petals away.”

A time when I can just admire the beauty and find no reason to dwell on the bad. Sadly, I think I live in that field…continuously dwelling, worrying that something terrible is just around the corner. Because things don’t go well…can’t go well for people like me.

Despite a lifetime of being a Nervous Nelly…I hope there comes a day when I can walk in my field of flowers…and just enjoy the view.

Prompt taken from A Creative Writers Kit by Judy Reeves

1.123 – The Letter

To my beautiful baby girl….. On Feb-16-1984 I gave birth to you in an unconventional manner. First you came into this world too soon and too little, weighing only 6 pounds and 1 ounce. At 6am in the morning, after they made the incision in my stomach, I didn’t care I just wanted to look at you and hold you. But I only had a glimpse and I kissed your head. You stared at me and I felt small. It didn’t matter that you weren’t a boy at all only that you were so small. My love for you knew no height. My guilt was even greater. Why did it happen? How did it happen? When you were inside of me I loved you, I didn’t take good care and that was wrong but no amount of self indignation can ease this pain. The next day I went to see you and I knew fear. And I prayed. God please…don’t punish me this way…its not her fault she’s so tiny, It’s mine. Tears wouldn’t make it better but every time I see you they just come out. It hurts because you’re so special. I dont want to lose you. I’m so afraid I wish that I could take your place and let me go through the agonies that you are going through now.  I need to hold you very very bad. I need to kiss your tiny body, to hug you tight. I want to give you my life, every ounce of breath. Please….fight because if anything happens to you, some part of me will die. Please….understand that I love all of my daughters the same but you U love all the more. And every time I visit you without ….incubator and see you all I have put you through I want to break every damn thing around me. And those needle marks do not help to make mother better. Love, today I visited you and saw that you had gained a tiny portion of weight but you were under that infernal light and I still had no pride because I shouldnt have allowed for you to be brought into this world so easily in time and with so little defenses.  …..you’re my last child. The baby of the lot and I don’t care that you’re my fourth girl only that you’re health improves and you come home but until you are really stable, I will have to be able to leave this pain and need to hold you. 

This is the first page of a four page letter my mother wrote to me after I was born. It is a letter that I have kept for 28 years. It is a letter I can’t force myself to throw away. It is the letter that tortures me. Angers me. Saddens me. For so many years, I couldn’t figure out why my mother had so much guilt. What had she done to be so remorseful for? It took many years and many conversations to figure out. Someone recently said it was hard to believe that I had avoided a drug infested life because of the odds against me. This is true. I was a junkie before I understood what walking was. My mother brought me into this world dependent on her drugs and alcohol. Her addictions forced my out of the womb, into a world that wasn’t ready for me. And a world, based on my many months in the hospital, that I wasn’t ready to be apart of. For so many years, I thought I should have been a boy. I needed to hold on to as many masculine attributes as possible. Because thats what everyone really wanted…what everyone really would have loved. It’s okay you weren’t a boy…doth thou protest too much. This letter saddened me for a really long time…how could this apologetic woman never really love me? Forsake me for any man that looked her way? Ignore the mental/physical/emotional anguish I was battling? Inflict so many scars? But now this letter just angers me. I am not a perfect mother. But I will not knowingly inflict pain upon my light and then say my bad. If my son says someone touched him – I will believe him. If my son needs me – I will be there. I will love my son unconditionally without trying to live his life. I will not inject my son with poison. Period. This letter gets me all fucked up. But I hold onto it as a reminder. Of what not to be. A reminder of why I fight every single day. A reminder of my goals, my duties, my privileges. Some days, I question whether my son was blessed or cursed with having me as his mother. But this letter pushes me to be the best damned mother I can be. That was the best mother she could be. Was it good? No. Was it right? No. Did it hurt? Yes. Does it still hurt? Of course. Am I a fucked up 28 year old because I have mommy issues? Probably. Will my love for my son surpass my hatred for those who abandoned me? Ya damn right it will. I wasn’t planned. I wasn’t wanted. I may not be wanted now. I’m okay with that. Because this life aint about me. Never was. Never will be. This life…this one is for my boy.

1.117 – I Quit

On my way home from work, I got to thinking about my writing.

Where the hell is this going? Is it going anywhere at all?

The answers are simple: I don’t know and no. That being said, I start reflecting on why the hell nothing is going nowhere. And I reflect on my own bitter, emotional moment of the day.

It sucks when you feel like people see you for your negative attributes. I float in the ongoing punchline of me being the mean girl. Maybe its’ funny. Shit, maybe it’s true. But I really don’t want to be the mean girl. I’m just extremely sarcastic and extremely…blunt at times. Label it rude, obnoxious, neurotic. Maybe I’m making up for years of living in the damned shadows…I don’t know.

I’m probably all of those negative things and more. But I’d like to be better. My writing is nothing but I’d like it to be more. I’d like to know more than five people are reading this damned blog. I’d like to see my writing flourish into something worth sharing. I’d like to be considered a talent, a person worth knowing, something more than a late night secret friend. Yeah, I said it. Because I know that’s what I am to people. Someone worth knowing in the daytime at a distance and someone worth talking to late at night when no one else is available. My writing is what people read because…well fuck if I know why people read any of this. It’s about the same as me wondering why the hell people waste their time…AND MINE…talking to me.

It’s all a crock, really. It’s all made up. It’s all a badly written work of fiction. It’s all maybes and what-ifs, coulda woulda shouldas and false precedents.

I want to edit Dream Catchers. That will probably never happen. I want to complete Euphoric Damnation…which is on an indefinite pause because the concept sounded good about 5 months ago but now just seems to be a stupid ass story. I want to write a trilogy called Windows – one story told from his perspective, one from her perspective and the final one being the truth. I want to write a humor piece – one story done in several genre formats. I want to re-write Lullaby – a play set in in the voice of suicide and the victim. I want to write Killing Off Allison. I want to compile my poetry and finish The Dark Room. I want, I want, I want…to write, to write, to write…

BUT

I wont do any of it. Because I’m one of those fucking people. I’m all talk. Because attempting at putting these ideas to paper will force me to realize that I’m a fake. I’m no fucking writer. I’m just one of those people who spews out ideas. And the majority of them suck ass.

I want people to think better of me. I want to be valued for what’s in this mind of mine. I want there to be a reason I am the way I am. I thought writing was my justification. But maybe…no, I’m pretty sure…there is no justification. I’m just not what I thought I was. I’m nobody…babbling on about nothing. I’m a con artist – making you believe I’m strong, smart, pretty, artistic, confidant, secure. But I am none of those things. I am a weakling, screaming for acceptance at the top of my lungs. The problem is…no one seems to hear me. Or maybe they do. Which is by far the worst of fates.

Maybe this is just a majorly self-deprecating emo moment. But for the first time in 20 years, I’m almost certain it’s time to give this shit up. My fear of rejection obviously outweighs my desire to live the dream. Story of my fucking life. The self doubt is debilitating. And I’m over feeling like a crippled woman, friend, artist. I just want to fade into the backdrop and pretend it never mattered.

My love affair with writing is over.

That’s it. I quit. I’m moving on. (Thanks Sam Cooke).

1.114 – My Light (PART 1)

Facebook Status: Jan. 22. 2009 – I swear if I keep crying over babies Im gonna dry up. Patience damn it.

 

My son, Hunter Daniel, was born on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 8:35pm. The road to that delivery was a tear stained, perilous road but one I would repeat in a heartbeat for the gift it has given me.

I can’t tell you when the mother-bug bit me. But it was something I could not deny, ignore, or live without. But desire is not always enough. Through testing, several procedures and tons of waiting and planning…I learned I was unable to carry a child. I sank into one of the deepest depressions I have ever known. And to understand why, I have to share something that has haunted me for years.

When I was sixteen, I’d suddenly started sleeping a lot, felt achy…just didn’t feel like myself. At the time, I was clueless as to why. I didn’t understand my own body…let alone these new traits. I climbed into a warm bath and accidentally fell asleep. When I woke up, the water was red and my body felt like it was being crushed from the inside out. I was in an ocean of my own crimson life. And the life of what would later be known as the soul I miscarried. Because I didn’t go to a doctor immediately…because I shamefully didn’t tell anyone I knew…my uterus suffered scarring and damage from being untreated. It would be over a decade before I would learn that my body treated a pregnancy like a full blown sickness – doing all that it could to kill off the “virus” inside of me.

Fast forward a decade and you’d have found me bawling my eyes out in a doctors office – calling myself a dirty, disgusting whore, a broken piece of shit who knew sex before I knew what puberty was. Though the earlier situations were not by choice, I held a sense of shame for each and every one of those unwanted touches and penetrations. I lost that unborn soul ten years before because my body was tainted. And now…I was a barren field of snow.

But the doctor refused to wash her hands of me. “By the end of this,” she said, “you will be pregnant.” I wanted to believe her…but I didn’t. I saw the doctor weekly, test after test draining every ounce of my being. And nothing. Finally, she sat me down and asked me what was going on in my life – my schedule, my sleep, my lifestyle. I left no stone unturned. After some silence, she told me she didn’t think medication was going to fix me. Without hesitation, probably sensing my oncoming manic attack, she put it simply, “you’re stressed out. You need a vacation.”

Modern medicine couldn’t make me stop killing anything that remotely resembled a child. But a vacation would. What a quack…

A weekend at Wolf Creek Lodge followed.

Exactly 3 months later, I was scheduled to get my period. But I knew. I took, what felt like, the millionth pregnancy test…and it had two lines. TWO LINES. TWO FRIGGEN LINES!!!!

And so…the light of my life was on the way.

1.113 – Stolen

He was all about trying to hit it
She was all about trying to quit it.
Junkies turning tables
lost in the panic
riding high
and flying low
danger in numbers
coinciding with danger in solidarity
He was all about getting the digits
She was all about trying to quit it.
Leaning in while she pulled away
tears welling because this wasn’t it
not here
not now
not like this
regret in a stroke
a mistake
mistook for tenderness
running from the baggage
and into the terminal.
He was all about trying to hit it
She was all about trying to quit it.
The memory,the angst, the pain of what ifs.
He hit before she could quit and turned her out…
a trick in the game
no winners

as her world ends.

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1.111 – Did You See Her?

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Did you hear her tears as she wept Did you see her? Did you feel the pain in her heart Did you know her? This is general and this is specific. This is for every man and for no man at … Continue reading

1.99 – Do You Have FAFS?

FAFS, also known as Fake Ass Friend Syndrome, is a debilitating condition, which can wreak havoc in every aspect of your life. However, this condition is treatable. In order to solve your problem, you must first identify your symptoms.

You have Fake Ass Friend Syndrome if:

  • You always says “I’m going to call you back,” and never do because you’re watching television, playing online games, filing your nails, watching Youtube videos, updating your Facebook status.
  • You drop off the face of the earth when your friend has a major illness, new birth, death in the family, major accomplishment.
  • You repeatedly schedule times to schedule a time to meet up with your friend but never successfully schedule a scheduled time.
  • You don’t show up to a friends baby shower/birthday/major event but post updates from a bar via Facebook or Twitter.
  • You apologize for your lack of friendship – only to repeat your asshole behavior.
  • You use other friends as an excuse as to why you’re a bad friend.
  • You bring up the length of time you’ve known  a person when confronted with your FAFS symptoms.
  • You only call your friends when you need money.
  • You only call your friends when things are bad.
  • You ask strangers “will you be my friend?”
  • You show new friends your bank statements.
  • You distance yourself from your friend when you’re around a potentially cooler crowd.
  • You continuously degrade one mutual ex-friend so you never look as bad.
  • You consider the friendship over every single time your friend doesn’t agree with you.
  • You refer to your friend as your fat friend, the skinny bitch, the dark one, the pasty chick.
  • You put forth zero effort but expect to be BFF’s.

If you or someone you know is suffering from FAFS, please get help. If it’s you – lock yourself in a room and throw away the key. Don’t ever come out – because you suck balls. Big hairy, saggy balls. This will help everyone you’ve annoyed. You cant be annoying if you’re out of sight – out of mind.  If it’s a friend – run! RUN FOR THE HILLS. You might think this is abandonment. It’s not. Those who suffer from FAFS must hit rock bottom in order to realize just how crappy they are acting. The only way to really do that is to sit in a room and have that moment when they realize…I’m alone.

FAFS sucks. Period.

1.96 – Fighting The Good Fight

At face value, she is a drama queen.

Cowering in the corner, she is a shattered dream.

Like anyone else, I have bad days. Unlike everybody else, I have extremely dark bad days. This is not to say I’m the only one. This is to say, there are normal people who don’t think their light is snuffed out because of hard times.

And yet, this is how my brain works. A small stress is just an ember, growing on a dry patch of grass, engulfing trees and landscape, wreaking havoc upon every possible dream and stamping a big fat, emblazoned failure sign in the darkness. One worry is stacked along with many until a house of cards comes tumbling down and I feel like I’m drowning. Drowning in a pool of confusion, self-annihilation and full blown panic attacks.

I cant remember the first time I had one. I thought everyone felt the way I felt when they were scared. Until these attacks happened when I was not in danger, when things weren’t so bad, when no harm was close. Palms sweating, my heart racing, tears overflowing, head spinning, and the inability to breathe…I am a wreck. I can only describe it as an emotional ocean that sucks you under and you suddenly forgot how to swim against the tide. That part of you gets stuck on stupid and you’re helpless physically, though mentally you’re screaming bloody fucking murder because you don’t want to lay down and die.

Before yesterday, the last time I’d had one was the day my father died. And that shit was expected…the attack..not the death. Yesterday, on the other hand – was just a wave of sudden grief. Everything looks bleak, the sun isn’t going to shine and I’ve plummeted to my lowest low. There really is no rescuing me in this dark space. Because my brain has all of the answers…even though it’s wrong.

In that panic, I am the ugliest, poorest, most worthless excuse of a mother. I am a sorry excuse of a woman. I am a failure as a human being. A waste of space.

And then I am on land again. And I recognize that I still feel those dark feelings but I have the strength to battle each demon like a knight with a sword…sent to slay the unslayable dragon. I don’t think unslayable is a word…I don’t give two shits, quite frankly. It is now.

The panic steals my air. The dragon rests its unforgiving claws against my windpipes and I struggle, with tears in my eyes and my sons name at my lips. Because he’s my reason to fight the beasts. The darkness. The demons. The hell that lay in the corners of my mind.

I probably sound like I’m batty as all hell. I’m not. I’m living proof that ignoring things for a sense of pride, in childhood, is pointless. Because some of us are just born differently, mentally. Some of us have distorted images of ourselves. Some of us struggle to feel less alien and more like the world. Some of us pop a pill and talk out our problems and still fear the dark. Some of us fight attacks and episodes. Some of us cringe when people make bi-polar jokes. Because we know you’d only laugh. Because you think we are fucking nuts. Because you think we want to be this way. And some of us just don’t give a fuck anymore who understands us. Not all of us want empathy, sympathy, pity.

Some of us just want to slay the dragon. To protect our kin from the demons that danced with our limp bodies. To negate the cycle from repeating itself. To stop pretending that if we don’t talk about it, it will go away. Because it won’t. It is the bear that hibernates. It is the beast the lurks with patience. It is the monster that we continuously turn our heads to look out for. It is the scar upon our souls. It is the damage that was done…the wound that will not heal…no matter how many band-aids the world wants to slap on the hideous reminder.

The panic attacks used to scare me. Now, they just remind me that I’m still alive. I will push away those who I feel will not understand. I hide from those who will shun me. I fake the smile for those I hope wont. I used to say I wished my battle was like Cancer because then people would understand and not assume it was all an exaggeration. But I don’t need people to understand in order to fight the good fight. I just need to remind myself that I now have the best damned reason to continue the battle – my boy.

My son keeps me alive.