Catching Hell

I am struggling
I tried
I’m hurting
Why is that my problem
You’re hurting me
I can’t help you’re perception
I love you
You love me
I need you
I don’t want you
Please stop
I want this
You’re damaging me
I don’t care

What’s your problem
….

Why can’t you just be happy
I don’t know
You’re so fucking ungrateful
I’m sorry
This is all your doing
….
You’re fucking warped
I’m sorry
You’re a fucking control freak
I need to trust you
I don’t care what you think of me
Why am I here

Please give me reassurance
It’s okay to feel threatened
I’m begging you to stop
It’s your fault…just keep your fucking mouth shut.
I’m not okay
Everything’s fine until you start in.
I love you
….

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Natural Beauty

The sun begins to set once more, and the view from our deck takes my breath away. Though the old and well rooted trees that shoot toward the heavens may seem a hinderance to some…I find it all the more beautiful. Fading to night the sky gives off a glow I have come to find great solace in. In the tree line is a worn and well aged Locust tree, bark long gone, clay white, broken branches. Yet there she stands still beautiful. I often imagine the things she’s seen hanging over the ravine. The lives that have passed her by.

A well hidden trail winds down to the creek bed, passing an old and rusted fence. Deep within a long and winding bramble is the foundation of what was once a beautiful cottage, filled to the brim with life and love, maybe an irresistible hideaway from the long hours of turning the soil beneath the Locust. It longs for the sunlight, to be loved once more. I am sure it too, has many stories waiting to be discovered.

The end of the trail meets the water. Deer, raccoon, coyote prints scatter the earth. Even the creek bed gives away its secrets. Bent and partially buried horse shoes, pieces of an old revolver, large rusted nails. Seasons have come and gone. Flood, drought, pain and suffering…it remains. It’s route unchanged and in its own way, rebelling against time.

As the sun nears its final bow, a warmth that is rarely felt this time of year sweeps across my face. My body turns to find its source, my eyes close and I find myself lost in the ephemeral beauty of this forgotten and enchanting place. The smell of the underbrush, fallen limbs, and new life permeate my senses. The Locust nearly lost to the darkness and with clouds rolling in, I turn to walk inside.

I have cried here. I have loved here. I have seen the decay and the growth of many seasons. Missed opportunities and forgotten sonnets…all from this place. The Locust remains a faithful companion, hovering patiently. She waits for me, day and night, unafraid of my life, teaching me the beauty of my scars, the strength of my soul. Her roots give me courage as her shadow looms under the moonlight. Her broken branches tell her story…and mine.

Put in Place

The line fades…
…hair falls,
…shadow closes in.
The ears ring…
…door slams,
…heart breaks.
The days few…
…hope little,
…power gone.

Taking what it wants,
…Leaving empty handed,
…Needing what it hasn’t…

…Never alone,
…Never forgotten,
…Never release,
…Never loved…
…And never over.

The color faint…
…fear lingers,
…dark remains.
The pain forever…
…waste builds,
…filth is seen.

The memories felt.

The time frozen.

The life broken.

Banana Milkshakes

When ever I was sick, or hurt, or happy my mom would make me banana milkshakes. She made Texas sheet cake EVERY year on my birthday…because I loved it. When I moved away from home as an adult she brought me homemade chicken noodle soup. My mom, for all her failings, and mine, has tried to mend the broken bits. For me though, the pain and indifference she had made me feel often out weighs her kindness. Perhaps it is because I see so much of her own issues in myself.

My best memories of my early childhood are surrounded by the pain. The ups and downs, her love then her screaming. It wasn’t easy for her. She raised us on her own even when my parents were married, and after my dad left we really gave her a run for her money. Catching snakes and bringing them inside. Stealing her change to go buy rats from the local pet store. My mom never complained about her lot in life, not about my father and his shitty lifestyle, the women, the drinking. She prayed every day for my dad…until the day he died she loved him and still does. She knows more about suffering than I can begin to describe and even though I will never name her…some things are never meant to be repeated.

My mom ‘Que’ was in special ed until her sophomore year, and back in the 1960’s that was very different from today. Retard was a formal word and not an insult, stupid was accepted and belittling of those with special needs was part of daily life. She wore glasses and had a speech impediment. And they left her there until her sophomore year. She married my father and after years of trying to have a child and fostering they adopted me….

I don’t remember very much of my childhood honestly, but I know there was good, I just know it. My mom truly tried to give us everything she could, but you don’t know what you don’t know…

I remember the banana milkshakes. The cold sweet taste in my mouth. The joy of feeling loved in a cup. (Perhaps a look in my broken mirror…why I have such a detestable view of food.) The smell of cake being made. The bitter cocoa filling the air, as I sat in anticipation, excitement. Knowing that with my cough the warmth of homemade goodness was forth coming.

Que is not evil, not hatred personified. She is but one stitch in the misunderstood world surrounding mental illness. She is loved no less for it. She is my mom, and nothing changes that. She is the one I cried out for with heart break, each child I brought into this world. No matter the distance or time not spent will take that from her, me.

Someday she will find herself whole, as will I, and we can meet, mend the fences, for a little bit of heaven.

Answers

Many many times I have stayed up all night with my children. Sickness, new teeth, heartache and loss. My fondest memories are always of them after they fall asleep. Even now, seemingly unneeded and often feeling unwanted by my son Jay, I peer into his room and for just a moment I watch him sleeping. He’s so calm, not a bit like the teenager I see briefly wander down the hall to and from his junior man-cave.

I have made a lot of mistakes in my life as a parent, and I’d like to think that I have learned from them. I keep reminding myself that this too is merely a season, all be it a really rough one.

Jay has anxiety (GAD). It’s a thorn in his side and an ache in my heart. We butt heads constantly and I am forever trying to reach out, let him know I’m here. His symptoms are so similar to mine at his age, but unlike my mother, I have refused to give up. I will never disown him. I can’t begin to describe what it feels like to be told that I was owned, and then thrown out time and time again….

I was given to a family at around 9 years of age, just down the road from my mom, and my brother. I remember the family very well. Both of their girls were adopted. For the first time since my dad had left I felt whole again. It was for lack of a better word ‘normal’…how I thought a family should be. I know my mom would stop by, usually to start a fight with me, eventually with the mother and then she would disappear again. Then after about six months I was back home – devastated. I remember thinking how bad I must be if they didn’t want me either. Then again at 11. When I was twelve I ran away from our tiny home (or as it was once called ‘the servants quarters’) to the home next door where my friend lived. I stayed there two nights, in her closet. A window in her bedroom faced the walkway to our door. Hearing my dads voice I crawled slowly from the closet floor and listened…

“What the hell is going on?” He said.
“She just wants attention.” My mom growled.
“I don’t have time for this shit, I have a life.” He walked away.

I was right there. Heart broken. Too afraid to say what had happened, what had been done to me as a child, I was frozen in time. Lost. Alone.

I left the closet a few hours later and walked through the alley-ways to my school, terrified I was going to jail… Or possibly to burn in hell. I walked straight into the office. The counselor greeted me. (I had talked with him a few times.) My mom arrived soon after. They disappeared into the back room and I was left toiling over the infinite possibilities for punishment. I knew it would be bad. A door ripped open, and my mom stormed out. She didn’t look at me once. Not even a glance. I was sent to class after I gave the counselor my reason for running away.
I didn’t want to go back. Home wasn’t home for me.

Again I was told I had no right to feel, and that I wasn’t forgiven though I pleaded with her to do so. She told me the school counselor was a fraud, a fake, and stupid. He had told her she was a terrible mother. Her anger grew and I felt this immense need to flee. Run. Anything. She swung at me and I hit her first. I was in shock having never hit anyone other than my brother…which usually led to mutual destruction. She froze. I screamed as loud as I could in her face…

“Don’t ever fucking hit me again! Evvvvverrrr!”
She didn’t.

After a few months of battling with her, watching her turn her anger for me to my brother, I stepped between them so she would stop smacking him, so hard, so loud it sounded like paper ripping, with a wet cloth, cornered behind our front door. Once again I shouted for her to stop. Face red, eyes filled with both rage and fear, she grabbed one of my arms and threw the cloth at us. It was fall, my favorite season. On Thanksgiving day she kicked me out.

This was my childhood, and eventually my brothers, although he seemed to be accepted more as a human being instead of a worthless, dirty piece of trash. I know our mom loves us, and she has taken steps to get help, taking medication for depression (possibly). To this day she stands by the claim that God told her to let me go, that it’s my fault. She has told my son she hates him. She had told me to send my son away.

Through the years, I have asked myself how I could not know I was suffering from Anxiety, OCD, PTSD. Why didn’t I see it. I suppose it’s hard for someone to wonder why I had a family at all. My answer is this –

You can’t know what you don’t know…and I thought, with every bit of pain, every heart beat, every skipped meal, that I was normal. It’s all I knew. It’s all I had.

I have a family because I’m worthy of one, and I love deeply and forever. Unfailing, unfaltering…My little bit of heaven.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…and my family is the most chaotic, loud, beautiful masterpiece I will ever create.

My Sweet…

My daughter, Birdie, is a beautiful child. She is so very compassionate. Even as a tiny child her ability to feel empathy for someone’s suffering was obvious, touching. Like myself, she feels everything so deeply. She tries to be a friend to everyone she knows, as I’ve tried to raise her to do. She was gentle before she could speak it, loving before she knew it’s name. A few days ago she sat with her father and I late one night (as she often does)…and told us how she counts. She counts letters in words, lines, and they all have to equal a particular number. I held in the first and obvious conclusion, and instead told her I thought everyone goes through that ‘phase’ and not to worry. She seemed eager to get it out in the open. We listened. She knows about my anxiety, but I don’t really go into details with her yet. She’s still in elementary school. I fell asleep wrestling with myself about my response. The following day I really struggled with it. I cried. I told my husband I didn’t want that for her, I don’t. I never want this for anyone. To ponder the life she will have if her mind is infinitely bombarding her with numbers, patterns, strife…it breaks me. Unable to sit, I have been watching her, observing her behavior like a doctor in a movie watches their patient in a hospital room….dramatically analyzing every breath, her walk, the way she speaks when she is interacting with others, how she eats. I wrote her a letter, because when I try to talk to her I feel the tears fill my eyes, and what I want to say just doesn’t come out.

 

My sweet Birdie,

You are my most precious gift. I knew before we found out that you were to be my daughter. I envisioned that you would look like me in every way, but even more beautiful – and you are. I have watched you chase life down with such unabashed joy. It comforts my soul to see you each and every day. I cherish the moments we have when no one else is around, and it’s true when I tell you how much I value our friendship. I envy your ability to bring love and kindness out of those you love. It’s amazing. You have such a way with our dogs, they respond to you in a way I simply do not understand and I’m thrilled you seem to be able to reach even them on another level.

I know you may feel different inside. I can see that wheel turning as you ponder your heart’s desires…to fit in. There isn’t a single person that is exactly like the other on the inside. You are wonderfully and beautifully made.

Hearing that you count things, and in fact find it as a ‘thing you just have to do’ breaks me my love. I never wanted to hurt you. My prayers, hopes, dreams have always been for you to have a better life, more love, more peace…than I had as a child. I’m sorry I couldn’t keep you from my struggle. If I could put into words the heavy, all consuming guilt I feel, down into my bones I would, but I am in ruins.

Please don’t feel that being different is bad. Quite the opposite my sweet little bit. Being unique is what I love about you most of all. If you were like someone else, you wouldn’t be you, and you wouldn’t be mine.

If there ever comes a time you feel out of control, whether from that tick, tick, tick of your mind, the ever-present sound of your quickly beating heart, or the immense sadness that comes with realizing ‘our different’ isn’t so easy…I will be right here. I am always going to be here. You will never fight this battle alone. You will never be made to feel unloved, unwanted as I have in my life. For you I would die, and for you I have lived my beloved. If I could take it all away I would, but I can’t. Instead I offer my patience, acceptance and my heart for you to break, and yes it will happen. I am prepared. Know there is nothing you will ever say to make me love you less. You could try and you will, but there is nothing you will do that will change the way I see you…my daughter, my sweet love.

The road will seem long, and it’s okay to feel cheated. The days may seem unending. Know this now and forever, I am here, right here.

 

Good Morning to You!!

Good morning minions! The birds are chirping, the kids are sleeping….I know, miracles do happen! Anyway, hello followers!! I’m so excited that you think what I’m writing is of value. I’d love to get to know each of you if that’s ok. I love love love learning about people. My days are spent at home raising kids, so to communicate with adults…yippee!

I’m going to start. Bragging, bitching, broken heart ramblings are all allowed. If you don’t know who you are tell me who you’d like to be! There’s no judgement here. I just want to know you. πŸ’œ

Ok…..
I’ve been given the nickname Bits, so that’s what I’ll call myself. I’m a stay home mom. We have three kids that are all grown up and moved out, and four kids at home ranging in ages still-wearing-diapers baby to wrecking-ball teenager. I am a step-parent of our two oldest, but in my heart there isn’t a damn bit of difference. I try to let my kids be what I wasn’t allowed to be…individual, unique. Don’t worry! Not in a Will and Jada sorta way. I just don’t force them to be blonde if they want to be a red head, or violin when they want to run. I’ve been a mom my entire adult life, and when they’re all grown up I will be completely lost in this world! We are transplants to the Midwest from the Pacific Northwest. And no, there are no real mountains here. All trails lead to home so here is where we stayed. I have anxiety, as do two of our kids. Their idea not mine I swear. I’ve been married almost 14 years. Miraculous. My husband is an infantryman, Army. No longer chasing bad guys in foreign lands, he fishes, chases our tiny ranger. He’s got two brand new shiny knees and is the biggest smart ass EVER. He does Facebook…which is on my ‘I hate that shit’ list. He’s my big, cuddly, funny kid. We have two dogs, Moe is our ever present guard on duty, while freckles is well, freckles. Puppy, chewy, naughty, so very loving. I have early onset macular degeneration but I still have eyes in the back of my head so it’s all good! I would love to have more tattoos, but alas, we have kids that need to eat. I have a nose ring, ear piercings and purple hair. I LOVE my purple hair. I am unique, might as well let my social awkwardness fly freely!!! I love writing, coloring, hiking…and back in the day I loved to ski. Now, aware of the danger I avoid it…and there’s no mountains here! Damn it! My favorite painter is Vermeer. I despise selfie sticks. They are all that’s wrong with the world. I curse, which I hate, but try not to. I have a love hate relationship with being at home all day. Mainly because I have no life of my own. While speaking to adults I often use words like ‘tummy’ or ‘ouchie’ or ‘poo poo’…because it’s what I say all day long. I hate spiders. I love to garden. Growing the things that we can sit around and eat together is great therapy! I am a Christian. God has brought me out of more than I will ever say here and now, but rest assured I would not be alive if it were not for His Love and Grace. I don’t push my faith on others, rather choosing my life as an example of who He is. Hence ‘little bit of heaven’…there is always a lesson that can help someone.

I’m not cool and don’t care, but because I can and will..it’s your turn brave followers.
*Mic drop*

No, seriously…

 

In my quest for enlightenment I often cross paths with people that are very different than me, and I love it. Fascinated by the human condition I thoroughly enjoy learning about others, their lives, their dreams.

But I’m not particularly in the mood to dive into the human psyche in that way tonight! So hold that post for another day and hold on because it’s gonna get icy.

There is a person…in the ‘Hollywood’ lime light that is apparently broke. Is it just me or what the actual f$&k is going on in that brain of his? Have you read the things people are posting to said Hollywoods gofundme page!?! I read it so I would be of understanding to his plight but alas, like Hollywoods recent music endevours…. I don’t get it. Perhaps it is his sense of fashion, his suck it attitude or his ever gleaming star that has allowed him to believe he is on a ‘Paul the Apostle’ level.

And then there’s the ‘Diva’ who released an album, then a song (or Vice versa) and then did a big fancy show and everyone flipped out…as she turned the horrors of the upper class feeding on the lower class and lives having value into a scene that did not need her attention, at least in such a way that provokes anger, and more disdain. In 24 hours she took her own credibility away for dollar signs. Kudos!

And once more for full effect (and because I’ve been dying to somehow put this on my blog) the turkey emotional support critter. Now, I love turkey. We see them at the local farms when we buy fresh fruits and veggies, and on my table for holiday meals. I can honestly say that I don’t see this going well. Would we be surprised if the bird flipped out on a plane? And I must be missing something because I was unaware they were meant to fly!!! And lastly, how mentally stable is a turkey anyway????

What do these two people and a brave, but out of place turkey (or human) have in common??? No one told them that their choices have greater impact when they think of others before themselves. That it’s not about the money, money, money. Their need to make a scene, to be seen. ( OK, maybe not the turkey, I’ll give you that.) There was no one there to say ‘hold that thought, that comment, that turkey’. When someone has enough power to make or break someone, or people that willingly allow themselves to be bullshitted we care less about the big picture and more about personal gain, likes and selfies, and the whole world goes to shit. Communal narcissism.

I would love to go on more, but I need to go find a snake to snuggle with.

Vigil

 

He sits in his dark corner
Ever present
Ever fading
His cigarette burns as he lights another
He’s got to keep going

He lingers there awhile, perhaps hoping …

Heart beats, sweat falls
He needs to sleep…
…Avoiding this bitter-sweet good night
One eye open
His nightmares never far from him
His brothers never close enough

The loss immeasurable…

His silence is deafening
It’s so hard to breathe
Oh to leave behind this broken crown

The lives he has lived…

He wakes to find his heart is bleeding
For a time he can’t recall
But the anger so real, it haunts them all
A hero some say…
…Not to him

His battle never over
The war, within…