Write? How?!?

When my anxiety is at peak performance I feel like I am being smothered with bubblewrap. If I move it will pop pop pop and my face will cringe, my fists will tighten, my heart will beat faster.
That’s how I feel now.
I woke up dandy! I feel great! I just don’t want to disturb the force!
I feel like ending everything I type with an exclamation point!!! Because I’m anxious!!!!!
See? Can you feel the stress of nothingness as you read that?
My anxiety has given me writers block.
It’s driving me crazy. The kind of crazy that comes along when you’re weeding a garden and find that never ending crab grass. No matter how much you yank, cut, pull…it’s there, mocking you!
I know this dose of jitters will end when I find the words for what I’m avoiding, or over compensating for.
What am I afraid of and distracted by? Everything or nothing. When I figure it out I am sure the drops of words will turn into the waterfalls of wisdom, words to live by.
For now, it’s just heavy. It’s hurting. It’s lonely.
I don’t feel it. But IT is there.
My inner human is acting like a child. I want to be out in the world, while my take charge brain screams to shelter in place. Beware. Stop. So much happens out there. In here is where safety is found.

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Never Make A Plan!!!

Feeling overwhelmed minions? I too struggle with this little turd called anxiety…I just never know when that riptide of panic will hit, but I have grown enough to know who or what can trigger it…

We went fishing for the Fourth of July weekend, and let me tell you that after all the epic (as in expensive) mechanical failures of the past month I couldn’t make the following up if I tried.

Let’s set the tone with a pre-road trip run down shall we? 

Washing machine leaked all over basement.

My van has a flat tire…damn it

Couldn’t (still can’t) find glasses

Migraine

***In our SUV we have me, my husband, one man size 14 year old son and our daughter, Little son, baby son, 130 lb dog child, 40 lb puppy child. Packed around us are our needs for the weekend. On top of said SUV are two kayaks.***

Driving to our favorite fishing hole on the Missouri/Arkansas border is about four hours give or take…unless you make plans, as I did, to get there in that time frame. 
First was the traffic which was backed for miles in both directions at a crucial point of our road trip – so we had to take a two hour detour which only got us 33 miles from home. Siri, if you’re maker is reading this – kiss my butt.

Two hours later we reach the famed, nay infamous ‘candy shop’ and baby needs to stretch his legs. While walking around our beloved SUV had over heated AND the oil light was on AND the check engine light was giving off the ‘it’s to late you’re doomed’ glare. In need oil? Yes! Nearest gas station? 6 miles away. Stress level high and pricey! Oh did I forget to mention that as a result of Siri’s flagrant disregard of our schedule said candy shop/gas station was closed when we pulled up? Yeah, it was that kind of night.

We get to our destination at around midnight. SEVEN hours after we’ve left home. Both dogs need to pee, I need to pee, baby is pissed off and my husband looks like he’s about to stroke out. Baby slips on wet floors. I slip on wet floor…because you know…it’s RAINING! Pardon my language but in my mind I thought to myself ‘what fuckery is this?!?’ 

Alas we wake Saturday to find rain but no fish. Our son Jay caught one…just one troutsie…for the entire day. (That was one splendid fish…so yummy, but as a total for the day not enough for a family meal.) We decided to load up our hot-n-sexy SUV for a beer run…which yes, Siri, that bitch, took us on a scenic drive for 1.5 hours to a Walmart we had never seen, past the one we would have had to do an illegal u-turn (on a major four lane road no less) to get to. Sigh. Forget the beer, I bought two loaves of French bread and a bag of cookies. Omm nomm nomm. I love you bread. You heal me.

But Sunday, sweet sweet blessed Sunday…
It rained just enough to keep the fish biting and the temperature pleasant, well, for July anyway!


Jay (man sized child) caught his limit of trout…

Birdie caught hers too!


It was nice enough that we got to swim in the afternoon…so we all got to nap too for the bonus. Yay me!

Bravo caught his limit and met a guy who was a nephew of a man he served with – small world! It made his weekend.


I got to fish ALONE. Peace. Quiet. I even caught a few trout myself! 

My husband Bravo and Jay got to kayak…and promised that next time I get first dibs. 


#familyfishingfun

Stuck at the Gate

I arrived home, realizing I’d been avoiding my mailbox like the plague. My life has been busy lately, and busy tends to be translated as anxious x10 to my worrisome mind.

I killed our lawn mower. My husband killed our SUV and my van nearly died. All in that order over a three week period. While I’d like to say I handled this and the heating element of my dryer also dying with grace and patience…I did not. (But I sure thought I did!) It’s was all well and good until I showered a few nights ago. Then the tears fell – over my inability to use the soap dispenser with my ‘write’ hand. I sat down and sobbed, which made it worse, which made me sadder still. (Holy shit it’s been a ride. So glad I can’t repeat the past.)

Air drying towels and jeans should be a sin. There’s nothing I hate more than crispy towels and crunchy jeans. I can only compare it to stale cereal. Just yuck.

Anyway. That’s not what this is about.

In my mailbox was a letter…from my mother. Her cursive writing that spelled out my name and address made me feel heavy, like a laundry basket full of wet towels. I just placed it under my arm, walking inside feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders…

As I opened the envelope and pulled out the card I could see through the light blue background more cursive, more wordy thoughts, more glaring, dead references about my life, because judging is what she has always seemed to do best when it came to me. There wasn’t a bit of space left. Words were everywhere.

Not now I thought. I just can’t. I put the baby to sleep. I did dishes, folded clothes. I could not forget I’d gotten it.

Mom wrote…

Dear Bits, I was in a car accident in December in Portland. I was on my way to see my friend, my best friend since preschool. She took her own life. I didn’t know. It happened in October, but her husband hadn’t told anyone. He sent my Christmas card back, writing on the back that she’d passed. I called him and he told me everything. Just so sad.

I felt like the world had swallowed me up. 

I felt like an asshole.

I felt like a selfish asshole.

I read the rest. Out of guilt, out of remorse, and because my shame compelled me to.

Deep breath. It’s just words right?

My mothers parting lines – 

I want to ask your forgiveness and begin the restoration of our mother/daughter relationship. Let us cross over the bridge together that has kept our relationship apart, and move forward.

In my 35 years of life, not once has she said ‘I’m sorry’ for the things she’s done. Though she raised me to say it, believe it, bleed that forgiveness from every sorry pore.

I’m not ready

Deep breath

I don’t want to put away that list

The one filled with pain

Of abuse and manipulation

That one that keeps me here

Standing at the gate

My mother, filled with religion, with blame

The abyss I see just before the bridge she asks me to cross with her

I can’t

I know I should. I know that. Everything I have ever been taught, by her no less, has shown me it’s better, easier, right to cross that bridge. Everything , every Thing she’s ever done has only led me to a road void of love, and laden with the pot holes of her heavy hand, my burden to lay bare here.

Here is where I admit I hate the things she did/didn’t do. My own seething anger for all the times she beat the shit out of us because she wasn’t stable, able, willing to love – it leaves a taste of bitter fruit. The thought of letting go is at first so enticing, until a bite is taken and the drip of reality hits my palette. I can’t…

…But I will.

Imprint of Anxiety

Hands tense
Muscles tight
Stomach turning

The sun fades
Behind the trees

My heart
How it aches

The pit of my soul
Is trying to break free
From the roots
Which hold me

Hostage in my world

The corners are closing in

Worthless words
Meaningless love

These roots are suffocating me

Time holds no key

My eyes
They are ashamed of me

A Dash of Hope…

 

 

A simple ‘Sorry‘ does not seem to accurately portray how I feel about the first year of your life my sweet darling son. Though you are so wanted I find it hard to want to be here. I know when you nurse in the middle of the night, that as you caress my face so lovingly you feel the moisture my tears have left there as they stream down my face. It’s not because of you I promise. They are weeping from deep within my sad heart FOR you. I cherish your kisses you share with me after your bath time, when you wake every morning. I adore that you hold my face still just so you can look into my soul. I wonder if perhaps you do see the mama I long to be, to feel like, rather than the mother I more often than not seem to be. Thank You for loving me when I feel so unworthy of such a gift. You are most precious to me my darling son. When I walk into our room to pick you up from your naps, you light up like the lilies in our garden as they follow the Suns light in the morning. All that joy just at the sight of me – it melts my heart. Thank you for finding happiness in me, in our kitchen dancing sessions. I’m so glad you’re not a picky listener…as I sing off key…and you still hum along to our favorite songs. You never seem worried that I won’t be here, for you, even when I feel so far away. I hope that never changes, as most days it is my saving grace. Your laugh reminds me of your fathers, and beyond that your grandfathers. You must be a very old soul to understand the things you do and see, and still laugh so whole-heartedly. Your patience takes my breath away my darling son. Always waiting for your mother to wipe her tears, always with the knowledge that you are my reason to keep going.

 

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I use to have the most terrible dreams when we were one. Dreams that all the things the doctors were telling me could happen did happen, and yet, so perfect was your smile, your heart, your tiny beautiful body when you were born. All the tests, and all the ultrasounds could not quiet this fretful mind I have. Forever lingering on the first words rather than the last of each specialist that kindly tried to calm my fears and assure me that you were healing inside of me. I counted the days until your healthy arrival, and then, suddenly when you were about one month in age – I started to weep at what I thought was a case of built up fears and stress finally allowing themselves to be released – having been given the ‘all clear’ at the sight of your glossy eyes staring into mine. The weeping never stopped. And now here I am, with you, thankful and without a way to show it. I tell you daily that I am, because I feel you need to hear it. I need you to hear it. I’m so afraid that you don’t feel my love for you. Trembling with guilt that I haven’t done enough as the sun goes down to show you I’m still here fighting for us, our family, you. It may seem like it’s all for not just now my darling son, but with Gods grace and loving kindness – one day soon all the pain your mama holds back from her world will subside. And I will truly be here. And you’ll be waiting… my darling son.

There is much to be said about my life as a mother, your mother. It is a job I adore and am beyond thankful to have. I know so many women who do not have this and would give up everything to have a baby just like you…perfect in every way. That thought is never far from me. As I carefully toss and turn in the bed we share, I think about how I can do better, show more love, be more patient and kind. It dawned on me this morning before the sun was even up…you are the example God has given me. For you are my inspiration, the vibrant ying to my tattered yang. The banana to my peanut butter. The best of me. I love you my darling son. I’m not here yet, but I’m not going anywhere…I promise.

 

 

A Spoonful of Sadness…

 

(I’d like to apologize in advance for this post. Typically I try like hell not be this person. I’m sorry.)

 

 

I am trying not to break, really I am. I lay in bed awake, sometimes until 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning praying that I don’t die, because I don’t want these last few months to be the way my children remember me. I cry in my closet. It’s not even one I can walk in to, so I just lean into my sweaters and wipe my face with their sleeves. (It sounds so pathetic…and it is…really.)

When my son JJ was born (he’s 6 now) I had a bad case of the baby blues for about three months. I just cried. Good, bad, anything changing in my bubble of a life and I would weep. Stress was manageable, but challenging…like undoing duct tape with wet fingers.

*I have tried not to write this, as over the last few years I really have been working on being the woman who chooses to see the goodness, the sweetness my life gives me. My optimism is what keeps me hopeful, and filled with desire for each tomorrow.*

 

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I can’t do this, I think to myself. But I keep going and act as if I’m fine…which seems to be working in my favor. Short of the mess that is my house (which is easily explained away with the sheer volume of humans and pets living under our roof) no one says anything that makes me wonder if perhaps they know I’m struggling with severe, debilitating and at times terrifying postpartum depression…and have been for the better part of a year.

I just don’t have the words to write this. My desire to be held, well it just cuts through those words and leaves them empty and dangling like wet, freshly cut grass.

I’m not detached from my beautiful baby, by Gods grace. From the moment I saw him there was this intense infatuation I could feel…all the way to my very soul. My depression came on slowly. I have no love lost…but being here (though I know it’s my depression) all day and every night…here…alone with this beautiful little boy is so hard to do right now. I nurse him, I sleep with him, eat with him. He touches my face with those small loving hands and I want to escape. This feeling is killing me. The shame, the heartache…it’s inescapable. It’s torture. I feel like I’m dying inside and nobody can hear my screams for help. I don’t want to kill myself, although the immense guilt for feeling these emotions make me want to die. I just want it to stop.

I am exhausted. I don’t want to eat, or be. I eat pounds of food when no one is watching and when they are I feel ill for doing it. I don’t know why. I eat so I can nurse and for no other reason at this point. I missed my baby’s first adventure at the park. I missed his first push on a swing on Easter Sunday. I didn’t care until I realized what I had missed, and felt so sad that I was happy for the time alone, even if all I did was clean. (Why can’t I just be fucking happy, get over it.)

 

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This monster, it shadows me, it haunts my waking hours with a fear I can’t describe. It’s horrific the things I find myself pondering about. I find myself saying things like “If something happens to me…” – I taught my daughter how to bathe her baby brother ‘just in case’…

The kids have clean clothes, and they’re fed. There are dishes to eat out of…and it takes everything I have to make that a reality. I haven’t done homework with JJ for well over a month. I can’t remember the last time I painted with my child, or just sat and let myself be consumed with joy by my daughter Birdie’s desire to just be with me. It feels smothering.

I wish I could sit down and say “I need help. I think I need hospitalization. Please help me.” Instead I started cutting myself…just to feel anything other than this. I’m a fucking wreck. I just want to have someone hold me. Let me cry. Help me.

My husbands job ended today, and I’m sure he will be disappointed if he reads this. I’m just letting him and our family down…again. And now I’m crying. God help me. I’m a failure. Miserable in this world of lost battles, whispers of loneliness, having been broken and betrayed by the mind and body that carried the same human beings I would die to protect, to be with. Ironic.

It’s times like this that I wish we had family here. I could use some family love. Help. Rest. I need someone to come kick my ass back into proper order, before I emotionally damage my beautiful family – because I am fine with me being damaged, but they won’t be.

*I feel like a fraud.*

I do have times of clarity where I muster up what reserves of energy I have to do things like mopping, vacuuming, grocery shopping. I sit and play with the baby everyday, no phones or tv, and laugh while I’m crying inside. I really do try to hide it from him. I want him to feel safe in his new and amazing world. I don’t want him to feel even an ounce of my suffering.

Our family means the world to me and I don’t understand (even though medically speaking I have a full understanding) why I can’t get myself out of this. I don’t understand why the thoughts are so persistent that they are drowning out the love I know is in there…somewhere.

I want my little bit of heaven back.

 

 

 

Of Pain and Pressing On…

 

 

**{ For those that are survivors of sexual assault/abuse please be aware that the following  may bring up the trauma of your past/present. This post is not for the eyes or minds of children. Thank you. }**

 

 

There is a deep, throbbing, hypothermic kind of loneliness that gnaws at my soul. The kind of chosen exile a victim seeks and though no fault of their own, feels guilty for wanting as they grow older. Though the moments of such pain are fleeting with the change of each season…the off putting desire for isolation rears its ugly head from time to time.

I have sat on my bed, many many many nights trying to write a ‘story’ about being a sexual assault victim, but it’s just not going to happen. Unlike the things I usually write about, even after all these years, it’s just so hard. It’s more than just a small moment in time. It’s the smells I fear. It’s the music that haunts me. It’s the man that took a part of who I was, and not just my body. It’s the things I will never get back, that he still takes from me. The people who still blame me, who use it as a means to bleed me emotionally.

Writing as if I was old enough to understand the intense trauma that was happening to me is impossible. I was thirteen, just a child. To say that the man who raped me was just some guy is not realistic. He is a predator, a man who worked for my father, and, looking back groomed me, gained my trust for several months. My father too busy, my rapist would offer to pick me up if I missed the bus, wanted a ride into town. He was 29, had short brown hair, clean shaved. Light eyes and tall. Unassuming.

I was told it was my doing, as I went there with his promise to buy my friends alcohol for a party. It was New Year’s Eve. He lived in the building my father owned. The Chaplin lived below him. I was told I deserved it, that I got exactly what I should have. By adults, by people that should have loved me, by people that say ‘I love you’ even now.

He made me a screwdriver, in a big gulp cup. He turned on The Cranberries song so popular for the time, and told me to relax. He walked out of the room. It smelled of overly ripe fruit…and Palmolive dish soap. A man I didn’t know left, closing the door quietly behind him. After a few drinks I started to feel sick, not drunk, but foggy, things became blurred. I remember trying to smile as he walked toward me, but I couldn’t move my mouth. I remember trying to talk…nothing. My arms were heavy like they had been weighed down or tied.

As he raped me, I could see out the window across the street. My friends were on the porch celebrating the holiday, drinking, laughing. I prayed one of them would look up and see me. Praying for help. Silent.

My mind was screaming for them. I tried but could not fight. My body was worthless, and he made it so. Like molten glass against my womb I screamed and screamed. Nothing. I felt my eyes bulge as I tried to move. The strain of my muscles searing in pain to escape. I could not move. Silent. Petrified.

I don’t know how long it lasted, or how often I faded in and out. I know I don’t remember everything. I remember the pain. I remember the smell of sweat, fear. Life altering pain. All consuming fear.

My friends were suppose to pick me up 15 minutes after I got there. I don’t know when they showed. In my younger years I would’ve said an hour, if you asked me now I would say hours, a lifetime, eternity.

They began pounding on his door. One friend found me on the couch. The other confronted him. Two more blocked the door. I was picked up, pants down, and brought to the bathroom. Cleaned my face. Held me up and carried me down the stairs while someone called someone and then I was whisked away to a home I lived in briefly, while I came to. The sun should have been up by now, but the world was dark. The police were called, I was taken to the hospital, a rape kit was used. I was stripped. I was photographed, swabbed, nails were dug in to. Prescriptions were given to prevent pregnancy, and to protect from std’s. Statements were given by the friends who showed too late. Blood was never drawn.

The man that raped me ran. He drove far away, stealing my fathers police scanner from the funeral home, and ran like a coward. He told someone a few weeks prior to raping me that he ‘liked them young’. I was young enough that I looked like a little girl. I was maybe 5 feet tall, blonde hair, 90 lbs, and I was wearing Levi Silvertab jeans, faded light blue, and an oversized Columbia ski vest over my white t-shirt. I was a child. I shutter to think that perhaps I wasn’t his first. God I can’t think about it.

I was told my father tried to find him, he wanted him dead. The police interviewed the Chaplin. Devastated when he realized it was his friends daughter, he later told me he cried. Beside himself he said if only he had known. He was a good man, a military Chaplin. Covered in tattoos from a life far gone but always given away with his sad, loving eyes. Detectives tracked down the roommate, who never looked at me, and he said nothing. Nothing. My rapist turned himself in some time later, hours away, and was brought back to be formally charged.

I remember walking into the prosecutors office. It smelled like copy paper, and freshly printed paperwork. Terrified. Told it was my fault I said nothing. Only that I wouldn’t testify. My mother looked at me with contempt…disgust. I was a child.

My friends refused to be totally honest about why and how we all ended up there, surely because they feared being arrested.

My mother went to the hospital, and the police station to retrieve my belongings from that night. I told her I didn’t want them. A few years ago she was still wearing my ski vest. It’s tan, with an aged black and brown zipper. It’s soft and comfortable. She wears it without a care. It makes me ill.

The man who raped me pled guilty to statutory rape, was sentenced to 3-5 years. I don’t know when he was released, but I remember seeing a man that I thought could have been him years later, and suddenly I remembered the smell of his apartment. His walk. His breath. Terrified I left the store.

A young man with the same first name as my rapist touched my belly when I was pregnant with my first child and I had my first panic attack. I was beside myself. Frozen in time. The young man wasn’t a bad person. He was mortified at my response. I hit him so hard that my hand was bruised. I had hurt someone because I was so very wounded, after all that time.

About five, maybe six years ago I received a check in the mail for just over $800. It was from my states victims compensation fund. The man who raped me had been arrested, and in order to be released he had to pay his bail…and restitution. My mind, my heart, my body, was worth $800 and a note in the checks memo…my case number I think. That child remained terrified. After all those years, I could see his face.

I remember after I was raped that I would constantly walk out of my bedroom to make sure I wasn’t alone. I remember how conflicting that was with the need to escape myself. I began cutting my wrists, the inside of my thighs, never too deep. Enough to feel a mental release of my emotional torture. To wound my sickening body. It was euphoric, yet I cried. I was afraid of myself. He took everything from me, and I hadn’t even begun to live. I showered constantly and scrubbed myself until I was raw, until hives would appear. I needed to feel clean. I wanted to die. I wanted to find him and cut off his dick. I wanted to torture him. I wanted him to die so that I wouldn’t have to in order to survive.

It’s been many many years since I was forced to carry the title of rape victim. My life has changed. I was given a family of my own. I was baptized, and found Gods Grace. Rarely do I think of my sexual assault. It’s been a hard and painful road. Climbing up a steep and burning slope before I could see the light of day, of God, of a future I wanted to be a part of. I have little value in myself, and to be honest I’m not worthy of love in my heart, my mind. But in my soul…deep within where only God can touch, I’m beautiful. I’m whole. I’m loved. In that small place, I’m not a victim but a survivor. It is with that still small voice, and my faith, that I’m able to let that small light shine bright. I made it. I’m here. And for those who suffer alone…I won’t be silent.

 

 

**{ You are not alone. You are loved. You are beautiful as you are. Time, as it is, will pass on and can become part of your healing rather than  the still burning embers of your loss. }**

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
….

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.

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.