Secrets

Today I sat in a hospital room, surrounded by the sterile environment I had learned to hate, to fear. In a not so distant past, a childhood not so far from me, I to was in need of cleansing. This though, is different. This, is my child. The heart of my heart. I wanted to cover him with me. I needed that. Tonight an ambulance drove away with my son. To a sterile place. No curtains no string. No guns, razors or glass. No privacy. Tonight he is without me, but also without the means to take his own life. 

For you my son….

Hello. I’m sure you’re not asleep. I know you’re laying there staring at your hands, wondering if you will ever have the chance to hurt the man, once a child, that raped you…again and again. I know that pain. That loss. My words will never be enough to heal you, no matter how many are here…this time, I just can’t do it alone. I heard you. I know you hate me right now and that’s okay because so do I. I have nightmares of you being chased, and I am unable to save you, to give you warmth and love, safety and peace. I can’t do anything. Much like you, I just don’t know what to do or who to be or even who I am anymore. If I was the kind of person who could take a life it would be his, for you. I was blessed to feel your heart beat next to mine, to smell you and hold you as close as one ever could. And for you I would kill, and right now, I wish I was that kind of human being. 

My sweet son, my love, I’m sorry you’re where you are. That I cannot make you better, make you forget, make you whole, is my failure to own. It was never and will never be yours. You are so brave, beyond and measure you are the courage I need now. For you I am still awake. I am here. I am here for you. 

Please don’t die. I know you want to. I know you’re in there, somewhere, under the pain, waiting to live again. I love you. I miss you. I love you so much my heart is truly, and completely, beating for you. I, will always be here, for you, heart of my heart.

Love, Me.

I am angry. I want to hurt him, make him bleed for what he has done. I want him to feel all the pain, to rip his innocence from him and I want him to be wrapped in my sons shame, rage, and fear. I want….I want this to be over. 
There is no amount of surrender I can give to this. I don’t want to. There is no forgiveness. My family is broken. Now, at least, I suppose, we know when the broken pieces fell for our son and where we can begin a new life…unknown but new. That has to be something right? That’s all I have…I don’t know what to say to my precious child. The child who’s photos are throughout our home. Looking at them, I can see when it started, I can see the pain. I feel the pain. I can hear the screams and it cuts me, bleeds me dry. This new and unknown is what I have. I’ll take it. I’ll take it because it means my son is still here, and I will not sit by and allow him to be a victim a moment longer. 

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Murderer

Like wind blowing across hot dry sand my memories are fleeting

But the stones so heavily in place keep the things I want to forget 

As if branded like cattle before slaughter

They are always here

When I thought like a child I had two abortions. 

When I felt like an adult I made decisions that scarred my womb, my heart, forever.
The thought of what I was about to do, the life I knew I was about to end, made me ill. I threw up all the medication they gave me, and because I didn’t show them my vomit and flushed it, they refused more meds and told me I’d be fine. I wasn’t. I felt the life they took on my behalf. I felt the tearing as my eyes welled, and tried to get away. They held me down. They did an ultrasound, and found more of my unborn, and held me down again while they leaned up the mess I had made, and vacuumed out what was left of my aching heart. 

I lay there, and imagined what my birth mother chose not to do to me. For the first time in my life I was truly thankful for the life I had, and thankful that she didn’t have to endure the same pain I was in. 

I was alone.

I took a pill that was meant for abortions at under seven weeks. I went in for an ultrasound. The nurse took my lies while looking at my womb, grey and alive. She took them and made them her own and signed papers giving me permission to abort at home. 

I took the pill, alone, on a spring morning. I sat on a toilet as my body spasmed when the medicine kicked in. I cried. I held my body close. I was alone with my choice. Alone with yet another life I CHOSE to take. My body bore a tiny life, in which I gathered up in a specimen jar, and placed in a bag, in a freezer, in a doctors hands, in a trash can for human waste, in a burning pit, deep deep in my soul. 

I knew the lives I took. I felt their end. I love them even now. 

Alone.

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.

Where Water Meets the Fire

The worlds gone mad

Flash

Bang

This is not 

The world

I imagined 

Living in

Time

Stands still

The calm

Before

The storm

My world

Is filled

With joy

And peace

With love

With hope
It runs deep
With hate
Follow me 

Some cry

For me 

I will stand

I won’t 

Sit by

As lives are taken

As my

Child

Within

Fears for

My child with out

Safety

Peace

Quiet

Calm

Voices of

Those 

Who fight

To make their world

A better place

Place me here

Above the noise

I choose 

A life

Without 

Violence

Creeping

To my door

Fogging 

The glass

To see 

Through 

The window

To feel that

Light

For my children

And theirs 

I say

Love

I say

Love

As Petals Fall, So do We

I do not know how to hate

A person 

For the color

Of their skin

Or their choice of faith

I do not understand

The seething rage

That lies within others

Are we all not woven 

From the same tapestry

One of vibrant color

Each strand a different story

All together creating 

That which blankets 

The earth

I do not see

Your shades of brown, red, nude, tattoos

I do not see your denomination or lack there of

I see what it covers

Not so different 

Never the same

No color

No hate

***My thoughts and prayers are with those who have suffered loss on both sides of the police brutality equation – Those taken before their time at the hands of someone designated to protect them and those who have died protecting us in all the right ways. Bravery knows no color.***

What the Media Takes Away

Please read this post by my friend and fellow blogger Deb. Her perspective of the last few days of violence and the media circus surrounding it has given me perspective. Her words are touching and filled with truth..and I can’t find my own words just yet.

https://deborah-bryan.com/2016/07/07/policemen-let-names-be-names/

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.

Life and Broken Brakes

I almost died today.
I was driving my 

blue beast soccer mom van.

I had just taken Baby to the store.

My brakes cut out, and the van jerked loudly through the intersection – when what it should have been doing was STOPPING.

Looking in my mirrors and then at my son I turned quickly to the right, brake pedal useless.

I prayed.

‘Dear God, if ever I needed you it’s now. Protect my son.’

I wasn’t even breathing as I thought of what to do. 

A church parking lot was to my right so I turned in.

And I turned again and again until the van stopped and the loud noise which came from beneath my vehicle stopped too.

Letting go of the wheel, and my fear I just melted.

I melted into the driver seat. 

I melted into my son which I was now holding tightly, and in turn holding me, whispering how scared I was into his little ear.

I told my baby how thankful I was to hold him, love him, be here.

How such peace-filled hours can turn into terrifying moments, and just as quickly become the stories of gratitude, and thankfulness amaze me…

Blessed.

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

Love, Freedom, Choice

I woke up weeping at 4:03am yesterday.

It was the kind of sadness one feels when there is loss which cannot be measured.

I looked around my room.

Baby, husband…

I wandered my house…all accounted for.

There is a heaviness in my soul for those who will wander their halls looking for their children.

They wake weeping for those they love.

I’m sure they search for answers as they view the empty bed, the deafening quiet.

I mourn with you. I cry for you. 

I was driving home with my husband and our youngest last night.

To the left, was the most vibrant rainbow.

Behind it was the dark and turbulent sky.

I thought of the young woman’s face I saw on television.

She was killed by a man who pledged to take her life.

Taken from this world by a monster.

A monster that craved vengeance above understanding.

I imagined what she would have given to this world.

My eyes filled with tears that burned my eyes.

May her face and all victims of terrorism not be forgotten.

*****

We all know what’s to come. No one is immune to the hatred that follows us, our freedom, our choice. 

A woman on the news begged to know where her son was. She didn’t distinguish life or death, just the need to know something, anything, about her child.

Young men and women carry a wounded friend away from the carnage, away from the death in hopes that he would survive.
The scenario repeated on our own soil is one I see often in the news from (not so) far away lands like Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan, etc. They are at war, and it can only make sense to come to an understanding as a country, unified, that WE are at war. 

While people die we watch and hope it gets better. 
While mourners gather, we sit and watch.

I believe that every human being has the right to live a life of freedom, safety, and choice. 

I believe that every human being has the responsibility to do their part to make this world a safe place for those that cannot be free, do not have safety, and aren’t allowed to choose their own path.

I believe that freedom, our freedom, comes at a price. I see it daily. Hourly. The safety so many of us take for granted is being paid for by those who fight behind enemy lines, and ironically give up that same freedom to do it. With this freedom we as Americans have, there will always be those individuals, whether home or abroad, that want what we have or want to take it from us. They choose that. Let us not follow in their foot steps and choose to hate, vilify, and isolate. Let our lights shine brighter, show the victims and their families we are going to do more than just watch and sit idly by. Do something.

Just talking about these things solves absolutely nothing. No matter your views – if you want them to matter, to make change…get up and vote. Protest what you find wrong with this country and support the values you hold dear. If we don’t, we have no one to blame but the person staring back at us in the mirror. ***