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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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.

Reflections

What does it mean to be a woman?I think that the answer lies within the heart and mind of each woman reading this.

(Still thinking of that beautiful young lady who was killed in Orlando, I’ve been stuck emotionally, and the best way to unstick is to unload.)

I don’t know her but I know she matters, and I know she loved, is loved.
I am a woman. 
I often tried to put myself into a certain group of people, and it’s not because I was craving that high school groupy-ness but because more often than not, I just didn’t fit in. It use to bother me immensely. It made me insecure. It made me someone I wasn’t meant to be….

*****

My femininity is beautiful. My gentleness/strength is empowering.

***** 

While trying to pen who I am, I’ve been thinking of all the women that have influenced me in the last year of life. This last year has taught me much about the human condition and all its glory/gore. The gray side of life. (Because for me as I age, the black/white, left/right, near/far on many things have melted to a calming shade of gray. There is less to fuss about. Don’t get me wrong – I still have absolutes, but in the gray I have found understanding and I’ve learned to understand.) 

*****

My mother, who I haven’t spoken to since last December, has taught me that I can be accepted – by me, without a desire to please her (or anyone else) and cut myself down. I have learned that I can still love her (and others) from afar, and not feel worthless for doing so. For myself this is HUGE. I try very hard to make everyone that I cherish feel that from me. I don’t ever want to let anyone down. Feeling as though I’ve failed someone feels like I AM the FAILURE. She was one of two voices I would hear in my mind when I’d done less than perfect anything. Hers by far has/had the biggest reach (1700 miles to be exact) and her words until recently cut me deeply, and had the magical ability to change me, how I viewed myself. It is not sad or tragic, though I use to feel that way. It’s life and a lesson I needed to learn for so long. 
My friend Kristal, who is raising her two grandchildren. She is a faithful woman, both with her relationship with those she loves and with God. She listens when I talk to her. She lets me know she’s there when I need that – because we all do sometimes. She accepts me AND my crazy brood just the way we are. I have learned from her, that it’s never too late to love myself. I’ve learned that through her own life story, and how her life story has changed me. 

Alyssa, who was the first person to follow Little Bits of Heaven, has become what I refer to as my ‘one in a million’. Our lives are like the reflections on the water. Almost the same, yet different enough to keep me looking, searching, but in a comforting way. She is the me if I were her and I if she were me. Her journey inspires me to look beyond the introvert I have become and be a part of the world again. She has taught me what it is to overcome, to cleanse, to use my words as a way to move through things rather than stop and stay. And that, for someone with anxiety, is a BIG deal. She is more a part of me than I thought I could find in a friend. I envy the way she can take a simple thought I pen and send it back with such illustration, with words that give life to the slow death that is each passing hour. She is true beyond measure.

My blogging buddy and gracious friend Annabella, who sends me weekly emails just to remind me that in my closed-circuit world someone’s still ‘out there’ caring about me, has shown me that I need not apologize for things I want out of life. Her wit, her desire to be authentic and trust the Lord has helped me through much in the last few months. She sent me the most beautiful something, and it’s real, tangible, touching, authentic. I could send her all the ranting/cursing that this sailors mouth could conjure up and she’d still see ME. ME. What a blessing. She doesn’t allow for shallow self loathing or to skip over the what if’s. She allows me those, and challenges me to take my life and desires head on, which sometimes I/you/me/we need.

Deb, whose life and love and gentle nature, which bleeds through every post and tugs at my heart strings, has taught me the importance of being gentle, but even more so that being gentle, even quiet – does not make me a woman of weakness, but strength. Things don’t always need to be said. Words do not need to be written just for filler. Peace, quiet, and a gentle nature have more power than I ever knew. The struggles have not taken her love away, but magnified it ten fold, in the most wonderful way.

Each of these women I would cross the country for. Be there to pull their hair back from their eyes in those sad and mournful moments, hands held tightly no matter the miles apart. I would/do/will celebrate them and their accomplishments. They inspire. They love. They are all true and beautiful. 

*****

I read what I’ve penned – and stop. I picture that young woman I’ve been thinking so much about. She must have been strong, to love herself in spite of all those who were against her. Her challenges in this life most likely gave her a loving and loyal nature toward those who truly loved all of her. Those gentle smiling eyes no doubt lit every room. I’m sure that she touched many lives in ways she will never know. She has taught me what it means to BE COURAGEOUS. 

*****

Myself, last but not least, always has room in my heart for you. I am loyal, at times to a fault. I’m a lover of God, my husband and family and the diversity of all the women who make up that which is ‘me’. I am beautiful. I have value. What I lack in social graces I make up for in my writing. I’ve lived more than I should have, but it’s given me perspective. I see the cracks in my mirrored reflection as that which keeps me grounded rather than that which stops me in my tracks. Happiness is progress. Wholeness is healing through my pain, and not allowing it to break me. I’m me, and that’s a miraculous thing to accept, more so to love. 

Thank you to all of you, and some that I didn’t mention, for helping me to find myself. It’s a journey every woman needs to take, even if it’s kicking and screaming – which yes, I’ve done that too. Thank you for the love, acceptance, lessons, and humanity. 

***We. Are. One.***

The Butt Blog

 

 

Posting in the summer sun has been a bit of a challenge, both for my busy fingers, and fantabulious(?) frizzled hair. ( Only two weeks in…I think I need an assistant mama! ) I’m ready for fall/fall into bed/to fall off the responsible parent band wagon and begin bribing with candies! Yup, I so do that in the summer. Anything blue raspberry flavored is a big hit, or treats containing bugs. Gross yet effective.

Birdie is part of an invitation only math ‘prodigy’ class for the next month. As proud as I am and believe me I AM SO PROUD – I’m sad I can’t converse with her about all she’s learning. I.suck.at.math.

Summer is our season of random facts, in which I will happily share with you, my amazing minions, as I learn them.

Courtesy of Birdie
Turtles breathe out their butts.
I googled it.
The Australian White-throated Snapping Turtle does it to be specific. Because we wouldn’t want to make this claim about every turtle. It’s a rare thing indeed to breathe out ones butt. Let’s not get into the finer points of this fact but enjoy that my daughter found it at all. And I’m still laughing about it.

My son JJ likes to regurgitate the inappropriate comments (because he’s six yuh know) that our neighbors make. I’ve been getting schooled on the word ‘juicy‘ and how said word is used by a certain Mister neighbor to describe the Missus’ butt. JJ told me my butt was juicy this morning and I spray n’ washed his cute little face with my coffee.

*Have your kids or other small humans in your lives said anything you just can’t forget? Funny factoids? I’d love to read all about it!*


 

Because It’s Good Fun

 

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I haven’t been posting very much lately and for those that have missed it I do apologize! Life has been going at full ludicrous speed around our house and I’ve been playing catch up myself for weeks!

Tank is walking so I spend most of my days chasing, oohing and aahing, and cleaning up after everyone else so he won’t realize he can reach the table and countertops to make big messes. I had forgotten how much I loved cabinet locks!!

JJ graduates from kindergarten next week and has requested all the festivities of a college grad for ‘his’ party…streamers, costumes, darts, bubbles…and a new bike.

 

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Birdie will be heading to middle school next year and with that comes the joys of hitting that all important ‘girls only‘ kind of puberty at the most awkward time…and her fifth grade swimming party is TOMORROW!!! *sigh*

Our son Jay has been off and on with his anxiety meds, which if anyone knows anything about any type of medication it’s that one must use it as prescribed. Trying to word things without hurting his anxious feelings about what he’s like without his meds is driving our relationship into a wall – made of steel. The kid is just 14, 6′ tall and 200 lbs of oil and water, grease and fire, bubbles and flower petals. Ugh. It. Sucks. He’s heading off to high school next year and has no desire to do ANYTHING. That at least, is typical of his age – and then there’s girls….calling, texting, never ending. (Enter mama bear stone cold and unamused face here.)

My 18 yr. old son is applying to work at a casino for the summer. No I don’t like it, but he’s 18. He’s 18. I feel old…perhaps this part should be left out? (I mean, I really do only dye my hair because I like to right? There’s no gray…is there?)

Of course there’s the life outside of party planning, having to do laundry and change diapers. There’s more to my life than meeting with teachers, doctors and short-order meal requests at 0100 hours. I’m also a wife. And my husband has been doing a lot around here for us. Bravo has a job and if all goes well he will switch from being a contract position to permanent employee in about 8 weeks. Thank God for regular pay, hours and bill paying. I am so thankful that we can buy pizza on Saturday nights if we want and buy that really soft toilet paper again.

With all this to-do and so on, I forgot to mow our yard, or just the back yard really. Then it rained for a week. Then it was hot and humid, sunny beyond measure…and I kid you not the measurements of grass are a two foot minimum. I’m gonna need a tractor, an old rake and a new mower. Help! (And with two dogs, kids, and a fear of Lyme disease this mama and her hubby have been weed whacking and raking Deadpool style. Cursing, laughing, inappropriately joking and bribing our kiddos to get in on this fun.)

Anyway, I hope the coming new season will be filled with more of my little bit of heaven. Because as bitchy as this blog post sounds…it’s all I’ve ever wanted. And the bits of hope, happiness and love sprinkled about are all I need to know I’m right where I should be.

 

***On a side note, I watched the mo vie  ‘Deadpool’ and it was disgusting – as in disgustingly funny.***

 

 

 

 

Mama/Me…

 

 

My heart beats, thankful to be here.
Thinking of ways to show these beautiful faces how much they are loved when the best of me feels far and away is a fete for the ages I tell you.
I wonder if that’s what this is, this motherly thing I do… If worrying about doing it right or wrong makes me a good mother or someone just muddling her way through this thing called life-with-kids.

Is it painful to admit I feel in over my head just now? Yes, but that’s okay by me because honesty is exactly what I’m hoping/going for. A child that is honest. A mom that is honest still. A family that is whole – honestly. I have recently found that loneliness really can make one crazy, and how crazy it is that often being alone is what I crave. Not because I want out of my job or life or love but because I NEED to find me outside of my mommy-ness. But what would I be without these kids, memories, years?

My/our special ‘Mothers Day’ is Sunday if you didn’t know. And I’m just happy to be here, every day, even on the crappy days that don’t end or the long nights that see the dawn. With almost every mommy deed lacking in poetic beauty there is still all the beautifully crafted moments woven in that I hold onto…

Baby bubble baths
Sickly midnight moments filled with hugs
Twice cut no crust sandwiches
Dark kitchens and moonlit kisses
Windy days spent flower picking
Shooting the ball between mopping and scrubbing
Burps, farts, boogers-at all meals…and timed to perfection

Sweetest-dream giggles
First teeth, first steps, first dates
Last kisses before the bus
One last goodnight

 

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To all the moms I hope you have some of these moments today and every day. The world just wouldn’t be the same without them – or us.

*Happy Mothers Day.*

 

 

 

Allergies Old & New…

 

Allergies seem to run in the family and since I’m adopted my husband and kids can’t pin this one on me. *Yessss*

 

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My daughter Birdie has seasonal allergies. She is also heading into middle school this fall, so she has begun to acquire the well known ‘I can’t’ allergy caused by the ‘I don’t feel like it’ tree. (It just keeps on giving!) Awesome. Good times, good times…

On a more serious note, Birdie is also allergic to latexdeadly allergic. She wasn’t always, but since birth showed symptoms of said allergy. We took her to the doctor for every rash, bump, blister, red patch. Starting just after birth she would turn as red as a cherry to the touch from all the poking and prodding. Our pediatrician came to meet her at the hospital and picked her up so sweetly. He held her like we did – with love. He put her down and her body had two perfect prints from his latex gloves. They wrapped around her tiny little body. With no other symptoms of a problem we all guessed she was just being a new tiny human, sensitive in every way.

She was however a sickly little thing. Which isn’t typical with a baby that nurses.

Around year one we had to avoid bandaids because it was impossible to get them off, and left a little rosie tattoo in its place for weeks, on top of whatever terrible ouchie Birdie had. At around two her little head and face started breaking out in what was eczema and heat rashes…even in December. Again, with no other symptoms I treated her scalp with apricot and olive oil and cool bubble baths for her rash. At three we introduced flip flops. They gave her blisters between her feet (which she had off and on in her mouth since she started sprouting teeth) so I gave them to another little girl who thought they were just so fancy. At five she started losing teeth and as any good mama would I made sure she brushed her wiggly teeth bunches, and they just fell out…two by two – and once by three. By the time she was six she had to see a dentist for an abscess. The dentist said the tooth had to go. We did the deed and her tooth was yanked; and while it was being removed she had trouble breathing which we chalked up to the stress of such a procedure. And then there was H1N1 and then chronic bronchitis, and influenza; all in a three month period, and all too much for her immature immune system to handle while fighting what would later be diagnosed as a latex allergy. In fact, we never would have known she had said allergy if she had not gotten so sick. Her body was fighting an allergy to the world around her. I felt so guilty. I felt terrible for her.

Birdie’s allergy seems to be catching as more tiny humans in the US are diagnosed, and yet so few things are latex free. Birdie has a medical alert bracelet, an IHP at school, an epi-pen, high dose steroid creams and her own latex free first aid kit here, for traveling and at school. She has a special seat cover she takes from class to class and can’t play kick ball because of her allergy. To put the seriousness of her allergy into perspective I have made you a list.

*Her rash on her skin was caused by food allergies from mainly fruits that have proteins resembling latex such as banana, strawberry, kiwi, mango, avocado…basically all that is creamy and/or delicious.
*Her eczema on her scalp was caused by the small latex bubbles on the ends of her hair brush bristles. If she itched her scalp after washing it tore the skin just enough that when I would comb her blonde locks the latex would enter her skin and cause irritated, dry patches.
*Her tooth brushes all had latex containing bristles and with each loose tooth she/I would brush brush brush that latex right into her blood stream. As an immune response her gums would swell and push her teeth out. When she had any dental work done every glove, tube, tool had or was completely made of latex. It is what caused her labored breathing.
*Her flip flops got their bend from latex, so when she would sweat the latex entered into her pores causing dermatitis (a rash that looks like tiny blisters) in between her toes. Most shoes are held together with latex based glue. So, Birdie can’t get her shoes wet or she gets hives, which turn into awful open sores. They bleed and peel, and are extremely painful. Even the carpet in her room had to go, so she got a new room without it. The padding made the bottoms of her feet turn red when they were wet from bathing.

Unlike some people who have a latex allergy Birdie is in more danger if her immune system is compromised. This is when she is at her greatest risk of dying from anaphylactic shock. Her body simply can’t fight off illness and her allergy. If she gets the sniffles she stays home so I can keep an eye on her. The last pair of shoes we bought her were suppose to be latex free…after three days of feeling like she fit in with her super cool/expensive high tops she was in the nurses office then home for four days, unable to handle the wounds on her feet. She was angry with me. She felt I didn’t do my job. (I call every major company of clothing, shoes, the works…before we ever buy something to ensure her safety and the absence of latex. There are some wonderful websites that help out with determining which products do/don’t contain latex, but just because it says so doesn’t always make it true.)

We had to gut our house of anything and everything that was or may possibly have contained latex. Her toys (almost all of them) were put out for the fundraiser sale in our front yard on a Saturday. The local donut shop heard about it and chipped in oodles of donut holes and bottled waters, with all the cash going straight to Birdie. We had to toss a lot of things, all her hair stuff, much of her clothes, kitchen utensils, shoes, really EVERYTHING. She hated us for months. Even after we bought her latex free toys, paint, crafts, the works. She had every right to be mad. The life she knew and loved was sold for pennies on the dollar.

 

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It’s been four years and Birdie has risen to the occasion and is her own best advocate. She even gets to have sleep overs at other peoples houses without me panicking, calling every few hours. And several moms have really gone above and beyond to ensure Birdies safety while she is in their homes, cars, pools.

There will always be some things she can’t have or do like wear the same cheerleader uniforms as her friends, wear air Jordan tennis shoes, use maxi pads or wear socks from the store. But she’s thriving, and that means there’s such an immense sense of hope that one day all things will fall into place for her.

We’ve been blessed that none of our other children have to deal with such a life changing and difficult allergy…until this last Friday…

 

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Tank, our one year old is now covered in a rash from the top of his head to the bottom of his tippy toes. He ate a teensy piece of strawberry. That coupled with his constant tummy aches and difficulty adjusting to new foods (the same on Sarahs list) he will be watched like a hawk, and from this moment on never again will he enjoy the sweet life of strawberries sprinkled with sugar, mixed berry fruit chews, or red candies. Perhaps I should consider buying Benadryl by the case.

(This all started as a quick email to a friend, DLJ, about Tank, but I though to myself why overwhelm just her when I can share with all of you! )

 

 

 

It’s the Beauty Blogger Tag!

 

Beauty Blogger Tag💜

 

I’ve been tagged by Annabella and Kate to participate in the Beauty Blogger Tag! Thank you for thinking of me.💜

The Rules are:
-Tag the blogger who nominated you
-Answer the questions
-Come up with 10 questions of your own
-Nominate 5 other bloggers, and don’t forget to tell them!

 

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My 10 questions/answers are:

1.) Where are you blogging from?

I am currently blogging – and have only ever blogged from – my iPhone. Smashed screen and all. *sigh*

2.) What is your daily beauty regimen?

My ‘beauty’ regiment (if that’s what it could be called) is washing my face with Aveeno foaming soap for sensitive skin, brushing my teeth and applying some Chapstick. Occasionally I will comb my hair. HA!

3.) What is your favorite signature perfume?

My favorite signature perfume is one no longer in production by Mary Kay…old school I know. So old I don’t remember the name, and its rubbed off the bottle. I wore it when I said “I Do” and on the first doctor appointment for every pregnancy. My mother gave it to me.

4.) What do you think true beauty is?

True beauty is who I strive to be on the inside. True beauty in others is to have an understanding that simple kindness can change a heart, save a life. Empathy is sexy. Oh – and my husbands eyes. There’s so much beauty there, often covered by the man he feels he has to be for others, but it’s what keeps me going on the hardest days. (His green eyes laugh with him…it’s so wonderful/beautiful.)

5.) How do you feel about air brushed and Photo-shopped models representing “women”? What affect do you think this has on children, teens, and women today? Do you think Photo-shopped models cause people to set unrealistic expectations about themselves?

Hmmm…good questions! I think it is less the model and more society. As we have evolved socially there is a distinct and disturbing pattern that one must be of a certain size to gain a certain ‘status’ (hint, hint…) Even my iPhone came with photo editing abilities. It’s become so engrained into many – if not all social circles, that it’s hard to draw a line in the sand on the ‘realness’ of ones self/selfie. Flaws are no longer natural/expected, but airbrushing is. My only hope is that by the time my daughter gets her first photo taking gadget I will have taught her the importance of her true beauty…so that when she looks at her picture she doesn’t see what the world thinks she should be but rather how beautiful God has already made her.

6.) Do you have a favorite brand of purse/handbag?

I can’t afford a brand! I have seven kids! No, I’m just kidding…actually I do. I just don’t own it. It’s a Vera Wang messenger bag/purse thingy…and one day it will be mine. ( If they still make it, as its been a few years since I saw it hanging in a department store.)

7.) Do you think that coloring hair in bright/colorful colors (bright pink, rainbow, etc.) is neat or not? Would you ever color your hair like that?

Well…my hair is purple. I think the ability to express ourselves in such a way is amazing, and if We don’t like it…We will just change it, cut it. I do think there’s a fine line, but I haven’t found it yet!

8.) What is the current shampoo and conditioner that you use?

I use any shampoo/conditioner that’s sulfur free. I think I’m currently using Aveeno. Like my hair color, I switch it up often.

9.) What is your favorite styling product?

Does a hair scrunchy count as a styling product? Or maybe water…

10.) When do you feel your most beautiful?

I feel most beautiful after a good nights sleep, after my husband and I have made love the night before. Is that shallow? I hope not…just being honest. I think that is one of the greatest benefits of having a life partner. There should always be that intimate connection that makes you fee like you’re the one who still captures their heart, and to me that’s so beautiful!

My five nominees are –

1.) myuneasylife

2.)lafmommy

3.)beautybeyondbones

4.)O-pen-u-nated

5.)among tall trees

 

My 10 questions for you all are the following…

1.) As a child, who was the first person you can remember looking at and thinking they were beautiful?

2.) Who in your life do you consider to be beautiful now and Why?

3.) Do you have a special memory that makes you feel beautiful?

4.) When was the last time you were told you’re beautiful?

5.) What is your favorite color?

6.) Do you own a set of dangly earrings?

7.) Do you prefer Chapstick or lipgloss and why?

8.) Have you ever permed your lovely locks?

9.) Do you think social media is a negative influence on younger generations when it comes to how they define beauty and why?

10.) If you could wear a ball gown for one night, where would you go and who would you be with?

*I know this is all about beauty, so be honest…because that/you are beautiful just by being you! (And noooo, this doesn’t count as an answer to question #4! But nice try.)*

 

 

 

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.