All posts by toxicpretty

About toxicpretty

I am an artist...and before you ask for specifics...here's why I classify myself so generally..I am an author, a singer, painter, digital painter, sculptor, poet, and the ultimate...a mother.

Shore Leave.

I must admit, I've been a little frustrated lately. Since the beginning of the year, it's been back to back sickness for me and my family. I am beginning to feel a little like a castaway trapped on a raft in the middle of a vast sea. Occassionally I spy land–a small speck of steady earth upon which I can land my raft and stretch my legs–but just as I get my balance, another typhoon hits, and I am washed out to sea once more. It feels unending. Disheartening.

Last week, I was struck with a small amount of vomiting, a large amount of nausea, and a huge amount of fatigue for an solid week. I slept like a feline; lifting my head only to use the restroom and take sips of water. It was awful. I hate being bedridden. That's my raft. And my family has been along for the ride as well. Both my husband and my son had a traditional flu…a nasty one that left my usually lovey man very grumpy at being sole care giver to a son who's mom lay in a coma only a room away. We were pretty snippy with each other by the time we hit day 5.

I just am tired of being tired…and sick. And in pain. A person can only handle so much.

So today, with land fully in sight–not just a strip or a small patch but a pretty big island from what I can see before me–I am beyond excited. I want to go to Legoland with my son. I want to overhaul my house. I want to….

But I have to stop and just take a breath. I know that it's a delicate balance I am dealing with here. I need to take it one small, slow step at a time. I have to….it's been a long time since I've touched shore. I need to find my legs again.

So I'm blogging outside of a coffee shop…soaking up fresh air. Maybe I'll wash a load of laundry and play a little with my son once he gets out of preschool. And take lots of breaths. And pretend that I have all the time in the world. Cause I have to. I have to keep living like this will all be ok. Cause it always is. Cause I will make it be.

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Blurred lines

It's been one of those days. One of those days where you don't know exactly when the train derailed but where suddenly you find yourself one with a brick wall. Tired. Drained. Angry at everything and nothing at all….and just sad. It's a day where my physical resources are just tapped and my mental resources never really existed in the first place.

I yelled at my son today…more like raised my voice…but yelling for me.

I sighed more often than I breathed.

I smiled through a clenched jaw.

It's not one thing…I actually didn't have a bad day. It's just the accumulation of sick days upon sick days. It's a sick kid who's stir crazy. It's Valentine's day suddenly upon me before I'm ready for it and the mad scramble to make sure I can show my husband that he's important. It's being in the grocery store surrounded by a sea of pink and red…flowers and balloons… and suddenly realizing that I will never be able to buy my mother a rose again. That deep punch in my soul that came out of nowhere. It's my heart breaking. My motivation wavering. My self criticism peaking. It's…

time to fucking take a breath.

I'm alive. My son and husband are alive. Happy and alive. I'm sitting here at a coffee shop after a mad rush to get out…escape for just a minute and breathe. I'm here reminding myself that while it's ok to panic…ok to break…that I'm extraordinarily lucky. That my life is easy. My art still comes at my will. My love is overflowing. That I don't have to scrounge for my next meal. That I was able to choose to have the craziness that is my life. I am so very fortunate. Tomorrow, I have love to share with others who love me just as much back. I am soooo lucky.

I just needed a moment off the merry go round to remember that.

A moment to sift through my blogs to see a photo of a family that are hugging their child for the very last time here. To have my soul punched again back into proper perspective. I'm breathing again and I'm now sending my love mentally to another family who needs it much more than mine now. Damn…

 

Another day…

It was a relatively boring weekend here at the ol’ homestead. Not that I’m complaining. We haven’t done boring around here in a long time. I wasn’t really sick(not that I was really well, either). There were no obligations. No serious drama. The only serious thing was a trip to AAA to end my mother’s insurance and put her car on our policy. This is something we should have done a month ago…but grief doesn’t like to help you be productive…in fact, it usually shuts down that part of your brain.

I won’t say that it was easy canceling my mother’s insurance. It was still heavy. But it wasn’t awful either and though I was tired, I was glad it was finally over with. But I did have a bit of a meltdown when I was alone after….I had intended to write since the hubby and the cute were out doing stuff, but I didn’t get to it. Instead, I had a conversation with my mother. A heated one, as most of them have turned out to be. I mourned… she didn’t say much. It was the usual.

But besides that? Nothing. I played games. I didn’t write. I don’t feel bad about that. I just let it be. And now, as the cute plays his coveted iPad…I will try to get something done. But if not…ok. I really like this laid back method. For so long guilt and self shaming have been my constant companions. Sometimes, I am floored by their absence. You mean I can just play a video game and read without  feeling bad? I can just take a weekend off without feeling like the worst mom in the world? It’s freeing on a level that defies words.

And I would usually be panicking by now…NO WORK IS FLOWING!? Have I lost it? Will I ever write or paint again? What is going to happen?! But it’s fine…I know I will write again…most likely as soon as I finish this blog post. And I will paint again because, hell, it’s fun.

My life is fun again!

Fun has been sorely missed around these here parts. It’s been a hot commodity. And now it’s coming in spades. I’m smiling more….crying less. I’m laughing. And my patience is increasing. Three months out and I’m already feeling more like myself. I hope that gives others hope if they are in the same place as me. Cause fun felt like a bad word in the beginning. It felt wrong to smile. I felt guilty for the fleeting moments of forgetfulness. Hell, I felt guilty for breathing. And now? I feel good. Not great. Not miraculous. Just good. But it’s slowing building up to real good. And even so, I’m still expecting some bad days again as well…that’s the winding road grief likes to take. Two steps forward. Three steps back. Four steps forward. One step back. But it’s going to be ok. And ok is totally worth waiting for.

My therapist and I finally got around to talking about grief this past week. We’ve touched on it before but to be honest, there was so much back story to get through…well, it just didn’t come up much. I was too overwhelmed by the onslaught of feelings still lingering from 20 years ago. I was lost in sea of unexpected emotions. I needed to sort those out first before I could actually deal with my mom’s death. And to be honest, I hadn’t really even felt her absence yet. It still just felt like an extended break. But now it’s getting real. She’s gone and I’m trying to move on. I’m sure it will take a few months or even a couple years to get back to perfect….actually to get to a place I’ve never been before. But like all the great struggles in my life…it’s a road worth taking. I will be better for it. So I’m going to keep talking about it. Keep facing it. And hopefully, the other side of grief will be life without any self imposed limits…any guilt. Hopefully.

So this all may not be worth a blog post…it’s just bits and pieces of the same…but I figure that’s a good thing right now. Boring is nice. Calm is good. Average is a step in the right direction.

Now on to working more on my novel…

Who am I?

Who am I?

It's a question I've asked and answered a lot over the years.

In silly magazine quizzes sent by well-meaning friends

In long, angst-ridden diary pages riddled with self doubt.

But it's a moot question because I am ever a work in progress, a moldable ethereal being that sometimes folds in on itself in guarded innocence and sometimes expands outward towards change and enlightenment.

I am sometimes nothing and more often times everything.

And that's because I have, from birth, defied labels.

I was supposed to be a boy. I wasn't…but some part of my dad never realized that.

I was supposed to be a quiet, subservient little girl because I was such a good girl. I wasn't. I followed the rules until they chained my spirit and then I fought like a caged lion.

I was supposed to be an awkward mouse because I was a “nerd”. But I wasn't. I wore clothes that broke the molds, make up that looked exactly like the models, and danced like rhythm had me, and not the other way around.

I was and always have been daring, well-spoken, fierce, loving, loyal, hard working, artistic, logic minded, soft-skinned, compassionate, strong, and prone to thumbing my nose at convention. I have always said that life is an illusion…social conventions made to be changed. You make the rules because there are no rules.

And I do this even when I am actively trying not to. And man, have I tried to change…long ago when I hated all that I was. I don't anymore.

Because that is me. Red hair. Sparkling, curiosity-filled eyes. Passion dripping from every single word…every single thoughtful gesture. A deliberate life. A beautiful life.

My son is just like me. Full of laughter, angst, humor, brilliance. He is all lights and darks and all the subtleties in between. He defies definition. My love for him defies words.

And it is through that love that I learned the truth. Because it was in that struggle in which, at first, I found myself trying to define him…that I ultimately looked in the mirror and let go of my own boxes. Saw myself as the truly wonderful whirlwind that I am. Cause I can't love him while continuing to hate his reflection. My face that stares back through his gorgeous, sparkling eyes.

God, he's beautiful. And so am I.

So someday, when he's busy shirking off the labels that less dynamic people will stick on him. When he's wondering if he's ok…I will tell him that I used to stop the car at lights, turn the music up and dance with wild abandon outside my car in front of everyone. That I have painted masterpieces. That I've written a novel. That I've traveled 1000 miles to help a friend steal back his cat. And all of these are just a fragment of a very crazy, mixed up, brilliant spirit that is his mother. The spirit I gave to him.

And then I will dare him to push it even further. Because he can. Because he will.

Because that's who I am.

Letting Go

I am frenetic.

A bundle of energy that never sleeps…never really rests.

Even in pain…even in sickness, I am constantly seeking, thinking, problem solving. It is both a gift and a curse. I often get to see the world in a unique way, layered in physics, microbiology, cosmology, sculpture, paint, music, philosophy, and words. And yet it never rests, never ends. I problem solve in my sleep. I break down from the sheer intensity, weight of it all. But fuck, I love it.

And lately, after all this new self acceptance….I seem to have shifted into an entirely new gear. I feel like I'm kind of almost manic. But it's a controlled mania. It's awesome. But exhausting.

My mother's death almost seems like a catalyst to it all. And I feel so guilty for being happy about it.

She used to say that I was exhausting. That my brain…my frenetic thoughts were too much.

That she wished that I wasn't this way. That it hurt her that I was so different. Not able to fit in.

She I was too intense, too emotional….too everything. Couldn't I just tone it down a bit?

and so without my choosing it…I think I did. Your mother's opinion can do that.

But now she's gone.

And I'm changed. I've let go and actually am curious to see what a truly unfettered me will do.

and I'm scared as well. I don't know me without chains.

Have you seen “Frozen?

There is a song that resonates with me…it describes perfectly the feeling that has pervaded the last few weeks of my life. It is the song that makes my heart leap with optimism. I'm free…now let's see what I can do!

 

Well said, Disney…well said.

Momentum

It's been a slow start to the year. I would have loved to be able to start the month off illness-free, stress-free, and fully-revved to start fresh and take the world by storm. But it was molasses slow…full of a bad flu, flare pain, and a sick kiddo that is reaching his teenage rebellion at age four. The me from a few years ago would be tempted to call it quits and write off 2014 already at this rate. But I won't.

Everyday all over Facebook, friends post massive, photo-laden chronicles of their new fitness boot camps, clutter-purged houses, and new found determination. They have taken-charge, reformed and made-over their lives virtually overnight. I should be jealous, beating myself up for all that I haven't done…haven't changed. But I'm not.

Instead, I am feeling the gentle pull of a slow building momentum…

For years now, I have been Sisyphus. The rock before me impossible and yet time and time again I rolled its massive, crushing weight uphill hoping that sheer will would finally allow me to push it over. That I might earn the right to my freedom. That somehow I would earn the right to love myself and finally allow myself to be happy. To love my life.

But the rock never went anywhere.

I never went anywhere.

I was a hamster in a wheel. Filling my time with impossible tasks that would give me the right I was born with.

The right to be. Just be.

I don't have to be a great artist, writer, daughter, mother, or wife to be worthy of life and my happiness. I don't have to be successful, rich, thin, sporty, organic…anything at all to be worthy of the simple right to own my space. I simply need to be. To breath my own air. Wake in my own space. And that is enough. Everything else is the kind of bullshit that holds me back from everything I already am. That I was born with.

I am everything I want to be already. Because I'm me.

And that knowing, coupled with my mother's death has finally let me fucking drop that goddamn rock! Hell, I've even gotten off the goddamn mountain!

And instead, I've decided to try a little downhill excursion instead…gently letting my own gravity, the pull of my own heart slowly build up speed so that I might let it take me where I was meant to go. No more giant tasks, impossible goals… Just the gentle rolling of my own momentum.

And I'm already gaining ground….in inches…and then a couple feet. And maybe by next year, I'll be somewhere new, who knows? But what I do know…I will be enjoying the journey a hell of a lot more. Cause who the fuck doesn't like rolling down hills?

So here's to me ditching the damn rock… I hope you do too…

And when you do, come join me…I'll be writing some awesome books, painting beautiful pictures, and playing with my beautiful family with a big ol' smile on face, laying in the soft,green grass of the biggest hill I can possibly find and rolling down till I'm so full of happy that I explode.

I wonder what that would look like posted on Facebook? 🙂

Resolved and Resolute

I was just looking at my New Year's resolutions and it dawned on me that it is a post, in and of, itself. That perhaps there is someone out there in my exact space that might benefit from my realizations. So I'm just going to put them out there as is…may they help you on your own journey…

2014 Resolutions

1) Read a lot of inspiring stuff(one book or article about art, loving yourself, being happy….a week)…a lot. Let it sink in and mold me.

2) Try to be happy 88 percent of of the time. I want to let myself enjoy my life. (my personal favorite!)

3) Write my children's book. (I realize not all of you are into that sort of thing…but hell, why not write one just for fun?)

4) Keep working on my novel. Break it down into smaller, manageable chunks and make it a real job. Start working myself up to an hour a day…then two… (yes, I'm working on two books….what of it? Did you think I'm just a really lazy blogger? Well, yeah…but that's besides the point!)

5) Try to be more aware of the passage of time. Check my calendar everyday. Assimilate the day and month and really try to be present.

6) Slowly work myself into a 30 minute a day exercise routine for the first six months…and then by June, work up to an hour a day.

7) Really spend quality time with The Cute. Work out a routine of homework. Coloring, activities, and play with him…and only think about him while I'm doing it.

8) Stop multitasking. I want to do one thing at a time and be extremely good at that one thing.

9) Blog. A lot. (shut up…I'm working on it. 😛 It's about building momentum…not being perfect from the start….It's a muscle that I need to build up)

10) Stop beating myself up. Love myself unconditionally. Everyday. Compliment myself everyday and breathe. I want to smile at myself when I wake up. I want to accept myself wholly and stop thinking of myself as broken.

11) Stop being consumed by fear and worry. I think this will happen when I start loving myself, stop multitasking, stop rushing, and judging myself. My life is just beginning. I am a child being born with an endless lifetime to try and enjoy it. I am a beautiful new being as innocent and perfect as my son. My life is one worth savoring. (why eleven? Why the fuck not? 🙂 )

So there you have it…eleven goals that I am reaching for. Do you know why I wanted to post these? Why I'm so proud of them? Because for the first time, I made ones that I really want to do. Really want to accomplish. Not stuff I want to do to earn my own love…my own validation. They are because I already do love myself…and validate myself. For the first time in my life, I know that I can do these…I have faith in myself. I don't know when the switch tripped, or how…, but it did. And I hope it does for you. 2014 may be another difficult year. I might get sick, I might trip and stumble…but I've already won! I'm looking forward to spending so much time with myself and my family, chasing my dreams and loving my life.

The end of the year and an end of an era.

She’s dead.

My mother.

It still doesn’t feel real even as I type this. It still feels like she’s a phone call away and I’m just “taking a break” from the crazy. But it’s not a break. It’s permanent. There are no more chances at resolution. No more arguments. No more toxic remarks to tear down my ego. No more criticisms. But no more hugs. No more beautiful blue eyes that sometimes, for a moment, said I love you. I am, at once, in shock, relieved, and devastated.

She was my mother. And, at one time, my world revolved around her. There was a time, when I was young, that I wouldn’t want to leave her side for fear of her dying. I knew that she was sick. That it was possible. And the thought was my greatest fear. To lose her love was to lose everything. I would be left alone with the rage that was and is my father. He would have nothing to stop him from beating me…from destroying me. I was dependent on her. In comparison, she was loving and soft. She didn’t yell. She didn’t hit. It wasn’t till much later that I would realize that you can destroy something much greater without raising your voice. You can wound someone without a touch. She was a Trojan horse filled with the kind of hurtful comments that become the little voice in the back of your mind. The awful critical demon that makes you double-check every choice and read between every line. The one that tells you that compliments aren’t real and that you aren’t worthy of the love given freely around you. She wasn’t nice. But she wasn’t obvious either.

And now she’s gone…on the tailwinds of a tempest that she created in the last months of her life. Cruel words were thrown freely, cuss words vomited up toward me in front of my four-year old son, paranoia and delusions were her last companions. It’s like she imploded… all the lies and toxic waste that had begun to eat her alive over the last decade seemed to engulf her. It made her crazy. No matter what I did…how much love I tried to show her, she was convinced that I was trying to keep her down. She saw deceit in my truths and agenda in my gifts. She was forced to a mirror and it was the last image she ever saw.

The last time I saw her alive was the Friday before she died. It was the day after Halloween and we were coming to see her and show her pictures of Trick or Treating. She was in a nursing home…trying to rehab her way home and she was getting much better. But she had news that she was sure I was going to destroy and she was ready to strike out if I didn’t say what she wanted to hear. “I’m going home on Tuesday!” She was so excited that her body vibrated. I was not as excited.

“What do you mean, you are going home? What’s the news?”

“They said I’m better…that I’m doing fantastic. Tuesday, they are getting together to discuss the details of my release. Maybe we can do dinner out that night!” My mom was almost manic.

I frowned and that was all it took.  A dark cloud formed over her head. “Did you tell them the truth this time?” It was only a couple of weeks out since the last time this happened…she had lied so hard it had been frightening. Telling the doctors, the nurses, and anyone else that would listen at the hospital that she had my aunt and I to take care of her 24/7 and that she was totally ready and able to care for herself. No mention that both my aunt and I weren’t speaking to each other, that I have a four-year old son to take care of and a pain condition that stops me from doing even the basics. No mention of the dog and cat she was responsible for that she couldn’t take care of. No mention of the stairs and tiny hall that would be impassable by wheelchair. It had been a nightmare as I struggled to alert the right people before she was discharged. I mentally prepared to do it again…and silently cursed the administration for not talking to me first before giving her this hope.

“I knew you would ruin this.” She scowled hard at me and I unconsciously hugged my son tighter as I prepared for her rage.

“Mom, I’m trying to help you….not ruin things. I want you to come home and stay home and I know that if you rush it, it won’t happen. I can’t take care of you and my son. I can’t clean two houses. And you can’t afford a 24 hour nurse. It’s not possible.  You aren’t even strong enough to go to the bathroom by yourself. You can’t stand for more than a couple of minutes and your house is not wheelchair accessible. It’s a bad time until you are stronger.”

“I would do it for you if it was the other way around.” She seethed with anger…

“No, you wouldn’t. You wouldn’t even come up to hug me when you were well and I was pretty sure that I had a tumor in my brain!” I kept my voice even and soft for my son’s sake. Almost sing-song. I was suddenly glad that he was engrossed in the iPad.

We glared at each other. “Go away!” She suddenly was crying.

I switched my words to soothing, comforting tones. I told her it wouldn’t be long. That she was getting stronger everyday. That she just needed to work the program a couple of more weeks and then we could split the work with a social worker that we could afford. She would be able to stay home and not make a quick return to the hospital…my biggest fear being that she would fall on my watch as I was unable to physically lift her or help her move. How would I bathe her? How would I help her on and off the toilet?  And if I’m honest, I will admit that I wasn’t happy at the thought of being around her frequent and sudden fits of rage. Especially since my son would have to be with me. She could be so cruel and jealous of him. I didn’t want him to see her like that on a daily basis. His well-being had to come first.

“I said, go the fuck away! You just want to keep me down. You have the control and you just are loving this, aren’t you?” Her mania was now mounting with rage.

“Watch your mouth, mother…little ears are listening and you are being mean. Of course I don’t want you here. This is my nightmare having to see you suffer and struggle all the while completely stuck trying to do everything in two households. I am spending everyday in the car for hours and the rest on the phone with case workers and hospital staff. This is not convenient or fun for any of us. I love you and want you home where you belong. I would even let you go if I could…if we could, without legal recourse. I believe a person should die where they want and so if you wanted to risk it, I would say sure. But the truth is, if I let you go home, knowing I can’t care for you and you do die, my family can be held responsible for neglect. It’s not something I can risk with my son. We have to do this the right way. I’m sorry. I love you.”

“Go away, I don’t want you here anymore.”

“Don’t say that…you don’t mean that. What if that’s the last words I ever hear from you? Please…”

“I said, go away!” And then she turned her chair and rolled away two feet with her back to us. I stifled a laugh at the absurdity. I was long past taking her shit personally. This was nothing compared to some of the nastiness she had said even a few days before.

We stayed for a few minutes so that I could give the illusion of calm to my son and give her the chance to cool down and change her mind. But she didn’t and so we left. I had him give her a hug and I wrestled with whether I should too. But I really didn’t want to. I was hurt and tired. And so instead I looked at her face for a moment and memorized her eyes. Her beautiful blue eyes….even when they were angry. I kind of knew, for some reason, that this would be the last time I would ever see them. It felt important. But I brushed it off as my usual worrying. And then I took her advice and spent the weekend with my family. It was the first extended break in months. It felt good.

On Tuesday morning, the day that the meeting was going to be held (They had called me later to invite me), I received a call from a frantic nurse. My mother had taken a turn for the worse. I needed to come. I asked if she was dying since I wouldn’t want to bring my son to the hospital to see that. I would need to get someone to watch him. She told me to get someone. My heart freaked and sputtered and then I was dull…numb. This couldn’t be happening. She was almost going home. She had been getting better. She couldn’t be suddenly dying.

I didn’t make it. The doctor called just as my husband got there to go with me. She was already gone (Later, I found out that she had died hours earlier but her pace maker had confused an incompetent nurse into thinking that she had a pulse). My world shifted into black.

My mom. My beautiful mom is gone.

I miss her so much it takes my breath away. And yet I would not be honest if I didn’t admit that I feel relieved. It’s over. It’s been weeks without new wounds. Weeks since I’ve been yelled at. Belittled. And with each moment of relief comes fresh guilt…even though I know it’s normal to feel this way. It still feels wrong.

She was my mother. I loved her deeply…always will. I also hated her deeply but I’m determined to let that go as time passes. To make her death a time of change and new beginnings. To heal and forgive. To let go.

I love you, mommy. I hope you aren’t in pain anymore. I hope you know how much you meant to me. I hope someday to remember only the love we had.

And your beautiful blue eyes.

Enough

My family is crazy. It's no wonder I have problems.


Today I had an angry, confused mother who thought she was going home and was mad that

a. it wasn't true,

b. her coffee was cold (my drive is 40 minutes and she likes the coffee & pastry from a place near me), and

c. I talk too much( I'd spoken less than ten words at that point).

All of which seemed out of my control and she was damn rude about it.


Of course she's in pain.

Of course it sucks that she's in the hospital.

But it's no excuse for taking it out on the person who is trying to be there for you. And I told her so. I also told her that if she kept it up, I would leave. She shut up. And then we did our best to work around the elephant in the room that is our failedrelationship.


She wanted a hug. I could tell. But she's a cactus. And she doesn't know what she needs or wants.

Kind of like the daughter she raised.


I feel bad for her. And I feel bad for me. I know for a fact that she will die and there will be guilt. Hers will be over. Mine will live on. It's frustrating. It's life with a narcissist. Not the cute version. The one in the DSM.


I also dealt with my aunt, secondhand, as she loses her mind over someday losing her sister.

Blame the drugs.

Blame the daughter.

Blame the doctors….

Just don't blame yourself and don't just accept.

It's all so very depressing and maddening.


And here's me…just trying not to get hit by the aimless bullets. Living to assuage the guilt firmly seated on my shoulders.


When I was six, my mother turned to me while we drove down the street…

Honey, if I fell dead on the steering wheel, what would you do?”

And then as I started crying, she explained how to grab the wheel and shove her lifeless body over so that I could hit the peddles.

My mother…such the planner.


I can't tell you the first time my father told me that I was killing my mother if I didn't do the dishes…I think it was around the same time. Her heart has always been a problem. Except when it wasn't. Like when she wanted to do something.


Today, as always, I live in constant fear. Of death. Of life. Of doing things wrong.

Today I told my mother to stop being rude to me. It felt good to deal with her. To not allow my guilt to wait until I explode. Italked to her like The Cute. And it worked. She shut the fuck up. I wish I could go back and high five that six year old and tell her….look…don't worry…she's going to live till 71.

It's a ruse.

You were and are perfect.

You love them…that's enough.
You are enough.

Thank you for the coffee, pastry, and the time, cause she'll never say it.

I love you.

A new beginning

 

My mother broke her hip.

 

It's been that kind of month. My mother is 71 with an attitude. Just that…a tude. And we haven't really been the best of friends in the past 18 years…since she and my dad divorced. After he beat me up and left me on the side of the road on the way to college…

 

It was the culmination of 20 years of mental abuse. That had threatened on many occasions to get physical. It might have been better if it had…it would have been more black and white. As it was then, and now, it was grey. Always in my life. Shades of grey. Sometimes I embrace them. Sometimes I hate them. This is one of those times that is both.

I love my mother. But she was a big enabler. A big part of the problem and not so very unlike my father…just less so. And so my feelings at the end of her life are mixed. I've tried to get us to go to therapy together. Nope.

I've tried to talk to her about how she treats and talks to me.

Nope.

So it just is what it is. Grey.

And so are my thoughts lately. I love my mother. I hate her being hurt. I've put my all into the past few weeks helping and stressing myself out. I hurt. My family is now sick with the flu. And I've had a giant chip on my shoulder about the whole thing. Maybe because of all she represents. Maybe because all the drama,one year to the date of the last hospitalization, has brought out the grey in eveything and everyone I love.

Friends. And husband. And life…all shaded in grey. I want to love my life and all it encompasses. But I don't right now. I should. But I don't. And I know I'm a big part of the problem. And I can't just run away from that. I've spent the last couple of weeks hating myself. For my choices. For my needs. For my feelings. For everything. But I can't do that. It just brings everything to a grinding halt. Hence the no blogging.

I know what I want. I think.

I want to love myself. I have to…for my sake, my life's sake, my child's sake.

I want purpose. I can definitely change that. Find that. If I stop the panicking.

I want beauty and romance. And that I can do for myself…want to do for my child.

I want adventure. And that is a matter of opinion. One I need to change for the sake of my child.

I want someone who cares deeply for me. Someone willing to upend their life for me. I want a village. I want to cherish and be cherished. But the truth is that I'm kinda broken. Was from the beginning (see forementioned abuse) and so I don't think I'm wired to choose that kind of life. Some parts of me don't like me very much and don't think I'm worthy of it despite hours of therapy. Some parts don't like to gamble cause the people who were supposed to be a given weren't. So I went with the easy and the aloof. And so that's what I get. And that's not to say that those people in my life aren't a thousand shades of wonderful in their own way….it's just not what I dreamed of. And truthfully, I think that's the epic search all abused children make. They want desperately for that unconditional love they never had; that they were supposed to have. That relationship so sacred between parents and children. And my chance came and went…against my will but it didn't break me and so that's something. I made it this far and I don't seem to be passing it on to my little one. And I am making sure it won't. But for me, I have to stop this endless searching. This needing. And let go. Grieve and let go.

And so I need an attitude adjustment.

Some things I've chosen are permanent and so I need to readjust my way of thinking. Others are changeable…and so I'm going to change them.

But the bottom line is…I need to stop wallowing. It's not just my life anymore. My child is watching and learning and it's not fair for my life to interfere with his. And maybe someday, he will be in this same place. I need to help him make his way back to happy. And so I need to make my way back to happy.

So I know the map.

So this is a new beginning. For the blog. And for my mind. I am worthy of being perfectly happy…and it's time to find a way to there. On my own (in my mind), at first and then when I'm full up then maybe I'll learn to lean again. But I hope to get myself to at least write every other day or maybe every day with my journey to my new happy. I deserve this.

Everyone does.