Friday, March 22, 2013

Silent Chaos



There's that silent chaos again. Snow. Falling so hastily, so absurd with the up, down, left and right. But not a sound. Peaceful, silent chaos.

Silent chaos. In a lot of ways, we always hope our children grow up like us. Strong, athletic, smart, maybe she'll be artistic, or he'll love science. In other ways, we hope they never experience some of what we've gone through. For when they have, where do we turn, who do we trust, and how do we teach them to be strong? Their silence speaks volumes, but only if you can hear it. Silent chaos. Of a different kind.

Silent chaos. It's a circle. Or a figure eight. Or a beautiful mess. It goes back to hoping they grow up like us. Strength. Courage. Integrity. Accountability. Knowing right from wrong and being able to hold others accountable to our standards, not lowering them for those not able to meet. It's your life. You have to live with it for the rest of your life. Take control. Draw your boundaries. And never be afraid to let go of the people who don't meet your standards. If they're worth it, they'll up their own. Never expect people to change, but rather expect respect. If you don't get respect, they're not worth keeping around. Testing boundaries is normal; however, never compromise your own values in order to experiment with the reactions and emotions of others. You get one chance at a first for everything. Just one.

You never want them to hurt. Ever. You understand that some hurt helps them grow. It's fertilizer for the future...the shit they must go through to become greater things. But some shit should never...ever...ever happen. And all you can do is support, love, and be. But where would you stop? What are your limits? What wouldn't you do to keep your children safe, or right any wrongs? What happened to humanity? My heart breaks. And my mind is busy.

No regrets. Just a natural instinct to protect, to make right, to defend. And I will. No matter what it takes.

One life. Make it count...make it count.

<3

Sunday, September 23, 2012

You Make Me Completely Miserable



I talked to my mom today for the first time since "the incident". Turns out I'm not so wrong. I hate that I hurt my mom. I don't actually like to hurt people's feelings, as good as I may be at it. If it happens, and I don't already like you, it's kind of like a life bonus. But when you're my mom, it sucks. But she needed to know that the only, and I do mean ONLY person, on her side was tired of being the flag-waving advocate for jack-shit, and it really hit home this time. Now it's time for her to see that there can be life without him. There can be a life of happiness and fun, without fear of saying something, doing anything, or breathing. I'm loving this new position, without loving what it's doing to her. I suppose you have to be in the position to understand what abuse does to a person to appreciate the "power trip" you get when you finally take the reigns back and say NO. It's not a gloating high...it's more of a take-back-what-was-rightfully-human kind of thing... I dunno. I just know I'm glad to be where I am. My mom appreciated that I put her straight and made her think about the situation she has allowed to continue all these years...



Anyways... So I've felt a lot better. And after reflecting on a night of too much to drink and still calling out those who needed to be called out, the only regret I walk away with is the regret that I didn't say something sooner. So many people have turned a blind eye to all this and it makes me really realize who is family, who's there just when things are good, and who's not there at all for anything. I know now that all that I have to rely on is right here, with me in Colorado. This is the family I take and accept and that accepts me and loves me for who I am, where I came from, and who I might have been in the past...not who I am yet to be.
(Cappy's input on my blog...love him..."I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!") Nice try hijacking my blog, Lovely :).

Today was awesome...aside from the fact that we went to a Barnes and Noble to find books and were left with a hardcore feeling of longing. If I wanted shit on gluten-free cooking or Stephen King I would have been set for life. But alas...I wanted substance. So I'm left with Amazon.com. *sigh* Oh well. At least we tried...and experienced something outside the small city we live in. We did get 2 Christmas gifts ;). Less than 90 days!! Yep. I'm that girl. Oh, and Kelly...watch out. I've found some funness. :D

So tomorrow is Sunday and we're going to hang out and maybe sing a little. We'll see. Maybe I'll get my guitar out and stretch her strings. She needs and deserves it.

Love you all. Please remember: you are always as strong as your closest advocates. Never feel alone.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

For What it's Worth

Boy it's been a while. So much has happened...Where to begin...

So back in June I went into the hospital. I had started a new job and the first and second day, my left leg was swelling. Now, I've had swelling for years. Twelve to be exact, due to pregnancy-related sciatica. But that second day (it was a Tuesday), something was different

You see, a year and a half ago my sister went into the hospital. She had severe swelling and discoloration of her left leg. Turned out, she had several blood clots in her leg, groin, and lower back. It was bad. Really bad. But she pulled through. Then my aunt died, suddenly, of aneurysms. It was maybe a month later? And then my mom was life-flighted to Cleveland Clinic with a blood clot in her artery next to her heart. All within a 6 month period. I knew things were bad and something was wrong, but no one, not even the doctors had any idea. So when things calmed down and my mom was finally released to go home, I started my preventative therapy. I went to the doc and had my clot time checked, my antiphospholipid proteins, T4, D-dimer, full CBC, and hormone levels checked. All came out fine.

Then June hit. Damn you June. Almost a year later and I was the one now in the emergency room with swelling AND redness. I never had the weird redness before. And it wasn't like...red... It was like...strangulation. If crayola made a horror line, this color would be 'Strangulation'. So I went to the hospital at 7:30pm, expecting to be told it was just sciatica and I needed to stretch, or worst-case-scenario it was an infected lymph node. They hooked me up to an IV line "just in case" and sent me off for an ultra-sound. I'm pretty cool. I can talk it up like the coolest of cats when I need to. I get nervous easily, but I'm used to it, so I can usually cover it up. Once the tech got a feel for the person she thought I was, she told me "you do have a blood clot by the way...and I'm not supposed to tell you that". I nearly cried. Held back a panic attack and a flood of tears. Here I was, the youngest of the 3 of us and not expected to succumb to such a fate...and yet, here I was. And I felt so alone. I was in a new relationship, one that felt really REALLY good, where things were going well and we were living, for the first time in a decade for me, really living! Going out, having friends, laughing...ME...laughing!! And my son...what would come of my beautiful son... So she wheeled me back to the er observation room where he was waiting for me. I couldn't look at him. I thought "this is it...this is where it ends. No guy wants someone THIS broken...medical issues?? Nope..." So I held back and waited for the doctor, just staring at the ceiling. The doc came in and told us both the news and I started to break...but just a little. And then I saw something I'd never seen before. I saw HIM start to break. Could it be? Is it possible someone actually cares about me? I suddenly felt like I needed to be the one consoling, not the one in the bed. I don't like spotlights...I don't like the attention, the finger pointing, the feeling of being "on display". But what could I do. I was admitted that night.

To add insult to ... well, medical issue, I'm still married. Not with him at all, but not yet divorced. When I texted him the news, that I was admitted and I had a blood clot, the response was "Okay. Do you know where my social security card is?" Not kidding. Still have the text. I had people visit me at 11pm that night that I've known for less than a year. He and I were together for 8 years and he didn't come to the hospital until I happened to talk to his mom, who was unaware on day 4 of my 6 day hospital stay that I was even in the hospital. His excuse you ask? Well, "I don't know what hospital you're in". There's one hospital in our town. And he had his tonsils out there not even a year before all this. Come on. Really?

So...let's progress. He moved out while I was still in the hospital, I came home and had to try to pack everything, still being limited because of my new "death glob". Blood thinners suck by the way. I'll never buy rat poison again. I'll just buy a snake... I got a great place just a block or 2 from where I was before and, because of this wonderful new relationship, I had a LOT of help moving, which I desperately needed. Things went well, and my mom even came out from Ohio to help. We had a great time.



So things go normal for a while. Months actually. My new man knows of my family's past, but hadn't had to experience any of it. Until, sadly, recently. I wrote a while ago about how the wind here in Colorado makes me crazy. It sends me to a chaotic mess of a place that I long to destroy in my past. You can find it here, when I talk about this wind and touch on the things that make it so terrible. I got a call from my sister one night. She tells me that our mother stayed with her the night before because our step-father, who has abused her for the better part of the past 20 years, got angry with her after being out and drinking, came home and fired one of his pistols IN THEIR HOUSE, in the BEDROOM. My mom went to my sister's house...but only for an hour or so, then WENT BACK TO HIM! He held the gun to her throat, threatened to kill her...again...and pushed her down the stairs as she left again for my sister's house where she remained until the following night. Did anyone call the police? Nope. My sister says "It's not my place. Mom had it under control." Not sure where the uncle was that both of them talked to...and I'm certain they didn't call me because they knew I'd do something. So I didn't find out until a day later. When I talked to my mom, I told her enough is enough. I was done with him. I'd seen him do things to her that I wouldn't put in the theaters in a movie. It's the reason I don't like horror. Abuse is not entertainment. Ever. So when I told her I was done with him, she said she wished I'd give him a chance, that he was going to go to a psychologist. I said "He should be in jail". I have a young son. I refuse to let this insignificant bully become any kind of influence in his life. So, the next night, I decided to do something about it. I panicked. I had fear in my heart, fear that it wouldn't stop, fear that no one knew who could do anything about it, fear that he went so far as to hold the gun to her throat this time AND shot it into the walls of their bedroom, what was to stop him from pulling the trigger again. So I, with the back-up of my actually significant other, called her, halfway to the airport, and said "I'm on my way. You tell me now if you don't want out of this, and we're done." And she told me, "Go home. I'm fine.". I gave her a few choice words and demanded he be put on the phone. Gave him an ear full, drove back home, and panicked some more.

So I call again, calling him everything I've been afraid to call him over the 2 decades I've watched him destroy half of my family. Told him I was done with him. His response? "You're a drunk, a troublemaker, a liar, and a little bitch". He also told me "I will kill your mother. And there's nothing you can do about it. Then I'm coming for you. And your little family". So...I called the police. They went to his house, took his statement, my mom's statement, my sister's statement, my sister's husband's statement...and his guns. He has to attend anger-management classes...slap on the wrist, but at least it's documented. And if he does it again, I will own the police department for not doing more. And if he threatens my family again...I will own the police department. I am in the process of filing an order of protection, which is a lot harder across state lines when you're not in the relationship with the crazed lunatic.

I haven't spoken to my mother in almost a week now. I'm not ready. How could she do this yet again, stand up for him yet again, and allow it to progress this far? I'm disappointed, ashamed, embarrassed, and still scared, but this time just for her. I have cut the ties that needed to be cut 20 years ago. By constantly being asked to keep it quiet, to not say anything, to continue to let this man into my life, she made me a victim of the violence and abuse as well. And I let it happen. Out of fear. Well, fear no more. She had a choice, she has a place to go, and she chose not. So let it be. But he won't scare me anymore. He won't control me anymore. And he will NEVER have anything to do with my son. That's what a real mom does. She protects her kids, not the bad guys.

So, from here on out, it's all good news. I am free of a burden that I've kept secret for far too long. I am free from anxiety and stress related to the thoughts of people a thousand miles away. This is my life. And I'm living it. For me. For my son. And it's smooth sailing. I feel, for the first time, like I'm unchained. Unbound. Uncensored. I have nothing to be ashamed of... They do.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Who...Me?

At some point being a stay-at-home mom loses its appeal. All the milestones have been reached, the basics have been taught, and at the end of the day, the ray of sunshine only appears with the pop of a cork. They get to the age where they talk back, they whine about doing chores or picking up shoes, and the only time they plead for your attention and affection is when you're on the phone or they're going to bed...and only because they want to stay up any amount of time longer than they're supposed to.

It's bad enough that finding a job has yielded nothing in the way of interest or offers, but to add to that being left to clean up after the people you live with, who are your family, and receive no form of gratitude or help makes me wonder what it's all for. I didn't have aspirations of cleaning up pee, vomit, dog and cat hair, and other people's dirty socks for the rest of my life. Believe it or not, I had real dreams.

So, I'm going after those dreams. I love my little man bigger than the world, and I'm taking him on this journey with me. I've realized that he's nowhere near done learning, and because of his age, now is the time to teach him that women mean more than housekeeping and good dinner. He needs to see me work, needs to see me in charge, valued, and worth something. He needs to know that other people have important needs and wants just as he has. And he needs to see that a woman can work and be financially independent. Hopefully by teaching him this, he will learn to value whatever woman comes in to his life later on (as he's only 7 after all) and not take for granted what she's willing to do for him and not overlook what she's capable of and what she may have given up because of how much she loves him.

For the last 8 years, I have tried to become someone I'm just not. I conformed to someone else's ideas of fun, entertainment, appropriateness, food preferences, music, color schemes, likes and dislikes...you name it. And I blame no one but myself. This was my choice. I tried to be what others consider a "perfect" girlfriend, a "perfect" wife, and a "perfect" mother. But I lost myself in the process. Becoming something to someone else leaves little room for you to be anything to you. I think there was so much conflict all this time because I missed being me. 'Perfect' only goes so far...and no 2 ideas of it are alike. I rather like who I am without someone else's ideas thrown in. I think my likes and dislikes are 'perfect'...for me though. And I know now that those shouldn't change for anyone, just as others shouldn't change for me. I'm okay with that. I'm not angry or sad, I have no regrets. Everything happens for a reason, and this was just another lesson I had to learn. It's the one thing I actually love about getting older...gaining a better understanding of who I am.

So that's where I am...and over there, no, there...yeah...that area. That's where I'm going. And I'm happy. It's gonna be tough, and it's a lot to back up and start again, but it will be worth it in the long run. :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

View of Toledo

The wind is at it again...which means I'm up. Stronger than my coffee, wind at night stirs me in a way no spoon would ever understand.

I grabbed my old journals from when I was a teenager. You know, back when we used pen and paper and internet was a timed privilege...I came across a creative writing assignment I did in college. We were asked to look through a huge pile of posters and do a few brainstorming exercises, writing down keywords that the image made us feel, and then put those words into a short poem or lyric. I was instantly drawn to a poster of El Greco's 'View of Toledo'. This was at a time when I was just getting away from my family for the first time by going to college 4 hours away from them, yet I was still under their thumb every second. Those were often dark times, but without them, I wouldn't be who I am today.

So while I sit here in the dark and think of things I cannot yet write about, I share with you my view of Toledo:


I stop to look at what I leave behind.
What I see seems far more empty than I remember.
The royalty, the power, the containment, the emptiness.
It seems so calm, almost too calm.
Cloudy thoughts that hide so much
Are beginning to clear as I reflect upon the paths I have taken.
They lead me nowhere, yet everywhere I've been.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wind in My Hairband

I grew up in the 80's...like, I was born in 1979 so...you do the math. I could stop there, but no. I am contractually obligated to delve into it and drag you deep down in with me.

You see...my uncle owned a roller skating rink, which was AWWWWE...SOME! Even before he owned it, we still went there almost every weekend. The old man who owned the place before my uncle knew my sister and I by name, always just handed us our skates and tugged on our pig tails as we made our way to the carpeted locker area to change into feet of fury.



My life revolved around music when I was younger. I know every song by Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves, The Charlie Daniels Band, Alabama, and Elvis. Oldies and country were a common practice in my house. But when I got my first am/fm radio that was all mine, and I turned on Rock 105...my life changed forever. I heard guitars in a way I'd never hear them before! I heard drum beats that seemed to pound my very soul! I heard angst for the first time, and though there wasn't a word for it at 5 or 6 years old, I felt it. The ridiculous lyrics were more than anything ever uttered by The Judds and, while they don't make a heap of sense today, you swore back then that those songs were written for you on the very day you discovered them.

I know they aren't attractive. But compared with what we had to look at at the time,

Yes, that's the legendary Bill Gates... http://images.businessweek.com/ss/06/08/personalbest_timeline/source/7.htm

what choice did we have? Axel Rose is hott compared to this guy. It pains me to say it...but you know it's true.

There were lots of great 80's artists. I remember summertime mostly, and a lot of what we listened to was Def Leppard, Poison, Whitesnake, Megadeath, Duran Duran, Journey, AC/DC, U2, Rick Springfield, The Cure, The Gogo's, The Talking Heads, and who could forget Madonna.

There's so much more to this topic...but it's late. So I leave you with visions of unicorns and airbrushed anythings. Rock on children of the 80's. Rock on.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Too Much Wind

Colorado has CAW...or Crazy Ass Wind. Normal people like 'weather' like this. But fierce invasive wind like this makes me nervous.

I moved here from Atlanta, and when it's crazy windy in Atlanta, watch for tornadoes. I grew up in Ohio, and when it's crazy windy, watch for tornadoes. Aside from the weather aspect, there's something more emotionally damaging that comes from the wind.

You know that pounding, beating sound the wind makes when it's rampant and erratic? That's what gets me. I can handle rain. Oh how I wish it would rain. And thunder? There's no love made like the love under a thunderstorm. There aren't a lot of thunderstorms to be had here...at least none worthy of a good session of love makin'. But that 'noise' of heavy wind, especially in the night, makes my hands numb, my heart race, and my mind recede into dark corners, under the covers, until morning light.

I grew up in homes with a lot of yelling. Someone was always angry with something. And you could count on taking a good bit of the punishment if you were a child in one of those homes. I know I'm grown and these things should be over with now, but they're not. They're very alive and still just as disturbing as ever.



I remember when I was little, maybe 4 or 5, my sister and I were told never to wake our dad up except by shaking his feet. He is a Vietnam veteran and suffers terribly from PTSD, but back then in the early '80s, they didn't diagnose that kind of thing. He was violent when he wasn't completely aware of what was going on. We often made a game of it. It was normal for people to be angry and swing at you when you wake them...at least, that's what I thought.

Then there were his general bad days. Days where nothing in particular happened, he was just angry. Maybe the truck ran out of gas, or he couldn't find a part he wanted, or maybe he stubbed his toe. Those days, tools were thrown, doors were slammed, shit got broken. I played outside a lot, and a lot by myself. I would usually disappear in the tall field behind our house. I never really understood who owned the field, but in the 9 years I lived at that house, I think the field only got plowed 3 times. The grass was as tall as I was and it lead back to an old man's house, Old Man Fritz, who had 2 ponies but was too old to take care of them. My sister and I would tie dandelion stems together to make a chain and hit the electric fence with it to see if it was on. It usually was. Then we'd slip through the wires and hop on the ponies bareback and ride around. If he ever knew we did it, he didn't mind. Or he was too old to bother yelling at us. Sometimes we would go up the road to Mr. Carrey's house. He had horses...not tiny ponies, but real horses. My mom didn't like us going there because she wasn't too sure of Mr. Carrey, but he was always good to us. I remember riding horses quite a bit there, helping in the barn and just being free. In the evenings, my sister and I usually sat on the roof of the barn in our back yard. It was a lower eve that we got on by climbing the wood pile. We'd watch the sunset listening to some cool cassette tape one of us brought out. Music was always playing with us. Racing Hotwheels, riding ponies, doing the dishes, laying out in the sun...always a battery operated cassette player/AM/FM radio. Sometimes I think music is what gave us a little bit of peace.

When my parents divorced, a new wind blew in in the form of step-parents. I suppose we're lucky our parents didn't really date a bunch of people that we would get to know and then have disappear when the relationship failed...but maybe if they had I could have been a little more calm. Maybe. My step-dad was not a kind man. My step-mom wasn't much better...and though her upbringing was more kind, she too had issues, mostly of abandonment and self-entitlement. I understand that they didn't come from a good home, but there's only so long you can lean on that crutch and make it your excuse for being shitty to everyone around you as well. If that were the case, I could be as mean as I wanted to my own son and blame it on the 4 "adults" who raised me, but I'd rather not.

Sometimes I forget. I snap at little things because they send emotional triggers into me that shoots off a defensive shout. It's not an excuse. I am aware I'm doing the wrong thing when this happens. I'm trying. Slamming doors makes me terrified someone is going to get hurt, I'm going to be yelled at for something I didn't do, or something I did wasn't done to someone else's standards. When the wind beats on the house, it brings all that up. And I sit. And I wait. I wait for my punishment. And I hate it. I can't breathe, I can't sleep, and I even get nervous that I'm doing the wrong thing by being awake.

Someone medicate me please.