My whole world has become complacent lately. Feeling like a machine with my heart renewed on an assembly line by a conveyor belt each day only for it to be broken into pieces once again. Broken heart after broken heart. I am a born again living dead girl. Floating around preparing myself for the next jab. A pride carried from a naive heart who only felt she had gotten at least one thing right in her fragile, brittle life.
Take that molded rug right out from under me. Over and over again until the bends of these knees that have prayed for you shatter in two. While I lay here, a puddle of poison and battered, I will finally admit to myself that it was a facade.
With every strength and effort in me to break a cycle and do it better than those who had come before me, I have seemingly failed. I lied to myself and continue to do so. And since that was the only good that was ever in me, I’m emptied of a want to. I am hollowed with a who am I. I am robbed of a purpose.
Convinced now that I everywhere I turn, everything is polished before I get there, and rusted out by the time I pass through.
Damaged goods. Homeless.
How does one who is broken time and time again, die inside, and then awaken again to die once more but never stay dead?
When I said I’d take the pain of this world off of you if I could, I never knew or imagined that it would mean that I would take not only the pain, but the weight of every ocean, the blame, and every ounce of hate and resentment that had passed through the vicinity of us.
But even so, torn limb from limb, I steady myself to stand once again with half the sun rising on my beaten face, to take my place on that front line once more.
A failure badly bruised, mentally paraplegic, and dead but still breathing; prepared without hesitation to do it again. And again.
A maternal love is unfailing, unwavering. At least that is what it’s supposed to be. And maybe you’ll never see it in me, or find any sense of pride in my silent and suffering efforts, but I will press on in it in hopes that in the end, you will awaken to the knowing of how profound the possibility is of someone, who is so broken, numb, and beat down, could still love someone else and fight for someone else with an unfathomable, immeasurable, unfaltering, unconditional, and powerful will to live again, and also still love someone else with an entirety and unbreakable spirit, while unable to look at her own self in the mirror.
Live fully, my sweet joy. Live powerfully as my favorite chapter. I’ll be here fighting it for us. And always loving you out loud and working through the dead in me silently.
And even when you didn’t think I cared, or don’t think I care, I have loved you and will love you with every fiber and every second of my existing…
I saw clearly the remnants of forgotten cigarette butts in the scattered rocks as we drove through to get that coffee. I was thinking to myself how many years some of those butts have been buried there, long after their victims have been gone. I dig into things and overthink if I’m not careful.
The voices of aggravation on the other end of the speaker from a person just there to do a job so they can pay the light bill that’s been way over-priced since the frigid dropping of the temperatures. Or the teen coming up in age, just working for that extra pocket cash, definitely not wanting to spending it on anything except the material things they feel deprived of. All thrown into one building working and serving the masses.
I feel all of this as I pass through the line, my daughter in the passenger seat. I feel nostalgic. Fully aware of everything in every moment. Extremely grateful for each and every second. Even though we recently had a therapy appointment and have to go back next week because the therapist is concerned for my daughter and is setting her up with psychiatry. Still, I am so grateful. Unable to allow myself to feel anything else because of the chaos that has tried to take me down for so long. I’m on the front lines of a battle like no other. And for anyone who knows me, there have been so many battles up to this moment. They seem like a staple for every chapter that I am constantly trying to break free from.
I am doing today with a smile on my face. Because I choose to. Even through each moment of heaving for air. Because I want every moment. I want every second.
I just swopped places with my daughter and now I watch as she drives. For a moment, I see my little girl. Her little smile. Her giggle. Except for this current version just yelled shit as another car got in her lane. lol. Still, I see her. I remember every single moment. She’s growing up so quickly and I am here for it. She’s 16, and will get her driver’s license in a couple of weeks. 2 years left in school, and the future awaits her.
I want to be there to see the incredible things she is going to do. I want to hold grandbabies, and see that’s mother’s love in her eyes. I want to see her do better than I did. I’ve never been that parent that said, “I hope your child is just like you.” I wish a whole different life for her. I wish peace for her and her children. And every dream come to life.
I’ve also never been that parent who says, “No one will ever love you as much as I do, or the way that I do.” That’s crazy. This world can be incredible. I wish more for her. I pray she finds someone that loves her bigger in ways that are more than a mother’s love can surpass. And I pray that they give her the world she deserves, which is bigger than anything her or I could ever imagine. I’ve tried so hard to work over these mountains so I could be someone she could be proud of and even maybe one day, would want to take a lesson from.
But lately, I have realized that I want her to be completely and totally herself. A whole new chapter. Breaking the cycle of this chaos. She is so incredible and adventurous. That combination in life can be so exciting and limitless. And as her parent, I am excited for all of these adventures.
We took the long way home, stopping too long at stop signs of course. The whole time, I’ve grasped the oh crap bar for my life. Even though in reality, she’s a good driver. And she has always picked up on everything so quickly. I just can’t let go and give control to anyone, and it’s something I am still working on. It’s something that frustrates her greatly.
We arrived home. Spring is in the air and I soaked up every single second of what was left of the daylight on the porch. I could hear my daughter singing in the basement in her room so I snuck to her window and started to sing with her, giggling. I couldn’t help but peak in on her. As teens, they don’t come out of their lairs as often as we would like them to. So, honestly, every chance I get to come up with an excuse to peak in on her or tell her I love her, I do it. Life is so short. I want her to know it. That I love her. Because I love her so big.
The grass is turning bright green again. I try and focus on that in this moment, as the thoughts of upcoming specialist’s follow-ups for my many ailments come creeping up on me in the coming days. I’ve spent a lot of time pushing back fear and trying to live in faith. It’s hard sometimes, if I am being honest. Some of the answers I get could change my entire world, or my daughter’s entire world, or both. So, each day, I am just living in every moment. Loving as hard I can, harder than I ever have. I am accepting hugs, which I have always struggled with as a touch me not and never accepted before. Even the closest people to me have jokingly asked permission before hugging me in the years up till now. However, in this new chapter in my life, I want love in every form. All of it. And I want to give it back, in every form. Freely and wholeheartedly.
We can’t change any bad or good news we get. We can’t change how long or short the time we have here on this earth is. And we can definitely not change the yesterdays that got us to this very moment. Tomorrow, no matter what the day brings, I will embrace what comes, with my everything. And gather all of the remnants to take with me, wherever I may go…
I wanna dwell in war torn streets, where my environment fits my chaos. That’s the way I see the world. Scavenging for basic necessities. Giving up on the mainstream fruits of life so the pressures of that life leave me. A dented can I feel like, kicked around as someone’s fun game, and even in that, I feel as though everything will seem like home.
I saw two dogs today, stray I suppose, playing their hearts out in the middle of nowhere. I remember saying to my daughter, “Look, even in someone’s saddest of times, and lowest of seasons, they can find a reason to be happy, even if only briefly.” I’m not sure if I believed it as I was even saying it, but I wanted to. And more than that, I wanted her to.
She told me that she didn’t know what it was, but at the beginning of fall, and the cold season, and the beginning of spring, she always felt nostalgia. As she drove us home, she asked me if I felt the same. I nodded my head as I stared at the sunset and a single tear secretly dripped down the side of my face that she could not see. I thought to myself, and then told her, “you know, I haven’t gotten to enjoy many sunsets in a long time, because it’s always me driving these roads, but it’s your turn now.” I leaned forward as much as I could, to bask in everything it had to offer. And I thought, I don’t have to pay anything for this. It’s free, and right now, it’s mine.
The pressures of making right for her seem too much at times, and yet, here I am; still dragging these heavy feet along. But I always think about it, a life without this trailer. Maybe some coffee over a fire, with the grounds still floating in it. Just the dusty streets and the forest. No sounds of cars and traffic, or people talking. Just a search for a little bit of food and water to forage, and a place to lie my head down in hopes that the next day will be just as quiet and bring blessings of portioned substance. A life that truly matches the chaos that fills my being.
Still, she pulls the car into our driveway, and we have to get out. I carry the little bit I afforded at the store, and try to smile and at least appreciate that she got the 2 yogurts she wanted, and I am sitting here now, writing, and also dreaming.
I don’t let myself dream beyond much more than these things. And it’s not that I don’t feel I deserve more. I don’t feel beyond that at all, not for myself at least. I’d be lying if I said I don’t for her though. I do. For me, I don’t allow myself to miss or envy things I’ve never experienced. What a sham that would be. I sit here now, paint severely chipped on my nails, stringy hair, and shoes on my feet that have walked many years with me. Yet, I’m content with these things for me, for now. I don’t want for more, but I never get far past the present day I sit in, and what challenges await me there. Day. By. Day. Never beyond that. If I could plan tomorrow, the seed would be empty of it, and unsafe for my focus.
My daughter teared up talking to me today. She told me her boyfriend was off shopping, spending $500 gifted to him by family. She was heartbroken that she herself, could not be afforded days like that, and never really has. Trust me, she has been gifted many things on Christmas and birthdays, for years to count. However, I knew what she meant. I couldn’t even buy her a thrift store shirt right now if I wanted to. My contentment for myself, is not the same as my contentment for her. I, in the face of her 15 years, have failed her greatly. I haven’t given up, but I say it out loud because I accept it. My hope is that someday, she could find a way to be proud of me for something. I hope I accomplish that in my lifetime. It’s on the top of a very short list of things I want.
I feel that one should dream the dreams of the kind of spirit your mind connects with. It may not be fancy things, or a lavish lifestyle. Maybe it’s just simply dreaming that one day, you’ll just simply be…okay. And that will be a freedom that will be more than this world could ever offer in things.
It’s really incredible how quick life can pass by. You can sometimes think back on your kids being little, stomping through the house, and asking a million questions. Back then, you used to be annoyed by it at times. Even ignoring them sometimes. I remember spending every waking minute with my daughter trying to make things perfect, which doesn’t exist by the way.
Although we never had much money, I always wanted her to have the shoes she wanted, the clothes she wanted, and there’s not a picture I look back at where her outfit wasn’t cute and in every single one, her socks matched her bows.
I spent all this time doing this partly because I never got the chance to be girly. I have always been tomboyish. I wore boy clothes a huge chunk of my early teenage years, and never got too heavy into makeup unless there was an occasion specifically for it, and even then, it was black lipstick, or something dark.
Everyone made fun of me the whole time my daughter was little because I never let her get dirty. And if she did get dirty, I would follow her around with baby wipes cleaning her up. I carried 8-9 outfits with me at all times in a diaper bag and if she got so much as a single stain on her, I would change her entire outfit. I carried the whole can of formula, and the whole box of cereal in the bag, and pretty much a whole pack of diapers. It was as if I was always prepared to leave and never come back, if necessary.
I was more than over-protective. I was constantly fearful, that what happened to me in my life, would happen to her. I didn’t want anything to ever even come close to making her feel, how I had felt most of my life.
In the end, turns out, I further damaged her by protecting her so much. By the time I braved up to start letting her doing anything, she didn’t really know how to make friends. And really didn’t trust people (Also my fault). Each attempt at social pairing has for years, been mostly a flunk. And each time, I blame myself.
I wonder to myself constantly if one day, she will also blame me. Or, does she already blame me now?
The struggles we face today aren’t just simple bullying trials, or even just fighting off loneliness with no friends. It’s a pure and constant sadness. Darkness. Each day, a new demon to fight off, and each night, another night I lay my head on my pillow feeling like a failure, like I failed her and myself.
For 15 years, 7 months, and 28 days, each second of my life has been dedicated to wanting every best light in the world I could think of for her. Everything to chase the darkness away.
I spent my life before that, chasing my own darkness away. Did I morph my demons into this beautiful little girl just by merely being her mom? Did my overprotectiveness do everything except….. protect her?
I wanna see happiness fill her til she overflows. How do I get there? The one lesson I learned the hard way that I avoid reminding myself of constantly is that you can’t make other people happy. But I want to. I would be sad and dark forever if it meant her life could be filled with happiness, never-ending love, and a future filled with hope and the greatest of adventures.
I know my page is normally much deeper with poetry, and poetic views of real life situations.. But sometimes, you need to let people who support you see the truth. Real, raw, and unequivocal truth.
My life is not this mysterious bed of roses. It’s just the thorns. It’s the instant pain when they prick your finger, and the shock when you stub your toe.
My baby is depressed. And that is a summary. She is deep in a basement with no light, depressed. But to me, that’s not all she is.
She is my coffee in the morning. And the only light I see. She is orange blossom, in a field full of pink roses. She is a powerful rock and doesn’t even know it. And she is my reason for breathing. She’s creative. And when in motion, completely unstoppable.
But she is depressed. It is taking her down, and I’m fighting that demon like a soldier on the frontlines. I’m not sleeping, barely eating, and none of my smiles will be real, until hers are.
I am her mother. And in the light that she doesn’t see, I am her warrior, her biggest supporter, and even when she shuts me out completely, I am still here, fighting with everything in me, and loving her to top of every mountain we need to climb. And one day, we’ll get to the top and rejoice at the echo of our victory.
I promise my heart is true. Even with that and the stars, this world is cold, and my lips are turning blue.
I tried Mama, I did. To do what must be done. From evening moonlight, to the smooth wee of the morning, and even as I watched the marvelous, bright sun.
But the Earth, she don’t agree with me, and tries to test me so. She begs for me, and tangles me, urging me to go.
I fight and pant, and dry my eyes, before anyone can see.. this beaten soul and wretched mind, and now, there are many real me’s.
Oh Mama, tell me I did it right, and the sky really is that shade of blue. And the birds flying low, and swooping down, are not out to get me and you.
Tell me why each smile is different, but every frown is exactly the same. And remind me always who I should be, should I begin to forget my name.
Oh Mama, these days grow shorter, and the time for forgiveness is cutting down to very few. The time is almost up for us; for them, for me, and for you.
Each moment of joy is more important, than it was the day before. And everything seems to intrigue me, and hardly nothing is a bore.
Oh Mama.. Can you hear it too? The bells chiming in the wind? And the hoot of the owl, when the night grows calm, and angels that they send?
If what I am doing is not enough, Mama, can you tell me what to do? To make it so when I lie down at night, my heart is full of hope, and not this shade of blue….
Oh Mama, you are mine and now, these days, I am a Mama as well… And I wonder one day, will she read these words, and catch the sadness spell?
Oh Mama, if you are here, and I am not, could you tell her one thing for me?
Tell her she was my everything, my heart, and every moment. And tell her everything I did, was for goodness, fullness, and so she would never go through my torment. Tell her the mind is a dangerous place to live, and tell her to step away from it once in a while. To breathe the fresh air that’s left in this foggy world, and to embrace every second of being a child.
Oh Mama.. we didn’t have the best go around, but as a mother now, I forgive in new ways. And I found a way to love myself, in that, miracles, and love is a new word I learned to say……
Most of my whole life, I have been immensely affected by the actions of other people. It has made me an angry person. It has made me internally have hate for most every person I come across. Externally, I am polite, respectful, and an all around good friend. However, I am only this way because I was raised by passive people who never stood up for really anything. That’s about the only thing good I got out of it was learning to be polite. But internally, I boil. I am only that way because I truly feel that not really any one person has good intentions. I feel, because I have been hurt so many times, that most every person has a different motive than what they’re putting out there.
Luckily, it pushed me to want to raise my daughter a little differently. It made me want to mold her with a few different parts. I have taught her to be polite, but also brave, and to understand that everyone is different. I have been straight forward with her in telling her that there are evil people out there. People that live for hurting others. Most because their parents are also assholes and because they are taught sometimes through family tradition, that they are better…which they are not. I have always spoken with her about bullying, and how horribly wrong it is. And the truth is, I have taught her that we won’t put up with things like that and I want her to stand up for herself to every extent if it ever happened to her. I won’t lie. I have even told her that bullies deserve to have their asses kicked. Normally if they get their ass beat one time, they think twice about saying anything to you ever again.
With the confident, wonderful child that she is, I never really thought I would have to deal with that with her outside of that conversation. Now that we’re in 5th grade, things are a lot different. Earlier this year, this little boy cussed in class and the teacher pulled my daughter aside and asked her did she hear it and of course, my daughter didn’t lie and replied yes. Well, that made the little boy angry. He waited for all the class to be walking in the hallway and came up beside her and whispered, “I want to stab you to death”. Of course when she came home and told me about it, I could not just sit by and do nothing. The way things are in the world today, you can’t take anything lightly that people say. Because the truth is, kids do bring weapons to school and they do outrageous things. The principles got involved and he was punished with severity.
Yesterday, I get a call from the bus driver who was concerned for my daughter. There are two 8th graders that have been bullying her and other students came forward to the bus driver and told him they felt bad for my daughter and told the bus driver the two boys names. The bus driver plans on following through with the principals on Tuesday to make sure that the boys are severely punished for what they have been doing. However, the other students that came forward were also concerned for my daughter’s well-being. They said they also overheard her say that if those boys didn’t leave her alone, that she was going to kill herself. When I hear this, it makes my heart sink. It makes me want to wrap her up and never let her go. It makes me want to find these two boys and beat them till they’re not moving!
When we confronted our daughter about what was happening, we did it with the utmost sincerity in order to not push her away. We wanted her to understand that we are always here for her and to never ever keep anything like that from us. To always come and tell us when something like that is happening. When we asked her about the part where she said she would harm herself, she denied it. Just like I knew she would. We told her that she would never be in trouble for something like that. We would never love her any less, and we only wanted to be able to understand her better. We only want her to be able to come to us with full honesty and openness and know that we will always be on her side. Nothing worked. She told the truth about being bullied, but would not talk about saying she would harm herself.
By the end of the conversation, I was crying, she was crying, and we had agreed to believe her in saying that she did not say she would harm herself. I couldn’t believe I was having to have this conversation with my almost 11 year old. My heart was broken. My heart is broken. I am angry. I am sad. I feel defeated. I just want to know that she doesn’t feel sad. I just want to know that I am doing everything a mother can do to be there for her daughter. I just want her to never feel as though she is alone in anything. Because she is not. I want to crowd around her and never take my eyes off of her. But I can’t do that. Somehow, I have got to find a trust that I have taught her how to make good decisions and that I have taught her that she is loved so much by so many. I want to find these children’s parents and beat them. I want to beat their children for stripping my daughter of what little bit of innocence that she has left. For showing her just how ugly this horrible world can be. For showing her assholes come in all ages.
I will focus even more of me on her from now on. I will continue to ask her everyday…How was your day? Did anyone hurt you? Has anyone mistreated you? Are you happy? And other people will probably continue to be assholes. But in my prayers, and as a mother, I have to believe that she will be strong. She will continue to be amazing, wonderful, and smart. She will excel and one day be on top of the world looking down at how pathetic they are. Because they spent so much time being evil that they made nothing of their lives. And we will stand together smiling. Because we made it. We are a family. Not broken permanently by people that don’t matter. Words are just that, words. And we will conquer this. These individuals will mean nothing to us. They try to tear us down, but we only get stronger. She is young. She shouldn’t have to feel this way. She should be completely happy, but that is just not the way the world works. It is a cruel place. It is full of cruel people. But we, together, will survive it.
My little girl is just that to me, my little girl, and she always will be. Over the past couple of years, I have watched the little girl slowly but surely change into a beautiful, intelligent young lady. She’s 10 now, and on Sunday, September 20, 2015, the official landmark of becoming a woman entered our home and chose its 10-year-old target and brought this mama to her knees……
Here are the ways that you can prepare yourself for this inevitable change coming your way as the mother..
DO you see the pattern here? There are no real answers to prepare you for this moment!
I have had the puberty/period conversation with my daughter at least a total of 12 times. And every time, the conversation went spectacular….well, as spectacular as it could go.
But on the day before (Saturday, September 19, 2015), My daughter and I, my sister, and mom went and did some yard selling, and on our last stop, my daughter kept saying, “I’ve got to go to the bathroom!” (She would kill me if she knew I was telling you this). By the time we got to my grandmother’s house, where everyone had parked their cars, she ran to the bathroom. She was in there forever.
Finally, I texted her and asked did she fall in and at that time, she came out. Although it was unlike her, she kept trying to rush me for us to leave and go home. Finally, I did and found out in the car why. She had an accident eeekkkkk.. Her stomach was messed up all evening and she even had several more “discrepancies” until I finally made her put a woman cushion on. (haha)
Skip to the next day, the day I’m calling “Cry me a River Mama”
It was a great, lazy Sunday. Later on in the afternoon, I knew in the back of my mind that I had bought some Mint Chocolate Chip Ice cream and I wanted to figure out if I was going to be able to give her some so I asked, “baby, how’s your stomach today?” She replied with, “well, actually it just happened again.” I said what! She got this look of terror on her face and says, “yea and this time, it had blood on it”. I freaked out and said show me. She said, well I flushed it. I scolded her telling her how important it was to tell her mom if she has blood in her bowel. She got that same look of terror and begins to fumble her words….(I at this point think she is lying and trying to get out of school the next day) Finally, she says, “It wasn’t in the toilet, in was on my underwear.” I then had her show me. So, I waited in the hall while she got changed and I opened the door and there the woman cushion was I had her put on the night before and it had the blood on it. MY HEART SANK……I knew right then what had happened….
I took her face in both of my hands and I told her, “sweetie, you’ve started your period”. (nothing could prepare me for her reaction)
She broke down and lost it. Cried out loud while screaming, “I don’t want to, I don’t want it!” As a mother, I wanted so bad to scream and cry with her, but I held back on it (for now). I told her everything was going to be ok. And that everyone in her class was going to go through the same thing. I even told her that a couple of girls probably already were going through it, and had just not told anyone. I told her that it was all part of becoming a woman, although the very thought of my baby having to go through this bloody hell angered me.
Next, I told her that we were going to do a second test. I told her to go into the bathroom and wipe herself and when she did, womanhood was confirmed. She broke down again. I spent the next 5 minutes holding what was left of my little girl in my arms while she cried, and I was as consoling as I could be, saying whatever I could think of to make it better.
When she finally calmed down, I said all there was left to say. (only to make me feel dorky and old later when I thought about it) First, I said, “if it makes you feel any better, I’m about to start mine, we can be blood sisters”. Second, I said the last thing that could be said……”Can I get you anything?” “Like,…some…ummmm..chocolate?” “It always makes me feel better.” She wiped her tears and began to laugh. …….
Over the course of the next hour, my daughter was fine as though nothing had happened. I, however, was outside on the verge of a mental breakdown.
All I could think of was the fact that this precious soul that I once held innocently in my arms was slipping away from me. I could subconsciously see my little girl walking down the road and looking back at me waving. I was completely heartbroken. I cried….and then I cried….and then I stared…and then I cried. I felt as though my daughter’s childhood was sped up in fast forward mode and I had watched it dizzily, unable to stop it from happening. Her first words, her first favorite song, her first steps, the hard times we had went through that thankfully, she didn’t remember. All the hundreds of times where it was just me and her against the world. I could see pictures in my head. I could hear her laughing, and even if briefly, it was so beautiful.
Then, I flipped into an even more devastating mode……Will she need me anymore? She doesn’t let me touch her hair, pick an outfit….NOTHING! It has been almost 2 years since my daughter has let me do anything for her, give or take an opinion or two. A lot of mornings, she even makes her own breakfast. Very independent, and yes, I am so very proud of that. However, where do I fit in?
I, over the days that have passed, have tried to remember when she went from being little, to this beautiful, intelligent young girl. So many things run through my mind like….did I teach her everything I needed to teach her before this moment? Does she understand how very much I love her? Are we close like I have always thought we were? Have I taught her enough to communicate well with me? Oh my gosh, one day she’s going to leave me…..she’s going to grow up and go places, I just know it. Have I extended every branch so that she knows I am always here? Here waiting for her to need me. Waiting for her to want to hug me, want to laugh with me..
Does she understand that I would give anything in the world to start over and have her be my little girl again? I just want to give her a better life than I ever even dreamed of. Because out of all the things I dreamed of, she is the only one that came true and superseded all my expectations.
I guess whether I am ready or not, the journey changes. My journey changes. Our journey changes…