A Mother’s Fight

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.

Cry of the Blackbird Pt. 2

pawpaw and us

March 2020, my grandfather, still in rehab, watched and listened as the world began to crumble. A plague of sorts, not his first of course, had began to ravish the United States. All the while, my sister and I panicked. We begged my mom and uncle to remove him from the nursing home. It no longer mattered to us that his time in rehab since his hospital stay had not yet reached the 21 day insurance order.

I had already began to see the nightmare that was happening in other states to long-term living facilities, and rehab facilities. They were the first places to begin to be locked down. The patients, like prisoners. No visitors. Families that were lucky enough to have loved ones near a window talking through glass. Confused and mentally disabled patients not understanding why their loved ones or visitors wouldn’t just come inside and sit for a while. Then, like a catastrophe, as one elderly patient got sick, therein followed 10-20 more getting sick. All locked inside with each other. Most facilities such as this, seemingly left to their own devices. CNAs and nurses within the facilities pretty much locked inside with them, their only care.

The days started to go by. Being high risk, I was the first to tell my family, and especially my grandfather and grandmother that I could no longer visit to protect myself and my daughter. It was devastating to me. For years, it had just been myself, and my sister when she was in town, taking care of my grandparents. And there had already been turmoil come between us and everyone else once my Uncle had gotten Power of Attorney.

Everything seemed to be like something out of the twilight zone. A dark cloud of sadness in slow motion. My grandfather’s health seemed to improve. The doctor’s decided to release him. It had already been 2 weeks since I had seen him at all.

On his last week in the rehab facility, very intimidating health officials showed up with orders. They locked down the facility and no longer allowed anyone inside, with the exception of close family. My grandmother faithfully had one of us drop her off each day. She had to have her temperature checked before she could enter the front door. And even after that, the officials would decide if they wanted her to enter.

Finally, one day, my mom and uncle arranged and ok’d it for my grandfather to leave. It was as though the grace of God worked his favor on us, because as soon as we got my grandfather home, the next day they began to lock down the facility completely, just as all of those facilities we had heard nightmare stories about in other states.

We were blessed to have watched such a turn around in my grandfather’s health. He had went from shaking like the tremors of an earthquake, and severe memory loss, along with hallucinations, to back his normal self by the time we got him home. Although, even that is not 100% because he’s 91 years old with Parkinson’s Disease.

In the months since, we have seen a tornado of change. Sacrifices by the plenty. Weeks at a time not being able to be in the same room with the grands. Depending on who had possibly been exposed to the virus.

I think at first, back in April, most of us wanted to believe that this virus had been blown out of proportion, even myself, the hypochondriac that I am. However, it didn’t take long for me to fully convince myself that this was the worst. In comparison with the Spanish Flu, dated in the 1950s, this was our depression.

Around May, my grandmother’s mind seemed to deteriorate with intensity. And her complaints about roaring in her ears also intensified. Her balance was not great, and had not been great since about August of 2019, because of Vertigo and Meniere’s disease, which is chronic. This year alone, I can’t count the amount of times I have thought to myself, is this hell, or the twilight zone??

Because of an extreme fear of birds, mainly fearing that they will defecate on me, lol, I’ve also thought it strange that the thought had to cross my mind that a possible slew of birds were taking over my grandparent’s brains. Crazy yes, but after having them my whole life, and now quickly seeing that disappear right before my eyes, I can’t help but not dismiss any excuse I can come up with to explain to me why they have to go one day.

At the end of May, I decided to visit them through their front door, like visiting a prisoner, wrongly convicted. I had them come to the door and sing Amazing Grace with me in harmony, and had my daughter video it. It is something I regret not doing more when they were in better health, but also something I will always truly cherish. Music is something so expressive in my family, like a letter you’re writing that you never quite finish. And no matter how old I get, I can close my eyes and remember being little and waking up on Saturday mornings, the whole house filled with the smell of bacon and eggs, and hearing my grandparents in the kitchen singing and harmonizing with each other. It is one of the memories out of my dark, harum-scarum childhood, that I will always cherish the most.

I consider myself to be quite a strong person, to a point, but also quite vulnerable at times. Looking past my fears of the birds for a moment, I can’t help but admit, I want to hear them. Even if just for a moment, I wanna know what they are hearing and feeling. And I want to take it from them. I want to see my grandfather working in his shop in the back yard again, or sneaking a dip in the laundry room. I want to see my grandmother laughing so hard at me that she cries, cackling. I want to see her understand when we are making a joke, and for my grandfather to even be able to hear me at all when I am talking to him. My mind stays in chaos trying to discover ways I can bring them back around, even though deep down, I am also trying to find a way to let go and accept that what they are now, is what I am blessed with for however long until their ailments worsen, or til they’re gone for good.

Most people think of cardinals as the spiritual presence of a loved one, but as for myself, I follow the black birds, hiding so I see them, but that they may not see me. I will always see them as the loved ones who are screeching around us, decade after decade, generation after generation, watching us succeed, watching us fail, watching us grow old as they did, and waiting for us to one day, join them…

The Mind of the PTSD

Photo by Elina Krima on Pexels.com

She sleeps in a dark abyss,

sealed with a fated fatal kiss 

water slowly pouring, filling the space within

she begins to take these last breaths,

accepting the death that comes with these sins.

Screams are deafened by gurgle of her lungs

strum your guitar, echo through the waves, 

maybe she could hold her breath long enough

to navigate these deep caves…

Drowning in the silence, 

she thinks of each memory she had erased;

and the ticking of clocks winding down,

due to the distance and time and space. 

It won’t be long now, 

the water now mixes with sand,

vision’s become blurred, 

almost too late for a rescue hand..

It’s so dark here, 

and a familiar song is on repeat.

Muffled by the muddy water, 

now concreting her feet. 

If only she could find a light,

an opening to escape,

then maybe she could find the breath 

to recooperate.

But alas she kneels sinking,

into the sand that has claimed her sadness.

And she’s no longer thinking clearly 

becoming much more friendly with the madness…

Heartbeats slowing, echoing like a drum,

slowly reversing back all the pain, 

as she begins to leave this slum….

She begins to smile in the struggle,

succumbing to the release of this horrible pain,

the voices of torment, finally being muzzled.

There’s a light…she hopes is a sunrise,

but alas, it can’t be, in this deep demise. 

Nonetheless, it calls to her, foolish as it seems,

she feels it’s finally her call to redeem.

The light is warm, 

far from the cold, damp waters that have kept her here..

Is it true, is is over? 

These decades of cold pain, 

held down by the most massive of boulders.

She closes her eyes, one final time.

To open them now, would take a supernatual force of change.

She’s never been so dead, to be so alive. 

No one else left to blame. 

It’s beautiful here,

although the light is blinding.

and almost all the chains are gone, 

that had once caused the binding. 

This new life of freedom, is a mystery.

almost scary, to this new she. 

Everything she could imagine, 

in a life free from pain. 

And all the time that was wasted, 

is now hers to gain. 

She takes off running, 

no destination in sight.

A hesitant smile on her face,

arms open wide.

Runs fast through fields of clover,

falling and rolling in laughter.

She thinks for a moment, 

all the heartache was worth it, 

for this ever after..

She doesn’t even know how much time has went by, 

or if time even exists here. 

She only knows that as far as she can see, 

everything has never been more clear. 

Freedom lives here. 

And now, so does she? 

She second guesses for a moment, 

on what the catch might be.  

Having never felt deserving, 

or that she earned a fleet of bliss. 

She runs again to find the damage.     

Storm clouds appear in the distance, 

and the ground begins to shake. 

And all the clovers she had knelt in,

begin to melt away.

Vines begin to chain her,

to ground that briefly was this bliss. 

The winds fly through so strongly, 

it takes her breath away. 

And the storm clouds once in the distance, 

begin to steal the light of day. 

It’s too late to realize, 

this daydream is over, 

and her hell has once again risen. 

What once was her freedom, 

is once again becoming her prison.

A mind never truly happy. 

A soul never quite saved. 

She slowly begins to wake, 

as this violent storm tries to take her away. 

The wake is no more freeing, 

than the winds that ripped through that field.

Or the mind that she is trapped in,

deciding the things that are real.

She awakes coughing up water, 

choking on sand,

wipes it from her face, 

preparing to start the day again. 

She tells herself that someday, 

the freedom will be real. 

And all the light that filled her face,

is something she’ll one day feel. 

 

Until then… 

This is her brain. 

These are her chains. 

These are her truths. 

And this she is…………. me.

that will surely drown her again

Dress of Pain (5-17-18)

silhouette of man standing on grass field during night time
Photo by Simon Migaj on Pexels.com

Smile my dear, they say

As she peels her eyes open to another day.

Not girly, but her dress of pain,

flows around and around, and the anchors,

her train.

Bouncing around, arms in the air,

letting it all go,

rain falling on her face, going with the flow.

Waters full of chemicals, burning her skin, 

and people trying to reach and help her,

but she’s not letting them in.

Her body has turned against her,

sores and wounds lie open, and it bleeds

infected memories, filling her soul with

the blood of her past and until its emptied,

she’ll never truly be free.

Look at the crown of lovely, they place on her soft hair.

Try and cover the ugly.

Paint it up, brush it down, it just doesn’t seem fair.

Stop wishing she would come around, and

leave her where she lays.

She’ll either get up or die,

And it may not be today.

So, go on, move forward spinning,

she dances to that music too;

An anthem of the chaos,

that has always rang true.

Spinning round and round, in this dress of pain….