On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My essay for Grad School

 My application to grad school to get my state certification was denied because my gpa was 1/100 of a point too low.  In order to submit my application for review to the exceptions committee, I had to write an essay and have others write letters of recommendation for me.  (many thank yous to everyone's amazing letters!!!!)  The following is my essay. 

When I adopted my first child, who is now fourteen, I had to make the difficult decision to take a break from education because she suffers from severe mental illness and developmental delay.  At that time, the founder and director of the school I had been teaching at for many years said to me, “You’ll be back.  Once a teacher, always a teacher.”  I smiled sweetly thinking I probably would not return and walked out of the building with a box of the few personal items I had in my classroom.  I remember thinking to myself, am I a teacher? 

Everyone has an educator or two from their time as a student that stands out.  For me, those educators had an indelible impact on my life because they did more than teach a subject, they taught me as a person.  Mrs. Watkins, my AP English teacher, taught me I was a strong writer with excellent thoughts to share.  Mr. Badorf, my Algebra I and II teacher taught me to never surrender to the will of numbers.  Mr. Pillion, my Calculus teacher, taught me that education is fun and exciting and even more so when the educator has fun too.  Mr. Rissinger, my Geometry teacher, taught me I was an astute educator when he let me hold tutoring sessions in the back of the classroom for the students that struggled in his class.  Mrs. Richardson, my second grade teacher, taught me that loving a student is the most profound thing an educator can do.  Mrs. Johansen, my third grade teacher, showed me how to laugh through the trials.  Mrs. Gainer, Physics and AP Physics, taught me that women in science are desirable, strong and vivacious.  As I think upon it now, it is clear that I was learning what it meant to be an educator and that such a career would also be my calling.

When I applied to college, my intentions were to get a degree in pre-medicine and go on to medical school. I had set my sights on being a family practitioner.  It was no small feat for me to be accepted into the program as a seventeen year old freshman at the main campus of Pennsylvania State University.  In 1992, only the top performing students were accepted; the caliber of education provided by the College of Science was equal to the Ivy League schools of the time.  Though I was a chronological year younger than my academic peers because I was accelerated a grade, I was confident I could master the coursework.  What I hadn’t anticipated was the struggles I would have in learning in lecture halls of 800 students from professors that were more interested in their current scientific research than in educating.  Consequently, my core science grades faltered, though I took no personal offense.  An average grade at an Ivy League caliber program was still an amazing achievement!

Late in my college career, I attended a medical ethics course.  The physician that taught the course was very clear in his intent of informing his potential professional colleagues that the future of medicine would change drastically as major insurance companies and politics would eventually control the way medicine would be practiced.  That same semester, I took a Health Education course which plied me with the harsh realities of the then up-and-coming HMO programs.  Coupled with my average grade point average, it became clear that continuing my pursuit of medicine as a career was not in my best interest. 

In my junior year, I began my minor in Community Health Education.  At the same time, I was carrying a course load of 400 level Biology classes.  In a whirlwind of no less than 15 credits a semester, I managed to graduate on schedule with both a major in Biology and a minor in Community Health Education and an internship at University Hospital in Augusta, Georgia.  I intended to pursue a career in health care management as an educator of preventative medicine for the patients and communities at large.  I was excited and anticipated a bright future for myself.  With my minor, my grade point average had risen significantly and I felt prepared for the work force.

As I wrapped up my senior year, anxiously anticipating my graduation, I helped host a final exam block party for my dormitory, my last hurrah as a Resident Assistant.  There I taught the study-weary students how to make tie-dye t-shirts.  One of the other RAs remarked, “Wow.  You are a really good teacher.  I think you missed your calling!”  I remember how her thoughts stopped me dead in my tracks as though it was yesterday.  I stood there, speechless and dumbfounded.  I was about to be awarded my long coveted Bachelor’s of Science and in one lackadaisical comment, she had shifted my entire paradigm. 

I tried hard to land a job in Community Health Education anyway; having moved to the Augusta, Georgia area shortly after my degree was conferred.  I was greeted with only closed doors and no opportunity.  Eight months post graduation, dejected and unemployed, my student loan repayment plan beginning; I had a conversation with the woman that became my long time employer and friend.  She was starting a new private school and needed a science teacher.  I smiled.  Thus began my seventeen years of middle and secondary science and mathematics education.

In the private sector, a certificate is not required provided the instructor has a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in the field in which she is teaching.  Though I took time off as I became a mother and raised my small children and then when my daughter’s care required that I take an emergency family medical leave, I have taught with glee, pride and excitement.  I am a teacher, I was born to teach, it is my calling, it is my passion and it never feels like work.  I get giddy talking about my time in the classroom with my students.  My students will attest, I might get a little bit crazy when I get really involved demonstrating a science experiment or dissecting with students that have never seen the internal structure of an organism before.  The best Christmas presents you can gift this science teacher are supplies to restock my chemistry cabinet! 

In my career, I have worked with many challenged students.  I have taught students on probation, students that were remanded to alternative school, students recovering from drug and alcohol abuse.  Pregnant students, physically handicapped students, students with learning disabilities, developmental delay and mental health challenges have all sat in my room.  I have taught them all in the same manner that I teach an able-bodied, intellectually capable student.  It makes no difference to me.  I differentiate instruction according to each student’s needs even if that means she needs to sit on the floor at the white board with a clip board in her lap instead of at the desk.  I modify tests for dyslexic students that need colored paper and I orally read tests to students that have reading challenges but know the science content.  I go out of my way to make sure that every student in my classroom has the same opportunity to absorb the material I am presenting.  I consider it a personal challenge to be certain that every student passes on his own merit.
There are no losers in my classroom.  There are no negative statements.  If a student is down in the mouth about his performance, I tell him a minimum of six positive things about him.  If a student tells me she hates science, I reply, “you haven’t had my class yet!”  If a parent tells me his child has always struggled, I ask “what is her education history?  When did you first notice her grades faltering?”  If a student is disruptive and needs discipline, I talk to him privately and we set up a plan between the two of us.  If my colleagues can’t handle a student, they know to send her to my classroom with her work and I will be sure it is completed.  My students have always remarked that the favorite part of being in my room is the light bulb.  When a student says something that is particularly astute, clever, asks a good question or solves a difficult problem, they get the light bulb.  Then, I make sure that by the end of a school year, every one of my students has gotten the light bulb at least once. We have fun, we laugh, we tell jokes, we become family all while learning.  It makes for a dynamic classroom that students love to return to, even if they are not fond of the subject matter.

Until recently, it was never a concern that I was not certified and teaching part time at a small private school.  However, life changes and I have now found myself in the difficult situation of single parenting three children, two of which suffer from severe developmental delay and mental health issues.  At this time, it has become necessary that I become certified so I can continue my career in the public schools, increase my income, receive benefits and hopefully advance my career to teaching future educators at the university level.  There are many programs available to educators in situations like mine.  I have chosen GRU for the MAT program because of the flexibility and location.

As you read through my recommendation letters from my colleagues, my former students and parents of my students, you will learn as I have, that some teachers are born to teach.  You will discover that a certificate is just a piece to the puzzle for me.  I am passionate about my content area but compassionate about all of my students.  I am that rare educator that lives and breathes the essence of learning every day, in every way.  At the beginning and end of every school year I affirm to my students that the day I die is the day I will stop learning.  I tell them it is my hope, if I teach them nothing else that they learn to ask why because that is the true key to learning.  I encourage them to be curious and skeptical, to think outside the box, to research and explore, to never stop learning.  Then I let them teach me in return.  I am Ms. J. S. I am 40 years old and have seventeen years of education experience.  I am an educator with or without a certificate from the state of Georgia and the MAT program offered at this university. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Clearly the start to the new school year has kept me busy.  It's been over a month since my last post.

WG broke her arm when she fell off a horse at riding.  We already had to stop cross country because although it was intramural, it wasn't for general students.  The team was for homeschool only.  In addition, managing AB and Sissy during practices was overwhelming me.

I've kept running though.  I put in 15 miles this week.  My goal is 20.  I finally broke the 60 pound plateau and am cruising toward continued weight loss.  Fat?  No more.  Today I stand strong and confident.  I am one amazing woman.

Sissy is escalating quickly, par for the course for a new school year.  I am actively pursuing getting her a placement at this point.  She is extremely difficult to manage at home and at school.  She won't toilet appropriately so she is wetting herself and therefore required to wear pull ups.  Her tantrums are louder, longer and more frequent.  She is stealing, manipulating and lying more frequently.  Hygiene sends her for a tail spin.  It's time.  No more.  Today I stand strong and confident that she will get her mental health needs met, even in this broken state.  I am one amazing woman.

AB has had some med adjustments as a preemptive move to keep him from evaluation.  He has had significant difficulty staying present and in reality.  I am trying very hard to do the same.  There is a very real possibility that schizophrenia will be an eventual diagnosis for him.  I used to be so anxious and worried about these things.  No more.  Today I stand strong and confident.  I am one amazing woman.

I have had many job interviews, I have another one tomorrow, in fact, but no job offers.  I am still tutoring and even picked up a new student.  Of course, I still provide respite for special needs adults.  However, those opportunities provide the petty cash for the unexpected and aren't beneficial in paying down debts or big bills.  Still, I am grateful for those financial opportunities.  Always grateful.  I may not have a job but I am strong and confident. I am one amazing woman.

I expect to get a letter from the local university with my acceptance to grad school for spring 2015.  I spoke with them early last week and was assured letters would be mailed out by the end of the week.  I had to chase the staff at the university. Two hours, four buildings and ten people later, someone finally found my application, a month after I mailed it.  Three weeks after that, I still haven't gotten my final acceptance letter.  I am weary of chasing tails.  If people could just do their jobs...  No more.  Today I get what I want because I am strong and confident.  I am one amazing woman.

I passed my content exam with flying colors - professional standard level to be exact.  I was really nervous about it, doubting my ability. No more.  Today I stand strong and confident.  I am one amazing woman.

The house hasn't sold.  I lowered the price significantly to offset the cost of repairs required to maintain the exterior of the home.  It generated more interest, we even had two interested buyers return for second showings but no offers.

I filed a contempt of court order against my ex.  He was served yesterday. I'm done with his shenanigans.  He has been out of this house since January 2012, the divorce finalized Mar 2013, it's time he is done and out of my hair and complying.  I can't take it any more.  I've been more than patient.  No more.  Today I stand strong and confident.  I am one amazing woman.

The last nine and a half months have been the hardest of my life.  I have not enjoyed it but it has made me strong and confident.  It has helped me see what an amazing woman I am.  It has given me the power to believe in the impossible.  To dare to dream.  To hope.  To see what is true and real about myself and others.  There is still SO MUCH that is not done, accomplished, finished.  There is SO MUCH I want and need from this life that hasn't happened and shows no signs of happening anytime soon.  There is SO MUCH.

I choose to believe.  I am strong.  I am confident.  I am one amazing woman.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Sky Full of Stars

Well, the summer is over.  The kids go back to school on Wednesday.  Sissy was awake before 6 a.m.  Getting ready to get back into the school routine?  Um...no.  More like getting ready to drive us all insane with her jacked up back-to-school jitters.  Wow.  Does this game of hers ever end?  She will disobey EVERY instruction.  Steal, sneak, lie, it never ends.  Every day is a new day, right?  Yep.  New opportunities to test the limits at every turn.  EVERY TURN.  Every day if I'm not on my A-game with her she gains the upper hand and usually that means I'm flying into a Rajani Patel induced stream of expletives.  [1]

Am I glad they are headed back to school?  Yes.  No.  It's been an interesting summer.  It has been one of the hardest, transformational summers of my life, second only to the final summer my father was alive; watching his body slowly deteriorate from the leukemia until he was gone on the first day of fall.  Yes. THAT kind of summer.  Only what is slowly deteriorating is the dross and lingering vestiges of a lifetime of abuse and heartache.  I have watched the pain and despair slowly float away like the ashes from a bonfire - float, floating, gently disappearing into the cool night sky, one ashy flake at a time until they are all snuffed out and carried away on the wind.

It has hurt.  It has been amazing.  I even dare say, the BEST damn summer of my life, though I have gone no where, no vacation save but a wonderful, blissful four days spent on the lake with family and friends - laughing, crying, hugging, longing, learning, teaching, being.  Like the Grinch, I think my heart grew four sizes in those four days.

I have actually worked all summer, tutoring three young men all with a difficult life story leading them to a place of wanting to just be done with education and ready to move on to adulthood.  It is the greatest privilege to be an educator, to have the opportunity to influence young lives and to learn from them in like kind.  Oh, I have learned!  One student, in particular, has absolutely captured my heart.  What a smart young man!  Possibly one of the fastest learners I've ever had.  He can snatch up a math concept in a heart beat all while he sings "math, math, I hate math"  Love him.  SO much.  Maybe too much because I find myself wanting to rescue him from the minor blunders and pitfalls young men find themselves in as they learn how to become adults, stretch their wings and fly.  This one can go places, achieve amazing heights, but he lacks the confidence in himself.  I hope I have begun to teach him that as well - that he CAN.  Oh my, can he!!!

See?  My heart stolen dead away by students, once again.  When they become more than students to me, it is a magical dynamic.  This is why I know I'm an educator, why I can't give it up.  This is why the summer has been so hard in equal measure for how beautiful it has been.  I wanted to teach, I wanted to be away from this present reality, I wanted more for Sissy and AB than what appears to be available for them here both in their present need and in their future need as adults themselves.  I wanted friends and family and hope.  I wanted to start over, clean slate, new house, new life, freedom.  At the beginning of the summer I was convinced I had to move on to find what I needed.  Now I'm not so sure.

On the 15th I take the content exam.  I know I will pass.  With a passing score, I can apply to openings for Biology teacher positions and a school can request a provisional certificate while I work on my Master's in Education.  Yes, I will go the distance and get my Doctorate too.  My application is at the local university, I wait only for them to send my acceptance. I know I will get into the program.  I have sent more than 22 applications for employment and I wait for a job, preferably as a paraprofessional while I work on my degree so I don't have to juggle both the tasks of lesson plans and prep while I study.  I wait but it is just a matter of time and door knocking before I find a job.  I hope it is soon though, money is running out.

At the end of the month, my sister will be here.  We are joining forces.  No more will the loneliness overtake me, there will be another adult body in my life, helping when and how she can and if nothing more, just being present.  The loneliness of single parenting is stifling.  AB and Sissy aren't typical teenagers that talk and share their ideas, create their own social lives with friends coming and going, giggling and video game playing.  I don't dwell on the reality that my teenagers are atypical teens but it is hard to ignore the obvious disparity when I have teen students in my home being typical and my children suddenly appear very...different.  When everyone goes home at the end of a day, I find myself sitting in my Adirondak chairs breathing and pushing away the sorrow that AB and Sissy will always be different and that their differences can be isolating for ALL of us. 

I've discovered that there are indeed, some very wonderful, blessed friends that have willingly jumped into this life with me.  Breath of fresh air to the point of tears.  So thankful.  My heart is bursting.  Sure, every morning and every night I am alone with the kids but during the daytime, I have friends that go the distance with me, if even through text and FB, knowing that those lifelines carry me through.  It is an old habit carried over from the residue of abuse, for me to assume that my neediness is annoying. These friends know I'm not needy, I just carry an enormous burden that overwhelms me and instead of berating me, they encourage me.  You can't possibly know how amazing that truth is unless you have walked the miles I have walked.  Now, I look up and see a sky full of stars smiling at me instead of miles of darkness weighing down on my heart and soul.  For these friends, my children are joys, even in the difficult moments.  And that brings me tears of happiness too, that despite the struggle, a handful people of can see the prevailing goodness in Sissy and AB that I see.

The house isn't sold.  I don't think it will sell until I can do some significant repairs to the exterior.  I can't do significant repairs until I have more solvency so that is the current goal, make money, fix the house, try again.  I want to be out of here for the simple fact that it currently financially connects me to my ex.  I need this divorce to be done, it has been two and a half years of misery AFTER the fact!  With strong encouragement, I finally got the strength to dismiss my ex from my house with the exception of the overnight weekends the divorce decree orders him in my home every other month.  That is another goal, to save money for a lawyer so I can go back to court and change that as well.  If in two and a half years,  a grown man can't get on his feet and establish himself in such a way that his children can come visit him in HIS home or to pay his child support in a timely fashion, then he isn't going to.  He never will.  I'm done.  Running away to a state 750 miles from here isn't going to change him and it isn't going to give me the strength to grow some cahones and deal with his shit head on.  So I stand firm.  I take back my power.  Just as I want my student to see that he can, I am learning that I can.  I CAN!  I am.

All that remains then, is what becomes of Sissy and AB as they rapidly approach that golden number, 18.  Once they are 18, the game changes for disabled persons and no matter how I shuffle the cards, all of the other factors, needs and wants seem to be met in my current place EXCEPT what becomes of those two as they transition to adulthood.  I love them, I do, but I can't parent them for the rest of my life.  I want them to have autonomy in whatever degree is possible for them and frankly, I want freedom from this burden.  No mother is meant to parent functional 5 and 8 year old children endlessly.  That isn't my calling.  So, with 3.5 and 4.5 years respectively for these two, I have a little time to sort it out.  Thus, I breathe.

The pivotal moment for me this summer was two days after our lake weekend when my student sat at my table, having heard that we had to conclude tutoring a little early because a realtor was showing the house directly afterward and we all had to clear out.  Still on the heart warming wave of joy from the time away, he asked me who would help him if my house sold and I moved away.  That's when I realized he stole my heart, ran off with it like a wild banshee shouting ollie-ollie-oxen-free! and that I couldn't possibly leave now.  I'm all in.  Reduced me to tears, that one did.  Or maybe I'm just a weepy, blubbering mess?  Longest I've made it since last November without tears is seven days.

Nah.  I'm all in.  Damnit.

WG has started cross country so I signed up to be a volunteer parent. Tonight is timed trials and her first meet is on the 23rd.  So, I am running now too which makes me laugh.  Guess what?  I LIKE it.  *shaking head at self*  Between swimming and running, in one week I logged 11 miles.  And I'm now at 57 pounds lost and counting.  New me?  Oh yeah.  What a life.

Time to write that book some of you have been begging me to write.

There is one more "want" on my list.  I wait patiently for that one too.  The winds of change are blowing gently, bringing warmth, life and hope.  Soon.  It will come.

[1] rajani patel is an alter ego I created several years ago so I don't go batshit crazy when I'm mad.  Rajani comes out and I keep my cool...mostly. :D

Monday, July 28, 2014

Honk out a Victory Call

I keep trying to write a blog post then I delete it when I get half way through.  I'm not sure what is happening in my life right now.  I'm so very confused.  What I thought was the right plan has been turned upside down and dumped out.

Other things have replaced my days and my thoughts.  Now I'm wondering if I made the right choices to pursue those paths?  Those doors just opened and I walked through.  I thought that was the plan, the direction I was supposed to pursue.  Maybe not?  I'm questioning myself again.

Questioning because there are still so few answers.  Still no clear direction.  I am flying blind when perhaps my feet should be on the ground?  Did I take to the clouds in error?  I don't think so.  If I listen to my heart, my intuition: if I dwell on the things that I've learned this summer, I can trust.  But if I look up and beyond, I get dizzy and overwhelmed.

I don't know what will happen tomorrow.  I don't know what job will hire me.  I don't know if my house will sell.  I don't know if I will find resources for AB and Sissy.  I don't know what their adult future will be like.  I don't know and it is making me crazy.

I am registered to take the content exam in Biology so I can demonstrate that I have the knowledge to teach the subject of my Bachelor's degree.  I am hand delivering my application to grad school tomorrow for the MAT program (master's of arts in teaching for non majors) and I am contemplating a doctorate in education after that.  I have mailed 10 applications locally and had one interview but was already rejected. 

What am I hoping for?  I'm hoping for a big break through. I'm hoping that this well I'm digging will eventually hit a natural spring that will fill it endlessly.  I'm hoping for my happy day to find me finally.  I'm hoping that the many years of pain and anguish and struggle and suffering will finally be over.  I'm hoping to wake up and this journey will be over and I will be happily living in my new reality.  I'm hoping for peace and love, for companionship and joy.  I'm hoping that my fingertips don't break as I cling to this wobbly branch dangling over a cliff. 

I keep marching, I keep smiling, I keep going.  I just keep on.  What else do I do?

Is anybody on this journey with me?  Is this where you are too?  I can't be the only person that is walking through this hellatious year we are calling 2014 wondering what the f*** is happening.  If you are flying in the clouds with me, then let's fly in formation and make the journey easier.  I'll be the first to take point.  And when I see a safe harbor to nest, swim and eat, I'll honk out a victory call.  OK?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Life Lessons

When I started this blog in November 2009, the puzzles I was trying to find peace with were my children, specifically Sissy and AB with their various mental health and developmental delay issues. At that time, I didn't know that the best way to solve any life puzzle is to start with oneself.  Ha ha, joke's on me then because guess which puzzle I've actually been sorting out?  ME! The question remains, have I found peace?

Hmmm...  well?  yes and no.

I'll start with the YES's.

I have peace about my decision to end my abusive marriage.  In fact, from what I have learned since Dec 2011, it was a marriage in legal form only.  There was nothing marital, communal, intimate, caring, giving, kind, loving, sharing, for better or for worse about it.  By definition, it was most definitely NOT a marriage.

I have peace about my children's disabilities.  When it makes me squirrely, I recite the mantra from AlAnon - I didn't cause it, I can't cure it and I can't control it.  I can't change it either!  Sissy will always be functionally 5, emotionally 2 with a mental capacity just below average which makes her a true puzzle.  Some days she says the most intelligent thoughts which are invariably chased by the most absurd and laughable comments.  I've' learned to look away so she doesn't see my smile or laugh and when I get a chance, I share her nuggets of gold so others can enjoy them too.  I don't do it vindictively, it's more of a coping mechanism, a holy-crap-this-is-the-insanity-i-hear-all-day!

AB paces and paces and eats and paces and whines and paces and gets irritated and paces and swings and paces and eats and swings and paces and did I mention that he paces?  Two weeks ago, after a long, harrowing night with Sissy, AB woke me up at 6:30 to tell me he was awake.  OK then.  Good to know.  Then he went to the backyard and began swinging.  By 7:00 he was back at my bedside to tell me the swing was broken.  Good mom that I am, the first comment...ok.  back up.  NOT SO GOOD MOM that I am, the first comment was "AB!  PLEASE I'M TRYING TO SLEEP!!!"  Then the good mom moment, "did you get hurt?"  AB who is functionally 8 and intellectually two IQ points above Sissy, god save the queen.  How.  HOW!  I ask you, how in blue blazes do I survive a single day?  God only knows.

I have peace about the very real truth that I DO NOT want to be a grandmother, not by this lot, at least.  Now, should a nice gentleman become a part of my life and have children that have children, cool.  I'll be a step grammy.  No problem.  But AB's genetic disorder is sex-linked so the girls are carriers and let's not mention the fact that all of those other developmental delays and mental health issues are often inherited as well. *sigh*  So.  I have peace about that.

I have peace that the opportunity to bare biological children was stolen from me.  Truth be told, should a nice gentleman come into my life now, even though I'll just be turning 40 in October, there is no way in hell I would want to go back to diaper days.  oh my, no.  It is what it is, this is the path my life took for better or for worse.  So, I choose peace.

I have peace that my house hasn't sold and every application I sent was rejected.  I have peace that for what it is worth, I am still here, in Georgia.  Is it what I want?  No, not really.  So I have chosen to find peace in the truth that as I asked for open doors and I have gotten none, I am here.

I have peace in my self.  I am healed, I am whole, I am light, I am love.  I am as I am, right here, right now, in this moment.  It has taken me SO MUCH WORK to get to this point.  The depression, the anxiety, the fight to want life, the struggle to find my inner strength and beauty, the daily work to make my physical body healthy, the hours and hours of tears and weeping to get to emotional health, the determination to find friends here that fill me up and restore my social health, the struggle to juggle my responsibilities and keep my mental health, I have done it.  I am doing it.  It is ongoing.  It easily falls through my fingers as soon as I let more than a day pass by me without self care.  But now I can say that I like the woman I see in the mirror.  She smiles back at me and her eyes sparkle.

Thus we come to the other side of the coin, in what ways does peace evade me?

At this time, I am so uncertain of the next turn to take in my journey.  I have a goal in mind but is that the RIGHT goal?  I don't know.  I am weary of not having hope and dreams and a future.  I'm weary of the uncertainty.  I'm weary of the loneliness.  I really am not good on my own - its' not a codependent thing like it once was, it is simply that I am a people person.  I take so much joy from giving to others just for the sake of giving.  And now that I know what a true, dynamic, healthy partnership should look like, I am excited to incorporate that in my life and for my children's lives. The unknown is so hard.

It feels as though my life has hung in a balance since Feb 2009, when it became painfully clear that my marriage was not going to be salvageable, though I tried.  Oh, how I tried!  Then a trip to Seattle to see my oldest sister put me on a course to find the things that resonated and filled me up.  By November Sissy was hospitalized and my family was launched into the crisis that we are now emerging from.  I am ready for this transformation to be complete.  I am ready for what wants to come, to come, finally.  I am longing for that happiness and fullness of hope that I see others easily abiding in.

My dreams tell the truth, I am forever travelling while I attempt to sleep.  By planes that either break down, can't take off, get delayed or flights get cancelled.  By trains that leave the station without me or that make a big circle and take me back to where I started.  By cars in which I get put on detours through construction zones and I get lost.  By boat in which the motors don't work or I run out of gas or I have to get out because it's sinking or paddles get broken or waterfalls ahead prevent me from continuing.

 funny... i'm just now realizing as I type this that I never try walking away in my dreams.

All of that to say, I don't really have peace about this present moment in my life for the simple fact that I don't know where I'm going, how I'm going to get there or where I will be when I arrive.  I know only that I'm on that road indefinitely and it is pissing me off!

OK, verbal vomit over.  As you were.

besides, i've been sitting outside typing this and despite the bug spray, they are still eating me and now I have to pee.  You're welcome.  ;)

Friday, July 11, 2014

For Steve

Who is Steve?

To be honest, I don't know.  All I know is Steve is a fellow trauma mom/quilter friend's friend of a neighbor.  So technically he is some random man I have never met.  According to my friend's FB post yesterday, Steve has been working hard and has lost more than 80 pounds in the past year.  Of course, that resonated with me because I'm at 50+ and counting.

Apparently, an anonymous person left a nasty letter in Steve's mailbox.

Well now, that just won't do.  It made me mad.  Since last August I have been working my ass off, literally, to get fit and healthy.  I started by walking in the local park.  At first I could only do 1.2 miles and my shorts rubbed my thighs and I sweated like a hog and it wasn't pretty.

Here's me from last October when I had already lost 15 pounds.

I have dropped a total of four clothing sizes in the past year.  I am astounded at my weight loss and how great I feel. Here is the difference from just one month of an ab challenge and swimming 1/4 -1/2 mile daily in the pool.  I lost three inches on my waist and another three on my hips.  Astounding.


Today I put on a size 16 skirt for the first time in 15 years.  I am SO happy.  So in honor of Steve and his hard work, and in honor of all the other lard asses like me that have decided to do the hard work it takes to get in shape, I decided to do a tribute for him.  In sharpie.  All over my arms and back and chest.  For Steve.  For Me.  For all Lard Asses.

So here I am in my buxom, buff, flabby-assed swimwear (that is a 16/18), showing my tail to the world.  And the nay-sayers can kiss my ass.

Go ahead.  Link it.  Share it. Post it.  Tweet it.  Spread the word.  Steve and I are shrinking but we aren't shrinking violets and I don't give a damn who thinks my lard ass should be hidden away while I do it.  

Sunday, June 29, 2014

In This Moment

I drove down the road in the early morning traffic, headed to get the new windshield for the van.  I turned up Florence and laughed.  It started as a slow warming glow in my heart and then spread outward until I was smiling and then giggling and then laughing outright.  I finally fit in the skin I'm in.  I know who I am, what I want, what I can achieve, how strong I am, what I'm made of and how I indelibly impact people's lives with the simplest touch.  I will let nothing stand in my way.  If it is meant to be, it WILL be.  I laughed until Florence was done singing "The Drumming Song" then smiled all the way to the auto glass repair shop.  A warm glow emanating outwardly the way a slow-burning lavender incense will permeate a room. I held onto that peace for nearly the entire day.

Since November, when Sissy was hospitalized for attempting suicide, I haven't gone past six days without tears.  This has been the most trying time of my life, far and away.  I still have no clue where the twists and turns of tomorrow will take me but I'm slowly emerging from this transformational experience as a strong, vibrant, amazing woman that I enjoy greeting in the morning mirror while I brush my teeth.  I finally see myself as the person I was born to be.  I have harnessed the power of my inner tigress Chinese zodiac and tied it to the balance of my Libra sign.  This has been no small feat.  I have often felt at odds with myself.  Now I see the potential of both to catapult me toward what the circumstances and abuses of my life have abated.

For the past several months I have prayed, "let what wants to come, come.  Let what wants to go, go.  If it is mine it will stay, if not, something better will replace it."  Last week I added to my daily prayer, "I call upon your Divine Will to guide me.  Give me a clear sign of the direction I am to go in and if I set my foot to the wrong path, stop me."  These prayers bring so much peace and power.  Am I seeing things coming and going?  Yes and no.  Am I getting clear signs?  Yes and no.  When it's a "no" I breathe.  Long, slow, deep cleansing breaths.  When it is a Yes or some semblance of a yes, I breathe.  Long, slow, deep cleansing breaths.  This is how I am, in this moment, here, now, today.  I am light, I am love, I am healed, I am whole.  I am as I should be.

What should I be, you ask? 

As I am, right here, right now, in this moment.

Yes.  It's incredibly vague.  Yes, it's obnoxiously inefficient as an answer. It is what it is.  If I think past this, I shut down.  So I breathe.  Long, slow, deep cleansing breaths.  Then I accept it.  I am here, right now, in this moment.  What will be, will be.

There is another intense lesson I have learned in my life odyssey, including the years of my abusive marriage and even long before that.  As much as the pain and heartache of life has been unbearable at times and has laid me bare, I can stand firm on the truth that without these passages of time and suffering, I would not be who I am, I would not love as I do.  I would not have the peace and patience I have today.  I would not understand the grace that has been given to me that I can freely give to others.  I would not know how to forgive myself let alone others.  I would not have embraced the need for transformation or the ability to accept that many others do not choose to take this high road toward self-actualization.  This path has made parenting challenging children, easier to emotionally process.  The intensity of the burden is not less, the feelings of it being unfair and overwhelming are not less.  But the acceptance that because of this journey and my willingness to change as I was meant to change, has allowed me to see the good despite the bad.  I have much to give as a result.

The night alarm is back on.  Sissy is back to her old tricks.  AB has had to learn some adolescent lessons himself today.  WG is on restriction until Tuesday for behavior issues.  I had a relaxing weekend despite being away from home and though I cried today, I made it three days without a drop.  I'll get there.  Or not.  Maybe this weeping thing is also part of my transformed self.  So I am as I am, right here, right now, in this moment.  Not knowing if I am moving anytime soon.  Unsure if I will have a job and where exactly this journey will take me.  I know not if I will continue to be alone or if I will cross paths with a future partner in this process.  I know only that if something wants to come, it will.  If it is meant to go, it will.  I release the desire to control it and I breathe while I wait.

Written last Sunday and posted on my FB wall:

Trying trying every day
Try to push the blues away.
Try to make the smile show
To make my lovely face aglow.
Try to be in this moment now
trying trying, I know how!
Feel the warmth upon my face
Know the love of good and grace.
Soon will be the change I seek
so please stop those eyes that leak.
Give yourself a warm embrace
seek today, it's not a race.
You will find the good will come
hear it thrumming, hear it hum.
One more day now, yes you can
tomorrow? Today! that's the plan.

(original poetry copyrights apply. thanks ~Jennie)

This is the tattoo my youngest sister drew for me embracing my tiger Libra zodiacs.  I will one day get it done, when I have the money to spend on frivolities.  Until then, I have gratefully begun using some of the GoFundMe dollars toward the much needed and long overdue expenses I have not been able to attend to.  Thank you SO much.  Please continue to link, share, pin, tweet, etc.  There are still several unmet needs that desperately need attention.  I concentrated on the vehicle repairs and my medical health first.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fly Away With You

I've cried myself to sleep the past two nights so I thought tonight I would try something different.  I watched a movie with the kids while I gave myself a mani/pedi.  I put on my nightie and went to the bed and...right.  Three loads of unfolded laundry on top of a stripped bed, chores I intended to get to earlier today but which were, as with any other day, forgotten in the melee and craziness of a day with challenged kids and leaving my home every Monday and Wednesday evening while the children visit with their father.  So, seeing the bed piled high with untended responsibilities I did what any sensible 39 year old single mom does.  I popped the top of a hard cider, turned on the latest ColdP1ay CD, a gift from a long time reader and FB friend and decided I needed to blog.

I mean, I COULD be lying on top of the bare bed and the clean laundry to cry myself to sleep again but there is the conundrum of having to rewash three loads because of the snot and tear riddled mess I would make.  And let's be honest, who wants to do THAT?  *holds up cider* Cheers.

Mondays and Wednesdays I usually spend with my friend, Cinch (here in the blogosphere) and her hubby , eating and dashing home.  Tonight she was teaching and C~, her German exchange student, returned home last Tuesday so I cooked for family friends who have endured their own ridiculous heart ache the past few months.  I liked the change of atmosphere.  I like cooking for other people and filling tummies with yumminess.  It's a simple thing but it has always felt like love to me.  Eating together, talking, laughing, drinking, smacking lips, washing dishes.  So much happens in the kitchen of a home, it is where families are made or broken. The kitchen of a home tells the most about what really happens behind closed doors.  As much as my life has bent and twisted and landed me on my ass time and time again, whatever home I have occupied as an adult has been where my heart and soul is.  I like my kitchen, my table, my home.  I haven't always been able to say that. 

As I drove home this evening, I reflected on how much this life has changed me.  Some for good, some for bad.  Do I like who I am now?  Yes.  I love myself very much.  I love how strong I have become, I love my power and my smile, my laugh and my tears.  I love my confidence and my wisdom, my wit and my humor.  I am one cool broad.  Do others think that?  Some would say yes, indubitably.  Others, who knew me before this painful life odyssey morphed me into a sometimes caustic, often foul-mouthed, always sarcastic, occasionally bitter, seemingly aloof, red wine savoring, dance-in-the-moonlight, incense-burning, trampoline jumping, horse-loving, fire-poi spinning, hippie zen goddess of love and light would shake their heads in bewilderment.  What on earth happened to Jennie? 

Old Jennie wasn't the real one, as it turns out.  This me?  The me sitting here, fighting tears, wearing a neglige for no one but myself because I like to look pretty, blogging the truth of my life in its rare, untethered ugliness is the real me.  I slowed to a stop at a traffic light, my new brakes stopping the van gently after so many months of grinding halts, I harrumphed and nodded my head.  Av1cii sang to me.  I rolled down the windows, cut the AC and turned it up.  The light changed and I made a left turn, my left hand hanging out the window, waving gently to the rhythm of the song, I sang along.  Then hit repeat when the song ended because, like all songs, if you let them be, it was an oracle, singing the thoughts of my head and heart. 

Where does the body hurt?  What does it tell me needs to heal?  Yesterday it felt like I was wearing a metal brace around my entire abdomen, chest and back; a metal casing preventing deep breaths and fullness, relaxation and acceptance.  Several weeks ago Sissy made a claim to the bus aide on the way to school that I was abusive.  As a result, on Monday, the county social services sent out a case worker to do an investigation.  Now, in my head, I know that I won't be charged with anything but oh, what a bitter pill to swallow.  After all the abuse and heartache, pain, the hearing loss I now have, the anxiety that has me taking a daily pill for the rest of my life, the incompetence of Sissy's current agent working her case, the lack of resources for my family, my inability to be in public for long periods of time, the toll on my body and mind 24/7 and I am the one being investigated for abuse.  It hurts.  All over my body.  You could have cut off my limbs and I wouldn't have known it.  The burden weighing on my shoulders, metaphorically crushing my spine so that my body metaphysically created a brace support system that felt like it was suffocating me, that pain doesn't just go away.

My friends, so lovingly helping with the gofundme campaign.  I am speechlessly overwhelmed but I can't bring myself to emote.  I'm not ungrateful, it's just that the money raised is already spent and there will always be more need.  Yesterday, AB's psychiatrist said, "They will both always be in your care, you know this, right?"  I nodded my head.  "Sissy.  She is your biggest burden.  I'm really worried about you dealing with her. How is it going selling the house and finding a job?"  I held back tears and bit my lip.  Because it's not going.  I'm not going.  My life isn't changing, moving, morphing with me.  It's not.

A gofundme campaign is so amazing.  I should be bouncing off the walls in joy and laughter but not five hours after the campaign went live, I was getting the call from social services about the investigation.  So that's why.  That's why I can't trust, I can't be happy, I can't dance or sing or be amazed.  There will always be sorrow and pain chasing away the love and light.  There will always be me, by myself, struggling to make it all work, putting on a cheerful face, laughing through the pain, staying positive despite it all, serving others because it's what makes ME happy, cooking, cleaning, riding horses, burning incense, blogging, texting friends when i fall apart, wiping my tears on my pillow every night while I wear lovely nighties - wishing, hoping, but no.  Not dreaming anymore.  What's the point? 

Sissy and AB will always need care.  No one will join this burden with me.  Hell, I don't want it.  I will be alone with them.  Stuck.  Wishing I could fly away but being too stubborn to shake it off.  Watching others move on to their happiness and doing everything in my power to be really happy for them because i don't want others to hurt or carry burdens too.  But what about me?  Flocks of birds fly away with the wind as they choose.  They pair up, some for life, no struggles, no worries. Eat a worm or drink some nectar.  Snuggle in a nest of straw and hair, sing lovely songs.  I get to watch.  That is all.  That is all it will ever be. 

So...I will finish my hard cider, fold three loads of laundry, put clean sheets on my bed, get into it alone, cry until the tears run out and do it all again tomorrow.  By myself.  With all the temerity and strength, love and light I put into it today.  All day.  Every day.  And once in a while, I will imagine what it would be like to fly away with you.

I know I posted it already, but will you please consider helping, donating, passing it on, sharing the link, pin it, tweet it, whatever suits your fancy.  Thanks.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


My friends from my support group, BeTA, have put this together for me.  Feeling so blessed and loved.  Will you consider helping?  If not, will you consider passing the link on?

How are things in general?  Well, life is crazy hectic but the more I talk to people, the more they all say the same.  It seems the cosmos are slicing up a bit of mayhem for everyone.  Anger still lurks in my waking life.  I'm not sure if I like this emotion better than all the crying and grief?  Although that one still likes to come around from time to time.  Right now, in this exact moment, I'm overwhelmed by the support from my BeTA friends.  I've been crying out for help for months, well, mostly since November when Sissy was placed on suicide watch on the crisis stabilization unit.  That's about when the alarms started ringing that I was in over my head, barely swimming, desperately needing something, someone, anything, anyone, HELP.

I'll write more in a day or two, for now, please help if you can or pass the link along, post it on your facebook page or twitter or pin it or... anything!  This girl is sinking fast and unless you want me to send Sissy, AB and WG to your house with notes pinned to their shirts that they need a good home while their mom recovers from her OWN trauma, throw me a lifeline in any form or fashion you can muster.  

All kidding aside, it is dire.  I'm sinking.  I need HELP.  Have needed help for a long, long time.  I'm tired of asking and getting chirping birds.  I'm tired of crying by myself and wiping my own tears and hugging myself.  I'm tired of going to bed at night alone with this burden on my head and waking to it alone with the burden no lighter than the day before.  Pockets full of stones.  Until my house sells, I get hired and can relocate the children and I to a place where life will change for the better, I need HELP. 

Thanks! and Namaste!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Muse Forevermore

Gonna try.

Don't really want to, but going to try anyway. I WANT to create.  It's in my frontal lobe, this - you should create, get that moving again, it will help - but it's not happening.  So I sit in a coffee house while the children visit with their father in my home.  I bring my pens and paper and the HP mini and I ...see a former student that makes my drink for me on the house.  Chai Tea Latte.  yum.  Then I pay it forward when a soldier walks in and I give him the remainder of my gift card, something a student gave me at the end of the school year.  And I sit.  Listening to LORD.E and brain thinks and thinks and stays in Beta and all frontal lobe and I imagine what my brain scan would look like right now.  All lit up in the prefrontal cortex, red, left hemisphere.

I close my eyes.  Breathe.  Mentally push the brain activity back to the parietal and temporal lobes so I can take it in, maybe reach that creative energy and I type.  I sit and type, free association, I have no idea where this post is going I know only that I'm going insane, like a snake  blinded by his shedding skin.  Yes. That image.  Exactly.

Breathe.  Sip Chai.  Listen to the music.  Hope that the cutie pie soldier sitting next to me, typing on his macbook and enjoying the drink my gift card purchased for him will tell me something more than his name.

Skip that.

Smile at my former student that walks in talking on her cell, she must be on break.  Look at the woman sitting in the corner studying something huge, maybe a nursing exam text?  Or she could be a med student.  Older gentleman across from her on his tablet, portly man, sipping an enormous chocolate confection.  Man in the back also studying some large text.  Woman on the other side of soldier typing on her macbook (am I the only one that comes to this particular coffee establishment with something other than an apple device?).

Music changes to some weird techno thing.  I like it.


Muse muse, where's my muse?

In walks a mismatched couple.  sometimes you have to wonder how people meet up?  *i just want to write a song about a boy and a girl..*  This song,  Michael Franti, Say Hey.  *nodding head*  good muse.  But... wrong one.  that's not the mood I'm in.

Maybe it should be?

Soldier wants to know if I have head phones he can borrow.  Um...no.  Mismatched couple is fixing their drinks and leaving.  Really, they are weird.  She looks like a witchy diva goddess and he looks like a conservative nerd.  Another couple walks in.  See now, they are a better match.  He is all jock and she is pto mom.  yep.  That makes sense.

music changed again.  Breathe.

Still in prefrontal cortex.  I think I might need to draw.  Sissy is driving me nuts.  Is there anything new?  AB is... eh.  He's AB.  What else can I say about him?  WG is stressed already.  Duh.  So am I. She reflects my mood.

Breathe.  Inhale.  Exhale.  I have 50 minutes before I have to go home.  Will the ex have gotten them all wound up?  He showed up with "dessert"  (his words) and handed them each a packet of airheads.  Not one airhead, one of the blister packs that has 10 airheads, flavor assortments.  Yeah.

Former student now restocking while still on iphone.

Ah, I think I've got it.

Music is the sounds of day,
The faces and the colors, the elements.
Around me circles the energy of pain and joy,
The music of all creation.
Carbon, the covalent bonds with Hydrogen,
Taking forms of many sounds and living things.
It ends and moves to other shapes.
A wooden table, a paper cup,
A plastic lid, a fiber glass hood of a Mercedes.
The lenses of the Oakley sunglasses
The waterproof phone protector, the hemp rope basket
Displaying coffee beans.
All music.
All life.
All soul.
These are the colors of life
The sounds of day
The cadence and rhythm of what was
What is,
What will be.
And I am here, in it, carbon, hydrogen, taking form
Making music
Breathing soul.  I am whole.
I am light, I am love, I am.
I was.
I will be.
Forever more.

original work of blog author, copyright laws apply

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Set Me on FIRE!

I enjoy spinning fire poi, a new past time I have picked up.  It is cathartic.  It makes an incredible sound when they are lit and spinning.  WHOOOOSH   WHOOOSH
It is mesmerizing, actually.

Of course, fire is mesmerizing so being able to wield it as an art form is spectacularly freeing. Then moving in tandem to a song that speaks my soul for me so I don't have to come up with the words on my own?  --> -->

Even better.

I'd like to tell you that my soul is as free as WG and the seagulls are in these photos.  I'd like to tell you that I was able to hang onto that happiness from last week.  I'd like to tell you that it hasn't turned into liquid rage flowing through my veins.  I'd like to tell you that I don't want any bridges to burn.  I'd like to...but I can't.
(photos taken in March during our annual It's Finally Spring! beach trip)

I'll tell you that this past weekend I had fun.  Friday night I took C~ and another exchange student from Brazil to their first drive-in movie experience.  Saturday I slept ALL DAY (seriously.  all day.  until 5:30?!?) then I picked up C~ and we had ice cream and walked with Carbon around the park.  Sunday we went to the lakehouse (kids' biofamily has an annual memorial day event) and it didn't take a whole lot of bidding to get me to jump off the top deck fully clothed.  SO MUCH FUN.  Then whipping about the lake dragging people behind body boarding and of course, the ubiquitous laughter when they wiped out.

Then home to my kids and my friend S~ telling me her horse died unexpectedly then reality.  School is out, the kids are home all summer, I have no job, my house hasn't sold and a few days of reprieve from the fun simply isn't enough to fill my cup to overflowing again.

It's too much.  It has been too much for me and I've been saying so for a long time.  Someone recently told me that I am one of God's special creations.  Oh...I really don't want to hear that.  I really just want to be plain old me and to have fun and be carefree and to have my troubles and my worries be dialed back to "normal life crud" status.  I'd like Sissy to have appropriate resources and help.  I'd like to not be alone at the end of a every day, knowing I will wake up in the morning and it will all be the same as the day before and always be me, only me, nothing but me, all.the.time. With a few rare breaks every now and then.

My sister texted me a meme: Worrying is like praying for exactly what you don't want
I made it my cellphone wallpaper.

I read an anecdote from"Outrageous Openness" by Tosha Silver.  She addresses the idea of speaking what will be.  Therefore I should be positive and try to transform my energy to be directed only on the things I want to be so those will manifest.  She suggested making a "God Box" and putting any worries I have on a paper and into the box so that whenever I worry I should declare, "it's in the box, it is already taken care of"

I listened to Ju'Light who told her listeners that what we speak will be.
Ok then.  Fine.

My House is Sold.
I am Hired for a New Teaching Job.
My New Life has Already Begun.
I am Not Alone.
I have Hope.
I have a Life Partner.
Sissy and AB have Sufficient Resources.
I Am Happy.

Except all of this sounds like rubbish and nonsense and more feel good rhetoric. Pick a religion, a paradigm, a creed, an ideology, a philosophy, all of it is feel good nonsense that we are told to recite to lift our mood and encourage us.  True, there is some scientific evidence that this alters brain chemistry by increasing seratonin levels and it shifts where the thoughts are occurring in the brain.  Does it actually make the changes happen?  NO.  There is no magic trick for that.  What wants to come will come, what wants to go will go.  Period.  And I have modified my wants and needs many, many times the past few months. 

I'm not supposed to say the negative things, apparently, so I won't tell you that I have no creative drive, that I haven't quilted in eons because I can't find the desire. I'm not supposed to say that I'm angry so i won't tell you that I would like to kick, hit, scream, punch, yell and break things.  I'm not supposed to say that I am stuck, withering, fading and disintegrating before my very eyes so I won't tell you that dried worms on hot concrete after a hard rain have more vitality than I do.  I'm not supposed to say that I am empty so I won't tell you that all the beautiful, lazy, crazy fun I had this weekend was barely a drop in my empty bucket and no where near enough to sustain me or get me over the hump.  I'm not supposed to say these worrisome, troubling thoughts that wander through my head like a mentally ill homeless person that speaks to people that aren't there so I didn't.  I haven't.  I won't.  

I think I'm supposed to be learning something?  yeah.  I have one choice phrase for the sentiment.  It's not polite.

I think I'm supposed to let Universe, Source, Creator, God take control, trust that it will be OK and let it go.  I have another choice phrase for that sentiment.  Also, not polite.

A year ago I was picking up the pieces after a brutal divorce proceeding that left me holding the bag with little recourse.  A year ago I had climbed my way out of suicidal thoughts, remodeled my bedroom and bathroom and breathed my way through a long summer alone with the kids.  A year ago I was planning on getting my degree to get certified and get out of Georgia.  A year ago...

I'm exactly where I was a year ago.  And it pisses me off.  No.  I'm where I was a year ago but with another year of battle scars to heal from.  A year later and the only thing different is my clothing size.[1]

Let it go, trust, let it be, relax, breathe, be patient, grow, change, modify, hang on, hope, have faith, it is already in motion....

These thoughts and so many others echo in my head, chasing that mentally ill homeless man in my brain.  He bats them away with vehemence and impatience because their voice interrupts the voices of the imaginary people he is listening too, the voices that tell him all the worrisome, troubling thoughts. I don't want to hear it!  I don't believe any of it.  I don't want to be some amazing person or strong or what EVER!  I don't.  I just DON'T.

I want to burn it down.  Burn it all down.  Set it on fire.  
Set ME on fire.
None of this makes any sense and I'm tired of waiting for it to change.

What do you need in this moment?  (This is what my sister asked me)
Does it even matter? Ok, for the sake of argument, and assuming that THIS time what I need will actually happen, I need my life to change.  I have done all of the steps to put it in motion and...*crickets chirping*

Yeah.  exactly.  One more lie?  One more and I will do it.  I will...


Maybe anger will go further than tears
Maybe rage will buy my freedom
Maybe fire will assuage haunting fears
Maybe ashes give me reason.
Maybe burning will light the glowing flame
That scorches the simmering pain
Maybe coals ignite the end of this game
That soothes the soul like gentle rain.
Maybe fire, maybe flame, burn it down!
Rise from ashes and be made new
Emerging in flashes of white, a gown,
Drapes my form from pain now made true.
Burn it down, Set me on fire.
(poetry is original work, copyright laws apply)

[1] but hey, if I burn it down, at least there will be less to burn.  Since last august I have lost 50 pounds.