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

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Chipping Away

I have been slowly chipping away at my rotund self.  Since August I've lost 40 pounds.  Here's proof.

October 2013

November 2013

this morning

It's been fun watching myself melt. I've dropped two pants sizes and one shirt size.  I can't wear the clothes in the top two pictures anymore, they've gotten too big.  And the pants I'm wearing in today's photo were too small in October and now they are almost too big.  My goal is to get into a size 16.  If I can get down to a size 14 I will be over the moon giddy. 

My trip to PA was so nice.  I caught up with my friends and family.  I laughed until my sides hurt and cried until my head hurt.  I have so much love and light, every where I go and then I realized that I am love and light every where I go. What I've discovered is that there has always been an undercurrent of love and support, friendship and kindness in my life, throughout all of my trials.  An underpinning of hope and guidance that has buoyed me against the storms, the raging seas, the stiff current, the tides that swell and even the tsunamis.  As I have traversed the murky waters of my life,  there has always been a rock at the bottom of the creek bed that I can stand upon to get my head above water long enough to catch my breath.

I cried nearly the whole trip home.  I don't want to be here.  I don't want my children to be here.  I want hope and healing for my family.  I want my happily ever after: I want to finally be free from the hurt and the pain.  I want to live a life where I'm not struggling against the current every day, fighting for what is right.  I want to be loved with reckless abandon in the same way that I love.  

I have forbidden myself to dream because it hurts so much when my dreams and hopes are dashed time and again.  No more.  I will dream for ME.  I will dream that at the end of this journey, my children will have the resources they need, that I will have employment that sustains me, that I will be in the home of my heart, that a partner that knows my worth will come running to me and declare me as the most amazing woman he has ever met, embracing both me and my children with all of our messiness.  I will dream that I won't be alone, carrying this burden by myself for the rest of my days.  I will dream that justice will finally swing in my favor and I will be free.  I will dream that there will be more love and light, hope, happiness and healing down my life path than I could ever imagine.  I will dream of my happy ending because they can't take that from me.  Nope nope.  My dreams are mine.

We walked side by side toward the rolling hills that ascended into higher and higher rocky crags until the skyline was nearly hidden, the peaks touching the clouds.  We shared no words, our stride matching step for step.  A scream of pain escaped the hillside as though it came from every where.  Without speaking, we raced to the origin to help.

Higher and higher we ran until there before us we saw a battle among the broken and downtrodden and the rich landlords denying all of food, shelter and happiness.  Not wanting to be killed ourselves, we ducked under a rocky outcropping and watched the scene unfold.  Blood shed, screams of terror and weeping of anguish filled the scene until we could bear it no longer.  Still not saying a word to one another, as though we were of one mind, we dodged arrows and swords until we were safely on the camp of the defending, and swiftly losing, side.  Without hesitation or fear of impertinence, we walked directly toward the commander and addressed him.

"What needs to be done to save your people?" inquired my partner.

"We want only shelter and food.  They deny us everything." said the commander.

"What is their reasoning?" I questioned.

"They seek to destroy us.  That is all."  He replied dejectedly with a shrug.

With a turn of the head simultaneously, my partner and I caught sight of a buck dashing through the middle of the battle field.  He drew his bow and arrow, I reached for my sword and we were running in different directions to guide the buck toward the same rocky outcropping we had come from, knowing the buck would lose footing and stumble long enough to be seized.  As we darted through the chaos of the battle around us, slowly both sides stopped their fighting to watch us work in tandem to capture the buck.  Just as the animal came to the rocks, it lost its footing, stumbled and fell.  My partner launched an arrow straight for his neck and I descended from the other direction to finish it off with one fell of my sword.

Holding up the head of the buck by the antlers, he shouted to the hills, all now standing still in wonder, "This is for the people of this land!  Let them be free or we shall be upon your head as we have done to this creature!"  Then I took my sword and splayed it open, entrails spilling onto the grass as the people of the land whooped and hollered in victory.

As swiftly as we arrived, my partner and I left, returning to our outpost.  He left my side to speak with a lieutenant from another brigade.  He was certain she would give him the answers to his questions.  Though he knew and felt our abilities were strong as a team, he needed to be sure there wasn't a better outpost for his skills.  His questioning pained me but I said nothing.  I knew he had to see for himself.  I returned to squadron which was half way through morning drills.

The sound of singing as they marched filled my ears with gladness and hope.  I could not make my partner see what I saw and the truth was that we were on assignment only, to see if we were a strong team.  It had yet to be decided if our match would be officially recorded by the Commander.  I had to report my findings on our mission.  Walking directly to my Sergeant, she held a hand to me, signalling that I wait to address her until drills were over.  I stood beside the column of the balcony we stood on, watching the drills below and allowing the cadence singing of the troops wash over me.  

Their song was of colors, each person to his or her place in the spectrum.  All wore black, head to toe with the exception of one scarf around the neck or as an armband.  As drills finished, my squadron marched up the steps of the balcony, still singing the song of their colors as they marched past me toward the barracks.  When the song was done I looked at my Sergeant to report the details of my assignment with my partner.  She did not let me speak.  She handed me only a white scarf.  I received it with trepidation knowing the contents would seal the fate of who my partner would be and what my new role within the brigade would be. I opened the cloth to read my assignment.

You are a Mohammed to his blue eyes
I woke up from a dead sleep with a start.  The words echoing in my ears. I'm not sure what this dream means but I thought it was powerful enough to record.