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, 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