Monday, April 3, 2017

Monday Memories: Would you be angry, too?

Iyanla fixes a part of my life with every episode of "Iyanla Fix My Life." I recorded an episode because I knew the subject matter is intertwined into my life today and possibly a look into my future. Three sisters who grew up in a dysfunctional home and haven't seen each other since their mother's death are trying to reconnect. There was a lot of sexual abuse going on in the neighborhood and all three sisters agree, in various degrees, that their life was dysfunctional. I am standing on my own on that front. Of course all siblings in a family have a different experience growing up. 

I was my mother's old faux leather bag that went with her everywhere, whether it was an appropriate setting or not. I don't think she fully wanted me, but until she met John I was the only constant in her life. And then when that went to shit over the course of 7 years and the day came that me and my two sisters and mom were moving out of our house, it was Clint who helped us move out. I was so happy to get away from the fighting that until now, I never questioned or even realized that another man was moving us, and that the other man was Clint. And, until now, literally right now, I'm suddenly remembering a night when my step dad woke me up and asked me if I remembered where Clint lived. I didn't of course, I think I was 8. But him asking me means I had been to Clint's house before and while my mom and John were still married. Shady bitch.

I listened to my mother talk to someone on the phone about John taking a pair of her underwear and going to the hospital to get it x-rayed for semen. Like, why the fuck would anyone talk about that in front of anyone, let alone their elementary aged daughter. I hate her when I remember these things. Yes, parents do the best job they can with what they have, but semen? Talking about semen on her panties from cheating on John is "her best job." I can only give her so much forgiveness and allow her room for human error until I leave her behind as the bitch she has always been. I mean, semen. I can't even believe that. And to think that I held that memory somewhere in my mind without knowing it until I started writing tonight and memories started flowing. 

The more I remember about her the less I hate myself. Because I know, I know, that the feelings I have about myself were placed on me by her so she didn't have to own up to her shit, such as cheating on John with two different men, the whole semen-gate, bringing her stripper friend around me, dragging me from apartment to house to who knows where as she gambled with men and job hopped. But it was my dad who didn't want me, my dad who left me. And I was so angry at him and sad because that's the record my mother kept playing. Maybe he had to leave us both to save himself, and hoped and prayed that one day I would understand that. 

Like she did with my two sisters, maybe she used me as bait to get what she wanted from my dad. That's another "fuck her" memory. She did that to John with Megan and Jade. "We are following the visitation agreement word for word and you better not be a minute late or I am calling the police." But when she wanted to party with Clint it was different weather. "Do y'all want to go to your dad's this weekend?" And I never understood why I had to go to my sister's dad's house just because they were going to see him. It was to get rid of me. To be free from kids so she could fuck who she wanted and smoke what she wanted and be who she wanted without guilt. 

"Doing the best she could" -- I'm just not buying it. And she has not changed! I don't want to attribute any of my self work to her, but that does add to my healing. 
It wasn't me. It was never me. Those were my eggshells. I was the child, not you. How dare you to ever place any blame or fault on me because of your problems, so many of which you brought on yourself. How fucking dare you! And as I grew older you continued, while trying to just make it day to day without breaking, while trying to figure out who I was, you never stopped. What the fuck were you thinking?
And let's fast forward to college graduation. The one thing I held onto every year since a little girl. I was going to college. I had no idea what college was but I knew it was a good place to go. And you started a huge fight via text messages, you coward. And you weren't there, once again, because you were selfish, once again. 

I'm in my mid-thirties and I am angry. I am sad. A chunk of my body is missing, the scars and stitches and bruises from climbing trees or playing chase or jumping off the diving board -- my pain was so different from my classmates. I felt like an adult when I was in elementary school. Today I feel like a child navigating through a corporate workplace and marriage and organizing my home and staying on top of laundry and grocery shopping. I've gained weight like you. I've made poor choices at my job like you. I've let clothes pile up in multiple places throughout the house like you. I don't have friends like you. I tell you that you cannot control me anymore. That ended the day I graduated college. But you do still have control, and I hope you never know this.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Baby Reservations Swiftly Interrupted

I'm having baby reservations. Last week I was saying that if I never had a child it would be my biggest, most sorrowful regret. But I'm nearing the "now or never" age and I'm finding myself not ready. 

I'm still healing emotionally and mentally, my book is underway, and I depend on excessive sleep most weekends. Feeling depressed or "blah"? Stay in bed. Tired or feeling lazy? Stay in bed. I like the option of being bored. I like not going to the grocery store or washing laundry for no other reason than "I don't feel like it." 

I don't want to wreck my body for two years after just getting back on track with my weight and fitness. Mastitis sealed the deal. I read about it on a friend's blog, and according to my follow-up research on Google most women who breastfeed experience mastitis. I don't want mastitis. I'm fearful of postpartum depression. If anyone is going to get slapped with an additional layer of depression it will be me. 

I made such poor choices for so many years and I put myself here, the "now or never" age. And, I have to get my weight down before getting pregnant, an agreement that my husband and I made and a decision most any doctor would support. It's like my marriage. Until I got my debt under control, my husband would not marry me. So because of bad life choices, my wedding age was delayed. The wedding delay added to the baby age delay. Now my weight is further adding to the baby delay. And now I'm not even sure I deserve to be a mom, or have what it takes to be a mom, or can guarantee I will not bring any mothering baggage to my own child. 

God, I need relief from this swift sadness that has just entered my body. I don't even care about sorting out the mom vs. no mom decision. I just don't want to be sad because I have too much activity in my life right now. I cannot be bound by tears or regret or brokenness. I need to be free.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Mother and Domestic Violence

Writing a Memoir 101 is helping to strenghten my confidence as a writer and why I am worth reading. The book emphasizes the importance of reading: you cannot be a good author and tell the story you want to tell without being an avid reader.

The author encourages reading others' memoirs to get ideas on structure. She referenced a lot of memoirs that are composed of short stories, a structure that could work for me since I'm pulling content from my blog.

In my counseling appointment today, I told her the topics I am writing about are embarrassing. A stranger reading it: buy copies for all of your friends. My family and people in my past and present reading it: shit is going down.

No matter how far I am from her disfunction -- emotionally, mentally and physically -- there will always be that one tiny wound where she has staked her claim. Infect. Heal. Infect. Heal. Infect. It's the only consistent thing she's ever done, and it's at her daughter's expense.

My mother
  • Cheating on my step dad and arguing with him about it while I'm standing right beside them
  • Witnessing physical fights between my step dad and mom
  • Having converations over the telephone about my recent terrible behavior and punishment while I'm sitting in the middle of the living room
  • Not letting me hang any of my drawings from school on the refridgerator
  • Putting a bowl of cereal and a small cup of milk in the refridgerator at night so I could make my own breakfast by myself while she slept before driving me to first grade
  • Cruising through parent pick up, regularly and also in elementary school, while I'm the last kid waiting for my parent to take me home
  • Disregarding, regularly, what time I had to get to my first class in high school, causing me to walk into a full class while the lesson had already started, and getting glares from the teacher and students
So many fights, and too much time
  • My step dad comes home late one night and my mom starts yelling at him saying he was "sucking on someone's p***y and I'm sitting right beside my mom on the couch, scared and curious what a p****y is.
  • One of my all time faves is when I was so scared during one of their fights I called 911. The police pulled up to the house and my mom says, "Great. Who called the police?" And I said, "I did." 
One fight vividly sticks out in my mind. They are both on the floor fighting and my mom is biting and pulling my step dad's shirt collar with her teeth. I remember thinking how disgusting she looked.
  • During another fight my mom grabs me because "we are leaving!" We get in the car and my mom just sits there and doesn't turn on the engine. What's happening? I wouldn't find out until a couple decades later that she was playing her favorite game, "I hate you, don't leave me." This game doesn't really get you any points in the "mothering" department but you definitely bankrupt the normalcy for the child sitting right beside you. She gets out of the car and goes back in the house and they continue fighting.

    Meanwhile I am grabbing all of my books from my room and taking them to the car because I don't want to leave them since we are never coming back. I have a sorority of Barbies but all I care about is saving my books. (I'm still that girl.) My mom comes outside and tells me to stop putting books in the car. Looking back, I think when she saw me putting my belongings into the car like a person who is actually leaving would do, shit got a little too real for her. Or she just really hated books.

    SPOILER ALERT: We never left. "I hate you, don't leave me" became familiar territory. Years later when I would find myself in unfamiliar territory, like a loving relationship for example, "I hate you, don't leave me" was my response to any disagreement.

    They were married for seven years, and they fought for seven years. For seven years of my childhood, I witnessed verbal and physical altercations between a husband and wife who hated each other and cheated on each other. They had at least two good-enough days because I have two younger sisters. As a child, you didn't have to tell me they hated each other. It was obvious even as a six year old. But the cheating? I shouldn't know about that period. My childhood was their toxic marriage, and I suffered the most.