Tonight, you really see nothing of this girl

I barely did anything yesterday. I enjoyed the hour and a half of time between waking up as a family and my children being whisked away by ‘we’. The pronoun ‘we’ that nobody, not even my then husband, would choose to use and include me. But for her, it’s ‘we’ this, and ‘we’ that. WE said wedding vows, but I don’t remember feeling loved, just comfortable. ‘We’ just moved in together and are having fun playing house with the children WE conceived.
I feel embarrassingly paralyzed by this threatening undertone he uses at times. It doesn’t matter what he is saying, only how he says it. The sentence would be about me, spending too much on fresh fruit. The menacing, intimidating undertone made it clear he was seriously upset, and I would regret my boldness in thinking I could spend $2.49 on peaches even if I was pregnant and craving them.
That hasn’t gone away.
I’m not ‘his’ any longer. I haven’t been attached to him for several years now. And I’m not afraid in my own home. I’m not afraid to make eye contact with others but for being accused of flirting with them. I’m not constantly cleaning, doing little to fulfill my soul but much to meet his demands.
Just that tone.
I’m afraid of what it implies. I’m afraid of it being used toward our children. I cower slightly, still.
This fear paralyzed me most of yesterday. I cried myself back to sleep, falling asleep praying for guidance. When I’d wake up, I would pray for His control over our lives, not ‘his’. I would pray for safety and hope. And I would cry again and fall back to sleep eventually.
My old instincts kicked in; the ones he ingrained in me. I cancelled my plans. I didn’t reach out to anyone, at least not until it was late in the evening. I shut down and shut out.
Today has been a struggle, attempting to interact with the real world again. Habits that took a couple years of counseling to kick tried to take hold again. I couldn’t raise my eyes to meet anyone else’s. I didn’t desire to participate in social conversations.
I’m catching myself. I don’t intend to dwell here. I just need to process.

Don’t got a lot, but right now I’m feeling fine

Someone came into my house tonight, invited, as my house normally looks. Same thing last Wednesday. Some dishes in the sink, pathetic attempt at vacuuming and toys thrown in their basket. I didn’t have it all perfect. But it was a realistic depiction of my life and the conditions I live in.
I don’t claim to be ‘clean’. I’m cluttery and a hoarder. I no longer break into an anxiety attack at my bills, but I still out of habit let the mail stack up.
So two weeks in a row, I made connections with people I trust and let them see my home.
My walls I put up rarely extend to letting people into my home.
Maybe this will be a new trend.

On A Sunday Morning Sidewalk

Most Sundays are like ripping off a bandaid.
It always hurts it just depends how quickly you forget the sting.
Johnny Cash describes Sundays perfectly.
Instead of beers, I steal extra hugs and beg for more kisses as they get ready for Dad’s.
I don’t wish I was stoned; for there is no drug that can replace the feeling of my children in my arms or their screams, laughter, fighting, games throughout the house.
I died once, or as close as one can get and live to tell the tale. This is more lonesome.
I draw a bath to relax.
I distract myself removing excess hair from my face and rubbing ointments into the many blemishes leaving their mark on my skin.
Their clothes on the floor and the mess left behind are just a stark reminder of where they are not. If you think it hurts to step on a Lego, try a Lego that smarts emotionally, too.
I don’t feel lucky to ‘get a break’.
I feel incredibly alone despite the divorce statistics which assure me I’m not, that many other divorced parents go through the same thing.
Some days, I’m okay when I drop them off.
Today, it feels like I ran headfirst into the wall entrance to Platform 9 ¾ and I’m questioning everything I believe in.

Look in the mirror and ask yourself if you’re alright

Being all alone is glaring at me in the form of bubbled up blisters on my foot and red marks on my legs.
Sometimes I’m okay with my lifestyle. Other days I even catch myself looking forward to a few minutes alone. I can enjoy choosing the show I want to watch instead of cartoons or shows with talking dogs.
When I hit my head, I had my mom to call. But it doesn’t change the fact I lay with my head bleeding alone.
Yesterday it was bacon grease. I just wanted to pour the grease into a mug. Nothing hard, or strenuous. Somehow, the grease ended up covering my leg and foot.
I feel so stupid, and yet I know I was strong enough to be able to clean the grease off the floor and soak my leg in the bathtub. I found the strength to ask friends for advice.
I still don’t feel as though I have anyone. There was no person to help clean the mess. I couldn’t have someone run the water for me.
Nobody is concerned with me.
I do not say this so as to garner pity.
I am utterly overwhelmed by the feeling of isolation today, is all.

My pretty Kitty Kelly, she’s my wild Irish rose

Something needs to be done to undo my crazy, my psycho, my repulsive side.
I try to do good deeds but I keep nearing 30, an age that I view with much significance, and I can’t feel rational or happy about it.
I have a list.
Not so much a bucket list.
For some reason I intend to live past 30, so I don’t want to be kicking the bucket anytime soon.
Don’t mistake that as an exciting will to live, rather acknowledge it as at least a will not to die.
I’m not turning 30 with a happy family. There will be no surprise party thrown by a loving husband or boyfriend. I will plan and pay for my own dinner and pick out my own presents. If I can afford anything.
The only party I will have will be a pity party.
I know I am wallowing in my own sadness, my own self guilt, my own depression.
I checked one more thing off my ‘not bucket’ list. I enjoyed a cigar, as much as a cigar virgin can.
I’ve hiked a mountain. Stood on my own two feet for a bit. Shown what strength I have and been given too much credit for it.
I have to accomplish something.
I love my children, but any idiot can accidentally get pregnant twice. I can’t look at that as a huge accomplishment.
I have to do more than continue to make mistakes, again and again, expecting things to work out ‘this time’.
I’m broken and shallow and no matter how hard I’ve worked to get where I am- I have so little to show for it.
How can I turn 30 with pride? How can I move forward and love myself? I suppose I’m moving in the right direction by not hating myself so much.

But my secret is still my own

I sat holding my Xanax in my hands for too long. Before that, I kept walking past the bottle thinking I had already taken some.
I earned it today.
And I want to write. I want to get out my feelings.
Honesty would be the stupidest thing I could do right now.
I could lash out at the ex-husband. He drives me crazy. He would certainly deserve it.
The ex-boyfriend could take a hit today, too, but it’s probably not going to help anything. It would really make me feel better, but it would just make things worse.
I have some friends driving me nuts.
I don’t have anything I can be honest about today.
Maybe I can complain the hard drive on my computer is getting too full and I’m too lazy to transfer things to my external hard drive.
Place the blame for my anger, hurt feelings and sadness on an inanimate object.
That’s got to be the solution, right?
Swallow them fast, they start to dissolve in your mouth and it tastes awful.
Maybe tomorrow I can tackle one thing at a time, but tonight too many emotions and messed up situations are MMA style cage-fighting in my brain right now.
(Bitter)sweet blue scored oval tablet, you’re in charge tonight. I’m out.

I’m choosing my confession

The surest way to get me to not do something is to tell me to do it.
A challenge? Not happening.
I’m the least competitive person, perhaps ever, except when it comes to attention.
And I also had hipster tendencies before it was cool to have hipster tendencies and I only choose to do things ironically.
Plus, I really don’t like to ‘like’ or ‘do’ things if it’s the ‘thing’ to do. As much as I complain about the way my mind works differently at times, I don’t want to be just like everyone else.

So this ice bucket challenge is cool and all. I love seeing a good cause supported.
But simply because I’ve been told I ‘have’ to pour a bucket of ice water over my head makes me want to do it even less.

My solution is self serving and I am certainly telling my right hand what the left is doing, and being a Pharisees and tooting my own horn about my supporting a cause and being a decent (at least mediocre) human being.
I donated my $10, within my challenged time frame, to an organization I’ve supported in the past that provides clean water to areas without access to clean water.
Maybe now, one person in some chosen village will grow old enough to develop ALS and benefit from the research done with everyone else’s support. And I can sleep at night knowing I provided water instead of wasting it, and my entitled middle class sinful self can pretend I did my part without conforming.
I’m all for helping others. Not great on fitting in.

And don’t forget to give my love to Rose

Despite the pain of a kidney stone, I cradled a piece of my heart tonight as she fell asleep. Not my own flesh, but my own heart just the same.
Hindsight is certainly 20/20, but I miss my blindness.
Not for his sake, but because I miss at times how full my heart felt raising five little ones.
There is a certain art to balancing schedules, buying enough groceries, preparing meals to satisfy seven mouths, laundry and housework and all the physical mess of that many people.
He chose another, and in most ways, I’ve moved on. I’ve healed.
That sweet voice can still melt me. I don’t know if I am capable of denying love, particularly to a child.
And as she always has, she fell asleep in my arms quickly, and I joined minutes later.
I love his children in a very different way than my own, not more or less, but so different I couldn’t compare well. I chose to let them into my heart when my heart is normally guarded well.
I have no idea what to do.
I’m lost and disoriented and I don’t see a probable solution that doesn’t end in pain they don’t deserve.
No matter what, there will always be three additional pieces of my heart out in the world, and they will learn to live without me but they won’t be without me, never truly alone.

You carry us Carry us When the world gives way You cover us Cover us With Your endless grace

I cried into a very expensive pillow today.
It wasn’t exactly how my day began. I ran myself ragged, getting up early, to serve others as is always expected of me. I can only blame myself as I have set these expectations.
But my feelings were hurt. I cried, but not for too long. I drew up my strength, and for some reason that made no sense to me I got ready for church.
I gripped my hands tightly together to keep from shaking as I walked in. It didn’t help much. I didn’t want to be there. I really like my church for the most part too. It’s a collection of broken people trying in their brokenness to help other broken people. It’s not perfect. You come across some ministry clichés. It’s not for everyone; fortunately it is for Jesus.
I barely stayed standing the first three worship songs. I’ve learned after years of fighting it that some days my worship is my tears and not my slightly off-key voice. A couple came and sat down next to me, and when the husband tapped my shoulder and asked if the seat was taken I jumped, terrified by an innocent human touch.
I began planning my escape. As I scanned the worship center, looking for a door I knew wouldn’t result in me running into too many people, I saw a beautiful blond angel and I suddenly felt the strength to stay. I rushed to her for a hug and was thrilled she was willing to sit with me.
Her story isn’t mine to share, and I don’t know enough details to do it justice anyway. But what she has shared with me makes her raised arms to Jesus when life pushes her so low simply amazing to me. And as she held my hand when we cried my arms stopped shaking. My breathing slowed to a safe pace and I could hear the words of worship and find words for prayers and remember Whose house I was in.
My sweet friend has no idea she was my angel today. She didn’t even make any effort to save my morning- she was just there at the right time and willing to love.
And I was calm enough to appreciate the seriousness when the sound at the church malfunctioned. Things didn’t just stop. Things continued. Worship didn’t end because the guitars and keyboards stopped making noise- the musicians raised hands and finished the song, and only the removal of the ‘in-ears’ and the rushing to the stage of the most dedicated and amazing sound ‘guy’ imaginable.
The microphone worked off an on throughout the sermon. And our pastor led with jokes and grace. His message was powerful, but what stuck out to me was the continuance and perseverance.
This isn’t to praise the pastor, though he did handle it well. I was dearly encouraged to see that even as every obstacle was throwing a wrench in our plans to honor Him, we were able to worship Him regardless, and grow in His word without whistles and bells.
It was just us, Jesus, and a pastor blessed with a loud voice.
I’m thankful today God sent me an angel rather than allowing me to run away from my fears and unnecessary anxieties. I’m thankful for strength in others that encourages me to be strong, too, even in adverse circumstances. Most of all, I’m thankful for Jesus.

And it echoed through the canyons like the disappearing dreams of yesterday

Few things angered my ex-husband as seeing a ‘bum’ (his words), or a homeless person holding the cardboard sign asking for help. It seemed to enrage him in general that one person’s hard earned money go to anyone but the person who worked hard to earn it. He detested the government agencies that kept me afloat when I decided to call a spade a spade and leave his abuse.
Let me be clear on one thing- a woman doesn’t need a black eye or broken arm to be considered abused.
Thusly, I had been afraid to drive up to an intersection with my windows down or to mistakenly make eye contact with anyone on the side of the road. It took a good ten minutes so slow my heartbeat the first time I rolled down my window at the least threatening person I’d ever laid eyes on and handed a wad of ones to a mother smiling only for the benefit of her children sitting further from the street, on the grass, with an older sibling playing but glancing nervously to be sure he was protecting the younger two.
Today I saw a man who couldn’t even hold his head up and look drivers in the eyes, and when I softly said “Hello,” it was clear the hung head was from shame and not a hangover. And the perfect lettering saying ‘Hungry’ made more sense. This was not a man who (as my ex-husband insisted most did) would get in his car and drive home to a comfortable place and make more money than the average ‘working’ American. This was not a man who scratched letters onto cardboard with shaking hands needing another fix.
The man I looked in the eyes was created with love and I understood and could relate to the pain I saw.
I looked at my phone as I climbed out of my car at work about ten minutes later and read this: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24.
I didn’t do anything important or significant in this man’s life but he opened my heart and I experienced Jesus today because of him.
I have a long way to go.