Wednesday, April 18, 2012

pause, reset, joy



Obviously, there is a lot of tension in my family.
I am doing my best to reduce the ill effects of that tension on my life.
I refuse to to give up my heart, or sell my soul, becoming someone I despise.
I'm incredibly sorry you bring out the worst in me.
But I choose joy.
......
I refuse to wallow, to allow the hurt to destroy that light.
Instead I will seek out, find and recognize joy.
I choose joy.
......

"Joy is not necessarily the absence of suffering, it is the presence of God." ~ Sam Storms

Monday, April 16, 2012

spineless -or- when heroes come crashing down

Nearly all of the arguments held beneath that cuckoo clock either began or ended with my slinging about, "I know you don't love me, you make it perfectly clear every single day that you don't love me."

Quite often, not always in the middle of an argument, but certainly always at least surrounding one, I would also burst out with, "I know I have a big brother somewhere, why won't you just let me see him?"

I was never a child to scream for a toy or a cake or in surprise. But I would scream in fear and I would scream in anger. And I would scream for my big brother.For years. 

Momma told me I was crazy. Daddy sat on the couch and drank beer. 

I stared out the back window of a dusty ass single-wide trailer, counting down the days. 

Blaming her. Hating her. 

I can remember them arguing. Yelling and crying and cursing and throwing things. I can remember being afraid he was going to kill her. I never once thought he'd kill me. 

I somehow always managed to believe the best of him, long after she had convinced me I was crazy. 

I left. At the age of 16. 

And all he could say was, "you know I have a son."

And tell me how sorry he was for me.

I hated him for walking away, for being able to walk away. For letting everyone else pay the price. 

Even if it's one he has never seen, it's the greatest gift he has ever given me. 

I hate him every time he tries to make me let it go. Maybe he doesn't understand that my brother is the only part of him he's ever let me have.
....

Daddy's girl

I don't talk about my Daddy much here. In fact, according to that label thingy, I've never mentioned him at all.

There's a reason for that. 

I love my Daddy, but he was my first heartbreak. I have a hard time forgiving him for it. Especially when his current words and actions practically beg me to forever hate him for it. I think he'd like it if I would. It would save him the trouble of hating himself. 

I understand. 

It doesn't make it right. Just because you were born an asshole doesn't mean you have to continue to choose to be an asshole. You could always be something better. You could always choose to not be an asshole.
Or maybe you can't. 

Either way, he didn't. And still hasn't. Except perhaps with my Momma. I'm guessing I'm a lot harder to face than my Momma. She never really lost faith in him, but I did. 

What a shame!

I can still see him there, shining with the brilliance of an eclipsed sun as I looked up to him, clinging to him for safety. I trusted him entirely. 

He lied. 
......

Saturday, April 14, 2012

recognize

I think The Boy is starting to understand me, starting to truly recognize who I am. I'm starting to recognize myself.

He's finally rewarding my openness with one of his own.

I think He finally gets that I get it, that I get him, and that it's ok. He's starting to recognize himself.

I can't call him The Boy anymore, it no longer seems right.

He's grown into an incredibly Fine Young Man.

There have been a lot of stumbles and starts, but Thank the Lord, he's hasn't yet stopped.

I'm incredibly proud of him.
........

and now I have to let him go....

I'm trying to give him the reins more.

There have been a lot of stumbles and starts, but Thank the Lord, He hasn't let me stop.

I now know he'll be okay. He'll have a lot of stumbles and starts. We all do.

But I have faith in that Fine Young Man to never stop.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

mercy and grace

I'm trying very, very hard to not be angry.

I am afraid I am failing miserably.

I don't have time for this. The Boy will be going to his first prom on Saturday. I'm so incredibly excited for him. I'm working on a huge project that could be a tremendous benefit to the community. Or it could fail miserably. Life is good. Life is busy, but it is good.

And my heart and soul are tangled up in all your hurt and hate and bitterness.

I feel as though you robbed me of my childhood. I often feel I failed my childhood, miserably.

I am angry that I would allow you to rob me of that time. I often fear I am failing now, miserably.

I have no right to be angry. I'm no better than you. Some days I'm not much less crazier than you either. But when I am? I can see it all so clearly - all your pain and anguish and suffering. It so closely resembles my own. We all bear our crosses. How much heavier does mine grow for every angry wave that passes through my being?

There are no innocents here.

Mercy and grace, please save us.

Monday, April 9, 2012

just follow the instructions.

I just want to do the right thing.

Isn't that really what we all want? To do the right thing.

How many times a day do our hearts cry out, "Oh please God, please tell me what to do?!"

How often do we follow  His instructions?

......

Sunday, April 8, 2012

those crazy damn women

My great grandfather has always been one of my heroes. He died 11 years ago of Alzheimers. One day, as the disease was beginning to rob him of his memories, he leaned close to me, a twinkle in his eye and said, "you know it's those crazy damn women who did this to me!"

I've never doubted that for a moment.

This is not the first Easter I've celebrated without my extended family.

It's not even the first time I've celebrated Easter without the majority of my extended family speaking to me.

It is however the first time I've ever cooked a turkey breast. There is one soaking in brine in my refrigerator right now.

Holidays in my family have always been overly dramatic, stressful and, at times, downright traumatic. It's not so much the family get-together itself as much as it is the days and weeks leading up to the get-together. There's always someone pissed at someone else, someone showing their ass, someone getting their feelings hurt and someone threatening to bail out altogether - either out of the gathering or out of this life altogether.

This someone is usually my grandmother.

By the time the family get-together rolls around, everyone is too stressed out and on edge to actually enjoy it, except for my grandmother, she usually appears to enjoy herself.

My grandmother bailed out on the festivities last year. My mother quickly followed suit because she will take advantage of any opportunity to skip a family get-together. My aunt also opted to be a no-show, most likely because she was scared she'd piss off my grandmother if she came without her. So we had Easter with my grandmother's sister and my great grandmother. It was actually kind of nice. Very peaceful without "those crazy damn women."

Everyone was on edge last year and everyone was stressed but everyone was talking, at least to some extent.

But again, this is not the first Easter I've celebrated without the majority of my extended family speaking to me.

The first was when I was 16. The month before I had been sent two states away to live with an aunt who was virtually a stranger to me because I had made it clear to anyone that would listen that I would not live in my home for another minute with a woman who did not love me. My mother was not speaking to me and hadn't had much of anything to say to me for years. My grandmother and aunt weren't speaking to me either. They were angry that I left home to start with, angrier still that I had ended up two states away. None of them seemed to remember that my grandmother was the one who had always  told me my mother did not love me or that my mother had gone for years without really speaking to anyone. No I was public enemy number one that year and "those crazy damn women" rallied around my mother, trying to make up for lost time, trying desperately to pretend as though everything were my fault because that is so much easier to deal with than accepting any responsibility for your own actions. It's always easier to blame the child.

I am public enemy number one this year as well. I've had the audacity to maintain for a full year that my grandmother is irrational and unstable, growing worse by the day and in desperate need of help. My grandmother will not deny that but she refuses to get help. My aunt also agrees but refuses to talk to my mother about it because my mother has a way of making people feel so small and stupid. And my mother buries her head in the sand and refuses to see it because to acknowledge it would mean she would have to recognize it in herself as well. So now "those crazy damn women" rally around my grandmother, trying to make up for lost time, trying desperately to pretend as though everything were my fault because that is so much easier to deal with than accepting any responsibility for your own actions. It's always easier to blame the child.

At least this year I can cook my own damn turkey. And enjoy a glass of wine with the pills I am currently taking in an effort to not be one of "those crazy damn women."

Addendum: Yes, I realize that you are supposed to have ham and potato salad at Easter. We're celebrating with my best friend Suzie this year because her family is as dysfunctional as mine. She's cooking the ham, potato salad, mac & cheese (which I won't touch of course) and greens. I'm doing the turkey, dressing, creamed potatoes, deviled eggs, chocolate chess pie and squash & zucchini. Yes we are overcompensating.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Good Friday

It is suddenly very chilly and I feel in need of a fire to warm me. The slow, cool Spring offers a chance to shake the remnants of a cold, lonely winter.

I'm gritting my teeth. I quite forget how often I grit my teeth - the pressure of my worry forever clenched violently, every nerve a spasm of fear for what the next moment holds.

I hold my breath.

I've held my breath so long I've forgotten how to breathe.

Fear really does have a scent - it's the scent of yourself, so thick when you are suffocating, drowning, so crushed in upon yourself you can't smell anything else.

The smell of fear usually stinks.

Every cell tightly clinched against the anticipation of losing that moment, the mourning of it's expected loss already such a penetrating pain.

Our lives tightly clinch against that fear, so gripped in mourning the loss of that moment, we neglect to cheer the greatest victory.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

still

It is constantly in motion.

The ever present ebb & flow of the tide causing great swells to roll across the surface. Frothy waves crashing in the shallow waters, quickly crawling their way upon the shore, only to be sucked back out just as quickly.

The sand is forever shifting, the landscape forever changing, at the mercy of the tide & winds.

There is an incredible stillness about it all. A pulse that is so fast it cannot be measured.

It is endless and it is timeless.

It is where forever is found.