The Duality of Mother’s Day

This is a Really Real Mother Post and also a Really Real Widow Post.

Mother’s Day is both wonderful and hard.

I’m love my role as a mother. I’ve loved every phase of motherhood even though there have been periods that were harder than others. I always found the joy in every part of my relationship with my son.

As a teen I wanted 5 kids and felt I was meant to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. I wanted to be the quintessential housewife while also having dreams of a career. Above all I knew I wanted to be a mom.

Well, I got the title of mom much earlier than I planned and by giving birth at 19 I grew up right along side my son. We were a team.

In hindsight I’m glad he was my only. It set us up to have an incredible bond.

Things just have a way of working out the way they are supposed to.

When he was eight Parker came into our lives and grew into her role as his other mother.  She was never really step mom, she was equal mom, and eventually favorite mom, a title she still holds from the grave.

While he was very much her son, she wanted to give birth to her own biological child. At one point we had a donor and we tried. I still remember the look on her face when we realized her growing health problems meant we had to stop trying. In one of her last emails before she died she talked to a friend about both, how much she loves Draven and also how much she wanted a bio child and knew it would never happen.

I’m glad she got to experience motherhood and I hate that she never got to experience it in that way.

I know it broke her heart.

Every Mother’s Day she is on my mind. I didn’t just lose a wife, I lost the only other person with whom I will ever share the title of mother.

I’ve seen lots of posts on Facebook about how wonderful mother’s day is and also how hard mother’s day is and for me, it’s both.

So today I’m quietly reflecting on memories of raising my son and sharing that job with Parker.

I hope today is a happy day for you, whether it’s because you are celebrating mother’s day or because you find some other reason to smile.

Remember, motherhood doesn’t have to be about giving birth or raising children. Motherhood can also be about nurturing your own inner child, or the kids in the neighborhood, or chosen family, or fur (or scale or feather) babies, or any number of other ways one can nurture and protect.

I feel the need to thank everyone who has been following along with these posts. I appreciate you all.

 

 

 

No More Nomad

This is a Really Real Life Post.

I’ve been in this apartment for 5 years today.

Five years.

That might not seem like much to most people, but for most of my adult life I’ve moved every 6 to 9 months.

That means in the time I’ve lived here, we probably would have lived in 6 to 10 places.

How did I live like that?

I’m in a tiny little two bedroom apartment in a shit smelling, shitty neighborhood and honestly, I fucking love it here because the one thing this apartment has given me is stability in the middle of chaos.  I honestly feel like this place is home and I have no interest in giving that up.

I don’t have to constantly wonder how long I need to save these boxes because when is the next time I’m going to pack it all up and go.

Part of it was me, I always wanted something different, I couldn’t settle down.  Mostly though, it was that we couldn’t pay our bills and breaking our lease was better then being evicted.

Five years.

That seems like forever.

Five years ago I was a wife to a woman who is now dead.

Five years ago my kid still looked like a kid instead of the grown man he is now.

Five years ago I was sick and hopeless but also proud of ourselves for finally getting back into our own place after being homeless for so long.

Five years ago I had finally gotten approved for disability after fighting for almost 5 years.

I remember, after Parker died, when I went through my short period of just wanting out of this apartment, Kidlet asked that we stay here and not move again.  He was right.  I’m glad we stayed.

Five years of housing stability is a really big deal to someone who was never able to stay put.

I love my tiny two bedroom.  I’m glad it’s still home.  I’m glad Wonder Woman moved in here instead of us going somewhere else.  I’m glad we’ve made it our home together.

It fits.

Five years is a whole lot of memories in one apartment.

 

 

I Can Feel It Coming In The Air Tonight

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

It all starts with this feeling.

In my gut.

In my chest.

In the back of my throat.

Behind my eyes.

I start to notice.

Things that would evoke empathy cause me to become annoyed.

I want to lash out.

I want to be willful and uncooperative.

I feel like a tantrum is about to explode from my body.

But it all starts with that feeling.

That feeling scares me.

What will follow.

Can I stop it here, before it goes any further.

Can I stop the spiral before it truly starts.

Wonder Woman asks if I want to talk and I spend a few minutes on the phone walking in circles in front of the library.  It’s helpful to hear her voice.  She’s the calm to my chaos in times like this.

I remember a time that 17 year old me would spend hours on a payphone in front of the college library.  I was grounded from the phone at home so I’d skip my college class to spend time on the phone with my boyfriend or my girlfriend or maybe both.

I remember that I got this same feeling back then.

It started the same way.

I remember seeing the same cycles, instinctively knowing when they were going to get worse but not knowing what to do about it.

I’m no longer that 17 year old kid.

I have a lot more skills, a lot more tools.  I have a much better support system and I no longer have to hide at a payphone to reach them.

I can feel that feeling.

In my gut.

In my chest.

In the back of my throat.

Behind my eyes.

But it doesn’t mean I’m going to spiral again.

It just means it’s a good time to practice my skills.

Question of the Day

What are you looking forward to this week?

My youngest sister (Who shall be called Kat Woman) is coming to visit later this week.  This was a big part of the reason for the time crunch and needing to get the rooms rearranged this past weekend, we needed a working guest room for her visit!

She will be staying with me for 2 or 3 nights on her way up north to visit another family member, and then for another 2 or 3 nights on her drive back down south next week.  I haven’t seen her in about a year so I’m looking forward to the visit.

What about you, what are you looking forward to?

Love Looks Different In Death

This is a Really Real Widow Post.

I’m kinda pissed.

And maybe it’s because I’m judging myself, or I feel judged where there is none.

But I’m pissed.

A friend shared a video about a widower who visits his wife’s grave every single day, taking three buses to get there.  And the video ends with, to see true love, look no further than that couple.

I don’t visit my late wife’s ashes every day and they are in my house.

But I don’t love her any less because of that.

I don’t even wear the necklace with her ashes in it all that often anymore.

But that doesn’t mean what we had wasn’t real.

I don’t cry every day anymore.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t love her enough.

I don’t have to pay widow penance.

I don’t have to wear a black veil.

I don’t have to lovingly tend to her urn for hours every day.

I don’t have to prove that it was true love.

My anger at that video is probably irrational.  It’s a cute story, but it felt like it was saying true love needed to look like that after death.

True love can look like this too.  Parker and I were pretty damn amazing considering the life we were dealt.

We didn’t have much, but we had love.

Nothing I do, or don’t do now, can ever take that.

P!nk

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

But also a Really Real Music Post.

P!nk released a new album recently.  I’m not exactly sure when, it just kind of showed up on my Spotify one day and I’ve had it on repeat ever since.

Every time I think I find a favorite song on the album, I catch the lyrics from another one and realize that one is now a favorite.

Really, 90% of the album just speaks to my soul.

The album is called Hurts 2B Human.

The title track has this verse.

“You make it sound so pretty even when it’s not
Didn’t choose, but it’s the only one we’ve got
And sometimes, I get so tired of getting tied up in my thoughts
You’re the only one that ever makes it stop”

And while I don’t believe Wonder Woman is the only person that can help me out of my own thoughts, it sure does help having her by my side.

Another song makes me remember that as open and vulnerable as I am, there is still so much I hide, even from those who are closest to me.

“And I swear, not tryna be vindictive
I’m just terrified that you might see me different
You’ll change your mind, tell me that I’m crazy
Tell me that I’m okay, tell me that you’ll stay”

“Happy” and “Courage” talk directly about mental health and the struggle to grow and get healthy.

How many of us can relate to this?

“Since I was 17
I’ve always hated my body
And it feels like my body’s hated me
Can somebody find me a pill to make me un-afraid of me?”

How many of us want to be happy, want to heal from our own trauma, but can’t overcome our past because it’s too comfortable?

“I don’t wanna be this way forever
Keep telling myself that I’ll get better
Every time I try I always stop me
Maybe I’m just scared to be happy”

Maybe we just need to find our courage?

“I need to grow, here I could be
Closer to light, closer to me
Don’t have to do this perfectly”

“Have I the courage to change?
Have I the courage to change today?”

It’s no secret that pink is my favorite color and P!nk is my favorite singer and I’m so excited about this newest album.

Watching Me Fall

This is a Really Real Mental Health Post.

Trigger Warning:  Talk of past suicidal thoughts

I’m thankful that I started writing my story like this, and I’m thankful that I share my journey on Facebook where every day it reminds me where I was a year ago.

A year ago I was on a very quick spiral downwards.  I was in a very dark place and it wasn’t getting better.

I’ve been watching it happen, through my memories, day by day, since early March.  Post after post about suicidal thoughts, holding on, trying to decide what treatment option was best.

I forgot about the fear though.  I felt that the wrong move would certainty end in death.  I felt like I had to choose the right direction because I wouldn’t have a second chance.

I forgot how deep and how dark it was.  How much control it had.

The suicidal thoughts haven’t gone away.  I get periods where they are less severe and I’m able to easily flick them into the background.  Then there are periods when I thought they were still just as bad as they had been a year ago.  However, reading the post today I realized that there isn’t as much fear as there was.

I’m able to see a future even while I want to die.

I’m able to see mutliple options and I don’t feel as trapped.

A year ago I wrote that during the worst of it, I couldn’t even see far enough forward to imagine someone finding me and worrying about what that would do to them.  I couldn’t see past death.

Now, I’ve realized, even while I’m wanting to die and working out plans, I worry about what will happen when Wonder Woman finds me.  What will happen if it doesn’t work.  What will happen past the attempt.

I think about the future even while I’m thinking about the finality of death.

My therapist kept saying I was future oriented during my suicidal periods and I understood what she meant, but this makes me remember how much I wasn’t future oriented a year ago.

It makes me realize how far I’ve come.

And while my suicidal thoughts are still dangerous now, it makes me realize just how dangerous they were a year ago.

I can remember being there.  I can still put myself in that place and feel that emptiness and that desire to just be gone.  I remember the longing for wellness and the desire to stop fighting for it.

I remember how tired I was and also how driven.

I remember the terror of making the wrong choice.

Sometimes I think I’ve lost all of my progress when I spend a night fighting my own brain.  I think these skills I’ve learned are useless and I’m not fighting hard enough or learning fast enough.

And then I see a post like this and realize how far I’ve come in the past year.

How even in the worst of the darkness, my growth shows.

Things Are Cool

This is a Really Real Relationship Post.

We just don’t fight.

I’m becoming more comfortable with that.

In the last 2 weeks we’ve, unexpectedly, spent 12 hours in the airport, we’ve had some really difficult talks about difficult relationship topics, and we’ve brought up the AC units from the basement (we’re in a second story apartment here).

We just don’t fight.

We talk.

It still feels strange to do unwanted and difficult things and not have an attitude of resentment making the whole thing more difficult.

It still feels strange to spend days worrying about a conversation and then have that conversation go smoothly, with resolutions to problems planned out.  And then to have follow through.

It still feels strange to be allowed to be myself, my stubborn, head strong, gotta do it my way even if it won’t work, self.  And to have someone there to happily try it another way when that doesn’t work.

It still feels strange to not fight.

I try to script out conversations in my head ahead of time, it’s an anxiety thing, and often those conversations include the fights that I “know” are going to happen.   Blame games and one upping and screaming just to let off tension that doesn’t even relate to the situation at hand.

But it’s not reality.

Reality is, we communicate to the best of our ability, which for me is sometimes much harder then I ever realized.  It’s hard to speak up and say what I need instead of expecting her to just know.

But communication goes so well in our relationship.

Wonder Woman and I have something beautiful.

And it’s pretty cool.

But that might just be the air conditioners we just put in.