Evolution

I am a dweller. When I have been through a situation, I will look at it from every angle to see where I could have done better. And will still be looking at that same situation three weeks later. I go over and over it in my head. It is the same with conversations that I know are forthcoming.
One of the steps in my counselling is learning to be present. Be in the moment. Once a situation is done it is done. No amount of dwelling on it is going to make a difference. As for the future, I am unable to predict that let alone know what is going to be said and how I will respond. So I need to learn not to dwell. Something I have done my entire life.
Yesterday as I was getting ready for my appointments, I began to think ahead to when I return to work. What that is going to be like. How will…….and I stopped. I shoved my face into the water, felt it cascade over my skin. Felt my wet hair clinging to my shoulders. My hands on my face. And the inside voice began: ‘Jay you are stopping this. You do not know what is going to be said. This does you no good to think about it.’ and like that, it vanished. The thoughts lol, not the voice.
In the evening when my Ex dropped off bread and milk for us, he was pretty curt to me. Thrust the two items at me and left even as I was saying thank you. I put the milk and bread away and asked T what was wrong with his dad. I know I should not have. T had no idea. And he had been off on Sunday too. I began to dwell. Trying to imagine what I had done or said that had upset him.
After a little while of this I realized what I was doing and shot off a long message to K1 (BFF in the United States). I explained to her what was going on. And as I did, the need to justify or figure out what his deal was, was not mine to make. I am no longer responsible for him. I no longer need to be concerned when his nose is out of joint. I only need to be concerned about what  T and me are doing. And as I did, it vanished.
This morning while working out, I began to think ahead again. To what I do not know. I had the same conversation with myself. I am responsible for myself and my actions. I do not know what someone will say to me or do in any situation I may find myself in so why do I bother dwelling on it? That doing so is not good. And as I had this conversation I could feel the beads of sweat that threaded along my temple. My hair glued to my back. The wet spot on my tank top. And I came back to now.
There are some exceptions to the thinking ahead and that is when you are planning something. A holiday to Mexico. Your wedding. The birth of your child. Submitting your work to a magazine.  To look ahead and imagine what that future looks like is normal. And exciting. That is not dwelling.
I really am proud of myself. I use that word a lot don’t I? The truth is though, that I never have really been proud of myself. I lacked the confidence and really felt as though I was not deserving of my own pride. I use to think I took pride in doing a great job at work, but that is who I am. It is an ethic that is ingrained in me. I learned it from my mom.  I take pride in T and all that he has accomplished but did not feel proud that I have been instrumental in this development.
Now though, as the days and weeks go by and I am learning about myself, I am beginning to feel proud. Proud that I believe in myself and that I am worthy of everything I want. Within reason obviously, wanting a castle, a pet dragon and a King to sweep me off my feel although well deserved is not going to happen. 🙂 Proud that I have not self-medicated in almost 60 days. 2 more days.
I am learning that I am stronger than I ever thought that I was. That I can look at myself see what is needed to change and go for it. Yesterday, I was telling my counsellor how after trying to teach T ’80’s’ math I started to flip through the pages. The first 15 or so pages were about addiction. A poem that I was trying to write. In 2015. Even then I knew but I was not at the bottom yet. Had not reached the point where my self-loathing came with a price that I had to pay.
I am going day by day. I am sorry to all who read this I bounced around a little bit. I am a woman on a journey. A growth that is spiritual in my own way, creative, as a mother and friend. I have come a long way in 60 days from who I was.
“I am a woman with dreams that I am finally ready to persue. I am beginning to think that this is my evolution and I am awakening from hibernation.”-Me today to a friend about myself.
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Learning to Care

I am proud of me
in a non-egotistical way.
Not proud of my abilities
nor of my talents.
What I am most proud of
is how far I have come.
Where once I could not imagine the end of the day
where once I thought that I had no strength
that forever more I would be a poor wretch
stalking through the dark thoughts
trying to find the exit.
Yet I have seen the exit
burning bright in the distance
and every day,
it comes closer.
Truely there is no exit from depression
but there is recovery
there is relief.
I will learn to live in the moment
to live each day to its fullest.
I will learn to manage my sad days
so that they do not overwhelm me.
I will reach out to those who support me
when I need to feel comfort.
Most of all though,
I forgive myself,
I love myself
and from now on, I will take care of myself.
©Jay-lyn Doerksen
Feb. 20/18

Works of Art in Progress

T and me, we have had an interesting morning. He slept in, me I was up at 6 a.m. when the alarm on his phone (it is not live, it can only be used with wi-fi. No phone calls, no texting.) went off and played for a minute. I did try to go back to sleep, but to no avail. So up I got, made coffee and fed the cats.
T, he slept until 10. He laid in bed for awhile and finally I had to holler at him to come into the living room.
He was mad at me. He asked me to get him a bowl of cereal. I said no I was working out. I ended up getting annoyed. I snapped at him. Raised my voice slightly. Tember rolled his eyes at me. I snatched the phone out of his hands. Walked into my room and set the phone down. When I came out T was covering his eyes with his hand. I sat down on the couch next to him and looked at him.
Our conversation went all over the place. I have a super bad habit of looking forward as a control issue. So that I have everything planned out and I know that nothing can hurt me. Weird that that is how it came out. I keep telling T that once he becomes a teenager he will not want to spend time with me. That his friends will be more important. I am okay with that eventually he will come back to me.
Suddenly T begins sobbing and tells me that I am always telling him what he is going to do. That he is not going to do that to me. And I started to leak as well. I have damaged my child. My anxieties, my depression have scarred him. He is angry with me. And I am badgering him.
I told him that the reason that I was so insistent on us being together, talking and hanging out, was because when we first split, my Ex told me that T had told him that I never did anything with him. That I am so afraid that he will still feel that I do not spend enough time with him. Tember got really angry and said that he had never said that. (I imagine some of you are wondering why I would tell T that his dad made that comment and I am not telling him something that he has not already figured out on his own. Yes, run on sentence. ) T said the Ex had made that comment.
I took a deep breath and even though tears still leaked from my eyes, I told T we were going to change. That I was going to work very hard to stop planning so far ahead. That we are going to start living in the moment. I also told him that he would have to help me with this. That if I started to plan too far ahead (like when he is 30) he will rein me in.
I asked him once more if he wanted me to speak to his dad about the fact that T feels that he is not spending enough time with him. Adamently told me no. I told him that I loved him. He told me he loved me. And than the goofy talk started.
I said to T that maybe one day I will win the lottery. That I would be able to stay at home and be with him all the time. I would follow him everywhere. Helping out in his classroom. I do believe that although he laughed along with me T is horrified to think that I may actually do this. He said several times that it would be odd, awkward and disturbing if I were to follow him everywhere.
This segued into a conversation about school. That I would not be helping the students. That I would be doing paperwork with the teacher. Which some how led to us talking about math. And how bizarre it was the way they did it now. That in my day we did not require a Ph.d in Metaphysical blah blah blah you get the point. At which point T annouces that that was ’80’s math’. You know like more than 20 years ago. Ha.
I grabbed a note book and got a pen. Sat down and made up a number. I showed T how we use to multiply numbers. We flipped over to a clean page and T wrote out his way. Our answers did not match. I had to get out the calculator and show him. His response to being shown that the calculator and my answer matched: ‘Mom you cannot believe calculators. Or Google. Or the internet.’ I could only stare at him in disbelief.
I have been working very hard not to use the angry raised voice. My annoyed voice rises slightly but it is not the raised voice. I need to work on my listening skills, and rather than responding quickly and saying the wrong thing, actively think about what I am going to say. A couple of times I did do this while we were in the angry part of the conversation. I stopped myself from whatever I was going to say and took a deep breath before continuing.
T and me, we are going through growing pains. There is also the fact that we are seeing one another every day with the exception of the Saturday and Sunday of his dad’s week and the Sunday at the end of my week. That is an adjustment. As well, I can only imagine how hard it must be to go back and forth between two very different households. T goes from little to no rules to rules and routine.
I cried. T cried. We had a really good conversation. I know that there is no rule book for parents. I am learning how to parent T as much as he is learning who he is and defining the values that he will hold dear as he becomes an adult. I am evolving as well.
We are works of art in progress.

7.5=Perfection for Me

This morning as I am sitting here reviewing my week, I am proud of myself. I am also cautiously optimistic. I have now had 4 days of being good. As in my mood has been elevated. I have felt good. I have been laughing. And well I am doing things. I have cleaned the apartment 3 weeks in a row. 3 weeks I say that is amazing.
I had the music blaring, well not blaring because I have neighbors, but it was loudish. Have I mentioned that I downloaded Spotify to the Xbox so I can play it out of the t.v.? Oh yeah. Only issue I have is that it doesn’t pick up where I left off when I close it down. It does on the computer but that is life right? So I was dancing around the apartment, singing to myself having a great time. I opened the blinds all the way and sunlight was streaming in. My beautiful babies were thrilled to feel the sunlight on their leaves.
I threw the blankets in the dryer and figured that I would jump in the shower before doing the last load of laundry. And I mean the last load. I have been doing laundry almost every day this week so I was pretty much done. I only had the floors left to wash when out of the corner of my eye espied the laundry basket and thought to myself ‘Oh yeah I need to put that load in.’
Laundry is going and I am filling the sink so I can wash the floors when it suddenly hits me. The reason I had not thrown the last load in was so I could shower. And I had done a hot wash on the blankets and now a warm wash with this last load. Smacked myself in the head and laughed. Seriously only I would do this. Washed the floors and sat down. The apartment smelled nice and fresh. My laundry was about finished. The bed was made. It was awesome.
Also, there have been multiple outings. Monday I only went next door to the gas station but as it had been a ‘down’ day this was big. Tuesday I made myself go into work for some groceries. And I talked to fellow co-workers. On my own. Wednesday was ‘Meet the Psychiatrist’ day. I did really well, not bursting into tears or anything, but once I was in the car I burst into tears. Sobbed all the way home.
Thursday was a good day. Friday after dropping T off at school I went to work to get a few items for myself and for the school week. I only had a few twinges and did not have to give myself a pep talk to go in.
Friday V and her son came for coffee. Well as he is 3, he had a juice box. It was so much fun. We laughed and talked. Her son finally warmed up to me and even sat on my lap for a while. When he wanted my attention he shouted ‘auntie, auntie’ until I responded. And when they left I did not feel tired. I was energized.
So as I sat here yesterday, realizing that I needed a few things, I figured I would shoot Auntie K a text and see if she was up to an outing. And she was. I did have a mission. I was on the hunt for my Sandalwood incense. Not sure if everyone is aware of my obsession for Sandalwood scent. I love it. And was most dismayed that Wal mart was no longer carrying them. And all my other go to places were no longer selling them I was devestated.
Decided that I wanted to check Only Deals and see if they might have them. OMG I was so thrilled they had them. And lots of them. Despite them being $2.99 + tax I bought 4 packages. As an aside when I got home I lit three of them and had them in their holders before I even had taken my jacket off. Than we went off to Red Apple where well not as discounted as they say. Needed laundry pods but I only use Sunlight. So we went off to Canadian Tire who does not carry Sunlight laundry pods which entailed a visit to Wal-mart.
We meandered. And dreamed. Looked at the summer patio furniture. Talked and laughed. Did I buy a few things that maybe I should not have. Weekly deep treatment for frizzy hair. Which I have in spades. The small package of powdered donuts, again maybe not necessary but damn they were good. The entire package was eaten. Did I maybe spend a little more than I should, yes. Was it a great afternoon of fun with Auntie K? Damn right it was.
I had a great idea for a short story on my way home. Have written only the first line but it is percolating.
I also have had a realization.
I am not going to worry about what ifs. As in what if I have good mood for a week but than have a not good day. What if I have a couple of consecutive not good days? It is alright. The amount of time that I spend in the not good days, is becoming less. I am getting stronger. And while I do not wallow, as long as I do the small tasks that I set for myself to achieve every day, I feel accomplished and let the emotions ride. I am going to enjoy the mood I am in right now, enjoy this moment.
I still have not been able to read. The day will come when I can. Until than, I am not going to worry about it.
I am extremely proud of what I have done this week. I cared for myself. I was able to deal with a difficult situation, that is, talking about myself, without falling apart. All in all, I would give this week a solid 7.5 and that is perfect for me. 🙂

Heartless Love

Nuanced
the words we speak
the dance we flow through
shades of emotions
that tumble about.
Delicate
this thread that binds
steel wrapped in velvet
so that the chains
chafe not our skin.
Afraid
unwilling to surrender
these contested wills
bruised eyes flashing
as once more we attack.
Vicious
words that sting
barbs that hook and tear
flesh torn asunder
wounds never stitched
left gaping
breathless gasps
as we lay panting.
Thieves of love
honor and faith
a warped notion of pleasure
pain that sticks
never ending
a cycle of disrepute.
©Jay-lyn Doerksen
Feb. 17/18

Contradiction

Haunted kisses
moonlit eyes of wonder
trembling caresses
a virgin ripe for the taking.
Offered to the gods
forsaken by her people
left to wander lifeless vistas
as though she is the criminal
the one found to be lacking.
Terror and delight
should not,
could not
co-exist together
in one person
at all times.
But that is what she does.
A contradiction
from every angle
to becoming
every man’s angel.
Jay-lyn Doerksen
Feb. 16/18

I Jumped

The other day my brother sent me a video of Steve Harvey talking about talent and jumping.

A friend of mine who is a writer sent me an open call for submissions for New Reader Magazine. I have been going back and forth about submitting with them. I read and reread the submission requirement. And than read again. It did not say in what format they would accept the submission.

I hemmed and hawed over sending an email. Checked with a couple of friends who have done submissions as to what the standard was. I use Evernote and Google Docs. I sat here last evening and once more went to the site to again reread the requirements.

I did it though. I sent off an email and text my brother that I had done it. He wanted to know how it felt to jump. I laughed and had to explain I had only done a small jump. Now I needed to wait for the response. Figured that I would not hear from them until today. My email notification went off a few times but I ignored it. Than I didn’t and I looked.

They had responded! Although they preferred MS Word or PDF they would accept Google Docs. (Turns out that I could send as an email attachment and it converts to PDF.)

One of the requirements is that the work be unpublished any where else. And I wrote a poem yesterday that is different again from what I usually write. Mind you I don’t really have a category. I chewed on my thumb as I hemmed and hawed again. You can sense a theme here can you not?

T was here for the night so I asked him if I could read him the poem. He said sure mom. And listened to me. Than asked me if I had indeed made that up. I said yes I had written it. Oh, well it sounds like something from the 1700, 1800’s you know when they had like dragons and things.

First off yes I wrote the poem. Secondly dragons were not real. Do I wish that they were you bet that I do. However they are not. And it sounds nothing like the poetry of the 17 or 1800’s.

Still uncertain I asked him what he thought of it besides the above items. And he assured me that it was good.

The second requirement. A 50-150 word author biography. So I wrote one. And agonized over it because I don’t know what to say about myself. So after I wrote it I again went to my sounding board. T. And he assured me that it was perfect.

I wrote the email. I was very short and to the point. Not because I had nothing to say but  because I either over say things or present them in a flowery manner. Got it all ready and sat here looking at the send button.

Finally I looked over at T and asked if he wanted to come and watch me push the send button. He looked at me as though I might be a little weird but came and sat next to me. And I pressed the send button.

I am putting myself out there. This is not the norm for me. And now I wait.

I jumped. And my brother is the one who gave me the courage to do so.

****Brother of mine if you read this the above statement does not entitle you to any bouts of the ‘I told you so’ crowing that I just know I will hear.  Thank you Bro.