My Mother

I just had a thought. My mother, who is very in tune with the way that I feel and the ups and downs of my emotions must be having a panic attack. Not literally, but in the back of her mind, there is that worry. Is she going down that road again? How do I help her? What can I say to make it all better?

My writings of late have been about my depression but my poetry is a freedom of expression. For all the poems I have written every single one, my mom struggles to understand. She use to say to me, ‘It is good, but does it have to be so bleak?’ And I did not know how to answer. Bleak is what I do, it is what I relate to. And now this is seguing from a conversation about my mother to the evolution of my poetry.

I have always been dark. I like twists and turns, and devious minds. I like feeling scared (i.e. jumping out from behind the door and scaring the shit out of me) and my poetry has always reflected that. My poetry has been an expression for my feelings. Not always but for the most part, yes it has.

Until now. Now I am finding that I can twist and turn words and I can create imagery that is blindingly there, in front of your eyes. Which leads me back to my mother. I wrote a poem and posted it about abuse. My mom and my BFF freaked. They thought it was indicative of my emotions. At one time it might have been, but now, I have found the freedom to expand beyond that. To take my feelings and emotions and twist and spin them so that they tell a story.

So back to my mom…..she worries about me, she tries very hard to understand me, she supports me and is my cheerleader from hell and back……I am certain she would probably fight the devil himself for custody of me (and truth be told he would give me back ’cause who but my mom is gonna get me) and she has given me the freedom to be me….

Hey mom, I am saying this for the world to hear, I love you and appreciate all the things that you have done for me. And most of all…..thanks for believing in me.

Naked

I stand, naked before the mirror, looking at my flaws;

a thickening waist, breasts that are beginning to sag,

a small belly from carrying my son…

I am aging.

When I was 12, 18 seemed so far away

when I was 18, 25 was a century away

When I was 27,  I cried my first set of tears

because now I knew what it meant to be aging.

At 30 I learned that the turbulent emotions I have felt for years

the anger and rage that I spewed on my family

Was due to undiagnosed depression;

the fact I needed to sedate and obliviate

was something I figured was due.

At 35 I discovered I was pregnant and spent my time in fear

for previously I had lost my daughter,

and how could I go through that again?

My child was born a tribute to his father;

identical in looks I would say

But as he grew and aged the truth became apparent,

after his mother does he take.

Now I am 44 and before the mirror I do stand;

I see my flaws, my double chins, the crow’s feet around my eyes

but I have a better understanding, I am more free

from the child I was, the child I crave to be;

Peter Pan rides my dreams, for Neverland is true.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

March 15/17

Understanding

I had a conversation tonight that made me think. When one is going through the depths of depression, we are not aware of the environment around us. We are not aware, or I am not aware of the stresses that I put others through. I mean, I know with the bf I was angry and argumentative and I was trying to drive him away. Why? Because it fit with the way I was feeling, the emotions that were whirling through my head. So, how do you explain to someone who has never been through it what you are going through?

Again, due to this conversation, both of us realized there is a real face to diseases like cancer, diabetes, ms, parkinsons, dementia, but when it comes to depression there is no physical ailment. There is no understanding. It is not as though you can see a physical change in the person.  Yes, it is a chemical imbalance in my brain. But you cannot see it. What you see is one day I appear to be moping around and the next, I am so hyper and high that you are not sure how to deal with me.

So I began to think…..how do I explain how I feel, what I see, what is going on that affects me? And I cannot. I am so wrapped up in my own misery and sadness, that I do not care. I do not even notice how I am affecting those around me. I begin to notice when I start being angry all the time, and that the smallest things make me rage. But I put it off as others not caring and I take it all into myself.

All I can hear are the voices in my head, the ones that taunt me, tease me, tell me the things that I do not need nor want to hear. How I am a horrid mother, lover, friend. I am the world’s worst sister and daughter. And in doing so, I isolate myself so as to not subjugate anyone to the horror that has become me. I have not suddenly morphed into The Phantom of the Opera but I am most definitely within the Cersei  dispicable category.

Do I use my depression as an excuse for my behaviour? I do not know. Have I ever thought about how it affects those around me? I will admit that I have not. I have not even considered how hard it must be for someone standing on the outside trying to breach that wall. To have to stand there, to watch the person you care for tearing themselves apart and yet you do not know what to do? When you can feel their pain, as a palpable heart beat in the room, and yet you just do not know how to relate.

I caution patience. I caution self regard. I caution a little leeway for the depressed and yet I understand if it becomes so hard that you cannot. Every face of depression, whether worn by your mother, father, sister, lover, aunt or uncle, grandmother or grandfather, is different. Each one of us views that blackness in varying hues of greys and shadows.

For myself, I am sorry; to my son, my mother, my brother and my bf, to my friends and co-workers. I am sorry for the pain I put you through, the anger and mean things that I said. I cannot tell you that it will not happen again, because it will. There will come a time when my meds might plateau or something so incredibly devastating happens that I cannot even fathom reality; and I will plunge back into that waterfall of pain and hatred. I will be wrapped in a blanket of misery so thick you may dismay. But know I will come back. I will struggle and fight my way free.

And most of all I thank you for your patience. For you belief that I will not always be this bleak and so you stayed beside me. Holding my hand and coaching me through never turning your back. For trying to understand, even when you cannot……I thank you.

 

Reality

There is a sort of wisdom that comes when you grow up

dreams become a thing of childhood and long summer nights

Reality so different from what was once planned…..

how am I suppose to cope?

I thought that I would be a princess in a tower so high

I thought that I would fight with sword drawn; dragon at my side

I thought I would sail the seven seas. A Pirate Queen

I thought…..I dreamed……I hoped……

Instead, I sit at the kitchen table, check book in hand

trying so hard to make the numbers jive.

Juggling the figures so that we are able to eat

bet you never thought that it would come to this.

Reality is a bitch that breaths down your neck

reality is the hardship that each and everyone of us face

Reality……fantasy…..reality……

wait, was that a pink rabbit I just saw?

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

March 15/17

 

 

It’s the shortest and most ancient

Last Wednesday as T and me are driving to the dentist we are talking about his lack of reading. And how much it kills me because I am a voracious reader and I just do not understand. He does say to me ‘mom I know that it really bothers you and I do read, just not the way you do.’ Okay so maybe he might be humoring me but as I squinted at him sideways he grinned at me and I could not argue any further.

And than this happened:

‘So mom, you know the Eiffel Tower?’

I am a little confused because he is pronouncing the E like an I and I am not quite sure what he is asking me. So I make him repeat it at least three times before I understand.

‘Do you mean the Eiffel Tower in Paris?’

‘Yeah, I was researching it today. Did you know that it is the shortest building in the world?’

‘Um no buddy it isn’t. It is very tall. I think you might be confused because they give the height in meters.’

‘C’mon mom, I know.’

‘Buddy, no I am sorry. That is not true. It was an amazing creation. A masterpiece of it’s time. In WWII they actually blacked it out during a blitz so the Germans could not find it. I know buddy because I have read about this. There is an amazing book……’

‘So mom, when you win the lottery can we go to Paris? I wanna see the Eiffel Tower.’

‘Sure buddy. And maybe we need to do a little more research so you understand a little better.’

‘Hey mom, did you know in Egypt they have an ancient pyramid.’

And I must be a sucker for punishment. I know that he is 8 and I know that he will garble his facts but my OCD nature and just because the facts must be right, I have to correct him. Hence all the wonderful conversations we have had.

‘So which pyramid are we talking about?’

‘You know mom, that really ancient one.’

‘Um are we talking the Sphinx? The Giza Pyramids? The Valley of Kings?’

Moooooooooom, you know the ancient one.’

So I gave up. I listened to his happy chatter and bit my tongue. I tried not to point out to him that there were a lot of pyramids in Egypt. I ignored his facts on the Eiffel Tower. However he was really excited about the way the workers had to work on platforms that were on the outside of the tower. This is going to require further investigation.

So maybe I should actually consider this a win on the reading front? T might not be interested in reading fiction the way that I am. But he is showing an interest in history. I love history…….but shhhhhhhhh I have a secret, I like all history but Canadian. We are just so boring. LOL This is a starting point and from here I will push him into the deep end and nurture the need to learn about the past.

At least I know now that a trip to Paris and Egypt is on the books should I ever win the lottery.