When I look in the mirror
I do not see
that others find in me.
When they wax eloquently
to explain the way my smile brightens
and my eyes sparkle with laughter;
all I can see are over large teeth
and the wrinkles that cover my face.
I do not see the wonder and joy
I cannot comprehend the whys of it all.
I do not know what draws them within
and keeps them close to my bones.
I stare deeply into the mirror
still unable to see
why they are called to me.
My dad was an awful father. I have no love for him. I do not visit his graveside and lament for lost relationships. Most of the time he is barely a blip on my subconscious.
I imagine that as a younger man he had something to sell. My mom is a smart woman so she must have seen something in him to have married him and had two adoring and wonderful children.
Once mom chided me for my disgust and dislike of my dad. Feelings which I have harbored within since I was a teenager. She told me that before the age of five my dad and me had been inseparable. I had adored him.
As a child, parents seem infallible. They are godlike and can do no wrong. Until they do. Until a child’s world begins to expand and they are able to assess their situation in relation to others.
I loved my dad until I was a teenager. I attempted to rebuild a relationship with him as an adult. I wanted his approval. Just once I wanted him to see me. Just once I wanted to have a dad.
I fluctuated for a long time with a love-hate relationship with my dad. I would have benefited from Al-Anon that is for sure. I may have been able to let go of the unrealistic hope that he would finally put the bottle down and become a dad.
For an alcoholic he was. My dad loved his rye. An affinity he passed onto both of his children. This is a man who would start the day off with a glass of rye because he could not find the gumption to face his day without it.
Do you see what happened there? Suddenly my dad is no longer this disgusting pathetic excuse of a drunken man. There is a glimmer of sympathy possibly shining through.
This revelation hit me as I am driving into the city with a friend. I am writing not driving. My dad would make a great character, everything written above a preface to a back story, to his story.
I began to wonder; how do I write my dad into a sympathetic character when I myself feel so much disdain? And I am going to take a chance. I am going to fictionalize my dad and see where his story takes him. And I hope some of you will come along for the ride.
*Photo is mine taken today.
I watched the sunrise today
with silent tears on my cheeks
not from sadness you see
but for all the opportunities.
How many sunrises have I missed?
Because of time needed elsewhere
of responsibility and
well, just life.
I am also crying tears-
Tears for the girl I was,
for the woman I thought I would be.
Tears for the woman I became
and tears for the woman I am becoming.
Tears of sadness,
Tears that cleanse my heart
and my soul
allowing me to embrace
all my opportunities.
Today is August 28th. In slightly more than 24 hours I will be 45 years old. I did not actually arrive in the world until 8:20 p.m. so am not “really” 45 ’til than.
I am looking forward to turning 45. I am not the same woman I was when I turned 44 last year. I am by far a much better and stronger version of her. I have taken my life and where I could have continued along the path of destruction I was on I changed. Slowly at first. But as the changes became good changes, as my outlook and feelings became harmonized and less disjointed I welcomed the changes.
I have documented my cycle of depression and how I had to claw my way back. I have an amazing support group who have been with me since I started on the new journey to me.
A journey that has seen me rise high enough to realize I was in an unhappy marriage and find the strength to leave. To my mistakenly believing all my problems were solved by the dissolution of my marriage and I went off my meds. I began to rely on alcohol to get me through the days.
My crash, which scared me so badly because I had allowed myself to be tricked into believing I was okay. Our brains are wicked when presenting one with deceptive illusions.
Even after I resumed taking my meds I still continued to self-medicate with alcohol. Finally July 1st I decided to stop. I went six weeks without drinking. And when I did, I woke the next morning disappointed in myself.
I have had some again but there is a difference. One that I can see and feel. It is no longer a need. There is no desire to negate the feelings I did not want to face.
So tomorrow I am turning 45.
I am eating better. I am sleeping better. I am exercising. I have quit drinking to self-medicate and find that I do not miss it.
Best of all I am writing again. I am more secure in the voice I have. I am letting those wonderful words combine and emerge like a waterfall from my finger tips. I believe in magic again.
At 45 I am beginning to emerge from the cocoon of the past. I can see my present but the future….that is a dream still waiting to be dreamed.
What one can expect to find if they continue after reading and understanding the rules:
My heart enclosed. The gates locked. Bridge is up and the moat is full. With vicious crocodiles. And piranhas.
As I sit here, pouting like a petulant toddler who’s discovered she has to share her candy, I realize how hard I am to please. I have always been the caretaker. That role, after doing it for years becomes exhaustive.
Every single relationship I have been in I end up being in total control. I am the one making all the plans, paying all the bills and ensuring that life continues along tickety-boo. And now I have independence and the only ones I need to worry about are T and myself.
So I have come up with 10 things I need to warn the opposite sex of. About me. And my requirements. For my non- relationship. With a man who can take care of himself.
1) I do not want a relationship. However I do not want to share you. So get use to it.
2) I want a text. Not a thousand times a day but a good morning, a hey in the afternoon and a good night. So I know I have flitted across your mind.
4) I want to hang out with you. But I don’t. So just sit there until you figure it out. I will continue to read my Kindle.
5) I want to talk to you. Sometimes I will actually want you to participate in the conversation. Wait for the extended pause and dive in there.
6) I am a little bit crazy. But just a little bit, most of my friends will tell you it is barely noticeable.
7) I have anxiety attacks. There is no rhyme or reason they strike from no where. Just talk to me calmly about anything so I can focus and ask you questions.
8) I am not certain I want overnight company. I now sleep diagonally across my king size bed. Debating if I want to share.
9) I live with depression. That means some days I am sad. There is nothing you can do about it. Give me a hug and kiss and I will be okay. Some cuddles are nice too.
10) I am extremely emotional. I cry at commercials. I get mad at stupid stuff. I feel things very differently.
Truthfully, I am forwarning most men. I am a weird woman. I want my independence. I want to be taken care of. I want to be respected.
T and me had a conversation recently. He wanted to know when I was going to get a boyfriend. I phfft’d and said I did not need a boyfriend.That I was more than capable of doing what was needed. He looked at me and asked ‘ you just needed one to help you put together my bed, right mom?’ (I so could have put his bed together but a friend with a drill is much more helpful)
I went for a walk and saw beauty in the bleak desolation of an empty beach and pier that only the day before teemed with life. And though the wind nearly blew me over I found myself drawn to the roaring waves and wind sculpted sand. I needed to take these pictures.
I always wanted to paint but lack the talent to take what I see in my mind and bring it to life on paper. Now I have the ability to take the pictures that draw me in and edit via my phone. This is just the start.