Lessons

Stench of sin
filling ones senses
plying on emotions
dribbling saliva
thick strands 
doubles as a rope
keeping you tied to the alter.
Bloated beings
chant around the body….
Your body.
Your sin
Arms tied
feet spread
all watch you squirm
watch tears
hear pleas
ignored
save for their own pleasures.
Sought their help
afraid
demons haunt your dreams
your life
your mind
screaming terrors
claimed you would be cured
you would be saved.
Your Sin.
Your Mind.
Your Body.
Your Time.
Left
burning eyes in the shadows
watch 
your head twists side to side
seeking solace 
seeking reward
seeking justice.
Smile spreads over your lips
no one notices
ruby rose glow to your cheeks.
Quiet solitude
rent suddenly with screams
terror
dread
discovering that they know nothing
about the beast within your heart.
Learning your truth
learning your desires
bloodbath
tumble to your feet.
Marble streaked crimson
head cocked to the side
watching…..
demons run amok 
feeding upon the sins
souls
minds
of those foolish enough
to have thought you could be held
chained
caged
held at their whim.
Lesson taught.
Lesson learned.
Hunt not the wild woman
whose howls can be heard
a shudder down your back
pray not
I come for you.
 
March 2/19
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Mask Be Gone

Today will be another 2 post day but I will leave the second one for later on. It is a fun filled one about T and me last night.
I need to give credit where credit is due with regards to the posts where I have a lightening strikes moment and insight happens.  All of them, at the very least 99.9% of the time they evolve out of conversations that I am having with friends. They will make a statement or ask a question and suddenly boom there it is. And I talk it out with whomever I am talking to at the moment. The vast majority of them are broken down between two people of whom K is one of.
Today she is going to make cold calls for the company that she is working for. Dropping off flyers/information packets at the business around the area. When in the office for the most part she can go casual. Today though, she was not sure if it would be okay to wear casual or make a better impression if she dressed up. What did I think. And I thought about it.
Sales Person=Professional look=suits/slacks w/dress shirt for men. Pantyhose/skirt/slip/blouse/dress pants/blazer/dress/heels/flats/purse
for women. Damn uncomfortable being dressed up like that all the time. I have done it in the past and best place I have ever worked was for a company that was in production. I was in Customer Service but could handle this because I dealt with the salesmen not actual customers and I  could wear jeans and sweatshrits to work. I was in my glory. (To be honest the first day I started I wore dress pants in and was told I was dressed up too much.)
I explained that that was my definition of a sales person’s dressware and K agreed. She is going to throw her flair into it though and come out looking awesome. I began to think though as we are talking about what facades we put on. We are programmed to think and feel about certain people and careers solely based on how they are dressed.
Ex: A meeting is taking place between 2 competitors with a company. Person A arrives for the meeting casually dressed because he/she knows that the product they are selling is exactly what the companny requires and at a fraction of the cost even with a few bells and whistles thrown in of their competitor. Person B arrives for the meeting in business attire. Their product essentially the same as Person A’s but with extras that the company does not need nor will they ever use. And it costs triple the price. In the end despite the fact that Person A’s product is what they need for a great cost the company choses to go with Person B.
We immediately disregard people if they do not fulfill our preconcieved notions of how they should look. How does one know that the lawyer who wears jeans and tee shirts to the office did not graduate at the top of his law class while the lawyer in the $1000 suits who charges hourly did not? We give so much creedence to how we present ourselves to the world, that we forget who we are.
At work I have a facade. Chipper. Always happy. Smile on my face. Flying around here there and everywhere. Stopping to talk to people. Helping customers find what they need. This is the face that I wear day in and day out, 40 hours a week whether or not I feel like it.
Before Dec. 23rd, my entire being was a facade. I smiled and pretended I was happy. I laughed and talked and tried to be the world’s best problem solver. As I type this I recalled a moment just before that saturday which made me realize how much my facade was me.
I had been helping a customer and chatting away with them. When done I went over to another till to bag for one of my cashiers and her customer. All of us are chatting away and both of them mention that I am always happy. My mask slipped for a brief moment when I admitted that I was not really 100% me. And both of them told me that they never would have known. That I certainly did not show that things were not quite right.
Maybe if I had not been so intent on presenting myself as a strong and capable woman who required no assistance someone might have noticed a little earlier as the cracks began to appear. Maybe if I had been willing to be truthful with myself, I could have, no there is no could have. My facade had become me. I had become my facade.
Now I can look in the mirror and see me. This morning after I put cream on my face and set my glasses on my nose I took a really good look at myself in the mirror. And I saw me. The real me. The one who’s eyes are sparkling, clear, not fogged and drug numbed. I no longer look haggard and tired. I am still sleeping the same but again, there are no drugs at play deadening my sleep. I feel good. My hair is not looking brittle and ready to crack. Nor is it falling out in handfuls any longer. My skin is clearer and smoother as well.
There is another part of me that fell beneath the illusion of my facade and the role I was playing. That was my brain. My brain has been fooled and stupified and drug numbed for so many years I am damn surprised that it still functions. But it is there. With ideas and knowledge and truths that I fought to hide from for so long. I am open to the changes that are tearing down the ugliness that I wore to fool the world and replacing it with me. The real me.
I began thinking this was going to be a random reflection based on what K and me were talking about. Instead it opened my eyes further to the changes that I have wrought both inside and out. I am not going to wear masks any longer. What you see is who I am. I want to be accepted for the person that I am, not the person that society expects me to present to the world at large.

Lessons Learned

This was a week of lessons for both myself and T. I think too that it has been a hard week for him as the amount of time the Ex has spent with him has been minimal. I cannot even work up anger. I am resigned. I am sad for T. I cannot make him change. I cannot make him see the young man who is growing up right in front of our eyes. T is playing Farming Simulator as I sit here typing this.

I was excited because I am able to listen to my music on my notebook while writing and also watch T play Farming Simulator. I believe I have explained before? Long story short you build up a farm. People create maps and you go farm. Drive around. It is a popular game judging by the amount of Youtube videos I have been subjected to. At the moment I am sitting here with our shared headphones on (the ones that cover the whole ear not inserted buds that would be gross) listening to Florida Georgia Line. Basically I load the entire album and start at the beginning. Today may be the first time in a long time that I get through the very long list.

We had two rather comedic episodes that left me gasping for air I was laughing so hard.

Yesterday morning I was about to wash the bathroom floor and asked T if he wanted to go use the bathroom before I did. He said yes. As he is climbing down his ladder I stand there  and tell him he is not to pee on the floor, the seat, the side, nowhere but into the toilet as I had just finished cleaning it. As a matter of fact, I suggested that he straddle the toilet and push it down to pee straight in. With hand pantomimes. T stared at me in absolute horror and as I turned away informed me that that was the absolute worst advice ever. And if I had one I would totally understand why. I giggled again typing this up.

Later in the day as I was driving him to the Ex’s for his night with him T was muttering away about what an absolute boring evening it was going to be. That none of his friends could come over. It was going to be dad, grandpa and grandma. I

I am trying something new. We are all programmed to notice the negative, the absurd, in other people’s pain. We mock others to make ourselves feel better about our own selves. When T and me had our long conversation the other week I told him that we needed to change. That we needed to look for the positive no matter how hard it is going to be. And it is going to be hard. I mock others. I make fun of them to others. I am no saint as I told K and P. It is a habit, a trait, who knows but it needs to be changed. Now the other day when I dropped T off at school I mocked the bright color of one of his classmate’s snowsuit. I tried to recover by saying at the very least we would not lose him in a snowstorm. Told him that he was not to make fun of the boy to which he emphatically told me he would never. I told him I was sorry. That I should never have made a comment and about a child’s snowsuit nonetheless.

So back to T and me, driving to the Ex’s. Grandma and grandpa are visiting. T is going to be bored. I suggest that he could hang out with grandma. And glanced over to see him looking at me like this. Yes I pulled over and took this picture. Mom, he leans forward his arm on the back of the seat, that male posture when they want to tell you something really important in the car, Grandma is old. And she is annoying. The laughter escaped me and I tried to stifle it. I looked at T and explained to him that grandma really loved him. That she wanted to spend time with him. As he is muttering away, frowny face on, arms crossed. That was when I learned something new about T.

I suggested (I am great for suggesting things) that he might want to spend some time with grandma because she would not be around forever. And he said no that was not true. Um yes, unfortunately we all die someday. Nope, we get another life. I looked over at T and said you think after we die we get a different life. Yep. So you believe in reincarnation. Yeah like having past lives and all that. We get to be together in the next life too. There are times when T reminds me how so very special he is. He also believes that had he been born a girl, the Ex and me would have still been his/her parents. The life would have been the same just pink. He expanded my mind right there.

Today he was annoyed that I had picked him up from his friend’s so early. Had thought that he was going to be staying there until 5 p.m. He was angry with me and refusing to talk. So I thanked him. I could have argued until I was blue in the face with him about his attitude but again I am trying different things to find what works for us. I want to stop that cycle I have seen myself falling into. But no, I thanked him. And waited. Finally he asked for what.

I told that I had taken his suggestion and had started writing a story the night before. Wanted to know what it was about so I gave him a quick a synopsis. Explained that what had started off as a short story about one thing had morphed into something else totally different. My main character had a story to tell we were just figuring it out. I thanked him again and he said you are welcome. I felt it was a small victory and we chatted and laughed all the way home.

Once home with chores taken care of I went to grab the headphones and T was loading his game. Asked where the headphones were. As if I didn’t know, he had taken them into his room one day watching Youtube and left them in there. He fought with me. Told me I had taken them and put them somewhere and it was not his fault that I could not remember. I took the remote for the XBox and sat down on the couch explaining that he could have the remote back once he checked his room.

He argued with me and I kept my cool. I did not yell. I did not let my temper get the best of me. I spoke calmly and repeated that he would get the remote once he had gone to look for the headphones. Finally I said that if he was sure they were not there could he please just humor me and go take a look. Stood in the door and said looked. Uh-uh get up there and look.

I heard him climb up into his bed and silence. After a few moments I got up and double checked the table and counter just in case I was being a hardass for something I had in fact done. I stood watching him from the doorway as he climbed down and threw the headphones at me. I think he thought I was going to crow and say I told you so. Or some form of that. Instead I said thank you I really appreciate that you looked for them. Warned him I might sing and was that okay? I was informed that it was most definitely not cool to sing out loud. I made no promises. He giggled.

I need to be his example. I cannot expect him to act one way and for me to act another. I will slip. I am sure that I will make a mocking comment about someone, and snort giggle when reading memes on FB again I am no saint. But I will actively work to do this. For both of us. And in a world full of negatives looking for the positive is hard. And that is when I learned my second lesson.

What I do now is easy. I am in my home. Being a good example is not hard when I am not interacting with others for extended time periods. I will be going back to work. I will be around toxic people who are going to attempt to shame me. Those who are going to judge me. Not celebrating with me as I recover from this bout of depression. That I am emerging a better stronger woman. And it is going to be hard to not to give in. To not laugh at that little aside about a coworker. A dis about an employee. An irate customer. Being tired. I could come up with a thousand reasons why I slipped back and forget what I was doing this for in the first place.

Yes in part this is a step in my mental health and realizing that I was following a cycle that my father got from his mother. I was yelling at T and several times during the week I cut myself off from phrases he said. I need to break it here and now. But this is for Tember. Our children are our future, and I want to encourage T to see the good first before having to process the bad.

 

Two Peas in a Pod

***First time I used the phrase ‘two peas in a pod’ to T he asked what it meant?I explained that it meant two people were identical. He informed me that we were not identical as my one toe is longer than my big toe and his is not.***
Yesterday morning T was annoyed with me. He tried to be sneaky, first time ever. I came out of the bathroom ready to go and see that T is not wearing his jacket. My eyes do a quick check and spot it under his blanket on his couch. I told him that he had to put it on. That it was not yet warm enough for him to go without. He put his jacket on and stomped up the stairs and out the door.
We both got into the car. Sat down. Slammed the door shut. Than did a bounce back so we were in the seat all the way back. Grabbed our seatbelts and buckled them in.  I began to laugh. T is looking at me and I tell him we do the exact same thing when we get into the car. It was like watching a mirror image of myself. I had never noticed this before.
I wonder if I am noticing because I am spending so much more time with him. We are usually apart 2 week out of the month. During those times, he is growing and learning. Changing. I miss seeing the little traits and habits he picks up, unless he happens to do them in front of me.
More and more, I hear myself coming out of T’s mouth. That is okay though, yesterday when I asked T about something mom came flying out of my mouth. Happened again when asking T ‘if he was fibbing’ when he said he text chichi this morning. She came right out there. With T it is a phrase that I use often. I’m not the biggest fan of…..insert whatever you dislike at the moment here. Listening to T say it, I struggle not to giggle at him. That would just make him so very very mad.
I love having him here with me. We have been laughing a lot lately. Yesterday I got my hair trimmed and thinned. It feels wonderfully light. T arrived a little early and asked to play Farming Simulator. I said sure why not. He was complaining to me about the narrow roads when I look up and see a vehicle heading directly at him. I holler you are on the wrong side of the road. This map is in Ireland. T retorts I am use to Canada driving.
Finally I asked T if he noticed anything different about me. He looks over and says no. I roll my eyes and ask how he could not have noticed my hair. For one it was not in a shaggy mess around my head, it was poker straight. He said oh yeah I noticed. Well why didn’t you say anything? Because I thought you would be mad. Mad because you notice my hair. Why would I be mad? It shows that you are paying attention. Mom do I have to pay attention? Of course you do. One day when you start dating you will thank me. Who says I am going to date anyone?
This lead to a conversation about him being an adult. And not dating. I wondered that he would not get lonely?  He would get a dog. Or two. A pig. I suggested that he might want companionship. His answer, he would visit either myself or the Ex every day so we could hang out. I stared at him and said no way, I am not hanging out with you all that time when you are an adult. He fake cried. And I begin to giggle
In a previous post I mentioned a conversation we had about winning the lottery. How I would follow him around everywhere. That this was the same. I sat here, laughing until I had tears and T was a blurry image. I could barely explain to him why I was laughing. I offered him these terms: Should I win the lottery I get to follow him around everywhere and in return he can come and hang out with me whenever not every day but often. He was perturbed by my line of thinking and he informed me that I may not win the lottery. Of course not odds are 50/50.but I would take that wager. Either way I win. I get to spend more time with T. 💞😊💞

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.

Like, Um, Just

Last week this all began. Thursday was the day of the absolutely mortifying conversation and subsequent change in behaviour. That was all the day that T and me talked. I did not yell or scream, he did not feel he needed to make excuses, we talked. And than we even sat down and had dinner together.

As T and me are eating and having even more conversations, I slowly become aware of the fact the every other word out of T’s mouth is like. Followed by um. Flashback to the day before when I was going to the back to do something and passed a young woman on her phone. Every second word in that 30 second snippet I overheard was like. Like this, like that.

Now I guarantee you that as Chichi is reading this, she is howling over her cup of Yarba chortling ‘oh Jay.’

The story behind the word like in our household:

I am a child of the 70’s and 80’s. Valley Girl idioms made their way as far north as Winnipeg, Manitoba. So like was a popular word. My mom hates it. My aunt who is an editor hates it. I now realize why.

In February 2016 I went and spent two weeks with my mom. Am pretty sure that those two weeks saved my life because when I came back home I had a game plan for how to move away from the toxicity I found myself in. Chichi and me walked a lot and talked. We always have. Or rather, I have always told her everything and she in return tries to not offer advice but listen and allow me to talk my way through it.

I imagine after about a week Chichi was exasperated by my continued use of the word like in my sentences. Finally she demanded of me if I knew how often I said the word like when I was speaking. I was taken aback. I never use the word like I countered. Really? Chichi challenged me to listen to what I was saying and to count how many times I used it.

Holy cow Batman!

It was horrible. I was using like as though it were fairy dust and I was sprinkling that shit everywhere.

Like is the lazy way of speaking, Chichi and my Aunt ringing in my head. You are in too much of a rush to speak and not to find the words that will help you express what you need to. (As a writer I understand however 2 years ago I was still bumbling around in the dark, lost and buried beneath my life and unhappiness.)

It took a lot of perseverance but I was able to do it. I stopped in the middle of sentences a lot for a while when the word like danced on my tongue. But I did it.

Now flash forward to my household and T’s receiving the exact same lecture that I did 2 years ago. I explained how it was considered to be a lazy way of speaking. That he needed to slow down and think about what he was saying. T looked at me and went okay mom. And as I type this I realize that I have not heard him use the word like at all.

Before though you raise your morning coffee/tea and salute me in this I do have a confession to make:

I have discovered another word that I overuse when I am writing text messages or am talking and that word is ‘Just.’

I just walked in the door.

I just got off the phone.

I just, I just, I just, must, need to find another word to describe the moment.

🙂

 

I had an epiphany

This morning I was having a conversation with a friend. I know I often have conversations but this one, this one got me to thinking.

I am a fixer. A ‘Give me your problems and I will find a solution’, type of woman. Does not matter who you are or what the problem is, by nature, I want to make it all better for you. And now my brain has veered off into how the hell did I become a fixer? Why do I yearn to take on the world’s problems and make them right? Why (until now) did I always chose men who needed their hands held at every turn?

Small problems (which are not even problems) such as helping someone locate a hard to find item. Trying to put their fears to rest when attempting something new. My response to that is always the same, ‘Imagine the absolute worst thing that could happen and after that anything that occurs is going to be a piece of cake. Walk in the park. Cake in the park.’ You get it.

Larger problems can take up a lot of my time. I mull over them. I twist it this way and that. Looking for the hole that I can wiggle through. The hole that is going to lead to the answer, or at least a partial solution.

This is draining. My focus is no longer on myself, on my care and T’s. It becomes super stressful. In the past my way to handle it would have been to drink.

Today as I was having my conversation I made a sudden connection. And that connection leapt along the synapsis of my brain and made more connections. Until I stopped watching the gems fall and turned to face my friend. I wanted to shout this discovery from the rooftops, however that would require getting dressed and I am just not up for that at the moment.

I have a friend who is going through a really tough time. When I look at her life, I am surprised that she is still standing. The amount of shit life has thrown her way, and the fact that she is here, present and alive, amazes me. She is an absolute rock, one of the strongest women that I am privileged to have as a part of my tribe.

She text me early this morning and I was reading over them, giving half explanations without betraying her confidence in me and it happened.

I am not put on this earth to be the caretaker of anyone else. (Well with the exception of T but that should go without saying.)

It is not up to me to scoop up the troubles that plague the world. It is not up to me to point out how by taking a step over this way, could change how you view things. It is not up to me, to fix the problems that they come to me with.

What is up to me?

To be a damn good friend. To offer my shoulder and my ear. To listen and at the same time when I speak, to be wise and offer up my own experience and solution to an equatable problem.  Something that they can mull over themselves and it might help them to find the solution to their own issues. Or it may not.

Another part of this rebounds from a conversation that K3 and me were having. In it she stated that she felt we were brought into people’s lives so they can benefit from our experiences. I disagreed. We can tell people about what occurred but they are still going to make their own choices based on their own morals and life experience. Not ours.

What do we learn if we take all the advice others give us?

And that is another part of the epiphany which just came to me.

I am a big believer in learning my own lessons. No matter the pain that I am going to feel, I will face what I need to do. (Now I do, previously I may have stuck my head in the sand before facing my problems)

I need to speak less and listen more.

I need to be a friend, a warm hug, a place to shelter without compromising my emotional well-being. And I can be.

Because as I journey forward along the twisted path that my life is, I learn more and more about my role and place on this planet.

🙂