T: My Dream

There comes a time in every woman’s life when she falls in love.
Not with her husband
not with her boyfriend
but with her child.
When they come from within
and are laid on her tummy mewling
she welcomes them to the world.
Once I thought it would not happen
once I thought my time had passed
that a child would not
could not
be born of me.
Yet he came
tiny and fragile
delicate yet
and fierce to the end.
They told me not to worry
if he did not cry or scream.
I braced myself for fear
yet when they laid him upon me
he grabbed my finger and held on tight
proclaiming his appearance.
My little warrior,
the fighter that I was meant to be.
Six years later
he astounds me.
He robs me of my breath.
I watch him grow
and learn.
And damn don’t I know
that the best of me is in front of me.
My son.
My child.
My life.
My moon and stars.
The dream I thought I had missed.
Originally written August 7/14 (T’s birthday)
revised March 20/18

It’s time…..

Went into work today with my return to work note. I feel that returning to work 4 hours a day 5 times a week is the best for me. It is what is healthiest for both my mental and emotional well being. I also do not want to jump back in with both feet. I am quite content to work in customer service or cashiering. Reassess after I have been back for awhile.
I was scared to go in and talk to my boss. Very scared. At first I sent off a message to a friend who I discuss everything with.  Than I told the girls. Also explaining to them that I had snarled at T this morning. Than I talked to V.  Told her that despite all my bravery that I was scared shitless to talk to him. I was afraid that he was going to want to talk about what happened and I did not want to revisit it. That was a bad place for me. And that I was worried that I might cry.
First V assures me that losing it on T was totally normal. Kids do not listen to us and it is damn frustrating. And she is right. I had to ask him three or four times to get in the bathroom and brush his teeth. As a matter of fact, I grabbed him by his arm and pushed him into the bathroom. This after snarling at him about the shower this morning. He stank. Badly. But he was annoyed that I did not wake him up at 6. He tried to push back. I pounded on the bed that he was going to shower because he stunk. We went back and forth. He ended up showering.
V reminded me that we were the parents. We made the choices and rules. They had to listen and follow them. She said the right thing at the right time. Now instead of using ‘because I said so’ I am going to pull out the choice and rule law. Way to go V. Coming up with a great way to explain to my child and all children why they must listen to their parents.
Than she addressed my fear about crying. Assured me that it was okay. And to remember that our boss is human too.
I felt so good after talking to her. Calm. There were some twinges in my stomach but nothing overwhelming to me.
Now fast forward to arriving at work. I was terrified to walk in there. I sat in the car and said my affirmations. I shot off a few quick messages of and got out of the car. First I had to drop my prescription  off at the pharmacy and than I went to the front and had boss paged. Gave him the note and he read it. We were going upstairs to discuss my return.
I waited outside his office. Flicked through my phone. And than he came up and I followed him in.
I did it though. I was calm. The butterflies in my stomach disappeared. I looked him the eye and maintained eye contact. I had been wanting to come back slowly and had been going to suggest customer service or cashiering shifts. So it was very easy to agree when he made the suggestion. He wants to observe me. I need to regain his trust. The trust of the other supervisors and staff.
I told him that by far, my well being, emotionally and mentally are what is important to me. That I no longer was going to look down the road but will remain in the present. And than he suggested that I may decide that I did not want to remain as the lead supervisor. At first, I think my reaction was knee jerk when I said to him that I could still do it.
This is food for thought. I have learned a lot about myself in the last three months. And like the butterfly breaking free from the cocoon I am spreading my wings in the sunshine. Ready to soar.

Go Me!

I feel like I need to say something. I am not sure what it is that I want to say though. Thoughts keep flashing through my head. Not one stops to let me latch on. My inspiration seems to have fallen short. Truthfully I do know what my problem is. I am unsure of how it is that I am going to deal with it. I keep starting to build scenerios in my head and than stopping. This is a dangerous road for me to go down because it starts small and spirals. Every time this happens, I tell myself to not go there. I do not know what the conversations are going to bring. And no matter how much I plot and plan, I do not know what the other person is going to say.
I do not want to return to work. I have been in Customer Service since I was 17 years old. As a waitress, a receptionist, rental and kitchen supplies, taking orders in an industrial setting, and for the last 14 years have worked for the same company in a variety of positions. I am working at a job that does not satisfy me. That does not challenge me so I need to create challenges. I fell into Customer Service by default. It is something that I am good at. Talking to people. Welcoming them. Remembering them. This was not where I was planning to be. A career in writing, that is where I saw myself but the path sorta veered out to the right, crossed to the left and has finally straightened out again.
I recently wrote about how T believes in me. It is time to start to believe in myself and my writing. I recently took the plunge and submitted a poem to the New Reader Magazine. I have mentioned this before and as I type this it has been exactly a month since I sent the poem in. I patiently await a response and am prepared for anything. Rejection is what I am expecting. Not because I do not think that the poem I submitted is not good but because it is my first submission anywhere.
This passed weekend I had the weirdest inspiration. And I wrote a poem that my baby bro told me was pretty good. He was not sure how one goes about measuring a poem as he has never read one before. Which let me know that it actually must be good because this is a man who reads absolutely nothing if he is able to get away with it. (It is due to my wonderful SIL that my niece and nephews are such voracious readers.) I had another poem that fit with this one so I put them together and submitted them.
Of course last night after submitting them I had an ‘omg what the hell have I done? I am so pretentious. Who am I to write about this material?’ I sent a message to K who of course talked me down. She is actually the one who encouraged me to submit Moral Bankruptcy  in the first place. The other is called Subvert. Two brand new and unpublished anywhere poems. And now I wait. Again I am fully expecting to be rejected. I submitted to The New Yorker.
Who am I to do this? That is what is going through my head over and over again. How could I have the audacity, an unknown writer, to submit to one of the most prestigous magazines out there? And in my voice I can hear my bro telling me over and over again to jump. Mom is behind him saying JDI-just do it. And most of all there is T cheering the loudest with ‘Mom you can do this. You can do anything.’
I am moving out of my comfort zone. I am proud of the poetry that I have written. Proud of the poetry that I have submitted. Poetry that as of yet has only been read by K and my bro. Proud of myself.  I am putting myself out there. For good or bad, I have done it.  Go me!

Good Enough Woman

Friday I was talking with M. She was not feeling well and had decided to go home. I cheered this decision. Because as I have learned ignoring your own needs and those of your body is detrimental to your mental and physical well-being.
At first she attempted to downplay how she was feeling. Her heart was doing some funky things. She was not sick sick. Not contagious. I was a little ticked off and told her that whether mentally, physically or emotionally ill, you have to take time for yourself. That being stupid like that is greatly overrated. To which she asked if I had never worked when I was sick.
Yes, I have. I often feel guilty that I am calling in sick. I pushed myself through at least two months of depression before I finally hit my rock bottom. I have been made to feel that I should work through any illness that I might have. That if my child is sick I am required to make other arrangements. I must be there. Well hell guess what? I no longer choose to allow someone else to decide whether I am healthy enough to work or not.  I will no longer not be with T when he is ill. Children need you. I still want my mom when I am sick. So she can tuck me in and make things all better. It doesn’t really but I can pretend.
My response may have been a little extreme. I mean we were texting and I could have edited but my text went to her as though she was sitting in the room with me.
“I have and where the fuck did that get me? Emotionally and mentally ill. Breaking down because I thought I had to be superwoman.’
And there is the crux of it. I thought I could burn my candle at both ends and get away with it. It is not possible. It is not healthy,  I thought that if I was superwoman, if I was perfect that everything would fall into place and my world would begin to make sense. But it didn’t. Again, Superwoman is overrated. Being her requires a lot of personal sacrafice and being there for everyone but yourself.
Personally I prefer to be ‘The Good Enough Woman’.
The Good Enough Woman:
My son thinks that I am an amazing person. He believes in me. He believes in my writing.
I have learned who my supporters and friends truely are.
I have found myself again. The real me. Not the one who used alcohol and drugs to escape her pain.
I have found strength.
I have reprioritized my wants and desires.
I am reaching for the stars.
I wake each morning feeling satisfied and wonderful.
I am settling the past and living in the today.
I am learning, each and every day, new things about myself.
I am able to own my feelings.
I am able to now see when I allow others to affect my mindset and self. (They whoever they may be do not have the right to make me feel as though my best is not good enough) And I will calmly explain that this is how I feel and I do not appreciate it.
I am good enough for myself. I am good enough for T. I am good enough for the people that orbit in my life.
No one is perfect. I don’t care what you believe. No amount of striving and reaching will ever be enough. You are always going to fall short.
And when you fall short the recriminations, the disgust, the need to push beyond your limits will fell you like the mighty oak. And perfection is overrated. We all have flaws. We all have imperfections. And that is what makes this beautiful world of ours so magnificent.


Tears escape
traveling over pale cheeks
lost within this
yet unable to discern why?
Days have been good.
Very very good.
When I feel like this,
unable to exercise
I begin to fear.
Fear that after all my hard work
I am falling
back to the beginnng of my time.
That this lovely dream
that I have built
is exactly that,
a dream that I will awaken from.
©Jay-lyn Doerksen
March 15/17

Conquering Queen

Yesterday I received a text from the Ex indicating that his S.O. (significant other) was not working and that T could stay the night there. At first I was annoyed. I think I erased my text two before coming up with ‘Whatever T would like is fine with me.’ The reason that I put the choice in T’s hands is that this is his dad’s week with him. So he would see him before work last night and before school this morning. The first time in a long time. And I already knew what the answer would be. I did not hear back so text the Ex after awhile to check on T’s response.  And he said yes, he wanted to stay at his dad’s.
When I saw that single word response to my text my heart ached and I stifled a sob.
Even though the Ex and me share custody of T I have become use to having him here every night. We have a routine. And I get to see him every single day. So not seeing him last night was a kick in the pants. I had planned to see him. I was waiting to hear about his day. Now I had to reorganize my thoughts. Tears welled in my eyes, and there was pain. I decided that I would do the dishes thinking that if I had something to concentrate on it would not pain me so much.
As I stood at the sink, tears overcame me. My eyesight blurred and I gave into the sadness for a minute. And than I did what I do best now I talked to myself.
‘Jay you can feel sad but you need to get use to this. You need to get use to having one week where you are not going to have T. You won’t see him. This is normal. You have become greedy given that you are seeing him every day. Obviously he is going to want to stay at his dad’s, after all it is his week with him.’
I am not saying that I was feeling 100% better but I calmed down. And by the time that I was done the dishes and back on the couch, I had settled. I had come to peace with myself. Or so I thought.
Today as I am exercising I am looking at myself and critically. I am not liking what I see. There are small tweaks here and there that I could make. Where I was a year ago to where I am today is a huge difference. I am not drinking. I am not taking pills. I am working out. I am writing. But today I was not being nice to myself. I looked the wrong way at myself and decided that that was it, no more pizza. No more sweets. I text a friend and said over and over that I knew my thoughts were insane.
And as we text I realize I was being hypercritical of myself. Subconsciously something was at work and I think that I have figured it out.
I was sad yesterday and even though I did not consciously think it, I wondered what I had done wrong. Why did T not want to come spend the night here? Where had I failed that he would stay at his dad’s even when his dad is not home?  I had no control in that situation at all because I had given it all over to T and his decsion.
And my feelings were hurt. I really had thought that T was going to want to come and spend the night here with me. And because I could not admit that to myself the highly critical freak me rose to the occassion. I pushed down what I was feeling. I had cried but I did not say outloud  that I was hurt. Because that was wrong. I should not feel that way.
I am allowed to have feelings. In acknowledging this the critic in me, who was trying to skew my thinking and pull me back into an obsession with my body image, has been kicked to the curb.
This is a huge step for me. Admitting I am allowed to have feelings. Admitting that yes, I was hurt that T chose to stay at his dad’s last night but I understand why he made that choice. T is going to hurt me over and over again. That is what children do. The broader world at large does not exist for them. They are the center of their world and the immediate family is in their orbit. I will never tell T about how much it hurt. I did feel like he was picking his dad over me.
And he was because it is his dad’s week with him.  Just like he would chose to come home to me if this was my week.
Once more T has taught me a lesson. And in doing so he has helped me. I have a body image problem that I am acknowledging for the first time ever. I realized this because I stuffed the emotions down and than looked at myself for little things that I could criticize and than concentrate on fixing. That I could control. Perfect. Nothing is perfect, least of all me. And slowly but surely, all those parts of me, the ones that are not healthy, are becoming absorbed within me.
I saw very quickly what I was doing. This did not take me a week to figure out, a month, hell it did not even take me 24 hours to realize what I was doing and put an end to it. Each time I catch myself exhibiting behaviour that can trip me up I conquer it. That is not to say that it will not appear elsewhere but it is the catching it that is important here. Once caught I can change the way that I think and slowly but surely eliminate the behaviours that can harm me.

All signs point to…..

I had to run out this morning to grab a few items. Went to Canadian Tire. I have a spot removal machine and have been searching high and low for the cleaning liquid and Oxy boost liquid. Canadian Tire was my last resort. I needed a few other things too. Laundry detergent. A key cut. I headed off to the Automotive department to have the key cut where they no longer do this. I need to go to the Paint department. Needless to say each department is a store length apart. I was juggling the two liquid containers and the pack of Tide pods.
I am left handed. Being left handed means that I cannot draw a straight line. Now before all the left handers of the world revolt and start pitching the wronghanded scissors at me this is not a phenomenon that all left handers share. But it was the only excuse that my shop teacher was willing to accept when he could not figure out why, even with a T ruler, my lines were still crooked. Slanted. Which means that all the pictures in my house when hung together, are not artistically positioned that way, I am as inept at that as well.
I admire people whose homes are put together with color schemes. The cushions tieing into the drapery to the who knows what else. The ones who could paint murals on their walls. Free hand cute sayings on the walls. Me, I am not sure what you would call my style. I mean I only got a real bed frame the summer of 2016. For several months my mattress was on the floor. Got an actual comforter set, matching, for my birthday this year. That is it though. I am a comfort person. Clothes. How I live. What I eat. I am ecclectic I guess one would say. Both with my style and my personality.
That being said let’s get back to Canadian Tire. I am heading towards the Paint deparment when suddenly right there, in my path is a roundy round display stand with sayings on it. Usually I would breeze by. These are the type of things that are going to be the individual letters and like hell I can make them straight on the wall. But than I glanced down and ‘If you can dream it you can do it’ pops up at me. Hmmmmmmmm okay so like the candle telling me that I am worthy of my dreams here is another nudge. I pick up the package and flip it over, figuring that I could make it work somehow. Imagine how delighted I was to discover they are peel and stick. And only $2. Grabbed it and stepped back.
My eyes fell on the next one. ‘Change your thoughts and you Change your World’. Wow, that was all I could think. Of course I had to pick that one up as well.
When I got home, the first thing I did was peel and stick. The Dream is on the bathroom mirror. So that every time I am in there I will see it and read it. It is a mantra for me to follow. And I am in the bathroom often, our washer and dryer are also in there. Change is above the computer. I sit facing it on the couch. Every time I lift my eyes I see it and read it. And cry.
I don’t know why I am crying. I am happy. I am slowly getting myself ready to go back to work. T and me, we are working at building our relationship stronger and closer. I myself am getting stronger.  My mental health is good and I know what I must do to maintain it.
The universe is obviously trying its damndest to tell me something. And I am going to listen.20180312_1106061684248282.jpg