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


How do you describe a wave?
Water pushing and pulling. Dancing upon itself.  Folding.  Grasping the dappling sun, pulling it beneath the teal waters. Twisting and turning. Capturing and releasing. At its peak it rolls, curling under, ready to submit to itself.
I am having problems with my fiction writing. While it was flowing before now it seems to have dried up. So I thought that I would begin to write. Let the words flow from my mind to my fingers. It did not matter what I was writing, I needed to be writing.
I keep picturing the wave in my mind. Seeing it build and peak and crash back down. Or smooth out softly hitting the shore with barely a ripple.
When I was younger, I would go to the cabin with my amma. The dogs.  It was at Beaver Creek, now known as Beaver Creek Provincial Park. It is on Lake Winnipeg. I loved swimming when it was rough. Wading in, diving through the waves. Laying back and letting the water hold me, keeping me safe. I would ride the waves. Letting the water lift and lower me. The water was my friend, warm even if the day was gloomy and overcast. I have always loved the water, feeling protected and secure.
I miss being a little girl. I miss my amma. I miss my grandma and grandpa. I want a chance to do it all over again. I want the chance to make different choices. I want to fly. I want to dream. I want to live as though tomorrow has no consequences.
I know that this is not realistic. I am an adult, I have responsibilities. I have a life. A son. So going back is not an option for me. And besides all my choices have lead to me being here.
I have always felt strong emotions. Sadness. Fear. Love. Pain. Joy. Happiness. Anger. And I really never knew how to deal with them. I was unable to see that eventually they would pass and I would go back to it being alright. I did not know how to let go of those emotions. I hoarded them. All the hurt and pain, I shut it out. I never learned to navigate those emotional waters. How much has time changed. Now my main goal is making sure that T is able to do so.
That he is going to know that not everything is going to go the way that he wants it to. He will learn to weather the disappointments and let downs, knowing that they are not going to last forever. T will ride the wave better than I have.
Going forward when things get a little much for me, I will ride the waves. The anxiety, pain, fear, disappointment whatever it maybe, I will go up and crest. Than slowly come down the other side. Landing upon the shoreline. I will ride each wave. Secure in the knowledge that the waves can be swum, I no longer need to fear being submerged and drowned.

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.

He believes

Belief: Confidence in someone
T has that in spades for me. Way more than I think that I have in myself and my writing.
Thursday I allowed him to stay home in the morning as we had a dentist appointment at 11:50. His tooth has been bothering him. Every time he laid down to go to bed, during the day, suddenly there would be a sharp pain from his jaw to his ear. I was worried that my insurance was not in place and that I was going to end up paying an arm and a leg, which at this time is not an easy task for me. Bonus, not only was my insurance in place but up to the first $200 was 100% covered and everything after that was 60% off. Well damn but isn’t that awesome. (His two appointments were covered within the $200 limit and a $15 balance yet!)
Thursday was a weird day for me. I spent a lot of time with weepy eyes. At the time, I did not know what it was that was bothering me. I do know now however it is not something I am ready to openly blog about. V told me that having ‘leaky’ days, as she calls them, are perfectly fine to have. Yet my mood had not plummeted. I was still having a good good day. Even with all those tears.
T is a little strange and I say that with absolute pride because so am I. He was pumped that he was going to see the dentist. Quite a change from when he was little. The tooth had previously been filled last year. It had been a deep cavity and T chose to have a silver filling put in. Now though, either the tooth had chipped or part of the filling had come off.  Now as an aside, my mouth is not filled with silver fillings but back in my day (making myself sound as though I am 145) that was the only type of filling we could get. None of this fancy white filling like these young whipper snappers get these days. But white is stronger than silver in the filling wars. When he discovered that he was going to have to come back and get a filling the next day T was super exciting. (No word of a lie when we returned yesterday morning he announced to the office at large how much he loved having his teeth filled. I am still terrified of it.)
A white filling was required as Dr. K had to remove all the old filling and refill. She did not charge me extra for the white one which was yet another bonus. But that was a Friday bonus and I am writing about Thursday. After both appointments T did try his darndest to get me to allow him to stay home using the arguements that a) his jaw may start to hurt in the middle of the afternoon on Thursday and b) the frozen tongue syndrome on Friday. He went to school both days.
I had my revelation as we were talking on the way to school Thursday about why I was weeping. T of course had the answer for me. Just Quit. Don’t do it anymore. I had to explain that it did not quite work that way. That I have responsibilities to fulfill. T was silent for a moment.
‘Mom maybe they will hire you and than you can stay home and write full time.’
I was a little shocked as it seemed like a full change in conversation. And than it dawned on me that he was talking New Reader Magazine where I had submitted my poem.  I laughed a little and explained to him while that would be a dream come true, that that was not how things worked. There was no way that they were going to hire me to write full time. But I lived in that fantasy world for a brief moment.
‘Well mom, than you need to write a long book. One with 25 chapters. You will get published and can stay at home and write.’
I smiled and told T that that was what I was doing with Juliette’s Journey. Working title only. And he nodded and sat back.
I was sitting at home after dropping him off when it struck me how confident T was. He made the announcements, the one about the magazine hiring me and publishing my book, as if they were already done deals. He does not have fears like I do. He does not mistrust the words that I write as I sometimes do. He looked at me and he only saw that I was going to do this. No matter what. And that was when I realized that T really believed in me. He did not even consider that I may fail at writing. He believes in this dream with all his heart.
I realize I have a lot of work to do. I have to live up to his expectations of what I am capable of. And I do not want to let him down. I always tell T that he can do whatever he wants to do. If all I do is talk about my dreams yet never chase them, I am saying one thing while showing him another. And I want him to reach for the moon and stars. I want him to dream big and go for it. He is amazing. He is smart. He is a great looking kid. And I need to be the one to show him how to Jump.

Little Asshole

T came back from his dad’s yesterday evening. 8:23 p.m. Good thing I had gone up to unlock the door already otherwise T would have bounced off it and the banging would begin. He sounds like a herd of elephants passing by when he bangs on that door.
It started off innocently enough. We were chatting. I asked if he had had a good time with his dad and what had they done. What did he have for dinner. Those types of things. He was sitting next to me when I received a pop up notification that I had received a message on Skype. And T caught the name on the notification. And the interrogation begins.
T was 7 when the implosion of my marriage happend. I was not nice. I was not brave enough nor strong enough to tell the Ex that I wanted out of the marriage and to hold firm on it. Instead in my warped way of thinking, I decided I had to do something that would make him hate me. Hating me would mean that he would let go. It was not the smartest nor the right way to do things. I have apologized to him. However T is beginning to ask questions. I am not sure what the Ex has all told him so I am hedging things as he does not need to know the adult issues.
Yesterday T got a little belligerent as he was talking to me. I was trying to explain that no the way that I had ended our marriage had not been the right way. That I no longer loved his dad. That we were both by far happier apart than together. T shut me down after a bit which I was fine with. He was not being his usual self. He was irritable and mouthy. When he went to bed he demanded that I waken him at 5:45 so he could shower. I explained that that was not going to happen as 5-6 a.m. is my time to exercise and get myself ready for the day.
I woke at 4:50 this morning. Than laid there for the full 10 minutes until my alarm went off. I did not want to get up this morning. I am still suffering from the hour jump ahead that occured on the weekend. Pushed myself out of bed and made it! That is right I made my bed as soon as I got out of it. I am sure that mom is having a chuckle right now as she has been trying to get me to make my bed since I was 6. Bathroom. Brush teeth. Read my dream affirmation on the mirror. Stand there with the toothbrush in my hand pointing it at my reflection, specks of toothpaste in the corner of my mouth and hitting the mirror as I say my own affirmations.
Worked out. Worked up a sweat which really pleases me. It means that I am doing the right things. Also I can tell I am getting stronger. Sent the girls their good morning gifs. I was rocking my morning. And it was not even 6 a.m. yet.
After my shower I went in and woke T up. 6 a.m. on the nose as we had discussed the night before when he went to bed. Well I am not sure what happened but the beast that appeared last week, the one that I said was becoming rare, had returned once more. Standing in front of his closet, kicking the box, slamming the hangers around. He cannot find his pants. It was my fault as I had hung them up. I personally was flabbergasted because I knew that we had hung 4 pairs of sweats up last week. He had been for a sleepover all weekend and picked up on Sunday so  he had the same bloody clothes on.
I got frustrated. I did not yell but my voice did become a little louder. I walked into the room and looked behind the jacket and low and behold what do I find? But the 2 hangers holding a total of four pairs of sweats. Now I am frustrated. T has been telling me off because I did not wake him up when he wanted to get up. He had no clothing. I stomped into the bathroom and turned the shower off. Told him that he could turn his own shower on and I was not talking to him any longer. I closed my bedroom door and took several deep breaths.
After showering he was still in a foul mood. Water was discovered all over the bathroom floor which I wanted cleaned up. T got more mouthy and I snapped. No Youtube. What was wrong with him? I was not going to put up with this attitude. All I wanted was for him to realize that the shower curtain needs to be tucked into the bathtub so water does not get on the floor. Take responsibility and please clean the water up.
When I came out from cleaning the water up I was still stewing. T was sitting on the couch and he was crying. I stood looking at him trying to fathom what was going on. I even kept asking over and over what the problem was. T told me at one point that I was yelling. I explained that I was not yelling that I was speaking sternly to him. That there were repercussions for his acting this way. He looked at me and told me that I was ruining his happiness.
This was not my boy. This was not the child who left here on Sunday. I sat on the floor and wiped the tears from his eyes. I told him that I was not responsible for his happiness. That yes there were things that I could do to help him, but he had to find his own happiness. I could not do that for him. It took me how many years to realize true happiness. I am talking about the happiness that imbibes your days with good thoughts and feelings. Where you can see the good rather than the bad. I told T that he needed to learn this now because I did not want him to be 45 years old before he found his true happiness.
As I was explaining this to him I was crying as well. My heart hurts because I know that T is hurting. I know that this acting out has something to do with the passed two days of his not being with me. I forgot you see, how T is when exposed to his dad for an extended time period. I do not want to be one of those ex’s who tears the father of their child down but I am so frustrated. I would love though to be a fly on the wall when T was there so I could see and hear what was going on. Because I have to tell you, having the beast return is not a fun thing.
Despite all signs to the contrary, with tears in my eyes, I told T that I was happy. That we had a life together. A routine. I want him to be happy.
Now he is sitting on the couch watching t.v.  I know. I said no Youtube and yet here we are. I also know that when T acts like this that it is not me. This is not an indication that I am doing anything wrong. I am not failing as a parent.
T and me have been talking. And he tells me about all the plans that he and his dad have for the summer. The Ex also text to let me know he was off Friday so he would take T. An extra day together. Today T informs me that his friend is coming over Friday. I became a little annoyed. I did what I should not have done. I said that I had thought that the reason his dad was taking Friday off was to spend extra time with T. I was assured that they would be.
I need to prepare myself now. As I was typing this I suddenly realized what was going on. T had expectations/ideas of what spending the time with his dad would mean. More time hanging out together. Reality is something very different. So when T comes back to me he is billigerant  and upset because things have not gone to plan. Hmmmmmm I wonder where that trait comes from. And than we have to have a melt down. It is almost as though T is pushing my buttons to see if he can set me off. Wonder if he thinks that if I get angry that it means I care more?
At 9 T is begining to understand that there are disappointments that occur in life. Things are not always going to be the same all the time. But there is a time when things do need to be the same all the time, to be consistent, and that is being there for your child. For standing next to them even when they do not want you to. It took me a long time to realize that as well. Lately I have been having flashbacks to when I was drinking and how I treated T. I am going to have to deal with that eventually.
What I do for now, is provide him with the consitency that he craves. I will follow through when I tell him that we are going to do something or go somewhere. I will be his mom. Not his friend, his mom. We have time enough to be friends when he is older. For now he needs a mom to love and guide him. To provide boundaries while still allowing him to grow and learn. And to call him out when he acts like a little asshole. 😉

Afraid to Fall

As I was showering this morning I began to have a small anxiety attack. As I am right now. I am thinking about returning to work. I need to figure out how not to start this. I am fretting. I should not be because I have worked really hard to imbue the thought of ‘Do not worry about what you cannot control. Do not think that you can perdict what others are going to say or do. Stop worrying Jay-lyn.’ And I try. I am hoping that writing this out is going to help me.
The same thing happened yesterday. I began thinking, predicting what was going to happen when I return to work. And when I was driving T to M’s for a weekend sleep over. I am not sure really which one caused me more anxiety. Work or the cloverleafs on and off the perimeter.  I do know that I need to stop doing this. I will be fine when I return. I will be able to impose my new reality on the world at large. Maybe that is what it is. I am fearing that I am not going to be strong enough.
Lately there has been a lot of little nudges in the brain about buying wine. I have been able to shut them down. But I fear that when I am out working and dealing with the public that I will fail. That I will end up listening to that voice, rather than the one that says to me:
Jay you are a beautiful strong woman who has her shit together. You no longer need to hide behind alcohol and drugs. You have faced a larger fear than returning to work will be. You have faced what asshole has done to you. You accept that your brain is protecting you and with the withdrawal of the self-medicating it is letting the good memories back. You have come a long way. You wrote a letter and sent it. Content just to have sent it. Nothing more. That was a huge fear. You submitted one of your poems. You are writing again. Jay you do not need to be afraid to return to work. Calm. Breathe. It is okay to accept that there is fear. Your job has really been about 40% of yourself and you are pushing it down to 10%. You will continue to do a good job at whatever job they have you doing. T. Mom. Bro and Family. Your girlfriends. Those are the important things. Being present in your life. Not willing it away. Stop aging T and enjoy him as he is. You are a wonderful woman Jay-lyn Anne and you do not have to be afraid alone any longer.’
I just made myself cry. I am going to print that out and tape it to my bathroom mirror so that I see that every day. That is the voice that is reasonable. That makes sense.  The one that I have to learn is the one who protects me and guides me in the right direction. The scared one, the fear monger is the one that is being ousted. I imagine that if this were a fantasy novel this is the one last stab made by evil to triumph. But good will come to being and grow into the paladins required.
I have saved myself. I need to remember that. And every once in awhile I need to give myself a small pep talk. To reopen my eyes to the woman I am becoming. Not the one who is being sloughed off like the skin of a snake. And that is kinda like the evil concept. Old me, the one who hid rather than face her problems is fading. Leaving behind a raw new me. Who is afraid that she still yet may fall.

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.