Do not see

When I look in the mirror

I do not see

the beauty

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

searching,

seeking,

still unable to see

why they are called to me.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

September 26/17

 

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Was he a girl?

This picture is the only one I have of my dad as a child. I once had more but they became water damaged and I had to dispose of them. My dad is the one on the left. With the blonde curls. He kinda looks like a girl.

My Amma (Icelandic for grandma) really wanted a girl. She had my dad and my Uncle. Did she try to hide my dad’s masculinity for the formative years of his life? Or at least some twisted boy-girl version?

The only children my Amma bore were her two sons. And she so desperately wanted a daughter. Ironically my Uncle had two daughters. My dad had me. And my brother.

I have a couple of stories about my Amma from my uncle. My Aunt was not a fan of her mother-in-law. My mom has different stories and me, well I was her favorite so my glasses are rose colored.

Every time I have a thought regarding this character I am building I write it down. Thus far I have only had the two but I am beginning to view my dad differently. Or rather the fictional version I am building of him.

I must not paint my Amma as an evil villianess. I can only speculate as to what happened in her earlier life. We have no real on her.

My Afi (Icelandic for grandpa) is but a shadow to me. He passed away 1 month and 6 days before I was born. Came home drunk and fell down the basement stairs. Broke his back. Died of pneumonia.

My Amma and Afi shaped my dad.

Were one to look at my Uncle, respectable, looked after his family, never abandoning them to fate, you would never guess the family connection.

My dad? He is not an enigma. Not when I take my own reality of him, my mom’s and my brother’s and meld them.

He was a drunk. He left his family to fend for themselves. Never did he think how his actions affected his children. His wife.

Even as I worked to lower my expectations of him I was continually disappointed. The once sympathetic character I saw is now evolving into one you would most likely disdain.

This challenge I have set for myself is intriguing. I originally thought this was going to be a tale of a father who abandoned his children. Who chose alcohol to be his companion.

And with the turn of a phrase I suddenly found sympathy. Today as I wrote I may have had a small pain in my heart because I do believe my Amma may have treated my dad as a girl for the first while. And she babied him.

The great thing about this….I get to make it all up. But at the same time I am going to pluck my mind, my mom’s and my brother’s for memories and stories. For I realize that I need a clearer picture of the man who was my dad.

Love gone awry

Sometimes I go a little crazy
a wee bit mad
making all my castles
with quicksand.
Sometimes I dance little jigs
and you cannot see
where once there was harmony
now we have strife.
Angry words disposed to bite
left me nothing to do
but cry bitter tears
and feel ashes in my mouth.
I have loved you
and hated you.
I have cursed your name
for the damaged touch
while you played your game.
Living beneath a cloud of darkness
wrapped in a shroud of pain
I yearn for the bright sunlight
yet walk alone trapped in anguish
unable to break away.
©Jay-Lyn Doerksen
September 12/17

Not Always Pretty

This sits on my fridge. T wrote it in grade 2. It is more fitting.

Beginning at the end of July and for three weeks I did not have T with me. He spent that time with his father. Three weeks. Originally I thought that I would be wild and free but the truth was that I was just a boring old mom, sitting at home without her child, living it up by reading and cleaning her house. And writing of course. It harkened back to the days of being childless but not quite (I mean my home was clean, no pee on the toilet, no lego waiting to maim and disfigure me in the middle of the night) but I missed T something fierce. The last time I was away from him for any extended time was in February of 2016 when I went down to see mom in Mexico.

So hedonistic I am not, most of the time I was exercising, reading or working. I would arrive at work earlier than I needed to (especially when I was opening) and stayed later than I needed to. I got to see T for two brief moments when they came in to work to pick up some groceries and spent an hour and a half with him on his birthday.  And when he stopped at work T said hi mom and than was off on a new adventure with his dad. I was glad that the two of them were getting some good quality time together and besides, it was only three weeks and than my darling boy would be mine for 3 weeks.

Needless to say despite having a fabulous day at work on August 19th, and who wouldn’t when they only had to work 6 hours and freedom beckoned at noon? my afternoon off started with a bang. I had implied via text that given my shift ended at 12 and that was when T was coming back to me, he should be dropped off to me at work. I waited half an hour, standing next to my car, cursing and fuming my ex. Firing off texts like ‘I am on a time line here, where are you?’ ‘Really? 2o minutes late and you can’t text me?’ to ‘Wth are you?’ There was steam coming out of me ears and curses from my lips.

Received a text from M who informed me that T and my ex were waiting for me at home. The ex had forgotten his phone. Well I raced home, squealed into my parking spot and went into full rage mode. I was foaming at the mouth and angry, so very very angry. I had wasted half an hour of my time waiting I screamed. I wanted T dropped off at work. I was on a time line and now it was going to be pushed back. My ex kept telling me I had never said I wanted T dropped off at work while I insisted that I had.

The apology after I went back over our texts was galling. As I said, I never actually came right out and stated ‘I am off at 12 please drop T off at work to meet me.’ I inferred that as I was off at 12 I would like T dropped off at work. It made sense in my woman mind I am done at this time so I obviously will not be at home, bring him to work. It was pointed out to me that despite having been married to me for 14 years, a man’s mind hears, blah blah blah, 12, drop him off-blah blah blah. So yes I said I was sorry.

Finally we are on the road, I have calmed down and all was right in Jay and T’s world. We sailed out to the lake. Got there before anyone else and settled in. As the family poured in, jokes and laughter were the most prevalent noises heard. And the family birthday party was a total blast. Up to and including the baby bro setting off fireworks and nearly killing everyone in the family as the finale went off straight up and than straight out in a burst of sparkles. I wish the picture of him just standing there, curled into himself like a giant bear, had turned out, because it was really too good not to share.

T came back to me not the T I had left with his dad. He was surly, belligerent and obnoxious. He back talked mom, he was not pleasant to me at all and it cumulated on Sunday with a horrific row when we arrived home. It took me a week and leaving his birthday presents at the lake to make him somewhat the polite helpful young man that he is with me.

I fairly danced through the week. T and me were getting there. There was less whining when I asked him to feed the cats and more ‘sure mom’. And holidays they were acoming. Two weeks of bliss while I vegged, hung out with T and lived the hedonistic lifestyle I thought I would indulge in back at the beginning of August. Than comes Thursday night.

T is annoyed with me because he has to be in bed early. I started work at 5 a.m. and had to be up and out of the house by 4:35 to get T to babysitter and myself to work. I tuck him into bed and sing him his lullabye and crawl into my bed, ready for sleep. And as I lay there, I hear this noise. A small sniffle, a gulp, a heave. And than T calls out in a wavering voice: ‘Mom?’

He is in bed sobbing his heart out. And he wants me to call his dad and have him come give him a hug and a kiss. Right than. And I admit I was not thinking about T when he spoke those words to me. I felt a sudden breaking of my heart, and a brutal anger rip through me. I live for T.  He is my heart and soul. I am only half alive when I am not with him. But it is his dad that he wants.

I made a grave parental error that night. One I am sure I will make again and again as T grows and changes. I demanded to know why he needed to see his father to give him a hug and a kiss. Had he cried when he was away from me for three weeks? He had not text me or stopped by to ask me for a hug and a kiss.

I was vile. I was jealous. I was angry. I was hurt.

Friday I ‘forgot’ to text his dad before we left for the cabin. And when T twigged to it I placed the onus on him for ‘forgetting’ to remind me. What type of a person does that to a 9 year old child? A jealous spiteful bitch that is whom.

I did arrive at a theory that helped calm me and when I have expounded on it to others (my inner circle lol) they are all quick to agree with me. Which now that I think about is really only the right thing to do so clearly they could all be wrong.

I thought long and hard about the differences in myself and my ex. I thought about how T does not call or text me when he is at his dad’s for the week. I thought about how often he asks to come home to me early on Sundays. I thought about how I told him every day how I loved him, how I hugged and kissed him always. How T is so secure in my love of him, that he knows that I will always be here for him. That he does not really miss me when away from me for an extended time period. Because I will always be where he looks for me.

It does not soothe the sting I felt again on Wednesday this week when Tember sobbed his eyes out wanting to see his dad for another hug and kiss. Nor did it keep me from asking T if he wanted to live with his dad because well, selfish and bitch again come to mind, but it is there.

This must become my talisman. My mantra if you will. So I can stop hurting T with my anger and jealousy when he needs to ensure himself of his father’s presence. So I can be mature and reasonable.

Ha! As if……..but I will use it to keep T feeling safe and secure. And not as though there is anything wrong with his desire for a hug and a kiss from his dad, even when it is my time with him.

 

Opportunities

*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,

forgiveness

and welcoming.

Tears that cleanse my heart

and my soul

allowing me to embrace

all my opportunities.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

 August 29/17

Better Days

Lost in the malestorm

sucked down the eddy

braving bleak thoughts

seeking always that peace.

Knowing that there will be a day;

when the pain,

the angst,

will no longer be in control.

Days when I shall see the sunshine,

hear my own laughter

and not be crippled 

by anxiety and depression.

Those are the goods days.

The ones I cling to.

For when that blackness enshrouds;

I remember that there

will always be 

a better day coming back to me.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

August 27/17

Stain upon my soul

I wrote this in 2012 on this day. I have been paying attention to my ‘On this day….’ and rediscovering lost words. Picture is also mine.

Begone, beyond, feelings tossed to the moors

frightful, disturbing, unwanted, pain

Rapture, only found with denial, with revulsion

go not into the embrace, but fight for hell.

You say you will forgive me, you will wipe away my tears

you say that your eyes alone, can divine the stain upon my soul.

You say that through you and you alone, can I find salvation.

yet you turn your head, your ears, your eyes

When I do not behave;

how your ambassadors on earth feel I should.

Call me not a coward, nor defiant

you and you alone gave me free will

My choice, my decision, my desire

hurt not others, all shall be good.

Find the stain upon my soul,

enough to curse me.

To send me to hell.

Yet you gave me the ability to choose,

and still you punish.

©Jay-lyn Doerksen

August 5/12