Ahhh! So, That’s What’s Wrong With Me

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Hauntings, Mom, No Whining

I realized the day after writing my last post, WTF is up with me?, exactly what was wrong with me: it’s January.

Over the years, it has become a month full of emotional landmines, one right after the other. My son LT has flown back to his father’s, the 5th is the anniversary of the death of a dear friend and also the birthday of Chooch’s deceased brother, the anniversary of my mother’s death from breast cancer, and my son’s 15th birthday (won’t get to celebrate with him this year either, thanks to finances) is in a week.

It was six years ago, also a Friday the 13th, that my brother called me and said the words I had feared hearing since her first occurrence of breast cancer in 1991.

I was fresh from the shower, rushing around and getting dressed to stay with my Mom so my brother could go home and sleep after spending the night with her. We knew she was near the end of her life and in clear moments she knew it and was scared. We never left her alone. It was bittersweet that she spent less and less time clear of mind as the cancer had spread into her skull and brain.

I was half-dressed and rushing to the kitchen to make a PB&J to eat in the car on the way to the hospital. I didn’t have a scheduled time to get there, in fact, in hindsight I’m no even sure I was expected that morning. I just felt an urgency to get to her as quickly as I could, waking hours before my alarm was set and bolting out of bed.

The phone rang and I immediately collapsed to my knees mid-stride and started crying and praying. My husband woke up instantly, which never happens, and answered the phone. He then came to find me and wrapped his arms around me on the dining room floor, telling me that she was gone, crying just as hard as I was. (I now have a begrudging smile, because I again recognize that there are no two other arms on this planet that she would want comforting me more than my husband’s. She adored him on sight.)

I knew what the call was (why else would the phone ring at 6:30 am) and immediately went from praying for her release from the horror of her life to begging for her to come back because I wasn’t ready to be without her. I needed her to teach me more, to make me a stronger woman. The kind of woman that could lift a burden from the heart of my children the way she could do for mine. Tirelessly and full of unconditional love. And I mean unconditional, because I was not an easy person to parent. I frequently rebelled, still do, even against myself. But I still needed her and suddenly was unable to imagine life without her presence.

Shortly thereafter, I reflected that to be in the room where your Mother is and know that this body, the one that you had been pampering, comforting and consoling, is no longer your Mother… well, it is the strangest bit of surrealism that I have ever experienced. My Mother was literally 2 feet away from me, but she was no where to be found. Still, I couldn’t help tucking the blankets around her feet as I always did, because they were always cold. I felt a fool when I realized what I was doing, but no one mocked me. Hell, wrapped as deep as they were in their own grief, they probably didn’t even notice.

So the subconscious knowledge that this day was coming, along with all the other anniversaries, good and bad, are what I believe to be my huge sense of being swallowed in negativity. In talking with my therapist about the dates mentioned above, the excruciating negotiation process in selling our home, an devastating ongoing family crisis that I am not free to discuss here (we are fine), frantically packing and selling everything we own without sentimental value in preparation for downsizing to a smaller living space, having a near-death experience with Kaylee and missing another birthday of my son’s – these have all managed to make this a real crapper of a month to get through after the stress of Christmas.

Happily, we have no fewer than four loved ones born in January to celebrate. And we got to ring in the New Year with people that rejuvenate us. Moving forward we also have the unexpected joy of taking part in the daily lives of powerfully close friends, and by extension, two beautiful young girls. This includes watching a dance recital for 3 and 4 year olds that was so magically rejuvenating that I could feel the weight of sadness falling off of me in chunks as we giggled and cheered their performances. I told their father that I wished for a pill that could impart what we were feeling as we watched these vibrant little spirits dance and twirl in front of us. Nearly all of the adults to a one were shiny-eyed watching not only their child, but also being charmed by the other girls, all of them working so hard to be brave with such nervousness and barely controlled frenetic energy. I found that it filled my heart containers to over-flowing and used the memory of the two sisters dancing together to pull me out of a panic attack the next day. The memory is truly powerful and medicinal to this old girl.

The highs and lows of this month, in addition to new health issues for myself and for my husband (we’re fine), have me both hiding and clinging to the people that give me strength, whether we talk about the hard things or the good things going on in each other’s lives. It’s just the being with them, the contact with them, that soothes.

I will go to Arlington Cemetery to take my Mom flowers and will return home to work on the book I am creating in her honor. I will survive the emotional landmines of January as the tough chick she raised me to be. And I will take time to revel in the joyful moments that occur along the way, exactly as she raised me to do.

I will love you forever, Pocket Mom!

WTF is up with me?

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Hauntings, Mental, No Whining

Sorry for the lack of posts here. I’m having an internal crisis of late, and am torn in different directions. I’ve been starting posts and leaving them unfinished. I’ve been writing titles that interest me, never to go back and write the post. I’ve been outright deleting posts after I start them, due to their lameness or lack of interest to even me, the writer. I respect your time too much, Dear Reader, to post anything more than mildly boring, rather than an outright snoozer.

I’ve been wondering to myself about the recent months of perplexed thoughts and actions, and have come to no conclusions. I turned 42 last year, and know that if I’m to find the answers to the great questions, I’ll have to find them myself. This has grown even more necessary recently, and I feel that I’m having to discover myself all over again. This is a surprise as I’ve already done that a few times in the last decade:

  • When my ex-husband became my ex;
  • When I finally met my soul mate and resigned myself to an ever-expanding blissful existence at his side;
  • When my Mom died;
  • When our home no longer had my children living in it.

I had thought I had all points mastered, in spite of occasional but intense bursts of sadness from the last two. But it’s possible I’m still in the midst of the identity crisis of not being a “Daily Mom.” Yes, my kids live, laugh, breathe and have experiences every day, but my role is no longer daily. I’m still haunted in our over-sized home by the silence that used to include game sounds, arguing about homework, and footsteps or music pounding from above. That is something that we have made progress on, as our next home has a combination of characters each more magnificent than the last.

Lately, I’m coming to think that it’s hormonal changes, triggered either by my weight loss and subsequent regain, or perimenopause ~ the beginnings of menopause. *tick*tock* I don’t fear that change any more than I’ve been fearful of any of life’s other mileposts. I just have to find a way to organize around it an move forward.

I have more love in my life than ever before, and am accepted for who I am by more people than ever before. And yet, I’m finding that some of my old stumbling blocks still cause me to stumble, and the old insecurities still leave a nasty mark when they come out swinging. When folks have installed our panic button, they can tap it easily and often if they so choose.

Many of these things were so private that only my husband knows about them since I keep nothing from him, no matter how gruesome. Although I’d love to share more here, I’m afraid that while I am wholly honest , I can only be so revealing. We don’t know each other that well, after all, so can you blame me?

I’m trying to rapidly sort myself out, especially as I’m letting those around me down. At least, I feel I am, but I’m told that those that really love me are never as hard on me as I am on myself. That being said there are many strange currents in my life right now, and with fewer than a dozen exceptions, I find I don’t know where it is safe to expose my heart put my trust any longer.

With all the changes occurring in my life right now, it would have been awesome to have had stability in some corner of my life. Well, I do have it and I know I’m blessed. It’s one corner of my life, but it’s a big one. There is no passive aggression, there is no negativity directed at me, there is only love and support shared from person to person. If I am to be judged harshly for finding joy and appreciating it, so be it. Just because things are hard doesn’t mean you can’t find laughter along the way. In fact, I am very sorry for you if you cannot find it when you need it most.

The focus for me now is therapy. To figure out all that is causing me to continue self-destructive behavior. To fight some lifelong demons to the ground and disarm them once and for all. To live and laugh without occasionally stop to rub my head from the weight of all the guilt and stress I feel over things I have no control over. To try and make failing relationships work with those I love and miss.

So, it’s late. And I don’t know what I’m trying to say. But, I will say goodnight now and hope that my next post makes more sense.

Oh, and see Paul, if you haven’t already. It’s freaking brilliant. Simon Pegg, Sigourney Weaver, Sci-Fi conventions, ’nuff said.

Trunko is Me, I am Trunko

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Too Long For Twitter

My love for UglyDolls began in May of 2008 while roaming a shopping district in Richmond, VA. I could only afford a keychain sized doll, but I took it everywhere, hanging from my purse.

Meeting Christiana Ellis for the first time at Balticon in 2008

Ugly Doll at 2009 Virgin Music Festival Watching Stone Temple Pilots

This year, I merrily stumbled upon a huge display of the Ugly Doll collection at Toys R’Us right before Christmas. I was astounded at the selection available and swooned and twitpic’ed in delight.

“I want them all. And they will all sleep with us. Forever.”

Instead of buying all of them, I bought one Little Ugly called Trunko, because the description sounded quite similar to my personality habits:

Trunko is over the top. He freaks out over everything and overreacting is his hobby. When the chips are down, he orders a million more chips at wholesale prices. Where there’s smoke there’s fire… and there’s Trunko using a fire hose to put out his birthday candles. Full throttle, go go go… You know how you look before you leap. Yeah, that’s not Trunko. So please be patient with him. Please be a pal. Please use caution.

Trunko

Now, I am not exactly like Trunko. I typically over-analyze things to death. And then I overreact.

Happily, now Boo Boo Bun Bun has a friend to snuggle. And someday I shall have a swimming pool filled with UglyDolls to swim in whenever I want.