Carry on Tuesday: When all is said and done

Let's Talk About Feelings

Let’s Talk About Feelings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Zoe’s Journal:

I need to find forgiveness in my heart. I know that’s the right thing to do; I just don’t know how to do it. How do you forgive people whose bond with you should be so natural, so instinctive? I don’t have the answers but I am trying to find them. I am trying to find them so that we can all live in peace. I think the psychologists call it “individuating;” when you separate from your parents and become your own person; believe me I don’t think my parents would call it the same thing.

I just want to protect myself from the past, I was strong enough now to be my own person and not take any of their old shit. I had figured out the dangerous mind games and I wanted no part of it. I had always been strong inside, my parents knew that about me, they were proud of that, until it seemed like I turned on them. I hadn’t; I just stopped putting up with all the bullshit. They couldn’t handle it. The more they tried to guilt me, the more I pushed back. They would immediately go to the speech where they were “all alone in the world” without their “only daughter.” I would be empathic but I would not cry and apologize and they missed that; they missed the part of me that they could hurt. Wound. Destroy. I don’t think any of it was intentional, well, of course some of it was. After they spewed a nasty string of malevolence they would not remember a word of what they said! How could they not remember what they had just said?  I was labeled “too sensitive.”

It took me a long time to understand the game they played, unwittingly, but I swore I would never fight with them again. Since they couldn’t express any feelings at the time they would hold something against me for weeks. Eventually, one day there would be a vitriolic, icy cold lecture of how I had changed. I would figure it out in time but it left me stunned, still hurt. However, I did not offer myself up as a sacrificial lamb; that was no longer my duty, those days were over.

When all was is said and done, what they really needed was attention, to feel wanted and needed and not dismissed. It was quite simple once I figured it out and I was more than willing to give it to both of them, on my terms. Once I did, they became nicer, happy for the attention and we seemed to get along better.

Sometimes, the things people say are irrelevant, I guess you need to go deeper and see what they are feeling. Not everyone wears their heart on their sleeve like I do. As I have said before, words don’t count, actions do. Since we were talking about forgiveness  there is another very important person I need to forgive.  Me. I need to forgive myself for all the grudges I have held, for all the hurt I have carried, for the blame I have caused and for all the tears I have shed. I was just a child, an abandoned child. I know I will never forget but I need to forgive myself and let go of the pain because true forgiveness really means setting our souls free, the greatest gift you can give yourself. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

ramblings from a very tired person

"I Am Tired" - NARA - 558861

“I Am Tired” – NARA – 558861 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

so tired I think my eyes are asleep, they are certainly half closed while i am typing this so forgive the e.e. cummings style, a wonderful poet.i feel like there are pieces of chalk in my eyes, the ones i used to use when I was a kid, outside on the street; thick pieces of multi-colored chalk sticks, pink, yellow, blue, white.  they always got on our hands and clothes but they were great for hopscotch games and messages to the world. hearts and balloons and your best friends names. when i was little we had a tight group of friends, 4 of us that played together every day; our moms were great friends too. we played in an alley and our moms sat together on a little wall, talking, smoking cigarettes back then. in the summertime, we would run like crazy when we heard frankie and the Good Humor truck coming around the corner, his familiar voice shouting “Hola Amigo.” our very first Spanish words.we were so proud.

out of the 4 of us, I am still friendly with all of them since we are all in our fifties and have known each other since we were born. our lives live in each others memories, moments that one of us remember, we fill in each others blank stairs; we’re all very different. one guy is not much of a communicator, he sends a joke or two on line once in a while and every ten years we see each other on his big birthdays in July which is fun. the next one will be 6o ,wow that sounds so ancient  yet it’s a mere jump. skip and dive into those frozen waters for me. I can’t just yet roll it around my brain or head and certainly not my tongue.not yet.

i could never understand people reading the obituary pages, what’s the point? my 85 year old mother started reading them with one of her friends a few months ago and now she does it every day. i looked at it once and the one time I looked i found our realtor dead, at a young age. or the age they said. she used to tell me about all the cosmetic surgery she would always have; there was no cause of death listed. I was shocked and saddened to see her familiar face on the page.you just don’t expect to know anyone when u glance at the page. i stopped reading after that one.

that’s what tonight has been like, looking at old photographs, too tired to get out of bed to pee, too lazy to go down to the kitchen and snack because i don’t want to change my feeling of warmth and safety from this 60 degree bonus day. we deserved this day, after super-s0aker  Sandy and the snowstorm that followed. this tiny neighborhood has outtages every single year, except for this one, we were so very grateful.

thanks for giving us a break this year. we sorely needed it and was much appreciated. i need to save this and then save draft. and then, right away before you say anything else, i will be dropping my head on my cool pillow and try to go to sleep. peaceful sleep. good night.

Plinky Prompt: Write a letter to yourself in 20 years…

  • Letter to (Future) Me
  • What Did We Know?
    beach sunrise 1 Dear Old Lady,
    I want to live someplace simple and warm, with God’s Blessing, with my Old Man, beside me. It’s nice to grow old with someone and we are still lucky to have each other because many of our friends have lost their spouses. Sure, we have our health problems, who doesn’t? I’ve had them as long as I can remember so that’s not so hard for me to get used to but you and your ego, well, that was a little harder but we got through that tough time, didn’t we?.
    We moved to California when I finally put my foot down and said I could not TAKE these bitter cold winters in New York for my bones and muscles and you actually agreed with me. You even loved it when we sat on our deck and could see the ocean and the beach, not so close but it didn’t matter. It was nice and warm and I didn’t complain all the time, you joker. Now I complained just half the time! But, I really did feel better in the warm weather and you took up golf which you said you would never do.”Never say Never!”
    Our kids had kids of their own, just think we are grandparents, imagine that! I had wanted to be a granny since I was 50,and now I’m 76! What a feeling that is, seeing your son and daughter’s husband and wife and their precious children, Oh, I used to love holding them in my arms when they were little and singing them songs. My one regret is that they don’t live closer to us but they have to live their own lives and they can’t live for us, just like we couldn’t live for our mothers and fathers It’s a very hard decision, believe me, I know.
    We have friends here, but really, there is nothing like family. Oh, did I tell you? My sister and her husband moved a few blocks around the corner, shortly after we moved here. Their kids more scattered than ours but we all get together whenever we can and that is something to live for. All of us around a big table, imagine, we’re the grandparents now, who knew time would go by so fast?
    Appreciate every good day you have, life can be difficult but you will get through it.Don’t worry if you don’t have to. Just deal with things as they come your way. Most of all, just know I will always love my family, whenever I go, that’s the most important thing for people to know. I LOVED MY FAMILY and my husband and my kids were my whole life. That’s all I want to say.

Haiku Heights: STARS

English: Mother with child; Oil on canvasC...

English: Mother with child; Oil on canvasCategory:technique with mounted parameter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kiss, touch, clutching hands

Nurture, discipline, move back

Moms, eternal love.

DEDICATED TO ALL OF US WHO ARE MOMS OF CHILDREN OR FUR-CHILDREN OR BOTH.

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Intangible light

green, octopus tentacles

Swirling, white foam dies.

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Sprinkle pixie dust

magical, enchanting gold

Shine your lights within.

I’m Stepping Back, Alicia (Fiction)

Deutsch: Ein Straßenverkehrsunfall in Kopenhag...

Dear Alicia,

Oh no, not again, you did not just pull that smirk on your face again. I told you Alicia, I would not put up with it anymore and I mean it. I have brought you up like one of my own and you have just crossed the line. I will give you your space, I will not smother you with kisses or even try to gently hug you when I feel the winds of icy coldness come wafting from you. I know better. Am I disappointed? Sometimes. Heck, yes.  Apparently, that has to be my problem, not yours. I can deal with that but I am not going to be hurt any longer. If anyone has to toughen up, it’s me. You’re too tough. Sometimes I wonder what your dearly departed parents would think? I know I did my best.

You have enough armor up around you that you won’t let any emotions get to you; you are going to miss a great deal of life, girl. I mean that sincerely, with my heart. You are young but growing up will be hard for you if you don’t open yourself up to learn from the lessons in life, learn to give, to feel, to be sensitive to others. You need to feel for other people and not just for yourself. I hope you will able to learn that one day. I tried to teach it to you and failed, Life will have to teach you the hard way. I just hope it’s not too late for you to learn and I fear it may be.

I took you in as an infant after your mom and dad were killed in the car crash; you never knew them. To us, you were like our own little girl growing up in our family just as your mom and dad wanted. Of course we told you the truth and we kept your mom, my sister, and my brother in-law alive to show you what good people they were. It was an accident, Alicia, it wasn’t our fault.

Be the person you want to be, I will not hold you back.  I will accept you and love you but I will no longer be treated with disrespect and utter annoyance. I am still the mother that raised you and there is a certain amount of decorum that needs to be maintained. I am trying not to care as much, it isn’t hard to do if I can stay on top of things and not take things too personally.

We are opposites, I know. One person brimming over with emotion, the other barricaded inside. It doesn’t mean that there is no love between us because there is a lot of love. Hopefully you will see that clearly, maybe one day you will act nicer to me, to your dad and brothers and sisters too.

I will always love you and I will always be here for you. You know that. Please remember dear girl, that I lost my sister, my best friend and I miss her dearly. You should know that all your mom and I wanted for you is your happiness. Parents are human beings, we all have flaws,we are not perfect. Parenting doesn’t come with an instruction manual, we do the best we can, we don’t have all the answers but we try our hardest.

I love you, Alicia but I need to love myself too.

I will always be here if you need me.

Love, Aunt, Janis

Mellow Yellow Monday

Ducklings

Ducklings (Photo credit: eatswords)

When I was a little girl, my favorite “second” mom, mother of my best friend Brian bought each of us a soft, little duckling stuffed animals every year. I loved them dearly. Lotti bought these right before Easter at the little 5 and 10 store that was right near our old, red brick apartment building. Once we were teenagers, long after we stopped thinking about these soothing, sweet creatures, I looked for them again. For many years, I tried to find them, for their angelic smiles, for their thoughtful, deep, dark eyes, and the softness of their fake, faux fur which I stroked lovingly with my little girl fingers.

Losing Touch with Old Friends

Friends

Image by carlosluz via Flickr

To Me, A Friend Is A Friend.

I am the type of person that WANTS TO KEEP in touch with old friends but I have been hurt by others who think geography and proximity are the only reasons to maintain a friendship. I had a “friend” named “Becky” when our children were two years old and best friends. Our family decided to move to be closer to my aging parents and our good friendship withered away, no, actually it slammed shut. When I asked her what happened, because we had been so close, she told me face to face that the reason she didn’t keep in touch with me was “You know, out of sight, out of mind.” I was crushed at the time, but this was fifteen years ago.

I also remember my three year old daughter wanting to talk to your daughter and when I called for her you told me that “Little Ruthie” as we called her, was watching television and did not want to come to the phone. Wow. If that had been my daughter I would have taught her not to be rude and to come to the phone and say hello and then go back to television watching. It’s called manners. Like mother, like daughter??!! You can hurt me all you want, I can take it even though I don’t like it….but hurt my child? Unforgivable.

I have realized since then that many people are like that and I have even prepared myself for it. I wish I was one of those people who could drop a friend at the mere mention of a move, it hurts less to be like that. But, no, I am still the one trying to keep up a friendship, even if you don’t speak often, for the friendship that was; I think there is merit in that. As I get older though, my expectations have been greatly lowered and while it is not my style, I do understand that many people act this way. I’m just trying not to be one of them.

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Haiku Heights – Lullabye

Baby

Something must  stop me

From worrying and crying

Darkness, a sad song

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Many years ago

I would sing to my children

To soothe them at night

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Soft lush tones whispered

Sometimes we are all children

Happy for a lie

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My mom sang to me

In a soft foreign language

My eyes fluttered shut

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Being A Mom With A Chronic Illness (ChronicBabe carnival)

Mother and Baby

Image by Praziquantel via Flickr

My goal in life, since I was five years old, was to become a mom.  I thought getting pregnant would be natural and beautiful but it seemed we needed a little help. After two and a half years of painful shots, medication and an every day visit to the infertility clinic  for blood work and ultra-sounds I finally was pregnant. I collapsed to my knees behind the closed-door in my stuffy office and kissed the dirty gray carpet in gratitude. I cried with happiness, one hand already covering my tiny belly.

My son was born and we called him Buddha baby, he never cried, he was always happy, a smiling, compassionate and outgoing kid.  He was my miracle baby, my first born. I went to every baseball game for my son, sitting in the bleachers in the rain, and sneaking away to the car to warm myself up.

My daughter came, naturally, twenty-one months after her brother was born, screaming on top of her lungs as she entered the world. I remember going into her room and lifting this red-faced baby girl to my shoulders, she would take a deep breath and her whole body relaxed into my neck.  I was her only source of comfort when she was a baby. I was there for every ballet lesson and dance recital, holding a bouquet of daisies, her favorite flower, in my arms like I was nestling a newborn baby‘s head.

I did everything for my kids and I loved doing it. This was the career I decided on and I wanted nothing more. I stayed home with them even when they got older because I knew they needed me during the tough middle school years. They would never admit it but they were happy to see me when they got home. Working moms called me “old-fashioned” but I didn’t care.

When I was 50, I went through menopause and my body fell apart. I was diagnosed first with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an auto- immune disease. When Synthroid, did not help me at all, I warily shuffled from one doctor to another, every bone and muscle and joint in my body screaming with agony.  My internist had given up on me, she stormed out of the room while I was laying there on the exam table crying in pain.  After visits to many different doctors I was finally diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I felt like I had the flu, every single day and night, with no fever, my personal definition of Fibromyalgia.

My life changed after that. I became the mom “before” I was sick and the mom “after.” I felt that I was no longer the mom you could always count on. I prefaced everything by saying “If I feel okay that day,” and “I’ll call you the morning of…”  Luckily my children were fourteen and twelve but it was now Dad who got up, made breakfast and lunches and dinner. Me? I was asleep, always asleep and in pain.

I felt lost and sad for years, not being able, physically, to be the mom I once was. Now, I am dropped off at an entrance to anywhere we go  like the handicapped patient I am. I sit alone, on a chair, when all the other parents and children go on a campus tour to see the entire campus. I cannot walk that far. I don’t want to be an embarrassment to my children or a burden for my husband.  I want the kids to remember the mom I was before I was sick but I know they don’t. They probably just remember me as I am today. I am not the mom I was before my illness even though my heart remains unchanged. I am the mom that they have now and because of that I have tremendous guilt and a lot of residual, emotional pain.

Technology's Impact on Families: Depends Who You Ask!

iPhone 4 Bumper + Universal Dock w/ DIY Adapter

According to my mother (my teenagers’ grandmother) you would think that society and civilization are quickly burning up with raging orange and red flames of fire because of two second text messages. That said, it is a new generation and technology obviously has changed interaction within families and in the general public.

In my generation we spent all our free time on the phone. I remember walking back and forth from the kitchen to the living room with the long, dirty, coiled, yellow stretchy phone cord to talk to my friends from school who I had just seen hours before. This was way before call-waiting too.

Then there was e-mail and even us parents could pretty much keep up with that as well as the older generation. But now? My children text obsessively on their multi-faceted phones and we have to force them to turn them off while we are eating (which sometimes they do and sometimes they pretend to do.) On a weekend away with the entire family our mother could not believe that the first thing her four grandchildren did was check their phones and Facebook. She was disgusted and distraught and my sister and I (and husbands) were used to it. Our mother took it as a personal affront.

Things change, people change, as parents we get used to things; we have no choice but it is helpful to set limits. The older generation think we have all lost our collective parental minds. In defense of my children they can keep up a great conversation at any time, they do well in school and we have adjusted. That’s what parenting is all about, you need to change with your children and with the times and set some boundaries. Is it easy? Not always. Will it make your children unable to have a reasonable conversation over a family dinner? No. Honestly, if I could figure out how to use one of those fancy phones I would own one myself. I have a simple, made for dummies phone and if I am lucky, I can actually call someone or pick up and scream “hello?” and hear a response. I consider that, for me, a success.

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