Anx..

I couldn’t sleep. I woke up at 1:00 am and my mind was racing. I’m not sure what to call him. I suppose after 7 years together there should be a more defined role or title except I don’t feel it. It would be a bold faced lie to say it’s my significant other. I have an engagement ring that lines my jewelery box. I’ve always been a free spirit. The ability to walk away from relationships and bad situations. Except for this nightmare. 

In my 20’s I thought it was crazy for women to stay in bad situations. Especially when they had children. Then I had my daughter. Something become clear. The fact that my poor decision would now affect her entire life and I had to live with that. The weight of that was like atlas carrying the world on his shoulder. So I stayed. Knowing one day I’d take my passport and my shit let my daughter know I’m out. Catch me in Europe. I’d served my time. The irony between my plan and my own mothers disappearance does not elude me. 

Last night I couldn’t sleep. My “partner” told me my dad fell out of the car when he was getting out for dialysis. He couldn’t get up. My stomach dropped. The stress has magnified. The pressure intensified. That coupled with a lunatic that you have to walk on egg shells with are the recipe for a stroke or a heart attack. I’ve never met a person I couldn’t speak with. I deal with difficult high strung professionals and even then, nasty or not I can communicate. I can peg them. I can asses who I’m dealing with and how to deal with them. 

I’ve never been in a situation where I couldn’t express myself. Where it’s like North Korea. You can’t express anything outside of the designated permitted forms of expression. Trust me, I am expressive. The moral is that the anx I felt came from knowing my dad fell and he didn’t want me to know. My limited ability to be everywhere, and the argument that ensued with this so called partner. The partner proceeded to spout how this was his fucking apartment and he didn’t want a nurse here until it’s spic and span. The problem is he has shit all over the place. But in his eyes this is not a problem. When you deal with someone who’s issues are everyone else’s except his own, where everything is someone’s fault but their own, there is no winning. 

I take great issue with people who have a need to try to exert their power. In my eyes, they’re weak. If you need to hold power over someone who can’t or just because, know that you are weak. A strong and powerful person doesn’t need to exert power over anyone. People will do your will because they respect you and you command so. Not out of force like a dictatorship where it’s done out of fear. Fear is the seed of resentment, after resentment anger grows.  There’s a phrase I say all the time that I stand by. “Those who need to control are they themselves out of control.” That’s what I’m dealing with. A cyclone of a personality and my life. 

I’m not complaining by any means. I’m simply acknowledging what I know and that’s the similarity between myself and my mothers decision to one day pack her shit and leave. Except one massive difference. My father was not a bad person in his entirety. He made poor decisions but I chalk that up to a lack of education. But he took care of us, made sure we lacked nothing. As strong as his personality was, I know he loved me. That his intent was never to hurt me. That’s the defining difference. The difference is that I’m genuine. This partner is selfish. He does everything for the added bonus. Oh here let me help you with this, so later I can hold it over your head. Sure if you need my help now you can’t say anything to me. Here’s a 100 bucks but when I need you there’s no out. And that to me is disgusting…

What they don’t tell you..

I’ve had moments of insanity. I call it insanity because for me personally children are cute but even better when they go home to someone else.  I have occasionally thought about giving my daughter a sibling. For health for life a sidekick to share life with. I love my kid. She’s smart, hilarious, ambitious and the list can go on. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t have days this week I wanted to get my passport and sail off into the sunset without her. Does it make me a bad mom? I don’t think so. In fact, I think it’s normal to think that and feel that way. I think women tear each other up over feeling like this but I think more moms think this than they let on. 

I am an only child. Because of this everything falls on me. I’m not complaining but what I am saying is it’s hard. It’s hard to juggle your life and become your parents caretaker. No one tells you these things. You go to college think about a career but who prepares you for your parents ailing health. Was it a given? Did I skip that lecture? If I had a sibling maybe I wouldn’t be playing circus like I am right now. 

This is what makes me feel like I should’ve given my daughter a sibling. So that the day I am gone she is not alone. So that the day I am not well she has someone to help support her through it. 

Because life is hard. There are no easy choices, and even harder challenges await and as the adage goes: “life waits for no man.”

Back to basics…

Somewhere along the road I’ve lost the basics. I lost the very essence that makes me shine. I’ve lost the light. I’ve battled in the dark for a long time. The darkness is a source of comfort. I like it there. Being in the light is difficult. Being empathetic is hard sometimes. Being tolerant of ignorance is hard sometimes. But most of all it’s harder to fake it till you make it. So this morning I sought out a photo I wanted one where through the windows of my soul I couldn’t see the torment. I wanted one photo where I could set my sights on simply going back to the basics. 
I told a friend of mine the other day, that I don’t care what anyone says. Life chips at you. Eventually the pain, the trauma, the sadness cuts so deep that it changes you. Whether it jades your view, makes you tougher less sensitive to things, you change period. For myself I have changed. I’ve come to loathe people. I’ve become unsympathetic, insensitive and just cold and antisocial. I think these traits were always there. However, somehow I’ve become the poster child for ruthlessness. You can’t un-know things. You simply can’t. So if you’ve learned pain, you can’t take that back. You move on from it, you grow but it will always be there hidden in the corners, like a monster hiding from the light, straying into the shadowy corners. 
I think this is what makes me read others fairly well. I recognize the broken, the wounded, the damaged, the evil. Because I’ve seen it facing the mirror myself. I don’t consider myself evil but I can be. I can be unrelentingly evil and vile and not feel remorse. I try to force myself to feel it and I can’t. I say it but the words are empty. Meaningless. I just want to try to get to the basics..

The light..

My first inclination is to run. Break out into a full on sprint, music blasting while the sidewalk pounds the soles of my feet. I’m far from conventional by any means. People say that but I mean it. My emotionless state is what makes my life so easy to deal with. If I sat there and drowned myself in emotions, I would be a hot emotional mess. So I opt to shut it down reign it in and as I tell myself suck it up buttercup. I’ve had many challenges. I’ve always surpassed them. 
My fathers health is ailing and a lot of it is a result of his own doing. This doesn’t make it any easier although my strength and resilience make it seem as though it is that simple. 

What I didn’t know when I wrote the paragraph above is that my dad would flatline and come back. That I would realize a hospital to be a place of a lot of sadness for those who are ailing or passing, some hope for those who are saved and some joy for those that are born. 
I couldn’t do what they do on a daily basis. I couldn’t stare death in the face every single day. It’s not that I fear death necessarily it’s that I want to live. In the face of mortality I pale. I pale at the thought of what I hope to do, what I want to do and what I haven’t done. I think of death like the times I’ve had surgery. Where they give you an anesthetic lights out.. not here nor there just out…

And I don’t want to be out..

A bit of morbid truth..

I was recently thinking about a conversation I had with my biffle. Yeah I call my bestie my biffle, my best friend, my twinky a number of things. The thing is that a long time ago we talked about our funerals. It was my explicit desire that the day I croak, it’s an invitation only event. Don’t worry, the list should be tremendously short. The reason I wanted it that way is there is nothing more than I hate than to see people who didn’t give a shit when you were alive show up and act like they care. My personal favorite is the great talk about the dead guy because now he’s dead. I guess it’s social norms that it’s ill advised to speak ill of the dead. For me, I want posthumous to be around those who truly loved me and understood me. I want my eulogy to talk about the asshole I was, but the fighter I was. I want to be recognized for my cruelty but acknowledged as well for my love. I don’t want people to only recognize the good I’ve done, I want them to own that here lies an asshole, with a big heart and cold stone emotions. Because at the end of it all, that’s who I really am.

I attended one funeral in my life that was the most impacting moment of my life. I wrote about that. I was bothered that day, why? Because I knew he had strife with his family, in fact we celebrated Thanksgiving like outcasts, so the fact everyone was morning someone who had just recently been in the hospital, that I took off of work to pick up because we were like family, that bothered me. Don’t mourn people when their gone, cherish them while they live because that’s when it counts for something, otherwise it counts for shit…

Grief and loss…

Grief is one of the most overwhelming emotions that one can experience. I’ve always thought that is magnified by unexpected loss and even more by public loss. By public loss I mean something that makes headlines. My first and only experience with loss was exactly that. It involved a situation that made front page news and the difficulty with coping was going to the news outlets and reading the comments people would write. It fueled my rage toward the party responsible. I became an Internet vigilante slaying people with my words for judging someone who died through no fault of his own in front of his then 4 or 5 year old. People would comment that he was another “Bronx” piece of shit. I ripped so many of those comments apart I wound up getting apologies. But realistically, how many of those comments could I reply to?

To this day I’m not as angry as I was 7 years ago but I still feel the same. I feel that the punishment is not enough, the culprit got about 7 years. In my eyes the only just punishment is for his daughter or mother to suffer the same fate at someone’s hand and have to live with the memorization of them under a white sheet on the side of the street like garbage. Because that’s the lasting image that has remained imprinted in my mind. I see the news photo of his body under a sheet on the side of the road and I live with that image every single day.

I recently read Susan Klebolds book related to Columbine. I have to admit openly that my sadness is 100% with the victims. After reading the book I felt some twinge of sadness for her because she lost her son, but since he caused the damage, in a super fucked up way that to me outweighs whatever sadness I might feel for him or his family. I also admit that after reading her book, she has in a sense paid her dues, living with her son’s actions, battling cancer, she can never walk away from this and that in a sense is her own hell that she is sentenced to for the rest of her life for something she didn’t directly do.

I have battled both depression and had suicidal thoughts in my early years. There came a point where trying to be an adult and hold a household down at 16 became literally unbearable. I wanted to die. Then I would pull myself off that ledge of thought by reminding myself I had goals. I had things that I would never be able to achieve and my parents the responsible parties for my grief would continue living and I would no longer have a chance to accomplish what I wanted, that it would literally become game over. That kept me going, because in a super fucked up way my punishment to them was I would live, I would succeed and you’d have to deal with what you’ve done while I would be absolved of my grief and pain for all of that years I suffered.

Depression has been a long lasting battle. I haven’t had a super bad bout since before moving to New York. One of the worst episodes came after a massive shopping spree. I rolled awake the next day to bags all over the floor of my room and I didn’t want to deal. I felt no joy, I didn’t want to leave the confinement of my bed, I didn’t want to hang out, I felt no pleasure. Normally this would be a sight to rejoice, this time, I felt nothing.

It’s because I have a phenomenal support system of friends that I can keep on trucking. One of them came to my house and literally got me out of the house. He showed up at my door and got me out of the house and I was able to start coming out of the fog. Because that’s what it feels like, a dark cloud of negativity where there is no joy, no happiness, nothing good.  So do I understand both depression and suicidal thoughts? In my own way yes. But I also do feel like there are indicators. If I had had an alarm at that time I would’ve been blaring at full speed like a siren. So even after reading the book I still came away with a feeling that things were missed. It’s clear in hindsight that a lot of people i.e. Police, the school, parents missed things but in all reality could we do anything different? Not everyone is expressive, I’ve always been an open book but in all honesty I don’t think I’ve ever really touched the issues of my past suicidal thoughts. I may have in passing talked about this with close friends now, but I don’t think I ever like I am right now said, I was suicidal or had thoughts to kill myself. But then again, I doubt anyone knew just how dark I had gone. I managed to find ways to pull myself time and time again out of the fog and these thoughts. But I haven’t had the thoughts of hurting myself since that moment I decided I was worth living and enjoying my life.

After reading the book the one thing that stood out were all the things that were going on before the tragedy. There was this like planned confrontation, defacement of property, the detached reaction to why it was wrong to misuse the schools locker information, the break in the van, and then of course the infamous paper that warranted the school calling Dylan’s parents. I have a daughter and I know that any call from the school I am in there like swim wear, I ask my daughter who is only 5 if anyone in school is bothering her because I know the new generation that we live in. I have told her if there is any problem, mommy will handle it, because I will, I also want to establish with her that she is not alone. Whether the issue is a teacher not letting you use the bathroom or a bully, you tell mommy and mommy is going to handle that, you won’t be in trouble, I will take care of it. In hindsight, we have all of the answers, in retrospect its easy to see and know and fix what we’ve missed, what we’ve done wrong and how to make things right. However, I think that if I had really genuinely lost the desire to live then I would not be here to write this, because I would’ve found the way to fulfill that desire to let go.

Where the road takes you..

Life is in itself a voyage. An inexplicable voyage of self discovery and other revelations. There is no manual on how to live your life, there is no guide on what not to do, even though every choice every decision influences and impacts your present and your very future. The interesting thing about this particular venture, is that along the way you meet people who make it bearable, be it your friends, other family, your significant other. But even more importantly when you reflect, sometimes you realize that you’ve changed, you’ve grown and you’re not the same that you once were. So no matter where the road may lead you, remember that you are on borrowed time. Take advantage of every memory you have the opportunity to create, every kiss you get to steal, every moment that makes life worth living, because at the end of that road, you will find yourself with nothing more than those memories vividly with you.

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