Motherless Mothering

This is a subject that, as I type these very words, I’m not sure I want to share.  Although, I feel it’s necessary and I can’t quite figure out why. Maybe it’ll be healing. Maybe someone experiencing anything with a hint of similarity will think, “Hey, I’m not alone here”. Or maybe, none of this. I don’t know. But I’ll start anyway.

I haven’t always felt motherless. In fact, in my younger years, up until the age of 16 or so I would say that my mother and I were very close. Best friends even. I shared everything with her and we had the kind of ‘perfect’ relationship where there were no secrets, no fights, no teenage drama. Then, one day, my poor mother’s demons started knocking at her door. Ones I know she’d been holding the door closed on for so long that she must’ve lost her strength.

It began with a glass of wine or two in the evenings. Harmless, right? Sure, for most. Most who’ve lead a normal childhood, adolescence, and adult life. Sadly, this was not my Mama. My sweet Mom had endured in her childhood the unfathomable. What you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. A nightmare of a life that looked like being molested by her uncle at age 3,  taken from her drunken whore of a mother shortly thereafter, placed in an orphanage, placed in a foster home at age 6 where she was subjected to the most extreme physical and sexual abuse you can imagine (and trust me, you can’t) – for the next 7 years.

She had held the doors closed on the demons of her past for as long as she could. I believe, until she felt that I could survive on my own if I needed. And so, she slowly began to collapse. Drinking away her misery. Night, after night, after night. It actually happened so gradually that I barely noticed a problem. Hell, what did I know? She was unwinding after work right? My mom was totally normal. At that age I had ZERO comprehension of what your past can paint for your future. Before too long, a few glasses was a bottle. Every night. And I began to worry. I remember bringing up AA to her. Asking her to go. My requests dismissed. There wasn’t a problem.

Wine turned to wine plus a few shots, turned into only liquor, turned a bottle of liquor every night. A functioning alcoholic. By this point I had begged countless times, “Please stop! Please get help!”. But those cries fell on deaf ears. The ears of someone in such excruciating amounts of pain no amount of shrieking, crying, pleading could have scratched the surface of the hell she was living in her own mind. To this day, 15 years later, she drowns in this same pain. A now non-functioning alcoholic, who has lost everything. It’s incredibly heartbreaking. Boy, that’s an understatement.

I used to believe that the dysfunction of my childhood (parents divorced at 2, a father barely there until I was in my 20s) was a special part of what made me, me and it would never really affect who I was to become as an adult. And I was mostly right. It wasn’t the early childhood shit that messed with me, at all really. It was having only my mother and then not having her at all, through my late teens, 20s, and now; through major life decisions and having a child of my own, that really screwed with me. I felt and still feel, like I have no one to turn to for advice.

“Hey Mom, London won’t poop, what’s wrong with my baby? What do I do?”

“Hey Mama, can you watch London for me this weekend?”

“Hey Mom, I’m thinking of doing (x,y,z,l,m,n,o,p), what do you think?”

“Hey Mom, I’m having a real shit time in my marriage. What should I do?”

Nope. None of that. Navigating it all on my own.

In fact, I remember calling her to tell her I was pregnant and her reaction made me cry. She told me I better be kidding. And literally she thought I was lying for half of the conversation.

I had more confidence about parenting when I was a damn teenager than I do most days now. What bullshit. When I step back and actually look at the job I’m doing I can say to myself, “Ok, you got this. Not so bad.” But in the moment, I criticize this shit out of my mothering. And it wasn’t until very recently that I put two and two together. The absence of my mother has made me completely insecure as a mother. I fear I am missing the joy of this journey scared to death of my every action and what effect it will have on my little man.

I received a call from my Mom today. One that ended in hollering and tears. Shutting off my emotions toward my own mother will always be torture. Yet, my only form of self protection. Every once in a while the emotions well up and I have to let them out. Or, more like they burst out on their own.

After the puffy eyes had calmed and enough time had passed to look upon the call without judgement I realized, I am not my mother. I am not my mom. I still love her, amidst all the hurt. But, I am me. I am.

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My Mama, Age 17

 

The Muse

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I want to be your muse.

I want to light a flame in your soul

     and spark a desire within that you didn’t know existed.

I want to make you curious –

     about life, love, yourself.

I want you to look at me and feel alive,

     blood coursing through your veins, fast and hard.

I want to fill your thoughts with wild dreams

     and heart-racing, glorious fantasies.

I want you to drink me like coffee, until you’ve had your fill

     and drink me some more because you never will.

I want to be your energy.

I want to wake you up at night just to put you back to sleep.

I want to be the words rolling off your pen and onto your paper,

     over and over and over.

I want to be the chord you play when nothing else sounds right.

I want to be your passion source.

I want to be your muse.

Vibrance

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Little Boy

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My dear, sweet, perfectly imperfect little boy.

I adore you.

There are no words to clearly express the love that comes with being a mother.

Overwhelming.

No greater fear. No deeper pride.

Unconditional.

You’ve changed my life forever.

 

 

The Body that Built London

Coming to terms with what happens to your body after baby can be one huge ass pill to swallow. And one that definitely NO ONE tells you about. At least, if they had, I didn’t pay a damn bit of attention because duh – I was too busy getting hammered and telling myself I was over the idea of kids. Who needs those snot-nosed little shits anyway, right? (And other bullshit we say before we know any better, but that’s another piece all together.)

Yes, when I became pregnant with London I was blissfully unaware of the havoc he was about to wreck on almost every square inch of my body. The first few months were heavenly, morning sickness aside. I was still the same ol’ little me just with a bump, that’s it. I still felt good. Towards the end however, a whole different ball game. I was completely unprepared for how much these changes would catch me off guard. Physically and emotionally. Living in a strange body that continually gets stranger can really take a toll on a gal. Fat thighs, fat ass, fat pudi? Yes, your read that right. Your lady bits get fat too! Who freaking knew? Sure as hell not me.

I recall so vividly the first stretch mark I found. Right across my right ass cheek. Big and bold. It nearly tore me to pieces. I know that sounds incredibly vain but it was all due to the state of mind I was in. I had refused to believe that was going to happen to me. I had always been very body confident and didn’t know any other way. My mom had gained 90 pounds with me and not a stretch mark one! I thought I was golden street, for sure. But no, here came the ass mark anyway. And put me right in my damn place. “So, Miss Love Your Body, see if you can love this!” (Followed by an evil laugh.) What a bitch.

Eventually, I came to terms  with my ass mark. It was the only one I was going to get right? Wrong. Three short weeks before London came he changed positions, which felt like he was nearly going to rip my stomach in half. The result? Stretch marks. All over the center of my tummy. So. Sad. I’d almost made it.

The cherry on top was having endured my entire labor, complete and pushing, without an ounce of pain medication, only to end up with an emergency c-section and one more scar to add to the bunch.

Needless to say, traumatized.

The shape I took once this was all said and done was that of a soldier gone to war. I hardly recognized myself. The tits that I swore would remain the same, different. My stomach, different. My ass, different. My mind, so. different. How would I ever come to accept this new body? What in the hell just happened to me?

I made a human being. A tiny perfect little creature. That is what the hell just happened. And all of the ‘different’, absolutely worth it to look down and see his most precious little face. A face that I had a hand in creating. Incredible.

Slowly, over time, the stretch marks faded. Almost unnoticeable. My shape returned mostly back to it’s pre-baby ways. I even weigh less now than I did when I got pregnant. (Only because Moms don’t really eat but whatever.) And slowly but surely I am learning to love this new version of myself. In all of it’s strength, power, and birthing badass-ness.

One day, and soon, I know I will be proud of this body. The body that housed and built my little London.

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Inspiration Came On A Wednesday

“Inspiration came on a Wednesday and brought me this lovely lady face, I quite adore her.”

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And, so, Lady Face was born.

I had previously been addicted to painting cityscapes, I’ve always had this fascination with them, the magnificent beauty they hold from afar, beckoning for you with soft whispers and promises of what could be, adventures that lie ahead. So dreamy. Yet, so tangible. Only a plane or bus ride away but oceans in between. What’s behind all those lights anyhow? What truths unfold with each step nearer? As long as you remain on the far side you create the script for what stories unfold beyond the skyline. Years of wonder.

In a moment, the wave descended. The city stepped back while the lady appeared in the foreground. Maybe she is what was to be discovered past the glow.

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Into the Truth

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In an effort to rip myself from the grips of old habits, this year, I have decided to unapologetically and wholly submit myself to vulnerability. Every ounce of me. Completely and one hundred percent committed to exposing myself, in all of my wonder or lack there of. In hopes of remembering who I am. Unveiling my truth and fueling my growth.

Through this vulnerability I offer up my reality. The deep down. The real, raw, and at times horribly ugly truth. Although, with a glance back at that last sentence I can hardly call it ugly. Because truth, truth is so incredibly beautiful. It is painful and on occasion overwhelmingly difficult. But my goodness how the weight of the world removes itself when you’re simply honest with yourself.

The transformation takes time, patience and practice. You cannot just say so and it will be. Which is exactly why I have chosen to make my practice an up front and center part of my everyday life.

You see, the sadness, the unhappiness, the discontent, creeps in ever so slowly. As if not to be caught, it gently enters with every decision that is not fully yours. Each time you quiet your own voice. Every unauthentic conversation. And especially, each and every time you push your heart’s truest desires to the wayside.

I found myself here. A stranger in my own life. And it’s okay. Because upon awakening I can take action. With action I can grow. Through growth, with luck, I can inspire. And by all of this, I will live.

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Depth & Light

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What comes from the soul cannot be understood, only pondered.

For if we look too deep we will find but one thing…

A depth so unending it would seem visible to the mind as only the universe can be.

A vast darkness penetrated by light.

Scattered Pieces

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I’m taking this night to becoming a kite,

floating through my thoughts and stringing them together.

Piece by piece of puzzle I see,

scattered pieces, disconnected, yet free.

Stories untold of a heart’s fate,

what happened to life?

Is it ever too late?

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