Friday, July 20, 2012

'Ol inner workings...

It's been so long that I had to reinstate my account and figure out how to post via this bloggy-thingy.  I've been motivated to post, maybe more often this start up- again.  *tap, tap.  Is this thing on?

Depression brings me here.  Its truth, realness, darkness.  I'm not depressed now, you see... but the last few days have been rough on the 'ol inner workings.  Depression is something I've learned about through my years-- mostly that I have it from time to time and that there isn't a magic pill that keeps it away.  Though I do take medication and I've been to therapy, depression is in my DNA.  It's a part of me, who I am, how I operate, why sometimes I can't get up to do anything... Yesterday I mad a sandwich.  It was a breakthrough.

It's refreshing that this thing called depression isn't something I have hide so much these days.  It use to send me in fits of, "I don't feel good."  "My head." "My back." It wasn't a lie.  But I've learned through the past few years that the actually body pains was the ramifications of said depression.  It's a dark place.  It's a scary place.  It's a place that many don't understand, but unfortunately, it's a place that many people visit.  Much less frequently for myself-- thanks to medication, therapy, wife, friends, and GOD.

I wanted to kill myself a few years ago.  Actually, I had wanted to kill myself for many, many years-- I only came to a breaking point, where that thought was very real a few years ago.  I was blogging a lot in those days.  Looking back, I guess a lot of truth was written to hide the fact that I was going to kill myself.  I had a plan.  It was in the works.  Everyone was going to be better off.

I'm lucky.  While the last few days have been rough, I've been fighting off those thoughts-- something I use to revel and roll around in like a fat pig in the mud.  Oink, oink.

It's a dark and lonely place, plotting your death.  Some call it selfish, but in the inner workings, well... it's a feeling of giving up so those you love can live better, happier lives.  It's not that love isn't enough. It's that you don't deserve that love and everyone would just be better off-- in the long run-- after the initial sting-- if you were just gone.

We need to rip at the truth and expose it.  None of that crap is true.  People do love you, me.  You, me, we are deserving of that love.  I have love to give.  I am not spoiled goods.  People need and appreciate you, me.  Suicide cause deep, everlasting scares-- scares that don't fade.  Find help.  Say it out.  Shout it.

As the death settles front his round of dark times, I'm so very thankful to be alive.  The air seems brighter today.  I see more clearly.  I'm standing up straight and walking with purpose.  Tomorrow will be better too.  And the next day.  It does get better.  Promise!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I’m not sure how I got headed back to this here blog, but here I am, nonetheless. Gesh, it’s funny reading about some of the insights (or lack thereof) I’ve had in years past. Browsing the posts, I’ve stopped and question if I in fact wrote what I was reading.

Awkward at times, this blog-revisit has provided a pretty cool way to capture some of the growth I’ve experienced that past few years. Dare I say growth?
And since today marks a pretty significant milestone in my life, I thought I might provide myself a little update in the off change I again become nostalgic in a few years. Hell, who knows. Maybe I’ll pick-up blogging again.

So, the milestone: Today is my tenth anniversary with The Wife. Pretty cool, huh? Why I’m a wasting time blogging about it? Well, it’s because I’m at work—my part-time gig proctoring babied athletic scholars at my former University. Did you brainy-folk know that athletes not only get a one-up on scholarships, but they’re also required to attend study halls where there are free tutors, computers, and resources to ensure they keep a 2.0 GPA. Yup, and they all bitch about it, too. I’m here, paid ten bucks an hour to ensure they stay focused and don’t try to cheat their time. Shuyeah, pretty sweet deal… especially for me because it typically provides me with the chance to get teacher work done on the University’s dime, when I’d normally do that work for free.

So, back to the milestone: Ten Years! It’s pretty amazing. Gosh, we were babies when we got married. And though much hasn’t changed, so much has!

1) My wife is an amazing woman, but I no longer put her on a pedestal. She isn’t perfect. She has faults. And though I’m certain she could have done better in way of a mate, I’m not so bad. In fact, I’m a pretty good husband. I dye her hair. I try to remember to put the seat down. I’m learning to fix things around the house.

2) Yes, a house. The Wife and I bought a house about two years ago. It’s nothing fancy. It’s a 1,300 square foot, 3 bedroom, 1 bath ranch. But it is ours and it is our home. Ownership is a wonderful, but strange thing. It’s nice being able to paint at will. It’s not nice having to pay for a broken heater or leaky roof. With our house came my 1 car man-cave. I’ve got hammers, and power drills, air guns and miters saws these days. In nearly two years, I’ve learned to lay tile, drywall, do basic electric and plumbing, and build things—like shelves for the library/guestroom and for my daughter.

3) Yup, I said daughter. Twig turned 1-year old at the end of January. Though I can’t believe it’s been a year already, it’s difficult to imagine our life without her. More so, she’s so big now that I can’t even remember what it was like to hold her when she was just an infant. I miss those days, but each day is filled with newness and happiness. She’s walking, learning to talk, problem-solving, causing problems. Last night she woke up screaming. Her back teeth are breaking though and she wasn’t taking it well. The cries were scary. They hurt me. I almost cried myself. For me, fatherhood has evoked clarity and perspective. I’m still me, but only a better version.

4) I’m fat again. It bothers me, yes. But not like before. My self-image use to be so tied into, well image. And though I’m sure that I will never be fully secure in the image of me, I’m alright with me. I’m a pretty good person. And if anyone is judging this book by its cover—even if that anyone is me—it’s not really worth my effort.

5) With that said, I miss the former fitter me. I miss the burn; the sweat; the skinny jeans. I don’t miss the constant analysis of calories; the obsession of what is going in must come out. My working out was not a one of health. Thought it brought outer confidence, I was still a mess inside—burring it all with miles, reps, lifts and laps. And when I had shed 60-pounds and could almost be happy, I was my most unhappy. I shed it, and at the core I was just a fucked up little boy trying to pretend that I was a man.

6) Perhaps it is only the happy pills I take daily or the therapy I attend (at one time weekly), but I’ve started to uncover a happiness that I never thought I deserved. I’ve spent a lot of time looking back, seeking an answer as to why I’m such a depressed and self-loathing person. I’ve looked and looked for the reason why I feel so fucked-up in my head. I wanted so badly a title or diagnosis or affirmation that there is something in fact wrong with me so I didn’t feel like there was in fact something wrong with me.

I guess I’ve learned in these last few years that there isn’t an answer for any of it. Seeking clarity from the past only fogs the present. I don’t need affirmation that I have the right to be screwed up a bit from my past. And that celerity actually makes me feel less screwed up. The bouts of depression are probably going to be a part of my make-up, as I’ve learned they’re part of my genetics. Taking a look inward, being honest, and hell writing about it here has helped recognize the onset of the lows and gives me a bit more stability when riding out the wave.
And since I’m pretty sure I’m the only person going to read this, keep that mindset if you hit any bumps in the road in the future. Bruises from bumps in the road are a part of life, no use self-inflicting scares because of those bruises.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


And today there were tears.

It felt good to finally let it go, let it out, let them fall. My baby being gone knocked me into a bit of depression that I really didn't think related directly to the loss. But these tears were for the little one.

They were not all tears of sadness.

The Lord needed my child in heaven, for whatever reason, now. I'm happy this one was a chosen one, one that can watch over and do good work now.

Still, the what could have been on Earth saddens me.

I know this baby will watch over its younger brother or sister, when he or she makes it here. I know that one day we'll all be united and perhaps laugh and play together.

I loved my unborn child before I even knew it was growing inside my wife. And I still love that child, though our eyes never met.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Things will be alright.

Yesterday a letter from my brother appeared in my mailbox.  I was expecting it.  I had recently written him in reference to The Wife being knocked up.  I knew he hadn't received word that our little one was without a heartbeat and thus hadn't made it.
I normally look forward to receiving mail from my kid brother.  Despite everything, I love the guy and look forward to our longhand communication; however, I wasn't looking forward to this letter.  I sat it on the table and prepared myself for the excitement that would be read through his chicken scratch and horrible spelling and grammar ability-- worse than mine, even.
Eventually, I worked up the courage to open it.  And it read as I had expected.  He was thrilled.  He was excited for me.  He assured me I'd be a great father.  He wished he could be around to share it with me and The Wife.
What I hadn't prepared myself for was the anger that would follow.
My little brother is a father himself.  He and his girlfriend became pregnant with my nephew when she was 15 and he was 19.  They had made plans to abort this child, but never got around to it.  So, when my little nephew entered the world on September 11, 2001 they were not at all prepared.  All of this could be forgiven, I suppose, but my brother failed to ever step up to the parental plate.
In the letter he wrote about how having a child brings such joy, how it completes you, and how it causes a life revaluation.
Yet, my brother is currently serving a 48-yearr prison sentence for murder.  Clearly, I can't say he's much of a father.  I can't say that he ever took his fatherly responsibilities too seriously, especially the night he became high, and put a bullet in another man's head over some drug deal gone bad.  Of course that all brought to the surface that he use to keep drugs and guns under my nephew's bed, among other disgusting displays of parental irresponsibility.
Of course, he voiced all that in his letter... listing his screw ups, regrets, and remorse.
Still, it did not make it easy to read.  Him and his advice.  Him and his joy.  Him and his talk about the child he can't raise.  Sometimes life is just unfair.  It's unfair that I won't be a father this go around.  It's unfair that my nephew was dealt a crappy father.
I wonder who I'll be unfair to when I write him back assuring him that he does what he can to be a good father, and that I'm alright with God's plan... that things will be alright.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Untelling process...

Some folks say you should wait to share your news until after the first trimester.  You know, just in case something goes wrong.  After all, I've read that nearly 25% of pregnancies end in natural demise.  The Wife and I couldn't hold back with our baby news and once we started to tell, we couldn't stop. 
I've learned, the untelling process is an interesting one.
Some folks seem to know exactly what I need to hear.  Those folks are few.  Others seem to take the news harder than The Wife and I had taken it.  I end up assuring those people that everything will be fine, that it happened for a reason and that me and The Wife are fine.  Other find comfort in the corners of the room, diverting direct eye contact.  For some I've found, it opens wounds of their own personal loss.  Many hugs follow the news...  sometimes tears. Is it odd that I have yet to cry?  Or do I rest assure, like some friends have stated, it will come in time.
It's rainy this afternoon, the tear drops tap outside of my classroom rather than stream down my cheek.  I feel a mute of depression, but it's not something unlike the cycle of depression that often seeps in from time to time.  But unlike those times, I don't want to jump off a cliff or put a bullet though my brain.  Something in me is still smiling, a joy much like that which invaded when The Wife told me we were going to be parents. 
Those helplessly happy thoughts of what is to come are still swimming. 
I don't regret the joy I spread to others, too early for some.  It was a joy that should be shared, a joy that I was happy to share... that I'm still happy I shared.  The pain that followed this time is just the journey to a greater good, a goodness I'm sure I can't completely comprehend.
How could I? 
You see, I don't feel defeated.  I almost feel inspired.  And though so much of the future is unknown right now.  Will we ever have children?  It's a journey I'm excited to take, with my wife, the woman I love more and more each day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I see the beauty...

When I found out that The Wife was pregnant it was a surreal experience.  Cognitively, I knew that it really wasn't all that amazing in the grand scheme of things.  I mean, people get pregnant all the time.  The Virgin Mary... that was impressive.  Still, I couldn't help but be proud, excited and thrilled.  I felt like little ol' me (for the record: not a penis reference) had accomplished something pretty miraculous. 

I was a man!  I'd spread my seed.

Reading, it's also not that uncommon for things not to work out.  Medically, doctors call it a "natural demise."  Us commoners call it a miscarriage.  When I told my mom this morning that yesterday our little 9 week baby had no heart beat, she asked if The Wife's body had aborted it.  She meant no harm, but the term made my stomach turn.

We knew there was some issues the first time we went to see the doctor.  Then, the heart rate was well below the norm.  After rushing home to Google through medical journals, I knew the chances of things working out weren't in our favor.  Still, I didn't think it would happen to us.  My Wife is in perfect health.  More, she has a sole that is filled with peace and love.  Horrible things shouldn't happen to such a wonderful person.  Hell, even in my unwonderfulness, I beat the odds years ago when the cancer cards were stacked against me.

People have babies all the time, yet the joy is so unique and surreal.  It seems, though miscarriages are not uncommon, the pain is just as unique and surreal.

Some might call it fear, but this is when I most wrap myself around my faith.  I believe that God has a plan for us. I've learned, humbly, that His does not always match my own.  I'd still have a baby on the way if it did. But I've also learned, that in time, His plan has always worked for the best even when I don't fully understand it.

Is there sadness?  Yes.  Is there disappointment?  Sure.  Still, there is no anger.  I don't feel rejected.  There are no lingering questions of, "Why us."  More so, I don't feel forsaken.

Right now I feel closer to God than I have in years.  I feel closer to my wife than ever before. There is a force that makes me love her more.

Even though muted a bit by sadness, I see the beauty that is all around me.  And if God willing, I can't wait to share it with my future child.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Whisper of God...

Hello blog. It's been a long time, baby. Despite your insistent tapping, I haven't missed you much. It isn't that I don't care. I do. It's just, well... I haven't needed you. I know that sounds incredibly one sided. Maybe you needed me. But I didn't need you.

Don't be sad. You should be pleased. You've help bring me to a place where I don't feel the need to purge my thoughts, my fears, my concerns, my worries. Things seem to be sorting out lately on their own. You, Sort of Blog, has made that possible.

So thank you for that.

And despite my newly found independence, how wavering it may or may not be at this point, I don't want to cut you out forever and all together. I do enjoy our little chats. You're fun to read and manipulate and hold late nights in the dark corners of the couch. Tap. Tap. Tap.

So here's what's new with me...

-I'm full-force back into the swing of school. New students and old, I don't foresee any major hurdles in way of instructing and getting these little minds motivated and on board. Relief.

-I'm an organized freak in my classroom this year. The mounds of papers that engulfed me last year or neatly organized, filed and labeled. And I can find them!

-We're paying off bills despite the economic hit The Wife's work took this month. She's looking for a new job and seems to have one in hand. We'll see.

-I'm motivated to take root in my own schooling, profession and lifestyle.

-Home ownership is in our very near future we hope and pray!

-Despite my recent back relapse (on muscle relaxers now!), I feel great.

-I've dedicated myself to eating healthy and working out. This is another reason I've been absent, my friend. Working out takes up a lot of time.

-I've lost nearly 30-pounds. My once tight 36 pants are piled high on the floor for donation. I'm sporting 34s and they're starting to get roomy. (And all my Large shirts are headed out the door, too)

-I'm running (not right now because of the back) a 27-minute 5K. I ran a 6-minute mile on Thursday (and then hurt my back; yes, a connection).

-I had McDonald's yesterday and didn't beat myself over it.

-I've discovered that I love, love, love racquetball. I'm just really, really, really bad.

-I feel more confident.

-I'm smiling more.

-I talked to my mom yesterday and I didn't want to scream. And hadn't changed one bit.

-I hear the whisper of God.

-I had a baby dream last night and saw the baby's face. Hum?

What about you?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I should spend more time showering...

I'll try this...

1) Who was the last person you gave up on?
Sort of my mom. I don't really give up on people, but she's about as close as I come. Because it's safer for me.

2) Have you talked to a complete asshole today?
No she talked to me. I've learned not to really address my supervisor directly.

3) Are you comfortable answering all these personal questions?
That's a stupid question, no?

4) Do you think relationships are even worth it?
Of course. Again, stupid question.

5) If you could pack up and move, would you?
That depends. Do I have a mover? I'm not moving again unless I have a mover. Our bedroom furniture is heavier than !uck.

6) Do your parents really know you?
I think my dad does. Sort of. My mom thinks I'm a judgmental, close-minded, know-it-all, elitist. So...?

7) When was the last time you laughed really hard?
The other day when I turned the shower on while our new cat was in the tub. He freaked out, but couldn't get out because he's too small. It was great. I think I'm going to be a great father.

8) What are you wearing right now?
My smelly workout clothes. I should spend more time showering than answering these stupid things.

9) What are you excited for?
Monday when I start receiving students. I'm a teacher. I should be teaching.

10) Has anyone told you lately that they would always be there for you?
No, but I know at least two people that will always be there for me. And that feels pretty good. It's good that it's a select few because I really don't like people.

11) What do you want right now?
Meat. I've been craving meat lately. I don't really eat meat. But I really want a taco from Taco Bell. And I just saw a commercial for Chicken McNuggets and I almost got in my car and drove down the street.

12) Are your parents divorced?
Thankfully, yes.

13) What were you doing at 8 this morning?

Giving high-fives in the hallway to kids coming off the bus and headed to the cafeteria for breakfast. I was also telling them to, "Stay on the line." But really I don't care if they walk the line. I'm just expected to say that.

14) Do you fall for people easily?
I haven't fallen for anyone since my wife.

15) What is one word that you overuse?
"Um." Even though that's not a word. I like the word ramification, and I probably use that too much.

16) Who was the last person to text you?

My neighbor. It was about the gym. It's always about the gym. Or drinking beer. I wish it would have been about drinking beer. That's more fun than the gym.

17) What’s your mood?
I'm feeling insecure right now and horny, which isn't a good combination... especially when my wife is out of town.

18) If you took a drug test, would you pass it?
Um no. It was my birthday. I was reclaiming my youth... something I haven't done since before I was married.

19) Did you enjoy your weekend?
I watched a lot of movies, took a lot of naps, and watched SNL with some friends. Yup. I enjoyed it.

20) Do you regret doing something today?
I sort of wish I would have told my supervisor to shove her lesson plan up her ass. She handed it to me and then told me to teach it to the staff... all before I had the chance to read it. Then she tore me apart in front of everyone. You know, because I wasn't prepared.

21) Are you slowly drifting away from someone?
Sometimes myself... though I am also experiencing inner clarity. Odd?

22) Last person you told a secret to?

Ha. My pal Kris. She knows almost all my secrets.

23) What’s irritating you right now?
The fact I'm sitting here when I should be cleaning because my wife is coming home tomorrow. And I always like to come home to a really clean house. So, I want the house to be really clean for her. But I'm lazy.

24) Would you ever forgive someone if they cheated on you?
I would try like hell, but it would change everything.

25) Tell me what one of your friends is doing.

One of my friends is probably thinking about sex. It's human nature. Someone I know is thinking about sex. I hope someone I know is having sex. I hope it's good sex, too. Hot and steamy and uninhibited.

26) Are you stubborn?
It depends. Mostly, no.

27) What are you looking forward to?
Didn't I answer this? It seems like I've answered this?

28) Is there anybody you wish you could be with right now?
The Wife. I know... sappy.

29) Are you gonna be home alone tonight?
I've got Jesus in my heart. I'm never alone, right? Plus I have two cats. And monsters in my dreams.

30) Who gave you your last compliment?
Kris. She said I looked really skinny and wanted to know how much weight I've lost because I didn't look so skinny last week when I saw her last.

31) What is one thing you wish you had?
A six-pack of abs. I know that's superficial, but I don't really feel like thinking about something I really wish I had. I'd say a house, but that would come with a mortgage.

33) Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?
Uh I'm married. 7 years. No.

Which way did both #32 and #34 go?

Maybe up my supervisor's ass... with her lesson plan.

35) Do you still talk to the person you fell hardest for?

Almost every day.

36) Last movie you saw in theaters, with whom?

Kris. It was yesterday. And I can't remember the title. How sad.

37) Would you rather go to Tokyo or Paris?
Tokyo. I'd be huge in Japan. And there is probably something to be said about knowing your penis is bigger than 99.9% of all the guys around you. You know, total confidence builder.

38) What are you allergic to?
Folding laundry and cleaning out the litter box.

39) Has anyone ever complimented your eyes?
Lots of times. I think they could be more blue, bigger.

40) Are you listening to music right now?

No, I'm watching the new 90210. It's pretty funny.

41) Who else is in the room with you?

Jesus in my heart and my two cats. We're going to party later.

42) In winter, would you rather wear jackets or hoodies?

I'm a gangster, so a hoodie, I suppose. Dawg!

43) Do you wish you were somewhere else right now?
No. I'm good. Bed?

44) How long can you go without your mobile phone?
I forget it everywhere, so I'd be alright for awhile. At least until I locked my keys in my car and needed a locksmith.

45) What are you doing tomorrow?
Sorting through that damn lesson plan, finishing up some more paperwork and sitting through another meeting.

46) Ever kissed someone else’s boy/girlfriend?
Yes. Then I married her.

47) Where did you last sleep other than your room?
On my neighbors couch. I was so drunk I couldn't walk across the hall to my own bed. I'm 30. not 21. I must remember that the next time I go out with the guys.

48) What’s the worst way to say “I love you”?
While burping?

49) Who was the last person in your room besides family?

Two Filipino girls. We were walking from the porch to my living room to play Nintendo. The White guy just walked across the hall.

50) What is one place you would love to visit?

I'd like to visit my nephew. Not really a place, but that's that.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Things I want to say, but can't...

Tomorrow I pack up my little Ford Focus and head to my tailor of a classroom to get started with my cleaning routine before the kids start arriving. Though my summer doesn't official come to a close until next Monday, I'm headed back early to get a hop on things... plus, I've been asked to present at the new employee orientation for my school district at the end of the week, and I've done little in preparation to inspire the new blood. So after the cleaning, I need to prepare something inspiring and motivational... Here are things that I'll want to say, but can't:
  • There is no class that will prepare you for what you are about to experience. Throw away all you think you know, and pray to God that you're creative enough to come up with ways to keep the kids from killing one another or their teacher.
  • You are their teacher. Watch your back as it will take awhile for that to sink in completely.
  • If it seems that the students are out to get you, it's because they are (which is why I said watch your back!). They smell fear; they prey on fear. You are going to be very, very, very fearful.
  • Assume that things went well your first day of school if you can't remember a damn thing that happened.
  • If you can recall an event from the first day, it was probably a tragic misstep on your part: you lost a kid, a kid lost his arm on the playground, you threw a kid so he'd get lost-- if this happens, do as Jenny does and blame it on Johnny.
  • In a few weeks from now, when you wake up at 5:00AM in the shower and you're not sure how you got there, remember that teaching was your dream. You love this!
  • Oh and when you look in the mirror and wonder why you've aged ten years, it's because you have. The kids think you're old because you look it. You're a teacher now. Get use to it.
  • Before the students arrive, write everyone you know a letter. Apologize for not being available for the next six months, for not returning calls, for not responding to emails, for talking only about school, for falling asleep at dinner or in the middle of conversations. They are going to be pissed. They are not going to understand.
  • Your going to scream, yell, throw, and kick things. I'm going to tell you not to, because it REALLY doesn't work. But you're going to do it anyway. This doesn't make you a bad teacher. This makes you a first year teacher.
  • You're also going to scream in your sleep, because when you're not spending every waking moment in school or thinking about school, you're going to be dreaming it.
  • Don't befriend the teacher next to you and tell him there is an apartment available below yours. He might be a freak and hire male prostitute drug dealers. (Allegedly!) He might develop a crush on you. (Allegedly!)
  • Some teachers think teaching is a competitive sport. If nice things are said about you, they're going to talk shit about you. If you're willing to share resources, they're going to steal them. If you need help, they'll laugh in your face. Stay clear of these teachers. Don't become one.
  • Don't spend hours on your lesson plans. Shit is going to go down that you can't prep for in a lesson plan. Plus, the administration is never going to look at them.
  • If for some reason things move smoothly, and you're able to complete that crap of a lesson plan, have a box of tricks to pass the time. Math races, Hang-man, Stump the teacher, Around the world. Silent reading? Well, of course! Hell, practice fire drills. Just don't put in a movie.
  • Know that the administration isn't going to look at your lesson plans, but believe they'll be knocking at your door if they are late. Promptness is a virtue ever teacher must hold close, even if the administration never does.
  • When specialists and administration use all those fun educational buzz words in staff meetings, you know, to help you to "enhance student engagement in the classroom," what they really mean to say is, "Teach to the test." Your scores will define you as a good or bad teacher. Be a good one! Do whatever it takes.
  • When all else fails, use bribes. Stickers, candy, pencils, let the kids eat glue if they want. Whatever. I can't count the number of pizzas I sneaked into my classroom. But my scores were solid!!!
  • Oh, the administration is never there when you need them-- unless of course you're screwing up or breaking rules. They're always there to see that. When this happens, offer them pizza.
  • The secretaries are a bunch of bitches. Give them pizza, too! It might just save your life.
  • You're going to want to smack the parents harder than you'll ever want to smack a student (though you'll want to do that, too). Since both would result in the loss of your job, I suggest subliminally brainwashing the students to smack their parents for you.
  • Lie. Tell the kids whatever it is you think they might need to hear to get them to do what you want: I love you all so much; You're all so smart; I care too much for you to let you treat yourself that way; I'm going to miss you over the break. If you do this enough, you might actually start to believe it yourself. And in the end, it will be the truth...
**If you don't know me, you might think I hate being a teacher. I don't. I love my job and I love the students with whom I work. Teaching is an amazing experience. It is also one the pushes you to insanity. Humor, I have found, is the best remedy.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mom's visit...

FACTS: My parents’ marriage was built on love. Love probably remained during and after the divorce. Love isn’t enough. My parents abused their twenty-plus year marriage. Infidelity, jealousy, mistrust, rage, and cruelty plagued their unity. Drugs and alcohol, always main staples, dug deep those last years. Addiction is a family affair. My mom liked to smack me around some nights. Still, I would hide her keys so she wouldn’t drive. I was reminded that I was unplanned and unwanted. A daughter is what she wanted, she’d scream to me and my brother. And though I tried to protect him, he wasn’t too little to be clouted. Police, like the gray goose centered on our porch, were familiar at the house. My father was far from innocent. My mom when pregnant was made to change in the closet, away from his seeing eyes. Thirty years ago, the ocean looked more appealing to my father than watching the birth of his first son. He yelled a lot, too. He insulted me. He seemed to hate the son that wore his name, threw, and walked like a girl. As a small child I didn’t know the definition of fag, though I remember that’s what my dad called me when fighting with my mom. I was an honor student, but never earned the 10 bucks my brother was promised if he brought home an A. Still, he was smarter and more talented. He didn’t go to school, do his chores, or follow the rules. But my dad loved him because he could throw a football and kick a soccer ball. He was so proud of my little brother’s athletic ability; he liked to tell me whenever I accomplished one of my goals. I was proud of my kid brother, too. I loved him deeply, and I tried my best to raise him to be a good, respectable, and loving person. I cooked his dinner. I checked his homework. I woke him up to walk him to school. When he was in trouble with a teacher, I sat in the office with him. And when he was in rehab, all those times, I was there to trough through therapy. Love isn’t enough. He would steal from me. He would punch me. He would insult me. And when the foundation cracked, and the walls had tumbled, I stood in the rubble of a house alone. Everyone else had gone their separate ways before I had the chance to realize that perhaps I wasn’t as strong as I had thought…

TRUTH: Though the above, and so much more, has carved into me, I’m a forgiving person. I’ve learned to forgive through the Grace of God, His love, and His forgiveness. Years I tried to sweep it under the rug, but eventually the rug lumps, unable to hide the dirt and grime. Forgiveness has allowed me to open the door, and sweep it out. At times, particles take flight and the breeze brings bits back in through the open windows. I continue to sweep it back out. I can talk about these things now, not to look back and shutter, but to stand strong and continue to rise.

WITNESS: Forgiveness has made it possible to love, to love myself. That self has grown to love, trust, and respect others, including those that crushed me. Relationships have flourished and I’m stronger for it. Forgiveness of others, and forgiveness of self is all powerful.

FAILURE: My mom failed to find the strength to forgive, to forgive herself. Love that I know resides is trapped in self-denial. It is my fault she does not have more money, because I told her not to destroy my father. It is her brother’s fault that she is depressed, because he died. My brother destroyed her because he killed a man for drug money. It’s the police’s fault that he is in jail, that she can’t have a license for a few too many DUIs. He lost her house, because her mother refused to rescue her from debt. Her abuse boyfriend is blamed for all her items lost in storage, because he wouldn’t go get a job. Even after the visit, I know we do not have a close relationship because I’m a judgmental, “always make the right decision,” only see things black-and-white, opinionated, complacent son.

HOPE: My mom stands in the shoes I once filled. I blamed others for my failures and pain. I held onto a past that could not be changed. I allowed myself to be the victim, rather than the survivor. She is broken, lost, and afraid. I was once those things. Because I know, I still hold a distant hope that she’ll find her bottom and rise above—as my father and my brother have done, each in their own possible ways.

CLEARITY: I cannot change my mother, just as I could not change my father or my brother. I cannot support her, because it only enables. I cannot engage in her denial, because it enrages me. I cannot help my mother, because she does not want help. I cannot protect her, because she is self-destructing. Her support, engagement, help, and protection is in the misery she carries, the stories of denial she tells herself— misery and denial that keep her up at night.

LOVE: Despite it all, I will always love her. Will love ever be enough.

**This is what I've gathered from my mom's visit. worth every penny I spent.

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