when the only way forward is not turning back

I just found this amazing post from an amazing woman and had to share. She expresses something I have been struggling with for the past 12 days. 12 days of crazy. 12 days of confusion. Mental anguish. Sadness. Hurting. Myself and others. Depression. Revelation. Reconnecting. Remembering. And discovering. Me.

This resonates. Big Time. Thank you Racheal…


 

 

 

The joy escaped. My friends told me they didn’t recognize me anymore. Maybe getting divorced will do that too. A person has to change and get stripped down to the rawest places when one goes through that. And there’s a ton of emotions and grief and sadness mixed in with it too. I think part of the recognizing of me is because I have been frozen in fear of making a mistake.

Source: when the only way forward is not turning back

Mouth Wide Shut

I truly don’t understand why people ask you to tell them what’s on your mind. Is it just a courtesy? Like when someone asks how you are. But forgets to add that the question is rhetorical. No real genuine concern has been committed to your welfare. They want nothing more then the answered pleasantry of “I’m fine. And you?” so they can answer in kind.

Is it just something they feel compelled to ask when they hear the wheels grinding in your mind? Worried that a cog might slip. And crush them with heavy metal?

It’s all very confusing. This dance we do with our emotions. Asking questions we really don’t want to know the answers to. Or aren’t prepared or equipped for the ramifications in the answers. Spouting platitudes that are no more substantial then the hold a feather has on the wind. Smiling  when we’re crying inside. Laughing when we’re breaking. Hiding when we should be shouting ourselves from the roof tops. Afraid. When we have nothing to fear but our own limiting  beliefs…

I was asked how I felt today. Apparently the grinding could be heard as my cogs slipped in and out of gear. I’m an. Emotional. Mental. Mess. Feeling completely out of sync with my life right now. And I admit. I should have kept my mouth wide shut. But I spoke regardless. Unformed vomitous babble that pierced her heart. And mine. Truths blurted in bitter frustration. And the decibals of anger rose. Furious with accusation. And painful with seeping reality.

In the end. We achieved nothing. Each silenced by our own respective truths.  The elephant in the room neither friend nor foe. But large and looming. Just is.

I am lost to the battle raging within.

And she can not quiet the storm.

Burnt Oxtail

I’m having one of those weekends that I will commit to the trash when it’s over. It’s left me feeling sad, lonely and as though I truly have no control over the events of my life. I’ve been told it’s all about choices. And in a perfect world, that would be true. In a perfect world we would choose to have only positive, enlightened, supportive and loving people in our lives. Hearts would never get broken. People would never leave. And diseases like Cancer wouldn’t exist to utterly devastate and derail you in a fucking nano-second.

Life would be. Perfect.
Because you’d choose it to be so.

But life isn’t perfect. Hearts get broken. People disappoint all the fucking time. And Cancer exists. And sometimes the choices you make have nothing to do with the path your life takes. Sometimes it’s the choices of others that directly affects your own. Sometimes it’s stress, illness, depression, societal pressures, work, a lover, a child, an eX, a pet, a drunk driver or the death of a loved one. The ricochet is boundless and never ending. For in truth, the circumstance of your birth can affect your entire existence from inception to death. And choice has nothing to do with any of it.

Still.

I do have some control.

I do have free will.

I can make a conscious choice to move out of sadness in this moment. And forget that my daughter and her father seem to have no concern for how their behaviour affects me. Hurts me. Disrespects me. And most of all, trivializes the sacrifices in the life I have given, the love I have gifted and the effort I have put into the difficult work both of them have been and continue to be! Or that my friends, once the emotional staple of my life, seem to have all but disappeared in every meaningful way. That their absence is breaking my heart. Leaving me feeling quite abandoned and alone. In truth, in this moment I am devastated. Disillusioned. And more disappointed then I have ever been before with my “family “.

And even sadder, is that it doesn’t seem to matter to anyone but me.

I could choose to disregard how affected I am. And move on. And stifle my heart and it’s emotional beats. Once again. But it’s hard. I’m a social being. I need the mix of friends, family and lover. A blend that feeds my soul and reminds me daily of who I am. And in turn, I cherish our connection and nourish them as well. It’s never perfect. Bumps arise. People get angry. Conversation stumbles. Communication breaks down. We’re only human after all. But at the end of the day…love holds us to each other. And is recognized. And valued. And hopefully, is enough.

I’m gonna work hard at moving this mountain of depression and disappointment that has settled quite snuggly on my shoulders today. But it feels like a landslide of bitterness is eminent. Emotions are bubbling dangerously close to the surface. The kind that make me react instead of respond. Speak without deeper thought because the pain of them overwhelms my sense of judgment. They can be toxic and have the same consequence as too much alcohol. A truth syrum that is not always welcomed for the richness and boldness of its flavor. Not everyone can handle your truth.

So…in an attempt to ride out these feelings of anxiety, hopelessness and sadness I decided to cook some oxtail.  A hearty, yummy, beefy Jamaican dish that I haven’t quite mastered, but gets better each time I cook it. Usually the process is therapeutic and the final reward quite satisfying.

But today. Just now. I burned it.

Of course I did.

That’s it!

I’m done.

And the Easter Bunny can kiss my fucking ass!

Seriously.

Sigh.

This isn’t what I wanted to write about today.

This isn’t how I wanted to be feeling today.

I’m so tired of NOT feeling like me. Just me – whoever that is – would like to be ever present.

And grateful.

And happy to be alive.

Is that really too much to ask Universe?

Every. Single. Day.

“There’s such unnecessary sorrow
In love unspoken.”

~Me~


I woke up today thinking about mortality.

And the precious time we waste getting this love thing all wrong.

K’s cancer diagnosis and upcoming surgery has given rise to much emotional thinking. Prevalent now, are thoughts of wasted moments ticked by in silence. A silence that should have been filled with love. Love that could have created harmony. Peacefulness. And a beautiful knowing that reaches far beyond the breadth of a relationship. Even beyond the breath of life.

I thought about Khalid.

And how often we said “I love you” to eachother. And to be honest, I don’t remember us being super mushy and full of syrup. We laughed a lot. We loved a lot. We had one of those quiet, deep and passionate loves. The kind that fortifies no matter how stormy the weather. But we didn’t actually say “I love you” a lot. We didn’t have to. It was completely understood. I think… I hope. But we should have. I should have. Every. Single. Day. He meant the world to me. He made me happy. And he gave me his heart so selflessly. So effortlessly. He was Unconditional Love. Personified. I should have been tripping over the words. Shouting it from the roof tops. Daily. But I didn’t. I was too angry. And too scared. His illness terrified me. The tumor in his brain a constant reminder that I was going to lose him. That cancer was killing him. Slowly. Stealing his love from me. And that for every truly happy moment we shared, weeks were being taken away. And though I loved him so intensely, I didn’t tell him I loved him like I was gonna lose him. I left too much silence in the spaces between his seizures, his surgeries and his death. It was only in the darkness of my grieving that I wailed it to the heavens. Often. In desperate hope that he would finally, really hear me. And I am content, in the end, that he did.

And now. It is known. From an unbreachable distance.

Some days. Like today. I can’t help but wonder how different our time together would have been if I had just said the words. More.

And then I thought about P.

We rarely said “I love you” to each other. Not nearly enough for the passion we shared. The obsession. The constant craving. Not nearly enough for the great love I felt. For her. Fear of how easily and carelessly she would hurt me, stopped me. Afraid to expose my heart. I became…careful. Not always saying the words when they wanted so badly to be said. Perhaps, that was my mistake. Hers was not knowing how. Instead, we became ensnared in filling our precious moments with accusations, mistrust and one-up-manship. You hurt me. I hurt you back. So busy proving ourselves right not to trust in the vulnerability of love. We missed the sweetness in the knowing we were already so deep in it. And wasted 5 years engaged in a pointless war. One that would never have started if we’d just been less wounded. Less afraid. Braver. Kinder. And had just said the words we both so desperately needed to hear. Every. Single. Day. Showing and telling eachother just how deeply we loved. Because the sad truth is, we really, truly did. Stalemate offers no comfort.

And now. It is known. From an unbreachable distance.

Some days. Like today. I can’t help but wonder how different our time together would have been if we had just said the words. More.

And now there’s K.

Sweet, loving and loveable K. Who wears her heart emblazoned like the S in the Superman logo. Who knows no fear in love. Who walks into the raging inferno of that uncertainty, vulnerable and with open arms. Never knowing if she’ll be loved back. Or if kryptonite will take her down. Standing strong in the conviction of her belief in Love’s power. I am in awe. And I am blessed. She is that elusive Unconditional  Love. Personified. And she tells me she loves me. Every. Single. Day.

I was uncomfortable with all her sweet talk. Her random blurts of love half a dozen times a day. Her “Where did you come from, Cotton-Eyed Joe”-ness. Her genuine kindness and giving. The things she did and still does…just to see me happy? Hmm. I haven’t had that kind of love in almost 23 years. Almost half a lifetime. It feels alien now. Unfamiliar. Untrustworthy. What’s the catch? I have reasons not to trust expressions of love. They’ve proven false countless times. Love lies hurt. A lot. And I have never trusted love spoken too soon either. I mean who says “I love you” – and means it – just weeks into a relationship?! Liars and manipulators, that’s who.

And maybe lesbians😉

But how can those quick, hurried proclamations be trusted? Love is HUGE! Real love, that is. The kind of love that lasts. That’s deep and knowing. That remains steady when the flames have cooled and the love story is not always perfect. It’s not something to be bandied about. Traded back and forth like hockey cards. Or toaster ovens. Or declared in the heat of passion. Or used against someone to move them against their nature…

Love is powerful. Love is gentle. Love is beautiful. And Love is kind. And even though K still says “I Love You” far more then I am completely comfortable with, I get it. There is power in repetition. 

This repetition has gained my trust. Encouraged bravery.

This repetition has instilled security. Given haven.

This repetition has proven reliability. Allowed hope.

This repetition has introduced a quiet consistency. A strength. A bond. For moments like this. When the love story isn’t perfect…

Lightbulb moment? Ya…kinda.

I really didn’t know all this was happening while I was dodging K’s love bullets. But I see it now. And I understand the truth in just how important saying the words really is. I have spent a lifetime mistrusting love because the promise of it, and eventual withholding of it, has been far too painful to endure. But I have wanted love. Wanted to be loved. Perhaps more then most. Done “things” in the hope of it. Have compromised myself more then I care to admit because of it. And eventually I learned that it is far easier to scorn it. Belittle it. Challenge it at every turn. Then to give in to the hope and dream of it. And the acceptance that maybe, just maybe, this time might be IT. It’s a difficult, lonely and unnecessarily sad path to follow. And I don’t recommend it.

My daughter once told me that LOVE doesn’t hurt; people hurt. She is right. Love doesn’t hurt. It’s a wonderfully warm and glowing hug that fills you up with the most incredible and fulfilling light. And if you are lucky enough to feel its amazing power, always ALWAYS try and give it back. No matter what. Love deserves that. Don’t compare it. Don’t analyze it. Don’t abuse it. Embrace it. It truly is what life is all about.

And if you feel it. And it scares you. And you want to run as far away from it as you possibly can. DON’T.

Even if you feel like it’s too late to say it. That it doesn’t matter. That it has no power. No value. That nothing will change. DO IT ANYHOW.

Say the words.

I LOVE YOU

I LOVE YOU

I LOVE YOU

Every. Single. Day.

And repeat them. Over and over and over.

They matter.

To someone.

So much more then you realize.

Don’t wait to make it known. From an unbreachable distance.

And have days. Like today. Where you can’t help but wonder how different your time together would have been if you had just said the words. More.

~

First Memories…

“Parents have such formidable power. They can protect you from all the pain in the world. Or inflict the hardest pain of all. And as children we accept what we get. Perhaps we believe that anything is better than that which we all fear the most: loneliness and abandonment. “
Author: Linda Olsson


I wasn’t born abandoned. I had a family once. A dark haired, flashing eyed Ojibwa vixen and an African American casanova gave birth to me and a younger brother. Two dreamy, idealistic teenagers, who fell in love, got married and thought they knew the world. Thought they would be the difference. They were wrong. We never had a hope of surviving as a family. All of us had been lost at conception.

~Late Fall.1963~

Her scream pierced the air. Sharp in disbelief. I watched as the steaming iron fell to the floor. She stumbled, one hand clutching her belly, the other reaching out. Dazed, she sank into the chair and stared in growing horror at the flashing images on the TV screen. Three shots. One to the head. JFK was dead. It was November 22, 1963. I was two and a half years old.

My first memory.

Profound in both my mind and in history.

Not the most auspicious beginning for my recall, but there it is.

~Early Spring.1964 ~

We lived in a small, two bedroom upper flat and slept on bare gingham mattresses. I remember tracing the blue and white stripes. Pulling at the hard tufted buttons that dug into my skin. All to no avail. They had become an uncomfortable, unavoidable part of my sleep. My brother and I shared a bed. More than once I woke up soaked in urine. I didn’t mind that much. I loved my little man and protected him fiercely. Sometimes we’d wake in the night. Alone. Forgotten. The air quiet and sour. The dream of being the difference must have died after he and I were born.

It was on such a night that I woke to a strange silence. And a dampness under my hip. Jimmy had peed the bed again. He lay close and tucked into the curve of my back. I pushed him gently to the dry side and slid my feet to the cold wooden floor. Our room was located at the end of a long hallway, the bathroom directly to the left. I walked in sleepily, blindly, the routine instilled, and pulled the long chain hanging from the bare light-bulb in the ceiling. Green walls. Light, but unattractive. Tub and sink white, clean and unadorned. The harsh light was not friendly. I closed my eyes as I sat, aware again of the strange silence. I’m not sure why it felt strange. I don’t recall my home being filled with sounds. Happy or otherwise. But that night, something was different. Off. I just knew. I must have. The proof is in the clarity of memory.

I flushed, washed my hands and pulled the chain. Darkness loomed but got brighter as I moved slowly, almost cautiously, down the hallway. The living room was lit. Appeared lived in. Half empty glasses and dirty ashtrays littered the coffee table. Cushions askew on the couch. A pale blanket on the chair. Toys stuffed in the corner. A children’s book on the floor. But the room was empty of life. I was left with the impression of ghosts having recently passed through. Confused, but not alarmed, I continued to peer around corners and walls, but no-one else was in the apartment. My brother and I were alone. I remember seeing what looked like a large basket on the dining room table behind the couch. Decorated with ribbons. A celebration of some sort, it seemed. And yet, there were no guests in attendance. My parents were nowhere to be found.

I walked to the front door. It was unlocked. I opened it and made my way down the dimly lit stairwell to another door, and then the street. I remember sitting on the wet curb in a pajama top and underwear. It must have just rained. My toes played in the muddy, leaf filled water as it rushed curbside down the slope of the darkened street. Most of the houses around me were lit up. Families. Laughing. Loving. Together. Even then I understood that things were different in my home. I watched the shimmering sparkle of street lamps reflected on the slick black pavement. Then looked up at the night sky. Twinkling with magic. I think that’s when first fell in love with starlight.

My parents never returned that night. Or the day after. Or the day after that. We were left in the care of my mother’s cousin, Grace. At 19 she had come to live with us temporarily. Swollen in belly. Unhappy. Trapped in a marriage of convenience. Seems the ribboned bassinette had been gifted to her by my parents after the birth her baby. But the celebration had ended abruptly in a jealous teenage rage. A misunderstood affection. My father’s for Grace. My hot tempered mother had stormed out of the apartment. My father had chased after her. Grace had followed but was unable to reason with either. She came back. My parents didn’t. She found me on the curb. Brought me back inside. And stayed with us. A full week passed in silence. Stretched beyond the competency of children raising children, and with deepest regret I am told, Grace had no recourse but to call in the Children’s Aid Society.

So, as was characteristic of the 60’s mandate of those patron “saints” of abandoned children, the CAS swooped in with their eagle like talons. Carried us away to a darker and even more terrifying version of Never-Never-Land. Mr Hook was a Mrs. And brutally sadistic. Peter Pan and his band of Lost Boys were horrible bullies. And Tinker Bell was a social worker dressed in a long, white trench coat. But, instead of fairy dust, she carried a magical black briefcase filled with potential people and places we might call home again.

Eventually the briefcase emptied.

So did our hope.

Jimmy was a year and a half. I was almost 3.

And to this day, I don’t think either of us has really ever truly returned.


 

Mom and Dad...16 and 17 years old.

Patricia Anne (16) and James Charles Wilkinson (17)

~ RIP ~

(Me in the belly.)

*

So it begins…

I’ve overcome my technical difficulties. I’m managing to fight off a cold, fingers crossed. And my mood has stayed stable for an entire week without meds! This is GOOD news lol! And most importantly, the post that won me my Freshly Pressed award has been found! I thought it lost after I deleted my blog, (the first time), BUT I had the foresight to print it and am soooo glad to have it back! It felt like an important part of me had gone missing when I was unable to find it, and I’m not sure I could have happily begun this intense venture without it. So, yay and thank you Universe!

This piece below was written during a serious purging after my mother had gone missing for a day and my sister called me, very concerned. I was soon thereafter awarded the dubious post of becoming my Mother’s next of kin emergency contact. The reason for this was solely due to proximity, and not familial bonding. As only hinted at here, there was at the beginning and still is, no genuine loving or intimate connection between my adoptive mother and I. It’s not that she was cruel or unkind. She was simply…unaffected. Unaffected and emotionally distant. As a child, I wanted nothing more then to please her. As an adult, I feel like nothing more then a disappointment.

Ya…there will be a lot more of that later.

However.

It was 24 hours after my Mother had been found in her semi-assisted seniors living space, lying on the floor with a fractured hip and then hospitalized, that I tracked her down. Unready to be reinserted into the fold of family after a long absence, and definitely unprepared to deal with the host of ugly feelings that reintroduced themselves due to the forced proximity, I began a 10 day writing spree to try and cope with the wealth of conflicting, often time guilt-ridden, emotions that surged.

Mother.

Not quite the dream I had imagined.

Like I said.

Not cruel. Not unkind. But a scar rendering indifference just the same.

I most definitely have a love-hate-confused set of triggers when it comes to my Mothers.

Yup. I had two of ’em.

Biological was truly, deeply a messed up version of Mommy Dearest. You’ll meet her soon enough.

Non-biological? Cold and indifferent. But she was and still is, the Mommy Nearest.

Hence the title of the post.

So, without further ado…

The prologue to my Auto-Bio Me and the beginning of my Release.

************************************************************************

Mommy Nearest – Day 8 Ago

Back in the days of “free love”, Martin Luther King and JFK, when everyone was fighting for civil rights and the abolishment of racism, prejudice and war, there was an equally innocent and alarmingly growing population of people who were left undefended. Invisible for all intents and purposes. Uncared for, unwanted and unloved. Without a voice and without rights, they were born into this world not by choice, but by the careless whisper of seduction and the accidental meeting of ova and seed.

Orphans. The Forgotten Children.

I know. Because I am one.

We were housed in homes that neglected us, abused us and only took us in for the government cheque issued once a month for our care. And if no home could be found for us, we were placed in government run, impersonal, dehumanizing, inhumane orphanages. I have experienced both and the memories are not kind.

The 60’s were not enlightened, protective times for abandoned children. Like a strange breed of cattle, we were cloistered, tagged, and herded behind dark and angry walls. Dressed in ill fitting clothes, fed three squares of slop a day, and left to sleep on questionably clean, threadbare cots made of metal coils and cold steel frames. Crushed side by side in neat little rows, we led anything but neat little lives.

I think the worst days for me were the ‘begging’ days. The days when a comb was run through our hair; our shirts, pants and skirts straightened; spittle and thumbs used to wipe that smudge of dirt off our cheeks, and then forced to smile as we were put on display. Paraded in front of any and all prospective ‘parents’ who, with a cursory glance, had the power to own us or leave us to our fate; their biological brats sitting pretty and clean and pious, eyeing us and despising us for even thinking we had a right to their life.

On one such occasion, my new family was in attendance. A tall, dark haired man with kind, laughing eyes would soon become my ‘dad’. A small, quiet boy, 3 years younger than I, with a shock of blonde hair and big blue eyes, would soon become my ‘obnoxious little brother’. A plain looking girl, 3 years older than I, with curly brown hair and sly green eyes, would soon become my ‘sister’. I sensed she was going to be trouble. I was right. And the woman I was soon to call ‘mother’, seemed to look right through me. Strange that I have no clearer memory of her in that moment. It’s just sort of…blank.

They had come to take me out for the day and the staff had warned me to be on my “best behavior”. This could lead to me being chosen if I “played my cards right”. They told me to smile. More. I tried. But my face felt stiff and my heart rock heavy. I had been through this all before. Many times.

I smiled anyhow. Big and bright and wide. It never touched my eyes. Once brown and sweet and trusting, they had turned black and cold and angry. I tried not to look bitter.

I always had a hard time smiling on ‘begging’ days. On any day for that matter. I think my smile disappeared just around the time I discovered it. There hadn’t been time to fill the proverbial halls with my innocent laughter. No time to revel in the joys of becoming a carefree child. By the time I was 5 years old, I understood what it felt like to whore myself, and my child withered up and died. ~