Sunday, May 27, 2012

"Good Enough" is Okay.

I hate that phrase, "good enough".  It's like telling someone it's okay to not do your best, it's okay if you don't finish, it's okay to fail.  It's not okay to do those things.  You should always try your hardest, do your best, finish your task, succeed.  To be "good enough" is to be half-assed, to not be smart enough, or good enough.  I hate that phrase.

And yet, my therapist keeps using it in our sessions.  She keeps saying it's okay to be a "good enough" parent, daughter, friend, person.  Sometimes I hate my therapist.  But she's right.  I just need to re-define what I think "good enough" means.  So I've decided that for me to be "good enough" is to recognize my short comings and accept what I cannot do.  I cannot cook dinner every day of the week even though I believe that's what a good mother does.

To be "good enough" at cooking for me means to cook 2 or 3 days a week right now.

To be "good enough" at cleaning for me means to give myself 1-2 small chores a day so that I can succeed.

To be "good enough" at life for me means that I have to realize I can't do it all alone anymore....and I certainly can't do as much as I used to.  I'm not that person anymore.

Baby steps are the pathway to success.  Why is it okay for me to help my children succeed like this but it's not okay for me?  So this weekend I have been productive.  I fixed dinner last night, lunch and dinner today.  I even did dishes all weekend (hand washed them whenever there were dishes in the sink so we don't have to use the electricity for the dishwasher), cleaned the kitchen counters, and did the laundry.  Nothing major, I just did a little at a time....and I feel successful and happy and productive.

The chore list is up for tomorrow.  Vic has been helping out with chores and dinners which has been a big help (see, I just have to ask for help...).  She did the chore list for tomorrow for all of us.  My chores are to work on my resume for 20 minutes and read a book for school for 30 minutes.  Her chores are to clean her room for 30 minutes and walk the dog once.  The boys both have to go outside for 30 mins and one feeds the turtle while the other one dusts the living room.  Baby steps for all of us.  I think this could work.

Also, I made some more lists to go around the house and while I was in a hurry, I forgot a word on this list....

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Out of the mouths of babes

I swear I wish I had a camera following me around recording the conversations I have with my family.  I just had the best tucking-in-bed conversation with Aidan.  We get comfy and the first words out of his mouth are "Mom, what's a queer?".

Me: "A Queer person is simply someone that is different.  That's all queer means - different, odd.  Some people that identify as queer are -"
A: "AWESOME!"

I went on to explain in more detail and then after that part of the conversation he proceeded to compare the members of our family to characters on How I Met Your Mother.  It was quite humourous actually.  Here is the list according to Aidan:

Brother: Barney - except that Devon doesn't "hit it and run", he "hits it and stays awhile".

Aidan: Ted - but he's not as successful as Ted is and he doesn't grow a "breakup" beard

Mom: Can't be Lilly, because Lilly is married.  Can't be Marshall, because Marshall is married.  That just leaves Barney's bimbos and Robin.  I can't be Barney's bimbos because Devon (brother) never hit on me and I can't be Robin because Aidan never hit on me.  After a small deliberation, Aidan has decided that I am Barney's mom - "because she's compassionate and accepting".

Mama-V: This one took a long while for him to figure out and much deliberations between him and Victoria...the conclusion is that Mama-V is the beer in the bar because it "makes people laugh and holds them up".

I love the way that child thinks.

Early morning musings

I'll be going to bed soon...the earliest I've been to bed in over a week.  I just wanted to drop a few thoughts on here before sleeping though.  First, I wrote twice in my Sim blog tonight.  Writing those stories is kinda weird for me.  I feel like my Sims aren't talking to me as much now since I'm writing about their stories.  It's kinda like I broke their trust or something or they got stage freight or something.  Second, I've come to the realization that Victoria's boyfriend, Chris, is my girlfriend's boyfriend.  Weird, right?  Victoria isn't my girlfriend.  We're not involved in any way except friendship....and yet, we are.

After talking to her for a bit last night, we've come to the conclusion that we are non-romantical, non-sexual, domestic life partners...or just life partners for short.  Basically, we're the primary couple in a polyamorous family.  Thank god my kids are cool with all this!

I started wondering what would happen when I meet someone.  She'd have to be okay with being a part of our family, and there's no way I couldn't keep from comparing any future partner of mine to Victoria.

I've only had a couple of close female friends throughout my life - 4 to be exact.  Each of them different to each other and yet fitting into me like a puzzle.  At the peak of those friendships, never was there a question of what life would be like without them (for whatever reason).  Life would go on.  I would be sad, and heartbroken, but I would be (eventually) fine.  The kicker is this:  I can't even begin to imagine my life without Victoria....and we're not even having sex!

Anyway, that's enough thinking for awhile.  Happy Mother's Day! <3

Except that the gods sometimes split people into more than two pieces.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I am Sherlocked

I just recently started watching the new BBC series Sherlock.  If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it.  They took the original Sherlock/Dr. Watson and stuck them in modern day and believe it or not, it works.


It seems that there are only 3 episodes a year, but each episode is almost 2 hours long.  I need more though, lots more.  Anyway, to the point of tonight's blog....I just watched the last episode available and during one of the last scenes with Sherlock and Moriarty together, Sherlock uttered the most epic of epics quotes ever said:





This is so perfect because it fits me 100%.  I've always identified with Sherlock (not the insane intelligence but the way he interacts with people).  Also, I've always championed for good but felt like I was wearing the black hat while doing it. This little fact has always made me uncomfortable because aren't we supposed to be good all the time?  I'm not even sure I can really put to words what I feel....

Let's try this...when I play any type of RPG (MMO or PnP), I always play some type of evil with Neutral Evil being my go-to alignment.  I've attempted to play good characters but they bore me (too much sentiment required) and never last very long.  In reality, I identify more with mixture of Lawful Neutral and Neutral Evil.  I do believe, however, that the birthing of children from my womb and their continued existence in my life keeps me anchored to a Lawful Neutral/Chaotic Good journey.

So yes, Sherlock's quote rang true for me because it affirms that I can be true to myself and still protect my family/be a good role model.

Warning:  It's after 4am and my brain is almost complete mush so I won't blame you if this doesn't make any sense, plus I don't think I've ever really articulated it before.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Warm Fuzzies

It was a very long day, and I'm still not in bed.  I'll be going after this post though - I can barely keep my eyes open.  I got to spend some time with some of my classmates  this evening though and it was really good to have that human connection.  As much as I hate being around people, I can forget how comforting it is to be around good friends.  I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that everyone tonight was a lot closer to my age than the people I'm used to hanging out with.  The boys even had a good time <3

I'm about to pass out here so I'll just give a few notes before I go to bed.  First, the Sound of Fury documentary really pissed me off.  Not the film, but the grandmother.  She was so hateful that I wanted to punch her in the face. Second, I went to my old MySpace page to find a photo from the Georgia Aquarium to use as my Facebook cover photo and I found my old "About Me"section.  It made me smile so I had to share it.


This just made me feel better.  I found an old "About Me" thing that I wrote about 6 years ago and I had to smile.
______________________

About me:
"There is nothing like returning to a place that hasn't changed to see how you, yourself, have altered." ~Nelson Mandella

I am not perfect. I do my best on a daily basis ((some days are better than others)). I struggle with my downs and I over-inflate my ups. I've stolen and lied and slept around and technically have even committed adultery.

I'm addicted to tattoos. I think each piece of art placed on my body tells my story at that point. As I grow and learn so do they.

This is the photo that caused me to shave my head
I have holes in my ears, loud opinions, strong convictions, absolutely no tact, a driving need to help people better themselves, undying love for my family and friends, a strange love of calculus, and an open mind.

I am selfish, unforgiving, overly dramatic, rude, crude, obnoxious, stubborn, emotional, lackadaisical, facetious, mathtabulous, mathalicious, and sometimes even quixotic...but no matter what, I'm always me.

I can devour books in one sitting, laugh for no reason at all, sleep for 2 days straight, re-live my high-times completely sober while I describe my search for the ultimate cotton mouth, throw up when I think about smoking again, inhale an entire bag of chocolate chex mix, find pure joy in Pi and ignore all of my shortcomings so that I continue to live in my bubble where everyone but me is flawed.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

This...

Because I will never not cry when I hear her sing this song.

Because there are no other combination of words in the English language that together can even come close to expressing how I feel about my children.


Lighter Load

Today was healing.  
My heart is mending.  
Eyes are crying.
The wind was blowing, blowing, blowing...
Her soul danced.
~ATC, 5/5/12~


Two posts this month, I'm on a roll!  Actually I just wanted to say how utterly free I feel today.  I'm not exactly sure why (well yes I do, I no longer have the stress of school looming over my head anymore for a couple of months).  I didn't even get to sleep in today!  But I was productive, and I did some healing.

Victoria pushed me to blog my creative expressions (I have amazing Sims stories).  I have these stories in my soul somewhere and as I get lost in the Sims, the stories unfold.  I tell them to Victoria and she's always telling me I need to write them down but I've never been able to write like that.  If I could tell my stories and then have someone else write what I say, that'd be amazing.  I'd probably "write" a shit-ton of books LOL!

Regardless, she pushed me and since I had time (and she gave me the name of the blog "The Sim-ple Life") I decided to try.  It was difficult.  I wrote and wrote and wrote, then deleted and repeated 5 or 6 times.  Nothing I did felt right.  I wasn't telling my story, I was writing a book - there's a difference.  I finally decided just to write it as I told it without any fancy bells or whistles, and once I made that decision it flowed like an un-damned river.  The feeling I felt while writing was hard to describe.  At some points I found myself trying to shorten the story and get to the end but I had to stop because Alexia (the sim I was writing about) wouldn't let me tell her story incompletely, so I kept writing.

In the end, the story was long and I was (and still am) completely drained.  Alexia's story is my first "serious" story.  Up until this point, all my Sims' stories have been ridiculous and silly.  I feel like writing that story was cathartic for me even though it wasn't mine.  Anyway, I plan on updating it every once in awhile (a few times a week), whenever a story needs to be told.



In the meantime...tomorrow is Victoria's graduation and I'm so proud of her...I can hardly breathe.  I know I'm going to cry and I hate that I feel so weak when I do, but who cares?  My girl is getting her Bachelor's degree!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Letter to My Father

 [Child Abuse Trigger Warning] 

I'm 36 years old and I am a survivor of child abuse, both physical and mental.  I've managed to survive all of these years (with a lot of mistakes) because of my super-human ability to forgive (and the fact that my father lives several states away and we hardly talk).  Recently he posted a picture on Facebook (yes, I am friends with my family on Facebook) of a little girl, who couldn't have been more than 5 years old, with bruises all over her face.  His comment on the photo said:
I don't understand how someone could do this to a child.
36 years old and I've never been affected by triggers of child abuse.  Not until I saw those words from my abuser.  I was sitting in the parking lot of my son's school when I saw this and I literally lost my mind.  Thankfully my sister was able to talk for more than a couple of minutes which allowed me to calm down enough to drive home.

I talked to my roommate about what happened and how I just wanted to comment on this picture and say:
You're a fucking hypocrite.
She told me to do whatever I wanted, but that I should give him a chance to respond first and to send him an email.  Then, if I don't get the answer I need I can post whatever I wanted...I just had to give him a chance.

So I sat for a few hours and hid in the Sims - the only place I can go lately that allows my mind to numb enough that I'm not crying every 5 minutes for no reason (due to the current depression).  After awhile I sent him an email, and let me tell you...once I started, it all came out.  So here is my email to him and if you read on, I'll tell you what happened after (names have been edited out).
______

Daddy,
I've been thinking about what to say in this email for the last 5 hours and frankly the only thing that I came up with was to make sure that I was calm when I wrote it.

I love you, even after everything we've been through, all the pain, the lies, the blame, the neglect...all of it. I love you because you're my father. You made a decision to accept me into your life and you didn't have to. For that, and all the other positive messages (intentional or not) that you gave me over the years, I am eternally grateful. I have also forgiven you for everything. Not because you deserve forgiveness, but because that's how I survive. You need to know what forgiveness means for me.
I forgive everything you did to me, but can't give the same forgiveness for what you did to my brother and sister because it's not mine to give. One forgiveness, given for an entire past, that means I can move on with my life and not carry any of the guilt or blame that comes with being a victim of abuse.

This forgiveness does NOT mean that I have forgotten or stopped holding you accountable for the physical and emotional damage you did to me. Nor does it mean that the pain or scars from the abuse are gone.

In order to keep healing, I have to make sure I'm honest about my feelings. So here it is.

I can't even begin to comprehend why you would think it would be remotely okay to post a photo of a little girl, obviously a victim of abuse, and then to say "I can not understand how anyone can do such to a child. So very sad." If you don't understand, perhaps you mean you don't understand how YOU could do that not just to me, but to my brother and mom (not to mention the emotional damage you caused my sister). I can accept that. But you have to know that I have been victimized all over again by my abuser, 20 years after my abuse. You are a hypocrite. The comments on the photo were appropriate responses against child abuse, and what makes me sick is that your friends and wife think you share their same views....that you would never do that. What would they think of you if they knew the truth?
You took away my voice and trivialized the pain I went through. You spit on my scars...scars that I wear proudly now because they show me as a SURVIVOR....but in one moment, you attempted to steal that from me.

I want you to remove that photo and NEVER post anything about child abuse again.

I want an apology for all the times you beat me with whatever was handy, for breaking a broom across my body, for breaking my bones, for all the bruises and tears you inflicted on me, for every time you lashed out at me because it was convenient and I was near, for all the ridiculous expectations you had of me, for every time I was happy and relived that you beat on my brother because at least you weren't hitting me at that moment, for teaching me the only way to express anger was to hit and yell and demean, for all the times I took that lesson and hit my brother and sister, for that lesson being so deep that even after years of therapy it caused me to hit my own baby and justify it by saying that he should have done what I said, for making me see you beat my mother, for making me watch the life drain from my mother's face when you tried to choke the life out of her, and for failing to live up to your promise as a father to protect me and keep me from harm.

Most of all, I want you to acknowledge what you did. I want you to stop lying to yourself about what happened. I want you to admit that you beat the crap out of your children.

I won't be your victim anymore. I refuse to be caught off guard by you again. So here's the deal. If you can't do what I've asked, I will be done with you. As much as I love you, I love myself more and I still have some healing to do. I will give you two days to decide if you are capable of this. If not, I will not be resentful or hold a grudge. Some people just aren't capable of that kind of honesty. But I won't talk to you any more. I will un-friend, ignore, and block you on Facebook. I will lose your phone number and address. I will no longer speak your name to my children. I will remove you completely from my life. Not because I hate you, but simply because I love myself.


If I don't receive your response by April 2nd I will assume you were unwilling or unable to do what I've asked. No explanation necessary.


Love,
Me

I still cry when I read this email.  I told my mom about it and she was shocked that I'd actually sent it to him, but I couldn't not hit send.  He replied (a shock to me, I didn't think he would) and I've been debating on whether or not to share the replies here but it is important to me that you know the whole story.  There were 3 replies and after the last one I didn't feel the need to continue the conversation.  I sent this email thread to my mother and she is able to finally start healing.

________

Sweetheart, I have read your post 3 times. I am still trying to digest parts of it. I am so sorry you are hurting still. I made a lot of mistakes trying to raise three children alone. I was angry at your mother for leaving us and not helping when she lived just up the street, I wasn't angry with you. I drank a lot  no excuse, I just did. It was my way of handeling it. You will always be my daughter. I fell in love with you when I first saw you in Italy, and nothing has changed my feelings. I am sorry for taking my anger out on all of you. I can't change the past.


Do what you think you have to do, but don't ever doubt that I do love you.

Dad

PS: I don't know how to remove anything on Facebook. So help me if you want.
______

Daddy,

I don't want to lose our current relationship, I just wanted an acknowledgement of my pain, for you to not disregard it by lying to other people about what happened, and for the long awaited apology. That's all.

I've been going through a very difficult time emotionally and I'm sure that's why I had more to say than a simple "I don't appreciate what you posted", for that I apologize. I meant everything I said, though I probably could have said it in other ways.

Me
_____

Sweetheart, I do understand. I am not proud of many things I did in my life. I should have found help in understanding myself many years ago. I didn't. That's my fault. Unfortunately you , and the rest of my family suffered. It was my fault. No excuses.

I love you. As I said before, never doubt that. I made so many mistakes I can't begin to count them. I spent more than 20 years in the military (agaoin NO EXCUSE) but I didn't know a thing about raising children. Without your mother, I was even more lost.

I can't change the past, as I said before. It doesn't mean I don't feel, or hurt, or underrstand.

I am so sorry, If I caould bear your hurt I would.

Dad
_____

I'm sharing this for 2 reasons.  First, to continue to heal I can't hide from the abuse anymore.  I don't need to shout about it from the rooftops, but I do need to acknowledge it happened and is very much a part of me.  Second, I want you to know that it gets better.  So very much so.  Standing up to your abuser is so empowering and healing, whether you were a victim of abuse, bullying, rape, or something else.

Find the strength within to forgive yourself - because, baby,  it's NEVER your fault...and then little by little, take that forgiveness and give it to your abuser.  Not because they deserve it, but because YOU do.  YOU are worth it and no matter what you may think, you are beautiful and amazing and wonderful and there is always someone out there that loves you.  And if for one minute you might doubt that, just come here and I'll remind you.

I'll fucking love the shit out of you forever!

A healing moment.

I'm doing anything I possibly can to avoid doing the massive amounts of work I have to do in the next 3 days just to get an Incomplete in my 3 classes this semester.  I hate it.  I am not the type of person that gets this far behind.  I'm also not the type of person that gets so depressed she can't pull herself out of it...except that, apparently I am and have been since November of last year.  I realized what was going on almost 2 months ago and started getting help, talked to my professors and all that jazz.  The problem is.....I'm still feeling so f'ing overwhelmed at this precise moment that all I want to do is hide under my covers for the next 5 years and say "fuck school".  Which is so totally not me.  I love school.

Sorry, I really didn't want to turn this into a bitch session.  It bothers me when I read other people's blogs about how depressed/sad/upset they were/are.  I could never really relate.  I'd just say "So stand up and shake that shit off"....fake it till you make it and all that jazz.  But then it happened to me.  My roommate has been empathetic, my mother has been sympathetic, my son couldn't be bothered to give a shit.  And that is the story of my entire life in one line.  Sometimes, I truly want to punch him in the face.  Like, how in the hell did I ever spit out a child that is so fucking self-centered, judgmental, and privileged?

But then I remember what I hateful bitch I was to him as a child and that he spent the last 3 years with his father in another state learning things like: if you fuck up, even the tiniest amount, the world will crash down around you and you will be judged for the rest of your life for that one mistake; work is a necessary evil that no one really cares about because life is all about retreating into the computer games and tuning out the rest of the family; sexism is all just a big joke so laugh it up.

So when I say I haven't done the dishes or cooked dinner in 5 months because I've been too depressed to care if anyone ate and my 15 year old lashes out at me with a comment meant to make me hurt just as much as he does, I have to bite my tongue until it bleeds and shove my fists in my pockets because I refuse to be that person again...and in order to make sure he knows it's safe to feel what he feels, I will let him get things off his chest and lash out with his hurtful words and try to deal the best way he knows how - the way I taught him, so that I can teach him better....because I am better now.