Monday, September 28, 2015

Potted Plant

Prompt and consistent care can help a plant survive being uprooted.

The truth is- that's me, and here I am hungry again, roots reaching out: PANIC.  I grow.  I bloom.  I blossom watered with sweet words, the tender touch of friends.  My food, sunlight, shelter, protection from winter, bringing in from storms all tended to by someone else.  I am a potted plant.  I am meant to decorate, bring joy, provide amusement, radiate kindness, and generally not ask for much.

I reach not for foreign places.  I reach not to travel.  I ask not for daily devotions or moving of mountains.  I grow up, conservatively, and beautifully, in one, tiny, well-curated, well-established spot in a container garden on a patio of a loving home in a good neighborhood.  The truth is- I probably wasn't his only potted plant, either, but that's a poem for another day.  I grow from home.  And now- I have none.

Suddenly with neither sickle nor trowel, but by my very gardener's bare hand, I learned how meekly I had grown my little roots.  I learned how soft was that potting mix I had become so accustomed to.  I was violently ripped by the stem in one tug, and cast onto the patio;  looking up at a ceiling which I had not seen.  I had not even considered such a thing.  I gasped the air looking desperately about.  Not yet suffering what I imagine is to come; the lack of water, the dying of my blossoms, the withering, the cold.  I don't yearn for that same gardener to pick me up... and yet... I feel the need that perhaps someone should?  Or perhaps am I meant to crawl my way off the porch and become some sort of invader in a garden bed, fighting with the other plants for food and sunlight?

Still, even after the pain and loss,
You would think I had learned, but I have not.
All I really want. All I've ever wanted
Is a beautiful little pot.
In a well-manicured spot.
Smiling at a gardener who would not
Try and make me what I am not,
but would tend in me what I am.
For what am I
but a potted plant in a container garden.
On a patio in the sunny South?


as if i'd tell you
as if i'd let you in
this world i've built around myself
is caving in again

the echoes racing round my heart
are trying to get in
ugliness and falling apart
desperate to pretend

that i never fell for you
i'd never ask you to
come back for me

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

OCD is a joke now.  A catch phrase.  A punchline.  I think maybe it used to be a disability.  Something we could make fun of or bully people for.  Now everyone has it.  "Oh, no, I can't stand that frame to be crooked.  It's the OCD!"   "I can't possibly go to bed until the kitchen is cleaned up!  It's the OCD!"   It's like a "lol" now.  A "yolo".  A "ttyl" even.  "OMG you're soooo ocd! Buwahhahaha!" I'm guilty of it, too.  I love to poke fun at myself because I can't eat food that touches.  (applesauce can't touch the bread,  pasta can't touch the broccoli, you get the idea).  It's funny!  Life is funny.

Here's the Emotional Piece:

Pretend you have a negative thought.  And if you're me- those are always self- deprecating, and let me tell you: there's no one who can hurt me like me.  So pretend you have this mean, hurtful, but totally honest thought.  Now pretend it plays over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over in your heart like the song you get stuck in your head.  Pretend people try to talk to you while that phrase is shouting to keep up over them.

"He'll never want you the way you look.  He only stays for the kids."

 Pretend your mind is a hard drive running full steam in the background while you try to compose an email.  Your every keystroke lags.  You delete half of what you wrote on accident.  And that background program is eating your sanity.

 "You're going crazy again, aren't you.  Why don't you quit trying to be so happy and interesting.  Everyone sees right through you.. Stop pretending you're normal, Mrs. Anxiety Disorder 2007."

It's not just that.  It's not just those repetitive thoughts.  You learn to block those out.  You learn to say, "Self!  Put on some music or play with your kids.  Sing.  Dance.  Yoga.  Meditate.  Drink wine!  Whatever you do, ignore that mean stuff!"  So, those of us with OCD, that's what we do.  We block it out.  We bottle.  And then.  Then that background program turns itself on in your subconscious when you're not paying any attention, and the next thing you know, all your triggers are lighting up like the cockpit in a fighter jet.  You're spinning out of control, and you're doing all of the things you always do- the handwashing, lashing out, the anxiety, the counting, the door locking, the binge- eating to quiet your nerves.  You say to yourself, "WAIT A MINUTE!   What the hell?  I didn't even know you were upset!"  Some introspection reveals that while you pushed the mute button on that relentless self-loathing record on repeat, something has truly hurt you or bothered you and you've been so busy ignoring yourself that you didn't deal with it, so here you are in the middle of a full blown depression.

That's ok, though, you're used to that.  You pull yourself up, slowly, patiently, deal with the thing that hurt you and drive on.

Now here's the Mental piece.  Here's how it goes When I think about packing for a family vacation.

"Did you pack everything for the boys?  Did you pack everything for you?  Did you remember to seal everything so there are NO MESSES MADE.  We can't have messes away from home.  Speaking of away from home does your car need fresh Clorox wipes?  You know those dry out, right.  Paper towels?  Trash bags?
(He'll never want you the way you look.)
 Did you call the people about boarding the dogs? Oh God the dogs smell awful.  Why do dogs have to smell like dog?! Did you have time to clean the floor in there before you go?  Maybe if you didn't think about everything else so much you'd be a better mother.
(My God you're such a spazz. You're going to scar these kids for life.)
What are the kids doing right now, mother of the year.  oh God I bet they're making a mess.  We can't leave the house for a vacation if there's a mess back home.  Then we'll come home to a mess.  What if the car breaks down? Where is my insurance card?  When is that project for Nicholas due?  Do I have to go to that pancakes breakfast thing at his shchool?  You know there's going to be syrup there, right.  Oh God.  Syrup.  We don't eat syrup.  I wish I could be mean enough to not let the kids eat syrup.... cavities.... way to go mother of the year.  Can't wait to here them explain to their future wives how their Mom never let them eat syrup because it made a sticky, hard, congealed, icky, mess she might have to touch.
(He can't possibly stay with you much longer because you are a complete nut job.  Also, all this worrying and you have achieved absolutely nothing.)
 What if the car breaks down?  You already said that.  I need an oil change.  Did I check the tire pressure?
(How many people have you disappointed today.  Not including yourself. 6? Is that a record?)
When even is that pancakes thing?  When is the last time I took them anywhere fun?  Did you pack everything for the boys?  Did you pack everything for you..............."

 How many times do you check your locked doors?  Can you walk through an exterior door and not lock it?  Leave your car and not lock it?  Leave your car locked and not check it?

How many times must you wash your hands while you cook?  I average 10.  You know how I know that?  My son is a counter.  OCD is genetic.

How scared and insecure does a mess make you feel?  I have two boys and pets.  And you know what they do?  Make messes every single day.   I am getting better, but truth be told, my skin is crawling, I'm sweating, my heart is racing, and I am absolutely petrified that I will have to touch the mess as I clean it up (fingerpaint is like the scariest thing.  ever.  I've literally NEVER done it with my children.  and that's sad.).

How many foods do you not eat based on texture?  9.  Peanutbutter being the biggest offender because I'm afraid it will touch my skin.

I could wear gloves all the time- but that's wasteful, and that would bother me and I would think about it incessantly and it would repeat in my head. Also, when I tried the gloves, I averaged 6 pair per meal, so I could hardly keep them stocked.

How many times a day do you have to shower?  wash your hands? Have your kids wash their hands?

I cannot allow my food to touch on a plate.  And that's funny.  Until I go on date night with my husband, and I can't focus on what he's saying because it's touching.  It's still touching.  Even if I separate it.... still.... pieces of it.... touching.....

The truth is there are things about OCD that are blessings I couldn't even describe to you.  I make a great employee because I literally am incapable of letting things rest uncompleted.  There are so many ways my OCD has improved since my diagnosis years ago. I have what I consider to be a mild case, and I try again every. single.  day.  I'm proud of that, and it builds character.

I just wanted to say, pop culture, that OCD can be funny as hell.  I love to laugh at myself, but, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is not a joke.  Not a punchline.  It's the monster that is myself.  It's the omnipresent thinker of all thoughts.  It's not about straightening a picture frame or one pencil facing the opposite direction from all the others.  It's about real people in an every day struggle.

I'll be stepping off my soapbox now ;)  Thanks for lending me your ears.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Little Girl and the Wishing Well

celestial wishing well

A girl once lived near a wishing well.  The well had always called her.
And long she waited in curious ponderance but never allowed to touch the water.
Then, slowly, but surely as a waxing moon, our wide eyed doe grew beautiful
Where once had been a sweet-intentioned child grew a maiden of silk and sinew.

And still the well called
And still the girl was awed
Until at last a finger in the water;
Then beautiful toes and then all her.

And then did the tides dance inside her
And then did the maid understand
That the girl did deeply want a partner.
The well suggested she bring a man.

So, the maiden brought a boy or two to splash away in the pool there.
And play they did, with clumsy hands, the smell of sex  in the air.
And the days were impossibly short, and the words were milky and mild.
But the maiden, you see, was not a maiden.  The maiden's mind was a child.

And at last she brought a boy who, too
Had drunk deeply from the well he knew
And he tied her and bound her
Forced her ecstasy, and found her.
And of course, when he finished, he drowned her.

The death of innocence never seems, to me, to be gradual.  Innocence never dies in her sleep.  I imagine that is because she is so young.  Innocence never dies of SIDS.  Innocence never dies of a cancer we prepare her for.  There is no hospice for Innocence.  Innocence dies at the hands of a murderer, stabbing her as she lies upon the altar, confused but still, waiting; unwilling to believe that this could be the "real" ending.  We watch and stand around shaking our heads saying, "I told you so" and "I knew this day would come" without being able to stop any of it at all.

I never write anymore.  I wrote when I was innocent.  I wrote when I wasn't afraid of the well.  It seems, after innocence, I spend my time racing circles around my village so that I'd never have to see where my emotions lived.  I never went back to the well.   I don't believe anymore.  Pragmatism has no magic like innocence, but no one drowns you for being pragmatic.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Saga of the Blue Dress

Hello, darlings!  The following is a blog about two things: 1) knowing your body and 2) being daring.  I was very excited to be invited to a military ball with my hubby.  So, first thing's first, let's look at dresses!  I was overjoyed to find awesome deals on Amazon.  I thought to myself, "eh, I can send it back if I hate it."  So, I didn't labor too long with it, and I got myself this dress that I thought would be perfect!  Here's what it looks like.  precious, right?!

Wrong.  Observe.

If you are thinking to yourself, "oh, shit.  That's NOOOOT gonna work", then you are thinking what I was thinking.  So I prepare myself to send this horrible mess back.  No problem with returns, except, they have to go to KOREA.  oops.  I forgot to note that when I got the awesome deal.  So.... here's where the daring comes in.  I decide that I can 1) send it back for half the price I bought it for or 2) I can put on my Project Runway panties and see what I can rig.  Now that I've decided to rig it, I have to address WHAT changes could be made?  Now here's where the body knowing comes in.  I know I have boobs.  Big, round, lovely ones, and that I have a nice face, and that I have a big belly and legs.  So, what can I do to draw attention up to the face and boobs and away from the belly legs?

Step 1
Rip out a patch in the middle of the bodice so that I have two straps instead of a full upper bodice of the beaded part.  My mother was good enough to warn me that when I cut the beaded pieces out all the beading is interconnected and all that beading was going to fall off.  I didn't have the heart attack I would've had I not consulted with her.  Half the beading fell off and I sewed it all back on.  It looked like this.

Then I decided that if I moved the waist line up to an angled umpire waist, it would highlight the boobs, detract from the mess in the middle, and give me length.  I also cut some off the height of the bodice, it was practically up to my chin.  Here's the waist under construction.  

Here is the finished product!  I was so pleased!

And here I am!  I know I need a better pic (and actually, this pic still has pins in it even though the picture above is the finished product).  I just finished the hand sewing after this photo.  This, ladies, is why we try on things and learn about  how to dress our bodies.  Same dress.  Same measurements.  Same me.  Just (in my humble opinion) WAAAAY better for my body type.  And that is the saga of the blue dress.  Love to all!

More Updates.  Here are the Shoes

Here is the manicure (short nails because I play guitar.  Maybe if I get decent enough at it one day I'll blog about it ;)  )

And the hair before the makeup.

And the completed look closeup (need to fix my necklace.  oops LoL)

And a full length.  Had so much fun playing dress up!  Thank you for reading all about it :)  

Monday, April 29, 2013

Profound Conversations With a 5 Year Old

A friend of mine asked me if having kids was "worth it."  I started to try and describe some of the things that make it awesome, and then my guides channeled this for me.  Think of everyone you know who's a Mother or a Father- I mean, a good one, not a bipolar crack user or something- and think if you asked them, "What is THE most important thing in your life?" Think what they would answer.  Would more than 70% of them say, "My child" or "My children" without hesitation?  All of those people had some other thing to answer before becoming a parent, yet all those people have a new same response.  I'm not saying it is or it isn't worth it.  I'm saying "It's pretty damn powerful."  Here's a conversation I had with my Nicholas at quiet time tonight.

Nicholas: All people love themselves, right, Mommy?
Me: Hmm.... well... that's a very good question.  All people were created perfectly by God- made just exactly as He wanted them to be.  So when a baby is born, I think it instinctively loves itself in the interest of survival as soon as it learns what love is.  The problem seems to come as a person gets older.  You see, bad things happen.  Life is so hard.  Sometimes people begin to believe that the bad things happen because he or she is a bad person.  So more bad things happen, and the person believes even more that he or she is bad, that he or she deserves bad things, and then that person demands and commands less of life believing they are not good enough for a special magical life, and it becomes worse.  It's very sad.
Nicholas: I love myself.
Me:  I love you, too.  I love myself, too.  Would you like to know what one of the hardest lessons is for people like you and me?
Nicholas: People who love themselves?
Me: Yes.
Nicholas:  Yes.  What's the lesson?
Me: The lesson is this.  You and I realize that we are good people.  We like ourselves and we know that we are awesome, but we also know that we fail and that there are things we are not good at, things we must try harder at.  For some reason, you and I just already understand that.  And you will meet people in your life who you really like.  You will see the good and amazing things about them that God has put inside him or her.  But that person won't see that they are good and won't love and nurture themselves the way they should.  And you will think that you can fix them.  But do you want to know the truth about people who don't love themselves?
Nicholas: Yes.....
Me: You can't fix them.
Nicholas: I can't?
Me: Never.  There are only two people who can fix someone who doesn't love himself.  They are 1) That person.  That person must realize that they are beautiful and worthy and special and learn to treat themselves well and acknowledge the good things about them even if it's painful.  Do you know who the other person is who can fix them?
Nicholas: God.  God can fix anyone.
Me: ****BIG SMILE****  My love, we all come into this life because there are lessons that our souls need to learn here on this Earthly Plain.  It seems to me that you know so many already.  Far beyond your age.  I don't know what your soul's purpose is for this life, but I can tell you this- it's BIG.
Nicholas: I'm pretty cool.
Me: ****BIG SMILE**** let's say our prayers.  I love you, kid. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Raising Sir Nick-a-Lot

My oldest boy and I have both a deep understanding and a chasm of misunderstanding.  God planned it this way.  Nicholas is fearless.  I'm wracked with anxiety.  I demand order.  He craves adventure.  He is intensely emotional, like his mother, and yet cold and distant, like his father, when he's having issues.  To help us survive and thrive, we have a long-established tradition called "quiet time."  Each night, after stories, I spend time with him chatting with him about his day, life, philosophy, math (much to my chagrin), science, relationships, everything, nothing, whatever it may be.  Tonight the topic at hand was of his choosing.  He was pissed.  I didn't let him have a popsicle.  I had my reasons.  They will unfold.  I asked him to put aside the issue at hand briefly and asked him to recite with me a question and response that we repeat to each other almost daily. It goes like this.

Mom: "Nicholas, what is all that you can ask of this life?"
Nick: "To live long and to live happily"
Mom: "Nicholas, how does one live long?"
Nick: "Eat right and exercise."
Mom: "And how do you live happily?"
Nick: "Try to focus more on the good things in your life and not think so much about the ones that make you sad."

Tonight, the conversation afterward followed thus:

Mom: "Nick, what do I mean when I say you should eat right?"
Nick: "Eat healthy stuff."
Mom: "Like popsicles."
Nick: "No.  Not popsicles.  Healthy food."
Mom: "Healthy food?  Name some healthy food."
Nick: "Broccoli."
Mom: "And I fixed broccoli for dinner.  Did you eat it?"
Nick: "No."
Mom: "How many juices did you have today, Nicholas?"
(*NOTE* I'm pscyho about juice.  I hate it.  I allow the kids to have 1 a day.  It's sugar water and devoid of any nutrients that could not be derived from a piece of actual fruit or a vegetable.  I allowed it because I'm not a  Nazi, and I believe in moderation.  The kids know I'm a weirdo with regard to this topic.  Today, Samuel John was sick, and in interest of the peace, everybody had juice, and tv, and video games, and all kinds of trash that I don't usually allow.)
Nick: "At least four"
Mom: "Is that healthy?"
Nick: "no."
Mom: "So... you didn't eat the broccoli.  And then you had four juices.  And then you wanted a popsicle.  Does your Mommy want you to live long and healthy?  Or does your Mommy want you to be fat, sad, depressed, tired, and die early?"
Nick: "healthy."
Mom: "So, did Mom say no to a popsicle to be mean? or because she loves you?"
Nick: "Tomorrow, I'm not going to have any juice!  I'm going to eat broccoli!"
Mom: "One a day is fine, baby.  We just have to use moderation.  I'm so proud of you for figuring this all out yourself.  You're such a smart boy!"
Nick: "I had fun on the kayak with Dad today..." bla bla bla, etc. etc. etc.

I was pretty proud of this conversation.  I love that complicated little guy.  He's such a hoot!