Butterfly Wings

I got what I asked for.  I got to stay home with my dogs, all day, every day.

I didn’t know what I was asking for when I made that wish, other than to be in my cocoon, safe, protected, loved.  I didn’t know what it would cost me or that I’d be forced to give up almost everything I thought made me ME.

I didn’t know that I would have to be broken down, physically and mentally, to a point where the fear that ruled me was finally overtaken by the strength I should have known I possess.  That everyone should know they possess without coming to their darkest hours to find it.

I didn’t know that I had allowed that fear to rule me for so long, since such a young age, that it was able to masquerade as strength.  It hid behind bravado and arrogance and vanity, pushing those masks forward and making me live behind those and so many others.  Self-indulgence.  Superiority.  Inferiority.  Anger.  Righteous indignation.

I didn’t know that when things were at what I thought could only be their lowest, they descended even further.  The fear was pulling me down.  In those last, desperate moments when I thought I was drowning, true strength revealed itself.

True strength made me reach out for my loved ones.  It made me grasp with weakened arms and cling to love and friendship and life.  Most importantly life.

True strength let me know that fear doesn’t have power, it has only deception.  Once you turn and face that fear, it takes its masks and starts to slink off into the darkness.

True strength told me it was okay to ask for help.  That more people than I ever thought possible would come forward to help.

True strength told me it was okay to love and be loved in return.  Love doesn’t hurt you; those who use it for their own gain are the ones who do the hurting.

True strength told me it was okay to be sick because I can also be healed.  Body and Mind.

True strength has been inside me the whole time.  It just took me breaking out of my cocoon of fear to begin to float on its butterfly wings.

Right now I am dancing on those wings, swirling and dipping and lighting on my dogs’ noses, then flying away to bask in the sun of love.


Happy whatever.

A day late but this sums up a lot of my feelings about Mother’s Day. I remembered my one who never got a chance to live. And enjoyed the wishes I got for being a mom to my pets. Thanks, Jenny, for putting into words what I and others were feeling.

The Bloggess

Today is Mother’s Day, and while I think that being a mom is a crazy-hard job it’s also one that most of us wouldn’t trade for the world, so it’s always been a bit odd to me that we get to be mothers and we also get a day to celebrate it.  Not that I’m judging you.  Celebrate the hell out of yourself.  You deserve it.

But you know who else deserves it?  The women who have struggled to be, or are still struggling to be moms.  The women who want children but just aren’t in a safe place in life to have them.  The women who don’t want kids and have to listen to a bunch of bullshit about how you’re only worthwhile if you’ve pushed a human out of your vagina.  The women who miss the children they once had.  The women who miss the children they lost…

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Stupid Things I Have Done Today

  1. Fell asleep yesterday without taking my meds
  2. Went out in the sun without SPF
  3. Sat on the toilet so long my feet fell asleep and popped my kneecap out of place trying to stand up
  4. Still have not taken my morning meds
  5. Searched the Craigslist free stuff for doors, dirt, pool covers and more doors
  6. To be continued…

Anger and Frustration and Safe Havens

A lot has happened since I was last here.  A LOT.

Right now I’m too angry and frustrated to deal with filling in the blanks. I’m sitting in our den, barricaded in with three of our four dogs because I had the nerve to ask my husband if he did the ONE task today I asked him to do.  No, I’m not in fear of him at all.  It’s more that I’m in fear of me and what I would say so I left our argument in the bedroom and came into the den to find some way to deal with this frustration without crying, yelling or making myself sick.

I have five days to go until I see a licensed therapist to help me with what I, my husband and my internist are guessing is an anxiety disorder on top of my depression and autoimmune disease.  Five days that feel like five minutes at times because I’m not sure I’m ready to explore what is really behind all this.  I know that it is time though because I just went through the perfect storm of depression, illness, stress and anxiety and came out of it shaken and scared and not sure where to turn.

During this time I have been able to turn to my husband and he is a great help.  A wonderful partner.  A constant source of humor and love.  And yet.  And yet.

And yet this really isn’t about him.  It’s about me.  For once, I’m letting it be about me to the point that I have shut out the world without caring because it scared me.  My reaction to it scared me.

Just like I’m shutting my husband out at this moment.  Not to punish him, though he most likely feels like that’s what I’m doing.  And shutting my dogs in with me because I am what they know the best and feel safest with, even though they do want to be out in the rest of the house and are waiting patiently by the door until I release them.

I’m going to go open the door now and let them out.  And go with them so I can see my husband’s face and know that he still loves me, even with all the crazy.  It makes me believe if I can do that then maybe I can face the world as well and be safe.

License to Frump

I think it began the first time I misplaced my glasses.

See, no one tells you when you get into your forties and need bifocals that it is the beginning of your slide into to frumphood. But here’s how it goes:

First, if you are already near-sighted, your uncorrected vision is better up close than anything the optometrist can cook up. So you start taking your glasses off to read books and packages and instructions, etc, etc. But then you start misplacing them so you learn the under-the-bottom maneuver. This involves lifting your head and looking down your nose. Yeah, like Grandma.

Or you can go for the cranky librarian look and pull your glasses down to the end of your nose and look over the top. But the under maneuver is much easier.

Finally after trying all of this, plus putting your glasses on top of your head and ensuring a twenty minute search for them before you remember they are RIGHT THERE, you cave. You know it’s wrong and all that is youthful in you screams but you go ahead and buy…the glasses neckchain. It is so wrong but it solves the problem. And thus releases you to free your inner frump.

There she is! She’s been waiting ever since you turned thirty. Patiently. She probably got you first when you realized how much those cute heels hurt your feet and oh those Aerosoles are sooooo comfortable. You sit at a desk all day. No one sees your feet. Go ahead! Buy them in three colors.

Then she got to you through your back. You know that moan when you sit down or stand up? That’s the frump announcing her intent to take over. She also comes in popping/creaking joints and daily worry about bowel movements.

She sees her opening and says, “Life would be so much easier and more comfortable without having to pull on those Spanx.” She guides you to the pants with elastic waistbands. Oh, bliss!

Next up? Your social life. She needs sleep. She needs to watch NCIS and Criminal Minds. Forget going out on the weekends. It’s all about staying in.

Frumpy wants a companion though. She NEEDS a companion. It’s got to be a cat. Or a small yappy dog. That leaves hair all over her clothes.

Speaking of clothes, don’t think she’s satisfied with just taking your shoes and pants. Shes wants sweats. She wants cardigans! She’s cold all the time and by damn, no slinky cute dresses are going to keep her warm. She needs fleece. She needs a sweatshirt with a picture of a cat with huge eyes on it! Or a sequined holiday design.

It’s time to talk health now. Seriously, she wants to talk about health problems. Corns, hemorrhoids, joint pain, mammograms, colonoscopies. She is conversant in all of them!

The hair salon? Ha! Why waste money? Dye your hair at home! Make sure it’s a shade found nowhere in nature. Or is five shades darker than your natural color. Then promptly forget about maintaining your roots. Nothing is beloved more in frump-world than the skunk stripe running down your scalp.

Of course it would be silly to spend money on makeup with hair like that. Just forget it. Period. And speaking of periods, once those start to dry up, there is Frump’s best friend. The Change. But she deserves her own post. Just know they are in cahoots.

Best of all? Frump frees you from looking in the mirror on the way out the door. If you should accidentally catch a glimpse of yourself in a random reflective surface, you won’t know her. You’ll think your grandmother is saying hi from the other side.

Don’t despair, my lovelies. There is a time when your brain starts grasping for the names of things that you should know (like your family and celebrities and song titles) and fills the space that you used to use for worrying about your appearance.

All of this is just nature’s way of breaking you down and preparing you for what comes next. I haven’t gotten there yet but I’m looking forward to the next phase where I can start outfitting myself like I’m a five-year-old playing dress up and putting on two dots of rouge and a slash of lipstick somewhere in the vicinity of my mouth.

Now where are my glasses?

Welcome Back

Okay, I normally love my iPad but right now I am cursing a blue streak at it..

I had typed a wonderful, thoughtful post. Was in proofread mode. It told me one phrase I had used was a cliché. I clicked to see what the proofread function suggested to replace it and when I tried to go back to my post, it was gone.

Don’t know if I should be cursing the iPad or the WordPress app but once my head stops threatening to explode in frustration, I will figure it out.

In the meantime, I’m back. And hopefully be able to recreate that lovely post.

Something I Wish I Hadn't Thrown Away

Something I wish I'd never thrown away? Hmm…there are so many ways to go on this.

My good credit would be number one. When I ponder those if-I-could-turn-back-time moments (not involving Cher. Sorry, Diva!) this is where I always go. If only I hadn't applied for all those credit cards as a college student and then college drop-out. Didn't they know I wasn't responsible enough to handle it? It was play money.

Actual tangible items I wish I had never thrown away? Can't think of one. "Things" are nice to have but I don't like to lament their loss. It is too much living in the past for me.

I have been through ups and downs financially and when things were at their worst, I had to get rid of almost everything. Sell it or give it away to fit my life into a tiny, affordable, one-bedroom apartment. And one thing I can tell you for sure. If you can get through something like that, it gets better and you get your "things" back. And that makes you less inclined to base your worth on what you own.

What I can't get over? Things that are taken from me. It's one thing to voluntarily sell, donate or toss something. It's quite another to lose it because someone decided your stuff would be better as their stuff.

During my divorce, most of my kitchen items mysteriously vanished from storage. To this day whenever I am in the midst of a recipe and realized I no longer have the necessary kitchen tool, I have a few bleeping words to say about whoever decided to take my stuff.

So I guess what I truly wish I hadn't thrown away was my independence and single life, at least the first marriage-go-round. At least I'd still have a freaking citrus reamer when I need it!

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