Musical Post: Unsteady

 

I want someone to speak softly to me, I’ve grown tired of tough love. It seems everyone likes to tell it how it is these days. I am an adult, I am very aware of how it is I just need to be held. Or for someone to lie to me and say everything is ok. I am stressed out.

And I am disillusioned by people and our savage natures. I’m still learning that standing up for your own self preservation means potentially losing the ones you love. We don’t care about each other as we used to. We don’t hug or talk as much or laugh when it’s not at someone else’s expense. We don’t allow room for error anymore; use hugs as a sign of forgiveness or say things like, “I am disappointed but I still love you.”

I miss when being loved didn’t have so many rules, it wasn’t perfect but it was closer to unconditional. And I had a list of people that I could tell in confidence that my mental health is struggling and I am barely keeping all the balls in the air. I am so tired.

And those people would know to stroke my cheek, squeeze my body tightly and allow me just the smallest of break downs. Those people knew that their touch was enough to build me up again–they didn’t judge or condemn my weakness. They held on. They understood.

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I Know Why the Caged Mom Drinks: Second Day of School

mom is superhero

I either feel as if I have it all together or as if I am desperately drowning in a sea of stress—there is no in between. Today was only the second day of school and I managed to botch things pretty badly.

I traded in my piece of shit cell phone for another piece of shit refurbished phone just the other day. Naturally, the phone has been giving me all sorts of problems, one of which is that apparently my alarm is not working. This morning I woke up suddenly in a panic with a foreboding feeling in the pit of my stomach. Sure enough, I had awakened at the time me and the kids were supposed to be piling into the car and heading off to school.

I screamed the kids awake, yelling at them to get dressed—as if any of it was their fault in the first place. I didn’t have the breakfast snacks for them to eat in the car, they didn’t have time to brush their teeth and I didn’t have time to wash my face or respond to the email my boss sent me the night before. In spite of all this, I was ready to shove us all out of the door when I notice that the button on my 9 year old’s uniform shorts was holding on for dear life. Her summer plans to “lay around and do nothing” came to fruition and the end result is that she is all tall, lanky limbs with just the tiniest bit of pudge in middle—just big enough to prevent shorts that fit just two months ago from fitting right now in the time that I need for them to fit the most! A replacement pair would be easy enough but because my life is complicated, all of the kid’s school clothes reside at my parent’s house across town. We were late enough but guess where we had to drive—ACROSS TOWN to go get a new pair of pants!

We stop by my parent’s house (after morning traffic, of freaking course!) and my mother doesn’t say much but I can feel the judgment. I know she thinks I’m running so far behind schedule because I was possibly out drinking the night before, worshiping Satan, or something else irresponsible that would distract me from being an actually good mother. Only I know that reality is: I fell asleep at 10pm, had all of my ducks in a fucking row but still screwed it up. As the 9 year old changed clothes and we grabbed granola bars to race off to the school I tried my hardest not to beat myself up about it. However, insert more judgment from the faculty as we did the walk of shame to the main office to pick up late passes, and I just couldn’t convince myself that I wasn’t a total failure. I walked back to my car thinking to myself: “Wow, and it’s only day 2.”

…I was 20 minutes late to the staff retreat at work. The last of those 20 minutes spent looking at threatening text messages from my new boss who was wondering why I dared to be so tardy for such an important work event. I sat in a meeting room for almost a full eight hours listening to content that had nothing to do with me, all the while mentally beating myself up for all the careless mistakes I made that morning. Even now, I am jotting this all down in a notebook as I sit in the Laundromat at 8:30pm with the kids who are in desperate need of a meal and a good night’s sleep.

Single mothers are supposed to be super heroes—meanwhile, I can’t even find my fucking cape…

*I originally wrote this post for Mytrendingstories.com, visit the website and search my username “Whiskey” to follow the I Know Why the Caged Mom Drinks series and other original posts that will not appear on this blog.*

The Pursuit of Unhappiness: Part 2

Sad

In moments like this I feel so scared. I really have a fear of dying whenever I am happy. My thoughts turn especially morbid when I am traveling to my boyfriend’s house thinking on how blessed I am to have found someone like him and to still be enjoying our relationship after almost two years. I think about death when I’m laughing with the kids in the car, or joking with co-workers or paying off bills. Any satisfaction I get from life comes with the fear that it will immediately be taken away.

I once overheard my father, a very devout Christian man, in conversation as he told someone that God cares more about righteousness than happiness (hence the topic of the last musical post) and that comment still rocks my world weeks and weeks later. Because I suspected it all along. NOT that I believe the statement is true, but I believe that in subtle ways I have been raised to believe that there is no joy and happiness to be achieved in this world. That way of thinking led me into so many situations of learned helplessness; failed relationships, poor work ethic and crippling depression just to name a few side effects. I can’t be that way anymore.

I want to enjoy this. At one point in my life not long ago I really thought that struggling with depression and barely making it as a single mother was going to be my fate for the rest of my life. Then I made the decision to stop martyring my happiness and began to lean on others for help and support. I started to view motherhood as less of a punishment and more of a gift and a reason to keep me on my toes and force me to have my shit together. I have to be mentally well enough to teach my daughters that marriage is overrated, happiness comes from within and can definitely be achieved without a significant other. Independence is a virtue, love is just a feeling but commitment is what holds any relationship, romantic or otherwise, together. It is a debilitating thing to believe that self-actualization has only come about for me because I’ve been left to the devil and God no longer bothers to interfere in my life. It’s a very twisted thing, really.

I want heaven in my afterlife, but I no longer think it’s greedy of me to want to experience just a snippet of it in my life on this earth, as well. I have paid my dues with suffering and I am fully aware that I don’t deserve a thing—but I will strive for it anyway. To be completely honest, I thought of single-motherhood as a death sentence—I didn’t want children all alone, I wanted a strong man to hold me at night, to HELP me! Fast forward years later and it turns out I didn’t need that kind of help. I just needed to realize that life is determined to beat the shit out of me anyway, so I may as well choose to put up a fight for the full 12 rounds instead of accepting a total knock out.

I even have hope that maybe I can win.