gorey laundry

my dad
he was
embarrassed to be
my dad
he thought
i was weird
different
abnormal
my dad
he was
embarrassed
of me
of the way
i dressed
of my being
outspoken
with opinions
contrary
to his own
my dad
he was
embarrassed
to be my dad
embarrassed
that i wanted to be
a writer
an artist
he tried to convince me
of the mistake
i was
making
he did not believe
i could possibly
succeed
i would be a failure
…how embarrassing
he was
embarrassed
of me
my dad
a man who did not
show his hand
a man
who kept so much
hidden
my dad
he could not bother
to hide
his
embarrassment.

i was to give a speech at my high school graduation because i was the salutatorian of my class.
my dad did not want to go to my graduation because he was sure i would embarrass him.
on my perfect little sister’s wedding day, i was put in the uncomfortable position of being her maid of honor. my dad’s words to me?
“don’t embarrass your sister on her day.”
he told me i would regret following my dreams. he told me that no one actually follows their dreams. he told me i had to be practical.
my dad.
spent so much time pushing me down.
when i eloped with a stranger (because i just wanted to believe that someone could really love me,) he said, “you’re not my problem anymore.”
i guess
now that he’s dead
i can say that right back to him.

thanks to edward gorey for this illustration inspiration

i could tell “worse” stories about my dad. about his alcoholism and his violent temper & how terrifying my childhood was…but the weird thing is, though that stuff was terrifying…it didn’t hurt nearly as much as living a life knowing what he thought of me.

out the window

some days
my son is so much
like his father
i want to jump
out the window
i can leave the man
but i cannot
abandon
the boy
some days
being a mom
is so painful
so challenging
that i catch myself
wishing
i’d made different
choices
fantasizing
about a life
i did not have
a life
i will never
know
some days
as hard as i hope
for peace
all i know
is
chaos
inside
& out.

i sit & suffer in silence as a mom. which is weird, since i am so quick to share all my other angst.
is it the taboo?
is it our instagram existence?
only show the smiling children. only show the confident moments. only show the clean faces. carefully crop out the crap.
i read kelly’s post yesterday about how we may be causing damage by only showing the positive stuff regarding people’s challenges and how we view neurodiversity.
it made me think, today, as i was struggling with my challenges as a highly sensitive person & mother of four highly sensitive children. we do this with all of life, don’t we? only show the good stuff to each other? hide away those moments where we feel weak or out of control or not good enough?
maybe we should just air out our dirty laundry. form an alliance of imperfection.
i know, i do it all the time with my anxiety & relationship issues, my imposter’s syndrome, my abusive childhood, and all my other “failings.”

and yet i still hesitate when it comes to showing my–almost constant–struggles as a mom. like, i can show you all my cracks & crevices…but what will you think of me if you know i sometimes wish i wasn’t a mom? if you know the chaos of my every single day?

posting this has given me so much anxiety. i feel like i need to put on my helmet & buckle down because surely i will be judged–a bad mom. but, i have not deleted the post yet…. hoping that my pain & suffering will let someone else know that they are not alone.

(my favorite quote from one of my favorite novels, the hotel new hampshire–by john steinbeck, is to “keep passing the open windows.”)

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