five years later…

excerpt from my short story “jesus fingers”

You feel like you are inviting badness into your life every time you mutter “the little fucker” to yourself and every time you regret not killing it when you had the chance—every time you think about it just disappearing from your life and how easy that would make everything. You can’t help fantasizing though because everything just seems so hard now. So fucking monumentally stressful.

And your body that you were anxious to have as your own again—where is it now? And the days you were anxious to have as your own again? How many more years before that happens now? Five? More? With number three you kept thinking, “Just get through the toddler years this one last time and there won’t be any more toddler years to deal with. Just get through the breastfeeding one last time. Then I won’t have to worry about what I do to my own body—it will be mine again.” But now you sink into despair, realizing it will be even longer. Another baby to soothe to sleep. Another toddler to watch with an eagle eye. Another toilet training. Another kid’s meal to buy if you can actually afford to go out ever again.

five years later

i am defeated
by a five year old
he crushes me
so easily
maybe because
not much of me is
left
he destroys me
so easily
screaming & screaming & screaming
until i am
lying
on the floor
sobbing
i am nothing
as i wish
silently
reverently
that i had never
become
a
mother.

ps.
writing both of these pieces, my short story and this free verse, it helped me to deal with the overwhelming anguish around my conflicted feelings about motherhood.
i wouldn’t trade poppy for the world, but that doesn’t mean sometimes i just don’t want to be a mom.

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INKtober eighteenth

five years ago
you were a total
turd
five years ago
i spent the longest day
in unholy pain
pushing out a baby
i knew
would
destroy
me
while you denied
our relationship
while you created
futures
with a woman who wasn’t
me
while you conspired
& lied
& spat bitter words
resenting me
for the baby you planted
the baby i grew
inside me
resenting me
for still loving you
for still wanting you
five years ago
i learned to hate you
to hate the stranger you chose
over me
while i struggled
to learn
to love
my own child.

so while shopping for a madonna & child depiction i noticed something in all those paintings of that duo. mary never looks  happy or especially devoted to the often freaky looking infant lord she has birthed. she usually just looks exhausted, resigned, sad, distant.

my first pregnancy, i was all about being the mom. i was so over-the-top devoted to being a mom. the same could almost be said for the following two pregnancies. my fourth, however, planted there perhaps by some unholy spirit with a terrible sense of humor…my fourth was an accident. a very much unwanted accident. an extra ovulation in an aging woman’s quixotic reproductive system.
during that difficult pregnancy, dusty began his most destructive affair.
it is difficult for me not to remember all of that pain on this, my fourth child’s fifth birthday. when i look at that sad & overwhelmed madonna barely holding on to her “blessed event,” i can feel her pain.
as much as i love poppy, he can be a very difficult child. i wonder if he senses my hesitancy to be his mother. if all of that strife during the pregnancy permanently tainted my beautiful son. i want him to be happy, and when he is, my heart feels lighter.
but when he is angry & sad, i can feel his pain and believe it to be entirely my fault…& dusty’s.

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