my anxiety writes a poem

if my oldest son
never comes home
i will have to take his homemade ship
to the river myself
to launch it
after so many times of telling him,
“no, not today…”
i will have run out of days to spend
with him
maybe i will set it on fire
have a viking funeral
as i wish he would come home
if my second son
never comes home
i will never be able to return the movie
we are supposed to watch together
i will have to keep it
and pay the library
for it
knowing i could buy a cheaper copy
i will never let go
of the movie we were supposed to watch
as i wait for him to come home
if my daughter never comes home
i will build a shrine of
barbie dolls
and tutus
i will sit and sing to myself
surrounded by her special things
i will wish i could hear her
speak words
have a conversation with me
just once
just once
as i hope for her to come home
if my youngest son never comes home
i will die inside
knowing i wasn’t the mother to him
that he needed me to be
knowing that i failed him
from the beginning
and the only way i can save him
is to save myself
and bring him home to me

sometimes when my kids go to visit their dad, i go to a special hell reserved for moms. sometimes i breathe and relax and enjoy my alone time. other times i climb the walls and let the demons chisel at my thoughts.

i didn’t intend to be a stay-at-home mom. however, when it came time for me to go back to work after fidgit was born, i found i couldn’t do it. at first i tried taking him to work with me, which was strangely tolerated. but i realized i was doing two jobs half-assedly and decided i needed to make a choice.
i chose being a mom.
and it has been a hard road. a very hard road. my ego has suffered a lot and sometimes i find myself wondering, “what if–” about my choice to be a mom at all. and then the catholic part of me kicks in and i live in fear that i have hexed my children with such thoughts.

being a mom is so fucking complicated.

i just want my kids to come home so i don’t have time to think about it.

a shithead in sheep’s clothing

i see you
i see you now
you hide in your chameleon’s skin
you turn the tables
you play victim
you say, “i wouldn’t have done it if you–”
you say, “but look at how awful you are”
you are a master of distraction
a master of disguise
while a moth wears predator’s eyes
for protection
you are a shithead in sheep’s clothing

bear with me, y’all. i am working through some angst & frustration.
nothing to see here!
it’s all a part of the healing….

now i need to go do some art.

(the minions are out of town & i am down in the dumps)

i told me so

i wanted to believe him
oh how badly i wanted to believe
that he really loved me
really wanted me
really saw now what he had done
wrong
how he had
wronged
me
i wanted so badly to believe
he really had changed
that things could really be
different
better
that there was hope still
even though the nagging little voices
in my head
assured me he had not changed
pointing out the little red flags
scattered around him

dusty and i were perfect and in love once. so so so in love. it was a long time ago. he was the center of my universe…and i’m sure i somehow fit into his universe.

and then i got pregnant with fidgit.
and everything changed.
i changed, my focus changed, shifted. dusty was no longer the center of my universe. he had to share the spotlight.
and dusty changed. a person emerged that i had never met before. a cold person. a cruel and judgemental person.

and that was the beginning of the end.

i was surprised when he started up with the love and adoration this last time. i guess i shouldn’t have been. i guess i should have remembered he will do anything he has to do to keep the status quo. but i was surprised because it has been awhile since he acted as if i were important to him. usually i am just a piece of the puzzle…but he started acting as if i were the puzzle itself. every piece.

but i told him “no” because i have to hold close the hurt he caused me so i don’t forget. like snapping a rubber band on my wrist whenever i want to believe dusty actually cares.

and last night i got my proof that i was right to do so.

while he was wooing me to keep our family together, apparently he decided to cover his bets & he also got back in touch with the woman he used to try to destroy me. the poor delusional twat who he would lie to as much as he would lie to me–except she believed him. i don’t know if she was crazy before he got a hold of her, but she was crazy by the end.

so, yay, they are back together.

i told me so.

(i just realized that if we had stayed married, today would be our 14 year anniversary)

just leave me alone

you want me to be the mirror
to your healing
but i can only see the person
you have always been to me
you haven’t changed
you’ve just gotten better
at faking
you want me to be your validation
that you are
different
but i can only see the toxicity
the same toxicity
with more sugar coating
i know you are hurting
i know you are afraid
but i cannot save you
cannot heal you
cannot bear you
in my life
anymore.

dusty just won’t fucking stop. funny how once i wanted this attention so badly. once i would have eaten up his words as if they were the only thing keeping me alive. i wanted to hear him say these things to me so many times when he was cold to me. when he was treating my like second..third..last choice….

of course he is saying the words, but they are lies. he is saying the words, but if i don’t listen & respond & believe, he quickly switches back to the old script. the script where everything is my fault. the script of blame.

dusty can’t keep his disguise on with me for very long if i don’t play along.

he does this thing.
he will woo & woo & woo & flatter & lament his own faults & stupidity…and i will say “no, i’m not buying it. goodbye.”
and, literally, the very next thing out of his mouth is:

we need to decide what to do about the kids.

or something to that effect. something that triggers my anxiety about losing my minions. ever since fidgit was a baby–whenever things get rough & i say i am leaving:

i want the kids half-time.

why is that a go-to move if he is so eager to fix things between us? if i play along and pretend we have a future, he never pushes the child custody envelope. he never asks to see them more than one week out of a month. i know he loves seeing them, but he often resents them as well. yes, sometimes i resent them too–or no–not them–but my decision to have children with him. i resent that he has control over me via the kids. i resent that i do not have a partner willing to support me as i mother our children–willing to parent beside me, sharing the work of it equally. i resent that. being only human, sometimes my resentment effects my mothering…i wish it didn’t.

he has anxiety now. i never noticed it before. maybe it’s because he has cut back on his pot smoking?? but now he has terrible anxiety and it emerges as obsessive texts to me, begging me to talk to him. it is ridiculous. i mean, i am sorry he feels anxiety…i can remember trying to cling to him to ease the madness of my own anxiety…i wouldn’t wish that on anyone.  but i am trying to take care of four kids and a small homestead and a sick turkey and a neonatal kitten and a household of laundry, dishes, meals…and he is freaking out because i haven’t texted him right back.
half the time i don’t even know where my phone is.
i feel sad that i have learned not to let myself feel that need to soothe him.
i feel angry that after everything he has done to me he still turns to me to soothe him.
i feel hopeless that anything will ever change between us.
he says all the right words–but if they don’t work–he says all the wrong ones.
and he has rewritten our history to suit his own needs.
i think he might be delusional.
the alternative is too scary to think about…that he knows exactly what he is doing….

at least angst is an effective muse

he is the drink
that i shouldn’t take
the fall from grace
the downward spiral
to hopelessness
& a crippling
lack of faith
he is the drink
i shouldn’t take
the step towards
no control
my soul crumpled
on the floor
forgotten panties
stained & unwanted
he is the drink that i should say
no!
to.  the drink i should
feel strong enough to
avoid.

…why am i not strong enough?

i say, “i feel this way.” next time we fight he mirrors my words back to me. some fucked up mind game. some
fucked up
mind
game.
does he even know he is playing?
i wonder.
is it a reflex? a survival technique? does he want to hurt me?

or is he just protecting himself?

journal

you’re overthinking it, em. i tell myself. what do you want?
what do you feel?

journal2

i don’t want to share my life with him.
he is a big parasitical turd.
i don’t want to share my life with him.
we go for a walk in the woods where i grew up.
where i wandered & where i found myself
the first time i was lost.
my church.
i go into these woods with him, and i feel like it is sacrilege.
he shouldn’t be in my church.
i shouldn’t let him near my soul.
my being.
it isn’t safe.
i don’t want to share my life with him.
is this a want? or a warning? an instinct?

journal3

maybe he’s right
maybe he isn’t the problem
maybe i am the problem
but that does not change the fact that i do not want to share my life with him.

 

story time

except i’m not going to tell a story
not this time
things in my life
too weird
to be
stories
stranger than fiction
as they say
and i try to find the corner pieces
so i can put this puzzle together…
or should i just drop it on the floor?
say, “fuck it”
and walk away?story time2

i can tell you this: i love doing my art. i love it. it is the best part of me sometimes. i love looking and finding and drawing out the image that may or may not be just in my head. if nothing else in my life makes sense…my weird-ass whimsical inkings do.

so that should tell you something.

i think i am going to put a few of them on mat board and try to have a show.
i think i am going to send a few of them off to publications and see if anyone bites.
i think i am going to rely on my art to give my life some sort of meaning when every other avenue is confused.

story time1

a little ditty

in the late 90’s i was living in lexington, kentucky, waiting tables at a pub with a club attached. one night i was next door at the club when random older guy starts talking to me. i was enjoying the conversation to some extent, when he mentioned that one of his employees had a huge crush on me.
i perked up & got a lot more interested in the conversation.
i have always loved the idea of secret admirers and spent most of my childhood imagining someone was secretly watching and would swoop in & show the world my genius…yes, i had a talent scout as an imaginary friend.

so guy is telling me not much about my secret admirer, except that he works for guy’s pool building business and that they often eat lunch at the pub, but my secret admirer is afraid to approach me & will not.

guy goes on to tell me that his own name is “chester.” adding that he is not a molester. note to y’all: if someone feels compelled to tell you they are not something–that is a red flag.

so chester who says he is not a molester invites me to go have some food at perkin’s. i am always game for free food and adventure, so i agree. i was not getting any too-weird of vibes off of him…and free food.
plus i wanted to hear more about my secret admirer.

so i went to perkin’s with him & he fed me & entertained me. when he finds out i have the next 3 days off (fourth of july weekend) he invites me to come out to his farm & ride his horses. he assures me that he has guests out there all the time & that he is very popular.

of course all i hear is “ride horses”…something i had never done despite my life-long love of horses.

i am not a normal person. if you read my blog, you know, i am special…& i say that with my tongue in my cheek. where most women would be like, “hell no, strange man, i will not go out to your remote farm alone with you at night.”

not me. i’m like, “sure!”

horses and a secret admirer…it was like he knew & was offering me my favorite candy to follow him home.

once at his place…i started to get the serious creeps. he had way too many antiques (i have a fear of antiques) and he kept standing way too close to me.

he had to get up early to work at his pool building company where my secret admirer worked and asked, “you can sleep in my bed of the guest room.”

GUEST ROOM! i told him.

“i have to warn you, i sleep naked.”

GUEST ROOM!

so i go to bed with my body on high alert. his dogs come and get in the bed with me. which is great because i trust dogs, even if they are owned by a molester. i wear all my clothes. i only take off my shoes.

sometime in the wee hours of the morning, he creeps into the room and shoos the dogs off of the bed and climbs in, naked, and cuddles up to me. i am rigidly laying there, pretending to be asleep, waiting for him to have to get up and go to work. like a opossum, playing dead/pretending to be asleep is one of my go-to defenses. not a practical one always, and it has pissed off many a boyfriend…but i just kind of shut down. i freeze. on retrospect i wish i had jumped out of the bed and kicked him right in the crotch…but i was conflicted, scared, confused, and had no idea where i actually was in order to escape.

he left for work.

i took his van…& left him a note??? what? another thing i would change on retrospect.

other than being totally creeped out & traumatized by mr. molester, my big worry was that he would tell my secret admirer that he had slept with me.

i know. what? really?

my boyfriend at the time (yes, i had a boyfriend, but he was an awful boyfriend who i just couldn’t seem to get rid of) blamed me. he told me it was my fault.

so i went back to work, but i kept an eye out for my secret admirer. here’s the thing about me. i love blue collar guys. i love cops & firemen & farmers. given the choice between a successful clean cut banker and a scruffy guy who builds his own cabinets and smells of the outdoors…it’s really no contest.

so i picked out my favorite blue collar guy who ate lunch at the pub. he was a little guy (i also have a thing for little guys–check out my adam ant post) with a shaved head and a big nose (yup, add big noses onto my list of attractions.) i would watch him whenever he came into the pub with his co-workers. but he never ever looked at me. we never made eye contact. it was almost as if he was actively avoiding looking at me.

but he stayed my favorite pretend secret admirer.

i left kentucky to escape the bad boyfriend. i waited until he went to work, packed everything up, left a note (again with the notes?) and had one of my sisters drive me to illinois. my plan was i would stay with my folks and save money & go to school in the fall. but my folks pissed me off and i packed up and headed back to kentucky where i was going to meet up with another sister who was going to let me move to galveston, texas with her. she had a couple more weeks before she was moving to lexington.

naturally, i went out to the pub & to see a show at the club. i was drinking and perched on the edge of the pool table, watching the band, when i noticed my pretend secret admirer was there and he was actually making eye contact.

so i hopped down and went over to say hi.

we got married about a month later.

he was the guy who was secretly in love with me. when he found out i was headed to texas, he proposed. again, normal woman would be like, “hell no, strange man, i’m flattered, but maybe we can take this slow…or, you know, too bad–you snooze you lose.”

not me. i married  him. thing about me is i want so badly to be loved, that i will marry a stranger if he says he loves me.

i think the only reason a serial killer hasn’t gotten me by now is that i wear pretty boring underwear that may or not actually be underwear. there isn’t much about me to feed those fetishes. but tell me you love me, and i will marry you.

i think it helped that i had been pretending he was in love with me for so long–and then to actually find out he was in love with me–it was like an overload to my brain.

a month after we were married, he said he didn’t think he loved me.
and i threw up.
and i moved out.

as i like to do (or else why would i do it so often?) we had an on-again/off-again relationship for three years. i divorced him in the middle of that time, but we often dated and even had long-distance relationships when i would leave lexington to adventure in other cities. but, overall, he was so withdrawn and barely present in our relationship, that my ego actually suffered and i spiraled downwards until i started losing all respect for myself and moved to wisconsin to get that kentucky funk off of me.

if you are still reading this, i will get to the point.

he emails now and then to flirt with me. i get pissed off because where was this devotion when we were married? and my being pissy sends him straight back to his cave.

but the other night i was out with a friend who reminded me of my secret admirer in a way. so i texted him, not realizing he did not actually have my current number. once he figured out who i was, i ended up asking him to come see me.
and he said yes.
and he is supposed to be here tomorrow.
and i am excited to see him…but worried i am setting myself up.
like i’m feeling too strong lately so i need to knock the wind out of my own sails.
would i do that–yes, well, i have a history of doing that….

he says he has changed.
he says he is a better man now.
i tell him that my other ex-husband says the same things.
i tell him that i have had two lonely marriages & don’t want to do that anymore.

he’s coming to see me, trying to bring baskets full of rainbows & unicorns & being together.
i told him, come see me, yes, but leave the promises at home.
i don’t trust promises.
he won’t get any promises from me.
i don’t want any from him.

what is it with my fucking ex-husbands and loving me after i am gone?

so, anyway, all that is why i haven’t gotten any ink done in a couple days. i have been busy, physically & emotionally.
but i should have this finished by the end of the day.