ugly

this one didn’t really turn out
or did it?
i feel this way sometimes
ugly
hidden
falling apart
i sincerely have spent my life
feeling like
a mistake
a monster
a misfit
but then i look at my children
& i wonder
how ugly can i be
if i have made
such beautiful babies?

when i look in the mirror, sometimes i see a beautiful person & think i’m the bee’s knees…but still i consider myself one of the ugly ones because of how i am seemingly received by the general public. it’s like my art & writings. i love them…but often it feels as if no one else does.
& sometimes it just feels like everything i do is ugly.
except for my kids. they’re beautiful.

terribly nice

i’ve gotten used to seeing
myself
as a bad person
a vengeful
siren
crashing men
on the rocks of me
seeing me
as a hurt person
lashing out
& being chased
by mobs with pitchforks
i have
unabashedly
celebrated
my horns & fangs…
but no matter
how terrible
i can be
there is this
nice & generous
this forgiving
creature
lurking inside of
me.

on the tail of trying to put all of me together…i discover that maybe i’m not a total cunt after all. huh.

all of me II

when i was a child
i thought i had to choose
between art & writing
i chose writing
when i had a child
i thought i had to choose
between writing & motherhood
i chose motherhood
i thought i had to choose
between being a mother
& being a lover
i chose
to be a mother
leaving all of these
pieces
of me
blowing in the wind
gusting by
one by one
i’m a mother
today
i’m an artist
today
maybe a writer
tomorrow
thoughts of being a lover
chances
to be a friend
a neighbor
a member
of the community
swirl around
in a tornado
of me
& for some reason
i cannot come to terms
with being all
with being
complete
i think i have to pick
& choose
& put parts of me on some
back burner
for another day
& this leaves me
incomplete
a flower
with just two petals
i need to learn
to embrace
all of me
and bloom
in full.

mixing up my metaphors all over the place…but you get the gist, right?
last night i dreamed of being in a happy family. poor & in a small apartment but happy. my ex (dusty) played the part of the father & the lover…but i don’t think the dream was about him. i suspect he represents a neutral “lover” figure as he is the one who has played that role for the longest stretch of time in my life.
so i think it was a good dream. maybe saying that at least my internal family is intact & healthy? which is actually huge. HUGE. that family has been a mess for…well, forever.
i think it was a good dream.
i think i am getting there.

all of me

to be a successful mother
i must also be
a successful
writer
to be a successful writer
i must also be
a successful
artist
to be a success
as an artist
i must be a success
as a lover
as a friend
as a human
being
there are no halfsies
no half-assed-ing it
i must be whole
to be complete
i must be complete
to be a success
i can’t just be part of myself
i must be all of me.

another home improvement project. i can’t just work on & improve part of me, it is all intertwined. to fix/succeed as only one aspect of my whole is not succeeding at all.
if that makes sense.
i don’t mean success in a financial manner. i mean success as my being all i can be. true.
sometimes i find myself wondering which i would choose in a sophie’s choice–my career as an artist & writer or a romantic relationship.
like if i choose one over the other i am somehow choosing wrong. it always feels like the wrong choice…i think because they are both important to me & both a part of who i am.
i have to choose both…in addition to my choice to be a mother. to be part of a community. to be a friend. to be a good person. all of it is braided together inside of me & if i try to unravel it
i unravel….

stay with the sad

stay
with the sad
sink
into the sad
it doesn’t
make you
tough
to avoid the pain
to run away from
the pain
to become aggressive & angry
are you a warrior?
or are you
just
being
an asshole?
avoiding pain
avoiding rejection
embracing isolation
your castle walls
becoming
your prison
break out
be sad
be needy
be loving
even if they don’t
love you
back.

my “home” improvement project right now. not resorting to anger when i feel rejected, slighted, ignored, etc. this has been my go-to move for as long as i can remember. even as a small child, feeling ignored by my parents, i made the choice to become invisible rather than to be attention-seeking.
as a grown up, i am all “what the fuck?” but i still understand the motivations of that little girl.
she wanted to be noticed…but felt that seeking that attention would mean any love she got would be tainted.
so i have waited around my entire life for someone to notice me.
okay, fine…but then i get pissed off when they don’t.
as a mom, i can see how parents could overlook a quiet child. i, of course, try to never do it…but when you are in a fucked up marriage & have six kids…sure, the quiet one will fall in the cracks.
i guess i have to forgive them for letting me fall in the cracks & let go of the anger…but then what?
it’s hard for me to imagine me as someone who goes out and demands attention…but maybe i do have to start–at least–visualizing it. maybe i can teach my monster to seek attention in healthy ways? rather than using aggression & isolation?

ps.
my kids kept asking “why is she screaming?”
i answered, “is she? or is she singing? or is she roaring?” i prefer to imagine she is roaring….

toucha toucha touch me

just like the experience
of becoming a mom
turning fifty
triggered
my identity crisis all over again…
i’m sure that little
slut
is still inside me
somewhere
but it has been ages
since i have seen her.

i thought for a whole minute about using okcupid to find dates instead of for selling art & writings….but then i had a panic attack about the whole thing.
so i remain a retired siren.

behind blue eyes III

i inherited my dad’s
raging temper
i inherited my dad’s
control issues
but i’m pretty sure
the self-loathing
is all mine
did he ever feel bad after screaming
at us
did he ever feel bad after
hitting
us
when i was twelve
i could see
he was happy
for the chance to hit me
& from that day
forward
i never gave him an excuse
to lay a hand
on me
seeing that particular glee
makes it difficult
for me to believe
he ever felt the remorse
that haunts me
every time
my throat is raw
from
screaming.

i also have my dad’s blue eyes…hence the reference to the song “behind blue eyes” which i always identify with a little too much.
feeling like a monster might be written into the very fiber of me…but i will continue to try to rewrite it. i know there is hope for me.
if not in this lifetime, surely in the next….

behind blue eyes II

who made this monster?
i can’t blame him
he did throw fuel
on the fire
but if there wasn’t already
a spark….
i can’t blame them
yes
they poke me
with sharp sticks
but they are simply
trying
to make s’mores….
the ones who loved me
first
the ones who molded me
out of clay
they shaped me into this
monster
& now i can only hope
that my destiny
is not to make
more monsters….

my ex likes to point out that i was already damaged when he met me. of course, he fails to realize that he could have helped me heal–he didn’t have to break me further.
& though my kids are matricidal maniacs…i don’t think it is intentional. i don’t know what evolutionary purpose it serves to drive one’s mother crazy…but i don’t think they do it on purpose.
i feel like it is my job to teach them a better way.
i feel like i am failing at my job.
yes, my parents made me into the raging bitch i can be at times with their layers of emotional abuse, physical abuse, and neglect….
but again, it is my job to heal.
to be better
if not for me, for my children
(but totally for me, too)

behind blue eyes

i hate being a mom
i fucking hate it
i want to drop them off
on their dad’s
doorstep
& let him be a fucking martyr
for the next 17 years
i hate all this motherhood
bullshit
it is not fucking worth it
i hate being the bad guy
the fall guy
the whipping boy
& scapegoat
taking all of the abuse
those matricidal maniacs
dish out
taking it
with a smile
because
isn’t motherhood a fucking
blessing.

so this is the page in my journal that i wrote when i was in the middle of a meltdown

it had been a long day. one of those days that started really nice with my feeling on top of the world…but the higher you are, the further you have to fall.
first i tried to set up an arrangement with my 14 year old where he would keep the floors clean in exchange for a monthly payout. it was like negotiating with someone who spoke a different language & ended with my mopping the floor while he pouted.
and pouted
and pouted
(the boy can hold a grudge)
so later i suggested we all go for a walk–insisting he should come because the exercise would help him feel better. which it did.
but then it was my 8 year old’s turn. my 8 year old is like the velociraptor in jurassic park who jumps at the fence, strategically to find the weak spots. i am a rapidly deteriorating fence to my 8 year old’s attacks.
he stopped halfway through the walk and refused to move because he wanted me to make hot chocolate even though i explained (over & over & over) that we were low on milk and could not make it until tomorrow when i could get more milk. which of course he translated to my being an unloving mother….
long story short, i was fragile by bedtime.
since i broke my knee in june, i have been sleeping downstairs. the 8 year old & 11 year old insist on sleeping in the living room with me. the 11 year old has started waking up with headaches from sleeping in a chair.
so i decided it was time for us to more back upstairs.
i haven’t seen the upstairs in months.
i ask them to clean it regularly. they either ignore me or tell me they did clean it.
i should have known better.
knowing me & how i react to out-of-control messes & how i react to realizing no one has been listening to me…i should have known better. but i went up those stairs, saw the unbelievable mess of the upstairs, and had a meltdown.

i have control issues.
i have anger issues.
i have issues with cleaning up other people’s messes.
i have issues with being ignored.

it was more than i could handle. i became a monster.
through journaling (three pages in all) i worked through some of it & am hopeful that in the future i will handle myself better.
also, the next morning i had a talk with them. i apologized & tried to explain why i behaved as i did.
hopefully, i didn’t do too much damage 😦

it’s always inktober in my heart

in 2016 i did inktober for the first time…
after thirty-one days of inking
daily
i could not stop
i did not want to stop
and six years later
i am still inking
almost every day
it has saved my life
it has made me a better person
it has helped me grow & heal
so
thank you inktober
you’re my hero.

i do not really participate anymore mostly because i only realize it is inktober several days into october. however, generally i have inked every day without realizing. mostly because i ink every day of the other eleven months of the year as well. when i don’t do art, i can tell, i start to go a little (more) crazy.

last night i had a total meltdown. like sinking lower than i have sank in awhile. terrible monster mom meltdown.
so what did i do? i inked it out…and i felt better…i started the healing process.
i will probably share that inking with y’all considering one of the reasons i share at all is because i want the ugly to not fester in a dark place but to come into the light…however i need a little time to process.

in the meantime, i wish you all a happy inktober.

the above doodle might look like watercolor–but it is totally ink 🙂

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