death of a turkey…

when i was a kid
there was so much violence
so much abuse
so much animal death
my pets gone–just like that
that i learned to disconnect
to stop loving
to stop caring
to stop bonding
and as an adult this continued
this disconnect
i had trouble with relationships
sure that they would leave
or god forbid they had self-destructive tendencies
it was too much for me
i disconnected
i could not bond
and i would try to have pets as an adult
but it was easier to hate them then to love them
love is a fragile thing
so easily killed
i was repulsed by neediness…repulsed by being needed
i closed down
shut off
i often wondered if i could ever even have kids?
was i capable of love at all?
sometimes i still wonder….

shortly after the above picture was taken, a raccoon killed one of my turkeys and injured the leg of another. i named the injured turkey isabeau and took her into my house. i dressed her wound, fed her blue berries and honey and put apple cider vinegar in her water and bathed her when she got too stinky.
months went on. spring turned to summer. her leg healed, but she stopped walking. her non-injured leg became palsied. one wing became disfigured by her always laying on the same side. i would try to put her on her other side–or in a sling–but nothing seemed to help.
and while her brothers & sisters grew huge and mature

she remained frozen in her juvenile state, a third the size of them.

i felt myself turn off. i mean, i cannot pinpoint the exact moment, but it happened. i started being annoyed by her. frustrated with her. dreaming at night that she finally got up and walked again, while watching every day as she just kind of flopped around. i admired her perseverance…but in the end, she just gave up.

i just wish i hadn’t given up first.

i thought i would be relieved when she died. she had become a burden…a difficulty…one more thing to take care of on a busy day. i mean, i knew she would die eventually. there was no way she could continue on like that–what if she tried to lay an egg–that alone would kill her–painfully. she was so vulnerable….
and now she is no longer suffering….

so why do i feel like i failed her? because my heart shut down? because i could no longer muster the energy to care about her even though i was still caring for her?

i don’t like that i learned to shut down when there was danger of pain by abandonment (be it death or whatever.) i want to feel the pain & live through it. i want my heart to warm back up and not be so quick to disappear.

i cried today. i did not expect to cry over my dead turkey.
but, like most mourners, i am not crying for her…i am crying for me.
as i try to assure my kids we did everything we could for her…in my cold heart i feel as if i should have done more…i wish i were capable of having done more.

 

i love my kids…but i hate being a mom….

i hate being the one in charge
i hate being the bad guy
i hate having to be the one who makes sure we don’t run out of
toilet paper
clean clothes
toothpaste
shoes that fit
food
i hate being the one that has to make impossible ends
meet
i have to
no one else is going to do it
i have to find ways to fix
messes that seem impossible to fix
i have to referee fights
that seem to have no end
i hate being referee
i hate being mom
i want to not have to worry about everything
to not be the one who is supposed to have all of the answers
i want to find room in my heart
for me
to not feel overwhelmed by them
i want to be able to breathe

it’s not them though
is it?
it’s not being a mom so much
as my being damaged
damaged by life
damaged by parents, damaged by exes
never taught to love myself
in the way a person needs to be able to
so that person can be a good mom
neglected by my own mom
leaving me unable to cope
abandoned
abused
by the man who was supposed
to do this with me
be there for me
now
i just want to hide, heal, and lick my wounds
but as a mom
i just can’t seem to
there are just too many other things
that need to be
done….

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yesterday i collapsed in a heap and all i could think was, “i hate being a mom. i hate being a mom. i hate being a mom.” it was both a relief to think it…and horrifying.

i didn’t always hate being a mom…if you read my wordpress profile thing-y here, it sounds like i used to really think i was a good mom….
(i wish i could remember that feeling.)

though it was a cruel awakening when i became a mom and realized i was working harder than i ever had before–but i wasn’t getting any pay or benefits. after a lifetime of supporting myself, i was now dependent on a partner who was–well–crappy. he would tell me my position as a mom was pointless and why was he the only one earning money? he would tell me to get a job. i was exhausted to my bones–and he was telling me i wasn’t earning anything therefore i was lazy…useless? and he wasn’t the only one. our society echoed him. subtle or blatant, i got the message loud and clear.

i was a mom now–and now i did not matter.

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gone was my independence. my ability to just pack up everything i own and go somewhere new. just go. whenever i wanted. be free whenever i felt caged. now i was anchored. by one..then two..then three..and finally four little anchors.

gone was time to myself. my crappy partner put that last nail in my coffin. no art. no writing. (right now i have a five year old begging me to color & i really really don’t want to color–i want to exorcise this demon–i want to write.) no exercise even because no one would let me. seriously. i was not allowed to do the walks i used to do daily to clear my head & keep my weight down. if i wanted to go–everyone wanted to go with me–and it became an unbearable circus…

page13

i know there are people out there devastated because they can’t have children. i used to be one of those people. i wanted to cry every time a friend or a sister got pregnant. i tried for 10 years before i got pregnant. i dreamed of being a mom. i dreamed of having that love in my life. of course, i thought, being a mom will fix what is wrong with me.

but i wasn’t careful about with whom i had my kids. that was my mistake. my biggest mistake. i didn’t realize how much that would change things…taint things. that partner who doesn’t value you–or your role as the mother of his children.

it’s devastating…at least for me…it has damaged me so deeply sometimes i feel like i am unable to love at all.

but i love my minions. i do. as much as i hate being a mom sometimes–i never stop loving them.
so that’s something, right?

something salvageable?

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(these illustrations are more  from the project i am working on “the mistress of mud” with a friend of mine. yesterday i posted that i hadn’t gotten any work done, but i realized i actually had…and i did the one at the top of the post last night as i played around trying to emulate david mack’s style.)

attack of the buttheads

i started writing this post a couple of weeks ago.  unbeknownst to me, dusty started reading it over my shoulder & got all pissed off.  you know, instead of initiating a conversation about it, just got pissed off & hateful towards me.  so i stopped writing it & haven’t felt like trying to write ever since.  last friday, i made dusty leave again.  go back to wisconsin.  again.  & i realized i would rather be alone than to be put in a box.  i would rather be alone than to be told who i am.  i would rather be alone than to not be heard.  to not be understood.

i don’t know if he reads my blog or not….i guess i will find out.

what do you do
when the one person
you always want to tell your thoughts to
funny stories
what happened today
just now
what happens when you no longer
feel safe
talking to that person?
when you feel it might be a bad idea
to open up
to that person?
what happens when the person
you used to wait for to walk through the door
what happens when you start dreading
his walking into the room
when you feel like you have to guard yourself
your heart
your thoughts
for surely he will find something
to criticize
something
to attack
some flaw in you to burst wide open
and leave to spill onto the floor
as he walks away

the other day i was in tears. in the barn. yelling at the sheep. the other day i let my sheep get the best of me. i wondered–loudly and with a great many curse words–what i was even doing here, on this half-assed homestead, trying to get milk from meat sheep who clearly hate me, running from me, and in the case of tyler durden the ram, stalking me and ramming me in the thighs until i cry.

what am i doing?

the other day, i tried to talk to dusty.

stop. right there. that was my mistake. i tried to talk to dusty. i tried to talk to dusty. dusty. who on the day of my brother’s funeral (8 years ago) asked me what was wrong, and when i told him i was upset that he didn’t bother dressing up for my brother’s funeral, he responded, “well look at what you’re wearing.”

dusty.

he likes to ask me what is wrong, and then punish me for having feelings. lately he asks me why i don’t respond when he asks, “what’s wrong?” but the weird thing is, i don’t remember him asking me. i think i have learned to tune him out so that i do not even hear him ask because then, if i hear him, i want to answer…and then i get punched right in my emotions.

so i don’t even hear him anymore.
i don’t look forward to seeing him.
i don’t tell him anything.

or i try not to. i can be a bit of a blabbermouth, forgetting who i can & cannot trust with my feelings. i am like that. soft in the head.

so i tried to talk to dusty, about “us.” it was, of course, somehow interpreted as an assault on him…maybe it was an attack. i don’t know the fuck anymore. but i tried to talk to him. i used the wrong words. then it got ugly.
he accused me of being a facebook junkie (i’m not)
and i responded by slamming shut his video game
and possibly breaking his laptop?
and then
he murdered three of my potato plants.
and tried to knock the internet dish off of the roof
with a steel t-post.

this is where i stopped writing.
his laptop is fine. my potatoes are trying to recover, but look like my heart feels.  wilty & broken.  undernourished.  struggling to survive.