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)

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….

birthday drawing

once upon a time
my birthday was one of my three
favorite holidays
once upon a time
i would count down
from like six months away
telling an unwilling audience
every
day
how many days it was until my birthday
i never had a party
(tried once & nobody came)
i just would spend the day basking
In the glory of a day
that was mine…
then i married a man
who refused to celebrate me
then i had kid after kid after kid
and realized
no matter what day it was
i still was expected to be a mom
then my brother died
and i no longer got my birthday call
from  him
asking, “so what else is new,”
and actually listening to what i said….
once upon a time
my birthday was a glorious day
for me…
i want to find that girl again
she was damaged…but not as scarred as who i am
today
i want to find that birthday girl
and i want to celebrate her
anyway

i feel better today. back on my journey to healing. i feel better–stronger–more able to tackle life.
i wish my birthday didn’t knock me down like it does. i hope i can somehow recover my old sweet love for my birthday.
it is a journey…healing…and sometimes i wander off the path and into a patch of poison ivy….

my minions were sweet to me. iggy wrapped up a dozen rocks & shells to give me. fidgit drew me this awesome picture. misha made an elaborate show of hiding “barbie” dolls & stuffed animals for me to uncover for my birthday. my minions are awesome creatures…even poppy who is three but one day won’t be anymore (please god!)

so i survived another birthday and am back on my journey to being a better me.

a poem for the full moon

my anger clings
to me
so tight
i can’t breathe
i can’t breathe…
i want to shed my anger
like a skin
i don’t want it anymore
i don’t need it
anymore
i want a new
fresh
skin
to welcome the world
to paint pictures on
to tell stories with
to experience love
& wonder
& all the beautiful things
that my anger
keeps at arm’s length
in some misguided
attempt
to protect me
from life…
i want to shed my anger
like a skin
& be born again
light
free
& happy.

confusion perfume

i’m at a crossroads
turn back?
to the crap i know
the familiar crap
the daily rejections
or forward
left or right
does it even matter?
onward
to unfamiliar crap
& all new rejection
fresh horrors
which way do i go
when all i want
is to be heard
to be seen
to not just be their mirror
for their warped soul
eyes that only seek out
my own
for the benefit of seeing
their reflection
in me
which way do i go…
wait
can i unfold my wings now
can i choose to fly
not backwards
not forwards
not left or right
but up
up & away?

so i’m still trying to do the internet dating thing…though i have deleted my profile at least 3 times & started over….
i’ve made dates & broken them.
i’ve been made fun of by men who think they’re smarter than me.
i’ve been asked to be a submissive (told him i can’t do what i’m told to save my life)
i’ve been asked to be a dominant (never responded because i was so creeped out by this guy)

i dunno.

i started just messaging guys who had interesting or intriguing or message-worthy profiles. some actually messaged back. one seems pretty cool….

meanwhile…

dusty seems to think we are in a relationship. or desperately wants to be in a relationship with me? that’s the way it goes with dusty. he only wants me when i don’t want him. and i used to only want him when he wanted me…but then i realized that i don’t need to be rejected to feel loved. funny that.

so he is always asking to “talk” to me about something. after how many years of marriage of my begging him to talk to me. after i finally divorced him. after he tried to hurt me with other women. after i gave him an ultimatum and he chose option b….
now he wants to talk.
all the time.

i haven’t told him i am trying to re-enter the dating pool. i’m not sure it’s any of his business. i really don’t think it is. i have been clear with him…if he chooses not to listen to me–still!–is that my fault?

so today i dug out the test i wrote back in my late twenties.
no one ever passed it.
i eventually gave up & got married anyway.

also!
i dug out the comic i wrote about the test i made and the fact that i never followed through with it….

which made me miss writing comics a lot more than it made me miss dating….

don’t let the crazy leak out

don’t let the crazy leak out
hold in
breathe in
keep it in
don’t let the crazy out
don’t show your hand too soon
get under his skin
become a rash
he doesn’t know he has
an itch he just has to scratch
be charming
drop those red flags
like dainty, lace handkerchiefs
that he will pick up
and find endearing
before he realizes what they are
and then it is too late
he’s stuck with you
voila
love.

so, when i think about starting a relationship, i am like elsa in frozen. (for those of you who don’t have princess-loving children, that is a disney movie loosely based on hans christen anderson’s story “the snow queen.”) when she is trying to hide her strangeness, she feels she has to hold it in–but once she flees society she feels she can be whoever she wants to be.

yeah.

that’s me with relationships. dainty red neurotic flags…oops, did i drop that?

so even though i have been determined to marry my homestead & live happily ever after without a man in my life, i found myself cruising “plenty of fish” and online shopping for a relationship…again.
i didn’t expect to find anything. it was mostly restless energy & hormones. longing for an adult conversation.
i don’t know if i have found anything, but my heart is doing that stupid fluttery thing. wow. i haven’t felt that for awhile.
but he’s too perfect. too pretty. so i am bound to fuck it up.
wait.
stop.
don’t think like that.
be positive.
i am a precious jewel. i am a fascinating creature. i am strong & beautiful woman. i am intelligent & creative & just super fucking awesome…i am worth the trouble….

he says he’s an empath. he seems–dare i say it–relatively sane?

so i will fuck it up.
(no no no. not there again.)

i was “chatting” with some other guy who was all like, “you seem like a catch. why are you single?” and i responded, in typical em style, “oh no. i’m difficult. & strange.” yup. never heard from that guy again.

no one gets me.

but what if this one does? ah crap. i need to check my bee hives. build a new chicken coop. do laundry. muck a sheep stall…what am i thinking?

(ps. i gave up on my idea of cultivating mushrooms when i realized you have to have a clean–super clean–house to do it in. i was all like, “sign from the universe, you are meant to forage for mushrooms!” ha!)