where am i?

the last time i smiled
was two years ago
in pictures since
it’s like i’m trying to smile
but i can’t
my smile is gone
he took it
& which is the greater sin?
that he took my smile–
or that i let him?

& daddy 034

there it is. my last smile. two summers ago when i first left dusty due to his refusing to stop seeing his girlfriend…of course, since i had left him, he was being super sweet to me…and that might be why i am smiling. fuck it. fuck that bastard.

i feel so lost lately. i am on auto-pilot. spirals of self-pity & anger. is this part of healing…or just another level of my own personal hell?

i don’t like that i have lost my smile. sometimes my smile was the best part of me. once when i worked as a baker behind a big glass window that people would knock on and i would smile at them (okay, that makes me sound like a zoo animal–nevertheless), a person slipped me a note that said, “i would walk a million miles for one of your smiles,” and i’m sure i still have that note somewhere.

who am i without my smile?

sometimes i wonder when exactly my heart fell into its current state of decay.

i try to do dating sites, but then i think, “who the fuck would want to deal with this?” meaning me, my life, my being trapped on a homestead, my four overwhelming minions, my general fucked-upness….

i have $45 in my bank account. i am seemingly unable to figure out how to make money. which is another trap. poverty. do i continue to borrow from my credit card? that seems like a bad idea…but what happens when i need gas for the truck? or toilet paper? there are only 4 rolls left. do i go pick leaves? switch to cloth?

a friend told me about a grant for moms who are artists or writers. i am both. i could enter in like four different categories–at least–i have that much material. since becoming a mom, i have done more art & writing than ever….
but what if it all sucks? surely everyone else is better than i am.  i could never win a grant. no one will publish me. i always get the, “we really enjoyed this, but…” rejections. which are probably just standard rejections designed so i don’t stick my head in the oven.

i started working on the inking shown at the top of this post a couple of weeks ago.
this is as far as i have gotten.
and i haven’t gotten any more work done on the project i have half a summer to finish….

what is the matter with me?
how do i pop myself out of this puddle of misery?
i’m not dancing. not smiling. & my dreams are a soup of anxiety.  the highlight of my week was getting two dairy goats. since then i have actually told them, “you complete me.”

i think maybe i was a shepherd in a past life…or a herd dog.

ode to being pissed off

hey. you know what?
if i’m depressed and thinking about how nice it would be to just be dead…
to just escape
this
all of this.
it is not going to do any good to say,
“shut up, don’t say that, you have kids.”
because
here is the thing
one of the reasons i think death would be nice
is because i wouldn’t have to be a mom anymore.
do you get that?
please, get that.
but it did work out.
you pissed me off.
what? am i an incubator? am i just a big nipple?
am i not a person?
do i not matter?
if i had no children, would it be okay then, if i wanted to die?
do you only care about me
because you hate to see motherless children?
there are plenty of suffereing children. go rescue one. if you want to help me
you listen
you don’t tell me what i should be thinking or doing or feeling
you fucking listen.
so now i’m pissed off
which is good
because it is hard to be sad when you are pissed off.
now i want to spite you for suggesting all i am is a vessel
only valued for my contributions as a mother
(and frankly
never really valued for that either)
so now i’m pissed off and i’m going to live to fight another day
take that
motherfuckers.

my big epiphany for the day is that women are taught to not get angry. to be nice & pretty & to smile and to not make a big deal out of it.
and so we stuff all that anger down…and it contributes or results in a state of depression. we can’t be mad. we can’t be sad either…but it is easier to hide sad.
and mothers suffer it the most. we have to be everything. strong, but not too strong. always there. able to fix any problem. no time to think about yourself–why would you want to think about yourself? what? you’re thinking about yourself?? we have to love being a mother. it has to define us.
but what if it doesn’t? what if we have doubts?
stuff that down, too.

so i was depressed. now i’m just pissed off. which is good. all that sad is turning to mad and i am letting it out to go where it needs to go. i told those fucking exes who i have been reaching out to–out of loneliness–i told them what i needed to tell them. basically, to fuck the fuck off. i don’t need them. i really really really don’t. in fact, i am way better off without them. but i had to find that out. and i had to get pissed off.i had to realize that they actually made me feel more alone, because they couldn’t give me what i needed. and they don’t want to give me what i want. and i just have to get over it.

and get pissed off about it.

so maybe depressed women (men too?) need a healthy and appropriate outlet for their anger. maybe? i know it’s not that simple, but, hey it couldn’t hurt.

are you depressed? let’s go burn something down!
(at least we can burn a bridge to that toxic person in  your life who you keep around because you haven’t gotten pissed off enough)