mother grim

open a beer
or open a vein
whiskey shot to the head
or gunshot
you don’t know
you don’t know me
& how it feels
sometimes
to try
every day
to be a mother
to these ones
every day
every day
every
day
i make this decision
bag of wine
or bag over the head?
relish these years
when they are little
they say
kids grow up so fast
you don’t want to miss it
they say
miss it?
i am deep as fuck in it
living it
despite myself
every day

have you ever heard of “highly spirited children?” yeah. i have four of those.
they are wonderful, beautiful, brilliant, funny, explosive, screamy, dramatic little things. i love them dearly, but sometimes i find my thoughts wandering over to the dark side.
right now they are with their dad–who again–challenged our placement agreement.
whenever he does, i examine my determination to keep being their primary caretaker–to make sure i am not doing it for selfish or controlling reasons.
i discovered that even though i sometimes think i am a crap-ass mom…i completely believe it is best for our children to have me as a primary caretaker. even though i sometimes feel i am going insane with the stress of being a single mom & of raising four strong-willed children, i think i owe them that little bit of stability that being with me gives them.
i have been there for them since day one. i have a commitment to them. so, sure, sometimes i think dark thoughts, but hopefully–expressing those dark thoughts will help me work out those demons so i can be a better mom.
that’s important to me, being a good mom.
not a traditional or conventional mom, but the mom they need me to be. a crazy-ass mom who (most the time) can roll with the punches.

ps. i don’t drink box wine or else i would have known to call it box wine not bag of wine. oh well….

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& for my next trick…

surviving myself
may be
the best trick
i have ever done
now you see me
now
you still
see me
i’m still here
manacles
straight jacket
cement shoes
submerged in a tank full of every tear
i have
ever
cried
&
i climbed back out
i
survived.

out the window

some days
my son is so much
like his father
i want to jump
out the window
i can leave the man
but i cannot
abandon
the boy
some days
being a mom
is so painful
so challenging
that i catch myself
wishing
i’d made different
choices
fantasizing
about a life
i did not have
a life
i will never
know
some days
as hard as i hope
for peace
all i know
is
chaos
inside
& out.

i sit & suffer in silence as a mom. which is weird, since i am so quick to share all my other angst.
is it the taboo?
is it our instagram existence?
only show the smiling children. only show the confident moments. only show the clean faces. carefully crop out the crap.
i read kelly’s post yesterday about how we may be causing damage by only showing the positive stuff regarding people’s challenges and how we view neurodiversity.
it made me think, today, as i was struggling with my challenges as a highly sensitive person & mother of four highly sensitive children. we do this with all of life, don’t we? only show the good stuff to each other? hide away those moments where we feel weak or out of control or not good enough?
maybe we should just air out our dirty laundry. form an alliance of imperfection.
i know, i do it all the time with my anxiety & relationship issues, my imposter’s syndrome, my abusive childhood, and all my other “failings.”

and yet i still hesitate when it comes to showing my–almost constant–struggles as a mom. like, i can show you all my cracks & crevices…but what will you think of me if you know i sometimes wish i wasn’t a mom? if you know the chaos of my every single day?

posting this has given me so much anxiety. i feel like i need to put on my helmet & buckle down because surely i will be judged–a bad mom. but, i have not deleted the post yet…. hoping that my pain & suffering will let someone else know that they are not alone.

(my favorite quote from one of my favorite novels, the hotel new hampshire–by john steinbeck, is to “keep passing the open windows.”)

dare me?

i am thinking
of venturing out of my house
and down the road
and into the horizon
to find a venue
a cafe or a gallery
who thinks my art
just might
hang
on
a
wall.
maybe make me
a buck or two
get the name
emje
out there
and into ears
&
onto lips
or
at least
get me
adventuring
out of my house
& down the road.

so i have some art i think i could display…like in a public place. i have my series of “whimsical inkings
and i also have the starts of a self-portrait series on water color paper (does anyone know the world’s record for self-portraits?)

 

plus the ink on canvas self-portraits i have been accumulating…i think i have a show-ish.

so that’s my plans for the beginning of the month. maybe hit first friday…maybe rub elbows with some art lovers. maybe make some connections/set up a showing?

in other news…
my terrible funk seems to be lifting and i am no longer imaging my life as anna karenina vs. the train.
so that’s nice.
my house is infested with fleas & i lost a beehive to a massive wax moth infestation…but i am squinting and maybe? maybe see a light at the end of the tunnel?
my mindset is slowly shifting back from “holy fuck why is my life so weird?” to “i love my weird-ass life.”

i am deciding what extra weight needs to be thrown to keep the ship from sinking…but i think i may have successfully deterred any upcoming visits from diabolical parents…so i might not have to pack up so soon?

everything is in flux right now.
everything.
but i am slowly transitioning back from severe motion sickness to enjoying the ride…so…hold on y’all.

feeling it

i kinda feel like
opening my wrists
& painting one last
picture
blood for ink
ink for blood
until nothing is
left
of me.
i know this is not
a healthy thought
a hopeful thought
but it is a feeling
i cannot
deny.
you might even feel it
too
if you were
overwhelmed
unloved
emotionally stripped
to the bone
& pretty much sure
you’d done it all
wrong.

another inspirational post for my birthday.
i have been looking at art on instagram & hating my art…again. so i did this one with a bamboo pen to mix things up a little. i want to be more abstract. but i am not sure how to do that. so i might have to start trying harder. i know it is hard to break those habits of realism. even for someone like me who barely lives in reality.

anyhoo. i am not out on a ledge. i am just having a really rough time. the usual suspects. four year olds & forty year olds.
and birthdays.
and…well…life.

but i’m not giving up just yet.

gone cold

i’m severely depressed, dear reader. i am telling you, because i don’t really have anyone else to tell, but i feel the need to tell someone. and the funny part is, i only know how depressed i am by how difficult it is to get out of bed…and to stay out of bed. all i want to do is bury myself in blankets…a kind of non-committal death. a half-hearted suicide. i’m not sure i have ever been this depressed…but, having survived my sylvia plath phase, i have to guess that i have been this depressed before. it just caught me off-guard because i thought i was doing okay.
i thought i was getting better.
silly me.

i keep expecting to pop back out of it. usually i just pop back out of these little funks (that sounds less scary than depression…deep blue funk? poetic even.)
i don’t usually stay depressed for more than a day or two. but it’s been five days now…& two of those days were very sun shiny. and i dug in the dirt which is one of my go-to ways to feel better…. yet, this sadness lingers and pulls at me and wraps itself around me in the most seductive way.

and i cry for no reason i know for the upteenth time.

i used to always wonder at those people who could get in bed & stay in bed for days no matter what. those people so depressed that they could not get out of bed for anything.
that seemed like the way to go.
but as a highly functional messed up person, i have to do things even if i don’t want to. like celebrate birthdays, have company over, go to the grocery store, plant potatoes.

i always joked that my anxiety would never let my depression totally sink me.
like, i could kill myself, but then who is taking care of my children???
i could stay in bed all day, but the fucking dishes will pile up…i have to get up to let the ducks out in the morning or they might peck each other to death…i have to get up to check on the goat to make sure his leg wound doesn’t get infected…my kids actually do okay when i am like this–they just crawl in bed with me or watch movies all day while i stare at a wall…but i still have to fix food…clean up messes…

& make sure the world doesn’t end–even if i secretly want it to.

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 inĀ  your life who you keep around because you haven’t gotten pissed off enough)

i am both, harold & maude….

no.
chances are
i won’t kill myself
because i have kids
& anxiety about death
but isn’t it enough
that i want to?
that i think about it?
a lot?
enough
for someone to take me seriously?
it was almost better when i didn’t
reach out & ask for help
when i didn’t try to create a supportive
community
it was almost better
because then i could only blame
myself
for not having anyone to
talk to.
and keep some hope
alive.

maybe i’m reaching out to the wrong people. problem is…there are only so many people i like. that i trust. that i feel safe or comfortable reaching out to. and none of them catch me when i fall.

maybe i should be a hermit. embrace my loneliness and dive into it. be my loneliness.

when i suggested to one “friend” that i felt like killing myself, he said, “shut up. i know you wouldn’t do that to your kids.”
another “friend” completely ignored my request for help, and i have not heard from him since.
another just treated it as business as usual and barely seemed to register my state of pain.

but, again, maybe i am reaching out to the wrong people.
maybe i purposely don’t reach out to the people who might be able to help.
maybe i want to be a mess.

or maybe i know it is easier to fail than to put in the work to save myself. or maybe i think i will fail and don’t want to know for sure…so i just don’t go there.

so i self-medicate with whiskey and netflix…and try to get through the day.

music helps.

lots of music.

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