misha’s birth day

i know another reason why i’m feeling warm & fuzzy towards dusty right now. when we were married, i surmised that if we were ever trapped somewhere, dependent on working together to get to safety, we would die.

my observation was true of every time i needed him to be there for me.
except one…misha’s birth.

misha is my third child. my first two were c-sectioned because my body likes to take more than 42 weeks to perfect a baby–& doctors do not like to let a woman go much past 40.
so, twice, i let them cut the baby out of me because they said that it was for the best.
when i got pregnant with misha, i could not bear the thought of another c-section.
so i fired all the doctors.
problem was, none of the midwives in madison would support my birth because i had been deemed too risky.
i had never had a vaginal birth. i was 40 years old & prone to long pregnancies. these were my crimes.
misha is the one who suffered for  them.
i found an outlaw midwife who lived one state over & would travel to me when i went into labor.
second problem…i didn’t know what labor looked like because doctors had never let me get that far.
by the time i was certain i was in labor–& not wasting the midwife’s time–misha was on her way out.
she came out fast. relentlessly fast. none of the stages of labor i had read up on were observed by misha as she rocketed out of me.
there was one doula present and dusty.
we were in a kiddie tub on the fourth floor of a 30 person cooperative.
when misha was born, she was having trouble breathing. she probably just needed a few puffs of air to get her going, but none of us knew what to do. by the time the mom down the hall called her midwife to come help, misha was showing signs of seizure.
the paramedics took her away.
the NICU kept her for 12 days.
they told dusty & me, best case scenario: misha has coordination issues & learning disabilities.
worst case scenario: cerebral palsy or epilepsy
i cried so hard as they said that. my heart broke. it was all my fault. if i had just been unselfish enough to get the fucking surgery…to have another fucking c-section…misha would have been fine.
i waited for dusty to blame me. he blamed me for everything. it was always my fault.
this time he would be right.
except
he didn’t blame me. he told me it wasn’t my fault. he zoomed me around the hospital in my wheeled chair–being silly & sweet–as i was still too wrecked to walk much after the birth. he watched the boys while i kept vigil at her side. he came to be with her when i was forced to go home & sleep.
he took care of us.
he was there for me.
seven years later, just as i would remember & be traumatized by a bad event, the good things that happened feel as fresh as yesterday.
and i miss that version of dusty.

(in the NICU…& one year later when the neurologist said, “oh…nevermind.”)

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don’t be sweet

please don’t be sweet
i can’t
bear it
with your playful eyes
if you are sweet…
it is so much easier
to hate you
i only want to
hate you
i cannot afford to
love you
to fall back into that
easy rhythm
of us
that close to
destroyed me
so please
don’t be sweet
with your seductive eyes
so sweet that i
remember
all the good times
burying
the bad times
reaching out
to touch you
knowing
if i do
i will be caught in a cascade…
i’m begging you
please
don’t
be
sweet.

so i had an on-again/off-again relationship with the father of my children that lasted close to forever & almost killed me.
it took me so many times of trying to leave him…& so many years to recover from his influence on me.
he is emotionally abusive, manipulative, & narcissistic.
but, apparently, i love him?
what the fuck.
most days i would not admit that. most days i would have a clear & close hold on to all the bullshit he put me through in the years i have known him. a shield made of bad memories.
but i saw him on tuesday…
& he was all sweet & silly.
he was dressed so strangely. unorthodox. which, of course, caused me to find him attractive. i mean, he is attractive–physically. when i met him he was kind of awkward & goofy, but as he aged he became gorgeous. so when a gorgeous man dresses in an unorthodox way–it has kind of a stunning effect…at least on me.
crap.
so now i am trying to hold it together.
to not do anything
slippery.

anti-versaries….

fifteen years ago
i married the man i thought i would be with
forever
i thought i had done my time
suffered my losses
dug my way back up from hell
& now i was being rewarded
we had a picnic wedding
we had a slip & slide
& a dunk tank
we wore flip flops
made up our vows
and promised to always
always & forever
be there for the other.
what happened?
what went wrong?
like every other event in my life
i have analized
& apologized
& tried to puzzle it out
but i guess i never actually made it out of hell
i was just on a new layer
of fresh pain.

broken people

i’ve always loved the broken people
always always
i am drawn to them
but not like a moth
to a flame
because i am also the fire
my damage
at least as deep
as theirs
i love them because i think
they will understand
they will know me &
they will love me
because i am like them…
thing is
when both of you
are broken
who is picking up the pieces?

*this post was inspired by all the feelings i have when i hear lovely the band’s song, “broken.” which, coincidentally, played on the radio as i was illustrating this page.

i think a lot about this, especially since the song came out. i mean, dusty always said he was attracted to me because he could tell i was damaged. and even when i look for a healthy relationship i always find myself oogling those obviously broken men, trying to cover up their damage with cynicism & dark humor.

seymour was not broken. while i was with him, every broken man i saw turned my head. i never had that problem when i was dating damaged guys. i focused on them & obsessed over fixing them. but seymour had nothing for me to fix. so i wandered away. stupid girl. stupid stupid girl.

turns out, those of us who are broken, we need someone who isn’t broken. if we the broken choose other broken people to love, all we do is keep on breaking each other.