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“Nay, do not grieve tho’ life be full of sadness, dawn will not veil her splendor for your grief”

2 Feb

We’re eating breakfast when the news comes on the radio-two little girls to be buried today, after freezing to death one night, because of, or in spite of their father.

I cling to Vivian for a moment, longer than she likes, but still, I press her slight body against mine, feel it’s warmth, it’s passion and strength and wonder just what I’d do if I found her sapped of all these things. If it were I that would find her rigid in a snowbank, bare legs pointed, eyes blank.

I ache and anger all at once. The waste. The fucking waste of it all-raising your children, birthing your children, and yet being unable to defeat your demons in order to protect them. Living with the knowledge that, mens rea, you have slaughtered your babies. You have destroyed your legacy.

This week has been rife with news of children, bad news. A child abandoned-imagine, abandoning a small baby, not where it would be easily found, but hidden away, where only luck saved her. Was it a mother, afraid that a husband or a boyfriend might harm her further? Was she desperate? Or did they just want to be rid of her? Did her father leave her there, tired of the work, the late nights, crying?

Who leaves their child in this way? What’s so wrong?

Right now, she sits in the arms of a foster mother, trying to engage her. She has no last name.

*******************************************

What causes us to value our children so little, to be so careless and callous? I try not to think each day of the children being harmed as I walk with my daughters, hand in hand, roaring like dinosaurs. I think of my unexpected love for them, but I think too of the hard days when they were first here. I know I haven’t been, and will never be a perfect mother. But I would never harm them on purpose. I would never leave them to the elements. I would never let someone hurt them. Am I stronger, or just luckier?

*******************************************

It’s been a bad news kind of week. A week where I question my devotion to the news, to my insatiable lust to know. I step away and remind myself that this kind of thing has always happened, and always will, sadly.

It doesn’t make it any better.

Our trees are coated in ice this morning. Their beauty locked inside a crystal cocoon, one that can shatter, or melt away. It magnifies, makes the mundane wonderful. Asks me to look closer, look past the obvious rough edges. Tells me it’s not all bad.

And maybe it’s not. But today, today it feels like it is.

************************************

Village Song, Sarojini Naidu

Honey, child, honey, child, whither are you
     going?
Would you cast your jewels all to the breezes
     blowing?
Would you leave the mother who on golden
     grain has fed you?
Would you grieve the lover who is riding forth
     to wed you?

Mother mine, to the wild forest I am going,
Where upon the champa boughs the champa
     buds are blowing;
To the koil-haunted river-isles where lotus lilies
     glisten,
The voices of the fairy folk are calling me:
     O listen!

Honey, child, honey, child, the world is full of
     pleasure,
Of bridal-songs and cradle-songs and sandal-
     scented leisure.
Your bridal robes are in the loom, silver and
     saffron glowing,
Your bridal cakes are on the hearth: O whither
     are you going?

The bridal-songs and cradle-songs have cadences
     of sorrow,
The laughter of the sun to-day, the wind of
     death to-morrow.
Far sweeter sound the forest-notes where forest-
     streams are falling;
O mother mine, I cannot stay, the fairy-folk
     are calling.

“there is nothing in the world to which every man has a more unassailable title than to his own life and person.”

22 Jan

I open my reader and see that Heath Ledger is dead. I read the details-it sounds like a suicide attempt. I feel many things-he’s younger than me-he has a child-he’s an incredible actor-what went wrong-why is he dead-if he did kill himself, why?-my daughter is only a few months older than his, and she’s now without a father.

They say we eat our young. But anymore, it feels like we eat our idols-the people we place above us. If they get too high, or too human, we consume them. We fixate on them, arrange them just so. If their hips get too broad, or their hairlines too high, we cast stones, we mock, we laugh.

How we laugh.

When is it enough? When are we satisfied? When do we understand that no matter how much money you give, we cannot own a person, not their image, or their movements. No matter how well paid they are, do they not deserve their humanity? Or is this something they must sacrifice for all of us, for our amusement? Are you amused? There’s a little girl somewhere who will only know her father in movies and soundbites-are you amused?

If Ledger took his own life-a seemingly inexplicable act to someone like me who really doesn’t follow the lives of celebrities-if he swallowed a handful of pills and went to sleep, how culpable is the viewing public? How much responsibility should the end user pay? If fame, and fortune, and a life I cannot even imagine is too much for a person, for people, when do we stop, really stop, and change the way lives are lived, change our expectations of what it means to be a celebrity, what it means to be responsible in front of millions, a face that’s known? When do we, the 99% who will never make that kind of money stop reveling in the divorces and the breakdowns and the naked and shaved women who parade in front of us each day?

Why are we unable to allow celebrity their basic humanity-privacy? When did we start to think money was a fair tradeoff for a life lived behind shutters?

****************************************

I’m not just all “wordy” about Heath. One of my favorite movies “10 things I hate about you.” contained him in all his young glory, and I enjoy his performance everytime. I loved his acting in Brokeback, and I am so very much looking forward to the newest Batman, where he is (was) Joker-the trailer made it look awesome. It saddens me to know that we’ll never get another movie from him. It saddens me to know that even with ‘everything’ shit like this happens.

The fact that I’m surprised anymore is what really gets me.

Blog for Choice Day

22 Jan

Going through my reader, Mad reminded me that it’s Blog for Choice day. I had no intention on participating since I’m not American, until her post reminded me of my last pregnancy.

Both of my pregnancies were accidents of positioning and stupidity. (Let’s just say that my fertility happens in a very specific way) The first one we could handle-while we had been “childfree” on purpose, we had been dithering about the future, and when we sat and thought about it, it seemed like maybe, we had been careless because on some level, we wanted a child, but were scared of the concept, the responsibility.

Finding out I was pregnant 10 months after having Vivian was not a joyous occasion. I did not want another child, not then. I didn’t not want to be pregnant. I did not want it to be happening.

I tried megadosing on Vitamin C to induce a miscarriage. I researched various herbal methods, black cohosh, pennyroyal, evening primrose. I researched every method available because the only place I could get an abortion was 2 hours away, and the thought of riding a Greyhound bus home, bleeding and cramping with the knowledge that I just ended a potential child didn’t sit well with me.

When I originally found out the “2 doctors” rule, I was incensed. In New Brunswick, in order to get an abortion, you need to have two separate doctors give you permission. Two doctors need to “allow” you to do what you need or want to do with your body. I made an appointment with my OB/GYN who was an older man who once did abortions in this city-I knew I wouldn’t have any trouble getting the referral from him. He understood. He got it.

We all know that I never followed up with that. I changed my appointment to a prenatal appointment instead of a consult for abortion services. I kept my pregnancy, and birthed my daughter 9 months later. At the cost of my sanity.

I’m sure some people would consider this a victory for life, but it’s not. While it’s true that if I really wanted an abortion, I would have found a way there despite everything and I didn’t, I did want one. I love my daughter to death, but I didn’t want to be pregnant again, and feeling forced into the situation from one mistake I made didn’t sit well with me. And in hindsight, I wonder if my body didn’t know something that my mind did. I had already teetered on the crazy fence with Vivian. Maybe my mind knew being pregnant so soon was a bad idea. Who knows.

I have always resented and despised this province for this. For the fact that I felt forced into a pregnancy I was ill equipped to have, because other people, mainly men, have made these decisions for me. These men who are the same people who steal funding away from mental illness programs, only promising more when people kill or are killed. (Mike Murphy, I’m looking RIGHT at you) The government in this province are making decisions for women that will continue to impact towns and cities and people.

I should have been more careful, and not gotten caught up in the moment the day Rosalyn was conceived. But I wasn’t. And when I needed the services I pay for with 20% of my income, they weren’t there.

Hardly a fair and equitable health care system now is it.

Questions about Bipolar can drive you batty.

18 Jan

Sara asks how I deal with the innumerable pain in the ass questions that surround bipolar.

If you aren’t crazy, let me introduce you to the life of a bipolar.

We never just wake up on the wrong side of the bed. If we’re cranky, there must be a reason. The drugs must not be working. We must have forgotten them, or stopped taking them. We must have been drinking the night before.

We’re never happy. If we’re bouncing around the house, singing, we’re asked if we remembered to take our drugs. If we’re whistling at work, we’re asking what the hell we’re so happy about, asked if we stopped taking our meds. We’re asked to stop being so bloody annoying, and gee, are you sure the drugs are working?

It’s hard enough handling the mood swings. Having the added benefit of doubt surrounding you really puts the icing on a shitty cake.

What some people don’t seem to realize is that even on drugs, one will still experience the full “bipolar express” that they did before. Only it will be something you can deal with. Sadness will be just that-sadness, and it won’t descend into suicidal thoughts. I will still get a little manic, just not to the point of draining my bank account or talking all day long.

I am still entitled to my emotions. I am still entitled to a full range of life as a human being. Just like all of you.

Truth be told Sara, I don’t handle it well at all. I get pissy, and annoyed. BUT, on the other hand, I have gone off my meds before, and it’s pretty much the thing that precipitated my hospitalization. So I’m not exactly trustworthy all the time anyway. But I get nervous when my husband gives me the eye and wonders if I need my dose upped. I start to wonder if there is something wrong with me, with the me that’s inherent in this body, and I start wondering if he’s trying to cover it by encouraging me to ask about having the levels adjusted. Then I get sad, because honestly, I don’t know who “I” am at this point.

That’s what bothers me the most. The feeling that everyone else knows who I am more than me. I’m a different person in my head constantly, a nattering mess in my brain. But they have the benefit of the relative silence of my external self, and I don’t.

Most of the time though, I don’t get many questions. You may have noticed that I’m a tad bit vocal about my illness, and this does transfer into my real life. I will tell even if you haven’t asked. I am not ashamed of my illness, and I am very open with the people around me, even if it makes them uncomfortable. They wouldn’t act weird if I had cancer, and I wouldn’t hide that either.

I found the best defense is offence. I’ll let Mogo know, repeatedly, that I will never be 100% normal. EVER. (Not that I ever was) I will still get moody, especially around my period. (HOOOO dog does that SUCK now that I can tell the difference!) If I’m manic, I’ll try and warn him-it’s usually been helped along by too little sleep, too little exercise and too much coffee.

There’s a healthy dose of “in one ear and out the other” as well. I can’t get mad at his concern, not truly. This is a man that stuck by someone who has been continuously suicidal, full of rage and meanness for the last 3 years, someone who was depressive and mood swingy even before descending into the maelstrom. He has weathered this with me, and is entitled to his concerns. Because sometimes it’s scary, wondering if it’s just a glitch, or if the meds have stopped working.

That thought gives me nightmares. The thought of going back to how it was, to the volatile madness that was my life and myself. We wouldn’t make it through that again, and I think we both know it. His vigilance is security, really.

Keeping it in the context of “they love me, they care, and they want to help” is likely the only way to preserve your sanity. Because they do. The people who surround us truly love us, or they would never, in a million years, have stuck with us for so long.

I’m sorry Britney Spears.

4 Jan

Who isn’t there honey? What caused that aching void that eats you up at night, that fills your body with toxicity, which keeps your hands shaking and your mouth turned up slightly in a nervous grin? What monster moves you, jerks your body from side to side, makes you late, makes you sick, makes you so unreal you nearly cease to exist?

Today, in more places than I could count, on freaking BBC News you were there, on a stretcher, in your glory. I can’t watch, I won’t watch, but despite myself I read. I read about a hammer being used to tear down a door, small children held as pawns, a woman surrounded by people incapable, or perhaps unwilling to help. I can imagine you there, huddled between the toilet and the wall, shaking, wailing silently into yourself, your money no protection or solace, maybe just the cold clink of a whisky sour in your hand, diluted only by tears. Maybe you stare into the distance, giggling through tears about ending it all, about the fantastic movie it will make some day, about how your sons will have money, in their trust, for years when you aren’t there.

Maybe you stare at your wrists and will it to be so.

They laugh when we call it bipolar, or post partum. How could we know? We only see what we see, what they let us see, what we want to see. But some of us know, oh how sorrowfully we know, the full depths of despair, that which cannot be quenched with things or placating voices, that place that calls to you late at night, the place which spurns even the fruit of your loins, and beckons, like a siren calling you home.

I ache for you Britney. I ache for what you’ve become-for what has happened, for what people have done to you. I can see some of me in you-two children too close, an itch that cannot be satisfied, a need to be recognized. A want for love and security and all those things Hallmark has told us were simple and true and available at any time. You want the dream, and dammit, you were supposed to have it. So what happened? Why did your brain, and body betray you so?

We’ll blame your mother now you know. Not your father, oh no. Just your mother. She who raised you, who raised two daughters who seem to not know any better. We’ll hitch up our pants and feel superior, clearing our throats we’ll say “Not my daughter, nope.” and gloat silently, unaware of what awaits us in 10 years or so.

It’s so easy to be right when we aren’t there yet. It’s so easy to forget that children are people, not merely stretches of light from their parents arms, but people, cacti that will do as they wish, especially with an entourage and millions of dollars. All the mothering in the world can’t fix the worldly overwhelming you endured.

You’ll make some people feel better about themselves, having someone to laugh at, to point at, to consider worse than them. You’ll be the worst case scenario, but they won’t write a book on how to survive you. You’ll be laughed at, mocked, judged, and eventually forgotten until you manage to slice through your delicate wrists, or you perform a comeback tour at 50. We’ve destroyed you, yet we will completely, and utterly forget you. Pop WILL eat itself.

I’m sorry Britney. Mother to Mother, crazy to crazy, I’m more sorry than you’ll ever know.

Can I help you SIR?

18 Dec

I need a new winter coat, a real one, not some piece of crap from Frenchy’s.

If I get called “Sir” one more time, I’m going to freak the fuck out. This was bad enough when I was 17 and wore men’s trenchcoats. I mean come ON! Even under a jacket, BOOBS man BOOBS!

ARGH!

“A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.”

11 Dec

Weekly I receive comments on my “Cannot be a mother anymore” post thanking me for my candor, for putting it out there and saying what we all think so often.

WHY are we afraid to talk about it?

Surely I’m not the only woman and mother who will open her mouth and say “Dammit, some days this SUCKS.” I complain about my job all the time-yet no one thinks I’m an ungrateful wretch for that. No one questions my loyalty to my job, or my competence if I have a bad day and spend it swearing and bitching.

Why aren’t mother’s, or rather, parent’s given the same leeway? Why are we assumed to be angelic and on high and above being human?

Perhaps if I had wanted my kids, I’d feel a little guilty for somedays wanting to sell them to the circus. But they were surprises, gifts you could say, and I’ve always allowed myself a margin of loathing and annoyance. Because you know what? Kids can be annoying. Just like your husband can be, your wife, your pod mate, the smelly guy on the bus. Loving them, wanting them, doesn’t make them any less irritating.

The current culture of beautiful creatures who are perfect beyond all measure as our children is ultimately going to isolate us from them even more. My children are human! Smaller, sillier, smellier humans, but humans nonetheless. They did not come from my womb any more perfect that I did. They are imperfect, and will irritate me. They will tire me out, they will make me question my day, and my reasoning when I insisted I did want to keep the baby.

It is so normal to want to walk away sometimes-it is so normal to not be some idealized concept of a mother that I have trouble believing that so many of us get caught in the lies. And yet, we do. We tell ourselves that “good” mothers never get angry. “Good” mothers never want to run away to Nepal for a year. “Good” mothers never feed the kids Kraft Dinner and Chicken Nuggets for dinner, let alone pancakes or eggs. “Good” mothers know their place, and subsume themselves in their kids.

I am doing my daughters a grave disservice is I become their everything. What sort of model am I presenting to them if I don’t make them use their noggins, make them think their way through a problem? What sort of example am I setting if I don’t show them that yes, Mommies and Daddies get annoyed, have blue days, have cranky days, just like them. And we work through it. Will their life be better if I place rose colored glasses on their eyes and leave them there until they’re 16? Will their lives be better if my life is a lie?

I refuse. I absolutely refuse. And perhaps because of my illness, it’s easier for me to do so. I don’t have the energy to pretend to be PTA mom. I don’t have the energy to run them all over town for “enrichment”. I don’t have the energy to not sometimes say “I’m running away to join the circus.”

Ultimately-it IS up to us how we mother. It IS our decision if we’ll feel badly for our honesty, or if we’ll use it to show our daughters and sons that look-life IS hard. Having kids is hard! But there is so much beauty, and satisfaction in this hard thing, and at the end of the day, it IS worth it.

Even when you stick your finger in my dinner.

Ultimately, in our webs of relationships, it is the children who will write, rewrite, and edit our scripts of life.”

9 Dec

You all just helped solidify my decision to get sterilized. I will never know the torment of grotesquely fattened preggo stomach, labour pain, or the lack odf freedom, or the sleepless nights, expenses, and ruining of my potential, all for the sake of creating another useless human. Sure, kids love ya, need ya, whatever,…..I have a loving husband, a career I love, travel, hobbies, a great dog….and still look great in a bikini at nearly 40 , and have plenty of time for beaches, parties, etc….shallow life? Nope! Just happy. And I get to CHOOSE whop I am kind to, not have it forced on me. Sooo glad I am childfree, but my condolences to you who regret parenthood but can’t admit it and hide the truth in vague protests of it all being ‘worth it’….hey, whatever gets ya through the next day trapped at home with no sitter or midnight feeding…

 Ahem.

I’m trying to wrap my head around this, I really am. I’ve always tried to understand the feeble voices squeaking out”I’m happy too! NA-NA!” from childless mouths. I’ve tried to understand why they believe attempting to point out what’s so wrong with our lives will make theirs seem better. I especially love that we’re meant to feel guilt and shame because somedays, we can’t fucking stand our children.

Well miss “happily ever after I still have a tight cooch”, there are days when yes, we all envy you. I’d love to sleep til noon. Hell, there are days I wish I WAS you-we were childless by choice prior to our accidents, so I had envisioned my life being free and open.

But, a great dog? Really? That’s what I’m missing?

I guess that no, you’ll never feel how exquisite it is to feel a life moving and growing inside of you. You’ll never realize what strength you possess as you labour your child into the world, or as you grit your teeth through their pain. You’ll never look at your body as being capable of creating, sustaining and feeding a new life. Yours will be “great in a bikini”.

Congrats.

You’ll never know what it feels like to be inspired by your children. You’ll never know what it’s like to travel with them, and see your world through new, unjaded eyes. You’ll never watch and experience your children age, and change, alter, mature. Grow into people. You get to go to a totally like cool beach party.

That was old when I was 16. If that was my life at 40, I WOULD kill myself.

Do I choose who I am kind to? Certainly I do. I’m not kind to my children most days. I do horrible things like make them clean up, eat their veggies, sit still. I choose to be kind to people who believe they are somehow superior to me because they haven’t yet grown up.

And this is exactly what this is about. Normal childfree people are, well, normal. They aren’t popping onto parenting sites and popping their arms out of the socket to pat themselves on the back. They’re out living their fabulous lives.

If you were happy, truly happy, would you be on my site trying to make all of us feel bad?

Parenting is hard-one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I haven’t “ruined my potential creating another useless human”. I’ve grown. I’ve become a bigger and better person because I have had children. My abilities have increased, I have more marketable skills, and more of a drive to create additional ones.

And useless human. Wow. You aren’t jealous on some level at all. That level of bile is usually reserved for people who eat dog. While I don’t really believe my children will be Marie Curie or anything, we don’t really know who might be carrying to next great something in their heads. Maybe just another useless human, who knows?

Since having my kids, my exposure to the childfree has proved one thing. I’m damn glad I had kids so I didn’t turn into a smug, self righteous asshat who will die alone because no one can stand to be around such a crappy personality for any length of time.

I’ll take the lack of a sitter, thanks. My time with my kids is important to me, even when they drive me nuts. Because at least I’m not you darling.

“Integrity is not a conditional word. It doesn’t blow in the wind or change with the weather. It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look in there and see a man who won’t cheat, then you know he never will.”

28 Nov

Someone I know is currently embroiled in an unpleasant case of husband cheating on her, with a side of manipulative ass thrown in. They have children as well, which makes the entire thing just that much worse.

If there is one thing in life that I find morally repugnant, it’s cheating on a lover. Even more repulsive when it includes children. There is absolutely no excuse for cheating, aside from being morally weak. You don’t want to be in your marriage any longer, or a relationship? Then end it. Unless you have an open marriage, you’ve pledged to honor your partner, and to be faithful to them. Period. That is what being in a relationship means. (And even if you haven’t said vows, creating a relationship that says “we’re exclusive” functions as a vow).

I stumbled across a post where a woman had a friend who was a cheater, and she felt bad for judging her. My response? What in the hell is so wrong about judging behaviour that isn’t acceptable? What is wrong in judging a behaviour that has consequences across multiple lives?

Early on, I agreed with Mogo that if either of us were unhappy, we would break up BEFORE moving on to other people, out of respect for each other. We deserved at least that much if things went bad. It’s the adult thing to do, and way to be.

So why can’t people resist? What is the lure of betraying a trust and a confidence? Why is it acceptable to look away and not comment when someone essentially is breaking someone else’s heart? Why is it so hard to stand in place and say “This is WRONG” and mean it?

I’ll stand there and say it right now-if you cheat, you’re trash. Period. Baring an abusive relationship where things like vows and trust are already null and void, there is absolutely no reason to go behind someone else and cheat on them. And I will judge it. Absolutely.

Listening to this woman this morning talk about how much he hurt her, how she was willing to trust him and try again and he turned around and hurt her AGAIN, listening to her as the tears fell, I became so very angry. Angry at the people in this world who won’t judge where we need to judge, who won’t step up and say “Some things are WRONG.”

Just like jealousy, I don’t get cheating. Maybe I’m defective?

Weighty

14 Nov

Anyone else read CNN on a daily basis?

Lost among the stories of murder, rape, pillage, amputated limbs and burning buildings have lately been some rather odd stories.

What exactly is newsworthy about people losing weight?

All around the world people starve. In our own countries, people are malnourished because they can’t afford the proper food, or they don’t know what they should be eating. We’re at war. Our economies may slip into recession in the near future.

And yet some guy loses weight and that’s worth tacking on a major news site. He didn’t save a child, or a platoon. He didn’t rescue a dog, cure cancer or fly around the world in a balloon. Yet he’s front page news.

Is fat really so repulsive, such a scandal, that someone who loses a ton of weight is a hero? Will they write a story about him in a few years when he’s likely to have gained the weight back? Will he be as special and delightful when he’s chubby? Will we write odes to his name?

I’m fat. I may stay this way forever. I may find a way to lose it after all this time. I don’t know. Most of the time I don’t much care. What I do know is that it’s bloody insulting and infuriating to see these little articles devoted to weight loss on a news site, articles telling me that I’m not special unless I shrink down in size, that I don’t matter unless I’m little.

I don’t want to be little. I’m perfectly happy being a giant, thank you very much. I don’t want to hear about their caloric restriction. I want to hear about people doing things, real things, writing novels, solving murders, fixing wars. Meaningful things. How is losing weight meaningful? You’re still gonna die! What you weigh will have no bearing on how meaningful your life was-not if you truly live your life.

I’m tired of it-I’m tired of the celebrity of skinny, of anorexia, of denial. My body wants food like a car wants gas. It shall have it’s gas. My tongue wants taste like the sea wants water. It shall have it’s taste. My life will be defined by more than my waist size or by the amount of chub that hangs over my belt. I am more than the sum of my ass.

Now why isn’t THAT newsworthy?

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.”

12 Nov

We go out for lunch, and the kids play in the indoor playroom. Other children join, and a merry time is had.

Except for the fact that it’s too much for the mother’s to smile at my husband as he supervises their kids along with his own. It’s too much for them to acknowledge other people. And it’s far too much to ask their children to take their shoes off in the playroom. Wouldn’t want to be considerate to others.

I suppose our jackets weren’t expensive enough, or perhaps my hair isn’t styled properly.

For all the bitching people do about how rude other people are, all we seem to run into when we’re polite and open are more rude people. What gives? Is there some kind of defect in the water that makes it impossible to just say hello, or to lead by example and follow the instructions written on the door? In 10 years, these women will wonder why their little darlings don’t follow instructions, and not once realize it’s because they disregarded what they wanted in front of them.

One of my biggest challenges in parenting has been doing what I want my children to do. No jaywalking, picking up litter, holding the door open, letting people pass, saying please and thank you. It’s important to me that my kids grow up with manner, that they realize at some point that how you treat strangers is indicative of how you treat the people in your life. It’s important to me that they act kindly towards others.

Just once, ONCE I’d like to meet a mother in real life who isn’t suffering from a rectal cranial inversion. Just once.

(And ladies, my husband isn’t going to eat your children. He LIKES playing with them. Just because your husbands can’t be bothered doesn’t make mine a freak. kthxbai.)

“Life is tough, but, it’s tougher if you are stupid”

10 Nov

The holidays are upon us.

In Wal-mart the other day, while paying, I stopped, cocked my head and asked “Is that CHRISTMAS MUSIC?!?!”

“Yes.” the woman deadpanned. “They turned it on November 1.”

I told her I was sorry.

Starbucks is covered in red and pass the cheer (and gingerbread latte’s, so not all is lost!)

And my personal favorite of the season, the idiot shopper. How on earth people who can’t seem to navigate a crowd in a mall manage to drive a vehicle through the streets is beyond me.

They stop. They start, they put their hands to their mouths and mutter “I thought it was over here dear, do you remember?” They stare blankly at their shopping partners who invariably are male, and in pain at the thought of staying in the mall. But they have that blank look I’ve come to associate with “yes dear, wish I was at home doing…well, anything other than this.”

They have grand chats in the middle of the hallways, sprawling across the area like it’s an orgy, yattering and laughing, buggies empty but for their coats as people with children and/or packages struggle. They meander down the main aisles of the grocery store.

I’m trying to find the Christmas spirit this year. I am completely vacant of it. I have no desire to buy any presents, and don’t even know of much like I want. (Is it weird to ask for a rowing machine or exercise bike from my inlaws? It seems weird. No, taking my MIL up on her offer to subsidize my tattoo would have been weird) Walking into the local mall where everything is already gussied up for the season AND people are already acting in the idiotic ways that usually take a few more weeks has me wondering if I’ll find the spirit at all.

Stupid mall.

Stupidity. It’s not just for the inbred.

8 Nov

You know what drives me absolutely batshit?

Shit like this.

Stainthorpe, a 33-year-old registered nurse, admitted he was speeding, but was furious that police wouldn’t let him off with a warning since he had never heard of the new law. “I have three kids, I have to go to work for a week and they just do not give a crap. They have no sympathy for people and it’s unfair and they treat people like crap.”

urm. Let’s discuss shall we.

On the 400 series highways, the speedlimit is 100km/h. On most 400 series highways, everyone does 120. Illegal, but since everyone is generally driving this quickly, they’re left alone.

However, there had been a lot of street racing deaths and related stupidity in the last little while, so the government decided to make things a little tougher for those morons who decide that going more than 50k over the posted limit is a good idea. Little bit tougher meaning losing your car for a week among other things.

This went into place the end of September. I live in New Brunswick and I know that. But this jackass thinks claiming “I didn’t know” should exempt his ass.

Now, which part of YOU WERE SPEEDING, WHICH IS FRACKING ILLEGAL! do you think he’s not getting? A warning? You could have killed someone going that fast, and they should just pat you on the bum and tell you to go home?

What is it about today’s society that makes personal responsibility such a difficult concept for so many people? Don’t want to be punished? Don’t break the law numbnuts. You knew it was speeding, but since your concept of the punishment wasn’t that bad, you decided to break the law. You made a decision, and broke the law. Now, you get to suffer for it.

My personal favorite though, the piece de resistance:

Brian Lawrie, president of Pointts, which bills itself as Canada’s original and most successful traffic court agency, said the new law may bring him more business, but he considers it a bad idea that could cost someone their job because of human error or an equipment malfunction.

“It sounds good to everybody that doing 50 over should be punished right on the spot, but where does the presumption of innocence go when you do that?” Lawrie said.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but generally speaking, if you’re speeding, it’s because foot+pedal=speed, right? Or are there new fangled defective gas pedals? Can illiterate people claim they can’t read the speedometer? How exactly is speeding anything other than speeding?

I think the one officer sums it up best for me.

“A little indication (is) if you’re going down the highway and you’re passing everybody – hello, chances are you’re speeding,”

 Just the other day, a 3 year old girl was run down in her babysitter’s yard after two street racing fools hit each other and one car spun into the lawn. She died. She didn’t get a warning. She didn’t get to be “treated like crap”. Do little girls need to die in Ontario too?

Rest in Peace Bianca.

“mentally ill lighter sentences”

8 Nov

Aaghuhg.

Everytime something bad happens, be it this, or this, my first thought isn’t “throw away the key” like many other people. It isn’t “some people are just garbage”.

It’s “some people are broken, and need help”. Mercy. Compassion. Even when it comes down to sex offenders, I believe that there is a mental defect causing the issue, not any deep seeded issue in their moral fibre.

There should not be a “lighter” sentence for the mentally ill. There should be an entirely different resolution altogether. If a mother kills her babies while under the grips of Post Partum Psychosis, a disorder that no doctor looked for or asked about, or one that they thought “went away”, is it really all her fault? If a man is hearing voices that urge him to kill, to maim, and he follows their orders because the reality he inhabits involves voices, is it really his fault? Should the punishment for having something wrong with your brain really be jail?

It’s not about having a lighter sentence. It’s not about avoiding punishment. It’s about doing the right thing. It’s about preventing these things from happening ever again. It’s about fixing people, making them whole people instead of the shells their illnesses have made them in to. It’s about having the compassion and dignity to see them for what they are-not criminals, but sick people who have been driven by their illnesses, and left out by society, by a world which refuses to believe that anything invisible is real.

I fight daily with my own demons. The first few weeks after Rosalyn was born, I seriously considered killing her a couple of times. I was aware enough to know that these thoughts were wrong. But with less family support, a little less sleep…I know what could have happened. It keeps me up at night sometimes. I am one of the lucky ones-I got help-I recovered from my PPD, and I sought treatment for what turned out to be bipolar disorder. I got lucky.

Many, MANY individuals have no help. They have no idea how to get help, or may not realize anything is wrong, so stuck in their own reality they are. Our culture relies on sick people to get their own help, which is fine if you break your leg. But a psychotic break doesn’t usually leave you with the will and sense to know something is terrifyingly wrong.

When the mentally ill do anything, when they kill, when they harm, the full wrath of society comes down on them, multiplying the guilt and shame. Imagine having to live with the faces of your dead children forever, and the knowledge that you did this. I have only the guilt of wanting my daughter dead. I cannot imagine living daily with the other. It’s a punishment beyond belief.

There is no lighter sentence when you’re mentally ill. You’re castigated from your community, spit on, considered less than nothing. Because you’re brain is broken. You’re considered a criminal for something you may be unable to control, for something no one took the time to notice.

It’s time we all started to recognize the difference between criminal and sick.

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16 Months

24 Oct

I can’t fucking believe the shit I read sometimes.

a 56 year old man sexually assaults a 14 year old girl and only gets 16 months in jail, and only after it took 3 YEARS to go to court.

Is 16 months really all a woman’s life and sanity is worth? Is that truly all my daughters would be worth if someone tried to destroy them?

Sickening. Absolutely disgusting. What’s even more frightening to me is that the parents seem to have no comment on the jail term. I bet the bastard would have got more time for robbing a bank.

Chatter

14 Oct

“….I’m gonna be a spider what are you gonna be? Rozie is gonna be a kitty meow! Isabelle came over when I was sleeping so she came back later but her brother had broken his armOW! and we played and it was fun-what’s your favorite color? I love pink. What color is your house? Mine is red. I love dinosaurs ROWR! Are you going to see the bee movie?….

The past two days have been held in thrall to Vivian, she who never ceases speaking in public. 4 straight hours yesterday-4 continuous hours of talking about absolutely nothing aside from what a 4 year old wants to talk about.

Indulgent looks from the older women are counted from looks from other mother’s who are obviously thinking I’m not doing something right. But I count on the older mother’s advice and wisdom in these cases. Today, an older lady smiled and corrected the girl who said “My someone is spoiled!”

“Nah,” she said, “She’s just smart, and that’s never a bad thing.” She looked and smiled at me, restoring my faith in my daughter, she who I continually apologize for. And for what? Because she is curious and friendly, happy to spread her love to all she meets? Because I feel that she is disturbing someone with her incessant chatter and lust to know?

So many girls and women grow up never questioning anything-they don’t watch or read the news, the don’t learn of history or science or of things that take real thought. So many women never learn how to meet others half way, never learn to understand other people, their quirks. My child is curious about her world-is anxious to learn what works. My daughter wants to know. Why should I apologize for that anyway?

“Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.”

12 Oct

I’m not fun anymore. She tells me I’m not what I once was, she’s not blaming anyone but I’m not the person I was 10 years ago.

You think?

Clearly I need to eat better she tells me. I need to cleanse myself and my nasty evil colon of all it’s problems-I’ll be better then. I won’t want to die then-I won’t need pills maybe even! Exercise, that’s the solution 100%. You don’t exercise enough, that’s why you’re depressed.

There is no magic bullet. I can eat as naturally as I want and run the Boston marathon. But I also have an illness in my brain that makes me sick.

I don’t want to get better she thinks.

It’s easier to be on the outside of this isn’t it? To have all the answers, to know what I need, what I want. To believe that I’ve just sat back and let this disease eat at me. To believe that manic me is a better me.

I am not a better person when I bounce off walls and buy my friends expensive gifts and put gas in the car and can’t stop talking. I’m the person you see and hear. You don’t see me when I want to die, every inch of my body begging me to just fucking do it already. You don’t see when I hide from the world, trying to make myself as small as I possibly can.

You don’t fucking see. You don’t see me. You can judge from 1800kms away, and blame me for all the things I’ve done wrong in my life for who and what I am. You can make this my fault all you want but it won’t make it so.

I’m not depressed because my mother died. I’m not sad because my life has taken an unexpected turn. I’m FUCKING SICK ALREADY.

I might not get better. That is not having no hope and wanting to stay sick. It’s facing fucking reality. It’s the knowledge that I can try every single remedy, be it FDA approved or on some wackadoodles web site, and I still might never get well. I will live with this for the rest of my life, regardless of taking my Omega 3’s everyday and coating everything with flax meal.

What is it that people always think they have the perfect fucking answer? Why be so judgy and make me feel like I’m a fool for a taking a drug that is known to fix things, a drug found naturally that might make me live a NORMAL life instead of fighting against myself for every single step? Why is it so hard for someone who I know loves me for who I am and whom I have known forever to just be there without making me feel like a failure?

Why can’t she just understand, or at least want to try?

This is why I’ve never liked having friends. They just make me hurt even more in the long run.

Oh how I hope this is a hoax

12 Sep

Cause this letter to the editor makes me want to find this woman and slap her. I understand the frustration, but come on, rats?

With regard to Stephen Palmer, M.D. leaving the Auburn area, I too am sad to see him go. I do however, have a different view than that of Kerry Cohlmeyer (at the birthing center), Journal Sept. 9. as she states that the other three obstetricians/gynecologists here to serve the women in the community.

While I respect and trust Dr. Palmer’s abilities and experience, because I am not a child-bearing woman in this society (clearly a minority), I have been rescheduled three times and still not been seen by him.

On my last scheduled visit, I was in the exam room, prepared for the less than five minute procedure and I was told the doctor had to leave to deliver a baby.

There I sit, quite, vulnerable, passed over because someone is having a baby, as if they are more important than me. My time is just as important as someone having a baby.

My understanding, which could be wrong, is that the obstetricians/gynecologists in Auburn area have to deliver their own patients babies from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and run their practice.

I thought in this day and age there were such things as on-call physicians.

While it may be nice and comfortable to have your obstetrician/gynecologist deliver a baby, these doctors are licensed to practice both obstetrics and gynecology.

So, for those of us who choose to not procreate like rats, we just have to wait to have gynecological procedures completed and hope we can be squeezed in between births.

Am I supposed to believe that these three remaining doctors, whose baby load is probably on overload already, are going to be there for me for my yearly gynecological exams?

I intend no disrespect or disregard to any of these physicians or their staff, however, there is a clear emphasis on babies.

I believe that every person is deserving of time from their physician whether they are 8 seconds old or 80 years old.

Just because someone is giving birth does not make them any more important or their needs more special. Michele Weber

Nice huh? Go figure-an emphasis on babies at an OB/GYN.  I had the bad luck to have both of my children when my OB/GYN was on vacation, and man, how having a strange doctor between your legs make the day even better!

And around here, your “monthly appointment” is expected to be taken care of at your GP, not the OB/GYN. Not sure about everywhere else.
 

Where IS our outrage?

12 Sep

Remember Michael Vick? You know, the dude with the dogfighting?

You remember. The story that stirred up more emotion than when Kobe Bryant was accused of rape. The story that incensed everyone to this point beyond belief. Or at least, a point I couldn’t grasp.

Roland Martin makes some very pertinent points in this article, asking us why so many of us, us the reader, get upset over firecrotch or Paris’ jail sentence and yet having nary a word for repulsive, horrible events like the case of Megin Williams, who was held hostage and tortured. We barely blink at that, saving our venom for Sarah Silverman or Perez Hilton.

I am guilty just as everyone else.

But I don’t believe we do this on purpose. I don’t think we willingly get up in the morning to disregard the suffering of another human being while castigating the man who had the nerve to fight dogs. I think we blind ourselves to the realities that hurt too much.

Who can imagine, who wants to imagine that down any street in our countries, a woman can be held and abused for days. Who wants to think about the rapes and murders that occur every minute, the lives shattered. It’s so much easier to focus on the little things.

But we should focus on the “bad” news that makes us uncomfortable. It’s far too easy to ignore the bad news-I’ve had people ask me why I read about the horrible, tragic stories of mother’s killing their children, girls raped and murdered. I read it because on some level, I feel a duty to read it, a duty to honor their lives, to say their names quietly out loud, to affirm that they existed. That they mattered. But so many people don’t do this, preferring to never see even the biased news, floating around on a cloud and hoping the bad things won’t happen to them.

If we do not serve notice, who will? If everyone turns a collective head in the other direction, where will justice be found? Where will our moral boundaries be found? Are we really raising children who would be more outraged at Vick’s actions that the people alleged to have stabbed Ms. Williams as they called her “nigger”? Is that what we’ve come to?

I want to believe in people. I want to believe that you and I can do more. That we can read her story and encourage our elected officials to do something. To make a statement about the barbaric nature of sexual assault and domestic violence instead of a thundering clusterfuck speech devoted to someone fighting dogs.

What next, shoplifting is a crime punished harder than rape? Hell, I’m sure that’s the case already.

While it’s all relative, there are somethings that are horribly, terribly wrong. Bottom line wrong. And yet we still can’t seem to get it right.

ETA: More info on Megin here. And a picture, so we can make her exist, even if just for a moment.

“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”

4 Sep

I write to void myself of the thoughts I cannot bear to keep.

My mother seizing off her bed on a cool April morning.

Pictures of me, naked as a child on someone’s bedroom wall.

My father, drunk at 2am, pissing on my bedroom door, and the loathing I felt as I swore and screamed at him, my sympathy defeated by my fatigue with life.

Burying my mother. A coffin in the hard ground, my sobbing echoing across the gravestones. The tears I cried at that grave.

Realizing I wasn’t what my biological mother wanted or needed in a daughter.

Watching someone murder kittens, being too young to know how to stop him. Being so desperate for contact, some sort of friendship that I likely wouldn’t have stopped him if I could have.

Realizing a friend was trying to kill herself, listening to her life drip from her mouth on the phone. Getting there just in time. Explaining to a friend’s 3 year old sister why Gisele was in the hospital, and why I was crying.

Crying. So many tears. So much time, lost and wasted. So many years I spent tired and sad, wrapped up in the memories of days I cannot change, people I cannot affect, events I cannot alter. I cannot take my innocence back, I cannot wipe clean those pictures. I cannot erase the hundreds of little ways to grieving, lonely people hurt each other. I cannot take back my stupidity or helplessness. I cannot be strong enough.

Slowly, I begin to realize I never could be.

I write because my life begs to be written. Because my life should serve as something more than a reason for me to be depressed or angry. Because lessons learned should be shared.

Because I cannot stop myself.

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