Posted in family, Life, writing

Write Like No One Is Reading…

Yesterday, my mother was upset with me. She said that I make her look “Like a monster.” in my blog posts…Although I tend to disagree, for the record, I would like it to be known that my mom is anything BUT a monster. She’s my mom- she’s tried her hardest to be there for me, she’s suffered a lot watching me suffer, she’s loved me no matter what. The last thing I want is to give the impression that she’s been a bad mom.

That being said, I did not have a perfect childhood (who has?). I did not have perfect parents (who did?). There was a lot of ugly stuff that went down, and I can’t pretend it didn’t. When I feel like I need to write about it, I’m going to. Let this serve as a blanket disclaimer, then- I don’t blame anyone for anything. I’m sorry if I write about you and it makes you feel bad- if I’m bothering to take the time to write about you, I must care for you an awful lot. Otherwise, I wouldn’t waste my time.

One of the things I think people appreciate about me is that I am an honest girl. I think the best way I can honor myself  and the people that read the stuff I write is to continue to be myself, which means to be REAL. I like to talk about the things that I don’t always hear people talking about, because I’ve learned that people really, REALLY want to talk about it. They just don’t always know how. So I’m going to write like no one is reading, the way they tell us to “dance, like no one is watching.” I’m not trying to upset anyone. I’m trying to have a conversation with whoever wants to chime in.

In the last three months, I’ve told you that I feel middle aged and fat. I’ve told you that I smoke. I’ve shared with you that I am a recovering drug addict. I told you how much I yell, how much I eat, how much my teenage daughter hates me. I shared with you that I had a miscarriage three years ago, and that I wasn’t that thrilled (at first) to find myself pregnant at the age of 35. Looking at it THAT way, I’d say I’m not exactly painting myself in the grandest of lights, eh? But you guys told me you relate to that! That is reality for a lot of folks (hopefully not ALL of it, for your sake) and it’s the stuff we keep inside of ourselves…it’s the stuff that makes us feel different and shamed and apart from other people. My suspicion is that we ALL are just alike, we all have that stuff- and if we don’t, we just don’t YET.  No one goes through life unscathed.

The point is, I want to connect with people. I have always been this way- I never leave a grocery store without making a new friend. I’m the girl in the  office that you can talk to about ANYTHING, who will share right back with you. Nothing makes me feel better than connecting with another human being on a deeper level. When I write this blog, I want to connect with whoever is reading it. I may not be able to look you in the eye, but I do get to read your comments, here, and on Facebook, and I know that I am doing that.

If it means that I do it because we both had shitty parts of our childhoods, so be it. We made it anyway. If you relate to me because you have struggled with addiction, too- great! We are surviving, right? If you have a brother who is an alcoholic, a daughter that is a nightmare, a puppy who only eats your most expensive shoes, or a boyfriend who cheated on you, broke your heart, and you loved him anyway- guess what? If you read my blog, you will know you are not alone. I am proof positive that ALL of those things can happen in one – not -even-that-long-of-a-life, and happiness is still within your reach.

That is what I want you to take away from my blog. So I’m going to keep writing it, exactly this way. Sorry mom.

Posted in family, Life, Uncategorized

For My Baby Brother

Right now, you are high above the clouds, in an airplane. Maybe you are sleeping…maybe you are waking up and wondering how, exactly, your life wound up where it is right now. I’m sure that is a thought that has been coming up a lot in the months, the weeks, the hours that came before this flight. I know when I was in the dark place you have been in, that thought plagued me- how did I get here? And it’s twin-how will I ever get back? They wouldn’t leave me alone.

We have spent years and years in this half-relationship. Some of it because of my addiction, some of it because of yours, and some of it just due to time and distance apart. But that doesn’t erase the fact that I have this great and tender love for you, this burdensome thing-you are one of the only people I have a hard time expressing myself to, and one of the only ones I can’t ever seem to find the right words for. This love for you I carry around, it scares me, if you have to know. It seems like you are one of those people always two steps away from being lost to me forever- first, because of our crazy parents, then to your crazy lifestyle…loving someone like you is a study in vulnerability, and that is one role I don’t play too well.

When mom brought you home from the hospital and leaned down to show you to me for the first time, she said “Isn’t he beautiful?” and I thought, ‘My God, NO, he is hideous.” I guess I thought you would be a little older or something, but you were just this wrinkled up little poo-sack with a rotten stump where your belly button should have been. Totally gross.  Then, months passed, and I remember watching you in the back seat of the car- you looked me right in the eye, and my stomach did little flips, and I started to love you.

I loved you, demonic as you were, with your cowboy boots and your white blonde hair. I loved your big green eyes, and your tough attitude, because I knew it would save you. I loved you because you were in it with me, but I wished that you weren’t. The stuff we had to go through, no kid should ever have to see.

I can’t help but wonder how much of that stuff made you into the person you are today. I know it’s useless and pointless to blame anyone for the way we turn out, but it’s an awful shame when the people who are supposed to protect you fall short of the mark. Grown ups don’t see the way that little kids do…I know I was scared all the time, and you were born into a home full of anger and fear. I wish it had been different. For both of us.

I have watched you falling apart for such a long time now. I have heard all of the excuses mom has made, all of thehope she had and then lost, again and again, and I said nothing to you. Every time you called me, you were three sheets to the wind, anyway. Some of those times, I was okay, and some of them, I was in no position to offer advice, if you catch my drift. But every time I hung up the phone, I knew what you were, and I knew there was nothing I could do to stop it or change it or fix it. All I could do was let you go and hope you wound up somewhere safe.

It looks like maybe you will. I am so proud of you for getting on that plane today. While you are gone, you are going to learn a lot of great stuff about why you are the way you are, and what you can do to be someone else, a better, more well version of you. You are going to get stronger. When you come home, you are going to have some tools to keep you out of those dark places. You don’t ever have to feel the way you’ve felt for so long now, ever again- if you don’t want to.

You will be in my prayers every single day, and in the meant time, I will write your name on this date, on my calendar. Happy Birthday, brother. I love you with all of my heart.