Gracefully

My skin has begun collecting wrinkles

My hair has found a new shade

But my eyes will always twinkle

At the painting my child made.

My hands are marked

With scars of injuries now gone

My fingers shake without willing

As I belt out my favorite song.

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Motivation

I’ve gotten a taste of life,

Tastes like hot black coffee.

I keep sipping it

And it keeps burning me.

I’ve got a false sense of pride

That motivates me

If it’s enough to make it

We’ll I guess we’ll see. 🤷‍♀️

Forgetting. A Poem

Uploading all my photos

Way too many to admit

I place them in their labeled folders

Hoping they all fit

I sort them neatly into place

Set aside for the day

When I can’t recognize your face.

Because I’m scared to death

That I’ll grow old

And lose all the memories

My mind now holds.

In the middle. A Poem

I don’t want to tell you

What my age is

What page my life is on

I’ll tell you I’m in the middle

Of a really long song

Half here, half gone.

Middle life is not the best

But similarly is full

Of the greatest moments

I have ever lived

And I am thinking

That the best is yet to come.

Morning. A poem

The mornings,

They smell like cheap coffee

That I settled for at the store.

The mornings,

They sound like

Half awoken shuffling

Of blankets on cotten linen.

I hear “Good morning momma”

From a person 1/4 my size.

My mornings rumble,

With the buzz of the washing machine

Mixing it’s first load.

The beep of the microwave

My first reheated coffee is warm.

The time before the clock starts

To get ready for the day

Domestic and mundane

Comfortable and familiar.

Good morning!

Where Did the Time Go? A Poem

One of these days

Your baby girl

Will turn 4 years old

And enter the world

Of school and friends

You’ll wonder where the time went.

One of these nights

She won’t wake up to eat

She won’t need you to rock her

For hours to the sound of lullabies

On repeat.

One of these mornings

You won’t be greated

before the sunrise

She will sleep in late

And argue about waking for the bus.

One of these days

She will leave for her first time

At work and you’ll think,

Where did the time go?

One of these days

Not so far away

She’ll buy her first gift for you

With her own money

And you will shake the box

Like she did every Christmas

To guess what it is

And wonder where the time went.

One of these days

She will have a family of her own

You’ll watch her grow

And soothe her babies

Night after night

Like you did

Not so long ago

And you’ll wonder

where the time went.

Phases and Judgement

I never understood the saying “don’t try to be something you’re not”. It’s advice given out commonly among high school age kids, the time when most are exploring themselves on a visual level. Late middle school and into high school we do this thing to ourselves that can take many forms, some might sound familiar and personal to you. Thick black eyeliner, black lipstick, colorful shoes (Nikes were my thing for a while) baggy clothes, jelly wrist bands, all black wardrobes, the usual tropes. Goth, gangster, trendy, preppy, oh we have a label for everything don’t we?

As a kid, maybe 14-19 years old, I tried on many different skins. I wore black clothing, pants that had at least 10 giant pockets and were held down by a hulking chain that connected front to back. My makeup was black, my backpack was black, my soul was black (insert youthful angst) I bought a Chevelle CD, I listened to Link in Park as loud as my boom box (don’t judge me) would go, probably much to the annoyance of my poor mother. I wrote in permanent marker all over my bedroom. Not kidding. Poems on my doors, Eminem rap lyrics on my closet walls and ceiling. I went head first into that first phase hard.

And I loved it.

I still love it. I love looking back at myself trying to fit in and find a spot in the world.

I love watching in my minds eye the transition that I went through. As quick as the tide some of them came and went. Some were brought on by particular guys I had crushes on, some were just pure curiosity or a spark of bravery.

I moved swiftly into a sort of skater gangster phase once the boy I liked started dating my best friend. I was dating my very first boyfriend, 15 years old and I had partially moved out to take care of him and his 3 brothers. We lived in low income housing and even when the people there couldn’t afford food, they always had fresh white Nikes. And God I wanted some. I was too broke for my first pair for a long time, and rocked a pair of vans for maybe 4 years straight. When I finally bought my first pair of Nikes I moved onto my rap obsession phase.

Mind you, I am 5’3 100 pounds on a heavy day and have the voice of a mouse with laryngitis.

But I loved to rap, and I would practice getting faster and faster by listening to NAS on my handheld CD player while I did yard work.

I lingered there for a while. Until moving more into myself. I followed the current I had been riding on and landed where I am now.

My point, is we all go through these flashes of different versions of ourselves. We need to, and should not discourage others from doing so.

The people at your Comic-Con that don’t know all the classic characters are not posers, they are exploring what could potentially be them, their thing. The suddenly into your sports aren’t faking, they are trying to enter that fun world you have also found yourself in.

Of course be something you’re not. I just don’t stay there forever. Keep trying things and exploring until you find yourself.

It’s fun 👩‍🚀❤

Kyle. A Poem and a Story of Hurt and Healing

I have wounds from you

That haven’t healed yet

I’ve gone on to do things

You never would accept.

I have grown in ways

You’d never expect.

Rebuilt the bridges

You forced me to burn

Putting to use all the lessons

You forced me to learn.

Battle scars

On every inch of my mind

I had hoped you’d change

But you’re just not the kind.

Trying to forgive

But I can never forget.

You may be gone

But the wounds are still wet.

4 years ago I left a 5 year long abusive relationship. Today, I am married to a gentle soul who keeps our family laughing and enveloped in love. Every now and then the fear of what I went through comes back, at odd times I will find myself flinching at a raised hand, even when the hand in question is raised for a high five or to reach a lightbulb. I can still feel my heart clench when I say something that Kyle would have deemed “stupid”, which was anything that did not interest him or things he didn’t understand. I wait to be scolded or mocked but am now only met with a warm grin, loving approval, humor and wit. Little things have changed and make more of an impact than I would have thought. Today I was doing some chores and gathered up the empty returnables to bag up and bring to the redemption center. While packing them into a trash bag it occurred to me that I didn’t have to worry about sticky bottles anymore, or that gross sweet rotting smell that old beer bottles get. I felt relieved at the mass of water bottles in front of me. My biggest concern was if they would fit in the bag, not if the person at the redemption center would judge me on what I was bringing in. No chance of broken glass here. No sticky mess in the back of my car. No alcoholic to come home to. Such a small thing that has changed in my life but I only now realized how it had effected me negatively in the past.

When we are in these toxic relationships we often look passed so many of these “small” things. The problem with that is they build and build on one another, like a snowball down a hill the small things add together and become a giant hazard. We get accustomed to that though. I am not sure I even let myself notice how gross and embarrassing even that one thing, sticky beer bottles, had been for me. I blocked it out, maybe to protect myself from seeing the actual problem, but it’s clear now that I put up with a lot that wasn’t necessary.

I’m slowly learning what a healthy life feels like, and adapting to a moderate level of calm (I DO still have 2 kids lol)

It takes time to heal, I put a blanket over that part of my life for a few years now and had thought myself healed from all the things that had happened but that isn’t real healing. There has been some minor progress lately, now that I’ve pulled back that blanket and peeked at what I left hiding under there.

Anger is a huge problem, one I struggle with daily because after you’ve been abused, fight or flight becomes a front line response to even the slightest things. Loud noises and screaming children can trigger unwarranted fear or urges to hide. Smal mistakes like forgetting to buy new sponges can cause panic attack level anxiety until you remember you aren’t living that life anymore when the person at home will lose their mind over simple human error.

One of the biggest things that sticks with me is that my son, who knew Kyle as his father for the first year of his life, would grow up to be like him. Every time my son, who will be five soon, throws a fit, I want to crumble into a ball and hide. It’s something I’m proud to say I’ve almost outgrown, the reflex to wind myself up and throw my battle gear on. I have had to retrain myself to see him as not Kyle, not like Kyle, as just a child having a bad day or a rough moment.

Projecting my Ex’s behaviour onto my son, seeing my child’s tantrums and attitude as a reflection of my ex was the worst parenting mistake I had ever made and it caused a lot of tension. It was hard to separate the two and when my child is yelling some of the same things my Ex had in the past. Obviously my son had no idea he was repeating things, he was only 1 when I left Kyle, but I had to remind myself that for over two years before it sunk in.

My ex is gone. He went on to do the same things to the next woman and I haven’t seen or spoken to him in years but he is a ghost that haunts my house still.

Abuse hides behind doors you wouldn’t expect.

It effects those who endure(d) it for an immeasurable amount of time.

Healing is a process that has one million steps, it starts with a step out of the door that is closed forever.

I hope my story might help someone. I might add more to it later, but the best thing would be to be free of it and not have to say another word. ❤