Black Sarongs and Rabbit Manure

(Photo by Satyabratasm on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

A friend of mine recently entered into a committed relationship with a farmer.

A widowed Hungarian mother of 4 sons, a friend of mine for about 8 years or so, recently entered into a committed relationship with a local hero, community feeding, farmer.

I knew her husband. His sudden death rocked our community, and of course devastated his family. I had a related pre-death experience for him, which is for another day(or not- it’s very hard). SonHerisme was given a pair of his shoes to wear to help work through his own grief, which had burbled up many other griefs. We know how to carry that grief better now.

We’ve been included in a group planting/caring/harvesting plot on one of the Hungarian’s Farmer Friend’s fields, which begins this week. In the organizing-of-us thread, someone asked what we should wear to our first gathering. Paraphrased thread:

The Hungarian: clothes for gardening and dirt 
The Farmer cheekily: oh, I was thinking I'd wear my black silk sarong 
The Hungarian: save that for the luau
Me: efficiency - let's all wear black sarongs
The Farmer: yes!
The Hungarian: who's bringing rabbit manure?
Person I don't know: that's me - I'm bringing it
The Farmer: in a black sarong
The Hungarian: just rabbit manure please

And so goes life. A day where black silk sarongs and rabbit manure get to be in the same brief text thread about planting veg and flowers. Wacky makes the world go ’round.

I have had a very emotionally rough few days or possibly week or so. My sweet friend asked me to explain what was happening with my grief cycle and I run-on spewed it at her about a day later when I felt I could get it out without completely succumbing to it. It was not pretty or enlightening. I did this via text and ending with something like, “I’ll be okay. I’ve been doing this my whole life. I can rally for another 15 or 20 years.” To be clear, I don’t wish to be dead but I also don’t wish to live without whatever it is that might fill up, or at least drip drop, satisfaction in my cup of life. Feeling stuck without any hope of not being stuck, and mired in grief and shame, is an awful dark place to be.

It was my choice to just let those feelings be whatever they were going to be. I didn’t try to add anything to take them away. I chose to keep moving through my day and do the Instagram scroll, ironing, reading, listening to SonHerisme, prep for a board meeting(although my agenda notes were woefully late), coordinate and schedule the summer camps, doctor appts, bandage changes, laundry, cry here and there, and make the things like chicken salad/quesadillas/hummus sammies/white chili/hamburgers and such for the people to eat.

The food is for the people, not for me. I can eat some hummus and white chili – but no meat for this lady’s digestions. For the past 5 months I have been taking celery juice in the morning and diligent about no meat in anything, along with serious dairy limits. The biggest change has been in improved movement by about a zillion. Also, I no longer want to fight that battle anymore either. If my body can’t handle it, f it, I’m not eating it or doing it. It may be boring and uncomfortable for others, but I am done.

Yesterday afternoon I started wondering what is it that I would find satisfying about myself. What feels good, right, or whatever and does not hurt? I really have no idea, honestly. I have theories, but nothing very concrete – except some movements and some limited foods. It’s okay to celebrate bouncing up the stairs, isn’t it? Actually, I don’t care really because for me it is a celebration! I could not do this even 3 months ago. It is a scary but necessary step, I think, to admit these things to myself and then to follow up with all of it.

If someone handed me notes with a briefing, I would be completely fine with standing in front of any group of people and saying whatever (an appropriate “whatever,” of course) and answering any questions I could. If you and I sat down together at a friend’s house, I doubt I would even speak other than maybe asking you questions so that you would talk the entire time. I am the opposite of my live-out-loud friends – by circumstance or nature, who knows?

Awkwardly doing the things and trying to be okay with it – that’s all of us, yes? Or? Doesn’t matter because it turns out, I cannot be anyone other than me anyway. I have tried and done it well (?at least outwardly – high functioning inward failure?) for a long time, but it hurts too much- even more than being myself, if that’s possible. I could wear a black sarong. I could also facilitate the spread of rabbit manure. And I would do it for SonHerisme if it was necessary or asked of in-the-past me on a triple dog dare with cherry on top. But, it isn’t me. It was just a joke – a pretend joke belonging just where it is – in a thread. I cannot do all of things and I most certainly cannot do very many of the things very well.

Thank you for being patient with me irl and for reading/listening/following here.

I hope you find something helpful and satisfying of and for you today.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

PS. Wondering about the brood x cicada emergence in the Eastern US? (Peter?)

Here is what they look like:

Here is what they sound like as I enjoy my spinach lunch, drowning out every single bird and squirrel by a zillion:

(cicada symphony)

Also, I KNOW everyone possibly listen/reading this in the UK is not named, “Peter.” I do an “oh, there you are, Peter!” (my favorite line from Hook after the boy smooshes around on Peter’s face trying to find the Pan inside), whenever I am brave enough to peek and there is a UK ping on the stats. Be the Pan.

Disposable Emotions

original (775)

Parent/Teacher conferences happened last week at SonHerisme’s school.

This is one of the very, very extremely, limited times parents are permitted to see inside their children’s classroom, or the inside of the school environment at all.

Our school has very exacting leadership.  A militant Montessori, some might say.

The school is the domain of children and teachers, where families and parents are not permitted or included.

The conferences are strictly scheduled in 15 minute increments, twice per school year.  During two scheduled weeks during the school year, 20 minute opportunities to observe your child’s classroom are offered, but only to one parent at a time, and only if you secure the time slot before the other 100 or so parents.  There is also a 15 minute opportunity to join in your child’s classroom for their Walk-Around-the-Sun (Montessori birthday celebration).

Why are we still there? 

The teachers and parent community are unusually wonderful at this school.  I helped to build the school, as a founder.  While I am not on the same page with the leadership of the school, I am not currently in a position to help facilitate change, and the broader community of the school has been indispensable to us.

Also, despite having a horrific introduction into formal schooling (we were homeschooling prior to attending school), I was not in a position to even move SonHerisme into a different classroom.  My every move and breath was being questioned and picked apart by my attorney, SonHerisme’s attorney, and MrexH’s seemingly never-ending series of attorneys (each of whom firmly believed they were going to catch me doing or being something awful, so that they could vie for MrexH’s position with the court system – because that makes TOTAL SENSE when you are looking at a mentally ill person threatening to kill his family, with a history of abuse…yup, totally).

Anywho, the school leadership blatantly told me that, if asked by an attorney, therapist or social worker, they would not support my request to remove my child from the destructive abusive classroom situation he was in, or to change his school environment.  The school leadership’s position was that I would be harming SonHerisme’s education if I chose to school him differently. The school leadership is considered an expert on the subject of my child’s education, not me.  This felt like a threat to our safety.

The school leadership described me to SonHerisme’s attorney as an “over-protective” “hypervigilant” mother…  UM, YES because MrexH wants to KILL us, perhaps…?

This communication between SonHerisme’s attorney and the school leadership cost me countless sleepless nights, loss of trust in the leadership, and probably close to $1000 in attorney’s fees to explain myself – never mind the hours of my time in communications with those attorneys, our therapists etc, that most assuredly took my time AWAY from a confused and hurting SonHerisme who just desperately needed my presence and assurances.

The school environment we entered had an entirely unprepared incompetent teacher and was rampant with extremely poor  aggressive violent behaviors and bullying.  Most of the 30 children that were in that classroom 2014-2015, are still trying to normalize and catch up to their peers – even the half of the class that removed their children due to this horrific school situation.

While that particular teacher was not permitted to return to the school the following school year, the damage was done.  And I remained confined by the threats of attorneys and the attitude of the school leadership, to keep my child in that environment.

Those of you reading this and thinking, “This would never happen to my child!  Unacceptable!  I would pull my child out of there in a heartbeat and give them a piece of my mind!”

Be my guest. 

Walk my path.

(but holy bejeezus, I hope NOT) 

Have multiple attorneys threaten you with the safety and well-being of your child.

One threat: to send some stranger, in a van, to your home to physically remove your ptsd anxiety ridden child, and force your child to spend time with his abusive clinically psychotic father (who wants to murder SonHerisme and Herisme), if you make any questionable decisions or moves.  You know, because it turns out that, according to attorneys and potentially the court, it’s probably ME that had the problem – you know because of my anxiety about MrexH, and I am too overprotective and hypervigilant.  Yeah, that was the REAL problem here…

Anyone want to revisit the misogynistic bullying culture of outrage discussion?

Good times.

And so, you move those feelings to somewhere else (dissociation much?), and wake up in the morning to take your screaming crying frightened child into, what you KNOW, is an abusive school situation, and you leave him there because you’re fairly certain no one is going to murder him in a public Montessori school with a tough-as-nails, protective school secretary, watching the front door.

The unknown social worker in the van transporting your child to his psychotic abusive father is what you are avoiding.

Once that teacher was not invited back to the school for the 2015-2016 school year, new teachers arrived, and a new school secretary (the previous secretary made an extra effort to introduce SonHerisme to the new secretary and let him know that the new secretary knew how to keep him safe too.  I truly appreciated that!).  The school leadership divided that classroom of children into smaller groups, so that they could have a chance to normalize into the environment.

So far, so good, in terms of the classroom dynamics shifting and allowing education and positive learning to take place.  Of course, this is only as far as I can tell from observing my child outside of school, as no parent is permitted inside, except on the occasions listed above.

However, the recovery is taking extra time for us because not only did we have to move through the tragedies of our home environment, but also the severe tragedy of an abusive school environment 2014-2015, as well.

Which brings me back to the school conference, now that there is context for what comes next.

The consistent and patient teacher SonHerisme is in his second year with (multiage Montessori classrooms, he has not been held back), shared with me that SonHerisme confided he was worried sometimes at night because his dad wants to kill him.

Holy Fduck (D-)

At a follow-up meeting about extra educational support for SonHerisme, his teacher shared that SonHerisme told his peers in a classroom discussion about sad things in everyone’s lives, that his dad wants to, and tried to, kill him.

Holy Fduck (D-)

When the class discussion moved on to how to deal with the saddnesses, SonHerisme’s response was, “you just forget about it.”

Disposable emotions

Dissociation

Or, SonHerisme is growing, changing, and starting to forget somethings and remember other things in a different, maturing way.

I hope that my lessons to SonHerisme are not that the primary processing of emotions includes dismissing them, disposing them.

I want him to be able to acknowledge emotions,

process them,

move successfully and healthily through the strongest of them,

to live his long, healthy, full, fulfilling and safe life.

Maybe I am too good at dissociation and disposing of my own emotions to know how to guide him through this.

Thank G-d, and the generosity of SonHerisme’s therapist,

his therapy continues weekly.

Obvs I need to be in therapy – which takes private insurance – which takes money – which takes an income – which requires employment.

In time.  I feel that I will get there.

In the meantime, thank you all for your patience.

If you know me irl and know our school, please be kind in your judgements of them and of me.  Challenging extremely unpleasant circumstances tend to bring out the worst in everybody.

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

ps. yes, it continues to be difficult for me as an adult to process what has occurred.  I cannot imagine how these situations have formulated SonHerisme’s young little being. *spirals into worry*

Deep Down Digging

l-135055

Worker men are outside with big noisy tools.

Digging up giant holes in my yard.

Smashing concrete steps.

Sawing things.

Drilling other things.

 

It’s so sad to let things be destroyed,

even when you know there is beauty on the other side.

 

I’m sorry that I cannot save your home, little frog.

 

I’m sorry that I cannot save you, pretty rocks.

 

I’m sorry that your safe environment is gone, sweet fat worminis.

 

At least in this situation, the beauty is tangible and has a completion date.

 

I wish there were worker peoples to give me an end date and some picture of the beauty that is waiting on the other side of our destruction.  I know that life was not sustainable, but good golly, it is painful and difficult to live the de-construction process.

There is not any contract to guarantee the end product either.

Which makes me question if there is any beauty waiting, and what it might be like.

 

Or maybe the beauty is the simple truth of being alive and safe.

 

Grief is hard, y’all

 

Jackhammers are painfully loud and jarring, but that’s what some jobs need

 

I hope to remember how blessed I am to be able to hear them

 

Love, Ms Herisme xo

ps. I adore Todd Parr

SWUFF

img_3619

 

Single, White, Unemployed, Fuller, Female.  Has ridden a camel in the desert and an amateur understanding of Brexit.  Enjoys water, weather and world stuffs.  Seeking.

 

I am not sure what I am seeking.

 

It’s difficult to imagine putting any of my requests out into the universe.  I have done that before and it sure as F did not work out the way I imagined.

I currently tend to take each moment as it presents itself.

Oh, we’re doing this now, with a basketball and a can of sardines?

Sure. Absolutely.

I call the fork, you may have the crackers and first shot.

 

At a friend’s home for a dinner party (kids outside running wild with snack bags and flashlights, grown-ups inside with wild conversation), the topic of online dating comes up.

I am not online/inline/ftf dating, so I listen in.  Also, again, awkward introvert here.

 

A lovely woman (not sarcastically lovely, she is lovely), begins telling the tales of her awesome brother’s online dating dramas.  A paraphrased part of the conversation:

 

LW (Lovely Woman):  You just would not believe the women my brother has met.  It’s ridiculous how many women are out there, just waiting for any meager bit of attention. My brother strikes up conversations, everything seems to be going well, and then inevitably these women turn out to be bat-sh!t crazy.  They have had horrible divorces, been abused, abandoned or have crazy ex’s who are going to kill them or kill anyone who dates them.  I just don’t know how he is going to meet anyone normal on those sites.  These women are crazy.

Me: (in my brain) Holy f’in sh!t.  That is me. (reality moment) If I were online dating, I would totally be the crazy woman. Man, my situation is uniquely messed up.  Yet, somehow also universal.

 

How is it that there are so many of us?  What the heck is going on?  Clearly we are capable of some level of intelligence – as evidenced by our ability to use a computer.  Yet.  There we are.   And there are a lot of us, apparently.

 

Come to think of it, out of 8 roommates through my college years, 4 of us have been victims of sexual abuse as a child or as an adult.  Possibly more of us, but I am not personally aware of abuse with the other women.

 

50% of my college roommates understand abuse from personal experience

 

Wowza

 

How can this be true, and then we all feel so shocked, outraged and horrified that women/girls/men/boys are abused every day throughout the world?

Are we entirely unaware that our people are no different than their people?

It doesn’t matter if you are living with a precarious religious regime, famine area, 1000+ year-old culture of castes, democratic state, autocratic state, monarchy, dictatorship, military control, suffering natural disasters, 1200BC, 1200AD, 1800AD, 2016AD, you will easily find humans overtly abusing other humans.

Even in our smug part of the world.

 

Power and control.  Humanity being itself.

 

It sure is taking us a long time as a species to learn how to move beyond punching or raping someone as a means of dominance and compliance. We cannot even agree in our country, in our state, in our school, that a child touching another child in a way they do not want to be touched, is a serious problem.

We “teach” about bullying with our words, but our actions do not reflect what we are saying to our children. It’s always happening somewhere else, or it’s just children playing, or that guy deserved to be cut-off and flipped off because he pulled out in front of me, or she/he was asking for it so I smacked them in the face, etc.

Please let us stop not talking about this.

 

How do we allow for complete emotions, in a healthy manner? 

How are we role-modeling for our children (even mistakes)? 

How are we teaching our children to express themselves? To protect themselves?

To empathize with each other?

 

I do hope and pray that this truly is a time of enlightenment in human history, which will allow space for such a complete shift in motivations and actions, that abuse of another human seems unreal to future generations.

The news is daunting on that front.

Perhaps we can take heart that universal conversations,

now started,

like the toothpaste out of a tube,

cannot be stuffed back in. 

With the instant connections and ability to humanize each other’s stories, empathize, sympathize and hold space for each other’s souls, maybe, maybe, maybe…  treating each other with kindness, respect and consideration, is what I am seeking.

 

Love, admittedly optimistic, possibly naïve, Ms Herisme xo