Humble Crumble

(background photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

‘Bouts to get my apple crumble on, yo (the peoples like it with the creams which have been whipped). It’s been a bit cooler and rainy here = enter crumble stage left, no spotlight, just silvery greenie bluish moon light, please and thank you.

Something is feeling off at the moment. Are you feeling it as well? Not a pushy frenetic feeling for transformation or resolution, but rather a s-l-o-w movement of something.

Paraphrased, but I read something like this the other day, “If you cannot understand why someone is grieving so deeply for such a long time, then consider yourself fortunate that you do not understand,” and, “you don’t ever learn to forget your heartbreaks, you just learn how to live with them better.”

I’m not sure if I am the one putting the most pressure on myself about grief and life – I probably am.

I wonder how many of you are as well?

A sweet friend recently asked me what I am seeking. The only thing I could think of was that I’d like to have a pool. I know this isn’t what she meant, but it’s all my heart would allow to come out of my mouth. I am thinking that I cannot seek anymore. This might be why I have not followed up with finding a therapist. I do not want to introduce myself or explain myself. I do not want to talk about anything I am interested in or have ever been interested in. No hopes or dreams, please and thank you – it is just too painful. If there was a therapy where I could go and not be asked to speak but the other person would just know some things to say to me, that’s where I would sign up. Maybe we don’t even have to make eye contact. Maybe I could walk in and they could just hand me a note with some suggestions on it and we wouldn’t, either one of us, have to speak at all. Perhaps I am seeking to not seek. Seeking might seem hopeful or optimistic and my body brain cannot handle that anymore – it is too disappointing and my time is almost up.

I belong to a local single parents group on facebook (blerg, but necessary community connections) where the moderator asked us to re-introduce ourselves and what we are looking for by joining the group. I answered as honestly as my brain would allow in that moment. I joined the group because all of my local friends are either married or partnered up and I thought that joining the single parents group would connect me to people with similar parenting experiences to mine. I am not an active participant, so I have no idea if there are connections in that group for me. From the little I have seen, it seems there are not (reasons).

Pre-COVID someone mentioned to me that a DV or even a grief support group might work better for me to find connection. But, I don’t feel like I am seeking that anymore either. Fundamentally, I am not thrilled with being me, but there I always am, still being myself. Wait a hawt minute – one extraordinary exception – I love being mommy to SonHerisme. Is this too much of a burden to place on a sweet giant bear?

My grief is like groundhog day grief. It cycles through me multiple times a day every day. Some days more painful than others. Like a permanent bruise on the reverse side of my heart that will never heal, is always uncomfortable and then even more so when it gets pushed on. It is what it is and I have always made due.

What are you seeking? Are you seeking anything?

I wonder why you are reading this sometimes and I hope that your heart is not broken or that you are not feeling pain. Then I do worry that you’re reading something here that might make your heart sad and how I can help you. I cannot help, I know that I do not know you. Anyway, I hope that you are okay.

I am humbled by the wave of vaccinations we are all privileged to receive, and are receiving. SonHerisme has jab#1 with a sore arm for a day and mine are complete – jab #1 and jab #2 plus two weeks.

I am humbled that anyone chooses to read anything that I write.

I am humbled by the way the moon smiles halfway through it’s moonie cycle.

I am humbled by the rhythm of a cicada brood emerging every 17 years to do their cicada thing.

I am humbled by having had the ability to birth a life into being.

I am humbled by SonHerisme’s resilience, compassion and curiosity for knowledge and life.

I am humbled by knowing that far away (by distance and time) people are being themselves doing the things of life.

I am humbled by the person who thought to plant an apple tree, wait for the apples to be delicious, pick the apples and then send them to my co-op where I could buy them and bring them home for my crumble. Same for the oats, brown sugar, butter (which involved a mommy cow too, who probably had to sacrifice her nursing newborn), cinnamon, and vanilla people.

I am humbled by @geologistonboard ‘s Instagram post of migmatic rock exposures from an area of exhumed kohistan volcanic arc.

I am humbled by dandelion magic.

I will continue to try to be ground and crumbled, to surrender to what is and to let it be. I don’t have the strength to fight anymore and anyway I like wildflowers.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. I got new glasses for my eyeballs and I like them better than the ones I’ve been wearing since MrH times. Larger, black, hint of tortise-shell frames going around my invisible eyelashed greenie eyeballs. Anywho, I can see much better now – you’re welcome, local fellow drivers!

One Never Knows

(or listen here)

She’ll never know

She’ll never know what it feels like

To be loved

To be wanted

To be anticipated

To be listened to

To be known

To have a touch on the shoulder

She’ll never know

She already knows

She already knows to be aware

That stars are magical

That sunrises/sunsets are breathtaking

That babies are miracles

That music and books are soul comforts

That optimism is a privilege

That barefoot is best

She already knows

Knowing things is abundance of gratitude.

The absence of knowing is painful.

Awareness of absence is forever grief.

She already knows she’ll never know, yet

She carries on with her life of awareness.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Room 703

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In June of 2014, I began seeing a therapist.  She is now retired.  She is a lovely person, and I miss her understanding.

 

As I am without insurance and unemployed, I gots ta figure dis out on me own, matey (argh!), for the time being (as you may have gleaned from prior posts).

 

She once asked me to make a list of what I wanted for myself.  Not for my sweet little MrBearwhois8, but just for me.  I still have that list in my fancy, almost empty, journal.  Here is what I was able to pull out of my brain and put on the list:

 

I would like to eat a meal without my stomach hurting.

 

Fast forward to April 2016, and a sweet woman that I know (professional life coach) offered me a step towards self-guidance by suggesting that I write down everything I am good at, no matter how menial (“even if it’s wiping baby’s dirty bottoms” said she).  I still have that list in my fancy, almost empty, journal.  Here is what I was able to put on that list:

 

I am really good at letting my son know and feel how much he is loved.

 

It’s so strange to reflect on this, because I am a HUGE list maker.  In the past, I made lists all of the time.  List-making relaxes me and allows for comfortable brain space relief.

 

I am the person who makes lists of what to pack, what has been packed, labels all of the bags, and carries the list just in case the suitcase goes missing.  It is my way and it has worked for me.

What kinds of lists do you make?

 

Now my brain has been ptsd kerfuffled, and I am re-learning it’s parameters and myself.

 

I am determined to allow myself to make lists again.  Pinteresting lists, notepad lists, room-by-room spreadsheet lists.

 

If you don’t hear from me in two weeks,

I’ll be at the Nationale Hotel in Mexico City, Room 703!

( Victor Velasco)

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

Inspiration

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I am reading all of these lovely inspirational, moving, deeply thought, resonating articles and books from lovely empathetic/sympathetic peoples.

 

I’m just not there yet, y’all.

I feel that you want me to be there. 

Believe me, I WANT me to be there. 

 

The best I can hope for today, is that I have trudged through the deepest muck of MrexH situation, and am passing through the bit of squashy junk before emerging out.

 

Also, I hope that I have some sturdy boots on.  I can’t even tell if I do or not.

 

It’s also okay if I have on an off-white trench coat, which is so gunked up from the muck, that it has frayed at the bottom.  Uh-oh, now I’m picturing an old-timey leather car-driving cap and ridiculous goggles as well.

 

It occurs to me that I should reconsider finding a new therapist to speak with and work through some of the emergence from muck. The screaming in my head might be a big clue for me…

 

I am really not interested in going through my back-story with another person, though.  I have told this tale over and over and over and over and over and over and well, over and over

 

Can you give a therapist a document dump, or at least Cliffs notes, to avoid speaking those words again?!!?

 

I just want to walk in, have a gentle greeting, and listen to sage advice from someone who knows stuff and can see me enough to help me reveal myself to myself.

 

I can pay them in tea, blueberry zucchini brownies, and a hearty companion for The Philadelphia Story viewing.

 

Meet me at the corner of close and soon, wise sage!

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

Every Day

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When I drive past the overly thin man relentlessly walking the streets downtown with his backpack and uncomfortable smile on, my stomach turns and my heart breaks for you.

 

When I walk past the local mission service house with desperate people loitering outside, my stomach turns and my heart breaks for you.

 

When I park in front of the therapist’s office, next to one of your series of attorneys’ offices, surrounded by housing for people on permanent mental illness disability, standing in their doorways, staring at cars and people or off into vacant space, my stomach turns for you and my heart breaks for you.

 

When I am faced with the reality of our son’s lacking education as a result of your bad behavior, my stomach turns for him and my heart breaks for him.

 

When I am staring at my financial reality as a result of my misplaced trust in you, my stomach turns for our son and me, and my heart breaks for our son and me.

 

Yet, every day I awaken with a new sense of hope for our son’s and my future.

 

Every day, I am able to see grace and beauty and potential.

 

Every day, I can feel our son and myself getting stronger and more confident.

 

Every day, I am blessed with being surrounded by the support of my family, friends and surrounding communities.

 

Every day, I wonder at the miracles and tragedies all around us.

 

Every day, I am grateful for all of the little moments of happiness,hard work, and challenges. 

 

Even on days when I wonder how we can possibly get through any of this, I am grateful.  Painfully heartbroken and sad, but grateful.

 

Because all of these things mean that we are alive and full of love.

 

This is an amazing, strange, weird, awesome life. 

 

I pray that all of us can do this gift some justice.

 

Love, Ms Herisme xo

Ally McBeal

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Did you watch Ally McBeal, back in the day?  Revealing my age, or generation, I suppose, that I was old enough to watch it and understand most of it, at a time when some of you were toddlers – or, * gasp * , not yet born!

Pardon me while I spiral into misspent youth and peering into the grave thoughts…

Anywho, if you watched Ally McBeal, you know, like a retro thing on Nextflix, such as myself (let me live this right now), do you remember the episode where Ally visits an old professor whom she really admired?

Ally’s professor was dying of cancer in a hospital.  The professor wanted to be maintained in a drugged state of sleep throughout her end-stage cancer, until she died.

Of course, Ally could not understand why her awesome vibrant professor would just “give up” on life.  The professor explains to Ally that her entire real life was full of regret, lost opportunities, dreams unfulfilled etc.  But, when she was asleep, she had dreamed up this entire fantasy life where she was married, had children and grandchildren, and was leading a life full of balances of good times and hard times, surrounded by love and support.

The professor wanted to be allowed to die without the deep pain of regrets, with knowing she was surrounded by love, inside of her fantasy life.

That episode of Ally McBeal has haunted me for my entire adulthood. 

I remember immediately feeling that I was going to end up like that professor. 

 I still suspect that is where I am headed.

I don’t want to be the professor.  I just don’t know how to not be the professor.  I cannot imagine how to be where or what I want to be or do.

I keep hoping that I’m going to swim out of it and leave the professor behind.  It does seem that my choices in life continue to push me more towards being the professor, though.

 

This is what trauma does.

 Trauma tricks you into replaying every previous trauma, and combing all of those emotions into the current trauma.  It also tricks you into believing that every challenge is a potential trauma, sign of a trauma to come, or deserved for some reason.

Trauma’s trickiness is so good, that you long to be the professor, just for a moment, to experience that sense of extreme comfort and rightness with your world.

Knowing this leads me to completely see why people turn to certain, potentially destructive, coping behaviors, during trauma.

My coping behaviors tend to be hard-core disassociation and extreme stress suppression (which equal physical health issues, in my case).

I’m so good at those skills that I have completely ruined my gut, affected my memory, carry unhealthy weight, and attempted to be married and parent with an un-empathetic, abusive, mentally ill person.  I’m not attempting to be derogatory towards Mr exH, he is who he is.  He has always been who he is.  I completely own that I made up the bulk of who he was to me.

I suppose, in some respects, I have already been the professor.

That didn’t work for me.

It is hard to figure out how to move through trauma, other than wanting to be the professor, when it feels like you are a failure if you are not living as the professor’s fantasy life.

It is hard to know that trauma happens to real people,

and one of those people is you.

You can’t hard work trauma away, you can’t dream it away, you can’t medicate it away, you can’t wish it away.

The best I can hope for, I believe,

is that my trauma ends up being a piece of me,

instead of a definition. 

Maybe that can be the difference between me and the professor.

Maybe (?)

Love, Ms. Herisme

Grievie Grievie

Grievie Grievie, Nunnery Scene Peevey (Hamlet in the house!)

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To grieve, or not to grieve, that is the question.

Whether ‘to nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and, by opposing, end them.

 

Psssst…  if you are a Mommy*, you don’t take the time to ponder these things.  You get up.  You do the things which need doing.  You go to sleep.  Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

 

You grieve in your own way in your own time.

 

None of it makes you courageous or brave or really, anything, other than alive and a mom.

 

I cannot pinpoint the time where I made the definitive decision to no longer suffer the slings and arrows.  If I could pinpoint the time where the decision was made, I can assure you that I did not consciously decide to take up arms against a sea of troubles.  I can also assure you that by opposing the slings and arrows, I did not end them.

 

I can definitively tell you the exact time that I experienced the final straw for tolerating threats and abuse in my home.  Truthfully, honestly, though, I had no idea of the snowball I had put into play by taking a stand for my child and myself.

I am a teeny tiny minority of those who have taken a stand against domestic violence, and have come out the other side of divorce (as a result of domestic violence), alive and with full sole legal and physical custody of our child.

 But, I still grieve.

 I grieve for all of us.

 Some days are so hard. 

 

On the days which turn out to be most difficult, I doubt my entire existence (not purpose, of course, because, being a mom does not provide for that).  What I mean is that I question the appropriateness of me, as specifically “me.”

Some have described me as “brave,” “courageous,” “compassionate,” “strong.”

The truth is that I am none of these things.

Those are words describing the actions of someone who had no idea what was/is coming, on somedays, hour to hour.  There is no planning in response to constant crisis.  There is no intention of bravery or strength.  There is only survival and the responsibility of being someone’s mom, mommy, momma.  When your vulnerable child is desperately looking to you to keep their world from spinning into nonsensical chaos, and you are the mom, you have no choice.

No choice does not equal courageousness. 

No choice is reactiveness survivalism.

 

When I am grieving, please be patient with me.

 

Please remember that I feel none of those positive words you are ascribing to me.

 

Please remember that I cannot see that “everything happens for a reason” (primarily because I think this is bs).

 

Please remember that I am desperately trying to “hear and understand the messages the universe is sending” to me so that I may learn from them, so that the awful things stop happening (even though this too is bs, and makes no sense when it comes to real personal trauma).

 

When Mr. Shakespeare was writing “To be, or not to be…” it is clear he believes that opposing wrongness is a choice we all wax and wane on, fully aware of definitive consequences.  If that were true, I think that my grief would be much more productive with a defined end.

Which would be much more neat and tidy for everyone, of course.

However, that is not how my decision to leave a domestic violence situation was made.

Also, it is not the process of my grief.

I do expect that I will be better prepared to respond to my intense moments of grief, as we continue to move from just being acquainted, to intimate mates (is this ageing or…?).

My grief seems to always demand that first I am accepting of “to be” just me, without the option of “not.”

Love, Ms. Herisme

*or any fit (defined by humanity, not legally) parent or guardian