Milquetoast with Preserves

(or listen here – my voice is weirdo as meirdo)

I slept fitfully last night, as on many previous nights. How about you?

Personal and national economic anxiety? check

COVID repercussions and it’s developing variants? check

Blatant inhumanity of neighbors? check

Perseverance of grossly misaligned boomer white supremacist privileged gaslighting legacy? check

Raising my sweet SonHerisme to face craptastic consequences of all of this shit for which he has zero responsibility in the creation? checkMATE

As one of my totally teenager niece’s says, “UGA.” (not a shout out to them dawgs, obvs)

I am proud that one of my representatives presented the impeachment articles. I wish there were more decisive and firm actions being taken or pursued – it seems like milquetoast consequences to this yogaball chair non expert (of course I am sitting on a yoga ball chair and now you know something more about how to frame your perception of me which is most likely accurate af – apologies and you’re welcome). Unfortunately I have very limited knowledge of how the legislative procedures work and even less super federal law knowledge. I have to count on my communication to my representatives as my means for fighting for our democracy. Or random texts to a former High School government teacher who has the *eye roll ‘n sigh* perfected.

These situations are all hard lessons with coping skills I honed during my challenging divorce. It seems so familiar to me to note we have entered a time where we must find our trusted people and count on them (see previous post). We have to do our own hard work of finding our peace and centering in it so that we can use our oxygenated replenished strength and rebuild the same of others around us. As we all saw in real time last week, emotions spread quickly, especially when they are passionate and unfortunately exacerbated when they are righteously negative in a mob frenzy encouraged by a charismatic narcissistic inhumane leader. Nazi much? People died, people were hurt, property was damaged, bioterrorism was used by the deeply disturbed mask/COVID deniers – ahhhh! It’s all too much really.

My separation and divorce were too much. We almost all got killed through the process (spoiler alert – we did not get killed… sometimes I wonder if this still ends with a ‘yet’).

In order to preserve myself and function, especially as I was an immediate single parent in a lethal situation, I had to recognize the truth, or rely on my trusted people to tell me what truth was/is. I was forced to define my boundaries while recognizing there are boundaries which are out of my control. Advocate for swift firm consequences when boundaries were inevitably breached. Center back into my peace. Repeat day after day after month after year.

For all of us, our children are watching and learning from us. Our parents who have been staunch systematically deliberately programmed Republicans their entire adult lives, are watching us. Which is ironic as GenX on down were raised to share, be inclusive, fight for justice for the underdog, and community oriented. Our trumpian and progressive neighbors are all watching and waiting to see what happens next. We can center and preserve our peace so that our children learn how to recognize the critical importance of self care especially in supremely trying times. This practice will allow us who are able to, take up space and advocate for democracy and truth in ways that we can control: with our resources (grab-your-wallet style), our time (writing letters to representatives, attending civic meetings, keeping informed from vetted quality sources), and our own personal commitment to things we are passionate about with firm boundaries in place.

Not everyone who commits or supports atrocities is held accountable or reaps consequences. See every divorce from a narcissist and the grossly disparate prison population statistics for example. Life is not fair, we already know this hard lesson. Our world is flawed, but we can love it anyway. This isn’t pollyanna milquetoast love, this is set boundaries with consistent consequences and preserve your own wellness, love. I see these pursuits as consequences for those who behave badly – consequences we can absolutely control. Maybe we have a duty to ourselves, our children, our community, our nation and our global community to preserve our personal boundaries and wellness. (article link)

At 12, SonHerisme balks now every time I mention love outside of my love for him which must never ever ever ever be mentioned in public – EVER never. “Mom,” in his newly deepening indignant boy-man voice, “why are you always thinking everyone is going around spreading love?!? Mando is NOT going to fall in love with any of the people on the show and move to the beach!” My response, “love is the thing that makes everything exist – everyone is looking for its signs.”

Below is an exercise prescribed to me during my most difficult and terrifying days. Most of the time I would come to a space where I would channel Oprah (I do not use her anymore, but thank you, Oprah!). She is what would get my car to park in a safe space, get my breathing under control and my body moving so that I could make that walk through the metal detectors into the basement of the courthouse. Maybe this will be useful to you too and you can harness your own inspiration if needed (like maybe Drew Barrymore or Rep. Katie Porter and sorry L, but I don’t think that Greg Davies will work here UNLESS he is literally walking next to you with a menacing face to keep interruptions away or to hand you occasional libation, an OB one might say – overgrown butler and now I’ve made a nonsense segue which has ruined the moment apologies and you’re welcome).

Look around you and see something very specific, anything, and make a mental note of it. Listen for 5 seconds and make a mental note of what you hear. Can you smell anything or taste anything? Make note of that. Find something you can touch and make note of that. Close your eyes and relax the inside corners of both eyes. Lift your shoulders up to your ears then gently release them down through your shoulder blades. Relax your jaw and release your tongue from the roof of your mouth. Take a deep in-breath on a 5 count. Hold for a 5 count. Release that breath on a 7 count. In this moment you are safe. In this moment SonHerisme is safe. In this moment you can breathe in love and breathe out love.

If you can, as you can, go do the things even if the things are preservative rest.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. according to Chase’s Calendar of Events, yesterday was hot tea with a poem day and I liked that bit – the rest of yesterday, though… anywho #carryonpeacewarriors

Piece of Peace

(or listen here, breathe in breathe out)

Today I am practicing peace.

Not hoping for peace. Not praying for peace. Not working for peace.

Practiced Peace

Energetically Earthed

Appropriate Amity

Centered Calmness

Engaged Empathy

Today I am practicing peace and I am sharing a piece of it with you because I like you.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

#carryonpeacewarriors

ps is my New Year’s Resolution showing?

also, I am holding my toothbrush in my left hand when I brush my teeth today. Changing things up to trick my brain into a bit of a rewire. Are we all doing this now?

in addition, writing my representatives too – PEACE OUT

2142, 306, 70, 5 (hut, hut, HIKE)

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My teeny tiny sweet little puffin bear turned 12 y’all.

Stats:  5’8″ and 1/2 (growing every single day), 145 lbs, braces on the upper teeth (green), shaggy light brown COVID19 hair, sparkly light brown golden eyes, and super adorbs handsome

He is healthy.  He is safe.  He is a good person.  We are both blessed (and freaking lucky!).

This upcoming week is going to be another tough one in building resilience for my little man-boy.

We are expected at SonHerisme’s therapist’s office on Thursday afternoon for him to accept a phone call from MrexH.  (backstory link)

This has been looming for some time.  At this point, SonHerisme just wants it over.  I am in agreement.

5 years, 10 months, 1 week, 5 days

or

70 months, 1 week, 5 days

or

306 weeks

or

2142 days

… have passed since SonHerisme and MrexH have had direct contact, other than a few birthday cards.

I try to absolve myself of any responsibility for the lack of contact.  While it is true that I advocated for what I thought was best for SonHerisme’s safety and well-being, ultimately I have followed every advice and guidance from lawyers, the court and therapists, regardless of my own instincts (self preservation, y’all).  It is difficult for me to parse out truth sometimes (thanks abuse and ptsd), so I do heavily rely upon trusted experts to figure out what I should be doing.  I am slow even with clear instructions, but I get there eventually (insert anxiety, insomnia, crying, vomiting, paralyzing disassociation) (also, don’t be jealous).

Then guilt sets in.

Maybe I didn’t do enough.

Maybe I did too much.

Maybe I should have more forgiveness and grace in my heart.

Maybe I am the ill one.  Maybe I am a narcissist.

Maybe I misread situations.

Maybe, maybe, maybe

Then I have to cycle myself through the copious paperwork outlining the actual events which lead to the separation and my fierce protection of SonHerisme.

This process is a painful redundant meticulous fact recall to fill my conscious brain with reality instead of my perfected projection spin.  (note:  I also anthropomorphize everything, so this is alas, a known super ingrained powerful pattern of mine. Imagination and creativity = YAY! Except when it isn’t).  This is in addition to current facts which include that MrexH’s entire family shut SonHerisme out of their lives as well when he was 6 years old.  They have the same amount of hours in their day to reach out, and they all choose not to.

Thus runs my cycle (again, don’t be jealous).

Maybe this cycling stops at some point and I will be free.  There is not any evidence of that just yet.  Although I suspect the cycle runs through a bit quicker now that I have been doing this as a practice for years plus months plus days plus hours plus minutes plus seconds, now.

This will be a hard week.  SonHerimse has been asking when he can say, “no,” for himself about contact with MrexH because it is all a painful wound reopening every time we visit the topic.

Please send some peace to SonHerisme.  Please send bubbles of protection and courage for his sweet sensitive heart.

Thanks y’all

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

ps.  I’ve sent MrexH 235 court ordered weekly progress reports on SonHerisme to date

 

 

HASHTAGing it (BOITT)

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I have everything and nothing to say at the moment.

Please check on your family and neighbors.

Please be kind.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps.  If you need a break from the heaviness, since you cannot snuggle and hang out with my sweet little SonHerisme, google “Greg Davies.” I know I’m woefully over-late to that party (BIOTT), but holy heck he is full-on funny! Sweet baby BeeGeeZus, I hope he isn’t a misogynist/racist/bigoted douche.  If so, apologies!!!  If not, you’re welcome! And if by some totally bizarre COVID induced Thanos-esque universe twist, you ARE Greg Davies: apologies and thank you for making me laugh and take good care of yourself – healthy wishes to you and yours!

pps.  Be kind and spread your love – we are all hurting and our family, neighbors and friends of color, extra systemically so. {{{Hugs}}} and courage humans #listentothem #startwithIjeomaOluo #thenreadStamped #thenreadandlistenmore

ppss.  BIOTT = Blame It On The Trauma  Admittedly a victimy copout, but there it is nonetheless.  I can take your judgement, don’t worry.  I happen to be an expert on that bc BIOTT!

I like you xoxo

From One (seriously amateur) Critic to Another (world renowned, Pulitzer Prize kind)

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I also like to think about things other than my own situation (surprise!).

A friend of mine reposted the following quote from Philip Kennicott’s FaceBook page:

“After all, I am not seeking to be reconciled with worthlessness, but what I do seek is the most ruthless war…It is not a question of convincing other people and winning them over; it is a question purely and simply of extermination…”

American politics, circa 2016? Fascist leader, circa 1939? No, Richard Wagner, in 1849, in a letter to a friend and ally about the composer’s forthcoming writings on opera and society. It’s bracing re-reading Wagner’s writings, coming face-to-face with his ugliness and mental instability. But this mentality, this idea that it’s not about persuasion but victory, not about advancing an argument but defeating the enemy, exists in many fields of human endeavor, especially those that are intricately bound up with the marketplace and competition. Humiliating other people becomes more satisfying than actual success; sadism replaces the productive, emulative force within capitalism. Applied to politics, its natural end is anarchy or fascism, with the former a way station to the latter. I suppose no one is innocent of the pleasure. Even children might acknowledge that in fact it was never about staying up an hour past bedtime. It was about defeating Mom and Dad.

 

My response to her Kennicott repost:

ah, yes, humans being humans… yet somehow we always find it surprising and disappointing. I suppose it is disappointing, considering how long we have been around as a species, knowing how similar and cyclical we are. However, I do believe that we are uniquely poised at this time in history, as in no other time, to tip over into a whole new, primarily peaceful progressive era. At no other time in history have we had so many educated people of all sexes, races, beliefs, who are able to connect and communicate quickly and without many barriers. I am not suggesting that the tipping part will be easy or without serious turmoil, I do suggest that tipping over into something positive and unprecedented, is a great possibility, more so now than at any other time in history. The end ttys xo

 

 

How are you feeling about the future of the United States of America, considering the recent controversial elections?

 

Or our collective global futures?

 

I am so curious because I recognize that I live inside of a series of concentric bubbles, which can make it quite difficult to see things from other perspectives.

 

Love, Ms. Herisme xo

ps. I wish I had added a response to Kennicott’s comment about children wanting to defeat Mom and Dad. I disagree with that statement. It implies that children are able to process their frustrations in terms of “other” and I do not believe that is developmentally possible in the majority of children.  Children protest bedtimes for a number of reasons – most of which can be traced to fear and being in control of themselves, not a malicious intent toward their caregiver or parent (no matter HOW FRUSTRATING we as parents experience those moments – they are NOT about US).  My further 2 cents on the matter J xo