Take-Backs

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As predicted by the path of past experiences, it is the ol’ familiar take-backs time for my brain in a no take-backs reality.

After 9-11 I remember sitting on the commuter bus going to work downtown and looking at the bright blue sky dotted with puffy fluffs of white clouds. In a big city there are always airplanes making their way here and there across the big sky. On this day, there weren’t any airplanes. The sky was so empty of airplanes that is was starkly noticeable by everyone that something on this day was dramatically different. It was in that moment that the shock ripped through my body of how everyone on that commuter bus knew the tragedy and death of 9-11. Everyone knew it. That knowledge of pain and horror was just sitting there like a solid lead apron on all of us. All of us knowing people burned, people were crushed, people knew they were going to die, some had to hold little children while they died, some had to fall hundreds of feet in terror, some people had to choke to death, some people did not know they were going to die. All of us on this bus had this knowing of horror. I wanted to grab all of the knowledge and take the pain away from everyone. I wanted to scream with that knowledge and run it far away from anyone so that they would not feel this unbearable pain. There weren’t any take-backs.

In April 2014 I sat hunched over, clutching my sweater as close to my body as I could just in case it could swallow me up out of the freezing nightmare, in an oversized winged-backed chair, in a fancy office, across a large desk from a seriously hard-core put together not a hair out of place attorney. I could see her looking at me very intensely. I could hear she was talking to me, but I could not unscramble the words she was saying so that I could understand them. Then I heard something. She said, “You are here to hire me to get you divorced. Correct? You want a divorce. Correct?” My response, “Is that what I am supposed to do now?” In that moment I knew that she knew what was going on. Which meant that other people I had spoken to knew as well. The police knew. My family knew. A few friends knew. This knowing of others knowing cut through me like the hottest coldest quickest jaggedy edge blade. There weren’t any take-backs.

Similar experiences with my first malignant cancer diagnosis (I’m a-okay!), Frump as a ballot candidate, onset of COVID, and every single freaking damned school shooting. And each time the worst part is that there are NO TAKE-BACKS.

Those kids, those children, those teachers, those lives are gone. The lives of their families, friends, communities are forever marked by these events. There are no take-backs. There are no amends to be made. No mea culpa. As a nation we have venerated and voted for radicalized fascism under the guise of pseudo-christianesqueness for at least the past 40 years.

COVID has forced us to somewhat face what and who we are as a nation. I am so relieved, honestly, to see many of us rising to speak openly and take actions from a place of love for humanity rather than sinking into the fear and zero-sum-game tropes. The information is out about us and cannot be pushed back into irrelevancy because there are also no take-backs for verified accurate information dissemination. There are also no take-backs for the march of time. Rising generations of activists and voters are now outnumbering the groups of culturally indoctrinated zero-summers. Those interested in promoting inhumane policies, laws, and governance, will always exist, of course. But they will become more and more outnumbered by the rest of us who know that unregulated civilian access to rapid fire automatic or whatever weapons of those ilk, are not humane. They will become more outnumbered by the rest of us who know that equitable access to healthcare (including mental, dental too!), education/training, food sources, affordable housing, and community are critical for a productive functioning healthy nation.

Those children that we are all okay with exposing to COVID will be voting in 13-18 years. 

In 13-18 years, almost 22% of our population will be between 71-95 years old. 

I wonder how those full of teen angsty- idealism voters are going to feel about a large portion of those 71-95 year olds, plus pockets of following generations, having decided their health and lives were worth risking over their abject refusal to wear a small covering over their noses and mouths while inside, and take free vaccines. 

I wonder how they're going to feel knowing that those 71-95 year olds consistently voted against taking care of our planet while voting for more destruction of our planet. 

I wonder how they're going to feel about those 71-95 year olds denying their country equitable access to health care, despite having proven data through their entire adult lives that it was cheaper and more beneficial for everyone to have equitable access to health care. 

I wonder how they are going to feel about how it was more important to us that they may be murdered at school than we demand better gun safety regulations and school staff/community support. AND that we specifically voted for elected officials who would accept monies from those profiting off of children being murdered in schools and develop legislation in favor of more guns being more available to more people without any oversight or acknowledgement of responsibility to the communities (much less humanity) they were elected to represent and serve (communities include ALL humans - even birth-five year olds). 

I wonder how they are going to feel about continued veneration of systemic racism and inhumane discriminatory policies. 

There are no take-backs for many of these things. Only moving forward by addressing them head-on with humane, thoughtful, truth-centered, meaningful conversations followed by humane, thoughtful, truth-centered, meaningful actions. I mean in the best ways we can as individuals. I am not the door-to-door knocking, yelling demonstrator, or logo-ed t-shirt person. I am quite bad at all of those things. Writing a letter, speaking to groups, putting things in bags to send out – those things I can do.

I wish there were take-backs. I want to take all of the most horrific of the horrors away and wipe the deepest awful pains clean. We are flawed. Lives are hard. We can only control our reactions.

In my house last night SonHerisme shared with MotherHerisme that one of his favorite teachers was leaving for a long vacation with his family. They are going to stay near where SonHerisme’s father, MrexH, lives. MotherHerisme responded to SonHerisme, “Is he going to see your father while he’s there?” SonHerisme responded, “Why would he do that? You don’t make any sense, Granny.” Afterward, SonHerisme’s demeanor changed rapidly, as it does when his trauma surrounding his father is triggered. It is almost as if mentally and physically his insides are on fire. We left the house for evening tennis and SonHerisme was very quiet for the entire car ride. On the return home, I opened up the conversation to help SonHerisme work through his anger and to have a plan of how to further move with and understand his emotions. At one point SonHerisme looked over at me, saying, “You know what momma? Next time Granny goes to the hospital, I’m going to tell her that I really hope she sees her dad there!” Because he is dead – but you already have guessed that, I imagine.

Entering the angers. Acknowledging the angers. Sitting with the angers. Moving with the angers. Holding space for the angers.

I spoke to MotherHerisme today while SonHerisme was at school. Her response, predictably, was to break down into a puddle of toddler-worthy dramatic tears. “I didn’t mean anything. I didn’t mean to hurt his feelings!” She does not know what she does not want to know. She only knows what has been drilled into her which is that if you are doing well as judged by the judging people, and a white lady, then you are morality personified and should always demonstrate that by being happy, insisting those around you must be happy, and it is your duty to shame and punish those who are not happy or doing well, as those are indicators that they are morally inept or unworthy. When flaws are pointed out = epic meltdowns. She thrives on the idea of her divine right to take-backs no matter what. This is her cornerstone of her trauma-response sanity.

I will continue to walk this path in different supportive ways with SonHerisme as he changes and grows through his life path. He is my most and best and favorite. No take backs ever.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Guns Out

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Grief – Anger – Activism

This is the way.

The following letter is long, I know. It is what it is with my angers/emotions. I have sent it to my representatives. Feel free to copy, paste, modify and send your letters as well. MomsDemandAction.org and any government representatives who are fiercely advocating for equitable humane federal responses to gun violence, are great places to start to donate your time or a few dollars of support. And please, for the preservation of humanity and democracy, VOTE. Always use your privilege to vote.

Ms. Herisme
Average Humane Citizen
Everytown, USA
May 25, 2022

Dear (Public Representative),

This is my appeal to you as my elected representative to put yourself at the forefront of publicly condemning gun violence and spearheading basic federal legislation to protect us from gun violence.

I am angry and frustrated with how hard we have all worked to vote in representatives to turn the tide of our fall from democracy into autocratic fascism, only to end up with inadequate action based on the pretense of trying to bring two viewpoints into some compromise. While I agree that we can have opposing viewpoints working towards compromise, that is clearly NOT the case we are facing when one entire political party has clearly aligned itself with gaslighting abusive misogynistic authoritarian fascism. I implore you and your colleagues to cease behaving as if there is any way to compromise with abusive inhumane legislators and behaviors. 

The issue I am concerned with today which we need immediate humane action on to maintain our democracy, is gun control.

We need YOUR IMMEDIATE LEADERSHIP ON:
•	Banning high-capacity ammunitions magazines and automatic rapid fire assault weapons for any non-military environment.
•	Requiring criminal background checks, including domestic violence, for every gun publicly or privately sold, traded, or transported in/out of the country.
•	Requiring all firearms and ammunitions sold, bought, traded, etc to have a unique registered tracing stamp, like a car VIN.
•	Banning any ability for gun ownership, ability to trade/sell/transport guns or ammunition for violators of these regulations.
•	Funding the ATF to oversee and enforce these laws.
•	Funding mental health and social services with equitable access for all, and acknowledgement of racial/socioeconomic disparity, at the community level to prevent and respond to crisis.

The very well-funded gun lobby has spent years gaslighting us by insisting that the only way to prevent gun assaults in schools, churches, supermarkets, etc is for more of us to have more guns. This is a disgusting lie we have been sold in order for the NRA to boost dangerous military-style cosplay by frightened, entitled, disenfranchised, abuse-prone, sometimes mentally unstable men. The NRA backed businesses make more money to rally more and sell more military style equipment, and the cycle continues.

Men are going into spaces and killing people because they all have one thing in common – access to guns, especially those which will do the most damage, along with perpetuated cultural delusion of military style guns=power and control grandeur. These men have been sold to want that more than anything else, including any respect or reverence for their own lives, much less anyone else’s, including our children in schools.

The very well-funded gun lobby has spent years gaslighting us by insisting that any gun control laws violate our “right of the people to keep and bear arms,” which is blatantly false. We can continue to own guns with some regulations on protection and prevention of further public crisis. I am a responsible gun owner. My son, 13, is currently taking gun safety classes with the intention of becoming a responsible gun owner when he is an adult. I agree and support our right to bear arms. I do NOT agree with the NRA bastardizing our rights as unfettered access and entitlement to military grade automatic, rapid fire weapons. 

As a nation we hold not just accountability for our ability to maintain our rights as we collectively define and redefine them while we develop, change and grow, but also an obligation to ourselves, our nation, our global neighbors, and our future, to be held accountable for how we are maintaining these rights. It is impossible to argue for unfettered access to any fire arms without adequate equitable support or regulations with this access, and maintain that as a nation we feel any obligation to public health, keeping children alive in schools, or humanity at all.

The following are a few of your coworkers who cannot be considered or reasoned with because they have received money from the NRA and are fighting to develop and maintain anti-humane legislation regarding weapons in this country:

Senator Romney $13,647,676 received from the NRA 
Senator Burr $6,987,380 received from the NRA
Senator Blunt $4,555,722 received from the NRA
Senator Tillis $4,421,333 received from the NRA
Senator Gardner $3,939,199 received from the NRA
Senator Rubio $3,303,355 received from the NRA

For comparison, the average Social Worker earns $58K a year. Senator Romney could fund 235 full time Social Workers to support public health crisis with his NRA money - he does not.

Before any of them address anything to do with discussions on adequate and appropriate gun control, or any public official (Cruz, Abbott and their disgusting sycophants) who is not vocally, publicly, well-intentioned, actively disengaged from the NRA in all ways, they should be made to listen to the following list of schools as they are, through their NRA and lack of gun/healthcare support, actively advocating for students, my child, your child, to die by gunshots in schools, courtesy of their inability to see beyond their own greed. The following schools have been targeted with gun violence just since Columbine. I challenge you to READ THESE ALOUD to the person closest to you right now. I promise it will make a painful truth come alive to honor them this way by refusing to look away from this horrific public health crisis we are allowing in our schools (and communities) by having elected officials who are not addressing gun control. These schools, students, teachers, staff, children have been sacrificed by us in the name of our warped interpretation of our right to bear arms. We are abysmally shamefully inhumane.

Columbine High School
Heritage High School
Deming Middle School
Fort Gibson Middle School
Buell Elementary School
Lake Worth Middle School
University of Arkansas
Junipero Serra High School
Santana High School
Bishop Neumann High School
Pacific Lutheran University
Granite Hills High School
Lew Wallace High School
Martin Luther King, Jr. High School
Appalachian School of Law
Washington High School
Conception Abbey
Benjamin Tasker Middle School
University of Arizona
Lincoln High School
John McDonogh High School
Red Lion Area Junior High School
Case Western Reserve University
Rocori High School. 
Ballou High School. 
Randallstown High School. 
Bowen High School. 
Red Lake Senior High School. 
Harlan Community Academy High School. 
Campbell County High School. 
Milwee Middle School. 
Roseburg High School. 
Pine Middle School. 
Essex Elementary School. 
Duquesne University. 
Platte Canyon High School. 
Weston High School. 
West Nickel Mines School. 
Joplin Memorial Middle School. 
Henry Foss High School. 
Compton Centennial High School. 
Virginia Tech. 
Success Tech Academy. 
Miami Carol City Senior High School. 
Hamilton High School. 
Louisiana Technical College. 
Mitchell High School. 
E.O. Green Junior High School. 
Northern Illinois University. 
Lakota Middle School. 
Knoxville Central High School. 
Willoughby South High School. 
Henry Ford High School. 
University of Central Arkansas. 
Dillard High School. 
Dunbar High School. 
Hampton University. 
Harvard College. 
Larose-Cut Off Middle School. 
International Studies Academy. 
Skyline College. 
Discovery Middle School. 
University of Alabama. 
DeKalb School. 
Deer Creek Middle School. 
Ohio State University. 
Mumford High School. 
University of Texas. 
Kelly Elementary School. 
Marinette High School. 
Aurora Central High School. 
Millard South High School. 
Martinsville West Middle School. 
Worthing High School. 
Millard South High School.
Highlands Intermediate School. 
Cape Fear High School. 
Chardon High School. 
Episcopal School of Jacksonville. 
Oikos University. 
Hamilton High School. 
Perry Hall School. 
Normal Community High School. 
University of South Alabama. 
Banner Academy South. 
University of Southern California. 
Sandy Hook Elementary School. 
Apostolic Revival Center Christian School. 
Taft Union High School. 
Osborn High School. 
Stevens Institute of Business and Arts. 
Hazard Community and Technical College. 
Chicago State University. 
Lone Star College-North. 
Cesar Chavez High School. 
Price Middle School. 
University of Central Florida. 
New River Community College. 
Grambling State University. 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 
Ossie Ware Mitchell Middle School. 
Ronald E. McNair Discovery Academy. 
North Panola High School. 
Carver High School. 
Agape Christian Academy. 
Sparks Middle School. 
North Carolina A&T State University. 
Stephenson High School. 
Brashear High School. 
West Orange High School. 
Arapahoe High School. 
Edison High School. 
Liberty Technology Magnet High School. 
Hillhouse High School. 
Berrendo Middle School. 
Purdue University. 
South Carolina State University. 
Los Angeles Valley College. 
Charles F. Brush High School. 
University of Southern California. 
Georgia Regents University. 
Academy of Knowledge Preschool. 
Benjamin Banneker High School. 
D. H. Conley High School. 
East English Village Preparatory Academy. 
Paine College. 
Georgia Gwinnett College. 
John F. Kennedy High School. 
Seattle Pacific University. 
Reynolds High School. 
Indiana State University. 
Albemarle High School. 
Fern Creek Traditional High School. 
Langston Hughes High School. 
Marysville Pilchuck High School. 
Florida State University. 
Miami Carol City High School. 
Rogers State University. 
Rosemary Anderson High School. 
Wisconsin Lutheran High School. 
Frederick High School. 
Tenaya Middle School. 
Bethune-Cookman University. 
Pershing Elementary School. 
Wayne Community College. 
J.B. Martin Middle School. 
Southwestern Classical Academy. 
Savannah State University. 
Harrisburg High School. 
Umpqua Community College. 
Northern Arizona University. 
Texas Southern University. 
Tennessee State University. 
Winston-Salem State University. 
Mojave High School. 
Lawrence Central High School. 
Franklin High School. 
Muskegon Heights High School. 
Independence High School. 
Madison High School. 
Antigo High School. 
University of California-Los Angeles. 
Jeremiah Burke High School. 
Alpine High School. 
Townville Elementary School. 
Vigor High School. 
Linden McKinley STEM Academy. 
June Jordan High School for Equity. 
Union Middle School. 
Mueller Park Junior High School. 
West Liberty-Salem High School. 
University of Washington. 
King City High School. 
North Park Elementary School. 
North Lake College. 
Freeman High School. 
Mattoon High School. 
Rancho Tehama Elementary School. 
Aztec High School. 
Wake Forest University. 
Italy High School. 
NET Charter High School. 
Marshall County High School. 
Sal Castro Middle School. 
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Great Mills High School
Central Michigan University
Huffman High School
Frederick Douglass High School
Forest High School
Highland High School
Dixon High School
Santa Fe High School
Noblesville West Middle School
University of North Carolina Charlotte
STEM School Highlands Ranch
Edgewood High School
Palm Beach Central High School
Providence Career & Technical Academy
Fairley High School (school bus)
Canyon Springs High School
Dennis Intermediate School
Florida International University 
Central Elementary School
Cascade Middle School
Davidson High School
Prairie View A & M University 
Altascocita High School
Central Academy of Excellence
Cleveland High School
Robert E. Lee High School
Cheyenne South High School
Grambling State University
Blountsville Elementary School
Holmes County, Mississippi (school bus)
Prescott High School
College of the Mainland
Wynbrooke Elementary School
UNC Charlotte
Riverview Florida (school bus)
Second Chance High School
Carman-Ainsworth High School
Williwaw Elementary School
Monroe Clark Middle School
Central Catholic High School
Jeanette High School
Eastern Hills High School
DeAnza High School
Ridgway High School
Reginald F. Lewis High School
Saugus High School
Pleasantville High School
Waukesha South High School
Oshkosh High School
Catholic Academy of New Haven
Bellaire High School
North Crowley High School
McAuliffe Elementary School 
South Oak Cliff High School
Texas A&M University-Commerce
Sonora High School
Western Illinois University
Oxford High School
Robb Elementary School

These are just the schools. 

SHAME on all of us for allowing this to happen. SHAME on all of us for electing officials who fail us time and time again by pushing either personal interests in grabbing money from the NRA and affiliates, or pushing authoritarian fascism, believing their piece of greedy power and control will leave them in a protected sweet spot where laws and rules won’t apply to them at all.

I am angry. My community is angry. This country is fed up with the lack of boldly humane leadership, specifically in regards to gun control, mental health, racial/socioeconomic disparity, and safety for all. 

Please step up and do the job we the people want and need you to do. 

This is my appeal to you as my elected representative to put yourself at the forefront of publicly condemning gun violence and spearheading federal legislation to protect all of us from gun violence. 

If this is something you are unable to do, rest assured I will do everything I can to see someone else elected to represent us and get this done. These past few years have made me a single issue voter – either you are working to support equitable humane policies, or you are not.

If this is something you will do, I will write letters and contact anyone you need me to in order to support your efforts for necessary humane gun safety on our behalf.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Ms. Herisme 

What more can we do? After activism, maybe more thoughts and prayers… G-D Damn y’all g-d freaking damn. Keep safe and check on your neighbors.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Hoop Loop

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Maybe cycle of insanity – I do not know

When you were little, did you practice screaming just to see if you could do it? Just in case you needed to scream, you would know how so that people could hear you? I would go into the woods behind my house and try it out sometimes. When we moved away from the woods and into the outskirts of a European city in my 6th grade year, I tried to find a screaming practice place, but I couldn’t, so I stopped practicing.

My screaming practice resumed when I went to university.

The main road between my house and my university (about 30 minutes away but felt like a million) is route 27, aka the highway to heaven. It is a dinky little twisty farmlandish 2 lane road leading up to an isolated liberal arts university. Its “highway to heaven” moniker was a result of so many fatal/near fatal accidents along the route due to a bunch of crazy privileged university students zooming up and down with various levels of illegal substance brain effects. I drove a very very old baby blue VW beetle bug car at the time. I loved that car so very much. When it broke down (often), I could usually temporarily fix the problem with a bit of this and that (metal twist-ties) to get me on my way. On very hot days, I used my 2/55 air conditioning – roll two windows down and drive 55mph. With the engine heat blasting across the floorboard, I would hang my left foot out the window for a bit of extra cooling. Sometimes I had a companion in the passenger seat. If my companion was a girlfriend, we would sing Judd harmonies on the 30 minute drive. Most of the time, I was on my own, free spiriting down 27, dreaming of the life I would be creating or some current boy-man infatuation.

While Highway to Heaven driving, I often wondered about seeing things without looking and would close my eyes and count seconds (1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi…) as I pushed the gas pedal down hard, driving as fast as I dared. Sometimes I would play a passing game of how many cars I could pass in one go – forcing my little baby blue buggy’s speedometer to hit its highest marking point. Other times I would scream as loudly as I could, over and over until the painful terror decibels scratched my throat raw, just to be sure that I could still do it. I would practice with the windows rolled up, windows rolled down, with passengers, or alone. Don’t worry, I always gave my passengers warning and gave them the option of participating too. Some of them did and they were great screamers!

I stopped screaming when I left that university and that cozy little blue buggy was replaced with a sleek 4-door dark green (tan leather interior, natch) respectable Toyota. I thought this was how life goes. You grow, mature, get the things under control, put on your grown-up panties, and the things of life-ing life themselves right up.

f^cking bullshit as it turns out

A critical piece missing in that narrative is knowing that control is an illusion outside of how your mind processes life. Also, that there isn’t a prescriptive path that works out for most people. Many things (emotions, experiences) sometimes are in a loop. You age, of course, as you move along the outside, or stumble into feeling stuck on the inside, or float untethered on the outside. I see it is a seasonal loop like a circular calendar hoop. I teeter and totter here and there and everywhere – but there’s always the forward movement of something cycling in this life.

And cycle I must – we must. On my cycle, if I do not do routine things in an exact order, I cannot remember if I have done them or not. Regular things disappear very quickly from my brain. I cannot remember if/when I took a shower unless there is a little towel on my pillow from sleeping with wet hair. I cannot remember if I ate food unless I leave the dishes in the sink until I do final cleanup in the evening. I cannot remember if my teeth are brushed unless my toothbrush topper has been moved as a reminder that I already did that. My patterns and rituals of each day. And as far as my lady cycle, I have never been great at tracking it other than if I couldn’t remember the last time I had it, and I was thinking about menstruation, then it was time in the next few days. Of course, as I am slipping into olden lady times, this will no longer work. This is one reason why it took me so long to recognize what was happening in my marriage – I truly could not remember things well enough to see the deception. Oiy my broken braniac.

There is an abundance of information about an overwhelming amount of things combined with regular life happenings (at least regular for my life). Climate, Health rights, War, Treason, Resource Allocation, Data Brokerage, etc. Along with MrexH wanting to send SonHerisme a birthday gift, knowing I am months behind on the court ordered weekly updates (YUP still doing these), MotherHerisme’s ailments and care, FatherHerisme’s ailments and care, SonHerisme preparing to move up to a new school, sweet puppers need more teeth extracted, my house/deck/garden need attention, and me… well I am… eh, who knows? I am not walking with a steady gait around the loop, that’s for sure.

In honor of chaos overload, I decided to try a scream in my 14 year old car. I was driving past a farm on my street (not the goat king farm, a corn/soy rotation farm field before the little bridge – I live on a long road) and decided to see if I was brave enough to scream, or even if I could remember how to scream.

I took a few very deep cleansing breaths before grabbing the steering wheel firmly at 10 and 2 with both hands, finally pushing out a monstrously high pitched horrific scream from the darkest pit of my stomach. Then I burst into a crazy fit of giggles – at myself, alone in my car, on a country road rainy day.

I’m sure I’m fine.

My throat hurt for days. But I am glad that I did it.

A little girl in the back of my car last week told me how lucky SonHerisme is that he gets kisses when he gets in and out of my car. She wishes someone would kiss her too. She says her momma (single mom with past addiction issues, parent of two awesome kids) gives her kisses about five times a year because her momma is just too sad on the other days. I want to hold that momma and give her all of the comforting soup and tea in the universe. We are breaking our babies, y’all. Check on your neighbors. I’m the neighbor driving next to you screaming in my car to get the things out of me so that I can drive the babies home, be there to receive their worries and lessen the burdens placed on them, and to give ten million kisses to SonHerisme. And by screaming in my car, I mean internally horror film over-paid under-skilled actor screaming whilst exuding a bizarre sense of calm. Until I can no longer hold it in.

Hope is still here somewhere. I see evidence of it every time I plant something, or take my leftover lettuce, leeks, celery and such, attempting a new growth from the leftover stems.

I see evidence of hope when another crazy busy momma takes a moment out of her day to acknowledge the realness of us. I see evidence of hope in a 6’2″ 13-year-old creative learner’s hazel golden caramel windows to his soul. I see it in all of our babies walking around experiencing the things of life.

Yours in constant off-balance of hope and chaos,

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps I secretly cried y’all. For a hawt minute I welled up when my teensy tinsy giant newborn baby-boy-teen-man told me he would empty the dishwasher and fill it up for me, at the same time a thoughtful husband of a very sweet friend, sent an old video to me of him singing(he’s a professional singer/songwriter) a Happy Mother’s Day song with their then tiny toddler baby girl… We need our village people. Even if it is one or two people, we need them so very much. If I think on this right now, I will break until I river myself out. I wish a squeezy village for you too.

COVID is insanity y’all – please take good care of you and your community. Health/Humane rights are insane to debate y’all – please take good care of you and your community.

Horse Pistols

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(or listen here)

Maternal GrandparentsHerisme said their silly things when they were on this physical body side of existence such as:

All the way 'round the corner for a nickle!
When you assume something, you're just making an ass out of you and me.
Look at the fancy fence around that cemetery - that's because everyone's dying to get in there!
You know what they call the Hospital? Horse Pistol, because once you go in, the best you can hope for is that they take pity on you and put you down like a horse.
Spit in one hand, and wish in the other. See which gets filled faster and that's the one you can count on.
The sun is shining while the rain is coming down, which means that the devil is beating his wife - go on little devil and make a pretty rainbow.
Never write anything down that you don't want to see printed on the front page of a newspaper.

Y’all

Sheesh

y’all fuh realsies sheeshio magnifico splendcrapico wtfio I cannot believe I have not abandoned my postio toastio (and now I need tea-io yo-de-lay-hee-hoo-io)

obvs I am exhausted – as we all are WELCOME to life. Please keep your hands and feet inside at all times. Please check that your harness is secure. There is no emergency exit with re-entry options. Enjoy the ride because ain’t none of us gettin’ out of this one alive. Carry on life warriors.

Before FatherHerisme began his hospital ordeal, MotherHerisme was in the emergency department at our local hospital just before Christmas. The first time, I drove her there where she was discharged 12 hours later. The second time, 12 hours after her discharge, I phoned 911 because I physically could not get her into my car to drive her and she wasn’t able to remain conscious long enough to get into my car on her own. Not COVID. MotherHerisme remained in the hospital for 13 days.

As she began to feel a bit better while in the hospital, she refused to allow doctors or nurses to change her bandage on her leg (recurring ulcers of unknown origin), insisting that I come in to the hospital to change it for her. The first time I went in, you guys… I do not know how I did it (the bandage change, I mean). The room and charge nurses came in and out, and the hospitalist doctor came in just as I finished, all commenting that they too didn’t know how I managed to make it through. I was a bit concerned that I would vomit or pass out at points. When I felt it coming on, I stepped away from MotherHerisme’s bed, paced around a bit, got my disassociation on and went back in.

For those of you into grossnesses, a more detailed description of my experience is at the end of the post, with warning. I get that not all of our systems handle sensory input in the same way. SonHerisme is extremely squeamish.

Protologisms are the way. I have the spokened.

While staying with me over the holidays, FatherHerisme spent 4 hours at the hospital Urgent Care with a dramatically broken toe. They x-rayed, stabilizing booted him up, and sent him on his way with instructions to see his orthopedist when he returned to his home (8 hours over mountains away). He did so and found there were three broken toes with instructions to continue with stabilizing boot.

It could be that his stumbling and not remembering was an indication of the cacophony to come with the UTI, kidney infection, subsequent dialysis treatments, near death, COVID negative yet COVID affected by collapsing health care, which continues to this day. FatherHerisme is currently back in the hospital after less than 48 hours in a rehabilitation facility which left him dehydrated, unfed, unwashed, sat in urine, frightened, and exhausted. When I spoke with the person “in charge,” at the rehab facility, they responded that this was all due to my inability to communicate clearly with them that I had trust issues and required a higher level of communication than was reasonable. Hard fucking pass.

Back in the far away newly adulting times, I managed preschool/daycare/before and after school/summer camps for a national company. While not during pandemic times, I am well aware of expectations, trust and communication needs of people leaving loved ones in your care. Also, fuck them. If you do not have enough staff, STOP TAKING PATIENTS. STOP IT. Just fucking stop it. Also, the gaslighting bullshit dominating certain areas of our country (read: OHIO, for example, just out of the blue mentioning OHIO as an area having a HUGE poop-of-the-bull issue) is entirely intolerable, and I will have none of it. No thank you.

Poop-of-the-bull is courtesy of my dear friend’s youngest daughter who refuses to use ugly words but also needs to express her utter frustration at times. She’ll appropriately get to bullshit later, in her own time, as needed and entirely appropriate 🙂 I’m calling it now – our healthcare is BULLSHIT poop-of-the-bull and we continue to ignore the crumbling.

I also call bullshit on the purely politically motivated playing to the basest temper trantruming covidiots craptastic decision of removing masks in schools and on school buses.

I also call bullshit on our (entirely needed and appropriate) outpouring of support for Ukraine as we watch other areas like Afghanistan, Yemen, and Palestine crumble. They are all unique of course, but our hypocrisy is loud. UNICEF, Red Cross, local Ukrainian collections… My soul is pained for all of the suffering people. Damn, I hope Ukraine maintains full independence and sovereignty over themselves. Amplified better humaning needed all around. Do we even like our neighbors in this country? I don’t know how to tell.

I also call bullshit on Universal Healthcare not being a thing in the US yet. This is the poop of the bull all up and down the beltway and beyond. POOP OF THE BULL

Thank you for coming to my Herisme rant. I’m walking through the things that I do everyday. As I am tipping into olden times, I recognize that I continue to walk through the awful not because I think that things will get better in the way I envision, or that I will rise above it all to no longer be affected to the point of falling asleep out of sheer exhaustion every time I stop physically moving. I continue to walk through as a practice for the next hard thing that comes along. I continue to walk through to provide SonHerisme concrete examples of how to navigate the hard things which will inevitably come his way throughout his life (as a natural part of living). I continue to walk through so that I can see the reminders to appreciate and enjoy the unique and special moments of love, beauty, and joy that pop out no matter the horrible tornado hurricane swirls of crazy hard things that come along. I know that I am not brave, I am privileged. I know that I am not strong, I am privileged. I am doing the things of the doing as they arise (my WORDLE start everyday), as we all do.

This probably sounds crazy, and is most likely crazy yet you’re still here so… Sometimes I wish I had the strength to have an actual escape – addictions like alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, the whatnots of so-called vices. I just do not have the energy, resources, or confidence that I could pull any of that off. I wear cozy scarves and long sleeves to keep my head up and feel protected. I do the same 5 minute calisthenic routine as I brush my teeth and apply deodorant in the mornings, like a talisman or blessing on my day (truths out, the blessing occasionally only sticks for the duration of the teeth brushing). I wear my hair the same almost everyday. I eat the same food almost everyday (spinach shout-out!). My outfits are a version of the same thing everyday (add heavier sweaters in colder months natch). This is my way of controlling what I can to feel some normative center in the swirl.

A shared thought with a sweet friend the other day was that perhaps the universe keeps throwing heavy my way so that I don’t fully collapse post any of the crazy because I do not have time and SonHerisme still needs his momma. Perhaps I am on the universal step-down-from-trauma plan! *fingers crossed* there is a generous in-ground heated saltwater swimming pool in the shade with a cabana, composting toilet, sauna room, with invites for all of ya’ll on the final step down. I’m calling poop of the bull if there isn’t.

None of this is like Scrubs at all. I can’t do this all on my own. Thank you for being here and holding space for all of this.

Love, Ms, Herisme xoxo

***WARNING**** vivid description of bandage change ahead

Prior to becoming hospitalized, MotherHerisme was refusing to shower more than once each week, sometimes waiting up to 10 days. I changed her bandage at home about 6 days before being admitted to the hospital. At that time, her two leg wounds had opened from the size of pencil erasers, or smaller, and only on the surface, to larger than quarters and much deeper, especially the lower wound (closer to her ankle). Her leg was swollen and red, obviously irritated. This happens occasionally and I typically apply a topical steroid mixed with A&D ointment for dermatitis as recommended by the wound care and rheumatologist doctors. I also apply topical gentamicin to the wound bed(s).

Once MotherHerisme was admitted to a hospital room, the charge nurse phoned me because MotherHerisme refused to allow any doctor or nurse remove her bandage and check her wound both in the emergency department and on the critical care floor. The wound smell was nauseating the medical staff. MotherHerisme had a terrible prior experience in that hospital when her wounds were about 8inches high and completely circumferential. At that time, the hospital staff repeatedly debrided her wounds with only topical lidocaine at the most (and a few times without any pain relief other than tylenol). At the time she was also on a fentanyl patch, which did not work for her pain, but did give her hallucinations. She has had multiple debridements since then using either versed or full anesthesia in the OR during other grafting prep/grafting procedures.

Thank goodness masks were required because her wounds were extremely horrific smelling – which got worse as I removed bandages. I could smell the wound as I was walking down the hallway towards her room. The overpowering rotting disgusting stench felt as if it was washing over me and sticking to me like vaporous slime molecules of gooey brownish yellow death. Speaking of which, that is what her wounds looked like as I removed the bandage. Compression stocking, ace bandage, cotton wrap, abd pads, keramax, drawtex, and final inside layer next to the skin, mepitel. The consistency of what I tried to wash off and came off with some of the bandaging, was thick yellow brown gooey foul pudding raw egg slime. Her wounds were deteriorating. One had a thick dime-sized area of black, which the hospitalist Doctor thought might be necrotic. Somehow I (not even remotely educated in health care) thought I should correct him (an actual doctor), and pointed out that it was most likely a build-up of blood which would need cleaned out. I added that I would not be doing that kind of cleaning at this time because I was about to pass out from the visual and olfactory overload. The doctor nodded at me, and I continued to move the process along as best as I could. A nurse came and quickly changed out the chuck pad underneath the wounds. I applied medications, lotions, and re-wrapped MotherHerisme’s leg. I removed my gloves into the special trash bin and thoroughly washed my hands. In the bathroom, I made eye contact with myself to make sure I wasn’t passed out and to ground myself into reality so that my feet would move. Somehow I kissed my mother on her cheek and left.

I do not know how to do these things and I never ever know if I can do these things. I just do the things y’all – just like you – then I wonder WTF and how and why and how and WTF and also I am so sorry for all of the suffering in the world. All of the people in all of the healthcare worlds have my empathy for reals. I hope I am doing the right thing in my tiny corner of the world to ease some suffering somewhere for someone. #carryonhealthwarriors

The Wars We Weave

(Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

When first we practice to deceive and misbelieve and dominance achieve

Never give in. Never give in. 
Never, never, never, never - in nothing, great or small, large or petty - 
never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense. 
Never yield to force. 
Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

-Sir Winston Churchill October 29, 1941

In my tiny protected isolated privileged hillside corner speck of the world, this is how I respond to today:

  • I examine the things I am using everyday looking for how I am contributing to inhumane actions
  • I am writing to the companies which I have invested in as a consumer to make them aware of my knowledge of their investments into profiting off of groups/countries who are contributing to inhumane actions
  • I am asking myself to take action to no longer participate with those companies (beyond the “grab-your-wallet” crew)

Starbucks heard from me first, since I popped in there earlier today as a treat for SonHerisme.

Dear Starbucks, 
As a frequent Starbucks patron for years (including two trips to see your original Seattle store!), 
I will no longer be using any Starbucks products due to your connection with China 
who supports the brutal Russian invasion of the Ukraine. I have stood by this company 
for years, but will no longer do so until you publicly break any ties you have with 
business or products from or with China or Russia.

Other than pray, meditate, pour love into SonHerisme, take care of myself, ParentsHerisme and their puppies, the rest of the family and friends… I do not know what else to do. My soul hurts. Afghanistan. Yemen. Palestine. Ukraine. All of the places with all of the unnecessary malevolent carnival of contemptible heinous devastating hurts.

What are we doing to each other?

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

Masks will no longer be required in our schools as of tomorrow. We have 3 & 4 year-olds in most of our schools, who are not eligible for vaccines. Our High Schools have preschools. Our Elementary Schools have preschools. I do not understand what in the actual fuck we are doing.

Harari’s article is how I see the things.

Tonight I will write more letters, make the dinner, do the laundry, hug my tiny newborn giant boy-teen-man-bear, cover my head with my extra fuzzy cozy pile of blankets, and pray for all of us. Please dear humans, let us make better choices. We can be a different kind of carnival of animals. Please and Thank You. Sincerely, everyone who cares about anyone and all of the sweet children and non-whitemale parents in Texas

Something of the (un)Marvelous

Artwork by Katie Daisy (I lurve her)
(or listen here)

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.” So says Plato’s polymath pupil, classical Greek philosopher, and Lyceum founder, Aristotle. I’m guessing he never met a plague or COVID-19 plus variants. This cannot be true though, because there was a severe outbreak of something which wiped out Athenian culture by killing 1/4 – 1/3 of the population in 420 BC. Maybe for Aristotle “marvelous” is not a correct interpretation of his Greek. I wonder if the word used meant more “impactful with wonderment,” rather than truly marvelous.

Wasn’t it Aristotle who wrote about three different kinds of souls? Plants having a growth and reproductive soul only, while animals have that as well as being able to feel and express basic sensations along with mobility. The most evolved souls being humans with all of the above plus thought, stories, and moral reflections, natch.

None of my brainiaking things are flushing out at the moment. Yet, I’ll continue… The Aristotle quote is on my wall calendar in the kitchen. It’s surrounded by gentle, sweet, lovely artwork by Katie Daisy. January 2022. Still heavily into COVID times – driven deeper into infections, lingering physical and mental effects, plus an enormity of deaths (25 here just in the past week). Instead of true mitigation, we were initially sucked into a vortex of gaslighting for the first year, from which we have yet to recover. While the vaccines are widely available (in this country), we defy our own humane self interests and continue to allow our human selves to be sidelined by splashy crazy-town shock headlines and cuckoo influencers. It is as if we clown down to the lowest common denominator despite knowing this path is self destructive. All we can focus on is that our ability to grow and reproduce wealth/widgets/whatever is being impeded. Our response is a collective temper tantrum to get OUR way. FREEDOM to smile at school. FREEDOM to breathe. FREEDOM over what goes into my body. etc

We KNOW that mask wearing and vaccines save lives from this insidious airborne disease. If we had taken a hawt fucking minute out of our own bubble of fairy dust make believe at any time since the flu epidemic of 1918ish, we would have culturally normalized wearing masks when inside highly populated areas and when we are ill in order to save lives and preserve health as humans. It is not this damn difficult to comprehend. Cultures have been publicly communicating with their faces partially covered since the time of forever.

The narrative that some how kids are missing out on developing cues because of mask wearing is just plain shortsighted temper tantruming because we are inconvenienced by a piece of cloth meant to prevent us from becoming chronically ill/dying or passing on a chronic illness/death. We KNOW that kids thrive in outdoor environments and we have had two years to figure out how to put best practices into place in order to maximize outdoor learning for schools. Yet here we are still complaining about masks equating to personal freedoms despite no masks equaling disaster level human illness/death. You want your kids to have your school experiences? Never going to happen and shouldn’t happen because PROGRESS and generations and we were not doing education very well then either. You want your kids in school learning? LISTEN to educators who have been SCREAMING for support in order to educate our future since the time of mandated public education. Because right now what we are sending our kids into are broken buildings full of broken supplies and broken people we continue to villanize despite them showing up everyday to try and impart reading/mathing/sciencing/arting/humaning skills to our collective human future. We are expecting our schools to teach academics, interpersonal skills, adulting preparation, feed our children, keep them safe at all costs, be emotionally available to our children and to us, indulge and entertain them no matter what for the majority of their awake hours 5 days each week. And yet, we cannot fathom wearing masks in order to protect the health of the staff or other vulnerable community members while they juggle all of the everythings? We are the assholes here – seriously. A plant soul who’s only focus is growth and reproduction. Unlike the plant, we stubbornly stay on course growing other people’s wealth through our acceptance of reproductive tasks, to our own collective detriment.

But, but, but, I cannot breathe! And I want full control over what goes into my body! A. You CAN breathe with a mask on (see all of human history where masks are culturally worn plus people with entire careers in environments where masks are required). And 2: If you feel you cannot breathe, this is a FEELING which can be retrained through professional support. The sensation of feeling as if you cannot breathe has evolved you into the animal soul realm!

*****break in thought and days later****

You guys. People. Humans. FatherHerisme is in the ICU dying because of COVID even though he does not have COVID. He did everything – we did everything that we were supposed to do. Yet our healthcare system is in collapse because of this damned pandemic and gaslighting pieces of shit leadership who have all encouraged selfish dipshits to baby tantrum over reality because it is too inconvenient for them until they die or their loved one suffers and dies. FatherHerisme was left for three days with increasing toxicity in his body due to kidney failure, without treatment. This means that as his body became more toxic, his skin was waxy, salty, and an odd color. This means that his entire body was involuntarily shaking and jerking about constantly. This means that he could not swallow, eat or drink on his own (yet the hospital staff did not have time to help him). This means that he soiled himself multiple times and when he was eventually cleaned up by staff, he was tossed about without regard to his screams of pain or basic dignity. This means that he received little to no pain medication or his regular medications because he could not push the button or request help because he lost some of his cognitive ability. This means that he was crying out in terror and extreme pain for THREE fucking days before they got him into dialysis.

FatherHerisme did what humans do. He gave up and withdrew into the smallest part of his being to protect himself. He shut down. He refused to take any modified medications because he no longer trusted that he wasn’t going to be hurt. He was suffering in ways I hope that none of us can imagine.

THIS is what COVIDIOTS have done.

After 10 days, FatherHerisme was moved to a rehab facility due to SisterHerisme spending 6 hours making phone calls to arrange transportation, dialysis appointments, room accommodations at a rehab facility and Doctor support. SisterHerisme did this all while sitting with FatherHerisme who was entirely unresponsive in the hospital – not even able to swallow to drink water.

On the 11th day, FatherHerisme had something to drink (a very small amount), infrequently uttered random words, but still unable to swallow he is labeled as “refusing food and most attempts to help him drink or take medications.” His body wants to live. Mentally, he wants to die.

I am feeling angry.

I agree that nature is marvelous. I suggest that due to flagrant assholery, the verdict on COVID being impactful with wonderment is still out.

I hope that you never have to watch your loved one suffer neglect on any scale. I know the staff are supremely overworked and underpaid. I also know what is inhumane. Reducing someone to an inconvenient organism when you are charged with care of their precious being is truly disgusting. Especially when you have every resource at your fingertips to make different choices.

I am angry.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. this post was written over a period of time and I do not have the energy to communicate any of this information in a different manner. Please send comfort and love to FatherHerisme. He needs to feel safe and loved no matter what choice he makes about recovery. He has had some seriously crappy things happen in his life that I feel are manifesting great depression and despondency in his brain as he works through the general body detox of dialysis plus neglect/abuse at the hospital. I love my daddy and I still need him. SonHerisme and NiecesHerisme still need him. He has tried so hard to do the right thing his entire life, even though he has missed the mark sometimes – and by miles. Sadly, he has always been aware that he has missed the mark but could never consistently figure out what he could do differently, other than by retreating to himself. I wish he had been able to reach out for support – he just has been unable to do so for reasons only he could define (or perhaps not).

I am angry and weary and completely sad.

Update going on 5 weeks now: After only being kept alive due to having a pacemaker, my father is in a better hospital and out of the ICU! He stood up three times out of bed yesterday and his bloods/vitals are looking very good WHEW W H E W WHEW. SonHerisme and I flew out to visit FatherHerisme this past weekend. Although SonHerisme is not old enough to visit FatherHerisme, and they have the COVID-times rule of one visitor for one visit within 24 hours, I was able to SEE him, hold his hand, rub his forehead and sneak a cheek kiss. COVID rules are strictly enforced there since 2 weeks ago some anti-maskers came into the hospital and attacked nurses and doctors. Humans – on brand for assholery. I know something will happen to FatherHerisme someday – but in the meantime, I would very much like FatherHerisme to be alive a bit longer, please and thank you.

And now to wrap this up and post. Y’all – 2.22.22 and all of that to you

FYI the “father of logic,” also preached genocide in his determination to influence Alexander the Great to treat Persians as barbarians and to deal with them as if they were, “beasts or plants.” Maybe he was the asshole.

Please keep each other in shelter – if you cannot, then I keep shelter for you until you are able to do so.

Legintimacy

(Photo by Kevin Blanzy on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

Hello out there somewhere

I have started a few failed posts over the past few weeks. Things here have been busy – lovely, difficult, brutal truthing, 99/Cuckoo-ing, gingerbreadish, dog vomity, hot cocoa-ing, Christmas Carol trivia-ing, freezing rain woodsy walking, plus a shit ton of pizza and laundry with sprinkles of hospital runs.

Summary: FatherHerisme, SisterHerisme, BrotherHerisme, and families all arrived here (one day early with 12 hours notice – I’m fine!) for Christmas while MotherHerisme was in the hospital. FatherHerisme also broke three toes while here, requiring a 4 hour Urgent Care visit. Community is full of the ‘vid.

Yet, here we are in 2022! It’s a weird thing to think about because time is basically a jumble at this point. The American Medical Association is breaking step with the Center for Disease Control, saying that the CDC guidance is confusing, causing more dangerous spread of COVID, and adding to the overwhelm in health care. DUH duh duh duh. No shit. Collapse imminent. DUH. Kids are stressed. DUH. Adults are numbed out stressed. DUH. But, wooo howdy, the stock market is up! Whatevs. I had some tasty spinach for lunch and other people shit in gold toilets. It all means the same thing, which is to say, nothing except for stress and an unbelievable amount of illness and death. Yay Humans!

SonHerisme on returning to school after winter break, “I want to just go back to school with my friends, momma. I’ll wear my mask and keep it on the entire day. I’ll lift up the bottom just to eat a little bit of lunch and drink some water. It doesn’t matter anyway because we are all going to be sick and no one cares. I just want to hang out with my friends.”

*sigh*

I asked him who he thought the helpers are. When you’re feeling hopeless, always look for the helpers (hat tip and curtsy to Mr Rogers). “I guess you and some of my teachers and the school counselors and Mrs. (Principal) and maybe doctors and nurses and maybe the people working at the grocery store and gas station. Maybe also the people who keep the Internet on. I guess.” That’s right, buddy. There are always helpers. Lean on the helpers and look to them for guidance and support during difficult times. “Okay, momma. I’m going to school and I’ll try not to get COVID.”

GOT FREAKIN DAMN y’all – after this he said he was also going to make a mental note to speak to the principal because they hadn’t had a lockdown drill (code for active shooter) yet this year, and a lot of the kids would’ve forgotten how to do one over COVID.

I mean… what the actual freaking fuck are we doing, people?!!?

I am weary y’all. Seriously shitticiously weary, as I suspect we all are.

Yesterday I finally spoke with an old friend from High School. I previously stopped contact with him because my own brain soul being could no longer cope with reconciling the feigned intimacy with the reality of my own life. He has reached out multiple times. I was aware of some, because the messages came through FatherHerisme (which I think I have spoken about before and will link if I can locate the posts, otherwise feel free to insert an interesting tale about how this came to be – be sure to include an old timey small town barbershop!). Other times I was unaware he was attempting to contact me because I had blocked him to give my brain soul being some space. I have known him since I was 15. This has been a very long connection. ANYWHO, blah blah blah, I forgot to block him somewhere and we set a time to talk earlier last autumn. He never phoned. He reached out in the New Year to talk. We set a time. He did not phone. About 2 hours after the set time, he texted asking if I was going to phone, and to see if I was still awake. He also phoned and left a message. It’s all so very dumb. We texted back and forth blah, blah, blah and I ended with a set time that I would be phoning him. I wanted to get this out of the way. I did not/do not want to be lingering texting etc.

I phoned. He answered. We caught up on families. We exchanged “omg COVID is heavy and hard,” convo. We said, “goodbye.” He said he didn’t want to wait another two years before we speak again and how much he loved me. I responded, “goodbye,” because y’all, I just cannot with this.

After the call, I cried for a while in my car. I am not quite sure why I cried – but I suspect it has to do with intimacy. I don’t mean sex, although that is a significant grief as well. I mean intimacy as a companion partner, as a knowing of another person or a feeling of being known by another person and providing comfort and space for that person and them doing the same for you. Someone physically present to take your hand when heavy, light, or mundane news is shared together. Someone’s arm available for leaning against or looking for yours to lean into. Someone to laugh, cry, or numb with because you have been or are going through the somethings. A safety for you as well as a receiver of your safety.

I think this is why I cannot be connected with him anymore and why I’ve tried to put a break in there. He reaches out in a manner which implies a level of intimacy we do not have. We have never had. And I grieve lack of real intimacy all of the time. Not a grief of intimacy with him (which is also a surreal recognition for me), rather a grief of intimacy for myself at all. I cannot tolerate the pretense of pseudo-intimacy with him. My brain soul being cannot absorb any more lies or pretend from myself or others about the reality of the things. I have spent a good deal of my life spinning weft and warp reality into wishes I thought were real. This almost got SonHerisme and me killed – the most dramatic depth of my self deception. I just cannot do it anymore. My a-game go-to has always been pretend and disassociation, but I have reached the end of the internets on this pretending thing. My High School pal is a reminder of pretend intimacy and my own shortcomings in self-protection/self-worth and I just cannot continue. I could guess why he wants to continue – but, that will once again be another narrative I will have spun on my own.

In some ways I am sorry for it because there is a sort of hopeful optimism in feigning intimacy. In my case, I feel it is just simply unhealthy. Any optimism it stirs is like a sugar high or drunkeness with a huge inevitable crash or reality hangover on the flip side.

Perhaps this explains my distress over a recent dream I had involving someone I do not know at all in real life, who was very persistent in wanting to have sex(which is HILarious if you know me irl). I kept saying, “no, this cannot be right. I do not even know you.” Eventually I forced myself awake (lucid dreamer in the house -woop woop!) to stop the whole thing. I guess even in my deep subconscious I am trying to establish boundaries.

Obviously I need intense therapy – I can’t even find pretend fun in pretend dreams with people I pretend know! JAYSUS

Intimacy is a generational issue in my family. My parents are terrible at it (both growing up in abusive homes with non-functioning parents – alcoholism, death, physical/emotional abuse). The grandparents I knew were terrible at it (also both growing up in abusive homes with non-functioning parents – alcoholism, untreated mental illness, abandonment, physical/emotional abuse). And so on for a few more outter circles of my nuclear family and past generations that I know about.

I do not want to pass anymore on to SonHerisme than I already have. I am also not sure that I have the strength to figure this out. I suspect that therapy is the way to go. I also know that therapy is the place where I will have to speak out the things and I do not want to do that. I am supremely sick of myself in that regard. Yet – here I am writing about it… blah blah blah

Maybe I can ask a therapist to read all of this bloggy nonsense and get back to me with a task list.

Maybe you guys can send collective healing protective comfort vibes to SonHerisme and me to magic it all away and make all of the things right.

Maybe

Perhaps

ugh

Damnit

Janet

Legit – what the hell am I doing? Carrying on. Ice-melting the bottom of the driveway for safety. Never ending laundry. Drinking of the tea. Burning of the candles. Handing over board responsibilities to the next group. Slopping over to carline for the picking up of SonHerisme. Narrowly, fruitlessly, dodging COVID …so far. Neglecting some things. Doing other things. Life. As one does #carryonhealthwarriors

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps. NieceHerisme has COVID – she suspects from schoolmates without masks etc because her state does not allow schools to require them and her entire friend group is COVID+. Pfizer announced yesterday that its vaccine does not protect against Omicron variant unless boosted with third dose. NieceHerisme was scheduled for her booster next week. Fuck it all to hell. What a legacy to leave. Stupid damn leadership acting like fools with idiotic foolishness motivated by greed. Stupid damn lemmings motivated by misplaced evangelical Christian tropes to follow greedy inhumane asshats. Y’all I am having many angers.

The oak fought the wind
and was broken.
The willow bent
when it must,
and survived.

-Robert Jordan

I’ll leave you with this – the lady willow standing alone in my front yard died a painful death over three years with multiple ice storms, and never came back. The oak trees in my forest yard are standing strong surrounded by their forest support. Fuck you Robert Jordan.

Willow or Oak or Ash or Elm or tiny little bush with berries – let’s all stand together and support each other humanely, with love.

Hard Hitting

(Photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

Taking a pause (Santa Claus) from Bette, Bobby, Davey, and Em today because of my reality.

Today we are safe
Today we are healthy
Today we know love 
Today we have access to clean water
Today we have access to good food
Today we have a comfortable home
Today we have access to health care
Today we have reliable transportation
Today our bills are paid
Today we have access to education
Today we have access to the internets
Today we have plans with friends

We are okay. Luck/Blessings are abundant. We are okay today.

Yesterday SonHerisme got punched in the face at school. No lingering physical effects – redness on his cheek without bruising because he was turning his head away towards something else, when the kid jumped up and punched him. He is hurt, angry and confused.

Attending a small Montessori school, and SonHerisme being who he is, this is unexpected. He says he hasn’t felt safe around this other kid for a while because he has seen him punch and knock people to the ground at school this year, and then the kid lies about it. The other kid has been suspended at least once already this year. The other kid’s older brother was a menace when he was at the school and the dad has massive creeper vibes. Pre-COVID, I saw the dad trying to take covert upskirt photos at the grocery store cafe until I pushed my cart over, stood in front of him, blocking the rest of the cafe. He left. Man, my heart hurts for whatever abusive machismo environment those boys have been raised in and for any of their future partners.

My heart hurts more for my SonHerisme.

He is constantly being asked to rise above it all, to be resilient, to be brave, to be better than… I want him to have more moments of not building resilience, bravery, maturity above and beyond crappy adults. He is worn out y’all. At 13 my baby is wearing out and building a skin so thick I’m not sure anyone will ever be able to break through and he will not be able to break out of it.

He has always been big for his age which brings the expectation that he behave more maturely than his peers with harsher consequences when he developmentally appropriately did not. “You’re bigger, you should’ve known you would hurt them when you pushed them out of the way or beat them every time in the race or jumped higher and got all of the monopoly money…” Guilty here as I probably have said those things too in context of, “I know it isn’t fair buddy, but you will be blamed when something goes wrong with the physical play because you are a boy and you are the biggest boy.”

I did tell him about MrexH being moved to a facility. MrexH is going to a place where he will not have access to electronics for some undetermined amount of time. This means that SonHerisme is not required to try and meet his father on RoBlox, or plan on any parenting coordinator psychologist facilitated phone calls, until further notice. I was told, but did not share with SonHerisme, that MrexH expressed concern that he will ever receive access to his electronics. My friend believes that MrexH will not be going home from this place, whatever it is. If I think about the situation MrexH is in, I am going to break down into a spiral I’m not sure I can get back out of. I’m hoping by popping it out here, I can get it out of me enough to avoid that.

I do not know what kind of “treatment facility,” MrexH is going to. I do know that the facility is closer to us than where he has been living and makes us accessible by bus/car where before he would have needed to board an airplane.

I suspect it is not voluntary, based on the electronic access issue.

It’s it all too much and I am having to type almost every single word 2-to-3 times because my brain-to-finger function is not operating correctly. Everything everywhere is hitting everyone so very hard.

My forehead is numb.

Throughout the day I will remind myself

Today we are safe 
Today we are healthy 
Today we know love  
Today we have access to clean water 
Today we have access to good food 
Today we have a comfortable home 
Today we have access to health care 
Today we have reliable transportation 
Today our bills are paid 
Today we have access to education 
Today we have access to the internets 
Today we have plans with friends

We are okay. Luck/Blessings are abundant. We are okay today. I hope that you are okay as well. {{{hug}}} your loved ones if you can as you can.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps I had the most vivid lucid dream last night with a person in it that I do not personally know and they were really struggling with themselves. I tried to change the dream, and was able to switch around some of the things so that I was less impacted by the person, but they continued to struggle. I hope that is not their case in real life, and I send them peace and comfort. It just occurs to me that maybe this was my dream life trying to make sense of my life… I don’t want to do this anymore.

bookswap at the park this afternoon and a day of laundry/helping MotherHerisme/all the things of being me

good luck us

i do this to show with as much honesty as I can, that as you struggle you are not alone in the hopes that I too am not alone with all of this

Diffused Burdens

(Photo by Nicolette Leonie Villavicencio on Pexels.com)

(“While greasy Joan doth keel the pot” Love’s Labour’s Lost, ActV/ Scene2, Winter)

(or listen here)

The night before I was notified about MrexH’s impending move, I was sitting by the fire outside listening to the great horned owl hooting up a storm, and wake-dreaming about fires, smoke, fuel, and oxygen. I was wondering if it might be possible for me to stoke my own life spark into a flame. I still do not know and am afraid to have any hope of that since I am not sure I can survive another heartbreak chisel when my wishes billow into smoke as the flame dies again.

There comes a point in the leaves turning time, where I can stand outside of my back door in the evening, whistle across the side of the rocky woodsy hill I live on, and get an echo back. I love it so much – I think everyone loves a good echo moment like that – no? The silly whistle echo fills my heart with joy for a brief moment. That night I was able to whistle to my echo a little bit too.

If you ever have a chance to go on a mid-late October woodsy night hike in the Mid-Atlantic American States, I encourage you to do it! Owls are so magnificently super stealthy, you won’t even know they are flying overhead until you feel the top-down breeze from their gloriously expansive wings as they swoop past post inspection because while you smell tasty, you are too big for them.

It is the tiniest moments like sitting by a good fire with my little vegan marshmallows and unsweetened chocolately dipped gf cookies (s’mores shout-out y’all), hot lavender chamomile tea, listening to the last of the cricket season chirping and the hooting owl, whistling to my echo, seeing the waning moon plus sparkle stars, hearing SonHerisme giggling inside at some television nonsense, that I feel closest to okay. I begin to think that in this moment perhaps the universe is helping me hold the burdens. Just for a few stolen breaths.

I recently read the following in a Time article written by Abby Vesoulis, titled, “Why Literally Millions of Americans are Quitting Their Jobs.” Economists describing the situation of American workers as having a, “grab bag of diffused burdens,” to explain why they are quitting their jobs. As opposed to a compact bag…? What the actual f. Generationally speaking, I can say with certainty that it is not a grab bag – it is an overfilled bag of burdens forced upon us by a previous generation who refused to acknowledge their own personal responsibility to basic humanity plus their own mortality. And now we have to sit in the middle and watch our children have to resolve the burdens we have been too few and are too weary to deal with anymore because we’ve never been able to catch our footing from carrying all of what has been piled upon us. Unlike the meme of the burdens people born in 1900-1920 faced throughout their lifetimes, with information dissemination and consumption, it seems that we are globally hell-bent on self destruction.

I suppose a compact bag might be more convenient for everyone. We have tried our best to compact it all for the rest of humanity, pull up our big girl panties and bootstraps, carry on and all of that. Especially women. Especially minority women. We cannot be convenient anymore.

In return for carrying the burdens, we have a rapidly deteriorating climate, no paid family leave, ridiculous maternal mortality rates, diminishing rights to women’s healthcare/control of our bodies, highest medical bankruptcy rates in the world, fascism/nationalism/authoritarianism on the rise, fucked up arbitrary bureaucratic educational system, and basic infrastructure decline with rising global debt. Most of this stuff is just made up crap to keep lining pockets of people who are already so wealthy that none of these rules or consequences affect them or their families. Except for climate change, which of course affects every aspect of any life. In the zero sum game, the players cannot see their own complicit behaviors or certain mortality(accelerated by hubris).

A recent conversation with a woman I have known and worked with for over seven years revolved around her unwillingness to vaccinate herself or anyone in her family because in her view, the unproven vaccines are killing more people than they are saving. She asserts that if people were healthy and took better care of themselves, COVID would not be an issue. W T actualF. I just cannot engage with that other than to say to her, “it sounds like you are right to explore other options for connection for your family if COVID precaution requirements aren’t going to work for you.” Her family have had COVID twice and are, in her words, “just fine.”

If you are serving her family, playing sports with her family, going to worship with her family, unmasked at school during lunchtime or recess with her family… and, G-d forbid, you or someone in your family have cancer/heart issues/Lyme/Lupus/organ transplant recipient/MS or any other illness which either prevents you from being able to receive the vaccine or your body to build up enough COVID immunity, or you have a young child who has yet to be vaccinated – or a young child with any illness which prevents them from being vaccinated or able to build up enough COVID immunity even with the vaccine, then this family of four (among SO many others) are out there spreading this until it kills themselves or someone else. Perhaps they already have. Our current local infection rate is at 5% and rising again. Our little county hospital is bursting at the seams, last I looked, with 36 COVID patients, 12 in ICU. BTW, both this women (regardless of her ability to absorb and acknowledge information or to let go of her privileged attachment to drama) and myself know people and children with these conditions in our mutual community.

So, yes, we carry an overflowing bag of burdens in our working-aged generations in this country. We cannot carry them anymore. A diffusion is necessary to lay them all out on the table, acknowledge them, put accountability in place, THEN we can carry on. #carryonpeacewarriors

In the meantime, I will concentrate on giving myself permission for stolen moments. Where are you going for your moments? If you, like me, are without a support partner, I send you oodles of burden-easing wishes.

Love, Ms Herisme xoxo

ps please stop equating troubles and tragedy with measures of morality. thank you.

pps also, boundary setting with accountability is critical for recovery

CRITICAL (for the peeps in the back)

ppss I recognize and acknowledge my privilege in being able to carry and articulate burdens plus dream of solutions

pppss Laughing is helpful so I look forward to when I can watch more than clips of The Cleaner bc, y’all, that guy is hilAIRious. In the meantime, it’s a brief binge of What We Do in the Shadows (if I can force myself to watch something when I cannot sleep at night which is… another topic for another day)

LYBL

(Photo by Brady Knight on Pexels.com)
(or listen here)

That most certainly is not me in the pic fyi. Not that I wouldn’t be in a canoe doing the things, but still … anyway

Living Your Best Life kind of thing, I suppose. Which is what we are all doing regardless of intention or attention. Is anyone else constantly feeling as if they are LYBL all wrong? I do 100% I do. With the exception of SonHerisme, I have always felt as if I am life-ing in a place without understanding how to get traction. The job, the family, the overcoming challenges stuff… I truly do not know how everyone is doing it.

I feel as if I am constantly both falling into the waters and rowing about rescuing myself, and others, and I am exhausted.

Just after the incidents which led ultimately to my divorce, I remember FatherHerisme telling me to just hang in there because my life was going to change for the better over the next year, so much so that I wouldn’t even recognize how I had been so worried and low (thought I was about to be murdered, Daddy…).

Just after my relationship with HighSchoolBoyfriend/CollegeBoyfriend/AdultConnection ended, I was told multiple times how time heals every thing and that I would find my special someone one day.

Just after I left one racist toxic workplace environment, I was told I would find something even better that filled my passion to the point of overflow and would not even feel like work.

Give it time, they said. Focus on gratitude, they said. In the meantime, concentrate on living your best life, they said. It’s all fucking bullshit, I say. Calls it how I sees it- time of death: varies (mood/sieve brain dependent).

Sometimes things work out. Sometimes they do not. Life is mostly luck with some positioning, which you may or may not have control over, but are required to be able to take advantage of the luck. Mostly luck.

LYBL is just living. The added drama of trying to force something based on a pr scheme of what “best life” means, is self defeating and crazy making. We have set ourselves up to be swayed that anything less than the picture we have been sold of LYBL is high drama fueled moral failing. For many of us it is someone else’s moral failing we attach our inability to achieve LYBL drama tether onto. Shame and blame, baby!

Culturally we are damaging ourselves and our kids by clinging onto self-created perpetuated drama as the destroyer of morality and the destroyer of our ability to live our best lives. Culturally we do not accept that life IS our best life – the shit days and the great moments.

None of the toxic positivity crap I was fed ever came true. Maybe it is because I am a complete loser and horrible person – maybe. I find that a hard pill to swallow though because there are plenty of folks who are complete shit people who sit in those pictures of what we worship as living your best life. I think it is luck with positioning (ie privilege) tilting the scales a whole fucking lot. Or maybe I am stuck in complete life dysmorphia too…

This is the truth of what I am doing.

I am recycling. I am careful with my detergents. I only mow the lawn to keep down snakes etc from cozying into human/puppy spaces. I rescue the wayward snakes, turtles, bats, baby rabbits, birds etc when they breach our space anyway. I am hyper-vigilant 90% of the time with the food we consume. I cook and clean the things. I write the letters. I try to be present as I can with SonHerisme(which I am shit at – but somehow he is an amazing human despite me). And all of the things I am trying to do to be a good human mommy person, but I make zero headway on anything even closely resembling our cultural version of LYBL.

Honestly, I think LYBL kind of sucks. Which admittedly may only indicate I am not good at it. I am glad that some of you are, though. Or at least some of you have found your peace overall so that you can move through the day-to-day struggles. Or have you? I don’t know. You appear as if you have/are/do. So perhaps that is something. Maybe?

I’ll try and shine more light on my truth to possibly help with my own truth doing. This is my life and I suppose the best one because it is all I’ve got.

By request, I used school funds to purchase Chick-fil-A last week for a teacher appreciation dinner. I carry that heavily because I vehemently oppose how those franchise monies get used – but still I did it in order to not rock the boat. LMBL

I’ve allowed SonHerisme to binge-watch Schitt’s Creek over the past few months. He is 13. Is this okay? I don’t know how to know. LMBL

I accidentally took a selfie yesterday evening and it rocked my world in an entirely unpleasant way. My own body dysmorphia has me seeing things disproportionately, I know this but I do not know how to unsee what I see or how to process it appropriately. I used to stand up against my bedroom wall throughout my tween/teen/young adult life and trace my body with a pencil trying to get a grip on how or where I fit in comparison to the rest of the world. LMBL

Which is all to say that today I will be out and about my town doing the things which need doing – typical Saturday. If you notice a knotted witch haired lady person in a blue sport dress, sneakers, and black hoodie floating down the river, please be careful if you stop to pull her up – she is heavy with the things today. If you are in the river, I hope that someone ever so gently and carefully pulls you out. I suppose the one to row upriver to see why I keep falling in … is me. And I am too exhausted today.

Love, Ms. Herisme xoxo

ps MotherHerisme is back on 2xday morphine

pps I cannot think of my own future without crying bc I suppose LYBL is ingrained, but I am full of hope for SonHerisme

ppss golly – I am gloooomy today. More clean out will help – maybe? Or head back to the celery juice (I stopped about a week ago bc I forgot to buy celery). Inflammation is a mighty fucking bitch y’all