Sick & Tired

In my mind…

I rarely get in my feelings…maybe it’s because I live in my head, maybe it’s because I careless what people think of me but anyways there’s this repetitive pattern I’ve noticed with a “so-called” friend of mine that has been bothering me but today unraveled me.

Now people who know me well, know I’m quite an understanding and forgiving person. But when things don’t sit well with me, it really nags at me until I address the situation. And this one I’m just not sure how to approach it just yet because I legit want to explode. This gives way to why I don’t trust people.

I realized that I am no longer a very vocal person. How and what I felt use to always exit my speaker box without hesitation. Now I think long and hard before I speak. Sometimes I will purposefully not respond to comments or questions if I feel an internal nudge to “hold my tongue.”

But in the past year, I’ve felt most attacked, judged and criticized by someone I trusted. And during times where I was struggling to merely exist.

This individual is suppose to be a best friend, yet in the past year has not missed an opportunity to make light of what I feel are pivotal times in my life. I’ve tried to ignore and dismiss it but today it really stuck with me.

Living and learning…loving and growing…understanding and appreciating my source peace.

Earth is ghetto. And people on this planet are truly like emotional crabs in a barrel. If they feel like you’re happier than them or have something they don’t, they create a secret competition with you. All the while you’re just loving and trusting them for who you thought they were. #ElysianMe

Series Finale: Season 38, Episode 16

Realest quote!

Today was the day I’ve been waiting for since January 2020. AD-Day! Absolute Divorce/After Divorce Day, whatever.

For starters I am not anti-marriage. I know and understand that one bad apple doesn’t sour them all. But I do see marriage (the legally binding agreement itself) as being meaningless as it relates to an actual long-term relationship. And my feelings on this isn’t new. I felt this way for quite some time after I got married.

I was not able to wrap my mind around the fact that a piece of paper, a ceremony (regardless of where it occurred) and repeating words after someone else (or making up your own) constitutes your ability and desire to love and care for another human being for as long as you should live?

I began to disagree with the act of marriage for myself wholeheartedly. It has never stopped me from supporting friends and family who decide to take the plunge. For me, the piece of paper that is signed does nothing more than allow you to (if you wish) file taxes together. Two single individuals can love each other, have children together, buy property together, live together, make life altering decisions for one another, etc. Being married is not a requirement for accomplishing any of those things aforementioned. And the bonus is they can still love, care and cherish each other for as long as they shall live. No marriage involved.

So for a while as I sat unhappy trying to fix something that was irrepairable, I began to wonder where did marriage even originate? Like who came up with such tomfoolery? Did it come from the Bible? Did this act pre-date Biblical the days? I often asked these questions and had conversations like such with my ex-husband. Especially when things got hard between us. I didn’t want him to feel obligated to stick around if he was unhappy simply because we had this “contractual agreement”. I always made it crystal clear that in the event that I became unhappy, that I’d try to reconcile but ultimately I would never stay with anyone to just be tolerated, used and abused. There is so much more to life than faking the funk or trying to keep up appearances in order to not appear as a failure.

What I learned was that marriage initially had nothing to do with love or religion, but everything to do with legally binding women to men as guaranteed property? Father’s handed over their daughters to men as a house maid, cook and in-home aide to ensure that the mans’ offspring would be biologically his. But wait it gets worse…in the event that the woman suffered from infertility, she was able to be returned like a damaged Amazon order and the man was then free to search for a more fertile wife to replace her. Sounds a lot like slavery if you ask me. But these are merely just my opinions and my thoughts. Keep in mind, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. We are all adults and can agree to disagree or just keep scrolling.

Now, religion came into play around the 8th century and made marriage purely sexual. Religion now, made marriage about SEX. Smh. Marriage then meant that a man and woman had exclusive access to each other for their sexual needs and desires. (Still sounds a little slaveish to me but eh) But marrying for love…that came from the French during the Middle Ages. Even though during this time men were fighting to win over the heart of a woman, they were still seen as property of a man. It was taken one step further and this random thought that you may think I have was recognized as a legal doctrine called coverture. This implied that a woman’s identity was absorbed by marrying the man. The woman assumed the man’s last name as a way of surrending her identity which meant that the man represented them both no longer just himself. Terrible concept.

The thought of marriage has indeed come a long way. And it is still evolving. It wasn’t until the 1980s that marital rape was recognized as being a crime, because there was still the thought that the woman was property of the man sexually. Today, in many states men can marry men and women can marry women. Hell they are dropping the age that children can legally get married without parental consent which is quite alarming.

All I’m saying is to each its own in believing in and participating in marriage. Some people do it for status, ownership or as something they were taught or shown that they had to do. Become an adult, get married, have kids, etc.

As of today, the series of my life that led me to believe the order of living an adult life included marriage is officially and legally over. After many years of being tolerated, I stand firm on the belief that a certificate of marriage does not define my ability to love, respect, cherish, care for and support the one I love emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually and financially.

I found my everything outside of my ex-husband. Someone who provides me with peace, comfort, safety, loyalty, respect, communication, honesty and love. A piece of paper, a ceremony and recited words won’t be the deciding factor on us building, growing and loving each other as long as we both shall live…

And so she lived happily ever after…

Not Your Relationship Coach

It’s not often that I write after having a conversation with my parallel collateral descendant but this morning I have to mentally unload because he 100% triggered me.

Let me start by stating that I’m no relationship expert by any means. I have no certifications or specializations in education or science on human behavior or sociology. But I know first hand what it’s like to be hurt. I also know first hand what it is like to intentionally hurt others and the ramifications (karma) of doing such.

The person I am today, I haven’t always been. I’ve been young, dumb, and (what I thought was) crazy in love. I reflect on those periods of my life now and wish I would have done things differently in previous relationships. Maybe I wouldn’t be the struggling soon to be damaged divorcee I am now.

Sadly, I now see the same patterns in my parallel collateral descendant and it bothers me. A lot! Even though he’s an adult, I still feel compelled to provide him with guidance when asked. (Never unsolicited because again, I’m no expert and this is not my avenue) But I listen and provide feedback in hopes of helping him find the path to avoid heartbreak, toxic relationships and unhealthy behavior.

But as a man and human, he doesn’t listen to understand. He doesn’t listen to me (he didn’t really listen to my Mom either), his girlfriend, or anyone. How he feels supersedes anyone else’s feelings. He almost implies that he is the center of the universe but doesn’t come straight out and say that. He is always ready to argue and defend his wrongdoing; bandaging it with “I’m hurting too” and “This is how I feel”. He reminds me a lot of my Father. And he was quite the selfish man.

While I love him dearly, I expressed to him that hurt people, hurt people. And that’s not ok. I don’t involve myself in his relationships at all. I meet his “lady friend” when he decides to introduce them. And I can usually tell off the bat if they are “ok”. Not judging, just observing. So far I’ve been right with my thoughts and I usually just keep them to myself. Only sharing my thoughts and feelings with my Mom, because isn’t that what big sisters do?

Before I even realized it, I had shut down on him. I had no response for anything he said. And I was waiting for a pause in his monologue to end the call.

It’s 4am. I’m not in the mood to argue with him or try to overtalk him. He’s said hurtful shit to me just a few months ago so I can only imagine how his girlfriend feels. Trying to be neutral because they are both calling me, I don’t want to give his girlfriend my advice. Because when someone hurts me I tend to write them off forever. I won’t give them the ability or satisfaction of ever doing it again. Sadly the most toxic relationship of my life I can’t write off because my children are involved smh.

Tonight he reminded me of my ex so much that I had to hang up. Being disrespectful and belligerent. Disregarding his issues to point out his dislikes in someone else. Not listening and not allowing me to speak or complete my thoughts. The finger pointing, blaming, condescending talk and nonchalantness is a pain point for me. It don’t help that he’s also inebriated but still.

I remember vividly pouring out my heart to someone only to have him respond with, were you talking to me, I will call you back, I don’t have time for this, oh ok, whatever you say, or you’re right, I’m wrong…or him getting up and walking away while I was still talking…or him purposefully avoiding me to avoid having a conversation. That shit bothered me so bad that even now in any relationship or conversation (romantic or platonic) if I feel like I’m not being heard, I immediately shut down. “Don’t worry about it” is my response and I don’t like to argue so I will either change the subject or find the nearest exit. Going to sleep was also something I would do to escape.

I love my parallel collateral descendant to pieces but he’s a toxic asshole right now, with a bad attitude and unresolved/unhealed trauma. He needs to work on himself and I don’t need him reaching out to me for relationship advice while he’s in this state of mind. If he was closer, I would have drove to him and punched him dead in the face. Now I’m trying to go back to sleep with thoughts of how messed up I’ve been myself lately relationship wise.

Death Can Trump Life

It’s my 38th birthday and instead of celebrating my mind is clouded with rhetorical questions. Do you ever ponder the meaning of life? Why are we here? Perhaps these questions surface when we receive news we’d rather not receive, the passing of an parent, a sibling, a friend’s spouse who died for the wrong reason. I did not even believe it myself when others tried to justify the news by saying this is the circle of life.

I don’t make it a habit of reading the obituary columns in the newspaper but occasionally I read about strangers. Many have experienced a long and full life, contributed to society in a meaningful way, were visible within their community. I think how proud their family must be, I also imagine the hurt and grief they are experiencing. I read about the 42-year old father who has succumbed to cancer and leaves behind a wife and two children and I wonder how this is fair. My heart aches when I read about the young child tragically killed in an accident as my eyes fill with tears.

I’m no stranger to death. It does not scare me and I deal with it in quite a weird way. I do however find death emotionally overwhelming. It is hurt, compassion, sadness, pain, empathy, love all rolled together that hits like a tsunami, in waves over a period of time.

I’ve lost high school friends to accidents, drugs, and disease. I’ve seen first hand the impact on a family when their young son took his own life. Like so many others, I have said goodbye to relatives only after they have gone.   

Before now, I bet young people seldom thought of death, they were too busy living life as if they are invincible, surfing social media and following the new trends. Older people tend to prepare for death and accept the event as a natural and inevitable occurrence. Experience and reality have tempered their emotions. The grief and hurt is still there, so is the reflection on the positive aspects of the individual’s life. For some, their biggest worry is if they will fulfill their purpose. 

Maybe this aging process will help me to become less sensitive to the loss of not only those I love, but to those I have only read about in the newspaper. I am thankful my fear of death is more than offset by my passion for life. So it should be. 

So where does this discussion of death take us? It could be to the end of a journey, or the beginning of a new one depending on your beliefs. If you were to have a tombstone, what would it read? Here we are back to the question, what is our mission, our purpose, our goal in life? One accolade might read, “Here lays an honest person who cared about the people around her, respected others and made a positive difference in the lives of everyone she encountered.” If we envision how we want others to remember us, it might provide a valuable compass to aid us down the path of life.

In a perfect world, perhaps caring and understanding might extend well beyond our community and our country. Imagine a common bond based on a desire for truth, justice, peace, and mutual respect. 

We can’t do a lot about death. We can very much impact life – our own and others.

Hold My Hand

Expressing grief through art: this is a drawing of a time I held your hand begging you to wake up and talk to me.

I held your swollen hands as you laid motionless before me. The sound of the ventilator filled the room, giving you breath after breath while your brain rested from all the trauma.

What happened? Is the main question that continually crosses my mind.

Guilt: Why didn’t I make it there in time?

Blame: Why did my HVAC specialist take so long putting me behind schedule to get to you for our routine grocery shopping day?

Inattentive: When you didn’t call when I was on the way to drop your Granddaughter off at school, why didn’t I feel something?

I remember pulling the neurologist to the side and sternly but respectfully asking him to not speak “end of life” in your presence because you were far from dead. I remember not showering or eating and sitting by your side day in and day out because I wanted to be there as soon as you awoke. I remember the nurses telling me to go home and rest. Promising to call me as soon as you awoke or in the event of any changes.

Hours, weeks and a month passed. You surprised your medical team. I told them how strong of a woman you were but they didn’t believe me. I couldn’t bring myself to give up on you no matter what family thought or said. As your oldest child and at the time the only one close enough to make decisions, I had to do what I felt like you’d want and what my brother would want.

Talk about the hardest decisions to make in my life and in a pinch. I did a lot of research by your bedside during this time. I leaned on my doctor and nurse friends for medical advice and comfort. I thanked every nurse and doctor who cared for you. I brought them coffee and doughnuts because I know personally how tough it is to care for patients 12 hours a day. I didn’t like to leave you alone because I know how you felt about hospitals. I wanted the staff to know you weren’t just someone with family waiting for that devastating moment, but you had a daughter with a powerful voice, who was intelligent and knowledgeable and asked a whole lot of damn questions lol.

It was this same hospital that my Father transitioned in…I was there for him out of respect and feelings of having to be there because he was my Father. But you…you were my Ace. My Bestie. My Right Hand. Way more than just a Mother. For 11 years, it was just you and I. Many conversations, many lessons, many tears, some hugs, some fussing, some eye rolling and some cursing (from you of course). What I’d give to hear you say “Gotdammit Cootie!”, “Shit!”

But I held your hand through it all. Using my favorite Bath and Body Works lotion to moisturize your hands. You always said cleanliness was next to godliness so I made sure they kept you clean. I wiped your face each morning. Put chapstick on your lips around the ventilator tubing. I played Kenny G and Miles Davis for you. I read to you. I watched your favorite black and white tv shows with you.

I was unemployed. No longer caring about landing or looking for a job but only being by your side. Until you were awake, nothing mattered to me. I made sure the kids were cared for, brought them when I could and had someone watch them in the lobby when I wanted to be with you and had them. My entire being consisted of being a Mother to my kids a quarter of the time and being an attentive and praying daughter the other 75% of the time. All I wanted was you. Because without you, I had no idea what to do in life. Yep, I was an adult who depended on the love and presence of my dear Mother.

Guess what Mommie…it’s been almost 365 days, and I still have no idea what to do with that 75% of myself. I miss you like crazy. My grief is easily triggered by the sighting of a store, items you use to go crazy over, songs you use to play, things you use to say…I have never experienced such pain. I’ve lost my Father, my Grandmother, my Great Grandmothers, my Great Grandfather, both my Grandfathers, babies, cousins and friends but nothing has felt as tormented and deep as losing you.

I can hear you in my ear/head a lot. “You can do better than this!”, “Don’t you doubt yourself!”, “I know the fuck you’re not?!”, “Get your shit together!”. And I cry endlessly. Grief is a road traveled alone. It seems that no cares to understand and I receive the same mundane responses. “I’m sorry you’re going through this, call me if you need me, I’m here if you need anything.” When I don’t want to get up and exist most have forgotten that I have no interest in adulting anymore. I was mostly doing it for you. To give you back all the things you gave me and so much more. When I go silent, I hear from no one and internally I’m crying just wanting someone to care but have made peace with the fact that your death affects me and me only. And rightfully so, I have to deal with it alone.

It makes me wonder if I was to leave this Earth today, who would give a fuck. Some may cry for a moment because their “go-to person” is gone, for others they’d simply mention saying a praying and then going on about their life. Friends are not made like you were. And maybe that is because you really knew me. Understood me. Hell you co-created me. Even when we disagreed, with an attitude we’d check on each other. “I know you still mad, but how is your ignorant ass doing?” “Are you hungry?” “Where my Pookie Pook & Princess?” “How are you feeling?” Our friendship surpassed our Mother/Daughter bond. Maybe this is why it is extremely hard to get through this. I was the one to listen when no one else would listen to you. A lot of what you said to me went over my head at the time but I am understanding more and more each day. You were silly, yet wise and loving. A true kind and beautiful soul.

I don’t know what I’m doing here still. I can’t seem to find peace or happiness in anything. Not having you around has been life changing and I just don’t know what path to take or road to travel. I miss you like crazy. My heart aches miserably every time I think of you. I just hope your soul is at peace. You were an awesome Mother. And a great friend taken away from me way too soon. I wish there was more than one of you. But then again the world couldn’t handle the one it was given.

Always your daughter…