Monthly Archives: January 2011

Faith?

I am not a religous person.

I spent time in the Episcopal Church as a child, my time there tapered off as my mom got sicker and when she died we stopped going altogether. I suppose some part of me lost faith the morning she died, and I suppose some part of me still feels that loss of faith. I’ve often wondered whether my problem with faith stems from that loss. I spent so much time praying and begging and pleading with God to let my mom survive, to please not take her. I actually believed my prayers would be answered. Why? Because I’d been told, “ask and ye shall recieve.” So, I asked and I begged and I bargained, and in the end she died anyway. I learned an important lesson that day: Life isn’t fair.

Even after her death I still found myself praying. When my step-dad would get angry and yell I would say the Lord’s Prayer to myself  hoping God would intervene and calm him down. Sometimes it seemed to work, sometimes I’d get two or three lines out and he’d magically be calm. This only served to confuse me further, did God care enough to stop my step-dad from yelling and scaring us but not enough to save my mom? What kind of God is that?

I suppose I should say I don’t doubt there is something, a higher power, a creator, an energy, something out there. In recent years I find myself interested in Buddhism and certain Pagan faiths based on balance. I like the idea of balance, to everything there is an equal. It’s got a nice logical ring to it and one of Newton’s Laws sounds an awful lot like it (For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction). yet somehow I always find myself returning to the concept of the Christian God, maybe it’s because it is the faith of my birth. Maybe it is because I can see the message Jesus was trying to get out and how it’s been warped and perverted over the last 2000 years.

I find myself looking around at the people around me and wondering how the hell things ended up like this. Everyone seems to be consumed with a kind of visceral hate of whatever is opposite them. It’s as if xenophobia has become an acceptable frame of mind. I connect this with faith and religion because so many people cite their religious beliefs as reasons for their hate. I don’t remember being taught to hate others when I was going to church, what I remember is being taught to love others, to accept others. Maybe I went to a really weird church.

I think what is lacking in this world is balance, hate is always going to exist as it is the natural balance to love but we have allowed it to overtake everything. We can’t see people anymore, we just see opposing viewpoints and differing beliefs. It’s as if we stepped back several hundred years.


Unrelenting

I’ve looked inside my whole self.
Amidst the blackened scrawls
And bursts of neon spray
Is a heart, beating and breaking,
Yearning to be free.

Seaching for connection,
A beacon in the midnight undertow
of this empty life, standing alone
Prying myself open
To find feeling in nothing.

Glowing dim in the recesses
Of my corroded soul is the candle
You lit; burning it’s way to the surface
Pushing my unrelenting passion
To the core of my being.

Your intensity consumes the despair
I am made of, inspiring a joy
Alien to my process.
Desire awakens, pushing me towards you
Our passion and pain come together in love.


How Did I Get Here?

And to think a few days ago I wrote how I’m ok without my mom. Amazing how quickly things change. If ever there was a time when I wanted and needed her here it is now.

For once in my life I feel at a loss for words, which is an unfamiliar, uncomfortable feelings. Words define me, they are what I am. I’ve started this blog several times and have been unable to do anything other than stare at the screen.

I’m at a point in my life where I want change, I want things to be different. I can’t live the way I have been. I look around at my life and I can’t seem to figure out how I got here. I know it has all been my choices, I’m not looking for someone else to blame. More like looking for what is inside of myself that led me to make these choices and end up where I am.

I see my perception of myself has not been correct, it has not matched who I became. I need to fix that. I know what I want for myself and what I want in my life and I have to make the choices that will lead me to those things.


You Can’t Go Home

Familiarity assaults my senses
It used to be home,
A long time ago.

Chipped counters and dirty floors,
Mildew sweetens the rancid air.
You can’t go home, again.

Standing in the room
The once was mine,
Memories shower on me like asbestos.

Decay is familiar,
Raised voices and fights.
Marijuana smoke curls in the air.

Home is the violence,
Home is the filth.
I can’t go home anymore.


Memento Mori

I’d planned on writing this later this month, but I find myself unable to keep it to myself.

It’s been twelve years since you died. I remember thinking I’d never survive to this point and yet here I am. I miss you, I’d like to say after twelve years the grief has faded but it hasn’t. It’s become like a dull ache centered in the middle of my chest. Some days are better than others, but most days I can think of a thousand times I’d love to be able to call you to talk to you.

It’s funny the things I miss after twelve years. When you first died I missed your presence, I literally missed you. I wanted you back where you belonged. I still do, though this has lessened some only because as time went on I got used to you not being here. When I realized I was getting used to you being gone I felt guilty. I honestly thought I should never get used to it, I realize now that’s unrealistic and unhealthy. I know I have to make my life something I want to live, I can’t stay stuck in my grief.

Even though I’ve learned to let go of the loss I still miss so much about you. I miss your laugh and your cooking. I miss the way you could cut through my bullshit and tell me exactly what I needed to hear. I miss things I never got to experience, like talking to you about love or what it’s like to raise children.

Throughout the last twelve years I’ve been in plenty of situations where the only thing I’ve been able to think is “I want my mom.” This past year I felt that everyday. Every single day I thought how much I wanted you here, how much I needed you. There were days where I didn’t think I would make it, I didn’t think I could survive anymore and in the back of my head I heard you telling me I can’t give up. I remembered what you told me the night before you died, that I need to live, I need to be happy and it kept me going. Even when I wanted nothing more than to curl into a ball and quit I kept going.

I’d like to say that after twelve years I’m finally ok with you not being here but I don’t think I can. I don’t think I’ll ever really be ok with it, I’ve learned to live without you and I’ve learned to deal with the grief but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say it’s ok that you’re gone. I’ve fought a lot with myself about whether that makes me weak and I don’t really have an answer for myself.

I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last twelve years, and a lot about life. I’ve struggled and I’ve made plenty of mistakes. Still, I think if you were here you’d be proud of me, I think you’d like who I am. Sometimes I feel bad that it’s taken me twelve years to find some kind of peace with your loss, and other times I’m amazed I’ve found any peace at all. I think after twelve years of anguish I’m ready to let go, to accept life without you. I’ll still miss you and there will still be times when all I can think is ‘I want my mom’ but I think I’m ready to be ok.


So, This is Love?

Remember that moment.
You looked at me and I at you,
A pink balloon floating between us.
Your eye caught mine,
Pressure building.

Sexual tension electrifies the air between us.
Words fade from our lips
Til there’s just a complicated silence
Banging down the walls
We’ve worked so hard to build.

I find myself fervently whispering
All the things I keep secret,
Your measured voice reciting lines
From your past, in return.
We’re swimming below the surface.

Our internal selves stretching up,
Gasping for air as we reach for
Each other in the darkness of our solitude.
Loneliness shaped out of fear
Fades to comfort in the warmth of your intensity.


Now and Then

Last year around April I went to the doctors for an injury I sustained while chasing my YMCA kids around a jungle gym. I had hurt my knee and for workers comp purposes I went to the Student Health Center at UNM. When the doctor saw me he examined my knee, told me I sprained it and then proceeded to lecture me about my weight. I was pretty upset afterwards, mostly because I was in denial as to how big I had gotten. Since puberty I’ve had problems with my weight. I’ve gone up and down and up and down. It affected my self image, led me to dabble in eating disorders and for a while made me feel like I was pretty damn worthless.

I started last year wearing a size 22 or 24 (depending on the brand) and seriously hating my body. In September, I got strep throat and went back to the Student Health Center. I knew I had lost some weight because the job I had was pretty physical but I didn’t realize how much. The doctor told me I’d lost nearly 45 pounds since the last time I’d been in. I was in shock, I thought at most I’d lost maybe 10 pounds or so.

Since then I’ve continued working out and doing my best to eat better (I am a sucker for pasta, cheese and chocolate) Yesterday night I measured myself and to my complete surprise I discovered I’ve lost enough weight to wear a size 16. Still not as small as I’d like to be but much, much smaller than I thought I was. I’ve been wearing clothes that are almost 4 sizes too big. Talk about a massive confidence burst.

I’ve always thought working out and eating right had to be a chore, mostly because I made it into one. I realized most of the things I really like to eat ARE healthy, it’s just in how I make them. I’ve learned how to substitute things (like whole wheat pasta versus white pasta) and integrate more vegetables into my meals. The main thing I did was quit drinking soda. That was hard because I was convinced I really like soda. After not having it for a while and then drinking one I’ve realized I really don’t like it. It’s too sweet and way too harsh. In terms of working out I’ve always made it a chore because it was hard in the beginning. The more I’ve worked out the more I’ve realized I like it. I started off with yoga and then I added pilates and then kickboxing and weights. I turned it into something I like to do versus something I ‘have’ to do.

I think the most important thing I learned last year was a small change in perspective can truly change everything. It’s hard for me not to give into despair, between the panic disorder and the depression I’ve dealt with all of my life learning how to retrain my thought processes has been extremely difficult. I still falter, some days I look at myself and I can’t see any of the progress I’ve made. Sometimes I have to work really hard just to get out of bed in the morning. That said I’ve learned I can’t give up, I can’t just give in, not if I want to achieve the things I want.

I’ve never been an exceptionally optimistic person. I’m hopeful and idealistic but optimism has always seemed foolish to me. Learning to look on the brightside has not been easy, in fact a lot of the time I think I suck at it. But it’s a learning process and I’m doing my best to stay ahead of the curve.