Monday, November 7, 2011

Crazy Girl

Today I am trying to keep tabs of certain parts of me. Those parts that live deep on the inside and go by feeling names such as insecurity, vulnerability and, for lack of a better term, panic. I refer to these feelings amongst my closest friends who truly get me (because this inner monster dwells in them as well) as "crazy girl" and I have made a 28 year habit of trying to quelsh her existance. However, today I am embracing her and, while the feelings are by no means comfortable, I am using deep meditative breaths and calming self talk to coax out the reason within them. "Crazy Girl," as it turns out, can be a voice of pure genius when listened to and sorted out into something that resembles good sense. Today I am learning that "Crazy Girl" isn't so crazy at all...but rather my heart and my history melting like flame when something (or someone) lights the wick beneath it. If I can train myself to hear with more accuracy and compassion than maybe I can build authenticity into my relationship with myself and others. That, my friends, is not soft or weak; it's strength.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ciest la vie

Ciest la vie. French for "such is life." A term used by optimists to describe less than pleasantries we all must attend to during our short stay on Earth. Recently, my sister posted a blog titled "domestic violence" and I thought, here goes...ciest la vie.

I am the daughter of a batterer. My father was a typical, cookie cutter perpetrater who used threats of and actual violence to control my mother for years. He drank too much, the scape goat that disguised the true problem; his sexist, machoistic personality and his CHOICE to use his strength to hurt people he deemed lesser, people he supposedly loved.

He never hit me. I thought he loved me. I blamed my mother for his behavior, the same way he did. She was too slow, too stupid, too much of a bitch for him to leave her alone. Couldn't she be more like me...Daddys Little Princess...because then he would snuggle her up on the couch and fall asleep with his beer breath in her face. That's what he always did with me :)

Today, I include myself on the list of his victims. He may only have screamed at/ cussed over/slapped/punched/dragged by the hair the women he was married to, but he hurt me as well. My entire family was affected by his choices. We were all completely torn apart. I'm not sure what kind of person I could have grown into if he had chosen better, but his choice to devalue woman, children, and family and his choice to use violence as communication taught me a few lessons I wish I'd never learned. Without those lessons, perhaps I'd be stonger, more confident, and capable of making choices for my own life based on the things I value instead of the values he chose.

Domestic violence, in my life, has always been the rain cloud I can't quite outrun. My first "boyfriend" if you will chose to throw a frying pan through a window before choking me over the stove while the burner was still on. All in front of a friend who, thankfully, refused to look past it. She helped me out of that one. My next "sweetheart" was a guy who raped me in a tent at my cousins wake after I had successfully drunk enough liquor to feel nothing and passed out. The alcohol and the numbness were my choice, but the "sex", which I asked him to discontinue multiple times before he came inside me without a condom, was all his. Third times a charm, right? My night in shining armor carried me away from all my own troubles, and deep into his. I was so indebted to him for being such a pleasant (to look at) distraction that I felt called to return the favor. Indebted certitude can only go so far...or can it?

The last time David hit me was January 8th, 2011. Spilled juice and a mischivous four year old led to a slap across the face, blood oozing, and a knife to the throat with the threat that, "if you ever try to call the police again I will fucking gut you!" A real hero. Just like Dad.

Today, I watched a DVD called "Amy's Story" told by the detective on the case of a woman who was killed by her husband after surviving years in a violent relationship. Watching her story of events unfold from bad to worse was heart breaking, but also eye opening. I don't want to be the next woman to leave her kids and parents in the car while she runs into her own house to pack only to get shot and killed for having the courage to leave.

So no more. Forget ciest la vie. I'd like to keep the scraps of optimism I cling to and build more, but I refuse to accept domestic violence as a less than pleasant necessity. That's no longer a truth I'm willing to believe. My CHOICE is to move on from all that bullshit and leave it in my past...I'm ready to get on to my future.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I Am Not Alone

Found this in a wonderful book called "You Are Not Alone" and thought it fit.

"Give me the good sense to be afraid when there is something to fear, so that I can make ready, as well as I can, for whatever threatens. And give me the courage to stand up with grace against troubles I cannot keep from coming my way. And make me willing to learn from what hurts me instead of feeling sorry for myself."
Rabbi Chaim Stern

To be able to feel afraid, to know when there is danger, is a valued instict-a gift. And yet, being afraid all the time, worrying what might happen next, is exhausting. Being able to discern when you need to be alert-ready to flee or take a stand-and when you can let go of fear is important. And so some prey.

Prayer is one thing for which I'm grateful. God has promised that he has a plan for me and he will provide all that I require if I have faith and believe. I am made in his image, and while that doesn't grant me perfection it does mean that I am perfect in his eyes. When I spiral downward, when I bounce from rock bottom and than when I hit again, when I rise and while I heal I am perfect. Even the broken are perfect, in fact, we are all broken and it is our pieces put together that make us whole.

"There is no one among us whose body or soul is not permeated by cracks, some wide, some narrow, some deep, others shallow. At times, so many of us feel fragile, fractured, wanting only to gather up the shattered pieces. If only we could put them back together, to be smooth, unblemished once more. But, our journey is not back into the past, but forward, into a future where we transform our pieces into a whole that is both strong and weathered."
A Journey Toward Freedom

I 'm grateful for my faith, because it gives me the courage to believe that when our hearts are broken, when we are most vulnerable, we become spiritually open, and in these moments everything becomes clear. We can be more sensitive and mindful of the blessings in our lives and more empathetic to the suffering of others. We can see what matters most and what doesn't matter at all and we can take advantage of the choice to hang on or let go.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ok Yeah I'm Scared...AND!?!

Ok, this one is a bit hard for me to admit because I strongly identify with the words brave and fearless, but ok yeah I'm scared. Scared to let go and scared not to. Scared of the past repeating itself in the future. Scared to trust anyone too much, or count on anyone too much, or lean into anyone too much. Better to stand tall and strong on my own two feet. Better to burrow my head in too much "busy" for hopes and dreams and all that silliness which leads to heartache and misery. I have enough of all that already.
Boldness is a quality I admire in myself, and I'm not sure when this chicken shit crawled into my heart and took root but I don't like it, I don't want to face it, I would just like for it to go away. Far far away so I can try things with my whole heart, with more than my body, and even with parts of my soul. Yes, that poor thing is tattered like a quilt that's been pulled in all directions trying with all it's made of to comfort everyone in the near vacinity. It's wholy and weak but still intact, definitely not broken, just a little neglected and a touch left behind. Very much worthy, deserving and in need of some TLC. Just like the rest of me.
So, boldly I go, off in the direction towards healing. And for the record, it's good to be scared. It means you still have something to lose.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Half of My Heart

Let me preface this with the fact that, in my mind, sad is pathetic.

I feel sad. Sad for my son and all the things he has been through and all the things he's missing out on. A Dad, his dad. A "real" family. A second person who loves him more than life itself. I'm sad for myself and all the things I've been through and all the things I'm missing out on. I'm sad because I only have half of my heart. Dave stole the rest of it...half of my heart...and worse, it means nothing to him.

Like the time my purse was stolen and all I wanted back was the pictures I had just taken of some amazing thing I'd just done with Hayden that I cant even remember now because I don't have the S.D card that cost about 20 dollars. Those car jackers got my wallet, $75, my cell phone with all my contacts in it, my camera...and my fucking S.D card with the pictures of my son on it. They probably just deleted them and started new. The one thing I cared about meant nothing at all to them. Just like my heart to Dave. Nothing at all.

Even more tragic is the fact that I gave him half, only half, and never a drop more. Part of me wanted to hand it over with reckless abandon and I tried. I tried SO hard, and half was all I could ever do. Like all the half relationships I formed after him, he got half. I think it was the good half at least because I cared, a lot, and I tried so hard. But unlike him, the others never had a whole shot because I only had one half left to give. Here today, I live, I breathe, with just half. How can I get it back?

Can you wish, or pray, or dream hard enough to get back the missing pieces? Because I'd like to. I'd like to be a whole person again someday instead of this weak, crumbly shell with the pretty face always trying to smile. I smile because I'm afraid if I cry I'll never stop and the water will boil up in me until it pours out the cracks. I'm like Humpty frickin Dumpty. All the kings horses and all the kings men couldn't put me back together again.

I want it back, because I can never really try with anyone, ever, if I don't get it back. But I really dont want it know? And that makes it worse. I can't choose. Should I try to get it back, or try to let it go?

This whole post is fucking pathetic, and that makes me really sad.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

One a Day for Woman

Haha I crack myself up with the vitamin reference, but this emotional purging will be like B1 for my soul. The plan is to talk about one feeling each and every day in hopes that it will break the heartless cripple that I have become. So here goes...

Guilt. I'm starting here because i've been carrying this one the longest and I pick bits and pieces of it up all over the place like litter that I still haven't found a trash bin for. Guilt and I go way back, as far as I can remember. Guilt about my parents marriage and guilt over their divore. Guilt about my moms hard knock life and her lackluster coping mechanisms. Guilt about being a kid who could get in loads of trouble without getting caught. Until I got caught.

Having a sexual relationship with a 29 year old man is legal if your 16. How fucking crazy is that? Working at a rape crisis agency you learn a lot about sexual assault, how it's all about power and control, and you wonder who has the power in that relationship? Oh well. Past is past. Really?

We are aware that our society runs rampant with victim blaming. It's the perpetraters who commit the crime, regardless of any choice the victim made, good OR bad. As an advocate, it's easy to tell a person "it's not your fault, this never should have happened to you." But when your the victim being the police officers investigating and the "justice" system, by your friends, by your own's a lot easier to feel guilty.

And so I do. I know it was not my fault. I know it shouldn't have happened to me. I was a naive and curious, perhaps a bit stupid but definitely neglected kid. He was a grown ass man. Funny, I just realized that ALL the men in my life have problems taking responsibility. Sure puts a shit ton of weight on my shoulders.

To be honest, maybe I like it that way. It's my comfort zone, the brand of "normal" that I"m used to. With the side benefit that if I pull all the wieght I can make sure it gets done. I'm in control. I can't get hurt.


But I do get hurt. I have expectations, wants and needs that can never be filled because I never speak them. I try hard to forget them, turn my back and close my mind. Childish really, holding my hands over my ears and squeezing my eyes shut tight while screaming "IcanthearyouIcanthearyouIcanthearyou." Thats a whole lot of effort being put forth to tune out myself. I'm very familiar with being unimportant. I take care, good care, of everyone else. But me.

I think someone should have the job of taking care of me. It was never my parents priority...I took care of them. It was never my boyfriends' priority...I took care of them. It has never been my priority, yeah you guessed it...I took care of THEM. Mom, Dad, Jeff, Jamie, Molly, Tommy, Sarah, Jim, Nic, Dave, and now Hayden. When will it STOP?

I want someone to take care of me, but I don't want to ask for it. It's less than convienient that I tend to push away people who try because to me they seem stupid or weak or ...too strong, too healthy, and too likely to hurt me when they see that I'm putting on a show. The "Jenna is fine and functioning show," welcome to it.

We are all broken. I'm learning to accept myself as part of that "We" but I can only take one step at a time.

Lost in Dark Depression

Lost in the depression,
not knowing where to turn.
I openeded the windows to my soul
to see what i could learn.

I swepped up depression,
scrubbed the sadness and the hurt,
I put it all in trash bags
and set them out by the curb.

I found, stashed in a corner
tucked high upon a shelf,
a treasure chest of knowledge
that I could love myself.

And wherever my future takes me
I know that I will win,
because I opened the
windows to my soul
And let the light shine in.