Hi Again

I have been avoiding you all and I’m sorry for it. I’m a very private person and sharing my unfiltered, raw, honest thoughts on a public forum like this is still very new and very difficult for me. To say I’m uncomfortable letting myself be vulnerable with anyone is an understatement.  And writing to you,  even anonymously behind a screen, makes me feel vulnerable beyond compare.

I won’t lie,  there have been a few very dark days since my last post. Days where I have wondered whether or not I have the strength or the desire to continue on in this life. Days where I was struggling to figure out what my purpose, if any, is in this world. Days where there was little, or no, hope in my heart and mind. Those days,  I felt so alone; I was alone.

But there is some light at the end of the tunnel! I can see it. I can feel its warmth on my cheek. And I am slowly crawling out from my dark hole toward it.

I Was Wrong – Now What?

It’s so very hard to admit when you’re wrong, when you’ve made a mistake, to eat crow, but I’m here to do it.  I made a terrible decision when I quit my job last year.

I was so angry – overwhelmingly angry – when, at the last minute, they ripped away my chance to actively participate in a trial on a case that I spent three long years on.  I was deeply hurt and I took it personal, when I’m pretty sure (now) that it was actually just business.  So, I cut off my nose to spite my face and I quit.

I thought it was the demands of my job that were getting me down, but it was life.  The shit I had been dealing with from my childhood had been overflowing into my daily life in major ways for a couple of years by then.  Instead of continuing to deal with my issues like an adult and being grateful that I was gainfully employed at a place that was being pretty supportive (all things considered), I quit.

I took a two month road trip to clear my head (a trip I will absolutely never regret taking)  In some ways, I did clear my head.  In other ways, I think I must have confused myself even more.

I got it into my brain along the way that I would make it out there in this big bad world on my own, as a solo practitioner.  When I got back home, I started my own law firm.  It was exciting and liberating and all of the things I thought it would be, until it wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gotten several decently paying clients; but it’s just not panning out.  My money is running out faster than it’s coming in.  I’m intelligent and creative, but I’m also shy and introverted, and I haven’t perfected a style of marketing that works for me.  I never gave myself the chance to learn before I left my job.

I can’t pay a mortgage on hopes and dreams and I don’t want to end up completely broke, so I need to make my way back into a job.  I’m terrified that by opening my own law firm and bombing, I’ve effectively blackballed myself from the list of employable lawyers.  Something tells me that’s not 100% true, but it’s definitely a fear I have.  A stomach churning, paralyzing, anxiety laden fear.

Now what?  Normally, I would say, “fuck it,” hold my head high, and plug along doing my thing.  I was good at that once, before it felt like the bottom of my life fell out from under me.

I’m still a great lawyer.  Nothing there has changed.  I’m still smart.  I just have issues and have made some mistakes.  We all make mistakes from time to time.  Every. Single. One of us.  I’ve lost my way over the last few years and just need to find the route back.  Man I really hope that in 10 years, I can look back on this time and laugh – wondering why the hell I was so worried.

I Don’t Know Anymore

I feel like I have no one I can talk to in my real life about this, so here I am. I’m sending this out into the ether, hoping that someone out there might understand, be able to relate, or will realize that they aren’t as alone as I feel in all of this.

I want to make amends with my parents.  I think.  I don’t know.  I just don’t know anymore.  I want to forgive them for what they did.  I want to let it go.  I’m tired of being angry.  I’m tired of holding a grudge.  I’m so tired of hurting like I have been.  I don’t know how, though.

I want to feel love again.  I thought they loved me.  I don’t know if they did or if I just imagined things.  I don’t know if I’m clinging on to that idea of love because I’m lonely right now.  I can’t trust anything or anyone anymore.  I have had to completely shut them out and in the process I have shut down.  I have shut everyone and everything out.  I don’t even love myself anymore.

How do you even begin to repair a relationship that is in such shambles?  I’m not ready to go back and pretend like things are normal and wonderful.  They’re not.  I have said things out of anger in an attempt to make them hurt like I have hurt. I feel guilt for those things.  But I don’t want to be the one that has to give in.  I didn’t start this.  I didn’t do the things they did to innocent children.  I shouldn’t have to be the one that apologizes.  Again.  It’s their turn.

I need one hell of an apology, too.  I’ll never get it.  I tried to get one, and I got called crazy.  I got screamed at.  I got belittled.  I got told that I had no idea what I was talking about.  I was there, though.  I remember what happened. I understand on a logical level that they need to hold on to the farce; that the truth is too difficult for them to acknowledge.  But they have to acknowledge what they did to us; they have to acknowledge how much they hurt us or I can’t move on.

Or can I?  I have been, in some ways.  In others, I’m still very much that wounded child.  I’m still hurting so much inside.  How do I move on when it still hurts so much?  How do I move on when it hurts them so little?  When they show no remorse?  When they seem to blame me for all of this?

I’m ill equipped to handle this.  I’m especially ill equipped to do it all alone.  Yet here I am.  Again.

A Terrible Wish

I wished they would die.

I’m a terrible person for thinking it, but probably worse for admitting it.  If only it were the first time.

Their dying would not make me happy. Nothing can ever really get rid of the fucked up memories. There’s the heap of garbage and debt that we’ll inherit. But at least it would be over.

I wouldn’t have to keep living my life fearing the moment I have to explain that even though my parents live ten minutes away, I never see them.

They won’t keep making decisions that rip my heart to pieces.

I won’t have to consciously make the decision that my future children will not have any interactions with their grandparents.

They won’t be able to stir up drama any more.

I won’t have to be disappointed in them again.

Their power will be gone.

When will it be over?

On Mother’s Day

Mom Day ECard 7

She never expected gifts for Mother’s Day, thank goodness; but a card and a visit were mandatory.

I remember the conversation pretty clearly – we had it every year that my brother forgot (or intentionally ignored) Mother’s Day.   Her rationale seemed innocent enough – a card and a visit one day a year weren’t too much for the person who gave you life to ask, were they?  What she really wanted was for someone to mend her shattered heart and when my brother failed to do so, it became my job.  It never should have been, but it was always my responsibility to make things right.  Mother’s Day became no different – another obligation from daughter to mother.

Every May I dutifully searched for the perfect card to express “my” love for her. I always knew when I had the right one, because the message inside made me want to cry.  Each time, I convinced myself that the emotions came when the card said, in words, what my heart actually felt.  As it turns out, the tears actually welled up in my eyes when the expression of mother-daughter love resembled what she needed and demanded that I believe it was.

Every May I identified less and less with those sappy Mother’s Day cards.  I didn’t feel the unconditional love they spoke of.  I couldn’t relate to the caring, nurturing, supportive relationship that Mother’s Day cards so eloquently describe.  I began to feel uncomfortable giving her praise for being this person I knew she wasn’t.   I couldn’t reconcile the words with my feelings, so I continued.  I felt like I had to.

Until I couldn’t do it anymore.  I couldn’t buy another sweet Mother’s Day card and make the obligatory visit.  Thankfully, Mother’s Day comes when you’re starting to make the the final push before finals, so my visits were excused.  Flower delivery, with a card that reads “Happy Mother’s Day, Love Lex” was an acceptable substitute.  I didn’t have to lie again.  I didn’t have to wrestle with my emotions.  I could just spend my money, make a phone call, and live another day.

I do my best to ignore Mother’s Day altogether these days.  No calls, no visits, no texts, no flowers or cards.   It’s hard.  The barrage of advertisements in my inbox, my mailbox, and on my favorite websites reminds me that I am shirking my (perceived) obligation to the one who gave me life.  The articles about women who lost their mother to cancer or some other tragedy leave me feeling guilty for not celebrating the short time I have with her while she’s here.  The touching stories of mothers who champion for their children make me wish I would receive the same from my own mother.

Honestly, I can’t bear to look at a display of Mother’s Day cards now.  They’d never really say what I wish I could say.  That I’m hurting.  That I’m angry.  That I wish she would do something – anything – to fight to save this relationship.  That my biggest desire is for her to show remorse and accept responsibility for her actions.   Hallmark doesn’t have a section like that.  So, I entertain myself with woefully inappropriate Mother’s Day cards.

Mom Day ECard 5

Mom Day ECard 3

A Single Woman Among Moms

All of my friends are having babies.  I, on the other hand, am still single without any children of my own.  I have no prospects of having any children in the near future.  Quite honestly, I don’t know if kids are even in the cards for me.  I had piss poor examples for parents and I’m terrified of repeating their mistakes.  I’ve devoted my life to my career and am continuing to do so.  When would I have the time or energy to devote to children like I would want to?  With all that I have been through and all of the terrible things that happen in our world these days, if I end up not having any children of my own, I won’t be as disappointed as you might think.

Okay, I’d be a little disappointed; but if it doesn’t happen, I will still live a full and happy life, this I’m sure of.

It’s hard being the odd one out, though.  As my friends get married off and have babies, our friendships are changing.  It’s not unexpected, but it’s not easy.  The conversations are certainly a whole lot different these days.  We used to talk about our lives, our hopes, our dreams, our fears, our careers.  Now, I have to hear about your kid’s diarrhea for a week?  Please keep that shit to yourself.  Literally.

Despite the fact that I don’t want to know every detail of your child’s bowel movements, we can still be amazing friends.  I get that motherhood changes women in so many ways.  I knew that it would change you.  But unless you’ve suddenly decided to be one of those dysfunctionally obsessed with your children mothers (which you said you’d never do, by the way), you’re still you.  You still have the wicked sense of humor we share, you’re still a strong, fierce, independent woman, you’re still filled with all those hopes and dreams and fears we used to talk about (and many more with kids in the picture).  And, as soon as this new kid phase is over, you’re going to want to join me for a glass of wine or three now and again (trust me, it’s gonna happen).

In the meantime, you still deserve to have friends you can just shoot the shit with, about kids, about husbands, about whatever.  I can (and have and will) adjust to the fact that sometimes we won’t get to hang out or that the primary focus of our conversations will be about the kids.  So, while you think I’m not going to be able to understand or relate to you now that you’re a mom, nothing could be farther from the truth.

I do have to ask for one favor, though.

Please don’t act like I have no clue when it comes to children. Although I don’t have any of my own, I had a jacked up childhood and learned all about what not  to do with kids.   I have nephews and a niece who I babysat.  I used to babysit the neighbor kids.  As it turns out, that’s more interaction with children than you’ve had up to this point.  Does it mean I know everything?  No.  But neither do you.

I want to learn with you.  I want to know what it’s like.  I want to know what kinds of things to expect.  I want to see your kids grow up  I want to see what kind of parent you’ll become.  Even if I don’t have any kids of my own, I can be the coolest aunt out there.   Why risk ruining our perfectly good friendship acting as though you’ve moved up into the upper echelon of life for the mere fact that you popped out a kid?

Rant over.

I still love you, even though you’ve got this new puking, pooping, time and thought consuming, adorable little baby.  I just hope you’ll still love me back, even though I don’t.

Sheet Music Collages

I’ve been keeping myself distracted lately making these. No idea what I’ll do with them, except give them away.  All of them feature sheet music from the very early 1900s (possibly earlier in a couple instances).  What do you think?

Con Amore Clef Heart Collage

Face to Face Collage

Forever Love Forever Collage

How Sweet The Name Jesus Collage