Friday, January 15, 2016

I can't say hello to you and risk another goodbye

You don't belong in my life any more and I have almost quit wishing you still did. But the Christmas Eve text message you sent was the hardest thing not to answer.  Then I heard Taylor a few days later singing this. And it's actually not necessary you know that I "almost do" like she asserts but no matter how happy I've been lately it's hard to forget all the dreams I had. "In my dreams you're touching my face and asking me if I want to try again with you and I almost do."

Monday, December 14, 2015

dressed in the fabric of a world unfolding

Dearest girl,

Today you are 5. The last five years...that's a musical, you know.  It doesn't work in this case because it's about a broken heart. It's about a love shown backwards to the audience, that way it breaks their hearts too. Which you know me, you know I like that stuff. Because it's real. Plus Jason Robert Brown wrote the music so it's quality.

I like things that are real. The last five years have been the most real of my 35.  I came to the NICU to feed you and see you and breathe you in and the lady saw me at the locked door through the tiny window and told her colleague: "it's Sloane's mom, open the door." I'd never been anything but "Shannon" and from that moment when you were just a day old I never was "just Shannon" again.

So the last five years have been full of heartache and regret and anxiety.  I married your dad. I tried for many years with him (before you came and after) to make us work and we couldn't.  My heart broke. I divorced your dad. And nothing during any of that was worth much to me unless it was a measurement of your happiness.  So, I felt like a ratty mom. A mom who gave up on keeping her child's family together. I felt selfish.  But slowly because of you I rebuilt my shaky confidence in my motherhood. Every time you'd put your chubby hands out to me I grew a little bit stronger. "Your beauty trumped my doubt." (it's a lyric by Mumford and Sons, there's always a lot of supplemental reading when it comes to your mother's writing).

So it wasn't perfect. But somewhere I had and still have this dream in me that our happiness isn't mutually exclusive. And in fact that if you didn't have a mother who could be happy you could never learn to be happy either. And I think a lot about that hymn from when I was a little girl that we would sing in church and I hope it's true: "farther along we'll know all about it, farther along we'll understand why. Cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine, we'll understand it all by and by."

There are people who will tell you when you are older that you shouldn't have regrets, or that they in fact don't have any regrets.  I will tell you that if you become a parent this idea is utter bullshit.

I have one million regrets and they are all, every single one (besides everything I did in the year 2001) about you. They stem from how I could've made you happier, or how I could have prevented you from hurting.

I try to best navigate by how to make you not only feel happy but how to help you turn into someone who is kind and intelligent, a woman who doesn't fear any part of herself, a person who passionately seeks but who is not too involved with herself to help others find.  It's hard to navigate. I mess up a lot. You'll know soon: I'm bad at maps, directions, and even Siri gets me lost sometimes.

Until I figure out the next step though, I have a constant companion. You sing silly made up songs a lot of the time, some mornings you are quite grumpy, some days you tell me you don't want to live with me (some of those days I don't want to live with me either), but when you are away the sound of the quiet is different. The quiet when you are asleep is a blissful quiet, sweet and colored with the exhaustion from going through another day together. The quiet when you are gone feels like a humid room. It gives me time to think about all the missteps and how to correct my navigation and it makes me count the hours until the quiet is replaced with your voice.

For everything that ever hurt or will hurt, I am sorry. I promise I think of you more than you will ever know. I am prouder of you than anything I've ever achieved.  And I love you more than I love anyone else including myself.

Happy birthday, all I want for you is everything good and many, many more.  



the title is from a song by ani difranco, I hope there is a woman musician who does for you what she did for your mommy a long time ago...the song is called The Slant. The full lyric is this:

I am a work in progress
dressed in the fabric of a world unfolding
offering me intricate patterns of questions
rhythms that never come clean
and strengths that you still haven't seen

Friday, December 4, 2015

You can keep all the memories

I'm not listening to Adele, but Gwen, she's a different story.  Adele can keep her calling up so long after breaking his heart. Gwen saying this split wasn't the plan and writing "Used To Love You" that I can get on board with.  

Just wanted to check in because I'm still living and shit. 

Gwen Stefani who's performance will give you the feels Used To Love You for the title

Monday, November 23, 2015

She don't want anybody to see what she looks like when she's down

I broke my rules. On the weekend. On the weekend without my daughter (see also: extra quiet and lonely).  I looked at Pinterest which is like a barrage of visual and mental "your heart is broken! don't you miss him!" madness.

And I went downstairs. Where I have his stuff in a box. Including his cologne that smells like the best thing on the planet and sort of like the old lady who swallowed a fly...I guess I'll die.

Not actually. I just feel like her. I did something silly and felt like a fool and like dying or such.

As soon as Sloane's party is planned Pinterest is finding itself deleted again.

Thankfully I have avoided that bitch Adele.  And there is one thing I absolutely refuse to concede to: any of these "broken" sentiments.

I am not broken. Lies and wasted time and empty promises are just that. I'm the kind of badass bitch who has been through a lot worse than this and still manage to run an amazing life and look pretty fashionable while I do it.

No one is going to ruin my track record.

She don't want nobody near, from the Counting Crows for the title 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

And I don't like to think that love is like war

Heartbreak sucks because all the good stuff evaporates. Like how when he opened the car door for you he'd then bend his head in to kiss you three times. 

Title from Independence Day by Ani Difranco

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

And all the people say "You can't wake up, this is not a dream..."

You know the day. The one where you wake up differently after weeks of feeling like your chest is going to explode when you realize that nothing that happened while you were asleep changed what happened, but not this morning. This morning is the one where the sound of the wind outside and your child sniffling through a stuffy nose feels like gratitude again.

I had that morning.  The problem with having that morning is if there is anything unfinished it will happen soon after that morning.

It was a Saturday and I went and got coffee and on my way home. The night before was particularly rough.  I still felt oddly connected to Nick. I kept checking my phone to see if he'd text me. I stared at the comments and likes on his profile picture. I kept vigil over nothing.  But I didn't wake up that way. I woke up almost happy.

I pulled into my driveway and looked on my Pinterest app because I was party planning (obvs this was the couple days before I wrote the getting over a heartbreak post).  I had a notification.  On an old board. A board Nick created while he was deployed. He'd pin things for me to look at when we couldn't talk.  There were 100s of pins on this board. But this notification said he pinned a new thing.

I opened my email. 3 notifications from Pinterest saying he pinned something to our board. I opened Pinterest.

Every girl wants the grand gesture when she's been hurt.  We want you to get on a plane or run through the airport to keep us from leaving or send an email missive of our every quality that you miss down to the way we shampoo our hair and the brand of tea we drink.

So my heart was racing.  Maybe he'd say he loved me.

Nope.  He pinned a light up apology meme someone else photographed and put on Pinterest. And then he pinned two more things about himself, and his symptoms of his PTSD and depression.

As a clinician, I understand. As his former fiancee my heart seemed to shatter into pieces I wasn't sure I could identify any more.

I've sold myself short lots of times, but I couldn't accept that a meme was all I was worth at this point.

So I broke the cardinal rule and texted him.

This set off a barrage of messages and an eventual phone call that gave me even less closure, less satisfaction and less love.

I tend to be a bit masochistic. Sometimes I keep things that prove that it would be foolish to put myself in the same situation and expect different results.

So I kept the meme. I'm keeping it on a private board on Pinterest (the board we had together is gone along with every sentiment ever posted there).  With this caption: Never forget this is the way he thought it best to say the words you wanted most.

So I had that day and every day has been better since. There's no more grenades going to go off on the internet or in my phone.  He's blocked in every way. His mom knows how to reach me if he would need me. Sometimes I think it was wrong of me not to wait but then I remember he never asked me to wait. And sometimes I still stare at my phone and wonder if he'll get through.

But the mornings are easier and that's the kind of start that takes you somewhere else, somewhere better.

title from Gasoline by Halsey bc badass

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

When the morning comes, let it go, this too shall pass

In my early twenties, I like many other women my age and older was obsessed with Sex and The City.  I identified (still identify) with Carrie. The longsuffering, overthinking, terrible man choosing albeit fashionable Carrie.

On Sundays I'd watch SATC with my very best friend and a total Charlotte, Breann.

So Breann over the years has taken to describing my relationships in SATC characters. I've had way too old for me Aleksander Petrovsky (must be in the name), I've had my sensitive and wonderful Aiden that I destroyed chasing who I thought was Mr. Big at the time. And Now I have my very own Jack Berger.

Hollywood kisses with a post-it note ending.

What I'm beginning to come up with is maybe there isn't a Big and maybe Big was a giant douche anyway. And maybe, just maybe, I'm not a Carrie. I mean I'm not a city girl. Maybe I'm more like the teacher from Stuckeyville from the other show we never missed, something more original, more obscure. Maybe I'm just a Carol Vessey. Looking for her Ed Stevens.

title from OK GO: This too shall pass