Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I was looking at old pictures today, pictures of Seth being born, Seth growing up, I literally have 30 gigs of pictures of my son, and I noticed that I have become a little bit calloused.

I've grown some barnacles around my heart over the last few years and I did so to prevent getting hurt further. I did it because Seth needed a strong mom and I had to be a strong mom. I did it because I had no other choice. It was either get through life or life would have eaten through me. So I built a few walls, a few defense systems that I wasn't even aware of until looking at those pictures.

You see those pictures show a very fragile Shanna. A Shanna before she knew what Down Syndrome, what raising a child, what running a house, what paying bills, what finishing school with a child with special needs, really meant. It was a Shanna before the broken one that sits before this laptop today. It was a Shanna that had no idea what was coming for her. It was a Shanna before her fiance of 10 years broke up with her for some other bitch. It was a Shanna that I both envy being and am entirely terrified to think about that point in my life again.

Because I look at this pictures and think, "Wow I knew nothing back then." And I am sure one day I will look at pictures from my daily life and think the same thing.

But what bothers me even more is that Shanna back then was one that let people in. She let people know that she was hurt, that she struggled, that she was terrified of life and didn't want to do it alone.

This Shanna that sits before you puts on an act. It's the "I got this" act. In fact those are words I use all of the time. I got this.

You know what? I don't fucking got this. I don't even remotely have this. I'm so lost at this moment in my life. I wish I knew what "got this" meant. If it means that I am finally at a place where I understand all of my sons emotional and medical and physical needs, then by all means yes I do "got this".

However if it means that I have any idea about life or what it all means or where it is all going - well then I definitely don't got this. I don't have anything.

Shanna now doesn't let people in. She tries. She really does. But not really. I mean how can you sum up 5 years of straight struggle and pain that never seems to end. How do I do that?

How do I at the end of the day do anything but feel like I just need to be stronger, just need to tough out one more day, just get through this one doctors appointment, this one conversation, this one second, just to move onto the next one?

How do I do it?

I build callouses. I'm so calloused. I go the ER with Seth and I think "oh this again, hey Hector". Hector is one of the head doctors at our local ER and knows Seth by name. Another doctors appointment - hey Dr. How is your wife/husband/kids? Callous. Just not really realizing the gravity of what I do on a daily basis. Not thinking that it really matters anymore. How can it when I've done it so many times before. See the specialists every 3-6 months and get more and more bad news. That's my life.

Another surgery/procedure. Sure I can do that. Sure why not? I don't cry anymore about them. It's like I wasted all my tears in the beginning and I can't do it anymore. I want to cry, I know I should cry, but I can't. I cry over the fact that I'm so hardened by this life.

I see babies and instead of joy I'm angry. I'm angry that I didn't have that experience with my child. I'm angry that instead of enjoying my child I have to constantly worry every second of every day for the rest of my goddamn life. I'm angry at teenage moms who have normal kids, I'm angry at moms who do drugs and drink and have perfect pregnancies.

I'm angry that I'm doing everything right and getting fucked over in the process. Wow this is such an angry blog, such an angry post. Such an angry Shanna. Such a really pissed off calloused woman.

I didn't intend this post to come out the way it did. I don't know what I intended but it wasn't this amount of hurt and anger.

I mean how do I let it all go? How do I start chipping away?

I mean I thought I had enough problems having the brother who committed suicide, the alcoholic father, the narcissistic mother, the fucked up family/childhood, the child with Down Syndrome, but then the one person I did have left me. And how do I not build callouses????? How do I even think of opening up the world of Shanna inside again?

I have no fucking clue. I really don't. Shit I don't know if the Shanna factory is opening for a very long time. I just want to go into a shell and never come out.

And many people will ask why I write this blog. Because I know somewhere in this vast world there is someone that feels EXACTLY like I do. That I'm not writing this in vain. That I might connect with someone who thinks "wow she gets me, I'm not alone". You aren't alone. I'm hurt, I'm suffering, I'm here, hi, I'm Shanna.

And ultimately it's therapeutic. If I write this one blog post and cry my whole way through it then I have gotten a weeks worth of tears out and can now move on to being strong another day. I can pick myself up tomorrow and deal with whatever it is that needs to be done, even if I can't do it tonight.

Goodnight all.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I love you

Those three most important words. I love you. I luv u. I looooovvveee yoooo. I wuv u.

So many ways to say it. I even sign it in my house to Seth. He signs it back and says "I uv u"

We say it to our kids, to our moms and dads and brothers and sisters and spouses, hell even our dogs and cats, but when, when do you look in the mirror and say "I love you self".

I know I don't. I know so many people who don't even pass by a mirror everyday. They stroll through life not realizing what they look like to themselves or to others.

I know because I was that person. I've been that person for a long time.

I lost what I loved about myself . . . or I just really forgot. I forgot what made me . . . well ME.

I have a new therapist now but my old one suggested I look at my face in the mirror everyday. And you know what surprised me most about that task??? That it was hard. It really was. I didn't want to look at myself in the mirror everyday.

Because looking means acknowledging, acknowledging means accepting, and accepting means loving.

And I wasn't ready to love myself again.

But something happened two months ago. . . two very long months ago, when my ex fiance and I broke up.

I realized that to get back into life again, to find someone who would love me for me, to be at peace with my life again, I would have to start caring and looking at that girl in the mirror.

I would have to finally worry about me.

What do I look like? What do I want to change? Who do I want to be? Why do I want to be that person? What do I like? What do I love? How do I learn to love myself again?

After a breakup we see all of these flaws. I saw all of my flaws. I'm too fat, my hair is frizzy, I have bags under my eyes, my hair needs to be dyed, I need to shave my legs, I want more tattoos (ex never did like 'em), I want to wear a dress or skirt, want to wear makeup and jewelery.

Suddenly I had a starting point, I had an idea, at least physically, of who I was and what I wanted to change about myself. I started with my weight. So now, two months later, I weigh 20lbs less than I did. . . and I'm going to continue to lose more weight.

I dyed my hair, bought a razor, bought that callous remover thing for my feet (love that thing!), am planning on getting at least three tattoos in the next year and do plan on a whole new wardrobe when I reach my first goal weight.

And I'm able to look in the mirror and say "hey that kind of looks like the Shanna that I used to know". Do not even mention that song because I hate it . . . . you guys know which one. Oh fuck it's in my head now. "Somebody that I used to know . . . . " ARRGGG.

And so with all the physical changes next I thought - ME I WANT TO CHANGE THE INSIDE TOO!!!

I want a job, well career, and a bank account. I want to learn how to drive. I want to learn how to dance- no headbanging, I do that well enough as it is. I want to write more. I want to take more pictures. I want to read Shakespeare until my eyes bleed. I want my Master's Degree. I want to teach kids and make a difference in their lives. I want to adopt a child with Down Syndrome and make their lives better. I want to keep my bleeding heart because I love that I care about things that others don't. I want to be a better mom. I want to be a better friend. I want to not be as messy and start cleaning more. I want to learn how to cook even more healthy foods. I want a man that isn't a selfish asshole. I want to own a home. I want to go for a vacation to Disney World with Seth.

I want . . . so much more than what I was settling for. Why? Why did I do that to myself?

I thought about this. . . . for a long time. How could someone love me . . . if I didn't love myself?

And in so many ways that is why I don't always feel angry at my ex. . . I feel angry with myself.

I was so much more, have the potentially to be so much more than what I am. And I will be more.

And one day when I face that mirror, it may be one year from now, may be many. . . I will tell that woman that I love her. And it will be the truth.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

on being strong

Earlier this morning, as I sat hunched over the porcelain God and begged for death to come, I thought about being strong. Stomach virus from hell, puking up my guts, not able to take care of my own child, and I was all alone.

My biggest fear had come to life. So this is what single motherhood is like sick. Strength to continue puking, strength not to shit my pants(failed that part), strength to clean up my own mess, strength to ask for help.

I don't like asking for help, I hate it, but last night, approximately one hour before I tossed my cookies and knew I was going to be very ill, I called Seth's grandma, who lives just downstairs and thankfully she took him so I could get my vomit on in private.

This poor woman is now downstairs, vomiting herself, Seth just had to share the love!

And the one thing I thought about most was how I wished my ex were here because I didn't want to feel this sick on my own. I told him that on the phone because I had started crying and he asked me what was wrong. I felt so pathetic. But it was the truth.

Is true strength knowing that you can't do it alone, or hell that you don't want to? Is true strength admitting that sometimes you just want your ma to hold you, or hell even your ex, and say everything is going to be alright?

Is true strength knowing that we are weak? If true strength is recognizing your weaknesses then I must be Herculean. I have never been at a weaker place in my life than I am now. I'm at this edge, looking down at my life, seeing all that was and seeing all of my faults, all of my mistakes.

It's amazing the revelations that are made with three hours of puking. As I leaned over that toilet bowl I prayed to God to help me and I knew it wasn't just about me vomiting half eaten Chinese food from the night before. It was everything. It was the culmination of my whole life and the realization that I do need His help.

And I am not one to say that I heard God speak to me, but there was a voice in my head saying "this too shall pass".

It has been a mantra of mine for a while now, since Seth was born. There was so much going on in that time that I kept telling myself those words. When I gave birth to Seth I told myself that physical pain is fleeting and that it went away.

Emotional pain is so much harder but it does eventually fade away.

So much for being strong, I am weak, but it reminds me that I am human.

Just like every time we all find ourselves praying over the porcelain God.