Saturday, July 6, 2013

A long time coming....

Life has been busy. I work. . . A lot. I'm tired all of the time. I've faced tons of fears. I got all of my teeth fixed over the last two months...for someone who is terrified of dentists that's a big thing. the first appointment I had a panics attack...the last one I rocked out listening to music...big change.

I have money now... Not tons but I can afford things. I can go places and do things. I don't have to worry about money all of the time. . . And yet I'm still not very happy.

And many people say I'm not happy for this reason or that but the truth is that unhappiness is from within. Was I more happy in a relationship? Yes. . But I was still unhappy. I didn't have a job..no money...no ambition....now I have all of those things and no boyfriend....there will always be something we don't have. I have been working at reducing my physical belongings because I just have too much shit and I realized none of it makes me happy....none of it at all...

Wait I have one possession that does make me happy...my kindle ...no not kindle fire ...kindle keyboard...cheap one that is just for reading books. It was a 30 year birthday present to myself and I love it because I love to read. Reading makes me happy.

I look at pictures of myself..much heavier and I see sadness about that. I see sadness about not caring about myself. Now I buy clothing and other nice things for myself. I feel good about myself. I'm not 100% there but I will get there.

This whole loving myself thing has been a very long time coming... Very long. I'm redefining everything I know about me. Who am I? What do I really want? What a,mi going to do with this new life of mine? What can I do now that I don't have to worry about one man controlling everything I do? I have no fuckin clue but it's a hell of a ride finding out.

I still haven't played a video game and wonder about selling all my gaming stuff but once upon a time it made me happy and I would like it to do that again.

Monday, May 6, 2013

forgiveness

I forgive you. I let go of all the hurt and pain and anguish that my heart and soul have been through for the last year. I forgive myself for caring, for allowing myself to stoop down to your level. I forgive you for not telling me you were no longer in love with me. I forgive you for hurting me so much. I forgive you for ruining part of Seth's childhood.

I forgive you for ruining every Mother's Day and birthday I have had for the last ten years. I forgive you for every time you raised your voice at me or cursed at me or made me feel less than human. I forgive you for all the ER trips I made with Seth alone...I forgive you for not being there for every sleep study and surgery and doctors appointment.

I forgive ten years of hate. I forgive ten years of anger. I forgive ten years of walking on egg shells. I forgive ten years of abuse. I forgive ten years of cooking and cleaning and laundry and not being treated with a shred of decency.

Andrew, I forgive you.

I won't forget. I won't go back. I will continue forward. Forgiveness is not something you will ever be aware of. . .just me. You don't deserve forgiveness but I deserve to be mentally and emotionally free of you so I'm granting it.

There is no revenge, no grandiose plan to make your life a living hell, though I could if I so wished, just forgiveness and indifference.

You don't matter in my life any longer. You hold no power of me. The best revenge I can seek is the one who have already inflected on yourself. . .

You are alone. You are lonely. You are a man who is completely dependent on a woman to have a functional life. You are sat and pathetic and weak and I was your scaffolding for too many years. Without me you have crumbled. Without you I have flourished.

There will always be a small space in my heart for you...but it doesn't have to be in my head as well.

Goodbye Andrew.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

how does Seth feel?

This blog has dealt with my feelings about Down Syndrome and single motherhood and a while other random ideas and thoughts and opinions that kind of scattered their way onto here...but I've never asked myself one question...how does Seth feel about having Down Syndrome? How does Seth feel about mommy and daddy not living together anymore?
How does Seth deal with not seeing me everyday now that I'm working? How does he deal with spending time with grandpa after school or living in a new home or having to go to daddy's house every other weekend? How does he deal? What is going on up in the head of his?

What could Seth tell me if he were able to?

I know he's happy. I know he's as healthy as I can keep him. I know he loves Grandma and Grandpa. I know that he misses his dad. I know that he knows that I'm sad. I know that he knows that I'm gone more than I used to be and is a bit clingy. I know that for the last three months he has slept in my bed every night because he doesn't want to sleep on his own. I know that he screams "no" a bit more than he used to, doesn't look forward to school as much as he used to and is generally a bit more obstinate.

I know that no matter what I do I can't be mom and dad for him. I know that I can't make up for a whole other person being mostly missing from his life. I know I can't financially provide for him as I used to with my ex. I know that he doesn't like our new home and living situation. I know that he misses his own room in his old home. I know he misses not waking up to the sound of dogs barking.

I don't know if he'll ever understand what DS is or means for him. It's all he knows. It's an essential part of his genetic makeup. And sometimes I feel like he is so incredibly gifted and smart that he must know that he's different... that his mind doesn't work the same as others.. and other times I pray that he isn't smart enough to realize that.

I've felt different my whole life. . . and I've hated it. And it is no surprise that these DS issues hit me hard because it reflects all the issues I have had growing up. I never fit it. . . I never belonged. I always felt like a stranger in my own skin. I lived in a world in my own head and I still do everyday. I never talk about my true feelings...or I do with very few people.

I didn't want that for my child, for any child I might have had. And here I am with a child who is most definitely genetically different from the norm.

And I'm scared that I'm raising him in an even more abnormal unstable environment which will add more to his "uniqueness".

Am I really raising the kid with DS who will love Star Wars and Doctor Who and metal music and enjoy reading fine literature and playing video games and going skateboarding?

Am I the mom with the bright red hair and the strange clothes, who quotes Shakespeare and can kick your ass at video games? Or the one who will wait hours in line for the new superhero movie or fantasy novel? 

I guess I am.....

I have to figure it out.

Seth and I.... the very odd pair we are. What a sensation we will make. I guess we are going out in the world to stir some shit up. No more labels. No more identifiers. No more DS or geek or strange or weird or normal or typical or anything.

Just two people.....Shanna and Seth.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

being a single mom on Mother's Day....

Next Sunday is Mother's Day. When I first found out I was becoming a mother it was a week before Mother's Day and my ex and I have a mini celebration where it was like this amazing secret that we got to keep all for ourselves, for at least a little while. Nothing could keep a smile off my face while we sat in the backyard and ate cheeseburgers with mushrooms, bacon and cheddar, because it was exactly what I was craving at three weeks pregnant.

And last year, last year on Mother's Day I was given my final respects, my ex took me and his mother out for sushi and when we got home I couldn't keep up the facade anymore, I had to break the news to her. I broke the news to her that her son and I were breaking up after ten years of being together. And I didn't tell her it was because my ex was in love with someone else, or because he had told me he stopped loving me years ago and only stuck around because of Seth or because I had cheated on my ex five years ago and now that he was unhappy he was suddenly going to use that against me, even though he had claimed to forgive me, claimed to still love me, claimed to want to work things out and I swear we did.....or so I thought.

So Mother's Day. I have no one to wake up extra early and make breakfast for me with Seth. I have no one to bring Seth to the store and have him pick out a special card for me. I have no one telling me to relax and take it easy because it's Mother's Day. No gifts, no sleeping late, no back massages, no special treatment..nothing at all.

No. I have an ex whose girlfriend or ex-girlfriend or fuck buddy or whatever the fuck they are calling each other these days...I have her writing on his calendar that Mother's Day is their one year anniversary. MY FUCKIN' DAY.

Mine. Not hers. Not anyone else. MINE.

She is not a mother, she is not fit to be a mother, she should never, ever have or be around children.

Whereas I, I never wanted to be a mom. And now I can't imagine a life without being one. I can't imagine not hearing Seth's voice everyday and seeing his smile. I can't imagine not having pudding in my pantry and juice in my fridge. I can't imagine not seeing his toys everywhere.

I never wanted to be a mom but I'm a damn good one. I've done all the research, all the doctors appointments and therapies and emergency room trips and surgeries and hospital stays and I've stayed up nights crying over the fate of one little soul...one very helpless little soul and I've begged God to help me figure it all the fuck out. And I became an awesome mom because I've done all of this.

And someone else...this bitch...is going to get the benefit of celebrating on MY day. A day I've earned. Because so many people can have babies but very few of those people can become mothers, real mothers, the ones that love and care and can't breathe and stop and think until they've done all that they can.

Being single on Mother's Day hurts, it hurts on normal days. I know that my ex is not going to do anything for me or have Seth do anything for me and that hurts. Because even if you don't love me anymore you should take the time to realize that without me Seth wouldn't be.

Without me Seth wouldn't be awesome. He wouldn't be reading. He wouldn't be signing over 300 words. He wouldn't be healthy. He might not even be alive if it weren't for me. I've saved Seth in so many ways, emotionally, physically, mentally that I can't imagine what type of child Seth would be if I weren't there to mold him.

Seth is an awesome child. . . and I'm beyond blessed to be his mom. I just never intended to walk this path alone, to make this journey by myself. . . and I hate it. I hate not having anyone to talk to at the end of the day when life is just too hard. I hate not having someone to hold me when I cry because Seth can't or won't do something. I hate having to feel strong all the damn fucking time because there is no one else to lean on.

I hate it.

So this Mother's Day make it a point to think of all the single moms....all those moms hating that it's Mother's Day because believe me I am going to hate it. . . I've been dreading it for weeks now. Think of all they go through everyday and all they yet to go through. And then instead of feeling bad for them, instead of being sorry, if you know any of them ask them if they would like a day off or an hour or if they need help with something. Ask them if they are okay. Ask them if they need to talk. Ask them if they need a babysitter. Tell them they are awesome. Tell them they are doing the best job ever. Tell them that they are strong and can do it.

Because we don't think we can. Because there isn't enough time in the day to do it all. Because we're tired. Because we're sad. Because there is an unbearable loneliness weighing on our souls that not even our awesome children can fill.

Because we are single mothers and most of us didn't go into this position willingly.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Happy Birthday Asshole

Happy conception day douchebag....ironically it's not only your birthday but the day that our son was conceieved. I remember it well, more than I should. So the day our son was conceived, yep the son you forsook when you has sex with another woman in the apartment we shared you worthless piece of horse manure.

Fuck you for every birthday of mine you have ruined and for everything you did with her that you were unwilling to do with me, fuck you for all of the lies, the pain, the torment, the basic assholish fuckery that I had to deal with for the past ten fuckin years. Fuck you. Fuck you up the ass so hard. I wish you more pain than you can ever fucking imagine.

I was sweet once, not innocent, but sweet. I was happy and pure and unaware of the pain associated with heartbreak. I was like a newly forged clay pot. So fresh. No holes or dents or cracks orscratches. Then you broke my heart and created the biggest fucking crack in my pot...and as much as I cover it with plaster or fill it in, it will never be that clay fucking pot again.

I am forever damaged and all I want to do, all I really want to do, is to keep filling that hole with pieces of your flesh, your blood, with bits of your soul until those holes are bursting at the fucking seams. And I've done that, and that crack seemed to hunger, to yearn, instead of filling it thrives on blood and gore and hate and this lust for blood and flesh and anything else I can tear off your body.

This crack thrived on darkness and madness..the crack didn't fill...it splintered into a million other cracks furthering the damage done to that clay pot.

So here I am, full of cracks, of darkness, and I can't go back to being shiny and new again, nor would I want to. But this claypot is getting very difficult to hold water and be half full. This clay pot doesn't have the capacity it once did. This clay pot isn't wanted by people anymore because it is not beautiful. It sits on the shelf, watching the world pass it by, wanting so desperately to take another trip to the well to become full again.

I will never feel full again.


Monday, April 15, 2013

on change....

It's no secret that I've changed...a lot....and it's hard to do and it's stressful and I thought I hated it. And now I look back at the past year....and it's very hard to see where I've come from.

But this new Shanna, the one that looked at herself this morning in the mirror, well she didn't seem the least bit familiar....and that made me incredibly sad.

As much as I've changed, as much as I've become better, I still like that old Shanna, I still wanted to retain a piece of her. I've spent the last year trying to run away from that Shanna, the one that got really, really hurt and didn't want to be Shanna anymore.

I lost 45lbs, dyed my hair blonde, cut my hair really short, started wearing different clothes, stopped playing video games.....just way, way too much. I went too far. I lost myself.

And as strange as it may sound, the one thing that has been bothering me, the one thing I've changed the most in my life, my hair, it's been on my mind. I've tried it all lately. Blonde the brown then more blonde and it's crazy.

And then I realized....I like my red hair....no fuck that, I LOVE my red hair. I want to be that redhead girl again. I like that person.

Something so very simple that I had attached to my personality, to a set of characteristics that were inherently mine....and one of those things just happens to be having red hair. I was called "red" for years by several people and still am....that's how much it identifies me.

So I'm sitting here with the second round of hair dye on because the first round turned my blonde hair pink....fucking pink....really? Ok so round two... twenty more minutes to go.

That Shanna is very, very far away, but I still can keep bits and pieces of her without sacrificing the person I have become.

I can still have red hair, I can still like video games, I can still watch our (yes our) favorite shows and not have to feel like I'm mourning that person sitting beside me, I can enjoy them alone. I don't have to stop myself from saying "we" when I talk about stuff that my ex and I have done or are doing for Seth. "We" do do those things. I may do more, but "we" are still Seth's parents. I can still call him and discuss our son. I can still have Easter dinner at his moms house because we are fucking cool like that. I can still care about his family because I've known them for ten damn years.

And I can still have red hair and not love my ex.

And next week is my ex's birthday....and I don't have to buy him a fuckin gift either. I stood there on line in Target yesterday, I was buying several things, but there I was, last item in hand, a Green Lantern tshirt for him. And I dropped it in the fucking basket (you know the one that all those chips go in when people are judging you and what you are buying) and told myself "hell fucking no". I don't have to do that. I don't have the be the only person who gives a fuck for him anymore....I'm done being THAT Shanna.

So I'm Shanna...I'm Shanna the redhead....and I fucking love it.


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

my life imposed Lent

I'm baptized Roman Catholic but I'm not a good little Catholic girl like I should be. I know a lot about the holidays and Lent and Easter and whatnot, but I don't necessarily celebrate or partake in them. I was thinking about Lent this year, I was going to give up thinking about my ex and the many ways in which I could kill him...but then life kind of got in the way. And I realized that life imposed it's own kind of Lent on me.

I got a job three weeks ago...this is my fourth week working. I haven't worked in over six years, haven't done anything but be a mom and nurse and laundry person and person cook and masseuse and teacher and physical therapist and speech therapist and doctor and so many other roles that a mom has to take on, not only just a mom of a child with special needs.

So I work at a daycare now...I'm their teacher and that doesn't mean I just teach. For about 50 hours a week I'm changing diapers, overseeing breakfast, lunch and snack, controlling games and activities and arts and crafts, changing diapers, initiating nap time, administering discipline and the many other things that go along with my job. Did I mention that I change diapers???

I like my job. I enjoy the kids so much. And in so many ways it's like raising the kid that Seth never was. These are typical kids. Kids that can speak and walk and play and run and that aren't always sick. And it made me realize how much I do want another child of my own. . . a typical child....one day.

So about Lent. . .  I worked 50 hours a week, I got sick, I lost my voice, I took care of Seth, Seth was with his dad all of spring break, Seth got sick with a bad ear infection, I got to have a great sushi dinner with a good friend, I remembered my own self worth.....and in a way I got my Lent.

Lent is a period that shows you about yourself. That makes you realize that you are something stronger than what you thought yourself to be. I know I am strong, people tell me all the time, people see my strength, but part of having strength is not always feeling strong, but pretending to be strong. Because these last three weeks I have not wanted to be strong, I've wanted to dig my head in the sand and pretend that the last year had never happened, that I was in the bed with Andrew again and that Seth was sound asleep in the other room.

And every morning when I woke up alone and every night I came home to a different home with my mom and dad and Seth waiting for me, I felt a twinge of sadness, and some nights tears did come and I let them flow.

But this is a chance for a new Shanna, a new life, a new start and just knowing that I can do it all, that I have been doing it all for so long. . . this renewed confidence in myself knowing that I'm so capable. I've not felt like this in a very, very long time.

So life imposed my Lent. I started my new job which taught me that I can do more and be more without some asshole loser in my life. I don't need him to feel good about myself. I don't need anyone to tell me how I should look or talk or act or be like....I'm like me now.

And as much as I miss my old life, and I really, really do, I would never give it up for this feeling of pride I have in myself right now. That is worth a million Andrews, a million kisses, a million hugs and a million meaningless nothings whispered in my ear.

And my first paycheck felt like a million bucks. . . and I'm so going to enjoy spending my own money without worrying about anyone else or needing support from others. Let them say that Shanna can do it all by herself and that she is absolutely fucking amazing. Let them say that there is nothing she can't do when she puts her mind to it. And let them say that Shanna is one of the most intimidating people in this this world because there is NOTHING on or in this world that can get her down.

Let them say that this is just one more medal of honor that she has to show off after the many she has already obtained.

Let them fucking try to get me down again and watch what the fuck I do. I'll be fucking fantastic.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Seth's birth story

I never wrote it. . . ever. How did I never write my sons birth story?

I didn't cry when Seth was born. I didn't cry the four days that I was in the hospital being induced.

It never hit me at that moment that I was really, truly having a baby.

I wasn't supposed to have a baby that day. I wasn't ready. I went to my regular checkup appointment at 8 months and my blood pressure was through the roof. I was told to go to the hospital which is literally five blocks away from the clinic. . . so I walked. . . alone. . .and I didn't think anything of it at all.

I went into Labor and Delivery, the first time I ever was there, and I went to the front desk, told them what was happening and then had a seat in the waiting area.

And then it seems like it all happened so damn fast. A room, a bed, a doctor, calling my parents and Andrew and his mom...and then the doctor told me that I was going to have a baby that weekend.

I couldn't have a baby that weekend. I told the doctor that. I still had too much to do. I had to clean and buy stuff and we had to get an apartment....I didn't have a home for my baby....I didn't have a crib.....I had nothing for him really.

And I want to say that this is a happy birth story, but it's not. Not a lot of moments that mean things to other people mean much to me. I hated pregnancy, I hated hearing the news about Seth having Down Syndrome and then my brother passing away a month later.....I just wanted it all to be over and to meet my son.

I was supposed to meet my son January 12th. I was induced on December 13th and Seth was born on the 16th.

It was the worst hospital experience ever. Being induced is horrible. There are these chemicals being pumped into to your body to produce a state of labor that isn't natural. And it hurts....A LOT. A LOT more than normal labor should hurt.

I remember about 12 hours after starting pictocin the doctor came in and checked me "down there" and didn't say what they were doing and all of a sudden I felt a big whooooosssssshhhh. They broke my water. They didn't even tell me, they didn't even ask. I felt violated. I thought I had urinated myself....I really did. I was that ignorant.

So I stayed in state of not knowing what was going to happen to a state of pain and shock for the next two days or so.

I got an epidural when I was fully dilated and I started having bad contractions....never again. It doesn't work and I have had back spasms and problems since Seth was born. . . finally started to get better five years later.

There were a few glimmers of shine in this story. One nurse was insistent on meeting Seth, she wanted to meet my child that had Down Syndrome. I like to think that she loves someone with DS and that's why it was so special to her.

I had trouble pushing, Seth got stuck down there because of his low muscle tone. This nurse told me that her shift ended at 7pm and she would see Seth before she left work that night. Several pushes and a big pair of forceps later, Seth was out.

He was born at 7:04 p.m. and yes, she did get to meet him.

Seth didn't wail, didn't cry, he let out this sad little "whelp". Like a helpless dog. And I lay there wanting to see and touch my son and they whisked him away. That's horrible. That feeling. I didn't get to hold him til forever later, although realistically it was probably only a half an hour.

Originally Andrew was supposed to hold Seth first....the nurse thought differently, she handed him straight to me. And I could write some perfect story about how we bonded, but we didn't. I was too much in pain, too raw, too flustered and scared to realize what exactly had just happened. Four days of pain and no food and inducement and worry and a whole pregnancy of shitloads of stuff....it was all too much.

And so I didn't cry. In fact I was preoccupied with my first Pepsi in 7 months and the first food in four days and the fact that there was blood everywhere and the fact that my brother in law came into the room when I was on full view of the world and that no one seemed to respect my privacy or feelings. I felt very used and disgusted. Birth was supposed to be my moment and it wasn't. And it was my first child and it was supposed to be beautiful and special and it wasn't. And it hurt. I hurt.

I had Seth sleep in the nursery that night and I had my first shower in four days and I bled and I realized I had been cut in places I didn't know were supposed to be cut or that I had even given permission to cut. It felt like another violation of me.

The next day was a Monday, Seth was born on Sunday, after I had gotten tons of rest and shower and food, I went to the nursery and got my baby and I brought him back to my room.

I took off all his clothes and diaper and counted his fingers and toes and saw every part of him. . . and I thought "wow, this is my son" and he looked at me. . . and I wish I knew what he was thinking, but I could only imagine it was "wow, this is my mommy". And I told him "hey, I'm your mommy and I'm scared and I've never done this before and so I'm sorry".

And so we bonded. Seth the imperfectly perfect child and me the imperfectly perfect mother. We may look like a mismatched pair to the rest of the world, but for each other we are like two pieces of the same puzzle. That puzzle may be missing a few pieces, a few pieces may be bent or have the picture rubbed off, but we fit together.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Why I cry...

I cry a lot... I mean tons....

I have always had bleeding heart syndrome, I cry for things that shouldn't even make me sad, things that make no sense whatsoever. So here are a few reasons lately why I cry...because people have been asking..and I'm kind of tire of just answering that I'm sad.

I cry for all the lost dreams I had with Andrew.
I cry that Seth is selectively mute.
I cry because I miss my brother and never really got the chance to know him.
I cry because I'm incredibly lonely.
I cry because I'm 30 and alone, without a job and poor.
I cry because I miss my old life.
I cry for all the kids with DS who don't get a chance to live.
I cry when Seth says something that totally surprises me.
I cry when I hear our song on the radio.
I cry because I've had too much to drink and can't keep emotions in.
I cry when I know you are with her.
I cry when I realize that I've become just like my parents and that I am raising my child in dysfunction.
I cry when I realize no one is ever going to love me again.
I cry when I realize that there is no one on this Earth who accepts me 100%
I cry when you say something nasty to me and I know I shouldn't give a fuck but I do.
I cry when I see people my age living the life I wish I had, that I was supposed to have.
I cry every time I write a blog post, including now.
I cry listening to Shinedown and wishing that I had the strength to follow through with the inspirational lyrics.
I cry reading cheesy romance novels and hoping for an iota of that feeling.
I cry when I pray to God and hear silence answer me back.
I cry after getting off the phone with my family pretending I'm okay.
I cry every time I see that card you got me last year with your and Seth's picture.
I cry thinking of all the hardship I have gone through and all that I still have to go.
I cry after every doctors appointment because I can't fix you.
I cry at every therapy session because, besides this blog, it's the only place I feel safe to say what I feel.
I cry imagining myself in a white dress like I was supposed to this year.
I cry imagining all the moments that I thought were real but are now tainted memories.
I cry every time I hear her name.
I cry every time I hear Seth ask for you.
I cry thinking about the child I wanted to have. I cry with worry over the one I do.
I cry over the future that has no stability, the house that isn't quite a home and the family that is missing a member.

I cry because I'm human....because I care too much...because I feel too much...because I wish too much....

To say I cry because I'm sad is the understatement of the century. I cry because I'm painfully aware and emotionally bare.

I cry because I feel like I'm the only one who sees all that is wrong and I'm utterly helpless to rectify any of it...


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

on falling out of love....

So everyone told me it would happen...and I never, ever thought it would. I thought the pain would just continue forever. The pain of heartbreak, of wanting, of not knowing why shit went wrong. And then one day I just realized I didn't really hurt anymore.

Do I still hurt? Oh yes. . . . just a minor sting where there used to be a gaping, oozing wound. I didn't even notice the process of being stitched up. . .

Eventually I knew that all of the lies and pain and hurt and yelling and screaming and abuse would add up into something unbelievably disgusting, so disgusting that sometimes it hurts to look at him, but I never thought I would end up falling out of love with him.

Andrew was my first love, my only love....ever. So for people to say "move on", "forget him", "he waas an asshole abuser", yeah I realize all of those things, I know all of those things, but the heart is a fickle thing and it wants what it wants and the heart can take much abuse. It can break and rebreak and unbreak and then put itself back together again. It can shrink and shrivel and become bitter and cold or it can expand to love more people and warm up. The heart is a most amazing thing.

But there is a point, a simple point, where the heart talks to the head and says "no more", "I can't deal with anymore". The heart hardens against that person who has caused them so much pain and the heart says "wait you make me swell now but I'll bleed later and it's not worth it".

So my heart has had enough. And with every angry word, with every insult, with every nasty comment and look and bad memory, my heart has let him go and my head has now been given most of the responsibility of dealing with him. And my head doesn't like him at all. My head knows he is a liar and cheat and a nasty person.

I fell out of love with the only person I have every completely loved. The only person I have ever chosen to love, a person that wasn't forced upon me due to the conventions of family. A person I chose to have as my best friend and partner for ten years.

I chose to love Andrew. I chose to accept him. I chose to do his dirty laundry and cook dinner and clean for him and I chose to have a child with him. I even chose to marry him...we just never got around to that part.

I got the drunk dial last night. Yeah I would have never expected that at all. Andrew's not a drinker, in ten years I've seen him drunk once...make that twice now.

He called me and he was low, very low. And I hate to say this, I hate to think it. . . I felt very conflicting emotions. One part of me was happy because he had hurt me so much and I wanted him to feel pain. . . another part was hurt that the person I had taken so much time and care for was hurting.

But I didn't comfort him, I didn't console him, I didn't become the normal loving Shanna  I normally do or did.

I told him to vomit, drink some water, take some Tylenol and go to bed...and so he did...

And in the morning he called me and apologized.

Huh? I mean huh?

I wish this were the end. I wish drunk dials were it. . . but this person is Seth's father and this is a lifetime I have to deal with him.... a lifetime. . . . at least Seth's lifetime.

But I choose not to love him any longer. I choose not to have him hurt me. I choose to heal. I choose to fall out of love with him.

I choose happiness...and I choose to fall in love with myself.

Monday, February 25, 2013

on mothers...

I have a bad relationship with my mother. . . . the worst kind. We smile at each other, we laugh together, we live together in fact, but we don't like each other. We never have. We don't get each other. We don't respect each other.

I live in a world veiled in fakeness. Fake smiles, fake laughs, fake concern..........just all fake.

And then there is the criticism. The narrowed eyes, the forced sighs, the snide comments......it all comes out eventually.

I'm never going to be good enough. I'm never going to be the daughter that she wants. I'll still never have mother that I want. I'll never get what I need from her.

I would even venture far enough to say that if my mother were any other person in this world other than my mother...I would hate her. Straight up hate her.

She never admits her faults, never apologizes for anything. She allowed me and my siblings to grow up in a house riddle with domestic violence....she never took us out...she never got us away. She favored two of us....I'm not one of them.

She took out all of her hurt and anger and lost hopes and dreams on us. Some of us she tried to live through, others she tried to oppress so she always had someone to fall back on.

I was opressed. . . . because I love my mom and I always, always, always wanted her approval. As a 30 year old woman I still want her approval so much.

I want my mom to be proud of me...of the parent I've become. To say "hey you are awesome".

I'm always going to give Seth my approval, my love, my heart, because I know how much it hurts not to have those things.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

on memories....

I'm sitting here with my mom, two aunts, and their old family friend, I'm thinking..I'm going to be here again one day with my sisters....I hope.

And it made me realize another thing. . . dysfunction runs deep. They talk about their memories, their good, bad and ugly and believe me there is some real ugly....and it's amazing. I wish I wish I wish I didn't know dysfunction, I wish they didn't either. I wish we could have a lineage of good. . . of pure...of not knowing what abuse was, whether it be sexual, emotional, physical, mental, etc......

Deadbeat dads, drugs, alcohol, starvation, so much more that has happened to my family growing up. To my mom and my dad, to my aunts and uncles, to people I care about....to people I respect more than anything. To people that I'm astonished constantly at their strength and bravery and love.

The fact that these people are still able to love after the pain they have experienced astonishes me. It makes me incredibly sad and absolutely proud to call these people all at the same time.

I never knew that at one point my lineage came from privilege. . . I always assumed that all the way back we were poor, uneducated addicts with mental illness....little did I know that at some point in my family lineage we were "okay".

One person can change a family's history. ONE PERSON. One alcoholic, one drug addict, one person who was sexually molested, one person who was hit or yelled at or hurt....one person can make the whole genetic line spiral down into oblivion.

It makes me think of all the things my family could have been or done if not for the dysfunction that has gone on for four generations now. Four generations is not much of a long time but long enough for fuckedupness to set in, long enough for dysfunction to become the norm, to twist people into shadows of the humans they are supposed to be.

One drink, one smoke, one needle in the arm....it's all it takes to go down into this deep abyss that is almost inescapable.

And sometimes, like Bane in the Batman movie, just sometimes, the person who emerges is not the good person they used to be. They emerge from the dark abyss and they are animals, they are scraps of what they used to be. They've had to fight and snarl and suffer for their success...that suffering breaks you. It takes away from your humanity.

One day I do wish I am sitting here with my sisters talking about our dysfunction. Because my aunts and uncles and parents are now talking about their dysfunction.....they are admitting to it, they are facing it....they are surviving through it.

The one big problem with family is that we hide stuff...we don't face things. We stuff them away in some place in ourselves and try not to look into those deepest corners of ourselves.

And to imagine that years later these women are finally sitting around with coffee, with alcohol, with a karaoke machine and smiles and are able to talk about these very painful, real memories....it's amazing. It's absolutely inspiring.

I know now why I'm in therapy. . . because these emotions, these memories, these realities are so difficult to deal with, so stressful....I couldn't do it any other way. I've just begun to heal myself and I do talk to my sisters about my struggles and they are very receptive and are amazing women themselves, but I don't want to sit in the dark forever.

I don't want to be 50 years old with a lifetime of baggage that I never got rid of.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

On Seth having a father...

Wow the response to my last post has been nothing but supportive. I finally feel so free because I made my situation known to everyone in my life, in person friends and online.

So a comment was made on my last post asking if I had gotten away from my ex....yes I have.

But have I completely? No, because Seth is his son. And as much as my ex has hurt me, as much as he wasn't the greatest father, Seth loves him and needs him. And Andrew does indeed love his son. I've always said that love isn't enough, I realize it now, Seth will realize it later on in life, but perhaps, just maybe, Andrew will be the father he needs to be. Because love does run out....if what is needed to be done doesn't get done. I view it as a bank....you can't take love out if you don't give it in and giving love is more than words, it's actions, sacrifice, hardships, it's so much more than a hug or kiss or three seamingly meaningful words.

I've been terribly ill the last four days. Strep throat.....fever, chills, all around feeling like death. . . And I called Seth's father and said you have to take your son, I just can't do it....and he did.

Now for any other father this is normal, there would be no question of taking your child for the weekend, but with him there always was. So he surprised me. And he's more attentive to Seth's needs lately. He's been doing the medicine thing, keeping up with doctors appointment information, he even plans on coming to Seth's IEP.

I will never forget what he did to me. I will never forgive him either. I will do what I think is best for Seth.,..and I think having two parents that love you is best. I grew up in a very dysfunctional home, but I always had a mom and a dad and I loved that about my family. I don't want to deprive Seth of a father.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Abuse

I thought that other posts were going to be the hardest posts I have ever written...in fact each blog post seems to take something from inside of me and pull it out from that deepest part of myself and just when I think I've gone deep enough, I manage to go even deeper.

You see I lied to myself for so many years...and I've lied to all of you. Seth's father, that man that I told everyone was great, well he wasn't. He was/is an abuser.

Imagine for years thinking you aren't good enough, feeling like you are crazy, like you can never do enough or be enough or win enough love to make it through. . . those were the last ten years of my life. I was never enough.

I was verbally, emotionally and physically abused for the last ten years.

I just deleted that sentence twice, no more than that, because I can't stand to look at it....I can't stand to face that reality.

there it is. . . the truth.

I was called a cunt, bitch, whore, slut, told that I was a bad mother, that I didn't care enough, that things weren't clean enough, that I was stupid, that I didn't have enough sex....I was abused for so long that it became normal.

I was told that everything that went wrong was my fault, everything, it didn't matter what it was. I was told that things that happened really didn't, that I had remembered wrong.

Abuse was my normal.

It seems so easy now, so easy to realize that I was abused that I don't know how I didn't know. I'm a smart woman, I've witnessed abuse in others... why couldn't I see the same in myself, in my relationship?

I waited this long to end the relationship with Seth's father and I only did it because he refused to stop being "interactive" with a female friend of his...a friend that quickly became his girlfriend after I broke up with him.

To imagine that I would have never broken up with him otherwise boggles my mind. To imagine ten more years in that prison makes me sick to my stomach.

Ever have a friend or family member who tells you that something that you know happened didn't happen? It's called gaslighting... and it's been happening to me for years. YEARS. I had a nervous breakdown last year, thought I was going crazy... I wasn't crazy, I'm not crazy, I'm abused. I was abused.

Panic attacks, anxiety, weight gain, depression......symptoms of years of abuse.

It's no wonder that when I broke up with him that I lost 45lbs and cut and dyed my hair and bought new clothes. It's no wonder that I can't stand to play video games anymore because I'm disgusted at the memories. It's no wonder I'm terrified to trust people.

This is literally heart-wrenching to write... and it's making me sick to my stomach, but I have to get it out. I see no other choice. I've been nothing if not brutally honest on this blog and that's not stopping now. So if you are someone who is truly disturbed by domestic violence, please skip the next paragraph.

Imagine chairs being thrown, walls being punched, being held down to a bed, being unable to leave your own house. Imagine being terrified.....and then imagine being completely numb. Imagine cleaning up the mess that you didn't make, and walking around on tip toes because you are terrified of any remaining burst of anger. Imagine having sex with someone you love and being treated like a piece of meat, being held down forcibly and being hurt. Being ashamed. Being subjected to what feels like rape but somehow you convince yourself it's not. Imagine holding something and refusing to let it go and having your spouse take a pair of scissors to your shirt so you are forced to let the item go...imagine him doing that in front of a group of people.

Imagine every birthday, every special day you ever had being made all about him and his wants and needs. Imagine just giving birth to a child with special needs and doing his finals and papers the day after. Imagine trying to finish college with an 18 month old with special needs, coming home doing therapies, cooking, cleaning and walking in the freezing cold to do laundry and then come home to finish college papers and make lessons plans.

Imagine every day of my life for the last ten years.

I can't. That's not even the half of it. That's not even a quarter of it. That's a drop in the fucking bucket.

I can't fix those ten years. I can't go back and change them as much as I wish I could. And I can't help that these insensitive asshole abuser is Seth's father. . . but I can change tolerating abuse.

I am no longer tolerating abuse.

I will no longer be cursed at.

I will no longer be yelled at.

I will no longer be held against my will.

I will no longer be called stupid.

I will no longer stand for your shit.

Because I'm worth so much more. Because through it all I still managed to be an amazing person and mother to Seth. Because I'm fucking strong. Because I have God by my side. Because now everyone knows the truth about you and it can't be denied any longer. Because you are nothing more than a scared piece of shit who uses his insecurities as a reason to hurt others.

I'm sorry Shanna. I'm sorry I let you go through this for so long. I'm sorry I wasn't stronger. I'm sorry I didn't speak up sooner....and I forgive you.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dear parents of typical children......

You think we have all of these special excuses and that we get away with stuff. You think of school buses that go door to door, handicapped parking spots, government checks on the first of every month, free healthcare, therapists and doctors at our beck and call....and so much more.

Yeah we get a lot of perks...I'm the first to admit that. But believe me when I tell you I would give it all up for my son to look at me and say "Mommy I had a good day at at school". For him to go to the bathroom by himself at five years old. To get dressed in the morning by himself. To tell me what's going on in that amazing little brain of his...anything.

How would you like changing a five year old's diaper? Adult sized shit in the same diaper packaging. To clean up a pissed bedsheets at 2am? And to do it every goddamn day because it always happens....? To get looks in public like your child is some kind of deformed ugly being that shouldn't be brought out in daylight????? To pray to God every night for strength because you feel like any second, any moment in time could possibly be your breaking point??? To curse and damn and scream at the deity that you pray to because you just don't know how to handle anymore?

Tell me you think my life is somehow better than yours? That one small check every month makes up for the fact that my son can't even tell me what he did in school everyday. That he goes to therapy every week for his selective mutism and the fact that he holds his urine and bowel movements all day in school.....everyday....since he was 18 months old. That he takes five different medications a day? That he has at least four doctors appointments a month and three emergency room trips on top of those?

You tell your child to shut up, I pray for mine to speak. You tell your child they won't get desert if they don't eat dinner, dinner is thrown on the floor and forgotten about more days than I can count. You tell your kid to have a good day at school, I put a very grumpy child on a early school bus for a long ride. You go for checkups once a year, the emergency room staff knows Seth by name.

I used to say I wouldn't give up Down Syndrome if it meant I would give up who Seth was..... now I'm severely reconsidering that. I love my son so much...I love him more than anything else in this world. I'm just one tired and hurt mom and it's one tough, tough job. So yeah, today and much of lately I do feel like if there were a cure for Down Syndrome I would give it to Seth. Because more than anything, Seth deserves normal, he deserves a good life. God knows I'm trying but it's never enough, I'm never good enough.

I want to be good enough.