Foxholes

Just a warning, this was typed up om my phone so the quality is probably bad.

As much as I live by my conviction to live my life out loud, there is still so much I keep quiet about. I think its mostly a pride issue, to only speak of things I’m certain of. But, it’s also out of respect for my older kids. Their story is not mine to tell, it’s theirs. I want so bad to share their lives because they are such powerful people, but if im honest, would I be sharing because of how proud I am or to validate myself as a mother?

Most don’t know that Christian moved back home a few weeks ago, even fewer people know why I sent him to live with my papa to begin with. That’s not my story to tell, but I am going to share my take on a few things (keep reading, this will be long winded, but there is a point).

I’ve fought an internal battle for most of my life, one between God and I. I can remember conversations with God as far back as 4 or 5, demanding things of him. Demanding to know why, struggling to understand things, and fighting him tooth and nail for the few things in life I cherished. As I type this I’m remembering a very specific event, it was the first time I took God on.  My nanny was my world and I can’t remember if this conversation was before or after her heart attack.

My mom laid me down for a nap one afternoon and I remember being overwhelmed with a paralyzing fear that I would loose my nanny. The sense was so strong I snuck out of bead and got the first thing I could find to threaten God with. A kids red, plastic garden tool. I demanded black hair (hindsight is 20/20, I wanted the exact opposite of my white hair because even at that age I knew how jealous my mom was of my hair) but the venom spewed when I demaned that he not take nanny from me.

30 years later, with young and grown kids of my own, I can almost scratch the surface on how God took that conversation. If hope came to me, willing to fight me in order to keep someone she cherished close to her, how could I deny her that? God did not deny me either, I had nanny well into my 30s. My older kids were able to experience her love the same way I did. My grandparents supported me like they supported my mother, by always being there to help with the kids. That kind of support was lost on my mom and aunts, for reasons of their own, but my limited knowledge lead me to conclude it was because they expected it. They didn’t experience the flip side of the coin.

I, on the other hand, experienced the flip side. I did not have the stability of concrete parents to rely on. My dad took his own life and my mom found us somewhere to go in the limo after his service. But, my life always circled back to nanny and papa. They were the ones to pull Christian and I out of foster care before I turned 18 and aged out.

(Im getting to my point, I promise).

A few years ago I got a call from a nosy aunt wanting to know about the fall out between my brother and I. Despite not having contact with any of them for years, I was still riding their rumor train. I entertained her despite knowing how pointless it was, and only took one thing away from the conversation. She talked about her abuse from childhood, how nanny and papa hurt them.

I remember cutting her off and saying, “your hurt is so powerful your willing to taint the image of the only person I ever had in my life? Your experiences with them were not my experiences, I will not let you take nannys memory away from me”.

She responded with, “but you don’t know how badly she talked about you!”

Something in me clicked with that, and to this day it’s an understanding I don’t even know I understand.

I replied, “yes, I do know. Everything she said to others I found out about from either her when she was mad at me or people like you trying to destroy my image of her”

And that was the end of it, my aunt and I have not spoken since.

I knew why my nanny did and said the things she did, but I also knew without a doubt of her devotion to me. I understood projection. I knew her wrath was not directed at me, but towards herself for perceived failures she would confide in me. I also understood she was my cornerstone in childhood and carried my traumas as her own, and I would carry this projected pain for her in return.  The failures she felt by not being able to protect my mom and aunts.

Finally, the point to my rambling.

At 37 I feel a lot older. I’m still young but feel as if things have come full circle and the battle with God I’ve had my entire life, the need to understand, has been quieted with the patience only time can give. What I do know is our society is dying. I don’t know if there is a word for the collective soul of a people, but whatever it is, we are experiencing a soul death, together.

We shut down for many reasons. Fear, hurt, insecurity etc. And instead of trying to find a way out of the foxhole we dug to survive this collective, spiritual battle, we adapt. We build an entire life within a tiny foxhole. Imagine it. Cooking, sleeping, relieving ourselves all in the same spot. It’s safe, yes, but unsanitary.

This will be hard to understand, and its the only reason I care about keeping my fb from getting restricted. I documented my entire journey with amazon on there. It’s weird how such a menial job of 9 months can contain 37 years of life lessons and retraining, but such is life. Amazon was me crawling out of my foxhole.

Most people never come out of theirs, but im not most people I reckon. But I’m also not alone here. A lot of us do. We come out of the false safety the foxhole presents knowing we will be shot at (metaphorically speaking, obviously) and that we are going to have to fight our way to safe ground, but it’s not the fear of the battle that drives us forward nor the fear of the lies the foxhole holds over us. It’s the vision we have of the safe haven. It’s a hope that we don’t have to stay in a miserable hole in the ground hiding from a war that eventually finds us all anyway. We are running towards a promise and I got a glimpse of that promise the day I took God on and demanded he let me keep nanny. She represented so much more to me then a grandmother loving on her grand daughter.

Our society is like the germs cultivated in the petri dish of a foxhole. It is not the fear itself that keeps us in place or makes us sick, it is what those fears cultivate in our lives and the lives of generations that come after us.

Christian left for Texas almost 2 years ago and it broke my mama heart into a million little pieces. But he left with a very dangerous ideology and I had to choose: the ideology (foxhole) I was raised with or this new, more terrifying ideology. A few weeks ago he announced he was coming home. I asked very few questions and accepted the fact he was still on a path of discovery (he’s only 19) and said come on. The conversations we have had has led me to conclude he still holds on to his beliefs (which is fine) but they are no longer beliefs fueled with anger and hurt. The 2 years he was in Texas he discovered a piece of himself and he came home when he found it.

What If There is No title? Is That A Title?

The phrase, “my mind and spirit speak two different languages and sometimes things get lost in translation” was coined because of the dynamics of a relationship with a close friend. 

The phrase went on to be defined as an unspoken understanding between us that some things were never meant to be understood by the mind, because instinct and the human spirit have a language unto themselves. 

In the past, I would never have accepted not being able to process something and understand it logically in my mind. I would never have let things just be, let my spirit do the speaking, and turned the volume of my mind down. Things needed words and to be defined so they could be compartmentalized into perfectly fitting boxes. I believe this need is human nature. 

Up until very recently, as recently as 2 nights ago (and even as of this very second as im still trying to translate the language of my spirit) my most powerful piece of advice was the freedom I have found in words, speaking my truth, then shouting my truth. Like children getting caged in preverbal frustrations, adults with any kind of trauma do as well. 

But, the phrase, “God is grey” comes to mind. 

While there is a certain amount of power to be found in giving your trauma a voice, there is an equal amount of power in giving your spirit that same freedom and to let it do the talking when the mind has reached its limit. 

My entire life I have depended on my ability to process things through writing. Im not an elegant speaker as I get tongue tied, but I could always write it out. But, as my life shifts so does how I process and the more my spirit speaks the less I find myself writing to process, Because the coping skill tailored for the mind does not always fit the measurements and needs of the spirit. 

The two have been so disconnected my entire life im not sure what kind of voice my spirit needs. Maybe, it does not need one on a level I can logically process. Maybe it’s voice IS the calm state of silence and acceptance I have found myself living in these past few months. 

Recently, I found my mind in a state of panic. So, I closed my eyes and allowed my spirit to take control. In my mind I saw a glass house with a storm raging on the outside. I could see the thunder and droplets of rain hitting the glass, and I was scared. What if it started to hail? But then, what if this was plexiglass? 

With that, I relaxed, And let it all just be. I accepted my storm, let it rage, safe in the knowledge I was under the shelter of my plexiglass dome. 

After a lifetime of mind and spirit being disconnected, maybe the two were finally becoming one. 

I realized one more important piece in my discussions with the friend mentioned above. If I had not been fascinated by a topic twenty years ago, I would not have the mental or emotional capacity for our current relationship. That’s when it dawned on me, my spirit does not speak with words. It speaks by being guided and trusting in God, by intuition, and by accepting the energy in the air crackling like electricity and rippling like a rock hitting water. 

Yesterday, I saw my mother for the first time in 10 years. I have come so far in my healing journey I was ready. I discovered my plexiglass dome. 

We spent the whole day together. At the end of the visit, I gained a tiny bit of courage and ventured out of my dome and realized I had not once, in the 10+ hours we had been together, looked her in the eyes. I had not even looked at her face fully. But when I finally did, and as I type this I am in tears, I was not afraid. 

I was safe. 

She was a safe place. 

I have spent 20 years trying to heal my very wounded inner child, 10 years of that was being in no contact with my mother. Yesterday, I came to an end of my healing journey. I closed that chapter of my life. 

And just like in the dream my spirit had spoken to me the night before, the closing of this chapter signified the celebration of a birthday. In the dream I was standing before a calm and beautiful ocean with a sunset or sunrise (I couldn’t tell which). The ocean is where my new chapter begins. Im unsure of what it signifies, but Im content with the fact wherever it takes me, it’s going to be beautiful. 

Dear husband 

​Dear husband, 
You think I dont love you, and your right, I dont; because I dont even know what love is. 

I am not talking about a nicholas sparks kind of love, our life together is not a movie. That is not what real life looks like. 

Im writing you this letter because I want you to understsnd what real love looks like. I think you might have romantisized our relationship, and that is supposed to be a womans job!
I once had a dear friend explain to me what love is, before I ever met you and was so sad and lonely. 
He said, “relationships that last a lifetime never start off with two people falling in love. No, they learn to love. Love is not a feeling, but a choice you make every single day”
I thought he was a crazy old man, but now I understand what he was tryin to tell me. This is why our love will beat the odds and last a lifetime, because I choose  to love you every single day. 
I never “fell” in love with you. Now, before you let that statement hurt your heart hear me out. 
In the begging you were my friend (points for you!) And then, I wanted more because I saw you as safe. Safety; that is my definitation of “falling in love”  
You knew nothing of my past back then and to this day, you still know very little. I think that is what is causing our marital problems, my inability to speak out and tell you my truth, what I fight daily in my head. 
I grew into a woman with abandonment issues because of the circumstsnces surrounding my childhood. That alone is a landmine you stepped on, honey. 
Then, I married a man that abused me and my oldest son. When you met me I had sworn off men and had done so since my divorce. You were my first relationship in seven years. 
The thing is, you did not scare me. In fact, when I saw you with my oldest two boys my heart melted and I felt safe. Peaking around the corner to see you guys arguing over which was better, star wars or star trek, put a peace in my heart I didn’t  think I would ever be able to have again. My Definition  number two of “falling in love “; peace. 
See, dear husband, I dont love you. Because you are more to me than an emotion I have the ability to feel for anyone. You and you alone are my home, my safety, and my peace; and you are the only person on this planet I call my home in mind and spirit. 
So, in conclusion, I want to thank you. Before you I was battered, broken, and feared more abuse. Then, you showed me trust and dedication . I know I am hard to handle with my abandonment issues and the trauma I am still  dealing with  from my ex husband, and for that I am sorry. But dont think I dont see your patience and dedication. everyday that  you stand by my side is one day closer I come to healing. 
Love,
Your wife

1993-1996

  She slowly opened her eyes only to realize she was not dreaming. The soft whispers were coming from the hallway; not the vague, elaborate dream of princesses and castles. Squeezing her eyes shut, she held on to the emotions the dream evoked and tried to reconstruct the images. 

  The whispers became frantic and she could hear her father grunting. Her stomach began to hurt and she pictured her intestines as a rope that was tying itself in knots. The image made her smile, relaxing her anxiety enough to swing her feet out of bed. 

  Desperate to avoid the situation she studied her night gown. The rayon against her skin was smooth and cool offering comfort against the cold sweat that made her shake. It looked like it was made for a mature aristocrate shrunk down to fit a little girl; adorned with a single pink rose on the neckline. 

  Clutching the hem of the gown the whispers broke through, rising in volume. Slowly, one tiny step at a time, she peeked around the corner. 

  There was no book, fantasy, or dream to witch she could hide in and withdraw from the scene before her.   She was reminded of a fish as she watched her father drag her mothers flimsy body to the bathroom. 

“Please don’t see me, please don’t see me”,  looped in her mind like a stuck record. 

She scooted down the hall with her body pressed against the wall as if becoming apart of the paint would camouflage her presence. But she was spotted anyway as her mother reached out to her. 

  “I’m so sorry, I love you so much. Come here and hug me. I’m so, so sorry” 

  The slur of her words made it obvious she was drunk. Even at eight years old she knew what liquor sounded like. 

 With outstretched arms grasping for her, father’s hands were hooked  under her mother’s arms trying to drag her to the toilet. 

Suddenly, the fog like scene before her exploded  and reality came crashing down. Things began racing around her; tears from her mother and yells from her father to call 9-1-1 

  Racing to the kitchen she saw the pint of tequila on the table and empty Tylenol bottle next to it with the lid on the floor. The knots in her stomach tightened and it felt like her lower half was going numb. 

  Why did her mother need a rotary phone? She always had trouble with the decorative rotary dial but she couldn’t  bring herself to run back past her parents to a more practical phone. 

  After a few tries she managed to get a voice on the line. 

“9-1-1, how may I take you call?” 

She opened her mouth to speak but couldn’t get the words out, only puffs of air that sounded like squeaks. 

  “Are you there? How can I help you?” 

 Squeaks. Why couldn’t she speak? 

“Is everything ok? I have your address on my computer, do you need help?” 

“My mommy is sick” finally, words had found her. 

“Ok honey, I’m sending an ambulance. Can you confirm your address?” 

“My mommy is sick. Please hurry”. 

She dropped the phone and ran to kneel beside her mother who clutched at her as if she was the only thing keeping her afloat in a sea of sadness.  

  The paramedics arrived shortly after and as the stretcher wheeled past her her mother reached for her one last time 

“I’m so sorry. I love you” 

Then she was gone. 

The following days were a blur, like snapshots. One scene she was getting her mother food from Wendy’s with her lawn mowing money, the next they were picking up a 2 liter of diet Pepsi. 

  The final scene they were in a psych hospital with nurses rationing out the soda they had brought. Her mother was hunched in a corner with her knees drawn up to her chest; silent and defeated. 

  Suddenly the film on the movie reel snaps and the screen goes dark. Years later she would realize that history would repeat itself generation after generation because of her mothers choice. 

  3 years later she would open the closet door in her dads apartment to find a rope.