Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Calm

The calm.
It comes after the rage.
During the rage, I am in my darkest place.
Despair reaches in and grabs ahold of my heart, of everything I hold dear.

Rip it out.
I want it ripped out.
I cry out loud, gasping, choking, trying desperately to rip it the fuck out.
I can't breathe, but I do.
The breath comes, again and again.

Until the calm.

My tears cease.
My breathing slows.

It all falls into place,
and it's all still there,
Different, yet still the same.

Underneath the calm.

“It is the calm and silent water that drowns a man.”
~African Proverb

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Keep Floating

Last night, I dreamed I was standing on a dock. My dad was standing next to me. On the side of the dock, right in front of me was a little model boathouse. It was blue with lots of windows, and it was on a stick, so you could spin it around to see inside. Below it was a plaque with information about it; when it was built, who had lived there, what had happened to them. I kept trying to read it but couldn't understand what it said. I wondered where the actual boathouse was, and my dad, not saying anything, pointed out to the right into the water. I saw the boathouse, blue with lots of windows, just like the model on a stick.

Just then, I looked down and saw that the water was up to my feet on the dock, and told my dad, "I feel nauseous."

Still not speaking, he turned and motioned for me to head back to land. As I walked along the dock, the water got deeper and deeper, but I was kind of walking on it. It was as if my fear of going under was keeping me afloat. As I was about to take the last step on the dock before land with my right foot, I saw how deep it was and that my foot should have been completely immersed...but it wasn't. I stayed on top of it, and then with my left foot, hopped onto dry land. That's when I woke up.

“They float upon the surface of the darkness in which I'm drowning.” ~Anne Rice

Sunday, August 29, 2010

i

I had what some might call a dysfunctional childhood. I showed symptoms of depression, anxiety, and OCD as a child, which was unheard of in children back then, so it went unnoticed. I was painfully shy. I wanted to be a teacher. I wished I had a little sister. I liked to sing. I started writing stories in the second grade. I had a pen-pal. I went to public and catholic schools. I made friends. I lost friends. I had a crush on a boy with glasses. I was on the honor roll. I had braces. I learned how to not be so shy. I wanted to be a psychologist. I realized how much I really loved writing when I was 12 years old.

I started high school with stars in my eyes and dreams in my heart. I made friends. I met a boy, and I allowed him to crush my spirit for a long time. I turned 16. I passed tests. I failed tests. I went to summer school. I learned a lot about relationships, what they should and shouldn’t be. I was told horrible things that I believed about myself. I lost friends. I took abuse that wreaked havoc on my soul. I became severely depressed. I was falling. I graduated high school with the certainty that something had to give.

I ended an abusive relationship. I went to college. I made friends. I put up walls. I partied. A lot. I failed out of school. I went to a lot of bars. I dated a lot of boys. I was raped. I began to sink deeper into depression than ever before. I put on one hell of a façade. I hit rock bottom. I wanted to kill myself and sometimes even thought about how to do it. I hated myself, what I’d become, what I’d allowed myself to become. I tried to get through one more day. I got through another day and then another. I did it one day at a time. That was all I could do.

I decided to get through it. I began to find happiness. I started to see things more clearly with a level head. I decided to reclaim my dreams. I held my chin up. I told myself I deserved to be happy, even if I didn’t fully believe it. I told myself I would make it.

I met a man. I got to know him; he was laid back and carefree, giving and loving. I wanted him. I wanted to be with him. I opened my heart. I fell in love with him, and he with me. I saw and felt him give me the love I once believed I deserved.

I married a beautiful man. I had beautiful children. I turned 30. I have friends, old and new, and a family who love me for who I am…because of who I am.

I am a mother. I am a wife. I’m a daughter, I’m a friend. But most importantly, I am a woman, and I’m beautiful inside, all on my own.

My past does not define me, nor do my imperfections. I do.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

25 Random Things About Me

1. My family is the most important thing to me. Having a good marriage and raising my children in a happy environment is something I strive for.

2. I have OCD. I was diagnosed at 17 but showed symptoms since childhood. Unfortunately, it doesn't manifest itself in my house being super organized or ultra clean (like I sometimes wish it would!), but my day is filled with compulsions, varying from minor to major.

3. I love flowers. Calla Lillies and Daisies are my favorites, but I also love the look of a single rose. I do not, however, like having real flowers. They die, and it makes me sad when they do.

4. Usually, when I'm quiet is when I have the most to say. When my heart or my head are too full with emotions and/or thoughts, I can’t always form the right words. Sometimes, I just don't want to.

5. I love to write but have a fear of people reading my words. I've been told that I don't need to conquer my fear, but instead write in spite of it. It’s something I’ve always done. Journals, scraps of papers stuffed in folders, endless documents on the computer. I don’t know how to not write.

6. I wholeheartedly believe that everything happens for a reason, even if you don't or can't understand why at the time. There's a reason for everything that happens, everything decision we make, and every person who comes into and sometimes goes out of our lives. It all serves a purpose.

7. I overanalyze... I can be obsessive about little things - I think too much sometimes about things that really shouldn't matter.

8. 28 was my "Big 3-0", and it hit me hard. I spent some time figuring out who I really was that year. So, to 30 I said, Bring it.

9. I don't like it when people use the word hate loosely. Hate is an extremely strong emotion, and I think it should be reserved for when you are truly and passionately displeased with something or someone.

10. I really don’t like when people use the phrase, “I’m so depressed” loosely. To me, it's kind of like saying, "Oh, I had The Depression for a couple of days last week." Yeah...alright.

11. I can keep a secret. People can tell me something in confidence, and I will not share it with anyone else. You’d be shocked at the shit I knew. ::wink::

12. I'm able to read people surprisingly well. I didn't say judge, I said read. I can spend an hour with someone and know fairly well what's really going on, if they're genuine or full of shit. JM has seen me do this a million times, and occasionally, I even surprise myself.

13. I don't trust easily. I'm not someone who trusts until they’re deceived. I don't trust until I have a reason to. Right or wrong, whatever - it's how I'm wired.

14. Random smells take me back to another time in my life and kick up old feelings, whether good or bad. Suave hairpray, peach oil from The Body Shop, pipe tobacco, mothballs, and hospitals are just a few.

15. I'm not really a religious person but rather spiritual. I believe in God and pray daily.

16. I share my deepest, darkest secrets and fears only with my husband - and he loves me just the same. He's seen everything, and he's still here. Unconditional love is the best love.

17. I strive every day to be a better mother. Some nights, I lay in bed thinking about what I could have done differently, what I could have done better.

18. I feel way too much, I am too emotional, I cry at things. I am what I am.

19. In Senior year, I took a Drama class and loved it. A picture of me and my group was in the newsletter for The Roundabout Theater - I was dressed in overalls and ponytails. I wanted to take acting courses in college and outside of school.

20. I always wanted to have at least 3 children. If I hadn't gotten Preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome with my last daughter, I would have definitely had more.

21. I started wearing glasses when I was 8 years old. They were red with black polka dots. I loved them and their red case.

22. I collect quotes and lyrics. It’s something I’ve done since I was a kid, and I just never stopped.

23. I love to make people laugh. It gives me a rush to hear people laughing, and to know that I did that…it makes my heart smile.

24. I wanted to be a teacher until I was in 7th or 8th grade. Then I decided I wanted to be a psychologist. And being a mother, I'm a little bit of both. ;)

25. I may be a lot of things, but I'm anything but simple. There's an awful lot going on inside of my head and my heart, sometimes more than I know how to handle. But I try to take it one day at a time, that's all I can do. :)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Own Shades of Grey

He wanted to marry me. He loved me. He was handsome. Sweet, caring, and heartbreakingly kind.

I was cruel.

I wanted to love him, wanted to care about him the way he cared for me, but it wasn't there. It just wasn't there.

I wanted someone else. Someone who made me smile, made my insides laugh...someone who made my heart jump when he touched my hand. Someone who'd made me feel what I'd never felt before.

While he was driving to visit me, driving 16 hours to spend a week with me...the someone I wanted broke up with his girlfriend. Panic riddled my body. Now was my chance. I had to risk everything for a chance to be with him.

So I did.

Knowing what I had to do but not quite knowing how to do it, I took the easy way out..I lied. I was going to hurt him, no matter what I did, no matter what I said. And I chose to take the easy way out. It couldn't hurt him as much as the truth, I thought. I was young. I didn't know what I was doing, just that it had to be done.

So...I hid in my own Shades of Grey; I told him that I had gotten back together with my longtime boyfriend, that it was all very complicated, and that we were going to get married. He got in his car, driving 16 hours back home, and I never heard from him again.

I started dating that other someone. I fell in love with him, and he with me. We will be married for 10 years this August.

*written for TheSausageFactory.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Revolutionary Road - Major SPOILERS

Unless a movie really blows me away and I love it, I need to time to think after sitting in a theater for 2 hours. Sometimes, the movie just needs to sink in a little bit before I realize that I actually enjoyed it.

Not this one. I actually tried to give it a little time, thinking maybe I’d like it more given the time to review it in my head … but nope, just wasn’t happening. Waiting outside the theater while my husband used the facilities, I smoked and listened to what people exiting the theater thought.

A couple came out, maybe in their 40’s and the woman said, “I liked it! Really good…” and he nodded and smiled at her.

Two girls came out, in their early 20’s, I’d guess, and one said to the other, “Well, if you didn’t like this, don’t bother watching American Beauty.”

Interesting - though they’re both directed by Sam Mendes, it’s apples and oranges and the only thing they have in common is being in the same basket.

We got in the car and my husband asked what I thought. “Eh…” was my initial response. Then I did what I usually do after a movie, held an opinionated conversation with myself about it. By the time I got home, I could simply say, “I didn’t like it.”

Know this: as far as “Dramas” go, I like to be moved. I like to have my ass dragged into that film and feel something. I want to get inside their head and know why they’re feeling the way they do. I want to give a damn about what happens to them, I want to be forced to care. It doesn’t have to have a happy ending for this to happen. Life isn’t always this way, and I can enjoy a miserable, depressing love story - as long as it touched upon something inside of me.

RR did nothing of the sort for me. I didn’t give a shit what happened to them at the end. I didn’t care how it turned out, whether they worked out their fucked up relationship or not, if they lived or died.

Everyone keeps talking about the “chemistry” between Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, finally being brought back together after all these years to play Frank and April Wheeler. It just didn’t do it for me. The only chemistry I saw was in the fighting scenes, and I think that’s solely because they’re both incredible actors. They brought it full force for the fights, and it made for some pretty intense scenes. Unfortunately, as soon as the fighting ended and the crappy dialogue began, the magic was over. Their conversations seemed forced, unnatural (like Winslet, in particular, was reading from script), rather than a husband and wife having a conversation. Now, I’m well aware of the idea that this is because they were so unhappy and/or not in love. That‘s good, in theory…but it didn’t work well here. It was just not believable.

You were not made to understand, why Frank and April felt so trapped. Yes, they touched on it during one of their intense fights when she mentioned them having moved there because she was pregnant and then having another child to prove the first was not a “mistake”. But there was obviously a lot more going on in April’s head than we were made to understand. I know sometimes you’re supposed to fill in the blanks on your own, but again, it just did not work here.

There were actually a few good points to this film. One was the comic relief Michael Shannon provided. Some say he wasn’t meant to be funny because he was supposedly mentally ill. I question just how “ill” he was, being he was the only one who truly saw through the Wheelers façade. In the face of lies, the truth can be rather comical, I say.

Another good point: Leonardo DiCaprio was intense. He did his job, as far as I’m concerned. He acted his ass off, which in my opinion, he can’t not do. He’s an actor in the true sense of the word, he adapts to whatever role he plays - and you no longer see him but instead the character alone.

To wrap it all up, I didn’t like it. It was boring, there was no arc - no buildup, no significant climax. Even the climax wasn't climactic. It was fairly predictable. The fact that she was going to kill herself (whether intentional or by “accident”, if we can call it that) was obvious to me when she was standing by the neighbor’s tree, smoking and looking down at her own house. The calm she showed, along with the “nice” breakfast the next morning just secured that theory for me. It was a shallow storyline , at best, which I think is because there was way too much story to cram into a two hour movie.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pay It Forward

Quoted from the Dean Koontz book, From the Corner of His Eye.

This Momentous Day

"Each smallest act of kindness reverberates across great distances and spans of time, affecting lives unknown to the one whose generous spirit was the source of this good echo, because kindness is passed on and grows each time it's passed, until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage years later and far away. Likewise, each small meanness, each expression of hatred, each act of evil."