I know you. I know how you feel, what you think and what you’re afraid of. I saw it in the mirror, in my mind and I felt it when I was walking around the house. You thought you were alone. You never were. You thought that because you couldn’t put any meaning to it that you were wrong, damaged and at the end of your rope. You weren’t.
How do I know? How is it possible that anyone knows what you were feeling or what you were thinking? There are more of us than we know. There are silent ones and vocal ones and those that are loud and talking but we never heard them.
Have you ever looked outside of a window and thought about all of your options but they all seemed like dreams? Did they all seem like they wouldn’t work and we would just cause ourselves more pain? I know you. I know the things you wish weren’t true, the things that hurt and the feelings that brought you to tears.
Are you normal? Why aren’t you normal? Why don’t you have the life you once thought would be yours? Is there a secret that you haven’t been told? A method of cure that you did not seek?
I know you. I know who you are and why you are the person you have become. I do not know the answers to all of your questions but I do know you, because I know me. I know the things I feel and I know that I’m not alone.
I know you because we have felt the same things and survived to tell a story, a story that is the same, with only faces that change.
I know you because you are like me.
Have you seen the commercials that bombard the TV about how you are supposed to send me flowers, candy and gifts that might include diamonds? I’m reminded that I’m your mother every single day and on this one month it’s pushed and prodded into our brains that we are supposed to tell our moms, your mom, me, that your love and appreciation can be expressed through material things. I want you to know this one thing, well these many things; you are my gift. There is not one single thing you could give me that I don’t already have in order for me to remember the love we share. Our lives have never been easy. We have cried, made mistakes and lived a life apart from each other at times that destroyed us. Yet, I am your mother and you are my children and there is not one moment of my life that I have felt any less than an overwhelming, unconditional and pure love for each of you.
Mother’s Day might be a day that we remind our mom how we feel, let her know how much we love her but the actual truth is, we feel this way every day of our lives. We might not express it enough, but let me tell you that in the world of many loves, the love between a mother and her child is the only one that is unwritten, unspoken and completely known without words, cards or texts. I feel that Mother’s Day is a day that reminds me of the love I have for you and I want you each to know that I’m proud of you, love you and I appreciate this day because I’m your mom. You might not have gotten the chance to pick me but I whole heartedly chose you. On this Mother’s Day, I look back and am thankful that I’m your mom and that you are my child. I need nothing from you, other than for you to know how much I love you. That is the single most important thing to me.
So I had this story that I was going to tell you all the other day and I forgot about it because it really wasn’t a great story but it was just one of those life things that happen however; today there is an addition to that story that makes it a little more well-rounded and probably something you can identify with a little more. (Just as for the simple fact that the smallest and stupid things happen to us all that make our life suck at times).
We have this new car wash in our town. It looks like a Sonic Restaurant (kind of) and it has all of the outdoor bays that you can pull up to and you get free vacuuming for your car (the best part about this is that there is a vacuum on both sides of the car with different attachments so the passenger and driver can vacuum at the same time. It’s all new and shiny and at night it’s lit up with a bunch of neon lights and it’s just luring.
When you are finished vacuuming your car you can then go through the fully automatic, super electronic, car wash and you can get a great wash for only $3. Basically the car wash reminds me of something you would see on the Jetsons (for you young ones that’s an 80’s Cartoon). We entered the car wash. I have a mini-van and although I’m not proud to mention it, I will tell you that so you can clearly envision this as a family activity. The van has everyone in it. The Noodles, Husband and I.
The light comes on and we are beckoned to pull through by the slew of flashing lights. The wash begins and there are all kinds of things happening and blowing and squirting and there are big felt tentacles scrubbing the car and the water is spraying at a pressure and speed of, what I can only describe as “scary”. The Noodles are Loving it! We don’t even have to go to Chuck E Cheese, they have forgotten. At this time the husband switches on the windshield wiper to (according to him) “help wash the window”…even though there was a big sign before entering the wash that said “Do Not Do This” and there was a circle with an arrow going through the picture of a wiper.
The wiper ripped backwards and dangled for a few seconds waving hello at me, before the entire mechanism was ripped and thrown from the van. I just stared at it. I then looked over to the husband, who was trying to avoid looking at me. He then smiled slightly. (I should mention those wipers were new and I bought Rain X ones because it was an impulse buy). I quietly reminded him of the sign and he mentioned that it looked like I’d need to go and get a new one installed. I volleyed the conversation back at him to let him know that he would be responsible for that mission and we just sat there for the rest of the wash replaying the vision in our head, and I did one of those moves my mom used to do, where she hangs her head low and just shakes it in disappointment.
When it was time to go through the dryer, I am not kidding when I say that I thought we should sit there and wait for it to stop because it was like a freaking tornado. We plowed through though, with a bent antenna and the side mirror pushed out. When the wash of destruction was over we stopped the car and took a deep breath, happy that it was over. The husband looked at the mirror that was moved and told me that I would need to get out of the car and push it back. I just rolled down the window and pushed it back and rolled the window back up to see that it was now covered in streaks. Oops. The husband then said “Why do you think I told you to open the door and get out?” “Now there are streaks all over the window!”…I looked at him and said “Because of you the wiper was torn off and thrown like a freaking boomerang from the vehicle…I think we are even.”
This brings us to today. There is, what looks like a blizzard outside and I needed to drive the kids to school. I went out to warm up the van and got the broom to wipe all the snow off. As we were leaving I turned the wipers on to clear the rest of the snow and so I could see better as we drove down snow stacked street. When I turned the wipers on I realized I had one lonely wiper and the memory that I never got another blade. I had to drive in the heavy snow with half of an arm scratching my window and the passenger window down about half way so that I could see as best I could. Needless to say that this was not a hit with the Tiny Noodle who already told me that he was not happy with getting up early. (His seat is behind the passenger window).
So…Moral of the story? Happy Monday! We all have little things that ruin our day but in the end just maybe we will smile about them or at least have a solid excuse for that glass of wine.
The Friday night buzzed comment of the night might not be what you expect. I won’t be talking in vowels because I haven’t taken the Ambien yet but I do have some intellectual drunk talk to spout. So here it is…
I think we put too much investment in our relationships with our friends, families and significant others. When I say “investment” I mean our expectations. We want the people we are surrounded by to understand us, appreciate us, love us and unconditionally respond to us based on what our needs are. Let me tell you that there is nothing wrong with that; but those people are far and few between and if you find one…just one, in your entire lifetime, you are lucky. Even our own children that we groom to love us the way we want to be loved will be intoxicated by the outside world that we might not even get the experience we expect from them.
Constantly we look in the mirror and wonder why we can’t be the people we want to be, we either hate our looks, our attitude or just don’t understand what we are doing wrong in order to not achieve that satisfaction we so aggressively imagined. Hence comes the depression, anxiety, displeasure and misunderstanding of who we are, what we want, what we have become and where the hell we are going.
Let me tell you this one thing. Our minds play tricks on us, our bodies are the temple we have been given by whomever you wish to believe in, but our thoughts are our own. There are no secrets in our head or our memories, so just understand that you are the person you have chosen to be and if you don’t like that person than work to change that, but never, ever, ever think you need to change that because you didn’t obtain your goal of acceptance. Acceptance comes to us less and less as we become the person we truly want to be. Are you happy with who you are? Learn to accept yourself, then find the ones that accept that and love that…can’t find them? Look in a different place but never feel like you need to change because the world has places and people that you have yet to meet…your journey might continue for a lifetime but your mind will be your best friend for eternity. ~Lisa
A friend said to me just now: “I hate being broken”
and I understood immediately. My response?
“Well, me too but sometimes being broken means we get to put the pieces back together the way we want them. So, never fear that broken is bad. Think about how you would build a new puzzle given the pieces you have.”
Someone recently asked me if I always got along with my sister and it was quite comical because we were both sitting at the same table, and as if we were being interrogated by the government, we both yelled out “NO” at the exact same time. We looked at each other but then grinned with a knowing grin of the lifetime of our disputes, arguments and then finally the complete dedication that erupted in some strange unknowing and random day. What day was it? When was it that we finally started getting along? I immediately started to think and try to figure out when it was and why. I couldn’t remember the circumstance but I could remember the hug that she gave me that saved my day, made the tension in my mind release and made me feel like I wasn’t alone. When was that hug? Oh…the things we try to black out.
Right now, you’re thinking “I thought this was a funny blog” but I’ll tell you that the laughter for me didn’t come until well after the pain. The pain always continues in our lives but we decide to look at it differently and so my story continues…
The question that followed was “When did you start to get along?” and I thought for a moment and then remembered it was when I was going through relationship problems and needed someone to make things better. My sister arrived within 24 hours with a truck and a smile to help me move my things and give me the inspiration to move forward. It was at that moment that I realized she wasn’t as perfect as I hated her for. She couldn’t possibly have understood my pain unless she herself had gone through the same hurt. So, I thought “We aren’t that different” As a matter of fact we were so much the same that it’s quite possibly why we were such enemies in youth.
Now, we are nine years different in age and of course who wouldn’t dislike someone that they had to watch or be responsible for? And of course what child would like the person that was taking the place of their mother and hated it?
My sister has a different time and place that made her feel like I was more her equal and it surprised me when I asked her. I actually was racking my brain to even remember the conversation and time but then it became clear…she was waiting for me to express my hurt and pain and just like the caretaker that she had been taught to be, she realized that my insecurities in her love for me needed to be expressed. Once they were and we were both faced with the pain of reality our walls dropped and it was almost instantly. You never know someone when you try to imagine the reasons they do the things they do, but when you say “Can I be honest with you?” and you allow them to, everything becomes real, no more imagining some else’s feelings. If you can get past that possible hurt, try not to feel abused and just understand that we all have these unexplainable emotional burdens and obstacles that keep us from each other and you can still breath afterwards, the bricks break apart, the walls fall down and you find the most amazing people in your life.
Now I know, that I am extremely lucky to even have had this experience. Some of us will never break down a wall, some of us don’t even have a sibling to discuss and some of us have lost them before we even had a chance to know what we loved about them most or how much they loved us. So, I’m grateful for the times that we both hated each other, blamed each other and ignored each other, and I’m in love with the sister that I found and I am even more appreciative that she found one that she loved too.
I once had an argument with my father and he looked me dead in the eye and told me that he didn’t believe in unconditional love and what I had done had left him considering the conditions on how much he loved me. I died right then. It’s been 10 years since he said that and I think about it every time I think of him, talk to him or see his face. See, I’m a mother and I don’t think I could ever say that the love I have for my child is conditional, however; their actions might leave my approval conditioned. Here is the problem. My love for him has always been unconditional. The pain, the abuse, the trauma…my love has seemed to almost grow and yet, I’ve been persecuted for mistakes or even negligence on what was expected of me either rightfully or just because I didn’t know any better. I think the things we learn as we grow older have to change from what we were trained to think, trained to feel and I’ll be the first to say that it might take my entire life to figure that out and what scares me the most is the fact that I might never understand it in the life that I live. People don’t realize the hurt they can cause and that’s why we stand up against bullying, abuse and just the casual mean person, but how do you fix a broken understanding of “how it’s supposed to be” our identity to these things are based on how we were raised, trained and taught. Life is a complicated beast full of things we are completely unaware of and a basket of blame that we put on ourselves. I think in the course of my missions (and there are several) that I want to figure out how to find the part of my heart that is just mine and nobody else’s…I empower you to do the same. Living in a shadow of what “should be” is an abstract thought that we unfortunately think we know about…we don’t. Embrace the fact that you don’t know and learn again. Find your genuine smile and use that as your text book. Now, this is easier said than done and I’m far from living by example but I’m an example that I want others to learn from. Let the words you hear not be the words you live but let the feelings you feel be the emotions that encourage you to be the person you are destined to be. ~Lisa
I said to the husband. “Do you know what the first book I will have published is called?” he didn’t answer. Didn’t shake his head but then looked and said “Are you going to tell me?”.
I always kind of wanted him to ask or inquire at some point. I said “Letters that I wrote that have never been read”…like the suicide letter that I wrote on the 5th of December.” I said “I know you will never ask me about it again or say anything in the matter of it from this day forth but you should know that it hurts me”
He never did. Never has
The book includes letters that I have written to him and found crumbled up in the trash. You know how you have left a note or two about how you are feeling and then went off to bed? Well, I have found my notes in the trash while emptying the coffee grounds.
Sometimes, You just need to publish the “Letters that have never been read”
I don’t give out Christmas Cards. I did once when I first got married and I didn’t like it. I should say that I didn’t decide not to send them just because I don’t like to, but more because stamps are expensive, cards are expensive and the time it takes to execute the task takes away from the time that, if we knew each other that well, we be spending that time talking in person or getting together. Before my friends and family jump to conclusions and think I don’t care, let me just nip that in the butt right now. I do care and I am thinking of you, I’m thinking of how pissed you are going to be if you send me a card and you don’t get one back. I’m afraid too, that when I tell you that the photo cards are getting old, you don’t take that as an offensive comment. I’m just saying that if I haven’t seen you and your kids in a year, you don’t need to send me a photo of them, they could be stranger models for all I know. (Grandparents and parents are different…send them your touching nostalgia) just not me because I’m still on your contact list. I save them all, I’m a hoarder of sorts so you are actually doing me a favor and by all means…please text it to me or put it in an email, post it on Facebook. I’m not opposed to electronic sentiments if we have only met twice or talk to each other because we know someone that knows someone. It’s cool. You should feel relieved that I don’t want you wasting your time and money on me when your children are asking for XBox ones and other totally astronomically priced merchandise.
Yes, I do have feelings but they are different. I like receiving cards that are real. I mean real cards with words you wrote in them and envelopes with my name spelled correctly. I’m not asking a lot, I’m not trying to be “The Bitch That Stole Christmas” I’m just saying what most of your friends and family want to say, but don’t. I might even be saying something that makes you feel so much better because you have less to do.
I should remind you that I do “want” to wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday and Blessed New Year but if I still actually have your number in my phone and we talk…I’ll tell you.
Also, this is a two way street, don’t get all huffy and puffy because I’m telling you my perspective. Don’t keep a notebook of those that you sent cards to last year and never returned the favor. Letting someone you know that you care about them should happen more than once a year and if it doesn’t, save a stamp.