One Black Sheep

It’s a somber day for me as I realized exactly four years ago my dad was kicking me out of the house, telling me he was tired of dealing with me and no longer had time for me. He called me a bad influence on my siblings and blamed me for all of the “trouble they were causing.” He looked around my room and told me I could take my dresser (which I had bought with my own money) and then said I’d have to leave the rest behind. I had no vehicle, no bed, no place to stay and he said I had two weeks to leave. Meanwhile, my mom stood there silently.

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I had gone out to breakfast with my mom that morning of the 22nd, four years ago. I was at terrible odds with her, especially since I had decided the confiding she did with me was not appropriate for a mother daughter relationship. I tried to get through to my mom again as I explained how she wasn’t listening to me nor was my dad. It was a blank stare I got back and then the same shit about me not obeying them. I knew before even sitting down with her that it was a lost cause. I was done with trying to make any sort of relationship with either of my parents work. The whole beginning of January had been my last ditch effort, and it had failed, surprise, surprise. I told my mom it was time for me to move out and to my surprise, she agreed with me. Both of my parents saw me as a rebellious teeny-bopper who wouldn’t relinquish control to them when it came to who I was going to marry. They both tried to emotionally manipulate and shame me into obeying them.  I was two months shy of turning 20, and working over 60 hours a week at work.

Upon getting home, I started making preparations to begin the search for finding a new place to live. I had literally hit send on an email to my pastor, when my parents stormed into my room and my dad got right down to it. The egomaniac had to control the situation and had to kick me out before I could leave on my own. What a fool he is, he is losing his children and yet he doesn’t care. He walked out of my room ten minutes later, leaving behind a sobbing daughter, yet he wore this smug “I’m the boss” smile on his face. Again, my mom said nothing as he stood there berating and verbally abusing her daughter. I don’t think I have forgiven her of that betrayal. She came to me later and said that appeals to my dad were welcomed. This only solidified my departure as there was no way I was going to give any control to that man, he was hell bent on destroying the spirit within me, I wasn’t going to give him the pleasure of that happening.

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I’m overly aware of the mercury retrograde this year. It’s a bitter week, falling into the reminiscing that comes with the retrograde. I felt the retrograde hit as soon as yesterday morning started, everything shifted and looking forward, I can see it continuing for at least another week or so until things settle and I can regain my footing. The anniversary of getting kicked out is only one of the reasons I’m eager to see the end of January. This new year has already been really rocky for all of us and I just want to get the rest of the year going. My cards are hopeful which is one of the only things pulling me through right now.

The past four years have pushed me to a depth I have never known before, but they have been better than the 6 years before that. Even through the memories are still sharp, seeing all that I have accomplished in the past four years since my family tossed me aside lessen them, some how. I was tossed aside and called worthless, but I have found my worth in the past four years. I was accused as being the one who was to blame for my siblings’ misbehavior, but I’m the one they run to when their hearts are bleeding. I was told I could beg for my worth, but I have learned I will not beg for anything, I am not worthless, I am a strong being capable of asking for myself, but no, I will not cower and beg, I am more than that. My heart was shattered once again when my dad turned on me that final time, but my heart is stronger now, capable of so much more sincere and deep love. I give my love to those I deeply care about, knowing I am risking being wounded. My heart is bigger, I have stood on the presence of true love and can now love with a freedom I have never had before.

I have spent the past four years breaking myself; molding, pushing, pulling, digging for the person I truly am underneath all of the scar tissue, brokenness. The person I feel emerging is someone I am proud of, someone I love and respect, someone I am not ashamed to stand up and say this is me. I am learning more to live for my own sake, not so I can keep others happy, or to appease those who have controlled me in the past. I live in a world of my own choosing, not one that has been forced on me.

So, thanks dad, for pushing your daughter away. Thanks for kicking me out and thinking you were right, because I finally saw through the entirety of your heart, and couldn’t find one shred of decency left. I have left the ball in your court and you have proceeded to do nothing with it. Besides the fact that you were required for me to be alive today, I want nothing more to do with your name, with you, and my son will never know your voice. I saw how you dared to try to get close to me at Christmas, but I held true to my word. That’s one thing you can always count on me for; I will always stick to my word. I will always be the black sheep, and I’m proud of that.

A year of dragons, moonstones, and dreams

I don’t write very much anymore. It wasn’t a conscious decision, it just happened. Circumstances over the past year and a half have stolen, in a way, my desire, need, to write. I’m okay with that, I know the burning is still there, but it is different than when I first started this blog. Standing at the top of 2015, I feel a passion building, a new kind of burning desire for exploration. It is the first time I have ever started a year looking forward to what it will bring. I am starting this year without the burning weight of my family’s past. I believe this is the year I will finally be able to put an entire country’s width of distance between me and them. As much as I will miss my younger siblings, the distance is much needed and longed for.

I am hoping this year to start the manuscripts again that have been gathering dust for long enough. But if I don’t crack those pages, that’s okay. I have so many other dreams and desires rising with a great potential for realization, my manuscripts are last on the list. I am excited for new relationships, new explorations, new experiences.

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2014 was a year that flew by, faster it seems than previous years. I had a baby in 2014. That is such a simple sentence to write, but the implications, the lasting effects, the drastic changes this simple sentence brings are still staggering to me. For 10 years now, I’ve been actively dealing with Fibromyalgia, but nothing prepared me for the mental difficulties pregnancy, birth, and recovery brought to my body, emotions, and mind. I’ve noticed something about this culture we live in. New mothers are told how amazing they look, even while the baby belly still hangs on. Those first few weeks are rough, and we’re good at picking up the broken pieces of mothers and we tell them how beautiful they are, and we adore their little bundles. Three months out, the remarks of how amazing they are start slowing down, six months out, nothing. I feel like I’m supposed to be back in perfect shape, with a completely flat stomach even though I am only seven months out. I have a much better appreciation and respect for my body now, but that cultural expectation still tries to whisper to me when I look at myself in the mirror. I read it can take up to a year for one’s body to fully heal, but we stop encouraging new mothers too soon. This culture ignores the harsh reality of how destructive pregnancy is on the human body. Your entire insides shift, your organs are pushed out of place, while more than half of your energy goes towards making a human being. You can’t rush healing from this, nor is it okay to expect moms to get back into shape so fast. Body image is so hard to recover after pregnancy, it’s not impossible, but the drastic changes are tough for anyone to handle.

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Over the past 2 1/2 years I have been writing, hinting, at a major spiritual shift in my beliefs. Even though it’s only been 2 1/2 years of verbally speaking of what’s on my mind, it has been almost 4 years of lots of agonizing questions, thoughts, conversations between Phil and I, and conversations with myself. Do you know what it’s like to try to break the brainwashing you’ve been under for all of your life by yourself? To say it is difficult is such an understatement. Somehow I managed to do a lot of the work I needed to do but it took my therapist pointing out what I have accomplished for me to see I had already broken out. I just needed to pick up the new path I was drawing for myself. I have completely destroyed the faith system I grew up with, and in it’s place I am choosing the things that make me happy, that make sense, and I know I believe. This has looked like completely walking away from a christian faith. I am done. The further away I get the more illogical it is to me, the more I realize I did brainwash myself into believing. I am happy with where I am, which is the first time I can say that. I am learning new things all the time, and while I feel stuck, as in I need to move forward, but something is preventing me from doing so, I’m happy. I am content with my life, and I do not feel anything missing, even though other people seem to imply that without christianity I would have this huge hole in my life, thoughts, heart. Nope, I’m a whole person over here! Happy, whole, content, and it’s amazing not having this constant guilt that seemed to trail me everywhere when I did believe.

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In walking away from religion, I have picked up something that is becoming quite dear to me. I am learning to use my intuition to read tarot. My therapist gave me my first deck, and I am realizing the intuition and dreams I have fought since I was little now have a place. I love the beauty and complexity of tarot cards. I love the stories they tell, and I love the warnings and whispers they can give of the things to avoid and things to watch for. I have always been drawn to the outer realm and it is something my heart leaps to explore. This is me, and I am finding me in ways I never dreamed I would.

I am eagerly awaiting this year; I want to see what it brings, I am excited, that gut twisting excitement, to see who comes and where I go. I am most excited to see where Ender, Phil, and I go. I am transforming and I adore this new me. I feel more grounded than I have ever felt, and more alive than before, too. The dragon on my forearm is not only for Ender, but for the fire I am feeding and that is rising within me. It stands for the dreams I am letting loose and dreams I am throwing away into the fire.

Here’s to the new year, here’s to the paths we will all walk down this year, and the paths we will end. Maybe this will be our year ?

Down With The Poison Givers!

Let me tell you a story.

This story starts a decade and a half ago.

This story starts with a girl, watching her dad physically abuse her brothers. This story starts with the terror and pain of that little girl’s heart; the pain that started, even then, to rip her apart. The pain her siblings don’t understand, the pain they laughed at. Fast forward four years, and the reason for the father’s abuse comes to light. Oh, so he’s a porn addict, has been for decades, and then he had bought into the whole “father is the ultimate ruler” mindset, he is second to God, is the umbrella over the family. Combine the two, you get a manipulative, abusive man, who is so deep into denial he puts the blame on everyone else, and says “oh but God is working on my heart. it’s just so hard though.” oh spare her this sob story. She’s heard it all before, even inwardly laughed at it while her heart broke just a little bit more.

The brothers got the worst of the abuse. The cold, tight fingers closing around their necks, the demon possessed eyes burning into their terrified eyes. The sister stood by, sobbing silently asking a silent god why her siblings had to endure such grotesque treatment. She reached out to the elders of the local church, the church her family had attended for a while. But no one responded, no one heard or believed her. Not once did calling CPS seem like an option as she had heard all of her life that CPS were the demons, they were the ones who were going to rip families apart. Oh the cleverness of them! Turning the children towards their abusers by telling them the people who were sincerely there to help were actually there to harm them in the worst way possible; by ripping apart the family. Keeping the family face up and showing the outside world that nothing was wrong was so much more important than getting those kids help.

Fast forward another five years, and there she is, standing with a man she deeply loves, once again a heart torn in two, wondering, worrying if choosing him over family was the right decision. Well, the father made that easy for her by choosing his own image and to protect his “good” name over caring for his daughter. He kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back, no place to live, and three pieces of furniture she called her own. Then he spread the lies that she had left because she wanted to do what she wanted to do. Her heart broke completely, feeling utterly helpless to protect her siblings, but wanting to be with the man who made her feel as if it was possible to be whole again. The reason she got for being kicked out was because she was a bad influence on the very siblings she tried to protect and it was her fault that they were acting out.

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Let me tell you a little something about this abuse. The abuse he delivers is subtle. It’s abuse of the mind, the physical body only when no marks would be left, and abuse of the delicate emotional beings young children hold within themselves. This abuse is so very subtle, one word from him would null ten thousand words from the child. Why? Because he had created a reputation of being an upright and godly man, a man whose children where suddenly being little devils who needed controlling. It was the children’s fault, not his, he didn’t know why they were acting so out of control. Oh, that’s right. It was the oldest daughter’s fault. But when asked about that, he would make himself the one who was the victim, and feign innocence. It is his fault that a child is in trouble with the law, it is his fault for the gas lighting, the manipulating, the constant berating of “you are worthless,” the consistent beat downs and never anything any good. The parents give up on the children who they no longer see as worth their time. Oh oops, you’re in trouble with the law? Well, they’re just going to call the cops instead of trying to be good, LOVING, NORMAL parents who are going to try to reach through the funk they created in their children. OH no, the boys get left behind, they ignore the children who “messed up,” those who stepped out of line get cut loose, almost, in fact, get excommunicated.

You poor, privileged, younger three. I deeply hope you get a different, better experience than the rest of us. Though, just be aware as soon as you mess up, as soon as you take a step out of line, those parents will no longer be there. you will no longer get the privileged treatment of being in their “good graces.” And yes, they are that petty, they so very quickly turn their backs on their own flesh and blood. It’s disgusting, it’s vile, it’s filth.

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This abuse creeps into the child’s soul, twisting, and corrupting an innocent not of their own doing. So when she found out several siblings had started stealing, she immediately knew this was their way of acting out. Their way of showing the world they hadn’t been loved, they hadn’t been cared for. There’s a difference between providing for the physical needs of a child and providing the deeply needed love, care, and support emotionally, mentally, spiritually. When those are lacking, this behavior of out of control stealing, acting out, being the “Rebellious one” comes out to play.

The stealing was minimal, but it was enough to make the father begin to fashion their reputations; reputations of rebellious children, children who couldn’t be trusted all while continuing his subtle mind games of abuse. The aunts saw rebellious children, the parents at church associated the children with those who are bad, so very bad. Oh, he did his job so well, her name was tarnished, her words were weightless, and no one really actually believed things were as bad as she said they were. He is so accomplished at fashioning rude and lying reputations of the children he hates, those children run from the very people who are SUPPOSED to help. Why? Isn’t it obvious? His word, his name, his opinion outweighs the voice and cries of the helpless, the abused. All they see are his poor poor pitying self, and the victim he names himself while the real victims, the ones who really desperately need help are cut loose, cut off from receiving help.

She called CPS three times. She sobbed in her husband’s arms while she watched her siblings continue to deteriorate and her parents blame the children for the outcome of his abuse. Mind games, mind games, mind games.

She was made to feel crazy one of the few times she verbally talked back to the mother. “Our family is messed up, there is something really wrong with how things are!” To which the mother’s response was “no, so-so’s family is just like this. there is nothing wrong with our family, it’s normal.”

The brain washed brainwashing the awakening.

The story doesn’t end well. The story isn’t ended, but for the moment, the current climax of abuse caused behavior is a sibling in a bad spot and parents who give the appearance of believing they have no idea how it happened. Oh screw them, screw the people who brainwashed then abused the innocents! It is their fault this all has turned out the way it has. It is solely their fault for grooming their children to believe that abuse was normal and when she tried to help, tried to break through, she was only laughed out because the innocents were so sucked in.

The innocents became the guilty, and their brainwashing was merely turned back on them.

Starting the Adventures

When I start getting random spam comments on old old posts, I know it’s been way too long since I posted.

Life is in a lull at the moment. Ender is getting bigger and this kid, I tell ya, is one of the happiest, confident babies I have ever seen. You can’t help but feel good when he starts doing that big gummy smile looking and his grey/blue eyes start twinkling. I am climbing out the black hole I fell into a few months before Ender was born, the weather is changing, I’m emotionally starting to feel a bit better, and I’m actually making choices and getting excited about the paths I am starting to walk down. We’re still pushing for a move to California, but nothing has come up yet. Both Phil and I feel like we’re poised to start something grand and we had better be ready for when it comes because it’s going to move fast once it does come.

I’ve done a lot of thinking over the past few weeks since I last posted about where I want to take this blog. While I’m continuing to transition out of one belief system and into something I am personally creating, choosing, and leaning into, I expect to be fairly silent on here for awhile, maybe only posting very occasionally. Before I completely step back, and work on thoroughly enjoying my life with my little jitterbug and hubby, I feel the need to clarify where I am now.

As I stand right now, I am no longer a Christian. I do not hold to that title anymore and don’t think I ever will again. I am in such an unique situation because I know the talk, I know how Christians think. I know the doubts, questions, concerns that run through their heads when they hear me say “I’m not a Christian anymore.” I hear the personally insulting and belittling question of “were you ever truly saved then?” and I just walk away. I sincerely believe I was a true believer. What I believed growing up and up till my 21st year of life was true to me, I believed it with my whole heart. But I am not that same person anymore, I have been through things that have put me through the wringer so hard I didn’t think I would still be standing at the other side. I have also not come to this conclusion lightly. This is the direct result of two full years, if not longer, of deep deep digging and picking apart everything I have ever known or believed and holding it up to the light to decide whether it was worth keeping or not. So please, don’t diminish who I used to be or where I have come from just because I am now the person you would say is going to hell.

I have never had cause to doubt if I was a true believer, I never had any cause to doubt or question the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I truly believe he existed. What I don’t believe is that the “sin” Christians like to hold over each other and themselves is not the same “sin” the bible talks about. I don’t believe Christians have a good grasp or idea of what sin really is and have taken it way out of context. I also have not thought through fully what I think sin is, but that’s not important here.

What is important is the clarity I feel in my life now, the happiness I truly feel, and the peace that fills my mind now that I no longer have any pressure from a screwed up belief system pushing on me. I have hesitated for several months in saying this in public, but I am now able to full stand behind where I am and the fact that I can say I am not a Christian anymore is huge. The sad thing for me is knowing that there are a good number of people who will treat me differently now and I can pretty much guarantee neither sides of my family won’t read this and if they do, well, I’m not looking forward to getting treated funny because “she’s not a christian anymore.”

I am happy with my life, very deeply happy, I am thoroughly enjoying my little man, and the choices I have made and am continuing to make are so exciting to me. I can’t wait to see where I take my life, I can’t wait to see where we end up. I feel Ender, Phil, and I are headed towards many adventures and I’m excited to start them.

This is the Roar in My Head

I’ve hit a wall.

There are so many issues going on around me right now in the world, I don’t know how to even begin to process them. There are so many things running through my mind, I can’t even begin to name them all, much less think clearly about one issue before another had crowded that one out. My mind is like a hurricane, never a lull in the pounding of thoughts and questions and just stuff.

I’ve tried to sit down and write at least five times in the past two weeks, but something called generalized anxiety disorder has sort of gotten in the way. Do you know just how utterly exhausting it is to feel multiple times in an hour that feeling like something big is about to happen, you can’t stop it, and that chill/stomach dropping feeling hits you over and over and over? That’s been my life over the past three weeks. And you know what the worst part is? I have no clue what I’m anxious about. My therapist told me that that’s why it’s real anxiety because there is nothing causing it, so to speak. Depression has been there, but it’s been up and down. Besides the anxiety, everything else has been smooth. That’s one of the hardest parts, I feel fine otherwise, I feel happy, content, and mostly pretty good, except for the moments of this jittery, stomach dropping feeling which is just confusing, a little terrifying because I have no control over it, and I don’t like it, I don’t want to feel like this, I’m not choosing to feel like this.

Ender is one of the easiest babies I have ever seen and yes, I know, I could jinx myself, but I’m not taking anything for granted. Today he is easy, yesterday he was easy, tomorrow? Well, tomorrow he could be really fussy and I could feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m taking each day as it comes with Ender, and I’m loving watching him grow, discover his tongue, fingers, and watch the understanding glow in his eyes as he turns his hands in front of his face. I love watching him clutch his blankie to his chin with both hands clutched in fists and the little contented look that comes over his face is enough to make my heart melt. All of the things I adore about caring for Ender and being with him doesn’t change the anxiety, it doesn’t change what goes on in my head all. day. long.

Any sort of postpartum depression/anxiety is not something the general public really seems to take seriously nor do they understand it. I’ve been having a few flashbacks to last year’s really bad depression. I know depression, I know MY depression and I’m grateful I haven’t hit depths this summer like I did last year. I haven’t talked about what I’m feeling because I know it’s the pre-programmed response of most people to just write it off as “baby blues” which I know this isn’t. I don’t want to be dealing with this but I am. It is really uncomfortable to not feel like myself and to feel this close to how I felt during last year’s darkness  It’s the dark not-fun side of motherhood, recovery, and it’s real. To brush it off as only hormones would only serve to diminish a legitimate thing our bodies do, and it’s an insult to what I and so many other mothers deal with.

Phil keeps mentioning how quiet I am. I don’t really have the words to explain accurately to him just how many things are roaring around in my mind. I don’t realize how quiet I’ve gotten because it’s awfully loud inside my head. I think I’m quiet because I’m trying to keep everything under control, all of my energy is going to trying to contain the hurricane in my head. After writing my last post about the testimony of an un-christian, I’ve become aware with such clarity about where I stand. I’m standing at a massive crossroad, or rather, I’m walking towards the path I know I will choose, but I’m having to make decisions and choices as I walk. Decisions about my faith, belief system, my past, my present, my future; all of these are also adding to the already loud buzz in my head.

I don’t like being so quiet, but to open my mouth and talk about what is in my head is more frustrating than staying quiet. Everything is connected but it would take hours and very very careful explaining to piece everything verbally together. Imagine feeling like there is a lock on your mouth and you are the only one who can unlock it but the key is nowhere to be found. The frustration I feel as I stand in church and wonder why I’m there other than to just have some sort of social interaction, the paranoia/panic when I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t hear my very soft breathing baby. The frustration I feel when I see, hear, anything about god, the bible, or see verses quoted. That frustration is a special kind of frustration and one I’m not ready to talk about with anyone other than Phil and one of my closest friends and my therapist.

Another part of this big crossroad is what I am going to do with my blog. With where I am emotionally and mentally these days, I’m not sure I have the words or if I even care enough to keep writing here. I think I’m waiting for something, and I think that something is a hopeful move to California in the coming year. I am done with the culture, environment, and just the people on the east coast. I want a new start, I want to be able to breathe without fearing the retaliation of those around me to the direction I know I’m going in and the decisions I’m going to make.

So yes, I’ve hit a wall, I’m in a holding pattern, waiting, trying to wrestle with the roar in my head all while dealing with exhausting anxiety that I don’t want to be feeling but can’t seem to shake. In the meantime, I don’t know how often I’ll post. A lot of the past year has involved increasingly inward processing and I’m only writing when I’m confident with what I’ve decided/chosen, and only then will I post it publicly. I think I will get to the point where I will be able to fully disclose what I’ve chosen and why but I’m not in an area where I feel safe doing that, nor am I ready to fully disclose where I’m heading because I can’t handle the lose of what I’m going to loose when I do do that.

This is me.

Me and the roar inside my head.

Testimony of an Un-Christian

Trying to pin down a topic long enough in my brain to get anywhere with writing it out has been almost impossible. Ever since getting pregnant and now being a mom, I’ve been painfully aware of just how busy one’s mind can get. My mind bounces around over hundreds of topics and it has only been in the past week where I have finally felt the ability to properly organize my thoughts return to me. So please bear with me as I work through the jumble of thoughts I have as I try to write this post out.

I was sitting in the nursing mothers’ room at church yesterday and half listening to the baptisms that were happening downstairs while nursing Ender. Something caught my attention as those being baptized gave their testimonies. All of the three testimonies I heard started out with “I was raised in a Christian home but I _____(fill in the blank),” consisting of having wandered, or messed up, or slept around and became a single mother with no money or job, or something along those lines. I listened as these people described becoming a Christian and turning their lives over to the Lord. The only thought in my mind was what would it be like for someone like me to give a testimony. What would it be like for someone like me to give a testimony about going in the opposite direction than those being baptized?

Ever since I first walked into that office a year ago April and wrote “I just need help” on the form for my therapist, I have been slowly unraveling and accepting the questions that had built up inside for years. Some weeks it’s felt like I have had more breakthroughs than my mind can handle, and at other times, there’s been nothing but silence for months. When I wrote my Goodbye Christianity posts, I had just gone through several series of hard breakthroughs which included realizing that I was okay with not calling myself a Christian anymore. I’m still in that spot and perhaps I have even gone beyond now.

I have been having a lot of difficulty understanding why I once “believed” what I believed. I don’t understand how I could have been so blinded or brainwashed.The more I’ve thought about it, the more I think I never really did believe what I thought I did while growing up. I worked hard to keep the doubts and questions below the surface, but I think they have always been there, especially as I remember clear moments throughout the years where I distinctly felt uneasiness.

I have reached the conclusion, for myself personally, that a lot of Christianity exists for finding peace of mind. Praying, for instance, is something I do when I am uneasy about something, such as hoping Phil gets home from work safely when there are several massive thunderstorms coming through. I do not see any other purpose to prayer other than giving yourself peace of mind. I pray so that I can create a sense of peace for myself. I don’t really believe God, as Christians believe God, exists. I do believe there is a higher being of some sort, everything around us is proof of that. But, I don’t believe there is a god who answers prayers. I’m not willing to blindly believe or have faith in a god I’m not sure actually exists. Too many things have happened in my life that if there really was a God and he was the loving being Christians make him out to be, I don’t believe he would have allowed those things to happen. I don’t agree with the “all things will work out for good” line of thinking anymore, at least when it comes to God causing all things to work out for good. I believe life happens and it’s up to us to make our experiences worth something.

I don’t believe anymore in the idea of God having a plan for my life. I don’t understand and cannot wrap my mind around the two conflicting ideas of God somehow knowing everything I’m going to speak, do, think, and the idea of free will. Those two ideas do not go together and please don’t try to give me a theological argument are why they do, I don’t believe they do, and that’s enough for me. Free will does not happen when a puppet master controls the strings.

I really do wonder what it would be like for someone who has gone the opposite direction in faith and beliefs than new believers to give a testimony. It is weird to sit there and hear someone talk about, sometimes with great passion, sometimes in a strained monotone, the things I used to believe in and then to look at where I am now.

I am someone who doesn’t believe in a god who controls every aspect of my life. I don’t believe in prayer as something that a god will answer. I am an un-christian and frankly, I don’t even know fully what that means or where I am going. Most of all, I’m completely okay with exactly where I am and I feel no rush, no pressure, and no urge to move in any direction other than the one I am going in wherever that may be.

I am regaining my grip on who I am and this is only the first part of many parts to come.

 

Holding Onto Me

I have a one month old. I have been a mommy for one month. And for one month I have already felt the wrestling in my spirit as I try to maintain hold on ME and not let being “Ender’s mommy” become my whole identity. I did not expect to have to fight or be so quickly sucked into me being drowned out by being a mom. Don’t get me wrong, I adore being this little magoo’s mommy, and I love seeing how he loves to be near me and in my arms. I just can’t afford to lose myself just because of this new experience. I fought too damn hard and long to get to where I am now just to lose that ground by falling back into a preset box.

I sat crying in front of my therapist last week about how numb I felt and how scared I was that I was losing me. I told her I knew I would excel at being a mom because that’s what I’m good at; I take on a challenge and I excel because that’s how I’ve learned to approach life. There is no excuse, I have to do my best. The challenge of motherhood is something I dove into with all I am. She flipped it around on me though, she said to see this as a challenge of holding onto me, holding onto who I am and adding motherhood to my identity.

So since then I have been mulling over how I can maintain my grip on my identity and how I can add motherhood to who I am already without allowing it to completely overcome me. I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I know it’ll be a challenge and I like the sound of that.

My first big step towards maintaining my identity will be taking charge of my fertility. In a few weeks I will be going on birth control, and I can’t explain just how excited I am about that. It has been so irritating watching the continual arguments going back and forth across my facebook feed about the whole Hobby Lobby debacle and while I do not have the energy or time to put into expressing my thoughts, I will only say I am so glad I have the option to get birth control and my insurance will pay completely for it. I have seen so much slut shaming going on towards women who have chosen to use birth control simply because they don’t want to get pregnant. I am adding myself to those crowds of women as I have no medical reason to go on birth control. I just want to have sex with my husband without worrying about getting pregnant again and I am not ashamed to admit that. I want to have sex without “consequences” and I’m very glad to have that option available to me without extra costs.

For my own mental health and safety, I can’t even think about getting pregnant again any time in future without starting to have a panic attack. While being pregnant was something my body did incredibly well, mentally, it was ten times more rough. I would rather be mentally healthy and physically healthy and only have one child than be mentally on the verge of a total breakdown and a house full of kids. I practically raised most of my siblings, I nannied, I have had my fair share of raising multiple kids, I don’t need to experience that again to know that isn’t for me. I love the idea of being able to love, care for, and raise Ender, and only Ender. I want him to experience the things I never did, and both Phil and I are totally okay with only having one child. Now, if that decision should change in say, three years, then we’ll revisit having a second child. But for now? It’s more important that I protect my mental health than expanding our family.

I have already had several people tell me that I’ll change my mind about getting pregnant again, but that’s not for anyone but me to decide. Where I am right now does not mean that I am incapable of making that decision with a clear mind and it certainly does not mean I will not stick with my decision because “things change.” This is me putting my foot down and maintaining my hold on my identity, this is me protecting me. This is me being responsible with my body and health because now is the time to think about this not when we’re accidentally pregnant again when I didn’t take the time to protect myself. This is me saying my fertility and sexuality are mine to do what I decide to do with it. My fertility is not something Phil can control or force me to do something I don’t want to do, my sexuality is not his either. This is me choosing to control whether we will get pregnant again or not because I value being all there mentally and physically for my son and my husband. This is me saying to every woman out there however you choose to live your life and hold your own body is up to you and no one else.

Now, excuse me while I go snuggle with a little munchkin. Being his mommy and not losing myself is a challenge I accept.