Countdown To The Breaking Point

As I laid in a zombified, neither asleep nor awake state, in my bed this morning, thoughts racing, I had a realization that I may have never come to had it not been for the events that have taken place  in the last year and a half. The universe’s sole responsibility is to continuously batter human beings with loads of things they can barely handle emotionally, mentally, and physically until they reach their breaking point. It’s kind of like that place called Hell that so many speak of.

Several times I have just nearly escaped being irreversibly imprisoned by my own looming breaking point. I have stood on the edge of it, teetering back n’ forth, just waiting for the universe to give me that final kick in my ass that throws me over. I have come to the conclusion that there are only a handful of people left in my life that matter to me to the point where I very well could end up losing my mind completely and forever. Not to say that I don’t love each and every person in my life with all my being, it just means that the last bit of strength that I possess is only enough for that final  handful of people. There are 7 people left before I reach my permanent breaking point and depending on the order in which I lose them, it could be a full 7 or it could be just 1.

After getting the phone call from my grandfather last night I knew how flimsily my sanity hung in the balance. Hell, I knew before we even concluded our conversation, and I’m pretty sure both of my grandparents had a damn good idea of it as well. Thanks to the sudden death of my sister, I will forever be tainted and paranoid by the words, “____ is in the hospital.” Name any of those 7 people and my heart is beating out of my chest, my thoughts begin racing more than usual, and paranoia becomes the desert of the day. Well, it just so happens one of those people were named in that very phone call late last night, my mom. You could pinpoint the precise moment when I lost it, it was the moment when my voice cracked and I began cursing like a sailor on the phone to my grandfather who has been known  to tell all of us women, “Don’t use those 4 letter words. Ladies don’t speak like that.” Well F@&* THAT, I am well aware that a lady I am not. I am also aware that I am probably the last person in my family who can curse in my soprano cracking emotionally charged voice and also be the voice of reason and motivation at the same time.  It’s a gift.

The good news is after speaking to my mom last night, I was more at ease and relatively optimistic. However,  I fell asleep and while I was tossing and turning per my usual nightly ritual, my subconscious revealed things to me that my conscious mind was unable to speak openly about. My dreams were pummeled time and time again with my sister and my twin nephews. All of the bullshit that has been going on since my sister’s death has built up inside of me to the point where I can no longer function on the same level I was functioning at just a few months after her death. When she died I had my writing and I buried myself in that. Then there were mountains of things piled on top of that, from the boyfriend who up and gave his parents custody of my nephews secretly, to the middle men who are keeping my mother and grandparents from fully bonding with the boys, who by the way just turned 2 years old in August.  All these things that I have been forbidden to speak about openly, so that the saintly (hmmph) boyfriend’s family don’t get pissed off and just up and deny visitation completely to my family. This, is the moment when I say… if I had money and a gun!!!

OK…Clearly, I am joking about the gun part. Killing someone for being a thorn in my side is NOT how I do things. And we all know how easily my words get twisted around by the exact same people who I’ve spent years protecting. That alone is some kind of nightmarish form of Hell in its own right. I digress…But, yea…I don’t have money and I am helpless at the moment to do anything about these things. I ache deep down inside of my soul for my nephews and let’s not even go into details about my nieces. Let’s not even bring up how pathetic I feel to have such a loud, strong, and proud voice and to have it be hushed for the sake of family. I am reaching critical mass. It is not long before I reach that breaking point. I just want to do what is right and like all people who fight for rights I am faced with what CAN be done and what SHOULD be done. Those two things are clearly not the same thing.

As for my mom, hopefully she will be released in the next day or two. Then I can start breathing again and go back to waiting. Waiting for the universe’s final blow to my backside while I am not looking… that unavoidable breaking point. And so begins… The Countdown!

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Father’s Day Project: Build-A-Dad

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Yesterday was Father’s Day. I am sure I do not need to remind any of you. As I sat around, well no… that isn’t exactly accurate. My husband was home all day and when he is, there is no sitting around. Clearly, he can sit around, demand things to be done/brought to him, or blankly stare at a plethora of asinine TV shows in English and/or Spanish but, me… I am required to go, go, go!!! Do I look like Speedy Gonzalez to you? Don’t answer that…

So as soon as I woke up, I mean got up, at about 10 am or so… I don’t remember. I just know it was still morning. Don’t judge me…. I’m an insomniac and sleeping is a problem for me. My husband started with his usual assholery and yelled something about the clips. “Where are the clips?” he yelled. “What clips? You mean… the clippers?” I replied while trying hard not to call him an illiterate son of a bitch. After all, it is his day, right?! So… I got up and waddled around the house. No, I am not pregnant but, I am somewhat fluffy these days. From room to room to room I went. Dodging dogs, shaking my head at the children that were still sleeping, over/around/up and down through the junk that has taken up permanent residence in my home from lands far and wide. Why was I cursed to marry the Mexican Fred Sanford from ‘Sanford and Son’? Or would that be, Federico Sanford de  ‘Sanford y su Hijo’? *Sigh*

Finally, I remembered where they were last put and handed them to him. All of this, not because he wanted to cut his hair mind you. But because he wanted to shave his beard and apparently shaving it with a razor or 5 was just too much freaking work for him. But, me wandering the streets of Can’t-Find-A-Damn-Thing-Without-My-Help-Ville wasn’t work at all….. *SIGH again*

I made sure at some point to mention, that I would like to go to the store, since it was Father’s Day and we had no gift for him and more importantly we had no damn milk. There is no way I was cooking breakfast on Father’s Day. I mean, hell, you know what I mean… I cook every single day. Why do I have to cook a meal that no one and I do mean no one, in my house even likes to eat? Besides it was starting to heat up in the house because the Midwest is in the center of Hell (hence the name Bible Belt) and we still have no working air conditioner. So I dressed myself, yes I know… woo-hoo Jen has finally learned how to dress herself. Do you guys always have to be so mean??? *Insert evil snort laugh*

My daughter got up and decided she would like to go with me to the store.  Shopping is one of our mother/daughter bonding times. Frankly, I take her along more often than my son because she isn’t the type to whine and throw a fit if I don’t buy her something. Just as we were about to walk out the door, my husband yells out, “You can’t leave. I need to go to Home Depot.” Didn’t I tell him not more than 10 minutes before that I needed to go to the store? *Scrolls up* Yes, yes I did. Welcome to my life people. Isn’t it a hoot?

In the time my husband is gone, I wash the dishes, that he requested I do. “You SHOULD wash the dishes before you leave the house,” he gently told me. Haha who am I kidding, right?! He has never gently told me anything in our nearly 19 years together. But, instead of complaining, I just do those loving things that a doting wife does out of the sheer goodness of her happy and fulfilled heart. *Awwww* Stop it…

My husband though… I mean, you just have to know that this man doesn’t know the meaning of a day off. Holidays, birthdays, Sundays… they are just another day to him. He is the epitome of a workaholic without the skanky secretary and the bank account to make it all worth my err, I mean his while. LOL So, what does my husband do on his day off? The one day where a father is allowed to be a mushy couch potato? The one time where everyone in the house is at his disposal? My genius of a husband chooses to rebuild the patio. Because his paranoia trumps mine by a longshot… “I have to fix this before it falls and the city condemns the house.”

At first, it was supposed to be just the railing because it was at a 45-degree angle and well… that is not what a railing on the second floor above a concrete driveway should be doing. The kids and I had long abandoned going out there because the patio door kept getting stuck on its track and I was terrified it might fall out and break. But, as the day progressed it became more and more things that needed to be done to that patio.

My daughter and I came back home from shopping to find my son sitting in the driveway guarding the wood and tools. My husband was standing on the patio, with the entire railing torn off. I graciously handed him a Monster energy drink and then continued carting bags inside the house.

It was a long day for all of us.  My son helped his dad out on his all day into the night Father’s Day project. Build-A-Dad; blackened by sweat and hard work, barely touched the dinner my daughter and I made for him. My daughter was exhausted from all the things she helped me do that are my daily requirements as housebitch.  *Sorry, I had to get in that last dig before wrapping this up*

And I? Well, I was my usual self. Tired, because being a mom and wife is hard work. Wired, because I have so much more work still left to do. A bit insane after all the “my dad is the greatest” crap I kept seeing over my Facebook feed when I finally had time to sit down and enjoy me time. But most of all I was thankful, because my kids and I have their dad in our life. And unfortunately, that is something many people don’t have. Hope you all had a splendid Father’s Day or just another Sunday in June, if you don’t celebrate.

Birthday Reflection

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When I sat down and wrote the poem ‘Nobody’s Birthday’ all I could think was how my birthday has sucked since 1997 when my husband decided it would be a “great” idea for us to wed that day.

 

In an emotional fit of jealousy and anger he had finally realized that calling me his wife for 3 years before we were actually married was not the brightest idea… only because I was getting more and more aggravated with it. I figured if I was to be strapped with the title of wife I should at least have the document proving it.

Albert Wenzell- The Marriage Proposal

You see when my husband and I were merely boyfriend and girlfriend he fell in love and proposed, I obviously wasn’t against it because I said yes and of course I loved him too.

 

The date he chose for us to get married was February 14th, 1996, a year and 5 months after we had begun dating. In February of 1995, we found out we were expecting and I guess that might have been the moment when things started falling apart…it was in my screwed up head anyway.

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You see I had this idea of how a relationship and love should be; funny because I didn’t exactly grow up around any stable loving relationships in my life, so where I got that idea from I will never know… maybe it was The Brady Bunch or The Cosby Show.

For years I have held it against him that we never got married on the day we were suppose to and as the world will tell you… Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned and I was scorned. It always made me madmade me furious that he chose not to marry me on that date simply because of a few words my callous father had said about him… “He’s only marrying you to get his papers.” Which was a fabrication that he had created in his own mind, for my husband already had papers 7 years before even knowing me. So not only was that comment a lie and unnecessary it was clearly meant to hurt me and my relationship.

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But, every month that passed that I was not married I was told the most horrendous things by people who claimed to love me because I was an unwed mother.

 

You just have to love family whose ideas and warped sense of love taints perfectly loving relationships. I loved him and he loved me, we were faithful and raising our daughter together as a married couple…what more could a piece of paper give us?!

Those depraved mental games eventually infected my brain, as I began to wonder why we were still not married 3 years after our relationship began. So in a last dire attempt to rescue what was left of our relationship he married me, on my birthday. He was drunk out of his mind and couldn’t repeat the vows; I was angry in every one of our wedding pictures and was trying to hold back impending tears. It was the beginning of me dreading my birthday.

Year after year passed and more than not I would end the day upset and in tears because it seemed like nobody cared that it was my “special” day. No gifts, no cards, occasionally a cake and a happy birthday. The kids would do their best to make up for my sadness by showering me with several homemade cards and as much as I loved them it just never felt like enough. Call me selfish but, I wanted to be appreciated and pampered just for that one day.

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There came a point when not only was it my birthday that went uncelebrated but, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Christmas too. Now instead of hating just my birthday I began hating the entire year; day after day, month after month, year after year. My husband would always say, “It’s just another day.” God, how I hated hearing that!!!

Then this year as my birthday approached; I became melancholy just like I do every year, knowing it wouldn’t be any different. We were still struggling with extra money and as usual I would get the short end of the stick; that’s where my poem came in to play.

Instead something happened…something magical and unexpected. It occurred to me that this year was different from all the other years because I WAS DIFFERENT. I had accomplished many things this year that I didn’t even know I wanted to carry out until they happened. Clearly my mind was holding a secret that my heart hadn’t uncovered until a few days before my birthday. Nobody’s Birthdayis a sad, depressing poem but, it unlocked my ability to see what truly mattered this year…my life; every single day of it not just the one day that comes and goes.

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I am a mom, a writer and a friend and every day of my life I show exceptional love, kindness and understanding towards my friends, family and fellow writers. Some may not have seen that and that’s ok because frankly they hadn’t seen anything I have said or accomplished in quite some time now. I have made leaps and bounds in my personal life as well as my professional life in 5 short months; my hard work was finally paying off and that my dear readers is something I never expected to see this year.

Needless to say, I had a great birthday because instead of expecting others to celebrate me… I celebrated me, something I have never done in my entire 36 years of life. I am proud of myself.

Isn’t it wonderful when you finally appreciate yourself for who you are and what you’ve accomplished? Did you find out something about yourself this year? Are you proud of who you’ve become?