Steal my breath with beauty
Stir my world with passion
Touch me with tender intent
And I am forever in your debt ~
New life. It’s one of my favouritest things about this earth, because there is nothing that fosters hope, like new life.
16 years ago today, I welcomed new life into my arms. I laboured for hours, ruptured membranes, an epidural, oxytocin and a fetal heart rate that scared the pants off of all of us resulting in a c-section.
Fast forward three years and me telling my midwife, “don’t worry, I won’t go into labour today, because it’s my other sons birthday.” Kismet. Fate. Like it wasn’t up for that challenge. I was so naive. New life doesn’t wait, and neither did my second son. Stalled out at 6cm, we thankfully succumbed to a c-section after hours and hours of trying to deliver naturally.
So two boys, exactly three years apart. And like many mothers, birthdays, surface birth stories. We want to tell our stories, the scary parts, the exciting parts and the tender parts. Not to scare other mothers, or to judge our caregivers, or to foster jealousy in others, but because our stories make up who we are.
My boys make up a part of who I am. Same birthdays, similar type of birth, same red hair and the similarities end there. I’ve said many times I would have gone on to have as many kids as possible just for the biology experiment of it all. I wondered how many babies it would take to have a black haired baby, or till a baby who would nurse, or if maybe baby number x would deliver vaginally. (I still have vivid dreams even after delivering 4 red heads via c-section that I could pop one out naturally. I dream I am pregnant often, even though it’s relatively impossible now because of my tubes being done.)
My boys are different, their struggles different and their passions different.
Calvin is a passionate engager, he will take over the world one day if the millenialists and their inability to stick things through don’t take over. He is a fighter. A warrior. For good or for bad, and he has confidence. I have seen him nurture, I have seen him lead and he is a powerful human being whom I believe in immensely.
Eliot, he is a connector. A feeler. He found his niche in band this year playing the frenchhorn and I couldn’t be more proud. But more so for the ways teachers have spoke of his compassion for others, ability to step in and help and build relationships with others.
Stories are making up who they are becoming, and what a gift it is to be characters in one another’s life. Some days the antagonist, some days the anti-hero, but most days the fire that feeds change.
New life is about the hope of the journey, the catalyst for the stories that make up who we are, and who we are becoming, yes even at 43, or 13, 16 or 86…
Thankful to have these kids make up some of the stories in my journey, and maybe one day, much later in their more adult years, they will be thankful for my role in theirs. But for now, we eat cake. And celebrate the new life they continue to be.
I have a therapist who encourages me to write. She knows this is a way I connect with my heart, writing and people are the glue that hold me together. I haven’t a chance to talk to her about this new development though, something I worry about speaking aloud, for fear of backlash and judgment.
I have a secret.
Entirety is not perfect, and she is an even less perfect mother. But my counsellor would piss therapeutically on me for that statement.
I’m not wearing my family’s garbage out for all to see and to gawk. Instead I am speaking about some of these unspeakable things so that they could hold less power over me, and that stigma and inadequacy could be quelled.
An explosive child, and a child some days I feel lost at parenting. Co-parenting with an ex-spouse, living out dynamics of dealing with not always agreeing, and knowing this child acts differently with me then he does with his dad, and yet the thread remains.
I am sometimes afraid.
In the midst of trying to grieve my mothers death, I have been trying to hold family life together. Often with the absence of my ex-spouse who has been necessarily dealing with personal issues. And I am drowning.
In the last month I have seen Lawyers, Doctors, Bankers, Counsellors, Funeral directors, mental health workers, police officers and I can tell you I am about done with professionals. There is nothing more to make you feel alone than walking into all these offices to fight these battles with only air by your side. I don’t mean to undermine my sisters hard work through my moms death, but I am partnerless, and at the end of the day, on the days I can, I crawl into bed alone and listen to the sound of the furnace and I hope I can sleep. On the days I can’t, I crawl in beside my 9 year old to not feel so alone.
Tomorrow I am taking my oldest son to live temporarily somewhere else. I want to make sarcastic comments about what kind of mother has to do this. Wise cracks about what a loser I am, but I won’t. Because I know it’s not true, I am a good mom who loves all her kids, even the one that I am driving to a friends house tomorrow through an organization called Safe Families. In the last two months my son has been expressing an enormous amount of hurt through anger, a tv was broken, baking destroyed, my iPhone 7 lobbed through a parking lot and I have been called a fucking bitch more times then I can count. But I can honestly say with my rose coloured glasses OFF, I know he is a good kid.
So I’m still showing up.
When I was 8 my sister ran away. (Note here she is far from being an adult screw up despite some of her journey being unconventional through her teens… ok she remains unconventional but in a good way.) After she returned safely she spent some time living with my Aunt and Uncle.
I remember quite distinctly my mom during this time. I remember comforting her at the age of 8, like my youngest does for me. These moments don’t really make you feel like a great mother. One that your kid can’t live with you and two that you need comfort from your youngest and three this underlying fear that it was something you did or didn’t do as a mother. Cause if I am honest, I’ve probably only fucked up with my son a few thousand times. Like the time he ate crayons and I put tobasco sauce on his tongue for doing so, or the time I told him he was pathological. (Hoping that all his time watching House didn’t clue him in to what I meant.). But I get angry too, and I have said some hurtful things.
So don’t you see, after my mom put my sister in with my aunt and uncle, I just want to know what my mom thought. How did she feel doing that? Did she feel like a failure too? Did she question if they were doing the right thing? Did she cry at thinking about the vulnerability of her child while simultaneously go through the motions of having to keep showing up for me since I was still there? I want to ask my mom, but she’s not here. I can’t ask her what it was like and I can’t not think about the journey they took with my sister and I am now taking with my son. I keep thinking about this quote I read, “why can’t heaven have visiting hours?”
Parenting is hard. I know that’s not a news flash. But it’s hard and I’m still showing up, and I’m a lazy fuck.
My mom showed up too. Somedays better than others, but I always knew she loved me, and that she loved my sisters too.
I can love my kids. Even if the days are sometimes hard. Even if it means unconventional family life so that everyone can get their needs met as best possible.
I just wish I could ask my mom though, what she felt and thought… but true to form I’d probably just accuse her of backseat driving.
I don’t think I’m special, just so you know. I’m not the first daughter to lose a mother and I won’t be the last. I am not the first daughter to lose both her parents by the age of 42 and I am not the first person to experience 3 huge losses in 4 years.
First I lost my marriage, and that was a hit. Then I lost my dad, and although terrible my dads death came with a frightening ambivalence due to some of my feelings surrounding him. Then my mother was diagnosed with small cell carcinoma Dec 8. Only 13% of all lung cancers are this type and 80% of those people are dead by 2 years. My mom was dead in 23 days.
I spoke at her funeral on Saturday, my sisters and I, her best friend and her sister in law, an aunt I am named after; we all gave the attendees a bit of a taste for who my mom was.
My mom wasn’t a playful mom, though she loved word games like Scrabble and crosswords. As a child I saw her most often either in the kitchen cooking up some strange Asian stir fry or something or other or on the couch buried in a book.
She drove me to 5:30am swimming lessons 4 days a week, she paid for flights to Saskatoon, Florida and the gas in my car. She bailed me out when my car got towed and let me crash in her home for two years after my dad died when I was living separately from my ex-spouse. In fact I’m writing from her apartment this exact moment, where it is quiet, dim and hollow.
I don’t hear her CPAP machine, I don’t hear Georgie rustling around in the litter box and I don’t have the worry that she’s going to rap on my door to tell me I’m going to be late for work.
She could just never trust that at 42, I knew how to retrieve my toast from the toaster in a timely manner, get to the kettle after it boiled or get out the door to be on time for work. She asked me one day if it really bothered me for how much she back seat drove. And I was honest. It bothered me to fuck. I’m a god damn grown up who birthed 4 kids, who has 3 degrees, and runs a household and a high risk labour and delivery floor full of crises…OF COURSE I CAN MANAGE MY OWN TOAST MOM!
But even when she quickly got her will in order I could see her distrust as I read it as one of her POA’s.
The addendum, to the will draft, was a clear statement something to this effect. “My 2017 Hyundai is to go to my youngest daughter Jacquie.”
Let me tell you how this is her telling me from the grave that my toast popped and kettle boiled. Two weeks before she went into hospital she said I should get CAA. You know, the road side assistance program you pay for to bail you out of locked out cars, flat tires and drained batteries from the cold. Ask me if I did that. OF COURSE I DIDN’T!!! Nearly for the very fact she told me to! She told me I should get it because my car is older and because I drive on the highway. 1# my car is a 2009. That’s not old. 2# the highway is 80km/h only 20 minutes from city limits. 3# I’M A GROWN WOMAN WHO CAN DO WHATEVER SHE WANTS.
So my mom did what she wanted. She must have known full well I wouldn’t get it. Moms are smart, even when they are 75 and dying from the oxygen starving disease that we call lung cancer. She endowed her car to me to keep me safe on that road, because although she couldn’t make me get CAA she could lead this horse to water by giving her a more promising ride.
I just want to say I loved my mom very much. She was an irritant at times but not once throughout her dying was she a bother. I loved sitting at her bed side, brushing her hair like I used to do to her as a small child. I loved teasing her about her beach body legs after seeing how quickly she was wasting away just to make her laugh. I was completely irreverent and even joked about shortening her life when I accidentally would step on her oxygen tubing. But she always laughed.
I didn’t love telling her I didn’t want to leave and I didn’t love hearing she didn’t want me to go. Being torn between my progeny and my mom was extraordinarily difficult. You see I needed to keep telling my mom that she was not a bother. I needed to keep telling her we would be ok. My sisters, our kids, that we would be ok. And I needed to prove it too, that I could leave her bed side in the good hands of my sisters or nursing staff to go be with my own kids.
There were times I was afraid she was waiting to die for when I left the room, so she wouldn’t “hurt” me in this way. Like some bad script I would announce to her as she lay there no longer able to rouse, “I am leaving the room now. It’s ok if you need to go.” You start to feel a little self conscious, like maybe it sounds you are wishing her to go. I never wished that. Not once. Like a child who believes in fairy tales even after I witnessed her last breath and gasps, I wanted to believe that she would sit up and pick up the crossword and make some back seat driver comment about making sure my car was plugged in or something.
But she didn’t. And now she’s gone. And it’s not fair. And it aches. I didn’t want her to go. She shouldn’t ever have to go. She’s my mom, and I need her.
But she is a curious creature, she wanted to meet this adventure head on, she was curious about what lay beyond the veil, and I have never heard of such bravery before, not quite like that.
So thank you for the car mom. Your windshield wipers work far superior to mine. Though you don’t have cruise control and that’s kinda a bitch on the highway but I am not ungrateful. I am not ungrateful for anything you gave or gave up for me.
I love you and miss you terribly.
A huge thank you to the 500 followers who follow along despite me not being a shiny finished product.
Your support is noticed and I am extremely grateful for having you along side my journey as I process life through poetry, fiction and non-fiction stories.
Blessings you all. 💜
She was there
To watch you dance
To hold your hand
To kiss your cheek
In every sigh
In every touch
In every breath
As you hold her
Across the unforgiving grave
Is the biggest threat to love
But not this day
This day is yours and hers
As daughter and mom
So what does one do when you can’t get a fix? You mourn, lament, tear your clothes, eat ashes and write. So here I am, evaluating the last two years of dating.
A few weeks ago I came across a guy on Tinder who was feeling me out a bit. (Not feeling me up.)
He asked me how long I had been on Tinder for. I said I had been on for a few years, but was still single. So he got real Frank, or Tim, or Tweedlefucktarded on me and said “So you’re picky then.”
I thought about my response, for like a whole millisecond. And this is how I responded:
“I AM NOT PICKY ITS JUST THAT THE MAJORITY OF THESE MEN HAVE ONLY WANTED SEX!”
…wait for it….
…Then he says, “I’m only in town for a few weeks, there’s nothing wrong with just having fun you know!?”
Case. In. Point.
I knew what he meant. And although every stage has its proclivities I don’t really feel like this is my stage any more. I seem to have graduated to picky amidst acknowledging my destructive gravitational pull towards unavailable men who actually want nothing more but a night o’flings.
The dissonance here between body and mind can be a bit frustrating. But the mind has been honing in on the damage of allowing myself to just be used as a breathing fuck doll. As opposed to the non-breathing kind marketed in Japan for a trillion dollars. *considers holding my breath for a trillion dollars*
In the last two months 4, yes 4 men from the last two years have resurfaced, all looking for one thing. Yup, you guessed it.
If you have read Pandora’s Box part 1-5 we can thank fucktard there for showing up a year later to ignorantly step into my present day. I invited it partially, but it didn’t take long after a few odd conversations that I didn’t want to do fuck doll all over again. I didn’t want to walk away in the dark (literally) tripping over clothes, randomly placed furniture and left out vacuums while trying to remember if we even finished the episode of Game of Thrones before other more pressing needs took over. But if I was very honest, I didn’t want to walk away wondering if I ever meant anything.
You see, I spend most of my time writing and contemplating meaning, and it guts me a bit, looking over some of the men I let into the private places of me and how I still don’t know if I meant anything besides being a good…. well never mind that.
I have a few good people in my life. Patient people. Loving people. People who remind me, I am worth more than some of these encounters have made me feel. (And some days I even believe them.)
I have stories that I can’t wait to tell my children, stories of military police deployment and asthmatic attacks. I have stories I cry over and stories I cry laughing over. I have stories I could not tell for months after because I was unsure how to process it all. And I have stories I have rawly told to you here in this Wattpad book.
And why did I do that do you ask?
I like pleasure, maybe even a little pain, but what I love is meaning and process. Discovery of self, discovery of personal truths. But unlike inventions that come with a lot of trial and error, and tossing out the dysfunctional inventions, discovery for me carries the dysfunctional moments with me; not to shame me, or to beat me down, but because in each one of these stories I find me. The vulnerable, strong, fragile, persevering, funny, perverted, broken human being I call me. And I don’t want to let go of me, not any part, I want to embrace all of me.
*For other facetious (and sometimes illuminating) pokes at dating midlife check out my A Date in the Life on Wattpad…just be careful if you have anything in your mouth at the time…lest you ruin your electronics.*
A Date in the Life
1) as bad as it hurts, every day pain cannot kill you
Not from one spank, or slice of a bamboo cane across ones ass does pain have the ability to steal your ability to live. It cannot take your breath, or stop your heart.
The pain of relationship break ups, parenting struggles, and broken skin and bones cannot kill you. The residual effects of pain can impact how you face life of course, but experiencing pain, as fucking uncomfortable as it can be, does not mean your life is over.
2) dealing with pain poorly leaves you sore in places you never needed to be sore in
I give needles to babies often in my work and despite the fact the newborn baby has no prior history with needles the parents often wince empathetically as we talk about it. The baby isn’t worried in advance about getting the needle. But the parents are. Parents have lived enough to know needles hurt. And a submissive knows enough to wince and tense seeing a cane or belt, even before it hits their flesh. The anticipation of pain can be crippling.
I cried when a bag of clothes pins were opened and every god damn muscle in my body seized. My jaw clenched, my toes curled and calves cramped. And the pain over worrying about the pain was unjustifiably just as painful as any implement could be. I created that pain though. I was the source of my own pain, both prior to the application of clothes pins and the day after when my body ached in all the wrong places.
We anticipate pain in interactions in our life, we sometimes create pain where their never ends up needing to be any. And some days we are sore from yesterday’s fight against our own fears and worries instead of just accepting the moment for what it could be.
3) that we spend a lot of time in our society trying to dull anything that looks like pain
BDSM is one of the places in society where pain is acceptable, dare I say welcomed? Yeah, some people get off on it, receiving it or giving it. Right? That’s where the masochists and the sadists come in. Some people get off on letting someone get off from pain. And it is essentially the lesson in itself. It is primitive and basic. Pain is felt and that is the lesson. It is not anesthetized with lidocaine or with alcohol or avoided by turning on the television or picking up your phone. It is loud and screaming red in your face (or on your ass). Feel it. And the people that are choosing to feel it, are learning how their instincts to flee it, aren’t always the better option. (Of course there are exceptions)
4) feeling pain is better than not feeling anything at all.
Have you ever heard about lepers in Bible times? Or the fact that they lose the ability to feel in their extremities? It sounds great to avoid the pain of hitting your thumb when using a nail and a hammer, but what happens when you don’t feel something you need to feel in order to save your limb…or your life. What if you couldn’t tell you stepped on a nail, or when something was too hot to touch? Feeling pain is a nature designed way to preserve the species to protect us from further hurt.
There are people in the bdsm community who need pain, to remind themselves they are still alive, that they are still here. And again I am not discussing extremes like self-harm but you can see how similar some may feel. The sharp sting of the whip, or the release of a clamp and filling of nipples with blood flow all screaming sensation, with the ability to feel pain means you have the ability to feel pleasure. And it can heighten either. Peaks and valleys people, in other words, it can’t be all bad all the time, and the good wouldn’t be felt without knowing how the bad felt.
5) pain teaches us how strong we are
I remember thinking I could call my safe word at anytime. But I’m stubborn. I knew I was safe, I was never afraid, but my body was feeling every sting and bite from this goddamn bamboo cane. I wanted to endure. Not for the one on the other end of the cane but for me.
I am not a phenomenon. Everyone has things in their lives that cause them pain. Relationship break ups, work trauma, a misbehaving teenager in your life or an actual physical ailment. But there is a gift pain gives in hindsight – the gift that tells you, that there was no one else that could have gotten through your pain but you. Winston Churchill said, “if you are going through hell keep going.” Although I am pretty sure Winston wasn’t into bdsm he also knew the benefits of endurance. I believe that getting to the other side brings you insight you wouldn’t have had otherwise, a lesson in pain, in and about pain; how only you were designed for your lesson, no one can walk that path but you, and the gift of seeing yourself in a new light, as strong, as an endurer is a game changer. (Even if those around you had seen your strength all along.)
6) that it’s ok to call uncle
Sometimes it’s too much. I called uncle on my relationship. A moment where the relationship itself was causing more pain than pleasure. In medicine we might say the risk inside the relationship was outweighing the benefit of it. And every (good) Dominant is relying on their submissive to speak up when it’s too much. When limits have been reached. And instead of being tipped over into brokenness a halt is called to prevent any damage that can’t be repaired.
Sometimes we have to call uncle on parts of our lives that are causing us pain. Jobs need to be re-evaluated, relationships need to be evaluated and let me be clear. Calling uncle is never about avoiding the pain, but instead to prevent further damage; to yourself, to children, to your spirit. Calling uncle, or using your safeword is a safety net in bdsm for when you’ve been pushed too far.
And lastly but closely related ….
7) pain is emotional just as much as it is physical
You can break a person if you’re not careful. A Dominant and submissive have a finally tuned relationship centred around trust. Trust that the Dominant has control and won’t take it too far and trust that the submissive will say when they’ve had enough. Because when this communication breaks down, and the safe word isn’t used, the pain can push you too far until relationships become at risk. And it has been the cause of some D/s dynamics ending. When limits are reached, passed; spirits and people are broken.
Sometimes we are so engulfed in life, doing, being, filling our life with busyness and not out of sinister neglect but out of sheer humanness we miss the signs we have been pushed too far. By our kids, our spouses, our work or our friends. And we miss the cues, WE DON’T LISTEN TO THE CUES that tell us we are on the verge of brokenness. We care for others, but don’t care for ourselves, we give, but feel bad about taking, we empty our buckets essentially. The emotional pain of being broken shows up in many places in our life. In depression, workplace burnout, caregiver burnout. And if not careful this emotional pain can send you into self-destruction mode in order to numb all the pain surfacing. Resulting in more pain and a vicious cycle of avoidance. All if you’re not willing to take the risks of being self aware, acknowledging the signals before the signals gone out.
Pain and hope are ongoing themes in my life. And a niche I find myself contemplating more and more. But these are some of the insights I have learned about through involvement with those involved in the D/s lifestyle over the years. Be kind. I understand not everyone condones or agrees with such a lifestyle, but it doesn’t mean it can’t teach us things about ourselves. The other thing is that some metaphors or conclusions can only go so far and I tried to clarify that along the way.
If you are over your head experiencing pain that seems out of control reach out to someone who cares. A health care provider, friend, pastor or co-worker. We’re all just human, trying to find meaning. This is how I find mine. In writing.
Her irreverence blossomed
From years of taking life
She never meant harm
Or too much disrespect
But only to make foolhardy
She had been set to stone
To realize most of it
Was just crumbling sand
That the knife’s edge of life
Was more tricks and illusions
Of deadly steel
When rather it was blunted
That could barely expose truth
With one draw of a blade
At the end of the day
Through the valleys
I fostered a spirit
To release me
From the demons
Of being without you
My hand empty
Open and cupped
To a pewter sky
Knowing the rain fall
Would have to fill the vessel
And my soul’s requiem of longing
Making my peace
With being separated
From the out pouring of your love