Sunday, March 29, 2009

please wait.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

i don't know how.

I am comfortable alone.

This is what I think about love. For one, I want no part in it. And I firmly believe that that will not change with time or maturity or healing.

I believe love is dangerous and even somewhat unhealthy. Is this pessimistic of me? From my experience, it always seems like there is a giver and a taker. And the giver loves too much and the taker loves too little. The taker becomes a parasite and the giver becomes a willing host. I realized this one day when my size 32A bra was falling down at work and my best friend asked me when the last time I ate was. I stopped to think and was shocked and ashamed when I realized that I had not had a chance to eat or sleep at all in the past three days. It was then that I realized that I had been taken and walked on and forgotten and disregarded. It was really a quite shameful moment for me.

But it woke me up. And when I started to evaluate things -- like how many meals I had cooked and how rarely anybody ensured that I would get to taste them -- I began to understand how truly unhealthy my love for a parasite of a man had become.

I would like to say that I believe that time heals all wounds but I don't. I don't believe that. And I would like to say that I'm not bitter, but I am. I am bitter and hateful and not interested in forgiving just yet.

I haven't quite determined what God wants me to take from the past six years, but I am confident that today I am where God has instructed me to be. I prayed for guidance and this path was laid out before me, clear as day and free of bumps and forks in the road. Now I need to cast aside my bitterness and hate and let the God who saved me know my soul again...

I just don't know how.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

there's something to be said.

There is something to be said about independence.

For me, it is vital. My financial dependence on another human being was my ball and chain, my prison cell. My filthy house, my lack of self-esteem, my months of sleepless nights, the losing of myself...can all be accredited to my lack of financial independence.

And here I am, in the promised land, struggling to make ends meet. Counting pennies, praying that there will be food on the table tonight and shoes on their tiny feet. Every time I decide to have a more positive outlook there is another monster on my doorstep--today in the form of unexpected bill #332 since I moved here. This one for the holes in the walls of my old apartment, for the broken-down door, for the broken glass lampshades. A sick reminder that I made my bed and it is my responsibility alone to sleep in that damn bed, nightmare-ridden and far from morning.

I take responsibility for my situation. I blame nobody but myself. And because my own choices--regardless of my intentions when those choices were made--led me to this point, I will step up. I will pinch pennies. I will pray for small miracles. I will hold those babies like there is no tomorrow. And I will hold myself together. I might cry myself to sleep, I might lose it once in awhile, and I might forget how grateful I am to be here from time to time, but I will hold myself together.

It's natural to hate struggling, but I am building my strength and my love for myself. And to be honest, I take a strange pleasure in the struggle that is my life today. For nearly six years, I have begged the precious creator of my soul to give me loneliness. And I won't give it up without a fight.

Monday, March 9, 2009

interviewing alex

What is your favorite book? The Bible, my Jesus Book

What does your Bible look like? Jesus. Angels, yeah.

What’s your favorite color? Purple. My angel book is purple.

Who is your best friend? Mya. Mya and Daddy and Mommy.

Who is Mommy’s best friend? Mya.

How do you like to sleep? Good. I like to sleep good.

What makes you happy? Mya.

Are you a girl or a boy? Girl.

No, you’re a boy. Yeah, I’m a boy.

What’s your name? I’m AJ and I’m Alex.

What’s Mya’s name? Mya Crankypants Annalyse.

What’s Mommy’s name? Mommy Crankypants?

What’s Daddy’s name? Daddy Lon and Daddy Jesse. Me and Daddy want to go to work and you and Mya want to stay here.

When do you get in trouble? When Laura gets me in trouble.

Do you like answering my questions? Uh-huh.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

missing consistency

I miss him. Do I really? Or do I miss the consistency and being surrounded by my friends and family and being able to pretend I was happy with him when I wanted to be? Or do I miss being needed?

Tonight is a sobbing night. He ruined me…He took everything that was beautiful in me and he ruined it. He made me feel cheap, worthless, ugly, and ashamed. I loved him more than I have ever loved anybody…I loved him with every inch of my being. I loved him enough to overlook his faults…and there were so many. But I saw his heart, and I wanted to scoop him up and hold him and tell him everything would be okay. I wanted to give him children and love and stability and hope.

And he degraded me. Demeaned me. Insulted my intelligence. Disregarded my feelings and needs. Forgot me. He broke my things and he broke my heart and he broke me.
And now he is the one who is miserable and I pretend that I am happy in my new life. But I am not happy. Nobody has ever been more hateful or disrespectful to me in my entire life than the man I chose to give myself to, and yet his misery breaks my heart. I am not like him…I cannot watch him suffer at my hand.

Today is a hard day. I left everything behind. There is not a friend nearby…There is nobody. Just me and my tears and my regrets and my fears.

beautifully happy

Mya is a light in the darkness. She is resilient and beautifully happy and ignorant. Alex takes joy in her and I take joy in her. She is delightful, really.

Mya distracts both of us from our pain, from our confusion, our uncertainty. She demands our attention with her girlishness and simplicity. She warms our hearts when she giggles and breaks our hearts when she wails over silly things. She is Alex’s connection to the past—which was taken from him without warning. She is the only consistency in his life. And in mine.

daddy's black car

Alex is sad. He sobs in his sleep, crying out for Daddy and all that he represents. Consistency, the old life, his old friends, his Abuelita and Abuelito. He misses rides in Daddy’s black car that goes vroom vroom and drives fast. He misses crawling into Daddy’s bed in the middle of the night. He even misses McDonald’s.

In the moments when he is hopelessly sad, I desperately want to snuggle him into my lap, hold him close, and lie to him. I want to tell him that everything is going to be okay…That tomorrow the sun will rise on a new day and we’ll be happy again. I want to dry his tears and kiss his face and lie to him.

In the moments when his sadness is expressed as bitterness and anger toward me, I desperately want to grab him by the shoulders and look him in the eyes and tell him the truth. I want to ask him why he idolizes such an ugly man and what that man has given him that I have not. I want to tell him that his Daddy broke my heart and ruined my soul. I want to tell him that the man he worships is violent, lazy, selfish, and ignorant. Mostly, I want to tell him that his Mommy left her best friends, her family, and her job to give her babies a better life and that all she wants is to see him happy.

The truth is, I can’t. I can’t lie to Alex, and I can’t tell him the truth. Every night I hold him and we ask Jesus to help him understand, to help him feel my indescribable love, and to comfort his sorrowful soul.

I have it.

The years ahead of me will hold struggles, pain, confusion, and hope. Today I am where I have prayed to be for several years: I am single and safe.

My kids are playing happily across the room with toy cars and dinosaurs. They don't know my pain or my weakness, or my fears of inadequacy and failure. They don't know that I struggle just to put food in their tummies and gas in our car. They don't know that my heart aches and that I cry when they can't see. That I'm desperately lonely and terrifyingly afraid of not being lonely.

They don't know that it’s such an effort to show them the love that I feel in my heart. That my mind and my spirit are exhausted and it takes every inch of motivation in my being to love them up like they deserve to be loved.

They don't know that the simple things carry me from day to day. That the sloppy, hot-dog-littered kisses fill the emptiness in my soul. That the carefree giggles rising like music from their souls solidify my hope. They don't know that I live to see the rise and fall of their chests in their sleep, to witness the temper tantrums over spilled milk and failed attempts to tie shoes...They don't know that without them and their exhausting need for my love and attention, I am nothing.

All they know is that whether it be love, a dry diaper, a toy that’s out of reach, a hot lunch, or a sloppy kiss, when they need it, I have it.