When I’m feeling emotionally fragile, I have to stay away from ghost stories.
All of my ghosts are officially and literally dead (not to be crude, but literally IS overused these days).
My ghosts either died from the same disease which did NOT kill me (on two separate long, protracted, physically and emotionally excruciating occasions) or they never emerged from my Hostile Womb to live in the first place.
As far as ghosts go, I’d describe MY ghosts in the Letter R: Ruthless, Relentless, and “Regular as Right-from-left Remembering.”
If not for their innocence, they would ALL be considered throughly villainous.
Mother’s Day is always hard for me, as are most holidays. Especially since the Joy of these occasions is multiplied by Loved Ones, and I have so Few left to Love.
Mother’s Day is a Double-Whammy because, even though we’ve all HAD Mothers, we’ve not all BEEN Mothers. And folks tend to forget that on Mother’s Day. Or at least they did when I went to church every Sunday. All those red roses handed out to Mothers? After YET another failed IVF or miscarriage? I recall Sundays as a Funhouse Mirror, distorting and exaggerating all I didn’t have.
Even Fathers Day is Still Bad, what with the ABUNDANCE of Horizontal and Vertical departures – at least on THIS runway. Yet somehow I’m always Left holding the bags.
I’m not saying “Bah Humbug” to Mother’s Day and ALL Holidays FOREVER. I suppose. What I am saying is that Holidays are just Regular Days now, remarkable only by the EXTRA Heaping of Grief they serve up.
Too frequently, I feel like I’m stuck on an underwater tree limb, the Rest of Humanity and Vitality having swum past Me DECADES ago. And taking no discernible note of my Dilemma.
Yet I persist in floundering my way into circles around that damned tree branch, idiotically thinking I can catch up.
It first fucked me in Childhood by preventing me from developing healthy coping skills (parents didn’t fret over their kids’ feelings too much back then).
I was DOUBLE-fucked because I needed those coping skills to weather the unspeakable horrors and tragedies Adulthood had in store for me.
Some time after aged 30, during 15 years of 15 major surgeries and Plenty Of Other Crap, I began coping the only way that worked for me: chemically.
I found I needed pain and anxiety medication to get through the day. Both ANY DAY and EVERY DAY.
This always serves as the Official Reason People Who Gave Up On Me give for Giving Up On Me. I honestly don’t think I was that bad, but I wasn’t around for most of it. I was too numb.
Yet, with no Outer Pressure and DESPITE having minimal coping skills and a practically-nonexistent support system, I threw a giant cosmic wrench at myself. For no reason whatsoever, I chose to resort to my Chemical Coping Skills ONLY when they were desperately needed. Which is practically never, much to my own shock!
This choice has delivered me to Emergency Rooms on numerous occasions, certain I was in the middle of a stroke or heart attack, so great is my pain, anxiety, and nausea from both.
Remarkably almost-sober (don’t take my cannabis away from me; it helps with the nausea!), my thoughts often scare the ever-living shit out of me.
I personally find this ridiculous journey upon which I have embarked an extremely courageous one all the same.
I now Actively Disappoint rather than just Passively. Maybe you have to have been on a Similar Journey to understand what this means, but I think it means “I’m proud of myself❣️”
So Folks Who Want To Vilify Me: Stand in Line.
The person suspiciously ABSENT from that line will be ME.
Death claims all the Victory In this life given to me. It owns the very parts of Me Which mingled with One’s chemistry To build a brand new entity, Just to have him ripped from me.
Who was the enemy? My own womb, specifically Betrayed us all, ejecting This tiny piece of Humanity. Scrap to you? Not to me.
I still ache longingly To nurse and cradle this piece to me. Twenty years and constant suffering, More Death than Life if you ask me Since his and fellow siblings’ lives Were deemed by Someone “Not to Be.” And Mother never made of me.
What rules for such a Tragedy? No One knew, apparently. All Baby Bumps avoided me, As if my full-term “inability To carry” An unspeakable disease Which could be passed contagiously.
Alone, I bear their Memories; Always My Responsibility. Now I’ve become too fatigued To honor them effectively; They only Live in Memory.
I’m not too proud to beg your sympathy. I’ll even make this plea upon my knees: Would you be willing, Momentarily, To hold my children in YOUR hearts So I can breathe?
I feel like Death is chasing me That’s why I feel an urgency To document for all to read My poems, my only legacy I don’t write for Posterity No child survived or got to breathe All were crushed quite brutally Deep within the dark and mean Womb that used to live in me
When I was a girl I wanted to play house. I thought of the day I’d be mother and spouse. I’d picked out the names of my children with care. I had it all planned out and no detail was spared. So I must admit it was a surprise When I hit my 30s with no eligible guys. Then I came across Jeff at aged thirty-three, I was sure he was the one God had chosen for me. He came as a package with three very young daughters I loved them at once; I soon was besotted. The reverse situation however was tough: They liked me somewhat, they liked me enough But their passion for their mom trumped any feeling Towards me and always left my heart a’reeling. The only situation that I could see Was to add my own baby to this family. So this became our Priority Number One, And oh, how I wanted to give Jeff a son! Learning each time that I was with child Gave me great joy and an indelible smile. But even though God said to multiply Each baby in Me was unable to survive. I lost my three babies before they developed. The grief of their leaving completely enveloped Me, so broken, so full of despair: I carried a burden that Jeff didn’t share. We moved to high-tech, it was fully insured. Needles, injections, and hormones to endure. And “beautiful embryos” all said that we made. The problem, again, they weren’t able to stay. My womb I was sure was completely defective, We then found ourselves a conception detective. Four surgeries I underwent to improve Our chances of adding to the Wilson Brood. At this point in time I thought of all options. I seriously thought our hopes lay in adoption. With sadness I learned Jeff rejected this way: “It costs too much money,” is all he would say. This final misfortune - it caused me to break; Deep down inside me lived constant heartache. Then cancer thrust nail through the motherhood coffin, Forcing me to give up what I’d wished for so often. The dream I had nurtured above any other: The dream that one day I’d be somebody’s mother.
Where were you when Death was standing over me, holding my life in His hands? Where were you when I pulled the car I was driving over to vomit up the chemotherapy I had just been infused with through a device inserted under the skin into a vein leading directly to my heart? All thirteen times? Where were you when cold hands directed my torso into precise locations underneath terrifyingly large machines that emitted radioactive beams into my body? All thirty-three times? Where were you when I was so crippled by pain, I actually lost consciousness? Where were you when I had all of my reproductive organs removed the week I turned 40, plunging me into overnight menopause? Where were you when I had to measure the hourly output of three drains sewn into my body after an 8-hour surgery to remove both of my breasts because of a second occurrence of breast cancer when I was a 45 year-old divorcee? Where were you when I miscarried a perfectly beautiful baby, not a piece of tissue, onto the tile of my bathroom floor; with no alternative but to flush it down the toilet? Where were you when I spent 4 days in the cardiac ICU because my organs were shutting down; Death showing up again just to toy with me? Where were you when I was betrayed; abandoned and alone; heartbroken; lost; torn to shreds by the ruthlessness and relentlessness of grief?
Were you by my side? Did you SEE how I suffered? I didn’t think so. Yet somehow you feel qualified to judge how I survived. The “How” is none of your business. You should be happy “That” I survived at all. Many far better than I did not. You may see me as Damaged Goods. But let me tell you something:
I’m a SURVIVOR and I will never be ashamed of my scars or my wounds or my choices. They are mine and no one else’s, and if you do not like them, please see yourself out. Effective immediately.
For those of you who were present AND supportive for ANY of the above, thank you from the absolute core of my heart. I love you dearly. ❤️🩹