I had a really nice blog post planned for you today. One with clear thoughts and pinnable graphics. A post similar to the ones that the other bloggers who have their shit together already published four days ago. (Gah! Not even a week into 2016, and I already feel behind!)
Instead, I am making this blog my therapist today. (Thankfully for my wallet, writing is my favorite form of therapy.)
So as I was saying, Blog Therapist, if I didn’t have so much on my mind lately, I’d probably be sharing with my readers 10 Ways to Organize Using Mason Jars. But when I tried writing that post, my brain’s response was, “Bitch, please.”
She gets like that, my brain. Very uncooperative. But she entered the New Year with a full load of heavy thoughts about touchy subjects that really need to be hashed out before she can move forward. In the meantime, the rest of me will continue walking around with this expression on my face:
Oh, I tried to be sneaky and pretend like life was business as usual, but it turns out that I need my brain for that function, too. Damn.
[Blog Therapist proceeds to ask me to describe these “touchy subjects” whicheth rollest around in thine head.]
I’ll try my best to keep my descriptions abridged. Here goes…
I’ve never wanted to be a mother. Ever. Like, ever-ever-ever. I LOVE my freedom.
But then Daddy died. And then Grandma died. And then suddenly I realized that family eventually runs out.
Last March, this realization and subsequent fear consumed me until I was finally ready to discuss a topic I’ve never allowed myself to talk about before: motherhood. Because what’s better than procreating to assure more family members?
Mr. Smith and I discussed the issue at length and decided to forego having our own baby and look into adoption. If we were to adopt, I knew I wanted a girl. And since I’m not so good with babies, perhaps a 9 year old or so? Yes! A 9 year old girl to bake cookies with and tuck into bed and carry on the same wonderful mother-daughter relationship my Momma and I share.
It all seemed so exciting for a month or two until the reality of the situation and the advice/opinions of others began pouring in:
- 9 years old? That’s way too old–they’ll have too many issues. Your best bet is to choose a baby or toddler.
- We don’t have health insurance. We can’t have a kid without health insurance!
- What if the girl doesn’t want to bake cookies? What if we never achieve a close mother-daughter relationship?
- What about school? Where will she go to school?
- Fire! I think I’m on fire!
Once the weight of the issue came, I’ll admit that I snapped in half like a tiny little twig. Thankfully, Mr. Smith and I allowed ourselves time to fully think and feel our way through this decision before taking any concrete steps forward. In other words, we had not contacted an agency or anything like that. All we did was check a book out of the library and talk about it.
Phew! Glad that’s over.
And then I went home for Christmas and met my niece’s baby:
Again, I am not a baby person. Even baby smell gives me the eebie jeebies.
But still. The love and energy and surge of good feelings that pulse through a family at the arrival of a new baby is intoxicating. I mean, just look at this photo of my aunt and uncle (another couple who have never had children) holding Baby Emma:
Holy cow. Just look at my uncle’s face. Gah! My heart is exploding over here!
This is what babies do. They give you the calm reassurance that the family line will carry on, that we will not all drop off like flies, that we will continue to move forward. Had I known that at 19, I’d probably have gotten pregnant without all this existential questioning and move on with my life.
(And here is where I start crying, Blog Therapist)
Meanwhile, the wonderful life that Mr. Smith and I have made for ourselves essentially ends with…us. As terrifying as diaper-changing and picking the right school and caring for another human being is, in the end, a baby gives you hope of a very special and unique relationship with someone YOU MADE! I mean, what happy couple wouldn’t jump at that chance?
And yet…I dunno. I just can’t be a mother. I’m not selfless or fearless or willing enough.
I mean, I crave the surge of closeness with family, but I live 7 hours away from family and we would eventually have to drive back home and care for the child without them. Impossible! In truth, I want all the warm, hopeful, non-empty feels that come with a baby but not the responsibility, not the reality. And no baby deserves a one-foot-in mother.
Last night I had a dream that I did in fact have a baby and needed to pick it up from the hospital. (Because apparently I left without it?) But the road to the hospital turned into a roller coaster ride around this tall, steep mountain.
And that dream, my friends, is the best and most accurate description of my thoughts and feelings on Motherhood currently.
(Thank you to anyone who is still reading at this point.)
Following closely behind motherhood is death.
When I was a deeply religious person (next touchy subject) death didn’t scare me. Back then, death meant a ticket to Narnia where I’d float around with Jesus and family and every pet I’d ever loved. Now I believe that death is the end; that this life on earth is all we have and then, when it’s over,…nothing.
Honestly, I’m not really thrilled with this belief. I mean, it’s depressing as hell (no pun intended), but in the same breath it’s also inspiring. Carpe diem and all that. Still, if I could choose, I’d pick Narnia, hands down. But what if Narnia is smoke in mirrors like so many other empty promises religion has made? But that’s for the next subject.
ANYWAY, this touchy subject is fear of death. Mostly a fear of losing family members and (say it!) losing my Momma.
(Shit, now I’m crying again.)
Back in May, after a lovely visit with my family, I returned home where I was instantly struck with the fear that my Momma would die before I saw her again.
I know. It’s a stupid, dramatic, horrible, AWFUL fear to have, but the thought literally stuck me like lightning from the sky. For days I sobbed until finally, the fear passed.
Three weeks ago, the thought struck me again, and I was no more prepared for it the second time. You cannot imagine the relief I felt to see Momma over Christmas.
And then, last week, the thought struck again. I’m still reeling.
Lately, it seems like death can take you at any minute, whether you’re healthy or not. The terrorist attacks and violence everywhere only bolsters this reality. Sometimes, humanity looks so strong and invincible, but lately, it looks as weak and as vulnerable as tissue paper.
Do I need to be on medication, Blog Therapist? Is this a normal fear? I’m on the verge of tears every day and can’t live constantly afraid like this anymore.
Also, is there a longevity pill I can give to all my loved ones?
LOSING MY RELIGION
4 years ago, Mr. Smith and I walked away from the nightmare that was church. I speak for myself when I say that I also walked away from religion and the Bible. So far, these things have done nothing but create conflict and pain in my life.
Amazingly enough, I have not burst into flames or found myself at the mercy of the Devil after this choice. Instead, I find myself able to move forward in areas that I felt too guilty or oppressed to move forward in before. Life is full of hope and opportunity, and I no longer have to wait around for some voice to tell me: “It is Thy will.”
My relationship with religion/church/God/whatever has always been a pendulum swing. In my teens and 20’s, I was high on the holier-than-thou side and wound up hurting a lot of people. I was like an alcoholic running around punching people with the Bible. (I’ve since called a lot of folks and apologized. Kinda like an alcoholic does in Step 8.)
Then I received my own 11 year’s worth of punches to the face and am now swinging high on the opposite side of the pendulum. The side that’s still warm from George Carlin’s butt.
I’ve seen a lot of little quotes floating around social media that address “church hurt.” Overall, their message is that the victims brought it on themselves because they put too much faith in people instead of God. I call BULL SHIT. Perhaps the victims were trying really hard to hear God’s voice and have faith in Him, and in that vulnerability they were taken advantage of by manipulative, prideful people.
Still, I’m not going to lie that people bruised my faith in God. The whole church charade became as confusing as a big, fat Calculus equation, and I always sucked at Calculus. Who is God? No clue. Did Jesus raise from the dead? I wasn’t there. Do I want to go to your super-awesome church? No, thanks. Do I still read the Bible? No, it only frustrates and confuses me more.
Since religion has always played an important role in my family, walking away from it made me feel like I was a bird leaving the nest for the first time. For a while I felt like I was going to crash but the words “God” and “Faith” and “Bible” weren’t helping to supply any wind to my wings. Instead, they were like a burden that pulled me down fast.
Thankfully, I’ve since discovered two words that actually DO lift my wings and they are:
- Love. Now THAT is a word that means something. A hug or outstretched hand I understand.
- Nature. A sunset, the ocean, a flower–wow! There truly is a greater power at work here.
On the other hand, words pertaining to buildings, books and faith in names cause me to draw a blank. They hit fallow ground with a thud.
Despite the pain and anger that is still fresh whenever I think about the years we gave to faith/church/God/whatever, I hope to find the center of this pendulum swing soon. Being high on the angry side is just as damaging as being high on the holy side.
Wow. I feel so much better now. Thank you, Blog Therapist.
I shared all of this today because:
- My brain would not let me move forward until I did.
- You may feel stuck on some of these same touchy subjects and feel just as lost. You’re not alone. Wanna hold hands?
Thank you again to any readers who are still reading at this point. You were my ear when I needed it, and if you ever need the favor returned, you know where to contact me.
Here’s to conquering the world and making cutesy stuff and tasty food ANOTHER DAY.
Today, it’s time to just be.