Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Popeye's Fried Chicken on 125th. smells like it needs antibiotics.

Friday, January 27, 2012

42. Just like 24 but waaaay better

Today is my birthday. It's 11:29 AM and I am sipping a coffee with Bailey's in it.

This day is already a major, major success: I woke up early and happy and free of random aches and pains. I made coffee, took a shower and found beautiful, hand-made jewelry from Ruby strewn across my pillow.

Lincoln, new haircut and all, RAN into school holding my left hand in his and clutching a note pad and pencil with his other, delicate, strong and glorious appendage.

PJ looked me in the eyes while we waited for the bus as I held her elfin cheeks and told her she was my best present every single day. I love you, mama. She said. Yes, girl. Yes, indeed. I love you, too.

Tonight I get wined and dined and very likely exquisitely laid by my incredible husband.

My belly flabbs and my eyes do puff. My vision sucks and my chin hairs rage. But today? I couldn't care less. It's probably the Bailey's, but I don't care about that either.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

For better or worse. I get it.

Let me get this straight, do you want me here?
As I struggle through each and every year.
And all these demons, they keep me up all night.

Uhm. I'm kind of a handful these days. The effort I am making to clear out my ghosts, to look fondly at my faults, to live in (not around) my emotions is baking up a not so tasty cake for the people around me... ok, for my husband. Let's face it, he's the right and only man for the job and he loves the way I cook, even when I'm cooking "crazy".

I fell in love with him for a lot of reasons but the one that I tell most people about, because it's so beautiful and rare and incredible is that he wants to change! He wants to be better and he wants to settle in to the good parts when he finds them. He's not perfect and he gets on my nerves and... he, he sees me. He knows me and he loves me anyway. And I'm pretty sure he's going to for a really long time and when that time is here, we'll remember right now in the best possible light; because that's just the kind of man he is.

(and just so you don't get jealous that i'm all sitting in my bed with a glass of malbec and a wistful look in my eye: this whole time Lincoln was crawling all over me going "wheeee, wheee, wheee in this deep, guttural voice and then he straddled my lap and drooled into my cleavage.)

Friday, January 20, 2012

She is her father's daughter: Every night that Chris has been away and Penelope has slept with me, she's gone to bed with socks on. And every morning, I find them balled up at the bottom of the bed.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

She married him. Twice.

A lot of people in my family thought (think?) that my wicked step-father "messed with me" or "had something to do" with me. He didn't. Other than punching me, stabbing at me with a pocket knife and shaking me like a busted candy machine, he never laid a hand (or anything else)on me.

He did get drunk a lot and hit on my friends, though. That was fun. Once, he slipped and fell on the ice outside of our house trying to get one of my friends to not drive home. We DIED! Watching his pathetic ass fly up in the air and crack on the solid ground, our eyes meeting over his splayed form. She got in the car and I ran to the room, both of us knowing that if either of us got caught laughing at him, I'd be screwed.

He was a beast and he scared me so much. He threw chairs at my brother and told me how great it was having sex with my mother. He wore shiny, cordovan leather boots and always, always had his shirt tucked into his slacks with a coordinating belt. Always. I mean, unless he was sitting around in his underwear, his boxers billowing around his hips and me hoping, praying the tiny mouth of penis-hole fabric stayed shut and I wouldn't see it.

When he punched me in the face (I don't know the season, time of day... when I think back on it, what the memory feels like is that I was on a soundstage in the middle of nothing. I was in a paneled room with shitty carpeting and an encroaching roof. There is no time, no time frame for me to reference. It just happened) I couldn't believe it. He fucking hit me! HE HIT ME! HARD! And then, I was in more trouble because I made him do it and I made my mother upset because I made him do it.

It was the longest punch in the universe. It lasted the entire 16th, 17th & 18th years of my life (until another, different prick decided it was OK to hit me)

That same insane few days was when he pulled a small jack-knife out of his pocket and jabbed it at my hands as I sat at the kitchen table. He got me a few times. My mother did nothing to stop any of this. I am a small person, I was even smaller then. I needed help. What I got was hell.

Intertwined with these memories are the memories of the boy I was in love with when all this was happening. He was why all this was happening... He was handsome and funny and smart and he had an older girlfriend for like 4 years so by the time I came around, he was pretty clear on what to do for the ladies. We never had sex back then but that summer he would sneak in my bedroom window at 4 in the morning and make me feel like the only girl in the world. He'd tell me I was beautiful while he kissed and held and touched me. He was good and what we were doing was perfect until it wasn't. Until I was given front row seats to the madness of that man.

Untangling my glorious sexual beginnings from insane physical & emotional abuse has been... difficult.

When the beast found out I had a boyfriend (and that he had me; in the palm of his hand) he went wild. WILD. He drank and stalked and left his job and lost his fucking mind.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because I have this really terrible relationship with anger. Everything I know about it I learned from very damaged people. I learned that pleasure and shame share very small spaces with one another. I learned that anger means IT'S YOUR FAULT and when it surfaces it's my job to mop it up... with my guts.

I am asking for help again. And I'm getting it (in does I'm able choke down). Please tell me it gets easier to feel good.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Do you see what I see?

Have you seen the video of the Autistic girl who learns to type to communicate? It cemented some thoughts for me, internet.

Many of you have heard me rail against typical therapies for atypical people. The goal of therapy must be to help the individual, to exploit their gifts and talents, not to make them more "table ready" for society.

My son is smart. He's funny and musically talented. He's emotional and expressive. He can learn. He just doesn't go about life the same way the rest of us do. And therein lies the huge fucking problem.

I believe we are going about this the wrong way. Carly, the teenaged girl who speaks through her keyboard and my sweet son and all the rest of you incredible people should not be IQ tested. Should not be asked to do things the way typicals do them. Should not be held to the same standards of behavior or social rules.

We need to meet them, not force them to catch up or worse, leave them behind. We need to think like them, they don't need to think like us.

I'm not quite finished with this... There will be letters written and videos made. There will be loud speeches and pontifications. There will be some hell raised.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Did you know that Lincoln puts himself to bed? That his new routine, that our new life, means he PUTS HIMSELF TO BED?

He did it the first time a few months ago, a fluke. Busy night, lots of friends and a tired, tired baby: We found him under his duvet snoring like a sailor.

About a month ago, the hot husband mounted a TV on the wall of Link's room and it has transformed our lives. Now, around 9PM we put on a movie and put the boy in his awesome robot chair. At some point, he crawls into bed and falls asleep like the most amazing magic trick in the whole universe.

He sleeps, damnit. He sleeps and we all are finally, finally breathing easy. Well... easier.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

more and more layers

Another me would have done the math in an entirely different way. Would have calculated the worth of this day in more concrete terms than the now me; the right-this-very-second-me.

A successful passing of time would be measured by what I did, what I got done.

Today, this right-here-me, can tell you that THIS DAY was and is still wonderful and amazing because of how I feel. And this feeling of 'complete' that I feel, the wholeness I am experiencing is thick like homemade frosting and just as sweet.

Today we curled hair, painted toes, tickled, giggled, ate pizza, watched movies, drank juice and celebrated with friends.

Today we, 'I' feel love.

...that only a mother could love

Yes. YES. YES! I know. I know that Lincoln and Penelope LOOK EXACTLY ALIKE. I know. My genotype/phenotype twins born four years apart.

They are beautiful children. Breathtaking, ethereal; almost impossible to define. They are photogenic. They light up a room. They are so unlike any people I have ever met and they are so like themselves.

My impossible, magical babies. Yes, I know.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

looking for the brilliance in the grey zone

Guess what? I flew off the handle and I didn't break my life.

Nevertheless, it isn't the way to go (going all crazy). And guess what? My emotional life isn't cool-calm collected OR One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Guess what? There aren't just two choices...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Out of the mouths...

I had some time to waste in the city today before my appointment and instead of shopping (again) I decided to just walk around. It was about 4:30 and the streets were teeming, teeming with children and their caregivers. Like, I couldn't walk half a block without moving for a stroller or getting whacked in the ankles with a wee-little back-pack.

Maybe because I didn't have the supreme focus of HUNTER GATHERER today and I was just there, just walking, that I noticed the kids so acutely. But day-um! Their sweet voices! Their steady gaits! Their intent looks to their mothers, their nannies... Their voices.

Their voices just about fucking killed me today. I want a toddler who talks in sing-song-y tones. One who mis-pronounces things while trying to explain very complicated thoughts.

Today I was overcome with the sadness that I will never hear Lincoln's delicate baby voice say more than 2 or three words at a time. I want that. So bad.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Go ahead, ask me

As a know-it-all, I mostly get through my days just fine. No annoying questioning of my choices or actions.

I have always been a know-it-all, too. Just ask my brother, the one who'd push me down a flight of stairs for being "smart" aka "calling him a dick".

But now, knocking on the door of my 42nd birthday, I am finally realizing that this is just another one of my shields. Another layer of protection. And worse? It's cracking and it has to get knocked down with all of my other brilliantly designed (if I do say so myself) facades.

This in no way demeans my SMARTEST PERSON IN THE ROOM status, by the way. I still *do* know pretty much everything, but I'm going to try to own it more and not make all of you buy it. Get it?

Friday, January 6, 2012


While the hot husband is away for the NEXT THREE WEEKS, I will have the pleasure of sharing my bed with the wee Penelope, she of the champion snuggle-tude.

Her body is so small, tight, lean, warm, soft and fragile. Her tiny breathtakingly beautiful face with lips that ooze pink vitality framed by wispy locks the same exact color as her dad's is enough to make me cry when I see it sound asleep next to me.

Penelope has Fragile X, too. We found out about a month ago. PJ. My delicate, precious, emotional boiling pot of fierce love and affection has Fragile X.

We suspected. We waited. We knew but we didn't want to know.

The years she spent stuck to me. Her yelling, screaming years. Her ever present separation anxiety, her volatility. My worry, my husband's worry for this child's psyche... all explained yet again by the dangling little leg off of the X chromosome I gave her.

Before diagnosis, we made a pact to handle her more carefully, to give the smallest girl in the room, the most space we could. It's working. She's more at ease, we are reveling in her company. She deserves it; my lovely Penelope.

It's 11:05 in the morning and I can't believe it's another 10 hours till I get to have the littlest elf of all cozied up in her mama's arms under the covers in the safest place on earth.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I spent $22 on one lipgloss today. A really incredible lipgloss. A lipgloss that I deserve and that I didn't realize the price of till I got to the counter and handed it over along with the $12 lip balm I impulse purchased while waiting on-line.

This is very much what some of my life is like. I was in NYC for a few hours and I got a coffee at Starbucks, got a birthday gift for my friend's kid. I also saw my therapist.

For fucks-sake it is so hard. So bloody painful. Today I thought I had a story to tell that I believed would convey a certain set of emotional conventions that would explain how well I'd been ingesting the sage advice I'd been receiving over the past month or so. That's when he told me that my vocabulary, though impressive, wasn't worth much in my therapy space. That all my fancy words were keeping me from, from... from FUCKING WHAT?!?

From my emotions. Those bastardy things again. While I kept driving to tell my story he kept stopping me to try to get me to dig in on myself and get dirty. But I won! Ha! I only cried a teeny, tiny leeetle bit. Guess what? Turns out that means I Lost. I lost at therapy today. Good thing I had already won at lipgloss or I would have been really pissed.