When Mother’s Day isn’t Joyous

Mother’s Day is a day that many families celebrate to honor the special mother in their life. A day set aside for the women who have chosen a life of raising a family, sacrificing bits and pieces of themselves for a child. A day when little pattering feet are heard in the early morning hours and soon sweet little voices fill the room with Happy Mother’s Day, followed by homemade cards and sometimes seven breakfast in bed.

But Mother’s Day is also a day that many families mourn. It’s the day that the woman who desperately wants to hold the mother title but life has not enabled her that precious gift. Who has tried for so long and wants nothing more than to hold a sweet baby in her arms but realizes again on Mother’s Day that she may never have that opportunity. A day when she feels empty and realizes that she may never have the chance to fill the void.

It’s the day that the young mother wakes up and just like so many days before walks to the room that now remains empty of the child she once had but has lost due to illness or tragedy. For her Mother’s Day is a day of grief. A day when old wounds break open for the millionth time and she suddenly remembers that she no longer has the title of mother. That for her, that chapter is closed.

For me, it is a day of mixed emotions. It is a happy day where I have the privilege to wear the mother title while my children send me happy thoughts and well wishes followed with thank you’s for the sacrifices I have made and the opportunities I have supplied them with in life. It is also the day that I grieve for the loss of my own mother. A day that reminds me once again that I no longer have the privilege, that many take for granted, of picking up the phone and telling my mother that I love her. Or to tell her how grateful I am for the life that she provided me with.

But for me, like so many, it is not a day full of joy. It is a day when the sadness hits in waves and takes your breath away. It’s a day when you are amazingly thankful for being able to wear the title of mother, but it is also the day when you weep in private and you feel like someone has knocked the air out of you.

Mother’s Day will fill social media with smiling kids and frazzled mothers, but just know that somewhere a woman is grieving the child she will never have.  A mother is mourning the child that was taken too soon from her arms and a child, whether young or old, is relying on the memories to suffice enough to make it through one more Mother’s Day.

So on this Mother’s  Day I ask you to take one moment out of your happy day and send a prayer of peace and comfort for the ones whose day is filled with loss and grief.

 

Feminist or Not?

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We all have skeletons in our past. Some of us try tremendously harder than others to keep them buried in the back of the closet, behind our high school prom dresses, jeans we swear we will fit in again someday and shoes that we knew would never see the light of day, yet they looked so cute in the display window.

Those are the skeletons that have the most significant impact when they finally surface.

As women today, there is a massive push for feminism. Believe me; I am all for “show the boobs,” “equality for women,” “yes, you better pay me as much as you pay the man beside me with the same qualifications.” However, I am also the woman who enjoys cleaning the house and having dinner ready for my family, baking pies from scratch, so my husband will post a picture to Instagram, and even allowing myself to come second in our relationship at times.

Does that make me a June Cleaver? A Stepford Wife? An Anti-feminist?

The answer is, not at all. It is because of those qualities that make me an equal to my spouse because when I am not cooking and cleaning for my family, he is. When I am not baking pies, it is because I don’t want to, and when I am not coming in second in our relationship, it is because I am first.

However, when do I need to take a stand for my gender?

When do I need to allow the skeletons to reveal themselves?

Are my skeletons going to cause more harm than good?

Moreover, are my motives all about feminism?

Right now, in our society, we have a major political spectacle going on, and I must ask myself why? I have tried to keep quiet and allow myself to fester with my own opinions, but my voice was demanding to be heard.
Maybe I am a feminist after all.

We have a very well-educated woman who is accusing a very well-educated and politically involved man of sexual assault when she was fifteen years old. I will be honest; I do not know who is telling the truth. We have a classic debate of “he said,” “she said,” and we will probably never know the whole truth unless one party decides to break.

You might be saying, “Well, if you were a true feminist you would believe the woman.”

Which I would answer, “Really, and why is that?” “Is it because I am a woman and I should stand with my gender?”, alternatively, “I guess I should stand behind this woman because as women we have never stretched to the truth ever, right?”

See I do not base my ideas, theories or opinions on gender, nor race, or sexual orientation. I find my thoughts and conclusions on morals, values, respect, and compassion.

I refuse to believe a woman that technically doesn’t seem to recall much about the “incident” or “misconduct” just because she is a woman, because let me tell you another story of sexual misconduct.

I was eighteen years old, naive young thing, living in a small town where there weren’t many people you didn’t know. I was not very confident in myself, plump was an understatement, but I did enjoy flirting with my guy friends. One day I went to one of those friend’s house to hang out. We were watching tv and looking at a magazine about car stereos because I was interested in getting a new one, (It was the 90’s the decade of low-riders, and loud bass systems, no judgment) when my friend asked me to come to his room to show me something. Now I will admit two things right here; first, I do not remember what he wanted to show me, and second, I was stupid to fall for that line.

When I walked in the room, he closed the door behind me and locked it. I panicked. He then took it upon himself to grab and start kissing me forcefully. The next thing I know we are on the bed, and he is trying to undress me, and I am saying no. At some point, I apparently made my point to him, and as soon as he let up just a tad, I jumped up, ran to the door, and got out of that house as fast as I could. I remember driving there, the sun shining and it being hot. I remember leaving there, the same as when I arrived. There may be a few moments that I don’t recall, but I do know the big events. I know who it was, where it was, and how it happened. I also know how I arrived and how I left. I was lucky.

The outcome could have been so much worse for me, as for many other women, but I do not feel I was sexually assaulted. I think that I was a victim of misconduct, a situation that could have resulted in sexual assault, but I do not own that title.

That title is saved for all the victims that didn’t have a voice, who wasn’t able to fight off their perpetrator, those who were afraid for their lives and for their innocence being taken from them.

NO, I will not allow myself to use their title, and neither should you. In fact, until this whole political spectacle, this was not an event I spoke of out loud. Not because I had blocked it from my mind, but because I was not a victim of a teenage boy raging hormones. Maybe I should have spoken out about it when it happened to ensure that it didn’t occur to anyone else, but the thing is, I knew it was just teenage hormones, not a man who was out to rape and violate me. So there is no reason to name names now unless I want to destroy his reputation, his marriage, and his family, which I do not.

So, no, I will not believe the woman just because I am a fellow woman. Maybe that does make me anti-feminist, but this I know, Eve deceived Adam in the garden and we have followed suit ever since.

a madness silenced:Persephone’s Daughters Lit Mag Contribution

I am so honored that my piece “a madness silenced” was chosen for issue 5 of Persephone’s Daughters, a lit magazine dedicated to empowering women who have experienced various forms of abuse and degradation.

As I was creating “a madness silenced”, I was consumed with how often we allow others to dictate our voice. How through times of abuse, degradation and even your own personal turmoil we create a madness inside of us and we silence our voice from speaking up instead of silencing the madness that is filling our soul.

We have to learn that if we silence the madness inside of us, then we have the freedom for our voices to be heard allowing us to heal, or grow depending on the situation, or maybe both.

We don’t have to let the madness drown us, we can rise above together.

a madness silenced

silent screams but no one

listens

paired with icy fingers no one

holds

while fear squeezes my lungs of

air

and momentarily pauses of breath

increase

to lingering minutes on the

wall

causing a burning need for survival

inside

leaving my mind faultless of

warning

from the madness overtaking my life’s

failures

until trembling limbs descend into

darkness

and the indifference to my suffering is

silenced

#litmag #poetry #empoweringwomen #persephonesdaughters #abuse #degradation #womenempowerment

Hello, It’s Me Again!

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Hello, it’s me again.
Sorry, I have been away, but sometimes you just have to take a sabbatical from yourself.
I know, I know that sounds like the most ludicrous thing ever, buts it’s true.
I have spent the past several months on a social media sabbatical, and even a sabbatical from my own writing to the world. During this time I have still been writing but just not sharing with everyone. I needed some time to write out my thoughts and feelings to find my direction again.
It’s been good the past 6 months. It’s helped me focus on what my next steps are and write some incredible poetry, some that I will share that has been published, and just find me again.
But it’s time to engage with the world again and I look forward to all it brings.