August 25, 2008

Oh no

For the first time in my life, I really and truly feel my immortality and that life is, as they say, short. I sometimes wish I could go back in time and do things differently. I know I am not alone in this fantasy, but perhaps I am unique in the things I would change. I would not alter the course of my life by marrying someone else or studying for the SAT. No, I would enjoy each and every cigarette that I carelessly and obliviously choked down as a teenager. I would perhaps feel less guilty about doing the things I did and maybe even do a bit more of it, now that I know no one really cares about my virginity except my parents.

I would definitely take advantage of my 17 year old body and skin. Indeed, I might even take a turn as the school slut. After all, didn't she always look happy and carefree? I mean, I didn't do anything of note in high school and I still don't have my high school friends or any type of nice reputation.

I don't get the do-over. None of us do. But, I can change it now. I will not feel guilty for sleeping late or spending 6 days solid engrossed in the Twilight Series books. I will relish every minute with my son. I will not look down red-faced when a handsome man at Taco Tico stares at me. I will stand up straight and smile right back.

I will be smart, wickedly and painfully smart whenever I can. I will not dumb down to make someone else feel more comfortable. I will let my kid eat his desert first. I might, I just might do what I want to do and take a year off of work and write the novel that has been rolling around in my head for the past 15 years. Life is short, oh so short, and I don't want to waste any more of it on fear and shame. I want to walk high and embrace every bit of it.

But, yet, sounds so easy when I write about it, but where is my net?

August 13, 2008

Close your eyes and you will disappear

I grew up being told I was wrong, that what I saw or thought or felt wasn’t real or right or true. I remember my mother telling me one day, as I was crying to her about my Dad yelling at me, that in fact my father was not yelling at me, he just had a loud voice. I knew at that moment, at the age of 7, that I would one day write my memoirs and I would entitle this brilliant tome, “Your Father’s Not Yelling at You, He Just Has a Loud Voice.”

My mother was a beautiful and kind woman. She only wanted to preserve the peace she worked so hard to achieve. She grew up in an alcoholic household. Her father was a drunk and her mother I am sure was only steps behind, her own drinking labeled “social” or “expected” when compared to her husband’s.

I do not fault my mother or my father…it is too late in the day to place blame on anyone else for my failures as an adult. People do their best and inevitably falter and fall. My mother wanted nothing but security for her children and a place to call home. My father gave her that and more. But she was accustomed to walking on egg shells and quietly trying to control the burgeoning anger steeping beneath my father’s heavy footsteps and muttered criticisms. No doubt it all reminded her of her own youth and her vain attempts to fix the relationship between her own parents.

She admitted to me, one day, in my kitchen, that by staying with my father she did the right thing for her children…except for me. I was too intuitive and knew something was wrong. Despite her denials and scoffs, I saw everything for what it really was. I looked behind the curtain and the emperor was indeed naked as a jaybird. This sixth sense is as natural to me as breathing in and out, yet I deny it and question it as one would a third arm.

And now, when my husband tells me no, that I am wrong, that he is not doing those things I say he is, I feel again like I am 7 years old. I have tears in my eyes, my tiny fists balled in rage and fear. I desperately want a trusted soul to say, you are right, what you see is real, trust your voice, and speak your truth. But that never comes and I am left with the shame and the self-loathing and the wish that the voice inside me would just shut up.