Where Are You Going?

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” ― Albert Einstein

What a month this has been. Not even half way through June, and so much has happened, is happening, will happen!

My 19 year old son is on the cusp of graduating! I’m so proud of him. He has FASD. If you don’t know what that is, it’s Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. His birth mother drank while pregnant, causing a great many neurological issues for my sweet boy. That said, he has constantly strived for what he wants. The past week alone he has past his learner’s driving test (YES!) and will finally graduate with his GED that he worked so hard to get. He even has full time work on a farm. To say this momma is proud would be an understatement. I can’t take the credit though. He has been staying with a caregiver who is trained in assisting those with issues like my son’s. She has been my super hero, a guardian angel that swooped in and made life so much better for all of us. My son’s mind is active, he is constantly thinking of what he wants to do with his life, how he wants to do it, where he wants to go, and so on. He has a huge heart, and his spirit shines so bright.

In other news, my parrotlet, Kalypso, has started laying eggs! My budgie, Pi, has become her mate/guardian and even injured himself trying to keep me away. Oh my. The eggs will not be fertile, budgies and parrotlets are from two very different genera. If you’d like to see a little video of them, feel free to head over to my Instagram (link on the sidebar). They are so adorable. The eggs will remain until about 20 days after the last one is laid. If I remove them any sooner, it will cause Kalypso to lay more, and that could be very harmful to her. Parrotlets can lay up to 8 eggs every other day in one breeding season!

Schools almost over for my youngest. He’s so excited to start summer, and we are so fortunate for our lives.

This, then, brings me to a very important current happening, something that needs to be talked about.

Many people in Canada, and around the World, were shocked to hear of the discover of 215 children at a former Residential School. Some calling it a dark part of Canada’s history. What a load of shit. The last Residential school closed in 1996. I graduated in 1992. I graduated university in 1997. I grew up knowing how horrible these children were treated. I don’t know if it’s because of where I was raised of my family dynamic, or that I had friends and loved ones who are First Nations. Maybe a combination of all those and the fact that I have a thirst for knowledge.

My mom’s family (as mentioned in the previous post) is Acadian from Northern New Brunswick. I’m not going to paint it with rainbows and fairy dust, but for the most part I grew up hearing how wonderful First Nations treated Acadians, especially during the horror of the deportations by the English (we know we have family that were separated from us, but we don’t know where they ended up).

My dad’s family is Welsh. My grandparents immigrated to Ontario around 1938/39. My dad’s oldest brother was born in Wales, followed by my dad who was born in Canada. If you don’t know the history of the Welsh, let’s just say the English treated them just as good as they did the Acadians and for centuries longer. The Welsh weren’t allowed to speak their own language, it’s amazing it has survived and now there are many Welsh schools in Wales.

I do know how to speak French, my mother insisted on it. I have struggled to learn Welsh. My dad spoke Welsh at home until he was school aged, then it was all English. He remembers a few words, but not much else.

Why am I explaining my family history in this context? I think because I feel like it shines a light on perspective. I was raised by families who had endured hardships. That being said, I’m white. I completely understand and see my privilege. If you see me on the street, you’re most likely going to judge me by my tattoos or lack of make up, not my skin colour. That is wrong on a level I can’t even put into words. There are those who have been born with this privilege, but they lack the perspective to see and understand it. They lash out with terms that are meant to demean, all the while showing how fragile their own self image truly is.

The fact that First Nations children were so heinously abused for just wanting to speak their mother tongue is absurdly cruel. They were harmed for things any white child would never have been even scolded for. I’ve started to read the names of the dead First Nations children, starting from A. The list is long. My pronunciation is atrocious, I am sure. I will persevere in reading each and every one. Their names deserve to be heard, I just wish their birth names, not Christian moniker, but true First Nations birth names were written therein. Some do, you can tell which ones. It breaks my heart and hurts my soul to see so much pain. I’ve tried to put myself in the shoes of their families, and I can’t. It would quite literally break me if someone stole my children from me and sent them away to such a place.

I’ve said it before, I will say it again – the depths of human depravity never cease to amaze me.

If you want to learn more, please visit The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s page – http://www.trc.ca/index.html. Here you can find more information, resources, children’s books that can help open up a conversation about Residential Schools – I firmly believe they need to be taught this, it is not just of historic importance, it is important CURRENT issue.

My heart is with you. My eyes see you. My mind thinks of you. My spirit weeps with you.

Dave Matthews Band – Where Are You Going

Unpretty

“I wish could tie you up in my shoes
Make you feel unpretty too
I was told I was beautiful
But what does that mean to you
Look into the mirror who’s inside there
The one with the long hair
Same old me again today (yeah)

My outsides look cool
My insides are blue
Every time I think I’m through
It’s because of you
I’ve tried different ways
But it’s all the same
At the end of the day
I have myself to blame
I’m just trippin’

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can’t look inside you
Find out who am I too
Be in the position to make me feel so
Damn unpretty
(Yeah) I’ll make you feel unpretty too

Never insecure until I met you
Now I’m bein’ stupid
I used to be so cute to me
Just a little bit skinny
Why do I look to all these things
To keep you happy
Maybe get rid of you and then I’ll get back to me (hey)

My outsides look cool
My insides are blue
Every time I think I’m through
It’s because of you
I’ve tried different ways but it’s all the same
At the end of the day I have myself to blame
Believe I’m just trippin’ yeah

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can’t look inside you
Find out who am I too
Be in the position to make me feel so
Damn unpretty
I’ll make you feel unpretty too

I’ll make you feel unpretty

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make
But if you can’t look inside you
Find out who am I too
Be in the position to make me feel so
Damn unpretty

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can buy all the make up that M.A.C. can make”

-Writer/s: Francine Vicki Golde, Dennis Lambert, Dallas L. Austin, Duane S. Hitchings, Tionne Tenese Watkins. Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

It’s funny how so much external and internal ‘junk’ can make us feel. I’ve always had low self-esteem. Why did I quote the whole song? Because, after all this time, it still rings true.

I’m always telling my friends that I have a laundry list of plastic surgery I would get if I could afford to. Liposuction, tummy tuck, butt lift, breasts reduction/lift (actually, that one is more medical since I have arthritis in my back), arm and thigh tucks, get that damn turkey neck gone. Yes, that really is my list. Oh, and electrolysis so I can permanent get rid of the hair I hate.

I can in all honestly say that I don’t like myself – probably detest myself. Everyone says that in order to really love, you need to love yourself first. If that were true, I would never love anything – but it’s not. I love my children. I love my husband. I love my family, my pets, my friends. I just don’t love myself and I really can’t see how I could.

Is that sad? I don’t think so – I think it’s realistic. I’m not one who resorts to such types realism often but in this case, it is a must. My MS has in a way made it worse. My inability to lose weight, to focus, to sleep well. My inability to even go for a decent walk without needing to rest for days afterwards. My inability to do things others take for granted – it all impacts my self-image. I full and well know it is an image of my creation. No one can see me the way I do. It’s been formulated over 44 years of horrid self-talk, bullying, verbal, mental and other forms of abuse.

Have I sought therapy? Yes, many times over. I’m tired of the platitudes that truly do nothing for me. I’ve tried all the exercises, I’ve tried journalling, I’ve tried meditation, I’ve quite literally tried it all. The biggest issue – if you can’t focus all of those things are for naught.

I love this song. To me, the other person in the song is just me on the inside. It’s two sides of the same coin – feeling like you look amazing only to have those inner voices tell you how much shit you are and that you are only fooling yourself. I’m sure it was written about a person who is thinking a significant other who is abusive; but to me it’s about self-abuse, self-denigration.

I’ve stopped wearing make-up, it takes too long. I’ve stopped trying to look stylish – I feel like I look like an old bat even trying. My social life is limited and I prefer hiding in my cave (home). I try to force myself out, but I always feel like my family is embarrassed to be with me in public even when logically I know they aren’t. I never wanted to be that fat mom. I never wanted to be that stupid person. More and more that’s exactly how I feel. My friends used to tease me over my jokes as I often thought the funny ones involved puns and large words and double entendres. Now, I’m lucky if I can remember how to spell, let alone get the jokes I used to love.

I’m tired. I’m tired of feeling unpretty. I’m tired of feeling stupid. I’m tired of never being enough. I’m just tired.

TLC – Unpretty

Free Bird

“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.” ― Leo TolstoyAnna Karenina

“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” ― Anne Frank

It’s been a while since I posted, I know. So much has been going on, so much happening.

I have three children.

My eldest was to graduate this year, she isn’t – and that is totally ok. She wasn’t ready, she definitely needed another year. No one is perfect. I love her unconditionally – she has to do what she has to do. She’s had a rough few years emotionally, mentally, and socially. She’s got this.

My middle child is in grade 10 (well, just finished). His challenges have expanded exponentially this year. We found out for sure that his birth mother drank while pregnant…a lot. This was that final key that fit the lock of who he is. Gawd I love my son. Gawd my son drains me so much. I’m not going to describe it all. It’s not fair to him to do so. Needless to say, No one is perfect. I love my son unconditionally, but I am exhausted. We all are.

My youngest child has yet to begin school. He’s four and won’t turn five until January. This means, in my area, that he won’t begin kindergarten until 2019. That’s fine with me. Children need to be able to be children. A few months back, my intrepid explorer of a son decided that climbing on his dresser was a great, fun idea. He slipped. He broke his right forearm – the ulna straight through, the tibia in several smaller cracks causing it to bow (it was horrid to see, my poor boy). It has healed wonderfully, but he is now scared of heights. It doesn’t stop him. It hasn’t slowed him down. Our family doctor said to us one day last year – don’t be surprised if he has ADHD as well (the older two do). All I could think was – no kidding! No one is perfect. I love my son unconditionally just the way he is. He has a lot to learn and I know he has got this!

I adopted a parrotlet. Kalypso (she has her own insta if you want to check her out @kalypsotheparrotlet) is sweet, tame, and so so so spoiled LOL! Just look at her! She was born February 5th, 2018 – so she just turned four months old ❤ I got her after losing one of my budgies, Lemondrop (RIP my sweet baby). I wanted a parrot species that would live longer, was heartier, and tame. Kalypso is all that and more. She makes me so happy.

Kalypso
Such a pretty baby ❤

I know this post seems random. I’m tired. I’m trying to dig myself out of a hole. It’s slowly working. Depression is a wicked attacker. I’m finally starting to win…this time.

What I really want to stand out from this – no one is perfect. Stop fighting to be perfect – fight to be happy, fight to feel amazing – but not perfect! Perfection is an illusion perpetuated by false perceptions of the world around us. Flawed, happy people are the best – they know what real happiness is. Love you for you.

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird

Days go by

“In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summers die: 
Ever drifting down the stream- Lingering in the golden gleam- Life, what is it but a dream?” ― Lewis CarrollThrough the Looking Glass

Today is a good day. At least, I think it is.

It’s funny how you can wake up and feel like things are good or they are bad…or they just are.

The older I get, the more it feels like time is just an illusion – we believe it keeps a steady pace, but it rushes on and slows are the most inopportune times.

I’ve been very self-examinatory lately. My oldest child will be turning 18 in a few months and finishes high school this school year. My middle child is turning 16 soon. My youngest is going to be 4 in a few months. How has so much time already flown by? How can my first baby have gone from being in my arms to preparing for her adult life?

I’ve never been a perfect parent. Far from it I feel. I feel that I’ve missed too much, not done enough, not been enough. I try – by all the powers, I have tried.

The days go by at a pace that leaves me behind. I remember when my eldest was born, how hard it was. I remember when we adopted my middle child, my sunshine boy. I remember the fear of having a section when I had my youngest – he decided coming feet first into the world was a great idea (a week before he was due no less!).

I remember the first time I saw my first neurologist and was told I have MS. I remember my doctor telling me I have osteoarthritis (I was even younger then). I remember the first time I smoked a cigarette, I remember how I quit but not how long ago it was. It feels like forever.

I can’t remember my first kiss, but I do remember my first real boyfriend.

Memories.

They are so easily lost.

I find myself constantly trying to remember. My brain has become my enemy and I try to befriend it again over and over.

Days go by, but the memories ebb and flow.

Dirty Vegas – Days go by

Heavy

“Duty is heavy as a mountain, death is light as a feather.”  ― Robert Jordan

Mental health is a battle. A battle with yourself. A battle with society. A battle with perception. A battle with judgement.

Battles aren’t meant to be fought alone. A soldier never enters a field without his fellows.

When I hear the word battle, I think of something tragic, hard, frustrating, painful. Mental health is all of those…and more.

No one chooses to have to deal with all that. No one wakes up in the morning thinking, “Hey, I think I’ll be depressed today and not function in life.” Who wants that? No ONE.

With chronic illness, comes a host of chronic issues. Depression. Anxiety. Fatigue. Feelings of inadequacy. Regret. Fear. All of those and so much more.

Every day I wake up, I prepare myself for battle. Some days, I rock it. I win that day. Others, I flounder and trip over the simplest things and feel the judgement of the world on my shoulders.

“Love yourself!” That’s what I always hear from others. “You will never be happy with yourself, until you love yourself.” I really wish it was that easy. I envy those who are capable of doing just that.

Every day I wake up wondering if I will ever be enoughEnough for my husband. Enough for my children. Enough for my pets. Enough for my job.

I want to sleep. Not the regular type. I want to curl up in my bed and not move for days. But my body aches throughout the night, my bladder wakes me up. My hips tell me I can’t lay for too long and I have to keep moving. I have to keep going. I have to keep working.

For now, I have to keep moving. The weight of everything weighs on me, and I have no idea how to set myself free.

Linkin Park (feat. Kiiara) – Heavy