March 2010

Haven’t seen the movie and it has nothing to with this post but I find the title apropos so I shamelessly steal it. Over the weekend the daughter and I continued to  unpack and discard various items that had been plucked from the old homestead and randomly thrown into boxes and delivered to the doorstep by the ex. Found items: Elyse’s first pair of baby shoes, old photos, children’s books, cameras, baby clothes, VHS tapes of Elyse’s babyhood, past library programs, etc. But the most dangerous find of all: my accordion file of  writing dating back to high school. Once upon a time there were volumes, but I burned most of it when Elyse was a baby as I didn’t want anyone, especially her, to find all of the painful tales of woe after I was gone. But I did retain some choice bits. As I pulled the file out of the box I said to her “this is some dangerous stuff here…….” and I took a break and started reading it. Dangerous indeed. And curious.  

The recurring theme: Loneliness, isolation and disconnect from the world. Some letters written to my dad, old boyfriends, old friends. Poems, lyrics, simple regurgitation of life’s events. Some of it amusing, most of it pretty darned depressing. All written before I had hope of having a child and finding that kind of love.  I had several abortions in my youth and the last one just about did me in. I had wanted to keep the baby but my boyfriend of the time turned on me, as did my mother, and being young(ish) and alone and afraid, I let them convince me to have the abortion. After that I wanted to die. I spent a lot of time thinking about it too. Looking back on that young woman and reading the intensely painful writings, I see a survivor. Perhaps it sounds a bit corny, but I have survived. Little did I know at the time, how could I have known…. that life would finally reward me with a beautiful daughter. There are reasons we keep records of painful pasts. I don’t want to dwell on it, but it is a good reminder of how far I have come. And it’s a good reminder not to forget my blessings when depression tries to take me down again – that black dog that has followed me my entire life as Mr. Churchill so aptly put it…  

 Here’s one poem I found, which I still like despite its youthful silliness, written in my mid 20’s (on a typewriter, no less):

A butterfly drinks the tears of a turtle.

a butterfly drinking turtle’s tears.

a butterfly drinking.
turtle’s tears.

a butterfly.
drinking turtle’s tears.

And I, the butterfly who dances in the air just long enough to sip a turtle’s tear.
Survival. Necessity the mother.
A born again caterpillar 
I have built a formidable cocoon.
Years it took to build this one, kiddo.
Indestructible it seems.


We’ve moved again. The cabin is now a place I will visit but I shall live there no more.. The daughter’s father pulled a massive series of drunken fucked up antics, including taking her for Midwinter Break to Arizona to visit his parents, leaving for the airport at 7 a.m. drunk on absinthe. Nice. I channelled Ari Gold for about an hour, screaming into the phone “what the FUCK is going on?” and then turned my Ari impersonation on to poor S. who was just waking up but who was also drunk. Drunk men. Don’t care much for them at 7 a.m. with a little girl sobbing on the phone that she’s scared to get on the plane with her drunk dad. They had a ride, so they made it safely to the airport and on to the plane.  I scared S. out of the cabin and took 2 valium and went back to sleep.  It felt like a really bad nightmare and I had to knock myself out to stop the Ari Gold.

The girl had a great time in Arizona but upon return to Seattle the drunken Dad experience continued so I had to scoop her up and camp out with her at my sister in law’s condo for a week while I scrambled to find an apartment. I felt homeless. Desperate. So sorry for her. Fortunately the condo was luxurious so we were refugeein’ it up in style.  

So I finally found an apartment that suits us and we moved in last Friday. I really can’t take moving again for a long long time but I will say that the girl and I have it down to a science. I call us The Sunshine Moving Company.  It’s exhausting. I’m tired.  Work has been exhausting as well so the creativity I seek for this blog is suffering. I come up with some good ideas late at night after a few glasses of wine and a little weed, but I’ve been hand writing thoughts that are a little hard to decipher in the morning. Note to self: remove computer from the bedroom and put it in living room after daughter goes to sleep. Right. 

Today is a day off from work and I still have so much to do but for some reason I can’t get dressed or out of bed. Guess there’s little choice. Onward and upward. Again.