Sunday, March 11, 2012

Aurelia Now

Aurelia couldn’t kick a lot of things.  Not her cold, not her guilt, not her irritation, and not her own ass. Most of all, she couldn’t kick the road-kill that kept putting its stink on her love-life.  She felt like speed-bump of subtlety immediately followed by a pot-hole of disaster.

She should clarify the traffic signs; yellow light means to "proceed with caution," not speed up.  She keep hitting road-blocks, and couldn’t help but feel that she was the fender-bender on the side that caused the distraction that lead to a crescendo multi-car pile-up.

More simply put, she hated the morning after an argument.

She was so tired; ready to fall asleep but still on the phone.  All that resonated the next morning was the tension from his voice, so strong, laden with surmounting effort to not sound angry at something.  Her memory stood simply, staring with anxiety at my phone while she instead humored a solitaire addiction.

He doesn't get himself.

And she had no idea how to express herself.

I want to end it, not because I don't love him, but to cut the kite-string and let him go free so that he can move forward; so that I can catch up.  I've taken a fall that leaves me so far behind.

She knew who she was, and that it was no longer a part of her. "Becoming" as a recreation of self, was coming up anew and the present didn't align with their relationship.  She couldn't understand  his psychological-hell and he didn't get hers.  He could hardly admit to himself that the current Aurelia, the one who had grown and changed, was Aurelia NOW.

He was so convinced that she remained the person of their first six months together that he denied her reality, the result of so many changes that fell along their road.  The Aurelia of the last three years hardly occurred to him as the reality of her being.

She was so resentful, and jealous of this Aurelia he missed and loved so much.  When he invited her on his adventures, she was unable to go.  When she felt that she needed something solely for herself, he would feel betrayed, and get jealous when she didn't invite him. 
How could he go out on his own so easily without thinking of staying behind with her!  She knew she was being impossible, because really, stay behind to do what?  She had become boring, sitting on the sidelines while he explored things she couldn't be part of anymore.

And she knew he was unhappy.  If he wasn't ACTIVE and participating, he wasn't happy.  And she wanted him to be happy; though it was likely he wasn't, she knew she wasn’t.  She loved him to the ends of the world but was definitely not happy.

She hadn't been for a while.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I got hurt.

It was a rock-climbing incident with a fast-paced, reach-jump-catch-hang-&-relocate-body into position, rest, climb action.

Also known as a dyno, the maneuver shredded more than six muscles in my right shoulder.  The orthopedic surgeons told me not to climb for at least two years. 

The news broke my stride.  Why bother working out if I can't use my body? 

I got so hurt it made me sick.
But not from that nasty catch alone.

I got sick from a secret.
By keeping my private hell a secret, I slowly triggered chemicals in my body to react at a toxic rate.

I got so sick I lost my job.
They were kind about it. My position was reduced, but I think if my body worked right...
People don't ask about blood-shot eyes, dizziness, and shaking.
People assume and people talk, but they don't ask.

The first time I got sent home from work I was already divorced.  At the time, I had no idea what was happening to me, only that I needed to keep it secret so assumptions wouldn't be carried over to my ex-husband and my freedom to parent wouldn't be further taken from me.

I'm not sure which hurt happened to set the other off, or if they are even related.  Maybe it was the excessive amount of ibuprofen I took for my shoulder, maybe it was genetic.  In the end, I suffer from endocrine system dysfunction, kidney disease, hypo-thyroid syndrome, stage two spinal deterioration, fibromyalgia, exhaustion, and more; they all add up to incapacitation, and that's without staring face-front at the foundation of anxiety built from years of a sexually and emotionally abusive marriage that ended when he threw my two kids and me toward the bath-tub in a rage; it doesn't include the ever-present fear of not knowing what to expect.  It doesn't hold the threats of being locked away for a lie, the possible truth that he really would take the kids to South America and never return, it doesn't include the struggle and daily effort it takes to keep everyone "safe" in body and mind.

I don't overcome fear on a daily basis, I can't.  I get tired of fighting for my health, knowing I was a strong, beautiful, active mother who gave exploration, bravery, athleticism, and the world to my two kids... I dislike this woman who doesn't feel well enough to go outside to play catch with my son; it's a terrible place, being stuck in this secret of physical pain so that I get my share of custody without question...  I'm still alive!  I'm not repulsive.  I'm TRYING to come to terms with it... I just, I just miss my health.

And I want to be seen the way I know myself to be, before the stupid body decided to turn 84 instead of 34. Sometimes I have confidence.  It lasts shortly into the morning; a syncompated pattern of caffiene --> confidence --> getting to the job I have until June but need to keep to myself the sadness of leaving--> anxiety --> responsibilities --> exhaustion.  And I'm spent.  Emotionally and all at once, my bones feel more like a brittle over-growth of osteo-hormones than a systemic puzzle meant to keep my body in order.  The pain of walking.

The pain of moving forward.

I maintain the visage of wholeness, but I don't always feel that way because I have to face and feel the inside.   And looking in, I'm still perplexed at how I survive the day.  But I do.  I survive the day.

Monday, March 5, 2012

An Ironic Anagram

One can assume that a high-school is rife with germs.  The building itself acts as fly-paper for everything from sneezing to whooping-cough, swine-flu to athletes' foot, and sometimes even cooties.  It's a surprise that with such an increase in germatology (grown more so due to the mild winter) that we have yet another year with a reduction in staph.

Speaking as one with this reductive disease, I find that although it isn't officially recognizable, having it makes me feel like a paranoid asthmatic in a rumored roomful of tuberculosis.  People look at me with a mournful half-smile accompanied with a sigh. 

Is this how the sick are treated?  People expect less of you, to be nice; people let you sit near them, to be nice; people treat you differently, like you've turned to glass, like you are hollowing, like you are disappearing, to be nice. 

Meanwhile, I remain in full frontal, SCREAMING through my skin that I'm still here. 

But I'm not.  My efforts to look as though I'm full of strength and confidence sucks my marrow almost to the point of hollow.  Getting up.  Getting dressed.  Looking professional.  Walking through my door.  Driving once my car is started.  Turning the key to, "off" as I sit in the parking-lot to walk into the building.  Walking into the building.  Smiling.  Saying, "good-morning," and exchanging pleasantries.  Pretending I want to be there in front of the students.  Holding my stomach in place.  It’s all for farcical ostentation. 

Being here makes me sea-sick with sadness, caught in a storm.  I am out to sea.  I am RIFed. What an ironic anagram.

Friday, March 2, 2012


My children weren't planned.

Let me start again.  NONE of my life as I know it was planned.  I was supposed to get straight A's in languages/politics/pre-law, earn a full-ride scholarship toward an international law degree with an easily passed bar exam that I used as I got through my doctorate with innovative theories of boarder control so that by the time I was 35 I could live on a Ranch with a horse (maybe two), some dogs, and no need for fashion or material things.

In the world I grew up in, something like 9-11 could never happen, nor could horrible incidents like the high-school shootings.  The closest reality I knew were revved up versions of after-school knife-fights only one murder less the death toll a-la West Side Story.  Minimal carnage, specified racial fear.  I could walk away from these horrid realities, be mildly effected, and keep moving forward on my plan like it was a TV show.  I could move away from the cities that attracted attention, build hope in the third world, and end up in the suburbs that avoided it.

I would live a Ralph Lauren lifestyle with the Connecticut freedom of no commitment.

But it's not so simple.  Having children, no matter how "prepared" or unprepared any parent is, the raising of children completely  overrides any plans; take it or leave it.  Kids find out whether or not they were planned, wanted, or the result of some sick plan of ding-dong-ditch for citizenship.

Through my floor, I've listened to those told spitefully that they were unwanted.

Through my students, I've seen those suffer through well-intended, overworked, sucked-by-life single parents.  I've worked with coke-head pre-teens who know how unwanted they are for the simple fact that they practically sniff off of daddy's shoe to get a bit of his non-existant attention, or shave their wrists to catch lobotomized mommy's eye.

I've seen malnutrition in Haiti kill the children who died in the starvation of the nineties along with foot-long nipples attaching a something more akin to a feeding tube than breast years before she was raped by disastrous weather.

Our children can look into court documents when they become adults and find out a legal perspective that overrides everything they may have been told.  They can learn why one parent chose not to stay with the other parent.  They can come to their conclusion about what, "in their best interest" really means, and why anything that may have an effect on their protector easily overrides any option other than that they come, and have always come, first.

I have no problem with the fact that my children were un-expected.  But I hope that they always know, that they never doubt for a second, that they are and have always been wanted, and even more importantly, that they will always be; have always been, loved.