Anecdotes of our love

He sees the pain behind my smile and at first I am ashamed but then I realize I no longer have to hide my heart because I found the one it belongs to

He will not recount my dreams because they still haunt him when he wakes

With all the heart I have left I will love you for each moment your heart loves mine and long after our story has faded from the stars and seeped into the unknown cracks of the universe

He is thankful, that every night I remind him to pray

You took me away from the scorn and abuse of fools, for the way you were my guardian I am grateful

I waited so long to love and be loved

He tells me that right now it is his turn to take care of me

I was thinking about hell when he told me that I was beautiful

I will love and uplift you through failures

Your pinky promise calmed the anxiety in my chest

You love me exactly the way I need to be loved and that’s how I know you and I were suppose to be

Though fearful I could not love you back, you did not expect we would both fall in love again

we say “I miss you” when times are stressful and “I love you” always

I do not have to look at you long before I am content with my right now and looking forward to our future

I love you

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Journal entry: a fight for positivity

I woke up this morning from a nightmare to Shyre screaming from the pain of teething and troy exclaiming “I can’t do this” from the living room. I called Troy three times before he came into the room—it was likely he could not hear me over the crying. He placed Shyre down on the bed next to my breast that I had at the ready the moment I woke to his cries. I know when my baby is tired or hungry or teething, and he was all three. I asked troy if he was alright and he replied promptly by pursing his lips and shaking his head no.

“what’s wrong?” I asked, not sure what to think, “did something happen?” Troy went on to explain that we have $0.04 in the bank. We have four cents. Shyre was in so much pain, he was crying and screaming, scratching, kicking, latching and unlatching, just like he had been doing all night long. I have had four hours of nightmare painted, panicky, impossibly un-restful sleep, so I began to have a panic attack. My vision went black before I felt the anxiety, so I calmly closed my eyes and explained what was about to happen. I am not sure how long it lasted but when I could open my eyes Troy was lying next to me and Shyre was asleep. Troy asked if it was okay for him to take a nap, but there was no need for him to ask, we both knew he needed it after working long hours at his new job last night.

This is not a happy post, but it is not meant to be sad either, this is a real post. I do not expect anyone to read it or care—I really don’t. I want to write because right now it is the only way I can keep my thoughts from overcrowding my mind. I promised myself that my next big cry will be a happy cry. I do not intend to break that promise. I imagine by Friday we will be out of clean water, the money from the garage sale just paid the car bill, the money that was given to us will not be in our bank account until Saturday and we have another large bill on Friday. I am not complaining, I am not a fool, my problems are my problems and no one else’s, the reason I am writing this goes deeper than for me to vent. Honestly, I know the promises of this life and I try with everything I have got to be unafraid. But quite often this whole post trauma thing clouds my spirit and the anxiety takes me over. I pray all day long on lost days.

The fear I try to forsake is like a dark smoke pushing me to the ground, it is all around me. Wouldn’t you know? I am becoming more tired just writing about it. It wears me out; my vision of whose plan to follow is hazy and double, now the straight path is forked and I force upon myself, an inspired guilt that I should take control of my own life and no longer let it be to the One the has been before me. When this happens all I do is waste time.

Not too long ago Shyre and Troy woke up. Troy is feeling a better but it has still been a fight for positivity. We just gave away most of our things and where there was once entertainment, there is now void within which we become bored. Though, we love not owning so many things, the attachment lingers. We have found that big changes happening now and even bigger ones in the near future have made us fall into a depression. After taking care of a few things, we laid in bed most of the day and I sang old songs while nursing Shyre and tracing Troy’s face along his stubble. Even when we are sad we always find ways to say I love you with all my heart. Our son laughs and the world seems brighter, but laughter from our lips seems like something careless that we should be ashamed of. We are fighting what our parents have told us that have instilled doubt in our minds; the things they worried about have become deep fears. We have been called to be somewhere else and our impatience for this life is disguising itself as hopelessness. We feel in chaos most when we are trying to take the control for ourselves. These words came to me during prayer—Just Surrender.

Above all life is short and these burdens we carry are not really ours to bear. We take on burdens for fleeting reasons and forget to unload after we have grown from them, they can leave scars on our spirit. On days like today we need rest and we find rest in prayer and meditation, in connection with each other, and in trusting our creator. Our days are blessed in different ways, and some of our blessings stay the same, like the ones who truly love us, our calling in this life, and the simple beauty our tired minds can find in something; anything. 

The Birth of Shyre

Written February 17 2017

Shyre was born on a Monday; he was gently welcomed into this world after an incredible ten hour labor. It was 70 degrees of marvelously sunny weather. A soft wind swirled through the air picking up autumn leaves in its small gusts. The past three nights I had not slept through the night. I had been having cramps the past few mornings, starting around 2am lasting until 4-5am and contractions all day long about 30 minutes apart. All week, before Shyre was born, I had been experiencing cramps and intense contractions starting around the same time each morning at 2am, lasting for five to six hours. I breathed through each contraction and tried to get as much rest through the nights as possible; hoping that maybe each time it would be the real thing. My biggest fear throughout my whole pregnancy was that I was going to end up giving birth in a hospital, so the last thing I needed one week before his due date was to be completely exhausted. For nights I had been too uncomfortable to lay in bed during the contractions, I had to get up and walk around our home. I hoped that labor would happen sooner rather than later because I was tired of wondering just when my baby would arrive but I wanted to be patient for him to come when he was ready; I wanted him to chose the day he was to come earth side.

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I must have been in labor two to three days but I was in total denial because the discomfort I was feeling was nothing mentionable—overall I felt like I was sore from an intense workout. The morning of November 21st, the cramps started up again at 3am. One constant pinch in my right side and back, I reassured myself that I could make it one more week until my due date if I got enough rest through the nights and tried to sleep as much during the daytime when the cramps went away. But this time was different, the cramps hurt worse than ever before and I did not sleep a wink that night.

There came a point when I could no longer lay down at around 5am, I had to walk around the apartment and stand completely still every now and then. My body felt as if it were locking up, yet no real pain took place, only a certain pressure. Finally at 6 am my husband, Troy woke up to me kneeling and leaning over onto the side of the bed; I had been praying and laboring silently so that Troy could sleep. He had been so tired from work. A tightening unlike anything I had ever experienced began to take over my womb first and then the rest of my body every four to five minutes. They lasted about 60-75 seconds each time and started off as a swelling sensation building deep inside of me. As they ended the tightness went away. All my focus was on my breath during the rushes. I texted the on call number at 8 o’clock just to explain what was going on and to see what the midwives thought. We had an appointment at the birth center later that day at 1pm. Midwife Gina responded and said to come to the appointment at 1pm and that they would check everything out.

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During active labor, Troy and I finally decided that this was probably early labor so he called out from work and helped me through each contraction by doing hip squeezes and practiced deep breathing along with me. I also leaned over a yoga ball and labored for over an hour. I was completely fine in between, but had to be silent during the contractions. I needed rest since I had not slept in days so I took a nap on the recliner in our living room. Waking for every contraction, I inhaled as deeply as I could and let out an exaggerated “Om” like moan with each exhale, some women say it sounds like “mooing” but my ears heard a perfect deep vibration echoing the waves rushing into my body as it opened up. This helped alleviate most of the discomfort that I was feeling. My sweet mother in law had picked up a heating pad from the grocery store and when she arrived at our apartment immediately went to the kitchen and started doing dishes. I was so tired I slept right through all the noise and I could not remember waking up during each contraction.  Around 12:15pm when Troy woke me up to leave I asked if he thought that my labor had possibly slowed down while I was napping. He said that I was moaning very loudly every 4-5 minutes so it was unlikely. We soon left for the birth center and I cannot remember much about the car ride, besides thinking that I anticipated it being so much worse than it really turned out to be.

When we arrived at Origins, we waited in the front room as we usually did before an appointment, I continued standing because I did not feel like it would be comfortable to sit, and this is when I realized that I was starting to sweat a little. When Gina was ready for us we went back to her office, Midwife Justine asked if I would like to be checked and I said yes—I knew I had been laboring long enough. I got up on the table and she checked me. She had such a confused look on her face and refrained from saying anything. I got a little nervous and Gina had to offer to check me when Justine seemed unsure. Gina immediately exclaimed “WOW MAMA! You are 8cm with a bulging amniotic sack! He’s coming SOON!”

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No one could believe it because of how calm and normal I was on the outside, there was little sign that I was in labor! I certainly did not feel like I was in active labor, though at that point, technically I was in transition. Gina and Justine both rushed to get the birthing suite ready while I put my underwear and pajamas back on. They told us to walk to the room as soon as we could. I remember hoping that my water wouldn’t break on the way to the room. Beth, a wonderful doula, walked with me, peacefully through the lobby and gave me a few soft spoken words of encouragement. Troy got me coconut water and I took some selfies with Justine and then with Troy when he was done setting up the labor playlist we had made on the Bluetooth speaker.  I walked around for about 20-30 minutes before I got into the warm bath Justine had prepared for me.

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The water was intensely calming. Everyone left the room but troy and we kissed and expressed how excited we were to finally meet our child. We both cried happy tears as we held hands and prayed over Shyre. I sat in the water, bestowing to me the gift of weightlessness, and peacefully I sang to sweet acoustic songs.

 

Midwife Kaitlyn spoke to me about breaking my waters but I wanted to wait for my body to break my waters naturally. I got out of the water and sat on the toilet to see if my water would break. I faced the wall and the midwives propped me up with pillows.

Troy massaged my neck and back and drapped cold washcloths over my skin. Sitting there with my eyes closed I relaxed into each rush, picturing that soon my baby would be in my arms, I became dizzy. After 30 minutes I got up for the midwives to break my waters.web-1003web-1002

I lay down on the bed and held my legs close to my chest, nothing they did hurt me when breaking my waters, I felt like I was outside of my body. I remember Justine telling me not to be afraid, though I was not afraid, I was concentrating on doing exactly as they told me and the rest of me was somewhere close to God. Troy and Melanie were behind me and the midwives were surrounding me, Justine was inside me, using a sharp tool to break the amniotic sac and a tidal wave of water burst out of me. I had to push while on my back for several minutes, once his head was completely free of the lip, the midwives showed me the top of his head with a mirror and guided my hand so that I could touch him.  I walked over without any problems to the bathtub and began pushing immediately with each contraction. Troy was behind me in the water, kissing me and telling me he loved me and how beautiful I was. “This is the moment.”

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I was completely focused; every feeling in my body was experienced in a far off place. The midwives said “that’s the way!”

and my mother in law was exclaiming “you are amazing!” their voices came to me like beams of light through a space of dark forest.web-1006web-1007 (1)web-1008

I held myself as I pushed him out and once his head was out his shoulders were the hardest part to push through. It did not burn like I learned it would, it felt like pins and needles. Each push felt like I was using all the might within me to blossom like the petals of a flower. Then all of the sudden Troy and I were bringing him up out of the water and I met the source of my body’s power. That power was love and that love is Shyre. I was in complete shock. web-1009

I could not believe this was my child. I could not believe that I had just given birth. Without pain, without fear, my body brought a human to life. This was by far the best day I ever lived. The day I recognized my strength and the day I saw the importance of being gentle. Everyone was crying, except me and Shyre, I had just met the love of my life, I was over the moon and enjoying every single second it took for my soul to float back down to earth from kissing the heavens with joyous gratitude. The only people I remember seeing were my baby, my husband and my midwife, Justine. web-1011Cahgfchptureweb-1012web-1013DSC00638DSC00639

We were all so happy I could have stayed in that moment forever. After staring at Shyre for a while the midwives got me into the bed and I started feeding Shyre for the first time, he latched on well almost as if he already knew how; this was such a special moment.DSC00645DSC00644DSC00642DSC00649DSC00647DSC00654DSC00655

I soon delivered my placenta and they massaged my uterus. I could feel warm blood coming out and there was a slight pain when they pressed down but still all I was focused on was my child. After we rested for a while, the midwives prepared an herbal bath. Shyre smiled when we got back into the water and shut his eyes, as if to say “I made it.”  He was born at 4:30pm, he was 19 3/4 inches, he weighed 7 pounds and we were home in bed with our babe by 7pm.

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That night I could not sleep but this time it was because of how much love and peace I felt to finally be Shyre’s mother and to hold him in my arms, at once, like I had been dreaming of. He slept on my chest and though he cried and I was not use to it, my life had been redeemed and I knew I had all that I needed conquer the unknown.

The walk of a poor man

I have grown in the most incredible ways in less time than a week. We have been called to change everything we know. My marriage is wonderful, loving and centered around our faith; my relationship with my son is sweeter than ever, and my relationship with my God is beautifully unbreakable.

I have watched my husband find happiness; true happiness. I watch him belong closer to our son, and I have watched the two of us belong closer to each other. The bond between each individual in my small family has become unlike any other. Our love and our life was good before but now as we walk forward in full confidence in God’s plan for us, it feels like the earth is blooming around us; That when down in the dirt, our humble little family is making life happen.

 

We face homelessness in a matter of two months and the judgment and shame of others is scarier than the fact that we will be living in our car. We are purging and selling every single one of our belongings, excluding the bare essentials. No, we will not even own a bed. I started an Esty page (BlessedIsApparel )to sell handmade clothing and vintage items. Troy sold his music gear. This week we will start filming vlogs for YouTube, we could not be more excited to share our journey—even if no one watches, capturing this time in our life where we feel an overwhelming sense of peace and positivity in the eye of the storm will be something worth showing to our son when he is old enough to understand; and to show others who want to understand. We were broke but beautiful people came to our aid and showed us love and support. True family are the ones who do what they can to help support you in your time of need—money aside, love and faith is all you need. It is sad that people, who say they love you, would rather shame you and protect their lifestyle than to protect your life and well-being. Is valuing things and money over life not the original reason for flipping tables?

The way I feel now is the way I wish I could have felt a long time ago, when materially, things were better; but this feeling comes from the rejection of the known world and its material fixation. I recently realized financial instability is not a reason to be worried for your life. And this is a huge realization for me to come to. Do not waste your time being anxious or stressed about things that are out of your control— let us be honest, nothing is really ever in our control.

My dad was fired from his job at the Dallas morning news, due to his own ignorance, when I was six. My family became financially dependent on the bank and both my parents constantly oppressed us under the threat that we might be kicked out of our home onto the streets at any moment. I think back to this and wonder if my PTSD started before or because of these financial woes. My father went back to college, so my mother began working at our church for a mothers-day-out program two days a week. My mother was soon promoted to director of the grade school program. She took this job in order to continue homeschooling us but she became obsessed with work; her job took over her life. While my mom was working everything and anything was more important to her than taking care of her children and college caused my dad to be so “stressed” that for three whole years he avoided us. The only times our dad spoke to us were to punish us, tell us a joke he learned or to yell at us to shut up when we were playing in the house. My mother brought us to work with her so we could continue our schooling away from “the secular world of public school.” But at home she kept herself busy at her computer designing logos, charts, and many other unnecessary distractions. My mother—hand on the bible—never stopped working. Our education, especially mine, was ignored. For years our diets consisted partly of sandwiches with molding bread and the other part was frozen pizza, pancakes and chicken nuggets and we witnessed our mother starving herself day after day just so she did not have to stop working. Our mother left us at home and worked all day, all week; except for Sunday when she forced us to go to the same church for Sunday school, where she also volunteered as a teacher. Any time we tried to bring up a life path we would like to take—sports, education, hobbies, healthier diet, etc.—it was shot down straight away and we were lectured about the fact that our parents could not afford to take care of us. Living for so long, as a young child, terrified about losing everything, feeling the neglect of my parents every day, I never thought I would see a day in which financial worries would not haunt me. I am so thankful that when mine and Troy’s lives took a turn that I was not triggered, and in the place of fear and doubt were faith, hope and strength.

 

“Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving; present your requests to God.”

 

Fear of the unknown is the biggest impediment we face—no longer in our own minds but in the minds of others. It is not out of anger that I speak of others in this way, it is because there is no truth in selfish ideals and that an “I told you so” mentality is deadly. The force of doubt among the minds and hearts of the people around us slows us down and brings the most pain out of this entire struggle. The people who have helped and loved on us during this time never had to ask questions or cast judgment; they did so without a second thought.

After Troy took a resignation over fighting to stay at his job, we were terrified, and people showed ugly hearts and ill will towards us. Without the full support of our loved ones we were not sure what to do but we knew that we had to immediately begin making changes to our lifestyle. That very night, before we canceled our Netflix subscription I told Troy that we needed to watch this documentary called Minimalism. Afterwards, with complete calmness and sincerity, Troy and I both agreed that everything must go and that we must move on from here. In a spiritual and material sense we have freedom now. We know that our home is within the connections and relationships we have with others and not in a house or in our possessions. Leaving this apartment in two months and being homeless is not a be-all end-all, it is the beginning of something new and we are no longer knocking on the doors that have been closed.

 

“Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity, than a rich man who is crooked in his ways”

 

Most people akin to me by marriage do not believe or care that I have post traumatic stress disorder, so they do not understand the importance for me to leave this state, so that I can truly begin to heal and so that our whole family can flourish where we are being called.

Three days ago my husband and I were so depressed that we could not speak but to say “I love you.” And stop to look at each other for a moment. Since then, many prayers have taken place and answers came quite immediately. Life is not about money, things or having a building to call home. We have peace that this difficult chapter in our lives is closing and making way for us to be better people.

I want to personally thank those who have encouraged, supported, loved and cared for us these past few days. You have helped in ways I pray most will never understand. We are eternally grateful. We will not forget a single kindness.

 

BlessedIsApparel 

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-RM-

Dance away the doubt

Last night was my first night out since I lost my memory. I danced all night with the love of my life, changed my perspective on my body and who I am inside, and made memories I hope I will never lose.

 

I constantly doubt myself. I am the queen of deleting personal posts and tweets because I fear people will think I am being insincere. I fear being called a liar, day after day is spent having to remind myself: you are not a liar, you are not. The abuse I have survived has made me believe that anyone at any moment could take my body for themselves and my soul will suffer inside, alone. A comment, a grab, a touch, a look could send me back to a place of isolated misery. Once the most intimate and lovely parts of your imagination have been stolen by carnal reality, your mind’s creativity begins to work against you at all times. My head comes up with a thousand probable notions that people assume about who I am; it possesses me and I stay trapped in the back of my mind watching them go about life having no idea the power that a simple unkindness has over me.

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It is nights like last night that all the power is given back to me. It was loud, I cannot stand loud. Bodies were touching my body, the feeling of a strangers skin stings. But last night it was different, everyone was electric, the music had me in a trance, I was loving life and happy to be exactly where I was. With each movement of my hips and feet there was no second guessing. The music was coursing through the room and booming at the feet of the concert goers, moving us together as one. Under the flashing stage lights, unhindered by the thought of others, I danced noticed or unnoticed to a beat that everyone felt and did not care if others were judging me. I saw the way each individual moved carelessly and compared it to how I usually move so carefully. All these swaying bodies, separate energies and entities and the stories within them, they all came from a place of light and love and now somehow they ended up there with me. I broke through to a part of myself I barely knew before, a part of myself I thought I would never know again, the part of myself that wondered and worried fleetingly only about how long the strength of my legs would carry me for. My body created those unstoppable motions—like waves separating the mind, soul and body—caused by the tempo of the loud music and the life of the beautiful humans surrounding me. All night, as short as it was, I was free. Twisting, jumping and singing at the top of my lungs; in each of these moments I was perfectly imperfect and I loved every single inch of who I was. Though I had thoughts to stop and reconsider if I had the right to be happy, I was not intimidated by them and I did not back down.

 

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My rockstar

I want this feeling to last, I want to love myself unconditionally and because of last night, I know that I can have just this. Building my self-esteem might be a journey but it is one that I will not give up  on and one day looking back I might have regrets that I did not see it sooner, but healing these wounds is going to be the most wonderful misadventure my world has ever known. The first thing I have to learn is that I am not alone, and I never will be. I am going to have to remind myself to consider what is practical for me, and know that the same does not go for any other individual. Whether it is the clothes I’m in, my hair, makeup, who I am with (or not with), what I believe, where I go, my career, hobbies, passions, etcetera; In any case I have to find out the best things for me, and know that none of these things define me. I am going to start a dance-for-joy movement in my home and family in which we will dance during days we are not quite ourselves. My husband has also made a promise to start taking me out dancing because just by last night I feel these open wounds in my soul healing.

You are free right now, just as you are, but only if you want to be. Look how you can lift your eyes and trace the outline of your body with your fingers. There are no chains that bind you. You move without impediment and you are able to break down any walls that you have built. No one has control over you, if they say or act as if they do, they are wrong. You are free.

-RM-

Let it go

After a few winks of sleep I found myself being startled awake to the clatter of my son’s cries. There I was, messy bed head, still wearing the same clothes from yesterday, tasting my forgetfulness—or should I say neglectfulness—in the form of unclean teeth from the night before, realizing within myself, that I was mad about the fact that I was awake. All I asked for was sleep, I asked 5 nights ago, and I still never got it. I sat up in bed, got up, and left the room promptly so I could tend to my crying child. My husband met me in the hallway; he has been en route to deliver to me a fussy baby. By the time I sat on the couch to feed Shyre, my patience was gone. Shyre was pinching little bits of my skin and unlatching and kicking. I told Troy that I had had enough of holding our son; I just wanted my own body to myself for a while. Troy understood and took our son on a walk around the house to give him a change of scenery and hopefully a reason to be content. No matter what Troy did for Shyre, he just wanted me, His mother. I couldn’t help but to get emotional. When Troy handed Shyre back to me all I could do was stare at him in awe. “I have the very best son in the whole universe.” All mothers must think this but it is all so true. I began thanking God for my son. Not in my entire life did I ever believe that I would have been given a gift of such great magnitude, a gift that sends my heart leaping—a joyous free-for-all into a deep gratefulness that lifts my spirits. The magic little curiosities that life presents are my favorite part about each new day.

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Troy noticed that I was oohing and awing over our son and he asked what I was thinking; I answered, “It’s impossible to be angry when he is around. I’m so in love.”

Troy looked at me and smiled and explained

“It may seem that we’re always the ones getting a bit fed up; balancing the baby and the rest of life—that we often feel guilty about having to put him down for a minute to do something for ourselves or just to not have to be touched for one second—but one day you realize that he is going to be the one feeling guilty about how things are going with you, and if he’s spending enough time with you, and he’ll be worrying about how he’s going to repay you for all that you’ve done for him and the things you will always continue to do for him. That’s the love I feel for my mom because she loved me first and I know that’s how things are with Shyre. You don’t ever have to doubt his love for you or who you are as his mom.”

All the things I worry about seem so small because no matter what I will always hold my son so dear to me. Nothing and no one can take the heart I have for him or the heart he has for me.

As a new parent I’m learning consistently to deal with brand new emotions and experiences and it can get scary, especially being so young and my family and I just getting our start in the world. The best thing for me to do is pray daily that I can stay positive each moment I’m with my child. I use patience, gentleness and show unconditional love always. Being able to teach my son peace through those times when he feels frustrated or like he’s had enough is important so that he can stay calm and look to where he knows he is loved, whether it is god, or his family or friends when he finds himself in trying times. In time, I feel I will stop stressing about little things, learn to love my imperfect self, and to give things up when there’s nothing to be done about them. The point is I’m learning, my husband’s learning, my child is learning, every family and individual is learning and getting angry and exhausted from time to time just reminds us that we don’t have to carry everything on our shoulders, that we can find rest in the one who loves us most of all.

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Anger is a new emotion for me. It is a tough one. Of course, I experienced anger many times in my life, but never quite like this. My fathers and mothers anger horrified me enough to fear letting myself be angry or even a little mad. I have always felt so deeply in love, joy, peace, fear and sadness but never as a child did I ever know anger as deep as the one that rages inside my bones. This anger is a part of post traumatic stress disorder and now a significant part of my life that I am trying to find the courage to overcome.

            I know. I know—

Be

Swift to hear,

Slow to speak,

Slow to anger.

True, the wrath of man lacks the righteousness of God; Humans have no place to repay vengeance, but we have been made to feel this way and expressing it in positive ways is healing. The anger lasts only minutes but is as painful as emotion comes.

“God, make it stop.”

My own mind scares me more than anything, but the strength of my body—remaining harmless amongst the war in my head—gives me hope and reminds of God’s forgiveness. Often, we all have wars going on inside our heads, whether it is about school, work, family, friends, the world our minds and thoughts or even battling towards our dreams.  In times of hardship and negative emotions let faith be your understanding, be thankful and pray instead of giving into anxiety. This is the way I cope. To have peace is to be without trouble or fear.

My whole life my emotions were never taken seriously. In the presence of my abusers and like-minded family who were eager to torment and judge for entertainment, I recall being laughed at when I was brought to anger by one of them. The adult men chuckled and the women cackled, my cousins backed away with disgust and their mouths cascaded with jokes as if, with my outburst of genuine anger, I were breathing folly upon them.

“You look so stupid when your get mad!”

“I can’t take you seriously when you’re angry!”

“You never stay mad because it’s so funny when you try.”

It immediately turns to shame and embarrassment, I remember them always laughing, I remember the way my stomach dropped and how I became hot; I could not help but bursting into laughter along with them. My anger was amusing and by laughing I admitted defeat and submission each time. My own family treating me this way is why I have problems believing myself. My confusion turns into self-blame.

Accepting that it is okay to be angry when you have been hurt, and to trust yourself again when you have doubted every move you make is not easy, but you cannot hold it in and pretend anger does not exist. If you believe that happiness exists you must believe that anger also exists. Let yourself be angry, and then let it go.

-RM-

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Be Still

            As he sleeps, face pressed against my breast, I listen to his quiet breathing. We sleep every night cuddled up to each other and when he’s hungry he gets fed and he is never lonely in a bed or a room all alone. He is safe with me.
One of his hands is tightly wound around the clothes on my chest, so if I move, he will feel it and clasp his small hand all the more tightly. If I leave him on the bed alone, he sleeps in the middle. Without pillows near and with one blanket over him, his eyes stay shut and his breaths even. Unclasping his tiny fingers from my clothing, his hands stay adrift, slowly floating around as if they search for me while he slumbers. Sometimes I cannot help but to climb right back into bed just to lay beside a miracle so perfect. Just to be near someone so pure. My heart beats joyfully beneath my breast.
When his eyes are open and he is latched onto me, often he does a little dance with one sweet hand. His fingers and palms travel across my chest and clothing, his arms wave back and forth until finally his eyes close and his hand finds a bit of me to hold onto for safety. It reminds me of myself as a child when I could not sleep, I would lay on my back with my knees up and pretend my fingers were a little person hiking up a mountain and the folds of my blanket were rocks they had to climb. I wonder what Shyre thinks when he does this; I wonder what he wonders with such little knowledge of the world. I can tell he came from among the heavens and the stars because of the twinkling light in his eyes. He must dream of the loveliest things, he must remember the Angels and his Creator, for he smiles and laughs so purely when he sleeps. We treasure sleep so much we often forget to be thankful for moments of rest. My soul is revived that I have the job of tending to my child as he sleeps. I get to be a witness.

            Sharing a bed with my husband and my son is not always easy, some nights it is agonizing to be touched at all. When I should be at rest, most nights I watch memories which intrude from the dark corners of the room play out as if I were a twelve year old girl, laying there on a bed of chicken wire and rocks, blood falling out of my body. I am stolen away in these eternal moments–from my own bed, my husband and child, and from myself–taken back to those damning eyes looking through me, wondering perilously into them so to forget the sting of his knife, asking myself if he could even see me. Inside, the struggle hardens and sinks to the deep parts of myself that anchors my aching soul to the past. I must stay quiet so they can sleep, but in the dark the silence is killing me. Some nights Shyre kicks and I grit my teeth when he starts digging his little toes into my skin, creating bruises on my thighs, stomach and hips. Some nights he scratches, grabs my breasts and nipples, sometimes he bites and laughs about it. Those nights I close my eyes tight and breathe. I would not trade the love that he has for being conscious for anything. Those nights when Shyre fights to stay awake, I tell my husband I need him. I need him to hold me and help me think of anything but the past. All the violent skin-to-skin I’ve suffered, now on some nights motherhood seems ruined by then men who have taken more than a touch of my flesh. I want to scream “DO NOT TOUCH ME!” I feel like I cannot breathe, I want to get up and run away, But I have to keep my son close and stay at peace on the outside, so that at least he will find rest.
One day maybe a grab or a scratch will no longer send me back. Maybe one day, when I lay in the dark and quiet, my mind will no longer drag me to hell. For now I surrender. I have nowhere else to be and no need to run. I cherish these challenges with my son whom shows his strength best when he wants nothing more than his mother and father to stay awake and play. When the storms of my crying child have calmed and he closes his sweet eyes, I know there will never be a true reason to give up.

Since my son was born he has slept with his father and me in our bed. He is usually latched onto one of my breasts when he falls asleep and during the night I will move him to either side of me. Co-sleeping does not work for every family but for us, it has helped in many ways.

“I think it is really convenient and it helps with the comfort of the child knowing that he or she is safe and doesn’t have to ever feel alone at night.”—Troy Muir

Insuring a good breastfeeding relationship between my son and I was the most important reason that we agreed upon sharing a bed with our little babe. Getting plenty sleep after giving birth was vital for all of us, especially for me. The side lying nursing position is the best way for both babe and mom to get well rested. For more information and safety guidelines I have attached some links below if anyone is interested in co-sleeping/bed sharing.

https://www.nct.org.uk/parenting/co-sleeping-safely-your-baby

http://naturalparentsnetwork.com/side-lying-nursing-a-breastfeeding-tutorial/

“Do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”

-RM-

Cajpture