It’s the middle of the night, I awake again to a nightmare. My body is soaked in sweat and my anger has no solace. It has taken me four days since the current mass high school shooting in Florida to be able to write this.
I am the mom of a child who survived a high school shooting in 2013 in Littleton, Colorado. Every time there is a high school shooting this happens to me, I awake in nightmares and the day that shooting happened to my daughter goes on replay for me. I get to re exeperiance the fear and helplessness. I had to deactivate my Facebook account because I cannot maintain my personal sanity and see the things that people I actually know say or don’t say. My daughter will be twenty years old this year. She still has to do trauma therapy and still struggles with her physical body due to this shooting. She has post traumatic stress disorder, that happens pretty regularly without the reminder of a brand new high school shooting happening again in ‘murica. When is a good time to discuss laws and gun control? When does that work out for everyone’s opinions?
I am so angry that nothing happens to stop these shootings immediately. No laws of any kind are addressed. Thoughts and prayers. There is real solutions. There are many reasons why these shootings happen. It is understandable to want to talk to about issues in our society; mental health, extreme violence in men, lack of parenting, genetics and childhood trauma when these shootings occur. When you are the parent or child who has experienced a school shooting, you want answers. Real tangible answers that take guns out of the hands of people with any of the above issues. All of the issues are important and laws need to help find solutions to help these people. We also need gun control laws. You and I don’t need an AR-15 EVER!
I wonder why I feel crazy asking for gun control? Laws change lives. We have to be political, we have to know who currently is in office taking money from the NRA to vote them out and be active. I will tell you it’s the Republican Party to the tune of $5,900,000.00 in 2016. The Democratic Party is at $107,000.00 for 2016. Source; Politico magazine. Numbers don’t lie. Nothing will ever change, more children will die at the hands of gun violence if the people running our country are purchased by the National Rifle Association. My personal state; Colorado Republican senator Cory Gardner is one of the most lined pockets out there from the NRA, he is also the first one to say, “mental health is the issue!” I would like to bring up the fact that laws don’t change around mental health either with that being said as a response. As a state we have experienced Columbine, the Aurora movie shooter and my daughter’s Arapahoe high school shooting. ENOUGH!
It is so disheartening to know this is these shootings will to happen again. No gun law changes, no talk of gun law changes. It seems in ‘murica, unless it’s happening personally to you, it doesn’t seem to matter. The amount of children’s faces on our screens dead from gun violence does not faze people. Empathy is a lost emotion. We can scream at each other why these shootings happen or we can make laws to take guns that are so easily accessible out of hands that will pull the trigger without thought and with warnings ignored. It’s actually really cut and dry. Other countries seem to understand that, they pass gun laws and don’t experience gun violence. It is maddening!
My heart hurts. Like a deep internal sting. My boy returned to school yesterday. My guy is leaving in an hour to return to the road with Lady Gaga. My heart is so full having my boys home for a week! I am exhausted totally but full from love. I have become conscious of my wants to fight with my guy as he is leaving. It is the coping mechanism of anger. Anger is motivating. Underneath that lives the true feeling which is depression, sadness and loss.
The only thing we have is awareness and the ability to decide if we want to act out of the same self defeating mechanisms we’ve learned to cope or to look at the real feelings underneath that. I had to decide to look at the depression and loss and how I am going to get through those feelings? In my experience with those feelings a lot of negative happened because I become a victim of my losses. Too much time spent thinking about the losses and feelings of aloneness. I know now what my life looks like alone. I can get too much alone time and things become bleak and hopeless.
I have to stay busy and reach out to my daughters and friends to make sure I don’t fall into depression and self loathing. I have to make sure I am actively giving back. I have to have routines with myself because I don’t have help or anyone to rely on for household needs. I think that is the loss that is hardest for me is not having help around the house. My guy is amazingly helpful when he is home. He has opened my car door since the day I met him. It is like living in day and night when he is home helping so much and going to the extreme opposite of that to doing it all alone.
No more intimacy. No more feet rubs. It is time to transition into that and it’s hard every time! I am grateful for the aging process and getting tired of my coping mechanisms that end up with me saying and doing things that aren’t genuine to how I really feel, which is destroyed. I am grateful to cry and say I feel so depressed about this and deal with it versus having a huge dramatic fight that I stab with my words in my heart of pain that I end up regretting and don’t really mean.
I also have to encourage myself and say you did it last time. You did it well. You are going to be okay and literally change the self defeating message to one that encourages my heart. Sick to death of the coping mechanisms that I have used. Even in my consciousness I have the desire to act but have the understanding of choice right now. I think that’s the key, we don’t stop wanting to do that coping behavior quickly but we become aware we don’t have to act on it. Profoundness in simplicity. I was lightning before the thunder.
I drove home crying uncontrollably from the airport dropping my guy off to his roadie life, listening to Thunder from Imagine dragons repeatedly. I have never had a song give me chills of truth like this song. Thunder is loud and explosive but invisible to the eye. We can feel it shake us. I feel evolvement shaking me. I was lightening before thunder with a short fuse. As a writer I really appreciate lyrics, when they sing these words accompanied by a beat,they penetrate my soul. I envy that ability.
Faced with the feeling of sadness and depression just to feel it and shaken to the core. Making no decisions from that just feeling and crying and releasing. Not masking lightning for thunder. It is powerful and uncomfortable. I am starting to realize that genuine truth is uncomfortable and we do all kinds of things to not feel pain. I realize most of the time being uncomfortable means growth and is positive. Chills always represent truth. I was dreaming of bigger things and leaving my old life behind. What are we seeking? Peace inside with ourselves. That’s what I see. Feel the thunder not the lightening, live your truth. Do your passions. Be genuine to your self and your true feelings. Thunder, feel the thunder, lightening THEN the thunder, never give up, thunder⚡️
This song repeats In my mind this morning. Time, time, time, see what’s become of me? The bangles from 1987, I was in seventh grade. Life was pre internet. We rode our bikes without helmets everywhere. We told time by watches. We went to the library and looked up information. Life was simplistic it seemed. News came in the form of newspapers, television at certain times of the day. It was not 24 hours a day. MTV played music videos. I am generation x. I am proud of that, we are the middle child generation between two very large generations of baby boomers and millennials. We are the face of forties. It’s hard to believe that I am middle aged. In my mind 14 wasn’t that long ago, but it is and life couldn’t be more different than when I grew up. We are the first generation of latch key kids and divorce. We were the eighties, the Cold War, the Aids epidemic, the Reagan era, the Berlin Wall coming down.
Remember when E.T. came out? Remember in Raiders of the lost ark when his head melted? The Goonies? We didn’t realize that we were being raised in an iconic time. Sometimes my guy and I listen to music from the eighties and we get sad and long for what was simpler to us. Middle age is is hard to pallet. Half of your life is over. The mirror shows us how time has taken it’s toll on the expressions we have used over the years. The elasticity is gone of youth. The body of your 20 year old self is long gone. Our expectations of what we thought would be and what is are very different. Many of us have chosen divorce and are starting over. Many of us have changed careers. Our expectations change as we age. Women especially in their forties choose happiness over staying in a dead marriage. Kids are getting older and truly our kids watch we do, not what we say, so if the marriage sucks that is their example. Many of us have chosen this path. It’s hard to re start your life. It makes me question everything and what makes me happy?
I yearn for my youth. I yearn for simpler. However aging is awesome in our perspective. We have experienced death, birth, life and all it has taught us. I believe in the saying, growing better or growing bitter. We have to deal with our childhood issues, addictions and grow the fuck up, that is middle age, looking in the mirror and liking what we are looking at. Being able to live with yourself in peace becomes the focus. It’s a time we evaluate where the next part of our life is going. I work with a lot of women and it is very normal to be in upheaval at this point in our lives. My hope is to spread awareness that forties is a time of looking into the future and where we are heading. It is confusing, it is really upsetting if you think you are alone in that journey. The inner voice is screaming what it wants, do we listen, do we jump? What about security? What about happiness? What about the kids? What about me? What about the future? The questions swirl and that is NORMAL!!! Developmentally that is where we are.
I am working through my own questions to happiness. The choose your own adventure book in real life playing out. Life is a journey and not a destination so that is what we forget a lot of the time. Do we like the life we are living? Our we serving our purpose? What is our purpose? Our purpose seems to matter more as we age. A reason to live. A reason to get up. As our children leave us we have to find that next thing to focus on with our time we invested in them. Is it our careers, do we change that? Is it our relationship? Is it our location? Is it my hobbies? Questions we have to answer that have never been questions. We know the clock is ticking, it isn’t a distant noise anymore, it’s a very loud tick tock now. It’s unavoidable. It’s life and being middle aged. It’s a time to decide where the next forty years are taking us if we get that time. It can be terrifying and liberating. It may require huge life changing decisions. It’s where we are and it’s okay!
I binge watched stranger things on Netflix yesterday , all day on the couch bundled up with my dogs and that is all I did on my day off. I do this once a week, which is absolutely nothing. Anxiety feels like the dark monster in stranger things, engulfing me in it’s unending arms of uneasiness.
Typically following a day in which I do nothing it is followed by days of anxiety to accomplish my tasks. Meaning I am becoming conscious of anxiety being the motivator of getting things accomplished. It’s like looking in a window to myself and seeing this pattern that doesn’t end. I am not going to stop taking days off in which I do nothing, anxiety doesn’t stop me from doing this, anxiety is the tool to I grab after I take my time to do nothing to get going again. The problem with this is, anxiety doesn’t feel good, like the tentacles of the dark monster in stranger things consuming your being doesn’t feel good.
I asked myself this morning, what can I do to not use anxiety as my motivator? I believe it’s a tool I have always used in my life. What other tool do I have to turn too? What is the motivation behind today’s agenda? I know I have things to do. I know from experience I will get these things done. I know I can write down what needs to be accomplished and lists of things I need to get. I know if I stay in the moment and I just think about the task I am performing, that is the solution. Sometimes I think the task we are performing is so boring, like washing dishes that we choose a thought to go on a adventure in our mind or being consumed by anxiety instead of being aware of the boring task.
The only thing we have is awareness to change. We don’t have too. I am tired of feeling anxious. I think it’s the reason I have to have days off where I shut down completely. It’s very black or white living. Today I see it and it’s a choice. I will probably interact with that feeling quite a bit, it’s my mode of operation but when I see it and feel it ,I am going to breathe deeply and try to stay in the moment and not let the anxiety take over as the motivating emotion. It’s letting go. Maybe it’s a way to control? I am not sure but what I know is, I want freedom from that all consuming anxious feeling.
I still have that feeling, that he is asleep in his room, while I drink my coffee in the wee hours of the morning, we keep opposite hours, I am senior citizen hours of 5-10, he keeps the teenager hours of 9-12. He isn’t asleep, he is at school. He is in the bed they have for him. He has all his blankies from home but he isn’t here. He won’t be back till Christmas. My nest is empty and my guy is on the road for work with Lady Gaga till Christmas. I am fully alone on the daily. I got a little glimpse of this when my guy left on tour and my son was still at camp in New York. I also had the experience for two summers of my son being gone for a month in another state at camp with no communication, if anything makes you trust the universe as a mother, it’s definitely that!
Transitions are hard, I am in the throughs of transitions. There has to be a death before a beginning. There has to be closure on what was to usher in what is. There is loss to acknowledge in transitions even if the changes are positive. Many times they aren’t, divorce, death, loss. The start of the school year usually brings a new schedule, lunches to pack, vitamins handed out, a hot breakfast every morning to make. Not this year. I took him to school in New Mexico on Wednesday, he is now on their schedule and he now has a dorm mom and dad, who I adore but they aren’t me. He is responsible for taking his vitamins, he is responsible for all his stuff. I trust him, that’s why we agreed to this decision, he is very responsible for his age. I have cried and shed many tears over my baby leaving the nest. I think that is part of the shedding process. Acknowledging how much identity for me has been formed around my motherhood since age 18. I am 43 years old now, that is 25 years of non stop parenting on the daily. That is not a small change. When we go through transitions we have to mourn what life was that we loved and we will not do anymore. It is now a completely different reality. Where does our identity go without the daily parenting, it is a new journey with yourself to find out.
Having my guy on the road is also a huge transition and change. I had to mourn his physical touch of rolling over in bed and touching his skin in the middle of the night, I only get to experience this every three weeks when he or I fly to each other. I had to mourn the ability to contact him when I want. I have to wait till he is available or he is on a tour bus with no reception or much of the time he is asleep when I am awake and vice versa. I had to mourn him going to the store to pick up something or help out in someway. He treated me like a queen in our daily life and did a lot so going from that to nothing was very shocking.
Our daily relationship and everything I knew changed in the blink of an eye. It’s bracing yourself as you go through the shock of your life being something you don’t understand. It’s about all the feelings of loss of routines you have with that person and understanding the securities you had with that. I have to tell myself everyday you have to do it (insert whatever) because no one else will, it is the most terrifying and liberating feeling I have ever felt simultaneously.
That’s what I know and am experiencing is how important grieving the losses are to move on to the positives of this new life. It makes me grateful for my relationship because of our limited time and ability to communicate, it puts our relationship pettiness away because there is limited times we can communicate. I now will spend my time writing letters to my son at school, he loves receiving actual paper, texting and phone calls instead of sitting across from him at the dinner table discussing the day. It is going to take time for sure to adjust to this new life. I think we have a problem with grieving as a society and an innate want to immediately move on to not feel the pain. It’s healing to just cry and feel that pain to the core and go to work or wherever you need to be for the day. It’s one day at a time, it’s one moment at a time, it’s acknowledging the changes and grieving as we go through transitions in this life.
I have been struggling with some deep depression. It feels very heavy to the core, it is unbearable at times. I am doing trauma therapy weekly trying to process emotionally my fathers suicide three years ago, I haven’t been the same, since. My oldest daughter has really struggled with her grandpa’s suicide because he was like a dad to her, as a single mom to her for 4 years he helped a lot with her and she was his” little-hotshot”. My father was my greatest supporter so his loss was huge to me in so many ways.
My daughter sought a psychic this week in her healing process, my dad came up a ton in her reading. The psychic asked about me several times in her reading and told her I needed to come to see her because of my dad. So I did.
Yesterday, I had an appointment with this psychic. I was leary as I think you should be a bit at first or with a pyscic the first time, but I have a had a reading by someone else before and it was a positive experience that helped me move forward. I pulled up to her house with signs that pointed the way inside. I was greeted by her super furry, fawn colored, yapping dog at the door. I was concerned the dog was psychic too and barking because I was being read by it. A woman in her fifties, olive toned skin, darker hair, greying on the sides, intense hazel eyes and of Eastern Europe decent with a little bit of an accent greeted me and told me to sit down across from her at a wooden table. She had jars of oils on her wooden table she had prepared, her house was very clean and void of energies. She spoke slowly to me and explained all my choices I could have for my reading. I choose the most in depth reading which includes your palm and an entire tarot card reading. She handed me the cards to shuffle and put my energy on the cards, the deck was so worn. Many cards had torn edges. It spoke of her time with these cards and it made feel comfortable because she had probably done hundreds, if not thousands of readings with these cards.
She took the deck from me and started to lay them in a brick lay fashion, stacking them. She didn’t say a lot at first. She just kept laying the cards down in top of each other in the same fashion. She paused and grabbed my hand. She turned my palms upwards and said very sternly, ” you have a very long life but you bring yourself close to death too many times, the next time you attempt suicide you will be paralyzed, your children and their children will follow suite and suicide will live in your family forever.” She leaned into me and spoke into my eyes, ” you must break this curse!” That really scared the shit out of me!
She went back to brick laying and reading my cards and told me,”because my dad had committed suicide he is stuck here, he is confused and he is also trying to protect my daughter and I, his energy is toxic and he is angry and lonely for the past three years”. She told me, “my daughter and I have to help him pass on and lead him to the light because he was never supposed to commit suicide”. She said, “his energy of depression that lead him to suicide is so strong in me and has such a hold that I needed to cleanse myself, heal myself and help him move on to the next life.”
In order to do this, she gave me cleansing oils I need to apply nightly to sleep in for 14 days, I then will use love oil or reparative oil for another 14 days. These are oils prepared by her and prayed over specifically for these energies. As well I have to smudge my home with sage everywhere, leave the house with all the animals and return 30 minutes later to light a white candle and open doors and windows to help and encourage my dad move on.
It maybe sounds hokey to some but the truth of suicide is that it is sudden for everyone, including my dad. I have never considered my dad tortured and not passed on until this was pointed out. If this is what we need to do I am open because nothing has worked so far to get closure with his suicide.
I also belong to a suicide survivor support group called heartbeat, they have always recommended psychics to help with the passing of a loved one that has committed suicide. We actually at one group had a psychic that is local named Deb Shepherd who did a group reading. My dad didn’t come through at that group. It wasn’t something I put a lot of value into until now. I will let you know how this goes as I work through this process. It is imperative to stop this cycle of suicide and depression I my family and it will start with me!