Trust

It’s been an ongoing issue.

He goes to school, has 4 hours between the next class, and normally, comes home to hang out for a few hours, after he finishes his homework.

This whole last week, it became the “issue” of our marriage. I wanted him to text me if he was staying, because I kept having anxiety attacks–He was staying after class to do stuff, and not telling me, and then I was wondering what was happening. I was so afraid I’d lose him in a car accident. That was literally the only fear I had. He thought it was stupid-of *course* he’d come back, he’s a competent driver, and furthermore, he shouldn’t have to check in with me constantly.

I couldn’t make him understand. It wasn’t a trust issue–it was a fear issue. I feared losing him, and him telling me what his plans were greatly reduced the rising fear and anxiety I had whenever he was behind schedule.

We talked about it in marriage counseling.

Yesterday, and the night before, he texted me to tell me what was happening. Both times, I buried him in gratitude. He had no idea it meant so much to me.

He left this morning, 7:30.

9:30 rolled around, and he didn’t call. I assumed he was on his way home. The agreement was that he would call if he was staying. Then I would know.

10:30 rolled around, I got mad. Of course. He forgot to tell me he was staying late.

11:30 rolled around. Nothing. I sent him an email, asking if he was okay. Begging and pleading with him to call me…..typing out my prayer that he was okay. I was so afraid. So afraid I’d get another phone call. Another quiet voice telling me they were gone.

12:30 rolled around. His next class had started. I toyed with the idea of calling the college, getting the number of his classroom, and trying to get in touch. But then I worried over it. What if he was there, working hard? What if I came off as a controlling wife? What if he came off as an insensitive husband?

1:30 rolled around. I threw up. I couldn’t keep food down. I wrapped my arms around myself and started to steel myself for making phone calls to the hospitals. 2:30, I thought. If he isn’t home by 2:30, I’ll start calling. I started getting angry. If he’s okay, I thought to myself, I will never forgive him for this. He knew. The fear from losing Jonny. The anxiety issues. The coping issues. He knew better.

2:15 Liam and I both just stared out the window. Big tears rolled down my cheeks, but I kept quiet. God, I thought, please don’t let him die. Please let him be okay. Please give me strength.

2:22 Red Car. His Car. It pulled in. And the dam broke. Every fear, every prayer, the increasingly ludicrous bargains I had going with God dissolved away. And all I could feel was a completely red hot anger. And sweet, sweet relief.

He knew. As soon as he came in, and saw my face, he got defensive. He immediately spilled out an excuse that he had told me yesterday he would be in school all day today. But I would have remembered those things. I drill them into my head. The alternative is unbearable. A day of fear. A day of reliving hell. And he knew too. He looked down in shame.

All I wanted to do was slap him across the face, kiss him, and hold him. Instead, I excused myself, and came into my room, and I sobbed into the pillows.

What could have happened….I flinch whenever I think it. And yet, some small part of me calmly reminds me that I have someone else to live for too. Someone who’s learning to fear the unknown, learning to fear a lack of control. And that little guy shouldn’t need to learn that fear. Not yet. I can’t protect him forever, and I’m certainly going to try and prepare him for the sadder truths in life.

I’m angry at my husband for being insensitive, but I still love him. I’m just….

I guess I had to write this out. Had to tell it to myself on paper. Our marriage? Not perfect. Not at all. But like me, my baby, and my husband, it’s a work in progress. I think he gets it now. He’ll remember his phone. He’ll message or email me in the future if he forgets it.

In the end, that he’s safe is what I care about the most.

That Void We Fill With Silence

She sat across from me, her eyes seeing a year of sessions, a year of tears, anger, words thrown like knives, and a couple of crazy kids that were trying to make a marriage work.

She saw hope where we gave up.

So we stuck with it.

And today, we’re still sticking together. It’s not perfect…but we’re making it work, and she’s working with us.

But this demon inside me didn’t allow for peace. Oh, no. Not that demon. She’s the type that rages about a sea of dirty clothes, a lost phone, a weepy baby, a stressed out husband. When I see her, I see this venomous viper, coiled in the darkness that was my childhood memories, waiting to lash out–a lifetime of neglect, hurt, pain, defeat…it was her revenge.

I was just a frightened vessel.

Sometimes, I could breathe through the anger and conquer her–my husband watching apprehensively.
Sometimes I held onto a breath as she raged, throwing vases, plates, cups, and words at a man that had married a little girl that hated the world, and wanted to feel love. More than anything.

Always, always afterwards, I sat, arms wrapped around my legs, head buried in shame, lamenting, apologizing, aching for arms of understanding, and freedom from this past. Why, I would think as my husband quietly threw away the broken dishes. Why, this voice would laugh back, mockingly–bitterly, I now recall.

Today, I shared her with this perfect stranger that had an incredible gift for loving my every dark corner. And her eyes softened. her hand clenched. Fear gripped me. Would I lose my son? Would she tell me what I had heard before, that I was broken, that nothing could fix me, that God was waiting for me to have more faith? Would she fill me with pills and shame, and tell me that chemicals were the problem?

It’s okay, a soft, breathy voice said. Not hers. Not hers at all. It was the voice of a father. A friend. A mixture. I heard the joy of a lost brother, the forgiveness of a father who had seen it all.

It’s okay, she said. I blink.

Flashback: Weekends ago, at the joy of a wedding, my family told me it wasn’t my fault what I had gone through. No, I denied them, it was my fault. It had to be my fault. I was a bad kid. I had issues. I fought with her. I wanted freedom. I didn’t like making my bed. I left the towel on the floor. I forgot to check my laundry. I deserved what I got.

No, she said, as I repeated those words. It’s not your fault, she said. I dared not look.

You were a child. You were trapped. You were waiting for someone to tell you what to do. You tried to toe the line. You tried to be good enough. You did the best you could.

A crack in the dam.

You were hurt, and you’re still angry. Emotions have no age. Your emotions don’t care how long ago it happened. It happened, and you hurt. And that’s okay.

Tears fell.

You aren’t a bad mom. If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t be hiding in a tub, holding yourself together so you wouldn’t hurt anyone.

Heartache.

You’re just a little girl that was told she had no right to her life. No right to independence. And when you finally got it, you decided you would never let it go again.

Dam. Broken.

At that moment, that office warmed slightly. I breathed in deeply, the swirl of a cinnamon/fall candle filling my senses. Warmth. Love.

You never wanted to let it go again, and so now, when your baby cries, and you can’t stop it, you panic. When your husband and you fight, and you can’t make him see reason, or you can’t see reason, you get scared. You fight back.

And it’s okay that it happened.

It’s okay that you were angry.

It’s okay.

You’re not a monster. You’re a mother who doesn’t want to hurt her baby. You’re a wife that wants a wonderful marriage.

You’re a little girl that just wants to be loved, that wants to be okay.

—-

She leans forward, and my heart skips. This is the lean of intention. I recognize this lean. She’s going to give me straightforward, understandable advice. She’s going to tell me how I can be better.

Write, she says. In a journal. Figure out what hurts.  Let it hurt. Let it fill you. Feel it. You’ll feel like you’re going to die, because it’s going to fill every part of you. But it wont. You wont die.

It’ll be bad, she cautions. You’re facing the pain of the little girl. But you’re here to tell her it’s okay. Feel that pain. Let it in. Let it subside. It’ll fade.

It won’t be easy.

Of course, I think. Nothing in my life has never been easy. I flinch. It’s the voice of a victim. Ugh.

But just ease into it. Face it for 5 seconds at a time. Go longer when you’re ready.

And write. Write it out. Write and if you see a pattern, or something that makes sense, tell me. And we’ll work this out.

A soft whisper of a hummed song filled my mind. Over the mountains, over the seas, you have a river full of love just for me.

And as I left, that night, I felt, for the first time, I was on a path that seemed *right*.

I’m apprehensive, afraid to share hope about it. Afraid to think this will cure me.

But one moment at a time.

Judging

It’s been a while, again, I know. It’s one of those things where I’ve been moving, I’ve been emotional, I’ve been hormonal, I’ve been nesting, and more recently, I’ve been in a room with a 60-year old nurse with 12 other pregnant couples, learning about childbirth. Today, actually.

I left early. I’ll admit, I used my swollen feet and hands and ankles to my advantage, cried sanctuary, I really did. I had to escape. I mean, first off, the nurse kept pointing to her crotch every couple of seconds. Ew. I’m sure that makes me immature, whatever, but seriously, I was really uncomfortable when she was making us do labor maneuvers with our butts in the air, and she was doing them with us.

I did not want to stare at a 60-year olds suspiciously padded butt….like she was wearing Depends. It’s all I could think about. I kept wondering about it the entire class, kept listening for the tell-tale diaper crinkle, but I think Depends leave you in suspense. That would explain why I saw that one guy at Costco with 3 packs of them. I’m pretty sure I am not alone when I admit that I totally checked his pants to see if he was wearing them RIGHT THEN. I couldn’t tell.

In any case, the class was informative, but the chairs were meant for size 5 girls with cute outie belly buttons, tight shirts, and perfectly done hair. My hair was twisted back into a hasty bun, I was wearing a sun dress (BECAUSE I RIPPED MY ONE PAIR OF MATERNITY JEANS THAT STILL FIT…..RIGHT IN THE CROTCH) and my feet were already swollen before the class even started at 9 in the morning, when I arrived incredibly late because NO ONE TOLD ME where the class was.

Oh, and also, as a side note, I wasn’t aware that Hospitals took time off, but it was 8:59 on a Saturday, and almost every freaking building was closed, except Labor and Delivery and the Emergency Room, but they also looked suspiciously vacant. The two buildings couldn’t have been further apart, and by the time we had the car parked and we were on our way up, I was hissing at my husband to stop “being an anti-social ass” and he was glaring at the elevator that was taking FOREVER….we were a mess by the time we got in there.

So yeah. We left about 7 hours in, we couldn’t handle another creepy 90′s film about incredibly scary looking people having babies. It wasn’t even the fashions. There was a couple that looked like a father-daughter team, NOT husband and wife. The resemblance was so similar, I literally had to gag quietly. And of course, we watched the Natural Birth video first. Lemme tell you something–I was FINE with natural birth after I found out how limiting an epidural was during delivery. And then I watched the video. The woman and the husband both boasted of how she had a high pain tolerance, and handled an episiotomy, and she looked like she wanted to DIE. TO DIE.

So now I don’t even know what to do. I’m gonna try natural, but I wont be afraid to tag the dude with that massive spinal needle and tell him to make it happen.

 

It’s been a long day. I had meltdowns, ripped my husband a new one, felt awful about it, watched Parenthood, which is a huge mistake, by the way, only because I was bawling the entire episode. (“What if my son favors TJ over me?” “What if he’s autistic and we can’t help him?” “What if he turns out to be a little turd and we can’t control him?!”) Yeah. Meltdown City.

I’m ready for this labor to begin and end…..and I’m okay with it not coming. Seriously.

 

BUH.

Shame

So…. this is awkward. I know, I know, it’s been months and months since I last updated.

 

The truth is….I hated staring at who I was becoming. My posts got darker and darker. I raged more. I hated who I was, and I couldn’t handle it, and I was full of way too much shame, so I stopped writing.

Shortly after that, I realized I needed help. I needed to get my priorities in order.

And then I found out I was pregnant.

I know, I know. I got pregnant before marriage, trust me, there was plenty of criticism. Beard immediately proposed, and yeah. From that point….it’s been crazy.

So….let me catch you up on what’s been going on since then.

The pictures were taken by Jamee, my beautiful sister, Lexie, my Canadian bestie, and Adam, whom I have taken to affectionately calling “Meester.”

The Crazy Things That Have Happened To Us:

-Beard and I got married on June 2nd.

-We are having a BOY! I was so sure it was a girl, but I’m incredibly stoked to be having a son!

-His name shall be Liam Thomas.

-Beard is finally getting his IME for his arm injury back in September. If all goes well, he’ll finally be cleared to go back to work. That will be wonderful.

-I have not been able to find a job. I took a month off and barely even looked at the classifieds, mostly because I felt burnt out. And then I found out I was pregnant. Turns out, being pregnant is a special kind of leprosy for the work place, no one would touch me with a 10 foot pole. I stopped putting that I was pregnant on my resume and application, and started waiting for interviews instead. Funnily, they were very enthusiastic until I got in to the interview and revealed my impregnated state. Psh.

-We both now live in the little awesome room on the ranch. We’re staying until the end of summer, both to save money, and to make sure that TJ’s claim is finished in time.

-Momo is doing wonderfully, she’s a turd, but a happy turd.

 

I think that’s really about all I can share about. Obviously, that’s not all that’s happened in 6 months, but there are some things we want to keep private, and I’ll honor that.

 

I plan on sharing a lot more in the future, because I feel like things are finally settling down enough for me to start this back up. Plus I’m a lot more centered now, and a lot happier. It feels safe now. To be me, I mean.

In any case, I hope if anyone reads this, that you’re doing well. :)

Taxes, Unemployment, Weddings, and Momo

Unemployment is interesting, to say the least. While it gives me time to put my business in order (read: I’ve been doing taxes, catching up on editing, emailing masses of brides, and putting together a portfolio) it’s still disconcerting. The rest of the world is making the daily trek to a place of employment where Boss Man says “Work hard for your money.” And people do.

It’s always confused me. How can they demand we give up our lives for work? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? I’m not saying don’t have a good work ethic, not at all, but I am saying that I don’t get the rage and absolute demolition of lives over something as little as a mistake on a spreadsheet or the speed one answers the phone. Maybe you’re different. Maybe you have a job where you do your job, you go home and have a fantastic life, and all is well.

But I’m not from that cloth. I can’t rightfully go work for someone else when there’s so much potential in this world to do something I enjoy. Isn’t Life short? Can’t we be snatched away at any moment? Then why are we wasting our time being miserable, making others miserable, doing miserable things?

I can’t handle it.

I’m not meant to. My calling is photography. My love and deep need for meaning springs from God, and this is what feels right.

So here I am. Waiting. Ready to take a step, but where? I dunno.

I shot a wedding this weekend for an international couple. It was fun, but at the end of it, I felt…restless. Sad. Lonely. Achy. I couldn’t quite figure out why.

And then I realized that my womanlyness was all crazy with “You ought to be getting married, eh?” And my mind was like “It’s been 4 months, reign it in.” When you know, you know, and all that, right? Well….I dunno what I know anymore. Emotion of the moment is often overpowering logic and responsibility. And….I dunno what I want.

Beard is a great guy, no doubt about it…but is it what I want forever? Is this relationship really what I want to focus on as a pursue my business? 99.9% of me says yes. .01% of me says “Ehhhh, you’ll fail at it like you have everything else in your life. You’re better off alone.”

Probably right.

Momo’s bathroom issues have plummeted dramatically since I came home. She now goes to the bathroom in the proper place, like a good girl.

Other than that, meh.

MEH I say.

Laid Off

Yep.

I’ve been laid off.

The sad part? After I was done feeling like the worlds biggest failure? I felt peace. I was happy that I wouldn’t be hurt or bullied anymore.

So. Unemployment.

Huh.

I dunno. I guess I can just draw on unemployment while strengthening my business, and go from there.

I dunno.

I still feel so….odd about it.

Tired

I am….tired. Only a half hour left of work, everything is done, and I can’t wait to climb that completely snow free hill and go home.

Last night, I sat down with the huge file of receipts from my business that Jamee had organized, and nearly poo’d myself.

It’s so organized, it scares me. And I can honestly, humbly say, had I known all that she had done in those files…I would have never questioned her worth for a second. Hindsight is 20/20, though, and she set up a good system I plan on following to the letter for the future.

Tonight, I may use the ledger to go through and look at all the deposits and transactions  from each month, and make a spread sheet for each month, to make it easier to see what happened each month.

From there, I can combine the spreadsheets and figure out what I made for the year. Why, I may not need to take it to a professional after all! I may be able to do this myself.

I felt so pro today: Went to the Post Office, mailed Pam her pictures, Caitlin her CD, filled the gas tank, got lunch, and made it back to work with enough time to eat and surf the web for a bit before lunch was over. Like a boss. So, you know…I accomplished stuff, and today felt like a good use of my time.

Beard went back to work today. It was kinda depressing to see him go…I know he’ll be working and not able to answer my texts, whiiiich sucks, but I’m hoping they don’t eff him over and only let him work one day a week. That would suck.

In other news: I got my approval for the Denver “Fix It” ticket with Jasmine Star. Paid out of my own pocket, thank you very much. Once I got the email saying I was golden, I sent the time off request to get Thursday afternoon and all of Friday off, so I can fly there Thursday afternoon, sleep, get up Friday and wander around town, maybe meet up with other photographers for fun, and then go to the meeting, crash at the hotel, \and come back Saturday morning. :D :D :D I feel so adventurous and grown up!!!! (Funny to say that, when I’m 25, but it’s true.) I can say I’m going on a business trip, and that makes me feel LEGIT.

I’m in the home stretch for the day, caaaaan’t wait to go home and make my bed, fold laundry, do business stuff, and then, right at 8:00, relax, watch some Castle, snuggle with Momo, and go to sleep at a reasonable hour. And hopefully tomorrow, I wont wake up at 5:30 completely flooded with energy. :) Preferably 6:30, mkay?

BEST PART OF TODAY: The Wicked Witch of the Other Side of the Building Who Is Plotting To Destroy Me Now That My Boss And Her Are On Friendly Terms tried to send a PO back, saying I had received too many of an item. BOOSH. Sorry, LADY, but I wasn’t wrong. The best moment of my day was circling the item number that both her and my boss had missed, in their desperate attempt to try and incriminate me.

Oh, I’m sorry? What? I can’t make mistakes? This is becoming an issue, sir? ALLOW ME TO SHOW YOU THE AWESOME OF MY WAYS. JERK.

I know I should feel bad about gloating about this. It’s probably not very nice. I’m sure I’ll feel bad in the morning.

BUT FOR NOW, VICTORY IS MINE.