My dad was an asshole, but then he died.

Sometimes I have to remind myself that my feelings are okay. That it is okay to feel angry, upset, grief, happiness, and everything all in once.

Just because he is dead, does not mean it is wrong for me to speak ill of him.

Just because he is dead, does not mean that I have to pretend that everything was peachy keen when he was alive.

Because that’s not the truth. It’s dangerous to have that mindset.

Now that he’s dead, I’m free.

It’s okay on this father’s day if you hate your dad. If you love him. Or fuck, even both.

It’s okay if you don’t want to call him.

It’s okay if you don’t want to send a card or get him a present.

It’s okay.

It’s okay if you long more than anything to be a father but you cannot or are not for whatever reason.

It’s okay.

Your feelings are still valid.

Your feelings are yours and yours alone.

Don’t let anyone tell you that they’r not okay or you have to do this or that or you’re a “bad daughter” or “bad son” or “bad child”. You aren’t.

And that’s okay.

Whatever you feel today, it’s okay.

Whatever you feel today, it’s okay.

If you’re a mother who lost their child before you met them, you’re still a mother. Whatever you feel is okay and valid. You’re allowed to grieve. You’re allowed to be pampered. Whatever you feel today is okay and valid.

If you’re a mother who lost their child, it’s okay to be angry at the world for not giving you a child to celebrate mother’s day with. They are still your baby. You are still a mother. It’s okay to feel whatever you feel. Your emotions are real and valid.

If you long more than anything to be a mother and you haven’t become one for whatever reason, whatever you feel is okay and valid. You don’t have to confirm to so-called standards.

If you have no desire whatsoever to be a mother, whatever you feel today is okay and valid. You don’t have to become a mother just because it’s what society seems to want of you. If you don’t want kids, that’s okay!

If you have a great mother and want to sing her praises, by all means do so! Whatever you want to do is okay, just please don’t shame those in other situations. You were blessed with a wonderful, caring mother and I’m so happy for you. Please be sensitive to those that were not.

If you have a shitty mother and you’re still in contact with her, it’s okay if you don’t feel like calling her. It’s okay if you don’t want to hang out with her on mother’s day. Whatever emotions you feel are okay and valid – and they’re very much real.

If you’ve lost your mother, that’s okay. It’s okay to grieve and take time away from Facebook or Tumblr or whatever today. I’m sorry you had such a difficult loss. I’m sorry you lost the person you loved so dearly. But please don’t shame those who have living mothers who don’t contact them for whatever reason. Trust me, many of them would love to contact their mother and feel loved/accepted/wanted vs the verbal abuse or shitstorms that happen.

If you have no contact with your mother, that’s okay. You don’t have to confirm to society or fill out a card just for one day a year to boost their ego. You don’t have to allow someone to treat you like shit – just because you share DNA does not mean you’re family and it does not give them a free pass to abuse you.

If you had no contact with your mother and they’re not dead, never to hurt you again, it’s okay to be happy. It’s okay to be relieved. It’s okay to just pretend the day doesn’t exist.

If you are a mother and you want to celebrate/be celebrated today, that’s okay too. Respect your children’s feelings either way. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be loved and appreciated. If your children love you, they will show it and that is a blessing. 🙂

I’m sure there are many situations I missed. I’m sure people hate me for posting this. But you know what? It doesn’t matter. Whatever you feel today is okay and valid. Whatever you feel today is what YOU feel and it’s what’s right for YOU. Don’t let others bully you into doing something that is dangerous for your mental or physical health. It’s OKAY to not want to do these things. It’s OKAY to want to do things. It’s okay to even want and not want all at once!

Whatever you feel today, it’s okay and valid.

Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow

I miss the Christmases of my childhood. Since moving to Minnesota, I have not been to a single Christmas Eve service. Something has come up every single year and I haven’t gone. I’ve spend them with friend’s families every year. But oh… sometimes I miss the traditions of childhood.

I miss my childhood tree ornaments. I miss eating a shrimp ring on Christmas Eve. I miss my grandfather heckling me on Christmas Day. I miss playing with my new toys on Christmas morning.

It’s hard, I guess, and a part of growing up.

One December, bright and clear

For the longest time, the month of December has sucked. It’s always been a hard month. Various things have happened in December over the past 6 years, and it’s just an incredibly difficult month. I last saw my father that December morning, 6 years ago (I moved out on October 31, but I last saw him in December). 5 years ago, I was in the psych ward over December. Various things happened over the years, and December just seems to be the month when the shit always hits the fan.

Christmas holds a lot of painful memories. And it’s hard to have a “good” Christmas in spite of all that, in spite of all the pain and anger that also happens over the holiday season.

“Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
let your heart be light,
next year all our troubles will be far away…

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
make the Yulitude gay
Next year all our troubles will be miles away

Once again, as in golden days,
happy golden days of old
Faithful friends that are dear to us,
Will be dear to us once more

Some day soon, we all will be together
If the fates allow,
Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.

I know that Christmas will always be difficult. I know that I won’t be spending it with my biological family, and, well, that sucks. There’s no sugar-coated, candy-frosted way to say it, it sucks. But until the day when I’m able to accept things, until the day where I spread my wings and fly, I can allow myself to have a “Merry Little Christmas” until then.

Every lament is a love song

My dad’s dad died in 1975.
My Grandma Dixie (dad’s mom) died when I was eight.
My Pawpaw (Mom’s dad) died when I was nineteen.
My Mawmaw (Mom’s mom) died when I was twenty-three.
There was my great uncle, my great aunt, etc, etc, you get the picture. I’ve been to more funerals than weddings in my lifetime.

I’ve had various friends die over the years. Most were ones I used to be close to but then fell out of touch with. One I used to be close to, then we had a fight and never made up. Others, I just got busy and selfish with life and we just didn’t talk anymore. And it sucks. I have various memorials set up in my room to various people: a stuffed pee cup for Nick (LONG STORY), the teddy bears Rachel sent me long ago, my grandpa’s beanie baby lady bug, the list goes on.

Hell, I just don’t grieve well, I don’t think. I stuff and I stuff and I stuff and I stuff. My puppy (Pirate wasn’t even a year old when he died) died 10 years ago and I still haven’t fully processed it.) But my biggest fear is that I am going to die young. I’m plagued by health problems. What if I die young? What if I leave friends behind asking the same questions I am asking now? What if it isn’t my health that takes me, but a car accident? Something else? Will I leave behind a legacy?

I just can’t help but wonder these things. I’m terrified of dying.

Mrs. Tanner: Sweetie, I’m seventy-four years old, I’m ready to go.
J.D.: Yeah, but with dialysis, you could live another…eighty or ninety years.
Mrs. Tanner: I think you’re being a little irrational.
J.D.: No I’m not.
Mrs. Tanner: Everybody dies sometime.
J.D.: No they don’t.

***

Dr. Cox: (In mock crying voice) But what about our duty as doctors? (Back to normal voice) Look. This is not about Mrs. Tanner’s dialysis, this is about you. You’re scared of death, and you can’t be; you’re in medicine for chrissakes. Sooner or later, you’re going to realize that everything we do around here, everything is a stall. We’re just trying to keep the game going, that’s all. But, ultimately, it always ends up the same way.

***

I’m terrified of death, which is odd considering I was hospitalized in 2006 due to being suicidal and in a crisis home for the same reason in 2009. But I’m terrified of death. It scares me senseless. and that’s just… I don’t even know. I’m out of words to describe how it makes me feel. But I know that my health is falling apart. I know I’m not a healthy 24 year old.

And it breaks my heart that one day, likely while I’m still young, my friends will be wrestling with the same gut-wrenching questions that I wrestle with.

Every lament is a love song,
yesterday, yesterday,
I still can’t believe you’re gone…

Because a thankful heart is a happy heart

“I give thanks for this day, for the sun in the sky!”

It’s Thanksgiving 2011. As I sit in northern Minnesota watching The Big Bang Theory wearing pajamas and mismatched socks and a mug of Nutcracker Sweet tea, I realize that I have so much to be thankful for.

I am thankful for funny TV shows, such as The Big Bang Theory, Scrubs, and How I Met Your Mother. They allow me to laugh and just enjoy things.

I am thankful for friends. Friends are family, too. I am thankful for friends that make sure I am no alone on holidays and that send me random texts throughout the day. I am thankful for random facebook wall posts, random emails, et al.

I am thankful to be alive. After the epic medication fail right after back surgery, after being diagnosed with an eating disorder, after medical test after test, I am grateful to be alive. Even though days are difficult and things like fibromaliga suck, at least my doctors are trying are to give me answers.

I’m thankful for video games! They are fun to play and give me an escape from life. And they let my mind wander and explore things.

I am thankful for gluten free food and that companies are getting better and making gluten free food.

I am thankful for comfy clothes.

I am thankful for my honey dew shampoo that makes me smell awesome.

I am thankful for the Tea Gardens! Mmm, bubble tea.

I am thankful for going to a school where there are disability coordinators who work with me and don’t belittle me.

I am also really thankful for a break from school. I was approaching a nervous breakdown and about to totally fall apart from stress. Which would be bad. I don’t think exploding and randomly falling apart is generally advised. I am still stressed to high heaven but hopefully the break will give me a chance to breathe.

I like writing out this thankful blog post! ^_^

If only in my dreams

I’m dreaming tonight of a place that I love
Even more than I usually do
And although I know it’s a long road back
I promise you
I’ll be home for Christmas,
You can count on me
Please have snow and mistletoe
And presents on the tree
Christmas eve will find me,
Where the love light gleams
I’ll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams
Listen to Josh Groban sing I’ll Be Home for Christmas!

I know I’m not in a war zone. I know I have a place to go for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. But it doesn’t replace the ache that lives in my heart. It doesn’t replace the loneliness. And I miss the Christmases of my childhood which will never exist again, because both my grandparents are dead. Mawmaw will have been gone one year come Thursday, Paw’s been gone for five years now. Christmas just hasn’t been the same since Christmas 2005 – my first one without a father and my last one with my Paw.

I don’t remember many Christmases before the divorce. They split the summer between first and second grade. I remember getting my tape (as in cassette, yo. Old skool!) deck for a present one year and headphones with it, only to discover it had a microphone jack, not a tape deck.

After the split, it was pretty simple. I’d spend Christmas Eve with my father, then he’d drop me off at the grandparent’s for Christmas day, and then I’d go to my mom’s for the evening. Some may call it chaotic, but it was what I was used to and all I really knew. And there’d be fun stocking stuffers and good food and presents and FAMILY. But all that is but a distant memory. I don’t have it anymore.

I spent Christmas 2006 and New Years 2007 in the Psych Ward. To put it simply, it sucked. Don’t ask me what happened on Christmas 2007. I think we went to Maw’s after everyone else had left and spent the rest of the day in the new apartment. ’08, ’09, and ’10 I’ve spent with friends, and will again for ’11. Don’t get me wrong – I am blessed and grateful to have friends who open up their hearts and home and treat me as one of the family. It’s a blessing beyond measure.

But it doesn’t heal the ache.
And I’m still homesick for something that doesn’t even exist anymore, and I’m not sure every truly did exist.

Halloween, Reformation, and Independence

I find it interesting that my Independence Day falls on Reformation Day. I don’t expect all my readers to know the details about it, but here are the basics:

Once upon a time in a land far away, there was a dude named Luther. His teachings radically reformed Christianity, and even formed a denomination (called, you guessed it, Lutheranism! Wow, y’all are a smart lot!). Luther, more or less, decided enough was enough and nailed the 95 Theses to the door of the Schlosskirche, a castle church in Wittenberg in 1517. This sparked the Reformation. That’s a very barebones version, and likely not the most historically accurate. I’m not a profound theologian.

It’s certainly interesting. This day is also Halloween – grim grinning ghosts, candy, trick or treat, and more. Halloween was banned when I was a kid because, you see, Jesus wouldn’t go door to door begging for candy. Clearly.

But when I think of 31.10, my brain goes back to a different place. 31.10.2005. I was 18 years old, and a senior in high school. A few days later I got the rest of my possessions out of my father’s apartment, but that was it. It’s hard to believe I’ve been away from him for six years. It’s hard to believe where I was when I was 18. I was still cutting at the time. I was deep in depression (understandably! I had faced things that no one ever should, and made decisions that some adults never have to make). My father later sent me emails chastising me for my decisions.

It gets more complicated because this anniversary also marks the shattering of my faith. Up until this point, I was pretty confident in my faith. But when I went to the church for help and assistance with a difficult, painful choice, and was turned away, my heart broke. When they helped him (note: he needed help, he NEEDS help so badly. But he didn’t get what he needed and it breaks my heart. I still want nothing more for him to get the help he needs) instead of helping me and literally turned me away, then I got angry and bitter.

This is a song I remember hearing on Christian radio a far amount those days:

She fools all of her friends into thinking she’s so strong,
but she still sleeps with the light on
and she acts like it’s alright on
As she smiles again
And her mother lies there sick with cancer
And her friends don’t understand her
She’s a question without answers
Who feels like falling apart
And she knows, she’s so much more than worthless
She needs to find a purpose
She wonders what she did to deserve this
And she’s calling out to you
This is a call, this is a call out…
This Is A Call – Thousand Foot Krutch

I think this song sums up that time frame well. Replace mother with “grandfather” (who died the summer after I graduated high school) and there you have it.

I don’t know anymore. I sometimes wonder if I’ll ever recover from what my father did to me. Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I will and it will always shape a part of my personality.

But sometimes, oh sometimes, I wish when my insomnia is rampant I could pick up my phone and cry to my Daddy. I wish that I could find a friend to get in a car with and drive home, knock on the door, and shock him by showing up randomly. Oh, how I wish beyond wishing that I had a Daddy. But I NEVER had a Daddy – I had a father. And at times, since I don’t speak to either parent, I feel orphaned. It makes for some really awkward moments in class some times. For example: “How did your parents parent you when you were five?” Cue instant panic attack from me trying to avoid thinking about it. We had to do a family survey in adol. psych and thank GOD the prof bailed me out when she took one look at my face and could tell it was distressing me.

Gosh. As much as people say it’s boring to be normal, trust me, this is one place where I’d love to be normal. Trust me.