Friday, February 26, 2010

What I've learned today....

Hersheys chocolate has no milk or dairy products in it.

Neither do Marshmallows, how crazy is that?

When you are helping someoene else, you are not thinking about how sad you are.

Reaching out keeps you from collapsing in.

Beagles are needy little fockers.

Rufus gets oh so sad when the bus comes and the kids leave. He howls, and howls, and howls.

Brad's friend Pat, says he will never stop that.

UGH.

He is so flippin loud. Shew, and once he gets upset, he is upset for a LONG time. There is no picking him up and calming him down! He needs doggie xanex.

The bread on Talia's page, is delicious.

Ozzy only believes in the Jesus with long hair and a beard.

Concrete thinker girl is totally distressed because someone told her about the holy ghost and the only ghosts in her world are bad.

But she gets upset about a million other things so I am not stressin.

If I cut my hair, she does not know me, a toddler in a 11 year old body. It is NOT NOT NOT Fun.

Now imagine bathing an 11 year old. And feeding her. And dressing her. It sucks.

My nephew Micah adores me. I can talk him down out of any situation.

Someone I care about has a child who is very sick. Please pray for them. I am not at liberty to share info with you right now.

If your child refuses to do her work, for long enough, they will try to send her to the retard class. Ok ok ok, I know that is not the pc description, but have I ever lived in a pc world? NO!

So I guess I am going to have to homeschool her. And I am terrified.

Pee and bleach will make you choke.

Oh cuz that's bleach and ammonia.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The common mistake made riding mental illness roller coasters, and why I don't do it anymore...

When parenting the chronically mentally ill, one is, in many ways, a passenger on a roller coaster. It's full of highs and lows, twists and turns, scary, and fun moments. It is frightening and exiherating depending on where you are at any given time. Over and over again, you hop on, for one reason or another, and each time, you go up, down, and sideways.
One of the mistakes I used to make, was to get caught up in the twist of the time. I would get so excited about the travel upward, that I forgot in only moments I would be dropping sharply down. In the same token, I would become so afraid on the drop, forgot the rise was coming, and keep my eyes closed, missing the joy of moving upward.
The problem with that riding that way, is that the fluctions will drive you nuts. If you go moment to moment and forget about the past cycles of the ride, it will always own you. It will control you and your emotions. Life will pass you by while you are busy riding.
But alas my sweet parent friends, if you take notice of each twist and turn, and keep track of them, you are ready. If you look at each change as a part of the ride, you can make the ride yours. You can sail down frightening hills knowing the in moments you will be wisked upward. You can twist upside down and know your feet will soon hit the ground. You are prepared.
Don't get lost in the moments. Learn them.

Monday, February 15, 2010

She had to see her mom...

Since I'm apparently in the mood to share all my fumbling and bumblings, I wanted to tell ya this one too!

A few years ago my children and I attended a foster parent pool party with eighty or so foster children. We work for a level 2 and 3 agency so the children they deal with have experienced major trauma and have a plethora of major issues.

The children and I arrived and I was shocked at how quickly Rachel, my biological child, resorted to acting like a crazy person. Oh my goodness, she starts throwing herself on the ground in front of everyone. People are staring, hell, the other kids are even staring. And here I sit, with my two-parent-middle- class-superdeedooper-loving-family child, totally outshining every other emotionally disturbed child in the area.

A woman who I do not know or care to know at this point approaches me. She looks at me with the most understanding eyes "gosh, it really is so hard on them", she says.

I stand there a minute, thinking, or rather not, as I reply "gosh I know, she had to see her mom today".....

take a minute and let that one sink in.....

Leaf Blowers

Tyler Perry, my most favorite playwright, gave the most eloquent speech when I went to see Madea Goes to Jail a couple of years ago in Atlanta. As I am re-doing much of my life, getting back to me, I have been reminded of this most important lesson.

This is a terrible Jessi rendition of his speech on Trees. Pardon my lacking, but I believe you can find it on you tube if you look.

I compare the people in my life to parts of a tree. Most of the people in my life, in the world are like leaves. The wind blows they are over here, it blows again, they are over there, they are unstable. They are there to take from the tree and provide a little shade sometimes. They disappear with the changing of the seasons.

Don't get mad at the leaves, it's who they are. So much heartache is caused by people trying to make leaves permanent. So much time is spent wasted on trying to hold onto someone who was only supposed to be with you for a season. Let them go.

There are other people who are like a branch. They make you think they are a friend, that they are strong, but when you step out, they will break and leave you high and dry.

Now pay attention...If you can find you two or three people in your life like the roots at the bottom of the tree, you are blessed. Those people aren't going anywhere. A tree can have a hundred million branches and only a few roots to get what it needs. Without the roots the tree would die. You can cut the whole tree down and the roots will still be trying to send up nourishment and get the tree growing again. Roots are not seen and don't care to be seen. They are there for the tree, to keep the tree grounded, to give the tree what it needs to survive.

Many thanks to Tyler Perry for being so wise! You can find more info on him at www.tylerperry.com

I'll skip past the leaves and branches, I"ve wasted enough time there already. I'm learning to take them for what they are. I've made the mistake of hanging onto leaves and branches. Ah... but each day I get a little smarter. You will be happy to know that most recently I purchased a leaf blower .

To the roots in my life, I am sincerely thankful. You have been such a blessing to me. The storms I have faced, only further showing me how very vital your presence is in my life. Tho the winds many times shredded my tree, you were there to make sure I wasn't lost forever, and for that I am grateful.

Funny Tribe Moments

One of my favorite classes in college was a Philosopy Class taught by Paul Tudico. He is despised among most because he is incrediby witty and challenges every thought good or bad. You best be certain of what you think and believe about things before spending much time around him, because he will question all of it.

NEWAY, so by now I'm sure you know I have six children. During one class discussion my professor was discussing abortion and having children and how having children was polluting the earth. Because he knew of my family size, he directed a comment to me concerning how badly I was pollutting the earth by having children.

"Oh no!", I said, "I've not had six children, I'm a foster parent, I recycle."

(PS I KNOW I"M SOOOO TOTALLY GOING TO HELL FOR THIS ONE, lol)

His name was Iggy

He joined me on one of my visits to the hospital. I, there to work on defending myself against real life monsters, and him, well, I know someone hurt him, I just don't know exactly how. He was so tiny, even to me, sullen and pale. Dead looking really, especially in his eyes. If not for seeing him draw, you could imagine him dead, for that really was the only thing he did that ever promised there might be something behind those eyes.

Day after day, he sat, drawing, never looking, or speaking to anyone. Not his parents, his therapist, or even me. And day after day, I felt drawn to him. His eyes mirrored my own. Sure, I was better at faking it, but him and I, we were the same.

He shuffled from place to place, careful to never draw attention, to blend into the nothingness that would allow him to pretend. The other patients, well, they fumbled and bumbled around, and I, I sat with him.

I spoke to him, talking to him, pretended he was participating, though he didn't. The other kids, they made fun of us both, but really, I didn't care. Teasing words were nothing compared to daddy's angry hands and eyes that never saw me.

A few days later, we sat, as we had over and over, and I chatted with him about nothing, and he ignored. He was drawing an iguana. I said, "Oh what a pretty iguana" and he raised his head, and looked me right in the eyes, and he said in such a quiet voice "His name is Iggy".

Even I, as an emotionally disturbed "teenrager", understood the magnitude of his utterance. Apparently, so did everyone else, because the desk, or rather, everyone standing behind it, froze.

This child, who for years had not spoken to anyone, felt safe enough to speak to me.

Over the next few days I was brought into therapy sessions, as a translator of sorts, one broken child, reaching out to another. I watched his eyes learn to dance. I watched color return to his face. And I can tell you, there was nothing greater than the moment I heard him speak to his mama.

It has been so very long since my days with my sweet little friend, but many more have followed. Broken children, unreachable, for whatever reason, able to hear me, A gift, a blessing amidst pain. Hope for more, for them, and for me.

Fragments

fragmented words

sewn together with strings of tears

pieces formed in broken promises and nothingness

mistakes and misunderstandings

become the very fabric of her

A writing challenge, who I am....

One of the writing groups I'm in had a poetry challenge, using a few of the lines from this poem by Gwendolyn Brooks to make a new one. Here is hers, mine is at the bottom, hope you enjoy!
A SONG IN THE FRONT YARD
by Gwendolyn Brooks
I've stayed in the front yard all my life.
I want a peek at the back
Where it's rough and untended and hungry weed grows.
A girl gets sick of a rose...

I want to go in the back yard now
And maybe down the alley,
To where the charity children play.
I want a good time today.

They do some wonderful things.
The have some wonderful fun.
My mother sneers, but I say it's fine
How they don't have to go in at quarter to nine.
My mother, she tells me that Johnnie Mae
Will grow up to be a bad woman.
That George'll be taken to Jail soon or late
(On account of last winter he sold our back gate).

But I say it's fine Honest, I do
And I'd like to be a bad woman, too,
And wear the brave stocking of night-black lace
And strut down the streets with paint on my face.



AND MY TAKE ON IT.....

Transposed

I play in the back

where its rough and

untended and hungry

weed grows



I long for the front

with pretty flowers

sunshine laughter

where I am my mama knows



I play in the back

where dreams die

untended and hope

is disposed



Please grant me the front

warnings, concern

full belly and heart

who I am transposed

You cannot

Basic necessities, called that for a reason.

I saw this episode of South park once where they were making fun of Sally Struthers. While it was stupid, one thing struck me. During the show, a plane dropped bibles over the dessert. Little starving children ran to the bibles, picked them up, and ate them. They were hungry.

Enough said.

You cannot focus on food for the spirit when you are starving.

You cannot understand the love of a Heavenly father when you have never had the love of a father or mother.

You cannot understand forgiveness when you have never been forgiven.

You cannot understand unconditional love when all you have seen is the greedy kind of love.

Hurt cannot know peace.

Pain cannot know rest.

Loneliness cannot know belonging

Unkindness cannot learn grace.

Think about it. Act on it. Be more.

And when she is quiet...

When she is quiet
she is oh so loud inside.
When she is smiling,
tears soak her pillows.
When she is surrounded by people,
she feels more alone than ever.
And when she has had enough,
of never being enough,
she decides she isn't going to play anymore.
She is going to live,
And laugh,
And love,
without you
Cause while she was quiet
She heard you.
And while she was crying
She saw you
And while you stood close
She figured you out

The Tearing Place

She stands alone
Head high in the clouds
Wrapped in their soft embrace

She hopes alone
arms reach for more
quiet dreaming her escape

She waits alone
Feet painfully nailed
in this tearing place

She sees the sun
Feels it’s warm rays
Yet she cannot break free
wishful feet soaked by rain

Half calm, half scared
Half more, half less
Half everything she wants to be
Half everything she's not

A devil's smile

an angel with a devil's smile


perhaps the other way around


it matters none the less, she says


I'll only bring you down


her wings were clipped so long ago


all she knows is falling


step close enough my sweet friend


from the bottom you'll be calling

Broken Puzzles

BrOKeN PuZzLEs
She is damaged goods,
Long ago broken
by men who will never pay for their crimes.
Long ago lost
to a world she was never brave enough to dream about.
She sits ever so quietly in her room
wishing,
Wishing to look in the mirror
and see more.
A broken puzzle with missing pieces,
She worked ever so hard to put them together
Filling in the holes with hopes for more
Trying desperately to make out who it is she wants to be
But it doesn't matter
Because no one plays with broken puzzles.

You blew in

You blew in
a soft breeze
caressing my war-torn skin
You blew in
reminding not all winds
carried pain
You blew in
just long enough to dry my tears
to clear the air so I could see
you blew away just as fast
just as gently
before I even knew you were gone

Sunday, February 14, 2010

What I've learned today 02/14/2010

A woman who I don't know at all, who has become my lifeline in this radical world, suffered a very painful loss today, and I am heartbroken for her.

My latest batch of laundry detergent SUCKS. It makes my clothes feel greasy or something so I am rewashing everything with vinegar.

I can find a million explanations other than what the truth actually is.

If you go bowling after 15 years, you back hurts.

Irish spring smells yummy in laundry detergent.

Things are rarely as they seem, and even less important than we imagine.

There is a blog to print thingamajig which I am thinking of using to print some of my stuff, hmmmm wonder how that will work out?

Someone has gone to JCMC twice as me, I got the bill today from a collection agency. I am not happy. I am fairly certain who it is. Will deal with that tomorrow I guess. AHHHH the consequences of meeting sociopaths and degenerates.

My tolerance level goes down sharply when I am tired.

Petting stinky, but beautiful malamutes, makes you smell like a stinky malamute, lol, you don't get the beautiful!

Monday, February 08, 2010

What I've learned today 02/08/2010

I do not like surround sound, it bugs my ears for some reason.

There are people God has surrounded me with, who hold me up when I am too tired or willing to do on my own.

Smoked pizza is the shiznat!

If you little white child washes her hair in your black neices hair conditioner, it will take atleast three days to get out...not that it's out...I'm just starting a count.

Dish detergent does not help with greasy headedness.

I'm ridiculously honest. I talk to much, tell to much, but in general I feel it does two things...one if I know someone knows what I'm struggling with, I think twice before I do it. And two, time and time again I am contacted by people who struggle with the very same things.


Christine
has been sent into my life at a time when I most needed reminding of the ins and outs of parenting the attachment challenged! She wrote and sings the most amazing song about the things we struggle with, it's called What you do with pee.

I am one resilient little focker!

My whispering is giving Jaylin a headache.

If given the opportunity, I can sleep till 1 and still be sleepy!

Dizzy

I fall down, I get back up.
You push me down, still I rise.
I fall down, I scramble upward.
You push me down,
I am tired,
I decide to lay for awhile.
Eventually...I get back up.
Over and over again
A dizzying mix of up and down,
forming a circle I can't free myself from.
Where I'm falling is irrelevant.
Why I'm falling, hard to pinpoint.
It's the getting back up that matters.
Resiliency becomes me.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Another Me

Another me

Another place and time

A new beginning

before yesterday’s nightmares

And today’s mistakes

Strong

and confident

and brave

A me without trepidation

Never little

Eyes wide open

skin without scars

a me to warn others

how to never be me

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The weirdness of my life

As a mommy, I sometimes find myself saying the most bizarre things...
Some of my recent favorites are....

How in the world did you guys make such a mess over night???

No you don't have to wear underwear, but you need pants on.

How in fact does a dog six inches high reach a ceiling tile to pull it down?

As long as you are peeing in the house, You are the pee getter of the house, so get started on the mess the puppy just made.

Stop spinning on the cat food lid

No you are not allowed to ride my basket down the stairs, I don't care if your dad thinks it's funny.

Well tell the voices to hush, they are getting on your mother's nerves.

It doesn't really matter how your shirt got soaked in pee, I hear you saying you did not pee on it, but it does have to be washed so hand it over.

Get off the pond, we live in East Tennessee, it's not that frozen. (followed by, Well I guess I'll be driving your soaking wet self to school!)


Who colored the dog?

If you are going to color the dog, atleast use boy colors for the boy dog. Rufus looks silly pink.

Why is your mouth all fizzy?

quickly followed by....


No it's not candy! It's my bath stuff from Kristie!!!!

Stop licking your sister

Will you please god stop burying my spoons????

Ok, who's barking?

Why is there icing in the bag of cat food?

My favorite conversation of the day actually came from my 3 year old nephew, Micah...

Micah "me getting dressed"

Me: Micah say "I'm getting dressed"

Micah "you getting dressed Jessi?"

Me: No Micah I'm not getting dressed, you are.

Micah "yeah me getting dressed"

Me: Say I'm getting dressed Micah.

Jessi is getting dressed...

AHHHHHHH!!!! Me give me give me give!

A simple piece of paper, written for Anna Grace

a simple piece of paper
stuffed under a book
full of words I never knew about
feelings I crave
I wish I could hear you say them
Or really anything at all
A simple piece of paper
scrapes layers of scars
back to the rawness of your loss
back to the hopelessness
a child so close
and a million miles away
growing her own tomatoes,
so I grow some too.
Anything to make me feel closer
Anything to make her real
Not just a kid who once lived here
Not just a story I tell when I am sad
Not anything but her.
My Angel.
My baby of the heart.
Lost to me.
I hope someday I find you.

Hey Eyes

Her eyes
hold a thousand truths
untold secrets
she's never brave enough to say out loud
yet
they were brave enough to look into his eyes
as she whispered
no, not any more
Her eyes
are a map
to worlds lost
and love ached for
Her eyes
Cry tears no one ever sees
and reach for more
Her eyes
a mystery,
seductive,
a fortuitous consequence
of pain and strength
twisted in dark brown circles
begging you
come just a little closer
close enough to hear her whisper
what her eyes can't say....

All or Nothing

I, I am all or nothing.
I keep people out, or I let them in.
I love them, or hate them.
No in betweens.
Not ever.
Some people have figured that out.
They work their way in.
They find all my soft places.
They find all those hidden feelings.
And I let them
because just for a little while
it feels good to not be so alone.
And then they go.
Having found what they wanted,
the chase is no longer fun.
They go.
And I,
I ache.
And I cry,
and I write poems and stories
But I, I move forward.
And they will keep chasing
Never ever finding,
because you can't find pursuit,
it is an act,
not a destination,

Mud

Mud
You,
You see me with mud covered glasses,
feel me with shaky hands,
love me with missing pieces,
and reach for me with broken arms.
But I,
I will wash away the dirt of yesterday,
so you can see the sun.
I will hold your hands steady,
until you find rest.
I will make new pieces,
to fill in all that's been stolen.
And I,
I will step close enough,
so you don't have to reach.

You Want Her Whole

You want her whole. Trust me. For when she finds her muchness; when she gathers all the pieces of herself, all the pieces you have broke...