Wisdom of an Ancient, If I Could Revise the Past, and Hyperlexic Hazards

parenthood--z

This can’t be real. She has lipstick on. And mascara. I was in maternity clothes for the following 4 months after my son was born because of my poorly done C-section incision….and looked like a complete train wreck for months after that!

Sometimes I read the garbage on various newsfeeds when I’m bored. I shouldn’t do that for many reasons. Hyperlexic people like me speed read, and are compelled to read anything and everything that’s in print (even though I have become more discerning in later years) which means I still take in a lot more unsavory stuff than most people.

I’m pretty good most of the time at scrolling past fake news and garden variety bullshit that I find offensive, or assorted drivel that just pushes the wrong buttons.

Media consumption is much like food consumption. Some stuff is good for you, but difficult to wade through. Some stuff just plain tastes nasty and will make you sick. Other stuff is ok in moderation. Then there is just plain poison.

Normally I don’t read mushy tales of devoted spouses (mostly because I am pissed at myself for tolerating 20+ years of drunk-n-stupid abusive bullshit from mine) or stories involving joyful motherhood. The birth of my only child was many things, none of them pleasant, with the exception of the fact that somehow by some miracle he came out of it healthy, in one piece and blissfully unscathed. Otherwise my “birth experience” was an exemplary display of Murphy’s law in childbirth, a harrowingly narrow avoidance of maternal mortality due to medical ineptitude, and being brought to the realization that my then husband and male genetic contributor of said offspring is a worthless, contemptuous ass.

Being reminded of that experience is painful.  I should have been able to enjoy my son when he was first born, but instead I was sick, browbeaten and powerless.  It was a horrible feeling. Especially wondering why I survived all the medical errors when technically I should have died- and I survived for what?

For many years I wondered why I didn’t die- my parents would have gotten the son they wanted but never got. One can question God and wonder about His decisions and ponder the moral question of why expendable and broken people with deep scars and missing pieces who still linger about suffering and dying a little more every day, suffering slowly while children and young people with lives worth living just die.  I’m still sucking up valuable oxygen for what it’s worth. I really wonder why.

These things disturb me.

Hindsight is 20/20, and with this in mind, I realize that after all these years it shouldn’t bother me. But it does.

I will freely admit I am jealous of women who have men who support them, men who actually love them and their children.

It pisses me off that when I had the one child I could have that his entire birth and infancy was made a nightmare first by my own health complications and the poor medical care I received, then by my worthless ex and his selfishness and hostility.

I’m sorry but I can’t forget being completely at the end of my strength, barely able to stand, being held together with way too many stitches, crying endlessly, holding my newborn while my ex rages, “How dare you bring that thing in MY house…what the hell are you going to do with it…” and so on.

All I could do was sob uncontrollably, helpless and mired in the deepest despair I’ve ever known. It’s hard to find words to describe this even now after a lifetime of space and time in between. Forgiveness, yes, but healing from such a vicious wound, probably not this side of eternity.

And it still took me two years after that to leave the son of a bitch. He would put up a good front in front of my family. He played the game when people were looking, but behind closed doors I was afraid. And he was downright hostile.

There’s something about being hit when you’re down that sticks with you. There’s also something about reading about perfect husbands who love their wives and kids and actually help with the nightmare during and after childbirth that fans the flames of that resentment, sharpens the sting of that pain, and even stirs up my jealousy toward the “perfect people,” even after almost 30 years.

I have a thick skin and am not easily rattled over most things at my age, but I still should not read those kinds of sickeningly sweet stories. Maybe there are guys like that, and more power to the women who find such gems. I just never personally experienced such bliss.

I should have held out for one of those even had that meant I would have lived alone as a “mother” of only dogs and cats. Then again, the axiom: “hindsight is 20/20” applies.

cat lady.jpg

Cats don’t drink beer, smoke cigarettes, or yank me out of bed by the hair at 11PM so I can prepare food for an ungrateful sot who will pass out before he can eat it, just sayin.

I don’t regret my son’s existence or my granddaughter’s for that matter, but if I had things to do over I would have followed my gut on that hot, hot, stinkingly humid hot day in August of 1990 and said hell no, a million times NO to my ex.  Something in the back of my head was telling me I was insane to marry such a self-absorbed basket case mommy’s boy, and Something was right.

Should have said the same thing to Jerry five years later too, but that is another story.

The wisdom I have to pass along on this front is that it’s probably better to hold out for the highly improbable than to settle for the unacceptable.

Some young women- me included, long ago- fall for a man just because he’s vertical and breathing. That’s not enough. It’s not worth it if he has nothing to bring to the table.

Indifferent_Ren

Granted, I have my sensory, emotional and relational issues, and I am not physically beautiful by any standard, but I still deserve better than moochers, drunks and narcissistic ne’er-do-wells.

And I am better off to hold my standards high, even though it’s too late for me to have a positive experience becoming a mother and raising a child.  Said child is 28 years old with a child of his own.

I have no tolerance for drunk-n-stupid, or of being berated, devalued and used. It took me over 25 years to figure that out, or more accurately, to decide they were wrong and I deserved better.

If anything mine is a cautionary tale. I can’t change the past but I can move forward.

And I can stop reading cheesy clickbait pieces especially when someone is gushing about their perfect man, children, family, etc.

Humor and sarcasm are more appropriate domains for me when I have a hankering for the trite or mundane.

I should try to keep my reading confined to higher pursuits such as Scripture (always timeless,) scientific and historical non-fiction, and selected classics. I gave up the bodice rippers and various other sleazy tomes that would be porn if they were illustrated in high school.

bodice ripper

Sadly, I had quite a collection of said bawdy literature during my freshman year of high school.

The occupational hazards of the hyperlexic…

Maybe I should go and read some Stephen King.  His politics may be dreadful, but his stories are great this time of year.

Dismay? Silent Pragmatism? Disgust? Futility?- Or Just a Normal Day?

constipation wretched

There is much to be said for regularity.

I don’t know if I should be happy, sad or just pragmatic as usual.  I stopped believing in all the “happily ever after” bullshit when I was about four and first came to the realization that I am not that princess in the pretty cartoon- just an awkward, troll-proportioned, scared-shitless, nearsighted wearer of threadbare hand-me-downs.  I may have upgraded the faςade over the years, but facts are facts.  Cinderella may have had a benefactor, but there was never going to be a “fairy godmother” in my world.  I’m glad I came to the realization that I am not one of the golden people early on.

Take what you can get and be satisfied, because in order to be successful at fishing, one has to have bait.  And I never did.

fishing

Speaking of what can be trolled up from the depths, I learned why I am loathe to take time off from work even though I have way too many vacation days, and I usually don’t take them.  I took two sanity days- Tuesday and yesterday- and made the mistake of thinking that I might actually get some sleep yesterday.  I should have known that Jerry’s main goal in life is to drink as much beer as he can and to keep me awake whenever possible at all costs.  I don’t know how to react to yet another late night of “let’s get drunk and stupid and loud and play Eminem (barf, gag, retch) full blast until 2 AM.”  Dismay?  Silent pragmatism? Disgust? Anger? Frustration? Futility?  And it strikes me really odd that a 58 year old could get into someone as banal and potty mouthed as Eminem.  Even Steve-o got disillusioned with Eminem rather quickly- and this was when the illustrious Steve-o was about 12.

pragmatism

I give the .357 to no one. Nor do I let them know where it’s stashed.

Even when I’m feeling like being banal, the worst I can stomach is the Ramones, or maybe Steel Panther (they’re crude, but in a funny way)- and never in the middle of the night.

steelpanther2

Ok, so they’re known for a song called “Gang Bang at the Old Folks Home.”  At least that’s funny.

The rational side of my brain asks me (and often) why in the flying hell I stay married to an impotent, beer-soaked asshole who generally treats me like shit.  The rational side answers back, “because I can’t afford to leave,” which is partially true.  It wouldn’t be true, however, if I weren’t paying for a lot of his stuff such as groceries, scripts, health insurance, etc. and so on. Generally the emotional side doesn’t have much commentary other than to know that the whole business of relationships is pretty much a dead issue for me.  If I had sufficient cash I’d live alone- and probably should.

cat lady

Cats ask few questions, and demand so little.

cat cuddles

Never confuse “love” with “heat seeking.”

I shouldn’t even let the emotional side of my brain get in on the discussion, because the only emotion I can bring myself to feel for Jerry anymore is pity.  I know he has rheumatoid arthritis and pulmonary fibrosis and he needs a lot of help just to function.  On one side it would be cruel and possibly even un-Christian to simply abandon him, but on the other, I can really see where I’m chained to dead weight.

Monday (8-10) is our 20th anniversary.  I am not in a celebratory mood.  About the only reaction I’m having to that is that I find it hard to believe I’ve pretty much thrown away 20 years.  But on the plus side…wait…I’m trying to think of a plus side. That should keep me busy for awhile.

i-dont-regret-my-past

I should have spent more time alone.  Weird thing to say, but in my case, probably true.

I can’t change the past but I can try to find ways to amuse myself now so I don’t completely go nuts.

right and wrong

Sometimes I just can’t tell.