Tuesday, March 28, 2017

100 days of 100 words, day 19: love is a drug

Love Is A Drug

Pregnancy and childbirth bathed my brain in oxytocin, refiguring it down to the reptilian amygdala, carving very specific Lionel and Owen grooves.  As I nursed and cared for my babies, those grooves were periodically re-flooded, creating a perfect addiction.  

But people bond with and care for babies all the time without having gestated or birthed them.  Turns out the act of nurturing an infant and participating in daily care can also refigure the brain.  This is how I know that my first 'baby groove' was laid down by Scotty, whom I fed and comforted and diapered and carried on my hip.  My brain hurts.

Monday, March 20, 2017

100 days of 100 words, day 18: mind games

Mind Games

Only rarely did she actually hit, but she liked to SMACK her hands next to their faces or rears and they would cry out anyway.  

She didn't like him in particular; that was obvious to anyone.

Before school, she would place him in the hallway and tell him not to move, not to get in anyone's way.  Then, with a few minutes to spare, SMACK!  "Get ready for school.  Now!  Don't miss the bus."

Racing around, grabbing food, breathless at the bus stop, stinging eyes.  

What does this do to one's mind?  Seriously--to the neural pathways and connections?  Definition of a mind fuck.

Monday, March 13, 2017

100 days of 100 words, day 17: crime and punishment

100 Days of 100 words, day 17:  Crime and Punishment

My stepmother:  "I just kicked my own son out of the house for doing less than what you did."

What I did:  tracked down my mother in Detroit after not seeing her for five years.

What he did:  Burgle houses in the subdivision across the street.  Flood a home by placing a running hose in the basement window when the owners were on vacation.

I was not allowed to tell my siblings about my mom.  What must they have imagined that I did?  I tried not to care.  I made my face a blank.  I was leaving for college in two weeks.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

100 days of 100 words, day 16: "It's definitely not leukemia"

"It's Definitely Not Leukemia"

These are the words we were relieved to hear the doctor say.  It's still serious, but my Baby B just has to live carefully for a few months until his platelets recover.  However, nothing takes away that couple of days when we weren't sure, when we wanted to cover him in bubble wrap, when I wished him back in my uterus.  And there's another feeling I don't know how to explain or accept:  guilty relief?  The opposite of schadenfreude.  Some of the other families in the waiting room heard a different sentence.  I would not trade, but empathy taints the relief.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

100 days of 100 words, day 16: sleepwalker


Usually I can tell because he's disoriented but last night, after waking me at 11 and leading me into his bedroom, he made so much sense:  "You see, when I wake up in here and you are asleep in there, that's a recipe for nightmares."  I laid down next to him and promised to stay until he slept.  "But then I'll wake up again, no you:  Nightmare."  So I said I would stay for a really long time, until I knew he was past nightmares.  Next morning I told him I stayed until 2:30.  "But why were you there?"

Saturday, March 4, 2017

100 days of 100 words, day 15: bargaining, part two

Bargaining, Part Two

Something I have always known hit me again recently:  This is it.  No redo.  No CTRL-Z.  Can't try it another way, another time.  This time I'll go it without the blindness.  This time I'll protect my brothers and speak up until someone listens.  I'll rewind and take my writing more seriously.

I suppose this thinking represents regrets.  Can regrets serve any purpose?  I need to accept that who I am, who I can never not be, was created by the life lived.  Real acceptance will be believing that it is not only enough-- it is good.