Friday, February 10, 2017


Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: unsavory, nettlesome, homeless, skip town, repercussions, tackling

They were submitted by:

Behold the saga that is my life this year so far, ya'll... 


2016 was unsavory. Nettlesome. A horrorshow. For so many of us, it was utter shit.

The election cycle was absolutely exhausting; we lost so many inspirational artists—actors, musicians, public figures, activists; and we had numerous deadly shootings by domestic terrorists and police officers ripping new wounds in already hurting communities.

I saw so many posts towards the end of the year willing for it to all be over, for 2017 to bring on better tidings. But, I knew better.

All 2017 was bringing us was Trump, and I knew with every fiber of my being that nothing good was going to come of that.

Since those last two digits switched signaling the end of the year, I lost one of my best friends, my fur baby. I had 10 years with my Great Dane, Cap. I got lucky—Danes live 6-8 years on average—to have him as long as I did, but it hasn’t been easy letting go. I don’t know if I have gone even a couple days without crying because my brain is so used to him being there. I see him out of the corner of my eye, hear him snoring, wonder if he wants to share my Pop-Tart before realizing it’s all over, and he’s gone. It kills me every time, and I devolve into a blubbering mess wailing for her baby.

I also left my retail job to work in a childcare center. I was told I would be working with toddlers ages 2ish to 4. I was supposed to be teaching these kids the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, how to write letters, and basic math. That was my goal at least for the older ones, and it’s not something I am a stranger to doing by any means. But once I actually started, it was nothing at all what the owner described to me. My first day I was thrown into a room with literally 20 kids ranging in ages from 2 to 10 while my coworker sat on her phone in the next room. There was zero control, the coworker eventually got up and hit one of the kids before sitting back down to get on her phone, and the kids went absolutely crazy. I have never in my life even in a damn Chuck E. Cheese seen children act that way. My first day I broke up 4 fist fights. 4. The second day I worked I literally had to carry a child, a 6-7 years old, 13 times from going near the door. She didn’t just want to be near the door; she knew she wasn’t supposed to be there, refused to move, and laughed when I would ask her to go back to the room where the kids were supposed to be. Every now and then the coworker would look up and scream at her, but for the most part, I had zero help. That same day two different children climbed the 3 foot partition between the rooms multiple times, jumped from crib to crib in their shoes, one ripped his finger open, and there were more fights. In other words, some of these children shouldn’t be in a daycare, and some of the workers shouldn’t be there either. There was no soap in the bathrooms, no juice for the kids, no cups to give them water, no napkins to wipe their noses… I really didn’t know what the hell I was getting into. 4 days in, though, and I had already bonded with a lot of them. I literally had 4 butts occupying space in my lap and more piled beside me every day I worked--the kids wanted that connection and attention, and that's what I wanted when I took the job. I couldn’t move without someone wanting a hug or a zerbert (a raspberry kiss), or to be picked up, so I wanted to try to stick it out and be there for them. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work out that way. I walked out on Monday afternoon after a mother got in my face screaming at me and threatening to kick my ass because her child was told she would be put in time out if she didn’t behave. I had already been told this mother was an issue, but apparently money means more than the safety of employees. Not only that, the entire time this was going on, the owner was aware of the situation and was too busy to come do anything about it and my coworker was too busy on Facebook. I have never in my life walked out of a job before, but I am absolutely not going to work somewhere that values money over the health and safety of both the children going and my own damn self. When you have a grown ass woman screaming that she’s going to fuck a woman up in front of that many children, what are the children going to act like?

So here I am. Jobless. Nearly motivationless. My anxiety is in overdrive already, and I feel those depression feelings creeping in. Tough times are triggers, and even though I can roll with the punches like Fiona Gallagher, everyone has a breaking point. This week, my mom tries to help me out and get me a job interview with an after school program because I really would love to work with kids, and the day after I discuss it with the owner and director, the owner gets arrested for allegations of child molestation and sexual battery. Innocent until proven guilty and all that, but what the fuck? The allegations stem from a family accusation as he really doesn’t have anything to do with the day to day processes of the center itself, but it will still have a lasting effect on the business no matter whether he turns out to be innocent or not. It's a terrible thing to have happened altogether, but my brain cannot even fathom how I got from where I was at the end of the year to this point this fast.

And then we have Trump as president. I’ll be the first to say I am terrified. Really, terrified doesn’t cover it especially after the recent leaks concerning his behavior and the wording of an anti-LGBT executive order that (fortunately and for now) didn’t come to pass. It let me know that his administration has its sights set on people like me just as we feared, and it doesn’t look good. And that’s just one aspect of a presidency that has literally left the country shaken. Muslim bans, the imminent repeal of health insurance that so many people can’t afford any other way (and this is coming from someone who still cant afford it), and the appointment of so many inexperienced or demonstrably prejudiced white people to his cabinet has left us all shaken. I’m angry; I’m afraid; and, I’m fed the fuck up. I’m tackling the issues every day on social media, signing petitions, making calls, sending emails, starting my own petitions, and eventually I will be able to march myself even if I have to travel to do it, but it doesn’t feel like enough. No matter how many calls were made to senators here in Georgia, both still voted to confirm Betsey DeVos who has no business as the Secretary of Education. Sometimes I wonder what the hell it’s all for, what the point of the fight is… Sometimes I want to pack up and skip town despite the family repercussions that would be involved if I did. There’s a part of me that knows if I didn’t have my son, I would be visiting friends all over the country, sleeping on couches despite my social anxiety, basically homeless, because no where feels like home these days, and I really don’t know what to do with myself.


Whenever I go to bed feeling absolutely defeated, I almost always wake up inspired by the news of a strong woman leading our resistance or by the words of a friend on facebook who is prepared to battle for us all even if it means risking everything.

She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.

Those words have given me life this week, and so I’ll pick up the words I use as weapons and continue the fight for my own self and for everyone who needs me by their side.


Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Baking In A Tornado

Spatulas on Parade

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

On the Border

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

The Bergham Chronicles

Confessions of a part time working mom

Not That Sarah Michelle

Friday, February 3, 2017


Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 14 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:

What is something you thought you would never do- yet you did and loved?

It was submitted by:

This is kinda cheesy and cliche but it's true, so oh well. Deal with it. haha.


If you had spoken to younger me any time in my life before I developed a rounded belly full with child, I would have told you that I never wanted kids. Ever. I was adamant about it.

I had reasons. Most were pretty solid. I grew up in a harsh environment and had a short temper like my dad. I was terrified that I would end up being like him, raise a kid in the hell that I grew up in with him. I remember saying those things to people. It was a risk, and in my youth when it was less controlled I felt it too much a risk to ever think it was a good idea. And really, I was still too fucked up from it all even by my early 20s to think I would ever grow out of it or get over it. There hadn’t been a person yet to suggest counseling or help to get over that part of my life, being raped at a young age. And when a friend of mine was murdered not long after my 21st birthday, the whole of it sent me in a booze spiral following almost identically in my father’s addictive footsteps. I drowned myself in it—not binge drinking occasionally but drinking myself to sleep every day, waking up with hangovers more days than not, drinking over eating…. By then, kids no longer even crossed my mind. I was too cut off from anything real to even consider it.

It interfered with work, with going to school, with every aspect of my life. I made shitty decisions and hid and lost what little of myself I had been able to get to know. I honestly can’t say if I simply got tired of living that way or if it was one event or another that happened during those months that finally tipped me over the edge, but I finally went to a doctor for antidepressants. I won’t say they were a miracle by any means, but my drinking slowed down enough to allow me to be a little more functional. I met my ex-husband right about then, and as much as I joke about alcohol having a lot to do with our relationship, I stabilized a lot more being with him. I stopped drinking regularly but not altogether, found a better job with better pay and a stabilized schedule, and we ended up getting married. Something else I said I’d never do. I was vulnerable, though, and it saved me even if it didn’t last.

It was about a year into our marriage that I found out I was pregnant. Several months before that, I had to have my gallbladder removed, and despite being on birth control, my cycle hadn’t stabilized, so I decided to stop taking the pill to see if things would even out. I know, I know…but we DID use back up protection. I was 24, then, so not entirely stupid, just stupid enough to take myself off the pill on my own. I started getting sick every day and having terrible pains like cramps but sharper and lower. When I found out, I cried. Hard. It wasn’t what I wanted; I was terrified. He was terrified. We were a mess.

It took a few days for the shock of it to wear off enough for the two of us to actually get excited, but I can’t tell you I loved being pregnant. That’s not what this little story is about at all. I didn’t have an easy time of it. I puked all day every day for 6 months and working around people didn’t help that at all. The smell of stale cigarette smoke or an unbathed hillbilly would leave me sick for hours. My pubic bone separated early from being on my feet all day making me have to give up work early on medical leave, and I had vertigo in the later months. The little shit also liked to push into my ribs every time I was in the car til I couldn’t breathe from the pain. Delivery wasn’t any easier considering he almost killed me (literally). The delivery nurses didn’t put the contraction monitor on my belly correctly and dosed me with too much pitocin and wouldn’t believe me that I was having contractions. I went from 0 to 10 on the pain scale way too fast and too early, my cervix wouldn’t dilate on one side, and my epidural didn’t work for anything but my legs and giving me the shakes. My heart went crazy during my emergency c-section, and after it was all done, I couldn’t even hold my baby from the shakes I still had. I didn’t even understand how bad things were until the doctor came in the room and said, “I thought we were going to lose you there for a minute.”

So pregnancy and delivery didn’t really do anything for my hesitance on being a mom. That might be the greatest understatement of all time considering I refuse to physically have another child even though there are times I can’t think of anything else besides having another baby in my life (not that I like to admit that out loud). I’m too afraid I might die in labor.

Getting home and settled and into the swing of things helped. I didn’t connect with him right off, but I can tell you that my heart calmed down all on its own without drugs in the o.r. when I heard him cry the first time. The bond was there; I just didn’t know how to bring it out at first. I remember laying in bed with him one morning when he was a few weeks old, staring at his little face after I fed him, and wondering what the fuck I had gotten myself into. I said, “I love you” in a sing songy kind of way, and he lit up with the most perfect smile I had ever seen. It was over for me then, and I fell head over hills for the kid.

I won’t say the being a mom part has been all that easy either. It has definitely seen its share of strikes and gutterballs, but I wouldn’t trade the boy for anything in the world even when I have been my most frustrated. It might be cliché to say, but it’s the absolute truth. My relationship with him is different than anything I’ve ever known. Im his mom but also his friend, his biggest champion and his teacher (in every sense of the word since I homeschool him). We have open discussions on every issue under the sun, and I refuse to keep him in the dark about current events. We call each other on our bullshit, but he also respects that Im his mom, and if I make a rule, it’s for a reason, a reason that I make sure to explain. I’m not an authoritarian. We figure this whole thing out together, and that works for us. And there’s really nothing like seeing your kid love all the movies and music and cartoons and foods that you did as a kid (except The Labyrinth…god, I almost disowned him over that). I’ve given him half my DNA, carried him for 9 months, almost gave my life for his and would if it ever came to it, but sharing those things that I loved and watching him discover them for himself is like giving him a part of my soul for his own. He’ll always remember those times we shared watching Ghostbusters or Star Wars or TMNT, and for all of my days, I’ll remember the way his eyes lit up the first time he heard Darth Vader say his iconic line.

It hasn’t been a fake Pinterest sort of motherhood for me, but yes I love it. And if the opportunity arises for me to foster or adopt, I may do it again one day. Even on days when my csection scar flares up and reminds me of the worst of it, I still wonder why I was so resistant to the idea to begin with, and I call that a win.


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

Spatulas on Parade

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

The Lieber Family Blog

Sparkly Poetic Weirdo

Simply Shannon

The Bergham Chronicles

Confessions of a part time working mom

Not That Sarah Michelle

Southern Belle Charm

The Angrivated Mom

When I Grow Up