A Heaping Pile of Steaming Ssss..tuff

© Jane Doh

© Jane Doh

I am sitting, surrounded on three sides by windows overlooking a western desert on the fringes of Nevada.  Thin slatted blinds of white wood crease the view from these panes, horizontal bars of domestic confinement, and I find myself squinting to see through them, blurring edges until they waver and vanish like skeletal mirages.  I’ve a long road ahead, and at times I feel the full weight of it pressing me as flat and colorless as those blinds.  It feels the only things keeping me from vanishing completely are possibility and the knowledge that I am enough… for myself at the very least, though in some moments I don’t feel up to the task.

I’ve accepted how I walk through this world and am trying to be prepared for whatever comes, knowing full well the reality of it the best that I can from where I am cemented.  The pulse of life rushes by with alarming speed, and I have to dare myself to reach out to touch it, least I never understand what that rush feels like against my skin.  The electric hum it whispers inside this head of mine.. standing as I am on the outside, forever looking in.  Trying to see.  Understand.  Head tipped to one side in a confused observation.  How am I suppose to fit into “life”?  Where?.. and for the love of god, when?

All around me the world has fallen into the embrace of winter, hills and mountains standing behind surging streams of billowing clouds that frost the uppermost peaks in varying hues of sapphire snow, all of which is crusted under the weight of a crystalline blanket of ice.  Time stands frozen in those lofty elevations as well, waiting for a spring that feels forever away.

© Jane Doh

© Jane Doh

When I close my eyes I am caught up in that swirling haze of static time. Scrub pines suspended under snowy boughs, granite and quartz cliffs dusted with enough frost to freeze a tongue fast if you were of a mind to hazard a lick.
(Sightly gritty with a juniper finish and the subtle hint of lichen.)

I picture the great shaggy mountain goats in their winter parkas, dueling horns as black as polar bear noses and smart swift feet clacking against frozen rock.  I find my thoughts running with them, hiding in those elevations like a miniaturized Grinch hiding from all the Whos down in Whoville, shoulders hunched against the wind and as rounded as my large, green backside.

Random; I’ve recently read The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath, and Wild, by Cheryl Strayed.  I’m finding an uncomfortable swath of similarities within these two books and the events in my life.. this strange brew of lingering fatigue and endless time.  The desire for escape is so strong I can virtually taste it, like the mineral laden dust of my remote western desert.

Shut Doors

© Jane Doh

Most days I feel so incredibly squashed, a disconnected body falling headfirst into dark striated fathoms, the only sensation being the pressure of the deepest oceanic abyss pressing me down further.. and further, shrinking me into a compressed mess of bits and lost pieces.  Light, air, and hope shift away from reach.  I am sinking, I realize this, and often the only biological need is to have it end, all of it, in one swift calamitous burst of brilliant nothingness.


I can’t follow that thread too long, or think too hard over the end result of this fine mess I’m in.  What I have found is that it’s vital to tackle one day at a time.  One breath.  One miserable moment and task after another..  it usually works, but not always.  I do allow myself to dream about the future, but always holding to the understanding that there are no hard fast rules, life will unfold as it will and I need to flex with it.

There are few expectations when your only goal is to make the finish line of each moment with a pulse.  I don’t have the stamina at this time for steering the ship, because it’s caught in a ripping tide surrounded by whitewater.  In this moment the trick is simply to keep my head above water and my eyes focused in a forward direction.  Keep breathing.  Hold with a death grip onto the amorphous edges of hope.

© Jane Doh

© Jane Doh

As for people and relationships, I hold life at arms length, refusing to address most question about myself, the need to protect that tiny flickering flame having become all consuming.  It isn’t simply a marriage that crumbles around me.. it’s the foundation of an entire life.  A life lived for the purpose of fulfilling other peoples expectations.  Fixing their problems.  Doing and being everything for everyone as they expected.  Supporting them and their lives while mine withered on the vine.  All things that I had, up until now, managed to avoid seeing just so I can get by, keep going, keep fixing, keep being that mindless invisible chump until every last molecule of my being was eroded into nothingness.

The clarity with which I am now forced to see my life and the relationships in it, the actions, both deliberate and unconscious by all involved, has unleashed a jagged toothed hurricane that howls in my face like a rabid demon possessed, spittle flying and blood curdling in clenched, filthy clawed fists.

Some days rage simmers like red hot molten glass exploding from a dark place inside, and when it does it tears and shreds.  Maims.  Cuts open and exposes festering wounds.  Infection and pain are unavoidable

© Jane Doh

© Jane Doh


Once opened and scraped painfully clean, they finally allow the process of healing to begin.. you don’t get the latter without the act of releasing the filth.

That’s just how it works.

When life’s facades crack and begin their inevitable crumbling they take everything with them.  Not one wall is left standing to protect that shivering pulp of decrepit life you labored so hard to protect, so either you start fighting for yourself, or you accept being squashed.  It’s that simple.

There have been moments I’ve faltered, veering off the mental cliff into thin air  …Moments   …the length of a heartbeat ..the breath and breadth of mere seconds. The distance of time in which you either take the everlasting final step, or you don’t.

And I have so desired to    in    some    moments..   between breaths.

The constant battle with a brain that hungers for relief.  Release.

It has been arduous, and I’ve not felt the urge to splatter my heart out there for the world’s consumption in these most vulnerable of times.

This is where I have been.

Nonetheless, the fighter within still rumbles, and I credit her for my continued existence.

I.  Am. Trying.

I have signed up for school (again).  All I need is a chance, so until I uncover one I will keep this mind busy with anything other than the train wreck unfolding inside.  Sometimes distractions are all one needs to get the mind going in a new direction, and I’ll take whatever I can get, because that’s what we fighters do best; grasp firmly to whatever handhold you can and turn it into opportunity when hanging by your fingertips from an impossibly large, crumbling cliff.

© Jane Doh

© Jane Doh

So if I can dangle up here this long, I can dangle a bit longer.  I may not enjoy it, and I don’t; let’s just call a spade a spade – this time in my life is a f*cking vortex of suckage wrapped in disease laden bullshit and deep fried in boiling fermented cat piss.  The bigger point, however, is that I am still here and fighting like a ninjaed out middle-aged madwoman, eye twitching, tail flicking, and ears pinned back while I snort, hiss, and spit at this thing called life.

I will not go quietly into the night; I’m going screaming and hollering, cussing out the negatives and digging my claws into the ground, peeling and shredding it as gravity tries to drag me down.  Sometimes this is what you have to do, get to do, and should do, because any life worth living isn’t handed to you on a silver platter.  It’s thrown at you in pieces until it’s buried you, forcing you to dig yourself out, making you stronger with each inch you claim.  At some distant point you will find yourself on top of that steaming pile of Ssss…tuff.

© Jane Doh

© Jane Doh


That’s the story I’m sticking with for the time being anyway; time always tells.. (because time is a little bit of a bitch) … so I guess we’ll see how this all ends up in a few months.

Right.  Time to go; Until next time my pretties,


Posted in Decoding Marriage, Hope, Mental Health, Moab, Motivation, Photography, Utah, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Into Every Life a Little Rain Must Fall

alarcon-terrace_423_600x450This is a long F.Y.I., so if you already know & aren’t in the mood, skip it..               I have disabled comments for this post.

I’m beginning to understand where clarity gets lost when it comes to blogging. In trying to keep posts short (Haha!), details can get lost between sentences, especially when it involves relationships.  I’ve a few emails recently asking “WTF is going on?” So here’s a post that will explain the basics..maybe.  Some of it may be a tad repetitive (“Yes, yes, Jane, we’ve already heard this blithering..”)  There is a point, so try not to fall into a coma just yet.  After this point I likely won’t revisit.

Think of this relationship as though it were a western desert scene; You can walk for a long time along a seemingly straight-forward path, but if you don’t pay attention you may walk right off a canyon cliff; never see it coming until you take that last step and BOOM!  The earth falls away from under you to the tune of something akin to the Grand Canyon.

Fast forward: Even in the desert it rains, vast amounts over huge spaces.  Individually these raindrops aren’t a problem, but as they run and merge with all the millions of other drops across that great expanse, they become a river, and then all those rivers find the lowest point to converge, which is usually how a tiny slot canyon becomes something like the Grand Canyon.  But we’re not the Grand Canyon just yet, we’re still a tiny slot canyon.

When it’s dry, these canyons are hauntingly beautiful sculptures created by erosion and time, but if rain falls anywhere and that canyon is the lowest point, it becomes a death trap to anyone who doesn’t pay attention to the direction the wind is blowing.
A flood rushes down into them with the force of a hurricane, stirring up the mud and taking down anything in its path.  This can go on for miles, whirling vortexes slamming into the canyon walls and eroding a millenniums worth of construction in seconds.  At some point the canyon will open up to the world and over the course of time and space this tight passage of water flows outward, eventually becoming shallow and rocky enough for anything that may have miraculously survived to reach dry shores.  But you don’t get to that shore without obvious cuts and bruises, bleeding out, life’s toll extracted.

zion-national-park-slot-canyon_51519_600x450Right now this household is still in that canyon, the rain from the last several years slamming us into the walls and sucking us under; tumbled, eroded, muddy.  The only possible action is keeping our heads above water.. once we reach some measure of shoreline, then we can worry about the smaller details, such as what to do next.

The Problem
I woke up in the canyon, river raging.
In every relationship there will be bad times, and typically a couple will stand back to back and face the problems that threaten them.
Well, those bad times hit, like a ton of diseased shit-house bricks upon new-born baby chickies. A flood of crap.
The kids melt downs, loss of life savings and retirement, bankruptcy, suicide of my brother, son whom had to be homeschooled while mom herself was trying to get through school, years of unemployment for him while she worked numerous jobs days and nights full-time, horrible nightmare of a town where daughter accumulated stalkers like some girls collect shoes, mother scrubbing toilets for one of the stalker’s mothers just to keep food on the table and having to beg for her paycheck each week, daughter’s cutting and suicide attempts, daughter’s car accident that reaped a whole cornucopia of grief down on the family, which eventually led to their move to Utah and into the basement of the her parents..which has opened a whole host of canned worms in regards to everyone’s mental health.  Blah, blah, blah.. you’ve all heard this bit.

buttercupWho, What, When, Where, Why and How
Imagine if you will a superhero couple living peacefully in bliss until one day every villain on Earth decides to invade. They jump into action, back to back to fend off the villains.  
BAP! POW! WHAM! and on it goes nonstop for years. Eventually the bad guys are defeated and calm descends. As the smoke, sweat, and tears clear the woman turns to her partner at her back..and finds she’s completely alone. Just then her partner walks in the door whistling a happy little tune. Something whispers in her head, “Holy bat guano..something is wrong with this picture!” Then she is graced with a moment of clarity; He had left her at the first BAP! Had stepped away to avoid the fuss with a whispered, “I have to go to work … NOW!”
But now he’s back, and hey … she’s looking mighty sexy covered in sweat…
She then comes to the realization that she’s in a relationship with the Invisible Man, and she didn’t get through the last few years because he was there standing her back.. she got through because she had to. Was the only one fighting… Was capable.

123485336228Owning It
While he was busy being busy, I was too busy battling to stop and ask, “Where the hell is husband?” I should have paid more attention. I shouldn’t have accepted the behavior and enabled it.
I do not for one second believe he did it maliciously. I believe he doesn’t know how to process familial problems other than to bury himself with work. I know it’s frustrating to put so much effort into work only to have your personal life continue to crumble.
But in all this we have both made choices. I chose to ignore the obvious, he chose to ignore what he didn’t know how to process; we both suddenly found ourselves in that slot canyon just trying to keep our heads above water.
However, I had made efforts to involve him, begged for help many times.  But, I didn’t drag him into the fray, because it was easier emotionally to just do it myself.
Yet every “next time” he promised he would stand my back. And every time I believed him.

The Lesson
I didn’t want to see it, this life lived virtually on my own, yet in a relationship. And it wasn’t all bad, there were good moments and he’s always tried to provide.  I don’t hate him, but I do resent the behavior, and I cannot respect living like I’m not worth fighting for.  He had the choice; help me fight for our kids, and he chose work. When I was crushed and shredded by my brother’s suicide he busied himself.  Distancing himself was how he handled his own grief.
What it comes down to is at every turn, even when he could see me failing, he left. Made busy. When his daughter was intent on destruction, he chose to leave. Chose to. When you have three weeks paid vacation coming to you because you never take personal time you can take a day or two to help your suicidal child when your partner is at her wit’s end, literally..mentally vegetative.
It hasn’t been that he has been abusive or financially neglectful, and overall he’s a very likable guy. I understand the limits of humanity; we each have that which we can handle, and that which we muddle through, none of us are perfect, and I certainly don’t expect perfection.
You can only leave someone hanging so many times; promise to protect and help, only to walk away. Again. At some point a heart no longer believes, and when that happens we have to be honest with ourselves. With the other person.
I do not hate him, I do care about his wellbeing, want nothing but a happy life for him, but I can’t give him my heart anymore. Won’t take being left in the dust while he walks away again.  A relationship isn’t a relationship when there is only one person involved.

There are far more details than what I can provide in a reasonable space, and like all relationships it has things that work, and don’t work.
He still believes I’m going through a phase and eventually I’ll settle down; life will resume as usual..because I always have in the past. That’s on me. He’s putting in an effort to be nice, to not cut me down when he’s frustrated at things.
This behavior is difficult for me to accept, because that internal switch has been flipped.  At this point in life I feel taken advantage of, so I’m not overly motivated to repeat the past. These promises of change aren’t new; it would be insane to expect the outcome to be. At the moment I’m the only one who has accepted this.

Forgiveness has become like a scratched record stuck on repeat; at some point you have to remove it or you’ll drive yourself insane.
I’m not dicing my words, I have told him; you broke my heart, took my love and trust for granted, and I don’t have it in me to ever let you do that again. I am done, and I have to put my life back together.

We still exist under the same roof at the moment..ok occasionally we’re all under the same roof for a few hours on the odd Saturday night. With our lives in limbo in damn near every aspect (I won’t even begin to address the mental health at the moment), especially financially, it’s not worth carving up just now for any of us. We haven’t reached dry land yet.  So we live in this surreal place that I’m finding is becoming rather common in America these days thanks to the economy; I have my space bubble, he has his, and our daughter can move between the two without feeling too weirded out.
Eventually he’ll have the issues with his job sorted, I’ll (hopefully) have something under me, and then we’ll both be in a better place to address the reality of all our cumulative decisions in life. I’m thankful it hasn’t gotten too ugly.  It still can..feelings are like that.

This isn’t easy, this is heartbreaking on a level I don’t even know how to describe or define. It isn’t hate, infidelity, or even boredom that destroyed the relationship, it was human error. Shortcomings. Broken trust in another’s word, and being honest with myself. With him. I can’t put my love into someone who doesn’t truly value it, and though that concept feels incredibly lonely and depressing, it is simple fact. It would be so much easier to let life go “back to normal”, and some days it’s tempting, but I can’t do it anymore. I have to own that, and eventually people will come to the same conclusion..maybe.  That’s theirs to own, and I can’t make it any less painful.

For the time being I am done talking about it. Overall it appears, and feels utterly insane and out of control, but in those quiet moments when I’m able to look at it piece by piece, in all the detail that only those involved can truly appreciate, I know I have to rebuild myself on my own. I can’t put that on him, and I deserve the knowledge that I am somebody in my own right. I have value. An identity outside of “wife” or “mother”. I need to love myself, know that I am enough..and I’ve said it before; until I do, how could I possibly expect anybody else to?



Posted in Decoding Marriage, New Beginnings, The Daily Grind, Utah, West Desert | Tagged , , , ,

Losing Marbles and Discovering Beans; life unfiltered in the West Desert

chasing-the-sunrise_west-desert_janedohPhotographs, when taken of the hills that nearly surround my new basement Hobbit hole, almost appear to have been painted by a wistful Disney employee who is longing for his rocky mountain home.

Wooly sage springs dusky green and whispered blue from the white and red pebbled earth. Scrub oak, squat and thick, cling in scattered patches along the hillsides before giving way to weathered pines that scrabble for purchase along the base of crumbling rock domes erupting from the earth like ragged teeth that bite at the sky.

‘ádoasdjjdígíí.. the hills whisper of them, “Those that disappeared. Vanished”. A word the Navajo experienced far too often. And though this tribe resides further southeast, I hear their echoes when I run these hills… a small evolutionary hiccup that passes down generational lines from ancestors long since past. I feel, at times, as though I am vanishing as well.

This process of disengaging. The detangling of lives that were braided tight and sure so many years ago having since unraveled, broken free from the binding laws that made them as one unit; life loose and untethered. Wild sometimes. Windblown. Some days incredibly hard to navigate when I no longer feel I belong in this world of rules and red tape. …. I mentioned these feelings of detachment and spinning compass stars to a friend who explained it rather fittingly; Separation. I shouldn’t find it overly unusual to feel detached and untethered while going through such things and on such an intimate level … though he phrased it far more beautifully… but it made perfect sense with the psychology involved.janedohSpeaking of psychology, there has been a flood of raging water under this mental bridge of mine. The current so strong and littered with debris that with each hit a little more of me feels taken away, and I have been hiding from that current. Avoiding talking or writing about this time in my life… but it’s still there. Every day. Waiting.

I have learned a few things over the last few months though;
*  You can never go back home when that home was the reason you left in the first place. Closets and skeletons never really go away, so if you reopen some of those doors … it may make your blood run cold to find some of the things the mind remembers.
*  People don’t change, but you can… at least in regards to the decisions that you make, and some of them may be inconvenient, and hard … bitter pills to swallow just after your pride. But, as long as you have an end goal in mind, you will get through it. Eventually.
*  There are no easy solutions, but there are things worth fighting for, and some things necessary to let go of in order to facilitate forward momentum, but it is hard. So when it starts to feel too immense, overwhelming. Draining. Too costly. Think of the price of what you are letting go of if you give in and quit.

I need to start writing again and stop hiding behind the frustration and emptiness… the sense of failure that nips at my heels with every step. I need to activate my mind, my body, my future.
I have been brushing up on my math to re-enroll in school. I need something I can rely on to support myself, need to create my own life. Need. To. Meanwhile, I have joined a local climbing club, both for the yoga to get in shape, and the climbing to chase the fear. And, I’m still working towards that bike…. there have been setbacks, time and again.. but I’ll get there.sage-janedohAs for the whole relationship thing.. I’ll be brief. It hasn’t improved but it has changed somewhat, time lending nothing but more distance.. my heart and mind seemingly AWOL.. This spouse has a hard time understanding that just because I tell him why I’m angry and done with all of it, doesn’t mean the problem was resolved. Unfortunately this is how he has faced every conflict; ignore it, and it resolves itself over time. I shouldn’t be too surprised, because this is exactly how his parents have always behaved.

But. I don’t hate him. I don’t. It actually breaks my heart a bit more to know how much, when he finally accepts the reality of it, it is going to trample him… I know how it feels to have your heart flattened.
Still, this is going to be a long road, my heart broken and closed to faith in this person. It sort of feels closed on all fronts more often than not.

…Confession; That’s not entirely true. I have developed an unexpected fondness for beans, and biscuits. Which, frankly, confounds the hell out of me. I had no idea I would discover I like beans this much, because it’s not like I went out looking for them. It just happened…. Serendipity and sunshine as the world fell out from under me. But they do push that blood back through this hollow heart…  Life.  Is.  Strange.

west-desert-janedohI have to say it’s nice to see I’m still capable of liking anything, because I was certain I wasn’t.
But din’eh fret, I’m making a mental point of not replacing one association for another, because let’s face it, the timing for this new bean adoration could be called into question (I’m my own worst psychologist. Key word here being “worst”.)
I have far too much regard for said beans, even when I’m losing my marbles.
I still want to adore beans after the smoke has cleared and I have rebuilt my life.  Am standing on my own two feet.

That’s how much I like my beans.

See how crystal clear my life has become?-!     Welcome to Wonderland people…

Ben LomandJanedohBUT

The rabbit hole has a few more twists, most notably in the form of my daughter. We’re still fighting through the horrific results of the HPV vaccine and what it has done to her body. It’s proving to be cyclical; storming out overnight and wrecking havoc on her world, which, naturally, messes with her mental health. It seems I can get her stabilized with a lot of effort, but then she becomes lax on the follow-through. (Though in her defense, sometimes all it takes is stress to trigger a reemergence of the aftereffects.)

None of this is unexpected. Most people who need mental health medications do this song and dance a number of times before they catch on that just because they’re feeling “normal” and good, doesn’t mean they can quit the meds. And from everything I have researched, this HPV vaccine poison behaves the same way; seems to clear up, then sneaks back if you let up even the slightest on your regimen. And my daughter is a stubborn one! She hates all of the fuss that goes with both of them, so it is a constant battle.

All this also effects my ability to simply walk away from …well … lots of things, including some that are fairly recent discoveries on my part. (A word to the wise, keep tabs on how your name and credit are being used, even by people you trust…ed.)
Back to point: Daughterling absolutely has to have medical coverage. She also refuses to live with her father without me there to referee (Thanks kid.  At some point in life you’re going to look back and understand why I’m being so unappreciative of your stubborn genes.) … and he’s the only one with insurance and an income that can support her. She still needs someone there to monitor where she’s at, because when things go south, they do so with alarming speed, and her father … being home for six or eight hours once a week, and usually not even that much, doesn’t work with her situation (I will admit it works for me, and that makes me feel sort of schmuckie, but I’m up front with him about it all.) Thankfully he recognizes the situation is tricky. Sometimes. … We’re working on it.. when I’m not too busy banging my head against the wall in frustration.  So.  We’re trying to work out a reasonable resolution, let’s leave it at that.   Fun!  Fun!  Fun! ::massive eye rolling::

Thus you see where things have gotten a little difficult. Tangled. Initially this was killing me inside, but I’ve come around.. had to. I may not be able to just walk out of the picture completely at this exact moment, but I know who I am now, and I know what I need to do to assure my daughter has a future. Right now it is all about patience. Perseverance.

west-desert-janedohSo this life of mine; Not one anywhere near conventional, but my course is set, and I have put things into motion. I am doing everything I need to, to ensure I find a job that can support myself and Daughterling. I will not find myself in this position again.

And yes, certainly some people in this equation just aren’t grasping the finer points as to why that is so important to me.

I don’t know how much I’ll continue to share about where things are at in regards to the marital bliss, because it’s not something I enjoy reliving, and it’s going to take more time than I had hoped. But I have my groove back. I am moving forward. Some days I fall flat on my face in misery, consumed by failure, but I’ve accepted it in my heart that this is what I need to do. I have plans and adventures to live out and seek, and none of them involve sitting there like a chump while life passes by.

And that, is as it should be.



Posted in Motherhood, New Beginnings, Photography, West Desert | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Never Underestimate a Determined Woman Who Battles Trolls.

GoatstriggerwarningThese crumbly clay hills that spark with ivory and rose-colored quarts are slowly creeping into the dry chill of a high desert fall. A gown of color being draped across the higher peaks where fat white mountain goats yodel and climb, their coats a startling snowy contrast against the brilliant foliage.

This life .. the path I am walking … it’s proving to be rather steep; the altitude stealing all oxygen and leaving me feeling as though I’m suffocating.

Moving back in with your parents at 40-something isn’t something I recommend, particularly if these parents can’t see beyond your failures, and start treating you and your children as though you’ve all suffered massive brain damage, and have developed the I.Q.’s of devolved nematodes.

The thing that is stinging the most is the refusal of many individuals to entertain the concept that I’m no longer willing to live with someone I can’t rely on as a partner… never mind trust with my heart again. The concept of that trust broken so throughly that the though of living the rest of my life like this … literally has the power to crush me to death.

It’s not that this person is a monster, he’s not, honestly, but… he’s broken something that can’t truly be repaired. Trust is as fragile as a snowflake, but as important as the air we breathe, and once it’s gone – it’s gone. There are no do-overs within me anymore at this point.

red-cactus-flower-utahI have overlooked and forgiven time and again … the refusal to acknowledge that this broken thing between us is an actual problem that exists, or that the problems and messes he’s left me to deal with alone all these years add up…. The weight of each piling on top of the other until I have literally been fragmented and scattered to the point of there no longer being a fix. I don’t know how to fix it. And, I can’t make him see it, or understand why it hurts so incredibly deep, or help him believe it even exists …. and at this point I feel it’s no longer my job or duty.

I will never claim to be perfect; anyone who reads this blog knows this as fact. I make plenty of mistakes, but I have to acknowledge them. Own them. Resolve them. Sometimes I even have to swallow them whole; cold and bitter, and utterly humiliating.

… He wants to work things out. I hear him when he says this, and I can appreciate how this “sudden” (not my word) change in me has hurt him … but it didn’t come out of nowhere, and his actions still contradict his words. I have addressed this problem time and again from the very beginning. What I am guilty of is tolerating it for so long… sometimes when you’re in the thick of it you can’t see it for what it is.

My parents expect me to work things out as well. The conditions and rules set up in the beginning have morphed… my ability to live under this roof until I’m on my feet are now only possible if I’m not going it alone…. leaving me to rely on the one person I know I can’t.

Right now I have precious few options and have to work with what is laid down before me. I feel beyond controlled, corralled, used, less than, and at some times so despondent I nearly run off into the hills with no intention of returning.

monument-valleyWhat I have is a puzzle. I can’t change the broken and chaotic scene before me all at once. (Damn reality strikes again!) I’m going to have to go piece by piece. Be patient. Sort through the mess and try to create something that works for me and makes sense. It is not my aim to hurt and destroy, so I am trying to take care in how I respond to the various challenges. I have no idea what the end result will be, nor how it will all play out, but I’m doing my best … that’s all I can offer… despite how I feel in this moment, I owe the people involved that much, including myself.

Right now it seems almost insurmountable. I step back and look at my future … and it’s blank. It’s not the lack of direction or ability to survive that scares me – I’ll make it work. I always have. I think what really kicks me in the teeth is my own self-esteem. I feel the weight of these failures and doubt my decisions; I see myself and wonder what it is that drives this man to abandon this family time and again at the most important and dire of moments.
-I understand I don’t own all the blame here. But in those quiet moments when you try to find reason in it all, you have to look at your own actions and see what it is you are doing so wrong. I get that I am odd, and more than a little weird in how I see life. I think back to when we got married and the passing thought that whispered “Find someone just as wild to run with”.
(…Okay, it wasn’t those exact words, but you get the idea.)
The key word here being “WITH”. Matched. Equal. Balanced and Similar to. Someone willing to work life out by your side, share in the good and the bad, and who won’t abandon you at the first sign of a challenge…. is it so horrible to desire courage?

So here I am. Walking away not being as cut, dry, and as easy as it was to get married in the first place.

footprintsNew rule; Nobody is allowed to get married, or give birth until they reach the age of 25. If the word “teen” is still referenced in their age, they can’t be given into any relationship that involves more than a bad movie and stale popcorn. Once an individual is of age they must first enter into several bad (unwed) relationships so that they will recognize the right one when it comes around. And last but not least, it should be just as hard to get into a marriage as it is to get out of one, and neither of them should ever cost more than $300 … which is the grand total of what my wedding cost me, even way back then. ….. clearly I’ve better things to throw my money at…. like travel. Or chocolate. Sometimes puppies. (I’ve paid far more for puppies and came away with far fewer heartaches.)

Other fun news; if you’ve been around here for any length of time you’ll be familiar with the Troll back in Washington, and her son, and the Stephen King like mentality that rules that horrible, backwater town. For anyone doubting what a nightmare this duo and town has been, and for a taste of who they are and how they behave .. and what sort of mess I was left to work with alone while the Daughterling courted suicide after turning this kid down… and why we told nobody when we were moving, or where we were moving to …. Read, and come up with your own opinion.
(Shocked by the allegations my ass, he just finally got caught on something his mother couldn’t irrationally blame on someone else.  And that 95% there to “support him” … Nobody wants to be on his mothers bad side .. I KNOW THIS WELL.  The kid didn’t get this way by himself.  Period.  My daughter was tagged in some of these “revenge” conversations via social media… so to say it’s 100% over, would be incorrect.  PARENTS; Be involved in your kids online activities.  This is not the world you grew up in.  Do whatever it takes to protect your kids!!)

This kid and his mother have been the last several years of my life, and not once was there any support from the other half other than to tell me to tell her off …. so I’ve fought this woman and this town alone; had to work for her scrubbing toilets to feed my kids while we were singled out again and again.  (If you think you know humiliation .. try that scenario on for size.) Sat through nights of isolation when the Daughterling was hell-bent on suicide, and I had neither phone nor friend, nor spouse, nor any money for gas I could rely on to get help whenever she stopped breathing, or cut too deep, or was completely out of her mind, desperate to escape that place… those people…. and I realize this is sounding like a stuck record; the point isn’t that I’m poor and picked on.  I’m not.  the point is

He should have been there.

Perhaps now people might truly understand why things have gotten to the point they have… and suddenly, I’m not looking so heartless and crazy for feeling the way I do.



(I’m not looking for comments that will bash him, or the horrible family we’ve had to deal with.  I’m getting a point across; exposing my reasoning and frustrations … nothing more. I’ve no filter, and sometimes things just need to be told…. I can’t be the only person in this boat.  Everyone has a story.  Everyone…. so be kind.  You never know what another person is working through.)
Posted in Motherhood, New Beginnings, Stupid People, The Daily Grind, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Major Tom to Ground Control; Alien lifeforms encountered, requesting wine and blow darts to subdue.

Grand Canyon Sunrise Dessert Surround Yourself copyIt’s been an intense few weeks, days fading into one another in a hot, sticky haze of summer sun and impending metamorphosis.

My sister’s visit has come and gone, nights cuddled in a cabin at the juncture of three rivers running thick with salmon, and days wandering beaches speckled with sea stacks. There were also waterfalls in hidden corners of a rainforest hosting some of the largest individuals of certain tree species in the world… the sap of one over a thousand years old, so redolent and potent a pine scent it speaks the language of the earth itself. Clay, sun, sea, time. A fragrance few will ever have the good fortune to experience. .. It lingers still in memory, forever glued to my bones.

I did manage to forget my medication, which landed me in a slump somewhere between a prostitute and a dirty little town sewn tight against outsiders with hopelessness and crime. She was very nice to me though, if not a little spaced out. I bought her some dinner … no strings attached.

The week before we moved I found myself on my bed with my little dog, two commas curled into each other, pausing time to hold it still, silent, safe. The thin thread of this life of mine worn to the very last fiber, and yet life continued to rub harshly against it like a pendulous blade. I still feel the vibration and hold my breath, count moments in seconds, seeing how many I can make it through before the next wave of gravity caves in and buries me. Wait for the whispered snap that will proclaim to eternity for whom the bells have tolled.

Explaining this thing that chases me to people who have never met the darkness of depression and suicide .. it’s no small thing. Hard to capture with words in a way that will paint a clear picture that doesn’t simply look like a portrait of self-pity and stupidity.  For people like myself it’s vital to find stable ground.  Positive support.  Joy.

Where things are at this moment.
The reality of the situation; When I look at the options available for a woman my age trying to start over again, I see a very short road. I can hold hope inside and cling to it with attitude and determination, but the truth of it is, life doesn’t write a happy ending for everyone. The honest reality is that once I am able to step out into this world on my own, that’s exactly how it’s going to be. I will be consumed with trying to finish my schooling for the minute possibility that I will be hired over the young, vivacious twenty-something. And should I find work, I hope the remainder of my life will not be spent trying to pay bills, such as student loans. Attempting to keep food within reach. Have heat in the winter. Keep up with a life that is further and further away from what I had ever imagined for myself.
Or I can stay in this relationship that has zeroed out my emotional bank account. Strangle myself just enough to lose all feeling and drive, but leaving enough to allow this body to continue to walk from day-to-day as duty would dictate. Life in a coma.

Blue Flower:Unconditional

There is a lot to be said for quality of life. And so frequently now I feel the passing of time much more swiftly than I ever used to…. when my mind is chased by shadows I don’t know how to find the positives within that darkness. What I do find are closed roads. Lost opportunities, and fewer chances for success with a contented happiness with where I am. What I see for myself is that isolated space that consumed my brother. ….. I have to wonder if maybe I had a tiny bit more left to me, an ounce of substance. Something … anything of value, if maybe that would have been enough to keep me from this abyss that has landed me in Utah.

Within this chaotic journey I have grown, but each time it has taken a toll. Exacted a price … sort of like what happens if you continue buffing away at anything that was flawed and tarnished to bring out the value, such as shiny warm gold. If you keep rubbing away at it, unable to see the beauty of it as a whole – even with its flaws, eventually it’s possible to wear it away to nothing … and it will break …. So I walk a very fine line here. I wish I were more substantial and could withstand another rough tumble in life … but the truth is, my core is proving to be too soft. I’m not sure this is one tumble I’ll realistically see the other side of.

But I have to hope. Have to. I find it easier to take life in pieces … moments … breaths at a time. I have found looking at the enormity of the overall picture to be entirely too large. Insurmountable. So life has become a patchwork of moments puzzled together… a puzzle I’m still too close to, to see the entire picture properly. I have to go on the faith that I will make it through at some point, and this life thing will be made easier to bear.

As for life in this moment; I’ve made it to Utah, and my parents have decided that they needed to move a truckload of their stuff within a day or two of us arriving at this house. (They won’t actually move in until February-ish.)  I have been left to do most of the unpacking for my little family, as well as helping my parents. Some days I feel entirely too small to walk in this world. Too tired. And lately, too ornery to even think straight.

This relationship of mine has taken a strange and disturbing turn; my family has always seen this husband of mine as some sort of Superman … and I have been credited with being not enough for him from the beginning, my mental health causing me to be the only problem in this marriage they can see. And to be brutally honest it makes me furious…. this partner of mine has never, not once, stepped up when life has put down personal challenges. I have had to do it all. On my own, and isolated (By now who doesn’t know this?)… how they can think I’m so incapable and doddering, completely unable to survive on my own merit …. some days it makes me so incredibly furious I feel physically sick.

Dance to your own rythm

And this person he has become … is brutal. Constantly on the attack… and I am standing on the threshold of simply disappearing. Leaving them all to themselves. It is building like an avalanche inside, and I don’t know how to stop it at this point… not sure I even want to.

Fighting a daily battle with this building dread and depression is draining me. Countering all the misinformation my mother has been feeding everyone about our situation is draining as well …. she firmly believes that without my husband, I am nothing. That you have to kill yourself enough inside and simply “do your duty”. Let him use you so you can keep a roof over your head.

WTF?  Seriously?

What is this, the dark ages?

I don’t share this “duty” gene or martyr perspective. I WONT. I can’t give myself over to being owned. Gifting my self-respect and happiness to someone who can’t even see me, never mind hear me, for the security of domestic “bliss”. … I don’t buy it. I’m calling bullshit. I refuse to be little more than a kept wench when I know I’m capable of more in this life. Worth more. (Apologies for the bluntness – I call it like I see it.)

Frankly, I would rather live one year with someone who could see I have some value, who actually wanted to hear what I had to say. Who would acknowledge I have worth.. have always had it, and who can appreciate who I am on the most basic level. All this means more to me than living a lifetime as though I were invisible, valueless, something to be tossed out and abandoned.
To actually feel loved; not owned, loved; unconditionally…. I can’t say I’ve ever felt that. I’m starting to wonder if it’s possible, or just something other people experience … myth maybe?  It certainly hasn’t been for a lack of trying. I think twenty-two years is a good, honest effort at trying.

So that’s where things are at. I’ll leave out the detailed personal jabs and bullshit that some people fire off to guilt me into being the obedient little wife. Who have blatantly ignored the fact I’m done with it… who continue to pretend nothing is wrong. Who choose to forget I have already expressed my intentions, and I’m sticking to it.

It. Makes. Me. Crazy. Bat Shit.

I’m still trying to keep things civil for the sake of my kids… they’ve been through enough. But I will see this through, even if it takes a while, or alienates me from certain family members.

What everyone needs to remember is that we all have worth. We all deserve to feel love at some point in life. We all deserve to be seen and heard, and have at least one person in this life say, “I value you. As flawed and ornery as you are today, I value you. I believe in you. I will stand by your side regardless of how old and ugly you get, or how difficult life becomes, because I care; truly care. Nobody is perfect, and that’s actually a beautiful thing.

Call me a dreamer, or stubborn, or single-minded at this point… but despite these shadows I still have hope, and I will pursue it until I either fall over dead, or find a life I fit in. That, simply put, is the long and short of it for today.

One thing I do know; time waits for no one. Either embrace the life you were meant to live, or settle for the mediocre. Stop worrying about what you think you know, and follow your heart on occasion. Believe in yourself. Stand up for yourself even when no one else will.

Four Things

Nothing worth anything comes easy.


Posted in Decoding Marriage, Mental Health, Motherhood, New Beginnings, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

If Br’er Rabbit had an iPhone, life would look like this


Jane Doh selfie… eat your heart out Kim Kardashian!

Despite a foot that’s none to happy with me for my inability to sit around and wait for it to un-break itself, I’ve still been getting out to either go hiking, or mountain biking. And though I did make a good go of it running one day, the results on my bloody, stupid appendage and its digit were enough to curb that drive for the time being.  (Update.  No it wasn’t.  I did it again, but it wasn’t as bad.)

The irony of getting out more is that you tend to spend less time inside blogging… which is a good thing to take a break from, from time to time anyway.
(Everything in moderation except cheese, wine, digital photos, and chocolate, and you should live to a ripe old age… or at least ripe.)

I’m also making the effort to take better pictures with this iPhone, as it’s usually all I ever have on me. A purse and its trappings are a thing of the past, and I’m not entirely unhappy to see them go as I like being unladen by domestic baggage and a twenty pound camera.

Primarily I’ve been riding a few trail systems by my house. One is mapped out and easy to navigate, while the other was unquestionably mapped by a blind macaque with an inner ear disorder and a blatant disregard for numerical sequence. Twice in one week I’ve found myself wandering dead-end trails that involve ravines and rock slides, and Br’er Rabbits briar patch. (I’m certain of the latter after having dug out said briars from beneath my skin more times than I can count.)

Which brings me to today’s lessons:

Mountain Biking Lesson #43
Scout out new trails before you launch yourself down them. This will save you the trouble of rocketing off the virtual cliff you didn’t see coming, and tumbling down a rock slide that you will then have to climb back up. With your bike in tow.  And if you’re like me, you get to do this with a broken toe / finger / arm / neck (Choose a body part, I’m not picky.) … which will not thank you for your senseless desire to punish it by proving how stupid you can be awesome  you are time and time again.

Having said that, should you find yourself in a briar patch with your bike anyway, remember to take the time to shoot a few photos so that you can remember this vital life lesson. You will thank yourself for it later… your family will just laugh at you.  Win – Win.

… Which now segues nicely into todays iPhone photography lesson…

iPhone Photography for Dummies; Lesson #3
While lying on your back as you assess whether you’ve broken anything before you attempt to move, take a look around. Chances are there is something beautiful going on around you, aside from your body’s remarkable ability to heal.
Take out your phone and start shooting anything that looks remotely interesting, and be sure to take numerous shots from various angles, even if this causes excruciating pain.  Art is pain people.

Being that this is the digital age, click to your heart’s content .. and then keep doing it. When you get home from the hospital and are laying in bed you’ll have ample time to sort through the thousands of photos of your recent adventure. Most of them will likely be mediocre and nothing worth saving, but once in a great while you might surprise yourself, and discover you’ve managed to get a unique and strange shot that almost looks like you knew what you were doing.  Or, nature may step in and offer you compensation for trying to kill you earlier… don’t question it.  Own it like a Rock Star.

These are recent acquisitions to my iPhoto library while spending some quality time in the briar patch.

We can all pretend I knew what I was doing. I call this photo shoot
“Dumb Luck and Persistence”.


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Posted in Art; term used loosely, Mountain Biking, Olympic Peninsuala, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment