New Year, New Me, New blah blah blah 2015

Hello readers…

It is time for the obligatory New Year bullshit.  I will save you any “feely goods” and warn you now, this isn’t one of those posts.  Not really.  2014 pissed me off for several reasons.  However, there was a lesson there and I will get to that.  But first, the fucked up shit…

This year, I watched two (not one) of my girlfriends bury their babies.  It pissed me off and generally put me in a bad mood for the last six months.  Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know.  It is not about me.  Except that my heart hurts for them. I am mad as hell watching them grieve.  They are both the sweetest, kindest and most beautiful women I know.  And when I see them hurting so extremely, it makes me mad.  And sad.  I have a “village” mentality when it comes to my women friends.  I was born to a mother whose empathy and compassion genes were a little on the freakishly large side.  Guess what?  It was passed down.  I can’t help it.  Nor do I want to change that about myself.  It makes me, me.  It gives me a stronger understanding of hurt and pain outside of my own little world and quite frankly, dealing with anything hurtful and painful is much better when you have someone to share it with.  So dump it on me.  I want to grieve with you.  I do.  You are not alone.

Secondly, I am dealing with a two decade old pain myself.  It isn’t something I am willing to share just yet, outside of the half dozen people who already know, (and have been my support system, thanks Sam, for the last twenty years, you’re my OG) but I felt it was time to nip that shit in the bud.  For my own sanity.  For the last two decades, I have been in a constant state of self loathing and hatred for another human being over a situation that took less than twenty minutes to happen to us.  Twenty years is a long ass time to hold onto hurt that you have absolutely no control over any more.  So I sent a letter to someone who is a complete stranger to me now, putting faith in the universe, that said person isn’t a complete douche.  We will see.  But I got it off my chest.  I rid myself of the last toxic hate I have left in my being about THAT situation.  Moving on…

Third, I felt used this year.  It does NOT feel good to be used at any age.  But especially, when you are grown enough to know better, and still let someone use you anyway.  I am taking accountability for that one.  I am, after all, 37 years old and should have known what was coming.

Now for that semi-feely good.  The lesson.  I am focusing more attention on forging and nurturing my female relationships in 2015.  I have some amazing women (mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends) in my life and I have learned that I have been neglecting those relationships.  Like I mentioned before, I have a “village mentality”.  We need each other.  I’ve had conversations in the past few weeks with overwhelmed mothers, grieving mothers, neglected friends, abused wives, depressed females, and I have been one of them.  Mainly because I have isolated myself from these women believing I was too busy doing whatever the fuck I thought was more important.  It stops this year.  Our womanhood is uniquely important because we are highly emotional beings. We feel more.  Let’s get through the bullshit together.  Lets share the happy moments together.

I am here for you bitches. Lets get back to the village of women raising our children together, and lifting up each other, together.

Leave the insecurities and judgments in 2014. I sure the fuck am…

Happy New Year!

M

New Year, New Me, New blah blah blah 2015

Adopting Newborns.

Warning: This is an extremely personal, serious, and heavy topic.  It also contains some profanity.

The difficult parts of adopting a newborn…

The first difficult part about adopting my newborn was interacting with his birthmother.  No, she wasn’t difficult.  She wasn’t rude, or hateful.  She had just given birth to a beautiful human being.  And here she was, choosing me from a 5 minute DVD and a one page letter of facts about my family, to parent her son for the rest of his life.  How heavy is that to take in?  It was super heavy.  The room was charged with a range of feelings.  She was sad.  I was elated.  She was in physical pain.  I was in emotional pain.  One thing I remember clearly and vividly is that while I was rejoicing in utter exuberance at finally becoming a mother, her heart was breaking.  She carried this perfect little baby in her womb for nine months, bonded with him, talked to him, and loved him, and was saying goodbye to him, possibly forever.  That was not lost on me from the minute I walked into her hospital room to meet her.  I wanted to hold her and make her so many promises and just try to ease her pain.  I was a stranger to her, so you can imagine what it must feel like for two women who don’t even know each other to be thrown into a small, cold, sterile room with such high emotions, with an enormous range.  All I could think to do was just spend time with her.  Ask her questions about her life, without sounding like I was interrogating her.  I needed to know everything about her in that short window that we had to spend together because the boy I would be raising as my son, is her son too.  He might have her eyes, her nose, her fingers, her legs, her hair color, her mannerisms, her sense of humor.  I wanted to memorize everything I could about her so I could pass those things on to him when he finally decides to ask me about her.

Secondly, I was struggling with very real post-adoption depression.  This is a very real thing among adoptive parents.  And there are many different adoption situations that can contribute to depression and anxiety.  Our adoption was known as an “emergency placement”.  All that means in laymen’s terms is that our son was born and we were chosen by his birthmother at birth.  She didn’t decide to make an adoption plan for our son until he entered this world.  So we went from being a couple with no children in one 24 hour period to being parents of a newborn.  There were no nine months to prepare a nursery, or ourselves for a newborn in the house.  Our son spent a couple of weeks in the NICU which gave my husband time to prepare the house while I stayed in a local hotel.  Two weeks is NOT enough.

But what we really struggled with, or what I struggled with, was all on the inside.  Instantly, I was consumed with thoughts like “would I have that whole ‘mother’s intuition with this baby?’ and also “am I going to be good enough for him?’.  I was so worried I wouldn’t know what to do.   And everyday I felt like it was too good to be true that this finally happened for us.  I was waiting for God to be like “Psych…just kidding.” And he would be ripped away from me.  I was so afraid he would die.  He contracted RSV when he was just two months old and I remember asking the pediatrician, “Is he going to die?”  He laughed and said no.  But I was terrified.  I slept in his room for two years on the floor because I was so afraid he was going to die of SIDS.  Every fever I imagined he had cancer.  Every fever, I stayed up all night for fear it would get so high he would start seizing.   I was a hot mess.  It was winter, I never took him anywhere.  I was too afraid to go outside.  Staying indoors in winter all day, every day is enough to depress someone.  Throw in a crying newborn.  See what I mean?  My sisters (all three of them) can tell you how many times in a day I would call them.

I had a job up until the day my son was born.  Now I was calling my boss and telling him I had to go on leave, (he was a freaking SAINT) but what about the rest of the world?  Yesterday I was a childless thirty something who was clearly not pregnant and now I was a mother to a newborn baby.  My husband quietly called our neighbors and explained what was happening.  He told them, I didn’t want you wondering why we showed up at home with a baby all of a sudden.  He assured them we didn’t “steal it”.  When I called my clients or met them in person to hand their accounts over to a co-worker, it was awkward.  I was a newly “adoptive mother” and still feeling out how to answer questions.  Answering questions is a BIG FUCKING DEAL in the adoption triad.  People ask and say some really insensitive shit.  When I told one female client I was going on maternity leave, she said “I didn’t even know you were pregnant!”, while staring at my belly.  I explained the shortest and most vague way I knew how that we adopted.  Luckily, I was only met with a sincere “congratulations.”  Other people aren’t so nice or sensitive.  Another female client responded with “congratulations, I guess.”  What does I GUESS mean?  I let that one go.  I was still learning, and boy I was learning by doing.  Stressful.

The most insensitive part came eight weeks later after I returned from my maternity leave.  Keep in mind, I was still agonizing over my son’s health and wellbeing and my ability to be a good mother.  I was anxiety ridden, terrified, scared, lost, tired.  I was sleep-deprived.  I was working with another professional and her clients when the subject of children came up.  They casually asked how many I had, if any.  I replied.  It stayed casual until the topics of childbirth and nursing came up.  Up until then we were just three moms sitting in a room waiting to start our negotiations, talking about mom stuff.  My heart stopped beating for a few seconds.  My brain fired up looking for responses to these nursing/birthing questions that were inevitably going to be directed at me in just a few nanoseconds.  I just decided, less is more.  So at my turn, I just said, “well, my son is adopted, I didn’t really get to experience those things.”  I let out a breath.  Surely, they would pick up on the fact that I had nothing to offer to this conversation and they would kindly move on.  Nope.  Nope, fucking nope.  The client’s agent looks directly at my face and says, “How could anyone give up their child?  Nursing my children was so beautifully bonding that I couldn’t imagine just giving them to someone else.  But, kudos to you for raising something that isn’t yours.”

Ouch.

All of the air was sucked out of the room in that moment.  My eyes were bulging.  I could not even blink.  My jaw was on the floor. Not only was I a new mother, but I was still negotiating how to answer questions about my son, and how he came to be my son and how I came to be his mother.  There is no handbook.  Add on top of that, my sadness at not getting the chance in this life to experience childbirth and nursing.  I was a mess.  I quit my job the very next day. But I learned soon enough, that lady was just a bitch.  Most people say insensitive or stupid things because they don’t know any better.

These are very real and very difficult issues for women (or men) going through the adoption process.  I share my story to educate parents and families not involved in adoption.  I share it for my fellow peers going through the process right now.

If you take anything away from this blog post, take away this: If you are in the process of adopting, people say terrible shit.  Use it as a teachable moment, or ignore them and move on.  The choice is yours.  Do not give anyone outside of your loving family any power over your feelings.  What you need is support.  Find people who will support you.  It is a difficult journey and hard to navigate.  All adoptions are different.

If you meet, or come in contact with a family made up as a result of adoption, don’t ask personal questions.  There are many blog entries out there about what NOT to say to adoptive families.  Yes, we are different, but only how we came to be.

My “newborn” is going to be six years old in six days.  He has his birthmother’s eyes, nose, fingers and legs.  He has the same color hair and the same porcelain skin she has.  He has my sense of humor, my wit, and my unapologetic approach to living.  I think we did okay.

Thanks for reading.

Love,

M

Adopting Newborns.

Security Blankets

Lovies, blankies, binkies…

blankie

Most children have that one item that makes them comfortable when they are falling asleep or sick in bed.  They clutch it when they are anxious or nervous.  They hug it tight when they are sad.  My son has a special little stuffed animal (that is two years older than he is) and he takes it everywhere.  Still.  At six years old.  Pony has been attached to my son since his birth.  He stayed in NICU with WA for two weeks.  When he was old enough to clutch and crawl, Pony went with him.  When he started to toddle, Pony was dragged everywhere from Washington D.C. to Florida to Georgia and on to South Carolina.  Pony is well traveled.  He has gone everywhere.  He has seen the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva and Hitlon Head Island.  He has been through Appalachia and beyond.  He has seen the inside of countless airports.  Pony has been saturated in vomit,saliva and streptococcus.  He has been immersed in apple juice and milk and formula.  Pony is nasty.  We tried to buy a replacement Pony and WA would have nothing to do with the new one.  So we “gifted” it and threw the original in the washer every few weeks.  Pony has a tear in his neck seem.  He is missing one eyeball.  His tag is so ragged from being rubbed by son’s nervous thumb you can’t even read it anymore.  But he is soft and makes my son feel comfortable and secure and for that, Pony is beautiful to me.

I have a security blanket too.  My close girlfriend pointed this out to me.  I just thought it was my favorite shirt.  But at a party I tagged along with her to (in eighties garb) she said kindly, “okay, take off your security blanket, you look great.”  I have a favorite wrap shirt that I wear everywhere, especially to new and unfamiliar places.  It makes me feel confident.  Its got holes in one armpit and is fraying at the edges but it brings me security when I need it.  I wear it everywhere.  Other close friends have noticed my “favorite shirt”.  They giggle a little.  But they know it’s my favorite.  I have to get it repaired because I know I will  never find another one.  It keeps me safe.  At least from my own bad thoughts and anxieties.

As adults, we often don’t think about our security blankets.  But I am willing to bet we all have one.  When my sister is feeling anxious, sad, sick, or some other emotion that is hard on her, she makes our beloved grandmother’s chicken and dumplings.

Do you have a “security blanket” as an adult?

Love,

M

Security Blankets

Clothes.

This topic has been swirling around in my head for quite some time.  I’ve been reading stories lately on my Facebook page that fall into this category in so many ways.  News stories, videos, memes, websites all dedicated to focusing on what people are wearing.  And I’m not talking about celebrities and the “who wore it better, what are you wearing” type of thing either.  I am talking about the disgusting side.  There is the mundane “People of Wal-Mart” to the news articles about rape victims being blamed for wearing “slutty clothes”.

Let us start with the people of Wal-Mart.  I am not saying I am a saint, I’ve laughed a few times when this comes across my news feed.  But what I am really doing is laughing at someone.  Plain and simple.  I am degrading and judging a human being with feelings, aspirations, complex thoughts, and feelings.  These are people, not funny looking dolls, or clowns that dress for the sole purpose to make us laugh.  These people got out of bed this morning and probably put on the only clean outfit they could find because laundry is piling up while they are taking care of their children and working two or three jobs.  That isn’t funny.  I am making a vow to stop.

Secondly, I came across an article from a friend about an open letter from one SEC football fan to other SEC football fans.  It went something like this: he was in the visiting town, dressed in his school colors.  They were harassed to the point of having drinks thrown on them and being spat on..for TWO days.  All because of what they were wearing.  The two women in the group felt so unsafe, they changed.  They felt threatened walking down the street!  They changed out of the clothes they were proud to wear because of others.  Those kids were there wearing the school colors of an institution they were proud to be associated with and proud to cheer on that weekend.  And they were treated like animals.  Pretty sick, right? Well, a gentleman commented that they should have had better sense than to go to a rival town wearing the wrong colors.  Uh, hello?  The teams were playing each other.  You don’t expect the rival team’s fans to come to town?  How big is that damn stadium?  I am sure the school has no problem with them being there since it is a ticket sold and the money goes to the athletic program? And we all know how much $$$ SEC football brings in.  If visiting fans did NOT attend games, that’s a huge dent in the income.

Then there is the news article of the guy who likes to dress in skirts.  That is his decision.  He feels comfortable in them.  He likes them.  When he walks down the city street for three hours one day, he records how many times he is called a “faggot”.  Let me ask you this, what business is it of yours what someone else wears?  Does it affect you?  Does it affect your bank account, your religious beliefs, your social standing among your friends, your job?  How does it make your life more difficult?  Right.  It doesn’t.  Mind your own F@#$%^&* business.  That guy likes to wear clothes that make him feel good.  Not you.  He buys his own clothes.  Not you.  Keep your mouth shut.  He gets up everyday with goals, friends, family, a job, errands, and FEELINGS.  He is a human being WHO FEELS, and you are summing up his entire existence with one word that doesn’t begin to show you the layers he has to his life.  He isn’t a “faggot” but you are an asshole.

Lastly, and the most egregious is what we call “victim blaming”.  You know what it is.  When a woman is raped, the first things that comes from peoples’ mouths is “she shouldn’t have been wearing that shirt skirt.”  Really?  A piece of cotton/polyester made that man suddenly turn into a violent criminal?  Maybe that is why fabric blends are an abomination in Leviticus.

In all of these instances, bad behavior is blamed on the victim.  They shouldn’t have worn that.  They were asking for it.  Oh, that is my favorite phrase (note the sarcasm).  None of these people asked for it unless they turned around to their attacker and actually ASKED FOR IT.  Which we are smart enough to know, that didn’t and doesn’t happen.  Feel me?

Wearing clothes you enjoy, feel good in, and love should not get you laughed at, harassed, catcalled, attacked, or raped…

The attackers, catcallers, harassers and rapists should take responsibility for their own actions.  First, its none of your business what another person decides to walk out of their home wearing.  Secondly, clothes don’t give a human soul its value and worth.  Clothes don’t show you what is inside another person.  Clothes do not display outwardly, what someone feels, thinks, loves, enjoys, cares for, fights for, etc.  Stop being an asshole, and look past the clothes.  “Clothes do not make the man…”

M

Clothes.

I answer my husband’s questions with Ice Cube lyrics…

A little bit of a back story….the hubs and I went to see The Book of Life with our five year old over the weekend.  I loved that Ice Cube was the voice of The Candle Maker.  I am a HUUUUUGE ass Ice Cube fan.  Always have been.  So when I was the ONLY one in the theatre that laughed when Ice Cube’s character quipped “today was a good day”, I was so surprised (and lets be honest, shocked and pissed and utterly stupefied that these idiots were in the presence of a hip hop and comedic genius and still didn’t get it).  My hubs knows how up-to-date on pop culture I am (but this bit of pop-cult was circa 1994, folks) and still he tried to challenge me and say that no one laughed because it wasn’t Ice Cube.  Say whaaaaaaaat?  E’er body knows Ice Cube’s voice.  Well….apparently not.  He asked me to “Google it” and prove that I was right because he said he wouldn’t believe me any other way.”  Wives, you know how I am feeling right about now, right???

I know my hubs is super conservative in some ways, so the fact that HE challenged ME on all things Ice Cube pissed me off.  So guess what I did?  I sat him down, showed him the imdb.com list of cast and crew, told him I didn’t appreciate his lack of confidence in my judgement and…………psych.

Hayull naw.  I just responded to all of his questions for the next three days with Ice Cube song lyrics.  Oh yes, I did, bitches.  It went something like this:

HUBS: “How is your day going so far?”

ME: “I didn’t even have to use my AK.  I gotta say it was a good day.”

HUBS: “Oh, you made eggs and bagels? Nice!”

ME: “Momma cooked the breakfast with no hog.”

HUBS: “Why did you do that????”

ME: “Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It.”

HUBS: “My hips hurt from raking those leaves all day.”

ME: “Smoke some weeeeeeeeeeed.”

HUBS: “I need a shot of rum.”

ME: “Who’s got a plan, who’s got a plot. who’s got got and who’s got shot?”

HUBS: Him bitching about something super lame…

ME: “Betta check yo self before you wreck yo self.”

HUBS: “Did you do this when you were little?”

ME: “Always been the same, aint a GD thang changed…”

HUBS: “I cant do this anymore.”

ME: “You can do it, put your back into it.”

HUBS: “Are you Whitmires really that crazy?”

ME: “You know how we do it.”

HUBS: “YOU ARE GETTING ON MY LAST NERVE WITH THIS SHIT!!!”

ME: “F You! I’m the *wifey* ya LOVE to HATE!”

That’s not verbatim.  But you get the idea.  And when I ended the Ice-Cube-A-Thon, I said “Bye Felicia”.  He doesn’t even know who Felicia is…that makes me so sad!

Love,

M

 

I answer my husband’s questions with Ice Cube lyrics…

The Real Housewives Franchise

Let’s talk about the Real Housewives for a minute, shall we?

I love me some trash television.  I won’t knock anyone for watching trash.  It is a nice break from my reality sometimes.  But I’ve had this thought more often than I can count.  What makes them real?

Are they real just because they exist on our planet?   Yes, I think so.  Because here is what differentiates them from all of us real Real Housewives…

1) Fake eyelashes.  These bitches are always sporting some big ass fake eyelashes.  They grocery shop, swim, go on vacation, breastfeed, etc. with these huge fake eyelashes.  I don’t know about you other moms and wives, but I struggle to get out the door with basic foundation on my flawed facial skin.  Do you remember the episode on Real Housewives of Atlanta where Kim found her daily make up in a costume shop?  You know you laughed.

2) The sleek car.  Those heifers drive around in immaculate Mercedes Benzes and Range Rovers.  My cheerio explosion infested, Gatorade stained Honda Pilot is crying her eyes out and crouching in shame.  She probably thinks I am the most neglectful, selfish bitch in the entire world thanks to these assholes.

3) The chefs.  Do I even need to address this?  I don’t even know a rich single person with a personal chef.  And I do have two friends who are multi-millionaires.  They don’t have personal chefs.  They cook their own food, if they aren’t ordering takeout.

4) Hair extensions.  You are lucky you see me with clean hair, much less some completely styled extensions.  And these hoes are working out at the gym with hot rolled flowing hair.  Girl, bye.

5) Personal assistants.  Some of these women don’t even have jobs, and they have an assistant.  I would love to have some twenty-something run all of my errands that I find taxing and boring.  “Hey assistant!  Take yo’ ass down to the ABC store, I’m too drunk to buy more rum.”

6) Personal trainers.  You’re on TV.  That camera adds ten pounds.  Have Reynaldo come over and work your ass out under the pecan tree in the backyard.  And where is the sweat?  These women do not sweat apparently.

7) The fights.  They get physical.  Everyone of us women dream about flipping a table, pulling a weave, and sometimes even “punching a bitch”.  Or punching our husbands.  But we don’t.  That would make us CRAZY.  Not real.  And then there is that whole jail time for assault thing that gets in the way of running a household and raising children.

8) Maids/Nannies.  OHMYFREAKINGGODIWISH.  But hey, some real Real Housewives have them.  So…maybe this was a bad example.

9) Doctors on call. That shit never happens.  Remember when Phaedra called her doctor (from Anguilla) to prove to her husband that hot tubs could carry bacteria that could infect her clean cooter???  I would have to wait at least five business days before my doctor called me back answering any questions, and most likely I would get his office staff.  And then he would bill me for that shit.  I love you Dr. Ken, but you know its true!!!

Please don’t misunderstand me, I do NOT begrudge wealthy people for having the funds to live a lifestyle they desire.  I do, however, find it hilarious that these women are called Real Housewives.  But we all know reality tv ain’t real, right?

Real Housewives of Atlanta premiered last night.  Did you watch it?  You know I did.  Being an Atlanta native and all.

Love,

M

The Real Housewives Franchise