Realizations

As far back as my memory goes,  I have been stifling and hiding my greatest fears in a dark, secret, black place. Muffled, kept back and away from me and my tender heart.They will consume me emotionally and spiritually if ever released from the cage I had locked them in to maintain the facade of personal safety that I require in order to carry on and forward. In the midst of the quiet, solitary and soul searching year I have spent since my brother died, I have opened that door and now understand those fears and how they have consumed my entire life and been the masters of all my choices. Ironically, or karmically,  or just because it’s all a fucking crapshoot in the end and no-one of us has any say in the roads we travel,  those twin demons  I thought I was controlling have actually had the wheel my entire life. Abandonment and loss have been the only constant companions I have ever known. There is no longer any need to fear them. They are my reality, have always been with me and always will be so I no longer need to be afraid or held hostage by them.
Welcome home.

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Guilty Pleasures = The Unreality of Reality T.V.

I’m a secret reality show watcher. It is my guilty pleasure and something that eases my mind about my own crazy life.

It makes me feel better to watch people on television who will do anything for the almighty dolla dolla bill.

There is just never ending trash to watch.

I know it is a sad reflection of our humanity that shows like this do well and that there are so many of us watching them. I am a hate-watcher, though. Honestly, I pick the worst of the worst of them and follow vicariously…snarking away to the television, while cackling with glee when someone goes over the deep end.

My favourite targets are in order of worst to still pretty fucking terrible:

  1. 19 Kids & Counting: Real quality programming from TLC, which used to be The Learning Channel. I have known these folks were screwed from the start and watched this train wreck anxiously..PURPOSING ( their word) for their fundamentalist scumbaggery to come to light at some point. Well it DID! This year! First, the oldest son, who was working for Jebus (FRC) and denying women the right to abortions and autonomy over their own god damned nether regions, was busted for molesting his younger sisters. One as young as 6 years of age and he a teenage boy. His parents kept it on the down low and covered his scumbag ass until the statute of limitations expired and the only reason it came to light was some intrepid reporter did a FOI search or whatever it is called in the States. According to the parents and the older two girls who discussed with the media, it was “no biggie”, sly, over the clothing groping and no one was hurt cus they were sleeping. In their religion, it is the woman’s fault anyway for tempting the men to do such depraved acts, so no harm no foul, in Duggarland. Then this fundy Einstein gets nailed in the Ashley Madison hack. This one I can almost forgive him for, as I blame most of his issues on his parents. I cannot forgive his screwing porn stars bareback with a pregnant simple fundy wife at home, but can understand why he may have felt the need to nail some strange.
  2. Sister Wives: This is without a doubt the most insightful look you will ever get into fundamental polygamists and the absolutely soul-crushing lives of women who share their husband with three other women. The cherry on top of this cake is the surfer dude egomaniac husband, Kody, who can explain away everything from running away from “prosecution” ( debts) in Utah to Las Vegas ( a lovely choice for a Christian family settlement if there ever was one), to why kissing someone sends your hormones into the kissee’s mouth via spit. His wives are all either heavily medicated (Meri), totally checked out, (Janelle), bipolar (Christine) or bawling every episode over some trivial issue ( Sobbyn Robyn). He has no time and barely remembers his daughter’s names, but makes it to every wrestling match his sons are involved in. None of them work…NONE. They built custom McMansions on a cult-de-sac  cul de sac, and have a party for every single occasion! And feed over twenty five people at these shindigs! They believe that they are spiritually married and will all go off to this douchebag’s planet when they cease this mortal coil. In fact, the more wives he can procure here, the nicer the planet they all get to chill on for all of eternity! If this was the premise for a book, it would be rejected for holes in the plot, but this is actually happening in real life. These grifters have claimed bankruptcy multiple times, every few years, in fact. They just take turns and the single mothers collect welfare and food stamps to keep the family train a rolling. Add to that those TLC pay cheques and you get a family of twenty-something without a single person working a full time job, living in mansions, driving brand new leased vehicles and having parties every week. Waiting anxiously for this train wreck to derail at any time now as well, due to the first legal wife ( who he divorced on the sly last year to marry the youngest wife) being caught in a cat-fishing scandal that is all over the internet right now. Poor thing thought she had found an escape route from polygamyville and instead was deep-throating bananas on her webcam for a fat, fiftyish, female catfisher. OH MY!
  3.  Kate + 8: This was my first foray into reality television and the first person I have never met in person that I have wanted to throat punch. I first watched this show to see how a young couple would cope with that many babies at once. She had two twins about 3 yrs of age and then had 6 at once. She had a nice Asian husband, who worked an IT job and they lived in a lovely little house and seemed fairly normal. Then within a year, it morphed into this shitshow of epic proportions. She was vile to her husband. Short tempered with the children and eventually turned shrew so fast aint nobody could have tamed her! I watched that marriage implode. The husband had an affair with the daughter of the plastic surgeon who did Kate’s free  tummy tuck and breast implants, the kids were bawling all the time, and they TOO moved into a mansion, paid for with those sweet sweet TLC dolla bills. She eventually sued for divorce, got full custody, and stayed in the mansion, while he resorted to tending bar, dj’ing, and selling stories to tabloids about what a shitty mother she was. She went on to be a D list celebrity of sorts, got hair extensions, fake tan, fake nails and a Dancing with the Stars gig, where she failed abysmally, as that gal has no rhythm. Celebrity Apprentice was next, and she didn’t fare any better on there. She managed to arrange another TLC gig and pimped her kids out once again this past season, even though it was painfully obvious her children hate being filmed. The twins are now teenagers and the one in particular brings to mind that old adage about parents eating their young…yes, that bad. The younger kids cry and fight a lot and she sits in her talking head segments rolling her eyes and heavily sighing about the life of the single parent. She loves to mug it up for the cameras. I get most of my frustrations out yelling at the t.v. when she is wringing her hands about how hard her life is with her bodyguards, nannies, drivers, housekeepers, cooks and personal trainer on staff. The plight of the poor single mother indeed. I am waiting for one of the kids to turn eighteen and write the Mommy Dearest on this mess. Not if. When. My money is on Maddie.

Adam

Twenty nine years ago tonight at about this very time, I felt the beginning stirrings of my first-born son inside me.

He was signalling me that his time had come. We would be meeting soon.

I performed the necessary silly tasks that every expectant mother- to- be performs, hair washing, leg-shaving…giggling at my then-husband’s nervousness and teasing that I really looked just fine and should likely just “sit quietly” and wait.

I kept getting up to answer the cries of “trick or treat!” at my door. Handed out candy and smiled at little princesses and firemen on my doorstep, knowing that in the future, I too, would be doorstep begging for free candy with my little one inside me.

After my Mom showed up and assessed the situation, and following a call to my Dr, we three headed off to the hospital.

My labour was typical and I handled it like a pro, according to my usually critical Mother. I remember it being a time I went deep inside myself and blocked everyone out. The only sounds I heard were my own breathing and the sound of the fetal monitor.

My Dr appeared at my bedside, performed an examination, looked a bit perplexed and left the room rather quickly.

My husband followed him out to find out what was going on. He was and still is a Nervous- Nelly type. I barely noticed either of them leaving. I was riding the waves and doing my breathing and content in the thought that everything was going as planned. Nature, after all.

Strange Dr. appears and tells me that he is the Obstetrician on call, and that my baby is breech. Asked me if I had had ultrasounds at all during the pregnancy and I told him no. Remember, this is almost thirty years ago and I was a healthy, 21 year old woman, with a very typical pregnancy and a regular family doctor overseeing it all.

Suddenly, he is harshing my mellow birthing experience and wanting an ultrasound and then wanting to try to “manually” turn my baby within me. As I found out later, this man had zero bedside manner, but brilliant clinical skills and experience.

After an excruciating ten minutes that felt like ten years, with his hands inside me twisting and pushing and rolling at my tummy from the outside as well, he told me he was going to have to perform a caesarean section and that judging by the fetal monitor, it  should occur ASAP.

Suddenly, all the lights are on in the room, I have nurses and anaesthesiologists poking at me, as well as a lab tech drawing blood for god knows what. They are telling my Mom and husband what is happening, and ushering them out and to wherever they stick people to sit and wait in agony while their loved ones are rushed to surgery.

I remember waking up in a pitch black room. It was utterly silent and I thought I had died. I was heavily drugged and felt horribly disoriented. So much so, that it took me a few moments to ever remember that I had come to the hospital to give birth. Too quiet to be a hospital. I felt pain in my stomach when trying to move and was just about to try and find a call bell or even move out of the bed ever so carefully, when I heard a sound that scared me so badly, I pulled the sheet over my face in an instinctual childish reaction.

The sound was that of a grown man in unbearable anguish crying somewhere where I could hear the pain echoing off the walls outside the door. I heard a quiet rhythmic thumping and sobbing..endless heartbreaking sadness spewing from within someone’s deepest places.

That man was my husband.

My son, Adam, was born Nov 01 1986 @ 0115 in the morning with no kidneys, which meant that his lungs did not develop. He survived inside me, but once born, could not live on his own. As I learned later, one of the biggest reasons these conditions are lethal is because if there are no kidneys or the kidneys do not function and make amniotic fluid, the baby’s lungs will not develop. The amniotic fluid is necessary for the baby’s lungs to grow and mature.

After he was delivered and prognosis shared with my Mother, she sat in the nursery with him swaddled in her arms, and simply rocked him until he died.

I was asked if I wanted to hold his deceased form in the blanket and I said no. When I tell others this, they are sometimes quite shocked and I see the looks on their faces. Expressions range from shock to sadness to bewilderment to distaste.

I never felt I had to justify that choice to anyone ever and I never have.

The reason I didn’t hold my dead, silent, still, son is not because I didn’t love him or want to hold him, smell him, touch him.

I knew in my heart if they tried to take him from me, which they most certainly would..I would shatter.

I would shatter inside to the point there would be no more me left.

I would fight and snarl and roar and scream and bite and HOWL if they took him from my arms like they took him from my belly while I was sleeping.

I had survived much already in my life, but I would not survive that.

So, I didn’t.

He was buried with my father on a gloomy grey day with just a handful of family present.

When my Mother saw the tiny casket coming, being carried quite easily by one man, she had to walk away, her sister holding her in her arms. She just could not bear it. I understood that, too. I really did and wished that I could walk away too and not see that. There is no sight in this world sadder than a tiny white casket. Nothing.

I have struggled to find the meaning in losing my first born son. Adam..the first.

I believe now that it made me a better mother to the two boys who followed.

Two more sons, the youngest, Nicholas, identical to Adam in every feature, according to my Mom and husband.

With my Mom and brother gone now, and my husband at the time now an ex-husband, I am likely the only one who remembers him at this time of year.

My first son, Adam Edward, always in my heart, where he is safe, warm and loved by his mommy.