An Unusual Christmas Wish

If I had one wish it would be to have more time. Not time in a day or time for getting things done but time that I didn’t get; that was lost. My life is a lot like a blank slate in many ways since I lost my mother so young. My memory of her is a tangled mess of broken pieces that are faded and unclear sprinkled with a few bright moments that are so brilliant they illuminate the absolute desperation of the wet hard road of my childhood. The floor didn’t just fall out from under me the house caved in on my head as well and just as I dug up out of the rubble my darling sister died. Fucking time again. It managed to lasso me with my back turned. She was gone and what might have been was miles back on that bloody fucking road again. So it’s time that I would wish for, memories that were never stored, logged, booked, banked.

…..And my solution is that the next twenty years of my life are going to be dramatically different from the last twenty years. I’m going to write more, paint and listen to music every chance I get. I will spend quality time with my kids and do everything in my power to never become my parents. I vow to enjoy the scenery and not take things so seriously. I’m going to try to learn to appreciate my gifts and life skills and while this road has been brutal; left me jaded, torn, run-down and left for dead, it’s also taught me to survive and then how to succeed. So it’s not about everything that I remembered; that I hate about my past and what I lost. The answer is in how to change the future; survive; succeed.

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Say What You Mean

When I was a little girl, I remember very clearly that I had a distinct plan to grow up in our “beautiful” blond-blue, two car, four-story, pool in the back yard, above average but not affluent neighborhood. I would attend the same schools without being yanked out of my lovely family or home and then attend college, meet a wonderful boy, fall madly in love, get married and follow in the footsteps of my parents to build a life just as they had. Sadly, I’ve also known from an early age that I should make it my definite mission in life to be nothing like either of my parents. It was like the “shining” gift only it was a nightmare of sorts because I coveted a hatred for both of them in knowing how fucked up they both were. While I loved them dearly, I knew that I could never raise my kids the way they raised me because they always made me feel abandoned even when they were around. It could be as simple as a nasty comment or a punishment that was so unfair it made absolutely no god-damn sense at all. Or perhaps, it was an off-the-cuff remark because someone had a bad day and decided to take it out on one of the kids. Geese, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time but I’ll be damned if words don’t hurt just as badly as being hit and I sure as shit remember them a whole lot longer. When you tell me “I don’t matter”, that”you’re not going to be parenting me any more” since my dad is paying so much attention to my brother. When you say that I “look like a slut” in the clothing that you bought me, you confuse the hell out of me mommy dearest.

Remember the Christmas that you didn’t come home? I set up the tree by myself. I decorated the apartment that you were renting me and tried to make the place look festive and I’ll be damned if anyone bothered to show up. I cried through the holiday. Merry Fucking Christmas Mom. I was only 15 years old. Where in Christ’s hell did you think I was going to be spending Christmas that year? Honestly it was like Heaven down in 111. The fellas down the hall took me in and saw to it that I was fed and “happy.” I do appreciate you stopping by over New Year’s with your murderer. I saw the two of you going at it and it made me want to vomit tacos. I sprinted back down the hall to 111 and stayed there until you were gone and you never knew I walked in.

The truth is parts of me are stalled at 13 years old when it comes to you because that’s when you took off on me. I never got to reconcile and then when I got that fucking phone call, it was over. I have no idea how to turn it loose and to say it’s okay – to know that you’re not angry and to cleave to the calm. I’m not at peace with you and I never have been. People say “Oh Kristi, she’s with you” and I think to myself, bullshit, she never loved me. I don’t know faith. I don’t walk around being pissed off because the 26 years has numbed the pain however I have no clue how to deal with girls or women most of the time and I never have. It’s a blank. Literally.

The Stonewall Effect

The soundtrack of my childhood is a beautiful and bitter goulash of Presley, Franklin, Ross, violence and hatred. The blood spatter that stained our stairway walls never washed off because no one bothered to address it in between beatings. It’s unclear to me still if anyone ever knew the stains were so prominent or if I just noticed them as my hair was being ripped out at the scalp.

The seventies weren’t as beautiful as GQ and Playboy make them out to be on account of my functionally alcoholic parents. The true romance of growing up in the fifties and sixties was that bourbon was actually served with every meal including holidays unless it was a Sunday in which case copious amounts of wine and brandy were in every glass. There were drinks at every meal; near applause when the ice jingled like tiny bells into the first glass and screaming when the first knuckles berthed onto skin. It was liquor that afforded me a sickness I never wanted and a big screen to watch and learn several generations try and fail, laugh and cry, sin and be victims. I knew from a very early age the person I never wanted to be and I always felt a secret bit of kept joy that I escaped my own demise. It’s as though I’ve escaped a lifetime that passed me by on a train. I did not wave and but also I did not fully appreciate the gravity or significance of my fictional deposition. What I did do was survive.

The one thing I never planned on was that it would take me so long to learn how to make good choices. Not like having ordered the best plate on the menu or feeling as though you found a really great pair of jeans. After decades of watching the women I love being treated like professional whores it would seem like a high school diploma and the University of Kansas might have cured me of needing something just short of a rape kit.

So my New Year’s resolution in July is to spend the last six months of 2014 escaping regret that I don’t absolutely have to pay for. I’m not afraid of the future but rather the past. My alcoholic father likes to brag that Stonewall Jackson is a distant and historically important relative to this family which is probably total crap with the exception that according to namesake, we are inherent bullshitters.

Plaster of Personality

imageLife is about circles and cycles aside from the one that finally lands you on the slab.  I’m on the way down, just hitting the bottom of another of life’s wonderful coaster-like seasons. It’s easy to get caught up in negativity. Some days putting on a perfectly poised smile is like staring up the beanstalk with a fifty pound salt-lick strapped to my ankles. Other days, smiling just erupts across my face.

I love reality television because you can select the depth of whacko. There is a disproportion of over-indulgence and in some instances there are educated people involved. I also enjoy watching love stories and when the little guy comes from behind for a win of epic proportions.

When you were searching for your “soul mate” it might have been handy if you could have seen a plaster version of their personality first.

Betrayal

Conviction is the ability to tell the truth regardless of how much it will hurt or who cares. It’s the capacity to love beyond borders and without reason no matter who likes it or who thinks it’s appropriate. It’s the aptitude to flaunt your ideas and then hold your head high when someone laughs just because you believe in yourself.

ImageNever lose your courage. Trust yourself always.

Who are you?

Today when I was rifling through Elle Magazine, I realized that I am not the woman who shops on-line for five different pieces from different designers. I also realized that while I love fashion, I also prefer to shop in the “cheap seats”. How many women really go to the store and purchase the “brand” version of everything? I admit that I am a sucker for certain designers and fashion trends but it is nonsensical to pay $250 for one pair of jeans – even if you make a million dollars.

My suggestion is to be you on the outside and inside. Who cares what you are wearing because when it is all said and done, we are all naked. Love you Sister.

Walking Into Walls

The truth about relationships is that every relationship you have is conditional. It might be based on love, friendship or kitty treats but if you don’t put anything into it you’re not getting anything back.

I think I’ve known from a very young age that it would be my “job” break the cycle of crappy parenting and spectacularly bad marriage choices. My blessing is that I knew I wanted to learn from their mistakes.

In the course of my social mediocrity I managed to outrun the pit bulls and aristocratic ghosts of my past but time caught up and life fell down. My curse was that I thought I knew it all and I was young, ambitious and angry.

I’m pedaling backwards into the middle of my life in full crisis mode and can’t help but walk into walls. The ugliest feeling that exists is regret. Take nothing for granted because you never know when the power will go out.

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