Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ignorance was Bliss

I'm half asleep at Noon on a Saturday. Not good. In all fairness, I was up quite late and up quite early and the nasty coffee from Jack in the Box is not doing my drowsiness a lick of good. Since I'm feeling useless right now, I figured I'd show up here. There have been some great articles and posts lately about politics that have really got me thinking. I'm not thinking so much about where I stand, but about how the hell I got to the ignorant state I find myself in. The much younger me, made a constant, conscious effort to educate myself and stay abreast of what was happening in the world. More importantly, I sought out people and sources of information that helped me connect the dots of how all these things happening in the world ultimately impacted me, us. Then somewhere along the way I strayed. I drifted away from this avid pursuit of knowledge and that drift eventually led to committing the ultimate intellectual crime: I stuck my head in the sand. On purpose.

Ignorance is bliss. Isn't it? I suppose if I were shallow or so consumed in day-to-day nonsense I could live with that. Is that how I strayed? I could say it was because I decided to try being a hum-drum suburban wife who no longer cared to focus on the troubles of the world. But if you know me, you're laughing and crinkling your eyebrows. You know that's just not me. The truth is it all started with my battle with drug addiction. (yes! we get to talk about drugs and not mommy stuff! woo hoo!)

I'm not going to go back to the beginning and get into how it all started, because quite frankly this isn't some thank-the-lord-I'm-sober-now testimonial. I've been thinking long and hard about how I got so far away from the political and intellectual realm I once relished in. Every spin I put on it, all leads me back to the same conclusion. The deeper down the rabbit hole I chased the high, the further I was running away from myself without even realizing it. I can't tell you what made me stop running. There was no intervention. There were a hand full of friends that made their comments, but no one dragged my ass to rehab and told me to wake up.  Believe it or not, I simply woke up. I got tired of feeling sick. I got tired of never feeling high enough. I was just fucking tired. I called, on my own accord, the local chemical dependency center and told them I needed to talk to someone. They had me come down and meet with a tool, er I mean nurse, who asked me all sorts of personal, intrusive questions. I knew it was coming, the question that was going to make or break this deal, wait for it..."What religion are you?"

"None. I'm an atheist."

Nurse: *pause*

I asked him if the only way to go through the program was to bring Jeebus into it. He said no, they've just found that people are more successful in the program when they believe in a "higher power." Words cannot adequately expressed how livid that made me. Needless to say, I never went back. I'm not just an atheist, I'm an Existentialist. You can't look me in the eye and tell me that there is any power greater than the belief in one's Self. I found it shameful on their part that rather than teaching people to find it within themselves to be strong, they put it on something else. It was infuriating.

I knew that being in a dark place didn't mean I had to surrender my convictions to find my own light. If they couldn't help me, fuck them. I'd do it on my own. And I did. No, it wasn't done all neat and tidy in 6wks like the canned salvation most rehab programs promise. It took a long, long time to be truly freed of those demons. It was this struggle that consumed every bit of my intellect, my spirit, my physical energy. And it was ugly. Between battling my demons and trying to function in society, I was tapped out. There was nothing left to give to political activism, so it pained me to even read about it. I knew there was nothing I could contribute, so it was better to just not know. A funny thing happens when you alienate yourself. Your reality changes. What is "real" is limited to what you perceive and if you're limiting what you're allowed to perceive, it inevitably warps what is real.

Fast forward several years, and I found myself married and wanting kids. It wasn't until we finally got pregnant that I found myself interested in the world again. Perhaps it's a maternal, animal instinct to inspect the world around you for the well-being of your cub. Or maybe I've finally found the peace I struggled so hard to find for so long, that I'm ready again. Look out, folks. Revolution is coming, and she's wearing a papoose.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mommy's F**k You!

I'm grateful for all the mommy sites/blogs out there in cyberspace, I really am. It seems that once you become a parent, there is just so much to take in. However living in the information age can quickly warp your sense of reality, and make you question your own instincts. As I said in my first post, I really don't know what I want to talk about here. I do know I don't want to be just another mommy blogger especially because this is supposed to my "me time" not an extended version of mommy time. But tonight's events are compelling me to write about mommy stuff. (sorry, no sex or drugs tonight - perhaps next time.)

My son has been a crappy sleeper since the day we brought him home from the NICU. I'm a free spirit and don't believe in "sleep training" babies into little infant robots. So we decided we'd come up with a half-ass routine that revolved around his natural sleep pattern - whatever that would turn out to be. Well over the past 17 months we've tried just about everything - except that "cry it out" bullshit because that just isn't going to happen in my house. Around his 1st birthday we realized the best thing for our family to get some peace was to just all sleep together in the same bed. This alleviated bedtime battles, but he still wouldn't sleep thru the night. Our son is now 17 months old. 2 nights in a row, he went to bed no later than 8pm (as opposed to 10pm or 11pm) I didn't want to get my hopes up because I figured we'd be doomed around 2am. But nope, he made it until morning. Tonight is night 3. I can't believe I get to say this, but he went to sleep at 7:20pm. I had time to come downstairs, do a cardio workout, clean the kitchen, and now screw off online.

This is my big FUCK YOU...

to all the experts' articles and stinkface looks from other parents suggesting that I must obviously be a crappy mom and don't know how to handle my own kid. FUCK YOU for all the times I handed my son over to my husband at 3am and broke down and cried because I just didn't know what else to do to help my son. It turns out it wasn't me at all. It turns out that spending hours on end getting everyone else's take on babies' and toddlers' habits warped my natural instincts and confidence as a mother. It turns out that what my husband and I agreed upon the day we brought our boy home, that we would go with the flow and let our son be who he is - it turns out WE WERE RIGHT! This is the best goddamn feeling in the world. Don't tell me how to raise my son. I am his mother. And for those of you who don't believe in my hippie bullshit, let me assure you that my son is a strong, independent little boy. Sleeping with us has done nothing to compromise his psychological development. It turns out his little body just needed time. Yeah it's only been 3 days of these perfect nights, and I'm not naive to think that rough evenings are a thing of the past. But at least my faith in my maternal instinct has been restored. For now.

Peace, Love, and all that crap...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Kiddie Pool

I don't remember the last time I sat down to write, creatively, for myself. However I do remember that the last time I wrote, it was long before the world of blogs, social networks, and hell, even cell phones. I used to say that if I stopped writing, I'd go insane and have to be commited. Little did I know that falling in love, getting married and having a kid were going to send me on a 13 year hiatus. Did I go nuts? Yep. Not commited though, so apparently I've flown under the radar. I've thought about writing again more times than I care to count. It wasn't until recently when I mentioned this to a friend, he said "So write again. Just think of it as 13yrs of writer's block."

Is it really that simple? We're talking about tapping into the darkest, deepest crevices of my mind here. What if I can't remember how to tap into it anymore? Do I even have anything to say? Hell, back when I wrote regularly it was never intended to be shared with anyone. With the age of computers, the introspective self has since plugged in and what was once a very personal experience, has become a public event. The thought of anyone reading or listening to anything I have to say is bizarre and a little scary. I know it isn't mandated that I write online, but if I'm on the computer all the time anyhow, it just seems like a practical place to start.

About a month ago, still toying with the idea, I registered at blogspot. I had no intention of starting a blog that day, but I took a step to dip my toe in the proverbial water. Several weeks later, here I am. My first post. I'm sitting here in the kiddie pool with my floaties on. So far, it feels good. I'm not sure how this is going to go, but I'm glad I came out to play.