Life can be serious business.

The Gift of an Imperfect Mother.

“Momma, I feel sad and I don’t know why.”

Startled to find my daughter so upset, I walked to her bed and put her on my lap. She nuzzled her head in to the crook of my neck and cried. I pulled her away a bit so that I could see her face. There it was. Pale lips and dark circles under her eyes. She was just tired. I told her to take a few deep breathes with me, close her eyes, and I rubbed her back until I heard that familiar rhythm in her breathe. I kissed her cheek and headed downstairs.

My daughter is so much like me. An old soul full of heart and fury. She digs deep to find the funny in life, but easily trips over frustration. I watch her get stuck on sad and overwhelmed when she’s angry. She loves deeply. She is persistently after a purpose. She is all or nothing. A trait that I know first hand can break you, if you never learn how to bend.

I walked from room to room, picking up toys and clothes and dishes. I couldn’t stop thinking about the very real possibility that my children will be at battle with their emotions and thoughts the way I have always been. Mental illness and trauma run rampant through my blood line. I am a product of generational dysfunctions, mental illness and addictive personalities. Raised on a foundation like that, how can I not fear that my children will feel a ripple effect.

Truth is, I’m scared as hell. Of myself. That I am only going to encourage the ripple, simply by being me. That my faulted inner dialogue will start to become theirs. I am damaged goods, and it’s only a matter of time before I wear off on them.

The weight of thinking this way pushes the air right out of me. It’s so familiar. A usual game-over for me, to which I fall defeated in to a funk. However, there is something different about this moment. I’m am less accepting of this way of thinking. This scenario that has played out in my head over and over seems to have lost some of its power.

imperfect mom

Maybe it is because of my inherent broken pieces, my sorrow, my personal fight, that I am the mother that they need. If and/or when that ripple reaches them, I’ll notice. They won’t get lost in a wave of unbalanced chemicals like I did. I see invisible red flags everywhere I go, because I’ve been the one waving them. I know how to keep my children from being vulnerable to the real predators. I know the importance of trusting my gut and can teach my children to do the same.

I understand the value of validating a child’s words and actions, because mine never were. I know how dangerous it is to neglect a child’s mental health. I have the scars to prove it. It’s because of those invisible scars that I can love, nurture and protect my children with empathy. I have to remember that although wounded, I have succeeded at breaking a cycle. I did that. That holds more power than any cracks in my or my children’s foundation.

Embracing our imperfections for what they are and what they are not is the only way to ease this kind of fear. We can’t change the building blocks our children have been given, but we can accept them with grace. We don’t have all the answers but what we do know, they will be better off for it. We need to stop tearing ourselves apart and harboring so much unnecessary guilt. Most of us would never advise a friend the way we advise ourselves. So why do we value others self worth more than our own?

Isn’t this true for most parents? That we all have these self doubts and moments of “not good enough”. The reasons are different but I truly believe it is because we just want to get this one job, raising our children, right.

Perhaps these imperfections are my tools, gifts really, that allow me to raise, protect and love in a way that fits my children’s mold. We all want the next generation to do a little better than we did. We have to be in tuned with our own glitches in order to make that happen. If we never accept and examine the glitches, we may never see them for what they really are–advantages.

My children may turn out like me, but they are not me. I can only hope that it is the best parts of me that they absorb. They will benefit from what I’ve been through, hopefully without ever having to experience it. But if in fact they do grow to have demons that knock on their own door, they will be equipped with the most perfect, imperfect tools I can give them…and they will thrive.

Life can be serious business.

Dehydrated Fingers.


Ever been in a fight with yourself? This past week, I have done nothing but defend myself against myself. My ego has been throwing sticks and stones at my brain, leaving my heart heavy and hurting.

My chest and arms have felt as if they were taken hostage by gravity. I had a gnawing urge to huddle in a ball. I had a full-blown panic attack last weekend, for no apparent reason, that seemed to precipitate the following week’s worth of self doubt and a total inability to focus. All my emotions suddenly seemed to lack muscle.  I lost my groove. Actually, it feels more like the groove just ran away, with no explanation as to why.

This is the revolving, depressive door I seem to walk in and out of. Maybe I need a higher dose of an anti-depressant. Maybe I need a change more drastic than a hair cut. Sometimes I manage the episodes better than others, but regardless, it trips me up every time. This time, it wore like a thick coat with the fuck its just dripping from everywhere.

I write steadily, whether it’s something for my blog or one of the several journals I keep. My fingers have felt dehydrated this past week. I have tapped on the keys, only to erase everything I’ve written. I tried to write a fictional piece using a prompt that truly inspired me, but hit a wall. It just kept turning in to an unintentional, dysfunctional autobiography. I tried to write in my kid’s journals, but was left scribbling generic thoughts on how much I love them, ten different ways. It made me want to literately, hit a wall.

This fight I’ve been having with myself, it’s looked differently this time. What’s missing is my temper. It just never seemed to show up. My depression usually seems to have a bit of an angry streak to her. Most people don’t associate depression with frustration, but my “episodes” are filled with it. I drop a spoon on the floor and tailspin in to a swearing Tasmanian devil. The most regretful of reactions occur when my young children act like young children. That part of all of this will always have me fighting back tears.


Something jarred me, left me spinning and it feels like it was done on purpose. The other day, sitting at my computer, I tried to convince my brain to talk. It wasn’t working, and then, neither was my internet. My modem burned out for no apparent reason. It was like the universe was begging me to disconnect for a while. So I did.

For four days, I pushed motion out of me. I’ve forced myself to stay moving and occupied. Stale air and a lack of movement is dangerous for me. Not pushing through it has never taken me anywhere pleasant. Instead, I started spring cleaning early, or as anyone who would have seen me these past two days would call it, manic cleaning.

I dare you to find a spec of anything but love laying around my house right now. To top it off, I made a batch of soup and baked some goodies. Who knew depression would bring my inner Betty Crocker back out. It felt good getting back to basics. Starting from scratch has helped me even out the scales a little.

It’s so strange to me, how anyone that feels like I have inside, could still give so much of herself to others. How I, or anyone else, can smile and even occasionally laugh, all the while, have such a tattered heart, is beyond me.

Finally, today, I felt a break. A break in negative cognitions and the extra weight I felt following me around. I seem to be back in the running for finding the right words and locking them in to sentences that help me breath easier. All the drafts I had going before I fell in to this depressive funk, have either been deleted or are gaining a new perspective.


I don’t believe I will ever feel thankful for my illness. However, coming out the other side, always makes the sun seem to shine a little brighter, my thoughts to be a little more clear and my many blessings seem all that more grand.








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Life can be serious business.

A Distorted Mind.

I was hit last night.  I didn’t know where it came from or the cause but it was a blow that shook me.  I’m still shaking.


I can’t understand why depression seems to creep in and take such an oppressive hold, at times that seem so incongruously wrong.  It feels like years worth of building myself up has crumbled down today and it has left me desperate.  Desperate for an air I can breathe back in to my usual full of life mind and body.  I’m running on discouraged fumes today.

I am reaching for a layer of strength so that I can mother my children through this somber day.  My arsenal for hiding my broken pieces is running frustratingly low.  The art of distraction, for both them and myself, is vital today.  I need room to decipher how to react to them when I feel like this.  It’s difficult to recognize.  It’s hazy at best.

Just as the energy to find humor has completely left me today, so has my relationship to any familiar emotion.  I am indifferent to all of it.  Love is there.  I can feel it.  I just can’t access it.

This is my truth.  I have these days.  I have variations of these days.  I have no way of knowing when this particular occurrence will lift or at least ease.  My body usually recognizes the break before my mind does.  I’ll be in motion again.  I’ll move forward and up word in thought.  My brain will react less critically.

Time is the only prescription that works.  Time and the will and ability to connect my flesh to the moment.