Riding the Sorrycycle

Two running jokes in my life that go back as far as I can remember…

“Sheri can’t ride a bicycle to save her life…hahahaha”

“Oh, look…Sheri is apologizing again…hahahaha”

Yup. I may not be able to ride a bicycle near traffic without fearing for my life, but I am DAMN good at riding the Sorrycycle.

Because that’s what it is…a cycle.

My…person (for lack of a better term at this time…labels, yo…lol)…got upset with me the other day for always apologizing. He told me later,

“I swear…it’s like you’re apologizing for existing.”

Oh! Ok! I get why that could be upsetting. So…let me explain…you see…ummmm..

“I am.”

I AM apologizing for existing and I’m pretty sure I have been from my first word.

I’m sorry for not being pretty enough.

I’m sorry for not being smart enough.

I’m sorry for not being the daughter you wanted.

Actually, I’m sorry for being a girl at all when you only like boys.

I’m sorry for being too quiet.

I’m sorry for being too loud.

I’m sorry for being too fat.

I’m sorry for being too thin.

I’m sorry for needing food and air that someone else deserves more.

I’m sorry. If I say it enough, will you please love me?

Obnoxious, right? Weak. Needy. Insecure. I’ve heard it all. None of it true. It actually takes enormous strength to live the life that causes this.

What life?

A life of narcissistic abuse.

I was looking for a definition of narcissistic abuse to explain, but found this.

Basically? “You’re not enough…you’ll never be enough…you should feel lucky to be allowed to breathe.”

Ok. I’m sorry.

But, Sheri…you’re not a kid anymore…you don’t live with that anymore…get over it!

Well, yes and no.

I don’t live with my initial abusers anymore. However, those who grow up in this manage to keep the cycle going by being magnetically pulled to new narcissists.

But even beyond that…

Telling someone to get off the sorrycycle is like telling someone to stop breathing.

Geez, Sheri. Dramatic much?

Nope.

Being sorry…apologizing for our existence…that’s what kept us alive. My friend quite accurately used the term “de-escalation” this morning.

The words, “I’m sorry” tells your abuser, “I’m taking the blame. You don’t need to keep hurting me to prove it’s my fault. I know I’m lucky you put up with me, so please don’t hurt me.”

“I’m sorry” kept us alive as surely as breathing did.

So…stop saying I’m sorry…

This person is angry. I can’t breathe. They’re going to hurt me. I’m sorry.

This person is disappointed. I can’t breathe. I know I’m lucky you put up with me. I’ll try to do better. I’m sorry.

This person is inconvenienced. I can’t breathe. I should have done something to avoid this. I’m worthless. I’m sorry.

This person wishes I didn’t exist. They’re right. I shouldn’t. I’m sorry.

You leave the abuse (if you’re lucky), but unless you leave humanity you will never leave behind the emotions of others…and ALL emotions are healthy in the right dosage…but we didn’t live around the right dosage…we lived in a pool of other people’s emotions that threatened to drown us at every turn.

I can’t breathe.

I shouldn’t exist.

I’m sorry.

Having left that environment behind (mostly)…I’m one of the luckier ones…I still can’t get off the sorrycycle.

Anger frightens me. More than I think anyone in my world understands. So I strive to deescalate. I’m sorry.

Disappointment terrifies me. So I strive to deescalate. I’m sorry.

Apathy is one step from abandonment. So I deescalate. I’m sorry.

So…yeah…I KNOW how annoying it is that I do this. I KNOW that my loved ones want me to know that I’m safe…I’m secure…I’m loved…and they’re GLAD I exist….

But, until one day when I finally feel truly safe…

I’m sorry.

“No More Secs!!!” (aka When God Needs Us to Just Listen)

“Hold up, God. I’m almost ready to listen…”

I will never forget the day that I finally snapped at Bella for constantly telling me, “One sec!!!!” as I tried to get her moving towards my plans for the day. She was only about 8…she was being a normal 8 year old…but I needed to get us where we were supposed to be…and she kept yelling, “One sec!!!!” for about 10 minutes every time I tried to get her attention. Aaaaaannnnddddd….I snapped…

NO MORE SECS!!!!!!”

Both of our eyes got really big…and then we both lost it…but we finally headed towards our correct destination. 

I realized this morning…

October 2020 to present has basically been the year where God snapped…

“NO MORE SECS!!!”

If I’m honest, God has been trying to get me out the door to His planned destination for years.

“Ok, Sheri, it’s time to set boundaries…” “One sec!!! I need to see this cute boy!”

“Sheri…focus…it’s time to start treating yourself the way you treat others…” “One sec! I swear! I just need to finish doing this for someone!”

“Sheri, it’s time to start listening to the body I gave you when it says it needs rest…” “Ok!! I hear you!! Geez!! One sec!!! I just REALLY want to hit this speed PR!!”

“Sheri, I’m trying to get you out the door to dealing with your anxiety so you can love yourself…” “I know, God, and I trust your path. Just one more sec…I’m too sad to leave right now…:

“ME DANGIT, SHERI, NO MORE SECS!!!”

*trusted person sexually harasses me and removes sense of safety*

*broken leg stops ability to emotionally ‘run’ away*

*physically broken heart forces time of reflection on what’s important* 

*lost friends…tears cried…rock bottom reached*

“Ok…geez, God…no more secs…I’m listening…dang…”

“Thank you. Now let’s go.”

All of these things…yeah…He let them happen…because I WOULD. NOT. LISTEN. while I could still be distracted…while I could still yell…

“ONE MORE SEC, GOD!”

Nope. No more secs. Time to go.

Time to go learn that when someone steals your safety, you set boundaries…you stand firm in what how God believes you deserve to be respected.

Time to learn that when you run from the lessons God needs you to learn, you only elongate your own pain.

Time to learn that life is short and even faith and stubborn tenacity can’t keep a body whole when it needs you to listen.

Time to learn that you need to show yourself the love that you show others and wish for in return…time to learn that people treat us as they see us treat ourselves.

Time to learn that forgiveness and strength go hand in hand.

No more secs. It was time to go.

And I learned. The hard way. Because it was the only way I’d stop…focus…and listen.

And, now…this morning…I sit here…listening to the sounds of my beloved nature…watching my dogs play…in a place that only forgiveness, strength and boundaries could have brought me to…ruminating on recent events and changes…reveling in a sense of peace as no anxieties sit heavy in my chest…and, I think,

“Ok, God. You were right. No more secs.”

The Imperfection Connection

Alright, you guys. I have to admit something to you. Are you ready? Are you sitting? Maybe hold onto something to steady yourself. Ok…here it goes…

I…am not perfect.

WHAAAAATTT?!?!

Ok. Has everyone’s shock subsided yet?

But…really. I’m not perfect. No one is perfect. And the ones I’m closest to are the ones who can admit that.

I often say that we don’t connect through our perfections, but rather through our imperfections.

And I CRAVE connection.

More importantly?

I TRUST connection. I FEAR attempted perfection.

Why is that? Easy…

Since we all know that perfection isn’t possible…CONSTANT positivity isn’t possible…those who attempt to maintain either are eventually going to blow. I’d rather they not blow up on me. I’ve been the dark secret of a “perfect” and “positively positive and cute” person. I’ve been the emotional punching bag for who they really were. I’ve watched them eventually blow up when they feel they’ve been wronged. And I’ve watched the devastation they left behind with those that weren’t at least lucky enough to already know the truth.

So, while I will always try to find silver linings (for myself and others) I will never pretend a life of perfection. And I will shy away in fear of those who do.

So, here is my promise to you.

On the days that you feel like you’re breaking, I will be there to hold your hand…if you reach out with your imperfection.

On the days when you fear you can’t live up to the world’s expectations, I will show you how you far exceed them…if you reach out with your imperfection.

On the days that you feel ugly and unloved, I will show you how you are all that us beautiful and beloved in this world…if you reach out with your imperfection.

I promise that I will be there to hold you up and support you and love you…if you promise to allow the imperfection connection.

And…I promise…I’m never gonna give you up…never gonnq let you down…never gonna run around and desert you… (Hi, Robyn, I know you’re reading this…enjoy the Rick Roll.)

Like a BOLT of Lightning

Mommy’s Boy

I have been pretty much obnoxious about my new puppy this week.

Which is borderline hilarious because I’ve really never been a huge dog person…and I had ZERO intention of getting a puppy.

But…here we are…

See.. what had happened was…

I went for a run…didn’t even make it a half mile…when suddenly…I GET ATTACKED BY A PILE OF CUTENESS!!

See…Pile of cuteness…

So I giggle and play with the puppies and start back on my way. But the pile of cuteness kept coming…

I’m like The Puppy Pied Piper!!

They chased for a little ways and then they turned around and went back to where I found them. Well…most of them did…but not this little guy…

THIS little guy, apparently decided that I looked like I needed him. So…he followed me…and he followed me more…

He followed me for 2 whole miles…and then he was tuckered out.

Hey…lady…my legs are tired!!

Well, I mean…I couldn’t just LEAVE him there…2 miles from where we started…So, I HAD to carry him home!!

And how could I ever let him go???

And that’s how Bolt adopted me…

But here’s the thing…Bolt didn’t just adopt me…Bolt didn’t just BOLT away from his family to be with me…

Like a BOLT of lightning in a pop-up storm…Bolt showed up when I needed him most.

I didn’t adopt him. He adopted me.

I didn’t rescue him. He rescued me.

When I have spent this year in survival mode…day by day…just trying to keep putting one foot in front of the other…

Suddenly I’m happy…not fake it til you make it…but HAPPY and excited for each day…and Bolt gave me something to truly laugh about and love about life again.

And I believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Bolt was sent to that spot like a tiny tail wagging angel to meet me at the moment that I needed him most.

To rescue me.

All the Things She Said

So. This morning I did a dumb. I woke up…decided I felt ok…and decided to go for a run. Anyone who’s been following this probably knows that wasn’t necessarily the smartest idea…as I’m dealing with a heart issue…

So…why? Why would I do such a stupid thing? Am I trying to prove I’m some kind of badass? Nope. I am STILL trying to prove that I deserve to even breathe…

Especially after a night of the nightmares. Of her. My darling mother.

As I ran…I heard them…all the things she said…running through my head…”You are not enough”…

I can honestly say, without a doubt in my mind or heart, that my mother never loved me and never should have had me. And she spent a solid 25 years making sure I knew it.

I was 5 the first time I remember her telling me I was fat and had to go on a diet.

I was 6 the first time she told me she wouldn’t buy my school pictures (but she did my brother’s) because I was too ugly in them.

I was either 8 or 9 the year that I’m pretty sure she wanted to end me…for taking a bite out of everything in my Easter basket because I knew she was going to give it all away again the next day…like she did every year because I was too fat and didn’t need it.

At 10 she told me I couldn’t have the glasses the doctor said I needed because I was already too ugly without them.

At 17…when I had to call the police because an ex boyfriend was harassing me…she got him Braves tickets to apologize for me being a bitch.

At 22 she told me she didn’t need a daughter.

For a brief period at 23…she was proud of me…as I toyed with an eating disorder…for “FINALLY quitting eating and doing something about my problem”.

At 24 she called my fiancee and told him not to marry me because I’d be a horrible wife and mother.

Even 2 years ago…when she found out I was in school…she told the person who told her, “Ohhhh..that’s cute that they have some kind of certificate program for single moms…” “She’s getting two degrees…” “Oh, well, she’ll fail.” “She’s on the President’s List and on full scholarship.” “Oh…well…she’ll have to quit. She’ll realize she can’t do it all.”

These are the things I can’t get out of my head. These are the things I’m trying to prove wrong.

This feeling that everyone must agree with her and I don’t deserve the air I breathe.

These nightmares where she convinces everyone that she was right all along and takes everyone away.

That’s what I tried to outrun.

There’s a joke with my friends that there’s a Deadpool…what stupid way will Sheri die…

The irony is that, most likely, it will be while trying to prove that I deserve to be alive.

Grace

Blog Preface: Some may consider grace religious. Some may consider it humanity. I consider it both. We have a lot more in common with each other than we sometimes want to believe. (Also, this message weighed on me so heavily I’m writing it in a gas station parking lot. Lol)

For what feels like my entire life I have joked that my epitaph should say “She Tried.” Partially a joke, because that’s what I do. Mostly, I mean it.

No matter what bad things anyone could say about me (I’m not perfect) even those who like me least have had to admit…I try.

Every single day I wake up and make a conscious decision to try to be better than I was yesterday.

Do I believe that I will one day be perfect? Good Lord. NO! lol

It’s my imperfections that make me continue to try. It’s my mistakes that make me want to do better.

We all make them. Every single one of us makes mistakes. A wise woman once told me, “I want to see you making mistakes. If you’re not making mistakes you’re not trying anything new and you’re learning nothing.” So I am perfectly OK with saying…I make mistakes.

Sometimes those mistakes hurt people I love. Sometimes those mistakes hurt me. Sometimes those mistakes hurt my God.

And I pray for grace. I pray for God’s grace in knowing my heart and knowing that I’m trying to do better. I pray for my own grace so that I can forgive myself enough to continue to grow. I pray for the grace of my loved ones to forgive me and give me a chance to make it right.

Because, really…what’s the point of trying without grace? If we…or our loved ones…or our God…can’t give us the grace to forgive and BELIEVE that we will do better…if there is no hope of ever being better than our lowest moments…what is the point of trying?

So…we hope for grace…and, yet…how often do we forget to show it?

How often do we write people off and give them no chance to BE BETTER? Please do not get me wrong. There are people you cannot forgive because they do not want your forgiveness. They don’t want to do better. They want to stay in their muck and you should just love them anyway. That is toxic and you owe them nothing. However…what about the ones who actually try?

What about the alcoholic who has been through years of AA and not touched a drop?

What about the former criminal who paid his debt to society and became an upstanding and kind person?

What about the person who hurt us because they were hurting themselves, but have since sought help and struggled to heal and be better?

What about any of our mistakes that we have made…our lowest points where we hurt everyone around us…and then we found our way back and kept doing right?

Do they/we not deserve grace? Was the struggle for naught because we can be no better than our lowest?

I can’t believe that’s true, because I don’t want it to be true about me. I can’t believe that’s true because I’ve lost so many people in life because they WON’T try to be better…I don’t want to lose people who are trying.

You see…those mistakes I made…those people I hurt…it’s not just their grace I want. I want their grace because their love matters to me.

I want to have grace for myself so I can be deserving of self love.

I want the grace of my loved ones so I never stop trying to be worthy of their love.

And, yes, I pray for the grace of God because I want to truly deserve his undying love.

The point of trying IS grace. The point of grace is love.

And I want to give as much as I want to receive.

Pride

Blog Preface: I speak a lot about gaslighting, because that was my experience. However, I’m not sure whether it was my history or just merely society and my gender that taught me to never be proud. So, please, feel free to let me know if this resonates with you even without a specific history.

PRIDE. I think a lot about pride. It feels like it’s been my lifelong goal. To just have someone…anyone…be proud of me. I’ve dreamt of making my family proud…of making them believe that I’m worthy of their pride. I’ve wanted to make my friends proud to know me. I’ve held this relationship goal in my heart that I wanted to be with someone who was proud to be with me (just as I would be proud to be with them).

That’s terrible, right? Pride cometh before a fall. We’ve all heard it. Don’t be proud. Be humble.

Or as I heard it…

There’s nothing special about you. Don’t brag, no one likes that. You’re doing what’s expected of you, why should you be proud of that? You should feel lucky I love you, but don’t expect me to have any pride in you.

So…I tried harder…and harder…and harder…

I gave everything I could in every relationship. I constantly strived to be the best. I constantly pushed to be perfect. Anything I could do…to make someone proud…and happy enough that I was there, that they would never leave.

It didn’t work. And, up until this morning, I’m not sure I fully grasped why it didn’t work. But this morning it hit me.

What kind of pride was I showing in myself by saying that I needed to do more and more and more and more to make someone proud of me?

The fact that THEY weren’t proud of me…I took that to mean that I shouldn’t be proud of me…which led them back to wondering why they should be proud of me….and around and around we go.

So, I lived in this cycle. This cycle of trying too hard…of trying to show that I was humble and giving and worthy…only to find myself alone and with zero pride in my own self. I begged for familial pride so hard that I constantly felt like I wasn’t enough. I allowed myself to be in relationships where I so desperately wanted my partner to be as proud to be with me as I was to be with them. ..but I always felt like they just believed that I should feel lucky that they stayed…there was nothing special about me, after all.

4 years ago I started a journey to find my pride…through the one place that I had ever believed in my own abilities…academia.

This December I graduate…and I have been TERRIFIED of this looming graduation. I have been so scared that I was going to find out that I wasted these last years and that I was still this broken person who wouldn’t believe in herself anymore and who would go back to making the same mistakes.

Until this morning.

I was feeling anxious. I was thinking about how I shouldn’t bother with a graduation ceremony. At my age that is stupid and prideful and no one cares. No one wants to celebrate something like that. “Ooooh…Sheri did something that she should have done 20 years ago…way to go…” <insert eye roll>

I caught myself thinking…I just want to matter. I want to KNOW that I matter to someone enough that they wouldn’t be there just because they figure they have to…but because they are so proud of me that they can’t imagine NOT being there.

I caught myself believing that this is something I’ll never have. I KNOW my friends are proud of me. PLEASE know that I know that. But…I caught myself hurting because of what I feel like I’m lacking. Pride from my family…pride of someone who chooses me every day because he feels so proud to be with me that he wants the world to know…the kind of pride that, lets be honest, we all search for from our parents or our forever partners.

And then…I caught myself being irritated…because why am I basing my pride on myself on whether any particular people can be proud of me? I’d be HELLA proud if I was my daughter. I’d be shouting from the rooftops with pride if I got to be with me.

Not because I’m awesome.

But because, no matter what, I TRY.

I try to be kind to everyone I meet (even those I don’t like…lol).

I try to be a friend to those in need.

I try to succeed at everything I do so that people know they can rely on me.

I try to leave this world a little better every day than I found it that morning.

I try. So hard.

And…you know what? I’m proud of that.

And I don’t need other people to tell me that I should be proud of that…or that I shouldn’t.

I AM PROUD.

And the best part of that? It means that I accomplished what I really set out to do 4 years ago. Degrees…no degrees…it’s not the point.

I found myself. I learned to love myself. I learned to be proud to be me.

And I suddenly feel overwhelmingly confident that I won’t backslide as soon as I graduate. Because this is who I am now.

And I’m proud of me.

Things That I Am nฬถoฬถtฬถ

๐ˆ’๐ฏ๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š ๐ฅ๐—ผ๐ญ ๐ฅ๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ. ๐’๐ก๐—ผ๐œ๐ค๐ž๐ซ, ๐ซ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ? ๐ˆ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ค ๐—บ๐—ผ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐—ผ๐Ÿ ๐ฎ๐ฌ, ๐—บ๐š๐ฒ๐›๐ž ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐œ๐ข๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐—ผ๐—บ๐ž๐ง, ๐Ÿ๐—ผ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐€ ๐‹๐Ž๐“ ๐—ผ๐ง ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ž๐ง’๐ญ.

๐Œ๐š๐ฒ๐›๐ž ๐ฒ๐—ผ๐ฎ’๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ค๐ข๐ง๐ , “๐๐—ผ…๐ˆ ๐๐—ผ๐ง’๐ญ ๐๐—ผ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ…” ๐ˆ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐ž, ๐ˆ ๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐š๐ฎ๐ ๐ฒ๐—ผ๐ฎ. ๐ˆ ๐๐ž๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐๐—ผ ๐ข๐ญ.

๐ˆ๐ญ ๐๐—ผ๐ž๐ฌ๐ง’๐ญ ๐œ๐ฅ๐ข๐œ๐ค ๐ข๐ง ๐—บ๐ฒ ๐›๐ซ๐š๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐—ผ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ค ๐š๐›๐—ผ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ˆ ๐€๐Œ…๐—ผ๐ง๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ˆ ๐š๐—บ ๐ง๐—ผ๐ญ.

๐ˆ’๐—บ ๐ง๐—ผ๐ญ ๐—บ๐š๐ซ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐. ๐ˆ’๐—บ ๐ง๐—ผ๐ญ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž๐ ๐›๐ฒ ๐ฌ๐—ผ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฌ๐—ผ. ๐ˆ’๐—บ ๐ง๐—ผ๐ญ ๐›๐ž๐š๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ. ๐ˆ’๐—บ ๐ง๐—ผ๐ญ…๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ… ๐“๐—ผ๐ง๐ฌ ๐—ผ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฌ.

๐€๐ง๐, ๐ˆ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ค…๐›๐ž๐œ๐š๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ž ๐—ผ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ…๐ˆ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐—ผ ๐›๐ž ๐ญ๐—ผ๐—ผ ๐—บ๐ฎ๐œ๐ก. ๐ˆ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐—ผ ๐›๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฎ๐๐ž๐ง๐ญ. ๐ˆ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐—ผ ๐›๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐. ๐ˆ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐—ผ ๐›๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ž๐—บ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐—ผ๐ฒ๐ž๐ž. ๐ˆ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐—ผ ๐›๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐š๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ…๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐—ผ๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ…๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ…

๐ˆ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐—ผ ๐›๐ž ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐—ผ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐—ผ๐ง๐ž.

๐€๐ง๐ ๐ˆ ๐Ÿ๐—ผ๐ซ๐ ๐ž๐ญ ๐ญ๐—ผ ๐›๐ž…๐ฐ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฅ…๐—บ๐ž.

๐’๐—ผ, ๐ˆ’๐ฏ๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ž๐ง ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฒ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐—ผ ๐Ÿ๐—ผ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐—ผ๐ง ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ˆ ๐€๐Œ ๐—บ๐—ผ๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ˆ’๐—บ ๐ง๐—ผ๐ญ. ๐ˆ’๐—บ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฒ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐—ผ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ข๐—ผ๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐ณ๐ž ๐—บ๐ฒ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐Ÿ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐—บ๐ž๐—บ๐›๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐Ž๐Š.

๐ˆ ๐š๐—บ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž๐ ๐›๐ฒ ๐ž๐ง๐—ผ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก.

๐ˆ ๐š๐—บ ๐ฅ๐—ผ๐ฏ๐ž๐ ๐›๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐—ผ๐ง๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ก๐—ผ ๐—บ๐š๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ.

๐ˆ ๐š๐—บ ๐ฅ๐—ผ๐ฏ๐ž๐ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐š๐œ๐œ๐ž๐ฉ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐›๐ฒ ๐—บ๐ฒ ๐†๐—ผ๐.

๐ˆ ๐š๐—บ ๐š ๐ ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐ ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—บ.

๐ˆ ๐š๐—บ ๐ฌ๐—บ๐š๐ซ๐ญ.

๐ˆ ๐š๐—บ ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ง๐ง๐ฒ.

๐ˆ ๐š๐—บ ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐.

๐ˆ ๐š๐—บ ๐š ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐… ๐€๐ง๐ ๐š๐ง ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ง ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐—ผ๐ง๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ˆ ๐ซ๐ž๐—บ๐ž๐—บ๐›๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐—ผ ๐Ÿ๐—ผ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐—ผ๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐—ผ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐—ผ ๐ฐ๐š๐ง๐ญ ๐—บ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐๐ฌ๐ก๐ข๐ฉ.

๐ˆ ๐š๐—บ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐—ผ๐ง๐ .

๐ˆ ๐š๐—บ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž.

๐ˆ ๐š๐—บ…๐ง๐ž๐ซ๐๐ฒ ๐š๐ฌ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ ๐ž๐ญ ๐—ผ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ข๐ซ๐ ๐š๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐œ๐ค.

๐ˆ ๐š๐—บ ๐—บ๐ž.

๐€๐ง๐…๐ญ๐—ผ ๐ญ๐ก๐—ผ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐—ผ ๐—บ๐š๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ…๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ’๐ฌ ๐ž๐ง๐—ผ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก.

๐’๐—ผ…๐ˆ’๐—บ ๐š๐›๐—ผ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐—ผ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ซ๐ญ ๐—บ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐ฌ๐ž๐—บ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐—ผ๐Ÿ ๐œ๐—ผ๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ ๐ž…๐š๐ง๐ ๐ˆ’๐—บ ๐—บ๐š๐ค๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐—ผ๐ฅ๐ฎ๐ญ๐ข๐—ผ๐ง. ๐…๐—ผ๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ง๐ž๐ฑ๐ญ 4 ๐—บ๐—ผ๐ง๐ญ๐ก๐ฌ…๐ˆ’๐—บ ๐Ÿ๐—ผ๐œ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐—ผ๐ง ๐Œ๐„ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ˆ ๐š๐—บ. ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐›๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐—บ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐ˆ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž…๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฎ๐๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐ˆ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž…๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ž๐—บ๐ฉ๐ฅ๐—ผ๐ฒ๐ž๐ž ๐ˆ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž…๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ง๐ ๐ˆ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž. ๐๐ฎ๐ญ…๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐ง๐—ผ๐ญ ๐›๐ž…๐ข๐ฌ ๐š ๐ฃ๐ฎ๐—บ๐›๐ฅ๐ž ๐—ผ๐Ÿ ๐ง๐ž๐ซ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฒ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐—ผ ๐›๐ž ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ , ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž, ๐ญ๐—ผ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐—ผ๐ง๐ž.

๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐›๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ˆ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ง ๐ˆ ๐œ๐š๐ง ๐›๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž. ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐›๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐—ผ๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐—ผ๐ฌ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐—ผ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐—ผ๐ซ ๐—บ๐ž. ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐›๐ž ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐—ผ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐—ผ๐ง๐ž ๐ˆ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ž.

๐๐ฎ๐ญ, ๐—บ๐—ผ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐—ผ๐Ÿ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ, ๐ˆ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐›๐ž ๐ค๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐—ผ ๐—บ๐ž.

An Honest Mother’s Prayer

Lord,

Grant me

THE SERENITY...
To remember that this teenaged girl used to love me...
even when she pushes my buttons...
and screams,
"WHY DO YOU HATE ME?!?!?!"
at the top of her lungs at least once a day...
while simultaneously refusing to leave my side long enough to let me pee...

THE COURAGE...
to enter her room without a hazmat suit...
to tell her that one day she WILL care about the effects of today's decisions...
to deny her demands for GrubHub because,
"THERE'S NOTHING TO EAT!!!!"...
to teach her how to drive when she's angry enough to possibly crash on purpose to end it for both of us...

And...

THE WISDOM...
to know that this is normal...
that she actually loves me just as much as she did at 5...
that she knows I love her even when she screams that I'm ruining her life...
and that one day...
one glorious, beautiful, heavenly day...
you will grant me grandchildren
to whom I will be able to whisper things like,
"Your mom shouldn't make you clean your room...
she told me only TERRIBLE mothers would do such a thing..."
as I load them up with sugar before sending them home
with this prayer
written on a napkin
for her to blow her nose in as she cries the next generation of,
"Where am I going so wrong?!?!" tears.

AMEN

DOMINO?

About half of the people in my world call me Domino. It’s a nickname that was given to me a couple of years ago by some ladies I was working out with…because one of the first things the group does is give you a nickname based on who you are.

About three quarters of the people that call me Domino have absolutely no idea why they call me that.

Is it because I love pizza? No. (I mean…I do, but no…)

Is it because I fall down a lot? No. (Stop laughing. Yes, we all know that I DO, in fact, fall down a lot. But that’s not the why.)

Ok. So…why Domino?

I’ve been asking myself that a lot lately, to be honest. Actually I keep going through this thing where I HATE my name and internally flinch when I hear it.

Right now…I’m not the woman they named Domino.

Or am I?

You see…Domino…the one that I am named for…is a Marvel antihero.ย  (Please don’t think of the one in Deadpool 2…that is not who Domino is supposed to be.)

Domino is pretty badass.ย  Which…is why I flinch at that name now.ย  Because I am NOT badass.ย  I don’t feel like I’m Domino anymore.

But, this morning I was thinking about it and….

I’m EXACTLY all the reasons that I was originally named Domino…and maybe even a little something more…

You see…that first day…those ladies asked me to talk about myself.ย  Of course, one of the first things I told them is that I love all things superhero.ย  Especially Marvel.ย  So they asked who my favorite character was and why.

That was easy.

DOMINO.

And the why… (I’ll be honest, for the sake of ease, I’m copying most of this next part from an article I already wrote about her a few years ago.ย  lol)

Domino’s power is luck.ย  Yes, luck would be the coolest superpower everโ€ฆbut even the best luck comes with pain. How many times have we gone through life thinking, โ€œI know Iโ€™m going to make it through thisโ€ฆbut I also know itโ€™s going to hurt.โ€? I know I have on many different occasions.ย  So, even Domino’s specific power…I get it.ย  Luck will be on her side and she will survive anything that gets thrown at her (sometimesย literally thrown at her), but that surviving is likely going to hurt.ย 

Through that luck and through that survival, she has created her own family. Yup. Been there, too.

Sheโ€™s closed off parts of herself that she only allows her most trusted confidantes to see. Got it.

She uses humor to make it through the pain, because life hurts less when you can laugh. Uh-huh.

And, finally, she’s a mutant.ย  And, as she stated rather eloquently in a mutant support group that she ran…even in that room full of mutants…who were all even different from each other…

“Because outside of this room – For whatever reason – We all feel alone.ย  Each one of us feels like some kind of freak.ย  Rejects.ย  At least in here we can be alone together.”

Which actually leads me to the epiphany that I had this morning.

Why do I MOST still feel like Domino (besides the statements above which….I think most of you who know me well already know pretty much nail me…)?

Domino doesn’t look THAT different.ย  Her physical mutation (the pale white skin and dark spot around her eye) could be seen as makeup.ย  People around her may think she’s just like them, but a little weird.ย  But…once they get to know her…they find out that that is really who she is…a mutant.ย  Not in a bad way.ย  She’s a rather heroic mutant.ย  But, at her core, she is a mutant who feels alone.ย  Who, at times, feels like the rest of the world is better off without her because they get hurt when she’s around.ย 

I am more Domino today than I ever have been before.ย