My Sister Would Have Been 43 Today

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Today my sister would have turned 43 if she hadn’t prematurely ended her life around 8 years ago. I still miss her deeply. Part of me is glad she is out of pain, as she struggled horribly with mental illness, physical pain, and serious addiction issues, but most of me just wishes things would have been different. I don’t hold any real anger towards her final action, but there is a lot of sorrow and wondering exactly what was the final straw.

Has suicide ever touched your life personally? Have you lost a friend, family member, or other important person that way? If so, how do you deal with painful occasions like their birthdays/anniversaries/etc.?

Poetry: Unspeakable Childhood

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‘Twas horrible to think
that she suffered
an unspeakable childhood.

Every day they reopened
the contentions –
old ones
that she could not
tear away.

Mischief and dread
became more likely
than right and wrong –
causing heads to hit
hard against circumstances
almost as good
as she once was.

(Blackout poetry created from a page of “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens)

Complicated Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day always creates such a barrage of mixed emotions for me. There was a lot of trauma, abuse, mental illness, and foolish decisions that marked my childhood. My mother was far from a perfect parent. Luckily, she does admit to that and seems to be really trying to be a better person now, but being around her always triggers so many memories, thoughts, and feelings – some good, some bad, some funny, and some tragic.

I think part of the issue is that my brain has a tough time seeing how she acts towards me now and reconciling it with memories of how my sister and I were treated while growing up. I do believe in forgiveness (within reason), and I do love my mother, but I doubt there will ever be a day in her company that doesn’t create confusion for me internally.

I write this post today to recognize those of us who struggle on Mother’s Day to even know how to feel…

When Friends Say Cruel Things It Sticks With You

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It is strange how negative words can stay with us for a lifetime and hurt long after they are spoken. Today, I was reminded of a conversation I had way back in middle school. My friends and I were having a conversation about birth order statistics and how the oldest is often the smartest and most responsible in the family – which apparently was the case in all their families.

I mentioned how that hadn’t really happened in my family as I was the youngest and yet I was the one in the gifted program, the one who got straight A’s, and the one who was least likely to break the rules. My sister was very smart in her own ways, but not overly academic or intellectual.

One of my friends (or more likely a frenemy) replied, “Well, maybe your sister is the pretty one then.”

Before I could digest this insult or respond, one of my other friends chimed in assuring the group that my sister was no looker either, which made everyone laugh. I didn’t let on that I felt anything, but inside I was crushed. I felt ugly and I also felt bad that my friends had insulted and made fun of my sister.

To this day, remembering this conversation makes me feel ugly, plain, and rejected. I wish my friends had been more careful with their words.

I Miss Having Kids Around

Today my husband and I went to go see one of his students dance in a special recital:

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Seeing all the cute little kids dressed up in their costumes and dancing made me really miss having kids around. I used to be almost constantly surrounded by kids between foster parenting, volunteering with the kids at our old church, and working in the school system as a teacher’s assistant/aide. My favorite age of kids to work with were always the younger ones, 3-4 years old to around 6 or 7, although I bonded well with kids of almost any age.

At this point, I don’t know if my physical/mental health will ever consistently improve to the point that I can do those things again, but I miss them. I am thankful for the experiences and memories though.

Twittering Tales #126 – This Is It

The prompt for this week’s Twittering Tales writing challenge immediately brought back sad memories of an ill-fated tour of a great entertainer (one of my all-time personal favorites), so I went with it. Here is the photo prompt and my entry:

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“It was meant to be my swan song. I pulled out all the stops…the moonwalk, the sequins, the white glove, the gangster getup for Smooth Criminal.

It was the only chance my children would ever have to see me live on tour. When I said This Is It, I meant it, but it came too soon…”

(280 characters)

I wanted to add the video and song by the same title as well. It is a beautiful, though sad song and the video features footage of rehearsals for the tour that never was…

 

Twittering Tales #123 – Valentine’s Candy

Today was a rather stressful day since I had an appointment with my lawyer for my SSDI hearing next week, so I didn’t have time to plan a full post, but I did want to participate again in the Twittering Tales picture prompt by Kat Myrman. As I explained last week, this writing challenge is to simply write a short story, or poem, or whatever you want as long as it is under 280 characters (the length of a tweet).

Here is this week’s picture prompt and my entry for this week below (photo from Pixabay):

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My mother considered naming me Candy, but worried that if I turned out to be fat, it would be more ammunition for the bullies to use against me.

I didn’t turn out to be fat, but I did turn out to love candy – except for those little Valentine’s hearts.

All sugar, no substance.