Tuesday, September 30, 2014


Yeah, so, I'm like, 40 n' stuff..

A year ago, I posted an entry that said that I had 365 days to turn my life completely around. That post makes me laugh now. 

In the past year...

I have seen friends die, way too young, for no good reason. A great love of my life had a stroke out of the blue and died, at the top of his game, surrounded by the immense respect and love that he richly deserved.

I saw a mentor that I never met, lose his battle with depression, and heard horrible words from self-righteous people, who said, "how dare he?"

Knowing the pain of depression, HOW DARE ANYONE JUDGE?!

I've looked in the mirror and said, what the hell am I doing with my life, with no one to answer back...

I believe that I have found my answer.

I'm living. Simply truly. That's it. 

Life is TRULY, everlastingly, a gift. What you do with it, is your call. Believe in God or don't, that is not the issue. You have this one chance to make the most from the time you are given. For some that might be, to become to picture of health. For others that might be to make people laugh within an inch of their dying breath. For some, it might be to just be true to yourself, flaws and all, to love your family, your children, your parents, siblings, plants or pets... And hope that all understand that you were flawed, but you tried like hell.

That's me.

Someday, I am going to knit afghans, and wax lyrical about my misspent youth, and I will probably never be a lady. But at 40 years old, I am glad to know that I LIKE THE BROAD THAT I AM. And I feel blessed to have others in my life who feel the same way!

Happy Birthday to me. 9/17/74. A great day.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I have battled Depression.

I have battled Anxiety

I have battled Addiction.

I still do.

My demons are my own. I refuse to judge any others. But recently, a great hero of mine, took his own life, after many, many years of battling against a fierce foe. What was he thinking? How could he be so selfish, to take himself away from those who loved him, who needed him, who depended on him...

I don't know his thoughts... I refuse to judge him. But I know mine, and here they are

When you are at your lowest, you feel like a burdain upon those whom love you the most,you are afraid.that they will see that awful part of you that you try so hard to hide, to mask with alcohol, or drugs, or whatever your method of choice might be... You are terrified that they will think they are the cause of your pain. Often the answer is simply, to GO.

I have been there. I have never attempted my own life... Being brought up very religious, I was taught that suicide lands you in HELL. With the devil and the fire and brimstone and all that shit...

But what if you are ALREADY THERE?

Think, please, for a moment. Think about the person in pain. Maybe they Would reach out, but are ashamed... Maybe they want help, but not the stigma?

I was lucky. The night that I was at my lowest, I came home from a gig, and my daughter was still awake... She took my face in her hands and said, " I'm sad, Mommy." At that moment, she meant 100 times more that any pain thatI was in, and I said, "Why baby girl?"

She said, "I missed you so much."

I put her to bed. Cuddled with her. Then went to my back yard and cried. And then decided to get help. There is not a single level of pain worse than that Contemplating suicide. I promise you.

I got lucky. Some aren't so much... Love them and try to understand.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Dear Mama ahead of me in line...

Dear Mama ahead of me in line last night at the store: 

I get it. 

I saw you, slightly frazzled and exhausted, as you worked out your order at the checkout, keeping that ever watchful third eye on your little boy, with his curly mop of hair and innocent exuberance. I saw HIS energy, and lack of impulse control, flip flopping back and forth, lunging forward to poke me every couple of minutes. And yes, I got it then too.

I noted your exasperation and said nothing, simply smiling at your playful son. When you looked down at the cashier counter and with a sigh, said,"He's Autistic," my heart broke for you. Because I'VE BEEN THERE, and when I looked squarely at you and said, "My son has Autism. I get it," we locked eyes and you said, "Yeah, I thought there was a connection there." You got it, like we ALL do. 

You gave a deep sigh and said, "It's been a... LONG... two... years..." Perhaps I should not speculate ON YOUR THOUGHTS, but having SAID those words before, I'd like to THINK that I got this too... the feeling of guilt for having to admit that you are not always superhuman, that yes, the years have been long; for perhaps being frustrated, or worn down, or unsure, or scared, or uncertain, or - yes- even royally pissed off... if that was indeed YOU at that moment, YES. I get it. 

It's been two years since Ryan's diagnosis, and four years leading up to it. Ryan's first year of life was relatively uneventful. Slightly behind his older brother developmentally, we were unconcerned, until we began to notice more serious issues. Decreased speech to the point of being non-verbal... Constantly seeking out patterns; at two years old, Ryan could literally sit on a computer for FOUR HOURS. He had near photographic memory for numbers. His physical habits, such as the need to run headlong into the sofa as hard as he possibly could, and the constant need for physical contact, came in waves, directly contrasting the moments of utter "drop out," when he could literally walk in front of a speeding car if you didn't have him in a vice grip, because he just "wasn't there" at that time... it was terrifying. 

I remember the difficulty bringing him places, because of my own issues of inferiority as a mother... Concerns that were often reinforced by people's judgmental comments, cruel looks, and having no explanation for it... there was this beautiful, loving, amazing little boy here, that I was in total denial about. Eventually though, denial grew into suspicion, as our parental instincts finally won out. Finally came the guilt, as I realized that my husband and I were in WAY over our heads. The only way that we would do right by our child and get him the proper care and diagnosis he needed was to bring in the experts. And even then,on December 2nd, 2011, as I sat in the Dr.'s office, between my husband Joshua, and my son's Educational Advocate and gripped each of their hands, I heard the words, "Autism Disorder," and dissolved. 

And THAT was DAY ONE, two years and one month ago. 

I've mentioned the extent of coming to terms with things in previous posts, so I won't be redundant here, but the reason I explain my history to you, my unknown friend, right now, is that in the last two years, I have aged ten, easily. I KNOW FULL WELL, the preemptive strike that many moms take so that people won't not judge unfairly. And perhaps this was the millionth time you've had to say it, and you were sick to DEATH of having to say it... STILL, the manner in which he was behaving is his normal, and I had no problem taking a couple of good slugs to the arm. and when I knelt down to his level and said, "hi handsome boy!" and his face lit up, and he hit me again, this time as a high-five, I saw the relief on your face. I felt it, I know that relief, and I got it.

One disclaimer for ALL READING THIS, Special needs or otherwise. Being an "Autism Mom" for a few years now, has made me more tolerant, in public or otherwise, of every type of child, with the exception, oddly enough, of my own... I still have that underlying anxiety that my three kids are going to be beyond my control. So please, if I seem stressed out or frazzled, or impatient or exhausted, or snappy please try to "GET IT," and not judge me a bad parent... And understand, that this is NOT an apology for my kids, or an explanation. It's strictly an explanation of myself. And it's been a long... 5... years...

As for you, Dear Mama ahead of me in line, I recognized in you tonight, something I see in EVERY Autism Mom that I have ever met. While we all might offer the quick explanation that you did, you did it with a matter of fact resolve, and NO SHAME. And when you said "it's all worth it," I got that too. Applaud yourself for that! Our babies are unique, and will face many challenges, some so great it's devastating, but there is not a single Autism Mom that I have EVER met that doesn't not believe that their child is anything but a million beautiful colors of the spectrum. And though the puzzle might be a million pieces, and sometimes frustrate the living hell out of us, we will keep doing everything we can figure it out, to understand the world they see, a world that so many others will never know. We recognize this. Be proud. WE GET IT.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The first and last days...

I am following my friend Kelly's advice and treating every day as my first... but also treating it like my last. 

What would I do today if this were my last day and I knew it? I would not hide my emotions behind pride. I would hug and kiss my children every chance I could get, and memorize every nuance of their faces. I would laugh and smile and remind each of how incredibly blessed I'VE BEEN SINCE THE DAY I BROUGHT THEM INTO THE WORLD. 

I would work out because I would want to feel good. I would tell my husband what a wonderful partner and father, best friend and loveer he has been, and that, despite our ups and downs I would not trace a single day that we've had together. I would paint a picture. I would go outside and breathe in the air. I would tell my parents how lucky I have been to be raised by them. I would eat the goddamn piece of cake, drink the 2-3 glasses of wine, and regret no part of it. 

I would get a Pedicure, a massage, lay in a tanning bed for 10 minutes, and sit in sauna and hot tub. I would do my hair, and put on my make-up and and rent out the most classic hotel room I could find, overlooking the water. I would make love to my husband with a passion that he would never forget, then together, we'd bask in a luxurious bath, in each other's arms. 

I would sing the songs I've written, that I want my kids to have, into my ipad, because who gives a shit what the quality is, as long as they have the memory. I would make video diaries to my kids, family, friends and loved ones, telling them what an enormous impact the have had in my life. I'd sit down to a five star dinner, with a tomato, basil and mozzarella salad, french onion soup, prime rib and pan seared tuna, creme brûlée, champagne and strawberries. I would finally get to try lobster (I am deathly allergic,) and since I am actually NOT dying and don't want to... I won't tempt my CURRENT reality with that one... HA! 

Later I would quietly, alone, NAKED and completely comfortable in my own skin, lay down on the most plush blanket I can find, under a soft bed of grass, surrounded by white twinkle lights. Under the evening moon I would read my favorite two books, Ben Franklin's wit Wisdom and Practical advice, and finish with "to Kill a Mockingbird." I would then gaze up into the midnight sky, listen to the "music" created by the wind through the trees and the song in my heart, thank the creator for my life, and close my eyes.

Obviously, I am NOT dying, but I have decided to live each day as such. A newborn baby sees everything in it's purest form, unjaded and without regret. And infant doesn't care who said what about them and where. An infant knows only RGHT NOW. A person on their last day, I like to believe, forgives and releases all, and in many ways follows the same ideal as the infant child.

I just learned how to use my Ninja processor, and started making my health smoothies. I am starting to write again. I worked out for a half hour today. When my kids get home in 15 minutes, I will say, "fuck the laundry and play the WII system with them. I will rest my head for a spell and them get ready for my gig. I will do what I love, other than writing, which is to sing, and I will get to sing to my children for once, a surprise that they don't know is coming. I will smile. I will breath in, and breath out when my patience wears thin. I will forgive my husband for whatever irked me throughout the day, because in the end, resentment should not be what you take to meet God.

When you go to meet God, you do it alone. No excuses and no regrets. God doesn't want to hear it. He wants to know what you DID with the gift of life you were given.

So I ask you, what will YOU do today?