Verbal Non-Verbal

verbal

Sometimes, I’m verbal
The words rush
They press
They insist on getting out of my head
They keep me awake at night
Unless I shut them up
Turn them off with meds

Sometimes, though,
I’m simply not
Sometimes, I’m non-verbal
The words are not there
I do jigsaw puzzles
Watch TV
Play with numbers
Rather than words

When the words fly
They are raucous
Noisily filling my mind
Needing to get out
I need relief
So, I write

Then, I must get
The racing commentary
Out of my mind
Onto the screen or paper
In black and white
Where later I reshape them
Edit them into something coherent

Perhaps
Or, perhaps,
Sometimes, I leave them
In a jumbled mess
All over the page

Wave the White Flag

white-flag

Need to write out the pain and exhaustion in my heart
Pain and grieving my parents’ dementias
Pain and exhaustion caring for my son
Must back off both
Must take care of myself
Must
Must
Must
Must take care of myself
Ready to throw in the towel
To admit defeat
To wave a white flag
To say I give up
I give up
I cannot control the chaos that is my life
I cannot heal others
They must help themselves
They must accept or seek help from others
Not just me
I need a break
I am exhausted
I cannot take it anymore
I am not strong
I am broken
I am ready to break
The burden is too great
The weight on my back too heavy
Please take it off me
Please stop
Please give me a break
Please
Please
Please
Stop
Stop
Stop
Please stand up on your own
Please stop asking me to fix you
Please accept that you, too, are broken
Please stop looking to me for help
Please
Please
Please
I cannot do this anymore
I cannot
I cannot
I cannot
It’s too much for me
Too much
Too much
Too much
I’m breaking
Under the burden
Fuck this shit


P.S. When I free-wrote this I vented. Yes, I’m exhausted, but hanging in there. Just fed up. This is theatrical – I know – but, I wrote how I felt at the time.

P.P.S. My husband made me tea with honey and brought it to me. On his days off, he brings me coffee and Cheerios with banana. I love eating breakfast in bed. Not a morning person. Last night he bought me a box of Entenmann’s chocolate frosted donuts, which I’ve polished off (one of my favorite indulgences). My 16-year old son popped in and told me he loved me and gave me a hug. I’m appreciated.

Cocooning

cocoon-focus

Cocooning

Recovering from social demands
From social interaction
From caring for others
My son
My husband
My parents
From caring about too many
From caring too much

You may not hear from me
You may not read much from me
I’m depleted
I need to refill
Not to care so much about others
But to care more about myself
To care more for myself
For now, I’m quiet…

 

The Rebel and His Mother

Stay on the Sidewalk

The Rebel

When my son was a preschooler in daycare
His class had a field trip to the local In ‘N Out
As we walked back to the daycare center
My son held my hand
We walked in pairs down the sidewalk
His daycare teacher said
Everyone stay on sidewalk
Do not step into the driveway or the road
My three-year old son touched his foot in the gutter
Just his tippy toe
His teacher swiftly grabbed him from my hands
Took him with her to the front of the line
She gave me another child to walk
A more compliant, less rebellious child
My son, he was rewarded
He got to walk at the front of the line
Beside his favorite teacher
I was punished
Humiliated actually
Bad mother
Cannot control her child
Later that day when I returned to work
I told this story
One of my bosses smiled
Kitt, you love that in your boy
That your boy rebels against the rules
Just like the Berkeley rabble-rouser you once were
Pushing the limits
Yes, it still brings a smile to my face
That I have a son who dared touch his toe to the gutter
He understood the importance of staying with the group
He understood the spirit of the law
He did not run out into the road
Yet he questioned, dared to test, the letter of the law
What happens, he wondered, if I break this rule just a little bit
The memory also hurts
How dare that teacher rip my son from my hand
How dare she judge me and my child
Deem me unfit to walk my son back to daycare
Before I had to return to work
Return to work judged an ineffective mother
Return to work rather than stay with my son
Now that I think about it
He punished me
How dare I go back to work
How dare I not stay home with him

 

Fingers Moving, Fingers Typing

image

Fingers need to move
nervous energy
prompts them to keep busy

Just as my thoughts
my mind
will not be silent

My fingers will not be still
so I play Solitaire
or now type

I imagine myself crocheting
as I did long ago
as a young girl

Used to crochet
needlepoint
embroider
and sew

Used to paint, too
Who knows
Maybe I will do so again

Do any or all of the above
Then again
Maybe not

I don’t put too much stock
in what I do
or don’t do

Ambivalent about goals
No longer as goal oriented
as I was long ago

Well, I do have some goals
I suppose
but they are flexible