About last night

To say it was a house fire is too strong, but what else 

do you call a fire in your house? A curtain and magazine-subscription fire 

does not ring the same.  A narrowly-missed disaster. A blessing. 

Regardless, it’s not about the fire. 

The vase of Valentines roses was, if not a life-saver, then 

at least helped save face. No one, but us, knew of the fire;

not the resting children, not the weary grandparents. 

The additional, half-full glass of water helped kill the flames. 

You rushed in, tall, pragmatic, and sturdy, and finished the job: cut the curtains 

down, pulled the dresser out, to catch any embers we hadn’t seen. 

We grabbed towels and drenched knick-knacks and dried and blotted the evidence away. 

“Go take a shower,” you told me, when I couldn’t 

find the newspaper or stop mumbling. 

I wasn’t sure, but the look on your face said I should be. 


After I rubbed on lotion, set my body and mind together, after I tickled your back, 

after I reluctantly pulled on clothes, after you turned to kiss me, after your breathe rushed 

in my ear, after I pulled the covers over your head, I again called your name.  

Another interruption. 

I’d been burning for days, days of child rearing, days of tense negotiations,

against a warped, rushing time pushing us into logistical 

bondage I’ve never wanted more I’ve never wanted more easily to accept the 

process of building and putting out fires than with you.

You know exactly how to love a woman when the world is on fire. 

After I said I was disassociating, flying 

away, you told me to come back down, called me a kite, said “I got you.” 

Saying how I felt was confessional, before, mysteriously I was met with staring,

chuckling. Now, if I say, “honey, I feel bad I set the curtains on fire,” 

you retrieve a bottle of lavender-scented fabric-spray from your car, 

tell me to take a shower, and hold me.  


An Important Truth

  • From:shana
  • To:
    • Hadj (First View: 09/28/2016 9:18 AM)
  • Sent:09/27/2016 10:32 PM
  • Subject:Sal at school

The soccer coach also mentioned you emailing.
Sal enjoyed soccer and was disappointed when they called practice off 15 minutes early due to rain.

P.S. Maddy and Sal sleep in their own beds at my house. They do not do that at your house. I do not have the room in my bed to accommodate two more people, I sleep on a full mattress, plus I don’t want to sleep with them. Maddy now refuses to sleep in her bed alone at night without lots of fussing and refusing to go to sleep until over an hour past her bed time. I told her that she could sleep with Sal if he agreed to sleep on the bottom bunk with her, but that I don’t want them both in a twin top bunk. Sal likes sleeping in his bed and doesn’t sleep on the bottom with Maddy usually. What will you do or suggest to help resolve this?


  • From:Hadj
  • To:
    • shana (First View: 10/05/2016 10:12 PM)
  • Sent:10/05/2016 8:56 PM
  • Subject:Attachment parenting.

We both agreed to attachment parenting. I am going to stick to that. I understand your feeding sack/pillow feelings, I don’t feel the same way… I have no recommendations for you. They will share the family bed until they request their own bed, which is available.

“Do you know why narcissists look in the mirror all the time? Because they see nothing there.

The happiest person in the world looks into the mirror and sees themself as they are.” -C. Clark

Let’s unpack the above conversation.  Let’s do this because I am over suffering this man in silence right now.  I am over letting his bullshit, contradictory, demented behavior take seed in my reality.
“We both agreed…”
As if any agreement he and I ever made was kept.
In my world, when you agree to love someone you agree to respect them and to respect yourself in offering to them. I may have been an unseasoned 25-year-old when we first met, but I still knew in my gut what love was, and what it was not.
“attachment parenting”
The only people who write about attachment parenting are privileged people.  They are people who presuppose the parents have faced their own traumas and suffering and want to consciously create safety for their children.  I think refusing to take responsibility for yourself, present or past, is mutually exclusive from the above practices and motivations.
“I understand your feeding sack/pillow feelings”
Here we have the classic Hadj practice of using my words of suffering as a weapon against me.
The above sentiment was something I expressed when Sal was a baby, in 2011. I was struggling to find success with breastfeeding in very non-optimal conditions.  Any mother who has breastfed knows exactly what it feels like to be a feed sack.  And we’re allowed to have that feeling.  And we should be loved past that feeling of pitifulness, raised up as strong and heroic for sacrificing our freedom of movement, time-management, and dozens of other things in order to feed the child.  Breastfeeding the first time takes practice for many.
I see you Hadj.  I see you, attempting to invalidate my feelings or use them against me.  And you can’t.  You don’t have that power or control.
“I don’t feel the same way”
Of course you don’t.  You never had to sacrifice your body to help an infant grow or live.
“They will share the family bed until they request their own bed which is available”
One broken man using charisma and brainwashing to get his children to do what he wants in order to make him feel a certain way, be it bigger, stronger, younger, more worthy of love, less afraid to die, is what you are.

Once in awhile my family chides me for posting “such personal” information on the internet.  They fear it could harm me in the long run.  This information is not just personal, it can be useful to others, it can be universal.  And because it is the truth, I have no fear.
There are more than enough people who have suffered.  More than enough people who have experienced all forms of trauma.  Many of them have no voice. Many of them suffer in the dark, keep the pain inside because they are afraid.  Many parents are stuck with an abusive baby mama/daddy.  If one of them happens to read this and feel their own light within grow stronger, then sharing such personal stories like these will be worth it.
In addition to that, writing stories so personally can be like a good cry.  I open up, unafraid of what it may look like, and wash myself clean with these stories.  I shine a light in the corner where there is a monster attempting to frighten or control me.  If you’re reading this, just know hadj, that you have no power to cause me suffering.  I am not afraid of you.  To me, you are nothing but a mountain in my way and I will rise up, over you 1,000 times or more.  I will keep some in awe, when they see how many tools and routes I have to healing, joy, and ultimately, peace.


Lunar eclipse in Pisces

Like a vulture,
Who does not understand 

Ancient inheritance,

I have circled the hot spot

Of my own pain

All day. 

Every time I try

To get away from it

With ignorance

A blast of its heat

Takes me up on

Geothermal streams

So I can only hover

Above it from

Further away. 

Then slowly, I

Circle back down,

Drawn by the stench of infection,

So that I may rip away the

Barriers to healing. 


Reminder: you can trust people to be themselves 100% of the time.

Reminder: predators use cognitive dissonance to target their prey.

Reminder: you and he will never be on the same team.

Reminder: I can move past wanting to burst into tears when my throat clenches and know that, in due time, all this will wash up to something more acceptable.


Some will forget to mention that she is kind.


P.S. Where I am now is very nice.  This post was discovered by accident while searching for an image for a reminder tattoo.  Reminder: Where I am now is very, very nice indeed.

1 year & 7 months – Jul. 2012

Facebook gave me a gift this morning


This little sentimentality-creating feature helped me see the wound I’ve put into the story about my son and how I have loved him.  The post was made during the ten weeks in which I attempted to build a home from nothing for myself, my young boy, and my not-yet-born girl; away from their father, but near enough to give him access to their lives regularly.  Olympia, Washington was where we landed.  It was clean, charming, and all around me I could see the potential of this lovely city but I could not access hope within myself.

I have gone through the gamut of negative feelings upon numerous reflections over the experience of losing the family and life I tried to build.

I’ve made myself miserable, as though I alone was responsible for the grief I was experiencing.

When people have remarked on the strength it took to uproot my son, myself, and my damn-nearly-born child I have felt estranged.

I didn’t feel at the time that I had a choice.

I love life.
The choice seemed like one between life and a slow, terrible, death.

I have given my son, my daughter, and myself the experience and lessons of the strength we must have sometimes to remain in the light of loving to live.  And today, the often soft, social media realm has given me a remarkably helpful glimpse at myself while I was on that line – between living fully and surviving.  I loved my son.  I have loved him so fiercely since the moment I knew he was growing inside of me that I have made a bit of a chore of it.  My overly zealous desire for perfection-in-creation has taken far too much energy from my ability to fully express in this life.

In this time of a New Moon in Cancer, and the peak of summer’s liveliest expression on the Northern Hemisphere, I set an intention to cultivate the pleasures of home and the rich satisfaction to be found in slowing down my movements elsewhere.  The infinite blessings of the universe helped me today and reminded me: Love this child!  Love this child! Love myself! Love my family! Love life!

Love life, even when it doesn’t meet the expectations you set out for it!
Love life, even when your imaginations of it are grander than your abilities!
Love life, because there is no other reason for us to be here.

East of Eden

After 3 years, 6 months, and 30 minutes of effort, yesterday I lost ~180 lbs. I got divorced at last. I was sky-high in freedom yesterday.

I’m reviewing the dog-eared pages of East of Eden after finally having read the Steinbeck novel I bought at least ten years ago. I marked this in chapter 21, part 3,

Some people think it’s an insult to the glory of their sickness to get well. But the time poultice is no respecter of glories. Everyone gets well if he waits around.

About three and a half years ago I wrote this, Life’s Best Poultice.

After court, paying homage to my lesser demons (alcohol, cheeseburger, custard, nicotine), and taking a gluttony-induced walk through a local labyrinth I landed a few yards behind a well-looking couple with their child.  They were good-humored, fit, and groomed and a while after following behind them I realized that I had not felt the pain of longing for that family style.

My monkey-mind was instead sizing up her fit body and adding lines to the endless dramatic book of body-image and self-shaming to which I’ve historically been accustomed.

…There is a time for every thing.  I will wait around and continue to be healed.

13 months – Jan. 2012

The ol’ Tumblr account reveals a brave mask in January.  I don’t remember what it felt like to mother in my son’s 13th month.  Primarily I remember feeling desperately sad, heart-broken, and in denial that our marriage was over.  The grief of loving and bearing children with an unavailable man lasts.

Here’s something somewhat taboo, I went back for several complicated reasons but the reason I recall feeling the strongest was I have to go get Salamander’s sibling.  I knew in my bones that he was not meant to be an only-child.  There is very little rational thought in that knowing.  I did not intend to dupe, or “milk” the man I wished would be with me.  I did not think it would fix our relationship.  It was a direct, clear line.  Salamander is not an only child.  On top of that knowing and faith were the complex mess of my own emotions.  But that one, it was practically like a commandment.  Madrigal had to be made.  She was coming for us.

Salamander walked a few days before he turned one.  He walked into his grandpa’s arms.  I imagine the bitterness of missing your son’s first steps…   Salamander ate his first cake at his first party and had his first Christmas.

I have realized, and accepted, that raising my kids in this particular family situation will always be hard in its ways.  It’s easy for me to indulge in the dramatic suffering aspect. But for my family.  They supported us, made a Christmas for us, gathered baby materials for us, threw us a party.  They loved us, unconditionally, and I will never outgrow that blessing. Fortunately neither will these children.

12 Months – Dec. 2011

There are five posts to my 1001 Son Days tumblr account from this month.  The first one is about absurdity in life.  The second one is about being your own self, belonging to yourself as much as, or more than, to any one else.  The third is a GIF from My Friend Totoro (SUCH a beautiful and soothing film).  Then there are these two.



Our family split.  It was intensely painful.   Continue reading

The Tameless Pilgrimage of Hearts

Grief can be compared to a great many things.  I have compared it to a rock – stuck inside of the self.  The self, tumbles it time and time again. Eventually the rock is smoothed out and growing smaller with each run through the self’s cycle.  Grief can sail on a ship disguised as the life you did not live.  Yet, how can you know when you’ve bid the ship a bon voyage at last?  How many times have I thought I’d forgiven, accepted, and moved on – only to be shown that I’m wrong – when I claim I hate the grief within me?  If you have forgiven, have moved on, can you not cease to feel the pain of hate?  Continue reading