as i write this today, my life is broken in some critical ways, deep down.
i am walking on the shards these last two weeks.
i have given up my two sweet girls entirely into their father’s care, for i have no money to buy gas to drive to fetch them, for food to feed them, for activities…
i haven’t been able to work since…since…well, i don’t work. i don’t function.
i have been pretending REALLY WELL that i do. but i don’t. not in this world.
i told my kids i was sick, i couldn’t see them. my physical body is alright, it is strong and healthy, by design. i have cared for it well enough.
it is my emotional body that is a wreck.
it has been cut so many times, by all these shards.
one cut isn’t much. oops, a little cut.
but little cuts have added up. little cuts like
the shame of letting myself accidentally become pregnant at 20, before i was formally educated, established in a career, and in an excellently secure relationship.
the hurt and shame of words of judgement and withdrawing of connection by family, friends, as they struggled with what had happened to me, or simply got on with their own lives, leaving me to mine.
the noticing that the man i was a parent with was scared, troubled, wanting out.
the hurts of trying to please him so he would stay, and the hurt of him being unpleased, and leaving anyways…three years of tiny cuts all over me.
the hurt of pride as i walked into social services to apply for welfare so i could raise my son, rather than handing him over to the care of others while i worked to net roughly as much pay as welfare would provide.
the hurt of having to prove, month by month, that this little angel boy had a right to a home, food and his mother’s company.
the hurt of learning that i couldn’t be the mother i wanted to be with all the stress of poverty. each cut when, in a moment, i could not be or give what he needed.
the stabbing blow of my father’s cancer diagnosis, all the little cuts over the next two years of losing him bit by precious bit, not being able to see him, for money’s sake: I was too poor to take the ferry to his hospital with a baby in tow.
the hurt each day ever since of not having him here on earth.
the shame of becoming, in my lonely vulnerability, pregnant again;
and of keeping this secret while I waited for my appointment, booked on the first anniversary of his death.
i couldn’t do it, couldn’t cut out this life from inside me.
more cuts as isolation closed in, no money to pay my way into help, respect, security.
still i stood, gave birth at home again, nursed, gave, gave
and helped others in their times of need.
and was cut
for not getting it right; for not following the rules of a broken way; for feeling, speaking up, challenging the status quo with innocent questions no one else was brave enough to ask; cut as i faced cutting judgements and the distances over which the judgements were passed, for my “choices”; my self-education doubted, dishonoured, discredited though it was true; for feeling, for feeling, for being angry, i was cut down for feeling angry that a mother with two little boys was unsupported, abandoned, left at a loss.
these hurts went unhealed for so long. there was no time between them to heal.
for so long i have walked in and with this cycle of brokenness: our society, me.
i was not broken by motherhood. i was broken by poverty, lack of support, then broken again by my own brokenness.
now i am 44. a broken marriage (that was all my fault. FAULT) and now my girls, my beautiful daughters given over into their father’s care because i am broke.
but i am healing.
now i see and feel and nurse each tiny cut, each badly scarred wound. i cry out the shattered pieces of my soul so they will come together again in the ether and i
for i am a mother, a healer,
i know the difference between fake and real.
the difference between break and feel
and this hurt is real.
feel it with me? honour it? nurse it and cry it out so the soul of life can be heard and reassembled as it was created to be, breathed in to each of us and then…
maybe, just maybe, we can find the way to fix this broken world…
so babies can have their mothers and fathers and a world that isn’t broken.