Superwoman is Dead

superwoman-tatoo-on-the-shoulder

 

Curled up in bed on my left side, I opened one eye and viewed the Life Manifesto hanging on my bedroom wall. I struggled to discern the words in the dimness of the coming morning . ‘Life’ the largest word on the canvas, filled my vision as Eddie the Wonder Pup glued his body to mine. I reached behind me and gave his back a soft pat, his crooked tail began to beat against my crippled right ankle. I dreaded getting out of bed. Not because of chronic pain, because there’s always that. No, it was the chill of winter in my bedroom, that made me want to stay snuggled under two comforters with a little baby puppy by my side.

The promise of daylight was beginning to spread across the manifesto on my wall. I could now read the line ‘Life is Simple’, and I shivered. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the line I read or the chill in the room. In the last 16 months I’ve learned how complicated life can be. I ended a 24 year marriage, had a horrific car accident that’s left me disabled, and the job I’ve been doing for the last 14 years has been dissolved and moved to another department.

I shifted my weight on the mattress enough to wake my drowsy fur baby and he moved from my side to begin poking at me with his paws and kissed my ears and face. His eyes smiled as I stretched and lifted the covers from my body. He kept jumping on me and biting at the a few errant strands of hair that had fallen from my hair tie during the night. He knew what he was doing was bad, but he also knew his cuteness would let him get away with it. I slid my yoga pants and slippers on, then Eddie and I headed to the living room to grab his leash.

As I stood outside Eddie relieved himself while I continued to shiver. The wind cut through my rebuilt ankle, and I thought about all of the people that have told me how much worse my situation could be. Though I do agree with them, I alone know how much the last ten month have just plain old sucked. Each time I work with my PT or try to walk more than the length of sidewalk outside my apartment, I’m reminded that the minutes, days, weeks and months have sucked swamp water, wind, and a big old giant ass!

With this final angry thought, I unlocked the door to my apartment building. After entering my unit, I set about the tasks for getting ready for my day with my right foot dragging. I worked hard to shift my weight to the right side of my body while I stood in the shower, brushed my teeth, and did my hair. Though it was painful, I knew the more I stood on it, the stronger it would become. My surgeon and PT have both told me that I’ve healed and progressed more than they thought I would. Superwoman may be dead, but I have been bound and determined to work hard. I’ve fought through pain, depression, suicidal thoughts, and hopelessness, but I still haven’t ‘got’ this. And if one more person tells me that I do, I might lose my shit.

At work I checked the photo stream on my phone and grouped together all of the images of my accident, surgery and early recovery. I wondered, should I delete them or save them for posterity. The post surgery images made me feel sick because of all of the blood, swelling, discoloration and railroad track stitches. I decided to speak to a dear friend about the photos, and get his take on what I should do with them. His advice, look at them one last time and delete them. Let go of the last chapter of the experience and move on. I haven’t deleted them yet, but I swear I will.

There is this shyness to me now, and a realization that being a manic pixie girl doesn’t always pay off. Sometimes it’s good to let the grass grow beneath my feet, and feel the grounding force of a foundation where I once didn’t want one. For even in my slowness, there is a passion that burns within me. A smoldering ember where a wild fire once burned, and it emits heat all the same. I’ve often heard that the embers burn hotter because the fire is contained in the core. It doesn’t burn out easily like that of the brilliant orange flame that can die quickly, even though that flame dances with an unadulterated exuberance.

I’m not afraid of death, and I wasn’t before my accident and the death of Superwoman. After the car accident, I’m even less afraid. No, I didn’t have a near death experience, but I experienced extreme shock. I nearly drowned in the abyss of it, and I can tell you I welcomed the feeling. If it had been my time to die, I would have gone without a fight. I wouldn’t have railed against the dying of the light. There was such peace in that cocoon in the early hours of my accident, that many times during my recovery, I wanted to go back to it.

Even as I continue to heal and realize that the old me is dead, I often wish to return to the cocoon, never to emerge, because I hated the moth I’d become. The one that kept flying to the light and dying each time it was zapped and suffered a setback. I miss the butterfly I once was, and it pains me to know she won’t return. As I endure ongoing recovery, I know I’m going to emerge from my chrysalis. I won’t ever be the same, but I will be beautiful again. And I will dance, live, love and fly…again.

**This will be my last post about recovery and chronic pain. 2015 is already a better year. It’s time to stoke the embers, and write with passion again.**

 

Even flow, thoughts arrive like butterflies
Oh, he don’t know so he chases them away, yeah
Oh, someday, yeah, he’ll begin his life again
Life again, life again

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100 Word Song-Can’t Keep

empty-hospital-bed

Everyone left my bedside and I welcomed the quiet. I needed a break from their painted on smiles and feigned conversations. Family can be overbearing, but it’s the worst when you’re terminal.

I depressed my morphine pump, and fought the urge to drift off to sleep. Killing myself with the drug would be easy.

My disease was ravenous, and I was finished with it. I grabbed a bottle from my nightstand. My fingers shook when unscrewing the cap, but not my resolve.

Like Alice in Wonderland, I drank my potion and announced to no one, ‘you can’t keep me here.’

Robot-Badge

Thank you Lance Burson for hosting the 100 word song prompt. You rock my friend! You really, really, really do. I’m honored you asked me to contribute the song for this week.

People, go read his work. He’s fabulous!!!

Friday Fictioneers-Past, Present, Future

goats_and_graves_3_randy_maziecopyright-Randy Mazie

It is with true love as it is with ghosts; everyone talks about it, but few have seen it.Francois de La Rochefoucauld

The heartbroken ghost cares not for the man sitting in her cemetery. Nor does she ponder the bleating goat. Her transparent fingers trace the name of her beloved etched in marble.

He used to awaken her with gentle kisses on her inner thigh. She’d smile and stroke his unshaven face.

After his sudden death, the grief was so great she took her own life. His spirit journeyed to Heaven. Hers was destined to roam the Earth.

Though ghosts don’t sleep, her spirit became awakened by his. The same way it was in life. His lips settled on her alabaster thigh.

100 words/Genre: Ghost Story

Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers. Criticisms and kudos are most welcome. Bring it on my loves, bring it on.

Red Lights on a Rainy Night

MacKenzie is trying hard to keep herself together as she drives home down a familiar back road. Her hands are white knuckled as she grips her steering wheel. It’s windy, unusually dark and raining. Normally it exhilarates her. Makes her senses come alive, but tonight all she feels is fear. Her heart is racing as she drives down the familiar road. It is slick with rain and the wind is blowing the autumn leaves across it. It makes driving hazardous and difficult to see the center line. Up ahead she sees red flashing lights of the emergency railroad signals.  The signals are flashing their crimson warning as the arms descend and come to rest. She presses the brake and stops in front of the signal. The lights from it become smeared as the wipers swipe her windshield.

She screams, “fuck this shit!”, as she slams her hands on the steering wheel.

“Why can’t I stop this endless spiral of fear, shame, anxiety and pain?”, she exclaims to herself.

She is so damn angry. The red emergency signals are flashing, and the arms are still lowered. It’s not raining anymore, though the wind is high. And the autumn leave are flying everywhere. She puts her car in park and cranks up the radio. She hears a familiar song. A new one by P!nk. It’s become her new favorite. MacKenzie opens her door and runs to the tracks. The train is still a good distance away.  But she can see the lights. Hear the warning of its horn. She steps in the middle of the tracks as the wind whips in her hair. She feels a few drops of rain on her cheeks and then her heart begins to slow. A train is coming at her and her anxiety begins to wain.

“Why is that God?”, she screams into the night.

“Why have you fucked me up like this? Why am I so fucking backwards?”, she cries as she throws her middle fingers into the air.

She hears the train as it come closer.  The engine, the wheels churning on the tracks, and the horn. The engineer keeps blaring the horn, but she doesn’t move. MacKenzie finally feels peace. With the wind in her hair, rain on her face, music blaring on the radio, and the red lights blinking all around her. The train is so close she can see the face of the engineer and his fear. He puts on the brakes, and sparks fly from beneath the wheels and their contact with the tracks. She doesn’t move. He honks his horn one last time.

She smiles, and sings “Blow me, one last kiss”.

Then just like that, it’s over. She’s gone. She has peace.

The Suicide of Snow White

I found out she hung herself from the wooden beam in her kitchen. Her neighbors saw her swinging back and forth through the window. When I heard the news I was devastated. I became a 14 year old girl again and she was 16. It was like I had  just talked to her at the locker we shared. And then she was dead. I cried for my friend. For the life that she couldn’t handle anymore. For her children and her estranged extended family. I wept, like I had seen her just the day before, at her house. I wept for the days that we sneaked smokes on her roof outside her bedroom window. The sips of booze we took. The weed we smoked. The boys we chased. The laughter. And for the fight we had.

For most of my Freshman year we shared a locker, friends, and secrets. She was fun and beautiful. With ebony hair. I swear the birds sang as she walked by. The boy’s tongues wagged too. She took me, this young, scared woman under her wing. I was a baby, and she was a goddess. I wanted so badly to be like her. She seemed so strong. I was a doormat; a follower. Little did I know she was fragile, like meringue. The peaks seem so sturdy but dissolve instantly when placed on your tongue.

She and I had a falling out and the friendship fell by the way. I lost my standing with the “IN” crowd. She tried to sabotage me with my stoner crowd. It’s what we girls did back in the day. We lived in a small town, and we we’re very competitive with one another. I don’t even remember what the fight was about. After high school, she went her way and I went mine. She was my neighbor, so I would get updates from her parents about her. She went into the Army. She married, had children, and moved out West. I graduated high school. Married a good man, had children, worked my way up from receptionist to office manager. I had my issues but for the most part life was pretty kick ass.

20 years later she and I re-connected on Facebook. We private messaged each other regularly. We shared our stories and forgave each other for the past. She asked me not to tell her family she was on FB. I agreed to keep her secrets again. After all we had a history, and I still loved her. Cared for her. She was still an ebony haired beauty. Still fragile. She was a meth addict. Estranged from her family and her children. Eventually she lost her job because of her addiction. She gave in to depression and addiction. Found no way out but to hang herself, from a rafter in her kitchen. I miss her. That ebony haired beauty.

This letter right here is the reason why I write….. Why I share

So many people ask me why I’m so honest when I write. Why I put myself out there. Why do I share so much. Read this letter from a dear friend of mine and you will know. SHE is the reason why I’m honest, why I share, why I give of myself the way I do. Because just once, just once you might get to save someone’s life. I’m not being haughty, I’m not being arrogant either. I helped save her life. Made her reach out. That is the reason that I write. To help, nurture, and love.

    • Hey mom!
      First off, you look fucking amazing! So proud of you, and dad too! Things haven’t been the best for me the last couple weeks…you’re the one I come to and your posts always bring a smile. To make a long story short, my mom is on pretty much 24/7 suicide watch on me. They’ve changed my antidepressant so I could be on Adepex, to help me lose weight since I can’t do much with my knee and back, and I ended up with the worst thoughts and feelings I’ve ever had before. I kept it hidden, forced a smile so mo one would know. Well, last week it got so intense that I was afraid of myself. I had things planned out, even had a few different ways to choose from. I knew at that point, if I didn’t tell anyone, I would end up making the worst and last decision of my life. So, probably didn’t go about informing my mom the right way, but it was the only way I knew how to so she would know I wasn’t just having a bad day. I chose to have my mom hide my meds and give them to me on schedule throughout the day. I can’t tell you how scared I made myself. I’ve never been one to think, let alone plan my own death. It’s embarrassing going through something like this but deep down, as much as I scared my parents, I make the right choice. It was a side effect of the antidepressant they had me on which caused my suicidal thoughts and almost actions. I made an appointment with the Dr and she went along with me yesterday. I was so embarrassed that when he walked in, I couldn’t look at him in the eye, couldn’t talk, I just cried. My mom told him what was going on and I had to beg him not to admit me to the hospital like he wanted. I go back in two weeks to see how the new med is working but until then, its almost like I have to have a babysitter, at 22. It’s horrible and I’ve never felt anything close to how I was the last couple weeks. It’s one thing to think it, but I was scared at how close I was to acting on it. So needless to say, yet another roller coaster ride for me. No one really knows but my parents and a fam friend about how bad it had gotten. But the point of this message is just to let you know that I love you and out of everything, your posts make me forget about everything for a moment and always bring a smile to my face, which means more than you know at this point. When I catch myself on the verge of tears of thinking things I shouldn’t, I go right to your page and just read. Read everything. But know. Even though you don’t intentionally do it, you have helped me many, countless times. Sorry for the novel I wrote but I love you and I truly look up to you more than you know.

    Oh  honey I loved every word you wrote. I’m so glad you contacted me. You don’t know how much it means to me. I’m so glad you told your mom. We would have been devastated to lose someone as wonderful as you. Life isn’t always easy. It’s not. And it doesn’t get easier the older we get either. But every day, every day we find ways to find happiness. To muddle through. We surround ourselves with good people, we learn to love ourselves and then love others.

    YOU are an amazing young woman. I have always loved you. You are sometimes the reason that I post what I post. The reason that I write what I write on my blog. Because of you incredibly strong young women. I’m amazed at all of you. Honey being on an anti-depressant doesn’t make you weak. It makes you stronger. It’s like a diabetic being on insulin. It’s something we need. If I wasn’t on mine, I would be an absolute mess. Or I would still be self-medicating with alcohol and food.

    It is the events in our lives that shape us. It is the people in our lives that save us or help us fall. We are the ones that are ultimately responsible for our own self-love, our own survival and our own worth. You reached out for help. That was a very brave step. Had you not, I’m sure you would be dead. I’m glad you go to my FB page, to my blog. You darlin’ are the reason that I write. The reason that I’m so blatantly honest. Because I know there are more sparkly girls with broken hearts out there. That are looking for love, for self-worth, for more.

    I’m proud of you for asking for help. I’m proud of you for living. I’m proud of you for everything. I really am. May I write about this? May I take your letter, take out your name and then add my reply? I will never, ever say your name.

    I love you girl and keep reading. Keep building yourself up!!!! And know that if you ever need me, you walk right to my door, call, whatever. I will build you back up and love you. Promise from the bottom of my sparkly heart!