Saturday, August 9, 2008


Today, I will try to do my best with my writing, but first I want to tell you why I can not write like I should be able to, given my background.

I've told you all before about how my son's father was an abusive alcoholic. What I didn't tell you was for nearly three years I was afraid to go to sleep and didn't. It was inconceivable to my thinking a human being could go without sleep for more than a couple of days and when I first started doing it, it was a sort of contest with myself to see if I could.

In the beginning my not sleeping was borne out of gut-wrenching fear. Fear that he would come home in one of his rages and I would not be aware enough to protect us. This fear as the most real fear I have ever felt, if not the most rational. The longer I went without sleep the easier it became to stay awake and eventually I couldn't sleep.

Now this is a testament to my strength. It was nearly two years before I started having flashes of hallucinations. Nothing full blown I could describe, just thinking someone was there and turning to see just a flash. These flashes happened every third month, then every month, then every week, then a couple of times a week until and I think I've told this before, I was looking out my child's window one brilliant day filled with sunshine, birds chirping and with the smell of fresh spring grass being mowed, I saw the lucky charms elf guy laid-back on a tree limb, smoking a huge pipe, with his legs crossed, kicking his foot, laughing and waving at me. He was gone as quickly as he had appeared. I was horrified.

Even in my psychotic state I knew what that was. I knew that while I had done a great many drugs in my youth, for the most part they were depressants, to help me escape the reality of my childhood sexual abuse. I had only hallucinated one time after being tricked into drinking mushroom kool-aid. I grew up in the 60's but never ever wanted to hallucinate. Never tried or even entertained the idea of trying hallucinogens. Nope, that was never going to be me. Yet, here I was full blown sober for years, hallucinating.

To make a long story short, it scared me into finally seeking the help I needed. By the grace of God I was in Atlanta at the time with access to free mental health clinics and therapy and anti-depressants. I continued with this regimen on and off until I decided to go back to school years later. This was when I realized the full extent of what I had lost.

I don't know the exact point I lost my Phd level vocabulary but somewhere along the way it disappeared and no matter how hard I try I can't seem to get it back. When I was tested in the seventh grade my vocabulary was already beyond college level. Probably because I used books as an escape from my reality before I discovered drugs. In my 20's I could out-talk any intellectual, including college professors, I knew except my mother :) but that's another story for another day. These days, if I can figure out how to use "overarching" in a sentence, it is cause for great celebration and many self pats on the back :) I have managed to find a way to communicate with my middle school command of the english language but it will always be a bone of contention with me and well, just plain sad. So anyway that's the reason I don't write any more than I do and the reason why you will never see my name in a byline of some prestigious publication.

Now that I've gotten all that crap out of the way, on to the title of this post, dreams....

This morning I woke up at 2am. Why, you ask? Because NBC decided to make up for all the money they've lost with crappy programs and put an advertisement on every other minute of the opening ceremonies, so I fell asleep after the USA came out on the field. Yep, I missed the awesome lighting of the torch. Damn Commercials! So I get up at 2am and drink an entire 4 cup pot of coffee, which unlike most people, puts me right back to sleep. The dream was a typically fragmented dream representing stuff I had experienced through the day intermingled with the unconscious and the conscious dreams of what I really want which started me thinking about that dream I've had since childhood.

My first recollection of it was, I would grow up and have a husband that worshiped me and we would have a house full of children and I would lovingly prepare meals for them and teach them all that I knew, as would he, we would raise them up to be outstanding young adults together and then husband and I would send them out into the world to make their own way and we would rock in our rocking chairs on the front porch while our children periodically brought the grandchildren to visit and be spoiled.

So I've resigned myself to the fact that the husband part is probably never going to happen but does that mean I can't still have my dream? No, I think not. So the dream has been amended yet another time. Here is the amended version...

I want to be "house mother" in a home for abandoned, abused and neglected children 8 through 18. I want a great big old victorian mansion, pale yellow with white shutters and white trim with a wrap around porch and hardwood floors (probably laminate) everywhere except the kitchen and bathrooms. I want 10-20 acres of land to surround it with access to, at the very least, a "branch" (small, clear stream leading to a river) for swimming. I want to do for these kids what I never got to do for my own "large brood." Think, the old lady and the shoe and you should get a clear picture only I will know what to do. :) I want to be the one they trust, the one they come to in their time of need, the one that offers them a place to feel safe and be their teacher about life. I want to teach them how to cook grand meals, live by a budget and balance a checkbook. I want to give them the skills they will need to make their own way in life or help them find out how to acquire those skills I have no clue how to do. I will have to find someone successful in love and relationships to provide their classes on that subject. The only thing that I could tell them that I have learned is that it all boils down to respect...respect of self first, then respect for the significant other, then respect for the relationship. Being able to communicate and respectfully disagree are key components also. I've told the boy all his life that if anyone ever tells you that they don't deserve you then believe them and run as fast as you can in the other direction. I learned that the hard way. Finally, it did occur to me that they probably did know themselves better than I did and I should just take them at their word and not stupidly think I could change them and stay.

I believe I have the skills to do this. The one thing I never doubted about myself was that I am good at mothering and now I have access to expertise and programs I never had before. I need someone to teach me how to write a grant for this. I have searched through all the grants available and it looks like there may be some options but I have no clue where to begin with the writing and research. I have this great big ole' lofty dream and I'm stuck on the cliff, afraid to jump in. I guess, one day at a time....


  1. Having PhD level vocabulary doesn't make a good writer. You are able to write very well. It is the wonder of the language that it can be manipulated in so many different directions. Sometimes too many different tools impede rather than improve writing styles. But what you have written there - just proves how great you are!
    As for dreams - they are very important to hang onto. I wish I could help in a more practical way with yours. It's a great goal and definitely one that's worth shooting for.

  2. Thanks, cb, it means a lot. The words just used to flow so freely from my mouth and from my fingertips and now it is a hesitant struggle. I just end up getting frustrated and scrapping what I'm thinking about writing in hopes that tomorrow will be a better day :)

  3. I think it sounds like a wonderful dream. I hope it comes true.

  4. I think finding the grants is definitely half the seem to have a knack for ferreting stuff out.

    As for writing on the blog--there's no saying you have to write manifestos daily. You've found your niche here with offering resources and keeping on top of current topics of interest and sharing with others. It's great! But there's certainly nothing wrong with your writing.

  5. I just miss being able to keep up with you all, my heros :) ok, I've had my pity-party. Thanks for letting me indulge...I'll get back to normal after Friday :)

  6. Excellent goal! I have a huge vocabulary and I can write but I have never done grant writing. I know you will find a way to make this happen. Believe.

  7. Prin, two comments: first, I enjoy the way you write. I have never thought you lacked anything in your abiity to convey things in a passionate, articulate way. You say you struggle, but your writing itself has proven you can overcome the barriers you now experience.

    Second, we need homes for older children. Good, quality homes, with good, quality mothers. This is a dream worth pursuing.