Two Sided Coin

On January 23rd, 1990 I was born with a twin. He came out first, and while coming down the pipe he gave one final kick and turned me sideways. I almost died and my mother had to get me out via C-Section.

Since the day we were born we were polar opposites.

He like vanilla ice cream. I liked chocolate.

He is left handed. I am right handed.

He is color blind. I am not.

He has a patterned tongue. I do not.

He would only eat peanut butter sandwiches. I would only eat jelly sandwiches.

He wanted the Blue version of Pokémon. I wanted the Red version.

He wanted my toy kitchen. I wanted his tool set.

He really liked Harry Potter. I refused to read it because he liked it so much.

He dropped out of high school. I got a full ride scholarship to college.

Well it turns out that our polar-ness isn’t just surface level, it goes much deeper. My mother was and will always be a sore subject for me. In many ways I have yet to forgive her for so many things. My brother moved away at 16 and I was left to deal with her. In a way I think that is why he is able to forgive her so much. But then again he gave up his high school education just to stay home every day to make sure she didn’t kill herself (if you’ve read previous posts, I did not learn about this until just recently). This holiday season he mentioned how sad he is because our mother always made sure every holiday was about us. She wanted us to know how special the day was from the moment we woke up till the moment our heads hit the pillow that night. He is able to remember those times fondly while I still hold resentment that she ended them when we were 11.

So our biggest opposite is:

He forgives our mother. I do not.

Cars Are For Breakdowns

Lately I’ve been listening to songs that make me weep while driving in my car. It’s a sick habit. I get in the car and I search out the top three songs that make me cry and I sing along until I sob and then I hit repeat.

So, today I was wondering why I’ve been torturing myself and here is what I’ve come up with: all hours of the day I act like everything is alright.

I act like being an orphan doesn’t bother me.

I act like having a dead father who abandoned my brother and I at the age of five didn’t affect me.

I act like having a dead mother who chose to take up crack cocaine when we were ten because “we were old enough to care for ourselves by that age,” doesn’t affect me.

I act like it’s okay that my brother lives over 12 hours away doesn’t bother me.

I act like my husband/best friend/ life partner’s deployment during all of the major holidays, including my mother’s death anniversary, doesn’t upset me.

So when I get behind the wheel, and the doors and windows are shut. I have to release the façade. I have to take down the walls. I have to let out all of the pent up sadness because otherwise I might endanger someone else. I might have to let them in and I might have to accept their pity and their attempt at understanding my life. Instead I play the song by Kelly Clarkson about her father abandoning her. I play Love Vigilantes by Iron and Wine and think about how sad other people are when their partners deploy. I find myself empathizing with the artists and I find that it is okay to cry with them, even if they are only in my speakers.

Honestly, I realize I’m being foolish. I know that I have people who care about me. I know how lucky I am to have a beautiful daughter, and in-laws who care for me like one of their own. I know that they would listen and understand my tears. But for some reason I just can’t let them see that side of me. I need to be strong. I need for everyone to think that I can handle any/everything.

Maybe that’s the one way that they broke me; my parents, that is. I know some women develop “daddy issues” and other take up the drug addiction in their parent’s footsteps. I’ve always been driven to avoid my parent’s poor judgements and choices but maybe in a way I’m just as broken as everyone else. What makes me better than anyone else? Just because people haven’t been through my same experiences doesn’t make them unable to sympathize and understand me. I don’t know, now I’m just rambling. This was a very unorganized post. I apologize. I just had to get this thought out of my head.

In case you wanted my “sad playlist” here it is:

The Call by Regina Spektor

Holes by Passenger

Piece by Piece by Kelly Clarkson

Love Vigilantes by Iron and Wine

 

What is one song that you relate to so hard that it makes you cry or get emotional every time you hear it?

The Love You Deserve

Piece by Piece by Kelly Clarkson makes me cry each and every time I hear it. It is impossible for me to listen to that song without crying. I become and absolute mess. Today’s breakdown while listening to the song had me thinking about love and the different values we assign based on blood, and friendship.

Since both my mother and father are dead and have been out of my life since I was about sixteen I have depended on the love of non blood relationships (this is sounding semi-vampiric). I always told myself that I was making a family for myself by surrounding myself with friends. I had Sam and her family let me live with them. I then had Bobby and his family let me live with them as well. They also made sure I had everything I needed for my dorm when I moved away for college. In a way I was blessed that my friends had great parents. Both Bobby and Sam grew apart from me though and went onto their own lives. I guess in a way I did as well. So though at a time they loved me and I loved them, that love was not the same as familial love. Their love wasn’t going to call and check up on me or make sure I was going to doctors appointments or making sure I am eating well. Their love was the kind that would come back eventually but had to fly off and do it’s own thing and discover other forms of love.

The next form of love that I developed was with partners, not platonic friendships. These I tried not to invest love in too early. My first boyfriend I actually rejected when he proclaimed his love. I told him, “No, you don’t. Tell me one reason that you think you love me.” His reason was because he loved that I always let the polish chip off my nails completely before repainting them. It was observant but not a reason to love someone. Anyway I went through many partners but never found that same level of love as you would get from a family member, or at least how they display family on the Hallmark channel.

It wasn’t until I met my husband. With him we started out as friends like Bobby and Sam but he stayed around; He stayed invested. He would ask me about my day, dreams, and eating habits. He would listen with an open ear and a quiet mouth. He always waited for me to finish what I had to say before he would respond. In a way I think this was the first thing that made me fall in love with him. That may sound a bit shallow, but what philosopher said that men fall in love with their mothers? Well my mother was always really good about listening to me talk about my day at school when I was younger. I would get home, put my book bag down and talk for a good hour and a half before I would finish and she would then respond and ask interested questions. In a way, Tom did this as well and still does.

It’s the small things that put everything into perspective. Now that Tom is deployed I don’t have my sounding board. I don’t have the one person who checks on me to make sure that I’m taking care of myself; The one person who takes an interest in all my interests just because he loves me. I found that one love I was searching for. I found a replacement for familial love. I asked Tom to marry me. I decided we should expand our love and make our beautiful daughter Laurel. I never had a real family of my own and now I do. This deployment is a lot harder than I thought it would be. In a way I’ve been pushing it aside and putting up a front as if nothing affects me, but it does. Without him here I am without love. Of course I love my daughter and she loves me, but she loves me about as much as she loves her grand parents and Paw Patrol right now. I need my one love. I need my husband to come home. Right now I am just an orphan and he is oceans away.

I believe that there is love out there for everyone. It is very difficult to define and pin down but it is out there. I will probably always feel like I missed out on having parents who loved me unselfishly instead of giving into their addictions and killing themselves. I know how important a mother’s love is and I work every day to make sure my daughter knows how much I love and support her. She is my world, and even though I feel unimportant at times I know how important it is to know that you are loved by both your mother and father. As Clarkson says,

“I fell far from the tree
I will never leave her like you left me
And she will never have to wonder her worth
Because unlike you I’m going to put her first.”

I cannot wait for my love to return from overseas so that my heart can be full and my daughter can know what the love of two parents feels like. I know it has only been two months since he left but she has grown so much and I can’t wait for him to meet the new version of her. I cannot wait for my family to be whole. I did it guys, I made the love I needed and deserved. I hope that you go out there and find the love that you need and deserve as well.