#BelieveSurvivors

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The #Metoo movement created a powerful sisterhood.  A pulling back of the curtain to reveal (to men) what it is like to navigate the world as a woman.  It came at a great expense.  Survivors, even those who didn’t say their truth out loud, having to relive their traumas.  It seemed to start a tipping of the scales, one sleaze bag at a time, toward justice.

I watched Dr. Ford.  I gasped when she recalled making eye contact with Mark Judge as Brett Kavanaugh pinned her down, covered her mouth, and groped her.  She was traumatized that night.  She knows who was on top of her.

He was drunk and probably didn’t see much wrong with copping a little feel.  It is not surprising he doesn’t remember, though his lack of calling for other witnesses or an FBI investigation show a crack of daylight.  He may not remember it, but he knows it’s a possibility.

As if the emotion and clarity of her testimony juxtaposed with his anger and conspiracy theories weren’t enough to induce women’s rage, the Republicans took their turn to respond.  With anger at Democrats, apologies to Kavanaugh.  But, their worst offense is what their privilege blinds them to.  Their response to Dr. Ford.

It was the oft repeated ‘I don’t doubt something happened to her,’  Left unsaid is what they don’t believe.  That their guy is the perp. 

That’s inconvenient.

Instead, they design their response to appease the rage coursing through the women of this country. 

A pat on the head to make the little lady feel heard.

And a slap on the back and lifetime appointment for him.

I write for the snuggles

My memory is bad.  Really bad.

It’s so bad I keep a list of recipes I know how to make and make well. Not whole recipes with ingredients mind you, just the title of the dish.  And it’s a short list.  With ‘spaghetti’ on it.

It’s so bad that sometimes my ‘to-do’ lists mention showering.

I look back at pictures of Ellie when she was a baby and I hardly recognize her.  At one point I couldn’t imagine her a big kid and now I can’t imagine the reverse.

I suppose there’s some good in that.  I live in the present.  I breathe in my little baby, Georgia. The feeling of her snuggling on my chest, legs scrunched beneath her, her gentle shudders spreading warmth on the crook of my neck as sleep overwhelms her.

To hold that feeling forever, I write it.

When I was 15, an ex-boyfriend of mine was shot and killed.  Once the grief downgraded from paralyzing to merely a cloak draped across my lungs, I wrote.  Lists.  Every moment with him I could conjure.  I refused to let his memory be snuffed out as quickly his life had been.

Recently my sister asked me my ‘why’ for writing.  It is purely selfish.  I write to hold on to my present.  Moments can never be lost forever if I write them.

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Alternative Facts

Today I…

Didn’t send my three year old, Ellie, to preschool because I just couldn’t get out of bed to get her ready.

Gave her three time outs, resulting in a loss of privilege for the day.

Forced her to leave a library activity early because her behavior was off the chain.

Fought with her about eating her eggs at both breakfast and lunch because I’m such a bitch that when she didn’t eat them in the morning, I saved them for later.

Snuck a cookie when she wasn’t looking.

Somehow lost the ability to put the baby to sleep, resulting in all kind of screams and wails and fits.

Yelled at a parenting book because the author wasn’t getting to the point fast enough.  I don’t give a hoot about “Janice”, “James” or “Oliver” and how they have to be rocked and cuddled and fed to go to sleep!  My kid is screaming!  Tell me what to dooooo!

Texted my husband at work telling him he could run away with the kids without penalty.

Blinked at my daughter about 10 times after she asked me to play with her, wondering how I could say “hell no” without seeming like I didn’t want to play with her.

And in the midst of this disaster of a day,  Ellie turns to me and says, “Mommy, you’re a good mommy.”

She must be Kellyanne Conway’s daughter, because whatever led her to that conclusion was based on some seriously alternative facts.

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Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President, who coined the term ‘alternative facts’

Such is Life

Growing up is like learning.  You approximate as you go, are often farther along the continuum in one area than another, and are benefited by a sense of humor.

I sat typing in my chair at the dining room table.  The one with a clear view down the narrow hallway.  A quick (and literal) flash caught my eye as my daughter dashed from the bathroom, naked from the waist down.

Never a good sign.

I gave it a minute.  I was writing after all.

“Everything ok?”

“Yeah!” she called from her room.

Knowing her copasetic claim was probably a false one, I got up and headed to the bathroom where I was greeted by a puddle next to the Elmo potty.  I sighed.

We should be past this, I thought.

I turned back around to see my daughter looking up at me from the hallway.

“What happened?” I asked.

She thought for a second, tilted her head, and exclaimed, “C’est la vie!”

And she’s right.  Such is life, such is growing up, and such is learning.  Screen Shot 2018-09-10 at 10.04.41 PM

The Real Trauma

Change is hard.  For Mama, Papa, and our older daughter.  The baby, however, seems fine with it.

So my three-year old just started a new class at her preschool.

Day one: Excitement at home.  Shy guy at the classroom door, but goes in and gets on with her day.

Day 2: Loud tears at home, quiet tears at school.

Day 3: Wake her up early – she gets dressed, brushes teeth, eats a quick breakfast.  All seems well.  As I’m putting on her shoes, she asks, “Am I going somewhere?”  Apparently not realizing this school thing happens on a fairly regular basis.

“Yes.  You’re going to school.”

“No, Mom, no! I want to stay home with you,” she wails as I strap her in the car seat and my husband whisks her off.  Once at school, she wails some more and refuses to go in the classroom.

Then comes the weekend, when she cries on Friday night about going to school the following week.  Worse, she wakes herself up in the middle of the night with the thought of it.

This school is familiar to her.  She has been going since she was a baby.  Knows a couple of the assistants, most of the kids, only the teacher is new.

It is not as if she has traveled many torturous miles, arrived in an unfamiliar land with strange people speaking unknown words to her.  Been ripped from my arms.  I can’t imagine her trauma if she had.

My daughter will be fine.  I’m not worried about the long-term effects of starting a new school year.  I’m worried about the 500+ children who are still being traumatized because of the initiatives of our country’s callous and careless leaders.  Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, John Kelly, and Kirstjen Nielsen, I’m looking at you.

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