Working for that retirement!
As if you are a work horse to be
retired from service–
no longer of use to the ones
that actually make Real Money.
Old bones churning for freedom…
Maybe retirement age should be called
“The Unchaining Age”
Corporate shackles fall from tired wrists
They took the best years
So you could spent the last few
RV, sipping Rum & Coke
Dutifully depositing percentages
Into investment accounts.
The ones without are fools!
…or so they say.
but those ones get wet on a rainy day.
A tight ball of anxiety still sits on a throne in the pit of my stomach. Two years and counting and I still can’t let go of the emotional trauma that my time in Italy put me through. My trust in everyone, especially men, was irrevocably shattered. My world was flipped and I’ve had vertigo ever since. I’m struggling to find recovery from it all, to make peace with the hatred that I have harbored; It is buried deep and coursing through the veins of my body.
I am a big proponent of not letting the past sour my present, but I still think about everything that happened at least multiple times a week. When I’m just sitting here alone, or breastfeeding while the house is quiet, my mind rattles on and I think back to all of those motherfuckers with their shit-eating grins. What is worse, is that you can leave a place but your stories will live on (especially if the same people are around to tell them). Once you are gone there is nobody to defend your own name. Gossip spirals out of control and your reputation soon precedes you.
The truth will always find a way to shine, I believe that. I also know that the evil we do will catch up with us in due time. It is so hard to rest and stay golden, to have faith that you can and will be rewarded for staying honest. It was all I had to fall back on, in the darkest days, when everyone around me seemed an enemy. I knew I was being true to my heart. Sometimes the anger and anxiety just overwhelm me, though, and I get frustrated knowing that now, especially now, there is absolutely nothing I can do to find my justice.
Learning to move on with the knowledge that I will never achieve retribution has been the hardest thing of all… I guess I’m not quite there yet. Especially when I know these events will never effect them in the same way. They all get to move on with their lives and I am still over here, in a new land surrounded by new people, fighting for my emotional sanity while learning how to be a new parent and keep a new marriage alive.
Time is known to heal all things, but I just keep asking myself how much time will pass before I can stop feeling this pain? Before I can let things go, not feel the creeping sensation of dread up my back like little spider legs? How long before I am strong enough to slay the power these people hold over me? I am not the praying type, but it is times like these that I am desperate for even the walls to listen.
I stare at that sweet face and know that cycles need shattered. At what point are we all introduced to feelings of shame, of worthlessness? My husband says that humans are a plague — as he gazes into our baby’s eyes he thinks of the corruption of innocence, the blank slate becoming soiled with blood. She lays on my chest, gives a drooly smile and practices opening and closing her hands. We all start here: drool-covered babes full of innocent wonder, love, contentment. Parents sucked into negative cycles inflict more negativity onto their spawn, and the chains of degeneracy continue.
How can we prevent our children from feeling shameful about themselves? I think this is the root of a lot of unhappiness in adult life. How do we prevent little girls from growing up with the same self-esteem issues that generations before them have endured? I think about myself, my sister, my mother. Not once have I seen a healthy personal example of a confident woman. My mother, ceaselessly unhappy with herself, unintentionally taught my sister and I to be unhappy with ourselves as well. She said that she made sure to never self-criticize in front of us, but children are so much more perceptive than we ever give them credit for, and they are constantly absorbing. It is my belief there is not much you can truly hide from your little ones.
I have struggled, fought tears back in a brightly lit bathroom mirror too many times to count throughout my life. While I could, at the very least, agree that I was not a horrendous situation, I could never achieve feelings of worthiness or satisfaction with the arrangement of my face. In time, I began to rely on male attention to validate my self-esteem. If I was sexy enough, if I could blow his mind in bed, give a killer blow-job, it meant I was the stuff of fantasy. Being a sexy-porno-fantasy-girl meant I was hot. Giving men boners meant I was attractive to the straight male population. This, of course, is a tale as old as time itself when it comes to female self-worth and value. Culture literally grooms us into desiring male approval through sexual means. It just seems that the women in my family have been inflicted with it harder than others.
I shudder to think about my own daughter going through similar things, being used and abused in the same manner for years and years in frantic search of validation and beauty. The idea crushes me, to know I might have a part in that.
If I can learn to truly love myself and appreciate my body, I can give her a role model worth following. Breaking 24 years of self-hatred is not an easy task, but I am getting there day by day. Pregnancy and childbirth have been catalyst for my self acceptance because I have no other choice but to accept myself in my new state — my survival and mental health depends on it. Every day I try to enjoy my new body without any resentment. The toll of reproduction is much higher on the female psyche and body.
What are some things you do to help instill good self esteem in your little ones?