Retirement

401K
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
applauding yourself–
Dutifully depositing percentages
Into investment accounts.

The ones without are fools!
…or so they say.
but those ones get wet on a rainy day.

Breaking The Chains Of Low Self Esteem

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?

Faded Pain Like Goodwill Sheets

All I can say about pain is that in time it, too, will become a distant memory.

So many things in my life I am unable to recall, so many moments no doubt excruciating for my heart.

I labored for over 24 hours in some of the weirdest and most intense pain of my life and honestly I can hardly recall it now. The only thing getting me through each contraction was the ability to let pain lie in the past.

I’ve cried so many tears in my life and yet the memory is so soft and faded now. In those moments it felt unbearable. Yet now the image is suspended and I am unconnected to it. A story I tell myself, for otherwise it would die.

Our pasts are a story we keep telling ourselves to explain present day things. You tell yourself that you are a certain way because of some personal haunting from ghosts that cease to exist the moment you bury them. So why keep torturing ourselves with ghostly remains? I suppose it’s human to do so.