I’m combusting. There’s a fire within me and I no longer have to keep it hush, hush. I have opinions and emotions that are finally free enough to emerge. The pain searing my right shoulder is screaming. And the shooting pain down my leg is demanding my attention. My feet are on fire too. My gut has the glow of hot-blue.
My ex often said, “Your mom is broken.” I didn’t have the courage to say, “That’s wrong and shaming and demoralizing!” Though, I felt crushed, misunderstood and that made me feel broken. Still, I smiled and pushed through migraines, ruptured ovarian cysts, endometriosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and postpartum depressions.
Navigating the role of super mom replete with baking, cooking, sewing and crafting everything. I memorized recipes and collected more than could possibly be used. I tried to learn new languages. I painted and wallpapered walls. I arranged our shoes by hues. I spent hours gardening and created tiny celery boats ‘floating’ in a sea of shredded carrots (that I planted & harvested). I made it look easy. It wasn’t. I hurt with each step and cringed if I let out a painful sigh because I’d heard the words, “Your mom is broken.” “She failed. I need to send her back for a replacement.” “This wasn’t a part of our vows.”
And as I sit here, clicking away, there’s power in sharing and shedding. I hear new words: You aren’t broken. The pain is real. It fucking hurts and it is tiring. You are so real. All the layers and feelings and confusion. Even the anger that scares you. You are you and above all keep writing and speaking out. And I will. I hope you will too. ~ Much love, Carolyn
Carolyn (Riker) Avalani | Artist: Loui Jover