Liberation and the Wild Girl-God

Published October 22, 2017 by insufficient mums

GODS & RADICALS

Sometimes, a Wild Girl-God moves in and rearranges what you thought was real. She thumbs her nose at propriety and property, social and monetary capital. She wakes me up in the morning and asks, full of wonder-delight-menace-daring, “What are we going to do today?”

From Karina Black Heart

 

There’s a gorgeous poem-prose piece, “Sometimes a Wild God,” that everyone should read or listen to at least seven dozen times in their lives. For me, it is an affirmation of how I invite the Gods I am in relationship with to inform my life and give me courage to live as they do.

These symbiotic relationships with Gods have gotten me in all kinds of trouble, including roller-coaster relationships, courageous acts and harrowing feats, landing in foreign countries with less than $70 in my wallet, moving out of state to be near my Madre–the Sea, zip-lining, fire-walking, hand-crafting, vegetable gardening…

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And then it hit me…

Published August 24, 2017 by insufficient mums

So, here’s what happened. I did say I’d tell you.2017Summer

I was off to see a client on a damp Sunday afternoon. It had been a busy week – all sorts of commitments. Bit stressful really.

Driving along Highgate, I saw a car indicating to turn out of a minor side street. And turn she did. Right into the side of my car. Across the road I went diagonally into a car parked outside the giftshop. The driver was still sitting there behind the wheel. He didn’t even look my way. Stayed fixed like a statue as I watched his face get closer, fairly sure I was gonna kill him.

It was over with a bang. I managed to reverse a few inches out of his car before my car stopped. No forwards, no reverse, middle of the wrong lane. Hazard lights on.

I could hear cars crunching up scattered bits of my car as I climbed out. The driver’s door barely opened as my front guards were pushed back into the doors.

I went to the driver of the car I hit – standing on the side of the road – no injuries says he. A miracle – but the Mazda 323 he’s only just bought had taken some flack.

I went to the driver of the car that hit me. No injuries says she. Another minor miracle. But the front of her 3-day-old Jazz was gone. When I phoned the police and they asked for her number plate I had to go down the road to find it.

Now, in the last year I’ve gotten all new tyres – one just a couple of weeks ago. In the last month or two I’ve had all the mechanicals done – brakes, CV joints, the lot. A week ago I got a new battery. The Kaosmobile was older, but she’s looked after us through my divorce, moving house, taking kids to support services. She may have been valued at less than the repairs cost me, but she was worth it to us. And I wasn’t worried about equity. She was our bus.

And now here she was, both sides stoved in and the front falling off her. I knew she was gone.

The police came, and were brilliant. The rain was chilling, and we decided I may have broken my finger. I didn’t phone the kids – they might have panicked.

The police gave me a ride home, and my mate came and took me to the Emergency Department.

My hand is black but not broken. My arm is similar. I have an achy shoulder from the seatbelt, and my body was a bit stiff for a day or two. But how amazing is that?

All good people. No arguments or blaming. She simply didn’t see me.

Right now I’m sorting insurance and hoping I get paid out enough to get something that will work for us. I’m currently driving a rental 2016 Mazda 3, keyless, and the handbrake is a switch. It smells like clean.

All in all, much gratitude, some sadness, and a few more things to do in my day.

We Need a Socialist Party

Published August 22, 2017 by insufficient mums

International Socialists

000abd77-1500 The MP as revolutionary: Bernadette Devlin

By Shomi Yoon

In January 1972 Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, 25-year old MP for Mid Ulster elected on an ‘independent socialist’ ticket, crossed the floor of the House of Commons in the British Parliament and punched Home Secretary Reginald Maudling in the face.  He, a Conservative, had just spoken to Parliament blaming the deaths of “Bloody Sunday”, when British troops fired on demonstrators in the north of Ireland, killing thirteen, on the protestors themselves. Devlin, who had been a part of the civil rights movement in the North since she was a teenager, had been a part of the protest and was an eyewitness to the British military atrocity. She called her action in Parliament a “proletarian protest”. When asked by reporters if she would apologise to Maudling – the man slandering oppressed Catholic workers as terrorists – she said “I’m only sorry I didn’t…

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I Think We’re Alone Now

Published July 21, 2017 by insufficient mums

Did you know that I am never ever ever alone?

Not ever.

Not for 5 minutes. Not for 5 breaths.

There is always someone, whether of good of bad inclination, wanting something off me. Maybe food. Maybe transport. Maybe just my time.

If there is a clear moment during term time, that is demanded by the forms that need the filling, the things that need the fixing or the cleaning. Even getting an alone moment to do this shitty dross work is nigh on impossible.

Then I have friends who love me.

If you are my friend you already know that I cannot be your ‘only’ friend. That would be unwise. My availability for ‘friend things’ is restricted.

Feeling the pinch right now. Everybody wants a piece of me. Dammit I got my own shit I wanna get done.

And even if I didn’t have that impulse, I still want time to shower, to sit and breathe, to nap if I damn well want to.

I’m fekn over it really. I wanna upsticks and move to somewhere that no-one knows me. Or somewhere where there is no-one.

I want the chance to be lonely. To be so alone that I can have some writing time. To be so alone that some things are clean. To be so very totally alone that I have the impulse to go be with some folk for some time.

Only one place I can think of like this. And it calls me sometimes.

Maybe I’ll Leave

Published September 26, 2016 by insufficient mums

maybe-ill-leave
Sometimes Teen Elder is so convincing in her belief that I am a bad parent, that I need to take pause and look at it.

Sometimes I’m sure she bounces vilifications off teen younger, so they can present a united hateful front.
With their father’s projection of evilness onto me as a backdrop for their worldview, I become the source of every problem, and the one responsible for every solution.
And I’m tired.

Perhaps if I wasn’t doing anything else with my life? If I was just sitting at home on my bum being evil…

But no – I got this life thing that occupies most of my time. And it is somewhat challenging in and of itself.
This week has been particularly shit.

But then, I say that about a lot of weeks, as they pile one atop the other in an epic monument to just how shitty life can get.

However, this week has been the frosting on the top.

I find the urge to pack the car and go becoming increasingly strong. After all, who would miss me?

My own life is reduced to the tiny shreds of time I can commit to friends and pursuits that keep me alive.

The life I give to my children has no value. I pick the things up, clean the dirt up, and get in the way of what they want to do. They’re convinced they’d be better off without me, and treat me in appropriateness to this desire.
So why the hell am I here?

Parenting is hard. Holding my ground – keeping the line. Not under-reacting too often. Not overreacting too often.

Trying to maintain some sort of life of my own is hard. But if I do nothing that feeds me, I have nothing left to give. Too tired to go out. Too tired to stay in.

Everything financial is hard. I take consolation in the fact that it used to be harder. I don’t look at the future.

I am a ‘good enough’ parent. With better supports and better finances I would be a better parent.
Why do I refuse to do all the things for my children? While accused by my ex-husband of laissez faire parenting, and of some sort of abuse/neglect/unfair distillation by my kids. Because they need to learn to expect to do some of the things themselves.

Why do I hold the line during emotional manipulation that would bring a Saint to tears? Because I want to teach them that emotional manipulation doesn’t work. Ever.

Why do I teach them to do school subject that they love, while letting go of the ones they show talent in but are not passionate about? So their lives form around things they love.

Why do I focus on their social skills and navigating the choices they make in life above school grades and academic results? Because that is what this set of children need.
Why do I do these time-consuming, exhausting and challenging things for them, when they resent me for existing, at best?

Good question.

I would like to run away. To somewhere where I could sleep and sleep and sleep until I finally wasn’t tired anymore.

And once I wasn’t tired, I would write and draw and paint and read.

And voluntarily share time with friends, because I wouldn’t be struggling to find genuine time for them.

Trying to work out why I’m writing all this is like trying to work out why I’m still here.
There’s a lot of glib statements and affirmations that would tidy this up nicely, and make it look like a cohesive piece of writing.

But that’s just not how life is.

There’s a part of me that just wants to leap off a cliff, cos I’m not 100% convinced that I wont fly. ‘Reality’ has never been completely convincing to me.

And if I fall, would I even notice?

For the Moon

Published September 16, 2016 by insufficient mums

full-moon-crazy

Each month the Moon calls me
to walk the Earth
Yet here I sit
and walk my hearth
There are things out here that will keep you alive
See! I’ve put them here for you
Let go of the security
that keeps you bound
Show up!
Let the path lay bare before you
I can see
people breathing
in far off spaces
I’ve never met them
I never will
I have my children
So, I raise them
I love them
I do for them
I do with them
I teach them
And each month, another Moon
Up stakes and go
Here you will feel you will see you will be
You will do more than just survive
LIVE this life
But I’m here
Where I clean
And I struggle
And do my best
so my children may one day see the Moon
Yet every month the Moon calls me
to walk the Earth
And here I sit
and walk my hearth

In defence of choosing to be single

Published July 25, 2016 by insufficient mums

When I talk about choosing to be single (from age 47, no less) folk get real angry and defensive with me. They start to tell me how successful their own relationship has been. They tell me why I shouldn’t give up.amy-poehler-no
A lot of folk tell me that when they gave up looking for a partner was when they
met the right one. As if they haven’t read a word I’ve written. As if I’m talking about them.
And I’m left wondering why choosing to be single makes folk so defensive.

I was recently challenged by a friend, why is this (choosing to be single) so hard? Just do it.
There was some unspoken thing, that I shouldn’t speak about my decision to be single. Society and media and entertainment spend billions of dollars and zillions of hours telling us all we should be in a relationship and that is where true happiness lies. But if I write a sentence or two on choosing to be single, I should shut up. I’m obviously a challenge to something important here.

There is something thoroughly dismissive about the way people respond to me about my choice. And worse, a pressure not to talk about it at all.

I am writing as a woman who has (eventually) chosen to be single, because that is not the dominant narrative in society. I don’t believe I’m the only woman to make this choice, the only woman who writes about it, or the only woman who has experienc
ed what relationships have to offer and decided she wants none of it. Other women are out there, tolerating a relationship that doesn’t serve them, considering a commitment to being single, but without a roadmap. Without a guide. I am writing to tell those sisters why I chose this, why I choose this, and that it is a hard choice.

It is a hard choice. Women turn to other women for support in their relationships all the time. But if you turn to other women for support in how hard it is to be single, they will shut you down. They will knock you down. They will get dismissive – you just haven’t found ‘the one’ yet. Or, once I wasn’t looking for anyone, the right one came along.

All variations of the fairy stories we’ve been taught since birth.

Your soul mate is out there.

You’re too selective. You’re not giving anyone a chance.

You will attract what you deserve.

It will all be okay when you’re not sending out desperate vibes.

I am none of these things. I am a woman who has tasted the fruit, and found it disagrees with her.

I am not secretly attracted to other fruit.

I am not shopping for semi-adequate or bearable fruit.

I am a busy woman, with a busy life, and I will not compromise on fruit. I like it, but it upsets my life.

I get through life so much better without fruit.

I have to wonder whether the weird and strongly reactive responses I get to my life choice are because I am a woman.

I know heaps of men who have made the choice to be single. I don’t know how often they are challenged on this decision. I know I have single male friends who get set up on dates quite frequently. But I don’t think that anyone gets mad at them.

I think that, as a woman, when I decide to be single, I am shaking s
omething within my sisters. I am rattling a tree that was meant to be kept silenced.

I am saying, this world is not set up for single people, certainly not for single mothers. I have considered the dominant narrative, and met with some of it’s offerings. I have tasted some of its fruit, and found that it left me hungry. Or worse – poisoned.

And it would appear that many of my sisters do not like me saying this.

Maybe it would be okay if I were a gay woman – but I’m not.

Maybe it would be okay if I were an unattractive woman – but I’m not.

Maybe it would be okay if I were a financially secure woman – but I’m not.
But even given all the things that I’m not, I will still live the life that I choose.

My friend said sublimely empowering things the other day. She may be 10 years older than me – maybe less. But she offered me an acknowledgement of my reality. And that meant more to me than she could ever know. She said:

I am Never sharing my bed again, sharing the tv remote, sharing the couch to lie on, the computer, my own music to listen to in other word I love my own company, never get bored or lonely. I have never been as contented as the last 10 yrs when I stopped pretending I liked to live with someone. But I could use a cook occassionally”

And I adore her for sharing this.

Because society offers me a partner as a pacifier.
If I want love, I should partner up.
If I want sex, I should partner up.

If I want to share the financial burden, I should partner up.

If I want someone to take care of things around the house (because I am a small woman) I should partner up.

And yet, I’ve had some partners. I’ve had some husbands. And they never offered remedies for these ailments. Or if they did offer, they didn’t for long.

I am busy. I have three kids with unique challenges. I need t
o earn income, and run my house.

My experience of taking a partner into this mix is that I have one more person to look after, with their emotional, and sexual, and financial fragility.

This doesn’t even encompass the times I’ve given my all to support a partner, who unbeknownst to me actually meant me harm. Physically, or sexually, or financially.

Even if I discard the abusers from the conversation, I am still left with someone who eventually wont give a flying fuck for the wellbeing of me or my children, and will still expect me to wash their fucking socks.

Now here’s the thing. Here’s the real jab. I have been indoctrinated.

I have been taught by my life, and by fairytales, and media, and by womenfolk everywhere who need to believe the myths, that some day my prince will come. Someday someone is going to love you the way you always needed to be loved. If you’re slim enough. If you get your vibration correct. If you let go the baggage of your past. If you forgive those that have hurt you.

And it’s just not true!

I have sisters who have met their partner. They have met a man who means well, and isn’t too chicken to commit to seeing each other through life.

But my girls, that is a rare beast.

Because their narratives don’t support that behaviour.

I am fekn busy. I do not have time or inclination or patience to go looking for some rare beast.

But that myth is powerful. When I’m down, when I’m low, when I need to feel sexy, when I need to feel love – the myth is there as my God and my guide, telling me my life experience and the wisdom I’ve gained is worth nothing.

And when I turn to my sisters for support in my chosen path, responders tell me I’m closed, or bitter.

Sweet hopeful things, I’ve tasted the fruit, with open mind. I’ve even sought out different tastes from those I am used to. They disagree with me, my path, and my parenting.

I wish you all well in your own paths, but my encouragement for you to support me in mine is still there.