how

How

How can we live

In a time where we see white men

high five

For killing a 16 year old boy Paul O’Neal

How can we have sons

Sleep next to us

And not see in this boy

Our boy

What is it that breaks the humanity in us

When we hear of yet

Another

Black boy killed

And turn our hearts away

From seeing our sons

While instead crying our denials

That we are color blind

That we value all lives

When what we really mean to say is

But his

Not his

Not 5 year old black boys Kodi Gaines

Witness to his mothers murder

Bearing wounds on his small body

Not 12 year old sons Tamir Rice

Killed for toys

The black boys

Who don’t get to grow into men

We close our hearts

We close our eyes

We hold our own

And deny.

Deny.

Deny.

That the white sons we raise

Grow into the men who high five.

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Korryn Gaines

Korryn Gaines

Say Her Name

This Mother

Who tells her son, ‘there is no wrong answer’ and ‘don’t be afraid’

This Mother

Whose courage, strength, fierce, defending

Her life, her child

Is now used

Twisted, manipulated

Against her.

As if any other mother would have done different.

White Silence is Violence

White Mothers who Shrink away

A lesson for in privilege we live

With our sons protected by their skin, by our skin

And our inaction

Allows more black mothers, black sons, black daughters

To be terrorized by the same who offer us in whiteness protection.

online may 29, 2014

found this “so eating lunch at my desk thinking thoughts. i really love facebook. and sometimes i feel shamed and guilted for doing so (particularly by older family). but what i love is the connection. the place where people share and some people share things that hurt and align with how things are in the real world but in a lot of ways i feel like there is this reaching profound beauty in things people share. i follow some people i’ve never met. i want to. i want to sit and talk and share and think together. but in person exchanges we’re always so busy with ‘supposed to’s what we ‘should do’ and we miss seeing each other because of social ‘norms’. and even with things like sharing thoughts, ideas, words, parts of ourselves online those who take advantage of it are never seen as those we should change but it is us dreamers who eagerly and earnestly want to share who are told we should not we should change to ‘protect’ ourselves. which is such the old narrative of silencing in order to maintain a broken system. so suffice to say i appreciate you who share with me. i appreciate those i learn from. i appreciate this even if it isn’t perfect.”

compassion

what is compassion? what does it really mean to any of us? how does it impact our lives? our world?

it’s a value people strive for, to be, to care for others with compassion. it’s in mission statements, and value statements, and religious books, and laws. compassion.

but true compassion. it’s hard. it isn’t a simple feeling. an idea. but a constant thought process.

the opposite of compassion is judgement. harsh assumption.

compassion is not always taking things with our first impression, at face value but working at and thinking of ways to understand the other person. what experiences they may have had, what issues they may have faced, what would have to happen to us for us to behavior in such a manner. it’s difficult. it takes removing ourselves from normal, conditioning responses. stepping back, stepping outside of how we want to react how we feel we should react and reminding ourselves that others too live lives as varied as our own and that if we act with compassion we assume not the worst but the best and give others the opportunity to be that best.

with compassion we can find a way to understand each other even if we don’t agree. we can find lessons even in the difficult and connection even in those who have lived experiences vastly different than our own.

allowing compassion to replace feelings of disdain, judgement, even hate. it releases us from the power of those emotions they are still real, valid emotions but instead of consuming us we can use them to fuel our compassion and that gives us insight both to ourselves and those we struggle against.

‘true compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. therefore, our compassion for others does not change even if they behave negatively. our feelings of responsibility for others gives rise to a wish to help them actively overcome their problems’ ~ dalai lama

fat. pregnant. no representation.

i’m 13 weeks pregnant now. after 4 early term miscarriages (all before 8 weeks) this is a pretty big deal!

one thing that i’ve been noticing i’m struggling with outside of the morning sickness, exhaustion, and food aversions is some body image stuff reemerging. for years i struggled with my fatness. i fought it. like it was an enemy i had to beat back into submission. i hated my body. i would punish it for normal, healthy cravings. i would push it past enjoying movement and exercise into a battle i had to win. challenging that and changing that was hard. it took a lot. and it is a constant narrative that my body, fat, round, rolls, curves, all of it is beautiful, healthy, and strong in the face of all sorts of external narratives that present exclusively thin bodies as wanted, normal, desirable, healthy, even it seems the only bodies that matter or count in this society. searching out and finding positive representation helped but more than that coming to trust my body, eating the food when i’m hungry and moving when i want to move, that has helped me so much.

and now with pregnancy. despite my weight being stable for years – not gaining and not losing. now i find myself weighing daily. celebrating losses due to morning sickness and aversions. even struggling with thoughts of restriction (which at this point i can dismiss but that they even present themselves shakes me). the focus on how much weight is ‘acceptable’ for an obese woman like myself to gain is making me start to disassociate from my body. and that i think is starting my struggle again with acceptance of my body.

along with those thoughts, every picture – online, in brochures, at the dr’s office, on pintrest, and baby/pregnancy websites – is of a thin mother with a cute baby bump. and i feel, i look the same fat body that i want to love and it is starting to be a struggle

and i think the mental hang up from my previous csection with the vertical incision that cuts my lower belly in half so one side hangs lower than the other. and the sadness that seems to seep and hold on in the distended belly from the 4 losses with hormone fluctuations and no natural or normal end just abrupt, cut short, processes of expelling miscarried potential life.

all these things push in on the safe space i created for my own existence to be valid and real and matter even if or because of my body with its fat, its bigness. i’m scared to lose that while i grow a new life. i’m mad that it is under threat in what should be a happy time. i’m incredibly grateful for a friend who sent me maternity clothes so that i have comfortable clothes to wear which helps immensely. i’m trying to focus on the good things i am doing, the good things my body is but friends i’m also scared. of avoiding photos because i don’t look like the other mothers. of delving back into the circle of self hate that is so dark and difficult to emerge from. and so i write this. to reach out for help and to reach out to others who may be struggling too. we can’t be alone.

well. we’re doing this again.

Dollar Store Pregnancy Test

Yesterday I realized my period was late. Since the miscarriage I’ve had two cycles 24 days apart. I counted and yup it should have fallen on the Friday the 31st the full moon, the blue moon. I was at 30 days. So I drove to the dollar store and bought two of these. Then my 10 year old and I went to McDonalds so she could get an ice cream and I could pee on the stick. Right away it came back with a line.

I had to pick my leo up from work and so I packed it up and drove there. On the way I asked our kid to finish her ice cream by the river when we arrived she jumped out of the car and he got in. I gave him the test. He said ‘you’re pregnant’. Only a few days before I had told him I wanted a baby. It’s surreal. When we got home and climbed the stairs he said ‘we’re going to have to get the crib back’. It was real too.

Today I went to the lab and had a blood draw. My HCG number is good at 538.3 – the highest it’s been in the pregnancies I’ve tracked out of the now 6 pregnancies I’ve had. I already have a list of names. And am so hopeful that this time this pregnancy test will mean we have a baby in 9 months. In April. In the springtime.

And I’m scared. So scared. Both of the emotional horror that is miscarriage but also of seeing it through and delivering…that maybe…this secondary infertility had been for a reason and something tragic might happen. And all along the way my lovely anxiety riddled brain will fill in all the worst case scenarios while my hope filled heart will chime in with all the reasons why we keep moving forward. And somehow. Maybe. It will be ok.

Fundraiser for Gas Money!

Happy Monday folks!

This month of August will be a busy month for me – despite being unemployed (and looking for work!) I am busy working with some volunteer organizations. This weekend August 7-9 I will be driving to Pierre, SD for training to become a Family-to-Family teacher with NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) – this program helped me immensely while in crisis with my husband’s mental health issues and I look forward to teaching and sharing that with others.

Secondly I will be traveling the middle of August to Tennessee with Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) training http://www.showingupforracialjustice.org/ where I hope to learn more to organize and support changes in racial dialogues here in South Dakota. I’ll be driving with Alice and have places to stay with friends along our route so our major expense will be gas.

So if you can spare money to help me make it there and back we would greatly appreciate it! If you contribute at all we will send you a post card if you send me your address. Paypal gift to colintibbetts@sio.midco.net

Thank you!

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