eeyore_grrl: (carey purple streaks)
Beneath the Surface



When I was teaching incarcerated minors or kids in rehab my class was always predominantly minority. And the teachers were always predominantly white. Does this make a difference? Yup. Race perceptions are alive and well in America’s youth, particularly America’s disenfranchised youth.

Let me start by telling you that I am a pale blue eyed woman that generally looks younger than my age. Over the decade or so working with my kids I’ve had many conversations with them. They assume that I am white and therefore grew up “rich” or at least middle-class and knew no childhood pain. They start with a wall up. They start with not trusting me, this woman who *clearly* has nothing in common with them, no possibility of understanding them.

Once, back in New York, my mother came to pick me up at school. My classroom of girls saw her and said, “that can’t be your mom. She’s so dark.” I reminded them that I had already told them my mom was half-puerto rican. They were stunned. By this point my kids already liked me, well, most of them, but realization that my mom was dark skinned and my grandmother spoke spanish natively opened up a new level of innate respect for me. I was one of them. That goes a long way with my kids.

Since then I tell new classes about my tenuous connection to them sooner, since it opens this door. Does it really make me more like them? Not really, but it forges the beginning of a relationship that I can open further so that they can spend more of their energy learning from me instead of fighting the great war of us versus them that they have fought for so long.

I’m not above using my genealogy and history as a way to get my students to open up. By the time they get to me they have often given up on themselves and have settled into the believe that they are “stupid” and will never learn anything. If telling them that I have similarities to them and wearing sleeves short enough to show off my tattoos helps them settle back into the role of student that society has stolen from them, I’m totally going to use it to help the classroom. To them this shared background means understanding, means I get “it” to some degree, even if they have to peer under the surface to see me in this light. And then I get to see beneath the “thug” surface so many of them have cultivated for years and find the great kids hiding in there.


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This was written for Live Journal Idol Exhibit B. This week is an intersection with [livejournal.com profile] meepalicious Please read it too http://meepalicious.livejournal.com/1666294.html. Voting information here: http://www.livejournal.com/poll/?id=1926727.
eeyore_grrl: (carey purple streaks)
Voting for this week at http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/662330.html


			shadow children

they haunt me at night
the ones i never birthed
the ones i lost
the three pregnancies gone awry

i love my son more than poetry can explain --
but still, i’m haunted by my shadow children
	the ones started
                                         but never born
 	the ones 
		   non-existent 

sometimes, in the middle of the night, when sleep is foreign
i hear footsteps, i name names
i wonder
	   what my shadow children would sound like, be like
			who they would become

then the rest of the world awakens
	my son requests breakfast and gives me hugs and kisses
		and i live           now

in the daylight i put my shadow children to sleep
	hoping they stay there

     i’ve shed too many tears

-------


I feel like I’m telling the same story, time and time again. And, truth be told, I am. After my last miscarriage I had a tubal ligation. My pregnancies were rough on me, losing weight, vomiting, lethargy, hip pain, I had it all. My miscarriages took an even more emotional toll.


I don’t want to be a one story girl, I don’t want to be, “oh eeyore_grrl, the one with the miscarriages.”


One thing I learned in my four attempts at actual pregnancy is that 1 in 10 pregnancies are lost in miscarriage. 10%. That is a larger number than I knew. Partly because we don’t talk about it. We aren’t allowed to grieve publicaly.


We are “told” that you don’t tell people you are pregnant until you are past the danger line of the first trimester, the time that most of these miscarriages occur. I played by that rule for my first pregnancy and when I miscarried I had limited support because so few people had known about it in the first place. My 2nd pregnancy resulted in my beautiful and brilliant (of course he is, and of course I may be biased) son.


The third and fourth pregnancies (dear god, I’ve been pregnant four times) were harder. I knew what I was losing. I knew that my chances were getting slimmer and slimmer of having that two child family we planned on. The last one had a heartbeat. Before it no longer did.


And with that we chose, I chose, to close the option of a 2nd child with finality, a tubal ligation.  I’ve heard others say they didn’t heal from miscarriage until they managed to carry to term. It took my son to emotionally heal from my first miscarriage and I won’t ever have that chance from the last two. It’s not just me.


It’s not just me. Therefore I tell this story, time and time again. It’s not just you out there alone in your grief. There is an all too silent choir of grief in this world and I’m raising my voice. This is how I grieve.

---
video at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rSx9veY2qM&feature=youtu.be

--

This has been an entry for Live Journal Idol: Exhibit B Week 4. Read more entries at http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/661052.html.  I will update with voting link when it arrives.
eeyore_grrl: (carey purple streaks)

There are a million different types of mistakes to be made. Mistakes of a dire nature, crimes of passion or planned thought, unprotected sex, words spoken that should have been kept in, or trying to be popular because someone said you should. Don’t forget maxing out the credit card as soon as you get it, or taking out a payday loan that you know is bad business, but it seemed better than defaulting on your car loan, that ended up repossessed anyway. Opening that second bottle of wine when, really, one is more than enough.


Don’t forget mistakes in love...but are they mistakes? Are loves loved and lost mistakes, road bumps, or just what it takes to make the real one, the right one, take?


---


Tanya was the air I breathed, the blood in my veins, the … well you get the idea, she was all the clichés. From our first tipsy admission of attraction and sneaking that first kiss in a dingy college bar bathroom to morning’s afterglow.


We did it all the right way. Falling like a love poem into the ocean, or some other overdone mixed-metaphor that doesn’t quite work. We did it all wrong. Over time we loved. We lusted. We cheated. We cried. We talked. We did it all. Not necessarily in that order, and in only the way people finding newness at twenty-one can manage. All those hormones and freedom. Graduation right around the corner. The big scary adult world ahead of us. It was a love unique in my life, a love unique in the world, it was a love doomed and poorly timed.


In the end she was all wrong for me in the most vital of ways, she was still so very closeted, refusing to hold hands in Greenwich Village, blocks from Stonewall, in 1996. A time and place where our safety was fairly certain. Nevermind telling her family. She was the golden girl and refused to break their stereotypes of her.


She called me when I moved across the state; We tried to make it last, make it a future. She called with a man in her bed, lonely and missing me. She called me out on things I said and words I didn’t. She wanted forever but refused to admit to me now. She threw my weaknesses back at me one night as dark gave in to the never ending battle with daylight. She hurt me with my own words. She’s a therapist, she knew what she was doing. She knew the power of manipulation. She knew the power of words over sticks and stones.


I moved without a forwarding address.


How much do I miss Tanya? A fair bit, to be honest. She was smart as a whip, fun, and I did love her. We were all wrong for each other, or maybe it was just the wrong time? Maybe she wasn’t a mistake after all, who can tell at the time? And hindsight is sometimes blurry, but I wish her well. I wish her health. I wish her honesty. I wish her love.





--------
Read more: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/658326.html?view=67376790#t67376790 I'll post a link to the vote page when it happens.


Voting here: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/659933.html
eeyore_grrl: (carey purple streaks)
          You Gave Everything you Possibly Could

you gave me all the hints and clues
every chance to run
you showed me all your quirks
honest to the marrow

i told you all my stories
all my sad and all my pain
i gave you all the hints and clues
every chance to run

and here we are in wedded bliss
two days past the vows

you gave everything you possibly could
to show how much you love
i gave everything i possibly could
to show how much i love 

and now we walk forward into life
hand in hand
and with our son
creating every chance to love
honest to the marrow

honest
             to the marrow




and a video from the airport:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgjHILJSG20&feature=youtu.be

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