Everyday Abolition/Abolition Every Day


As a survivor I’m told that prisons are there to protect me. Keep me safe. My deepest desire is supposed to be incarceration. I’m supposed to want him to suffer, to pay. But I never wanted that. I wanted some healing. For me and for him. But you aren’t supposed to say that. You aren’t supposed to say that you love the person who harmed you. You get accused of loving him more than you love yourself. Like you can’t do both. You are silently asked to choose. Your heart and your history, or your healing. You are told that healing means seeing him for what he really is, a rapist. But I knew him. I knew how much more he was. I loved him still. He was my friend, and being his friend meant I knew the ways he had already suffered. I wanted him to finally get the…

View original post 1,971 more words

Posted by: mawkinberd | November 18, 2009

EGD (ominous capitals and all)

Tomorrow, I go to the doctor for an EGD, which is basically a procedure where they give you babble juice and put a scope down your throat to see if you have things like hiatal hernias, serious acid damage, peptic ulcers, or throat cancer. In my case, it’s been extreme GERD that has caused them to take such a drastic measure; I can’t even get through the day sitting up and eating very little without having that bright, dirty taste in my mouth. I’m understandably nervous about it, even though I had this procedure done once two years ago and some change. Then, it was because they wanted to make sure that there was nothing besides my gallbladder that was causing my distress. Now, there are a host of other possibilities.

My father-in-law keeps prodding my poor husband into worries. He’s convinced that I have throat cancer, which is a bit absurd for someone my age, especially since I was screened relatively recently. Even knowing this and my history, my poor husband is very concerned. We’ve been married for over 2 1/2 years, but it usually seems like yesterday that we first kissed. Yes, we still act like newliweds on occasion. It gives my friends plenty of reason to poke fun, but we have such a good relationship, that my husband has particular problems when worrying about my health. He’s making himself sick while he worries about how sick I am.

I’ve been pretty nervous most of the week, but that’s mostly because this is a rescheduled appointment. I was involved in a seven car pile-up on the interstate just before the last one, and I had pretty much psyched up before that was cancelled. Now, it’s the waiting that’s the problem. I’m sick of having to be concerned that we may have to wait too long and allow too much damage to happen before we know what’s actually wrong. Best case, it’s an ulcer. That’s an easy fix, now that they know that it’s caused by bacteria and can be treated with antibiotics. But at my size, one can’t take it for granted that you don’t have a hernia. It’s far too simple to get one. And as far as throat cancer, I know I don’t have it. It simply isn’t a real concern for me. I was checked too recently for that to be a problem.

So, strangely enough, the only thing that is really worrying me at this point is that I can’t take my panic medicine before I go in. Strange thing to worry about for some, but I hate needles, and that will probably be the most difficult part of the procedure. That, and trying to reassure my poor husband.

Posted by: mawkinberd | November 16, 2009

They say it’s your birthday…

Well, it was my son’s birthday last week, so we had a party Saturday at Kiroli Park in the afternoon. It was so much fun! We had several people who weren’t able to make it, but we had several people that we had not been aware would be able to make it, so that was very fun. Joe responded so well to all the attention. I was afraid, since he is not normally in the spotlight often, that he might get a bit overwhelmed. He is, after all, just one year old. I was worried for nothing. He did a fantastic job hugging people, waving goodbye, saying words every once in a while, and stuffing his entire cake in his mouth by the handful for the adoring crowds. Just as cute as a pin!

I learned a few things about throwing parties, as well. For one thing, a birthday party is *very* difficult to plan in two weeks’ time. One needs at least a month or so if one wishes to have a theme, as we did, and don’t count on anyone to follow that theme, either. Plus, time flies so quickly, you must must MUST keep it simple. Don’t assume you have enough time to have party games along with presents and a cake and meeting and greeting all the guests and having dinner. It just simply won’t work! Getting people organized when they arrive at different times is like herding geese; counter-productive, frustrating, and just plain stupid. It simply won’t work unless you have a lot of kids and *all* of the parents are cooperating, and how often does that happen, particularly for someone as young as Joe?

If you had asked me a week ago, my criteria for the party going off without a hitch and being perfect would have been quite a bit different from what happened Saturday, but strangely enough, that’s exactly what we got; a perfect birthday party for my son. I can hardly believe it! Now, about that Star Wars theme…. 😀

Posted by: mawkinberd | November 12, 2009

Shout out

Since I don’t really have an audience in mind for this blog, I thought I might ought to give a shout out to nobody. You see, nobody reads my blog right now, and that makes me feel pretty good about him/her. Reading someone else’s thoughts is a kind of intimacy, if the writer and reader both allow that to come about. And since nobody seems to care about that closeness to my thoughts, I figured I’d give him/her something to chew on.

I’m very fond of you. I feel like I know you a little better each time I see your hits on my page. It comforts me to know that you care enough to read what I have to say. As long as you care about what’s going on in my life, I have you to count on as a confidant. I’d like to read your blog and see what you think about, but since your posts don’t link to a blog, I suppose I’ll have to wait for that. I can tell you things I can’t tell my husband, my close friends, my boss, my son, whatever. It’s a precious gift, for you to offer a listening ear (or eye… whatever). Maybe you could leave me some more feedback, and I’d be proud that you replied. But maybe that’s for later. In the meantime, I’m glad you visited.

(In case you’re worried about my sanity, it’s just my warped sense of humor. Sure, nobody came. But like all forms of communication, there is still a sense of relief when one allows thoughts to become words to become form. There’s therapy in saying what’s in your mind, even if you are talking to my friend here. No matter what, you’re not alone.)

Posted by: mawkinberd | November 11, 2009

Inside me

Sometimes, the expectations of the people around me are so dislocating as to make me feel like I am two, or three, or twelve people, all trapped in one body and all fighting for their time in the sun. One can consciously make choices about which expectations to honor and which to ignore or negate, but to have to do so every time is tiring and frustrating. I know that I have a few people that I attempt to honor with my time and efforts on a regular basis, but most people’s expectations I tend to ignore. Or do I?

Frankly, I’m rather appalled when I sit and listen to my internal voices, my good old judges, as one of my former teachers called them. And what appalls me even more is how often I hear those voices speaking with my own mouth, attempting to mold others to a useless form that was somehow pleasing to some bygone dictator who originally began the march of judging through the years. Things like, how dare you cut in line in front of me (how often does it really matter if I’m ahead in line?), or you can’t expect my respect while wearing that outfit (as if I ever deeply believed that clothes made the man), or why can’t you keep your darn child quiet? (as if all of us, at some point, didn’t wish we could wiggle and stomp and shout out to the world when we were told to hold still, be quiet, Do As You Are Told!!!).

What bothers me even more, as a daily survivor of panic attacks and depression, is how often I will catch those words of negation, of fear, and of degradation coming from those internal voices. I’ve actually started a little game with them when I am driving to and from work. If I start thinking about the horrible things that can happen if that truck over there just *happened* to have a tie-down break loose and drop all those logs in the road, I start telling myself to hush. It doesn’t really work, so I made a deal with my road panic voice. I told her that, should she begin to talk silly stuff, I won’t listen. If, however, she keeps me up on real hazards that I might be able to avoid, then I will listen and praise her astuteness. It sounds silly when you think about it, but believe it or not, it actually works. I now only have to remind that voice once at the beginning of each driving period of our deal, and I have few (if any) reminders of my scared driving past. Sweet relief, but strange backseat driving company.

Where did these expectations originate? When and where did I gain an internal voice that was so adamantly sure that I was going to die an awful death? I wish I knew the answer. So often, that huge, leaping shadow on the wall simply hides a cowering mouse, if only I could shed my light in the right direction. But until my lamp learns that direction, I am reduced to negotiation, flattery, and bald bribery of my own thoughts.

Now, if I can figure out how to use this to become a better parent, it’ll all be worth it, eventually.

Posted by: mawkinberd | November 11, 2009

Welcome to the nest!

Funny, isn’t it, how awkward the first post on a new blog can be? It’s almost like writing the first page of a new novel, magnified a hundred times. Or maybe that’s just me, since I am a perfectionist and would much rather have my first post be the benchmark, the post that makes you laugh and cry and feel like a better person. This urge to be profound can sometimes lead me in the direction of making profoundly stupid mistakes, like attempting to make my first post on a new blog the most important summation of all my intelligence and readability.

Absolutely ridiculous.

A first blog post is just that: a first, an introduction, a way to say hello to the world, to inform the people who are so interested later on that they actually go back to my (humble) blog beginnings, just to see how it all started. Profundity? Probably not. But in the meantime, the tone is set, the line is drawn, the mark is made, and the beginning is delineated. And isn’t that what we really want? Don’t we want to have a beginning, not an epitome? Not a height, not a end-all, be-all, but a place to start?

Perhaps the best thing I can do in my first post to my new blog is to allow myself to say, ok. I have permission to begin. I have done the hardest work. Now, I can just enjoy the creative process. And that, my friends, is when the (blogging) fun begins.