Poetry: Countries

I wrote this poem in 2016 when I was reflecting on how different my children were. At the time, my middle son was going through a difficult time and it was hard to deal with.

my 3 sons in July of 2021

Living with my three children

Is like living in three different countries

My oldest would be Singapore

With strict rules and laws, 

He hates flaws in himself 

And others and is unforgiving

It’s challenging to live in 

Singapore

My middle child would be a war torn ridden country 

Like Syria

That’s currently filled with constant chaos,

He is trying to find himself in a place 

He feels unwanted and lost

It is an unpredictable struggle

To reside in Syria

My youngest child would 

Be an established and friendly country like Spain

He is vibrant, laid back yet energetic 

Occasionally you hear about political protests 

That reminds me of his occasional tantrums when

His life feels unjust

It is almost a predictable and easy existence to 

Live in Spain 

Reflection: My son isn’t a Hero, He’s a Person

April means Autism Awareness and Acceptance month and I felt compelled to write about a realization I recently had about my oldest son, D who has autism. My realization was that he’s not a hero, he’s a person. I want to say that first and foremost, I got permission from him to write this post about him because at some point in the journey, it became his story to tell. I also got his permission because I’m trying to be better about boundaries when it comes to writing about the people in my life. I could actually write more about boundaries but that’s another blog post.

My oldest son was diagnosed at the age of 5 and I was 22. I’ve written about him in a previous post about how he was my hero because of all of the obstacles he’s conquered and how proud I am of him because of that. Here’s that blogpost:

My Amazing Hero

One thing that I didn’t address in that post was how receiving this diagnosis meant me receiving a new identity, a mom with a child on the autism spectrum. Or we are often called autism warrior moms or whatever is trendy at the time. From the age of 22, this identity was deeply ingrained within me. I’ve lost count of how many articles or books I’ve read about autism. I’ve lost count of how many parent teacher conferences or IEP meetings I’ve attended having to fight or advocate for services for my son. I’ve lost count of how many therapists or counselors my son has had. You get my point. Being a mom to a child with autism is not easy. It’s hard, really hard. I’ve mentioned before how my child started to flourish between 3rd and 4th grade and he went on to be successful in his academic career throughout high school. Throughout all of this, I didn’t realize it but I put my child on a pedestal. I don’t know if it was the BPD or me being super excited about my son’s progress. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good and healthy thing to encourage my son and support him; but at some point idealizing him put an unhealthy amount of pressure that started to feel like a burden. I won’t say what happened next in this story but I will say that he’s now thriving as a regular 23 year old. I realized this week that at some point I stopped being an autism warrior mom. I think that I understood this sometime in 2016 after my son turned 18 but really accepted it this week. It’s weird when I used to start talking about myself, being a autism warrior mom would be one of the first things I would share and now I don’t feel the need to. When someone who knows me and my son mentions he’s quiet, I’m just like “well he’s just shy”. Like I first mentioned in this post; it’s just no longer my story to share. When I talk about my son, I just say “ he’s D, pretty awesome most of the time but kind of annoying at times.” I’ve also let go of this idealization of him I had. I still admire him and love him for who he is but he’s not a hero; he’s a person.
He’s a person with his own set of issues and insecurities. He’s a person with goals and plans for the future. And talking to him, he wants to be seen that way. I also want to mention that I’m not speaking for all the moms with children with autism, I’m speaking just for myself. Getting here has been difficult but it’s been an important part of the process of me becoming not just a better mother, but a better person as well.

me and my oldest son sometime in March

Poetry: The Beauty of Legos

I wrote this poem in 2019 when I was reflecting on a past memory of my oldest son playing with Legos shortly after he was diagnosed with autism in 2003. At the time I was 22 and absolutely clueless at what his future would look like and it scared me. I was also clueless as to how to help him but knew that it would be up to bear the responsibility of making the right choices for so he could succeed. Being a parent in itself is rough; but being a parent a child with special needs is a different kind of rough.

My oldest son in 2003

Legos are scattered everywhere,
as he tries to find pieces that perfectly fit
Legos of different sizes, shapes, and colors
waiting to be put together by a little perfectionist
Legos that help create the universe
that swirls around in his head
Legos that help bridge him to others
Legos that make him seem almost typical
to outsiders
Legos-beautiful-legos
Hard to decipher
the puzzle of what the pieces will become
just little its creator

Poetry: Dead to ME

I wrote this about Matt in 2002. He stopped contacting me after his visit in November and I was beyond pissed. So I did what I normally did after feeling rejected and abandoned, I devalued him to the point that he became dead to me.

it does

You’ve become dead to me
That day, you decided to leave
And again decided to forget
Everything you had said
That you’d try your hardest
To give us your best
That you’d love to
Be there for us on cue
That we really are special
And pain on us wouldn’t befall
But once again, I was wrong
You sing the same deadbeat song
But thankfully, this time, I was prepared
For you to once again fail
So don’t ever come back
And pretend to be sad
Because you’ve become nothing to us
When once again, you left us in the dust

Turning 40

My last year in my 30s ended up with me being an essential worker during a pandemic while being a mom of three and being involved in two different romantic liaisons. I could look back on what I have not accomplished in my life and be sad but instead I’ll focus on my growth and my goals for the next year. I’ve made a lot of progress this year both financially and personally. I’ve improved my credit score by 100 points by working 2 jobs and paying debt off. Also for the first time in my adult life I’m in a healthy romantic relationship with a wonderful man. This time last year I didn’t think either was possible and at times I don’t feel like I deserve all of the good fortune in my life. As I look forward to my next year and my new decade, I hope to really focus on becoming a confident driver, submit my writing everywhere and try to get published, and continue to work my two jobs to save up to buy 2 houses. I’m kind of excited for how the next decade looks like. My thirties taught me I can survive what I once thought would not be survivable. During my thirties, I felt myself merely surviving. In this next decade, I look forward to thriving.

February 22, 2021

Poetry: Thanks to You

I wrote this in February 2002 about my first baby daddy. He had started to be in contact with when he got the child support order. I obviously had a lot of residual resentment and trauma and blamed him for losing part of adolescence.

monsters that leave you with trauma

She was the girl you left behind
with nothing but a baby
and a desperate hope to keep her alive

She was innocent, naive, and untouched
until the night she fell into your sexy scent,
your empowering embrace, and a world full of promises
She trusted, believed, and dreamed

Thanks to your unexpected departure
that naive girl you left behind
blossomed into a woman of depth, strength and wisdom
beyond her 21 years
She will lust but she can’t ever love
She wants to trust but finds herself full of doubt
She wishes to fill herself with guilt and morals
but has learned to have no scruples

So don’t try to come back and expect her
to believe in your crocodile tears
or your most insincere apologies
that girl you left behind
Grew up into a woman
at a surreal speed thanks to you

Poetry : Dreams

I wrote this poem in late 2007 when I was depressed about my life. Again, instead of going to therapy, I just wrote a poem about it. Lol.

Tainted dreams 

of life is what

I have left.

A career of abstract 

nothingness lies

before me. 

Chaotic and sensitive off springs

I must put before me.

Frigidity and

senility in my

marital bed lie

next to me. 

Is this it? Is this 

what is left 

of my 

foolish childhood dreams.

Scattered dreams

in my past 

become failures

of my present.

Will my soul

ever recuperate

from the cost?

Will I ever be that

hopeful again?

Poetry: Lame

This is another poem about the bio dad of my oldest son. Obviously I had a lot of anger directed at him that I should have gone to therapy for but instead I just wrote a lot of angry poetry. Ha.

You don’t know him and chances are 

 You never will

You could’ve been somebody real in his life

But you BLEW IT! 

So now is the time to say 

Goodbye forever. 

Poetry: The Difference

I wrote this in 2006 after I was reflecting my first years of being a mother to my eldest child who I had at 17. Becoming a mother at such a young age didn’t make me the best parent and at times I still tried to act my age and party a lot even though I was a parent. It used to eat me up inside but I’ve come to terms that I did the best I could under the circumstances.

me and my oldest in 1999 when I was 18

Late nights at the club

Drunk and dancing-you

Singing lullabies

Until he fell asleep-I

Getting ass from 

an unknown stranger-you

Looking for monsters under the bed

and wishing them away-I

Waking up in an unknown place

With a helluva hangover-you

Waking up from little hands 

Shaking my shoulders-I

You and I=me

Me =two different truths

About the way your childhood

 Was seen

Poetry: Don’t

I wrote this poem 2002 and it was yet another poem inspired by the bio dad of my oldest child. For many years. I had so much unresolved rage and anger about how he abandoned my son and used poetry as a way to process it.

Don’t even try to understand me

You don’t even know me

I was born with your DNA

But to you, I have nothing to say

I once was a babe, a boy

And now a man

Don’t pretend to give a damn

I’ve done grown up to become

A man unlike you that doesn’t run

No thanks to you “Dad” 

You left I was a mere lad 

So please go on on your way

I can’t stand the sight of you

Another day

Poetry: License

I wrote this poem in 2002 about my oldest son’s bio dad. I had a lot of angry emotions about how he abandoned him.

me with my oldest son circa 1999

A license to create is what shouldn’t

Be given to those who don’t know how to 

Appreciate their child’s laughter 

Or comfort their high pitch cries

A license to create is what shouldn’t 

Be given to those who don’t understand 

What it takes to be an example to 

Those that descend from them 

A license to create is what shouldn’t 

Be given to those who leave children 

In the dust to follow their own desires 

Without looking back on their offspring’s 

 sad little face that whimpers,

“Daddy, come back”

Unexpected: Pregnancy Loss

On July 27th, 2010 I  was in the room with the ultrasound tech and she put the gel on my belly. I was there to hear the sound of my baby’s heartbeat for the first time. I had waited a whole two weeks to hear it since I had booked the appointment. My boyfriend had dropped me off at the doctor. I was alone and the anticipation was killing me. The ultrasound tech was moving the wand every which way and had this weird look on her face. I asked her if everything was okay. She told me, “I really need to get the doctor”. I pleaded with her to tell me what was wrong. And she said, “I can’t find the heartbeat” I was in shock and numb. Then she told me to go out to the waiting room and the Dr would come get me. I remember how the waiting room was full of pregnant women and I started to sob hysterically. Thankfully a receptionist took pity on me and took me to another sparsely populated area. The Dr came and got me and told me the embryo stopped growing at 8 weeks and I was supposed to be 10 weeks along. She showed me the ultrasound. She also gave me a choice -either a D&C or let the miscarriage come naturally. I had just started a job in June and hadn’t accumulated much sick leave so I opted to have the D&C. I had all of these feelings of shame and guilt because I had seriously thought about terminating the pregnancy and I wondered if I had wished it true. I felt guilty because I had gotten blackout drunk a day before finding out I was pregnant. Also, I felt like a failure because my body had not done what it was supposed to do. I felt like somehow I deserved all of this pain and that God was punishing me. Getting through the rest of that day and putting up my facade of strength and having to tell my 2 kids along with other family members and friends was horrible. 

The next morning I went to have a D&C and I woke up crying from the procedure. The nurse that was next to me told me that everything happens for a reason and to trust God. “Everything happens for a reason” and “Trust in GOD” and “It wasn’t the right time” would be among the  few sayings that I would get from well meaning friends, family, and co-workers. I buried my grief in exercising and eating healthy irrationally believing that it was my body’s fault that I had the miscarriage. It didn’t help that my boyfriend was kind of blaming me as well because of that whole blackout drunk incident early in the pregnancy. Even though the logic in my head told me that pregnancy loss is a common occurrence that happens to 1 in 4 women with no real rhyme or reason for most of those pregnancies;my irrational thoughts took over for a bit. What helped me through the grief other than exercising was joining a support group and being able to process that grief and feel validated in my feelings with other people that had experienced the same thing. An experience like this changes you in a way that you remember who you were before the experience and after it.  Obviously I’ve healed from that experience but I still experience some sadness on that day. One interesting thing that happened 3 years ago when I came to work on July 27 was that there was a random “Happy Birthday” balloon by the entrance of my office building. I took it as a positive sign from the universe. 

I share this story because it is important to fight the stigma associated with pregnancy loss. It is also important for others to feel like they can share their stories without being judged.

Eliza Conquers Life: Moving Forward

Moving Forward

So last week, I started a second job at Kroger and I’m excited about it. I feel that with this job my life will finally start moving forward. My end goal is to be financially independent from my husband so I can separate from him. I know that sounds harsh but it’s been over between us for a while. I know that it will be hard trying to work anywhere from 60 to 70 hours a week but sometimes in America, you need a second job to move forward in life. I follow the examples from my hard working immigrant parents who have set this precedent for me. I’m tired of struggling and just getting by. These are my goals:
1) My first goal is to pay off debt I accumulated during my great depression of 2016 and 2017 . 2) My second goal is to build my credit score enough to get approved for a used car loan. Right now we only have one car and it’s rough.
3) Save up for a down payment for a car.
I know that I’m sacrificing time with my kids but since they’re older, they understand. Also, they deserve better than what we’ve been giving them and it’s up to me to take that initiative. This is part of my plan to make my life better for me and my kids. We’ll see how it goes.72225401_10101360389525912_839527301614927872_o

A New Journey

The last few months of 2017 have been a roller coaster of a ride from 3 job changes within a month to issues with my middle son. However one of the good things that happened was landing my current job in October of this year. I’m an administrative assistant for public health. Through this I was introduced to the keto low carb diet. I want to clarify that while the diet was highly recommended and there is a workplace wellness program for it; no employee is ever forced to do it. I researched it ,prepped my meals and started  doing the diet since October 16, 2017 and have gained already a few benefits like 11 pounds lost,loads of energy, and becoming super aware of the harmful processed foods I have been eating all of my life. I hadn’t had my labs drawn when I first started the diet but decided to do so today to hold myself way more accountable. So I had my blood drawn for labs, was weighed, and had measurements done  for the Workplace Wellness program to help monitor my progress on the diet.  I started the diet with great enthusiasm and for the most part maintained myself below 20 grams of carbs a day but lately I’ve been slipping off track due to the holiday seasons and life stressors. I think taking full advantage of the Workplace Program will renew my motivation for a healthier lifestyle the low carb way. I have various reasons for beginning this journey and continuing it that I will only discuss a few now.

IMG_20171213_080226_008
Me last week definitely feeling better after 2 months on Keto. 

My biggest reason for doing the keto diet is my health-both physical and mental. You see, I’ve suffered half my life from anxiety and depression and while I’m on medication and have gotten better at managing it, it’s simply not enough. I’m constantly reading articles on studies about how I should exercise or practice mindfulness or eat specific foods to help my serotonin levels and be “happy” . While I understand that it all can help; for me personally, a drastic change such as changing my diet needed to be done. For me, food was one of those comforts I would seek out in order to help me “feel better” after a bad day. I felt like I needed the white rice, french bread, potato chips, and tacos to help me survive. Obviously,I had a very unhealthy relationship with food and it got so bad this summer that I was at my heaviest at 179 lbs which is pretty heavy considering I’m 5’4. Being this overweight made my depression worst, my energy was drained every single day so bad that it was a struggle to get out of bed and function. I also could not keep up with my very active boys ages 12 and 6.The extra weight  also made my occasional hip pain worse to the point that some days I was limping around.  

20170520_192817
Me at my heaviest at 179 pounds. 

I knew that at this point I was at risk for other factors due to family history, my maternal grandmother has had  diabetes with complications since she was in her 50’s, I remember watching her test her blood sure since I was little and it never looked like something I wanted to do. My paternal grandmother also had diabetes in her 50’s. My maternal grandfather had heart disease as he got older. My father himself has high blood pressure that’s not easy to control. If I didn’t do something fast; I was a ticking time bomb of soon to be obesity and diabetes among other diseases that would shorten my life.

My second biggest reason of course are my three sons ages 19,12 and 6. I want to live long enough to see them through major milestones in their adult lives. I also want to set a good example for them about is a healthy relationship with food. While all three of them have been super hesitant about trying out even certain foods on the diet, I hope that in the future they will consider it as all three of them could benefit from it in different ways. My oldest has social anxiety/major depressive mood disorder, my middle and youngest children are overweight and have a high BMI; I also want to add that my middle child has possible ADHD and emotional problems.

20171124_120447_Film4 (1)
My three sons ages 12,6, and 19. 

Today the nurse asked me what my goal was and I basically told her I wanted to be at a healthy BMI. My current BMI is 27 which puts me in the overweight category. While I go love myself and my body at 160 pounds, I know I can do better to feel better. I will be sharing different tools and resources I use that I find to be successful throughout my journey.