My typical emotional continuum ranges something like this:

I need a damn nap <-> Where is my Britney CD? <-> I can haz cheeseburger?

The elements change places somewhat, but really, I have the emotional range of a turnip and the depth of a small puddle of mud. I’ve always considered this to be something of a bragging point.

When I stuck my toe into the waters of mental health this summer before realizing that my mental health benefit blows ass, I made mention of this to my therapist, and rather than giving me a nice purple lollipop, he seemed alarmed.

Apparently, requiring a stunt double to cry isn’t a good thing.

Anyway, the one thing I learned in my appointment is that I needed to start at square one and relearn all about emotions. Nothing makes you feel more like Gimpy the Clown than realizing that you don’t know anything about actual emotions.

Perhaps I should go back to preschool and relearn colors too (because I’m colorblind too).

(shut up)

(no, really, shut up)

Part of Bringing Aunt Becky Back is trying to figure out who I am now.

My life took a different path when I inadvertently got knocked up with my firstborn at age 20. While my friends (and ex-boyfriend, his father insert other term here) were out crawling bars, I was dealing with colic, late night feeds, and a special needs child.

I scrapped my life’s plans to go to nursing school, which I hated. I graduated with high honors anyway. Got married, and domesticated, even though I’d never wanted that either. Stayed at home where I’d always wanted to be the one who did something else with her life.

I’ve never, ever done the things I wanted to do because it never made sense. I’m not sad about it, and I’m not sorry about it.

These are all facts, pure and simple. Dave knows them, I know them, everyone knows them.

But I’ve also never given myself the chance to feel anything about it. There are people in the world with no feet, after all, so how could I feel sad that I ended up where I put myself?

I should have given myself the opportunity to grieve the dreams that I gave up to do something else. Even if other people would kill to be where I am, I am not other people.

I can feel a change coming down the line. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that nothing is permanent except for change, and what I’m going through right now is growing pains. Something big is on the horizon. I can feel it.

Or maybe it’s just a cheeseburger and a nap.

Oh. And I want that purple lollipop now.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

67 Responses to Aunt Becky Slices Onion, Cries Real Tears

  • Coco says:

    Just remember, turnips need love too.

    Here’s your purple lolly, sugar. Now go take that nap.

    P.S. I think you are far more complex, deep and delightful than you give yourself credit for. However, I know exactly how hard it is to unbury everything you’ve shoved down deep because, well, there just didn’t seem to be any point in moaning over it (see also: people with various missing appendages syndrome). You’re working it. You’re wonderful. You’re Becky.

  • gaylin says:

    Becky oh Becky, if you ever come to Vancouver, I will treat you to an amazing cheezeburger! Creamsicle milkshake! Gourmet chocolate!

    In lieu of that, consider yourself hugged. I also send you a purple lolly and totally agree – naps rock.

    Remember change is good. Hiding under a rock can also be good . . .

  • linlah says:

    Inadvertently got knocked up made me laugh and is also a much better way for me to explain that period in my life instead of saying immaculate conception which is what I usually say.

  • Patty Punker says:

    what you feel is so valid. and you’ve obviously learned a thing or two about emotions, because your honesty is so refreshing. i hope you catch some of your dreams but couldn’t be more happy that you somehow wound up on the writing path. you’re so gifted and we are the lucky beneficiaries.

  • Kelly says:

    I think that when I accidentally got knocked up, with a child who also has a dead beat dad (has never laid eyes on her, asshole), it took me a very long time to realize what my life might have been like without that change. Although having a kid at 18 totally changed every possible thing about my life, in the long run it was all for the better. It has taken me a very long time to accept that, and to realize that people weren’t looking down on me anymore, or maybe at all, for having been a young mom.

    I have lately had a hard time with my career choice, although I make good money and have been here for 7 years, I’m not very happy in my job, which sometimes makes me not very happy period, but I also don’t know what I want to do with myself either. Double edged sword.

    You are inspiring to me. Bringing Becky back, is encouraging to me that maybe, just maybe, I could bring Kelly back, too. Keep on going Aunt Becky, I’m rooting for you, and maybe I’ll ride on your coat tails a little bit, too…

  • Cute~Ella says:

    I admire your honesty. It takes a strong person to admit they’re not sure how they feel. I’m not at all kidding when I suggest getting one of those “how am I feeling” posters. I had one for awhile when I was having trouble letting myself feel anything at all.

    I’m so sending you a purple lolly next time I go to the bank.

  • Sabreena says:

    It’s hard to voice all of that without sounding unthankful, believe me I know. I am always disclaiming such feelings with “I don’t regret it though”. Damn well I regret things sometimes. I just want to avoid hurting others feelings (my husband)in lieu of really expressing my own. Thank you for opening up and making me feel like it’s okay to express without the fucking disclaimer. Groove on Aunt Becky, everything is a growing pain.

  • Mrs Soup says:

    I love you dearly. Your thoughts and feelings are so valid. Change is coming, and it may not be what you are expecting.

    You are my hero.

  • Choleesa says:

    Sucks dont it?? You did what needed to be done at the time, and you did it with balls. Good for you. But eventually, the feelings that you HAD to push aside, came pushing back. I totally understand. Im at the same point. Just because you have feet, dosnt mean you cant mourn the YOU that you have lost….That something big, that is on your horizon………..I hope it is something so full of the freakin awesome, that you burst from the sheer joy of it…

  • Maybe it’s a huge cheeseburger waiting at the end of the unicorn’s rainbow.

  • Marie says:

    I get this. I sorta wish I didn’t?

    I wish I didn’t relate.

    I wan’t a red one.

  • Rebecca says:

    Ch ch ch ch ch ch changes…….I may or may not have the appropriate number of ch’s.

    Yep, I spent $15K and about 10 years in college (took LOTS and LOTS of fun classes) and have NEVER had a ‘real’ job. Now, I am not even bringing in any income. I just wish I could pay off my student loan…..Oh well.

    When the kids get in school….maybe something will come my way….I’m thinking about trying to get a job at a gym….think they would hire me…with my weight problem and all?

  • Never compare your pain to others. There will always be those with more or less & then you feel bad about that on top of dealing with your pain. It’s a no win situation. You are where you are at, that is all that matters.

    Unless you are still wallowing in grief over an orchid dying a month later. Then perhaps some perspective is in order.

  • a says:

    I’m building myself a bunker, because while she loves her kids and the Daver, there’s probably a lot of resentment bottled up in my Aunt Becky and I don’t want to be anywhere near when it blows up! I’ll come back and clean up the aftermath, though.

    You can appreciate what you have and resent what you don’t at the same time. People who don’t have feet have nothing to do with colic and special needs. It’s OK to acknowledge that your life has sucked at points even when you can point out moments of joy. It doesn’t detract from the footless person’s problems, or add to them either. Good luck finding Becky – I’m pretty sure she’s awesome.

    Man, it must suck to color with you if you’re colorblind…”Pass me the red crayon Mom. No, I said the RED crayon!”

  • inannasstar says:

    Sounds like your feet are carrying you on a Spiritual Journey. Good for you girl. I started to really take a good hard look at myself over 6 years ago after the birth of my son. I feel like because I started on the journey to “find myself” that I’ve become a better person (well, most of the time…..sometimes I’m just a big fat bitch). Have fun on your journey! And please, take a damn nap, journey’s are exhausting.

  • Kristin
    Twitter: dragondream
    says:

    Sweetie, it takes a huge amount of wisdom and insight to get as far as you are going. However, if you discover it is just a kick-ass cheeseburger you need, come visit me. I’ll feed you cheeseburgers until you pop.

  • Cat says:

    I do the exact same thing. No point in feeling or reflecting when that won’t change anything. Soldier on, do what you have to, get through the days. feeling can come later, if ever.

  • Angie says:

    Oh, I do love you, if love is word one wants for a perfect stranger with an irresistible voice of beauty and bravery.
    We are all out here, talking to each other and sometimes even listening, because we have common, or similar, or corollary lines in our lives like yours. The good news for you is Dave and Your Kids, as the good news for me is Rodney and My Kids and the good news for Ms. Moon is Mr. Moon and Her Kids.
    Love,
    Angie at Eat Here

    • Angie says:

      Oh, I do love you, if love is the word one wants for a perfect stranger with an irresistible voice of beauty and bravery.
      We are all out here, talking to each other and sometimes even listening, because we have common, or similar, or corollary lines in our lives like yours. The good news for you is Dave and Your Kids, as the good news for me is Rodney and My Kids and the good news for Ms. Moon is Mr. Moon and Her Kids.
      Love,
      Angie at Eat Here

  • Jayme says:

    It’s weird how things work out. I never planned on having kids. I’ve got seven. Go figure.

  • Vinomom says:

    I like this. It is silly to me that whole “But there are people with no feet” comparison. Then they are probably sad about having no feet. But you HAVE feet so you get to be sad about something else. It is ok to be sad that things didn’t turn out the way you thought they would. And it doesn’t mean that you are sad about the way they DID turn out.

    Once or twice a year I get drunk and cry that I didn’t get knocked up by one of my neighborhood boys and live the white trash existence I always thought I was destined to live. My life turned out a lot better, but that was the idea I had and I’m grieving that loss. Sounds crazy, but it’s true.

  • Death and taxes, Aunt Becky. Other than that, everything changes.

    Have fun embracing it.

  • I had the exact same thing happen with my therapist. I have seen her for 9 years and just this year I opened the floodgates and cried on her couch.
    It felt weird. I really try not to do that in front of anyone. Ever.

  • Melissa says:

    Dude, the feetless people would tell you that you are allowed to have your shitty feelings too. Unless they are those annoying one upper feetless people.

    You know the type. I feel sad, this happened. And they reply you think YOU feel sad, I had a meteor land on my house, kill my dog, then my feet got burned off by lava. Fucking one upping feetless people.

  • Melissa says:

    Speaking of one upping. You think YOU are sad? They have Sonic commercials here and there isnt a Sonic within 2 fucking states. Can you imagine the torture? I have never had a fucking cheesy tot! And they torment me!!

    • Liz says:

      Melissa, I will now go to Sonic and eat cheesy tots. I might even eat chili-cheese tots. The way they swim in all the grease is simply amazing. The foot-long chili dog can make me swoon, and the cheddar peppers, well the cheddar peppers are responsible for my only true food craving I had when I was pg. with my son. Only I didn’t want cheddar, I wanted cream cheese, and every single grocery store was OUT of the cream cheese kind, for about 2 months. I’d randomly pop into a store to check, and nope. So I became obsessed and drove around to several grocery stores to compare.

    • The Daver says:

      They had Sonic commercials here for over a year before we got one. So maybe it’s a sign.

  • Lisa says:

    It is hard to think that you may have missed out on a different, better life if you had been able to do things differently. It is like unrequited love. Aunt Becky, it is officially time to break up with the past.

  • MK says:

    I took a nap today. For 4 hours. What. The. Eff. I’m doing my own ‘searching’ and it’s exhausting. Hope you find the you you were meant to be.

  • Katie says:

    How to cry in two easy steps:

    1. Go into small local Battery Store (Not it’s real name)

    2. Listen to the jackass clerk tell you you look like a famous actress, you know, the one from Misery?

    Optional step three: go into deep depression and plot ways to make jackass loose his job.

    P.S. From one color blind mom to another: How will you know it’s a purple lollipop and not a blue one? Like my purple blouse that’s really blue? And how do we know the normal color sighted people actually have it right and WE’RE wrong? I think we’re being color-sight discriminated against!

  • Just from scanning through your comments, there are alot of us who can relate. I am a little further down the road than you…I am a single mom of a beautiful 18 year old daughter with a deadbeat dad. Seems like there was never time to mourn all the career and personal sacrifices – life just kept getting in the way. I think your smart to be thinking about these things now instead of later. Nice post.

  • flutter says:

    Oh, girl. Come on over, there are burgers and lollipops with your name on them

  • Listen, stop all that comparing your pain to someone with no feet business. You are entitled to feel sad. In my experience, it’s good to take a bit of time to process some of these feelings. Think of it like an exit interview for the past so you can rule the world with your awesome-ness!

  • Sharon says:

    Re: the footless, if it helps any, I sometimes tell myself, “Stop fucking whining and look at all that your Aunt Becky has been through- and you don’t see HER curled up in a ball at the foot of the bed wailing.”

    Not literally, anyway.

  • sarah says:

    You know something Aunt Becky? This post actually HELPED me. It feels good to not be the only one feeling those EXACT same feelings sometimes.

    Thank you.

  • InsolentBitch says:

    Wait, wait. I want to make sure I get this right. Purple lollipop. Is that purple to your color blind ass (so like red, green, etc?) or is that purple to my non-color blind ass (so like, real purple?)? I think I will send you an assortment of lollipops in all colors so you can pick your purple one out, no matter what color it really is.

    Now that we have that settled, on to more important things…. you are awesome. That is all.

  • Kate says:

    I understand. I am emotionally stunted when it comes to crying & allowing myself to FEEL things, too. Doesn’t mean I don’t feel emotions… I just have a hard time allowing myself to dwell (? That’s not the right word) on them.

    Anyway, I would send you a box full of purple lollipops if I could, dear Aunt Becky. (((Lots of hugs)))

  • Liz says:

    I can relate, except that I didn’t have kids early, I just dropped out of college, got married, and moved across the country, and my first child was 6 weeks old when I graduated from college. But I follow my husband around the country as he transfers around. Still, I’m not actually complaining. I like living in different places, and that suits me. The career I’d planned when I went to college can’t come into fruition until I get a master’s degree, and I’ve pretty much decided that I hate school (not school, the homework!) and don’t want to be that anymore. (underpaid, too much paperwork, too many lawsuits, would double my already huge student loans)
    Still, it’s easy to be a little depressed when all my old classmates look me up on facebook and they’re all successful, and I work a silly little job just to pay the bills, and I must be mother and wife to my family. I was that kid with all the potential in school, if I’d only apply myself.
    I’m fresh from student-teacher conferences at school, prepping for an IEP meeting where they want to take my autistic son and shove him into a contained special ed room because they’re too broke to hire a para…
    I guess we each have our own battles.
    There’s always someone who has it worse than me, or you, or anyone, but that doesn’t mean we can’t whine a little, even if it’s just to a poo-eating dog.

  • Dot says:

    What WERE your dreams?

    That old thing about someone with no feet always made me feel this: Omg, my life is awful and life can even get worse than this!

  • I also inadvertently got knocked up with my firstborn at age 20! Good times.

    Then I got completely derailed and spent too many years chasing my own tail. Only, it wasn’t like silly dog chasing, I was chasing it really slowly and kind of half halfheartedly.

    The thing is…according to my calculations, I’m about 100 years older than you and I’m just starting to figure out all this stuff you’re talking about. And I really do mean starting.

    You’re an inspiring lady.
    xx

  • Theta Mom says:

    I agree with Jennifer above. For you to reconize this now is amazing. Don’t be so hard on yourself girl…and can I just say how excited I am that I can FINALLY follow blogs again? Call it Google Magic!

  • ToyLady says:

    I dunno . . . I think there are just some things that are better left unfelt.

    Maybe I’m a turnip too.

    Oh, and here’s your lollipop. Lavender OK?

    http://www.lollyphile.com/products/lavender-lollipops

  • Bex says:

    Growing pains. That’s a good way to put it. There is so much growth in the sad, hard bits, assuming we’re willing to grow and not just give up. And giving up is something I don’t think you have in you. You’ll come out the other side of this with more insight into yourself, and then you’ll make new dreams. Hang in there.

  • Ms. Moon says:

    Fly, girl! Let the wind make tears in your eyes as you fly.

  • MommyNamedApril says:

    here with you. grow away :-) not to be confused with ‘go away’. because that would suck.

  • Kristine says:

    I think we may be twins separated at birth. Seriously.

  • Krissa says:

    Shiiiiit, woman! That is some dandy introspective there! Sounds like you are really coming out at least understanding what’s happened to you and how you got where you are. That’s awesome progress, not to mention, half the battle!

  • Emily R says:

    Yep. Been there. Have that t-shirt. I do anger way better than sadness.

  • Elly Lou says:

    Evolution is exhausting, isn’t it?

    Do you think you have to be inherently broken to be a blogger? Are we just trying to expand our weekly sessions via vomiting our personal details and inner musings to anyone on the interwebs that will listen?

    I’m pretty sure I don’t want you to answer that. I’m also pretty sure this train of thought can only end in “we ran out of time – let’s explore that more next week.”

    So,um yeah. The only thing grape flavored I’m craving has been fermenting in a barrel for a few months.

    • Elly Lou says:

      So even though I know this makes me sound super stalker crazy, I have another quote from you. Yes, for some reason I keep thinking of Aunt Becky that I’ve never met while I’m reading a book on bad ass chick pirates. Seriously, I promise you don’t need to file a restraining order…yet. Cerealy, you should probably just go read Kingston by Starlight. This one is long but again…somehow rings true with my vision of you and what you’re going through:

      In the voyage of our lives, there is a shadow-line, before which our thoughts are focused more on opportunities to be gain’d, and beyond which our concerns are ever after more concentrated on dreams that have slipped from our grasp. And so our ship sails on, carried by a sadder wind than it was before it transversed the divide. Ahh – the people we could have been haunt us like ghosts; we see ourselves with other lovers, in other countries, kinds and queens of nations of our own imagination. There can be little joy in living when one resides in a graveyard of passed lives. All we need, by my faith, is this: to have a life that’s worth a story. For who are we but the tales we tell? Bodies wither, wealth erodes, the things we build inevitably fall to ruin, and the inventions we devise are eventually surpassed, for such is the nature of things scientific. Only stories last forever, or at least as long as there are voices around to tell them, which is plenty long enough.

  • Jenn says:

    How does one go about relearning all emotions? I may need to invest in the handbook as the only two I seem to have a handle on are overwhelming fear and infinite anger.

  • GingerB says:

    Girlfriend, I wish to hug you. I think it was maybe in Anne of Green Gables, third book, wherein a sage old lady compared a college education to about ten years of living. That might be right. And each child brings a muliplier of 2 years. So you have like thirty plus years of additional knowledge and insight to boost your IQ, which is why you can now get all introspective. But seriously, I think it is good you had the kids because there are things I COULD NOT have learned before I had the kids, and I don’t mean only hard stuff. It totally makes sense that now you are in the place where you can work out your head and regroup.

  • I think you’re already doing awesome things. I also look forward to what’s next…

  • Kendra says:

    Especially when you’re living in the US with luxuries like running water and health care (even if it isn’t the best the world has to offer) and there are places like Haiti where things like that are missing from so many lives, it feels really selfish to take a moment to mourn what could have been, or to be sad because anything at all is missing from your life.

    But one thing I have really tried to get through my skull is that feelings are valid, no matter what. And just as no one awards you a prize for an unmedicated birth (imagine my disappointment!), no one is keeping a tally of who complained less and was more noble over the course of their life.

    Good luck with your emotions, Aunt Becky. I’ve been of the “take everything far too personally” camp myself, so I haven’t had that experience exactly, but I do know a little of what it’s like to try to get a handle on your emotions while not shutting them off entirely.

  • Wendy at Mama Act says:

    Ok first I love that GingerB quotes Anne of Green Gables #3, which, as a rabid fan, I will tell you is Anne of the Island. Second, let me say that I made my broadway debut at age 39, two and a half years after having my first child. I turned 40 during the run. Anything is possible.

  • Lola says:

    Seems to me that so-called mental health is an ever moving, ever changing target. Make peace with the past, and move on, girl. Enjoy your present and your bright future.

    As I always say, dwelling leads to swelling, and you want to get back into those size 6 jeans, right?

  • Milla says:

    Dearest Aunt Becky…
    Last year, I spent a lot of weekly sessions with a wonderful therapist.
    I kept saying to her that it might have been worse, and that what happened shouldn’t make me feel sorry for myself. But then she said, well, what if feeling sorry for yourself is right? If it was bad enough to feel sorry about, shouldn’t you be allowed? (What she said in Swedish doesn’t quite translate, but that’s close enough).
    So. I allowed myself to be sad about some things, was able to cry, and then leave some things behind. And, mainly anger is gone. Some sadness is still there, but I don’t beat myself up about it.
    Perhaps for you, sadness about not feeling deeply is your first step (it sounds like) and that’s fine. Good start. Allow that. The rest will come. You are moving so fast sweetie!

    M.

  • Cara says:

    It is very easy to rationalize your feelings by telling yourself that you don’t have the right to feel bad when there are people out there in the world “truly suffering” or that taking the time out to feel sad isn’t actually going to change the facts.

    The situation will still be there and have to be delt with. I am notorious for this. I am learning that I have to let it out or I start to become this really angry person that I don’t recognize.

    You are on the right path!

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      It’s one day at a time, right? Not fair to compare ourselves to other people, lest we end up rocking in the corner, crying for weeks on end.

      I’m terrible about letting myself grieve anything and I have to stop that. We can DO it, girl!

  • Wombat Central
    Twitter: wombatcentral
    says:

    Went through a period where I didn’t cry over anything for about 2 years. Just couldn’t. Then the levee broke. Now I can’t make it through an ASPCA commercial (damn you, Sarah McLaughli!).

  • bashtree says:

    You know, the definition of sociopath is someone who doesn’t feel emotion. I learned that on a House rerun the other day. And I have it on good authority that sociopaths are HAWT (per my husband). So go easy on yourself – you can be awesome now AND later.

    You probably know this now, but you don’t need to feel invalidated by people who have no feet. Your sucky stuff sucks too. It’s ok.

    On the other hand, there is no law stating that you must cry when your life doesn’t turn out the way you planned.

    we love you no matter what :)

  • Milla says:

    A Swedish author, Lars Norén, is supposed to have said “My life is the worst I have experienced”.
    Cheerful dude. Not at all.
    Which of course is true, since you can only experience your own life. But the following is also true;
    “My life is the most wonderful life I have experienced.”
    Some days, I can actually feel that too.
    M

  • Smoochagator says:

    “Something big is on the horizon. I can feel it.”

    How exciting! Except now I’ve got that damn Beck song stuck in my head: “I’m a driver, I’m a winner; things are gonna change, I can feel it. Soy un perdidor…” Thanks a lot, Aunt Becky.

  • mumma boo says:

    “I’ve never, ever done the things I wanted to do because it never made sense. I’m not sad about it, and I’m not sorry about it.”

    That big change that’s coming? It’s Becky doing what she wants to do because now, NOW it makes sense.

  • Rachel says:

    “I can feel a change coming down the line. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that nothing is permanent except for change, and what I’m going through right now is growing pains. Something big is on the horizon. I can feel it.”

    This above statement perfectly explains how I’ve been lately!!

    PS – I simply love your blog. I’ve been reading it for days now, literally, reading story after story!

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