One Day at a F*&king Time

One Day at a F*&king Time
Fucking Christmas.

Nikki, where have you been?

Gone are the days when I was a lonely and frustrated parent who needed space to understand why it was so hard to not to lose myself in the temporary space of parenting young children.

Every generation wants to do better than the last. We want to do right by our kids and give them ALL THE THINGS and skills they need to make it in the world, but what does that even mean today?

It means something different to everyone, but the internet is like, “LET’S FIGHT,” so I quit sharing my writing about parenting. About anything. I’m a lover, not a fighter. And I had the fight of my life going on at home.

I was acting as a health advocate and care partner for my mom for many years as she struggled with complicated grief, dementia, and emphysema. After she died, I was exhausted and full of PTSD due to the ongoing stress and sadness that came with the isolation and relationship estrangements that are often a large part of the care partner experience.

Keeping an adult human safe from themselves and emotional and financial predators is fucking exhausting. And satisfying because I loved her and honored the fierceness that she brought to loving me.

I dropped the “pen” so to speak, and picked up the pace of parenting two kids on the autism spectrum, AND getting back on track with my professional life as a clinical therapist.

Sharing my writing seemed like a fool’s errand and I also didn’t know what the fuck to say because something was definitely afoot at the circle Knepper and I didn’t know how to write lies and even I couldn’t handle the truth.

The truth was not something I wanted or knew how to share. I can bullshit, but I couldn’t write around the weird and still be genuine.

What was afoot is that my husband and I were at a crossroads in our marriage. What was once easy and comfortable and safe space in my life became scary and confusing. It was FIGHT ME all the time. We couldn’t figure it out. We worked so hard as individuals and together, yet things just kept getting harder.

It was confusing. So why the hell would I subject myself to internet bullies and next level stupid when I could have that at home without being frustrated by the grammar police and opportunistic fuckwits who just wanted me to MAKE THEM MONEY but not compensate me for my time and talent.

Can’t think of a reason? Me either. Because I’m smart. Having an learning disability doesn’t impact my ability to know how to use my 3 T’s wisely. But I wasn’t smart enough to figure out what was happening in my marriage.

If you followed my blog back in the day or read my book, you know that I have a son and a daughter. My son will be 22 this year and is graduating college. My daughter will be 18 and is graduating high school and will go off to college as well. They are good humans, trying to find their way in the world and I respect their privacy, so I will not be writing about them in any detail. They can tell their own stories if they so choose.

I had never shared much about my marriage as I found it a difficult space to find boundaries and genuineness due to our declining ability to communicate and collaborate which coincided with the start of my blogging.

In hindsight, it was likely one of the reasons I started sharing in the first place.

Big space for big feelings is what the blog space was for me. It provided space that was once something my partner provided. My grief was big.

Relationships worth a damn are always infused with some grief because there is always, ALWAYS the potential for loss. This is something I have always known due to the plethora of early life exposure to death and the damaging impact that mental illness and addiction has on families. Generational trauma, ya’ll. Look it up.

When I was 11, my aunt and uncle died within a few months of each other, having both battled cancer for years. They left behind 4 young daughters. My parents absorbed a lot of responsibility for the management of the estate, but the elephant that was always in the room, the thing we didn’t let ourselves FEEL or talk about was our fear and their fear of how easily this could have been us. The awareness was there though. I handled it with acceptance and patience. I developed resilience. And then I ran out of both.

My book subtitle – not my idea – “Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind,” should have been, “Loving my kids without losing myself while watching the love of my life disappear and trying NOT to lose my mind but failing miserably because WHAT THE FUCK?” But who would buy that shit?

My husband is 51 years old and he’s dying from a degenerative brain disease the that’s is slowly erasing his beautiful soul.

Secrets are heavy. He knew something was wrong. I knew it too. We didn’t know what it was but we kept fighting for us. This was NOT the elephant in the room. We talked about it. It’s all we fucking did. WHY couldn’t we get it right?

When he stopped fighting for himself, I gave up on him, justifying it to myself as radical self care and setting of boundaries.

Someday I might tell the story, because if I can help one person get a diagnosis before things get dicey, it will add to the dignity of my life dash.

Who was this guy? I blinked and he was gone. I blinked again and he was back. Did I make him up? Did I imagine the ease and flow we shared in our first two decades together?

No. I’m a LOT, but I’m not delusional.

So am I back writing consistently? Maybe. Maybe I’ll die before him? Maybe I’ll bite it tomorrow. I don’t know. I’m writing today, right?

One day at a fucking time.


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