I think Deep Depression means…

I think deep depression for me has meant, something is shifting.

The last time I have felt this low, was when it was discovered how much I actually wanted change, big change.  like moving.  So we changed our lives.

I’ve been shifting constantly since John died.  I’ve been changing.  I’ve watched friends change, and I think I’m ready to say, I’ve changed.

Getting in deep to myself, means I get to be super selfish.  It’s like the closet no one wants to clean out but one day, there you are.

I’m like, fuck, oh man, I forgot about that.  Well, guess what I don’t need that anymore.

I’m like, oh, well lets just get rid of these things cluttering up your brain.  Let go of the past.

let go of what you think you should be doing.

let go of silly dreams

be present. be present with Ashley.    So I have been doing some major Ashley time.  I am finding myself again.

I found myself reading again.  oh man, it’s so juicy good.  it’s like brain food and my brain is like yum yum yum.

I lost my appetite so if I eat, I’m like well, is there anything in the fridge that actually might be good for you?   ok, Ashley, I’ll eat this avocado.  ok, I’ll have a salad again.  ok, I’m not going to finish eating something if I don’t want to eat more.

whew one thing with this closet though is that when you move stuff around you don’t know where things are, so like calming down.

my house land lord came by to change out a micorwave.  they gave me their black one and took away the not working stainless steal one.   what I was caught off guard was how suddenly I felt second class.  I get it,  it’s their house, she wants the pretty one and so she give me the 2nd class one.  this sent me into a panic attack.  I felt it though come.  I got quiet.  I got nervous feeling.  I ate to make sure I had food.  then I took my pill and asked my daughters to hug me.  I watched someone else strong choose themselves first.  They are very nice people, but they were not chatty.  they were there to do a job and so I walked away and just was present with my child.  and I calmed down.  I calmed down.  I thought about it.

she puts her self first and does not think a thing about it.

who does not put herself first?   me!

I also had been having jealousy feelings that day,  and then yesterday I had Way more.  It really pissed me off because it was towards people I liked but then I realized.  they put themselves first.  they love themselves and that helps them love others.

I’m going back to my closet cleaning.  I have a few ideas.

One thing in my closet that I”m working on is, letting go of things that don’t do anything for me.    which means a couple of friendships.

I’m not calling again.  I did that and it fell through and for now on.  if someone wants to see me, then call.  no more of me.

that friend that keeps calling.  yep.  I’m calling her and I’m making a date.  she loves me continuously and she does shit that I don’t even ask for.  I need more of that.

letting go of the family anger.  so it’s not what I dreamed.   but that’s ok.  So what can I do?  I can pray that I find more friends that can be like family.

I used to give back, though volunteering my whole life.  I met people, I had great experiences, that taught me cool things in life.  Like…. I was a candy striper y’all.

I served on student council my whole school life.

I cleaned up the earth

I played music.

I’m also putting my bottles up a bit more.  meaning.  I’m not drinking as much.  it’s been really slow which is what I dreamed of.  So I’ve been going to bed earlier and I remember now.

I’ve found a new thing to study that effects my work with babies and well, guess what I think the world needs more Ashley Parks, child development thoughts.  so I”m exploring writing.

this closet of me is a mess.  but gosh I love her.

I love my short statue.

I love my hair long and wavy and natural. (sorta).

I love being without makeup

I love not shaving.

I love wearing whatever I want.

I love my humor and my joy at finding a new funny show.

I love reading and pouring myself into a book.  I love finding deep, books that are real and so beautiful I read them aloud just to enjoy the vocabulary words that the author found and used in the most poetic way.





I am jealous

I am jealous of…

people who are happy

people who get breaks from work/ or life.

I’m jealous of the person who went through heart ache because she is beautiful, she makes great money and as fast as the bad stuff happened to her, good stuff totally comes to her.  I am so jealous.

Friends meet her for drinks and everyone posts the perfect pic about being there for a friend.

they send her texts to say hang in there.

she gets to have a break from being a mom

I think her friends help her have breaks.

I don’t know why my friends have never said, take a break Ashley.  I can give you a break.

none of my friends showed up to help move me.  wait, one did.

I did it all.

I think 12 people at least will probably help her move.

I’m so jealous that everyone’s family likes to be together.

mine drifted away.

I’m jealous of the sweet couple that let’s me keep their child because they are doing a great job at marriage.

I’m jealous of a friend who gets to keep going on the career ladder.

I”m jealous of the friend who got a job because he was a guy in the field.

I”m jealous I’m green and I”m annoyed at myself and where the hell is my happy boat?

The telling of John’s death story

Imagine a rainy spring day….., a calm part of the morning, quiet.  then I get a phone call.

“Mom, can you call me out” Kaegan crying…

“what’s wrong K?”

Mom, I need to come home.  my teacher was teaching us about diabetes in our foods class and she all of a sudden started telling the entire class about dad’s death.  I freaked out and ran out of class.

“come home k, I”ll call right now.”

I called her out and waited.
I fell over on the couch and cried.

what?  what?

why is this teacher saying whatever she was saying?

finally she comes through the door.  I was sitting on the couch and I opened my arms and she just walked over and fell into my arms.

Oh my 16 year old daddy’s girl.

Kaegan’s favorite teacher was teaching the class about diseases that are affected by diet and she was discussing the differences between type 1 and type 2.  Ka was listening, but all of a sudden the teacher started telling the story of our John.  K said, she started saying, there was a young teacher at Koontz with type 1, and he suddenly died….. K stopped hearing anything else.  She raised her hand, and said.  that’s my dad.

the teacher stopped and she said she was stunned and almost vomited on her desk.

She had no idea that Kaegan was John’s daughter.  She knew K had a single mom, she even knew what I did, what I have done but she did not know we were in anyway related to this story in a huge way.

It just hurts.  We were not mad at her but I was annoyed.  I told her.

I don’t know you, I don’t know how you would know how John died.  There is no way you  could know because mostly only our family, close friends know.  literally the people who dared to ask what happened.

She apparently had been subbing for him and I guess she may have been the sub the next day.

She apologized and said she learned a lesson of it’s not her story to tell.

recently I had an emotional reaction to news about a. child that had been mistreated in the schools, I blasted on Facebook the staff.

I was so mad.  then this happened and I thought.

I don’t know this whole story and I don’t have a right to condemn those that cannot share their side due to confidentiality.  I have been through this myself years ago when sued by a former employee.  that changed me.  it made me hate lawyers for twisting words and retelling a story in a different way that was implied.

So we forgave K’s teacher, she learned a lesson dealing with not meaning to hurt anyone.

I cried because it hurts to see your children hurt.  there are no words to describe this to people who do not have children.  Especially when I cannot fix it.  I can help fix broken legs, I can hold a infant body while they put an IV in their neck.  I can inject gluekigon I don’t even know how to spell that into John’s body when he is about bottom out.  I did not save him when it was too high.  I waited too long.

this I will never ever forgive myself for, because it was my stupid ass, let’s wait. I don’t want to deal with bad stuff.  I like to put my head in the hole or hell I like to walk around the hole and pretend it does not exist.

I can’t fix this hole in their hearts.


I used to think of grief as the ocean, storms, surges, waves, calm then raging. Recently, I think of it still in a water sense but I see a river now.  Maybe it’s all the rain, but I think about all the things that flood prone places have to protect them.  Certain insurances, or not.  barriers, then protocol of what to get out when it starts flooding, the sand bags, higher ground and boats and rafts.

In my past I have always suffered from depression and ironically spring helps and it also sometimes spins me around a bit too much.   I am so freaking glad to leave winter and I get giddy in March.  but…. I seriously am so annoyed with myself right now and my secret gloom.

it’s flooding in my heart and in my head.

I am extremely grateful to have had the dream and follow the dare to quit the job that I hated.  I love being at home and I love caring for infants.  I do need to work on getting out.  I have been trying.  Then I got sick and I seem to have stayed exhausted.  I have my feelings hurt when I reached out and tried to say help.  I feel like I’ve backed myself up in a my lonely corner and I have painted the picture well of surviving but I’m floating.

I do like that I’m 43, and I have some perspective that a lot of people don’t.  I’ve had three children, a mis carriage, I have watched my children get really sick and I’ve had to hold them down in the ER’s while they were worked on.  I’ve gone without sleep.  I’ve held a few friends in bad times and almost gave up my own soul trying to fix theirs.  I’ve messed with friendships I should not have.

I am finally in this comfortable sweet spot and instead I feel like crying and dying.

I can’t do the later because I can’t.

I’m wearing my life jacket,  I’m enjoying my children.  I just wish I could figure out how to bust out of this melancholy state and find something to soothe my soul.  Sometimes I think it would be love and not being so alone, but honestly, I don’t want to put up with stupid men.

I needed to let this out.

Unicorn Poop turned into Unicorn puke

If there was ever a creative writing prompt……it should be Unicorn poop…..

If you were alive in the last year then you may have been subjected and then tickled to watch a very long commercial/ comical marketing reach that was for people who suffer with bowel discharge issues.  By that I mean, sometimes they have trouble pooping.  So the squatty potty was invented to move the legs into a more natural for pooping position and loads of people swear by it.  Last Christmas, my parents gifted my family one.  My children swear by it.

fastward to last night.

Need to know first though…

I have a 10 year old daughter who loves Unicorns.

She collects them

I took her to get the Unicorn smoothie thing at Starbucks….

Ok so you are up to date.

So last night at her Chorus concert the Chorus teacher brought in a local ice cream store vendor to set up for after the concert.  (although, my ice cream addicted father was almost late to the concert because he was already buying ice cream).

Anyway the concert was lovely, crowd went outside and my father offered to buy his sweet granddaughter some ice cream.  She loves ice cream.  Did you know that this ice cream place, made a great decision.   They created an ice cream that looks like the poo that the unicorn makes when on the squatty potty.   Well all a 10 year old girl has to hear is unicorn poop and of course they want it.  So here she came with a LARGE size of ice cream.  She giggled, she smiled, she oooeeeddddd and ahhhhhhed.   Everyone tasted it.  It was like fruity pebbles x 75.   It was super sweet.

fast forward to 2 am.

I hear some loud noises in the night.  like someone moving down a ladder.  We have a ladder in Anna’s bedroom on her loft.  I wait.  nothing.  then I see a light come on.  I hear a toilet lid hit.  I jump up and find my two daughters in the bathroom.  Someone felt sick.

We decided to move to my bathroom.  nothing came.  So she got in bed with me and I stroked her hair. She was almost asleep when all of a sudden…. she jumped up and made it 10 feet to the toilet and all Unicorn puke hell broke out.  3 huge vomits later, I got up to flush and check on her.  Then there in the toilet was….. unicorn poop puke.  All bright blue.

Anna calmed down, wiped her face and said.. hey, mom.  I feel better now.

Grief again

When I started this blog, it was to release emotions.  I started writing pretty soon, because even in the beginning,  Finding the words, or just being able to say it out loud and typing it also helped me.   As time went on, I typed.  Less people showed up to listen, now three years later when grief shows up, life has continued on for everyone who does not feel the numbing effects.

2 nights ago, my son at 9pm handed me his report card. I realized I had not seen it as it was tossed to me.  Then he casually says, it’s not good.  I opened up his report card that will also be going to the STEM school to show his grades as they review applicants for the lottery of getting in there.  They will see a D in language arts, and a low C in social studies.   I am not worried that I am not getting him help.  He does not need help in this way.  I don’t know why he has low grades.  well I do, he has not motivation.

We just got back from a trip to the outer banks where I could take them to see history and they loved it.  They loved seeing so many things and Will continually commented about how awesome the trip was.  On the trip though, I discovered that he did not bring a tooth brush.  He barely changed his clothes and he never showered on the trip.  So I got upset with him.  I noticed this week, he was picking up speed in the hygiene area.  but then I got the report card.

I have also back slid as a momma.

I have been floating too.  His behavior is not that far different from mine.

I have not filled my prescriptions.  I have not been taking my medicine.  I have not been eating healthy.  I have not been walking.  I have not completed some things I need to.  I am avoiding what I’m afraid of.  my credit.

I numb myself at night with wine so I can fall asleep.   I have a nice pattern of it.

His report card cracked me open because I”m his person.  I’m his life vest/life ring.

because no one checks in on him.  He does have a big brother that does.  but what really cracks me open is that my family does not check in.

so then I sit with that and feel what that feels like.  No one cares.

It’s 3 years later, and the most sensitive time in development for a young man, is early adolescence and I see him struggle.

He is an introvert and I totally respect that.  I allow him to not do sports, I get it.  He gets uncomfortable.  He does not like competition, because he knows he is not as good and it feels sucky to feel sucky so he avoids it.  He does what feels right and what he has been able to be good at, He tinkers with things, he fixes electronics, he does ride his bike and tinkers with his bike.  He likes tinkering.

I don’t know why though he is not doing his work.  I emailed 2 teachers and a guidance counselor.   I heard from no one.  I do know that the one male teacher pulled him aside and it sounds like gave him a stern “turn yourself around talk”.   I gotta say, I was disappointed.

I as a Mom reached out to his teachers to ask, what can I do?  Help me.  = silence.

No one calls Will to say, I love you.   =silence

it fucking blows.

I fluctuate with crying right now, and being mad.

I called in my meds yesterday.  I’m going to go get them and take them.

I’m going to go pray near John’s spot and our spot in Montreat.

I”m going to go through his book bag.

I took away the phone.  I took away internet except for an hour a day for homework.

I am allowing TV.

I made a list of chores to complete

oh how I wish John was here to tell me to calm down.  I wish he was here so Will if he does this anyway, John would make it better.  I wish Will had his Dad back.

Prom is tonight and it will be just me watching her.

Double Digits

The youngest turned double digits.  The anticipation for this age, started at age 8.  As soon as she turned 8, she said, two more years… then I”m 10!  Then a year passed and she turned 9.  Still. she said…. one more year till 10.  So the day arrived.  Due to the 5 inches of snow, the schools were cancelled for the second day in a row.  The thrill could be seen on her face when her brother squealed the announcement, MOM, SCHOOL IS CANCELLED AGAIN!!!   The baby of the family, almost knocked herself out jumping in the year.  I was even caught up in the sheer joy she was expressing and I teased her and said, they found out, they found out, Anna, they knew it was your birthday so they cancelled.  Later I decided to enjoy the new movies out on Amazon.  1st mistake…. sweet/sad movies.  Between being hormonal and birthday grief, I lost my grief guard.  I cried through 2 movies, and finally crawled in the bed and cried myself to sleep.

Because, Birthdays are hard.  Hard to be so happy for the birth of your child when you feel that deep pang in you, wishing they had the one true wish.   Pang, of missing him so much and missing that he loved celebrating with them.

Lately, we have been going through the holidays and some family drama of the grandparent in the hospital.  Our holiday was just get through it.  I have to create magic, all while wanting to just fall down and stomp my feet.  I don’t want to adult.  I want to have the facade that everyone else puts up that Christmas is so freaking great with your weird in laws and we are not broke.

This year I had to rob retirement to pay for Christmas.  There is more to it, like quitting my job but Christmas kept seeming to not be in my financial monthly check.

anyway we made it.  Then she turned 10.

I just cried.  I do this alone.  I grieve basically alone now.  No one checks in anymore.  Not even family.  I do this alone.  So I think I have developed grief guard.  I don’t go down memory lane, because it opens up.

This past fall, when I was so miserable, it was a distraction to grief.  ha.

Now, I have a glimmer of hope in new professional plans and so I don’t have a distraction. I have happy stuff to think about but then when grief hits, it does not bounce off, it goes straight to my heart.

I can feel it, I see whatever that triggers a memory, thought, and I can honestly feel grief.  My right side of my back tightens up.  It’s the oddest thing.  I can feel my jaw clinch, and I close my eyes.  I inhale and when I exhale, it comes out with tears.  I breathe again and just close my eyes.  I have noticed that since I’ve gotten better with my chest, that I don’t gag as much.  Her birthday though, made me cry in my pillow and wail.

I begged again, please God, let me talk to him.  please.

I want to tell you how much she loves you.  Our baby craves you.  She wants love so much.  There are only a few of us to tell her that we love her.  She eats it up.  It’s on the edge of obnoxious but I know that honestly she is just so thirsty for affection and love.  She has always been this exuberant joyful and dramatic child.  but damn, she loved him.  The attachment to all three was so strong.  He was not like other dads that I observe.  John was there with our kids.  Sure he annoyed me playing battle pirates but he also put them to bed every single night.  Three years have passed and finally we are losing the sacred bed time ritual.  mostly because I suck and I’m out of mom giving at night.  but the eve of the 10th birthday was different.

the baby-Mom-

me- yes

the baby-, pray for daddy.

me- ok.

every night for 3 years.  pray for daddy.  I don’t know why?  I think it’s to tell him that we love him and to come back.  Maybe that is is ok in heaven?  I’m not sure and I don’t have the strength to ask her, what are we praying for.  Maybe it’s all of it, maybe it changes as the time has gone on.

Happy Birthday my double digit and Golden Birthday girl.  Mom and Dad love you.