This week, the Lord has been testing me. I am most definitely being challenged in a way that I was not anticipating nor prepared for. As many of you know, I am very overprotective of my tiny human. In a world of pandemics and lunatics, it is us against the world (with our tribe of course). I am extremely selective of who I spend time around with her, what we do, and what we are willing to expend our energy on.
The Pool Party…
We decided to go to a pool party over the holiday weekend. Although any type of party is not typically my idea of a good time these days, tiny loves to swim and I wanted her to have the chance to swim and enjoy some outdoor water time before the weather became unbearable (more to come on that). We arrived early to get some alone pool time and tiny was in heaven. It was just our closer friends and I watching the little one.
All was well, and I decided to even let my hair down a bit so to speak and have a couple of cocktails. It was hot and the water felt nice and it was great to feel safe with friends who were keeping an eye out on tiny. As people arrived, I became nervous of the amount of people drinking and overall present but I trust the homeowners whom I am very close with, and a few other people there I have known for years.
One of the guests was a woman I had never met, a friend of a friend, and her male partner. They seemed nice and considerate of my tiny human. The boyfriend seemed to like kids, and the woman seemed kind enough although admittedly did not have kids nor did she want any. That is her choice, to each their own, no judgement or concern on my end. The issue arose a couple of hours into their arrival.
Now, as many of you know, I am not strict when it comes to language usage around my child. I believe that it is more important to teach her what words mean, in which context to use them and so forth, instead of trying to censor myself and everyone around me. I want her to learn the weight that words have based on the audience and that her self-esteem is not determined by words. This is a unique parenting style, to my understanding, but not bizarre or abusive. Another element of not putting weight on words, is the way I jokingly refer to my child. I will sometimes call her my “tiny terror,” “crazy little biatch,” etc. In reference to her, not as a way of addressing her. Please read that again and understand the distinction. I may tell you she is my “tiny terror,” but when I speak to her I generally call her “my love” or “my tiny diamond.” Read it again if you have to.
This woman, who doesn’t know me, and who I do not owe any sort of explanation to, began to drunkenly express her concern about my “abusive and damaging language” towards my daughter. Although she used extremely dangerous words, I remained calm, told her I heard her and would consider her viewpoint, and was ultimately trying to brush her off. She continued to insist that I was “causing long-term damage” to my daughter. At this point, all sense of safety in my surroundings went out the window. I went from being at a friend’s home with my daughter at a private event, to very aware that I was amongst strangers using dangerous words to describe my relationship with my daughter in a way that could be misconstrued and cause very real damage to our lives.
It make sound like an over-exaggeration, but as a single mother of a certain ethnicity, this woman’s claims were reckless and dangerous.
Because of this woman, I quickly grabbed my daughter and we left. I drove home emotionally upset, dehydrated, and with a migraine. In retrospect, not the best way to be driving, and this added to how terribly I was beating myself up for even attending this event. And that was only half of it…
Alright. It is time to address the elephant in the room – or in this case, the scar on my face. I have a scar on my face. Truth is, it has always been there, you just never noticed because it was never that dark. The scar actually came from an incident as a teenager and has darkened and thickened in recent years for a few reasons: anxiety-induced dermatillomania, recent failed treatements, and tiny human picking at it.
Excoriation disorder, more commonly known as dermatillomania, is a mental disorder on the obsessive–compulsive spectrum that is characterized by the repeated urge or impulse to pick at one’s own skin, to the extent that either psychological or physical damage is caused.
I am a single mom that works full-time, in a world of covid and monkey-pox, and a girl can only take so much! I have severe anxiety that sometimes results in feeling itchy and picking at myself a lot. Not anything extreme, but if you looked you will notice tiny scars on my hands and legs. One day, tiny scratched my face which in large part was my fault because I did not cut her nails down. She scratched me hard enough that it dug right into the scar and down my cheek. That is when it went from back to worse. I picked at it, then tiny picked at it, then I did again, and so on. A perfect storm when combined with the summer time activities of being out at the park and on the bicycle allowing for tons of sun exposure. The scar solidified and darkened. I tried different treatments which some failed, and here we are. Scarface.
Although I wore makeup at the pool party, the water inevitably washed off the makeup and a scar (which was questioned already at tiny’s birthday party) was at question again requiring explanation over and over. As much as I love my friends, I do not believe I have ever blatantly asked them to explain skin blemishes in such a brazen manner as they did. But I accept that it is large part alcohol and perhaps curiosity that allowed their manners to fail.
Truthfully, I was considering getting it removed, but now after all of this drama, I have decided to lean into it. Call me scarface. And f@ck off.
Yesterday, it was 116 degrees. This was a record high for the area. This extreme heat is very difficult for many reasons – the area’s power grid, our poor AC units (I hope mine survives), our pets, having kids trapped indoors, and any health issues exacerbated. I have felt sick all week, nerve damage on fire, and can barely walk. Not a great situation for a toddler. So we are having Disney movie marathons, popcorn and all! I am not going to lie, this heat is unbearable, and so it the back pain it is causing. No amount of painkiller or stretching is helping, but I am still maintaining my mother duties making meals and dancing along with tiny to the song of Encanto. I hide the pain in a cold sweat and a frosty Diet Coke.
It’s fucking hot. I am a good mother and no kid-less Stacey Dash Karen nobody gets to say otherwise nor will be allowed near my child ever again. I have a scar on my face, deal with it. And despite all of these things trying to knock me down, the Lord is testing me, and I am rising to the challenge.