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Jodee C Kulp

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Shoulda Woulda Coulda
by Jodee C Kulp
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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If only we could turn back the hands of time - looking back always gives us clear vision - yet even with that vision so many remain blind

Written for International FASDay

If only 
    it shoulda woulda coulda been different.
Not that I really want everything different but one thing.
If only my daughter's mother would have abstained from drinking -
  at least for a moment -
     at least for enough time to allow
this beautiful child
    to be born whole -

I can't put back what she was never given.
Some gifts are only given once.

In essence I have done my job,
       done it the best I could.
Laid my life down so to say, as have so many of us.
       So so very many.

My daughter has
       the best laugh in the world -
it is a laugh that can burst a rainbow
      out of a thunderstorm.
Too many thunderstorms
      today I have no laughter.

Enough.
Enough.
Enough

I shout to the heavens, because the world is not hearing. Everynight another mom
shares a bottle with her unborn baby
    - somewhere
    - someplace
    - sometime

...in celebration, in pain, in joy, in sorrow
    - there is always a reason.

Alcohol has lots of friends.

I want to run away -
I want to grab myself a box
     of Oreo's
     or Chocolates
     or Boston Cream pie -

but instead I take my vitamins
knowing that is what I truly need -
to pass another day
- another test
- of who I am
- what I am capable of giving and forgiving
- not what I want.

I want to drink a whole pot of coffee
- so I pour myself a cup of Camomile tea.

Perhaps that will ease the pain of another derailment
- another collapsed bridge
- another twin towers.

For you or I life is so simple because we can see the complex.
But what it you
couldn't,
didn't,
can't.

I want to grab my own bottle 
  or chemical and numb myself from the pain
      - the chaos,
        the confusion of consequences of her trail of tears
      - but I sip my tear 
        and instead weave a word tapestry
for others to understand the pain and nonsense of FASDs.

My daughter walks
     on a very very narrow line to
     maintain a piece of normalcy.
A push or shove however slight can tip her balance.
Balance for her is still in full pendulum swing
- back and forth
- back and forth
- back and forth.

I want to cry
   but I know if I began I may never stop
- I have held and counseled too many other parents
       and friends
       and families as the reach out for support.

And I have been strong for myself
      and for them.
      In the journey with my daughter
- I have been prepared to understand for others.

And like Alice in the rabbit hole
I fall once again into my daughters madness....

Oh if only she reached out
instead of came
because she needed
a crew to clean up her demolition site.

In a whirlpool she is sucked into things unfathomable.

Mom I found a job I can be a dancer for an agency - translates to a stripper for a pimp. It was such fun and it's very easy work. And this my dear boss sir is what I've found on my own to pay my bills because I used the passcode you gave me to help you out. I was only being kind. You did not tell me the passcode was a
secret - when you were busy you recited it aloud so I could type it in. I am proud of using the computer - I can do that now and I have learned new things - I even memorized your passcode. The one you now tell me is a secret and I am not to know it. But you told it to me and you had me enter it,
     again
         and again
and now I don't understand why I am fired.

I try so had to control myself -
     I limit what I eat,
     where I go, |
     who I am with.
I even limit the amount of alcohol I drink to numb my own inadequacies - a twenty ounce water bottle is now only half full - It's half empty - I used to drink the whole bottle - but not any more - I am doing well - so well - only trouble is I need it more often now now that I don't have a real job. I was proud of my job - I made pizza's - I topped them and made them pretty. I liked my job. I wanted to do in my way on my own. But then I entered the passcode - on my own was what got me in trouble one more time.

My head hurt so I took a pill - mom had invited me to dinner - and we had talked during the day nicely - but the pill I took was not an aspirin
- I don't want to die I want to live
- and at the restaurant in front of my family
- I slipped from being me to someone else
- my brain and my chemistry turning to mush - but I was not drunk
- I didn't drink.
I tried to act grown as I became a child.
No I didn't I maintained my composure
- but they said there would be no more dining in publics with them.

My "friends" dropped me off at my mom's and dad's but they weren't home and I was cold and wrapped up in a table cloth she had on her stoop.
Stoop too low sometimes don't I.
I want to go home
- so mom takes me home - alone - now I have no boyfriend
- we had been together for other two years - he is my best friend's lover now.

Did I say best friend .... well maybe not anymore.
Her sister helped me get some money - dancing - dancing - it was fun.
They let me drink - I am adult - I am see I can prove it too you.
Oh I forgot - maybe I cannot prove it
- my wallet was stolen at the party
- my ID and my social security card.
I kept my SSC when I got my job
- This time I am an adult so I didn't give it back to mom. I am 21....

I would have had money - all the money I ever needed but mom locked down the check book
I took from her office.
It had my name on it. - It was mine - she said it was ours.
I bought nice things with the checks
- things I wanted - or thought I needed.
It didn't take long to spend a lot of money.
It didn't matter to me there was only $15.00 in the balance.
What is a balance? The bank always has money.

My bruises - well - I have not been eating well
- I have been drinking too much
- I have not taken care of my birds
- don't worry it was better when I was working
- when I had to be someplace on the same days
at the same time sober and looking healthy.

Do I care - no yes I mean no. I dunno.

.....I dunno ---- I dunno.

As a mom
    I leave the groceries at the front door,
    with her and a friend
    'a safe friend' to clean
              and repair
and help her get back onto the ridge.
 
Walking on a ridge is always hard -
     it dips
     and turns
     and stones and crevices to jump.

Those of us who raise children with FASDs
understand all too well the death toll of Liberty Ridge.
It is a hard climb
      and even with the most experienced climbers
      working together

- few make it.

I will stand on the other side of this new crevice - 
    looking for the next piece of gear to help her. 
    But it has been an arduous climb
           and I am weary.

Like so many of us no matter how well I care for myself -
    I need rest.
    I need strength
          and fresh water.

I didn't go to a FASD celebration yesterday -
       I couldn't, wouldn't, shouldn't -
       yesterday I had nothing to celebrate.

Happy International FASD Day to those in the trenches
 

   

 

Making a difference for persons with FASD

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Reviewed by The Poetess 1/19/2011
WOW! My heart is with you.
Reviewed by Z McClure 1/18/2011
this one made me cry.
~Z.B.McClure
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 7/8/2008
Your testimonial leaves the reader wordless. Powerfully compelling, Jodee. Love, peace, and best wishes,

Regis
Reviewed by Andre Bendavi ben-YEHU 3/16/2008

I like this composition... "Shoulda Woulda Coulda" depicts the subjects dealt, dissect them and takes the reader on tour through the realms of ontological and spiritual worlds.

I have enjoyed the reading of "Shoulda Woulda Coulda".

In respect to a great pen,

Andre Emmanuel Bendavi ben-YEHU
Reviewed by Cryssa C 2/22/2008
These words needs to be heard... I only hope those who need it will listen.
Thank you for sharing them. It is a powerful message you share...
Cryssa
Reviewed by Chantilly Lace (Reader) 2/22/2008
Oh my,so powerful..please stay safe and well...Hugssss
Reviewed by Karen Palumbo 2/21/2008
An extremely heartwrenching write that about tore my heart out, your pain so intense, almost unimaginable, yet crystal clear....

Be always safe,
Karen
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