A heroins journey

Each night before I go to sleep
I retell the story of my day
as a fairytale. A hero’s journey
My son waking up is a call to adventure
I’m asked to leave my sleep and head off into the unknown
I refuse the call, for fear of what the day might bring
but he is not to be ignored
so I, the heroin, get out of bed
hoping for a guide, a magical helper
a talisman that will help me in my quest
a magical appeal-repellant that makes me immune
to the pushing of requests
a cloak of silence that will dampen noise
a wand that makes people comply

Before they find me I cross the first threshold and get out of bed
crossing into the field of adventure
leaving the realm of my bedroom and stepping into a place
where rules and limits seem to be endlessly changing
Breakfast is the belly of the whale. The day swallows me.
The road of trials awaits.
Dragons and barriers, dragons and barriers –
and I’m still waiting for my aide

Here’s where the metaphor goes wrong. I am no heroin. Daily life is not a quest. I refuse to see my child as a dragon to be slain, a frog to be kissed, a beauty or a beast. I know there are no magical aides and I know I’ll have to find the answer within myself. Sod it. I’ve been searching too far, too wide, too long already. I’ve travelled many miles within myself and most certainly haven’t found what I’m looking for. The answers within myself are a myth.

The irony
The heroin appears
I just go about my day
performing my usual struggles
I can’t bear the noise – I’m glad he’s having fun
I need quietness – He needs to be accepted for who he is
I don’t want to look, listen, answer – He has a right to attention
I want to tell him to SHUT UP – I don’t want his world to be as dark as mine

After breakfast we enter the realm of chores. Neither of us has a magical aide. We need to clean the table ourselves, lunch has to be made, the school back pack packed, teeth brushed, cat litter cleaned. Where are fairies when you need them? My son is definitely no fairy. Neither am I. We both resent what needs to get done. He resents the chores. I resent trying to get him to do his part and having to work so HARD on that. He’s no Cinderella, yet I am an evil stepmother.

When he waves his sword I turn into Medusa
Snakes hiss at him
My look can kill

You see, people wonder why I’m tired all the time. This is just 90 minutes of my day. Out of bed, defences up. Dodging curses. Often cursing myself. After those 90 minutes do I go back to bed? No. The day has started. There’s no turning back. My bed has transformed into a witches cauldron. Even the fumes are poisonous. Returning there would boil me alive. So I seek another shelter.

The couch
The television
A book
Each has its own perils

The couch
A siren
It’s seducing song
leading to destruction
The television

A ball
I’ll turn into a pumpkin or loose a glass slipper
Either way it won’t change a thing
Mice aren’t horses
A prince no self esteem

A book
Ah, books!
My entry into the land where
I can be king or queen
Lion or faun
I can be good, I can be evil
But will I ever return?
Will my life be led?

My pleasure island
I’ll spend the whole day having fun
and turn into a donkey without realising it

More chores?
Time thieves who try to kill my Momo

I’m torn between obligation and pleasure
and I wonder
which one is the dark side?

But I digress. I was retelling the story of my day as a fairytale. A hero’s journey, containing a call to action, a threshold, a magic aide. Joseph Campbell claims there will be a goddess on my way but I can’t find her. I can’t even find the darkness in the deepest chamber of my heart. No mystical marriage. No scales falling from my eyes. My desire doesn’t find its peace.

On with the day
There’s work to be done
Relaxation to be scheduled
Chores to slay
A mystical wedding on tv
I perfume, whitewash, reinterpret.
The hairs in the soup are someone else’s fault.
There’s no lecherous fever in my cells.
I’m distracted by a purring kitten, trying to be fed.
It gets washed instead.
What’s the deeper meaning of that?

But let’s move on. The atonement with the abyss is what we’re heading towards. To confront and be initiated by whatever holds the ultimate power in my life. I look at the clock and see that I have 60 minutes left. 60 minutes before I’ll have to pick up my child from school. 60 minutes until uncensored power, pure life force will be unleashed. The beast. I’ll need patience. I’ll need mercy. I’ll need a place to centre my faith. To be a mother is to be your own godmother.

I want to be him
I want to be relentless in my demands
To feel I’m the centre of the universe
I want to be noisy and play and don’t think too much
I want my childhood back

Now I have 50 minutes left for my apotheosis. Or a trip to Neverland. Which shall it be?
Witch, it shall be. Alchemy is the way to the holy grail.

I will not send out a chivalrous search party
I will not roam the seas for a number of years
I will not spin gold from straw
I will not eat the poisoned apple

I have 45 minutes left.

I’ll paint
Just for the fun of it

I wrote this when we still had kittens, so it must have been a while ago. The last of them left the house this June. I don’t remember what I painted that day. I’m not even sure IF I painted, but I expect I did. I probably shared what I painted on Facebook. I didn’t share what I wrote. It felt too vulnerable.

I quote from today’s prompt on octpowrimo.com: “Today’s prompt is Falling through the cracks. Nothing is perfect and sometimes, things do slip through those pesky cracks. […] How do you deal with things that slip through? Is it ok to reveal our flaws?” I wanted to write something new, but I kept thinking about this piece. So I decided to share it. Even though it still feels vulnerable.

I think I used wikipedia to increase my knowledge of the hero’s journey. I know I want to learn more about it, and I’ll start by checking sources on the Joseph Campbell Foundation page.

15 thoughts on “A heroins journey

  1. cathytea

    I love The Hero’s Journey . Like any form, at the same time as revealing truths and empowering archetypes , its structure does shoehorn experience into fiction , or Romance. The beauty of your poem lies in the deviation from the form… or the melding of form, or disjunctures in it, which help reveal actual felt experience .

  2. msjadeli

    daring to be vulnerable in your writing benefits me as a reader. not saying you should benefit me. just sayin…. i love the format and the creative magic bean that grew into quite a beanstalk!

    1. Angela van Son Post author

      I think not, but I keep an eye out for possibilities. Just to make sure we don’t overlook something that deserves support instead of struggle with your parents.

      1. Dawn D

        I’m asking because I found out I probably have it, with moderate to severe symptoms… I was bright and a girl and those things weren’t diagnosed back then. So they made me skip a class and I continued successfully until I started my studies. I managed still, but with so much struggle that could have been avoided had we known about these things back then.

      2. Angela van Son Post author

        Regarding overwhelm, I think it’s a bit of both 🙂 I’ve heard other people (with knowledge) say his attention span is rather good for a child his age – I personally think it’s mainly rather good when he’s really interested in something 😉

      3. Dawn D

        Well, I could concentrate for a long time on things as long as it all seemed easy. But I’d interrupt others all the time, would procrastinate because I knew how to do it, what was the point in actually sitting down and doing it? At times I could immerse myself in a book and read because… the story changed, so I was entertained.
        But if a board game lasted too long, I lost interest (always HATED Monopoly).
        I understand the “being interested in something”. I found a site that let’s young adults and adults check about ADD and… yeah, looks like I’ve got it. Looking back, the signs were there already as a child.
        I think I’m also bipolar and definitely have PTSD. Yeah me!
        Just need to find the right person to diagnose me now…

        Good luck with handling his energy if your not feeling well. I don’t mean to give lessons, I hope you know that. It’s more of a “things I wish I had discovered earlier in life”.
        But… can his other parent not take over once in a while, just so you can breathe?

  3. Pingback: Letter from Zagreb | Unassorted stories

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