This Old New House.

I woke up around nine on Thanksgiving morning and, but for the clink clink clink of the fan and my dog licking her butt, the house was painfully silent. Nothing was as it should be. I made myself a cup of coffee, grabbed my … Continue reading

Tell it to My Heart

Most days, I push it away okay.

Most days, I shake my head back and forth when I think of her, in an attempt to rattle the thoughts from my head.

Most days, I’ve accepted that I’ve lost her. Maybe not the physical her, but the real her.

All I’m left with is a shell.

All I’m left with is someone I’ve known for 35 years, but have never met before.

Just when I’ve had a week or so of most days, a feeling of panic washes over me at the most random of times. It knocks me down. It lays me out.

When the panic hits, it manifests itself in one of two ways: anger or sadness.

Mostly, I prefer the former, because it’s easier to feel the anger than the sadness. (Although, my blood pressure and twitter stream would likely disagree.)

This family of ours has dealt with too much pain and death, and mostly all at once, these past five years.

And, here we go again, into something that feels exactly the same and completely different.

The same emotions felt in a completely foreign way.

When we lost them in the plane crash, I felt a sadness that I’ll never be capable of describing with words. To this day, the mere thought of them makes me psychically ache.

With this, the sadness is equally inexplicable and painful, but it’s coupled with such intense anger at the very person I’m missing and mourning.

Sure, I was angry at the universe when we lost our Jacominis, but I was certainly never mad at them.

I am mad at her.

Mad that she’s choosing this fate. Mad that she’s shrunk my family of three down to a family of two. I’m so mad at how many people are feeling this loss and that we’re all locked in this prison with her, and I’m fucking furious that she doesn’t give a shit. I’m angry that, despite my best efforts and my fake facade, this is affecting the most important relationships in my life. And, I’m mad and disappointed at myself for being weak enough to let it.

Feeling so much anger will eat at your soul and slowly chip away at your spirit. Even so, it’s better than the sadness that lies below it.

To have someone you love so deeply be on this earth physically, yet not emotionally or mentally, is gut-wrenching. To slowly watch someone disappear, piece by painful piece, is heart-breaking. And, to have zero control over any of it? Helpless.

I’ve given love to her and I’ve given hate. I’ve been patient and I’ve lost my shit completely. I’ve opened my heart completely and handed it to her, only to have it spit at, stomped on, and thrown back at me. I’ve told her I miss her and I’ve told her to go fuck herself.  Despite it all, she keeps moving farther and farther away. She’s getting smaller by the day and I can barely see her anymore.

People, with only the best of intentions, say over and over again that tough love is what it takes. They tell me to move on and not let her dictate my emotions any longer.

And, I get all that. I really get it.

At least my brain does, anyway.

But, the thing is, no one’s ever been able to tell me how the hell I’m supposed to convince my heart of all this.

It simply will not listen.

And, my greatest fear is that, much like her, it never will.

What’s Mine Is (Not) Always Yours.

A conversation with Luca, four years old.

~ ~ ~

Luca: Mommy, where are those muffins you bought me?

Me: Hmm, I have no idea, baby. I’ll buy you more later.

Three Hours Later:

Luca: *holding up an empty muffin bag he found stashed under my bedside table*    MOMMY. WHAT IS THIS? WHO ATE MY MUFFINS?

Me: *Frozen with fear* Ummm, I did baby, last night after you went to bed. I’m so sorry. I’ll go get you new ones.

Luca: That’s a very mean thing to do, mommy.

Me: Luca, we all live here, and our food is for all of us.

Luca: Then why did you get so mad at daddy for eating your enchiladas the other day?

~ ~ ~

Fucking kids, man.

Leslie: My Photographer…My Friend.

I met Leslie Gaworecki during my search for our wedding photographer.

Even before I saw her work, I knew she was the one for me.

I could sense her gentle spirit and her kind soul….and we just clicked.

And, she did not disappoint….as a photographer, or a person.

She captured so much that day.

Nerves….

Excitement….

Celebration…

Love…

And beautiful keepsakes of the four family members we would unexpectedly lose just two years later…

 

She’s given us a huge gift, allowing us to measure our children’s growth through her photographs…

And, she’s stuck with our insane family all these years, capturing memories sure to have otherwise been forgotten…

Nearly seven years have passed since I met Leslie.

And, things have changed.

I’m no longer the giddy, naive girl I was that day I walked into her office.

I’ve been hit with hard-cold life, tragedy, and blessings too big to count…each event written in soft lines around my eyes.

It’s no longer just me.

My family of one is now four.

And my dear friend is still beautifully chronicling this funny little journey called life.

Thank you, Leslie, for putting up with my crazy. And, for knowing me just well enough to capture who we are.

I’m forever grateful for you, my friend.

Social Media, Family, And Being WHO YOU ARE. And the Shit-Show That Comes With It.

When I first joined Facebook, my friend list was pretty limited. I didn’t add anyone that gasps a lot or is easily offended. And I certainly didn’t invite any family members into my alternate universe.

As my blog’s readership slowly began increasing, and I started connecting with other writers, my social networking world expanded as well.

The more I got to know myself, through my writing, the louder and more confident my voice became. With each nod of affirmation I received, when I’d put something out there, came the realization that people appreciated authenticity…even if it did come with a dash of motherfucker and a sprinkle of my kids are being total assholes today.

Do I push the envelope with my words sometimes? Possibly, to some I suppose. But, I don’t really consider being who I am as pushing the envelope. Because, any one of you who know me in real life, know that I don’t present or express myself any differently than I do here, in this written space.

Then, around the time I realized I was no longer ten years old, and shouldn’t have to hide my feelings or thoughts from anyone, I started welcoming more people into my online world.

And, you know what?

So many people shocked me. There were friends, friends of friends, friends of my mom, and relatives, that I had pegged completely wrong all this time. Some were more empathetic and thoughtful than I’d thought. Some were spicier with their language and dirtier with there jokes than I ever could have imagined. And all of them were so supportive, even if they didn’t always agree with me.

So, this is what it feels like to come into your own, to proudly and wholly put all of yourself out there. Awesome.

Lately, things have been moving along swimmingly, my words and thoughts flowing freely. I’ve found my groove, and my people, and it feels awesome. My skin has thickened considerably over the past few years, which is a necessity for those of us who purge our feelings on the internet for a living. I never expect everyone to agree with, or laugh at, every single word I say. I know that I’m not everyone’s cup of skinny vanilla non-fat latte.

And, that’s fine.

I don’t expect strangers, or even an acquaintances, to love me unconditionally.

Or even like me.

Such is life.

Anyway, this morning after consuming around 300 cups of coffee, I continued sorting through old boxes, when I came across an old picture.

I know a family member who would love this!

As I went to post it to their Facebook page, I noticed something odd.

Right at the top of their profile it said, “Add Friend.”

Huh? But, we already are friends. No, we’re family, dammit!

And then it hit me.

DUN DUN DUUUUUUUN.

I’d been given the boot.

I’d been DEFRIENDED.

GASP!

I know what you’re thinking.

How could someone defriend Allison Zapata? I MEAN, REALLY?

Or maybe more like…

Big fucking deal, IT’S FACEBOOK.

And, I KNOW! I would be thinking the same thing.

I’ve been defriended numerous times over the years and, most of the time, my reaction has been along the lines of “DAMMIT. I only wish I could send them a message saying THANK YOU I’VE BEEN WANTING TO DO THAT FOR A LONG TIME AND I KNOW YOU ARE BUT WHAT AM I?”

Hurt feelings never entered the picture.

Until now.

Because, while most will say, “It’s just Facebook get a grip woman,” I say, OUCH! How about just hiding me, dude?”

I’ve gone through a myriad of emotions throughout the day. Embarrassment, for sharing such trite family drama on such a public platform, hurt that it happened, more embarrassment for having such a strong reaction to something so seemingly insignificant, and pissed off that I’m lacking support where I’ve always craved it the most.

I think my overly-dramatic reaction, in part, has a lot to do with the fact that I’d finally come to a place of, “Wow, my family, and everyone else, finally knows all parts of me, uncensored, and they still totally dig and accept me.”

Because, for so many years, I always felt like I didn’t really fit anywhere on my family tree.

Most of the time, I felt insecure, like the black sheep of the family (my mother and sister excluded, of course. They’ve always had my back, even if I was/am a little weird).

Oh, that Allison, she is so shy…

I would hear it over and over and over again, when I was a kid.

And, it wasn’t so much that I was shy, I just never felt completely at ease when we all gathered ’round the table at Christmas.

Sure, they loved me, adored me even. And I them (and I’ll kick your ass right now if you trash them). But, that didn’t stop me from being guarded, careful not to reveal all my layers.

The fear of rejection is an ugly, ugly beast, I tell you.

And maybe it was all in my head.

Maybe it was my own insecurities rearing their ugly heads, in those times I felt that what I had to say wasn’t welcomed or appreciated.

Or, maybe that’s just how every kid feels…itching to leave family gatherings for the night to join friends, those people who so totally get you.

I mean, this wasn’t even in the days that people openly ripped each other a new one over politics, religion, or gay-marriage. Which, today, are all areas in which I differ considerably with most of my family.

Maybe, we are who we are from the get-go, and those undiscovered views began to rear their ugly heads in our subconscious; our moral values intact, only lacking a platform on which to preach.

And, maybe I’m in the wrong for being so vocal about my views, amongst people who so fervently disagree with them.

But, I really just. don’t. get. it.

Sure, I have a filthy mouth (and mind) a lot of the time, but I’m always coming from a place of good….mostly.

I don’t talk about my vibrators, or murdering anyone, or trash someone for the way they look or what they wear.

I would get the shock factor if I was going on and on about white power, or hating thy neighbor, or how fucking awful Donald Trump’s hair is (my only looks-trashing exception).

Yes, I pepper my thoughts with strong language, because I have strong beliefs. But, they are beliefs like, wanting people to take care of each other, not judging people who are different, and lending a fucking hand when someone needs it.

And, for that, I will not apologize.

I am very careful when it comes to what I share here. I try not to tell anyone’s story but my own. But, I’m also very open about a lot of things.

That’s who I am….who I have become. And we all have our own version to tell.

Also, I recognize the fact that everyone has bad days. And that, if you don’t have the same sense of humor as me, coming across something like this when already annoyed could totally send you over the edge.

But, at the end of the day, silly or not, this whole thing just made me feel like the eight year old who finally spoke up at Thanksgiving dinner…and was asked to leave the table.

Luckily, my family and I love each enough to carve the turkey again next year….and again the next….and again the next….until we get it just right.

Do you mix family and social media?

Who are you more YOU around? Family or friends?

Are you as dysfunctional as me?

(Don’t answer that last question.)