The notebook

I hope this isn’t confusing but I am just writing randomly and in no particular order. I am finding this therapeutic in some small way and it is helping to relieve some stress. This story is set in 2005, the year before my two sons headed to college in the states. The picture is the actual notebook that Osama purchased for me, it has been with me ever since.


The green velcro notebook was finally secure, tucked under the dark recesses of the queen bed. The usual inspections were made, a quick walk past the bed, back and forth, stooping from each angle to be certain that it was no where in view, that little eyes would not excitedly point it out, that it would be gone and forgotten. After repeating this inspection several times, it seemed that this ordeal had come to a close. The receipt had been soaked in a cup of water until it disintegrated into pulpy white shreds, packed into a an empty can of tomato paste and thrown into the garbage. It was then taken out to the street dumpster and tossed to the back  until the weekly garbage truck rattled past to make it’s collection.

I had been ordered to take the notebook back, to produce the receipt and to never again encourage such frivolous and pointless purchases. Why would my son buy such a ridiculous, unnecessary item, it must have been through my guidance and instruction, a plan?  I stood before him motionless as hot salty tears forced their way to the surface and down a tired, worn face. His voice boomed loudly until it reached the maximum level, the inevitable outcome, brought about by “rebellion” and “disrespect”. All eyes were fixed on me, or so it seemed in this alternate reality. The window stood before me, and on the outside, a small narrow courtyard where ladies walked and children played. Little Heme fussed and pulled on my leg and the other children stood scattered throughout the house. Somehow I felt that I had made a sound proof barrier, only me standing in isolation, protecting young minds from the course of these odious events.  I bit my lip and scratched at my cheek hoping in some way that this would put a stop to the tears that now fell in a steady and bothersome stream. A fist pounded loudly on the table and now pacing ensued around me and then to the stairs and back. I stood at attention as I had been told, no crying, no excuses and a short reply, “I am sorry I won’t do that again”.

I crumpled the receipt behind my back, shoving it into the bag that held the coveted notebook. I shook my head and agreed it would be returned, banished. The tirade lost it’s steam and I ran up the stairs, brushing hair and tears into a rumple. My son followed me and instructed me to never return the notebook, it was filled with personal pages created for me, the optimal list maker’s dream.  Pages lovingly crafted around my busy life and need for order, replacing a white pad and pencil where  lists were written and crossed off. Daily, weekly, monthly, menus, goals and contacts all neatly placed with colorful tabs. I knelt down and carefully shoved the notebook under the bed and to the darkest corner. I heard my son heading down the stairs and it was too late to intervene.  Agitated discourse could be heard which ended in the words that would become a dare for everyone, “Do not ever buy anything for mama, ever



227 thoughts on “The notebook

          • Lynn, I don’t know how old your youngest is, but I can tell you that I held it together somehow until my children were older and didn’t “need” me as much before any of this rose up inside of me. It was great having them to keep me busy and with purpose. But it has not been good trying to deal with years of deep stuffed emotions. It must come out somehow at sometime. It turns out not to be so easy to then associate your struggles with the things that happened in the past. It is easy to be hard on yourself and wonder what is wrong with me. We think we should be stronger and be okay. I can assure you that there is nothing wrong with YOU Lynn. But there is something terribly wrong with everything you have been through. Unfortunately, dealing with it all now was inevitable. Don’t be alone in your suffering. Talk about it, write about it. And I am so proud of you for seeking professional help. I also am aware that you must be suffering very much to do so. I think what you have been through, while it is nothing short of amazing how you have handled it all, requires help and attention to heal your emotions, your spirit, and your soul. Our body has a way of not letting us ignore such things forever. There is help and hope Lynn. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of either!

            Liked by 1 person

          • You are so kind! Thanks for telling me this! I have lived in a denial for years and now no longer can stand it. My youngest is 12 and until now i have been able to just keep moving. Now its overwhelming and the past 2 months have been just staying in one place!

            Liked by 1 person

          • That is about the age of my youngest before this all started for me. It drove me into isolation for years. Blogging was the beginning of coming out of that and has given me the courage to return to counseling. There are too many deep scars we cannot overcome alone. Sometimes I think maybe we suffer for too long needlessly because we think we should be able to do it on our own, and we don’t want to burden anyone. The staying in one place is such an awful feeling and the most crippling. I hope the fact that you are reaching out for help early with this feeling will help you. I can tell you Lynn, you are not alone in facing this feeling of being stuck. I am struggling every day to get back what I lost in this respect. This has probably been the worst thing to even admit. And has made me be hard on myself. Thank you for sharing this with me. My heart goes out to you. I will be here to encourage you Lynn!

            Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.