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Archive for the ‘past’ Category

I am sick.  I have been sick off and on for a very long time. Not really the kind of sick that you can definitively define with a diagnosis and move on… but with the kind of unusual achiness and the uncomfortable pain and swelling and feeling like a very old woman kind of sick.

Upon facing my mortality recently… I started thinking of my story.  My life. The things that have happened to me and the things I have overcome.

I wonder how much of these stories I should write down, and how many of these stories I should take to the grave locked securely in my old woman heart, for nobody else to ever know.

I wonder if in the telling of these stories to the only people that would care to know or read them, my children, if in reading these things they would change their opinion of me?

I was not a good person for many of my young adult years. I now know it was a response and a coping in part to my past child abuse, but it still doesn’t make it any easier to see written out the brutal and ugly things I did.

I was not a very nice girl.

Mainly I wonder how much of this tell-all would really matter to my children? Do they really need to know about all the men I slept with? Or all the drinking and stealing I did to escape the pain?

Do they even need to hear about my past? Do they need to know the terrible things my mom did to me? My mom, their grandmother, that they loved very much and can’t remember ever seeing this behavior. Do I really need to change their opinion on one of the best grandmothers ever?

There was a quote in the movie Titanic, something about a woman’s heart being a garden of secrets… my heart is a parched land filled with rocks and cacti, do they really need to see this ugliness that I have kept hidden from them so very very well for so very very long?

I think its best to use this history as a plot for a book, or for blog posts that will go unseen by 99% of the world… I think my children should remain protected from who I really have been, from who I really am at times. I don’t want them to see me as anything but a good, kind, loving mom. Because that is who I am now… and that’s all that matters.

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How do I blame you

For something you will never understand?

Accusations slip cautiously from my lips

only to land on misunderstanding ears.

Thoughts tumble thick and messy like birds battering inside my head

while your scant words lie stagnate and solitary in yours.

The words of love and affection which I hunger to hear

are stopped by the fortress walls built around your unyielding heart.

I silently scream for your attention, waving and imploring… making a disastrous scene

as you turn away your cotton filled ears and dive into your ocean of ambiguous retorts.

~c&f

 

 

 

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The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd – The longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.

— Fernando Pessoa

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Love is not something that always stays, no matter how hard you try to tether it, hold on to it, keep it safe, It can still slip through your fingers like sand.  Slipping slowly through these fractures of time and distance. The more you try to keep it from tumbling away… the faster it seems to flee, catching in the breeze, and disappearing into places unreachable.

This love that is leaving, is not the love that He has for me, it is, in fact  the love I have and feel for him that is slipping so surely and steadily away.

The longer he continues to place these restrictions on my heart, on my words, on me as a person, the more surly my love will slip away.  He does not mean to hurt me, he is never vicious in his dismissal. Ignorance and selfishness are his only true crimes.  His way of loving simply differs from mine. My words reach his ears in a foreign tongue that, no matter how hard he tries, he will never… quite… get.

Cracks and gaps are created by words he has said in thoughtless moments of haste.  Gorges of dark pain carve their way through my heart with every uncaring word.  Dry craters form with every dismissal, every change of subject, every day I spend in forced silence.

Pain should never be dismissed, no matter how trivial it may seem. The person that is in pain is trusting you enough to bear their secret, admit their weakness, voice their pain.  Once that admittance is out there it is the receiver’s responsibility to tenderly acknowledge that pain.

If the pain is not acknowledged, if that pain is mocked, dismissed, ignored or silenced… then the receiver has broken that sacred trust. Any further thoughts one might have in trusting this person, after this invalidation occurs, will simply be met with a resounding “BANG” in their head.  Doors are shut, mouth is sewn closed, and heart cracks become just a little more prominent.

Can these cracks be mended? I am sure they could, with the right apology, a certain amount of caring and, of course, no further damaging actions.  Is he willing to rectify these cracks? Is he willing to build up my trust in him? I don’t really see this as something he has even entertained, as of yet.  He has apologized.  He even felt bad for almost 20 minutes.  What more do I need?

It’s one thing to be dismissed by a friend, or a family member that keeps a distance. It is a whole other level of pain when that dismissal comes from the one person that supposedly knows you better than any other person on the earth.

When they do betray your heart, ignore your pain.. it is just as lethal as any poison.  Festering and killing you slowly from the inside out. Sure, you can build up a tolerance over time, but, who wants to build up a tolerance to something like that?

So, does this damaged heart start the daunting task of finding a whole new person, a person that may better understand them? I can’t do that, fear is a whole other problem in itself!

Maybe I can learn to repeatedly overlook this flaw of his. Simply, try to love my offender regardless, seeing as I have already invested so much time and know I love him. I will work diligently to not show this tender heart of mine. The heart that’s always silently cracking, beating irregular, pained, beats over and over and over again.

Can I stop owning up to the pain of this secret, inner struggle? Could I really stop giving a voice to my turmoil and eventually learn to keep mute at these times?
Could I really mirror his actions and simply learn to dismiss my pain, keep my words trite, and just live out my remaining years, comfortable and safe and in a veritable Love Coma, repeating to him… to myself… reiteratively with every beat of my aching heart, “I’m fine” “I’m fine”, “I’m fine.”

Broken-Heart-Backgrounds-Wallpaper

 

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“I Don’t Wanna Love Somebody Else”
(A Great Big World)

Oh, I built a world around you
Oh, you had me in a dream,
I lived in every word you said
The stars had aligned
I thought that I found you
And I don’t wanna love somebody else

Oh, we left it all unspoken
Oh, we buried it alive
and now it’s screaming in my head
Oh, I shouldn’t go on hoping
Oh, that you will change your mind
and one day we could start again
Well I don’t care if loneliness kills me
I don’t wanna love somebody else

Oh, I thought that I could change you
Oh, I thought that we would be the greatest story that I tell
I know that it’s time to tell you it’s over
But I don’t wanna love somebody else

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A person does not simply become friends with a teenage boy.
I am finding this fact out the hard way.
It is harder, still, to rebuild a relationship that was previously crushed and broken when that same boy was just a small, powerless child.
I have struggled for 3 years now, to try to rebuild a sort of friendship, at least, with the CG’s son.
I have tried to be a friend to him, be involved, lavish him with gifts, take him places, remind his father to do things for and with him, reach out to his mother when he needed her, ask for his help, love him… mainly love him. But, non of it has worked thus far.
I realize that I seem as useful, to him, as… a throw pillow. I take up space on his couch, I am just as noticeable and important, which is nada… and if I were to just disappear one day, I would never be missed. He might look around for a second, noticing there is something different about the room… but never really know what it was…
Yup, I am a throw pillow.
I wonder if someday he will ever understand that I never stopped loving him, the entire time CG and I were apart, I never stopped thinking of him as my son. I never stopped thinking of him, crying over the loss of him… I even got in touch with the CG, initially, that first time… because I really missed his son?!?! Little did I know….
No, he probably wont ever realize these things, because he will never care to hear them… and if he does decide to be friends with me, I am sure his mother will be waiting in the shadows, ready to strike down any good thoughts he ever has towards me.
I still blame her.
I still blame her for those damaging lies she told him, no matter how small, they were still malignant in their damage.
And, I still blame the CG.
I blame him for not standing up for me, for not setting his son straight on how I feel about him, on not defending me to his ex-wife, for not teaching his son manners and respect towards me.
I blame him for not knowing me well enough to know without a doubt I could never say those things about a boy I have loved as much as my own children!
And, I blame myself.
I blame myself for being so completely scared of a child, a teenager… that I have to secretly write all these feelings on a blog he will never see.
I blame myself for missing those crucial 5 years with him, no matter it was not my actions that kept us apart.
I blame my mental instability for forcing me into silence, rather than sitting him down and baring my true self to him.
I am as useful as a throw pillow, to him.
That sums me up perfectly.

imagesCA179EZP

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I was lied to, back when I was in lamaze class.
Pregnant with my daughter, a scared, 20 years old, and feeling so lost and alone. My husband had left me at 5 months pregnant, I had lost my job and was homeless, so I moved back home with my parents. My mom stepped in, doing all the things a partner should be doing. She went with me to the lamaze class, just as she had gone with me everywhere else those past 4 months. Through all of the doctors appointments, nursery shopping, walking in the evenings, preparations for the baby, she was my constant companion. She rubbed lotion on my legs when they ached, she cooked nutritious meals for me and my baby, she listened as I purged the history of my abusive marriage and told the deepest and darkest of my secrets, never judging, never criticizing… just loving me and being there for me. We quickly became best friends and as a joke I started referring to her as my “diary”.
As we sat in lamaze class, me between her knees my back against her chest, feeling her breath on my cheek, holding her hands as they circled my growing belly… the lamaze teacher told us simply, “Child birth is the most painful thing you will ever experience in your life!”
She lied
Losing my mom, watching her take her last, gasping, breaths… THAT is the most painful thing I have ever experienced in my life. There is no epidural for that. There are no drugs available to “take the edge off”. There are no focal points, no breathing exercises, no coach, no support partner. Just you, alone in your grief, alone in your emotions, alone in your loss.
The labor pains began when Mom informed me, first and alone with her in her hospital room, that she had cancer and had been hiding it from everyone for over two years.
The news socked me in the stomach harder than any upper cut ever could, knocking the air out of me. I was stunned, automatically feeling ill, panic rising in my throat I ran from the room looking for a bathroom, a lounge, any place I could be alone in my shock and pain. I found a lounge, and a hard orange, plastic, chair. I sat, gasping, shaking, crying silently into my hands with panic. Screams of “why MY mom?!?! Why now?!?! Please God, NO! Don’t take her from me!?!” streamed through my head. I was only there a few minutes, quickly gathered myself back into a tidy package of strength and stability, and returned to mom’s room.
She needed me to be strong, to hold her hand, to be there for her as she had been during the birth of both my children.
My sister, dad and I talked her into fighting the cancer. Begged her to give chemo a chance… for us. Mom was scared of chemotherapy, terrified really. She had watched her parents, family and very dear friends suffer more from the effects of chemo rather than the actual cancer itself. That’s the reason behind her hiding her cancer for so long, not wanting to have to subject herself to the effects of chemo. We knew her reasons, but still selfishly asked her to fight, and because of her love for us, she fought. She fought valiantly for 2 years with only a few minor set backs. She was forever a lady, never complaining, never asking “why me?” She just went into treatment like she did everything else, just daring it not to work, demanding it listen to her and make her well. She became thin, tired, sleeping often and staying nauseated most of the 2 years.
I got to where I was calling her 2-3 times a day, checking on her, telling her funny grandkid stories, saying “Thank You” for every little thing that ever popped into my head that she had ever done for me the past 38 years. Daddy took wonderful care of her also, doting on her, feeding her, driving her over on the days she was too sick to drive. Taking her to the hospital when she was so sick with Pneumonia that we were worried we were losing her at that point. He never left her side. We all fought together.
During these two years of her being sick and going back and forth to chemo and PET scans, blood work and boughts of Pneumonia, I tried my best to be there by her side. I was busy by now with two children and working nights and weekends in labor and delivery. I would stay in town after work long enough to sit with her in the waiting room and her being hooked up to the drip. She always felt bad when I did that, always worried I would be too tired. “You go on home, honey! I’ll be fine, you need to sleep”, she would say.. I couldn’t tell her I was clinging to every second I had with her, clinging to her every breath. I would just obediently kiss her cheek and tell her “I love you”, and go home. I remember those mornings at the Oncology Center, how the nurses would light up when they saw her come in, everyone loved Yvonne, she was always so sweet a gracious, asking about them and their families, she was always selfless in that way, never wanting to talk about herself or her health, it was always about others.
Finally, one day, the news came that she was “all clear”, she had fought and won, she was in remission.
She started getting her strength back, began walking again, immersed herself in her church activities more than she even had been before. She walked in the “Walk for a Cure”, both as a survivor and as a caretaker for her parents. She had beat cancer! She had won, we all thought.
What most people don’t realize, us included, is that once you have poisoned your body with chemotherapy, you become more susceptible to infection, your immune system is shot, plus the type of cancer she had also wreaked havoc on her heart and arteries. She was a ticking time bomb.
She started pushing herself too hard. She had missed two years of life, and she was in a hurry to catch up. She became involved in writing the history of our church for its 100th anniversary. She worked tirelessly on a book of music and songs composed by a lady in our church, then soon became that same lady’s caretaker. She started keeping my son for me on the weekends I worked nights, driving him back and forth to school on the days I had to sleep. She dove into everything she did, head first, like it was a race…she hardly ever came up for air. I complained one summer morning, on the phone to her, that she “never had time to sit a visit anymore, she was always too busy doing for others, I was losing her”. “Well, honey”, she replied, “I have too much to do… and if I don’t do it, who will?” Perfectly mom in her reply.
That was in August, little did any of us know, she had already had 2 heart attacks. Non of us had a clue she would be gone in a matter of 6 weeks.
The labor pains became more persistent.
I knew something was wrong when I saw her the first week of September. I felt it. She was so thin, pale, almost a yellow color. She just didn’t look like mom. I questioned her and she dismissed it as being tired and run down from worrying about her friend. I still felt there was something more, but mom could convince the Pope he was Baptist if she had a few minutes alone with him, so I left it alone.
By the 29th of September she was in the hospital and 9 short days later, she was gone.
Just like that.
I compare losing my mom to labor.
It’s happening, be it fast or slow, things are changing. No matter how hard you fight to maintain control, no matter how hard everyone works to stop it, labor, and death, both march on.
I fought for my mom for 8 full days. I only left the hospital, her side, when forced by nurses with threat of having me committed to the mental hospital. I argued with surgeons, doctors, nurses, I threw so many residents out of my room it quickly became a joke among hospital staff.
I had promised her in the ER that she could trust me, that I wouldn’t let them put her on life support, I wouldn’t let them do heroic measures, to let her go if it came to that point, she made me promise, so in trying to keep up my promise I focused on, NOT letting her go. I was a woman on a mission… a mission to “fix my Mom”. I dreamed of her waking up and telling me how much she loves me and she could not have “made it through without me!” I focused on keeping her beloved “pink stuff” on her lips, I talked to her, played hymns that she loved on my Kindle for her, I read to her, I brushed her hair, covered and uncovered her feet, and silently prayed over and over that she stay with me.
Just as labor, the moment came when it was time to push.
There was nothing more the doctors could do. She was brain-dead.
Just as some women have beautiful birth stories, some women have beautiful death stories.
“Oh she smiled at me then closed her eyes and breathed out her last breath.”
“I told her it’s ok to go mom, and so she did”.
I’ve heard them all before, I am sure there are some very beautiful stories out there…
My moms story is not like that.
It was horrific, absurd, terrible, hilarious at times, painful and awful.
The hospice experience was everything BUT peaceful. (Maybe someday I can write down the events of that night, but now is not the time.)
I had been very proactive that entire day, I knew in my head that mom was already gone, that this was just her body lingering, so I tried to stay busy and continue doing for her, in hopes that she was in the room, watching, somehow. I fixed her hair, applied her makeup, washed her hands and filed her nails, not talking.. just doing.
After the removal of the breathing tube, the stepping in of hospice, the transferring of her from one building to the next and getting her settled into the room at the hospice, we were informed she would most likely be struggling for the next 6-9 hours.
Around hour 4 I realized this was it. I could no longer stop this from happening.
It was around hour 5 that my body went into shock.
It was around hour 6 that I started to give birth.
I gave birth to the pain, the heartbreak, the realization that I would never ever see my mom again. I would never hear her voice, feel her cool hands on my face, feel her play with my hair as I laid my head in her lap. I would no longer be called “Momma’s baby”. I was losing my mom, my best friend, my everything… and I could do nothing to stop it. The pain was unbearable.
I suddenly couldn’t look at her. I couldn’t stand the sight of her. I hated her for leaving me. I hated her for rather being with Jesus than with me! I was so disgusted by this pale, gasping, stiff corpse that had taken the place of my sweet, precious, beautiful, mother.
I wanted to beat it up! I wanted to scream at it! I wanted to demand it bring my mom back and it go away instead, but all I could do was cling to my boyfriend and wail as my heart literally crumbled.
If you don’t belive you can actually feel your heart-break, then you are one of the lucky few that have never lost someone who you love more than yourself. My heart literally hurt, felt bruised, for several days after mom died.
Then, at 5:35am, the nurse quietly said “she’s gone”.
And that was it. I no longer had my mom.
I had gone through the entire ordeal, the entire loss of my mom, without meds, without an epidural, without her to hold my hand. I was now a woman alone, a woman without a mom.

It’s common to think back on one’s life and say, “Before I had kids I…”
or “After I had kids I was changed in many ways, like…”
Well, it’s the same for losing my mom.
Before I lost mom, I was so carefree and innocent. I was still a child in so many ways. I relied on her for so many things. No matter how mad I would get at her, I still knew she was there for me if I needed her. She was my best friend for so many years. She was my confidant, my babysitter, my sister, my boss, my teacher, my everything.
My thinking is different now. I feel suddenly, old. Like I aged 100 years in those 6 hours.  Like I now have privilege to a well-kept, ancient, secret… you can live through the pain.
My writing is more difficult to produce, less creative. I look back at things I wrote just 2 years ago and think “silly, nieve, dumb little girl! How simple life was back then!”

Life will go on without my mom, I realize that. I have to keep going, for my children, for my daddy, for myself. That’s what mom would have wanted. I know she is proud of me… I do, really.
And in writing this, I am hoping I can start finding some closure and some relief from the constant pain of loss and abandonment.
And just like the birth of my children, I will always have my own personal experience of my moms death. Nobody, Nobody… has any magical words that will instantly make me feel better. No amount of scripture can make me start “rejoicing in her heavenly rebirth”. Although I appreciate all the cliché  words and phrases so many people have said to me this past 7 months, non of it will ever make me feel instantly better. Sorry, but I will never think “Oh, Wow! Thanks for telling me my mom is in a better place!” because I am selfish and I am in pain, and I’d rather have her here with me.
I have given birth to the loss of my mom… and it WAS the most painful experience I have ever been through in my entire life… but I came through it, bruised and bleeding… but gradually healing.

Someday I will only have sweet memories of mom, and the happy times we shared over our 39 years together.

Someday, the pain will fade… just like the pain of childbirth.

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