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Changing…

I don’t write much anymore. I don’t know if this is a good thing or bad thing yet, I just know it used to be a compulsion to put my thoughts, emotions, and dreams into written word. I still get the…

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Changing…

I don’t write much anymore. I don’t know if this is a good thing or bad thing yet, I just know it used to be a compulsion to put my thoughts, emotions, and dreams into written word.

I still get these moments where I feel the words will explode inside my head if I don’t let them out, but for some reason I can’t compel myself to put them to paper. I think fear – that fucking bitch who I’ve been trying to void all of her power – steps in. Fear that once I say it; I can’t take it back.

I think I’m just too much in my own head, too concerned with how others might label me, too fearful to further isolate myself by speaking my own truth. But the fact of the matter is; I don’t care anymore. Yes, I know people everywhere say this exact thing every single day, and I have also in the past, but it is true. I don’t care to speak my truth anymore – so here goes…

I don’t know how I fit into this world and I don’t know why I’m here. I thought I knew at one point, but that didn’t pan out.

People have this perception of me, this unrealistic perception of me that I can’t somehow take care of myself, that I’m too nice to ever do “that” – whatever “that” is, and that I’m happy almost all the time.

It’s my own fault, really.

I played into the unrealistic characterization of myself. I gave power to people who weren’t worthy of possessing it. I lied to myself by thinking certain things could pull me from the brink of crippling depression. I put weight in how others viewed me and I never gave myself a chance to figure out who I was, too blinded by not wanting to be the lost girl publicly that I knew inside privately.

This past year has been horrific. I can’t deny that. My rose colored glasses have disintegrated and what’s left is a world full of varying shades of gray.

I can’t see the light.

I can’t see the blessings.

I don’t want to feel hope.

I’ve been dissecting my life, like analyzing my actions is somehow going to change my present situation – I know it won’t. But I want to know where I went wrong. I want to let go of grief. I want to live in color again – this time more truthfully.

To do this, changes must be made. My truth needs to be heard. My insides need to be seen.

My past has not been lies. Let’s get that straight first and foremost. Every word I ever wrote or said has been sincere and honest, and will be until the day I die. But every hopeful and optimistic word I’ve ever uttered has been strategically placed to hide the ugly I didn’t want anyone to see – not even myself. And I didn’t even know I was doing it at the time.

I wake up every morning and ponder the point of this life. Seems stupid, I should just go out and make my life have purpose, but I struggle to believe this world actually makes anyone happy. I struggle to believe in the dream. I’m struggling to believe in humanity. I’m just struggling to believe…

I think God could’ve helped us out more. If I didn’t believe so strongly in ghosts and an afterlife, I’d really struggle to believe in God at all. It’s almost like a theological what came first: the chicken or the egg – or more aptly in this case – God or the human spirit?

I’ve felt proof of God. True.

I’ve felt his presence. True.

I’ve felt his hand in things throughout my life. True.

But I’m not going to lie – his blessings aren’t good enough for me. I’m angry with him. I’m angry with me. I’m angry with everything.

I wake up every morning with the intention of moving further away from my own internal origin of pain – to let go of my expectations and demands, to separate myself from those who are negative, to forgive myself for being me.

I just want to succeed, but I don’t even know what success looks like for me.

This morning I threw away a 10×13 photo of my mother. I looked at it and wondered aloud why I was holding onto something like that?

Why do I allow reminders of my pain to remain?

I saw my face in her face.

I saw my eyes in her eyes.

I saw a woman who I hoped at one point loved me.

In that moment, I had no other option but to fold the picture and place it in the trash can.

It made me sad to look at.

It made me sad to discard.

I feel like I’ve failed everything in life, including being a daughter – and I realized right then, that is my problem. She failed me as a mother, not the other way around. Yet I blame myself daily.

I have this problem, this pity problem with myself. I fucking hate it. It makes me think of the weakness in my mother. How her sickness has infected my brain before we even knew her disease was contagious. I just want to fucking scream: at her, at God, at my aunts and uncles – but mostly myself.

This Christmas is difficult.

Last Tuesday was difficult.

And three weeks from tomorrow will be difficult.

Life is fucking difficult.

Why doesn’t anyone prepare you for this?

Why do we all feel alone, though we know we all have experienced these same feelings?

I’ve been trying to dissect these questions lately. I used to think I was a loner. Like, I was the only one who ever felt this way, but over the years I have discovered this is untrue. I think the majority of humans feel this way at some point, and if they don’t it’s probably because they have real world concerns like how they’re going to get water to drink for the day, or how they will feed their kids at night.

Look, I understand that feeling lost is a “Champaign problem” and that searching for life’s purpose is a “caviar dream” but I want some goddamn Champaign and caviar already.

I want what I can’t have, I get that. But the realization makes me really fucking angry.

I don’t know how people wake up every day and go to work. I don’t know how people raise children. I don’t know how they make time for friends, or how they even want to leave their own houses. I don’t understand life. I just don’t get the appeal.

I think for the first time in my life I am in a clinical depression. I wake up every day trying to claw my way out. I don’t know how to do this. What I’ve been doing isn’t working. I think today I’m letting it all hang out – the good, the bad, and the ugly. All this shit in my head, just swirling around the drain yet it won’t go down. I’m about to plunge these fucking thoughts out – it’s going to sound like a pity party – but I don’t care how it sounds anymore. I know me. To move on I must get this out.

You see, I need 2017 to be better, to be a new start; but this baggage can’t come along for the ride. This resentment can’t linger. This hurt can’t be allowed to stew into even more hate.

I lost my family this year. I don’t think people can truly understand how this impacts me, let alone anyone for that matter. I don’t think I’ve ever let them fully know my pain.

I fake it, and play hard.

I was used to not having my mom – no that’s a lie – no one is ever used to that (see, even as I write I have to keep myself from inadvertently protecting my psyche with a lie). It’s more apt to say I had come to terms with the options I faced: a roller-coaster life with a hurtful, unstable woman or a life with no mother by my own conscious choice.

Every time I think I made the wrong choice I just remember how she paid her friends to call me and pretend they were mistresses of my husband’s in an effort to cause me pain 4 years ago. This is no assumption – the women callers admitted to the scheme.

I’ve told about 5 people of this behavior – like it’s somehow my burden to bear and feel shame from – but it’s not. That was the final straw with my mother. I no longer wanted to be part of her life. I graciously bowed out of any family functions.

When my grandfather began having serious health issues, I knew I had to resurface in the family. I knew I would be met with questions of where I had been but I had to go face them – I knew in my gut my grandpa wouldn’t be around for much longer.

I showed up at the hospital – 4 years with no other communication than cards. I didn’t want to have to explain how my mother and I would never have a relationship again and the reason for it – I didn’t want them to know how horrible she was. I didn’t want them to withhold their love from her – I knew how that would cause her pain (I still tear up at the thought that I devalued myself so much that I put her feelings before my own).

When my grandmother died 10 years earlier, she and my mom were not speaking. Due to some hurtful things that had been spoken my own mother’s father, brothers, and sister did not allow her to attend the funeral. I could not stand by and watch this unfold. I bought my mom a plane ticket. Sent my husband to pick her up from the airport, and stood firm to the family that she will be coming. She arrived just 3 minutes before the coffin was closed for the last time.

I will never forget the sight of my mom holding my grandmother’s hand in the casket as tears streamed down her face. I am forever grateful I was able to give her that. I thought, then, my mom and I had foraged an unbreakable bond. I was wrong. Ten years later she did to me exactly what they did to her.

Just three weeks before my grandpa died, he and his children all said the same thing – they didn’t want her, my mother, to come home.

I remember my grandfather grabbing my hand from his ICU bed, and with tears in his eyes, he turned to me and said, “I wish she’d just stay in Washington. I wish she wouldn’t come. All she does is cause pain.” I agreed and then assured him that she would be coming just to visit him. He squeezed my hand and told me he loved me. Those were some of the last coherent words he ever whispered to me.

When he died in August my mom turned me away from his bed. My aunt told me they needed to just be family – like I was some kind of paid help. Right then and there, the last part of victim died in me. I had no family left on my mother’s side. And after I dripped tears into the casket that held my grandpa’s body – I informed the rest of the family of their metaphorical death with these words delivered from pulpit:

“I’ve been truly conflicted on whether or not to come today but I knew I could never live with myself if I didn’t say goodbye.

It is no secret, you and grandma were so much more to me than grandparents, just as I know I was more than a granddaughter to you both – you all told me so often.

I stand here heartbroken that you are gone.

You and grandma were the stars of so many memories of mine; from playing in my first snow at your house to holidays gathered around the kitchen island – your house was home to me. It’s where I spent sick days home from school healing; it’s where I learned important golf lessons beside the garage (I will forever hear your words as I line up a putt-putt shot). I made my first pie in your kitchen and played with trains on the table at Christmas.

You guys gave me such happy memories.

The fact that you always came to get me when I was scared – every situation you rescued me from just proved how much I meant to you. Your words always helped to calm me down.

I need you to know at every mass I attend I will feel you grab my hand. Anytime I need a hug I’ll remember how it felt to have your arms wrapped tightly around me.

You taught me what I want in a man.

You helped me gain my voice through our debates.

And you loved me for simply being me.

I have to say I’m sorry for staying away for so long. I thought it would be easier that way but I need you to know, I thought of you every day we were apart.

Though you are gone from this world I cannot be entirely sad. My own selfish wants would’ve kept you here for eternity, but that isn’t an option in this reality.

I stand here today with a smile under my tears. I know you are now home with grandma. I have seen the two of you all around me, still giving me hope and a sense of believing that pure love really does exist, as that wasn’t always an example by the people closest to me. For this, I am truly thankful.

I am truly thankful for so much in my life: for the values you instilled in me and for the traits I know I inherited directly from you.

I am also thankful you are gone. The pain your body was enduring was not fair to the life you led on Earth.

But one of the main reasons I’m thankful you’re gone is because you never again have to live with the constant pain this family inflicts.

Today I am nothing more than a broken girl saying goodbye to one of the most loved men who will ever have a role in my life, and I’m walking away in utter pain inflicted by those I used to call family.

R.I.P. Grandpa. I will love you for eternity.”

I remember having concerns about disrespecting the funeral. I remember doubting if I should do this or not. But to this day I have no regrets about my words/actions. Maybe it’s because I believe funerals are for the living, or maybe it’s because no one: not my aunt/Godmother, my uncle, my uncle/Godfather, or my mother even acknowledged my presence that day. Instead they tried to have me hauled off stage because they felt my words were too offensive to be heard – god forbid we embarrass the 10 people at the funeral who knew everything already – too bad for them I came to say goodbye and that’s exactly what I did.

I think the real reason I have no regrets is because I no longer feel love for them. I no longer allow warm spaces in my heart to be occupied by their cold, heartless, souls.

You see, I don’t forget things. I remember my aunt/Godmother defending my mother. Telling me that I should be thankful I don’t have it as bad as her step-kids whose mother was a junkie – basically dismissing me all together. I remember feeling so small, so guilty, and so unseen.

In hindsight, she was right. My mom wasn’t a junkie – she never did heroin or cocaine. But she was a manipulative manic depressive with borderline personality disorder who was such a stellar mother her solution to parenting was to just not do it.

“No need for school; just shut up and go back to bed. I need to sleep,” she would say every morning. I remember the truancy officer threatening me in the principal’s office about having to repeat the grade. I wish I would have told him the real reason I wasn’t coming to school.

“You don’t need food; I fed you the other night,” she would scream. Then I’d raid the kitchen only to find Kahlua and Vodka in the fridge before calling my dad to tell him what was going on.

Sure, I had it good. My mom was Mrs. Brady. How could I not see that?

But to me, this wasn’t a competition. I didn’t tell her because I wanted to know of others who she felt had it worse. I told her because she promised me she would always be there for me. I told her because she couldn’t have kids and told me I was her kid. I told her because I trusted her. I told her because I loved her. Her response, even in my 11 year old mind, proved to me how she was no better than the woman I called “mom.” We were never the same again. She has no idea why I pulled away so hard and never came back.

But I’m not mad anymore. Not for that.

I am mad that she sold me out again, and again, and again. I am mad that she never stood up for me. I am mad that she checked out, but I understand it wasn’t her legal responsibility to check in. I just took her for her word. In essence, I’m mad I ever trusted her.

I realize I’ve taken a lot of people at their word and have been let down a ton. I do this now, too. I have great intentions to help, lofty goals to participate, and a desire to be included. Then I bow out at the last minute. I would say I don’t know why but that stopped being true a few years back. It’s because I don’t trust anyone. I don’t value anyone. I don’t want to need anyone. And I don’t know if it’s a good or bad way to live. I don’t know if I’m going up or down, right or left. I just have no clue how to live my own life.

I’ve always struggled with women – like really struggled. I don’t know how to act, what to say, how to look, what to like. It’s like I don’t know who I am around other females. It’s easier with men. I can dismiss them easier. I can include them easier. I can just be around them easier. But with women, though I yearn for a “Sex in the City” group of female friends, I just come unglued: too analytical, too judgmental, and too insecure.

I’ve found that for me anyway, it’s just easier to be a recluse, easier to not be vulnerable, easier to not be rejected by others.

But it can be lonely.

I don’t particularly like feeling lonely. But I don’t like being around the masses either. It’s like I’m that unappeasable bitchy princess sitting atop that stankin’ ass pile of mattresses who can still feel that fucking pea.

How do I get rid of that fucking pea?

This is where I’m at currently. I feel good about the people I’ve left behind. Yes, there is sadness, but that beats the pain, yet I still can’t get happy.

Is this a kid issue? I think not. Being a mother and adding more stress isn’t going to do anything for my mental stability. It’d be like using a band-aid to close an open-heart surgery wound. Plus, I meant it when I said it last year – I don’t really want to be a mom. Brik and I have even discussed birth control as we’ve had a few months where we were praying the scare was nothing more than a scare. It’s something greater than this.

I hear people all the time say how they can’t understand depression. How they can’t understand suicide. How they can’t understand people’s decisions.

Well here’s what I can’t understand:

I can’t understand how I’m supposed to be happy getting up every day to go to a job to make someone else money.

I can’t understand how this is all there is to life.

I can’t understand how people are so closed off to the bigger picture in the world.

I can’t understand how God doesn’t punish yet there are so many on Earth in turmoil.

I can’t understand how some have peace.

I can’t understand why the world spins.

I can’t understand why the sun comes up.

I can’t understand why the sky is blue.

I can’t understand why people die, or are born.

I can’t understand life.

I want the equation for understanding.

I’ve prayed for guidance. I’ve enacted change to become a better person. I’ve sought friendship. I’ve started my own traditions. I’ve gotten lost in my dogs. I’ve searched the deepest parts of my soul and I still come up wanting.

What am I missing?

I smile in photos because that’s what you do. I laugh because everyone else is laughing. I cry when everything becomes too much, which is almost always.

I have spent the past 35 years looking for light. I can’t turn to my family. All I ever was to them was Karen’s daughter anyway. I don’t know how to be a friend so I don’t know how to have one either, which leaves me unable to really turn to any of them in my darkest days.

Yes, I know. It sounds like I’ve given up hope. I have about some things. There are days I feel like I’m in a pitch black cylinder like room where no one could ever find me. Then there are days I feel like I’m on top of the world. The latter are few and far between anymore.

I’m tired of living this way.

I’ve asked myself the necessary questions, the hard, nitty-gritty, hurts-to-answer questions:

Am I ugly inside?

Am I unlovable?

Should I be more forgiving?

Should I be more likable?

Basically, am I the problem?

I could be nicer, more inviting, more inclusive, more everything – but I’m not.

I don’t like small talk, or white lies, or anything that distracts from the whole, bigger picture. I can’t pretend anymore. I can’t spare others’ feelings at the expense of my own.

I don’t care that you dyed your hair red, or hombre, or blonde, or that your mom told a funny joke, or that you think your baby is cute. Duh, everyone thinks their baby is cute. And 9 times out of 10 they are right. But that doesn’t fuel me, though I’m so guilty of sharing these things with others.

What fuels me is why you are crying, why are you struggling to make eye contact, who hurt you, and how can I help you fix it?

If it’s laughing at your mom’s funny joke, I can do that. If it’s ogling your cute baby, I can do that. But my relationships can’t be superficial anymore. I need to know what drove you to ogle your baby. Why do you value being a mom or dad or friend so much? Why do puppies make you happy? What happened today to make you appreciate that glass of wine so much more than you did yesterday?

I need to know why you’re hurt and why you’re happy.

I understand people struggle to divulge this information, which is why I don’t have many friends. Those people I mentioned earlier, the family I used to have, they don’t speak truths. They don’t speak their emotions. They simply aren’t honest. It took me many years to figure out why they rubbed me so wrong – they hide.

I learned how to hide from them and I hid myself from the world because everybody hurts you if you let them.

We spend years and years in school learning how to add, how to read, recounting history, discovering biology, understanding physics yet we take no time at all to explore our own mind.

We take test after test to determine our eligibility for college, or a job, or if Cosmo thinks we’ll be great in bed but we never learn how to love ourselves. We never learn that we were born already knowing our best friend.

For 35 years I’ve been trying to unscramble this convoluted mess that lives in my head. I’ve been trying to find people to love me and like me and accept me never knowing that the person I was seeking, was me, and has been since the first gasp of breath I inhaled.

How have we as a species failed so miserably at this task? How have we given our power away for so long? How do we keep crippling our children by teaching them to please?

It is not our job to please anyone!

It’s not my job to please you. I don’t know why I’ve thought it was for so long.

I’m having all this anger bubble up. It is impacting me daily. I can’t keep my mouth shut anymore. I can’t remain silent. I can’t please.

I got into a screaming match at the gas station the other day because the guy in front of me had no manners. If I went into it you would understand my perspective, but it isn’t necessary to tell a lengthy story for support. My point is, I would have sat quietly last year and just let the dude be a jerk.

I don’t know how to do that anymore. I don’t know how to pretend I’m the only person on the planet and dismiss everyone else for their asshole remarks. I won’t do it anymore because it’s not my job to please you. I don’t care if you hate me, it’s better than me hating myself.

Everybody acts like it’s the differing perspectives that make life interesting – bullshit! That’s a lie that was told to you that you perpetuate. Sure we can learn something from those who are different, and if that is what we need to do because of your job or inner workings, that is perfect. But stop telling me I have to entertain viewpoints, perspectives, or people who I think are in the wrong. I don’t. You don’t have to either.

God gave us freewill. It’s like the Trump tax loophole of the Bible – it resolves God from any wrongdoing or negative backlash. My freewill is telling me to stop silencing what I really want to say. My freewill is compelling me to stand up for what I know is right. My freewill is nudging me to be a little naughtier than I’ve ever let myself be, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Some people do great with differing opinions. Some people don’t. I don’t.

I’m tired of explaining me. I’m tired of showing you me. I’m tired of being judged as either like you or different than you and then being compartmentalized in the proper slot. My being is completely independent of you just as your being is completely independent of me.

Over the years I’ve had people actually come to me and ask me how they are supposed to feel. I’ve had people tell me they need my words to move on. I’ve had people tell me that since I’ve stopped writing they are disappointed in me, that I’m not the same person I was and how I need to get back to that.

NO! NO I DON’T!

You need to learn how to feel on your own. You need to figure out how to move on in your own life. You don’t have any more right to be disappointed of me than I do of you. I am right where I am supposed to be – lost, confused, and completely unsure of my tomorrow.

These people were me a few years ago, before the miscarriages, before the infidelity – too afraid to dive head first into their own emotions, too scared to let – not themselves down – but everyone around them, too lost to even know there is a problem.

I feel for them. I hope they find their way. But I’m not sticking around in misery waiting for them to be ready to come with me.

I know I sound so cold, so hateful, so disengaged. But I’m not. I’m almost too engaged, too available, and too eager to please.

I don’t want to be like this anymore, and I’ve seen myself veer off course lately, to what some will view as more of a bitch, overly closed off, and too judgmental path…but I’m none of those things. I’m just someone who is really learning who she is, what she’ll put up with, and how she’ll handle situations.

I’m nobody’s victim, least of all my own…and I won’t allow myself to be put back into that role by anyone…