Bloody mud piles, play
dig your mean gut, soul, under
Won’t cry over you.
Bloody mud piles, play
dig your mean gut, soul, under
Won’t cry over you.
What do I have to say here, that hasn’t been said before? It’s an ongoing battle, repetition begets boredom, boredom, depression. I’m weary from all our conversations that end up the same way, one of us hanging up on one another. I can’t do that anymore, I won’t.
I’m sitting in a coffee shop, near your apartment, trying to drink a cup of black coffee in a white mug, my hands shake, while the rain continues to flood the streets. I just think about trying to jump over the massive puddles but I don’t have any more energy in me to even try. When I was younger that was my favorite thing to do. Not now.
I feel paralyzed from pain, the pain you inflicted on me. Once, I used to be carefree, like a child, happy and silly and stomp in the puddles. I am so ANGRY at you. In the past I cared too much and where did that get me? No where. So, instead of being disappointed like I have been in the past, I am turning into myself, safe guarding my heart and not showing it anymore, at least not to you.
I don’t WANT to care anymore, I’m past that point. I’m not lying, I have cared too much in the past, believe me, you know, I wasn’t always like this. People who have known me for years will reassure you that yes, I have changed but I have chosen that change. Why? Self protection. I’m tired of being bullied and pulled apart like a hungry street dog lunging at a piece of a steak.
You know who you are. You blame me but you never look inside yourself. You need ME? That’s not good enough. You don’t treat me well enough to be on your side. You accuse me of everything you do to me, did that ever occur to you? I just handle it better. I don’t
need to whine and carry on the way you do, I’m an adult now. Yes, I went through hell to get here but I survived, barely, but I survived and I am strong.
Don’t you see how your view is warped? I don’t live in the past, I do acknowledge it but deep inside YOU are the one who hasn’t moved past it. Why is it that your true emotions only come out when you were bare to the bones, out of your mind? You loved me then, you needed me then. Not since then with all your false bravado. Because if you did love me why would you be so mean to me all the time?
It’s not a big dark secret, it’s an illness. Like diabetes or cancer, get over yourself. I know you think the world revolves around you, you make it that way, you make it that way. Not everybody else does that.
I know you put yourself first, well, who doesn’t know that? You admit it with pride. ‘A great quality of yours, I’m sure you think.’ Me? You don’t care about me as much as you think. Because if you did you wouldn’t be a bully like you always have been and you still carry on the same way, even after all these years we’ve been together. You could work on a compromise instead of saying “Well, I just can’t do it, I won’t do it. ” Maybe you can but you have never tried.
I was happy in the past to mediate to reach a solution we can both live by, I will not be influenced by your outbursts anymore. I will stay away. I don’t trust you since you have broken the rules of our relationship time and again and you know you have. Deep inside you are a very troubled child. I can’t see our relationship continue on the way it has, not at my expense.
I need to put myself first, to care about me now. I hope one day you will be happy without making others unhappy.
Every day, we go through hundreds, thousands of small loses, I’m about ready to burst into tears so I know it’s true. It’s one of those instinctual, hit me in the gut feelings. My grown-up children left to go back to college today and even though I will see them in three weeks, it doesn’t matter. Children always leave you. People you love always leave you. Why is that not written in any manual so we can anticipate it?
From their first highly anticipated step, to their first day of nursery school
and first grade your child will always be leaving you. Yes, it is good and you have done a great job in raising them. You should be proud of their independence and pat yourself on the back. You have done a great job building their self-esteem and their confidence, but it still hurts like a knife twisting into your belly cutting bloody veins with a torture only known to parents.
We experience that hurt from the moment that they are born until the moment we die. Our children will never understand it until they, themselves have babies of their own. Don’t bother explaining it to them, my kids are used to my tears, they think I’m just the mushiest person in the world, and I am. But, in no way do they think that every time they leave I feel like I’m being stabbed or that my heart breaks a thousand different times, every time they leave, nor should they ever know.
You would think I would get used to it but it’s something I can never get used to. I remember my parents used to travel a lot when I was in high school, maybe even junior high and I would weep, standing at the kitchen table, looking down six flights as they stood waving until their taxi arrived.
I was inconsolable until they left. Then, magically, I was quite happy and calm and independent. Why the shift of pain so rapidly? I’m not really sure, I hated being left, abandoned. But, once they left, I was independent and had a great time. Freud anyone?
Once someone actually leaves, I’m fine. It’s the build up and the anticipation that always gets to me, always has. At my old age I don’t think my patterns will change but I always give it a shot. “I’m not good at good-byes” I say honestly to my children, they expect it, they know and understand. But, they will only truly understand when/if they have children of their own.
Maybe we will be lucky to be grandparents, to see our children have children. To see our grown-up kids do the precise things they chastised us for, that would be funny. Life is a circle, how we got so far in the game, I have no idea. I feel young, time escapes us, but as I watch my children grow into adults, I know too, we have aged accordingly.
It’s true. I am lucky enough, (SO lucky) that I have a therapist that won’t charge me money while my husband isn’t employed full-time. I love this woman and it is the furthest thing from transference ever.
She asked me last time I saw her, “How on earth did you get into my practice, I don’t accept new patients”? I grinned widely and said ‘you liked me on the phone, I present well.” Sure enough that was the truth. My old shrink, Doc, had retired somewhat against his will, to Florida and I looking for someone new.
Finding a good fit is the hard part. My doctor is a really good fit. I asked her once “what happens if I move?” she answered “we Skype!” How can you not love that?
For me, there is absolutely NO SHAME at all in seeing a therapist, in fact if I had the money I’d probably do it more often and with great pleasure. I do feel that we need MORE FUNDING for mental health and more trained people in the schools. I really do. I think that if each elementary school had really good therapist they would be able to track problems at the beginning and should follow through, working with middle school, high school etc.
Obviously, I have anxiety issues and I’m HIGHLY emotional and sensitive. I’ve told her that I want to be less sensitive and be a cold, hard woman. This way was just not working for me. I was getting hurt and misled and I am too gullible believing the good in people. She looked at me intently, her blue eyes facing my green eyes, her red hair, wild like some sort of plant in the dessert and she laughed.
I said “I’m serious!” and she said “I know you are. But, you can’t change who you are. You are sensitive and that’s good and bad. Yes, you will get hurt but you can’t all of a sudden change and be a cold-hearted, feeling-less person. It isn’t you, it’s not who you are.” Inside I gurgled with disappointment and took a deep breath. I knew, down deep, she was right. How could I change the way I am?
The only thing I could change were my reactions (maybe) and not to get so emotionally invested in the beginning (maybe.) So, I am planning to greatly appreciate my wonderful, happy times that are greater than great with detail when they are positive and ride out the storm just like everyone else when bad things happen, when so-called friends disappoint. I take things way too seriously and if I find out a friend is disingenuous and fake, not to mention a back-stabber or liar, I admit I hate it but I learn again, not to trust everybody.
I KNOW who my true friends are, I cherish them with all my heart.
My husband Gary and I were sitting at the kitchen counter, drinking coffee, when he brought up the same conversation about my college reunion that I thought we had finished discussing long ago. “You just don’t want to go to the reunion, he said “because your best friend hurt your feelings.” “Gary, I replied slowly, she didn’t just hurt my feelings, she decimated them, there’s a big difference, don’t you think?”
“What I think, he said, is that you’re being too sensitive, after all, you were best friends for four years.”
I had never wanted to go to any type of college reunion, what was the point to seeing people twenty years older, heavier, thinner with more or less hair? This time my husband pushed me to go “Come on, he said to me “why not? Everyone should go to one class reunion. Think of it as a rite of passage,”
Then, the final blow, my husband shouted “you just don’t want to go because you think Caroline might be there, admit it.”
I paused, of course he was right, but how dare he say that? Did he not know the rules of marriage? He was supposed to stick up for me no matter what. “Asshole” I replied, “that has nothing to do with it.” “Oh come on, he said, she was your best friend in the world, you think she betrayed you and you have never forgiven her.” “Just grow up,” he said impatiently.
I paused on the stairs leading up to the bedroom, gave him a killer stare and in a slow, moderated voice I said “Fine, if it is that important to YOU let’s just go” I said airily as I climbed the stairs to our master bathroom to shower, condition my hair and shave my legs very carefully.
We drove up on a Saturday morning, we checked in at the front desk of the University as if we were registering for classes. I saw my ex -best friend, Caroline, from the corner of my eye, I turned quickly away before she could see me.
“Bitch” I muttered under my breath.
“What? Gary said? “Nothing, I didn’t say anything.”
Then, as my worst fear became realized, Gary, spotted Caroline and they waved to each other wildly. He nudged me, “Look Caroline’s waving” At that moment all I wanted was a divorce attorney. I turned to look at her and put my arm up with the faintest crack of a fake smile plastered to my face.
During college, the infamous Caroline, had been my roommate and best friend. I loved her, like a sister and she was the one who introduced me to Gary; we had all been good friends.
After college we each moved home, she lived in Massachusetts and I lived in NY. We assured each other that we would always be best friends and find an apartment together somewhere in the middle.
In the beginning we talked on the phone every day. After that it dwindled to once or twice a week. Soon, I stopped hearing from her, she wouldn’t even return my calls. I wrote her but she never wrote me back. I convinced myself that she was dying and called her parents in desperation but they assured me she was fine.
I lived with that pain and that rejection in my life for many years. I just wanted to understand but I couldn’t, she wouldn’t even talk to me. Eventually, with time, It became more of a mystery and a dull pain and less of a piercing betrayal.
Many years later, on a vacation to Boston, Gary and I ran into Caroline at an Ice cream store where we took our two children, Nicholas, 5 and Erika, 3 for a special treat. We were happy, laughing, eating dripping ice cream cones with rainbow sprinkles and I froze as soon as I saw her walk in the door.
I said ” hello” to her then, so did Gary and she commented on how cute the kids were. She was about to start playing with them and I felt the flush of heat go through my body. I tried hard not to say anything and then, suddenly, my temper flared and I pulled her aside. I demanded to know the truth: “Why did you stop the friendship? What happened? We were best friends!”
She looked at me blankly, she shrugged her shoulders and I will never forget the words she said: ” out of sight, out of mind.” I was speechless.
The next time I saw her was at the reunion, she came up to Gary and me and started chatting about neutral topics, the weather, our jobs, and finally she asked about our children.
“Ben is applying to Medical school, I said and Sarah is finishing up college, with a degree in International Relations.” “What about you,” I asked somewhat sneakily. “How is your life?” She blinked and looked away for a split second and then said lightly “Oh you know me, I’m destined to live a life alone, I’m too much of a free bird to have a family,” she said chuckling.
I nodded politely, “yes, I said, slowly, staring directly into her eyes, I think you made that clear many years ago.
I turned to Gary, who by now was grinning, he took my hand and we went into the seminar together.
My name is Jhana, I am very old but I have a young friend translating for me. She knows ‘Merican language real good. Now we start: “The pain in Jhana’s old heart was searing now. The intensity, the throbbing came and went but there were times when she would kneel on the dirty, muddy floor and weep. She only did that when she was sure she was alone. Jhana’s children, all except one, brothers and sisters all lived near-by but she was not looking for comfort, she knew there was none. None for this type of her anguished heart.
We are alone with our grief she had learned through the hard times even though we have family for whom we bless. It took more bravery and strength to be able to hold on to love, than to dismiss it. Love is fleeting, like birds in the sky. That, she knew. Love was there, deep down but could you feel it all the time? Of course not. You had to imagine it, rely on it, pray that it would be there or come back to you. Have faith. Love was an assumption only.
Love was not the “smiling, holding hands” we would look at in the American magazines that the girls would find and hide under mats, and yes we let them. They looked at something called “romance” not true love but we let them. They did not yet know our plans to move to ‘Merica in a year or two years.
Here, in India, I would look at second daughter’s face as if I was looking through her, I had no problems with my other four children. Why was this child so different? The love was always there in my heart, in her father’s heart and siblings. What happened that was different for this child of mine? How could she not know our love? Did she not know that her father and I blessed the differences from her and the others. She was our pearl, our stand-alone gem. If anything she was more loved but would not take it inside herself.
The other older children could play and work and keep busy but this one held feelings deep inside her heart or just could not communicate. There was hurt and anger, deep inside hammered in to her heart but yet she could not forgive. Nor would she allow us to apologize for something we did not know about. She would not give in, she would be strong, very strong. But, I knew better, of course I did. Well, I thought I did. I was her mother.
This was not a betrayed love, this was a love that ran so deep, only a mother could know. I waited patiently until the day she would find her way back to me. Where did we go wrong I asked the husband? He said of course “we did nothing wrong, she is the child.” But, a mother is different, I tried to tell him. No, that is not the answer.” he told me.
I imagined looking at your face with my two hands one on each side like pressing on cold, hard glass. Press too hard and chips of glass would embed themselves in your fingers, blood would run down slowly each time. Not enough to scream but just enough to notice. I would imagine you trying to get away, twisting, fighting and screaming but my love for you was stronger than everything. You could not run away forever. I held you close, I would not let you go, ever.
I tried to forget the unforgiving words told to me about what you called me and how you viewed me because I do not follow that life. Love was a mystery that couldn’t be easily explained. Where was the joy, the simplicity, the laughter of love? Did it exist past the many layers of the wall you created? As a mother I dearly hoped but I could not know, you would not allow me to know.
Beautiful child, lovely child. No matter how old you are, you still live in my heart no matter what you do or don’t do. There is the difference. I will always cherish you, always love you, for the goodness in you that I see, that I feel. Yes, certainly. Two hearts, even those estranged, can come back and beat as one.
Until the last breath I will love you. Do you hear me child? Does anyone? I will say it again and again since I cannot see you, my eyes have failed me many years ago. But, I would still know your face, my hands might be gnarled and brittle with illness but my heart knows, will always know that you, beautiful heart, was so blessedly loved every second of every day and night.
I will wait until the last breath has left my body, which dear one, I know will be soon. I will never give up on you, you see I was learning Patience too and different ways of loving. None was right, none wrong. I was changing too.
That is a mother’s truth spoken in my body now and in the next life. I promise this to you. I love you now and forever. Look for me at night, in the sky, I will be watching you still, loving you, when I am gone.”
I am usually a very emotional person and my instincts are generally spot on.I would say that would be true nine times out of ten. However, when I am overwhelmed AND feel conflicting emotions at the same time I don’t know how to express my feelings and I don’t even know what my feelings are. I feel totally disconnected. I pull away from the situation so I am no longer hurt or angry, sad or upset. I hide in a bubble of safety, thick enough to shield me from any painful feelings while the world goes on around me.I become detached, I float in the sky, safe in my bubble.
I need a certain amount of time to process new information, it has to settle naturally and I don’t try to analyze it or question myself vigorously (though I used to when I was much younger.) I know that, with time and patience, it will resolve itself and when I am ready to hear it, the answer will be there for me to learn from it.
It’s a pleasant feeling, it’s one that feels like floating above and around people, but it’s better than emotionally killing myself, torturing myself with angst and wreaking havoc with my life. It’s a temporary phase that lasts until all the emotions inside me have settled down and I can look at them with some logic and not the emotional upheaval that would roar and fight inside me like angry tigers.
These feelings come up when I have heard something that is extremely hurtful or when I feel emotionally devastated. Then, the barrier comes up to protect me. When I am emotionally devastated, I go into this bubble of safety, not to run away, but to escape for those hours I need to understand without any outside distraction.
It’s my way of trying to process new, hurtful information and absorbing the shock without completely falling apart. In time, I will learn from it when I am ready to take it all in.
A few days ago I learned a huge lesson when I accidentally ran into a good friend of my mother’s in the grocery store. He asked about “the children” whom he has known since they were 3 and 5. I talked, half laughing and half serious about what they were doing, about how life has changed, how we see them less, and how grown up they are, “He looked at me and said solemnly “Yes, this is truly the hardest part.” Thankful for his understanding, I asked him “when this stage will end?” seeking his sage advice.
He looked at me directly with his intense, blue eyes and he said bluntly” “twenty years.” I thought he was joking but he was dead serious. “Forget it now, leave it and after they get married and have kids they’ll come back but not until then.” After that, he left quickly.
I automatically moved my cart to the fruit and vegetable section and stopped abruptly between the bananas and nectarines and all I wanted to do was cry. The last week had been a difficult one, a confusing one for me and this was the culmination that I didn’t want to hear but needed to hear. Rationally of course, I knew this and was proud of my independent children but emotionally I felt something was amiss. The son with whom I communicate with a glance or one word was acting strangely, apparently, he felt the same way about me. Neither one of us was direct.
I thought I should get an Academy Award for Best Actress, encouraging him to have fun on new adventures, understanding totally why he would stay up at school for the entire week of his break. Apparently I fooled myself but not him. He saw through me before I SAW myself yet I could also read him, he felt a little guilty as well.
What we have learned: Communicate Directly even if it feels hard to do. Do it sooner than later. Me and mini-me know each other so well, but this time, he knew me better than I knew myself. My son communicated with his dad, his dad knowing things but not telling me, he WAS involved even though he didn’t want to be and he refused to play mediator….needless to say, It got messy.
I really do need a job and to get out of the house more. There will be major changes in our lives but they are not here yet. We need to sit tight where we are and I am not known for my patience. Any type of separation for an emotional doll like me feels like someone just lashed out and slapped me in the face repeatedly. So this piece is my own personal time capsule. All my life my goal was to be a mom and raise two wonderful young people and I know I succeeded. Now it’s time for me to do new things, walk away slowly, knowing I did a great job. I’m smiling now, things make much more sense and I’m the one looking back and leaving, it’s so much easier than being left. Let’s take it up again, in twenty years.
A penny flipped mid-air, the sound of dripping water from an old rusty pipe, white pistachio ice cream in an orange, ceramic bowl. Many, many things will happen during the day, most won’t leave an impression, but some will, things you may have not even have noticed consciously. What have you remembered in the corners of your mind? The pop of very dark, red blood on my ankle after I cut myself, fixing the sink without asking for my husband’s help and my subsequent satisfaction, the texture and exquisite taste of lemon cheesecake swirling on my tongue.
Still not feeling happy but not feeling as depressed, it may take a while. Being on this plateau is fine with me, I am not complaining. I am trying to place the world in different compartments. There are parts of myself I do not like, I need to own these. I am less patient than I used to be, I am unkind when pushed straight up against a brick wall, lately, I get angry more easily, sadder too; I am most definitely, flawed.
Relationships, each one, are so hard. Our age must be a part of it. We are the aging boomers.Is it our age? . Not so much peace, love and rock n’ roll anymore. Who has the time, the money, the stress free life? There are no relationship that are easy, they all need work and nurturing. Just what is the right ratio? You only know when you have bumped up against it. Things hurt me more than most but that is something I can’t change, people have called me an Empath Intuitive, for what that is worth. I need to know more about this. Anyone?
I try to let things roll off my back but they get stuck. I am too sensitive, yes I know. I’m sorry. When people show coldness it feels like stabbing to me. Whoever said “karma is a bitch” first is so deadly right but that is how we learn, isn’t it? The lessons we need to learn usually come from within us.
I feel my mood slipping away, as if I were once again, caught in a tide pool of waves crashing around me. For all the majestic beauty of the ocean it can also be terrifying, disturbing and very dark. When I was a teenager I wandered away for a very long time, stayed away for hours, longer than I ever had, hoping that someone would miss me. Many hours later, I came back waiting for the howls of relief that I had returned and the shrieks of “where have you been, young lady?” but no one had even noticed that I had gone.
Where is my energy, (not just because I have Fibromyalgia but even before the diagnosis? Where was my fight, my determination, my drive? I feel like I’m a 33 record in a 45 playing world. (ask your parents!)
My red-brown dog, Lexi, lies against my legs, her show of affection, I still miss my first dog, Callie. You don’t forget love. You can’t, it’s impossible, If only it was that easy. Love lies in your memory and your heart, it reminds you of what you have done wrong and what you have done right. It shows us all that we are fallible and vulnerable. Live your life, but stop and tell the important people you love that YOU LOVE them. Now, before it’s too late while riding the ups and downs of life. I’ve always hated roller coasters. In life, we have no choice but to hold on tight.
Piercing angel souls,
Secrets unravel in time
Death, by lethal lie.
Deep lines etched, gray lips
Lowered eyes, dull blue, trembling
kiss of years, past gone.