My Kid.

Overdosed again.

She is alive, but in ICU again.

There truly can’t be anything more emotionally painful or spiritually murderous than to live in this particular realm of Limbo; where the knowledge of so much misery and ruin of my only (though completely estranged) child is permanent. 

Dear Dead Man.

I must confess,
this note’s addressed,
to you, most evil man,
my own attempted murderer
my, once, beloved husband,
I wanted to confess to you,
the way that you continue to,
assert your unearned place
haunting me via Déjà vu,
black and blued right onto
your own daughter’s face,
I feel obliged to tell you ,
since you don’t have to see,
her eyes like a raccoon’s;
as her dead former “Father”,
free of the burden or bother ,
of any knowledge or attachment to,
what she’s managed to survive through,
yes, you still fucking linger,
a horrid and grotesque harbinger,
well-hidden,
unbidden…
somehow, forgiven through,
a darkly executed ruse,
she’s grown up somehow,
to be just like you,
you’re a Dead Man now,
no sweat on that trouble-free brow,
you must take this lying down;
you’re gonna have to know it,
hear it all, through and through,
it’s only fitting,
I wish you were living,
can you believe that I’d say so?
alive just long enough,
to walk in big and tough,
you always liked to think,
there’s nothing that can make,
those lying eyes of yours blink
but if you had to see,
if your eyes had to perceive,
such ruin and atrocity,
the fulfillment of your prophecy
as our own full-grown legacy,
glowing in your luminosity,
broken and battered,
just like you battered me…
the sight would make you blink.

Loop.

This was how it always began, she knew; this was the miserably familiar feeling of progressing – long and far, and with much despair on the way – blood, sweat, tears – only to eventually carry you to the gut-wrenching realization that you’re patterning a circle – a loop, and nothing more. This seat in front of her word processor, its heavy anchor wrapped mockingly around her ankle, her drink to her left and her joint in her right hand – lodged stubbornly between her index and middle fingers; her mind unsettled on the huge task at hand.
This was a painfully familiar routine, a drill that she practiced as if it were her religious motivation; This was the scout to the expedition – the quiet before the storm; this was an integral part of her every day, twice a day – maybe more. The details behind that part are irrelevant, really…the point is meant to be that she knew the truth could never be set loose. This was Déjà vu; she sat down at that over-sized LCD screen repeatedly, ready to unleash those thoughts and feelings in a indefensible barrage of details and recollections; ready to unload her burdens onto the backs of those to which they truly belonged; she’d go into this state of being that she avoided as much as she was able to – impenetrable focus on those people who were responsible for all of the tragedy, so much unnecessary tragedy.
It was somewhere in between the grips of this dark, animalistic, dangerously focused state of being, and that of the next state in this repetitive sequence, that a fiber of her identity was lost each time. The emotional roller coaster that undoubtedly followed this sub-human concentration was inevitable, although manifesting in different ways with each new appearance. Sometimes she’d cry inconsolably out of shame and guilt, or become too unraveled to refocus her attentions on this chronicle at hand; sometimes she would psychologically work herself in a rage so blinding that she would black out and regain consciousness later in the day, without memory of the hours in between; still, other times found her miserable with denial and disbelief at her circumstance – rendering her so frustrated that she would embark on a new expedition via the World Wide Web, in search of a specific legal code, government policy, or the elusive attorney that would be able to get her on track with getting justice for her only child – now grown into a disturbingly sinister young person. She sighed, the hot breath that she released from her mouth reminded her of how thirsty she was, and she lifted her ice-cold drink gingerly to her mouth for a short gulp.

I gotta cut back on this shit…for New Year’s, I will…

Despite the fizzling tingle on her tonsils as she savored the refreshing sweetness of the drink’s bite, each swallow induced a wave of pain that racked through her head like wildfire through a dry meadow.

I really need to get those teeth pulled…soon…

Her mental notes always contained some sort of self-imposed delay attached to them; as she was not so much of a go-getter these days. Her spirit seemed to have just up and decided to fly somewhere else; or perhaps it had gradually just faded away with so much time spent being abused and beaten down, she didn’t know. Physical pain was not even always a surefire way to get her to force herself into the masses, and she would only resort to seeking medical treatment during the most dire of situations, given an exceptionally high pain-threshold. She had no desire left to mingle with the human-mutants that surrounded her – those despicable and savage creatures that had once seemed so different than her. As she sat, tonguing at the sore molars in her mouth for the umpteenth time that morning, her very core was hollow to its deepest fathom of being, and she knew it beyond any doubt. And at that, she would repeatedly find herself at a total loss for…well, for pretty much anything.
Any former plans, aspirations or goals seemed comical to the remaining logic residing within the empty shell that she walked around inside of. Nothing could ever make things right again, no matter what anyone, including herself, might pull out of a sleeve in attempt to force the appearance of true justice.
Justice
This word had long ago, dug its way beneath the tangible consciousness of her being – the vague ghost which her body beheld, and had been buried – at a time that felt like lifetimes ago.
Justice
A folly that remains depicted in every corner of the national court as a foundational concept of law, liberty and decency – the proverbial snapshot of a pair of scales, polished to a reflective, brassy shine, ever-balanced perfectly against one another – affecting the virtuous and the good of humankind. The iconic symbol of trial and judgment: the biggest mockery in American history.

“Because, what a bunch of horse-shit it all is in real life, the scales of Justice?”

she spat bitterly out loud;

“…as if those scales aren’t rigged to tip in only the most evil of fashions against what is TRULY GOOD and JUST – regardless of the matter at hand…”

The heat in her face became a noticeable burn across her cheeks and forehead, and the tiny wisps of baby hair at her light blonde hairline stuck there from the increasing layer of sweat, despite several attempts to blow it away. A loud bang sounded following the rap of her hand heavily against the desk at which she sat, struggling to find any useful weapon within her once highly impressive linguistic arsenal. She hated thinking about these things – as she knew all too well what the result of her brooding would be – stagnancy and frustration, despair and self-loathing beyond description; just more of the same routine that her life seemed to be defined more completely by everyday.
This, is the Juvenile Justice System’s very essence: confusion and perpetual lack legal articulation. The agenda in this hideous arena remains increasingly different from ‘Truth or Accountability’; the so-called ‘Home of the Brave’ is chock full of the world’s biggest chicken-shit trust-fund fed politicians and useless financial backers and/or holders. Yes, ‘the Brave’ being those in positions of power and action, congressional and legislative ring-leading clowns, community social workers and those that oversee their actions, judges, psychiatrists and medical doctors, varying “specialists” of the intrinsically heinous legal arena – a collective of those “brave” enough to steal the very light from the eyes of a child in need of her mother – to disgustingly and unashamedly make a buck off of the very families to which they claim the service of Justice.
Justice… the word made her stomach do cartwheels and the cavity-borne headache return. And, this was how it always played out for her. She became venomous then, an emotion so familiar and easily recognized by her character that its appearance onto the scene of her chaotic existence hardly attracted attention anymore; she forgot to breathe for a few, drawn out moments while she stared blankly at the screen, waiting for the right words to come; waiting to finally begin the report of despicable truths that had ultimately ruined the lives of her immediate family.
Nothing…nothing…
The anger began its bubbling within her every nano-particle, frustrated and exacerbated by the lack of stimulus. She allowed the thoughts to come to her awareness, knowing from experience that the attempt to shut them out would be a futile one; experiencing the anticipated rush of a variety of uncontrollable emotion and perception, unleashing the memories intentionally now in feeble hope that the raw force associated with them would somehow miraculously be guided onto the screen – that this release will open the gateways to her collected verbal arsenal, the most lasting of any known weapons of war.
In a former life, she had been a poet – a spotlight verbal violinist in the most well-known operas – somebody who was able to change things, touch people, and create inspiration and awe through her exquisitely procured and ever-growing vocabulary. The details that her stories offered were vast and all-encompassing; each piece’s poetry was a feat that she carried, attached to a tether at the end of stick –exacting complete control over its every directional move – she contoured its path, essentially; so influential and dominant was she in the play of words in written form, that sometime – long ago, but for reasons unclear to her now – she began to take the gift for granted. And now, that gift had all but left her totally without. She had stupidly allowed herself to slip into the realm of self-righteousness: an unforgiving and deceptive place from which a human with a spirit will return without anything at all to love, to be loved for. Hollowed out and superficial, she had returned to write the chronicle at hand – the most important one she could ever create. The expressive art that she had beheld since her first memories began did not return along with her, however – leaving her in a perpetual state of the most torturous deficiency and need.
Need…
The word made the corners of her navy blue eyes wrinkled as they shrunk tightly into a squint, with all of the co-dependent implications attached to its ugly, four-letter face.
THIS NEEDS TO STOP…
Tomorrow is another day, and if she sees tomorrow – she will return to this drill and try again.

Chance.

I’ve written in the past of my professionally given label of “a medical anomaly” when it comes to my physiology/immunology/genetics. This handle was given to me via a Stanford University medical conference luncheon, in which one of my former doctors highlighted my case in his widely received presentation on ‘reconstructive maxiofacial tissue surgery and uncommon obstacles’. Since that moment in time, most, if not all, of my loosely interwoven healthcare team have adopted the name for my reference. In fact, the nickname seems to be a kind of industry-driven joke from which all humor is lost on me, completely…but what the fuck do I know?
But, I digress.
One of the elements rendering me as such is something known as “Raynaud’s Phenomenon” – a multitude of micro-vascular spasms occurring simultaneously in the digits (and the nose for some people, as well –though I am not one of those thank the Gods…) affecting gangrene and, oftentimes, the loss of one or more dead fingers or toes. You’ll note the word “phenomenon” in the title of the ailment that I foster; this is because there are TWO forms of this thing: one, the most common type, being called “Raynaud’s Disease”, is a chronic and life-altering disease that appears in exceptionally cold environments and/or in the users of regular operation of machinery such as… let’s say – a jackhammer, or the likes. Some doctors even say that this condition is exacerbated by “stress” (in which case, I’m fucked!!!).
I am a beach bum in California with no prior jackhammer experience; so when I was first (and finally, after many initial months of painfully spreading gangrene in all ten of my shriveled toes) diagnosed in 2003, I was defined as having the more difficult type of the ailment known as a “phenomenon”, based solely on the elusive cause and randomly occurring symptoms. The archaic doctor who was on call at the ER where I was FINALLY properly diagnosed and treated called every physician and support staff into the pocket room where I sat with bare feet on an exam table and said to the group of about twenty young med-school graduates,
“This is something you may never see again, so I want to make sure to share this…this Raynaud’s phenomenon; do you all see the skin blanching that happens when the tissue is prompted?”
He pinched and prodded my raisin-esque toes to reveal an odd renewal of color immediately beneath my skin there: they began to oddly shift from black – to dark blue – to a deep, angry red – to a yellowing, white-ish color wherever they were pressed.
“Oooooh ahhhhh.” the young students all cooed.
Very riveting; just give me some pills so my toes don’t fall off, please. Anyway, thankfully the old quack knew his shit and I was finally given the gift of balance and mobility back – not to mention, I was able to keep every toe in its original form.
I have been stricken three times by this “phenomenon” thus far in life; the second time was upon my landing at the Oahu International Airport on the most recent real vacation I took in 2005. The key is in Angina treatment, typically a vasodilator to thin the blood and break up the tiny spasms so far away from my heart. I am currently to the point not being to balance myself or walk normally due to loss of feeling in my feet, especially the right one. My toes have already shriveled quite totally and are shedding entire layers of epidermis as a snake sheds scales – fully intact toe-sized chunks that are being held to my feet with bandages and lots of salve. Warmth only creates a swelling that becomes so uncomfortably shiny and plump that heat offers no help at this point, either. I finally sucked it up and went back to get a script for some good ol’ Nifedipin.

…And, while I shuffled myself down an endless corridor to the pharmacy hidden in a basement of the hospital in the middle of the night – last night – guess who I spied in a bed, unconscious from an attempted suicide by means of drug overdose?
You called it; there was the one and only Boo, my only child.

Sunday.

It’s Sunday; and sometime in early December…I hate the holidays.

I have been in a notably embittered state of being as of late; I wake up in a shit mood and spend my day feeling either numb or way too much emotion, shuffle my feet around and paint makeup on my face, do my normal routine of being a pissed-off and resentful human being for x amount of hours – before I will eventually (and still angrily) find my way to bed and fitfully fall asleep (Gods willing).

I am at home; I am surrounded by cheering men; men who honestly have very little concern in life outside of Fantasy Football rankings and Christmas shopping for the so-called “difficult” women with whom each has settled down with.

I am somewhere I did not really anticipate being, somehow; despite the situation I have been held hostage inside of (in the context of Boo) for all of these painful and dehumanizing years… I somehow never genuinely considered the possibility of such a circumstance as that which I now find myself: a place where motherhood does not live; a place where years of invested time, love, energy and hope can be found strangled into lifelessness and shriveling up in the unforgiving heat, a place where the thought of my only child makes my stomach feel sick in the most literal sense.

When I look at Boo’s face, I now see only her father’s there; his features stand out so strongly against the muted ones I contributed…there is actually very, very little of me anywhere in here at all. I keep finding myself thinking about abstract and unimportant trivia when it comes to the unhappy ending of this story; things like:

  • How the abusive, violent, backstabbing, murderous and psychopathic piece of trash of a father was able to imprint so many horrible characteristics and traits upon her without hardly ever knowing her;
  • How chillingly similar everything about the two of them has turned out to be, despite EVERYTHING I tried in order to make sure that couldn’t happen;

The thought that seems to be stuck like a piece of chewed up gum to the forefront of my exhausted mind is constantly buzzing inside my ear, asking me

“How is any of this even possible?”

There comes no response of course, just the same query over and over until my head hurts.

I have a seething and roiling hatred growing inside of me that feels bad, and is shocking in its severity. I feel disgust over so many things in the world, especially in my own little corner of it; I am lost and aimless, emotionally numb and going through motion after motion. I am turned off. I am tuned out. I am shut down. It comes to this crazy thought every time, the one in which I have sold everything I own worth anything and just POOF! disappeared into the masses of the urban jungles somewhere, where? I don’t know or care. I have been gradually been ridding myself of all the boxes full of hope that I have lugged around with me for the years Boo was gone: craft supplies, old drawings and school papers of hers, clear tubs of pens and pencils and crayons and scrap-booking shit for days. I won’t ever need or use any of it; that time has passed for me now.

The freedom attached to suddenly not being anyone’s Mom feels alien, even as it feels okay on some days, almost tolerable. Other days, I wake up with both middle fingers locked straight upwards; other times, I just want to die.

Unfixable.

I know that I do not get the same consideration from my own daughter when it comes to “cause and effect” that my mother continues to be shown, and somehow always has been shown, in spite of our tattered history. When my little brother killed himself, my mom’s way to cope with the blow was to try and erase him from her memory altogether: an element between she and I that hung bitterly in the stale air between us for years. She never speaks of him; she never lets me talk about him in any context in her presence without either full-blown freaking out, or changing the subject with blatancy sharp enough to leave a mark.
I have come to accept and understand over time that this has been the only way she has been able to continue on with her own existence after losing a child to suicide in the way that she did; and am only now beginning to see that this response was initially not one of choice for her. It was the effect attached to specific causes: those of profound emptiness, loss and failure. One of the most difficult things about coming to grips with acceptance surrounding my own child – and my own loss, emptiness and failure – has always been the absence of so many points of reference for me. I don’t know what a mother “should” look like or act like to her child; I have only ever winged it and did what felt right when it came to Boo.
Now, it has become unarguable that most (if not all) of those things were not right; no denying that I was an inadequate mom or else she would never have grown up to become what she did. But, I also think of a lot of other facts and truths that surround us such as how I also had an inadequate mom. I had a mom who was a violent and unstable drunk during my childhood; she was always high on drugs also, and kept like-minded company. My father fought tooth and nail to keep us protected from her unpredictable nature; she was painted very differently than I could possibly come close to being depicted by my daughter. Or was she?
Granted, I was not the type of mom who hit – I never even spanked Boo besides to SWAT at her backside with gentle care when she was a toddler; our experiences with a mother in the big, bad world were most certainly very different in almost every way. I am nurturing because my mom was the opposite; I was attentive because my mom seemingly forgot all about me and my brothers after we were born; I was protective and overbearing because of those reasons, too. I was so involved with her life as much as possible: a yard duty at her elementary school, the PTA, class mom, field trips, etc. I exhausted myself at all times with her IEP and the constant red tape around getting her through school because of her behavioral issues. I admit that she overwhelmed me at times, but I always wanted best for her, I never got any satisfaction from her struggles or tears like my mom did with me. We had very different mothers, indeed.
Now comes my point:
I had a father.
Not just any father, either – I was blessed with an exceptionally special Dad (and a long line of older brothers).
Boo had…well, we all know what she had, don’t we? Boo had the Ripper for a father in the slice of time that she had one in her life at all, before he tried to murder her mother and then was gone to prison before dying on the inside of those walls…Boo never had a Dad, hardly a father. I have concluded that it is this (very often overlooked) factor in the comparisons people (including myself) make between me and my daughter’s characteristic traits that defines the essences of those differences down to the nano-fiber. When I think of what my own existence could have and likely would have been like in the absence of my Dad, my knees often feel weakened by the thought alone. Now, I imagine actually living that reality from one day to the next like Boo must…and yes, I see.
I know that in many ways, I haven’t failed as Boo’s mother in the years I was allowed to be her mom; but in this one major and unfixable way, I failed her immeasurably.

Puppeteer.

The drill never changes, if looked at from a very broad perspective:
my parents give in and allow themselves to be further abused and mistreated while I desperately try to distance myself from the situation (because I will ALWAYS eventually be defeated by the helplessness attached to it), before the proverbial explosion takes place once again.
My daughter knows the drill all too well, also; which is the only reason why it works out to her own benefit over and over, without fail; she knows that when she has created a rift and I withdraw from her obnoxious bullshit (while my parents do not), it is at that time that she must strike and strike hard in order to keep the distance in place between then and I. She is well aware of the plethora of ways to manipulate people; she is already a seasoned veteran at doing this as a means of survival. She has honestly been manipulating adult professionals from various backgrounds and specialties in the system since she began counseling at age 6, so the puppeteering of her own grandparents must feel like something she could do with her eyes closed if she wanted to.
I know when she is busy digging down the trench between me and my parents; I know because she holds them hostage through her behaviors (just like she used to do to me in the months leading up to her placement in a “treatment facility” for those very characteristics. I know because I stop hearing from my mom at all – due to the fact that my daughter will have by now painted my mom into a psychological corner, and in turn my mom has been enabling too many things to make excuses for. I know because of a sudden but sharp slice through the fabric of my own meager reality: the silence replacing my mother’s voice in the background of things that creeps its way back into my daily routine in the absence of her constant play by play updates. All of the things that I always wish would cease to exist about my relationship with my mom seemingly CEASE TO EXIST when my daughter is in the picture – and up to no good.