Lump.

Last weekend, my Mother called me up and said she needed to come over so I could look at her neck (as if I am some kind of professional on mysterious growths, or something). She arrived earlier than she said she would, as she tends to do these days, a look of sheer terror on her face. Upon looking at her neck, I was immediately concerned, as she has grown a notably large lump on the lower right side of her neck, near the collarbone. We obviously didn’t talk much about it, and she proceeded to make an appointment for a biopsy; that appointment is today. I will be driving her to this appointment today because she asked me to; and in all honesty, I feel like I wouldn’t miss it for anything in the world.

 

Anyone who reads me, knows about my deeply embedded Mommy Issues that reside within my heart and mind, stemming from childhood and very much alive and well to date. A few months ago, I decided that because the Holidays are so incredibly horrendous and ugly for me, and because they are so extremely difficult to get myself through alive each year, that I will do something different this year. I basically feel tired of spending my holidays alone, in the fetal position underneath the dining table, in tears, beating myself to an emotional pulp through with guilt and regret and failure. I have written also about the Hell that my offspring is currently putting my parents through, resultant of their own enabling behaviors towards her throughout her life. My mom claims to feel like a hostage in her own home etc. Needless to say, I can totally relate to what she says in regard to my daughter; I have so been there with her in the past as well.

So, in a moment of frozen brain capacity, I said to Willow:

“Let’s start a new tradition this year for Christmas, just you ‘n me…”,

completely expecting her to laugh in my face at such a proposal.

 

When she actually showed interest in my idea, and I explained to her what I had in mind for my own part (a quiet, peaceful, nostalgic, quaint Bed ‘n Breakfast in the heart of Gold Country for Christmas Eve and Christmas), she was so excited and intrigued that she actually asked me to take her online for a virtual tour (she hates the internet and anything even remotely associated with it), which I did. We have, since that time, hammered out every minute detail of our upcoming holiday excursion together; and I must say that it feels like it has been a healthy form of bonding, somehow. I even got her a snow suit and boots that she already wears at night when she goes outside in the cold to smoke and play Mahjong until 0-dark-thirty, it’s cute. And in all truth, this year’s holiday feels much less painful already, as a result of the above described circumstance.

 

I am cursing the Gods for even putting that lump on Willow’s neck, whatever it may turn out to be; and I am secretly terrified by the possibility of losing my mother now, at this stage of things in my own Life (or lack, thereof). When I was still very actively suicidal (the state of my being upon starting my blog in the first place), Willow used to guilt-trip me into Life often. She would say things like,

 

“If you love your Mama at all, you won’t leave me in the wake of another lost child…”

or

 “What would happen to me if you killed yourself?”

 

Naturally, being the empath that I am, these statements always struck that chord in me that connects somehow directly to my dead little brother (who committed suicide very young); and the reality of such things would always anchor me once more to Life. I know she wasn’t even necessarily trying to save me from death, but she did. When I think about the prospect of her being gone after all those times of refraining from suicide simply to avoid destroying Willow the rest of the way, as her daughter and then I think about being left behind in the end, after all, well….my abandonment issues flare up and I become semi-manic.

 

Mama.

In randomly scattered moments
I can fool myself cruelly
through the tattered fragments
of a phantasmal memory
Abreast on a breeze of torment
I hear a quiet whispering
of an imaginary figment
a vague and ghostly thing
In the maddening confusion
I can make myself believe
through the comfortable illusion
that a child’s eyes perceive
Within such a warm delusion
I hear words never spoken to me
from the mouth of a fabrication
by the mom that you couldn’t be
In gradually growing resentment
I can hardly seem to breathe
through smoldering enchantment
my eyes still fight re-opening
for the sake of such abandonment
that represents the harsh reality.

Cruel and Hard Truths.

Life is cruel in this way; I know…we each play the worst of mind games with ourselves throughout its course of time with us; we each self-fulfill handfuls of silent prophesies made; we each destroy what we love and strive hard to perfect. We each suffer the toxic illness known as The Self; and, we each inevitably become something that we never wanted to be. We each take it all for granted, every last bit of it…and we each remain blind to the ways in which The Self evolves the victim into the victimizer in order to survive another year here.
We pretend that the ways we “grow” to become better with age aren’t full-blown warped to the core: better hunters, gatherers, collectors, owners, and so on… we pretend that Life and its tragedies do not mar us; that these things don’t mold us into creatures much like everyone else – rendering indifference and ambiguity in the most raw manifestations…we pretend that we know…anything about anything at all…but, we are each just as vulnerable and naïve as the other.
I have spent my own years alive in doing these things; wasted all of the meaningful and important formidable times of my youth in believing.
I carried it around with me like a sales kiosk in a mall: always there and open to sell – but never paid much attention to by anyone who matters. I kept telling myself things that were totally fabricated just to drag myself through to the other side of another New Year’s celebration or birthday party; basically been lying to myself about very important elements in Life for as long as I have been an adult; because if I hadn’t, I would have seen the folly of my own existence with clarity early on and likely just pulled the plug. Had I been enlightened throughout the years of my youth as I have become since that time, I truly might have beat my little brother in the race to commit suicide. It is because of the knowledge I have collected as an adult, as a mom, and as a grown up human being, that I can fully comprehend (and thoroughly forgive) my brother for his decision to end his own life so young and tragically.
JJ had never been able to feed himself such lies about his own existence and what it all lead up to for him; he had never been able to convince himself that our Mom actually did love him, or that his very being was not unwanted or regrettable, in reality – not any more than any of the rest of us, at least. He somehow managed to make it all the way to age 19 without any self-comforting delusions before finally allowing the ton of bricks to land on him (a feat that often leaves me dumbfounded, in its own right); he accepted his own reality as it had seemed to have come to him during infancy and just kept on until he had enough and ceased to move on.
These days, given all that’s happened with my own irreparably damaged child, it’s so much easier for me to understand where he was coming from and how he had reached that point; experience has helped me to recognize things as they are/were when it comes to the choice he made to kill himself like he did – he always used to ask me things at night when we were falling asleep like,
“Do you think that when Mama does come back, she will still remember me?”
or
“What did I do to make Mama go?”
As the youngest and the last to be born to our often violent, highly unstable and ever-intoxicated mother, of course he took her absence very personally from the moment he became aware of it. I, on the other hand, did not seem to be affected so much by it back in those days; at least, not in any apparent or obvious way. I used to feel puzzled by his constant neediness for her, the incessant questioning and quizzing about her nature and/or appearance, and most memorably: this urgency that seemed to be hardwired into his heart and brain to reunite with her before he lost the chance. During our childhood, all JJ ever wanted for Christmas was our mom to come…he never stopped crying for her at night when he had nightmares or when he was injured at play; he never stopped dreaming like little Orphan Annie about the sun coming up tomorrow and finally shining onto his face. He also never stopped being disappointed and heartbroken; his entire world must have felt like it was on hold all the time; his little face would just light right up when he thought he saw her, or heard her voice – even if he heard someone else say er name out loud…he just wanted her so badly.
“Mama’s not gone, J…she’s just away ‘til she gets better.”
I used to say this to him often, as it had repeatedly been said to me by my older brothers or dad; I never believed in my heart that she would be coming back, though – not sure why – but, I never held on to that notion at all.
Last night I was reading through some old family stuff and something seemed to drop into my heart like a fucking lead ball from out of nowhere:
Although I might not have been at all aware of it (or affected by it in the same ways as it affected JJ), these abandonment issues I harbor did not show up in my adult life; they have been there always – and have been warped and shaped over time and by my own experiences with my mom, my late dad, and late little brother. I thought last night for some reason about my mother passing away, and how that would leave me feeling, all things considered. I can say that the emotional tidal wave that followed such thoughts was quite surprising and unexpected for me, as I failed to form the attachments to her that are necessary to feel such emotional lows…or, so I thought. Then, the thought struck me of how it would be between my step-dad and me if my mom were to pass away before him; and, I was truly terrified beyond words by the possibility of that tie being severed completely through her death.
In short, it occurred to me last night just how much I have allowed myself to bond to my recovering and medicated mother in the years I’ve been trying, despite my own inability to perceive such things as they present themselves from one day to the next. I’ve always held so much resentment and blame and anger towards her as a result of JJ’s suicide that I guess I didn’t even notice those things as they began to fade and be replaced by forgiveness and understanding; Life is cruel that way…

Running Distantly.

I remember these things,
the late afternoon’s lulling,
“G.I. Joe – A Real American Hero”,
the ‘Three’s Company’ opening theme,

the sound of an overhead airplane’s engine,
fading away to the south, as the evening draws in,
the sounds of a lawnmower, running distantly,
cutting down grass and sending the scent to me,

I remember the pipes in the walls that would moan,
a surefire way to know when someone was home,
the sound that the front gate’s dragging board would make,
the dogs in the back that always scared the Pizza Boy away,

Anticipation of dinnertime and seeing my Father’s face,
every evening, the hope of seeing him walk into our place,
the leaves skipping up our walkway alongside his tired feet,
the Gods blessed me with a Dad so dedicated and hard-working,

these things I remember, they are mine to recall,
only because of the good I had – my Dad, after all,
and I’ve never been sorry in the slightest amount,
for basking in his warmth before it was snuffed out.