When everything went to ‘hell’ in a hand basket I didn’t panic, I didn’t start screaming and crying.
Three people have died unexpectedly in the last week but during the chaos, the conversations back and forth, arrangements, I spoke with my normal voice. My family knows not to expect me at the memorial. They don’t have to wonder if I’ll show up, I calmly explained that I will not. The response was … interesting. I can’t say if they were offended or not. I can say that the conversation wasn’t argumentative in tone….in tone. It always feels like a struggle with my Aunty C, always. Aunty S seems a little more laid back than I remember. My sister still won’t speak to me.
When there was abuse going on in front of us the best thing to do was not react, stay calm. When my mother was on a crazy trip…………..it’s not right for her to be gone, ya know that, it’s not right……..
All I’m trying to say is that when I was younger I learned how to respond or not respond. Whatever I felt I sure better not show it. At that time I hid myself under a blank stare or a casual glance in the other direction. I stayed calm while my sister lost it. I must have been so irritating to her. She fell apart and there I was silent or trying to calm her quickly. She must have gotten tired of me not freaking out. Maybe she depended on me to keep her calm.
Wow, a whole flash of experiences where I kept a level head and calmed her just crossed my mind. One of the biggest things was keeping calm when she and I were home alone and someone broke in. He could see us. He probably saw me shaking with my hand on my sister trying to keep her calm. He sat at the end of the bed we were in, and made a phone call. Yeah, he knew we were in that bed pretending to sleep. We had the covers over our head. I remember it being hot and I remember that mattress all too well. The man left without harming us. I called my mother who rushed home. That was the fourth grade.
When I got older I still didn’t panic when things went wrong but I wasn’t masking my feelings, I was just behaving the way I was taught to. That way is now my automatic response which in my opinion means it’s authentic.
Snow said the other day that it’s sometimes difficult to tell how I’m doing because I am upbeat and cheerful when people visit. I cringed. The emotions I express when I receive visitors are authentic. They aren’t meant to hide or water down the other emotions; but for some a smile does just that.
I have more than one emotion, and I can have complex feelings and thoughts just like everyone else. If you look at me, just look at me, can’t you see I’m losing it?
I miss her. I’ve missed her for a long time and grieved her for decades. Has my mother not been dead all these years? She gave birth to me then tried to destroy me. She stopped being a mother very early on and became enemy number one. She was the biggest threat I’d ever face. She said I was her favorite because I was a challenge. Yes, it was challenging to not respond to dowel rods on my body. It was a challenge to not let her see what hurt looks like on her child’s face, and it was a challenge when I left that night to save my life. I left my sister. I’m sorry.
There is now the challenge to transition from enemy number one to her not being here. No mother. I don’t have a mother and I haven’t for many decades. It’s not that I didn’t need one. I kept trying to find one but that failed miserably three times. Now I’m a the point of saying, okay, you’re not getting a mother. You’re going to have to figure out how to be okay with that. The other part is, it’s best to keep it on the blog and in therapy because there’s less of a chance to have an open wound split further.