My mother is dead. My brother is dead. My sister is wasting away, drowning in guilt, anger and fear. I have no inheritance. Its gone because my mother did not protect it. No one thinks to themselves, I may have someone take over everything because I’m going to develop Alzheimer’s.
In 1992 when I left that home I knew I’d caused major upset in family dynamics. When I changed my name I knew I’d given up absolutely everything that would have come to me, everything. The thing is, do we ever really expect our parents to die when we look at them as gods? When they stand tall as tyrants over the children they abuse, they’re seen as all powerful, unstoppable. There is no future, there’s nothing to ground you, nothing to hold on to. So how could I have really known she’d truly disown me and that she and my sister would pretend I do not exist? It wasn’t until 2012 that I discovered they’d erased me from their lives. She presented herself as a woman with one daughter. My sister presented herself as an only child.
As a child, my mother showed only her professional side to onlookers. She was well put together and had guys flanking her. If you’ve ever seen a guy rush to open a door for a pretty girl, that’s what happened to my mother all the time. She truly was physically beautiful, but her focus was money and doling out pain.
She gave us a generous allowance and taught us early on how to manage money. Everything was about money. She was such a workaholic, too. Sometimes she’d work so late that my sister and I would sit in the car at he office in the dark waiting for her to come out. To hear that she lost her faculties and that her two surviving sisters were put in charge of all her affairs hurts me in so many ways. First of all, it hurts me that my mother who was once tall and formidable ended up a frightened woman with Alzheimer’s. It hurts me deeply that she didn’t ‘simply’ die. Her death was bad enough that all I want to do is curl up and keep saying, no, no, no, that’s didn’t happen, that did not happen!
At her death she was nothing more than a vulnerable baby stripped of all dignity and of everything she loved – money, power over others, appearances. Some would say she deserved what she got for being what she was and they’d have a point, but this is MY mother, and the thought of her last minutes haunt me.
In last night’s dream I found a cache of old memories. I found art and journals and money. In the dream my mother showed up behind me. I handed the money to her to count. I remember the number she gave me. I took the money, neatly arranged it and put it back under the stairs. I covered up what I discovered and left it there. I can’t believe how symbolic that dream was. The three wolf hybrids, vulnerable lives in need, the stray yellow kitten I had as a child named Butter and the layers of life I need to walk away from. That dream was packed full of representation of what I’m processing in therapy. Some things I have to look at and process, some things stay buried and other things are lost to me, buried, so I can grow again. The dream with cannibals was emotionally triggering, the dream where I willingly left my past and …. my inheritance… has left me feeling empowered.
What I’ve been doing in therapy lately has been gut wrenching, but there was a shift awhile ago that propels me forward. That shift is letting go of false hope and taking control of my current existence. That shift includes planning a real future for myself with me in the driver’s seat.
I’m the poorest I’ve ever been. I’m in the worst health of my life. I have more freedom than I’ve ever had. I have nothing and everything.
12:12am EST April 12, 2017