Category Archives: mom

After effects

For reasons I don’t fully understand, today has been one of those “teary days” that sometimes enter my life. The latter part of the last week has been full of fear, worry, disappointment and, at times, utter panic. As I’ve written previously, my mother died in February, 2012. I’d known for years that she was not mentally competent and known even longer that she had serious mental health issues. She chose not to deal with either affliction. Unfortunately, her affliction became my affliction because I shared a house with her. Day after day, I’d watch her make horrible mistakes and could do nothing. One person in whom I’d confided kept telling me to somehow “make” her do things or “make” her brothers stop protecting her so that she could receive real medical help. My mother was not someone anyone “makes” do anything. The end result was that she lived in a world that didn’t correspond with reality. Nothing I said, did, didn’t say or didn’t do made a difference. I told her in anger once that she would always find a way to screw me over even if she had to go down with me. That’s a pretty harsh thing to say to one’s mother. That didn’t mean it wasn’t true. Two utterly devastating financial decisions she made that I desperately tried to talk her out of or guide her through have come back to bite me in the ass just as I told her they would.

The financial difficulties I’m experiencing actually force me to mourn my mother. I have not had any real time to do so in the last 18 months because I’ve been too busy dealing with two creditors who hold the paper on the house and my minivan–KeyBank National Association and JPMorgan Chase Auto Finance, respectively. To say these august institutions have been “difficult” would probably be the understatement of the year. I have new grey hairs because of them. Fortunately, my attorneys have kept me away from a lot of the upsetting discourse because, honestly, I don’t think I have it in me to remain focused and calm. My mother’s death and the years that preceded it are truly tender spots on my psyche. There is a lot of unfinished business within the family confines that are deeply painful and ugly. There are days when I can barely keep the dam of anger and pain from bursting as though built with shoddy concrete and rusty steel. Inevitably, there will be cracks where the water of my tears will seep through and run down the spillway of my cheeks. Today is one of those days.

I may have written of a favorite great-uncle, Herbert, who was more some combination of grandfather/father than great-uncle. Even though he was only ten years older than my mother, he had a very big hand in raising her. It was a bond that lasted throughout their lives. Uncle Herbert preceded Mom in death by a few months shy of four years. We didn’t have a chance to say a final goodbye, but I think he understood.

Uncle Herbert was always there for me, too. He and his wife, Ethel, were my rocks when I desperately needed them growing up. Lately, as I’ve watched my world turn upside down, I have wished that Uncle Herbert were here because he’d tell me how to fix everything or protect me as best he could from the very harsh realities I may have to face. My lawyers do help me as best they can, but they can only do so much. Aunt Ethel helped me even though I was deeply ashamed for asking. In the end, it is up to me. It is my responsibility to clean up the hot mess my mother made of both our lives because I didn’t do what needed to be done: have her declared mentally incompetent and get myself appointed conservator. Kicking myself is a waste of time, as is blaming her enabling two oldest brothers who interfered when I tried to get her help. I know that I will never have the same relationship with them again. So be it. However, I have to mourn the woman she was before she was crazy and mentally incompetent, then pick myself up, gear up and fight for my life.

I think the thing I do best is fight. My existence has been a constant struggle since the day I was born. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have to fight for something or another. That’s one of the things that would have/will make an excellent litigator. I believe passionately in equanimity and fairness. To me, those are basic human rights. KeyBank made a predatory loan to a woman who had no business conducting any financial transactions at all. I even warned the loan officer that my mother was not competent, but the loan officer saw an easy mark and inserted herself into the relationship with my mother. Anytime a woman “forgets” that her daughter has fibromyalgia and a birth defect that has caused problems in various musculoskeletal areas of her body even though that daughter has been on disability since the early 1990s and several doctors have talked to her about the daughter’s needs, that woman is in serious trouble. Whether Mom really forgot or whether she just didn’t want to face facts is something I’ll never know. What I do know is that I may lose my house due to Key’s greed. I have a feeling that I am not the only person who is in this type of difficulty.

Picking myself up to fight another day is one of the most difficult things I can envision doing right now. I am so damn tired I don’t know what to do. My spirit is tired. What keeps me going is my girls. Without them, I would be locked away in an psychiatric facility undergoing God-knows-what kind of “therapy” to lift the fog of depression. Yes, I am fighting for myself, but I am fighting for them even more. We are a set; a team; a four-some. We are family. I really don’t like this house because it wasn’t built very well. However, it’s got a large backyard with incredible possibilities and I don’t have to worry about my babies making too much noise for the neighbors. I know that I live and do things for them when I can’t do them for myself. This time, I’m fighting for all of us.

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A strange day

First, be advised that I’m typing with a critical finger either broken or badly sprained. Please forgive any spelling errors. Second, I’m really sleepy. Only God(dess) knows what’s going to pop out of these fingers, broken or otherwise. With those caveats in place, I’ll carry on.

I dared to have a happy moment Friday. That happiness continued into Saturday. It’s gotten so that I’m afraid to pinpoint the happy days because they are followed by bleakness. This would all be perfectly explainable if I were bipolar, but I’m not. No, I’m more paranoid than bipolar. At times, I do believe the world is out to get me. I can’t be allowed to get too happy before shit starts falling apart. Tonight is a good case in point.

Unknown to me, one of my cousins lost her mother earlier in the week. Maybe someone tried the house phone, but I keep it off the hook because some of Mom’s creditors didn’t get the memo that said: a) she’s now deceased, and; b) unless you’ve made a claim against the estate by last August, you are SOL. I got tired of having to be a stone bitch and so I only use it for faxes now.

At any rate, Bea died and I didn’t hear about it until this evening and even that was a fluke. I sent condolences to my cousins and then another message to the larger “family” to ream them out for not getting word to me. I was actually somewhat nice, all things considered. I just don’t want this crap to happen again.

Well, now, I’m not as happy. In fact, I began to think about Mom. I was able to make peace with her passing because I think her incredible gifts with children were necessary. I’m sure we all remember the Newtown, CT shootings where so many children were killed. Can you imagine how frightened those poor little souls were arriving on the other side? That’s when I knew why Mom was taken at such an early age (for my family, at least). She was very desperately needed for those children. To see my mother with a child was a remarkable thing. Those kids are her legacy. I only wish I had an once of her talent as a teacher, but I don’t, and that’s why I don’t have a teaching certificate although everybody thought I should get one as a fall-back. Their reasons were good. I just don’t have the patience. I’m also no good at following tight rules. I’d see a kid in trouble and I would do something about it immediately, without going to the principal. If it isn’t the kids, it’s their parents. I have too hot a temper and can get fiercely protective. Unfortunately, very often the person the kid needs to be protected from is one or both parents.

As I said, I began to think about Mom and so I had a bit of a chat with her. I’m noticing that my hands are beginning to look like hers. As I lose more weight, I suspect they’ll look vary much like hers, but a darker color. She had exquisitely delicate hands. I used to love looking at them from the time I was around four. Those hands held so much talent as an artist. I truly wish that I had more of her work. Alas, I only have two or three. My understanding is that she still has pictures hanging in the local board of education even though they’ve been there for well over 60 years. My larger family is full of visual artists. I just happen to write. I can barely draw, but I do occasionally try.

I think that I’m really afraid to be happy. I always feel as though I have to watch for those around me. My mind tells me that this is a symptom of post traumatic stress disorder. Yeah, well, that doesn’t mean I’m wrong. I just want to get back on my feet financially and breathe a bit. I know there are things I haven’t done because I’m too proud to do them. I have to get over it, but it’s hell.

There are things I want to do. I’m seriously feeling the magazine as I work on a logo with one of my artistic genius cousins. am so very close to being in a position to get two issues out and hope those lead to more advertisers. I’m even afraid to be optimistic about that! Having life get better and then crash into hell is so engrained in me that I don’t know if it will ever change. I can work around it, but this attitude makes doing so like lifting 100 lbs. sitting down.

I have had what normal people would call a “migraine” for eight days now. Granted, a couple of those days didn’t suck, but came awfully close. Now, I can feel the headache rising in my shoulders. I have to lay down. Maybe sleep will make all of my demons go away.

A talk with Mom

Hi Mommy,

I’m so sad today. I was sad anyway and then I saw that an Airedale acquaintance’s mother died yesterday. She was your age, but not as well preserved. I wrote to her of the things I’ve learned since you died last year, even those things I haven’t been able to do myself. For instance, I haven’t had a chance to really mourn you for more than a day or two because the vultures began to circle almost immediately. Since I feel you with me so often, I’m sure you know that I had to fire Wes. That was awkward, but, I got two great lawyers who protect both of us.

You got me in trouble, young lady, when you dropped dead the day you were supposed to get the license tags. I got stopped and the minivan almost got impounded, but the officer took pity on me and let me keep it. Still, I couldn’t drive it for over a month while Shia did some creative lawyering so that I could get the tags you would have gotten. Then, would you believe that I forgot about the court date for the ticket and had to go to REAL court Wednesday with Marvin? After he got me out of that, what does he see but the “new” tag was only good for the nine days before your birthday and I needed to go get yet another set of tags for another $100. I ended up laughing because there was nothing else I could do. I don’t even know what I owe Marvin. I’ll be paying him and Shia for the rest of my life! I’ll tell you more about Marvin later, but suffice it to say, he is very familiar with Daddy’s former line of business and laughed when I told him a bit about it. Finally, someone I can talk to about Daddy! I know Daddy wishes there were things I didn’t know, but I do now and I did when he was alive. I don’t love him any less. He looks after me, too, Mom–Daddy, I mean. I didn’t want to tell you when you were alive because I know how jealous you were of my feelings for him. But he really, really looks after me. He thinks that he’s “making up” for the time we were apart and, for whatever reason, we didn’t see each other as often as we should. Although, I had a good talk with Aunt Ethel the other day considering the date. She told me that Daddy actually spent a lot of time with me when I was in the early single digits. I understand why you two couldn’t stay together, but I really wish things had been different.

Mommy, I really, really need you now. I don’t mean the crazy you of the last decade or so. I mean the you you were when I was in my mid-20s through mid-30s or so. In other words, the you that wasn’t as mentally ill or medically ill as you can safely acknowledge now. Yeah, I know. One of the reasons I don’t talk to Sonny is because of what he did that kept you getting more and more ill. Hell, that doesn’t even cover the fact that he’s a lying, hypocritical, envious individual. Yeah, I’m angry with him. Whatever. I need the you that I hope you became again once you passed on.

I remember you telling me about some of the people you and Daddy knew when you were married. You both accepted them for who they were. These days, I’m having a really hard time with who I am. If I were a pure spirit, then, I’d know. I’m not. I have this body and I don’t know who it needs anymore. I know what my mind needs: someone who can keep it engaged. I know what my heart needs: someone who will love me with no reservations. My body has been the thing that kept me from the person I loved the most. That says more about him than it does about me, I agree. However, where is he? You were right when you said that no one drives over 500 miles for a booty call–several times. And no one has me fly out there solely for a booty call. Again, where is he? Finally, no one tracks me up and down the Eastern Seaboard for a booty call. Why isn’t he here next to me?

You told me, correctly, that men are essentially foolish to the point of stupidity. Even they don’t know why they do what they do. You, with the exception of your two marriages, the last one to the Devil himself, were really good at understanding them. I never was. They were and are as foreign to me as Chinese. There are days I think I have more in common with elephants than I do with human males, especially the adult variety. I feel as though it’s time for me to do something. I do want to write the book because Lord knows there’s enough material! But what else? Mommy, I keep hearing you and feeling you and what you’ve consistently said. I am picking up your “insights” more and more as I get older. That seemed to start shortly after you were gone. Anyway, I feel what you felt independent of what you’d said, but I need someone better. I need someone who is worthy of me and he isn’t. Not anymore he isn’t. Did you know that when we went to check out that law school in NYC that the doorman saw me with him and shook his head? He didn’t shake it because of me, but because of you-know-who. It puzzled me then and I didn’t think of it until many, many years later. Maybe that elderly gentleman could see that he would do nothing but bring me a lot of heartache and never quite grow into being a man. He was right–at least so far.

Mom, I couldn’t talk to you about this when you were alive, although I wanted to. It took you a while to accept who I was and that I didn’t like men in general. Then, I think you caught on to the fact that there was the occasional male that caught some portion of my body’s interest if not others. Now, I don’t know what’s going on. I know what I want and it’s a HIM and I don’t even know who HE is. I just know that when I do meet him, everything in my life will make sense. If I hadn’t seen recent pictures of you-know-who, I’d think that it must be him, but it isn’t. I do know that I won’t have him for long, just like I didn’t have Daddy for long. That’s going to break my heart into a million pieces, but it will be worth it because I will have had the blessing of knowing him at all and I will be stronger–after I lose my mind, that is. 🙂 I haven’t told anyone about him. In spite of what you thought while on this plane, I hope you now know that just because something’s on the Internet doesn’t mean anyone will see it. Most of the people who read this blog are my e-friends, if not more. Hence, we’ve got the room to ourselves.

There is so much I want to say and have no coherent words, only feelings. I wish I’d been a better daughter and realized how sick you were sooner. I’m guessing, but I wish you’d taken the cardiologist’s advice. You’d be alive now and I wouldn’t have such a mess on my hands. I hate being alone, Mommy. Just as most people didn’t understand you, your family doesn’t get me, with a few exceptions. Speaking of, please tell Uncle Herbert that I miss him terribly and wish he were here. I need him, too. As you can see, the girls and I are making it as best we can. I know they see someone from time to time, but I don’t know who. You? Probably not, but maybe. I mean, I know you drop by fairly frequently and that you’re very, very sorry about the way things turned out and feel like you’ve failed. Much of the failure wasn’t your fault. Like I said, I blame Sonny for a lot of that and he can kiss my booty. Please ask if I can have my girls–all of them–for some time longer. I’ve lost a lot over these last five years. There’s only so much one person can take and I’m at my limit. But for these girls, I’d be up there with you.

OK, I guess it’s time to let you go for now. I’ll try hard not to spend so much time screaming at the ceiling when I hit yet another fucked up situation that you’ve gotten me in by not paying attention or willfully ignoring me. You know now the damage that’s been caused. I’ll deal with it. I always do, or I hire people who will. I keep hearing you becoming more and more insistent on the question of him. Why? Why? I mean, yeah, I think you’re right, but not right now. He needs to be a full-fledged man first and he isn’t. He may not be until he’s 60, regardless of what he should be. I also hear you asking who’d make me happy. Both the man I don’t know, but who is coming and the manchild, once he stops being a child and finally fully becomes a man. It’s crazy, but I know for a fact that I will both know and love the man I’ve yet to meet nearly on sight. And he will deserve me and all the love, care and loyalty I will give him. I just wish you could be here when we become “we.” In the meantime, help me keep it together until my world comes together. Oh! Don’t fight with Daddy too much, OK? He really is here much of the time taking care of me. It’s early for you yet. You’ll be here in time, too. I know it.

Love you,

Me

Recovery: man v. manchild

I have considered writing about my recent activities for several days now. My problem was that I was too involved and too confused to make any sense. I couldn’t formulate my thoughts so that they made sense to me. How could I write something that would be understood by someone else? I have a large vocabulary, but I have feelings with no words to describe them. One would think I’d be able to find some word among so many thousands to say, “I feel X.” Even now, the words do not come easily. I am going to delve into my former lover’s, Glenn’s, behavior and my reactions as compared to a dear friend who happens to be male who confirmed what I’ve known in my heart for a long time and what I’ve only just realized.

I’ve noticed that I tend to write to Glenn when there’s some sort of “issue” in my present life that makes me sad. If I had to voice a reason, I’d say that it’s because he reminds me of happier times; he is someone who helped me at an absolutely critical time in my life that no one else could have handled, and; I just want him. When all is said and done, it’s the fact that I want him that is uppermost in my being. The other reasons are valid, but aren’t quite as important.

February is a tricky month this year. My mother’s birthday is on the 22nd and she died last year on the 27th. She had five days to be 86 years old. She’d been the matriarch of our family for nearly four years, but she’d never exercised the privilege that came with it. That was reserved for yours truly, who bore the full brunt of her need to be constantly honored. I am not that kind of person, which lead to many an argument. However, that is a topic for a different post. The most important thing to know about her in this one is that I missed my mother terribly, and; I’d finally hit the wall in my suppressed frustration with her estate and all of the stress it was causing because of her absolutely asinine decisions. I spent a half hour the other day screaming and yelling at the ceiling practically out of my mind with rage because she’d left me to clean up her mess–one that has very long-term consequences for me. I know she was sick even if she refused to acknowledge it and threatened me when I tried to get her help. I have extremely good reason to be furious with her even though I miss other things about her. I understand that it’s not unusual to carry both anger and longing for a recently deceased loved one. Thank Goddess for shrinks because I would have felt abnormal and incredibly guilty if I hadn’t been told my feelings are fairly normal.

For reasons I do not remember, I began to think about Glenn. I was, and am, so angry with him for what he did to me that I have to talk myself out of sending him nasty e-mail on a daily basis these days. Besides my mother’s pedophile second husband and the man I was seeing in undergrad who raped me, Glenn set up the cruelest, sickest, most twisted and most non-consensually sadistic episode I’ve ever experienced. It led to spending four days in an ICU bed because I tried to suicide after he’d left me in disbelief, humiliation, self-hatred and utter, utter despair; my mother losing her fucking mind and attacking me while in ICU necessitating her banishment from both the medical hospital and the psych hospital where I was sent; wanting little to do with men for the last decade, including my own family members, and; on those days when I do think of it, feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, ugliness and shame. Glenn knows this and just doesn’t give a damn. He and that female he married who was in on the “joke” perpetrated the perfect mindfuck. That is their specialty. They thrived on mutual mindfucks when in college. She is an archetypical “mean girl” and he, like every bully and abuser, needs to feel in control and powerful. I’ve suspected for some time now that he has his own abuse issues that he doesn’t deal with well, if at all. He finds a person’s weakness and exploits it. With me, there were several things to exploit. The first was the fact that I’ve loved him for all but 17 years of my life, then; a birth defect that made one leg considerably shorter than the other, necessitating a prosthesis; other health issues like fibromyalgia, and, finally; my weight. (Oddly enough, we were lovers for 17 years, too. That’s just a coincidence with the numbers, I suppose.) He did the same thing before we first got together. It took me the better part of two years of enduring his shit before he made a decision that I was worth having, finally bedded me and began to treat me fairly well to very well.

Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
But that’s alright because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
But that’s alright because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie

I admit to being a late-comer to Eminem. I liked some of his music, but tended to look at him askance due to the homophobia the character Slim Shady spouted and the vulgarity of his lyrics. The latter is a bit hypocritical because I have a mouth like a sailor when I’m angry and don’t feel like holding back. As time has gone on, I’ve come to appreciate Eminem more. I am especially fond of his 2010 CD Recovery which contains a track with Rihanna called Love The Way You Lie about an abusive and dysfunctional relationship. I wish I could sit her in a room and make her listen to that track a zillion times so she can come to her senses and give up on that messed up child, Chris Brown. I think of the young women who will emulate her and I am very concerned.

I feel as though the lyrics quoted above are words emanating from my psyche relative to Glenn. My feelings aren’t healthy at all. So many people have told me that he’s a little shit, but they also had something of a conflict of interest. I have tried to get him to tell me why he did what he did for a decade so that I can move on. I’d also hoped that whatever he said would help me stop feeling as though I’d done something to deserve it. I have been able to tease a few things out that I would bet the remainder of my life are true. First, regarding his marriage, I believe he didn’t choose me because I have a rare disability and no one really knows what my future holds. He’s a record producer, DJ and manager. He believes that he has to project a certain image. Right now, he’s like carved marble. Indeed, he’s much more attractive now than he was as a younger man. I’m not the right arm candy. I have a pronounced limp and I’m Rubenesque. I also can’t dance because I risk ending up on the floor. I think he finds me embarrassing. It really took going back in my memory, but we were rarely seen together with people who know him. The only time he took me out with his friends (as opposed to our mutual friends) when I went to see him was the night we had dinner in the city right before he told me he was marrying that puta. I had absolutely NO idea that was coming. I thought it was the exact opposite, in fact. I was rather blindsided, to say the least.

Secondly, that woman he married is a physician in a very high salaried specialty. Even if I’d graduated law school I wouldn’t make the kind of money she does. I would if I did personal injury, but that’s not what I wanted to do. Neither did I want to work for one of the big law firms with offices in the U.S. and other countries. I wanted to practice criminal and intellectual property. The latter gets a pretty penny, but not as much as the good doctor. His business was more than likely funded by her, at least at first. Now, had he stayed with me and married me, Daddy would have gotten him started by introducing him to the right people. I remembered telling him about Glenn, in fact. He wasn’t impressed. With his background, I understand. However, he also wasn’t going to let me live in relative poverty, so he’d have helped Glenn for my sake. Ironically, I refused to ask my family for help unless my back was against the wall. I wanted to do things on my own.

I have a dear friend from high school, David, who was run down by a driver while biking his way to work. When I first heard about it, I was out the door the next day and went to see him in ICU. He looked terrible. I could tell from what I saw approximately what his injuries were. It was a major miracle that he lived. This was confirmed by one of the floor nurses. Had he not already been in great shape, he would have died. I hadn’t seen David in about 12 to 15 years, but that didn’t matter. He was still my dear friend and I could help him. I’ve spent my entire life in the medical system and know more than a thing or two about it. I promised David that I would see him through rehab for as long as I am in town. Then, I first got some sort of bug that turned into bronchitis and aggravated the asthma with which I was just diagnosed about two years ago and the asthma aggravated the bronchitis. Fun times! After that, my mother’s estate struck again and, for reasons that are too detailed to explain, left me without transportation. The upshot is that I didn’t see David for two months, he couldn’t talk on the phone because he was on a ventilator and is only recently able to speak on the phone after being weaned from the vent.

David is an incredibly brave, resolute, kind and loving person who is, in turn, loved by many people. He was my secret crush in high school, in fact. He is handling the changes in his life better than anyone had any right to expect. I don’t know how he’s doing it, but he is. It is so much harder for someone who has a traumatic disability than for someone born with one. I, for example, don’t know what it’s like to have two legs of the same length. Therefore, although I can imagine the things I would have done and would still do, I have no experiential knowledge to miss.

Today I was finally able to drive my vehicle without fearing getting stopped again. My attorney found a creative way around some probate law and, after last minute frustration with the BMV, I became street legal again. (YAY!!!) The first person I went to see was David. I was beyond happy with the progress he’d made. I’d been worried about him because I couldn’t make sure that everything was as it should be for him because, last I saw him, he wasn’t in a position to advocate for himself. Fortunately, our group of friends has stuck together even though many of us have not seen each other in *mumble* years. Our experiences forged life-long loyalties and bonds. I ended up in tears of both happiness for David and anguish for myself. Seeing David, I realized the man that Glenn isn’t. The contrast hit me over the head like a sledgehammer. I was in tears so that I had to leave the room, actually. Fifty percent were tears of joy and 50% were tears of heartbreak. Truth be told, if it wouldn’t have been bad for David, I would have sobbed huge sobs of heartbreak sitting beside his bed.

I needed a man’s opinion, so I told David about Glenn and what he’d done to me. He was nice and said that Glenn was an immature asshole and, no, I didn’t do anything to deserve what he did. He also said that I can’t worry about Glenn’s motives because there’s nothing I can do. He chose to do what he did and it was uncalled for. He further said that we love people and we can only hope that they love us in a similar fashion. If they don’t, then you have to worry about yourself. I got over Glenn marrying someone else a while ago in the sense that I didn’t want him full time and having someone else would be a good thing even though I do not like this puta all on her own. However, the reasons . . . I don’t have the words to describe how profoundly hurt I feel. The reason I know why he did it is because he began our relationship with issues about my disability. He’s the only person I’ve ever been with who placed so much emphasis on my physical limitations. I, in turn, put too much emphasis on the fact that he is one of the extremely few people who is an intellectual match. I’ve found more women who match me intellectually than I have men. I don’t know why.

I can’t tell you what it really is
I can only tell you what it feels like
And right now it’s a steel knife in my windpipe
I can’t breathe but I still fight while I can fight
As long as the wrong feels right it’s like I’m in flight
High off of love, drunk from my hate,
It’s like I’m huffing paint and I love it the more I suffer, I suffocate
And right before I’m about to drown, she resuscitates me
She fucking hates me and I love it.

I know Glenn was, at best, confused when I told him so long ago that I wasn’t sleeping with men anymore. He didn’t know what to say, so he hung up on me. I’ve been trying to put myself in his place and I can understand why he’d feel as though there was some level of dishonesty in all the years we were together. There wasn’t. Plus, he and I had talked about the fact that I liked women. There is a big difference between theoretically liking women and actually doing something about it. I believe that a large part of what he did to me was revenge. After he got his revenge–and still gets it with each day–he simply couldn’t care less about me other than the fact that I feed his need to see me in pain. He loved me. It took me a very long time to realize that, but he did. His answer for the pain he felt was to hurt me back at least twice as badly. Revenge is a zero sum game. It is very tempting to play and does offer a measure of satisfaction. However, someone who can feel empathy isn’t going to find revenge ultimately fulfilling. By hurting me, he feels a sense of control. By leaving me dangling, he’s watching my pain and feeling powerful.

Glenn is not a man. A grown man would never have done this heinous thing to me, certainly not after 17 years of being lovers and more. A man would, at the very least, apologize after driving someone to commit suicide and damn near succeeding. I didn’t intend to live at all. I hated the fact that I was alive. I hated him. I hated myself. I hated the thought of trying and not succeeding again even more, so that was it. That wasn’t the end of the self-harm, but it was the end of the suicide attempts.

I’ve recently learned that Glenn has a son now, I’ll refer to him as “Oscar.” This is not good. There is no one in that household to teach him how to be a straight up man. If anything, Glenn will teach him how to be non-committal and talk around those issues girls and women rightly want to discuss. Oscar will probably grow up to be like some jocks I happened across in high school one afternoon. I was walking up one of the entrance ramps coming from somewhere, I think the backstage area of the auditorium. At the top of the ramp where it intersects the main first floor hallway, I saw these two jerks with letterman jackets teasing and physically abusing a developmentally disabled girl. I was furious! Needless to say, I made them stop and made sure that the girl was alright physically if not emotionally. I then reported their sorry asses to security. I can easily see Glenn doing that and teaching his kid the amorality that underlies such despicable behavior. Oscar’s sister, who’s name I’ve forgotten, will most definitely grow up to be one of the “mean girls.” She’s got her mother to emulate. That shit would never happen if those were my kids. It is impossible to teach a child empathy if the parents believe the only people who matter are them and theirs. It is impossible to teach kindness and courage if the parents are hiding their own cowardice and narcissism behind cruelty. Lord help anyone who becomes involved with them. A second generation of Thorntons down the tubes.

It’s clear to me now that I don’t want Glenn. I don’t respect him as a man because he’s not a man. He is a manchild. If he hasn’t grown up by now, he never will. I’m not going to be his emotional punching bag anymore. When I compare him to David, Glenn isn’t good enough to kiss his big toe. They are on two entirely different planes of maturity. A man takes care of his business, including cleaning up the messes he creates. Glenn won’t. His way of dealing is to NOT deal and find some reason that justifies his actions. No, that is not a man. It is a sad little boy in a $150 tank top. Writing that should lift a weight from my shoulders, but it doesn’t. I am completely and thoroughly disappointed in him and in myself. Why I’d be disappointed in him is obvious. I am disappointed in myself because I allowed my love to blind me. I was aware of his faults, but I made excuses for him. If not excuses, rationalizations. In this instance, Ocam’s Razor applies. The situation is exactly as it appears and Glenn is the person he has shown himself to be.

I will see him once again to be sure, but I think this is the end. I am in a great deal of emotional pain, but I will survive. It’s what I do.

Of mourning and brokenness

I am listening to The Prayer by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. I wanted it sung at my mother’s memorial service, but her brother, who isn’t paying for a goddamn thing, inserted a vocalist from his church along with his church’s minister without my consent. I am so angry with him I could throw him through a window and not give a good damn. He is a fucking hypocrite. He stood in front of a church full of people and broke down in tears to the point where I went up to comfort him even though I had an internal shield of numbness holding back the deepest pit of grief. He and Mom were as tight as two people can be. In a dispute, she’d take his side over mine any day. For that matter, she’d take any of her brothers’ side over mine any day. That’s not the way it’s supposed to be, but that’s the way it was. So now, this tearful brother is going around telling anyone who will listen that I got a large insurance payment when Mom died and, therefore, he doesn’t feel he ought to chip in the remaining $250 owed to the church that graciously agreed to host Mom’s memorial service even though it had been many decades since we/she attended. She would have been there if we’d known the congregation was still in existence. We didn’t. We thought that the local presbytery had closed the church’s doors. Instead, it simply moved to a newer building out in the suburbs. At any rate, I am now stuck with a $250 bill that the minister “forgave,” but that I feel has to be paid because it’s just bad karma not to do so.

I exist thanks to minimal Social Security Disability payments that I just barely had enough working quarters to get; a small stipend from my mother’s retirement fund; Medicare; Medicaid, and, in all probability; food stamps when I get over my embarrassment and get real. Yet, I am the one who bore the FULL cost of my mother’s cremation and memorial service. I will make the payments in honor of my mother and make sure that it says that I am the one who contributed in her memory. That hypocritical, ass of a brother and his social-climbing witch of a wife will get no credit.

I do not agree with the minister’s take on Christianity at all. Through means of which I am totally unaware, this Presbyterian minister is a fundamentalist. She actually believes that the Bible should be taken literally. That isn’t the Presbyterian way that I am used to. What’s important is that she would not allow Mom’s BFF, an ordained minister, to give the eulogy because she wasn’t “Christian enough.” What the FUCK?!?! That’s another thing that happened behind my back. The BFF and I were really ticked as hell about that. When I casually mentioned that I don’t take the Bible literally and neither did my mother, the minister and the social climbing twit wife of my mother’s brother laughed at me AND my mother’s beliefs. I think that was a little inappropriate given that we’d just held a memorial service for her. That made no difference, it would seem. These are “good Christians.” Yeah, they are about as good Christians as I am an observant orthodox Jew. In fact, hell, under two different branches of Judaism, I was BORN Jewish because my father converted before I was even conceived. So, theoretically, all I’d need is a bat mitzvah and I’d be considered a full-fledged member of the tribe. I guess that makes me more Jewish than these women ever were Christians. No wonder they act as if they have no judgement as human beings or as supposed benevolent, almighty Christian zealots. The social-climbing witch was no surprise. She affects a pious air, but has been seen for what she is by the larger family. She is what she is. However, the minister is quite another story. She was just wrong. There are no two ways about it. I shook my head when it happened and turned to talk to the other people at my table. Pa-the-tic.

In case it isn’t apparent, I am angry. I have reason to be angry, but I am also tired of it. I know that part of my anger is from the mourning process. My mother shouldn’t be dead. I strongly suspect malpractice, but it will cost hundreds of dollars I don’t have simply to get my hands on her medical records. So, the cardiologist who supposedly said that there was no need to do anything about my mother’s aortic aneurysm will get off scott free. A vital, if confused, woman is sitting in my china cabinet on a shelf instead of walking around. I could also look at it another way. My mother had some form of dementia. If she were forced to face that fact, she would be devastated. Perhaps her relatively early death–and 86 years old is young for a death in our family–was a secret blessing. I don’t look at it that way, but someone else could.

I find myself wishing for days of old when my great-uncles, Mom’s uncles, were alive and were active heads of this branch of the clan. So much shit wouldn’t happen. For one thing, I wouldn’t be forced to leave town because I get absolutely no respect from the second generation of the clan here even though there would be no family reunions without all of the work and money that I put into them. I could plan one practically in my sleep with only six months lead time. There are certain things at which I am extremely good and there are some things I know very little about. I know my limitations. That’s why it is rare that I fall flat on my face. I admit what I don’t know and I either learn that skill on my own or ask someone to teach me. However, more often than not, I ask someone who knows what they are doing to help. My momma didn’t raise no fool. I wish I could say the same of everyone in the clan. My blood relatives are all incredibly smart and talented. The step-children we inherited due to the hypocritical brother’s marriage to the social-climbing witch are . . . well, let’s just say that they leave a lot to be desired intellectually. For that matter, if I really think about it, even his natural children have their issues. They are still smart and talented, but they get themselves into screwed up situations. I’m hardly the one to pass judgement on them, though. I’ve been in one fucked up situation after another. At least that’s the way it seems.

I don’t want to leave town at all. I keep telling myself that even if I change location, I can’t run from myself. The thing is, I’m not running from myself as much as I’m running from people who disrespect me at every turn. I can’t stand it anymore. I am not valued as a human being, much less as part of the clan. For example, I asked the only cousin I could if I could have/borrow $3,000 to pay lawyers to keep fighting foreclosure on the house for a few months while my credit improves. He left me dangling and waiting. I’m sure he knew that he was putting me through hell because that’s his specialty. He loves it when I squirm or hurt thanks to something he’s done. He’s tried to destroy me for over a decade. I didn’t want to ask him for the money, but I was desperate. In some way I have yet to discern, I was told by another cousin that I’d alienated the one I’d asked for money. She said it was something I said on Facebook. I’ve looked through all of my posts and I can’t find anything. I did make a distinction between “family” and “relatives.” I did say in a letter that I thought I wrote after I’d withdrawn my request that he was a relative but that I’d wanted him to be family. He knows what he did to me. How else am I supposed to feel about him? I forgave him some time ago. But I will never forget. I can’t. What he did to me over a decade ago easily falls within the Top 5 most influential events of my life. The first thing is being born. The second is dying (which we all eventually do). That leaves three open spots and I can fill one of those three, thereby really leaving two. That’s fairly profound.

Why stay in a place where there aren’t people who see me as intelligent, capable, imaginative, talented, etc.? All the cousin from whom I’d asked the money said was that my plan to pay him back would fall through and that I’d better have a “Plan B.” Since I didn’t give him the specifics of my plan at all, he has no basis on which to make that judgement. He also assumed that I didn’t have another way of getting my business off the ground. Is it me or is it men? They seem to feel they have all the answers to questions that haven’t even been asked. In their eyes, I couldn’t possibly know what I’m doing. That’s not to say I don’t take advice because I do. It’s just that the advice has to be from a credible source and the criticism be constructive and valid. As I painstakingly said above, I know my limitations.

What does this have to do with mourning? Well, as I said, I’ve been really angry lately. There are days when I feel as though I will boil over with rage. I have less patience for people, but definitely have patience with my girls. Even when the oldest of my resident master thieves, my middle child, stole a steak I’d delicately prepared for over two hours until it was finally broiled just the way I like it, I yelled at her and put her in a time out in her crate. I didn’t hit her at all. She has since gone on to steal my cereal by quickly standing on her hind legs and copping a couple of licks out of the bowl or knocking the bowl out of my hands from underneath. She’s getting more and more daring and I honestly don’t know what to do to stop her. I think she’s doing this as her way of saying that she needs more intellectual stimulation. We need to get back outside on our favorite trails, just the two of us. I don’t know how to fit the other two in, though, and I feel guilty leaving them here.

I don’t want to leave my home. My mother, in her dementia, put me in this position. Truthfully, I’m not sure this house will last another six months it’s in such bad shape. She took out a predatory home equity loan for half of the appraised value. Well, the appraisal was inflated by at least $20,000. She refused to see that. She also said that she wouldn’t die and leave me holding the bag. I was so furious with her when she did that. I tried to stop her using reason, pointing out that the loan officer was not her friend but was working for the bank, had a hissy fit and said that the bank would not see one dime from me. They won’t. I don’t want this house, but I need a place to live while I fix the good credit that was ruined trying to keep the house running on my measly SSD check. My bills didn’t get paid. I could barely feed the girls and me. Then, to have her brother spread the malicious lie that I got a lot of insurance money when Mom died? That puts a period at the end of my desire to have anything to do with 90% of the clan. I want out and away from their toxicity. I will end up sad, bitter and broken-hearted if I stay here. I’m sad, bitter and broken-hearted now. I don’t want to feel this way for the rest of my life.

In an earlier post, I asked for help making a decision about using this blog to promote my “character” when I begin shooting and submitting photos of myself to devotees of amputees. I’ve decided that I will keep this blog as is. Few know it’s here and I want to keep it that way. I can easily start another one specifically for the character I’ve named “Velvet Mocha.” I thank all of you who’ve at least read the blog entry even if your only comment was to say that you “Liked” it. I finally have all of the equipment and costumes/underwear/nightgowns I need for the first set of photos. However, I have to clean my bedroom from top to bottom so that I can use it as a set. I have to vacuum another room that has very fine sawdust on the floor that will get on the fabric I intend to buy as a backdrop that’s going to cost about $100. Needless to say, if I’m going to spend that kind of money, I don’t want to ruin it the first time it’s used.

I have some misgivings about taking advantage of a fluke of biochemistry. It’s not so much that as it is that I don’t want to get too explicit in the photos. I am all for erotica that celebrates the sexuality of disabled people. I do not want to be a porn star. I am deeply concerned that I’ll end up having to get more and more explicit in order to make the money I need to move. But, it’s always been women who do what we must for the good of our families. I’ll just have to suck it up and be as explicit as I need to be to sell photos and site memberships. I don’t want to look back one day and say to myself, “What have I done?” That is, I must admit, putting the cart before the horse. For now, I plan to make the experience fun, sensual and sexy. I can do that and not feel badly about myself at all. In fact, I would like to tap into my suppressed sexuality and allow it freedom once again. I can be proud of that even if this entire situation is one that should not be.