Category Archives: mom

Help with a decision

There is a poll at the end and I need COMMENTS, damnit!!

I was on my way here to post when I saw that the last time I’d posted was way back in August. It’s not like things haven’t been happening, they have. I just haven’t had the energy to write about them.

The first thing that’s happened is that I’ve hired a team of sharks to keep this house out of the bank’s hot, greedy hands long enough for me to repair my credit. They are good guys, too. I paid their retainer out of the largest and last of the small insurance checks. Mother, for reasons I will never fathom, was woefully underinsured. Maybe it’s because she absolutely, positively refused to accept that I will never again work whatever hours most people work these days. I can do about 10 days of a 40-hour week and then I’m in bed, tired and in pain. Maybe it was because she was sick both emotionally and with some form of dementia. I have known that she was mentally ill for many, many years. Given the things she’d been through in her life and at such a young age, I realized that, although I could be angry with her, what she was doing wasn’t necessarily her fault.

I’d also known that Mom had some form of dementia for at least three years and probably more. I think, but am not sure, that it was three years ago that I tried to force her to see a doctor to get an evaluation. To my absolute and utter frustration, the only thing they evaluated was her memory. Her memory was fine. It was her ability to make decisions that was fucked to hell and back. She actually sicced her eldest two brothers on me in an attempt to intimidate me. That only goes to prove my point. The old Mom would have known that would do no good. However, given that the doctors’ only interest was in her memory, and my only option was to petition the probate court to order a FULL mental examination and risk whatever relationship we’d managed to cobble together, I chickened out. There would have been no “winning” either way around. If I was right, I wouldn’t “win” because I’d know the mother I had wasn’t the mother she was during my childhood and earlier adulthood. She would know the same and I’d watch the light go out in her eyes when she learned that to be the case. I just couldn’t do it. I loved her too much. Frankly, in some ways, I still see her as having hung the moon along with my father. God, how I miss them both! I did have a short chat with Daddy before bed, though. Things around the room kept falling down, so I knew someone was here. Specifically, some things I had nestled quite stably on his urn fell off twice. That’s when I knew I needed to talk to him and explain myself. I also know that it made him cry and feel helpless. I’ve only seen him that way once when he was alive and yet, I knew that’s how he feels now.

Well, now the lawyers have gone through my retainer and need several thousand more. I asked a cousin who could have easily helped, but thought my business idea was going to tank even though I didn’t tell him anything about it. I don’t tell anyone exactly what it is because I’ve had too many ideas stolen and used by others as their own, including ideas that he balked at first and then stolen himself. There’s no way to copyright an idea, only the execution of an idea. He is of the opinion that I’m spoiled, a ne’er do well, a flake and a number of other things not remotely resembling who I am. He also likes to emotionally torture me for pure pleasure. I’d give the reason I know this, but it’s too long and I’m too tired. In essence, I’ve shown something he wrote about me around a decade ago to three different therapists/psychiatrists. Three terms come up either in concert or isolation: sadist; narcissist, and/or; cruel. I feared he was on the same track again and said I’ll get the money myself.

The reason I’m here tonight is because I do have a way of earning this money myself and it just so happens that it fits somewhat into the reason for this blog.

I was not aware of this until earlier this year, but there is a fetish population of men (and maybe women) who prefer women who are amputees. I wish I could remember exactly who told me about it, but I do remember it was someone in the sexual abuse community. At the time, I was completely creeped out. I shouldn’t be surprised or creeped out given the high percentage of disabled people (mostly girls and women, but also male children and adults) who are sexually assaulted because we can’t fight back and are perceived as easy targets. According to the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, citing a study by the National Victim Center, 683,000 women over the age of 18 are raped each year. Only 16% are ever reported to the police. One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually assaulted by the time they are 18 years old. Between 1/3 and 2/3 of victims, male and female, are younger than 15 years old. The book Violence and Abuse Within the Lives of People With Disabilities: The End of Silent Acceptance?, women with disabilities are sexually assaulted at twice the rate of non-disabled victims. I’ve known all of this to be true, but I did not know the exact numbers. I highly recommend both of these resources. They will obliterate any previous ideas readers may hold about rape and other forms of sexual assault.

By NO means am I saying that men (or women) who are amputee devotees are rapists or perpetrators of sexual assault. I simply mean that within any given population of people one will find those with a given fetish. Some smaller number of people who have that fetish will seek out the easiest targets and abuse them. That would be true if the fetish were pom-pom girls.

Difficult times have called for difficult decisions. After giving the idea a great deal of thought concerning how to hide my identity since I do have another life and getting down to the nitty-gritty of my comfort level regarding my own beauty and sexuality as a human being who happens to be a disabled woman–specifically an amputee–I have decided to move forward and serve as my own model for a site that publishes photos and movies of amputees. I hope to make the shoots fun for me and fun for the viewers who buy my sets. I began purchasing the masks I’d like to use and, at least until I get used to the idea, I have no plans to show more than a bikini model. Indeed, in some instances, probably less. I personally find a certain level of mystery to be highly erotic. My mother saw a set of photos I shot of myself for someone else about seven years ago. She actually couldn’t help but see them since they were mixed in with the other images on my laptop and had a bright red background. My avatar comes from that set. She didn’t disapprove. She actually kind of liked them because they were very suggestive while, in some cases, being very covered. Of the few that showed my breasts, I still had on a bodystocking. This time, it will be lingerie and erotic nighties. I understand the more explicit I get, the more money I can charge. Let’s just say that no one will be seeing my pussy for at least the next year unless their face is buried in it or there’s an “M.D.” after their name.

My question is whether or not I should keep this space and this nickname AWAY from those who purchase my photos or use it as a launch pad and area to correspond? I can think of several pros and cons for each. However, since it’s you all who have been with me throughout, I wanted to take your thoughts and feelings into consideration. In that vein, I have added an anonymous poll and opened comments. My primary concern is that those who do read this blog not get pushed aside by people panting after more photos. I know what my preference is, but it’s just barely a preference and I wouldn’t mind input that might change my mind and give me new information to consider. Indeed, that’s what I want.

So, without further ado:

I really do want and expect people to comment on this question because it affects how we relate to each other.

Sick+Tired=Sick AND Tired

So many thoughts permeate my brain even though I’ve got a riproaring headache of a kind I seldom get. I really shouldn’t feel the headache given that I’ve taken my nightly pain meds. And yet I do.

I’ve been sick for just about three weeks now. I was diagnosed with borderline severe asthma about 18 months ago and bronchitis is hitting me with an unforgiving hammer. Thankfully, the asthma doesn’t seem to be related to my four-legged family. Even if it were, I’d just have to cope because they really are my family. We humans cannot be separated from our other human family members no matter how much we may wish we could. Why on earth should I feel any differently about the four-legged family? This bunch has helped me survive a hell of a lot more than my human relatives. The unconditional love I receive and try to return is simply amazing. I am alive because I could not bear the thought of my girls wondering what happened to me and asking themselves why I’m not coming back. I must live because I promised them a home for life. I have every intention of keeping that promise.

The six month “anniversary” of my mother’s death will be upon me in ten days. There is an enormous part of me that is walled off because I just can’t deal with the grief right now. I’ve only broken down once since Mom’s memorial service last March. Once! I know what kind of pain lies behind that wall and beyond my reach. It is a devastation that needs to pour on to this dry earth that is my consciousness. I know that I am not able to will it so. Nevertheless, please, for God’s sake, pour onto me like the Nile pours its nutrient-rich soil onto the surrounding delta, allowing plants to grow and feed a nation. The most important relationship I will ever have is over because the other half of the pair has died. There is no second chance to get it right in this lifetime. Perhaps, if I am lucky, I will do so in the next. My mother died not knowing whether I loved her. I understand why she would question my love because she really did do something nearly unforgivable. I never got a chance to tell her that I really and truly do forgive her. How do I make this right? I can’t.

I have found that I am becoming an adult at the ripe age of five decades. (I put it that way because I just can’t believe the actual number.) My mother infantilized me by never taking me seriously as an adult. I couldn’t possibly be right about anything in her mind. Unfortunately, I was right way too often for either of our tastes. I don’t know how to describe the financial mess she left. I am only scratching the surface. There’s a whole file cabinet filled with things I haven’t had the emotional energy to peruse. She needed a guardian badly. I tried to take some of the weight off but she lied to me about financial matters on a regular basis. It’s my fault. I just couldn’t stand seeing this woman who’d shrunk about five inches due to osteoporosis fold in on herself and plead, in the most desperate and quiet voice, not to wrest control from her. At that moment, she was the one infantilized. I hope and pray that I didn’t make her that way. I’m not sure I could forgive myself.

Still, my mother regularly threatened to throw me out of her house when I insisted on thinking and acting in a manner that suited me, an adult woman, and not a five-year-old child. I constantly had to watch what I said around her because, in her mind, anything short of kissing her ass was a lack of respect. So, because there was no way I could support myself on a disability check alone, I did what I had to do: anything short of ass-kissing, although it came within millimeters. She could be mean and spiteful. Indeed, truly hateful. She tried to tell me that my father tried to molest me when I know for an absolute fact that he would never, and did never, lay an inappropriate hand on me. No, that task fell to her second husband and she let it happen. That’s the thing that was unforgivable. She knew and she allowed it to go on due to her own pathology.

I feel guilty because there were times when I had to verbally smack my mother down. About every six months or so, she’d work my last nerve and I’d retreat to my bedroom–the only room with a lock on the door. She’d often follow me and call me names you’d call a whore in the street when she rolled a date. I don’t miss those arguments at all. In fact, I don’t miss the near-ass kissing either. It feels so good to be an adult for the first time in my life. I’m pretty sure that my maturation stopped around 35 years old. I feel like a 35-year-old most of the time. At other times, I feel like I’m a 30-year-old. I have more empathy now with transgender people. They look in the mirror every day and are astonished at the face looking back. This shell of a body that doesn’t work properly can’t be me. I am so completely disconnected from my physical self that I am a stranger. There’s a song I heard on, of all places, the daytime drama General Hospital. It’s called Stranger In My Skin and is sung by Christine Dente. I was lucky to find it on iTunes. It’s quite haunting, as though Evenescence had a hand in it.

Finally, I come to another sad end. For the first time since I was 16 years old, I don’t want Glenn. It is at once freeing and isolating. Loving him was so much a part of who I am. When he made the choice to marry someone else, then keep seeing me (with my blessing, I might add), and then doing something so vicious, cruel and inhumane to me I can’t even write it, he changed both of our lives forever. In reality, he changed our lives when he chose to marry Dr. H. Bitch instead of me even though I didn’t realize then what a profound affect it had on us both. He’s trapped, whether he wants to be or not, and; he and his wife inflicted a wound that has festered for approximately seven years. It was intended to be one of their mindfucks. Instead, it was no less than a mindRAPE! It was toxic, but it, too, became a part of me.

Removing Glenn from my emotional being leaves me with a hole I have no idea how to fill. As an adult, I can go out to bars (something I’m not really into) and enjoy the drag king/queen shows, meet people and socialize. I can even bring someone home now should I choose to do so. I’ve tried Match.com only to end up with some guy in Nigeria who claimed after a week that he was in love with me and could I please send him money so he and his son could eat because, see, he was over there in Africa building a road and, like, he’d stay up late to chat with me while his son slept in the other room and, so, somehow, he wasn’t getting paid enough by his employer and he was afraid because, like, he didn’t know how to feed himself and his son. Yeah, right! Keep movin’ buddy-boy! I just can’t wait to see my next phone bill because he sent a ton of international texts. OY!

The fact of the matter is this: Right now, at 5:35a Eastern, my body is in pain; I’m emotionally and physically exhausted; I am empty of any illusions about Glenn (really Faux Glenn) and why he and his wife did such a horrible thing that nearly cost me my life in the nuclear emotional fallout that followed; I both miss my mother and feel guilty because, for the first time in about 30 years, there is peace in this dwelling I’ve hated for so long.

I want to ask something I don’t think I’ve ever asked on this blog. I am in dire need of good energy. I don’t care if it’s in the form of a prayer or if you visualize fireworks. I really, really need positive energy to flow my way so that I can absorb it and be replenished.

I can’t write anymore. I am so very tired. I am going to sleep and hope like hell my body and mind begin to heal. Thank you for reading this rather long and rambling post. G’morning!

Random but Relevant

Carmen McRae-The Great American Songbook

Carmen McRae from her CD, The Great American Songbook

I was about to put my laptop on my nightstand when Ms. McRae began singing What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life? and I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good. I thought that may be a clue to relate a short story about the great singer.

Music and nightclubs are in my blood bigtime. One day, I’ll be able to tell the whole story. Unfortunately, that probably won’t be until everyone who could go to prison is dead, which kind of sucks massively.

I was always a rather precocious child. At 4 years old I loved Carmen McRae when I heard her albums. (Young ‘uns, CDs were not always around. They are recent and vinyl does sound better in some ways, but that’s my opinion.) Well, through a set of circumstances not all that important, she, like most women, was crazy about my dad. Mommy and Daddy were separated, although I wasn’t sure what that meant. Daddy sent Ms. McRae to our house as a present for me while she was in town. The sucky part is that I wasn’t home. I was probably at nursery school or visiting my grandmother who, I might add, detested Daddy. Actually, it was only Mom’s three brothers who really liked him, that is, until someone needed something. Then, Daddy was great.

This is a great memory to go along with the autographed photos of The Temptations and either The Four Tops or The Supremes or both. I think I vaguely remember meeting the guy with the incredible bass/baritone from The Four Tops. Oh! I do remember having an autographed photo of Dionne Warrick, too. I’m hoping that all of those photos have been saved from water damage when our roof sprang a leak while I was in undergrad. My sofa is blocking the cubby and I barely have enough room to maneuver as it is. Moving that sofa is not feasible until I get the rest of the stuff out of there. It was all Mommy’s and may yet have discoveries to be made.

*OnX prays to the Lord above for another insurance policy buried in the file cabinets*

Anyway, my mother was fond of recalling the Carmen McRae story. She was impressed that Daddy had talked about me so much to this wonderful, celebrated woman I adored. I didn’t see my mother impressed with Daddy’s parenting skills until I was in my late teens through mid-20s when he died. I never told her, but he saved my life–the life she’d screwed up with her second husband, the pedophile/batterer. I can only imagine what he said to her when he I told him, which wasn’t until I was barely out of undergrad and Mom was driving me out of my tortured mind. When I did, he cried like a baby and I felt like crap. I told him because I wanted him to know me and what was going on. I needed support because I wasn’t exactly getting much at home. The reaction of those who are told is, I do believe, the biggest impediment to disclosure by the victims. They can’t become survivors unless they disclose.

There has not been a day that’s gone by since Daddy died in 1987 that I haven’t missed him terribly. He was one of my very, very best friends. I told him almost everything unless I knew he’d have apoplexy. Hmm, running into STFU territory now, so I’ll leave it at that.

I love you, Daddy. I don’t care what you did. No matter what you say, I will always, always love you for the man you were with me and the one you became. I especially liked teasing you when you were grumpy and making you smile. Save a seat for me because I plan to be right up there next to you one day listening to the Great Gig in the Sky. You died far too soon. There was so much I could have learned from you. I’m sorry I didn’t break free earlier. I will always regret letting Mommy make me afraid of you. Funny, I thought about putting her urn on the other side of my dresser, but you two would continually argue and add to the evil vibes already here. Somehow, I think you both prefer the arrangement I have for you.

Be well, Daddy, and be happy. You may have thought you were going elsewhere, but I know you’re in whatever passes for what we call “heaven.” Be nice to Mom. I tell her to be nice to you, too. Somehow, I think she’s probably still perturbed with you, but make your peace so that I don’t have to referee when I get up there. I’ll hug you until I make you give me one of your infamous belly laughs and take your baret off to kiss your incredibly cute bald head.

I could use your help in finding John. Can you whisper in his ear and tell him I’m looking for him? Alternatively, please tell me what last name he’s using. Otherwise, I’m going to have to make a whole lot of calls I don’t want to make to find him. Be proud of your son. I don’t care what Mom says. Yeah, you hurt her, but you did the right thing, too. Pat yourself on the back for once, ‘k?

Your little love,

Me

Understand Mom, Understand Myself

Before getting to the material referred to by the title, I want to thank the Sound Gods for big, male cousins who run to their defenseless female cousins’ rescue when called. In this case, to move my bed so that I can put my real speakers on top of my headboard and lean them against the wall. I will have REAL sound after Wednesday and he can say a word to a certain “grabby” neighbor to grab something else besides me. Gotta love it!

I’m noticing more and more changes in my perspective now that my mother is gone. Of course it was she, more than any other person, who influenced me in both negative and positive ways. I will be forever grateful to her for teaching me how to use my intellect. She never copped to her own brilliance, preferring to say that it was my father who was the brilliant one. Oh, she’s definitely right about that! He was absolutely, stunningly brilliant and it kept him alive far longer than one would think given the vocation he had for most of his life.

Now, this is where my brain and heart part company. One says go for it and tell what he was and the other says, STFU. I think I’ll take the latter tack. I want to write my Master’s thesis on my father, so he will get his due one day. He’d be deeply ashamed that I knew more about who he was and why than he ever wanted. He was who he was and things were the way they were. I can’t judge him. He, however, judged himself far, far too harshly.

Be that as it may, Daddy had a very deep love for my mother and had from the time they were barely teenagers. He also understood her in ways no one else did. Her family pretty much hated him and that didn’t help at all. I can posit the greater family and many friends asking her why she was so in love with him. Yes, he was handsome. Yes, he was smart, but that wasn’t unusual. In truth, no one could swing a cat without hitting someone with at least a Bachelor’s degree and, frequently, a graduate degree, in Mom’s family as far back as the late 1910s. When I get that longed-for M.F.A., I will be the third generation in my mother’s father’s tail line and I think the fourth on his distaff line to do so. My great-uncles and my grandfather were the product of both violent Southern racism and the combination of two highly intellectual black families. Business and fear brought them North.

Mom was different. As brilliant as she was academically, she was a deeply gifted artist. It is the latter that I’m coming around to believing caused her to be misunderstood a lot of the time. I’ve misunderstood her and I lived with her for most of my life. Had her relatives been more open-minded about her artistic talent, I think she wouldn’t necessarily have seemed shy to the point of being ice cold. How many times can you justify a dream before wondering if your dream is foolhardy? She was a visual artist and a dancer. She spent most of her life in education. It was there that I realized how incredibly talented she was. There is no way I could ever hope to have half her ability to handle the most undiagnosed, but deeply disturbed, children she did on a daily basis. She teased the desire to learn out of them instead of throwing them away as many would. The thing is, she wasn’t even a special ed teacher. Her memorial service was a grand testament to a highly distinguished career. It could have easily lasted another hour but for a minister I could throttle. Believe me, I wasn’t alone. x:(

People who’ve known me for lengthy periods of time remind me that I’ve always been a writer. It’s not something I really give a great deal of thought. Writing is as much a part of me as the blood coursing through my veins. I remember the woman who was my best friend in college and for many years after we’d both graduated saying, “You’ve always written. Don’t you remember . . .?” Actually, one of the amusing memories I’ve had while looking for Morgan (that sounds like the title of a book and/or screenplay) has been remembering a rather surprised Marketing prof who returned a marketing plan I’d submitted for a fictional product with a good grade and a notation that said something like,”This is definitely one of the most unique products anyone has imagined in my years of teaching.” Well, I did float the idea to my female friends and we thought it would sell if it were real. Actually, only in the last few years have products like the one I’d described been on the market, usually by Trojan.

I have a fertile imagination at times and, so I’m told, a very different way of understanding and applying concepts. I was really glad to hear that recently because it meant that my law school experience had finally been changed from conformity to inspired. My general theory is that the law is a living, breathing organism that must change as society changes. While it may be a laggard at times, laws do change either through legislation or through case law. If one assumes that my theory is correct, then why can’t laws be applied in new ways for new reasons? If there is nothing prohibitive in legislation, then it may be possible to make the argument that the law is applicable in a different way. This is an area of law left to litigators, yes, but then handed to appellate attorneys who will inevitably end up before higher courts.

I phoned one of my mom’s besties for a zillion years to check on some information and to try to explain what is going on in my life. She’s a retired college professor and now spends most of her time writing. She’s also an ordained minister I wanted to officiate at Mom’s service, but couldn’t due to some crap about her not being Christian enough. If only I could get to arrange her service again, but I can’t. So in speaking with her, I confirmed the premise of this post. Yes, my mother was greatly misunderstood. Yes, although this friend wasn’t exactly a fan of my father’s, she confirmed that he understood her in a way few did. She also confirmed that I’m correct about something else by telling me how wrong I was about it. That’s not at all to say that she was wrong. She wasn’t. However, it comes down to perspective. Mine includes multitasking. Hers didn’t. Because I only have so much emotional energy to pour into my personal life; so much to pour into pulling a miracle out of the mess that is Mom’s estate (Where the hell is the money??), and; so much to throw into my own project, Mom’s bestie has an excellent argument. My head needs to be in the game and it isn’t yet. How can it be? I’ve just hit bottom and begun to scratch and claw my way up. I’m already exhausted from the effort, but not being able to keep anything down may have something to do with it too.

I don’t even waste my breath trying to deny accusations of those who say that I’m too cerebral or that I don’t travel a straight line to get from Point A to Point B. It’s pointless. I do, however, try not to waste people’s time. Sometimes that means speaking so quickly that I sound like I’m on speed. No, just trying to be considerate and forgetting that most people’s brains don’t work as quickly as I can speak. *shrug* When I get the inevitable, “Huh?” I go back to the beginning, explain that I’m trying to say what needs to be said quickly and continue from there. I must admit that there are days when I’d like to scream out of pure frustration that the listener doesn’t get it. I think that’s my real problem with Mom’s lawyer. He doesn’t get me at all and he’s a journeyman at best when he should be far more skilled and careful than he is.

As I said, I tried to explain what’s going on in my life and that meant Glenn and Morgan. Glenn doesn’t even know why I’m looking for Morgan, assuming he didn’t simply delete my e-mail. If he did, it would be a shame. For once I can say that I am truly satisfied with what I wrote to him. I’ve been able to put a lot of things together since Mom died, especially since I’ve spent hours navel-gazing these last few days. Some things simply made me sick because I was so freaking wrong in an effort to be both right and not afraid. I realized that I’d done to him the same thing he’d done to me. We were both wrong. What I couldn’t stand was the thought that one of us would die and leave so much unsaid. I have good reason to be afraid of that circumstance sitting on a shelf in my china cabinet. I also needed to have a fictional conversation with him in my head as I waited for word on Morgan. That, too, was the impetus for my letter. I know I’d be absolutely destroyed if I learned long after the fact that Glenn had been killed or died. No one in this world or the next would ever be able to console me. Take what I’m going through now and multiply it by ten and that might be an accurate assessment, but probably too low on the scale.

One of the things I wrote in my letter was an acknowledgement of the importance of the people in his life. He has a lot to lose by getting involved with me again. The potential damage I might unknowingly do isn’t worth it. Why would I want someone who’d hate me for ruining his life? I’d be crazy and I’m not crazy at all. I would one day love an acknowledgement of what he’s done to me. He’s never done so. There have been those who’ve said that, in and of itself, is grounds for punting my feelings. It’s just not who I am and I can only be true to myself whether anyone else likes it or not. That’s not to say that I haven’t reached the end of any attempts to verbally touch some part of him. Every time I’ve thought I had, something else crops up. Like I said, we’re in different situations. Nevertheless, two people who have to hurt each other so badly just to stay apart probably belong together. I can’t make him do anything he doesn’t want to do. I needed him, and still need him, to help me get through the grieving process in a way only he’s ever been able to do. I don’t know if he’s realized how completely open I was to him. Actually, in many ways, I still am. If he were to ask me what I want at this very moment, I’d say hold me, let me cry and don’t let go. Absent the ability to do that, tell me what he’d do if he were here and I don’t mean sex. He never really understood, perhaps until fairly recently, the innate ability he has to bring out certain emotions in me.

Since hitting bottom the other night, I looked in the mirror and saw a different person staring back at me. In some ways, I think I’m much gentler than I’ve been in a very long time. I couldn’t continue to carry all that anger around with me anymore. I was really angry with Glenn, with my mother, with a couple of other people I’m trying to decide how to handle and with myself most of all. A lot of it is simply inconsequential now. I’ve said everything I believe needed to be said. I think I’ll ask another friend about Morgan and then leave it alone until the fall. If it’s still important, then I know the best next step. I’m hoping like hell it won’t be. I don’t think I’ve got enough tears left to cry. I “only” feel a deep sense of profound loss.

Let’s Try This Again

When I resurrected Naked, I did so with a post that was a letter to my recently deceased mother. I’m going to beg your indulgence and hope that you understand that by giving my thoughts and feelings voice, maybe they’ll reach her and/or help me cope. I’m pulling out all the coping mechanisms I can because I cannot absorb any more loss. I sent a message to my friend of very long duration to give him a heads up that I know there are only two reasons he’d put his phone number out there publicly for me to find and told him the story of why I needed to find Morgan. I’m just trying to prepare myself by taking care of the old business before I can deal with the new. Mom isn’t really “old business,” but she is the least recent.

Dear Mommy,

I know you’re still around. There are times when I hear you next door in your bedroom. I don’t go in because I won’t see anything and I already know you’re with me. Hence, there’s no point. I know that the most pressing concern is that I move on and do those things I have to do to survive. The truth is, my head is so muddled that I can’t remember where I’ve put anything anymore. I am what the Brits would call “at sixes and sevens,” although I’ve never understood the origins of that term. Basically, I’m a basket case. My emotions almost always come up way after the events that inspired them, you know that. I couldn’t give in right after you died because there was so much to do. There are still people who don’t know and should. I just haven’t had the heart to tell them. Trying to comfort another person when you haven’t figured out how to deal with your own grief is overwhelming. When I told Pat, she collapsed in sobs. She loves you so much. I haven’t called her since your memorial service, but I will as soon as I get a grip.

I believe in my heart and soul that this house killed you the way it has tried to kill me. Neither of us needed to have, in essence, three floors, not to mention the evil energy here. I know that you didn’t want to hear it when you were alive, but it was part of the genesis of my return to school. I just couldn’t take it anymore. My body was breaking down a lot faster than it should have because it just takes too much work to deal with all these stairs. My personal opinion is that the bank can have it. I know that’s not what you’d do, but you’re not here and left me a mess to clean up. I don’t want to shame you, but I also can’t help but say, “I told you so!” OK, I’m more than a little angry about the state of your estate, especially since I did tell you what would happen and I’ve found that it’s far, far worse than I ever knew. *sigh* It is what it is.

Shortly after you died, I posted on the Choir page and reported what happened. There were a lot of people who remembered you, chief among them was Mr. B, god love him. I don’t know if he’ll ever understand how much a part he played in making me who I am. Now that I think of it, virtually every person who influenced me was an artist of some sort or an historian, including you. Oh! I got the piano tuned when the funeral home sent the remains of the small policies. I haven’t sat down to play it OR my guitar. It’s like there’s some sort of barrier that keeps me from them. I want to play them, but something in my head says, “No, not now,” and I don’t know what that means.

There are things that I want you to know, but I’m not sure they’d mean much.

I just couldn’t cope anymore and reached out to Glenn. Honestly, although he is exactly the right person to help me get my head together, there’s a certain amount of fear and distrust. I know that you’ve watched me struggle with losing him. I know that you’ve always believed that he’d be back. Actually, right now I’m hearing you say, “Yeah, like a bad penny.” Um, well, you made me laugh. You see, the thing is, I think I’ve finally unravelled the “why” of a lot of things that went on between us. He was a boy who grew into a man who just couldn’t communicate his feelings. It drove him batty because I could communicate mine and, therefore, work through them. I remember him driving over one weekend once we’d actually gotten together and the bomb went “BOOM!” He was heading back but we stopped to lunch. I don’t remember being particularly chatty, but he was in a foul mood. He said, “Don’t you ever shut up?” It hurt, but I also knew that for him to say that, there had to be something else going on. I did, however, learn to be quiet and that doing so was OK.

The thing is, I really need him now and I really don’t think I’m going to get out of this in one piece without him. I’ll forgive anything and everything if need be immediately, especially since I didn’t have a chance to tell you before you drifted away that I’d forgiven you. I know he broke me. He had help, but in the end, it was him. I was hurt, furious, in disbelief and learned to tell myself all of these things that were true to some degree, but not true to a greater degree, in order to survive. You know what it was like divorcing Daddy. I was with Glenn longer than that and we had this child that never got to live. The difference is that having me made the gulf between you bigger. I think that would have been the short-term situation, but I doubt that it would have lasted. Still, he only found out about it after we were done, supposedly for good.

Mommy, if you believe nothing else, please believe this: I need Glenn now. He’s the only person on this earth who knows how to help me. It’s instinctual with him. Can you whisper in his ear? If I can’t get him, I really do have to cut the ties and I haven’t been able to do that in all the years we’ve been apart. You may not like him, but you were the first to see, too late for me, but see nonetheless, that he loved me.

I’m really worried about your brothers. I strongly suspect that you’ll see one of them again this year. Please, help give me the strength to carry on. Both you and Daddy had your faults, but you were both strong people, often hurting yourselves in the process. I’m possibly going to hear news of the loss of someone else very dear to me and between that anxiety and the near certainty of what I’ll hear, I’m more shaken than I was last night. This is someone you’ve never met, but I think you would have found him more than amusing, though very strange. I can see you peering at him through a curly, deep red mane of hair and a beard topped off with dark eyeglasses. Just know that he was always honest with me, true to his beliefs and a very, very decent human being. I never told him this, but I’d always wanted to re-create the Jonh Lennon and Yoko Ono photo in bed with him in B&W. I think even you would have liked it.

I’ve been dreaming about you a lot lately. In fact, these are the first dreams I’ve remembered having about you. I do remember waking up and thinking that you were here, forgetting that you weren’t. I don’t know whether the dreams make life harder or easier for me. They are so real and it is such a let-down when I wake up and remember you’re not on this plane of existence anymore. At the same time, I love seeing you again.

I’m dealing with the Food Monster again. I haven’t been able to eat for well over 24 hours. I have to force myself or I won’t be able to take care of the furkids, not to mention someone will get some bright idea to force feed me. I’ve come to really detest interfering relatives. That’s another reason I need to leave. I know you love this house. You can have it because it can’t hurt you anymore. It can and does hurt me daily. Right now, I’m nauseous as hell and not looking forward to going out in the heat. However, it’s not an option. I have to do it. Nevertheless, I think I’m coming straight home.

I wish I could say that I’ll be OK soon. I can’t. It may take a long time before I’m OK. I am working on it, though. Right now, that’s all I can do. There are going to be some happenings that will make you very sad. I know because they make me sad and I’m the one doing them. But if I am to keep me and the furkids together, I need to do whatever I have to do. That’s straight out of the mouth of your youngest brother who, I might add, believes you didn’t like him at all. You need to visit him because he’s crushed. He doesn’t say it, but it’s there in everything he does. I think that you’d be very proud of him. Out of all the relatives, he’s the one doing his best to take care of me and vice versa. I’ve tried to reassure him that you love him dearly, but it’s no good coming from me. It has to come from you. I fixed an error in your estate paperwork that would have definitely given him the notion that he was right about the way you feel towards him, but he needs more. Go to him in his dreams. Let him dream about being a little boy and you making clothes for him. He said that you made them for the middle brother, but specifically not for him. He’s hurting deeply, Mom. I don’t know what to do for him that I haven’t done. He needs his big sister.

Well, that’s about it. If I’m right about my redheaded friend and you somehow encounter him in your travels, say hello and be nice! He’s a really good guy. I dare say that you would have liked him more than Glenn. Oh! I almost forgot to mention that you once decoded him for me. It was using your insight that I finally got it. If we have to work so damn hard to stay away, then he’s feeling a danger. I have been reacting to what he’s done. If he reads this, he’s going to be unhappy, but at least the truth will be out there somewhere.

I love you,

T.

P.S.: I think I may be able to send in those lyrics I started writing so long ago. I Don’t Know How To Let Go.