Category Archives: grief

I’m Not There Yet

I’m listening to Taylor Swift’s Last Kiss. Although it’s about losing a lover, something I’ve done all too frequently, the premise of loss is ever-present in my life and in this house. We’ve lost so much over too short a time. Oddly, the girls seem totally OK about Poppy’s absence. I didn’t see that one coming! Still, every night for the last two or three nights/days I’ve had dreams where I was happy and content because I knew my mother was still alive. I kept that feeling even after waking up, if only for a minute or two. I cried out for her, as I often did, to get our resident pee-pot, Snippet. In all fairness to the little snip, she came here with a bad bladder infection that wasn’t helped at all by two rounds of antibiotics. Plus, being used to larger dogs, we didn’t stop to consider that little dogs have little bladders. The upshot of it all is that Mom was doing LOTS of puppy laundry. Now, it’s up to me. Thankfully, the cranberry pills we’d started giving her over a month ago and stopped about the week Mom died, seem to have worked. Now, watch. I’ll bet she pees tonight or tomorrow morning before I can get her out.

This house feels so empty. I keep wondering if my prescient thought as a teen had anything to do with Mom’s death. I knew when I was a teenager that I wouldn’t be able to live my life until my mother died. I didn’t want her to die at all. It’s just something that I knew to be the truth. I feel so guilty about thinking that way. Unfortunately, it’s the truth, as much as I wish it wasn’t. It’s as though God took my mother so I could be free. I’d been putting off my application to the grad program in Journalism at Kent State because I just didn’t like the way my mother was getting around. More accurately, not getting around. I was so worried that something would happen to her and I’d be an hour away, unable to do anything. If she’d had an aortic dissection while I was in Kent, I don’t think I would have been able to cope. In my eyes, it would be my fault. Mom kept telling me to go and do this and gave me a lot of encouragement, not wanting me to worry about her But if I didn’t worry about her, who would? Her brothers are all wrapped up in their own drama. Her oldest brother is married to a toxic waste dump of a woman. Actually, I think I called her a puta, not that she’ll ever know what language that’s in to look it up. No matter, she is what she is and my uncle married her, so she’s his problem until she makes herself mine.

It’s been a few days over a month since Mom died. I feel like it was yesterday. It’s taking me forever to do the simplest things. I need to get the VIN # for the van I drive and add another checking account # to the list of things the attorney needs to open an estate. It would take less than five minutes to do, but it feels as though it will take five hours. I’ve been sleeping a lot lately. I don’t know whether it’s because of the coming sinus infection or depression. Perhaps it’s a little of both. How can I feel so empty and so full at the same time? I feel very alone in the world, although I know I’m not, at least not completely. But it’s true that once the funeral or memorial service ends, the survivors are on their own. That pretty much describes me. It’s just three girls and me. If anything were to happen to one of them, I think I’d die right there. I pray each time I go anywhere that God will keep me safe so that I can come back to my girls. I’m all they have. Frankly, I don’t think they or what’s left of the family can support another loss. Since darn near everyone in the family from sea to shining sea knows me, I think I’d be missed a bit.

There was someone else in my dreams recently. Robin. God, I can barely type her name. She hasn’t done anything wrong. It’s just that I think back to that day when we were all at Oberlin. She walked past the car or van or whatever and I stared at her and then decided to speak. All I did was say “Hello.” She said “Hello” in response. That’s been the sum of our conversations. It’s been over 25 years and I still can’t accept that he chose her instead of me. I have to do it. The person with whom I fell in love does not exist anymore. What’s left is a horrible shell of that person’s basest being. How long am I going to mourn him? I don’t know. How long does love last? I will always be in love with the person who was and I can’t bring him back any more than I can bring my mother back to life. It’s strange that Mom would tell me that we’d find our way back to each other. Maybe she said it to make me feel better, but that’s not her style. Platitudes were her style. Spoken premonitions, especially about a man she could barely stand, were not. The funny thing is that I think he doesn’t want me around because I do jeopardize his marriage. Maybe that’s why he did what he did. Or, more probably, he can’t stand me, or is at least telling himself that.

The two people I love most in the world don’t love me. Mandy could call me from where ever she is, but she hasn’t even bothered to check in with me to find out how I’m doing. Whose fault is that? Both of us have played a part in this mess. I never should have told her. She’s distancing herself and I can understand. I lost one of my best friends because I was afraid of losing her without her knowing how I felt. Was it really that important? I’ll never know. Glenn won’t call for reasons I don’t understand. As I’ve said before, there’s more going on here than I realize. I can feel it. Still, I’m going to have to accept that he’s married to someone else and has been for a very long time now. There was a time when I wished her ill. I don’t anymore. I don’t because she doesn’t deserve it. If anyone in that family deserves something horrible, it’s Glenn himself. But I don’t want anything to happen to him either. When all is said and done, neither of them should be part of my life. I think I’m going to write to Mandy. It’s time someone called this game due to bad timing.

Oh, I didn’t feel like eating again today. My stomach hurts and generally doesn’t feel well. But the real reason for not eating is just that I didn’t want to.

I forgot to add that Clayton the neighbor is getting freaky. He ran his hand across my cheek from behind and it repulsed me. I pretended that it didn’t happen, but I fear that I’m going to have to set him straight soon. I don’t relish that conversation because I really do need a male around to help me out. I just don’t want to sleep with him in order to get what I want. That’s especially true since I don’t want to do anything that would hurt Sharon. She’s a good person.

The Unabridged, Unadulterated, Ugliness of Truth and Life

I can feel some psychological pathologies coming back because of the excruciating, unrelenting pain I’m facing with each minute of the day. Although I’m overweight, I have been a borderline anorexic for many years. Whenever I get depressed I refuse to eat. It’s the one thing that I can do to myself by myself other than the obvious, cutting. Yes, it’s a control issue. I am absolutely terrified that I will end up in a hospital within a few days to a week because I’ll momentarily lose control or I’ll be so distracted that I’ll have an accident. I’d bet on the former more than the latter. Right now, I want to lay in a fetal position and just fade into nothingness. If it weren’t for my girls, I would have ended this hell days ago.

My mother did everything she could to come back to me. I watched the hospital personnel working on her and I am so deeply grateful to them. If there was anywhere in the world she could have been saved, it was Cleveland Clinic. She died within less than an hour of collapsing, but not because they didn’t try. Funny, I immediately knew who they were working on even though I couldn’t see into the room because of all of the people. Now, she’s in an urn in a cabinet as I hope her spirit roams free to learn all that it can before coming back again.

Glenn is a completely different story. There was no closure at all. I’m not sure there ever will be. I am haunted by it, hounded by it and can’t cope without it.

Glenn’s silence makes me feel ugly. I feel as though I’m as big as a house–a fat Miss Frankenstein that he can’t stand to look or talk to. For him, I’m nothing. I am as insignificant as an ant in the street. There’s an argument going on in my head that says he’s an ass and that I’m so much more than either he or I believe myself to be. I admit to being obsessed with learning why he did what he did. I strongly believe he owes me at least that much. But he’s male and males do the dumbest things on earth and call it “funny.” His “fun” nearly cost me my life. I’m not sure he gives a damn. I sent word and asked him to phone. He hasn’t. All the speculation in the world won’t give me an answer that will be satisfying. I wonder how he lives with himself. I could never do to someone what he did to me. Most people couldn’t do it. That level of cruelty is characteristic of bullies. When did that happen? Why did that happen? Was I right all those years ago when I called him a sociopath? I know that some are made and some are born. He’s always had a fairly hostile relationship with his mother and his father seemed to be a much nicer (non-pedophile) version of my mother’s second husband in that he’d immerse himself in the newspaper to keep from dealing with whatever was going on around him, like his wife.

I wear an artificial leg on the right side. I am what’s called in the UK a “thalidomider.” My mother took the drug thalidomide in 1961 when she was pregnant with me. It wasn’t approved by the FDA because there were a large number of babies born with major birth defects both externally and internally. Many didn’t live at all. It’s killing me, but what if Glenn made the decision to marry that woman, Robin, because she was whole? This isn’t a new idea, but has popped up very strongly this moment. I can’t argue with him for it. She was a med school graduate when they married and I’d just learned that I had fibromyalgia and would never work a consistent 9 to 5 again. I’ll work again, but it will be on my own terms.

I started this post very early this morning. I stopped at the above paragraph and did what I said I wouldn’t do again and that’s write him another letter. I got a lot out, but I just want to stop chasing him and be discarded at every turn. I feel pathetic because I need and want him in my life. I’ve got this incredibly strong feeling with no basis at all that there’s something else going on that I know nothing about. Whatever the case, I can’t make him say anything. If he did say something, would it be kind and compassionate or will it be emotionally abusive? If I have to ask that question, what am I doing trying to find the beautiful man he’d become instead of a twisted, narcissistic hot emotional mess of a man? I just keep hoping that some portion of decency is left in him. And if it’s that hard to find, is he really worth it? If I had a friend in this situation, I’d counsel her to seriously re-think whether she wants to be an emotional and, possibly, physical punching bag.

I don’t need anyone who, for whatever reason, makes me feel like I’m worthless. The grief I feel is so damn powerful and it’s fucking with my brain in ways that I’d never expect. I don’t understand why this is happening? I don’t understand what I’m doing? I know that I really want to take a razor blade and start cutting again. I haven’t done that in years, but it’s as though the words I’m typing aren’t enough. I feel like I’m screaming and no one hears. I have an appointment with my therapist tomorrow. Maybe she can help me figure out why I feel so utterly hopeless, helpless and worthless. When will this hellish nightmare end?

Aside

This post was originally written March 20, 2012. I’ve been up all night, probably because I don’t want to face sleeping. It’s not the sleeping that’s the problem. It’s the twilight state just before falling asleep that reminds me how … Continue reading

Letting Go

The first words that come to mind are from the iconic Nat King Cole song “Nature Boy” with words and music written by Eden Ahbez.

There was a boy
A very strange enchanted boy
They say he wandered very far, very far
Over land and sea
A little shy
And sad of eye
But very wise
Was he

And then one day
A magic day he came my way
And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings
This he said to me
“The greatest thing
You’ll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return”

(instrumental interlude)

“The greatest thing
You’ll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return”

There’s another lyric floating in my head. It’s one I’m writing so that I have someplace to put the feelings I have inside. Otherwise, I genuinely fear I’ll go mad with grief. A little background is in order.

As some of you may know, I lost my mother late last month. I don’t care what a child’s relationship is with his or her mother, the wound it leaves is devastating. Reading some of the information available online, I’m finding that it’s not my imagination or some pathology that’s making this loss so much more difficult than losing my father in 1987. Women have a special relationship with their mothers that cannot be replicated. We may utterly adore our fathers, but it’s the mothers who nurture us and understand us because they were us. I know that I’m still in the early stages of grief and I’m told my ability to handle it and/or get used to it will get better over time. It must, because everyone loses their parents and they don’t go barking mad. That is, unless the losses keep piling up.

My brain works differently than other people’s. It’s something I’ve had to accept and live with. Sunday, it finally truly hit me that the man I’ve loved for nearly all my life, Glenn, is gone. We met during my freshman year in undergrad. I saw him and wanted him BAD. And he wanted me, but was involved with someone else at the time, too. Actually, I’d say several someone elses. Eventually, after what seemed an eternity and a transfer from one school to another, I finally landed him. We carried on for 17 years, even through the early portion of his marriage to the woman I definitely knew he was involved with my freshman year, one of us going to or leaving from New Jersey to Ohio. Occasionally, if I was traveling on the East Coast, we’d meet up wherever I was. Since his wife was a doctor and they didn’t have children then, it wasn’t a big deal for him to take a drive. He was my first truly adult love and I loved him like I’ve never loved any other man. He was the only man for me. He still would be if he existed, but he doesn’t.

The rest of the story would fill a lot of bandwidth, but it’s safe to say that we each made huge mistakes. His was leaving me alone for two years and then calling because he wanted phone sex. Mine was in telling him while fuming at the gall of his request that I was no longer sleeping with men. Then, I had a nightmare of a reaction to a drug my psychiatrist had me on that obliterated both my inhibitions and my internal EDIT button. I’d wanted to talk to him ever since he hung up on me when I told him I was only sleeping with women and identified as a lesbian. In truth, had we talked about it even just a little, for him, I would have made an exception. He was the man with whom I was so utterly in love, even though I was pissed as hell with him. So, I tracked him down, which was fairly easy to do. I checked out his property and where he lived via a few paid search sites with public records. Then, I called him at work.

He decided, for reasons I’ll never know nor understand, to play an incredibly cruel and humiliating trick on me. He pretended to be interested in possibly getting back together. This evolved over several phone and chat conversations. Then, after I sent this really honest, though really corny, video to him, I didn’t hear from him. I caught him online a few days afterwards and asked if he liked the video. (Even I didn’t like the video because it was far too corny for words.) He said no. He went on to mock me, tell me that I’d fallen for a lie, tell me to give it up, to move on, he didn’t want to hear from me again, blah, blah, blah. I tried to get answers for why he’d done such a horrible thing for nearly a year. I don’t remember the sequence, but his response was usually no response. Actually, I thought he’d blocked my e-mail but continued writing because I really needed to talk with him, even if it was a conversation that took place in my head.

The last time I actually talked to him, he threatened to have someone beat me up, I think sexually assault me and kill me if I came near him or his family. In my precarious mental state, he broke me. And I do mean that literally. I tried to commit suicide even though I’d found evidence that the drug I was given went a very long way in determining my actions not just toward him but everyone I encountered. I was in ICU for four days and a mental ward for an additional three-day hold. The psychiatrist who saw me in the hospital knew that the drug I was taking could have really horrible side effects, thank God. He was perfectly happy to let me go because I wasn’t a danger to myself or anyone else. I was, nevertheless, furious with Glenn.

I am supposed to be dead, but I’m not. I took enough meds to be dead, but I’m not. They were in my system long enough for me to be dead, but I’m not. Why?? I honestly don’t know. Sunday was the first time in all the years in between then and now that I’ve seriously thought about what it would be like to make the pain stop. The reason I haven’t is because there are three lives (actually four since I couldn’t go through with Poppy’s euthanasia Saturday) depending on me. Yes, my grief may well drive me mad, but I have to hold on to enough reality to make sure they are cared for.

Sunday carried with it something else: the realization that Glenn is really and truly gone. That realization alone would overwhelm me, even after so many years. Now, I’m trying to deal with two losses, either of which would devastate me, but together have me seriously wondering whether I can absorb this much emotional pain. The Glenn I met as a young man and watched grow into a fully adult man, doesn’t exist anymore. He wouldn’t do something to me that was humiliating and cruel, (although I do remember him totally ignoring me while in the campus club one night when his current wife/then-whateverthefuck was there). I have also surmised that he did so in front of an audience of at least one other person. What does that make him? Well, it isn’t the Glenn I knew. I wish on everything precious to me that I could have the man I loved and adored back in my life, but clearly, for whatever reason, this one hates me. I, on the other hand, will always love the one I knew, even though I knew then that he could go on to a really dark and hostile place or be a loving, caring, sweet person. It was the latter that I knew, loved and believed in.

Hmph! Well, I guess I ended up telling the whole story anyway. Basically, I’m dealing with a great deal of loss and it’s going to get worse. I’m hanging on by my fingernails as it is. I’m hoping and doing a lot of praying that I can make it through. Monday, I have to go into my mother’s bedroom and start searching yet again for insurance policies as well as some other things.

I wrote the lyrics to a melody as yet to be written. In fact, I only have a very vague melody in my mind. However, that does not mean these lyrics can be used without my permission. They can’t–unless you want a lawyer on your ass that will sue you for everything you’ve got. They will be registered in the U.S. Copyright Office ASAP.

You Never Taught Me to Let Go

I’ve loved you for life
I’ve loved you for a lifetime
My heart was full and eyes were bright
Cuz you’d taught me to love right

I loved you when I hated you
I loved you when you hated me
I loved you so completely
So unconditionally.

Then one day you were gone
Leavin’ me wond’ring what went wrong
You were gone so fast, no time to ask
How I’m s’pose to let you go.

You never taught me to let go.
You never taught me to let go.

There I was alone
Left wand’ring in the cold
My heart so filled with love it burst
Leaving me broken, bent and bowed.

You never taught me to let go.
You never taught me to let go.

Lord, please, God in heaven
I don’t know what to do
The pain inside dropped me to this ground
And now I’m begging you.

Lord, please, please,
Please tell me how
To endure the ache inside
I’ve tried so hard to help myself
But break a lil’ more each time.

Please, God teach me to let go.
I don’t know how to let love go.
Please, God teach to let go.
I can’t bear this pain anymore.
Please, God teach me to let go.
Cuz I’m gonna go insane.

Love never taught me to let go.
Love never taught me to let it go.

© 2012 OnX

Goodbye, Mommy. Goodbye, my love. I’ll see you both on the other side one day.

A Letter to Mom and a Prayer to God

Mommy,

You’ve been gone almost three weeks now and I am an emotional mess. I know you didn’t want to die. You tried so hard to come back, but the doctors couldn’t fix what was wrong. At least, those couldn’t. How I wish you’d listened and sought a second opinion about having the aneurysm clipped, but you didn’t. Now, there’s nothing anyone can do.

This is the one time I think you can truly understand my pain. It’s the same pain you and your brothers have experienced. The difference is that we lived together in the same house for most of my life. Everything here reminds me that you’re not here and never will be again. The urn containing the remains of your shell is beautiful. I think you’d be pleased. Why wouldn’t you? You can see everything and both the boldness and subtleties of your exquisite taste are evident. Teddy helped me choose it.

Poppy the cat

Poppy a few years ago when she wasn't quite as senile.

You’ve probably guessed that I’m writing for more than just mere small talk. I don’t know how to do this and I sure as hell don’t know how to tell you, but I am going to get dressed and drive to the APL to have Poppy euthanized. She’s 20 years old, can’t take care of herself and isn’t using her cat box anymore. Cats are so much more expensive than dogs. I’m finding it easier and less expensive to care for the canine crew than for one, very old cat.

Truth be told, Mom, some of the choices you’ve made over the years are coming back to haunt me financially. I don’t know how I’m going to survive until your retirement starts coming in. When it does, I don’t know how I’m going to keep Medicaid without the special needs trust that you kept putting off setting up. Maybe my lawyer can figure something out. Wesley has been a little cold and doesn’t get that I’ve lost the person who shared more of me than anyone in the world. Then again, he’s a man and it’s different for them.

Getting back to Poppy, I pray to you and to God that you understand that I need you both in my life. Church is man-made. Religion is man-made. Trusting that there’s some entity out there that is larger than I am is an act of faith. God, I ask you to please, please help me hold up. I feel as if I’m going to fall off the face of the world. Worse, I don’t think I’d mind doing so if I didn’t have the girls to care for. Mom, I am happy that you are reunited with loved ones who preceded you. But I also know that you’re concerned about me. Again, I ask you and God, please, help me be strong and remain that way. Please don’t take me away from this world yet because Berry, Micki and Snippet only have me to depend on. I haven’t made a will for myself yet.  I need to be here for them.

God,  You took my mother away earlier than anyone else in our family. You have graciously allowed us to live into our 90s. I can’t even pretend to know the reason. Maybe you needed an excellent educator to teach the small souls who will one day make their appearance on this plane of existence. I’m clueless. I just want her back even though I know she’ll never be back, at least in the form she was in when she left. I’m trying to accept that, but please give me some time. I am a lost wretch who hasn’t been found yet. I’m blind and I can’t see yet. I hurt so much that I think I’ll split in two from the pain. So God, please, please allow Mommy to soothe me once more. If that’s not possible, then I have to accept it, not matter how much I don’t want to and can’t right now.

Perhaps this is more suitable to the job I have today: God, please keep me safe on the highways and streets I must travel so that you can receive Poppy’s soul. Please help me have the courage to stay with her during her transition and allow her spirit to scamper freely among the fields. With these words I pray to you, God. Amen.

Tears On My Tuxedo

By the time I finish writing this post, it will officially be my birthday. I was born at 6 a.m. on March 16. I was never looking forward to this one. It’s one of those “milestone” birthdays that basically says, “Yay! I’ve raised a family, my kids are all (or almost) gone, the husband/wife/partner and I can just kick it!” If only that were true for me. I am single and have been for far too long. I’m not really all that upset about it, but it would feel so good to lay wrapped in someone’s arms right now as I try to make sense of a new life.

My mother died February 27, 2012. We lived together and helped each other since I have disabilities and she was getting older. Then, one day, she collapsed on my bed and was gone. Oh, she stayed conscious long enough to reach the hospital, but crashed three times shortly thereafter, with the doctors and nurses bringing her back twice. Had I gone with her in the ambulance, I would possibly have had a few more minutes with her. However,  I was in a vehicle that had to obey all the traffic rules and in my heart, I knew she’d either be gone by the time I got there or shortly thereafter. It was the latter. I’ve known since the beginning of the year that some catastrophe was going to happen to her and I’d lose her. I just didn’t think it would be this early in the year. I thought I’d have more time to say those things we needed to say to each other. I, especially, needed to tell her something so that she could rest in peace. Hence, this birthday and all those to come, will carry with them a sense of sorrow because I may be alive but my mother isn’t.

Robin Thicke-Love After War Cover

I have this “thing” where I try to dress better when I feel like shit. Today was one of those days. I wasn’t in my usual jeans and polo, but jeans and sky blue twin set with a little lipstick. I had a horrid day that saw me begin with one bank my mother used telling me that I can’t have access to my mother’s records without a court order even though I’m the executrix of her estate as well as the sole beneficiary. I had my lawyer offer help while the other just did not get it. This was my mother and some dick of a branch manager was working under an incorrect interpretation of the law. I don’t even want whatever money might be in the account. I need to find out who she was paying so that I can begin to fight an insurance company that doesn’t want to pay, telling me that the policy lapsed three years ago. Knowing my mother, that didn’t happen. Now, the only thing left to do is go through her check copies which will probably tell me less than nothing because I’m fairly sure this was a direct withdrawal from her retirement payments.

I wrote that I really don’t mind being single. Actually, I do. My problem is that there was/is only one man I could consider spending my life with and we were over a very long time ago. I haven’t met the right woman yet and I have this penchant for younger men. Let’s face it: men in my age group are prone to erectile dysfunction and rely on those little blue pills or something similar. I don’t need or want that. “What does that have to do with that Robin Thicke image just above?” you ask. It’s simple and complicated. In essence, I’d fuck Robin Thicke in a heartbeat if given the opportunity and permission from his wife. More germane to this post, there’s something about his music that makes me feel really sexy and totally wanton. (There’s also a song on the CD called “Tears On My Tuxedo.”) It’s a feeling I love, but there’s no one to satisfy the hunger. Yes, “hunger.” I am so used to suppressing my sexuality because I could do nothing about it. I still can’t, but for different reasons. I was suppressing it because I was too ill to acquire a lover. I had nothing to offer. Now, I may have my disabilities, and there’s one very pesky problem I’m dealing with, but I’m pretty much as well as I’ve been in a decade. It’s OK to feel sexy, sensuous and ravenous. To put it plainly: I need to get my freak on. Sometimes I want a man and sometimes I want a woman. However, the word “bisexual” doesn’t really apply. The energy has to be right for me to pay attention to a man OR I have to be horny as all hell and not care who slays that beast.

My sexuality totally confuses most people. I avoid putting a label on it because that confuses the issue even more. Men, as lovers, can be good. Men as partners are just not going to do it for me. I’m working on someone male right now. I don’t know if it will go anywhere, but he reminds me of someone I once had as a lover ages ago. His hair is a darker red, but when I see that curly red mop, I smile. I saw him Thursday for a few. He was as sick as the proverbial dog. I’m trying to figure out if bringing him a fifth of bourbon tomorrow for a hot toddy would be too much. There’s a part of me that thinks it would seem as though I’m trying too hard. There’s the nurturing part of me that says he needs it.

The new reality of my life is that I can have a lover in my home now. I couldn’t before. That, too, was an impediment. Unfortunately, that son of a bastard child at the bank is making it impossible to determine whether the house is automatically paid off when I tell whatever insurance company holds the policy that my mother is deceased. (God, I still can’t wrap my brain around that.)  Nevertheless, the reality is that I can have whoever I want in this house wherever I want them. I have two drawers full of fabulous underwear to perk me up, a closet and other drawers with clothing that makes me look better than I feel and I can paste a smile on my face to show the rest of the world I’m good until I actually feel it. And yet, the tears fall.