I’ve thought and thought about this letter while taking the girls out for their pre-dinner potty break, during their dinner and while taking them out for their post-dinner potty break. There’s so much to say. In fact, if you were alive, I don’t think I’d say any of it for fear of an argument, but I sense you’re at peace now and can listen to me when you couldn’t before. I envy you that. I am anything but peaceful. I ache inside.
I haven’t quite learned how to manage the house yet. That’s mostly because I stay so depressed that I don’t move. I lost an entire day last week. I have no idea where it went or what happened. I just know that I woke up one morning and couldn’t remember what happened the day before or the day before that. I guess it’s fair to say, then, that I lost two days. It was distressing at the time. Now, it’s more like, “Oh. OK.” It’s as though I’ve shut down because I’m in so much pain I’ll overload if I don’t. I guess you know now that I don’t overload because some of the pain goes elsewhere to crop up at some unexpected time, usually very inconveniently. That’s what happened this go ’round with Glenn. He was the last person I wanted to think about, but I also needed the Glenn who was supportive and who cared for me once upon a time.
Mom, I know that even though you never liked him, you knew how much I loved him. I know that you wanted me to marry someone older who would let me be all of who I am. I thought that Glenn, even though he’s only a couple of years older, would be that person. He’s the only man I’ve ever seriously thought about marrying. Otherwise, I’d be perfectly happy to live a nice, quiet, woman-focused life with dogs, adopted grandkids and a lovely wildflower garden where my partner/wife and I could sit and just enjoy the life we’ve made for ourselves. Well, at least after I get the magazine off the ground. I really feel good about that possibility. No, that opportunity. I think I’ve found just the right investigative piece I was looking for. It will help me make a name for the magazine and, at the same time, establish the demo I’m looking for. Sometimes God fools ya and drops things in your lap when you least expect it. But I’ve got to get out of this funk if I ever plan to get started. Is it right to dump the other piece I was working on periodically for this? My gut doesn’t feel right about it, but I can’t see doing them both right now. There’s still too much going on in my head and in my heart.
Right. Glenn. Mommy, what happened to him? What turned that sweet, yet sometimes insensitive, sometimes volatile, man into whatever it is he is now? I want to understand so badly that I don’t know what to do. I don’t think there is anything I can do anymore. I had to start protecting myself. In the shape I’m in, he could finish what was started years ago, only this time, you and I would be reunited in heaven. No more failures. You’re not here to inadvertently save me. If I ended up in ICU again, it would be because I’m about to die and I’m an organ donor. It’s the girls who’ve kept me going. Add in Glenn’s penchant for inflicting non-consensual pain and I wouldn’t survive even with them. My God, Mom, I can’t even begin to fathom the things he’s done. If he didn’t live 500+ miles away, I think I’d be seriously concerned for my safety. As it is, I had to draw the Daddy card on him and may well have to use it. If I think I’m in a nightmare now, that could easily turn into something worse. I called Glenn on all his shit. I should have done so years ago, but didn’t. Maybe I didn’t because then, I didn’t have confirmation of things I knew–those things I can’t even write or else I’d get a knock on the door asking me about cold cases. Even with the family’s help, I don’t think the non-related cops would understand how I just knew some things that were only confirmed last year. You remember, I’m sure, the barber shop I took you to. The barber, whose name shall remain with us, started asking around. He told me what he discovered. He confirmed what I knew and added something I didn’t. It’s what he added that’s my ace should I need it. I only hope the barber has the sense God gave him and keeps his mouth shut. He doesn’t know how close he is to more truth that would most assuredly get someone knocking on his door and it may not be the cops.
Mommy, I keep hearing you in my head telling me to be patient with Glenn and that he will come back. Yet, you never say why you know this to be true. I long ago stopped asking how you knew some things. Again, I just learned to accept. You were right too many times like a few other women in our bloodline. There is usually a basis in the old ways and now I get it. Since you’ve been gone, it’s as though your gift has passed itself along to me. I always had it in relatively small quantities, but I feel it getting stronger. Again, it’s just one of those things I accept. “Oh. OK.” What I always found utterly amusing about you is that you accept that you’ve got the sight, but can’t accept that this house has at least one spirit. The girls see it all the time and have for generations. It doesn’t bother me and I don’t bother it. It’s the same way Micki knows there’s a critter out in the back even though I can’t see it. She’s right too many times for me to disregard her. I just have to brace myself in case she decides to go after it. Unfortunately, I don’t know if Glenn fits into the category of “I just know.” It isn’t that way for me, probably because this is the one thing I’m fighting like Muhammad Ali. I can’t be wrong. I can’t hope. Yet, I also can’t deny that I love the man he was before whatever happened to him happened. I know that he was seduced by the Benjamins. I don’t know that he’s happy at home, even though I’m sure he’s fucking that Tilman chick. She’s a yella gal like you and he and Daddy have that in common. In having to re-write this post, I am seeing that they have more than that in common. I hope his daughter was a Daddy’s girl like I was once we finally got together. Anyway, where women were concerned, the lighter the better. It’s sad, really. Very sad. It’s not like he’s all that dark. We were virtually the same shade, although I had more red thanks to Grandmother Clara.
You said that I never considered that Glenn treated me so badly because I was the one who really could threaten his marriage. Maybe. Again, I can’t hope. I hate that he’s crushed that part of me. If he were to come back to me and explain everything, tell me he loved me, he was sorry for hurting me, yada, yada, yada, the only thing I might believe is his explanation for doing what he did. I might believe that he loved me, but he’d have to be extremely convincing. I’m not sure I’d buy it then because we both know abusive men go through a honeymoon period where they apologize, say they won’t abuse you and things are fine until it happens again. It is so hard for me to write or say or think: he is an emotionally abusive man. He wasn’t that way before, but he is now. I wish that I could scream into the night and ask, “Why?!?!?!” Of course, I’ll never know. That hurts a great deal. It’s in my nature to ask questions and not be satisfied until I get an answer that makes sense. I don’t think I ever will with this one.
I think the thing that hurts me most is that he never accepted my disability. I thought he had, but he didn’t. I think I even confronted him about it when we were together. I seem to remember him saying something about being younger then. While that’s true, he obviously took it into consideration when he asked Robin to marry him. What would he have said if I’d asked him to marry me? I wasn’t even thinking about marriage then, but what if I did? He’d probably tell me no and then marry Robin. I don’t like this part of myself, but I wish she would find someone else, decide she didn’t want to be married or just die. It’s the last one I hate. I don’t want her to die. I just want her to go away. I want him to have a chance to be who he wants to be within reason, and find his way back to me. He always felt like home to me. Am I totally pathetic for thinking of him that way? Yes, I am. After everything he’s done to me, it IS pathetic and I’m not sure I care. That’s what this has been about from the start. He’s my home and I can’t break the link. I want to. Mom, you know I’ve tried. This is the first time I’ve admitted it to myself, to you, to anyone. Damn it, I now have to send this to him. I love him and I dislike him all at the same time. He damn near destroyed me thanks in part to Dr. Trouble’s magic pills; I let go for years, only to find him in my mind and heart again, up from the basement where all the deep, dark, bad is kept; I’m pestering him for an explanation that I do richly deserve and have every right to require; he lets me swing in the breeze with nothing, laughing all the while. I deserve better and I know you agree. He’s an incredible disappointment as a human being, much less a potential lover/partner as things are now.
I sent him the lyrics for Lady A’s “Dancin’ Away With My Heart.” It fits so perfectly with the exception of the age. Mom, I have never loved anyone like I loved him and still love some deep, nearly-inaccessible portion of him. He is a part of me and always will be. I can’t lose him even though I have already. Why did he do this to me? Why did he treat me like garbage? More accurately, why did he do the equivalent of throw garbage at me? I hadn’t done anything to him at all except tell him how I felt. I didn’t know I felt as I did, but it all came flooding back and I made that horrendous tape. He mocked me, embarrassed me, tormented me, shamed me. Tell me, please, why do I still love him? I keep thinking that was an anomaly, but he hasn’t had the guts to face me since. What does that say about him? What does that say about me? I deserve better. I know I do. But I also know that there’s something I’m missing. He’s behaving like a sociopath with narcissistic tendencies. Granted, they don’t have to go together, but they often do. I wish I had a DSM. I think it would help me understand what’s up with him and what is going on with me. Am I experiencing something like battered wife syndrome even without the paper between us? Am I experiencing some sort of PTSD?
It’s nearly two and a half hours into Easter. I tried to save as many flowers from the sprays as I could. I don’t know if any of them will bloom again. I should be grateful for having them as long as I did. I think that’s what Mandy was trying to say to me: At least I had a mother for nearly 50 years; she didn’t and that’s affected her. Anyway, many lasted nearly a month. As I watch them die, no matter what steps I take to make them last, they eventually give way to what is termed the “natural order of things.” I miss you, Mom. The natural order took place, but gives me no comfort. This is a rite of passage. I remember how cold your beautiful hands were the last time I touched them. I still can’t believe you’re gone. You looked like you were asleep. Now, I think I’m glad that you wanted to be cremated. I don’t think I could bear thinking of you in the cold ground. I do feel your spirit around me. It’s why I can write to you now when I couldn’t talk to you before. I just wish you were here to hold me while still being at peace. I don’t think you had much peace in your life. I am sorry for anything I did that caused you to have more aggravation than you deserved. I love you. I forgive you. I want you to rest in peace now, but feel free to come back when you feel the urge. Like I said, I miss you.