This one… I’ve been pushing down. Deep down, where all the other feelings I don’t want to feel are forced to go until I can admit I need to deal with them… But.. today is her birthday. It’s always hard on her birthday.
I will always push this one down. It carries weight, so it sinks. It pulls down hard, like extra gravity. I can just push it away if I push hard enough. I have to repeat the words, “I don’t hate her.” Maybe I’m not convinced.
My heart breaks a little bit more every day, knowing she’s waiting for me to talk to her, and to say I’m sorry for abandoning her. And I feel like an asshole for making her wait. I have children. I can imagine what it would feel like if all 3 stopped speaking to me. I don’t want to think about it.
She will wait forever for that to happen. As badly as I want to pick up the phone, and know firsthand how she is, how life is going for her, hear her voice, and tell her about my kids… she is the one who owes an apology.
And no, not necessarily to me, if that’s what you thought I was implying. No, I think it would be much more… appropriate… to apologize to herself, and the very idea of her life.
It’s hard to explain that one. “The idea of her life…”
I guess what I mean is… I feel like she should apologize to the person she let go of, herself, before all this shit happened.. the person she could have been if she hadn’t given up.
I miss my mother. I feel her at all times, like the heat from a fire I can’t see. I’m far enough away to not get burned, but I’m still close enough to feel how dangerous it is to get any closer.
I miss singing with her, hearing her sing those weird old 70’s and 80’s songs she loved so much… Linda Ronstadt and mariachi music on Sundays while we cleaned the house… even though that hadn’t happened since I was young.
I can see her face in my mind, like a reflection, it’s crystal clear. Her dark eyes, dark hair, high cheekbones… I always thought she was so beautiful. I still do. But.. it’s starting to get blurry. It takes a lot to get there in my mind…
I can hear her voice echoing around in my own voice.
It’s haunting me.
She is haunting me, and she’s not even dead.
I want to dispose of every feeling it makes me feel. I want to turn it off like a light switch… like a power grid… like a nuclear reactor… I want to feel the rush of relief pour over me like scalding hot water when she is finally out of my mind.
But it won’t ever happen.
If I pick up the phone, it will only make it hurt more. It will all float to the top, and I will have to see it and remember… and feel… and scramble and fight my through it like an iced over lake of emotional suffocation.
There could be no good to come out of something like that… I might let her back in. I might try to trust her. I know that isn’t smart. She will drink, even if she promises not to…. And then she will lie, she will steal, and cheat, and deceive, and hurt… and hurt… and hurt… and I’ll kick myself for opening that door again. I’ll blame myself for the damage done to myself and my kids.
I am too far gone to go through all of that all over again. But it doesn’t make it hurt any less to keep pushing it down. There will always be a deeply set hook connecting me to it. All it needs is a tug….. and up it floats.
People have told me I NEED to call. I need to talk to her. That I will regret it if I don’t reconnect before she dies…
But I won’t do it, or feel I can even explain it to someone who’s on the outside.
You don’t understand.
You assume too much if you think it wasn’t so bad…
I can’t blame her for my flaws, or my own shortcomings. I can’t blame her for the mistakes I’ve made on my own. But I do blame her for the nightmares. I do blame her for giving up on herself, and.. me.
I can blame her if I want to.
And you can go ahead and judge me for it.
The crumbled remains of our relationship have made it hard for me to open up and let in other family members. I cower, and hide. I feel paralyzed. I feel so much guilt for backing away from my whole family, just to keep her away.
Just to push it down. Deeper… deeper…
I love you mom. Happy Birthday.