Wanted…unwanted…dead or alive

Last weekend I got an IM on facebook from a childhood friend asking me if my older brother HS passed away. The honest answer is I don’t know, we haven’t been in touch in many many years, and I would like to think that another family member that I don’t really speak to would tell me if he did, but I don’t know. So in as many words, I told her this. Then a day later, another classmate asked me the same question. Then on Tuesday, yet another classmate. By now, I’m feeling awkward telling all of these people how dysfunctional our family is and that not only have J and I not spoken in several years, but neither is there anyone else in my family I am really in contact I can ask. This feels very exposed to me. So instead of responding, at this point, I send a message to my sister-in-law, my younger brother’s wife and pose the question to her, realizing she may not answer me, or have any information.

She does answer me, with a question. “Really? We have not heard that! G (my little brother) does get to ‘home town’ some to visit old friends but he hasn’t spoken to J or seen the host body in months. I’ll have him *listen* better.

The classmate who sent me the third message, said she saw something in the paper, so I asked my friend J who’s father lives in the town where we grew up and works for the University as a law professor, to see if he can find anything in the paper. I checked all the local funeral homes, but saw nothing, and it did occur to me that he does not have the resources to be able to afford a funeral even if it is him who died. So… Time will tell.

I have been taking these trips in my head, in the meantime. How will I feel if my brother did pass away, at age 45? It could happen. He is a drug addict, alcoholic, with a tendency toward depression…the possibility is not far fetched. I also went in to stalk what he has publicly posted on his FB page, and the last post was from jan 17th, something like: I’m feeling very down today, just thought I’d throw that out there. (Ok….).

When my sil responded she added some additional information about my lovely bloodline. Things that made me smh and raise an eyebrow at those crazies. She told me that her daughter moved in with my older brother for awhile. (What???) when she broke up with her boyfriend, and he stole her TV and took it to a pawn shop and pawned it. (This did not surprise me). I guess he hasn’t changed in the least. And I guess I was left wondering why my niece thought it was a good move to live with j ever, ever, effing ever. Or why my younger bro and sil would let this happen knowing how he is.

When I was in HS he pawned my flute…when I was in the symphonic band and had to play it every day for school. And I had it use my money to get it back. He’s was total dick in the 80s and I guess that hasn’t changed. “It’s the drugs that made him do it.” (But he’s a really nice guy underneath? I doubt it very seriously)

Strangely, I do not spend a lot of time thinking about him, but a few weeks ago, my oldest niece, his daughter, has been going through some problems and I saw that he had commented on her fb page. Being in my current state of mind, I actually sent her w message telling that she’d better be careful if she was planning to reconnect with him since he’s w druggie who left her when she was three and she ended up being protituted by her bio mother and then in foster care. Who forgives for that? She claimed she wasn’t, but I noticed he’s in her friend list so I didn’t say anything after that. Sometimes we all need to learn lessons multiple times.

But I don’t know how I’ll feel if it ends up being him. This man with the same name and same age who has apparently died in the same town. Will I feel like this is another chapter in my life that has ended. Will I be sad? Will I wish I would have reached out to him?

I don’t know….

If you were my little girl

Once, back in 2009, before her “life changed” the therapist sent this to me. Like I guess in some fucked up way to make me feel better, or comforted. But she pulled away from me shortly after this, and I’m really ill now and alone so really it just fucked me up even more, knowing that she really didn’t mean it- and I will NEVER have this, or a mother or a trusted relationship – and I shared all my shame with someone who just really breached all my trust and isn’t really here for me and now she carries my secret shame around and just Urgh! I’m trying to deal with the trauma of last November, being sick, both of my brothers bdays, friend issues… It’s a lot.

I go back and read these things and I wonder if I should feel anger or sadness. I wonder what she was thinking when she said these things, but then changed so abruptly and left me hanging in aloneness and abandonment. I don’t know, but I wonder.

Sweet Grace,

I am so sorry for you pain and sadness. If you were my little girl I would surely hold you, sing to you, give you medicine and whatever we figured might help. As horribly painful as all this feeling of processing of grief, anger, fear, etc., I would be there next to you comforting you and I will continue to do what I can. Please understand that when you email me, there is a great likelihood that I will not be able “to hear you”. Of course, you can also try calling, if for no other reason that to know that I know that you are in pain and that I care.

I understand that a lot of your anger is not ALL about me. Maybe some of it is, justifiably so at times. But, you are in the middle of a giant, long term test of me and others on whom you might have some trust.

You do understand enough right now. It is not an intellectual pursuit at this point. Trust in your goodness and the validity of the little girls pain and sadness.

I am here and please take the things I have given you in my heart, voice and tangibleness and comfort the little girl as I would try to.

Therapist

Why did she do that? I don’t understand… Well, I do understand that she has not been here for me at all since NOV of last year- and a lot has happened. I do know that she changed abruptly shortly after this because her life changed and I still cannot process that it was NOT because of me. I do know that I was never My mother’s little girl, her little girl- or anyone’s girl. Not then, now, or ever. And this only serves to remind me. I do know that I was not a part of the decision in my own therapy process and it was not fair. But what I do not know is how to get past it, or or around it, or over it. But I do know that trust test=failed.

I can’t even find all the pieces to pick up if I even had the energy to do it… But I hope I will soon. I have thought I might like to write a book about this, from a survivor’s perspective. And how damaging it can be. I do not yet know how it will end. I wish I could say the survivor had s healing experience, but at this point, I cannot say that. I can say, it started that way, but then things “changed”.

I don’t think I hate her anymore- I am just so very hurt and sad by her actions. I now now that if I were her little girl I would be in exactly the same spot I’m in… Alone and abandoned…. Unloved – left for a man.

There is only Love

I wonder, if everyone does it, or if it is just me…
If “normal” people look back upon their lives and wish that they had done things so much differently. Loved deeper, without judgement… it’s hard… I look around and even when there are people around me, I still feel all of this space – like they don’t understand me. And I know that I have a lot to do with that. I don’t share myself freely – I’ve tried, but it’s just that I’ve been hurt, or hurt someone else so many times… it’s easier not to get close to people. Ya know? It’s terrifying.

And when I get scared I either get angry or afraid…and I turn it in on myself – and not in a loving way. I don’t know how else to cope. But I forget to look up, and when I do, everything has changed. Lives don’t stop living – time presses on – even when I’m stuck (if anything – therapy taught me that).

Even when my head is so very heavy and my heart too weary to go on and I hate with everything in me. I know I have to make some choice at the crossroads. I have to pick up my baggage and move forward or lay down and give up…

And despite what I hear recently, I’m no quitter…

Moments become Memories

I spent some time organizing photos and and old scrapbooking items (stickers, paper, etc) that I have accumulated over the past (mostly) 16 years. I’ve a few before the kids were born, but once my son was born, I thought, “I shall capture it all”, and I actually started a scrapbook beginning with his birth. It has about 7 complete pages done. But now I thought, I have nothing but time, so I’ll at least organize all of the photos, perhaps scan them. And if I get really organized and motivated, I might even make an order some online scrapbooks. We’ll see how it goes.

I’ve never considered myself a hoarder but in only a couple of hours I filled 2 garbage bags of trash. I still don’t consider myself a hoarder, it’s just that now I am “getting rid of stuff”, spring cleaning early, making things easier for people later, perhaps. That’s my mindset. The hus is out of town so it’s the perfect time to do it because I would consider him a borderline hoarder. He might frown upon my throwing away an old throw pillow we haven’t used in 5 years (“we might use those again some day” No, probably not.) or the old VCR videos (who still has those?). I even found a copy of my grandmother’s will and she’s been gone for four and a half years. That was a sad moment since the will was not carried out in the way it was intended, but I ‘dealt with it’ and material things don’t matter, although there was something of sentimental value to me that I will never have, or will never be passed on to my daughter, but I can’t change it, so… the paperwork goes in the garbage.

I found photos from college spring breaks, and a cruise the hus and I went on before we were married. Some from high school, and a few from my childhood my grandmother had given me. But, of course, most of the photos are of my children. And there are now 6 boxes of them, neatly organized, and a few I have scanned. It’s amazing how they have grown and the time has gone by so quickly. I would like to think that they have remained unaffected by my mental and physical issues. I’m sure that isn’t the case completely, but they are both open with me and they are intelligent, funny, lovely, kids. Who, for the most part, are comfortable being themselves. I am very thankful for that. Because I am clueless a lot of times and had no guidance myself, and I worry every day about them, and how they will make it in the future without my crazy guidance (even if it’s less than helpful – at least I am here right now).

It was painful and joyful going through all of the photos. All of those snapshots of ‘moments’ – that’s all we get. Moments that become memories.

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Turn it off!

I remember years ago when the ex-therapist used to tell me that I could ‘trust’ her and confide in her and I didn’t have to run away from my pain. She used to say that she would ‘hold my pain’ and, in fact, she said she would hold me, and my pain, and that I didn’t have to be afraid, because she was there for me, and she would not leave me alone in my pain…she was here with me.

I look back at that time and it all feels so sarcastic, and like such a goddamn joke, you know? I feel like I’m stuck in that Mormon satiric musical? And all the therapists are running around singing “I’ve got a feeling, that you could be feeling, a whole lot better than you feel today… turn it off – like a light switch.” Only, out of key and not nearly as festive as the actual musical. And! They are being literal, not sarcastic, at all. In a way, it makes me feel very very sad – yet in another way, I feel very vindicated, as I always knew that *those* people were completely and totally untrustworthy, and she, in fact, just filled her role by fucking me over. A sort of self-fulfilling prophesy – only, not self fulfilling at all, “therapist-filling”, which, I realize, isn’t a term, but it fits in this case, so I’m going to leave it.

It was like I was entitled to have my feelings, and in fact encouraged to have them, until her personal life “changed” and she no longer had time for them. Which, actually feels really fucked up, right? Like, if she didn’t think she could finish the task – she shouldn’t have started it. But really, what do I know – I’m just a screwed up traumatized kid. Who should have just been able to “turn it off – like a light switch” when her life changed – but she actually drew all of my trauma out of me and then fucking left me in the middle of it – for a man… WHOOPS! Her bad! (Only she would never admit that it was her bad…they never do – though I have a time-line…in writing). Sadly, I would probably be in a much better position mentally right now, if she would have not started what she was not prepared to finish and despite the fact that the gas prices have fallen back 20 years, there really is no such thing as time travel, so we cannot go back and change things.

Yet, I am struggling with how to move forward. Mostly, because I’m not sure how much “forward” I have. Some of my friends tell me it is a very poor decision to end this relationship as there are so many other changes going on in my life right now, many many of them quite challenging, that ending my relationship with her would only serve to send me into an even deeper state of emotional instability right now. Others tell me that she has not helped me in years and I should cut my losses and just let it go. I will admit I am not attached to her in the way that I used to be – I think that is because of her not being there for me “in the ways” that she was. I do believe that had our relationship continued as it had initially and I had been able to grow and make the decision (or “we” had made the decision to “change” things together, many things may have played out differently, including my ability to grow emotionally, and in a healthy way. But they did not, and she chose to make those decisions, AND in fact, make personal disclosures to me, as to why she made those decisions (for HER life, not for mine – HER time – not for my interests – for a man – not because of me… all triggering my huge issues of abandonment!) and because of her decisions, and my struggles, alone since then, I have grown quite distant and unattached from her leaving me in a state of confusion as to how she can possibly help me going forward. In addition, in the many times I have tried to explain my position to her, she has not reacted in an understanding or emphatic way, which leaves me wondering if she ever cared at all. This has played a big part in my wavering and wondering and my not being able to really share with her or move forward in a long time, which is not how it used to be, or how I wish it was. But I cannot seem to change how I feel. And I feel damaged by her changes and I do not feel like she cares in the least about how she used me as some short-term project and threw me by the wayside when she decided she was in love with a man and wanted to spend all of her time with him and no longer was I “allowed” to contact her after hours, or email her. (her disclosures and changes SHE made without involving me). Yet when I tried to discuss with her my feelings on the matter, she just told me to “deal with it” and to “make a different choice”. How is that supposed to be healing AT ALL? Hence my inability to disclose anything to her now, or find any way to move forward, or to figure out any sense of healthy attachment to anyone. How in the world can I find safety in someone who speaks to me like that? I wish I knew how…

I realize I am hyper-sensitive to situations like this. But honestly, I think she used my instinct and history of abuse to her advantage in this way. And that hurts me even more. I really don’t feel there is a reasonable explanation for a therapist to do this to a client. Or to say “deal with it” or to say ” make a different choice” when there I felt there was no other choice. Or to tell me I gave up on myself when I felt I was doing the best I could do at the time. I feel that those kinds of phrases pose long-term damage on already damaged people. And it is not okay.

But I suppose in her eyes we should just “turn it off, like a light switch.” You know…when she does not wish to “deal with us”. Hit it, Marsha!

You say you got a problem – well that’s no problem…it’s SUPER EASY! NOT TO FEEL THAT WAY!!!!

You can never hurt me again

It was a story I had never told… And probably will never tell again….
You can never hurt me again…. Any of you.

This is a story that I have never told
I gotta get this off my chest to let it go
I need to take back the light inside you stole
You’re a criminal
And you steal like you’re a pro

All the pain and the truth
I wear like a battle wound
So ashamed, so confused
I was broken and bruised

Now I’m a warrior
Now I’ve got thicker skin
I’m a warrior
I’m stronger than I’ve ever been
And my armor, is made of steel, you can’t get in
I’m a warrior
And you can never hurt me again

Out of the ashes, I’m burning like a fire
You can save your apologies, you’re nothing but a liar
I’ve got shame, I’ve got scars
That I will never show
I’m a survivor
In more ways than you know

Cause all the pain and the truth
I wear like a battle wound
So ashamed, so confused
I’m not broken or bruised

‘Cause now I’m a warrior
Now I’ve got thicker skin
I’m a warrior
I’m stronger than I’ve ever been
And my armor, is made of steel, you can’t get in
I’m a warrior
And you can never hurt me

There’s a part of me I can’t get back
A little girl grew up too fast
All it took was once, I’ll never be the same
Now I’m taking back my life today
Nothing left that you can say
Cause you are never gonna take the blame anyway

Now I’m a warrior
I’ve got thicker skin
I’m a warrior
I’m stronger than I’ve ever been
And my armor, is made of steel, you can’t get in
I’m a warrior
And you can never hurt me again

No oh, yeah, yeah

You can never hurt me again