Who are these silent strangers waiting for me to know who they are?

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Today is a a strange day for me. I feel both angry and sad. I have spent many years working hard to not feel. I was pretty successful at it too. The more emotion that threatened me, the more numb I became. Recently I began working on rediscovering my emotions and embracing them. Feeling them and not hiding from them. Now, I am at their mercy. I refuse to anesthetize myself again but I am having to learn again how to deal with emotion. It is mother’s day and I really miss my mom. When she died I felt lost, sad and angry. It took me some time to not feel overwhelmed but it was a little easier because I had a daughter with cancer. The need to take care of her came first. I had to be calm and be able to function. I never stopped missing her but I managed to not feel grief so much and could still think clearly. (mostly) Here it is 10 years later and I miss her just as much and feel the grief keenly. In fact, I find myself nearly consumed with grief for not only my mom, but for my sister as well. When my sister committed suicide I felt nothing. At least, that is what I told myself. But . . . fuck, I miss her too. I feel angry at myself, and everyone that ignored her when she truly needed help. Like the boy who cried wolf, she suffered.
My daughter just went through another bout of illness. It was not cancer but still, she was very ill. To her it seemed as if she might die. She had barely eaten or slept in over 7 days. Her experience at the ER left her feeling like no one would help her. She was in Denver and I was in WV. Eventually, out of sheer desperation, I flew her back to IL to see the one Dr that we knew would listen and do something. I cannot express how hard it is to sit, states away and not be able to help or comfort her and her husband. If I had actually had enough money I would have gone to IL to take care of her. But, I was lucky that good friends were there for her. Friends that took her into their home and despite their own problems, took care of her and got her to the Dr. Back here I was racked with guilt and with anxiety. Waiting for the tiniest word that she was showing any signs if improvement. Wishing that it were not so hard on her and on my friends. Wishing I could help her husband, just wishing I could help. I sat here, feeling. Those feelings, after so many years are nearly foreign. I feel angry at the medical professionals who treated her like crap, didn’t listen or do anything, and acted like she was crazy. (and at the whole school system in Denver). Feeling helpless about so many things. I know that, in reality, I can only be responsible for myself. I know that I am the only one to take care of me, and I cannot make anyone but myself do anything. That doesn’t mean I don’t grind my teeth in frustration over the injustices of the world, especially when they affect those I love. If I could, I’d get all I have to my children and my friends, to help them. But I can’t. I still have to pay bills, eat, and live. So, here I sit trying to learn the balance. How can I repay and show my gratitude? How can I support without managing someone else? How can I feel and not go crazy? What can one do with all these conflicting emotions? Oh My God! I love people so much it hurts but love just doesn’t seem like its enough.

1 comment:

  1. It is enough, love is always enough, you silly fool. Hang on. We have. It was a brutal week for so many reasons, time chewing itself to bloody bits, gray hairs popping up like dandelions, for everybody, including you. But just think: in less than a month you'll be sitting on Gambler, feeling him and you in a space that not even we humans can fuck up. In less than a month. It's something to smile about, isn't it? Something to feel about. And you can do it.