Wednesday, December 12, 2018

5 Years Ago Today

It's 4 am and I've been awake for at least an hour crying and thinking about my mother who died five years ago. An older wound, not yet healed, and it is infected. The infection gets worse with each more recent wound.

The traumatic death of my sister Joy, the death of my two cats Meander and Nemesis, my worry about my other sister who lost her house when our sister was killed and, less than two weeks later, her sweet dog Besty died. Less wounding but still incredibly disappointing is my trip to Mexico and my visiting the International Book Fair getting thwarted.

Also, I'm pretty sure something is broken. The break keeps getting worse with each wound that has been layered on my heart. My chest physically hurts for these non-physical ailments. (I have never understood that... how we can physically hurt for something that is emotional and psychological.) One after the other, like a slow motion pummeling that leaves me bruised and broken and bleeding. If this was a relationship, I would tell myself to get out. But getting out of this abusive relationship with life would leave too many others bruised and broken and bleeding. I have no illusions that my abuser is going to change... that I can somehow make life be gentle. We've gone through this cycle before. Once the abuse begins, it just keeps coming.

Last time, I tried to die. I committed suicide on the daily, but it didn't stick. I was never very good at killing myself, though I was an expert at hiding my pain, to my detriment. This time, I'm trying to wear my pain out in the open. I will not say I am okay when I am not. I will not apologize for someone else's discomfort. I will allow myself time to grieve and I will not set a timer on it. ("Ding! Times up! Get over being sad and broken!") No, I will do the things I have to do like work, take care of my pets, finish figuring out what all I need to complete my classes, write, eat, sleep (somewhat), and try to take care of myself.

But I will not wallow. Wallowing is what got me dropping out of school 23 years ago after an almost successful attempt at killing myself. I will continue to care about others and remember that strangers might be going through things just as bad or worse than me so I need to be patient and kind. Kindness is so important. I will also resume helping in whatever way I can to rescue animals, but I will be forgiving to myself and wait to do that when I'm ready. I will also celebrate and be there for my friends in whatever way I can because they deserve it.

With that last thought in mind, I want to take a moment to acknowledge that this day is also the birthday of one of my dearest friends, Claire Cooney, who I sometimes call Kikiriki because I always want to crow about her. Someday when I'm not writing in the wee hours of the morning a stream-of-consciousness rant, I will put together something worthy of her. I hope for now it is enough that she is a shining star in my bleak landscape leading me to water when I can find none.

I love you, Ki!

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