Letters to Mom 001: Figuring it Out

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This was written a few days ago.
I didn’t have it in me to post after writing,
so it’s being posted now.


 

Hi mom,

 

I’ve talked to you a few times but this is the first time that I’ve sat down to write since last Monday. Since you passed. April 4th, 2016. A day that I hope to always remember. The last day I said, “I love you,” in person. The day I had my last hug.

 

I started getting angry. At you. At life. At everything. We did everything right. And I thought I would be able to write this without crying. I guess that was sort of silly.

 

I don’t want to be angry. Especially not at you. You didn’t do anything wrong. I know you didn’t want this. I know that you’re still here. I know you would be frustrated with Jon just like all of us are. I’m sorry that we’re still being siblings and that I still don’t know how to correctly handle him being a selfish jerk and not listening to anyone when we tell him what needs to happen.

 

If you couldn’t get him to listen to reason then none of us have a chance in hell and we all know that. So he’s off, doing his own thing, which is making it that much harder on me, because he’s Jon. And all I can do is sigh and let go of all of that negativity because there’s literally nothing I can do about it.

 

I’m sorry that I’m angry sometimes. I don’t want to be, but it wells up in my chest. These feelings of injustice. Of wrongness. Of wanting a target to direct all of it at. But there isn’t one. Least of all you. I know it would make you sad to know I’m mad and I don’t want that because I know that if you could you would still be here.

 

I went to the gym today with Lio, Jason, and Jace.

 

I’m going to be taking over the lease for you. I don’t need three bedrooms. It’s so much space I feel like I’ll get lost in the apartment by myself, but I looked at one bedrooms. They’re further way from Jason, and I don’t like that. They’re in busier parts of Vegas and I don’t like that either. I like the area you picked. It’s in biking distance of literally everything. All of the furniture is already here, and the garage means that we don’t have to pay for a storage unit for Jon’s things since he still wants to go to Full Sail.

 

At the moment I don’t really care what he does as long as he’s not living with me. We wouldn’t be good roommates. I’m pretty sure you knew that though. He was a shitty roommate for you when he lived at home. He hasn’t changed. Still leaves food out, eats and takes things that aren’t his. He still leaves a mess that he’ll, “get to later”.

 

I’ve moved stuff around. We donated a lot of your stuff to Goodwill. It didn’t bother me, packing it into boxes. Those bowl that I was praying you would get rid of when you moved to Vegas… somehow they made the cut when you moved so I got to get rid of them myself. I didn’t think it would be hard. And packing them away wasn’t.

 

Giving them to the people at Goodwill… letting go of another part of you. That hurt. I didn’t think it would but I cried on the way home. I was alone. I made the trip on my own because I didn’t think it was a big deal. But driving away was. I’m sorry. I’m sorry that some of those things didn’t mean anything to me even though they were super important to you.

 

Originally I thought I was going to be moving back to Orlando. I thought I was going to get my own place there. I hadn’t really figured out what I wanted to do other than not live with Zane anymore.

 

He says he’s been supportive of me through this whole situation. But all I can think about were the phone calls where he said he was upset because he would have to pay my half of rent even though I said I would continue to pay it. Or how he wasn’t blaming me and he understood my choices but that all of this was my fault. How he felt abandoned even though I was holding your hand every night, hoping that the bad days were just part of the recovery. How he wanted to talk about payments the morning before you died, the morning I left feeling like that was the last time, and it was.

 

I didn’t feel supported, and now he says he won’t be able to take more time off because he’s used it all “for me” even though I haven’t been in Orlando, and I didn’t ask him to take any time off at all, so I don’t know how it was “for me”. And I refuse to feel guilty for his choices.

 

He says that I said he “makes me feel like shit,” when I never said those words. I said I was tired of Jon making me feel bad, and Zane asked if he makes me feel bad, and I answered with yes. Sometimes. Because that’s the truth.

 

I don’t want to go back to him. So even if I stayed in Orlando, I wouldn’t stay at the apartment. And even if I stayed in Orlando I wouldn’t go back to Full Sail because even though Clavan has been beyond understanding and kind, the school itself sucks and I’m tired of working at a place where I don’t feel fulfilled anymore.

 

I hadn’t really figured out what I wanted to do, but the general ideal was to get my own place and figure it out. Maybe take a year, literally, to mourn your loss and focus on myself like what I’ve wanted to do, but was never able to.

 

And then this past weekend I took a trip to LA to see my friends. The ones I’m never able to see because I live so far away. It was nice. It confirmed that I don’t want to live there. That no company or studio could pay me enough to deal with the bull shit of trying to find parking for 20 minutes every day. Or an hour commute, both ways, everyday. It’s not worth it. I don’t want it. I wouldn’t be happy doing it, and that’s all you ever wanted for me. To be happy.

 

Being near Jason helps. I don’t know if I’m really happy right now. I don’t know what I am. Surviving. Learning. But I know that I wouldn’t do well in Orlando. I know in a few months it will finally be real. Just like when Mother Earth moved away. It took three months to be true. I spent all of that day feeling off, different, angsty. So I drove to the Waffle House we ate at a few times thinking it would help. Maybe being somewhere we had shared memories together would ease things over and make me feel better. I completely broke down in the parking lot. I couldn’t even make it out of my car. I sat and cried, and cried, and cried, until finally there was nothing left and I drove home.

 

I know that’s going to happen with you, too, mom. I don’t know when. But one day, I’m going to want to call you. And I won’t remember that I can’t until I have the phone in my hand, typing in your number, and it will hit me. You’re not here, and I can’t talk to you like that anymore. And it will kill something inside me. The wound I have packed so much earth over will erupt and all of these emotions that I haven’t figured out yet will come pouring out.

 

I’m not bottling them up. Looking back at my history I don’t think I ever bottled anything up. I think that my emotions are more like a super volcano. It takes time, sometimes a lot of time, for them to come up. And when they do it’s a huge event. I don’t know… maybe that is bottling it up since a volcano needs pressure and what not for there to be an eruption, and maybe I’m going to deep into this comparison because it’s easier to think about logic than emotions.

 

Blah.

 

I don’t know. I wish I did. I wish I had answers, and I don’t. I have feelings, and right now I feel that being near Jason is right, and being in Orlando is wrong. So I’m staying, and that means I have to figure out how to get my stuff out here, all while Jon screws around with stuff while I’m not there because he doesn’t want to wait for me to fly back out.

 

Jace ran up to me today at the gym. He held my hand as he said, “Hi!” I think that would have made you smile. I think he’s getting used to me being around. I like that. I like that he’s starting to see me as family and a “safe” person.

 

Jason and Lio are going to help me condition for the military. I think that I need to be near them for right now, but I also feel the need to be away. I need to travel. To leave.

 

I feel like stone right now. I’m going through the motions because it’s what I’ve done for my whole life. Wake up, shower. Sometimes I eat. Figure out what needs to get done and do it. I don’t sleep very well. I sleep… but I didn’t feel rested this morning. I didn’t want to get out of bed or do anything. I did, though. I think that should count for something.

 

And I went to the gym. Lio added me to her membership so I can go whenever I want, as many times a day as I want.

 

I might get a part time job, stocking selves or something like that. Something not around many people. Maybe I can volunteer somewhere. I’m not going to focus on it though. If something lines up and works out, cool. If not, I have a year. I’m giving myself a year. I think I’m allowed that. Mother Earth says I’m owed that.

 

 

Again, I don’t know. And I wish I did. Not having to worry about work and putting on a smile, and answering the same questions over and over again when I know they’re answered in a podcast, that thought makes me happy. Waking up, eating breakfast, going to the gym, working on my own personal projects, or doing art, or completing a script that I want to do, that makes me happy. That thought brings me some sense of peace, and that’s what I want right now. That’s what I need.

 

Not relationship drama, or sibling rivalry, or work that drains my beaten and bloody soul away.

 

I keep pushing off the military because I get involved with someone. Every time. It’s a relationship that I end up getting into, and then it goes badly and I fall into depression that I have to fight my way out of. It’s a cycle. One that I’ve repeated three times so far.

 

I’m not going to repeat it again. I’m going to move to Vegas where Jason and Lio will hold me accountable. Where they’ll remind me of what I really want. Where they’ll be able to help me through the crushing loneliness that I know I will feel, that no one can fill. Not even them. But Jason will know.

 

He knew you. He understands what isn’t here any more. We’ll be able to talk about the times you cooked us steaks in exchange for doing our “to-do lists” when we came home to visit. We’ll be able to talk about the hospital stays because we were both there. We’ll be able to share in the feelings of injustice because we both feel cheated right now. We love you mom, so much, and I wish you were still here for me to hug and talk to in person.

 

I’ve read your letter to me a few times. I’m having the final line in it etched onto your urn. That way whenever I look at it I’ll see your words. “I love you, forever and for always.”

 

I love you too mom. I hope I haven’t done anything to make you mad at me. I’m trying so hard to do everything right. I’m trying to figure it out. I’m trying to keep moving forward in a direction that would make me happy because if that was all you wanted of me then not doing that isn’t honoring your wish. I just wish I knew what it was that would take away this hurt and unfairness. This anger.

 

I know I’ll be happy again, eventually. I know it’s not lost because the other night, while Jon was still here, he did something silly and we all laughed, and laughed, and laughed. It was infectious. Because someone was still laughing the rest of us were, and then we would make eye contact and start laughing again. We laughed until we couldn’t breathe and our sides hurt and we had tears in our eyes. And then I was crying. Crying because you weren’t there laugh with us. You wouldn’t be there to know about this inside joke. And I tried so hard to keep it together, but I couldn’t, and I’m sorry. I had to go outside and cry silent tears as the feelings of missing you tore at my chest.

 

I love you mom. I’m going to keep writing to you and talking to you and I don’t care if people think I’m crazy. It’s what I need right now. I can’t talk to you in person but I can still talk and maybe, hopefully, you can still hear me, and sometimes you can still give me guidance because you always had the best advice.

 

I miss you. And I’m not mad at you. I promise it’s not you and that you did nothing wrong. And I promise that I’ll keep figuring things out, one step at a time. One day at a time.

 

Some days are better than others so far. Some hours better than others. Writing helped a little. Crying helped a little, too. Which means that I need to drink even more water because I used most of what my body had during the Combat Body class with Lio and now even more precious water was used for tears. Stupid tears…

 

/sigh

 

I love you mom. For ever and for always. Thanks for listening to me bitch about life. I feel better for it. It’s almost as good as if we were on the phone.

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5 thoughts on “Letters to Mom 001: Figuring it Out

  1. Hi Freya, I found my way here via Ridge where I saw the long comment you left on one of his posts about your mum. And it just broke my heart. I just wanted to say how much it affected me and how much I feel your pain. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    I’ve still got my mum but she’s not the one I remember. This time last year she went into hospital for what should have been a straight forward operation to remove a tumor on her brain. The operation we thought was a success and she seemed to be recovering well but a week later things changed and she deteriorated, She had developed an infection whilst in surgery and had to go back in. The second op went horribly wrong and they had to remove a sizeable chunk of her brain.

    To cut a long and agonising story short she’s no longer the fit independant strong mother that I knew. She can no longer talk or walk or feed herself. Sometimes I don’t know if she recognises me. She’s now in a home because there was no way we could give her the 24/7 care she needed despite desperately wanting to. She has moments of lucidity which makes it even more heart breaking as I know that’s the last place she wanted to end up in.

    The past year has been a living hell. I’ve seen my beautiful mother suffer and decline and her quality of life is now almost non-existent. The best I can do when I visit is be there for her, hold her hand, stroke her hair, read to her, show her photos and make her as comfortable as I can. But it’s hard, so hard. She’s still here but I feel as though I’ve lost her. I’m grieving and yet I’m not.

    I guess I just want you to know that you’re not alone in your pain. I know that probably doesn’t help. We all have our journeys. But I do feel for you. And I send you a big hug and wish you peace from my small part of the world. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Miriam,

      I know this comment is from a while ago, almost a month. Things have been so crazy, and intense, and demanding. Draining… but they are getting better. A lot of issues I’ve been dealing with are being resolved, at least to the point where they don’t demand my immediate attention, and so I find myself with time and energy (a vital combination) to come back to my blog.

      I wanted you to know that I read your comment. I’ve read it so many times. I am sorry you are experiencing your situation. Sometimes I think to myself that it was better for mom to die. She didn’t suffer. And then I have guilt over that because it’s not “right” to want your parent to die. I’m going to therapy and that’s helping a lot.

      I know it’s hard. Holding my mom’s hand, helping her to the rest room, putting straws into cans of soda for her and holding them to make sure they didn’t fall… All of these small little actions… they hurt. I loved doing them, and I would have done anything mom asked me to do, but I would scream in the car, alone, as I drove home from the hospital every day because it hurt so much and if I didn’t scream, if I didn’t let it out in some way, the hurt would have killed me.

      This experience, grief, is so new and strange and almost otherworldly to me. I don’t know how to grieve, and the logical side of my brain doesn’t understand why I need to do it.

      You’re line, “ I guess I just wanted you to know that you’re not alone in your pain,” has helped me so much during this past month. I am so, so sorry for that. I don’t want you to experience anything like what I am. I wish this pain on no one, not even the people in my life who deserve to feel Karma’s wrath. No one deserves this, but knowing that I am not alone has helped keep me here, mostly grounded, mostly sane, on more than one occasion.

      I am so, so sorry we are journeying through darkness together, but I cannot thank you enough for reaching out to me, for taking my hand and letting me know that even though it’s dark and I might not be able to see the morning light, that I’m not alone in this darkness. Together we can make it through it. We’re strong and we’ll make it through.

      I’m sending love to you and your family. I’m here if you ever need / want to talk or vent or cry or share. We may not know each other, but you have my unconditional support.

      Thank you for being there for me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh Freya, I’m so glad you came back to your blog and I’m so glad that you reached back out to me. It doesn’t matter how long it’s taken. I meant every word I said in my post to you. I’m glad that in some way some issues are being resolved for you and I’m also glad to hear you’re going to therapy as I really believe that talking can release a lot of the pain. It might not ever take it away but opening up has to be better than keeping it all locked up inside.
        Don’t be afraid to grieve, to cry and scream when you’re alone. God knows I’ve done that so many times over the past year. Days where I’ve felt torn apart and weak, days when I’ve cried so hard I thought I would never stop. I still cry but some days are better than others and I know deep inside that mum would not want me to live out my life constantly crying over hers. As I’m sure your mum would. They know we loved them. And for all the times you held your mum’s hand and made her comfortable her soul would have known you were there, even if she couldn’t express it.
        I still feel guilty too. For sometimes finding happiness with my family and enjoying life. But I try and believe mum would want that for me. I hope you can stop feeling guilty as well. You did the best you could for your mum and you didn’t want her to suffer. She lived her life and you were there for her. She would want you to keep living your life now.
        I cried all the way through reading your post as I felt your pain. So very intensely. And all I wanted to do when I finished reading it was reach out and give you a big, bug hug. So that’s what I’m sending you as I type this. All the way across the ocean from Australia to you. A big hug and lots of love as we both continue our journey. Let’s stay connected, if you like. And try and stay strong together. You’re right, together we can make it through this. xox

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pesky water requirements. Sometimes it would be nice to not be though a weirdo for wearing a camelback whilst walking and crying. Wide open ranches are good for that if you can find a friendly one. Otherwise people want to pull over and ask you if you’re okay… Blah blah. “Can’t I just walk and cry and drink my water? You’re interrupting!” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • XD

      I know, right? I keep being told that it’s ok to grieve and that we all do it in our own way and then when I try to grieve everyone’s all like, “Are you ok? What’s wrong? What can I do to help?”

      “I’m trying to have my emotional break down. Thanks for fucking it up.”

      It’s moments like that that make me realize that I truly will live in the middle of a forest, far, far away from society one day… For their protection, not mine. XD

      Liked by 1 person

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