Friday, May 7, 2010

52

I had the strangest thing happen a few days ago. I was talking with one of my co-workers about birthdays. I have no idea why this came up but I said that I would be 53 in July. I wasn't upset about it at all, I told her that was because ever since my last birthday I had been saying - "I'm going to be 53". So this next year it will be like I'm still 53! We laughed because somehow I just jumped from 51 to 53! 52 never existed.
Later that afternoon when I was home and working out in the yard, I got to thinking about it again. I mean why would a person do that? Why jump a whole year? Then suddenly it hit me. Hit me hard, like someone slapping me in the face. My Mother died less than a month after she turned 52.
I have this problem (?) where I can't remember a lot of my younger childhood years. I was fourteen when she died and my sister was ten. Yet my sister can remember more. She says that I have selective memory or that I just choose to block out most of it. Maybe it's like that lyric in that song "memories that are too painful to remember, we simply choose to forget".
So, I went inside and started writing everything that I could remember on my blog. I thought maybe if I just "put it all out there" just expose it and THINK about it...maybe it would help. But I just couldn't hit the "publish" button. It's still there. lurking, waiting to be edited. But....how much should I put out there? out HERE? It's something I just never talk about. Something I WASN'T supposed to talk about.
So, I called up my sister and I start telling here this birthday story and before I can finish, she interrupts and says "MOM". That pretty much did it. I just burst into tears.
What is it that I can't remember? I remember all the CRAP that my father did later but...
OK. So, she thinks I should go to a hypnotist and see if that would help. She thinks I NEED to remember. She thinks that whatever the problem is, it has been holding me back.  She thinks it's the root of many things.
One of those being my lack of faith in myself. To be able to be all that I can be. She went on to say that she didn't think I would able to BE an artist because I don't believe it myself. She thinks it's the answer behind my emotional eating, my financial woes and my complete inability not to worry about EVERYTHING.
Well, those are my words, not hers. She was much kinder. Which made me cry more because obviously this is something she's given a lot of thought.
The next day I went to this great flower nursery with her and my eldest niece. It was a little road trip and nice to get away, and talk....
My niece had been living in Chicago and just moved back. She had been volunteering at this New Age type Clinic where they practice energy healing, raiki, aromatherapy, among other things. She felt there were many different ways to go about remembering things. She was talking about books when my sister reminded me of a book she had given me years ago called "Motherless Daughters" by Hope Edelman. She had read the book and felt like it helped her with the loss but when she gave it to me, I had to struggle to just get through the foreword. I was sobbing so bad that I couldn't breathe. I never tried to read it again, it was too painful. Just for a moment I thought about my Mom's hands and how her nails looked. Kind of a strange thing to think about and even stranger to make me cry so.
WHOA! I'm just spilling this out, now I'm not sure that I can post this one. And I'm not even going into the stuff I can recall, like I did in my other "post" attempt... It's just that I have read some other posts by some of my blogger friends and they are not afraid to share and maybe someone out there has experienced something sort of similar.
Today  at work I looked up that book on Amazon, they had a feature where you can view some pages. I read a tiny bit of it again. I could feel my throat closing up. But maybe if I forced myself to think about it. Maybe one memory will lead to another. Maybe I need to do this. There was a paragraph about how sometimes you can just go along fine and then it all the grief comes soaring back to you. How it can be years later. How sometimes something just sparks it. Like a graduation or an event or when your birthday comes and you're the age your mother was...
I plan on ordering that book. The library probably doesn't want me sobbing all over their copy.
So there ya go, my guts are spilled everywhere.
Here are some pics of that nursery.





15 comments:

yoborobo said...

Oh, Cindi - I can hear the pain in your voice. I wish I had all the answers. I wish I could say remembering everything would make it all better for you - but who the heck knows? I think you are going to have to figure out the path for you. I wish you peace with this, because these old ghosts, they are tiresome. Much love to you - xoxo Pam

Autumnforest said...

I'll tell you, I'm pretty much an expert in grief. I lost my dad at 16, my mom at 35, my brother at 38, my sister at 43, and about 2 dozen other family members and friends in between. When you're young and you lose someone, sometimes in order to deal with it, you sort of start a new life after the fact. So, it's like your own timeline starts after the loss. Sort of like moving to a new town and just becoming someone different. You don't identify with the girl you were. Here's what I've learned over the years about grief. It can't kill you, but it can free you. You can't avoid, no matter how hard you try, feeling it. It comes out in a billion different ways. My brother at 21 when my dad died, took to the bottle, 22 years later he died of alcoholic cirrhosis. He took on a vice to avoid the pain and that vice was worse than the original pain. Feelings are energy. They can't kill you, they can't make you go insane, but if you try to hold them in, they become disorders like panic attacks or drinking or overeating. They end up screwing up your life bigger than if you had just cried and gone through the grief and the pain. It's crazy how it works. It will get you in subtle ways forever until you let it finally come tumbling out. You cry a lot, you sob until you hiccup, your belly hurts, your eyes hurt, you dry up every membrane in your body. Yeah, it feels horrible, but it's life. Life is full of heavy laughter, unending tears, and rages... Once you go through it and realize you won't die, you free up all the emotions from extreme joy to extreme sorry. I remind myself that when my father died, I swore I would never ever be happy again. He was my sunshine and my cheerleader. But, since he passed on, I've actually had the happiest moments in my life and having grieved him, I can talk about him and smile and laugh and never ever feel the least bit sad. He's been relegated to the place he would want to be, the happy memories and good influences. You will re-tie with your memories and they will bring up lots of feelings, but it means you're alive and you have the capacity to love and to grieve. It's the greatest honor you give your mother to cry the tears and release her and yourself from the grief. I'm always here, anytime you need a dry shoulder to moisten.

sassypackrat said...

I think that some memories are repressed for a reason. It's your brain's way of protecting you, helping you get thru a rough time. I also think that the repression isn't supposed to last forever, that eventually you need to know what happened in order to move on with your life, to finally become who you were meant to be.

As painful as it will be, it sounds like you need to do it to move on and grow. I wish you all the best in your journey!

oldblackcatboo said...

Thanks Pam, It's nice to know that I have friends out there to talk to. Someone just to listen, it's very comforting and it helps to finally get some of this off my chest.
XOXO - Cindi

oldblackcatboo said...

OMG Autumn, I KNEW that there was a reason that I discovered your blog just before this "thing" happened. I lost my grandma at 12, grandpa at 13, Mom at 14, an adopted older brother who disowned the family when I was 15 (because my Dad remarried someone 3 years younger than adopted brother)uncle at 16 and in between that my Father got rid of my precious pets. I know that it was hard to grieve because I wasn't allowed to talk about my Mom....
But when my Dad died when I was 36, we had already run the rollercoaster of emotions with each other and went from me almost hating him to being best friends. I was devastated and couldn't be happy for a long time but at least people talked about him all the time instead of not being able to speak his name like I was told about my Mom when I was young. Yeah, I have dealt with THAT but now I know I gotta do it with my Mom too. Thanks for all the awesome advice. I'm so happy that I found you.
Your new friend, Cindi

oldblackcatboo said...

Sassy, Thanks so much for being here and being my friend. Yes, I will begin this journey and talk about my Mom and I hope one memory will jog more memories loose in my brain.
But I will also talk about Happy-go-Lightly stuff, like art, flowers and most important...the critters!
XOXO - Cindi

Georgina said...

Cindi,

Oh sweet lady, what can I say? I think you may have to find that road yourself and perhaps this age conversation was meant to be. Perhaps it's time to start looking into your past and you just might find the answers there. I've heard many people say the past can't hurt you...like it hell it can't!!!!

Seek and find and find some solace for yourself. I personally think you're a terrific person, talented, compassionate and loving, but you have to convince yourself you are because this bloggy friend says so!!!

Sending you blessings on your path and good thoughts to guide you.

xxoo,
Georgina

Autumnforest said...

Hey Cindi;
That's what's so amazing about the blog world. I could go around my own city and not run into my own "tribe" anywhere, but I get online a niche area and I find my people. It is hard when someone dies and you can't talk about them. My husband had that situation when he lost his mom at 10. He says he doesn't remember anything before then, which is suspicious. His family would not talk about her at all. Not even a picture of her up. When my dad died, my family talked as if he was still living. It used to creep my husband out when we were dating. I realized that that was just as ineffective as not talking at all about someone because my father traveled all the time and it just felt like he was on a long trip and I didn't grieve properly because it was like he was still alive kind of... I totally get it. There's still nothing that feels better than crying until your stomach muscles aches and then breathing again and letting feeling back in and suddenly you feel a bit less numb and a bit more human. It's really important to go through it--it's only energy, don't need to label it bad or good, just need to expend it. I'm glad we found each other too, but I admit that I have a psychic advantage for knowing whose blogs to read and when. I had a strange pull to go to your blog and you had a new post up. Weird, huh? XXXOOO

Pattee said...

Cindi ~ I don't remember a lot of my childhood either. I just draw a blank.

I think you might want to open that door and look inside...

My heart goes out to you~
Pattee

Pattee said...

You are the second person I know that doesn't like hugs.. but I bug her anyway and hug her...

I took pictures of my old photos and the uploaded them to my computer...

My grandmother (Verna) was such a help on my childhood a protector ~ but a protector from what?

WEll, my sociopath father (her son) for one!

oldblackcatboo said...

Thanks so much Georgina for your kind words. I think that now that I know where to start, I can be on my way to figuring out why I keep holding myself back from achieving all that I can. Especially with all the support that I'm receiving from all my wonderful friends. It brings tears to my eyes to know I have all you girls in my corner! Luv ya! - Cindi

oldblackcatboo said...

OMG Pattee!...the crap we had to deal with when we were kids. Someday I'll talk about MY Dad...who eventually was one of my best friends in later years...but boy, for a while there...
Yes, I am NOT a touchy feel-y person. I cringe when someone grabs my arm to express a point. I'm not sure why, I always hugged my Dad, and my nieces and I'm ALL over MY pets and everyone elses. But just in everyday life, NO! unless someone REALLY needs conmforting! Once at work, one of the girls was upset and I told another girl to go hug her! And my saying that made her LAUGH so I think it was better than a Hug!
(but I'd gladly hug the Hell out of George Clooney! teehee!)

yoborobo said...

Hi Cindi! I was just stopping by to say howdy and to say that I think Autumn is one smart cookie. :) I hope you get lots of 'you' time today. xoxo Pam

oldblackcatboo said...

Happy Mom's Day Pam!
Thanks so much! I plan on cleaning today...both my home and my mind!
and you are right about Autumn! Her comments and emails are helping me so much! She's a godsend!
XOXO - Cindi

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

hi cindi and louie...we are almost exactly the same age. i turn 53 the end of june.....

i have not been very good about blogging....so busy with work and teddy....

i'll try and get some pictures up...i am SO IN LOVE with him...he is the center of our universe...what a LOVE BUG !!!!

we LOVE TEDYY !!!!

sending love to you and little louie.....

kary and teddy