Excerpts from counseling chats, #1

The last few years culminated into feeling like a dream for the last several months – I have literally survived, I realize now, by living in a whole non-reality, on autopilot, and there are very few everyday experiences and mundane daily tasks that I do now without being in an almost confused state. Like, “what is this?” or, “how did I ever do that…I don’t remember…”

I am beginning to realize that I actually exist – and can exist – as a being separate from continuous worry and fear about/for my mother, and I have completely forgotten how to be that person. I still wake up some mornings, if I’m not already at my moms, with this programmed state of, “I have to go check on my mother,” being the first literal and conscious thought in my head. Even if I stay there, which I haven’t been able to peacefully do yet, I find myself in the mindset that I have to get up every few hours to check and feel guilty when I wake up and think I forgot to set alarms to wake up.

Everyone says, “it’s got to be such a relief, though, since she died…” It is, in some ways. But in others, it is the same, just different, level of stress to readjust to “normal,” which is difficult now anyway because WHAT IS NORMAL in a world of COVID? I focus myself on cleaning and doing what needs to be done before anything else (music, photography, etc.) when the things I used to do I was only able to do mindlessly, really – just as a distraction from insanity.

I don’t know if this will make sense to anyone who reads. It has to sound like the ravings of a lunatic mind – but as I’m remembering my intelligent, creative, indulgent, passionate, and subconscious mind I find myself feeling everything from confusion to guilt to elating freedom to even complete blankness and emptiness.

It’s not the grief. Well, it’s partially that but only about 3/4. I don’t know, in this moment, WHAT the word or feeling or experience is. I remember going to through it to some extent after Dorie died and I had been such an integral part of taking care of her, but it wasn’t the same as this, nor was the care.

24/7 worry and anxiety about someone for years, and then 24/7 for months – even to the point of every single daily task they needed to do and then to the point of helping them through every moment of their death…it’s a completely different experience to readjust to existing without that task attached to your back when it was there for so long.

So yeah, you’d think it’d be lighter, more peaceful existence…but it’s actually more like a feeling of chaos. I hope like hell it doesn’t last long. I have too much to do – and, too much I want to do. I assume it will last through and a bit beyond probate because that limits me on the speed at which I can chose to move forward and move on… If it were up to me, I’d snap my fingers and life and the “me” I was “pre-Alzheimer’s parent” would click right back into place.

We don’t get into any state of being in the blink of an eye and we become the next version of ourselves even less quickly, I suppose. That’s been my past experience. So trudge along and get it done, I guess… ((Yawn.))

🤷‍♀️

Never

Sometimes,

a thing needs to get lost,

never to be found again,

before I realize just how much

it really meant to me while I had it.

Her laugh,

her smile,

her scent,

her softness,

the sparkle in her eyes

when I’d tell her the secrets of my heart…

and the fire in them

when I’d tell her the pain in it.

I never expected to have a “her”

in my life.

I never expected “her”

to last twenty years…

Then, cancer.

Three years later,

three years since the end,

I’m more convinced than ever I

never will again.

Sometimes a thing,

like this one,

doesn’t get lost.

It is taken.

Stolen away,

for what seems like no reason at all.

That pain never heals.

Never.

~C.

I wonder…

I wonder…

what is underneath that smile,

what hides behind that sparkle in your eyes.

if you are as strong,

as confident,

as your acitons express,

or if you carry hidden burdens

and an aching in your soul

that only you can see.

I wonder if you are like me…

C.

Then There Was You

My life was crashing

down all around me.

The rubble –

it was ugly

and the cloud of dust it created

was too dense to see through.

I thought I would suffocate.

And then,

there was you…

You saw me through that cloud

when I couldn’t even see myself.

I don’t know how,

or why…

but I could suddenly breathe again…

Because then,

there was you.

C.

Live

LIVE your life.

Be who you were

before the world told you

that you had to be someone else.

Be all the things

life has told you not to be –

open,

forward,

brave,

unashamed,

unafraid.

Be a radical nonconformist,

let your spirit blaze.

Be unrestrained in your fervor,

in your passion…

Be wild.

Be free.

C.

Unafraid

Good morning. 👋 Welcome to this morning’s ramble, which has brought me to the deep, sudden and unexpected realization that in my “oversharing,” I’m not crazy or weird at all. I’ve let certain people almost covince me that I am at different times in my life, and there’s always been a sort of overshadowing insecurity in me about that, off and on. This morning I feel as though, well, I’m not crazy at all. I’m just unafraid to express myself (and pretty good at it, too)…

Last night, I ended up watching “The Monster Calls” with my son, who couldn’t sleep. You wouldn’t think a movie like that would help him sleep (spoiler alert, the mother dies of cancer), but after watching it and cuddling close and having a good cry together, he slept just fine.

I, on the other hand, have been awake most of the night and wondering what I did to deserve such an amazing kid to help me through my own troubles. This morning (as of 4:33, when I’m writing this), I still feel physically horrible (that hole in stomach, you know) and fairly anxious (because I wasn’t expecting the graphic cancer/death ptsd triggers in that movie), but I also feel so happy and grateful deep within. That boy. I just love him so…

After a brief nap I can’t sleep again, so I just keep alternating between watching him sleep and typing away on my laptop, banging out my frustrations and fears and pain into the same, now monotonous and annoying, adjectives and analogies. I suppose it stems from being so bored with what my eyes and my mind keep seeing that I decided to imagine my laptop as this classic Smith-Corona (thumbnail photo) instead of the 8-year-old MacBook that it is.

Oh, the memories… Even down to the color, it’s just like the Smith-Corona my mother wouldn’t let me touch as a child despite my desperation to caress and become one with it. I literally felt like it was a sin to touch that typewriter and that I’d go to hell if I did (thanks again for the ridiculous, guilt inducing religious undertones to EVERYTHING in life, Ma). I think that typewriter is what made me aware that I wanted to write in the first place, and that my oversharing now is some strange, delayed rebellion to that feeling from childhood.

Hashtag psychology, you know?

I was always obsessed with that typewriter. If a child can covet, that’s what I was feeling. Then, when I was 13, my mother sold the damned thing for $40 in an estate sale after my grandmother died. When I asked why, she explained that she just didn’t want it anymore. So why couldn’t I touch it if she didn’t really love it? And, since she knew how much I loved it, why couldn’t I have had it?

The ridiculous truth is, I’m still sad about that… Anyway, now if only I could get my insomnia/malnutrition induced delusion to include the clickety-clack and the ding…

Ramble over… Hope y’all have a lovely, inspired day out there in the world. Make it count. All the love to you. 

❤️😘✌️🙏🏼

C.