Love is not limited by time, that is certain to LittleMe. Love is expansive, complicated, messy and impossible to keep contained. Control is not Love. A homeless teenager who carries her baby to full term and knows she wants to find a right fix for her socially perceived wrong places her soul, her breath, her entire heart out on a cliff and closes her eyes, praying, convincing herself she is doing the best thing for her creation. The how’s and why’s of her pregnancy are irrelevant because it’s her Love that kept the life, gave the hope and healed from another’s broken promise. Or maybe she sees two special people, man and man capable of Love and no longer silences Love to man and woman. She in her bravery embellishes the essence of Love as Birth Mother. She never walks away. Never stops remembering. Baby placed in another’s arms please be safe from the real worlds harm. Each birthday she remembers you. Each birthday I remember, too. I love My child from another’s time, another’s eyes and not just mine. I don’t want to share but I do. LittleMe reminds me blood is not family often, but without the conscience of one amazing human that I don’t know, I would not be the selfish Mother that I am. I do not want to share, or recall or feel linked in this triage of Love. Then there is more, a brother, too. You are not for me to contain, hold back nor own. And Love, well, my way is always possessive and greedy when I am afraid of being forgotten; be it by my child, my lover, or my Love never given openly to another, I will covet and feel weary. I know no one is really mine. It’s a broken part of me that ROCK believes is ready to open the door and spread some goodness. I hope this is true. I think of the woman who healed when my brother was placed in her arms and want him back. I want to scream for BaDDaD to “go to hell”. I lost someone, too. My heart sees the face like mine in a strange far away and terrifying reunion and I cry. I keep you brother in my pocket and I wish you were more than an image of genes and mistakes. People like me go on loving their abusers, their users and the Truth is simply that we didn’t know we had a choice.
Like a school girl I climbed into bed with my mother tonight, my head on her chest, her arms around me and felt her love. I felt her sorrows, her journey, her grief and strength and in each thump of her heartbeat I was resurrected and know that no matter how hard I love others, how consumed I am with compassion and hope I can not save anyone. I can lose friends I trusted and move forward, I can be disappointed in my children and still care but somewhere in this goulash of mothering and SELF I need to save a bowl of soup for me. I still have a long way to go to know how to put my own needs and mental health out there as a priority. Being, living TRUTH means no stone will be unturned. I still need ROCK and I am sliding along the moss covered stairwell head first to reach my safe place. I have to go back and check on LittleMe as I really am all she has in the end. The quiet of the night is surrounding us. I will tuck my mother in, quiet LittleMe then ROCK will be sure I get to bed and sleep. Before my dreams begin I will pray to everything good and kind in the deep black sky that nothing will hurt me, you, and my family despite knowing it doesn’t matter. I prayed for years and the wrath of Life still held me back, the holiest of spirits and church stomping grounds never saved me. I can’t save me. No one can do the work or put in the time to assess my 59 years but me. I must pull LittleMe up to the top step. ROCK believes in all of me. I honor my roots, my traces of good memories and I am very ready to be WHOLE. The thought and emotional sensation of LittleMe and NOW merging is exciting and extremely frightening. I am guessing no one knows how long it takes to heal unseen wounds and I am very sure I know absolutely nothing…even though I am something. Someone. Somehow. Trying. Try. Try. Going. Up and down. I am Matter. Atoms. Celular bits of life and I didn’t choose to be. I just AM. We are living the best version of “US” that we can. Or are we?
NOW vs. THEN. Yeah, so being a kid sucked mostly for LittleMe and yet I loved my parents despite it all. It was engraved into my bones to love, my blood family left a lot of scars but I had no clue how to heal them for decades. These kind of wounds most people would avoid remembering or hide them out of embarrassment, perhaps drink themselves to death over and usually don’t deal with at all. Some self harm, turn to heroin or jumping off buildings, but I am not recommending either as a way to cope. I chose to keep going back to both parents despite my BaDDaD’s very inappropriate behavior and his con man fuck ups and maybe part of me didn’t care how fucked up he was. At some point, I only knew that my half siblings that kept accruing as his wives and mistresses did would also get hurt or scared or discover what I was told not to talk about. Memories like “Don’t mention that I dated the banker!” then elbowed at dinner, taken aside and given the skinny on his latest scheme aka scam aka great, “manic” huge money making plan that was going to unfold soon. Just follow his lead. He still scams, lies and won’t change. He is not a healthy human being to attach oneself to. For years I sat at the table listening to him lie about everything to his current wife or guests and did wonder often, ” how does she not SEE his bat shit crazy lies?!” His wives and mistresses were intelligent people but he was so convincing. He is a sick man and now I pity him. A life built on twigs, just like the children’s story of the three little pigs. His world fell apart often and he always found another woman to take him in. He is nearing 80 and has no idea what TRUTH is. He will never know. He doesn’t care. Regarding MeanMoM, I at some time had to face her in my 20’s and cry and scream out loud, “WHY DID YOU HURT ME?”. And she would also cry and say crappity crap crap words and I would leave again yet she kept coming back to me. No matter how far I went she came to find me. Over and over again. For redemption. She repeatedly asks for me to be “right with her”. I told her I loved her a gazillion times but I still have anxiety when we are together. “Redemption”, exactly the word written to me before she came this visit. She asked to redeem herself with me. I think you need some Jesus for that. I got nothin’. Nevertheless, she is understood on a deeper level by me now. When she hurts, I hurt. When I hurt she hurts kinda thing. I had to move far, far away from both parents of course and eventually chose to avoid phone calls, dance around visiting with them and I was terrified of trusting anyone. I was diagnosed with CPTSD at 52 years old and I find forgiveness is a relief I never thought I’d achieve. I can now see her also a “victim” of her circumstances and even though she breaks my barriers repeatedly I know she never wanted to be a MeanMoM. And that part of her who hurt me is a scar she lives with. One she feels shame for. We should feel shame if we hurt people. That’s the difference between BaDDaD and NOWMOM. She does get the good versus evil concept. A conscious intention of fighting for the Truth, accepting your ugly parts and owning them is not for weak characters. I have ugly parts. I have pain I inflicted on my partner over the years. I have regrets, but mainly I have the sense to know now that I am not a big ball of nothing. I feel. I am blessed with Truth and it comforts me. My father will never want redemption. Only people with authenticity want to come forward and choose the right thing. I don’t feel sorry for me Now. I feel sorry I was unable to begin to help LittleMe heal so late in my journey. I am here for Littleme. I am piecing who we really are back together day by day, in this old, 1780’s farmhouse, within this beautiful yet complex relationship I have made with another human. One who is perplexed by me yet keeps loving me. I still want to run away when I am scared, but somehow, I know I must stay and look into my husband’s eyes and cry. I don’t have to know why I am crying because I am a whole lot of unanswered prayers and his love is so steadfast despite my unraveling from the seams now and then. Good can still be out there for all of us. And inside the darkness remember there is a ray of sunlight under the doorway at the top of the stairs. Keep climbing.
NOW. Exhausted yet awake LittleMe is so sad she can’t shut down her pain. Pain that is tied not only to BaDDad but also to MeanMom. I have worked so hard to make you satisfied with me, grateful for my devotion despite your ugly words, reminders of that harsh leather belt stinging my bare skin, your icy glares of disapproval and my whole world being about you. It had to be. You, too were a narcissist. I understand your childhood was hellish yet why did you take It all out on me, your only child? I remember how everyone loved you, your beauty, charm and wit. No one would believe that you were more like a “Mommy Dearest” behind closed doors. I learned very early on to try and please you and it has followed me all the way through life. I try way too much care too much, love too much and always wonder how normal it might feel to live without this muslin blanket around me that squeezes out every bit of me until I am trapped in my own repetitive way. I turned to spiritual growth as I tried to cut the proverbial cord from you, and truly thought all decent humans want to become morally cognisant, continually bettering one’s behaviors, rough edges, just fucking grow the hell up. But it’s not like that. I have loved atheist and thought they would see that you don’t need the Bible Belt literally to whack you into bettering yourself. One can simply get old and not care or think about the reaper’s shadow. One can hide their entire lives and just get the mail, drink wine and read book after book and never once allow the pit of existence to meet the ID. You wrote a letter to me before you visited seeking redemption, claiming to know why I left you to go live with BaDDaD but you broke us apart. You told me I had done very bad things, made wrong choices and was the cause of your breakdown. I luckily have been using mindfulness techniques and meditation more and handled you gently like you were the broken porcelain doll that dropped from the window sill. I left your bedside quivering and wondering how fast you could snap. I have removed a pawn, retreated, lost in the darkness of youthful anguish and guessing games. I have tried to hold onto you despite your never admitting the depth of abuse you invoked. I had chosen the lesser of two evils long ago and repeatedly I’ve forgiven you. It doesn’t get better despite your efforts because there has always been two moms, maybe more. The mom who gave me lists of chores so long everyday that I couldn’t be a kid and certainly couldn’t do my homework. You invaded my personal boundaries, and still do. You, the mom who was hurried and had no time to listen, the pincher, slapper and owner of such a ferocious temper that it squashed LittleMe down into such fear of you I quit eating, ran away from home and have kept trying to please you out of fear of rejection for fifty nine years. My birthday is in two days. I always imagine how it should be. I wanted you here to feel loved by you, to feel better about us and all I want is for you to go away. I will be tolerant until the end of your stay but this is my home and you can’t stay here again. Ever. You broke my hope. I don’t want you to sing for me when you can’t own the words that burned me. I am growing and see that some of my family here doesn’t “get me” either. I am not the same person as yesterday or the day before. I am holding my boundaries and not afraid to start reliving my life alone now. It is supposed to get better. That has always been my plan. The story unfolds and I am in charge of my ending. I am a powder puff mushroom, you can kick me and watch as I disperse. I will grow back and stronger every single time.
It’s very important to explore the deeper self, recognize our triggers and let those around us know about them.
ROCK has pulled LittleMe to her feet; she complains they feel like lead. He pushes her up a few stairs and taps on the small door that reads, “21”. LittleMe pulls out the small, tattered box marked Santa Fe. Shall we have a look? LittleMe remembers her abilities, her abled body, her dance, her talent and wants to throw it in the fire, the piping hot flames whisper burn, burn, burn them. ROCK taps on her head gently and forces her to remember. What strength in those little legs, the ones that ran up through the #SangredeCristo trails and fled from her past, masked her anguish and gave her courage.
She had such drive and focus on healing, yet she still did not know what exactly made her feel she must seek refuge in the wilds of the southwest’s terrain. New air. Air so clean, skies so large and blue, the kind of blue that makes a person wonder what is beyond. Her heart sped through each memory and her body could out run them all; out swim them all, out drink them all, oust them, joust them and yet, never tame them. She thought she was far enough away that she could move forward and not remember. She thought she knew what love was and that it would last beyond the desert sunrise, beyond the discovery of desire and lust. LittleMe looks in the eyes of the person she loved then and perhaps a bit of her will always be grateful for the nudge in her self esteem this human gave her even if it didn’t last. This love said as if all at once when she was shaking, “you are the most beautiful woman everywhere we go; that’s why people stare at you”, then what seemed minutes later but was perhaps some months from then, “my mother doesn’t think you are the kind of woman for me; you will not be as educated as I will be and you could hold me back.” Yes. It’s so. His MOTHER SAID….said LittleMe was not enough. She couldn’t be; she wanted to be, yet she had no inkling how to change into Boston College material or a Vasser girl. Not then. She only knew how to please. It’s as if she had been cursed with promises, all broken ones, and that she had to continue to hide, run and escape the world she found so desperate to beat her. Twenty-one years old LittleMe was having a birthday extravaganza with two bright young women, one became a professor of something and the other who knows. They were the kind that fit the east coast’s mold; they had parents who embellished them to embrace their college years and let them sow their youth whimsically in Santa Fe awhile, parents to support their play time, loved ones who flew out to see them and sent them care packages for fun. They saw LittleMe as one of them. She was not. She was splintered plywood, J.C. Penny’s, the sales rack, the book never checked out from the library and an unfinished year of community college; yet her beauty, her eyes, her perfectly formed body that was encapsulating her grief served as her pass to be part of someone’s life, just for awhile. Someone who was from old money, scholarly, men in suits and ties and enchanting, that is until the lover’s mother said LittleMe was not suitable for engagement. So she ate peyote, did shots of tequila and drank Tecate with the two better young women, the more than she could be types and the lover who needed her to move on wanted her so desperately back that birthday night, to own her flesh again, to make one last toast with Roxy Music in the background and with pools of hot salt water tears rolling down her cheeks, she said no. No. No he could not have her, he could not want her, he could not taste her, feel her or use her laughter or charm for his arm anymore. He compared her to the fragile “Norma Jean” while her very brilliant friends held her long, thick frosted hair away from her face as she vomited up her birthday cake. Twenty one and alone, vulnerable as a newborn giraffe on the African plains, struggling to get up on her wobbly legs before the sprinting prey discovered her smell, she began again. And again. Goodbye Norma Jean still is haunting, not being suitable or enough lingers like sour stomach acid rising into the throat. Her body is weak in it’s structure, soon fifty-nine and beauty is no longer enough. She can’t run from herself now, from anyone or any pain. ROCK snatches this box of time away and knows she is breakable yet ROCK is sure now of one merger that has come with time; her physical pain is so blinding, so smothering that now what is inside her heart and what weakens her sense of self matches perfectly well with her frail bones which holds her NOT ENOUGH memories together.
I am free here. ROCK says this is my playground and my rules RULE! I DoNOtHaVe2UsE PROPer punK CHEW-A.SHUN. I don’t have to please anyone, not even myself. I will ignore this attempt of LittleMe to run away with this childish notion for now. Nearing complete darkness the lake is not visible from the bedside window. Rain and scrawny trees and the reflection of three candles are front stage. Enter left, a door open just enough to be welcoming and polite yet it desperatly wants to be slammed shut. NO. The door wants for nothing. It’s an object says my inner creative writing professor. I am not an object. I am objectified. I can slam the door. If I stand up and slam the door the door will instantly alert others to my inner turmoil and strife. I don’t want to alert anyone. I have decided being unneccessary, unwanted or ambivolent is my new bag. I will write and write and write and no one can take that from me. No one can take me from me here. I need me. I need to be me. And if I scream from these pages in sadness, fury or hum softly with a lonesome hint of life, I can do just that. Now, HERE! is where my life is and there will be pauses for the mundane overtures of living but I will never come out of this palace of words and real trust that ROCK gives me. I won’t be needing much of anything again. Just me, ROCK, past, NOW, a minute from now, two days from now, to the end of me. ROCK dies with me. I am not alone with ROCK. I do not know why I ever thought I was special outside of this cemented stairwell and why I desired the light everyone finds a need to grapple for. Light leads me right back down to the cold, gray and ridged walls of reality. I smile at the familiarity. Happiness is not obtainable for everyone; it’s a whole lot of work and repetition of worn out half truths and dried flowers that should be thrown out. I don’t have to be liked or loved or ever seen again, for afterall, who I am is only between me and the hand that drives my pen or the fingers which type these thoughts. My heart is much too complicated for my brain. The question I am tossing up is ( *no one can answer me* ) should I listen to my brain and write about my heart or listen to my heart and write about my brain? Now there is a cunundrum. Cunundrum. CUN. NUN. DRUM. UNDRUM. Crummy word.
The words reverberate as the blood pumps through my chest; a knocking on my chest wall, much faster than a gentle beat. I am trying to reach you. I am bleeding with wounds that no longer heal with a simple apology. I am saving myself, tourniquet on tight from being no one again. I don’t need a love that questions my intentions. Silence is fearful for the answer is to only give of me without authenticity, a lost soul clinging to what was what I believed my haven. I am cold and it frightens me to listen to my own heart beat out of step with you.
I believe other people see me. I believe I am simple and my altruistic heart is understood. I have found those who claim to love me most deliver me my worst pain; I am a disturbing, empathetically redundant woman. I feel emotions and I feel love, always wanting to make a difference in this life but seem to fail. I too may need saving. I can’t bare to look up and see the stars beauty and feel alone. There is a song..a song we know well. Something special. Is it, “Oh darling please don’t let me be misunderstood”? Regardless, I am alone with my heart, my life as it is and yes, I am afraid. I was afraid from a very young age and after fifty plus years I still live in fear of hurt. Thank you ROCK for sparing me. If it was not for your sheath, your solid house that encompasses me I don’t know if I would still be alive. I live for my only child and gave up on my own shadow and dreams of love. Now, it is my devotion to my daughter that gets me on my feet, even if I must stand on hot coal and a bed of nails in my naked Truth.
ROCK guides LittleMe up, up, up and OUT! The sky although fairly clear is exposing, threatening, a violation of her fear. Hesitant ROCK pushes her into the light and shows her what real fear is. There, the children with swollen bellies and caved in eyes; There the fish floating dead on the polluted waters; There the Roma, nomadic woman forced on the street corner to beg for money; There the child abandoned because his mother was infiltrated by addictions she could not escape; People broken by loveless fathers, families and lovers. Look! Are you alone? Are you sufferring in self pity or is your hurt, your worth, your being more worthy? It’s the question of philospher’s for thousands of years, nothing one woman or man can answer. Bow to your pain, repent. LittleMe wants to hide, not know anymore than she does and Life is like that tiny shift an old house makes year after year until one day someone says, this house is not level. It is crooked and bent and needs so much work. Work that costs money, time, passion, drive, and it will take a very unique person to take on this mess, unveil it’s beauty, release it’s memories, embrace it’s dream.