Bittersweet

bittersweet

Forcing myself to write…even if it’s not good writing. My hope is that by forcing myself to do it without ant concern or worry of the quality, the tone, the content, or the value, then I might slowly regain my voice again. I need my voice. I need my voice even if no one ever reads my words. I need my voice even if no one believes me. I hope to someday think and feel eloquently again and write that, but until then, forced it is.

Living in my daddy’s big old house is an experience that fully defines the adjective, bittersweet. I head into the kitchen where my dad spent the majority of his time in the 24 years he lived in this house… I head in there to make something for lunch. It is, like me, a contradiction and maybe that’s precisely why I’m so comfortable within that very discomfort? However, this goes far beyond a mere contradiction straight to bittersweet…all contradictions at one time – a simultaneous infusion of emotions, memories, thoughts, words, expressions, situations, and people…pushing right up against each other, smacking each other around the edges of what defines them.

I head into his kitchen… and standing in there as I think of what I might want to whip up for lunch, the urge to be given one more chance to cook for him stings. It stings like 5,000 wasps have landed on my heart and my gut…and they’re angry. They sting all at once and so viciously that my eyes water, screaming for that moment of relief tears would bring. I usually fight them though, almost as though I don’t deserve to cry; as though I don’t deserve that millisecond of relief when the tears finally roll. And I want so badly to just call out through the house into the living room where my daddy is watching golf, some old western movie, or maybe a country music video, Hey Daddy? Can I make you some lunch?  I want to so badly because I think of the million times I could have hollered that out…and didn’t. And from there, I think of the 200 zillion delicious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that man made me over my lifetime. I think of my favorites. I think of him asking me what I would like to eat as though I were in a restaurant and anything could be whipped up at my desire. I think of later years as an adult how every single visit to daddy’s house was greeted with, Hey baaaaaby (that BIG SMILE lighting up his whole face)! There’s some beef stew/spaghetti/steak/biscuits and gravy/ Hamburger Helper/tuna salad/prime rib/barbecue ribs/potato salad (enter any number of delicious Southern dishes in here). Are you hungry?

I need to DO something FOR HIM….do something without asking anything first or in return or anytime within the next week or month or best yet, year, from him. I’m hit with the undeniable, painfully fervent need to do for him…take care of him…serve him… you see, this was who he was. He did this all my life for me and then when I had two children, he simply added two more people to serve up his kindness and generosity, his time and undivided attention, his compassion, his wisdom…all things that he could serve us laced with his love. And my daddy had a great big love for us. In fact, great big doesn’t really even begin to describe it. This man – this old-fashioned, hardworking, traditional values, classic southern man would serve us like a slave maid. And always did so with a BIG smile and happy heart, with never a single complaint or a whine or a tiny hint of much-deserved martyrdom guilting techniques or sighs. No. He served us like princesses and was unbelievably joyful to be doing it. Nothing was too much for him to do for us. Absolutely nothing.

 

(Side note: a great irony to this massive, unlimited, willingness to give and serve we three girls he loved so great big are the hundreds of stories my mother told me growing up about my dad. There were countless ugly stories where he was some kind of chauvinist pig demanding maid, cook, and personal service while selfishly not contributing whatsoever. Actually, worse even than simply not contributing, the stories were more along the lines of, “Your dad didn’t care one bit if we had food in the house or if we all starved to death. There were so many times I didn’t know how I would feed you two kids. Your dad would go on binges for weeks at a time when I didn’t know where he was or when he was coming back or when we would eat again.”)

So, as I step in that kitchen where the majority of 24 years’ worth of memories were made, I desperately want to serve him even just for one split second…serve him as unselfishly, joyously, and eagerly as he did me and my two children. I want to show him how happy I would be to do for him even if it’s just bringing him a cup of coffee.   I’m learning so much about my flaws, my weaknesses, my shortcomings throughout the nightmare of the past two years. In my daddy’s kitchen, I realize the bottomless depth of my fears…and I grasp the fullness of my excuses. I may not be one for blame so much, but I’m certainly the queen of excuses: legitimate excuses, ridiculous excuses, emotional excuses, any number of those pesky little stupid explanations for why.

Why… is always such a painful question.  Ouch!
You see, I realize so much now that although I am by nature as giving and loving as my daddy (thank you for that characteristic by the way, Daddy!), I’m the laziest perfectionist you could ever know. Therefore, in spite of my eagerness to do for others – and particularly my beloved daddy – I would rather do nothing than do something in return that could never come close to measuring up to the gift I’ve received. And it always seemed anything I could have done for my daddy would be akin to putting a drop of water back in the ocean after taking enough out to fill 500 Olympic sized swimming pools. If I can’t return a favor equally or better yet, in spades more than I have been given, then I typically don’t do anything at all. Pretty flawed logic, huh? And the bottom line truth of me is that I never had any remote degree of physical, mental, emotional, or financial abundance to ever come even close to matching what my daddy gave and did for me and my children all my life. So, I typically did very little in return other than chronically express my hopes and prayers that “someday” I would be able to do something great big and wonderful in return. I mean, I expressed gratitude and gratefulness, love and appreciation daily, I honored birthdays and Fathers’ days in every way I was able albeit usually smaller ways than I’d have liked and constantly professed my love for him, and I did most everything he ever asked of me which was very rare and usually minor. And meanwhile, out of my desire to match up to his giving magnitude, I did practically nothing of those little daily graceful kindnesses in return. Never realizing how much those little drops in the ocean could have been accumulating over the years…before time ran out.
Standing in my daddy’s kitchen deciding what to make for lunch, the sheer volume of his grace and blessings on me over my 44 years wash over me like a fresh splash of a gigantic salty ocean wave. I am humbled to my knees by it. And as it washes over me, it stings a million tiny cuts in my skin of all the lost opportunities I didn’t get to do for him and burns with the dreaded realization that death makes those little and big opportunities gone forever.

Realizations

Writing is my breath, my oxygen, my life-line.  I suddenly realize that I can’t write anymore unless I’m gloriously in love or have a knife stabbing in my gut.  The rest of the time, I’m too numb to breathe… I’ve become like a person on the operating table so full of anesthesia that they have to be reminded or forced to breathe.

I no longer have the ability to feel anything less than absolute excess.  Am I dead?  How did this happen?  Is the rest only a formality?

Letter to God

I broke the rules.  I did.  I can’t blame him this time.  I’m guilty.  I broke the rules I laid in place.

My friend died and I wonder why no matter what happens:  death, illness,  nightmare, anything that shakes me up at all…..I can’t rest easy until I’ve been with him.  I get consumed with thoughts of how short life is and what really matters at the end of it all….and it becomes an uncontrollable need to just have him close to me, as though the only thing in the world that can provide any comfort that there really is meaning or sense to it all is time with him.  I would like to rid myself of this.  He is the enigma and the solution to my confusion.  Does that sense of comfort he brings come from my denial to accept that it isn’t what it was and that his claims that he doesn’t ever want it to be that?  I guess denial has to be comforting or we’d all rather look at reality…

I’ve never known a reality before that has so many holes and soo much confusion to it though.  Or do I create those in my mind?  I just don’t know anymore. 

He let me in at 6 am, which was shocking…and he held me so close as I sobbed my heart out…half of those tears from the loss of my friend and half from the pain and confusion of the man holding me as I cried.  And I told him all the things I don’t say anymore.  The same things he says to me when he comes over drunk.  That nothing makes sense until I’m next to him.  That when I contemplate life, I sometimes have to think that 4 hours of utter bliss followed by a sense of agony is better than spending those same four hours fighting with myself.  Other times when life still seems eternal, I think holding out for myself and what I really want is the best choice. 

I just started wondering if I knew I would be gone tomorrow, would “settling” for just those few hours of pure happiness feel as though I compromised myself?  Would it matter? I think I’d just be grateful to have the memories of those hours to take with me beyond….  I don’t think that on the last day of my life, I will regret anything but the times I wasted, fighting myself into staying away..hoping that what once was will be again if I can just stay away from that joy and insist on all or nothing.

To live each moment as if it were your last…come what may before and after or to plan and contemplate, maneuver and fight trying to mold life into exactly what I want….still having no reassurance that I’ll get that in the end anyway.

And what does God want?  I feel He would want me to uphold my personal morals in the face of desire and seeking pleasure.  Then, I think He doesn’t want us to suffer, does He?  I have lost my friend and my entire sense of what’s right or wrong anymore.

I wrote a letter to God asking him.  Now, I have to just find the faith that He will answer.

Sleeping with the enemy

You were a vampire from the start

feeding on my innocence

I was desperate for faith

It was easy for you to lead me to trust

You – the enemy.

This rape, your rape, is within the law

A selfish persistent rape of my heart

Which your lack of conscience helps you deny

You’re good like that

I am not.

I have no blanket of emotion-less steel

to protect either my heart or my reactions.  

I was not trained to respond quietly

While being repeatedly raped

As you smile and tell me I am not.

I am raw and simple when I feel danger

I scratch and push. I yell and scream.

Yes, I fight like a girl to protect myself from

The cruel cold pain you use to slice my heart

To shreds

As you feel nothing but twisted desire

I don’t have the deceitful

Mechanisms you employ to protect yourself

And use people to get what you need.

I haven’t allowed the world or you to instill these in me

I don’t have the greedy selfish coldness you have

I fight against it.

I do not want it.

Not even with quiet predators like you.

You will kill me someday,

In the only way you haven’t already.

I will be dead and you’ll

merely move on to the next hunt.

…never satisfied.

Goodbye to the crazy girl!

Hey, when she dies, who will tell him he is partially responsible?  I hate to give in to the melodrama of blame and responsibility…not my thing really… but really….who will tell him?  Will he be held accountable in any way?

Will he get off completely scott-free?  Will they all say goodbye to the crazy girl?  Goodbye crazy girl…you amused us for awhile.  We all anxiously awaited your end,  while we dreaded the end of our fun and games, we grew tired of it all at the same time.  We hated ourselves for hating you…a defenseless, spineless human being trying to spread your love around…weakly fighting off our attacks…although we never really tired of attacking and laughing as we watched you squirm uncomfortably and cry out for help.  We loved how crazy you seemed!  And he will stand there grinning innocently as if to say, “See, I told you all, all along”, with just the tiniest note of a smirk at his hidden success. No one will know because she was always alone.

Target the victims.  No one cares enough to hear them.  No one cares about them even if they do squeal and scream a bit.  They are an easy shot.  Like shooting fish in a barrel!

Even her own attacked her, if she ever had any of her “own”…  Did she?  We think not.  They joined us long ago.  She stood alone…  swimming futilely in circles, actually believing she was getting somewhere.  As always.  The hand that writes the future as though it were the past.  No, she stood alone in her craziness.  Alone for all anyone could see….  Except for that slight sinister shadow in the background.  The shadow that always slips away undetected.  The shadow that claims no idea it is at all sinister.  After all, she is crazy!  At her funeral, her own will have the opportunity to openly join forces with those responsible.  They can commiserate at how difficult she made it all for them.

Maybe he did not pull the trigger…no.  He wouldn’t.  She could never be worth that risk.  He risked once already for her and look at what that brought him.  No.  However, he can nurture the seeds of worthlessness, which her own planted long ago.  He can water them, support them, encourage them, heartily eat the fruit from her tree, until it is barren of any treasure.

He can  hand her the gun, all loaded and cocked,  ready to fire, whisper words of nothingness into her soul and then walk away from the really dirty part.  Walk away from the crime itself.  The obvious crime he wants no part of.  Without that, there can be no blame. No recoil.  No punishment because there was no crime except hers.

If he sets the stage just right and gives all the perfect direction of an award winning director, maybe someday with all his excellent direction, she will succeed at something? 

If so, who will credit him his due?  After all, although the target was so easy, it was still quite the cunning masterpiece!

 

 

 

 

Thoughts and pieces

How could I ever prepare for an absence the size of you?

I came across this quote from a poem today.  Don’t know the author for certain, so I can’t give credit where it’s due.  Apologies.

I’ve been unable to write much.  The scattered pieces of my pain have finally collaborated in their separation, grown massive,  and I seem to be unable to piece them together into organized words.  I think I almost hate you for that.

Right there was everything.  You said so yourself, unless you were lying even then.  You entered paradise, filled with exotic flowers of passion, sunlight of devotion and love unencompassed, meadows of abundance and the rubbery resillience of hope. Raping the land of love like a vicious sociopath.  And I hate you for taking everything and leaving nothing. You were a greedy monster and I was the hopeful fool.  Could you not have left something?  A broken stem, a withered petal, a tiny thread of light?  Ahhhhh, but you did…and that was the cruelest of all.  It was with that which you killed me.  True to your delightful “new” character of bitterness, you left only enough rope for me to hang myself with.  And I wonder if you were you smart enough to know what you were doing?  Today, I have to tell myself you were.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll tell myself that too.

Should hope sustain us?  Hope is the enemy.  As long as you have hope, there’s still something left to be taken.  Hope lives in the soul and can’t be taken without a fierce fight; not without taking parts of the vessel which contains it, as you clutched and clung, grasped and lied.  The only peace is when there’s nothing left.  As long as I want for peace, I am still wanting and cannot have peace.  To reach that place where you’ve nothing left inside, but if you’ve nothing left inside, how does one continue?  There must be something in there or I would be physically dead as well.

I’d better go count my blessings.  I’ve fallen in the pit of apathy and self pity.  Yuk!  It’s horrendous in here….  Let me out!!

 

Grief

It’s been a long slow torturous battle.  I’m devastated that the end is to be death after all.  No amount of fighting for the cause could stop it.  The ghost of resurrection has been running around making me believe nothing is permanent.  The ghost of days past.  I have wrestled and argued, screamed and kicked, prayed and begged, but this was inevitable, wasn’t it?  Why was I so ignorant and unaccepting?  Forever is a long time and eternity is all that lasts.

I loved you truly.  I can’t believe you’re gone.  I hope you find a happier place where you can know peace and love.  I wonder how much longer I’ll last.  Food has no taste and sleep doesn’t visit me often, but then I think of the darkness of your hidden misery and I know I’ve no right to complain or judge.  So many years of this.  Is there still enough time and energy to save myself?  Do I have the strength?  Will I find the motivation?  Do I have the desire?  What comes after this?  Will you rise above and resurrect yourself?  Do you even know you’re gone?  Do you believe in yourself now?

Funny, how death means I don’t need to seek so many answers.  My head only  spins a little and that might be just from habit or my coming-to from spinning so long?  Is there life after love?  Is there recovery from scars so deep they’ve altered one’s very spirit and essence?

I am light.  I am love.  I will love you always, even when I’m angry, even when I’m hurt.  When I’ve nothing tangible left to believe, I’ll always think of you. I forgive the abuse your tormented soul heaped on my heart.  I’m angry and I plan to be angry for awhile.  Will I always belong to the dead?  How will I live among that decay and stench?

My soul is locked in an eternal embrace of the heart that once lighted up my universe.  I will find my way…maybe back to you…maybe not.  God’s will is all I seek.