Changed_Forever²

Random thoughts of a domestic goddess, first time mom, and survivor of suicide.

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Location: Texas, United States

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Lessons Learned

When I was seven my Grandmother died of breast cancer and my Grandpa quickly remarried and moved away. He was never involved in our lives much. He didn't even take the time to come down for my wedding. When he grew older and needed someone to care for him, he came to live near my Mom and later had to move in with my parents. His wife high tailed it as soon as he got sick.

I refused to grow close to him even though now he was living close to me. I always thought to myself, "You had your chances old man... why should I get close to you now only to have you die and break my heart." It served me well. When my Grandpa passed away I didn't feel much, except for sympathy for my Mom and her brothers and sister. It's not like I was glad he died but I didn't miss him once he was gone.

When I first got married at the age of 17 I had made a decision to build a wall between me and my Mom. She had taught me, by her actions, to never depend on her. I knew in my heart she would never be the kind of Mom that some of my friends had. The kind that shared everything with their daughters. Playing a huge role in their lives from the planning of their wedding to the birth of a child. I knew I couldn't confide in my Mom when I was having trouble in life... it was always going to be me and only me. I took pride in that lesson learned. I used to tell my Mom that I was proud of who I had become and the problems I had went through as a child had molded me into the person I was today. She used to cry and tell me again and again how sorry she was for things that happened while I lived at home. I forgave her whole heartedly, but still I kept the wall. I'd be damned if she was going to hurt me anymore, so the wall stayed in place and while there were times when I would allow a small fissure to open up and let a bit of closeness in for the most part I did not.

I saw my Mom at least once a week and talked to her probably 3 times a week. We were as close as I wanted to be to her as an adult. She, on the other hand always wanted more. She could sense the wall. The wall was hitting her in the face when I became pregnant. I added some extra security around the top of the wall... protecting my daughter from her hurtful ways before she was ever born.

My Mom threatened suicide so often through the years that at times I thought it was just her need to grab up attention. She always seemed to do something stupid when the spotlight happened to be on another family member. I used to get so fed up with all of her antics that I used to play it out in my head... "Ok... Mom's dead, she's finally done it... How will I handle it?" In my fantasies I would imagine that I would be relieved, sad but relieved. I would grieve for her but be relieved that she had finally gotten it over with.. finally the constant threat would be complete. I used to actually say, "Once she's done it, yeah, I'll be sad and then I'm going to get over it and go on living." In my fantasy I really believed that I would be sad for maybe 4 or 5 months but that the WALL I had build would somehow PROTECT me. HA!!! How fucking wrong I was. I feel so nieve now, so STUPID. How did I honestly think that I could protect myself from her death? Was it worth it all of those years, not even really getting to know who she was? Was it worth the protection it ensured me while she was living? Oh yes, I faired much better than my sisters who didn't have a wall and who dealt with a tremendous amount of shit over the years. I didn't have to deal with much of that, because my Mom knew I wouldn't allow her to play head games with me. If I'm honest with myself then yes... that wall has also helped me now, even in death. Why then do I feel so guilty about it? Why do I wish I could go back and allow us to get closer? I think it's just my heart that is breaking because there is no chance now that I will ever have a relationship with my Mom. My head still knows that the wall was a good thing, but the lesson learned here is this. No wall is tall enough, thick enough, strong enough to block out the pain that the death of a Mother brings.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

In Pain Again

Dear Mom,

I’m missing you terribly again. I find myself going back over the last time I was with you. I know you already knew you were going to die that day… I can’t believe you could look at me, so pregnant, and think that it was the right thing to do… to die. You hid your choice so well… the way you intended to. No one in our family would have thought for a second you would die before seeing our baby. I remember when I talked to you on Sunday, hours before you killed yourself, you were not in a good place I could tell. I did wonder if you would even come to the hospital the next day. I wondered if you would be willing to be there with Kimberly and Misty when you all had been fighting. How was I to know you had no intention of being there….ever.

Why did you have to be so hateful and burn the house down? Why did you have to destroy everything and make the pain that much worse? I know if there was a way for you to come back here to earth you would never be able to forgive yourself for the trauma and pain you caused all of us. The funny thing is… if there was a way to bring you back I would forgive you a thousand times over. I would relentlessly find a way to help you forgive yourself and get back to being a happy family.

This just sucks beyond words…. It sucks and hurts so much. I miss your smile, I miss your laugh, I miss your hugs… I miss all the things I told you I loved about you. All those things I wrote on pretty paper and put in a glass jar for you… that jar was on the bar, you walked right past it… out to the back yard to die. My whole life I always felt like I wasn’t good enough for you somehow…. Maybe good enough isn’t the right words… just not “right” not how you wanted me to be. I know you were proud of me you told me that in the last several years…. Yet you still held things against me too.

I had a dream about you a few nights back and it reminded me of how things were when I was a kid. When you died a lot of that faded away… who wants to remember how evil their Mom could be once they have died? I remembered how conditional your love was… you gave it only if we gave something first. You were always selfish and your final act was the ultimate. You used to get so pissed at me because I was selfish… I guess I learned from the best.

I feel that I can’t let Daddy or Kim and Misty know when I’m having a hard time dealing with all of this. I know it hurts them when one of us is feeling pain… I want to be strength to them and not an anchor around their necks. So I have Ronnie to talk to and I can write you make believe letters… that’s how I will cope with this debilitating pain.

It’s almost been 9 months since I saw you last… it feels much longer than that. I’ve cried so hard while writing this that it feels like my head could explode. I hate crying!!!!!

Well how do you end a make believe letter? I don’t know, it’s all new to me. I guess I will just say for the record that no matter how awful you treated me while I was growing up and no matter how many times you have hurt my feelings as an adult… I still loved you. I still needed you here in what ever capacity you could be here. The only thing I have to lean on now is that I know I treated you with respect and with gentle hands in those last years I had you. Once again I played the parent and your role was helpless child. I would do it all over again to have you here today. I’ve felt so sorry for myself so many times during my growing up years… why did I get a Mom that couldn’t cope with anything? Why did I have to grow up so fast? Now I get to add – Why did my Mom commit suicide? Do people look at me and pity me? Do they think I’m a freak because of your actions? Do I care? I don’t know. All I know is that my bones ache with missing you. I miss you.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

First Christmas

We live in SE Texas and so it's notable that we had SNOW on Christmas!! My baby daughter had snow on her first Christmas and her Daddy made sure there was something to remember it by... her wrote "Merry Christmas Sierra - 2004" in the snow on top of our car. :-D Okay so maybe it was more ice than snow but it some areas it was quite snowy. My nephews, who live farther south than we do were able to build a snow man that was about two feet tall.

Sierra did so well at both celebrations, she was very interested in the toys and mildly interested in taking the paper off of them. She was great with all the people and noise, she was happy as could be.

This was also our first Christmas without my Mom and I was so worried that we would all be sad and blue while trying to celebrate. Instead we all did really well and had a great time. We were all focused on being with each other and watching our children play. K and M were both thrilled to watch Sierra enjoy her first Christmas celebration, she was the center of attention.

I did give my sister's an ornament commemorating the memory of my Mom and there were some tears shed, but the "good" kind of tears. Since our childhood home is now destroyed by fire I also divided up the ornaments my Mom had given me years ago that had been on our family tree when my sisters and I were young and gave some to them. I could tell it was much appreciated.

I had such a feeling of peace and while I missed my Mom, I didn't feel sad. I think I am to the place where I have accepted that she's gone and I really feel now that we are all going to be ok. There will be bumps along this road of healing, I'm sure, but I feel like we have made it through some big hurdles already. The next hurdle will be on January 3rd, it would have been my parent's 35th wedding anniversary. I know that day will be terribly hard on my Dad and I hope he will come spend it with me.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

I'm Back

Shit!! I can't believe how badly I've neglected my blog!! The month of October was very hard on me... with my Mom's birthday and everything. I just went into shut down mode and didn't even want to write down the feelings I was going through. I neglected DD journal too and I burst into tears a few weeks ago when I finally got up the nerve to open it and see where I had left off... September 30th - imagine that.

I have been up and I have been down in dealing with my Mom not being here. The holidays are very emotional for all of my family and it's hard watching my Dad and sisters struggle.

My Mom's sister, Aunt Debbie had her whole side of the family over to her house for a Christmas party last night. My Mom has four brothers and a sister, they were all there and with their families. It was nice to be with everyone, and to be reassured that they are still my family even without my Mom. No one really mentioned Mom last night but I could see it on their faces throughout the evening.

The hardest part for me was taking group pictures of the four brothers and my Aunt. So sad that Mom wasn't there....

I am doing extremely well lately and I am glad... but I do know that it's a phase, as I seem to go up and down - back and forth. When S turned six months old last month I had a complete break down at 3 o'clock in the morning. I just couldn't believe how painful my loss still was.

I felt so mortally wounded, so deeply hurt at my Mom's timing of her suicide. How could she do such a horrible thing the night before my baby was to be born?? Sometimes if I dwell on that I feel as though a knife is being twisted into my heart. I kept telling R that I just didn't know how I was going to be able to get over this final, most hurtful of all the things that she had done to me in my lifetime. She apologized, sincerely apologized, for things that had happened in my childhood and that helped me tremendously. How could I possibly heal from this final act of selfishness?

I got a phone call from my youngest sister the next evening and she was crying and saying she hoped I didn't think she was weird but she felt that Mom had been urging her to call me and apologize for all of the hurtful things she had done to me over the years but especially for all of the hurt I was feeling over her choosing to shoot herself the day before my daughter was to be born. Sorry that I was on the verge of hating her for making my daughters birth a marker for her death. The phone call was quite intense and I marveled at how timely the call was... the night before all I could think of was how much I needed an apology from Mom before I felt like I could ever start to heal. I told no one of this, so I can't help but feel that it was my Mom reaching out to me... trying to right this terrible wrong.

I have truely been more at peace since that night. I miss her still - always will but gone is the overwhelming desire to hate her with everything that is within me. I have somehow let go of hate and it's a relief. I was battling it so much... hate wouldn't hurt anyone but myself, my husband and my daughter.

I still feel the need every now and then to go get pictures of Mom out and sit in the floor and cry. I cry that her life was so sad even though she was surrounded by love. I'm so sad for her that the evil disease of depression made her unable to believe that so many people here loved her beyond words. I'm so sad that she missed out on so much in life. That said I often feel relief for her that her suffering is over... I think now she can look into our lives and see that she was loved and I hope somehow that makes her happy.

My DD is growing by leaps and bounds, she's learning to crawl now and she's so much fun. She's the joy of my life and I am thankful everyday that I have her to focus on.

I am going to try my best to stay up to date here. Thanks for keeping up with me.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Happiness is: Your Daughter Blowing Rasperries

Let's see if I can come up with something light hearted today.... My baby girl, S, did not want to go to sleep last night. It's an ongoing thing really, ever since we brought her home she hasn't slept well. So last night at around midnight she was busily entertaining her Daddy and I since I had tried everything under the moon to keep her calm and quiet and get her to go to sleep. She puffs her chest up and blows a raspberry at her Daddy and giggles. Over the last week she has been trying out new sounds and it's so adorable. Mostly it's new ways to squeal or scream, LOL. Last night she let out the longest scream she had ever produced and it left her totally bewildered!! R and I were laughing so hard at her. She got very solemn and kept looking all around the living room as if to say, "Who did that? That couldn't have been me!" It was priceless!!

She absolutely loves floor time and rolls around like a rolling pin. One roll isn't enough, she likes to do 2 or 3 or more in a row! Sweet little thing, it's hard to believe she can already do so much, and it's even harder to believe how much more she will be doing it such a short time.

She is truly the joy of my life - bad sleep habits and all. :) We'll get it figured out soon enough and as far as I can tell this precious time we have with her now will be gone in an instant, next thing you know she'll be starting kindergarten. So who cares if I am sleep deprived and stressed out at 1am. I will treasure each day with her and spoil her rotten. :)

One more thing... Dr. Weissbluth is an idiot... anyone who suggests to leave their 4 month old screaming for hours on end till they fall asleep in exhaustion should be beaten with garden hose. His advice is to put the baby in the crib and walk away... well I couldn't do that I still went and consoled her, patted her, sang to her, just didn't pick her up. I read his book, I followed his advice for 5 nights straight and it failed miserably, leaving me with major mommy guilt and a stressed out itty bitty baby. I should have known a MAN couldn't write a book on how to take care of a baby. sheesh.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

October 15, 2004 - Mom's 53rd Birthday

I spend nearly every waking moment thinking of my Mom these days. These cycles of feeling better and then sinking back into sadness are hard. Mom's birthday is fastly approaching and I find myself thinking of things to get her. I would normally be shopping right now, finding something she would like, something to make her smile, make her happy... it was rare to see her happy.

I was nursing S late the other night and words began to form in my head as I sat there thinking of her. Here's what I scribbled out on the pad of paper I usually use to keep up with S's feeding times.....

Happy Birthday Momma

The pain I feel On This October day
It may as well be the ninth of May

You are on my mind with every breath
Your smile, Your laugh, Your death

I think of gifts and cards to give
In hues of pinks and gray
What shall I get you on your 53rd birthday?

A new blouse, a pretty figurine
God how I wish this was all an awful dream

All I can give to you this year
Are words from my heart…
And a river of tears

I hope from where you are you can see and hear
How very much we hold you dear
As we had in the past and now through the years

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Will I Lose My Sister Too?

I am so heartbroken. I logged on to my suicide support group and saw a post from my sister. K suffers from bi-polar disorder just like my Mom did. GOD how will this family survive another loss to suicide? I understand her, I know her life is hell, full of suicidal thoughts and worries. How long can she continue to fight? A long, long time I hope... I survived losing Mom... don't know how I would survive losing my middle sis.

Here's the poem she wrote and posted on our survivor site:

ONE MORE DAY

Now I lay me down to sleep I pray the lord my soul to keep,
I have lived a life of confusion and painI have tried to escape but everywhere theres rain,
I wish somehow I could find the answer to my life long question
Why is my mind filled with such horrible suggestions?
As a child I cried each night knowing tomorrow would bring another fight,
In my mind a war is raging
I'm not getting better but only aging,
I dream of a place far from here No more crying not even a tear!
I hear a voice calling come to me my child
I reach and I grasp then my mind runs wild,
Today more than any other I want to give up the fight,
It's too early I know but I want to take my flight!
Dear God I beg You to help me to stay
Please, Please, make these thoughts go away!
Help me Lord to fight again with you I know I can make it ONE MORE DAY!