Wednesday, December 20, 2023

To My Mom

To My Mom:

As I sit here and ponder on this story, the emotions needed to explore this may be too much. I’m just not sure; the door is yellow, which means enter, but be cautious in this journey. As you know, red doors are the only ones off limits right now for me. 

I’m still sitting here, thinking about where to start. This story is much more difficult than the last. It seems there is a stop sign ahead, and I’m going to pay attention to it. I’m going to stop; it looks like an all way stop. I’m looking in all directions and seeing lots of thoughts and emotions at all the stop signs, a traffic jam of emotions. I want and need to write this out. A trusted member of my community has encouraged me to take it slowly and just let the story develop. I need to examine how each of these thoughts and emotions speaks to me. This is a more natural therapeutic process. Thank you, trusted friend. 

The last story took so much out of me, but I want to press forward. I have waved these emotions on in different directions, and we will see them deeper in the story. I think they were just warning me of what was to come, and I’m okay with that. The door is still cracked, and I can escape if I need to. Always have an escape plan. 

So, I’m sitting here at this all way stop, and I’ve been courteous and waved all the thoughts and emotions on. I’m the only one left here at the stop sign, and it’s my turn to go. So here we go, “To My Mom.”  

It’s been two weeks now, and I realize why I haven’t written any words down. I spotted a red door emotion at one of those stop signs. It has been in the forefront of my mind since waving all those emotions and thoughts through. Those thoughts and emotions are very real and a part of this story, but not right now.

I got out of my car at the all way stop and walked right up to the car window, just like I did when I was eighteen years old. I punched out all the windows in the car, including the back glass and the windshield and told him to leave and never come back. I threw everything he had in the yard and never saw him again. That evil man had one goal for me and that was death. I guess he finally saw the evil in my eyes. If he had spoken one word to me that day, I would be in prison today. 

That’s the thing most abusers don’t get; we all grow up. At some point, we will be able to defend ourselves. He thought the torture he inflected on me would have been enough for me to submit to his every word. But not that day! I hope you can feel and sense the (powerful) emotions expressed here.  

It has to stay away right now. 

That’s one of the beautiful things of discovering and exploring these emotions; they are complex and so many are woven together. No matter the door you label them in, they have a way of making it to the front of our thoughts and can even rule our emotions. So, with that said, we are moving forward with this story. “To My Mom.”

To My Mom: Sometimes, I can’t understand why. Why did you decide to have me if you knew you couldn’t care for me? Why would you have me if you knew? Maybe you just had a dream of a family full of love, peace, and happiness. The dream trumped all rationale. 

To My Mom: Your choices in men were the worst. You picked the ones who hated me. You picked the ones who wanted nothing but death for me. Even my own dad killed himself. So, death seems to be the curse that has followed me on this journey of life. You chose four people to be a father to me and none were more than ashes to me. 

To My Mom: I look at the few pictures that I have of me when I was a child. I must admit, they make me smile and warm my heart. I can think there was a time that it may have been okay. There may have been a time that I was loved, hugged, and taken care of. The latter part of my childhood seems to erase all of that. It’s like going from a beautiful sunny day to an all-out deep, dark storm. 

To My Mom: Some say, “beauty comes from pain.” Some say, “beauty comes out of the ashes when you walk through a fire.” I get this, Mom. It is true. If we all had perfect childhoods, then who helps those who don’t? Who can direct them to the right places to get the help they need? 

To My Mom: Our relationship never developed until the last two weeks of your life. I spent every night in the hospital with you watching you die. The cancer had finally won. You just wanted to know I was there, and I was. I felt like I loved you the way you loved me when I was just two weeks old. The love that is unconditional and has no borders. It was difficult watching you die, and my heart aches every day not to have your presence on this earth, as you were my mom. 

To My Mom: When I look at pictures of you now, you are but a memory, just like we all will be one day. A picture on a wall for a few years at least, and then we are forgotten. In years to come, our plight is unknown to those who come behind us. Mom, all I can hope is someday someone will be browsing and stumble upon this story. I hope they read it, and it encourages them; I hope they can see that beauty comes from pain and hope rises. 

To My Mom: I truly love you! I forgive you! I’m asking myself if that is enough. I’m approaching that all way stop, and the thoughts and emotions that have stopped here have moved on. I believe that’s what love and forgiveness bring, a life full of flowing happiness, a life that is beautiful. Thank you, Mom, for being there and for doing the best you could do. It had to be scary and heartbreaking at the same time. I’m not mad. I’m not angry. I am loved. 

I know through writing this story that you love me, and I believe you forgave me for not being the best son I could have been. Even in the best times, I was not so good. You know in your heart as a mom that I was doing my best. I love you, Mom. I miss you!

To My Mom: Beauty from pain, broken to life, beauty from ashes, amazing grace. Yes! You gave that to me. I love you.

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