motheralice

thoughts randlomly dropped


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Awash in Unreality

Yesterday, like so many other Americans, I woke to news that shocked me to my core.  I sat at my kitchen table with the news of the election results and all I could do was stare and wait for my brain to absorb the information that nearly half of my countryfolk voted for a man who has admitted to sexual assault, denigrated women (and called for a repeal of the 19th Amendment), people of any colour, and the disabled, openly fostered hate, and encouraged another country to hack into our government’s computer system.  I spent the morning grieving for the country I thought I knew.  Weeping to know that many of my friends and loved ones feel actively endangered by this result and fear for their safety and wellbeing.  Weeping for the women who voted against themselves.  Angry at white America.  Angry at the media for indulging in what began as something I never thought would progress this far.  

Here we are.  

So, this is how our democracy works.  The people vote and whomever wins the electoral votes (not necessarily the popular vote, as evidenced by our results), wins.  Lacking a justified legal challenge, that’s the end of it.  Many of us are shocked and saddened and angry that a man who fosters such fear and hate was elected to the highest office of our land.  We are afraid of what’s to come.  We expect to have to fight- for our rights, for our planet, for our humanity.  

Many of us grieve the lost trust in our neighbour- even without knowing it- for these are the people who, disregarding his lack of ethics and offensive personal behaviour, still voted for him.  Women who in every case voted against their own personal best interest.  People are protesting already.  It’s understandable, but unhelpful at this point, I think.  Now is the time to regroup and unify.  Remember, the folks who voted for him don’t necessarily see him as dangerous- they see him as hope- for jobs and to correct a government they believe has gotten to big.  We seldom believe we are the bad guy, regardless of which side of the fence we sit on. 

We have to forgive our neighbours for voting their fear, their worst voices.  Forgive them for being tricked into listening without their hearts.  *I* have to do this, or I’m not sure how I can move forward without being bitter/fearful/hateful/walled up all the time.  That’s not helpful and it’s certainly no way to live.  I have to keep moving forward, we all do.  So we need to get clear.  We need to forgive and save the fight for when we know for certain where to land the punch. 

Nothing has happened yet.  They’re all still nodding and smiling (if sadly in some cases) and doing the first changeover steps.  We have a moment to breathe, to rest, and most importantly to plan.  We can be peaceful, quiet, and go on with our lives- but when the time comes, when the first gauntlet is tossed, we must take it seriously and stand for what we believe in.  For our rights, for our neighbours and loved ones, for our planet.  We cannot let him role back women’s rights, civil rights, environmental protections, and all the civil progress we have made. 

He’s told us what he intends to do in the first 100 days of his term.  We have a moment to plan our responses, consider all our options and grow stronger in our chosen arenas, and ready ourselves for what’s to come.  We have learned that he is not a threat to be taken lightly.  Many of us never expected him to be taken seriously when he first threw his hat in the ring, and look where we are now.  We can’t make the same mistake this time. 


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It’s all just an experiment, isn’t it?

All my life is circular, I think.  I look at situations and think ‘I’ve been here before, almost’.  My massage instructor suggested that time is circular as well as linear- sort of a spiral stretched out on a line.  That makes absolute sense to me.  Like I have to check the lessons I’ve learned, then go back and check what else can be gleaned from the situation (or a similar one).  Maybe check back once or twice over the course of 10 or so years, in case I’ve missed anything.  I was looking at old pictures a bit today.  They’re from when my brother was 4 or 5 and I had just got a camera so I was taking pictures of everything (remember that?  The magick of point and shoot and capture that fuzzy moment forever?)  He was playing in our little pool on the concrete driveway, grinning.  In others he’s looking furious- these are group shots of all of us at Graceland, my graduation, other family group shots.  Always standing apart, or glowering, or both.  My little brother.

 

He’s in jail at this moment.  Clean and sober, not by choice but by circumstance.  He writes to me:  ‘Sissy, I can think so clearly now without the drugs in my body.’  ‘Sis, I can’t believe I got so bad.  I’m scared to get out.  How will I live?’

 

My brother is a heroin addict.  So is my sister.

 

I tell people this regularly.  Not to gain sympathy or notoriety or anything else, but because this needs discussion.  It needs to be heard and spoken and acknowledged.  People need to understand that even if you have all your shit together it doesn’t mean you can’t be affected by heroin.  Or cocaine (that was my birth mother).  Or prescription drugs (my aunt).  Or alcoholism (the list is too long).  The thing is, I’m the only sibling who learned anything from having an addict raise us.  I’m apparently the only one who got lucky enough to break the traditions.  And it was luck, make no mistake.  I was well on my way to pickling myself while I went tripping every weekend when one night I just…. didn’t want it.

 

Luck.  Or maybe the Universe tapping my soul?  Maybe it was my soul’s plan to be the sober support person this time around?  I’d like to offer you all the suggestion that being the clean, clear-sighted one is plenty frustrating.  I get to watch my family go down in flames, offering helpful suggestions the whole time.  I love my family, and I can’t fix them.

 

I’ve come to terms with all this (most days).  What I still struggle with is this:  the birth mother?  That we all share?  Saw it all coming down.  Allowed them to shoot up in her home.  And did nothing.  Nothing.  NOTHING.  I don’t even have words for how this makes me feel.  Fury.  Heartbreak.  Tired.  Disappointed.  Sad.  Is there a single word to convey all that and everything else I have trouble naming?  I haven’t spoken with her in something like 7 years, since she told me to get out of her life (I was ever the obedient one).  Funny though, we only live 3 blocks apart.  She could have sent a message by carrier pigeon or neighbour or in the everloving POST for chrissakes letting me know what was going on.  How does a mother just sit back and watch her youngest children destroy themselves and their lives?

 

Nevermind.  It’s a rhetorical question.  I know the answer (in this case).  It’s because she has her own demons.  Because she’s lost too.  And I can’t help her either.  So I stay away.  Protect my tiny family.  Try to model healthy behaviour for Monkey (who will be driving soon).  Try to teach him to be strong and safe and sensible before he heads out into the world on his own.  Try to offer good advice to my brother in our weekly letters.  I tell him I love him in each one.  I try to remind him that he is more than his addiction and mistakes.  That he can plan to do better and follow through.  That he can be a better father to his kids.  That he has to take care of himself.

 

All these things I’ve told myself in the past, at other moments.  All this ground that I’ve almost already covered.

 

Life is a spiral, stretching forward and back.  Allowing us to touch multiple moments in time with one hand.  Sometimes it’s just so damn hard.


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Resetting

A little perspective check.

 

I’ve been bitching almost nonstop about my leg the last few weeks.  Even for me it’s getting old, so you know it’s definitely old for Bear and Monkey and everyone else I’ve spoken to recently.  But.  Perspective. 

A week ago tonight a friend’s son lost his fight with brain cancer. 

 

Here I sit, healthy, with my glass of wine, writing this blog, having eaten a spectacular dinner of szechuan green beans.  Yeah, my leg hurts.  Yeah, it’s a pain in the ass.  Bonus?  My family are all healthy and here with me.  My son is not ill, not so much as a sniffle.  I am not in agony knowing his days will be fewer than mine. 

They got carry out from the Chinese tonight, and I told them it was on me.  What else could I do?  I can’t fix their pain or soften the sharp edges of the hole in their hearts and lives, so, like so many others, I gave them food and hugs and told them I’m here if they need me.  I gave them all that I could in that moment.  And it didn’t matter a bit that I had to hobble to bring them the bag.  What might they and their son have given for him to just have a pulled calf? 

 

My life is not that difficult and it’s time for me to remember that.  I don’t have to walk miles for clean water.  I have hot and cold indoor plumbing AND electricity.  I have access to just about anything I want materialistically (assuming I have the cash for it at that moment).  I have my health, even if it includes a sore leg.  My leg is healing.  Most of all, I have Bear and Monkey and Pup.  I have friends and family I love and who love me.  It’s time for me to count my blessings and know that it could all go away any time. 

 

Music to suit my thoughts

 


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balm

 

He misses her too.  We’ve been soothing each other. 


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heartsick

3 Jan. 12

I am awash in grief and sorrow. A tide of tears that ebbs and suddenly flows. There is not one place in my home that doesn’t remind me. Not one moment of the past 16 years that I didn’t consider her. By my word, she is gone. I miss her so terribly I am heartsick with it. I thought I would feel slightly more ok today. I don’t. I’m as swamped in despair as I was yesterday. So I’m venting here. I miss her. I miss her. I miss her. I miss her, and she is gone.