Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

What happens if all I feel is a giant, heavy, Blah? It’s like a big rock is just sitting on my stomach. Sometimes I am afraid that I’m not dealing with my sister’s death at all, so I write in my journal over and over: Tate is gone. Tate died. My sister died. I have a dead sister. My sister is dead. –just to make myself FEEL the reality. But I wonder where the feelings are. I can explain the entire hospital ordeal to anyone who asks with clinical detachment. I can talk about lawyers and wrongful death and exhuming like it was something I saw on a show. I guess I’m wondering, no fearing, that all of a sudden, I’ll pass out when it truly hits me.

I’m waiting for it to hit me.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I was doing ok today until I went to Tate’s Myspace page. I watched the images of her slideshow go by, and I just sat here and choked out sobs. She looks so happy in the pictures. So fun to be around. So smiley and gorgeous. The conflict for me is that I haven’t seen her in that way these past few years. All I have been able to see was her neediness–this bottomless hole that sucked all my air away when I was with her. There was always drama, always a crisis. Always some desperate attempt for my (everyone’s) approval.

How do I reconcile this? I’m so sad that I missed her before she was even gone.

Read Full Post »

My little sister Cindy and I stood looking into Tate’s casket on Wednesday night and asked each other, ‘Is this it? I mean, have we actually accepted this? Are we still in denial? Shock?’ Because after the initial horrible-ness of seeing her laid out–actually dead–in the funeral home, we sort of got used to it. It’s just that I KNEW that my sister wasn’t there. It didn’t look like her. It didn’t feel like her. It was like a grim representation of her, like she had put on a freakish Tate costume for halloween.

Not that we didn’t greive. I cried so much over the past few days that my head JUST NOW has stopped hurting. Maybe our bodies can’t take it all in at once. The loss of it all. Sometimes I feel like someone who has lost their leg, but they still feel it itching. I kept looking around the funeral home for Tate to make some comment about something that I knew would make her laugh. All these people came through the line to see her, and for a minute, I forgot why they were there. Some of them I hadn’t seen for years, and I kept yelling out their names like an excited sports announcer. Then I would glance sideways and catch a glimse of Tate in the casket, laying there in her Steelers jersey and realize that maybe I was being too loud. They hadn’t been there for hours and hadn’t seen her in the hospital and the shock of seeing her there didn’t match my excitement of seeing them. It was all so conflicting and bizarre.

I took a walk in the woods today, and it started to rain. I was so comforted by the sound of it and by the dim green softness. I was thinking about heaven, and how it blows my mind that someone I know so imtimately is actually on the other side. I was asking her what it was like, and wondering if she could see me there, in the rain, crying.

I’m not sure how to navigate this grief.

Read Full Post »

I cried a lot today. I had no idea what it felt like to carry a burden of grief around like this. The waiting, dear God, the waiting. I’m unloading the dishwasher and I think ‘Oh. I’ll call Tate.’ (That always makes the task go faster) and then I remember, and I’m almost doubled over with the shock of it. I can’t call my sister because she has a ventilator down her throat and hasn’t been aware or awake for five days and has tubes hooked up all over her body. My mom tells me that her lips are chapped and the problem is, she is the one person I know who is NEVER without chapstick.

She is suspended and I don’t know where she is. I want her back.

Read Full Post »

It’s the usual summer stress: convincing Sadie that she DOES NOT need to be occupied every second of the live-long day. She does NOT need a friend over the minute her first friend of the day leaves. Same issue, different state. What is most frustrating to me is that I have created this world for her. I have scrambled and schemed and made plans and provided her with a fairyland life where all her almost 6 year old dreams come true. She doesn’t have to learn to entertain herself…not when Shelley-the-Cruise-Director is at the helm. Bored? Let me fix that for you. I’ll dance and sing and win the Camp Counselor of the Year award. Meanwhile, deep inside me rumbles resentment and anger. I’m upset because she NEEDS me to entertain her. But I can’t be angry at her…though I want to. I want to say Stop being so demanding of me! I want to shout Leave me alone for two seconds to read the paper for crying out loud! I want to run away and escape, but I can only blame myself, and I’d be taking my stupid-self with me.

It’s sticky; sticky. I have this anxiety that Sadie will have the same experience as I did as a kid (following my mom around while she cleaned…) so I do the OPPOSITE, which is not get a thing done around the house when she is home for fear that she’ll feel that cleaning is more important than her. There is no balance here. Because I end up wanting to send away my demanding child, the monster that I have created with my own dysfunction. She hounds me, hounds me, hounds me, and then I lose it and shut her out completely in a stompy huff. AND the house is still a mess. Same coin–different side.

It’s not like this is a new issue in my life–I’m sure I’ve devoted many blog posts to it. Which is why I created a category called “Things I can’t stop talking about.” I’ve had this suffocating attention/resentful ambivalence issue with Sadie literally since the day I brought her home from the hospital. Sometimes I think it’s because Sadie is an only child. (Another subject I can’t seem to stop talking about…) Like I believe the solution in a perfect world would be to say “Go play with your sister!” But my rational brain tells me that if I had two children, I’d have twice the anxiety, and I’d be worrying that one or the other one would need to go to therapy and talk about how I didn’t give them enough of my undivided attention. As it is, my one child is going to go to therapy because her mother is alternately ‘let’s play’, and angrily ‘leave me alone.’

A big fear of mine is that Sadie will get this message that she is a burden, or just an issue that needs to be slogged through, and not a person who I deeply love. As it stands, she is a tool in God’s hands for sure, and I know I need to learn these lessons quick: setting boundaries, allowing her negative emotions, finding my own healthy detatchment, and basically figuring out how to NOT bend my life around the whims of a six year old.

Yeah, she’s going to need therapy for sure.

Read Full Post »

So tired. Can’t speak in complete sentences. Will give highlights:

Thurs. 6/6: Three big burly women packers fly through house. Saw one smurf tattoo. Loud: tape ripping, paper crinkling, markers squeaking. Signed a contract to sell our house. Will close Lord willing on June 30th.

Fri. 6/6: Movers arrive. Father/son/cousin team. Heard angry, loud, scary shouting–dad and son in each other’s faces over placement of our stuff in truck. Yikes! No air conditioning–sweat poured all around. Slept in empty house that night.

Sat. 6/7: Left Siloam 7:00am. Heard “are we in NY yet” in Tontitown (7 miles out of town…) Drove and drove and drove and drove and ate at McDonalds and drove. Stopped in Indiana for the night 40 miles before we wanted to–I-70 was closed due to state of emergency/flooding. Got one of the last hotel rooms in Terre Haute. Wondered if we were ever going to get out of Indiana. Ate good chinese food.

Sun. 6/8: Drove and drove and drove and ate at Wendy’s. Got 40 miles away from Erie Pa (our stop for the night) and traffic was stopped AGAIN. Who the freak knows why. “Are we at cousin Josie’s yet” Sadie asked every 7 seconds. I timed it. Oh. My. Word. Took a detour, arrived in Erie 3:30pm EASTERN TIME. (Will miss the Central Time TV schedule…) Stayed up WAAAAAAAAAY too late.

Today: hanging out with Dan’s brother and fam. Went to the beach at Lake Erie. Found cool beach glass. Life feels surreal.  Will leave tomorrow am to Olean, NY to close on our NY house. Then will travel to Houghton to our empty house and stay there and wait three days for our stuff.

It’s all good.

Read Full Post »

So I was talking to my good friend Charlie today about mommy-guilt. She was saying that it comes with every baby. Well I feel plagued with it right now. I mean, simply PLAGUED! I have to keep telling myself that I do not have to be my child’s sister. You know, the one I haven’t provided for her since she is an only child?? I almost have to say out loud that I am not depriving her and that she is not going to be crazy or demented or damaged in any way because she doesn’t have siblings. I do not have to feel bad because I don’t feel like playing with her today. And I don’t feel like making 50 calls to find someone else to entertain her.

Why do I feel so frantic about leaving her alone to entertain herself? I mean, she resists it for sure. She asks me every three minutes who she can call and when she can play with some one. I don’t want to entertain myself, she says. Many times I give in instead of giving her the gift of solitude and imagination. I don’t give her the chance to enjoy her own company, because she resist so. loudly.

So I feel guilty about catering to her need for entertainment, AND for not. For playing with her when I don’t feel like it, and then for saying with an annoyed sigh that I’ve had enough! It’s not my job to entertain you! Which isn’t something she needs to hear, necessarily, but something I need to say to myself. Because I know it’s not my job. But yet I still feel compelled to do it. Then feel angry at myself for not being the mom, and for giving in to my own compulsions. I worry that I’m putting her off and off and she’s going to get this message that I don’t want to be with her. And the truth is, I DON’T want to be with her in the role of ‘playmate.’ Mom, yes. Playmate and Cruise Director, NO. But that’s what I feel like sometimes. LIke I HAVE to be the cruise director–like that’s my punishment for having only one.

Sometimes I wish for a second child just to entertain my first. I don’t want another child to love and cherish and train and get to know as their own person. No. I just want someone there to let me off the hook. Which is why we ARE not having a second child by the way. Because I just want a servant girl at Sadie’s beck and call so I don’t have to fight her off. I get so weary of the battle. So I don’t REALLY want a second child. I want a child-in-waiting who is assigned to my daughter so I don’t have to be.

Of course this discussion always leads to OVERCOMPENSATION. Worrying that I’ll be so busy that Sadie will have to follow me around and talk to my back (i.e my own childhood…) but that’s so irrational. I’m not my mom…and my mom’s not even that person anymore. But I’m stuck there just the same.

(Damned if I do…damned if I don’t.)

There has to be some spacious free place within motherhood that lets me make mistakes. And allows me to be myself and trust my instincts and think of what’s best for Sadie, even if she is protesting madly. I just haven’t found it yet.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »