I walked into the hospital like I’d done all those days before. Just another day of visiting my mother. Just another day of waiting and hoping. Just another day of watching her come in and out of sedation.
I looked at the names and room numbers written on the marker-board above the nurses station as I’d always done before I went to her room. It was more of a reflex than anything else. I did a double take when I noticed that my mother had been moved and her name was now written in red. What did that mean? I waited for someone to tell me where I could locate this new room but I can’t remember if I ever actually asked. I don’t know how I figured it out, if someone told me or if I just came to the conclusion myself, but my mother was gone and I felt the air leave my lungs in a gust of despair. I fell into myself and suffocated in the tears and anguish of losing the person who gave me life. Then I had this weird feeling…
I’ve done this before. I’ve experienced this before. I’ve lost my mother before…
Yes, I experienced déjà vu within a dream. I didn’t even know that was possible.
I got up slowly from the dreamworld, feeling the full weight of my pain and all it’s implications. I’d realized that my mother had been gone for five years now, and I cried more in that dream than I ever have in real life. Then I thought, “Wow. My dream self knew my awakened self.” I don’t know about you, but I find that pretty fucking amazing! My dream self has always been far more of a badass than I am in real life. To watch her crumble was very telling. To me it meant that my awakened self was far weaker than I’d thought, and I’d stuffed my pain down so deeply that my dream self had to deal with it.
My aunt talks in her sleep. And I don’t mean just a few words here or there, I mean full on fights, cursing and screaming. Apparently, all of the women in our family do it. I think there are things we don’t know how to deal with in our awakened state, so we find a way to ignore them but they never really go away. They get pushed down so deeply into our sub-conscience that we end up fleshing them out in our dreams. I guess the death of my mother is one of those things.
I feel like I want to cry, scream, punch, throw things, and just be angry… but I always stop myself. I always hear some distant voice saying it’s fine. People die. There’s no need to cry. Move on. Get over it. I thought I was over it. I thought I’d dealt with it. Apparently not.
I miss her. I hate that I miss her. I hate that the feeling weighs so much. I hate that it hits me like a ton of bricks whenever the fuck it feels like it. I hate that the world has labelled me strong, poised, cool, calm, collected… I am constantly carrying the cross of these expectations. I am too strong to allow myself to feel weak and vulnerable. I hate that I can’t just let myself be.
I can only cry for a few minutes at a time. I never allow myself to go through the entire process. I don’t even think I know how. I always cut it short, wipe my face, get myself together and carry on like nothing happened. That’s how I roll. How I wish I had the luxury to just fall apart sometimes. How I wish I could just throw a tantrum like a child, tossing myself on the floor and flailing around until I’ve exhausted myself. Even that seems healthier than what I do. How I wish I knew another way.
In the past, people have asked me how i can be so candid online, how I can expose myself for the world to see. Aren’t I afraid people will use my vulnerabilities against me? You can’t trust people, they say. They’re ugly. They will tear you down any chance they get. They hate to see you succeed because it makes them feel small. They are jealous, envious, insecure, prideful, ego-driven things that you must take care around at all times. Everyone has an agenda and no one is ever out for your best interests. No one ever wants you to truly be happy unless they are involved.
I have no illusions about the dark side of humanity. Whether or not all of those things are true is something I am still trying to work out. But I do know this: Vulnerability is at the core, the heart, the center of meaningful human experiences. Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage. That visibility which makes us most vulnerable is also the source of our greatest strength.
For most of my adult life, I have operated under the assumption that I have to keep up walls in order to keep myself safe. This world will chew you up and spit you out without remorse. I saw it happen to my mother. I watched as the weight of the world became too heavy. I watched as she danced with her demons. I watched as she tried to dull the pain. I watched as she withdrew, as she was crushed, as she died. I vowed I would never allow that to be my fate… but here I am, letting fear hold me back just the same.
I don’t really know how to proceed at this point. There is a heavy pain in my middle which I can only surmise is a blocked solar plexus chakra. Maybe I will try a little meditation. Maybe I will allow myself to cry again. I really don’t know. About all I do know is that writing helps. Putting my weaknesses out there to be judged somehow frees me from my fear of them. Funny how that works.
I honestly have no fucking idea what I’m doing, and I feel no need to pretend to. And somehow, that’s okay with me. Somehow, I’m still here, learning, growing, and evolving every day. I guess I must be doing something right.
Love & Light,