Sunday, October 23, 2011

Just Smile

Mom's...hurting. So badly. They were working on moving her into a hospice since her prognosis is bleak, but none will take her because she has no money. Over 50 hospices denied her because she's on governmental assistance and that's less money than they're willing to accept. So they've had to place her back in the home she was at months ago. Which she hated. Where there have been arrests of staff for molesting patients. But this is what you do when you don't have good medical coverage – you take what you can get.

I just hope they keep her drugged up enough to deal with her pain. She's ready to die. The pain is so severe that she wants to die. And that's so hard to hear but I understand it and I don't begrudge her those feelings at all.

I sit on the phone with her and just listen to her crying and wishing for death. Suddenly I'm six again, watching her cry and hope for death. But this time I don't beg her to stop. This time her pain is in control and if she needs to let go, she should be able to let go.

It's amazing what seems reasonable. I think to myself that I should have stayed in LA and lived in my car for a year. Then I could be there for her. I could hold her hand. She wouldn't be alone.

Some friends point out that she wasn't always a good mother. She was abusive and damaging. She fucked me up in myriad ways. And I say, “I know but...she's my mom.” No matter what she did to me, I can't handle her being in pain. She's my only family. When she dies I'll be no one's daughter.

So I get in my car and I drive aimlessly. I drive aimlessly and cry and cry and cry. Ripping myself apart for not doing the impossible. Imagining never hearing her voice again. Thinking about the pain she must be in. I drive and I sob uncontrollably.

People ask how I am.

Eyes blank, forced smile, “Oh, I'm fine.”

Eyes blank, forced smile, “Oh, I'm fine.”

Eyes blank, forced smile, “Oh, I'm fine.”

A lie I learned to tell nearly three decades ago. And most believe it. Or pretend they do. Because some don't notice it's a lie. Because some don't want to intrude. Because some don't care. Because some don't want to deal with what's behind the mask. Because some trust me to tell them the truth. Because I've been telling the lie for so long that, to most people, it comes out flawlessly and without hesitation.

Eyes blank, forced smile, “Oh, I'm fine.”

Eyes blank, forced smile, “Oh, I'm fine.”

Eyes blank, forced smile, “Oh, I'm fine.”

11 comments:

  1. Oh hun, sending hugs and thoughts you and your mom's way. You just do your best. It's all any of us can do.

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  2. <3 love from my heart to yours. Even with your mask I hope you feel love and support during this time.

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  3. I'm so sorry for what you are both going through.

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  4. Thank you so much for your kindness.

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  5. I'm so sorry dear. It's so wrong.

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  6. So much support, honey. It is outrageous that this is the situation so many people get stuck in, forced to live in a facility where there's a fear of abuse because the government can't fork over a few more dollars. I hope that your mother goes peacefully, and that you are able to find love and support from your own circle. I'm glad that you're able to own that your situation is complicated and experience it in your own way.

    Love and hugs,
    Avory

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  7. Heidi, we all know how much you love your mother...In spite of the past, she is still your mother and you have forgiven her. I'm sorry she is suffering.....and I hope she can soon pass without going through any more. The pain of losing your mother will take time...I lost my mother 18 years ago and miss her still.

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  8. It's O.K. to tell the truth. Your mom is dying. No reasonable person would expect you to hold your act together under those circumstances. You can say, "My mom is about to die and I feel terrible about it." You have that right, should you choose to exercise it.

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  9. I'm sorry things are so hard for you & your mom right now. But, don't say "I'm fine" when people ask how you are, tell the truth. Say "Things are hard right now"....Most people want to listen and really hear how you are. And the people who don't, need to learn to stop asking that question and expecting people to lie and say "I'm fine" even when they aren't.... Hugs to you & your Mom. ~ Liz

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  10. Heidi, stop lying to yourself and stop saying you are fine. 3 decades of lying to yourself and others is 3 decades too long. The only way out of hell is through it. You have gained some amazing self-care skills this last year. Use them! Give yourself that gift! You are WORTH IT!
    As trivial as this may seem, it always works for me. I quote a line from Pulp Fiction when I am going through shit. When someone asks "You ok?" My response is: "No man, I'm pretty fucking far from okay." Some can take it, some can't. But be authentic in what you are feeling. Much love to you!

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  11. "Some friends point out that she wasn't always a good mother. She was abusive and damaging. She fucked me up in myriad ways. And I say, “I know but...she's my mom.” No matter what she did to me, I can't handle her being in pain."

    I relate so so so much to this when it comes to me and my dad. As abusive as he was to my brother and I as a kid, as abusive as he was to my mom my ENTIRE life, I still hated to see him hurt and he was still MY dad.

    Know that I understand and if you want to talk, I'm here. ♥

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