Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I was trying to figure out why I feel like such a mess. Why I need to scream and lash out and cry and scream some more. And I just realized, as I stood in a burning hot shower, my forehead pressed against the wall, trying to piece together actions and emotions and causation…my mom. I’d made the decision to write about my mom. It’s harder than expected. Harder than my writing about my dad, even, which I didn’t expect. Ive said before that I can’t hide when I write. That it all comes spilling out, eventually. But about her… The words just don’t come. Because when I try to write about my guilt and sorrow and love, the past bubbles to the surface. And I don’t know how to reconcile the two realities; how do I love someone so much and hate them so fucking much at the same time?
You know when you tell a robot two conflicting truths it self destructs? (If you lack real world experience with robots reacting to conflicting truths, just play along for a minute.) It’s like my brain can’t handle the paradox of who she was vs who she was before that. So I’m imploding because I cant find the words or even the emotions to release what’s pent up inside. How do I forgive the years of abuse and rage and misery she heaped on me? But, then, how do I hate the woman who took care of me towards the end? 

To have her show me kindness and love for years afterward…it almost makes it worse. Because she was capable of treating so much me better than she did. And then I hate myself for not being able to wholly forgive her when I know how severe her mental illness was. When I know how much she suffered. When I know how much pain she was in. Why can’t that be penance enough?

This is only going to get worse. And I’m not strong enough for this. I’m not strong enough for this to get harder and harder. But I don’t know that I have a choice anymore. These aren’t scars on my psyche…these are wounds. Scars are healed over and can be forgotten or ignored. But the wounds - the open wounds dripping poison into my bloodstream - they can’t be. Well, they can be because they have been. But maybe they can be cleaned out and bandaged up. Maybe they can knit themselves closed and become nothing more than another pale white line I can run my fingers over while remembering how much stronger I’ve become.


  1. I also have a mentally ill mother and I understand the internal turmoil you feel about her.

    Just like your own illnesses, her own mental illness does not define her. You can love her because she was your mother and for the times she took care of you, but hate all the abusive actions she did.

    Its especially hard now that she's gone, but one of the most helpful things a therapist told me when I was still dealing with my mother's abuse was to mentally put a stamp on her forehead that said "Mentally Ill" so that no matter what came out of her mouth it was qualified with the knowledge that it was coming from someone who wasn't all there. I don't know if that could help you, to remember that when you look through your catalog of memories of your mother, when you hear her voice echoing in your head can you see that big red stamp that says "Mentally Ill".

    It's a big paradigm switch, and it won't change what she did to you. That can't be changed. The only thing that can change is how you perceive it.

    Thank you for pouring your heart out. There are so many of us out here that care about you.

  2. God, I can't thank you enough for this. It means so fucking much to me to know people care. And thank you for sharing your pain too; I wish you didn't have to hurt. I'm going to try to remember that red stamp. I think you're right, it's going to change a lot. Thank you. Truly. <3 <3 <3

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