Thursday, 26 November 2015

Grief is a Spiral

Learned something valuable today, which I should have guessed at because of my education, but still managed to catch me off guard. After being estranged from my son for 14 months, I ended up back in the same city where, three years ago we had an amazing talk about his life moving forward, my past, our lives growing up together. I was a young mom and I am still waiting to grow up, so I think of my time as a parent of young children as growing up with them. It was a blast! We had tons of fun and I remember making up stories about them, where we had great adventures and saw magical things; the fabulously, crazy birthday cakes and parties and running with them chasing soccer balls. I loved having kids and being with them. The innocent times were care free.

Now, back in the same city, I broke down and sobbed for all that I lost. I have told my husband that this rift between us feels to me like he has died. Two months ago on the anninversary of this tsunami that tore through my life, I did a ritual to let it go or let me deal with it so I wasn't such a mess. It worked. I felt lighter than I had all year and I could rationalize the pain and the anger.

Being here broke that illusion. I remebered being with him again and all the great times we had together. He is very silimar to me in personality, music tastes, bad sense of humour and the the dark things we find funny. Losing him in this way makes no sense to me, emotionally or psychologically. And the damn broke. 

After dealing with the fallout of a horrific, soul crushing childhood, I learned that dealing with grief and anger was a spiral. You deal, you grieve, you get angry, you get depressed, you coast and you start all over again.

This has been the same way. And, Ironically, the course I was on was dealing with critical incident stress. So I learned this is normal, this will change and this will ebb and flow as I go on. I knew that from my psych nursing days, from all the self help books and from my own couselling days, yet this still hit me like a bomb blast. 

I guess this is what makes people resilient. And what makes life hard to endure and painful. One day I shall move past this. One day the cuts to my heart will heal. I know that. It is how I choose to journey there that will make the difference.

Peace. 





Saturday, 21 November 2015

Post Paris and Mali

It's been a week of strangeness; Paris was attacked and a week later, Mali was in the grips of terrorism. The focus between the two events could not have been more polarized. When Paris was hit, Facebook screamed in defiance and raised its collective fist in the air with shouts of stop terrorism. When Mali was attacked 7 days later there were crickets...nothing. Nothing at least on my feed and I have a fair amount of friends that post everyday.

I found that odd. I admit, I have been deleting hate, racism, propaganda and victim bashing-victim propagating memes, posts and news reports because Facebook is my happy place. I have enough damn reality in my life. I don't need it when I come home from work. And last year I was in the seventh circle of Hell for most of it from illness, dealing with children, and a high stress job.

I seldom socialize. I work, come home, sometimes eat, but more often than not, climb into bed to get ready for another day. Such is the life of someone with multiple autoimmune deficiencies; so to be bombarded with hate and fear just is not what I want in my life on Facebook. But I could not be more astounded by the deafening silence on the Mali attacks. Granted, fewer lives were lost, but why the contrast? Even the typical #blacklivesmatter crowd was silent. If anything, I thought they would be protesting this vile act of psychopathic cowardice, because some of the victims were black, in a predominately black country, but no.

Does that mean only #blacklivesmatter in North America? I really hope not because that is an ugly thought to contemplate. If #blacklivesmatter, then they should matter regardless of geography. If terrorism is ugly, then it should be ugly everywhere, not just in a predominately white culture. Then I wonder if racism is a luxury of a culture that lives in the comparative affluence of North America and Europe instead of a country where the life expectancy is only 53.

And I am still trying to wrap my head around the thinking and the hatred that perpetuates these crimes, and I am at a loss. Young, able bodied men attack and kill indiscriminately in the vein of psychopathy disguised in a nebulous veil as religion. But that is an excuse to kill people. Not religion. I do believe, regardless of faith, these people would kill others, even those of the same faith because the glory is in the kill. Not the faith, not the religion, not in spreading the truth. It is about ruling the world through the genitals of a man. A weak, misguided, uneducated and unethical, simple man. We all know that women in this culture have value less than an animal and less than children. Women are repeatedly murdered, raped and stoned to death, on a whim. Children suffer the same fate. Daily. Mutilation of women and children is a side effect of thinking that genitals dictate how well you live your life and the freedom you have.

The latest reports from Washington show that these young adults take something called fenethylline, a drug that keeps them awake, angry, and ready to tear people apart with their bare hands. Exactly what these rebels need; a drug akin to PCP, massive bombs, explosives and the angry young man attitude. Another side effect of the drug is the ability to mask pain. Effectively, fenethylline turns a person into grizzly bear; an 800 pound, rabid, enraged bear that feels no pain and carries explosives. 

It makes me sad and reflective to think that on the other side of the world there is a mother with a dead child, a sister that is raped, a grandmother that is stoned to death and that 26 year old boys rule their world and are now affecting ours. 

Terrorism, fanaticism, sexism, racism, it all needs to stop. The thinking that I am better human than you because of my skin colour, my religious beliefs, my gender or my sexual orientation is exclusionary, an act of cowardice and morally wrong. 

Monday, 2 November 2015

Abandoned

Another new year has begun for me. Halloween always strikes me as New Year's Eve, November 1 as a day of remembering your ancestors and November 2 as the start of a New Year. Makes much more sense to me than December 31.

This year has been difficult, mentally, physically and emotionally. I do not want a repeat.

I lost my child. No, not to death, not to miscarriage, not to drugs. He is still alive and very healthy and probably very happy, but he is gone. He was married to a wonderful girl about five years ago. Her family had issues (who's doesn't), but unfortunately her issues took over my son's life, soul and spirt.

My son is kind, compassionate, caring, and also ADD to the nth degree, which can make him selfish, self-centred and not able to think about the further consequences of action. Sometimes I think he is more 15 than 30.  I can say these things because I am the same way. Growing up, my middle child and I were identical. We loved the same music, we laughed at the same jokes, we told the same stories and we were happy. Except for when we were down. Then that took over our lives.

At work, however, he is conscientious, resourceful, bright, funny, inventive and gifted. Actually, I think he is extremely gifted. He could be an outstanding artist if he chose to work at it, or an outstanding tattooist. He has many talents.

But like some people with ADD, he is also extremely stubborn, strong willed and listens more to friends than family. He's been like that since he was 13. His friends had more of an influence and power over him than my husband or I ever did.

As a teen, we tried to keep him entered, but as with most people with a mental illness, he chose to self medicate and act out. Got into trouble, acted out more, got into more trouble. It was a horrible time for us as a family as we had a special needs child, and another teenager. At one point I lost my job and was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and a mild form of MS. Life was crazy. 

He did get his life together. He is very successful in his career, is responsible and, I believe, happy. Unfortunately, he chose to blame all his bad decisions as an adult on me. When I got the phone call, I was in shock. My son and I had a great relationship growing up, so this was so out of left field for me. I still do not know how or why he chose to say the things he did, but it's been a year and I feel like my child has died. I grieved for months. 

I cried myself to sleep for more nights than I care to remember. and I questioned everything I did as a parent, a mother, a wife. When I found out he moved back to the province and then practically across the street from us, it crushed me. Completely. I still have no contact with him, do not know his phone number or his address. And I still think about him every single day.

My husband and I had horrible childhoods; torture, rape, abuse, starvation, psychopathic parents, and we both swore if we ever had children we would not do to them what was done to us. We would listen, we would ask questions, we would talk and discuss, and love. And we foolishly thought this would make a difference. A teacher once told us, having kids is a crapshoot. You never know what you are going to get. And he was correct.

My husband and I still talk to our parents. And then, when I thought we did all the right things, we are abandoned.

All I can do is try to move on. And not let this tear me apart.


ABANDONED: Bif Naked

Well you packed me away in the trunk of your car.
You drove me so fast and so far.
I tried to fight but its so hard.
The only momento is this scar.

Where were you when i needed you?
Somethings missing, and I can't breathe.
Where were you? Where were you?
Somethings missing.
You abandoned me.

Oh when you look deep into my mind.
That is so tired and weak from this life.
On the verge of fear all the time.
I feel like you left me here to die.

Shaking in my boots, you shook me down.
You really took me down.
Shaking my foundation, not to be found.
Never to be found.

Where were you? Where were you?
You abandoned me.
You abandoned me.
You abandoned me.