Let's get one thing very straight: I loved my mother.
I still do.
I loved her when I was a kid, and after she tried to kill herself, I learned to love the woman she became. About a year before she died, a change in medication brought back the mother from my childhood, of whom the mother for the last 20 years was a pale shadow. The real deal was back, full of questions, regrets, jokes, and smiles. She cried at minor chords again, became curious about everything again, and began drawing again.
She shared her art with me, her love of Garden of the Gods, the great things she learned, and she also cried with me about things she wished she had done differently. She listened intently as i told her of the person who had been wearing her clothes for 20 years; also a funny, sweet person, but not always present the way she was bursting out with life.
I loved every incarnation of her, and I think my need to understand her helped me get to know her very well.
We even talked about sex, which was a little weird at first but we were both able to discuss it, and how powerful and spiritual the right sex could be. She, like I, wanted other women to know that they could have sex that was more than two bodies slapping. And we could say that it took us years and years to learn this about sex. We never went into details, but we could talk about it generally like this.
I want you to know, as you read this, and read my reactions to this journal, that my mother was not all bad. She was not a bad mother. She had difficulties in her life, and my hope is that, by the end, you will see and understand better. But for now, just take my word for it: She was a wonderful lady.
July 8, 1995 (Sat).
I hope I read all the above if I ever date again. I'm feeling better all-around. I still feel like being quiet and by myself more than with groups of people. One or two would be nice--but not a group.
I said goodbye to Anne (psych) this week. Another Goodbye! 1995 is one hell of a year! Lesley seems nice, I won't see her for 2 weeks but I can go to the crisis class any day if I need it.
Last night I stayed by myself for the first time while Jen was at Arry's for their joint birthday party sleepover. I slept for 14 hours. It was so nice.
On the 4th of July I went shopping and bought 2 outfits--the pastel green and the jungle outfit and a couple of summer blouses. Then I realized the day was slipping away, without me doing anything about it, so I bought barbecue from Bennetts and Alice came over. Alice didn't want to go to the fireworks so Jenny and I went by ourselves and saw the fireworks. I realized I could do it--go to public places. It was so cold we wore winter coats, blankets and the old bedspread.
I still wish for someone to take care of me and take these burdens off my shoulders. But I don't wish for it as hard as I did. Then, I even wanted to be admitted to the mental hospital. Now, I don't. I wish Bass would call me and seem to want to take care of me but I have to accept that *he* doesn't want that.
I scoffed inwardly at a woman in our self-esteem class who said she wanted a man to feel complete, but then I realized I was having sexual fantasies about practically every man that I saw, talked to, etc. Isn't that dependency on a man, too?
I got a card from Genie and Lydia called to invite me to a barbecue next Sunday. They are so good to me.
I can even eat crackers and red hots now.
No one is ever going to believe me that I didn't write my comments before my knowledge of the entry for the day, but I didn't. I mean it.
I never meant to be a "burden" to my mother, but I think, at this point, any responsibility was hard. After she passed, for the first three weeks or so, I wanted a standing ovation whenever I did *anything*, including taking a shower by myself. When I didn't get the applause, I got angry and hopeless.
People don't know what depression feels like, but I describe it as this: everything is so damn hard. Calling someone on the telephone is hard. It's like picking up a boulder one-handed. Getting out of bed is the worst possible thing you could do. Your whole head is screaming at you not to do it, but you force yourself and then there's absolutely no reward; only more criticism.
Everything is squeezing and pressing on you. Not just physically, although there is physical discomfort involved, but mentally. People's expectations and judgments are pushing at you and pushing at you, shoving you into paths and courses of action you would not choose on your own.
There's just no point in fighting, because you're not fighting anything tangible. You are fighting inertia. You are fighting antipathy. You are fighting apathy, too. How do you fight apathy? You don't care. How do you fight antipathy? The more you hate that you hate doing something, the less likely you are to do it. It's a terrible cycle to be in.
When I was 10 I was put on anti-depressants. Partly it was for bedwetting (hello? sign of abuse?). Partly it was for behavior. I took myself off at 11.
I went back on anti-depressants at 20. Took myself off again. I may have gone on one more time. I hate them. Not only because I don't want to be like my mother, who was on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, and anti-psychotics, but because I don't like to be so blunted.
I fight depression all of the time. Sometimes it's worse than others. I have a lighter case than my mother, I think, but the same processes go through my head. Probably not just as intensely, or perhaps I learned to manage my thoughts more because I hated drugs. My point is, I know whereof I speak. Mom knew I knew what it was like to live with depression.
What Mom didn't know, because I never, ever told her, that I, too, had a problem sexualizing every relationship I had. Well, almost every one.
It's not uncommon for victims (survivors) of abuse, especially sexual abuse, to have this as a long-term side effect. In fact, you show me a slut, and I'll show you someone who was abused sexually at some point in her life. It's not hard; 1 in 6 is the official number. In my experience, it's 1 in 2.
I hear you, Mom. I hear your journal. I know it was hard. You can't hear me, but I'm giving you a standing ovation right now. You did good July 4, 1995. I still remember it. We went to the Air Force Academy. We had a great time. I loved spending that time with you. It was one of the first of a very many good memories of just you and me.