Sunday, October 11, 2020

 Time is confusing me now. I seem to get lost in it. A scent, transporting me to another time. And sudden unprompted flashes of images from long ago, seemingly hiding around every corner, tumbling in and out of my days, blurring my present into a collage of yesterdays superimposed upon today.

What is real? What is true? What contains value, and meaning, and persists?

I could, of course, blame the times, and it plays its part. But more so I think it is being an empty nester.  Part of me is still ridiculously waiting for the life I had to be returned to me. Like a dog, in an empty house, waiting hopefully by the door, for any sound that might signal, my person has come back. But they don't live here anymore, they moved on, and away, without me. I am left behind. My only child moved away, all the way across the country. And painfully she doesn't talk to me anymore. It's been well over a year now of unanswered texts. Plus you add to that, I thought of her as my son, and now I know she is my daughter. And it becomes harder to know what is true of my own life. My memories so real to me, so dear to me, do not exist for her in the same way. She wants nothing to do with her life before. She has no affection for the child she was. I loved that child, that boy, now he is gone. I love my child, my daughter, but now she too is gone. And the pictures I have left of her, except for a few from the months before she moved away, ones where she looks mopey and sad in my presence, are ones of a child who does not exist anymore. A child in boys clothes doing this and that. In my arms on Halloween, out trick or treating. 21 years of memories, the beach, Christmases, bike riding, on and on and on. But I can't take comfort in them, can't be sentimental with pictures of the past, because that would hurt her. Her identity, her sense of self. She says, those aren't me. So these pictures make me feel farther away from the child she is today. And all I want now, is to know her now. But I can't, she wont let me. And I feel I betray her with my own memories. Yet I can't help but have the thoughts, I remember when....

 I miss her laughter. It filled the house, it filled me. Heck I even miss her mopey moments.

So my mind hopscotches through time, I will be washing dishes, or getting up in the middle of the night to feed the cat, and bits of time, like little pebbles, hit me over and over. To when she was born, to a moment when I was little, to when I was a teenager, to when she was a teenager.  An impression of the beach, when she is little, when I am little.  I am a child, I am a mom.  I am surrounded by family, I am alone. 

 I revisit the year we struggled through her transition, my fear it turns out hurting us more than anything else did. But by midway through the fourth month, I learned to breath again. And I saw that she was ok, and that life would be ok. She was home for a year after that, a year where I was supportive without all the drama of extreme worry. But since she won't talk to me at all now, I find no recourse but to believe our whole lives together exist for her only in that small window of time. 

I know I am meant to be left behind, everyone tells me so, little birds are meant to grow up, and fly away from the nest, off to their own lives, their own adventures. But she took the past away. And she isn't in my present. And I am fretful, doubtful, that she will be in my future. Though she lives and breathes in me forever. Wherever I am, she is as well. Always, forever and ever. That much she can not change. But her voice, her face, I don't even know what she looks like today, that is all lost to me.

How do I have happy memories, if the person I have those memories with, doesn't think of them as happy memories? It feels a bit like I fell asleep, and dreamed a dream of a life together, of having a family. And now I have awoken, to find the life I thought I had was merely an illusion. Our closeness, our happiness, a delusion. Just a dream. (fortunately my husband is still here, and he also fell into delusion, so we look over at each other and say, you know I remember such and such, and I thought we were happy. Do you recall anything like that? And we take comfort in that we shared the same dream; and were both shook awake. And that we are both still a bit groggy and confused.)

And all this to say, oh let me first say that I am not on the floor, as I probably have made myself sound like I have face planted into the ground, and am prone, immobile, sucking in dust and dirt. And that, that is how I will exist from now on. No, I am ok. I mean yes sometimes I wear my sadness like it's a sparkly tiara. But happiness is always around my edges, like sunlit pink gold around a grey cloud. And I feel its warmth, and light, and color, just on the other side. So I am trying to see my way forward. To walk forward, to create my life, today and tomorrow, with what I can. Not with wishes, but with purpose, and action. 

I live with ghosts, a house cluttered with the past, like my grandparents, and plenty of their stuff live in the basement. As I say that, I realize I am right next to my nana's desk and chair, and I am uncertain if there actually is a room in the house that doesn't have something of hers in it. My child still lives here, though her physical body is nowhere to be found, her presence permeates every room. A green towel that still hangs in the bathroom (I know, I know, but it needs to be there). Her cupboard in the kitchen, with her cat plates and mugs. Her room is her room (albeit there are some canned goods and pandemic prep stuff under her desk.) She is everywhere and nowhere. And I don't see a way I can change either of those things. But I don't think that is a condition that it is necessary to change, in order for me to move forward. Bit heavy dragging it all along with me, but I don't need to take big steps. And I am just the sort that doesn't like to leave anything behind.  I do however think it would be beneficial if I become more linear in time. Clear the mist a bit.


strugglingwriter said...

Hey Taffiny. I used to comment on here years ago when we were all blogging and writing. I haven't been back in a long time.

I hope things have improved a bit for you in the year since you wrote this post.

Paul -

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