September 02, 2002

Be who I need you to be or I'll cease to exist, and so will you.

When you're face to face with a time of complete undoing, you know it. Not any one thing--everything. Not depression, revelation. Not maturity, rebirth. Not pleasant, painful. Agony. I've been writing for a while now about feeling that everything I ever thought was so wasn't. But I didn't know what I meant. I just knew that the thread of me was weakening, fraying. Now, the flashes hit several times a day, make me scream out, oh no oh yes I see.

I can't get the words out without sounding trite, blaming, petty. Blame your mother--so cliche. So I'm quiet. You would have to be able to see the thousands of pieces assembled to understand the power each piece had on me individually while I was growing up (the first time around). What you don't know about is the neurotic need she fostered in me because she needed it, had to have it to live herself, how she replaced my father with me as her feeding ground after he gave up and died. That is the little girl who prayed every night in terror well into her teenage years that if her mother were to die, please God take me too. The 17 year old who tried to open the door of a moving car and jump out upon news that she'd be going away for two weeks. The adolescent and college girl obsessed with confessing, asking absolution, trying to drive her away--test her--do you love me still?

But it was never love because it was conditional on her layering and devouring of me. Her love was based on me feeding her exactly what she needed, her then feeding me everything I didn't need, and I was so good at keeping the cycle going. It was all I ever knew. Her light on me, nothing felt as good. And yet, she undermined me--set out to ruin my beauty as it threatened her spotlight. Set out to ruin me emotionally so I would need her always. Keep me. Eat me. Drink my blood. This is narcisism. Now, add alcoholism on top of that, and you see my wall of denial build itself.

When you have a child, you begin to see your parents for who they really are. In my case, the lifting curtain reveals monsters--pitiful monsters. Having removed my mother's voice from my head for the first time in my life--not speaking or hearing a word in well over a month--I know why she kept up the constant drone, the noise. When the noise falls away, the truth creeps in.

It's not like this is a huge revalation. It's been happening since Jenna was born, and intensely over this past year. But for the first time I'm embracing this loss and using it to heal ME to build ME.

I can't tell you all about it because there is too much to tell. I do not want to write "about" the place I'm in right now, but from it. But I thought you deserved to know where I was, kind blog friends; you continue to give me the gifts of wonder and hope.

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