I’m honestly nervous to post this. I have never opened up this much in a blog post. This goes relatively deep into my wounds, I shed a lot of tearing pushing through these paragraphs. Thank you for wanting to read my story and I hope someone who can relate will find comfort in my words.
When I was, maybe 4 or 5, I had a repetitive dream. In this dream, my brother and I were playing in this immense building that was full of semi trucks. A huge garage lined with semi trucks. As we were running we found a bomb. We saw that the bomb had very little time until it would explode, so we took. We ran as fast as we could and pushed the back doors to the building open, ran up a tall hill covered in bright green grass and we laid on our stomachs, ready to watch the building explode. We were so excited, giggling and getting comfortable with our heads being propped up by our elbows. We started to count down together and then we saw our mom. She seemed to be injured because she was limping very slowly out of the back doors of the garage. My brother started screaming for her to run and hurry. I kept counting, fearing to make my way from ten to one. The building exploded and the flames swallowed her whole. I couldn’t see my mom anymore. I knew she was dead.
This dream still fucking haunts me to this day. I remember the first time that I had it, I just out of bed, ran into my parents room and snugged right up next to her. It terrified me to think of losing the woman I loved so much. She was God to me. Now that I am an adult, the dream kind of pisses me off. The best way that I can explain it is that I wanted the dream to be wrong. I never wanted to actually feel the loss of my mother.
I don’t always “feel” the loss of my mother. Sometimes I don’t even know how I’ve get here. How did my mom slip into my thoughts? My thoughts become so saturated and heavy that I almost want to explode. Some times I hide it by crying in the shower. It doesn’t make me feel as guilty, almost as if the water is washing my thoughts away before they stick to my skin.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think about her constantly or dwell on everything that happened by any means. But sometimes something will cause her to cross my mind. I mean, she’s my mom, I’ll always wish I had what never was.
I have an older brother. It infuriates me to even say this but he was a little less fortunate than me. My father’s mother took custody of me and he was left with our cracked out mother living in her drug dealer’s house. Why didn’t anyone take him? I was 12 or 13 so I understood but I didn’t understand the full picture. There was no one biologically that could take my brother. My mom wouldn’t let them. Bullshit. Someone should have went to court and fought for him. He was worth fighting for.
So many things went wrong for me growing up. I lost contact with my brother. I’d talk to him every few years.
My first car was an old Chevy Lumina. I hadn’t really talked to my brother but I knew he didn’t have a car so when I turned 18 I bought a Pontiac Alero. I called my brother that he could have it free of charge, I wanted him to have something to drive. He was beyond grateful. Before I drove it over and dropped it off, I stuck a 20 dollar bill in the ash tray with a note that said, “If you ever need a little extra gas.” I never really was able to stay in contact much after that. I spent a few years begging for him to be apart of mine and the kids family but he wasn’t ready. The sting was still running deep for him. I saw him for the first time in about 4 years on my daughter’s 5th birthday. She will be 6 in March so we are coming up on a year of consistent contact. I married my husband last August and my brother was there to witness it. I finally got to ask him if he ever found that 20 dollar bill in that ash tray.
My brother and I have not talked too much about my mom. He did have a few drinks one night and open up a lot about how there are still demons trying to haunt him. As he explained how he had and had felt and the aftermaths of it, I could completely relate. I, too, struggled the same way he has. It made me feel a little less crazy. That’s the thing about siblings, they are usually the only ones who can exactly relate to the growing pains of childhood. You go through everything together.
What my brother and I went through shaped us a lot.
I use it as my drive to be an amazing mother. I’m by no means perfect but I know I try my hardest to be everything for my kids and that makes these years the best years of my life. They are the first solid family that I have ever had, the first people to make me feel like the most important thing in the world. They unconditionally love me so much, I could never leave them or lose them. I am going to be such a happy memory of each of their childhoods and I am so proud of that. They will bring my grandchildren over on holidays. My daughter will call when she needs help cooking something. My son will call to tell me about his new career offer. They will be by my side when I take my last breath. My mother had a rough childhood that she passed on to me but the cycle stops here.
I have a hard time getting close to people. I keep everyone at arms length because I feel that everyone will only let me down or maybe I don’t really belong. It’s really difficult to really explain this one. A part of me almost feels that something must be different about me because the one person design to love me no matter what, chose drugs over me. Am I that worthless? I know that I’m not but I struggle with this. I so badly want to feel like I matter to someone other than my kids but I don’t want to let anyone to close to me either. My husband and I struggle with this, neither of us being at fault. I am a romantic, poet type of lover and he is more prim and proper, no PDA type of lover. Which is fine. I have learned that the way I need loves isn’t the same way he needs loved. I want him to occasionally remind me that I so blessed. He’s absolutely wonderful but no one is perfect. And I’m sure my extra emotional baggage can feel heavy sometimes. But him and my children fix me, I need that from him.
I am very compassionate. My brother actually told me quote from a physiatrist at a university. It was along the lines of saying to have true compassion for others and the world, you have to know that there are bad things out there. Some things that I witnessed with my mother, I will take to my grave because talking about them are not worth remembering the pain. I’ve witnessed the demons that can take over a family, I’ve stood face to face with it. And once it touches you, the scent never leaves your skin. I don’t wish my pain on anyone and I wish I could take away all of the pain in the world. I know darkness, therefore, I try as hard as I can to be the light.
Those are probably the biggest things that result from my childhood. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to forget everything. It’s just so painful to not have a mom. I feel empty in some places. I do feel with time I will accept these empty spaces, I just don’t think I’ll ever fully understand.
When my mother was about 32 or 33, not long after my grandmother took custody of me, my mother had a few medical problems. She was in prison and she had a stroke. She fell and hit her head and that set off a brain aneurysm. She loss her short term memory. I remember my grandma telling me about what happen and then taking me to see her. Half of her head was shaved and she had staples in her head. Every 10 minuets or so she would say, “So, Erica, what have you been doing?!” At first I didn’t understand and I would repeat myself to her and then I gave up. She was gone for good this time. It was excruciating to watch the mother who was once everything to me, disappear.
My mother is still very much alive but I have no contact with her. I don’t know her and she can’t remember much. I’ll never be able to get her point of view to try to understand why she became who she was. It is as if she is dead to me, the mother I once had it anyways.
And that shit hurts.
I have worked really hard on these set backs to use them as my motivation but I accept that I will probably just never be whole. And maybe that’s okay because I love very deeply and I fight really hard for what I believe in.