I watched The Descendants the other night, you know it reminded me so much about my own family I burst out crying. Well, not at the movies, but when I got home. Mom died too. Not like that, but the hospital bed and the yellow face were pretty much the same. The pain, the confusion, the guilt, the desperation…it was all there. No, mom didn’t cheat on dad. They were together since she was sixteen. Eighteen years. And no, I wasn’t seventeen at the time, I was six, my sister one.
Love. After mom died, I somehow thought she didn’t love me. Mothers sit you down to tell you that, before they die, right? Or they write you a letter. They say something. They don’t just die and refuse hugging you the last time they see you, because they are in pain and high on morphine. They just don’t…that’s not what it’s like in the stories you hear. You think you are a burden on your family as they have to do all these extra things. As there is no mother and everyone else is trying to make up for it. Everyone’s stressed. You’re to blame, not to love.
Guilt. You laughed at her for peeing in her pants when she was sick as you panicked, then you laughed three days after she died and a friend pointed out they’d never laugh again if their mother died and then slowly, you started forgetting her and you felt like you were committing a crime for moving on, for wanting love from elsewhere. You felt guilt for not having felt close enough to her when she was alive. For being daddy’s little girl.
The sadness. The knowing of how cruel life can be. You aren’t really spiritually switched on age six, thinking everything is a circle, we are all connected and love is all there is. You just see everyone around you breaking down and talking about unfairness and cruelty. So you get scared of life. You have this sensation of a gaping hole inside, a place no one can ever fill. She’s gone. Never coming back. You look around you. You see the beauty. A lot of beauty, but you feel pain. You live in a glass cube. There’s life outside, but you’re just watching. You’re numb. You’re not, but somehow you are. You closed out love.
Being at loss. There is no mother. No woman looking after you. You are now different. Everyone looks at you differently. No one knows what to say when they find out. Everyone else talks of their mothers. Of having someone fussing over them and being overprotective. You don’t know what to say. Daddy doesn’t do that. You bring your grandparents to school events. You’re weird. You feel like part of you is lacking. Like you can never be like them.
The anger. You are angry that she left you, that she never said she loved you that you can remember, that your dad isn’t a mother too and that no one understands you because they don’t have a gaping hole inside. You argue with your dad for not being everything, for not knowing, for not understanding, for not getting what it’s like being you. You feel unloved and angry.
The loneliness. You were alone, in bed, when she was dying. You faced it alone, scared. Since then, you were alone. No one else is like you. You miss her. You miss a mother. You have that hole inside and nothing cures it. If you drink hot things you stop crying, but nothing cures the hole. It’s there. You feel otherworldly somehow. Like you aren’t connected to life. You become a spectator. When boys get close you run. You cry if they get too close. You want to trust someone. You want to feel whole again. You want to let someone inside, but you never do. You want someone else to break the vow for you. The vow that no one would take her place. You want someone to break into you.
The confusion. No one knows how to deal with it. Everyone makes it up as they go along. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
Then arrives the step-family and the bullies and you get even angrier and sadder and lonelier. You fear people. You think you stink. There’s something wrong with you. Then comes the depression, the sadness, the fear and the loneliness all over again.
When I watched that movie, I realized it’s OK. It’s OK that no one knew what to do. It’s OK that we all argued. It’s OK that I wasn’t raised perfectly. It’s OK that we made mistakes. It’s OK because we loved each other. There was always love. I might have gotten it all wrong as a child and taken it all out as a teenager, but there was always love. A lot of love. I can forgive, because I know. I can be forgiven, because I was at loss.
It’s OK that I broke down, not once, but twice in my life. It’s OK, because I got a lot of things wrong in my childhood. I felt a lot of pain, because I didn’t see the love.
It’s OK. It’s all OK.
It’s OK to be me. I faced some shit, I grew. I hit some walls, I learnt.
It’s OK not to have all the answers. God knows I’ve fought for them. Hard. I sought an answer, a solution, a way out of the pain and depression. I fought so hard, for perfection. For pretending to be whole. For pretending I had no scars. For pretending I wasn’t scared.
I never became perfect. I still feel the pain sometimes. A lot of it. It still makes me feel lonely, sad, depressed and ashamed. Yet, it’s nothing like what it used to be, because I did find love. Inside. The gaping hole isn’t so gaping anymore. The problem called Maria isn’t so problematic anymore. She doesn’t hate herself that much anymore. Love. It’s really that easy and hard, if you don’t get it. Love. Fill yourself with that. It’s the best medicine you’ll ever find.
If you are still in that broken-hearted mess where you understand nothing, least yourself…fuck the problems. Just love for a while and see what happens. It’s truly magical. And sometimes, sometimes the why’s and the when’s and the what have you’s…they don’t matter anymore.
If you watch that movie you will see that they aren’t perfect either. They haven’t got it all figured out. So long as you seek and you love though, that’s it. It shows how much you care. Seek for the best way of living and love unconditionally and forever. Between the two you are doing a damn good job.
I didn’t find this post easy to write. It’s the kinda shit you don’t say, because you know it’s not how things have to be. They could be all joy, but they weren’t. It’s part of me though. It’s who I was. It’s not easy, but that’s OK. There are days when I blog about all the joys of my life, but that’s not today, because my hope is that if anyone ever finds themselves where I was and sometimes still am, maybe this will help. You’re not alone. I hope you find love. You do deserve it, I promise.