She has a gun, and it is loaded. It's in an old wooden box on the top shelf of her closet.. Blue curtains with pale pink roses enclose the gun like an unholy shrine.
She told me 4 months ago she wanted to kill herself. It's been awhile since I heard her say that.
A memory stirs me.....We are looking for her she has been gone for 3 days. We have called the police and reported her as missing. My brother, who was 14 at the time goes to her closet to look at her clothes. To feel her presence.
He screams. We all run to her room. Mom is in a coma on the closet floor. An overdose. She's not dead. She makes it. She recovers.
We, on the other hand, are tortured by the constant threat of death that looms over us, daily.
There were times when she had drank so much she quit breathing.
I took CPR and First Aid in 6th grade so I could revive her if she died while drunk or overdosed again.
I CALL 911 one day, I can't revive her. They come and take her to the hospital. We stay with the neighbors. My older brother and sisters long gone from the picture.
The next day as she drinks her coffee, she looks at me over her cup and says, "Why didn't you just let me die?"
My heart is torn in two at that moment. I cry silent tears. Trying not to make a sound. Just silent.
"I guess I love you too much Mom." And I walk out the door and stay at a friend's house that night.
Mom was not a bad woman. She was a sad woman. A very depressed woman. An alcoholic.
In life, people get broken for many reasons. No love, a cheating partner, a life of poverty and struggle, that never seems to end. The list goes on and on.
There were many good things about Mom. We never went hungry. She made us go to church, even though she didn't. She would get up hungover and get us ready. I hated her at the time for making me go. But now, I truly appreciate that she did that.
She told me, tears in her turquoise eyes, " You will learn a better way than what I am teaching you." But we learn by example.
And that is the truth. But the lessons I learned from going to church have helped me in my life.
I am not a religious person. I am a believer in God. I am largely flawed. But I believe. And I am trying harder than I ever have in my life to turn things around.
I am learning to be alone. To be independent. To take responsibility for my actions. I am trying to learn not to let despair take me over. We can't blame our parents for everything that is wrong in our life. At some point we must be responsible. We must see the damaging effects that was placed upon our young lives. And see what it has done to us. But be determined to change what we hate in ourselves. Strive not to be like what we hated in them.
I have spent so much of my life being afraid. I don't want to be afraid anymore. There were terrors I suffered that made me afraid. At points in my life I felt i was in a living hell. And I am sure there are many of you who have went through similar things. I know that.
Our lives are intricately woven together. Woven by threads of sorrow, threads of happiness, of all the things that make us human beings. Making us aware that we are not mere animals. But that we are thinking creatures, capable of great change..
I found this quote today..And I believe it with my whole heart. "Dreams have as much influence as actions."- Stephanie Mallarme, French Essayists and poet
We do not choose who we come from, or where we come from. But we must always be aware that those things do not define us. We define us. "We define us." They play a large part on how we turn out. But we are not our circumstance.
I have power to be who I have always known I should be, and so do you.