Today, Charity at The Wounded Dove is hosting her Tuesday linkup and the prompt is laundry. She lets you know a week in advance what the topic will be, so you have time to think about what you’d like to contribute. As I folded, washed and transferred clothes from my washing machine to the dryer that always closes before I can get a pile in (don’t you hate that?!).
I thought “how is this interesting? Unless…we aren’t talking about the same thing?” Always the metaphorical maniac, I quickly sorted through the laundry, both dirty and clean, of my life. Ready?
It’s no secret that I love to write. When I decided to allow myself the freedom to say that, I set out to write the book I thought I always would – and who knows, I may still. I created a goal of at least 500 words a day and stuck with it, for a week. A week? A week. I am not one to abandon passions, well, let’s not talk about my opera singing career.
I wanted to start from the beginning and get it all out there. You see, I’ve only divulged snippets to my husband and closest of friends. I even talked to a therapist once, who after the first session needed a therapy session herself. My life really reads like a psychological thriller the likes of Mommy Dearest and it’s all painful because there’s really no reason at all whatsoever for any of it. I think that’s what sucks the most about being a victim.
The more I wrote, the more I was living out the stages of grief all over again. I don’t mourn the loss of a relationship with my mother (she’s alive and well), I mourn not having what a mother should be, the mothers you read about in magazines and see on sitcoms. Granted, no relationship is ever perfect, but I needed, I deserved, that mom. I needed and I deserved, that dad. What I got was a far cry from that. A far cry. With every page I typed out, denial would turn to anger, then sadness, depression and ultimately mourning the memories that I recalled and would fantasize an alternate ending to.
Instead of a “You only won $25?!” on the other end of a phone call from Texas when I came in first place in a singing competition (out of 250 other women, by the way), my family was in the audience cheering me on complete with homemade signs.
As I wrote these vignettes of hurt (and that was one of the milder memories), I would get upset and ask myself how that could happen. You see, the why of it, I’m over. There’s no logic to any of it. But the how, as a mother myself who lives for her boys, is just baffling to me.
Then I would feel guilty. What if she read it? What if she’s reading this? It’s not that hard to find me. What if everything I ever write is being read by her; talked about and scrutinized by her. You see, she’s had a hold on using control and fear for years. It took my marrying Mike to begin it’s undoing – and only just recently did I understand the depths of her grip. And you know what I’m learning?
- Faith helps us to accept what we cannot understand.
- Life becomes easier when you learn to accept the apology you never got.
So my laundry? I don’t know if I’m ready yet, as much as I thought I’d folded it all into neat piles and and perfectly coordinated outfits for every occasion. At 36 years old, that bothers me. As a writer who thought the first thing she would tackle were her demons in a memoir, it’s awful because I don’t know where to go from here.
I just sit with the piles of perfectly folded and stacked memories all around me. We all know what happens when you touch the top of a pile of neatly folded shirts? They all come down and you’re in the middle of a mess. Maybe that’s where I am now.
Join the rest of the Good Enough Moms at The Wounded Dove.