Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Growing up

      I'm waking up more and more as I work through the whole mom dying thing. I'm finding myself having happy moments when I don't feel the weight of it on me, when I feel I am coming to terms with it. It will never not be horrible, but I know I will be happy again. That is such a good thing to know. And my mom wanted that so bad for me too. My last year was such a disaster, and she spent so much of her limited energy on me. The last months of her life was the closest we ever were, or that I could ever imagine being with someone else. She died, but she also gave me my life back before she did. I had been going so wrong and she found the perfect way to shock me back into my real self, and reinforced it by being willing to be my friend and demand the same of me, rather than being "MOM" and then dying to leave me in guilt and shame. God mom you were the greatest mom even when you stopped.
      Before the last year, my life was simple and safe. I was a good kid, had friends, a happy family and very comfortable life. But there is danger in that when you run into bigger issues in life, death, leaving the home and going out into the world, finding yourself. I understand why some people turn to drugs. Its a way of dealing with things that are just too big for you.
     I think that if I hadn't had these experiences of my last year, the big mistakes, the blow up with my parents and then my mom fixing it, her dying, and I had just continued on with the former good girl, comfortable life little me, I would go through life not as strong as I will now.
     I was flirting with a guy the other day.    :)   Been a while. He was a grad student TA and he knew that my mom had died. We started talking and it turned into a long conversation with him telling me stuff about his life and what he wanted to do in it, and it was nice to have this kind of conversation, sort of grown up. The me before this year would have been all in girl mode, self conscious, worrying about what he thought about me, how did I look, talking way too much and so on. But the now me, a girl who had survived lossing her mom, could just sit and listen. I didnt need to care about what he thought, I was stronger, had more of a sense of myself. Yes it is partially a clueless little slut friendship wrecker bipolar bitch, but also someone stronger who knew she could get through anything, and talking to a cute guy was no big thing. And maybe that is a better way to be with guys, not worried or despearate for attention, but simply take it or leave it.
     Of course when he found out that I was 17, it got ackward! What is it with guys? Yes I know its illegal for a 24 year old guy to have sex with a 17 year old girl, but it wasnt even going that way! Why cant he be the same person he was being, when he founds out I am a "little girl"?   :(    Oh well. It was fun feeling like I could be happy and think about guys and play with my hair and look into his eyes for just a bit. And instead of thinking my moms dead, thinking she would be so silly happy knowing I was flirting. I think she would.

Love you mom!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A walk

   I had a wonderful walk. I needed it too, posting about the day mom died was hard for me. Its been like I have been coming out of a fog since then, and writing about it cleared it up a bit more. It was a beautiful fall day today, in the 60's and a bit of breeze, but warm enough that it felt sort of hot when the sun was out and cool when the clouds blocked it, but not too much either way. And It smelled so good outside too. It reminded me of mom, she loved smells of nature. There is this one curve that has a fig tree right next to the road, and she would go that way even if it was not the closest way, just so she could smell the fig tree when she drove by. One time we were driving down the highway during the crush, when they do the grapes and it smelled so good that she pulled over to the side of the road to just sit and smell it. Someone even stopped to see if we needed help! Mom wasnt afraid to be totally weird if she felt like it. Or even if she didnt feel like it.
     My walk reminded me of other things about mom, and it relates to things people are asking me about her. And it reminded me about a walk her and I had this summer when she was still feeling ok. I had told about how she said she didnt want to be my mom anymore and how we would both pretend to be other people so we could make up reasons to be together and not be doing the mom daughter thing. We did it a few times, but it didnt take long for us to find a way to be her and me with out the mom daughter thing. We were more like real close friends, and we talked about stuff that most moms and daughters are scared too. We talked about sex stuff, men, what we wanted to be, her life before having kids, and her first marriage and the stuff that still affected her and the family from that, all kinds of things, but more honestly that we ever had before.
     Several people are curious about my mom and scientology, so here are some things. My mom joined it after she came back from europe and while she was still a teenager. She had left home at 18, so I think it was when she was 19. Her parents were already in it but she thought it was a cult and was out to get things from her mom and dad, but then she found that she liked some of the ideas and joined. And she stayed a member of it till she died. She was 54, so that is like 35 years.
     She was married to a man who was and still is a scientologist, before my dad, and he is my big sisters dad. My dad is not a scientologist. He says if he were required to label his beliefs he would probably be closest to buddhist. Scientology tried to get him to join a long time ago, but he said they didnt want to listen to what he had to say, and only wanted him so they could use it to make them look good. He does mental health research and they could say look at him and he's with us. My dad says they want to control people too much for him. This has caused some problems for the family, because the scientologists in it want to do stuff in scientology, but they have a rule that you can not do things if you know people who dont like scientology. My dad didnt say he didnt like it and in fact finds the ideas interesting. My grandpa and my dad will talk about it for hours, and its not like my dad is against it, but it just isn't for him.
     Scientology has something called operating thetan, and all the scientologists want to do it. My grandma did it to level 7 and my grandpa to level 3, but once my mom married my dad no one in the family could do operating thetan anymore. My grandma couldn't go to their ship, grandpa couldnt do anymore, my mom couldnt do anymore, and the worse was that my sisters dad couldnt do any more, and if he wasnt careful they would kick him out or make him no longer see his daughter!!! I think people should believe whatever they want if they dont hurt other people, but scientology doesnt like it that people dont believe it. Mom had to be careful that she never put her first child in the position of losing her father. This was all before I was even born! Maybe now that mom is dead, shelly's dad can finally do it. I dont really see why he put up with the rules, but I sort of do also. My mom taught me some of the operating thetan stuff, because she always said that you needed to know stuff in life to survive, and she wanted to protect me from life by making sure I knew the important stuff.
     And that brings me back to the walk I was remembering, when mom taught me how to do operating thetan stuff. We had been talking about people and how they acted and stuff when she told me she would show me some stuff that would help with people. The first thing she did was to tell me that she was going to make a picture in her mind and when she said "now" I was to tell her what it was. She said to be like in the way you get after a good meditation, quiet inside but super aware of what was going on around. So we did that for a while, her making pictures, really just like one thought or emotion, and me saying what I thought it was. To look at her with your eyes, it was like she had no expression or anything, but after a while I could tell what it was. Happy :), Sad, GRRR angry. She was good at it, she could really make you see what it was she wanted you too.  It wasnt like you see really but you know what it is and can tell it is there. Like seeing something invisible.
    We did that several times until I could get it alot, and then she told me that now I needed practice seeing people having pictures, and seeing who was having them. She told me to go shopping and sit for a while and watch the people around me and see if I could see their pictures and if I could spot who was looking at them. And I could sometimes, some people were like in a cloud! It was funny because now that she mentioned it it was kind of obvious. Some people were more quiet inside, but some were just like they were trying to watch 3 tv shows at once. I cant really usually see what there pictures are, but I do get a feeling about what they are. Mom said that it is an important skill to be able to see the part of a person that is the life, and to be able to see pictures of other people and tell whose they are, because sometimes the feelings you get from other peoples pictures can make you think they are your pictures and confuse you. Mom said being able to see pictures and the life in people is almost half of operating thetan. She said the rest is about communication and intention. She had real strong intention so she could make me see her pictures. But she said that intention was something I needed to learn slower, after seeing a lot more of how people use pictures and how they act. The thing she told me to look out for was if it was intention from the life or from something the picture was telling them. She said that intention could be a very powerful thing and needed to come from wanting something good and not from pictures, and that I would learn this from watching people this operating thetan way. I'm not really good at it, but I practice watching people at school. Its really cool to see people this way because its like I know stuff about them that they dont even know. I think people who have too many pictures are like almost disabled, and when you see someone who isnt looking at any, and especially if you and them both notice each other, its like you are connected somehow. I think I would rather be around people who dont use pictures, and I wonder if all scientologists are like that? But if they were why would they have silly rules about who you can know.
    My therapist Greta is one of those people who doesnt have a lot of pictures, she is just really there and quiet. My dad says she is one of the most present people he knows, he says she is in the now and pretty much no where else. She says she has never been a scientologist or any religion except that she is jewish because her mother was, but not because she practices it.
     Mom said we could believe any religion we wanted, but I think that mostly religion is just a way for people to control other people with things they dont understand. I have been to christian church and synogoge too with friends, but mostly churches feel like you have to believe or else and I want to be able to explore more. Mom wouldnt let me go to scientology church. She said I could after I turned 18 if I wanted. I'll be 18 in 5 weeks now, but I think she didnt really want me to. She said that there were some problems right now and it wasnt going right, but her and other people were working on it. I'm real curious to see, but I know that if they tried to get me to follow their rules, there would be problems. I dont understand how people who can see other peoples spirit and invisible pictures, could not fix their problems, but I am learning that there is a lot I am clueless about. So thats what I know about scientology, some really cool, some I dont like at all.

the day

     The day my mom died. Every one has seen it in the movies, someone dying, but its not like that. Its not noble or dramatic or sweet sadness, its ugly, uncontrollable, and is like something is ripped away from you with hidden power you didn't know existed. And I think it is like that for the person dying as well as those who were close to them.
     It was just another day, mom had been having a rough few weeks, she had lost weight and was in bed a lot, but she would have good days when she was up and eating and hanging around in the house, and bad days when she was in bed and didnt talk much. On those days it was like she wasnt really asleep and resting, but just sort of out of it, not making an effort to do anything. We knew she was getting worse, but I still hoped that she would fight her way out of it. But today she was really out of it. She was awake sometimes and would look at me and I would know she was seeing me, but no smile of recognition, no sign of her being able to rest from what she was fighting. Her breathing had gotten sort of hoarse and she looked tired and cold.
     In the early afternoon dad called her doctor, who came by the house and looked at her, and then talked to my dad for a while. After he left Dad called my brother and sister and told them to come to the house.
    By late afternoon is was obvious that something was wrong, she had not been at all really conscious and aware at all of her surroundings since morning. She seemed to be awake, but not really.
     We were all in the bedroom, Dad on the bed with her, sometimes gently saying things to her and stroking her hair. Shelly on a chair on dad's side, by brother on the foot of the bed and me on moms side. She wasnt awake and not asleep, but it was like she was dreaming, and figgiting. Her eyes would move around, looking, sometimes open, sometimes closed, but not recognizing anything we were. Then for a while she was relaxed and seemed asleep, breathing deeply and calm. We all relaxed and just hung out in the room. It was good to see her calm, she seemed to have been fighting so much. We snacked and dad had some classical music on, Bach, moms fav.
     Then she sort of woke with a couple of quick breaths and seemed to be reaching for my dad, who took hold of her, holding her to him. She seemed to be fighting, tense, but breathing slow and shallow, not really conscious, and then she wasnt breathing.
    And in the next moment, oh god, I knew that all the things I ever should have said to her, done for her, asked her, were lost  forever in a way I had never felt before. I suddenly realized what was now gone from my life. A gigantic hole, or more like a gigantic place where nothing could ever be again. Mom wasnt anymore. I'm crying now writing this, but not the way I was then, so deep and hopeless and lost.
     Dad layed with her sobbing, we were all sobbing. There was nothing else to do.  I layed on the bed next to her to and touched her hand for a moment, but SHE WASNT THERE. Oh god.

    It seemed like hours or maybe minutes, it was like a dream you couldnt wake up from, but Dad got up and called the doctor again and called the funeral home. An hour later a van came and they put her in a bag and took her out on a wheeled thing. Mom in a bag on a cart, except she wasnt mom anymore, just something to be taken away. I remember watching them push her through the living room and out the door, and hearing the van leave. I felt like I didnt know who I was or where I was. We all went to sleep later without eating.
     Next day waking up was strange, it only took seconds to remember she was gone, and going out into the house knowing that I couldnt find her if I looked. I started coffee and bacon and pancakes, waffles are fun food. I remember thinking how disrespectful it would be to make waffles. I scrambled eggs, and people woke and came in the kitchen. I think we all cried silently off and on and ate quietly, drank coffee, looked out the windows.
    Dad showered and dressed after a while and left to go to the funeral home, moms doc was a family friend and they met there and drove behind the van to take mom to the crematorium. Mom was funny, when ever death came up, like years before, she always joked and insisted that we burn her and not embalm her, and if we didnt do as she said she would come back and haunt us. I wish she would.
    Dad said that he made sure she was (she? there was nothing of her left but a dead body), she was treated right and that he saw her go into the chamber and the flames start. Then he left and came home. The next day he went back and brought back a little square plastic box with a bag in it that was what was left.
     We took that, her?, up to our vacation house on the coast the next weekend and threw parts of it on her favorite beach, and some into some flower beds in the botanical gardens. She had said to. Funny, its not ashes, they dont blow in the wind, more like sand and chunks, but we spread her out like she had wanted. I dont know if she was there or what. I had always though that I would be able to tell if she was, and she said she would, but its blank for me. I want it so much too, some sign of her. Some life of her still. But nothing.
     Its sunny cloudy right now with the softest of breeze, not cold, nice day for a walk. It feels funny to post this story of such a sad thing, on what could be a nice relaxing saturday. I have too. I am going for a walk now.