December 26, 2007
I try not to think too much about humanity. Unanswerable questions make my spine itch. That’s why didn’t study philosophy. Just grinding over questions day and night, only to end at “maybe this” or “perhaps that.” Nonsense. Everyone has their own thoughts there to guide them, let them go as they must. If that’s into the dust, so be it.
I’ve had to come to the same conclusion with my parents. I’ve tried and I’ve tried to sway them toward the truth but they just won’t budge and it’s made me absolutely miserable. They shape their entire world around God. They’ve stuffed themselves into these lines–lost their lives inside these rules, and they never waver. Never release. Now they expect me to follow suit as if I’ve ever been one to walk blindly. If they know me at all, they should know I’ll be no one’s henchman. Especially to a deity, I can’t see, smell, or touch.
They spend most days criticizing me, saying they don’t recognize me. They clearly don’t understand how damaged and defiant that makes me feel. If my identity as their daughter is enveloped in Christianity, then it only makes sense to continue ripping through their image and expectations of me. Until they finally open their eyes and see me for who I am. Mom says my actions are due to my disappointment with life’s circumstances but I disagree. I’m merely a young girl who wants to indulge in excitement before the world starts to shame me for it. They complain that I go out drinking too much, and they complain when I stay in and smoke. They complain about the boys that I’ve settled on, they complain about my casual encounters. I thought that was bad until they found out about the abortion. Then they stopped speaking to me entirely. I don’t think it was to be malicious, I think they simply didn’t have any complaints left in them. They had emptied themselves. Unfortunately, the thought-consuming silence felt more heavy and hurtful than everything that had been said to me since I moved back in. It would be a lie to say the look on my mother’s face didn’t gut me. She wouldn’t even look at me fully, only through her peripheral. Up to now, she saw me as perfect; “God’s” little gift to her. Now, I’m almost sure the sight of me makes her nauseous. Or, at the very least, disappointed. Neither of which are feelings a child hopes to draw out in their parents.
They feel as if they still have a right over my existence and autonomy. Yes, I’m living in their home, but they welcomed me. To welcome me is to accept all of me. Even the parts of me they see as a failure or a flaw. I am not their diamond to scrub clean. Every day feels like I’m under siege. Attack, attack, attack. Subdue and perhaps we’ll have her under our thumb again.
They say their God provides a peace that surpasses all understanding. So why is our relationship so devastating and contentious? I’m sorry that I don’t believe, I wish I did. I can’t help where my heart and mind have landed. All I can be is honest with them. I love them deeply, and I desire their approval and acceptance. Not having it makes it incredibly hard to be around them. Makes life feel like a game that, for the life of me, I can’t find the rules to. I just can’t please them and it’s destroying my psyche.
With all that said, I’m leaving for colorado in the morning. Perhaps in the Red Rocks true peace can be found.
January 9, 2008
Denver smells like must and pine but it feels like liberation. While I don’t want to take too deep of a breath, it still feels good to finally breathe again. No judging eyes every time I wanna light a joint. No one watching me with expectation, no scowls of disappointment. I don’t want to say too many negative things about mom and dad. While we had a rocky relationship, dad still hugged me and gave me five hundred dollars for the trip. Mom didn’t leave the porch, but she did make full eye contact with me and watched as I drove away. She took the biggest step she could and I do appreciate it. I needed it, if I’m quite honest. It’s hard to fully enjoy where you are when you’ve left behind a trail of relationships that are in flames. If she hadn’t embraced me in that small way, I would be slightly stuck in the past. Now I can just exist and enjoy it all. Colorado is quite ethereal, funny enough. A guy I met at a local pawn shop took me hiking. We went to the top of a mountain where the clouds settle just below the peak. I was now above what had always been above me and it was an odd and otherworldly perspective. The clouds are quite interesting creatures. They change shapes and collect rain but if you were to grab one it would slip through your fingers and melt into your hand. I would know, I’ve tried it. One second it’s whole, the very next it’s a mist. Life is all but mundane. Life is all but hurtful. I am so pleased with reality that it seems my vocabulary doesn’t contain the words it would take to explain all it is that I’m feeling. Happy will have to suffice.
Spending a few weeks here then maybe heading to Morrison. Gotta see what sunset looks like over those Red Rocks.
March 14, 2008
Dad has died. Apparently, it was a ruptured aneurysm. I am suffocating in pain, regret, and questions. I have thought about eternity so in depth the last few days, I can’t seem to fathom a world in which I never considered it. What did I think about before this? What was possibly so mind-consuming?
This tangible being existed. He lived. He spoke to me and held me. His laugh exists within me, how can it be that all that he is..was is simply over? Just ended, how can something I once saw and touched now be no more than a vapor? What of his soul? How can it just no longer exist? He was here. I saw him. I hear him. He must be somewhere, right?
I thought my parents were foolish, but I think what I may have been experiencing was arrogance, or maybe pride. The two seem to go hand and hand. They had both gone through loss before I—my dad with his parents and my mom, her sister. They had a perspective I’d never had before; they’ve felt this weakness. This painfully obvious and inescapable mortality and vulnerability. This complete lack of control. They’ve thought these thoughts and I called them idiotic. As if my twenty-three-year-old brain knew more about life and existence than their forty-year-old brains. As if my young thoughts were superior.
What even is a thought? What are these little voices within this four-pound slab of meat locked inside my skull? Why do I have them? And why can’t I shut them off?
So, I found myself praying yesterday. At first to my dad and then eventually to God. I thought I could forget about God but now He just feels so much like home. And that’s the only place in the world I want to be right now. He’s the closest thing I can get to what I had, something innocent in me just wants to be near. Simply to taste the past.
So many questions attacking me and there are no answers. I feel like my bones are on fire.
March 28, 2008
I made it home last week. Mom and I have slept on the pull-out couch together for the last five days. She can’t stand to sleep in their bed and I can’t stand the thought of her sleeping alone. My poor mama, her heart. They’ve lived together since she was nineteen. She’s spent more of her life with him than without him. The pain is something I can’t see but I know it’s there. I know it’s living inside her, weighing her. Heavy in her chest. Because that’s how it feels in me and he was her life partner. Yet, she continues on as if what she feels is a fraction of what I do.
On my first night home she woke up and made me breakfast. We broke down crying over blueberry pancakes. She held my hand and said that he was okay. And that everything was going to be alright. Then she got up and did the dishes. Her disposition was so calming, so confident– even in tears. How could I not believe her? That’s what it’s been like. She lets the pain seep out then gets up and keeps moving. Meanwhile, I’ve found no reason to move at all. I don’t want to think, I don’t want to breathe. I don’t have the energy, much less the desire. She has found sustenance. I wish I could dive into her inner world and sit for a while. Just for a second. Just so I could breathe again.
Noey Alberta Friedman