Where do I even begin? I’m working through anger, disbelief, and simply being dumbfounded. No matter how much I’m trying to shrug things off, or not to let things get under my skin, there are more and more w?t?f?moments. It sounds rough, but I can no longer make any sense of what is happening. Twenty minutes must have passed since I sat down to write, but all I’m doing is starring at the blank screen, unsure of how to begin to summoning my thoughts. I’m lost for words and I’m losing the basis and foundation of this whole undertaking and purpose of this visit. I got to see my lifelong girlfriend Angie tonight. She has always been there for me, often being my sounding block, helping me move mountains and collaborating plots for progress with Mom. Each visit brings new worries and drama and I feel bad of how little time we had in past years to just be. To just enjoy each other’s company as best friends, without the drama from my side. Yet you wouldn’t here a single complain from here and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She is a living guardian angel to me and I can’t put into words the meaning she brings to my life. She opened the door and it was wonderful to see her, we hugged. Tightly, I was clinging onto her for a long time it seemed, feeling her wanting to let go and me pulling her even closer. The tension from the passed days left my body through tears, unannounced and without warning. “Oh my God that bad” was all she could say, understanding that yet another battle was to be fought during this visit.
Times have been tough here and Mom is not able to let go of her anger and bitterness she holds towards me. The tension is due to me leaving her behind as she calls my departure to a different country. It has built over the years and gets stronger the longer I’m away. There has been no resolve for many years and I feel that I’m close to reaching a breaking point. Again I am thinking back to my Rock Bottom oracle card and the meaning of not being able to go on in the same fashion I have been. I have tried over and over to make peace with Mom, but I’m beginning to believe that nothing will ever change the disgust she feels for me. Even if I was to return, I can’t picture that she would forgive me for the years passed. It’s obvious that she thinks that no good daughter, mind you an only daughter would do such a thing and leave her mother behind. I don’t know how to fix things with her and maybe this is not what this trip was meant to be. Maybe it is to realize that things are beyond the point of fixing. She thinks that I’m responsible for her life, the house and her care and this is where my place is, regardless of my own life and situation. Her anger and withdrawal of all love is my punishment and her way of paying back the pain I have caused her by leaving. I never knew she wanted me to stay and feelings are taboo with Mom. The one thing I ever wanted, a Mother / Daughter relationship is withheld from me and out of reach.
It was interesting to cook a meal today and it’s obvious that I can’t do anything right. I wonder how I survived on my own for so long. It’s been a week of truths and revelations, aha-moments and realizations, and I have learned a lot. I’m still chasing a ghost, a mothers love that was never meant for me. Angie asked me how many more years I’m willing to let this continue and allow the psychological stress to ruin my health. I don’t know and I’m not even sure if it’s in my control just yet. From my end, the Daughter / Mother bond is strong and was always something I hoped to have and strengthen. Regardless the mean things she has said to me during the short time of being here, there are definitely moments I despise her, but the anger never lasts. Maybe just like her, my love for her will once be replaced with feelings similar as the ones she holds for me. I’m not there yet and in the meantime I remain a puppet for the whipping of Mom’s moods and how she sees fit of treating me.
This week’s insights were rough but tomorrow is another day….
I have learned that my life was given to me, but was never meant to be my own. I challenge that and it is perhaps the very problem.
I have learned that even if I was here, there is no help that can be given as long as no help is accepted. There has to be realization that there is a need.
I have learned that bitterness, disgust and disrespect for me runs deeper than any shred of love ever has. It has been replaced and I’m not worthy of anything else in her eyes.
I have learned that a Mother/Daughter relationship will remain to be an elusive dream and that it will take a miracle for anything more.
I have learned that I’m stupid, too dumb, that I know nothing and that I will never amount to anything. Of course I do know better, but I don’t have to prove it. Even though my mother, she is ONE person who believes such shitty thing and she is the minority.
Angie’s heart bleeds for me as she tries to understand where I find the strengths to endure the punishment. Besides that I have also learned something without the directness from my mom despite her influence for such.
I have a breaking point and eventually the day might come that I will stay away as she will have pushed me once too many times. All hope will have vanished and the “stupid” shroud will lift to reveal with clarity that I can no longer chase after what’s not meant to be. If hate and disgust is all she feels for me, I don’t see how this will continue. Perhaps it would be much better to stay out of her life and save her the disappointment, disgrace and shame.
Travel day was smooth for the most part and it helped to split the long flight up with a connection in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was a four hour flight from Sacramento and my connecting flight to Frankfurt Germany will take another 8+hours. Flying into Frankfurt was gray with low hanging fog. The top of a few skyscrapers from the city-line were piercing through the cloud-fog cover and gave a mysterious appearance. Germany would stay hidden from me for a little while longer and keep its surroundings largely at a secret. After exiting the plane, I walked up to the luggage carousel from a quick bathroom break and saw my suitcase coming down the belt, only a few feet from me, it was perfect. A few people (other passengers) even looked at me a bit funny and perhaps they had waited awhile already and I made it look so easy, walking up and grabbing my case. I managed to handle my luggage without a cart and walked right through customs. No note and nothing, I would later find that my suitcase made it through untouched and unopened. A first, I think. I was surprised and elated that the rental car counter was right outside the gate and that I didn’t have to go far at all. This flight came in through a different terminal, much closer to the rental counter and without any escalators and stairs to tackle, awesome. Little did I know that all the smoothness was about to end. “What do you mean there is no car reservation under my name” I said. Quickly we discovered that the reservation was made for a different location by accident instead of the airport location. I enjoyed a 15 minute taxi ride, through fog and heavy morning traffic to the heart of Frankfurt (which I was trying to avoid), while trying to remember to find my way back out once I got the car. Everything was ok, but it was me who created a little bit of stress for myself, about the fog, not having driven in Germany for over two years and then with a foreign vehicle etc. and just wait till you see the vehicle hahaha. Not at all what I expected, but it’s growing on me and it’s great practice for what’s to come times ten or so. Well, it did have navigation, and so it did eliminated the stress of finding my way through the concrete jungle. And I still took a wrong turn. Ha.
Finally I was free and on the A3, the Autobahn that would lead me to my Mom’s house. Let’s see how fast this thing drives….just kidding and not yet and definitely not through the fog. I drove for awhile getting a feel for the car and the surrounding traffic before I finally stopped at a rest stop. It was time to freshen up and make myself as presentable as possible for “The big meeting” with Mom (ridiculous), and it was there in the parking lot that I had my first “Wiener Schnitzel”, my favorite drink and a Pretzel. Man was it delicious, I could definitely get used to it and it was good to be home. I took my time driving towards my Mom’s house and drove through the country in parts, leaving the autobahn and the speed behind. There was much to take in and I had finally arrived. The fog had lifted for the most part, making the drive much easier, but there was still plenty hidden in the unknown that was lying ahead of me. My mind continued to replay the scenarios of endless possibilities, but eventually, the closer I made to the house, the more relaxed I got and the less I worried. It was out of my control and there was nothing I could do. Perhaps even how it was meant to be.
Mom was at the bottom of the stairs, tending to her adopted stray cat as I came into the house and a smile indicated that she was genuinely happy to see me. Right away she pointed out some dirt in the corners, while explaining her dilemma of not being able to keep up. Second she stated that she has to go see another doctor tomorrow and that she might be admitted into the hospital. “You picked a great time for a visit” followed next, as if signaling the end of pleasantries. I was too tired to care and for the first time I started to feel the long haul catching up. I was exhausted, starting to feel nauseous and sick. I managed to vacuum Mom’s kitchen (don’t ask) and she wanted to go eat since she didn’t have any food in the house. She had no clue that I felt as if I had travelled around the world and that I was tired. I should have not freshened up and perhaps I looked better than I felt. I would have to remind her several times that some things just have to wait for now. “Why” she would exclaim over and over, unable to understand. And of course there was that comment about the outfit I wore and my hair (I’m not sure if it would have made a difference, had the straightener not broke) and I got to say my prepared response that I wasn’t pursuing a fashion show during the approximately 36 hours from the time I last slept. I even added that I would wonder how she looked if she had just undergone such a long trip, asking her if she could even imagine. Of course not and she has never visited me in all the years. There as no response. Are you kidding me? I blew the little indicators off, and took some valued advice. The first days are crucial, have patience, relax and take some deep breaths. I did all of it. Geeeee….
After a short debate, I took her to her favorite place, fortress Colmberg, a now privately owned medieval hotel / guesthouse. We sat in the sunroom addition with coffee and cake while overlooking the land. She lightened up, just like the sun that was shining through the Glas, warming up the day while the storm clouds and showers were still lingering. Eventually we left and I decided, now with my 10th wind and another boost of sudden energy from the cake, that we would take a little drive through the country. Mom enjoyed the ride, being out of the house and seeing something else. We stopped for groceries on the way home, but walking remains to be a huge challenge. I can’t lie about how awful it was to see Mom’s legs. I’m truly surprised she still has them and they have not been amputated. Maybe it is just now that they are worse and they are not always as bad. I sure hope so but I’m not sure, I only know they are worse than I remember from the last visit. But for today, all is well and tomorrow is another day that can bring a different message. It will come either way but for today Mom got to spend time at one of her favorite of places.
I’m still in the air and the majority of the flight has been in darkness. As I look out the tiny oval window, I see the vast unknown lit up by sparkling stars, and I can’t help but think of what lies ahead. I lucked out and got two seats to myself, but I still can’t sleep and instead countless scenarios flood my mind about the reunion with my Mom. I wonder how she imagines me or what the initial moment will be like when she sees me. She is outspoken and I’m bracing for her directness that might wound my heart if I don’t relate to her estranged way of joking. She has forgotten how to properly communicate and interact and I feel as if I might get the brunt of it. I’m sure she is not going to approve of my sweats and casual shirt, but this long haul was not meant as a fashion show to me. I wanted to be as comfortable as possible and didn’t know what to expect with the RA. The pills and the adrenaline is working and I’m holding up, thank you steroids and ibuprofen. I’m afraid she won’t be able to relate or consider this and most likely she won’t be able to leave behind the shallow statements. I’m prepared….I think and I hope. I’m not trying to portray her as cold and unthoughtful, I’m just releasing my thoughts, confiding in this blog and in you. Most likely a few days will have past if and when I can post this, so everything will always be behind.
You would have it that my straightener broke this morning and I couldn’t doll up my hair. Curly it is now and unruly to her I’m sure. It’s either too flat on my face if it’s straight or it appears as if it is not taken care of and maintained. Well it’s definitely not flat and straight this time. It will also be the first time that she can see all the gray process of my hair and while I have come to love my silver, I’m not sure what she will say. Apparently her hair is completely white but I have seen no picture of her in two years and don’t know what to expect.
So here I am and as I sit here and stare into the darkness I see much that is unknown ahead of me. The answers are lurking out there somewhere with some soon to be revealed I hope. But I also see brilliant moments and it is in the stars that shine my way through the night sky out there. I hold on and embrace the sparkle while reminding myself that no star could shine without darkness. Everything will be ok, but I know a decision is awaiting and needs to be made.
It’s travel day and hopefully finally time to kick back. Vacation officially started yesterday, but it hardly felt like the start of it and the day was filled with last minute errands. It’s always the same marathon and it always comes down to the wire, no matter how early I start preparing. I have a new joke about this that originated at work. I made a statement 4 or 5 weeks out that I had to hurry up and pack to my boss. He obviously couldn’t understand the rush having so much time left and he finally just looked at me, shaking his head and said “I don’t understand, what do you do, put two pieces in the suitcase each day?” I will always remember this and smile back whenever it is that packing needs to be done. With all that behind me now, it seems like all I have left is to kick back and enjoy the ride, and I will try my hardest to rest up. It is 4:40AM and it looks like boarding will start in 46 minutes. I managed maybe two hours of sleep at the most and got up just before midnight. The two and a half hour ride to Sacramento was smooth with minimal traffic and it helped that it is the weekend and in the wee hours.
At the airport, the heavy weight contender (the suitcase) ended up weighing in at 49.5 pounds on a weight limit of 50 pounds. I’m glad that went smooth as well and nothing had to be left behind. I even made it through security without being pulled out of line. I usually do get stopped and perhaps I’m beginning to look more harmless as I get up there in age. Maybe it’s the silver hair and people know better than to mess with the silver foxes. 😉 I’m just kidding but I have had some bad experiences with airports in all these years, so it’s natural for me to have a bit of anxiety. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and might have a little surprise waiting for me at my connecting flight from Charlotte to Frankfurt. I changed my seat to a window seat yesterday and noticed the seat next to mine on that two seat row is available as well. If I could ever be so lucky and have both seats to myself, I wouldn’t complain. Hopefully nobody booked last minute. Fingers crossed and with the lack of sleep I might even manage a good nap on the plane. That would be nice and for sure a first. I know I’m asking a lot but I will arrive in Germany on Monday morning 7:30AM and will have the whole day ahead of me. To combat Jetlag, I will have to manage some sleep somewhere.
Before I close out here, I wanted to mention that I’m not sure if and how often I can update this blog due to no Wifi while I’m gone. So if you leave a comment or even be a new follower, please be patient and know that your input means a lot. I will get back to you once I return and catch up on posting and responding.
It’s Saturday morning and I’m officially on vacation. I could get used to the feeling and it’s been awhile since I was off on a Saturday. It’s usually the busiest day in retail and for sure the loudest, which seems like a little extra reason to enjoy the peace and quiet of this morning. In other words, I’m feeling pretty good right now and I can’t complain. There are still a few chores to take care of before my departure to Germany in the wee hours, or in the middle of the night at midnight when I have to get up, to be more accurate. But for now I’m in no hurry and I’m thoroughly enjoying just sitting here and making the blog a priority. These blissful moments have been overshadowed with the tasks of the previous weeks and have been truly rare. I called Mom yesterday, as promised I told her that I would check in before I leave. I guess she thought I was coming home on Tuesday and stated that she has a doctors appointment on Monday. She said that she can’t walk and for a moment it crossed my mind that she might be admitted into the hospital while I’m there. “Well you have a key to the house” she finally said in the same breath as “Anything else new” came across her lips. Nope, just calling before I see you on Monday. “Ok” she replies with a kind of meh, whatever attitude. “Is that it, aren’t you excited that I’m coming home” I ask to get some emotion, some response from her. “No” she says and repeats it’s a second time with a little chuckle, after I ask her if she is serious. Is this your way of joking I wonder as her initial response hits me right in the heart and I feel a deep disappointment creep up, filling me with a mixture of hurt and anger. Worst part is that I don’t even know if my own mother is trying to crack a cruel joke she thinks is funny or if this is really the truth. Well that ought to be interesting if this is how she feels, because I’m super stoked about using my entire vacation I worked so hard for to come home to be subjected to this kind of attitude. It’s the anger and disappointment speaking and in the end, I’m sure she is excited, but I don’t care to play games. Personally, I don’t need it and I feel a bit of sadness rising as well as anxiety to aggravate the RA. Sadness for her, and that she can’t jump over her own shadow of unresolved feelings that remain a foreign affair to her. To give into the bitterness of maintaining the tough facade in an effort to protect herself and keep the pain away. I can’t live like that, but I kept my mouth shut. I can’t afford to start my time with her on the wrong foot, it’s limited and it would take all days to coax her out of her stubborn shell. Yet, it’s not fair to me as I need time for myself in the fight against my health and I know it. We will see what happens Monday afternoon once I arrive. She will always be my mother and I love her, but sometimes she is also simply impossible and the struggle is real.
Another worry for another day, closer to my time getting there. Are we there yet? I’m sure this will be on my mind since more than 24 hours will have passed until the approximate time that I arrive at my Mom’s house. The thought alone made this morning extra special as I snuggled a little extra before getting up and enjoyed the sun rays finding their way through the cracked blinds. I left the window open last night, and you can definitely feel the seasons change with fall approaching quickly. The air felt cool and crisp as I marveled in those moments knowing that they would be the last for awhile. I felt grateful to be within my own four walls and the feeling of comfort they provided.
The heavy weight contender, (the suitcase) weighed in at 46 pounds yesterday and I made it just under the 50 pound weight limit. Time to throw a few extra pieces into it, right, lol. This will be the first year I imagine renting a luggage cart at the airport. Not because of extra suitcases, but because I’m not sure how the RA will allow me to handle everything. I started the steroids two days ago and it’s too early to tell if there is relief or not. There is usually such an adrenaline rush while I’m at work, that it allows me to work through the pain on the majority of days, but by the end of my shift I’m spent and tired. The fatigue that is associated with RA is a different battle all together. Weather and low pressure systems are also a factor and it will be interesting to see how Germany will impact such. Elevation is lower as my home here in the mountains but the storms and rain is more frequent. Therefore Germany is very green in appearance.
In a little while I will finish packing the carry-on and my backpack, pay the last bills, schedule everything to be taken care of in my absence, water the plants, etc. and bring “The Pony” back to the repair shop. The issues from a few weeks ago with her stalling is resolved, but the opposite is happening now with her idling too high, especially with the air conditioning on. She often drives by herself without any need of depressing the gas petal and I hope to get this and a tune up taken care of while I’m in Germany.
I probably manage another little post later and hope to catch up on your words, while saying goodbye as Wifi will be sporadic and I’m planning on it to be non existing while I’m gone. But in the meantime I will share a picture of previous memories that flashed on Facebook this morning. It’s a few years old and pictures Meiss Meadow from my neighborhood in Sierra Nevada’s, my beautiful mountains.
Have a beautiful weekend everyone.
Burning Man is a annual event located in the Black Rock Desert not too far from my house. Each year people from all over the world pay hundreds, even thousands of dollars to participate and enter in the festivities of Hope, Faith, Love and Forgiveness. Burning Man is filled with art and creativity while offering acceptance to everyone without judgement for who you are, how you dress, your wildest dreams and/or your vivid imagination. If you can dream it up, Burning Man is a place to make it a reality. Burning Man is the ultimate party and celebration of a year long preparation of elaborate rides and statues galore. My town showcases recent Burning Man Statues, displayed throughout the city and it’s pretty neat. I recently came across one such elaborate ride with Michigan lisence plates and I can’t help but wonder about the journey and the stories this vessel must have seen.