I Love Mom, Fuck that Bitch.

When I oversleep in order to escape reality, my dreams go into extreme mode. The more I sleep, the more surreal they become and the more blurred the line between what is real and what isn’t. My recent weekend of slumber and binge watching has given me a lot to figure out, as throughout the day I keep getting shocked by things I’m realizing happened but not really, by people I spoke to but didn’t speak to and by places I was but wasn’t. It’s such a head trip to be sitting here in the autumn of 2020 and having to remind myself that I didn’t have that conversation with my mom last night in which I comforted and advised her about what to do after her wallet was stolen by the fair workers in town…and the reason I know I didn’t is because my mom died in the summer of 2016. And even if my mom were still alive, I know this conversation would be highly unlikely because, if her wallet were stolen by fair workers, I would not be the person from whom she sought comfort and advise.

I am not sure if my extreme disorientation is made more so by my overall weak grasp on reality or if everyone has times when they struggle to know the difference between real life and the dreamworld. Either way, this particular experience has left me haunted much longer than it normally would. While typing the first paragraph, I felt a wave of despair washing over me (yet again) in realizing Mom is dead and, although it was a heart wrenching event in itself even the dreamworld to see my mom so frightened, small and vulnerable, I didn’t really have have the opportunity to comfort and advise my mom in a way that felt redeeming and healing for us like I dreamed. That mom died believing I was a loser who couldn’t be counted on. That I never got a chance to show her I could, and would, be there for her if she needed me. That there never will be a chance to show her who I really am. That in her dying before I found myself, I sometimes wonder if I will ever truly exist.

Parts of me are revolting inside as I continue to write this because “we” are mom’s making. Part of the creation of my fractured existence is the direct result of being told throughout my childhood that I needed to stay hidden, that I was fundamentally bad and could only “act” like a good girl and of feeling (and sometimes being told of) my mom’s shame at having me as her daughter. Parts of me are like “Fuck that bitch” and want to kick my own ass for continuing to spend anymore of my precious time here on earth giving her any thought. Other parts weep for mommy; wanting her to want me and wanting another chance to prove I’m good and worthy of her pride; wanting a do-over. I know this is one of the biggest chasms within me to overcome in order to move forward in my consolidation into one; reconciling the experience, emotions and damage of being raised by a woman who hated herself and, in seeing a reflection of herself in me, asked me to keep myself hidden and kept herself hidden from me. Until she was dying…

I am so grateful for the weeks I got to spend with her in the nursing home while cancer escorted her out of this world. I’ll never forget how many times I said “I love you, Mom” just so I could hear her say it back without any criticisms or undertones of disapproval. I’ll never forget how she, in not liking the way I was pushing her wheelchair, got frustrated and called me by my childhood name of “Big Dummy” and then immediately apologized. To me. My mom…apologized…to me! I’ll never forget how she let me wash her back, brush her hair and wipe her ass. I’ll never forget how, when the nurses aide walked into the room, she introduced me as her daughter to a stranger. I’ll never forget how good it felt to be allowed to be hers for a little while.

I want more.

I want Mom.

I want me.