Seeing My True Self
When I close my eyes, I can see who I really am. I watch myself from a distance, admiring the person I see.
I am taller,..not because of increased stature, but because I now lack of the effects of years of disappointment, sadness and sorrow.
I have a more erect posture, a serene self confidence and a noticeable lack of a weary driven countenance.
I am lean, strong, and capable, and I am on my way to another destination, loving and prospering from a life of travel, and full of satisfaction with my place and purpose in the world.
My travels are for pleasure, but mostly to unravel the mystique of the universe and its cultures, which I use to educate the world by prose.
I am just me, alone,..as I always saw myself, but free from the grief of loss and heartache. I am what I am not,..I am happy.
This reality has crossed my mind’s eye more and more in the last few months, as I routinely reach to answer a phone call from one of my children and am plunged back into the dredges of life I actually live in.
Exhaustive lists of physicians that prescribe Suboxone cover my desk; evidence of my efforts to help my youngest son stay off of heroin, and fighting to find a doctor that will take his Medicaid.
A litany of specialists for my 18 year old daughter, who has had 2 strokes and a heart procedure both before and around her 18th birthday, lie amongst the reverie of “work” on my desk.
Files of diagnoses’ and specialists visits for my 2 year old grandson that I am raising ,and reports of those visits, are stacked neatly on one of the work trays nearby. Harley is the victim of a heroin and meth overdosed pregnancy and is a high maintenance, sensory baby. He is a pleasure to love, and a fulltime job by himself.
These issues keep me from being engaged in my eldest son’s life, who is the father to my second grandchild, a girl. My oldest son has a big heart and a charming and engaging person. I miss him very much and grieve that I am not there for him. He suffered abuse at a young age and has always harboured resentment, feeling alientated, as a rejected outsider. My lack of presence in his life due to my responsibilities now reinforces that.
My middle son has taken on the responsibility of financially supporting the baby and me. and so, he is racked with resentment and feels stalemated. He has had the highest aspirations of all my kids so far and is terrified that he may always live in the shadow of his own dreams, since I cannot work and raise this special needs baby alone.
I don’t know how to fix this situation.
I have always been independent, raising my four children alone, coming second to two husbands who abandoned their wife and family. I too, feel trapped, and for a much longer a time than the past two years.
I don’t know how to create a better life for myself, while preserving the baby’s homelife and still offering the love and attention he must have.
I don’t know how to earn an income and still be available for the specialist visits, the sick days and the therapy appointments.
I don’t know how to even keep myself fit when I literally do not have one day or one hour off from his care.
I don’t know how to make sure all my children stay alive and healthy when they themselves do not prioritize their very lives. I don’t know how to make anyone care about anything.
What if I rewound?
What if that were a possible thing to do?
Would I do it? I think I would.
All my children would still come to me eventually, but not into situations that damaged them,..or me. I could show them the world. I could buy them clothes. I could send them all to college. I could sit and have dinner with them and we could talk and laugh and not cringe if the front door opened,..or if it never did.
If I were to rewind…
I would have told Chad Flowers no and punched Jonie Latimer in the teeth. I’d have never gone over to Katrina Parrish’s house that first time and I would have refused to go to public high school.
I’d have never spoken to Reggie and I would have laughed in Brad’s face.
I’d have found out how to get myself into a four-year college and graduated by age 21 and then enrolled for a Master’s.
Then,..I would book a flight for France, then Hawaii and then any remote, undiscovered island.
Here I leave myself, for the next adventure my true self sets out on while I change another diaper, answer another phone call, and check to see if my son somewhere out there, still has a pulse.