Thursday, September 29, 2011


 [warning: explicit language.  don't feel like holding back today.]

I'm angry today.

Last Sunday, I called my mother, to whom I had not spoken for 3 months (I had decided I wasn't going to call her until she called me, knowing full well that she never calls me because she feels guilty when she does).  We talked for two hours, about Greg and the kids, our little life up here in Nebraska, about her cats and dogs, my brother, and the problems with their (squallid, delapidated) rental house.

It felt amazing, a tightness easing in my chest and pure, beautiful, clean air pouring into my lungs.  And I hadn't even realized I was suffocating.

Then she called me yesterday, to update me on the steps she'd taken to get the problems with the house fixed (a massive undertaking for someone with my mother's mental and emotional problems).  We talked for over an hour, again.  She told me that my brother's father had called earlier in the day to let my brother know he was out of prison.  It was their first contact in seven years.


As Mom and I talked, that post-prison call took our conversation back.  Way back, to the days that are just blurry images in my memory.  Days when she was a young twenty-something, battling addiction and poverty and terrible abuse.  Days when she was struggling to protect herself and me (and later my brother) from the forces of violence and lawlessness and truly evil shit that threatened us.


As we talked, she told me a story about a few months when we lived with X, whose face I don't remember at all.  I remember a time spent out on a farm, where there were horses to pet and streams to play in and lovely woods to explore.  She remembers it as a time when we were basically held hostage by X, a grave but generous drug dealer who had promised to get us away from her abusive, strung-out boyfriend and take us home, but who ended up keeping us stranded in his farmhouse for months while gun buyers and drug addicts came in and out at all hours.

I hadn't heard my mother reflect on that time in this way before, but her words, soaked in disbelief and regret, keep replaying in my mind: "We had been doing so well, living in Higginsville.  You were in school and I had a job, and things were fine.  And then [the old boyfriend] started calling, 'Come on down.  I'm making good money.  We'll be a family.'  And I did, I left everything, all our stuff, thinking we'd come back for it, and went, and he was shooting drugs and running around with crazy people carrying automatic weapons...  I went with X because he promised to take us home, and it was worse out there!  Then [the boyfriend] destroyed my car, and we were really stuck.  I should have known. "

Angry, angry, angry

It makes me want to puke, to think of that impossible situation and how she must have felt, trying to protect me, trying to pull herself out of it and finding nothing to hang on to, no hand to help her up.  X was killed in that house the day after we left it. 

It's just so... fucked up.  I can't even process it.  That's where I came from.  What the hell am I supposed to do with that?  Thank God that we made it out, that I'm happy and healthy and safe?  I do.  I really do.  But I can't help but feel like, in order for me to be here, she had to leave a part of herself back there.  And she isn't okay.  And that's just so wrong. 

I'm not out of thoughts, but I'm all out of words.


  1. Lisa,
    Thank you for your honesty. I am so proud of you!
    peace be with you,

  2. *hugs*
    There's so much I don't know about you, Lisa. Despite you being my best friend for a large part of my life.
    I love you.