Tuesday, March 08, 2011

"the process"

This illustration depicts pretty accurately what I've been going through. Frankly, I'm getting tired of it. I want to feel better, or at least not as terrible as I do much of the time.

I'm tired of it interrupting my concentration. I'm tired of having an addled brain, faulty memory, glitches in thought, little irritations blowing up randomly into something that feels bigger, vast, huge, threatening to swallow me and everyone who comes within striking range.

I'm tired of feeling inadequate as a mother, of struggling to figure out how the hell to help my children deal with this. And alone, all alone as a parent.

Truth: No One will ever love these kids the way Bob did.
Truth: I am only one person.

So what? I do what I have to do. I was not prepared to be the parent of a child with a disability. One day I wasn't, and then the next, I was. And just had to deal as best I could. In the same way, I have to learn to deal with this, too. Play the dealt hand. Sigh.

A few weeks ago,I got into a routine, long abandoned, of reading and writing a little before bed. I like to use these Mead composition books with leathery-looking cardboard covers, different deep colors. Currently, my notebook is sort of an oxblood or maroon. Anyway, one night I was writing, writing about a tough situation I was going through, and then all of a sudden it wasn't about that situation anymore. It was about Bob. I went to my gmail and did a search through old emails from Bob.
Two of the messages in particular jumped out at me. The first was from March 09, when I asked for some reassurance in the wake of some emotional turmoil or other:

if you can learn to really love yourself well, that is without harsh judgements, without expectations, without shoulds, and without conditions, then you won't need validation from a 'partner' and therefore you will be in a better place to let go of prospects that aren't quite right or what you want ....  

It was uncanny how directly this spoke to exactly what I was feeling at that moment. It was, in fact, exactly what I needed to hear.

The other one was from a little over a year ago:

I do care about you and love you - that will never change until I die.

Truth: Bob would tell me, "It'll pass." He'd remind me, "your thoughts are not reality."  He certainly wouldn't want me to feel like a failure.

"You're beautiful," he'd say. "Brilliant." "You're a badass." (many of his friends and loved ones heard that.) "A great mom." That was nice, and I could almost believe it when he said it (which he did, regularly, even after we had separated).  

Now, I have to say it--and so many other things--to myself. And, more importantly, to believe them. Which was exactly what Bob wanted all along.


Leeann Sherry said...

Hi Amy!

Remember me??? :^P Probably not. I took your Poetry class and later on took your Creative Imagination Course my Senior year at FIT in 2008/2009. I hope you are doing well! I miss your classes!

Anyway, I have a behance account and I got some kind of email advertising Mark McGuiness' "Creative Pathfinder" program, which sends you weekly emails on what creativity is, how to stimulate creativity, and how to take full advantage of it when you're a working artist, writer, etc. It's actually really interesting- it may be an neat thing to show to your Creative Imagination students? I dunno, it just made me think of you.

Amy Lemmon said...

LeeAnn, of course I remember you! I'm so glad to hear from you. Please email me at amy [underscore] lemmon [at] fitnyc [dot] edu and let me know what you have been up to!
A. L.