Saturday, March 06, 2010

Tempted in the Wilderness (Part 1 of 2)

I've been quite reluctant to write this post, being that so many of my current readers actually know me. In many ways, I feel I have an image to uphold. I have to, no matter how I feel, give folks the impression that I'm strong, that I'm an overcomer. Not because I want folks to celebrate me, but because I want people to be encouraged themselves. I know so many people are depending on me to be strong in this dark life I live in, so that they can know they can also be strong in their dark moments.

However, I feel that there are some things that I must get off my chest. There are some things that I need to say out loud to provide myself some therapy. And perhaps my honesty will help someone as much or more than my seemingly strong demeanor.

Last night, I was visited by a horror that is all too familiar to me. I was awakened from my restless sleep by fussing and screaming. I tried to lie in the bed and ignore it, but the verbal violence was rapidly rising. And there was no doubt about it, a referee was needed to defuse the situation.

Who was fussing you might wonder? My mother and my sister was having an all out screamathon at 1:30 A.M

Because I'm the most skilled at managing the emotionally charged conflicts that erupt in this house, I jumped up to do my job. The problem with refereeing fights that involve your parent is the "parent" always trumps the children, even if one of the children is the inexplicit family referee.

I tried to talk everyone down. I tried to even scream everyone to silence. I tried to confront the issues head on, knowing that despite my best efforts the conflict could easily turn on me.

And it did...

My mother wouldn't back down. She told me to shut up and go back to my room. She told me that nobody was going to tell her where to go and when to be quiet in her house.

I looked past the blindness in my eyes to look directly at my mother. I pleaded with her to call a truce for the night. I told her that I have borderline anxiety issues. (My diagnosis...) I begged her to consider my mental health. She told me to go to my room. I tucked my hope for a resolution in my back pocket and retreated to my room, but not with an ounce of solace.

This is a good time to throw out this disclaimer. My mother is not an angry, screaming, emotionally wild woman. She is a kind, loving, peaceful creature. Well, that's what she was before the stroke.

Now, my mother is a sad, easily angered, bitter woman, who also happens to have a speech impairment and a massive brain injury.

The stroke robbed my mother of managing her life.
The stroke stole my mother's career as a teacher.
The stroke murdered my mother's artistic and creative gifts, such as playing the piano, writing poetry and plays, as well as her gift of interior decorating.
The stroke kidnapped her ability to clearly articulate thoughts, ideas, requests, happiness, and pain.
The stroke divorced her from her life-long friends and co-workers.
The stroke suspended her driver's license for life.
The stroke slaughtered her ability to think critically.
The stroke killed much of the woman I knew to be my mother.

I hate strokes because of what it did to my mother. I hate strokes because of what it did to my aunt, Linda. I hate strokes because of what it did to my grandmother, Mona. I hate strokes because I'm scared that one day I will also become its mangled prey.

After going back to my room, I crawled into my bed and into the emotional arms of a friend. I vented, using colorful language and explosive emotional energy. He listened to me as I verbally vomited through the phone. He talked to me until I had nothing else to say. I appreciate him for being there for me.

However, he was on the phone, and I needed someone to be there with me in person. I needed to be consoled beyond a phone conversation. I needed to hide from all that pain. I needed an uncharted island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to vanish to. I needed more than a friendly voice on the phone. I needed God to rescue me.

After hanging up the phone, frustration mounted in my heart and mind. I felt hopeless. I felt strained beyond repair. That grief, that sorrow, that pain prompted me to wish I was dead. And before I knew it, the desire to kill myself was standing before me, calling my name, like it was my friend, like it was my savior, like it was the solution to all of my problems.

**I'll post the 2nd part to this post tomorrow. Don't worry! I'm not dead!!!!!! LOL**


Sam Tucker said...

I am sorry to hear about your mother. My mother also recently suffered a second stroke and I am saddened by the change I have witnessed. My mother was once a strong willed, lively person. She now lives as if there is no hope.

I can sympathize with you and hope you will see the light. Stay strong, the rough patches are there to better equip us to help others in similar situations.

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