I have spent the last eight months with no will, no breath, no sparkle or shine, no dazzle, no fire, no light. No voice. The only hope I have out of this cold dark silent bottom of the well in which I waste away, is to find my voice again. Should I stay stuck here – which I both welcome and fear – then what good am I…to my husband? my kids? my family and friends? MYSELF? I may as well have curled up by mothers side in her coffin and succumbed to that last breath. I’ve been allowing that awful destructive fiery beast that ravaged my mother’s body to seep into my soul and bore a labyrinth of pain and poison and tortuously darkened caverns with no end and no beginning.
She was no perfect mother, and I , I was certainly no perfect daughter. We spent our years together locked in an arduous waltz of familial dysfunction. But after so many years of practice, we had a system. It went like this. She shined; I hid. She dazzled; I withdrew. She stood loud and proud; I silently shrank and cowered. She lost weight; I gained. She expected the best; I disappointed. She noticed; I broke into a million jagged pieces.
This is what worked for us. This crazy dysfunctional dynamic. We danced it gracefully and well. All 10s. It gave me plenty of work to cover with my therapist. Plenty to write about. To dream about and despair over. To write and re-write with a different ending. And now she is gone and I’m broken into a million jagged pieces.
I suffocate. I scream silently. I cry tearlessly. I break into a million jagged pieces. Every day. All over again. I didn’t know the real me when she was here. And now I don’t have a fucking clue what to do with what is left of the me here, now that she is gone.
So the journey begins. One by one, I begin to pick up the pieces. A slice here. A shard there. A sliver way over there, around that corner where it’s just out of reach. Each piece to be carefully examined. Repaired. Arranged and rearranged to fit back together. Some pieces will need more attention than others. Some more glue to solidly hold them together. Some…some beyond repair, no longer fit and are only left to be discarded. There will be long deep fractures. And holes that nothing can fill. Not glue, not time or space. The pieces, one by one, will come back together, but they’ll never look the same. The light will reflect differently. The mirror image will be skewed. Will the sparkle shine more brightly, or more dull? Will the fire burn again? Will the reverberation of my voice send shock waves like tiny cracks through the cold smooth surface?
We’ll have to wait and see what a million jagged pieces look like once time and pain, acceptance and healing, have their way with me.