Ten Day Writing Challenge, Day 5

Six things you wish you’d never done

Dear God in Heaven, please tell me this gets easier! I have the usual caveat: I like where/who I am and these things made that happen. I have a second caveat: I’ve been *very successful* at purging a lot of stuff from my brain. In geek speak, my FAT are screwed. While I do remember a lot of situations I wish had not occurred, I can honestly say those were not things I had any control over. My list will be a mix of things I wish I hadn’t done and things I wish I had done. It’s the best I can do with the brain I have.

1. I wish that I were not quite so adept at erasing. It is absolutely true that I do not wish to remember a childhood I have been assured was pretty horrid. And if what I do remember is so awful….no, I don’t need to know the rest. In fact, I am a little frightened that one day I will, and I am not sure what I will do with that. But along with the nasty, I have also wiped the good. So, when my kids ask me “Mom, what was I like when I was three?” I am going to have to look in their faces and say “I don’t know.” And the idea of having to do that brings me to my emotional knees. I can live with my memory loss, but I regret that my children must do the same.

2. I wish that when Grandmother died, I had not held to the family line of “it’s better.” Because, yeah, it was for her. But it damn sure wasn’t for me. I wish I had screamed and torn my clothes and ripped out handfuls of my own hair. Instead of doing that, I oversaw the church Christmas banquet as she was actively dying. The next morning, I directed the kids’ Christmas Cantata. And then I went to be with my family. For three days, I got up, I dressed myself, I put on makeup and I took care of business. When she was buried, I was, too. I came home and went to bed and I basically stayed there for three years. It took another year to shake the cobwebs out. That is a lot of time to lose. That’s a long time for children to be without a mother. That is a very long time to live in the cool grey soup of a major depressive episode.

3. Two months after Grandmother died, my cousin emailed me to say that Papa had stage four lymphoma. I lacked full cognition of what she said because of my funk. I did not tell him one more time that I loved him. He died four months later, in April, and I never even called. I regret that. Two months later, Grandma died, too.

4. I wish that, at age eighteen, I had known that what was going on with the boy I loved was all about him and not about me. I wish I had been wise enough to look beyond the obvious and dig a little deeper. That could have been a fairy tale ending right there, and I didn’t work to keep it from falling apart. As I said, I was 18. I was in basic training when it happened. I forgive myself for it, but I often wonder what might have been.

5. I regret not making my ex-husband leave the house the first time he put my sex on display. I wish I had not listened to my pastor who told me separation was not the right thing to do. I let him stay, and he did far worse. Do you know that when you start to lose your mind, it’s an actual physical sensation? Mmmmhmmm, it sure is. The night I felt that, I was curled up in the fetal position, sobbing. And I called that pastor and said, “He has got to go, I cannot live like this.” If I had followed my gut, the ex would not have had the chance to do the second thing. I would have been less screwed up, and my children would not have been damaged.

6. I wish that i had not tried to buy love with sex. 976,423 times. Female drippings are not glue, and I could have saved myself and many others a lot of heartache if I had learned that with my abc’s.