Friday, May 18, 2012

Choices and Consequences

“How are you?” she asks. 

“Not very well, I’m having a hard time,” I reply.

I’m on the phone in my workroom, standing over my computer, too tired to be having this conversation.

“Another flashback? Is that the problem?”

“I have remembered some other things. I just can’t talk about it right now.”

“I’m sorry you’re still having trouble,” she says, and I wonder if I can really say what is in my head.

“I’m going to need to take a break for a while. Not permanently, but just for a while. I just can’t handle talking with you, knowing he’s still a part of your life,” I say it calmly, as if I have the right to say these things to my mother.

She inhales, and says sadly, “Okay. Whatever you need.” The hesitancy and pain in her voice make me think of taking it back, but I’m just too tired. And she always says that, “whatever you need”, but it’s a lie.

“I’ll let you know when I can talk again, but for now if you need something or just want to check in, call or email Alan.”

“I love you.” She never ends a conversation with that. She never says that at all. She’s scared.

I hang up the phone, knowing I’m glad for what I’ve done, but terrified by it.

That was four months ago.

I wasn’t sure about the consequences. I wanted to believe it would be a wake-up call for them; help them come to the realization that I needed more. That things were never going back to the way they were before.

What I’ve gotten is the realization that my mother is sad and scared, convinced that I am in a fragile state – one step away from shattering. My father is angry and it’s impacting his health. What I haven’t gotten is anything different. No efforts to reach out via my husband. Some inappropriate quizzing of my daughter. And a really bad case of martyrdom about my son’s high school graduation.

Those are their consequences.

Mine are different. I’ve had some deep depression. I haven’t questioned my choice, but I have been saddened by the results. And angered. Which my therapist says is good.

It’s been a long time coming, this choice, but I had to get to the point that I could handle the consequences.

17 comments:

  1. Having known you now for 42 years, I can honestly say that, truly, you are a courageous and loving Christian woman - one that I am proud to call my friend. I love you and pray for healing and understanding and compassion for your parents and extended family. Continue to walk tall and be brave, Melanie.

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  2. I whispered a prayer for you. I have a Melanie, too so it will be easy to remember to pray for you. This journey may not be easy but "with God!"

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  3. Very emotional piece, and it came through in the writing. http://jemcogdell.blogspot.com/2012/05/moonshine-and-outhouses.html

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  4. This line gave me chills: "I say it calmly, as if I have the right to say these things to my mother."

    I'm sorry you are going through this, but the writing is very poignant and well-done!

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    1. Thank you. I am glad the line resonated with you. I don't know if others will understand the things that go through my head!

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  5. As always - you've shared such a difficult and painful thing with beautiful prose. I truely admire you both for sharing this painful journey with us and for being able to do it so eloquently. Very well done.

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    1. You have been so kind in your responses. This is an odd endeavor -- matching creativity with pain.

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  6. Am I allowed to call this brilliant when there's so much personal pain here?

    I certainly applaud you and admire your strength.

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    1. Thank you! Your words mean so much to me. I was unsure about sharing this one, but I have benefited from the response. I am glad that you felt I got my message across. Blessings!

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  7. Very powerful and well written post. Your courage is an inspiration.

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    1. Thank you, John. That means the world coming from you : )

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  8. i am glad you have come to the point you are comfortable with the decision...and sometimes that hurts but sounds like you also have supports in place to help you through it...

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  9. melanie, you are strong and wise, too. prayers for peace and continued healing.

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  10. I pray that this will bring healing. I am glad you are finding your way through this...even when the right thing is painful.

    You are writing this all so masterfully, with words that flow and bring us all into the battle you are fighting. Thank you for letting us be a part of your process. Thank you.

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  11. melanie... can i say this without sounding condescending? i'm so proud of you. truly. this was the right thing to do, i think... for yourself, and for your parents. praying for you, always.

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