07 Aug who cares?
Hey, it’s just me. I’m having a rough time (understatement of the year). Saturday was ‘two months’ and although every single day is difficult, that day just knocked me down. So did the next day. And the next. I’m actually having a harder time now than I did two months ago, when I first learned that my son had taken his own life. The day I fell onto the concrete and wailed. The day I accepted a ride from a total stranger, screamed at a friend, begged Southwest to do some pretty fast adjusting, and raced home to look at the ugliest, most horrific picture of the most beautiful face I’ve ever seen. The coroner’s picture. Yes, friends, in a way it is more difficult today than it was that day.
I’ve got a ton of things to share with you… I’ve been thinking and processing and working things out in my head, and it’s about time for a new blog post, right? The problem is I just can’t make myself do much of anything, least of all communicate. I shut down his phone. I finally washed his pillowcase. Both required herculean efforts on my part. I stared at the wall for a while. I talked to his picture on my phone case. I stood in my kitchen for a while, doing nothing. Then I crawled into bed. I’ve been in bed for a few days, draining my dvr, maximizing the heck out of my amazon prime membership (unlimited streaming videos, yay!), and drinking rockstars just to force some energy into my body so I actually have the momentum to get up and pee, instead of wet my own bed. It’s true. The thought crossed my mind to just stay in bed and pee because it was easier than getting out of bed and actually handling business like a functioning human being. My ridiculous thought was immediately followed by the internal disclaimer that helps me rationalize all of my self-destructive or lazy or weak behaviors, “Who cares?” Truth be told, I made myself get up and use the bathroom. Maybe if I stopped drinking rockstars, I could stop peeing altogether and just stay in bed… There’s a thought.
You know what? Moms never get to go to the bathroom alone. Ohhhh, they might start alone, but they never finish alone. I’d be willing to bet that any mom you ask would have a hilarious story of trying to just get a minute to pee, alone, for once! Kids must have pee-dar that alerts them to the exact moment that Mama sits down in her own bathroom because shortly thereafter, they are right there in their mom’s face wanting to hash out a few things, or needing something, or just wanting to visit. Mase had pee-dar AND poop-dar. That dude must have had my bathroom visits on a tracker, because I am not kidding you when I tell you, he was there more often than he was not! He knew I was vulnerable. He knew I would be embarrassed or pressed for time or just begging for a little privacy… man, he was smart. Funny. Cool. Okay, okay, back to the story…
If you’ve been in my house, you know my bathroom was “girls only” and Mason’s bathroom was “boys only” and/or “brave guests.” He was not allowed to go to the bathroom in my bathroom, ever! I mean, seriously! A single mom raising a son has to have somewhere of her own, right? He’d torment me and act like he was busting at the bladder-seams and run in there like he couldn’t wait another second, and I’d scream and get all high-pitched and crazy. Again, if you have been to my house, you know full well that from the living room, it’s about equal distance to his toilet or mine. There is no reason he would EVER need to go into mine unless he was toying with me, his sweet, gullible, easily tormented shmuvver. Oh, he would laugh and laugh and laugh at the result of his own comedy. Dude didn’t even have to pee.
We had some deep chats while I was on my toilet. Sometimes, I’d just get trapped there, a captive audience for him because I couldn’t get up until he left the room. There is an oversized, comfy leather chair next to my bed, and he’d sit right down, launch the topic-of-the-moment, and I’d be his sounding board or an unsuspecting customer for whatever item he was pitching me… from his position, he could see my face. He could gauge my reactions, read my thoughts, watch me crack a smile. My God, I would give every single one of my private pee-moments back for just one more of those convos.
Now, it’s different. I can go to the bathroom 47 times a day, and never find him there. He isn’t lurking around the corner, waiting to pounce. He isn’t ever going to plop down in the chair and sell me an idea, or ask me to take him somewhere. That chair is empty, and going to the bathroom is just going to the bathroom now. I don’t have to sneak. I don’t have to rush. I don’t even have to go, actually. I could just pee my bed now, because “who cares?” Most of the time, I sit down to pee, and I cry. I pee and cry, pee and cry. I look at the empty chair. Cry some more. I run out of pee, but never seem to run out of tears. I am seriously blogging about peeing and crying –
Is this the dumbest blog you have EVER read? hahaha! I actually just made myself laugh. I hope this isn’t your first visit to the blog. I hope you have some inkling of my sense of humor, and my simplicity, before you read today’s entry. If this is your first visit to “it’s just me,” back out now. Go to the home page and start at the beginning. Get the flavor before munching on this entry, cuz it is borderline ridiculous. I haven’t written it yet, but I know what’s in my head. You’ve been warned. For those of you who have been travelling this journey with me for the last 65 days, you know what to expect. Keep reading… I’m getting to the point. I promise.
Enough tales from the toilet. Let’s get to “who cares?” – it has been a self-destructive mantra of mine for a long time, and serves the rebellious side of my character quite nicely. When I want ice cream, and know I shouldn’t have it because my butt is getting bigger, I say, “who cares?” When I want to leave my house dirty, or not clean my closet, I say, “who cares?” When I want to drink too much, ignore responsibilities, permit myself to be lazy or rude or weak or disconnected, guess what I say? We all have one… some saying or phrase that we say to give ourselves permission to do the thing we know we shouldn’t. Who cares? I’ve also used that phrase to tell myself that I am alone, that I’ll always be alone. Who cares? I should shower today. Who cares? I shouldn’t have said that… meh, who cares? I’ve heard others use that phrase to hurt people who are already hurting. She cuts… who cares? He uses… who cares? You know what her stepdad did… WHO CARES!?!
Well, I care. I haven’t always, but I do now. I care. I don’t want my butt to get too big. I don’t want my closet to be a mess. I don’t want to drink too much, or live to excess in ANY way. And on a deeper level, I just don’t want to make excuses for myself, or let myself go off the deep end in any area. I want to let my defenses down, and allow myself to be more sensitive. Not only do I want to change the tape that runs in my head, but I want to maximize my impact on this world in a positive way, and help to change the tape that runs in your head. I want every single person who hurts to know that someone cares. I am determined to make daily choices within my sphere of influence that demonstrate how much I care. (To my work teammates, I will still care from my pool at 2pm in the summer months…don’t you worry about that. Let’s not get crazy.)
I have a friend facing major surgery next week, and she is scared. I love her so much and feel powerless to assure her that everything will be okay. I don’t know that it will. I am living a life FULL of proof that sometimes not everything will be ‘okay.’ So instead, I tell her I care. I have another friend who is battling for her daughters’ futures. She’s never been a single mom before, but after 20+ years, she is finding a way to make it on her own and is absolutely, courageously, and positively changing the paths her daughters’ lives will take. I have another friend whose cousin ended his own life. And another friend whose brother just tried…thankfully, he wasn’t successful. Did he think “who cares?” in his darkest moment? Did Mason? The thought is unbearable. I have seen a ‘hate page’ on instagram this week. Can you believe that? Everywhere, people hurting. I’ve been asked to share my blog with this person or that person because they are hurting and they cannot find words of their own. SHARE IT!!! I care, I care, I care.
All around us, people are struggling. Who cares? You are struggling with something, and it sure doesn’t matter if it ‘compares’ with my struggle. Life isn’t a struggle competition, with some dumb rule allowing only the biggest struggle to warrant any attention. What’s the prize for having the toughest problems? You get to say “WINNING!” on national television while the world watches you self-destruct? No thanks. The ‘moment’ that I find myself in matters. The situation you are struggling with matters. Let’s stop saying, “who cares?” and start showing each other exactly who does.
In the last 2 months, I’ve been told how strong I am by people who don’t see me sobbing in my own bed, day after day. People who can’t smell me from where they sit, reading my blog or checking out my posts & pics on the aMasongraceproject facebook page. Thank you for encouraging me, and believing I am strong. I have had some pretty bad days lately. I need to hear that, and at the same time, I’m confessing to you that even though I am “hard wired for faith,” I am still having difficulty getting out of my bed and facing the day. The days keep coming. They just keep coming. I don’t know what to do with them all. I lost my main squeeze, my shmish, my baby boy, my ‘toilet talk’ buddy. I am broken, and hurting, and ill-equipped for the journey ahead of me.
By reading my blog, you are telling me you care. By sharing it or posting it or letting your brother-from-another-mother read it, you show you care. We may not have met, but we can care about each other. We don’t have to cut. We don’t have to get drunk or crunk or turnt up. (Jeez, what is current?) We don’t have to self-harm in any way. We can care. We can redefine how we interact. We don’t have to have the solution; we can just show each other some concern. If you’ve read my blog before, you know I believe in God. I’ll never forget the day that I learned what it meant to pray for heaps of burning coals on your enemy’s head. It sounds like one thing, but means something quite different. Look it up, while I go pee.
That’s some powerful stuff right there. It’s also a pretty clear example of how we are supposed to care. Talk to you soon… xoxo