May he rest in peace.

One of the things I do when I have nothing to do is type names of people I used to know — old classmates, friends, co-workers, etc. — into Google and see what comes up.  Most of the time it’s just those “people finders” that ask for an additional fee and promise to give you the person’s address, age, criminal background, work history, etc.    I think most people have probably spent time browsing the names of people they know only slightly or that they lost touch with long ago.  But sometimes you get lucky and find some actual information about the person, sometimes even photos of the person.

Today I was thinking about the roommate I had in the hospital where my son was born and where we spent the next 5 days, recovering from C-sections.   The woman was about a year older than me, and had an older daughter (my son was my first).   I remember I was in the room first, and at some unspecified time during my morphine-haze first evening,  my new roommate was rolled in, followed by a glass basinette on wheels containing her newborn son, Sam.  There we were to spend the next few days recovering, getting to know our newborn sons,  and waiting for “bowel sounds” — after major surgery, this is a major milestone.  It means you’re ready to start eating real food again, so this is the only time in your life you will actually be praying to fart — because nothing in the world tastes better than your first bland dinner of stewed apple slices, white rice, and chicken nuggets after three days of liquids only.

We visited only once after we both went home.  When the boys were about a year old,  we got together at my friend’s house.   At that age, they played very little with each other but got into everything else.  I remember being in a near-panic because her son was already using full words, while mine still just babbled nonsense or even worse, was silent.   I decided after that visit to take my son to speech therapy.  It wasn’t necessary.  He started talking just shy of three years old — quite late according to the child development experts, but when he finally spoke, he did in complete sentences, completely skipping over the one-and two-word stage.   The pediatrician told me some kids are perfectionists and play “practice tapes” in their heads, but won’t speak until they are sure what they want to say is perfect.   That’s probably true, since my son is a perfectionist and even has an OCD diagnosis.   I also remember a time or two when I heard him alone in his room as a young toddler, apparently practicing his words.  If he knew you were listening, he’d go silent, so I had to be very quiet and not let him know I knew.   Needless to say, when he finally started talking, there was no shutting him up.

I typed the woman’s name and her son’s name in Google.  Nothing came up on my friend at all except a few people-search websites which demand a fee before they give you anything,  but there was definitely something about her son, Sam.  There was a very flattering picture of Sam at about age 19 taken at university, where he was an honors student.   He had a great smile. He looked like a nice person, the sort of guy I’d want my daughter to marry.

And there was an obituary.   I hoped it was for another person with the same name, but  I read over the entire entry, and it was definitely him.   All the names, his age, and the location of the funeral home fit.

Funeral home.  Funeral.  A funeral for a boy born the same day and year as my son, who recovered in the same room as my son.  I wanted to cry.  I think I did shed a few tears.  For a child I had known for just a few days in October of 1991.

The obituary said Sam had died of cancer, which he’d been battling for 15 months.  Oh, God, no.  No, no.   I looked at the smiling college photo of him and tried to imagine him lying in a hospital bed with advanced cancer.   I couldn’t.

I wish I could reach out to his parents now, but it would be way too awkward.  I’m not even sure they would remember me.  Not even sure it would be appropriate.   Besides, what do you say to someone whose adult child has died?   Losing one of my adult children is my biggest fear.   I seriously don’t know how anyone can ever get over something like that or ever live a normal life again or think about normal things again.   But somehow when it happens to other people, they do get through it.

I know I would have no idea what to say, or I’d blurt out something really awkward and cringeworthy like, “I would kill myself if my son died so young,” or, “Wow, that could have been MY son.”  No, no.  I won’t say a word to them or try to contact them.   It happened almost a year ago now anyway.  But it’s so spooky and sad.   May he rest in peace.

 

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So it’s even worse than I thought.

myfuckingprogramming

Those EVIL fuckers made me think this about myself all my life and denied me the tools to ever have a good life.  They continue to twist the knife even deeper now that my father’s dead.

So. I  just found out via Facebook (yep, Facebook really is the devil!) that my son is being sent plane tickets to attend my father’s memorial service. I was lied to and told by my father’s wife “they didn’t know when they are having one.” That’s right. I am not invited. I feel like…all the good changes in me are going down the toilet. Way to screw me even after death.

I also am afraid the family is attempting to drive a wedge between me and my son. Funny, about a year ago, my parents said to me, “where did HE come from”? Meaning, he is wonderful and how could two fuckups like you and your (ex) husband have a child like that? I will NOT let this turn me against my son, but I’m afraid he might be swayed to their side when all this is over.

I’m triggered to the max, so triggered ALL my BPD traits are in full bore right now, so I can’t even judge if what I do right now is the right thing or not. I’m acting on impulse, much as I used to, mindfulness is in another universe. Here is what I wrote on his Facebook wall in a fit of rage (not at him, but at my fucked up excuse for a “family”):

devilfamily1

devilfamily2

I have an emergency appointment with my therapist tomorrow.  I’m praying a lot too, I hope God hears me.  I was screaming and crying like a 2 year old on the phone.   It enrages me that I’m not allowed to really grieve because of all this, because I’ve been fucked so royally up the ass how could I feel anything but rage and betrayal?  Why have I been denied being able to feel the normal grief feelings someone should feel when their father dies?   Why have I been denied a place in the family where support and unconditinal love are given in times of need and loss?  Why couldn’t my parents have loved me?  WHAT THE FUCK DID I DO TO MAKE THEM TREAT ME LIKE THIS???????  Is there any justice???  Lady Karma has a lot of  ‘splaining to do.

I just deleted the messages, but they’re here for anyone who wants to see them.  I hope that nest of vipers I call a family sees them.  They need to be exposed.

 

When time stands still…

394261 14: A fiery blasts rocks the World Trade Center after being hit by two planes September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

394261 14: A fiery blasts rocks the World Trade Center after being hit by two planes September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Last year, one of my regular readers spoke of seeing a bunch of military tanks practicing for a martial law takeover. In America, I am hearing of an increasing number of incidents like this. I try to avoid the news, but there’s an increasing and unavoidable sense of panic that our nation may be on the brink of a removal of all our freedoms as martial law becomes the norm rather than the exception. It’s very frightening.

But what I really want to talk about is the feeling of unreality and dissociation that accompanies seeing something like what my reader did.  She said when she saw the tanks, she felt as if she was dreaming. It didn’t seem real to her. I know that feeling, and I think almost everyone who is old enough knows that feeling: it happened on September 11, 2001.

I think just about everyone remembers exactly what they were doing the moment it happened. I’m not sure of the psychological reasons why whenever there is a major historical disaster — JFK or MLK getting shot and killed…Pearl Harbor…The Challenger disaster…9/11 — we remember exactly where we were and what we were doing with unusual clarity. It’s as if our mind takes a picture at the moment we hear or see bad news.

Here’s how I remember 9/11. It’s hard to believe it was 15 years ago, because my memory of it is so clear and sharp edged. Yet I can’t remember what I had for breakfast that morning.

That day was a brilliant and beautiful, filled with sunshine, not a cloud in the sky. It was warm as early September can be, but the oppressive humidity of high summer was gone. Fall was in the air.

I was at work, in the lunch room, making myself a cup of coffee when I heard. A coworker came in, looking pale as a sheet. He said one of the Twin Towers in New York was down, that a plane had crashed into it. I stared at him, thinking he must be joking. But I could tell from his face he was not. I forgot all about the coffee, and followed him into one of the offices where a TV was on. Everyone was gathered around the TV, and there was an eerie silence. No one said a word.

On the TV they were showing a replay of the plane crashing through the first tower. I felt like I was dreaming. No, this couldn’t be real. It looked like a movie — an action movie like “Independence Day.” No way was this happening. It had to be a movie, with phenomenal special effects.

As I stared at the screen, I saw the second tower go down in black smoke and flames. A plane had crashed through it too. No, no, no, this wasn’t happening. It was some elaborate set-up, like the “War of the Worlds” bogus radio newscast back in the 1930s.

In a fog, I slowly walked back to my desk. I only had one phone call that day. Although the office didn’t close, no one was working…and no one cared. No other customers called. No one talked, except in hushed whispers. There was a lot of crying going on, even for those who had lost no one in the disaster and had never been to New York City in their lives. As for myself, I felt nothing. I just felt numb. I didn’t feel like myself at all. It wasn’t until the next day that I burst into tears thinking about it. I can’t even imagine how it would have felt to have been right there, watching these horrible events unfold from a New York City apartment window, as many did…or worse, be just outside the towers when it happened.

Whenever we hear bad news, whether it’s something that affects only us (such as when someone we love dies) or something that affects an entire nation like 9/11, we remember these events with the clarity of a movie. I’m not sure what the reason is for this, or what purpose it serves, but I believe it’s a form of dissociation–when we temporarily split from ourselves and feel as if we’re viewing the events from an outsider’s perspective. That accounts for the surrealness of these moments. It’s why we have a photographic memory for them. Maybe this is a way we protect ourselves from the shock of unbearably bad news at the moment it happens — and can’t grieve properly until our minds are ready to process it.

How does everyone remember 9/11 and what was your experience of it like?