I should probably explain that remark.
I wrote about, and tried to speak about my own journey with what I was afraid of. My time with illness. With death.
I got through the paragraph. And then began to cry. I had zero control over my reaction, and had to leave the room until the wave of it was beatable.
I tend to think I am over things. Unafraid of things that have happened because I have some ability to not dwell on it. But then, if it gets the chance to rise up again, I fall apart. So, I guess I'm typing this now to help with that.
I'd always thought my mom a coward. She runs from pain, from reality, masked some of it for a time with substance abuse. I once had to drive myself, as a I bled to death from a miscarriage, because she didn't want to. She believes in superstition, and was happy I was losing my baby so that her father wouldn't die (no, it still doesn't make any sense to me, but it seemed to be a new life for an old one kind of thing). I was left to hold our dog when he was put to sleep, his dead weight crashed suddenly in my arms and I'd almost hit the reflective table-mom had left the room a long time ago. Many nights she spent at work, or at the bar after work. We spent most of those nights calling morgues and jail cells.
Have you seen my mom? Me, either.
That's what I remember her for.
It damaged us, damaged the bond of trust between a parent and child. I knew, early on, that I couldn't count on her to be there. I can be there for her if I want to, but I can't put absolute faith in her love for me or her ability to be there. I love her now, I think I always will. And she's become braver, because as human beings we are rarely static. She realizes she has made mistakes, and I realize that she is human and was allowed to make mistakes.
But I tried to be different.
I want my children to think of me as this unmovable rock, this steadfastness, this bravery always behind them. I want so hard to give them all of that, that sometimes I swallow pain and fear and, like my mother, never dare to reopen it.
I am a coward.
I know that I can't do that. I guess I know I'm not healing that way, either. Or maybe it just takes longer than I thought. But I feel like facing it, talking about it, might speed it up for me. I feel like, after this, that I have to. What is a horror writer who won't do that, anyway?
I'm more like my mom than I wanted to be. I have her good side-she taught me to be selfless. I have her bad side-sometimes I'd rather run from my own pain.
But hiding your pain, your story, is fucking exhausting.
When I was 21, I was diagnosed with an electrical problem with my heart. It's mostly fine. I have only brief problems with it. But, my third baby, my rainbow baby, and my fifth pregnancy, I found myself with a racing pulse and nearly blacking out. My son, just in pre-k, so shiny and new and small, had to witness it. I took him outside so he could get help if I passed out, from our neighbors who were nice. I also quickly dialed for help.
We made it through. I kept consciousness, and was examined. My blood pressure and pulse rate were permanently raised, and made for a dangerous last two months and an early delivery. We all survived. But, it was a reminder that I am not healthy. Not immortal. Not immovable, even for my own children. I will die one day.
I have lost two children. I still have a hard time writing about it. Accepting it. Talking about it is almost out of the question sometimes...
The first was my first pregnancy. We never saw an image or a heartbeat. Just a lot of bleeding, and an operation at just over 9 weeks. The sadness was heavy. When I did finally become pregnant again, over a year later, I was just scared. Scared of all the things I now knew could go wrong.
With my fourth pregnancy, a surprise, I made it to ten weeks, made it to a bright shade on an ultrasound. And then, doused in blood I had lost the strength to clean up, spontaneously aborted at home. Alone in the dark at 3AM I was one the floor and lost my baby. Having to see everything was different from the operation, It was there, right there. I bled out for days and finally had to have an operation again, a shorter one this time. But it remains the saddest little white room I have ever been in. There is usually some hope in medical settings. But not in that room, where they clean out hope from your body who is trying to fight giving it up completely.
And I thought I'd been shattered. I had no idea how to assemble my pieces into a working person anymore. And I barely cried out for help.
The universe must have heard my silent screaming.
While still on birth control, my body took matters onto itself, and I became pregnant a fifth time. It was this time that I faced my heart issue once more, with this most wanted and beloved baby I had to again dance with Death like he was an old friend, coming to see us from far away.
When he arrives, he demands hospitality. And respect. As we age, and I'm now in my 30's, we greet him more and more. For our family, for our friends, for ourselves...
|My second Rainbow baby.|
I hope when he visits that last time, I will be unafraid.
That I will bravely rise and go with him.
But, my darkest fear is that I will leave the people I love the most too soon. That I will leave them unprotected and hurt. That I will fail them. That is my darkest fear. And in speaking it, in facing it, I gain something.
This is also why I think horror and dark fiction really have meaning in our world.
In facing it, in facing ourselves, we gain something important.