Sunday, August 24, 2008

and through the woods

There's no good way to organize my thoughts about all of this.  I could tick off each of the emotions, cycling every hour:  fear, guilt, gratitude, anger, sadness.  I could list the terrible things said, the knot of relationships that makes this all so complex.  Could work through the reasons I haven't gone yet.  The reasons I'm still here.

But it's all too big to think about and write about.  I've been burying myself in the busy.  Eric's dad and stepmom were here this weekend, the kids demand my attention, I've been reverse applique-ing every piece of clothing I own, like a neurotic little Cinderella with an embroidery addiction.  I've been sticking to my chores and my workouts.  I work, though was recently scolded by a colleague for being too "hasty."  "Keep your eye on the ball," he warned.

I've also been turning the wrong way down streets I take everyday of my life, badly burning myself on the curling iron or pot of boiling water, forgetting to make the kids lunch, grinding my teeth at night, having nightmares.  I dream someone dangerous barges into my room and I can't lock the door.  I'm overeating.  Wanting to shop.  All the little crumbs of anxiety, leading me deeper into the woods.  I'm in two places at once, and so am in neither fully.

"You don't have to save her," my therapist says.  "You have lots of responsibilities here.  You can't save her.  Do you hear me?  It's the hardest thing you'll ever do, but you can't save her.  It's absolutely tragic, and awful.  But you can't."

What, then? 

1 comment:

  1. When you figure this one out, you can write the book and go on tour and I'll be your manager. You'll be the hero of so many. But really, this is not meant to be totally sarcastic but to tell are not alone in the Desire to Save...that desire is as real as you are your mother's daughter. It is in us, this need to caretake, and when we are forced to see it from the point of view of a very ill person whom we also care for so deeply...and have such a complicated relationship with...well, there is no Through now. There is only this forest. And the belief that, if you walk carefully, there will be the occasional clearing. Where you can breathe in safety and keep your feet on the ground and KNOW that only you have the power to find your way out. You may be alone when you do. There can be no carrying another through that dark place. But see what waits for you? See their smiles and their small hands reaching out for yours?
    Nevermind this hand, which waits, remembering, knowing, loving, holding a stone of hope. For you.