Aimee Mann – Wise Up
It’s 9:21 am December 4th, a Thursday. I woke up at 7 am. Unusual for me because even though I did go to bed around 4 am I usually wake up around 11 am.
I think something’s different today.
I went downstairs and steamed 13 dumplings before feeding the cats at 8:38. I let Titan out, and outside the door was a cold coastal bright pre-winter morning with crispy green grass and no ripples on the water between the beach and the docks. The house is freezing, almost. I wore the new fingerless “gloves” I got on amazon.com but not the extra long legwarmers. I took the tea tree oil upstairs and diluted it with Jojoba Oil preparing it for my finicky skin. It has a medicinal smell that makes me think of my Grandfather and his Preparation-H ritual that used to leave his bathroom eye wateringly toxic.
When I came downstairs I had the narrator reading a story from my life like it sometimes happens. It was telling me about how much of a crappy Mother I was to my sons and in retrospect I defended myself against it’s unfair judgements. Then clickBAMM. I was seeing myself pregnant again with my second son waiting in a waiting room in St. Anne’s Hospital.
I don’t look to remember the bad from the past. In fact my mind does this tricky little thing and takes a really crappy situation and finds little details that distract me from what was actually going on.
What was going on here was that my new husband had burned my young son enough to put him in the hospital. And I didn’t believe it. I needed support but he was the only person I had at the time. And I really didn’t believe that anyone would burn a child enough to put them in the hospital. It had to be an accident. It had to be a burglar. It had to be a mistake because I got what I wanted after putting up with another man who was an addict and acted like a child. I got a husband and a stable family. And he loved me and wanted me. And everything was suppose to be alright.
I had a really good lasagna in the cafeteria while we were waiting for the social worker. I believed the social worker was there for our benefit and would help us figure out what happened. I was naive at this point, I really had never had any governmental involvement in my life. I was young and I was never going to be “one of them welfare bums” that were worthless and shifty. I remember the whole cafeteria was on one of the higher floors and the sun was brilliantly illuminating the whole dining area. I felt strangely elated. Everything was compartemental. My son was in the pediatric area. The nurses told me that he was a sweet sweet child that never cried (until I came into the room and saw him sitting in his diaper playing with some plastic blocks.)
When I saw him my heart broke. A small sliver hardened and cracked and slid out of the lower quadrant, fell to the bottom of the box that held it in place and shattered. It didn’t go away either. When my mind tiptoes around the past, shards will lodge in my achilles heel. I promised he’d never get hurt again. It was my duty as his only parent (Mr. Addict being too occupied with his own fulfillment,) to protect him and make sure he didn’t get hurt unnecessarily. I had screwed up somehow.
It took me a while to figure it out and be sure about it. I don’t just jump into something because it’s probably the most likely explanation. I was taught to question myself over and over again. I was taught that I am stupid, wrong, inconvenient, worthless. Do you hear this? Over and over? Well you haven’t. Nothing like my life’s background soundtrack of failure and helplessness.
And this where I’m left today. Mental bombed by my own mind. The antiseptic smell of a hospital that was left behind more than 20 years ago coating my sinuses. The sense of failure that I’ve carried for years and has shaped my spine so that mentally I’m hunch-backed. I live in a padded room of Hell that doesn’t get any bigger yet won’t crumble under pressure. Prayer just makes it live larger in my mind. And it takes a trigger to open up all my senses to that day or set of days and my personal dead-loss. Playing over whenever. Why? Is my brain trying to exorcise it out of my head? Am I being punished for remaining the only responsible person who gives a sh!t? I don’t know. I’m left with the feeling that all this crap is made up. I mean if you lie to yourself long enough and you come to believe the lie it makes everything okay. Right? Fake it ’til you make it?
Happy f^cking Holidays.