Monday, January 18, 2010

Orphan

It is funny how I just wrote about perfection and then I turn around and I'm getting smacked in the face with the unexpected, the uncontrollable, and a definite lack of perfection in my life.  And this is the shit I couldn't control even if I wanted to.

I am back on the mental roller coaster of sorts; blindfolded and going backwards while refusing to throw my hands in the air because this is just not fun at all.  I cannot write in great details right now but I will say that it appears that something has happened to my father.  So sans the details, which are gory, I can write about how I feel.

I would be lying if I said that I wasn't unsettled.  I am.  In a big way.  My head is full of screaming chatter and not one bit of that chatter agrees with the next refrain of chatter.  I have always been conflicted over him and this is no different.  There are those who love him and proclaim his innocence.  There are those who hate him and wish this to be true.  And there are plenty more who are just terrified about the situation all together.

As for me, I want it to be true.  I want to be free of him and never have his thoughts cross my mind again.  When I think, I feel very little.  A lump of shame I suppose, because this is my father and I should not wish these things on anyone.  And then a single frame of my own torture is smashed into the back of my eyes and I feel an overwhelming helplessness and pain.  It appears that he finally got a taste of what he inflicted for so many years and I am at an emotional loss.

If this is true then I am an orphan.  In legal terms I would be the sole survivor. 

Survivor. 

In the singular.

Game over.

I have watched my family fight its demons to the collective death.

I am the last one standing.

Did I win?

32 comments:

Friko said...

Wait for it to be true.

And if it is, YES,YES, YES. And don't let anyone tell you different. You are the strong one, you have outlived all the torture handed out to you. They cannot hurt you anymore.

No lumps of shame, please. Your thoughts are your thoughts, thoughts by themselves do not cause harm. You have no responsibility for whatever has happened to him or anyone else in your family.

I know it's Unchristian to think of vengeance, but hey, if you need help dancing on his grave, I'm your man (well, woman).

English Rider said...

You win because your life holds more than this. You will have something to anchor you and something to return to once you are done grieving, gnashing, railing. There will always be unfinished business in our lives. Take some time to feel the different layers of loss and relief. You have been robbed of facing down your demon in person. That was never the most important part. You are already facing down your demons. Do whatever is best for you.

Andrea said...

Hang in there.
Praying for you,
andrea

Journal of Healing said...

Shit, Shattered. I'm so sorry for this craziness. I empathize with the multi-dual processing/thinking going on. That can make things very confusing and cause a civil war of types.
I encourage you to keep working those thorns out of your body no matter what happens. Grief is grief, tho...whether grieving the physical loss of someone...and i am sure some of that just might happen, or grieving the emotional loss never filled. Grief is SO important, and honoring it in all ways...seeking balance in the system while being true to safety, self, and wholeness.
Remember my entry about burning the letter? No matter how much I doubted burning it, still this fact remains...no matter what was in that envelope...wishes of love that i finally was getting, curses of everything horrible she always thought i was or a newspaper article, this fact remains. NOTHING should have my power the way she did. I don't need anything she can offer to feel whole.
knowing you will SURVIVE and find a way to continue to THRIVE.

hugs if wanted and wishes of healthy tears for you,

ang

Midnitefyrfly said...

holy sh!t! I did not expect to find this! (mind you I am new here and haven't done my homework- YET!)

I don't know what to say... I know that this could look very similar to what I would feel if my father met his gruesome untimely death... I just haven't stopped to think about it, because it hasn't happened, and I don't think about his life or death, because right now~ I just don't care.

In my opinion you have won. Despite the many lifetime losses that likely weigh against calling his life lost a gain, I think you have to look at it more of who you are vs. what he isn't (wasn't). You are choosing not to be defined only by what your past has been, and break free from those chains, even if it is one link at a time.

I am not sure if I should offer sympathy or congrats... it may have been the much needed outcome and better it come upon him, haunting him from his own past, than you to lose your own self, bringing it on.

hmmm... tough one- just (((HUGS)))

The Pliers said...

In a word, "yes."

But as we all know, "winning" is rarely what it is made out to be by people who see themselves as losing with great regularity. It is usually rather anti-climactic. So, I prefer to think that if your father is dead and you are alive that you have triumphed over what would have defeated others without your determination and strength of spirit.

Once upon a time I went to a funeral in Oklahoma City for a father who had been inaccessible to me for a very long time and who I had not seen for 7 years prior to his death. I had talked to him on the telephone, if listening to someone three sheets to the wind can be called talking a couple of times during those years but no more.

As the time of my visit, around the funeral, was going on I had been seeing a woman with whom I had gone to junior high school and the last time I saw her, before returning to CA, I wished her the death of her mother between that moment and any next visit we might have. Her mother was a worse alcoholic than my father, in all senses, throughout her entire life. I also gave her the book "Toxic Parents."

You may recall this quote from another realm:

from A Word To The Reader

"The phenomenon of blaming the person who died for abandoning the survivor is a common one. If the bereaved is still arguing with the lost person, he or she in effect denies that the loss has taken place. Fighting with the dead is made simpler when the lost person lives exclusively "in one's head," rather than partly in the outside world. Even so, a death may not be the hardest loss to understand or resolve, simply because it is something we know to be universal and fundamental that forces the separation. Not all losses result from death. One cannot blame death when the lost person remains alive, as in the case of a loss through divorce."

–Stephen A. Black


...or loss through profound abuse..., one might add.

Another important refrain that comes to mind is:

Munchkins

Ding Dong!
The Witch is dead.
Which old Witch?
The Wicked Witch!

Ding Dong!
The Wicked Witch is dead.
Wake up - sleepy head,
rub your eyes,
get out of bed.

Wake up,
the Wicked Witch is dead.
She's gone where the goblins go,
Below - below - below.
Yo-ho,
let's open up
and sing
and ring the bells out.

Ding Dong'
the merry-oh,
sing it high,
sing it low.
Let them know
The Wicked Witch is dead!

Mayor

As Mayor of the Munchkin City,
In the County of the Land of Oz,
I welcome you most regally.

Barrister

But we've got to verify it legally,
to see

Mayor

To see?

Barrister

If she...

Mayor

If she?

Barrister

Is morally,
ethic'lly

Father No.1

Spiritually, physically

Father No. 2

Positively, absolutely

Munchkins

Undeniably
and reliably
Dead

Coroner

As Coroner I must aver,
I thoroughly examined her.
And she's not only merely dead,
she's really most sincerely dead.

Mayor

Then this is a day of Independence
For all the Munchkins
and their descendants


Barrister

If any.

Mayor

Yes,
let the joyous news be spread
The wicked Old Witch
at last
is dead!


At some point, it would be instructive to get a better sense of why the apparent death of your father was gory and associated with innocence and guilt.

I would, however, beg to differ on the number of people left standing. Your little girl is also left standing...

Ruth said...

Part of me wants to rejoice. Part of me remembers that when my parents died, all the failures and disappointments rose to the surface. Losing someone also means losing the possibility of everything they might have been to us. When we lose a parent, we lose the possibility that they can ever parent us well too. That is an odd grief that I didn't quite expect for myself.

Bear up, sweet one. You'll see it through.

Rhonda said...

I find myself going through that pattern all the time as well. The moment I state things are going well, the world falls apart. As soon as I feel as if I have put myself together in my recovery, I get blindsided by something that causes the pain to be that much more excruciating.

But I've found out that it's during those times that I learn and grow the most. It's only going to make you stronger and show just how courageous you truly are to speak up.

Hang in there sweety!

Shattered said...

Friko, thank you for the reassurance. I often struggle with thinking my feelings are bad or somehow responsible for making a bad situation worse. I know what you mean about vengeance... but damn, sometimes it is so hard to wait for it to be exacted on our behalf.

Shattered said...

ER, how I wish I could have confronted my demon in person but it doesn't look like that is ever going to happen. I am trying to work through this like you suggested, layer by layer, instead of stuffing or refusing to deal with this at all.

Shattered said...

Andrea, thank you so much.

Shattered said...

Ang, I'm glad that someone gets the battle of voices going on in my mind. I'm sorry that you deal with it too but it helps to know I'm not so alone. You talked a lot about grief in your comment and grief is something I am familiar with yet a total stranger to. I am trying to do it right this time around and not interrupt the grieving process. We'll see how it goes...

Shattered said...

Midnite, thank you for reading and your encouragement. I still can't decide myself if this is a good, bad, or indifferent thing. I guess time will tell. Welcome to my blog!

Shattered said...

The Pliers, you always have good things to say. :)

"One cannot blame death when the lost person remains alive, as in the case of a loss through divorce."
...
...or loss through profound abuse..., one might add."

How true this is. When I lost my mother and sister, the death part was the easiest. The worst was the separation and the knowledge that progress would never be made. I suppose this is why I feel like less of an orphan than ever before. Strange...

Shattered said...

Ruth,

"Losing someone also means losing the possibility of everything they might have been to us. When we lose a parent, we lose the possibility that they can ever parent us well too. That is an odd grief that I didn't quite expect for myself."

This was the single worst part of loosing my mother and sister. The chance for healing and reconciliation was gone. That hurt worse than the actual process of death. As for my father, I don't know... I'm in a holding pattern of sorts and I think it's ok for me to say that right now, I just don't know.

Shattered said...

Rhonda, I'm hoping that this is a time that I grow instead of yet another time that I go backwards. I am consciously trying to do things a different way this time. Thank you for reading and for your encouragement.

The Pliers said...

I would also like to note that, with respect to moving to France, the singularly most difficult part of the disengagement with the USA was the knowledge that when I walked away any fantasy that I ever entertained about it all working out, or being improved, one day with my family of origin was effectively amputated and things were just the way that they had been, period. It was very hard for me to accept that. Once I was able to articulate the problem to myself, the distress dissipated.

Deborah said...

Jennifer,
If this brings you some relief, then I am glad for you. Don't beat yourself up if there is any feeling of vengeance exacted lurking in the corners of your mind. By god, you're human.
All I wish for you is release of the best sort. And you did survive, by the means you had available to you. And will continue to do so. ER was right, that there's more than one of you left standing. What a complex situation - I just wish you the ability to deal with this latest ...stuff.

sarah said...

The rollar coaster...Devotion..revenge drove me nuts. Then he died last year. heart attack...weird..I felt free and guilty for feeling free...guilty for thinking what I thought...Stay strong.

The Pliers said...

I was very relieved when both my parents were dead as doornails. I was a bunch of other stuff, too. But RELIEF was a paramount feeling that I experienced.

Phoebe Miriah Kirby said...

I'm sorry for your loss(es).
When a person dies, there are always the ones who strive to see every last coffee mug in their kitchen cabinets..

It's bizarre, it's depressing, and it's a horrible condition.

I wish you courage and strength in this hard time.

Kathryn said...

Someone beat me to it, so I second it:
Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.

You survived.

Kathryn

Journal of Healing said...

Shattered...still have ya on my mind. Just wanted to say that. Also, I changed the link to my blog for further privacy and wanted to shoot it your way.

http://asafeplacetomelt.blogspot.com/

cyberhugs if you want them. ang

Zan said...

I'm at a loss for words, so I will send you a lot of HUGS.
Hang in there.
xx

Shattered said...

The Pliers,

I get this: "the singularly most difficult part of the disengagement with the USA was the knowledge that when I walked away any fantasy that I ever entertained about it all working out, or being improved, one day with my family of origin was effectively amputated and things were just the way that they had been, period. It was very hard for me to accept that. Once I was able to articulate the problem to myself, the distress dissipated."

It's the letting go and acknowledging part that is so hard for me. Amputated is an apt description for sure. Articulating is what I'm working on...

Thank you. Knowing that you have had similar feelings helps me feel less alone.

Shattered said...

Deborah, I am slowly being able to let go of some of the guilty feelings. Not easy but I'm working towards it. I do feel relief and that is sad for a multitude of reasons.

Shattered said...

Sarah, I am sorry that you have been through the same emotions. It is certainly not easy. (((()))) to you.

Shattered said...

The Pliers, I am glad I'm not the only one who feels relief...

Shattered said...

When a person dies, there are always the ones who strive to see every last coffee mug in their kitchen cabinets...

Phoebe, what an interesting way to put it. :)

Shattered said...

Kathryn, that's OK, seeing it more than once makes me smile. I tend to agree... :)

Shattered said...

Ang, thank you for checking in and the update. You are very kind.

Shattered said...

Zan, thank you. :)