Preface - this blog is quite possibly my most personal post to date. I’m not a fan of the personal blog. Mine or any other. That said, I am getting ready to launch my book early next year and need to build my platform. For that purpose I will be returning to my literary roots and slamming you with some mad poetry on these pages from this point forward. I hope you will check back regularly to share my words and thoughts in that form and that in their stylistic and concise way they will reach you and teach you even more than what I have shared so far...because Mistress loves to spit. Spit poetry.
Hey punks - and pumpkins (my Japanese friends get the weirdest looks on their face when I call them that, ‘pumpkin’, because pumpkin is a very popular food in Japan and they know what it is but they don’t know what I mean and it’s not worth explaining so I just giggle and smile at their strange face, struggling to process what the hell I just called them)...
So remember when my last blog post where I waxed poetic about all the progress in my relationship with the slavee/husband? Remember the post before that? My first one in Japan, where I discussed how part of my reason for leaving the US was to escape the wake of his destruction? Well, I sit before you, at my computer screen a humbled woman - once again. Just days after I made the previous post the slave succumbed to his demons of trauma and depression and has disappeared once again down the narrow path of death and destruction that is his level of substance abuse.
The good news? Yes, the good news. This time, two things were different. One, I was too far away for him to seek me out physically with his emotional rage and financial and physical dependency and two...and this one is hard to admit...but it is true nonetheless...my heart strings broke. I am free, finally.
They snapped. Right in two.
We were close. Sooo close. He was to join me this fall, in our new land, our new home. But instead I laid on “our” bed in a foreign land with only myself and the shrill sobbing tore through me mercilessly. I heard myself. I HEARD myself, because often times the pain he has evoked in my life is so deep that it thrust me outside of my body in a dire attempt to survive and not loose parts of myself forever. I disassociate. So there I am, outside of my body, in the dark room, past midnight on this island nation and I hear myself. I really hear her. And I realize I have heard her cry like this once before.
When I was 12 and my life and family were melting down in the ways I would apparently grow to repeat with the slave, I used to curl into a ball in my bedroom, in the basement, at the bottom of the stairs and I would wail. Position three I call it today. I have four standard positions for all slaves. It is also called child’s pose by some of you. I had hoped, back then, that the carpet would do a good enough job muffling my cries that I could avoid my mother’s backlash. But I never did. She would stand at the top of the stairs and shame my expression, deny my pain and over all make me feel like shit for feeling what was happening around us to all of us, and that memory has never left me. Staring up at her through swollen eyes, only to hear her say, “If you keep screaming like that you’re going to ruin your children someday.”
Sidenote - later my mother told me a story about walking into a church for an Alanon meeting only to be greeting by the sounds of a woman's wails. Following the sounds, my mother made her way into the sanctuary, which had a balcony. She walked down the aisle until she emerged from beneath the balcony and could look up, spotting the source of the sound. A beautiful woman with long flowing hair and angelic dress was grasping the railing at the front of the balcony and filling the entire, empty sanctuary with her sobs. When the mysterious woman saw my mother she stopped, looked down, and smiled.
“What are you doing?” My mother asked. No doubt the public plastic smile she has perfected masking her alarm and disgust.
“I’m wailing,” the woman said, “you should try it sometime. It’s great for the soul. Very healing.”
My mother told me that story, I believe, as a form of apology. The only kind of apology she knows - to let me know she knows I’m not the only freak in the world who enjoys practices she cannot fathom, cannot understand.
So right here at this creative impass, what you cannot see reader, is that in this very public Starbucks where I am writing this post (yes they have Starbucks in Japan, Starbucks is everywhere) I am pausing to collect myself because it turns out dealing with the slave’s addiction and my mother’s codependency have become one dual exercise or exorcise in my life at the moment and if I ever wanted two birds with one stone I guess...spiritually...this is it?
So there I am, just a few weeks ago, grown and on the other side of the world, literally as far away from the two of them as I can get, and my father’s grave - my OG of addiction - and there it is again - that sound. There she is again. That wailing female. And she is me.
It didn’t last long. Nothing that painful is sustainable. You either die or you get up and try (again). But that wasn’t the worst part, the strangest part, the most alarming unarming part. What happened next is what will change my life.
I blacked out. I guess. THEN. I woke up. I don’t know what time it was. I was back in my body. I had apparently fallen asleep to the sound of my own sobs. And there it was. THERE IT FINALLY FUCKING WAS.
Relief. A broken heart. The strings, the cords tying me to all that had been and all that I hoped would be had finally snapped. I had found the limits of my own love and after decades of the weight of carrying another’s pain and neglect and abuse I. WAS. FREE. All I felt was relief. Sweet relief. And even sweeter release. All because my sweet heart had finally broken. She'd had a enough.
My mother told me once, "When you've had enough, you will leave."
Let me review this for you, like I needed to do for myself at that scared, silent moment alone in my dark room, lying naked and tear stained on the mattress: my husband relapsed just weeks short of joining me in a new and sparking life and after it tore my heart to shreds all I felt was better.
Hello eclipse season. Hello to the season of Leo, of the heart. Hello to eclipsing the past and blasting into the present, into a new reality. A totally different now.
The best part? I felt zero shame. I felt zero guilt. I felt zero sadness. I did not do this. This was not my choice. This happened TO me. It was the result of my choice to pursue my best life and live in alignment with the universe and the choice of some others to continue to sleep, to choose to not be awake. Some of those emotional zombies are the people I love most in this world - my mother and my husband - but I can’t do for them what every man or woman (or other gender) must do for themselves. My choice to love myself and cling to the universe and it’s love and integrity and purpose somehow freed me a few weeks ago. I’m not sure why, or how or even what the future holds for my loved ones and I but what I do know is that today I am able to live with peace, for the first time, even as they continue to swirl in the turmoil of their own making.
We are not responsible for what others do to us, but we are each responsible for what we do with what has been done to us.
I choose to live, I choose truth, I choose to set boundaries that honor myself and those around me. I choose not to do the work for another that would benefit them the most. I choose me. I choose life. I choose love. I choose to be this alone and feel this isolated in a foreign land without the love of a mother, without the love of a husband. I choose to not have children. I choose art. I choose to create, to contribute, to laugh and to LIVE. I choose the light. I choose to be awake in this life that was a gift given to me. I choose to embrace the light and the dark in all of us. I choose balance. I choose power.