Tuesday, October 13, 2015


     My mother's name on a small post-it looked absurd on Mr. P.'s chest. As we talked, it kept falling off, as if something (or someone?) didn't want the exercise to continue.
     "Look at me," - Mr. P. said - "tell your mother every resentment you might have toward her."
     When my mother was dying, I desperately resented her for, what I perceived, the lack of desire to stay alive. How stupid of me! She was, probably, despairing herself at the thought of her life going away and nothing we could do about it!
     Anyway, a lady-social worker at mom's hospital suggested, I should really try to work out my problems with mother, or, as that Jewish person put it, I'd be left "with the grizhas in the kishkis". If you don't understand Yiddish, that means: with the intestinal ulcers.
     I began to pray, and, as if by magic, the lifetime of unspoken or regularly shouted into each other's faces hurts just disappeared! I didn't forget them, but the bitterness was gone. 
     Now Mr. P. wanted me to rehash the things, I thought, I laid to rest. Oh, well: "In for a penny, in for a pound!"
     I thought, I laid them to rest. A lot of things I did. But some memories I couldn't even touch without the emotional pain paralyzing me for weeks. I never addressed them in hopes of healing. They just continued to fester in the depths of my mind. 
     As my mouth opened, the words began to tumble out. I still can't tell anyone about my worst traumas, but I talked of being upset that, my mother never taught me to be a wiser woman or what the real relationships demand from a person. She wasn't there for me, when I was on the verge of suicide, and she knew the reason for it too! Instead of offering some comfort or support, all she could do was to accuse me. 
     Mom, do you hear me? I love you and I want you to acknowledge your own lack of wisdom in raising your daughters! I love you!


     Hanah's High School friend, Christina, invited us to her little daughter's "welcoming party". Since the cutie is already born, I guess, it was too late to have a Baby Shower!
     This is the second child (from a second husband!). The first one is on the picture to the left.
     Christina with her family recently moved in with her parents to a house near our own. It was nice of her to remember her "aunty" - as she calls me (never failing to melt my heart) - and invite us to a party!
     The baby Ava Nicole - what a beautiful name! - is very advanced for her age. She already tries to crawl, and the look in her eyes is extremely sharp and focused.
     I went a little crazy shopping for the baby. Who knows, when I'll have another chance to do it again (boo-hoo!!!). 
     Roberta and Serina came with me. A few of the family friends were there, others - sent presents. Christina's mother and grandmother made some snacks and a big meal for all of us.
     The older daughter, Alice, is a charming young lady of three - four years of age. I think, she feels a little insecure now, that her parents have another child, so she she expresses it by obsessively "imprinting" on anyone, whom she likes. Serina almost immediately "fell into her clutches", and Alice didn't let her get far away all through the festivities!
     We chatted and played games. On this photo Serina with her eyes covered has to gather as many cotton balls as she can into a box. She lost to another lady, but only by a small margin!
     For some time Alice got distracted by a small boy, whom she tried to make play with her.

     Then that family had to leave, and Alice switched her attention back to Serina and Roberta. The look in my niece's eyes became haunted, as for the next hour or so she was pressed into twirling Alice through the air or chasing her around the house. Then Alice noticed Roberta!
It happened before: for some reason, Alice feels spellbound, when she sees my elderly charge. Roberta says, it's because of her white hair. 
     The little girl glued herself to her side and played all the games there, brought all her treasures to show Roberta and Serina, put toy cat ears on Roberta's venerable white head and, finally, sprawled in her aching, I might add, lap and refused to budge
from there!
     I had to peel her off Roberta. Alice followed us to the car, as her family came out to say goodbye to us. She would've hurled herself into the car, if her grandmother didn't say a magic word: "Cake!" With that the flighty little princess forgot all about us and ran back to the house.


     My eyes are not crying. My mind is steady, but I am confused, what to do or think. Hanah didn't respond to any of my e-mails for at least a month and a half. Before she left to finish her last semester of college, I asked her to choose a phone that she liked. I would've bought it for her. She didn't take that opportunity, and now I can't reach her by phone as well as by e-mail.
     I feel, like I'm a hostage to my love for and duty to her! I can't tell myself: "I don't care, I gave her all the opportunity to stay in touch or get a new phone. Now it's her own business, if she is in trouble or needs something!"

     Here is something to think about:

Codependent relationships are a type of dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person's addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.

     Am I codependent? I'm not giving in to my desire to catch the next bus to Arcata, find Hanah and make sure, she is OK. I stopped writing threatening e-mails to her. I did talk to some office at her college and asked to find out, if she is alright, but made sure to tell them NOT to force her to get in touch with me, if her professors say,  they see her in classes, and she is fine. 
     I guess, since I am not supporting her irresponsible attitude towards the family by hovering over and smothering Hanah, I am not codependent to her. What I am is: lost, apprehensive and scared. I wonder, if every parent on the planet, whose child left home for any period of time, feels that way!