Bear with me. These pages are a place for me to put the things crowding my head. Sometimes they’re illogical, like this one is going to be. But I find if I don’t get them out of there, they bump around, get bigger. Kind of like sticky-tack. You know, for posters? Sometimes it sticks to the wall after the poster is down and you can try like hell to rub it off, but the only thing that actually works is more sticky tack. Picks it right up. That’s how the thoughts in my head work. They tend to collect related thoughts that only make the ball bigger, feel truer.
Some of those posts, I keep private. Some of them, I share. I’ve been told I’m courageous, that these posts help others in ways I don’t know. I’ll take your word for it. In turn, it helps me, because though writing it down does help to get them out of my head, shouting into a empty canyon only brings my own voice back to me. Going back over my words, editing as the writer I am, helps to order it all in my mind. I’m not looking for sympathy or for compliments. Maybe some love. Maybe some solidarity. Maybe just the knowledge that the sticky-tack isn’t going to make my brain explode, and neither am I talking to myself.
I’ve been contacted by many, because of these posts. Misunderunderstood, Misrepresented, and Maligned continues to gather hits months after it was first posted. They tell me I’m “an inspiration” and “courageous.” They want to talk to me, to share their stories and to feel less alone, whether they too have lost a child, or continue to struggle with a hurting child of any age. I offer my heartfelt support, my love, my own thoughts, and inside my head I’m thinking, “Why are you asking me? Mine died! I’m a fraud. I did everything. EVERYTHING! And he’s still dead.”
But I don’t. Well, I guess I just did. The sticky-tack ball of that thought has been gathering since the day Chris died. I shy away from mothering discussions. What have I to contribute? I lost one. Apparently whatever I did was wrong. How horrible a thought that is, because it’s so not true, and I have amazing children to prove that, including Chris. I know, absolutely, that we had Chris longer than we might have, because I never stopped fighting for him, fighting him, fighting all the demons overwhelming him when he just couldn’t do it any longer. The dichotomy inherent to grief makes no sense whatsoever. Knowing I did everything, that I would do the same things over again, doesn’t change the fact that it wasn’t enough. I know the fight was his. But I’m his mother. That logic doesn’t wash.
So I’m feeling a fraud. The courage people tell me I have, writing these posts, belies the futility always battling for a spot on that sticky-tack ball. Now it’s out. Maybe a new ball will form, but this one, I hope, has lost some of it’s power.