Here goes. There is always one thing, a focal point in one's psyche, the thing that one cannot escape. Maybe in your case,,, you don't want to escape. It shaped you. Maybe it was beautiful and warm. Whether or not you like what sculpted you as the person you know, here and today, it's important nonetheless. My focal point is mother. To talk about her, seems like my adam's apple spins like a top and twists the rest of my throat skin off and cuts me off. I've got too much to say, and that's usually when I say too little. Which, believe it or not, is often. I know, I know, I talk a lot. I think more.
My throat. Back to it. Smaller than now. Hands, bony and frail, vibrating with fury, constricting my breathing, pressed up against a wall, head smashed and the sound is louder from inside, spit from yellowed smoker's teeth coming out in drops falling horizontally [parallel to the earth] forced out with the force of a broken scream, I can't understand the words. I feel only the panic. Blood. I'm not bleeding, no, not right now, although a bloody nose or lip is not rare in this double wide. But the panic is big. Blood. Blood. I feel it beating through my skinny chest, pushing through to the tips of my tiny limbs. It is still moving, and faster than ever, but I am still. Frozen. Afraid. She would always choke me. She would throw me against the walls. She would wake me from a sleep if she identified something I had done wrong just to beat me. She would hit me with belts, wooden spoons, and the worst! the absolute worst! wire hangers.
I remember the time she was looking for us and I had my sister hide in a darkened place outside covered in spiders. I heard her yelling with fear. She couldn't find us. I was terrified of the dark but I didn't move. I'd rather be left to the spiders than her. I'd rather be anywhere. Anywhere.
When you're little you don't imagine a bigger horror. You don't know other children have it worse than you. I didn't notice any around me. But I didn't talk to many people. All I kept noticing was how much more poor we were. How ugly my clothes were. I was ashamed. I was ashamed to exist. There I was, somber faced. In elementary school I know I had the face of a child that had seen more than one should. I didn't talk to anyone really. I was essentially mute. I couldn't bare to show myself. I didn't want to be seen or noticed. I had wished that I was invisible. Even with those uncomfortable ways, school was my refuge. I felt so much safer there, safe enough to be in my mind. I feared interaction with the other children. I feared interaction with the teacher. I wanted to listen. I wanted to hear about the math, the science, the English, the art. I absolutely was free within the bounds of a school desk chair. I knew I was safe there. Safe to think. Safe to wonder. Safe to make things up. Safe to create a space I wanted to exist in. Because really, I hated my existence. I know it showed because I was constantly sent to the school psychiatrist which was a horror in itself. They put me in a room with a two way mirror and observed me playing with an older kid. I wouldn't interact. They pried and asked questions. I only remember closing off. It was of no help. My mom didn't seem to think that was significant. The next time after elementary school that I had been in any kind of formal psychiatric treatment was when I left the house at 18. I took that upon myself.
When I was 5 my mother divorced my father. She moved my younger sister and I from LA to Kingman fucking Arizona. This shithole desert town plagued with every drug in the book. Right now I have more followers on Instagram than live in that hell hole. A decade ago, it was exponentially smaller. I remember some things before I moved. A lot of things actually. I don't know how, I was only 5. My dad always tells me the story. He says that when my mom wanted to take us, he signed the paperwork. He told me that. He always spoke to me like a person who should be respected when I was a kid, imagine that, I responded. I understood. He explained he had to sign the paperwork to allow my mother to take me. My response? "Just say no daddy." I guess that probably broke his heart. It broke mine every day. Not the conversation, the leaving. I never wanted to go.
As soon as we got there my mom introduced us to some guy and tried to convince us to start calling him dad. Well, that man became my step dad. He raised me. He was a racist, homophobic, nascar watching, coors light drinking, big rig driving redneck. Most of the time I loved to be around him more than my mom. He loved me and he made jokes. He rhymed a lot. He taught me about Black Sabbath. He was a lot of fun. Sometimes. He gave me health insurance my whole childhood. I would beg for him to spank me instead of my mom as his punishment was fair and dutiful. As I got older he would verbally abuse me unrelentingly but he never took physical punishment too far, although he would influence my younger siblings to attack me. My mom though, was intoxicated by violence. The two of them would punish me. Ground me. Put me down. Brainwash and manipulate me to hate my dad. Call him a drug addict and tell a child about his drug use. I was often not allowed to call him dad in casual conversation I was to call him by his first name. They would call him racist things because he is Mexican. And call me the same sometimes. This is more sick than I can imagine, as I am now an adult. This broke me. They eventually punished us so much for seeing our father in yearly visits that my sister often stopped coming.
My mom's family,,,,,,,,, Well, they had to shape her. Don't get me started on them. I really don't respect many of them. I guarantee they will all find this and read this. That's okay. If I see them I will smile and hug them. Some of them did some good by me but ultimately I cannot face them. There is too much trauma involved, by the sight of any of their faces I feel my identity slip into an abyss of death wishing. Even the good ones remind me of the bad ones. The adults in my family give children drugs. The adults in my family lie. They abuse. They are junkies. Most of them. There are molesters that have never been exposed, which I will not detail. They had every opportunity to rise above, but they wanted drugs more than to protect their children. One of my uncles, meth influenced, took me to the middle of the desert at 10 or so, and lit a barrel on fire, and burned kittens. I watched kittens burned alive. I heard them scream. I heard their flesh popping. I smelled it. My mom let that guy babysit me. So that's me. As I typed this I broke into sobbing and polar jumped up onto my chair and threw his fuzzy little arms around me. I couldn't love someone more. What a beautiful creature he is. Anyway, back to it. This is not easy to write.
I, as a child, was exposed to pure evil.
I was exposed to good too. I was exposed to such beauty!
My mom always took us to the lake with my step dad. It was some of the most wonderful days of my life. It will always be. They would take us to the mountains. To the snow to sled and build snow men. We saw rivers. We saw the ocean. We saw sunsets. Barbecues. Music. We played in the dirt. We were wild! My mom was always planting things and gardening and collecting every kind of pet you can think of. She always took such interest in the land and all it's creatures. I can't tell you HOW many art kit sets of all kinds she bought us. Everything. Everything you can think of getting a kid so that they can craft things of their own creation. And she would sit at the table and she would guide us. She was very involved with it. She would just cover the table in art materials and dig right in, happily, excited. She always made whatever she was teaching us to make herself. I would look at the thing I made and I would look at the thing she made and I would marvel at her craftsmanship. I was completely impressed. Bewildered. Everything I made looked so raw and janky. Everything she made was just gorgeous with careful lines and detailed to perfection. I thought she was magical.
I think when I was around 7, the age isn't necessarily right but the memory is, she drew this photo of this wolf. I still have it. I couldn't believe it. I just loved it. Somehow that memory flashed into my mind in the middle of a psychotic episode in 2008. I was in college. It was snowy. Bipolar diagnosis was still relatively new. I had been on medication however I wasn't the pro at understanding my illness that I am today, without proper maintenance I can slip into a way I do not recognize. Anyway I was babbling mental jibberish at the police men my sister and boyfriend had called because I kept running into the snow and they had to physically restrain me. That was my second psych ward hospitalization, title 36 they call it in Arizona, 5150 here, but it's just a 72 hour psych hold. Anyway to the cops that picked me up I mumbled as I sobbed,"imaaa wooolfff." I was remembering my mother's drawing I know. After the stay I asked her if she still had it. She went and pulled it out of a closet. My boyfriend made such a hilarious joke of saying "imaaaaaa wolffff" to me all the time after my recovery. I just adored it. I thought it funny. And thus, I am girlwolf.
Back to mother, it's been since before my surgery that I've talked to her. She came to see one of my residency shows with earthsleep at the whisky. She missed my set and was really spun out. So spun out that she offered people meth. She then proceeded to get lost in Los Angeles the entire night, leaving me pathetic voicemails, driving around [WITH A SMART PHONE] lost in Los Angeles. Drugs I guess. But I've had it. Between that and getting my brother who I love endlessly addicted to drugs several years ago... It's hard to talk to her. It's hard to forgive someone for what they are still doing. I had forgiven all she did I thought it could not be worse. But for her to put my baby my love my brother in that position, was a new type of low. I might call her soon. I've planned on it. It's just nicer when you don't.
Here is the thing. With everything that I just said there, I would like to express gratitude toward my mother.
Mom, I love you. I don't think it's your fault. I don't think it is. I've known you long enough to know that I don't think you can help the way you are. I don't know what happened to you. I have somewhat of an idea. If what you told me is true, I am so sorry that happened to you. I am sorry grandma and papa never approved of you in the ways you wanted or acknowledge your pain. You are the one that takes care of them. You nursed grandma till her death when none of your other siblings do shit. You were the only one in your family to go to college. They discouraged you. They ignored you accomplishment. You're clearly the smartest one. I'm sorry they treated you like that. Mom, you're sick. It's not just your body mom, that too. But you're very very mentally ill, more so than me and you did not take proper care of yourself. If your body hurts as much as you express, I understand becoming dependent on those drugs. I don't think you know the difference between a lie and the truth. I don't think you're aware of your inability to grip reality. I'm not blaming you anymore. It's just hard. It's hard for all of us kids to deal with. We feel that when we let you in, you always take us into a nightmare. I'm sorry. But I want you to please look at all four of us. No matter what you did wrong, no matter what you did right, we are all alive and doing really well and it's your fault. It's your fault we are the way we are. And I think we are all amazing. So thank you. Bobby just had a baby girl, he made a person!!!! He has a good job and I am so proud of him. He's funny and he's adorable. Everyone likes the guy. And now his baby girl looks just like him. He's a wonderful dad. I can't believe he's a DAD. Tami is just brilliant. She is a mountaineer, quirky little scientist who cuts minerals into microscope slides and THEN goes and translates that science into art. She helps everyone around her. She is truly curious about others and kind. And Bri! Bri is just annihilating it in school. She's the youngest of us but the most baller. She is busting her ass working at a nursing home. And she is going to be an RN like you mom. Bri is diligent in ways I couldn't dream. She always makes the right choices. Takes like no shit.
Well I'm me.
And if spent my life working, for mostly free, to express, well what I find to be truth. I do that with all the tools you gave me. You're the crafty one. And quite frankly I'm so obsessed with finding truth because you lied so god damn much and I was a fucking detective all my life hahahhahahahhahahhahahhahaha
But you know what?
Every day, people say I helped them. Every day. And I live to inspire.
So anyone any 4 of us helps, you helped mom. You did a lot of good here.