Conversations with My Dead Mother (Pt. 2)

Dear Mama,

It has been a week of ups and downs – So much to celebrate but my damn anxiety really inhibits the celebration. I wonder if you had anxiety? I don’t recall you having anxiety or maybe that was one of the “evils of the world” that you tried very hard to keep from me, like dad’s drug addiction. I still marvel at how you were able to keep that one a secret for fifteen years. Normally, this would have angered me but I think I was old enough to understand that you did it out of pure and intense love for your children. I thank you for that.

I filed the final judgment paperwork for my divorce today at the courthouse, ma. Ya know, I thought I’d just go down there, turn in the paperwork and not feel much different. If I felt anything, maybe just a bit of relief because I accomplished an errand but no, I felt tremendous weight lifted. I think having no expectations was what made it feel so damned good. I wish you were here – you would have been the first person I called. You’re with me all the time, though, right?

I can’t wait to receive the mail informing me of my official divorce date. It is a date in the near future that I greatly look forward to and I have every intention on celebrating in a very big way. I’m fortunate to have some friends and my boyfriend that will be right there with me, toasting to my freedom as well.

Today, though, I came to the conclusion that there are some people who simply have no interest in my life yet I continue to exert my energy with interest in theirs. I shouldn’t say I came to the conclusion because this has been on my mind for quite some time but rather, I was able to arrange it in my thoughts in a way that is plain and simple to understand. I think, sometimes, I confuse things easily or I begin with the self-doubt but really it’s just a matter of no longer giving a part of myself to others who have no interest in giving me a part of him or herself.

And then, as if the Universe was speaking directly to me and I believe it was, one of my dearest friends (Meg, you know Meg!) posts this on her Facebook wall:

10407721_10206183508780218_4793649114751593147_n

Or trust the vibes you don’t get, I suppose!

I think that’s about all for now, mama. I love you more than words could ever convey.

Love,

Linds

Advertisements

Happy 60th Birthday, Dad.

If my dad were here to blow out the candles, we would be celebrating his 60th birthday today, February 19th, 2014.  Wow.  Quite honestly, it is difficult to speak of my dad without conjuring up something negative, some despairing memory.  It wasn’t until he was nearing his last days on Earth that I truly began to understand where all of the despair stemmed from, why my dad held on to a harbor of deep sadness within his lonely heart.  It was only then that I was able to truly forgive him, as well.

Today, I am working through my own negativities, in and out of a therapist’s office, understanding that a lot of it derives from the first man to ever make an impact on my sensitive heart.  As I said, it’s challenging to think about my dad without thinking about the bigger picture, which is the tendency for daughters to choose men who are, if not just like their father, somewhat like him.  For some women, this is a decent thing.  For me, it is not.

With all of that being said, there’s no denying how much I loved my dad and how much I know he loved me.  As I described in my past blog, Perfect Stranger, I so wished with all of my heart that I had more time to get to know him, to piece together some of that incomprehensible mystery that was James Richard Dellinger.  His birthday is a stabbing reminder that I will never get that opportunity.  I can only utilize the twenty-six years that I had with him and if I’m lucky, the memories his beloved friends and family members are willing to share.

Being a little girl of merely five years old, sitting on a park bench with your sobbing mother, holding her hand, consoling her in the best way a young child’s mind knows how, poses quite the significant impression.  Saturday mornings in my household were not only the start of the sought after weekend but the much less anticipated, weekly intense fights between mom and dad – spine tingling fights that consisted of lots of yelling and, at times, ashtrays flying across the room, eventually crashing into a wall.  I grew up faster than most of my peers, to say the least.

Fast forward about ten years to the moment I was sitting, irritable, in the driver’s seat of my mother’s car one night as she drove around aimlessly, avoiding going home because that’s where dad was.  Fifteen years old, my brother already away at college in Iowa, I blurted out with grave, angered force, “When are you going to divorce him” with emphasis on the word, divorce.  Little did I know that thirteen years later, I would be asking myself the exact same, insensitive but necessary, gut-wrenching question.

After my dad moved out of the house, down the street into an apartment about a half a mile away, I planned on never speaking to him again.  I hated him.  I’m glad that I ultimately changed my mind on that one.  Because of the things my father put my family through due to a number of issues, mainly his depressing drug addiction, a giant wedge was placed between the second man to ever have a significant presence and impact on my life – my brother.  He couldn’t stand that I openly spoke about my dad’s addiction to pills, couldn’t understand that I needed support.  My brother and I were never extremely close but this definitely divided us even further.

It was around the time of my parents’ divorce that my mother suggested I seek anger management.  I never did – I was too angry and stubborn to admit to myself, let alone anyone else, that it may have actually been helpful.  Music was my outlet; my constant, unconditional support and I actually owe a lot of my knowledge about music to my dad.  As an army brat that traveled and lived in every corner of the world, he once lived in San Antonio, Texas for a spell where he drummed in a band with one of the members of the rock band, Live.

Fortunately, I have matured from the sixteen-year-old angst-ridden, idealistic young lady who thought she knew it all.  Due to my experiences, I now understand many different forms of addiction a lot better, to the point where my compassion and sympathy are capable of overriding my anger.  I choose not to let my past dictate my present or my future with acknowledgement of why I behave the way I behave, why I make the choices that I make and the intention to better myself with that valuable knowledge.

My father allowed a lot of his past dictate his present and his future to the extent that a lot of it, I’m afraid, was subconscious.  He didn’t have the same opportunities presented to him that I did and he also experienced some horrific things that I never have, namely the suicide of one of his dear brothers.

For my dad, wherever his soul may rest, on his 60th birthday, I wish for him peace in his heart, peace in his mind, boatloads of compassion and love and a greater understanding of self.  I think about you all the time and I love you.

This is a video I created for my dad last year.  Enjoy and thank you for reading and watching.

Daddy’s Little Girl

A few years ago, I wrote an entire manuscript of poetry for a contest submission.  I thought I would share one of the poems within that manuscript as it relates so closely to my blog’s content.  I actually wrote the following intending for it to be a song and who knows?  Maybe one day, I will set the words to music.  Until then, I hope you enjoy.

DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL ©Lindsay Taylor, Ogad Music, 2009
Daddy’s little girl
Is all she ever wanted to be
Heard and seen
Is all she’d ever need
Until she became a teen
She had no idea
“Gina,” he said, “You are my queen,”
and papa, he said that he’d get clean
She had no choice but to believe
And she was let down, let down
She was let down, let down, repeatedly
Attention was the key
If only Gina could make him see
If only Gina could change some things
detach herself at the age of sixteen
But she’d already put in so much energy
“Gina,” he said, “You are my queen,”
and papa, he said that he’d get clean
She had no choice but to believe
And she was let down, let down
She was let down, let down, repeatedly
Daddy lacked at so many things
Gina battled with insecurity
Anxiety overwhelming
Hiding her feelings while loving the undeserving
Disappointed beyond belief
“Gina,” he said, “You are my queen,”
and papa, he said that he’d get clean
She had no choice but to believe
And she was let down, let down
She was let down, let down, repeatedly