Day Four

Day two and three of my writing challenge already went to shit. My grandmother was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. They give her sixth months at the most, but she’s already beginning to hallucinate my uncle that passed before I was born. He killed himself.

They’re starting to prepare the house for her hospice worker to come in, and the rest of the extended family is already down visiting her. My Dad is the oldest and taking this particularly hard.

I’m conflicted right now. My Grandmother and I have never been close. We’ve never really gotten along. Only recently, within the past year did it seem like her hatred and distaste of me seemed to lessen.

“I wish you’d never been born,” that one sticks with me more than most. The same way my Grandpa saying to me in the grocery store, “I hate your Grandmother,” resonates.

I’ve never had a truly healthy relationship to admire in my life that fell into the romantic category. I spent the majority of my childhood writing in a diary, “I wish my parents would get a divorce, then everything will be ok,”

I’d cry into that book and hope that one day it would save me. Words have always been there for me in a way this God entity hasn’t.

I begin a lot of sentences with “I”. I started this in high school, I had a teacher that said “I statements” were the key to taking responsibility for your actions, and allowed for you to express your feelings without projecting them on to others. I hated her. She said I was like her.

I think I am.

I feel very powerless right now. Like a little kid. I sense my writing even sounds that way. Juvenile. Vulnerable. Quiet.

When I was little, in elementary school actually – my Mom was hit head on by a drunk driver. I became the parent to her and my little brother, my Dad traveled for work and gone for weeks at a time. We struggled for money a lot, it was hard. She called my Dad crying once from the Grocery store because she didn’t remember where we lived. For Thanksgiving that year my Brother made oatmeal soufflé. It was dry oatmeal with flour and sugar.

I always feel like that should have prepared me for adulthood, for being there for them when they needed me. I don’t feel that way at all. I feel like there is nothing I can do, and realistically – there isn’t. Grief is a process that while universally understood, is entirely individualized.

My cousin is in his early 20s; we’ve been talking recently about the current situation. He’s far more advanced in his maturity than I was at his age. He understands that our family exists by being emotionally detached … this is something it took me much longer, and years of therapy to realize.