I don’t know which is better or which is worse: how I feel, for real, or how I’m expected to feel. What if I don’t feel anything, but then again what if I feel everything, is there one that is better, one that is worse, or are both destined to make me feel remorse and regret, neither of which anyone wants to feel.
No, no. I don’t want to feel on either end of the spectrum, I want to land in a serene place, my place, my own, balanced home. The place where I can be free without the cares of others to make me feel solemn. I’d rather be abandoned, without the abandonment, because one is never actually, alone. One always has the self. And I have my self. My strong, secure, and confident self to carry me through all of the struggles. Through all of the pain that this life brings, which make this life worth living. For without this life, I would not know myself. She gave me myself, but in doing so, she gave up all of her own self. She is nothing without me, but I am still everything without her.
Because I have taken her, because I stolen her and now she depends entirely on me for her happiness.
This is saddest thing I’ve had to confess to myself. My mother is no one. She is lost in a fantasy, one which she has been creating for herself, by herself, for decades now. She knows not what she does. She knows nothing. She knows only what she is told to know. And feels only what she assumes she should feel. Happiness for her children because that is all she has. Sadness for her children because that is all she has. She has nothing, but us. But the two of us. One of which has disconnected completely.
Truthfully, she has just me. Little me. The sole reason she has to keep living, it resides with me. This is why I must continue to be free. This is why I must continue to live my life for myself, because that allows me to live for her as well. Because vicariously, she is living too. She is no one without me. I repeat, she has lost her sense of self. She gave it up entirely in order to give me life. Does this mean that in bringing me to Earth I must owe her everything too? Well, I don’t feel that way, not much that way.
Actually, I feel as though I owe no one nothing. No one nothing. Not even the person who gave me life.
Why? Well, because I believe that I would still be here someway, somehow, with another form of self instilled in me, but in the end I would still end up being me. Yes, with other life experiences, undoubtedly, but still me, and no one else. This singular entity, she is me and I am her. But I am actually everything that she was never able to become. I am that person that she wishes she could be. And I am living that life she wishes she could have lived. How could she not resent me? How does she still manage to love me? Well, because she is selfless. She lives not for herself. Because she has no self, she just lives for me. This is sad.
To lose all of you forever and never find the loop that ties you together. She is lost, but she is not a wanderer. She is lost completely. She is gone forever. I don’t think that I ever knew her, outside of me.
Because she was gone well before I arrived. Was she ever even here? I think she was. I think at some point in the past she was here too. She was living and breathing and wishing to have this life that I have taken over. There are remnants of this woman. There are the pieces that I have involuntarily picked up.
There are the moments that she shares, when she was herself and I was not even in mind. I was still on the outside, peering in.
Now, that I’m here and now that I’m the living, breathing, actual self, she can’t exist. It would have been too much, too much energy to handle. In turn, she chose to give her self up. She lost her self so that I could find my self.
And this is what I have done and this is what I will continue to do: I will continue to live and to do so with all of the energy that I have stripped from her. This is a sad story, but it is our story. The story of a mother and her daughter being unmistakably intertwined, to the point that one cannot know me without knowing her and vice versa.
To lose oneself is perhaps the most lamentable thing that can occur. For what are we without the self? We become nothingness. Pure and utter nothingness. And no one wants to be nothing. Everyone wants to be something. But now she is nothing and there is no turning back. I’m starting to wonder if this is what will happen when I have my own child one day. Will I lose myself? Am I too selfless to have children?
No, why not? Because I am not actually her. I am those picked up pieces. I am those fallen fragments, but I am also my own self. The self that was placed on Earth to live a fulfilled life alongside another. So that we can call ourselves each other’s and no one else’s. Because no one belongs to anyone else, unless they forfeit themselves to another. And I have decided that despite my nourishing instinct to be a mother I will never lose my self. I will revive her each day for at least 10 minutes. This is a promise that I am making to myself for my self, so that I may continue to bear luscious fruits for the world. So that I may continue to be a good friend, sister, daughter, person. To be the best of me, I will need to reserve time for my self. I will do this and I will do it while smiling and it will bring me peace and in turn, lovingkindness to others. Because I have found that in being a better me I can bring out the better in others. This--I will vow to do.
I am a wanderer. And I wander well, so well that for one to find and catch me he too will have to be a wanderer, he will have to be wandering in his own way and me in my own way, in order for us to find our way to live together with the same peace and lovingkindness that we reap and sow, reap and share. This is what I hope to find and have and hold and gather and give. This is it. There is nothing more.
Initially written in January 2013. Untouched until this evening, when I had the courage to edit it, minimally.