The Land of NeverWas

Where all the "Might Have Beens" live

Archive for the category “heart break”

My Mother is Dead but My Guilt is Alive and Well

I have never been through anything worse than the night my mother died. I have never felt the gnawing guilt I feel right now thinking that some decision I made took her from everyone that loved her.

She entrusted herself into my care and now she is dead.

The night she died, Sarah and I walked into her room at the care center about 6 p.m. and she was laying in her bed, one arm behind her head, one leg raised up bent at the knee, sticking out of her gown. I laughed to myself. It looked like she was posing but it was totally accidental.  I said “Hey sexy.” and she chuckled a little. Six hours later she would be dead, but I didn’t know it at the time. She was gurgling in her throat some when she breathed and it concerned me because the last time she sounded like that she ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. In a crazy bit of irony, we were supposed to get her port installed the next day so that she could get her treatments without an IV. Just exactly like the first time we were supposed to have it installed. That set us back a whole month on her treatment. In my mind, I was terrified that if she did end up with pneumonia again that the oncologist would call it quits so I wanted the facility to do what they could to prevent that without sending us to the hospital.

And that is Guilt Point One for me.

Should I have just said let’s go now so that she could get the top notch care. I know the facility people do what they can and I blame none of them, but they weren’t totally prepared for this I don’t think. But, fearing that a hospital stay would either throw us out of treatment altogether or set us back another month while her cancer continued to eat away at her, I opted to go with them trying what they could and then if it got worse to go to the hospital. There were X-rays and blood samples taken. The on-call doctor was consulted and she kept talking about palliative care. I grew more terrified inside. No. No. NO. Stop talking like that dammit. We just got started! The X-rays showed her lungs were clear, so there was no pneumonia. Good news. I eased up a little in my worry. The nurse came in and gave her Albuterol to help her breathe.

Enter Guilt Point Two.

Was the Albuterol treatment they gave her there what set the blood clot that ultimately took her life free? If I had just left her alone and let her take on her cold or whatever it was naturally, without panicking inside, would she still be here? Yes, she was gurgling then, but it didn’t seem too serious. Yet, after a treatment or two of Albuterol (at least I think that is what they gave her) she was really panting hard and losing consciousness. That was when we called the emergency services. They came and the first thing they did was give her another Albuterol treatment even though the nurse and I both told them clearly that she had just had two. Again, no blame but this ticked me off. But this is the source of my guilt. Should I have been more forceful than I was? I felt intimidated by a roomful of EMS and fire department people and just stopped talking and let them work. I wonder if I should have been more brave and insistent? I feel like I should have now, after the fact, of course. She wasn’t responsive to questions at this point. I think the blood clot had already started to do its nefarious deed.

So, enter Guilt Point Three

That goddamn blood clot. I think it eats at me the most. When she was in the hospital with pneumonia I recall them giving her something to prevent blood clots while she was laying immobile….but I didn’t recall it until after the ER doctor told me that was probably what got her and my brothers asked me if she hadn’t been on blood clot medicine at the facility. I fucking felt like punching myself in the face right then. Why….why…WHY did I not mention that to the PT facility????? She was immobile the whole time there. People tell me I couldn’t have known, that they should have, but those people are overworked and overwhelmed in those kind of places. I feel like it was totally my responsibility to be the advocate my mom need to ensure she received everything she needed and to stay on top of all of that. And I dropped the fucking ball.

And she died. My mother died.

I had to watch her struggle to breathe. I had to watch her eyes roll up into her head and her hands claw up and turn purple. And ultimately I had to leave her body there on that bed, surrounded by the sterile equipment of an ER room. As many of us were there that could be and that could handle it. My daughter was in there through the whole ordeal, sometimes alone as even I had to step out from time to time because it was so goddamn hard to watch.But I knew I would feel even more guilt later if I wasn’t. I told her everything my heart and head could think of while I brushed her hair with my hands, but it doesn’t feel like enough now. I keep thinking of all the time we spent together in her PT room and how most of it was just quiet because neither of us were big talkers. I let her watch her soaps and her shows. I wish that I had read to her out of her favorite books, but again it was just something I thought of too late.

Everyone says I am a good son. I did everything I could. My head says yes along with my mouth but my heart and my spirit are saying that is all bullshit. I should have done more. She needed me to do more. And I failed.

And she died.

Maybe one day my head and my heart will come to terms but right now they are barely speaking. I don’t know how I can face my family this next week. They also trusted me to take care of her. And I let them down too.

I make it through the day most of the time until that picture of my mom laying in that ER room pops up. As it will forever. That is why I usually avoid those scenes. I just couldn’t allow myself to do that this time. And so when I see that in my mind’s eye all I can do is tell my mom that I am so, so sorry I let her down and let my tears flow and hope they can wash some of this guilt off of me.

I’m sharing this. Not to get a lot of sympathy I don’t really want or think I deserve, but in the hopes that maybe if someone else goes through something like this they can know they aren’t alone. I know I am not alone.

Actually, that could be Guilt Point Four. I personally know so many people who have lost their mothers before me, including my girlfriend (I also worry that this is stirring up memories for her and that this is making her hurt all over again.) Some in way worst circumstances way too early. And so I feel guilty for even being sad. Like my situation is unique or something. I feel their pain. They all probably went through similar emotions. And they are dealing with it. Right now, they are my heroes as they trek on and live their life.

I am going to try and accomplish things in honor of my mom. I am sorry I didn’t get them done while she was still here.

I am also going to tie up this rambling mess and torture the two or three people that will read it now. 🙂 Lucky for the world I am not that popular of a blogger.

Peace. The shitscribbler is out.

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the insanity of cupid’s arrows

Is it cowardice to armor one’s heart against the barbed arrows of a Cupid gone mad? One who shoots his arrows without regard to consequence? Is it cowardice to wish to avoid the pain of his pernicious arrow sinking in to my heart alone? The arrow that he so maliciously forgot to also shoot into the one I fell in love with?

“Perhaps, it is. But I don’t care.” I think as I buckle the armor on and shut my beating heart away into the darkness once again.

shaking & shattering

I’m shaking.

I don’t know whether it is from the coffee on an empty stomach or the flurry of emotions that are swirling inside of me, bumping themselves along my nerves and up against my skin. I think it may be a combination of the two and I hope that the emotions aren’t able to find a crack in my facade and work themselves out. They are trying with everything they possess. I feel as if I have an earthquake dwelling within me and it is only a matter of time before I break from the constant shivering.

What started it? What was the butterfly effect? What seemingly innocent action somewhere else set into motion the little ripple that grew into this tsunami inside of me that threatens to drown me in ruin? I don’t know. It’s probable I don’t ever want to know. I wonder how he did it? What words did he use? What caught her eye about him? Did he make her laugh? Did he make her feel special? Did he make her feel sexy? What did he do that I never could? What was it about him that turned her on so much? What the fuck did he do or have that turned her away? What caused her to leave me here

shaking and shattering?

phantom

I am lightly dreamt and poorly written.

A ghost of memory spied upon the mirror.

The falling echo of a word unspoken.

All that I am is see-through and you walk within me unknowing.

time

time to let the tears
flow
and get it over with

time to let hope
go
and stop being foolish

time to realize
that
she is happy while i am sad

time to hurt so
badly
that i can barely breathe

time to try and
be
happy for her despite the pain

time to wave
goodbye
and stop keeping it all in

time to cry,
yes,
time to cry and say goodbye

time to admit
that
it’s just time.

nothing

there will be nothing left for you to see.
no inkling of anything to do with me.
nothing here, nothing there,
there will be nothing for you anywhere.
you have made your choice,
so no more will my voice,
share a thing or a feeling,
or pour out of my being,
in heartfelt love or pain.
it will wash away with the rain.

in the dark when your heart gently weeps
at the things you denied but which it still keeps
close to itself, all alone does it cry,
asking, with mine, why why why?
something that shall never be answered,
by thought, by deed or even by word.
i can’t fight the enemy of the past
and finally at long last
i just have to let the thing
go and, hurt as it may, become nothing.

blind

I see plans for the future
that suck the hope right out of me.

I see words exchanged
that cut right through the soul of me.

I see touches shared
that make my heart scream to the sky.

I see too much
and it makes me wish that I was blind.

thoughtless

10 o’clock
i bet they’re fucking right now
(stop)
his hands are all over her
she’s got herself wrapped around him
(stop it)
wonder what’s on tv
maybe she’s watching tv too
(stop doing this to yourself)
lying there half asleep
thinking about me
(stop)
no, i doubt i cross her mind
she walked away far too easily
(stop it)
in a few days i’ll be a vaporous thought
adrift on the winds of yesterday
(stop doing this to yourself)
ah, i need a drink to numb the pain
no, alcohol is like ingesting liquid depression
(stop)
but fuck it, who cares
i sure the fuck don’t
(stop it)
just like her
oh god, she’s going to marry him
(stop doing this to yourself)
i need a tourniquet to stop
the flow of thoughts
racing through my head
not to mention the gut wrenching
pain, that has to
(stop)
(stop it)
(stop doing this to yourself)
i need to find a way to stop
thinking
please let me find a way to become
thoughtless

run

run
run like
you never have before
run as if
behind you is a snarling carnivore
don’t look back just
run
run until
your lungs feel like fire
run because
that monster of desire
will crack your bones
and you’ll never
run again
run

emotional suicide

i want to commit

emotional suicide

i want to kill

these things inside

not my body

i don’t want to die

just for these feelings

to fuck off i insist

drown them

choke them

slit their fucking wrists

whatever it takes

for them to go away

and to never return another day

void

void

no more

the rock will set

the stone will fall

the iron will encase

the thorns will protect

the ice will numb

time will dull

no more

void

I Have Lost My Skin

I have lost my skin

and all the nerves once held

within

now dangle raw and exposed.

The light of day. Hurts.

The cool breeze. Hurts.

The dream in sleep. Hurts.

The dark of night. Hurts.

The taking in of breath. Hurts.

The opening of my eyes. Hurts.

The laughter of others. Hurts.

The beauty of the sunset. Hurts.

The pattering of the rain. Hurts.

The dull pattern of life. Hurts.

The memory of you. Hurts.

Everything. Hurts.

Now dangling raw and exposed

the nerves no longer held

within

For I have lost my skin.

Fuck My “Beautiful Heart”

“You have a beautiful heart”, she told me. I’m not sure why, since it made no difference.

But, you are about to slice it into tiny pieces.

“I’m sorry I have to cause it pain.”

Then don’t. Stop right now and don’t say the words. Not those words. Say the ones that will keep it beautiful.

The thing she missed, the thing she never seemed to understand was that she made it beautiful. Really it’s a scarred up ugly old thing. A beast that she touched and, like a miracle, all the scars went away and it was as fresh as the day before it fell in love for the very first time. Before that first girl dug her claws into it and squeezed with a vicious little smile on her face.

From then on, I knew that love was not a game I would win.

Everything has been completely backwards. When I loved I lost and when I didn’t care they were all over me. Why in the hell was it like that? The only conclusion I could reach is that romance, like everything else, had been dumbed-down. Instead of words written straight from the heart, the effort of letting Hallmark speak for you is all that a man needs now. Buy her a card hundreds of others could buy, grab some flowers that will die before the week’s end. Clumsily compose a few words that were aimed more at creating guilt and manipulation than passion. Whatever. It’s an “A” for effort even though it’s the emotional equivalent of a burp. I was left in the same dust as Shelley and Lord Byron, despite my being alive now. And the little ashes of me were blowing away in the wind.

She stood there and looked at me, what she felt in her heart at that moment as enigmatic as the Sphynx. A mystery that I would never solve.

“Well, later, I guess”, she said quietly, then turned and walked away. With every step, as she grew smaller, I felt my heart grow smaller. It began to fall in upon itself and then implode. I was left confused and bewildered by her leaving everything she professed to desire. Generic: 1,350,072 Genuine: 0.

Hello Emptiness, my old friend.

“I knew you’d be back”, smirked Emptiness. “You’re such a fool.”

I knew Emptiness was right and vowed to never again tear myself inside out for anyone. I would bottle it all up and never take the cap off. There was no vessel out there worthy of pouring myself into after all. I was tricked yet again. I saw crystal when there was only plastic.

Yet, I also knew I was full of shit. Deep inside me there was still that tiny small ember I can never extinguish. One that still longs for the breeze that will fan it into a flame yet again. I even hoped it would be her, that a sudden epiphany would strike her heart down like a bolt of lightning and bring her back to me, electrified by the realization that only wrapped in my arms would she feel the passion she was looking for.

But reality set in. “Later, I guess”, she had said but it felt more like goodbye.

So regretfully I turned my eyes away from the spot where she had disappeared and thought bitterly to myself –

“Fuck my beautiful heart.”

Burn

Yet again. Here I am. Slouching in a darkened room staring out at the heartless black of night. Stars twinkle. Cold light from the moon falls through the window. I ponder the ridiculousness of where I find myself. Questions race through my head. Unanswerable questions. Or perhaps the answers are too horrible for me to acknowledge. So I pretend they are unanswerable to avoid looking them eye to eye. I take out my heart and hold it up in the light of the moon. Twist it, turn it. Admire the scars I have built up over the years. The scars that give truth to the idea that love hurts. Someone once said “You teach people how to treat you.” I understand. I’ve taught people to treat my heart as a target for claws and blades, slings and arrows. Whether intentional or not they’ve raked its tender skin so often it can barely be recognized through the scar tissue. Time may heal all wounds but the scars are a mother fucker. I know that I have put it out as a target and by doing so I have given permission to fire. You’d think it wouldn’t feel anymore. You’d think it would be numb from the constant chafing. And perhaps, hopefully, it will be after this last time.

I sit it on my desktop. Then I reach in to the gaping hole that is left and I pull out what I feel for her…I reach into my head and I pull out the memories, scraping around to be sure and get every last scrap. Nothing can be left. Nothing. It must all burn. I sit and stare at the pile of uselessness that sits before me. Every sweet word, every wasted gesture. I hold my hand to my mouth as I ask myself again and again and again why none of it mattered? Why does it always happen that I want to give it so badly and so freely but it is never taken in a like manner? Appreciated, yes. Remembered, yes. But never reciprocated. I am a brightly lit being, consumed with fire, a conflagration that will only take the fuel of her heart to turn from blue and cold to red and hot. Perhaps that is why she shied away. She feared being consumed by a wildfire she had no idea if she could control. I suppose I’ll never know. I can only wonder at the smoke I see from afar as she fans her own fire, attempting to coax the ragged embers and green wood into a roaring heat. In time, in time. Regardless, her back is turned away from me as she concentrates. I’m not even casting a shadow for her with my radiance.

I strike a match and hold it out towards my little pile, ready to say goodbye as I turn it all into ashes. Turn, turn, I send silently towards her with all my might, hoping desperately that she will stay my hand, because I know that I really want to keep it all inside of me. I don’t want it to burn, but the blue flame hurts too bad. I can’t go on being consumed by cold fire. I have nothing to hold on to. No burn of my lips from her hot kiss, no searing of my skin from the heat of her touch. One last breath.

She will not turn.

Suddenly, I laugh at myself. I realize once and for all I am the king of fools. No, the patron saint, even the God of fools. I deserve a place alongside the rest of Olympus. My own mythology. There Aphrodite will laugh at me for all eternity for daring to think that I could ever find the one I was meant to burn with. I am not blameless. I have turned away from others who did offer me a flame. I haughtily decided that they did not burn brightly enough. That will also be a part of my story. Forever searching, forever not seeing those who deserve for those who do not deserve. It will make fine theater but I wonder if those who come after will truly understand the misery of that existence. I hope they learn from it because I doubt that I shall.

I touch the match to the pile. It burns slowly, as if as reluctant to go as I am to say goodbye, but soon there is a pile of ashes. I scoop them up into the palms of my hand and carry them outside. I look up at the moon. She looks back at me, cold and uncaring, but I am used to that. She holds no pain for me. We have an understanding the moon and I. I hold up my palms and open them slowly. The breeze catches the ashes and takes them away. Not far enough I know. There will be ashes for me to tread on until time finally buries them under the dust of its passing.

I watch them fly and turn back inside. Already I can feel everything I took out of me growing back to haunt me yet again.

Galloping Toward Futility

I’ll pull tight the reins of my heart and no longer let it run free and wild across the meadows of love. It has ran its course, and worked itself up into a breathless lather, chasing the wild ride of happiness. Now it is time to take off the saddle, brush it down and then set it out to lonely pasture. There it will rest and graze and perhaps raise its in head in remembrance whenever it hears the pounding of hooves off in the distance as others fly by – joyful and free.

Love is the cruelest drug of all

For it is only love that can directly pierce your soul. It shoots through your veins giving you a rush of ecstasy unlike anything else man could manufacture. You feel as if you could do anything. Climb the highest mountain, cross the deepest oceans, conquer the whole fucking world. The sky’s the limit as long as that needle is tapping the vein. Then when it is taken from you, it leaves you shattered and shaking, trembling and sleepless, needing a fix so bad you feel as if there are red hot pokers applied directly to every nerve ending in your heart. You would do anything to get it back. Lower and debase yourself, if only, if only, the dealer, the object of your affection would spare you just the tiniest fraction of it. You know you could get by another day if, please, please, please, she would spare you a word, a touch, a kiss. But no, and time goes by. Gradually the addiction begins to subside and the pieces of your life fall back into place. But like any addict, you are never truly recovered, and there is always the next dealer out there somewhere, lurking. Waiting to whisper in your ear “You want to get high with me?” And all the past torment forgotten, you smile and say.

Sure.

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