Thursday, July 29, 2010

Follow up to Yesterday

I should have included this with yesterday’s poem.

As you may or may not know (depending on how long you’ve read my blog), my mom was an insane and brutal woman. She hated me because she hated my dad. I hated her because she abused me.

I don’t know why, but I felt some sense of responsibility related to helping her out when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I take it back; I do know why, I did it because I was dysfunctional as all hell.

I checked in on her a couple of times a day. I either brought her food, or cooked it at her house. One day I walked into her place and caught her trying to shoot herself in the head. I knew she carried a pistol in her purse and I had taken it away from her for just this reason. I had no idea she had a spare.

She couldn’t take the safety off and was trying to figure it out when I walked in the door. I took it away from her. I also discovered that she had just cut all of our family photos and her cash into tiny pieces.

Maybe it was the wrong reaction, but I got very angry at her. I was going well out of my way to help a woman I didn’t even like and she was going to have me walk in and discover her dead, with her brains splattered on the wall? She was in no pain at this point, so maybe it was to be her final act of hatred towards me.

I went through her medications (most of which she used recreationally), found the strongest she had, poured a glass of whiskey (she had plenty), set them in front of her, and walked out the door.

Of course, she didn’t use them; it wouldn’t have been dramatic enough of an exit for her…

If you don't already know why I would do this, I ask you to read my family and childhood related blog entries.

41 comments:

Sarah said...

Wow, I can't even imagine . . . thanks for sharing such personal stories. Have you ever considered writing a memoir? (or perhaps you have written one and I don't know about it)

KarenG said...

You showed incredible restraint in this. It was like she was literally begging you to shoot her.

Katherine Aucoin said...

I can't even begin to imagine the tormet you went through as a child but hope you are healing as an adult. Seems like you are on a much higher plane than your mother. You are obviously a strong and confident person to share these very personal experiences with all of us. I admire your strength, courage and honesty.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

I just read your poem, posted yesterday, and then reread today's post. The power in your words hums through me. I feel inspired to write, my own story, something made-up, anything. Thanks for sharing your emotional experiences, and for the inspiration they give me.

Peace,
Nicole

Copyboy said...

Actually I was going to ask if it had anything to do with her, but I didn't want to upset you.

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

That's a very kind reaction on your part, given what she did to you.
xoRobyn

our little love nest said...

Aack...not the easiest life you have. Hoping you have some great people to support you and give you sound advice and hugs. Wishing you a better weekend. xo

Pat Tillett said...

Sarah - I have considered it and my blog seems to have become the repository for my notes and rough drafts (very rough. I don't know if I'm dedicated enough to make it actually happen though. Thanks!

KarenG - Thanks Karen! I would be lying if I said the thought didn't enter my mind. I have another story coming up about the time it almost did happen...

Katherine - As a young kid, I thought it was normal, because I didn't know any better. It took a long time and a lot of work to get where I am today. I'm happy as a clam now! Thanks!!!

Nicole - Thanks so much for the kind words. I was told a long time ago, that the more I let it all out, the less remains inside. I believed it, and it worked. I wish I could find that particular therapist and thank her again! Thanks again Nicole...

Copyboy - I wouldn't get upset! I really do appreciate the fact that you've hung with me through all of my stories...There's more to come!

Robyn - Thanks Robyn! If it had happened on the day before, or the day after, I may have taken the safety off for her. I'm glad I didn't, but I could have.

OLLN - Thanks for the concern. My life is great now. Many years worth of water under the bridge and many many hours in therapy got me here...

Ann Best said...

The story behind the poem. Truly harrowing. What you've written here adds depth to the poem, although it is so powerful, it can easily stand on its own. I will come back later and read your family and childhood entries. I feel a deep empathy with you.

Nevine said...

Patrick, such a devastating dilemma! Sometimes... I would like to think... that we love people because of who they are... i.e., family, etc.,... but that we don't really like them. I think we are entitled to our feelings of dislike.

Suicide is a selfish out, truly. I read your poem from yesterday and I have to say... your poetry vibrates at a high level because it is truthful. You say what you feel, and let it go.

We all have demons, and some of us need to write in order to let them go. I hope the demons are slowly disappearing as you write them away, Pat.

Nevine

Betsy from Tennessee said...

HI Pat, You have turned out pretty darn good --considering what all you went through when young. I'm glad you are able to talk about all of this..It's got to be therapeutic to get out your deepest thoughts and feelings. I'm glad that Blogging can help you with this.

Your mother truly had alot of problems. I'm so very sorry that she took so much out on you and your family... How sad is that...
Betsy

Bossy Betty said...

Wow. The power of the poem can through without the back story, but with it, it is even more powerful.

If you do not put together your mom pieces and publish a memoir, I am going to find out where you live and sing "The Stars and Stripes Forever" outside your home until you relent.

Now Bossy Betty has your reading list prepared:

Tobais Wolf "A Boy's Life."
Mary Karr "The Lair's Club" and
"The Glass Castle" by Jeanette Wallis.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this.

Jimmy said...

Pat, My hat is off to you my friend, I have read your past stories and can relate to the majority of them, growing up in this type of atmosphere drags most people right back into it, you showing compassion to your Mom and even pouring the whiskey and setting it in front of her along with the meds knowing well that she would not use them shows what kind of man you are.

You are a Man who refuses to be pulled into that mess and stepping out of it as you have done makes you the type of Man I am proud to call a Friend.

Thank You.

Sam Liu said...

Pat, you show amazing character and strength. I can't even begin to imagine what you've had to go through. I admire you, and wish you all the very best.

Naturedigital said...

Reading your poem yesterday, I knew it was something personal, but could not relate it to your mother, although I had read your earlier posts relating to her.
Now all pieces are falling into place and everything makes sense.
And I am beginning to understand what a great man you are Pat.
Costas

DrSoosie said...

Hi Pat...as I have told you before in some ways your experience with your mom is similar to my father-in-laws...except I don't think his mom was as hateful...just a neglectful and disastrous parent. Anyhow, she moved near him in her old age and my mother-in-law made him kind of take care of her by giving her some money and things like that. I never understood why he would do this as it would seem there would be nothing there but hate. I think the same thing of you and your situation. I wonder what drew you to her then. Are we always trying to get parental approval...even if they are the devil on earth?

Pat Tillett said...

Ann - Thanks so much! If you do read those old posts, you are going to see a lot of crazy goings on in my family...

Nevine - Thanks Nevine. I learned along the way that it can be very unhealthy to love someone unconditionaly. I'm happy to report that my demons have mostly been dealt with. With the help of professionals, instead of the "self-medicating" I employed as a coping mechanism.

Betsy - Thanks! It's been a long road. I think I've pretty much gotten as healthy as I can. Yep, mom was a beaut...

BB - I promise that I will try to put it all together, but I can't promise I'll get it done. I just don't have the attention span to do it. Maybe I could hire someone to help me. I will check out those books. Thanks for that! Also, thanks for your continuing support!

Jimmy - Thanks so much! It took a lot of work to get here. I've done a lot of things I'm proud of along the way, but somehow, here I am! I think I broke all the way out! Not all of my siblings were so lucky, or they never had the chance to. I've been working on a post about the four brothers. Maybe I can get it done soon...Thanks again my friend!

Sam - Thanks for nice words! Same to you Sam...

Costas - I'm not so sure how great I am, but I am a survivor...
My mom couldn't get away with her lifestyle in today's world. thanks Costas!

DrSoosie - I think you hit it right on the head. As much as I hated her, I guess I wanted to do the "right thing." I still must have wanted her approval. I actually wrote a poem about this also... here's the link...

http://patricktillett.blogspot.com/2010/03/time-after-time-you-still-call.html

Jhon Baker said...

the pills and bottle - such an act of compassion - even in anger it is mercy. smart to not just take the safety off as she might have shot you too.
you're a good man Patrick Tillett.

Brenda's Arizona said...

Pat, like Costas I read your poem yesterday with a vague idea in my mind.
Today's story has a twist, too. I am anticipating the next part. In between stories, I am thinking the "What if..." question.

Lynne H. said...

Pat,
I am almost speechless, but want to speak. In the short time I have been reading you I see astrong, kind, loving man. You are a true warrior in my eyes, and I salute you..
Peace.

Anthony J Langford said...

Very tough thing to have to go through Pat. A lot of hate in that woman's heart. Its hard to remove yourself from family. But amazing that you turned out as well as you have..

=]

The Retired One said...

Wow...what an awful thing for you to have to take care of....she was a piece of work alright...and you did the right thing..call her bluff.

I have had company for a week straight so I haven't been able to read any blogs..hope to get caught up over the next week..I have missed reading you and still want to read your entire Vietnam series too!

Pat Tillett said...

Jhon - you know, she might have shot me. I wish she would have taken advantage of my "offer," but I was pretty sure she wouldn't. Like I said, not enough drama for her. Thanks Jhon...

Brenda - Thanks Brenda. The "wrap up" to this little part of my life is here...

http://patricktillett.blogspot.com/2010/03/my-moms-brain-tumor.html

Lynne - Thanks so much for the kind words Lynne! I appreciate them.

Anthony - Tough was all I knew as a kid. I have no problem turning my back when it's called for.

Joan - That she was! Looking forward to your comments on those stories. thanks Joan.

dot said...

I started reading about your mother but never finished. I hope to get back soon and finish reading.

I really like your new header picture.

Pat Tillett said...

Dot - She's a piece of work, that's for sure. I'm glad you like the pic, I just put it up 5 minutes ago...

Marlene said...

I would normally say, sometimes brain tumors make people do things completely out of character.....but after reading some of your previous posts, it sounds like what she was doing was "in character".

Cheeseboy said...

Wow Patrick. What a life you have led.

Sarah said...

I just read the combination of your poem with the explanation that follows. I've written it many times, I know, but I can't believe how insane your childhood was. I didn't know that your mom had tried to off herself with a gun. That must be terrifying to find. I'm almost speechless again. Your mom didn't deserve to have you.

Megan said...

I always feel better about my mother and her (not at ALL craziness!) after reading one of your posts. So, that's a good thing, I guess? Damn, dude.

SquirrelQueen said...

I started reading this post then read your poem before I continued here.

Even though I have read some of your family related blog post I still cannot imagine what it must have been like growing up with a mother like her. No person should ever have to go through the things she did to you.

You showed great restraint when you walked in on her with the gun. It would have been easy to turn around and walk back out the door.

Mr. Stupid said...

Must have been really hard to go through all of that. Just got back reading the poem on your previous post. This must have been such a hard memory to recall when you wrote this post.

Costea Andrea Mihai said...

dramatic story!! :(

Powdered Toast Man said...

wow that is intense. I don't know what I would do if I walked in on an attempted suicide.

Katie said...

Wow...you have a way of putting down your thoughts where I was able to actually picture in my mind (like a movie) what was happening.

I have really enjoyed reading your posts...thank you for opening up your world.

(I am a new follower from Friday Follow, and my blog is nothing like yours....I really love your blog...so open..can't wait to keep reading.)

These Nine Acres said...

How heart wrenching...I have a similar story about my grandfather and my mother.

I am glad I had a great childhood. I am paying the universe back for my good fortune by raising foster children who don't have shot in life.

Pat Tillett said...

Marlene - Yep, she was always in character and it wasn't a good one either. She was crazy before she had the brain tumor. Her smoking caused that (it spread to her brain).

Cheeseboy - As the man said "What a long strange trip it's been."

Sarah - I suppose it should have been terrifying, but it made me mad to think she didn't care if I walked in on the mess. Or maybe that was her intent. She could be very evil like that.

Megan - You are right! It is a good thing. I'm happy most kids didn't have to go through it. I'm good now...

SQ - Looking back at it now, I can't believe it either. There is still more craziness to come. Thanks for your comments...

Mr. Stupid - It's really not hard at all now. I've worked most of it out (with help of course). When I was a kid, I thought everyone lived like we did. When I found out otherwise, I was shocked.

Costea - Thanks!

PTM - I guess it all depends on who it is. With my mom it just made me mad. Heck, I'd thought about shooting her myself, more than once...

Katie - Thanks for signing on and commenting. I'm glad I didn't scare you away with my "read or don't bother" remark. I've never been a fan of "follow friday" or any of that other stuff, because I've seen that most people just use it boost the number of followers. I don't really care if my number of followers is low, as long as the people that do follow, read what I write. Thanks Again and welcome aboard! Also, thanks for the nice words...If you have the time, there's a lot more of this stuff already posted...

Pat Tillett said...

These Nine Acres - You are fortunate that your mother didn't pass on the legacy from her father.
Sounds like you are earning bonus Karma points by raising foster children. That is an awesome thing you are doing... Thanks!

California Girl said...

Writing about it is good for you. You never have to read the words again if you don't want to. In the throes of depression and too young to know that's what was wrong with me, I would always write. It lifted the despair. Just write it and leave it be. We don't mind at all. :)

Pat Tillett said...

California Girl - I used to write a lot also. I can write or talk about it now with no problem, I'm over it. But back in the day I was all screwed up.

Minoccio said...

So did it actually happen yesterday? Anyway sorry that you had to go through all of this.

Pat Tillett said...

Minoccio - Nope! It was years ago...Thanks!