It’s done. After weeks of deliberation, writing, re-writing, editing, praying, procrastinating, and, yes, even fasting, I have sent my mother my final words and the book Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified.
My original letter to her was thirteen pages long. Yeah, that’s too long. I, therefore, decided to let it sit on my computer while I figured out my heart. I didn’t want the last thing that I said to her to be angry or hurtful. I needed some sort of revelation. In the end, I don’t really want to say ‘good-bye’ to her. I want her to get help, but if she should choose to continue down her current path, then I have to choose to walk in a different direction.
What I finally realized is that nothing my mother has ever said or done was personal. Everything that she has inflicted upon me and others has been collateral damage of a life very poorly lived. Her mental illness has ravaged her mind, heart, spirit, and body, and I have watched her deteriorate for almost three decades. Within that time, she has tried to commit suicide three to five times, she married twice, she almost committed murder–twice, she committed assault numerous times, and she struggled terribly with depression and severe mood issues associated with BPD. She has tried to make good decisions, and, to her credit, she has done so at times. Underneath it all, however, she has battled her inner Queen, Witch, and Hermit. I’m certain that the Witch tortures her, never letting her forget her most malicious and evil acts. The Queen demands constant control, and her Hermit just wants to hide from it all. I so love this woman, and I do understand that in her heart she never meant to do so much harm. She never meant to become the violent tornado that destroys everything in its path, leaving nothing behind but shattered ruins and cracked foundations. She doesn’t understand that she has always had a choice.
She doesn’t understand that I have a choice, too. I am leaving Tornado Alley. For good.
My husband mailed the book and letter for me last week, and that was the day I said ‘good-bye’ in my heart, and on paper, to my mother. It goes against the grain, saying ‘good-bye’ to a parent while they are still alive. I, however, already mourned her. I’ve been grieving her for five years. That’s how long she decided to go without speaking to me until last July. Why? I’m not sure. I think it’s because I said something that offended her. Nothing is clear anymore where her behavior is concerned.
After the letter and book were out of my home, I felt as if a weight were lifted from me. I took a look at my blog’s appearance, and the dreary colors struck me. Even the photograph! It looked miry indeed.
The photo above was the original image that I had used as the header photograph for my blog. I had taken this photograph in 2007 when my family and I were in Yellowstone. I like this image because it looks like a mire to me, and there’s a footpath around the stinky, sulphuric, bacterial mats growing in the murky slime. And, you can see hills and sky beyond the foulness in the foreground. To me, it’s a hopeful image. It’s like life. The immediate circumstances might be full of foul, stinky, muddy grossness, but there might be a footpath somewhere. What’s more, if you keep your eyes on the horizon line, you’re bound to spot blue sky at some point.
This image had to change, however, because it doesn’t represent my life anymore. Suddenly, or slowly over time until I suddenly noticed, it feels different now. The fragrance has changed.
I took this photograph in May of last year. I call it a “Devonian Crossroad”. I almost expect to see a woodland creature like Peter Rabbit saunter out. This is what my life feels like now. I no longer feel like I’m fighting to leave something behind; I feel like I’m moving towards something, and that “something” has the potential to be good. I love this image and the memories contained within it. I was in Devon at the height of the English springtime. It was, in every way, delicious and utterly beautiful. As I was in Cockington Gardens, I am in my life. I am no longer looking for the footpath that will take me “out of the mire”. I am sitting at the beautiful Devonian Crossroad, resting for a bit, inhaling the fragrances, taking in the verdancy.
This is why I changed the photographic header as well as the colors on my blog. Once we crawl out of the mire, that footpath takes us somewhere. We do indeed leave the foul mire. Oh, Thank God, we can leave it!! I wonder where each footpath “out of the mire” leads?
For now, I’m just sitting in the garden at the Devonian Crossroad. I so want to invite you to join me. I wonder where it might lead us? On an adventure?
I have no idea, but it’s beautiful here.