On a Personal Note…

November 1, 2008 at 3:57 am (Uncategorized)

Originally this blog was not intended as a place for me to talk about myself, more of a place for me to post things that are of interest to me.  However, the past few weeks of my life have been hectic and overwhelming, and at this point there are a few things that I feel like talking about.  I guess this type of thing could be called blog therapy.  Feel free to skip this post if you aren’t interested in hearing about feelings, because there are going to be a lot of them.  

I feel like this is going to be a random post, so I’ll try my best to keep things on track.  On Oct. 14th, my grandma died.  Prior to this, I have dealt with the death of my great grandfather when I was 11 (he was sick with Parkinsons and Alzheimers for a long time) and the death of my ex-boyfriends sister, Carrie who was 18 when she died of Leukemia.  Her battle with cancer was heartwrenching and pretty much against any sense of logic I had about why life is the way it is.  There is absolutely no way to justify a beautiful smart girl dying at such a young age.  Anyway, my grandma had been an alcoholic for about 35 years.  I won’t get into the details of my dad’s fucked up childhood, let’s just sat it kills me to know that he and my aunt and uncles had such a hard time growing up.  My grandma also battled breast cancer, and won, was diagnosed with Hepatitis B, and was cured of it, and Diabetes.  She had been on and off the wagon my whole life.  Everyone suffered from her alcoholism and we all knew that her days were numbered because her liver was pretty much non-functional.  But, my memories of her aren’t bad.  In fact, I miss her so much right now.  When she was sober, she was great.  She was so beautiful as a young women and very talented.  She almost went to the Olympics for gymnastics and won a beauty contest on the boat from Europe to America.  She loved to sing, and was also a talented artist.  She loved her kids and grandkids to no end and would stop at nothing to tell them how proud she was of them.  In addition to being my grandma, she was also my friend.  Growing up without a mom, I had several “surrogate mothers” in my life that included several grandmas, a great grandma, and my aunts.  Of course, she was included in this group of wise people that loved me unconditionally.  I would call her when I had problems with my parents or even with boyfriends.  She had such a sense of wisdom, and she lived through many experiences.  I really wish I could call her right now to talk about how to deal with her death.  The truth is, I hadn’t spoken to her for a very long time this past year.  During the holidays, we called to say hello and she was drunk – you could hear it the second she started talking.  I refused to talk to her when she’s drunk and I was pissed that she continued to slowly kill herself, knowing that her liver wasn’t working.  About 3 weeks before she died, me and my dad called her together.  She sounded great.  Very alert and involved in the conversation.  Looking back, I was lucky that I had that chance.  Other people in the family hadn’t spoken to her in a while because of things she said while drunk.  Anyway, I miss her so much and I can’t believe that she’s gone.  She had problems and she hurt people but I know she loved us all so much.  

I realized that after her death, I started to change the things I watch on tv.  For example, sometimes I watch “A Haunting” on the Discovery channel.  But, since she’s dead, I like to think her soul is at peace and plus that show freaks the shit out of me.  Also, I love the show ” Intervention” on A&E.  I had no plans tonight and one of my guilty pleasures, when I have time, is to watch that show on On Demand.  Well, it made me sad because the show is about getting people help so they don’t die.  Which made me think about the fact that my grandma is already dead, partly because of her addiction.  

I also began to think about my life and the lives of people around me.  Many people on the show become addicted to drugs or alcohol because they were abused or had some traumatic experiences in their lives.  Many of them have parents that are addicts.  My mom was an alcoholic.  My parents got divorced when I was 2 years old and my mom disappeared.  My dad and I never talk about it, but I know that it’s better to have no mom at all than an alcoholic one.  Obviously my grandma was an alcoholic.  My step-mom’s dad is a recovering alcoholic and one of her best friends died at 30 from the disease.  So, alcholism is no stranger to me or my family.  I think of other people’s families, my boyfriends for example.  His parents are still married, no real issues when he was growing up.  No drugs or alcohol in his family.  Pretty much the total opposite of mine.  I won’t go into detail, but there were some really scary things going on when I was little.  Not only with my mom but with my grandma, too.  She took care of me when my dad was at school, and she was of course drinking.  Needless to say, me and my family have had to deal with a lot.  We definitely have our issues, but I suppose when you’re all dysfunctional, you mesh well.  I have a lot of anxiety that started in high school.  So much that I had to be put on medication and I’m still on it.  In my case, I think it was a combo of being genetically predisposed, and being insanely stressed out because of the crap I dealt with with my step mom, who, it turns out was depressed and anxious as well and later medicated for it, and thankfully still is because if you can look up “bitch” in the dictionary, her picture is in there.  

But, alas.  I was just thinking about how I was telling my boyfriend some of the things that my family has gone through and things that my mom has done.  He must think we are all crazy wackjobs.  Which we are…but it blows my mind that he doesn’t have anything like that in his family.  I mean I’m glad that he grew up with great parents and had a happy childhood, but nowadays it seems so rare to have an easy life.  I have to admit, sometimes it’s tough talking to friends about my family because they have never had to deal with alcholics.  They don’t know what it’s like.  They don’t know what it’s like to be kicked out by your grandma when you’re 13 years old.  Or kidnapped by your mom when you are 3, because your grandma was too drunk to realize that the cop your mom brought with her was actually just a friend in a costume.  They’ve never had to deal with a drunk person telling her kids that she just took a bottle of pills to try to kill herself.  Or know that their father was stabbed by their drunk mother who kicked him out of the house but kept her daughter hostage while their dad walked 2 miles to get help.  Yeah, it’s fucked up.  I can tell people about it but they’ll never really understand what it’s like.  

Anyway.  Despite all the crappy stuff, I still miss my grandma and cry every day.  I know that she’s in a better place.  But I really miss my friend.

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