Archive for the ‘dreams’ Tag

The freedom and burden of my atheism

Tom has been on my mind so much lately.  I don’t know how to shake it.  There were two deaths in my family recently, which brought up a lot of old term oil.  My Aunt Rose is now gone, way too young, but maybe with some peace.  Tom’s best friend went to see a reader and things were brought up about me.  I was told he was there when i had my break down and while i was in the hospital he was whispering that i wasn’t crazy.  i have also been looking at photos.  not photos of tom, but photos of myself.  i look so different.  it isn’t just the weight change, which dropped me 20 then raised me 40.  my eyes don’t shine when i smile.  there is a darkness that still follows me. so all these things are stirred up in a pot and i am once again wishing that atheism didn’t have such a strong hold on my brain.

when i first became atheist, it saved me from hell.  i was so scared all the time, that i was in the wrong religion and i was going to rot in hell.  it was terrifying.  i would wake up at night with cold chills about it.  after lots of reading, a science education, more reading and some searching into different religious options a spark of freedom came upon me and i lost all belief in any sort of god.  god, and God, and Zeus all became one and i turned to the true awesomeness out there.  i turned to the beauty in chemical bonds and the moon and a fucking  huge tree growing from a small seed. i stared at trees on walks around the city and would stop at my favorites, i would look at the moon, i would watch water boil understanding how complex and amazing it was and gain peace.  i didn’t care what others believed.  i wasn’t out to convert anyone.  i just had peace.

my grandpa died, my grandma died, both way too soon.  both of their deaths “unfair” and both of their deaths leaving me a little lost.  but, atheism stood by me and kept me calm.  i looked at the universe and knew we were all made from star dust and knew it was okay that they were gone.  i would miss them and keep them close to my heart, but death must come to us all and it was okay.

tom died.  tom fucking died and scrambled my being and tore my mind into many fractures and took away the peace atheism had given me for years.  i have been wandering with blank eyes and either pretending he isn’t dead or crying and not understanding and feeling like my “soul” is being ripped apart.  i wrote here for a long time.  i got better, i got worse, i got better, i got really bad, i am now good.  good, except for my eyes.  good, except that i don’t dance with my daughter in the morning to love cats.  good, except i don’t bake as much or laugh as much or see people as much or leave my house as much.  i am good, though.  i am changed.

friends of tom dream about him.  he sends them “meaningful” messages.  everything is silent over here.  people tell me it is because i am not open to him and he will come when i am ready.  i don’t know what that means.  does it mean i kneel and believe in god?  does that mean that their stories are somehow false and not happening? i want to scream and say, if there was any afterlife he would fucking visit ME! so that means there is no afterlife and my atheism is intact.  but then i hear from another friend about her brother and her dreams and i want to crawl back to anything to see or hear my brother in a dream through a medium or as a ghost at the bottom of my bed.

so now, i sit 19 months after tom’s death with that same fear and sadness i had before the freedom of atheism came.

i love the fall.  i am trying to soak it up from inside my house.  maybe a walk in nature will make things better. i haven’t sat with the moon in a long time.  i guess this is just part of the loss.  the confusion.  the desire to raise him from the dead.  the need to know i said everything i could have said before he hung up and shot himself.  it just takes so long…


nothing to say

i have been wanting to write for a long time, but know that there isn’t much more to say.  tom died.  people are moving on.  it was my fault.  it wasn’t my fault.  depression. crying. getting better.  getting worse. changed. different. love. blah…the story of grief is boring and repetitive. there have been some developments in my life, but sitting down and writing about it hasn’t been a focus. 

both of my kids are in school for hours and hours.  i have from 9  until 2:30 to clean, work, sleep, stare, knit, email or whatever the hell i want to do.  work has been hard for me.  i think i might have lost a client through this ordeal.  i just wasn’t getting things done as quickly as i used to and i think they just got tired of it.  sean thinks i should start studying data base systems since HTML skills are not retaining their market value.  i still can stay some what busy, but not busy enough.  i have friends who own a painting/remoldeling business and i asked if i could join the crew. i started this week and the peace it brought me was amazing.  i worked on staining a deck.  i focused on one piece at a time and moved the brush over the wood – back and forth, back and forth – for 4 to 5 hours.  i listened to the other people on the crew talk and i just kept on moving the brush.  at the end of the day, i cleaned up the brushes and folded up the drop clothe and then picked up isaac.  i made dinner and helped isaac with his homework and then sat on the couch and knit.  knitting and painting require the same patience. they both clear my mind, but the painting also made me move.  i don’t know how long this will last, but i must say it kept me saner than sitting at the computer and managing clients.

my dad was here for a few days this week.  i love my dad.  my kids love their grandpa.

i am thinking about going to a suicide support group again.  i want to talk about tom and talk about his suicide, but i feel like i can’t talk about it with anyone i know any longer.  i want to call tom’s friends and cry and make them tell me stories about him and tell them how horrible i feel, but it seems like those favours are all used up.  they tell me they are here for me and they have my back and are stepping up, but they aren’t tom and i am not their sister and i feel like a vampire on the phone with them now.  i feel like a dirty reminder or what happened. 

i am cooking and baking again.  i am also reading a lot.  things are good.  things are getting better.  i am surrounded by good people and i have fucking perfect children.  i am a pretty good mama.  i have the resources i need to get my life all back.  i sometimes just don’t want it back.  i am good.  i am better.  i am no longer broken just scared.  i will not be the same person i was before and i am okay with that. 

tom doesn’t come to me in dreams any more.  tom is not with me.  i miss my baby brother.

out and about at one of the best weddings i have ever been to.

Kitten and Tattoos

i have been both busy and just not able to write.  i am not sure what was going on.  a lot has been going on in my head, but i haven’t had the chance to sit down and translate it into words.  a friend of mine helped me get into Tom’s email, and it was very upsetting for me.  there wasn’t anything really in there.  he wasn’t a writer.  he wasn’t much into the computer.  the computer was brand new and barely used.  there were no doc files on it.  so i shouldn’t have been surprised that there wasn’t much in his email.  i was looking for a long letter to someone or no one that explained exactly why he killed himself.  i wanted to know why, why, why, why.  i wanted a top 10 list.  i know someone of the reasons from our conversation the day of, but mostly i just have to guess.

my brother sean is done guessing.  he tells me there tom is gone and there is nothing we can do to figure this out.  tom gave us as much information as he wanted to and took the rest with him.  i was going crazy for a bit.  i feel a little settled today, but i haven’t had my coffee yet. 

the kitten has been very helpful for the entire family.  she is so sweet and cute and named ursula.  it is hard to be sad while she is around being so kitteny.  the kids love her and isaac is enjoying this little being loving him for no good reason. 

Sophia and Ursula

i am still in a very haunting stage of grief.  i still see his dead body a lot.  i see it slumped in the cold dark tressels.  he was such a big guy and he had to have taken up a lot of space in there.  i see him from a distance when i close my eyes.  jeans and a white t-shirt and his dark hair all from a distance.  i also hear is breathing.  his breathing changed during our last conversation.  the police were arriving and he was talking to me, but his mind was already on the gun in his hand.  he was already picturing his last moments and preparing for his death.  his voice was distant and his breathing was deep and heavy. his hands had to have been shaking a bit as he hung up on me and then checked his voice mail, but maybe they weren’t he was a sure human.  i hear his breathing sometimes. sometimes i will hear it while going to bed, but mostly just during the day while i am doing other things.

i have cried a lot over the past 4 or 5 days.  i don’t always know why i am crying, but i will just start and then stop and then start and then stop.  i don’t cry for long, but i have been crying a lot.  i cry because i am confused in all of my relationships.  i cry because i hear tom’s breathing.  i cry because tom is dead.  i cry because tom shot himself.  i cry because my parents have to live with this.  i cry because i have to live with this.  i cry because i don’t know what to say to anyone anymore.  i don’t trust what comes out of my mouth  as being the correct thing to say.

i feel like i need to jump out of my skin.  i feel like i need to be reborn.  i don’t know what to do to get this transformation.  i did get the tattoo.

I didn’t realize how strong of an image it was until i sent it to my brothers and sean wrote back.  he was a little shocked and it made the hair on the back of his neck stand up.  nick thought the fact that the gun was facing up made it even more intense – maybe too intense.  i cried a lot the next day.  the tattoo represents a lot to me.  it takes the anger and horror that i have been feeling and makes it permanent. not a permanent emotion, but it is now a part of my history and there is an illustration to capture it.  it is there so i don’t walk up to people with my eyes crazed and grab them and scream, “my brother shot himself in the head!!!” which is something i have wanted to do.  it also reminds people that suicide is not just some stupid plot line, it is real and it is more fucked up than you think.  as horrifying as this tattoo is, suicide is so much more horrifying.  it is a horrific death and leaves scars that can’t be seen.  some people see the sadness in my eyes, but other than that there aren’t any visible scars.  this tattoo is a visible scar.  it is inappropriate, it is disrespectful, it is crude and in your face and it is still tame compared to suicide itself. 

i still feel like i need to up my Zoloft, but my shrink is ignoring me. 

summer has started for the kids.  i am very excited about that.  i am going to schedule my surgery for my back in july.  sean is on vacation this week.  uhg…

i will write more tonight or tomorrow.

Pushed Forward

Yestereday was a bad day.  I did everything I was supposed to do to try to make it better, but all in all it was bad.  Vanessa came over and Jenny and Janet V. brought up institutons.  By the end of the evening, India had come and grabbed the kids and I found myself at the table with Sean and Vanessa demanding things had to change.  Not that I had to change, but things were not heading in the right direction and they both could see it.  Vanessa refused to leave until I agreed to go to a suicide support group tonight.  Many people want me to try talk therapy, which I am still fighting.  I called my shrink, I doubled my dose of Zoloft per his advice.  I am committed to getting better and pretty much doing things I never thought I would do to try to get to the otherside.

I am still feeling very alone.  I am used to be strong in every way.  I am used to being there for my family and friends.  I am used to being very strong in our marriage.  We just passed 20 years of being together and are approaching our 17 year wedding anniversary.  I do believe in many ways I am lucky and Sean is lucky, but I have to say I protect my marriage like a wild rabid beast.  I work at it and I think about it and I shake Sean’s mind and soul back to me whenever I feel it tug away.  I am feeling very wounded and weak.  I don’t have the energy or the alertness.  I feel sleepy and paranoid.  I both don’t care and find myself reaching for any weapon available.  I think my largest weapon is leaving first.  I had a strong urge to walk out the door and leave everything behind.  I am still not sure whether I wanted to bring Tom with me or leave him behind also. 

I have swearings and promises that I can be broken as long as I need and things will be fine.  I am trying to trust it.  I am trying to trust that the foundation will hold me broken instead of me holding the foundation together.

I keep promising that I will start talking to Tom.  I still can’t seem to do it.  I do grab my pillow at night and beg for a visit.  I don’t know who I am begging, but all dignity is cast aside and I beg and beg. 

Now I will continue my day filled with very normal activities until I go to the damn support group.


I did dream about Tom last night.  It was a busy dream and he passed by quickly with his signature smile.  That was that.  The rest of the dream took place in a hospital with lots of vomiting.

Today is a bad day.  I don’t know why.  There is no reason.  It isn’t Thursday.  It is just a regular sunny Sunday.  I have to go to Sophia’s recital and see a lot of people and smile because my daughter is pulling some horse hair across some metal strings tied to some wood.  I am supposed to smile because I force her to practice and look at how cute it is to hear such beautiful sounds come out of the innocents of a child. Who cares how many pouts and slammed doors have gone on to get the music to flow. Aren’t I a great parent that I made her do this and then drove her to this recital and pretended everything was just sweet and fine when really all I want to do is scream.  Aren’t we all great.

I just want to crawl back into bed and cry.  Everyone is sick of seeing me cry.  Sean says that he is not, but I can feel the frustration as he tries to get any amount of art done between dealing with the kids and holding my head together.  I don’t understand the level of this grief.  It seems wrong.  It seems unholy.  It seems made up.  How can I still be crying?  How can I still feel like vomiting?  How can I still not be able to eat?

He shot himself.  He is gone.  He decided to end his life.  I should respect his choice, because in reality this world is dark and this world couldn’t hold his fire.  He said all he needed to say to me.  He tried on his last day to tell me all that needed to be said.  He told me I had to accept it, because it was happening.  It was done.  I am not accepting it.  I am screaming and stomping my feet and shaking my fist and for awhile there was a chorus in tune all demanding a better explanation, but now I stand here alone unbathed, 20 pounds lighter, dark circles under my eyes, still screaming, still scratching my skin still yelling to all who can hear me that this is a lie.  This is untrue.

I just want to walk out of the house and never come back.  I want to just keep walking so I never have to “go on” or “be there”.  How can I be a mother now?  How can I still be a wife or a mother or a friend?  I don’t even know who I am.  I played baseball with Isaac in the alley.  For about 1/2 hour I was sane.  It seems every moment of sanity is made up for by 10 minutes of insanity. Non-stop tears that are so common place in my home now that no one even flinches.  They just move on and bathe and go through magazines and eat lunch and make art.  They no there is nothing to say or not say.

Rain and panic

Our home soaks up water and sometimes fills with storm run-off when a heavy storm moves through.  There was a horrible storm last night.  I used to love to hear the sound of rain, but now it just worries me.  I stay up accounting for my waterproof gear just in case we have to start bailing out water to save the boiler.  Yesterday a did not cry once, but felt so alone.  I felt alone and vulnerable.  The rain amplified these feelings.  I couldn’t sleep and was very keyed up.  Sean asked me to come to bed and I started pacing the floors feeling a bit of craziness setting in.  I took a xanax instead of ativan hoping I could settle enough to at least read in bed.  Eventually I crawled next to Sean with my iPod and started reading my Google Reader.  The rain kept falling harder and the thunder was moving closer.  Our bed is surrounded by windows and the feeling of being vulnerable increased.  My eyes grew heavy, but I was struck with a sudden fear that once I feel asleep I wouldn’t wake up.  Once I let the sleep attempt to overtake me an inky darkness spread over my dreamscape and I startled awake.  I wasn’t thinking of Tom, but not really thinking of Tom.  He was around my consciousness  but not part of my thoughts.  The entire night continued to be a mixture of terror and exhaustion with a fitful  bought of sleep overtaking me every now and then.  When morning finally came, I felt a pressure on my entire body.  I felt the pressure of Tom’s absence.

My dad called me on his way to a funeral.  One of his union brothers died and the night before he had been at the wake.  Usually my dad would have stayed for the entire thing and toasted his fallen brother with drink and stories.  He would have been surrounded by other union brothers and they would laugh and pray and support the family of his friend.  At Tom’s funeral I received many hugs from men I hadn’t seen since I was a kid or maybe have never met, but they knew me through my dad.  IBEW Local 38 support their members in times of need.  Unfortunately, my dad couldn’t stay.  Everyone kept coming up and talking about Tom and my parents left after ten minutes.  I wanted to say something to my dad to make him feel better or make him laugh to help remove some of the pain, but I am unable provide relief to anyone.  We ended the conversation awkwardly and I was reminded how much of a bridge Tom was for me and the men in my family.

When I open my mouth strong reality falls out.  I don’t want to say, “Things are so much better and can you believe how well the Hawks are doing?”  Instead I want to say, “My brother shot himself in the head.”  I want to scream it and push some of the horror onto the poor person just checking in on me.

My list is made and making bread dough is on it.  It does seem like a good day for bread.  Bread feels like love when I serve it up for dinner. I also had to put together a bag of things to get rid of.  I am moving forward.

I was talking to Isaac about Uncle Tom.  He told me he wished he could have seen him one last time.  I asked him what he would want to do with Tom during this last visit.  He told me, “I would have told him not to kill himself.”