Saturday, December 29, 2007

If You Say Something I Don't Like, I Will Never Speak to You Again

My sister E has a way with the truth. In that she speaks it. She's the only one. When you have never heard the truth before and then someone starts saying the TRUTH, it will only sound like lies.

E says things sometimes, things that I think she says just to be shocking. So when she said maybe two and a half years ago, “Mom is Bi-Polar,” I was so furious that if it was a movie, I WOULD HAVE GOTTEN UP AND SLAPPED HER ACROSS THE FACE and then the director would cut back to me and I would be sitting on the couch. (The “slapping of the face” being a fantasy sequence because I never act on my emotions.)

In real life, I probably just walked out of the room and didn't speak to her for a while. Maybe six months. That's usually how long we'll fight before someone gives in. It sounds unreasonable BUT PEOPLE WHO SAY SUCH PREPOSTEROUS THINGS such as, “Mom is Bi-Polar,” THEY MUST BE PUNISHED.

Because then maybe they'll learn to keep such preposterous things to themselves.

I don't want to really talk about the day we took my Mom to the hospital until E will sit down with me. Her memory is unparalleld. I think I chocked down enough stolen Klonopin and Shiraz Yellow Tail (not stolen) during that time, that I might need my memory JUMP STARTED.

But I will tell you this one thing.

When we were sitting in the Emergency Room hospital room this time last year, and when E sat on the floor because she was literally shrinking from the weight of the secrets my mother was spilling to the Psychiatrist at such a fervent pitch it was as if someone was holding fire to my mother's feet unless she CONFESSED EVERYTHING RIGHT HERE AND RIGHT NOW, the Doctor turned to my mother and said:

“How long have you known you have been Bi-Polar?”

My Mother said, “A long time…. My whole life, I guess.”

Is there another expression for, “My jaw dropped?” It doesn't fit WHAT I WAS FEELING at all. And it feels dated. No, it does not capture the moment at all.

You know those old “LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN shows? The good ones where he would drop things off the roof of his building? I felt like the TV on the sidewalk just seconds after he released a bowling ball into the air. My guts were everywhere, even though they were still inside me.

Just that, in one moment, MY LIFE WAS BROUGHT TOGETHER AND SPLIT APART. Somehow so many things made sense but in a really sad way. Now we could never SWEEP IT UNDER THE RUG. Because a Doctor said it, and E said it and Mom said it, so now it must be true.

I looked at E. She looked so small sitting there on the hospital room floor. We made eye contact. But she did not say, “I told you so.” Which is weird, because she's kind of an “I told you so” kind of girl.

But she knew it was not the day for “I told you so.”


adventure grrl said...

ME: No one's posted a comment. Do you think I got too serious?

E: Yeah, it might be a little off putting that you blog about your bi-polar mother in between entries about your muffin top and making out with strangers. OR maybe it's Christmas and people are spending time with their less f'cked up families.

ME: But... where is the love. I bought you two bottles of champagne?

E: My love can't be bought.

adventure grrl said...

ME: Hey, go get me some more champagne.

E: No.

ME: Okay, I'll go get the champagne but you have to help me write a blog.

E: No.

ME: Don't you want to practice "the funny?"

E: No, I want to practice "the relaxing."

ME: That's funny. I'm going to write that down. Do you think this will all sound funny in the morning?

E: No. But maybe you can make it up to everybody by telling the story about how Dad pooped in his shoes.

thesleepycat said...

I dont blame you one bit for wanting the whole truth about your family. if i found out something like that about my mom... well, you said it. jawdropping wouldnt come close.

go get snooping!

(and I'd love to hear the shoe-poop story...)

Melly said...

I'm not sure if it's crossed your mind yet, and I don't want to make you paranoid or worried - but Bipolar runs in families. You might be able to see similar behavior to your mother's in past relatives, or even current and future ones.

I really really really really REALLY recommend that you pick up the book "An Unquiet Mind". It's slim, but it's the best narrative I've ever read that explains what it's like to BE bipolar. I learned a LOT from it.

(and do not worry about your content! it's still fab because it's AUTHENTIC and TRUE. It's hard to go too far with something like that.)

adventure grrl said...

Melly, Thanks for the suggestion. I'm definitely going to read that book. I remember when I first found out about my Mom, I devoured everything on the internet about the disorder but never got around to that book. And I must.

Thesleepycat, I love the expression "Go get snooping." Hee hee :)

Average Girl In Average World said...

It is hard to see your parents the same after you realize they aren't who you thought they were. You can't go back either. Atleast now you have the knowledge of the disorder and can learn to understand her. That may help make things easier. Great article, best of luck. Average Girl.