All I Want Is A Normal Life

Musings from a girl named Normal.

I can see De Styx from Denial

with one comment

God, denial is a funny thing. Ok, not funny ha-ha, but funny fucked-up. Over the past week, I’ve decided that I should go to visit my Grandma again. My mom said she thinks that G’ma is well enough to recognize me, but I was trying to explain to my mom that MY G’ma went away three years ago, and the person there is just kind of G’ma-ish, but not really G’ma to me.

My mom and G’ma had a really strained relationship at times when I was growing up. My mom went and told them (both grandma and grandpa) that they had a “dysfunctional” family, since that was what her therapist told her and, in many ways, I guess her family wasn’t all open with their emotions and stuff when they were growing up… but that’s a lot of family stuff that a lot of families have to deal with. I mean, my family life wasn’t all that good until much later. I think the only reason we have such a good relationship now is because we’ve all been able to put a lot of that crap behind us and move on as friends. All families are fucked up in many ways. I don’t know a single one that isn’t. So there’s really no judgment there.

But Mom and Grandma didn’t really have that great of a relationship always, so now that mom is getting to know grandma’s kinder side — the side I loved her for — she’s getting to really appreciate the best thing about grandma: her heart. And that’s about all there is of Grandma anymore. So all that stuff that was some parent-child dynamic isn’t there and both of them just get to appreciate each other: my mom gets to appreciate grandma without all the weird mis-communications, and my grandma gets to appreciate how amazing, strong, and caring that my mom is. About all this, my mom feels like I’m judging her or like I’m saying she only loves grandma when she’s frail or something. But it’s not like that. It just that I feel like she’s finally getting to know the person I knew.

And even as I type this, I feel myself distancing from the situation, making it a story, not a thing I’m actually going through. I’m going to try to bring it back.

My grandma is not dead. But I’m acting like she is. I’m acting like the shell of the person isn’t important… like a husk or something. But she’s still in there. She’s still her. And even if all that’s left is her heart, that’s the best part about her. I miss her brain, her understanding, her caring, all these things are gone. But the best part is still there, at least according to my mom. And I’m avoiding — yes, I said it: avoiding — going up there, not because it’s not important to me, but because I’m in denial of my feelings about her. My feelings of love, my feelings of loss. I’ve done everything in my power not to think about it. I’ve even taken anti-anxiety medicine that my friends have very kindly given to me. All these things make me question what I should do. They make me calm, but I am not calm. Truly. Really. In my heart.

And I can never understand if I’ve done the “right” thing until it’s too late to do the “right” thing anymore. So I have to take a chance and face the panic of losing the person who has been, for most of my life, my favorite family member.

Since I decided to go up there, I’ve been all moody and needy to David, which has made him kind of pull away, which is really hard. Really fucking hard. Because I need a close friend now, but Teresa, my best friend from years ago who knows me pretty well, but who is just awful at getting back to me. And David is not really helping. He just doesn’t understand why I’m so insecure and constantly needing reassurance that he loves me. And I am not one to get hurt, so I, of course, have to pull away from him. I have to protect myself. I just really want Teresa, since she and I understand each other around stuff like this. But she’s also got her own problems and really needs a friend herself these days.

My mom says G’ma might not last three weeks. I am going to try to go up there on the 23rd.

Side note: Nick, this is why I haven’t written back about this and probably will never be able to pull myself to write back about this. I’m really weird about my emotions around this. This is my journal.

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Written by normalslife

January 12, 2009 at 5:12 am

One Response

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  1. Danielle,

    Totally understood. I’m sorry that I discussed some of my own personal issues. I hope you realize I was only sharing some of the same fears and anxieties that affect all of us as our families age. You’re not alone in that respect.

    nick caputo

    January 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm


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