When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Heaven

More in the Meme series, and why the answers mostly freaked me out;


What do your parents think of you?
"Heaven" --John Legend

Now, this song is about a man and his lover, but most of the lyrics so easily applies to what my mother (my only parent) may have thought of me as she tried raising me, and/or what I also thought of her, that it bears exploring.

Last night was the worst night
Beginning of the end
Or maybe it began
Before and here we go again
Things got so dramatic
Things got out of hand
We said words we couldn't imagine
I don't understand

There you go with the same old thing
When things go wrong you always seem to blame me
Now I would like to find what secrets hide in your mind
Where the end will go
Will I ever know
Heaven only knows

Heaven only knows
Heaven only knows
Heaven only knows

So let's make this night the best night
It's time for second chance
Turn the beat up on repeat and we can start to dance

Sometimes when we're talking
Words get drowned on by the sound
Let's get back to touching we'll get back on solid ground

Let's hold hands
Like a young romance
Let's first kiss like the moment we first did
Can we make love
Like back way in the day, love?
We can lose control, baby don't say no

Heaven only knows
Heaven only knows
Heaven only knows
Heaven only knows

So will you come back to me
Heaven only knows
So will you come back to me

Make this night the best night
It's time for second chance
Turn the beat up on repeat and we can start to dance

Heaven only knows
Heaven only knows
Heaven only knows


There's a definite creep-out factor when you consider these lines;
Like a young romance
Let's first kiss like the moment we first did
Can we make love
Like back way in the day, love?
We can lose control, baby don't say no

But there's also a component there that I haven't blogged a lot about which is definitely not for the squeamish.

I have said in the past that my Mom used to have a lot of pornographic novels in the house that I would read before she got home, and she had one of those little projectors with 8mm reels of porn that I would watch. I must have been in my early teens, maybe a little younger. Thus my introduction to sex was all secretive, layered with an element of shame. Perhaps not too uncommon, given our country's root puritanical stance against enjoying sex.

But in addition to this, my mother was just a strange woman. In hindsight.

Once--and I hope only once--she took me into the shower with her. I can't imagine why. I had to be possibly 9 or 10 years old, or maybe older. I starkly remember it. I may never have been more uncomfortable in my life. I was aware of the body parts that I was looking at and I knew I shouldn't have been looking. I wasn't thinking that when I was back in NYC at 6 that I had already been molested by the neighbor. I wasn't thinking about anything except how much I really didn't want to be in that shower with my naked Mom. I don't know how it ended. I'm sure nothing happened, except the sheer inappropriateness of being there.

But none of that was a good way to build the sexual foundation of a young man entering puberty.

Meanwhile, other than incestuous issues, all those lyrics about how many times we'd agrue, fall out, say horrible things to one another, hate each other (yes, she told me she hated me) and all the sheer drama of growing up under a bipolar woman who took mood stabilizers (a fact I realized in hindsight when I started working with the mentally ill who took the same drugs my Mom did), it was all just as the song "Heaven" describes.

And these lines;
Now I would like to find
what secrets hide in your mind
Where the end will go
Will I ever know

haunt me, and will do forever. Because the answer was "death". That's how it ended. And I'll never really know the secrets that hid in her mind.

"Heaven" is where I hope my mother is now.

But I can't be sure.

(The song starts at 00:59)


Aside from this meme, when I hear the song I only think of a man and his woman having troubles, not of me and my mother, and I love this song. I love the fact that the singer could have this communication with his woman even after they said horrible things to each other. That's a goal I'd like to have if I can't find a perfect woman who won't ever hurt me with her words. Call me a dreamer, but no, I don't believe I'd ever use the same type of words to hurt her. I don't believe I'd ever call her things like "bitch" and its ilk. Oh, I know how, believe me. That was one of the first verbal skills I ever developed, in the absence of size or fighting ability. I knew how to cut a man down with my words. Or make that "cut a boy down" because I was good at it as early as elementary school (Childhood Bud, can I get a witness?) I just don't believe I'd turn this weapon of mine against the woman I love. I just couldn't. It would kill me. Just like I'd die if she did it to me. Which why I'm still alone. aAnd on it goes.

Where the end will go
Will I ever know
Heaven only knows...

11 comments:

akakarma said...

Gee Alan. That was a lot to share. Sounds like a complicated life. I wonder if we took a poll of all of our blogger friends what the percentage would be of folks who had certifiable mothers? Sorry mom....

GrizzBabe said...

Yeah, a man calling his woman a bitch (or a woman calling her man something equally derogatory) does some major damage to a relationship. I wouldn't recommend it. I don't think two people should expect to have a healthy relationship when they are using this type of language with one another. There are so many other ways that we can hurt each other unintentionally that I think it's best to stay away from such deliberatly destructive tactics.

GrizzBabe said...

You made me pull out my "Get Lifted" cd!

Alan said...

Karma, I had practice. :-D It took me some dry runs in the past few years to express the molestation and the pornography, but I think this is the first time I revealed my mother's sexual inappropriateness on that level. For all I know, she could have been the one to molest me, and I have it layered under inches of traumatized gray matter.

But what I learned in therapy a few months ago is that I am who I am now. I'm not changing the past. And I didn't ask to be molested, no matter who did it. So I accept what I have to work with. I accept my problems and the areas where I'm emotionally arrested. I grew tired of hating myself for it. I grew tired of hating my life.

So I am what I am. If I find someone to love me for me ... well, wouldn't that be a nice turn of events? But if I do not find such a one ... at least I can live with myself and even be happy. I wasn't so sure it could be possible just a year ago.

Grizz, you make a good point. There are other ways to hurt one another. I think I can live with the unintentional ones if she can. :-)

akakarma said...

Good job, Alan- hard piece of work! I've got a Mom who is intrusive, controlling and neurotic that I am in recovery from. Part of why it took so long for me to decide to be a parent. You have discovered what many folks in therapy can only dabble in- letting the past be the past!

fringes said...

Courageous post, Alan. Thanks for sharing it. I'm glad that meme is turning out to be so cathartic for you.

Alan said...

Karma, if only we could have chosen our parents, right? But then the good ones would be so overworked that they'd go bad anyway. LOL

Fringes, yeah, my catharsis has been ongoing now for a few years and that meme really did hit on so many cylinders so well. Fortunately, it's not all doom and gloom either.

The magic of catharsis, and of blogging, is in the process of releasing the things we bottle up inside. We bottle them up out of fear and shame. I least, I know I certainly did.

That shame was my prison guard for 20+ years. It threatened that if I were to ever admit what happened, my life would be over. That I'd never be loved or accepted by anyone after the truth came out. But that shame was lying to me. You guys prove that to me with every word of support and love. You all mean so much to me.

And the most important person that I needed to accept and love me was Me. I had to forgive myself for something I wasn't even responsible for. I had to see myself as a viable adult, worthy of affection and caring.

Even when I would get affection, I wouldn't believe or trust it. It couldn't be me who these women said they loved because I knew the "real truth". But that truth was a lie.

Now I'm finding my new truth. I'm okay with that. :-))

Irishgirl said...

Alan, where you say..'There's a definite creep-out factor when you consider these lines'of the song.. I definitely identify. Sounds like a lot of coincidences are happening for you and you are seeing meaning to things at the moment.

With the not knowing the details of the secrets of your mother, sometimes the symptoms speak for themselves. Even knowing doesn't really provide an answer ya know... it's all just crazy stuff.

I'll share a little coincidence or creepy-out thing that occured with me recently. My mother is a bit ,um a lot :) on the cerfifiable side too. But anyways I've been trying to understand the reasons a while now and kinda asking why the fuck did I get her as a mother and also trying to forgive. Things would come to me like how the greater the cruelty sometimes, the greater it can make us and we can forgive .. as in jesus on the cross, forgiving his killers.

so anyways I'm watching judge judy recently, (someone had mentioned something about her recently, so I decided to watch it ).. anyways this blonde defendant comes into court, (I kid you not, wearing the exact same clothes as me.. black shirt, blue jeans and I'm a blonde too) and the plaintiff.. oh i'll just summarize this.. basically the defendant couldn't reason with the plaintiff no matter what (her words exactly).. judge judy was unfairly harsh on the defendant - who tried her best to work with the plaintiff to pay over a reasonable amount of money.. the plaintiff just wanted a load of cash for a small thing.. judge judy rules against the defendant (giving the plaintiff exactly what she was sueing for) and makes a joke of her too, implying she's a bimbo!! (she was far from it, but some people only recognize a certain intelligence, ya know) .. at the end where they talk outside the courtroom the blonde defendant, full of integrity and class says 'another lesson learned I guess and smiles'.. while the plaintiff bitches on about the defendant, filled with hate and entitlement over a small thing.
Sometimes you can't reason with insantiy and life is unfair sometimes, but you can still smile and learn no matter what. That's what I got from it anyways. Definitely a creepy out moment for me! :)
I kinda do wish though the defendant would have given judge judy the middle finger or somethin, and said whateva! :)

Anonymous said...

meant to say too.. for me I definitely think my mother will be going to heaven someday, all though mightn't be too many lemons in her heaven.. she's bitter enough :)

Alan said...

Irishgirl, thanks for that. Since you don't seem to have a blog, do feel free to comment here more often. I'd be interested to hear more of life from your side of the world.

Alan said...
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