I have mixed feelings about going up there. That house has SO many powerful memories for me, and as usual most of them involve my father. His ashes are up there scattered in the lake. I can still remember cutting the bag open and watching my dad's earthly remains drift down to the surface of the lake and disapear. I can't say that it wasn't painful.
I'll be up there alone with my mother too. That means that we will probably interact and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I mean she's been MUCH better recently but if she goes bad up there I will be the only available target. That scares me a little, except I think I'm tough enough at this point to take it. In fact I KNOW I'm tough enough.
I'm mostly scared of the memories. I'm so different than when I was there as a child. I've grown stronger in some ways and I'm weaker in others. I still haven't recovered from the blow. Now I will be the only guy up there. The one starting the fires and syphoning water into the pump and hooking the motorboat to its mooring and setting up the sailboats etc etc. I know I can do it but I don't know if I can do it without hurting. The thing is that I've gotten used to living down here without him. I've gotten used to sitting in an empty house until midnight when my mom gets home and disapears into her room. I've gotten used to having nobody to turn to but myself for academic help. I've even gotten used to having nobody to really TALK to although Jeff helps with that some. But up there....up there the memories are fresher than they were in Millerton and they are different. Whereas Millerton was a part of my life that my dad dominated, Maine WAS my dad. He was THE force there and now he won't be there and I'm scared of how I will feel. I am still vulnerable to feeling that loss in the pit of my chest where a heart should be. I can still feel his missing presence. I HAVEN'T gotten over it or even fully faced it. Even right now my eyes are welling up with tears and one is running down my cheek. And that's just thinking about the place. In 36 hours I will BE there.
I will BE there and I will BE there for a week and I DON'T know how I will feel. I'll only have a week to recover afterwards before school starts and that scares me because I know how much I have to do and I know how important this semester is for me not only as a student but as a person. I can't force myself to grow, I understand that, but I feel as if I'm ready right now and I'm a little worried that this experience might make me temporarily less ready. On the other hand it's probably something I need to do in order to heal.
Something that I have to do because he IS dead and I DO have to go on with my life and I can't hide from my childhood anymore. I can't preserve the old memories by not making new ones. No matter HOW long I stay away he will never canoe with me 3 miles to the gingerbread house ice cream store or take me on an impromptu 20 mile bike ride or catch crawdads with me beneath the dock at night.
I still need him though and he can still make me cry. Right now is proof of that. My father always told me that the macho attitude towards crying was bullshit and that men needed to be in touch with their emotions as much as women do. He taught me it was okay to cry. How proud he would be right now.
I've been up there after his death a couple times, but it was many years ago. Back when I didn't understand what it was not to have a father. Back when I didn't know about learning to shave at camp or not wanting to go to High School graduation because I didn't want to look out into a crowd of smiling fathers and not see his face. Back when I didn't know how hard it would be because I was still so young and the concept of actually NOT having a parent wasn't even within my universe let alone my world. Back before I learned what it was like to tell people "My father commited suicide when I was 12" and watch their faces. See pity or contempt or indifference.
Now I know. Now I UNDERSTAND what loss is. Now I know that there are things that once torn assunder can NEVER be put back together. Now I know what it's like to have a lengthening life and dwindling supply of anecdotes and memories about him and what it's like to be unable to explain the pain that lurks at the edges of everything good because he won't be there to see it and because it's only been seven years and he still MATTERS to me.
Do I sound self pitying? Maybe I am. I don't know.
The thing about this kind of pain is that you can't push it away. It just grows stronger in the background and comes in at unexpected moments to overwhelm you. Occasionally you need to let it course through you, let it push tears from your eyes and words from your fingers and accept it as a part of yourself. The other thing is that it seems like it will never go away. It feels like it flows from an eternal spring within you and that you will always carry it with you. I don't know if that's true. It's only been 7 years.
I do know about hurting in a thousand little ways that you would never guess a person could hurt until you do though.
So I am afraid of going up to Maine and awakening all that lies within me waiting to be released. All the howls, all the tears, all the sobbing for a childhood cut short. Of swamping my friends with my sadness and driving myself further into isolation. I am afraid of the things that I don't KNOW I will be feeling but that will come in time.
Maybe this fear is groundless. Maybe I should have a zen attitude and just let life happen. I'm not that healthy yet though. I'm sorry if I sound like I'm on the edge of a breakdown because I'm not. I'm just...feeling the hurt and acknowledging what happened and trying to be honest here. I feel like this will make people think less of me but I also feel like it'd be pointless to try to deny this part of myself.
Here I am world. Feel free to reject me and send me packing. I'm used to it.
That was not a constructive thing to say. This is a part of my transition. Being able to say vulnerable crushed unhealthy things AND recognize them for what they are. The next step is accepting that I said them and moving on. I think. *sigh* this entry is way too long and fractured. Oh well. I promised that I wouldn't obsess over that anymore (fat chance.)
Jeff asked me yesterday whether I had a "father" transference to him. I wasn't sure how to respond at the time but I can safely say no. I'm still too hung up on my father to look for any sort of father figure elsewhere. It's one of the reasons I don't really react well to people who want to mentor me, although I can remember a few awkward moments in high school where I called teachers "Dad" because I was so screwed up back then.
Of course this is also one of the things that I thought we'd agreed not to talk about because Jeff has several times said things like "I love you like a son" or "I guess you inhereted blah blah" from me which have made me uncomfortable because I don't need to think and because they decimate the theraputic distance. Because if Jeff wants to play a patriarchal role (Which I don't think he does) then he knows he will awaken all sorts of destructive needs to please and such within me. And that will be murder to any sort of therapy. I'm writing this here because I doubt very much anyone BUT Jeff will read this far into this entry and I am too fucking chicken to say it in person because I don't want to come off like I think that I'm something special to Jeff beyond being one of his patients. THat's too fucking presumptous to fathom. But I also don't want to ignore my need to say this. So I compromise.
And that's okay.
I'll probably post again before I leave for Millerton. My mind is a whirlpool of emotions which I haven't come close to sorting through yet and I am going to type things that are boring and things that are pathetic and things that nobody would ever want to read about me before I can come close to understanding what is going on inside.
And that's okay.
Because in the end I'm only really responsible for my own emotional well being and I need to make sure that I'M okay first and foremost. So if I lose readers or friends or even a therapist because of who I am or what I think so be it.
Christ, now I'm being pessimistic and self critical again. I NEED TO STOP THAT. Of course criticizing myself for being self critical is the height of irony, but whatevers yo.
I am what I am.
And that's all that I am.
And that HAS to be okay and enough.