Oprah Does It Again

So. I’m in my pit of despair today. Just feeling really shitty and worried and morose and wallowing in it. If I had been at home alone, I swear I would have put on an old Cure album and cried into my pillow. I am completely at a loss with what to do with the current family situation. Again. I swear. If she weren’t my mom, I’d be like, “This chick is nothing but drama, and I don’t need it.” And I’d be out. But she’s my mom. And there are different rules for moms. Frustrating.

A friend of mine, DP, from Fitzgerald was in town recently and she has known my mom for years. I was going through the saga and she said, “You know. I always felt that there was just something not right with her.” I’ve had another old friend tell me the same thing. Honestly, it makes me feel better — like I’m not crazy. When DP told me what she thought, I started squealing. “Right? Right? It’s not just me!”

Now my sister and I are getting a lot closer and of course I am addicted to my niece so I can never get fully away. Though, it just occurred to me that maybe this is what Mom and Amy need. I’ve always been in the middle of their bullshit one way or another. Either Mom was telling Amy to be more like me, which made Amy hate me. Or, Mom was telling me what a piece of shit Amy was, making me hate Amy. And I am pretty sure that Mom’s conversations with Amy were very similar to the ones she had with me. So, Amy has really never had much of a leg to stand on. It’s like Mom’s been gaslighting her into believing she’s incapable of any amount of success or happiness for that matter and Amy has just been beaten into submission. The family was really just the three of us, so it was kind of two to one. Not that I wasn’t being duped as well.

Now that I’m out of the picture, they have to deal with each other. Mom is very aware of my stance on all issues at hand, and therefore unless she meets my conditions (a recovery program) she and I have nothing more to say to each other. I still speak with Amy frequently, and do my best to support her. It’s nice being on her side. She’s nothing like what Mom said.

Sorry. I tend to go on tangents. And that one seemed like a good one — a breakthrough for me in a way. Thanks for sharing the moment.

Back to Oprah. This is what I wanted to tell you about and it does relate in a way. So, I’m watching Oprah and it’s a rerun of the Cris Karr interview — the woman who did the Crazy, Sexy, Cancer documentary. Cris is talking about how she’s learned to live in the moment and she says, “Isn’t worrying praying for what you don’t want?”

And a lightbulb went off. Bells started to ring. Whatever cheesy metaphor you choose … the point is, I had a breakthrough. Worrying is praying for what you don’t want. I swear it’s so brilliant, I’m going to put it on a T-shirt.

Smoking Baby Dammit.

I believe all of you have been introduced to my HP (Higher Power), Smoking Baby. He is a miracle worker. I like him because he’s sweet and benevolent, but he’s got that edge. I’m sure as soon as he’s of age, he will get a bad ass tattoo and a motorcycle. He advocates peace and love but isn’t opposed to some good old toilet humor.

Erica and I have started using him in conversations where we both feel we need to be heard. No SB in your hand, no words out of your mouth. We used it for the first time last week when we were having an argument and just kept going around and around because we both tend to interrupt as if we already know what the other one is going to say. Very unproductive. I got the SB idea and it worked like a charm. I love SB.

Unfortunately, SB has taken a day off. I just got a call from my sister. This is never good news.Mom, who is not talking to me because she has taken possession over the breakup. You know how in high school you break up with someone and then you find out they’re all over the place telling people they broke up with you? Yeah.

Well today, I find out through my sister that today Mom is starting radiation again. There’s a what they’re referring to as a “spot” on her lung. I’m guessing “spot” is a Southern euphemism for tumor. I don’t know. Poor Amy is absolutely tortured right now. She has been trying to move on with her own life, taking care of her daughter and now she’s re-immersed in Mom guilt because of her latest illness. I’m trying to help Amy see that Mom’s new cancer doesn’t get her off the hook for endangering her granddaughter with her pill issues, but it’s hard for her. Especially being there in the same town.


I, of course, am taking it all in stride and counting on my HP SB to take care of everything. Remember, I’m the one going to meetings.

Pretend I’m in Mexico.

Hi people. I fell down again. Honest to Smoking Baby, I fell down. Again.

This is my knee:I was walking home from my Al-Anon meeting and I stepped on one of those plastic folder things you put in a Trapper Keeper. It was just like the skating incident but slalom. A nice boy poked his head out of the bodega door to ask, “Lady. Are you okay?” (Fucker. It was like when I went back to Italy and the waiter called me Signora instead of Signorina.) The three kids behind me giggled for about three blocks. Not the point of the story. Just thought you’d like to know.

So. I get home tonight (with my broken head, ass and knee, in order of altitude) and I’m in a pensive mood. A and V left today after a four day visit. We spent almost the entire time not speaking about Mom, except for E’s occasional slip up about something crazy Mom did or how we had a wacko family or something. Something about V makes you forget that she’s a kid. She’s acts as if she’s much more mature emotionally than she is and you start to talk around her as if she’s an adult. Then there are times when you’re talking to her about how crazy things have been lately and she’ll break your heart with, “Oh, I’m so used to it by now. I’ve seen it all.”

Sorry. Is that too sullen a thought? I had a friend tell me recently that my blog was too heavy for him. (But without the hip verbiage.) I can’t help it. And I don’t think of my stories as sullen or morose. It’s just what’s going on.

Anyway, I came home tonight after my meeting and I asked E for a night alone. I assured her that it was only because I just needed to process some stuff on my own and I took off. (It’s my first time ever asking for some space in the five years we’ve been together. I am learning so much!)

“Pretend I’m in Mexico. I’ll see you later.”
“Okay! I’ll watch the L Word.”

I do have to admit, I was disappointed in her lack of disapointment.

Anyway. I grabbed a bottle of wine, my laptop and I headed for the loft. I’m at the end of this seven-engine train of family shit and I’m tired. I have gotten through the intervention and the sister visit. I just left an eye opening Al-Anon meeting and I wanna just be alone. With all of you.

You know. I’m writing down all of this stuff you’re reading, and I recognize that when I post here, I’m not making a journal entry. I truly know that I’m writing for an audience (of millions), but there’s still this sense of anonymity that comes from the fact that instead of speaking, I am typing. And it is more anonymous than physically writing because you hit save or send and it’s over. There’s nothing tangible left over to prove it ever happened. And there’s something about that that allows me to write freely about things I would usually never broadcast. Especially considering the fact that there are already members of my family reading on a regular basis, and as soon as that Oprah deal comes through (Oprah, can you hear me? Oprah, can you feel me in the night?), Mom will find out (if not earlier) and there’s a part of me that is terrified of that. But there’s also a part of me that feels that, as Dr. Drew said on Celebrity Rehab, “You are only as sick as your secrets.” And, my people, I am tired of being sick. When I was in Georgia for the latest drama, I opened to my Mom up about things I’ve never confronted her on … and in front of her brother.
It rocked.

Mom later told me, “I remember what you said in the hospital. I can’t believe you would talk to me like that. And in front of B. I am so embarassed.” I, enlightened Princess that I am, replied, “I am sorry that I hurt your feelings, but that doesn’t mean what I said wasn’t true.”

Right on, Princess.

People, I am taking care of myself these days. And, to be honest, it’s a fucking chore. Not only do I have a lot of family baggage to deal with, I am unpracticed at self-love … however. Watch out! I’m on a crash-course and it’s only a matter of time before I’m writing (and performing) cheers for myself.

So, thanks for reading. And, to those friends of mine who are only finding out what’s happening to me through the blog although you’ve called and written, I’m sorry. I’m a little overwhelmed right now but am working it out. I’ll holla at ya when I’ll be more fun to talk to. (Or when I get the cheers ready … Guh-oooohhh PRINCESS!)

Man. Is She on a Roll …

The following blog post was originally posted on www.HRHandthePrincess.blogspot.com.
Written by The Princess

So. I’m on the phone with Mom and we’re talking about her dying.

I’ve been talking with my mother about her death for my entire life. She and my grandmother were both completely obsessed with death. Especially death by cancer. Basically, they both threatened me and my sister with my mother’s imminent demise from cancer (probably lung since she was a smoker, but definitely exacerbated by the undue stress A and I put on Mom and Grandma.)

This conversation, (Mom on the cell driving somewhere, me on cell at home) was based on a talk she apparently had with V, my niece. Somehow my mother and my 11 year old niece had a talk about who V would want to live with should Mom die. (By the way — this is a conversation I, as an 11 year old Princess, had with the very same mother. I chose my Aunt G — but only because I knew that was the right answer to please Mom. I actually hated the thought of living with Aunt G and her husband H who was a minister. I couldn’t bear the thought of going to church every week.)

V chooses to live with me in Brooklyn. So Mom adds a twist … What about A? (A, my sister, V’s biological mother)
V: She can come too.
M: No she can’t. We tried that once before and it was awful.
[My sister came to live with me in New York years and years ago. It didn’t work out. Everyone has moved past this … except my mother.]

At this point I’m thinking, here she goes again. I can’t believe she said these things to V. Maybe she’s exaggerating and she didn’t actually say this to her 11 year old granddaughter. Then, I hear someone in the background.

Not only was my mother re-counting her awful comments she made to V. She was doing it with V in the car next to her.

Mom Strikes again

So I sit down to write and I forget. I had a specific topic in mind and I forgot. Within 35 seconds. I sat. I opened my file. All the while I knew what I wanted to write about. The email opens and I type, “So I sit down to write”.

And thanks to $150 per session therapy, I know that what I’m doing is called avoidance. What I’m going through is apparently too much for me and I can’t mentally handle it.

It’s obviously, about my mother.And as I write more comes back. Like the part about how when I talked to my sister I was discussing how I thought Mom had actually started this whole thing with a Google on what breast cancer metastasizes to. She found pancreas. Then she found the symptoms of pancreatic cancer. Then she imitated those symptoms and took herself in for testing.

She starves herself so that she has the “losing weight” symptom.

She hurts her back lifting a concrete birdbath, but makes sure everyone knows that back pain is a symptom of pancreatic cancer.

She called me to say that she was having a PET scan to look for pancreatic or liver cancer and that she called only because I requested to be informed of all health-related occurrences.

“I hate to ruin your day, but you said you wanted to know.”

I thanked her for keeping me in the loop and asked when she’d get results.

“December 10.”

“Okay. Call me when you find out.”

So, at 8 PM on December 10, I call her to find out what’s going on since I haven’t heard from her all day.
Mom’s not there. She’s at work.
My sister A is picking up pizza.
V – who answered the phone – is on IM with her friend.

I ask V to have A call when she gets home.
An hour passes. (My hometown is 1 mile square in area.) So, I call back.
V answers again.
Me: Did you forget to tell A?
Her: No. She’s getting out of the shower.

I end up on the phone with A and find out that they got the results in the morning and that everything was fine.

I got off the phone and drank until I threw up.