A Brief Interlude

Thank you to those who wrote and inspired me to try it myself, please bear with me if I stumble over the words.


He taught me how to ride a bike, you told me I would fall.
So it sat for years, and gathered rust, I never rode that bike at all.
He played games with me that set a child's imagination free,
You played the games that instilled the fear I still have in me.

But, look at me, I think I'll make it,
I don't think that I could take it,
Being who I am today
You didn't have your way,
My life's a dream come true in the making,
The starts are all mine for the taking,
Maybe I should have thanked you all along,
You made me live to prove you wrong.

He worked his fingers to the bone, to provide more than we would need,
You took him for everything he had, may I never have the greed,
To methodically destroy,
This perfect little girl, little boy,
The way you tried so hard to do,
But maybe in a way I owe you.

For every time I watch my babies laugh, every time I hear their dreams,
I'll remember how it felt to have my world torn at the seams,
By hateful words and glances,
Then to have no second chances,
To make it right again,
Because you just don't, in the end.

I'm teaching them to ride their bikes, and I won't let them fall.
I guess you were right; maybe I'm just like him, after all.

I wrote this a few years back, to honor my father. The person I credit for the good in me, the strong without mean in me, the spine without anger. We had our trials, both of us being cut from the same stubborn cloth, and both of us victim to the same game, but we are closer now than we ever have been.

Every day, I wake up and remind myself I am not my mother. No one knows I do this, and I have never touched all too deeply on it, to anyone, exactly what has been left behind. I'm not even sure now if I can. But I think I need to, because as much as I've thought that the scars have faded, they really haven't. I remind myself I am not her, pray I never would be.... and in so many ways, I am. There is something inside me that I cannot quiet, a voice as familiar as my own face, that i detest more now than I ever did when I actually heard it day to day. There are walls and barriers, doubts and insecurities, built around my being that were being slowly put in place even as I sat and built toy walls with Lego blocks. And there are features, gestures, tones and words that I hate about myself, because they are hers.

Looking back, I can never remember a time when I wasn't afraid. Of people, of places, of trying new things. When I wasn't, I felt guilty and exhilarated at the same time. Now that I am older, the guilt is gone, and replaced with an almost child like glee, when I succeed at something, meet someone new, etc. And I feel sorry for that kid who missed out because you know, no one would ever truly love her, want her, be her friend. Ever. I feel sorry for me, still so self conscious of my lazy eye, my ugly feet, my awkward stance in a new setting. Then I get angry.

Being somewhat rational, I believe she was sick, emotionally. I've heard enough from various relatives and parents of friends to know there was something.. somewhere.. that went horribly wrong. Bipolar comes to mind, and seeing some of her in myself, it scares me. Sometimes, in rough patches, I still believe her. And that scares me more.

My mother died in 2003, and I have never cried. That sounds horrible, hollow, and completely monstrous. I am someone who can cry at the sappy movies, at the news, at Extreme Makeover Home Edition, but I could never muster a tear for my own mother. I won't say I've never missed her, because you miss the familiar. But I have never missed her in the way you should miss your mother, and that hurts me. For her, for me. Because there were good times, good memories, fun. And that makes it harder to see the whole picture sometimes.

I am scared of being that to my kids, my husband, my friends.The crazy, the mean bitch no one likes, but everyone is leery of. The woman no one will ever cry for, the one that, when there is a memorial service, no one comes. And I see it in me, know it's there. But in dealing with it, writing it out- not posting it, necessarily- it will ease.

There will be more of these, but I think it's enough for now. This is a first step, and one I have needed to take for quite some time. Thanks for bearing with me.


The Rambling Housewife said...

Wow very profound! I don't think you could ever be your mother because you are so insightful and aware.

Thanks for sharing.

1stopmom said...

Wow, that is really a touching post. I like your blog, I will be back to visit.

Blog hopping on by.......

Angela said...

I came your way by Thursday Drive, and I am glad that I did. This post is remarkable in so many different ways. I appreciate the attention you pay to the finer details...I also miss my mother...but not in the way that a daughter should miss her mother. Perfectly said.

Angela said...

I came to you by way of Thursday Drive, and I am glad that I did. This is such a profound bit of writing, and it resonated with me on many levels. I also miss my mother...but not in the ways that I should. Perfectly stated.

Autumn LeBeau said...

Thank you all for your comments. It means a lot to me :)

Huckdoll said...

Like Him was very nice. You have such beautiful writing, Autumn.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

first time visit here, as I saw you passed through my blog.

that is a genuinely wonderful piece of writing, not because of form or structure but because you made me believe & feel every single word.

I think you should be very proud.

The Dairy Wife said...

wow Autumn,

How Powerful and how good it was that you wrote it. Isn't it wonderful how we cleanse our own soul?


jennifer h said...

Oh, girl, you know I understand this. Always, always, I hear a voice in my head that isn't mine, but that my voice can sound like sometimes, and I hate it.

But you are not your mother. You are brave to write this, and wrote about these feelings with such insight.

I identify with you never having cried for your mother. I'm quite certain I won't cry for either of mine. It doesn't make you a bad person. It's nothing more than a reflection of your experience with her, and you're not to blame for that.

In case you can't hear it, I'm applauding you. Keep in mind that there's all the good of your father in you, and that's the stronger part.

Thank you for sharing all of this.