Pulled In Many Directions

Not-so-daily rambings about my life and my thoughts

Sunday, June 05, 2005


After hearing so much about Finding Neverland, I decided to rent it tonight and watched it with my roommate. At first it was really good. I liked how J.M. Barrie was portrayed by Johnny Depp, as a sort of overgrown big kid and there were some cool effects used when they envisioned themselves on the high seas or in a special place that came to be known eventually as Neverland.

It was a good movie, but one I grew to hate watching as it also dealt with a set of boys who lost their father when they were quite young and then to make matters worse, they later lost their mother to a really bad lung disease. I was absolutely horrified by the way the story turned out; I knew it was based on actual events, but I actually pleaded with the writers to Hollywoodize the ending, to make sure the boys would live a happy life with their mom, because it just wasn't fair that they had to face a long life as orphans. That is exactly what I thought: "This is not fair they are taking her away from them. They are too young to deal with this again."

The ending just hit too close to home for me, and I just started to lose it in front of my roommate, and I hated that. I was brought up to always put on a brave face, to not ask for help. Showing emotion was a sign of weakness. I lost my mother as an adult, only two years ago at the end of this month, but I can almost say that she had been dying literally since I was very young -- her Multiple Sclerosis progressed year after year, until she was virtually a vegetable when I was starting high school.

When I was younger, I used to have such a vivid imagination, but I know I was preoccupied with death and loss as well. I sang odes to my mother's plants when they died. I liked to imagine myself and my brother as orphans, I once pretended I was abused for play. I eagerly read the "Milestones" section in Time magazine because (as I told a neighbor of mine) I thought it was interesting how people died. I was roughly 6 years old. What a sick twisted kid I must have been. It wasn't like I was looking for sympathy, it wasn't like I was even acting out what I literally knew, but maybe, just maybe, in my 6 year old world, even though I imagined my family life to be like that of the Brady Bunch, I knew something was just not quite right. Maybe I just picked up on my mother's sadness and decided to act it out. Maybe I felt, when I was pretending to be a dragon or and elf or an alien that something that any other world was better than this one. I don't know.

People have told me and my friends that I seem unnaturally happy, that I am perky, blah blah blah. But I told my roommate tonight, and maybe this is true, I'm like Annie (of "(The Sun Will Come Out) Tomorrow" fame) on the outside but Wednesday Addams on the inside. I have a lot of sadness and...no not sadness. Sadness is what happens when your boss tells you off. It passes. What I have is grief, a long lasting sadness. And I don't know how to work it out. I don't know if there's any support group I can join or if acting in dramas (Ibsen anyone? How about Chekov?) would help me work through this. I know my family is made up of my father and my brother, a bunch of "manly men" who don't like to talk about how they are feeling. I really wish I could talk to them about this, but it's just not something that is done in our family. We are New England born and bred, descendants of Puritans to be sure, and you know how those people liked to emote.

I really don't know if I will ever fully get over her death. I could write a book on her relationship with me, how she was as a parent, how I felt stressed that she wanted me to be her caretaker when I was 10. I remember her getting pissed off at me for not trying to lift her off the toilet into her wheelchair. (Keep in mind I was around 10 or so. How the hell is a child supposed to lift up an adult with two dead weights in the form of legs attached to them?) I remember her sadness when the marriage fell apart and I had to listen to her tell me about how hurt she was about everything that happened within the three years, start to finish of the divorce, and how I longed for her to stay coherent enough to be my confidante when I got older.

She was someone so preoccupied with my love life, when I was younger someone who wanted to see me with a boyfriend (she never saw me with my first long term one) and even though it annoyed me to no end when I was in high school, I know I'll hurt a lot when and if I finally marry and have kids because I know that was so important to her, and she will never be around to see it for herself.

In any case I really miss my mother and I long to talk with others who may have some inkling as to what sort of feelings I am going through, as I am going through them myself.