Sunday, May 11, 2014

Stupid Hallmark is Stupid: Mother's Day 2014

I recognize it the second I hear it. The excited, enthusiastic tone of someone who has tied everything in the universe into one nice neat package with a nice neat bow.   "The numbers and words relate together in ways we're not even aware of.  Look at the ad for Hulu on that bus.  Hear how that sounds.  Hu. Lu.  Perfect example.  There are no coincidences.  That word has two syllables.  And each syllable has two letters.  I can't believe you're not getting this.  It all comes down to the power of two.  It's called 'binary code' for a reason.  One and zero, mom,  One and zero.  That is all.'"  

I look with horror at my daughter in the passenger seat and hear my voice come out of her mouth.  The day I have feared, the possibility that I have dreaded.  It's here now.  It's happening now.  Full-blown mania.  Two syllables, one hyphen.  Full. Blown.

My first thought is logistical.  I need to get her some help.  Nigh impossible because although things are improving between us, and through meditation and the passage of time I am cultivating forgiveness, learning to let go, to feel compassion for her instead of resentment, our relationship is broken.  Even in the best of times, she is stubborn, and defiant, and prideful.  It will be like tiptoeing through a minefield to nudge her gently in the direction of a psychiatrist, a diagnosis, some meds.  My second thought is suffused with dismay.  I am going to have to enlist the aid of her dad, my ex-husband, in this project.

Two thoughts here:  One is that he will apply the crippling denial that has killed my love for him, kept him from getting well, to the situation I see rambling next to me, sweeping her arms and banging them against the dashboard in her exuberance, her insistence that her theory applies to sociology as well:  The relationship between men and women is based on the fundamental power struggle, caused by the opposition of two forces, yin and yang, "See, mom, two again, see where this is going?"  The fact that some of her rambling is based on fact doesn't comfort me.  That's how it begins, discovering of an underlying truth of nature, extrapolating and relating and connecting, seeing symbolism everywhere, another example and another, the perceived brilliance of the insight fuels its momentum.   Here is more evidence that bipolar disorder, or at least the predisposition to it, is genetic.  With a rueful half-mile, I observe that she'll get no argument from me on that power struggle.  With us, it's been an intractable battle for 25 years.

The second thought cascades from the first, that here is more evidence that my condition, or at least the predisposition to it, is genetic.  And here is more grist for the mill of blame that I am responsible for everything that has happened, the destruction of our family is my fault because of my illness and my inability to manage it, despite medication and therapy and dogged determination to get it right.   Neatly side-stepping the implication that he has encouraged the disaster through ignorance and indifference, fueled by his refusal to confront his own pathology.

I have to wrap this post up for now.  I woke too early this morning (like mother, like daughter, there's the other half of that rueful smile).  I have a two-hour drive ahead of me.  My younger daughter, PreMed, has invited me to spend the day with her at college where there is "a hippie-dippie fest, mom, there will be a massage chairs, and the booth that sells the sandalwood body lotion I know you love, and a drum circle, and we can day-drink mimosas out of a wineskin, and sober you up in time for your drive home."  

For now PreMed has not evinced the pattern of symptoms that led to my downfall, and now apparently, her sister's.  Maybe it's just that she's been able to translate that energy into success and achievement, her brilliant insight into compassion.  I'll go spend the day with her and soak up some of her goodness, and bottle it, store it to bring home like the sandalwood lotion.  I'm going to need every ounce of the strength she can spare for the battles and logistics of the coming weeks and months as I attempt to corral her sister to get help and to get well, and as I run between the raindrops of her father's blame, shame, guilt and denial.

Namaste, Nutjobs.  Namaste, PreMed.  Namaste, Troubled.

Namaste, Hallmark.  Your stupid holiday is stupid.