Samantha’s Diary… ***Some DS Fan Fiction I’m playing with***

As a little girl, I remained in a Boston private school for girls, thanks to the generosity of Roger Collins and Elizabeth Stoddard.  They have been like surrogate parents to me in my absence from Collinsport for years. Roger always said that I wasn’t facing reality by avoiding going “home”.  But which place was or is home? Is it the house where my mother, Claudette tortured me for the first seven years of my existence, or Collinwood, which was my shelter from many of her storms?

Then there was that place in the mausoleum.  Willie doesn’t even know of it, I think.  I would sneak into there and dream I had a guardian angel watching over me there.  At least I knew my mother would never set foot in the cemetery.  I remember dreaming about that faceless dark angel with a calming voice.  He’d carry me through the woods, teaching me about the birds and trees and such and the sun always shone there. In short, this entity was the phantom father I created in my mind, I suppose.  At least the shrink says as much to me.   I’ve written many songs about filling that gaping hole in my memories as well as my chest.

I somehow learned to write with penmanship from a time gone by. I won awards for it and I still prefer my quill to a fountain pen. I mastered math in my head long before I had access to a calculator.  A large part of me wants to return, and another side of me totally dreads this.  I keep having dreams of a duel, people dying, voices calling my name, and for what purpose? The worst ones are of me drowning in another time and place when I was still quite young, a long dress weighing me down as if it were a ship’s anchor, and something cracking my skull and knocking me out after struggling to come back to the surface.  I always manage to wake up shaking and sweating after those. I fear water so much! Why me? Did my mother damage me so much that I cannot tell what is reality from fantasy any longer?  I’m wondering if the dreams are symbolic.  Whatever. It doesn’t matter at this point.

I know it is time to return to Collinsport.  Elizabeth and Maggie have begged me for months.  I suppose it is time to revisit the grave of the child I once was, and can never be again.  Sometimes an infected wound must be thoroughly drained and cleaned before it can heal.  Hopefully it will not leave a scar that is too noticeable.  At least it is what the one familiar male voice says to me in those damned dreams I have every night as of late.

Only now the dreams are getting stronger, and the voices more clear.  No matter how many psych meds the doctors put me on or how many gigs I do just so I can pass out and sleep after the ambien, they are there…They are waiting for me…It’s only the voice of that dark angel that doesn’t torment me.  All he says to me lately is, “Perhaps you should reconsider this endless journey you are on and come visit your family.  You are every bit a Collins now even if not by blood.” he says.   Funny how Roger and Elizabeth keep reminding me that they do  consider me thus.  There I go–talking like he does.  Dammit I am truly done for the night–until those dreams start-up again…

—S.R.T.  April 3, 1990

We ARE Mothers…

There are times I get really pissed at the way the medical profession and some magazine writers try to dehumanize the experience of a miscarriage.  One article said, “…We imagine ourselves as mothers…” Oh hell no! They did not just say that! I don’t care if it is a loss at six weeks or six months–I am still a mother who has lost my child–and my ex-husband is a father who lost his dammit!

Then they call it “products of conception” or “fetal tissue”.  All I can say to any medical professional who would use that type of terminology to a woman and her partner who has miscarried is a phrase not fit for this post so I won’t repeat it here.  I lost my child. When they acted as if I did not know what I was talking about, I switched doctors. If the difference between one mother’s child is that it was a wanted one and someone else’s was not, then save the terminology for the abortion clinics and read the frigging chart before you shoot your mouth off because if it is a mom in a very emotional state you are dealing with,  she might just come unglued on your ass…IN fact, I know several mothers who lost children who would. I know I would if I endured it AGAIN and was treated as if the being  carried inside of me was not worthy of being called a “human being” but relegated to being called “products of conception” or “tissue”.

NOTE: This post is NOT about abortion. However I think a lot of the people in the medical profession try to treat this  experience like one and that is what pisses me off.  Even the old term for it (if it is not in use now) was “spontaneous abortion“.  The experience of losing a wanted child is unique and personal and should be treated with the same care and compassion as losing a loved one would be treated had it been a stillbirth–including offering referrals to counseling for couples going through this. Support groups for grieving parents who have experienced this are amazing, I think. 

Losing a child is a gut wrenching, physically painful, horrible experience regardless of what stage of gestation and if people in medical profession are trying to help us by dehumanizing the experience, they are deluding themselves.  Those in psychology tend to do the same.  It is because of this lack of consideration for those of us who go through this that I am writing this.  I know there are places out there somewhere that don’t conduct themselves in such an android like fashion when dealing with that type of grief, and I would like to know where they are. I will gladly refer people to those from this blog. As of right now, our group is unique and in a class by itself. In short, we stand alone.

Now if you have family members going through this, just listen and show some empathy.  Don’t say things like “Well, you’ll have another one someday.” or “At least you know you’re capable of having a baby.”  These are very insensitive things to be saying and it is pure bullshit.  You will alienate anyone you say that to over time if you do this–especially if the event might have left them unable to conceive. Trust me. I’ve cut people off for this.  Why? Simple. One child will never replace another.  We don’t forget the pain of losing the ones we lost and I can tell you from personal experience that even after 27 years, there is still ONE empty space at my table I think about from time to time.  In short, if you want to keep your friend, and you are not sure what to say, just be quiet…PLEASE…

This was not the only miscarriage I had, but it is the one that stands out because it is my son’s fraternal twin. It is VERY rare to not lose both, but I didn’t lose Brian. They said two weeks later when I still had morning sickness and got into it with the nurses that it was all in my head and I was NOT pregnant…They were going to send me to a psychologist. I said get the test and we’ll settle it now–among a few other choice things…Voila! I was STILL pregnant with that one and they rushed to do a sonogram.  Brian’s sac was in tact but it was considered high risk because I lost the twin. It is also very, very rare to keep one twin after losing the other–especially as early as it was.

In short, if you don’t understand it, just be willing to listen and don’t say anything.  That’s really all we need is a listening ear and a good shoulder to cry on.  You don’t know if or when a couple will be able to have another child, so it’s best not to comment one way or another on THAT issue too.

 

In What Colors Do You Dream?

Sounds silly doesn’t it?  Maybe it is but we all have our quirks and perks.  Some of us even slide into pulling into our shells from time to time because we are safer there. It is when I am in my shell, as I am at the moment that I begin to ask myself what it is I really want? What color do I want my life to be?  Blue is beautiful, yet almost as somber as black depending on the shade.  I love how the rain, lightning and thunder mixes with that–and there are many times I have felt safer in the storm than out of it.

Nobody can understand that thought either. I hear that life cannot be a “color” but who is it that makes these bloody rules?  I know that there are those times when I rant about some things, but they DO make some sense to me.  The color on those days is not a basic crayon red but more of that of arterial blood–my blood, which I once saw after being viciously bitten once.  That was a scary experience–combined with  yellow, which is often associated with fear but not canary yellow…Oh no…It’s more of a pastel because while there is some fear in my hesitation,  that part does not last long.

Then there is my mountain which ranges from brown to green, with various sprinkles of color throughout depending on my journey.  It calms and blends all those other colors.  It is said that we all bleed red but the road is red also.  That blood that dripped from me then is now part of that road for real.  So what color should I dream in?  Should it be the mixture of blues and greys of a summer rain long anticipated, or should I start to dream of greens and such?

Better yet here is a question for you.  What is the color of love?  Does any emotion have a color?  I thought I knew love but I didn’t until now.  It embraces me when I close my eyes. It chases me when I would rather be alone.  It really never gives up on me, so the Universe must know something that I don’t.  However, I don’t let it consume me.  I cannot let it possess me. It opens me back up to yellow all over again…This time the same shade of yellow as that wallpaper that Charlotte Perkins Gillman wrote about. I have heard that love is insane.  Time will tell won’t it?

What color is insanity?  Is it bold and bright or pastels and subdued?  Are the artists and dreamers really the mad ones or is the rest of the world the color of–well what color could the word “fucked” be?

Sometimes it can be the dark hues of “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin or “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath.  All of these colors I am looking into–but if love has a color–I fear letting it become a force to drive me out of this comfort zone–this solitude I am now in for the rest of the week.  As long as I don’t slip into the darkness of a murky river with grey stones to weigh me down, I guess I am doing fine.  That color keeps chasing me–especially when I dream–but should I dream it at all?  Is it white and pure or is it the color of the bruises that I once had upon my heart?

I do know this much–it does have different types and degrees–some true and some false.  How does one know the difference in their heart? Does the  Universe say to trust it, or to think before deciding?   I’m not trying so hard now.  Maybe it is not a color but a vibration.  If I figure this out, I’ll discuss that later.  But for now, in what colors do you dream?  I think I’ll enjoy these colors for a while:

Solitude with peace…This is where love might find me–if I let it.

I will stop this now.  I would rather dream the colors of my mountain and the colors of the new chapter in my life about to open.  Something is on the horizon–and it will be to my benefit.   In what colors do you dream?