I know not to worry people and to start off by saying, I'm safe. I know if my mind goes for the worst, to call crisis or to call someone or just to even walk to the hospital ER. I'm just crying and grieving about my mom for what feels like the first time in three years.
Imagine being 21. It's your senior year in college. Snowy, stormy day. School was cancelled.
February. You're having a panic attack, because you have no idea how you're going to get your thesis project done, write brand new essays, AND fit in thesis meetings.
You get finished crying to your boyfriend about feeling overwhelmed, then notice you have a voicemail on your phone.
"Hi Nicole, this is X from Yale New Haven hospital. Please call me back as soon as possible."
My heart stills. Is it my mom? I haven't heard from her in weeks, but it's not weird to not hear from her from weeks at a time.
I call the doctor. It's a blur. My boyfriend is listening so I don't have to explain. We have to drive four hours to Connecticut. The doctors don't know why my mom's boyfriend didn't call me, but I need to come right away. She's on life support. Her organs are dead. You're the one to allow us to take her off.
What the fuck is thesis?
I don't know. Snow. Driving. Crying. Seeing my mom as if she was mutilated and wishing for the past three years to forget that image and to remember for the loving, laughing person she was. Nurses and doctors talking through and saying things to me. Trying to explain what was happening. Wait what, my mom never had cancer? She only said that to get empathy for dying from her substance abuse? There was nothing you can do, Nicole..... let's get the priest to come in. (Why didn't I beg for an operation?). I'm not religious, but my mom was, and I think she'd be happy to have this, even as she's dying on life support. I cry. I say goodbye to her, and that I forgive her, even though I feel like I never fully understood her until now. I wish I could speak to her and told her I understood, maybe one of the only people in her life that did.
I couldn't actually be there though, when they did take her off. Was that bad of me? I don't think I could have handled seeing her gasping for her life final breath... she wasn't alone, she had nurses and her boyfriend. (who I refused to allow in the same room as me while I'm at the hospital, because he beat her way too many times for me to trust him). I don't know, she loved him so it must have been okay?
I don't struggle with alcohol abuse. But I'm struggling with mental illness. I'm fighting every goddamn day, She was born with disabilities? In and out of hospitals and school her childhood? Thrown off a motorcycle at 18, from a car, thrown into a wall, had her bone go through her leg, and fucked up her walking forever? She had a few bad doctors and sworn off them forever? Maybe I've seen 20+ doctors in my life now. And I'm begging for someone to see me. I wish she had that drive.
I miss you, mom.
I love you.
(By the way. How the fuck did I get back to school the next week? Still glare at you in the hallways, Professor, who told me I should have been able to take that test that week; thank god that your boss knows me and stepped in the way. Also, graduated on time. Talking to your professors, for the most part, is good. They understand and give you leeway.)