Tuesday, May 25, 2010


So now I needed a plan.  I had to find a way to stay in Arizona.  It wasn’t going to be easy.  My brother’s roomate would be back soon and I’d have to vacate his bedroom.  I couldn’t stay there in his house.  I would have to find a job, find a place to live and then convince my parents that I was going to stay.  My brother said I could enroll in college myself and maybe that would make it easier on my parents.  He took me  to the administration building to get the paper work.  I would have to send away to get high school transcripts and then decide on what courses I would take.   But then the biggest hurdle of them all.  money.  and lots of it.  and I had none.  and I knew my parents didn’t have it and even if they did they would not give it to me to be so far away from them.  The thought of me going to college never crossed their minds.  It never crossed my mind either.   Going to college was for rich kids, not kids like us.  I could get a student loan but they would never sign for it.  The more I thought about going to school, the less I liked the idea.   Go for what?  I had no ambitions.  I had no idea at all what I wanted to be or wanted to do or what I could do.  I never even thought about it.  I was never asked about it. I’d get married.  I’d work in a factory.  I’d have kids...simple story...simple plan.  What was good enough for them was good enough for me.  What does happiness have to do with it.  We’re not happy, why should you be happy..Accept your lot in life.  But then I saw life outside our little town and I saw that other people could be happy.  and so  I needed a plan.  A plan that would allow me to stay.
I needed to stay in Arizona.  I needed to be free.  but then, the phone call came.  The phone call that put a stop to any plan.  The phone call that put a stop to any idea I had or hoped to have and that phone call stopped me dead in my tracks and tore out from under me the very foundation however weak that was beneath me.  The call came from my father on that sultry hot summer night.   My mother was in the hospital.  She had overdose on barbiturates and was in intensive care in the Psychiatric ward.  My father told me that she just could’t take me leaving and not planning on coming home so she took a bunch of pills and he found her unconscious on the floor.  He was sending me money to fly home and I was to get on the next plane out of Phoenix or he was going to get the police to come after me.   The blood drained from my head.  the pain rose up in my stomach. the hollowness collected in my throat.  My plan was over.  my freedom was over. And my mother laid in a hospital bed and I had been the one who put her there.

  The hippie kids piled in the VW van that took me to the airport and to the plane that took me back home. My father was waiting at the gate for me and we drove the long silent ride home through the farmland and the red barns that dotted the landscape.  We drove straight to the hospital and went to the bottom floor of the same brick building where I was born. My mother laid weak and pale in the bed but she was alive and she was going to be okay but had to stay in the ward for observation and because it was an attempted suicide she would have to undergo treatment for a few weeks.  The days were long and painful for us all...I had an overwhelming sense of guilt.  The shame I felt was almost unbearable for me.  Then I had to take over at home to wash clothes and give my father his meals and keep the house clean.  Also to lie to the neighbors and make up stories of where my mother was as if they didn’t know the truth.  I had to go see the parish priest and he told me I had to take care of my mother and honor my mother and I was lucky that she didn’t die or I would have had a death on my conscience.  She was going through withdrawals at the hospital so she was always sedated.  They wanted to give her shock treatments but my father refused.  The recovery was slow but she was eventually allowed to come home.  I gladly took care of her.  I loved her.  I wanted her back home and I wanted to be the dutiful daughter I should have been.           and so I was.        and I got a job  at  a  factory  that  made  socks  driving  a forklift    truck.       9-5      doing     the    same    thing         over    and      over   and    over      again.
I didn’t like it very much but I didn’t know how to do anything, I wasn’t trained for anything and without any guidance or help I didn’t know there were other things out there.  I was a girl that was unprepared for life and unprepared for a future.   and so I stayed.  and did what I was told.  and was happy that at least my mother survived.  and so I stayed numb.  and worked at a job I detested.  and when the day was over, I stayed in my room and Neil Young helped me through and Joni Mitchell helped me through.   and I dreamed for something better.   but i didn’t expect anything more than what
I was handed  my lot in life in the small midwestern town where the lake breezes softly blew through those green elm trees, and the train whistles blowing in the distance meant better things for some but not for me.  and my dreams died in that house.  but i did as I was meant to, and what was expected of me
and nothing more.   and the light in my eyes dimmed.  and I soon forgot that western sky and those terra cotta colored hills and the smell of pinon pines and the laughter and that sweet taste of freedom that had so briefly passed through my life.   And I carried on that way for over a year. In a numbing job with no future. in a little bedroom in my parents stifling house where the atmosphere depended on my mothers moods  and I’d go to the teen bars with some girlfriends and drank too many Champales and  got sick and passed out and it was a way to survive the pain and the boredom and the loneliness because I was alone and no one cared for me. my parents did love me. they did care about me.  but that is not the
love I needed and wanted.     and then I met a boy.     The boy.


Davinia said...

Such a courageous act to write your story and I'm full of admiration for you. All that came before makes you who you are today and you seem to be in a great place now. Your jewelry is amazing, you play in a band and have a wonderful place to work in, so I know your story eventually has a happy ending. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Oh Cynthia that's too bad you had to go back because of your Mom. I feel so bad that you carried that guilt and then the priest goes and adds more guilt! You certainly were a 'lost' young woman. Look at you now though...'you've come a long way baby'! I hope you're feeling ok as I know writing this takes a lot out of you...you're a brave woman. I hope you're enjoying some nice spring weather before it get's HOT there. Take care my friend...Maura:)

Jeanette said...

Yes, what a difficult road it was that lead you to where you are now. I can't wait to hear how you met "the boy". Would you have ever met him if you stayed in Arizona? I will have to wait and see I suppose. Looking forward to the next chapter - as always.

PK Studios said...

Wow girl...look at you! 88 followers! And now we're all tuned in for your cliff hanger. I hope that if there are young women out there that are in a similar situation as you were, they are tuning in and can find hope through your story. Hugs, Penny

Jacqueline said...

Dear Cynthia,
Although your words hold a great deal of sadness, I am thoroughly enjoying reading them. It is gripping.
It also brings me back down to earth with a resounding bump. It makes me realise just how lucky I have been. I can't wait for Part 9. XXXX

Just Be Real said...

Thanks for your continued transparency in sharing your life. You are an encouragement. Blessings to you dear one.

Dustjacket Attic said...

It's hard to comment on stories like this, so personal and painful...it can sound a bit trite to go well written, I can picture it just as you say it was....cause this is a real piece of you.

Beatnheart said...

I just received the most amazing and cosmic response from my Giveaway winner Katie Mary. Take a moment to read her blog. http://sharingourspaces.blogspot.com/2010/05/bee-necklace.html

katie said...

dear beatnheart, i wanted to get to know you better now that we've had this amazing necklace situation, and so i came over to read this post and i have so many thoughts in repsonse, i don't know where to start. it's hard to tell how you feel about all this now in retrospect. but my personal internal response was anger at your mother. i'm sorry, and i don't know if you will mind my saying that. my perspective is surely influenced because my dad's self-destructiveness was always a big pull back for me. and it was hard to put my feelings first when his actions strongly demanded my pity and compassion. i cannot imagine what you went through. you would have been a good daughter no matter what. because you cared for them. going along with what they wanted was just their version of what they needed. but it was not fair of them to put you through this. maybe they were scared. but she was an adult. they should have wished you well as you journeyed into your own brave adulthood. instead of codependently holding you back. the people who love us and whom we love, i know we're not perfect and we do all make mistakes and i know it is within each of our abilities to forgive and move on. and i hope that you are at peace with her now and your past and everything that happened. and that you know you are a brave and strong person who made choices which led you to where you are today. and included in those choices are that you are a person who would go back to care for your mother even if it is not what you wanted to do. i'm sorry you had to put your dreams on hold. but i hope in the long run, you found them again, and that freedom you longed for.

hugs and love to you~~~

oh, and by the way, i love neil young and joni mitchell :)

Pooch Morning Glory said...

thankfully we know theres a silver lining at the end !!
stupid priest!....
cheers to happier endings

Chris said...

Next installment of your path to freedom. Very hard, sweet gal. I can feel such pain and despair in your words....and you didn't know it would be OK. I so wish we could all go back to our miserable times and hug our younger selves, reassuring them. I wish I could have hugged you! Blessings gal....

Ange said...

Pfff what to say dear Cynthia - except that I'm with Pooch. We know there's a wonderful silver lining at the end. the boy - I want to know about the boy. It's disconcerting reading such an intimate tale about someone we are all ...getting to know as if it was a movie/book about a stranger. Just goes to show that the ties stretch long and far and we're all interconnected. Blessings Cynthia )

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Oh Cynthia
the sins of the fathers.. or in this case mothers... I agree with Pooch and glad to know your silver lining was just around the corner.. and sounds like in chapter 9.... Reading your story sounds so much like mine.. although i think if i were to write mine it would sound more like a bad country western song without the happy ending.. hahaha... looking forward to the next chapter.. xx Julie

SharonP said...

Wow, I am loving your thoroughly entrancing life story. This is the stuff that legends, and movies, are made of. I can't wait for the next installment, of course, I know already know how you end up as a lovely and giving woman. Keep up the great writing!

Rose ~Victorian Rose ~ said...

Cynthia, I do feel in my heart of hearts that this should be a BOOK.

So many women go thru this when we are young...especially those of us born before 1940....like I was.
Just nothing to look forward too... not being expected to go to college...or "amount to anything" on our OWN......just "get married"..and endure.
Having been brought up with no one who REALLY cares... a mother with too many children to feed and care for...a father who is so overwhelmed with the financial reponsibility of it all..NO ONE IS HAPPY....in fact they resent you for being born.
I was number 4 of 5 children. AND I was a GIRL...that was two strikes against me right off the bat..I soon would learn.
And they are suffering their own personal wounds as well.
So take is out on us.
I am sorry you had to endure this too.
It was so hard growing up without love and guidance that was beneficial to us.
I often think that is why I love my "delightful clutter"...( my things )they can be trusted....these "things" seem to love me back ....just for my loving them. ~JMOPO of course.

But girl.... you and I survived and thrived..and that is the GOOD NEWS.

Anxious to hear the rest of your story.


Anne - Fiona and Twig said...

I think you are so brave and fearless to tell your life story here like this.

But I know that it also has to be tremendously healing to you as well.

Your words are so powerful, thank you for sharing your heart.

Beatnheart said...

My Mother was also one of these girls....one of 10 children, alcoholic abusive father, strict religious background...no one cared, no one guided her...that is why after all these years(she is 90 now!) I still love her and I do forgive her.. She just didn’t know how to change and stuck with what she knew to survive...

Riki Schumacher said...

Oh Cynthia, the more we learn, the sadder it gets. I too hope there is a happy ending to this. You couldn't make this up. I am glad to learn you have forgiven her, that is major. I have a father I need to forgive one day, it's a tough one. At least when anger subsides, it opens to the chance of forgiveness. Isn't it amazing how patterns continue to repeat themselves in some families? Abuse results in abuse....but then someone is strong enough to break the cycle. You have. My heart goes out to you. And thank you for your kind words and understanding about my little Chester. One day at a time. Big hug, Riki

Paula said...

Alcoholism is a family desease passed on over generations.... You are wondefully made and whilst struggling so hard with dimmed light in your eyes, inside your inner light kept you going, made you survive all. Like Katie I am angry at your Mother - infused by my strong anger towards my mother. Obly now releasing it. You stay strong. Once again getting to know you a bit better and whuile readin along, getting to know myself a bit better too. Thanks fro being out there!

Fire Byrd said...

The way you are putting this story together is wonderful Cynthia. It's gripping, sad/ happy has pathos and pain.
I love how you live us dangling want ing more, always a sign of a good story teller.
It's odd isn't is that we all go through so much when younger in our different ways that pays off when we get here. That enables us to be the people we are today. I know that my own journey had many difficulties along the way, and yet know I'm grateful as it allows me to be the me I am today.

Beatnheart said...

Friends, if you have a moment, stop by Paula’s blog (two posts up)...this awesome lady is going to walk The Camino Walk...well let her tell you the story...check it out!

katie said...

I know what you mean, Cynthia. Despite my mother's mistakes. I love and forgive her. It was hard to give myself the space to go ahead and be angry at her for what I needed, but I understand why she did the things she did as I see her life in the whole picture. I'll always be grateful for her and now I feel we are close. Thank you for sharing your heart. Thinking of you today :)

La Petite Gallery said...

I miss him too. Beautiful Darling.


jaboopee said...

You really had no choice but to return ?
heavy jelly as we say here.

looking forward to the knight in shiny glasses.


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