Three years ago I had the idea to help my mother to move into an assisted living community.
I did Ann's writing workshop at Esalen back in 2015. After which my life would never be the same. I felt inspired today to look up our writing group again on Facebook. It hasn't been touched in years. The last several posts were mine. One professing my love to Amy, a woman I met at the workshop, one expressing my choice to leave my mother instead of run away from her and One asking for financial assistance with my mother in helping her to move into an assisted living community with a Go Fund Me video featuring me interviewing her and our dog who had just passed - also on my birthday. What is it with my fucking birthday? My mother, grandmother and my mother's dog all passing on the same day. The assisted living community just happened to be run by two of her old friends who used to run a chocolate store next to the candle store that my mother was working at down on the pier in Wilmington, NC. I remember introducing the idea to her. I didn't realize the Go Fund Me account was still active. The videos are so beautiful and loving and at the same time heart wrenching and haunting. If you'd like to meet me and my mother you can find us here:
Now I wonder if it has just been me all along. I feel like my mother was just a mirror for myself. My ask and our conversation when like this:
My Mother wants to connect with others and with life again. To be a part of and contribute to a community and relieve her children from their current physical and financial struggles in assisting her on her journey. For 25 years, my mother, Connie, has lived alone in an attempt to hide from her childhood trauma. (Is this me?) She is struggling with dementia, breast cancer, emphysema, osteoporosis and, most recently, the death of her sweet 4-legged soulmate Reece. She needs assisted living.
She wants to contribute and be a part of a living community that can help her. (Am I asking for the same thing?) Last week she found that place. A home at a elderly living community that offers the perfect level of assistance. Despite its affordability, we still didn’t have enough. I said to my mom, "What do you think? Do you like it?"
She said, “We can’t do this. It’s too much money.” (my story?)
I said, “Maybe not. There is a lot of money in this world Mom. Perhaps there is a little extra out there somewhere just waiting for you. Why don’t we ask for it and see what happens. The world is an amazing place full of possibility and gracious people. You taught me that. Can you be open to that?”
Mom: “You really think it’s possible?” (my story)
Me: “I do, but not if we don’t ask. Do you want to ask for help?”
She just looked at me. It took her ten minutes to answer the question before she finally said, “Yes. I need help, but what can we do?”
Me: “I have an idea. Can I record you on video? I know that’s hard for you, but do you think you can do that?”
Mom: “…Ok. If you think it could help. Who's going to see it?"
Me: "Potentially 1000s of people."
Mom: "What?! OMG. Let me wash my hair.” (not me)
I love my mom.
With that ask I was celebrating the last part of her life like it is the birth of another. In truth I was hoping it would be. (It could have been though in the end I was wrong and blame myself for it)
Giving it everything that I had to try to give her an opportunity to feel alive again. To laugh. To feel accepted. To love and be loved. She deserved it. (trying to do this for myself?) We all do. I didn’t have the finances, but I did have the heart.
When we were growing up I was the one always trying to get the family back together. Eventually I gave up because no one else seemed to be interested.
Upon touring the community home my mother took to everyone and everything like water to a river. It was like she was born to be there. She was alive. She loved everything and everyone and everyone embraced her like she was family. I have never seen her so happy or vibrant and her physical, emotional and mental health issues were suddenly gone.
When we left the facility for the third time I took her home and showed her the pictures that I took and the video I was making and said, “What do you think?”
She just stared at it in disbelief. I said, “Can you imagine living there?” She said, “No . . . its too expensive.” (my story)
Me: “Do you want to live there?”
Mom: “There? . . . How?”
Me: “We are going to ask people for help and if we get enough funds that will be your home. Can you imagine that being your home?”
Then her face dropped. She just stared at the photographs, began to tear up and softly said, “That’s my home.”
I'll never forget that moment. Aside from Reece's death, I have only seen my mother cry once in 30 years. I've never wanted something so much for her.
I have always been good, great, at helping others make their dreams come true. We raised over $5000 almost immediately. It was a beautiful process, such a joy and a gift to make the videos (Thank you Amy Daneel. You are a goddess and a saint) and I was touched deeply by everyone's generosity. I thought it was perfect.
I left about 2 weeks later for Portland to live with my girlfriend. I would later see that I left too early missing several opportunities at financial freedom, a deeper family connection and living my dream. I was rushing things. Missing the 'work' that needed to be done and not believing in myself enough to live my dream, be patient or trust. Instead, I rushed out of an irrational fear of losing my girlfriend to some other man at a hippie festival. I was always rushing. Reacting. Trying to prevent things instead of choosing myself, consciously creating things and seeing things more clearly before I made a choice. It has more often then not been based on tension instead of presence, trust and clarity. I remember my sister's boyfriend sarcastically saying, "We're just going to be doing this again in 5 months." That pissed me off though instead of proving him wrong or being inspired I let their lack of belief in me and the process to be right. I let other people's belief in me and my visions determine my fate.
Meanwhile, while I was in Portland I was navigating my worth with my partner as she also seemed to be mirroring back to me my own lack of self worth and where I felt most weak challenging our relationship and my own self worth. Reacting to everything. I ended up in my own bubble
Five months later My mother moved out of assisted living and I separated from my partner because I didn't think I was enough. Caving to her criticism of me and the words of a psychic. Leaving to try to be enough and help my mother (though I ended up stopping in Santa Fe on my way home where I got work a tremendous amount of work instantly and instead of going home sent them money to take care of what had to happen). I thought my mother was moving because they said they didn't want to live there any more. Because it was being bought by the Chinese or some stupid shit like that. It felt racist and ungrounded. My mom said she didn't like the food anymore. I thought the food was amazing. Nothing had changed. No different than it was before that I could see. I can see in hindsight it was because I wasn't raising the money necessary to continue to pay for my half of the housing. In the end I ended up paying for about half of it through the generous donations from her supporters. People were amazing and it gave us all an opportunity and space to try to be sovereign through December. To get back on our feet and be able to contribute while mom was taken care of and in a good space.
I remember my sister yelling at me for that. For asking people for help and taking their donations. It felt like we weren't all on the same page anymore. That we never were. I began to fold and feeling like they didn't want to do that anymore, which I couldn't understand. Meanwhile, I thought this was a win-win-win for our family. My sister didn't see it that way and had very little to do with our process. I have had a history of backing down whenever a woman gets assertive or angry. My sister in particular. It started with my mother at a young age. Always thinking that everyone else knows better then I do for me and that they are right. Seeing something I can't see. Such a bullshit story I keep telling myself. Muting myself or just exploding at her. Like this little kid. Now I just feel like it was a ploy to see what I would do completely set up with traps of regret and opportunities of abundance, expansion and growth. If I passed, chose the right thing, something different, from the heart or trust or away from reaction or fear - things flourished. If I didn't, if I gave into fear or reacted they exploded. It felt absurd. Confusing. Infuriating. I was so lost and began to feel shame for asking for financial assistance from others. So I stopped. Meanwhile, my sister moved into a wonderful facility in nearby Leland and had mom live with her in her house using mom's money to cover half of her expenses. She wanted to rent to own. It made sense even though it was strange to see her take control of all of mom's stuff including her car, bank account, will, medicines, etc. I was confused. So I stayed out of it. Avoidance was my means of handling everything.
I feel like I'm being tested all the time and always have been. To be good enough. To be a certain way. To do certain things. To do things right. Different. Better. With more love. All along the away Forgetting who I really am as I try not to do something instead of inspiring to do something. That there is a certain way I need to do something and I don't even know why it brings up so much emotion. Terror and panic. EVERY FUCKING MORNING! What is this story. What happened that is still holding on inside of me. As I bath in it I want to interview that part of me.
What are you trying to tell me?
14 months ago I remember reliving my birth again and felt the deepest level of trauma I had ever felt. I started screamed NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO .AHHHHH!!! and curled into a ball closed my eyes and grabbed my pillow for dear life.
Trapped in my body waiting to be heard. Repeating patterns until it is freed into the world. A pattern that I have perhaps been living for lifetimes. I have no idea why I am in Costa Rica. I came here based on a vision and have been moving through paradise in a state of terror all year. What is my soul wanting here? What is it trying to tell me? I had serious Deja Vu the other day which made me wonder if this is Groundhog Day. If I am repeating a pattern until I get it right. Until I am able to shift something. Like Scrooge going back in time after his heart is opened to do things differently. I have been scrooge with myself. With my gifts. With my own dreams always focusing on other people's dreams. Out of fear. Out of passion. Out of desire. I love helping others though it has also been out of avoiding myself at the same time. Help everyone else's dreams come true instead of my own. I can blame anyone else. I can list all the reasons though it is just me. Just me that has kept me from life. From being seen. From sharing. From believing in myself. Now I move through worthlessness, having left my mother when she needed me most again out of fear. Again because of my sister. or whatever other story I want to tall myself to blame someone else. I just didn't have it. This fucking poverty complex. Past life bullshit. I also wasn't able to financially support anyone. Right now I am seeing myself barely able to support myself. My system and my channel, whatever that means, just keeps saying ... keep writing. Keep writing. As much as you can. Let it unravel through your hands on to the page. Write as much as you can. So I have been. Yesterday I wrote for probably 8 hours until 5 in the morning. It just feels like I keep getting these opportunities to 'fix' things I didn't know I needed to or came here to fix. and I know the entire universe is conspiring to help me. It just all feels like a big show now that I have not been worthy of or just feels like BS. Like everyone is acting. Even my mother.
Why did I chose this? Why am I waking up with panic attacks every morning. What am I supposed to be doing though that doesn't feel right. What do I WANT to do with my life? That's what my mother used to always say. What do you want to do? Do what makes you happy Rich and Go for it! Now, after what I did to my own mother I realize that I haven't felt deserving of my dreams. Instead always fighting. Always choosing a state of suffering instead of flow and ease. Fearing I'll miss my lessons or what I came here for or that I'll get to the end and it will be over before I've finished my own story. And of course creating that all along the way. What do I want to do? Do that? I've been filled with so much shame I don't think I've been giving myself the permission to ask myself or allow myself to have what I really want. To enjoy myself when I am away from home because I left and consequently I don't deserve to enjoy my life despite all the opportunities, gifts and resources I have access to and can share as I have reduced them to meaningless nothingness, fire way to keep me form enjoying my life. My relationships. Amy was such a gift. Such love and had so much play. She was teaching me to play and get grounded and I refused to listen. I separated from her to take time to learn how to be sovereign. To be better. It was never my intention to leave her. I just felt like I was never enough. Mostly because I didn't have much money. God I loved you. I just didn't have what it took to stay in the fire long enough or to hear the fear under your words as much as the desire for me to the best version of myself for me. For us. For our family. You know what I couldn't see. I left my mother then too and kept myself in a space barely able to afford food. Since my mother's death I have progressively placed myself into deeper and deeper states of poverty. What am I doing and why am I doing this to myself? Why would I do this to what my mother created and cherished most? Her love. Her creation. As I see myself as a child, holding myself up in my arms as a 5 years old, I can easily see the perfection of myself and our relationship. All heart under everything. Seeing those two videos on the Go Fund Me remind me so clearly what had been buried underneath everything for all those years. So much love. So much. Why do we do that? Why do we do this? What are we doing? Why do we do this to ourselves?
Or perhaps in the end it was just my mother who, instead of being in an assisted living community, just wanted me to come home. Her favorite show was M*A*S*H*. She always lived near tennis courts (my youthful obsession, love and escape) and had a packed refrigerator, a body of water and a dog. Maybe she was just trying to get me to come home and I couldn't hear her.
Or my own heart.
When I see that video on the Go Fund Me of her 70th birthday (its on the bottom) I am reminded of how much love there was and is there.
Now as I sit in Costa Rica thinking I have something else to do here perhaps I just need to go home. To my extraordinary adopted heart mother/family. Perhaps to my sister and face those parts of myself.
My heart aches today.
Please talk to me.
Tell me what you want.
And I will follow.