Category: dealing with it


The Resentment Builds

3/2/2016 by Tama Poore

With time it ebbs and flows. The harder the day the more enraged I feel. And the resentment spews from my mouth on deepened lines of anger and a growing hatred for those who do not care.

It matters not that a salty tear breaks free from my eyelashes, and blurs the makeup I tried so delicately to apply this morning. It matters not that before the tear slipped free I was biting my lower lip between my teeth trying desperately to keep it all inside. It matters none that my body shakes internally, that my knees are trembling and my stomach threatens to send me racing to the nearest restroom.

All that matters is that they look at me blankly without fully absorbing my state of mind, my state of being. Some will say anything to shut me up. Patting my back, or holding me around the shoulders. Saying things like, “It will be okay. If there is anything I can do.” Yet that’s the last I will hear from them.

Truth is. They really can’t do anything to help, nor do they give a damn. Truth is, seeing someone cry makes anyone feel uncomfortable. Truth is they just want to get past this moment. And get past me.

I am not alone. Millions suffer our hearts coarse and our resentment building.

Throughout life we bottle it all up inside. Never truly allowed to complain. We hear things like, “Don’t let anyone see you down. Crying is for wimps. Life isn’t going to be easy. Fighting is for fools.” What does a damaged person do? You’re damned whatever you do, because if you give in to the pain you are weak, if your fight for the cause you are an idiot, or a drama queen.

Some pains aren’t mental, they truly are physical. Other pains reside at the deepest level of our core. Yet we constantly hear, “Oh, but, you’re not sick. It’s all in your head.” Yet we are supposed to see that poor ole “so and so, they are sick. They have struggles.” We need to do something for them.” And I want to. Truly, I want to help, but how can I help anyone when I am so far from being healed? When I am so mentally and physically wounded that I weep daily?

Most don’t realize how bad I ache, every muscle and fiber which makes my being is ignited with pain after I have kept it all inside for too long, but who has ever recognized this? And who shares these symptoms? How can I know, when they also keep it bottled up inside.

When you step back and look at those around you, it is a sad realization that few really care, that even fewer ever check and see if anything is wrong. There is a lot wrong, dear friend or foe. More than I can bear at times.  For me personally, each day of my life I struggle with the loss of my family life and my children who stay with their father. Do you really think I like this situation? Do you really think I want it to be like this? Yet life rolls on, and one day is harder than the next, or one day is a little better, but the pain is always inside, feeding and thriving off of the trials that life throws our way. Because life presents constant challenges.

You may ask, have you ever helped a friend or family member, have you checked on anyone? Oh, yes, so many times I have. I have also jumped through hoops. I have held my tongue to prevent hurting someone’s feelings. I have spent money I didn’t have at times to please someone else even though it strapped me financially, and rendered me in the negative in my bank account. I have called or texted or in some cases visited the ones I am concerned about. But who really cared? Who even remembers?

Not a damn soul.

And this is what has left me hardened and jaded to the point that I don’t want you to ask about me anymore, I don’t want you to give me your sympathy anymore, its 5 years too damn late!

What I wish you understood, and wish all of you knew is that my illnesses are as important as yours. My aches and pains hurt as much as yours. My financial burdens are as troublesome as yours.  And I have heard about yours. I have listened and have vented with you and shared with you and tried to offer suggestions. Did you not hear them? Or is my voice like the neighbor’s dog, drowned out by the mere repetitiveness of hearing it too much! Or do you just wish for me to listen, and not offer advice? What do you want?

The resentment builds. Mine has reached a level never attained before.

Yours may have already burst, or it may be building as we strive to survive in a cold, selfish, callused world.

Let me ask: What would you want me to do to help you?

If you ask me, what I would want, is for you to listen, and understand, and make time for me. In some small way, make a little time for me. And also, say something positive. Above all, say something uplifting. Not generic. Or lame. Say something genuine.

But it may be a little too late. Maybe it isn’t. In my torn mind and heart I can’t predict how your concern will make me feel, yet I feel a glimmer of hope that if your concern is real, that it will help me rebuild faith and restore clarity.

The resentment builds. And there are millions of others who struggle, too. We have all forgotten what it takes to make a difference in someone’s lives. Because we have become too impaired to care.

The End





When Momma Smokes. 1/10/2016. By Tama J Poore

Of course I loved it when my momma smoked, it was funnier than hell and the minutes flew by. She would dance around, parading like she was all alone in the spotlight. Where did those twirls come from?

And my Momma sang, boy did she sing. Belting out some bluesy shit, she didn’t come from Harland. But life was tough as hell back then, they did things old school. If you didn’t break your fist on that dude’s face, then his facial bones sure weren’t broken! “That’s man shit.”, I heard some of her men friends say! And Momma liked manly men.

A lot of those memories are buried. But did you know that on rare occasions buried things will rise to the surface?

I remember one night this burly man was with Momma, and I was just about to unlock the door, because they didn’t seem to have a key, what with all the noise and banging sounds they were making. But then the scouring sound of scuffling replaced the banging and I risked a peep through the eyehole, he had Momma backed up against the door. I spun around, middle finger up to the air and went back to bed.

I got so fed up with her coming home late, or sometimes not coming home at all. Well, sometimes she made it in before sunrise, but still, I was home all alone, 11 years old and worried like an 86 year old wondering when he closed his eyes if he would wake up to see another day. Or, would his conscience slip away on a long snore followed by a cough, choke, gasp….hold it!! Hold your breath.

I must be holding my breath because I can’t feel the air. I can’t clear the stuffiness from my nose. Why are my eyes tearing up and burning? Everything is burning and my lungs feel like they are going to burst! A damp hotness spreads across me and then the heat turns to cold. Like someone pulling a blanket of snow and ice over me. I can only see white. It’s the same whether my eyes are open or shut. I sense the presence of shadows, sinewy shadows with long, wavy arms. But I can’t feel them. And I can’t hear them. They move silently, are they really there?

Well, Momma is really here now. And, as mad as I was at her for leaving me alone, I am not mad anymore. Despite the morbid fantasies that play out in my mind during the anguishing hours between midnight and 4am, scenarios which involve Momma’s car leaving the road, or Momma driving into the back of an 18 wheeler, my heartbeat softens because now she is safe at home.

How could I stay mad at Momma? No one was prettier than my Momma when she was feeling carefree, her face soft and wrinkle free while her hair flows from her shoulders when she does a twirl, dancing in the memories of the bar room song. How could she do a twirl and not fall down when she is so damned drunk that piss is already trickling down both legs! Fuck! Fuck it all to hell! Oh, I want to walk away. I want to run away! I want to leave her there, already stumbling, as her nylon stockings slip on the urine in the floor. Her urine!

Disconnected images flash through my mind, I can see Momma falling hard, her head hitting the door frame. I can see her crumpling to the floor and her neck drooping, tendrils of stringy hair draping to the floor, soaking up the urine. Was that blood staining her soft, blonde hair? It sort of looked pinkish; it wasn’t a deep red, no wait! Those were tears which had picked up traces of blood. Nope, the blood was flowing from her scalp, and it was very red.

I shake it off, whatever this loathing feeling is, it has ways of creeping upon me. I hate the sickness in which it reels. It’s a dark place, a place where a sober Momma lives. Or is she living? Her face furrowed, the corners of her mouth dragging down. A few years ago the crevices between her brows formed parallel lines. Now they form an incomplete hash tag.

Is any of this my fault? If it weren’t for me she wouldn’t have to work hard labor, long hours, ruining her soft skin. She wouldn’t have to suffer, her shoulders and back aching. I will rub them for you, Momma.

Oh, the worried face of Momma. That’s when parentheses form around Momma’s mouth, and her eyebrows make punctuating commas above her eyes. The eyeliner starts to smear, she tears up so easily these days. Is that also my fault?

So, of course I love it when my mother smokes. She doesn’t piss on herself, or vomit on the floor. She doesn’t go on crying jags, and drooping drags where she falls to the floor in regretful sobs, pulling on me, weighing me down.

Nor does she go out and find a man to tickle her fancy, even if just for one night. No, the smoking Momma laughs and giggles and sings and dances, oblivious to the fact that she can’t do any of those things well. But it sure makes her pretty, smoking does. It erases the frown lines and the signs of anxiousness. It makes her stay home, where she belongs, with me on weekends. It makes her spend time with me. Time that won’t last nearly long enough.

The minutes zip by on the tails of meteors, and too soon the long week begins, with me going to school, her going to work for way too many hours. My sitter taking me home, feeding me, helping me with homework until an exhausted Momma comes home, ready for a bath, a greeting full of hugs, until she falls asleep on the sofa trying to watch the news. Each day ending the same, no deviation till laundry day and grocery shopping on Fridays, then the weekend arrives and I wonder, ‘this weekend will Momma spend it drinking or smoking?’

If it is a drinking weekend, she will seek the depressing music in a smoke filled bar, and the weekend will bring the gloom .These are the slower paced minutes of my life. The ones that are laden with weight. And time always, always creeps by slowly. Much, much too slowly. THE END