The big day arrived. I forgot who I told and what I told them. I pulled my car onto the lawn.
I packed into the car anything I thought I would need, books, clothing and food, in that order of importance. I don't remember what exactly I said and how I explained myself to my parents. I do remember feeling like there was no explanation necessary because if they had understood my need and my immense pain, I probably would not have gotten into this chaotic state in the first place and if they didn't understand, there was no explanation that would make it clearer. It was pretty painful to have to leave. For so long, I had thought that somehow, this home would provide me with the strength and security I needed, what a mistake. It was hard to imagine that now I would have to find what I was looking for on my own. I wished it could have come from them. Oh, how comforting it is to imagine that someone else could have relieved my from my pain and indecision. I do remember hugging my mother. She cried. I had spent the last couple of months of my stay at home, locking her out of my life. Please don't talk to me. Please give me a break. I didn't quite understand why this was necessary but it felt like an absolute must. We had grown very close. Actually, it was not quite my choice. For years, she had used me as the source and object of her love. She gave me everything she could even if I didn't want it. She didn't have anyone else who was docile enough to receive her abundant love without objection. We had had this kind of close relationship from before I knew what mothers are for and what she should be doing. It made perfect sense to me that I should help her and try to keep the family afloat. I felt useful. It didn't dawn on me that there was nothing I could do to help the family and keep her sane. I didn't realize that it was beyond me, so I tried to keep my brothers frum and keep my sisters from misbehaving and advise my mother how to treat my father, so that he wouldn't get so angry. I was a great marriage counselor, the only problem was that I wasn't paid, my advice didn't work (maybe that's why I wasn't paid), and I did it at the cost of loving myself and spending time with myself. Other than that, it was a perfect arrangement. I never realized how my mother had her claws, her fangs and her needs wedged into my heart in a way that made me obliged to sustain her being with the very essence of my soul. I had to give up my ability to choose and be me in order to hold her up. Why couldn't she do it herself? No, I never thought about that because this was the only way of life I knew. My position, job and function in the family was to keep her heart alive, and keep her from dying. I just couldn't watch her die. If she would die, then I would die. My life was built on the passionate mission to keep my mother alive. Yes of course, that is impossible, so it was a project prepared for failure but I had to try. I couldn't watch her crumble. Who can stand by and watch their mother fall apart and die? Is there a greater pain than that? So try I would, until the pain of forgetting my own will and soul got so great that I just had to kick and punch. I had to be defiant. I did things that I never thought possible. Who was that person standing up for himself, his space and his time? I don't know who taught me to do that because I had never known that strong part of me. Who taught me to respect my space? Surely no one around me. But never the less there arose from within and angry and assertive young man. No, assertive was not the right word because many times assertiveness can be molded with kindness. Here, I was not kind anymore, I was angry. I was fed up. I was 21 years old now. I had begun to realize how much time and energy had been sucked out of me. I had begun to feel that the object of my kindness, my mother, was truly and deceptively, my greatest enemy. I had to face the fact that she was the greatest intrusion to my sanity and destroyer of my independence. I tried to suffocate the feelings. I separated from her but still found it hard to imagine that she is really terrible. That would mean that my mother, the most lovely and nurturing source of my life, is actually a vampire. How can that be? How can I believe that? If that is true, who can I trust? Is there anything right in this world? What does that mean? Have I been robbed? (of course). Have I ever been loved? What is love anyway? Perhaps, all the facts and experiences that I have encountered must be questioned and doubted. Of course the earth was beginning to shake. So many facts and givens had been feeling weak and on the verge of collapse. I seriously didn't want to wait around. I just wasn't interested in seeing how things would unfold. I didn't have the strength to hear what went wrong. My mother is a sick woman who is deeply committed to self growth. She always had a meaningful and deep explanation for her behavior. I was sick of it. It was over. I just couldn't hear it anymore. I just had to go. Yes, I imagined the open road that waited for me. I hoped that it would somehow sooth the rough edges, quiet the chaos and allow the wounds to heal. Oh, please, open road, I will see you soon. Soon, just a few more minutes, I know the directions to the highway, I have food. I know the way and soon we will be together. Long open road, I need you so badly. I just want space. I need time. I don't even know what I need just a long open road and some sunshine to figure out why I'm in so much pain. With that I hugged my mother. To me, her tears seemed to be more the concern over how she would live without me as her lover. I don't know how much true mother-son missing there was in those tears. It was an awkward hug so I was glad that it would be the last one in a while. I was done with so much awkwardness. I was ready for things to begin making a little sense.