I can't sleep. It is raining on Skid Row. Of course, it is raining everywhere else.
However, when one lives down here you tend to think there is no where else but Skid Row. You can not see beyond it. Everything else seems out of reach most of the time.
I was told I could write mom. I rushed to tell a few people the good news and the first thing I heard from all of them is I will get in trouble if the court finds out. They told me to be careful. Mom and I became so close. I sit here and have to worry about even writing to her. one attorney and police officer see all of the time where a person is told to do something by another and then that person, who granted them the permission, gets mad at the person, and calls the police and the person is off to prison, violating a court order. They did remind me that the person called the police on me once before.
There is nothing more than I would rather do than write mom. I would write her all day long. I would love to carry on where we left off in the talks we had of history and the different things she told me of her childhood. She told me things that I needed to know to know myself. It took her over 50 years to work through her demons and 10 years for me to work through mine for her to be able to tell me and for me to be able to listen. I helped get through hers by getting through mine. It was very symbiotic, in a sense. I know things now that answer questions, many questions. My sister may have the same questions, maybe not. I did and they haunted me all of my life.
I NEVER EVEN SAW A PICTURE OF MY GRANDFATHER UNTIL 3 YEARS AGO. MY mother had them all of the time. But it was painful for her, I guess. I did not know my grandfather was murdered until three years ago. I know my grandmother died from an assault. So in effect, she was murdered.
Something that seems so easy in theory, to write my mother, is so complicated in application. I have to hear all of these things from people. "Didnt't your sister call the police on you to put you in jail last year?" "Did she ever ask you what happened?" "Walter, you see men and women, every day, down here, who are told it is ok to do something only to experience, later, that very same person turning on them. You know 8 people that have gone to prison because of breaking a restraining order because they were told it was ok". And that is the sad truth.
This whole problem started because of no communication. Something that was thought to be a problem, drugs, was no longer a problem. Mom knew that. No one else did. My sister did not know it because we never talked. And that is sad.
Now I am giving permission to write and I experience spasms from remembering being handcuffed. That is how the system swallows you up. This is an example how the system discourages family togetherness. What am I to do? Write her and wonder if something will go wrong or not write my mom and both suffer? Alot of this can be taken care by communication.
Communication builds trust and confidence. My mother and I worked hard at it. My mother never apologized to me for anything until three years ago. She used to show me that she was sorry after she would erupt by buying me something.
It was a cycle. She broke that cycle one day and apologized to me for something that happened. "It is ok , mom." "NO, walter, it is not ok. I should not say those things to you." That was a sign to me that she had battled alot and witnessed that I battled alot and we both won. She could trust me to listen to what she had to say. She never felt that what she had to say was important to me and I gave her strong reason to believe that. Then it took years for her to believe that it was important. I had to show her in ways other than tell her. I had to live by a standard and I proved to her that I was. Believe me it took a long time.
But she saw that I was serious and she grew to trust me.
When we started out, she would yell at me for taking out the trash or for trying to wash the clothes. It would hurt. I had to understand it was not me, it was her pain and I was the release valve. On the other side, she was probably thinking that I should concentrate on other things instead of what I was doing.
I could not figure why should put so much time into gardening and would not clean out the clutter in the house. The house was a house and not a home.
Why she would not let me do it? She was a depression era child. She was a foster child. She had control issues because she could not control her envirnoment when she was young. She was aging and elderly people fight to maintain control of their life, something that they fought so hard to do all of their life. Control and security. She was abandoned. She was divorced and that cut to her core with deep wounds. Her son abandoned her in ways that he, me, did not know. I did not leave her. I was loyal. But I left myself. I allowed something invisible, to grab my soul and abandon my being.
It was too overwhelming for her to do it alone and she did not trust that I could do it. After all, I did not inspire confidence.
Then the long process started. I was determined to turn our house into a home.
I had to communicate with me. I had to find a home inside of myself first.
That inspired my mom to do the same. It gave her strength. She stopped yelling at me about the trash. She started yelling at me about something else. That was ok for me because it signaled that we were on the next level. I could identify it in her because I could identify it in me through the plethora of levels through which I had to go.
The last five yards abandoning the drug were the hardest. I had marched down that football field. I was now within scoring range. There were a thousand miles to travel within that 5 yards. I went through it with lot s of work and persistence.
I mastered the art of communication with myself. Honesty was the most important.
Mom became honest with herself. She became honest with me about her fears. She told me things I never even thought about. How she felt cut off because I closed the door. I started to keep the door open. It was about communication.
We learned how to do it with ourselves and togehter. IT was taken away.
Now the system says I can't do it. My sister is probably wondering why I have not written my mom. I anguish over that. It probably seems simple to her.
It is, from one stand point. IT is simple with potential repercussions from another.
The system gobbles up families. IT prevents the creation of trust. IT prevents that creation because it prevents communication. IT feeds on the virus of resentment that has grown to flourish inside of an individual and perpetuates itself without the interdiction. Why? Because the tools of trust are taken away.
I do not know what to tell my sister. The attorneys say ask her to life the restraining order. Sounds simple to them. It is not simple to me. If I ask her to do that she will recoil and cringe. I want communication and understanding. I want to be able to build trust.
I had to build the trust of myself by training for the triathlon. I had to build up the confidence that I canm, indeed, return to myself. I was building.
I was building a home inside of myself and my mother started letting me build a home.
She gave me the cart blanche to return it to a place of warmth and openness.
My sister, of course, does not know that. She believes a problem was still there that was not.
I take blame for developing the situation. I also made great strides in changing it.
Herulean strides. I was rewarded because it. She gave me the torch. She trust me to clean the house. She trust me to go take care of things. We developed so much. But no one talked to us. I saw things happening in mom that I was growing to understand more everyday--one of which was the varying ways dementia takes hold and it can take hold in a split second and leave the next, just like a head ache or toothache. One day my sister and brother in law walked in and I was in my room ranting. the only time in years I was. My sister thought I was ranting about mom.
I was not. However, it is true that I was frustrated that day. Mom slipped into a alzheimer's moment. I did not understand it until later. She became mean spirited and did not want me to have my diploma. I needed it for a job.
Mom says I listen to the news and got mad. Yes, I did. But not at her. but what my sister does not understand was that our mother personalized everything. It is just like my sister says that mom accuses her or she still gets this or that from mom. IT is not mom's fault. You have to understand the root. Mom learned to understand the root. That was what the last few years were about and she did not know how to express what she learned. She was learning. She found the root by expressing to me after learning how to speak to herself. She discovered why she was unable to let go. Of course I helped her by letting go of a deadly virus that kills, drugs. That is why she let me take control of things.
That is why her room was cleaned out. That is why the porch and other rooms were cleaned out and the kitchen cleaned out with the pantry cleaned out.
IT took years. My sister saw those work boots of rubber and probably asked what they were. I worked around that house and I did everything, Inside and out. Those rubber boots were a part of my restoration outfit.
"Walter, just write your mom", a person says. IT is not that easy. I have fear.
I remember standing outside when my sister and mom argued. It hurt to be handcuffed and to see that. It hurt to see such misunderstanding. It hurt to hear my mom accuse my sister. I defended my sister. Mom would listen and then revert back. I would defend some more. I did whatever it took. I understood.
I understand that I have fear now. I understand that it should not be like this.
I understand that my sister made a gesture. Why? I do not know. I would rather not assume. I would rather communicate. That is not in my control.
It is a painful thing to have City Attorneys call me for my opinion, to have LAPD officers ask me to speak to their officers and students, to have LA Times Editorial board members respect my opinion and analysis on complicated matters and seek me out to hear them. I would not have the insight if it were not for others taking the time to communicate with me things that took them years to understand after much observation.
I can not turn my relationship with my sister into a home of warmth and undertanding. It is a house. I do not know what to do to tear down the old stale wall paper of misunderstanding and put on a fresh coat of paint that symbolizes understanding and a freshness of beginning. It is a matter of trust.
My sister has my phone number. I lost my phone the other day. I spent twice as much money for the same number in hopes that she may call it. Each ring, I hope it is she. It never is. IT is someone else who respects and trusts me. It took a long time for me to figure out that I hurt my sister. How could I know if we did not talk to her. I was used to not talking to her because I was never around her. It was the only thing I knew.
I have a friend in Philadelphia. He and his sister were friends. She was his harshest critic but that is ok. He needed that. But they were always hanging out together. I used to wish I was in California so I could do that with mine. I never talked with him about that. I always wished I had the same relationship with mine that he had with his. That was one of the reasons I moved back home. She does not know that. She won't until we talk. I wont learn stuff about hear until I am able to listen. Communication is everything.
I have to go to the court to ask for permission to write. IT seems rediculous to have them have so much power over a family that is equipped to work out our own issues. The malignancy was cut off a long time ago. I took care of that. I took care of that permanently. It took a long time. But it is everlasting. No one can argue with the results. I am still substance free. That is proof enough.
Each moment gives what I say longevity. I have to go. An official wants to speak to me. He wants to communicate and learn. I want to learn and communicate as well..
good morning world, I love you.