First Heartbreak

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It was my mother who blew the hole in my heart.



I can still remember squirming with excitement at the upstairs window at school and seeing her outside in the playground waiting with all the other mothers. I used to want to burst with pride and passion at the sight of her. Some days she'd be wearing her mink jacket and pearls and other days huge, flared jeans with a matching, belted wrap-around jacket and red satin wedge shoes. She looked like a movie star standing out there, slender and elegant with her bobbed hair and perfect skin. NO ONE else had a mother like mine. I felt sorry for the rest and would go leaping out the door and into her arms. She'd take my hand and we'd go to her favorite café where she'd order a cappuccino and let me sprinkle the brown sugar granules on top for her and we'd share the topping like it was ice-cream. She'd ask me about my day and I'd tell stories and make her laugh.



Other times we didn't have time for tea and we'd have to rush as she was giving a yoga class. I loved that too. I'd sit at the front with her. I took it very seriously. She taught me how to massage and I would go around with her and massage backs while the students were in child's pose.



Other times we'd dance at home in the living room after school. We'd close the curtains and put on the Carpenters or Diana Ross and dance and dance and dance. She was so unhappy and I wanted to make her happy. After my father hit her she bought a camp bed and moved out into the hallway. She stayed there for three months, sleeping next to the front door. I guess it didn't need much announcing that she was going to leave soon.



She moved out but stayed in the city for almost a year living in weird places. I used to go and stay with her in various bedsits or at people's houses and worry. She had a boyfriend for a while too who I couldn't stand. Leonard. My mother said I took her hand one day and said 'Mum, I guess you have to do all that 'stuff' with him ,don't you?'. My mother said she'd never laughed so hard in her life and told all her girlfriends.



She finally left the country and moved back to where she came from, four thousand miles away across a big ocean. It was the week before my eighth birthday. Up to about three years ago I had always hated and dreaded my birthday. I never knew why. I would always be ultra sensitive about people remembering, wondering if they would, noticing who made a fuss of me and who didn't. If a boyfriend didn't know the date of my birthday or remember I lost the f***ing plot! I only put two and two together when my mother told me the story of how when she called me a week after she'd left to wish me a Happy Birthday I came on the phone and said 'Oh, I didn't think you were going to remember??'. She said she put the phone down and cried the entire night. Knowledge is an amazing and healing thing. I don't freak now when someone doesn't remember my birthday.



My mother became a medical secretary in her far away city and we never lived together again. Our family never really recovered from losing her. We each lived in a bubble. My father and brother escaped with war films and pornography, my sister became an A student, and I .... I had my top hat and cane, my tap shoes and all my routines. I was just going to keep dancin', keep laughin' and keep smilin' .....until I dropped.



I idealized my mother for most of my life. She was the fairy tale that I wanted to happen. I wanted her to come back, come back, come back and rescue me from my cruel, domineering, over bearing father (not that he was in reality....he was a hard working, loving man who was the victim of a great deal of emotional and verbal abuse himself). But in my fantasy childhood, as in my fantasy adulthood, I wanted a happy ending. I knew she never would, never could really come back but on a subconscious level, it was my secret wish. And I have found myself yearning in similar scenarios ever since.



But, with my mother, as with everyone else I have loved, more than anything, more than wanting her for myself, I wanted her to be happy. And I knew, on some important level, she was. And somewhere in there lies the paradox for me. I wanted her to be happy but being happy for her meant being without me whereas being happy for me meant being with her? That's the part I've never my whole life been able to reconcile. She loved me but chose to live far away from me every day those ten long years; 3,650 days give or take a few. 140 days together out of 3,650. I don't know if I would be able to do that. It's certainly informed how I feel about relationships now and as soon as I get into any kind of long-distance relationship... well, as you may imagine.... I don't do well with them. It opens up a wound which has never and may never heal properly.



I can't really go to an airport without remembering standing with her at the departure gate thinking I was going to throw up, panicking, feeling like I was trapped in a nightmare I couldn't wake up from, tears streaming down my face, tears streaming down hers, clutching her hand or legs unable to speak knowing it would be a whole year until I would touch her, smell her and just .. god, feel the touch of another warm body holding mine. It was too much. The pain drove me crazy and I had to block it out. If I hadn't I would have gone mad. I became something of a statue overnight somewhere around age 13. Emotionally unreachable.



So, that's a little of my early story. Art has helped, therapy also. I've been involved with a few men over the years. Frustrated the hell out of most of them because they couldn't reach me inside my four walls with all the barbed wire. I married a great friend but he was not my lover or my passion. If anything holds me back in life, from opening up, from expressing my feelings, from being who I am, it's the fear that it will be rejected, dismissed, not reciprocated or that I'll push someone away with the force and depth of what I feel. I hardly dare hope that anyone would feel enough for me to want to be with me, where I am.



I am completely and hopelessly in love with someone now. He's a clever man. Annoyingly too clever sometimes (but only sometimes...). I think he 'gets' me and that makes me feel-for the first time in my life-not alone. I cannot tell you what a difference that has made to my life. We're not in the same country and I struggle with that daily for all the above reasons. I don't know where it will lead but for now, we meet in this illusive world known as cyber space. Is it real?



Here in the reality of my bedroom where I lie in bed Day No. 5 with horrendous flu, there is always the wonderful thing known as masturbation (not that I feel like it right now) which is indeed what this website is devoted to.



And, so to remind myself of the love that I hold for ME and all the things I can do for ME I offer you this so that you will remember it too...



Thank you for reading...



---



An Ode To Masturbation



a body needs care



needs touching and feeling



ignored, it will suffer and



its needs will start bleeding



the flesh needs warm hands



it's a fact



like not smoking



lungs need good air



the way a body needs stroking



people ignore this fact



so simple so true



but the body will win



in the end



believe me, not you



the body will speak



fall apart at its peak



it knew something



you didn't



so listen up (don't freak)



do you want it to



turn and make you



regret?



not listening



not caring



choosing to forget



neglect is abuse



an assault on your person



look! your body's crying



and you're the only one



who can keep it from dying



let it love you and serve you



and trust me it will



always touch it and love it



and you'll be doing God's will



December 2005

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