She was dying. That much you’d known for years. The screams at night only stopped when she drank, so she drank. It bothered you, but she was dying and you weren’t about to deny a dying woman her only escape. You knew that if you asked she would stop, so you didn’t ask.
Near the end the alcohol stopped helping. The screams were louder than they’d ever been, and she was so very scared. You were fourteen and she was probably pushing forty, and she was screeching about death. Her liquor, her only friend, had abandoned her. And what kind of daughter were you? Once you heard her praying. She was never religious before. She praised sciences and magic but never an almighty.
“Please,” you heard her breathe, “take me please I shouldn’t be here this is wrong, please…” It hurt. You were angry. You were fourteen and your mother wanted to die.
When you were fifteen she told you she saw things. She said she felt a great loss inside of her and it had been there for as long as she could remember and when she was young she had three imaginary friends and they had left, one by one, until it was just her and her loss.
And then she found you. And you were so bright and your eyes were so big and you made it so much more bearable.
But time passed. The loss, her own personal void, grew larger and stronger. Drinking filled it with warmth and slosh and that helped too. But then it got worse. Because she heard voices and saw visions and they told her she should have died when you were thirteen. Run through with a sword and abandoned by everyone. But you, Rose. You were still there. Her visions couldn’t come true.
And that was so scary.
“I don’t know how to help you anymore, Rosie,” she wept into your hair and pulled you tight (you felt her pulse, quick, against your neck). “I don’t know what comes next and I don’t know who you become.”
And you held her just as close and refused to cry. She kissed your forehead and then your cheek and it became harder to hold back.
I started responding to a post and then my response went way beyond what was appropriate to the op, so I’m putting it here because I see this a lot on tumblr and I don’t want to invalidate anyone’s feelings, just, this once, represent the loyal opposition:
It’s hard out there for a tumblr parent, because we aren’t all like that, but then…a lot of us are and that’s so scary because you are all so great and you deserve the best, but having these challenges early could make you so much stronger in life, but that isn’t what you want/need to hear right now and I just want to hug all of you. I am sorry parents are imperfect, but they are just people and one day you will be a person too that may become a parent and you’ll be imperfect and see how damned hard it is to raise a child and know you are screwing it all up and shed more tears than your kids will ever know because you want to be strong for them and not let them see the pain and how bad you are screwing things up and you just hope in the end they’ll see you did your best and you loved them and that they’ll forgive you. That’s not to invalidate anyone’s feelings, but tumblr is sorta one-sided in the whole parent/child arena and most of you aren’t parents and haven’t raised a kid and had to watch them make mistakes and watch their pain and wish you could do anything to make it stop. You haven’t sat up all night when they were sick, you haven’t worried over their future in an uncertain economy and an indifferent world. You haven’t had to wrack your brains looking for ways to explain to them that you don’t exist just to be a pain in their ass, you are trying, in your flawed and imperfect way, to teach them the skills they will need to navigate as adults because you aren’t always going to be there and when you aren’t there won’t be anyone to protect them and take care of them and they’ll have to do it on their own. So yeah…parents are all a pain in the ass and ruining your lives and all that but…they are also people, so just, know, try to remember that sometimes, okay?
@ that steven: hey, it's not your fault rosemom did what she did. kids don't choose to be born. i'm sure pearl loves you tons, and that everyone else does, too. i'm probably biased, but, know i love ya, kiddo! i hope you feel better soon. -stevonnie