It’s comin’ on Christmas….I don’t feel that intense Blue-zee anxiety that I used to feel around this time. That drunken sad girl has moved on.
I remember sitting in my apartment on Dorchester. It was my first apartment away from my mother. When was that? The 1970’s for sure. I must have been eighteen, at least. Maybe seventeen? It was a time when I was pretty angry with my mother. She had given me some ultimatum. Some, ‘NOT UNDER MY ROOF’ ultimatum. So, I moved out.
I was working as a waitress at The Medici. Man oh man, I thought that I had it all figured out. A train wreck waiting to happen. In the meantime there was my perfect all together life. I danced at Columbia, worked at The Med and dated / lived with an older guy that was a mirror of my mother’s dysfunctional relationships. I had cash. My cash earned by me.
So, there was Joni Mitchell and her album Blue. She spoke to me so intimately. I’m sure that I wore out the groves. Sitting in my butterfly chair drinking wine and crying. Seems funny now. To me anyway. Funny how dramatic and over the top. It took twenty more years to start to unravel that mess of a gal.
Here now, at almost sixty five I see the vast sweep of my life. There is a different anxiety. More of an existential ‘what’s it all about’ kind of curious anxiety. The drama is passed. Looking at those early days is kind of embarrassing. What on earth was THAT all about? Of course I know. Early childhood trauma, abuse, neglect. Then a violent kidnapping and rape. Drinking saved my life for a very long time. No doubt about it.
I remember telling a therapist that so and so had really broken my heart. She said, “Jami, your heart was broken a very long time ago. That guy didn’t break your heart”. I see that now.
I have been doing the work of mending my heart. It’s a long and winding path. The phrase ‘self care’ is very popular now a days. I hesitate to toss it out here but, that’s what it takes. Lots of self care. I got myself sober & made all the mistakes of growing up starting at thirty eight.
Whew, what started this this morning? My phone reminded me that tomorrow is the anniversary of my dear friends Jody’s passing. Eight years ago. We were long time pals from ‘those days’. Then I was at a holiday party the other night. There were some more of the survivors of our younger days. We lost so many. One very recent. The sister of my best friend from eighth grade. It was wonderful to chat with her brother.
Then on Facebook I saw photos of another notorious pal in Thailand. Sober and touring the temples. Feeding his soul. Mending his heart.
So, drinking my tea and contemplating this day. In this place. I am grateful. To feel safe. To have come so far in the mending of my broken heart.