Thursday, March 11, 2010

missing in action: my mom

 mom + me: a trio framed in my bedroom

for regular readers of my blog, you know my posts often address subjects and situations that have shaped me into the individual I am today. alas, here comes another. put your seat belts on, folks.

I recently (yesterday) visited a new psychiatrist to try and work out my panic attack med situation. she was almost everything I hoped for...sweet, interested, caring...thoughtful (with a really heavy polish accent). regardless, I left her office feeling a bit hopeful. no, she didn't tell me I was ready to abolish all meds from my daily routine, but we had decided on a new course, one I couldn't help but think might work.

my point. she asked me a zillion questions (being new to me and my situation). I had dreaded the appointment knowing that I would have to give up all the little details of my so-called screwed-up childhood and early 20's. once I started relaying this info, no problem.

I related all the key facts: my father's history with panic attacks, my two trips to the ER due to my then undiagnosed condition...and, oh mother's "disappearance" from my life at, I believe 14. when I told her this, she stopped dead, "I have never heard of such thing" (read in a polish accent). yes, smack dab in my teens, my mom took off.

I suppose she had reason. when my parents separated (after 19-odd years of marriage), my sister, brother and I decided to go live with my dad because, well frankly, he fed us. my mom was going through an EXTREMELY rough time and simply forgot to take care of us. no biggie...we shuttled off to live with my dad where we got to eat chinese take-out several times a week, sleep in one room like a big slumber party and generally live life like rockstars.

the courts eventually got involved. we were all supposed to testify about our intentions to live with our father, but somehow they spared us. in any case, my mom was PISSED! we had betrayed her. we were her children. we didn't want to live with her? no, actually we didn't.

after the courts granted my father custody, my mother grew increasingly distant. she wouldn't tell us where she was living nor provide a phone number. I didn't mind at the time. I was making my way in the social maze that was high school, so whatever, right? plus, I had my older sister. she was a better mom than I could ever imagine at that point.

at some point (I can't remember when), my mom disappeared off the radar...pouffff! she was gone. I hate to say it, but many years passed by and I just wondered, "I hope she's okay. I hope she's still alive." that sounds terrible, I know, but she had vanished from my life as well...she was...gone.

I grew up. 5 feet. 5 feet 10 inches. high school graduation. NYC move #1. college graduation #1. 1st marathon. college graduation #2. biggest heartbreak #1. NYC move #2. grad school. biggest heartbreak #2. marathons #15, 16. ironman florida FINISHER! true love...found. MA graduate (degree #3). marathon #17 (PR). ultra-marathoner. success...

many people have asked me about my mom in the last 15 or so years. it's a "weird" subject for most inquirers, but for me, it's simply life. I can say with certainty that it's not a sore subject; I don't recoil when someone says, "so, how about your mom?' it simply is.

close to two years ago my brother went on a serious search for my mother (he was the closest with her and his search was definitely a sign of this). he hired a PI and went about locating her. slowly he was able to piece together her path since she left us: cincinnati to becoming a buddhist monk (my jewish mother, mind you) to shaving her head to getting remarried in colorado to...texas...somewhere.

it took the PI some time to locate her within in the great state, but eventually he provided my brother with an address. ezra (my brother) called me shortly thereafter. he wanted me to go with him and his wife. I desperately wanted to, but at that time I was entrenched in grad school, work and coaching a group with Team In Training (and scheduled to go to the next marathon to support them). I couldn't let down the individuals that were counting on me. so I declined.

he called me immediately after ringing my mother's doorbell and spending the next hour with her. one of the first things he said was that she looked good. and that her "new" husband was very sweet. and that her beautiful curly hair that we all had inherited had gone straight. and gray. whoa. really?

he relayed other info, but it's too detailed to enumerate here. I did, however, ask if she was well, truly well. my brother indicated as such, although with some reservation (my mother has always been a bit off...she certainly gave him the sense that she was not altogether well).

the visit affected him for sure...he was, after all, her "golden child"...think what you may of that. he was hesitant to provide the phone number she gave him. I prodded him for sometime but gave up eventually (sorry, but my brother can be a selfish bastard at times).

so, here I am...15 years later and mother-less...but as my new psychiatrist said to me yesterday, "my dear, you have done so very well for yourself. be proud."

yes, I am proud, dammit. I have overcome SO much adversity, yet I don't let it define me. I am just a girl in the city working, running, training for her second ironman, overcoming a mental disease and kicking ass.

I truly hope I am able to reunite with my mom sooner than later. I'm excited, actually. we have so much to catch up on...and so many hugs to give...and receive.

here's to hoping whatever is right works out as such.

I love you mom. xox


RunAmyRun said...

Wow E. That's a wild ride girl. The new doc is right though, you have TONS to be proud of. You're an amazing athlete and I loved you the minute I met you :) You're a magnet for posititvity. I hope you get to reunite with your Mom sooner than later. She's going to be amazed at you.

Christina A-BEAR said...

Your a strong amazing woman , all things happen for a reason to bring you here and now. When the time is right you will be united again . If I was in your mother shoes when she saw you again you would leave me speechless with your accomplishments.

Anonymous said...

you're so strong--every time I wander over to your blog I'm more and more impressed by you. keep kickin' ass : )

Anonymous said...

Purpleshoes said it best, every time I come over to your blog to check-in and see how you are I leave feeling more and more motivated to be the best "me" that I can be.

Be a better husband, son, brother, boss, friend, marathoner and soon Dad.

To echo the previous comment - keep kicking ass - you have so much to be proud of. Thank you for all that you do! Best from Austin, Joe

Ian said...

Growing up with this and achieving so much is a testament to you as a strong and determined character. Your words and story are both very powerful. Thanks very much for sharing with us all here. Keep being the best you can be, for you and all those you love.