I am still sick about the untimely death of Prince. As details emerge, it brings back a lot of the feelings from Michael Jackson’s death and the pain and suffering of so many other talented musicians, and actors who died too young, it would seem, from merely trying to medicate their pain. Prince, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Winehouse, Heath Ledger, Chris Farley, Robin Williams, Margaux Hemingway, Kurt Cobain, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe… and so many many more. Some of these people we knew had issues with drugs, some we didn’t. It is not our place, we the public, to know everything about everyone, even celebrities. I can only hope and pray that all those musicians and celebrities and those we know personally get the help they need when they need it. It is up to each of us to take care of ourselves and hopefully surround ourselves with people who truly love and care about us. Life is short, and life is hard.
For years whenever I heard the R.E.M. song ‘Everbody Hurts’ I thought of my brother-in-law, Blue Eyes’ younger brother. I knew he was in pain. I knew he struggled with over indulgence (addiction) and wildly erratic mood swings and self-destructive behavior (Bi-Polar disorder). So much like my own sister. I would hear the song and think of him and even say to myself, “yes, Uncle D, everybody hurts, sometimes. Hang in there.” I even said it to him a couple times when he opened up to me. After Uncle D took his own life, I would be wracked with sobs when hearing the song. To me it so literally represented him. There I sat, next to my husband crying over a song I associated with his brother and not knowing at all that Blue Eyes was also suffering. Of course I knew he was suffering from the pain of losing his little brother, but I had no idea about his other secret pain. He was suffering horribly with childhood wounds, feelings of being unworthy, feelings of shame, guilt, and even horror at his own actions. He did bad things, but he didn’t really understand why. As painful as it is to deal with people with overt mental illness like Uncle D and my sister, when the truth is revealed about people like Blue Eyes, it is much more devastating. Hearing and absorbing the lies is like being punched in the gut, over and over, like the feeling of not being able to catch your breath, like an out of body experience, but with excruciating mental and physical pain. We mourn death as a natural progression of life, even if that life is cut short. But being betrayed by the one we love most. It’s not natural.
Our younger son has been having nightmares. We shared some of our nightmares together, trying to figure out the why. He said he doesn’t remember ever having nightmares before finding out his father lied to him. Finding out we have been lied to so regularly and so convincingly, alters our reality. It feels like standing on a rock that is constantly moving and there is a deep cavern of emptiness all around the rock and you never know when you are going to slip off that rock and fall into the endless pit. The truth though, we, me and The Peacemaker, have a more solid foundation from which to deal with this kind of betrayal. We will be okay. Blue Eyes, on the other hand, has lived on that rock his whole life. He is slowly, carefully building a bridge to firmer ground. We are building that bridge with him.
This will always be about the lies. The acts of infidelity and betrayal will always be the symptom. Blue Eyes was never who he presented to us. The costume he wore was elaborately woven from the pain of years of abuse and feelings of worthlessness. His pain is similar to that of many others, his drug was lust and sex. He felt like if he had to live another day in the lies, he would die.
Fuck it, people! Let your loved ones in. All the hurt, all the pain. I want these people back. These lovely lovely human beings. I want them all to have the chance to live without pain, but I selfishly want them to live without pain here, with me, in this life. I hate that their pain caused them all to reach for a drug. I am grateful I still have Blue Eyes. I am grateful for every day, and for every day with him.
Life is not fair. All we can do is the best we can with what we were given. I am grateful for today.