my bitternesses

I went to the funeral for the mother who ended her own life yesterday.

She was part of a mostly affluent community that I was part of when I was married to a doctor.

I felt so much frustrated bitterness during the service.

I kept thinking to myself, "what are all these bad feelings in me?"

I couldn't shake them.

I thought of many times that I acted badly around these proper and well spoken people.

I thought about my past, my childhood, growing up in a community like that but my family being so strange, so troubled, so ostentatious, so outrageous and bad.

I thought about how the conventional people were always curious about my family and were always asking the wrong sorts of questions.

I thought about how I didn't trust myself even now around these community gatherings because I had so much unresolved anger and resentment towards these people.

I talked to some friends last night after the funeral, trying to piece together what is wrong with me for having these resentments that get acted out in bad ways.

One of the things I need to do is to separate money and success from these other feelings in my mind and heart.

Ever since I left home at seventeen I have had a love hate relationship with wealth and success of all kinds.

Nobody loved nice things and flashy cars and riding horses and wearing fancy clothes more than my parents.

Like I've said before, my grandparents owned the costume shop that supplied the costumes for the Chicago Opera House productions.

They were not flashy people, but creative lovely souls who loved music and design, literature and culture.

My parents channeled all of that into a more "Wolf of Wall Street" mentality that was fraught with competitions and arrogances against others.

When my parents failed they failed in such a shocking and conspicuous way.

I was really really hurt by their failures.

They did not fail gracefully or graciously.

So I went to Northern Minnesota where almost no one's lives were about money..not in 1978 up there, not much money was to be had.

I didn't go to New York City to try to make it as an artist.

I went to Northern Minnesota to try to drop out of society completely.

I did.

But then I got frustrated with not having any comforts...including running water once the pipes froze.

I started wanting nice things and comforts. I started wanting to get dressed up and go to cool places again.

I started wanting to eat shrimp cocktails and steaks.

I started wanting to get dressed up in a brand new super nice dress with the right boots and a matching coat.

I started wanting to be around sophisticated people who were doing exotic things with their lives and who laughed a lot and drank champagne.

I eventually found my way into a new affluent community, of my own volition this time married to the doctor.

Enter all the people from the funeral yesterday.

And then I failed.

I left my marriage because the doctor couldn't understand me.

I was pretty darn hard to understand, so it wasn't his fault.

Now I wanted to get away from the competition, the superficiality.

I wanted to get away from the conventional fears and conventional expectations.

I wanted to get away from the clueless arrogance of the affluent people who were part of generations of insulated life style where they really couldn't relate to homelessness or mental illness or colossal failure.

So yesterday I drove back to the affluent community to mourn the death of another mother my age who ended her own life.

And again I felt all the feelings of bitterness and shame, I felt myself mocking their piety and their oversimplifications of the suicide story in their midst.

I felt myself hating them for their designer purses and their smooth careful descriptions of just about everything.

And I also felt my shame about failing, about not fitting in, about a string of failed marriages like a boat wake fanning out behind me; my parents, my mother, my first marriage, my second, my brother's divorce, all these failures fanning out and trailing behind me.

Bitterness welled up so much that I felt like a bad person, like a sick person, like a mentally ill person.

That's the truth.

That's how I felt.

Today's a new day and I think I can move beyond a lot of this now and have a lasting sense of peace and acceptance.

I am a broken but a happy person now.

I am grateful for my scraped together hard won happiness.

And in the new year money is my friend and I care about everyone and anyone regardless of their wealth or station in life, and that also goes for not hating the wealthy because of their wealth and successes.


Courtney Yasmineh December 18, 2018 @06:19 pm
I am only just beginning to understand this now Josephine. And I believe you are exactly right. Love.
Josephine Lane December 18, 2018 @12:38 pm
Wealth comes from within our souls.
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