Reaching Out

I started truly feeling like there was no one who cared about me personally and how I was feeling. My mother was crazy with work and the scary stuff going on with my brother. When she wasn’t dealing with that stuff, she was helping out my sister’s friend B and her ever growing pregnancy that she was hiding from her own parents. My father was calling and coming around less and less; after my “cocksucker” comment at our last therapy session, I could hardly blame him. Our family to him was an angry, blame filled place to be. My brother was off in another world and my sister had her friend and boyfriend to keep her occupied.

My friend Andrea was trying. She was inviting me over for sleepovers at her house often these days, even though we didn’t even attend the same school any more. Her still married, seemingly typical family made me feel comfortable, but also wistful for the crazy assed circus that I had going on at my house.

I had a new friend, Karen, who also invited me over from time to time. She also played flute in the band, and I loved her quiet house on the comfortable street. Like many people in our area, her father worked for the auto industry. Her mother had recently returned to work after staying at home with Karen and her sister when they were younger. Their house still had that quiet, neat feel that came from a well organized manager whose job it was to keep the household running smoothly. We had no such position in our house. Running the household was something my mother did when everything else she needed to take care of was accomplished.

But nobody really seemed to understand what it was like to be me. I wanted someone to listen, to tell me that all of the things going on in my life were not my fault. I wanted someone to check and see if I was OK. Some adult who noticed me and cared enough to see if I was still firing on all cylinders. Each day that passed, I felt less and less noticed, and therefore less and less present.

One day, when I was in a particularly bad mood, a letter came in the mail for me. Handwritten, the return postmark came from Montreal, Canada. Oh great, I thought, the Corey Hart people finally put a form letter in the mail for me. Still, that was something that made today different than any other day, so I opened the envelope.

Inside, there was a hand written letter. It was a response to the two or three fan letters that I’d used more like diary entries about the state of my life. I’d actually kind of forgotten about them until I saw the full two page response to my fourteen year old rantings. It was a thoughtful caring response that acknowledged my letter and showed that it had actually been read. It was signed, “Mindy Hart”.

I knew from the liner notes on Corey’s last record that Mindy was Corey Hart’s mother. Corey Hart’s MOTHER. Had written me back. And told me that things would get better, sometime. Not right away, probably. But she cared enough to tell me that they would, sometime. This woman I’d never even met was giving me what the people who saw me every day weren’t.

I couldn’t decide if that was wonderful or just plain sad. But I put the letter in my special drawer and held on tight to its words, regardless.

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