I usually film ‘behind the song’ videos for my songs when they come out, telling you the stories behind them. I tried filming the one for ‘Grieving’ like 15 times today and just hated it each time, so I hope you don’t mind that I’m typing it out instead. A lot of times I can write a song and feel better about a situation, I’ll feel as if i’ve said all I needed to. But then other times, I still feel like I have a lot to say and if I don’t say it, i’ll combust. This is one of those times. I’ve been wanting to talk about this for a while but I’ve just been too nervous and scared, but now feels like a good time. This topic is talked about, but I don’t think it’s talked about enough, and I always wanna shed light on things that are important to me in hopes that it makes even one person feel less alone. I hope this post and my song can do that.
A year ago today, my mom left us. She told us she wasn’t happy here, packed her bags, and left. She promised she would come back, but she never did. In my heart I knew she wasn’t going to come back, I could just feel it. And as the months went on, she never came back. Things just got worse.
Ultimately the reason she left was because of her alcohol problem. She chose alcohol and freedom over having a family. Growing up with an alcoholic parent is a really tricky, sad, and difficult thing, and something that I’ve wanted to speak on for a while. Teresa and I spent our childhood/teenage years trying to stop it. We would pour out the beer bottles, hide her keys, guard the doors so she couldn’t leave, drive her to the store so she wouldn’t drunk drive. We did so many different things to try and stop the problem for literally years. Looking back now, nothing we did would have stopped her or could have stopped her.
One of the hardest things I’ve had to learn throughout this whole thing is that some people are going to destroy themselves no matter how much you try to help them-- and sometimes that person is your parent. I spent so long trying to justify what she did because she’s my mother… but it’s okay to admit that your parent isn’t perfect and that they’ve done fucked up things. It’s okay to stop making excuses for them.
Back in October, I was at a session with my therapist and I was telling her how upset I was. I kept saying that it felt like my mom was dead even though she isn’t, that it felt like such a big part of my life was missing. In a lot of ways, I felt like I was dealing with a death. Twenty one years of my life felt like it had just been ripped away from me, but I haven’t gotten the closure that you can get with death. I feel like I’m waiting for the police to call saying they found the body but there isn’t a body because my mom isn’t dead. (I don’t know if that makes any sense). That’s when my therapist told me that you can grieve the loss of someone that’s still alive. When she told me that I was SO confused because I’ve only ever heard grief referred to when mourning someone’s passing. I was almost mind fucked, I don’t know why but I just couldn’t wrap my brain around it. I still have trouble accepting it. That’s how this song was born.
I wrote this to try and make sense of what I’m feeling. I spent so long being angry and resentful, then one day everything else hit me like a ton of bricks. I feel like i’m experiencing the five stages of grief all at the same time.
No matter how my relationship with my mom turns out, no matter the amount of times my therapist and dad tell me it isn’t my fault, I think I’ll spend my whole life trying to find the reason she left. I’ll spend my whole life trying to cope and forget. This song is just a small part of that, and I really really hope you enjoy it or maybe even find comfort in it.
I’m sorry that I haven’t released much this year, I had a lot of plans to. But I’m finally ready to start sharing again and I’m very very excited.
Thank you for listening and being patient. :)
Love you with my whole heart,