Part 1 of the Black Years
Part One of Amanda's Wright's Story
My encounter with Rachel was demoralizing. There is just no other way to describe the effect of this blow.
At the time I still had to get myself to the car. Granted I had a person on each side of me steadying my fatigued frame but I was still the one carrying the bulk of the burden and this blow hit me so hard I couldn't breathe let alone walk.
I have always had an uncanny ability to dig down deep and get myself through when I thought I had nothing left. Where those reserves come from is beyond me. I am just glad that they are there. They have saved me more times than anyone should need saving but it was necessary to tap them again to keep my feet moving so I could get myself to the car.
There is no doubt that to accomplish this, I swallowed hard and stuffed my feelings just as I have done so many times before. It is the only way I know to tap into that inner strength that gets me through but it comes with a price when the pain stays stuffed down like it has during these 2 years of hell.
On this day swallowing the pain kept me moving enough to make my way out of the barn but I was no longer studying my feet. My priority was now changed from walking safely to avoiding another assualt on my fragile heart so I was now watching for any sign of my granddaughter.
I don't know if this was to avoid another encounter or for the purpose of reconnaissance. If there was more to know about her motivation or intent maybe it would help me understand or maybe it would finally be enough for me to quit hoping and let go. I guess I would know which if my vigilance had resulted in another glimpse of Rachel but when I got outside the barns she was nowhere to be seen.
For a brief moment I thought the torment was over. Then my daughter, Colleen, emerged from the next barn aisle. She was laughing and joking with someone behind her until she spotted me. Then her expression changed immediately from bright and happy to caught and evasive.
It only took Colleen an instant to decide how she would deal with this situation. She quickly glanced around to see if anyone was watching. There were a few people sprinkled around tending to the tasks that are part of showing horses. I doubt anyone was paying attention to a sickly mother and her estranged daughter crossing paths but Colleen was taking no chances. Worried about appearances she smiled a fake smile and flagged her hand in an awkward wave saying, "Oh!.......hi" as she literally dove forward and then ran out of my line of sight.
Her behavior was so odd she drew attention to herself when that is exactly what she wanted to avoid. Those nearby, drawn away from their tasks by this strange display, looked puzzled. Instead of resuming what they'd been doing, they followed her retreat looking for clues to explain what they had witnessed. Neither Sheryl nor Amanda knew Colleen so they were as puzzled by her behavior as the other onlookers. Only when they heard she was my daughter did they understand the purpose of her phoney acknowledgment of my presence.
Certainly I had not expected to see my daughter anymore than I had expected to cross paths with Rachel. Even once I saw Rachel my thinking had not advanced beyond wondering where Rachel might have gone. Colleen's sudden arrival into my field of vision had not surprised me, however, since she tends to keep her kids close. Her behavior didn't surprise me either since I have been the brunt of her cons long enough to know she is more concerned with how others perceive her than she cares about me.
In actuality when it comes to me Colleen's goal is to wound me as deeply as possible while convincing others that she is innocent. She is a master manipulator so she has been very successful at pulling this game off....at least initially so this behavior designed to make it look like she cared about me was typical although certainly not effective. The only one who bought her act seemed to be her.
I imagine she probably followed it up by telling anyone who would listen some excuse for why she couldn't stay to talk since that would be typical as well. Either way this experience was a good reminder of what kind of a daughter she has chosen to be and that I need to revise my expectations. I doubt there are any loving gestures from this daughter in my future.
After being on death's door with not even a phone call to learn my condition, you might think I would know better than to hope for anything more. On some level I get that and the farther away I have gotten from this experience the better I see.
Everywhere we hear life is about family and love and that family sticks together through thick and thin. Dave and I have always tried to live that way. Our lives centered around raising our kids and putting their needs before ours so I don't understand any of this. Even now, just writing about it, feels like being run over by a bus.
Looking back at this horse show, I realize that once again during my illness I received more kindness from strangers than I received from those you would think would have been there for me. This horse show I attended to build up my spirits really flattened them and added to an already burgeoning load of emotional baggage. The state of my health a rich breeding ground for all manner of destruction and these wounds from this horse show certainly played a role in keeping me knocked down. I can't even begin to express glad I am that these events are in my past.
To be continued...........
What Could This Mean?