Monday morning update: Sar interrupted her blogging break to post on 9/11. It reflects my feelings.
Let me get real here.
I haven’t stopped crying since I woke up this morning and got the paper.
There is much that I want to say but don’t dare to. Yes, me, who will say anything. Don’t want to make people feel badly today.
Think about how New York is a totally changed city.
It’s been five years. I contacted every agency, from the highest federal to the “lowest” local. I contacted religious groups, community centers, and more. Not one person got back to me.
Not tooting my own horn here, but I am articulate. Have written grant proposals for others that were accepted.
Will never understand why not one person got back to me when I a Licensed Social Worker asked for support groups for people who lost loved ones around the time of the attack but not in the attacks.
I am no longer mourning my Mother. I understand that death would have come one way or another within a few years.
I am mourning how worthless I felt when I literally begged for help.
I wasn’t cut any slack when I would get third notices of bills I didn’t know I owed. We had limited mail service for months because of Anthrax.
When I asked the man from The New York Times if they would hassle a family member for payment of an obit I tried to pay when I put it in–or should have had the funeral home put in–he slipped and said: “of course not.”
I was in deep mourning but wasn’t cut any slack from anybody. It did change me. I am becoming me again—but on days like today….
We have never been given the opportunity to tell our post 9/11 stories. Was it just last week that it was finally acknowledged that first responders might have shortened life spans?
It was a perfect late summer weekend. We walked uptown to the West 100’s, the true new Upper West Side, and want to a French Bistro for a late lunch, the uptown Cafe Con Leche for cafe con leche.
We laughed and explored. We had all moved to the Upper West Side to be in a neighborhood like this and now we had to walk more than a mile to find our old neighborhood resettled.
We do have Riverside Park. We have beautiful buildings. We even have solitude as long as we stay on Riverside Drive.
We didn’t think about 9/11. It is too often in the news in New York. When every day is 9/11 day, what does the anniversary mean?
Why should we spend this rarest of gifts, a great weather weekend, not luxuriating in it?
The weather is different than it was that year. It’s too humid to have the clear blue skies and it is warmer.
That last perfect Sunday, I was on my friends, the soap stars roof deck. I looked for my house and the houses of all our friends. I forgot to look downtown. Yes, I have felt guilty about that. As if had I just looked….
Five weeks later I would lose the don’t hate us because we’re beautiful, smart, funny, rich, recognizable actors family’s friendship, plus other friendships as I was a bitch who did demand sympathy, when perhaps my friends couldn’t take more tragedy.
The don’t hate us…were the friends who counted. We went on most of our vacations together along with Lucia and Little Luce.
I made up with Lucia quickly. Our lives have been too intertwined for almost 30 years. We love each other, plain and simple. We are family.
Yesterday we ran into don’t hate us’s….now sixteen year old daughter. She took my breath away. We hugged and talked. I had played a large part in her life for almost a decade; most of her life, and I have always felt that she thought I deserted her.
Couldn’t help wondering if I should apologize to her Mom for being a bitch after my Mom died. But they were from my pre-9/11 life.
I can’t take part in the 2996 project, but I do support it. We should remember the lives of the victims, not their deaths.
We all remember that too well.
I woke up, turned the radio on and Claudia Marshall, the WFUV morning disc jockey said “turn your TV on.” I didn’t think to question her but turned the TV on. Then the rest of the day happened.
Every day I would have CNN on with the sound muted and listen to WFUV‘s “songs for healing.” They archived under the date from 9/11-9/14..
I loved it, but I did go to a Fordham grad school in large part because any school that had FUV….I just tell people that. There were other reasons, I think.
I have spent much money at Fordham, and some years join the radio station twice out of some misguided guilt.
I assume that I thought that gave me the right to complain. Nobody was actually thinking clearly. Our city had been attacked, and we knew we had to become like Londoners during the blitz. Finally understood why I had been I had been obsessed with the blitz when I was a small child.
One morning when every song seemed to contain the word “Jesus,” I went on no sleep, too much caffeine overload, and emailed her to play some other songs.
I love the music she played, and have nothing against any song with the word “Jesus” in it. But that was the only word my brain could process.
I was the idiot that Michelle made fun of on air and I probably deserved it, but…..
Several months later another DJ called several times to ask me to do a Public Service Commercial, (PSC). They were on anti-Jesus binge.
No, I had written a letter in support of their building a giant tower near an ugly moldy smelling reservoir, in the Bronx that I would pass each morning on the way to my job at SSI.
He was so sweet and I wanted to say “but I was the idiot….” I didn’t and did the PSC. Couldn’t listen to the radio the entire time the PSC was on, and told nobody. Of course, I no longer had as many friends. It would have been a short list.
I began a new life as a free-lance writer and sold over 50 articles in the first two years. Then I took that writing class where almost everybody liked and wanted to know me, but my non-linear style was presented as a problem that couldn’t really be overcome.
My judgement was off. I believed that they had my best interests at heart because I so needed new friends. The friendships were short lived, and except for one, truly inconsequential.
Do believe that I have become a stronger better person. Not because of everything that happened, but because it would have happened anyway.
My life had changed in every way in the ten years before 9/11. To deny that, and to blame all the changes on proximity to Ground Zero would be absurd. But it did play a big part.
I’m not sure that I want to analyze the parts 9/11 played and didn’t play. I just want to get on with my life.
I no longer believe that my writing is worthless. Did always understand that there was some jealousy because my talent was obvious.
I decided to pretend that I could easily lead an almost solitary life with fewer friends, and eliminate the possibility of love reentering my life.
I have spent this entire past year attempting to break through my defenses. I know the steps that I need to take to move forward. They are big steps as opposed to the baby steps I have been taking.
I have always had one real goal. To write books. I only began to believe that was a true possibility four and a half years ago. Then I listened too much to the words people said, and not the silences between the words.
I was saved by my blog. Another simple fact. I discovered that people who didn’t know me actually enjoyed my writing, and even my style. That allowed me to rediscover my natural vitality.
I once again became the friend that people wanted to see. Not out of duty, but because I can turn mundane daily life experiences into something bigger. I can make my friends laugh until their stomachs hurt.
I am me again, and damn, I like it. At times I move back into self-pity. But that’s one of the wonders of having a blog like mine. I can cry into it, and then it’s over.
9/11 took my life and the events that had happened in the prior decade and spun my life so fast, I felt that I couldn’t get out of the spin cycle for years.
As usual, Frank Rich says things more eloquently than I could ever hope to.
If I am to remain in this most expensive of all cities, in an apartment most 25 year olds in the rest of the country would reject, I need to move forward fast.
As I do need to move forward, I will be having guest bloggers for the next four weeks.
Moving forward is the only way that I can honor the memories of the people who died, and more personally important, honor the memories of my parents.
I edited out everything that was strong and unique about this post. I edited out so much, not in the name of limiting words, but in the name of not coming across as a person who understands the need for Americans to have heros, but can’t accept it.
Please remember that the people who died were the named heros and that their families were the named victims, but many more people suffered.
Someday, maybe, if we are lucky, it might be politically correct to talk about it
I often wish that I had a cute 9/11 story such as; I met my spouse when buying supplies for Ground Zero workers, not a this-really-wouldn’t-have-made-me-crazed if my Mom hadn’t died. Hate that story yet seem to need to constantly restate it
I write rather eloquently. Yet not one public official I contacted after ever responded to my letters begging for support groups. I wasn’t irrational nor angry in these letters. Leave that for my blog.
Yes I am healing. But I will always be cynical, jaded and distrustful of elected officials, people who work for government agencies, and I used to, and anybody who works in a supposed helping agency.
New York City should be doing everything that it can to keep current residents in the city, instead of giving tax incentives for new building. Yesterday a study showed that New York is being over built by 25%.
At what price to the people who already live here? Coop owners are in the worst position really. We can’t break a lease and just leave. My building is about 62% coop owned and the rest of the apartments are rent controlled or stabilized.
My maintenance can go up as much as the board deems necessary. I pay so my downstairs neighbors can own a summer house. My maintenance is fast approaching the $1.50 a square foot rule. When I sell, I won’t make the amount of money most people think that I could.
I’m fine with that. I’m not fine with the amount that I do pay for all my fixed expenses. The costs of 9/11 and Katrina should be borne equally by all Americans
I know that I’m crazed on this subject. But I blame myself for mourning my own mother at a time when it wasn’t expedient. And I looked for help. Just wasn’t willing to pay too much money to see a therapist when I knew I needed group counseling.
No, I won’t be remaining in New York. And I wish that my family ocassionally read Courting so that they can truly understand why. Because it’s not something we talk about.
9/11–oh it’s something that happened and we recovered from. Call me crazy but I think that it’s thinking like that that lets the wounds fester.