I want to tell you about how I lost my mind and almost killed myself. The reason I fell off the map in the entertainment world. I had always heard it. People would say that you don’t really understand how fragile and wonderful our lives are till you lose someone close to you. They aren’t kidding. You just don’t get it till it’s too late. The real game changer is when you watch them die. It’s when they suffer horribly and you are helpless….she died in my arms. Bare with me, I am going to try to share snippets of things on my mind. I am quite emotional, so it will be difficult and perhaps a little sporadic…but something tells me…this is going to be really good…because I can’t stop my eyes from watering.
Grandma. She started getting really sick at the end of 2013. The last time I saw her happy and healthy was September 2013. I remember how tightly she held me before I left. She said “It hardly feels like you were here!” after I had spent 8 days with her. I told her not to worry and that I would see her soon. If I knew then what I know now, I would have never left. She had lung cancer. The doctors misdiagnosed her for months. She began to waste away…a shell of the woman I knew. I visited a few times between September and January, when she got really bad. She struggled with not being able to do everything herself. She was the most strong willed and independent woman I have ever known in my life. She raised me with my parents since I was born, lived in our home with us. She was one of the biggest constants in my life. She was pretty much….the epitome of what pushed me to succeed in things.
I was in a relationship with a complete sociopath during this time. I’ve told the story a thousand times. Basically, I started to really become suspicious of him right as she fell ill. He seemed so distant, like he was incapable of sympathy or compassion. BEWARE people who do NOT show you empathy in your grief! I was so overwhelmed with the reality of her coming to her end, I didn’t want to deal with a break up. I told myself that maybe I was being hard on him. Maybe I was simply dreaming things up. However, more and more evidence that he was two timing me was popping up. I always seemed to catch him late calling women, phone dying and he cant answer all night, etc. He always had an excuse or he would play dumb…like he didn’t know you shouldn’t booty call 65 year old asian ladies you used to fuck before me while he was WITH me. He flew out to see my family under heavy pressure from everyone at his work and myself. I just couldn’t fathom why someone would NOT CARE when the equivalent of someone’s mom was dying. He didn’t. He wouldn’t even stay for 24 hours, he had to hurry back to LA. Unbeknownst to me, it was to race back into the arms of random men he would meet off craigslist to suck them off in my apartment or a parking garage in his jeep. The countless women he womanized were a cover for his secret life as a male escort. I wish I was kidding. I really do, more on this later.
I stayed in my hometown for almost two weeks. I had a show I was pitching that I wanted to get back and sell to make my grandma happy. In fact, most of the things I strived for was to make her proud. She had always delighted in seeing me on tv, in commercials, magazines, newspapers, etc. I was going to take a plane out the next day. Then, it hit me. I knew she was going to die. The doctors came in and told her they found cancer. I watched her will to live vanish in the air. She looked me dead in the eye and said “I can’t beat this one, I won’t fight it”. It was like…the entire world…everything that ever meant anything to me…didn’t matter anymore. White noise was all I could hear as they discussed moving her to a hospice. “3 to 6 months” I could hear in the distance. My stomach kept flipping. Every selfish bone in my body wanted to scream and beg her “Grandma, please!”. I couldn’t stop myself. I had to let her know I couldn’t live with out her..couldn’t breathe or exist. I will never forget the way she looked at me, as I begged and pleaded for her not to leave me. She was worried..about ME. Here she was, the most beautiful creature in all the world..suffering and in agony..and she was worried about me! It was like I expected to bargain my way into more time. Time, the most precious thing we have with each other…time, something I was no longer going to have with one of the great loves of my life. Time was out, and I was in full panic mode. They moved her from the ER to hospice.
I took her hand. I looked into her eyes and I told her how sorry I was for everything I had ever done in my teen years. The drugs. The yelling. I told her how I pushed through top model to win it to impress her and my Mother. I told her that everything I did afterwards in my climb in entertainment was to make her proud. I apologized for the things I had done that she was ashamed of. She was the most devout catholic I had ever known. Playboy, etc…it wasn’t her shining moments for me. I told her that everything good that I have ever done in my life…every good deed…every time I helped someone…I always did it to make her and my family proud. I had always wanted to reflect the morality and goodness that my family had taught me. I just wanted her to be proud of me…I needed it more than anything I have ever needed in my entire life. The way that woman looked at me. Love is probably the most powerful emotion we are capable of. In that moment, I had never felt love like that. It was like every thought or feeling I had was isolated away from that one singular emotion. She apologized to me for being so hard on me, unlike her other grandchildren. I laughed. The notion that she would ever think that…HER! I told her I got to have her as a parent, so of all the grand kids, my brother and I were the luckiest. I squeezed her hand and she squeezed mine back. I held it for a long while…feeling it’s warmth..her faint heartbeat in her fingertips…I am blessed in having it documented.
I’d be lying if I told you that I wasn’t weeping my eyes out. I think, in this moment…this is the rawest I have ever written in a long while.
3-6 months ended up only being 3 days. I spent almost every hour in her room. I hardly slept. Each day, she got worse. It got to the point that I wished she would not be so sharp, just fade off and sleep so she didn’t have to feel it anymore. MASSES of our Italian family came to pay her their respects. It was like a huge Italian reunion. The nurses marveled at how huge our family is…and applauded us on not fighting and just all loving each other. On the third day, THIS VERY DAY 3 YEARS AGO….I went home to dye my hair. Beautiful hair was important to her, and she would want me to color my grays away for church. Yep, church. She always said she’d make all us heathens go to mass when she died. When I was home, I sat down to take a piss. I wish I was doing something less disgusting, but it is what I was doing. Something happened in that moment that I am going to attempt to describe.
I saw my Grandma…clear as day in my mind. Her eyes were huge, urgent. Her mouth was closed..but she was looking at me with such intensity. I KNEW I had to leave immediately and be with her. I had never experienced anything like that in my entire life. To see someone like that…in my mind…so vividly…so much urgency. I KNEW she wanted me there. When I arrived at Hospice, my poor beautiful Mother looked exhausted. I told her to go home and take a shower and try to get some sleep. She had been there nonstop just as I had, and she was destroyed. I hugged my Ma and she set out to get home. I told her I would call her the moment anything changed. Luckily, we lived about 8 minutes from hospice.
There she was…laying there. The most beautiful woman in all the world…wasted away to a shell of a person. She could hardly breathe and for the first time, she seemed incoherent. I remember feeling SO grateful that she seemed out of it. I took her hand. I told her who I was and that I was there with her…and she squeezed it back. I completely lost it. She was still there. I asked her if she was in pain and she squeezed my hand again. I begged the nurse to come in and help. She gave her a breathing treatment, but my Grandma was fighting it off. It destroyed me. I wanted to take the fog machine the nurse was using and smash it to bits. Sensing my distress, the nurse asked if it would be better for me to leave the room. I asked her if she could give my grandma more morphine. I remember the way she looked at me. She was an angel. Wherever that woman is, YOU are a goddamn saint and I think I would have lost my mind without you.
She sat me down and told me she believed my Grandma was going to go that night. That she would tell me when it was time to call the family. She said if I had anything left I needed to say, now was the time to say it. I felt my heart thumping in my ears. The continuous white noise that had been roaring in my mind had hit an apex. I vaguely remember my friend Allison DuBois ( a very famous Medium) told me I had to let her go. So, I walked into that dimly lit room and looked at the woman who I had known all my life. I felt everything. I felt her arms around me. I heard her voice in the school nurses office. I saw her smiling at me at my softball games. I could feel her beautiful hands on my forehead to see if I was warm…the countless times she asked if I was hungry. I could see her standing in the door waiting for me every time I came home…and saw her waving at me from the same door every single time I ever left. I heard her yelling at me, felt her shoe beating me in anger. I saw every single facet she ever was when it came to her part in my life. I felt every hug. Heard that laugh, saw that wondrous smile. I took her hand and I told her to let go. “Grandma, it’s ok. I am going to be ok. Just go, let go. Don’t hold on anymore for me. I am so sorry I asked you to stay. We are all going to be ok. ” I heard her breath catch like a sob. I informed her I was wearing the pants she hated the most, an old pair of adidas pants that she had begged me to throw away since 1996. She groaned…and I knew she heard me and HATED that I was wearing them.
My boyfriend just came up to me and picked me up from my desk so I could sob in his arms..that man…that complex maddening man. I love him.
My Grandma was visibly in horrible pain. She never once said anything hurt. She would say “I’m fine” or “I’m just a little uncomfortable”. However, she could no longer control her face which was contorting in agony. I was a full blown atheist and had been for years. it really bothered her. She was a saint. Never cursed, never drank, never did anything wrong. The singularly most devout Catholic I had ever known, and I knew a lot of sisters. I fell to my knees at her bedside so hard I bit my tongue and could taste blood in my mouth. I begged god out loud to take her. I told God that if he were real, I would trade my “eternity” for her to go now so she didn’t have to suffer anymore. I took her hand and felt it was cold to the touch. I begged God..pleaded..wept…”take her! Punish ME! Please, stop doing this to her!” I was sorry. I was desperate. As I pleaded with her God, begged, she squeezed my hand. I looked at her face and saw she was crying. She heard me. She knew I was praying for the first time since I was probably 13 years old. I laid my head on her chest and I wept.
The nurse came in and rubbed my back. I sat up so she could check my Grandmother. “Her feet are cold, it’s time…call your family.” My Uncle Tony, Uncle Dave, Uncle John, Uncle Jerry, Aunt Carol, My brother Nick, his girlfriend Ann and my beautiful Mother all came at 2 a.m. We gathered around her. It was the worst thing in all my life…to have that room of people I love so unconditionally be so sad. Her struggle was the ugliest and most horrific thing I have ever had to witness. The old broad had some fight in her, that’s for sure. Again, I am going to try to explain something I have no explanation for. Had I not been there to witness it, I wouldn’t have believed it.
As she lie there dying, her eyes suddenly flicked open. Her face contorted to a look of complete and utter AWE. Her eyes were stunning, clear and full of wonder. She was looking up at the ceiling in the corner. The feeling…the energy in the room…it changed. I KNEW something big was happening. Something I couldn’t wrap my stupid human mind around. “They’ve come for her, they’re here to take her home” the nurse said. I believed it. She looked 20 years old in her face. I couldn’t even cry, it was the most…bewildering thing I have ever experienced. My family made jokes, my uncle told her it was ok for her to go “even though you’re the only redeeming thing about this whole family!” we all laughed. Suddenly, seeing her look like that, it had…brought a strange joy? Her look intensified, the energy in the room was electric. it FELT like we were surrounded by..things. I can’t explain it! She was seeing something. I felt like what she saw was the answer to all of our questions. I KNEW it wasn’t “God” as we have made up…it was something so mindbogglingly different, it had changed her. I felt a huge surge from her, I saw the awe turn almost childlike. Then, poof. She collapsed back into the state she was in before. We all sat there and watched her body die. I will say just her body because I KNEW whatever energy made up who she was had left the moment I had felt it and she morphed back into a withered dying shell.
That empty shell clung to life for 30 more minutes. She would stop breathing…then start again 20 plus seconds later. What an ox of a woman she was! I crawled into bed with her like I had so many times as a child and curled myself around her cold legs. I laid my head on them and wept. When I looked up, I watched her breathe out her last breath. Everything was like a dream. I can’t remember exactly what we all started doing, but I think we all started packing away her things, and individually kissing her and telling her goodbye. I watched my brothers girlfriend whisper to my sweet amazing grandma…watched her stroke her hair. I knew she would always be a sister to me from then on, like blood. In fact, everyone in that room…I cannot express how much I love them. My Mom was consoling my brother like the fucking BOSS that she is….in fact, she was amazing throughout the entire thing…she learned how to be a strong fuck from the best of em!
I walked up to my grandma and grabbed those hands…the hands that had held me since I was born…that had dried my eyes…that had stroked my hair almost nightly as a child to put me to sleep. I kissed them all over…I pressed them to my face…I couldn’t believe how icy they were. I looked up at her face and couldn’t stand her death mask. I had to shut her mouth. I struggled to, because rigor mortis had already set in. The nurse and my Mother pried me off her. I guess I was getting a little psycho. “We will do that for you, sweet heart…it’s ok, we will take care of her for you”. That sweet nurse. I hope she knows…just what an angel she was. I walked outside. It was the polar vortex of Jan 2014. I did not sleep….for days…maybe a week? I couldn’t I felt like Gandalf after he felled the mighty Balrog of Morgoth. It was as if space and time were meaningless….and that every second was a lifetime in the world. I psychotically counted hours and minutes since her last breath…which turned to days. Devastation doesn’t even begin to describe it. It took me an entire 6 months to function again.
When I finally returned to LA, my sociopath ex boyfriend was waiting for me. The next day was Valentines Day, HER birthday. I could barely keep it together. ON my Grandmother’s birthday, mere weeks after her death…I found out that my boyfriend had cheated on me with a prostitute the day I had buried my Grandmother. I found out the day she had died, he was trying to take a woman on a date…and offering MY APARTMENT as a place they could meet. Then, like an avalanche, the truth came out. The sheer number of women and men this man had slept with while with me was staggering. I believe he slept with the women in order to hide from his closeted desires to be with men. The thing that made me snap…that drove me to the brink of madness…was that ANYONE would be capable of doing this to a person when the equivalent of their MOTHER is DYING FROM CANCER! I was away from my family and withdrew to my apartment. I turned down jobs and events. I sat there and started drinking liters of Jager in a night. I believed everyone in the world was pure evil…and no matter what I did, I would always find a lover worse than the last one. I started cutting myself, something I hadn’t done since I was a teenager. I began to think that I wanted to be with my Grandma…that the world was too cruel of a place for me to survive in. I wanted to die. During this time, my sociopath ex made up a billion stories about how abused he was…how her dying had “triggered” him…that he needed HELP. My stupid…dumb..empathetic self believed him. I believed he was actually sorry and wanted to save himself. I was also spewing my hatred at him anytime I saw him. The things I said to him, I am surprised he didn’t blow his head off in shame. Oh wait, that’s right. He’s a sociopath!
Long story short, I let him stay in my apartment as he allegedly searched for a new one…because he would be homeless if I just tossed him out. I began to want to live, not for that worthless waste of human flesh…but because of my FAMILY. My Mother, my brother…my beloved aunts and uncles. How could I leave them after the loss we just suffered? Months had passed but had only felt like weeks! I couldn’t believe the year was almost over. I told my ex to get his goddamn apartment and get out. He claimed he was a changed man, blah blah blah. He left his laptop open on the couch while he took a shower. He forgot to close out of his encoded Hushmail account. He went by a fake name “Sean Skalla”. There were emails dating back through our entire relationship prior to my finding out about the hooker. They were to men from criagslist and a producer form Ace Of Cakes. I took photos…I just couldn’t believe that while I suffered, this guy was off sucking every dick on the planet. He came out of the bathroom and mentioned that he had finally found an apartment. I closed my fist and swung as hard as I could in a closed handed smack. I have never hit anyone that hard in my life. It was the best feeling I have ever felt. I spit at his feet and spewed the most venomous words I have ever used against a human being. I hit him again. I would have kept going, but he had enough. I was never going to be abused again. I was never going to love again. I have a “bad picker” and I could not be trusted anymore with any man. I am a major empath and all I have ever done is attract sociopaths. This guy took the cake. He made my ex husband look like polly fucking pocket. Nothing seemed important anymore. I viewed Los Angeles as a town full of evil. The years I have lived here have not been kind.
I had spent more money on STD tests than I probably ever have on booze. From the time I found out about the hooker till I had found out about the men…I was convinced I was dying of AIDS. Months passed. My doctor told me to stop coming in. I started streaming from home on a website called twitch. I had always streamed on it prior from my ex’s work, so I figured I would try it at home. I was lonely…and the anniversary of her death was coming. Then, January 21st 2015, a man entered my stream and subbed. His name was Ducksauce. We started dating. Then, on my Grandmother’s birthday (Valentine’s Day) he called me. “I don’t want you holed up at home all day with your curtains closed, I’d like to take you out to dinner.” I looked at my Grandma’s photo on the mantle, of she, my mom, myself and Doctor Phil (he was her most favorite of ALL favorites)..and told her “he doesn’t want me to sit here being sad about you!” I felt like her eyes twinkled at me. It was a go. He picked me up looking dapper as fuck. He took me to the most authentic Italian restaurant I have ever been to in LA (sorry! it closed!) I stared at this man over a glass of campaign and I felt like..this was it. “To your Grandmother…” he raised his glass looking at me with those deep brown eyes…eyes that reminded me so much of hers. He asked about her and genuinely seemed to care about what I was saying. I excused myself and went to the bathroom. I gripped the sink staring in the mirror. “You sent him to me, didn’t you?” I asked. That’s when I knew… I was in love. I was in love with a man I met on the one year anniversary of my Grandmother’s death…and on her birthday, he honored her the best he could. I was still capable of love even after all I had been through. Just like my Grandma, who had been through rape and living hell when it came to her marriages…my heart was pure enough…good enough…to still love as deeply as if it had never happened before.
You guys have seen the rest…..
He made me smile again….