I Miss Her (and I Take Full Responsibility)

It hasn’t been an exceptionally long time since we’ve talked, has it?  I have started to feel poorly the last few days about not having the privilege to talk to you on the phone or even text back and forth with you, and so I obsessively counted the days since your last incoming call on my phone log.  Six days.  Soon to be seven, because it is 11:30pm and I am almost certain you are asleep.

I can hear you now, saying that isn’t so long.  I know you are busy with a real job, one like which I will never again hold.  I know you have many house projects, most of a sort that I just can’t identify with.  In addition, you have friends that demand your attention, bills that must be paid, cakes to be baked, and super-mom feats to accomplish.  None of those are things that happen in my day-to-day life, and, getting down to brass tacks, most of them never will.

I’m pretty sure, if I asked you, that you would say it’s no big deal…all of these things that you do.  I am the older sister, but you have been my hero for years.  I look up to you, I admire you, sometimes, perhaps more often than I would like to mention, I envy you a little.

I know your life isn’t easy, that there is nothing simple about raising an almost-two-year-old while working full-time and flipping one house and remodeling another and maintaining a relationship with your husband, not even skimming the top of all the other amazing things that you do.

It is completely selfish of me to miss the days when you were easy to get ahold of and I could grab ahold of a little bit of your time and press you close to me and feel like we were breathing the same air — that we had managed to grow up together and not kill each other and still be on speaking terms, even hugging terms.

Some days it breaks my heart when I think of my nephew, and I think that I will never have a bond like you have with any child of my own.  Some days it absolutely kills me.  But when I see you two together, and neither of you are paying any attention to the world around you, the love I see in its purest form blinds me.

That little guy has the best mommy that any child could ask for.  I know with the strongest conviction of my heart because his mommy has always been my sister.  My sister has always shown the bravest love, the most understanding, the highest respect, and the most tempered patience to me.  If she can shine that light a little further, which I know she can, and focus it on him (which I know she does and will and will always), he is going to be even more special than we could ever have imagined.

For right now, I will be a little selfish in my tears, and I’ll think of my sister and look forward to the next time we can have a little chat.  In the meantime, I’ll miss her, because that is just how I operate.  But mostly I think I will sit and smile and keep her in my thoughts, as she is human, like the rest of us, and could maybe use a little sisterly happy-thoughts headed her way.

weareheretolove

The Biggest Gift I Could Receive from Divorcing Parents

I have been doing better here lately, there is no doubt about that.  Unfortunately, over the last week or so, I have started to do things like, a) not be able to sleep or b) cry uncontrollably for hours on end, and c) deal with suicidal ideation.  The sleep has been better in the past three days and I am hoping it stays that way because that just makes it all the more difficult.

Holiday times have always been important in my immediate family.  There have always been big lunches and dinners and the tallest Christmas tree that can be found and cookie baking and house decorating and prepping recipes and menus for days on end.  I mean, they were huge for us.  This year has been a stark reminder of just how upside-down life is right now.

For one thing, there is no QoB and Big Dawg.  They won’t even talk to each other, nevertheless see each other.  I mean, I guess I should have seen this coming, but they absolutely hate each other, if the words they say are true.  Words that I am pretty sure I don’t want to listen to but end up hearing all the (fucking) time anyway.

I don’t think they understand how devastating that is, to your child, to disparage your soon-to-be ex-husband or ex-wife in front of said child.  No matter that this child is 33 years old and Ab is 32.  There was all this drama in the beginning and then they were both adamant that I be kept out of it.

It is slowly creeping back in.  I understand (not really) that they can’t stand each other, but they both need to keep the shitty remarks, comments, insults, etc out of my face.  And its not one doing it more than the other, although Mom is trying harder not to do it around me.  But as with anything, you inadvertently get either of them on a roll, and it’s all downhill (for me) from there.  No one wants to bash their mom or their dad.  If the parents want to, then they need to call a friend or find a therapist.  Actually, they could both use a therapist at this point, and that is me being generous, because they both really needed one long ago.

So what am I to do?  Well, the correct answer should be — support your parents while they are going through this hard time.  And you know, I can still in a lot of ways, but in some ways I can’t.  At different times, they are so upset that they can’t even be in the same room with me, nevertheless talk with me or even text over the phone.  Ok then, there goes two major supporters.  The two peop;le that have been there for me all my fucking life, now as if they have disappeared off the face of the Earth at times.

And that’s not to say they don’t try, because they do.  But they are both in such a bad place, both so unhappy, angry, anxious, stressed, heartbroken that they aren’t always able to be there and I really do get that.

Frankly, I can’t handle this level of stress in my life.  Even when they keep it to themselves, which is definitely not all the time, I am just barely making it.  I am letting household duties fall by the wayside, I am not practicing my DBT skills well or often enough, and all I want to do is distract, distract, distract.  In fact, I have pretty much distracted since August of this year, right before my birthday, when things really started getting ugly.

So, no, I don’t want my parents to get back together.  I want them to TRY to heal instead of being stubborn and thinking they can do everything on their own.  I want them to take the advice they would give me in the same situation.  I want there to be more common sense and less anger.  Maybe even a bit of being polite — I do see a tiny bit of it from both parties.

But more than anything, I really don’t want to hear anymore negative speeches, from one about the other.  No more snide remarks, comments, jokes.  I am your daughter, and I deserve that much respect.

Crackling Like a Live Wire

You may or may not have noticed, but I dropped out of Reverb.  The prompts were good, the prompts were fine, but there is just so much daily bull shit going on right now that I feel I can barely keep my head above water.

The divorce seems to get more painful and exhausting for my mom as time wears on.  I am doing my best not to get in the middle and they are doing a. good job of not putting me there, but its hard to see her so defeated.  She won’t let me around her, in fact, when she is upset, so I spend a lot of time getting avoided.  I get it, really do.  That doesn’t mean it isn’t hard.

My anxiety has been sky high the last several weeks.  It decreased for awhile, but is now back in full force.  I am still not smoking or using lozenges or the patch, and have decided to try and address my problems with binge eating.  I had thought of doing weight loss surgery, but with the habits I have, it would just be dangerous.  My thought is, work on the problem behavior with the thought that maybe someday I can do the surgery.  What I really want, though, is to lose weight in any way possible so that I can stop being that fat girl and move on with my life.

I have a friend I am trying to get back in touch with.  I have been thinking about it a lot lately and went ahead and tried to make contact today.  It was a bit of an awkward situation on my end when we stopped (inadvertently almost) atlking to each other last, and I am hoping that he can look past that and we can be friends again.

Promises that this blog will move onto bigger and better things in the near future — it only seems like there is a lot of bellyaching going on about petty little stuff.  Yep, I know…. I’m sick of it, too.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Daily Prompt: I Can’t Stay Mad at You

Do you hold grudges, or do you believe in forgive and forget?

forgiveness destroying heart

 

I don’t fit under either of the two cute little categories that WP decided on when they put out today’s Daily Prompt.  I bet most of you don’t either.  Rarely can we apply ourselves, as humans, toward reacting in the very same way to a specific comment or act, or even an unspecific comment or act.  So much of how we react depends upon the person in question, and also, if the act was perpetrated against us, or another person.  Because of this, I’m going to focus on one person for the purposes of this post.

Growing up, I saw very little of my father, the one I refer to on this blog as “Dad.”  My biological father.  I think he tried the best he could to love me when I was young, but he wasn’t able to be consistent.  You really must be consistent with young children, especially if you are a parent.  So, not showing up to pick me up for the weekend, cancelling plans at the last minute, not remembering my birthday, being passed out drunk when my sister and I were over for Christmas (just tiny little kids, at that).  Thirty-two years later, I have forgiven him for all of that.  The anger and the hurt and the even sometimes, hatred, fell away when I realized that, by being angry with him, by holding that grudge, I wasn’t allowing myself to move forward.

So I forgave, I found compassion.  But I didn’t forget.  Thinking about those times still makes me sick to my stomach, and even now, when he is running a few minutes late, I’m convinced he’s not coming.  So no, never forget.  But I forgive…over and over and over.  So much that others in my life question why I do.  He became much better about things around ten years ago when he married my stepmother, but he has regular lapses in the behavior you would expect from a father.

He acts like an ass, he says something judgmental, it appears that he does not have the feelings and emotions of a human being.  All those years of hurt come back, and I feel like I’m six years old again, looking out the living room window for the car that would never show up.  I don’t hold a grudge, but there’s a big part of my heart that remembers, can’t forget.

I realized not long ago, that sometimes I will have to tell my dad how to act.  For years, he would never call, but I would check in with him a few times a week.  I finally told him how much this bothered me, that he could never be bothered to give me a ring and I felt like I was doing all the legwork in this relationship.  As Dad often gets, he was baffled.  Had no idea.

I’m telling you, Dad does not have the normal emotional make-up of a human being.  He can be very distant and he goes through phases where it seems like he’d just as soon throw you in front of traffic than give you a hug or talk about the weather.  And maybe it’s this lack of humanity in him that makes me forgive him over and over.  I truly believe it’s possible that he just can’t help it.  His love, however inadequate at times, is the best it is ever going to be.  His follow-through sucks sometimes, but it’s getting better.

I think his wife helps him with that a lot.  Actually, I know  she does.  I don’t know how many times he has acted truly cruel, and then called back an hour later to say he has talked it over with his wife, and realizes now that he was very wrong.  She’s good for him, keeping him honest and accountable.  I don’t know if I’ve ever thanked her for that, for making my dad a better man, but I should.

After this last rough patch, we hand lunch today.  It went really well.  He was in a good mood and was chatty and told me how great I looked and how proud he is of me for all I am doing with work and taking care of DSB, and that’s how it should be.  It isn’t always, and I had to go a one month span without seeing him seemingly to prove a point, but we’re back on course again.  All is forgiven.  Again.

So DSB and the Queen and all my other supporters out there can keep shaking their head, knowing it’s only a matter of time until the next go-round.  Me, I’m going to embrace the fact that he’s my dad and he’s still on the planet and I’m going to keep forgiving every dumb thing he does.  Because I truly do think he’s oblivious, and I truly do believe he’s sorry when he hurts my feelings.

quote-forgiveness-is-a-promise-not-a-feeling-when-you-forgive-other-people

 

Sometimes it’s Okay to Give Up

 

 

Through some harsh life battles, I can count many a day where I was ready to give up.  Throw in the towel.  Just be done.  Depression is horrific and the voices running through your mind actually ENCOURAGE you to give up.  That’s right, not only do you feel like shit, your “inner you” is trying to make you give up the fight.

I honestly don’t know how I’ve made it through all of those times.  Probably my great support system, medications, therapy, and a lot of just white-knuckling it.  There’s a blog I read, in which the author keeps finding herself on the verge of giving up, giving in to depression and anxiety and fear.  I get that, totally do.  I especially can see how having no one on your side would make you feel that way even more.

Because sometimes, the only reason I don’t give up, is because I worry what would happen to Kizzie.  Sure, DSB would take care of her, but her momma would be GONE.  Giving up, following through and really doing it — that’s permanent.  There’s no coming back from that kind of giving up.  And I’ve lived years skirting that edge.  The things that kept me from stepping over the line were invariably my parents and my pup.  And now there’s DSB to think about, too.

The quote above really speaks to me.  Something about trusting your own madness is very right, and it’s something I’ve only come to embrace within the last year or so.  If we don’t trust in ourselves, we find any way possible to keep the truth from coming out.  About our (actual and literal)  madness, about our shady intentions, about hidden secrets.

Something I have given up, for good, is lying.  Being dishonest in any way.  I am now and forever more completely transparent.  Before DSB, lying was like breathing to me.  I did it without thinking, without reason, just because.  It usually didn’t even register to me that I had lied.  It was just something I did.  I spun a tale to make myself look better, mostly.  Or to make myself look a certain way, at least.  I didn’t trust enough to show my true colors.  I wasn’t true to my real madness, if you will.

About a year ago, DSB sat me down and we had “the real talk.”  More of a “come-to-Jesus” talk, as my mom would put it.  He told me that he knew I was lying about a lot of things, and about how he didn’t trust me anymore.  He told me that he couldn’t be with a person he didn’t trust, but he wanted to be with me.  I had to change my lying ways so that he would stay.  It was the biggest motivator of all time.  I didn’t want to lose him, and I knew that all of the lies I told were destroying me.

What I didn’t realize was the extent to which the lies and deceit were destroying me.  I was constantly on guard, worried about who was going to find out what, worrying about what would happen when they did find out, because they always did.  I have always been a poor liar — ever since I was a little girl.

I am reflecting upon this now, because for the past several nights, out of nowhere, I have found myself checking my gut for signs of anything amiss.  It used to be, I had so much to worry about.  And now I don’t.  Everything’s out there for the world to see.  I am not suffering any consequences, because, in general, I am doing nothing wrong.  This is a new world to me, and even though this has been going on for over a year, it feels like I’m just now noticing.

Noticing how nice it feels to just have a conversation and not make things up that I will have to account for later.  Noticing how much more trust and faith DSB has in me, in the words I say, in the actions I show.  There is no more worry, and there is no more fear.

Sometimes it’s ok to give up.  It’s ok to give up lying, drinking, cheating, negative things.  It’s even good.  It’s never okay to give up on yourself, and I am so very thankful to know DSB always always ALWAYS has my back.  And I am the reason he is still here and my quitting the lying is the only way we made things better.  Things are better for everyone, now.  Everyone was affected by my lying, and my relationships are now very uncomplicated.  For that, I am truly grateful.

 

The Downside of Care-Taking

All relationships have their ups and downs.  Heaven knows that DSB and I have had our share.  For the past two months, things have been very tense because DSB has been laid up and I have been caretaking, working, and running a household.  All by myself.  Did I mention the waiting on hand and foot part of it?  Stressful.  Miserable.  Made all the more miserable by his miserable attitude.

I understand being in pain.  I understand not feeling good.  What I don’t understand is taking frustration with that out on your partner.  I really don’t.  I can forgive a lot of it, but sometimes it’s just like, “Really?  Seriously?”

DSB came home from the hospital on Thursday evening.  He was in good humor, we had a crap dinner from McDonald’s, and pretty much went to bed.  I worked Friday and he called, asking where his truck keys were.  Well, I really didn’t know off the top of my head and couldn’t really see why it was so urgent that I find them, so I told him I would find them when I got home from work.

When I was leaving work, I found them in my glove box.  I texted this to DSB and he replied about how he never should have left something “so important” with me and he should have taken care of it himself.  Whatever.  They weren’t lost and it wasn’t like he was getting ready to take his non-running truck on a joyride.

When I got home, we almost immediately left for his doctor’s appointment and there were a lot of sighs and moans on the way, as he criticized my driving, claiming I was taking rough roads just to cause him pain.  Sure, that’s what I’m doing.  Makes total sense.  Then he was grumpy in the doctor’s office because I asked some questions.

By the time we got home, things were very tense.  DSB seemed to be oblivious, but I was reliving all of his little comments.  We ate dinner and went to bed.  We left the night off on a good note, so I was hopeful for the morning.

I woke up this morning and had breakfast and coffee.  I then went in to see DSB and he asked me to run out and get him biscuits and gravy.  I told him I didn’t want to leave twice in one day (because it is fracking cold out) and that we could combine the grocery shopping trip and his biscuits and gravy run into one trip.

I was then accused of not caring about him, not putting him number one, and being selfish.  Okay then.  Two can play this game.  I had no desire now to be in the same house as him the rest of the day, so I called my mom and told her I was coming into work and then I would hang out with her in the afternoon.

No, it’s not my scheduled day to work, but we have recently totally revamped the store and there are still many things that need to be put away and organized.  So, there is a valid excuse to go to work, other than to get away from the house.  I actually like all of the little organizing and putting things away into their place.

I told DSB my plan to go to work at 10:00am and then spend the afternoon with mom.  He grunted something at me, not sure what, other than I think it was just to say he heard me.  I told him that I’d run get him biscuits and gravy when I left and he said to just forget it.  He knew that he was not important to me.  That I only do things if they serve me.

So, my plan is to totally stop doing anything for DSB.  Maybe once that is taken away, he will see how much I do for him, and possibly apologize, although I doubt it.  I guess what I am saying is that, at this point, I am not willing to bend over backwards to help  him out as I have been doing for the past two months.

Want a drink of water?  A pillow?  Something fall on the floor?  Get it yourself.  He is supposed to be moving around because of the blood clots, so here’s his opportunity.  I think it will be beneficial for him to fend for himself for awhile.

That, and I’m just pissed and fed up.  I don’t think I’m wrong in feeling that, and even so, I don’t really care at the moment.

Embracing Aunt-hood

There has been so much happiness in my realm lately.  Of greatest note is the birth of my nephew.  I have visited him twice and, while I may be biased, he is perfect.  I hold him and am mesmerized by the way his little face scrunches up this way and that, reminding me of his very-animated father.  He lies peaceful and serene, reminding me that there CAN be such peace and serenity, and that one does not necessarily have to be an infant to know it.

At my insistent request, my sister is sending me a couple of picture messages of him to my cell every day.  I am probably not the only one making this insistent request, and part of me feels a bit guilty for doing so, but this baby is a game-changer and I really just want to soak up as much of him as I can.

I am absolutely sure that my sister and her husband are soaking up as much of that love as they can, too.  My sister was fortunate enough to be able to take 12 weeks off from her job, and my brother-in-law runs his own business, which, although he is still quite busy, allows him to spend more time with him than if he were in a traditional 9-5.  I’ve wished many times that I lived closer to my sister.  I yearn to be closer and even now more so that my nephew has been born.

I am sure that if I lived closer, I would be knocking on her door every day, bugging the crap out of her, so it’s probably best that we don’t.  It’s funny, because I spent years and years.  Pretty much from 2005 — 2010 feeling like I was the last person on the face of the Earth that she would want to spend time with.  You know, having a sister who has (had) a very active mental illness was a lot to handle.  So I get it.  Really, sis, I get it.

And then things started happening and I started getting better.  The mania went away and the depression simmered down and I could actually hold a conversation.  With my sister.  Pure gold, pure love.  I felt like I was being given a second chance, and I didn’t even question my sister giving me another chance.  I was just too grateful.  For us to be close again, like we were long ago, would be all I would ever need from her.

And she started seeking ME out and sending me thoughtful text messages when she didn’t have time to call.  And then she started making time to call.  And I thought I must be the luckiest person on this planet to have a sister that cared like she did.  And I was so incredibly grateful that I forgot those nearly five years when we barely interacted, and realized, for the most part, that those five years where I was mostly apart from my sister, were my fault.

It wasn’t my sister who didn’t want me around.  It was me making myself completely unavailable for any of the things in her life.  She knew I wasn’t much for socializing, so she didn’t invite me to parties or get-togethers where there would be a lot of people.  But she wanted to, I found out later.  She did a lot of that, “protecting” me from all of the things that scared me.  She thought she was doing something good, and really, she probably was because a lot of the time I was a complete wreck and would have ruined any decent party.

But she wasn’t not inviting me places because I had a mental illness.  She was not inviting me places because she didn’t think I would have fun, because she knew I wouldn’t fit in.  Looking back on it, in that light, I don’t feel angry about those five years that I lost her.

I look back and I think of her asking me to be the maid-of-honor at her wedding, so surprised that she picked me out of all of her friends.  I look back to that wedding and remember the great time I had, and the great speech I made.  Of how close I felt to my sister, and even to her husband.

I look back just a little over a week ago, with my sister sending a text message telling me that I can come see my nephew in the hospital whenever I want, that I got priority because I was “Auntie Rose.”

I feel like I am a part of her life, and I am so very grateful.  I’m happy that we could get to this point and I look forward to all of the wonder and joy I am going to experience with her new little family.  No matter what, I vow to always be there for that little boy, my nephew.  No matter if I get really sick again, I will still be Auntie Rose.