Justice, Party, Peace
cures agony, provides hope
Love, a fighting chance.
mom’s face etched in deep scars, pain
Guns, death, her one son.
A follow-up to “Smelling Change” where I was highly optimistic….
It was a long week or two that followed that one amazing day of innocence.
WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?
At least I thought things were going to change for the better.
I know, nice try. The thought of happiness and joy, like being enveloped in a soft pink cotton shawl didn’t work at all. Maybe it was a lot of bull—-. Maybe I was just in a really good, positive, affirming mood that day. I’ve tried so hard, you know I have, but I went from gratitude and perseverance to sadness, depression and disgust. Now, I’m plain fed up.
The fantasy of hope was delicious for a few days, like savoring a spoonful of a rich, vanilla bean ice cream twirling on your tongue, letting it melt and slowly swallowing. A tantalizing, sensual process. I lick my lips with the tip of my tongue.
I have lost all feelings. I’m in an empty, lonely place and that scares me more than any situational depression. I am a woman with great emotions, always, good or bad, high or low and now I feel like I am pressed in a corner, invisible, except for the dust bunnies that surround me. My husband will most likely vacuüm around me but not see. He prides himself on his vacuuming skills.
Worst of all, now I feel nothing. If you can feel numbness, that’s what I feel. Things haven’t been going well at all. I feel alone, not the “we’re in this together” support that usually holds us closer together. We may watch television together but he holds his cell phone in his hand playing games and not my hand.
This is the person who was my support system, my best friend in the world. Whoever is living in the same house now, I do not know. He’s a stranger to me. Yes, I am here, imperfect, with all my flaws and disabilities but I have raised our children and have done a great job of doing that. I need more in my life than emptiness, and sitting on my bed to eat alone. I have my dog who keeps me company, I enjoy that.
I feel sad when I write this, is that a good sign? I know all couples go through good and bad times. It’s not the very first time this has happened in 25 years but of course, it feels that way.
When my husband brought up my disability, Fibromyalgia, in a threatening/demeaning way, “when I get a job, things will be different because you are sick” what the HELL did he mean by that? AM I NOW supposed to apologize for my pain? Get down on my hands and knees, scrub the floors but not be able to get up?
That was insulting to me and to my Fibromyalgia sisters and brothers, something I will not accept.
We both need to work harder to communicate more clearly. Over and over again. Riding the waves, up and down, in and out; there are never new problems, just old problems recycled again and again.
The work is endless, the peaks and valleys are like that of an EKG. Everyone has problems, we go up, we go down like waves on the beach, we’ve been down together for a long time. Are we ever going to be able to get up? To rejoice? We, have lost all hope in the world, not in us, but in the world.
We are both under a lot of stress and have been for many months, we both realize that. But, we are on the same team and need to rally, once again to support each other. To keep each others hopes and dreams alive.
People don’t always get along, that’s a given. Some people cringe at confrontation and try to hide their heads under the mattress to avoid dealing with it or slither away to swimmingly escape the idea of a fight. I don’t mind verbal fighting as long as it is a fair fight. If the parameters are clear, I will not shy away; I don’t seek fights but I am willing to defend myself or anyone I love for the right reasons. Fairness and honesty are incredibly important to me. “Just don’t lie to me” I used to tell my children when they were teenagers (not that it was a hundred percent successful.) It’s the Libra in me, I’m sure, needing balance and honesty, hating dishonesty with a passion.
There are times when, as a friend of mine is experiencing, you find yourself in the middle of a situation where you have NO control. Her son and daughter in law have decided, without explanation, that Grandma and Grandpa can not see their children anymore. No reason, no explanation. Grandma is absolutely heartbroken, confused and in shock. There was no explanation, that to me, is not a fair fight. She has tried numerous times, to try to talk to them, to understand what she did but they won’t talk. She took care of their two girls when they were both working full-time and when the parents picked up the kids, the kids would cry and did not want to leave their grandmother’s house. That is a key issue, in my opinion.
Personally, I think, the mom was jealous of the kids’ warm and loving connection to their grandmother, maybe the daughter in law demanded that the husband make a choice between his mom and his wife? That is pure conjecture on my part but it seems feasible, doesn’t it? The son, apparently used to be very close to his mother.”It’s either her or me” comes to mind and guess who lost? Grandma did and she was not even allowed to see or talk to her granddaughters again without knowing why. She had Valentine’s Day cards she had bought in advance and presents. Even worse, her daughter-in-law is pregnant with a boy and she fears she will never even meet this new grandchild.
They won’t talk to her, answer her e-mails, they literally have cut her out of their lives. It is an unfair, unbalanced fight. I think it is absolutely cruel. Intentionally cruel. They want to make her suffer and they have succeeded. Having loving, involved grandparents is an absolute gift and yet the parents won’t even TALK to the grandparents to make things right again. Not even an e-mail. Grandma and Grandpa don’t even KNOW what they have done wrong, ( or more likely if they have done anything wrong.) This was a large, connected and loving family, celebrating birthdays and holidays together, now it is in fragments; all the rest of the family on Grandma’s side.
There are times in all our lives when things are unjust and even Libras like myself have to accept, take it in and let it go. Life IS unfair sometimes. We have to accept that people are sometimes too stubborn or too sick and too hurtful to be rational. Apparently, the couple are not even thinking about their own children who must feel abandoned by their grandmother and grandfather who loved them and cared for them daily. Grandma has no way of telling them that she still loves them and misses them. As hard as it is, she has no choice but to accept this horrible deal. There is nothing else she can do. They won’t let her. It is literally breaking her heart, she cries endlessly and can only talk about this one topic. She knows “she can’t fight crazy” but that doesn’t mean she has stopped fighting and has accepted her life. I almost wish she would.
From Zoe’s Journal:
I need to find forgiveness in my heart. I know that’s the right thing to do; I just don’t know how to do it. How do you forgive people whose bond with you should be so natural, so instinctive? I don’t have the answers but I am trying to find them. I am trying to find them so that we can all live in peace. I think the psychologists call it “individuating;” when you separate from your parents and become your own person; believe me I don’t think my parents would call it the same thing.
I just want to protect myself from the past, I was strong enough now to be my own person and not take any of their old shit. I had figured out the dangerous mind games and I wanted no part of it. I had always been strong inside, my parents knew that about me, they were proud of that, until it seemed like I turned on them. I hadn’t; I just stopped putting up with all the bullshit. They couldn’t handle it. The more they tried to guilt me, the more I pushed back. They would immediately go to the speech where they were “all alone in the world” without their “only daughter.” I would be empathic but I would not cry and apologize and they missed that; they missed the part of me that they could hurt. Wound. Destroy. I don’t think any of it was intentional, well, of course some of it was. After they spewed a nasty string of malevolence they would not remember a word of what they said! How could they not remember what they had just said? I was labeled “too sensitive.”
It took me a long time to understand the game they played, unwittingly, but I swore I would never fight with them again. Since they couldn’t express any feelings at the time they would hold something against me for weeks. Eventually, one day there would be a vitriolic, icy cold lecture of how I had changed. I would figure it out in time but it left me stunned, still hurt. However, I did not offer myself up as a sacrificial lamb; that was no longer my duty, those days were over.
When all was is said and done, what they really needed was attention, to feel wanted and needed and not dismissed. It was quite simple once I figured it out and I was more than willing to give it to both of them, on my terms. Once I did, they became nicer, happy for the attention and we seemed to get along better.
Sometimes, the things people say are irrelevant, I guess you need to go deeper and see what they are feeling. Not everyone wears their heart on their sleeve like I do. As I have said before, words don’t count, actions do. Since we were talking about forgiveness there is another very important person I need to forgive. Me. I need to forgive myself for all the grudges I have held, for all the hurt I have carried, for the blame I have caused and for all the tears I have shed. I was just a child, an abandoned child. I know I will never forget but I need to forgive myself and let go of the pain because true forgiveness really means setting our souls free, the greatest gift you can give yourself. At least that’s what I’ve heard.
I can’t watch the news anymore; even when I just glance at the news on the computer, I know the world is a scary place, a terrible place. The fear is in my stomach first, like raw clenching tentacles and the tightness inside me like an army of multi-colored stretched rubber bands. I feel anxious, I see it reflected in my own eyes, fear, insecurity, doubt. Yes, the world is a bad place and many dreadful things happen. I also take other people’s pain and clutch it in my arms, like a hug surrounding a wounded child.
I can list a number of my most awful days in a second, like rapid-fire stock market trading but when I try to conjure up incredibly good days, I have to think, hard. The usual, marriage and childbirth come up, of course, but really, what was the last golden day I had that was out of the ordinary? I stop to think. Tonight, I can’t come up with anything; my brain has been taken over by fear and pain.
I know I am too sensitive but it sticks with me like a second skin; sometimes I invent future nightmares. I know I shouldn’t do that and I try to stop myself but there are times when I feel overwhelmed. It passes, I know, but while it happens, I forget.
My legs, from Fibromyalgia tonight are aching, painful, much more than usual. Fibromyalgia is eating up my world slowly but aggressively. New symptoms, tingling and numbness of my hands and feet, leg pain, imbalance, nerve pain too. It wasn’t supposed to get worse, that’s what the doctor told me, or did I dream that? I knew it wouldn’t get better and I accepted that easily but today is so much more painful than other days. I want the pain to end and drown in sleep. Tonight, I want to curl up and try to find a comfortable position and just lay here in the dark. I asked my husband to come upstairs to kiss me good-night, I haven’t done that in many years; his tender kiss on my forehead reassuring.
I don’t want conversation or to watch television, I don’t want to read a morbid book or even a funny book and I don’t want to listen to music which usually calms my soul. I just want to stay still in the dark and breathe evenly and not hurt. This pain is severe; I never take pain medication but tonight I may have to grope for a pill from an outdated prescription. I don’t really want to take it, it’s a false reading of tortured limbs but tonight, but tonight I need a break.
A break from physical and emotional pain, let me lie here and fall asleep with my dog sleeping on my foot and my warm diet root beer by my side. Let me forget the worry and the fear and the pain. “I don’t want to fight,” I said, to my sister online; I don’t want to waste the little energy I have on our frequent disagreements. Fighting is not the answer and not the solution. This stress on me is unnecessary and I want it to end, there is no room in my life for painful interactions. Whatever it takes, I promise to try to do it because I want peace between us, even if sometimes, it is artificial.
Let me stay in my little corner tonight, huddled on one side and let me sleep, just let me sleep.
I wear no make-up, my hair is dirty and uncombed, no pink lipstick to brighten my face or the empty feeling in my soul. The clothes I wear today are shapeless, I am invisible, but you can still see me. There are no smiles or light flirtations slipping from my lips, no gurgling sounds of interest and empathy. There are no words, not one single syllable. I am inside myself.
There are no idioms to soothe me, there are no thoughts to brighten me, I am falling slowly from the top of a cliff. I am not skydiving with dazzling energy and lightness, seeking thrills. It’s a slow death, seeing the images that have haunted me as if I was watching a silent movie. There is no black and there is no white, only dark gray. Those who thought I had it all, I have nothing today. Am I loved for who I am unconditionally? That is how I love you.
You and I are so much alike that when it is good it feels like bursting happiness and beaming sunshine and when we fight, it is the bottom of a dark and painful hell. If I could have it any other way, I would. We are forever bound with love and we share a heart. I feel myself falling into murky waters of unknown depths and destiny. What would you say at my funeral if it was today? Would you say a prayer, read a poem, talk from your heart? Would you try to be stoic and fight back the tears or would you openly weep as I would for you? I would throw myself into the musky dirt to lie beside you if something happened to you; I would not want to live.
You have no idea how much you hurt me and yet even if I try to explain it to you, you deny it vehemently. Like two fighters in a ring, no one listening, both talking, fighting, an emotional blow to you, to me. There is no winner, everybody loses when they fight, all you get from fighting is pain. Will you learn later on that staying and talking through things are better than running away? Time will have to teach you that because I have tried and failed.
At the same time, do you not know that I love you with a special love reserved for no one else? You have always occupied that place in my heart, I love you more than I love my own life; I would leave the world and disappear if you could guarantee me that I would never again see that sad, woeful expression on your face again. I would do that for you; I would do that for me too. In my heart and soul, I know that before I saved myself, I would save you first.
I’ve been on Prednisone before, twice, and both times made me feel groovy, great. I was high on life, my muscles didn’t ache and I was a joy to live with…Not this time. There seems to be an evil lurker inside of my body making me say things without my usual filter and ultra-edit. I don’t think I am making up the things that I am saying, I just think that Prednisone is making me babble. Like some people on alcohol, their defenses are down, their mouths are open and wide and sputtering. Prednisone to me, is like alcohol and it’s not being easily tolerated by me or frankly, by my husband.
The worst thing about it? I really don’t care. I feel like a fight and am already on the way to one without stopping at GO. I’m a loose cannon, feel a little speedy and don’t feel the love tonight. Not from the Prednisone and not from my husband who was/is the unwilling recipient of my sudden quick-fire burst of anger. I don’t think he is in the least bit amused.
I am a lioness growling, a bear attacking, a leopard changing and colorizing it’s spots. I have never felt this way before but I believe I know what the side effects to Prednisone are….well, at least one of them. I’ll probably gain ten pounds just from eating salad and dry chicken and then I will really be hooting and hollering. Back off, man up, stay away, give me a wide berth. NO, I did not say GIRTH.
I am trying to breathe a little normalcy into my body but the nice person inside me, way deep down inside me, is not having anything to do with it. It’s laughing at me, taunting me, making me grimace and snarl. This is only my first day of Prednisone, I have 8 more days to go. This could get ugly, oh wait; it already is.
I was feeling so proud of my blog last night, the 104 entries, the fact that I stuck to it, it was my challenge and it was my accomplishment. It was my biggest accomplishment after, of course, the births of my son and daughter. Last night however, things changed and I have the painful stomach ache to prove it.
After hearing a lecture in school on Internet safety during Seminar Day, both of my children were made aware of the dangers of their photos, ANYTHING on the internet with their names attached to it. Inconveniently that same day I wrote a blog about my two teenagers because both my husband and I were in bad moods and felt incredibly cranky. First mistake.
To those of you who read my blog called “Cheeseburger On The Lam” aka “The Teenagers” let me tell you that I shouldn’t have written it. I want to apologize to my children for publishing something that they took offense to. I have been feeling sick, really sick and stressed out all day because of it. Honestly? I didn’t think it was that bad, just cranky parents needing to let off some steam. But, my children took offense to it and I deeply apologize for that.
It was a mistake, I now know, to publish it, because they were very angry, defiant and upset about it. I was hoping the audience were parents of teenagers that could possibly relate and to those people who are also unemployed and tense. Unfortunately, the audience of two that mattered the most to me, were my children. Thanks Seminar Dude. You ruined our evening and I do not, repeat not, think you were referring to vague references of sons and daughters written by a cranky parent!
It started a prosecutor extravaganza which was no fun for anyone that lasted a good hour. Before I even published it I even sent the blog to my husband asking him if he thought it was okay to publish, he said it was “Excellent!” So, I published it but what I really should have done was just thought about it a little longer. If I copied my husband and asked if it was okay, then maybe I was ignoring my own, deeply hidden thoughts or questions of judgment. I really don’t know.
So, here in print, I would like to apologize to my children for offending them. NOTHING is more important to me than these two amazing children. Children who bring such utter joy to my life. I would do nothing to hurt their feelings on purpose and if I did than I am deeply ashamed. The buck stops here.
I always tell my children, to be honest with me; I am now being honest with you. Yes, your dad and I did feel frustrated yesterday, the climate in the house had reached a point that we were very high-strung, over sensitive and uptight. So, I did what I do best and wrote about it, never thinking you would take offense. From now on, I promise you, I will think before I write and certainly before I click “Publish.”
I love you both more than my life. The thought of upsetting you made me feel horrible all day; yesterday’s meeting was not fun for anyone. I hope you accept my apology and now we can move on. Parents make mistakes, just like every person. As I’ve always taught you, if you have done something wrong, just be honest and apologize. Back at you.
*******P.S. SORRY DAUGHTER FOR THE “OTHER ONE” TOO!
There seems to be at least one new creature who lives in our house and comes out frequently; his name is FIGHTING. He lives with us in our small house, often hiding in one room or another but he seems to be here constantly. FIGHTING joins my daughter in her attitude and tone of voice; or when she doesn’t get what she wants. FIGHTING, also lives with my son, when my son drops the F bomb way too often, when he has a meltdown at the word “college” when we ask him if he has read a single page of a 40 dollar book that we bought at his request. FIGHTING is one of our new family members, not one I like particularly much but he has joined our family and my husband and myself have succumbed also to his impolite although sometimes quite impish ways. Yes, my husband and I have been joined by FIGHTING too. I am NOT proud of this. Like an ill-intentioned in-law when you’ve just had a baby and they know everything better and you don’t want to hear it for one quarter of a second in any lifetime.
Having a Junior in High School and a Sophomore in High School at the same time brings us a little more energy and upheaval than an ordinary family would generally have. Pair that with an unemployed dad who is desperately trying to find a job for more than 6 months already and a mom who has been sick for over two and a half years with one thing after another. FIGHTING has been reunited with his siblings, TENSION and STRESS; we come to find out that they are triplets. Now, all three live with us, most of the time if not all the time.
It’s like the guests from Hell who seemingly will not leave. There was a definite begin date but no happy ending in sight and probably not for a while. We all try, as hard as we can, to keep the triplets under control but sometimes they just break loose and dance around us satanically while we succumb to their uncontrollable and hypnotic, evil, evil ways. No matter how hard you try to control them there are times when they get the best of us and win. We shout, we cry, we roll our eyes, doors are slammed, curse words are used, arguments are not only overheated but overheard; we become undone. We try to regroup after each incident and we do but it isn’t easy when they come in rapid succession.
Every family goes through rough patches and I, of course, am aware of that and empathic. However, we have been hammered and it’s hard not to feel sorry for yourselves once in a great while. Yes, I count my blessings, yes, I am grateful for the things we do have but, when all of the negative issues play against each other and win, it is really, really hard to write everyday in the gratitude journal of life.
If you’re Oprah it’s easier to be grateful, gracious, compassionate and generous; if Fighting, Stress and Tension wanted to move to her house, she would just put them all up, lovingly, in various other houses or guest cottages in different countries. For us regular folk, we have no choice. We live with these demons day in and day out and try to cope the best way we know how. We have no choice. However, if Oprah has any helpful hints or ideas, please tell us; we really would love to know.