Impatience, Impatiens

I’ve always considered myself a patient person, not always, mind you, but most of the time. I am certainly not patient or forgiving when I’m driving and someone cuts me off. I curse and hold up a finger. When our son was really young and asked what it meant I told him it meant “wait a minute.” He believed that for years.

I’m patient on supermarket lines, I’m patient with (most) people, I listen well, I like to think I’m a good, loyal friend. Indeed, I have high standards for myself and used to think everyone was like me but Life taught me that lesson the hard way several times over. How do you know differently if the way your family acts is the only way you know?

My friends are all very different from me but now what keeps us together is not lunch dates, meeting in the city on a weekend for brunch or long telephone calls but stupid text messages or IM’s.  I confuse them all the time as my adult children roll their eyes and grimace.

I hate that, text messages to say Happy Birthday, text messages to say Hello, text messages to find out how a surgery went, text messages to show your deepest sympathy and one death announcement I had to read about on Facebook. It’s all the norm now.

Of course, my adult children, think I am old-fashioned and nuts. Beside that the iPhone to me is a strange and complicated piece of equipment, why can’t we just use the phone as the phone was really intended? To talk. It doesn’t seem popular anymore except for those of us “oldies.”

I will ask my kids to call their grandparents and they will do that responsibly but they will say “they weren’t home, we will try again later.” “Did you leave a message” I ask? A reasonable question, I think, and they look at me like the dinosaur that I am and say with a scolding dismay “Mom, our generation doesn’t LEAVE messages, we just try again later.”

It’s no surprise that I’m not good with change but I try as best I can. Knowing I’m not good with change makes me try harder than most. At this point in our lives my husband and I are waiting for change to happen, waiting for a clue to point us in the right direction on what we should do and where we should go in the future for the next chapter in our lives.

My friends say that “I will know it when it happens” and I believe that is true, but it has been a very long time and being patient has been getting harder and harder. I need to relax, look within and wait for the Spring. I think things will start to get clearer then. If nothing else, the dreadful Winter, will be over and Life will begin anew.

 

Haiku Horizons: Bones

Beautiful girl, love,

light from soul, not bones or weight

Spirit is within.


****************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Haters Gonna Hate (Without Me)

English: Gwyneth Paltrow at the 2011 Venice Fi...

English: Gwyneth Paltrow at the 2011 Venice Film Festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve read that there are people who “hate” Ann Hathaway just like they used to hate Gwyneth Paltrow. Hate? I read it in at least three or four different sources and an additional two at the end of the long supermarket line.

Where is all the “hate” coming from these days, I have no idea. I don’t get it. Is it a new “trend” to hate someone? I thought we were moving back to a “kinder, gentler nation.”  I guess I was wrong.

People are now hating  people they don’t even KNOW?

My God, (gasp!!), are we all back in middle school? Does he have”cooties?”Does SHE? UGH, she smells like a monkey, he smells like poop, hey he said a curse word, SHUT UP!!! Dad, he’s screaming at me, MOMMY….. and so it starts….unless the behavior can be changed right away.” Hate is a very strong word my parents told us,” “Hate is a very, very strong word, we told our children.”

I do know grown up people that are obviously mean and negative but, I make an effort to try to stay far away from them. Anyone who is consistently like that is NO longer in my close circle of friends. It wasn’t good for me and I’m much happier now. I know these past friends or acquaintances will stab anyone in the back, some would be shocked to think that they do it, many people are unaware of how they come across.

Apparently the movie “Mean Girls” lives on but instead of being ashamed many people are proud of their status or have no idea what pain they are inflicting on others. There are quite a few “Mean Girls” that grow up without learning lessons, they become “Mean People.”

I’d rather someone be mean to my face than behind my back because you know someone will always delight in telling you. This way, if someone attacks you to your face you can decide to fight back or walk away saying “This is YOUR problem, not Mine.”

So, hate away, haters. I’m not joining in. There’s too much negativity in the world already, I’m not getting involved in anything remotely mean, gossipy or unkind. There is enough pain going around in this world without me adding to it. Even though some people don’t show it, we all have issues we are dealing with inside.

Am I changing the world? I know I’m not. I’m just changing my teeny, tiny piece of it, that’s all I can to do. If I can change one person to stop saying one mean thing I would be thrilled. I’m not changing the world but to me it’s still worth the effort.

Enhanced by Zemanta

FWF, Kellie Elmore- Image Prompt

Image Credit: We Heart It

The” haunted house” has always been in my neighborhood. When we were little we stayed away from it. When I became a teenager and my little sister, Dani, would annoy me I would tell her the ghosts from the haunted house would fly in our windows and take her if she wasn’t asleep. I thought it was funny, you know one of those older sister “things.”

When I was 15 I claimed that neglected house as my own. Eventually it became our crack house,but for the first few months it was our hang out. We’d go there every day, cutting Senior year’s “internship” program. We had a tight circle of five or six friends. We all brought drugs, I stole pills from my mother’s medicine cabinet, there was alcohol, weed, all of us brought food, Benny and Steve always had heroin, my best friend Jenny brought cocaine and chocolate chip cookies.

My parents had no idea of who I had become. All they did was fight with each other. It was pathetic how easy lying was. If you wanted to change your life, it was so simple.  Assholes. They didn’t even pay attention. My little sister played in her room, alone. She barely came out.

One night, at dinner, the tension between my parents was especially bad, thick like the humid rain forests, we had to study. Hard to breathe. I saw my  7-year-old sister sucking her thumb which she hadn’t done since she was 3. I was fed-up with their non-stop bickering but when I tried to say something both my parents would tersely say “not now Tess.”

I pushed my chair back from the table and left, telling them I had study group and they didn’t even question me about what class or where I was going, so I left. I headed to my real home, the crack house where I knew my friends were.


I sat on the floor next to Danny he lit up a joint and we shared a few beers. It felt so good. I tried to forget about mom and dad but it was hard. Danny said there was one thing that would help me forget all about it as we giggled together and he nuzzled into me and whispered in my ear “I have something special just for you.” He laughed and said “Baby. I promise you, it is the biggest high you will ever have, all your silly problems will melt away in a minute.” He showed me the heroin and the idea of escaping my miserable world was so tempting.”Since it’s your first time, I’ll even stay with you if you want.”

We kissed and I whispered “okay” in his ear. He looked so happy that I let him inject the heroin into my vein. First, from what I can remember, I felt amazing, lots of colors and sounds, I had no idea where I was but it was better than any place I had seen. I remember dancing to the music alone, smiling a lot.

Later on, I got paranoid and scared. I just remember screaming so loudly in my ear. Everywhere people were screaming and I couldn’t take all that noise, I cried from the pain, covered my ears with my hands but it did not go away. Hours later there was nobody left and the screaming remained. Apparently the screaming came from me.

I don’t know what happened after that, someone must have called the police because I just remember an ambulance coming and strapping me down. I screamed when I saw both my parents waiting at the hospital, holding hands? The nurse gave me a shot. I felt  asleep in seconds.

When I awakened I pretty much just felt stupid, only realizing then that my problems had just begun.I saw a glimpse of my little sister hiding behind the curtains. I tried to smile but she did not want anything to do with me. I didn’t blame her.

I really was sorry, I guess we all were. My parents decided we would all go to family therapy and they would go to couples counseling. I lived back at home and my relationship with my little sister got better, sometimes I even played with her in her room. The crack house had been gutted and cleared.

I was happy to see it go. More than happy.

Enhanced by Zemanta

FWF Kellie Elmore: Junior High

English: View of Davey Elementary School in Ke...

English: View of Davey Elementary School in Kent, Ohio. The building opened in 1922 and was first home to Theodore Roosevelt High School until 1959 before serving as Davey Junior High/Middle School until 1999. It was renovated from 1999-2000 and reopened in 2000 as Davey Elementary School. Originally uploaded 3 February 2007 to English Wikipedia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On my first day of Junior High School I was nervous, excited and scared.  I walked from my apartment building with a friend, up the steep hill, passing the red brick elementary school I had graduated from and the gray cemetery that lurked on the right side. It was at least a 25 minute walk to our bus stop which was in front of the big, smoky subway station.

I was overwhelmed by the sensory overload in the morning: noise and stimulation, many people bustling about, headed to trains or buses, to the coffee shop, The Pastrami King, the pharmacy, or the courthouse. Everybody walked so quickly, rushing to their destination.

Finally, our bus came and we piled on pushing and shoving trying unsuccessfully to save a seat for a friend. There were four seats in the last row where the “tough” kids sat smoking and blowing their smoke in our direction.

There were smells on that bus from an array of  both food and people: tuna fish sandwiches, the sugar sweetness of  French crullers, sweat, body odor and smelly feet, potato chips. There was always one “bad kid” in the neighborhood and of course he was there ready to make himself known as if we had forgotten him after six years of elementary school.

We passed the bank clock and it was always 8:32 am, every single day, in bright large numbers, in yellow-orange against a black background, that always cheered me up.  I marveled at the accuracy of the bus each morning. That was the highlight of my day. It was, after all,  Junior High School, you were almost required to be moody and miserable, it’s just the one thing they didn’t pass a handbook out for.

The real change was recess which was not held in the comfortable basement of our school like it was in elementary school but rather outside in a cold, cement area marked with high wired fences. It looked like a prison. There were no trees in the back, not a blade of grass or flowers.

It was the first time where we changed teachers for different subjects, moved with the same students, from class to class. It was fascinating and new, odd and strange. Junior High School is not a great experience for many people, probably due to our age. It’s an awkward time, the guys and girls wearing acne, boys’ voices were in the middle of changing, the girls were in a huge range of maturity and we were all uncomfortable and self-conscious, everybody hated how they looked.

Socially, it was a new world, new girl friends, a larger and diverse crowd than elementary school. I hung out with a new friend who introduced me to smoking menthol cigarettes while chewing gum and drinking Fresca soda on a huge rock that we scrambled up in the big, bright park after school. Her name was Susan and after my phase of trying to be bad, I gave it up shortly.  Judy, was my best friend with bright red hair and a twin and we sat next to each other in class, trying to desperately hide our laughter. We had a horrible teacher who made angry spots on the blackboard with his chalk and every time he did it we would burst out in hysterics. At the same time I stared at a classmate who picked at her hair for an entire hour and a half. I couldn’t stand to look yet I couldn’t look away.

It was a world unknown and new yet very stressful and depressing. It was on the very same bus, going home, that I heard one of my friends, since childhood, had committed suicide. She overdosed on drugs after her mother remarried a classmate’s father. I couldn’t stop thinking about that, I never forgot about it either.

Her absence, in Junior High School was far more memorable than any day I sat in class. I can still picture her face, her long black eyelashes, the intense blue of her unwavering stare. This is in memory for you, Lori B.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Living With Pain Vs. Pain For The First Time.

Wisdom tooth1

Wisdom tooth1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My 19-year-old daughter had her lower two wisdom teeth removed this morning. They gave her a little laughing gas while we kept her company until her surgeon appeared (20 minutes later) and then he turned on the laughing gas way up high. After, he sedated her so she fell asleep and when she awakened she was the most giggly girl I have seen since she was about five. It was delightful to see a glimpse of my grown-up daughter back in time when her defenses hadn’t evolved, her moods were just plain happiness and silliness and she looked at her brother and me lovingly.

Back at home she is still high as a kite but experiences no pain, she refuses to even try to go to sleep even though as her mom, I see she her blue eyes are closing and that she is so tired.  Being her mom I was a nervous wreck last night and I told my son sleepily when he came to wake me up: “they should give anxiety sedation to the moms, not to the teenagers.” Anyone reading this that’s a mom will know exactly what I’m talking about, right?

Having Fibromyalgia, I know what Pain feels like but I’ve known it many times. I’ve had the “dreaded” Eppiglottitis two or three times that is more painful than childbirth and I dread it constantly. Childbirth is no picnic but that’s a different pain. At the end you know that you will get a reward: your new baby so it doesn’t really count as much and it’s a pain you mostly forget. Notice I said mostly. I’ve had broken ankles and broken wrists, I’ve had my tonsils out and my gallbladder removed so I have known pain pretty much early on and often.

I had fallen asleep on my bed for a few minutes today when my daughter woke me up her painful grunts and her cranky face. “It hurts” she whined and I knew that it must. She hadn’t slept and the sedation had all but left her body and she hurt. I brought her back to her bed, removed the cotton from her mouth, got her some raspberry yogurt as requested because she was “hungry” and afterwards helped her to swallow a pain medication that her doctor prescribed.

By the time the medication worked (a good 25 minutes) she moaned and groaned and complained about the pain. I felt the pain as much as she did if not more. Parents, you know… Then I realized something and I asked her “Is this the first time you’ve ever felt pain?” She said yes, quite honestly. The scowl etched on her face forming deep, unhappy lines. I thought to myself, “oh my God, maybe she will have more understanding about what I go through with Fibromyalgia, intense pain, most of the time.”

It seemed like I had always known pain but when I thought back I hadn’t known it until I was a young teenager and tripped over myself in my parent’s living room, causing my ankle to swell up to a deep purple ball and going for an X-ray for confirmation that yes, indeed it was broken. My first cast of many, I was 15, I remember and I was in high school.

It’s not likely that my daughter will be more sympathetic to my pain or even understand it, kids forget things so quickly but at least I know, that she’s never had a frame of reference. Maybe now she will.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Trying On Bathing Suits Or Buying A House: What’s Worse? 6/2013

"Mermaid Club, Philadelphia." Member...

“Mermaid Club, Philadelphia.” Members in bathing suits circa 1920. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I tried on about 80 bathing suits yesterday at a nice store, oh fine, I’m exaggerating, I tried on 8 bathing suits but it certainly felt like 80. I have lost weight so my excuse that nothing fits because I’m heavy does not hold water (pun intended). Someone described me as “tiny” and “slight” the other day, I literally looked behind me looking to see who they were talking about. There was nobody behind me. I may have lost weight but in no way do I feel slight or diminutive. What are they thinking? And no matter what I weigh, or anyone weighs, trying on bathing suits is a horrifying experience. Am I wrong?

Have you seen the bathing suits THIS year? If you have, there’s no need for you to read any further. What has happened to a regular one piece swimsuit: a regular bathing suit with straps and a back?  The suits I tried on either had no umm, support in the front, and no straps ( I don’t count those little stringy things as straps) and there was no backs, one literally went down to my backside. Who wants to see THAT?

Today I went to two other stores, same results. The suits are either not in my size (though I bought one  that is too big for me and one that is too small for me out of pure desperation). The others in the store are skimpy,  poorly made and junky, not even my daughter with her cute figure would wear them and they are all mix and match. Ugh.

So, my personal conclusion is that trying on and actually buying a bathing suit is MUCH WORSE than looking and buying a house. Ladies, do you agree? I would talk to men too but let’s face it, they really do not have the same problem. Small, Medium or Large? Hawaiian print or solid blue? Am I right?

Buying a house? Seems pretty simple to me. Not even 100th of one percent close to the agony of the bathing suit selection. Buying a house: Know the limits of what you can spend, know which coast/states/towns you want to live in, do research on different areas and look at some houses with your new best friend, your local realtor who wants nothing more than his/her commission. Select a house, sign about a hundred checks, move in, done! To me it sounds like  a piece of cake. But, please, remind me of that before the next time we move……

Haiku Heights: Change

English: Fall leaves in Eugene, Oregon

English: Fall leaves in Eugene, Oregon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Burnt orange-red leaves

fade to brown threads of winter

acid dreams of hell.

*********************************************

Tunnel of darkness

small kids become teenagers

Years before the light.

Is that the light at the end of the tunnel?

Is that the light at the end of the tunnel? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Too Many Children Dying (Carry on Tuesday:The best is yet to come)

English: The Circle of Life. Ceiling fresco in...

English: The Circle of Life. Ceiling fresco in the main hall of the Natural History Museum, Vienna. Deutsch: Der Kreislauf des Lebens. Deckenfresko im Hauptgebäude des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Age doesn’t matter, they are the sons and daughters of people whose names I know. They live in my town, three of these precious children have died in the last year. As I have said many times before, no parent should have to bury their child. It isn’t right, it isn’t fair, it’s unnatural. Worst of all when they choose to end their lives on purpose, how can you deal with that, how to go on?

The parents have all tried to do the right thing. Their children have gone to numerous programs, counseling, tough love, nurturing love, medication, psychiatrists, psychologists, special programs, rehab, AA,  etc. but they have fallen again and again from some unknown evil and ill part inside them that they cannot control.

Who is to blame? No one, I imagine. I’m sure that most parents will do whatever it takes to help them. I have a friend, however, who has done so much for so long, he cannot do anything anymore for his eighteen year old son. Sometimes there is a limit for the parents too. This boy has been through every program imaginable and yet he still wants to destroy things, set houses on fire, do dangerous drugs, put his own life at risk. He too, will be a statistic one day, he does not want anyone to stop him, he has made that clear. It’s like watching a black and white movie in slow motion, backwards. Violence will be involved in some way, I fear. It will not have a happy ending.

Are the adolescents to blame? They are almost adults, around the ages of seventeen to eighteen. Do we blame them for going back to lives filled with “the wrong crowd” drugs, alcohol, mischief? Yes, but we blame ourselves too…We should have done this or that but truly we did everything, heard everything that they allowed us to see. They have crossed the line many times before, how do you know which will be the last phone call, the last time you see them?

The last call you get from the police, the one that makes you bend forward and grasp your knees and fall to the floor, sobbing hysterically. Yes, that kind of crying. That kind of misery, pain, sadness that saws your limbs in half one by one, slowly. You only know how it feels if you have been through it. A friend of mine committed suicide in junior high, I heard about it on the school bus. I remember it vividly.

Don’t you see? The best is yet to come.  Any other day will be better than this one. Take my hand, take anybody’s hand and hold on, one finger touching lightly like a butterfly’s kiss or a strong handshake whose strength will never let you get away. Let’s start like that. You will always have one friend that is on your side.

If you are even considering taking your life step back. Step back now. We stand here as broken people, parents, family, friends who will never be whole again because others before you gave up or thought they couldn’t do better or thought falsely that nobody cared.  It’s a lie, all of it. We ALL care, even if we don’t know you, even if we have not met, we care enough to think about you and your family we know that your life is worth living. The best is yet to be, there is promise in the world, there is hope that tomorrow will be better. It couldn’t be worse, right? Please don’t quit today, call a friend, hug your dog, take a walk, tell your mom you’re scared, I’m sure she is twice as scared as you are. Try to hang on, NO, promise. Just do that much. To me, it would mean the world.

The show must go on (Carry on Tuesday)

parents

parents (Photo credit: Mystic Lens)

I never said we were an unhappy family, it’s all a matter of perspective. After all, to the people in our homeland, India, we lived “the American dream.” My younger brother and I were born in India, we lived with our parents and grandparents together in one room. We knew no different, the only thing we knew is eventually we were going to “Merica” but we had no idea what that meant. My brother and I just assumed it was a neighborhood nearby.

Now, fourteen years later, we live in New Jersey and own a small white house, with black trim. My mother was afraid, she said, “to be perceived as too gaudy.” We have a front yard that is nicely manicured (my father brags to people back home that we have hired a gardener.)  My mother has the flowers, arranged in red, white and blue rows, perfectly, with soldier-like precision.

Everyone seemed to have acclimated to our new life, except me. I’m seventeen years old, did they think it would be easy for me? As in India we had to continue our very traditional ways in New Jersey. “It is expected of us” my parents would tell me and my little brother, Rakesh to carry on our culture with pride. At the same time my younger brother was getting beaten up in the playground each afternoon.  I refused to call him, his Indian name here, so I made up an American name for him in part to annoy my parents and in part to give the kid a chance at surviving elementary school. My parents were furious but I didn’t care, as soon as Rakesh became “Robby”  life got a little easier for him.

If they wanted obedient and silent children than they should have never left India. My brother and I wanted to stay in India when we were children but of course they never asked us how we felt. We knew we had no choice anyway, we always did what our parents told us to do, there was no options. We were never allowed to talk back to our parents, in fact, we were not able to talk at all until we had been spoken to.  Back home we would not even know the concept of talking back to one’s parent’s or anyone’s elder, it was not done, it did not exist.

We are all playing a role, in our new life here, like actors in a play. By the time we landed here I changed my name to “Annie.” My parents could scream but I did not care, I had to live in this society, so yes, I ignored them. I put up a sweet and demure face, I wore my traditional garb at home and changed into my “real” high school clothes quickly in the girls bathroom when I got to school. I changed into short skirts and tight tops. I pulled my long lack hair into a high pony tail and my friends taught me how to put on make up. I had it down to a science in no time. I only feared my parents coming in unexpectedly but I knew that would never happen.

If I had to stay in this country and honor my parents’ wishes I was going to do it on my terms, that is until I turned 18 and then they would have no control over me. I was counting the days until my 18th birthday. Until that day, and ONLY that day, this façade, this show will go on but after that it would stop, immediately. I had circled my birthday on the black and white calendar with a thick, red marker in boundless abandon, this was my secret. I will play the role of dutiful daughter, I will do whatever they tell me to do until my birthday.  The evening of my 18th birthday, I will slowly and quietly pack my things, while my ultra conservative, parents slept, in their separate beds with their overhead fans and ugly, green and white velvet bedspreads with inlaid crystals.

Having planned this for months the night of my birthday I will sneak down the steps and go out the side door. I will tiptoe quietly down the street where Brian, my boyfriend, will be waiting for me in his car. We are leaving together, we are moving to the Village in New York City, Brian has a friend who has an apartment there. If we don’t like it in New York we will go to Boston, or California, wherever we want to go. I will feel free for the first time in my life.

I have to laugh. They named me Ashmita, meaning rock born, hard and strong. What did they expect?