Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Life goes on.

I've been really quiet lately. Having a death in the family and various little dramas has drained me to the point that I just can't quite manage to do anything. People have been reaching out to me and, while I appreciate it, I can't seem to manage to meet them in the middle at all. Mentally and emotionally, I'm just wiped.

I signed up for a basic yoga class that will be every Wednesday evening in March. Hopefully getting out of the house and focusing on something other than the inside of my brain for a couple of hours will do some good. And it'll give me some time with my friend R, since she's going with me! (It was actually her idea, to give credit where such is due.) Total win all around.

There are a bunch of things that I've dropped over the past few days that I need to pick back up on. Drawing, writing, cleaning, cooking, packing, blogging... I feel so far behind.

For now I need to get ready to go supervise some cello-ing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

**I considered not posting this here because, well, I'm not sure how I feel about airing my dirty laundry in a public forum. But here we go anyway.

Look, ok, here I am. Right here, in this space, existing between just then and in a second. And no matter how much I can wish to be just me right now, I'm not. I'm a collection of every me that came before, a running tally of mistakes and triumphs in human form. There's nothing to be done for it. It is what it is.

And my mother is... well, my mother. She is what she is. It's what she chooses to be, and I can neither fault her or pity her for it. The former is roughly akin to slamming one's head repeatedly into a brick wall, and the other is an emotional black hole. She thrives on pity, on attention, on being the victim. The more pity she gets, the more she does to get it.

It sounds like a cruel thing to say, but it's the truth.

There are so many of the previous incarnations of me that she feels she owns. Rather, I think she feels she owns me wholesale, but *I* feel like she owns my childhood. It was never mine, even as I lived it. That's why I couldn't wait to be free of it, as though I would suddenly stop being the girl and become some self-sufficient woman. As it turns out, growing up doesn't work that way. It's more like building a house than a metamorphosis, and no matter what you do to change it you're still the same person you were.

Which would, obviously, mean that I'm still under her control in some vague sense. My subconscious believes that, even as I'm rolling my eyes at the notion. This is why I never fight back. It's why I apologize when she places blame at my feet. It's been easier to keep my mouth shut to keep things somewhat peaceful.

But perhaps age or distance or just my general lack of good humor lately has caused a shift in the dynamics. I am no longer content to be the punching bag so that no one else is.

So I am here, and she is there, and there are vicious, paranoid notes in my inbox. We are in different places, different worlds almost. I cannot speak her language well enough to make her understand what I'm saying. Simple ideas, like "I don't want to talk to you while you're drinking" become something akin to quantum physics when you aren't speaking the same language.

What if I don't see the beer? No.
What if it's on the phone so I don't know for sure that she's drunk? No.
What about email? No.
Text messages? Myspace? No. And also? No.

So the obvious answer, in her mind, is to call and hang up 12 times in five minutes. It's brilliant! She's not actually talking to me, as per my request, but she makes sure that I know she's there so I can't somehow forget.

Of course, this is my fault, and complaints will be met with that assertion. I may apologize whenever I'm done being juvenile. Of course.

And the answer is so easy. So easy. All I have to do is demand, in my firmest tone of voice (or set of pixels) that she knock it off Right This Second. Because, for all of this nonsense, she cannot stand in the face of confrontation. That's the weak spot, the place that I can lean into and completely own the situation.

One of two things will happen. Choice A is that she starts to behave like a normal human being and badmouths me to everyone in the family and any of my friends she comes across. Choice B is that she stops talking to me due to hurt feelings and badmouths me to everyone in the family and any of my friends that she might come across.

And honestly? Nothing sounds better than having her never talk to me again. This is not hyperbole. This is fatigue from putting up with someone who is very, very mentally ill (and PROUD of it) for all of my life. She won't get help, ever. We've discussed it before, she admits that she has problems... and then laughs about them and says that she's too old to change her ways. Old ladies, she insists, are allowed to do whatever they want. They've earned it, and everyone should just put up with it and respect their elders.

Having that drilled into my head from a young age is probably the reason that I haven't done anything before now. Respect your elders! They've had a hard life! They're allowed to drink as much as they want and throw tea pots at your head when they're too drunk to find their keys!

But last night I began the process of either completely burning the bridge or building one that works. It might not actually become a process, because I may have been auto-disowned and will hereby be shunned. It is difficult to continue a process involving communication when one is shunned and not spoken to, I would guess. But assuming that she decides to continue talking to me in any way, shape, or form, it will be a process.

I am manipulating little old ladies via negative reinforcement, basically. It sounds bad, but I figure that it's slightly more legal than faking the death of my entire family and living under assumed names.

Worst case, as I said to a friend, it will cause a spectacular blowup that will then be cause for many laughs when looking back in a few years. At least it has the potential to make a good story, even if it makes my life hell for a while.

PS - A friend of mine told me today that my situation reminded her of this quote:

"Adulthood isn't an award they'll give you for being a good child. You can waste... years, trying to get someone to give that respect to you, as though it were a sort of promotion or raise in pay. If only you do enough, if only you are good enough. No. You have to just... take it. Give it to yourself, I suppose. Say, I'm sorry you feel like that and walk away. But that's hard."
--- Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign, 1999

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a bit of a Lush fangirl. For all the not-girlie-girl that is my personality most times, I have such a weak spot for bath stuff and skin stuff. And perfume. And lip balm. And... hm. Maybe I am a girl? Who knew?

Anyway. So I bought a massage bar because, well, if I buy it then someone has to get a massage, right? Otherwise it'd be a waste of money! (I love my logic.) And I finally got around to demanding asking nicely for a massage last night. It smelled yummy (like cinnamon, which I like, though some people on the site gripe that they felt like a cinnamon altiod) and wasn't greasy, and it was good. But that's not the awesome part.

The awesome part is that when I woke up this morning all of the loose skin that I had from having two kids and losing a bunch of weight was gone. Like, not there. Like, at all. Holy shit! I keep poking at my tummy because I'm in awe and slightly baffled.

You know, I'm investing a ton of money in shea butter and cocoa butter at my earliest convenience, because I could totally make this stuff for a lot less than $9 a pop.

In other news, I've been doing drawing exercises and have been amazed. I'm following the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, and it teaches you how to see differently. I've only done the first 5 things, and there's already this shift in perspective that honestly kind of weirds me out in a way. It's just so bizarre to feel your brain working, to see proof of the shift between hemispheres.

I think I'm going to take pictures and post them, like a friend suggested, so that those interested can watch the change.

But for now I'm going to write up a grocery list and go get the stuff for jambalaya. I feel the need to declare war on my tastebuds. ^^

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Today was a total trainwreck.

- Woke up, found B with a fever. Again. Still. Some more. Called him in, went back to sleep.

- Woke up with my first ever nosebleed. Well, the first one that wasn't the direct result of the impact of a fiberglass pole. My face looked like I was an extra in a horror movie. I have a blood phobia. Good times!

- Got the kids up, ran out of cereal. Luckily, B has no appetite! *sigh*

- Got in the shower. The apartments pick the moment that I'm getting ready to rinse the shampoo out of my hair to do the fire alarm test that they've been talking about for a week.

- Called the doctor, who wanted me to bring B in. In like 15 minutes. O hai, not going to happen. We agreed that either the minor med (affiliated with their office) tonight or their office in the morning is a good idea.

- K came home super early! With flowers and coffee for me! And a nastygram about the office getting a report of "excessive door slamming" that was left on the door. :/

- He took B in to the doctor. His flu has turned into pneumonia. Luckily, we caught it in time so he doesn't have to be hospitalized.

- I found out that a friend of mine's ex-boything broke into her email and whatnot, which means that he read all of our conversations. Aside from pissed off because someone screwed with my friend, I feel kind of violated. Also? He's telling people that she's stalking him. Lol?

- Lil b sliced his finger open. "I'm bleeding!" he said, shoving his finger in my face. Please reference the blood phobia above.

- My computer freaked out. I apparently had a virus. I decide that perhaps now is a good time for a nap.

- Naps are a bad idea. I wake up feeling 1000x worse than previously. Flu relapse? Do I have pneumonia? I don't feel like I have pneumonia, but then I've never had it so I wouldn't know. Promise K that I'll go to the doctor tomorrow if I'm still feeling bad.

Cliff's notes: Boo has pneumonia. Life sucks. People better be glad that I can't get up the energy to hunt them down and go stabby at them.

On the upside, the interest rate has gone down so our dude updated our good faith estimate with the new numbers. That's happy. If we could lock it in right now, I'd be thrilled.

I'm trying to think of things that I want to learn once my brain cells are no longer suffering from the flu. (I'm picturing cartoon brain cells passed out with ice packs on their heads and thermometers in their mouths.) I miss the intentional, "I'm sitting down and learning now" sort of feeling that comes with taking classes. Not that the accidental or on the fly sort of learning isn't fun and useful, but maybe I miss structure. I just don't have the time or money for actual classes now.

I think one of the things I'm going to do is attempt to teach myself how to draw. I keep hearing that it's something that can be learned through study and practice, despite the assumption that you've either got it or you don't. So, I'll test that theory. It's not like I could get any worse at it, right? ;)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Catching up

I kind of slacked this weekend. Oops! Here's somet catch up.

On Saturday we had thundersnow! It was amazing. I wish I hadn't been sick so I could have gone outside instead of watching it from my room... then again, a house down the road from me got hit by lightning, so maybe it was for the best.

I wrote this Sunday:
I dreamt last night that I was drowning in dark, deep, black water in the middle of an icy lake. I tried to pull myself up but the ice broke under my hands, cutting my palms and re-submerging me.

The never-ending sickness of doom has started wearing on me, emotionally. I'm irritable as all hell, to the point that I just want someone to piss me off about something substantial so that I can tear into them. It's been difficult to reign myself in and not just metaphorically chew the faces off of completely undeserving people. Hence, very little in the way of communication with anyone.

The flu can't last forever. It either has to go away or kill me. ... right?

Apparently my upstairs neighbors are Giants fans. I'm surprised they didn't end up in my living room toward the end of the game, to be quite honest. As I told someone else, I'll be glad when we move to a house and the only loud ass people upstairs are the ones related to me. ("And you can poke them with a stick," they pointed out. Exactly!)

Tomorrow... I'm going to make a post that doesn't involve ANY whining at all. I swear it.

Right now I'm going to go throw a bath bomb in some hot water and just relax.

And on Monday:

You know, I promised an entry without whining. And I'll be damned if today didn't go and make that difficult. But! I shall prevail.

So I was working on a manuscript around the second week in January, you might remember. Set a goal of 5k, blew the deadline, reset it, met it with time to spare? Yes, that one. Well, I dropped it when Becca came to visit and then crap kept getting in the way, but I picked it up again tonight. It was difficult to get back into, but it felt good to do something productive while I'm sitting around waiting on my body to vanquish the virii. Hopefully it'll get easier tomorrow.

Is it extremely sad that I find comfort in hearing that Neil Gaiman is having issues with the chapter he's on, too? Heh.

Things with the house are kind of in that between stage. We haven't done the appraisal yet, and probably won't for at least a week. That hasn't stopped me from plotting things, of course. I cannot wait to get in and start painting things. I don't know why I'm looking forward to that so much, but the urge to go make some of those walls NON-WHITE is almost overwhelming.

I wonder how dude would feel if I started before he moved out..?

Yeah, probably not a good idea. Oh, well. ;D

Ohh, you know what? I totally have cheese dip around here somewhere. Time to terminate this entry early and go get some snacks. NOM NOM NOM.

I'm feeling a little better today, but who knows for how long. Everyone is passing this flu around like mad. 1/3 of the kids in B's school were out yesterday, today, or both. K's boss is not helping things by insisting he come into work while he's still contagious, either.

New plan: write a book, make several billion dollars, buy K's company, fire his boss. Hey, it's good to have goals, right?

Friday, February 1, 2008

Oh, my god. I feel like crap. I have cuts and bruises on the bottoms of my feet from running around barefoot on the never-swept concrete floor and metal stairs the other day. My left leg hurts from my ankle to my knee because I apparently wrenched it at some point. My stomach hurts every time I eat (yay stress!) but I get dizzy if I don't eat enough. I might have come down with the flu, because I'm having hot/cold flashes, a nagging cough, shortness of breath, and muscle aches.

Oh, and I woke up with a migraine. Fucking hell.

I had a dream last night that I went to visit Becca and Chris (who, despite not knowing one another, had simultaneously moved to the same town that was neither Memphis nor Denver) and got bitten by a snake. While I was at the doctor, the guy that Becca is dating was trying to basically tell me that I was faking a snake bite. Of course! And he kept telling me that she was too busy to hang out with me because they were going to be doing stuff for the entire weekend that I was there. But I couldn't call and talk to her because I didn't have my phone on me.

Then I went to track down Chris and found out that he was working at a Catholic high school and didn't want to be seen with me for fear of damaging his reputation. (Oh, the lols all around on that one.) So I got a snake bite for no reason! But then Rachel's friend Adam, who also worked at this random Catholic high school (again with the amusement), saw me and left work to take me dancing at the local gay club and bought me jello shots from gothic lolita girls.

In the real world, we did the inspection on the house yesterday. It's in amazing shape for being 58 years old, but there were a few things that need to be fixed (mostly common electrical goofs) and a few things that are kind of dumb. Like the walk up to the house has settled a little unevenly, and it's considered a "tripping hazard"... ok, but what is one supposed to do? Lift up the slab of concrete and put some sugar packets underneath the far corner, a la the desk that won't stop wobbling? :P

There's some weirdness with a grant from the local environmental foundation... or something... that needs to get cleared up, though. I couldn't want a house that is normal, could I?

And now... it's time to drag myself out of the bed and get dressed to go get the boy. Ugh.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The worst 10 minutes of my life.

K (my partner in crime) stayed home sick today and went to go grab the boy from school this afternoon. Lil b (who is almost 3) was happily playing with his laptop in his room, so I went to go figure out why my left contact was freaking out. After a few seconds of removing, rinsing, putting it back in, removing, etc. I heard a really loud thud from the other room. Immediately I thought that little dude had either dropped something or managed to kill himself somehow, so I ran into his room.

He wasn't there. I looked in the living room and kitchen. Not there, either. Not in his brother's room. Not in the bathroom or the laundry room. Not on the other side of my bed. WTF? By this point I'm calling his name, telling him that this is NOT funny and he needs to come out right now.

And then I saw the the door was unlocked.

So I stuck my head outside and looked in the hall. No sign of him. I threw on a hoodie (I wasn't wearing a shirt, just a bra) and skipped the shoes and ran outside.

From the front door there are a few ways to go. On either side there are metal stairs with concrete at the bottom. A fall down either one of those is going to be an ER visit at best. Then there's the landing to the parking garage full of people who can't be arsed to go slow or look where they're going. Further up is the elevator which goes all the way up to the roof of the parking garage.

I figured he went to the parking garage to look for K, so I ran out there first. No one. So then I thought that he'd maybe gone down the stairs (which is what we do when I let him walk to go places) so I ran down the set closest to the apartment and the set down the hall. Then I thought maybe he went up, since I never let him do that. So I ran up to the third floor. Nothing.

I went back in the apartment to see if maybe he'd been hiding and came out when he realized that no one was looking for him. That would have been too easy, though.

I ran back to the parking garage, thinking maybe he was on the other side of a car and I just hadn't seen him. There are a couple of cars exactly like ours in the garage, so maybe he was trying to get into one of them. I searched our level, looking under cars and yelling for him. The whole time I was running around and freaking out, I was speed-dialing K, who was not picking up. (Turns out his phone never went off. Fucking Verizon.)

By the time I came out of the parking garage the second time, my vocal cords were shot and I was hyperventilating and taking out my phone to call 911 because it'd been long enough that he could be anywhere at that point. And then I heard, from my right, the sound of a very small person running and crying. So I ran down the landing and turned the corner to find lil b, with no coat and no shoes, running toward me. I scooped him up, and he said "I was in the elevator! I was lost! I pushed the buttons and I waited on you and I was scared!"

So we came back inside and I collapsed into a coughing, hoarse mess on the floor and had a nervous breakdown with little dude on my lap having a nervous breakdown of his own. And of course K and B walked in at that point.

Yet another reason I want OUT of this apartment. The doors are impossible to childproof and we can't install more locks up higher or switch out the knobs.

I have hunch that this will be funny in like 12 years when he's dating and I get to retell the story. But right now? Yeah, not so much.