Friday, November 03, 2017

In the middle of a conversation my niece, Ramona, and I start to giggle. I had just said the sentence "Practice saying  'I don't like it when you act like a bully Grandma." The ridiculousness of the situation had suddenly struck us as funny. I was having to train the children to stick up their grandma, who just happens to be a bully.

Like any true bully she only picks on the people who will not stand up to her. Being strong willed and bossy Ramona and I are rarely bullied. She uses manipulation on us instead. Fria Chica and her son are compliant, so they are bullied often. Just the other day my mother stood in the Fria Chica's house and called her a piece of shit. She is in her thirties and raising two children, and still my mom treats her like she did as a child.

As an adult I have guilt that I did not stick up for my sister more when she was younger. She is nine years younger than me, so she was still a child when I was moving out. I do not think I realized how badly my mom talked to her until I was older. She talked to my older brother like that his whole life. When you are raised in the situation it can be hard to recognize until you get out and learn more about life.

My older brother had the same mental illness my mother does. I suspect that both of my parents had undiagnosed mental illnesses. In all six of their offspring, that lived to adulthood, I see traces of one or the other illnesses. I suspect my father was bipolar, and have no clue what my mom's would be classified as. I do not think she will ever admit there is anything wrong with her. When I was a child she would often say that every thing wrong with her children they got from their dad.  My older brother could be a bully to children at times. He and my mother spent a lot of time together as he got older but much of it was spent fighting.

She would insult him and treat him like he was stupid until he would explode. His explosions were childlike. He would tear up something he had created, give away his beloved possessions, get out of the car to walk home, no matter the weather or distance. It was tedious by the time he was in his forties.

 My mother can be equally tedious.  She has an air about her that lets you know she thinks she is smarter than everybody else. When with a group of girls that are talking about attractive men she will say, "I don't think he is that good looking, but I think I must have better taste than most people." She must forget I have seen the losers she dates. That was a hateful thing for me to say, but I do tend to get hateful inside when she is like this. Maybe that is why I find her tedious, she brings out the worst in me. She has better taste buds than everybody else too. That is why she can only drink filtered water. The thing is we grew up poor. Now she is retired and poor. I cannot figure out what in her life has given her this arrogance. It does not stem from her accomplishments; she seems to have been born with it. She still tells me how much better she is than her sisters and brothers.

I wanted my children to have a good relationship with their grandmother so I never talked to them about how she was. I just limited their time at her house so she would not get annoyed and insult them and invited her to my house instead so they could spend supervised time with her. They do all love their grandmother now that they are adults, but they have learned to limit their time with her themselves as well. Not because she bullies them, but because they too seem to find her best in small doses.

She did not bully them much as they grew up. Instead she tended to spoil them. I remember her saying something rude to Lee once when was under two, too young to remember, we were making the long car trip home from Oregon to Kansas and had stopped to get dinner. She said something, I can't remember what, to him and I snapped back, "He is not your kid." She never said anything like that to one of my boys again while I was there.  One day when Jason was about four he told me that Grandma had something rude to him while he was at her house. He wondered why she would say that. I talked with him about it and was quietly trying to decide how I was going to talk to his grandmother about this. I did not have to. The next day was Easter, and a beautiful day, so we had walked the park to play as a family.  On the way home Jason was in front of me walking with his grandmother and he asked her why she had been so rude to him. She was clearly flustered and as far as I know never talked to him like that again. As a matter of fact they got along really well. One day he jokingly told her to 'go to hell.' She told him he could not talk to his grandma that way. Later that night he called her, told her to 'go to hell', and hung up. A few days later she called and did the same to him. It became a running joke through all of his teenage years.

Every time I start to remember all the negative with my mom I realize that there was positive as well. The reason I had to try to think about how I was going to talk to her was because I am protective of her. She seems fragile to me. As if she needs this arrogance to survive. I do not remember when I started watching what I said to her to protect her feelings, but it was before I entered jr. high. She is a complex person, like most of us.

Friday, October 13, 2017

It is late, so I will make this short. I have promised myself I will start writing something everyday, even if it is just rambling about my life here. For the past few years I have been trying to learn to live the fullest life I can while walking around with a dark hole inside of me. For the most part I am doing better. This summer though I have started having a dense depression deep inside of me. It doesn't keep me from being happy and enjoying most days. It is just so heavy to carry around. I takes all of my energy. Not one of my summer projects were completed this year.

Last night I had an emotional breakdown and talked about my childhood, while crying, and drunk, with my boyfriend. This is something I rarely talk deeply about with anybody. Not because I don't like talking, but because there are so many better subjects to talk about. Today I decided to get a better grip on my mental health. Part of my self prescribed treatment is to start writing down my feelings about my childhood. So, even though this intended to be a fun blog when I started it is certainly slipping down the slope to cathartic.

The breakdown was triggered by watching the movie A Glass Castle. I had already read the book, and knew what I was in for, but did not expect it to cause me so much pain. I read the book before Jason died I don't think I realized how much more fragile I am now until last night. Tomorrow I will go into more details about my reaction to the movie. I need sleep.


*The new baby is a girl, due in March.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Oh, and my sister is pregnant again. I like to think that she will decide to grow up and raise this one, but since she started the conversation with "I am sorry," I assume life will follow its course and I will be raising a new baby this time next year.

I am happy with Big Mac being the age he is. A new born is a lot of work and we are past that, or so I thought. I guess it does not matter how I feel about it, the baby is coming, I may as well get happy.

My last post was raw. I only noticed it in the re-reading, but it was. Now I feel I have had time to process my brother's death, but I have not accomplished what I need to. Who was he, my brother, I feel I need to answer that, but I dread the attention to detail it will take. My life is bogged down in the day to day problems of dentist appointments and dinner parties, this will be satisfying work, but it will be work.

Monday, May 22, 2017

I haven't talked about my brother much on this blog. I don't know why that is. He has been as much a part of my life as my sisters have been, but much less dramatically. Fria Chica had a new baby last month, a long story. My mom carried the baby to my brother's apartment, he lived next door to her, and found him dead. He was only 46, three years older than I am. What the fuck? We are too young for sudden death. I am racked with guilt for not spending more time with him. Sometimes I would not answer the door when he came over. I valued my time in solitude over talking to him, but I thought we had decades left in front of us. Going through his apartment I have found that he had a rich life all of his own. Not everything is about me.
My little guy is still living with me, he goes home to his mom periodically, but is usually to be found here making me smile. I do still live with the constant fear that something will take him away from me. I feel that I love him too much. When I used that phrase in front of his mother, Drama Queen, she laughed and told me I can't love somebody too much. She is right, but I still feel that way. He has been sick, a cough and runny nose, common childhood illness, but I lay in bed and worry about hantavirus.  He is sleeping well tonight and seems to be on the mend. Maybe soon I will have to find another reason to beat myself up.

That last sentence was a joke I have with myself. I portray my life as endless angst, but am generally a joyful person. Honestly the two live happily side by side in my soul. I planted my garden today. May 21st seems late to plant, but the weather has been crazy here. We had over 10 inches of snow earlier this month. I put my potted herbs outside today and am now listening to the wind beat them up. My little niece, Rapunzel, helped me plant today. She has been a bit of sunshine in my life. Some days I feel like I do not give her enough attention because I am busy with her little brother, so I have been trying to make sure we have one on one time everyday.  I really do love these little people.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

movies

So, I'll preface this emotional rant by saying that I had the most lovely night tonight. I went to the movies with a couple of friends to see Florence Foster Jenkins and thought it was on the best movie  I have seen in a while. I laughed, I cried, it moved me Bob.

But, while watching the previews, while drinking a Blue Moon with the obligatory orange slice,  the preview for Collateral Beauty came on. I'm sure this will be a good movie and I will like it, but tonight all I could think was "Fuck you." Don't send your personifications at me and tell me to move on. Don't tell me how beautiful life is, don't call it a gift, until you realize how soul shattering it is to lose a child. I'm sure be the end of the movie Will Smith's character will buckle to reason and get over it. I'll cheer for him and love him like the rest of the crowd, but as for myself I still say "Fuck You!"

Still, if you live near an independent theater which will serve you a beer to watch the movie with go spend your money there. It is worth it.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

New baby boy

So, what is new? Everything, nothing, for the most part my life stays the same, but there always seem to be new kids.

     My sister, Drama Queen had a baby boy in November. I was not stressed out when I heard she was pregnant again, like I was when she had her last baby girl. When I found out Drama Queen was pregnant with her I did not think we were in a good place to have a baby, but it turns out she fit right in.  This time it was easier because I love that little girl so much so, I was happy to have another baby. I went to stay with my sister when he was born and I fell in love with that little guy.
     He came to stay with me when he was two months old and other than the occasional week or two has been here every since. Then, quite suddenly, he has went home to his mom. Ramona and both of the little ones went home. Now, with just Beezus and I, my house seems amazingly quiet. I'm not sure to do with all of my time.

     What I did not expect was the amazingly high anxiety levels having a new baby have caused. I had them when his sister moved in at eight months, but Jason's death was still raw then so I thought I would be better. Before, I have always been extremely confident with babies, much like I was confident with life. I always just assumed everything would be fine. Now, I am sure something will go wrong, somebody will be hurt, I will allow the new baby to die. As he reaches ten months my nighttime anxiety has lessened a lot. I feel like I am sleeping better, but I have been in a serious funk for the last month.
     What works best for me is to meditate and spend time alone trying to find the root of my sadness. Finally it came to me that I simply love this little guy too much. I am living with the constant fear that something will happen to him. To counter act this fear I have been meditating on the idea that nothing is permanent, and that I can't let fear of the future keep me from enjoying every moment I have with him. It is helping; I am coming out of my funk.

#bragging moment: He is learning to walk and is so stinking cute.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

It has been some time since I have had the courage to come here. I have mentally composed many posts, but have left them untyped in the recess of my brain. When I came here tonight it startled me to see that I had been a blogger since 2005. That was ten years ago.

Ten years ago my life was silly. Pain had no real meaning to me, although I did not realize that at the time. I thought I understood pain and suffering, but I really did not. Now ten years later my life is still silly.

Tonight I came home from work early. I work two jobs, but since I left my main job early I was able to clean the office building and come home much earlier than usual. I had intended to spend the extra time outside since today is supposed to be the last day of this stretch of unseasonably warm February weather. Instead, I was starving, so I went to my kitchen and made the kids steaks and potatoes. Diva was coming over to work on a college paper so I made her a steak too.

later in the evening we were standing outside. She was smoking and I was staring into the stars. We were talking about her latest sexual escapades. Being single her day to day life still makes for a funny story. I was asking her the delicate question about how a boy I went to school with was in bed. She had just found out the answer this weekend. I had honestly always suspected this particular man was gay, so I was really interested in the answer. Yet, as we spoke, I was conscious of the building Jason had hung himself in. I wondered if he could hear me. I wish I knew how it all worked. Life does go on. It is just as silly. I just can't laugh at it in quite the same way.

It feels good to be back.