I am hiding out in my house. Today is my first day off work since school started. With my first look at the schedule I was excited. A day off, home alone, no appointments to haul children to, this was a gift. A gift that needed protecting. I bluntly told Fria Chica, Mom, Anna and her husband, that they were not to come to my house on Wednesday; they would be locked out. I knew I could say this to them and they would understand. I informed them that if they told my brother I was to be home they would be killed. His feelings are more easily bruised. The only worry left was dh, his feelings are tender also . I did not tell him I was having a day off, and was just hoping it would not be a day where he popped in and out of the house several times. Then during an unrelated conversation he reminded me that Wednesday was the start of dove season, not the chocolates. That meant he would be staying Tuesday night at the river drinking with his buddies. All day Wednesday would be spent killing God's innocent creatures. I was relieved.
As I have whined about in another post my several of my family members are going through rough times at the moment. Being a fixer and a worrier this has caused a lot of stress for me lately. My brother has a few personality issues and depression problems that have made being a part of the work force hard for him. Many times when he is between jobs Mom and I have been able to provide a bit of a cushion for him. This time however it just is not feasible. We make sure he has a place to come, talk, and have a meal, but today I need a break, for my sanity.
Miss Universe has been keeping to herself too much lately. I need to reach out to her and see how she is doing. This past year she has left her husband, lived alone, drank heavily, had boyfriends, moved back in with her husband, and is spending a few weekends in jail to atone for a crime she did or did not commit. I worry about her, but I always know she will come out of this just fine, she always does.
Drama Queen. What can I say about her. She hit a downward spiral four years ago and cannot make her way back up. Last spring when the girls moved in with me if felt final. All summer it felt final. Even when I cautioned myself that she would want the girls to move back in with her when school started my heart would not believe it. She entered and left rehab three times this summer. Each time she would call a family member and insist that they drive to Wichita to take her to rehab, if not she would kill herself. She has grown fond of talking about how suicidal she is. I always refused. Fria Chica and Mom started to refuse after she had checked herself back out after two emotional days of checking her in and making arrangements for her. She sucks the energy out of a person. Once when I was leaving Lawrence I had to stop by Wichita and check on her, Mom insisted. She let me in then passed back out on her couch. I made my way through the bottles and debris to the bathroom. Before I left I kissed her goodbye and asked three times if she was going to lock the door behind me. She called the next day to talk. She had had a vague dream about me. She had no recollection of my having been there. The unlocked door had bothered her all morning, she knew someone had been in her house, but had no idea what they had done. She was relieved to find out that it was me, and that I had not violated her. I didn't mention the kiss.
Since her family had quit answering her calls for help she called friend. Worried, her friend called the police to check on her. She was drunk and belligerent when they arrived on the scene. She was put into rehab, but had talked her way out by the end of the weekend. My sister is a beautiful, skilled actor. They agreed that she wasn't masking any mental illnesses with her drinking, she just need outpatient treatment to help control her alcohol problem. You and I would have believed her too. I have seen her in action, she is good.
While I was checking out of the motel to leave Ks. City she called to talk. I stepped out of line and sat in a large overstuffed chair to hear about her weekend. We laughed as she told me about stumbling in her apartment and hitting her head on the mantle. She had no idea where in Wichita she had left her vehicle. She had told off a few of her boyfriends. I was regaled by her stories. She was in a buoyant mood. Her enthusiasm was catchy. By the time we had hung up I was in a silly mood too. Later, in a rare book store in Lawrence, I talked to here again. She was drunk and crying hysterically. We talked for about ten minutes about how bad her life was. Upon hanging up the phone I instructed the boys not to answer if she called again. I was not going to listen to that all day. I didn't think about banning call from Mom also. Mom called Lane's phone. He answered and handed it to me. I was to go by Drama Queen's and take her to get her anti-drinking prescription filled on my way through Wichita. I grudgingly agreed. Drama Queen called constantly to see when I would be there. At an hour away she called. She called ten minutes later. As we were pulling into town she called. It was only then that I realized she did not want her prescription filled. She wanted me to take her to a dry out center. I told her we were thirty minutes from town, but would be there soon. I drove to a Cold Stone Creamery. We had been having a great weekend, and I was not ready to enter crazy town just yet. I apologized in advance to Lee, Lane, and Emma for the whatever was about to happen. We made our way across town. Lee and Emma stayed in the car. Lane and I went up to her apartment. We had to shove the couch from in front of the door to enter. She was laying, shirtless, in the middle of the floor with a bottle and a butcher knife posed dramatically beside her. She fell over twice as we made her get up and get dressed, bumping her head solidly on the wall several times. She fought and yelled that she did not want to go to rehab, as I poured out all of the liquor and beer. Finally I remembered that I had not wanted to take her to rehab, this was her idea. It is easy to lose sight of these details in the middle of a scene. Okay, fine, I said. Lane, let's go. We started to leave. No, she pleaded. I need to go, please take me. She left the apartment with us. We had to help her down four flights of stairs. She fell several more times. In the car she didn't want to go to rehab. She tried to jump out as I drove down Kellogg. Finally at the dry out center she refused to enter. They would not take her unless she walked through the door on her own. She stumbled out and lay face first first on a patch of grass. We sat in the car and watched her. Then a worker noticed her and came out to see what was going on. I went over and explained that I was not going leave her there. Oh she is with you. He looked relieved. He bent down and talked to her. She agreed to go inside if I would bring her a carton of cigarettes. She went inside. I drove to a gas station. Back at the center, cigarettes in hand, we watched an ambulance pull in. Ignoring it I knocked on the door. At least that can't be hers, I thought, she hasn't been here long enough. Slowly as no one answered the door it dawned on me that I was wrong. I walked around to the back. She was laying on cement. She had been trying to climb the wood fence and leave, but had fallen backwards and smacked her head on the cement. I gave the ambulance drivers her name as they loaded her up. I had to go inside and answer some questions that a worker asked me. She made it very clear that she was angry that I had brought her. Back in the car we watched the ambulance drive away. We agreed that it was time to go home. We tried to find somewhere to eat chicken and waffles, but the place was closing. We ordered Church's chicken instead. It had a horrible smell. We through it out, and drove home.
Now the girls are back in Wichita enrolled in school. My heart is broken, my worry about their safety is a constant companion. Last night Drama Queen called to talk. Her boyfriend, the latest in a string that have not treated her nicely, has given her Chlamydia. She is angry. When she had made a snide comment about it the night before he had started to hit her. He was banging her head against the patio floor. She said he probably would have killed her if Ramona had not woken up. I let her talk awhile longer before I voiced my fear. What if he had not left when Ramona woke up? I insisted that she quit letting men like this into her house. She agreed, but I knew it was a promise that would soon be forgotten.
It was after ten, I had been making Jason a grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of noodles while I talked to her. Still talking I made Lane and myself a sundae. It was actually just vanilla ice cream covered with some strawberry-rhubarb jam I had made. I got off the phone and finished my ice cream. I had been planning to go straight to bed, but now I could not sleep. Dead Until Dawn was on my nightstand waiting to be started. At three in the morning I finished it. My mind was cleared. I slept very well for six hours.
I have been carrying this tale around, it feels good to write it down.