Weekend Recap

It feels good to have Monday roll back around; it was also good to have the long four day weekend, of course, but I tend to do better in general when I have a prescribed routine to follow.  The last two weeks, things have been “off,” due to first my illness and then the Thanksgiving weekend, so it will be really good to have to get back into the work/school/daycare routine.  By about Wednesday, I am pretty sure I will be chomping at the bit for the weekend to get here, but for now, I will revel in the return to ordinary life.

On Friday, I went to lunch with my friend/sponsor P.  I really didn’t want to go, still struggling with some different things, but I forced myself to get out of the house and felt a lot better for it.  When I have different things going on that are causing me emotional pain, my first instinct is to crawl into a metaphorical ball, protecting all my soft parts from further damage, but of course that isn’t good for me and I know it.  So we went to lunch, and it was good to talk to someone who really gets me.  We didn’t talk in great detail about anything in particular, just played catch-up, basically, but it was still enough to help me feel better.

Then, I went to the Friday AA meeting to get my ten-year medallion.  I very carefully did my hair and put make-up on (another thing I need to do when I am feeling emotional unrest; it does help to make an effort to look good, to remind myself that when I feel the absolute worst, I still deserve tender self-care), and basically suited up and showed up-very important.  It was good; J. had made me a chocolate cake, and the heavey metal medallion was a tangible reminder of how hard I have had to work to get there.  Also, someone I really love and admire in the program said to me that he has watched me get through some really crappy times with grace and dignity, and there is no higher praise to me than that.  I am not a joiner, per se, I have no real interest in sponsoring people (because I am so whacked out most of the time that I am NOT a good example of a woman in recovery), I don’t go to the majority of the AA social functions, so it isn’t as if there are 30 people there just waiting to tell me how great I am.  But this man, he is pretty special, and recognizes that truly, grace and dignity are what I aspire to (even though I don’t do well with it much of the time), so that was wonderful.  At the end of the evening, I was glad I had gone, and equally glad I got it over with.  I can push to the back of my mind, again, the fact that my family just doesn’t get it, and can forget for another year that they don’t WANT to get it.  Sometimes that is the best I can do, you know?

The rest of the weekend was basically spent just hanging around.  We cleaned up some, watched some TV, I read an entire book, you know-just stuff.  We did get our Christmas tree up and decorated yesterday, and it does look nice.  We go for simple-red and green lights, red bulbs, and very few of those, and one thin garland.  With Steve here now, of course there are lights around the ceilingof the living room, but whatever; it looks very festive.  In fact, this is the first year in three that we have had a tree at our own house.  In the old place, with my bed in the living room, there was just not room for a tree, so Steve always put the tree up at his house and we spent Christmas Eve over there.  The kids were always pretty understanding of it, knowing well how very little room we had, but of course were always some disappointed.  So needless to say, they are really excited this year to have it up and smelling good and looking wonderful.  Sam keeps saying, “This is going to be the best Christmas ever,” so I hope that things transpire to make that happen for him.  I bit the bullet, too, and broached the idea of inviting Steve’s mom and step-dad over for dinner on Christmas Eve.  He hasn’t talked to them yet, and it isn’t likely that they will come, but at least then I can’t be accused of hating them and never making an effort (because of course it is always my fault that I feel like shit whenever we all get together, right?  And sometimes it IS, my own fears and insecurities getting in the way, but a lot of the time it just really isn’t me), so we shall see how that pans out.

And yes, another week beginning.  I still have work to catch up on, both from being sick and from the short work week, so I imagine I will be busy-and busy is always good.

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Friday Fragments

Friday Fragments?

If you haven’t joined in on Friday Fragments, offered to you by the lovely Mrs.4444, what are you waiting for?  There is no time like the present.

***I think perhaps the bloom is off the rose, or I am getting old, or both.  Last night Steve and I *thought* about having a nice bit of romance but we both decided we had eaten too much. “Maybe tomorrow,” we both said, and I didn’t know whether that was really quite funny or rather depressing.  Maybe both.

***Every year we got to my friends’ house for Thanksgiving.  Every year the same people are there, and save for one I really like all of them.  This one, however, just-wow.  Every year she feels like there is some kind of competition between the two of us for the best dish.  This year, our contribution was flan and a sweet potato casserole, and I think she started to sweat a little when people went insane over both of them.  She tasted the potatoes and said, “Well all THAT is, is a lot of brown sugar!” and of course, since they are Spanish and therefore experts, the flan was cooked too long.  However, Owen ate three big bowls of the flan, and had one bit of her pie and spit it out.  I love that kid.

***Eli has been grounded from the computer and going to friends’ houses for two weeks.  The last two days he has been moping around and throwing out little gems like, “Have I told you how much I love you, mom?  You are such a kind and loving mom,”  or, even better, “I just think it is so neat how you preach forgiveness and understanding.”   Independent of his fulsome compliments, I had decided to allow him two hours on the computer today.  However, apparently he snuck upstairs last night after we fell into our carbohydrate-induced-coma and got on the computer, and he forgot and left his WoW game running.  Not the smartest pickle in the jar, is he?

***I thank you all for your kind words on my post the other day; I know that everyone’s intentions were very, very pure.  Things are not especially better, and there is just one more layer of hard shell on my heart, but I won’t write about it anymore unless I absolutely can’t help it.

***I hate commercials even more than I did ten years ago when I cut off the TV.  I swear on all I hold holy that if I hear the stupid Toys R Us jingle one.more.time in the next ten minutes, I am going to call the cable company.  There are some really great things on the TV, and even some pretty entertaining shows (okay, I love The Cake Boss; that guy’s sisters are SUCH bitches, and they are all so obviously perpetuating that effusive Italian stereotype, that it just cracks me up), but my god, the commercials.  I felt my IQ drop about 15 points almost instantly.

***Speaking of TV, I was watching the news and apparently “people” are “only” spending $682 on Christmas this year.  Are you fucking kidding me?  Who has that kind of money to spend on Christmas?  I think if I clean out the bottom of my purse I might have $6.82.

***I spent so much time at home last week when I was sick that the idea of being home another four days this week has me feeling like bugs are crawling under my skin.  Seriously.

For more Friday Fragments, be sure to head over to link up at Half Past kissin’ Time

Another Untitled Post

I have ten years sober today, and instead of feeling inspired and like I have really accomplished something, I just feel beat.  A variety of different things have happened over the last couple of weeks, all coming to a head yesterday, and what I am left with is, well, nothing.  I have used up all of my defenses in the last year(ish), and I really don’t feel as if I have enough any in reserve to get me through one more thing.  A little melodramatic-sounding, I am sure, but at this point, I just don’t really care how it sounds.  I am having a crisis of monstrous proportions, and I just don’t have anything left.

So.  I think it is time I really and truly learned to accept that this?  This is my life.  Time for me to throw away some of those dreams and hopes, and start realizing that the worst thing I can do is expect or hope for anything to be different. For whatever reasons, probably some I don’t even remember, I have done too much to ever find redemption, and there you go.  I am never going to be able to do/have/feel the things normal people feel, and I never have, so what the hell? And no, this isn’t PMS, it isn’t depression, it isn’t anything other than life. That’s it.

I remember one time when I was younger I was complaining about something to my dad-something about work, and while I don’t remember what it was that I was unhappy with, I remember very clearly my dad saying, “The sooner you realize that the only thing you have to look forward to in life is 60 years of hard work, the better of you are going to be.”  At the time, I remember thinking how sad that statement was, but now I totally get it.  My lot in life is to work hard, then die.  And because of my past choices, I have also condemned my kids to the same life.  Fuck the “American Dream”, by the way; it doesn’t exist.

Now that I am reaching this point where I realize that it’s all a crap shoot and that god isn’t, in fact, looking out for us, well, what’s left for someone like me?  I think the answer is to do what others seem to be able to do so easily, and that’s simply give up.  Expect nothing.  Accept that life is shit and if you are lucky (LUCKY, not blessed) you have some good moments thrown in with the shit.  All I ask for anymore is enough strength to get through each day.  Anything else?  Out of reach.

So, ten years sober and the only thing I have to show for it is not having had a drink.  Not much there to be proud of, is there?  Do you know that for the first five years of being sober, I would call my family and tell them, and ask them to come to a meeting, and they never did show up.  I was asked to be the speaker at a meeting last year, and was even foolish enough to think that since it IS kind of a big deal to be asked to speak in front of 75 recovering drunks, they might want to come.  Nope.  So I don’t tell anyone anymore, because then my feelings aren’t hurt.  Even though they are, you know?

On a happier note, thanks to Steve and Jacquie and Matt, for remembering.  And tomorrow will be different, if not better, at least I know that much.  The only thing I can do today is work harder and try more and then fall into bed later.  This is life, right?

Weekend Recap

I am going back to work today after almost a week-and now that I am feeling better, I am glad to be going back.  Not just for the money, but because I have started to feel a little pent-up and it will be good to be out amongst the real world again.  I don’t know what kind of mess might be waiting for me at work, but regardless, it will still be good to resume my normal activities.

The weekend wasn’t anything spectacular, as you might have guessed.  I did make it to the AA meeting on Friday, but we only stayed for part of it; I started coughing like mad, for one thing, and we also had Sam and Owen with us, so we left early.  It was funny, though, that the two boys behaved better than some of the adults there.  I try to be patient, remembering how I was when I first got into the program, but it is still annoying sometimes to have to remind adults how they need to behave in public.

Saturday was spent grocery shopping and cleaning, aided of course by Hannah and Eli.  I also laid on the couch and read a lot, and then later Hannah’s boyfriend and Eli’s girlfriend both came over for dinner and a movie.  Homemade pizza and brownies, and GI Joe (which certainly wasn’t such a hit due to the marvelous acting skills, I will say that), and everyone was out by 10:00.

And yesterday was more of the same, just a quiet day at home.  It snowed a little bit and then turned bitterly cold, so it was a good day to lounge around on the couch and finish a book.  We were in bed by 9:30 last night, and I slept like a log.

See, not so much excitement, which was just what I needed over the weekend.  I feel a ton better than I did all week last week, so that is obviously a good thing, and hey, it’s a short week, too-which is also a good thing.  Now we’ll just hope that no one else in the house gets sick enough to have to stay home (at least not until after the first of the year!) and all will be well.

No fragments for you

I just did it.  This is the first time in several days I have been up to sitting at the computer.  I just went into my Reader and marked everything as read; sorry all, I love you just as much as ever, I just-you know.

It has been a very long week.  I am still home from work, this being day four, and along with still feeling like dog crap that has been scraped off a mortal enemy’s shoe, I realize that I am totally screwed in terms of my next paycheck.  TOTALLY.  And it would be really nice to not have to worry about it, but there you go; over $300  that I don’t have.  And I don’t have it in me to go into a rant about how terrible this is on a national level, but you know I am thinking about it.

On an up-note, the cracks in my lips are finally healing, and with hope this unsightly sore on my nose from blowing it will be gone by Monday-because I  HAVE to go to work.  I did finally feel up to taking a shower yesterday, and hey, Owen just brought me the half-stale aluminum pan of cinnamon rolls and sang me Happy Birthday (no, it isn’t my birthday).  Could be worse.

How I ended Up With a Turkey

So I have been nursing a cold for some time now, and on Monday I kind of started feeling considerably non cold-like and more, I don’t know, fire in the chest and knives in the throat-ish.  Which is how I ended up in the grocery store on Monday night nearly in tears and completely incapable of making one.more.decision.  The checkout lady started telling me about some promotion thing where if you spend $25 or more you can get a turkey for eight dollars, and, well, I ended up with a 28 pound turkey for eight dollars.  Because I said IF there is $25 worth of stuff in this car and IF I don’t have to talk all the way back to the frozen food section to pick it out, sure.  So the bagger girl went over and picked me out the biggest goddamned turkey in the bin, and I put it in my cart and cried all the way home.  I don’t need a turkey; we aren’t going to be HOME on Thanksgiving, for god’s sake.  So.  We are eating turkey tonight, and will all be heartily sick of it by time Thanksgiving rolls around, all because I was feeling overwhelmed and was faced with one too many things to decide.  Good thing I wasn’t at McDonald’s, I would have ended up super-sizing everything and buying forty-eleven Hot! Apple! Pies!

So I have been having some odd feverish dreams and I sent Owen to daycare yesterday even though I didn’t go to work and stayed in bed all day long.  Except to make more tea.  My lips have tiny little fissures in them from, I guess, the fever and some slight dehydration.  Today I started on antibiotics and mucinex (which, okay, I get that I need to cough up this stuff so it doesn’t sit in my chest and give me pneumonia, but that mucinex stuff makes EVERYTHING runny and now my nose is bleeding from blowing it every 32 seconds), and last night I slathered on the Mentholatum and nestled under the electric blanket and slept like the dead.  Until I woke up at 3:30 coughing and coughing and do any of you get that terribly shaky feeling when you have coughed so hard you feel like your eyes are going to pop out?

Anyway.  I think I might have whined enough, and I really still don’t feel well at all.  I did my part and put the damn bird in the oven, and Steve is going to do whatever he needs to do to finish it up when he gets home from work.  Eli’s new girlfriend is coming over tomorrow (to decorate his room to ask him to the Sadie Hawkins dance) so he is furiously cleaning up downstairs (he doesn’t know about the room thing, he just knows she is coming over) in order to impress her; I say never mind, let her see the mess and the chaos but oh well, I am not almost 16 with my first girlfriend.  Hannah’s classes this semester are a TANGO class and a scrap-booking class, which just makes me laugh.  In the tango class they are also doing a play and some ballroom dancing, and it counts as a speech credit.  I am not entirely sure WHAT the scrap-booking class is going to be a credit in, but whatever; she is excited, anyway, and it sort of makes up for no art or PE or any of those fun classes the other high school gets to offer.  Owen napped with me this afternoon for way too long, so I hope he sleeps tonight, and that has pretty much been the day here at Chez Jones. I am a little worried about work-I don’t have any more sick time, so if I can’t go tomorrow I will be missing three days on the next check-that is a scary thought.  So if the antibiotics kick in and the fever breaks, I will go even if I feel crappy. 

I thought I had something else to say, but that must be the fever talking; or the turkey, I don’t know.  Off to see if the popper thing haas, well, popped.

A Year Ago Yesterday

It was a year ago yesterday that my daughter came to me to tell me that she had been molested.  Even now, I can close my eyes and be in the same room we were in when she told me, and can feel that absolute punch in the gut I felt then.  I remember saying in shock, “What?  CF?  What?” but even though I didn’t believe he was capable, I didn’t disbelieve my daughter for a second.  She threw herself into my arms and sobbed, hard bullets of tears, and all I could do was hold her and keep thinking, “What?  What the fuck?” over and over again.  Even though I had no inclination, no buzz, no idea, I also knew from my own personal experience that yes, these things happen, and it is sometimes the least likely person to perpetrate them.  Yes, indeed.

I would say that the rest is history, but that would indicate that it is simply over and done with, never to be thought of again.  Most of you have been along with me and my daughter throughout this journey, and those of you who haven’t, well, I suppose you could search through my archives starting in November of last year to get up to speed-no matter.  The legal part of it is over, the long weeks and months of waiting for some kind of justice to be meted out finished, and we are for the most part pleased with the outcome.  Not that there was any one thing that was suddenly going to make all of this okay,  but at least there was some sort of legal resolution. 

I have spent a lot of time over the last year feeling as if I were floundering; there were days where I just didn’t think I could do it anymore, do what I needed to do to see Hannah through the experience, deal with my own long-hidden but still fresh feelings of my own childhood abuse, handle the enormous task of jumping through legal hoops and talking with prosecutors and still living life.  There have been many, many days where I would sit at my desk and weep with exhaustion, or muster up every bit of energy required to simply get out of bed.  There were the nights where Hannah couldn’t sleep, or when she felt so dirty and ashamed that she would take bath after bath, or the days where it all just seemed like too much.  Do you all remember those days?  I felt like we were somehow being punished, and that there was nothing I could do to fix it, or change it, other than just keep taking each step as it came.

But now, a year later, I can look back and see that even though what happened was beyond terrible (and frankly, still is), we-I-were incredibly blessed.  Let me say first that I don’t believe it when people say that what happened was God’s will-because what kind of an asshole prick God would cause something so awful to happen in the lives of people He loves?  No God I know, that’s for sure.  But what happened was this: He looked down and said, “Oh, myself, this is horrible.  That poor sweet family,” and then He got busy.  What I didn’t have was any kind of feeling that we would wake up and this would all be over.  I didn’t have any feeling that somehow it was all going to be all right with my world again; I didn’t have any of that.

What I did have was this: people who rallied together and bought Christmas for my family, because on top of the whole CF situation, there were overwhelming financial issues going on as well.  It was as if they were saying, “Okay, we can’t help you through the emotional and legal aspect of it, but we can give you Christmas so that you have one less thing to worry about.”  I have been surrounded by people who could handle my anger and my pain and just loved me anyway, even when they didn’t or couldn’t understand what was wrong with me.  I have had any number of hands there to lift me up when I just didn’t think I could take a single step further.  There have been people who said, “Oh, honey, I have been there,” both to me and, more importantly, to my daughter.  People-strong, beautiful, wonderful, thriving people have sat down and poured their hearts out in letters to my daughter, telling her hey, yes, this sucks and I am so sorry but let me tell you this.  I could sit here for the entire day and tell you all how many blessings have been poured onto us, even when it didn’t feel like it, and I still would not be able to tell you how much it has meant, how so many of you, simply by being here, have pulled us through.  There aren’t enough words in the world to explain how the bitterness and anger and pain have been sweetened by each one of you, in a thousand ways that you aren’t even aware of.

It has been a year, but it isn’t over yet.  I wrote last week about the things I am being told to do, and whether I like it or not, God is whispering to me, “Forgiveness…” and over and over again I keep hearing that we are all so loved, even the most vile of people, that none are beyond redemption.  I really don’t like to hear that; I want to hear God telling me that CF is being punished in this life and it is nothing compared to the punishment he will receive in the next, but-I don’t think that is going to happen.  Maybe he will, I don’t know, but it isn’t my job to try to orchestrate any of that.  What my job here on earth is, is to love, and find compassion, to serve other people, and to forgive. 

I am not there with CF yet, and frankly, I don’t know that I ever will be.  Really.  As far as HE goes, well, I am just working on at some point maybe, possibly, at some point in the future becoming willing to forgive.  That’s all I can do at the moment is entertain the idea.  and for the moment, well, it’s enough.

But what I can do, what I am working on right now this moment with every breath, is forgiving myself.  I am working on forgiving myself for not seeing the signs, because no matter how much my rational mind tells me that there aren’t always signs, I have been holding on to this idea that I should have known.  I am working on forgiving myself for that one.  I am trying to forgive myself for bringing him into our home and learning to trust him-because that part has nothing to do with me.  And oh God, this is a hard one, I am trying so hard to forgive myself for the reason the asshole was even in a position to get his hands on my daughter-because I had taken the opportunity to have a romantic interlude with Steve that afternoon at his house. It  is such a burden knowing that my own selfish desires are why I left them alone, that had I simply waited ten or 15 minutes longer before leaving, this could have been prevented.  I tell Hannah and God over and over again how sorry I am, and God, I still struggle. 

I work, too, to forgive those friends who chose to to distance themselves because they couldn’t handle my toxic anger, or couldn’t deal with the raw, sharp edges of my pain.  I try to forgive those who don’t know what it is like, for not supporting us at all.  It doesn’t mean I am going to re-invite those particular ones to be part of my life again, but I can forgive; I know that what we did was right, and it can no longer matter to me what those supporters of CF think or feel about me and mine.

I really don’t know very much in this life.  As I sit here and try to get out all of the words and thoughts and feelings that are welling up, overflowing, all I really can do is weep.  I have been in so much pain, for myself and my daughter and my family, for every woman who has stood up with us and said, “Me, too.” I have hurt so badly, and yet at the same time I have been so loved and cared for and nurtured that it fills me up and gives me just enough to keep moving forward.  To know I am loved, to feel  it, is no small thing; I know this just as surely as I know that whether I see it or not, the sun is going to come up in the morning. 

So much can happen in a year; I feel so grateful.  Not that any of this happened, but that we were given what we needed every day, even if it was just the amount of energy necessary to get up.  Call it God, which I do, or good karma or simply people showing their true natures (which my god aren’t you all so beautiful?) and showing up when they are needed.  I don’t know what the answer is for you, but today, for me, it’s just all about love.  Maybe in the end that really IS all we have, but for me, today?  It’s enough.