Saturday, June 28, 2014

What Do You Do When You Can't Hold it Together Anymore?

This will be a short post.

Yesterday, our hope was broken when the job I thought my hubby would get decided to do a hiring freeze.  The man who wants to hire him has been avoiding him all week, lobbying to hire someone.  He said he still can't give us a yes or a no, but it sounds like a no.

I am remembering the breakdowns I have had throughout my life, trying to remember how far away they seem now.  There was the time I had no money and I dropped my only debit/credit card down an elevator shaft.  There was the time in NYC when I was robbed and I didn't have enough money to get home on the subway.  I had to walk miles in my work shoes.

There was the time that a guy I went out with completely destroyed and rejected me, humiliated me, and then cried on the phone that he had feelings too. 

There was the time that my high school crush came out of the closet. 

There was the time that my parents got divorced, the time I got diagnosed with diabetes, the time....well there are a lot of them.

Just one more.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Nothing is Ever Perfect Here

The other day I got a call from a woman whose phone number I thought I'd lost.  I tried like crazy to find it, because for the last 7 years ago, I have called this person as a counselor and reminder of how to view things from the perspective of a 12 step program.  I don't remember how the calls started, and I don't know her in "real life" but I know when I get off the phone I will feel better, I will be more sane, more reminded of how I want to live and who I want to be.

So understandably, losing her number and not talking to her for the 5 hardest months of my life was horrible.

I have gotten a lot of good advice from older female mentors in my life.  I often ask myself "what would I do today if I had no fear?" As my friend Arlyn says.  I was just told my prayer should be "bless them, change me" and I have thought so much of that in the last few days.  I am reminded Detach with Love.  That will be the hardest....after all, I did that by leaving Arizona.  I loved, very much, but detached from the crazy of my family by living a few thousand miles away.  And now I will have to find some new way of dealing.  I hear my sister may be moving back--the one who probably wants to have a kind relationship with me while despising my husband for no reason.  The one who heaps love on my father and abuses my mother.  That one.  My father almost drank himself to death last month.  How do you detach from that if you live across the street?

With that, hubby and I are still so excited.  We have senioritis, and we want to get out of here fast!  I am done with Iowa.  I can't overlook the many good things....I did meet kind people, I sang in a few good shows, I loved my beautiful house and my beautiful kids, apple orchards, first snows, big gardens, no lines anywhere, corn festivals, the enormous farmers market....I even learned how to teach voice here, I made a living off of my real skills... Many of those things I probably won't find in my next life, sure.

But I also had a lot of angry, judgmental folks, closed minds, winter days that were90 hours long, shoveling, too many students, not enough opportunity, never being a part of a real community, though I tried like crazy.  Being yelled at to get off people's lawns in a town with no sidewalks.  I won't miss our neighbors on either side-people who showed me unfortunately that there is a real difference in being educated or uneducated.  Not in how much you earn, but in your understanding of the world and how you approach things foreign to you.  I will never see that that way again.  I've never witnessed this kind of judgmental living.  Ever.

I became more liberal in my politics here.  Iowa challenged my faith more than. New York ever did, not being unemployed, but sometimes really finding I didn't identify with Christians in the way I did in the big city. Well, the last 8 months haven't helped.  There have been a lot of times I felt I was crying into a void.

We are happy to go.  Because when it was good here, we were still lonely.  We were happy together, and we were lonely.

No place is perfect.  I suppose this is always my thing about God.  I have seen imperfect.  I have seen stuff so evil that I couldn't articulate it.  I have seen us run toward the dark like crazy rats, escaping anything pure, good, kind.  And I believe to everything there is an equal and opposite reaction....so there must be something as good as these things are bad.  There must be a true, real God, who loves the way we cannot, who hears the way we are deaf.  Who welcomes the way we yell, "get the Hell off my lawn."

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Imaginary Relatives

I am well aware that much of my thinking about the neighbors is judgmental lately.  Some of it i feel bad for, but most of it seems like what I've been bottling up for 5 months.  It's hard to say.

There are moments I look at my two children and feel amazed knowing how.much they will love each other.  Watching a sibling relationship form is bizarre.  At firsr the sibling is just there, just taking up space....but then the bond begins to form.  And that's not even with the addition of speech yet.  Something so profound about having to share your parents love, and then ultimately, regardless of how much their personalities clash, or if one turns out to be strung out on drugs or a thief, or, well pretty much anything, the sibling will somehow learn to love that person on quite a few levels.  They will mourn for each other, be proud of each other.  All just from being in my womb and living in our house.  It's amazing.

One thing the neighbors do that drives me nuts is they refer to everyone as "aunts" and "uncles".  As my friend said, I think part of the creepy factor of that is all of us having heard stories of promiscuous moms and their various (and dangerous) visiting "uncles".  It Isn't that the actual aunts and uncles in a family can't be predators, but it seems like it's somehow negating that sibling bond.  Or sharpening it.  Does that make sense?  Sometimes when I'm reviewing again with my daughter that usually we call a person an aunt because she is your mom or dad's sister, I feel well, yes, there could be a close person, a friend....

Then again, I am not sure that this aunt and uncle thing doesn't derive from those who have burned many of their real relationships.  They forget heir family, so they have to create "New" family.  Perhaps over and over.  Perhaps New family each time their life decisions drive away the previous "aunt" or "uncle".  It's one of the worst things about having a screwed up parent.  Few long term relatives.

Next door to us we also marvel at what these aunts and uncles are willing to do for a couple who are angry, sometimes in jail, frequently in court.  They drive their kids around  pick them up, take them overnight, and do everything they can to make sure the kids don't get taken by some agency...

My hubby and his sister feel that's just kindness.  They feel bad for the kids.  They want to help a family.  But I am more cynical.  I think they find the parents charming.  They drink with them, they maybe have been arrested with them to and got lucky.  At the end of the day, I just think the aunts and uncles will get tired and stop helping.  After all, it's a temporary assignment.