Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Fish Hooks

There is a wonderful line in the play Marvin's Room that has fish hooks in it...it's a woman talking about her feelings for her son (I think) and she says that her feelings for him are like fish hooks. She can't take out one at a time without all of them coming right out of the box.

This is so incredibly true about family. It is striking how I simply cannot compartmentalize or divide or bring some to the forefront and hope that the bad ones won't smack me in the face or cut my fingers.

Six years ago, which is a long time, I tried to make the right decision with my sister, and I knew then that she would not forgive, though she might set it aside and act normal again after a few years. She never forgave me for telling mom she was pregnant, though mom did ask. She never forgave me for stepping in when her daughter told me she was being abused (the second time in a year). She doesn't forgive, she simply alters the relationship, and over time, it appears to be something ok.

I don't see her much, though that's not my doing. I don't really want to, as my biggest hook with her is still fear. What will she call me, what will she say about my husband? What deep dark part of my insecurity will she sense and slice open?

I saw her daughter too. I saw the daughter I was willing to put ahead of myself because I needed to do the right thing to help her. I knew the backlash would be long and painful, and I still came between them to try to help when it got out of control. They seem fine. They're not, but that's their "thing". After all, it's mother and daughter. I remembered this morning our old neighbor; a woman half-conscious with drug use and bad decisions with men dominating her life path. Her daughter begged me, "please, I don't want them to take me away from her again." Because moms are still moms, even while they're kicking you out or much, much worse.

So I saw my dad too. He looks so sick. He didn't seem interested in talking to me. Was he distracted by wanting a drink? Or is he in so much pain with what he's done to himself physically that he can't enjoy a talk? I don't know. He's kind of a shell, and they're shells, and then all my fishhooks, which I hadn't cared about because they were tucked away in an awesome little mental cigarbox, were cutting holes in my skin.

Mom decided to pull at her "i'll never be grateful enough" thing and get angry at me in this house. IN THIS HOUSE, where I am hurting. She means more than I do so often in our conversations, and somehow I feel horribly guilty for saying that, because time here means forgetting who I am.

The 90 minute drive home was like crossing an imaginary moat, where on the other side it's just me and my family and love and hugs and forgiveness. But I dragged with me hooks, and all day yesterday I fought wanting sugar, I fought my husband. I fought and fought, and then I grabbed him in the store and I cried and I said, "i don't know what I feel. It's not any of this I'm saying. It's not how fat I am, it's not that we don't have enough veggies in the house. It's just pain. Pain, pain. A few days and it'll be gone, and I'll be me. And I'll get my tooth pulled and see my dotor, and still not eat sugar. I'll sing a little, and get a few paychecks, and slowly pull those hooks out of my skin.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Something to Sink Your Teeth Into

Today I am going to the dentist.  Some people dread the dentist.  I guess I dread the dentist, but it's not for pain.  I can do pain.  It's for money.  It's very similar to going to the mechanic--will they tell me I need more than I actually do?  Will he try to talk me into an unnecessary crown?  How will I sift through the "must haves" (because our insurance has a VERY low limit) and the "$20000 mouth" that I am not sure I need so much.

Dental care is important.  Crucial.  But why does it feel like going to the car dealership?

18 years ago I had problems with my wisdom teeth.  I went to a dentist who advertised that you could pay cash and make payments and people with no insurance were welcome.  She didn't say "cleaning is only $48! with no insurance".  Instead, she claimed all around she was honest and affordable.  I decided with her to remove 3 of my wisdom teeth.  She did.  She put on a movie, numbed the area, straddled me when she needed to pull hard and got those suckers out.  She charged me $100 a piece.  It took half an hour, I drove myself home.  I just need a few more no-frills dentists around.  The last guy I went to wanted to put a crown on a tooth because of a "potential problem".  So.....no problem yet, but you want me to spend $2500 on a "possible future problem?"  By the way, the future problem would result in my losing the tooth, I guess, and then getting a $2500 implant.  So I'll take my chances.  I know I'm white and over-educated and all that stuff, but I still don't have money. 

Enough about the dentist.  I'm off sugar, and this is my 4th day, and I feel like HELL!  wow this is hard.  I'm eating wonderful food but our stupid addicted bodies want that sugar so much.  Stupid diabetes. 

I miss my girl who is in Michigan for a month.  I can't wait to give her a big hug.  I am also jealous of what she's doing.  I think that's key to being a good parent.  Picture what your kids are doing, and if you feel a little jealous, they probably have a pretty good life.  That may be oversimplifying.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

When I am Rich I Shall Eat Fish

Oh yes, I am blogging again.  Thank you, Corporate America Summer Job, for loading me with downtime, even though you don't want me to have downtime, so that I can blog which does not benefit you at all.

This is what I do with my day right now:
process contracts
deal with downtime
study French
study German
take practice tests in each
make a label
ask people if there's anything I can do
walk around the office

you get the idea...I won't describe my afternoon.  I also contacted a composer on a piece I'd like to do in the fall, she seems excited.  I hope I can do it.  Now I don't want to let her down.  I listen to pieces for recitals I'm planning on doing.  very quietly because I'm in an office.

Life is funny.  When you look back at when you had a lot more money but you still worried about it, you realize you had a lot more money.  You didn't know then.  Getting a doctorate, working when I can, paying off stuff from the year of unemployment....it's stressful financially.  But generally, we can pay for groceries (not fish or nuts, or expensive cheese, but you know...)and an occasional coffee made by someone else (not daily, but occasionally) and gas (though not a full tank).  It's ok.  In the meantime, happy children I wish I were spending more time with.  I feel guilty because I'm home some mornings with the toddler, but I'm working, doing homework, etc.  And our time at the park becomes his time on the ipad while I have time trying desperately to meet a deadline.  Since every third article on facebook is about how giving your child too much screen time will make them into wild demon howler monkeys and you will be the worst parent ever, that's rough.

So there's that.  This feels like an incoherent update.  Same 'ol, same 'ol:  I wish I were healthier, need a new doctor, have a tooth that I'm avoiding getting pulled even though that has to happen ASAP.  My daughter just finished 1st grade and seems like she's 15 when you talk to her.  We're changing to a charter school (a term I didn't know before 5 years ago) so she can learn other languages and hopefully be the happiest 7 year old ever.

I barely see my husband.  I spoke to a woman yesterday who says that's the secret of her marriage.  Her husband works at night, she works during the day, they hang out on weekends.  I am not fond of this schedule though.  There's something nice about going to sleep with the person you married next to you.  So I'm logging that under "complaint".

I like dressing up for the office.  I like the lack of children here.  I like eating frozen meals and packing a salad.  Everything makes me feel like I might go nuts.  It's a great lesson in "why you working so hard to get a doctorate and do what you love."  I'm just not strong enough for this work.  I'm a weak, weak lady.

And when I get that professor job, I'm going to eat all the fish I want, pay off my credit cards and hopefully wake up next to my husband. It's good to have goals, ain't it?

Right after I wrote this blog, with my phone laying on the table in front of me for the last two hours, the phone rang.  I picked it up and a man said, "this is Tim." I said, "ok." He said, "someone just called me from this number (remember that thing about the phone sitting on the table, face up, in front of me?).  I said, "nope.  definitely not."  He said, "well someone did, (tense, angry) I'm just calling back."  I paused.  I said, "sorry."  He  hung up.  I don't mean to be judgmental, but I'm definitely having a better life than he is.