I couldn’t sleep. I woke up at 1:00 am and my mind was racing. I’m not sure what to call him. I suppose after 7 years together there should be a more defined role or title except I don’t feel it. It would be a bold faced lie to say it’s my significant other. I have an engagement ring that lines my jewelery box. I’ve always been a free spirit. The ability to walk away from relationships and bad situations. Except for this nightmare.
In my 20’s I thought it was crazy for women to stay in bad situations. Especially when they had children. Then I had my daughter. Something become clear. The fact that my poor decision would now affect her entire life and I had to live with that. The weight of that was like atlas carrying the world on his shoulder. So I stayed. Knowing one day I’d take my passport and my shit let my daughter know I’m out. Catch me in Europe. I’d served my time. The irony between my plan and my own mothers disappearance does not elude me.
Last night I couldn’t sleep. My “partner” told me my dad fell out of the car when he was getting out for dialysis. He couldn’t get up. My stomach dropped. The stress has magnified. The pressure intensified. That coupled with a lunatic that you have to walk on egg shells with are the recipe for a stroke or a heart attack. I’ve never met a person I couldn’t speak with. I deal with difficult high strung professionals and even then, nasty or not I can communicate. I can peg them. I can asses who I’m dealing with and how to deal with them.
I’ve never been in a situation where I couldn’t express myself. Where it’s like North Korea. You can’t express anything outside of the designated permitted forms of expression. Trust me, I am expressive. The moral is that the anx I felt came from knowing my dad fell and he didn’t want me to know. My limited ability to be everywhere, and the argument that ensued with this so called partner. The partner proceeded to spout how this was his fucking apartment and he didn’t want a nurse here until it’s spic and span. The problem is he has shit all over the place. But in his eyes this is not a problem. When you deal with someone who’s issues are everyone else’s except his own, where everything is someone’s fault but their own, there is no winning.
I take great issue with people who have a need to try to exert their power. In my eyes, they’re weak. If you need to hold power over someone who can’t or just because, know that you are weak. A strong and powerful person doesn’t need to exert power over anyone. People will do your will because they respect you and you command so. Not out of force like a dictatorship where it’s done out of fear. Fear is the seed of resentment, after resentment anger grows. There’s a phrase I say all the time that I stand by. “Those who need to control are they themselves out of control.” That’s what I’m dealing with. A cyclone of a personality and my life.
I’m not complaining by any means. I’m simply acknowledging what I know and that’s the similarity between myself and my mothers decision to one day pack her shit and leave. Except one massive difference. My father was not a bad person in his entirety. He made poor decisions but I chalk that up to a lack of education. But he took care of us, made sure we lacked nothing. As strong as his personality was, I know he loved me. That his intent was never to hurt me. That’s the defining difference. The difference is that I’m genuine. This partner is selfish. He does everything for the added bonus. Oh here let me help you with this, so later I can hold it over your head. Sure if you need my help now you can’t say anything to me. Here’s a 100 bucks but when I need you there’s no out. And that to me is disgusting…
I’ve had moments of insanity. I call it insanity because for me personally children are cute but even better when they go home to someone else. I have occasionally thought about giving my daughter a sibling. For health for life a sidekick to share life with. I love my kid. She’s smart, hilarious, ambitious and the list can go on. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t have days this week I wanted to get my passport and sail off into the sunset without her. Does it make me a bad mom? I don’t think so. In fact, I think it’s normal to think that and feel that way. I think women tear each other up over feeling like this but I think more moms think this than they let on.
I am an only child. Because of this everything falls on me. I’m not complaining but what I am saying is it’s hard. It’s hard to juggle your life and become your parents caretaker. No one tells you these things. You go to college think about a career but who prepares you for your parents ailing health. Was it a given? Did I skip that lecture? If I had a sibling maybe I wouldn’t be playing circus like I am right now.
This is what makes me feel like I should’ve given my daughter a sibling. So that the day I am gone she is not alone. So that the day I am not well she has someone to help support her through it.
Because life is hard. There are no easy choices, and even harder challenges await and as the adage goes: “life waits for no man.”
Somewhere along the road I’ve lost the basics. I lost the very essence that makes me shine. I’ve lost the light. I’ve battled in the dark for a long time. The darkness is a source of comfort. I like it there. Being in the light is difficult. Being empathetic is hard sometimes. Being tolerant of ignorance is hard sometimes. But most of all it’s harder to fake it till you make it. So this morning I sought out a photo I wanted one where through the windows of my soul I couldn’t see the torment. I wanted one photo where I could set my sights on simply going back to the basics.
I told a friend of mine the other day, that I don’t care what anyone says. Life chips at you. Eventually the pain, the trauma, the sadness cuts so deep that it changes you. Whether it jades your view, makes you tougher less sensitive to things, you change period. For myself I have changed. I’ve come to loathe people. I’ve become unsympathetic, insensitive and just cold and antisocial. I think these traits were always there. However, somehow I’ve become the poster child for ruthlessness. You can’t un-know things. You simply can’t. So if you’ve learned pain, you can’t take that back. You move on from it, you grow but it will always be there hidden in the corners, like a monster hiding from the light, straying into the shadowy corners.
I think this is what makes me read others fairly well. I recognize the broken, the wounded, the damaged, the evil. Because I’ve seen it facing the mirror myself. I don’t consider myself evil but I can be. I can be unrelentingly evil and vile and not feel remorse. I try to force myself to feel it and I can’t. I say it but the words are empty. Meaningless. I just want to try to get to the basics..
My first inclination is to run. Break out into a full on sprint, music blasting while the sidewalk pounds the soles of my feet. I’m far from conventional by any means. People say that but I mean it. My emotionless state is what makes my life so easy to deal with. If I sat there and drowned myself in emotions, I would be a hot emotional mess. So I opt to shut it down reign it in and as I tell myself suck it up buttercup. I’ve had many challenges. I’ve always surpassed them.
My fathers health is ailing and a lot of it is a result of his own doing. This doesn’t make it any easier although my strength and resilience make it seem as though it is that simple.
What I didn’t know when I wrote the paragraph above is that my dad would flatline and come back. That I would realize a hospital to be a place of a lot of sadness for those who are ailing or passing, some hope for those who are saved and some joy for those that are born.
I couldn’t do what they do on a daily basis. I couldn’t stare death in the face every single day. It’s not that I fear death necessarily it’s that I want to live. In the face of mortality I pale. I pale at the thought of what I hope to do, what I want to do and what I haven’t done. I think of death like the times I’ve had surgery. Where they give you an anesthetic lights out.. not here nor there just out…
And I don’t want to be out..
All I do all day is fight. I literally spend at least 4 hours of my day responding to immigration conjuring arguments. By the time I’m done, I just want to concede. So my tactic for everyday life after work is to try and concede. That means, if I open my bill and it’s $400 I’m paying the shit. I don’t want to be bothered with a long drawn out battle of wits to see what the fuck is going on. I don’t care what’s going on. It’s not because I’m Rockefeller shitting gold bricks. It’s because I’m tired and resigned. When others who don’t do shit don’t understand this attitude it’s because exactly that you don’t do shit about shit.
Today I had a dispute at our property because they shut the water off. The bill was paid; $400 payment in January the $230 balance paid this month. Why my bill is outrageous I don’t know. This isn’t new. Somehow even though I pay this, the fact the water was off was somehow my fault. That is also equally as exausting. When you’re always the scapegoat. If I pay it, maybe it’s because I don’t want to hear or deal with my significant other. Because in my eyes paying the $400 or $500 is better than listening to him. A high price to pay for silence and peace if you ask me.
Everyone has secrets. Mine are not the kind that you might think. I’ve spent my life trying to live my life in a way that would one day make my friends and kids proud. One of my secrets is singing. I love to sing. It’s been a source of release all of my life. There’s two parts to this secret.
I’m elementry school I was a soprano in my private school church choir. I was a dorky behind the scenes kid, smart but never really challenged enough. One day we were going to sing a song called Kyrie and they were looking for a soloist. Laura K. tried first. Then I went up. I’m not even sure why. What came out shocked not only me but father Peter. Father Peter made me redo it and I did. Laura threw a fit because I got two chances. This was my first experience with jealousy.
When the Sunday came for my solo, I was nervous even though my parents hadn’t come. If you’ve read anything about me or my blogs, it’s that I don’t give power to anyone or anything. In this regard my father has held me captive. I would sing when I was sad, hurt, upset and sometimes happy. It was a place of release where others could literally feel my pain. The more upset I was, the more soulful my voice.
My father would often tell me that if I thought I could sing, to go ahead and sing for him. My nerves would get the best of me and he would tell me I couldn’t sing. Even today I can’t face people when I sing. At karaoke with the few friends I let into my secret, I would let loose but it took a while. I never sought a career because of the fear. I was for all intents and purposes at one point an entertainer. I could dance, I could sing, I had brains and I wasn’t bad on the eyes.
This is something that I still battle with in my own ways because all I heard was you can’t sing my entire life from the person who was supposed to lift me up. He often told me I was an elementry school drop out because I chose to do a GED and go to college at 16. That didn’t bother me at all. I’m thriving otherwise. But the dig about something that was me, that made me, that I loved, was devastating.
I still sing in private or like last night after a few drinks in front of some new friends. All I can say is this: Words are powerful. Be wary of the implications of your words. I know the weight of my own towards others. I try to uplift others unless I have to drag them down and that’s only as a means of necessity. I don’t take that lightly because I understood very clearly that tearing someone down, doesn’t put you in a better place.
The other night I survived my mishap with my daughters coat. It turns out that although for mechanical purposes a small basketball or soccer like ball may not make the best choice for a dryer ball but it worked. My daughters coat wasn’t ruined after all.
The feathers after following careful directions were okay. Eventually they puffed up again and the neon ball saved the day.