Rainey Daze and Crazy Nights

Poetry, Paintings, and Ponderings: Through My Eyes

Shattered May 24, 2014

When she goes off the deep end, I break inside. Every tiny little piece of carefully built hope shatters.

I live every single day with fear, hope, and dread. Fear of what she will do, fear of the unknown horrors the day may bring. Hope that we will both come through this day unscathed. I live with dread. Dread invades me with every text or call. But I also live with happiness. Happiness fills my heart and soul when we roll through problems and make it to the other side. I’m happy when the day goes well.

She started drinking again; binge drinking alone in her room. I suspected it, but had not confronted her. I called her at 3 in the afternoon because I needed her to meet me somewhere. She had to admit to me that she couldn’t because she was drunk. (She just got off work at 2:45.) I couldn’t help myself; I was filled with rage. I didn’t let it out at her though; I simply made a statement that she was drinking a lot lately and then said I’d talk to her later and hung up.

She, of course, could not let it go. Text and phone calls began…”Are you upset?” “Are you mad at me?” I tried to ignore, but I finally answered the phone. I didn’t let it all fly, but I told her the truth…I am angry. I am angry because you are choosing an old crutch…drinking..that I thought we’d conquered in the past. I said I wish she would learn how to live through the tough times in life without using a crutch that made things worse.  She got very mad at me and said I was being mean and I had no right to be mad at her because she wasn’t doing anything to me and why did I say these things to her? I reminded her that SHE called me, and I was trying to keep my distance until the anger passed. She hung up.

I was looking forward to this nice, 3-day weekend. In fact, I left work a little early yesterday so I could get home. Instead, I drove around for a while, did some shopping, did anything to avoid going home to her because I could feel the storm brewing.

We avoided one another at first. A couple of hours passed before she came at me, screaming, “Are you not going to talk to me?” I told her I was still angry and felt it was better if we didn’t talk right then. She kept on. Usually I can remain in control of my emotions, but honestly, I’m just tired. Work has been hard, living with her is always difficult, and I feel the tiredness like a disease deep in my soul. I tried to explain to her that I am allowed to have emotions, too, and I’m tired of holding them in because of her. I didn’t unleash the fury of what I felt, but she saw a peek. She turned it around on me and said I made her feel like crap for having addictions. That I was the only one she had to turn to (which is not true). I told her I couldn’t be her “only one” that sometimes I needed a break. She became furious and stormed out, got in her car, and left.

She began sending “I’m sorry” and “I just want to die” messages to her sister and a friend. I couldn’t even find the energy to be worried. Does this make me a horrible person? I didn’t really even get scared because it felt like another manipulation game. She was trying to punish me for being angry.

She eventually came home…after I gave in and played her game. “Please come home so I will know you are safe,” I wrote in a text. Her sister went out and found her and convinced her to go home.

We had an event that my daughters and I were to attend this morning. They went without me. I just don’t want to be around her, or the world right now. She is fine today, happy and having fun. Me? I’m tired. I’m shattered. I’ll be here alone, trying to put the pieces back together so I can make it through the next storm.

 

 

Life Update February 22, 2014

The good news: mentally, I’m feeling better. The dark cloud didn’t send me too far down the slippery slope, and I am feeling normal again. (What is normal, by the way? I’m not sure, but it is somewhere between “Oh my God, I can’t bear to get out of bed and face the world” and “WOW! THIS-IS-THE-GREATEST-DAY-EVER-I-CAN-DO-ANYTHING!”)

The bad news: many bad things happening around me to people I know and love. I will not dwell on it (as that causes the slippery slope to loom over me) but one family member died yesterday and another got a diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer (non-smoker). So much sadness around me that I actually feel physical pain.

Work right now is a bitch. No other way to say it. I still love my job, but I feel so stretched thin. I am needed by so many people to do so many things. Most schools have two people who do my job, but I am the only one at my school due to the budget. I usually don’t mind, but at times like this, when so much has to be completed in a short period, it is very hard on me. I will get through it, I just feel like I am not doing my best because I am doing too much.

It’s going to be a beautiful day here today, so I will sit outside in the sun and let it warm my soul. That makes everything more bearable.

 

The Waiting Room December 13, 2013

The woman appears disheveled. She sits perched on the edge of the waiting room chair, swinging her petite, pajama-clad legs back and forth nervously. She hunches into her over-sized sweatshirt and pulls the hood tighter as if she wants to disappear. Her hands are clasped over her ears to keep out the noise. Anxious eyes dart around when a man takes the seat next to her. After a moment, she walks to the front desk to ask how much longer she has to wait. She’s waited six hours already. She returns, but chooses a new seat.

~

The family comes in together. The man, who appears to be the one in charge, is dressed neatly in a Green Bay Packer’s sweatshirt and pressed jeans. The younger man wears the uniform of his youth: over-sized shirt hanging over carefully sagging jeans. A sharp pair of  Nike’s complete his look.  The older woman is obviously the matriarch. The men walk her in, flanking her sides. She walks slowly, but steadily, with their help and her head held high. Two younger women trail behind, huddled together for support. Both of their dark faces glisten with fresh tears. The family gathers together and has a quiet conversation. In moments they dissolve in tears. The men comfort the matriarch as her tears deepen into sobs. The news of an impending death of a 10 year-old family member is too much to handle.

 

~

She sits with legs splayed, filling the seat with her bulk. Her gray sweatshirt is stretched tightly across her stomach. Stains show at the armpits. Oblivious to others, she continues her phone conversation. She complains loudly about various problems in her life. An older man brings her a greasy white bag which causes her to finally end the 45 minute conversation. She thanks the man and he leaves. She unwraps the first of two tin foil packages and the smell of cooked onions fills the air. The woman eats with great enthusiasm, licking her glistening fingers after every few bites. A few minutes later she unwraps the second package and consumes the other burger. Flecks of cole slaw dot her lips when she sits back with a satisfied sigh.

~

The waiting room in a hospital emergency room gives a unique glimpse into life.

 

The Tree Got Decorated, but Not According to Planned December 1, 2013

English: A bauble on a Christmas tree.

English: A bauble on a Christmas tree. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like most things in my life lately, today did not go as planned.

We planned on going through all the many boxes of Christmas decorations and throwing out the junk and taking what we didn’t want to the secondhand store. We planned to decorate the tree this morning. It did get decorated…eventually.

My daughter S and her partner E came over early this morning and brought us breakfast. J got up feeling grumpy, but she seemed to shake it off. We ate and started making plans to decorate. J got upset and reminded us that she was going to church with a friend. We promised we would wait until she returned.

J has struggled a lot lately with bipolar, thyroid problems, and OCD. We are not a family that attends church, but J talked to a good friend who told her to come to her church and attend counseling with the preacher. I am not fond of this idea for several reasons, but I will save that for another post. However I kept my reservations to myself and wished her well.

She didn’t return until 2:00. She said it was great and she seemed happy. We pulled out all the boxes we needed and spread everything out in the living room. The dogs (4 of them) had played outside all day and managed to get all 16 paws filthy! S asked her sister a simple question. Nothing major; just a question.

“Are there still dishes in the sink?” (She wanted to wash paws before allowing the dogs to come in the house).

For some reason, this question from her sister sent J over the edge. She yelled at S and told her to “get off her back” and said she “couldn’t handle this right now.” She then stormed off to her room.

S looked at me and said, “I just asked her a simple question.” J SCREAMED “I can hear you, you know!” So S went to her room and tried to talk to her. She calmly told her that she just asked about the sink because the dogs needed to be cleaned, and that we had waited all day for her to help us decorate the tree, and we would really like her to join us. (S has learned how to talk to J when she gets like this from years of experience.)

S came out but J stayed in her room. We went through the motions of getting the boxes open to begin sorting, but to be honest I was in a daze and don’t really know what we were doing. After a few minutes, J comes out of her room with her keys in her  hand. I tried talking to her but she ignored me and walked past and out the door. I went after her, but she was already in the car. I told her to hand me her keys but she refused. I was so scared she would drive off and hurt herself! By this time hubs came out to help me. I kept asking and she kept refusing. I suddenly felt overwhelmingly tired to my very core. I looked at hubs and told him I couldn’t do this and walked away. He took the keys from her. As I reached the house I heard her scream “THEN I WILL WALK!” as she slammed her car door.

J began walking down the road. Barefoot. I don’t know what was going on in her head, and she doesn’t remember. She didn’t go far before she turned around and came back to the yard. She sat right in the ditch. Hubs walked out to her and it was as if she were coming out of some sort of fugue. She started crying hysterically and asking, “Why am I in the ditch? What happened?” He led her back to me.

We calmed her down. Then we decorated the tree.

 

 

Close to Perfection October 27, 2013

Fall Day and Night 2013 006Yesterday was magical. It was as close to a perfect day as you could ever desire. If you read my post yesterday, you know it began with coffee and quiet reflection before the sun rose. I then fell back asleep, which I guess I needed. I had peaceful dreams and awoke feeling refreshed. I did a quick house cleaning and washed a few clothes. (So, okay, in a perfect world those things wouldn’t need to be done, but I did say it was CLOSE to perfect.)

I spent the rest of the morning and afternoon painting. I put Pandora Radio on my Kindle and listened to The Tallest Man on Earth, Gordon Lightfoot, Incubus, Mumford and Sons, Fun., Blind Melon, and many others, old and new. The air was cold, but I painted on my back porch anyway. I love a crisp fall day! While painting, I used textures for the first time. I love the look of a textured painting, but I’ve never tried it. It turned out  pretty good for my first try. It didn’t even bother me that hubs didn’t like it; I know he is not crazy about a lot of my art, but he is supportive about it. I really like it, and someone already asked to buy it!

As I was winding down my painting, I started a big pot of homemade chili and sent a text to my daughters and daughter in law (What do you call your gay daughter’s significant other? Not sure about that.) inviting them over. I set the chairs up around the fire pit and we had a few beers while eating delicious chili. The night air was cold, but the warmth of the fire kept us toasty.

This is what life is all about.

Fall Day and Night 2013 002

 

 

Parts Sag and Things Hurt October 7, 2013

This weekend, I went for a trip on the motorcycle. I had a great time, but my butt hurts from riding 1,100 miles. And my back hurts from two nights on a brick-hard hotel bed.

I’m also sun burnt from an October sun that didn’t know it was October.

I woke up late this morning because I set my alarm for the wrong time. It wasn’t terribly wrong, but just enough to start my day off-kilter.

Got to work on time, but no time to spare. In fact, no time to spare all day. After my normal morning meeting, I had a meeting with the bosses to brainstorm and problem-solve. When they left, it seemed as though everyone on staff was lined up outside my door with a different problem. I guess it is good that I am needed at work.

At the end of the day, I had a nose bleed. Not bad; just a little one. I haven’t had one since I was a kid.

On the way home, my left eye started twitching. It does that some time for no apparent reason.

Sometimes, it’s a bitch getting older. Parts sag or don’t work and things hurt, but my mind doesn’t know we are getting older. It wants to go and do like we always have. I still have fun, but fun hurts more now than it did.

Did I mention that today was my birthday?

 

 

 

Minty Fresh Feet That Elvis Would Love September 1, 2013

Blue Suede Shoes in Marks & Spencer's window

Blue Suede Shoes in Marks & Spencer’s window (Photo credit: Diego’s sideburns)

I’m a “Do It Myself” kinda gal; I love trying homemade recipes for clothes detergent or household cleaner. I enjoy facials made from fruit, vegetables, or honey that I have right here in my kitchen. Most of the time it is a fun adventure that lends good results.

Today I decided to pamper myself. After spending the day in the heat going from one store to another looking for clothes appropriate for work, (By the way, to any clothing manufacturers who may read this: I am NOT a young teenage girl who spray-paints her clothes on; I AM a full-bodied, mature woman who does not want to put the girls on display, but I am also not a little old granny wearing polyester suits….THERE IS A GROUP OF US WOMEN IN BETWEEN!!!!) I came home and searched the wonderful ‘net for foot bath recipes. Simple, refreshing, and softening: that’s what I needed to go with the new nail polish I bought. I found a great sounding recipe on Pinterest (the life-sucking site where you can find everything you ever wanted to do but probably never will) that called for three ingredients that I knew I had: warm water, vinegar, and Listerine. I mixed it in a large plastic bowl, grabbed my Kindle and a beer, and settled down for a relaxing soak.

It felt really good, even though the water cooled down quickly. I sipped my beer and enjoyed the book I am reading (The Witness, by Sandra Brown). I probably soaked a little longer than the 20 minutes it called for, but not too long. The recipe promised the “dead skin would roll off when  you wiped with a towel”, so I grabbed a towel and wiped. I could feel some skin removed, but something else was NOT coming off: the blue coloring of the Listerine! I tip-toe ran to the bathtub and rinsed my feet with fresh water. I still looked like I was wearing Elvis’ Blue Suede Shoes! I grabbed a loofah sponge and scrubbed. Hard. The blue finally started to come off….a little.

After THIRTY MINUTES OF INTENSE SCRUBBING, my feet only look slightly like they belong on Smurfette. The good news is, after all that scrubbing, I removed several LAYERS of skin, so my feet are softer. I am proud to say my feet are minty fresh, soft, and only slightly blue…

 

Art Festival and Nourishment of My Soul July 29, 2013

Artist at work

Artist at work

Those are panoramic photographs on the right

Those are panoramic photographs on the right

Lots of people!

Lots of people!

Metal art

Metal art

I took a nice, much-needed trip to a festival in the mountains. Seeing the beautiful artwork of others really inspired me. It also made me feel great about my own work. Sometimes I feel like my work is so…untalented…not good enough. I know people TELL me it’s good, but you know how that goes; these people love me (or at least like me and must see me regularly). After seeing the art for sale….that people were BUYING, I feel like my work (some of it) might actually sell in the right market. So I’ve decided to try it. I’m going to complete as many pieces as I can, then sign up for a booth at a local festival.

As for my trip, it helped to clear my head. I’ve been in a fog the last few weeks. Not really depressed, just existing. I’ve just watched the hours turn into days. Now I feel ready to do something. I have a purpose again.

I’m including a few pictures of the festival. It was great! I sat on the sidewalk, eating Thai food, listening to a local band, and watching the people walk by and thought what a wonderful life it would be to travel to various festivals and sell art you lovingly crafted. That fits my ideal lifestyle! I met such interesting people and had great conversations about art and life. My soul feels nourished again.

 

Today June 23, 2013

Filed under: about me,all,death,depression,events,family,grief,journal — rainey46 @ 6:29 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Today was the hardest day since the day Riley died. No particular reason; just a really, really hard day. I’ve cried so much I look like I was beaten in the face.

If you are not a dog person, you don’t get it. He was my little boy, my constant companion. If you averaged the time I spent with humans and the time I spent with my two dogs, I know for a fact I spent much more time with the dogs. He slept beside me at night, curled up under my left arm. If I rolled over, I felt his little fur weight pressed against my back. In the morning, he followed me to the bathroom, waiting patiently until I finished so he could be let out for his turn. If he got scared, he ran to my arms. He greeted me at the door every single day, joyful and happy that I came home again. If I went out-of-town, he moped and refused to eat until I returned. He loved to play ball, and would let me work on the computer for just so long before he insisted that I take a break and play with him.

Dogs have always had my heart. Riley came into my life when my girls went away to college and I felt so lonely. Hubs works 12 hour shifts so I am home alone a lot, especially in the summer. Not long after that was when J started the first downward slide of bipolar, addictions, and disorders. It was a hard time for hubs and I, and it drove us apart for a while. Mental illness is not understood by the general public, as you all know, so I had no one. Except Riley. He was not a trained therapy dog, but he might as well have been. When I cried, he stayed by me, licking my tears as they streamed down my face. When I calmed down, he would gently bring me his favorite ball and look at me with those huge, understanding eyes. God how I miss those eyes.

Hubs called to check on me today. I can hear in his voice how worried he is about me. He knows my tendency toward depression, and that in recent years it has gotten worse each time. He wants to go get a new puppy tomorrow. My first reaction was NO, but it’s not to replace Riley. That will never happen. But our little girl, Soph, is out of sorts and so lonely now. And if we get a puppy, it needs to be in the summer when I can train it. I’m just not sure I’m ready for that. Hubs is just trying to stop my downward slide, I realize that. It is so sweet. I’m just not sure.

 

Different June 22, 2013

I am different. Yes, I know, we all are. I guess I should say I am VERY different from others. By “others”, I mean people my age. I don’t have a problem with it, though. It is just a fact.

But then, I’ve always been different. As a very young child, I lived more in my imaginary world than I did in the real world. I didn’t have any friends who lived nearby, and I grew up in a time before play dates and “Mommy and Me” outings. My two best friends were my imagination and my dog. I had friends in school, but no one I even remember well.

Fast forward: teen years. I suffered typical teenage angst, along with the shameful taste of molestation. I was rebellious; hell, that’s putting it mildly. I was sexually promiscuous and without limits. If there was a way to get high, I did it. I “tried on” various groups; you know, the jocks, the nerds, etc. as I searched for a way to be accepted. Truthfully, the only group who came close to feeling right was a group of misfit druggies. They weren’t the  hip stoners I thought were so cool in their total disregard for authority, but just a motley crew of kids from bad homes, or kids who struggled in school and turned to drugs to make it hurt less. They were a sad lot, but they accepted me. But even then, they knew, and I knew, I didn’t fit in. For one thing, I was too smart. I could easily make A’s without trying, so I failed on purpose. Another problem was I came from a good home. By this time, my dad worked his way up and brought our little family out of hovering above poverty to solid middle class. I had both parents and a nice house in a good neighborhood.

Fast forward: meeting my husband. When I met my husband, I left behind my old group of friends and hung out with his friends. The sad thing is, none of my old friends missed me and I didn’t miss them. My new friends liked me and accepted me into the group. Well, the men did. I was still reckless and a tomboy, willing to try new things. I played ball, went fishing, rode motorcycles, and would do almost anything on a dare. The girls of the group took a while to like me and accept me, but they did eventually. My husband loved the wild side of me, but he ignored anything he didn’t like. The molestation?  The gang rape? I told him about it and he pretended it didn’t happen. I mentioned it years later, and he seemed shocked. We all bury our heads in the sand, I suppose. Anyway, they accepted me, but I still felt different, like an outsider allowed to come inside for a bit.

So, you see, being different is no big deal to me. At this stage in my life, I am comfortable being me (most of the time). I no longer try to conform to what society or, even forbid, the neighbors. I have friends, but most of them are much younger than me. (Does that make me immature? Probably. Do I care if I am immature? Of course not…haven’t you been paying attention??) The only people I really spend time with are my two daughters and my husband.

It is at times like this, when I my heart is breaking, that I wish I had the type of friends who would come and get me to shake me out of my misery. When I suffer inside because of J’s bipolar/addictions, or when bad things happen in my life, I really have no one to turn to. Sometimes the price I pay for being different is steep.