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 simple 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 beck together so I can make it through the next storm.

 

 

The Darkness Returns January 11, 2014

A dark blanket has wrapped around me. I don’t know why; everything is going well, and J is on an even keel. For no reason at all, two days ago my spirit plummeted. I feel on the verge of tears. I find no pleasure in my usual activities. I’m taking my medicine and nothing has changed.

It is frightening how quickly moods shift and the darkness takes over. Mine usually begin with something concrete that happens in my life, some problem that sends me spiraling out of control. This is different. Everything is going well in all aspects of my life, and suddenly I want to sit in a corner and cry or slit my wrists. Mental illness is such a sucky beast.

 

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.

 

 

Time Will Tell November 17, 2013

I stumbled upon a Facebook page of my old high school. I live within thirty minutes of where I grew up, but high school was not a good time for me so I put that time of my life behind me- along with the people I knew then. For some reason, I scrolled through a few screens of people trying to reconnect, or announcements of class reunions, and a name suddenly jumped out at me…the name of one of the men who gang raped me when I was 16. I closed my eyes and almost didn’t look at the page. After a moment, I looked: it was his death announcement.

I followed a link to an online obituary that showed pictures of him: with his wife, then children and grandchildren. The younger pictures looked just like the man I knew: cute, almost shy smile; slightly mussed blonde hair; and clear tan skin. As he aged, he got a little heavier, but seemed to maintain his “boy-next-door” good looks.

I expected to feel rage that he lived an ordinary life when I lived so much of mine in emotional pain. I expected to feel relief that he was dead and had suffered from the ravages of cancer. But I felt neither of these emotions.

I really felt….nothing. Just a little twinge that someone I once knew was dead.

Does this mean that I’ve really finally healed? Did I take back my power after all these years?

I hope so.

Only time will tell.

 

In Over My Head, and Then, Suddenly… October 15, 2013

I am drowning. I’m in over my head is so many ways and I don’t know what to do. Life is throwing me one curve ball after another, and stress is piled so high I can’t see the tunnel, let alone the light at the end of the tunnel. Things at work are getting harder and harder; I feel so much responsibility that I fear I will crack from the weight. At home, relationships are strained and nothing is easy. I miss my dog every single day. I don’t know from one day to another if J, (daughter with bipolar disorder) will be on the roller coaster high, where she becomes agitated, angry, and sometimes exhibits risky behavior; or if she will be on the roller coaster low, where she has trouble functioning and sometimes attempts to take her life. I feel I have no one to turn to’ no one to even understand. And then, suddenly….

Someone at work thanks me. A heartfelt, real, thank you. I feel appreciated.

My two dogs greet me at the door, full of love and energy. They need me and love me.

I look at my daughter and my love for her radiates from my every pore.

I have so much.

Suddenly, my life doesn’t seem as overwhelming.

Suddenly, I feel needed and loved.

Suddenly, I know I will be okay.

 

 

Meet Our Fur Ball, Tucker June 26, 2013

Tucker 2

Meet Tucker. He is a Shih Tzu just like Sophie, and just like Riley was. He is adorable and has a sweet nature, but is feisty enough to hold his own with the “grand-pups” when they come over. I  think it is okay that I am not bonding with him right away like I have my other dogs; he seems to like hubs, and they have bonded nicely. I’m fine with that; I just want the little guy to have the love he deserves. It’s not that I don’t like him; I really do. I just know my heart is not in it. I will grow to love him more because that is my nature; I am and always will be an animal lover.

Sophie is still avoiding Tucker. We are trying to help her out of her depression. The vet said to give her time, and to make sure she gets to do some favorite things. I bought her favorite chew toy today, and she got to go for not one, but TWO rides in the car. She seems content at the moment. As I am typing this, she is lying beside me chewing her toy. Tucker is playing on the floor with hubs, playing tug-of-war.

As for me, I had to get out of the house today. I got up early and went grocery shopping (I know, not exciting, but it gave me something to think about). At 10:00 I broke down. Riley died at 10:00 a week ago today. I also cried when it thundered because Riley was scared of thunder. After multiple breakdowns, we decided I needed a distraction so hubs took me to see a movie and then we went out to eat. It did help, so at the moment I feel more peaceful than I did earlier.

I’ve tried doing art, but it all turns to shit. I cannot force it; art (or writing, for that matter) has to come from somewhere deep inside. Even my photographs seem flat. Hopefully I will find that spark again, because it is the best emotional release I have.

Meet Tucker

 

I Took Back My Power From the Rapist June 9, 2013

 

TRIGGER WARNING: Rape

It’s strange how J mimics my own life in some ways. I wish it wasn’t so.

She saw her rapist at the grocery store.

The same grocery store where I saw mine.

Years ago, as a very young and wild teen, I was gang raped by “friends”. Long story….I know I wrote about it already, but I don’t feel like searching for it to create a link. Maybe later.

A year later, I moved on. I made all new friends, cut my ties with that so-called group of friends (all of them, not just the ones who raped me). I literally moved on to a new boyfriend (who became my husband) in a new town. The first town is about a 35 minute drive to the town I moved to. I grew up, married, had kids, and became a teacher. My life moved forward, but my soul did not. Just as I did with the molestation I endured as a child, I covered it up and pretended it didn’t happen. If I don’t think about it, it can’t hurt me, right? Or so I thought.

One year, one of my students happened to be this weird little dude I will call Paul. I taught fourth grade, and some little boys having a crush on me was the norm; it goes with the territory. After a week or so, they usually get over it and fall for a more appropriate love interest, like the cute blonde with freckles who sits next to them in class. Paul, however, persisted to fawn over me all year. Like I said, a weird little dude. I met his mother several times during conferences and we laughed together over his strange infatuation with me.

At the end of the year we had a big awards ceremony. The day before, Paul gave me a strange smile and said,”My dad is coming to awards tomorrow.” I was slightly shocked,  as Paul’s dad had not attended any events that year. In fact, Paul NEVER talked about his dad, so I assumed he was a very un-involved parent. Then Paul said, “My dad knows you.” He giggled and ran off.

I truly didn’t think anything of it until the next day. I was standing in my classroom when Paul’s dad, my old friend and rapist, stood in my doorway. Time stood still as our eyes met. The world around me faded away and all I could see where those eyes in the darkness. I was unable to blink or breath until he smirked and turned away. He told his son he would see him at the ceremony and then he was gone. When I was able to move again, I looked at Paul, who stood there, staring at me, with that same smirk. Like he knew.

Somehow I got through that day. I pulled Paul’s records and realized I lived one street over from my former friend. We lived one street apart and I never knew until that day.

But he knew. He knew the whole time that I was Paul’s teacher.

That summer I saw him again. This time at the grocery store. I left my groceries in the cart and walked out.

It began to eat away at me. I couldn’t sleep without nightmares. I began spending most of my waking hours doing the “What If” game. What if I had pressed charges. What  if I called him out in front of his wife. What if…

Finally I realized this was very counter-productive for me. I had to take my life back. I could not run from this anymore. A few days later, in the same grocery store, I saw him. I followed him. When he saw me, the blood drained from his face. I was angry and I did not look away. I would not back down. I took back my power when I looked him in the eyes and loudly said, “Fancy meeting you here. Does you wife  know you are a rapist? Does she know how you gave an under-aged girl drugs until she passed out, so you and your sick friends could rape her?” I saw true fear in his eyes for the first time. In that moment, I got my power back. He and his fear no longer controlled me.

Life is funny. That was years ago, and I have not had a chance encounter with him since. He still lives one street away, but it no longer haunts me. In fact, I hadn’t thought about him and those events in a long time.

I wonder how long it will be until J gets her power back.