Rainey Daze and Crazy Nights

Poetry, Paintings, and Ponderings: Through My Eyes

Life June 7, 2014

Life is not about making perfect choices; it’s about making mistakes and learning from  your mistakes. Life is messy and not meant to be perfect. Perfect is boring and vanilla. Now, there’s nothing wrong with vanilla, but no one wants vanilla 100% of the time. Life is full of vibrant colors, each one vying to be the favorite. Don’t pick one favorite for your entire life; have different favorites depending on your mood. Colors should be savored, explored, and loved. Same as food. Life is full of flavors.  Life includes trying different tastes, different combinations, exploring the bursts of flavors in your mouth. Life is about adventures. If you don’t get out there and see the world, how will you know what you love? Every day should bring wonderment at this world around us. Life is about being in the moment and seeing, really seeing, the commonplace items we take for granted. Life is about noticing, as you drive in to work, the single yellow bloom poking through the sidewalk concrete on the side of the road. What a fighter, that bloom. We can learn from that. Life is full of emotions, both good and bad. You need the yin and the yang to have a balance and to appreciate your emotions. The trick in life is to see even the bad as a learning experience that helps you grow. Life is about getting dressed every day. No, I don’t mean the clothes you put on, but the attitude. You decide, consciously or unconsciously, to put on a good face, or give in to the negativity in your heart. It’s okay to give in sometimes because you need to allow yourself to feel all of your emotions. It’s not okay to wallow in self-pity or anger or any other negative emotion because it poisons your soul. When you allow your soul to be poisoned it’s hard, damn hard, to get rid of that poison. So life is about feeling all emotions, but not allowing day-to-day emotions poison your soul. Life is about being true to yourself and not allowing others to sway you into being what, or who, you are not. Life is about laughing long and hard and as much as possible. Life is about listening to your heart and soul, because that is how you stay true. Life is about what goes on inside  your own head. Listen, but don’t live there because it gets too lonely. Live who are truly are, not what you think others expect you to be. Life is about loving who you are, faults and all. Carry a little too much junk in the trunk? Learn to appreciate your curves. Got wrinkles? Each one tells a unique story about your long and wonderful life. Hate the way you get too bossy at times with friends? Develop a sense of humor and learn to laugh at yourself. You are the one and only you….celebrate it.

 

Life, my friends, is about living. Live, because this is the one and only life you have as you.

 

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.

 

 

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 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.

 

Peace December 25, 2013

I know that it is difficult for many to make it through this time of year (myself included). Just know that you are not alone in your feelings, and that there is a brighter and better tomorrow. Take a deep breathe and take it one moment at a time. If being around relatives is difficult, just remember: YOU control how you feel. Do not give others that power. Do not allow yourself to fall into the trap of being reactive.

If you are alone (not by choice) try volunteering at a soup kitchen or shelter. You will be lifted by what your kindness can do for others.

I wish you all peace, love, and joy this holiday season.

 

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.