Not the Fear of, but Missing Out

So, ElderDaughter got married yesterday.

And she’s due to give birth to my third grandchild, who is purported to be a girl, next week.

And she is in Washington state.

And I am in North Dakota.

And I can’t get there.

And I make jokes, I talk about how ED and her new hubby are now officially “Moose and Squirrel”, because that’s what I call them.

He’s a big dude, and yes, she’s a little squirrelly.

But, in reality…

The jokes are just a cover.

They’re to get me through the day, so I can get home without losing my shit.

……

It’s not okay today.

I’m not okay today.

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So I Stay Quiet

You know I love you, right?

The way I smile whenever you look at me

The way you can make me laugh

Even when I don’t feel like it

Especially when I don’t feel like it

The way you understand things about me

Most people don’t

You know I love you, right?

The way I shiver when you

Touch me

And my hands shake sometimes

When I reach out to touch back

How you always ask

If I’m ok

Even when I’m not

Especially when I’m not

And want to try to make it better

You know I love you, right?

Even though I can’t speak the words

Won’t admit it out loud

Not even to myself

Knowing there’s no way you’ll say them back

I’ll see that look on your face

The one that says

Good-bye

Again

And everything ends

So I stay quiet.

But

You know I love you

Right?

Time Travel happens when you’re not looking, so wear sensible shoes

I lost my damned wifi password today.

And, of course, I never bothered to write it down for myself, because it was stored in my phone, so why bother, it was right there.

I wrote it down once for OnlySon, but, like all good tragedies, his room was struck by a cyclone before I could get to the Post-it note, and he’s not here to find the grumble-fucking thing for me.

ANY WHO…..

During my rip-tear-toss of a search around the house, I decided to try my rusty, trusty… (Drumroll please ****)

ADDRESS BOOK!!

YES, this is a thousand years old, the binding is cracked & in desperate need of some form of bonding agent, but!

It’s also a vehicle of time travel.

Honestly, I think I picked this book up at Ben Franklin in the little town I used to hang out in, my senior year of high school… It. Is. That. Old.

My Mom always told me to write addresses into these books in pencil. (wicked, morbid woman).

Because you know what pencil means…right??

TEMPORARY.

It makes my heart hurt & my brain ache, just thinking about all the names my mom would’ve had me erase from this book if I’d kept following her stricture.

But…I’m an ink-pen kinda girl.

Yeah, some of the names in my address book are written in pencil, but I’ve still never erased One.Damn.Name.

Not. One.

Ohhhh, I’ve scribbled out a few, hooo boy, yah I have.

But erased?

Nope.

My Grandma’s name, last home address and phone number are still written in this book, and she’s been gone a couple of years now.

My friend, Shane, he’s still in the book…and he passed away quite a few years ago from a cancerous brain tumor.

A great aunt & uncle, both passed, many years ago… Still in the book.

Friends I haven’t talked to in years, but if I saw them on the street tomorrow, I’d hug the crap out of them?

Still in the book.

Multiple addresses for my male sibling… Some crossed off, some not, none current. All still there.

People’s names, addresses, and/or phone numbers that I haven’t thought about or used in years, they’re probably no good anymore…

But when I look at their name in that old handwriting, I’m suddenly transported back to whatever time of my life that was, & remember that person.

And…in the back of the book…carefully scribbled

Anniversaries

Birthdays

Important numbers belonging to people I cannot forget – my children, my parents.

For a book small enough to easily fit in the back pocket of my jeans…

There’s a whole lot of living time crammed into those pages.

Step lively, step lightly, but step forward.

…….

…………

No, I never found the damned wifi password. I’ll call the cable co. tomorrow. Dammit.

Nopevember 2018

I was quiet all month about my Nopevember curse, hoping it would pass me by this year.

Annnnd… No such luck.

This month has ended in its typical crash, the way it has for the last 10 years.

Every. Damn. Year.

Something happens.

A deer smashes into our vehicle, or there’s an unholy, knock-down, drag-out fight with my brother, or my daughter crashes her car (black ice, NOT her fault), or, well, a mixture of awful things that culminate in totally fucking up the month.

This year?

I spent Thanksgiving week trying to help my son deal with severe anxiety and panic attacks. And spent an afternoon in the ER with him the day before the holiday, making sure he was safe, and not spiraling out of control, due to a bad reaction to his meds.

When he called me that morning, I was at work, & luckily had my cell phone ON me, instead of charging, so I was able to take the call right away.

This kid doesn’t call me for shit.

He hates talking on the phone. Period. But, he called & begged me to take him to the ER, because he couldn’t take it anymore.

Now, I have this weird thing that happens in my brain when there’s an emergency.

I call it my “ER Nurse Gene”.

See, my grandmother was an RN for many years, and my Mom was an EMT, and an LPN, at different times, and for many years, as well.

I’ve had a lot of exposure to the medical field in my life, both growing up, and as an adult.

Mom brushes this aside & says it’s not a “real thing”, but even she’s seen it in action with me, & can’t truly explain what happens.

You see, when there’s an emergency…

Something clicks inside my brain, and suddenly… Everything gets very, very clear.

Like, my vision is suddenly crystal clear, & I can see everything going on. I am hyper focused and can triage with the best of them. My senses are all heightened, my mind has a clarity to it that – even I don’t truly understand, once the whole ordeal is over.

Whatever it is, I knew exactly what I needed to do, where I needed to go, just what to say.

My son wasn’t able to focus well enough to answer many questions for the nurses and doctors, due to the medications side effects he was experiencing, so I asked him if it was ok for me to answer for him. He nodded, so I did.

We were lucky, we got right into a room in the ER, & were seen in a relatively short period. All in all, we were only there for about 3.5 hours, which is fairly quick for our ER.

OnlySon got some help, even if it wasn’t exactly what we were hoping for, more of a stop-gap measure until he can get into his regular doc. But it was at least better than what he was going through before.

And, I talked to my ex, his father, & tried to explain that, yes, OnlySon’s anxiety & depression are mental illnesses, but, they are also –

Physical, chemical imbalances.

They are physical disorders as well as mental, and need to be thought of in that way.

It is a chemical imbalance, that can cause, will cause, mental instability, if it is not properly balanced.

That just like Diabetes, this is something lifelong, to be treated and lived with, not something to be hidden or ashamed of.

He grumbled at me a bit, told me, jealously, how “He talks to you about this, he doesn’t want to talk to me”.

And I told him, that, OnlySon knows that I live with anxiety and depression too. That I understand so much of what he’s going through, and that, unless you live it, unless you’ve been through it, it’s really difficult to explain to someone looking in from the outside.

And, when the day was over, after I’d take OnlySon home & finished my workday, I drove home…

And shook.

Every ounce of adrenaline that I’d been running on all day, rushed out of my body at once.

Thanksgiving with my parents was – an exercise in acting normal.

I wore the mask for their sake, and for Youngerdaughter, who came down to stay.

But, the rest of the weekend was a total bust.

I basically collapsed inward.

I didn’t want to see anyone, didn’t want to talk to anyone, didn’t want to interact with the outside world at all.

That’s the price.

I could never have been a nurse, emergency room or otherwise.

I couldn’t afford the cost of what happens afterwards.

Days in a black hole…

Nopevember.

I’m so done with this month.

Hindsight is 20/20 – squinting – pt. 3

~Don’t seek healing at the feet of those who broke you.

I can’t remember who wrote this, but it really resonated with me this week.

I even wrote it on my desk calendar, so I could look at it every day, and remind myself of those words, practice the mantra, so to speak.

I need to stop kneeling at the feet of those who have hurt me in the past, seeking resolution, consolation, closure, or healing.

I do it way too often.

You see, I used to be the one doing the breaking, so when I crashed at the end, and had to change the way I did things, I really did change.

Except, sometimes, I go too far the other direction.

I’ve had many people tell me I’m too nice, too forgiving.

But – I’m getting ahead of my own story, here.

I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that the summer of 1990 was just a slow roll towards suicide on my part.

It wasn’t.

I had a blast getting into as much trouble as humanly possible, in the short amount of time I had, and in the limited ways I could. (as in, no drugs, no extreme sports – cause HELLO, I SUCK AT SPORTS)

But – it WAS a spiral headed south, and straight into a wall. Somewhere in the back of my primitive id brain I knew this. I wasn’t stupid. I couldn’t see a future for myself, and I was, oddly… wanting to tromp down harder on the gas pedal, for some reason. Get there faster, & you waste less gas?

Well, my parents weren’t having it.

They clamped down on me, & told me to either “find a job, or you’re headed for the military”.

Yep. No shit.

So – I hit the papers, and found want ads – for nannies. People in other states wanted nannies from North Dakota to fly to their homes to take care of their kids, because they thought ND kids made better nannies, for some reasons. And I – wanted the fuck out. Out of North Dakota. Out of my current life, out from under my parents’ rules, you know… Typical young self-destructive type behavior.

Fast forward a few phone calls, and I’d found a family in New Jersey, who had 2 kids, both adopted, and they wanted me right away.

Off I went.

Everyone has baggage.

But Delta had no idea I had TWO carry-ons with me instead of just the one they saw.

You see, I’d been a horrible girlfriend to the boyfriend I fell for…

And I’d run around and used sex to feel good about myself.

I’d thought I was just malnourished, from not eating well, smoking & drinking a lot over the summer, subsisting on sunflower seeds & beef jerky most of the time.

I didn’t realize I had a growing reason for missing my period.

Until the morning I puked for no reason.

Well, there was a reason, I just didn’t want to know it, or admit it, really.

Shit.

*sigh*

On my day off, I ran an errand to the drug store & bought myself a stick test to pee on.

Damn thing practically turned blue in my hand before I got it open.

Hell.

So, on my next day off… I went down to the local women’s free clinic & got tested there. Positive again.

And a courtesy “talk” with a counselor, who gently went through all my options with me, asking me delicately if I was… Possibly…maybe…could I be…considering…abor.. ??

“NO.” I was most emphatic, and a huge, truck-load sized weight seemed to lift from the counselor’s shoulders.

“Oh, thank goodness!”, she was so relieved, I thought she was going to hug me, which would have been awkward, and extremely uncomfortable for us both, I think.

Then, she wanted to discuss adoption, & I shut her down on that, too.

Nope.

I thanked her politely, and told her that, in no uncertain terms, I was going home, I was going to have my baby, and I was going to raise it myself.

This was mine, and no one was taking it from me.

It was time to fucking grow up.

My baby needed me. And needed me to be an ADULT. I was going to be a mommy, and I’d be damned if anyone was taking that from me.

Now, I needed to figure out how to do that.

I wasn’t even old enough to drink legally, yet.

But I was damned well going to figure this out.

For once, it wasn’t about what I needed.

It was about what someone else needed from me. Someone who didn’t have anyone else, and needed me first, most, and who I could love without reservations or limits or embarrassment. I could give this baby everything I was, and it wouldn’t betray me, because I would be its mommy.

This baby was going to love me, because I was going to love him or her so hard, there’d be no reason not to.

Hindsight is 20/20 – sorta (pt.2)

That summer…

1990…

Such a blur of color and sound, sun & cigarettes, booze & boys & parties & beaches & laughter & tears and just –

Fucking hell – wild abandon.

I quit college a year and a half after starting. As I said in my last post… I shouldn’t have been there in the first place. I wasn’t in the right mindset for college. Didn’t really know what I wanted out of life, not for real, and had no real passion for it. And without that, you honestly shouldn’t be there. It’s a money and time-suck if you don’t give 100% of everything you have to it.

And I didn’t have 100% of anything to give.

I was really only functioning on about 78%, myself, at any given moment… not that I was aware of that fact.

(I’ve changed that percentage number twice, lowered it, actually, because I realized just how little I was emotionally coherently functioning that summer)

After they brought me home from my college town, they tried to put me in therapy. It was a miserable failure.

I don’t know if it was because of the therapist they chose, or what they told him, but it was a train-wreck.

I walked in to that first visit, thinking I would maybe give it a chance, that maybe, finally, someone would hear me.

And the first words out if his mouth were…

“So your parents tell me you think you were molested,”

As if I were making it up, lying, or delusional.

Fucking train-wreck on fire, I was all done after that. I wasn’t going to tell him SHIT. He could fuck ALL THE WAY OFF.

And that was the end of therapy.

[and you have NO idea how difficult this post has been to write. All you see are the results. This shit – days – it’s taken days – and that’s not me. I’m “off the cuff girl”]

(Yanks self back on track)

I won’t lie. That summer? Best fucking fun of my life.

I have a million snapshot memories of that summer, lodged in my head. Smoky bonfires, sparkling lakes & rivers, scorching heat while laying on a rocky beach, smoking & stubbing out cigarettes in the sand, waiting for a tan…and the end of a hangover.

Snapshots of laughter, of rides in cars, cruising up & down main at speeds so slow, you could walk faster than the car was moving; memories of loud music, long hair & short skirts, dancing under gushing rain gutters on main street, not caring if makeup smeared & we had to drive home damp, later.

Snapshots of going to sleep after the sun came up, and getting ready for the day, only a handful of hours later.

Dancing wherever and whenever we damned well felt like it, because we just didn’t fucking care.

Snapshots of late-night conversations, of kissing in the dark, of a boyfriend… One I fell for so quickly… He was funny and smart. Sweet, and sexy & kind; older than me & treated me well. You can’t just do that to someone looking for self-destruction. I wanted to curl up next to him and not move again, because it was safe being fun and happy with him. I scared myself so badly… I ran, and ran, and ran.

I was an awful girlfriend. I know that now. I hid from him, wouldn’t answer the phone, asked my parents to lie when he called, refused to talk to him. In my head… I made excuses for myself.

It all kind of culminated one rainy day, when he stopped my friend & I, tried to get me to talk to him, and I ran off again, down the street, into the rain, as fast as I could. I was such a coward.

He didn’t follow, didn’t chase, so I vindicated myself once again, inside my head. I wasn’t enough for anyone, wasn’t worth it.

So… Fuck it.

I ramped up the wild side.

Threw all caution and common sense to the wind, and went completely berserk.

I slept around, drank…oh gods, probably my body-weight at the time, in booze. Mostly beer, because that’s what was cheap. But, whatever was available? I drank it.

I thought about trying drugs.

I did.

I had them – SO easily available. The town I hung out in was HUGE in drugs, and I knew most of the druggies. They might not have been my besties, but, they knew my name, & that I wouldn’t rat them out. We knew some of the same people, hung at the same parties, small town, you know the drill.

But – I didn’t.

I honestly, truly, never did try drugs. Not even so much as a hit of weed, or even so much as one pill of anything.

I saw – wow – I saw shit involving drugs I can honestly say I never expected. Shit I won’t elaborate here, because it’s past, it won’t do anyone any good, so why do anyone harm?

But I never touched them myself.

I thought about it. I was tempted.

And if it hadn’t been for my best friend, at that point? I’d have done them. I would’ve. I’d have caved.

Why?

Because I saw NO FUTURE.

All I saw for myself at that point was a black wall, and I was speeding towards it.

I was driving the car inside my head, and I kept mashing the pedal to the floor. I wanted it over.

I just – wanted all of everything – over.