I spent a lot of time thinking about this, yesterday, on my drive to & from my folks’ house.
I am a tangle of contradictions.
Most people know one side only, as I keep its opposite pretty well hidden from view.
And nearly all the people who know me IRL, know the jokester, who mixes in with the caring, nurturing part of me. (If I care about you, I care enough to joke with you/about you)
Something I don’t say often, though, is that – once I love someone, it’s forever. No matter how much this can hurt ME in the end. And I’m not just talking about being in love with someone, I’m also talking about Chosen Family love. And there’s a few of those out there.
Beloved Nephew is first & foremost of the Chosen. He is now, and has been for years, my best friend. There could never be anything intimate between us, because we’re family to each other, but he knows me better than anyone else alive.
And he’s seen both sides of my personality.
There are also kids, well, they’re not kids anymore, because they’re godsbedamned grownups now, (yes, I’m feeling the age, here). Kids my children brought home with them, who needed an adult at the time to tell them that they were going to be ok. That they were enough, that they could do this thing called life. I don’t get to see them, or talk to them anymore, because they’ve moved on & past needing me, but I still consider them Chosen Family.
And yes, it stings a little sometimes when I think that, once I wasn’t needed to prop them up, I was forgotten. But that’s what happens. And I don’t want anyone to feel any kind of obligation to me because I was kind to them. That’s selfish. I’m just glad they’ve grown, and hopefully gotten themselves to a good place.
And, yes, there are people whom I’ve been involved with in the past, exes. Who doesn’t have those?
And yes, some of them I love.
To this day.
NOT to say that I’d go back to them, because most I wouldn’t. There was a reason behind the split, and it was needed. I’m healthier, emotionally, mentally, without them in my life.
There’s a couple that I would, but it probably wouldn’t be good for me, so I keep my damn mouth shut. Go me. (sarcastic eye roll)
Not one of them can say they’ve truly seen my other side.
The dark coldness that I keep for only myself.
Y’all have no idea.
There is a detachment that happens when my switch gets flipped. And I can honestly say I, myself, have only seen it truly come out a couple of times. Always in the most dire of situations, and ALWAYS as a protective measure, either for myself, or for a loved one.
Example – cutting my male sibling out of my life.
I’m not going to retell the story, just know that I did it to protect myself from further emotional harm.
The point here, is, that I was able to do it. With no guilt, no remorse, and no second thoughts.
And no one has ever, nor will they ever, talk me out of it. Familial guilt gets nothing.
Talk of blood, of dna, gets nowhere.
After all, his blood, his dna didn’t stop him from hurting me in the first place, now, did it?
Anywho, before I get completely derailed off onto a rant, this is only one example.
But it’s an effective one.
The level of darkness to which I can descend, should I deem it necessary to the situation, is one which most would never seek, and I’m sure, they would never suspect me of reaching it.
But a part of me lives there.
And only the Nephew has seen it, or heard it in my voice.
Probably because he recognizes a kindred spirit when he meets one.
But, I digress.
My tangled dichotomy is pretty balanced, ironically enough.
Because as deep as my darkness goes, that is how far my love extends. And vice versa.
I spent some time outside, knowing it was probably going to be one of the few, really nice days left of the fall weather.
I mowed, & planted my lily bulbs for next spring.
I got back in touch with the heartbeat of the earth, and with my own.
And while I was working my hands in the dirt…I was thinking about “Things”.
How many “things” I have.
How many I care about.
Whether I care about “things” at all.
And I came to a conclusion.
The only things I truly Care about…
All have a heartbeat.
My family, chosen and blood, my friends, my 2 cats.
Everything else can be replaced.
But not the heartbeats.
Those are finite.
I’ve lost a few of those over the years, and a handful just within the last couple of years. They are irreplaceable. Gone forever, they exist now only in my memories, and in the memories of the others whose lives they touched.
And, sometimes it hurts, knowing that the only way I can connect to the heartbeats I love so much is through the phone.
This is why I’ve thought about moving closer to my Beloved Nephew.
At least being there, I know I’d be near someone who truly wanted me to be there. Someone who values my heartbeat as much as I value his. As Chosen Family, and my best friend, our friendship is one of those irreplaceable things I cherish.
And here… Well, after everything that’s happened here, I do have a couple of good friends, but no romantic life… and pretty much only painful reminders of heartbreak and rejection. Not exactly a rousing endorsement to stay.
So, I’m going to pack my heartbeat up in cotton, and pad it against breakage for the coming cold months. I’ll work on savoring the moments I get to have with those I cherish, even if it’s only over the phone, and get rid of a few “things” I no longer need.
Or otherwise known as Valentine’s Day – Perfect Day, Apocalypse, or both?
I had a pretty good start on yesterday. I got surprise flowers from my OtherHalf, had a pretty good day at work, got flowers for my girls, and a gift of kisses (Hershey’s, since I’m no longer allowed to kiss him in public) for OnlySon.
For some reason? I didn’t eat supper. Maybe that’s where I went wrong. I’m hypoglycemic, so when my blood sugar drops, I get all shaky, weepy, and off-balance. I’m not sure, but that could have been part of the problem of what came next. Obviously, my brain was not working at full capacity.
YoungerDaughter worked after school today. She works as a dietary aid at the local hospital, and I pick her up on school nights, as she doesn’t have a car. So, when the time rolled around to go after her, I drove up and parked in the parking lot at the hospital and waited.
My mp3 was playing, and I was fussing with my phone, when Linkin Park’s “Leave Out All the Rest” came on. I’ve been obsessed with this band lately, and have almost all their songs on my mp3. But I should have known better with this one song.
This song is the strongest trigger for me as far as my friend Midnite is concerned. It reminds me so strongly of things that she said to me over the years that I knew her, that it almost seems as though she’s saying them to my face whenever I hear it. I thought I could make it through the song, now that it’s been almost 2 years since she passed away.
Well, I made it through the song, but not much further. After it was over, I realized that I was sitting in the parking lot of the hospital where she passed away, and that was the pull on the trigger. I had a moment.
A “Moment” is a code word that Midnite’s son, my nephew, and I use to signal that we’d been thinking about her, and were “temporarily emotionally indisposed” .
While this was going on, I was also talking with another friend, Sparrow, who had noticed a post I’d put up on FB about my moment, and how stupid I was to pull this emotional trigger on myself. She’d immediately checked on me, making sure that I was alright. She was one of the people that helped me make it through the aftermath of Midnite’s passing, and she’s always been just that thoughtful and amazing.
YoungerDaughter finally finished work, and we drove home, where I found something lurking in my mailbox:
Just the sight of that bright pink envelope made me smile, before I even opened it, because I knew that whatever was contained within, it came from one of the kindest hearts I’ve had the pleasure to get to know in this last year. And they would be good words. Happy, heartfelt, make-you-smile words.
And I was right.
Thanks, Lil k! Just what I needed, just when I needed it most.
Seems like this is becoming quite the trend with my blogging family – Thanks, my friends, for turning the night back around to love. Blog-family style.
I suffer from the “in-denial-about-home-issues” and “all-over-other-people’s-problems” syndrome. I hope there’s a name for it, cause I just ran out of hyphens. I’d much rather help someone else with their stuff, than deal with my own most days. It’s a form of denial, I know, but I still do it.
And now, for a short segue:
I grew up in a household full of medical know how. My mother is an LPN, my grandmother was an RN. Both of my parents had periods of their lives while I was growing up that they were First Responders (rural equivalent to EMTs that get there before the ambulance). I even had a stint as a CNA at a nursing home, as well as working in a grouphome setting for developmentally disabled adults for a while when I was younger.
I don’t profess to have a LOT of knowledge about all things medical *laughing*, far from it. But I do know how to ask the right questions, where to look for answers, and I know the value of “getting there quickly”. I have a strong Good Samaritan gene streaking through my DNA.
Back to the topic at hand:
And so, even though there are times in my life when I just want to crawl back under the covers, hide under tables, whatever, when a friend tells me that there’s trouble a’brewing in their lives?
I’m all over it.
I’ll gladly chuck my own problems over my shoulder, race wherever my spidey senses tell me the emergency is, and pitch in till everyone’s safely out. “Here, let me help you with that – What me? Problems? No, Let’s talk about you.”
Example: Recently, an old friend and member of my “chosen family”, someone I consider like a little brother from my younger years, told me he has a serious medical condition. Without going into details, let’s just say that my spidey senses went haywire, and threatened to fry my little ant brain. Needless to say, all my own problems jumped to the end of the line, and I went all “medical commando”, trying to get as much information as I could, asking questions, and telling my friend to call me anytime, any day, no matter what. If he wanted someone to prop him up, I was his gal; if he needed someone to kick him in the hind region to motivate him, just whine; and if he needed an ear to vent to, or a shoulder to cry on, I’d get some clean tissues.
And, when he tried to dissemble and say that he was “going to be fine”, I called Bull.
Told him not to blow smoke there, and to stop worrying about me worrying about him.
He told me that I was the first person to tell him to stop worrying about others, the first person to say that we (his friends and family) have to handle our upset over this on our own, and that he needs to be selfish and think about himself first.
Yeah, it’s that kind of serious.
Yes, I’m upset about it. Yes, it scares me right down to my toes, and I pray every day that the treatments work.
But that’s my own emotional crap. And he doesn’t need to hear it.
So, I wait. And I hope. And Nurse Brea sits at attention, ready to fly.