But I Can’t Make Myself

Decide.

So many things come down to that One. Little. Word.

My daughters, my parents, & my Schnicklefritz grandson all want me to move to Washington to be closer to ElderDaughter & her family (Schnicklefritz especially, he pouts). I don’t want to miss being there for my grands growing up. I want to be the Gramma they come running to after school, the woman they brag about to their friends who’s just that cool.

BelovedNephew wants me to move to Georgia to be closer to him. He is my best friend, and soulmate. He understands things about me no one else has ever. I miss him so fully, it tears at something inside when I think about how far apart we are.

OnlySon doesn’t want me to change anything. He wants me to live in the house I’m in, keep the job I have, be here, because he’s here. He doesn’t want to miss me. He hates change, and I don’t blame him. Change is uncomfortable and scary.

I know I have to make a decision.

I know I have to make a choice.

But, I can’t make myself.

Because, you see…

Any choice I make…ends with someone I love being hurt.

And that’s one thing I can’t stand to do.

I’ve hurt people in the past, I know I have, sometimes knowingly, but usually out of ignorance, and unconsciously.

How do I make a choice here without hurting someone? I can’t. It’s just not possible.

And then, I hear the voices of my loved ones in my head saying…

“Just do what’s best for you…”

Yeah…but what’s best for me is to NOT FREAKING HURT OTHERS.

Because of what I used to be in the past, because of who I used to be, I made a LOT of changes in my life.

Oh, Goddess, I’ve fucked up so many things in my past, but there’s nothing I can do about that, anymore. There’s no going back, there’s no atonement, there’s no fixing, for so many of those things.

And, I’ve paid. Oh, yeah…I’ve paid in spades, for a lot of it. I beat the hell out of myself (can’t you tell?) for my past, regularly. *shrug* And I do try to make up for being an asshole back then, by being very much not an asshole now.

I think, too, subconsciously, part of me thinks I deserve to be alone now, because of everything I did in the past.

Penance, you know?

Like maybe there’s some kind of invisible-to-me sign that hangs around my neck that says “unworthy“, that men can see, so they stay away.

But, I digress.

I know I need a change.

I know I have to make a choice.

I can’t stay, because things here…just hurt…anymore. The ones that have left their knives behind in my back, wow, they were sharp, and left scars that just don’t fade. The ones that used only words…seemed to scar worse. And the ones that smiled, that seemed to want the same things, then disappeared… everything just hurts, you know?

Is it any wonder I don’t sleep or eat much these days?

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So then there was this…

I know I’ve been talking a lot about being depressed, lately. I know it can get to be repetitive, but… That’s what happens with depression cycles.

You cycle, and cycle, and cycle…until something finally brings you out of it.

I’m not there yet.

laughing softly and ironically under my breath…

I just seem to keep getting pulled in by new cycles of dark.

*I recently realized that when my old phone had its “stroke” & I had to get my new one, I lost a good portion of the phone numbers in my address book. One of the numbers was my ex-husband, which I find ironic, but now, if my son is in trouble, I can’t get ahold of the ex to reach him. I don’t really want to ask my son for his number…but I probably should. Fuck.

I didn’t realize I’d lost these numbers until just recently…because I’d isolated myself so well, I don’t receive calls or texts from anyone but family anymore, really. Chosen family counts here.

*I was going to go to a drag show this last weekend, but my mom called with bad family news.

Her baby brother, my Uncle J, has had throat cancer for a while. He went through chemo & radiation, & they thought he’d gone into remission.

Well, it’s now back, and is in another place. He’s back in chemo, but is not doing as well this time around.

On top of that, his son, my cousin C, also has cancer. He has a very rare, and virulent, form of lung cancer.

They live in Iowa, and are treating in Rochester, which is an exemplary facility…

But, according to Mom, C has ONE CHANCE at treatment. If this treatment doesn’t work…

Folks…he’s only 31.

31.

My uncle and my cousin.

Father and son…both dealing with life-threatening diseases.

Where is the fucking sunshine again?

A Witch in the Forest Primeval

At Christmas, my daughters got me tickets to go out to visit my EldestDaughter & her family in Washington State.

The trip was this last weekend.

I was gone Friday through Monday, and it was…amazing.

This was my first view from the plane… Yeah, it was a wing seat, so?

Ironically, the last time I flew, I was pregnant with EldestDaughter… And this time, 28 years later, I was going to see her.

(And her husband, and my grandkids, yes. My other daughter & her boyfriend were going too, I met up with them in MSP/St.Paul!)

The trip was a whirlwind of sightseeing & visiting with the kids. I don’t know that I got to do a whole lot of sitting unless it was in the car, or in a chair to game with my grandson, Schnicklefritz. (We play Fallout 3 more or less together… I’m teaching a 7-yr. old the skills he needs to survive the Wasteland, don’t hate)

(Lots of “road” pictures, I miss tree variety…)

Skagit Valley Overlook. In the last picture, to the right, next to the trees, you can see the oyster farms, as the tide was out.

Schnicklefritz & MiniMoose (in the background) We went to a Mexican restaurant Saturday night for dinner. The food was excellent, had a meander through town with Youngerdaughter & her beau afterwards, then MOAR GAMING, saith the Schnicklefritz…

Sunday was a trip up towards the “pointy mountains”, as EldestDaughter called them, but they were pretty well hidden in the clouds. We did see Deception Pass. I was able to walk across the first walking bridge…but not the second one…

Ugh.

Even the first one made me nauseated.

No lie.

I just can’t do heights anymore.

As a kid, I used to climb like a monkey up & down the cliff behind our house in Iowa, using saplings like a ladder. I was fearless.

I’m not that kid, anymore.

But, being in Washington…was like stepping into a forest primeval.

Everything was so…lush…

The trees were coated in moss from roots to branches, the ground littered with huge ferns that trailed and meandered everywhere.

And everything seemed to be in bloom.

I wish I’d gotten more pictures, but my head was on a constant swivel, and things seemed to rush by so quickly. I just couldn’t take it all in.

The trip was over far too soon.

And now, I have a huge Schnicklefritz-sized hole in my heart again.

*sniffle*

Save me some sunflowers, Lil dude.

The Land of Fire

I’m walking in a land of fire

Coals scorching my feet

Sparks flying through the air

Smoke choking my lungs

I know that this trial is somehow necessary, that in order to grow, I must burn away that which has become burdensome. That I’ve come to another crossroads in my life, & I have to fight, to strive, to prove to myself that I am ready for the next step, whatever that may be.

But, Goddess, the fires are intense.

I’ve cut ties with someone I was speaking to. He wasn’t going to live up to his words, anyway. And, my heart was elsewhere.

It’s been tied up for years in someone else’s ribbons, & I don’t think it’ll ever change.

I’m probably destined to spend my life alone, because I gave my heart away to someone who will never show up to fully claim it.

But, if that’s the way it is, I’ll live with it.

My brother tried to make small talk through text about my birthday, as well. *sigh*

After years of issues between us, I’m not going to just forgive and forget everything he’s said & done. I’m not a “sweep it under the rug” kind of woman.

He wounded me deeply, and cannot admit his culpability.

So, I finally said as much back in a text, and – lol and behold – *crickets* since then.

If you cannot admit your responsibility for your actions, if you cannot admit your own wrongdoing towards another person, and apologize, sincerely and wholeheartedly for hurting them, then obviously, you don’t believe you ever did anything wrong.

Update – I just received a text that says “I have no idea what you’re talking about”.

My point exactly.

I’m done.

Convenient how they “forget” the words they use to wound others with.

But I will never forget how he said his “little sister died years ago”.

He’s right.

He killed her.

I’m not that little girl he once knew.

But then, he never bothered to get to know the grown-up woman.

Whatever.

I don’t have time for him.

I’ve got embers in my eyes, and smoke curling around my hands.

Time to take a walk.

The Wheels on the Bus go Badunk-a-dunk….

…Last Saturday, I attended a holistic healing & psychic fair with a coworker. I wrote about it in an earlier post to a certain degree, & told you that there was more to the story.

Well…one of the lecture sessions we attended was concerning Past lives & Karma, & how the two things can collide and coincide.

I do believe in reincarnation, let’s just get that out there. 

One of the things that this woman spoke about was how… When you reincarnate, you carry over lessons you didn’t learn from previous lives, into the next one, & have to repeat them.

Like summer school.

Oh, I only wish the teacher could be so cool. 

Well, I got to thinking about things.

I know that I have things in my life that I need to learn to let go of. There are things that I’ve held onto for so long…and I know, that if I don’t resolve them in this lifetime, I’ll be repeating these lessons in the next.

But, it’s really not going to be easy.

These are very triggering, emotional issues for me. And I don’t know how to just forgive the pain and trauma that was done to me. 

One – I have to figure out how to forgive my brother for what he did to me those years ago, when he hurt me so badly. When he declared his little sister dead, & basically destroyed any relationship we had, or ever could have. I don’t know how to forgive that. I really don’t. I know that I can’t let him back into my life as though nothing happened…so how do I forgive?

Two- and this one is the worst…

I have to figure out how to forgive my molester.

I have to stop letting the trauma of that experience affect me, stop allowing him to have any power in my life, & forgive…..

How the fuck do I do that?

I know I have to do both of these things – for myself, not for anyone else. This is for my own spiritual health & emotional well-being…

But I know that I’m raking some hot-burning coals, here.

And it could all go up in flames within minutes.

Yeah, there are other things I also need to figure out – like how I keep going through the same relationship failures, no matter who I seem to be with – they bail on me. But that’s something I’ll either learn or I won’t, & may have to repeat. I’m not as fraught with anxiety right now over that. 

The other two – however…those are going to put me under the tires of that Karma bus.

And that Karma bus just keeps right on Rollin….

Dim The Lights

And so we come once again to November, one of my least favored months of the year, containing my least favorite holiday.

Actually, I could do away with Thanksgiving altogether, and never miss it.

I think I’ve borne a deep-seated resentment towards this holiday since I was a child, to be honest, and I’ll tell you why.

As a kid, Thanksgiving meant having to dress up, and stay dressed up, All Damn Day. As a tomboy, this was one of the worst possible punishments you could inflict on me. I loathed wearing dresses, and having to wear one for a whole day… Not being able to climb trees with the cousins, or scurry up and down the cliff behind our house – hell – simply having to stay clean all day… It was hell.

And OK, the food thing was alright, but I was always a picky eater, so I pretty much stuck to turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing & corn. No funky salads, no strange fruity jello things, nothing unidentifiable, thanks. Pumpkin pie for dessert, with plenty of whipped cream, & I was done.

And then… Ultimate boredom set in.

The menfolk took over the living room to watch football, while the women ruled the kitchen.

There was nowhere for a tomboy cursed to wearing a dress for the day to go!

Gah!

I usually ended up sitting in my room, playing records on my record player, wishing I could change into my ratty jeans & scuttle down the cliff to the freedom of the river below. 

No joy. The maternal police in the kitchen guarded the stairway & would’ve caught me.

As a grownup, I became resigned to the holiday – until my brother destroyed it a few years ago for me with his hate-filled email one year, & a ranting phone call another year.

I… Quite simply… HATE … Thanksgiving with pretty much every fiber of my being.

And yet – every year, I’m forced to partake in this much-loathed ritual, to make my parents happy.

*sigh* 

At least I don’t have to explain why Mom asks me to make the pumpkin pie every year anymore, since my sibling & his family moved away. 

I wish I could say no.

I wish I could be far away this year & not have to “do” Thanksgiving.

I’ve never really seen the true need for this holiday. A secular holiday “celebrating” something that ended up being basically a farce? Pilgrims & natives eating together in thanks? And then European settlers basically trying to destroy the natives in their greed for land and domination? 

Why are we giving thanks again?

I’m thankful most of the year for what I have, I don’t need this one freaking day to remind me to give thanks – thanks anyway.

And shitty things always seem to happen at this time of year, so I walk around, cringing, waiting for the other shoe to hit me on the back of the head.

I’d like to just fit a dimmer switch on November… Turn it down, gradually, a bit at a time…until that day rolls around… And I can just dim the lights & pretend to not be home?

Monster Man

Papa’s a Monster Man.

That’s my dad.

He “rescues” monsters from under beds, detangles them from closets, and saves them from the horrors of dark, drafty basements, then returns them to their natural habitat – The Dump.

Haven’t you ever seen Nickelodeon’s classic cartoon “AAAHH!!! Real Monsters!” ??


When EldestDaughter was little, she adored this show, & lived its tenets religiously. Monsters lived at the dump, and went to school there. They only came to human homes to practice their scares, and if they were still there by daylight – well – they had to be rescued – of course.

When EldestDaughter ended up with one caught under her bed… She knew.

Time to call Papa.

And of course, he came right over. Because what else do Papas do when their granddaughters call? I ask you?

So, he “rescued” the monster, stuffing it deep in his pocket (so the daylight wouldn’t hurt its eyes…duh…), and EldestDaughter then announced that she simply had to go with him to the Dump to make sure the monster was properly released.

Uh… Ok… 

Well, he took her, anyway, & they released the monster, which promptly scurried off into its proper hole to get back to “class”. 

Or so EldestDaughter informed me when she got home. I’m trusting her imagination on that one.

But the tale doesn’t end there…

Papa’s reputation as a Monster Man was solidified when EldestDaughter retold the story to one of her friends.

Cut to a couple of years later….

Papa gets a phone call from said little girl’s mother. 

(By this time all the kids in town called my dad Papa because EldestDaughter called him that. It stuck for many years until he retired from his janitorial position at the local school)

*Mother of Girl*: “Papa? I need you to come to the house”

Papa: “Oh, MoG? What’s the problem?”

*MoG: “Seems there’s a monster in the basement, and Girl says you’re the only one who can rescue it. I can’t get her to go down to the basement -at all. Please?”

Papa: (laughing) “Sure, MoG, I’ll be right over.”

When he got to the house, he had Girl stand at the top of the basement stairs with a laundry basket.

Papa: “Now, Girl, don’t you move. You stay right here at the top of the stairs. I’m going down there, and I’m gonna catch this monster…but if it gets away from me and runs up here – you be quick and catch it with this laundry basket…OK? But whatever you do…don’t come downstairs!”

Girl: “Ok, Papa. I’ll wait for you!” 

So, Dad clomped down the stairs, banged around some, hollering & clanking things together for a few minutes…putting up a fight, you know.

And when he came upstairs…lo and behold, there was a suspicious lump in his coat pocket, which he kept confined with his hand, telling it to “settle down & behave” because he was “taking it home”.

Girl was all smiles, & made sure to watch as Dad drove away in his pickup – and HE made sure to drive in the direction of the dump, and stay away from their house for a little while before returning. (They were close neighbors, had to make the timeline believable!)

Another satisfied customer of the Monster Man.

But the story still isn’t over…

The Dump closed a couple of years ago.

And Girl is now a grownup…who recently got married & lives out of state.

And my dad likes a website called ThinkGeek.

Ever hear of the Eviltron?

Well, its a tiny, magnetic speaker. That makes various, creepy noises.

Dad built a small box, & attached this doohickey to a rare-earth magnet inside the box.

And mailed it to the unsuspecting new, young bride.

After turning it on…of course.

He included a note telling her that, since the Dump had been closed, SHE WAS GOING TO HAVE TO BE ONCE AGAIN RESPONSIBLE FOR HER MONSTER – SO HE WAS MAILING IT BACK TO HER.

Is 20 years a long enough time to dedicate to a joke?

My father received a beautiful thank you note in the mail later, telling him that this was the single most memorable and original wedding present ever received.

And she would be opening it far…far…

Far…from the house.

Thank you very much.

Signed – Girl, and her Boy.

I am now in possession of the last of my Dad’s eviltrons, and having used it on all of my coworkers, successfully…

I think it’s time to return it to Dad.

Seriously – I think he needs to build one more monster box – for EldestDaughter.

The originator who gave the Monster Man his reputation to begin with.

Get her, Papa. She’ll love it.