Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Terra Firma

I'm so sad tonight. Everyone is in bed except me, and I'm sad and lonely. Talking on the phone is hard because nobody can hear me. The smoke from the garage is eeking into the house, so that's hard too.

My brother has been having these hour-long conversations with my dad. Twice yesterday. But when I go in to sit with him, I struggle to make conversation-- and he doesn't make it at all. I'm not really sure why, but right now it just makes me sadder. All my dad has seen since I've been out here is a strung-out daughter who is completely frustrated with his wife and not making a very peaceful environment.

When I talk to my younger two kids on the phone, it's so hard. They are begging me to come back. It's not even because they miss me-- they just aren't happy at their dad's right now. Part of that is because Tommy is failing two classes and dealing with some consequences that, frankly, their dad is better at meting out than I am. I tied myself up in knots for a bit after we talked and looked at flight information. I debated flying home next week when Heather comes out. I debated flying them out here for a week-- but the cost and the logistics and the missed school are just horrible. And then they have to go back. Same if I go home: The logistics and price are horrible. I am needed at home, but I am more needed out here. I know the kids are safe. I do not know the same about here.

I have decided that in spite of their suffering, I have to stay focused and stay the course. It sucks and it's shitty for just everybody. My mom is getting kicked out of her home, my dad is going to die, my brother and I are going nuts and we are losing two parents at once. Well, in some ways, we lost her years ago. And yet, she is still here, haunting us.

I feel like my mom is the One Ring. Matt and I take turns being Sam and Froto. We are heading to Mordor, and even though others would like to help, we have to go through this hell by ourselves. And I was saying to my friend John earlier that it's not like "Yay, woo hoo!" is going to happen when our mother leaves, because, hey, guess what? Dad is still going to die. And it's going to suck and be horrible. And we are going to have to continue to deal with phone calls from the nursing home, getting her doctors figured out, unpacking her and getting her set up, and the inevitable interference of well-meaning others who have no idea what we are going through and love to offer their two cents.

My friend Chris sent me a text that helps me a lot:
First he said, "I'm sure yr livid for lots of reasons. Wt gain is to be expected. It will fall off. Don't be mad at yourself just because you're an easy target. Things WILL get better."

Then he wrote later, "Did my feedback about winter/stress/isolation help any? It's ok to be livid-- just don't go looking for reasons to be down on yourself. You're in a state of flux. There is no terra firma for you until WAY after this ordeal is over.

"It would be awful to wish this would be over sooner, but part of you does [and that is true]. It's unavoidable but it's not wholehearted. There's a chained dog in your mind. He's trod down everything that can grow within the radius of his leash and he barks madly at every passing creature. We'll let the dog off the leash when you get home. There'll be grass underfoot and rabbits to chase. Promise." 


  1. The kids will be fine. Do what you have to do.


  2. Everyone needs a friend like Chris.