Sunday, October 17, 2010

Private Blog

This blog is now private. If you want to continue to read my blog (and you don't even have to be a frequent commenter or explain why).  Just leave me your email in a comment or email me your email address at Put something about blogging in the subject line so I know it is not spam. And I will send you the information you need. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Time Line: Year Three

This is a continuation of my time line series. Years zero through two can be found here.

Year Three:
My bedroom is at the end of the hall. I sleep in a twin bed with a Unicorn comforter set and Little Mermaid pillows. A hammock of stuffed animals hangs over my head, and my bed is surrounded by red steel bars to prevent me from rolling off the bed and hitting my head on the hardwood floor. The window above my bed is next to a small grassy area between our house and privacy fence that me and my best friend will later call our clubhouse. The tree in the club house casts a shadow on my wall at night that looks like a claw about to grab me from my bed. I worry about the claw every single night.

My mom, my brother, and I attend church at a big church near our house. At this time, all I know about God is that he is a man that lives somewhere above us, and that Jesus literally has a home in my heart (I envision a log cabin). The church uses an intercom system to make announcements about upcoming events at the end of service. One day my mom is talking to a friend when they start making announcements. I am upset that everyone is talking so I shush them and tell them to listen because God is speaking.

My grandfather is a big man who always wears the same overall jumpsuits engraved with his initials W.O.E. He has eight jumpsuits, and he keeps them organized in a certain order to make sure he doesn't wear the same jumpsuit the same day over a two week period. My grandfather is the only optometrist in my mother's small Texas hometown. Everyone knows my grandpa, and he is known to accept gifts, such as roosters, when someone can't pay. His office seems like a winding maze of hallways for me to explore, and his showroom is filled with every type of eye glasses imaginable. I love the showroom and playing dress-up with all the glasses. I now know the glasses are really expensive, but he never chides me for playing recklessly with them. In the years to come, I will always look forward to getting my eyes checked by my grandfather. After he passes, I will hate going to see new eye doctors.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Unnecessary Expressions of Gratitude

My stepfather is weird. Really weird. And mom if you read this, I'm sorry for saying this. But you know that we have had many conversations where we have agreed he is not like the rest of the public. When I was thinking about this entry, I had many examples swimming in my head of my step father being odd, but now they have all escaped me. But just know he does really nonsensical things and has all my life.  But this post really isn't about my stepfather being weird, but how one of his habits could have gotten my mother and I arrested. Yeap, ARRESTED.

My stepfather is diabetic, and he has to give himself insulin shots. Which is decidedly NOT WEIRD. However leaving your used, empty needles all over the car is WEIRD. I remember once, not so long after I got my license, I was driving down the road and the sun was in my eyes. So what do you do when the sun is in your eyes? You pull down the visor, right? So I snapped down the visor and two needles catapulted toward my EYEBALLS. My beautiful, get me whatever I want from Adam, Baby Blues. But beside the fact that I was nearly stricken blind, it scared me so much I nearly pooped my pants and ran off the road into a cow (this was Alabama after all, cows are everywhere).

Flash forward seven years and one month ago and my mother is picking me up at the airport in her mini-van with my "sister" Carlee (her happy and silly lab). We leave the airport and I notice some used needles in the sliding cup holder. I ask my mother if that ever worries her, and tell her the story that really made me appreciate my eyeballs. I asked her what if you get pulled over? What are you going to say about the needles to the cop? We talk about it for a second, forget about, and then move on to talking about more important things like small town gossip and the cheesecake we planned to eat that weekend. Yum, Cheesecake.

On our way home, we pass a cop. We are not speeding, and he does not pull us over, but he starts to follow us down the road. My mother and I never ever speed, unless it is on accident. There are people out there who do things like speed on PURPOSE. And I'm scared to death of tickets so I don't speed. But every time I accidentally speed I get pulled over. Then I get to hear all the stories from people who speed on PURPOSE and get out of their tickets. I never get out of my tickets (had two).  Boo, my luck sucks.

We don't think too much about the cop following us, but a few minutes later, outside a lighted gas station, he pulls us over.  My mother, who has the patented Ervin freak out gene, starts panicking. "Was I speeding?" "I know I wasn't speeding." "I CAN'T GET A TICKET." I don't say a word, but I'm thinking about the conversation we had five minutes earlier, and I quickly slide the needles out of sight. I am terrified that the police officer will see that I slide the needles out of the way and ask to search the car. And then in my mind, we would be going to jail. And I can't go to jail, I'm too pretty for jail. I don't want to be anybody's bitch.

The police officer took forever to approach us, which only made everything more nerve wrecking. And it turns out the police man didn't pull us over for speeding, or because he has a nose for used needles. Nope, it was just because we had a tail light out. The minute he headed back to his car to run my mom's information, the built up anxiety and the relief that we didn't have to bribe him with donuts, lead to an uncontrollable laughing fit. My mom thought it was so funny that I didn't say a word and just calmly slid the needles out of sight. Also we were just talking about getting pulled over with needles in the car! How Ironic. And when the police officer came back we were still laughing. I'm surprised he didn't think we were high. Then, he went on his merry little way, and as he was leaving my mom calls to him, and we both say, "THANK YOU!"

Then it struck us, why did we thank him? Thank him for scaring the bejeezus out of us and our little dog too? Thank him for giving us a ticket? I guess we could thank him for making us laugh. I guess it is just the Southern Belle manners we both have. We just couldn't stop ourselves from thanking him. I bet he thought we were basket cases.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Again and Again

For the last few nights, I have been having different variations of the same dream. I am standing in my father's family house (where everyone lives) and I'm trying to get their attention, and everyone is pretending like I'm not even there.  My grandparents, my father, my cousins, and aunts are ignoring me. Sometimes I simply want to hang out with them, but other times the house is on fire and no one will listen to me. The first time I had this dream, I woke up and thought it was just a strange dream. But the more I thought about, I realized it wasn't strange at all. Haven't they ignored me? Don't they behave like I don't exist? Didn't they ignore my wedding and everything important in my life for the last 14 years even though I have continuously tried to make it work for us?

Most of the time, I'm fine and I feel like I have totally put the pain behind me. I was at a friend's wedding recently and for the first time I watched her dance with her father, and I wasn't silently overcome with grief. And I can look at others wedding pictures and not hurt anymore. But sometimes I'm not fine with it. Sometimes I torture myself with a barrage of what if questions. What could I have done differently? Why don't they love me? What didn't my father give my wedding pictures after he told me he loved and was sorry for everything he ever did? Why do I even care? Will I ever 100% move on from it? How can my favorite cousin have a baby and never even tell me about it? For the record, I know in my head I did nothing wrong, but sometimes its hard to tell my heart that.

I just wonder if it will ever officially stop. When will I stop being the girl/the teenager/the adult that just wants her Dad to be there for her? I don't say "love her." Because in a weird way that I can't explain to others, I do believe that he loves me and wants a relationship with me. I just believe he can't allow himself to do that, he can't stop sabotaging himself. He is a very miserable and unhappy man. But at the same time I know I can't keep putting my hand in the fire for his benefit. And I never will again. Now if he ever came to me (which has about a .01% chance of happening), I might consider it. Because it would show some change and growth.

But on the more optimistic side of things, I am one of those warm, fuzzy, annoying people who believe everything works together for good. I believe the whole wedding picture disaster happened so I could finally give myself the permission to let go. To stop trying. To accept he wouldn't change. And truthfully, although I'm still hurting, I've grown so much because of it. And I believe the whole trauma of my childhood is what turned me into an understanding, empathic person which is just going to make me a better counselor. And maybe just maybe I will never stop caring completely and that is OK. Because if I stopped caring about my TERRIBLE family, although I shouldn't care at all, I would be a little less like myself.

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