Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Slices of the Pie



- From Roget's International Thesaurus, Fifth Edition


I wish I could focus on something for more than two minutes at a time. Can you get adult-onset ADD? Can stress do it? Environment? Hormones? And can I really be that manic when I'm so exhausted at the same time?

Husband came over last night after I left him a tearful message. "You said sniffle for me to hiccup call you if I needed you. I really need you. Can you please come handle the baby for a few minutes? hiccup sniffle sob I'm having a really hard night."

He called me back within 60 seconds, left his dinner uneaten on the table, and drove across town in what had to be record time. He took over the baby's bath and when I was able to hold her again to give her some milk and try to put her to bed, he attacked the rest of the kitchen (yeah, still not cleaned from Sunday's gluttonous feast) and put away the toys that were scattered about the living room. I walked into the kitchen after he had finished and saw gleaming green-marbled countertops and a much emptier sink. Did it make me want to cry again? I'll let you guess the answer.

And he stayed to talk for a while even after the baby was sleeping and I had gotten calmed down again. And he stayed to listen.

I confessed that I was dreading this upcoming trip to Roxboro. Going home for me has almost always been like visiting my own personal sanctuary - the one place in the world where I don't do dishes or laundry or vacuum. There's not much to do there, so there's no guilt involved in the laying-about process. Just nice soft couches, two very fluffy cats, the comfort of my father's voice occasionally, and the background noise of Judy's constant activity in the kitchen.

But the day after tomorrow I have to tell them. I have to be straight with them about what's been happening with me and with Husband.

I am afraid of my father's pain and his disappointment in me. (I was supposed to be at a point in my life where he didn't have to worry about me anymore.) I am afraid of his silence. I am terrified of Judy's outrage at my act of stupidity and selfishness, and I am almost as afraid of how I will respond to it. Part of me is even afraid they will suggest that I go into treatment somewhere and give up custody of my daughter. I am afraid that this will change how Judy interacts with me forever, that anytime I express anger or sadness, she will ask in a disparaging voice, "You don't want to kill yourself, do you?" She has had prior experience with suicide - not her own, but someone else's. Things could - and probably will - get ugly for a while. So Brent's almost breezy prediction that he thinks everything will go fine at my dad's is... well, I'm pretty sure that it will be a little off.

And I just called Wal-Mart about the baby pictures I was going to bring to appease them. No go - they won't be ready until Thursday afternoon.

Wow. I was able to focus on something for more than two minutes. Yay, me.


Watching Pride and Prejudice (the A&E version with Colin Firth, of course) got me thinking that my Harpy has a lot of the same characteristics as Mr. Darcy. (Only she's as ugly as he is hot.) Pride, of course, a domineering personality, enormous snobbery (in my case it's intellectual) and a tendency to despise people at first glance (including myself.) Hey, maybe I could use Mr. Darcy in my internal monologues! At least then I'll be amusing myself, and I'd much rather have a Darcy galloping around my head than a smelly, dirty, psychotic screaming Harpy. Especially if he's still dripping wet from his bath. That one was just for you, Sam. No one else seems to get it.

I wish it were that easy. The fact is that the Harpy in my head is an ugly raving bitch and while Mr. Darcy is mean just because he's thoughtless and conceited and selfish, the Harpy has an active, passionate interest in destroying everything good that she sees. Bit of a difference there. And if I pretend that she's prettier than she really is, I'm kidding myself.


It's worth saying here, in the interests of thanking those of you who are still working so hard on saving my life and preserving the happiness of my child, that Husband has made some financial arrangements for the duration of our separation that will allow me to live without having to get a roommate. Thank you, Husband. And thank you for your time and attention last night. I am grateful for your help, for whatever reasons you give it.


Last night, during a spectacularly low point where I was sitting on the kitchen floor crying with my daughter, I tried to pray. And I found myself bumping up against a constant mental wall: I'm sorry, God, I know you've got a lot going on and the last thing you need to be dealing with is my crap again. My prayer stopped there - as if I don't even deserve God's help. As if I should be able to deal with unhappiness and loneliness and overwhelming anxiety on my own. I certainly don't want to bother anyone with it. Even though I realize it's kinda too late for that.


As you might imagine from the first slice of this posting, my brain is full to bursting with ideas (still.) I don't know what they're feeding the three-year olds at day care - if anything, they're more active and even harder to catch. Scary. So here's a quick list.

A new journal. Some things just can't be said here - or to anyone who knows me personally. I'd love to take an old, half-full sketch book and rip out the used pages, then hot-glue some pretty ribbon to the front of the book. Call it "My Second Chance."
In the journal, my efforts at writing my first original song.
Duckie's Christmas quilt.
Clean and rearrange the front porch.
Wash and repaint the front porch rails.
Clean the gutters.
Get another coat for Duckie to keep at her new daycare.
Outline the steps I need to take to launch this new venture (quite a few... I won't go into them now but...)
Brainstorm all the possibilities of earning extra money and moving towards self-employment (and yeah, there are a lot of possibilities.)
Meet with Buffy's nutrition guru and start getting serious about dropping the baby weight.
Catch up on bills.
Catch up at work.
Merge databases and automate functions to eliminate redundancy and save me some much-needed time
Overhaul the current corrective action system
Make a sling for Buffy's neighbor and her new baby
Get rid of Duckie's outgrown baby clothes.

... and be in bed by 9 o'clock every night.

The final slice today is a lovely pre-birthday-holiday gift from my adopted family Buffy and Brett. See below. If the gods are smiling, Duckie will be staying with her daddy that evening.


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