I am alone for a few days.
The sad man went on his annual trip to a place
he calls The North Woods...somewhere near Lake Superior.
And it is a Thank YOU Jesus kind of moment for me.
By the time he is ready to leave I'm on the verge of a meltdown.
I am driven to the brink of madness watching him pack.
Mostly, he is fueled by a wild sort of mania.
There is no rhyme or reason to his packing, sorting and gathering.
He waits til the last minute to begin packing which drives me crazy!
Articles of clothing and much needed camp supplies are forgotten
in his haste and confusion to load the car and leave.
He becomes short tempered and sarcastic.
He becomes very self absorbed and "all about me".
It's a lot like watching a train derail.
Like how the engine puts out so much power and it plows headlong
over a large precipice without noticing how deep the gorge really is
or all the damage being done to the train cars rolling along behind it.
Crash and burn.
It's 4:00am. Every light in the house is on.
I hear pounding footsteps as he runs from room to room.
I hear the front door open and close what must be a million times.
I hear the car doors slamming shut every few minutes as he loads his gear.
I hear him chuffing, out of breath from exertion.
It. Is. 4:00am!
I am angry that he is going on this trip.
He has made it a point for the last week to talk incessantly about this trip
AND about how ill he feels most days and the meds he needs to take.
Blood Pressure this and Diabetes that.
Sleep Apnea here and back pain there.
Here is a man who should not be in the middle of some godforsaken wilderness.
And yet when I question him about the wiseness of his decision he gets angry.
I'm fine he shouts. I'll be fine he insists.
Really?? He's standing in front of me, red in the face from overexertion
and the sweat is running off of his face. His eyes appear a bit wild.
The last thing he does before he leaves is to sarcastically say to me
"Thanks for the send off" before slamming the front door in my face.
I stand there mute and frozen in place, stunned.
I can still feel the coolness of the breeze from the door as it was yanked shut.
I feel like I want to cry but I don't.
This is behavior I have seen before.
Why it still surprises me I don't know.
The words Narcissistic and Passive/Aggressive
and Hypochondria float through my head.
So do the words Jerk and Asshole and Son of a Bitch.
He is sober, still. (Thank YOU Jesus)
But the dry drunk in him has enormous issues.
Which in turn become MY issues.
Perhaps it is time I ventured out on a Tuesday evening to reconnect
with the group of people that saved my life 4 years ago.
Perhaps it is past time.
All I know is that I'm feeling tired, and angry, and shat upon.
And there is no better place to be on a Tuesday evening than with
like minded people who love me and accept me and don't slam doors in my face.
Welcome back they will say.
And I will repeat those same words to myself again and again.
And I will wonder why I ever left this group.
Step one. Again.