Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanks for giving

My 2 year old grandaughter had a temper tantrum as we were leaving the library today.
The quietest building on the face of the earth and she was howling at airplane decibels.
She had punched her brother in the gut and then run off down the aisle of books.
She fell off the step stool backwards while we were checking out and howled some more.
She was screaming by the time we got to the door that led to the parking lot.
And screamed louder when we didn't go out the automatic handicapped door, but pushed the door open by ourselves.
She dropped to the ground in between the vestibule and the outside world effectively blocking the flow of foot traffic coming in AND going out.
I let her lay there for a second and scream her damn fool head off, too tired to give a shit anymore.

I felt myself heave in a deep breath, and then heave the bag of books on to my back while I bent over to pick her up and out of the way of library patrons.
She kicked and screamed and flailed like I was a kidnapper.
So I put her down and started walking away. I'd had enough.
She wailed louder and took off running only to trip over her own two feet, clad in Elsa and Anna sparkly snow boots, and face planted on the icy cement sidewalk.
For a split second, I have to tell you, I. Did. Not. Care.
Her 5 year old brother was already half way across the parking lot of moving cars!!
I yelled for him to come back and stand by me until I could get ahold of her and the situation.
"My knees", she is shouting, "my knees!"
I hoist her up on my hip still carrying the load of books on my back.
I grab his hand, she's crying in my ear as we head to the car.
Once they are buckled in, I realize that I'm exhausted and frustrated and so very fucking warm in my T-shirt and jeans and wrap around sweater.
I haven't worn a winter coat in 7 years....I am so tired of being overly warm.
I take my frustrations out on that poor sweater by tearing it off and wadding it up and then non too gently pitching it onto the floor mat of the front seat.
I need a breather so I sit and collect myself for a sec.
What I really want to do is cry.

It's been a rough couple of days with these grandkids of mine.
I've lost all grace and gratitude for them at the moment.
Today especially this feels like so much work.

I see the cop car pull into the slot next to me out of the corner of my eye.
I hope he's here for me, I privately think to myself.
I hope he hauls me off to jail for not beating the crap outta these two.

He walks past my window and continues on into the library.
As soon as he enters, I start my car and make a clean getaway.

I don't know what he's doing at the library, but I think I might have gone with him if he asked me to.
I need a break from these kids.
And isn't that the most ungracious thing you've ever heard?
This week especially, we are told to be thankful and grateful and I feel too tired to give a shit.

I didn't sleep well last night. I watched the news before bed...big mistake...and had nightmares.

So I think to myself..Man! You've been really short tempered with these kids today.
What's a good way to make it up to them? That's when I remember that I have ready to bake Turkey cookies in the fridge...Hey guys! Who wants to bake sugar cookies?!
Yay!! Let's all head off to the kitchen to bake so I can be a nice grandma again.

5 seconds after we're in the  kitchen they are rolling around on the floor hissing and clawing like two cats fighting over the colored sugars.
They forget about baking the cookies and start asking for stuff to drink.
I want chocolate milk! More juice..more juice!!
(I could use something to drink myself ....heh heh.)

I send them off to watch cartoons while I finish the cookies....sigh.
I hear then fighting and I hear a crash and I hear crying.
Who's crying I don't know. It very well could be me.

When did this become such a chore, I ask myself?
By 4:00 pm most days I want them to go home.
I'm tired of them fighting and not listening to me as I scream at them to stop it!

It's not even Winter yet...good Lord but that's a frightening thought.
What are they going to be like when we're all trapped inside this house due to the weather?

As I'm typing this my grandson sidles up to me and whispers in my ear-
"Thanks for giving me cookies today Granny. You are the bestest Granny ever."

And boom. There it is.
The sweetness of hisself as he whispers thanks for the cookies in my ear,
and I can smell that he has wet his pants again.
I want to yell at him but I don't have the heart to yell about pee'd pants anymore.
She is over tired...way over tired and is asking to crawl onto my lap with her blankie.
"Granny, I sit with you pwease?"
And boom. There it is again.
That tug on granny's heart strings.

I need to wrap this up.
But can't think of a nice way to do it.
So here....
I'm going to go rock my 2 year old grandaughter to sleep on my lap.
And when she's asleep, then I'm going to read my 5 year old grandson a book from the library.

And when I go to bed tonight, I'm going to thank God and my lucky stars that I have them in my life.
Have a great Thanksgiving everybody.
And don't forget to be Thankful and Grateful for the small things.

Monday, November 9, 2015

And so I shall.....

It was wonderful to meet Annette.
She was taller than I had imagined. Skinnier too if I'm being perfectly honest.
(Not that weight has anything to do with anything but her and I have discussed weight before.)
She had beautiful, kind eyes. And fabulous hair.
She was open and warm, gracious and Grace filled.
She bought me dinner.
Which I feel I need to mention here that I could barely order for myself because I was so nervous.
And over the course of our 2 hours together I made mention of the fact that I was nervous.
About a hundred times.
I felt like a nervous little bird. I felt like I was twisting my hands together. Was I?
I told her that I was afraid to fly and gushed over her braveness to fly the 4 and a half hours- All the way from California to Illinois.
I told her that I get nervous when I have to drive somewhere new by myself
and I don't know where I'm going so I don't go anywhere new by myself.
I told her that I am too nervous to try another Alanon meeting because the one I used to attend had become a soap box for the longest running member.
I told her about my anxiety and panic attack when we went on vacation to South Dakota and how the switchback gravel roads and elevation of the black hills caused me to panic and want to be driven back down that mountain.
About how I was nervous about telling my husband about my blog and how I came to know Annette, So I took Linda's advice and told him I found and followed Annette's blog when I started in Alanon.

He said he had no problem with driving me to St Charles.
His favorite outdoorsy type of store is in St Charles so we made a plan.
He would drop me off at her hotel and he would go to his store and then pick me up when I called.

Now here's the thing....
He did seem to have a problem with it AFTER we started driving.
In what is his true fashion, he gave me what I like to call The Speech the whole way there.

How he didn't like it that a complete stranger knew things about him.
That he knows nothing about me anymore...due to the fact that I never told him that I read blogs.
That he has nightmares that I am having an affair and how I need to do something about that.
How him and the kids all agree that I am self-involved and everybody sees it but me.
How I always tell him that It Isn't Always. About. Him. and how that makes him feel less than.
About our marriage and how we need to work on things because he's tired of being alone.
About how we don't talk about anything and the only time I do talk with him is to ask him what he  wants for dinner.

(Does anybody else see how he made it all about him the whole time we were driving?)

That's when I told him that he only ever talks about his job and his illnesses and meds. and how after a while he starts to sound to me like Charlie Brown's teacher-

Jesus, I think to myself...is he REALLY going to talk about his fucking insulin again? How his sugars are too low so he will eat more sugar even though he hasn't checked his levels with his little machine, or how his back hurts again....

Is it any wonder that I felt like a nervous wreck?
Or am I a nervous wreck already?
I berated myself the whole way home for sounding like a nervous nelly.
I played back the entire conversation Annette and I had had in my head.
And what I remember is me sounding like I was afraid of everything.
Which indeed seems to be true.  

And I wonder when in the Hell did I become a fraidy cat??
And I wonder what in the name of Hell  am I so afraid of?
And I wonder why it was so easy to talk to her and not him?
Again...still...after all these years...it's always so damn hard.

Something about his natural smell is so appealing to me; he smells like Heaven..
My stomach still flips, in a good way, when his truck pulls into the driveway at night.
I love the timbre of his voice.
He pays the bills and I want for nothing material.
As a grandfather he is amazing to these grandkids and the fact that he IS a grandfather makes him rather sexy to me.
I like that he is in the business of firefighting (no longer an active firefighter tho)
and I like that his position at work is a rather important one.

He's been mad at God for 14 years for the accident that took him away from firefighting.
When I go to church every Sunday, he tells me that it makes him feel bad that I go without him. meaning that he feels guilty that I go alone. He wants to know am I lonely at church.
I tell him that I am not lonely or alone at church, that I am a big girl and that I go to church because it makes me feel good.
I tell him that I love Jesus, that Jesus makes me real happy and that I see Jesus everywhere.

I pray for him to find Jesus again and for him to remember what it felt like to not be angry or sick or so judgemental all the time.
I'm thinking I might need to throw my own name into those prayers every once in a while.
I'm also thinking that I'm starting to look like the poster child of a woman who needs to go back to Alanon.
Step One again, again.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for your thoughts and comments. Thanks Annette for meeting with me.
Looks like I've got some work to do.

I'll leave you with this from Ted Loder:

Touch Me With Truth That Burns Like Fire

Lord, send the gift of your Spirit to fill this place, and myself and the world. 
Touch me with truth that burns like fire, with beauty that moves me like the wind.
And set me free, Lord, free to try new ways of living; 
free to forgive myself and others; 
free to love and laugh and sing; 
free to lay aside my burden of security; 
free to join the battle for justice and peace; 
free to see and listen and to wonder again at the gracious mystery of things and persons; 
free to be, to give, to receive, to rejoice as a
child of your Spirit.
And Lord, teach me how to dance, 
to turn around and come down 
where I want to be, in the arms and 
hearts of your people and in you, 
that I may praise and enjoy you forever.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Big brave girl in a small world

It's Saturday.
And that means today I get to meet Annette.
I asked my husband if he would drive me to meet her.
I told him that I started following her blog about 4 years ago.
And I told him that I really wanted to meet her.
And he said - "No problem. I'll drive you".

So at 4:00 pm today, him and I are going to drive 45 minutes,
just down the road, to meet her.
Well I am going to meet her.
He's going to drop me off at her hotel and then go to his favorite store
which is also just down the road...Gander Mountain.

I'm nervous and excited all at the same time.
I am sooo bad at small talk.......I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Pot calling the kettle

Most of the time...all of the time really, I let what he does aggravate me.

As  Annette says here-
 "My brain doesn't work like yours and it overwhelms me when you move on to the future steps before I have finished the step I am on. Then I get snippy and nasty, and then you take my ugly attitude personally, and it creates tension between us, but all it really is, is that our brains work differently from each others.  I need to finish up what I am working on before I can move on."

We are just like that. Him and I. Exactly.
I am always thinking that I know better and I am always reacting to him in a negative way.
I just want him to stop it, yet I couldn't stop the way I react to things if I tried.
It's what feels normal to me.
So why do I do this? Why do we do this?
Is this that codependent thing again? Always thinking we know better than anyone else or that people should do things our way because it's better??

The truth is hard for him to hear.
He grew up with a mentally abusive mother. And what he learned from her was that the truth is painful and people who are honest with you are not your friends. They believe that people who are honest are a danger and say hurtful things.

The truth about himself and us and her and his life always make him react with anger.
When I notice that he is trying to cover up a truth about himself, I usually try to say gently to him-
"Just tell the truth. The truth is ok."
But it always come out of my mouth like a shriek-
"God!! Just tell the fucking truth. Why do you always have to make up a story?!"

The truth is, he is afraid of the truth. It makes him nervous, it keeps him on edge.
And yet...here am I.
I don't believe he knows about this blog or if he does he would never admit
the truth about knowing about it.
And to be truthful I've never told him about this blog either.
I won't admit to lying about it because I haven't lied.
I just never told him about it.
I use this blog more as an online diary of sorts.
I'd rather tell 3 complete strangers my problems and how I work them out.

So what does that say about me? About us? About him?

This weekend I have the opportunity to meet Annette.
She will be 45 minutes away from the town where I live.
I will not get this chance again and I want to meet her so badly!!
So I will have to figure out a way to tell him that I have been blogging for 5 years
and telling complete strangers about our problems.
And the truth about that will make him upset.
Not mad or angry or abusive but upset.

And I realize that I am in a situation where I am trying to think up a lie to tell him.
So the truth is making me nervous and keeping me on edge.
The truth is making me afraid.
Now isn't THAT the pot calling the kettle black??