Benign Neglect

I am sitting here having my coffee this morning a little tired and cranky. I could easily pass it off onto the cats who were doing the chase around the house at 3:23 a.m. using myself as a part of their obstacle course but this is not the sole reason.

For those who don’t know the whole story let me give you a bit of history. It has been 2.5 years since the Ex and me split. He fought me tooth and nail that we would share custody of T.  Sharing is different from joint custody. Shared is a straight 50/50 split. One week T is with me, one week with his dad. Not always perfect but it has worked.

This passed January, the Ex’s girlfriend began going to school during the day and had to work nights. As does he. So I agreed that T could come and spend the nights here while they were working. It was going to be for six months. She is done next month.

Beginning of April when I returned to work I explained to the Ex that he would need to stop here and pick T up on his way home from work Saturday a.m. as I began at 9. This is when I learned that for the previous month and a half, he has not been working Friday nights. Yet he not only did not tell me, he also did not pick T up until mid-Saturday afternoons. Well I guess you would think that shock would be my most prominent feeling. It wasn’t. I was more resigned.

T has been mentioning to me that his dad spends little time with him. Always in the shop working. Or on the weekends drinking. Hanging out with his friends. And T is suppose to stay until Monday mornings but has been coming home on Sunday for the last several weeks.

I received a text in the middle of the night. Well, 1:40 a.m. I woke up realizing that I had heard my phone go off. Before everyone is like wth is her phone on for I have two reasons. 1) T was at a sleepover at M’s. And despite her being a nurse and my inability to do anything were something to happen given that we live an hour apart, I leave my phone on just in case. 2) Mom. Again, I know that I can do nothing if something happens to her, but I don’t want to be waking up to a call from my bro about it.

I had been lead to believe that the Ex would not be home until today from his fishing weekend. That he works tonight so T would be staying with me. The working part is correct however he came home yesterday. The text was from his girlfriend. Or rather should I say ex-girlfriend. They had just broken up.

She was messaging me to ask that I keep T today until she was done moving out. That she did not want him to see that. I messaged her back and than shot a text to the Ex asking WTF? I have yet to hear from him. I don’t expect to because he is going to be hung over and dealing with a bitchy ex-wife is probably not at the top of his to do list.

We, she and I messaged for about an hour. His drinking is getting worse. He is not acting like himself. Refusing to change. Refusing responsibility except to himself. And it was never clearer to me that I had married a man so like my dad I am disgusted with myself.

Drink. Wreck lives. Pass out. Contrition. Rinse. And Repeat.

He is charming I will give him that. When he wants to be. But as a companion he sucks shit. She said to me last night that she hoped he would learn to love again. Now that could be a shot a me for destroying his ability but it wasn’t. The truth of the matter is that the Ex, he loves himself first and foremost. T, the ex-girlfriend, me we are/were pulled into his orbit. I have been able to pull myself out but T he is still there.

I am sad really. Sad because I believe that beneath the infantile man who puts his needs and wants before everyone else, is someone who could be a really great dad. Who could teach his son how to be a kind and decent man. Sad because I stand on the sidelines watching my child hurt and can only ease the pain so much. Sad because I am watching history repeat itself.

Benign neglect is more disheartening than straight up neglect.

There is always that hope that the other person with change. It is a futile wish.

**Photo is mine taken at Matlock Beach, Manitoba last summer**

 

 

Advertisements

Brain Stutter

So this week there have been a few odd hitches that have begun to make me think.

  1. I was telling someone about how when I went for a walk on Sunday the side of the road I was on did not have a sidewalk. However, I actually forgot the word sidewalk and while running my hands out like a walkway, said ‘You know the thing, that thing you walk on.’ Oh yeah, I am using it as a great story now. And it proves I can laugh at myself.
  2. I also forgot the word schedule.
  3. Today, when I got up I went to feed the cats. Well,  I would have made them wait but for the meowing of ‘Mom we are so hungry. Mooooooooooooooom feed us feed us now!’ I open up the fridge and stare in there stupified. I really thought that last night I had only used half a can of the cat food. Oh well, maybe I was wrong so I pulled another can out of the cupboard and fed them. I did put that can into the fridge.

I was going to take a lazy day but instead decided that I would clean the apartment. I mean, clean and than have the rest of today, all day Sunday and half the day Monday to myself. As I am cleaning, I go to put away the sandwich bags that have been sitting on the counter. I open the cupboard and lo and behold what the hell do I find? The can of cat food from last night. I honestly have absolutely no recall as to why I would have done this. The cupboard it was in is above the sink not even near the fridge. It is where I keep Polysporin, lotions for the cats when they scratch or their ears. Cough syrup for Tember. No reason for me to put cat food in there.

This got me thinking. For those of you who have followed along on my journey this past winter, you may be or are aware of the fact that I used pills to sedate myself. Easy enough to get over the counter back medicine and I took a lot. As an aside in 4 days I am going to have been clean for 150 days. 5 months. Not a pill at all. Other than my medication and vitamins. Not even when I get headaches.

Okay the brag fest is over. Let me get back to my thoughts. I am beginning to wonder how much damage I have done to myself. Are these little brain stutters due to all the pills that I took?

Than there is the high levels of iron that may (probably has) been caused by my excessive drinking. Liver damage there.

And I have done this all to myself. I am not asking for sympathy but I wonder what further complications I am going to end up developing?

If I could turn back time, well I would not be the woman that I am today. I would be someone different. But I would give anything to have not abused my body and my brain the way that I did.

Squashed

**Picture is one of mine. Although it does not really fit my post I wanted to use it because it fills me with peace.**
I am on day 113 of not taking pills. And (gentlemen you may want to turn away here) I am pms’ing. Previously when I pms’d I would go out to get pills to silence the ever critical voice that I heard. That voice has become really silent. It made a brief appearance on Wednesday, a skittering across my brain and than gone.
Right before I woke up this morning I was dreaming. It has been a long while since I have had dreams that I remember and in the last several weeks they have returned. With a vengence and I am loving it. Some are goofy and make no sense. Like the man running around with no pants on. Or The Kardashians making an appearance when I do not even watch their show. (I do not have real tv) But this morning’s dream was a little more realistic. More in line with things I am going through.
It took place at the house I grew up in. My ex was in it and I was furious with him because he left wet laundry in the washing machine. (Dreaming about laundry when I have to do laundry)  And suddenly I was taking a handful of pills. In the dream it turned out that this was the second handful I was taking. I broke down. Sobbing and unable to believe that I had taken the pills.
So when I woke up I was a bit perturbed.  The only pills in my house are my medication for my depression and my vitamins. I live in a city that does not have Sunday shopping and truthfully it was not even an urge. But it did make me weepy.
I was talking with friends about this. And grousing because damn it this is not me. I do not want to take any pills. I do not want to go and get a bottle of wine and drink it all in one sitting. Things are going really well. Even at work. So why on earth did this pop up?
Part of it I believe is due to the fact that I am pms’ing. And I know that I am going to have a customer complaint against me. The woman asked me if my name was Jay-lyn as she was staring at my name tag and than entering into her phone. I admit she got under my skin. And I was not as mindful as I should have been. As I was cleaning the shower I gave myself a stern talking to as well, reminding myself that it happened yesterday and there was no way of going back and changing it. I will accept responsibility although truthfully I don’t think that I could have done anything to make this woman happy.
When I take these two things and combine them, they were two triggers for using the pills to numb myself. To make it easier to handle.
I made a comment to DD that I had 7 days to go and I had better not be a whiny bitch for the whole 7 days or I was going to be sick of myself. And as for the customer, well I know what I did wrong and I know what I have to do to correct it.
In the dream as I was crying and throwing out the rest of the pills, a character from the show I am watching (Rescue Me) appeared. And he reminded me that I had done these 113 days without any problem. This was a small slip and I could recover from it.
As I write this now, I know that I am not going to have any small slips in real life because I do not want to. I am done with hiding from my feelings and emotions. I accept that I am imperfect and occasionally a little whiny. I am stronger now than before and with each day that I step further and further away, I become even stronger. The voices are like mosquitos buzzing around my ear. A nuisance for but a moment until I squash them.

Quote Day 2

fb_img_15238010944241041250515.jpg

I would like to thank Kranti over at Sparklingthoughts for nominating me for the 3 Day Quote Challenge. Please head over and check out her blog.

I was scrolling through FB this morning looking for a quote that resonated with me. I am not one of those people who has a ton that speak to her. Every so often though one jumps out and screams ‘Jay I am over here! Right here under your nose and I will mean something if only you look a little closer.’ Just as this one did.

I have/had a real problem with allowing others to influence my life. What I thought and felt about myself. I need/needed to be reassured that I was liked, valued, wanted and good at what I do/did. I imagine that it is a confidence thing. One I am trying to correct. Allowing them to steal not only my fire but my passion as well. Hence the problem with hiding away behind pills and alcohol. (This is not an issue now, I have learned how to stand so firm and that voice in my head has pretty much faded to black.)

I need this to remind me that I am my own power. The only way that I can let anyone steal my fire, my passion is if I allow them to. So I have saved this to my phone so when I begin to feel taken apart, I can look at it and remind myself that no one can take from me anything that I do not want them to.

A Million Times More

I practiced mindfulness today. I practiced a little bit of gratitude. Both I need to work on some more. What I did not practice today and this seems to be a theme, is not flying off the handle.
Last night when T got home we talked a bit and as he was laying in bed he wanted to know when he was going to his dad’s. I said next week. He got a little irrate and was not listening. Finally it seemed that it sunk in. Next week was his dad’s week. This week is mine. I let him go to his dad’s both yesterday and today after school. I am really fine with that. He has been spending so much time with me, I thought that it would be good for him to have extra time with his dad.
This morning was going great until I tried to make an appointment for T to have his eyes checked. He went off about how he did not want to. That his eyes were fine. Why on earth did he need to have his eyes checked. And besides which this was his weekend with his dad. Calmly I explained that really his eyes should be checked yearly. That given I wear glasses, that Chichi use to wear glasses, bad eyes run in the family, we need to ensure that any problems are caught quickly. Than I said and this was not his his weekend with his dad it was mine.
T demanded to know how it was fair that I got to have him for three weeks in a row. I explained for what felt like the 100th time that last week had been Spring break. That with his dad working nights, we had decided that T would stay here. His dad picked him up from the grandparents on Thursday took him to a movie and dropped him off back home to me around 4:30 and went home to have friends over. Friday was the chocolate hunt and he was not feeling so great. This is not what I said to T. I need to put this out there so I can let it go.
T began again, about how unfair it was. And I flew off the handle. I raised my voice. I said this is my week with you, mine. (Had I been a little kid I would have been stomping my feet at this point.) That if I wanted to be really mean I could say that he could not see his dad. That he was really hurting me here. I was annoyed. He stared up at me petulant and angry. I was angry too. We had our tussel. He went into the bathroom to take his shower and I sat on the couch with tears in my eyes. (Again wearing mascara and eye liner so I really did not want to start leaking all over.) I even tried to talk to myself but that feeling, the darkness that kills me started to seep in.
After T’s shower I went into the bathroom. And in the back of my head was go get some pills. How else are you going to be able to do it today? You are hurting and upset. You will never be able to fake it. No one will ever know. I sat down and through blurred eyes I said my affirmations. I stood up and stared at myself in the mirror. Hard. I shook my head. Mentally I gave myself a kick in the ass. And you know what I won. I did not cave. I did not go and buy any pills. Instead, I took a deep breath walked into the living room and sat back down.
T was sitting at the end of my couch and I looked at him. Told him to put his game down and come over to me. Wrapped my arms around him and his face was against my shoulder. I asked him if he still loved me. And he assured me that he did. Than he told me to let go of him because I was squishing his face.  We were getting ready to leave and when I turned around he was wearing just his sweat jacket. Another tussel ensued over putting on the winter coat. It was -24 hello you are wearing a coat to school. He finally gave in and put it on.
As he was zipping up his jacket I explained that we were both probably going to hurt one another, be annoyed with one another and angry at least a thousand more times before he became an adult. He shot me a saucy grin and informed me that it would not be a thousand times more, more like a million. I sorta guffawed and off we went.
On my way to Wal-mart after dropping him off, I was still not feeling it. I was still in my head. Fretting. Worrying that I had been a shitty mom once more. And than I gave myself another talking to.
‘Jay it is passed. You cannot undo what you said. T cannot undo what he said. Did you hurt him, yes. Did he hurt you, yes. But it is over and done with just let it go. Besides you cannot go into work moping and sad. That just will not be allowed. You know that you are grateful for the extra time that you are getting with T. Grateful for the relationship that the two of you of building. Let it go.’
And I did. Whipped into Wal-mart and found myself a pair of new work pants. Sat in the car until about 9:15 texting with K because it was way too early to go in. When I did go in I went upstairs to drop my jacket off and went into the bathroom. As I came out I could hear some staff talking in the staff room. Yesterday it was in the Winnipeg Sun that there had been two unexplained deaths in our city. We are very safe and of course there is a large amount of speculation and gossip. As I walked by I heard someone say ‘well only someone with a mental illness would do that.’ I stopped dead in my tracks and waited a moment more to see what else was going to be said. Than went in and got water before heading downstairs. Needless to say there was a sudden shift in conversation.
With T being at his dad’s this evening I decided that I would treat myself to fresh salmon. At work we have salmon in a bakeable bag with different butter pucks in to melt as it cooks. I love the garlic parsley and the fact that I can bake it in the bag! Along with salad because what else do I eat with my dinner. It was a hard thing for me to type to admit that I felt that blackness creep back up. Yet I am proud that I did not give in. It is not something that I can just beat and forget about. I spent many a year using pills when I was hurt and sad. Bored and unchallenged. Angry. Running from my emotions.
With a million times more of hurt and anger and arguements with T, there will be a lot more times that that voice raises its nasty little head. When it does I will not give in. I will look at myself in the mirror and see this new woman. This new strong brave woman who has been at the bottom of the pit and found a way to climb out.  This woman will not tolerate that voice any longer. Not even if it tries to suck me in a million times more.

She’s a little pushy

This is going to be a wee bit of a brag.

T has informed me that the time has come for me to move beyond my poetry to short stories. He would like to see me stories like his. The Adventures of Pickle. Kids book he has created.

I have been mulling over an idea or what I thought the idea was going to be. Last night I grabbed my notebook and opened up a new page in Evernote Notebook Fiction. I wrote for an hour. At times my fingers flew across the keyboard as my character began to take shape. Imagine my surprise when my main character morphed from male to female and the male lead is becoming a secondary character.

I wrote 1249 words last night.

I could have continued writing but than I would only be going to bed now. I have not written a short story since the early 2000’s. I am so excited and even now she is hovering at the edge of my conscious poking me as though saying ‘Hey Jay what are you doing? I am here, c’mon let’s get going I have so much to tell you.”

 

Contradiction

Haunted kisses
moonlit eyes of wonder
trembling caresses
a virgin ripe for the taking.
Offered to the gods
forsaken by her people
left to wander lifeless vistas
as though she is the criminal
the one found to be lacking.
Terror and delight
should not,
could not
co-exist together
in one person
at all times.
But that is what she does.
A contradiction
from every angle
to becoming
every man’s angel.
Jay-lyn Doerksen
Feb. 16/18