Slowly, but Surely

Things are mostly back to normal.  I’ve been feeling fine for a week or so now, so that’s definitely an improvement.  I had been sick for almost a month and I lost quite a bit of weight… which I won’t be complaining about any time soon!  I’m happy to be feeling well again, though.  Spending the majority of your days sleeping is not fun.  Even the week after I knew I was well, I kept having to take naps.  It was almost as if my body hadn’t completely recovered yet.  I don’t know what I had, I never went to the doctor, I’m just glad it’s gone!

Now that I’m better, I’m getting ready to head home for a week.  We’re leaving this Saturday.  My husband will, of course, return home on Sunday and then come back the next weekend to get me.  He can’t take the time off work and we have a trip to Key West looming at the end of October that he needs the time off for.  I’ll be switched to seasonal, so hopefully I can get the time off, too.  I’ll make it work… there’s no way I’m missing that trip for my crappy side job.

The husband testified at his first trial today.  We didn’t think he’d be home until around 8pm, so my mother-in-law took me to my lady doctor appointment and I helped her with some ACS stuff.  I really miss following her around and helping out.  I didn’t get paid for it, but it was so much fun.  I’ve been feeling extra lonely lately, so it was nice to be out and about.  I’m a strange person–I’m not social, yet I get weird bouts of loneliness.  I attribute it to being so far away from my family.  I’m so happy I can finally visit!

Money is tight around here, but we’re making it work.  I’m almost afraid to look at our finances for this month.  I know I have to, but I really don’t want to.  I’m also sad because we had some extra money saved back because one of the husband’s coworkers got a rebel kit and got a lens that she didn’t want.  She was going to sell it to us for dirt cheap, but another girl heard her talk about it first and after waffling around about it, decided she wanted it last-minute, sigh.  The lens wasn’t amazing, but I could really use a telephoto lens, no matter how cheap.

I used some of the money we had saved up to get my hair cut.  For girls who enjoy having their hair cut properly, it costs us around 30-40 dollars, not including the tip.  So, I went and had my hair cut for the first time in six months! I now have bangs.  With my hair properly waved out, it looks quite good… but without it, I look like a seventies chick.  I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I definitely like it when it is styled.  At least it makes my round head less… huge looking!

I’m bored, so I’m going to go bother the husband.  We’re still waiting to hear back about the job we applied for.  I look forward to the day where I don’t have to fret over finances… sigh.  It’s typical to have some worry, but my worry is to the point of not sleeping and getting so obsessive I am budgeting everything down to a ridiculous extent.  Worse yet… I have to get my eyes re-examined for a whopping one hundred and thirty-nine dollars!  That’s the cheapest we can get around here and we have no eye insurance, sigh.  I can’t get new contacts (of which I am out of, both eyes) until I have an up-to-date prescription.  That’s so lame…

We’re supposed to be working on upgrading my computer, since it needs it and my husband has gotten a new power supply ($100+), a new hard drive ($70-80), and something else that broke, but I can’t remember.  This wouldn’t be an issue, but shit on his PC keeps breaking and mine is overdo for an upgrade.  His PC is ten times better than mine and I want to play Skyrim, damn it.  My computer has also started taking fits, sigh.  I’m afraid we won’t have enough money to put into the parts it needs before it craps out completely.  It’s done me good for the past four years, though.  Where my husband has had all kinds of issues, mine has ran like a dream… until recently, sigh.

Stay There, You’ll Live

It’s hard to reason out in your head.  I think it’s even harder when you’ve been forced to watch it in various phases throughout your entire life.  It’s made worse because while it’s tangible, it never truly touches you.  Then, one day, it snaps up and it not only touches you, it nearly rips off your arm.  Before you know it, you’re wounded and bleeding out.  You’re completely caught off guard by something you should have realized was coming all along.

We nearly lost my mother.  She was taken, in a helicopter, to a hospital an hour away from my hometown around 5am on Monday.  My grandparents had no idea, they heard it coming over the scanner.  Why is it my family spends so much time being oblivious?  Why do they covet ignorance and then act surprised when they’re never told anything?  My grandpa rushed over.  I asked them multiple times why they weren’t with her and all they had were excuses.

She was throwing up blood cots and it scared her boyfriend, so he called emergency services.  She had a blood transfusion and it took them until late Tuesday, early Wednesday to stop the bleeding.  Her body was in shock and they couldn’t do the procedure to close the bleeding because even though her nervous system was shut down with drugs, her organs were twitching and responding to the shock.  Eventually, they got her stabilized and did the procedure.  They kept her under observation until they were sure they closed all the openings where the blood was coming through.  It was her esophagus.  Her chain smoking in the past six years (although she’s smoked since a few years after my birth) coupled with her compulsory drinking peppered with continual vomiting caused erosion in her esophageal tissue.

I got a voice mail on Monday.  It was left around 8:30, by my grandma.  Her voice was level, but she didn’t know what to tell me, so she said my mother was rushed to the hospital and she had a blood transfusion.  I got the message around 1:30 that afternoon.  I just stared at the phone.  I didn’t even know what to do, I just stared.  I’ve spent my entire life watching family members die; I’ve even been to several funerals with my father, the first one when I was around five or so.  The difference is that I never felt the loss.  It never cut as deeply as knowing that my mother was truly walking the fine line between alive and dead.  I’ve spent years of my life trying to prepare myself for the fact that she may die early and violently–her drinking has been out of control for awhile now… but faced with it, I just stared at the phone.

I think the worst part was that I wanted to call my dad.  I wanted to cry and I wanted to call my dad.  I haven’t told anyone that I almost called him–that I wanted to hear his voice.  I knew that what I needed to hear wasn’t there anymore.  We no longer have that shared agony, now it’s just mine and mine alone.  I ended up calling my husband at work and I broke down in the middle of the conversation.  I spent the entire day feeling like my entire world was going to collapse and I was helpless.  I kept waiting for the call that I needed to get there, as soon as possible.  Thankfully, it never came.

I had to wait until the next day to get any real information.  My grandparents didn’t go with her and I couldn’t understand why.  I realized how big of a hole my dad left in the dynamic when he left.  Any other time mum had been hospitalized, he’d been there with her, no matter what.  I had to wait until my grandparents finally got around to seeing her to hear more news.  I had to wait to hear that she was recovering and they were working on her and that she was eventually okay.

Even now, knowing she’s okay and she’s home… I want to be there.  I want to make sure that she knows how serious this all was.  I spoke to her, briefly, on the phone.  She didn’t seem at all phased by it, which scares me.  I’ve watched so many of the people around me throw their second chances away and pay for it dearly… I can’t bear to watch her do it, too.  I want to be there, I know I need to be there… and going to Hawaii is the farthest thing from my mind right now.

Right now, I want to go home, even though the home I want is no longer there.  It’s weird, that when you think you’ve dealt with something… you realize you haven’t, not completely.  There’s still little things catching you by surprise.

There’s still things threatening to take your arm off.

Just Cats

Just Cats


I managed to get home, but it was already too late. I had known my mother was drinking again, but there was this hope inside that it wasn’t that bad… but it was.  She had fallen and broken her nose, her eyes ringed in bruises, her face looking even more foreign to me than it had before.  How can you look at someone you’ve known your entire life, your own mother, and barely recognize them?  Even her eyes… her green eyes, the ones I loved and wished that I had all my life, they’re not green anymore… they’re just… dark.

After that, I was enraged.  Of course, I would find anger the quickest.  How could she have fallen, broken her nose, avoided the ER, and no one knew anything?  I was so mad, but I eventually let it go.  My grandparents are old and they have their own worries.  Besides, this isn’t terribly out of character for them.

The visit itself wasn’t bad.  Maybe when I’m feeling a little less like this, I’ll be able to put it here so I can remember all of it.  Right now, all I need is release.  I have to try, try to put what I feel somewhere so that it’s real and I can feel it.  The pain I feel right now… I can’t put it into words, I can’t speak of it.  It just hurts.

I’ve spent so long being angry.  It’s the only emotion I’ve ever been able to grasp fully.  I’ve known anger since I was little, I’ll probably always have issues with it… but now?  I don’t feel angry at all.  It’s the first time in my life… I don’t feel angry.  I just want to cry.  I want to cry until I can’t possibly cry any longer.  I’m not someone who cries, it makes me uncomfortable.  I’m not vulnerable, I’m not a victim, I’m a rock.  When everyone else falls down, I pick them back up.  Even when I was little, I was doing it without realizing it.  It’s who I’ve shaped myself to be–I’m a rock.  Everyone relies on me to be the one who stands tall in the face of whatever comes my way and to my merit, I’m strong.  I’m damn strong.

Even the strong feel weak at times and right now, I am at my weakest.  I feel like a brittle branch in the face of a storm.  I feel like I’m going to snap if there’s anymore pressure thrown my way.  I hate it.  It’s unfamiliar to me.  I know, that in the end, I’ll manage, I’ll persevere.  It’s what I was made to do–but it doesn’t make it any easier when this happens.

It’s hard when you have no one to turn to.  I’ve done it to myself and I’ll face this problem for the rest of my life, I realize that.  I love my husband, but when it comes to this, he doesn’t understand.  He just sees me as this person who has overcome so much, how can this bother me?  It’s just my mother, she’s just an alcoholic… but this is something I’ve battled with for a long time.  No one understands, no one.  I spent so much time being outwardly angry that it’s all anyone ever saw.  Even my husband doesn’t understand now, he’s painted a picture in his mind and it’s the only one he knows.

No one understands that I had to grow up very early and that despite that, anger is my core emotion.  It’s the one I show readily and easily.  It’s the only one I fully understand within myself.  But, I’m an adult now and anger isn’t acceptable.  Everyone feels angry, that’s fine, but throwing it out and just being blatantly enraged is no longer acceptable.  My vision is clearer now and I see where I’ve messed up.

I know my mother better than anyone and that’s what hurts me the most.  I understand her.  I see the pleas for help.  She’s no longer spitting venom, she’s admitting she’s had a problem, she even went into detox after being rushed to the ER.  She fell down the stairs and nearly killed herself.  But her environment, her mental state… they’re not helping her get better.

It’s my own fault for being so angry and for keeping all my other emotions hidden.  I don’t share them.  Oftentimes, it’s because I can’t.  Words fail me when it comes to my true emotion and I’m left with no ability to communicate.  The only thing I can say is look at the picture above, as it says everything that I cannot…

Unfortunately, all anyone will see are cats… just cats.

Not Surprised

Two Fridays ago, we went to the relay held at the local college campus.  It was one that my mother-in-law was in charge of.  She does it every year.  This is the first time I’ve actually gone to it, though I remember helping her out with it when I used to live with them.  We went on a whim because we hadn’t really seen either of them since they returned from their trip to Key West.  It was a good thing we went, because she didn’t have anyone to take pictures.  So, I got to run around taking pictures.

It was really, really weird being surrounded by college students.  It made me incredibly jealous.  I never got that chance to relax and just take things as they come.  I didn’t get to dream about my future and hang out with friends in-between classes.  I didn’t come home to an annoying roommate or a surprisingly clean dorm room.  It was a completely different experience for me.  All of my schooling past elementary was different.  I stopped being a kid before everyone else stopped playing with Barbies.  It’s probably why I held on to playing with toys for so long.

Anyway, it was a fun experience, but I left thinking so much that my husband thought I was mad at him.  Sometimes, I just go somewhere else and I don’t talk or acknowledge the person I’m with.  I felt bad, but my head kept drifting away, imagining the alternate possibilities if I had those chances.

Speaking of the husband, he turned twenty-eight last Tuesday.  He’s almost thirty!  That’s amazing to me.  I can’t believe we’ve been together for four years.  I know that we’ve been friends for a lot longer, but four years with someone seems like a long time when you’re me.  His birthday present was a 3DS, which he loves and carries around with him everywhere like a little kid might.  The price tag on it was steep, but that’s the reason I’ve been working a lot of long shifts.  I knew that was what he wanted and he never gets anything for himself.

The in-laws were absent for his birthday.  They were in South Dakota looking at the cities and offices.  So far, one of the places has been offered to a local over my father-in-law.  He’s still holding out for the other, though.  My mother-in-law has stated, rather vehemently, that she’s not going.  They’re both so bullheaded and they never compromise with anything, it’s always one person gets their way over the other and resentment builds.  I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I hope they let him know soon so all this tension can dissipate.

We spent a little bit of Easter with them.  My in-laws are very unconventional with holidays.  We met them at Cracker Barrel.  It was my first Easter eating in a restaurant!  It was pretty tasty, though; all I wanted was ham and I got it.  Unfortunately, because of everything that’s been happening, things are pretty tense between the in-laws.

Of course, my side of the family can’t have a holiday without drama.  My grandma called and told me that my mother was in the hospital.  She’s been admitted to the seventh floor (psychiatric).  It took them eight hours to get all the alcohol out of her before they could even take her.  I guess she’s been binge drinking for three weeks (she did this all the time) and couldn’t stand.  She kept falling down and now has bruises all over, including her face.  They took her in Saturday morning and so far, haven’t discharged her.  I hope that they don’t.  It was her live-in boyfriend that took her to the ER.

She doesn’t have any broken bones or a concussion, which surprised the hell out of them.  It didn’t surprise me, though.  I remember all the times I helped her walk around–the times I helped her up and down the stairs.  The only thing I never helped her do was get another drink.  One time she fell on her ass trying to come after me, though.  I came home from college and found her face-down on the coffee table.  I got so angry I stormed into the kitchen and started dumping her liquor down the drain.  She woke up and tried to come after me, but fell instead.  Without me or my dad there, she has no one to carry her around or hide what’s going on.

I hope they keep her long enough for her to come back to reality.  It usually takes about a week when she does this.  She’ll wake up and start freaking out.  Right now, she has no clue what’s going on.  The alcohol is out of her system, but her brain is so fogged up she doesn’t know what’s going on.  When she does, she’ll freak out and start going crazy because she hates hospitals and the idea of ‘treatment’.  I hope they keep her until then so that they can see she has a mental illness and needs medical help.  She is definitely an alcoholic, but that’s not it–she’s also sick.  She needs help.

Call it Aftermath, She’s Turning Blue

We had more snow hit us on Tuesday.  It was a bit of a surprise.  The snow came and went like a teenager’s rampant emotions and the degree of it changed just as quickly.  One moment we’d have big, fluffy flakes and the next the wind would pick them up and whip them around.  During one of the more peaceful falls, I let Loki out onto the balcony to explore.

I really wanted a chance to use the camera and mess with it a bit more.  All of this dreary, cold weather isn’t really conductive to learning how to use it.  I really can’t wait until I go home in March.  I’ll probably make the husband stop along the road once we hit Pennsylvania.  We drive this really scenic back road before hitting the turnpike.  It’s just rolling hills, mountains, and long, sweeping grasslands spotted with forests.

Loki was a trooper, he’s always happy to explore, but even he can only take so much of the cold.  He came in covered with snowflakes and it was just adorable.  The camera does a great job of capturing his coloring, there’s no editing necessary!

I’ve been trying to keep myself busy and distracted, but it’s hard.  This month is speeding by and while I’m happy about it, I’m also getting more anxious.  My main job ends March 16th and while it’s been a heavy burden, it’s also allowed us to actually live instead of struggle.  I’ll continue to get a check through April, because of how the state pay works, but after that… I’m not sure what we’re going to do.  We survived before, but that’s only because we knew I had a job lined up.  My job pays our rent, which has recently gone up.

I had this silly hope that, by now, the husband would have heard back from at least one of the places he applied for… but no such luck.  I’ve talked with him about it, but he just feels like I’m being “too negative” and I try to explain to him that I can’t be like him; I can’t just live day to day.  One of us has to think ahead, to make plans, and that person is me because that’s how my brain works.  I wasn’t afforded all the innocence ignorance of most children, I’ve been planning ahead since I can remember.

In my heart, I know it’ll work out.  I don’t mean that I’m going to hang out and wait for things to happen, I don’t do that, but I mean in the sense that the world won’t end because I’ve lost a job.  I just need to be able to be anxious and I have to be able to worry–I can’t just bottle it up and pretend everything is okay.  This is why I want to visit my family after my job is over, I need to unwind and just relax.  I need to be able to forget about things so that I can have a fresh point of view when I come back to it.  It’s selfish, but I need it.

We spoke about one of the things handicapping us with the secondary employment situation.  I can’t really look for jobs because I can’t drive and that means any job I have has to fit the husband’s schedule/etc.  I had to explain, again, that I was set to get my freaking license when I had the accident with my leg and fell through the deck.  After that, I could barely walk, much less drive.  My parents never took me to the hospital and it eventually healed–whatever it was that happened to my leg–and now it doesn’t work like it should.  I even tried to resume driving, but my foot kept twitching the gas and it scared the shit out of my dad.  To make matters worse, my ankle has started locking up bad and making it hard for me to walk.  The numbness is also getting progressively worse.  The husband wants me to go to the doctor, but our insurance is shit and with my job ending soon… well, I’d really rather not.  I know it’s going to be costly.

I’ll go to the doctor as soon as he gets another job and our insurance isn’t awful.  Until then, I’ll just have to deal and there will be no driving or anything of the sort.  I’m not killing myself or anyone else because of something stupid like that.  It’s just not worth it.

In other news, my grandpa’s birthday is on Monday.  Yes, he was born on Valentine’s Day.  A more unromantic person I’m not sure you’d find, so it’s pretty amusing.  I wanted to do something cool for him, but I’ve run out of time.  I didn’t even realize it was going to be freaking Valentine’s Day already.  Gah.  I had originally wanted to get pictures of things that interested him, but I work all weekend, so that’s no longer a viable option.  At least I can send him a card.

Time to go back to cleaning the kitchen… it’s a mess.  The fluorescent light went out on Tuesday and we still haven’t called to have it fixed because it’s a total disaster!  Stupid light.  It’s really hard to clean in the dark…