tying cherry knots, smiling, doing party favors

Today at the orthodontist my son got perfect marks for his brushing and flossing. I am definitely in that “sky is falling” headspace because when the staff called me back to talk to me about his braces (they’re being removed here in a couple months) I had all these thoughts of some new horror to face, but instead it was all good news.

So you should know I’m going to straight-up bitch and complain for a few paragraphs. You may not want to watch. I’m serious. Just a lot of complaining. Yarp.

So. Life is feeling cold and inhospitable. I’m tired of having an old, broken, dog hair-infused coat. And either wearing that or being cold. I’m sad AF that I’ve only managed to put $300 aside for Christmas. I had this whole excellent plan about a specific special thing to buy Ralph and instead we had to eat a bunch of the money I put by. I’m tired of not having a car, because the fella I paid a lot to fix my car fucked it up. And I’m tired of riding in my husband’s car that has no heater. My days mostly consist of moving small bits of cash here and there and borrowing different vehicles to do the things I need to do for my family. And some of those things are things that give me a great deal of anxiety.

I spoke to someone close to me recently and requested they not speak to my children a certain way. This person responded by un-friending me online and, now, giving me the silent treatment. I’m not angry, and I don’t regret making the request I did. But I am right on that verge of being angry. So then I’m worried I won’t forgive this person for not being there, while we’re going through the shit. My hurt is reasonable; my anger, is not. Did you know – I am more terrified of forming resentments than almost anything! Luckily I know it is in my power to not stand idly by. I have a choice in how I accept my life’s circumstances.

Some people are giving my family “privacy” while we go through the ish with sexual assault. This is kind of annoying. I wouldn’t write about it publicly if I didn’t want to share it. I am excruciatingly careful what and how much I share, for a variety of reasons. But it’s like – I’m putting myself out there precisely because I’m not going to pretend this shit doesn’t happen.

There are these “little” things that matter to me that I can’t shake. It bothers me my son orders the cheapest hamburger at the fast food place because he knows where we’re at. It hurts that I’ve been too distracted to be a good schooling mum for my daughter. I haven’t been able to pick up my shrine flowers and that is like… something I haven’t skipped since I started. I am willing to have hunger pangs and pick up those flowers. But it’s just: no, because I wouldn’t be the only one having hunger pangs if I picked them up. The fact I skipped the flowers, it weighs on me.

Life is really good and I know it is. I don’t want a rescue, either. I am not asking for someone to make me feel better. I am not longing for anything specific.

I just want that tiny bit of space to say, “Ouch.” I’ll bitch a little more, then I’ll stop.

As I read last night, “[I] no longer live in a completely hostile world.” I really don’t, and I know I don’t. The money stuff is beyond depressing, today anyway – but yet we keep getting fed, and I keep paying the bills. (Most of them.) Other people pay some bills, too. Last night a friend bought the Underbellie domain for the next year so I could keep writing there. Today we received a blog donation of $8 and – I am not kidding, $8 goes a long way so I am grateful! Donations can be hard, because it can fell like I’m supposed to “prove” I deserve it. I have to put that thought aside a time or two a day.

So: I’m struggling. The worst thing of all is, I look at my kids and I don’t feel the joy I used to. What we are going through as a family, it has taken a lot of my joy away – temporarily, yes, I know this. It’s a damn good thing I don’t live just for feeling good. Holy shit.

It’s hard on me to be the joyless Mama. Sometimes I think it’s my duty to be happy and to be loving. This isn’t a smart thought, it’s just something I can’t easily shake. When my joy is just robbed out of me I feel sad, and I think I’m letting people down. What I know is I have to sit down at my computer and admit a few things that don’t make me look all that great, but at least they’re honest. I can’t move through any of this if I don’t acknowledge it’s happening.

I lived many years not being honest, publicly or privately.

I’m not gonna roll that way again.

And, okay. I’m done complaining. Thank you for listening.

small stone #18
wet cat along the side of the highway;
second day we’ve seen her.
Driving past, my son & I both stiffen, the same thought:
we should bring her home.

please leave my pasty white thighs in peace

Yesterday I listened a (sober) drunk talk about his drinking for a bit. At one point he said: “It used to be fun… then it was fun and consequences… then it was just Consequences.” I started laughing in that kind of way I do where there is nothing past the moment of my laughter, a big belly laugh really that feels good. GOOD LORD do I remember the days – brief in my drinking career, as drinking careers go – of “just Consequences”. Those consequences I can enumerate if you like but the main point is they got to a place beyond what I could endure. I am here to tell you there are people who can Endure a great deal and today I have nothing but awe for this. They’re no weaker or stronger, more or less spiritual than I – it’s just a Thing.

Anyway I’m here one hundred percent for someone who wants to get sober. They can text or call day or night and I am one hundred percent. You don’t even need to think you can do it (I sure didn’t think I could!), you just have to want it in this way that is deep in your bowels, even if only a little bit, if that wanting is a little twinge right now while you’re reading. If you’re already thinking about it why not join those of us doing it? It’s like sitting at the top of the biggest awesomest water slide that everyone tells you is SO FUN and you know they’re right but you’re messing about and thinking of just walking down the stairs with sad Charlie Brown music. No! GO for it because you’ll be tortured until you do!

So, enough of that. When I write about alcoholism and addiction it’s generally to crickets, or at least a dearth of comments (don’t think I don’t notice!). Odd since it touches so many lives – it tells me stigma is very real. I still do it though, write about it, because perhaps there are those out there reading who find any kind of strength and hope or even amusement or even, “She’s crazy, how can she stand herself?”

And oh, I was slut-shamed today. I walked into a room and a woman yelled out, “Where’s the rest of your outfit?” I was taken aback and took my seat and thought about it and quietly asked myself why I was disturbed. A crystal-clear moment came to me: there’s no way this woman would have shouted that “joke” without an audience – she never would have confronted me in any way had it been just she and I. Sad thing is she (probably both victim and perpetrator) makes it hard as a woman to love my body and just be in my body and not feel it’s on display or that people have the right to size me up and put me down; she doesn’t know how difficult it is to give myself permission to dress a way where I’m not overheated. She doesn’t know I hardly have anything in my closet and I’d actually thought my on-Sale Target short-sleeved black dress was cute until she Jezebel’d my ass. Her shouting at me is just one bit of that endemic ladyhate out there that we don’t realize we’re breathing until we choke on it. It’s boring yeah but it’s also oppressively sad. I don’t have anything I learned from that except Yes, when people try to humiliate me it can actually work sometimes.

And finally: one of our two missing kitties came home, Harris. He was oddly starved – as in he’d lost a lot of weight, but he was so grateful and tender to be home. He has been like a new cat, all friendly and sweet and not biting us with his huge shark teeth. I do not know what is up but I hope the personality stays even if his weight comes back. Hutch continues to improve, which is wonderful. Hamilton, alas, is still missing.

The kind words, texts, and emails during our recent difficulties – financial, health, and pet troubles – have been so lovely. I can tell you it is never a waste of time to reach out and give some love. That kind of kindness has no endpoint.

Thank you.

“Look what I can do!”

A little photo-blogginz:

The dog, who is rolling around in ecstacy as I furminate his fluffy ass. Pictured: approximately the same amount of hair as is in my backseat after one car ride. I jest, or do I??!?!

The De-Furring Process

The De-Furring Process

The De-Furring Process

The De-Furring Process

The De-Furring Process

Mable, being awesome & chillaxin’ in her favorite chair. She likes it best when I clean the chair, so she can immediately furball it up. If you’re sensing a pet-hair theme now that the warmer weather has hit, BINGO.
Shaking Head LIKE A BOSS

Party time! A gift (hours of sewing but I didn’t take a photo, oh well!), & a three-layer chocolate cake with cheesecake filling and cream cheese frosting:
Gift, Cake

Cake With Fresh Flowers

& the pièce de résistance, our uteriñata! The first-ever piñata I’ve made, as far as I know… it might have been Ralph’s first too. Ribbon-pull method, as nope, there won’t be any beating of a uterus up in this household.
Uteriñata

Uteriñata

At the party, our children – being beautiful, being themselves.
Our Son

Phee