The world as seen through the eyes of an exhausted, caffiene addicted, homeschooling, atheist mama.

Archive for the ‘Family Stuff’ Category

It’s good for the soul

I haven’t written in a long time. A really long time. Since early May, in fact. I feel bad about that. Or, I would feel badly about it if I actually didn’t. My intentions were so fucking good, so I don’t feel too bad that I didn’t bog all three of my followers with whiny shit. I just figured we’d move to Dallas and everything would be okay and I’d start blogging about all the wacky and crazy adventures we were having out there.

I didn’t want to talk about how much I miss my brother and how I don’t know how to deal with the loss of the only other person in the world who lived, and could vouch for, my childhood.

I didn’t want to talk about how sad it is for BB to miss his cat and how it breaks my heart to comfort him as he cries.

I didn’t want to talk about how Hubby was let go from his job and we were left scrambling for a way to pay our rent.

I didn’t want to talk about how he found another job that took him to Dallas or about how he left us behind, me with my grief and BB with his, to pack up and say goodbye to the only life BB’s ever known.

I didn’t want to talk about how hard it’s been to be a single mom for nearly two months or about how exhausting it is to pack up an entire life all by myself.

I didn’t want to talk about all the tears my son has cried over leaving his house and friends. I didn’t want to talk about all the tears I’ve cried over the same. I didn’t want to talk about how moving makes me feel like a six-year old, how I don’t want to be an atheist homeschooler in the bible belt, and how freaking scary it is for me to open up and make friends.

I just thought I’d move and then I’d give a happy update about how well we’re all adjusting, how awesome Hubby’s job is, how awesome all our new friends are, and how I was worried about homeschooling in the bible belt for nothing because there are TONS of great secular homeschoolers out there.

That was truly my intent. Please believe me.

But no. That’s not at all what’s happened.

Hubby was laid off last week and he’s back home now. He’s home and all the the money we lost trying to move us to Dallas is just plain gone. He was let go on Friday morning and he got home late Friday night. Just in time for Father’s day on Sunday.

And that was good. Oh. That was so good. Having my husband home again. Getting to spend Father’s Day with him. That part was good.

But that other part, the part where he’s unemployed and has no real prospects on the burner…that part sucked.

Wait.

It still sucks.

So the two of us spent the whole of today looking for work. It doesn’t matter what; we’ll do whatever it freaking takes to be okay.

And I was sad and scared, but I thought “At least we have a house to live in.”

Oh. Dumb, sweet, naive Mom’sEye.

Our landlord has decided he wants to sell the house and he still expects us to move out at the end of June.

Fuck.

Fuck.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. FUCK!!!

What the hell? What’s going on? What the fuck is happening????

Where is the Zombie Apocalypse already? Why why why???? Why can’t everything be okay for once????

I was an abused child. My brother was an abused child. His abuse eventually killed him. My abuse made mothering the most difficult and triggering thing in the world. But I thought I was doing a good job. I don’t do drugs. I don’t drink excessively. I don’t beat the shit out of my son, cheat on my husband and spend my days chasing random men for my next high. I’ve never made my son homeless, I’ve never blamed him for my own shortcomings. I’ve been a really good person. I’ve been the best person I could possibly be.

Maybe I’ve not made all the best choices, but when your mother is an abusive drug addict, how do you learn to be responsible? I did the best I fucking could! I don’t spank. I don’t hit. I don’t scream. Sure I yell sometimes, but I’m not abusive. I’m not.

I’ve tried to break the cycle and shit is supposed to be better because of it.

But it’s not.

We’re two fucking weeks from being homeless. We  have no jobs. We have no money. We have no family to rely on or to help us.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to wrap my head around the shit that is my life. I don’t know how to wrap my head around the knowledge that I brought my son into this life and I’m just setting him up for future failure. He doesn’t deserve this. Me? I do. I can accept that I deserve all the fucking shit that the Universe wants to throw at me. But my son? No. He deserves more and better than I can do for him.

How does a mother deal with that?

I’m so tired. I’m scared and I’m sad and I’m grieving and and I’m tired. More tired than I’ve ever been in my life. More tired than anyone should ever have to be.

Why don’t you blog? asked Hubby.
Because I don’t want to whine and be depressing.
Eh. Just do it. It’ll be good for your soul.

And so I did. I’ll let you know if it was good for me when life gets a little better.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Self-Indulgent Whining

Hubby left for Dallas last night. He’ll be gone for nearly a month. I know that’s a blink of an eye, hardly a moment, a nano second compared to how long other husbands are gone from their families.  Did  you know there are some military families who are separated for months or YEARS at a time??? That would be way worse.

But this…This is hard for me. I didn’t make the choice to marry a military man. I never expected to have to be away from him for so long at one stretch.  Holy hell, I am so sad. I feel self-indulgent and petty, but I’m just sad. Really, really, really fucking sad.

He’s out there for work. And when he comes home in a month, it’ll be to load up our house and move us. Move us away from everyone and everything I love. Everyone and everything I’ve worked so hard to get over my personal shit to let in.

When I was in high school, I had a couple of boyfriends. Nice boys who were afraid and confused like me. Nice boys who were able to see past my shit and try to insert themselves into my life despite the Roger Waters-esque WALL I built around myself to keep them out. They kissed me, they gave me tokens of their affection, a few brave ones even told me they loved me…Poor boys. I wanted nothing to do with that. I wanted nothing to do with “needing” and “loving” and “forever”. Oh hell no. Life was too unpredictable and scary to let someone take me from me. No flipping way would I let some boy in and let him have access to me. No way.

When I was in college, I had a few boyfriends (and not boyfriends) proclaim their love for me. I had a few suitors express how I was the awesomest awesome chick who ever was awesome. I even loved a few of them. And when those relationships ended, it hurt.

But this…This is worse than anything I’ve ever felt before. It hurts like my soul is being pulled out of my bowels. It hurts like my heart is being yanked through my eyeballs. It hurts like my stomach is being  pulled through my toes and then up through my nostrils before finally being ripped from my body.

I love my husband. He’s the other half of me. I know that’s not exactly cool to say, but it’s true. He makes all the other love I ever felt before feel like swimming in a tepid, plastic, wading  pool. He makes all the feelings I’ve ever felt feel like a sneeze. Sure, they were satisfying, but in the end, they were fleeting.

Hubby is bigger than that. He is more than that. He possesses more of me than that.

My husband is gone for a month and I feel like part of my brain is gone. I feel like part of my soul is gone. I feel like part of who I am is just gone.

I love you, Hubby.  I love you, I miss you, and I don’t even care how uncool I sound when I whine about you being gone.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Things That Matter

We have so much freaking stuff. This weekend we had a yard sale and got rid of a fair amount of stuff. That will make packing a bit easier, but there’s still so much stuff that we actually need. Or I think we need it. It’s hard for me to tell the difference between what we need and what we don’t right now.

I guess I can see why it is generally recommended not to make major decisions after a death. Grief blurs the lines between what matters and what doesn’t. As we sorted through a bunch of crap that we don’t use, I just felt like everything could go. I mean, Hubby and BB are alive and well. What else matters? My logical mind said “Okay, you’re not going to sell your cast iron. You have to feed your family. And obviously, we all need clothing, so clothes stay…” But it was really, really, really hard for me to discern what really matters and what doesn’t.

In the end, I suppose I had it right. We have clothes, we have food, we have each other. The rest is just frosting.

A whole lotta BB

My handsome hubby

my handsome hubby

Happy pets

awesome cookware

Here Comes Clarence!

When BB was about three, the Easter Bunny left him a note in his Easter Basket. I don’t remember what the note said, but it was probably along the lines of:

Dear BB, I hid eggs inside the house because it was snowing when I came by. Have lots of fun and see if you can find more eggs than your mom and dad. Oh, and enjoy the chocolate!

And then the Easter Bunny signed his name. You’d think maybe he’d be EB or Bunn or something like that.  I mean, that would make perfect sense, right? But no. Apparently the Easter Bunny is named Clarence. Clarence. Who knew?

And so it began…The tradition of Clarence leaving a short note and some chocolate on the dining room table.

I can hear some of you shouting:

Wait! Stop! Your family doesn’t believe in the Easter Story, so why do you celebrate Easter? What possible reason could you have for having an Easter Basket and an Easter egg hunt and all that jazz? Why???

Well, because it’s fun. It’s also part of our cultural identity. Major holidays can’t be avoided. You can’t just sit there and pretend they don’t exist.You can’t drive past a store, walk into a Target, or turn on a television without being bombarded with holiday images. Whether or not we’re into the meaning of the holiday, the holiday is there and it’s celebrated by a majority of people. And the last thing I want for my son to take out of his childhood is the feeling that he missed out on a lot of really fun stuff. That’s what religion is for.

So we secularize our holidays. Easter is about chocolate and an egg hunt. Christmas is about presents and making cookies for neighbors. BB gets to celebrate and take into his own adulthood the memories of creating traditions that are meaningful to our family because they don’t revolve around religion. He gets to take into his adulthood the experiences of participation, celebration, and anticipation.

As an added bonus, as he gets older he finds more and more flaws with Clarence and Santa. He’s using his own critical thinking skills to think for himself and to decide for himself if these stories really make sense. Which is probably one of the most important things I want him to take into his adulthood: The ability to critically think and to decide for himself, with reason and logic, what to believe. I don’t want him to just blindly follow my beliefs any more than I want him to blindly follow a Pope.

This is probably the last year he’ll really believe in Clarence. Part of me is sad about that, but the other part of me is really happy that he’s figuring things out on his own. That means Hubby and I are doing our job right.

Happy Easter, Everyone!

Image

Enhanced by Zemanta

Death Without Heaven

Sometimes I can understand why people hold on to religion. In times of crisis and grief, the notion that there’s something bigger than us, something with a plan, something that cares and directs us down the path we’re supposed to go, can help you put one foot in front of the other.

As a parent, it’s my job to help my son make sense of the world and deal with his grief. Religion would sure be handy for that. It would have been so easy to hold him yesterday and tell him “I know you’re sad about Pnut, but he’s in heaven now. He’s happy now. He’s chasing shadows and rolling in grass and drinking from a little stream. His earthly body is gone, but he’s not.”

But I don’t believe that, so my challenge as a parent who happens to be an atheist is to find a way to help him cope without spoon feeding him bits of stories that I don’t believe. It’s hard. How do you comfort your kid when you need comfort yourself? I don’t claim to have all the answers, or even some of the answers. I just know what Hubby and I did, and I believe it was good and healthy for BB.

We allowed him to feel his emotions, talked about good things, we let him hold Pnut, before the vet came, after the first shot when he just fell asleep, and after the second shot that stopped his heart. After the vet left, we all held our wonderful cat and we reminisced. We cried as a family and we allowed the other pets to sniff his body.  We reminded  BB that as painful as it is to see him lying there like that, his body was just a body. Pnut wasn’t in there and he couldn’t feel love or pain anymore. We talked about his body rejoining the earth and we talked about holding him in hearts and memories.

And an amazing thing happened. BB stopped crying, pulled out some paper and colored pencils, and drew a picture of Pnut lying on the blanket where he died. He worked at the dining room table for a long time, and we told him he could have all the time  he needed. Once in a while he’d come over and look at the shape of his tail or legs, once he came over and opened Pnut’s eyes to try to find just the right shade. BB found his own way to deal with his grief: scientific inquiry and artistic expression. It was so inspiring to see, and I felt humbled and small next the wise soul of my ten-year old.

It turns out he didn’t need God, heaven and platitudes. All he needed was the freedom to feel his emotions and to find his own way to handle them.

Pnut: My favorite cat. This is my gift to you. I love you with all my heart.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Goodbye, Old Friend

Pnut and a baby Sofe

Meet Pnut. He’s the oldest of our pets. What can I say about him? He’s 16 and he’s seen a lot of change in his life. Good old stable Pnut with the milk mustache and the ability to see shadows has been as much a part of our family as BB has.

Two weeks ago, he was diagnosed with cancer. He’s had a good life and the pain of chemo would likely be too much for him to bear. So, since he’s 16, we decided that we’d let nature take its course. We brought him home, fed him some salmon and told him he could go any time  he was ready.

In the two weeks since his diagnosis, he’s lost an unbearable amount of weight and the tumor in his back hip is growing out of control. His leg has become paralyzed and he can barely get around. He’s in pain. But he’s had a good life, and  he doesn’t want to let go of it.

So we had to make a second impossible decision in two weeks: we are going to euthanize our cat. We found a vet who will come to our home and she’ll be here in about an hour.  One hour. Sixty minutes. How does one deal with that? How do you look at your cat and know he’s going to die in an hour and just be okay with it? It’s impossibly painful. He’s not just a cat. He’s a valuable and loved member of our family, and now he’s on death row. It’s enough to make me want to drink. A lot.

My heart is broken. My husband, who has had him since he was just weeks old, is crushed. And BB is at a complete loss as to how to say goodbye. He can’t even think about it without crying. And as a parent, that’s just another thing that makes this so hard. I can deal with my grief, but helping my son deal with his is more painful than I could have expected.

What else is there to say except:

Dear Pnut, we love you and we are so, so sorry. You will be missed by all of us. Thank you for all you have brought to our family.

Just untitled

Sometimes what we need is a deep breath and a stiff drink.  Sometimes life throws us curveballs that don’t just curve but knock us upside the head.  I guess the important thing to remember is that when that happens, all you can do is  what’s right for you, regardless of how others may be offended or hurt.

Hubby, I love you.  I support you.  You are an absolutely amazing person and I am a better woman for being married to you.  Our son is a wonderful child, because of you.  And because of you, he will grow up to have happy, healthy, and loving relationships.  I am proud of the person you are choosing to be.

Love always, always love.

Me.

%d bloggers like this: