My bucket has holes. Every time I try to fill it with hope, it’s punctured from the bottom by life.
This update will have nothing fancy to it other than spilled tears on a page. I want to keep you in the loop as I do not want to disappear again. Disappearing is my ever present temptation even more than brownies. Its the temptation to quietly slide into oblivion. To casually drift into the great abyss. To just slowly dissolve into nothingness until my blog is little more than one of those place holders on the internet. Taking up space as a reminder of what once was.
I’m so dramatic today. But my life is a confusing pile of question marks right now.
And I feel like it has been that way for far too long. I often think to myself…what else is going to happen?? How much more can I take?? I don’t consider myself to be an especially ‘strong’ person. And by that I mean mentally. Emotionally. PSYCHOLOGICALLY!!
I am NOT that strong.
And yet life keeps throwing me curve balls as if to test me in that belief.
At least that is how I feel today.
No one wants to hear me say this again. But it’s still a fact of life. I HATE that my mother is gone. Maybe it’s true that we had some kind of strangely enmeshed relationship where I depended far too much on her emotionally. I had a therapist tell me that once back when I was a teenager. You see, my Dad had left when I was 12 and my brother who was 8 years older than me had moved out of state to pursue his career. It was just me and my Mom for many years to come. As I got older and desired more independence, we would often argue and tensions would arise. She sent me to a therapist once as a result of these difficulties. I was about 17 at the time. But the therapist said that my issues stemmed from the enmeshed relationship I had with my mother. It makes me laugh now to think of it. As you can imagine, Mom didn’t want to hear that. I’ve never seen a therapist fired so fast!!
To be enmeshed means to be entangled. Perhaps even ensnared or entrapped. I loved my mother but there were often no boundaries. Her love was so wide and deep for me that if I could not find a pair of socks she would take them off her own feet and give them to me. She would have cashed out her last dime to help me. She made sure that I was never alone. At the same time….she made sure that I was NEVER alone lol
That can be good and toxic depending….
The relationship she had with HER mother was similar. And the relationship that I had with my grandmother was equally all encompassing. It was a love that covers all things. A love that will never let you go. Never let you drown. Never let you go a single day without someone in your corner. And yet at times it was obtrusive. Overstepping boundaries where some boundaries should have been.
For 40 years, my grandmother and mother dominated over many aspects of my life. And yet they saved me too. When my husband left me alone with 4 children to raise (3 of which were in diapers) they swooped in like the calvary to save the day. They made sure that I would be ok. I can’t tell you how many times I wished they would back off. How many times I wished I could have some semblance of my own life without the overly critical voices always analyzing my every move. Documenting all mistakes for future conversations where “I told you so” was the theme.
And yet I also knew I would drown without them. As much as I resented the ‘dictatorship’ that it often was…I knew my life would be some horribly dismal alternate universe without them.
Only I wonder today—is that universe where I now live?
When I was down, they would raise me up. When I was depressed, they would validate my worth. Remind me of my accomplishments. Ensure me that I was capable and strong. That I could do anything.
Have you ever been told by the exact same people that you are both weak and strong?? That you can do anything and nothing all at the same time? These conflicting messages often followed me through my life. And who am I to judge? Have I not done the same at times with my own children?
For almost 40 years I could not escape the advice-forcing, life-controlling influence of my mother and grandmother. Ever present. Ever-governing. The regulators! The supervisors of it all! And then without warning… it was all removed from me within one year’s time. Unexpectedly, they were gone and my life has never quite been the same. Things happen to me now and I often wonder…what do I do next? Am I right? Am I wrong?? I even sometimes speculate that the craziness of the last few years is because they were not telling me what to do. As if their predictions were correct. That if left to live my life on my own merit, I would fail.
The move to Virginia was a disaster. Disappointing. Discouraging. And the biggest miscalculation I’ve made in decision making in years . It cost me not only money but a friendship. One of the few significant relationships I had left after losing both my mother and grandmother. Gone the second I put the for sale sign in the yard and decided to move back. 30 years of friendship and solidarity annihilated in an instant. All because I no longer wanted to stay there.
We talked every single day for 30 years. LITERALLY every single day. At first it was letter writing or phone calls. But then it was email. And not a day went by that we were not in touch. Through marriages, the birth of children, divorce, deaths. We were not sisters by blood but rather by choice. It was scary to uproot my children and move across the country. I thought it took guts if I do say so myself. It certainly took my hard earned money. But it didn’t work out. I couldn’t live there. The idyllic view of a country life seen in movies was meant to stay on the theatre screen. It did not translate well for me in reality. My children are Texans. But CITY Texans :)) San Antonio Texans.
Raised in a world that cannot be easily duplicated anywhere else. We are used to weather without snow shovels. The Rodeo. Taco Trucks on every corner. We step outside and hear mariachi music from the neighbors. We live in a multicultural world with many ethnicities in a big city. But now we were in a different corner. A very SMALL corner. One where diversity is edited out almost it seems and you must drive miles upon miles just to get ANYWHERE. For many this is a dream come true but for us it turned out to be scary. To live so far away from anywhere as a single Mother is terrifying. Yes I had my friend but aside from that no one. I had grown accustomed to a life where I could call a plumber. Electrician. Where I could easily request an Uber if my car broke down! But not the case there. When you live alone and you survive alone—it is hard to do that in isolation. I am not someone to depend solely on one person . I like to at least believe I can be independent. But independence is not so easily done in the country. Suddenly that corner of the world felt like a net set to suffocate us. Not because that world isn’t beautiful for those that live there. But simply because…it just wasn’t for US.
So I lost my mother. My Nana and then my best friend. And only those things after losing my marriage many years before. If it wasn’t going to get better soon, it could only get worse. And it has.
My relationship with my oldest daughter has been strained at best for years. By my own doing I am sure. When I lost a lot of weight, I branched out. I dated too much. I drank too much. I traded brownies for alcohol and at times I acted like a teenager myself. I am sure it was embarrassing at times for her to see her Mom go from the recliner to the bar. From being at times an embarrassment due to my weight . And now due to my behavior. Was one worse than the other?? Yes it was. I partied. I got drunk. I dated men half my age. I didn’t handle weight loss well. Instead of using it as an opportunity to give God the glory….to serve him more fully….to be of help to others more thoroughly….I became selfish. Often using the benefits of my weight loss to serve my ego.
That was the catalyst for my move to Virginia. I felt I was slipping away. Losing myself. And I wanted to get back to the person I once was. I thought moving next to someone who had known me my whole life would be the cure for that. But I was wrong. No one can cure you. No one can fix you. Only you can fix yourself.
I was so close to my oldest daughter. We were best friends. But when I chose to pursue my own life, I deserted her. It felt like that I’m sure. She had spent night after night monitoring me for certain death. I was so big that I would often choke under my own weight. She was always there an inch away to jostle me from sleep when that happened. And then I was free from that prison and out the door. Using my freedom to escape into a new life. I wanted to have friends because I never had before. I wanted a life. Maybe even a relationship. But it was all too much too soon. And not done in the way it should have been. Not only has the relationship with my best friend been ruined. The relationship with my oldest daughter has been strained now to an irreparable state it seems. One I am not sure we will ever get back to.
I returned to Texas but you can’t go back. Nothing has ever been right since. I moved into a house that I rented from friends with the agreement to purchase when my Virginia house sold. But once we moved in they raised the previously agreed upon price of the house and I had to move again. We bought this house and it’s had nothing but trouble . A leaking roof. A broken air conditioner. One thing after another that has to be fixed. Electrical problems. The dishwasher and refrigerator breaking. Even the kitchen drawers come off their hinges. At times I feel that I bought the money pit.
I lost my job due to funding being cut. My ex husband retired from the Army and wants to lower child support. I understand that his income is not the same but neither is mine. And I have children whose needs do not change just because our income does. It is frightening to think this will all fall on my shoulders and just when I think I can’t take anymore…I get in a car accident that is deemed my fault.
And why wouldn’t it be, right?? Isn’t everything??
Oh yes…the victim card….let’s pull it some more. Because that’s always fun to listen to!
USAA paid for my repairs but hours after leaving the shop my car begins to smoke. Then they decide that whatever was wrong was not related to the accident. It had to be!! But they say no. I had to pay for 1500 in car repairs 2 days before Christmas. And the dealer took THREE WEEKS to repair my car. They kept ordering the wrong part and needing more time. Wrong part again??? Another week?? And…wait…really? Another week?! I had to rent a car for 3 weeks out of my own pocket. Another 600 dollars gone.
And all of this right before my ex husband decides that he can no longer pay child support. And all of this right before Christmas.
Thankfully I have a new job. It is the one blessing in my life right now that is going MY way. But just when I think things might start to look up….I go for my annual doctor’s appointment and get tragic news.
Stage one breast cancer that has spread to my lymph nodes.
Can things just STOP HAPPENING please?? Can I just get a break?
After receiving this devastating news, I decided to go back to the doctor I had before Obamacare (not complaining…just saying that is my insurance). I am self employed so I pay out of pocket for it. And I have never felt good about this doctor. I had had things that we are ‘watching’ which he suddenly said were fine. And now things which were ‘fine’ which he suddenly now says are tragic. Something told me to pay out of pocket to go see my original doctor. The one I used to have before my job was cut and they tossed me out of Blue Cross/Blue Shield. When they requested my medical records and test results….it was relayed that perhaps they mixed up my results with some other patient.
Only now my entire file is gone. ZAP! No where to be found
Do I have cancer?? Or don’t I? Does someone else have cancer and they don’t know it because their results were given to me? I am so confused that it is beyond me now to even relay to you what the last week has been like. I just don’t know anymore which way is up or down.
I am waiting on my test results again. I am waiting with trepidation. Uneasy. Unsure. Hoping beyond hope that my results WERE mixed up. That I was given someone else’s test results. And that I do NOT have cancer.
And then feeling miserably disgusting that I’m actually wishing that fate to someone else. Because of course I do not wish these test results on someone else! But if I was given the wrong results then someone else was given mine. If I am NOT the one with cancer then someone else is. How can I pray for my results to be the good ones without simultaneously wishing this fate on another?
I’m trying to think positive. To focus on work and the kids. To remember all the strong women who have fought cancer and survived. If indeed that is my next journey. But some part of me wants to just know…..
WTH IS GOING ON???
Why does it feel like my life has been a never ending trip down a sidewalk of landmines for the last few years. Skipping from one pothole to the next. Never landing on solid ground.
And through all of this I’m back up to 285. Every pound I lost gone into a tear stained oreo box.
Will I ever learn to live without the comfort of food?
Will it even matter anyway at this point??
Will I get to watch my kids grow up?? Will life finally take me out??
And what will happen to my children if I cannot be here to care for them? This is my greatest fear in life come true!
Fear envelops me like a dark companion that has moved in and set up shop. Without my Mom and Nana to tell me ‘what to do’, I drift at times aimlessly. Wondering if I have it in me to fight another battle of epic proportions. Having already failed miserably at the weight loss battle, what will cancer make of me if indeed it is the next visitor to knock on my door?