Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Longest Month

It is August, the final month of summer break. I accomplish the least during this month, partly due to the heat, but mostly due to the fact I can’t seem to get control of the remaining time.  I feel the air changing.  In the morning, a hint of fall crispness provokes unwanted sentimental emotion.  It tells me that this will be over some day.  I will miss all the chaos and unknown.  It tells me to enjoy what I’ve got.  Enjoy my children now. Enjoy it all now.

There is an accumulation of mud and unknown sticky stuff on my floors.  We’ve already begun the month-before school-starts obligatory doctor’s and dentist appointments. My oldest son is on the cross-country team and his 6-day a week practices have begun.  Which, for me includes a 6 to 12 mile bike ride to his high school and back.  I ride with my son (he has autism), until I know he can do it safely on his own.  Once school starts, he’ll ride the bus.  I’ve bought the kids very few new school clothes and supplies this year, but at least,  I’m done with the “shopping.”  This week, I will look through closets and drawers, repair anything I can stitch up, then arrange it all neat and easy for them to find in the mornings.

By September, my kids will be off to school and my oldest daughter back to college.   I will miss them all — but especially my oldest.  She won’t be home at night.  I won’t see her in the mornings.  I will miss talking with her, watching trashy reality TV with her, baking and cooking with her. I will miss comparing diet status and weigh ins, and her showing me yet another dress in which she looks stunning.  (This weight loss thing is a Big Deal.  I am proud of her).  Nor will she be here to celebrate her 20th birthday.  I know no other way of saying it: It makes me feel so sad.   (Sadness has become a character in the room here.  I would love for him to leave).

For now, we have the few weeks left of August. Gosh — not even two weeks!  We all are staying up later, trying to squeeze in one last moment of time to do things that must be done before school starts.   For me the list includes cleaning the fridge, having a yard sale (or taking it all to Good Will), and finishing a script.  For the kids the list includes squeezing in another sleep over, another day at the swim park, another hike somewhere,  another jaunt over to DQ for an Oreo Blizzard.  My boys will increase their late-night-time by watching another old episode of Twilight Zone or Family Guy.  They will sneak in another level of a game to brag of their accomplishments and heroics. Nora will be with them through it all, playing with them, proving how tough she is (not) until I intervene saying the classic phrase, “before someone gets hurt.”   Nick will be up and down the stairway, annoyed by his siblings’ noise and use of his computer, yet unable to keep himself away from them. Maybe I’ll attempt another go at Gin Rummy, teaching them the basic rules. They aren’t thrilled with card games.  I might have to introduce gambling. Ritz crackers, I’ve got.

After I yell again for them to finally go to sleep, they will 10 minutes later be in the kitchen for another drink of water or milk.  They will tell me that they can’t sleep, that their stomachs hurt or ask for another hug.   Of course I will hug them.  I’m always happy to give another one of those.  I need the hugs just as much as they do.  For the remainder of August, they all will have a new excuse each night until the last hour before School-Starts-Tomorrow Eve.  By September 1st, they, including Emily away at school, will all be exhausted, but ready and excited for the school year because it is once again new.

I want to feel that same newness, that same expectancy.  If I finish my script before Emily leaves (August 31), maybe it is possible.  That would be an accomplishment that could buoy against an attack of emotions.  After that, I would also be ready to buckle down and rewrite my second script in the line up.  I tell myself:  It’s my job.  My non paying until it pays off job.  I must put the time in and fight the urge to nap.  (When I can’t solve a script problem, I become incredibly sleepy.  Funny).   But my usual excuses for failing my job will all be off to school.   During summer, I blame the noise, the consistent interruptions —  but soon the quiet here will make me weepy.  I must write as a way to interrupt the meaner, more depressing characters that often start talking there.

For now, this month drags on.  Chores must be done before it all hits.  I will make my lists and knock them off one at a time.  Deadlines loom, I know.  I will meet them.  But for now… though I know I should be working, maybe I can view August as other families do, as vacation time.  We aren’t going anywhere in reality, but I can view it as a vacation of the mind.  For the remaining weeks I can shut down the voices in my head that tell me I am doing it all wrong, and instead, simply be happy that my kids are with me.  Maybe, for once I can relax and be happy.  There is no place I need to be but here.


Reboot

“Letting GO” of my screw ups from last week, including my diet.

This morning I am getting back on my diet, back to my writing routine, back to my larger plan.

(Larger Plan: Write, market, sell, celebrate, happiness, beaches and roasted marshmallows and margaritas — that’s it in its simplest form.)

Right now, writing.


F Words

Perhaps using this virtual space as my own personal confessional for a non-Catholic girl such as myself is not such a good idea.  Perhaps referring to myself as a girl is offensive to girls and women everywhere, but tough.  This girl is going to write what she damn well pleases…

Yet I question why I felt compelled to confess my epic fail as a mother in my previous post.  Maybe it was not such a good idea. Just a thought.

I wouldn’t have had this thought, except I sent the link to my blog to a couple of trusted friends and so far… I feel worse about what I did.  Not cleansed.  Not forgiven.  I suppose that is what I was hoping for:  Forgiveness.

For what it is worth my daughter forgives me.  After the ride we hugged and I told her I was sorry.  I explained why I freaked out so badly and told her I was sorry again. I picked her up and held her.  I told her I loved her.  I told her I was scared.  Mom’s do fail.  Surely, I cannot be the only one who fails.  Perhaps others aren’t so dumb as to post details on a blog and then ASK people to actually read it.  Okay — so that makes it a Double Fail.  Had I just kept it in and asked God and my kids to forgive me, I suppose I’d be over it by now.  But no… I made it personal and dumped my guilt on others.  Dummy.   I felt ashamed.  What I did and said in PUBLIC bothered me and still bothers me.  Letting go is not something that comes easily to me. Der…

but then again…

How many things have I done (or anyone has ever done) in private that probably was worse?  The fact that such terrible things are done in private and never admitted to, at least in my mind, makes the sins or the failures all the worse.

This past week a country singer, Randy Travis, was found naked, drunk and lying in the middle of the road.  He is just one of many stars who do things that humans do.   It makes the news because we (their adoring fans), hold them to a higher moral standard.  Either that, we simply love to see how the mighty fall, though it is none of our concern.  The stories of other people’s lives do not affect (or is it effect — Gawd – when will I get grammar?) our own lives, but they reflect upon our view of ourselves.  We watch. We compare.  We judge.  We mock.  We’re better than them… after all. Watching an episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey (my favorite) does not alter my life, but I enjoy it in relation to my own. Reading my blog or an email from me does not change the reader, does not change or improve his or her life.  It only serves as a fun house mirror, representing a portion of the truth — and one that the reader gratefully is not a part of.

For me to expect any less scrutiny, any less judgement is beyond stupid. I will remember that the next time I post one of my epic human failures.  Not that I am on par with Randy Travis or any other celebrity,  but I must remember — people generally are not kind and very quick to condemn.  I’d better remember, too, that I am one of them.  Mirrors.  We are all mirrors.

God forgives.

Dogs forgive.

But friends, family, acquaintances, strangers and Cats judge ruthlessly.


The Round Up (or) How I Failed Again At Mother Of The Year

Tonight was the night my kids look forward to all year, other than Christmas and their birthdays. It is the night I succumb to the ritual of taking them to The Fair. I would name the actual title of said, “Fair” but then it would end up in a Google search and all traces would lead back to me — that crazy psychotic mother who screamed at her beautiful seven-year-old daughter, after she forced her to ride THE ROUND UP.

Bad, bad mother. Many points lost already.

My daughter cried at the base of the steps, cried on the platform and cried as I strapped the tiny, absolutely worthless, decaying cable across her chest and said: “Look at me. Look at my face. It’s not scary.”  (I meant the ride, of course. She probably thought I meant my face.)  Either way — she was absolutely terrified.

Inside my head, two, no maybe it was three or more voices argued. One said — Don’t do it. Don’t make her go. She’s a little girl. Let her be. Another voice said: She’ll love it. Once she feels how the centrifugal force holds her back — she’ll absolutely dig the physics of it. After all, that logic worked with the boys. A third voice, no doubt an ancestral voice from the Dark Ages said: If she cries to get out of this, she’ll cry to get out of everything. Make her get on the thing and teach her to face her fears. Burn! Burn!  There were more voices, too, but those were my sons’ actual voices as they pecked and needled: “Please, Mom, make her go. She has to go on it!”

And no, thank you for asking (I heard you mutter it), since I’ve already admitted to the complete loss of  Mother of the Year Award, I also admit I am not beneath blaming my sons ( just a bit) for twisting my mind into being stupidly cruel. Ask any woman with three sons — that woman will never be normal or reasonable again. I gave in or they won — you choose.  Both are correct. But my seven-year-old knows how to work payback…  I am not saying she faked it, because she certainly did not. But her particular level of fear beat us all.

So, the ride starts and before it’s turned once around, my baby girl starts sinking down, her knees buckling…

I held her hand, told her it would be all right, to look at my face, to not look down — but she kept sinking further down, and FORWARD! How the hell is she sinking and moving forward? Do the Laws of Physics not apply to my angel baby? Here is where panic set in and I lost it: As she dropped nearly to her knees and forward, from my perspective it appeared the cable was at her throat and potentially choking her. Her face was colorless —

I screamed for her to stand up. I mean — I am SCREAMING for her to STAND UP!

But she remained forward, her throat seemingly at the cable and her face contorted and crying — not hearing a bloody word I said. Then her older brother yells for her to stand up, then her next older brother yells for her to stand up and then her oldest brother (with autism), starts screaming and yelling because he hears us screaming and yelling and he HATES it when we all start that shit.  It was mayhem. It got worse.

I swore. I dropped F-bombs while DEMANDING she stand up because in my mind all I could imagine was her hanging herself on the friggin’ Round Up and the night ending up as just one of those freak accidents you hear about on the evening news. Meanwhile, all I could do was hold her little hand and watch her go? It was horrible — I mean really — it looked horrible. It was also about then that I noticed how friggin’ terrifying the stupid ride really was! Holy Shit! I mean – GAWD — I could see the ground right in front of me! My attention back on my baby, choking, (she wasn’t actually choking, but she looked like she was), I decided to pull out all the stops to get her to stand up and her throat off that cable wire.  I yelled that if she didn’t stand up right then, I was going to kill her when we got off the ride.

Yes, may God have mercy on my stupid-ass soul, doggone it  — I said THAT. Brilliant.  Now, not only were we all yelling for my baby to stand up and not die, but my youngest son was screaming at me: “MOM! WHY DID YOU SAY THAT? HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT?”  (Please, please understand: I said it for effect.  She’s my love — I couldn’t stop the ride.  I couldn’t make her stand up from that wire.  I wanted to be scarier than the ride so that she would get up).

And this was all done loudly, in public, around many young children not my own, in a Twirling Cage — right next to the “Fun House.”

Thankfully, mercifully, the ride did slow down…

My baby girl took a breath and cried as she finally was able to stand, moving her throat from the Son-of-a-bitch cable wire, “helped” somewhat because I pushed her head up and back to the cushioned part of the ride by her chin.  (I’m sure that looked great…)

Embarrassingly, it was then that I noticed the terrified and rather shocked expressions of all the riders within my view. I did not, could not, look back over my shoulder at the others behind me — but boy — I could  feel them… (If anyone ever said that mental telepathy was a myth or a simple carnival side-show, they were wrong).

Ahh…yes… Drama. It’s what I do.  Apparently, my offspring have the knack, too. : /

Tomorrow — my two oldest boys are going back to The Fair for another day of fun and I am bringing my two youngest swimming at a (nameless) Swim Park.  Have I mentioned I am not a good swimmer and am afraid of heights? Yeah.

I cannot wait for summer to be over.


Figuring

I know already that I am going about my recovery all wrong. Recovery — that’s how I see this terribly long road — as a bizarre addiction to something. What that something is, I cannot decide. The fact that I can’t “name”  my problem seems to be the problem itself.

Perhaps I’m addicted to fantasy and non-reality. Perhaps I am addicted to hopes for joy, satisfaction that very few have ever actually known.

I am lucky that I am not addicted to an actual substance such as alcohol, drugs, or even prescribed medicines that doctors want me to take. I am healthy — praise God. But… I feel unlucky that I have nothing I can point to as the problem. The problem is me. It has always been me.

It’s no one’s fault but my own. My own lack of faith, drive, belief, determination — those are all mine to claim, and my own to recover from.

When and How do I overcome this? How do I recover at this point in my life? Again, what is the plan?

Before I can determine my actual plan, here, on this blog — I also need to figure out if I plan on keeping this blog somewhat anonymous.  If my story matters to no one, then there is no point promoting it.   Why post this? Why is this necessary? Do I need anyone to read this? Do I simply want proof? A written record of what I am trying to do?

Regardless of my anonymity — Do I know my goals?

Yes…but I admit before you read them that they are a bit lofty:

  • Finish two scripts in time to reenter into Bluecat ( a month from now…)
  • Sell a script this 2012
  • Banish credit cards and debt — for good.
  • Celebrate my birthday, in shape, wearing a bikini on a beach somewhere, with a matching truly happy smile on my face.
  • See that my kids are truly happy, feeling safe and secure, and enjoying this life.
  • See myself feeling happy, and feeling safe and secure and enjoying this life.

As I look over this list, I wonder how exactly accomplishing these things will help me recover.  (I’ve already lost track — I am recovering from what exactly?   Hurt?  I am recovering from Hurt and Fear. For now, that will have to be what I call it.)  Looking at the list again, the first one and the third one are the only two I can  control.   So… clearly, my plan starts there.

Plan:

  • Write every day ( That’s been part of my plan forever, but I’ve never managed to keep true to it).
  • Market my work ( That, too has been part of my plan but I eff it up by not sticking to the first step.)
  • For my kids, act like I believe everything will be okay.  Fake it.  Don’t reveal my broken heart  — because I know it never helps anyway.  It doesn’t help anyone.  It hurts my children.  I must stop hurting my children by spreading the fear around.
  • Live within my means — Don’t use plastic.  Ride bikes, go on walks, play cards — write stories — poems — board games — don’t use plastic.

Regarding this blog — anonymous or not?  Does it matter if anyone reads this?  Could this blog do anything for anyone but me?  If not, then there is no point to it beyond my recovery.  BUT if I do recover from this… Then I have a good story to tell.

Focusing on a good story.


What’s the Plan?

Uh…I’m working on it.
I might let you know about it if I am able to actually stick to a routine for more than two weeks.


Wide Sarcastic Sea

August 1st, 2012

So today is the “First Day” officially of my effort to climb back into my life. The new budget my 4+ children and I must follow is brutal, but should have been faced many years ago. My new year starts today, in August, because I cannot wait until January.

The reality that I live in a very limiting, small town occurred to me as I mindlessly looked at my Facebook page.  I noticed certain connections of old friends who are friends with people who will never accept me because, frankly, I am just not part of the chosen group of artists types — Artists-types that I admire, by the way.  It also occurred to me that I hate this town. I will never blend. Never.  (This is my home town).  I’ve disclosed my opinions far too often and with no class (drinking, yelling — I am course and crude). I thought I could be free with my opinions and passions, but I was WRONG. I have been wrong every time, and no one forgets…

Earlier, feeling slightly positive about things, the thought that I let rattle around in my head all day was this: Should I start a blog as in “for reals?” Should I try to entertain and/or help human readers (somehow) with my blog and try to make money from it? I found an online course that would teach me how to do it for a mere 97 dollars. I considered the price as reasonable until I read how many new “members” this particular blogger bragged, ahem, I mean congratulated for signing up to his course. I started to do the math and thought, Wow! If I could only write a blog about how to write a blog and then create a Product ( a list of how to do it) then I, too would have a worthy topic. But that’s dumb, right? Like selling bottled water — who would ever buy it?

No… I must write about something I am an expert in… hmmm. Tough thought. The only thing I am an expert in is how to fuck up my life.
Yeah! That’s it! I will write a blog about How Not To Live One’s Life.
Some examples I could include in my future product:

  • Kiss ass — don’t try to march to your own drummer.
  • Keep your opinions to yourself: No one wants to hear them anyway. Unless, of course, you know they already agree with you – then go ahead! Earn some Kiss Ass Cred!
  • Be really, really cool to know. A single-mom struggling to keep her children happy, healthy and balanced, while trying to secretly deny the 6-year-plus demolition of her 22-year marriage is not cool and No One wants to hear about it.
  • DO NOT BE A LONER. It didn’t work for SHANE either.
  • Pick the side that has connections and money.
  • If you’re a heterosexual woman — always be really, really sweet and “nice” to everyone – no matter what, even if you don’t mean it. Unless you’re a lesbian — if so, blunt opinions and honest answers are not only acceptable, but preferred.
  • DO marry for money.

I know it’s not perfect. I am working on it. At least it’s a beginning. I will have to refine my list, of course — add some links, other bloggers to it, and include good photos, etc., but then that’s what this next year is about — finding my way out of this situation with all members of this family (including me) in tact.

This is where I start, at the bottom of the bloody, dark, sarcastic sea….