Archive for category inner demons
The older of my little cousins, Knievel‘s half-sisters, texted me while here visiting from New York and asked what we were up to.
I managed to see this text one bright early Monday morning when I had to work (about 18-36 hours after it’d been sent, probably a speed record for me) but Spawn was out of school that day. So I pawned Spawn off as the sacrificial lamb of socializing with the promise I would meet them for dinner.
I know lunch and a movie happened but no clue what the rest involved, as is key with most of my family, we are scatterbrained, disorganized and chronically late. Even the more levelheaded and steadfast older sister is prone to this and lost their keys until about two hours after they were originally destined to arrive.
My aunt, their mom, even jokes that I’m the only one whoever shows up on time, but I’m still usually ten to fifteen minutes behind my goal. My other aunt, my mom’s oldest sister (Grand Jr.) is the worst. My uncle, their dad, used to tell his sister to be somewhere six hours of ahead of schedule just so she’d only be an hour or two late. Dinner is at six, Grand Jr. is told noon, and will probably arrive about 8 or 9 and be offended we started without her.
Spawn said they had fun but then immediately flopped in bed upon arriving home that night and was out in short order. I have no idea what wore them out so much, other than talking. Of course, the stoic and mostly silent Spawn would find that rather tiring, I suppose.
Spawn likes going out almost as much as I do.
I met up with both of my little cousins and my kid after work, at a place I’d never been before but the youngest worked currently, so I forced her to make recommendations. Every time I run into them, the youngest is working a different variety of jobs. But mom is still her financial source. I’m not sure how that works.
I know that the youngest has had to endure a couple intervention programs and some “get tough” camps of some sort while in their teens. I don’t really know why, my aunt is rather private about the details but only lightly covered some of it. The older sister was more forthcoming, but I’m sure a little embellishment might have played a factor, or it seemed to, considering her overall frustration with her sister.
I also know she is on medications. I’m sure ADHD is probably one, we seem to have a mix of that as well in that family. Another cousin was diagnosed with ADD well into his 40’s to which I just responded, “ha! you got caught.”
I’m well aware there is a reason I used to blast my music as loud as I could so I could concentrate on studying and I have trouble staying with a conversation at times and I’m chronically distracted. I just came up with my own methods of coping with it.
What I interpreted from the struggles the youngest has had was their father’s lack of impulse control has affected at least two of his daughters. However, unlike their older half-sister, their mom has been a pretty powerful force in redirecting it to something more constructive.
Their dad died when they were still pretty young. The older one was just old enough to start understanding enough to be pissed at him, while the younger keeps their dad firmly on a pedestal. I often regret, for their own sake, they couldn’t both have him on a pedestal. Even if its more than he deserves, they both deserve it very much.
See, my uncle was a drunk. A very functional, but at times, vile-mouthed drunk. When the older sister was an infant, he could slam down six beers in the fifteen minute drive it took to pick her up from daycare. He’d keep an 18-pack between the seats. It was so much a part of him, that it honestly never dawned on me that normal people don’t do this, so why was he? The amount of alcohol it would take for him to show he was even a little sluggish would have probably put most people in the hospital as a human pickle on a stomach pump.
He died of an accidental overdose. Apparently, over the years he’d started adding pills to the mix. He was too selfish and self-centered to have honestly had any notions of offing himself. It just wasn’t part of his character. But authorities, and insurance, were desperate to record it as such. I’m glad for their own sake, his family got it marked correctly.
Although he was a better man than he’d ever been, he was still the selfish being he’d always been. He loved his family, he did. This I saw in the little ways and he took great care of his girls when he could be bothered, but his own motivations would take precedence over all others often. My aunt wanted her corporate world, and he was to take over the domestic portion, that was their agreement. However, there was still a daycare, several au pairs, housekeepers and a slew of other people who had to cover the domestic portion over the years.
He still floated from one enterprise or another. Often one phased out in the weeks it took to see him again and he was onto something new, the only consistency was now his address. He had great ideas, but no execution and follow-through. When he died, he’d convinced Grand to put another mortgage against their house for about 25 thousand. Ironically, he was Grand’s favorite. Grand often accused their eldest son of owing them money, but it was mostly the youngest son doing the actually borrowing. We only found out a lot of that when Grand died and we had to go through the mountain of paperwork.
When I moved back to my home state, they were in the process of getting a divorce and he was sleeping in a houseboat out back, so he could still take care of the girls. This time, with no help. My aunt was a lot… darker… than she’d ever been. If my aunt had a slogan before then, it would have been “That’s Great!” She seem to have been poisoned with the bitter gloom of the clan. Without a word, I knew it was entirely his fault. All of that above, the pills and such, I found out much later.
Again, I felt guilty for having been related to him and not able to fix it. You’d think we were a Catholic bunch with the amount of times a day I can feel guilty over shit that has nothing to do with me, but that was a feature Grand tried to flourish in all of her brood… guilt. My uncle was immune, even when he should have been. At least, I’d never once seen any sign he’d ever felt bad about anything and even busted him once during this time, browsing personals on Yahoo of all things, while Grand and I were visiting them. I guess he felt guilty enough to shut it down when I came up behind him, but who wants to peruse a potential new partner while their parent is there and their marriage is falling apart? Was he wanting his wife to find it or did he just not care?
The last words I ever heard from this uncle were enough that I was done with him for good. I felt almost nothing when he died, felt guilty because of that too, just a happiness that the divorce hadn’t gone through so anything he might have had was unquestionably his family’s. My aunt wouldn’t deny her stepdaughter anything but it would have been a probate nightmare otherwise. I also worried that he might have left behind a financial disaster as well. But if anyone was skilled at eliminating that, it would also be my aunt.
I remember seeing the gloom fade, and she returned much to her usual self, perhaps a little worn out emotionally, but returned to the person that I’d always known and loved. She was the first adult I’d ever met that asked my opinion not sarcastically and sincerely wanted to know the answer. And listened. She took any obscure off-the-wall things I would throw at her and make me work through them, support them, making me alone solidify or alter my conclusions, without judgement.
I looked at these girls and I see a lot of her in them. I see the elements of my own family. The amusing but charming parts: the chronic distractedness, the sharp wit, the quick humor. I see their mom’s fierce determination, kind spirit, strength, and joy with life as well.
I’m trying desperately to catch up with all the items I’ve missed, I have been simply incapable of sitting down for even ten minutes and reading anything. I don’t know why.
Antsy, irritable might all begin to describe me, but mostly I just wanted to cut off everything. I lost my phone, it went dead for days at a time. I worked like an automaton and treated people much the same. I came home with only thoughts of hunger, then exhaustion.
I moved one day to the next with checklists in my head, no love or desire for anything.
I would say that under normal circumstances this would be the period when I would slide into the abyss of depression for a bit, go back on the meds, work the steps that pull me back out of it. Like accepting every 8th invitation whether I want to or not, for example, which is the only reason I had any interaction with the Yankee outside of work, pleasant as the experience was to my surprise.
I suppose having a kid is kind of a motivator for me to push away the darkness more strongly than I might otherwise. Considering we only have one another, we talk daily, we discuss everything, it tends to keep me more grounded and tethered to something. I realize this doesn’t work for everyone and I’m certainly not belittling that in any way when family has no effect on your darkness when it comes to call, but my kid is very much my totem.
In moments when I would otherwise not be able to stop it from pulling me under, I have the half-pint who reminds me why I’m not done fighting today. Maybe tomorrow. Or, maybe the day after.
For my G-uno, I was the one who brought the dysfunctional in-laws into my marriage. I never knew what a family could be like until I met my ex’s family. I’m still very connected to them, just as I’m very disconnected from my own. It is extremely painful to not be loved and accepted within your own family and to know that in every subtext of how they speak to you.
To be able to walk away from that, know them to be the poisonous element and still have faith in your own self as being a good person and not seeing yourself through their eyes, takes a strength a person just shouldn’t have to bear with people supposedly under the title of “loved ones.” My made family, the family I built from my teens on, G-uno and BFG very much included, shaped a lot of who I am today, gave me the strength to fight against a very twisted guardian and their brood.
We feel compelled to try to make and fix things. You and I especially like to fix. Maybe it is a Gemini thing.
But I will never be able to fix the person my gran made me out to be to their family, a spoiled and greedy orphan never satisfied with anything received and working poor gran’s fingers to the bone demanding more. This spilled over to my aunt and uncles and poisoned the mind of my cousin and his wife. They will always have that haughty smugness when I spend time with them that I don’t measure up enough to have been “gran’s favorite”.
I already knew that. I spent a great amount of effort trying not to be, repeatedly kicking that fucking pedestal anytime I saw it coming closer. To be in gran’s good graces would mean I was like them. That was the last thing I ever wanted to be.
I had an epiphany recently. I knew I married another version of gran, so I could have the same bullshit fights with different outcomes and I had to do a lot of soul searching to overcome that. But it went further than that. My ex manipulated me to be geographically isolated. Gran, being the manipulation master they were, managed to do it emotionally, mentally. They made sure I had no one in my family who saw me as I was. No one to confide in. No one. Except them.
When this hit me, I kind of wanted to dig gran up and just beat the hell out of them. It hurt, but it was their own selfishness that motivated every diabolical thing they did. They destroyed their own family, caused so much internal fighting and baseless hate that those of us generations later just want nothing to do with any of them, or one another, save for a small few.
So when a person, such as yourself, who has had nothing but selfless goals calls a lost cause a lost cause, why would you feel this in any way your fault? To be able to fix them, you’d have to think like they do, and in turn understand them, and take a risk of turning into that yourself. I couldn’t risk that, I try to carve that ability out of myself much in the way you battle the Kraken.
There is a point when self-preservation has to kick in and you have to give it up and escape. You don’t call it a bad thing if you’re not able to fight a bear with brass knuckles, its a fucking bear. You’re thankful you survived.
I’m kind of reeling from the fact its not still September 2016 actually. I’m not sure how in hell time has managed to zoom past me before I’ve been able to process it. I guess it gets like this for me when I feel everything is just… too much.
Work is definitely a fact. My distaste for it has only increased for which I will cover over time.
Life: stale, stagnant. It’s hard to find anything worthy for which to write about even though I know there are a hundred little moments I have to choose from and have often thought, “Damn, that would be wonderful to write about, I need to do that as soon as I get to a keyboard.”
Then I decide I’m too tired to put it all into thought and put it off… and then put it off longer… is there anyone who has the skill level of procrastination I do?
Ironically, I’m not in a wave of depression. Usually I am when I’ve gotten to this level of apathy. No, this is usually the point where I’m dissatisfied with everything and I do something completely spontaneous…. like pack a van and move three thousand miles back to a family I don’t get along with, for example, because for some reason becoming a parent was making me stupid and nostalgic, I guess. Or leave my ex after five years of a terrible marriage, with only a rusty car and a hundred bucks and completely start over.
You know, the feeling of the need to set fire to the phoenix because the fucking bird isn’t taking care of things itself?
Unfortunately, now that I’m much much older, I can better recall just how much pain all of those spontaneous decisions caused.
I’d rather Spawn not know those pains. the months of no work and no money, the job hunt, the getting rid of everything, the reaccumulation to make things livable again.
It makes me realize I have to become something I’ve never been good at being. A planner.
I like being the “let’s go to the beach” at 6am type of person. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had any desire for that, and I suppose that is what I’m hoping to rekindle by being excessive. With everything being new, I have more motivation to want to see it. Being in the crack of Satan’s ass of the South just doesn’t move me to want to experience the outdoors much.
Of course, there is logical reasons for my daydreamed defection as well. Spawn is coming to an age where they are finally eligible for a pretty prestigious art program over the summer and eventually, a full-time school. I want this for them very much because Spawn wants it very much for themselves.
Although the applications haven’t been open for submission yet, and we haven’t been accepted or anything, it would be a gross injustice for them not to take my kid with the skill level they have. Many moons ago, I was accepted for a summer program there, until they found out I was too old (last year of high school) and was disqualified. My kid far excels me already, and they’ve just barely aged up enough to apply.
The school is over two hours away. And residential. More than being a kid attached to a parent, I’m probably more a parent attached to my kid. I can handle the residential part, but the distance troubles me, especially with a 10+ year old car.
I’m not attached to where we live. In fact, I hate it. Washington state or Oregon is more my jam, and that too will be put off for Spawn to seek out their dreams.
I regret none of it, I want them more than I have ever wanted anything for myself.