Stick a fork in me. I am done.

You would think that at just two weeks short of turning fifty-five I might recognize when the world around me isn’t quite right. 

I get most of it, and typically don’t feel as if I am running among utter chaos in my everyday life.

There are the “normal” ups and downs, whatever those may be, and however any family and/or social group defines normal.

I have actually felt relatively proud of the fact that I raised three amazing children to adulthood without major incident, that they seem to be on good paths as they advance in life, that I am relatively healthy, that I have accomplished some of my life goals, that I still have most of my mental faculties, and that I wake up each morning. Being relatively intelligent, at least enough to believe that I am fairly capable and all brain functions are working, I am utterly finding myself caught off guard by the events of the last few days. 

I must digress just a bit with some background. I come from a highly dysfunctional family. If you have known alcoholism then you know just a small portion of what I have lived. Actually, these days, who doesn’t share in the club we will call the Dysfunctional Alcoholic Family or DAF. Let’s face it. Alcohol and other substance abuse seems to touch just about everyone. The issues are many, and most likely not interesting to anyone, or too disturbing to relate because they dredge up personal memories, both past and current, for too many people reading this. We (collective society) all seem to know the basics and there’s no need for me to cover them here.

I held the strong belief that I had managed to put most of my familial issues behind me. After both the death of my mother, and shortly after that, my father, familial responsibilities seemed to level out. This all happened in years past, around the mid 1990’s, so a long time ago. Slowly, over these past twenty years, death has claimed most of my remaining relatives, the previous generation specifically. The present generation, being what it is as members of the extended DAF, is an unbound, you-live-your-life-and-I’ll-live-mine sort of group. Age ranges widely, personal familial issues within each sub-group provide enough stress and strain. Somehow, we all seem to have mutually, although without verbal proclamation, agreed to live in our own worlds. Typically those worlds spin around each other but never intersect. 

A few years ago my world did intersect once more with one of those entities. I was okay with that. I actually welcomed that as this reunion brought me once more closer to many memories of my dad.

Today I am once more moving within my own trajectory. For my own self-preservation I am done. 

I am spinning quite well on my own just now, literally. A whirlwind has enveloped me in a sea of lies and deceit with my own inability to determine just who is the liar and who speaks the truth. That “A” part of the entire DAF may, or may not be involved. That “A” part always seems to be linked so closely with lies and deceit. That “A” part may also simply be a gigantic ploy to suck me into a trap, a cunningly designed game to secure information. I don’t really know what’s up or down right now. 

I do know that it is over, at least for me. I swore never again to be taken in by anything connected with alcoholism after growing up as a member of the DAF. It is too easy to become caught up, sucked in, taken and used, lied to and crapped on. Sadly, because it is horribly sad, I ended it this morning. Being used, in any shape or form, makes me feel like I am eighteen all over again, clamoring to get out. 

I hate that feeling and refuse to subject myself to it all over again.

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Well F***

Life is definitely not all puppies and roses and sunshine for me, but I thought that I was at a point in my life where most things were settled or at least muddling along in some manner without too much undo chaos.

Today however, I learned this is not the case and I feel as if I am now completely thrust back to my early 20’s, family issues and craziness mounting all around, and I am square in the middle all over again.

F***

F***

F***

Out of some degree of respect for the unavailable and unknowing parties who have no manner to speak in this forum I will keep most of the details incognito for now.

Suffice to say a family member has been playing a communication game with me without my knowledge. This game involves doling out information in bits and pieces while surreptitiously cloaking a good deal of important stuff. Important stuff that only someone who is impaired can, and will, hide.

Does that surprise me? Well, sort of, although substance abuse has long been rampant in my family so my reaction is more one of anger that the substance of choice, in this case alcohol, has once more presumably gotten the better of someone. I am also rather pissed, after having lived through this once before, that I was unable to see any signs. In my defense though, the communication involved has not been face to face, and is often random, so I can understand missing most of the signs.

I have just learned that my gut, which was telling me one thing is probably right, at least to some extent, and that now, after taking sides if you will, I am stuck in a situation that I have no idea how to get out of.

It all involves words and lies and cover-ups and just stupid, stupid actions and I don’t want to be here. Nothing illegal, but definitely not a place I want to be. I now have these visions of upending a relationship much like I did with my alcoholic mother. She was a drunk who was mean, hurtful, belligerent and nasty. To save myself and my own family I chose to leave her out of my life for many years. My last contact with her, after many years of separation, was during the few weeks of her life as she was hospitalized and dying.

I am not the recipient of the emotion trauma in this case, but part of the reason that this is so frustrating is that I also just learned that another relative is. So here I am, stuck in the middle, pissed off, feeling cheated and lied to, and facing the ultimate decision to call the liar out and tell them I know.

It would be easy if this person was anyone else in their relationship to me. While not close in age, we are close by parentage. This was sort of the one last person who I thought was not among the crazies in my family. It is truly uncomfortable to find out that the crazy has touched most everyone, and scary to think of where it could go next.

Thank you for listening to me vent. I am no closer to an answer however.

 

No, it can’t be

Unbelievable as it is, this little person turned two years old early this morning. I can attest to the fact that she is smart, funny, loving, and undeniably a true two-year old in every sense of the word. Happy Birthday Miss G!

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Hearkening to that phrase “Time & tide waits for no man…”

I had to do a little research to see where and/or when that phrase can be attributed. No one really seems to know, although referencing Ask.com seems to show an early association to St. Marher in 1225 with the original lines predating modern English.

It seems appropriate as I am finding myself reminded lately just how quickly time moves ahead, most often with little thought to the rapidity until one day, we look and years have disappeared.

Here is a non-comprehensive list of my personal little reminders of the disappearing hours and days that surround me.

*The advancing senility of my cat who walks on arthritic joints, sleeps more than she is awake, and easily forgets that just two hours earlier she had dinner, all the while yowling pitifully as if I am purposefully starving her.

*The undeniable fact that my granddaughter will be turning 2 years of age in just a few days. I will swear that the last time I looked at her, really looked, she was a swaddled bundle of adorable, not this burgeoning (and still adorable) little girl.

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*The reminder that it has been 19 years since both of my parents passed. A few things brought this to mind, one of them being an impromptu drive by of the acreage we used to own at a local lake. The cabin that my father built is still present, still the same forest green color set back into the cedar trees. I spent summers in that cabin well into my teen years and my father continued to work the land near it right up to his death.

*The 10-year high school reunion of my oldest child. That occurred this weekend. Couple that with the fact that she also just had a birthday, turning 29, and a wedding anniversary marking 4 years. NO. I’m almost certain it was just yesterday that she drove off to school in her not-so-trustworthy VW Jetta.

*The undoubtedly rapid approach of 1 year of marriage for my son and daughter-in-law. Couple that with a new job and move farther north. Again, NO.

*The desire to find a smaller place to exist. Our present home, lived in since pregnant 21+ years ago with our third child, will soon (really already) be much too big and much more than I want to tackle. This is our second home. Our first, only one mile away, grew from the dirt upward and saw the beginnings of our first two children. When the third child became a reality our search for more space led us here, but nearly 22 years is enough. I want to see new sights when I look out my windows. I do wonder though, what memories will be carried away from here. What might any or all of the children think or reminisce on when this home belongs to someone else?

*The physical signs that age is creeping quickly through my door. Actually not just my door, but for the majority of my peers also, who sort of suddenly look older–signs that I was always able to look past until lately.

*The passing of people in general, some known personally and some only by a slight acquaintance or association such as friendships grown in this blogging arena. The concept of mortality somehow seems a bit closer, a bit more real.

*The last tick of the great old schoolhouse clock hanging in my dining area.

From http://www.theclockdepot.com/Schoolhouse_Wall_Clocks.html
From http://www.theclockdepot.com/Schoolhouse_Wall_Clocks.html

I yearned for a clock like this when we bought our current home and was delighted when I found one to hang.  Of course, it simply needs a new battery and it will march on with its time-keeping. Watching it slow today, loosing more and more time until finally the hands didn’t move beyond 3:23 really seemed to signify a rather profound realization for me. One day, somewhere beyond all this rush and hustle and quick-as-lightening march of time, I will slow and then stop. We all do. We all will.

I’m sure that there are many more reality checks that loom all around me. I am however finding this talk of time passage to be slightly depressing, perhaps even slightly morbid. I am therefore choosing to put it aside for now. Time will continue to march forward, probably much faster than I would like.

We need to give credit to St. Marher. A wise man to decry that no matter how we may want to hold time still we are not in control.

 

 

For the love of an aging cat

I’ve written about our adopted cat Snowflake before.

She adopted us years ago, preferring to live here rather than compete with a six-toed black devil cat named Clover. 

Snowflake is, at best guess, 12 years old. Perhaps more than that, but we really don’t know. 

I’ve written of her senility, her need to yowl to announce her presence while searching out her humans, and her superior ability to leave us hair-filled presents from time to time.

She is deaf, something that we suspected, but didn’t really comprehend or verify until a few months ago. The yowling made a lot more sense once we realized how profoundly deaf she is. She moves very slowly. It’s apparent that her joints are arthritic. I can relate well to that. 

She also sleeps, probably twenty out of twenty-four hours per day.

I have also written of her lack of coordination with her litter box. For quite some time she had a low- sided box that was anything but effective. I found a high-sided box with a cut-out area for her to step in and out of the litter. She has been pretty adapt with this, although step-in is truly about all she does. This means that the only area of the litter box that really gets any use is also the same place that she must turn and walk out of the litter box. Consequently her paws pick up the moist litter and carry it throughout the house. That is something I can live with. It just means a lot more sweeping and vacuuming.

Greater problems have now developed with her bathroom habits, leading me to place some old plastic bathtub mats in front of the box. Dear old Snowflake, more often than not, is going pee on the plastic mats and missing 95% of the litter. Some research online leads me to believe that she is either so sore that lifting her legs into the box is too difficult, squatting positions hurt, and/or she is so confused that much of the time she thinks she’s in the box when she’s really not.

Some days I find large puddles up to two or three times a day on the plastic mat. I love this cat, but cleaning, scrubbing, sanitizing, and deodorizing these mats is no fun. Today this is the newest attempt at decreasing some of my work when it comes to cat pee.

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Yes, that is a puppy potty training pad. I am referring to them as Cat Disposable Diapers even though they aren’t truly applied in the diaper sense. Plastic on the back, paper on top. These little gems can simply be folded up and tossed away if Snowflake accidents continue to happen. All was good for most of the day today. Miss Snowflake managed to make it into the litter box, until her last try.

This is a clean pad. I didn’t think anyone really wanted to see the cat pee puddle I found an hour ago. The pad however did the job as it was designed to do. My fingers are crossed that we can make do with this plan. I have to give her kudos for trying at least. She is still going to the box, just not making it all the way in. I do worry though about the future and the time when (hopefully never) she won’t seek out her box, or can’t remember where it is.