So, you’ve launched yourself off the cliff with a parachute that keeps tearing. You repair the holes, mid-flight, but know, sooner or later, you’re going to run out of thread. Or drop the needle. And then, when you hit bottom, the needle will be waiting for you, point up. No sooner do you solve one problem than you’re hit with fifteen more. You attempt to push all that shit away and be a good friend to others, the listener, the understander, but you keep receiving these pathetic emails about how poor he is, and why should he give you money?
The computer hard drive dies. You make a Tragic Mattress Error ™. Your feet are fucking killing you and the anti-inflammatories aren’t doing shit and the arch supports only barely get you through the day and the Epsom salt benefits are short-lived and the doctor is a long, hot, confusing toll road away and going again seems pointless when there’s so much work to do and it’s so ungodly hot and you’ve spent an hour of the morning (the cop was on your tail which threw you off and you took the wrong road and had to backtrack) taking the children to their day camps which, of course, are held at two different schools located in two different and not close at all places and so while you had it all down to a science and was arriving at work only 5-10 minutes late, now you’re 20 minutes late and are on your millionth day of poor sleep and if you could live in your massage therapist’s room with Clare de Lune playing on an endless loop you would.
So, making another appointment seems….there just isn’t time for that.
Why are you still being told how poor he is? You’ve taken on all the debt. You spend 30 minutes every single day washing dishes because there’s never been a dishwasher; it was deemed unnecessary by the professor eons ago. You often spend 45 minutes a day mowing acres and acres because you really should have a rider mower (but you’ve never done anything properly) but you don’t. Because you don’t. Because they are expensive like buying a car. And speaking of your car, you’re still paying down that $3,000 worth of repairs that hit in Jan-Feb-Mar. So fucking shut up about being poor.
Yes, you are crass and uncouth and believe (or disbelieve) the wrong things, and hit the wrong note, and are fat and angry and not stylish and your hair needs cutting and your impulse hair dye job is showing roots and the garden needs fertilizing and the kitchen faucet leaks and the deck’s falling off the house and there’s a wasp nest in the bush you tried to cut down while the Voice of Criticism spoke in your head, “Why are you trimming that? I liked it that way! That looks terrible, it’s ruined now!”) and sure you’re bad at parties because you were raised by wolves and don’t know how to do small talk which ought to be a college course – Etiquette For Introverts Raised by Narcissists – and always blurt out the wrong words, the embarrassing thing. You’re an embarrassment so no wonder you’re hated even though you’re the one who had to leave. But actually you weren’t raised. You were forced into itchy dresses and paraded around and your hair was never exactly right and you find yourself spinning in circles wondering what you’re supposed to do. What do they expect? You don’t know. You can’t read the cues.
And things keep breaking. You work full-time, five days a week, and always have through two pregnancies and when you get a break you feel guilty. There was only room for one artist and its not you. What you attempt to do is selfish. You are selfish. You can’t clock out because everything is up to you. And you feel guilty when you’re relieved to only make two dinners instead of three because the youngest has a stomach ache and even though what you want most in the world is to lie flat on the floor of a warm dark room and cry, you have to suck it up and dispense meds and care and kiss and say take a cool bath. Have a few crackers. Here’s some water. What can I do for you?
What can I do for you? How can I be of service?
You’re poor? I care? Fuck off. I’m too busy holding the dyke with my finger, I’m busy sewing up the parachute, I’m busy. Not that you ever cared because as long as you weren’t responsible (and you made sure you never were), you don’t have to worry about it. No worries! You remember buying those smoke detectors after you yanked the other ones out of the walls – the ones hardwired to the walls – rather than replace the beeping bad batteries. You remember lying awake all night worried that the house would burn down and the insurance company would reject the claim because smoke detectors were part of the bargain you agreed to (you read the fine print, you alone). So you bought them and installed them under the sneering gaze. Somehow you’d done the right thing and been hated for it. It happened all the time. There was no winning. Even when you won (insurance policy intact!), you lost. You still have holes in the walls from the old detectors. How can they even possibly be fixed? You can’t ever sell the house (not that you’re planning to) with holes in the goddamn walls! You curse too much. It’s unladylike.
I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. You can only say it to yourself because it will never be said to you. You’ve stopped enabling. It’s a really hard thing to do. It means unhooking all the brain wires and figuring out how to hook them up better, different. Electrical work is one of the things you normally leave to the professionals. That and plumbing. Good god, can you imagine what would happen if you tried to fix that faucet? The one people keep telling you is “so easy! You can download the instructions!” Fuck that. You know your limitations. You’ve been staring at those instructions for months and you know. You know that if you attempted to take the handles off? And remove all those tiny plastic and metal pieces from the stem? Something bad and irreparable would happen. So you do nothing. You curse the drip-drip-drip in the sink as the water falls into the brand new dirty dishes that fill the sink you just finished emptying because people, stomach ache or not, keep eating. You paid for the food that creates the dirty dishes. You bought the clothes you have to keep washing over and over. You pay for the shots given to the cats that eat the food you buy that attracts the ants you have to kill with poison you buy and vacuum up the mess and filth with a 25 year old vacuum cleaner that is falling apart, most of the attachments are missing and the hose is duct taped in three or four places, you lose count because to focus on the defect only sinks you down into more despair. There is no FUCKING END to the things that need money thrown at them.
And speaking of plumbing, you are now officially menopausal and tell the nurse practioner that, no, ha!, you certainly don’t need birth control and haven’t for years because, well….let’s not go there.
You’re poor? Stand in line and take a goddamned number!
I’m so bad off I wrote a whole post in second person! If that isn’t a sign of a crazy woman, I don’t know what is!
But then you go to the mailbox to get the (usually crappy) mail (especially since you’re birthday’s come and gone and was barely a blip in the universe) and the universe has decided to cut you a break. Pennies from heaven. He might be poor but you’re richer in way more ways than monetarily. You are reminded that out there is caring and love if you recognize it and acknowledge it. Life will keep on sucking but it’s not all bad. Hard but not all bad. Somebody up there likes you.