Random equations in the mathematics of life

A Remainder of One

4604500425_0d3b924ab6_oThis week kinda sucked. My headspace went straight to hell about a week ago for some inexplicable reason. I realize this is not statistically significant – it happens to everyone on occasion, and I’m no different.

The only problem with this particular time for me was the fact that it’s careening headlong into the holiday season, which can exacerbate pretty much any emotional state that’s left of center for me. The holidays bring Golden Boy back into the neighborhood, along with my mother’s manipulative attempts to guilt me into doing whatever whim she’s focused on at the time. Last time she lied to both me and my sister, in an attempt to get me to attend the “family” gathering. My sister approached me a few years ago about not doing them anymore – I agreed, as our kids have grown apart, and everyone felt a bit forced. This was fine, but I should’ve seen her suggestion for what it really was, because now, the rest of my bio family gets together except for my crew. I’m sure I should feel upset and betrayed by that, but really? I actually find it funny.

But the impending tension does set me on edge. So when I wind up in a conversation with the Quilter on Sunday about the fact that I don’t have the capability to be “in love” with anyone, it took a slide and shoved it into a spiral. It wouldn’t have been a huge deal, but that conversation was then followed by a related one the following night with the Professor and the Scientist at dinner. Follow that up with the 6 month mark of the Moore, OK tornado that took Sydney, mix in a horrifically stressful week at work, and I’m pretty well done.

Feeling broken is something with which I’m quite familiar. I’ve written about it before. It’s still hard to explain though, to someone who thinks that the inability to be in love is a choice. This isn’t something that I’ve chosen; I am not denying myself some level of bliss by design. Instead, I stagger through my world, seeing people falling in love, having that light bulb turn on, and resent the fact that I can’t comprehend it. There was an internet essay about how a special needs child is like planning a trip to Paris and winding up in Holland. Different, but beautiful. For me, this is more about wanting desperately to plan a trip overseas, but being ineligible for a passport.

I’m not going to bore you by rehashing why I suck at marriage. You can always go read it if you want.

But seeing my kid struggle to comprehend why her mother isn’t in love with her father, and hates the concept of marriage, but has chosen to stay in it anyhow, really broke my heart. She worships her dad, as well she should, and she knows that it hurts him. I didn’t have the words to explain it to her any more than I could explain myself to the Quilter. All of my talents at “translating” information, which make me an amazing teacher, failed me.  There are things in my past that my kids will never know. No one knows some of the things in my past except the people who were there, and that’s the way it needs to stay. However, the Scientist will tell anyone who asks that I’m a “fabulous wife”, which amuses me to no end. It’s true that I try to be good to him. He is a truly wonderful man, as a father, as a person, and as the best friend I’ve ever had. I live with the guilt every single day, knowing the selfish choice I made and why I made it, but he has decided that this life with me is better than the alternative. I still feel, and will always feel, that he deserves better than me. People have tried to reason me out of that, and guess what? It hasn’t worked yet, and it won’t work. So save us both the hassle and the boredom, and don’t bother.

As much as I deplore a particular coke-headed neurologist who tried to pass his psychotic ramblings off as scientific fact, I do agree that we learn a basic sense of trust versus mistrust from day one. Your very first intimate relationships are with your caregivers and family, and when those relationships are destructive, that foundation is too damaged to hold up anything else. And like any other permanent structure, once it’s built, you can’t go back and fix the base. Laws of physics and all that.

Having this mess swirling in my head all week has definitely been a double edged sword. The one side of the blade is that it reinforced the fact that I am, by nature, a loner. I spent a lot of time in my head, ear-buds firmly tucked in, music blaring. However the other side of blade reminds me that, on occasion, as soothing as my solitude is, it can also be a lonely place. Despite the fact that I am almost never alone during the week (with the obvious exception of my hour-long commute to and from work), I felt little shards of loneliness slip in here and there. Such an odd feeling, as it’s quite rare!

As the week wound down, my headspace started to settle at least a little bit. Being swamped at work helped that, as I didn’t have time to brood about my messed up head. Some creativity this weekend is a priority, as that will help more than anything else.

At some point, I hope I can learn to realize that even though I’m broken, I’m functional – maybe even more so than some others!

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Comments on: "A Remainder of One" (1)

  1. It’s so odd that this topic should come up the same week I have been feeling down about some of the same things. Or maybe it’s just that sister link, that seems to operate on some undefined plane, whether we haven’t seen/talked to each other since yesterday or last month. If I hadn’t been spaced out on post-op narcotics, I maybe could have posted this earlier, but for what it’s worth:
    I looked over at my precious daughter in church this past Sunday, and couldn’t help but smile, as I though of my sister. I have always admired my sister. Born under what I considered to be a lucky star, she was much-anticipated by Mom, her friends, and myself. Mike was the wild, all-over-the-place kid and couldn’t have cared less till she got here; then it was a constant competition – she’s MY baby! no she’s MY baby! Dad sat in the background and drank – who knows what he thought. I was always so proud of Kelly, but never more so than when she “spit in our parents’ eyes”. Bright eyed, apple cheeked, and smart as a whip, with beauty and brains, she was everything I was not. I was the quiet, goody-two-shoes peacemaker, and I admit I basked in the fireworks she created whenever she bucked the well-ordered system, because I never had the cajones to do it myself. I have always admired my sister’s individuality, and I laughed through tears in church as Mary carefully set down her doll, dressed in a black velvet and red gauze skirted dress, topped with a pink camo vest and a baseball cap. Shades of Kel was my immediate thought, and I just had to share – sorry it took a few days to catch up.
    My second thought of the week coincided, as always, with the advent of the holidays. Every year I mourn the loss of what we once had, and it never seems to get easier. I suppose since it is said it was my instigation, I must accept responsibility for this, though I honestly thought it was a mutual decision. The discomfort expressed by both our families seemed to make it a natural deduction, but in retrospect, I wish we had never agreed to split. To me, the decision hurt everyone, even those who expressed relief at not having to “endure the tension”. I think we should have insisted we get together; it’s what families do, and if some were uncomfortable, well, there’s always football. Always I have been the peacemaker, the smoother of the way, and in doing so I have frequently put what I wanted to the side – yet another reason to admire my sister, who stands for what she believes – and sometimes those “paths of least resistance” have hurt me more than I wanted to admit, and apparently, hurt others as well. I don’t know where to go from here – the “fixer” has no fix to offer for this, I’m afraid. I feel the loss of half of my family very keenly, and there is no denying the shadow that hangs over the holidays because of it.
    We all have issues, none of us is perfect, and I am not attempting to offer platitudes or brush off your “mess” as you call it. I do want you to know there are those of us who know a fair bit about you and still love you enormously! and that you will ALWAYS be MY baby!!
    Blessed be, my girl

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