Monday, December 31, 2007

The New Year

I want to like the new year, want to have happy anticipation of something better coming, want for things to feel fresh and new and hopeful, but really, it's just a change of the calendar. For the past few years, things have only gotten worse for my husband and I, and it's gotten really hard to feel hopeful. I keep slogging through, telling myself to breathe, just breathe, "the trick is to keep breathing" but I dread looking ahead.
In high school there was a song I really liked, liked enough to buy the album, which, considering my financial state, was a commitment. That song was "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" by Timbuk3. It was fun, danceable, silly. On the same album there was another song, "Life is Hard," which was pessimistic and vaguely bitter, definitely more realistic. At the time, I didn't like it much, but I appreciate it more now.

Betty's in a wet T-shirt, feeling foolish and vain
looking like some housecat, that got caught out in the rain
Staring into the mirror, at this less-than-pretty picture
feeling ten years older now, and fifty bucks richer

Friday, December 28, 2007


Know what's nice? When it's a chilly day and you take your scooter out to run some errands, and when you come out of the drugstore, the sun has warmed the black seat so that your butt feels cozy. That's niiiice.

Why I Suck

I'm a bad employee. I mean, I'm smart and clever and good with people, I could do my job so much better, but as it is I'm lazy and only put in what I would categorize as a mediocre effort. This effort, however, is enough that I keep my job and even get the occasional stroke from my boss, because in the field I'm in, there a lot of really, really sucky employees. People with bad attitudes and deceptive practices, who are rude, often ignorant, and uncooperative. No, I'm not in the legal field. But since I'm generally able and willing, and smile a lot, I skate by. Someday I'll probably not respond appropriately to a situation, and I'll get fired, but I'm not too worried about it, because I don't particularly like my job, but I'm too much of a coward to quit.

I'm not a good wife. Before he was disabled, my husband did a lot in the relationship. He cooked (he trained as a chef), cleaned, and made sure the bills got paid on time. I did some, particularly laundry and vacuuming, but he definitely did more. He wasn't exactly good with tools and things mechanical, but he could read a manual and, more often than not, figure it out. As his health declined and he became less able, I reacted badly. I was resentful because I had to take on more and more. I quit jobs because, he wasn't working, so why should I? I paid bills late, let chores pile up and generally tried to squirm out of responsibilities I felt were being forced on me. I was juvenile and defiant, for no good reason. Eventually, I got over it, but not before doing damage to my husband and our relationship.

I'm stubborn, contrary, and passive-aggressive to an extreme. I'm not just a rock in the stream, I'm the dam the stream has to flow over. If I don't want to do something, I won't, but I won't tell you that I won't do it, I'll just avoid and misdirect until you do it yourself or find someone else. And if I want to do something, I'll ask and ask and keep on asking until you say something that can be interpreted as yes, or I'll just go and do it and take the shit for it later. I get very determined to get my way, and it sometimes turns out badly.

I often react to cricitism poorly, I belch in a very manly style, and I don't shave my legs regularly. On the positive side, I floss religiously and have a nice set of tits.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Resolutions 2008

More stretching.
More writing.
More calm.
More space in my closets.
More gentleness.
More openness with others.

On a completely unrelated note, I think I will keep this blog fairly anonymous for now, for the protection of family and my employment. I might have some things to say about work, and I wouldn't want to get dooced.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Worst Year of My Life

and then I have to add the caveat "so far!" because things could always get worse.

Let's review:
My mother has breast cancer. Not surprising since she is a senior citizen and there is a history in our family. She told me about the lump in her breast in March, she finally had a biopsy in November. Why did she wait so long for a diagnosis? Why wasn't she having regular mammograms (like everyone and their sister recommends)? Because my mother is a bit nuts, that's why. Because I think she's suffered from depression and rage issues for most of her life. Because she says that mammograms hurt and she doesn't trust allopathic doctors, and it seems like she would rather die than have chemotherapy. And what can I do about it? Fuck-all, really. Her clinician says that she respects my mother's choice not to have invasive surgery, but I don't. I have NO RESPECT AT ALL for my mother's choice to put her faith in homeopathy, postive imaging and a "healer." I feel that those options are a good adjunct to surgery and other therapies (why not try everything?), but not a replacement. If Chinese herbs and massage and visualization and nutrition and praying were a cure, then why would Western medicine have ever been necessary? Why did she ignore and minimize the problem just hoping that it would go away, that it wasn't cancer? She's always been a procrastinator, but why delay when your health is at stake? I am very, very pissed at my mother right now.

My mother-in-law has cancer. An aggressive form of skin cancer, discovered in October, not as serious as my mom, but she didn't delay in treating it, just went to the doctor, had a biopsy, and had part of her nose removed. So she gets to look like Rudolph the White-Nosed Reindeer for the holidays, but at least she dealt with it in a sane, rational, adult way, not by wishing and praying and ignoring the problem. I respect her deeply for that. She wants to stay around a little while longer to take care of my nephew.

My crack-whore sister-in-law was stabbed twice in the back by a john, collapsing one lung, puncturing her spleen and losing a lot of blood. Oddly enough, even though she is now spleen-less, this has been a good thing. She is now on medication to control her Hepatitis C, and since she is regularly tested, she's staying off the hard drugs. She's applied for government aid, and the john will most likely be paying her reparations for the attack. She's doing better than she has in years, and it only took a near-fatal assault to change her life.

My disabled husband's health continues to be a problem. The latest thing is that the vertebrae in his neck have degenerated to the point that he needs surgery, but the neurosurgeon can't do the operation until his T-score (bone density test) is higher. So there's two years of daily injections that he has to look forward to before he might be able to get the surgery to repair his fragile neck. And in the meantime, he needs to be very, very careful.

My uncle was released after seven years in prison. This could have been a good thing, except that he has had mental problems his whole life, and he's finding it difficult to function in the outside world. He was put away on an arson charge, which makes it difficult to find a place to live. He's in a psychiatric hospital right now because he can't control his drinking, won't take his medication, thinks that God has abandoned him and the Devil wants to roast him alive. He's had such a hard life, and things aren't going to be any easier for him any time soon.

I've been struggling. I used to be what my Mom calls a "blithe spirit," upbeat and sunny and easy to be around. I didn't worry much, wasn't angry and had faith in the future. Now I'm irritable and fretful, angry a lot of the time, stressed to the point of needing to see a therapist and considering medication as an option, because I feel like I need help. I hate being this way. I miss my bright, cheerful, happy self. I hope she comes back soon.

Those are the highlights. I know I'm downright lucky in comparision with other's lives, no one has died (yet), but as my dearest husband says, "you only know your own worst day" and this year has been pretty fucking bad. Can't wait for 2008. Merry Christmas!