How to drink a bottle of wine in 24 hours

I am wiped out.

Last weekend I called my sister by every pet name I have for her, and hugged her maybe a dozen times before she and her husband closed up the pod and started their trek to South Carolina. They left their apartment early, and the house will (hopefully) be ready later this month. Meanwhile they spent last week working remotely in Tahoe and boarding in the afternoon; similarly will be this coming week in Napa. Then, next week will be couch surfing with her husband’s friend in S.C.

This week saw both my father’s and sister’s birthday. It also saw St. Valentines’s day. I happily spent the red-hued day at home; a neighbor took pity and gave my chocolate and wine later in the week.

Phone calls during the week staved off any direct interaction. I had a great Saturday with my quilt guild show and enjoyed speaking to many people. This little introvert survived! I had wanted to invite my grandmother, but at 86, she wasn’t going to wade through the pond-sized puddle in the parking lot.

Sunday was wonderful prior to heading to my parents’ home to celebrate Dad’s birthday. I attended TLM at my parish and was blessed to seek the intercession of Bl. Jacinta and Bl. Francisco Marto. Don’t forget to get your partial indulgence during this centennial of Fatima (1 pater, 1 credo, invoke OL of Fatima).

***

Mom and Dad have joined a camera photography class since mom received a DSLR for Christmas; they have an assignment due this week for an artistic portraiture. I googled this beforehand to get ideas and brought makeup accordingly. Brought the Spanish comb as she requested. I brought the two that she had gifted me. I show up with no makeup on other than some violet lipstick. (Later that evening Gramma liked the violet more than the black-plum hue I have).

I get in the door. Dad doesn’t hug me. I  don’t have time to say ‘happy birthday’. He says the barstools are set up for the lighting and he stood in for me (I arrived at 2pm instead of the suggested ASAP text that was sent while I was at the 9:30am Mass). I go upstairs and mom is complaining about my lipstick and refuses to use my makeup on me. I say “Okay”. I take off the lipstick, clarifying to her “it’s not gothic” and I laugh. Dad is standing in the doorway of the bathroom berating me for saying it’s not gothic. I said I get it. I said Okay multiple times. Mom throws another makeup wipe at me to “take it off” and I say “I have. I don’t have any makeup on”. She said “Get out. Leave. I don’t want you here”. I’m not about to leave as I’m here more for Dad’s bday than her damn photography class.

[This gives me a headache, just re-writing].

Mom left in one of her classic excuses. “I need to see Trudy. I’m going for a walk” and she left via the garage and apparently took the Chevy for a wake. WTF?!?

Dad starts blaming me. I said “I don’t need any grooming. I don’t need you to tell me how to be around her. I lived here for 27 years before moving out.”

He sputtered some nonsense, and I said that I did not need an education on how to act around my mother. That I know how this goes and that I did not need him pestering me on how to talk to her from the moment I walked into the door. He said that I should not even talk and that I am not to respond when he tells me what is going on since I am not aware. I clarified that I am well aware of what is going on and that I don’t need a play-by-play from him.

Eventually it devolves into me yelling at him at the top of my lungs (at 9am Monday I sounded like I had a severe cold); replete with cuss words. I said that I was “tired” several times. I said that I was tired of him constantly enabling her; excusing her crazy and trying to make us be at fault her for narcissism.

He said that he was always stood up for us. I explained that behind closed doors doesn’t count. I don’t need him to be a ball-less fuck and not say “don’t cuss our kids” or “don’t hit our daughters”. He didn’t have much to say other than he lives with her everyday and seemed to think it novel that we did as well.

He said he didn’t understand, then said that he viewed these issues to be a result of “chemo brain”, excusing her behavior on having gone through chemotherapy. I then laid out a litany of complaints starting from my earliest memories at 7yo; mom underwent chemotherapy in 2005, I was born in the mid-1980s. I stepped in close and met his eyes. I have to hand him credit for not flinching. And continued to lay it out. He said that he didn’t know. He looked surprised when I mentioned where he was in each instant. See, the things with kids and trauma, they don’t lie. Kids don’t think to lie about trauma because they don’t know the power trauma can wield against another person. I can’t lie about this crap. I explained that I had 2 panic attacks leading up to this this weekend.

He claimed to have no clue.

He disbelieved me when I detailed all the physical and emotional abuse before she had chemo. I said that she didn’t have chemo when she bit me when I was 7 or when she called me a bitch as I ate oatmeal while she read the horoscopes and yelled that I would the be the reason she and dad got a divorce; they’ll be married 36 years this June. Or when she threw Gramma Singer’s 1st Communion gift to me against the wall and he said that he wasn’t there. He stood in the doorway.

I said that what we needed as kids was for him to stand up to her and say don’t hit my kids and don’t cuss my kids out and he said he did it behind closed doors. I said that is not where it mattered. I told him that we needed to be protected and all he did is stand by and let her do shit and he tried to defend himself. I said he couldn’t do that anymore.

 

I want a good and serious career move. I hope it’s in the Alhambra/Pasadena/SGV area. I need space from the family. I don’t need the same 3k mile move that my sister got. But I do need my own space. My own home and eventually, when God wills it, my own Husband and family.

 

 

When it rains

It’s not metaphorically pouring, but a steady cold drizzle.
Last week it was the shower:

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Simultaneously plugged and dripping in my drought-ridden state. Yesterday the lightbulb in the ceiling fan died. My fish (red wag platy) has Ich, a highly contagious fish disease that could kill off my entire tank.

I caught the flu on NYE, and another possible version of it last week, or the cold at least wears me out and I’m easily chilled.
There’s also my sister’s wedding, and those are already dysfunctional events. Arguments about vendors, “traditions”, money. Money, we meet again. I thought you’d stop badgering me after the raise. No, Money came slipping by and settled in my lap showing me all the fancy things and trips well-to-do yuppies do without a second thought. They don’t study their mint.com accounts. They don’t work for 20+ hours to earn the quantity needed for airfare and hotel. Money whispered many things, all my failings: poor choice in degrees, work locations, etc.

I hope people start thinking about what’s best for all people in the wedding party to participate and feel included rather than a drag-along. A budget is not how much can be blown, but how much the lowest income-earner can afford to contribute. Work from there. That’s a budget. That’s appropriate, considerate and sensitive.

Same Old Poop

I know the answers to the unspoken questions that pull tears from my eyes.  I know not to ever ask ever again “When will it stop?” I came as I promised Monday  evening to pick up some food and the old food processor and juicer. She was upset, I guess I was too precisely on time. I said, “I’m here” and the response was “Oh, okay. Whatever.” Dad’s response to me was don’t start anything. Me? I came on time. I came as promised. She’s mad when I come, when I don’t visit.

I can’t entertain the crazy.

A Phone Conversation

I received a letter last Monday, the 16th, from Mother superior informing me that I should really call the Novice Mistress, or if that’s inconvenient, to email her. The irony is that I sent a letter because there was no response from the email I sent her two weeks ago. I called and let Sister know when she could call me.

She called on Thursday (traditional Corpus Christi). In the middle of an initial session with a client and her parents. This kid needs a lot of prayer, her parents, more. Anyway, the call went to voicemail.

So I called later after Mass and Eucharistic procession, around 10pm. We did eventually speak on Friday the 20th. She told me about how they still maintain duties for hospitality because they follow the Order of St. Augustine; they are a “daughter” of a religious order over here. Sister spoke frequently of “if you’re a serious discerner” and “you could come visit”. Sister seemed to be understanding of my work schedule, but suggested visiting on the weekends. I may be able to find a time to visit for 4-5 days (especially if I take advantage of weekends), perhaps as early as the middle of July. I’ve also received a copy of the “simple” vocation questionnaire. I can answer most of these easily, I’m only concerned about how to phrase the response about my family.

I need prayers for this.

I spent time today driving to Hermosa Beach to speak with my spiritual director about this, but he had a previous task which ran late; it was cancelled after I got to the residence. Since I don’t know when I’ll be speaking with him, I didn’t feel confident in thinking about it (I like to do my thinking while hiking). Instead, I cleaned my room. I have a ton of junk: chargers with nothing to charge, an ereader without a charger, books, 3 trashbags of clothes, jewelry, etc. It took all day and a set of plastic containers from Target to sort, organize & clear up. I also found my old vocation story and acceptance letter. Heh! That was strange; I felt like I was reading about someone else, and back then, still living at home and hampered, I was someone else. I’m not going to use any of the previous materials in this questionnaire, since I’m more fully myself today than I was in 2008.

Please keep me in your prayers; the spiritual attacks are, well, you know how they get difficult.

Vocational Update II

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I received a letter on the weekend of my birthday in November.  This is the text of the letter:

+ JMJ

Praised be Jesus Christ!

Dear Megan:

May Our dear Lord reward you for your recent letter. We hope and pray that this note finds you well!

After much prayer, we wanted to let you know that we do not think it is Our dear Lord’s will that you have a vocation to our Carmel. We will always be keeping you + your dear family in our prayers. If we may suggest that to discover your vocation, to pray for + find a wise, holy Priest to direct you. And may Jesus, who described Himself as meek + humble of heart be your best model in all you do. You will be a great blessing to your family, trying to …

It goes on. I cried. I received the letter the day before my birthday, and thinking the letter was something nice, I saved it to read after morning Mass. Happy Birthday to me, I got another rejection! They hadn’t even spoken to me by phone or seen my face.

But I do have a spiritual director, and I’m okay with it. If they decided to not get to know me fully, then that’s their issue. My SD made an excellent point, that I may have answered all their questions, but they missed most of me; they may have cut off contact for various reasons that have nothing to do with me at all.