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.

 

 

Vocational Update 3? or 4? Who knows?

I’ve been quiet about this – at least in the details. I will continue to be quiet until more is understood. I first wrote a letter to a monastery in June, and have been slowly gaining in communication since then via email and phone calls. I will be visiting a monastery from Thursday August 7th through Sunday August 10th. In lieu of a stipend to stay at the guest house, I’ll be working with the sisters for a few hours each day. If I’m really diligent and finalize the vocation questionnaire, I may be able to speak with the Novitiate during recreation one evening.

I’ve told my spiritual director, and three additional friends, the specific details. My parents are not aware. My sister, once she reads this blog post will know precisely the information that is here and nothing more. How come? What happens when you spread your business everywhere – is anything respected? Is it honored? Is it accepted? I’ll bet you a student loan that the answer is ‘No’. Everyone runs roughshod all over your thoughts, your desires, God’s desires for you, and so forth; suddenly everything is up for debate.

In my previous experience in trying to enter the DSMMEs (Thank goodness I did not; I loathe teaching.) I was told a great number of things:
~ we should use this to get more drinks at the bar
~ you’re a lesbian
~ you’re a disgrace
~ you’re neglecting your responsibility
~ you’re throwing your life away
~ do you know how other women will touch you?
~ what about sex?
~ you should go do all the things that you can’t do once you enter
~ that’s a blessing
~ you’ll save your family
~ what grace

See how the vast majority of responses are negative and bitter? How focused they are on an erroneous thought that I’m losing something when I enter religious life. Rather, consider what I gain, in a non-materialist way: God. I have Him. All of Him. His full and complete attention. I get to respond to His love for me in a unique way, a way that I was created to do. I have the ability to work in cooperation with God.

This world will kill you; it will kill me. It will slay me to death with pride, lust, sloth/laziness, anger, greed, gluttony. I do not choose this world. I was born in the world at the time God wanted me to exist here, but He did not make me or you to be immersed in it to the extent that you can lose yourself in it. He bought you and me at the price of His Son’s Flesh, Blood, Soul and Divinity hanging tattered and exsanguinated on a Roman cross at the behest of the Jewish elders.

Keep me in your prayers, I’ll pray for you – you can leave requests in the comment box or you can (I think?) email or message me.

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.

A Response

I sent an email to mother superior of a particular monastery. I didn’t hear anything, so I wrote a letter on the 6th; I had wanted to attend daily Mass at my more-local parish, but they were closed for the day. Anyway, I sent a letter, it is to the letter that mother superior responded. She told me in her response back that she has an email address. Oh, I know! However she requested that I call the Novice Mistress and provide information on good times to have a conversation.

This could go so many ways!

I’ve been praying about how to respond in the written form. Speaking …. sheesh. I don’t like speaking on the phone. Perhaps more immediately is the difficulty of the summer schedule – my hours are all messy. I have parents who haven’t scheduled sessions yet for this week.

Prayers would be appreciated. This is the only community at this moment with whom I’m beginning communication & discernment.