Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Cow Catchers Story

I've thought about my Uncle Kenny a lot this week, wishing peace for all my family at this sad time. This morning I remembered a story from when I was 16 or 17.
So, I got off to a rocky start with driving. I had one wreck in a winter storm and then another probably from being a dumbass, they were not major, but still. Needless to say, no one in my house was thrilled about that, and my use of the car was very restricted for a while. I came home from school one day and Kenny had been in the Chicago area on business or something and had stopped by. So he was in the kitchen having coffee with my mom and possibly commiserating over having a teenage driver.
I probably asked why he was there or something, but he said he was there to measure the car. Who knew more about cars and customizing? No one. So I asked why he was measuring it.
He said that he was going to be putting some safety equipment on the car, because the insurance company was going to require it. This is where I started to worry. My mom wasn't saying anything at all. So he explained what he was going to do. To keep their policy, the insurance was going to require that the Pontiac be fitted with....cow catchers. Like the front of a train. To keep me from cracking up any more of the car.
Both of them kept a perfectly straight face. I remember just feeling sick to my stomach and asking what, exactly, cow catchers were. So he explained how they got the cows off the tracks. And because they had to be custom made for the car, he had to make the trip in person. Both of them STILL had perfectly straight faces. At first I knew it had to be a joke. But they didn't crack and had all kinds of reasons for it that sounded legit. I was mortified. He went into detail about how they would look, telling me my mom had already picked the color to go with the silver paint on the car, they said she picked bright orange. There was more but I was freaking out.
I told my mom to just take away my license. That I would just give it up until I was 18. Take me off the insurance. Do whatever we had to do to not put cow catchers on the front of the car. I was begging them for any other possible way to appease the insurance while not ruining my life.
Which is when he cracked and I looked at my mom and knew they were totally kidding. I'd like to say then we all had a god laugh, but I was a teenager and super embarrassed, so I probably rolled my eyes and sulked while they had a good laugh

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Not proud of myself.

I am feeling vulnerable and sad. Which means that instead of telling my husband, I just yell at him. Because if I let him know how sad I am, then he will be sad. And I don't want to deal with anyone else's shit right now.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Grief Work

This blog has been woefully neglected while I mainly blog about the emptiness and failure of my uterus, but this doesn't really fit there. And it's not really knitting, either.

I'm sad. Which isn't really accurate enough. I am profoundly sad. I am "my heart breaks a dozen times a day" sad. I am learning how to be sad and letting it suck in the entirety of suckfullness.

Which feels like losing ground, but really, it's not. It is learning how to feel my emotions as they occur, not forcing them away and alphabetizing my soup cans. And I hate it. I hate every second of it. I feel weak. Worse than weak, I feel vulnerable and oh my god, there is nothing I loathe more than feeling vulnerable.

So, the reason? My grandma died. That actually happened in 2002. But I just shut down that whole process until December of 2014. Because in order to deal with grief, I had to first deal with my anger at my mother. And that was just something I wasn't able to do.

Just before Christmas in 2001, my mother let me know that it might be the last time to spend time with my grandmother. We were planning to travel to see her.

Then my husband's grandmother died. It was nearly 2 years to the day after his grandfather had passed away after a sudden and horrible stroke where really important parts of his brain died instantly, but his body was slower to catch on. My husband is an only child. His father is an only child. His mother had a brother, but she may as well have been an only. His grandmother had been sick with lung cancer for months, she insisted it was just a bad cold. So to her, she had a very bad cold for six months and had home hospice for several of those months. When she passed away it was the last of my husband's grandparents. It was right before my mother and father in law's anniversary and right before Christmas. The funeral was just the five of us in a mausoleum chapel and then some crappy restaurant for lunch where horrible Christmas music was playing. Seriously, there was some German techno thing that was just beyond ridiculous.

So, when my mother called me two months later and told me that it looked like the end was coming, I made plans to go with her to be there. She was going to call us and we would meet at her house and then drive down together.  My husband and I packed our bags and basically waited for her call. I tried to reach her for several days to get updates. After several days my stepfather answered the phone at their house. He was surprised, he thought I was with my mother. She had been gone for several days. In fact, my grandmother was gone.
I had no idea.
He must have reached her fairly quickly, because she called shortly to say she had meant to let me know, but she just could not get cell phone reception. So she didn't call to tell me that she left, and she didn't call to tell me that she was gone. She just....didn't.

How do you even deal with something like that? The hurt and the anger were completely overwhelming. And the grief. I couldn't deal with all of it. I had to just shut it all down to get through it without just screaming at my mother. So I never dealt with it, just put it all away in a corner of my brain. And then in December, we unpacked that box. And I have felt like a raw nerve for the past 5 weeks. I alternate between sadness and anger ad just feeling so....angry. And also still hurt by my mother's behavior.

There are so many times where I rationalized and excused her behavior. This time, I could not. It was damage that I wasn't dealing with, but at the same time I could not ignore. It was really the beginning of me extricating myself from our relationship.