Okay, I want to preface this by saying that I KNOW that the bottom line of everything is love. I think that life is a combination of mathematic particles and love. Love, gratitude, compassion, forgiveness, truth, happiness, breath. I get that, but I'm still a human, a sub particle, a mote maybe, in the grand scheme of this unbelievably beautiful universe. That leaves me with my own little mundane universe, my personal reality, my unique way of reacting to things, and it isn't always pretty, that's why I know I'm a mote, maybe I'm more than a mote on this planet, because I try not to participate in the death of things, a gifted, compassionate mote, but a mote nevertheless. So here for anyone who wants to wade through it, is my own flawed little poi pu platter of pain.
First we start off with my listening to my messages from the last few days. I found out that I completely spaced out my appointment with my psychiatrist yesterday, that's the second time in a row that I've missed, which makes me feel pretty nuts. I mean if I can't even remember to go to the psychiatrist, I'm pretty fucking useless. Then there were messages from my ex husband, which always makes me sad. Just hearing his voice triggers my hurt and upsets me. I try to avoid him as much as possible.
Then joy of joys, I come into my office and sit down at the computer and Esther comes in and tells me that Tina is on the phone. Tina is my ex-sister-in-law, a woman I reallly loved, who was always a bit selfish and cold, unable to handle other people's feelings and emotions very well. Which is par for the course in her family. None of Robby's (my ex) siblings handle feelings well because there wasn't a lot of room to have them, what with all of the stormy rages of their mother, and the awful violence of their Father. There was a horrible divorce. There was selfishness, cruelty, alcoholism, infidelity and television. They're all very shut down people. Oddly enough Athena, or Tina, just completed her Masters in Psychology, but I guess it isn't really that odd, because a lot of therapists come from really messed up backgrounds, which is why the life of the mind is so fascinating to them.
Anyway, Esther told me Tina was on the phone. Adrenaline rush to the chest. Today is the big Carrillo family reunion, to which I had kindly been invited. I would like to go, I miss these people, I love them, but seeing Robby there, fondling an eighteen year old, wouldn't be fun. Plus there's my ever present insecurity about my weight, weeee. What would I do with my life if I didn't have that to occupy my every waking thought? I'm fat, I'm fat, I'm fat, woe, oh woe is me. See what I mean about how small I am? There are people at war right now, there are children dying of cancer, the rain forest is being wiped off the face of the earth, we don't know what to do with our nuclear waste, and I just know that my being fat doesn't amount to that much, when weighed against things like this. If I weren't so obsessed about it I might even have time to lose the damn weight or I might have time to invent that planetary force field Beau had once promised to invent. You never know.
So here's Tina on the phone. I'm thinking, Oh no, she's calling to berate me for not being more concerned about making sure that Beau gets to go. Well, Beau wants to go and he doesn't. The last time he remembers doing anything with the Carrillos, they teased him and laughed at him, left him crying, and no one comforted him. No one took care of his feelings, remember what I said about how much they suck when it comes to dealing with feelings? (I think the reason Tina is so tough is because she grew up in this macho, all boy, household and was never allowed to be a girl. That and never being allowed to cry, that'll mess anyone up.) So Beau is afraid to go with any of the Carrillos, and I can't handle seeing Robby, and even if Robby had thought to invite his only child, which he certainly should have, there's the issue of his drinking and driving. You see how this whole thing is a kind of big mess? I love some of these people, there are hundreds of them, it's a huge family, and they used to be my family, I miss them, and here I am with the flyer on the table next to me. Come celebrate Grandma Carrillo's 99th birthday etc. etc. But I'm too fearful. What does Robby's father think of me after not having seen me for three years, how will he treat me, what will it be like, what if Robby shows up with this girl, how will I not cry, etc., etc., and I'm so fat?
I pick up the phone with trepidation and it's not Tina, my ex sister-in-law, at all. It's Tina my Mother's secretary. On a Saturday? Uh oh. "Jacqui we're just calling to let you know that we've reported the American Express card being stolen. You can go over these bills with your Mother whenever you girls can get together, but for now we're just letting you know that you'd better not use that card." Kerthunk. That was the sound of my happiness, based on a false sense of financial freedom, falling from a great height, and being crushed by my Mother's expensive manipulative shoes. Great, they report the card that my Mother knows I have been using, as stolen. She doesn't have it canceled, or ask for it back, she reports it as stolen. You know, just to twist the bitter knife of shame a little more. Okay, no problem, I'll just figure out how to pay that three thousand dollar cat bill, some other way, thanks for letting me know, weeee. I told you this stuff was petty. Small stuff, not cancer, not death, money, shame, hurt, that kind of stuff.
Moments later, not having been through enough family-of-origin-pain kind of stuff today, I pick up the phone and call my ex to ask him about the reunion. I guess I was feeling guilty about Beau not getting to go. I thought I could leave a message. If Robby wanted to take him and could promise not to drink and drive that would be okay, or if he wasn't going then maybe I could go. That kind of thing. So I call and he answers. This doesn't happen too often. Oh great, we get to talk in person, this means dealing with the stuff we never deal with, pain, crying, yuckiness and immaturity on Robby's part, weeeee.
So I'm talking to Robby. I ask him if he's going to the reunion. Of course he wont commit one way or the other to make it easier on me. Maybe he'll go, maybe he'll take the girlfriend. He's not sure.
(Brief interruption here while Beau's half Persian half Spanish friend calls to tell me about a birthday party, and I listen to his Dad yell at him in Farsi in the background. He's always yelling in Farsi, maybe that's the way they speak, I don't know. So I make the huge mistake of asking him to ask his dad if he wants to carpool with us next year. I need to know if he wants to continue taking the kids in the mornings because if so then I won't pay for the bus service and I'll do the afternoons. Shayan repeats this to his father and his Father erupts in a stream of angry rapid Farsi, the only words of which I can understand are, Why do you have to breeeeng this up, then poor Shayan saying, No No No Noooo, I have to go. I'm telling you, nothing in my life is easy. Do you think things would be better if I moved somewhere, like say Colorado, or Wyoming, or Haley Idaho?)
Back to Robby. He tells me he's moving, finally, at forty he's going to move out of his Mom's house and get an apartment. What happened to precipitate this? She wanted more rent. She wanted him to help around the house more, or else pay more rent. He was angry that his younger brother Matthew doesn't have to pay rent while he does. I can kind of understand that. Penny (my ex Mother-in-law) said that Matt doesn't have a job. (I imagine he's even more fucked up now than Robby. He's got to be about thirty now and I think all he does is smoke pot and surf However I guess some people wouldn't consider that a bad life.) So his Mother agreed to lower Robby's rent from four hundred (this is nothing for Los Angeles, believe me) to three hundred, and ask Matt to pay three as well, but she wanted Robby to help out around the house.
He's a contractor with a truck full of tools, and this is his Mother for Christ's sake, but he didn't want to. He told her that she has to make up her mind, either he's a tenant or her son, but he can't be both. She got mad then and decided to raise the rent to five hundred, and then he decided to move out. Whatever, it just reinforces the sad but somehow comforting belief I have that he is an immature boy/man and that I could never have been really happy with someone like that. He's just too selfish and messed up. I love him, I probably always will, but thank God I'm with a real man and not a child anymore.
The next thing that came up was Robby's wanting to know if I had any furniture to give him. I gave him everything that was his and more when he ran off with his stripper gal. I put it all in storage for him, but he still wants more, still feels like I owe him something. The guy hasn't paid one dime of child support in three years, and he thinks I should furnish his apartment. Lord save me. So I told him that I don't really think I have anything for him, but I'll look, and he asks me, "What about Beau's bed?" Again he brings up this weird, thoughtless, non-fatherly, thing about Beau's bed. "Well, I always had a mattress, and you just went ahead and gave our queen sized bed to Beau without asking me, and then got yourself another one. I think I should have that one." I gave the smaller queen sized bed, that I had bought in the first place, to Beau, because he had outgrown his little twin bunk beds. We sit in his big bed and read to eachother, we cuddle together in this bed. Oh God I can't believe after everything that Beau has gone through, after all of the loss that he has suffered, his own Father would want to take away his bed! Of course I said no, again.
Then we got into the drama of our marriage. Very painful. 'Nuff said.
The end result of all of this is that I feel drained, drained, and sad. But I know it was meant to be, little by little we let the steam out, and things get better before they blow. It's all okay, I really believe that. I'll find a way to pay my bills, and make money, somehow it'll work out, and I don't really need to go to this reunion, and maybe having Beau go to school with these weird people isn't such a good plan after all. In fact I think I'll get on the phone today and leave messages with the bus services. I think I'll go downstairs and walk my new dog. I think I won't go to this reunion that scares me, and I won't call my Mother who will attack me, and guilt me, and make me feel crappy. Nope, I'll do things that will be good for me. Okay that's the plan then.
Oh and I have to pick up the pictures of my old house, the ones my neighbor took, before she bought it, without asking me for permission. She loaned me the pictures so I could make copies, without the negatives it's costing me a ton of money, and she's moving today so she wants them back. The gal who bought the house from her (this is the house next door to me, that I used to rent while we were remodeling this place) is single, is thirty-five and has cats and dogs. Maybe she'll be nice. Faith. Hope. Trust.
Thanks for reading. Having this journal, and knowing that I can share some of this with you, means so much to me, it really helps me get through the hard stuff.