Thank you everyone for all of your generous support for my latest dramas and for dear sweet delicate Twinkle. I am so grateful to you.
I'm relieved that today has come to an end. It was such a challenging day for me. There was just so much to juggle and do. Getting Beau up and out of the house and helping him present his portfolio, while worrying about the gifts and plans for Scott's birthday, and Twinkle, and trying to juggle all of the other things I had to do was overwhelming. The hardest thing was getting dropped off at Scott's and having to say good-bye to Twinkle knowing he was going to the vet and that I might never see him alive again and then having to be upbeat and happy for Scott for his birthday when inside I was feeling so torn up and upset.
I love Scott and I have so many animals and people in my life that there is always some kind of drama going on, and if I can't be there for him on his birthday well, then when can I? So I just had to suck it up and be there for him. I wanted to. I picked Beau up from tutoring and we went over to Scott's apartment, gave him a really beautiful floral arrangement I put together, (I went to floral school years and years ago when I thought I could sort of push my love of acting to the side and kind of fall back on floral design but it didn't work out, long story), with peonies, which are impossible to grow in California, big white dahlias, a pretty pink pineapple on a long stalk, (Scott has a reggae song he's been working on called Pineapple Head), and bunches of green coffee beans as filler, a pretty terrarium, three different colognes a combination DVD/VCR player. I think he knew about the DVD player because I had signed him up for Netflix and a couple of the DVDs I had put in his cue, Dinner For Five, and The Office had just shown up in his mailbox that day.
After Beau left we had hot sex, (funny, I was feeling too vulnerable just then to say making love), and then we went to a good restaurant called Vincenti that I love but Scott hated. He didn't like our waiter who was loaded with attitude, and he had wanted a big hearty creamy pasta kind of dish instead of the nouvelle cuisine that they're known for. I loved the bread and the olive oil that I could only eat a few bites of, my salad, the cheese and the pears, and that's about it, the deserts were too weird.
Oh My God I was just watching The Restaurant feeling sorry for Rocco when I saw him chop up these three poor crabs alive. The Fucker. I just seriously do not understand how people are able to be like this, so completely oblivious to the life and suffering of another living being, and then people in his restaurant are going to eat these crabs without knowing or caring that these poor creatures were just waving their arms around helplessly while they were chopped and crushed to death minutes before. I don't get it and it hurts so much.
No more Valium or Vicodin for me to take the pain away darn it. I don't know how many days it's been, I should read back in my journal and count the days, I guess, so when I go to therapy tomorrow I can tell the gals. The nights are the hardest. My heart pounds and flutters in my chest, my mind races in panic, and my muscles are all tight and sore. I feel so anxious, more anxious than I've ever felt before, certainly more anxious than I felt when I started taking these pills, but that's the kicker, the lovely truth of addiction to anything that helps ameliorate anxiety, you get caught in a vicious cycle of needing to take the drugs to keep the anxiety at bay that doubles up on you because your body becomes dependent on taking the drugs that keep the anxiety at bay and so on.
Chronic Bladder Pain.
I think some of you know that I have a bladder disease called Interstitial Cystitis. Without the little bit of pain medicine and muscle relaxing that Valium provides my bladder has decided to fire up a bit more, which frankly sucks. I had forgotten how much more it hurts without pain meds. I've had urologists tell me that I should just take Valium for this permanently and I thought they were nuts and moved on -- I didn't want to become the spaced out zombie that just a miserable half of a pill can make me. Now I'm wishing I could take one but I won't.
A Little Message For Brendan and How I Fell About Program People.
For my friend B though I need to say that I absolutely understand and empathize with how deep a bottom some people can hit with drink and drugs and other addictive things. I can't sit in a meeting, listening to people pour out their hearts, and not be aware of this. I'm just lucky in that knowing how much of an additive personality I have, and having been attending Twelve Step programs for the better part of twenty years now, I recognize when I need to jump in and try to parachute my way out of a few situations with the help of therapy, friends and God/Goddess/My Higher Power/The Universe, etc. I in no way meant to imply that I didn't understand why some of these dear people would be scratching their heads in wonder at a gal like me who would come to program whining about a pill a day habit while they were just grateful to be driving a car that wasn't stolen.
I looooove program people, I swear I do. My dearest and closest friends, in fact my three dearest friends on the planet, including my lover and my best girlfriend, all came from program. I am filled with empathy for their struggles and for their tremendous courage. Contrary to what a lot of people out there in the world may think, and what was recently demonstrated here on my journal in the little comment skirmish we had, I think people with addictive personalities, (and I guess I'm patting my own back here, but who better to do this than me), are some of the most exquisitely sensitive and empathic people on the planet. I've said this before and I'm sure I'll say it again, I think there is a link between creativity and sensitivity, between sensitivity and the need to blot it out with things that close the overloaded channel.
When folks are getting loaded or drunk, or acting out, they're not the best bunch of people to hang out with, and dry drunks aren't too much fun to play with either. But believe me B, I understand all too well how deeply some of these people suffer. I was just being kind of flip, and my little sentence about not feeling like I fit in came out of the pain I was feeling at the time. In reality I want to befriend these folks, car thieves, ex-cons, people who have slept on park benches and run from the law, people who are covered head to toe with tattoos, (I wish I had the courage to get tattoos, I think they're an amazingly beautiful art form), I want to grab them and hug them and love them up. I dig them -- I was just feeling like they wouldn't dig me, but I know they will.
Starting a new program is hard, starting anything new is hard for me because, well, I'm so fear based. I've been burned a lot, and it's hard to get up from that, but God Damnit, I am getting up. I always do. I'm like one of those old fashioned plastic punching clowns with the weight in the base that kids play with, you sock it and it comes right back up.
More Ranting About Getting Bitch Slapped.
Whenever I get kind of slammed here, (and to be fair I rarely get slammed too badly, I think these recent comments were probably coming from a somewhat careless place of love), I have to kind of rethink my attitude towards open journaling in general and the feeling of wanting to defend myself lingers for days and sometimes weeks. I'm sorry for this in that anyone who bothers to read my journal has to listen to the fall out, "I'm not a pathetic loser I'm not, I'm not! I am alive. Do dead people get bit almost every single day trying to save the lives of three wild possums? Do dead people run around checking on all of their neighbors, providing extra flashlights and candles when there are two blackouts late at night, within the span of one week? Do dead people read books to their children at night and spend countless hours teaching them about life and the world? Do dead people stick around and take care of their childlike parents even when they do cruel and bizarre things like purposely hitting them with their car and withholding their own funds that they've already inherited? Do dead people provide for the needs of two entire families of illegal immigrants, personally ensuring that their children are well cared for and are attending safer, better schools? Do dead people save up to buy these kids computers? Do dead people worry about how they are going to get these kids into colleges? Do dead people keep going day after day despite being in chronic persistent pain from autoimmune diseases? Do dead people contribute to various charities and sponsor children in far away countries? Do dead people counsel their friends over the phone? Do dead people befriend the new people in the neighborhood and make them feel loved and welcome when everyone else is cold and closed off to them simply because they come from a part of the world that seems foreign and frightening to them?" I could go on and on but I feel like I'm just trying to justify myself and I know I must be boring all of you at this point.
I do want to know if struggling with life, if being afraid, is the exclusive domain of the dead. I guess there must be a lot of very frightened corpses lying around, yep, a lot of really neurotic corpses who just won't leave their houses and play with people or get themselves to meetings. If only the damned dead would stop shopping on eBay, wasting their time journaling here, sucking up the adulation of false friends who are too timid to stand up to them and tell them that their limbs are falling off, or that they're, overeating, collecting too many cats, pets and stuff. If they could just get with the plan well, then they'd be able to join the living, get out there and act like everyone else, wouldn't they?
Maybe I should join Scientology or become a Christian Scientist because they don't believe in letting little things like mental or physical illness get in their way. Then that way I wouldn't have to take all this darned time to work through all of my issues and problems at my own pokey pace. I could just turn my life over to an e-meter machine and stop boring the hell out of people who read my journal by sitting around here on my ass thinking the world owes me a living.
Twinkle Died Today.
I had to let my vet euthanize my beloved friend Twinkle today. It sucks and I'm so sad but I'm starting to get used to having to make these painful decisions. I knew he was dying, I just kept hoping I was wrong, and that there was some chance he might bounce back. My one consolation in this is that he died so close to losing his brother so this seems kind of fated and I imagine they're together now in death as they always were in life. I just want to see them again, and thinking about not having them here with me, not ever hearing either one of them meow again is making me cry.
Today was Beau's last day of school and I wanted to give all of his teacher's, the school's principal Chris, and Essie the school secretary, presents. I didn't sleep at all last night so I had to drag myself out of the house and luckily I was able to find six boxes of pre-wrapped Sees candies at the pharmacy. I bought a box of crayons and drew their names and flowers all over the white paper. That's when the vet called my cell phone and I had to make the decision to let Twinkle go, so there I was crying my eyes out in front of the kind people at the pharmacy. I've been sort of numb and out of it ever since.
If I needed an excuse to feel sorry for myself and help myself to a pill or two, here it is, but I'm feeling pretty okay about not doing that. In fact I'm feeling really good about not doing it, and each day that I don't use any kind of narcotic is a day where I feel a little less anxious and a little more capable and a lot more like myself during the day.
Beau's Award Winning Yearbook.
Beau got his yearbook today and it's soooooo cool I wish I could share it with you. His school's yearbook has won all kinds of design awards and was featured in a couple of magazines last year so I always look forward to seeing it. I think it won best yearbook in the country or something like that. Bwa ha ha ha eat it Crossroads. What I love about it is that they let the kids be themselves completely, in every way, from their ID photos, the backgrounds, the layout, the candid shots, the poetry, to their senior pages, it's all completely them and they do such a great job.
My Wonderful Neighbors Cheer Me Up.
When I came home from picking him up from school I walked over to my friend Atra's house to show it to her, to visit and have some tea, but she wasn't there and instead I wound up having three really terrific, uplifting and friendly conversations with my neighbors. First I saw my old high school English teacher Sister Margaret. I showed her the yearbook, which she loved seeing because she's the head of the yearbook committee at Marymount. We went through it together page by page and got caught up and talked about all kinds of things. I think that was the highlight of my day really.
After Sr. Margaret drove off I ran into our new neighbors across the street who were in their garage but called out to me as I was walking by. They wanted to thank me again for the welcome to the neighborhood cake that I had given them ages ago. We chatted for a while and I learned that they have a PR business that represents nonprofit organizations mostly. I got to tell them that Nancy, across the street, is the head of Starlight Children's Foundation and they were blown away by that. I'm blown away by this. I'm constantly amazed and grateful for the wonderful neighbors I have.
After we chatted for a while they invited me in for a tour of their house and that was nice. I got to see their gorgeous Biedermeier furniture, their art, their Lalique and Venetian crystal, their Galle lamp and this fine Tissot etching that they have in their master bedroom. It's from the late eighteen hundreds and is a self portrait of the artist at a seance accompanied by his dead love for whom he would attend these seances. They're holding candles in their hands but the candles are hidden and all you can see is this gorgeous warm light that illuminates their faces. It's really lovely.
After that I left and ran into another neighbor Hal who also lives across the street and he complimented me on my weight loss, gave me a bottle of lemonade and told me that building our house was the best thing anyone has ever done for our street. He said that it's so pretty it makes everything around it look better. God, that was nice. And here I was thinking that my house was looking overbuilt and somewhat dilapidated. Man I really needed the lift that connecting with my neighbors gave me -- my self esteem has been so in the dumps lately.
Mom Cancels Our Trip to Washington
Oh and my mom pulled a Jeannette and canceled the first half of the trip she had us all packing and planning for. She didn't ask or discuss any of this with us when she booked it so why should she talk to me about her decision to cancel it, I mean I'm only ten billion years old now. One minute I'm panicking because I'm suddenly going to be taking a bus trip to civil war battlefields with my son who couldn't care less and my mom who can't walk and then the next minute we aren't. Not that I'm not relieved, confused but relieved.
I was doing everything I could to make the best of this. I had Beau's tutor reading books about US history to him. I was raving about the Natural History museum and historic Williamsburg. He was saying that he wanted to see the space museum. I found things for us to look forward to like cherry blossoms and cicadas, and we were planning on staying with Roberta McCain, Senator John McCain's wonderful mother, in her gorgeous home, when we got to Washington, and a friend had arranged for us to get a private tour of the White House, so we were looking forward to that. I just feel so whipped around by my mom sometimes and it's just been getting worse and worse. I surrender, I surrender and surrender and surrender...
The Return of My Clothes and Esther and the Seamstress Get Into a Fight.
Today this friend of Irma's who is a seamstress and had taken tons of my clothes away to make smaller, finally, after more phone calls and broken commitments than I care to enumerate here, showed up with the clothes. I thought she'd stolen them, it had been so long since she took them. They were all too big and reeked of smoke and she was outraged that I wanted an invoice and wasn't prepared to pay her on the spot. Hey, I know my mom, she tells me to do something like, "Oh for God's sake Jacqui get your clothes altered. I'll pay for it, I don't want to see you slouching around in those baggy things any more," then I write a check and she suddenly refuses to pay me back and I get stuck with a bill that I can't afford to pay. I'm not falling for that one anymore, nope, no no no no no mama.
So anticipating this problem I had told Anna to tell Senora Lupe that we needed an invoice and would send her a check as soon as she delivered the clothes and provided us with one. But whether the mix-up came from Anna's poor communicating or this odd, angry woman's inability to hear what she didn't want to hear, I don't know, because she showed up wanting her cash. When Esther, who doesn't suffer fools gladly, (I don't want to say this, knock wood, but when Esther gets mad, oh Lordy look out, I worry she just might have a stroke one of these days), came downstairs and saw this angry little spitfire of a woman going off on Anna about what a hassle it was to alter all of these clothes, and how she didn't appreciate our hurrying her and calling so much, she just kind of jumped into the fray.
We, all of us, had thought this woman had taken the clothes and run, so for her to be freaking out over having to wait two or three days at the most for her money when we had been waiting for months, seemed really unfair. I would have felt more compassion for her and just written out the check and prayed my mom would cover it if she hadn't been so mean to everyone. She just went off. She was in the middle of a rant of swear words in Spanish when Esther came downstairs. When Esther asked her if she was upset about something the woman pulled a, "Shut up I'm not talking to you," on her. You don't talk that way to an Esther, oh no ... you ... do ... not! As could be predicted Esther blew and the two of them got into it. It wasn't pretty and it ended with the woman saying she would never work for us again and stalking out. Then to really put the champagne cork on the bubbly bottle of my day, when I gave the $267.00 receipt to my mom she gave me two bucks -- the cost to put a snap on the one piece of clothing of hers that Senora Lupe had worked on. Eventually though she remembered that she had been there when I tried all of the clothes on and that the whole thing had been her idea in the first place and she wrote the check to lovely Senora Lupe whose back I couldn't have been happier to see walking down my garden path.
Well, that's more than enough for one night. Three entries in one, plenty of anger, sadness, angst, anxiety, pathos and a light sprinkling of humour.
I do love you guys, even if you're all just a bunch of weasely, (I actually love weasels,) yes people who aren't capable of standing up to me and telling me what's what straight up ; )
XOXOXOX -- Jacqui