If depression is a sinkhole, I was slipping down the dank, earthy sides of it in shoes with no grip yesterday. I have been through a lot that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, and yet, it is so much worse to see it happen to your child.
BUT, I feel much better today. I think I’m face down, breathing in the sun-warmed grass on the edge of the sinkhole, where somehow I managed to crawl back up.
My daughter seems stronger than me in many ways. She doesn’t deserve a dick for a dad, but she will find a way to cope with it. She will learn her life lessons from it, and she will be fine. She will be great.
I hope she doesn’t fall into the sinkhole, but if she does, I’ve seen her crawl back out, just like I, and many people, have. I will be there on the edge to give her a hand stepping over, (because below the edge, we have to rely on ourselves, no matter how scary and unattainable the surface seems).
I think we’ll dust ourselves off and decide to go for ice cream. Her dad, and depression, will not dictate our whole lives.
I forgot how hideously hard it is to move. You gotta really want it.
I have learned a lot of lessons in this very short year. One of them is that I never need the experience of buying or selling a house again.
Twice. Twice is nice.
Now, back to default, if only for a brief evening — sleep.
Want to know something weird? It is not me in the picture below, but I do own that pillow…
Saw my insightful therapist this morning. I was apprehensive about telling her that I’m dating. I said, “I have to tell you something I think you might not like.”
She said, “Are you dating?”
I guess I’m a textbook divorce case!
She just said she wants me to receive all the gifts this enormous pain has to give me and she would hate to see something get in the way of that.
I want the same thing, and couldn’t have said it better myself. If you’re going to have to incorporate all that pain, you want to see it through to the end where you can stack all the pretty, shiny lessons and gifts you earned along the way.
Ok, sometimes I worry about my motherly instincts. I can think some pretty harsh things about my kids, and yet, I know that’s just one extreme end of the pendulum because I love them that much in the opposite direction.
It has been 17 days (I dig countdowns) since I last saw my daughter when I dropped her off at college several hundred miles away. At first it was all no lunch prep, no form filling out, no weekly football games where she played in the band and was drum major her senior year. Ah…I didn’t even know the high school had their first football game last Saturday. There were pints of gelato for dinner, movies right after work. Girls night could have been any night, but usually wasn’t.
Now I miss her!! She did a lot of dancing and singing and dinosaur imitating in the morning. She told me lots of things and didn’t seem to stop like a lot of teenagers. I know things about her I (almost) wish I didn’t.
People keep pitying me. “How’s the empty nest?” “Are you lonely?” Inside my head I was like, “Fuck no! Do you know how long I’ve waited to not have anyone to take care of?!”
Yesterday I got out the academic calendar — Fall Break in a month, Thanksgiving week, Christmas Break. That quirky little fun factory better come back to me for those!
And my son is 24 today. I miss him too!
Putting on my big girl, empty nest panties and moving on
My son suggested I try out a Quaker “Friends” meeting. This is weirder than it might seem. His dad is a non-practicing (occasional bar mitzvah or wedding attender) Jew and I am a lapsed Berean. Yeah, it’s roughly Baptist.
I went recently. No leader. Silence until someone may or may not be moved to speak. Sometimes no one speaks and you sit in silence for an hour. The message the day I went was about elders and “eldering.” I had never heard it used as a verb before. The messenger said that anyone can be an elder. Your son can “elder” you. You elder people all the time without probably knowing.
It’s been a hell of a 2015 so far, so it was great to spend lots of time with my friends’ dog Zeke. You got it…he’s been eldering me:
Eat with gusto when you’re hungry. Drink in big sloppy gulps of water. Smell every flower. Every one. Pee on as many of them as you want to mark them as ones you might want to revisit. Be present. Extend a limb in kindness sometimes; it speaks louder than words. Play. Even if your heart hurts, playing will bathe it in cleansing hope. Greet everything and everyone as if it/they will be a wonderful experience. If that turns out not to be the case, find the next one.
I’m choked up about a dog! And I thought I only had enough love for cats…
Thank you Zeke the Elder. Thank you to his parents for sharing him with me. Thank you for the circumstances that brought all of you guys to elder me. Thank you Quaker woman who shared this insight with me.
Moving on. With pleasure today!