Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Day My Music Died


As I was walking my dogs tonight, the friendly neighborhood drug dealer passed me as he often does. Unlike the normal scenario where my dogs bark and he keeps walking in silence, though, after we'd both continued to walk ten to fifteen feet in our respective directions, he called to me. I turned, and he yelled something I could barely hear, something that after about a minute of repeated yelling back and forth, a lot of questioning on my part, and a bit of pantomime on his, I finally understood. After all this time, he said, we both look exactly the same.

The drug dealer, who I've been passing on the streets of my townhouse complex for probably about ten years (save for an absence of a year or so when he mysteriously disappeared), was right. Save for my ever changing hair colors, neither of us really looks any different from how we looked when we first "met."

When we first walked past each other, the drug dealer and me, I was in my early to mid thirties. At the time, Griffin and I were closer than I knew a mother and son could be. Ever Friday we had an after-school coffee date that neither of us would miss for anything. One Friday, Griffin actually got in a fight (semi-fight?) with the singer of his band because he wouldn't miss coffee to go to practice. Those coffee dates lasted for years, maybe five of them, from middle school to early eleventh grade.

Coffee dates, of course, weren't the extent of our relationship; they just typified it. I used to barely get through teaching a class without a text from Griffin: memes, photos, song lyrics, random facts (are you aware a kangaroo has three vaginas, everyone?), trivial conversation. Griffin used to never leave me alone. We did makeovers and took walks and went out to eat. Once we even drove to Savannah on a whim to see the spot where they filmed one of his favorite movies, Forrest Gump. I protected him from his dad (even when, admittedly, he probably didn't need protecting), and he protected me from his dad, too.

I believe I even have a blog post where I write something akin to, Regarding Griffin, can I just say soulmate? Nothing else to see, move it along.

I'm thinking your inference skills are probably good enough to have realized by now that between me and Griffin, something's gone wrong. Two years ago, things started to change. Saying no to hanging out with Alex wasn't as desirable as saying no to practicing with his band, nor was bringing her along like we did in their beginning, and our coffee Friday dates stopped. That was really the start. In that time, our relationship has deteriorated hopefully not to beyond repair, but in truth I'm not so sure.

I won't go into all the details, not for the sake of privacy or propriety because we all know I care for neither of those things but for the sake of space. There are just so many details, and in the end, do they matter at all? We're both to blame in different ways (in addition to quite a bit of help from some outside forces, and far be it for me to be one to name names, but if yours either starts and ends with an A and has an X in the middle and you used to have pink hair but now maybe sport a faded shade of blue or you're someone who runs a couple thousands miles a year or at least you used to, I happen to be talking about you).

Tonight when I pulled up a few hours and one day after a fight during which, among other things, shampoo was squirted all over the bathroom and the hallway; posters were taken off of communal walls; toiletries were hidden in a car; someone was forcefully chest bumped, grabbed by the wrist, and thrown into the hallway in addition to being called one of two emotionally abusive and horrible parents, a fucking idiot, and insane; and another person was called trash and his ex-girlfriend called a whore, I saw a box peeking over the wall in front of my house. Upon walking up, I saw a crate full of records, a guitar, a record player, and other things that escape me now.

Even though I knew, I had to ask when I opened the door. What's going on? 

I'm gonna go stay at my Dad's house.

I was afraid of the answer, so afraid of the answer, I didn't want to ask, didn't want to know:

Forever? 

He didn't know.

***

That friendly neighborhood drug dealer thinks I look the same because he can only see me on the outside. If he could see me on the inside, he'd know I don't look the same at all.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Mess

Summer's started, and like the past two summers before this one, I should be settling into my hotel, getting ready for a week of reading AP exams along with thousands of other teachers, college professors, and instructors. I'm not, though. Despite having a hotel reservation, a roommate who requested me, numerous confirmation e-mails, and I'm sure a name badge that annoyingly says Miramar High School AND Miami Dade College on it because when I applied to be a reader, I didn't realize the submitted text would be transcribed verbatim and no matter how many times I've tried to change it because it makes me feel like an ass, be assigned to me for the rest of my AP reader life, I'm not there. Instead, I'm sitting at my sticker-covered table writing this blog, losing over $1300, and waiting for a phone call that apparently I'm not going to get tonight from a nurse at a  psychiatric hospital saying that I can come get my son.

In what seems to have become a matrilineal tradition now being transferred to the males of what I guess would properly be referred to as the Weinstein line, Keifer, like me, my sister, my mother, and my aunt, was Baker Acted. On Wednesday afternoon, I sat with him in a psychiatrist's office while he talked about his suicidal ideations and his willingness to act on them and then watched while despite his not having a plan, which is supposed to be a factor in being involuntarily committed, an officer frisked him against a police car, sat him in the back, and drove him to the nearest mental institution where he now resides with, among other people, a little boy who hears voices and stupid teenage girls who think cutting themselves is the thing to do. And now I can't seem to bring him home.

As if that's not bad enough, Kei being in a mental institution where he definitely doesn't belong because I promise you, that kid was not about to commit suicide this weekend, he's definitely been misdiagnosed, and instead of being treated for the depression he should be being treated for, he's being forced to pop Adderall two times a day for the ADHD he doesn't have even though Adderall, a drug that's banned in many countries because it's so dangerous, is one of the most addictive drugs around and people with drug issues aren't supposed to take it, and I keep telling his doctor and the doctor's PA and anybody I see in scrubs that Keifer has a drug problem and nobody will listen to me even though right now, right this very second, there's a text on the lock screen of Keifer's phone that says, keifer do you have OC, nobody at this godforsaken hospital will listen to me because Keifer says it isn't true and because he has absolutely no fat cells and a metabolism that enables him to be 5'10" and weigh 117 pounds his drug test came up negative (it's a thing, I promise), and what the fuck kind of psychiatric personnel listens to a fifteen-year-old who's in a fucking mental institution and gives him more drugs to add to his motherfucking potential-addiction list?

The word disaster is so overused that people don't realize the severity of one, but this whole experience has been a disaster in the most severe way. Not only is Keifer practically in prison being turned into a drug addict as we speak, but now he's completely distrustful of the entire mental health process and wants nothing to do with it. Whereas he previously wanted to see a therapist and get help because he was so tired of feeling hopeless, he's now afraid to ever again tell a mental health professional how he really feels, something that for someone with deep depression and anxiety could lead to the worst outcome possible.

At this point, I'm impotent. There's absolutely nothing I could do but wait for these people to let Keifer out of the hospital and complain (and what better way to do that than via this blog?), and I have to tell you, as a mother, it's plaguing me that I can't do more.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sick of Always Sorting Me Out

I'm a bit on the neurotic side. If you know me in real life, you probably know that. Even if you only know me from here, there's a good chance you know that, too. I'm animated with a tendency to overdramatize situations. You know how Buffy is a metaphor for the way teenagers feel like everything is the end of the world? Well, make me an honorary Scooby because I'm still in that developmental phase. Several years ago I was called hyperemotional and much more recently told I was draining with an overwhelming personality.

Although the person who told me I was draining with an overwhelming personality was Griffin and it's probably pretty normal for a seventeen-year-old to feel that way about his mom, the accusation initially upset me. When I mentioned it to my ex-Glenn a few days later, he didn't say anything about the draining part, but the overwhelming part he got right behind. He's obviously not rolling in the credibility when it comes to clear judgment of me, though, so I text a friend of mine, told her what Griffin said, and asked her if she agreed. She responded that I sometimes have bad anxiety and that leads to a somewhat draining experience at times and if she had to say yes or no, she'd say yes. She then told me I could change if I really wanted to and that by my questioning her, I was actually draining her right then. A few days later she sent me a link titled "You (and Your Therapist) Can Change Your Personality--Science of Us," which she admitted she only skimmed when after reading it, I found that it said inherent personality can't actually be changed at all.

I felt bad about the exchange, bad enough to complain about it to a friend I had brunch with last weekend, and obviously bad enough to write about it right now although feeling bad isn't really the reason I'm writing but rather because of the marked difference in an exchange I had with someone else today. One of the things my friend who agreed I was draining mentioned was my body obsession. Now, admittedly, I'm a little on the crazy side when it comes to my weight, but that's a disorder. Obsession with my weight was ingrained in me starting when I was about two, and it's going nowhere anytime soon. About that, she wrote this: "Even if you want to ask me if you look fat for the 17th time in a 2 hour period [which is a gross exaggeration btw; in fact, I haven't asked her anything about looking fat since January 15 when she told me she would 'no longer be participating in body critiques'], work on looking in the mirror and telling yourself you look great so you don't feel the urge to do that. Cause that shit is draining."

So now for what happened today. I was messaging back and forth with someone who I've probably talked to about the same thing five thousand times and when, at the end, I thanked her for putting up with my craziness, she responded that she didn't mind at all and thanked me for putting up with hers, too, to which I responded pretty much the same. Although she's not crazy at all, I responded that way because even if she were, I wouldn't care. Even if she called or text me every single day at the same time with the same question/issue/fear, I wouldn't mind because that's what people who care about people are supposed to do. They're supposed to put up with the neurosis, the drama, the issues, the fears. They're not supposed to say they're all about being supportive or empathetic but only to a certain degree because after having told someone something once or twice if that person doesn't take their advice, that's the person's own fault.

That's just not how friendship works.
It's also not empathetic at all.

Now, I'm not saying this person isn't my friend. She's been my friend for a long time, and I'm not looking to put our relationship out. I'm just noticing a self-centered trend that I have absolutely no desire to be a part of. I will never tell a friend I won't participate in his or her ___________ anymore because I think s/he shouldn't be that way. I will never think somebody else's feelings aren't as valid as mine.

Incidentally, in the past couple of weeks since the being called overwhelming thing and the text telling me how I could change, I've thought about it a lot, and I mean, a lot, a lot--neurotic, remember?--and I've decided that if I'm overwhelming then I'm overwhelming. Just like I took the hyperemotional thing as a sort of compliment--because my God, who doesn't want to feel?--I'm taking that as one, too.

Namby-pamby is the last thing I want to be. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Why Does Everything Fall Apart Even When It's Glued Together?

First, let me start this blog by apologizing to the reader who loves to tell me to die. It's been such a long time since I last posted, you may have thought I actually took your advice. But bubble? Let me introduce you to my pin.

Now that my sincere apology is out of the way, that long time since posting? Let's discuss.

I haven't posted since September 25, by far the longest amount of time I've gone without writing a blog since I started blogging, both here and on the long-since-deleted Hudsy's Girl (and any other blog I may have had that I can't remember now). After the whole getting-spanked thing, I wasn't in the mood to do much other than reflect on my life and the situations I always seem to be getting myself into plus it was right about that time that I picked up a hobby that takes up a ton of my time (which will not be mentioned for reasons you'll soon read), and if I add my wallowing to that hobby and throw in my propensity to waste time doing absolutely nothing, you get just that...absolutely nothing. By Thanksgiving I felt like writing again and totally had plans to sit down and write my annual "Happy Holiday, You Bastard!" post, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. A few weeks later, on Christmas or maybe New Year's, I intended to do it again, but more of the same. I just couldn't make myself write that post, and well, that's what I'm here to discuss: "Happy Holiday, You Bastard!" and why I just can't write it.

For those of you who don't regularly read me, I like to do an annual holiday blog in which I make a list of things for which I'm thankful and then discuss. My last one was full of things for which I'm thankful as was the one before that, similar to a birthday post from last year where I also discuss specific things that make me happy. It's a blog I've always enjoyed writing and like I said, totally wanted to write this year. So why didn't I write it?

You know how people are always telling other people to count their blessings? To be grateful for whatever they have because they don't know when it will be taken away? To appreciate the things they've been given? Well, I've done all of those things, and I have to tell you, as soon as I acknowledge anything good in my life, it pretty much immediately goes bad. You think I'm crazy, I'm sure, and maybe I am (just ask my older son. He'll affirm this for you, I have no doubt) but not because of this. For evidence, though, let's do a little not-so-long-in-the-past investigation.

That birthday post I talked about? From 2016? A copied and pasted excerpt:

In mid December, I started running regularly again, and this year I'm on track to run 600 miles, which is 97 miles more than I ran this one. Here I am writing right this second. I read a book over Christmas break. I lost five pounds.

And from my last "Happy Holiday, You Bastard!"? Let me copy and paste a little more: [I'm thankful for] My car. Mermaid is her name, getting me wherever I want to go is her game. 

Okay. That second copy and paste? Where I talk about being thankful for Mermaid? November (and let the record show that not only did I post about my love for her in that blog, but I talked about her often. I'm keeping her forever, I would say. I never want a car payment again). The first one when I talk about running again and losing five pounds? January 17.

January 19, two days later?

I'm sure you know what I'm about to say because how could you not, but I'll say it anyway. There I was crossing the street in front of my house when a woman made an illegal u-turn right in front of my car which caused me to crash into her, which caused my airbags to inflate, which caused my car to be declared a total loss and my calf to somehow get injured, which caused me to not be able to run, which caused me to get depressed and also to gain that five pounds right back, and I swear to God if I'd never said anything about being thankful for my car, my running, and my five pound weight loss, none of it ever would have happened at all.

Need more convincing? Well, don't worry. More convincing I've got.

To summarize (I'd say for the sake of brevity, but we're long past that), I also, in my last Happy Holiday post, talked about being thankful for my family unit and for Alex because she makes Griffin so happy and blah blah blah, I'd vomit all over if it weren't my table I'd be vomiting on. Not long after that post, Alex and Griffin became Sid and Nancy, and sometimes things are so bad, I'm not kidding when I say that I hope that analogy proves itself wrong, but the other one that comes to mind is Kurt and Courtney, and well, that one is just as bad and in some ways, worse.

And the Happy Holiday post before that when I say "Griffin. Soulmate. Capital S" and express thanks for five years of Friday afternoon coffee dates and joke about following him to college so they can continue? One, those coffee dates didn't need college to come to an end; two, the capital S in soulmate wasn't as big as I thought; and three, please don't even get me started on college if you don't want me to cry.

There's more, of course, but I'm thinking that's enough evidence to prove my point.

From here on out, if something good happens, do not expect to hear it from me.