Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Jury Duty, Control and Knitting

One of the things I like about being an elder Goth is the fact that I don’t feel that I have to act my age all the time.

True, there are the occasions that just scream out to all and sundry… Be a Grownup!  Act Adult!  Don’t Mess Around!

Of course this is a challenge to anyone like me.

I can be the sensible grown up.  Acting my age with grace and decorum.

But ‘Tell’ me that I must do so and bells and whistles go off in my head and trouble is sure to follow.

I get all silly and stupid.  I fidget and make noise.  I drop things and bump into things.

None of these things I do on purpose.  In fact I’m trying hard to control myself.  But this rebellious streak just comes charging to the surface.  And try as I might I just can’t pull this demon all the way back into the box.

And this was the case this week.  I was called to Jury Duty.  The Summon arrived in the mail weeks before and I arrived on time with my best grown up face on.  I sat and listened to the instructions, I quietly knit as I waited my turn to be called.  People around me started to chat with their neighbors about things of no importance.  (There was a lot of waiting to get through.)

When I was called to my group I sat with hands folded in my lap and didn’t fidget.  Even thou it was late in the day and many others had reached their limit.  I didn’t make the final cut so was asked to come back the next day for the other trials yet to be called for.

On the second day people were much friendlier, talk was louder and more jovial.  But there was also the feeling of ‘lets get this thing going so we can get back to our own lives again.’

Someone in a near group was trying to hush said group for an announcement that was trying to be given to the room.  And I heard it…

“Time to settle down and act like adults again.”

It hit me like a shot.  I started to giggle.  For no reason I could comprehend.  While I tried to stifle myself my knitting tumbled to the floor.  While I tried to collect my knitting I bumped the chair in front of me.  While I was quietly apologizing to the glaring face in front of me I started to hiccup.  And now I am the center of attention of the room as I’m asked to get my act together so the rest of the room can hear the message and commence with the day.

It went down hill from there.  I spilled my juice from my boxed lunch.  I accidentally flicked one of my knitting needles out of my knitting and into the next row.  (Not the thing to do by the way, when officers with guns are trained to watch for mayhem and stop it before harm can come to anyone under their care.)

My disruptiveness got other troublemakers into the mood.  Small disruptions erupted around the room after that.  I couldn’t wait to get this over with and go home.

Thankfully I didn’t get called to sit at a trial.  But being the start of all the unpleasantries of the day I had to stay after and be corrected.  For the next time I’m called on to serve.

At this point I’m just glad that I have three years before that can happen again.  And three years to practice being a grown up after hearing a reprimand.  Or at least discover why this happens to me so I can try to fix it.

But I don't think that they will be allowing knitting needle into the court house any longer.  A sad mark upon the world.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Meditate, Its Not Too Late.

Okay, so I’m seeing a therapist, and I’m getting some more coping skills in place, and the plants are still in orbit, and I’m into guided meditation now.

First let me say that being overwhelmed is not a good place to be.  It gets in the way of the things you want and need to do.

Second, stuff is still stuff and mostly it can wait stuffed away.  But you can’t stuff it away forever.

Third, life can be tough at times so put in a good supply of big girl (or boy, as the case may be.) panties and practice wearing them proudly.

Fourth, tomorrow will be another day.  And don’t sweat the small stuff.  Time heals.  Infinite Improbability Drive in place and working properly.  I will survive.

In therapy I’ve found out that I don’t like looking at my life too closely most of the time.  I just like getting down and living, enjoying, doing.  If I look too hard at my life it doesn’t look like what the TV, my parents, and teachers told me it would be like.  And this makes me a bit uncomfortable.

As a Goth this is a good/bad thing.  I like being different, but it doesn’t give me as many bridges into friendships.  Apparently Goths still scare vanilla people.  This includes happy Goths who play the Ukulele, and knit doll sweaters, and have broken family relationships not of their own making.

So I’m gonna’ put on my glittery bat wings today, meditate the heck out of most of the afternoon, and get this trolley back on track.  Stop spinning my wheels so to say.

Now if I only had a destination to point myself to.  And I still don’t know what was so wrong with the one I had.  It was working for me before.  (Note to self: Find Gothy guided meditations.)

Meditate, meditate, meditate.  I’m committed to this getting my life to a more controlled chaos again.  Maybe something will come to me then.  All will be made clear and brought into the light, as they say.

But for now, I think I’ll find a little shadowy corner to play in for a while.  Its more comfortable there anyway.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

I Grieve

I’m now looking for a grief counselor.  I can’t sleep or function well.

I can’t explain the whole situation here as I will continue to honor my word and not to use any information that could identify members of my family by name or situation.  Let it be understood that I had been asked by my father and step-mom, to house my father after the death of my step-mom, and not for the first time over the years.  I lovingly accepted this task.

I knew that I didn’t get along super well with my sisters and brothers nor do they with each other.  But where once there was acceptance of our differences, Goth or otherwise, now there is none on their part towards me.

I find it almost funny that the Goth in the family is loving, forgiving, kind, and accepting of the difference in people and the ‘good Christian’ ‘we love the world and all people in it’ vanillas are not.

We just don’t think the same.  Not just for my Gothness either.  It wasn’t the black I wore or the paleness of my skin that got this all started.

In the end it was a simple misunderstanding blown out of proportion and into a war that brought this family relationship down.

I said something commonly meant to soothe the dieing.  This was misinterpreted and offense was taken.  As I was unaware at the time it occurred (This person chose to continue to act as if all was right and good.  That the plan was going ahead as first discussed when I was around, and no other family member told me of the rift or changes so that I could try to fix hurt feelings and restore understand again.) I continued to soldier on with the tasks allotted me making ready for my father to move in.  No attempt was made to clear this up or inform me of the changes that were being made for my father to move in with my sister.   No attempt to stop me from making expensive and difficult changes they all knew were in the works to my home to accommodate him.  No trial for my perceived slight.  No benefit of the doubt.  No chance to fix things with my step-mom or anyone else before she died.

Instead the family as a whole chose to think the worst and work against me.  My efforts at family unity in trying times were mocked behind my back and torn down in the end.  My integrity was questioned.  I was ostracized.  I was personally vilified, reviled, and sentenced to mental and emotional torture.

I was not the only one who was treated badly at this time.  But my being on the spot made me the major recipient.  The others got the lighter sentence of being cut off as dead.

The thing of it was that I am and never have been against the change of plans.  Instead I think they are right and good for the persons involved.  It was the asking me to be involved when I was clearly not wanted from the start, and then vilifying me as if I was the instigator and usurper.

Not one of my siblings or their children or grandchildren wants to have any sort of relationship with me at any level now for the hurt I supposedly planned and caused.  This in turn means I will never see my father again.  I must go through them to even speak with him in the future.  This will not be happening any time soon with feelings on their side running so high and I am too raw to allow another attack in the near future.  And as my father is old and in ill health, (for even I am a senior citizen), it is not likely to happen in his lifetime.

I grieve.  I grieve the loss of a loved one.  I grieve the lost understandings.  I grieve the loss of once loving caring relationships.  I grieve the loss of family, dysfunctional as they are, but still family.

I grieve.  But it is not a good loss or loving good-bye.  It is a much harder task to cope with.

I grieve.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sometimes, You Just Don't Have a Clue

It’s all over and I’m back in town.

My step-mom died.  Hard on my Dad and others of the family.

I was older and moved away, I had kids of my own by the time they had met and married.

She didn’t mother me but she did try to guide me.  I had considered her a friend.

I was wrong.

The funeral was nice on the outside, the family dynamic of two families mixed but very separate made for tension on some levels.

Other family feuds and squabbles made for interesting play time among the mourners.

I like a good funeral.  And lets face it I do have all the trimmings.   This was anything but a good funeral.

To the casual observer it was a nice affair as these thing go.  But the knives were out and after blood behind the scenes.  They cut into each other with gusto.  No one was spared.

I avoided some drama by being a ‘vanilla normal’ but still got shafted in the end by contrived accusations.

Family can leave the nastiest scars on ones heart and soul.

What happened to these people I called family?  They grew bitter and abusive while I was loving them from afar.  I called and asked after them and their children.  I sent them pertinent news over the years.  I offered help when I could and gave it even when I couldn’t afford to.  I may not play well with others but I do try to be helpful whenever I can.

I walked into a room full of strangers who, I learned, didn’t want me there even thou they were the ones who asked me to come.  I was bated by smiling faces to a knife fight and all I had was flowers in my hands and love in my heart.

I went and I did my duty to the end as a daughter.  I left as an orphan.

I went a sister of five siblings and step-sister of two.  I returned as an only child.

I don’t even care to try to clear up the mountian of misunderstandings at this point.  Years of he said, she said behind my back has built up to an insurmountable degree.

I wasn’t there at the time and became the ‘odd man out’ scapegoat somewhere along the line.

My step-mom is burried along with most all of my family relationships far away in the place I grew up but is no longer home.

But now I am back at my own home and safe from their hatred.  Cat on my lap, dog at my feet, husband at my side, knitting in my hands, and bandages on my heart.

Another chapter of my life is over.  The scars will heal.  I will survive.

And not to worry they are not invited to my funeral so they will not be a bother to anyone else who plans to attend when the time comes.