At long last, I have given my blog Categories and Tags an overhaul. I’ve been thinking of doing it for months and it’s finally done! I just have a handful of categories now. My goal was to make them more generic and use Tags for the details. It ended up being a surprisingly interesting exercise in self-discovery. “So that’s what I write about!”
This post is literally a month in the making, so please bear with the random turns it takes…
My dad paid good money awhile back for a series of audio recordings and a workbook to help someone setup a blog. The problem with his plan was that he never listened to the recordings or went through the workbook.
At the end of my four-day Thanksgiving vacation, mentally well-armed with having washed, dried, folded, and put away every article of dirty clothing in the house, I cracked the workbook.
In the past five days I have yelled at both my kids, had a sobbing fight with my husband, reamed one of my best friends for her behavior toward one of her family members, got into one major and several smaller arguments with my manager, nearly took the head off one of my vendors at work, threatened to terminate every vendor working on my portfolio, sent an infuriated email to my school’s financial service office, and came unglued with an undertrained Target employee.
Thinking about this past year, my head is in a whirl. Last fall I was battling depression on a level I had never experienced. Since then I’ve managed to naturally treat my depression, come to peaceable terms with not carrying my own children, refocus my energies, return to school full-force, gain legal guardianship of my goddaughters… Oh, and I found out I got a raise today 🙂
I’ve spent morning noon and night on the computer now for weeks, but seldom does a day go by that I don’t wish I could be blogging. I realized tonight that I have this little baby Acer laptop with Windows XP that I’ve barely ever used, but would be perfect for blogging in bed. I miss writing for fun, but not enough to continue to sit at my desk after a full day of work and a full night of school.
I’ve invented something. Probably. At least, I can’t find anything else quite like it. If you remember, I slightly lost my mind a bit over Chronodex awhile back. I loved the concept! I watched more YouTube videos than I care to admit with people demonstrating how they plan their day with colors on a clock. But watching people set their schedules in stone with colored pens and pencils started to give me anxiety: “You can’t erase that! Even if you could, what a mess!”
Do you ever feel like you’re bleeding all over everyone?
I’m anxious about tomorrow. I’m desperately trying not to be, but the desperation is coming out in casually conversing with people about what we’re be up against. It’s not helping. I’m trying to make light of an issue that isn’t light. It isn’t casual. As soon as the gravity of the situation hits them, I watch them back-pedal, stop listening, and try to end the conversation.
“Oh, sorry! Did I get blood on your shoes? Sorry, let me see if I can clean that up for you. I can’t believe I bled on you. That’s so inconsiderate!”
Clearly, I need an outlet, and the world around me is proving to be a pathetic sounding board. I don’t know where to start, or if this is the right place, but I’ll be at the courthouse in less than twelve hours, and there are many many unknowns. I keep telling myself not to worry about tomorrow. It will bring enough trouble of its own. But I keep thinking there’s something I might be able to prepare for.
I’ve filed all the paperwork. I’ve got all my copies ready to go. I even have court clothes picked out. Check. Check. Check! I’ve been working toward this day since last summer, and the most disheartening thing is that it won’t be over tomorrow. We might sit in the waiting room all. day. long. just to hear what we already know: the court investigator has filed a motion for a continuance.
We’re not related to the girls. Their parents live in two different states and have only had a half-dozen points of contacts with the girls in the last two years. Their father is a menace. Their mother has a hard time following-through. It’s complicated. A social worker was assigned to the case two weeks ago to complete the investigation and give their recommendation to the court. Social workers are busy. No surprise there. The investigation isn’t done. They haven’t even called us yet.
This level of stress doesn’t get a resolution tomorrow. It gets a pat on the head and told to keep waiting.
How the hell am I supposed to sleep?
“Praying that the court does what’s best for the girls.” It sounds encouraging doesn’t it? But when it’s delivered to me from a friend, it really feels under-handed. Her three natural-born children are sleeping soundly in their beds. No one is fighting to take them from her. She doesn’t know what this is like. She doesn’t understand what it feels like to have to convince a court of law that you’re a better parent than someone else. It’s not an argument I ever thought I’d be in, especially not with someone I’ve been trying to avoid since I was eleven years old.
I knew the girls’ dad when I was a kid. I kept my distance. Even then I knew his kind of instability was not something I wanted to be around. Talk about bleeding all over people. His insecurities and issues were out for the world to see at a very early age. My friends steered clear too, and now no one will listen to him. No one will take him seriously. No one will stand up for him. No one believes he’s right to fight us on this, not even his own mother.
She will be at the hearing tomorrow too. One, big, happy, dysfunctional, volatile family. God help us.
I have words. I’ve locked them away for five years. After months of spewing my raw soul onto paper, I could only wait for time to pass. It was the only thing left to heal me. I’ve only read through some of those words once or twice since then, but each time it was too soon. The pain was still too near. The pages singed my emotions. I’m still waiting for the sting to cool, and I wonder each year if I’ll ever actually forget.
Then I battle the fear of forgetting. What if I need that strength? I was blind before. What if I lose the sight I’ve gained? It’s all I have to show for what I endured.
I battle the fear of ignorance. What people don’t know can hurt them, and it does, every day. Am I supposed to share my words? I have more than enough of them. The material is yellowing on my shelves. But it’s ugly and dark. People don’t want to know. There are many subjects that people bravely come forward to share here in the 21st century, but this isn’t one of them. This one is locked away in secrets and rumors and whispers and scandals. It’s locked away in pride and shame, only fit to be heard by a jury of peers.
I battle the fear of flippant disregard. “That’s intense,” I imagine the response, barely a complete sentence. More than anything I battle the fear of questions. I’m afraid of the doubt of others. I’m afraid of being misunderstood. I’m afraid my heart and motivations and decisions will be scrutinized and criticized. I survived the worst thing that ever happened to me. “But couldn’t you have survived it like this?” might be the question that leads to my ruin.
As a life-long people-pleaser, I’m know no one will be pleased by my story, least of all me. No one will sleep better at night. These stories need a voice, but I’m afraid I don’t have the courage to see it through.