I know I have my days. Days where I'm not fit for sociable company, communication interaction, or days when I don't even like myself. I know what to do for these days as well. I've trained myself. I know myself well enough to know, when I just need to do what is necessary, whatever it takes, to have my mouth remain shut!
I won't say I always succeed, but I do make the effort. Is it my fault when people cannot see the obvious signs of danger ahead, screaming from my facial expressions?! I'm pretty transparent. Anger, happiness, crazy mad, and joy. None of these expressions look the same, but I wear them all on my face with an obviousness that cannot be missed. My face all but flashes like a neon sign, with the colors anyone would need to be forewarned.
But as life will have it, all of those days don't necessarily fall on the weekends. When it's easier to control myself. Some of those more horrible than life itself days, fall on work days. Days where interaction is not only necessary, it's going to happen. And even though I do my very best to stay to myself, in my own office space, the occasional interlude with people will still take place. I have a lot of scar tissue on my tongue. Because I BITE IT A LOT.
So the question I put before you today, is WHY? Why do men not understand that they are also these people? They also have bad days. Moody days. Grumpy, not happy about anything that comes their way days. Couldn't please them if you tried, days. How can they deny that they can be these people as well. Women are NOT the only ones whose emotions spiral out of control. Man-o-pause exists. Testify ladies, testify.
I just spent over an hour in the grocery house with my husband. And from the time we got in my truck, nothing went right. Why didn't I drive down the other street? He wanted to look at a house that was for sale. Well, I guess I was supposed to already know that, since he had not said a word previously. Why are your brakes making that noise, you must be "braking wrong". What the hell is that? I ask you ladies, how do you "brake wrong?" However, I am a pro at slamming them, I do know how to do that, which I did at the next light, with an "Oops..sorry, did it wrong. Again." ;)
As if the drive wasn't enough, I then spent over an hour in the grocery house with this man, and from the time we walked in the door, and I picked out the wrong buggy, it was on. The wheels are weird he says. Since he's pushing it, I should let him pick one out he says. I smile and say, I'm sorry, see if there's a better one you would rather push. But in my mind I am saying, or a better one that I can shove up your a$$.
The shopping continues. I am making a roast today. I am picking out a package of pre-chopped onions in the produce section. I don't eat them, I don't like that they make my hands stink, so that's what I was buying. And he starts. Why are you wasting money on those when you can just buy one and slice it. I said I can, and I will, if you'll slice it. No return comment from the cheap seats. I roll on to the next aisle.
We don't need anymore lunch meat he says. It gets wasted. I said how do you figure, Zach has been taking his lunch. Well, I haven't see him eat any of it, he said, I said, you're not at school, how would you know. That, and the whole package is gone that I bought last week. Silence again.
I pick up a box of Lucky Charms. I don't know why you keep buying those big boxes of cereal, Zach never finishes it, he says. Again, I say, he eats a bowl every single morning. He repeats, like an broken record, well, I never see it get eaten. And I rewind and say, how would you know, you're already gone to work when he's eating breakfast. My mind says, I can video tape it for you if this is going to court or something.
Now we're on the vegetable aisle, I'm gathering up two HUGE industrial size cans of green beans. It's my turn to help cook for the football team this week. He "advises", I don't know why you're getting all those beans, those boys won't eat all of that. Folks, he liked to have got two cans of green beans upside his head like a pair of symbols. If I could have picked up both and slammed at the same time...well...
The entire rest of the grocery house visit went exactly the same way. EXACTLY. So to report how many other times he came close to being poisoned (on the insect repellent aisle) or rapped in the head (on the mop and broom aisle) would really just be redundant information.
We have paid our bill, which is "astronomical" as he says, we've loaded the truck, and we are on the way home. The conversation is the same all the way back, except he is having to talk to himself, because I no longer trust myself to speak to his behind. We get to the house, and the first words out of his mouth were, I guess we'll be unloading these ourselves, I'll guarantee that boy ain't even up yet (we left Zach in bed asleep). Well, low and behold, before I could get to the back door, "the boy" was opening it up and coming out to help. Another opportunity to gripe, grump and be a jackass blown! Dang it! How did something go right?!
My girlfriends and I went to see Hope Springs yesterday. To keep it brief I will just say that the basic jest was that an older couple had lost their spark and were trying to find it again. I thought to myself several times that the movie was a good refresher course for young and old couples alike. To remember that the small things matter, the light touches as you walk by, the simple and small comments that may seem mundane, but are still necessary.
But today, I have spent the better part of my morning thinking I should have taken Mims with me to see that movie instead of going with my Movie Club group. Today, he not only needs a refresher course, he needs to be dipped in a vat of sugar, and re-dipped for good measure. How the rest of our day will go is questionable to be sure. But I have hidden all sharp objects from myself, and locked up the shed where all the shovels and hatchets are stored. This should keep him safe, and me out of jail. For another day.
Friday, August 10, 2012
I can't imagine living my life in constant constriction. Taking spewed insults as you walk down a public sidewalk, from a moving vehicle full of Frat boys. Or girls. Constant looks of revulsion. Of hatred. Pure vicious hatred.
He suffers from Anxiety Disorder. He's been medically diagnosed. From the time he entered Junior High and on through High School, it never seemed to stop. He's so strong, and he made it through all of that, but not without damage. Hidden damage that most never see, and only he can feel.
So that now, in his third year of an MFA program, he is still scared to walk across a dark campus at night, from classroom to his vehicle, is so wrong, on so many levels. That I still talk to him on the phone, as he walks, because I am scared, that he is scared makes me sad. That parents worry about their children when they leave home for college and then they grow up, and the basic worrying is over, seems somehow, unfair. For I will never stop worrying, I will always be fearful, because he will always be in potential danger.
Hatred is such a strong emotion. Hatred for another human being whom you don't even know is unreasonable and there is nothing about that I will ever understand. That I don't walk in his shoes does not make me feel better, it makes me wish his shoes fit my feet.
As he talked to me tonight, of the fears he still has, the things that still happen that he never talks about anymore, I hung up the phone and cried. He is twenty six years old and this is his life. He was thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen, and that was his life. When can he hold hands with the love of his life and not be in fear of ugliness, hatred, and possible harm?
He doesn't whine, he doesn't complain, these are facts for him. As I said, it's his life. He has good days, where everyone he passes smiles and occasionally says good morning, or hello. And he has bad days, where a perfect stranger walks by and calls him a Faggot. What? Because he's by himself, and he looks like one? Because he is comfortable enough in his skin to be himself in real life, instead of hiding?
This is not a story about acceptance or non-acceptance. This is a story about my beautiful son, who simply wants to live like everyone else. Without fear and horror simply for who he is and who he loves. And his mother who would like for him to always, be as happy as he can possibly be, without the fear and horror because of who he is and who he loves.
It's story about sad phone calls, tense filled phone calls, and the distance in between where he is and my safety net for him which no longer reaches as far. It's not about who eats where, who thinks what, and who believes in what. Or how many people can cram cars into a drive thru food establishment to represent the idea and make a public statement of who they think should be married or not. The First Amendment is vitally important. And it applies to everyone. It's not about me pointing a finger at anyone. Or accusing anyone. If my story makes you uncomfortable, then maybe you have some unresolved issues within yourself. Within your heart. This story is about a Mama's love for her child. No matter what. Ever.
My God loves everybody. Every sinner. Every saint. I know a lot of sinners, can't really say I know many saints. So I figure, we're pretty much all even. We all have the same line to stand in, to get in that gate. We all have our trespasses to admit and explain. No one sin is greater than another. There is no point system. There is no 1-10 scale of good and bad. He will judge all the same. And my beautiful, compassionate and loving son, will probably pass through that gate, long before I do, even though I will have already been far ahead of him in the line.