Thank God I’m Home

I had a massive panic attack on my way to my parents, enough to make me still feel shitty and weird the next day.

It was fine. It was stupid. I got to the house and no one was there. I called my parents to tell them I’d arrived and my dad told me to put the porkchops that were on the counter in the fridge so that the dog wouldn’t eat them. I just moved them out of the reach of the dog. He’s not that bright.

When my dad got home, he was pissed at me for not putting the pork chops in the fridge because surely I could tell they were done thawing.

He also had a fight with his Bible app. The man lives in a home where you can reach out and touch a Bible anywhere in the house, but he’s fighting with an app and refusing to read his Bible verses because the app won’t work.

I am, as usual, bossy. I have made life hard for my brothers in ways I’m supposedly not aware of, because, I guess, as well as bossy, I’m thoughtless.

My cousins also made me feel like shit, so that was also fun. Not intentionally, mind you. But just in that I’m not married and don’t have kids so they either act like I can’t understand their lives or like I must be using the dog as some kind of child substitute.

And y’all know my feelings on “fur babies.” Rufus is not my son. The whole idea of it just grosses me out.

Probably I was the problem this time, because I was just all mushy headed from the panic attack. But I can’t stand how we’re all supposed to pretend like we have these great happy lives, when we’re all obviously miserable or on drugs or drinking.

And my cousins were massively upset and snide about there not being alcohol in my parents’ home–as if there has ever been alcohol in my parents’ home.

“But you and [the Butcher] drink!”

“Not here.”

I guess that was also somehow my fault, that I couldn’t convince my parents to let people have beer or wine in their house.

And I have been touched so fucking much that I truly don’t want another person to lay a hand on me for the rest of the year. It’s so invasive and it always feels like it’s some kind of bullying–to act as if I have no boundaries that matter.

And guess what! I don’t want people who hit me to ever touch me again. I don’t want people who stood by while I was hit to touch me.

I don’t know why that’s such a controversial position but it is.

And here’s the other thing that pisses me off. Let’s say everything they think about me is true. What am I supposed to do about it? This is the life I know how to lead. I can’t lead some other life that looks like they think it should look without… you know… putting them in charge of my life.

I genuinely don’t think that’s what many of them want. Or at least, I don’t think they’ve thought it through.

But abusers have patterns and the pattern is “what I say goes or else.” So, I’m not going down the “what I say goes” trail. Not with anyone. But specifically not with people I know hurt me.

So, that’s just the impasse. I can’t and don’t want to be the person they’d be more comfortable with me being. And we’re all miserable as a result.

And fuck it if I’m going to Georgia for Christmas when my other brother couldn’t be bothered to come up to this clusterfuck he instigated.

Color vs. Pattern

I have this theory–I can’t remember if we’ve talked about it before–that an afghan can either be really colorful or deeply patterned, but that your eye can only take in one bit of busy-ness at a time. Take this afghan I’m finishing up, which violates my rule. I really love the colors. I think it looks like a fall day and I’m really proud of the yarn, which I spun myself.

But go ahead and give that a good long stare. You notice anything? What if I told you that afghan is full of–in fact mostly made up of–lacy skulls?

This may change a little in the blocking, but because the yarn is so busy, it’s hard to see the shape of the pattern.

Marching to Zion

I guess if you sing about an odious task, it’s less odious? I don’t know. I’m working on making copper yarn for myself

I’m somewhat pleased with the result, but I think I want less patina.

Brief Butcher

The thing I miss the most about the Butcher being around is having someone who just intrinsically understands me.

I was talking about how I now, apparently, have this reputation for being an extrovert and he was like “But don’t they know that’s just training?” And I don’t know if I’ve ever articulated it that way to myself.

I’ve been trained to be this way. Deeply trained. Effectively trained. It’s muscle memory–here you are in the world; do the things you’re supposed to do. Look like you’re enjoying it. Put everyone at ease. Entertain them.

But, except for the satisfaction I often get from doing that shit effectively, I don’t enjoy it.

I do it because I’ve been trained to do it and I have no idea what I’d do in social situations otherwise.

The Shining Afghan

I took some time off this one to make the other one and now I’m back to this. It’s pretty fun to see it coming together, but it’s not quite as fast going as I’d like.

Live Through This

I’m starting to feel like the only way to deal with my life is to just listen to Hole very loudly and pretend I can’t hear anyone else.

I used to feel “go on, take everything, take everything, I dare you to” in my bones. Maybe I still do, in some ways. But I’m not strong enough to live through that. I wish I was. But you get older, you have to be more honest with yourself.

I’m Past the Point Where Folks Come Looking for Me

I have to find a way out of this hole, like immediately. I need to return emails and phone calls and direct messages. I have to be a person again in the world and I am not sure where the energy for that is supposed to come from.

Of course I had to endure a phone call from my parents explaining and excusing the change in Thanksgiving plans. Of course I had to endure yet another phone call from my brother doing the same.

I’m not the king of this family. I’m not the moral compass that decides if everything is okay. I can’t grant anyone absolution for being a doofus.

I’m just a tired, sad middle-aged woman whose dad, who she has very mixed feelings about, and a deep love for, is dying.

I made an afghan. It didn’t help me feel any better. Which is a shame because it’s very handsome.

Why Must I Leave Me Here All Alone?

I just, Jesus, where to even start?

My brother tried to cancel Thanksgiving. The Thanksgiving he instigated up at my parents’ house that we’re all going to. Where we were all supposed to force my parents to talk about how they should be moving closer to one of us and where we’d talk frankly about whether they could afford to.

I’m upset that he’s backing out of going. TO THE THING HE ARRANGED. But I’m livid and pained by the fact that he tried to make it seem like the rest of us shouldn’t bother to go.

He’s not going because they might gossip about him at work. First, they’re plumbers. Is that a hotbed of gossip? Second, how is “Dude went to his parents for Thanksgiving” any kind of bad gossip?

Also my dad is dying. How many more Thanksgivings are we going to get all together?

And my plan had been to go to Arizona and have Thanksgiving with the Butcher, but we all rearranged out lives to be in Illinois.

And in spite of all this, I’m sure I’ll be subjected to 900 rounds of “Your brother is so great.”

I’m just tired.

The Butcher is coming next weekend. I need to get the house in some vague shape.

I also want to enjoy my time with him without spending all of it complaining about our other brother.

Whew, Lost the Thread There

Sometimes I wonder why I’m still blogging. My relationship to writing has changed, a lot. I don’t feel like writing shit down helps sort it out.

But also, I have a book coming out next year (?!) and I need a platform and… I don’t know.

I guess I’m just sorry I haven’t been around here much.

I’m listening to The Twisted Ones, which is a horror story with a dog hero, and working on two afghans.

I’m super busy at work. And I feel a little overwhelmed.

But things are good. I think. So, that’s what I know.