Saturday, December 21, 2013

When you think you've hit bottom, there's still further to fall

More room to explore I guess, if you're looking for the positive spin on things.
Wednesday therapy, really hard.  But then busy afternoon at work.  Seemed like old news at that point, until talking with my sis late late Wednesday night.  Then really hard turned into sobbing blubbering, wailing, fat hot tears all down my face for an hour and a half on the phone.  Can't bother to go into detail on that right now.  Fast forward two days.  Went to Shabbat service tonight, because a) I find it satisfying to go in general when I don't have the boys, b) I wanted to say Kaddish for Grandpa, and c) it was the baby naming for my friends (and supervisor) Rabbi B and his wife S-----.  Didn't quite anticipate how incredibly difficult tonight's service would be.  Tomorrow would be our 11th anniversary.  Eleven years ago tonight we were also at Shabbat services, with family and friends, Rabbi Y also led the service, just like tonight, and we were welcomed under a tent of blessing in anticipation of the wedding planned for the next night.  Why is it that this year our anniversary couldn't just fall on a Wednesday or something? It had to repeat the exact same pattern?  Going to Shabbat services on Friday night, a special community-wide blessing (this time for the new baby), etc.   I was just awash with memories.  I was holding it together one minute and weeping quietly the next throughout the service.  The Friday night liturgy doesn't help, the bride and bridegroom metaphors and the nigunim.  I felt drunk with memories, like waves washing over me, my wedding dress, standing beneath the huppah, the year and a half of attending Shabbat services together in that community, singing those songs hand in hand before and again after our wedding in the early years of our relationship until our NO was too squirmy and distracting to make attendance comfortable, remembering singing the words of Adon Olam together at home in the midst of crisis in the early months of our marriage when he lost his business (because he lied - and isn't that telling in retrospect).  I kept looking through the sea of faces and thinking about all the people who were there with us davening in those early years, seeing them again, trying to rack my brain and remember which ones were at the wedding as well.  Not many of them in attendance tonight, but a few.  I'm resisting the urge (for now) to see if I can still open up the excel doc and remind myself who was there and who wasn't.  No point.
I really didn't think I was going to make it through the surface and may have actually left if I hadn't been flanked on both sides by two very dear women friends.  They held me tight and I stayed.  Later one of them told me how impressed she was by the way I could just let me emotions out and not hide it.  Her compliment was genuine.  It was not a backward compliment.  I know she has a lot of respect for me, as I do for her, and she said it such.  I tried to explain that it wasn't really a choice.  There was nothing I could do, I couldn't have held it in if I'd tried.  It was truly like regular tsunamis of emotion.
But they pointed out that I stayed.  I could have left and that in itself shows I'm willing to feel those emotions, a good thing they suggested.  And that's where it gets confusing.  I don't have a hard time showing those emotions, but I am just coming to grips with a whole category of emotions that I don't really deal with.  Small scale disappointment and rejection.  I've apparently developed a very stubborn pattern of being ok with not getting what I need from people, even those closest to me.
Case in point:  Wednesday morning I exchanged the following texts with my mother:
Me: Your toes are probably all nice and pretty having just been in Hawaii. But if you're in need of a pedi, perhaps we could go first thing Saturday morning. 

Mom: I think dad would like to go 
Mom: I'll check

Me: Dad wants a pedicure? I don't know that I was inviting dad. But I suppose. 

Mom: Yes he does - :)

Then I met with my therapist and was emboldened to speak up for exactly what I needed.  I left my session and texted again:

Me: It's not that I don't want to hang out with Dad, but I think you missed the point. I was specifically looking to spend some time with just you before getting the boys back on Saturday morning. That day is going to be hard and I was looking for that quiet one on one pampering time. Not sure what to do about that now if you've already invited dad.

Mom: Haven't said a word - we will think of something honey

End of conversation about that until tonight.  So, yesterday they flew back to the mainland from Hawaii, and spent the night with family.  They were set to come down today, to be here about 3:00, spend some time with the boys before they spent the night with their dad.  I spoke with my mom last night and learned that not only had Dad come down with another nasty sinus infection (the man who was never sick is getting sick regularly now), that required immediate attention (I don't debate this), but that their newly purchased house here in town was broken into and had just been discovered as such by the neighbors.  Dealing with those crisis were top on the list for today.  I understand that completely.  What else were they supposed to do.  And then they hit horrendous traffic at the start of the two hour drive here.  So, they didn't get into town until about 4 or 5 and then they had to deal with the police.  So, any possibility of going to Shabbat Service together was out.  Ok.  I understand.  I talked with my mom on the phone after the boys got picked up.  I had nothing to do here and she had nothing to do there.  Dad was off at the store getting some food.  We were both just sitting waiting, might as well catch up.  Her neighbor called twice during that phone conversation and she said that she needed to get off and call her back.  I was very bold and asked her why that was necessary.  Is there anything else you need to be doing right now besides talking to me?  Is it so important to talk to your neighbor?  Who you've known for a cumulative two weeks?  Whatever needs to be said, can't it wait until later?  She agreed, and remarked that it's hard to remember that.  Thanks for reminding me.  I expressed understanding.  I get it.  Totally get it.  I'm exactly like that.  Where do you think I got it from?  So, we continued talking for another 15 minutes until Dad got home.  And I was ok with that.  I needed to make dinner too and they were going to eat and we had caught up enough on what was going on.  I didn't need to talk anymore.  I said I would call after services.  She wanted me to come out to visit after the service perhaps (never mind that it would be a 30 minute round trip drive at 9:30 at night), and she's not a night owl.
I didn't get out until 10.  We talked for a little bit then.  The police still had not been there to complete their investigation and report.  It had occurred to me earlier that I really didn't want to see the STBEX tomorrow.  It is far too tempting to toss out a bitter sarcastic "happy anniversary" during the exchange of the boys.  I wouldn't of course, but it would take a lot out of me to resist, and I don't need to deal with that.  It occurred to me that there was no reason why I couldn't ask my parents to handle that transfer tomorrow.  I don't need to see him at all.  So, we discussed that briefly and made tentative plans.  She was happy to assist with that, but it might have to be at their house, because the police might come in the morning.  No problem.
Then she called back a little bit later.  The police were there then and she would be freer in the morning.  She said she could come with me to get a pedicure or perhaps take the opportunity to rest and sleep in in the morning.  (Never mind she's coming straight from vacation.  Yes, there were challenges to the vacation, from the death of Grandpa to mice in the storage cupboard, but come on, there was still ample relaxation time.)  I was feeling emboldened and so I said to her, "my first choice would be that you come get a pedicure with me."  To which she responded something to the extent of, "well, we'll see.  I don't want to leave Dad without a car.  You know we're a one car household now.  Etc. Etc.
I feel like I couldn't have been clearer about my need and desire and yet it was put behind Dad's potential inconvenience at not having a vehicle for a couple of hours.  And suddenly, after Wednesdays epiphanies (for a very non-Jewish word), it seemed all too familiar.  Coming in second (or even much further down) on the list after Dad, regardless of the level of need.  But this time I recognized it.  Now we'll see what happens.  I almost don't want to go with her now.  But I know that if she doesn't get her act together to get there with me, I am going to have to address this issue, and I don't want to.  But that's the growth opportunity here.

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