07 March 2009

Clinical insanity

Before I gather my family and spend what remaining evening there is with them, I share this rant. Long day, many people, rudeness by one man sets off the whole day, same ol', same ol', more people, more ignorant/substandard consideration, turn-over through the roof, people sitting before tables are cleared, run-run-run, late breaks, late clock-out, run-run-run, stop.

Head full, feet throbbing, chest burning with undigested frustration (how can people treat people like that? how can people LET people get away with that?? not just work, life and friends, too, but now I am only thinking of work), home. Nap, pay bills, anger wells at shortage of cash, trying to calm, wanting to chew a bit, let it go, get perspective, overall day building up, and just desperately wanting to let it go, to not to care, to link to, to think SO MUCH about it. About stupid, rude people, about bills, about close friends and family, about kids telling kids stupid things and getting OH-WELL-ED TO DEATH.

Then other things. I'm TRYING to understand HOW to let it go, HOW to be a better person, HOW to put my life in a true, how-God-sees-it perspective but get lambasted, shot down, oh-well-ed, and sarcasm-drenched jabbed to DEATH by the people closest to me. And why do I let them?? Hell if I know. I am wrong, I am dis-illusioned, I am crazy, I am woman, I am American, I am... a MILLION things that are NOTHING. Nothing, incorrect, false LABELS that show me that no one--NO one--knows who I am. No one gets it. No one gives a shit enough to try. Because, well, I ADMIT (grrrr), it takes a freaking payload to do that.

And how could they. How could anyone. Possibly. Fathom. The entire depth with which I experience things, life. You'd have to be.... crazy.... to understand because it is a level deeper than "invested." I am invested.... in everything. Every life, every action, every reaction, every emotion (of others MORE than myself), every motion, perception, notion, or idea wells in me with a deep, deep, integral consideration. I have had to LEARN... had to teach myself, condition and otherwise monitor such intensity because people-----and it doesn't matter WHO they are, who I have ever known, ever lived with, ever befriended, ever disliked, ever associated with-----just cannot, do not know how to deal with this. They can't deal with it because they cannot fathom this. They cannot fathom this and why? Because they are self-absorbed even when they are being generous and in the meantime, I've cheapened myself into thinking and by thinking that me always going against what I want is somehow giving up a piece of myself for the overall peace. Regardless of the stupidity of such train of thought, how do I explain the depth, core-soaked level with which I feel and why would I even bother to explain ANYWAY?

I don't think for one moment this makes me better, either. It doesn't make a person better. It makes me a stupid person. It makes me SUCK. It makes me sick. I am just sick. SICK. and tired of doling out, extending the same compassion, understanding, perception-seeing, multi-side view-ability, self-denying bullshit when no one will do the same. I KNOW that the "self-denying" part of it is all choice, that I don't have to, that how much I do or don't do is up to me and that choosing to and complaining about it may, perhaps, assign me with a MARTYRDOM complex; but I CHOSE to do those things out of MY idea of living a life of Christ, what I really, truly, thought and worked hard to be what Jesus would want.

I'm sure Jesus himself didn't deny himself with the mentality I have. In fact, salvation would be screwed if that were the case. I have no more of an idea of all the things about Jesus' life and everything he did that wasn't mentioned in the Bible than anyone before me; so to know, albeitly very limited, how exactly He thought is next to impossible.

There is, at least, SOME idea (based on Bible accounts and historical contexts) and I know it is irrelevant and inapplicable when trying to micro-analyze either my life and is borderline blasphemous to think I have any comparison to His life. I just THOUGHT this way, the way I have chosen, might be one right way. You know? Not THE way, not anyone's way. Just one way. And a way that doesn't mean bleaching or bleeding my beliefs onto another person. Obviously, it's not working. People with less belief in Jesus than me are leading far less cranky lives.

I just don't get it and I am sick being disheartened by the human race. Not that I am above it. Not for a minute. I suck just the same and am at a current unrest at the constant shift in the undercurrent of things I'm still learning how to digest.

04 March 2009

Brain damage

I just wish I would have had the presence of mind to deal with it better. To make decisions that came from having a sense of knowing who I was, what I wanted for my family, to be right or to be wrong, but to act with surity.

But I didn't. I guess I learned from that, and that's the point, but it doesn't change the point of reflection. I'm not really sure that any level of higher maturity would have changed the way things happened, but it would have at least made me feel less out of control about my own life scripted in Kyle's sickness.

The head trauma, dare I nudge that word again, may have had a role in the whole thing of it, looking back. It's true I'll never know, but it begs a curious question because I never, ever remember being that scatterbrained, that 'all over', that OUT of ideas in how to handle something before the accident. It's true when I had been pregnant and trying to carve something out of nothing, I had no life experience from which to draw and felt very much the same way; but in the end, I was able to find a job that paid the bills a little better (at least FULL rent and some groceries), make choices with a sense of creativity and with a sense of wanting something better for my baby and me.

The thing is, I'm starting to realize is that before and after the accident I made all these choices out of emotion. When I banged my head up so bad, the only place I knew how to process from and was most comfortable with was emotion. How I got some of it right dealing primarily out of emoting, I'll never know, and it's still in progress, but I'm grateful to the higher powers that be that I did, that I can see these beautiful children of mine process things with logic, creativity, and emotion. Logic escaped me, but I didn't see it that in that way or how the process of coping was gradually skewed by the emotional rail of thought or course of action.

Anyway, I've learned that the frontal lobe controls much of what or how we process thoughts and emotions and I wouldn't doubt it if the extreme bashing my head took bruised that lobe and therefore inhibited any ability to figure it out at all, never mind that soon after an accident (just over a year between the accident and Kyle's third diagnosis and treatment in-hospital.) Then, instead of exercising the brain, performing memory exercises, mental therapy (like physical therapy for the brain?) and working on gaining back that normal mentality, I just started a pattern of thinking from emotion (it didn't hurt like logic and reasoning did) and got into this habit of self-conditioned emotion-response, perpetuated by the stress of the circumstances and events around us.

I really see that it could be this way. I mean, I'm no expert and I have an appointment to talk with someone more qualified, but doesn't this make sense? The point worth pondering is the hypothesis suggested in brain damage: If I bash my brain inside my skull via rollover, then I will have problems processing thought and making intelligent and/or coherent decisions.

03 March 2009


When I was growing up, I heard all kinds of comments about women come from the men who were married to them, or at least attached in some formless, ambiguous way.

A lot of times, these men didn't know I was around the corner writing on inventory cards or looking through Chilton manuals, but some of them did and some of them made these comments directly to me with half amused expressions. As though I could understood this male peer kind of comedy.

As though they could control some slender, pre-real-life teen thing from turning into the old ball-and-chain blimp wife that "starts expanding at the alter" by making these sly, clever little digs to a naive sixteeen-year old.

These ranging biker varieties were hardly qualified to give advice of the marital kind to the young, impressionable daughter of a Harley repair shop owner; but there we were: them giving me the advice and me unknowingly committing it to memory as I shirked their comments off with a smile in the middle of an oil-reeked garage.

My dad added to it occasionally by inserting his own thoughts, opinions, and ideas of the unrealistic kind. "You know, women should be more like..." were the common preface. He gave me lots of good ideas! Don't nag, don't let one's self go, be graceful, try to see where he's coming from, things that maybe his biker and miner comrades shared a common plane of thought, but things that quickly translated into: how to be the perfect woman for any guy. No wonder my mother seemed so unhappy.

How it turned from the point of my dad's well-meant-though-ill-informed intention (especially because of or completely in spite of his customers and friends) to me processing my father's words as a manual to my life, I'll never know, but I do know that for what I DO know now, I didn't know anything back then; and perhaps, just maybe, the responsibility to shut the hell up about things he did not understand or accept (the female pscyhe, for one) fell on his shoulders.

But it happened. I recalled these dislikes of men, vowed silently to never gain weight (though exactly how, with zero athleticism, I thought I'd pull that off I'll never know), never left the house without makeup, dressed modestly, put what the guy would think or want on the forefront of my mind without any regard for my own feelings, development of my own thoughts, or embracement of my own female self. Ooops.

What started out as perhaps helpful suggestions based on the frustrations these men and my dad were having with their wives (or even if they were just real life comedic releases!), became notes of extreme value tucked away in my cerebellum, never to be released again until a time much later revealed how damaging these thoughts had been to my own personal development as a woman.

I am over feeling embarrassed about this lament. I'm already over it. I just don't care. I've thought about this enough times to write a book and shirked it off just as many times as I shirked off the comments of my dad's customer friends. The fact of the matter is that having such an insight to a guy's mind, and it was a mission for my dad, was to understand how they think.

And it's been helpful. I can understand how men think. I can understand them really damned good. I understand them so damned well that I can't even see what my feelings are/were/could be. To the point of reasoning away my own womanly complaint and forgetting what I could have possibly been upset/perturbed/wistful/museful about. I can understand them even better than myself (though this is changing, progressively resorting to embracing the fact that I am, indeed, a bonefied, certified, hard-wired from birth, real live woman) because I was made to understand them before I even understood what it truly meant to be a woman.

This infinite, valuable insight has been immeasurable. I've been able to modify who I am, how I react, things that come naturally to me as a woman so that I can be a man's woman and understand how, where, and why they think from where they do. But it unwittingly made me a very angry woman.

How could I ever be okay with venting, being frustrated, or anything/something I viewed as lesser value? That is to say, how could I ever possibly know that it was OK to feel the things I felt as a woman, when the man-brain in me kept reasoning it all away? I never recognized that I was letting little things built up over time to one big mess, I just thought I was being petty over one thing; and trying to find that one thing making me so angry was next to impossible. Just ask my poor husband, who saw it through a few versions. In reality, I was just not accepting that this boiling point had been brought on by a series of undigested moments.

I'm just saying...

It didn't matter that it totally screwed with me as a young woman, fiercely fighting off my femininity (rather than for my independence), to be this perfect type of woman (which does not exist and hello! why couldn't anyone have stopped me to tell me that?); I was still able to identify with the male side of any argument faster than any woman's and was excruciatingly embarrassed whenever I didn't and got caught. Even more was all the ways it affected my parenting, my whole thoughts, and the process of completely denying myself like some saint when Kyle was sick and then when he came home.

It just made things a little more difficult to process while life was slapping us in the face or while recouping the losses suffered in the consequences of our decisions; and the relief comes in knowing this now and being a better person for it. A gal able to look back at her 'silly ol' self' and reflect with wider-opened eyes.