I think I am coming out of it, this daze I have been in, this malaise that has held onto me for months now. It’s not a complete reversal. It’s not a sudden or immediate shift. There are changes, slow, minute, but steady. That, for me, right now, it is enough.
Moving is very difficult. We’ve moved two times in six months. Even though this last move was only a half mile between houses, it still was not an easy task. Usually with a move, I am all energy and motion, unpacking and sorting and shifting things around. Not this time. It’s more of a unpack and sort this little box…and call it a day. So many things have been going on lately, I barely manage a box a day…a box a week, maybe. It’s more of an avoidance game at this point. How long can I put this off? And if I put this off, then I won’t have to do this. If I can’t find my water colors, then I can’t paint, now can I? If I don’t know where my pencils or my inks are, there can be no drawing. If I cannot get to my yarn stash, there will be no knitting. Except when I absolutely have to, like the Zombie doll I had to knit tout suite for A for her birthday recently (picture still not transferred from R’s phone—bear w us please).
I can run through a ton of reasons (excuses) why I am not doing things, not unpacking things, not being motivated…but why? Honestly, why? At least I have started to see that the whole unpacking process has taken a toll on me—there are piles of things all over the place. I have a box in the living room that has been there all week—the last of the things that need to go back to where they were before Mr Sandless came to do their poor job of things (update there: phone tag games only…even direct call backs go straight to voicemail…NOT the way to run a business of ANY sort, eh?) What it boils down to is a great many things…but, bottom line is: I don’t want to do it. I am choosing not to do it.
I am choosing not to unpack. I am choosing not to write. I am choosing not to draw. I am choosing not to knit. I am choosing to submerge myself in mystery and boredom and non-motion. To be fair, much time has been spent staring at my daughter and trying to force her to cooperate…and researching 1 hospitals to send her to, 2 programs to submit her to, 3 hospitals, convents and temples for me to enter to get away from her and everything else in the world. Do not think I am kidding. As many hospitals as I have looked at for E, I have looked at probably twice as many for myself. The child is killing me, slowly, surely, and w deadly accuracy. I can understand stubborn. I can understand father issues. I can understand so many things. But I have reached the point where I cannot deal with any of them anymore. If it weren’t for R, I would have taken her to a hospital, signed my rights away, and quit this entire place. R, and R alone, is what is holding this family together. Him and nothing else.
If anyone has any suggestions, please, tell me. I have tried the non-violent communication route…we’ve tried the taking things away route…we’ve tried the rewards system…we’ve tried threats and bribery and begging…we have changed our behaviors, hoping that by doing so hers would change as well. It’s the whole train the parent and the child will change…change your reactions, and the child’s reactions will change. I can be Mother Teresa or I can be Attila the Hun—this kid ain’t budging. She does not care if we take away every item in her room and leave her w only a pillow and blanket. She does not care if we shower her with gifts, or attention, or love and approval. She does not care if she is forced to stay in the house, grounded. She does not care if she gets to go stay w friends or relatives, or play outside with friends. She doesn’t care if she does her schoolwork, or cleans her room, or eats enough to survive, much less thrive. We can talk to her until we are blue in the face. I have always done my best to explain things to her. No one ever told me squat when I was a kid—I still don’t know what went on for most of my life, because no one felt the need to put me in the loop—I feel as if I have no ties at all to anyone in my family, because no one really cares. I have always been and continue to be a burden they all put up w now and again, simply because we share bloodlines. I can’t spank her…although sometimes I want to so badly I can taste it. I was a spanked and beaten child…and I can tell you…it never made any difference at all. It was something that happened. It started. It would stop. It would start again. There was no way to avoid it. However, I have dropped that you can’t spank the children rule where E is concerned—I can’t spank her, but R can. He hasn’t yet, because we shouldn’t have to go that far. But, w E, we have run out of other options. And we’ve told her this.
I don’t know how I failed her so badly, or where I failed her so completely, that this is where she is at now, at her age…and I don’t know how to fix things. We can talk to her—and she says she understands—she repeats things back in her own words. She tells other people what we are doing—so we know she gets what we are saying. Plus, she does talk to us. We may have to pull it out of her, which is like pulling hen’s teeth out w pliers, but she does talk to us. Her actions, however, never change, no matter what we do, no matter what or how we change.
Some of it is genetics, I know. Some of this does not come from me and has nothing at all to do with me. Then again, some of it is based on the choices I made, the men I accepted and took into my life. I have made mistakes—and I have told her I’ve made mistakes and I’ve made bad choices, but that I am trying to learn from those mistakes and move on, and make better choices, or at least to make better/different mistakes. I’ve even thought of leaving R, which would literally kill us both, if it would help E, but it did dawn on me by leaving R, we would simply be confirming in E’s brain that no man will ever truly love her or accept her –and would set her up to make those same mistakes that I made my entire life while I tried to fill to void in my heart that yearned for my father.
At least she is eating again and I don’t have to stand there for three hours, saying eat eat eat eat eat…at least her weight is back to where it was pre-anoxeria/bulimia scare…at least she is no longer willing herself to vomit when she thinks she can’t eat another bite…at least she is, mostly, trying to put forth a little bit of effort where her schoolwork is concerned…not much, but a little. Not nearly enough…but a little. If she would work more consistently, I’d find her a Montessori school, or something, so she could be w other kids, and learn other things…but, I know from experience, just as she will sit here and not do a thing, we can take her to school and she will refuse to do anything and will sit for hours and hours and not move there either. She’s acted that way before hwen we had her in Montessori school…she will do it again. She’s done it in other places too. She’s been asking us to take her to Sylvan Learning Center…but when we explained why we wouldn’t (if she won’t do the work w/for us on her own, why would she do it for a complete stranger…if I thought she’d do something for someone else, I’d take her in a heartbeat, even if I had to get a ‘regular’ job two or three ‘regular’ jobs even, in order to pay for it!), she sort of us shrugged and gave up…she never said she’d try, or she’d think about it—even though we told her if she would try, we’d do it…which is the same thing I tell her about Montessori school…if I thought she would try, if she thought she would try, I’d work my butt off to get her into a program…but she never really wants to try. It’s the same thing I tell her about so many other things—if she’d at least try, I’d do whatever it took to get her to where she wants to be, to do whatever it is she wants to do. I know she’s a perfectionist; I know if she can’t do it perfectly and do it right, she would prefer not to do it; I know looking bad in front of other people scares her…but she won’t even try…at home or elsewhere.
Sigh…and that is where all my energy has gone…energy I really didn’t have to begin with anyway…that is where all my concentration has gone. I have barely touched my knitting instructor course. Even though I hate to knit swatches, and the beginnings of this course is all about making swatches to show off different techniques, I don’t want to touch yarn or anything else after having to deal w E all day. I haven’t been writing all that much—as my blogs can all attest. As can all my friends and family that I normally email weekly, if not daily, can attest. I fight getting out of bed in the mornings, even though sleep is a battle the whole night through. I have taken to nearly napping in the afternoons, as I’d rather not think consciously than have to fight my brain to quiet down. I am ready for bed usually at seven in the evening, but I can’t go to bed, 1 because E usually isn’t done w her schoolwork and/or her dinner, 2 because there are places to go and things to be done, 3 because the kids need time to stay up w R, and I need time awake w R…so I fight to stay awake…and sometimes it works…other times, I fight to stay awake so long that once the battle is done, I can’t get to sleep to save my life…which is when I read 4 books in 2 days like the past couple days here.
But, along with reading these books, I have also been busy otherwise. I have a new synopsis ready to flesh out. I have coursework to design…not for E…but for classes I plan to teach on down the line. The thing is, these are classes I have had in the back of my head for more than five years now. Now I am ready to really get into the development of them. I am writing, working with my daily writing practice, and a different form of morning pages…I have many entries and articles that I should have written in the past few months that I did not make time for…so my morning pages work is catching up on those articles, rather than whatever floats through my brain…basically because there is nothing in my brain that I can access. I have been fighting E for so long now, fighting for her, against her and with her, that if I stop and stare out into space there is nothing, not even a low hum—I can’t do that in meditation or even after an hour’s worth of uninterrupted Yoga—but that girl has managed to do it—except that this is not the peaceful quiet of a monkey mind tamed and subdued—this is the drooling viscera leftover after the monkey mind has raped and pillaged the world and has become one with the putrefying carnage…this is not empty and devoid of thought…this is that blank brick wall and I have run into it so often that I am now a part of it…but I have not given up…I am slowly struggling to reach out and grab hold of something, just for me, so that I am not my daughter’s keeper and the tyrant who does nothing but crack the whip…my home is a battlefield and is full of chaos due to the lack of unpacking, the lack of organization going on…I have no clue how to conquer any of that…because every time I want to try, there is a road block. But at least I am trying. At least I am working towards…something…even if I don’t know what it is.
Thanks for listening.