T-Bird (Part VI)

March 19, 2005 at 12:40 am (Uncategorized)

By the fall of 2000, T-Bird and I were on the outs. I’m not sure when we “made up.” It was after she started back on medication. Over the next few years, up until the fall of 2003, we followed a predictable course. Everything would be fine for a while, and then something innocuous would happen and T-Bird would get mad and not speak to me.

This isn’t to say that we didn’t have our good times. We sure did. We were also there for each other. It was T-Bird who stood by me through the tough times with Holland. It was T-Bird who went to court with me as a witness and a pillar of strength when I fought for full custody of Nate. We rode the winding roads of WV together searching for my jerk boyfriend. Sometimes it was she who watched over him in an effort to help me. All it got her was felt up. Yes, my boyfriend felt up my best friend.

I was there when she got mixed up with her ex-boyfriend (jerk!). I was there when she and Bob divorced (they still live together). I was there when she was mad at everyone, including me. She cried on my shoulder when the jerk betrayed her again. I was there to help her move and rearrange her mom’s storage building in 90 degree weather. (She moved six times after leaving my house.) I can’t say the years were a total disaster or wash. Not at all.

They were also, besides the first six months after J3’s birth, the most trying times. Her medication was changed as often as her underwear. More and more her past came to haunt her.

T-Bird is a survivor. We both love and loathe that about one another. We’re both strong, opinionated women who take no shit. That’s tough when the shit is being dished. The birth of J3 was a turning point for her into darkness. A deep pool of darkness. She often thrashed around trying to keep her head above water yet drug everyone down with her.

T-Bird was trying to deal with the demands of parenting, being a wife (or ex-wife), the delayed reaction to the death of her daughter, the omnipresence of her mother, strained relationship with her father, a sister wilder than a buck and more headstrong than T-Bird, her mom, and me combined. Let’s not forget the sexual abuse by her grandfather, who stole her virginity at the age of twelve, and the fondling by her cousin from the time she was six until she was 16.

That’s a lot.

It seemed as though she would bite into and tear off a chunk only to gag on it. Life was a roller coaster for everyone. I wasn’t much help myself until early 2003. I was just as lost and sick as she was. When I started getting my shit together I became much more aware of where, not just T-Bird, but the whole family was going. We all should have gotten the T-shirt that read “Why are we in hell and how did we get in this handbasket?”

Another pattern emerged in which I was afraid to answer the phone because it would be T-Bird wanting something. Money, to borrow my car, watch her kid, talk about herself… something. I was merely a vessel. She teetered closer and closer to the edge.

I’ve told T-Bird’s mom, KCZ, on several occasions if she were my mother and interfered as much with my life as she did T-Bird’s I would have kicked her out a long time ago. KCZ, loving though she is, is the most annoying, irritating mother on the Earth. Gossip-mongers the whole lot of them. Life isn’t complete unless she is totally in the middle of everyone’s life (good mechanism to keep from dealing with her own!).

Chay… well, as I said before, she inherited the worst from all of us. She’s twelve years younger than T-Bird. Her father, T-Bird’s stepfather, was killed in an industrial accident when she was 2, 3, 4 years old. Yes, this family has been through it. Add her brother into the mix… and his wife… and their three children. C., his wife, and two children disappeared right after the birth of the second baby because KCZ interfered too much. No shit. Everything is fine now but… more stress.

Still, as I was trying to pull my shit together, the rest of them were falling apart. I can’t remember exactly why but by J3’s 4th birthday, T-Bird and I were once again on the outs. This time she had made me sooooo mad with her bullshit, I said, no more. I was done.

Finis. Finite. Finished. Ohhh… the Nanner can have a hard heart. I don’t make people suffer unduly. I don’t play games. I had just finally come to the realization that I was hurting myself and any forward progress by continuing to allow T-Bird to drag me through the briars with her. There would be no reunions or forgiveness. It was over.

And even the best laid plans go awry.

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