Is This Allowed?

April 15, 2005 at 8:01 am (Uncategorized)

I talked to AZ yesterday for the first time in at least two months. Normally we don’t go that long without talking to each other. I had reminded myself several times to call him before my trip but it didn’t happen. As I was talking to him, I was also chatting (via IM) with il mio amore and was reminded how very lucky I am. Lucky things never worked out between AZ and me.

As I told my mother more than a while back, I was glad she showed me exactly what type of relationship/marriage I DIDN’T want and how that made me realize if I were ever with AZ romantically, I would be as miserable as she is. I know that’s not very nice but its the truth.

My mom and I had a series of unflattering words when I returned from my trip. She was unhappy with the fact that I informed her I was contemplating, with no real set plans, to move. She said, “Well, you don’t have to leave the state.” Yes, I’m afraid I do. Its not that I’m sick of being here. I love West Virginia, even though she’s dying and has been for quite some time. Kristin was kind enough to send me a thorough review of life in her Texas town and do some job market research. I’m waiting on the 2004 Census numbers to come out so I can compare cost of living for Austin, San Marco, Houston, San Antonio, and the area I live now.

When Trashman gets time to take a deep breath, I’ll ask him for the low down on Austin and perhaps he’ll cajole Jack to look around his area. I have Brighton, my sister, and Zelda and Jethro in the “Triangle of Power,” that is their residences form a nice triangle in different areas around Houston.

Texas is not the only place I’m looking but all of the places are to the south, southwest, or just plain west of where I am now. Its a lot to think about and I was talking with AZ last night about my house and what I should do with it… re-finish the hardwood or carpet it? Tile in the bathroom? New toilet? What about that porch? I appreciate how he’s willing to help me. He’s jealous of my plans. If he were not so heavily invested in the area, he would have already flown the coop.

As for my mom, she wanted to know what would happen if I moved. Who would help me?? Who the fuck helps me now? The babysitter. I hear they have those out-of-state. Nate’s dad runs hot and cold in the assistance department. Sometimes I think he is coming around but he doesn’t have any stamina. Other than that, I depend on my friends. It was Bob and T-Bird who helped me put in my hot water tank. Its my neighbors who watch my cats. Then my mom asked, “Well, just who would you stay with when you come home to visit?”

I said, “What are you talking about?”

“Well, you would rather spend time with your friends than your own parents!”

Here it is my people (as Jeanette would say), that’s it right there in a nutshell. Its not about missing me or Nate, or our happiness, or what better opportunities are out there for us, its about her. I know I won’t explain this correctly but the statement she made above is so indicitive of her, her mentality and attitude.

She’s jealous and she was mad at me for going to see AJ, and she was mad at me for going to Louisiana and Texas to visit my friends and relatives. She is this way because she’ll never have the balls to do it herself. She lives a half-life. I haven’t told her about il mio amore. He’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of, everything I’ve ever wanted. I never knew that caring so deeply about someone could be so peaceful as opposed to the angst-filled, anxiety-riddled, insecure fiascos that have plaqued my life before. My cup runneth over.

I don’t ever want to tell her. I want to wallow in my happiness and peace and not have to worry about bracing myself for the inevitable shit storm. As always, I’m very non-traditional. Did I also mention that I’m totally incapable of deciding anything for myself? Obviously this “moving thing” was someone else’s idea and I’m being “influenced” by outside sources. I am being influenced. I’m being influenced by you, bloggers. I’m being influenced to live my life, be happy, and successful, and that I deserve those things.

When I told her I quit smoking, she asked, “Well! What made you do that?” This coming from a woman who is a very verbal opponent to smoking. I’m sorry peeps if you got the wrong idea about me. I really can’t make any decisions for myself, I have to be made to do something or influenced by an outside source. So sorry I’m not who you thought I was. *dripping black sarcasm*

Now, add to it the fact my dad has been having pains underneath his right arm and down into the ribcage since DECEMBER. No, its not his heart. We don’t know what it is. Why? Because he’s too cheap, CHEAP!, to ask his doctor for a chest x-ray prescription. He wants to wait until he can have it done a hundred miles away for free at the VA hospital, where they are more likely to kill you than cure you. My Dad has silicosis overlaid with asbestosis.

These two conditions put him at an increased risk for lung cancer, gastro-intestinal cancers, heart failure and, the worst, mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is cancer of the mesothelial tissues, the thin membrane linings of the lungs, chest, abdomen, and heart. The average lifespan following diagnosis of mesothelioma is six months. Meso is caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers and I describe it as “cancer on crack.” When Troy worked in the private sector, he represented people with meso and he said the longest he ever saw anyone survive with it was five years. He said he had no idea how the guy lived that long and what life he did have was very unpleasant.

Given how my Dad’s general physical condition has deteriorated recently, I fear something more terrible has taken hold of him. As Trashman noted in this post, there are supposedly seven stages of grief or the process one goes through when dealing with chronic illnesses etc. I, like T-Man, just skipped a few. No need for shock. I already knew a lot of the men my dad worked with have asbestosis. Denial? No. Anger? HELL YES!

Yes, I was angry!! I vented long and hard to AZ in a letter about it. So much so, he actually called me and asked if I was okay and then listened as I ranted and cried some more. I am still angry in a few ways but not like I was. Guilt, bargaining, depression… no. Acceptance. Aw hell. I accept the fact my father’s life will end well before it should. I accept he may not live to see any of his grandchildren graduate from high school. I hate it. Its easier though because, even though he doesn’t like it, my Dad is very matter-of-fact about it. That’s not to say he accepts it but he’s also not the type to sit and feel sorry for himself. He just keeps going.

Perhaps his quasi-acceptance makes it easier on me. Perhaps its my faith that makes it easier. There’s one thing though…

“When I die, you will need to take care of your mother.”

My Dad told me that within a few months of being diagnosed. At the time, I figured that was my lot in life. I love my Dad. I love my Mom. But I’m not doing it. She’s a grown woman in good health and is fairly sane. I refuse to make myself responsible for her happiness. That’s what it boils down to. This is a woman who the last time she came to my house wouldn’t even come inside because it didn’t meet her standard of white-glovedness. She literally hasn’t been in my home for 4 1/2 years, YET, bitches because I don’t go to see her enough.

Don’t even get me started on the discrepencies between how she treats me versus my brother. I could have told her, when she made the remark about me liking my friends better than her and my dad, that she really didn’t make much effort to a) be likable or b) see me. She refuses to “soften” the impossible high standards that I will never meet. Even more interesting is her assertion that I will indeed answer to her for the rest of my life for the mere simple fact that I am her daughter. If she wants to feed me, clothe me, put a roof over my head and wipe my ass… sure, I’ll answer to her, until then, she can want in one hand and shit in the other and see which gets full fastest.

I’ve been made to feel most of my life that somehow my mother’s happiness is tied up in my actions, if not the very core of who I am. I didn’t know at the time I started blogging that I would shed that responsibility. They continue to try and thrust it upon my shoulders. I’m not taking it. I can’t make her happy. Regardless of what happens with my dad, I refuse to be responsible for someone else’s happiness, her’s especially. That’s what my dad meant though, when he said, “take care of her,” he meant, “provide for her emotional needs – at whatever cost to yourself.”

No.

Just, no.

Not over, just over for now.

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