Sunday, Oct. 03, 2004 - 3:38 a.m.
Cost of the War in Iraq
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Ups and Downs of a Day
meltdown in the afternoon.
I sort of short circuit when I have my schedule all off and discombobulated trying to fit in Dad's ready to buy screws, Dad wants to know do I want to have a pedestal sink in my bathroom maybe put it on an angle cut out the wall have to put an Lshaped showercurtain instead, Dad wants to buy 4x4"s for the fence, Dad wants to know if I want to replace the whole faucet upstairs, Dad wants to know where it is that the plumbing is broken,...
and then I am trying to get all of this done. No 4x4"s at the store (we find out once we've dragged doggys trailer to the store and paid for them) that aren't twisted like black licorice. Get a refund. Call to see if we can get a community carshare on a Saturday afternoon to go to a proper store with real wood. No. Dang, all taken. The fence is down, no posts to put it back up, cross my fingers and hope for no rear-entry thieves over the weekend.
Its ok no problem Dad says. I don't need your help I do everything at home myself Dad says. Don't change your schedule for me Dad says. I'm on holidays Dad says. I'm just here to visit my daughter Dad says.
I should've done painting yesterday when it was sunny Dad says. Do you want to jack up the front steps so they don't sag Dad says. Didn't get much done yesterday Dad says. Got lots to do Dad says. Do you have a paint scraper Dad says. Two days down and seven to go Dad says. Gotta buy paint Dad says.
Well, it is discombobulating to change your whole schedule and point things out and answer questions and try to remember whether the pipe drains into the basement or might have broken cuz water sits in it and freezes, and try to remember if you have a paint scraper that you might've used, and if you have primer and how wide are the closet doors in that tenant's apartment. (do I know how wide the closet doors are in my OWN apartment?)
... and THEN be told that it is not necessary.
To do all you can to make lists of things to do, and things to buy, and call hardware stores and look through boxes of screws and measure doorways, and then
hear "oh, it doesn't matter anyways".
YES he works at home fixing things by himself. It is his fulltime job, and he can speak the language there, he knows the shops, store hours, and the neighborhood. He knows the building and the materials in another province. He has the budget himself, and decides himself what needs to be done and how to do it. He has a vehicle to get bifold closet doors and ten foot fence posts. He knows what he already owns and what he needs to buy.
I would like to see him do it here when the tenants have told ME what they need done, when *I* know the budget or lack of it, where I myself need to reserve a car in advance in order to get anything bulky, where only I know where in the basement is the saw (or if I have one) and where the broken plumbing is.
Dang. He says "just tell me what needs doing and I'll do it". um yeah. That is how I ended up with two new pounds of finishing nails last fall when I already had two pounds of finishing nails. And primer when I already had primer. Etc etc. yeah. Cuz he just bought things while I slept. Ack. When I ask what he wants tomorrow so I can buy stuff today before the store closes for the weekend, he says "don't sweat it, we'll see tomorrow". aack.
Anyways, it was crazy. Does he WANT to work or NOT want to work. Does he want me to answer all the questions, or leave him alone and go off to a coffeeshop to draw comics? It changes fourteen times in one conversation.
I finally got totally frustrated. He said I was yelling at him in public (the backyard, true, i was yelling) He only wants to have a nice time with his daughter. There is no need for me to stress. He tells me to cool it. I try not to cry in the shop. I fail. Rather I try to act normally and tears well up in my eyes while I ACT totally normal and as IF I am not crying. ack.
I feel I am ruining the nice time with the daughter. I am not getting my work done. But I SHOULDNT be not getting my work done. I should be doing it all, but I should be relaxing. I should answer all these questions but I shouldn't feel pressured. I feel incompetent and like yay, now my father too will say "she is too stressed, her life is not in order, she is angry, she is crying, she is frustrated". Or worse: "she has nothing to stress about but she stresses, she has all the time in the world and she doesn't use it, everything is fine and she freaks out" ....BTW do NOT say "Cool It!" to me. My mother used to say that to me as a teenager all the time. When I hear "Cool it" I want to hit myself on the head. Run to my room. Hide my face in my pillow and hate myself for not being a nice person. Hate myself more for hating myself.
And yeah, I ended up hitting myself on the head in the backyard. When I was trying to not argue not frustrate not stress and spray the plants which have bugs AGAIN!! (or at least the African violet sort of thingie, leaking bug juice and plant juice all over my work table... do NOT give bugs to the other plants or I will lie on the floor and cry no I am an adult I will WANT to lie on the floor and cry and the resulting meltdown from WANTING TO but NOT DOING IT will make me feel like highwires are broken flashing back and forth in my body while I do nothing)
So, if your father says do not raise your voice to me in the backyard when you are frustrated, and he goes inside and you cry and hit yourself in the head in the backyard (remember I live in row houses with three floors of neighbors for about four houses in each direction looking down upon my backyard... yes i had forgotten too)... how do you feel then. Like you are the most fucked up incompetent person in the fucking world who is not locked away on drugs, who is her own worst enemy and who is so ashamed of herself for being herself she could just die but can't even do that.
So. did the world end.
And incredibly enough he gave me a hug and said he loves me and I'm not incompetent and he is proud of me, and that other people hit themselves and it is not shameful it is being too frustrated and it is understandable and not crazy and that it's ok. And he doesn't care about the dog drool and the housekeeping is not important and we'll just get some stuff done and have a good time.
And how cool is that. It makes me cry writing it.
I was so afraid. My mom judging I don't clean house "like she taught me" when I invited her over for dinner. Telling me when I raise my voice I am abusive and she won't let me be around her. Moving away. Not visiting me.
Afraid when I was hitting my head it was the exact same scenario of being overwhelmed by work and the house and keeping everything up and justifying everything from my emotions to my sleeping habits that I was doing it again. Getting frustrated. Raising my voice. Reacting badly. Not being ok. Afraid of being judged and being left and all my fault I am bad.
God, parents make you crazy.
He was like why would you worry about that? Well, um, because the father I knew was the most demanding hardworking driven judgmental person I knew, and I grew up being formed by that person looking over my shoulder for my whole childhood and early adulthood? Because he is the same man who told me I was faking it when I was really sick and sent me to school when I was ten? And the same man who told me I'd get better grades if I studied sitting up straighter, when I had the second highest grade average in the whole of my grade? And the same man who when I made a whole dollhouse out of a kit said "that 's stupid, why didn't you make it from scratch?" And the same man who told me I was irresponsible when I was 25 cuz I didn't own a home and support three kids like he did, even though I had a bachelor's degree, hadn't been supported by my parents since I was 18, was working 40 hours a week and taking two university classes in a city having learned a second language? The same man who took over any project, or stopped teaching me anything he took on to teach me the first mistake I made saying "If you're not going to do it right, don't do it at all" and "If you want anything done right, you have to do it yourself" and then he'd take the tools out of your hands and dismiss you.
Now WHY would I worry about my father judging me?
HE has lived with himself the last twenty years and sees how much he has changed. I haven't. The father I expect to come out is the one I knew so intimately I could hear what he would say as soon as I made the most minor mistake.
Now WHY would I be stressed.
I dunno. It is really unconscious. It is so hard, parents. They formed you. You are going along doing fine, and then they step into your life and it is so hard not to see yourself through their eyes.
So it ended up ok. I am ok. Yay.
He put my basement door back on, and looked at my plumbing problem, made my backdoor to the outside not stick anymore. Scrubbed the toilet. Cleaned up all the rotting carrots in the bag by the back door. I gave him hugs and said thankyou. Yay.
I showed him the cracks in the walls, and expressed my fear my house is falling down around me and I don't have the means to stop it. and he said it is just some small tiny cracks, it is an old house, it is ok. Your house is not falling down around you. Yay.
He made a great salad for supper while I cycled in the pouring rain to get a copy of a friend's comic book at her book launch. The salad was spinach and apples, feta cheese and mushrooms, red pepper and tomato. It was great, and I didn't have to make it. Yay.
We played a game of scrabble. He won but it was pretty close. Yay.
We walked the dog and rented the movie "Willard". It is weird and sort of over the top in almost a parody sort of way. Almost a comedy. Too easy to read what will happen. Not convincing and no suspense.. But the real rats were nice. If you like rats. My friends used to have pet rats. They stopped cuz it broke their hearts when they got breast cancer and lung cancer and brain cancer and testicular cancer. Yeah. I guess pet rats now are mostly from lab rat stock. Cancerous rats. Heartbreaking. No more pet rats. And they might eat you. I think that the rat "Ben" in the movie was a cane rat, not a normal regular Norway rat.
And it was weird hearing the song "Ben" sung by the young sweet black Michael Jackson, knowing what he has turned into now. Hmm, searching for links I have found an extremely bizarre video of Crispin Glover singing Ben. Better than the movie I dare say.
Tomorrow Dad and I are taking a car and the doggy and going to drive all day in the countryside. Look at some trees. Some water. Stop by a friend's place, see if she's home. Get away from computer and work and hardware stores and fixit things yay.
So this is like the world's longest entry and I wouldn't be surprised if Diaryland eats it.
I will save it now and maybe add some links. yeah.
hugs to me,
Apparently one important right is the right to be mediocre.
Somewhere i read that we have the right to be mediocre.
what a concept.
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Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
*inspired by Chaosdaily