Thursday, Sept. 15, 2005 - 4:25 a.m.
Cost of the War in Iraq
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An exhausting day.
I have to spend pretty much every penny I've earned the past three weeks on an upgrade to my computer. It is depressing. Computer guy comes on Friday and changes over my whole hard drive (they make more per hour than I do). And then on Monday or Tuesday, I get paid and that just goes to (ACK!! I just suddenly realized somehow it is the 15th... seems like yesterday was the 3rd... and I forgot to pay ALL my bills this month! (usually due between the 9th and 12th) I haven't done that like ever! Always pay on time, or when more poor, arranged something. ACK! Where is my head?? In computer woes!)... ok I get paid and it will just be what I paid out to the computer guy on Friday. Sigh.
Drat. Here I was so good on always paying the bills. How I can stress about the puter, and the house repairs and not pay the bills. Who knows.
OK more exhausting.
After the computer money worries... I go to the post office and get the parcel I got a card for. As I suspected, it was a belated birthday gift from my dad... he had left a message while I was on the phone last night, and said "did you get the birthday present". So I thought yay, like at Christmas time I will have a good reason to call, a pleasant reason to call.. "Hi Dad! Thanks for the present! So thoughtful! So nice! So appreciated!". It gives me a reason not to talk about how he is still hurtful.
So I open the present at the coffeeshop after picking it up, thinking it will be a pleasant interlude before getting some work done. And ended up in tears before I'd even left the counter. What inspires a man to preface his gift to his daughter (two pre-used Calvin and Hobbes books, one of which I already own) with a letter saying "here are some used calvin and hobbes, and also a book called "Angry All The Time"... it helped me, esp chapter two since it is about shaming. My mother shamed me all the time... it would be good for you to stop carrying the pain of the past into the present. It would be good for you to learn to forgive... etc etc". This on an open sheet of paper on top of the books, inside the gift wrapping. And yes, sandwiched between Calvin and Hobbes, and the card saying that he is proud that my aunt was displaying my work at the family reunion, is a very red book with ANGRY ALL THE TIME written in huge letters.
Now I am sure that this book has some great tips and hints. I might even have expressed interest in reading it if he'd mentioned it in a conversation about his anger management therapy. But this is like giving him a father's day present with "How Not to Be An Emotionally Abusive Dad" on top of it. Whammo. Blappo. How nice. So now I don't know what to do. Call and say that I was hurt? and then he'll tell me how I am hurt because I am clinging to my childhood pain.
This exhausts me. I want to have a good relationship with my father. I want not to have to explain to him why he is hurtful. I am tired of it. I've been doing it since I'm about 20. The first time he just laughs. Now he tells me "get over it". Except he keeps doing it.
And that ties into the next exhausting thing... the first foster class. It is exhausting to feel "how can I be a good role model to kids in highschool who are odd, stick out, don't have friends, are not invited to parties and social events, have never played on team sports or other group things, and so have difficulty relating to peers, dang that was me myself and i". Maybe I have changed since highschool. Of course I have changed since highschool. But I don't know if I have the skills it takes to be a foster parent. I don't.
I feel like I know how to be a parent to a normal child, if such a thing exists. Like to my doggie... in that I got her from a place where she was loved and socialized well, and then I loved and socialized her well from her babyhood. She's a very well-balanced doggy... the doggy-psychologist who does free evaluations at the street fest said so. I know the doggy-psychologist would wish for the doggy to need her help being less anxious, to stop chewing shoes and barking, pulling at the leash and whining, doing weird doggy behaviour things. But she just said "your dog is very secure and well-adjusted", and sent me on my way without a business card and a pamphlet on her classes on very weird doggy behaviour problems she can cure. Yay. I know how to hug and cuddle and be firm and bake cookies and read stories and have the tooth fairy and santa claus and doing your homework.
I don't know what to do with children that don't want cuddles, that kick the book across the room, who curse you, who don't attach, ruin christmas, rage uncontrollably, can't function in school or daycare or with friends, who withdraw and want to be with their "real mom". I don't know.
I am highstrung, soup au lait (that means milk soup... a french expression meaning you curdle easily.oops!), I raise my voice when I get excited (frustrated, angry, fearful, defensive, happy... well, ok I raise my voice). I talk a LOT. I verbalise when I am stressed. I get angry. Yes.
And I'd say I am jaded about relationships. They were saying "these children don't trust, they don't want to open their hearts up and get close to people as the adults in their lives have let them down". And I am thinking, very reasonable children. They were saying "some of these kids were responsible for siblings very young, they are used to being in charge, they like doing things in their own way, they feel safer when they're in control" and I'm thinking, makes sense to me. I was the child who fantasized that I was the leader of a group of children all twelve yrs old and under, and we didn't need adults. Of course that was before I realized how much work it is to be an adult (mortgage, work, remembering to pay the bills like you do every single other month grrrrr... will that go on my credit rating?). Now of course I'm very glad to have had adults that put food on the table on a very regular basis.
And besides all of that... I feel exhausted to hear about keeping daily logs of what happens in the household, what the kids did, behaviours, medical stuff, who visited, what I did, problems, events etc. Of not being naked in front of the kids (I am thinking of the musicfestival I go to nearly every summer... outside showers in the open, nudity here and there... what I think of as a completely very very healthy attitude to bodies, definitely not "inappropriate" nudity, touching etc), of getting potential lovers vetted by the criminal justice dept, dealing with visits to the "natural parents"... yes they use that term. I asked tonight and they just sort of shrugged.
I feel guilty to say "why me?" But that is what I feel sometimes. Why me. Why, if I was going to have a nasty father (my mother apologized on the phone tonight for marrying him and giving me a mean father), couldn't I have had a partner to love me, whom I could love and actually PARTNER with, and if I wasn't going to get a partner, why couldn't I have at least been able to get pregnant. Why. Why be bisexual (silly me, thinking I should get over my homophobia of liking the girl I did. Viva homophobia. If I'd stuck with being homophobic, I would have just stuck to guys and could adopt from China).
If If If. If I could've gotten pregnant there would be no scrutiny of my life, my values, my thoughts and feelings and living patterns, my views on discipline and sexual abuse, my views on drug-addicted babies and my needs for love, affection, gratitude, to see progress in my child, scrutiny of my friends and family, home, house, pets, job, personality, reactions. No need to report every fault, aberration, happening in my parenting or to my child to an institutional authority. No worry of having natural parents falsely accuse me of sexual abuse.
If I was richer I could do a private open adoption from another province, from the states, from another country. Why did I insist on getting a degree in fine arts instead of math, computers, medicine, teaching....
I think, I am a reasonable, caring, bighearted, generous, loving person, with good values, a homey home (someone told me just last week), intelligent, sharing, compassionate, openminded. I can do this. I can make a difference in a child's life. And then I am told i can be reported for slapping a child's hand. And I feel like I am not ok. Full of defects, full of impatience, anger, fear, defensiveness, worrying, lack of social skills, with a fucked up family stretching back generations, and a fucked up family history of depression, and "nerves" and I think, how can I do this? Let all these people in, these agencies, these observers, these judges. How can I parent someone else's child, who cannot parent themselves. Why do they get the kids and me not. It is a stupid silly "why" but I feel sad and angry. For the kids. For all the kids without good parents. For all the kids in care. For me. For all the infertile people. For the paperwork, the complications, the system, the difficulty of putting people who love and want children together with children who need and want them.
Why can't people treat their birth kids well. Why can't people who so want kids have them.
Maybe I'll wake up and be acceptable to adopt a little girl from China.
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Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
*inspired by Chaosdaily