Music Today: Golden Palominos that ob gave me
Reading: Mother's Day is Over by Shirley Radl
Tuesday, Apr. 20, 2004 - 3:17 a.m.
Cost of the War in Iraq
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Aimlessly reading Mother's Day is Over
OK, I am going to try again.
The entry that disappeared started off with me saying I feel unsettled today. Hard to focus, wandering around. Wanting to call someone to talk with, but having no one in mind. Wanting to do something, I don't know what. Sitting down to work, getting up to check emails. Sitting down getting up. Just feeling directionless and focusless though I definitely have direction and know what to focus on... my drawings. I have managed to finish the page of birds, the page of the avalanche nightmare, and have nearly finished the page of dogs pulling a dogsled. So it is not work.
I also started to write something about how it feels different when you know someone is actually interested in you. How shopping for that person feels different. How taking photos to share feels more inbued with meaning. How writing something when you know they will read it carries more weight than just friends. Someone who actually is interested, and in whom you are interested. Interesting phrase "interested in" someone... that is exactly it. Instead of someone talking to you and you going "uhuh, yeah, uhuh" even if you care about them, as in friends, or acquaintances or family... even dull little silly nothings about their day are interesting. The fact that they thought to call is important. That you could share an idea, a newspaper article, a thought a feeling is bigger, warmer, more important.
I miss that. So many things feel more pointless. More pointless to have nice underwear, or to take photos of the garden. Or to read the newspaper, or to express an opinion about a show I went to.
I miss having someone special in my life to care about. It is not drastic, like feeling really lonely and missing someone. It is just a lack of spark, a lack of inspiration. Whether I finish painting the door in the livingroom with a moroccan design, or go to the next concert of Peaches is not so important. I can be just as happy surfing Amazon.com or looking at pictures in a book by myself.
I realize how having one special person who I know is interested in any one thing I do adds direction and meaning to that. When I knew someone who was passionate about flowers, taking photos of beautiful flowers I liked was more exciting, cuz I could imagine sharing it. When I knew someone who was interested in my thoughts about international politics I tried to be more up to date on what was happening. When I was involved with someone who was also trying to get into shape, it was more important to me to go to the gym regularly, to see the progress and compare notes.
I miss that a bit I guess. It adds to the directionlessness. There are so many bazillion things that interest me, I lose focus and sort of meander.
What I have started reading is a book from the library sale, called "Mother's Day is Over" by Shirley Radl. It is a no-nonsense book about the trials and tribulations of motherhood. And unfortunately I recognize so much of it in my family. The stats on "nerves" and "depression" are reflected in my Mom being diagnosed with clinical depression when I was 4: She had no idea what was wrong when she was an at home mom, with two perfectly lovely kids, a loving husband with a good job and a company car. Her mom was later diagnosed with having depression as well... probably one of the reasons why she was snappy and abusive and nasty while my mom was growing up. My mom had "nerves" when she was 6, diagnosed by a doctor who said she was too stressed out. So the mom's "nerves" definitely impacted on the child.
And then there is my grandma, whom I hold up as my role model as a perfect parent type... easy going and loving, generous to a fault, can bake and sew and fix anything. Well, unfortunately her kids (my dad and his siblings) say she wasn't at all like this as a parent. She was difficult and strict. They loved her big time but all have issues.
And I think of myself as a big sister. Was I a good big sister? Well, they called me a bitch so that is not so good. I got on their case when they lazed around and didn't clean the house etc. My youngest brother didn't go along with my attempts to be a good sister.. he would lock himself in the bathroom cuz he didn't WANT to have stories read to him (can you imagine!). It was ME who wanted to read him stories. But as an older sister I also ended up with depression in highschool.
How does this fit into this book and my life? Well, I now know the symptoms of stress, the symptoms of oncoming depression. And I change my life when that happens. Like me dumping the US clients. Or letting the house go to pot and sleeping. Or making sure I get out and socialize instead of staring at a wall.
If I don't do these things I get it in my body. Hypertension my massage therapy teacher said in 1985. Too much stress and too much work said the chiropractor in 2000. I get knots and aches. My joints develop weird rheumatism stuff. I start shaking. I cry at the drop of a hat. So I slow down. And then I am better. I have learned to take care of myself, set limits, ride things out.
And what about now. I am thinking these past weeks that maybe I AM able to adopt. To deal with having a wee one in my life. And then I am reading this book. And it seems it is not my mother and her mom who are exceptions. It seems that most mothers feel trapped. Get nerves. Run down, Freaked out. End up on tranquilizers. Or popping antidepressants. Or drinking. That when surveyed, 70% of moms say they would have had no kids, if they had to do it over again. That despite what the myths are, it is NOT worth it. That it is a thankless neverending task that drains people, takes away their peace of mind, their sense of self, their goals and often their relationships. Quite the tale.
And I think of how I feel fine now... after dropping a contract so I have fewer demands. I am managing to wash the dishes and the floor, do the laundry and plant tomatoes. But I really need to work more to make more money. And with a kid, more so. Kids cost money. Who am I kidding that I have the energy and emotional ressources to be a single self-employed mom?
What am I like when I am overloaded? I am short-tempered. I bitch, I complain, I snap at people, I shout. Oh yay. Now I can see when I am doing these things. If I overreact in a shop it is often cuz my stress from my job or family is bleeding over, and it is a hint to me to take it easy and reduce the stress. But how can I do that when I am the sole parent of a child? WIthout a mom of my own close to take the kid of my hands for a moment or two. Or another parent, or sisters or cousins. Yeah right. I'd be the bitch mother from hell, with the kid screaming at me "I hate you I hate you".
And relationships. Haha! The lady next door with a 13 yr old goes to work, and then spends her evenings and weekends with her kid. My mom did the same thing after divorcing my dad. We totally guilted her if she went out with a guy when she had the night off. And I think she regrets it to this day, not dating when she was younger. And I felt guilty about it for years. I felt sad if she left us for a date. And guilty if she didn't have a boyfriend cuz of us pressuring her. yeeps.
So, that's where I am at now. Rethinking if I actually ever want a kid. Back and forth back and forth. Can I think of a single parent who doesn't look exhausted. Who tells me they feel on top of things? Who doesn't bitch about how inadequate they feel, and how they don't feel supported enough by their spouse? I dunno.
Maybe adopting would be the quickest way to the poorhouse and a nervous breakdown for me.
Even thinking about how I can get so the hardest thing for me to do is stay awake. I got like that when I had my massage business. I would sleep between clients. I remember being like that when I babysat three kids all one summer. I would sleep on the couch while they watched tv all morning. When I was teaching a woman to read who was illiterate. For some reason while she was labouring over her words I would catch myself falling asleep sitting up next to her. What kind of mother would I really honestly be? Not what kind of mother do I dream of being with kids who actually are interested in the stories I want to read them, going the places I want to take them on vacation. A mother who sews their clothes and makes cookies and popsicles. Would I be the mother who couldn't get off of the bed, feeling guilty that she wasn't doing all those things while my kid watched tv? I don't know.
But these are the things I am thinking. And feeling unsettled and directionless about.
There are too many books, and too many kids and too many bad families in the world. I think of how many people I know don't talk to their parents, or only visit when obliged. Don't take their mom's phone calls. How many times I stopped speaking to my dad. Hmm. Yay that could be me in 15 years with MY kid.
Now I will go back to work for a bit. You can read my other non-swearing entry today here.
Once again spammers with cool vocab are sending me interesting words. Here is a selection from tonight's subject headings:
payne coequal ferromagnetism checksummed forthwith brownish emancipate millionth boycott fragment pronounce arum mastic dogma incubus intonate pack confirmation jeres
I hate to say but I still miss ob. I still miss most of my exes. Not the bad parts but definitely the good parts. But I guess they go together. Like having the kids.
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Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
*inspired by Chaosdaily