You know what’s a really GOOD and HELPFUL profile photo for Lyft, Uber, etc.? Get a friend to take a picture of you standing at a curb staring at your phone. Your drivers will thank you and probably laugh.
May you live in interesting times: even I will grudgingly concede that this recent breaking wide open of my heart and head has been fascinating. It’s forced a lot of empathy into me sideways in the form of brand-new irrational fears (it’s like stress-induced General Anxiety; I’ve had it once before when Little Child was a baby and inexplicably dying). I have previously been intolerant of what seemed to me like silly fears in others, and everything we mock comes back to bite us is I guess how I came to be a cook at a Mediterranean restaurant with an intense tahini phobia.
Mother’s Day broke me and I can’t seem to get it together. I’ve heard all the platitudes about how the cracks are what let the light in and filling them with gold to make the vase more beautiful but what do you do with yourself when your spouse makes a stupid joke about how at least it can’t get any worse and you start shrieking so loud and high-pitched that you explode into a cloud of toxic dust? Then what?
What does one do to pamper one’s liver? Because I only have 364 days to prepare mine for next fucking Mother’s Day; this year I did it sober and it sucked.
In fairness, I have hated Mother’s Day since about sixth grade.
Patterns repeat, like fractals, down generations, and I was so certain and tried so hard in my own broken way not to repeat my parents’ mistakes. My mother was a mean drunk, and my father was too caught up in his anger about her shitting all over his Advanced Directive when he had his stroke and doing CPR and calling an ambulance to protect me (all of the fucked up shit that awful woman did to him, and the one time he wasn’t cowed by her pouty-face it was over her doing something semi-appropriate).
The mean drunk thing is fixable (don’t drink, durr) but it is almost enough to make me believe in a higher power that smites you for hating your mother the way I found myself rage-crying at my husband when it got late enough that my children definitely weren’t going to call that I would never forgive him for stopping my oldest from beating me to death, because no one should survive that.
A Nigerian fellow at work tried to convert me to the faith the missionaries taught his family the other day though, and a son of Africa embracing blue-eyed Jesus THERE and then coming HERE of his own volition to proselytize a Jew who has survived the unfathomable...well. People have been trying to convert me since I learned to talk and I thought I’d seen it all. “This is so fucked up. You didn’t sell out, you fucking gave it away. I don’t need Jesus, you need INTENSE PSYCHOTHERAPY,” I sputtered. “You are COLONIZED!” (it’s like this guy is the only man in America who didn’t watch Black Panther FFS) “Well it’s either that or be like my grandfathers and believe in trees. And water. Air and birds. I go to church every week and wash my sins away!” he said cheerfully, in the manner of a man who cheats on his wife as often as he possibly can but thinks he’s found a loophole.
Nurture over nature. Read to the baby. Eat the wafer (but don’t drink the wine).
We all try to be better than the generation before us, and every time we just fail a little harder.
My children don’t call or text on Mother’s Day, but at least one of them reads the blog. You want to hear a story, kid? My paternal grandfather (your bubbe Julius, who died in a mental hospital before I was born) was crazy before there were meds that could do anything besides drug you into a stupor. He decided your great-Granny M was cheating on him (I have no idea if he was correct but as the story goes the whole thing was just a paranoid delusion of his), so he filled a burlap sack with bricks and hit her over the head, then slit her throat. He didn’t press hard enough though, and she lived with an ugly scar from ear to ear. Always referred to it as “the night I was murdered.” And that is talking the LESS mentally-ill side of the LEAST mentally-ill one of your parents (don’t take MY word for it—there was a court reporter present at our divorce hearing where both of our mental health was addressed in detail; the judge didn’t just flip a coin in deciding who y’all would live with).
Your father made your bubbe Julius look like a fantastic husband; at least Julius only wanted to KILL his wife. Living through what you and your father have done to me is so much worse.
Have yourself sterilized for the good of society. Because if the prettiest quadrant in your personal Punnet square is spattered with that much blood, the rest isn’t fit for the innernet.
I’ve been mired in a two-month spell of awful (my physical health went even further to shit and was like “HOW BOUT DAT” and my mental health smirked and said “CASH ME OUTSIDE”), and things still aren’t great but I’m back to...well, hell, I don’t even really know what my normal looks like anymore. Like, I’m probably not ever going to be as happy as I didn’t even know I was before 2/13/17, but after being down enough to honestly contemplate suicide (I’d love to say I had some great epiphany and I think things will be okay and not be lying, but honestly y’all owe the continuing joy of my presence to apathy and the passage of time and maybe Daylight Savings?) AND a medical clusterfuck, JUST being a medical clusterfuck is...surprisingly tolerable. A very dear and longsuffering friend asked me how I was yesterday and I said “I’m...okay I guess” and she was like “wow, that is the least-negative response you’ve given to that question in weeks! Are you feeling better painwise, how is your hip?” I said “the hip I dislocated yesterday is still pretty sore but today I dislocated the other one and at least now I’m like, more symmetrical? I don’t even know.” And she was like “you said you were okay. Two dislocated hips is NOT OKAY.” I said “they’re back IN, pal, they’re just sore because they aren’t supposed to come OUT. Lay off my damn hips, they aren’t out there clobbering anyone’s mother or anything! THIS IS FINE.”
So I’m still not sure I’m what you’d call sane, but I’m back to giving a shit about food and money and getting to the point where I laugh instead of crying after I make jokes about motherbeaters. I’m safe, but not okay, but I think maybe I’m almost there. Hotter is still trying to make helpful suggestions, and said he thought the outlet of blogging was good for me and maybe I should start again, and just write what I feel the way I used to before I had to worry about my ex trying to leverage some admission of humanity into my children being taken from me. I said “they’ll read it. My ex. The Sociopath I brought into the world. Maybe even the younger two who chose them over me. If I write what I feel and they read it then I’ve given them my pain to celebrate.”
It took twenty-four hours for me to realize that if they are reading and reveling in this, they’re trash. And I really don’t care what trash thinks about my life.
My ex-husband is probably too busy trying to get everyone to all their appointments and rehearsals and find a silly hat for Silly Hat Day and the materials for a model of a cell and a spare $50 for a field trip by tomorrow as well as doing some sort of wage-earning thing to do something he finds as difficult and unpleasant as reading anyway.
And the kid is probably too wrapped up in his little girlfriend, although if he’s reading this and they’re having sex then the rest of y’all cover your virtual ears because FOR FUCKSAKE DO NOT IMPREGNATE HER YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE. REMEMBER ALL THAT SHIT YOU WERE SPOUTING AT ME ABOUT THANKS FOR THE UNFORGIVABLY BAD GENES? WALK YOUR TALK. GET A VASECTOMY AND WEAR CONDOMS UNTIL A FOLLOW-UP SAMPLE TESTS CLEAN. GIVE THE FOLLOW-UP SAMPLE. ASK YOUR FATHER WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T, OR BETTER YET ASK YOUR LITTLE BROTHER. ALSO I AM DOING GENETIC TESTING SPECIFICALLY SO THAT YOU ARE EASIER TO CATCH IF YOU RAPE ANYONE JUST IN CASE THAT SHIT IS GENETIC TOO, AND YOU TOTALLY LEAVE DNA EVEN IF YOU WEAR A CONDOM, SO DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT.