Confessions of the Divine Miss K

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

See It The Way It Is

Like most of the human race, when I'm in pain, all I can think about is the pain. How it hurts, how it's affecting me, when it will end, and why God, me, WHY?! Furthermore, when you've gone through as much pain as I've experienced in the past 9 month period, it's easy to assume that no one is as hard-done-by as moi. I'm on the outs in a very hurtful way with my parents, I slipped into a dark and scary depression at grad school, said grad school was useless and cost me obscene amounts of money (oh, the pain of debt...), I'm doing long-distance with my boyfriend, until recently I worked at a horrendous place of employment and for evil, mean people at that, and besides a litany of other health concerns (remember my eye infection?), Adders and I have endured one pregnancy scare after another (we're in the midst of No. 2,348,496).

I'm hurting right now. As I've mentioned before on this website, it's almost a constant daily battle to remain upbeat and cheerful. I don't think I've ever been so lonely, so confused, so aimless or so ambivalent. And because I am the type of person who handles stress/disappointment/heartache exceedingly poorly, thank you very much, this has been an especially difficult time for me (and for all you guys who have had to put up with me. And my whining. And hyponchondria. And tears. And depression. And disappointment at finding all the chocolate chip cookies eaten and insisting that you go down and pick me up a chocolate bar at Woodlands or else I may never speak to you again, now stop interrupting America's Next Top Model, Adders, it's the only thing that's keeping me going and go get me the goddamn chocolate bar already!).

But all it takes is hearing one piece of news and suddenly all those blessings, all the wonderful, valuable and fantastic things in your life that perhaps you've been taking a bit for granted, come streaking back into your mind and force you to face the glaring light of reality, which is simply that you really don't have it all that bad.

As ya'll know, Adders is the best man in his buddy Jason's wedding, an event that was to take place this Saturday. Last weekend, Adders hosted a stag in Jason's honour but by hosted I mean that Adders just organized the humiliation aspect of the stag - making Jason wear a dress complete with ball & chain, putting a zapper on his leg, teasing him mercilessly and making sure that he and all the others got completely hammered out of their minds. Jason's dad was actually the true host, providing and cooking all of the food and making sure that none of his son's friends got too out of hand.

All of Jason's family had arrived in Cranbrook for the wedding, as had the bride's, because afterall the big celebration is this Saturday. And today was Jason's dad's last day of work at the mine up in Kimberley before taking the rest of the week off to help the family with last-minute preparations.

But shockingly, Jason's dad died today in an accident at the mine. And not only am I left feeling extremely grateful for my health and wellness, as well as that of my family (on both my and Adders' sides) and friends, but I can't help but realize that my pain is absolutely incomparable to what Jason and his fiancee are now experiencing. And that humbles me. Because for all my complaining and theatrics, what I am presently going through is miniscule in terms of the grand-chart of suffering that the universe can throw at you.

And this is truly a ten on the Richter Scale of Pain. For not only has a close community lost a father, husband, friend, etc. but also a young couple have had their romantic dreams of a summer wedding dashed.

And perhaps it's shallow that it is this aspect of this tragedy that I can empathize with most, but oh, how my heart aches for the bride. Every little girl dreams of her wedding day, which we hope falls at nothing short of perfection. And I can practically taste the horror and the grief the bride is now under, not just at losing what I'm sure was a beloved father-in-law-to-be but also in now having that dream absolutely ripped in half.

Nothing I am going through is permament - my parents, Adders and I will somehow rectify matters. I will someday get a job that suits me. And, knock on wood, I will find myself without child when I am done this cycle of pills (but even if pregnancy does occur, a child still only brings nothing but joy and light into this world. Well, that and helluva lot of responsibility!). But death, it's so final. You can't unchange, undo, unsay anything with it. It ruins lives and alters realities. And it makes a Saturday that was supposed to feature a blushing bride, a nervous groom and one fucking sexy best man, into a now very sombre and heart-wrenching funeral procession.

I'm sorry. But not just for Jason or Kelly or the rest of the family for losing a man that they all desperately loved. I'm sorry. But not just for an engaged couple who's wedding day is now completely and utterly ruined. I'm sorry. But not just for Adders who just finished telling me all weekend long what a great man Jason's dad is.

I'm sorry for not appreciating and valuing all of the goodness in my life, and all of the grace that God so lavishly bestows on me day in and day out. I'm blessed. And it's about time I started celebrating that.

And Adders, it's your turn now. Take a break, baby - you've been the strong one for far too long.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

So I’m back. After my third weekend in a row in good ol’ Cranberry Corners, I’ll be staying put in Calgary for the next little while. Which, I don’t know – there doesn’t seem to be a lot to do in Calgary on the weekends. I know, isn’t it weird that I would think there is more to do in Cranbrook? It’s just that everything in Crannie is so much more accessible. But I am relieved that I won’t have to get up at 5:00am next Monday morning and drive home. Now it’s Adders turn to do that (although, he has already made it clear that he’s going to head home Sunday night instead. He’s a wimp like that. But a sexy wimp so that makes it okay).

This past weekend was a good one. I drank some delicious coolers with Adders. Played nine holes of golf. And had a complete mental breakdown where I completely lost touch with reality and all rationality. Yep, Adders had his hands full with me on Saturday night. In between NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO ME AND WATCHING THE HOCKEY GAME INSTEAD and trying to get me to calm the fuck down, Adders had one helluva night.

Now, this wasn't my first meltdown, nor will it likely be my last. I have these “attacks” not necessarily frequently, but more often than is considered normal or hormonal or sane. When I am not under severe stress they are infrequent and usually the result of being over-tired or PMSy. When I am under severe stress, which hello?! case of severe stress right here!, they happen ALL THE TIME and I cannot seem to prevent or talk myself out of them.

Probably the most infamous case of a completely irrational freak-out was the time in Madrid, Spain when Charkins lost the bottle of hand sanitizer that we had packed. It was a fucking bottle of goddamn hand sanitizer and you would have thought she had lost my first-born child. Now, to be fair, one of my biggest pet peeves in life is losing things. I get extremely mad at MYSELF when I lose shit so when someone else does it, look the fuck out! But still, the hysterics, the screaming, the tears, the throwing of clothes around the hotel room – all this did not warrant a lost bottle of hand sanitizer. And yet, Charkins could not get me to calm down. I was inconsolable.

This is kind of what happened on Saturday night. Except, while at least Charkins lost something, poor Adders did absolutely nothing to trigger my behaviour (well, he did pay more attention than was necessary to the hockey game, considering I was threatening to leave him). When I found out that none of his friends were going to be able to come out with us to a pub to watch the Flames game that night, I got myself into such a state that I was ready to drive home back to Calgary.

And the whole time, part of me knew that I was being crazy. And yet, another part of me rationalized and justified what I was doing (namely sulking, screaming, running away, packing up my shit, and bawling my ever loving head off). It wasn’t until I could tell that Adders was at the end of his rope, as he teetered over me, yelling various things about how psycho I am, that I re-entered reality and got a grip.

And then I was overcome with shame, and as Adders slumped down beside me, I threw myself in his arms and started crying all over again, repeatedly telling him how sorry I was for my behaviour. Adders said he forgave me, stroked my hair and made me swear up and down that I wouldn’t continue acting like this all the time. He also shook his head in amazement over how one second I could seem like such a different person, someone so crazy and angry and venomous, and the next be back to being myself, laughing and loving him.

As I was driving back from Cranbrook yesterday morning I thought hard about that incident. I also thought about how it relates to what’s going on with my mother. There is no justification for how I acted on Saturday night – it was immature, cruel, self-indulgent and unnecessary. That being said, however, one does have to take into account the tremendous amount of stress I have been enduring as of late. From job problems to health problems (have I mentioned that I am spotting on my NEW birth control pill too?! FUCK ME!) to EVERYTHING problems, I have never been under such constant stress as I have had to endure (and continue to do so) these past three months. When I bawled to Adders on the phone from Vancouver last November that “My life couldn’t get any worse,” he had every reason to tell me to “Count your blessings and remember that it could ALWAYS get a lot fucking worse.” Oh, how right he was.

So yeah, I am having to deal with horrible, horrible things in my life right now, and a certain amount of grace and forgiveness and understanding needs to be handed my way when I lose touch with reality. And ya’ll have been so wonderful at doing that for me.

Which leads me to believe that perhaps the bigger sin or problem would be if I didn’t at least own up to my bitchiness and irrationality, if I hadn’t apologized to Adders on Saturday night for being so ridiculous and mean. As Adders always tells me, there’s at least some comfort in knowing that I know that I’m crazy part of the time! So guys, I just want to reassure you that I am aware that I am at a bad spot right now and am prone to acting selfish and moody, hostile and hysterical. And for that I’m sorry – I’m trying to keep it all together. But sometimes it gets the best of me and all I can offer you are my apologies.

Which leads me to my mother.

When the whole Valentine’s Day incident occurred, I shocked many people, especially Adders, by my lack of rage. Oh, I was upset. But not to the extent everyone else thought the situation warranted. However, not only was I truly shell-shocked to fully absorb all that had taken place and all the words that had been uttered, I was also largely sympathetic to my parents. I empathized with their disappointment and their rage and as such, I was willing to extend to both of them a bit of grace and understanding for what was apparently a traumatic revelation.

However, time has marched on, and whoever said that time heals everything should probably be shot. Because my pain (I can’t really speak for Adders’) is only getting worse. At first, I thought it would only take a two week vacation to Mexico for my mom to come to her senses, rejoin reality and attempt to patch things up with her daughter and her boyfriend.

Then when she remained silent and icy, I gave it a few more weeks. But a venomous email and an Easter weekend later, I have come to the realization that she is not going to make nice any time soon.

And this revelation hurts me a billion times more than what she did to Adders to begin with. With the exception of Mr. Magro, who never really seems to lose it unless it has something to do with his truck, every one else in the world has those moments in life where they go insane and do or say something that when they’ve regained their clarity, they will come to regret.

At first, I chose to believe that’s what happened with my mom when she so viciously attacked Adders on that Tuesday afternoon. Not that this excuses her behaviour, just like the amount of stress I am under doesn’t make my freak-out on Saturday night okay. But I did allow for the amount of pain my mom was in, and I do realize that most likely my dad wasn’t giving her the support she needed to endure it. As well, it was the week leading up to my brother’s wedding, and let’s just say that no Kaiser woman handles stress well!

But now we’re almost at the three month mark. Her moment of clarity should have happened by now. She should have stepped back into reality by now. Her rationality should have been regained by now. SOMETHING should have been extended to me by now.

At some point my mom should have realized that what she did was wrong, that the things she said to Adders were wrong, and that how she has continued to treat the both of us since then is wrong.

But instead of time healing this wound that my parents have caused, its procession is instead making it all the worse. It’s come to the point where I now completely question their love for me, a heartbreaking thing for a post-adolescent daughter to mull over (I say post-adolescent because every teenager suspects their parents of not loving them enough). And I also can't help but wonder, how long will this silence last?

Saying sorry is a humiliating thing to do. It’s admitting you’ve done something wrong and it’s giving all the power to the other person by letting them either extend you forgiveness or dismiss you. However, for those times when your behaviour truly warrants a sincere apology, such as mine did on Saturday night, saying I’m sorry is also a great relief because it places you squarely back in reality, where you see things finally as they are, not how you think they should be.

For the past few months I have been caught in a constant inner debate over what I should do about my parents. Part of me just wants peace, a desire for life to somewhat return to normal (although the life we all shared before is impossible to regain). And yet I constantly prevent myself from being the one to apologize. Because that would mean I would be apologizing for living my life the way I want to, which seems to me at age 24 is not only my right but my duty to myself.

I have said sorry for what I feel I did wrong in this entire mess – for going against my parents’ beliefs, for deceiving them, for letting them down, etc. But beyond that, I have no reason to apologize. Together, Adders and I are blameless, maybe not in the eyes of God, maybe not in the eyes of my parents, but in my eyes, in his eyes, in society’s eyes, we are beyond reproach.

And so I continue to wait for them to come back to their senses. But with each passing day, I can feel my resentment build and the wound only get larger. The continuing passage of time is making forgiveness to the apology that will someday hopefully come seem more and more like an impossibility to achieve. It’s the difference between my apology to Adders during our fight, rather than if I had actually made good on my threat and had returned to Calgary, only from there saying I’m sorry. He would have had a much more difficult time forgiving me if that’s how it had actually played out.

Which is where I am at. If my mom had immediately apologized for what she did, if she had admitted to me, “God, I went crazy. I should never have put you and Adders through that. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, I’m just under a lot of stress but neither of you deserved that,” then I would have been more than willing to have patched things up (although I’m sure Adders would have taken a bit more convincing). But when she doesn’t seem to realize OR CARE that she was completely wrong in accosting my boyfriend, trying to break us up, having lunch with his mom and basically interfering in my life to such an alarming degree, then how do I deal with this? One can’t get closure on a situation that hasn’t been resolved. But when she shows no inclination to resolve it in the only way that is acceptable to Adders and myself, then I don’t know what to do anymore.

The point is, I don’t know how much more I can take. I’m not getting any happier, I’m not getting any more closure. This hurts like hell. And it hurts even more so to realize that my first broken heart I’ve ever had to endure is at the hands of my parents, and they’re apparently not even sorry for it.

The Dixie Chicks have a new song out called Not Ready To Make Nice and I can’t help but wonder who it’s more appropriate for, her or me:

Forgive, sounds good.
Forget, I'm not sure I could.
They say time heals everything,
But I'm still waiting

I'm through, with doubt,
There's nothing left for me to figure out,
I've paid a price, and I'll keep paying

I'm not ready to make nice,
I'm not ready to back down,
I'm still mad as hell
And I don't have time
To go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
'Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is
You think I should