Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Well, I have lain up in that bed for as long as I am going to without sleep. Time and time again, I'll lay, wide awake, watching the minutes tick by on the clock, no closer to sleep. Well, not any more. From now on, if I can't sleep, I'm getting right back up to do something constructive while the house is dead quiet.
The annoying thing is, I was falling asleep on the sofa earlier and ready to hit the hay. It has been another long day, dealing with plumbers and drywallers, and honestly I'm knackered. After another day spent shrouded in fine dust, clumps of drywall mud all over the floors, general filth tracked in and all around the house, noise, counseling workers through the drama of their failing marriages and family dramz (ha! I'm a fine one to talk), the spouse has called time on the work.
The kitchen is back up and running. All I have to do tomorrow is to give everything a good clean. The laundry room is functional although the dryer is not hooked back up. The bathrooms remain unfinished but taking shape. It's all looking really good and, despite the setbacks and delays, I am happy with the way things are looking.
What I'm not happy about is my son and this woman he has married. Dog, I sound so bitter and mean. I no longer wish to be a part of the wedding planning or the party. I have lain up in that bed for the past couple of hours trying to see both sides of the situation.
Why did they get married without telling us? Surely they had to know how hurt we would feel at being left out on this, one of the most important days of their lives. We are not talking about a couple of kids, just turned 18 here. The wife is 32 years old for chrissakes, although she is emotionally stunted and behaves like a 22 year old. The woman who has married my son has some deep emotional problems. She never thinks about anyone but herself. She's selfish and childish and immature and wants my son all to herself. She is slowly, slowly separating him from us. I'm sure she talks shit about us all the time. I know for a fact that they engage in hurtful gossip about us because certain things have been said by my son and his new wife to other members of the family, words that 'just slipped out'. Yeah, I'm sure.
Well, my dilemma now is whether or not I want to be a part of this whole wedding deal as things currently stand. I don't know anyone else who has gotten married, kept it a secret for as long as these two have, and still planned a wedding event without letting people know that they've already gotten married. It seems wrong to me. I don't understand the need for secrecy unless I consider the following: (a) The wife is afraid that she will not receive wedding gifts if people know that they have been married for almost two years already by the time the second wedding occurs, or (b) The wife craves attention and can't wait to drop the clanger at the wedding to get even more attention, or (c) Both of them want to see people's reactions when they deliver the news .... I just don't get it.
Why not be honest about the whole thing and start telling people? We are already married. How difficult was that? We are already married but we are having a celebration to honor our love and commitment to each other and we'd like you to attend if you can. You don't need to bring a gift. We just want to see you there. But no. This is my family and we have to have the drama.
I told the spouse tonight that I didn't think I was going to attend my own son's celebration. I figured, two can play that game. I can be just as immature and childish as the two of them. But then the spouse rightly pointed out that we were not going to contribute one thin dime to this event and that we should just show up, rub it in both of their faces, and have a bloody good time! The spouse also said that he was going to clue in the people who needed to be clued in, namely family members traveling from long distances. I'm in agreement with that. These people think that they are going to be attending a special event in the sense that they would be witnessing our son getting married for the first time. They won't be and we don't feel right in playing along with this childish facade.
Well, we are off the hook for the wedding expenses. I didn't want to pay to see this particular woman marry my son because she is a liar and a manipulator. And may I confess to something else that has made me feel a fool? My son has already been asking us for money and we have given it to him. Yes, he needed $4000 for a car and we gave him the money last month. I know. Go ahead.
I swear, I think I am so slick and that I have everyone figured out, but the wife is behind every single request that our son makes for money and we fall for it every darn time. We love him so much, we just want to help. Needless to say, after this latest admission of marriage, both the spouse and I feel confused, neglected, and like bastards at the family reunion. We both of us feel that we just need to get away, reconnect and forge our own imperfect future together. This latest rough patch has not been helped by our son's deceitfulness and has left both the spouse and I wondering where we went wrong.
Well, as it turns out, I have another answer to that. Earlier today, as I was sorting stuff out to sell or trash, I came across an old video camera that actually held a cassette with family video on it. I had no idea how to view this cassette on the TV or computer and so I just watched the tape through the small viewing window. What I saw there was a rare moment of time, captured when I was at the height of my hoarding disorder. There has been no film of the family taken since that time, 10 years ago, but there we all were together, with one of the kids filming me taking pictures of the family at an event. The camera was passed around from one kid to the other to the spouse, all the while recording our family dynamic, and I have to admit that my kids did not look happy. I was carrying an extra 50 pounds on my person at least and I looked huge. As a group, we looked chaotic, disorganized, manic. As I watched myself on that film, I could see a woman who was indeed struggling to keep it together, a woman who was putting on a brave face. Oh yes, I laughed and joked around but only I know just what an emotional mess I was at that time. But then I watched my kids on the tape too and I realized just how badly my emotional state must have affected them. Kids know when something is wrong and things went badly wrong for me from 1996 to 1999 in particular. Beginning in 2000 to about 2003/2004, I wanted to be somewhere else entirely and this is the exact time frame that this family film had been made. How bizarre that this film just cropped up. The camera has lain around the house for years, never used, dusty. I lost the desire to chronicle the family's life a long time ago and so I didn't. We have no film of us whatsoever from 2003/2004 onward. There is just nothing to show that we were ever here. I tried to disappear and, in the process, caused other people to 'disappear' too. So, perhaps that is biting me in the butt now. Maybe I just answered my own question. Why did they do it? Maybe my son was just looking for a little happiness.
I tried to keep a stable home but I shopped and spent lots of money. I filled a big house with tons of stuff. A classy hoard. No garbage or rotten food or crap out of dumpsters. I went to work and somehow kept it together enough to make big bucks. I spent that money. I made reckless choices and foolhardy decisions and paid the fuckin' price. I am still paying the price. I often have sleepless nights during which I toss and turn and stare at the ceiling and wonder how my life could've been had I done it ALL differently. Sometimes, I see the light at the end of the tunnel and sometimes I just don't.
Have I been a good mother? I have tried to be. Did my son used to get pissed off at me? Yes, quite often. When I was going through emotional turmoil, too depressed to keep going sometimes, he would call me 'lazy'. I, in turn, would become angry at his insolence and ungratefulness and my tirades would drive him away. My son was a difficult teenager, my absolute polar opposite. He obviously didn't care whether I was at his quickie wedding or not but, at the same time, he has no hesitations whatsoever in asking me for money or coming over when he wants something.
I think it's time to begin cutting my adult children loose. I keep saying that! I just need to find the courage to do it. As I've written before, I feel myself coming back to life now and I want to find myself again. It is time to begin a new life chapter and I want to end my co-dependence on my kids. I love them all and they kept me alive through my darkest, darkest hours and days and months and years, although none of them would ever know that. They did though. They kept me alive.
As for my son and his wife ...... I am going to think about how I need to approach this situation of secrets and lies. Maybe I won't say anything. Perhaps my lack of attention to their drama will cause them to stop and rethink their motives. We will probably buy them one last gift, their wedding gift, and that will be that. I'm going to try not to dwell on the fact that there exists a gulf between us now. Maybe we'll come full circle and reconnect later in life just as I have with my own parents but, for now, my son still has a lot of growing up to do. And forgiving.
1:06am. Still not sleepy. The house is quiet. Cat has finally gone to sleep. We've been butting heads tonight. She aggravates me sometimes and I aggravate her but she's a fiery one, very passionate, vocal and smart and I used to be just like her once! Piles of stuff sit in the corner of the living room, ready for dispatch to college in a couple of weeks.
Life goes on. And this too shall pass. As we hurtle towards the grave.