It has been a long time since I put the words of my head onto a white space. Mostly I think because they have not been perky prose, or uplifting, pithy bootstrap thoughts. They haven’t even been particularly interesting – I mean, I’d get them out of my head and pick up a new narrative if I could. I’m supposed to be good at that; re-framing things to dig into the positive. And most of the time, I am.
A lot has changed in the nearly two years since I wrote. Legoman has gone back home to his family, which is a good thing. Good for him, I hope, and definitely good for me. I simply was not prepared to live with a child with serious mental health issues. When you start dreaming that the person residing in your home is going to kill you, it might be time to admit you did not know what the hell you were doing. That you actually do not have the tools in your toolkit to navigate that world. And that, despite all of the good intentions in the world, it was probably neither the best for he and his family, nor you. It put my mental health in jeopardy, even though we had good counselors, medication, he made friends and did well in school. Every single day was a battle, and some days an actual war. Right now, he won’t speak to me. Fair enough. He did the same to his family when he came to live with me. Children seem to think that love is limited, that you can’t love a family and a grandmother, a mother and a father after a divorce; that doing so is somehow taking away from the love they want to nurture and get back in return. I had so many of those conversations with my own children after my divorce. I tried to tell them that the heart is very big, as big as you will allow it to be. And that loving someone else doesn’t take away from anything. They eventually learned that, but they are adults now. Maybe this child will someday learn the same. It has taken its toll however, and I find myself again conflicted -relieved and immensely sad. It is quite similar to some of the emotions I felt after my husband’s death.
Right before we made the trip to reintegrate him back into his family, my faithful fur companion of fifteen years began to seriously decline in health, and I had to have him put down. The grumpy old man Jack Russell no longer wags his nub or sleeps on my feet. No ticky-ticky of his nails on the kitchen floor to indicate he’s making another round in the house to find out where I am. That was hard. But it always is, and any mature pet owner knows that day may come. I willed him to pass in his sleep, but my will wasn’t that strong. I still hear him in my brain sometimes now that I am back at home.
For the first time in decades, I am truly alone. Even after my husband died, I had the dog posse, the Pyrenees and the Jack. One by one, via re-homing and natural life span, they, too, are gone. Which has taught me that really, we are always alone- even in partnerships. Yes, we share, perhaps thoughts, space, events, choices. Underneath it all, it is just us. In the end it is simply survival of the organism – or SOTO as I call it.
When work is in play, life really doesn’t require much thinking, as work consumes me. I have survived three rounds of layoffs, the most recent just three weeks ago. We are at a skeleton crew and I do not know how we will continue to provide award-winning services with so few staff. Along the way, people I have known for over a decade have been cast aside. Some of them have gone on to bigger and better things. Others have found a new work life but made significant lifestyle adjustments as a result. A few still struggle to find a place and identity by honing existing skills and acquiring new ones, continuing their search.
But last week and this week I took some time off between losing a major account and taking on a couple of new ones. As a result, my brain is shrieking loudly about this and that, here and there, past and present and…what does the future hold? Maybe music, memories and activity will bear some fruit in that direction. Or distract me. We shall see 🙂
For now, in quiet,