I suppose it’s a good thing I decided to dust this thing off.

Yesterday, I received a message from my little brother, informing me that I should probably call our mother. He mentioned that she was old and that she was falling apart so I should really call her. This, of course, set off alarm bells. Usually, if the two of us are messaging each other, it’s regarding his pregnant girlfriend or random other things. We don’t usually talk about anything of substance, so I was kind of concerned. I asked him what was going on, but received no response. This was either a calculated move on his part or he was busy doing whatever he does on the weekends. So, I called my mom and asked her why I had to call since my kid brother was telling me nothing new – we are all aware that my mom is old and falling apart… the two almost go hand-in-hand, one might say.

Thing is that instead of just falling apart, my mom was diagnosed with some serious shit.

She was finally diagnosed with diabetes, which isn’t surprising. She has had hallmarks of the disease for a few years now and I can recall when I was a teenager that she had a theory that she was pre-diabetic. Since my maternal grandmother was diabetic and for probably the same reasons as my mother (diet and weight), it’s really not surprising. And my mom admitted that when she told me, “I’m not really surprised.” Of course, the doctors said the usual advice about how to counteract it – exercise and diet. These are, again, not surprising facts considering it’s what I hear all the time. And the diet part seems to be working out very well for TH’s aunt who was diagnosed with it not that long ago.

I can handle that diagnosis, though.

It’s the congestive heart failure that bothers me.

This is something that my grandmother, also, had in later years. I honestly can’t remember a time where she wasn’t sitting at the kitchen table, not really getting up and doing anything because she couldn’t maneuver without losing her breath. And it wasn’t just lack of oxygen but just simply being unable to do so. And I remember the long, long lists of pills she would have to take daily (not all for the diabetes or the CHF) because of this disease. I watched my grandmother slowly die from this disease – going on oxygen and then having her lips blue more often than not because she wasn’t getting enough – before she finally went into that forever-night years after she had been put on oxygen.

This whole thing bothers me for a lot of reasons, but I think the most is the fact that this is yet another reminder that I have a parent and that, one day, that parent will die.

I remember when I was a kid, I would worry about what would happen to my kid brother and I if my mother ever went. Since our father had died when we were young, it was our mom or nothing. And now, I have to face that reality. I don’t really have to worry about where we’ll go since we’re no longer dependents. But I have to come to grips with the fact that, one day, I will live in a world where my mother doesn’t live anymore. And I will, one day, have to come to terms with the fact that, even though I am an adult and so is my little brother, we will be orphans. This, also, means that I will have to be an adult and do things to … you know … put her to rest when that happens.

I don’t think there is a really good way to deal with any of these things? And I don’t even know how the fuck you would do that.

I know there are treatments available and that, probably, my mom won’t pass on for years. It’s still kind of very jarring, though, to be informed that she was diagnosed. And that, one day, possibly, this is going to kill her.

My Exciting Life.

I very much forget that I need to unburden myself. I live so much inside of my head that I forget what it’s like to actually speak with other people about what I feel and what I think. Too often, whatever I say ends up coming back to bite me later. I may be able to think conscientiously and write in same form, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that my mouth works in the same way. I’m a fast-talking jerk a lot of times. What makes it worse is that I’ve found when I’ve been discussing things of a personal nature – ideas and thoughts, beliefs, and emotions – I’ve had this, also, thrown back in my face. That, at the core, is why I stopped writing here. Too often, I found that what I was saying was being used against me in personal battles and I realized that by publicizing what I was thinking or feeling, instead of people asking for clarification, they used it later to their own advantage.

I don’t really have anyone to talk to now. This has happened often enough to me – the personal battles being waged – that I’ve felt the need to keep a lid on everything going on at home and in my life. This is probably unhealthy. Well, there is no probably about that, really; it’s really fucking unhealthy. But even though I may have learned the lesson to keep my big fat trap shut and to keep my fingers away from my keyboard when it comes to personal items, I know that I’m going to end up exploding if I don’t actually say something. I have so much going on that I need an outlet somewhere and I can’t, in my honest opinion, trust actual people to be the receptacles of all of that.

So, I need to dust this bad boy off and go.

Considering the high amount of stress in my life, and there is a large amount, I am actually doing okay, which is kind of amazing. I really didn’t expect to be able to say that, or write it, in any context. As much as I feel like I am going to explode because of work or home, I am not depressed, I am not having suicidal ideation, and I am not at the point where I make a REALLY BAD DECISION (which is my MO). I don’t feel like I need to seek out a professional and discuss going back on Welbutrin like I did before I was fired from Greed, INC. And that is kind of amazing in and of itself because I am pretty sure that I am under more stress than I was back then. I believe most people call that a “win” and I fully categorize it as such.

I recognize, however, that the background of where I work and the type of work that I do is high stress and is not healthy. The work environment is, well, to be honest, a real fucking nadir. There is no other description there. The woman that I work for is one of those very conservative Christian Tea Party people who think that people should be grateful she willingly gave them a job at $13/hr. Considering the company is based out of one of the states with the highest cost of living, there is, in my humble opinion, nothing to be truly “grateful” for. She has used the phrases “pull yourself up from your boot straps” to discuss people on welfare and has made it her mission to, primarily, hire single mothers with children, recognizing that this category of employees means hard workers who desperately need the paycheck. She doesn’t offer health benefits (she found out it is actually cheaper for her to pay the fines since Obamacare went into effect) and has only decided to offer other benefits, such as 401K and bonuses, in the last six months. Almost like she senses that I am deeply dissatisfied and the tables are turned (she needs me; she needs me bad), I was given a bigger raise than I was expecting and a 401K… six months after my yearly review should have happened.

My largest client is a task master and their desires are completely outside what we actually do. There are a lot of high level projects, which are mostly coming to a close. This means that I may finally be able to actually work within a supervisory role, as I should have been, and be able to actually onboard with other clients instead of spending 98% of my time for a client with only 50 sites under its portfolio. (This is versus the other person who was hired around the same time as me who works with a portfolio with over 600 sites across the country who are not even nearly as needy as my one fucking “all important” client.) Since the owner of the company has recognized my dissatisfaction, she has re-written our scope of work with my largest client and I honestly hope it works to my advantage.

I strongly suspect my largest client will be back within six months, needier than ever. (They are making large mistakes and we are all waiting for the explosion.) Whatever the case may be, I know that I need to find another job.

The problem is that the things I feel that I deserve are not required in this current economy and I recognize that. I feel that I should be paid more than $30K a year, especially considering the work loads that I am willing to take on. I also feel that I should be given to paid time off that I can use to my own desire, where as my current boss feels that sick time should be used for doctor’s appointments and vacation time should be used for vacations only (pretty sure it’s illegal for her to mandate that), and have access to benefits such as health insurance, retirement packages of my own choosing, and more than 6 paid holidays a year. I guess I’m greedy. What [probably] makes me greedier is that I want to feel like the person that I work for honestly cares about my situation, honestly believes that I am a human being and not someone who greedily demands a paycheck. I want to feel as though I, me, this person that I am, is recognized based on my worth and not on what it says on my resume or what it says in my cover letter or what it says on my application.

I fully realize that what I’m asking for is probably next to impossible.

While I have been job hunting, I have had absolutely no bites. Most of the jobs that my background qualifies me for, I am unqualified for as based on what their little “qualifications” section states. More often than not, they would prefer a college degree. This irritates me since most of my jobs have been in fields that a degree is suggested but not particularly required. And just because I’m not interested in bogging myself down in massive debt to get a degree that probably really isn’t going to give me too much of a leg above others in my field seems to be my undoing here. It’s possible that I’m a little morose that out of all of the jobs I have applied for in the last three weeks, I have heard not a damn thing back.

Stress is high in our household, too. We live in a very small place and it seems to only get smaller as the years go by. My son is growing like a weed and we need to buy him a new bed – he’s rapidly outgrown the bed he’s been using since he was a baby. (It was one of those convertible things with like four settings to it.) He’s also broken the hell out of it and his legs are to the point where they dangle over the mattress. I have the money, technically, to buy him a new one but it’s the space in his room that holds me back. His room is probably best described as “half a room.” There is no closet and we’ve managed to squeeze a few things in that room, such as toys, a bed, and a destroyed dresser. If I get him a new bed, I have to also buy him a smaller bookcase, find a better way to store his toys, and get a smaller dresser as well.

And to make matters worse, I have nowhere to store things. We have a basement that is infested with rats that the landlord does nothing about. Technically, we have access to the attic that we share with whomever is living in the apartment above us (it’s vacant right now). But because of lack of storage, we’ve had to block off our attic access to make room for things. I’ve seriously considered getting a storage unit for things like Christmas decorations and Easter decorations, but I can’t even afford that [added] monthly expense.

I think, maybe, things would be less “OMFG WHAT DO” if TH had a job. He was working for his uncle’s company and then made a really bad decision about a month later. I managed to not fly off the handle because of his bad decision making skills, but what was promising to be a benefit to us – new job, new car, money – is no longer available. There are, as usual, talks about him working with his father (again), which of course will put added strain on our relationship since most of the jobs will be out Boston way and he’ll spend most of his time at his father’s.

Rock. Hard place.

Where are my choices?

I can remember that I had plans for my life. I remember when I found out that I was pregnant with my son and after the shock had warn off, I had so many beliefs about what life would be like. I never took into consideration the amount of toil that would go into what I thought life would look like. As I sit back now, six years after my son’s birth, I have to admit that what I had envisioned for myself and what is actually happening are two entirely different experiences. I haven’t quite accepted that, yet. I don’t want to end up one of those mindless drones who just toils through until I hit retirement age. But I have to admit that, with the way things are money-wise and personal-wise, it looks like that may be the case.

Maybe, though, I can toil at a job that I like for more money, though.

That still remains to be seen, though.

“Your Baby Doesn’t Want You Anymore.”

It’s over.
It breaks your heart in two.

It’s Over by Roy Orbison

Things have been incredibly difficult for the last two weeks. TH and I have been having difficulties of varying natures for a while now – some say he is at fault and some say that I am – but I always kind of assumed we’d plod on. I thought of our relationship in terms of the turtle who eventually wins the race. It would just continue to take its sweet as time until one day, we both realized that we had lived the rest of our lives together. That’s probably pretty pathetic. Point of fact, it sounds a little like romantic drivel, in a way. I’m not one for romantic flights of fancy anymore. I’ve grown up and grown past that, but I did just kind of always assume that we’d just always be together.

Imagine my surprise when he says that he’s going to move out. “I think we need a time out,” he says to me.

I wasn’t overly surprised by it. As I said, things have been pretty cagey between us for a while. But, I honestly never thought he’d have the gumption to say that to me. I always thought that if, push came to shove, and anyone was actually debating about leaving it would be me. But I have to admit here that I’m a complete idiot about things, too. I’m that asshole who will always forgive, will always forget, and will always take care of the basics. I will be the one to slave and make sure the bills are paid. I will be the one who takes care of the house. And I will be the one to constantly allow more and more irritations to build up until I finally explode.

It really is surprising that he actually took his balls in his hands and finally made a decision.

It looks like I’m a single parent now.

Betrayal Is Such a Silly Word.

Whenever you start thinking about the word, “betrayal,” you really have to stop for a moment and ponder about how ridiculous the word is. The word, “betrayal,” sends images in my head of kings being killed by their subjects; queens seeing someone else when they’re married to the king; and a seemingly innocuous kiss upon the cheek to signal the armed forces to swoop down and “save the populace.” Really, the word just heralds visions of chivalric missions written by Chétien de Troyes or Wolfram von Eschenbach. The unfortunate bit about betrayal, though, is that it is every bit as adequate a word today as it was back then. Only instead of betrayals that could span across nations, we just get it on a personal basis… which is probably why it hurts as bad as it does.

Last Friday, TH’s grandfather died. It wasn’t a shock to anyone, really; he had some major health issues for years. However, he was still a big part of the family and in other ways, he had been missing. That night, we went over to TH’s mother’s house to help her out. TH’s step-father was out of state getting his daughter’s car in Mississippi, so we went over to spend time with the family. As is normal in the family, there was some fairly heavy drinking going on. That’s just how they are – they’re social drinkers, though neither TH or I fall into this category. I think we drink all of once a month, if that, although TH will drink more often than I. He got pretty fucking drunk…

…and thought it was the perfect time to discuss our relationship, and my asexuality, at 12:30 in the morning. I was trying to fall asleep to some shitty fucking movie (Supernova) and he wanted to talk about our sex life. I shut him down. I was completely rude about it, as well. I will admit that I was over-the-top and an asshole about it. However, I had tried to have this discussion with him in July of last year and he made it seem like I was grasping onto straws with the idea of asexuality. He shut me down back then after I had requested that if we couldn’t discuss it, then he look into it and get back to me with his opinion on it. He never bothered. I think he actually forgot about it until, nearly a year later, he realized we hadn’t had sex in close to 12 months.

Either due to the passing of his grandfather and our lack of a conversation on Friday, TH hasn’t really spoken to me at all over the weekend. I figured it was probably a mix of both, honestly. I was a d-bag about it. In fact, I was such a jerk that I kind of felt bad the next morning. But, I figured he would come to me when he was feeling a little more on even keel. Not only is discussing a relationship right after you find out that your grandfather is dead not good timing, it’s just really a bad idea all around. Let’s ignore the pain I feel at the loss of my loved one so we can have some hard truths about our relationship? Oh, yeah. Perfect idea, that.

Yesterday, they had the funeral for TH’s grandfather. We all went – including R, which did not make me happy to have him there – and we all did the family thing. After the funeral service, we hung out at the club that TH’s family is associated with for a few hours. TH actually maxed out his bank account so that he could get drunk while there. (My face: -.-) R and I left fairly early on but I get the rest of the family went over to his uncle’s house to finish off their mourning or spending time together. Whatever. TH came home and then left again a while later since he had his mother’s car to go tooting along in. After he came home the second time, I think he was home for all of a half hour when he says, “I’m going to BFMA’s.” And I was pretty sure I misheard who the fuck he was talking about, so I asked. Nope. He really was going over to my best friend’s house.

Now, normal people would just assume that in all the time they have spent together with R in the mix that something happened between them. They’d immediately latch on to affair and run screaming from the hills. However, I know that the taste BFMA has in men is not my taste and she has never even remotely been sexually attracted to TH. I know that TH finds her sexually attractive, but I’m kind of over it since all of my boyfriends have always been hot-for-teacher over my best friends. It doesn’t matter what man I’m with or who happens to be my best friend – the guy I’m with has sex fantasies about her and I either have to learn how to deal with it or end the relationship. I’m still with TH, so obviously, I’ve learned to deal with the fact that I’m the ugly friend and my best friends are not. I’m only half joking there.

I decided not to freak out, even though it’s really fucking creepy knowing that your boyfriend and your best friend are talking about you when you’re not around. What made it worse was the fact that the two of them don’t even like each other! TH has told me time and time again that BFMA uses me all the time and that I should jettison her completely. BFMA has told me time and time again that TH is using me and that I should jettison him completely. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Isn’t it fucking hilarious that they both tell me the same shit about the other? If I didn’t fucking know any better, I would assume this is a jealousy thing on both their parts, but whatever. They were talking about me, to one another and they both fucking dislike each other.

When TH got home, I asked him how he felt about talking about me and our relationship to someone he fucking dislikes. He admitted that he didn’t like it. And I flew off the fucking handle. What the fuck is the fucking matter with these people? Is it fucking impossible to fucking realize that the way to have a relationship is to go to your spouse instead of talking to the one person who may or may not know what the fuck is going on? And no. BFMA doesn’t know a fucking thing that is going on between either TH or I because I haven’t fucking told her because it’s none of her fucking business and I’m not going to fucking give her grist for the gossip mill with her shitty ass piece of shit on-again, off-again “boyfriend” to discuss in the middle of the night. Not to mention, if I really need to fucking discuss what is going on between TH and I, then I’ll say something. But I fucking didn’t need to talk about it because, stupid fucking me thought he would be an adult and bring the subject back up.

And that was my fucking mistake because, you know, patterns from the last six years do not fucking show him as ever being a fucking adult.

And he’s not.

He is twenty-five years old and still acts like he is 12.

Whenever we have a “discussion” about our relationship, it is usually me doing all of the talking (or ranting) for who knows how long while he sits there and stares off into space. He gets that fucking glazed look in his eyes that says he’s actually only getting about one word in twenty and only responds when pressed with a monosyllabic response. No matter what I say or what I threaten, nothing ever gets fixed and nothing ever changes. When he’s working, he still doesn’t help me with the bills or with anything else. When he’s not working, he sits around and stares at the TV or his video games instead of cleaning the bathroom or doing some laundry or fucking anything besides being a lazy fucking bum. He does the dishes, though! At least there’s that!

He is a selfish asshole and I fucking put up with him because I still always believe he will change into the man I need. When will I learn that I’m with a little boy and not with a man? It may just be this time.

I think what makes this worse is that BFMA, when I told her not to do this again, came back with how upset TH was and she just was giving him someone to talk to. Nope. Nuh-uh. That will not fly with me because I know him and she’s a fucking idiot. He has online friends just as much as I do. While I was utilizing my resources, I.E. talking to a friend who isn’t going to go back to my fucking boyfriend with every fucking word I said, he was fucking making me distrust the one person in this area who was my friend. They are not friends. They do not like each other. The only reason he turned to BFMA was because he thought I would have said something to her about all of this by now. (And she’s read my asexuality entry, as her comment indicates, so I’m sure she had something to say on the subject.) Nope. Sorry. I’m not going to go running to her about every little fucking thing that’s happening in our life.

The lesson of the story, as far as I can see, is that TH is not an adult, nor will he be any time soon. BFMA is only to be trusted at arm’s length.

And me? I’m the one who gets fucked because I trusted, evidently, the wrong fucking people with my heart and my soul.

I Don’t Know How I Feel.

Not knowing how you feel isn’t really a rarity. As teenagers, we’re taught that our emotional development is out-of-whack in direct relation to our hormones. We go through our adolescence assuming that, one day, we’ll know exactly how we feel, though possibly not why. However, as we get older, the emotions don’t necessarily work themselves out. In fact, I have long periods of having feelings and not knowing exactly what they are and mostly, never really knowing why in the first place. Emotions and all that’s related is pretty fucking complicated – there’s no manual, unfortunately. I’ll tell you, however, that a manual could come in handy right about now.

This morning, I was sent an E-mail from my uncle with the title “passing.” In it was an obituary for my biological, paternal grandmother. Unh. Shit.

As anyone who knows me or who has read this blog knows, the family member that I’m talking about, I do not know them. For those who are unaware: My biological father was not around when I was born at my mother’s behest. He had a chance to make his presence known in my life when Daddy adopted me after he married my mother. A notice is sent to the biological father (or that’s how it was done in the 80s), alerting them that someone wants to step into their shoes. The biological father has the option of showing up to the hearing and contesting the adoption. My biological father never showed up. I’ve always felt that this was a telltale euphemism for any relationship I may have ever wanted with the man.

Don’t get me wrong, as a teen, I wanted a relationship. I was lost and alone and feeling awful inside all the time. For some stupid reason, I thought forging a relationship with a man who didn’t want me was a good idea. I never actually did anything. I had the house number and called a few times. When I got the answering machine every time, I figured it was a sign that I shouldn’t fuck up someone else’s life. It also didn’t feel right, really. My daddy was dead and had been, at that point, for seven years or more. The man I was thinking about would never fill the shoes my daddy was supposed to be filling. And as interested as I am in knowing things like the genetic and cultural heritage of my biological father’s family and as much as I really kind of need to know what sort of genetic diseases I may have passed onto my kid, I’ve left it alone.

Mostly.

When I was living in Texas, my uncle (the same who sent me the E-mail this morning) sent a letter with a newspaper clipping in it. The person features was my previously unknown half-sister. I was shocked and startled. What got me, too, was that the two of us look a lot alike. I’ve always been under the impression from the few photos I’ve seen of my biological father (from the 70s) that I actually look very much like my mother with little hints that a guy helped to make me. Seriously. However, after seeing her picture, I saw a lot of myself in her. The picture in the article reminded me of a class picture I took in the 7th grade. (Mom? Remember that one? You were so mad at me for wearing that green sweatshirt.) After finding out about her, I sent her a letter with information about who I was, where I was living, a little about myself, and ways to contact me if she felt so inclined.

She did, actually, contact me.

I have a sneaking suspicion she never told her parents, though.

So, there I am, reading this article and reading about the family. I got to learn what the full names of my biological paternal aunts are and their kids. Apparently, I have a second cousins now from that side of the family, too. It’s a very interesting article, giving me the basics of what my paternal biological grandmother did and what she left behind. I just spent a little time with my mother, asking her what this woman was like. She’s a complete enigma to me. Sure, technically, she’s a bit of my genetic heritage, but I don’t know anything. All I have from that side of the family are three 70s photos of my biological father at a family picnic at my maternal grandparents’ house and some family heirlooms (wooden birds, a couple of dishes, and some hurricane lamps). That’s the gist of what I know, aside from the pieces I’ve gotten from my mom since my half-sister is curiously incapable of telling me anything I want to know… like what kind of genetic diseases may run in our blood. (I don’t get it.) It’s not much.

It all comes down to, though, not knowing how to feel about this. A person I never knew and would have never known about if my daddy had his way (and you know, didn’t die) has died. She’s technically an ancestor of mine. Do I honor her? Do I muscle in on the funeral they have? Do I try to find out any details from the half-sister who doesn’t seem willing to discuss this with me? Do I do anything? Should I care? Should I have any feelings whatsoever?

I don’t fucking know.

Life is way too complicated and emotions? Doubly so.

Out of the Mouths of Babes…

R and I had a few errands to run this morning. I was having a so-so morning thus far, so I wasn’t overly thrilled with the idea of dragging a four-year-old with mood swings on a grocery shopping adventure. But, when you’re running low on all the goodies to keep him happy and you’re running low on all the goodies to keep yourself happy, it’s time to go grocery shopping. We ended up getting to the store and R was [mostly] fine to that point. As we’re picking out a carriage that we can use, he turns to me and says, “Mommy, you’ve ruined my life.”

…from the mouths of babes, indeed.

I honestly think of my son as a little psychic. He has a nasty habit of coming upon me and saying very astute things that a four-year-old shouldn’t be able to convey properly. He also instinctively knows when I’m upset or unhappy. He’s pretty good at just barreling over and giving me a hug and saying how much he loves me when I need to hear it most. Sometimes, I have to ask, but sometimes, I don’t. It’s probably just the bonding experience of creating life in my uterus for nine months that caused the bond, but sometimes, the kid just pops out with shit and I’m just like, “I don’t even know.” This was one of those instances because, you know, all morning I had been thinking pretty much the exact same thing about this whole parenting gig. I’m ruining his life. I’m fucking this up. I am a shitty parent.

It’s one thing to have self-esteem issues, but quite another when they tie in with your parenting ability. I honestly don’t think that I am a very terrible parent. I don’t think that I am ruining him or his experience on this planet. I don’t think that things are going well right now because I am a fuck up and a screw up. However, when I feel like the shit keeps piling up on me (for instance, the bullshit experience I’m having in trying to get him into an affordable preschool program – of which there will be more soon), I find it difficult to keep my self-doubt as a human being away from my parenting abilities. I tend to get them all mixed up and I get out of control and I start on a crying jag about how much I suck as a parent. I don’t really get into this with anyone because I think that it’s probably part and parcel to being a parent, but I couldn’t say for sure…? I just assume that I’m not the only mom out there who has massive panic attacks because the best of intentions don’t work out the way we want them to for our children.

For example.

Last year, I was working enough and bringing in enough money to send my son to a Waldorf school. I really like the approach they take to teaching kids. I find it innovative and I’ve heard a lot of good reviews. The Waldorf school has tuition, of course, since it’s considered a private school. And as TH figured it out, we would spending something like $90 an hour on his education. I felt that it was acceptable, especially since I would have been the one to pay for it out of my paychecks since TH’s can be completely at random some yearsweeks. (THE JOYS OF WORKING IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY.) Then I got fired and my dreams crumbled up into dust. Even with financial aid, there was no way I could afford that. It took me a very long time to get rid of that dream.

When it began to get to be time to think about other preschool ideas, I froze up. I’m not even joking. I would shut down if it was brought up in discussion with anyone. I couldn’t work past my anger at the loss of my job, so I couldn’t do anything like, you know, be a grown up and fix it. So, I froze up and it was with the help of BFMA that I figured out a plan: we would do some home schooling for preschool and then enroll him in a public school. I began to rethink this decision around June. Then in July, I realized that I was being entirely illogical. I needed to have time away from my son, as much as I hate the idea, and sending him to school is the best bet. But things were shitting all up and down in July, so I decided to wait until August to get this stuff done.

I should have just kicked my ass back in March.

I tried signing him up for preschool with the local Head Start program. No dice. I make a hundred bucks more than the federal poverty level (on unemployment). Add that amount to what TH makes and we’ve been wait listed. I doubt I’ll hear back before my son hits 16. So, they gave me a number to call to get help. They called me back this morning after I debated whether or not I wanted to hear what they had to tell me. All of the city’s assets are frozen for helping out parents like me with money problems to put their kids in preschool. It has something to do with the government thinking that people are taking advantage of these programs. I don’t doubt that’s the case, but that doesn’t help me. It was recommended that I seek out a Montessori school or something to put my son in.

But, why would I seek out assistance with Head Start if I could afford to put him into a Montessori school in the first place?

Just writing about this is making me sadder than I have been, so let’s get moving.

So, I just keep thinking back to all the mistakes I keep making. I freeze up. I stop doing. I end up in such a dither about what to do next that I can’t make a proper decision. And then when i finally come out of that freeze, I can’t get anything done the way it should be done because I waited too long. And that’s where the whole “failing as a parent” thing comes into play. I just feel that, as a parent, I can’t do a fucking thing right at this moment in time. Maybe shit will get better in the future but in the mean time, I’ll feel like a failure.

And apparently, my son will let me know when I’m failing him, too.

I Hate Having Nightmares.

This morning, I woke up at about six or so due to a nightmare. I don’t actually have nightmares often. My brain is super awesome (or something) and will actually do a rewind on it. The rewind is exactly like how it used to be with VHS tapes back in the day. I will, in dream world, watch everything go backwards rapidly with high-pitched voices speaking gibberish. It’s very neat. I’m told that this is something that not a lot of people can do: rewrite their dreams. I’ve been doing this since I was very young, though. I always equated it to my being a writer. Since, as a writer, I can have complete control over the back drop and the circumstances in a story I’m writing, I think subconsciously I felt like I should have the same control over my dreams. Now, this doesn’t happen all the time, but usually if a nightmare is pretty fucking bad, I can go back and rewrite things so that the bad stuff doesn’t happen but that I kick ass righteous style instead.

That didn’t happen this morning.

The dream starts off hazy. I know that in the beginning there was something to do with Tarot cards. I was doing a reading. I believe the reading was for myself. I can see the cards on my kitchen table. The area around the table and my chair is black, as if the table and chair are on a black back drop or curtain. The entire room, which is large, is black like those velveteen curtains you see in theaters sometimes. Anyway, I was doing a card reading. I don’t know what the cards meant, honestly. I don’t know what the reading was about. I just remember shuffling and staring at a card pull that I had done. There were seven cards or so on the table and I know that the deck was, specifically, the one that I use when I do readings for other people.

Now my belief as to why I was dreaming, initially, about Tarot cards is that I was trying to forewarn myself of something or that it’s time I do another test for a self-reading with my cards. (I am just not good at doing readings for myself because I just can’t disconnect the way I do when I’m reading for others.) Just in case I was wrong or something, upon waking up this morning, I clicked on to the Dream Dictionary website that I use frequently and looked up what they had to say about Tarot cards. To dream of a tarot reading indicates your current situation and state of mind. You are open to exploring your subconscious thoughts and feelings. Now, this is also possible. I’ve mentioned (briefly) that I’ve been doing subconscious work while sleeping lately. And I know that I’m working on things that I still feel guilt and pain for, although what they are specifically, I don’t know yet. The thing is that the card reading could have been telling me about that, but I don’t know. I’m not positive that the card reading had anything to do with the rest of the dream or if it was just a foretelling of what is to come or just a reminder that sometimes, I have to try and read for myself instead of relying on others. I DON’T KNOW.

So, later, the dream turns into R and I going on a trip to an aquarium or museum. I’m not sure. The place reminded me of the Corpus Christi Aquarium, but it also had the general museum feel to it: stagnant air and all of that. We were walking around the place with a single guide who brought us into a room that was concrete bleachers on one side and water on the other. The man said to just keep watching and we’d see something exciting. So, as we’re sitting in the bleachers, the water comes towards us. We’re in the middle and I feel no fear at the water coming towards us. In the water is a Great White shark. The only reason we knew it was one was because an announcer told us. So, we’re watching it swim around majestically when the water starts to creep higher. I jump up as the water goes higher and comes closer. R and I run up the steps of the bleachers to a giant window that is barred up; we can’t get out. And behind me, the Great White shark (don’t laugh) jumps out of the water, lands on its hind fins like they’re legs, and comes after us as though it is a human being. Grabbing R, I dived into the water and began running through the water with him holding my hand. We’re going and going and I can see the way out – we’re practically there – and my heart is hammering when I look behind and there is the dorsal fin and the mouth is open and R is going to be eaten. And just as I spin to grab him from under the armpits and haul him out of the way, I force myself awake.

GREAT TIMING, MIND.

I could just keep seeing that damn fucking shark’s face with its eyes rolled back as it swooped in to cut my baby boy in half. My heart was pounding. I immediately got up and paced a little. I didn’t have to check on R in his room; I knew he was fine. I just needed to shake the terror of that, but I couldn’t. I ended up going online and trying to figure out what the fuck my head was saying. I looked up shark on that website, too. They say, To see a shark in your dream indicates feelings of anger, hostility, and fierceness. You are undergoing a long and difficult emotional period and may be an emotional threat to yourself or to others. Perhaps, you are struggling with your individuality and independence, especially in some aspect of your relationship. Alternatively, a shark represents a person in your life who is greedy and unscrupulous. This person goes after what he or she wants with no regards to the well-being and sensitivity of others. The shark may also be an aspect of your own personality with these qualities. After reading that, I think I was more confused. I think I’m just at a loss. I feel like the meaning there has something but I don’t know what that something is. Any and all of those things could apply to my life or to R’s life. And since the shark was going after R, he’s a key player here.

I just don’t know what that playing has to do with him and me and sharks.