Thursday, September 30, 2010


My old friend, Melissa, has stage 4 breast cancer. It is inoperable. When she told me about it, I felt like a cry baby. She is scared. She is undergoing some experimental drug treatments. Stuff that is literally referred to as a "test trial". She is a guinea pig, gambling on saving her life. I would be so mad, and scared, and pissed off, I think I would spit fire. She quit her job, and started a mail order cookie business. I am in awe. I think I would be under the blankets every day. She is amazing.
I realize that every one's life is the most important one, to them. Everything is relative. What scares me, would probably make Melissa laugh. I fear losing things that I can touch. My husband. I fear he will travel and work in a hostile part of the world, and that decision will come back to haunt us. I fear not having my house. I fear being without things my kids may need, yet they have so much. I fear getting the mail everyday, because all there ever is, are bills. I was walking on the street the other day, and realized, that I fear one of my kid's running out onto the busy road. I could lose them. I saw the weather report today for all of the rain, and the strong winds that are supposed to accompany all of it, and I feared losing power. I am worried about maybe not being able to make dinner tonight. I fear that money may be so low in the next coming weeks, that a visit to the pumpkin patch will not be possible, and my girls will be sad. I fear the man in a hooded sweatshirt,walking past my house, right this very moment. Is he a good guy, or a bad one? Why is he exercising in all of this rain? I fear that I don't brush my baby's teeth enough. I get lazy at night. Will her teeth be irreversibly damaged?
I am afraid of my daughter's becoming sluts. It is a big fear of mine. I think about it all the time. Especially Olivia. She is a real people pleaser, and just wants to belong. That would kill me. I want them to be good girls, always. And I want them to tell me everything. No secrets. They came out of my body. I want to know everything about them. Even the cruddy stuff.
I worry that a dead tree, one in particular, will fall on my house, and hurt, or possibly kill one of my kids. I think about it when the wind blows. I am scared when there is bad lightning, and when snowstorms arrive, I cringe. Nothing seems scarier to me, then losing power, in the winter. No heat. What a nightmare.
I am scared that my mother or father will die. Sometimes, when the phone rings, and I see it is their number, I brace myself right before I answer it. I am scared that a major appliance will break. I always fear that. In the night, I wake up sometimes, and go in the kitchen, and make sure I did not just hear a strange sound coming from the refrigerator.
Some of my fears have come true. Some are totally crazy, and irrational...this I know. Some may come to fruition. Like the power thing...David just notified me that we are expecting over 6" of rain today. I don't have too many candles. That worries me. I guess I should be thankful that it isn't snow. 
I said a novena today. It is a prayer that you say, when in desperation. My mother gave it to me. They were just here visiting. It says that if I say the prayer correctly, my prayer will be answered. So, I figured, maybe my family could use some prayers. never know. Yet when I said it, I thought of Melissa, and her fear. I thought about what she thinks about in the middle of a dark, windy night. I wonder what she fears not touching anymore. I thought about how silly I sound, worrying about rogue boulders, and possible hot water heater malfunction, when she might not be here this time next year. She might not get to enjoy a snowstorm, with no lights, or heat, with her loved ones. 
I suddenly feel like a coward.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Our credit counselor that we met with on Saturday was a transsexual. As soon as we walked into the appointment, and the six foot plus woman extended her gigantic hand, and shook my own, I noticed. She had a very deep voice, and an Adam's apple. She wore a terribly dowdy sweatshirt, and jeans. Open toed Birkenstock's exposed her big feet, complete with a tattoo on her foot, of a conch shell. She had minimal makeup on, and her red hair was carefully styled, half up, half down. Earrings completed her look. She had intense eyes, and a serious demeanor. All business. No funny stuff. I kept trying to figure out if having her as our counselor was some sort of irony, or sign. Not that everything means something, but surely, here we are, hoping to save our home, and maintain stability for our children, and the person we are about to reveal all of our personal financial yuck to, may or may not have a penis. This kept going through my mind, and each time she got up to retrieve form after form from the printer, I kept looking at her crotch, somehow, looking for something. A bulge, or some obvious smoothness. The curiosity was killing me, and it became very distracting. At one point, I made a joke, and she laughed. Really laughed. The laugh was deep, and that of a man's. David and I glanced at each other, both of us taken by surprise.
I was dreading this meeting. I thought that we would be turned away. Told that we could not be helped. I am not sure if we can be helped. The application process is months long. We will not have an answer for quite some time. But toward the end of our meeting, and all of her lengthy questions, and dissection of every penny we spend, and accounting for each and every dollar, she said something that made me cry. Right there, in her office. She looked at us, and really made intense eye contact with both David and I. She said that what she saw, right before her, on the pages spread across her desk, was nothing bad. She said that we did what everyone dreams of doing. We got married, and had a baby, and purchased a home. She said that David had a decent paying job, and then, through no fault of his own, lost it. We suffered a painful period of unemployment. David had to take a lower paying job, but it was a good job, with the government, and that in itself, is a huge achievement in this economy. She said that we had no credit card debt, were in no way living above our means, and we have just had a series of crappy things happen to us. She said that we were doing everything right.
I cried. She made me feel validated. She made us feel validated. I suddenly didn't feel ashamed of our life. I felt proud. She said she has seen it all. The people who come to meet with her have made such terrible choices in their lives. Credit card debt, and living well beyond their means, have brought them to her. All things they chose to do. We did not choose any of this to happen to us. It just happened.
She also said that we can't choose to be victims. We aren't. And then she stared me dead in the eyes, and she said that we were going to get through this, and we were going to be OK.
I believe her.

Friday, September 24, 2010


I am feeling trapped here. I am stuck in this place. I cannot leave. The feeling is suffocating. I roam from room to room, and see all of the things I should be doing. Clothes to put away. Dusting needing to be done. I just don't feel like it. I feel annoyed by Molly crying, and following me around like a pesky yellow jacket. I got dressed today, after I showered. I put on mascara. I guess I still have a little vanity left, buried under all the three babies later and I still have not lost it yet weight.
I went on Facebook, and all of my friends are posting TGIF!, and they are all so unbelievably happy that it is the weekend. Me...not so much. We get to catch up on a weeks worth of laundry, and re-stock the frig, and cabinets for next week. This is after we go, and talk to some agency in the morning, and hope they accept our application to get a federal loan, to help save our home. I just had to write a letter explaining our hardship. is almost four pages, single spaced. Where do I begin? When will it end?
I watched my family in Walmart last weekend. I thought that Charlotte looked cute. She had on a cute hand me down skirt from Olivia, and a sweet T-shirt. She has a great little haircut. Bright Crocs were on her feet. Olivia had on a T-shirt, and shorts, and looked like my sweet Liv, with her gangly, not quite a little girl, not quite a big girl, legs. David put himself together well. Our clothes are tattered. Not quite old, definitely not new. Well worn. Distressed. Yes, we look distressed. But as I watched them all walking in front of me, I wondered,  do we look poor? Do people know? Do my children look like have not's? I believe my face, and extra weight is conveying this. Gray hair and scowl. Sometimes, I walk around with a look of surprise. Eyes bulging. David looks mad when his face is at rest. Mad and worn down. My children though, still look happy. But do they look like they get free lunch at school? Do other kid's know that their silly bands are the cheap ones? Do they know that? Can they tell that their sneakers cost us $10.00. Will this make my girls feel bad? 
When I was in 4th grade, there was a boy in my class named Ralph. He was one of maybe two African American students at Wing Street Elementary School. He had no Dad. His Mom worked full time. He had a little brother named Sydney. Ralph wore the same clothes to school everyday. He suffered for this, do to the asshole behavior of creepy kids. My mother called the school one day, asking if they knew of a student that could use some clothing. She had bags of my brother's clothes, and she wanted to donate them to someone who could use them. She was told to send them to school with me, and have me give them to my teacher, Ms. Morace. She would handle it. 
And wouldn't you know it. By the sheer bad luck of Ralph, who was in Ms. Morace's class, he was chosen as the recipient. I say bad luck, because Ms. Morace called Ralph up to the front of the classroom, and proceeded to tell the entire class that my mother had so generously donated this big brown paper bag of clothes for him. She then took each item out, one by one, and showed them to Ralph, and to the class, commenting on each piece. She said things like "oh...isn't this a nice shirt". "oh my...a winter jacket, how great!". I looked at Ralph. He was not smiling. He was not looking at the clothes. He was staring at the floor. I suddenly felt mad at my mother, and sick to my stomach, and I had that feeling that I wish I could just shrink myself up, and slide out under the door. 
Ralph wore the clothes to school. I remember one of the shirts was a shiny, butterfly collared, multi-colored, number. My brother had a school picture taken in it. It made me sad to see Ralph in it. It made me sad to see him wear things that were clearly too small for him, and to see the same things on Sydney, that were gigantic on him.The whole thing made me just feel terrible sadness.  They knew they were poor. Thanks to Ms. Morace..the whole school knew too. How did Ralph feel, I can only guess.
 We got older, and graduated high school and I never saw Ralph again. Until, he friend requested me on Facebook. There he is. A grown man. Handsome. Everything he says on Facebook is kind, and positive, and loving. He speaks of hard times, and acceptance. He writes posts that I read to David, and David says are bumper stickers. The man could not have a more gentle soul. We have written to one another. No mention of that fateful day, but an unspoken connection. 
Screw you Ms. Morace.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


When I was in 3rd grade, I thought I had Herpes. I had some sort of clogged gland in my nether region, and I was convinced I had a sexually transmitted disease. I had sat on a toilet in Penn Station, on a class trip, and I knew for certain that I had contracted this disease, that would haunt me for life. I was afraid to tell my mother because I knew that she would be upset with me, for not hovering over the toilet, in a public bathroom, as she had always insisted. I had done this to myself, and this was my punishment.
After facing my mother, and confessing, she made an appointment for me to see the pediatrician. I had a male doctor, and was dreading the visit. I literally was shaking on the way to the appointment. I would have to tell him that I had Herpes. I just shuddered at the thought of having to be examined. I was in 3rd grade!! The only people to have ever seen me naked was my parents, and mostly, my mom. My mother and I waited in the exam room. When he came in, he seemed very serious. I was scared. He spoke directly to me, and not to my mother. He asked me what the problem was. I couldn't even get the words out. I looked at my mother, to fill in the blanks for me, and prompt her to maybe do all the talking, but she remained silent. He listened to me, unfazed, as I told him, the sad truth. I told him I had Herpes Simplex II. I had looked it up in my dad's nursing school books. I was infected, and would have this the rest of my life. Years of being a social pariah had already run through my head for days. I had already come to terms with never having children, or getting married. My life would be different. Not what I had been rehearsing for the last few years in my room, that was furnished with a play crib, and kitchen. My canopy bed post was my husband, and we would speak to each other in hushed tones, like the couples on the Love Boat did, when they were having the rail side, moonlit, kissing scenes,  and I would lick my lips, to look like I had lip gloss on. My bed post would be my only husband, and I had accepted this.
Dr. Dvorken asked my mother to leave the exam room for a moment, after he had taken a look at my Herpes. He sat down on his chair that moved around the room, and smiled at me. He asked me did I know how people got Herpes. I was not quite sure of the exact semantics of it all, but I was sure a toilet seat was the way. I remember how tender and kind he was to me. He told me that I had a clogged pore, a pimple, and it would take care of itself, without medical intervention. He told me not to read nursing books, or medical textbooks, again, and I should focus on being Erin. I should be the 3rd grader I was, and not to worry about this stuff.
I wish I could say I listened. As the years went by, I had a brain tumor, a tape worm, I was convinced I had leukemia. I even secretly wished that I had a terminal illness for a spell. I could see the flowers and cards surrounding me in my hospital bed. Maybe even a giant card made by all of my classmates, and signed by them, with a personal note from each. I came down with a really bad flu once, and actually thought I had bacterial meningitis. Or was it viral meningitis. Either was the one that gave you a stiff neck and a headache and fever, and KILLED YOU! I went to bed that night, and thought that I would never see morning.
This has not stopped in my adult life sadly. Through the years, I have diagnosed myself with every ailment, and disease, syndrome, and disorder. I was on a business trip in London once, and was struck down, so severely with food poisoning, I called my father and told him who had the spare key to my apartment in New York, and where my banking information was. I had it at the height of Mad Cow disease. Need I say what I diagnosed myself with?
A few weeks ago, I went to the emergency room. I had excruciating pains in my lower back. They were just awful. I went on Web MD, and suddenly, I had diagnosed myself with kidney failure. I made David come home from work early, because, I had to act fast. Once the kidneys fail, then all the organs go to hell. I had a cat scan, and blood work done. Final diagnosis: lower muscular back pain. Probably from picking up Molly incorrectly. Ugh....
Today, I read about a disorder. I know that I have this. It is called S.A.D. Seasonal Affective Disorder. The fact that this is a real disorder is mind blowing. It is seasonal depression. It is estimated that 10-20% of the US population may experience this. Women far outnumber men. It is a cyclical condition. The symptoms usually begin in the late Fall. Symptoms include: fatigue, loss of energy, social withdrawal, A CRAVING FOR CARBOHYDRATES, weight gain, difficulty concentrating, decreased motivation, oversleeping, irritability, anxiety, and feelings of sadness. Yup!!! I am experiencing each and every symptom!  This week alone I have used my slow cooker TWICE  to make gloppy, gravy laden, starchy meals! This time, I do not need a doctor to confirm the diagnosis. Apparently there is no cure. They suggest bright light "therapy". They also suggest that you avoid carbs, and caffeine, and get a good nights sleep. A healthy diet should be followed. I am also supposed to seek a spiritual connection, and reach out to loved ones, to lift my sadness. 
I guess I will sit in the sun today. No where to go, what with no car and all. I will begin my therapy. Yet Dr. Dvorken's words keep ringing in my head.
Just be Erin. Don't worry about this stuff.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


For as far back as I can remember, I have had a reoccurring dream. I am usually in some sort of social situation. It varies, but I am the center of attention. Always. People are around me, and I am telling them a story. They are all listening, intently, at every word. I am charming, and clever. You can see how they are fascinated by what I am saying. Laughing. Listening. Suddenly, I feel it happening. My teeth start to feel wiggly, and loose. They start to move with each movement of my lips. I continue trying to talk, and hope this will go unnoticed, but I begin to see their eyes drop toward my mouth. Oh God. It starts to happen. My teeth start to turn into shards of glass, and I have to put my hand up to my mouth, and cup it, to catch the shards as they start to fall out. I can no longer speak, and one by one, the group who loved everything I had to say, begin to walk away, with looks of horror and repulsion upon their faces. I am mortified. I want to scream. I want to run and hide. I want to shake them, and make them listen to me, and look at me with all the adoration in their eyes, as they had, just moments before. So what if my teeth had just crumbled away, into my hands?  
I write this diary of the life that my family is currently not enjoying as some sort of smoke signal to someone. Anyone. I cannot talk to my family. I cannot talk to my friends. It is a shame, and it is hidden away. David and I talk and talk and talk about it, until I want to spit. Now we just drink wine, and say silly little things to one another like, "It can only get better, right?" or "It will all work out". 
I am not so sure that it will sometimes. Some days, I am certain it will. Some days I tell that to David. I say.."it has to work out". Today I feel like I have a pile of teeth in my hands, and everybody is pointing at me , and laughing. But I know that inside of myself, I am just not what they see. I am more. 
We are more.  

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Keeping house

No car. I am homebound. Over the weekend, I got out some library books. One of the books I took out is entitled Home Comforts. The Art and Science of Keeping Home. Who even knew it was a science? I got it out because I figured, my house is a mess. Piles of paper, and clean laundry yet to be put away. I have a cabinet that is filled with plastic containers, and if you try and remove one, or replace one, it actually makes you break out into a sweat. My other cabinet, where my "appliances" are kept, looks like the game "Mousetrap". I saw the book, and thought, I was going to be spending a lot of time here, for God knows how long. Better tidy up.
On page 23, it suggests that I should work into a routine. That routine should go something like this: Washing and ironing, if any, on Monday. Marketing on Tuesday. Minicleaning on Wednesday. Odd jobs on Thursday, and Housecleaning on Saturday morning. Hmmm......The housecleaning to be done on Saturdays is spelled out, in detail for you. Change all the linens, Vacuum rugs and floors, lampshades, and upholstered furniture. Wash all floors, Dust EVERYTHING, even lightbulbs. Wipe all fingerprints, from doorknobs, Clean and sanitize every inch of the bathrooms, scrub the bathroom floor, and wash out and sanitize garbage cans. There is also an order in which these things should go in. It states to proceed from higher to lower. Work your way downstairs. Proceed from wet to dry as well. Proceed from inside to outside. And lastly, begin with the chores that require waiting periods. these include, and I quote, "bed airing, laundry soaking, soup simmering- so that they can proceed while you do other things."
There is also a whole chapter on stimulating beverages that I should be apparently providing my family. Mulled ciders, and evening time cocoa's . These things will make my home, more "homey". Proper placement of a tablecloth is covered, complete with diagram. Four different place settings are also illustrated. Did you know that there is a proper way to set the table for breakfast? And the order of the meal goes like this...first juice, then cereal, followed by ham and eggs, and toast. Coffee or tea are to be served with the food, NOT after it. There is also a place setting for a lunch that includes meat, and one that is meatless.
The laundry section goes on for like four chapters, so forget that one. Not having a washer or dryer suddenly seems OK right now. There are so many methods to laundering properly, it seems that the way I have been doing it, which is just throwing it all in together, is a big no no.
If I cared about my family, I would also be making homemade cleaners, instead of slowly killing them, as I have been, with all the toxic stuff under the sink. I also do not test the water, and could be harming them. Nor have I been testing for lead. There is even a chapter on lighting, and what type of lighting is required with a host of different circumstances. The wattage I seem to enjoy could be damaging my babies eyes, from all the strain. I do not have things plugged in properly as well. The jumble of wires that I have jammed into the one power strip in the kitchen is another no no. My sheet count is not high enough for my loved ones. I don't even have a first aid kit. Yes. I said it. I have band aids. And some antiseptic spray. That's it. Not enough according to page 695. And my fire extinguisher is 10 years old! My batteries on my smoke detector need checking. That I can do. But I am supposed to have a map in each room for that particular occupant, on how to get out, in the event of a fire.
My rugs are not backed by rubber stripping. Obstacles and clutter could be lethal hazards as well. If you go chapter by chapter, my home is a death trap. I fail on every level. Thank goodness I have no car. I have a ton of work to do around here.
Yet, I can't get focused on the tasks that need tending to. I keep thinking about how I yelled at Charlotte this morning for crying about not wanting to go to school. I told her to quit being a baby. I told her that I have had enough of her baby behavior, and that she needed to suck it up, and get on the bus.
I fail on every level.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Empty crib

The sliding glass door was open half way in my bedroom last night. The cold, Fall night air was blowing in. The room was freezing. My shoulder became exposed during the night, and became so icy cold, that I had to burrow deeper under my covers. Nestled right against my body was Molly. She sleeps in our bed. When I had Olivia, I set up a nursery. Painted it, set up a pretty white crib, put up pictures of her as a newborn, and little poems that were about motherhood, and my child. There was a changing table, with little baskets of everything I needed to get the job done. There was a teddy bear mobile over the crib. Silver rattles, and pretty dresses set out, not yet her size, but on "display".  Olivia never slept in the crib. Ever.
With Charlotte, we had the same set up, with some toddler toys thrown in. The crib now was a place where all of the clean laundry was kept, in it's holding pattern, before being put away. Charlotte slept with us, right between David and I, and Olivia. Four of us in a queen size bed.  Sometimes, in the middle of the night , I would look over at David, and he had his head resting on the bed side table. He was half off the bed. I could only sleep on my side. I had a constant pain in my shoulder. My hips throbbed. Eventually, Liv got too big, so we put a toddler bed, directly next to my side of the bed. For the first week, I had to sleep with my arm dangling off the bed, holding her little hand, tightly. If I lost her grasp, in the night, she would awaken in a panic.
When Molly came along, (thankfully, the girls were tucked safely into their bunk beds, in their bedroom, by this time) we didn't even bother to set up the crib. She would sleep with us. Still does. David usually bails out of the bed, as Molly is really hard to sleep with, and he gets up so early, so most of the time, it is just she and I. I feel sad that David isn't there, but I know that the window of time, of her babyhood, is only open just a small crack now. She will soon be gone, out of our bed, forever. My last baby. She becomes so happy in the night. She strokes my arm, and places her hand on my neck or my face. She twirls her small feet into my belly. It is in those moments that I feel the purest form of love, and joy. I can feel how safe and secure my sweet child feels. I can feel her trust. I love the smell of her breath, and her sticky hair getting in my nostrils. I even find the way she will abruptly change position, and move around the bed, like the hands of a clock, amusing. I will never have this time again with her.
On Friday, I had my friend Evette over for lunch. I made a roasted tomato soup, and a salad. Apple crisp for desert. She had never been to my house before. She is an unlikely friend. She and I could not be more different. She is Puerto Rican, and grew up in the projects, in Brooklyn. She and her three children live in her mother, and stepfather's house, right around the corner from my own. She had to leave her bad neighborhood two years ago. All four of them live in one bedroom of her mom's house. She has a bed for herself, and bunk beds for her older son and daughter. There is also a crib for her baby. She had a fourth child at one time. A baby boy. She put him to bed one night, and he never woke up.
I couldn't get her out of my head, as I lay with my warm, squishy, baby last night, in my cold bedroom, feeling her little feet rub into my body.
I could not stop thinking about her.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Today, we have to return the rental car. The insurance company called last night, and said that our car is worth more than the $5000.00 worth of coverage that the girl who hit us, has. They said to open a claim with our insurance company, and close the claim with their company. So, in order to make myself feel giddy, in the midst of all of this madness, I drank numerous glasses of wine last night, only to wake up in the middle of the night with a massive headache, and booze fueled anxiety, on top of the heaping lump of anxiety lying directly on my chest. And so begins my day.
Today, I suppose I will take care of things that need tending to. I must check my diaper supply, and my wipes. Food must be inventoried. What to make for dinner, and what sides will be served along with the protein, to make sure all food groups are represented, must be checked, and replenished. We were going to go to see my cousin on Saturday, and attend her daughter's party. We will now be unable to attend. Thank God I did not tell the girls about it. I learned that lesson long ago.
 Maybe I will take a drive. Maybe it will be my last solo drive, for a while. I love to drive. I feel free. No clingy kids on top of me. They are safely strapped into seats, unable to touch me. There was a time, when I lived in NYC, and was single, and lived alone, that I went untouched by humans for weeks. Sometimes, I ached for it. Sometimes, it drove me to tears. A hug was something I physically yearned for. Now, some days, I feel smothered. That makes me feel like something is wrong with me.
Funny how being broke stretches it's creepy little fingers into every facet of your life. How just having effortless fun can be hindered. Going to a kid's birthday party, which are normally a waste of a perfectly good Saturday, is something that suddenly you are upset at not being able to do. Just taking a ride in a car has financial impact.
It permeates everything we do.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


The girls are still sleeping. I have a moment to myself. I went to bed too late. I was lying in bed last night, watching mindless TV,  until 11:00, and that was already past my bedtime. I woke up at 4:something, and have been awake since. I feel scared. I am so worried about our car. The Honda, the only car we own now, is really in bad shape. All the tires need to be replaced, and the brakes are barely functioning. It makes a grinding noise, and there is also another little sound it makes, that sort of makes you think there is a rattlesnake under the hood somewhere. David drives this car, to and from work. He leaves before it is light out, and returns home at night with it. It is the only way he can get to work. It is our only means of survival. I am frightened at the condition it is in, and how we have no money to fix it.
The leaves here are turning. Fall is coming fast. I got up a moment ago, and saw that there is more orange and yellow, than yesterday. All of the years we have been here, I have adored this time of year. I have loved everything about it. Now, it makes me filled with anxiety. Cold weather is approaching. Soon snow. Ice. The need for warmer clothes and boots, and hats, and coats. The need to heat our home. The need for a car that will carry my husband safely to his job. I have already accepted that soon, I will have no car to drive. I am OK with that. I will have to accomplish all of my errands and laundry on the weekends. I will have to be here, in the home all week, without the ability to leave. I am upset, and scared about this, but I accept it. I have no choice. But I worry so much about David. I worry about him driving on the country roads here. I worry all day about it. I lay in bed, and worry through the night about it. Worry, these days, is a constant state of being. 
I am concerned about the age of the heating system in our house. I pray for a long, warm fall. The thought of switching on the heat makes me sick to my stomach. The change of seasons this year, is causing so much fright. The turning leaves make me want to close my drapes, and look away. I hate them this year. Every one that I see, slowly spiral to the ground, makes me angry.
My husbands ex-wife called yesterday, asking for money. Her timing is unbelievable. It made me want to scream. It made me want to scream. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Charlotte didn't want to get out of bed this morning. Olivia was up making her bed, and getting ready for school. Charlotte normally hears us, and gets up right away. This morning, I had to go in to wake her. Except, she was not sleeping. She was just lying there, pretending to be asleep. She started to cry right away. She said she was pretending to be asleep, because she didn't want to go to school today. I asked her why, and she said that she would miss me, and she would feel sad. She said the day is too long. She thinks of me everyday when she is at school, and she cries.
I am always shocked when I hear Charlotte talk about missing me. She and I are not very close. She can be very hard to be around. I feel so terribly guilty for saying this, but sometimes, I just don't want to hear her, or be around her. She whines, and cries. She flat out refuses to listen. She knows what buttons to push. I have found myself having to force myself to be affectionate toward her. I love her. She is my child. I just don't understand her. Yet, she cries for me during the day. She misses me. This both warms my heart, and makes me feel happy, but at the same time, I ask myself, why would she miss me? 
David and I need to be better parents. The stress of our lives are rubbing off on the girls. I was thinking about our life, in bed last night. We are so consumed with money problems, and some days, just keeping the lights on, and food in their belly's, that we are failing them in so many other areas. 
Saturday, our neighbor asked David if he wanted to go with him, and his family, to our lake, right here in our neighborhood. He had an extra canoe, and life jackets. David said no. The girls were heartbroken. I felt their sadness. I understood David. He just didn't want to do it. I understood the girls frustration too. I talked to David, almost to the point of arguing about it. I asked him, why? This requires no money, and no travel. It seems like a no brainer. David was annoyed, and finally relented. He said fine, he would do it. He went next door and told our neighbor that he changed his mind. He told the girls. They cheered. I heard them cheer. 
When they walked in the door, the smiles on their faces were amazing. David looked at me, and told me that he was so glad he did it. The girls chattered about it all night.
I need to find a canoe moment with my girls. I need to make an effort. I need to do things I don't want to do. Maybe then I would understand why my child would miss me.
I just can't accept being loved for doing the minimum.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I feel scared today. I am unsure of our future. Constant diarrhea. Constant palpitations. Mounting bills, no way to pay the mortgage. I feel like my head is going to explode. I am already worried about Christmas, and our ability to provide it.
 David called this morning from work, informing me that the girl who hit us had very limited insurance coverage. Her insurance will only pay us $5,000.00. We owe $10,000.00. We have to continue making car payments for a car we no longer have. I mean....are you fucking kidding me??????? I am sorry to swear. I hate the F curse, but I really feel like it truly conveys how I feel, inside my head. Oh my gosh...I just don't understand this. I will now, have no car, and no ability to get another one. We are still waiting and waiting and waiting, for orders for David to go to the Middle East. I am worried that they will never come.
How will I be able to take care of my family with no car? How will we be able to fix the one car that we have? Where will we be in 6 months? Here? How will we pay all of our bills? What if the girls need me, and I can't get to them? What kind of life are we providing for them? 
I made David buy us a powerball ticket over the weekend. I actually prayed to God we would win. I went to bed, feeling like "what if". I went to bed with a tiny glimmer of hope. How stupid is that?

Friday, September 10, 2010


Yesterday was a day filled with anxiety. Midway through the day, I felt something in me change. I walk around most days, and I can almost smell the stress coming out of my pores. I see the worry in my face, and in the clumps of hair in my drain, in the tub. I taste it the way I run to food for comfort when I am alone. I notice the way my heart beats up by my throat, and not where it should beat, comfortably nestled below my rib cage. I hear the stress come out of my mouth, as I am yelling at my girls, and dismissing them, and their chatter.
Yesterday, I felt like I just want to be. I want to find some kind of normalcy in all of this abnormality. I want my heart to stop racing. I want to not have a daily argument with my husband. I want to go to sleep at night, and not wake up in a panic. I want to talk to people and not constantly feel like I have to explain who we are, and why we have less. I want to hear, in my ears, my laugh.
Today, the sky could not be any more blue. The wind is cool, and the sun is making the leaves that are beginning to turn, actually glow. I have received more positive thoughts, and love, from some of the most unexpected people, and old friends, and I know that my family has a cheering section. It makes me feel like running faster.
I got a phone call this morning from a rental car company. We are getting a rental car paid for by the insurance company of the girl who hit us. I started to worry right away about how long would we have it for. We may not be able to get a car for quite some time. Would they take the car next week. But I can't go there. I can't worry about it today. Today is Friday. Tonight we will have pizza, and enjoy family game night, and be able to go out with the girls this weekend. Even if it is just to the store. We will be together. I am tired of feeling sorry for all of us. I am tired of being out of breath. I am tightening our laces.
This weekend, we are going to allow our girls to watch what happened on September 11th, and we are going to be thankful for this life we have, and the love we share. I hope everyone does the same.
Thank you for the love.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The floor is yours

"Drop all your words on a page, and rearrange later".  Thank you Kendra, for this.

I am tired, and a bit sick to my stomach. I have had diarrhea for two days now. Our car is totaled. We found this out yesterday. We apparently owe more on the car than it is worth. We will have no ability to pay that difference. I will not have a car for the foreseeable future, and the one car we have, that David drives, has four bald tires, and is in need of so many repairs. I will now be here, in my home, day in, and day out, for a very long time. This thought makes me shudder. Alone, with Molly, with no ability to leave. I feel like I am choking when I think of this. I feel scared that if the girls need me at school, I can't get to them. I worry if I run out of something, I will have to go without.
I am trying to wrap my head around this latest set of circumstances in our life. I spoke to my father yesterday. He called me. He said that there is no logic in this. He also said that good things can happen as fast as bad things can. I guess they can. They are just not happening to me, or my family. My cousin Jennifer texted me something yesterday. She said..."I feel like God is really calling you guys. He's taken away so much so you will go to him.I believe he has big things in store for you, but needs to fix a few things before that time. Wants your undivided attention. ".
Well, I am listening. You have my undivided attention. My husband had a nervous breakdown right before my eyes yesterday. We have nothing. We can go nowhere, or do anything. We are becoming broken, beyond repair.
My family is nearly totaled. Whenever your ready....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day

Labor Day weekend was really nice. The weather was really beautiful. We took the girls to a birthday party on Saturday, at the roller rink. I love watching them at parties, enjoying being just kids. Eating cake, falling down on their skates. It makes me happy. We went to a festival in our little town after that. The streets were packed. Music played, and we ate cotton candy. It was a great day. Definitely attitude problems from my somewhat spoiled girls, begging for everything they saw, and being told no, but a really happy, family day.
David cooked dinner that night, and we stayed up too late, and had too many glasses of wine, and we laughed, and sat outside on our deck, in the breezy, magical night. I was happy. I went to bed, with hair smelling like a sheet dried on a clothesline.
Sunday was another good day. We relaxed, and went to the store to buy some junk food for the girls. Olivia was having her friend sleep over, and the girls were so excited. I made me feel giddy to see them so smiley. Like I was doing a good job for a few days in a row, and not yelling so much. The sleepover went well. Giggly girls running around the house. I even kept my slight annoyance at having a kid who was not mine, in my house, in check.
Labor Day was a morning filled with coffee. An easy morning. A day before us, with nothing to do. We went to do our laundry. Not exciting, but necessary. We picked it up wet, to bring it home, to dry outside, to save on money, and time. We decided to pick up some lunch. We decided to just take a drive. We were driving along, talking, and I noticed a car stopped, waiting for us to pass. I felt instantly that we were about to get into an accident. I knew it was about to happen. And then all of a sudden, there was the car, right in front of us. I could see the pretty blond haired girl, and the look of fright, right before me. And then there was impact. A giant, terrible sound, and motion. We kept moving. I closed my eyes. I shrieked. I heard the baby scream. And then we stopped. David was cursing, and screaming. I looked, and the girls were terrified. Everyone was ok. David pulled the crippled car out of the roadway. He got out, and I heard him talking to the girl, in a calmer voice. The girls were crying. I felt like I was shaking internally. David walked back to the car, and staggered, and suddenly felt ill. He had hit his head. He couldn't see straight. He needed an ambulance. I wanted to cry. I wanted to put my face in my hands and weep. David cried. It was too much. We endure a lot, and a lot of what we put up with has become normal to us. This was too much. Why my family? Why another hurdle for us? Have I or David done something so terrible in our life, and this is payback?
The ambulance came, David was taken away. The girls wept. My heart felt like it was going to explode. I had to take care of all of us. David looked  at me before he left, and told me to buck up for the kids. He was right. I had to act ok. I had to be strong. I smiled at the girls, through my horror, and said I was here, and was going to take care of them, and everything was ok. They looked like they believed me.
David is ok. Bad concussion. Today, we are both sore. We don't have money to cover the deductible on our insurance. I don't know how much more of this I can take. I laughed about it last night. What more can I do. We are all breathing, limbs intact. No one is hurt. I am thankful for this.
My spirit is low.
The sun is vibrant this morning. The light is breathtaking. The breeze is cool. You can smell fall approaching.   

Thursday, September 2, 2010


My daughter Olivia got off the bus, for the second day in a row, crying. A girl she has had problems with since kindergarten had started up with her again. She made her feel bad on the bus, and embarrassed. She said, loudly, "Olivia hates her life". Everyone laughed. My daughter cried. This same girl has been a constant name in our life, since Olivia's school career began. I wrote a note to her kindergarten teacher regarding this "student" two years ago, which went nowhere. I lay in bed last night thinking bad thoughts about a second grader.
Olivia is a great little girl. She has her moments, believe me. But she is no bully. Some days, she would come home from school, and she was happy, mentioning the fun she had with "D". I would ask what had happened? Was "D" being nice, and she would look happy, and tell me that they were friends again. I told Olivia to be careful, as "D" had been cruel to her in the past. Yet Olivia would seem happy to be friends with her again. Hopeful that this time, it would stick. Hopeful that she would not be made fun of anymore, and maybe, if she tried hard enough, she could be "D"'s best friend.
I had a parting of the ways with a "friend" of my own this summer. It was just as school ended. This friend and myself had nothing, I mean nothing in common. She had grown children, and was on her second marriage, and was over 10 years older than myself. Yet, she was funny, and we had some really great times together. But there was always something inside of me that knew the friendship had an expiration date on it. She had a close friend that I was not very fond of, but I was forced into a lot of social situations with. I tried hard, as I too wanted to be liked. I want to have friends. I want to belong.
 These women, I noticed, did a lot of accounting. They were always talking about who had who over last. Who owed who drinks. Who owed who dinner. It made me nervous. I began keeping track in my head the amount of times that we had been over their homes for drinks, or for dinner. I began to take a tally one day, and realized that we owed them a night. It was a lot of pressure. Kids to feed, plus the parents. And the drinking. they all drank. Grey Goose. Not cheap. We invited them over. I shopped, and cooked. We spent money we didn't have. I was so stressed counting up what we had spent on this one night that we "owed" everybody. I kept thinking about what we were going to have to go without, and the bills that were not going to be paid, to provide this payback.
The one thing that I would not pay for was Grey Goose. I made David buy a cheap vodka. We'll make them Cosmopolitains, I thought, and took out my lovely martini glasses. I even curled lime peels. I cooked all day, making wonderful appetizers, down to all the vinaigrette's. I lit candles, and cleaned and cleaned, and made everything perfect.
My friends arrived. We had music playing. Everybody ooohed and ahhhed. Then the friend of my friend that I had never been fond of, asked for a martini, with onions. I cringed. David made it, and I saw her take a sip. She made a terrible face. She looked at our mutual friend, and stuck her tongue out. She then proceeded to make fun of the drink.
Everything was a blur after that. All of my hard work, and my food, and candles, and my necklace, and lip gloss, and perfume, and cute little snacks for the kids was for nothing. All of the money we spent trying to please these people..the sacrifice we made, to step out of our skins for one evening, and pretend to be people we were not, was a giant, terrible, waste. I felt foolish. I felt like an outsider. I felt sorry for myself, and what I had forced David and I to do.
When Olivia came off the bus on Tuesday crying, I felt her pain. I understood her wanting to be friends with the mean girl. I felt her sadness and insecurity. I told her that if "D" started with her again, she should tell her to shut her mouth.
Yesterday, she did.