This is Sunday night's version of Three Monkeys. Alcohol free. That part is probably worrisome but really, not in this family. This is, by the way a white racist slur on the left. He's modified it. White boys do that apparently. This is one of his current rants. That and a whole lot of other things.
On Sunday we celebrated the annual joint birthdays of Elizabeth's dad and Lucia. They turned 51 and 24. Elizabeth noted later there was no NM. Of course not. Lucia's boyfriend is here. She started spending a fair amount of time at his house toward the end of last semester and gradually moved in over the summer. One man in, one man out. She noticed when the group of birthday photos were posted to Facebook several days after last year's came up as a popup from the year before. I debated allowing those to repost but did it anyway for Lucia. Sometimes those things are OK. He had not been tagged.
Sunday was a hard day for me. Saturday was turned upside down and I was still trying to get my feet back on the ground so family being family we pulled it together as a single unit. I did manage to get down to Peter's for a cake, I missed the liquor store by three minutes and sent an SOS out to the group for a sweep of whatever people kept in their respective houses. Lucia and boyfriend had a bottle of something she brought back from Italy. She doesn't care to consume any more of it. My son, apparently, does not keep alcohol in his house. "Mom, I'm out often enough I don't think it makes sense for me to be drinking at home." Elizabeth's dad said, uh... I might have a couple cans of Bodingtons."
None of us are heavy drinkers. I had a bottle and a half of wine, dug through the pantry and located some Guinness from the lamb stew last Christmas Eve. I think two cans and one glass were consumed. Just pizza and cake. I seriously need to pay more attention to my family in its individual parts as opposed to the whole.
On Saturday after I'd managed to trip all over myself I'd gone tharn like a deer in the headlights. I was mostly sitting aware that I'd have to get up on Sunday and move eventually. We had a major operation occurring at work which needing monitoring on my part. We missed our internal Saturday deadline but had until Sunday at 10 PM before we missed entirely. I was aware I'd need to be significantly connected by Sunday afternoon and possibly into the evening and maybe late into the morning hours of Monday. These were background noises while I sat on the porch telling myself I was going to be just fine.
I had a brief conversation by text letting Ailish's dad know what I'd done. I wasn't completely alone in it but on Sunday I had a more significant conversation with Lucia.
This is where we come to the part about the things we tell our kids and the things we do not. I'd have to go back to the text string to work out how the conversation started but she'd asked if I was alright and I told her I wasn't. There are a lot of things I'll tell her but I'm hesitant about details because she's still passing the age where kids that TMI line moves quite a bit. I remember having some fairly intense conversations with my mother in my early twenties when she was just starting to date again and not having any trouble with them at all. Most children would have. Was I still a child? I don't know. I'd been raised very differently. I didn't have the same sort of boundaries or expectations or need to not know things about my parents. I think I might also have been married at that point.
So I started broad scope. Here is the mistake I made and here is how I'm feeling. Is it OK that I'm telling you this? Yes, it's OK. What, exactly, did you do, Mom. Well, I had a plan. I was going to do this and then this and this was sort of scary but instead I did this and that was probably not such a good idea. Yeah, it wasn't a good idea. And then I found out this because I asked a question I should have asked earlier and this is something I can't cope with. Is this still OK. Yes, it's perfectly fine. This sort of thing happens all the time. I wouldn't be OK either.
And here is where the line gets drawn and the details stop. You stop with the gory details. I suppose she could have handled that but first, I don't think I could have really talked about it and second, I really didn't want to talk about it with my daughter. This is where you move directly to feelings.
I moved on to talking about how bad I felt about myself. Women do this. We make choices, consensual choices and then we feel bad about not the choice, but ourselves. I know men, or at least some men do as well, but there's something a little different that women do. It reminded me of the phone call I got from Amsterdam three years ago when I had to remind her to thank him for his services and in her not out loud voice, let him know his services kind of sucked. She needed to remove that feeling shitty about herself immediately. This wasn't something I'd taught her, to feel shitty about herself this way. We, the capital letter We teach our girls that if something hasn't gone right it's on us. If we're left feeling as if it wasn't the right thing to do we have gone so far as to sell ourselves. Men have simply taken what they needed and erased us or not seen us at all. That may not be even remotely true but it's what we do to ourselves that is so incredibly damaging.
I could see this, I could talk to her about it, she could feed it back to me so that I knew I was heard and I realized in the last however many years she'd been hearing this story from her friends over and over and over again. She was not surprised to hear it from her mother. She'd come far enough to accept my humanity. We will, however, skip the gory details, not that they're actually gory, they're just private. TMI, if you will.
Here's the kicker, part of the way we subconsciously pass it down.
Elizabeth sat talking to me yesterday evening. She asked if I was feeling any better. I looked at her and said I'd been up until 2:30 watching the system not come back up and then out the door at 7:15. She said, no, not that, the other thing.
How do you know this?
Well, I was in the car with everybody yesterday and Lucia was catching my brother up and I was THERE, what did you expect.
JESUS CHRIST! FILTER!
Mom. She didn't tell him everything. She was just telling him you got hurt this weekend and I can fill in the blanks. I saw you guys holding hands on Tuesday in the city. She just wanted him to be gentle with you.
Elizabeth. It wasn't his fault.
I know that. You're responsible for your choices.
Well thank god for that little bit of knowledge.
So are you OK?
I'm just tired. I have a 7 AM with China tomorrow and I'm not really prepared. I just need to get myself focused and get enough sleep.
So here I am, intentionally up at 4:30 so I can start with enough time to myself to walk in there centered. The system came back up before the end of the day so at least there's that. And I'll get it handled.
How we feel about ourselves though. Looking in that mirror is such an incredibly stunning thing. I'm going to have to take that one apart piece by piece until I'm back to just having been at choice.
It's 6:05. I am flat out of time. I am, however, upright and fully functional. That's a very good sign.