Rabbit Mother, Tiger Daughter. [Journal entry 6.9.14]

I am not going to fight.

I am going to vastly improve my argument (and it’s pretty damned good already).

I am not going to point out the obvious (at least not obviously), and I am not going to name-call.

What I AM going to do is be there. Be present, and supportive, and listen and focus on what is important: She is. My daughter, my child, the pine cone to my fir.

I am a Rabbit raising a Tiger. It is not always easy.
I am a Scale raising a Ram; she butts her head, hard, into every.single.thing.

She will learn tact and compassion, and how humor is our lifeboat during difficult times, and how it is my primary way of coping *any* time – to see the humor in every situation.

She teaches me what it is like to be enraged, fully, and to express myself – as she does – with no filter, with passion and heat and language and every venomous bit of vocabulary when provoked or frustrated (or tired). Her anger is pure and without apology or shame; mine is always “polite”.

She teaches me how to let go quickly and move on, and that there are, in fact, people who just do not deserve to know you. This is a new concept for me, for I have given myself away in pieces my entire life. You wanna piece? Here.

She teaches me that to love someone is to also be in love with how you feel about yourself when you are together. This is new to me, too; I thought loving someone was always about exhausting yourself just to make the other person feel they were loved without any doubt; it never really mattered I received less than I gave.

So many lessons we share, together.

DJDawson 2014

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Rash.

“…Prednisone may cause you to feel aggitated, even somewhat uncharacteristically aggressive.  Angry, even.  You may experience feeling restless and, as in many cases, you may have trouble falling asleep – or feel no need to sleep at all.  You may have thoughts of daring feats.  Do not obey them… .”

Note:  You may lay in bed fully awake for several hours kidding yourself sleep is “just around the corner”, when you know damn well you’d rather be outside in the front yard in the booming thunderstorm holding lightning rods in your bare hands while sporting a tin foil hat and summer weight granny nightie, bare foot and hollering at the wild sky, “Is that all ya’ got, ya’ big rainy cry baby!?!”
[I had a very strange rash. It resembled a large cat scratch, hurt when touched, and came out of nowhere because I didn’t roll in the woods, lay lawn or swim anywhere.  It did go away, weeks later…Prednisone was dispensed by the doc-in-the-box.  I wanted to chew my own hand.]

DJD 2016

Because the Middle of Week Five (is When Things Begin to Get Challenging). Part 2.

Yesterday’s eye opening mid-morning downdress did not keep me awake, thankfully.  I do feel warned and better prepared to navigate that territory, should I find myself there, again.

While I know, fundamentally, why I’m here – why I up and moved; why 97% of my belongings are in temperature controlled storage; why life is house/work/house and the occasional trip to Food Lion – I’m wrestling with “what”.

Like what contributions am I to make to the household?  (Women generally cook, clean and do laundry but there are other capable people here with me who have been doing these things long prior to my arrival.)  It might need a review or re-balancing, the distribution of tasks.  I’m happy to jump into any of it.  I’m just not sure how or if I should, and to what extent.

Since there is not -and I write this plain and not with the intention of antagonism whatsoever – space to bring my things (books, kitchen inventory, furniture, artwork) – nor am I feeling any urgency to ‘be’ with my things right now, they can keep waiting.  I suspect that once this really feels like home, my/ours rather than his/ours and “I’m new here and adjusting”, my familiar things will slowly find their way.  For now, it’s fine they’re elsewhere.

I miss my girl.  I miss being her mom.

The full force and weight of missing my DD has arrived and there is little I can do but sit with it, as one quietly present in prayer.  I have tried hard to stay busy, focus on positive things, be happy despite our rift but I wish it were her here instead of the months of awful sadness and longing for her.  The confusing and hurtful events of the last nine months have taken a toll and, at times, my capacity for joy has been limited or forced; maybe true for her, too.  I really do not know.  Parent Weekend at her college is in three weeks.  My hotel stay was booked in early July, but I am undecided about going.

Lastly, there is this.  It feels related to all the above in its own way.

A couple days after moving here, my mother was hospitalized for a series of age-related issues. She then entered a rehab facility for physical therapy and, equally important, care and maintenance of her diabetes.  Before this, she had been Type 2.  She is now fully insulin dependant.  After three weeks of medical care, she was released to our father and taken home for a day; they then spent a week away on holiday.  She did “less than satisfactorily,” according to our father, though he would say she’s “fine” in general.  She’s not fine, as far as her children are concerned.

So, how much do adult children interfere with their parent’s right to freedom and independent living?   How little do we say or do?  How much?

Later this week, my sibling, who resides out west, is going to New York to help our folks begin downsizing to, eventually, and hopefully soon, move.  They live in the same house they raised us.  It is too big, too needy, and inappropriate for them now.

Part of me feels a business-like obligation to attempt to help with the process of weeding their belongings to a manageable, meaningful quantity.

Part of me hopes to have the time off to do that.

And part of me is beginning a life I am enjoying (learning to, on some days).  That has not been the case in such a long time, I don’t want to put other things first.  Particularly, I am wary of extending myself to someone who never appreciates it or criticizes what I have to offer, in general.

How to Remain Authentic While Protecting Yourself.  That’s the thing.