Too much to say

I'm not the only one who thinks of many marvelous things to write about and then rapidly clicks away from Blogger as soon as a blank page is presented, I know this.  However, I doubt there are many that give up dozens of times over a period of months rather than weeks because really - what would be the point?  You've heard it all before, I've written it all before.

I want to write, desperately.  I just don't know what to say that can't be summarized in a few short sentences.  I don't know whether I'm measuring in weeks or months, but I sincerely hope to write again like I used to.  Thinking about those more prolific days makes me wistful, and I don't need to be more wistful.  I want that outlet again, but talking about Then just makes me dwell on the now. Now is bad, now is shit.  I was sad a lot Then, but I don't recall hating who I had become, and how I was to others. 

The gist, to spare you numerous posts of endless laments, is that I fucked up coming here.  I've probably said that in at least a couple of the 5 or so posts I've written since moving over almost two years ago.  I still hate my job with a fervor I never thought possible, The Dude is doing things he does not want to do in the absence of gainful employment in his field, I don't really like the United States and a lot of its inhabitants, and the second child issue is a further knife in the otherwise shitastic clusterfuck that was my decision to up and move back.  My girl is amazing, wonderful, and is what holds my shattered pieces together.  She is my constant.  I have had some "episodes" (for lack of a better word) of depersonalization, as diagnosed by the internet and my highly-qualified self, and she is the only thing which brings me back.

Since I now appear certifiably insane, if anyone else has experienced depersonalization before and cares to share their experiences, please do so in the comments or by email.  As we well know, I have always had some headspace issues, but not to this extent.  I have tried the "WE MUST GO BACK TO ENGLAND OR ELSE I WILL NEED TO BE COMMITTED!" approach, but here I remain.

So that's that.  Crazy.  Full of rage and hatred.  Looking for a cabin in which to live off the grid with my family.   What a post!



I wanted to blog about happy things - show you pictures of my barn, tell you of the random and probably age-inappropriate interests of my kindergartner, or...or...talk of other things significantly more engaging and lighthearted than my father. My father, the (not-so-recovering) alcoholic, PTSD suffering Vietnam veteran who has - PROUD MOMENT COMING - now graduated to domestic violence and attempted suicide.

I've blogged about him before, and I have recently tweeted about this drama, as it is one of those non-Facebook-type subjects for me. Re-reading those posts from a few years ago, I have just realized that this post does not have to be as long as I originally anticipated it to be, as I don't think I can better summarize my thoughts than what I have already written. I guess it is amplified now perhaps, with the two new elements of abuse and attempted suicide adding a bit more gravity to an already grave situation.

Since 2008, when I wrote about my Dad before, he moved out to California to live with his girlfriend. I have never met her, but my brother has been out to visit them and ascertains that she is quite possibly the kindest person one could ever meet. She has put up with repeated drunken nonsense from my Dad, and for some unknown reason she stood by him throughout what my Dad terms "slip-ups" - a vastly inaccurate term if ever there was one. My brother was always candid with my Dad's girlfriend; he told her after every "slip-up" that my Dad was never going to change. His issues have remained the sole constant in his life for the past 40+ years. They stayed ever-faithful through his marriage to my Mom, and a number of relationships since then. In my Dad's own words, those relationships ended due to various problems instigated by the women. It never had anything to do with him being a paranoid drunk unable to stay sober.

Last week, my brother and The Dude broke the news to me in tandem that my Dad was in jail. DUI? Old news. Dad had moved on to bigger and brighter things like kicking his girlfriend and smashing up her house. She took out a restraining order against him, which we applauded and supported. A day or two passed, and then we found out that my Dad tried to kill himself. This also, is a new development in his pantheon of Bad Behaviour. Even now I'm not sure how, as we have not been able to get through to him at the VA Hospital he may or may not be in. Well, he is there, as mentioned by a staff member the other day who spoke with my Dad to confirm that I could be added to the contact list. However, subsequent phone calls have yielded no response from anyone other than "Ma'am, we can't say whether he is here or not." I have pointed out that I don't need them to confirm, as I already know he is there as he was spoken to by a nurse while I was on hold previously, which would indicate, oh...I don't know...maybe that he is there?

I'm glad of course, as I really need this situation to be complicated further. I have been wrestling with what to say to him if I was put through to the room he may or may not be in. My Dad has never addressed his problems with me. Ever. We gloss right over them and pretend that things are normal. Alcoholism and its effects are the subtext we disregard. Dad is a gruff ex-Marine not prone to discussing feelings, and I have both a fear of confrontation as well as the annoying habit of not wanting to upset anyone. I'm not going to go the route of my brother, which is to usually start these conversations with, "What the fuck is your problem?" I would say something stupid like, "Wow, you're a hard person to get ahold of!" I can type a novel here about it all, or rant to The Dude as to how complicated all of this is, but all I'll ever be able to say to my Dad are polite trivialities.

What if I did manufacture a spine and tell my Dad how much I want to shake him for being so goddamned selfish? Is it fair to do that to someone who has just decided that life isn't worth living? It seems kind of mean to go off on one with someone who has survived a suicide attempt, but then again, we have been tiptoeing around his bullshit for 20 years now. I can agonize over these things for hours, and occasionally I come to the conclusion that all of that thinking was for naught. This illness is too ingrained, too settled in. It's here for the duration, isn't it? The duration was almost up to two days ago, and who knows how much of an extension has been granted. I would love to read about intervention miracles whereby those who have been addicts for decades get better, but I don't read about them because they don't exist. If it hasn't happened now, by his 66th year, it isn't likely to. What stark realization will he have? People talk about needing to hit rock bottom - he presumably hit that in 1996 when he and my Mom split up for good. He was confronted for squandering my college fund, such as it was, and was out of our lives for years. As a parent, I would think rock bottom is not seeing your kids for YEARS because you are too fucked up to be around them. Does it get worse than that? We are years beyond that point now, so I'm not sure what happens next.

I apologise for all of the rhetorical questions. I don't expect answers. I know there aren't definite ones. Re-reading the comments on my old posts on this subject makes me realize that this is the only forum in my life that I can look to for genuine comfort, so thank you - even if you don't know the "right" thing to say.


And here we are again

No preamble here about not blogging 9 months, or whatever it has been. I'm just going to launch right into the meaty (though admittedly not thrilling)life updates.

I bought a barn. It is only one third converted, but that converted third is rather large and certainly habitable. It is an amazing, wonderful place, as well as the recipient of all of our "spare" money for the next 20 years in an effort to finish it. It is my haven, and on most days, the saving grace of my sanity. Pictures will follow at some point.

P is in kindergarten and is 5 1/2 at the end of this month. As always, she is equal parts marvelous and frustrating, but such is the life of a parent. She reads confidently and loves to learn - current interests include minerals, dinosaurs, and all things gross (gross science, gross history, etc). I have no idea where time has gone, and I would be lying if I said I didn't miss the baby/toddler thing. I know that is less about P getting older and the changes therein, and more about the whole barren womb thing. Ah, much has changed, but the best things stay the same.

I am still employed at the same place I have complained about in the past. One of the few positives I can say about it is that it has prepared me to work in my field anywhere else on this earth, because I can't imagine that I would be expected to balance as much as I do currently. Expectations are very high as well, and it is far too stressful a job considering the pittance I make. First world problems, blah blah blah.

At this point in time I feel devoted to getting back into this blogging thing, as I think it would help me since I will soon be trying AGAIN in earnest to get pregnant. I have zero faith that I will be successful, in either really - blogging or pregnancy. However, I'm 33 now, have some gray hairs magically appearing with frightening regularity, I read books about barns with a fervor some may find disturbing, and I drive an eco-friendly car which is often purchased by pensioners (so my car salesman said). It's time to grow up, stop being so goddamned flaky and stick to something for once. I blame Facebook and the bloody ease of microblogging, particularly as I'm friends on there with pretty much all 10 people that still have me in their blog feeds.

So yes, barn, kindergartner, still no baby in this vacant womb, hates job. I could have saved us all the trouble and just typed that. Must get back to watching Barbie: Swan Lake with the Sassy Tornado of Hair, Teeth, and Fingernails. Girl may lecture you on Jurassic vs. Cretaceous periods, but in her down time nothing makes her happier than a shitty Barbie movie.


Shut the Front Door

I am pretty much the laziest and most easily distracted person alive. Despite my failures in communication with blog friends and two completely defunct-through-neglect blogs not to mention this one, I'm starting another venture - Shut the Front Door.

Lately I have wanted to say more here than I can without fear of being outed or compromising my anonymity. It all sounds very dramatic when it couldn't be more pedestrian, as I really just wanted to talk more about job frustrations but don't feel comfortable doing so here. I'm friends on Facebook with people I work with, so that's out, and Twitter...well, what can you really say in 140 characters anyway?

It came to me recently that it would be nice to have a members-only online forum to take any similar concerns private so they were not readable to all of the internet. Yes, there are password-protected posts, but I'll be honest - not only can I not be bothered to do that on my own posts and notify readers of the password, but I never remember others' passwords either. Again with the lazy.

It will be a private forum, and all memberships will need to be approved by me. I want to make sure it is a space in which everyone feels comfortable to share freely without the accompanying paranoia that I get when I talk about certain things on my blog. It's obviously not a replacement blog, because lord knows I would never tend to that either if so, but on the odd occasion you feel the need to talk about work, marital issues, sexual concerns, or if you're worried that your cat is trying to kill you, come hither. There are comment functions, so you would be able to get feedback on what you are saying just as you would on your blog.

It will not be a place for talking about any bloggers in a negative way, so behave yourselves. I also do not intend for any detailed personal information to be posted there, so it's not as if anyone will be providing their addresses, names of places of employment, or even real names of spouses/kids/etc (unless you are comfortable with that). I suppose you could be anonymous based on the name you set up in the account, but I will need to know who you are in the initial stage (as in blog name or connection to this collection of bloggers)for membership purposes. That information would obviously not go beyond my inbox if required of course.

I've started this here. I have no idea whether this site is any good at forum hosting, so we shall see how it goes. If you go to the search box in the upper left of the homepage and type in "Shut the front door" the forum will come up with the option to join. This may work, or it may be a complete fucking disaster. We shall see!

It appears as if forum.com is shit. Not only can some of you not access it, but I as the administrator cannot even log in. Hmph. It is a beta version after all, but really. I guess I will spend some of my evening post-ice cream dinner with P looking at other options.


Still here

It's so hard to come up with pithy subject titles which allude to the subject to be discussed without being obscenely cliche or cheesy. "Drowning", "HATE HATE HATE", "Grey", "Please feel free to tell me to shut the fuck up with all the bellyaching" (and so on) were all considered and promptly binned.

Well, I'm still in the United States, so let's start there. It's strange - there is so, so much I want to say in order for me to try to work out the shit if even just in my own head, but with the amount of things to say it all just becomes tiresome. Half the time I start venting to The Dude and just give up through sheer exhaustion, both mental and physical, and feel the need to retire for a 20 year nap.

I started out in the let's-get-it-all-out mode not a mere 15 minutes ago (yes, it has taken me that long to get this far...shameful), and my head is now a jumble of half-constructed thoughts and random filler that I'll never be able to bring together in this post. I struggle a lot lately with a foggy head and the general inability to express myself coherently, which isn't exactly conducive to my working life either.

I want to talk about why I miss England, and how I possibly don't miss it as much as I think I do. I want to talk about how I'm pretty sure a lot of Americans (except the ones reading this blog) completely lack a sense of humour and are fake, back-stabbing assholes. I want to talk about how, contrary to what your fair selves indicated previously, I really am fucking up my kid's life with startling aplomb. I think I may have said pretty much that exact same thing last time, but I'm running on fumes here.

There is good news amongst all of the talk of dark days and gloomy thoughts - I have now reached the end of my 6 month probationary period at work, so I am eligible for prescription cover. Thus, I will be hot-footing it to my doctor's someday soon to beg for sweet, medicinal relief. The bad parts of life keep elbowing into the sunny slivers which occasionally peek through, and it's not fair to The Dude and P.

Fingers crossed that my next post is not a muddled, confused mess. I don't expect to be jumping out of bed in the morning desperate to go to work, but I want to be able to function like a real human again. I want to write on here, comment on other blogs again - all the stuff I used to do before in The Motherland. You know, before I was crazy that other time. God willing and the Creek don't rise.