So I just realized I haven't blogged since New Year's Day. ¡Qué abuso! I tried to blog from the road but the old Blackberry wouldn't allow it...so here's a collection of short stories from the past 7 weeks:
La Muerte Precede la Vida
I was scheduled to go to Miami for a business trip on January 5. On January 4 I get a call from my suegra telling me that my cuñada's (MMM's sister 20 weeks pregnant) baby has died. Since it wasn't a miscarriage, she had to be induced. She lives in Virginia and her husband works in Louisiana on an oil barge and he wasn't sure he could get off work to see her, so I cancelled my business trip and flew out to VA instead so I could be with her in the hospital- no one else from her family could go. Thankfully, her husband WAS able to get off work and we were all there to support her through it. I have to say, I have never been through anything like that in my life. Waiting on a hospital bench for a dead baby to be delivered at any time was probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. You're pissed off because it's taking too long, but once it happens it's really over and it's time for reality to settle in. It finally happened at 4:30am on Sunday- we chose not to see the baby, but we did get the footprints on the birth certificate...they were about an inch and a half long....
La Ansiedad por los Ansianos
Because I was going to be on the east coast for my Miami trip, I had already planned on going up to New England to see my grandmothers. My yia yia (grandmother in Greek) has had failing health for sometime. My uncle and cousins informed me that I should go to see her as soon as possible because they don't know how long she has to live. I flew straight from Virginia to Boston to be with her- she needed 24-hour care which my aunt had been giving her, but she is raising 2 young children at home and needed a break. BTW- a nursing home isn't an option. The 1st night I'm there she is up every 15 minutes hallucinating because she isn't getting enough oxygen to her brain. She thinks she's in the grocery store, her hands are dirty, she makes me get her pocketbook so she can pay for her sandwich. Unfortunately she remembers everything in the morning and is totally mortified. "I feel like I'm cracking up!" she says. I reassure her that she's not, it's only at night. We make the decision to put O2 on her at night and she starts to sleep until morning with no hallucinations.
Jan 16- Mom and sister arrive in town. Since neither of them has a full time job at this point, they have agreed to stay with Yia Yia until she doesn't need them anymore. It took a lot of tooth and nail action to even get my mother out there, but my sister who is 24 y.o. didn't even question it. She moved all her stuff into my house so she wouldn't have to worry about paying rent to anyone while she's out there. At first, Mom was fine. After I left, however, she decides to go frickin' CRAZY. All she does is complain about how she has "no social life" there, and she misses her boyfriend. He came out to see her recently- which we thought might settle her down for a while, but it only made things worse. She constantly talks about how much of a burden my yia yia is on her, and how she "just wants to go home". Needless to say, my family is ready to kill her. She is totally self-centered and immature. She is acting like one of those Goth kids who complain that no one understands them but she does her best to piss everyone off so she can stand self-righteous in her claim. So here's her brilliant plan:
She wants to go for FOUR or FIVE weeks so she can "do her thing" and then go back to New England for four or five weeks. In the meantime, the only person who can take care of my yia yia is my little sister who is working part time at the Y Daycare Center (note: she has a BA in Design and used to be the Marketing Director for a real estate company). She would have to quit her job to stay with Yia Yia full time...so guess who asked me if I could cover part of her living expenses? You got it! Mama. I told her I would ask MMM, but upon thinking about it decided that I would not support her selfishness. I called her to tell her about it and she hung up on me. My sister calls me on a daily basis for mental support. I am ready to disown the person who gave birth to me y mandarla al trabajo.
You guessed it! In the midst of dead babies, dying grandmothers and sociopathic mothers, I separated from MMM. I didn't move out, but we are living in separate rooms. The funny thing about it is, we are nicer to each other now than we were before. Basically, his lack of emotional support for me (he really tore me down when I was at my lowest point back east) and our mutual ignorance of each other turned into a downward spiral that finally hit rock bottom. Ultimately the last straw was when I decided to go temporary internet file snooping and found lots and lots of unsavory images that made me more than disgusted. (No children, animals or bondage- thank GOD.) Yes, I understand that all men look at it (I don't know any that don't). But I have to draw the line somewhere. If that's the case I can stand on my own two feet and move on. He has incredibly high standards he expects me to live up to, and when I don't- his obsessive compulsion comes down on me full force and I'm left without a defense. Instead of being a victim or continuing to wallow in bitterness, I finally stood up for myself and my marriage. My original plan was to move out and get a 6 month lease, but he made a deal that if he went to counseling with me I would stay in the house. We are giving each other our space, but we are talking and more respectful to each other than ever before. My basic premise is that I want a FRIEND. If we can't talk to each other about our lives, our dreams, our feelings- how is that a relationship? I refuse to "exist" and feel broken and defeated. He knows if I don't get it from him I would be just fine on my own. I finally admitted to him that I had swept things under the rug because I didn't want to leave my beautiful home that we had both put so much work into. The main reason I wanted to move out was to prove to myself that I would be OK in a 500 sq. ft. apartment with a futon and a couple folding chairs and if I moved back it would ONLY be because we were on the right track in counseling.
The good news is Orthodox Lent started yesterday. I'm going to confession on Friday which should be a huge weight off my chest. I need some spiritual guidance...seriously.