Monday, May 28, 2012

Angel & the Whipping Boy

Spend all your time waiting
for that second chance
for a break that would make it okay
there's always some reason

to feel not good enough
and it's hard at the end of the day

I need some distraction
oh beautiful release
memories seep from my veins

let me be empty
and weightless and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight

in the arms of the angel
fly away from here
from this dark cold hotel room
and the endlessness that you fear

you are pulled from the wreckage
of your silent reverie
you're in the arms of the angel
may you find some comfort here

so tired of the straight line
and everywhere you turn
there's vultures and thieves at your back

and the storm keeps on twisting
you keep on building the lies
that you make up for all that you lack

it don't make no difference
escaping one last time

it's easier to believe in this sweet madness oh
this glorious sadness that brings me to my knees

In the early hours of Sunday, I was awakened by a racket in the living room of my family's lake house. I'd gone to bed very early, sick, which is rather unusual for me, being quite a night owl. Headache, stomach pain, and worst of all, aching swollen shins. not to mention being figuratively shoved in the corner.

I hadn't been there in 2 years, though the rest of my family has. I felt alienated, but decided to give it another try this weekend. Stupid me.

I don't have to be the center of attention, but when you know I am talking to you, please don't ignore me. I promise I won't bother you for long.

This is why I spend so much time on my iPhone. At least I can retreat into a book when nobody has any use for me. If I'd had my earbuds with me, I would have blocked the rest of the world out.

As it was, I was unneeded and unwanted until someone wanted help getting their dinner bill straightened out. I should have repaid in kind and turned a deaf ear but I attempted to help and got pushed aside yet again. So I tuned out. No worries. Nobody notices when I leave conscious presence anyway.

The racket turned out to be my sister retaliating at our father for something he had said. Her revenge was to throw my things into the trash. I guess she doesn't dare get back at him so she turns on me, as she always has. Her screamed excuses at me were all contradictory, and within the same sentence.

Irrational.

Long story short (I know, too late), I decided that I've had enough of being punished by her for things I didn't do. I dug my stuff out of the trash and cleaned it off, packed my things, and I left the family vacation after only one day, with a two hour drive back home.

I was clearheaded when I left, calmly having realized that she would make my life hell for the next two days and would spin it to make me at fault entirely.

As you do.

Well, I don't. I can meekly admit my own culpability. So here is my blame in that particular situation: I was there and I looked like an easy target for *someone's* wrath -- a person with no history of ever fighting back when attacked. Wanna see the scar on my back that proves it? Yes, really. Why the bullying? I don't know. Is it because I was always such an easy target who wouldn't dare tell Dad on her?

It was always my fault somehow anyway and led to me getting a whipping for being a tattletale before I learned to keep everything inside.

(And he wondered why I didn't come running to tell him I was being abused at my mother's apartment. Why he couldn't even drag it out of me when he gave me the third degree about what went on over there. Yeah. Closed in his bedroom with him with a bright light focused on me. It had all of the atmosphere of an interrogation for something *I* had done wrong. I was terrified on many levels. So I didn't tell.

I *told* much later and a chill descended between us forever, apparently, but that's a tale for another day.)

All I can say is, in parenting, it must be difficult to do things the way *you* want to and make your kids give you the desired results despite that. /sarcasm

So I calmly explained to my father as I packed my car that I've had 41 years of being the whipping boy (okay, so I'm a woman) and I was done.

He told me I shouldn't be mad at her.

Oh really? Didn't he hear me tell him what she had done? Did he hear her voice screaming at me and not even notice that I wasn't screaming back?

Will everything always be one-sided and slanted in her favor no matter what the reality of the situation is?

I don't have to win. I just need to be heard and considered fairly. And after 41 years of always being told she comes first ("She gets first pick of everything because she is older. It's only fair." Yep, I was actually told that as a child. ) I realized that it will never change. I'm always going to be last in consideration, never equal.

I hugged him before I left, as I was telling him what happened and why I was unhappy about it and why I had to go home. He didn't reciprocate. He just sat there stiffly as he always does with me, and acted like he didn't want me touching him.

I was thinking about Josh as I drove through Obion at 3:30 Sunday morning. I had already been driving for a bit over an hour, and with every mile, my self-destructive thoughts just got worse.

I've heard someone make the callous remark that if you really mean to kill yourself, you don't slash horizontally across your wrists, you cut vertically up your forearm. I have to disagree with them. If you're serious, you cut open the femoral artery. (Maybe it just seems a callous thing to say when you are actively contemplating it. Still, I didn't put forth my alternate plan.)

I saw the sign for Obion and I started thinking about Josh. Admittedly, I wasn't on his radar for long, but he was really nice to me for the short time he was interested in getting to know me.

When the Internet first became widely available, I started thinking about trying to find him and see if maybe he wanted to continue our friendship through email. I really wanted to talk to him all of a sudden. A few days after that, I came back to town for the weekend and opened up the newspaper.

And saw his obituary. It took my breath away

At the beginning of a successful career as a nuclear engineer, he had suffered a bad breakup and shot himself. Maybe it is a just a coincidence that I had a sudden compulsion to talk to him at that time. Maybe it wasn't and I dropped the ball. I'll probably never know.

The song? No association with Josh, of course. It's me. It just describes really well the way I feel about my life. Not that I think there is an angel watching over me. I don't.

I slept until nearly 4 Sunday afternoon. I can't remember all of my dreams, but it felt like I was trying to sweep an eraser through my memory in an attempt to sleep soundly, but still I was plagued by worries.

My subconscious seemed to be desperately seeking dreams that would distract me from my self-destructive thoughts which truly seem to be the only solution to all of my problems.

I remember one dream -- I was running another 5k. First I got there hours too early and realized I didn't have my running shoes with me. So I thought I would drive back home and get them. Then I couldn't find where I had parked my car. I went to the police to help me find it and after some incompetent deputy had me wait on him forever, then he couldn't find the place where the race was. When he found it, the number of cars had multiplied into the thousands and miles full of people and festival tents were scattered everywhere. After the exhaustive and fruitless search for my car, with no shoes, I realized race time was approaching and it was all I could do to get him to drop me at the starting line.

Which he couldn't find, of course.

So, thanks!!! to the anxiety that black-dogged me while my brain kept me asleep for more than twelve hours. I didn't really get out of bed yesterday. I showered. And got right back into bed. Cooked some soup. Got back in bed to eat it. Hey, I was still in a lot of pain. (I still am.) I would have skipped the soup but I thought it might soothe my cramps away. And it did. For ten minutes. Grr.

The headache still has me sidelined and in the dark, two days later. I'm beginning to think it isn't merely a physical malady.

I definitely feel like I've married the gunner's daughter. So to speak. #AM4SP

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