Wednesday, January 30, 2013

In the belly of the Death Star

I have been a bad blogger. 

I’ve basically been in survival mode for so long, any kind of additional contact with the outside world has been enough to send me into a tailspin. In the last four months, I’ve dealt with a move, the realization that we were going to move before my husband got a job, the prospect of both of us moving back in with my parents temporarily until the renters vacated our house- and then getting the house back, and realizing that the renters had trashed it, so we would be having to do massive reno to it (out of our savings, with no money coming in, and no sure way of getting money from the renters, OMG OMG we’re all gonna die)before we could get back into it. On top of that, illness, catch-as-catch- can eating, emotional, hormonal and medical nightmares, (I’ll spare you) seemingly infinite amounts of what can only be called bad luck, and crazy-insane amounts of stress. 

It was like the world’s most depressing, lengthy Russian novel- a forced march to the end, and it was my life. It seemed like every day, there was a lower level to be reached on my personal Downward Spiral of Doom.  I couldn’t deal with anything that wasn’t absolutely essential to day-to-day survival. And telling people what I was going through made my heart quail within me. I am not good at asking for help. I am usually that person who is there for others. I despise being needy or flaky, and for awhile there, I was both.  

 My husband, who is usually my rock, was in survival mode right along with me, going through all the same stuff. Discussing the status quo sparked huge, horrible arguments, and toward the end, it had been like being in the garbage bay in the belly of The Death Star- That scene where there’s something with tentacles under the water, AND the walls are closing in, except we were too paralyzed to do anything about it. The thought of writing about this process, day by day, was mind-numbing. Who wants to read about this crap? We were obviously cursed. There was nothing to do but get eaten or drowned or crushed quietly. 

But then, you know, the sun came out. We managed to make some progress on the house- found the world’s most awesome and reasonably priced contractor. We are going to end up doing a lot of the work ourselves, but that’s the only way it can get done, so we are doing it. We scraped the “cottage cheese” off the ceilings and are capable of painting and taping drywall and installing laminate and stuff like that, and hey, we have the time. We will finally have something close to the house we envisioned when we moved into it 10 years ago. So I suppose (and hope) that what was initially a horrible situation has turned out to be a bit of a blessing in disguise, in the form of giving us some much needed opportunities to attain some forward momentum. 

Accepting and admitting that the last few months have been a nightmare is oddly, one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I want to own these trials and tribulations, and make them something that I chose, or the result of crappy decisions I made. The reality is, in some cases, this is true. But the worst of it is just a shining example of “sometimes crappy things happen to good people”.  I have to stop beating myself up over feeling sorry for myself, because it’s completely counter-productive.  I feel like it’s a story I read: something that happened to somebody else.  

 I finally put it all together for a few of my closest friends. I could only bring myself to talk about it if I didn’t make eye contact with anyone, because if I saw the sympathetic expression on anybody’s face, I would totally have lost it. Of course, they were furious with me, for not asking for help while I fought a crazy three/four front war. They’ve all volunteered to come help us paint.  And as horrible as it was to convey what we were going through, I feel like it was a crucial step in helping me to move past it. 

SG and I got up early and went for a walk yesterday AM with the doggies. (I’ve got the sunburn to prove it! Holy crap, I have turned into Dracula.) And slowly but surely, we are adapting. Cooking in someone else’s kitchen is not easy, but I am getting the hang of it. My father, a noted squash-hater of many, many years, agreed to try my spaghetti squash with bison and vodka sauce last night. He ended up eating a big bowlful of it, and pronounced it “delicious”. I am so proud!

At the bottom of it all, I am lucky. I have incredibly supportive family, parents, and in-laws. Having friends again since I moved back home makes my heart light up with joy. I missed the friendliness of my hometown so very much. SG has several job interviews coming up, after months of applying for jobs and never getting so much as a call back. I am finally able to have a productive day that doesn’t involve a nervous breakdown. I know we are on the brink of something- if there’s anything to karma, it’s something good. Fingers crossed.  

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