I was a monster last night. A terrible, horrible, no-good monster.
I warned Bryon, despite the fact that he rushed in the door after working late, and stopped at the pharmacy on the way home to fill my myriad of prescriptions, that I was in a foul mood, so he’d better avoid me. Unfair, I know. I warned him that I had no reason to be in a foul mood, but I was in one, anyway.
I was irritable. Everything my darling son was doing, or saying, was making me crazy. His breathing was making me want to move to China. My own skin was making me question why we have skin. I hated our couch, our rugs, my pajamas. I hated my dinner. I hated my hair.
Oh! that’s right! PMS! I don’t mean to be “that” woman that sets women back twenty years, by blaming a bad mood on her period, but I’m pretty sure that’s what was going on. See, the day was going “fine” right before that. Sort of.
I had an appointment with Collin’s social worker earlier, which had gone “okay.” He’s being evaluated to see if he qualifies for ABA services. It’s a long process. We’re on our fourth in-home visit, and our fifth is scheduled for next week. She thinks we will qualify (thank goodness); so we’d gotten good news. But, I don’t love her. I think she’s a little...meh. She’s not warm and fuzzy. Thankfully, she’s not going to be who sees him, just who evaluates his needs. The thing that put me in a bad mood from our little session was that I have to go meet her at the gate, thanks to the fact that we’ve been at a heightened security risk for approximately forty years (is it really heightened security if it’s always heightened, I ask you?). It was hot, so the walk back and forth caused me to start sweating like a pig; I spent the first ten minutes of our session, wiping sweat from my face, with napkins, pretending it was some kind of dainty thing that normal people do. I tend to be a sweaty person, in general, and it embarrasses me. Usually, I wipe my face and pretend it’s no big deal, but today, it embarrassed me enough that later, I cried. Plus, I’m worried that this semi-cold woman isn’t going to approve us for therapy and we are going to screw up our kid. Cry.
The Jay Leno
I also spent much of my day trying to tend to the new chin I’m growing. I’m hoping to be able to donate it to a child, in need of a chin. Is there a program, like locks of love, where you can lob of body parts you are growing, like that? Really, I have a cyst. It rears up a few times a year, huge and painful. There’s not really anything I can do about it, except complain. This time, I tried a new approach. I didn’t fuck with it. Much. Most of the hideousness of the damn things comes from the squeezing. So, I didn’t squeeze. I put a mask-type thing on it; I put the prescription cream on it; I put ice on it. But, after about a week, I started using a needle dipped in alcohol to try to take some pressure out of it. I kept it really sterile, wiping my face constantly, as pounds of puss drained out in rivers, tainted with blood. Bryon backed out of the room slowly, shocked at what was coming out of his wife, horrified that he was married to a beast.
In ten days, it’s shrunk from the size of a mountain, to the size of a small hill. I’m still debating if I should go to the doctor to have it properly drained and packed, once and for all. At least, this time, I’ve not made my face black and blue with all the squeezing that I normally do. It looks like a large mound of flesh that shouldn’t be there, capped with a weird little scab. Nancy greeted me with, “did you get hurt? Are you okay,” instead of with the awkward, look-away that most people do when you have a giant blemish the size of a cantaloupe on your face. So, I must be doing something right with it this time, that I looks like an “injury.” Still, it makes a girl self-conscious. So, add it to list of reasons that I cried.
Add to that, the fact that my bloated belly was hanging over my stretchy pants yesterday. I haven’t been able to work out, obviously, since my surgeries. This has made me, a little, shall we say, doughier, than normal? Most days, I can handle my new physique. Other days, I’m convinced I have cankles (p.s. explaining to Collin what a cankle was, yesterday, was the bright spot of my day) and that I have arm-fat when I wave. I am only allowed to walk, and now, officially, allowed to do the elliptical, sans arms. I am also allowed to do Pilates without neck or head movements. It is very restrictive, as you can see. The restrictions come off very, very slowly. It’s clearly, very hard to get my butt in shape. Literally, my butt.
I catch myself doing squats, or deep knee bends in the shower, or while I’m stirring eggs, thinking, every little bit helps. But, on the other hand, I figure, why the hell should I bother anymore? So, yesterday was one of those days that it all crashed down and I figured that I was a whale. I’m not. I’m normal. I’m probably skinnier than normal. But, I felt horrible about myself. So, add another reason to the list of why I cried.
Plus, oh yes, there’s more. My medication messes with my appetite, and it makes me generally unhealthy in every way. So, my hair is like a bedraggled, dry mess. It means that I have a bad hair day, pretty much every day. When you get sick, you realize just, exactly what defines you, as you, because one-by-one, things get taken away. For me, I have lost so very much, and I’ve started to hang on, desperately to “last things,” like my hair, as my identity. As it clings, lifeless, limp and frizzy, to my scalp, day after day, sometimes, and it looks like crap, it makes me realize how much I’ve lost. Most days, like with the weight, I can shake off how bad it looks, put it in a ponytail, and realize that I can try something new again tomorrow: a new shampoo, a new curling iron, a new conditioner. But other days, it’s all too much. So, another reason I cried.
There’s more. I’ve been painting a lot. I’ve got several really good ones socked away. At least I think they’re good. My husband tells me so, and he’s totally unbiased. Ha. He’s been encouraging me to stock up more, and start a way to sell them, like a “real” artist. He’s not just trying to stack up income, he wants me to feel vital, the way I was when I was working, and he knows that being able to say that I’ve sold something I created, would do that. I know where his heart is, and it’s a beautiful thing. He suggested an Etsy store, and I thought it was a good idea. We scrolled through some of the listings there, and some people have amazing stuff, and others, well, others make TONS of money like this.
I’ve got to fit somewhere in the middle. I'm not saying she's stinky; really, I'm not saying that at all, she's got some crazy amount of positive reviews. But, what I'm saying is, if there's room for that kind of style to be appreciated so heartily, there's got to be room for me, right? It’s not a crazy idea, anyway. It put a little light in my heart, to imagine that even one person would pay a few dollars for something that I created, put it on their wall, and it would make them happy.
Anyway, a few days later, someone casually made a remark about housewives who do various non-contributory things, such as MLM, selling junk like eyelashes, makeup or kitchen products, claiming to “own their own business.” Off-handedly, a friend joked that these women also do things like start Etsy stores to sell junk. This obviously stung a bit. She’d no way of knowing what I had been thinking, and I know she didn't mean anything by it. I said that I had been thinking of just such a thing. Bryon defended my idea, of course, man that he is. But, add that to the list of reasons I cried.
I was a mess. I cried for about an hour, I think. These things sneak up on you. Feeling fat, feeling hideous because of an extra chin, feeling useless, feeling like your hair will never be pretty again, feeling like you’re a sweaty monster and your son might never get ABA therapy because you say the wrong things, and feeling like a terrible mother because your child’s breathing annoys you….these things are the worst.
Then, your “terrible, breathing-monster” son hears you crying quietly, and crawls into your lap. He doesn’t care why you are crying, just that you are. He gives you his monkey because, “you need it more than he does right now,” and he lays in your arms until you stop, all without a word. When he thinks Daddy is taking too long to notice that you are crying, he screams for him, as if it’s an emergency that you are crying, “Daddy! Mommy is CRYING here! What are you doing that is more important!? Get over here!”
I liked the boy’s approach better, frankly. Daddy, realized it wasn’t an emergency, that a PMS meltdown can be put off, can be ignored because I’m being crazy; but, Collin realized that that none of that mattered, tears need comfort. Bryon is amazing, in every way, and he came to comfort when he was summoned. But, that boy had it right. I’m grateful for them both.
I woke up today still feeling fat, still with a big cyst, and still having frizzy hair. But, I woke up also remembering good things. I have an article going live today that I’m really proud of. Remember that blog post about the goodbye letter I didn’t write to Collin when I went into my surgeries? Well, a parenting website decided to publish it (I'll put the link when it goes live), and I’m getting paid for it! Hooray. I finally found a Wonder Woman Barbie I’ve been wanting forever.
I had to pay over twice retail for it, but oh well. If stupid Mattel decides to release it again, and I can buy it retail, I’ll scalp someone else for it too. Give and receive, right? I have finally started another painting, and it’s coming out nicely. And, we leave for Comic Con tomorrow; by tomorrow night, I’ll be sitting in the Invisible Jet to have my picture taken! Can’t get better than that.
I also woke up with heartburn. This might be unrelated.