Krissie: Dodged a Bullet

Phew. The storm clouds were brewing overhead yesterday. I finished going over the revising (or making notes where to revise) my mip and I’m ready to move forward, thank God. I emerged from my office to go pay Mr. Coolbeth and get the hutch when my son arrived and was thrashing around, having a fit over where he’d put his water bottle. Turns out he was freaking out about health stuff (he gets so worried about even minor symptoms which is one reason he should be in VT — he has health insurance here). I calmed him down, he apologized, said he was going to go to the emergency room that night and if they put him on antibiotics he wasn’t going back to Michigan because they make him so sick.
Okay. He was planning to either call us or come by after he went to the emergency room, so we went on with our lives. Then, we get a toxic phone call. Let me give you some history. Erin’s mother is a powerhouse. I happen to really like her — she’s tough, she’s gorgeous, worked her ass off all her life. But she’s got attitude up the wazoo, and she hates my son and is fiercely possessive of Alex, her grandson. Which makes sense, the first couple of years after he was born she took care of him while Erin worked and went to school. She’s always been the real sticking point in their relationship — Erin is very very tied in with her family, and Tim not only wants to travel and live away from Vermont for a while, but he hates doing anything with her family because there’s such tension and snotty comments and outright confrontations. At the end of their relationship my son’s problem was that she was spending more time with her family than with him. Her problem was that he was a screaming asshole. (See, I’m fair).
Actually, I shouldn’t say at the end of their relationship. It limps along.
So Erin’s mom calls in a tight, furious voice, wanting to know if I know where Erin is. I said no. I asked if Alex was okay (she sounded like it was a disaster). She said no. He missed his mother. She said he wasn’t there (I imagine he was staying with his cousin — they go to the same daycare). She said he called and was upset and that ever since Tim’s been home Erin has been ignoring him to spend all her time with Tim, and she wanted to know the phone number of the big house.
My blood pressure soars. First off, she’s wrong. I don’t know what happened the first night, though I know she wouldn’t have asked her mother to help out so she could see Tim, because her mother would say no way. The second night they all slept at the Big House. Don’t know what happened Friday night, but Saturday was the big blow-out of Alex’s birthday, which was a huge amount of work for Erin. And the g’mother wasn’t even in town for the weekend. Alex spent Sunday with me, having a blast, don’t know what went on Monday but Tuesday night G’ma says he’s being abandoned.

So I know she’s going to get things as riled up as she can, and she wouldn’t hesitate to go to the Big House and start some horror scene (she’s done it before) and I worried about Alex and envisioned horrible things happening and where was Tim going to stay if he didn’t go back, which I was pretty sure he wouldn’t, and I knew he’d come over and start ranting about G’ma, so I took a tranquilizer and went to bed. (I’m supposed to take one when I go to bed, BTW), trying to ignore my feelings of impending doom.

I wake up, my car is back, there’s a note on my computer saying “love you guys, never went to the ER but I’ll see how it goes.”

Phew! He is coming back — there’s no life for him out there. And frankly, it’s just not possible for me to refuse him a home if he’s clean and sober, which he is. I’ll just need to keep backing off and see how things go. At this point Erin is planning to get some time off to go out to Michigan and drive Tim back, and he’ll go to Voc-rehab then, plus job counseling. And we’ve said over and over again how we just don’t have the money to get him a car.
So we’ll see. But right now he’s gone for at least a couple of weeks, and I can take a deep breath and get back to focusing on my life and my work, without the anxiety that’s been plaguing me.

And I’d really much rather concentrate on all the brilliant ideas you guys gave me yesterday about the house. I’ll start this afternoon when I come back from lunch. I love the idea of index cards and clear labeling. The breaks from writing to do just a little at a time. The clean sweep ideas of garbage bags and boxes (I put clothes in clear garbage bags and everything else in boxes. If I donate in black garbage bags it feels like I’m giving away trash.

So. Gotta go in and write a little bit, just to move ahead. Then lunch. Then attack the house. But at least disaster and rage and emotion haven’t landed on my doorstep.

Krissie: Well, Okay

So. I had to go down and see my mother after all, but I told her I had a miserable cold. If I look and sound normal today after I go racing around for her drugs then I’ll say it was allergies.
Thank God for friends. Lani called me last night. And my BFF (who happens to share Lani’s birthday) called and offered me her wonderful barn to work in and sew in. It’s at the head of the lake with a lovely view, and that way I can work and declutter this place at a decent pace without getting sideswiped by grief. So that’s a plan.
I had chicken soup for supper (comfort food without calories) and went to bed with a clonazepam. When I went up there was a note on my side of the bed from my son, telling me how much he loved me, how great I’d been, how he had a lot of things to work through. I sobbed some more and put it under my pillow.
Slept like a rock — I didn’t even hear Richie come in though I woke up when Phantom came in and curled up on my stomach. I had a short, horrid nightmare about Alex but I don’t remember it, and now I’m awake and ready to face the world.
(That deep sucking noise you hear isn’t the world sucking, it’s me taking in a deep breath to face the day).
So. I’d say the first task ahead of me … well, the first task ahead of me is taking care of myself. But the second, at this point, is decluttering. Is clearing away all the stuff that’s strewn over the house. And it’s massive — our stuff and our son’s. I’m going to have to come up with a plan.
This is the Augean Stables on steroids. I can divide stuff into categories: things to be shipped out to my son, old mail, kids’ toys, recycling that begins to fill the dining room, god damn it. I’d be all for recycling the plastic if it didn’t accumulate for weeks until it made it outside. Magazines. plastic tubs. Books — mine and cookbooks. Notepads and remote controls and dvds and stuff. Here’s a brief view:
I’ll take more photos tomorrow to go along with my newly formulated plan. I’ll be looking for assvice. Though maybe it’s not assvice if I’m asking for it.
Anyway. Shoulders back, loins girded, I stride forth into battle once more, bloody but unbowed. Maiden’s of St. Trinians, arise!

Krissie: Another day

Crap continues, but we won’t go there. Maybe later. In the meantime, I weigh 236. Yesterday it was 236.5. So NettieD and mindfulness and swimming three times really made a difference. That’s 18 pounds, I think (I’ll check back but I think I started at 254) which is extremely cool. In a few weeks I’ll be down 10% of my body weight, which is supposed to make a real difference in how your body functions.
I went to the physical therapist on Monday and had a preliminary work-up, and then tomorrow we start aqua therapy. Basically they’ll show me the exercises that will really help and the ones that will hurt, and I’m very excited. Just what I need. So I’ll do PT in the water twice a week, do my regular swimming/water walking a third day, and maybe even toss in a fourth, which would be cool.
I didn’t eat much yesterday — breakfast bar for breakfast, applesauce with a couple of tablespoons of granola for lunch, oatmeal for dinner — which isn’t a good thing, but chaos will take you one of two ways. Either you stuff it or you starve it. Nine times out of ten I stuff it, but because I’m in the zone I went the other direction. I was in the grocery story, having my child on the phone yelling at life, at his father and at me for 45 minutes, and I still didn’t go to McD’s or buy … whatever comfort food I used to buy. Can’t even remember what — food isn’t appealing to me nowadays, which is fabulous. Oh, it doesn’t mean that I don’t love it. I’m entranced with oatmeal, splenda brown sugar and fruit. I love my breakfast bars. I’ve been making really great stuff in the pressure cooker of all things (Richie got me an electric one for Christmas a couple of years ago).
But comfort foods aren’t calling to me (and really, given the fact that all my over-eating was emotional eating, I think most food is comfort food).
The zone is an interesting thing. You can try to lose weight a dozen times, a hundred times, and it never clicks in. I’m not sure what makes the difference. Maybe getting over the first few humps. Maybe face a couple of hysterical family traumas without turning to food and it gives you an extra boost, setting you solidly on the track. I’ve done WW about half a dozen times in my life, and twice I’ve been able to click into it, lose 50 or more pounds. The other times I lost ten to fifteen, then waffled back and forth and eventually gave up.
This time it felt right to take the tools I’ve learned with WW, which is fabulous, the support of friends (I never thought we’d build such a wonderful community) and the discipline of daily blogging. Plus, all those other times I’ve lost weight I’ve done it without exercise.
I wonder if there’s a better term than “in the zone.” You can get there in writing, where each day the words just come and the story flows. That usually depends on the story you’re working on — some are like pulling teeth, some are dictated by god.
In the flow? Nope, that sounds like your period.
Whatever the zone is, it can’t be forced, either in writing or eating/exercise (and I imagine you can find the zone in any kind of creative or even fairly tedious work. There’s probably a housework zone somewhere, but god knows I’ve never seen it).
I think of it as sort of a mindful mindlessness. You stop over-thinking things, you stop fussing over choices because the choices are clear.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll dump about my frustration and grief over my son and my panic over my husband’s emotional reaction to all this, but for now I’m celebrating the zone and heading off to wallow in the writing version of it.
I hope you guys find your zone for the day.