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Monday, November 16, 2015

Distress

This is it, folks, the long haul. We are in it.

I wrote last week about how counseling is helping me, and it is.

But I still find myself stressed to the max, as we used to say (back in my day, sonny). Some of these stressors are large and some are so small as to be petty annoyances. And some are actually really sweet but also sad. And when every little thing sets you off (a couple weeks ago I kind of lost it when a bag of potato chips got stuck in the vending machine) because of stress or adrenaline or whatever, the big ones can bring you (figuratively in my case) to your knees.

I felt as badly as anyone else when I heard about the Paris terrorist attacks. And then came the realization - and the guilt - that I didn't really notice all this shit going on until it was a city I know, if only by reputation and in fiction. And then to understand that some of my own people - that is to say, Americans - are sure that refugees will have terrorists among them (some even assume any "different" person is a terrorist; how the hell do these people justify Bobby Jindal?) and are refusing to help them? I don't know why I'm surprised that there is a certain faction of people like this; goodness knows we've seen it often enough, with people wanting literal walls up and down the Rio Grande.

So I feel guilty, that issues in Lebanon and Syria and others made no real impression on me other than the gee-that's-too-bad sort of way when I hear things in passing. And the added guilt that the illness of one man (hi, honey!), along with everything else going on here locally with (lack of) jobs on Laston's part, and kids and the like, tends to make me ignore such things as refugees pouring out of the Middle East until the media slaps me in the face with it.

Aside: Please, please don't turn the posts replying to this into a political discussion of whether we should let Syrian refugees into the US; I'll delete them if I have to, because I am just not in the fucking mood.

Even my own run-on and/or incomplete sentences are making me crazy at the moment. Not to mention my foul-mouthed (foul-fingered?) typing. But really. Just don't. Please.

I can manage to hold it together when needed though. Lizzy had a meltdown tonight because the rub-on tattoo that was the last thing she got from her first-grade teacher at the end of the school year didn't last when she put it on her tummy (she pulled her shirt back down before it was dry). When you are eight and your life is in a bit of upheaval, these things are important. So I did not melt down with her; instead I helped her write an email to said teacher.

But I did tear up when I came home to the laundry all folded. Laston may not be entirely sure which clothes belong to whom (partly because Lizzy wears a Girls' Medium and Abby wears a Ladies' Medium), but he folded them and stacked them in neat little piles and now I'm misting up again because it was so unexpected.

Also, I cried when Bindi Irwin did a retrospective thing about her dad on Dancing With the Stars tonight.

I'm not the only one having the over-sensitivity issue either. Laston needs a ride to chemo tomorrow, so he sent my mom a text that started with "Cheryl, I need you..."

That was all she saw on the popup that happens when you get a new SMS. And she panicked, just a little, wondering why he needed her, and where the hell I was, and what if we all needed her, in the 1.2 seconds it took to open the text.

Like you do when you're a mom.

And having written all this out, I feel better. Which is the point.