Saturday, May 17, 2014

Black dogs

I don't know what's the matter with me. Perhaps because Spring seemed to arrive FINALLY and now we are back to turning on the electric mattress warmer again. I HATE this never ending Winter.

Or maybe because Marisa, the translator from hell managed to convince one of my co-owners that we should hire her back. Jin (other co-owner) and I overrode her, but still. To come THIS close to almost having that nitwit back in our employment. God, sometimes I look at that errant co-owner and wonder at her naivete.

Or because Liv put together a black and white video set to a song by Cursive and gave it to me for Mother's Day. Not that I didn't love it, but because it made me cry at how talented she is and how well she knows me and I am...well.....uncomfortable being known sometimes. And it was sad and beautiful and full of symbolism. (I'd love to show it to you and it is on you tube, but I fear that my stalker might get a hold of it and the thought of her even LOOKING at my child's face makes me sick to my stomach.) She and a friend made it together and it's about running away only to be found again via a scarf. And how badly we all need to have someone who will always come find us. And yes, Liv...I will always find you. Always. But, I feel so badly sometimes that you are stuck with such a flawed Mother. I try to keep those black dogs at a distance, but sometimes they sneak up on me and then I have to retreat and go inside of myself for a while. I try to make sure not to keep you out but the older you get, the harder it is to fool you. And then I feel so badly for you, that you deserve better.

Or because my daughter is so talented that she has to choose between going to state track for her high jump or going to a poetry slam contest that one of her poems is in the running for. She is leaning towards the slam...But, sometimes I look at her and I wonder how I managed to produce this...incredible child-woman. I feel as though she has shone in spite of me instead of because of me. Maybe the truth is that these talents are just all hers and I have nothing to do with them either way. All I know is that she is growing so quickly and I am so close to tears whenever I watch her leaping up at a track meet (one newspaper reporter called her "the flying girl."), reading her poetry at a slam, pitching her left handed fast ball at a softball game or gussying up for the Spring formal at her high school. Or helping me put in the garden (with her boyfriend next to her, tongue tied with adoration at just being in her presence....) Or studying for finals with her bent head at her desk, a candle lit and that awful smelling patchouli incense that she insists on lighting, making her room smell like a goth den. Or coming up to me and standing close, leaning down to place her head on my shoulder. Sometimes the love that I hold for my daughter is such a tender, tenuous thing. I can hardly bear that much emotion.

Or because I got new glasses and the bifocals are stronger and they are driving me crazy.

Or because I got those medical tests back and my white cell count is through the roof again and I am very, very frightened, but so tired that I can hardly register how scared that I am. I just lean on Bing while she tells me not to worry, that one way or another, we are in this together and we will come out of the other side of it. And then I think of women who don't have a Bing and I want to weep for them.

Or because Socks is getting gray hairs on his nose and I try to imagine our life without his Ernest Borgnine presence someday.

Or because I am tired of my career sometimes. I feel as if I spend my days giving and searching for ways to help and then foraging into financial avenues to help the poorer ones who can't afford this treatment and I get so angry that a nation as huge and powerful as ours leaves the little ones to suffer.

Or because I wonder if I am just put together incorrectly. It took me years to learn how to be in a relationship and even now, I flounder around and Bing does most of the heavy lifting. I feel many, many, many times as if, like the poet says, the world is just too much WITH me, like I don't possess the proper filters to shut out some of the pain or the beauty that is in the world, so it just hits me head on. Like I feel everything right to the core of my soul ALL THE TIME, good and bad, happy or sad, right and wrong. I wonder if others are like this and just cope better. And the thing is, I am good at keeping my poker face on, so all this pandemonium is flying around inside of me, colors, emotions, weather, scents, and my face is as calm as a Madonna's. But...inside...I'm Lady Gaga singing about a bad romance.

Or because I am tired of the aching of my bones, the fatigue and the way I feel when I look on that hill and see those black dogs watching me carefully, ready to lope forward no matter what I want. And then...the shame. I have so much, I have no reason to feel so sad and worn down. My brain understands those black dogs. They followed my Da and his Da and probably on and on through our generations, but why me? I got the bad teeth, ugly brown hair, too many illnesses and syndromes to count, why can't someone else deal with those black dogs?

And finally, acceptance. I look at them, nod slightly and as I see them lumber towards me slowly, I bow my head and prepare....

Catch you on the flip side. There is one......yes?

11 comments:

Jacquelineand.... said...

There is one, (other side) no matter how much the black dogs try to convince you otherwise. I'd say I'm fighting my own, but the real truth is: when I fight them my dogs just seem to get stronger. So right now I'm just kind of sidestepping them and thumbing my nose whenever I have the energy. Thank goodness for the Bings, and the Great Scots...the Liv's and the Jenn's who stick with us and keep us going.
Y'know, I come here, to your particular blog, because you speak your feelings honestly and I appreciate that.

Moonwaves said...

Even if there isn't, you always have to believe it, right? Hmmm, that doesn't read quite as encouragingly as I mean it.
I hope the black dogs don't stick around too long - maybe they'll even find someone less interesting to bother before they arrive fully! Take care.

John Wooldridge said...

Yes there is my girl, but it's not always obvious. Small steps.....

lily cedar said...

"...like I don't possess the proper filters to shut out some of the pain or the beauty that is in the world, so it just hits me head on. Like I feel everything right to the core of my soul ALL THE TIME, good and bad, happy or sad, right and wrong. I wonder if others are like this and just cope better."

I don't possess those filters either and feel everything too deeply. It's a hard way to live but it does have it's bonuses, at times. I don't cope so well most of the time though and I don't have the advantage you have, I have no poker face. Every single thought and emotion flits across my face, I can hide nothing. It's like living naked in front of everyone else.

I'm sorry your white count is up. I can't imagine how scary that would be. My friend now requires surgery to remove the lymph nodes in her neck because they still contain cancerous cells that survived six weeks of radiation and four rounds of chemo. WTF! I'm scared, I don't want to lose her.

Take care woman. This too will pass.

The World According To Me said...

Yes, there is a flip side and I hope it comes to you soon.

You know, a lot of what you write about I wouldn't be surprised if it was also how a lot of people are feeling. I think you are more honest than a lot of people.
And a very good writer who can express how she feels in a very engaging, clear, manner.

Mitchell is Moving said...

I look forward to catching you "on the flip side" once again. My black dogs come on with or without justifiable reason. My once piece advice is: Don't try to figure things out when the black dogs are in residence. No good comes of it. As for Liv, whether because of you or in spite of you, she shines and that's all that matters. Hope you're shining a bit soon. (and that those frickin' white cells settle down). Sending you a huge hug from Spain!

Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

"I feel many, many, many times as if, like the poet says, the world is just too much WITH me, like I don't possess the proper filters to shut out some of the pain or the beauty that is in the world, so it just hits me head on. Like I feel everything right to the core of my soul ALL THE TIME, good and bad, happy or sad, right and wrong." Yes. This is why I read blogs by real people. Because, occasionally, there will be a statement such as that one above that allows me to say, "Yes. Me too. That is how I feel. I am not alone." It is comforting. Because most of the rest of the world I know does not understand. My cousin once told me that if he "felt half of what you feel, I'd be an emotional cripple." Unfortunately, that did nothing but make me feel like a freak, like there is something very very wrong with me. Maybe there is, or maybe, we just feel more - I don't know why. And to the flip side of the black dogs? Yes. There is one. For sure. I'm living proof.

MmeBenaut said...

Dearest Maria, you've almost brought me to tears this morning; the beauty, pain, joy, fear, all so incredibly illuminated in the way you write about your feelings. Being so sensitive to the world, it's flaws and the flaws of humans and the fragility of them both gives you the insight to be not only an effective counsellor but also Liv's failsafe in her world, which she has acknowledged and yes, it is difficult being exposed when one is attuned to a poker face. I am very sad to hear about your elevated white cell count. You will get through this next period my dear friend and soon you'll be sitting on your adironback chair sipping cool drinks in the warm summer evenings. Tout ca fait bien cherie. xx

Kate said...

There definitely is one. You'll be back again soon. Please remember a few things:
1. You are loved; there's food in the fridge and a roof over your head.
2. You are a fantastic mother, and not one of us is a perfect parent. Plus, our kids do not expect that of us.
3. Sadness waits for us all sometimes. I think it serves a purpose.
You won't know it, but I will be out here thinking of you.

Sarah said...

I live for the flip side... and I've been wanting to write and say for a while now that your blog is incredibly beautiful. Keep writing and keep fighting the black dogs - I think you'll win.

Teacher Cynthia said...

I suspect most of your regular readers feel the world too much and have houses in our yards and alleys for those dogs.

Good advice above on not making decisions when in the throes of their grip.

I always think of it as swimming thru a rip tide. you sort of have to float your way out. You can't fight it.

you have some big stuff going on.

big stuff is hard.

you are so capable and are around such capable people - liv, bing, tinton, thuan, etc...

and capable is great.

but life is not about only capability.

sometimes life is about incapability.

we have to claim and are claimed by each pole of existence.

my prayer for you is you are loved through this by bing and live... and your friends and family... as I know you will be.

let yourself be weak if need be.

we are all weak.

we are all strong.

with care,

zc