I was going to title this A Thousand Cuts, but I'm done crying for now and things don't seem too difficult, just annoying. The past couple of weeks has been hard. If it wasn't for my friend's visit last weekend, and our time of talk, rest, and refreshing, I think I would be writing this from the looney bin. (Sorry in advance to anyone who's been hospitalized for psychiatric reasons, but looney bin sounds more dramatic than psych ward, or maybe just more fun.) So I've softened the title to A Thousand Drops, since many of the stressors lately haven't been big, but they would be enough to drown someone if collected all together.
What are a few of the stressors?
Some were little things, like smoke alarms that kept beeping even after we changed the battery. Someone got a late night snack, and forgot to put the food back when he was done. Having a child meet a psychologist for the first time, and doing all the paperwork, yet not being able to find the most important documents. We have to get things ordered for the new bathroom, yet the items are due to come in a day or two late. There are reminders that I still don't know anyone on the island well enough yet that can help me. I don't have good friends yet.
My hands have been hurting. My feet were hurting me for a few weeks, but now the pain is in my hands. I was worrying it could be arthritis, but the blood test came back negative. So now I don't know why my hands hurt, they just do. Chronic pain has a way of coloring things negatively. I don't want to be one of those people who b***** about every ache and pain, but it's sure hard to open cans, ibuprofen bottles, and drive when your joints hurt.
Talking about driving, I lost my keys at a beach. I looked back many times, have seen other people's keys that were found by others, but not mine. Fortunately, a really nice lady and her elderly father took me and my wet dog home that day. But I was without a mailbox key for a few days, which made me feel a bit isolated.
And to add to the isolation, I set my phone on a wet counter. I put it in a bag of rice for a few days, and it works OK, though the screen is still a bit weird. I don't know what calls I missed, and don't know how to access my phone message thing. I also haven't had as much of my grandson FaceTime fix, which always puts a smile on my face after a rough day with the younger two kids.
Rough days? There have been plenty. Both Mr. I and Ms. D have been avoiding classes. Ditch a class? Yes. Pretend you have a stomach ache and sit in the bathroom so you are late for school? Yes. Name calling? Swearing? Hitting the walls in anger? Yes, yes, yes. I know I shouldn't let these things bother me, but I'd love to send the kids off to school with a smile and a hug. Instead, they are angry or sullen, and I cry all the way home. The school suggested I call the police to get one of them to school. Oh that would be great! I can imagine what trauma that will dig up!
And then there are the things they know will push my buttons. Leaving food and dishes out on the table, in their rooms, on window sills, and where the dogs can get to them. Forgetting to remove pens from their pockets before putting their clothes in the laundry. And that was one of the few times they added a sheet, or towels, or other's clothes in with their load. Dying his sister's hair, which is nice for her. But getting hair dye on the sink, counter, floor, my two best towels, and my bathroom rug. You didn't notice that your hands were dirty? Asking me to take them here, there, and everywhere. Remember? My hands hurt. But the more I look stressed and in pain, the more they want proof that I can take care of them.
I missed my daughter's graduation so that I could get the kids to school. Yet I couldn't even do that well!
And then there is the puppy. I had two weeks of just having one dog in the house because Samurai was being cared for by someone else in the club to curb some of his relieving issues on walks. It was stressful for Ms. D, but she went along with the program. One hour after picking Samurai up Wednesday, we had a meeting with the regional leader. She told Ms. D and I, on a downtown sidewalk with people walking by, that she was going to put Samurai with another family. Ms. D was obviously upset. I was upset. How would anyone think of telling a teenager that kind of news, with no warning, in a public place? I wrote a letter to our leader later, and she apologized. I guess they were thinking about this for a month, yet didn't tell us!
There was more, but you get the idea. Things have not been all nice, neat, and calm around here. We are experiencing loss, frustration with school, and not everything is going smoothly. But even if it feels like I'm drowning sometimes, I'll make it.