The First Day of First Grade
My son looks exactly like his father but, acts a lot like me. This irritates me. We are introverts. His father is completely the opposite but, that is another story for another time. It took me a long time to realize he was introverted because he is so God Damn friendly most of the time. When he was a toddler I used to worry he would be abducted because he would strike up conversations with anyone. I find him telling the inmate details of our lives to total strangers. In spite of his social skills, I have come to realize that he is truly introverted. In other words he largely processes things internally before he talks about them.
So this is the scene yesterday, Sam gets off the school bus. “Hi Mom,” Sam said. “Hi Sam how was your day,” I ask. “Good,” Sam answered. “Did you have fun?” “Yeah, I had fun,” Sam said. “What did you do,” I countered. “I don’t want to tell you,” he said. Now on the surface I was nonchalant about the whole thing. All hip, slick and “that is cool if you don’t want to tell me.” I am embarrassed to admit it however, but my head was saying, “Don’t want to tell me? What do you mean you don’t want to tell me? I have read to you virtually everyday of your life. I dragged your tiny little ass to libraries and museums since you were still a toddler. I did this all so you could tell me what you did on the first day of first grade.” Yep, insanity! I backed off and let him be, grateful I had not actually said anything.
His father got home a few hours later and I said, “He won’t tell me what he did today.” “Of course not,” he said. “He is processing it internally, just like you,” he went on. Who died and made him all Gandhi meets William James anyway.
¶ 8/31/2005 04:35:00 AM4 commentslinks to this post
I need to write about something that really disturbed me in an A.A. meeting on Friday. To understand the incident however, you are going to need some background. Do you remember a few weeks ago when I talked about the bloodless coupe at the Monday morning Big Book meeting. I talked about a woman named Joan who stormed out never to return because she was “too old to wait for everyone else to talk.” Well evidently Joan stormed back into the morning meetings while I was on vacation.
When it was Joan’s to share at the Friday morning meeting, Joan talked about her son. Joan often talks about her son. He is her only child. She was married to a man much, much older than her. He died when this boy was nine years old. This boy is now in his late 20’s and finishing up his PhD in psychology. Most mothers would be happy with a son getting his doctorate. Joan however, is never happy with what this poor kid has done or is doing. I know this because talks about him and everything that is “wrong” with him in great length in meeting.
So Friday morning the meeting was on the second step. It is Joan’s turn to share and she launches in on her son. I thought it was just going to be the usual linty of complaints but she then said that she something I have never heard at an A.A. meeting. Joan said that she was praying for her son to die. She actually told a room full of about 20 sober alcoholics that she prays for this gifted, healthy young man to die. It turned my stomach. I wanted to gather up my son, who was coloring in the T.V. room and flee. Her stated reason for praying for his death is that he suffers from depression and is on medication. “If he is going to live his life like that,” she told us “he might as well be dead.”
I used to have insomina now I just get up and Blog. No seriously I have struggled with insomina at various points in my soberity. For the last year or so however, my sleep has been really good. I woke up this morning just afraid. I am afraid mostly about money and security. So I prayed and now I am Blogging about it.
Tomato Cha Cha
When I was in college my girlfriends and I all took on porn star nicknames. I didn’t like mine, so I decided to take the name off the back of a bottle of Bloody Mary mix. Prophetic wasn't it. That is how I became forever known to a select group of women as Tomato Cha Cha.
¶ 8/24/2005 08:19:00 AM7 commentslinks to this post
I got turn down for at least one and possibly two other jobs yesterday. This was in the middle of having half the neighborhood kids running in and out of my house. I thought it was time to do another gratitude list before I strangled someone.
It is almost time for Fall in New England
School starts next week
My part-time job starts again in the next few weeks
My husband thinks I should write a book
Sam's new teacher stopped by yesterday with a backpack full of school supplies
I have God of my understanding my life
The God of my understanding loves me
We have health insurance
There is a 10:00 am step meeting today and God willing I will be there
Regardless of the circumstances of my life, I have been continuously sober since April 5, 1990
I just got back from a really great and relaxing vacation
"Joan" is still letting us swim in her pool
...and finally that I already have my half naked picture ready for Thursday
Kayla is nine and lives on the next block. I meet Kayla for the first time at the beginning of the summer. She just showed up in my yard and commandeered a soccer game my six year old son was playing. A few weeks later she showed up on my doorstep asking to come in and play with Sam. It was early Sunday morning and I thought it was odd that she wanted to play with a boy three years younger. When I asked her if her Mom knew where she was, Kayla said her Mom lived in New Britain a town about a half hour from us. She then proceeded to call her Dad who did not seem to care much where his daughter was.
I have a hard time dealing with Kayla. I know there is something wrong in her life. I want to do the right thing. She however, is like this bottomless pit of needs and wants. Those needs and wants are all wrapped in this frenzied energy that she gives off. If you offer her juice she wants soda (or coke for my Texas friends) if you offer her cookies she wants them and a sandwich. Yet, I don’t think she is really hungry for food, I think she is just hungry to get things. The only way to get Kayla out of our house half the time is to literally give her what my mother calls the “the bum’s rush,” and push her out the door.
There is something really desperate about her. I see her desperation but, I don’t even know how to begin to help her. There is nothing tangible that I could report to child protection. She is clean, well dress and doses not have any marks on her. Whenever I am around Kayla however, I feel like I need to fight being pulled into her vortex. She is just nine but, I have this fight or flight response in my gut. In the end I can not really help her I can only pray.
¶ 8/23/2005 06:27:00 AM6 commentslinks to this post
I am reading "Who Let the Blogs Out," By Biz Stone. I started it on vacation and it is a little outdated (2004, ancient history). It still has lots of great, useful information.
So you will have to forgive me but I am dicking around with some HTML and style stuff he suggests in the book. Pretty cool for someone who had to take "Idiot Math" to graduate from college. I also almost didn't graduate from high school because I skipped gym so much but, that is another story for another time.
Off The Map As a general rule, when I vacation I like to go south and look at history. My husband on the other hand likes to go north and look at nature. Oddly enough this was true when we lived in Minneapolis and it is still true today in Connecticut. So we have this little bi-annual tradeoff thing that we do. One year we go north and look at nature and the next year we go south and trample through history.
So, why am I telling you this? Well, I like to hear myself talk and it brings me to my main point. My main point is even though we were north in Canada and Maine I had a great time. A really great time, one of the best vacations I have ever had. So maybe how much I enjoy a vacation is more about where I am at spiritually than where we are at on the map.
¶ 8/20/2005 07:33:00 AM5 commentslinks to this post
WHILE TRUDGE IS AWAY JJ WILL PLAY
OUTRIGHT = absolute, complete, utter, out and out, entire MENTAL = mad, crazy, cerebral, mind DEFECTIVE = faulty, imperfect, flawed, malfunctioning, out of order, not working
So, the name of the game is "LET RENAME TRUDGE'S BLOG". What do you think? I challenge you to look up those three words and come up with a new name. Let's have a party at Trudge's place today. She is away and and while the cat is away the mice will play.
I don't feel rejected at all. As a matter of fact I feel very honored that Trudge agreed to me being the guest blogger. But if you should ever feel the need to reject someone then I direct your attention to this site. I have called the Boston number, made a mental note to memorize it, and have the feeling I will be using it in the future.
¶ 8/14/2005 08:28:00 AM3 commentslinks to this post
Saturday, August 13, 2005
I am off
I leave early, early tommorow for Maine so, this will be my last post. I cannot wait to get out of this heat.
I also got a letter in the mail today that said I did not get the job. I really wanted it but, oh well such is life. I called the guy six times before he finnally sent me a letter saying he had chosen someone eles. Crap!
I'm Not Listening When I was a Newcomer to A.A., Oldtimers used to tell us to take the cotton out of our ears and put in in our mouths. At the time, I was offended. To be fair however, just about everything offended me in those days. I can now say that I am really glad that people stressed listening with me in those days. Why because I did listen and I learned a lot.
¶ 8/13/2005 06:40:00 AM7 commentslinks to this post
Friday, August 12, 2005
The Short Man's Smoke Shop
I have another addiction. This addiction I am not yet willing to recover from. Are you ready, drum roll please. My addiction is to pop or now that I live in Connecticut to soda. Not just any pop but to a certain brand of cola. I know, what a wimp-assed thing to be addicted to. I can see the headline now, "the Soft Drink Wars Claims Yet another Victim."
O.K. but my soda addiction is not really what this post is about. It is about the short man and his smoke shop. The short man is this Indian guy who runs this smoke shop/convenience store a few blocks from my house. That is India Indian not American Indian. He is always lighting incense and playing Indian music. I call him the short man because I tower over this guy and I am only 5'2". What an odd sensation towering over someone.
There is one more thing you need to know. In central Connecticut where I live virtually nothing retail opens before 8:00 am and most places do not open until 9:00 am. I think "we keep reasonable retail hours" is the fricken Connecticut state Motto for goodness sake. If you're addicted like I am however, you are not willing to let your addiction keep wimp-assed banker's hours. That where the short man comes in. He opens at 6:00 a.m. So there I was this morning at 7:00 a.m. standing in behind the woman buying lottery tickets and in front of the guy buying cigarettes. It was like addiction central and it always is at that hour. I have yet to see someone buying Tylenol for their sick toddler before 9:00 am it is just us folks buying alcohol, sugar, gambling and cigarettes. If he was selling sex I am sure there would be a line for that also. Why we could have had a meeting right there and then.
¶ 8/12/2005 06:33:00 AM8 commentslinks to this post
There was a bloodless coup of sorts in the Monday Morning Big Book Meeting. It all revolved around whether we should share by going in order around the room or we should raise hands. The underlying reason for the coup is not quite as silly as the hand thing sounds. The meeting has grown by leaps and bounds over the past six months. Here in Connecticut they do not count off and split up into smaller discussion group is too big for every one to have a chance to share. In Minnesota, where I sobered up, splitting how it is usually done. This is Connecticut and I just have to accept that.
I made the splitting up suggestion at the group conscious but, they all looked at me like I had two heads. We took a vote and the majority voted not to change anything. One member, in her sixties then said she was too old to wait for “all you young people to share” before she had her chance. She went on to say that she was never coming back to “The Club” again and she would have to “pay a psychiatrist to listen to her” if we were not going to listen to her. This member has a lot of problems beyond alcoholism but it was still an unpleasant exchange.
So as Mary Jo suggested to me on Sunday I am going to do the uncomfortable and less convenient thing and go to meetings outside of “The Club” at least for a while. Great, it is another opportunity for growth.
¶ 8/10/2005 04:57:00 AM6 commentslinks to this post
The job I have been waiting for just called. Well at least the executive director did. The only message was to call him. No sorry you did not get the job or we would like to see you again. Just please return my call.
AAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH! It probably means I did not get the job but, I won’t know tomorrow morning because when I got the message way too late to call him back. Or maybe he just does not like answering machines. So I did the only thing I could think of, I got down on my knees and prayed. God’s will not mine be done.
¶ 8/08/2005 06:04:00 PM80 commentslinks to this post
I stayed after last night’s meeting to talk with Mary Jo. I wanted to ask her for advice on what to do about a new sponsee who is on methadone. It ended up being a discussion on how water down I thought The Program has become in the last few years. She suggested that try a few meeting outside of the “the club” that I go to now. I told her that someone else had suggested that to me too but I said, “I don’t know it is just so convenient to go to the club. She said “well yeah you are right; working the program is all about being easy and convenient for you.” Ouch! She is right though. I have gotten really lazy about my program lately. I been really, really lazy about sponsoring people lately. I don’t push them on stuff. I listen to too much of their crap before I cut them off and direct them back to the steps. I value my friendship with people more than I value telling them the truth sometimes.
¶ 8/08/2005 06:13:00 AM5 commentslinks to this post
Sunday, August 07, 2005
I Am Back
I am back and only slightly worse for ware. Dirty, I cannot believe how dirty I got over the weekend. My son missed his father who had to work and was what Dr. Spock would call a "insolent little shit." When his dad showed up however, all was right with the world. They are wrestling in the other room right now.
My son who was waiting for his Dad to show up asked another little boy when his Dad was coming. He was actually not being an insolent little shit at this point. He is however, six he doesn't understand divorce. Although he did ask me once why he had so many grandparents. The real answer is divorce and alcoholism but, I toned it down some. Anyhow the other little boy said, "I don't have a Dad, I used to but he moved far away." Sam said, "that's sad" and the other little boy punched him in the arm. So much for the wreckage of the past.
¶ 8/07/2005 01:37:00 PM79 commentslinks to this post
Friday, August 05, 2005
The insanity is upon us! The insanity is known by its other name, the A.A. Retreat and Family Camping weekend. It is in my nature to dread it but, I must admit I am looking forward to it. No expectations will be my mantra. No expectations, no expectations...you get the idea.
Saturday is also our 11th wedding anniversary. My husband has to work. I hate that. So he will be working and the boy and I will be camping with 200 of our closest friends. No really, I am grateful to have the opportunity to spend our anniversary being of service rather than sitting around the house watching Teen Titans with the boy. Anyhow, I will catch you later.
¶ 8/05/2005 06:37:00 AM6 commentslinks to this post
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
I waiting on a job. I am still in the running but it is taking for ever. If you pray please pray for me and my husband and son. I am sticking around for the mircle but man it is taking a long, long time. Not as long as it took me to get sober but, long. I know God got a plan but some days I would like him to send me and E-mail and let me know how things are going.
¶ 8/03/2005 11:22:00 PM4 commentslinks to this post
"It did not matter too much what our material condition was, but it mattered what our spiritual condition was." The 12 and 12, page 122
The meeting this morning was on the 12th step and we read from the 12 and 12. This sentence stuck out at me. I forget but the spiritual really does proceed the physical or material. Thanks for the reminder Big Guy(or higher power if you prefer).
¶ 8/03/2005 11:20:00 AM1 commentslinks to this post
Thank you everyone who commented on my last post. They were all great suggestions. Just admitting to myself and others that I was going through a minor(hopefully) depression was very helpful. I had a good day yesterday and I am planning on having a good day today. As Higher Powered suggested, I will stay in steps 3 and 11 today. Last night's meeting was on step 11. Nothing happens by mistake in God's world.
¶ 8/01/2005 03:59:00 AM6 commentslinks to this post
Outright Mental Defective is an ongoing conversation about living sober one day at a time.