Thursday, January 10, 2008


I thought I'd given up on anger. It's pointless to be angry with someone who's mentally ill. Her mind isn't capable of understanding. So what's the point in being mad? 

But I've learned it isn't that easy to just let it go. I've been storing it up in a little box in my soul for all these years. But anger is corrosive; over all this time, the acid has eaten through that box and slowly leached into my heart. It poisons my everyday thoughts, and twists my every relationship. 

I have to find a way to let it go - even if it means finally acknowledging all that pain, all that hate. It's time to pull it up, examine it, and let it go. So...

I'm angry at my mother: for not being the mother I so desperately needed. I'm angry for her accusations, her assumption that the daughter she raised could stray so far. I'm angry for all the times she accused my father of things he didn't do, tainting forever after my every interaction with him. I'm angry for all the times she embarrassed me in front of my friends. I'm angry for all the friends she made me drive away, for all the friends I never made, because I knew she wouldn't approve. 

I'm angry with my father: for not being the father I so desperately needed. For every time he failed to shield me from my mother's delusions. For every time I needed a fatherly hug, but didn't get so much as a pat on the shoulder. For not protecting me soon enough. 

I'm angry with my sister: for not stepping in to be the mother I so desperately wanted, until it was too late. Stupid I know. But to a 5-year old, a 15-year old sister looks so worldly and adult. I'm angry with her for not guiding me when I just needed someone to tell me what was normal and what wasn't. I'm angry with her for not seeing the damage Mom has already done to our family, and how much more damage she's capable of creating. 

I'm angry with my best friend: for every time she made fun of or disparaged her parents' relationship. I just want to slap her, and tell her how lucky she was, how lucky she is, to have two parents capable of showing love and affection, sharing good and bad. 

I'm angry with the Family Court: for not protecting me from my mother soon. For not protecting MY interests in my parents' long-running divorce. 

And finally, I'm angry with myself: for not letting this all go. 

Sunday, January 06, 2008


I find it hard to get "attached" to things. The closest I come is that half-finished craft project I refuse to throw any further than my closet. 

Today was clean-out day. Happens once or twice a year. Unlike some people I could mention, I acknowledge that I live in a small house. And unless I want the local newspaper to report my death by detailing the clutter I live in, I need to periodically cull my possessions. 

You'll probably never hear me say, "I'm keeping that for sentimental reasons." I can understand the behavior in others, to a certain extent - I get keeping that wedding dress, for instance. 

Keeping that horror of '80's fashion that was your wedding travel jumpsuit? Not so much. It's just stuff. Keep it light, you'll move faster. (I should say here that I'm still absolutely amazed by the amount of stuff I live with and find necessary. Just try to pry that stainless steel cook set out of my cold, dead hands.) 

So today was Day 1 of the clear-out - the master bedroom. I am ruthless on clear-out. If you made it through the cut last time, and I haven't touched you since - it's time to go. Clothes with tags still on them, shirts that have seen better days and better waistlines. Total of five bags of clothes, purses, shoes and miscellany. 

If there is one group of things I can get sentimental about, it's my books. But even there, I was coldblooded and pitiless. Bye to Nancy Herndon, Stef Ann Holm - sorry, gals, but it's time to make room for Victoria Laurie and Tess Gerritsen. 

What's the upside of Clear-Out? Well, for one, I can see my closet floor for the first time since Thanksgiving . My bedroom feels lighter. I can go to sleep without worrying that the book I just tossed on top of my To-Be-Read pile will topple the whole stack. 

Downside? Hauling everything to the garbage and the charity bin. Last time, it took me four carloads get everything to Goodwill. 

The other downside? Sometimes, I wonder at my lack of sentimentality. Am I too cold-blooded? Is Clear-Out really a manic episode disguised as useful endeavour? Is this low ...

I don't know where I'm going with this. I guess I just wanted it said.