Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Enchanted with April

"Where do we begin to find the needle in hay or know that there's another way to finding Paris?"

There is one month a year that I love living in Texas and that is April.



The weather can be quite changeable. Me last Thursday and me two days later on Saturday. Self portraits both.



On Thursday I saw a baby heron. And on Saturday I saw this new fellow, a juvenile egret.



Here's another little fellow I can't wait to see again. He looks so much like his mama. Same little imp faces. A summer child and a winter child.



I used to think Ry looked like a combination of his mom and dad, but ever since his dad bailed, all I see is how much he looks like Kandace. With blue eyes, exactly the same color as his Aunt Chelsea.

I guess Kandace and I both carry my grandmother's gene for blue eyes.

Kandace, Neil and I had some fun with this picture that Kandace posted to Facebook and I shared on Neil's timeline.



Elizabeth posted a photo to Neil's timeline.
Aint he cool!
Neil
Cause every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man. Black shades, black socks...... (black socks?)
Kandace
Daddy put him in the socks. They say "boob man"
There were quite a few ways to interpret that comment. There's the classic definition of a "breast man" of course, but I thought it was also possible that she was saying that Ry's dad was a boob for putting him in black socks.

Neil and I responded within about one second of each other. What neither of us noticed was that the socks actually have "boob man" embroidered on them.

Neil
In that case, are you sure it isn't "man boob"?
Elizabeth
Haha. Double entendre. At least I think that's what you meant/didn't mean.
Kandace
Ryland is the boob man. 10 months and counting!

Obviously what she meant was that she was still breastfeeding. We were a little dense.

Neil
Maybe they're inside out and it's "poopnam", like "gangnam" style, but appropriate for babies.
Neil
or maybe "poop man" ?
Neil
Nothing goes with black socks like sandals you know.
Neil
I'm enjoying this, please keep me up to date on future sock developments.
Kandace
Poop man is definitely appropriate as well. 10 months and counting!
Elizabeth
I think we're up to triple or quadruple entendre now - lol!
Life is good.

Life has always been good.

I'm very lucky.

But that doesn't mean that's it's all been smooth sailing, that I haven't struggled, with or without good reason.

In 1999, as Nick regained his physical, spiritual and emotional well being, mine hit a wall.

Elizabeth
Right now, I am struggling a bit. I am grieving over my divorce - yes, I know, it's late. There is no going back, that is not even a question, but I am very frightened that there is some flaw in my heart, that I do not really know how to love, or what love is at all.
In Texas a party can appeal a divorce decree for 30 days, so although my divorce was final in February and although it was highly unlikely that my ex-husband would appeal after the hellish year we spent sorting out the dissolution of our life together, it wasn't until after the waiting period that it fully sunk in.

I'm not even sure if that was the reason for my struggle or if the timing just coincided, or if it had more to do with the new mood med that I took for 3 days and that pretty much left me flattened on the floor. OK, sofa.

There were so many questions that troubled me.

Elizabeth
At some point when love stops, there is simply no going back. But my fear comes from the fact that I really don't know my own heart. I might think I love someone, but how do I know it is love? Not understanding how love ended in my marriage, how do I know I will never (ever, ever) get to that place again?
I was squarely back at step one, admitting I had no control over my demons.

Elizabeth
I often think that I created the anger in my ex-husband that made him act out the way he did, and that the flaws were mostly in me. If I could have been more loving and forgiving, maybe he wouldn't have become so hostile and bitter, etc. I torture myself with this crap.

If someone handed me a million dollars I would not know what to do with it.

And the crazy thing is that nothing is wrong with my life. I have a good life and I'm grateful for what I have.
And as I had always done, I soldiered on.

Elizabeth
Whatever is broken is inside me - I plan to keep trying until I fix it or die, in no special order. When we are in this it is so easy to think that it is going to feel like this forever. But it doesn't. It won't.
This time Nick got to play the healer-rescuer.

Nick
Poor, Sweet, Liz. You are on the hamster wheel of life again. We all take turns, it seems.
He was doing well now, which was all the more phenomenal because he had split with the girlfriend and that had always tripped his panic button.

Nick
I had to set the girlfriend aside again. There is only so much abuse one can stand and then it ceases to be fun anymore, know what I mean? I have to really look closely at why i keep going back to a well full of mud. But you've seen this for awhile.

I told him I was sorry about the girlfriend. The girlfiend, he used to call her.

Elizabeth
It is no fun to be abused, but we seek out what we are familiar with, and of course being alone is way scary.

I'm holding on for dear life. Trying to remember there is a point even if I've (temporarily) forgotten what.

This latest bout has finally forced me to acknowledge that this is an illness, not a choice or character flaw or a moral failing. It shoots all my theories about victims and responsibility and control - I could no more have gotten off the sofa last weekend than if I'd had a bad case of the flu.

I hate this. I hate the self-absorption it causes. I just have no energy right now to take an interest in much else. I am surviving, not living.

I talked to my ex last night. I told him how sorry I was, and that I don't think I could have survived what he went through, and that I hope he forgives me some day. I hope I forgive myself.
One more time, I got the most beautiful response from Nick.

Nick
I love you Liz. You have helped me so much. But I also just love who you are.

Keep your face to the sunlight which includes keeping in touch with me.
Slowly, with some help from Dr. Rx, I crawled back out of the muck.

Elizabeth
It isn't the depression caused by circumstances of my life that is crippling - it is the depression despite all the good in my life that is. Who could ask for more than I have?

"Despair does not lie in being weary of suffering, but in being weary of joy." G.K. Chesterton

And that is truly what I felt like 3 or 4 weeks ago. I could intellectually remember feeling joy, but not what it felt like.

OK, got the heavy stuff out of the way. This is very difficult for a dyed-in-the-wool depressive to admit, but I feel be-be-better. Whew. Got that out. Probably jinxed it.
As he had said, we took turns. Early in our relationship I started having his symptoms but now we were volleying them back and forth.

Nick
I hope I don't alarm you, but I am getting thoughts of suicide and it's happening quick.

God almighty what is this curse? (Might I have already died and this is hell?)

I feel all alone. I feel like nobody really gives a damn. I feel like I need to medicate and do it fast, but I am so scared of medications. I foresee everything and everybody in my life leaving me. I am petrified with fear and I'm agoraphobic again.

I know you have recently gone through a shit storm. I am sorry to lay this on you, I hate to be needy, I'd rather be the caretaker ... but I can't.
Fortunately I could.

Elizabeth
I'm here to help. My home is your home. You know I love helping - and I am doing so much better right now, so I can.

I will say the [insert drug name here] is keeping me off the ocean floor. I can still see the bottom, but I think I can see daylight too.
Nick was slowly coming out of the pit too, a step forward, a step back, another step forward.

Nick
Alas, I am still tossing salad in the octopus's garden with you.

I'm glad to hear that you are seeing some daylight. I have a good day and then a rough day.

If I take time to stop, breathe, meditate, to the extent I am able, and pray, I find that this cocktail helps me along in my day.

And then sometimes there are those days when I am so "in-it" I cannot do any of the above.
That reminded me how significantly we mirrored each other.

Elizabeth
When I was in my "crisis" the Pdoc asked me if I was getting any physical exercise. I said, yes. I'm breathing in and breathing out. He asked if I could "muster the troops" and just do it. I said, I am struggling to eat a meal or take a shower.
Nick was steadily on the mend now. He was making me laugh again.

Nick
So much insecurity/uncertainty. And at this stage in my life. Despite all of this, I am still sucking oxygen.

In the meantime, I am selling fish at my brother's place - a sell-fish activity.
For once we were both in the same space at the same time. Better yet, it was on the other side of the mountain, the brighter side.

The future seemed filled with possibilities.

I was unprepared for what happened next. Summer was waning when I got this note.

Nick
I am crazy and have recently involved myself with a young attorney ...(my daughter's age, ahem). I must be out of my mind. But it has sorta swept me and I haven't yet been able to regain my footing. I'm both scared and exhilarated.
Oh well. It was fun, or something like fun, while it lasted. And we'd always have Paris. You know, Virtual Paris. The one in cyberspace.

"Mama started renting rooms when times got bad
Papa'd shake his head, well that was all we had
There's lessons that I learned from living with those two
About trying to do the right thing, and when to make a move

I know he felt like a stranger there in his own house
She must've felt it when she'd lay her china out
She dreamed she'd go to Europe, bought a Samsonite
God I know she'd picture Paris there behind her eyes

We go 'round and 'round on big and little things
Some still hurt and some aren't worth remembering
Where do we begin to find the needled in the hay
Or know that there's another way to finding Paris

Finding Paris."

Tish Hinojosa

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Thanks for your comment! I will post it as soon as I receive it. Liz