Notes from the road: day 5

I’m home. Finally.  That was the road trip from hell. 15 hours in the truck going to mom’s and 16 hours coming home. Rain, road construction, traffic accidents….

you name it, I probably encountered it.

Including the surfeit of skunks I mowed down in Mt. Pleasant,  TX. And the road closure due to high water.

Side note: surfeit is what a group of skunks is called. Kind of like a gaggle of geese or a sounder of pigs. My personal hope was that it would be called a skank of skunks when I looked it up, but nope…a surfeit.

My journey home started with mom’s roomba (which slayed me😆)

and a truck full of household items from mom & my sister.

 

 

 

I drove through @Spann territory (Birmingham AL, for those not familiar with the weather guy who became famous for staying on air for 15 or so hours trying to bring Alabamans safely through the tornado outbreak that tried to wipe Tuscaloosa off the map)

I passed over many rivers on my journey home. Including,  but not limited to:

The Mississippi

The Ouachita
the Red

I’m so sick of being in my truck (that now reeks of skunk) that I could yarf.

Notes from the road: day 4

I’ve spent a couple of days in Georgia,  hanging out with family. I’m out of clean clothes that mom approves of, so it’s time to head home. 

I’m not heading home empty handed, either. My sister & her husband have been combining households, and a lot of stuff is finding new homes. I’ve got myself a comforter set, some patio chairs, lots of pillows and towels, flatware, and the dishes we used at my childhood home.

I’ve also got a full heart, because I finally have a decent relationship with the family I put through hell for all the years of my active addiction. That’s a precious gift.

I’ve had a great visit, but it’s time to go home. I miss my husband and my furbaby Mollie. Home is where the heart is, and mine lives in two states.

Notes from the road: day 2

I’m standing here in my mom’s kitchen drinking coffee.

Side note: why didn’t I stop for half&half on my way last night? 0% fat milk just isn’t working.

Mom’s house is peaceful, and filled with early morning light. This isn’t the house I grew up in, yet it still feels like that save haven we all know as home.

Today would have been my dad’s birthday if he hadn’t died when I was a few days from my 14th birthday. 

Daddy was a firefighter, and he loved the job.

We’re not going to dwell on the loss, though.  We’re going to focus on the fact that today is my sister’s wedding day! I’ll be spending my morning recovering from a road trip from hell, my lunch at a meeting, and my evening with family. 

Side note: today is going to be as exhausting as yesterday. I’ll pay for it tomorrow  for sure. I’m already operating at a spoon deficit and it’s not even 9AM eastern time

I’m already close to crying, so I’m off to eat my feelings now. They’re going to taste like cinnabon. 

Notes from the road: day 1

I didn’t make it 40 miles from the house before I had to stop for gas in the glamorous town of Paris TX.

Aren’t you impressed with all that glitz?

While I was paying for gas, I couldn’t resist the breakfast of champions.

That’s right. Metallica + Donut Sticks = the breakfast of champions. 

I passed through the megalopolis of Shreveport,  which is always so depressing. 

It was over fast.

Just east of Vicksburg,  I20 passes through a slightly primeval looking bit of forest.

It was over fast, too.

Then I found myself in the middle of the Talladega forest.

The roads were dry at that point, so it was over fast, too.

The Atlanta skyline and traffic always make my heart sing.

That wasn’t sarcasm. I may hate driving, but I come alive in Atlanta traffic.

Side note: hell, if I didn’t, I’d get killed dead as hell for sure. I learned to really drive in Atlanta traffic.

Entirely too many hours, cheetos, Donut Sticks,  & Starbucks doubles hots later, I’m at mom’s. Calling a cinnabon dinner. Because that’s how I adult.

Packing my bags

I’m spending the day getting ready to head out early tomorrow, before the ass-crack of dawn. I’m heading to Georgia,  the place where it all began for me.

Side note: according to “The Walking Dead”, it will also be the place where it all ends with a zombie apocalypse, but that’s irrelevant today since I’m currently still in Texas.

I’ve got my bags mostly packed with all of the things one needs for a road trip; like Little Debbie snacks, peach flavored sparkling water, and the card with my sister’s gift money in it. You know, the important shit. As I sit here typing this, I realize that I almost forgot to pack the expensive-ass outfit I had to buy for this evening wedding, because that’s what kind of idiot I am. I’ll be staying at mom’s for a few days after the wedding, so of course I already packed enough clothes and shoes for a month, because obviously. 

Side note: a huge shout-out and much love to Angie over at youlookfab [dot] com for helping me pick an outfit of pieces that I look forward to wearing in the future! She is amazing, as are all the people that participate in the discussions there

It’s always anxiety inducing to head back to the place from whence I came. There are so many memories, and so much wreckage. Families can be dicey in the best of circumstances; I’m sad to say that the first 35 years of my life were not the best of circumstances. Then there’s the anxiety involved with being away from home, and Sunshine, and Mollie. Who will cook chicken for Mollie even night? Who will pack Sunshine a lunch every morning? Who will wash dishes and do laundry and… I’m already exhausted just thinking about the backlog of housework that will be waiting for me when I return.

However,  my little sister is getting married, and I need to be there. No matter how awful, how insane I got during my active addiction, whenever I showed up at home for a visit my sister always showed up to see me. The least I can do is go to her wedding. Besides,  my sister is awesome and I want some cake.

Side note: I’m hoping that I don’t ever have to make good on my promise to hunt her groom down and make him regret it if he ever hurts my sister. Because that’s the sort of thing I don’t know if Sunshine would bail me out of jail for doing.

Since many miles of my drive (hell, whole fucking states) have no decent new-rock-type radio stations, I went to the pawn shops & the $5 bin at Walmart so I could go old-school on this trip–the CD player in my truck actually works, but I have so few CDS that I had to go buy a few. The playlist for this road trip includes lots of Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, Chevelle, Nine Inch Nails, and a band out of Shreveport called The American Tragedy; and some Zucchero & Kenny Wayne Shepherd for when I need to lower my blood pressure after all that hard-driving music that helps me eat up the miles on I20.

I’ll be taking my tablet with me; and it has a data plan, so you’ll be getting my “notes from the road” while I’m gone, complete with pictures. Exciting, no?

Learning from others

I recently read a post from The Eco-Feminist that talked about her journey to becoming a mother. As an adopted child, it gave me a glimpse into what my own mother went through to become my mother. It made me cry, it made my heart swell with love, and it made me so fucking proud of the woman I know as mom.

I sent my mom an email with a link to that post, and a little bit of mushy “I love you” stuff about how I had never really thought about what she went through to adopt me.

Well, I had occasion to think about it again yesterday. I called my mom, just a routine “how are you, I love you” call. She answered the phone with “I was wondering if you’d call today”….

…which sent me into a panic, wondering what the hell I was forgetting that I totally shouldn’t be forgetting.

Turns out, yesterday was the anniversary of the day she and my dad took 3-month-old me home from foster care and became my parents.

side note: to make it even better, that day was also my mom’s father’s birthday. I miss my Papa. He was so cool!

I had never thought about that day as a big deal, because I am not a mother and never much wanted to be a mother. However, as I talked to my mom, I realized that it was a big fucking deal to her. I asked her if she had read that post, and she said that she did. She said that she could absolutely relate, and she was happy that this wonderful woman has a chance to become a mother at last.

Had I never read that post, I might have gone the rest of my life not really thinking about what my mom went through to become my mom.I mean, logically, I know that adoption is a long and drawn out process. I knew that there was paperwork, and social workers, and home visits, and more paperwork, and financial disclosures, and appointments, and more paperwork. But I had never thought about the emotional aspect.

Maybe because my mother always struck me as so very pragmatic, I never thought about how much hope and fear she went through trying to adopt a child. My mom was always fairly emotionally reserved in front of people. Throughout the six years of daddy’s illness, I never saw her cry for very long, I never saw her despair, I never saw her really seem like she was overwhelmed and on the verge of a total breakdown.

My adoption was always presented to me in a very matter-of-fact way. I’ve always known I was adopted, for as long as I can remember. The DFACS (Department of Family and Children’s Services) office had given my mom a little box set of books to help her explain to me that I was adopted (I still have those books); even before I could read, I knew those books were for me and they were about being adopted. It was always explained to me that I was not unwanted by my biological mother; she just knew that she, at 16 years old, couldn’t take care of a child as she would WANT to take care of a child and so she gave that child up for adoption in the hopes that this child would indeed be taken care of as a child should be cared for.

I always felt fortunate and loved. I was loved so much by two mothers that one of them went through the hell of giving up her child, and the other went through the hell of the adoption process to become the mother of that child. I was fortunate, because that child was me. Anytime anyone ever asked me if I ever wanted to know about my “real” parents, I was rather befuddled, because in my mind I HAD real parents. My mom and dad are the only mom and dad I’ve ever known, and they were damn fine parents. They were my real parents; I couldn’t understand why people didn’t think that mom and dad were my real parents. Of course I always had curiosity about my biological parents, but I never felt any overriding need to know more or meet them. I had my parents, and that was that. I understood that opening up the sealed case files might cause that woman great pain, as she might not have told her current family that she had once given up a child; or it might cause her great pain to know that I merely wanted to meet her to satisfy curiosity but had no need of a relationship with her.

side note: my mom offered repeatedly to help me have the files unsealed. I never took her up on it. I had a mom, and that was that.

After I hung up the phone, I went into the calendar function on my phone. I set a reminder for a yearly event for yesterday’s date, so that I can call my mom on her dad’s birthday every year from now on, and thank her for becoming my mom. I wasn’t always a good kid, because addiction is a motherfucker. No matter how much hell I put my mother through, she never quit loving me. I am the luckiest shithead in the world, because my adoptive mom is the truest definition of “mother” I have ever known of, and I am so grateful for that.

So this year, as Father’s Day approaches, I am thinking about my mother. That woman amazes me. She loved me no matter what. She raised three children basically on her own, because my father was sick for many years before he died; she had to be both mother and father to us. I couldn’t ask for a more wonderful mom; and I’ll have to make it a point to call her on father’s day and thank her for being her wonderful, beautiful self that did the job of two parents for a large portion of my childhood.

final note: I’m about to cry now, so I’m going to go clean house or something to distract myself so I don’t cry because I am fighting a sinus infection that is causing some really ugly vertigo as a result.

I am my mother’s child…

So anxiety has been kicking my ass lately. It’s so bad that Sunshine pretty much ordered me to seek professional help. I have an appointment with my primary (for allergies) on Thursday, and the receptionist told me to mention the anxiety to the doctor so that I could get a referral to the mental health care provider. I’m pretty sure that the meds I was taking for the back pain plus the steroid nose spray for allergies contributed to the explosion in anxiety. All that shit is slowly flushing out of my system, so the anxiety is lessening incrementally. I’m still going to get that referral, because Sunshine is right. There are proven methods of dealing with this, and it’s time I tried letting a professional help me.

Today, the anxiety wasn’t too bad until I wandered outside. I got hit by some nasty humidity and now my COPD is showing its ass and that’s causing the anxiety to ratchet back up. Time out for more fun.

In spite of all of the COPD and allergy woes, in spite of the anxiety, I actually feel like cleaning house today. It needs it desperately, and I actually seem to have the spoons for it.

This is where the part about being my mother’s child comes into play. Mom was more than a little bit OCD about keeping a clean house when I was a kid.

side note: I get it, actually. Sometimes, life is just so fucking much, and a clean house is something I can absolutely control. Well, maybe I can’t control Sunshine’s efforts to keep it from being clean, but I can absolutely control how long it stays borked after he borks it. There’s a weird sort of comfort in cleaning my house.

I often rebel against all that OCD cleaning I lived through. I notice dust on the entertainment center, and I want to clean it but I force myself to ignore it. However, that only goes on for so long before I can’t stop myself and I start cleaning. Today is that moment for me.

Yesterday sucked ass. Storms, fatigue, back ache, Sunshine out of town for the day… So I sat here and played around on the internet and texted with my bestest best friend ever. I also bought two pairs of slip-on sneakers, because I have resolved that slip-on sneakers are my new stilettos and I intend to own many many pairs of beautiful slip-on sneakers.

side note: I got a hell of a deal on them. I had the cash to spare, and they will actually get a lot of use. I’ve finally let go of the me I used to be with my sky-high heels and embraced something that works for my life as it is today.

I think I’m digressing, which is apparently a problem today. I have made it my mission to clean my house, and I have tweeted out a call to #thebloggesstribe to hold me accountable. They offered immediate support and some helpful suggestions about doing it in small, easily digestible bites with frequent breaks. Which was brilliant advice that I needed to hear.

I made it through making the bed and putting on not-PJs and then I got distracted by progress at our little house build site. I was down there snapping pics until my phone died. I brought my phone back to the magic bus to charge and promptly forgot to return and use Sunshine’s phone to take more pics because I started cleaning the kitchen because I am my mother’s child and am twitching over how dirty some parts of my house are after a weekend of guests and yesterday’s rain.

Of course, every trip outside is causing the humidity to send my lungs into fits, which starts ratcheting up the anxiety, which causes me to seek distractions, which leads me down rabbit holes on twitter and my favorite shoe shopping site. Hence this post.

Ultimately, I’ll get up and finish cleaning the house. Because it really is gross by my mom’s standards, and I am my mother’s child.

final note: I am actually proud of being my mother’s child. I am oddly comforted by all the quirks I see in myself that I know came from mom and nobody else but mom. Some of those quirks are annoying as fuck, and I don’t care. I am my mother’s child, and I’m fucking grateful beyond words for that.