Tag Archives: argument

NaPoWriMo 2018 Day 6: For Ibuprofen

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We argued about priorities,
the two children, and running errands.
Daughter’s ear hurt
but Son was sleeping,
and I, who used to be Wife,

am just plain tired.

The used to be Husband
had errands to run.
Take them both, he said.
Wake him up, take them both

to the doctor.

I can feel the rage rising up.
He had an affair.
He left us; he left us before he met her.
He left us before we became
Mother and Father.
He left us while I was carrying Daughter
He left us while I was carrying Son
He left us while I tried my best.
He left us when in pain he sought
the embrace of another.

Even when he was here,
even when he said he was committed,

he was always leaving.

The anger burns white hot, distracts
me from the grief that wants to drown.
We argue about prioirites,
the two children, and who is right or wrong.
Now Daughter is sleeping.
I am grateful, so grateful

for ibuprofen.

 

Today’s prompt encouraged us to try something new with our line breaks.  I always go on what looks and feels good in the moment, and there nearly always is a part of me that feels anxious, doubtful and asks, “Am I doing this right?” Luckily for me and my poetic output, there is another part that always shrugs and responds, “Poetic license, baby!”  So all freedom to do whatever the hell I want aside, it’s good to try something new. I enjoyed writing this poem with a different way of breaking the lines, and that’s what matters in the end.

You Can’t Scare Me

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Go ahead,
sell the house.
Go ahead,
change the Wifi password.
Go ahead,
tell me that you think
I’m mentally ill.
It’s fine.
You can’t scare me.
And maybe that’s why
you’re pushing so hard—
you know deep inside
that this is about your fear,
not mine.
When you wake up
from this nightmare
and you’re ready to relate to me
as an adult,
I’ll be ready.
Until then,
get your mommy,
get your blankie,
get your warm milk,
and go fuck yourself.

 

*******
Wrote this directly after having another unsatisfactory conversation with the man I married eight years ago, who informed me he wanted a divorce in July, who still lives in the house with us, and who is threatening to sell the house, saying, “There’s nothing you can do about it.”  I’m not in the best mood right now, but I’m not scared.

Meditation Conflict…Conditioned Response…Disappointment

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Last night my family and I watched the movie Frozen.  My two year old son was tired and so boisterous that we couldn’t hear the dialogue, so we put him to bed only a little way into the movie; then my husband, daughter, and I watched the rest of it together in peace.  We started it late, around  8pm, and factoring in pausing the movie to get my son to bed, and then stopping another time so that my daughter could run to the bathroom…it was nearly ten before it was over.

Once my daughter was in bed, I attended to my blog; I had already meditated that afternoon and was relieved that I wouldn’t have to fight fatigue for thirty minutes while I attempted to remember who I am beyond my body, mind, and the world around me.

My mind is slow by ten o’clock at night; it takes me longer to find the right words to express the thoughts in my head.  I managed to write a little, and revise a little, and it was nearly midnight before I lay my head on the pillow.

For the last few weeks I’ve been able to awaken early enough to complete my meditation before anyone else is stirring…but this morning I felt so tired I decided to sleep in ’til 7 or beyond if I could.  At precisely 7, my husband’s alarm went off, and despite my request to just reset his alarm for quarter of 8, he kept hitting the snooze.  So I got up.  I took a shower.  I put some laundry in the washer.  I was planning on meditating then, but I heard my son awaken, and my husband was just getting himself up.

I asked him if he wouldn’t mind taking care of the morning routine with the kids while I meditated for thirty minutes.  I told him that if I went up to my meditation room right then, I’d be done by 8:15–thirty minutes before he would need to start getting ready for his day.  At first he said, “Ok.”  Then he started to say, “I would never do that to you.  I…”

I felt a flare of temper, and behind it, the disappointment, resentment, and the deep-seated fiery rage that can explode at any moment with only a little fuel.  The same rage that I’ve been trying to come to terms with for a while, the rage that I’m trying to manage with therapy and medicine.  I managed to swallow my disappointment and keep my anger at bay, and I said to him, “Ok. I won’t go then.”

He wanted to engage with me.  He wanted to tell me what he has told me before–that it isn’t right to go off by myself and leave him with the kids while I meditate, cloistering myself from everyone…

I told him that it was settled, and we won’t talk about it again. I wouldn’t go up, and that was that.  But he still wanted to engage with me, and this was all I needed to feel even angrier.

Needless to say, it didn’t end so well, although I suppose it went better than it could’ve gone.  Instead of making a complete scene, I reiterated how important my practice is to me, and how I can’t believe that after nearly three years he doesn’t get it.  I reminded him that I haven’t inconvenienced him with my meditation practice for at least three weeks, because I’ve been getting up way earlier than everyone else and fitting it in while they were sleeping–so he hasn’t had to take care of the children all by himself during my meditations in all that time. I told him I was dumb to think that he would support me willingly in this morning’s practice, and that I won’t be asking again.

Instead of responding with his own thoughts and feelings, he pointed out what in my behavior wasn’t appropriate to him, from the volume of my voice, to my facial expressions and hand gestures.  This only made me feel more defensive and annoyed. I wish that he would just tell me what was really on his mind, instead of fixating on how my delivery could’ve been better.

I ended up walking off the fetch my son, and he followed me up to his room. We greeted my son like nothing had happened.  Back downstairs I got my daughter up, changed her sheets, helped her to get dressed.  We sat around the breakfast table and ate scrambled eggs. I was seething inside.

My daughter asked to see Frozen again, so I turned the movie back on and sat there with my son and daughter while my husband showered and got ready for work, about 20 minutes earlier than he normally does.  He came out and sat with us watching the movie for a while.  When it was almost time for him to leave for work, I asked if he could put the boy up in his room with some toys as he was getting ready to walk out the door.  I told him that the girl would be fine watching the movie on her own.

He said yes, then looked at me and said, “Isn’t now a better time?”  He meant, wasn’t that moment a better moment for me to go meditate than the one I had originally chosen…I half shrugged and said, “Yes,” with plenty of bite in my tone and derision in my face.  Inside I wanted to say, “Screw you buddy, and your ideas of better time.”

I’ve been feeling the ricochets of our conversation throughout the day, and sitting with some really painful disappointment, feeling discouraged.

Marriage is so hard.  At some point we need to work this out.  I need to acknowledge that I was unskillful in my response and I need to be honest about how disappointed I feel, observing how he was unwilling to watch the kids for thirty minutes to help me out with something that is deeply important to me.

Turning this over…hopefully relinquishing control will help.

Chicken Soup

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Hubby is seriously sick today. So sick that our entire routine was disrupted. Normally, on a Tuesday morning, he takes our daughter to school and then heads to work from there, leaving me and our son at home to enjoy some quiet time together. I’ll play with the little dude for a while, and then put him down for a morning nap while I do things…like: laundry, empty dishwasher/fill dishwasher/clean kitchen, write in journal, a short yoga practice, cut material for a sewing project, sew, figure out what to make for lunch, drink a cup of tea–the possibilities are endless when the house is quiet and nobody needs anything from me for one blessed moment.

But not this morning. No, this morning my husband was sick in bed, not going to work, and although I got up much earlier than usual for my meditation, my daughter also seemed to feel a need to get up way earlier than usual, and wham! The day started in full force before I had the time to process what was happening.

So much resistance in me as I realized that I’d have to put my morning meditation on hold. But so happy to see the little girl smiling, a bit dazed as she stepped into the kitchen light, ready to greet the day. Glad to see her, but I want to meditate. Why does this being human mean we have to live with so much inner conflict? Why these polarities? Why duality?

I got breakfast for the little gal, saw her settled at the table, spoon in hand, eating her cereal–and I thought, maybe I can meditate now. The husband can handle her post-breakfast routine. I have to do things all the time when I’m sick. I never get a break. He can handle this. So I told him I needed to meditate…and then objection from him, and argumentation, and me attempting to keep my cool. Whatever, I’m just going to go upstairs and meditate, he can argue all he wants.

I had just made a cup of tea. It was hot and steaming, and looking lovely, just the perfect temperature to sip and enjoy. I never get to drink my tea hot. I grabbed my mug and hightailed it upstairs to my little meditation room. It was previously a closet, but you don’t need much space to meditate…just enough for a cushion, enough room to sit…this tiny room is my favorite room in the house.

The husband texted me two times. He wasn’t happy with my decision to run upstairs to my cushion. I was going to ignore his objections to my timing, sip my tea, and sit for thirty minutes, but then…

I heard our son waking up.  And the tea had to wait, and my meditation had to wait, because the little guy was hollering, adamant that someone come get him now. Again, the resistance. When will I have time to meditate? Do I have to start waking up at 4am? But I was happy to see the little man, even though his room was unpleasantly pungent, and he was announcing enthusiastically, “Ah poopooped!” At least this time he hadn’t taken his diaper off by himself and painted his room with the contents.

And of course it was one of those diapers. Not the easy peasy quick change, no, it was one of those diapers that require a strategy to minimize complications and then several minutes to follow through and resolve, and of course the lad wasn’t making it any easier on me what with his flailing limbs and his tantruming. Why do they do it? Why do they fight the one who is trying to help? Dude, let me clean you up! Just hold still a moment so that I can get a new diaper on you! Just hold still why don’t you?

It was over at last, I was disposing of the thing, I was washing my hands, and ...maybe my tea is still warm.

But then the boy child needed breakfast, and my husband was shuffling out into the room, a few dirty looks may have been exchanged. Or maybe rather we avoided looking at each other. I got a banana for the boy, he loves bananas and eats one every morning upon awakening.

But not this morning. No, this morning he was swatting at it, screwing up his face, and yelling his displeasure in the way that only pre-articulate almost two year olds can. Oh dear god, why can nothing be easy? Why won’t he just eat the damn banana? When will I be able to sit on my cushion?

All of a sudden, the husband  announced that I could go do my thing. I wordlessly leapt from the room, ran upstairs, and sat on my cushion. I was feeling pretty resentful that he didn’t support my decision the first time I attempted to sit, but grateful that he finally relented and realized that he could handle thirty minutes of child care without me. Again, the polarities that arise in this human life. Gratitude, resentment. Movement, stillness. Feeling frantic, feeling peaceful.

Meditation helped me return to the state of knowing that whatever happens, I can handle it. Some of the resentment from earlier melted away, and left me room to feel some compassion for my sick old man. I decided that I would take both kids with me when I dropped my daughter off at school so that he could have some peace and quiet at home. I planned to do some grocery shopping with my son to prolong the quiet time at home, and I wondered if he would realize what a generous gift I was extending to him. It’s funny how the little resentful voice in my head kept chanting, No one ever does this for you. No one helps you when you’re sick. You always have to push through. You have to keep taking care of everybody. No one ever takes care of you.

Ah well, I shrugged the resentful voice off, and dove into the day.

Daughter dropped off at school, groceries procured, I came home with the son, set him up with a few toys, and made some chicken soup for the sick husband, who was blissfully asleep in bed. Lucky bastard.

One thing I’m learning with each passing day–there’s a balance in all of it, and whether I choose to see it, acknowledge it, appreciate it or whether I don’t–that balance is always there. I’m happiest when I notice the balance. I’m in a state of gratitude, an open, clear place of realizing that I have so much to be thankful for. But sometimes I forget. Sometimes I’m locked in my prison of conditioned thoughts. I feel dark, heavy, hopeless, alone.

There it is again, the dualities of existence–consciousness, unconsciousness. Gratitude, resentment. Happy, sad. Up, down. Night, day, male, female, sun, moon, past, future, hot, cold.

Cold…That reminds me. I never did drink that cup of tea..but I made some pretty good chicken soup.