Penthouse at the Asylum

My Crazy Little World

Smarter Than A 5th Grader?
js0512
So, Chicken has the board game "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader". The rules confuse the HELL out of me, so we modify it. Maybe I need a 5th grader to explain these rules. I thought it would be fun to take the game to my folks house for Thanksgiving. Give us something to do. One of the questions was (and I'm paraphrasing here, because I am not about to go digging through the cards to quote it exactly) "In the reproduction process what it is called when an egg becomes fertilized?" (And see? I know I'm quoting it wrong because the answer is "Zygote", but that's the gist of the question.) The question was for my daughter (who is 8) but my dad piped up with an answer, "A mistake." Awesome, Dad. Happy fucking holidays!

And I've never laughed so hard when I had to ask my nephew, "What is the largest organ on your body?" Now, he's 13, so we know where this is headed. He raises his eyebrows at me and starts hemming and hawing. I have to shout at him, "NOT THAT!" Surprisingly, no one at the table got it. So I tell them it's skin. My nephew: "Well, it's covered in skin. That's for sure." Dude. Boys and their toys!
Tags:

Feeling Broken
js0512
I've been down. I'm trying like hell to pick myself back up, but so far, no go. It's affecting everything. My job, my home, my daughter, my boyfriend, my family. But I just can't snap out of it. I started smoking again, after having quit for 5 months. I thought I would be relieved to start again, because part of the reason I was doing so well at quitting was because I knew how disappointed my daughter would be if I started again. I knew how disappointed the boy would be as well. My daughter hasn't found out yet, the boy figured it out yesterday and seemed fine with it. Turns out, I'm the only disappointed one. I feel like I let myself down, yet, here I go lighting up.

I tend to turn to the boy when I am down, and get mad at him when he can't pick me back up. Which, I realize, it totally unfair. There's a saying "You have to love yourself before you can be loved." Well, I have to figure out how to make me happy, before anyone else can. I guess I get mad at him because if I've had a bad day at work, or a rough day with the girl, he can fix it. He can get me to smile and laugh and forget about it. But when I'm down, when I feel rotten to the core, when my entire body just aches from sadness and I want to do nothing other than curl up in a ball and hide, he can't fix it. In fact, his silly attempts to make me laugh usually end up pissing me off. One of my huge flaws is that when I'm mad or sad, I want everyone else mad or sad. It makes me angry to see someone happy.

My feeling this way usually casues a fight between us. He's used to my ups & downs after nearly four years, but that doesn't make it any easier to deal with. I know it gets old after awhile. Trust me, I FRICKIN' know. I hate it just as much. So we fight, we hang up, I am mad but feel incredibly guilty for making him feel so awful. So I call to apologize, but then get pissed off that I'm apologizing. I don't think one should apologize for how they feel. Sure, I'm apologizing for how I ACTED, but it also feels like I'm apologizing for the way I'm feeling.

I get upset because I want him to fix me. To fix whatever it is that is wrong. To make me feel better, to get me back to how I want to be. But then I get upset over two things. One, that I know that this feeling is going to come back, it always does. And two, I get so incredibly sad that I'm broken.

(no subject)
js0512
I'm going to let you in on a secret. One that I feel ashamed of, one that I fear makes me a horrible mother. I have never taken care of my daughter for more than three days in a row. Never. Never in her eight and a half years. This fact makes me feel horrible.

She stays with her dad two nights a week and with my parents one night a week. My parents just left this morning to go out of town for the week. Her dad doesn't have a car right now, so she is home with me. We are home, alone, together. All week. I am terrified and overwhelmed and we are only on day two. She came home from her dad's house Saturday at 3pm. On a normal schedule, she will be back with him again Tuesday night. Gone again Thursday and Friday night. But this week being the way it is, she will be home with me until Friday night when I drop her off at her dads house. Six nights. Twice as long as I've ever had her.

I love my daughter, but I often find myself feeling trapped. I find it overwhelming to spend too much time with her. To spend too much time with anyone really. Maybe because when I'm alone I can curl up on the couch and shut everything out, or lay in bed a cry without anyone to witness it. When I'm around others, especially her, having to act like I'm ok is exhausting. When she leaves, when they leave, I can breathe or scream or cry.

It's too much because I know she looks to me for guidance, looks to me as a role model, and she shouldn't. I don't want her to wind up being anything like me.

My daughter is an odd mix. She is stubborn and defiant like me, yet sensitive and caring like my sister. I think that is why I have such a hard time. When she exhibits behavior that is typical of me, I get angry. Isn't there a saying along the lines of often what we dislike most in others is actually what we dislike most about ourselves? Because, damn, that is so true in my house. But, on the flip side, when she gets sensitive and needy, I get angry. I think mostly because I don't know how to deal with it. I was never a child who constantly needed approval, I never cared if the little girl down the street wouldn't play with me or if the little boy I liked was mean. Stuff like that never bothered me, so when it bothers her, I don't know how to deal. My initial reaction is "Suck it up." I often find myself telling her to call her Aunt.

Two days is about the maximum we can go without a fight, three days is strongly pushing it. We are like oil and water, and I often find myself in a pissing match with her. Mature, I know.

Often, I think I wasn't cut out to be a mother. But, I am a mother, so what do I do? No doubt, I love my daughter, more than anything, but I get so incredibly frustrated.

Not Me
js0512
You know the cartoon "Family Circle"? Do you remember the ghost named "Not Me" that lived with the family occassionally? Well, I'm pretty sure Not Me has left that house for a new one. Mine.

My daughter (she's 8.5) is at this stage where she cannot take responsibility for anything. It drives me absolutely bat.shit.crazy.

Exhibit A: The other day she's eating cereal on the couch (I know...I'm partially to blame here) and drops the entire bowl. She says NOTHING. When I come out of my room a few minutes later, I see her getting ready for school and then I see the couch. The milk soaked, cereal covered couch. I call her into the room and ask her what happened, "I don't know Mom, it wasn't me."

Exhibit B: I'm on the couch watching a show, she's in the shower. I hear the shower turn off and a few minutes later I hear a thud. She comes out of the bathroom a few minutes later and says, "I don't know how it happened, I didn't do anything, but a bunch of your stuff just fell right out of the medicine cabinet and onto the floor! But I didn't do anything, it just FELL!" Awesome, I either have suicidal makeup and haircare products, or a ghost. Or, wait, maybe I have an 8 year old daughter that was reaching for something of hers in the cabinet and instead of moving things around so she could get to it, she just grabbed it and pulled. That's the story I'm going with.

Exhibit C: Her bedroom. It is a disaster at all times. She cleans it about twice a week, it's shiny and new for about an hour and then it looks like her dresser and closet threw up in it. When I tell her how frustrating it is for me to see her room like that and all the things I buy for her just strewn about I get this, "But, Mom, it's not me. I didn't make it messy. It's my rooms fault." SERIOUSLY!?

I talk to my parents about this and they think it's hysterical. I don't find the humor in it at all. It pisses me the hell off. I'm sure it's a stage and she'll just grow out of it. Right? RIGHT?!

Exhausted
js0512
My body is aching, crying out it's discomfort with creeks and cracks. My muscles pull tight every time I move. I hardly slept last night. I've been having problems falling asleep lately, and once I do fall asleep it's rare that I stay asleep until the alarm goes off. Even when I take my sleeping pills I have this problem. I have cut out all caffiene except my morning coffee and a can of diet soda at 11am, there is no more nicotine in my system, I am working out, I am winding down at night, yet my mind refuses to give in to sleep. It was after midnight when I finally went to bed last night and the last time I remember looking at the clock, it was 1:05am. My daughter woke me around 2am for a drink, and now, in the light of the morning, I'm remembering how short I was with her. I was angry, so angry, that she woke me and I got more angry when she began to cry. I remember telling her to stop her crying and just go to bed, leaving her there. I truly hate myself for this. I could not fall asleep again. I tossed and turned until 4am, finally pushing my aching body out of bed to move to the couch, thinking if I watched TV in the dark, it might lull me to sleep. I finally fell asleep somewhere around 5am only to be awaked by the alarm at 6:30am. I hit snooze and five minutes later the phone rang.

I flip the phone open, bring it to my ear and hear, "Good morning beautiful." Somehow he knows, he always knows, when I need him. He was on his way to work and thinking about me. He knows I have a hard time getting up in the morning (if he only knew how bad it was this morning), and was calling to wake me. I love talking to him in the morning, his sexy, gravelly morning voice, his volume lower, his laugh a slight, sexy chuckle. I can hear his smile in his words, and it makes me smile. Our morning talks are usually stress free, we've both only just started our day, not had issues with work or life in general. The morning conversation is all love and laughs. After a few minutes we hang up with smiles on our faces.

I get a glass of icy water and guzzle it down, wash my face with cold water, brush my teeth and then go wake up my daughter. I do it cautiously, remembering how horrible I was to her hours earlier, she awakes, sees my face and breaks out in a grin. How can I ever be angry with her? We do the normal morning routine, I drop her off at daycare and head to work. Sliding back into the drivers seat, I'm reminded how tired I am, how much I ache, how much I want sleep. Driving to get coffee I begin to get angry at myself for everything, for yelling at my daughter, for not being able to sleep, for not telling him "I love you" this morning, even though I know he hears it with every word, as I do with him, it's not a phrase we utter on a day basis, but it's something that we show...and I have never felt so deeply loved. As I'm beating myself up, and pulling into the coffee shop drive thru, he's approaching the drive thru from the opposite side of the lot. This happens to us frequently, and it's always when I need it most. From behind our windshields, we both smile and shake our heads. He lets me go first, my phone rings and I know it's him. I have a conversation with him, his sexy, smiling face in my rearview mirror and he tells me how good it makes him feel to see me smile. And as exhausted as I am, I know that today isn't going to be that bad.

CocoNUTS
js0512
The boy (it occurs to me I should probably call him "the man"...but...men are boys so it's ok) loves coconut. LOVES it. If anything has "coconut" listed in the ingredients, he will devour it and love it. He would probably love coconut covered poo. A few weeks ago I made him chewy coconut cookies. Loved them. Last week it was coconut muffins, he loved them so much he turned around halfway to work to get more. I hate coconut. When I was younger I used to say I was allergic to it. It's the texture more than the flavor (as I can drink coconut flavored things). Texture is a big issue with me and food (hell, FOOD is just a big issue with me). But, since I love the boy and he loves coconut, I will sacrifice for him. Somehow I stumbled across a recipe for coconut candy. And I, being the girlfriend that wants to please (and also a genius), decided to make it for him.

I hate myself. My hands hate myself. My feet hate myself.

Coconut candy requires a real coconut. A WHOLE coconut, you know, the big brown hair thing that looks like an oversized testicle. Yeah, THAT coconut. First of all, local grocery stores don't have them. So I drove 40 minutes to Whole Foods to get one that said "E-Z Open" (right....), I also had to get some groceries, so don't think I'm so insane that I'd drive 40 minutes JUST to get a coconut (although...I would for him). Anyway, I get the thing home and proceed with the project. I pound two holes in it with a large nail to drain the milk, the milk is barely trickling out, so I go out to the garage and grab the drill. I put the biggest bit I can find on it, return to the house and proceed to make those nail holes bigger. SUCCESS! The milk is draining from the coconut rapidly. It then says to bake it for awhile, alledging that this will make it easier to open later. So I do. I pull the damn thing out of the oven, burn my hand on the rack (this happens often), wrap the large testicle in a towel, set it on the ground and "tap it with a hammer" like the recipe says. It doesn't budge. So I try again. Nothing. Next, I pretend the coconut is the face of an exboyfriend of mine and beat the shit out of it (not that I would ever do anything like that...), SUCCESS!

Now I have to "pry the meat from the shell with a knife". Ok, me and knives? We've been known to do some bodily harm, I am clumsy. But I decide it will be ok, you know, because I'm stupid. In "prying" the meat from the shell I managed to also pry some skin from my fingers. Pieces of the coconut shell are flying onto the counter, into the sink, onto the floor. Coconut shell is sharp. Sharp enough to cut your foot if you step on it right. Which I managed to do. So now I'm bleeding from my fingers and my foot, and sweat is dripping in my eyes, because, as I forgot to mention, I'm boiling a huge pot of water on the stove, my house is ALREADY 82 degrees. This is not fun. I finally got all the coconut "pried" from the shell and now have to remove the brown layer of skin from the meat. Are you fucking kidding me? This is where I begin cursing at myself and berating myself. Of course, there's the option to just give up, but I've come to far, and have (quite literally) put my blood, sweat and tears into this venture. After cutting my finger again, I decide a knife isn't the best way to peel the skin off. I opt for the vegatable peeler. Which does a terrific job peeling the skin off the coconut meat. It also does a fantastic job at peeling the shreading the skin on my index finger.

I manage to burn myself two more times with the pot of boiling water, and then I read I have to CONTINUALLY stir the shit for A HALF HOUR! At this point I pretty much wanted to punch myself in the face. Luckily (for him) at that moment, the boy called, whispered quite a few "sweet nothings" (though his are usually more naughty than sweet), and all was forgiven.

But I swear to you, if he doesn't like this candy, I am going to take the broken coconut shell and jam it up his ass.

1950's Housewife
js0512
I continually feel like I was born at the wrong time. I love doing laundry, hand washing dishes, baking, cooking meals, cleaning the house and taking care of my family. The boy has been laughing at me all morning. It's just the two of us this morning, he had to leave for work at 6:45, but I got up at 5:30 to make breakfast. Pancakes, eggs, bacon and fruit. I told him to rest until it was ready, but he sat at the counter and watched (continually asking if he could do something to help). As he watched, I noticed his smile growing bigger and I asked him what was up. He told me that I seemed really happy, like I was totally in my element. I smiled, felt embarrassed (I don't know why) and told him that I was. I love taking care of him. As archaic and old-fashioned as it may sound, I love taking care of him. I feel like it's my "job". It makes me extremely happy to please him, to take care of him, to take care of my daughter. I'm sure the fact that he doesn't expect me to do these things, makes me enjoy it that much more.

As far as the 1950's Stay-At-Home-Mom, I don't feel my role in that is as strong. Probably because I'm a single mom who works full time. Add to that the fact that my daughter is now going into third grade (so she's at school most of the year) and that she spends a couple nights and one weekend day with her dad, my time with her is limited. I wish, more than anything, that I could have stayed home with her full time from day one. I feel like I missed so much, I know that I did (and I cannot express the amount of guilt I feel because of it). So as much as I want to spend that quality time with her; teach her things; enjoy each stage of her life, I, more often than not, find myself frustrated with her. Because it's almost as though we need to get reacquainted with each other each time she returns home from spending time with her dad. When she's in school, she's so stressed (I don't know why) when she gets home, that she is hell on wheels and after a long day at work, my patience is thin. I hate the mother that I am, especially since I know the mother I want to be.

The need to take care of people is deeply embedded in me. I will do anything for anyone I care about and I expect nothing in return. It actually makes me feel guilty when people do things for me. Even these past six weeks while I've been recovering from surgery (and told to literally do NOTHING for the first two), I can't stand people doing things for. My neighbors handled my trash, mowed my lawn and watered my plants (usually while I was napping and didn't notice) all without my asking. My mom came and did laundry and light cleaning. My sister ran errands and tried to entertain me. And my daughter was amazing throughout the entire process, which truly shocked me. She made sure my cup of water was always full; made sure I had easy access to the heating pad; brought me snacks; covered me up when I fell asleep; and even watched TV on mute (reading the subtitles) if she thought I was asleep, which I kept telling her she didn't have to do. I guess that shows I might be doing something right with her.

Happy Birthday Baby P
js0512
Baby P -

You would have been two years old today. I am honestly shocked that it still hurts this bad. That I still miss you, someone I never met, so much. But I do, with every fiber of my being. I did the ususal, pulled out your sisters baby-book and looked at photos of her at two. I tried to focus on her sweet little hands; the baby-fine fly away hair; chubby arms and legs; the toddler belly still full and round. I tried to focus, but my eyes were so glazed over with tears that I couldn't. And then I remembered that her second birthday was the first one that was recorded. So to punish myself further, I put in the DVD and watched. I saw the same things in the photos, but I also heard the sweet voice, saw the curiousity, witnessed the excitement of the day. And I found myself mourning for both of you. I miss you. You who never got to be. And I miss the baby that your sister was. I didn't have work today (home recovering from surgery), so I was home all day torturing myself with this guilt and grief. Your dad didn't mention what today was, not straight out. He called several times throughout the day for nothing. Just wanted to know what I was up to, and I lied to him so I wouldn't bring him down. Told him I was just putzing around cleaning or laying in the sun, or napping from the pain medication. He told me later that night, after work "I don't want you to think I forgot about today. I just don't know what to say to you, because I can't make it better." That was enough. I knew his frequent phone calls throughout the day was him checking on me to make sure I was, at the very least, capable of answering the phone. But I will admit, I never thought I'd be happy to have had surgery, but having a stockpile of some major painkillers helped. I spent a lot of the day high. Does it get easier? Will I ever let myself off the hook? I love you baby, and I am still so sorry that I failed you.

Love,
Mommy

20-10
js0512
It's my birthday. I've entered my third decade of life. I kept saying, I'm not turning 30, I'm turning 20-10. Something about saying "30" bothered me. I've been dreading my 30th birthday for months, years even. But, today? Today I feel great. The boy even commented that I was in an unusually good mood today. I think I'm ok with this. I've been wanting to make some changes, and I think this is the year. My surgery is set for June 16th, no smoking after midnight the night before and I will more than likely be in the hospital for four days. My feeling is that after four days of being in a hospital, not smoking, what's the point of coming home and lighting up? My parents said they'd air out the house, clean the carpet, the furniture and detail the car to get rid of the smoke smell. I can do this. I also have been wanting to workout more, but with these cysts, I can't. The slightest activity makes them flare up and the pain is unbearable. Even a half a day spent cleaning house is enough to hurt. Hell, a 10 minute walk kills me. But they will be removed and I can start again. Plus, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be getting a dog for Chicken and I soon, and feel like it will need to be walked everyday.

I can do this. I can change things and feel better about myself.

Maybe 30 isn't so bad. Maybe 30 actually fucking rocks!

Not The Right Kind of Gadget
js0512
Chicken was looking for the calculator this evening. I couldn't find it so she went wandering off to find it. Moments later she came out of my bedroom with my vibrator in her hand, looking at it oddly and asked, "Mama? What's this?"

I froze in my steps. Because, really, what kind of answer do you give?

I promptly yanked it out of her hand and returned it to it's resting spot.

I have yet to figure out why she thought that the giant calculator might be hiding in my nightstand drawer and not in the den or the junk drawer or anywhere else one might find a calculator. Hot damn, I have to lock that thing up!

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