Thursday, May 15, 2008

some distance.

with mom's birthday (april 2th) and mother's day (whenever that was - last sunday?) coming so fast, i've been thinking more than usual about mom.

in a way, mother's day wasn't any more difficult than any day is, being without mom. i mean, it's not like i forget that she's gone and then i had to remember on mother's day.

but, in another way, it is more difficult, because everyone else kinda remembers that i might be having a hard time and asks me, in the pointed loving way that people do, how i'm doing about it. i have no feelings of anger or upset, and it's totally not their fault, and the thought is deeply appreciated, but i can manage my own levels of thought and feeling about missing her, and having everyone else's increased interest in it makes it a little more stressful, and harder to put aside.

i'm dealing with allen a lot more, and selling mom's house. have i already talked about this? i'm selling the house. i'm amping up the removal of all artifacts, in preparation for putting the house on the market this summer. august 1st is my goal. it's a reasonable and totally achievable goal. but me selling the house means i am in closer communication with allen that i was for a while, and it means that all the simmering resentment and discomfort i feel towards him is back on the front burner - or, to stay consistent with the cooking metaphor, heated from a simmer to a rolling boil.

thus far, i have taken an entirely appeasement-based tack for dealing with him. i have capitulated on basically every point, for a number of reasons, which are overlapping, but can be articulated thusly:
1) i'm scared of him and don't want to antagonize him.
2) i was exhausted from dealing with him and things being so unpleasant while mom was dying and i just wanted a break from the insanity
3) i am deeply uncomfortable with the probability of him going bat-shit and things being completely out of control bad with him, and my aversion to that keeps me from being unyielding in my patrolling of my boundaries with him.
4) i have no experience with someone who is really, seriously mentally unbalanced, and whose behavior is so erratic. my brain flinches away from unleashing the full force of his craziness, and so far it has been more important to me to keep him mostly under control, and eat shit, than it has been to just say what i need to and risk the lid on his jar of CRAZY flying off and getting totally lost.

in talking with my dad and linda (and lillon - hearts, lon!) they said, and i certainly knew but needed to hear again, that there is a spectrum of possible responses he might have to any situation, and it's best to be prepared for them all. (they have a certain amount of experience in dealing with a crazy person.)

so, i know i need/want allen out of the house before we put it on the market. i know it's possible to sell a house with the previous owners/tenants still living in it, but i don't want to do that, for a lot of reasons that are solid, but mostly just because i don't want to. that means i need allen out by august 1st. i am afraid to tell him he needs to leave. i was hoping to throw the real estate under the proverbial bus and make her explain to him the importance of the house being empty, but she seems resistant to that (damn!) then i had this idea of having a group talk about the plan, with allen and my dad and shannon and me and maybe my real estate agent, ostensibly to chart the course, but really so we could gang up on allen and overpower his resistance to leaving. but that's another way for me to avoid taking responsibility for the situation, and the situation is this:
i want allen out of the house by august 1st, because i day so, and that is enough of a reason to ask for it.

i floated the idea when shannon and i were up this weekend, and allen just said, flat out, absolutely not possible. he says he's not going to be able to afford to find a new place to live until he gets his share of the money from the sale, which is fucking preposterous and totally understandable at the same time. that's like saying you can't afford to pay the deposit on your new apartment until you get the deposit from your OLD apartment back, which happens all the time, cause a lot of people don't have an extra thousands hanging around, but is also kinda tough shit. yeah, that sucks. been there. also, not my problem.

so, i predict when i have the conversation with him, which i will do in the beginning of june, with my dad and shannon there, he's going to resist and say 'no way' again. i just need to be firm.
'allen, i hear that that is going to be difficult for you, and i really feel for you, AND you need to make it happen.'

and yet, as i plan to have this bowel-looseningly terrifying conversation with him, i find myself already feeling like a total asshole. i mean, what the hell kind of person says 'tough shit' and offers to alternate deal or help? that seems really insensitive.

i know.
he should have thought about that before he tried to strangle me on my birthday. if he was planning on appealing to me soft heart, that might have been an action to avoid.
but still. i feel like that is almost insupportably harsh.

because, really, we are capable of selling the house with him in it. we are. it'll be scarier, since he's a fucking wingnut and might get upset for no reason and chase the prospective buyers off te property with a bow and arrow (won't be his first time), but it is possible.

am i so conditioned to give in to him that i am unable to defend my right to stand up?
or, am i going overboard to say he needs to go and i don't care if it's tough for him?

i seriously have no idea.

i know that i have erred far onto the side of over-giving with him, i have not even remotely stood up for myself, never defended my boundaries, and i've created a situation in which he believes he can say anything, ask for anything, do anything he wants, with minimal, if any, resistance from me.
want me to help you pay for pet food?
want to deduct a portion of your materials expenses and taxes from the money you give me in lieu of rent?
want to carry on with the deluded belief that maintaining the property is of equal financial value as paying me some real human american dollars?
no resistance from me!

i hemorrhage money, spending the bulk of my inheritance on housing costs, bills, etc. so he doesn't have to pay me rent, and then he accuses me of financial mismanagement, suggesting i am not mature enough to manage my money alone or make decisions by myself.

and still, i really feel like maybe kicking him out, or rather, giving him 60 days notice, no ifs ands or buts, is maybe not fair.

and i really genuinely have no idea whether or not that's accurate.

i'm just tired of him.
i'm tired of thinking about him, telling stories to explain how difficult he is to deal with, worrying about his feelings and his future, worrying that i'll never be free of him, letting him talk to me like i'm an idiot, hearing him marvel that i could have 'lost' so much money in such a short period of time and then having to explain to him that, while it's none of his business what i do with my inheritance, it wasn't LOST, it was spend on bills... i'm sick to death of him. i'm just over it. over him hanging off my back like an over-sized baby monkey.

bottom line, i just want him fucking GONE.

in some ways, it would be nice if things did go totally ape-shit with him, like i had to call the cops to have him removed, just so i could get over avoiding it. i mean, at least the worst would happen and i could stop fearing for it and just deal with it.

but really i just so want it to go smoothly. i just want him to understand, to say okay, and just move out. that's probably not really realistic, but it's what i want.

i'm in new york right now, visiting lu.
it's been really nice taking a break from home, from the stress of allen and yumi and money and everything and just enjoying time with her.
her neighborhood is magical.
i'm in a local cafe, with free internet access, readily available power outlets.
i ordered a tasty-sounding sammie, and it came with a truly excessive amount of groders yellow mustard and mayo, which you know i would have asked to have off if i'd known.
so, i tried to be easy going and wipe it off, but it was a lost cause and i got too grossed out, so i had to take it back to the counter to have them re-do it.
they were nice about it, and re-did it, but the new version how is dripping this honey mustard stuff, which is nice, since it's what the menu said was going to be on it, but is over the top in its proportions. like, gooing out of the bread's pores.
what's up, cafe staff? why so much condiment?

however, on this visit to lu, i have found myself really resistant to talking about what's going on with me, when talking to people who don't already know all about it. not because i'm embarrassed or something. mostly because i'm so bored by the subject. i think about it constantly, talk it through with my friends, cry about it, go to therapy and talk it through - i'm just sick of my stories right now. i don't feel like i have anything interesting or exciting or funny to share. i must have left my vivacity at home or something. i think i'm feeling a little quiet and protective of myself again, and i really only want to talk to my friends. it's weird and not like me, but it's where i am.

i think maybe i am going through a new stage of grieving. it's totally not the only thing i think of anymore. it's not The Thing on my mind. but it's more prominent now than it has been recently, and i back to feeling like nothing will ever be normal again because she's gone and i can't imagine that ever feeling normal. i mean, not good or acceptable, because it'll obviously never be those things, but it feels again like it's almost not manageable again. like anything good that might happen will happen in the shade of this sadness.

oh good.
now i've brought my 'crying in public places' tour to fort greene, brooklyn.
what a treat.

the weather right now is of a type we just don't really get in the bay area. it's overcast, with a slight breeze, and warm. not hot, necessarily, but warm enough for people to be wearing short sleeves. i am enjoying it. this is one of my favorite types of weather.

but not really.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

a quick question...

does anyone know anything about adsense?
it's always offered on blogs, and it says you can make money from your blog, according to the number of people clicking on the ads that google puts in the margins of your blog.
it seems like something like that would only be useful for people with tons of traffic on their blogs. my own meager traffic would probably not be worth it.
does anyone know more about it than me?
and is the idea of allowing ads on my blog gross?
am i thinking about selling out??!

body acceptance.

while researching magazines and their submission requirements, i came across the magazine bitch, which i don't read usually. it's a feminist magazine, calls itself a feminist response to pop culture. i was poking around the website and i read a couple of the articles. both of them were interesting. i mean, not pulitzer prize winning, but addressing interesting topics.

one of the articles, about the fat acceptance movement and how it (allegedly) shuns members with eating disorders, was especially thought-provoking. it made me think a lot about my own prejudices about weight. the comments the come after the articles itself were pretty interesting, too. the entire idea of a fat acceptance movement really got me thinking.

i totally understand the purpose of the fat acceptance movement. i can't even imagine how hard it must be to be seriously overweight in america. one of the commenters referred to the decapitated 'fatties' who they show on the news all the time when referring to the menace of obesity. those are real people, those decapitated fatties. they're people with feelings, and they're used (against their wills) as examples of morbid obesity, and what were they doing when they were photographed? eating with their families. walking down a street on a sunny day. all the jokes on tv that hinge on someone being really fat (the 'monica in a fat suit' sequences on "friends," for example). all the magazine covers showing some celebrity who lost 30 lbs in 30 days. there's just so much pressure to not be the way you are. even i feel it, and i am nowhere near obese. but even i feel a little twinge over those things, so it must be exponentially more painful if you're the object of all the scorn.

but i do seriously question this idea that being fat is just fine. not because it is a moral failing or because it indicates some sort of moral decay on the overweight person's fault, but because it's not a healthy choice. (we're going to disregard eating disorders for now, while acknowledging that they are a factor some of the time.) i also question how being seriously overweight can be unassociated with some sort of disordered eating behavior, or disordered living choices. not that all overweight people are binge eaters, but that letting one's weight become dramatically overlarge or oversmall is a sign of imbalance, which deserves attention.

i'm trying to think of comparable lifestyle choices. smoking? it's a choice you're making. it's hard to quit. there's a lot of societal mixed messages related to it. a certain (though much lower) degree of social stigma attached. it will probably kill you... but then you think about how quitting smoking is hard for people, but they do it by just not smoking. you can't not eat, totally avoid the substance of choice, so the comparison breaks down. i don't know. i can't think of a good comparison.

i don't know many people who are terribly overweight and feel good about it. i don't know many people who are overweight because they choose to not care about their weight. i know mostly people who struggle with their weight, who struggle with making lifestyle choices that are healthy.

if someone is overweight, should one be supportive of behavior that one thinks is unhealthy? even if the eating isn't the issue, even if not exercising is the issue, isn't it possible to support the person, love them, want them to be healthy and happy, not because being fat is gross or ugly, but because they are hurting themselves? is that healthist?

p.s. i can't even believe there is such a term as 'healthist.' it's true, there is a prevailing agreement in modern culture that being healthy is good and being unhealthy is bad. there are agreed upon (sort of) idea of what is healthy and what isn't. so, how does healthism show up? would encouraging someone to get more exercise be healthism? what about me harassing shannon about putting neosporin on his cut? it's such a weird idea. of course, not so weird that i am going to do research on it and find out more. i think i'll just idly wonder...