Thursday, June 28, 2012

family value

What hurts most about Mark's recent actions is how he treats his family.

We've been his family for 20 years. I grew up fighting with him, snuggling with him on the couch, shouting over chores not completed and laughing about the jokes that went over our parents heads. My parents were the ones who raised him, helped him with homework, yelled at him when he was being a jerk, told him they loved him every night, gave him all the stupid toys and video games he wanted, and tried to teach him to be a good person.

This girl, this manipulative stripper whore bitch, is not his family. Neither is her baby, whom she allegedly cares so much about but whom she easily left in Washington to move to California with Mark on a whim.

And neither is Mark's biological mother.

I am so frustrated and hurt and on the verge of tears when I see how they interact on Facebook. When Mark was in Afghanistan, he and I talked about him visiting Yakima. He was going to come up for a whole weekend, and he was excited about it. He wanted to go to salsa lessons with me and he wanted to go camping and climbing with my friends; we were going to have brother-sister time, just the two of us.

When it came down to it, though, he was too busy driving off to Boise to see the stripperwhore dance for him (which is just SO GROSS I can't even begin to articulate). He thought he would come up here the day he left for California, but refused to leave her behind so he and I could have time together.

But when he drove across the state just to see his half-sister's high school graduation, it was a different story. His birthmom asked if the stripperbitch was coming with him, and he said, "No, she'll do her own thing so we can have family time." And then the stripperbitch told her thank you for being so welcoming.

You know why she's welcoming, you disgusting twat? Because she has no stake in Mark's future. It does not matter to her if he ends up saddled to your diseased stripper ass for the rest of his life, paying for your delinquencies as you screw every member of his platoon while he takes care of your bastard baby.

I'm adopted too, but I have always had it clear that my parents are the ones who raised me, not the ones who had sex and accidentally conceived me. Don't get me wrong; I'm very grateful that I know my birthdad, and my half-siblings; we have a good relationship and my life is richer for that.

But I wouldn't for one second dream of putting them over my parents, or my brother. Especially not after coming back from a deployment in Afghanistan. We spent seven months not knowing if we'd ever see Mark again. Every time I read about a roadside bomb or a deadly explosion, my heart stopped. I cried in my newsroom over and over, had to hide in the back hallway until I got myself under control, until I could calm the overwhelming fear that he would be killed and I would never get to say goodbye. Or that he would come home with a traumatic brain injury, and be there, but be dead inside.

Did the stripperbitch have nightmares like that? Did his half-sister lie awake, night after night, praying that it wouldn't be his foot that triggered an IED? Did his birthmom hope every day that he would call, so she would know he was OK, at least for the time being?

Maybe they did. Maybe I'm not being fair. Maybe they missed him and worried about him and prayed for him, too.

But they are not his family, and their fear for him can never be the same. He didn't know his birthmom & half sister until high school; he didn't know this stupid whore until later.

Why are we so unimportant to him? Why doesn't he understand that your family should be a priority? Why doesn't he see that this girl is going to ruin his life? I don't say things like that lightly -- Mark has been making stupid decisions all his life, and I've given up the delusion that he'll ever learn common sense, but I have never felt such dread about a situation before. He wants to marry this bitch. I want to pay her to never see him again, and you know what? She'd take it. She is with him because it's convenient right now, not because she reciprocates his inexplicable loyalty.

I'm just so hurt and angry and sad and helpless. He's not listening to our family, and he's not even listening to his best friends, who tell him over and over again that he's making a mistake. What do I do if he marries her? I won't see her -- I can be stubborn, too -- but does that mean giving up my brother? I don't want to do that, either.

And there's really nothing worse than hearing your mom sob over the phone, so upset she can't even get words out. How can he do that? How can he not care that he's causing so much hurt to the people he's supposed to love the most?

Hit men aren't that expensive, really.

Love always,

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

the big move

I should be going to sleep, since I have to get up for yoga in 5.5 hours, but I'm procrastinating. Like always.

I brought my first load of stuff over to the house tonight. (One of my friends keeps chanting "Bro house!" whenever I talk about it, and that's what it's become in my mind. And that's what it'll be, a little, for the first two months when it's just me, Andrew & Remy ... hm hm hmm it will be interesting.) And I talked with our awesome landlords who have bent over backward to make it work for us and who are just as excited about us moving in as we are.

I just can't wait for us to be moved in and done with all this shit. I'm so tired of processing it, of tiptoeing around people's feelings, of making excuses and having discussions and being thoughtful and considerate. It feels like in ancient Greece, Athens I think, or one of those city-states -- their enemies would be coming down the road, and they'd be like, "Let us have a democratic discussion about what we should do. Socratic circle, anyone?" I am all for processing, and I don't jump into big things carelessly, but c'mon, enough is enough! There has been far too much talking, and caring, and thinking. I have gone out of my mind so many times it's a wonder I know how to get back into it.

So yes. I just want to be in the house. Then I can remember why I wanted to do this in the first place -- why I'm leaving my beautiful, CLEAN apartment with a pool (two pools!) and my own rules for a house with three boys (and another girl, but that won't be til the fall). Whyyyy am I doing that? Giving up my own control and my individual comfort and my quiet space?

Well, because we felt called to live in community. (Did I though, did I really? Did I maybe just get called to live in a bro house and have friends around no matter what, attractive friends at that, who make me feel like I'm part of the "cool kids" group? Yeah, that sounds more like the reason.) We wanted to have a family of people who hold each other accountable and support each other and help each other pursue the life God has in store for us.

But all this stupid discussing and deciding and stalling has taken all the joy out of it for me. Asking over and over again what God's will is has pushed God out of it entirely. That's messed up. I'm ready for that just to be over ... so we can live in the house, and focus on what we set out to do.

I'm so excited when I think about what it's actually going to be like. I mean, yes, there are going to be some big adjustments. I'm going to have to hit people and make them do their dishes and not talk about their junk in front of me. Boys are weird.

But we're going to have nights where we just play music and worship and spend time together, and we're going to have nights where we all just lie down on the floor or the grass outside and talk about nothing for hours on end. And I'm going to get up in the morning and pick fresh raspberries to put on top of my cereal, and we're going to have fires in the cookstove on the back patio at night, and we're going to work in our little vegetable garden and say hi to the neighbors and fall asleep with the windows wide open.

Katie was here this weekend, and it was amazing, and it made me even more excited for the coming year -- for roommates. We lived together for the better part of three years, and we know each other, I think, better than anyone else. Better even than family, in a lot of ways. It's so important to have that — to have friends who know you better than you know yourself, who have seen you struggle and grow and change and find yourself. That kind of history is powerful.

Anyway. Ramble ramble. Need to go to bed. Only three more nights in this apartment after tonight ... holy crap. that's the first time I realized that. This is the longest place I've lived, without moving out for a summer or an internship or anything ... an entire year, a year and about two weeks ... feels so long.

Love always,

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

some days, y'know

Seriously, why does EVERYONE IN THE WORLD have a boyfriend.

It's OK. I mean, really, it's OK. I am totally OK with it. Look how weird OK looks in correct AP style ... hm. But seriously. When I sit down and think about it, I mean actually think about it, I'm glad I don't have one. In my current state of being, I can only imagine it would be stressful and hard and just another way to bring out my secretly-crippling insecurities and lack of self-worth. And think of how much time I wouldn't get to spend just lounging in my apartment, by myself, reading or watching Buffy. That time is gold, my friend, and living by myself has taught me to cherish the solitude.

But still. SERIOUSLY. Some days, you know, it just feels like everyone is a couple. And they're bent on making sure you know it. Oh, sitting next to each other at dinner? Of course, we HAVE to clasp each other's hands, and share a cute little smooch every now and then, and put a hand on the other's knee, and laugh with that starry-eyed look that means we're just *sooo* in love. Aw.


And I mean, I know. I know that during the exceedingly rare moments in my life (11 pitiful months of my 23 years, to be exact) that I have had a boyfriend myself, I fell into all the same pitfalls. PDA, oh goodness yes. I'm sure many people were made to feel pukey by my very existence.

But sometimes when you're single, it just feels like the world is out to shove it in your face. Then rub it around a little, like cake; maybe smear it in your hair, pat you on the cheek with the frosting in a totally condescending way ... yeah. My singleness is the birthday cake that life has shoved in my face. That's how I feel.

And I don't take this as a serious negative often ... I have great friends, and a great life, and I love where I am right now. But when I have to be around really cutesy couples for extended periods of time, it just starts to wear on me. And then I wonder what exactly it is about my personality that has ensured that I will be FOREVER ALONE.

Perhaps the fact that I blog about my belief that I will be FOREVER ALONE. Yeah, that might be a turn-off.

It's hard, though, in the face of such glaring singleness, to not immediately look inward and wonder, What is wrong with me? Why do all these really gross people have boyfriends — why does the stupid stripper whore that bewitched my brother have a boyfriend — when I don't? What trait of mine makes me somehow less dateable than these aforementioned gross skanky people?? And how do I fix it or hide it or change it so that I become slightly more dateable?

Wrong attitude, I know. "Only God can truly fulfill you!" I know. Giant pity party. Whitegirlproblems. I know.

But still. Some days, I feel chronically unwanted. And it's just not a happy feeling.

Love always,

Sunday, June 10, 2012

baby steps

I've learned a lot about myself lately.

Mostly ugly things, which is not a self-pitying declaration but really a statement of fact. Specifically things about my temper. I was an angry little kid and I've grown up to be an angry adult (ish? young adult? 20-something?); the only difference is that I don't have anyone I unleash on very often. That's really only because I don't live with my family anymore. As a kid, my brother and I had knock-down-drag-out fights until we were both way too old to have an excuse. (Incidentally, he's been a douchebag almost the whole time he's been in Washington on leave, ignoring my parents in favor of some stripper 'ho, and I feel that same old violent anger boiling inside me. But now he knows jujitsu and I can't do anything to him.) I got into screaming matches with my parents, which have thankfully become rarer, but they still happen.

And I know, in recent years, it's kind of gotten to be a silly thing; when I was a trainee, I punched John & Erik all the time for being obnoxious little twerps & for intentionally pushing my buttons, and it's become good fodder for teasing. And that's fine. I don't punch anyone in Yakima; haven't gotten to know them well enough yet, I suppose. (I'm moving in with three boys in three weeks, though, and I imagine that'll change pretty soon.) At any rate, it seems it's become endearing — "Oh, Molly, she just gets so worked up over little things" — rather than seen as something serious or damaging.

But despite any outward appearances to the contrary, that temper of mine is still lightning-quick, still present just beneath the surface, ready to come out snarling at a moment's notice. That's how it feels: like an animal of some kind, snarling and snapping, "the jaws that bite and the claws that catch." And, as with all our animal feelings, our baser urges, there's some pleasure in giving into the anger. There's a part of me — a really big part, I think — that wants to wallow or bask in that rage, give myself fully over to my anger, and just refuse to listen to the more moderate voices in my head. This past week, I spent hours upon hours thinking of all the most spiteful things I could say, and as a writer, I knew I could use words as weapons to pinpoint a friend's most vulnerable spots and make her feel worthless and alone. And I relished it. I was looking forward to the moment when I'd get to pull out these carefully practiced hateful speeches, when I'd get to see her face fall in dismay when she learned "the truth" about herself.

That's where I was when I headed to Ghormley this weekend, a place that's supposed to be focused on God and nature and love and childhood and fun. It's hard to be sullen at Ghormley, and I was able to throw myself into playing with the girls in my cabin, but God wasn't content to leave my heart out of the picture. Boy, did I fight it. I sat there Friday night and well into Saturday morning just revisiting all my hateful thoughts, building them up again, not letting myself forget the hurt and anger I felt, which ultimately meant I had to tune out or neatly exempt myself from a lot of what was being said and sung.

I finally let my anger ebb away, more for convenience's sake and because it took too much energy than out of any altruistic realization of my wrongs. I'm still working on that one. The weekend was wonderful, as Ghormley always is, and that friendship is teetering a bit less precariously than it was last week.

But the whole episode just brought me back to an idea Kaetochi and I talked about recently, and something I've been finding in a lot of different places in life: Being mature is just a series of small decisions to not be immature. It's not some big switch that gets pulled when you're 18 that makes you lose any urge to be a jerk to the people around you; it's a conscious, constant effort. And it's hard. This is nothing earth-shattering or new, here, but it's newly-remembered for me. I dealt with this when I did the juice fast, too — the "slow, slow, steady process of self-denial." It's remembering in each moment that you have a choice between caving to those baser urges, which usually hurt you or the people around you, and actively pursuing the high road. God's road.

Where does this leave a stubborn jerk like me? It's more than scary. This realization means that I'm in control of my emotions. Usually, I unconsciously assume that my emotions are somehow independent of my brain, and if they take control over me, I'm just a helpless prisoner. Not so. My emotions can only get the better of me when I let them ... which means that every time my emotions get the better of me, it was deliberate surrender on my part that allowed it to happen.

The good news, I guess, is that God's supposed to help with this ... but the ongoing bad news is that I don't think I really trust him to do that. In words, perhaps, but it doesn't come out in how I live my life. Stubborn, independent, hot-tempered and reveling in it; how's that for a winning combination?

Anyway. I think I lost my point somewhere in there, so I'll stop. Hopefully, this week I'll be able to rein in my temper, for the benefit of all involved.

Love always,