Monday, April 24, 2017
School break is done with, and with it, the disruption that this causes in countless lives around the world fades into memory. That's a bit of facetious sarcasm, but it's also true that school breaks are often anything but breaks for parents, and often the children as well.
The break had one big advantage for me this year, and it was job specific: it was much easier to get in the billable hours this week because the kids on the caseload were home instead of school, and I didn't have to wait until school was over to meet with the kids. It was an advantage that was negated, from annoying to major degrees, on four of the five days of the week by the narcissism of the ex, but it still was a relatively easy week. But I barely saw Sabrina, I didn't get a chance to get much done around the house, and it just seemed a bit off all the time. And the week in my case was made more off by not having to work last Sunday; it's amazing how quickly that became normal, too. And then with my brother in the hospital... well, routines are shifting and changes are necessary, and it's also a bit chaotic in any event.
It's tough to find an anchor in the midst of chaos. One thing I did do right last week was make three meetings. I could have and maybe should have made as many as six, but honestly, I am not in a space where I can hear a message without reservations in any circumstances some days. I did go to the night meeting last night for the first time in months, but left before it was over because, frankly, there was just a lot of noise there and I wasn't getting anything out of it. Tonight is one of my two home groups, and it will be a different story, especially if we meet outside. The ex may be there, but that doesn't really affect me like it might have at some other points, and it isn't like she's going to participate anyway (not venom, just that she hardly ever speaks at the meetings she does attend). I do not want to get or feel isolated at this time, and I do think going to more meetings is the best way to avoid that. So I will have to open my mind up some and go some places I have been avoiding for differing reasons.
But I've started changing things at home, too. The belongings of the ex have been packed away and await her promised retrieving them. Last night, I cleaned and rearranged the bedroom. It will be the bathroom's turn today or tomorrow, and the kitchen later in the week; one reason I could tell that she was headed for trouble after a couple weeks home was that she, a compulsive cleaner when in the right mind, suddenly lost interest in the state of her surroundings. Meals, too, are another thing that changed to a more haphazard and less regular thing; I am going to try to re-establish some regularity to that. The refrigerator and freezer have been purged of the items that I will never eat, and that also makes room for more stuff that I will eat. As for Sabrina--the kid seems to survive on macaroni and cheese, and her schedule is so irregular that I really don't have to cook for her now.
The bottom line is that life goes on, and in large part, the quality of it is what you make of it. I'm not in great space all of the time, but one good way to not get triggered into anger or melancholy or wistful remembrance is to change the surroundings to eliminate things that inevitably trigger memories. And in the process, I end up with a living space that reflects what I like and that what I am comfortable with, where I know where everything is.
It's a start.