Did You Picture This?

An American bathroom of a freshly renovated ho...

An American bathroom of a freshly renovated house, 2004 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This afternoon was a real blast! I don’t remember when I have had so much fun! As the Golden Girls eldest lady says, Picture This! I am sitting here in my computer chair checking emails, and my son texts me to ask if I am home. I respond back with a yes. Pretty soon he comes down and he is ready to work on my bathroom floor. I am having new tiles laid down. I have hated the floor all the time I have lived here. It is yellow plaids and reminds me of a kitchen floor, maybe used from some other floor in another house, and it was a piece left over, so they slapped it down. So as he is starting to do this job, Al is yelling in the bathroom, and I hear the familiar sounds of plunging the stool. Oh, no, not another time.This is at least a weekly ordeal that we go through. My brother was born without a Sphincter Muscle. For you that do not know what this is, it is a muscle in your body that lets you know with a signal that you have to use the bathroom. Number 2?? I can remember the trials and tribulations all through out my childhood, of perfect timing after dinner hour, sit until you drop it! I know, I hear giggles here. Mom and dad did succeed with this timing each night. Now that he is a grown man, he doesn’t want to listen to me, and so there is no perfect timing. I have tried prunes,and raisins. One time I tried apple juice, but that was a mess for me, so I didn’t try that anymore. So the son is here, that doesn’t want to hear any voices raised, and Al is in his bathroom raising his voice. While my son was in my bathroom, I was in Al’s bathroom, and we were taking turns using the plunger. If Al works at the plunger for over five minutes, he becomes very weak and the sweat is pouring off of his face and body. I had spent too much time in the living room talking to son before checking out my brother, and walked into a soaked bathroom floor, rugs wet, you know what everywhere. I couldn’t say a word. I didn’t want to upset my brother and cause more anger, and I didn’t want my son to get mad and walk out, room unfinished. My brother was on a rant and rave. Yelling at me that no one cares about him, no one cares about his problems. I am not quite sure why I get so mad when he talks like this, yes, I do. I get mad because I get sick of hearing no one cares. Who am I? What am I doing here? Aren’t I the one that does everything for you? I let him ramble on and once I took over he went and sat in his room. I finished the job, started the load of dirty towels and rugs, mopped the floor and cleaned the sink and toilet. After this was all done, I had a pounding headache. I get these if I hurt my neck by straining it at all, from some arthritis in my neck. I hate these headaches. It usually forces me on the couch for a nap, which is where I am headed after finishing this blog. I know it is late afternoon, but supper is in the crock pot, and Al is taking a late nap. He will be up at his usual time though, because this is his schedule and we don’t change it. After starting the laundry, the son tells me we don’t have enough tiles, so now tomorrow I get to go back to the store for one more box! Yipee! He left and I went and explained to my brother that I was going to give him a shower even if it wasn’t his shower day. All through the shower, I was rewashing tears and snot. I had  more soap on me in the end I think, but he was clean and in clean clothes. Whew! I am now exhausted and ready for the day to be over. Right before writing this down, I called a nursing home here in town and talked to them about a two-day respite care for Al. I can’ do it anymore without a break, just two days. They will call in the morning, because as usual, the person I needed to talk to was gone for the day. Alright, wasn’t this a blast to follow this blog today? Did you picture it?

Jet Puff Marshmallow

Have you ever bought one of those bags of jet puffed marshmallows and roasted it over a camp fire? You see how it grows and grows until you are forced to take it of the stick and eat the finished product, all soft and gooey, stuffing your inner mouth with sweet flavor? This was me in the beginning. A jet puff marshmallow. One of many in the bag, looking all the same. No telling one from another. I have always hated one thing about myself all my life. Confidence. The lack of confidence. I am not sure why I never obtained it. It never really grew on me. I hate to place blame when the blame should bounce back on my own weakness, but I really do believe it was the lack of hearing compliments about me, and the constant need trying everything I could, to earn one. I had wonderful parents, but that just wasn’t part of who they were, giving the pat on the back, and saying good job, daughter! It may even stemmed back further, before I even knew and understood what being accepted was really all about. It may go back to the time when I was four years old and remembering hiding behind the living room chair, listening to my real mother and step mother argue about me. One saying to the other, you will never see her again, and the other saying I will be back when she is sixteen, and we shall let her decide who she wants to live with. Our brains are working properly at that young age. They just don’t jump-start once we start going to school. Maybe I got a part of that argument in my head and it stuck all of my life. When you hear things that are negative it has a great impact on your life. Sometimes I think I remember those more than anything else. I can remember my mom making a fly by night comment on one of my elementary school year photos, about me being the one stuck out in the photo, that she was going to HAVE to put me in the Weight Watchers program. One Easter Sunday morning, I was sitting up in the big people’s church and mom told me I was constantly chattering and flipping my hat off and on. I had totally embarrassed her and she could not concentrate on the message. The most critical comment that has always stuck with me was when my mom told me she could never love me as her own. I knew then, that I was unworthy of love from anyone. If my real mom had left me behind, and my step mom had made this comment, I must surely be a bad seed. So, the marshmallow remained in the bag, never being opened to puff up. Even though it is hard to admit to myself, let alone to you readers, I have lived my life even my adult life as trying to prove myself. In my first marriage, everything had to be perfect. My children had to be clean at all times. If they played outside and got dirty, they got a bath and clean clothes. If my husband wanted to do something on the spur of the moment, I had to make sure the house was in tidy order. He and I used to argue about this quite a bit. Which was more important, he would say, me or the house. It didn’t seem that way to me, I just wanted it all. The perfect mom, and the perfect wife, a wonderful combination. My second marriage was me trying to be the perfect nurse-maid. I took care of my insecure husband. I made all decisions about anything that has to do with a marriage. I think I enjoyed this power of knowing I was making everything right for another person. I was healing him, right? Wrong. It destroyed me. It wore me down, and in the end, it made me feel more unworthy than in the beginning. The marshmallow still remained in the bag, untouched. All my life I wanted to puff up like the marshmallow, and never got there. I am fifty-eight years old, and have lived over half of my life. I know the reward is to know God, and sit by him in heaven, but I still wanted to succeed in my life. I wanted to feel needed and worthy. I wanted someone at my funeral to say she is going to be really missed. Do you remember that time she made such an impact by doing so and so? I started writing. I wrote about my life and the journey I travel, taking care of my brother. I have tried writing a funny one, and even ventured into the fictional writing, using one of today’s big problems in the world. I have been able to write, placing myself in another person’s shoes. My first story I wrote for the world to view, I received a comment. One of my first followers was Bird. I still tease her today about being my first! More and more comments came in, and I clung to them, and took them to heart. People were liking what they read. They were leaving positive comments. It didn’t matter to me if it was a quick note or a long letter, they were responding to something I was doing. The marshmallow began to move, wanting someone to take it out of the bag. I have had some really good advice given to me among the comments also. One recently was to open my eyes, that my brother, who is mildly mentally challenged, and I stress the word mildly, may also be able to use his mind to manipulate me into giving him what he wanted. I had bent over backwards trying to please him. After all, he is the sick one right? He, in his own mind could still use situations to his own advantage. He cries a lot, due to Parkinson’s, but he also cries to get his own way. Although, he is 57, his mind is 10. Thanks to a comment of advice, that I took, I was able to learn that he can be just like any of us, acting out when we want our own way. It took two days of constant battle from within myself not to give in on his crying binge, wanting me to apologize for something I had not done wrong, but I did win. He finally gave up, and I have now seen more smiles. I did something right. I didn’t let me heart do the work, I let my mind do the work. It felt good. I had succeeded in something. I had a goal, and I completed it and won. As the comments started coming more and more, I realized that I was already a success. Not maybe in the


Marshmallow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

writing area, but a success in my own right as a human being. People opened my eyes and reminded me that God loves me and that I am alright just the way I am. I don’t have to keep trying to prove myself. I am not completely healed. I still count on the comments, but I am relaxing some. I may never be a published author, and I will never be president of anything, but I can be the marshmallow roasting on the stick. Being prepared to be accepted and enjoyed by other human beings.