Thursday, June 28, 2012

Operation Die Rocky Die!

What follows is a true story told to the best of recollection. No names have been changed, no stances have been softened (which should be clear, because I come off like an asshole).

Me: Babe, what's that sound?

Hubs: What sound?

Me: That sound behind the bookcase.

Hubs: I don't hear it.

Me: The beagles are hunting my books, babe. Something's in the chimney.

Hubs: Probably just a lost squirrel.

It's not a squirrel, it's a goddamn raccoon. We learn this when our crazy-ass neighbor calls us at midnight one night to let us know that the raccoon is sitting on the top of the house near the chimney. After that it's like a game. Walk the dogs at twilight, and there's the raccoon, waiting for us to get the beagles out of the way. During the day, we hear raccoon noises. Hubs decides to put moth balls in the chimney cleanout. (We have a chimney, and a chimney cleanout, but no fireplace. We have bookshelves instead.)

The mothballs have little to no effect. My beagles are pulling the books off the shelves with their teeth and ripping off the paint job with their nails. I begin an almost daily round of questions about new tactics to remove the raccoon. This is because I'm having a set of recurring nightmares where the raccoon eats through the bookshelf and gives the baby rabies.

Hubs: I called the Humane Society. The bid is roughly 300 dollars, but they can't be sure that the traps can be checked or fit down the chimney.

Me: How much to hire a country boy with a shotgun to just shoot down the chimney?

Hubs: I think I have a plan.

Me: Does your plan end up with dead raccoon?

Hubs: So you're not planning to be helpful of humane today?

Me: The raccoon is not going to hurt my dogs or my baby.

Hubs: We can't pull the raccoon out of a cleanout, and what if it has babies.

Me: Chimney fishing. Probably executed by the same guy that does the shooting.

Hubs: (labored sighing)Would you like to hear my plan?

Me: Fine.

Hubs: I'm going to buy some Critter Ridder --

Me: That's a stupid name.

Hubs: It's supposed to encourage the raccoon to leave. I'll put it down the chimney, and then we'll wait a few days, so the raccoon gets out, and takes any babies with it.

Me: Down the chimney?

Hubs: Yes.

Me: What's to stop the raccoon from eating your face?

Hubs: I'll wear protective gear of some sort. After a few days, I'll put some duct tape on the chimney and we can check and see if the raccoon has moved out. Once we're sure it has, we can cap the chimney.

Me: You're going to go back up the chimney and check on tape?

Hubs: Yes.

Me: The raccoon is going to eat your face.

Hubs: You're ridiculous.

Me: My plan is better.

Hubs: I'm done talking to you today.

Me: Where is our ladder? Is it even big enough?

Hubs: At S&C's. I'll pick it up.

He didn't pick it up for several days. I picked it up.

Hubs then gets bronchitis, and I have to be the voice of reason that tells him that a half-dying man shouldn't be scaling a 30+ ft. ladder. His bronchitis last several weeks. In the meantime, we have to block the bookshelf with suitcases, vacuum cleaners, and decommissioned trash cans. When I'm not obsessing over how to protect the books, I'm gritting my teeth about hubby's plague and babies with rabies and trying not to stomp-stomp-slam around my house.

After several years (it seems) we finally execute the critter ridder portion of this operation. I will certainly keep you posted on how things proceed. In the interim, one of my ex-military friends has offered to be my backup raccoon-sniper, but he's still pondering whether or not he has the fishing skills to finish my plan.

The baby is currently rabies free, but I'm thinking of sleeping with a cookie sheet strapped to my belly. That's totally reasonable, right?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Weeks 11-13 ish June 17th

I’m pregnant. I’m only a few weeks along, so it’s still a ‘secret’ or something. I’m recording these thoughts so that I can remember them clearly and share them with you later.

Let's see, what have we missed?

When we left off, I was peeing into receptacles all day so I could store it in a jug.(I recently learned that this is fairly common for hypertensive pregnancies. I think any woman that experienced this and didn't share the fact with me in advance is a traitor to the sisterhood.) I can pretty much guarantee that none of you had the same rocking start to your Memorial Day weekend. Still awaiting the results of this deeply vital test where you don't get the results for over two weeks. (I know that they've been lost. I'm sure of it. I'm going to have to do this again, and probably soon. I'm just refusing to think about it now.)

I was also gearing up to meet the emergency doc. Before I did that, I had an appointment with a different, more sane doctor from my practice. I can probably work with him. He doesn't seem as prone to fainting as the previous doctor, and he actually managed to acknowledge that there is very little wrong with me (beyond my recurring nightmares about Cosmo buying the National Mall and my general cantankerous nature).

The super emergency doc was a little amused by me. (Which, let me be honest, is the best way to deal with me. If you clearly find me charming, I'll work much harder to maintain a good relationship with you. I'm a walking ego glued together by swear words, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.)

Bottom line: I have to take a bunch more tests and have a few more doctor appointments. So far everything's good. Oh wait! I also had to buy a blood pressure machine and test my blood pressure twice a day. So far we're up to 6 tests of my person a day. This making it fun to do things like function and leave the house. Love, love, love a challenge.

I also had another sonogram (part of my pre-screening stuff) and this was super fun because the little nugget would not stop dancing! Leg wiggles, arm wiggles, somersaults, I saw it all. All of the pictures are garbage, but what a fun way to spend an afternoon. My next chapter in these chronicles will cover more about theoretical babies, and not my own. Things are never quiet around here.

Things I need to figure out before the baby comes:

1. Is my whole house a choking hazard?
2. Do I need to spend the next four months doing every home improvement project that I've been putting off? Will I ever have time for that stuff again?
3. It's pretty much time to start throwing things out, isn't it? I need to free up space for things I can't yet identify.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Week 8-11 thoughts 5/10-5/29

I’m pregnant. I’m only a few weeks along, so it’s still a ‘secret’ or something. I’m recording these thoughts so that I can remember them clearly and share them with you later.

Houston, we have heartbeat! Hubs and I went to our sonogram and got our first view of our little nugget. That was easily the coolest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Seeing the little one hanging out was pretty wild (Note: if this post doesn’t come with a picture, it’s because I can’t figure out to load and crop it… or because I was too busy napping to get it done. One of those.), and I’m officially obsessed with seeing and hearing the little nugget. That appointment was just before Mother’s Day, so we had copies to include in Mother’s Day cards for the anxious grandmas-to-be.

The subsequent doctor’s appointment was less fun. It was 90 minutes of fear with a pap smear topper. Apparently you can test for every possible genetic abnormality, which means that you can also worry yourself to death about such anomalies. I’m being tested to find out if I’m a sickle cell carrier. There’s absolutely no way my kid’s going to have sickle cell (hubs is white), but at some point I just needed the doctor to stop talking.

As a bonus, they sent me home with a jug and told me to store (ALL) my pee for 24 hours, and then drive it around the suburbs so I could drop it off at a lab. I have to do this because the words ‘diabetes’ and ‘hypertension’ give all ob/gyns the vapors, even the patient is perfectly healthy considering said conditions. I’m really glad I had today off. I’m doubly glad that tomorrow’s the weekend. I can’t imagine how mad I’d be if I had to take the subway with my pee in my bag. (Or, better yet, collect my pee at the office.) There’s no dignity in urine storage (and refrigeration. Did I fail to mention that I have to refrigerate it?).

The other great news was that I get to meet with a super-dire-emergency doctor to concoct a super-dire-emergency plan. Also, if my (so tightly controlled that I don’t even have to think about it beyond watching my diet and taking my pills) diabetes condition worsens and I need to go on an insulin pump, my doctor’s office will break up with me. I walked out of this appointment, called the hubs, and demanded that he meet me for some (carb-heavy, because I’m a scary and naughty diabetic) pizza.

I was understandably upset, as I hadn’t realized when I walked in to my appointment that the sky was falling. I knew that there were tests to help you find out if your fetus has Down’s or Trisomy 18 or something else, but I figured that I was about 10 years away from having to worry about such things. Oh no, apparently I should find out, because if I want to terminate, I need to know before it’s too late. All of a sudden, it’s a matter that I have to discuss with my husband (can’t assume to know his mind on everything), and now I’m thinking what else is there to worry about, which is good, because then we started to talk about cystic fibrosis (I think I’m getting tested for that too).

Somewhere along the way, I got a lecture on how I have to test my blood sugar 4 times a day, so we have a baseline for when it all goes kablooey. (Not if, but when, because at this point the doctor has taken to his settee with the vapors and is screeching for cool libations. It’s Gyno on a Hot Tin Roof or something.)

I’m sure that there are those that would call me na├»ve, but I feel better now than I have in years, and I’m just not worried. This baby is gonna be fine. We’re all gonna be just fine. (My mom told me I was Zen, which is true, but hilarious if you know me well, because I’m a total control freak.) If hubs gets the attic done on time, he won’t even get his feelings hurt by his cranky wife. There’s really nothing to worry about. My doctors don’t trust my gut, which is fine, but they’re needlessly terrified, which makes me anxious. I feel like I should be taking care of them. Am I practicing my maternal instinct? Because I'd like to save that for someone I actually like.

Somewhere in between these two appointments, the hubs and I made a speech at church. We were asked to talk about why we pledged to the capital campaign, and we had the opportunity to talk about how much we loved the church, all of the support we got from our community when John had cancer, and then we told hundreds of people that we were having a baby. Now it’s real. Really awesome.

Things I need to learn/do before the baby comes:
1. How to say no to unnecessary shenanigans, even if my doctor is on his fainting couch.
2. I need a book that tells me what babies do at what size. Like, when do they roll over and stuff?
3. I need another book that walks me through prepping my spoiled and ridiculous dogs for the baby’s arrival.
4. Figure out how to use Pinterest to stockpile baby stuff
5. Explain to John how rainforest is the coolest possible theme for the baby area.
6. Figure out the shape/dimensions of the baby area.
7. Plot the Facebook official announcement (How tacky should we go? I’m thinking a timeline picture of me doing my best food baby impression. With my belly painted up like a pumpkin.)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Week 8-9 thoughts 5/1 through 5/9

I’m pregnant. I’m only a few weeks along, so it’s still a ‘secret’ or something. I’m recording these thoughts so that I can remember them clearly and share them with you later.

I think I figured out the omelet situation. I had one successful flip over! I’ll have to keep practicing, though.

My hormones are terrible. I suspect that nicotine withdrawal is a factor here as well, but let’s just say it’s really easy to lose my temper, and my husband is not-really-but-possibly-and-by-that-I-mean-totally hiding from me. My temper has always been pretty impressive, but I’ve had some epic rants, which lead to tears, which leads to exhaustion.

Everything leads to exhaustion these days. Also everything smells, and I spent most of my day fighting back the urge to vomit.

Things that smell awful (that used to smell great):
• Bacon
• Basil
• Bourbon
• Prosecco
(I know I can’t have the last two, but I don’t know why they have to smell so bad.)

I don’t think I’ve ever slept like this. Not even when I was a baby. It is the purest, most perfect sleep I can conceive. It’s fantastic, truly fantastic. For a part-time insomniac, 10-12 hours of blessed unconsciousness is a wonderful thing. I wish I could have it forever.

This week’s big drama: I went to the bathroom in early May and saw one drop of blood. As any pregnant or previously pregnant person knows, this is either a minor thing or a miscarriage and there is no in-between. (I won’t even tell you what my beloved Internet had to say about the situation. I can’t believe I didn’t have a stroke right there.) I called my doctor’s office, and then I wandered around downtown for 45 minutes (I wasn’t sure if I’d need to go to the hospital, and I figured it would be easier to do from downtown, where there were cabs and subways, and not at my house, where there are trees and beagles, neither of which provide transportation.) Eventually I gave up and went home.

Like any sane person, I immediately went to bed and put my feet up, just in case my rigorous schedule of sitting at a desk all day somehow led to calamity. By the time my doctor called, I’d spend 30 minutes of the least fun I’d ever had on my back. For nothing. (Thank goodness.)

That’s how it works though. Excess worry (you worry about being too worried, in case your stress makes your kid left-handed or something) combined with (for me, at least) the more than occasional moment of complete wonder at the wild and crazy stuff my body is doing. I have to say that getting and being pregnant is the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me. Also I want ham.

Things we need to do before the baby arrives:
1. Renovate the attic. Hubs is working (panicking) diligently on this one.
2. Rearrange the first floor rooms (also, agree on the fate of the first floor rooms. Also, discuss the fate of the first floor rooms.)
3. Buy and install a dishwasher (finally). This one we’ve put off for ages because it seemed not that important and a bit of a hassle, but it definitely needs to happen soon.

Things I need to learn before the baby arrives:
1. The names of all the bands from the 90s that did kid’s albums
2. What this “Disney Vault” business really means
3. Is Blu-ray going to beat DVD? Should I be investing in one of those for kids movies and the like? And how do you find that out?
4. What goes in a diaper bag besides diapers and baby powder? A flask/blackberry/chewable cardboard book? What else?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bestie and I discuss the pregnancy

I’m pregnant. I’m only a few weeks along, so it’s still a ‘secret’ or something. I’m recording these thoughts so that I can remember them clearly and share them with you later.

When it came to telling my very best friend I was pregnant, I picked the classiest possible avenue: I texted her a picture of my pee stick while she was at Blue Man Group. I've been emailing her every tiny, ridiculous, detail ever since.

From: Dindc
Subject: it's official!!
According to the doctor's office, I’m 4ish weeks. I have to go back next week and get another stabbing. Hooray!!!!!!

From: WTM
To: Dindc
YAY!!!!!!! That is SO Freaking Awesome!!!

From: Dindc
In your absence, I’ve secured a lightly-used car seat, some sort of sleeping pillow, some clothes and other “stuff”, a copy of “What to Expect” and a set of color-coded lists. (My friend Mara is as nutty as I am).

From: WTM
To: Dindc
Be aware that car seats have a safety shelf life. Generally, car seats should only be used for 5 years and make sure it was NEVER in a vehicle that was in any sort of accident.
I will have things for you as well if you want them. Even a crib with a built-in changing table and 3 drawers that converts to a toddler bed – complete with mattress - if you want it. It is about 5 years old and hardly used over the last 3 years. Otherwise it’s yard sale fodder.
I also have an exersaucer, high chair, 785,000 baby toys and books (should you want them) and I happened to find a very small box of clothes that I was saving for … I don’t know. Memories, I guess. I’ve moved past the saving-my-babies-clothes phase of my life.

From: Dindc

Hubs and I need to talk about the short-term redesign that needs to happen, and then we can figure out what size crib we need and such…
What’s an exersaucer?

From: WTM
To: Dindc
It’s a baby containment device with noisy, stimulating “doo-hickeys”
Flat on the bottom or bowl-shaped so baby can rock around and wobble (but not fall) and the seat spins for 360 degrees of entertainment.
Crucial for peeing, cooking and other things you want to do without a 15 pound accident-magnet on your hip.

From: Dindc
Ah! I have been calling that a scoot-around thingy. I have so much to learn.

From: WTM
To: Dindc
BTW – I have a new bookmark folder on my computer called “buy for baby”.

What followed was an assortment of onesie shenanigans. Then:
From: Dindc

The little sesame seed is going to be all decked out (current name: bill the blastula, later Margot the zygote and cleetus the fetus)!
And if they’re right, it’s looking like a Christmas baby.

From: WTM
To: Dindc
Apocalypse baby!!!!

From: Dindc
Well, I had to outdo the Y2K baby, what can I say? (Ed. Note: WTM had a Y2K baby)

From: WTM
To: Dindc
I like Paco the Apocalypse baby. We should call it baby Paco.

From: Dindc
I was just getting used to discussing theo the theoretical baby….

From: WTM
To: Dindc
Well, Theo moved out and Paco moved in. Besides, Paco rhymes with taco. And tacos are more awesome than a no-pants-dance.

From: Dindc
No more coffee for WTM.

From: WTM
To: Dindc
It was a 2-cup kinda day thanks to not enough sleep. It does not help that between 3 and 5, my meds peak and get all twitchy.

From: Dindc
I already miss coffee.

From: WTM
To: Dindc
There is nothing wrong with decaf. Or a little coffee. I avoided it 100% with my first and had ½ a cup 2-3 times a week with my second. I craved it when I was pg with my second. Go figure.

From: Dindc
Decaf is a communist lie.
I had a cup of coffee today. But I’m going from 4-6 cups a day to 1 every other day, and it’s been rough.

From: WTM
To: Dindc
You don’t have to go hard-core to one every other day. Try just one a day or try to switch to tea. And scale back from there.
The nice thing – after 1 ½ - 2 years without much caffeine (9 months gestation and then nursing), one cup will make you bounce off the walls. And one beer will get your drunk.

From: Dindc
I guess. I had a cup today, and I had none yesterday. Yesterday was murder.

From: WTM
To: Dindc
Really, a little is okay. Just scale back gradually. It’ll make you feel better, too.

From: Dindc
How much is “1”? I think I have more ounces than most people.

From: WTM
To: Dindc
Stop being so literal... Geeze! One coffee cup. Scale back to one of “your” cups (bowls), then to one of “normal people” coffee cups.
Just go in steps so you’re not insanely grouchy and you don’t get the caffeine withdrawal migraines. Give yourself a week with each step-down.

From: Dindc

YOU bought me the enormous coffee cop, so YOU can’t tell me I’m being literal.
And of course I’m being nutty about this, it’s me. I like precision (and also coffee).

From: WTM
To: Dindc
Okay, okay. I’ll take the blame. But I can still tell you that you are being literal. It’s not a science. It’s not like beer or smoking where STOP YESTERDAY OR ELSE!!!!!!! is on the label. It’s something you want to work away from diligently. Like your anxiety meds. You need to get off those if you can, too. They transfer through your blood to the baby. But only stop with your doctor’s direction.

From: Dindc
I’m not on anxiety meds, I just should be.
Haven’t been on them in years.

From: WTM
To: Dindc
Oooohhhh. I thought you were. Never mind then

From: Dindc
No worries. I’m flattered that you thought that all *this* was medicated. Clearly I’m doing better than I thought.

From: WTM
To: Dindc


From: Dindc
I’ll take it!

From: WTM
To: Dindc

Monday, June 18, 2012

Week 4(ish) Thoughts- 4/21

I’m pregnant. I’m only a few weeks along, so it’s still a ‘secret’ or something. I’m recording these thoughts so that I can remember them clearly and share them with you later.

I took a pregnancy test on Tuesday evening and got a positive result. Like any sane, reasoned, person, I grabbed my urine-soaked pregnancy test, put on my flip flops, and staggered out onto my soaking wet lawn to find my husband, who was trying to finish mowing the part we call “the back 40” with the last 20 minutes of daylight. Roughly 65 yards of uphill nonsense later, I flagged down my husband while screaming, “Stop! Come here!” I may have also been hyperventilating. He gave me that look he always gives me, that “what fresh hell is this?” look, and I waggled the pregnancy test in front of his face. I’m sure I probably got urine on him too. He was pretty happy, once he steadied my hand so he could get a good look at the urine-soaked harbinger. We had a very sweet kiss, and roughly 95 seconds of happiness before he went insane.

Anyway, after he stopped feeling faint, hubs told me that I needed to go to a doctor to get “an official record.” He started making all these strange throat-clearing noises, and urging me not to “jump to conclusions” and whatnot. Then he said, “just call the office and schedule a test, we may not know for weeks.”

I think hubs thought that pregnancy tests still involved rabbits. I had a “definitive” answer by Thursday, and then I had a proper basketcase on my hands. He wakes up in the middle of the night in a sweaty panic, mumbling about fencing lessons and the Ivy League. In the past few days, he’s attempted to restrict me from electronics, standing, and direct light. He also jumps several feet in the air anytime I
• Swear
• Stub my toe
• Crinkle bits of paper

I think he’s probably a little stressed out.

I’m OK, for the most part. I feel like I have two large bags of sharp rocks strapped to my chest. I wince in pain when I take off my shirt. I wake up at 3 or 3:30am every morning, and stay up until about 4. I’m calling it the nightly ‘read-and-pee.’ It’s helping me get through all manner of stuff on my Kindle, and that’s nice, because I can’t really focus on reading during my typical waking hours, because my brain has turned into foam.

Cigarettes are disgusting, and they make me want to puke. I still crave them, however, so I’m in this hellish limbo where I want something that simultaneously makes me nauseous. That part is super fun!

I’m trying to make sure that I’m eating right. For me, that means googling “pregnancy foods” and eating whatever the Internet tells me to eat. This is probably why I have the worst gas of my life. I’m a well-educated person, and I realize that this is a particularly stupid way to live, but I think it’s easy to be vulnerable and stupid because of the secrecy. (A friend of mine offers a thoughtful takedown of the ‘secret’ here) Thankfully, my bestie has been patiently easing me off the fiber, as the new fiber-rich diet was turning me into the smelliest thing in my fair city, and that's a major feat.

I know that I’m still in the ‘danger zone.’ I know that 5 or 10 percent of ‘diagnosed’ pregnancies don’t make it past the first trimester. (Side note: I’m reading a book that gives both figures as correct, and I’ve stepped away from the Internet on this one. Also, the phrase ‘diagnosed pregnancy’ is one of those phrases that make me hate everything about science and medicine.) I also know that I need my tribe of moms to tell me that my chest will stop hurting eventually, and that I should give the hubs a little break on his craziness, and tell me that it makes sense that I can’t sleep. I’ve reached out to a lot of people this week, and I’m already grateful for the help and support. (I also like that so many people are happy for me and full of hugs.) I’ll take my chances, I guess.

Things I need to learn before the baby comes:

1. How to make an omelet. How do you make it flip over and stuff?
2. Knitting
3. Crocheting (I can do basic stuff, but I need to get better)
4. Sewing (I can do an ugly theatre stitch, but I can't really sew)
5. Jump rope songs
6. Jacob’s Ladder
7. The words to go-to-sleep lullabies

So much to think about.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Who are we to each other, really?

As young girls, we seek out friendship based on the most basic of premises. The girl that sit next to you on the first day of school, the girl with the prettiest barrettes, any excuse to forge a deep connection with your potential best friend forever. It’s supposed to be about hopscotch and tea parties, but it’s out there from day one: Deviate from the norm and be rejected. Fail to entertain and be rejected. New girls are automatically cooler than everyday friends. Young friendship is full of pitfalls.

And that stuff hurts. It hurts when you find yourself shoved out of those fierce friendships. They’re new, but you’re holding on tight because you don’t know any better. Inevitably, though, you’re going to get ditched.
(At this point it should be clear that I’m not talking about the sort of girls that flit easily from friendship to friendship as children, and have seemingly easygoing friendships for the rest of their lives. Those girls should go read Jezebel or something.)

One of my friends was telling me that her young daughter had a terrible time with keeping friends. She would get along great with someone for 2-3 days, then the other little girl would start to drift away, and she’d get really upset and treat them badly. My friend would look at her daughter and see herself. We wondered if you could ever fix that neediness, or if you’re born with this hunger and it never goes away. Her mom was one of those girls. I was one of those girls. Neither of us had an answer.

It makes your grownup friendships interesting, I think. I’ve definitely severed friendships (or at least closed my heart and put up some boundaries) with people that seemed to care a lot less than I did. I used to worry about this a lot, but I justified it in my head by telling myself that I gave so much of myself to my good friends and I didn’t have energy for people that didn’t really care about me.
I do spend a lot of time on my friends. I take late night phone calls, I spend hours listening to people cry. I pride myself on never walking away from people when they need someone. I don’t think I’m that person anymore.

I took a phone call the other day from an old friend. She’s been struggling with some issues for many years, and she’s not in a good place. For the past few years, we’ve had this routine: I probably talk to this friend 3-5 times a week for a few months, take a few weeks off, and begin again. Helping her work through her thoughts and feelings is a significant part of my life. It makes me pretty tired, but she and I have been friends for a long time and I love her very much. When I was not at my best, she was a loyal and steadfast friend. This is who we are to each other. Of course I would take her calls, of course I would help her work through the circuitous and damaging patterns in her brain.

This phone call was different though. This was a bad call. My friend was calling to say that she was planning to commit suicide in the coming days. She was resolute in her plan, and she’d given me a list of a few people to touch base with after the fact. She was going on about her plans in great detail, and she asked me if I supported her decision.

There are limits, you know. To everything, for everyone. Asking a person to be collateral damage in your suicide is pretty fucking selfish, and it’s doubly selfish to ask that of me. I have already been collateral damage in someone else’s shit show, and I’m not shy about sharing my complete and utter lack of respect for suicide. So this conversation didn’t go well.

The kindest, most coherent thing I could say was ‘I understand that you’ve made this decision, but I don’t respect it, and I refuse to pretend that it’s OK.’ Eventually I hung up on her, and I wondered if “fuck you,” would be the last thing I ever said to her. I struggled with this. I wanted to be as loving as possible, if this was my last chance, but I felt like any capitulation to this choice was just…betraying my fundamental values in some way. I’m not willing to weep at her bedside like we’re in Little Women. Everything about that choice is bullshit.

As a rule, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about my father. When I do, I try not to spend that time dwelling on what a colossal fuckup he was as a parent and a partner, but there’s something about suicide that sends me right back down memory lane.

She sent me a text later that night, but I ignored it.

She sent me one a few days later telling me she’d changed her mind and that she wanted to talk.

Am I supposed to do a happy dance now? Because I’m still pretty pissed. I feel manipulated and abused and run through the sternum, and I don’t see why. I think this may be the end of my tether. I think I may have to walk away from someone that has asked for my help. I think this is my limit. I’m out of compassion. I’m out of energy.

Plus, this shit’s not working.