Head, meet wall. Wall, meet head. Repeat.

Hi, my name is Nyghtmist and I am a stupid fucking idiot.

What is the definition of stupidity, ladies and gents? Doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results.

Just wanted to have that out there.

Recall that my grandma is here visiting. Recall also that my grandma, like my parents, likes to go to the casino to gamble.

My grandma is on a fixed income. Apparently that income has gone for this month. Her bills are all paid, at least, so to be without money is an annoyance, but not a major one.

Or so I thought.

For a bit of background before we get to the meat, my parents are on vacation now. They have “no money” for entertainment this week so they are mad, but they never have money on their vacations so I don’t know why they’re surprised.

To the meat: my parents and grandma went to the casino last night and stayed there until about 2 in the morning. They went again this morning with some money the Lord of Lassitude had (he wanted to see if they could win him some more money).  I guess they lost that money, because they were all back in an hour or so, looking and feeling sad.

About 20 minutes ago, I get a knock on my bedroom door (I’ve been staying away just so I don’t have to feel the low-level craving for the casino that they all have swirling inside them–if you’ve ever been around anyone with an addiction, you know what that feels like).

I know who’s at my door, and I have a really good idea of what they want.

Sure enough, it’s Volcano. He says, “We have a really big favor to ask you.” He’s using the voice he uses when he asks for favors, so yeah, it’s pretty big.

I’m tempted to ask, “How much?” before he even asks, because I know he–they, the three of them–want money to feed the demon. But I stay quiet; there’s a possibility–a tiny, tiny, small possibility–that I’m wrong.

“Your grandma wants to borrow 200 dollars.”

My eyebrows shoot up at this and I think, If *she* wants to borrow the money, why are *you* in my face asking for it?

I guess I’m quiet too long because Volcano says, “She says she’ll give it back to you as soon as she gets her money next week.”

“Why does she need 200 dollars?” I ask. I know why, but damn it, I want him to tell me.  I want him to say it to my face.

He closes up, and now I get the anger lashed out at me. “I don’t have to tell you that. We’re your parents, and we don’t have to tell you why. Will you loan us the money or not?”

I go downstairs, and my grandma and the Keeper of the Holograms are sitting on the couch, looking up expectantly.

“So, you guys want this money so you can go to the casino to spend it, huh?” I say. My voice is dripping acid.

KotH says, “See, this is why I didn’t want to ask her. I knew she’d give me this attitude. I wanted to go borrow it from [a payday loan place] but your dad said to ask you.”

My grandma says, “I promise to give it right back to you.” She keeps saying it. I feel sorry for her. She’s the reason I cave (damn fucking idiot, see?) and say, “Well, come on, somebody take me to the bank so I can get this over with.”

I assure my grandma that I believe her.

Volcano takes me to the bank, and on the way there he says, “You shouldn’t be that way. She said she’d give it back to you. She won’t take your money.”

“The money is not the point,” I say.

“You shouldn’t have come downstairs and said that about the casino.”

“Why not? It’s what you all want the money for, right?”

“But you knew already. Why’d you ask?” Volcano says.

“Because I might have been wrong. You could have wanted the money for a new fridge  (which is on its last legs, fyi, Constant Reader).”

Volcano is miffed at that. “When we need money for a new fridge, we won’t ask you. Not for that (his emphasis).”

I roll my eyes, and he continues, “Besides we’re family and you shouldn’t be that way with family.”

“I don’t have the right to ask why you want my money?”

“Your grandma wants it,” he says.

“But you were the one up there asking me for it, not her. All of you will go there and spend it. I already know that. But you’re mad at me because I want to know what you want it for? Every other time you want to borrow money from me, you say why, but not this time.”

“You knew already,” Volcano says. “If you knew already there’s no reason to tell you.”

“Whatever,” I say, totally annoyed now–with myself and the situation.

“You shouldn’t act this way,” Volcano says, returning to his old refrain. “We’re family. You should want to help your family.”

Somebody please come over and slap me. Please? Or kill me maybe, so this won’t keep happening.

Public announcement

Ladies and gentlemen, it has come to my awareness that I hate my life.

And why shouldn’t I? My parents are junkies who are more inclined to use all their money and time to feed their addiction than they are to make sure the house has necessities like toilet paper, at the same time downplaying their situation and somehow making everything sound like bad luck just happened to come out of the woodwork.

It’s like they’re busily taking a sledgehammer to the underpinning of their lives, but saying that the shaky foundations are holding everything up just fine.

And because I’m an idiot, I’m running around with extra rock and plaster and whatever else you use to shore up foundations, working like three dogs trying to hold everything together.  Why? Because for some stupid reason I can’t just let it all fall to pieces.

The people who’ve done this thing aren’t concerned with the minutiae of everyday getting by. No, all they care about is going off and feeding the demon, instead of sitting down and trying to figure out how to stop their slide into the muck.  And once they *do* end up in the muck, guess whose fault it’s going to be, either directly, because something didn’t get done, or indirectly just because some flimsy reason they make up sounds good? Three guesses, and the first two don’t count.

Nothing’s giving, and it seems that nothing will give ever. All the doors are closed and not opening.

Feelings about going no contact

I have been thinking hard about going no contact with my parents as soon as I can get away from them–which if what I’m planning happens will be in the next six weeks or so.

I feel guilty for not wanting anything to do with them–maybe never again, certainly not for a while. They’re my parents; they raised me, took care of me, did what they could for me. Now I want to leave them high and dry. What kind of ingrate does that?

It doesn’t seem to matter that they did all this stuff to me. Part of me wonders if I did something to deserve it all, why I can’t seem to find the magic words to open them up.

And now I want to run fast and far away from them. Is my sanity or what’s left of my self-worth and self-esteem worth hurting them that way? It doesn’t feel like it is.

It’s not even the fact that I want to go away. It’s the fact that I want to stay away. No contact, ever. Not for anything, not even if they died, which is really horrible. Who doesn’t go to their parents’s funerals?

I just feel tired. I feel empty. I wish I didn’t feel like such a leech.  I wish I could cry about it, but what good would crying do?

Goodnight, folks.

Muteness: a dream

Once I managed to fall asleep last night, I dreamed that I was up on a stage in an auditorium. I was wearing this really long dress that sparkled in the stage lights and I was about to sing or do something before the audience.

Every time I opened my mouth, though, my mother would stand up and yell. “You’re no good!” “You’re faking; why don’t you come down from there and let the professionals do it?” ” Why are you wasting these people’s time? They’ve got better things to do than sit and listen to you.” ” She could never do this; listen to me, I sound much better!”  All kinds of things: insults, slurs, even just screeching, once or twice.

Each time she said something, the lights on me would go down little by little, the sparkle of my dress would dim. It would get harder and harder to perform. Finally I had the bright idea to say nothing until she finished her outbursts, but as I stood on the stage silent, she’d clap her hands and yell out encouragement. But when I opened my mouth, again she’d come out with something withering.

I felt frozen up there, with the stage lights in my eyes, the invisible audience (besides my mother) watching me. I had the sheets of whatever I was supposed to do in my hands, but when I finally got the nerve to just yell louder than my mother if I had to  and looked at the sheets for reassurance of where to start, they were blank.

All of the sheets were blank, except for the last one, which had fiery writing on it that wasn’t consuming the paper. Written in capital letters over and over was:

SAY THE WORDS YOU KNOW TO BANISH THIS. REACH INSIDE YOURSELF, AND FIND THE WORDS TO END HER REIGN. THE WORDS ARE THERE; YOU MUST ONLY REMEMBER THEM.

I woke up still trying to find the right words.

On birthdays

Today is my goddaughter’s birthday. Her mother and I have been friends since we were nine.  On Facebook, she posted a very sweet thing saying how her daughter was the best thing in her life.

It makes me sad because I know it’s the kind of thing my mother would never say about me.  Oh, she’d say it if she had to (like if she was up on a stage or had people looking at her in some other way), but she’d never mean it the way I know my friend means what she posted.

My parents barely acknowledge my birthday. The only reason my mother remembers this year is because my grandmother leaves to go back home the day after. I had to put a reminder in my father’s phone so he’ll remember.  Yes, you read that right: I had to put a reminder in his phone so he’d remember my birthday.

I remember everybody’s birthdays, once I know when they are. I remember the birthdays of people I haven’t seen or talked to in years. If I care about you, damn right I remember your birthday, even if it’s just to send you a text or e-mail (or just lately a Facebook wall post) wishing you a good one.

But what does it say about me that my own parents don’t care about my birthday? Recall, I’m Child version 1.0.  They remember my sibs’ birthdays with no prompting. They get angry if we don’t remember their birthdays with the appropriate amount of ceremony.

Maybe I’m too old to have this get to me this way.

Party food: the aftermath

This morning the Keeper of the Holograms knocked on my bedroom door.

Script time!

KotH: How come you didn’t stay downstairs for the party yesterday?

Me: I didn’t feel well, Mom. I’ve been tired.

KotH: People were asking for you! How could you stay away like that?

Me: I wasn’t feeling well. Would you rather I stayed down there with all those people and felt worse, or stay upstairs and try to feel better?

KotH: [One of my cousins present at the party] saw you outside while it was raining. You want to catch cold?

Me: Actually, being out there helped me want to eat something. I would’ve stayed out longer if the rain had lasted longer.

KotH: You didn’t eat enough! There was all this food and you barely ate enough to taste it.

Me: I’ve not been very hungry lately. Besides, all that was heavy stuff: stuffing, barbecued chicken, jambalaya, more. I took a look at it all and my stomach folded up. But to keep myself from being too sick, I ate a small helping of the lightest thing there. Even now, I can’t eat much–still not very hungry, and my stomach and I haven’t come to an understanding yet.

KotH: Is this some weird religious thing? You call yourself fasting or something?

Me: No. If I were fasting, I’d have said so.

KotH: So what’s with the not eating?

Me: I told you, I haven’t been hungry.

KotH: How can you not be hungry? I wake up in the morning starving.

Me: Lucky you. If I’m starving in the morning, I must have just come off being sick for a while. I don’t think about food, except when it’s time to think about what to make for dinner.

KotH: You’re going to make people think I don’t feed you or something.

 

Yes, I know I need to eat more. I don’t know how I could have told her that the thought of eating all that heavy stuff was making me sick, and forcing myself to do it would not have ended well.

I understand that she’s concerned about me maybe wasting away, but what about the first part of what I said, that I’ve been tired? She just glossed over that part. Maybe she didn’t hear it.

The insufficient storm

The party was had. I suppose it went well; I wasn’t feeling up to making nice to the hordes of folks who were here, so I hid in my bedroom.

You’d think with all the people hanging around here, I’d want to be in the thick of them, given how I feel right now. Nope. I swept the gathering, and besides the kids, I didn’t like the feel of anybody present. More than half of those present were family, if that means anything. The only reason I didn’t hide with the kids is because they were being very loud and I had a headache that wouldn’t let me handle screaming.

There was a thunderstorm rolling over us and I went out and got rained on. It felt good, invigorating. I wish I could’ve stayed out longer. That energy helped me feel well enough to eat something.

It’s not enough.

I’m heading to bed now. Maybe I’ll get a bright idea while I’m sleeping.