You'll Be Better Next Time

Well, that weekend was kind of awful.
But what are you gonna do?
It wasn't so much my mom, as my aunt, who kept kind of stepping on me. It's more complicated than that - she has her reasons and I am not going to invalidate those reasons.
I won't do it.
At the same time, I got tired of responding to what felt like constant lecture and complaining.
I know my apartment is cluttered and there's no need to keep bringing it up. I moved into that place 2 years ago, it's very inexpensive but it's convenient, and in the two years that I've lived there, I've acquired stuff. I moved across the country without stuff. If she wanted to pay for a mover in order for me to bring stuff, I would have happily taken her up on the offer but my resources at that time did not allow for movers. I started out in that place with a chair and a twin bed.
But when I tell that story, instead of being allowed to just be the fact, it garnered counter-points like, "Well you should have thought that out better, huh?"
"No. I really thought it out pretty well and it worked for me. You could argue here that I should have done it at 22 instead of 28 but I'm a little slower about some stuff than the other kids. In the end, it worked for me."
I also got a lot of guff about Namoli Brennet. I don't understand that. My aunt is in an alternative relationship. Happens that I'm not in one right now. Why are we discussing this as one of the Troubling Details of Sarah's life? It's not an issue. It was never an issue for me and if it is one, or was one for you, you may have wanted to address this WHILE WE WERE GOING OUT.
That fucking made me mad. Lecturing me with regard to what is strictly your opinion is not okay, not at all, and ESPECIALLY when the lecture occurs (time-wise) so far away from the fact of the matter.
Christ, I don't need that kind of input.
Sidenote: All of it did make me reach out to my sister and I feel a little reconnected there.
I learned of some pretty serious goings on in my extended family history and I pretty much had not one clue that these things happened. They shook me up and I have to say that I felt off upon learning them. I also felt off because I felt like my mom and my aunt didn't want to do anything. Not so much my mom, though. To be honest, I was on edge from feeling cut down all day. I tried to figure out what my aunt wanted to do and I didn't feel like she wanted to do anything, even after indicating that it sounded like a nice thing to do. I drove up to the Northwest side to show her a different Tucson, as requested. I went down to Fourth Avenue as requested. I went to breakfast as requested. I didn't get any positive feedback about anything that I did and I didn't get any input about what she wanted to do differently. It was so frustrating.
And then to also be hearing, "There's nothing special about this; you can find this in Bloomington."
Having lived in Bloomington, I am going to go ahead and effectively disagree with you.
"All yoga is Hatha yoga. These people think they're onto something new and special and it's all Hatha."
While that's essentially true, it's kind of not. I never got inspired by yoga until I started doing Anusara yoga. I even acknowledged to her the importance of a good teacher but seriously, is there any reason to dismiss the style of yoga that I practice, the town that I love, and the relationship I had last year all in one day?
I mean save something for tomorrow, dude. We may run out of Things That I Love before this trip is over and when that happens, I don't know what you will pick on.
My hair?
No wait - we got that picked as well.
Thank god my mother stepped in and said very gently that a better idea might be to get a small trim and clean up the style but to not get a perm.
It's a long story.
I want a perm.
Kind of.

At the end of the day, my mom and my aunt left and I kind of felt like an ass. But I shouldn't feel like an ass. I should feel like someone whose aunt spent the day shooting barbs at her. "Do you even have toilet paper in your house? You should keep that baseball bat by your bed. You should paint this floor (my floor is historic and there is no fucking way I am even considering painting it). You should, why don't you, why DO you," and so on. I can take teasing and I was joking around a lot at first and I was riding the sarcasm tide but I can't believe that it's just joking all the time. I started reading into things and that's never a good thing for me because I am so sensitive. I was worn out and muddy and I'm not sure why the constant dismissal of everything that I tried to show to her was necessary. I'm not going to apologize for being sensitive about that.
My mom had some business that precluded her from spending Friday night and most of Saturday with us. So I get the feeling that at some point, after a fight in the car, which I hate because I feel trapped and like I can't breath, and a fight during which I was not allowed to make any point and believe me people when I say I had a point; my aunt goes and hangs with my mom and tells her that I'm unhappy and that there's nothing nice here and my mom gets all put off before even having a chance to enjoy Tucson and truthfully, I was getting bratty. I felt left out, I felt played, I felt dismissed, I felt like my feelings were hurt and worst of all, I felt like my aunt spun a bunch of negativity to my mom that simply did not need to be spun. My issue was with my aunt and she went to my mom and made it my issue with my mother.
That's so not right.
Oh my god, I just realized that that is what happened. We got played and neither of us took up for the other. I don't think my aunt did it consciously, or on purpose or anything but she stepped between me and my mom on neither of our terms. For sure not on my terms and not the way I have learned that I need to step in order to be effective.

I can't believe how paranoid that sounds but there's the spade, sitting in the plain sight of my mind's eye.

I can say that this is never, ever going to happen again. Sensitivity is an apple and my mom is the freaking seed and she'll never come back to Tucson. At the end of the trip there was this, "I'm sorry we ruined your weekend" thing and I wanted to cry again because she didn't ruin my weekend. Nothing could have made me happier than to see my mom framed by my mountains.

Well, one thing could have made me happier: Not being grilled about how I can love mountains that I don't hike in.
Truly, I got grilled about that. Dude, I don't have to go hiking all the time to love scenery. I camped and hked and did a lot of that when I first moved here but I've been busy with other things of late. Just because I don't pack into the canyon very often doesn't mean I don't love the mountains here. It's something in the way sound moves out here and in the way light reflects into my car that makes me love those mountains, not the fact that I can go tromping through them. I replied to that barb that, "I really got involved with the artsy stuff here and not so much the out-doorsy stuff."
Later, that comment would be taken out of context and applied to argue that I couldn't want to go back to school because I said I was invloved with the arts community.

I have felt really crappy for the way I was perceived to be treating my guests but I didn't feel like they were my guests. I felt like my aunt was there to lambast me for not being at the tip top of acheivement. I felt shitty, too because at the final dinner, I gave up talking to her and was interacting only with my mom. For the nineteenth time I had heard, "You're not happy."
Finally, I turned and looked into my mother's eyes and told her that I have had a rough patch. I had the dissolution of my relationship with Namoli, followed by Matthew and Laura moving very far away, followed by venturing out into the dating world and getting cheated on, followed by a violent mugging, followed by a serious change in the way I feel about my job and that all of this happened in a very short amount of time. It's a rough patch and that's it. I've felt a lot of negative stress. Every fucking day I hope that the stress is going to magically be gone and that the outside forces go away for awhile so that I can have a good patch.
My aunt told me that I should look around and stop feeling like these are stressors because they're not.
Dude. You're absolutely right - one at a time, they are not devestating. Put them all within six months and they pile up. I wanted to say, "Do you think I like feeling like this? Do you think I like feeling out of control and scared and ugly and useless? If you think that, you are fucking crazier than me. I would a thousand times rather feel the way I did 6 months or a year ago, when I could get up, go to work, smile, and enjoy the day with out fearing that something would happen that would devastate me. I really liked living that way. I'm aiming to get back to feeling that way but so far, it ain't happenin'. I am ready, I am waiting, I want to feel back in control but this is a time during which no matter what angle I take, it seems to be the wrong one. GET OFF MY BACK."
I was so tired by then that I couldn't pull those words together and honestly, even if I could've, I probably wouldn't have. I wasn't feeling like putting more out there to have it poo-poo'ed.
I wish it had all been different, I really do. I wish my mom didn't feel like she had to get away from me. I wish she didn't feel like I'm a spoiled brat. I wish she could have seen more of the things I love here and it wasn't possible. I wish she could have seen that my aunt was driving me into a defensive and exhausting corner but I think she assumed it was her fault.
It wasn't.

I am not going to wish that I had been better though. Wish that I had handled things differently?
But wish that I had not tried to address things and tried to turn off the punching machine?
I don't wish for that. I'm glad that even though it was a pathetic attempt at self-expression, I'm glad it was an attempt. In the past, there would have been a pathetic attempt but I would not have recognized it as such and would later have shoved Cheetos down while hiding in my closet and trying to get the cats to hide with me.
No, I don't know what the hiding would be from but it used to be that hiding felt good. Deal with it.

I hope that next time is an even better attempt to trust myself and be myself while being lectured about the unremarkableness of the things and peope that I love.
Next time, I hope I am better at that.

arizonasarah at 1:27 p.m.

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