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  • Writer's picturecocodensmore

If my life were a novel, I'd sure as fuck read it.

July 26, 2023


I just revisited this piece this morning. I’d forgotten about it. It's been in my drafts since last August.


I’m amazed I predicted so accurately how things would play out. It was so clear certain events were imminent. It’s a fine bit of writing as well. So, there’s that.


Jayne and her husband are fostering four new children, all thriving. I’ve been afraid to bond, I want to wait. I was devasted when those first three went to kin last year. But this is better, for me to hold back a bit, at least for now. I’m a foster aunt, I must remind myself.


I spoke with Don the other day. When we spoke, I reminded him that last August 13th was the day he met His Person.


"I can't believe how much we're alike," he said. "I never thought I'd meet someone so perfect for me."


I felt happiness for him. And also pride in the knowing I was the one that helped him see he's a wonderful man with a great deal to offer. I was the one he asked how to handle her asking him out, if he should make a date. I was the one that said YES, and in a sense, gave him permission to get on with his life with someone wholly suited for him. I feel really good about that.


Is there a happy ending? For Don, absolutely. It's coming up on a year and I’m quite certain the lovely woman he’s fallen for will be the one he walks beside for a very long time.


For Don and me, our friendship, absolutely there's been a happy ending. I had some grieving to push through, but I did. And we are more support and encouragement to one another than ever before.


Will I have a happy ending? I don’t know. That is something I cannot see at all. I thought it might be with David, but that turned out not to be true. Regardless, I do hold to the belief that everything tends works out as it should. Over time. Because I've experienced that phenomenon time and again. Sometimes it just takes a very long time.


What can I do today that I couldn't do a year ago? I can look back on my choices and it's so clear how far I've come. My choices were healthy and right. I can look back on the last year and realize I have no regrets. Not a single one.


I Persevere. And life goes on.


+++


August 16, 2022


Rule of three’s, right?


My niece and her husband have been fostering three siblings since last Thanksgiving. I cannot begin to tell you the trauma those kids were pulled from. In nine months, Jayne and her husband were able to provide them a safe loving home and a consistent routine. Everyone knew their role and what was expected of them. Each of the children saw multiple specialists, and Jayne and her husband staggered their work schedules to ensure none of them missed any appointments. It was a monumental undertaking.


Last Monday at about noon, Jayne got the call from CPS the children were to be reunited with kin and the hand off would occur the following day at noon. I was devastated. These were my nieces and nephews. This was my family. I was so clear this was to be, right from the time of their placement. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind Jayne and her husband would adopt these three and this would be our family.


When Jayne texted they’d be gone in less than 24 hours, I felt I’d been kicked in the gut. I fell down deep, into a deep depression the depths of which I’d not realized in as long as I can remember. I couldn’t stop crying. In spite of all the promises I’d made to myself about not letting anything interfere with my job or my medical appointments, I was rendered completely ineffective Wednesday. I canceled everything, lied through my teeth, blamed it all on mom.


I let Jayne alone, I didn’t want her to explain everything to me until she was ready, and I certainly didn’t want her to feel she had to comfort and reassure me. But. That is largely what happened when we finally spoke on Friday. So, I’ll leave that at that for now. I do anticipate there will be a book.


Saturday, there was the upset with my brother over mom. It’s gotten so difficult. So difficult. It feels like it’s too much to bear. But I’m bearing it. Not well. Not well at all. And I’m not sure how long I can go on.


The realization sprung to mind last week a bipolar woman that’s not quite got her bipolar under control is not the ideal caregiver for a woman that is rapidly deteriorating from vascular dementia. I’m not sure how the next days and weeks will play out. Suffice it to say, I am truly terrified. It’s horrifying to watch my mother, who is no longer the woman I knew to be my mother, deteriorate as she is. I’m very afraid I’m simply not equipped emotionally to weather the worst of this. Because it will indeed get worse.


Klonipin, martinis, and avoidance have been my coping mechanisms as of late. I’m the first to admit none of those are effective. Removing myself from the environment when it gets too tense and confrontational is prudent. But with substances, there’s always that ugly return to reality when the effect wears off. On top of landing smack back in the middle of reality, add in sluggishness, nausea, and a headache. Fuck. What the fuck am I thinking? I’m all about short term pain relief. I always have been.


I would be working with my therapist. BUT MY THERAPIST FUCKING DIED. MY THERAPIST FUCKING DIED. Although I talk to him all the time now because I know we’re connected all the time now, not just during our appointments. I replay all those theological discussions we had, and there were so so many. And I’m so jealous he’s up there now, and he knows all the Truth. He knows and I don’t. I smile up at him and I know he’s smiling down on me. That part gives me great solace. But the fact he's not here terrifies me.


Am I delusional? Eh. Who the fuck cares. It helps. Anything that’s not a Klonipin or a martini that helps me cope, I’m sticking with it. Throw me on a 72-hour hold. Go the fuck ahead. It would be a 72-hour break from watching my mom die before my very eyes. Bring it.


So, here’s the clincher.


Saturday, after the text altercation with my brother, Don texts me a woman has asked for his number and now she has it and they’ve been texting, and he doesn’t know how to make sense of it all. Wants my help. Wants my advice. Wants my counsel. What the fuck? Am I his mother? Is he my project?


“I am not your mother. You are not my project.” I wanted that to be my mantra. I made it my mantra. But the reality is, I am his mentor, and I have information that will help him walk this one out if he so chooses. I have more years on him, and I can help him decode what this quite lovely woman is attempting to communicate. How have I gotten a glimpse into her spirit? Well Don practically threw his phone at me wanting me to read their text conversation. So I did. She’s wonderful. She sounds wonderful. Kind, sweet, vulnerable, intelligent, and incredibly courageous.


Don. He can be such a fool. I think he wants me to support his inclination to just sidestep the whole opportunity. A man with Asperger’s will find a rut, move in, and furnish it. I’ve created a lovely rut for him to live in. It’s a very symbiotic thing we’ve got going, finally. Near total transparency, near total emotional intimacy. Goddamn. We both worked so hard for this.


And then a very appropriate Potential Woman Person shows up. And I’m sorry, but I’m going to take credit for some of that. I assumed all these many months that he didn’t hear me tell him how mistaken he was to think he was shit. And I pretty much gave up trying to convince him otherwise and made loud proclamations of the fact. But guess what! He heard some of it. Some of it got through his block head and into his mind and slithered down and made a small little place Truth could live in his heart. Love will most certainly change you. Being loved is transformative.


He’s more confident now, confident enough to begin attracting the type of women I knew he would attract. That I’ve told him over and over he would attract. It’s happening. And I’m so happy for him. And her. Oh my gosh, I hope this is the one for him. The man so deserves happiness. But is he ready to get out of his own fucking way and do the work? I’m smiling. Maybe?


This creates rather a dilemma for me. If I continue to provide him an outlet for the physical, he’s far more unlikely to embark on this new journey with this new really quite awesome (from her texts) woman. I love him. I want what’s best for him. I want him to be happy.


So, I was going on and on along this line of reasoning, as I am wont to do, and he looked at me and said, “I don’t know if this is what I want.” Then he dropped his eyes and finished with, “Maybe what I have with you is enough.”


He said that part very quietly. Thinking I might not hear? I heard. No surprise. I knew. What I didn’t realize until that moment is we have an implied contract firmly encircling all this, and there’s my signature RIGHT THERE. I thought I was detached enough, mature enough, evolved enough I’d be able to compartmentalize enough I wouldn’t have any need to hold him back when this exact opportunity presented. Coco! Wake up GIRL! DUH!


The last seven months with Don has reinforced what I’ve known for a very long time. I’m unable to compartmentalize my feelings. I can pretend, I can certainly act the role, and I can certainly talk the talk, to Don and even to myself. But goddamn it. I love him, and it’s growing. I’m scared. I didn’t think this would happen. How incredibly inconvenient. Fuck.


Later, I asked him if it was true what I had written, that I now live in his comfort zone. He confirmed. It became clear to me we share a very cozy safe cocoon of a comfort zone; one we’ve struggled very hard and worked meticulously to construct together. Our comfort zone exists every night via text between 10:30-ish and 11:30-ish, and every other Sunday.


Shit. Enough already with the fucking epiphanies and personal growth. Can I just rest in this? Just for a little bit until my life and my relationships go all topsy turvy again? I know the answer to that question already. NO. Let’s put another BIG DUH right here, shall we?


Then a whole lot of shit unrelated to me and Don happened, and I was depressed and confused and manic and self-sabotaging all over the place. I’ve left myself quite a mess to clean up. Once again. Oh well. I’ll clean it up. Once again. I always do.


Sunday, Don Day, we drove to an Indonesian restaurant in Seattle. On the drive, I told him some of the things I’d done to get the assistance I was needing to check out my theory if I just slowed the fuck down, literally, the Vintage Treasure Box might still respond admirably well.


I asked him again if he might help me out with the VTB. Still nope. I pressed him a bit on why. He told me when he was married, his wife would ask him to keep food away from her, and later decide she wanted it, ask for it, he’d say no, and she’d get really mad. Not being one to stand up to a woman, or stand up for himself for that matter, at least at that time in his life, he’d give her the food. After she’d eaten, she’d get mad at him for giving her the food. That’s a no win. What a major mind fuck.


Once he finally explained the why, I told him we’d just set a 15 minute foreplay timer! PROBLEM SOLVED! Why it does not occur to me, the perpetual question asking machine, to not always ask questions is a mystery.


I am happy to announce once the proper controls were put into place, it was absolutely clear things are going to be just fine, as long as I wait for the timer!


It was the loveliest of experiences I’ve had with Don, and the loveliest sex I’ve had in as long as I can remember. To my great relief, it is very clear if I force a slow down, more drastic medical interventions will not be necessary.


Not only was it an awesome lovemaking session (HA! I said “lovemaking!), but that single event did more to increase our comfort level with one another than anything prior. Additionally, I am now more bonded to him than ever. Oh boy.


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