a never ending goal!!! 3 years ago
Entries from everyone
They are now in their twenties.
I am retiring the goal, as in this phase of my life, it is time to concentrate on changes needed in my own thinking and ways. 6 years ago
Daughter V reopened Fort Gallery in Emeryville with a benefit for the Gulabi Gang. This is a group of women in India who are oppressed and fighting back.
There was a choir, called I think Conspiracy of Venus. They were outstanding.
I absolutely cannot take any credit whatsoever for being an inspiration for this. But I cannot help but put side by side in my mind’s eye my daughter today and the me of when I was her age.
It was both bewildering and delightful to be there, observing and to a small degree taking part in the whole thing.
What came into focus for me is how much I have changed since I was 26 and living on the fringes of the art scene. It is such a chaotic world she lives in. And she is so purposeful about it. I wish her great success – she is so utterly selfless, and so charismatic. I am grateful she is determined to do good. 6 years ago
Daughter A is here following her bicycle/girl v car wreck, with a broken clavicle and assorted aches and pains. She had come out the other side of her bi-polar siege, controlling it with herbs and much therapy of various sorts. But pain triggers her.
So I have been working with her to stay on top of her pain. So far she has not had the courage to do anything physically that might help with the assorted agonies – her back in particular. And I haven’t pressed. So it’s vicodin, motrin, teas and juices. We had discovered that two vicodin at bedtime worked really well.
Last night, for unknown reasons, she took just one. She woke up at 1 am screeching and whimpering. I came to help her, and got treated to a long ramble on how the pain had arrived. She was unprepared to articulate how I could possible assist her, but wanted me to express total understanding of the peculiar source of her specific “shudder” that resulted in “excruciating pain”.
I meanwhile am barely functional. My ankles are aching from making them work when I was supposed to be sleeping. It will do no one any good for me to catalogue my own troubles, so I ask her what she needs, and she cannot tell me. When I ask when she took the pain medication, she does not know. But she knew it was just one pill. So I offer to help her take another, and she begins to bitch me out. The hand I am holding out to help her up is the “wrong hand”. She doesn’t “do hands”, and I am to make a fist with the other hand for her to hold. Meantime, I am now needing to pee. I know I am getting treated to the unreasoning, eccentric and blameful edge of her bi-polar disorder – it is nothing personal when she suddenly screams “go away! I don’t like you!” because I have said “Just take my hand, so I can use the other one to help you sit”.
I am struck by how much she puts me in the mind of my mother, who I thought was schizophrenic. Maybe she suffered from bi-polar disorder too, although most likely not. In her case, it was more depression, and maybe agoraphobia. Does it matter what it was? Only for the sake of trying to understand my daughter.
Later I will try, when she is awake, to let her know that brought out of sleep in the darkness of night, my mind is not engaged. It is trying to stay asleep. If she wants my help, it will work best if she articulates “Can you help me sit so I can take a pain pill”. If she cannot figure out what she needs, if she needs a person to be the receiver of her monologue, it is time to make an adjustment, and talk to the darkness – quietly!- until her needs become clear to her. And why not use the passive stick to push herself into a sitting position? Or sleep in the recliner, which will raise and lower without other human intervention?
It may seem like a simple task here, letting my daughter know how she can help herself. But if she can accept that she can help her own self, it will be huge. Helplessness is her signature. It is a source of her dependent relationships, her unwillingness to find a paying job, her reliance on others for transportation. The only people she does not burn through are those whose personalities are bent into service mode – wanting to feel needed at all times.
Now I must set aside these judgments passing for observations and simply communicate once she wakes up – without calling up the slumbering mental disorder that attacks like a dragon and cuts off all meaningful contact. 6 years ago
Gallery girl sold something, has renewed energy. Also has been working through some of her personal stumbling blocks, and sharing her thoughts with me. This is great.
Vegas girl is looking to buy a condo. Settling in to her life, taking some risks, doing better and better. She’s coming with us to Hawaii next month. I am looking forward to some never before bonding with her, my sweetie’s older girl.
Santa Cruz girl called yesterday and is thrilled to feel in charge of her life, happy in her about – to – finish – school spot. Feeling in synch, feeling happy. Yaaay!
Davis girl is beginning to have enough confidence in me to spread out her thoughts and ideas and sort them through, with me. This is a long long way from the years of distrust after her dad and I got together, and it became evident that her dad and mom (who had remarried anyway) were not going to reunite. This is huge.
Gotta get a photo of us all together. Meantime, there is always this one. 6 years ago
One of my daughters used all her resources to transform a space into an art gallery, counting on the expected art sales to sustain the project. Her work does not pay her enough to cover her rent on the live/work space, let alone the remainder of her expenses.
When she began to discuss her financial situation with me, we discussed ways in which she could cover the shortfall. She simply would not believe it was anything other than temporary – eventually the art would sell, and all would be well.
Earlier this month her dad and I covered the bulk of the rent for her. She has not made any changes that would bring her money for March, and is talking again about borrowing.
We went over money making options together, and again, she is interested in only an immediate short term fix.
I am looking for the way to let her know I care for her success, believe in her ability to make a go of the gallery, and at the same time, help her understand that like a baby, the gallery is not ready to walk or fly. It is still an infant in the cradle. 6 years ago
I inadvertently said something yesterday, something offhand, that may have been more inspiring to my daughters than anything I have done or said with thought and consideration.
They have a way of picking on each other, that sibling thing. My honey was driving us back from my sisters. He was feeling wretched from eating too many different food items (don’t ask) and threatening to hurl. The girls started in on each other, and each one got in some digs before I turned and said “You’re both right.”
Not another word for several minutes…
And for sure the end of their attack.
Of course I sat there wondering if I had wounded them both or not, and then realized they had to think it through…
I could probably mark this goal as done now. 7 years ago
to talk about her fabulous zucchini she made for dinner. I’m going to count this. I love zucchini. I invited myself over, but she had already eaten it all!
So we went for sushi. 7 years ago
She would probably disagree, or maybe not.
Two years and a few months back, she was crossing the street on a skateboard and a girl in a pickup didn’t see her or the stop sign and tossed her 17 feet through the air.
My daughter came down on her head and pelvis.
She seemed to make a pretty good recovery, all things considered. She would forget things after a few minutes, which made for some bizarre conversation and lots of phone calls if we were getting together, but gradually the neural pathways improved and she remembers much better now. But she doesn’t expect to remember, which is a problem in itself.
The insurance company for the driver, who belongs to a prominent and wealthy family, denied my daughter’s claim, disclaiming all liability.
So she sued. And her deposition was this week. She asked me to come with her, and I sat outside in the hallway (the law office refused to let me even stay in their suite and work) and waited and worked. She would come out at the breaks, and was getting more frazzled as the day went on.
She has no memory of the accident—she was in a coma for several hours. And still this lawyer grilled her for five hours.
My poor girl came out feeling like she’d been hit all over again. So now the reason why this entry is here—I sent her a link to someone’s tape art here, because my daughter also does tape art. She was amazed, and since we’ve talked a few times about this site, and she is forming some goals, she is coming over on Sunday to talk about a life plan!
She has come a long way since that accident. I am very happy that she is doing what she needs to do for herself, and not relying on what may or may not come of an unfortunate thing that happened to her. 7 years ago
I can’t tell if it’s because I am tough on myself about it, or if it all a matter or perception.
Since I put this goal here, one of my daughters told me I AM an inspiration to her. That was a surprise, and it made me feel really good.
Later, she told me she intends to go to Berlin and start an art gallery there.
After thinking and thinking, and wondering if there was anything I could say that would not be taken as negative if it wasn’t totally supportive, I did say something from the heart. I told her that her plans were important and large, and that all her very best energy was going to go into the gallery. It would be ten times the amount of work she imagines, and that it would be dreadful if she went to Berlin and put all that energy out there, and then had to walk away.
My husband told her that she would feel isolated without knowing German, and that it would take longer than the two months she intends to spend there to learn it.
She seemed grateful to hear what we said, and seems to be re-thinking her plans.
I am grateful. I want her to succeed in her dreams. 7 years ago