I’m decidedly not okay sometimes, and I can’t quite identify what I’m feeling or what caused it. I’m just writing my stream of consciousness, hoping it’ll help.
Mom was more forgetful than usual today, but she was cheerful about it. It rips me apart to lose her inch by inch. So I smile instead of crying, and listen patiently as she tells me things for the tenth time in a row, and I react the same way every time. I won’t lose my patience with her, so sometimes I lose it with my dad instead.
It’s not anything big — we haven’t had a fight since last winter — and I know it’s not helpful to either of us, but somehow, I can’t stop myself from snapping a little. I apologize and try to explain. I can only hope it’s enough. Everything that I’m feeling and experiencing with mom is magnified a hundredfold for him, because he lives with it, and he has so many more decades of her to watch slip away. We talk about it sometimes, and hold space for each other, but most of the time, he’s just a stone wall. Staying strong, silent, and holding things inside.
Dad said today that he missed my ex sometimes. He said he was just so used to him being around. I replied carefully, because I was flooded with bitterness. See, just half an hour before that, the ex texted me and asked how I was doing. Being in the garden, all hot and sweaty, I just told him, “Tired. You?” He replied after awhile, “I’m doing good as well. I had a great weekend.” What I took from that was that he wasn’t reading what little I wrote, and just wanted to brag, because he knew I knew he spent the weekend with the new girlfriend. I didn’t have the energy or will to engage further. Whatever, dude. Glad you’re happy.
After dad was done talking about the ex, he started asking about furniture and talked about moving this or that to make room for whatever. Then, apropos of nothing, he asked if I thought my “friendship” with my partner was going to be long term. I said I thought it was. He nodded, and changed the subject.
We communicate so well, don’t we? But he and I both know what we mean, even when we don’t say it out loud. For example, awhile ago, he told me — without specifically telling me — that he thought there was nothing wrong with unmarried couples living together long term. I understand this to be implied acceptance and approval, even if he was talking about other people. He has a careful way of phrasing things when he wants me to read between the lines, and I reflect that back to him, so we can communicate but avoid uncomfortable conversations.
It’s taken us years and years of practice to get this good at it. I wish it worked with more people.
On a completely unrelated note, my aunt, dad’s sister, has Covid. She got it at my uncle’s funeral. She’ll probably be fine, based on her current symptoms, but it’s brought out the Covid-deniers in her sons, and they call dad to vent it at him. He just patiently tells them that he doesn’t believe they’re correct when the say “in [city], as many people have died of the vaccine as of Covid,” or, “I just think it’s really suspicious that some people don’t have symptoms, don’t you?”
Just… fuck all of that, and get the goddamn vaccine. A related protected post is still brewing in the back of my mind.