It wasn't until Thanksgiving Day ended that I realized I was sad.
The day didn't begin that way. I took my time getting up, made the dressing, stuffed Big Bird, put him, the giblets, and the sweet potatoes in my mom's old roasting pan.
I like that pan or pot or whatever you call it. It's deep, has a lid, and I think it's enamel so it's it's easy to clean. When I add an inch and a half or two inches of water in it, my turkeys cook twice as fast and are never dry. The water magically transforms to gravy. I drain it out into a regular pot, sift a few tablespoons on flour into and waa-lah! Gravy.
My daughter Casey helped. In the kitchen our two minds become one, and we rarely get in each others way. I don't recall it ever being this easy cooking side by side with my own mother.
My son felt he had a job too on that day. It was pretending to be invisible when anything was asked of him. No, I would have preferred a little help but he preferred this volunteer position that he created for himself when he began middle school. He's had so much practice with this that one day next year I'll promote him to full-time invisibility. This way, when he doesn't live with us, he won't even have to pretend.
The highlight of dinner was that one of the guests, a congenial retired gentleman on disability, brought his adorable, bright, three year old grandson whom he and his ex-wife take care of. I really enjoyed Mr. X and Baby Boy, who I pray will fare better in life.
You see, Mr. X's son, like mine, got lost along the way from having too many opportunities and choices disguised as fun, but were really traps to addiction and other problems.
I don't think it hit me as hard until this moment of how lost Xavier still is. He began drinking beer from a friend on Thanksgiving evening, despite my plea not to mix alcohol with his medication. On Friday he didn't speak to me at all except to say fuck you bitch when I asked if he was alright.
I sit here now, locked in my bedroom, nearly trembling from a new explosive fit of yelling from him. It began with him complaining that my daughter took my cellphone which I was looking for. Not his, but mine. He growled that I need to discipline her. I said I was more concerned about the way he spoke to me Friday.
Nigga went off. His mouth was like thunder, and I retreated from the storm less lightening struck.
He is not seeing reality clearly. He compounded his problem and mine by grabbing his medicine and taking a full pill against my protests that he'd been out partying again last night, and presumably drinking until dawn.
It is often during moments of intense fear when I see reality the clearest. There are some battles in my life that I could have easily won simply by using reason and logic in finding practical, workable solutions.
Some people, however, are so disturbed and unbalanced that they find reason not only irrelevant because it doesn't serve them, but they become potentially or genuinely dangerous. They will lie on you, stalk you, and destroy you anyway they can to be right, and to continue with their selfishness that is so extreme that it's madness.
In these times, I back off. What looks like surrender or agreement by not contradicting them is really my walking away from a bad situation. The world is so large that no one needs to get sucked into any battles not necessary for their survival. I've thankfully gotten better at walking away as I've gotten older.
Writing calms me. At this moment now, I feel better, thanks also to listening to my favorite collection of R&B Christmas music. I've been through so much with my son, but he is a grown azz man and I need not endlessly tolerate his sporadic but unending disrespect, verbal abuse and selfishness.
At this moment too, I hear him vacuuming elsewhere in the house. I recognize that cycle of abuse. Person A treats Person B real bad, then tries to make up for it by doing something nice. They expect this will erase everything, and think this is a substitute for an apology or taking responsibility for the pain they caused. If you point this out to their entitled azz, they get mad all over again.
If they really wanted to be nice, they'd change their behavior. You can't easily change your thoughts, mood, or perception of the world, but you can change your behavior. Bullies do it all the time when they know they can't win.
It's supposedly part of Xavier's Mood Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and whatever other correct or incorrect friggin' labels stuck on him or anyone else, as though any of them really make a difference.
My preference is the non-clinical, urban black folks label: Fucked Up Personality, as in:
"What's wrong with him?"
"Oh, he has a fucked up personality."
"Why'd she do that?"
"Ain't nothing new. She got a fucked up personality, ya know?"
Works for me, and I'm a therapist. It works because it's raw, and no one wants that label. It's just not cool or fashionable.
Labels are just the packaging around the box. They might indicate what's in the box, but it's the content of that box - the person's character - that matters most. Most people can grow and change when motivated, but it's harder if they get stuck on the fancy wrapping and use it as an excuse to wrap themselves in it.
The superior position and the hardest, is to let one's defects of character stand naked, and then put your character on a fitness program.
I have to trust that somehow things will work themselves out in 2010, that God will protect Xavier for he is vulnerable, and at the same time watch my back (and Casey's) when I physically take that walk...
Lord forgive me, for mentally, I already have.
Click on photo to enlarge to get an idea of the inside of my head.
Hat tip to Kiss My Black Ads
Hat tip to Kiss My Black Ads