Posted in Uncategorized on January 28, 2015
It took me several tries to get access to posting. This is what happens when you haven’t posted in six months.
Things are as settled as they can be. The back and forth reconciliation was short lived. Was this a good or a bad thing, I have no idea anymore. There is at least one new girlfriend currently playing house over there. There are 5 children, my three, and the two from his second marriage, that rotate in and out of the house like one giant shell game. One of my children says nothing about this, the others speak about the new woman as an interesting, though transitory addition to the household. There is, for my most sensitive child, some implied eye rolling. Their former step mother is now in nearly exactly the same place I am. I find surprisingly little joy in this. Everything seems so complicated, even legally. “Unfortunately,” my attorney wrote to me recently, “you are in sort of uncharted territory as there isn’t case law to help us wade through this as it’s unusual to have to ex-spouses receiving child support at the same time.” I guess I need Charlie Sheen’s lawyer for this mess.
Their former stepmother and I have had a year of trying to repair things as much as these things can be repaired. We’re both tired, run over. But she got to where I am much faster than I did. She seems to accept already there’s little if anything she can do about what he does. This took me a decade. But now we are in the same boat…the same leaky, un-seaworthy boat. She’s just added more holes to it in the process.
But right now that’s the worst of it. Occasionally someone will say something offhand about him. Saw him here, saw him there, with this person or that person. They add some kind of commentary. This is sometimes delivered like gossip I might want to hear, as though forgetting my kids are part of this sideshow.
My dear narcoleptic, Roo, had surgery last year to try try and help his breathing at night. He has apnea and narcolepsy which seems kind of unfair. It hasn’t helped at all and I think has actually made things every so slightly worse. However, we do finally have a recipe that keeps him awake for the most part on weekdays. He takes Xyrem before bed, then wakes at 1 AM for a second dose. It is the date rape drug, highly prized apparently, very controlled. I may have said this before, but we are supposed to cross out the name of the medication with a sharpie before we even throw it away in case someone finds out we have it in the house. I guess I just outed myself, so hopefully we don’t get burgled. The drug puts him into a kind of coma, a very effective rest state, during which pretty much nothing will wake him, but then wares off, hence the second dose at 1 AM. He wears a sleep mask at night that is noisy but in a Darth Vader whispery way. It’s not bad and certainly better than him not breathing at all, which is part of the apnea. Then in the morning, he drinks two Rockstars and takes Nuvigil to keep him awake. On weekends, to avoid building a tolerance to Nuvigil, he skips that and naps instead. That’s okay too. It’s manageable. It’ll never be cured and it’ll never go away, but he is managing right now.
I am grateful for lots of things. Despite a recent diagnosis for Clyde of Chiari malformation (unfortunately NOT the cause of his migraines) he is healthy. They happened to find the Chiari after MRIs looking for the cause of his migraines. Chiari is malformation of the brain that causes it to kind of push outside of the base of the skull. Clyde has it very mildly and he is asymptomatic. A Stanford surgeon thought we should do surgery, an Oakland surgeon thought we shouldn’t. We are waiting and watching and monitoring. I’m not adding brain surgery to the things that keep me up at night, unless I absolutely have to. Though the migraines are unrelated to the Chiari, the migraines have decreased dramatically lately. We are down to about one a month and it’s fucking fantastic. He loves to read, he loves to play sports, he worries about people, especially his sisters who he defends when he feels they are being accused or treated unfairly. Ivy is still comical and strange and lovely. Hazel is clever and hilarious and works very hard in an insane school district that piles on the pressure. They take nearly everything in stride, more than I am able to do. They accept that twice a month, they go and live in another place for a week and they seem to manage.
One last thing, remember this? She reappeared two months ago, after spending several months on the run. It was an incredible relief to know she had been found and then a terrible tragedy to learn what had happened to her while on the run. She is in a facility designed to both to offer trauma counselling and rehabilitation. She is angry and sad most of the time, but she is now able to have outside visits with me. A few week back I took her to get her nails painted. On the way back to the car, we ran because it had started to rain, and her flip flop broke and she laughed. It was probably the first time I’d heard her laugh in a very long time. So maybe she will be alright.
Over the holidays, we took the Amtrak Coast Starlight to Portland. If you ever have the opportunity to do this, I highly recommend it. It is the best kind of borrowed nostalgia money can buy. The train winds through the mountains on a snowy overnight journey, passing through the Cascades. There is a movie car and a snack car and a dining car, and the kids thought it all amazing. The bloody marys and the french toast are particularly grand.