Friday, November 6, 2009

A bad day

It's been one of those days. First I woke up to the fifth straight day and several consecutive weeks home with a sick child. Not the same sick child all the time. They've been taking turns, bless their pointed little heads. So I began the day at the end of my rope, and I very shortly fell completely off it (the rope, that is). My special-needs daughter, who was the one home this week, lost it in the bathtub, soaking me and the floor. I got angry enough to almost lose it myself. It was all I could do not to yell at her. We never yell at any of our kids, but especially not at her; it's counterproductive. We stay calm and explain consequences clearly. But somehow today I couldn't manage. I sent her to her room and then went downstairs and cried because I felt so awful about it.

The wonderful husband came home early so I could get a break. I decided to get out of the house, so i went to my community-garden plot, which is in a local cemetery. I thought a couple of hours of physical exertion, outside and with no kids anywhere near me, would set me back on my normal roll-with-the-punches track. But when I got there, this is what I found:

My little garden plot, which is fenced and gated to keep out deer, had been vandalized. The gate, which is never locked (because deer don't have opposable thumbs), was broken and knocked over. Fence posts were bent, things were strewn around. I was pretty upset, so I walked around the cemetery to calm myself down, get a little perspective on things. Which I did, but not in the way I had planned because I saw several headstones that had been knocked over. Worse and worse. So I decided to go back home, which was by then, seeming like a better choice because there, at least, I know and love the people who (occasionally) make me cry.

Then on the way home I heard about the second mass shooting in two days...

What sends us over the edge and into irrational, destructive, or violent behavior? For me today, why was this the day I couldn't manage what I normally manage without even thinking about it? What was it (liquor? drugs? hormones?) that made someone decide to destroy my sweet and harmless little garden or knock over somebody's mother's headstone? And what pushes a person who has never shot or killed anyone to suddenly open fire on strangers? I have no answers for any of this, but I do know that I hope tomorrow will be a better day for me, for you, for all of us.


Sling said...

Okay..That whole garden/cemetary thing is unconscionable.
On top of all the other stuff,I can see why you are so frustrated.
I hope the plague at the homestead ends soon.

jason said...

who who who?!
Has the world gone crazy? I think so sometimes...what with Texas and Maine and Orlando and this and so much more.


oh sweety I'm so sorry about the garden, your stress and crapy things in general...know your loved....chin up tits out..

Willym said...


The Justified Sinner said...

It is probably better not to know what makes people do stuff like this and keep fighting your corner to bring up your kids in the decent and level-headed way that you are doing, so that they never feel the need to behave psychopathically. What is most frustrating - for me - about things like this is that it makes me want to behave in a similar dysfunctional manner and battling that can be depressing.

I hope you can call on local friends to help you out. I would help if I weren't thousands of miles away.

Anonymous said...

You are a 'normal" loving woman, and mother.
The others don't even come close.
Allow yourself lots of TLc and hugs.

Claire M. Johnson said...

The shootings? I have no idea what propels someone to do that. None. Although it seems that mental illness played a big part in both these cases. Of course on a military base you would expect access to weapons, but then here is the old argument about guns don't kill people, people kill people and we know what sort of bullshit THAT is.

The violence to your garden? So inexcusable. But I think these are such deperate times. People are so angry, so afraid. Over 10% out of work. Here at Berkeley, the professors are on partial furlough. The guy across the hall from me? His wife got laid off two months ago from LLL; he got laid off last month. It's displaced anger. It's attacking something beautiful because there is no beauty and at a certain point people who have no beauty in their lives resents those that do. I'm so sorry. It doesn't hurt any less, or reduce the frustration, I know. I hope the kidlet gets better. We haven't been sick yet, but it's only a matter of time. Love you.

Elizabeth said...

sling - I know! I'm sure it was just some drunk high school boys, but still... As for the plague, I expect the locusts and boils to descend on us next!

Jason - Oh Maine!!!!!! I was heartsick about that too, because I really thought it would go our way!

granny - Thanks dear. Had a good day of retail therapy with a friend today, and am back to my usual silly self now. Chin up, tits out is so much easier if you have something purty to put on over those tits!

willym - Much needed!

Sinner - For the shootings, I actually mainly blame the US's insane lack of gun regulation. But that's a don't-get-me-started topic.

The garden will get mended one way or another. I think a friend of ours who is good a building things will help me literally mend my fences.

DF - I know we all have those days and they pass. Sometimes the best you can manage is to not throttle anyone... Thanks for the kind words.

Claire - Americans and our guns.... thank you NRA for keeping us from having sane gun laws so that insane people can act on their worst impulses.

Hope you all avoid the worst of the winter plagues.

more cowbell said...

I'm so sorry. Cyberhug. I have been feeling pretty close to the edge myself, and am really relating to this post. So many thoughts, but I'll just say I hear you, and I'm sorry.

As a former soldier, I'm absolutely sick about Ft. Hood, just sick about it. If the event itself wasn't horrific enough, it's likely to polarize folks even more than things already are, and I'm feeling kind of hopeless about that.

laurent said...

I am sorry to see the picture, it is disappointing. But keep positive that is all we can do.

sageweb said...

WOW, you need a big hug..then an ice cold drink!
I actually wonder all the time what makes people tick..when they decide to harm others or others property. It is a personality I cannot identify with. Beyond the thought of figuring people out like that.

Margaret Benbow said...

Miserably unhappy people do these things. I don't understand what kink makes them want to damage the beauty in other peoples' lives rather than work on their own--self-hatred, maybe. Please remember that although it may be a dark and cold world out there, you'll always weather it if you hold your family and friends close.