Friday, December 30, 2011

Hoarders, Lunatics and Daughters

I mentioned the other day that I had a "feeling" my younger daughter was closer than I thought she'd be, and sure enough, she surprised the hell out of me the other day by sauntering in the door one fine evening.  She was in full retreat from the UK winter -- London post-riots and pre-winter was just too much for a California girl to bear.

I am lucky to be able to keep her for a while, for her response upon walking into our house was deep despair.  Finally, after 10 years of being away most of the time, when she got a good look at the dear family home, a miserable combination of financial disaster, two physically/mentally disabled adults (one a hoarder dear god) -- she almost left right then and there.

But the woman who came home is a vastly different person than the girl who left.  To my shock, this new (to me), fully responsible human came home and began to shovel out the Augean Stables.  This is an ancient Grecian mythological reference to a stable that never could be cleaned, no matter how hard the person worked.  So it would seem at my house after 27 years of raising children, becoming permanently spinally injured and then losing the money I had to pay a friend to clean house for us.

PLUS!  My sweet Patrick is a true-to-life-watch-it-on-the-television-show Hoarder -- from "Hoarders" -- we are trying to change our lifestyles, and it is a difficult thing indeed.  As someone who has taken the mighty plunge over Niagara Falls without a barrel financially lately -- had a home stolen by a bank and a relative as well -- my mind has disappeared in the process, and once things start to get away from you they don't fall back together very easily -- I feel like Humpty Dumpty.  All the King's Men are here, trying to shove me and my mess together, but they cannot do it, man!

My daughter has been more and more annoyed as the depths of the chaos is revealed, and I cannot blame her.  I think parents are supposed to be more adult than I've been able to be -- this brain thing has really gotten in my way, this bi polar disorder -- not to mention being crushed by the economy.  My girl thinks I've also got Borderline personality disorder, and me -- besides feeling like a loser, I - I - "wish I had a river I could skate away on." (Joni Mitchell).

But one day at a time; we just paddle on one day at a time.