Tuesday, November 29, 2011


For a few years when he was in the pits of his bad depression, I would watch him retreat into himself.  Into the basement.  He spent a lot of time away from us.  He's stopped doing that in the last 18 months or so.  He told me it was because he didn't feel like he had a place.  I had pushed him out.

Part of that is probably very true.  He was emotionally unavailable and not interested in the myriad of mundane things that needed to get done.  But life goes on with children around.  So I did it.  And like my mom who had little support or help from my step dad, I did it on my own without pushing him to be a part. So he began to feel at times that he had no place.

I am beginning to understand that feeling.  The desire to retreat.  After school I was here.  I made dinner.  I helped 2 girls with math homework.  I made sure chores were done.  I watched the little ones make snowflakes and paper chains.  I got a stinky one through the shower.  There was a rhythm here.  It was comfortable.

Then he came in from work.  I think some of the kids said hi.  He sat down at the table with his dinner. There was a little of the "how was your day" exchange.  I cleaned my kitchen and sent some to do a chore.  But then I didn't know what to do with myself.  The radio that was being listened to was turned off in favor of tv.  The vibe that was here was disrupted.

It wasn't angry.  Or mean.  Or unkind in any way.  It was just different.  And I found myself feeling like I didn't have a place.  I texted a friend.  I went for a walk.  I took a shower.  I retreated.

If it were just the 2 of us, him and me, that would be one thing.  But there's a family.  How do I stay connected to them when I so desperately want to be away from him?

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