I don't think we will ever have a normal.
the house is coming. little by little it starts to come together. and it will be awesome. watching it transform from two steel school buildings into what we consider a home has been neat. being excited to have a wall here or a door there. seeing another wall has been painted. brought to life with color. knowing how much love has gone into each brush stroke and driven nail. enjoying the days that cousins from my mother's side of the family have come with wood and ladders and tools and more importantly full hearts and hands at the ready. watching a wall covered with 30 year old cedar planks from the sides of the yellow house that were uncovered after the fire. using the chalkboards that were in the Tin Beast to cover other walls. having privacy when we take a shower or use the toilet because the walls have been covered all the way around and we have doors. we have doors!! the little things that so many other people take for granted everyday. that is the part that is awesome.
noticing how different other people are in their opinions of what makes a house and having to hear their criticism and justify your situation is not awesome. a lot of people don't 'get' the house. they don't understand why we did not build a house. because hello money. or fix the other one. because hello FIRE. their faces trying to hold a smile but contort when they see how the inside is. no walls? just one big continuous room split into three bedrooms? but how do you sleep? well I am so sorry, I did not realize that the thing that allows us to sleep are the walls between rooms. if only I had been smart enough to realize that. because obviously that is the problem. how on earth do people in warehouse flats make it. or a third of the world who live in one room houses or mud huts or tents. dear baby J. if only I were as smart as these people. then all my problems would be solved. people are so small minded and quick to criticize. namely my own family.
but then there are the believers. the ones who say well it sounds a little different but let me see it. and after visiting, 'get' it. everyone has a different ideal of what makes a home. some choose brick and mortar. others will choose wood. some have hay bales and others grain silos or shipping containers. some are huge and expansive and others are compact and tiny. some even made of all glass, just mind the stones that are thrown. in my mind, whatever you make a house out of, if you fill it with love, then it becomes a home. cook in it. share laughs in it. shed tears in it. do what you do. have tons of love. and it is home. although so many may not agree or get it or not understand...yes the big ugly corrugated tin building with no windows on the front is my home. and we have lovingly coined it 'The Tin Beast' and it is filled with love. love for ourselves and for all who enter the french doors to the breezeway. if the only feeling ever to come from The Beast is love, then we will forever be happy and rich.
lately it has been quiet. which has been strange. Big'K has gone to college. two years early. to a special program for gifted kids and those that in general just worked their butts off to get there. Big'K is the former, not so much the latter. but she is loving it. mom however is sad and conflicted. but she is oh so happy and I cannot take that from her. she loves it. and truly at the point we were at it was a life or death moment for her to get out of the house and move on with her. being her. finding her. making her. and working on her future. after the fire 'home' became too much. it was too emotional. too raw. and with Lil'K...too everything. had she stayed in the home with the sadness and the anger she would have caved inward. and I truly believe her spirit would have died. she had to get out to be able to live. and I will never begrudge her for that. I understand. there were times when I was a teenager that had I had the support to flee and work on me things would have been so different than they are now. so I am super proud of her. and happy over the hills.
Lil'K is a different story. she has been in four crisis units in less than a calendar year. three of them in the last ten weeks. we have been living in hell. her voices are back. suicidal ideation rules the day. she just wants to die. my beautiful smart sweet loving little girl wants to die. every day. and she is serious. our area sucks. we have no resources for mental illness for her age. getting her help has been a battle. one that we have been fighting hard. we have new diagnosis' everytime we come home from a crisis unit. mood disorder, NOS; bi-polar with psychotic features; RAD; anxiety disorder; ODD; and the list continues. I fear they just really don't know. and neither do we. it has become our normal. and I hate it. she does not understand why Big G made her this way. to have to live like this for the rest of her life. it is not fair. and she feels that he wants her to be with him. to hear a child so small say these things will break you. in half. and your heart will never recover. and hope is very hard to find. for either of us.
YaYa is tired. and Loco of course. and broken. sad. overwhelmed. struggling. tearful. turned inside out. financially cleared out. angry. raw. impatient. confused. upset. frustrated. and just plain pissed. I struggle between wanting to do what is best for her and working and keeping her in school and keeping her alive and oh my Big G this medicine is expensive and sweet baby J are we having rice again and please help me find money in my budget for food and wow is it this Friday that the lights get turned off and please please don't let me have to let my car go back and boy I really wanna be able to work from home and thankful for my job and I need a nap and please help us find relief and tomorrow is a new day and oh dear heavens tomorrow is a new day and I am not sure I can take another day. people don't understand. they see her and think there is no way. well big ole world there is most certainly a way and it is mental illness. yes she is only 9. yes she wants to kill herself. oh how am I holding up? well thanks for asking. I'm not. oh that's nice. really? and sure go ahead and make nice and walk away. because you don't know what to say. trust me it is just as scary and unbelievable to me too honey. and if one more person tells me He doesn't give you more than you can handle I'm gonna freaking blow a gasket because fuck you.
it is strange what your normal can become. and how you adjust. and then how people think they want to know but when they truly see it's oh we are praying for you and we understand. and I just wanna stand on a corner and scream "my child has mental illness and you can all go to hell!! but hey come by and have coffee with me in the breezeway because it makes me feel normal". I can say I must have had a very colorful previous life because I am paying out the nose for all my bad karma. and this is not just one lifetime full of payback.