I guess I just needed to hear it in a voice I understood. “Hey, Asshole, Smarten’ the fuck up, would ya? The only problem here is you. The only reason shit is ‘unacceptable’ is you refuse to fucking accept it! Chill the fuck out!” They say, show myself some compassion and not to beat myself up but I think I needed some tough love.
I visited my daughter’s family Monday and it was great. We have never had same day Christmas because I didn’t want to be the guy who shows up at 2pm whiles she is having fun with her family and say, okay, party’s over, time to hang out with me. (Whatever)
We had fun. I got to see everyone, talking, joking, leftovers, the dogs, it was like I never left. Then it was time to leave. My daughter drove me home. I’ll tell you what happened and what my mind did with it.
Her mom asked her to pick up some things at the store and on the ride my daughter asked if I would mind if she stopped at the store before she brought me home. Yeah, no problem. She was supposed to get bread and a couple others.
I followed her into the grocery store and she took a hard left towards the deodorant? I didn’t think anything of it, I was just walking along talking. She stopped in front of the Old Spice and they have like 40 different flavors now. She grabbed one, pulled the cap off, stuck it to her nose and then under my nose, “Do you like this?”, “Not really.”, “Me neither, what about this one?”…. I asked when she started wearing Old Spice? She told me her boyfriend does and sometimes she forgets hers and has to use his when she is at his house. (TMI)
So for 20 minutes we stood in the aisle sniffing all 40 flavors of Old Spice, talking about whatever we talked about. She picked one and shook her head and put it to me. My eyes immediately crossed and I got that intense pleasure feeling at the base of my brain. “Yeah, get that one!”, “No, I don’t like it”. I know they study the chemicals and know why they appeal to people. But why didn’t they put that chemical in every stick? Some of them smelled good, some were okay but This one! Was it just me.
Anyway, this is what I’m grieving. I know it’s stupid. Nobody died. I knew I was going to see less of her when she got her license. I asked for a therapist before all that, yada yada. She wasn’t an accident. We talked about having a child and tried for 2 years. This is what I wanted. I knew I would see less of her when she started driving but I couldn’t figure out why I was having grief pains in my body last August.(Another story)
Monday night I was home, nothing happened but my narrator is telling me nobody likes me and that is the last time I am going to talk to anyone again etc… I can’t understand why. I kept telling myself it was a great day and knowing going to the grocery store for a loaf of bread wasn’t an emergency. She didn’t have to take me to the deodorant aisle. She was sharing her weird with me and it was fun! It was the most present I’ve been in a long time. I had no thoughts other than, yeah, that one is okay… I don’t know, it doesn’t really smell like anything, What is that smell? Bubble gum? Yeah! bubble gum… You know?
I’m lucky I went to sleep, I had an elaborate narrative going to counter all of the positive and I don’t know where that story ended.
Tuesday I woke up and had reminders on my phone, (another story) It said, 5 minutes breathing and then gratitude. I was going to trash the day but remembered there was a reason I had my phone sitting next to me telling me what to do. I did the breathing and made my self sit down at the computer.
I wrote about the deodorant and thought I should go back and read the list. It’s not the first time but it was just after, “Hey, dumbass! You can’t accept what? Life is going too well? Your daughter is all Aces? What?”
I found a good way to do a gratitude list on mindful.org (no compensation). I googled it last summer and the first one I saw made a lot of sense to me. Don’t put a million things a day. Write a few things and describe why it makes you happy. You don’t even have to do it every day. I wrote, “My daughter took me scent shopping”
I went back to September and one of the first entries was her mom said it’s L===’s first day off in a week and the first thing she is doing is coming to see you. That evoked an emotion. One line made me feel better. I did the same for my cat. He’s lovable and and handsome and an generally an all around nice guy.
(2 hours later) I had this all thought out, But I will just skip to the end. What do I wish my best friend would say to me? “Dude!” Cuffs me upside the head. “Acceptance?! You are lucky anyone is accepting you! You are lucky anyone is even talking to your right now! You are ‘the crazy ex’, Stop doing stupid shit and Chill. The. Fuck. Out.”
I spent the past two days in bed trying to chill the fuck out.
I’m doing pretty well. I realized my daughter didn’t want a text from me at 8am during school vacation. So I waited til noon. Back to normal. Good morning, Good night, I love you. “Thanks for taking me scent shopping. That was a good gift. I love you.”
Yesterday, N=== texted and said it was great to see me doing so well etc. (???) “Thank you, I had a great time seeing all of you.”
Why do I still feel like everyone is mad at me?