And no, I am not referring to myself, or anyone I know. While I wait for my boyfriend to get back from vacation so I can borrow Soon We'll be Invincible, or get my books from the library: Feast of Love (soon to be out in theaters, filmed in Oregon) and How to Make Love like a Porn Star, the autobiography of Jenna Jameson (I'm a sucker for real like: memoirs, autobiographies), I've gone back to reading The Bitch in the House, the predecessor to The Bastard on the Couch, (thanks Kelly.)
I very much enjoyed The Bastard on the Couch. It was truly eye opening, funny, and at times moving. I expected the Bitch to be the same. But perhaps because it was the first one and mainly written by pissed-off women, it has quite a different feel, hence "pissed off" and "bitch". When I started to read this book, I was in a transitional phase in my life. I had attained a really good job in the part of town I dreamed of and therefore, moved to. Be nonce to me, I was going through an attachment phase, I was afraid of being on my own. Not necessarily living on my own, but being on my one, alone. My boyfriend had his place, my parents there's and now I have my own. I had been living with my parents for about 8 months until I finally moved out and it will most likely be the last time I'm truly taken care of. My dad is a mechanic, ok, technician as he insists, and takes care of my car. My mom, well, she's my mom. She takes care of my health, my well being, and my mental state. Not only is she my mom, she's also my best friend. I always told her, if we'd grown up together not being mother and daughter, we'd have been best friends. So, I began reading this collection of essays by working women and mothers with spouses and partners and children. Pretty safe. Then, a few of the essays dealt with deaths of parents, moms and dads and well, it just made me realize that I am in that point in my life where I have to think about it. My parents don't have *that* much longer with me and well, I will be left to fend for myself and that is terrifying to me. My friend and I cannot talk about our mothers' changes let alone their deaths, it's too overwhelming. Just noticing the new wrinkle, the new skin spot, or how their walk has slowed down, is just tear jerking. I'd start to read these essays with all the positivity in the world and hit a spot where a parent died and I'd break down. I'm not ready to think about that yet. I'm not married, I'm not "taken care of" yet, I'm not strong enough, and their deaths are just not going to happen. But the reality is that it will happen, I am strong enough, and I don't need anyone to take care of me. I live on my own, have a great job, great pay, and great co-workers. I have great friends, a great family who is also my main support system and finally, a great partner who, when the time is right and he gets his barrings, will be able to "take care of me", even though I know I can do it myself and I've already proven that I can take care of him. It's not that I need to be taken care of, I just want to know I can fall back on someone just in case. My parents have always been that unit. When my brother got divorced, he moved back in with my parents with his one year old. When my other brother couldn't find a job, he lived with my parents during the transition. When I graduated college and came back from my 6 month internship at 2 and a half moths, homesick and jobless, I moved back in with my parents. When I hit my rock bottom just last year, I moved back in with my parents again, and again, and again a million times over if anyone of us needs it.
I know this post is supposed to be about The Bitch in the House, but I wanted to explain why it has taken me so long to get through it. It made me stare a general future in a the face, one that I had been putting off thinking about because well, parents are superheroes, right? I'm finally ready to face that. Not that I'm ready for my parents to leave me. I will NEVER be ready for that! But I am ready to admit to myself that if anything were to happen, if that unit were to vanish . . . I could still do it on my own and seek help if need be. I am NOT alone and I am lucky for that. Not only do I have my brothers, I have their wives and girlfriends who would lend a helping hand. I am so so so lucky for that. If not them, I have friends who are just like family to me.
So, I'm back to reading The Bitch in the House with my new found amo. I'm ready to battle out the insecurity and the fear that overwhelms me with just one word and to tell myself, I'll be ok, I'll be ok.