Thursday, October 30, 2008


The earth is trembling under my feet again. Just when I thought it was feeling steadier. This text came from MJ this morning:

I had a dream about JP last night, that he was missionary weird.

JP is a very cute red-headed boy in our ward who will be returning from his mission in a couple of weeks. MJ is very excited about this. Another kid just came back about two weeks ago, and her interaction with him has taught her about missionary weird—that social awkwardness that return missionaries are plagued with as a result of focusing on missionary work and abstaining from interaction with the opposite gender. I assured her that he indeed would be missionary weird. To which she replied:

MJ: Not around me he better not be.
me: Like he can help it. What are you going to do—attack him?
MJ: If I have to.
me: Oh boy. Look out, JP! (Best to keep the topic light…)
MJ: I’ve told him that in letters, so it’s not going to be a surprise.
And what else, exactly, have you told him in letters? This disturbs me. I would never want her to know how much. Didn’t I just do this? With AG, when her friend Cory came home from his mission? It doesn’t seem like that long ago, now that the same situation is staring me in the face again.

Before his mission, JP was very affectionate with MJ—with everybody. It’s not like he singled her out. But I know that affection is meaningful to her. It may have annoyed her at the time (or at least that was what she expressed), but she has admitted that she’s missed it while he’s been gone. Everyone teases her about marrying him. They practically grew up in this ward together, and they’ve been friends and rivals for a long time. I’m a little envious of something like that. JP’s mom was president of the young women’s organization when MJ was a laurel, and they got to be good friends. I was teasing her one day about being on such good terms with her future daughter-in-law. Although she loves MJ, she wasn’t too hopeful that JP had any specific plans about her. I remember feeling a little sorry for MJ, because if that was true, she’s getting her hopes up only to be disappointed. I’ve been there and it’s not fun. But how many young men tell their mothers who they’re interested in? The point is, none of us knows what’s going to happen.

Not knowing isn’t what bothers me. It bothers me that she’s dreaming about him, that she’s thinking about him so much that the thoughts are running over into her subconscious and manifesting themselves in dreams. I wonder if she dreams about me anymore.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Isn't it just a little bit nice that fuel prices have gone down? I found this web site (I truly could make better use of my time) and was pleased to discover that it costs me $4 to go to work every day. Awesome, yes?

Friday, October 24, 2008


So now the inevitable occurs—that part in the cycle where I start to detach to try and protect myself, so that her distance won’t be so painful. Only it’s not the kind of healthy detach, where I occupy myself with other things and feel grateful for the opportunity. Occupying myself with other things isn’t currently keeping me from feeling depressed.

It doesn’t help that activity at work has slowed way down, and customers aren’t sending me the money they owe, hence I am having a hard time paying our bills, hence our vendors are calling and asking for money. That’s just stressful.

So that stress coupled with MJ stress plus my niece getting into bed with me last night, is probably responsible for my neck and back being tweaked again. So I’m not only experiencing emotional pain, but physical pain too. Oh, the joy of mortality.

(photo courtesy of Mike DeSantis)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


It smells like winter now. There was frost on the grass this morning, and the leaves are falling off the trees. The seasons are supposed to change—that’s how it works.

MJ is detaching. She’s trying to tell me she isn’t, in an attempt, I guess, to make it easier for me, but she is. And she is right to be trying to. I admire her, for being intuitive enough to know what this codependency thing is all about at age 20 and for doing something about it. She’s trying to move on and make something of her life, and I would be selfish to get in her way. I have been feeling selfish. I have been thinking of myself, and basking in self pity. Because suddenly she has direction and I seem to have lost mine.

This is a good opportunity for me. When I decided I was codependent and not gay, I embraced the idea because it was so much more acceptable to me. It was something I could work through, and talk about, because it didn’t seem so shameful. But instead of just theoretically embracing it, I literally embraced it. I let it define me. And now I’m trapped there temporarily, until I find my way out.

I’ve actually been feeling bad about myself—rejected and unattractive—because MJ is moving on. Because her world is not revolving around mine, I started feeling unloved. I’m actually looking for acceptance from outside of myself, without even realizing I was doing it!

Maybe it’s time to read some Melody Beattie again.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


If I don't see MJ on a particular day, she requires me to say good night via text when I go to bed. Just saying good night gets repetitive and boring, so I try to mix it up. Last night I quoted some lyrics from Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed." But she wasn't familiar with the song, so it confused her. She felt the need to reassure me.

MJ: If you’re just spouting lyrics, you can go ahead and go to bed. But you don’t need me. You just think you do.
me: I only spew lyrics when they apply.
MJ: Even so, you don’t need me as much as you think you do. But regardless, I still love you as much as I always have. (Here is some reassurance, knowing I've kind of been feeling insecure lately.)
me: Why does it feel different? (I decided to plow forward at this point.)
MJ: What? My love?
me: Yes, the bond. There’s distance in it.
MJ: I can’t deny that, but you will always have a special bond with me, no matter what the distance. (Admittance plus reassurance. It's exactly what I would have done. I've taught her well. ;) )
me: So I am not imagining it.
MJ: It had to happen eventually, right? If I wanted to move on with my life?
me: Yes. It just threw me off. You’ve always been the consistent one. I’m the one who fluctuates.
MJ: Yes, I know. It threw me off too. I didn’t expect it.
me: What happened?
MJ: You know, I’m not sure. I just got busy with other things and found myself wanting more, for me. So I started getting consumed with what I wanted and it felt good for a change—putting myself first. It just sort of happened.
me: What are you doing that you weren’t doing before?
MJ: Trusting the Lord more, and trying to picture what I want my life to look like in the end. (What the crap can I possibly say to that?)
me: Well then, how can I complain? I know it’s good, what’s happening. I just have to adapt.
MJ: I know what position you are in, and to be honest, I didn’t like it at all, which was probably obvious. But if it weren’t for that, I’d probably still be just as messed up as when I was 16. So really I should be thanking you. Thank you. You still mean everything to me, and that won’t change. I’ve already promised you. (More reassurance. Good girl.)
me: You’re thanking me for the times when I pushed you away?
MJ: Weird, I know. But just so we’re clear, I’m NOT pushing you away.
me: Just reprioritizing.
MJ: Right. I need you to stay in my life. You’re one of the puzzle pieces.
me: I’m happy to stay. I’m just not ready for things to be different.
MJ: How much different can they get right now? Not much.
me: It’s already different or we would not be having this conversation. I’m just feeling resistant.
MJ: Well, we can still do our crazy boring stuff. (What is it that we do again?)
me: I’m glad we talked about it. I was afraid to.
MJ: Does it makes you feel better about it, or worse?
me: Better. It’s out in the open.
MJ: OK. I’m glad you asked because I didn’t know how to bring it up.

Her communication skills have vastly improved since

she was 16.

I think what I will miss the most is the affection. The time won’t be such a problem, because I live with a busy family and there will be a new baby next year and I don’t ever worry about being bored. I’m sure I will miss her. Especially when she moves away, which will probably happen next year too, when she turns 21. Her parents have said she needs to be out on her own, and I agree. It will just be hard to have her farther away, even if it’s only two cities away. I can’t see myself going to hang out at her apartment in college town, with roommates around. It just makes me wonder what we will do to remain friends. It makes me think it will be just like Amanda. She’ll get involved in school and make new friends and end up getting married and we’ll grow apart and never talk anymore. It makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it.

But why did I ever think it would turn out any differently? Of course that was what was going to happen. I always knew that, always expected it. She would not believe it, because she hasn’t done this several times already. But I have done this before. I know how it works.

Why does the cycle keep repeating itself? Isn’t it time that I moved on with my life and found someone nice and masculine to settle down with? I want someone whose life I can share, whose family I can be adopted into, who will be accepted and loved among my family, who does not have a separate life apart from me. I want someone who does not need to make life decisions without me and make me less of a priority than I once was. I want to be first! Well, second to God. That’s how it’s supposed to be. I would be thrilled to be second.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


MJ has been distancing herself lately. I want to say that I wonder if it’s a conscious decision she’s making, or if it’s just circumstantial, because she has homework, and family stuff, or whatever. But if she is like me, which she is, it’s a conscious decision. It’s good. It should be good. She’s not as available as she used to be, she’s busy with school, making decisions about her life, her career—she’s being more productive, which is what I want for her. It used to irritate me that she wasted so much time, that she would just come over here and watch us, entertained, but mostly bored. I hate being bored, and I didn’t like feeling like I had to entertain her. I’ve become used to it now, but I did continue to believe that she needed to be busier, and more productive. Idleness is not happiness, and is actually pretty dangerous.

She used to drop anything for me.

My family is going to Lake Powell this weekend, so I made arrangements for someone to come and clean the carpets while they are gone. I sent MJ a text and asked if she would help me move couches. I expected a typical answer, something like, “Sure, just tell me when.” But instead I got that she wasn’t sure, that she had to make sure she had her reading done but that it should work.

She used to come over every night, or at least three nights a week.

This week I’ve seen her for an hour, which was last night about nine. I don’t know what to feel. The codependent side of me wants to be hurt, to confront her and ask her what she’s up to. But the healthy side tells me that she’s doing what she needs to do for herself. She’s a lot younger than I am and has a lot to do. Her life could go a little differently than mine did. JP will be home from his mission next month. I know she’s looking forward to that. Maybe she’s preparing for a mission herself, and she knows that the separation will be hard, so she’s starting now.

I used to get text messages from her periodically during the day.

This week, I only get a message if I send one first and she responds. There’s no conversation, no random thoughts. Did she get tired of sending messages and not getting responses from me? Or is this just part of her master plan of gradually pulling herself away?

I have to wonder. When you’re used to things the way they are, and they start changing with no explanation, you have to wonder.