Monday Moon Post: Jane Eyre

If you’d rather get right to the moon quotes you can scroll down to the bottom of this post until you see the moon pictures. I’ll get to Jane Eyre and the moon quotes momentarily, but first…

I am so tired. Yes, I know I sound like a broken record, but really, I am tired. There’s been a lot going on- school shopping, grocery shopping, a very long day at the zoo, 90 minutes spent at my son’s new high school just to get his schedule and locate only half of his classes, a very unexpected bachelorette party on Saturday night, a baby’s 1st birthday party yesterday afternoon, and then last night we went to the Football Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. We had a 2 hour drive there and back and we didn’t get home until just after midnight. This morning I had to get up at 7 to take my 14-year-old son to a friend’s house for a day trip to an amusement park. Well, first I was woken up around 5 by some very strange dreams, but there was still time for me to go back to sleep before my alarm went off. However, I wasn’t able to that because my son was already up and already in trouble. He had been up since about 5- watching YouTube and playing games on his tablet, and he knows he isn’t supposed to do that! So my husband took the tablet from him and put it in our room. And what does my son do? He gets on his laptop!

I know what you’re thinking, Why does he have a tablet AND a laptop?
answer: GRANDPARENTS!
That’s why!
Grrrrrrr! Curse them and their desire to bestow expensive gifts on my children!

So I went in his room and demanded he get off and then of course lectured him about this and that and everything else, which I know isn’t exactly effective, but damn it I’m tired! He is driving me crazy….

Anyway, where was I? Oh, that’s right- busy. Parties, a football game, family stuff, kid stuff, preparing for a new school year, etc….. Prior to all this, or in the midst of it, my brother Sonn texted me one night:

[Have you heard about Sem?  I just found out tonight.]

Ok, honestly, I thought he was about to tell me that our brother was dead. I’m serious. My brother’s situation is that bad. As I said in my first post he is basically homeless. He tells my mom that he sometimes sleeps in abandoned houses, and, believe me, the part of town he frequents has no shortage of abandoned houses. Sometimes he sleeps on a random home’s porch or in an unused garage. People have called the police to have him removed. He is always asking my mom for money, or demanding it from her. And it’s always denominations of twenty. Years ago it was, “Hey, can I get $20?” He would always have some desperate reason why he needed it- medicine, bus money, he owes someone, etc… But it was all lies. If anyone agreed to give him $20 then it would turn into $40. “Well, actually 40 would be better” he’d say, but he would settle for $20 if you told him it was all you could do. Then it became $40 or $60, and the story was that he needed it to pay for Suboxone or a hotel room.
No one will let him live with them because he steals. He’s stolen from my mom’s house I can’t tell you how many times. She finally stopped letting him come back. She did, however, very recently get him a pre-paid cell phone so he would have a better chance at complying with his probation. (More on that later.) And what did he do with it? He sold it. He claimed it was stolen but he always says that. We know he sold it. Almost anything my mom has given him since he was 18 he has sold. Maybe some of the stuff was lost or stolen, but we think a lot of it was pawned, sold on the street, or traded in exchange for drugs. You can’t give him anything- he will turn into drugs.
He’s on probation because he broke into Sonn’s apartment- for the 2nd time. That’s right, he robbed his own brother. Twice. The first time he got in by smashing the siding glass door. He stole the flat screen TV, Xbox and games, and some cash. The 2nd time he broke in he did it through an upstairs window. He stole a brand new Xbox One, the few games Sonn had for it- oh, and his car. A few days later Sem was caught by the police in that stolen car and was arrested. (Stolen copper pipes were also found in the backseat). The Xbox was already pawned of course. Finger prints- actually an entire hand print- confirmed it was Sem who broke into the upstairs window.
These are felonies, Buddy. You’re going down.
He spent some time in jail, had to detox alone in a cell with nothing more than pain reliever to “help” him through it. Believe me, it was very difficult thinking of him going through that alone…  He would be in prison right now but, because these were non-violent crimes committed by a person who is clearly an addict, he was released under certain conditions. He was given a place at a homeless shelter and was supposed to report to a probation officer for daily drug testing. The program would also help get him a job and into an out-patient rehab program.
I would say, “Well, that didn’t last long,” but it never even began. As soon as he was out he was right back to it- lying, asking for money (40, 60, 80), crying about not having anywhere to live and claiming he had to leave the homeless shelter because it was infested with bed bugs. It probably is, but so is any other place he can find to crash. He has the nerve to claim he’s not on drugs, that he needs money for a place to stay the night, but we know it’s not true. My mom doesn’t give him money anymore, no one does. So I find myself wondering at times, What does he do to get the drugs he wants/needs?
I’m sure I don’t want to know…

People just like him- addicts- are found dead everyday in the neighborhoods where he drifts and wanders. Bodies are found in empty condemned houses and apartments, in dumpsters…. Some have OD’d, some have been murdered.
So you can see how I thought Oh god, he’s dead when Sonn texted me.

[Have you heard about Sem?]

However, he was referring to Sem not complying with his probation-which I already knew- and that no one had heard from him in a few weeks- which I did not know.
We have no way of contacting him. None whatsoever. Our only way of knowing he’s alive is that he calls our mom, but he apparently hasn’t done that in several weeks. This has happened before, but you never know. This time could be it….

Sonn also texted to me, “I don’t know how to handle this.”

This is unusually candid for him. He is a man of few words and certainly not prone to confessions of an emotional nature. I was completely caught off guard. I really wanted to help him but I wasn’t sure how. I know how to help myself, I know what I need to do to “handle” (deal with) the chaos and heartache that my family creates, but what works for me won’t necessarily work for Sonn. I’m the only one in my family who has been open to therapy/counseling. I’ve suggested this to him several times before, but he was always pretty clear about not wanting to go that route. I think for him therapy has always been a last resort. However, I know that Sem’s sad life and addiction hurts (and angers) Sonn more than it does me. When it comes to Sem I have been able to achieve a great deal of detachment- Sonn has not. And finally here he was reaching out for help. I figured there was no point in suggesting therapy again so I suggested Al-Anon, which has also been immensely helpful to me.  I wanted to suggest both Al-Anon and counseling, but I didn’t think he’d go for it. However, to my surprise, when I texted him about Al-Anon he texted back that he was thinking of counseling.
Well, I jumped all over the chance to encourage that! He said he didn’t know where to start so I gave him a few ideas, but I tried to make sure I didn’t overwhelm him.

So with all that’s been going on it’s no surprise that I’ve had a little anxiety. One night recently I was experiencing some chest pains and shortness of breath. Sometimes when I’m anxious, and especially when my mind is racing with absurd chaotic thoughts, I have a little prayer that I slowly repeat to myself. It helps me calm down.

Peace in my mind
Peace in my heart
Faith in the Kingdom
Faith in the Guard

The first two lines are pretty basic- a simple and concise declaration for a peaceful state of mind and body. The second two lines were inspired by one of the most beautiful lines I have ever read:

“…there is an invisible world and a kingdom of spirits; that world is round us, for it is everywhere; and those spirits watch us, for they are commissioned to guard us”

That is from the novel Jane Eyre (one of my favorites!), which, oddly enough, finally brings me to the quotes for Moon Post Monday. The first time I read Jane Eyre I was very surprised by the number of times the moon was mentioned and it really stuck with me. I made note of the best of them and here they are….

 

“…when the moon, which was full and bright, came in her course to that space in the sky opposite my casement, and looked in at me through the unveiled panes, her glorious gaze roused me. Awaking in the dead of night, I opened my eyes on her disk– silver-white and crystal clear. It was beautiful, but too solemn…”

moon window silver white

“He saw me, for the moon had opened a blue field in the sky, and rode in it watery bright.”

“The east had its own charm of fine deep blue, and its own modest gem, a rising and solitary star; soon it would boast the moon, but she was yet beneath the horizon.”

“On the hill top above me sat the rising moon; pale yet as a cloud, but brightening momentarily…”

 

“…for I am to take mademoiselle to the moon, and there I shall seek a cave in one of the white valleys among the volcano-tops, and mademoiselle shall live with me there…”

“…the moon appeared momentarily… her disk was blood-red and half overcast. She seemed to throw on me one bewildered, dreary glance, and buried herself again instantly in the deep drift of cloud.”

moon red

“…the sea, which I could hear from thence, rumbled dull like an earthquake- black clouds were casting up over it; the moon was setting in the waves, broad and red, like a hot cannon-ball– she threw her last bloody glance over a world quivering with the ferment of tempest.”

 

 

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Dear Diary: Starting to see some light

Wow, my first post for this blog was quite lengthy and didn’t contain any visuals- sorry about that. I did go back and add an awesome pic of Alice (as in Wonderland) doing a facepalm.  That first post did, however, contain profanity- which is unusual for my writing- but damn it I needed to vent!
Okay, okay, I’ll stop.

I dumped a whole mess of personal info in that first post. What’s really funny is that when I first attempted a blog (years ago) I had no intention of including anything personal at all. I wanted to focus only on books, quotes, movies, music and song lyrics. But keeping the personal stuff out of it has proven to be unrealistic for me.  I have found that it is very difficult to share my thoughts and knowledge without including the grit and chaos that has lead to them. If I mention books like Toxic Parents, The Feminine Mystique, Courage to Change, Emotional Blackmail, Stop Walking On Eggshells, Goddesses In Every Woman, Dance of the Dissident Daughter- I want to be able to say why it is that I’ve read that book. Even the fiction books I read have a connection to the personal, and if I include that then I have a better chance of inspiring readers and giving them something to relate to.

Speaking of personal, I wrote that first post on my dad’s birthday! I didn’t realize that until today. And, speaking of my dad, I actually saw him last night….
First let me say that I never call my dad. I’m not proud of that. He’s always the one doing the calling. Half the time I don’t even answer, but that’s because I know he’s been drinking and sometimes I just don’t have the patience to handle it. It’s not like I can have a real conversation with him. His personality during his intoxicated state has gotten worse over the years. It’s bizarre- sometimes even Twilight Zone bizarre. I could have a field day with adjectives attempting to describe to you what it’s like, but I’ll save that for another time.

Anyway, I do feel guilty for not calling my dad. I feel guilty when he calls and I don’t answer, and I feel guilty for not seeing him. Half a year can go by without me seeing him and he’s only a 15 minute drive away. Lately it seems like every time I’m on the phone with him he mentions that he hasn’t seen us. So I’ve been feeling a little more guilty than usual. However, I should clarify that Al-Anon helped me bring my guilt down to a more realistic, more manageable level, and although I feel some guilt it certainly isn’t debilitating or unhealthy. Still, it’s there, and it motivated me to do something for my dad. He is, after all, a human being and I know he loves me (and my kids) even if he isn’t capable of having a real relationship with us. So I asked my brother if he could bring Dad over to my house.
(My dad doesn’t drive. No car, no license. Long story.)
Like I mentioned in the last post, my dad lives in a sketchy neighborhood so I don’t want to take my kids over there. Also, my dad’s apartment is difficult to be in because of all the cat hair and years of cigarette smoke. There is a sticky film over everything and the once white walls are now brownish.  We all feel like we can’t breathe and our eyes start to burn. My husband and daughter have asthma and allergies so there’s just no way they can survive in there. The kids feel very uncomfortable. It doesn’t feel like a safe place. We actually stopped visiting years ago for those reasons, and because we would all have to shower and put our clothes in the wash as soon as we got home! When we left his apartment we would smell terrible! I would be nauseous the whole way home. These are the reasons why I asked my brother to bring him to my house instead.
So, we saw him. Of course he was intoxicated. I like to use the word intoxicated sometimes because ‘drunk’ sounds so harsh… I expected him to be intoxicated, but he was very intoxicated. He couldn’t even walk straight. I was afraid several times that he was going to fall, and it seemed like he was having trouble focusing- his motor skills were off. He had trouble reaching for the door knob on our back door, then he couldn’t get it open. It took him a few tries. I think my brother had to help him. It was a very, very sad thing to see, and it was also strange to see it but not say anything. None of us even looked at one another. I felt like we were all pretending it wasn’t happening… But that isn’t necessarily true.
I mean, what can we say? What is there to say? He is what he is and we know it. No one is necessarily denying anything simply by being politely silent.

My dad and brother didn’t stay long, and as terrible as it sounds, I was glad. I was relieved when they left. My dad was trying to join in the conversation we were having, but it was clear that he didn’t really know what we were talking about. And he looks so unhealthy. So unhealthy. He looks terrible! But of course he does. A person can’t smoke and drink to excess for decades and not end up like that. I could hardly even look at him, and I felt bad about that but…  I don’t know how my brother can stand to see him like that so often. Then again, Nick has always been very loyal. And even though it was hard I’ve decided I’m going to see my dad again- not often, maybe once a month- but I’m going to make an effort. He’s sick. Alcoholism is a disease. I’ve been treating him like a pariah and a leper for too long. And, frankly, I don’t know how much time he has left.
So…. Well…. Yeah… I saw my dad. And that’s that.

Moving on… As I mentioned in my previous post, I have a few ideas about how to occupy my time in order to add meaning and purpose to my life, to expand my world. This blog is one of them. I really hope I can keep it going this time! My other ideas are volunteering in my daughter’s classroom (a very real possibility), going back to Al-Anon (very doable), having lunch with my friends who work full-time, and visiting my friends who are stay-at-home moms. Even though they have small children, and both of mine are now in school all day, that doesn’t mean we can’t still hang out. And I bet they would like that- they’re probably lonely too!
When I was in college I volunteered for the Suicide Prevention Hotline, I could do that again. I’ve also looked into some unique fitness opportunities like Pure Barre and aerial yoga, but Pure Barre is pretty expensive so that’s probably out. I’ll keep looking for things like that though. Or, here’s a thought- maybe I’ll get a job!
“The word today is job.  J-O-B.”
Okay, not really today, but maybe soon. It feels so strange, so wrong to not have a job, and especially to not even be looking for a job. This hasn’t happened since I was 16. Up until May 21st of this year I had a job, but the hours were at night and since we could finally afford it- I quit. Now I know more than ever the things a job can give you in addition to pay. So, anyway, sometimes there are part-time positions available at one of the local libraries. Or I could volunteer at the library- I love being around books!

Speaking of books, that’s what this blog is supposed to be about! The title, after all, is Words and Plots. Clearly that title implies books, novels, stories…. Clearly that title implies a sophisticated wonderland of quotes, insights, and intelligent reflections! The strange thing is I haven’t felt like reading lately, which is unusual for me, but I know what caused this accidental book sabbatical. I overloaded myself with reading. No, really. I was reading non-stop! Last summer I re-read all of Harry Potter, and then in the fall and winter I read several more novels back to back. From October to February I read The Wolf Gift (eh), half of The Wolves of Midwinter (eh), 2 Jane Austen mystery novels (loved them, will read more), Girl With A Pearl Earring (very interesting, really liked) and David Copperfield (LOVED). And these are just the ones I can remember. I think there was 1 or 2 more. I also did a few very time consuming blog posts/book reviews back in October, but they were taking up too much time (stupid old laptop!) so I abandoned the whole project. Yet, here I am, still with the same old laptop, trying again. It really is a shame I wasn’t blogging as I was reading all those books, the inspiration was flying through my head as I read them. Such a missed opportunity! But, like I said, I can try again. I’ve accomplished two new posts so far and I feel pretty good about it already. Today I’ve been blogging from my kitchen table, but Saturday I was at Starbucks so I was at least near other people- possibly even seen by a few. Actually, one guy even spoke to me- something about how standing is better than sitting. Thank you Random Stranger!
Until next time…