It’s just not natural.

Have you ever considered how terrifying interstates are?

I mean, think about it.  Soft, fragile human bodies seated in little metal rockets on wheels only feet apart as they weave back and forth across the lanes with nothing separating them but a thin sheet of glass and a 5-inch thick door panel, flying at speeds of almost (and sometimes in excess of) 100 miles per hour where the slightest miscalculation can mean horrific, maiming injuries, life-altering brain trauma or instantaneous death?  That’s occurred to you, right?

Or maybe it’s just me.

And on, you know, a completely unrelated note, did I mention that Kristen turns 16 next week, and today she drove us on the interstate to Montgomery and back?  I don’t think I ever really realized how narrow the lanes are on I85 through Montgomery, or how many people don’t have both tail lights in proper operational condition or how few people signal when changing lanes or how ridiculously, insanely unsafe 70 mph really is.  It’s really not natural that soft little human bodies travel at that speed, y’all.

And there are nine more days until she’s out there in a car on her own.

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But really it’s not her driving that has me worried.  I think she’s doing just fine, in that new driver way, and she’s got a good head on her shoulders.  It’s the fact that I’m about to have to let go in the biggest way yet.

I knew this kind of thing would be scary, in that theoretical kind of way.  But uh…nobody really told me about this crap.  Specifically I don’t remember anyone pulling me aside as I was holding her when she was still tiny enough and willing enough to be held and saying,”You know, Ang, at some point you’re going to be expected put this girl in a car and watch her pull away from the house and know that she’s just out there, all on her own in a little metal rocket on a road full of other metal rockets and you will be expected to stay behind and let her and it will feel like the most unnatural thing you’ve ever done after spending 16 years taking care of her and keeping tabs on her and keeping her safe and alive.  And no, running after her bumper like a frantic, senseless Collie is not really acceptable behavior.  It’s most definitely frowned upon and she will likely find it upsetting and embarrassing…but it will definitely occur to you and you will have to fight the urge anyway.

Or maybe somebody did and I just didn’t hear them.

Nine more days.  More  than enough time to find out who in our government I need to write to get the interstate speed limits brought down to a much more safe and reasonable speed of, say, 45mph, right?  Or does that still seem a little high to you?

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Stay tuned

As you probably have noticed, this blog is still trying to figure out exactly what it is.  Kind of like its author, it really hasn’t figured out what it wants to be when it grows up.  A few years ago I started it with the intention of using it to hold myself accountable for working out more and eating better, maybe with maybe a funny story or two thrown in for good measure, but it just didn’t really stick.  I felt that I needed to post more often than maybe was really organic (what a pretentious word) and as a result it started feeling like a chore and then before you know it I had just stopped altogether.

So, let’s do a little revamping, shall we?  I’m just gonna’ write what I feel like writing and see what happens.  I’ve gone back and taken some stuff out, and plan on maybe even renaming the blog itself.  “Oh Bless Her Heart” just wasn’t really doing it for me.  “Funny Thing Is” may not do it for me either, I just don’t know.  You’re talking to a girl who stands in the grocery aisle for longer than is natural trying to decide which peanut butter to purchase because of a slight tendency towards indecisiveness, so this decision may take a hot minute.  Plus I may not be able to figure out how to make the new title match the actual web address, rendering this entire angsty decision a moot point anyway (Who am I kidding.  We all know I’ll get Seth to do it for me).

In conclusion, I’m toying with some things and in the meantime my blog may look like it has multiple personality disorder.  Hm, maybe it should just be Sybil.wordpress.com (“I’m NOT Vanessa!”).   Or maybe IDon’tKnowWhatTheHellI’mDoing.wordpress.com.  At any rate, I hope you will bear with me while I work it all out.

Second Chances

Don’t you love how my last blog post was “I’m back” and then I disappeared for two and a half years?  Yeah, me too.  Oh, Angie, you unreliable blogger, you.

We’ll catch up on all that later.  Maybe.  Who knows.  I mean really, I just told you I’m kind of unreliable.

Today I wanna’ talk about a girl.

She’s had a rough coming up.  Things in her childhood, lets just say, were no picnic.  Don’t get me wrong; she always had people who loved and cherished her, but I guess it just wasn’t enough to make up for the ones who didn’t.   She’s understandably lost, and it’s an angry kind of lost.  Ninety-something pounds of wounded little girl hiding behind a thick veneer of puffed up early twenties street smart baddassery.  I suppose that happens a lot.  There’s no shortage of hurt in this world, and it’d be my guess that this is a pretty common variety.

The last few years have been the kind where you don’t know when you might hear from her, and at times the kind where you fear you may not hear from her ever again.  Once she showed up at her grandparent’s house with no shoes.  There was always a story, some half-fantasy fueled by maybe denial, maybe a deadly concoction of chemicals.  Probably both.  Once I saw her swagger in on a muggy 90 degree day, skin and bones and wild-eyed, wearing a long sleeved sweatshirt to cover who knows what on her skinny arms.

And the men.  There’s most always a man involved, if you care to call them that.  You can imagine the sort I bet but just in case you’re having trouble, let me paint you a picture with my words: The current one could be a regular guest star on COPS  and wears his stupid cap all stupid sideways on his stupid meth head and always looks like he’s stupid asleep.

Anway, this weekend she began sending sporadic texts indicating that she needed a list of supplies to have in order to enter a rehab facility this week.  After sussing out that this actually seems to be real and not a ploy to get money or goods to sell for money (sorry, but that’s usually the reality of it), it was decided that things would be bought and the two hour drive would be made.  And they were, and it was, and it was good.  I think.

It’s hard not to be a skeptic, y’all and I am not a good enabler.  As I sit here waiting to hear if she actually makes that 11:00 check-in today, I’d be lying if I said part of me wasn’t steeling myself for disappointment and readying myself to go back what has become my intentional and necessary approach of having to step back until she hits bottom again.

But here’s the thing.  I believe that what is lost can be redeemed, and that what is stolen can be recovered.  I believe in The One who is greater than addiction, greater than hurt, greater than the scars of abuse and fear and doubt.  And I believe that the 90-pound broken girl also happens to be a daughter of the King even if she is too afraid and feels too dirty and unworthy to accept that as fact.  Just because you don’t know something doesn’t make it not true, after all.

And so.

After I sat across from her in a tiny (kind of dirty) McDonalds listening to her tell me about meth and taking it and selling it and guns against her boyfriend’s head and how she’d have been dead if she hadn’t left town, I told her these things.  Or some version of it that, and maybe it wasn’t exactly eloquent, but the words spilled out nonetheless.

I told her that I thought she was selling herself short because she felt unworthy, and listen to this, y’all.  The very moment that word…unworthy…left my lips, that angular, too-thin face that any of you with a meth-addicted loved one knows more than you care to admit?  It crumbled in on itself and the hard drug-dealing girl cried helpless and broken little girl tears into a paper McDonalds napkin.

Let that sink in a moment.

This girl who puts on a hard face during the terrible scenes that most of us have only seen in movies?  The one who takes the blows and lets them scar her heart and does it all with a look of defiance and a multitude of F-yous?  The  moment you tell her she is not unworthy, but is instead a beloved daughter of the King, she breaks.  It’s too much to process, too much to accept.  Too terrifying to believe.

Let that break your heart, because if it doesn’t then I worry for you.

We unloaded her stuff…sweatpants, underwear and socks and basic toiletries that she apparently didn’t have…and left her in the care of Stupid and drove the two hours back.

And here I sit at 10:05 waiting to hear if she made 11:00 check in all I can see is that look on her face and what the word “unworthy” spoke to her very being, and I just wish that I could make her know what has been the truth all along, because that’s where things get a little less simple, I suppose.

But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.” Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!  See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.