Should I or shouldn’t I …

The other day while wandering around Facebook, idly searching for names of past or former friends, I came across my former brother-in-law.  Boy has he changed!  He went from slim to body builder … a 180 degree difference … I almost fell out of my chair.  Only his face was familiar.  

Wow, did a lot of memories come flooding back.  Recently I wrote about things I’d like to tell me ex and … is this a sign that I should?  Or should I send an innocent “oh, hi” message to my brother-in-law?  What would I say?  It’s not like we have any Facebook friends in common that I would naturally stumble across his profile.  The only way I would is if I’d purposefully been looking.

Some backstory … my brother-in-law, let’s call him Steve, has quite a colorful and storied past.  He was an addict, cocaine and alcohol (that I know of), had been through rehab (? times) but seems to have traded drugs for body-building.  A much healthier path, to be sure.  While in the midst of the drug years, we had a tense relationship.  I liked him a great deal but loathed his behavior.  His family seemed to accept his drug use and subsequent actions as “that’s Steve, what can we do?” while I silently seethed with anger and disbelief.  Once he wrapped a brand new truck around a telephone pole, after which when the police arrived, the search was on for a body … the crash was that severe.  I either don’t know or don’t remember if Steve said how he got home that night but I do remember the truck was a gift from his grandfather and owned barely 6 months before it’s embrace with the telephone pole.  Again, the reaction from the family was limited to “at least you’re okay” with not a thought or mention of the fact he could have easily killed or injured an innocent stranger.  Not a word about being so drunk the police were looking for a fatality.  Nothing about wrecking a very expensive gift.  Not one single utterance.  I was outraged and held myself apart from the family, sitting very quiet and not speaking to anyone, let alone joining in the “thank God you’re okay” talk.  And guess who got chewed out later on for “being rude to Steve” … yes, me.  Talk about insult added to injury.  Of course, the admonishment came from my former husband making it all the more cutting.  I have not and will not be a quiet witness to abuse, of drugs, alcohol, to oneself or another … I certainly won’t be complicit by refusing to take a stand.   By accepting his behavior, his family condoned his actions and enabled his lifestyle.  I refused to be a party to this attitude and for that I was chastised.  

Addiction ran in the family as both parents were alcoholics, as (it turned out) so was the eldest son (my erstwhile ex).  It was status quo for them but inconceivable for me.  Admittedly patience is not a virtue I’ll ever be known for, so I might have been on the harsh side of judgmental.  However, if my choices were cooperation or condemnation, I chose the latter.  There was a grey area of compassion I couldn’t quite manage.

So, switch to present day and the discovery of Steve on Facebook … and the question de jour … do I reach out to him?  What would I say?  Or should I let past rest in peace.



Inside the mind of someone with ADD … or, as we used to call it before its fancy medical term came along, BSO or bright shiny object disease.  Here’s how a typical unstructured day goes for me:

Get up, eventually … after rising at 5:30 during the week sleeping in is my first treat of the weekend.  Figure out what sweats/yoga wear to lounge around in, go downstairs and it’s like a dog distracted by a squirrel … I clean up any “presents” my geriatric pug might have left during the night which leads me to decide the rug needs cleaning which leads to vacuuming the whole room and while I’ve got the vacuum out might as well do the whole house.  While downstairs, I see some boxes that need collapsing before being recycled which I start to do, but in looking for my box cutter I come across my heat gun which I recently used to do some melted crayon art (see above).  So I put the heat gun away, forgetting the boxes as I look around at my studio, I decide I need to tidy up my mess and that leads to going through boxes of goose clothes (more about that later).  It’s fall, so I need to change my gooses outfit.  She’s now dressed like a scarecrow and the FSU cheerleading outfit she was wearing needs washing so I toss it in the wash, realizing that I have a spare FSU cheerleading outfit but the FSU patch has come off … so it’s back upstairs where I trip over the vacuum cleaner … oh, right, I was going to vacuum downstairs, but first I need to iron the patch back on.  That task done, I return the ironing board to the closet and head back downstairs to return the goose outfit to her dresser of outfits.  As I sort through various art projects, I manage to actually throw a couple out which means a trip to the garbage cans and the boxes to be recycled get stomped flat instead of neatly cut and collapsed but they make it to the recycle bin.  All this is going through my mind and I’m thinking, maybe I ought to blog about it.  Going back upstairs, moving the vacuum cleaner upstairs (my townhouse is three floors) in the vain hope I’ll get that chore done eventually.  I sit down at the computer desk which has some sheet music printed out, and I decide to hole punch it and put the music away in my book, but looking at one of the tunes – I realize it’s a Christmas tune and wonder if I can play it on my violin.  So I get out my violin, where I discover one of the strings has come almost undone so I have to tighten that peg and retune the violin, then I try and play the tune which I can almost do.  That stupid torn rotator cuff is still inhibiting proper violin playing posture.  I’m aware I’m hungry so I go into the kitchen and make myself a meal replacement shake but notice the dishes in the sink so I stop to wash them but first I have to empty the clean dishes from the dishwasher.  Eventually I end up with the dishes put away, and make my shake and now … several hours later I’ve gone from cleaning the rug to … oh, darn, I never did finish vacuuming did I?

That’s kind of what it’s like to have ADD … you barely start one task when … oh, look! Bright shiny object … and you’re drawn to something else, and something else, and the original task is likely to fade into the mists of time.  It’s a variation of “what did I come into this room for?”.

Partly it’s the way my mind works, and partly it’s an inability to deal with unstructured time.  As much as I complain about work and how much I’d rather be retired … it does force a certain structure to my day.  Left alone, with no deadlines or other requirements, I’m (to quote Carrie Fisher) like a hamster in search of a wheel.

About the geese.  All the women in my family own these big cement lawn geese.  They have a variety of clothes and are often dressed to match the season.  My goose has about 30 outfits.  I’m known in the neighborhood as “the goose lady”.

What was I talking about?  oh … was that a squirrel?