Wow I haven’t updated since May. I haven’t been too terribly inspired, but I’ve also been working on trying to hammer something out that has fought me unbelievably hard. Whenever I do get around to publishing it I won’t be shocked if it’s weird, ponderous and no one reads it. But in the meantime I think I’ll go on for a little bit about the random things in my head that haven’t inspired a full blog post but that are taking up room all the same.
I just got back from a three day retreat with my theatre company, Son of Semele Ensemble. We went off to the mountains to spend some time together, thinking big theatrical thoughts, relaxing, playing and getting to know each other. Lake Arrowhead is certainly beautiful but surprisingly crowded, and chock full of multimillion dollar manses built and expanded by folks both rich and famous. *shrug* At least it was calm and quiet up there.
I love big cities so I have no trouble with the bustle of LA. But I live in Anaheim with my family and it’s rarely calm here. Within a couple of hours getting back here my oldest brother started picking fights while I was trying to chill out (surprising how weekends away can be quite tiring) by watching TV. OB has been back with the family since January. Every now and then he throws out that he’ll move out, but he just tries to threaten it. Literally, “I’m going to move out! How do you like that?!” To which we respond, “please do.” Literally. *long breath* But he’s still here.
OB is schizophrenic with paranoia and who knows what else. None of us are trained to deal with it, and it’s a fight just to convince him to take his meds. He’s required to check in with a counselor, but they just make sure he’s okay, they don’t try to improve his mental health. Nothing – absolutely nothing – convinces him there’s anything wrong with his mind. We’re all the ones who want him to fail, we’re the ones who are illogical, we’re the ones who are crazy and/or afraid to be free etc, etc. He’s only been sick and unable be successful in life because a witchdoctor cursed him and we obviously dislike him because we won’t lend him the money to buy a spell from a psychic that will remove the curse…. Only people who’ve lived with someone who is mentally ill can hope to understand how fucking impossible it is to have a real conversation with a schizophrenic. He’s abusive, he’s irrational, he’s delusional and he is hopelessly lost inside his own head and pain.
No matter how much we want to be sympathetic, he steamrolls our good will with attacks, absurdities, inconsideration and outright terrible manners. The difference between him and an asshole is at least a true asshole will recognize when they are treating someone awfully and accept the indictment, even as they shrug it off. If we point out that he’s being a jerk he insists we’re the ones who started it. (Literally, that’s his argument. He’s 35.)
This leads me to think about how much I want better from myself when it comes to dealing with people who try my patience. Because I do care and worry about him. But I also regularly want to plant my fist in his face. Perhaps it’s a matter of wanting too much, but I feel it’s not enough to just seek calm and peace in my own mind and heart. I should be able to work toward putting that peace out in the world. That I flat out can’t with him sucks hard. That it damages my calm so bad that I end up wishing him ill is…embarrassing. My childish wish is that he would just go away. That he would stop being my problem, or that of our parents.
But that’s the true assholism, isn’t it? Obviously I wish the schizophrenia and other problems in his psyche would go away. But who the hell would he be without them? I barely remember him from high school and he wasn’t a picnic then either.
I don’t like letting my own bullshit slide. I just don’t know how to deal with this. So I frequently don’t except to just blow up.
It’s really hard to get anything done when this is a major part of life.