So...making Nikki's computer dream a reality, which is the project I've been on since January pretty single-mindedly, has finally come to fruition today. And those parts got here FAST. Like laser fast. So I cleaned out the dining room table so he has a work space (on the weekends that area is set up for gaming as there is a Friday night and a Sunday evening game), and he's like a little kind in a candy store right now. It was worth every moment of locking myself in the bathroom at work to have a cry in private because it had gotten so crazy there. I DID IT! He's currently putting together his new baby, which is just like my baby. Only because the parts aren't NEW NEW like they were last year he got his baby for about a $100 less. Good bargain!
And...my silly little virtual reality dream? Well, apparently only $600 stands between me and that. They had a tester program on the website for the top of the line one, the Occulus Rift, and my computer is compatible and meets or exceeds all requirements. So...yeah. It's possible, and my virtual world can be expanded. We each get a small entertainment stipend in the new budget, and I am stuffing mine exclusively into the savings account, because I want to be entertained with sharks in my computer room. Cuz I'm a raging dork. But I really LOVED that feeling of being there with the sharks, which I'll never know because my asthma makes scuba outta reach for me, as I"m not really willing to risk dying for it. Some dreams ARE worth persuing at any cost, but scuba isn't it for me. But the ability to see what I would see like that...and the Egyptian tombs they are filming now...oh total geek. AND they have a really kinda awesome tabletop style dungeons and dragons app for this thing, so that you can play with people all over. How cool is that?
On a more personal note, now that he's doing better from the dysthymia, which I am so grateful to his therapist for helping us sort out the complicated tangle of what is the disorder, what is current environmental, and what is childhood issues blocking him from the live he deserves to have, we are sorting out marital issues.
I"m pretty sure i kicked strait into "OMG must fix Nikki Mode" and while the issues were too overwhelming not to feel, my response was to bottle a lot and focus on what was needed rather than actually sorting through things inside. But there has been five or six years of gradual disconnects that triggered MY issues, and sometimes I"m just sorta...lost in myself. There are days I don't even know if I"m really me, because of all the adaptation and throwing out the window parts of me that didn't fit with the life i was trying to build. There are days when I'm full steam ahead on something and blinded to everything else. There are days I absolutely panic that the new normal for our marriage is going to fall apart again and I'm going to lose everything. I'm messy. I am really really messy.
BUT...now that he's better, he..I don't know how to phrase this exactly other than this...it's like he's remembered I'm there. Like he'd forgotten while he was sick, but now he remembered. And that is the start. But he's still Nikki, and some of the disconnects and life choices are his personality mixing with mine, not all of it is our disorders. So we're organizing. Too many couples I know just let...life happen to them and don't do anything to manage their relationships as they go. I'm going to learn from that. We've set up a weekly 'serious' talk time, where we turn everything off, sit on the couch (preferably with a blanket under me, our couch is leather and it adheres to my skin in horrible ways) and we can both talk about anything, and the agreement is active listening, connection, and no one gets mad or defensive. Or if you do, you squash it and try to think it through. We set up a weekly game time for just doing something fun together, board games, d&d, card games, whatever. And we set up a weekly movie night (on Saturday though, this isn't as inviolate as the other two if we are out doing a thing) to just sit on the couch and watch something together. Reconnecting emotionally and rebuilding a slightly broken marriage.
And that's the lesson isn't it? Things break. Everything. But you then make a choice after it breaks, you can throw it away and start over. Or you can repair it. It's always a choice. We forget that. I can't count how many times I've heard "it's broken, time to pitch it" and no question what would be involved in fixing a thing. Anything that can be made can be repaired. But the cost isn't always worth it. Sometimes throwing a thing away is appropriate too, but if you just assume and don't make the choice...it's wasteful.
I could sit around, say there is nothing I can do, people just change as they go. Let's be honest, there is even a neat little shield of a 17 year old secret I could hide behind and NO ONE would look at me funny. I could be all the other relationships in my blood family and scream it's not MY fault til the end of time.
But I'm not. Because..inside...I want more. And these are the days I"m realizing despite all the poison I drank, all the horribleness I absorbed from them, and all the inner damage I'm still struggling to overcome from them...somehow I made it in some small way. I'm not them, I got out, and I am going to improve things, instead of waving my hand in a 'what can you do' dismissive gesture. Grandpa gave me wisdom, the knowledge, and the understanding that there IS more out there, that not everyone fails, and that the choices I will make every day, big and small, will matter and resonate the rest of my life. My friends gave me the grace, understanding, and exposure to worlds and opinions beyond what I grew up with to navigate the hurdles in my marriage and my husbands struggle with depression and to adapt to who he is as a person, not who he told me he was. I think I managed to be a better mother than my parents were, despite all the screw ups I made, and I let go and realize he's the one who has to live the day to day of his life better.
As much as I'm often not okay between the self-esteem issues, the dismorphia, and the struggle to interact gracefully with others thanks to the add, I'm also really okay at the same time because I'm doing it. And when I die, despite the mistakes I made massive and small, I don't think I"ll be able to look back with anything but "I couldn't have done anything else than what I did, because every choice I made at the time I made it was what I thought would make things better!".
It cost a lot, but it was worth it. So I don't have parents, okay. I have Nikki. I have my son. I have my friends (including you guys!), and I have my self and my senses of right and wrong. The bargain was made a long time ago, probably the day my son was born, I just managed to delay paying some of the bills, but now that they are paid, I realize trying to hold onto things that weren't really there wasn't helping anyone, and it was a good bargain. That was the day I started turning my back on the narcissism of my father, the dead mushroomness of my mother, and started living. Even though I had no idea where I wanted to go, I started going through any door I saw to get an idea what was out there. And the mistakes were okay.
Except, of course, that cheese mousse from the Princess cruise. Trying that was just a horror story. It looked like poop. It smelled like poop. I don't know why I put that in my mouth.