There’s been at least two ways Spitfire has emotionally soaked me. The first way was through their gentle dominance, when she was establishing who was boss. I got my emotional arse drenched by what she did. No, she didn’t fill my cup, she dunked me in a pool.
That feeling is still pretty fresh in my mind, even though it’s been months since she’s had to be that strict.
Spitfire has not been having a good couple of weeks.
Her father is in home based palliative care with daily visits from hospice nurses. There’s now talk of respite care in order to help her mother with caring for her father. Spitfire has been unable to be dominant since the sudden change in her father’s status.
She’s walking around wounded. Scared. In pain. Suffering by watching her father suffer.
I did everything I could to bring her out of her funk and nothing worked. She even safeworded at one point, and retreated, leaving me feeling frustrated and flustered. She safeworded, which meant I pushed her too far.
I had to rethink how to approach her.
Several days ago, Spitfire was having a bad day with her father. She was not really wanting to talk to me, but I kept at her.
“Talk to me,” I told her, repeatedly. She would come and go from SL, being afk or unavailable while she tended to her morning routine, and to her father’s needs. Her mother’s as well. The only time her mother could get to take care of her own needs was when Spitfire sat with her father. The poor woman has been dedicating her life to take care of her husband, and neglecting her own basic needs. That’s partially why more home care nurses have been coming in too – to help the family cope with the patriarch’s ever increasing care needs.
“Talk to me,” I could feel myself slip into another mindset and I let it stay there. I needed to be unemotional as I could be, while she talked. If she talked.
“I’ve opened up the program, looked at the blogging tool, and the words fail me,” she starts to try to talk to me. “I can’t focus. I have to keep one ear out in case my mum needs me, or dad.”
She kept on typing so I encouraged her to continue. “Mum and dad are sleeping. I should be able to relax. During the daytime, I can’t, in case they need me. At night, I’m not finding it. I can’t even figure out a title for my blog post.”
“You don’t need a title,” I reply. “You do have a prompt – explain it to me like I’m five and how I’m helping you.” I was refering to my previous blog post. I continued, “you have conversations you can pull from. Your joy in getting the package, teasing your family about it, being questioned about it. Finally getting to open it on cam with me. What the hat feels like and more. Even knowing that there’s bits of me mixed up in the hat, because my hair twisted around some of the yarn in the first place.”
“I don’t want to end up reeling off another post that feels like it was written by a machine.”
“You are a machine,” I poke at her, trying to make her laugh. I was refering to the You Must Obey basic programing.
“You know what I mean.” She continued, “if I force a blog post out, it’s not going to be ‘me’ in it.”
I pause for a few moments, trying to gather my thoughts. We banter back and forth about what she needs to talk about on her blog, as well as what she should talk about.
“I don’t want to repeat myself.”
“You can repeat yourself, because things change. Blogs have no rules.” They don’t. That’s why I love blogs!
She went to bed. Or I did. This was not the end of this conversation.
I’ve gotten Spitfire to pick out a thread in her life to hold on to. She loves making fractals. I love looking at them. Maybe I’ll be able to convince her to share some on her blog.
That’s a good idea, right?
“I’m wary of going in depth with my real life on my blog,” she says to me after a couple of days bantering back and forth.
“Write about your heartbreak, your tears, your frustrations and more. You need to write,” I tell her, pushing her to use even her private journal. She has her blog, which the world can see, and her private journal, which she’s shared a few parts with me.
I don’t have a private journal, not really. Long story short, my trust was destroyed and I can’t have one anymore. I try, but I just can’t.
“You can write about how I’m helping you, or trying to, and that caring for your father is taxing to you, and you’ve been venting at me to release some of the pressure and stress.” I elaborate a bit more on how her stress has been affecting me, “your venting has caused me to pick up my needles and knit again.”
That was when my trigger song came on during a You Must Dance set I was covering for Spitfire. With the added binaurals and more that Spitfire created, that I was pipping into the stream I was sending to the galleria, and the conditioning I was getting at the same time from You Must Obey, I nearly knocked myself out cold. If Spitfire had been on voice and camera with me at the same time, she could have pushed me deep into trance.
Spitfire mentions that having me in a deep trance with her fingers in my mind is something she would enjoy doing. Except that she’s scared she wouldn’t be able to help me find my feet.
“I have to be there for my dad,” Spitfire says a bit later to me.
“You can’t put your life on hold. You need to continue with your routine,” I tell her, describing some of her routine she’s dropped because of what is happening. I’m thinking at that moment to get her back to doing what she was doing, so she can do her work soon, so she can earn an income, and function and more.
She takes my advice to a point, and starts to plan her upcoming week. Yes, I managed to get her to do her Whip set, but she even warns her listeners that she’s going to be intermittent.
We renegotiate some of our boundaries between each other, and with others. In the end, I’m still supposed to be chaste to her, but maybe she’ll respond a bit more when I’m feeling frisky and playful.
Spitfire starts to cry.
“What’s wrong?” I ask, afraid to know the answer.
“Too much emotional stuff. I thought I was loosing you.”
“Dad was coughing during the night,” she says to me the next day. “I”m scared, cause he’s very weak now. It took me ages to get to sleep too, because I was so emotional.”
“I wish I could be there. I’d take you out of that house for an evening and go to the movies and more,” I told her.
“I need to go lie down,” she says to me a bit later, “Too much sadness. Everything is overwhelming me.”
“Of course it would,” I try to joke, “It would overwhelm Superman.”
She reads my blog post about the bunny and the duck. “That’s about us, isn’t it? A metaphor?”
“No. It’s about two people who say something in me when others didn’t.”
There’s a pause, then, “it’s so fucking unfair!”
“Keep talking,” I tell her, “don’t censor yourself.”
My shoulder becomes drenched with her tears. She’s frustrated that her father is suffering and won’t let her help him with his care, other than bare minimums. Spitfire’s in tears because the hand that was so strong even a few months ago, can barely hold hers.
“I thought I’d have a few more years with him at least, and it would be a gradual decline. He’s gone from being mobile to completely bedridden.”
I turn ashen at the descriptions of a once vibrant man in his decline.
“Sometimes he doesn’t even register that I’m there. It feels like I’ve lost him already.”
As my shoulder gets further soaked, she pours her grief out to me. The grief of loosing a parent. The grief of not being able to relieve their suffering. The grief of everything.
“I don’t want him to know I’m crying, which is why I hide away,” Spitfire says, “I can’t relax during the day, because I might need to answer the phone or the door, or help mum or help dad. My routine is completely out of whack – meals are later, I have to help prepare them cos mum has to help dad, then I have to wash and dry up – that eats into how much time I have for doing my own stuff.”
I want to tell her so much.
I want to tell her about my friend complaining about a mutual friend who had passed away years ago. About how she was no longer having to drive him to his visits to his doctor in Washington state. I had to explain to her how one phrase could be both grief and relief – it was all in the inflection. She was free from her burden of being his chauffeur, but also she never would get to again.
I’m jealous of Spitfire. She’s able to be there to take care of her parents in their infirmary and more. I don’t dare. I’m an orphan in name, if not in truth. My own safety means I can’t be there for my parents.
Even though she’s in grief, even though she’s suffering, I’m jealous.
She’ll get to say goodbye.
Spitfire, find your routine again. Hold your father’s hand all you can. Help your mother too. You get to do everything I’ll never be able to – show your parents that you love them with all your heart.