another day, another crisis. jan 24th.

after a very quiet and lonely, yet stressful, weekend, today seemed like it would be one day closer to feeling better.

after ever's saturday night text to talk, i expected to hear from him, but didn't.

which was fine. but it did make me worry and wonder what he could want to talk about.

so today at work, when i got a text from him asking to talk tonight, i said that i'd call him after work. like saturday, it made me instantaneously nauseous. super nervous.

and i did call him.

on my way to dinner with lauren. and again while i smoked between beer numbers two and three.

and he didn't answer.

so, in an effort to take some control back over the situation, i texted him that i'd called him three times, and that he could just email me about whatever he wanted to talk about.

because i was done. i didn't say that part. but part of me felt like he was trying to see if i was out or going out. to see if i was busy or available.

and, unfortunately for him, every time i try to put my foot down and take control, things in his life have a way of spiraling out of control.

today's crisis was that, between the time he texted me, and while i was out to dinner, his sister tried to commit suicide.

i have been in this state of fishtailing since the news that he has been given a life expectancy of less than a decade. i can't call it a tailspin, because the gravity of the situation hasn't really hit me yet. and i'm trying to feel something, anything, really, for him in light of this.

and imagine my shock when his response to my putting-my-foot-down text was to tell me that he meant to get the email to me today with his counter offer, but that amanda tried to commit suicide, and that he's been on the phone with his family all afternoon and evening.

so i did what was reflexive. i said not to worry about it. and jesus christ. and i'm sorry.

the history is this.

his sister is mentally unwell. she had a mental break a few years ago. maybe only two. she had been abusing methadone for years, taking the pill form, thanks to going to a few different doctors and getting a few different prescriptions filled through a few different pharmacies. junkies are crafty like that. they can't get a job or do anything productive in society, but they can find ways to beat the system and not get caught. for years.

so she had been strung out on methadone for a long time. take into account that she shot ever up the first time he used heroin, and the fact that he was on methadone (the variety that is mixed with kool aid and handed out in dixie cups) at the local clinic when i met him. daily doses, to keep himself clean from the more dangerous cousin. he'd only had the ability to kick methadone once i was in his life.

so she is trouble, despite the fact that i don't think she ever shot up heroin. but i could be wrong about that.

and the entire time we dated, she never included me or made me feel like she gave a flying fuck about me. in fact, she made a point to be mean to me and exclude me. and the day we were married, the wedding was postponed half an hour because she left late and got stuck in traffic, and we couldn't start it without her.

but when she had that mental break, it came on the heels of getting busted by ever's mom. she'd broken up with her boyfriend of probably ten years. when her addiction became more than he was willing to put up with. and she had started to lose her mind. so mom went to move her out of the place they were living. and tucked in every possible nook and cranny were shoeboxes and bags upon bags and boxes of empty methadone pill bottles.

her mind was already slipping from her grip, and when he broke up with her, i think part of her never came back from that. he'd been a constant. and he was out of her life.

so i guess that was when mom realized there was a problem. all those empty bottles spoke the damage she'd been doing to her body, but also shed a light on the kid who kept every empty pill bottle and hid them everywhere like a child.

one day after that, she was living with mom and they went somewhere in the car. and she found amanda playing games kids play at five, like hide and seek, in the car. she is my age, at the time probably 30 or 31.

and she had essentially reverted back to age 5 amanda. and so mom packed her up and took her to the hospital, and come to find out, she was in the middle of a full-on mental break.

she would never be the same, they told mom.

the time she'd been living at mom's had been trying, for both of them. she wasn't accustomed to having someone else giving her rules to live by, and being back at home in general was stressful for both of them.

so she went away and was in the mental ward for a couple weeks, if i'm remembering correctly. ever didn't go home, because that's what he does, or doesn't do, and she was catatonic for a few days.

and a vegetarian of ten years, when she became coherent, and the doctors asked her what she wanted to eat, she asked mom to bring her a blt from subway.

it was surreal. ever talked to her while she was there. she made no sense, but he did his best to tell her that he loved her. and called most days until she was home again.

she'd never fully recovered from the death of their adopted sister, brandy.

i think she was their cousin, both parents were abusive, and mom took her in. at fifteen, she was sent to rehab (the whole family consists of addicts for the most part). she'd been sent for pot. which is a very strange thing to go to rehab for, in my opinion.

but she'd been sent away, against her will, probably to prevent the same addictions that ever and amanda had come to develop in their own lives. and one night, late, she ran away from rehab.

and she was hit by a car and killed upon impact. it was a hit and run, so nothing ever came, closure-wise, and she was buried during one of the days when the entire state of florida was on fire. it was when i was 21, if i remember correctly.

and ever never stopped associating the smell of forest fires with brandy's funeral. it still haunts him.

but she was the sweet and lively sister. and her death just about killed all of them.

so amanda had been carrying this around, untended to, for all those years, maybe eight, and had the breakdown. and eventually came home from the hospital, broken. permanently.

and though the jig was up with the pills, i don't put it past her to have reclaimed an addiction, though i never heard about that. last i heard, enough years had passed since her third dui to be able to get a substitute teaching license. and she was doing well for herself. she left mom's for grandma's. and re-entered the work force.

she didn't work for a long time after leaving the hospital and her relationship with mom was too volatile for them to live together, so her role there was to take care of grandpa while he was getting more and more ill with alzheimer's. to help grandma with the housework. and when grandpa died last easter, she stayed with grandma, as far as i know. and helped her to be less lonely.

and when grandma was buried on saturday, i guess things became too much for her to bear.

and today, i don't know what she did, but she tried to escape in a very permanent way.

that's ever's story. there's a lot more to it than that. but that's the darkest of the dark shit.

and that's why i struggle with leaving him alone to deal with all of these things. in this one terrible horrible fucking unBELIEVABLE week of his life. this past week, up to and including today.

what am i supposed to do?

is it wrong to think of my shrink as a hero? because tomorrow's session can't get here fucking fast enough right now.

i have a heart. i can't help feeling something right now. i don't know how to put words and descriptions on what this even feels like, or is.

but what i know, for certain, is that tomorrow's entire session will be devoted to ever. and a year after i started going to her, and working on myself, that will be the first time that will happen.

and i bet that, also for the first time, i will probably have a good cry there. i mean, i've choked up a couple times. and started to cry once. but i've never had a solid cry where i stopped talking. to just let it out. and maybe that's why i feel so quiet and calm right now.

because tomorrow will suck. i will do a lot of work there tomorrow.

i'm missing the first part of my day at work to go. and i thought i'd lose it today when i thought i had to cancel. but luckily i realized that i could go in the morning, and switch, when i set the appointment.

and even though the only other time i went before work set me on a strange course for the day, it is better than not dealing and not thinking and not crying.

how do i walk the line between 'not my problem' and 'could be my problem if i'd stayed'?

my biggest problem coming from this weekend was rushing through a winter mix in an effort to get the copies in the mail, and not going to kit's to bake in her working oven.

seriously. i was actually upset about both things.

what's fucking with me the most right now is that i was afraid when i left him that he was going to die. and she put those fears to rest. and really, he proved me wrong, when he lived and turned into a major dick after that. that he was trying to prove something to me, in a way, by taking care of himself and the puppy and the house. to show me that i was wrong about him. of course, after the last time i saw him there, it all went to hell again. but he stayed alive.

and that, after the email on saturday, he is going to die. and it will be without me. and it will be sooner rather than later.

and another thing that is fucking with me is that he keeps coming to me. in text, or calls, or emails.

it reminds me that i left him. that he is most definitely not over the fact that i left him. that i abandoned him. that i left him all alone to deal with his shitty life that he helped make for himself.

and it depresses me that i am the person he feels like he should talk to right now.

i rely so much on my friends. and he just has me to understand his problems? i mean, i know his life inside and out. i know every aspect. every complication. and the last ten months withstanding, i have ten years of on-the-job-training. so even though it is not my place, or my job anymore, i can't help but to want to listen. because all of his twenty-something musician friends could never begin to understand.

and now that amanda has been spared, and is in the hospital again, i don't know how he will get any sleep. he probably hasn't slept in over two weeks. and he has a weak heart.

and if his mom knows about his health situation, she probably knows she'll bury him, too. for a mother to survive not one, not two, but all three children, is just unnatural.

i thought my mother would die when she buried my brother, and more than anything else, i remember her losing it, and telling me that she couldn't survive burying another child, when aubree had her brain incident.

ever's mom buried both parents in the last year and a half. and now amanda, taking it to the next level, is going to pose a constant threat once she recovers and gets out. because she's selfish enough to try again.

like i said, i don't know what her tactic was, so i don't know if this is like a 'got her stomach pumped and goes home tomorrow' kindof a thing, or 'slit her wrists in the wrong direction' thing where she's already home with wrist bandages like luke wilson in the royal tennenbaums. or if she's recovering from gunshot wounds. who the fuck knows.

all i know is, now mom's going to be on suicide watch, after burying her mom two days ago.

what the fuck?

will it ever end?

the other thing that is fucking with me is that i'm trying to be tough with him, because of the whole divorce thing. and that is entirely possible that i'm making a decision that could literally be life and death with him.

because i entertained the idea, for a while on saturday night and into sunday, that i could see if it was even possible to add him back to my insurance.

he'd never be able to pay the $430 a month she paid for him, but i'd think that because he already had a policy through ours, that he'd just be readded, and he could go on his merry way, heart surgery and medication and all.

i talked myself down from that thought. because it's one more way to keep him attached when i'm so close to cutting every single legal tie that binds us. and i'm so desperate to have his opposite-of-midas-touch removed from my life.

but tonight, at the bar, naturally, i realized. this isn't about me being stubborn. or the martyr. or a bitch. or an ex wife. this is literally a matter of life and death with him. a matter of never recovering from hospital bills that i cannot even begin to imagine. it's about having some control over something that could keep him alive.

and i don't know if that is me putting too much on myself, as i have done with him the entire relationship (blaming myself for his drinking, smoking weed, laziness, etc.). or if i should really be ashamed of myself for not jumping in immediately.

i just don't know how to proceed.

and like i said, it's literally not my life right now. not my drama. nor do i intend for it to be.

but it's easy for people outside the situation to say, 'well he should have thought about that before he did things that made you feel like leaving him was the best option', or 'karma is a bitch'.

believe me, i've been feeling the guilt for thinking both thoughts repeatedly this entire past week.

but i just keep coming back to the fact that death is so permanent. and so unfair.

and i can't fathom wanting to die so much that you try to make yourself. and i can't imagine that, after seeing what the family has been through this past week, i could be selfish enough to make them go through the whole fucking thing again two days later? how could she?

i never liked her. but she was ever's sister. and he blamed her craziness on brandy's death. and i can relate to that, because it's the same thing my brother still deals with. he sometimes talks to my mom about wanting to die because he blames himself for my brother's death. when he was FIVE and keeping an eye on him.

meanwhile over here, tea goes through her day today, oblivious, stressing about the fact that the heat isn't on at work and that she has to wear a coat on top of her other two layers top and bottom, behind the counter. and stresses about an expensive bar tab, required to drown out the fucking unbelievable shit she's swimming in, that isn't even her shit to swim in. stresses about having to borrow money from mom and dad again, to fix ever's shortcomings again. to keep the house from getting foreclosed upon after months of knowing that it would eventually happen. stressing about how to simultaneously live in two places at once. after taking a two week vacation from life.

and none of it fucking matters. not really.

because i'm not dying. and my grandparents didn't die today. and my sister didn't try to kill herself.

fuck mental illness and addiction and getting older, man. fuck it all.

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