Monday, July 21, 2008
Friday evening found me sitting on the BART platform at Powell Street waiting for a train to take me back to Berkeley. (This was after getting to meet both Sizzle and Heather B. in person.) According to the sign, my train would be showing up in two minutes. Then came the voice over the PA system. "Would the person playing around on the yellow strip on platform one, please stop. If you do not stop, I will halt all trains coming into the station." This announcement was repeated a few more times before my train arrived.
I did think to myself, "If this person doesn't stop playing around and my train ends up being delayed as a result, I will hunt them down." That yellow strip is there for a reason. There are handles near the doors on the outside of the cars. I once saw someone get smacked by one because they were on the yellow strip before the train came to a halt. But I made it onto my train and then I stopped caring about that person.
Sitting on the train, I found myself deep in thought. About how I had spent the past week with people jumping around on my personal yellow strip and how they just didn't seem to listen. And suddenly I knew that when I had shouted, "I'm done!" on Thursday night, it was a permanent, not temporary, thing.
The two things that people have said to me the most over the last week or so are, "Be strong," and "Take care of yourself." Let's start with the second. When I started going to therapy once more a few months ago, I mentioned this concept to the therapist. I've known for years what I needed to do; I just didn't want to rock the boat too much. But now I'm going to give it a try because I've always felt in my heart that it was the best thing for me. I'm finally learning how to be a little more selfish.
I remember telling my mom back when I was in college that one of the best things about getting married would be that I could change my last name. I even questioned my mom about why she did not go back to her maiden name after the divorce. She said so that we would have the same last name while I was growing up. I pointed out that she could have changed mine. She pointed out that my father and his family would have had a fit.
There's a part of me that has felt like I have never fit in with my dad's family. They're always telling you about how you can be better. Except for my dad. He just wants me to be happy. (Of course, he has also pointed out in the past that he lives in California for a reason.) The bitchassness that was displayed last week? Nothing new.
I am done with playing the role. I am done with being around people whose company makes me feel horrible. I think that for the first time in my life, I really am ready to start taking care of me. And right now, it's all kind of scary but I think that if I hold on to the idea that this is the best thing for me, in the end I'll be OK. It's time for someone else to be the family caretaker.