I am in a bit of a mood right now. I didn’t sleep well because my son did not sleep well. We had to schedule a day off from work because his daycare is closed for inservice. It also coincides with a morning therapy appointment I had previously scheduled and my husband’s departure for a week of business travel so our schedule to make it all work was extremely tight. 

I arrived to my appointment to be told, contrary to the time confirmed from their voicemail service, and my phone, that our time was actually set for tomorrow morning, a scheduling impossibility. I couldn’t even take a later appointment today because my husband was waiting at home with our son to hand him off before leaving for the airport. 

This was not my error. This was my therapist entering the wrong day in the calendar software. We use the same system at my job and it’s easy to click the wrong day on the five day display. I remember telling her that the appointment we scheduled was my brother’s birthday and discussed the nicer points of being the first appointment on a Monday. 

But none of that mattered. The time was obligated to someone else and I didn’t have time to play games. I walked out without rescheduling. I’d been on the fence about this person anyway so this might be my deal breaker. 

The reason I was more upset than usual about this was I really needed to talk about a voicemail I discovered in my blocked messages folder over the weekend, ironically enough, after checking the confirmation for my therapy appointment. It was from my aunt, my father’s sister, sent about two weeks ago. 

She was calling to let me know information about my parents, admitting that she’s in touch with both. The tone in her voice seemed annoyed, maybe forced, hard to tell. Her persistence in keeping in touch in spite of having no contact at all with either of my parents and her betrayal of my trust in passing information along to them including pictures of my son, makes this contact from her particularly annoying. 

The information she passed along wasn’t surprising, my mother’s relocation to Pennsylvania and a vaguely worrying update about my father’s declining health. It’s typical communication from her, a well-worn pattern of her role as the de facto matriarch since my grandmother passed a little over a decade ago. The codependent nature of my family of origin is highly enmeshed and toxic, with no respect for personal space or boundaries. There are no secrets, and I’ve learned that more and more throughout my estrangement. 

Lastly I’m sad because today is my youngest brother’s birthday, and no doubt a reminder of the family I wish I had, the heavy sadness at the truth, and the damned if I do/damned if I don’t more of what to do next. It is in these moments I try to stay present, and yes, feel angry and sad, but hope and joy for the future. Recovery doesn’t happen in a bubble and we have to nurse our wounds as we lurch forward toward what we hope is the right direction. But who can know for sure? 

I’m on my own with my son this week and it’s going to be stressful nonetheless. I’m hoping for smooth sailing. But we take it one day at a time.