i’ve held on until day 55 of summer

i’m taking a page out of leigh vs. laundry’s book – or maybe it’s a post off of leigh vs. laundry’s blog – whatever, i’m stealing her idea.  she had a nervous breakdown on day 43 of summer and i’m contemplating a nervous breakdown on day 55 of summer.  that’s 12 more days than she made it – woot.  (i know, competitiveness isn’t that attractive.)

i’ve actually only just arrived at the edge of breakdown, but i can feel myself teetering.  i know you’re wondering how i can go from doing so well to suddenly doing maybe not so well.  it’s a gift i have.  the problems go something like this.

way back when our mâe bâan’s husband gave us a puppy.  then he took the dog away.  the kids mourned the removal of that dog, but recovered.  i didn’t mourn.  i rejoiced.  then our mâe bâan’s husband, because he hates me, gives us two puppies. the children rejoice.  i begin step one towards the edge.  well, really this is step two.  step one began before step two was completed.  step one is two-parted.  part a) michael and c16 head to the us of a while the rest of us stayed behind and part b) in the 5 weeks they are gone i hear from michael maybe 5 times.  and the last one of those times was over a week ago.  that’s a general explanation of why i’m teetering, but i feel like maybe i should break it down some.

starting with the puppies.  i am no lover of dogs.  but dogs seem to be important in the life of my youngest son, so i figure what can it hurt to have a dog.  and by a dog – i mean one dog.  but i’m weak and my family knows it – we become a 2 dog family.  and dog #2 sort of softened my heart towards dogs a bit.  she’s cute and sweet and not too bothersome.  then the first gift puppy came along.  and she was bad.  bad bad bad.  and by bad i mean evil.  when khao said he was going to take her away my soul rejoiced.  and we discussed the fact that i wanted no more puppies.  no more.  none.  that the two dogs we have are plenty.  all we need.  we did have this discussion in thai, but i felt good about it.  and for several weeks i felt lighter.  until i didn’t.  because khao showed up one afternoon with not one, but two puppies.  and handed them off to the two kiddos who are still in thailand.  and i forced a smile.  and didn’t know what to do.  because with all of my being i don’t want these puppies.  these puppies have moved me from being not a lover of dogs to being not even a liker of dogs.  soon i’ll be a hater of dogs.  i need them to go away.  but how?  the kids will be crushed.  i’m sure khao will be crushed.  but the longer they are here the more bitter i become.  and as the days pass the direction my feelings of bitterness are aimed is changing.  it’s almost now pointed squarely at jim and khao (our mâe bâan and her husband).  and last night one of the puppies pooped out round worms.  gross, nasty, disgusting.  and i’m thinking that that alone should be enough to send me over the edge.

now the michael and chan being in the us of a issue.  the truth is their actual going isn’t really part of the problem.  i mean, sure, i’d love to be there and so would a13 and s10.  but we discussed it plenty before hand and knew this is the way it had to happen.  so, i’d prepared myself.  i knew at times i’d be a bit resentful and i was okay with that.  but what i wasn’t prepared for was the no communication.  i was aware that there would be a week or so of no communication.  there’s no internet at camp so i was counting on one week of not hearing from him.  and i knew that the times available for chatting would be limited, mainly to morning and evening, because of the 12 hour time difference.  so i made sure i was available almost every morning and every evening.  and by made myself available i mean i sat at my computer just hoping to see that he was online.  and frequently i woke during the middle of the night to see if he might be on midday where he was.  but i rarely caught him.  what about email you ask.  well, the only emails i received from him were in reply to mine and only answered whatever specific question i asked, no info about the goings on over there.  no email just to say he loves me, etc.  and i think i know why he hasn’t communicated much.  he’s been very, very busy and he hasn’t wanted to inconvenience anyone.  and – if i’m honest – that’s part of what has me bothered.  but the bigger part of what has me bothered is that we have, on more than one occasion, discussed how important it is for me to hear from him when he’s traveling.  not hearing from him turns me a bit scary.  a bit stalkerish.  it’s not that i think he might be up to no good, it’s just that i really hate the feeling that i fall into the category of out of sight, out of mind.

14 thoughts on “i’ve held on until day 55 of summer

  1. I urge you to be brave – get rid of those dogs. The kids got over losing Niim(sp?) and they will get over losing the 2 new beasts. Then get a person who speaks Thai fluently to make a big sign to give to khao and jem telling them that if they bring new dogs, they may be looking for a new job. Surely there are other mae baans in Chiang Mai.

    You may have hit the nail on the head when you said you didn’t know who was the boss (or something to that affect).

    If the dogs are still there when we get there – you dad can turn them into golf course soi dogs. I am sure they will survive.

    Does this sound heartless?

    • it might sound a bit heartless, but that might be what’s called for. i was just talking to a13’s harp teacher and i do have a bit of an out. our homeowner only agreed to 2 dogs. that could be helpful.

  2. I hope someone chucks you a rope to pull you back from the edge, or at least sticks a nice soft mattress down the bottom to land on.

    More than that I hope your hubby sends you a big long soppy email pronto.

    And that the puppies magically vanish into thin air leaving behind not so much as a ringworm. Eww.

    Huggles chicken.

    • awww… thanks. a soft mattress to land on might be nice 😉
      michael’s actually on his way home. i’ll see him in the morning. i think. wonder if i could deliver puppies to the airport and make it sort of a trade. 2 puppies for 2 people?

  3. ((((Monica)))) I think you are amazing, and getting to know you has been the highlight of my summer. Garry would be just the same – when he went to Thailand on a short term team he thought one postcard which arrived after he got back was good enough communication, despite his doctor having just told him he needed to be tested for cancer, his immune system being rock bottom and dire warnings that malaria or dengue being the death of him literally. And you may remember the “stay out until 6.30am and not let me know where he was” incident recently. Maybe it’s a male thing, and also an ISTP thing – combine the two in one person and heaven help us!

    Praying that the next few days go quickly and you manage to hold on to sanity!

  4. I think since you are the one at home most – you should get the say on dogs. I’m ready to help if you don’t solve the problem before we get there.

  5. Even though I don’t know you PERSONALLY, I can tell you are an incredibly BRAVE and STRONG woman. The longest I have ever been separated from Stray was for one month in our near 30 years of marriage….and don’t ever want to do it again!

    It helped that he discovered a cheap dialing code (009) out of Thailand, that in conjuction with him waving to me in front of a camera at the weekly live web hook up at ‘The Garden’, Chiang Mai, helped me feel like he was a little bit closer. BUT, men are men, God love em’.

    I hope Michael reads this post and that you pull of the dog for human swap at the airport!

    Take care

    • thanks, snap. he’ll read the post and think it’s not quite accurate – and he’d be right. it’s biased by my point of view. 😉

      i’m wondering if i shouldn’t sort of hide the dogs. like in a suitcase. that isn’t able to be tracked back to me… that might make for a much more successful switch!

  6. Ugh. I have no useful advice about the puppies. That really, really stinks. I’ve no idea what I would do. It’s easy to say get rid of them, but I know in reality that can be very, very hard if not impossible. You need to find someone who can translate to really help you get your point across. NO MORE DOGS. Sorry. I completely understand your resenting them and being done. We have a dog. They’re nice, I get that, but 4? That’s very, very hard.

    Michael? I’d want to kill him. Obviously he doesn’t really understand how much it means to you, or he’s very much a guy and just not good at that kind of communicating. Either way I’m sorry because your needs are not being met. When our needs are not being met, and not being met by one of the people who matters most in our life, it feels really rotten. I’m sure you don’t want to be angry and on edge when he gets back, especially with him about to take off again, but I’m also equally sure that you’re hurt and that’s going to need some time to work out.

    Maybe you can try to set parameters for the next trip. Please email me every day. Please tell me one thing about what’s going on that’s unrelated to anything I’ve asked about. Whatever. Maybe having a list/schedule will help him meet your needs. Your needs are valid and it’s worth pushing for what you want.

    Good luck. Most of all be patient with yourself. With everything you juggle, with all the changes you’ve made, I think you’re amazing and absolutely due a breakdown every once in a while. At least school will be starting soon and routine will help.

    (Get rid of the dogs) 🙂

  7. Whining can be wonderfully cathartic. Hope you get rid of the puppies and your feelings of being “out of sight, out of mind” are quickly relieved upon reunion with your other half.

    As for the mae baan issue, you know, because it’s not part of American culture to have full-time house help, it’s therefore not part of our makeup to understand how to make that relationship work best. That has always been one of my trickiest relationships overseas. We always want to be friendly, inclusive, and somehow end up feeling a bit obliged to the person that we’re giving a job to – because they are in our home. But…it can sure lead to some problems! You need to be firm with that woman and promise her a smack-down if any more dogs appear at your place! (a metaphorical smack-down of course, I’m not condoning violence. har har)

  8. Pingback: i usually look so good in green « transplanting me

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