Friday, July 25, 2008

Moving--In Which I Am Reduced To Tears

I have moved many times as an adult. I think I've said before that I seem to last about five years in a place before circumstances push me onward. You would think I'd have the process down pat. You would be wrong.

In the past, I was never on my own when I moved. I had either parents or husband by my side. This time it's just me--and Molly, of course, but she hasn't mastered wrapping glasses to put into cartons--and it's daunting. More than daunting, it's petrifying. If I was one of those really well organized people who rose at dawn and worked non-stop throughout the day and evening (which is, I am sure, how normal people do things), I might not be in such trouble. But I am a person with ADHD, which means that my attention...wanders. I have great intentions that just fray out in the doing. I start and stop fifteen things, and it's no use telling me to just finish one at a time, because I CAN'T. THAT'S WHAT IT MEANS TO HAVE ADHD.

I've got all those boxes that I bought (buying, I'm good at) and now it's time to fill them. One I've already got loaded with all of my knitting projects. It's a large carton, marked WIP, for Work In Progress. Some of these WIPs have been with me for several moves, from Amador to Pennsylvania to Los Angeles to Elk Grove, and those are just the ones I really do intend some day to finish. I've been quite stern with myself, so about half of the rest of my stash is being giving away or sold (anyone wanna buy some yarn?) or just--horrors!--tossed. I've gone on at great length about this carton because it has been my sole achievement in the packing department. I know myself; this could be my state in two, three, four weeks, forever.

This afternoon I was determined to get another box done. But which one? I put together a Medium box. But what should go in it? Okay, I'll start with a Small carton, because that I know should be filled with dishes. I get out the flattened carton and damned if I can figure out how it goes together. Must be a defective box, I decide, and go out to the garage for another. They're all the same. A defective design? Some secret of the moving box that I'm not privy to? And, of course, everyone else is, because I'm the only schmuck who could be so dense.

I wandered around in circles, literally, getting more and more frustrated and, it's also true, feeling more and more sorry for myself. And this is where I end up in tears, for good reason I think. In my family, we did for each other. If my sister and I knew nothing else, it was that our parents would always be there to help us in whatever way they could. My mother was with my sister for all three of her babies. My parents spent their vacations with the grandkids, so that my sister and her husband could get away for theirs. That's just how I was brought up. When my nephew had surgery as a kid and was in the hospital for months on end, my parents and I took it in shifts to be with him at all times so that he wouldn't be alone. I've taken care of my sister's kids and of their kids for weeks at a time--because that's what families do. That's what my parents raised me to do. But somehow that message skipped my sister. And it totally skipped her kids.

Knowing that I would be totally alone for this move, I asked my niece if she and her family could come help me. The response I got didn't actually say the word No. It was a breezy note about how August is just such a busy month for them. There's their anniversary to celebrate and their kids day camps to go to, and she's got some minor medical procedures that need taking care of. And she wishes me good luck with my move.

So I really am alone in this. And I'm mad and I'm sad and I'm incredibly hurt and disappointed. And even more, I really know how very pissed my parents would be. That's not the family they thought they created. But it's the family that I have.

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