Monday, July 26, 2010

Destruction in my home...and in my heart...

I’m pretty sure everything would be alright in the world if I just could have stayed in bed one more day. All day. In the dark. Under the covers. Pretending I don’t have to live and I don't have things to do.


It’s a day when my “dark days” are there – in the back of my mind…edging closer to the front….and I have to push them back. Every motion is difficult. Waking. Getting dressed. Doing my hair. Bathing. Breathing. But I do it – because I’ve learned how to fight the demons inside me – and win.

Life isn’t ending – it just isn’t the greatest right now. Those of you who have followed me from the very beginning know that 2 years ago in a flood my parents lost everything they owned and moved in with me. For a full year, my life wasn’t my own. It was giving a family a home, then putting them in a camper in my driveway, then moving them to a garage, house-hunting, moving again, and so much FEMA paperwork it was coming out of my ass. It was all-consuming and it changed me – like devastation like that can often do.

Many, many people don’t know that on that same day my finished basement flooded too. We had to gut it. $10,000 in damage but we spoke of it to no one. It just didn’t seem right in comparison to what my parents had lost. The basement sat empty until just last October when we re-finished it. It’s a storage closet, workout room and a bedroom for my daughter.

Saturday – it flooded again. The whole town has damage again. Even my parent’s condemned house has flooded again – so thank goodness they left it. I stood in my basement – Rambo was at work – and I cried. How can this happen again? And then I felt guilty – it’s just carpet, walls and tile. I dried my tears and I began clean up. Life will go on.

On the day my parent’s home flooded – 4 others in town did too. Three of those were condemned also and are abandoned. One however is not. Only the entire basement level floods so FEMA won’t condemn it because they can still live upstairs. It flooded again Saturday. This is probably the 6th time since 2008. The wife had a nervous breakdown this time. She tried to leave but her car was covered up to the windshield. She had to be rescued…just like my mom was back then. I drove by on the way to the soccer game and my heart sank. I sobbed. The sight. The mud and the people. Everything you own out in the driveway being cleaned by strangers. Rescue workers, firemen. People driving by to stare.

And people like me driving by sobbing….because I hurt for them and I know how they feel and worst of all – I remember. I don’t often let myself remember that day – the helplessness, the sight of my father sobbing in the yard as we emptied his house of 30 years, the smell of the mud….the fact that me and Rambo were alone without my other siblings….the fact that I’m still angry about that.

But some things trigger the memories and that did it for me. I hate that it can still do that and I hate even more that I know it’s because I haven’t allowed myself to grieve over what we lost that day. This weekend my brothers were home – and we took boatloads of pictures. No one complained – everyone stood – and smiled – for as long as was needed. Normally it would have been like pulling teeth but everyone knew there was a reason we were taking those pictures. It’s because all our pictures from 53 years and back are all gone – all ruined – every baby picture of me and my siblings and even my parents – gone. Every baby book….gone. There was a reason we were taking pictures….and behind each was a little bit of sadness. I have nothing physical of my childhood to show my girls….seems shallow and petty…but it hurts just the same.

So my basement is a wreck….and I’d like to crawl in a hole and pretend it’s not. As it is I live upstairs and I refuse to go down there - I don't want to see it.  I don't want to feel what seeing it does to me.  I’d like to not be forced to remember that others lost more. I’d like to not repeat 2008 over and over again. I’d like to stay in bed.

I’d like to scratch the word flood from my brain. I don’t want to report damages to FEMA today where they know me on a first name basis. I want to move to the top of a mountain and never fear water again.

But life isn’t about getting what you want…it’s about surviving what’s thrown at you and coming out stronger in the end. I’ll survive. I’ll be stronger.

But I won’t forget.

I think I am most angry that all my life I loved rain - loved that it meant memories with my father that were few and far between.  If it rained when we were kids, he couldn't work outside - so we'd shop and go out to eat.  Rain was a blessing.  Rain was my father.  And now - rain is my curse.  I am angry that something I love is now something I am starting to hate.  I want to despise it for what it's done to me and my family.  I want to go back to loving it....and I would.....except now....it scares the hell out of me.

44 comments:

Vaia said...

Draz...I had a crappy day yesterday. Then today I just read your post and my day is nothing compared to what you just described. Sometimes we all need a little perspective check and you just gave me mine. I'm sorry for all that has happened - the only words I can give you is that it's ok to be angry and sad and feel all the emotions you are experiencing. It makes us human and makes us stronger.

Sumer said...

I am so sorry. ((HUGS))

Seeing in colour said...

That is horrible and im very sorry to hear.... this has only made you stronger and into more of an incredible woman.

**hugs**!

I wish i were there to help out.... i forget sometimes how fortunate i am.

Stay strong! x

Southern Belle said...

Well crap, I wish I was closer so I could throw on my wellies and wade down there with you to get it cleaned up. You know I would too, this too shall pass and you being the strong woman that you I know you are will get it done. It will be hard and emotionally draining but you will come out the other side. Much love dear. J

kagead said...

I'm so sorry you have to keep reliving this nightmare.

My childhood home flooded frequently when I was growing up, but never to the point where we were forced from our home.

We did, however, lose countless family mementos, photos, documents, Super and hi-8 films of my mom and my sister and I as kids, art projects, cherished childhood toys and the like.

As you mentioned, those things cannot be replaced and as they were sometimes the only remnants those who went before us, there are no memories to cherish. This pain, I KNOW. This pain, I SHARE.

Hugs to you my friend and to those you love.

Debbie said...

Awwww, {{Luvs}} sent to you!!!

JourneyBeyondSurvival said...

I know all too well that coping mechanism. It works sometimes. Other times I just drag onward and push through. Both are miserable.

I'm so so sorry lovely.

Hugs. Supercape. Sunglasses.

Whatever you need.

Miss Vickie "The Queen Bee" said...

I am so sorry for you and your family, Draz. I hope you have better days ahead!

tessierose said...

Hang in there, you are in my thoughts and prayers! I've experienced 2 floods from hurricanes one thing I learned is that, on the 2nd flood, at lest you know what to do and what to expect, but the bad news is that you know what to do and what to expect. I'm sorry!

tessierose said...

Hang in there, you are in my thoughts and prayers! I've experienced 2 floods from hurricanes one thing I learned is that, on the 2nd flood, at lest you know what to do and what to expect, but the bad news is that you know what to do and what to expect. I'm sorry!

Gilly said...

Well my dear...that beyond sucks. Move to Toronto...no floods here! No FEMA either. Just polite people and happiness 24/7.

*hugs*

Dazee Dreamer said...

Oh, Draz, I am so sorry. I didn't know your story, but I can not even imagine how painful all that has got to be. I am so glad that you wrote about it. My thoughts are with you.

Jen said...

Trials do make us stronger... maybe with less hair since we pull it all out in fustration.

Praying that the "things" that were ruin won't ruin the "things" that are just fine!

Mary said...

I'm so sorry. I'll be praying for you guys!

Leslie said...

I'm so sorry for about all of this, and esp. about your pain. Hugs and prayers to you -

-Grace- said...

I'm sorry Draz. *hugs*

amandakiska said...

That SUCKS big hairy donkey dicks!

1reign said...

Oh Draz, I am sorry for you and I know that when you are in the midst of it, it is hard to see the shore but you will get to the other side. Sending love your way from my heart to yours!
Thanks for keeping my whining in perspective.

Ice Queen said...

Oh sweetie! I am so sorry that this happened again. *hugs*

Jennifer said...

I'm coming with my shop-vac! You're not alone and it's OK to be sad and to cry over what you've lost. Just because it wasn't as bad as someone elses doesn't mean it's not upsetting. Cry it out - then we'll clean up. Say the word and I'm there. Love you!!!

Maria said...

I'm so sorry Draz! (((HUGS)))

Bandit Anne said...

Hugs. So hard for you. (and a reminder to us all to back up our precious memories). How painful for your and your parents. I got flooded once, in a very minor way. 20+ yrs ago, and to this day the sound of heavy rain creeps me out.

Anne

Kim said...

Here's a great big hug...so sorry that you are having to go through this again...

Lanie Painie said...

That is major suckage. MAJOR. You have every right to be furious. sad, disappointed, disheartened, and grief-stricken! Go ahead and allow yourself your pain. Work on through it. We're here to support you!

Scuttleboose said...

I'm sorry, Draz... I suppose that just trying to keep your head above water isn't funny anymore :( *big hugs* :)

Blossom said...

So sorry you & your fam are going through this again...but at least everyone is safe. Stuff can always be replaced, but lives are precious.

MrsFatass said...

Wow, Drazil. Powerful storytelling you've got here. I don't know what to say, so I guess I'll just go with thank you for sharing all that. And I'd totally give you an extra day to hide in bed if I could. If that would help.

MrsFatass said...

Wow, Drazil. Powerful storytelling you've got here. I don't know what to say, so I guess I'll just go with thank you for sharing all that. And I'd totally give you an extra day to hide in bed if I could. If that would help.

Jacquie said...

I am so sorry you are going through all this again and relieving a painful time in your like. I wish I could help you clean out your basement but mostly, I wish I could give you a hug!

Debbie said...

Hugs to you and a prayer for you. I live in Mississippi and we survived Katrina and I know the pain you are feeling. It will get better I know. Yes it could happen to us again like it did you, but you still have your family. My heart goes out to you and the people whose house flooded again. Hugs, Hugs and more hugs to you..

Jo said...

I'm so sorry, Draz. I can only relate it to our house burning when I was a teenager and losing all our family photos. And the cleanup was quite unpleasant.

But I hope you feel better just by sharing the experience. I pray for strength for you.

Linda said...

So sorry sweetie - it's hard not to ask why me in a situation like this. Remember the good things as much as you can right now. xoxoLinda

Cindylew said...

I'm sorry for the bad memories this brings to you, I'm sorry for the new damage, but mostly I'm sorry that this is making you feel so blue. I can't imagine what it must feel like to suffer material loss but I hope those around you can remind you of all that you have in this life...especially the love of others...including me pop tart.

Genie @ Diet of 51 said...

I'm very sorry to hear about all of this, Draz. Many memories destroyed and many new, bad ones created.

You certainly write well in the throes of tragedy. My writing teacher says that the best writing comes from pain, and that is true of your writing about this chapter of your life.

HUGS!!!

TracyZ said...

Hugs to you. There isn't really anything I can say that the last million and five commenters haven't already said, so all I can offer is blogland hugs!

Stephanie said...

I nam so sorry to hear about the flooding. I know this must be very hard on you. If you need anything at all, you know where to reach me. massive hugs to you!!

Yarn Envy said...

I am sorry about all the flooding, and I send a big hug to you. Things will get better though, and while it is just material things that were lost, I think it is alright to feel for their lost, because they had emotional value, and it was a loss so don't feel guilty. Let the grieving happen so the healing can begin.

Amaris said...

***HUGS***

I wish I had something profound to say that would take away all your pain. I'm so sorry this is happening to you. You and your family will be in my thoughts.

Skye said...

I'm so sorry to hear you're going through a rough time. When you get a chance, please swing by my blog. I have something for you. (((Hugs)))

Yani said...

im really sorry to hear that u going through a rough time right now but i know how u feel and the feeling about the pict 3 yrs ago on a superbowl sunday my apartment burn and i lost every pict that i have from my daughter i dont have no pict from the day she was born, her 1st few month, her 1st bdat her first christmas halloween Thanksgiving none cero nada it hurt so much when she ask me where are her baby pict is sad so i know what r u going through right now and i feel u but dont feel sorry bc u have the pain feel so u can heal faster...u stronger than what u think...love ur blog!!!

Fiona said...

I have had a crappy week and felt really sorry for myself but your post help me put my problems into some sort of perspective. They still feel like problems to me but now I have an image of you and your family coping and getting on with life in the face of adversity which makes me feel like rolling up my jeans and wading in to help. In helping others we help ourselves. I wish so much that I was close enough to offer some assistance. This virtual world has the disavantage of letting us share our lives but not being able to do much else.I hope the thought of all the people who really care about you a lot sending you good thoughts has the desired effect and that you "feel" the virtual hugs that are on the way.

LDswims said...

Oh, Draz, this sucks! I could say I understand, because I do, but that doesn't make it feel better. I could say my heart is with you, because it is, but that doesn't make it feel any better, either. I could say you will get through this, because you will, wiser and tougher, but that REALLY doesn't make it feel any better. So all I can say is this sucks!

I am so sorry you are having to endure this again! Please let me know what I can do - even if it's just a pick me up email, whatever, I am happy to try! Lots of love to you!!!

Lucas said...

I hate that these events have tainted your love for rain. I love rain too, I love all weather actually, can't ever bring myself to complain about the heat or the cold when I love Mother Nature so much. So here's what I am suggesting to you, re-direct your anger. Instead of hating the rain, hate the structures that allow it in, hate the build up of it in the sky so that it just keeps coming and coming, hate the weather systems that cause it. Keep your love of the rain and just hate the flood.

Rain is Dad. Flood is bad.

Just a little different spin to consider. I hope it helps. I'm so, so sorry about the damage, again. Big hugs!

Carmen said...

:-( xoxo