Sunday, August 1, 2004

Stop Raining

Okay, I've got stuff to do today and the rain is getting in the way. I shouldn't have slept in so late as I would have at least gotten my ride in. Mowing the lawn can wait till tomorrow but I'd really like to ride. I did manage a longish ride yesterday of 121 miles when I rode out to St. Peter along Hwy 169. I was intending to go to Mankato but I cut it short.

Tammy is working and Rachel is with her dad. She didn't sound all that happy to be going to see him yesterday. She called me around 11:00am and said her dad was picking her up around 12:30. I told her I'd see her tonight and that we'd all do something...I think that something is going to be dinner at Hard Rock Café in Minneapolis. We'll pick her up around six and head over there on the way back.

Rachel has been disappointed with her visits with her dad and step-mom for quite a while now. They speak Vietnamese around her and so she's not a part of their conversation. Her stepmom's English is very marginal and I sometimes wonder if that's maybe the way her dad wants it to be. He was very controlling with Tammy and he's in a perfect position to have total control over his new wife. Rachel is very bored at their apartment and I think she's glad her visits are only every other week. That's sad though as I can't for the life of me understand why her dad isn't more interested in Rachel's life. She's such a good kid. If I were her dad I'd be over here all the time, at the risk of being a pest to be spending time with her. I just don't see that with him.

It won't be long though before Rachel probably won't have much time for Tammy or myself as she begins to explore her world and seek more independence. We want to have the best foundation for her that we can so she's prepared to be able to make appropriate decisions for herself. Tammy and I engage her quite a lot...certainly more than our parents ever did with us. We make a point of oftentimes including her in our conversations and getting her opinion. I don't think she has any doubts about our love for her.

Still raining.

My sister, Claudia has been making sure there's no lack of drama in our family. She's been suffering from depression for the past seven or eight years and only seems to be getting worse. Both she and my sister Jackie were molested as young girls by our uncle, Elvin. Jackie has been able to put the whole mess behind her while Claudia doesn't appear to even want to begin to look forward. I can't begin to understand the dynamics of being molested but I'm a bit confused/curious that the molestation was never an issue until she was fired from her job around the same time the depression began.

To me, it almost seems convenient that she was able to go on disability due to her depression as it was a nice segue out of the working world and onto the government doles. Maybe I'm wrong and that she really needs to be on disability.

The problem I'm having with the whole situation is that she's on all sorts of meds now and I think there may be an addiction problem as well. It's been a couple months since I've talked with her but the last time I spoke with her was at night and she was so out of it from her meds. I'm not the only one who has noticed this trend. She obviously needs help for her mental health but a part of me thinks she's comfortable in her role of not having anyone have any expectations of her because she's depressed.

I can't offer her any constructive help because she turns it around on you and tells you you're attacking her. I asked her once what sort of coping skills her therapist was giving her and she couldn't think of any. I mentioned that she may want to keep a journal and make note of good things which happen to her throughout the day so when she's feeling down she can go back and see that all is not negative. I don't think she was very interested in my idea. I'm not sure if I believe her that her doctor hasn't been giving her advice of a similar nature.

Anyway, back to the drama. She knows that she can manipulate our mom and get her to feel sorry for her. She stopped calling mom and didn't give her any reason for pulling the plug. She just clammed up. Mom was having difficulty sleeping as she was upset that Claudia was isolating her for no reason. Our mother is nearly 80 years old and she doesn't need this sort of stress in her life. Claudia's self- centeredness is getting very old.

Hey, you know what? The sun is beginning to shine and I really need to put this away and get outside on my bike. I'd like to do a quick 40 miles then get back home and mow the grass before going out with Tammy and Rachel tonight.

I think I just needed to vent more than anything.

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