I took a texting blackout yesterday and today. Probably will tomorrow, too.

I wish I could begin to explain all the weird messages I was receiving from one of my family members: the lies, the ruminations, the delusions and hallucinations…so much odd stuff.

I could post screenshots of the messages, but I feel like it wouldn’t be as big a deal to my readers without the context behind the screenshots. Between her and another of my family members, a lovely “watchwoman” who had been keeping watch from a distance, the messages and phone calls I’d been receiving were numerous and just…odd.

And I hadn’t even responded to most of them! But the floodgates were opened. Now I had to deal with the rushing waters, so to speak.

The distant, golden-hearted “watchwoman” called me two evenings ago, laughing (not maliciously) about it being my turn to get all the phone calls and text messages…

….oh, my god, the many, many messages…

I returned to work after that phone call; one of my crew members said I hadn’t been myself all night. That was when I knew the scenario with my family member was beginning to affect negatively an area where I am normally steadfast. I didn’t like that one bit.

Hours and many texts later, I was lying in bed, trying to sleep after my closing shift, and I realized how quickly our family member’s disease had become an all-consuming, downward spiral. I awoke from my half-slumber, realizing,

I’m slacklining between unconditional love and playing the game, and now I can’t get a handle on what’s happening in MY microcosm.  I can’t seem to do now what I’ve grown accustomed to doing, which is take care of my own damn self …and I can’t be self-sufficient when I’m spending time reading random, nonsensical messages. Can’t even fucking work on making Christmas FEEL like Christmas — as in, putting up some strings of lights — because of this crap.

I hadn’t slept, hadn’t eaten in two days. I kept hearing “can’t” in my head…in my own voice…about all the things I wanted to accomplish last weekend but had not because of this shit, and I was angry about it. So I said, “Hell, no.”

I gave up on rest finally, and sent a message to the involved sober family member at 4:30 AM: “I am taking a ‘blackout’ day…maybe even a couple…where I’m not taking texts or calls. I am overwhelmed enough by my own needs right now without having to manage anyone else’s. I can’t sleep or eat. [Her] texts are so disturbing, and they come at the worst time. I just now received two from her that make no sense. I’ve got to take care of myself for a change. I’m the only one looking out for me; I’m stepping away so I can have some healthy space.”

I’ll see how I feel after a couple of days. I might feel better. Fortified. Like I can manage my life while knowing about hers, but two nights ago, and all day yesterday, I was barely holding it together. So I haven’t picked up my phone.

Maybe I’m the one who’s sick and in denial. Maybe I am hateful and awful and needing to be relegated to some facility for the callous and sociopathic.

Maybe I just need to curl up and cry. But there’s no time for that. So I’ll just put on my game face and keep going.

Nobody’s better at it than I.

©Aja Hart, 2015.12.9