Image hosted by

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Part 6–Outcast

This is a continuation from the five posts below. It’s coming to an end, I swear.

Jane’s family seemed to want her home, but telling her that we knew where home really was seemed impossible. Her aunt and uncle took a plane to Illinois. They just wanted to see her. Mr. Lane and I hoped they would approach her and take her home. They rented a car and drove by our house. I took Jane outside to help me winterize the garden just so they could get a good look at her. I saw the car parked down my street and tried not to look at it. Knowing we were being watched was an odd feeling. More than anything I wanted them to pull into our driveway and be reunited. Instead, they drove away and called to say thanks. And then they were back on a plane.

I tried several times to throw out hints but the conversation went nowhere. Dealing with someone who is mentally unstable is not my forte. I had no idea where to begin. I asked Lois if she would just call and talk to her sister but she didn’t think that would be a good idea. She said Jane was still upset about the last time they were together.

“Telling her that people go through terrible things in life was the wrong thing to do. I was trying to let her know there is help out there if she was willing to take it. I told her I’d gone into therapy so I could move on with my own life. And all she would say is she isn’t crazy and would have no part of it. That night, while we were sleeping, she left.”

It was clear to me that Lois wanted help for her sister. How to get it was the latest mystery. Three years ago was the last time the sisters saw each other. It is also when Jane could no longer face the nightmare of her past. Rather than seek the help her sister tried to provide, she took a drive to the site of the accident where she lost her parents and smashed her Corvette head-on into a telephone pole. She just wanted her nightmare to be over.

Trying to tell Jane that we knew who she was, just didn’t work. My old man and I couldn’t find the words or the right timing, and the newest information, just seemed to make the situation that much more difficult. I worried that she would attempt suicide again.

All of our secret phone calls seemed to be making Jane angry, paranoid almost. Plus, I began keeping a much closer eye on her because of the latest information. I can’t imagine the thought of one of my kids finding her lifeless body in our home. It was definitely time for Jane to get professional help.

Over the last couple of days, it was as if Jane knew we were talking about her behind her back. She tried following me every time I would get a phone call. She began asking a lot of questions, which was something she hadn’t done before. I talked around answers the same way she had every time I asked a question about her life.

She began giving me the cold shoulder. So much like a little sister in every way, Jane began ignoring me, arms folded across her chest, head turned away when I’d speak, refusing to eat what I’d make her for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Mr. Lane picked up the slack and got her to eat when she’d tell me no. He bought her things to try cheering her up.

Mr. Lane’s kindness became misconstrued. In her mind, he was doing things for her out of love. A love in her mind that was bigger than the compassion he was offering. I told Mr. Lane what I thought was going on in Jane’s head and suggested he back off a little. He thought I was being paranoid.

“You know I wouldn’t do anything with her, right?!”

“Holy shit! That is not where this is going. You are confusing her. She is very vulnerable right now and I think she thinks you are falling for her.”

Before it turned into major thing between us, we talked for a long time about things I saw her doing that made me think she was misconstruing his kindness over the last couple of days while she was angry at me. Like the time I caught her hugging and smelling his dirty shirt in the laundry room, which Lane 2 said she had seen her doing a couple of times before, which I shrugged off until seeing it with my own eyes. Or the way she rushes into the bathroom to put makeup on when she hears him pull into the driveway after work, even when it’s after 10 p.m. She also moved a picture of Mr. Lane from one table to another, closer to the couch where she spends most of her time. It seemed pretty clear to me what was going on in her mind. She could have been trying to upset me since she was angry at my way of talking around the truth, or she could just simply be falling in love with my old man.

I may be a lot of things, paranoid is certainly not one of them. But, a dark and selfish side of me shined through. It was more dark than I thought possible. It was ugly. I began feeling like an outcast in my own home.

I could sugar coat the whole thing, and give a completely happy ending to this saga, but truth is life. There we were, a family of four, and life made us a family of five. Yes, I jumped into something bigger than I was able to take on, but there was no backing down from those signs. I had to follow through with what became a painful journey.

On the second day of being completely ignored, a package came in the mail. It was the first time I smiled in days. Over the summer I worked on a book. I wrote eighteen tributes to people whose lives were lost over the years. People who are worth remembering is the focus of the book. The book was finally published, printed and delivered.

In June, on what would have been my mother in-law’s birthday, I wrote a tribute to her. I never told my husband because I wanted to surprise him. In my mind I imagined how he would react. I could see pride gleaming from his eyes.

The reality was so far beyond the images my mind conjured that I found myself completely depressed, hurt and left out. I began regretting everything I had done for this princess. I was so wrapped up in trying to give her back a normal life that mine was slipping away before my eyes, but I was too busy to notice.

My 14-year-old son seemed to be the only one in our five-person family who cared to read the tribute I’d written for his grandmother. He told me it was really nice. In fact, he was proud enough of his old mom to bring it to school and share with his friends.

When Mr. Lane came home that day and I showed him the book, Jane stepped in and asked if she could go on a road trip with him. Remember when I said paranoid is not my style? Well, it was becoming something I thought I might get used to.

Completely ignoring the open book with his mother’s picture and tribute, he closed it and set it on the table. Then he looked at Jane and said, “I’m only going to Iowa and there isn’t much to see or do there.”

“That’s okay. I just want to go with. We never get to spend any time together.”

I walked out of the kitchen when my husband closed the book. The fact that he considered for one second taking her after the long discussion we had, gave me a dark feeling. The way he dismissed the book, didn’t help either. My heart was thumping so loudly I could hear it. Pissed off? Paranoid? I couldn’t differentiate.

I turned the TV on. I didn’t want to hear his answer and I wanted to tune out my own thunderous heartbeat. My mind filled with thoughts that this, the right now, was supposed to be the best time of our lives. My feelings were beyond crushed. We should be celebrating the book being published. We should be celebrating getting our first home. We should be celebrating a new beginning for the entire Lane family.

I had bitten off more than I could chew. That sign was louder and clearer than all the rest. Stay tuned for the conclusion, coming soon to a blog near you.