My husband is in one room and he hears the water running but he thinks it's someone taking a shower. I am in another room, with my daughter, watching a Jersey Shore episode I have DVR'd and saved to watch with her when she comes home on the weekend from college. We cannot explain why we love that show--we just do. We laugh about their accents and their hair and the ridiculous tans they get from tanning beds when the beach sits right outside their front door. I hear water at one point, but it is raining outside and so I shake my head and tell myself it's just rain. More time passes and I hear the sound of water again and I think to myself that something is not right, that it sounds as though it is raining INSIDE the house. I walk out of the room and I turn towards the sound of the water and discover it is coming from the bathroom. The toilet has overflowed and flooded everywhere.
I start screaming OMG but then I shift into clean-up mode. I am good in a crisis. I panic initially for a number of seconds, but then you can count on me to find a way out of whatever mess I am in with quiet and cool. You want me on your side because I can make you believe everything will be ok, that I can fix anything. My husband is just the opposite. He can be counted on to help, but he cannot give up on his raging against whatever mess we are in. He screams and he rages and he does not get that nothing he says will change the fact that we simply need to shut up and deal with what's in front of us. He makes whatever mess we're in a thousand times worse just because he cannot keep his mouth shut.
We spend the afternoon wet vacuuming up the excess water and attempting to dry the carpets with big, industrial sized fans. The entire time we are dealing with this mess, my husband is screaming his lungs out about everything. How he is sick of living this way, how hard he works and how much he hates living with the insanity of toilets overflowing, etc., etc., etc. He can turn the smallest thing into the biggest problem and the biggest problem into something much worse without even trying. In my head I am plotting how I will leave him even though I know I will never go anywhere. It helps to pretend there is a place I can go when madness is all around me.
That evening, after cleaning up all the toilet water we've been knee deep in all day, we head off to see the play Annie downtown. It is still raining outside--the freezing kind of rain that makes you think the whole world is crying, and our parking space is two blocks from the theater. We do not have an umbrella because I forgot to bring one and if I don't remember everything, then nothing gets remembered. We are drenched and so very miserable. I am heartsick about everything, mostly about being stuck in a life that sometimes feels like a trap I can't find my way out of, but then Annie comes on stage and starts singing The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow and I feel my own heart start floating back into its proper place from where it fell inside me.
Sometimes I am amazed at the level of dysfunction I've created for myself without even knowing I was creating it. I own it all, even the crazy, because it's all part of who I am.