Sunday, November 23, 2008

Excuse Me While I Scream.

I might have to come home soon. Let me explain:

Yesterday after lunch it was very quiet in the house. Nick and Paule and Phil were nowhere to be found, when Mickey, the house mother from Nook called. She wanted to know if we were having supper in our house because everyone in Nook was going somewhere for Bible Evening. This week's bible evening was different; usually each house has its own, but this week we would be meeting in the same saturday night groups we've been meeting in to discuss life in Botton. As I understood it, bible evening involves a supper followed by discussion of a passage from the bible. So naturally, I assumed it happened at 6:30 and I would be the only one here, preparing and hosting supper for Stephanie Anthony and Katie, who haven't been participating in the Saturday night discussion groups. So I told Mickey that we would be happy to have one of Nook's villagers here for supper. I went for a walk up to a rock cliff on the top of the moor behind Dalehead (see map) and left a note in the kitchen saying I would be back by 5:00. It was snowy and snowing and lovely. I do love exploring around here.

When I got back I looked around for Nick so I could help him set up the hall and Katie told me he already went over to set up and I thought, "crap!" and ran over to the hall but no one was there. I played the piano for a bit and when Nick didn't show up I went back to the house. I found him there and we went back to the hall and set up. As we were setting up we talked about the Bible Evening and how it works and how no one is trying to convert me or anything and I said I don't believe in the bible as a holy book and he said that's fine, even in the group they just read a passage and talk about how it can be helpful to us today. So it's totally fine. Nick also explained to me the timing of the Bible evening. It doesn't start until 7:45, and the meal is at 8:00! Okay, I thought, so Mary (from Nook) and the rest of us will eat at 6:30 and everyone from Bracken will still be there. No problem.

I went back to Bracken and the minute I walked into the kitchen I saw Paule storming around the kitchen, clearly angry. I don't remember the exact words but she was pissed that I had invited Mary over for supper without asking. I said, "But no one was here! And I knew we were having supper here, so I didn't see the problem!" She said, "What do you mean no one was here?!" It was like she didn't believe me! She kept yelling at me about it, saying I should have written that she was coming in the note I left, but I figured I would see her again before supper and could tell her then. I apologized and went upstairs. I was feeling a bit shaky, but I went back down. I looked in the sitting room and saw that the dining room table was set for a lot of people. I asked Katie what that was for and she said "Paule's bible evening group." I thought, "Shit," and asked her where we would eat. She said the kitchen. I went back into said kitchen and asked Paule if I could help with anything. She was busy making food for her bible evening, which I assumed was in the college because that's where her saturday evening group had been meeting. She yelled, "You know what, use your eyes! Look around for once in your life!" I went into the larder and started crying. She came in a few minutes later and snapped, "Yeah, that's right, stand here and cry. Very mature." I looked up at her, completely in shock, and said "I'm sorry! I didn't know you were having Bible evening here! I thought you would be at the college!" And she yelled, "Because you never listen! You are always talking talking talking but I realize that you never listen you have no idea what's going on around you! So now you are in here crying like a baby!" And she walked out. I stood reeling for a moment and then ran out of the larder and slammed the door and ran upstairs crying. She called after me, "Robin! That is no way to behave! If you are going to act like a child you can just pack your bags and leave!" I ran into my room and cried until I puked. Then I started packing. I started formulating a plan. I grabbed a notepad and pen, some clothes and other things and as I was doing so there was a knock on my door. I was silent. After a few more knocks Paule said, "robin, they are waiting for their supper. Please come down and give them their supper." I opened the door and said, "And then I'm leaving." And she said, "Great."

So I went down and gathered the non-bible-evening-goers into the kitchen and told them to dig in. I was so confused and shaky and terrified I didn't eat a thing. I tried to put on a good face for the villagers who, thank god, are not so great at perceiving emotions. I kept thinking, "What if this is the last time I see Steph? And Anthony? Am I leaving? What's happening?" When everyone had finished we blessed the meal and cleaned up and when we had finished I went back upstairs and grabbed my bag threw on my coat and walked to the barn. I made a nest in the straw loft and hunkered down for a cold night. I had brought my book light and got it out and wrote a super long note to Paule saying that I don't want to leave and I want desperately for us to be friends and for this to work but she has GOT to stop expecting the same level of perfection she achieves from me. And I told her that it is extremely hard for me to relate to her because back home all the women in my life are kind and sweet and affectionate and compared to them she is stone cold. And that no adult has ever spoken to me like she did tonight and she may think I'm childish, but that was the most immature reaction I've ever seen from a grownup. I told her that from day one I have been trying my best, but my best never seems to be good enough for her, so I push myself harder and harder, working so hard on the farm that I'm in constant pain, and doing everything I'm asked to do in the food centre and doing it well, but she doesn't see those things. I'm not home very often, but even then I'm doing everything she asks and asking her if she needs help all the time and not just doing things because I don't want to screw something up. I have never worked so hard to gain someone's approval before, mostly because my best has always been good enough, great even.

So after a while in the barn I realized I was gonna freeze to death so I snuck into Honey Bee Nest and slept in Luis's bed. He was at Ben's for the night and in the morning he came in and was like "what? what are you doing here?" So i told him everything and he was like..."shit." He said I could hide in his room for as long as I want. But around 2:00 I was so hungry and fed up with inaction I decided to go face the music. I went back to Bracken and taped my note to Paule's door. Then I went down to the kitchen and made tea and toast and hung out with Stephanie. I felt so weird, like it wasn't my house anymore. I mean, Paule had told me to get out. So it was like I was in some stranger's house eating their food and using their I was completely unwelcome. I could hear Paule in the next room and I knew she could hear me too, and walked by once but neither of us said a word. I've been in my room ever since, writing this and hanging out with Steph, who is sitting at my desk with her coloring book. We're listening to the Mamma Mia soundtrack. I plan on telling Paule I slept in the barn if she asks. I want her to feel bad about kicking me out. I actually didn't want to come back for days and make her scared and regret what she'd done, but at the same time I figured she would take my running away as yet another sign of my immaturity, so I came back. And now supper is soon, and I need a shower and I think I'll make the supper because Paule will be pissed no matter what so I might as well try to ease her bad mood and help her out. Jesus I want to go home where people are nice. But that would make me more of a failure than I already am. I mean *I* don't think I'm a failure, Paule does. But leaving here would make me feel like one. Okay. Here goes.

1 comment:

anniebeeeee said...

wow baby. this sounds like an awful woman. at the same time, this is like super duper learning experience time. i know it totally sucks, and i'm dealing with other things that totally suck, but the thing about things that totally suck is that once you get through them you have grown and learned and are even more awesome than you already were. challenge is hard. but it's crazy and great to think about all the life experience you're getting. damn. ps these word verifications are completely not even close to being real words :p