February 26, 2006

Meltdown, Mount Vesuvius Style

My composure evaporated this weekend. In the worst possible way.

It was over a piece of paper. Well. Not really. The paper was but the trigger. Not even the paper itself, just mere mention of it.

We have a family investment club. It is the brainchild of my recently deceased stepfather. Only one of us, my stepbrother, shows any deep interest. He really gets into it. But the rest of us keep plugging along because it is supposedly good for us to learn about the stock market and it helps our geographically-challenged family maintain regular contact. That's a good thing. But mostly we participate because it makes made Hal happy.

Much work is involved. Officers have administrative assignments and everyone is supposed to contribute to stock evaluations and tracking. Since his death, the club has been in a holding pattern. We tried to have a meeting but couldn't do any real business because the Treasurer did not produce the required reports. It was decided we should take a month off to give everyone a chance adjust to our new situation.

So everyone got a month off. Except for the Treasurer, who not only needs to catch up on the reports but also must file the club's federal tax return. The members cannot file their own personal tax returns until the individual K-1 forms, part of the club's return, are provided by the Treasurer.

(You folks bored yet? Still awake? Nothing like a dull recitation about taxes to turn off an audience, that's what I always say. I should hurry and get to the good part. And I would. If there was a good part.)

If you haven't surmised by now, I will clue you in that I am our club's Treasurer. When my mother asked me for the trillionth, quadrillionth, megazillionth time if I had her K-1 done because she absolutely positively had to have it immediately, well, I lost it. "The fucking thing is not even due until March 15!" I screamed with a quavering voice as tears threatened to overwhelm me.

Verbatim. From my mouth into my mother's one good ear. I used the word "fuck" in various forms several times during my diatribe, ignoring the alarmed warnings Wendy projected as she tried to catch my eye. I ranted at my grieving mother about that damned K-1 form for fifteen minutes before running out of steam. My face got red, my nose ran, tears leaked out. I paced. I threw my arms in the air. I think I even pounded the table with my fist.

Oh yes, me at my finest. A proud moment indeed. I should be shot.

It wasn't about the stupid form. It was about the toll the strain of the time and emotion expended to support my mother and be there for her has had on me. How was she to know that every time she asked about the form it inspired feelings that, although I have been doing my damnedest, I'm still not doing enough?

I'll make the deadlines for filing all the forms. But there will be little satisfaction of a job well done. It will be more like a sour note of finality because no matter when I get it done, Hal still won't be here.

It's finally sinking in.
He's gone.

I miss him.



whispers said...

every one needs their time to grieve, and a "new normal" takes some time to establish.

give your self some time, let people know you are only human and have some things to take care of for yourself before you can do the other "stuff".

take care of you.

tiff said...

One hopes elections for a new board are coming soon. You've done enough.
We all have moments of which we're not proud; your self-castigation is proof that you intend to try to learn from this moment. Some people don't even try, you know.
Call you Mama back and do a little grovelling...I'm pretty sure she'll understand.

Geeky Dragon Girl said...

Everyone has their meltdown moments. I happen to have them about every two weeks. Not very nice things flow out and I feel like quite the wicked witch afterwards. Broom and everything. But where there's love there is foregiveness.

And I think someone else should be Treasurer now. I personally hate counting beans. I'd rather eat them.

Katie said...

Mmm. Give yourself some space. I think this all seems very hard and I'm surprised you guys were even trying to meet. I'm sorry; this sounds like a horrible moment. But now stop beating yourself up. It's totally understandable.

Career Guy said...

Tiff has it right. Some people go off on others all the time without a thought to how it impacts the impactees. That's not your usual style. You're entitled once in a while. Hope things are little calmer now.

Suzanne said...

There is no grovelling necessary. As soon as I was done ranting, the mood shifted and amends were made all around. I'm never inclined to let bad feelings fester and grow, particularly not with me and my mother. We resolved it quickly. Like within 10 minutes. We're all a bit emotional these days.

Wendy tells me my mother needed to hear my message, but I sure wish I had chosen a different way of communicating.


Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel any better, I do taxes for a living, and darn near every investment club treasurer is in the same position as you are right now. Members bugging them for the forms, not being done, feeling frustrated. Hang in there, and make somebody else do it next year!

Melodee said...

I feel a little snivelly (wait, is that a word?) just reading about your loss. My heart goes out to you. Death sucks.

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Gina said...

It just goes to show that no matter how mature we think we are, stress and loss can combine into a not-so-pleasant eruption of anger. Which is only natural, if you ask me.

Wendy is right that it probably made your mom see your side of this, and I am sorry that the loss is starting to make itself felt in earnest.


Anonymous said...

Though I've never talked to you nor posted, I am an avid reader...I may be a bit overzealous when mentioning this, but I think it would be quite great if you sent your mother a letter...a letter requesting an extension for time to file this K-1...and apologize lol...am very sorry to hear about the terrible feeling of loss.

Suzanne said...

Hey there mid amer. Thanks for your suggestion, but my mom and I "made up" immediately.

Her words were something like "I'm so sorry. I did not understand and do not want to upset you. Take the time you need. I won't mention it again."

She's super, my mom. We'll both get it right the next time.