The Gas and Electric Guy/ More About Attention


Today I’m waiting for the Gas and Electric Guy. It could be a Gal, but I’m hoping it’s a Guy.  Perhaps I’m just hoping for a man to help me with something useful.

I don’t like days off. I prefer days packed with work, with running about from job to job to job. There are three jobs, and I like them all. I don’t like facing my anxiety and sadness alone. It’s horrid.

So I scheduled with the Gas and Electric company to come and do an energy audit on my home.  That’s good, because I need every bill to be as teeny tiny as possible.

As I wonder about whether there’s “clear access” to the water heater and the gas furnace, I recall an incident from eight years ago or so.

My ex was wandering back and forth through the garage. The reasons are long since lost on me.

I went into the garage to ask him a question. On the ground was a long stream of water coming directly from the water heater.

“Did you notice that?” I asked. “The water, coming from the heater”.

“Oh, yeah.”

“That looks like a problem”.

“Oh, yeah.”

“Were you going to mention that, or do something about it?”

“I, um, didn’t want to deal with it.”

Are you seven years old? I wanted to scream.  Who is going to deal with it? The water heater fairy?

The answer could be one of several things.  A. He didn’t notice, and he lied about it because that made him feel stupid. B.  He really didn’t want to deal with it, so he was hoping it would fix itself. C. He was trained from an early age that mom and dad fix everything, including cleaning his room for him, so he didn’t see a need to get personally involved.

In mid high school, my oldest daughter was diagnosed with ADD. I always suspected she was struggling-there were too many late nights at too young an age. There were too many missing assignments. She was smart, so I wondered. I was actively discouraged from looking into it by my in laws.  Still acting the obedient child, I went along with their opinion.  I ignored my best instincts until she was in high school, when the migraines were frequent and so were the late assignments.

As in many families, a child who is diagnosed often leads to a parent with an “aha” moment-they realize they have the problem as well.

You know what? I don’t care anymore. At least not personally.

I am a therapist. I am very sympathetic to those suffering with this problem.  I know the meds. I know the strategies to help with wandering minds.

However, I don’t want to partner with someone like this again.

I need someone to pay attention. Not so much to the water heater, although that is so, so useful. To me. To my state of mind. To wonder, wow, she looks tired, or stressed. Or beautiful in that dress.

Someone who doesn’t need a prompt. I don’t want to prompt and train. I have a dog already.

So the Gas and Electric Guy is coming. I hope he pays attention to the water heater, at least.




2 comments on “The Gas and Electric Guy/ More About Attention

  1. Wow. Just wow. You brushstroke with words and I am ever so grateful to have found you. Also, giggling at the water heater fairy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s