Well, I had group Wednesday afternoon. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it, as I would rather have individual therapy, but group is free and therapy costs money, so I agreed to give it a shot. Of course, it’s a 12-session course on something I used to teach, so I was a bit hard-pressed to think I’ll get much out of it, but I was bound and determined to keep an open mind as much as I could.
We talked about anger. I stayed quiet until the very end, when I talked about everything that has happened since February and what landed me back in my hometown. The group was very supportive- there were about seven other clients, a peer support person, and the staff person running the group- and it wasn’t horrible. It is something I’ve taught, but there is always something you can bring with you, and while it’s not as therapeutic as talking to someone individually for a while, I’ll give it a few more sessions before making a decision about continuing or giving up altogether and opting for therapy.
I’m not sure if you remember when I visited for a week back in March and started revamping a dollhouse for my niece (I’m not entirely sure I wrote anything about it, to be honest,) but her birthday is this coming Sunday, so mom and I realized earlier this week that oh, I really need to finish it. I had finished the exterior and mom had papered and carpeted inside, so all that’s really left is decorating it. I’d found assemble-it-yourself doll furniture, but it was too large. Mom found a smaller set and so I’ve been entertaining myself with it for a few hours.
My stepdad got home and started asking about it, and despite me working on it- and it being in varying rooms of the house and fully visible- since MARCH, he’s acting like this is the first he’s heard of it being given to this particular niece. This niece is an only child, and while she’s turning five, and thus occasionally breaks things, she has been taught not to. She is very good with her toys and doesn’t break them intentionally, and takes good care of them. One of my other stepsisters has three little girls, and has not taught them to respect their toys, so they destroy things usually the same day they receive it. The oldest of those three has a birthday later in July, and my stepdad is wondering what big-ticket item we’re going to give her.
Nevermind that this is a house that was bought for my younger sisters at a garage sale for about ten bucks fifteen years ago, and it has been sitting in the attic collecting dust, spiders, and bat poop for the last decade. Nevermind that we’ve revamped it mostly on a shoestring budget and it’s mostly been just labor-intensive. Nevermind that I’ve been working on it SINCE MARCH. Now, all of a sudden, this is A Concern. He’s claiming that he thought it was something all the grandkids played with. None of them have ever seen it. He and my mom are probably still arguing about it now, after he got all huffy about it.
I just sat there and quietly assembled tiny dollhouse furniture, and assembled all but two pieces that need hot glue to be completed. Everything else will be hot glued to make sure it stays together, but for the most part it was all well-constructed and didn’t require glue. I had gotten completely distracted from everything else for like, two, three hours while I assembled things. They are really cute, and I will definitely paint them (possibly color-coordinating things with their appropriate rooms, or bagging/boxing them somehow so she knows which things are which) and generally have a project for a while. I like projects that are tiny and fiddly like that. I have another project for the wedding, but I’ve got an extra week to do that one.
I’m not angry about the argument, mostly just detached and frustrated. I’m positive my stepdad knew about this plan since mom and I started the project months ago. I hand shingled the roof with tiny balsa wood shingles, for god’s sake. He waits until I’m nearly done and there’s only four days until it’s going to be given as a gift to kick up a fuss? Why did he think I was pouring so much work into the thing? I just don’t get him, at all, not that this is news in any way. I’m just going to ignore it and finish the project anyway. I said I’d be happy to do another dollhouse if someone fusses about it, but the sisters who actually played with it all thought it looks fabulous and think the niece will love it. I won’t put that much work into a dollhouse for my other stepsister’s kids, because watching hundreds of hours of labor and burned fingers go out the window when they immediately smash it to hell isn’t something I want to partake in. I think a bike would be a present the other niece would like, as I think she’s turning eight or nine, so a dollhouse isn’t quite what she’d be into, I don’t think. I don’t know. I’ll just quietly assemble doll furniture anyway, and I’ll buy the damn thing from my stepdad for its original purchase cost if he really wants to fuss about it.