Notes to Self

September 10, 2014

I surrender

This morning I felt so defeated. I got in the car to drive the kids to daycare and I said to myself “I fucking surrender”. A moment earlier, when my daughter whined about wanting a different book to take to school (after she whined about wanting her dolls that were left in the house and I returned to the house to fetch them, brushing my hair for the first time since showering as I walked back to the house), I took the wrong book from her hands, threw it on the car floor and plopped the book she wanted into her lap. I felt like such a winner. I am an awesome mom.

 

I am so tired; absolutely exhausted. Not just from this cold I’ve been fighting for two weeks (I don’t take medication while breastfeeding), or from still waking 3-4 times a night to nurse the baby, or from taking care of the two kids on my own, or from a full-time job, or from cooking, cleaning and all the other shit I have to do. But also from feeling so damned lonely. And from fighting with myself about everything.

 

The mornings are insane. We all wake up late and have less than an hour to when we should be heading out the door. But of course this isn’t feasible so when it’s after 8 and I know that I will be late to work and unable to find a parking spot, I get really ticked off. I am constantly forgetting things, I never have food to take (and when was the last time I ate a vegetable?)….. I seem to carry a minimum of five bags (and a kid) and I just feel like my entire life is one big chaotic mess. There are some mornings I don’t get to shower.

 

I realized that I feel like my husband doesn’t match my level of effort toward childcare, house maintenance and just overall getting stuff done. And this angers me. I feel betrayed. Unloved. Unsupported and sometimes like a sucker. But then I wonder how much of this is me being unrealistic in my expectations (both for myself and for my husband) and how much is appropriate (this is the fighting I referred to earlier). So I get even more angry from being so unsure of things. It is clear to both of us that our priorities are different. For example, I want a clean, neat house that doesn’t piss me off (operative component is that I am not pissed off by the state of my house, not necessarily that it isn’t messy). He doesn’t care that much about that facet right now. He doesn’t get annoyed like I do (although there are times it frustrates him as well). So I battle with all of these things and push him away and get angry at him at the same time. Yes, I blame him. Not sure why. I don’t know what he does with his time; I just know that isn’t what I want him to be doing with it. (you should be shaking your head or laughing at me right now).

 

The layers of guilt and pressure and fighting just go on and on. When my 3.5 yr old screams in frustration the moment something doesn’t go her way (e.g., trying to take off her shoe), I know that’s my fault. I know I have failed her. I know that if I can’t fix myself I won’t be able to undo this damage and she will have a really tough life. But this morning I felt like I just can’t keep fighting. I am spent. I don’t see a light at the end of this pitch black and seemingly never ending tunnel. I just see more and more and more that needs to be done and I feel alone in facing it. I feel defeated. Like no matter what I do, I will always lose. I will always fail and there is always a better way to do it; I just can’t.

 

Life is passing by and I am struggling with what has often been referred to as “sweating the small stuff”. My therapist commented that I was worrying about the superficial things (like a messy house) but have the big, important things covered (like feeding my kids healthy foods) – note that this morning I was also steaming and pureeing broccoli for the baby…because there just wasn’t enough to do I thought I would add one more task…………….

 

So today I haven’t done much work and don’t really care to. I find everything rather pointless. I ate a bunch of cookies (and of course feel sick to my stomach). I will become progressively more annoyed as the day goes on and I will probably go to bed thoroughly annoyed, not sleep well and then do another day of this shit. Again and again and again. I just give up. I can’t give anymore than I already am and I am running out of steam. I don’t know what to do.

July 28, 2014

Exahustion of body and mind

I am so tired. Mentally, physically and emotionally (not sure of the difference between the first and last but the trio sounded good…)

So I think I am depressed.

I thought I would write a post to help me feel better, maybe come to some resolution of my current emotional state, but I don’t even feel like doing it now that I’ve started.

Got some bad news and that threw me over the edge on this crappy Monday.

I know that I should find the bright side; the silver lining. But I can’t right now.

I know that my family is a blessing and we aren’t destitute (yet), but that can’t make everything else go away.

It isn’t enough to say that your life doesn’t suck as much as other peoples’ lives do….everything is relative.

If you’re happy and you know it, good for you. But me, I’ve had enough of the bullshit. I just don’t know how to change it.

March 20, 2014

MIddle of the night blues

Filed under: Life's little things, Motherhood, Whatever — Tags: , , , , , — me2self @ 9:34 am

Since his birth, my son has woken every 2-3 hours to nurse. This left me with very, very little solid sleep. Just recently he started sleeping and only waking 2 times! How awesome is this! I will finally get to sleep!

Or maybe not.

Evidently my psyche believes that 2 AM is the PERFECT time to obsess and ruminate over all the big and little things that bother me. Lovely.

The funny thing (and not ha ha funny) is that the longer I am awake, the more angry I become and then the harder it is to actually fall asleep. So then I get pissed that I do this to myself. So I am basically awake from 1 AM-ish to maybe 4 or 4:30. I then turn off the 4:45 AM alarm, sleep until the baby wakes and then run around bat-shit crazy all morning to try to get out of the house “on time”. Now that’s funny.

 

 

 

February 18, 2014

It’s anxiety time!

Filed under: Take a deep breath, Whatever — Tags: , , , , , , — me2self @ 4:11 pm

The past two days I have felt like my brain is swirling around in my skull. Slight headache, tensed facial muscles and slightly blurred eyesight.

At first I thought it was a cabin fever from being stuck inside the house with two kids for four days (lots of snow!), but then this morning it hit me. It’s anxiety.

Since I can remember my family has never hesitated to tell me how impatient I am, how I rush to make decisions and how I have to fix things immediately. Well the jokes on them because all this time I have suffered from anxiety, not innate negative qualities resulting in my being a complete failure (or is the joke on me?).

Up until this morning I felt that my anxiety was focused on one event or issue; acute attacks which eventually pass when I feel resolution has been achieved. But now I feel inhabited.

I am disappointed by this development. I thought I was more accomplished than this in my journey to freedom from my pathologies of old.

I guess I should focus on the positive – that I am aware enough to have realized this. But I cannot, I am too annoyed.

September 1, 2013

Low self-esteem can be exhausting!

Something relatively minor happened at work on Friday and I am still obsessing over it. I have lost sleep because of it.

I have learned by now that when I can’t “let something go”, its because I haven’t resolved it for myself.

The event happened, I reacted, called a few folks, got a resolution and yet I am not done with it.

The issue, I realized this morning, is the way I treated myself when the question first arose. The doubt and worry I had about something so minute. When I talked to a friend/co-worker she told me what to do and it was that simple, yet I was envisioning everyone thinking I was a terrible person! And so I made it a bigger deal than it was, and now I am angry that I did that.

My husband said to focus on the fact that I have recognized his and how that is furthering me along the “road to recovery”- that I am becoming a better person. While I agree, I still can’t stop being completely annoyed.

It isn’t just the event and the ridiculousness surrounding it, it’s that I think so lowly of myself and that I let my family continue to treat me so poorly to encourage the low self-esteem for so long. I am tired of finding more ways and further reaches of how my poor self-image affects my everyday life. I am not surprised by the effects, just where it comes up and how it then affects me.

I am just tired of it. I want to be “normal” and not think twice about little stuff. I want to stop doubting myself so quickly and I want to stop obsessing when I do.

I’m just tired of it all.

April 16, 2013

A portrait of resistance

It occurred to me yesterday that I have been slowly uncovering all these varying coping mechanisms or ways that my parents shaped my thought processes but I don’t really have a general idea of what a picture of me would look like.

This is what I have so far:

I am a judgmental person (to myself as much as, or more than, to others) because I was always criticized and I learned to be critical.

I have this idea of how the world should work and if people don’t fit my schema then I get angry; much like how my parents and sisters got angry if I didn’t act the way they wanted me to.

I have anxiety, probably because I was never allowed to have my feelings, show anger or voice my disagreement with decisions made without regard to me.

I believe that I will always fail at everything I do, because nothing I did was good enough or the way they wanted it.

I believe I am unworthy of unconditional love and I am only as good (or loved) as what I can do for people, because I was not good, and did not deserve support and encouragement if I strayed from their idea of who and what I should be. The more I did for them, in the way in which they wanted it done, the better a person I was and the more loved I was (and by the way, this is still going on – I was recently kicked off the will because they felt they couldn’t rely on me any longer. A few years ago they kicked my sister off for similar reasons.).

Hmmm, I can’t think of any others right now, although I know there are more.

So I asked my therapist, if I feel like I will always fail at everything that I attempt, why do I try? What makes me have initiative and drive? What makes me continue to take chances and try new things and put myself out there? Why didn’t I just settle for something safe?

His only response was that people often have this core that is resistant. It survives and continues on regardless.

So, instead of painting a picture of my faults, here’s a picture of my resistance:

I have been married to a wonderful man for almost nine years; we have been in love for sixteen (we dated 7 years before getting married).

I have a beautiful, happy, healthy little girl who knows she is loved.

I have a few really good friends and am making more.

I have a job in which I am respected, relied upon and am really good at what I do. I will be promoted soon.

Even though I don’t like what I see in the mirror, I know it’s a superficial disgust and that the person standing there is really a beautiful, kind, loving, intelligent and wonderful person.

Even though I think about the time I spent sad and broken and how that may have kept me from being more than I am now, I also remember the moments that I shined and stepped out of my shell to be truly magnificent.

Despite the lack of consideration, respect and care that my family showed me, I am a caring person who considers other peoples feelings and gives everyone the benefit of the doubt (at least once because I’m not a fool!).

I am not who they are.

I am not who they want me to be.

I am me.

I survived and I resisted.

My picture of resistance is colorful and blooming everyday. It’s made of tears, fear, anxiety and sorrow but it smells like love and joy (and it tastes like coffee).

How about yours?

 

August 1, 2012

Silence isn’t always Golden

Filed under: Them vs. Me, Whatever — Tags: , , — me2self @ 1:23 pm

Sometimes staying silent isn’t the best policy.

When you don’t know what to say or how to articulate what you are feeling (or not even really sure what it is you are feeling), then silence is your only option.

But-

It lengthens gaps.

It tears down bridges.

It makes everything grey and tasteless.

July 16, 2012

Do you Death Spiral?

That’s what my husband calls it; a Death Spiral.

I start with one issue/obstacle/event and just pile on more and more until I end up in angry tears, blaming myself for ‘everything’ that is wrong and am unable to connect with the world around me. The trigger could be something as simple as running out of tissues or it could be a comment someone made (or what I inferred the person was really saying). Then I pile on the immediate (somewhat superficial) issues (e.g., messy house) and then get into the thick of it (e.g., I am a terrible mother because I cannot keep this house clean enough). As I go deeper and deeper I get more and more frustrated and angry. I withdraw and shut down.┬áMy cup runneth over with self-blame and criticisms. I can’t interact with my family and I sit trying desperately to keep it together enough that I don’t pitch a fit. I can’t find a way out.

Then comes the post-Death Spiral guilt.

I am doing it again and my daughter is picking up on my anger and frustration and now she is getting cranky and is a little nervous. I am teaching her to be angry and frustrated. I said I wouldn’t do this again but her I am – I am such a failure!

So I retreat (leave my daughter with my husband). I hide. Put a pillow over my head and hope the fighting stops. Cry a little. Scream a few times (into a pillow of course).

Then I hear my daughter crying – she wants her mommy. It’s not her fault I can’t deal with life. She needs me. So I go to her.

I try to put on a happy face and most of the time I succeed (she transforms me!). Or she will take a nap and give me some breathing time. My husband will sometimes talk me through (and out of) it. Eventually it dissipates. Sometimes I am left with defensive resentment, sometimes it helps clear the air. But I never feel resolved, just pacified.

I know it is just a matter of time until the next Death Spiral occurs. I need to stop them from happening. I don’t know how.

I realize it is happening. I realize it is crap that I do it. But once it starts….

I realize the flawed premise(s) upon which these Death Spirals are initiated. But I still believe there is some truth to them!

My therapist says I need to examine the facts surrounding each thought, determine if I really believe them and then go from there.

Obviously I am neither capable of doing this once the spiral starts nor capable of recognizing it before the spiral starts.

So now what?

I am worried that if I stop being so hard on myself I will become more of a failure than I already think I am (and then it will be true!). Note I say think because when I look closely I am relatively successful. Other than some challenges (e.g., my weight), I have accomplished a good deal (and don’t think too highly of myself!). Lower your standards and expectations and you will become what you fear. Does that even make sense?

I am a big fan of trying to answer the question “why”. I feel that if I understand from where an emotion/thought originates then I have a better chance at coming to terms with the situation. (yes, back to my parents). I recall getting to a point in my childhood where I couldn’t figure out why I was always wrong. It seemed as thought my parents were always telling me that what I did, thought or said was incorrect or not good enough, that I was making the same mistakes over and over and that I wasn’t paying close enough attention or giving it a good enough effort. But I didn’t agree and I never understood. I always looked for a reason as to why my parents thought I was so “bad”, and I guess I eventually just figured it was innate and out of my control. As a result (in hindsight of course) is my constant fear of being wrong and my tendency to admit my faults without hesitation (I will just offer up my short comings so no one can point them out to me later).

Which full circles back to my fundamental negative muse. I am failure.

Looks like I need more therapy.

July 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

I am not a religious person – not sure if I believe in God. And while I claim to not be superstitious I think I am.

Today is Friday the 13th.

Most people think of the horror movie, but I think Friday the 13th confers some negative quality to life.

It may be a self-fulfilling prophesy type deal, but these “13th” Fridays are more frustrating, sad and/or tiring than other Friday’s. Things tend to be more difficult and problems arise more frequently.

Today is the last day of my husband’s unemployment benefits. He lost his job over a year ago. And that was a job he had after losing his other job, which he had for over 10 years (the company was bought 0ut). I am scared for our future. I feel sad for him because I can’t imagine what he must be going through but know that it isn’t easy and must hurt a lot. I am grateful for my job and the health benefits. It is more than others have.

There were only three Friday the 13th’s in 2012. Today is the last for the year 2012. There will only be two in 2013 (thank God! ha!).

So here’s hoping that today goes fast and is uneventful (unless it is good news!).

July 10, 2012

Gullible again

I work in a poor city and basically at a hospital. There are a lot of homeless and/or poor people, a lot of violence, gangs and sickness. All screaming in your face all day long. The lack of respect for the fellow man is the loudest of all.

Today I was getting lunch at a food truck (a rarity for me) when we were approached by a woman. She appeared to be a man but was apparently pregnant. Her appearance was odd – strange outfit but clothes were not ragged and she had dread locks, which I hear cost a pretty penny. Her opening line was one that I heard once before “excuse me, I am not asking for money…”. She instead wanted us to buy her some food from the truck (anything she said as she clutched a few coins near her chest which made her appear humble and with great hope).

I thought about it briefly and then reached into a bag I was holding and pulled out a piece of the absolutely most delicious olive bread I have ever had (or that may exist) and handed it to her saying this is very delicious and is good for you too! She looked at it, shook her head and walked away. I kept saying “try it!”. I watched as she, and my previous bread walked away. I wondered if she would eat it. I wondered why she wasn’t. I wondered why I gave it to her. I wondered why I am such a foolish, gullible shit. I wanted my bread back (you can only get it once a week and you have to get there early!). I watched her tear it apart and throw it all around. I was pissed.

I wanted to chase after her and ask what did she really want, why did ask for it and why wasn’t my bread good enough if she was truly hungry.

I was afraid she (still not convinced it was a she) would become violent with me. I stood there feeling like a fool. Thinking of what I would say the next time.

I will think about this for at least the rest of the day. I will tell my husband about it, who will most likely respond with a “well what did you expect?” type comment and he will be right.

I keep thinking people aren’t all bad. That sometimes you just need to show kindness and respect and that not everyone is playing everyone else.

Evidently I am wrong. Again. People (at least this type of person) is always out to play everyone and isn’t looking for kindness or respect. I don’t know what they are looking for.

I am sad that I fell for the trick and sad that I lost my bread (which by the way I was sharing with MY child). But I am more sad that there are so many people out there that prey on people like me.

I want to believe in the best in people from the beginning and be proven wrong. But at what cost? And now how do I teach my child to not be so gullible and to stand up for herself (as I obviously cannot do)?

I don’t have these answers. Do you?

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