Posts Tagged With: miserable

my defining moment as a frog in cold water

Acute stress feels like it will crush you where you stand.
I promise you it won’t. Your fight or flight instinct will kick in and save you. Acute stress feels overwhelming and most of us would do anything to get away from it. But, acute stress won’t kill, no matter how much you believe it might.
Chronic stress is what will kill you.
Chronic stress is like putting a frog in a pot of cold water and then slowly turning up the heat. The frog doesn’t realize what’s happening until it’s already boiling! That’s when one of two things happens. Fight or flight kicks in to save you, or you just die.

I’m an expert in chronic stress. I’m that frog in the pot of water. I was lucky enough that my instinct for flight is so strong. It saved my life.
I spent seventeen years with a man who emotionally abused me.
His sabotage so subtle, his manipulation so nuanced, it was poetry of pure unadulterated evil. He brought passive aggression to new and frightening depths. For the most part I was unaware on a conscious level. I went about my daily life feeling anxious without actually realizing it.
Sometimes I would wonder…Why did I require so much sleep? Why did I turn so much of my focus to my children? Why did I feel nauseous when he would come home? But never for long because there would be some sudden kindness and I would smile and believe him when he told me everything was lovely.

But on some level, I did know what was going on. I did know that something was amiss. I focused on my children to be a buffer between him and them so he couldn’t treat them the way he treated me. I presented the picture of the perfect little family to the rest of the world so no one would realize that he was not what he seemed.
I was scared of him. And scared isn’t a big enough word, but I’m honestly too lazy to thesaurus right now. He frightened every fiber of my being. Somehow I knew he’d never lay hands on me. I wasn’t worried about that. I didn’t realize the internal wounds could occasionally be worse.

He used to tell me that I was crazy. That I was certifiable. That they would put me in a straight jacket in the padded cell and that was where I belonged. He told me no judge in his right mind would give the girls to me. I had nothing and I was crazy. He told me that he would take the girls and I would never see them again.
I would have done and would still do anything for my girls. So I stayed with this man.
He read my journals. He read my email.
He even tried to sabotage my friendships…he had to do that carefully because he didn’t want to show his true colors. I was lucky that most of my friendships were strong enough to withstand his tricks.

I was trapped in a hell I helped create.
Every single day of my life I was scared.
Every single day of my life I was anxious.
Every single day of my life I was angry.
I was miserable. My girls were miserable. I was failing at being a mother. I was failing at being a person.
I was the frog in the pot of water suddenly aware that I was boiling!

This was the defining moment.
Would I die in that pot of boiling water?
No! I would save my own life!

The chronic stress was literally killing me. I was dying. I had to do something to preserve my own life.
I told him that I was done. I told him that I was empty and dead inside. I told him that I had nothing left to give. I told him I was leaving because I knew he would never leave.
When I finally left, he acted as though he was surprised. As though I’d never expressed any of my concerns. I didn’t even argue. I just walked away.
That’s when he turned on my girls. He manipulated them. He used them as weapons to hurt me.
That’s the only thing I regret about leaving him…what he did to my babies. You want to hurt me? Come at me directly.
My poor babies had to suffer for me to live.
That doesn’t seem right. But it was how it was.
A dying person is a desperate person.
I had to save my own life.
They’ve moved through that part of their lives. Will they ever heal? I honestly don’t know.
I know the only one who came out unscathed was their father. He has no clue what he’s done…or he doesn’t care. How’s that for crazy?

I was told by friends and family that I was strong. That I was brave. I felt neither. I felt as frightened as I’d ever been. I did what I had to do to stay alive.
It was the hardest thing I ever did, saving my own life. I only wish I’d been strong enough to do it sooner. Of course, the frog doesn’t realize what’s happening until the water comes to a boil…

I’m writing about this because of a conversation I had with my friend Nora last night, and a conversation I had with my sister in law today. Nora and I talked of relationships and life and celebs and sports stars we’d like to have our way with. We talked of previous lives and choices we make. We discussed “winning” at divorce. (When your life is better than it was before AND better than your ex’s current life.) We talked about being mothers. We ate pasta and drank a goodly bit of wine. We were “just girls” together, but we talked of important topics.
She’s actually the one who verbalized the frog in water analogy.

This afternoon I had a distressing conversation with my sister in law about her relationship with her children’s father. Apparently their state of chronic stress has escalated to acute and he’s announced he’s leaving. Knowing him as long as I have, I think he’s having a bit of a temper tantrum and it will blow over and they’ll go back to their life of chronic stress.
It is killing my sister in law. Now, there is a fairly decent amount of her stress that has little or nothing to do with him. She has some of her own shit to sort.
I told I knew what she was capable of. I suggested she tap into that deeply rooted power and make a better life for herself.
She expressed her fear.
Fear can ride shotgun, get it out of the driver’s seat. Fear will never drive me again. But it sure as hell likes to go along for the ride. I was scared half to death to make that huge change. Especially considering what impact it had on my children.
She’s not ready to do that hard work. She will eventually have to decide to save her own life or she will die.

I can’t run other people’s lives.
Some days I can barely run my own life. Seems that way lately.
I have stress in my life. But it’s acute stress. It causes an immediate reaction. And though my flight instinct is the strongest, I’m learning to fight. Fight the good fight. Fight for what’s right.

I fought the good fight by flying all those years ago. The fight to save my life. Because I tell you, I was dying. Not metaphorically dying. Actually. Physically. Emotionally. I was actively dying.
I learned the most important lesson about myself by saving my own life.
I learned that I can do anything.

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Categories: divorce, loss, me, on being a mom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

patience or self-indulgence?

I was feeling mighty sorry for myself this morning. Filled with sadness and there were so many tears.
Nothing I did eased me.
This thought plagued me: I’m so tired of feeling sad and sorry for myself.

I’m tired of winter. I’m tired of feeling like hell all the time. Will I ever heal?
I’m failing at finding a job. I’m not keeping up with the house. I’m just a pathetic puddle of whininess and I can’t seem to snap myself out of it!

The weather is finally turning. It’s in the 70s today. I brought all the back porch furniture up from the basement and set it up. Filled the fountain and am now sitting out here listening to the water sounds and The Pierces.
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Thing 2 and I were texting this morning during my sadness. She was kind and reassuring. (I guess today it was her turn to be the Mommy.)
I thanked her and she replied: Of course, Momma ❤ you’re always there for me and I’m here for you. I love you ❤ you’re awesome, don’t lose sight of that because things are crappy.

A bit later I really lost patience with myself and sent this: Shame on me all weepy and whiny when I think about (the young man) being sick and what (that family) is going through I want to slap myself.

She came back with this: Hey now, don’t do that to yourself. Everyone has stuff going on. Yes, their shit is really big and really stinky right now but that doesn’t mean that your shit isn’t any easier or less important. It’s the biggest thing in your world right now so you can’t compare it.

Me: Why are you so wise? How? You truly amaze me.

Thing 2: I may not know a lot about everything but I do know a little bit about a lot of things. And that is something I have always told everyone and will always stick in my head, because that is the truest thing. So feel bad for them and love them, but do not feel guilty because you are “better off” but still feeling bad for yourself.

Me: Thank you! My God, you are amazing!

Thing 2: I try? I don’t see what the big deal is, it just makes sense to me.

Me: It makes total sense. It’s a wisdom that most people your age don’t possess. I have always known you are special. But sometimes you do something that goes beyond.

Thing 2: I am flattered. Thank you.

How does she have that wisdom?
How does she know that it’s OK for me to be miserable even though people I love have worse things to be miserable about?

I wasn’t even excited about the washer and dryer coming. I cannot stress how important it is to note that.
I took pics when they were delivered.
I wrote a blog post about it.
Even though these new machines are a great and wonderful gift, and even though I’ve used them with gusto this afternoon, I have little joy. The underlying sadness is digging in it’s heels.

It’s time for this to stop, it’s gone on too long. I’m beginning to wonder if I can snap out of it. How long before patience becomes self-indulgence?
Perhaps I need one of two things. The first being a swift spiritual kick to the head. The second is to breathe new air. (That’s one of my favorite phrases my friend and mentor says.)
I don’t know. I’m breathing breezy porch air right now…think that’ll help?

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

when I’m Queen of the World

Taurus horoscope:
A certain person or situation is not as “perfect” as you would like it to be. In an ideal world, things would be quite different. In an ideal world, the accessories of your life -including the people in it and the situations that exist within it – would be entirely different. There would be no trouble. There would be no conflict. Everything would be a mirror image of your imagined ideal life. If that actually happened though, Taurus, you would find it dull. What you really need to do is to revel in the imperfection that is your life. Enjoy it. Appreciate it. That is the key to a happier existence.

YBW likes to tease me about my love of reading and finding meaning in my horoscope. It’s OK though, it doesn’t bother me. I really do love to read it and see if and or how it’s applicable, but I don’t let it rule my life.
But this one…this one kicked me right in my uptight-control-freak ass.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said: When I’m Queen of the World… or When I run the World…
I like things the way I like them and I have no shame. I can see so clearly how it ‘could’ be and quite possibly ‘should’ be.
This is not to say that I truly think I know what’s best for everyone. I just know how I’d like it to be for me. If I could make it so then I would like it most.

But as my horoscope so helpfully points out, I might be bored out of my skull if every thing was exactly the way I imagined I’d like it.

When Thing 1 and I talked about the swelling in my brain I teased her about how I’d been telling her and Thing 2 for many years that I was going to try to less uptight, that I was going to attempt to be less of a control freak and this situation was actually forcing me into doing that.
She expressed her humor and pleasure that this scary medical condition had something positive going for it.

So here I am, realizing that I can’t control everything no matter desperately I long to try. Realizing the actions of others don’t really impact me unless I let them. I’m attempting to let the “little things” slide. Things that would have made me frustrated and angry, I’m just shrugging them off. I can’t let those things rule my emotions.

YBW told me last week that I’ve been a “hater” that I’ve spewed a great deal of hate lately. I kind of lost my shit and began to cry. I screeched that I am in pain every single day. I’m miserable every single day. I’m working my ass off at school and home every single day.
I’m acutely aware of how unpleasant it is to be around me! I’m me! I’m miserable and feel horrible. I have raging pain most days and dull, residual pain every single day. I knew the meds weren’t working and I knew I was suffering from the side effects. I saw the neurologist and she changed my meds. I have to wean off one but can start the new one in the process. The meds for acute pain wasn’t helping so that was changed to one that we know works.
I don’t know if it’s psychosomatic, but the first morning after the new meds I woke up feeling better for the first time in weeks.

I can’t control any of this medical stuff and it has negatively impacted every aspect of my life for the past two months.
Would I like to create a “perfect” situation from this hot mess? Absolutely.
Would I find it dull? Absolutely not.
Can I change it? Nope.
Am I going to fret about it? I’m working my ass off to not.

I’m focusing on the benefits of these new meds. I’m focusing on healing my brain. I’m focusing on the time I have with my little three and four year olds. I’m focusing on the excitement surrounding our wedding. I’m surrounded by love.
And it really ‘could’ be the key to a happier existence.

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

this whiny crybaby needs a waaambulance

I have poison sumac…or ivy…or oak. (I’m almost sure it’s sumac.) I have it on both my arms, my right thigh, the lower part of my left leg, my belly and my face. I will no longer engage plant life…accursed bastards.
I am a miserable whiny crybaby and I’m not ashamed to show it. (show it, show it, show it)

I went to the doctor today because my arms are burning as though I’ve been doused with gasoline and I can’t even hug my little school friends for the pain. He gave me the GIANT prednisone pack, which I promptly brought home, showed to YBW and said, “Do you see this big ass bunch of steroids? I have to take this for the next twelve days, I might become unpleasant to be around.” He smiled. I immediately said, “And please don’t say something like ‘more so than usual?’ because I don’t think I can handle it right now.” And then I started to cry.
Sweet YBW hugged me and kissed the nonleperyish (It IS a word, dammit!) part of my forehead and was silent. All I could think was, ‘Thank you, my darling for being the perfect you in this moment.’

I wanted to crawl into my bed and watch Funny Face, Audrey would help me feel better…but I wrote a paper instead. Responsible Robynbird won that round…but now it’s been submitted and I’m going to get Audrey, Fred, and the sensational Kay Thompson and get in my bed…Bonjour Paris!

OH! And if it isn’t bad enough that I have freaky burning-pain useless arms I was peed on by one of my friends today…when I say he peed on me, I don’t mean a dribble I mean I was soaked from my right breast all the way down to my hip.
I did not cry. But I wanted to.

Think pink when you shop for summer clothes…On how to be lovely…I love your funny face, your sunny funny face…s’wonderful, s’marvelous that you should care for me…Clap yo’ hands slap yo’ thigh…He loves and she loves…

Categories: me | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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