Monday, May 02, 2016

I Did NOT Lose My Sh*t This Weekend – Yay Me!

Lately, I’ve been losing my SHIT. We had a nice weekend last weekend (no kids) until Sunday when I fell into despair. We had a nice weekend this weekend, with the kids, and I did NOT lose my shit!! I can’t really say I’m “proud” of myself because normal people should not be losing their shit anyway. Not over what I lose my shit about, anyway. But I kind of am proud of myself because I held it together. No, that’s not right. It’s not that I held it together; I didn’t feel the anger. And it’s not an “I didn’t feel the anger because I don’t give a shit”  - it wasn’t apathy; it just wasn’t there. The self-pity wasn’t there, the anger wasn’t there. I don’t know what changed other than perhaps last Monday was my rock bottom and last Wednesday I was still in a dark pit. I’m too embarrassed to talk about what happened. But basically, last Monday, Jeff hurt my feelings with some insensitive comments around 5pm. He apologized. I KNOW he didn’t mean to be mean and that he was just a man and sometimes men say dumb things (women too, duh). But I couldn’t let it go. And I was still simmering on it – EVEN THOUGH HE HAD ALREADY APOLOGIZED – when he came home, changed his clothes, and then said “I’m going to watch the Blues game with my buddies” and that’s when the bomb went off. I LOST it. I don’t know why I lost it, I just lost it. In a very big way. In front of Sophie. Like I said, I’m extremely embarrassed and don’t want to say much more other than Jeff did not deserve the wrath I unleashed. It wasn’t even a “I can’t stand you so I’m going downtown to get drunk at a bar with my friends while watching sports.” It was truly an innocent “I’m going down the street to watch the biggest playoff game in the history of hockey.” And I couldn’t take it because I felt abandoned. Which was stupid. Because Sophie and I could have had a very pleasant evening just chilling and watching TV. But I couldn’t let it be. Honestly, at this point, I’m just grateful he forgave me, that’s how bad it was.

On Wednesday, we had the kids and there was no BOMB per say but I was still wallowing in self-pity which made me irritable and angry and frustrated and Jeff tried to comfort me which was all I wanted in the whole wide world, only I pushed him away.

And then I made an appointment with my doctor to discuss my meds – that’s on this coming Wednesday. Because either my meds aren’t working (or stopped working) or the dose needs to increase, or I need to add something else on top of it (which I don’t want to do; I don’t like that option and I’ve tried it before and it made things worse). Either way, we need to figure this thing out. Because something is not right. Something is very, very off. But unfortunately, with anxiety and depression meds, it’s a lot of trial and error. And I was trying to figure out if I’m low on serotonin or low on dopamine or both by researching and reading (I think serotonin is my issue, based on the research I’ve read) and then I thought “there should be a simple lab test for this shit” but then I read that those are unreliable. I could get into the whole thing but I don’t want to bore you. I also took about 5 online quizzes Wednesday night for “Am I bipolar” and the answer was “no, but you have tendencies” and who knows how reliable those are anyway. I don’t really feel like I get into a “manic” state though – ie I don’t go on shopping sprees or gambling sprees or whatever, but maybe that is an EXTREME manic state that is not actually reflective of a typical manic state. The depressive state, we know I get into. Duh.

I feel bad for Jeff. Because sometimes he can say “I’m going to watch the Blues game with a couple of buddies” and I say, “Okay! Have fun!” and I mean it. And then other times: GRENADE GOES OFF. So, no wonder he is confused and no wonder he doesn’t know what to do and no wonder he is – as Jamie often said to me when we were married – “walking on eggshells” because he never knows what is going to set me off. What didn’t set me off on Sunday may set me off on Wednesday. It’s not fair, and it’s not cool, and it’s not a fun way to live.

Which brings me to: Jamie used to tell me I had an “anger management” problem and that’s because he always made me angry. But really, he was just a dumb, young guy who didn’t have a clue about women (which he admitted to me in recent years) and I was young and selfish and insecure (still am selfish and insecure). So, I don’t think it was a Jamie problem (though he was (is) still a narcissistic asshole that I’ve learned to get along with) or a Jeff problem or a then-marriage problem or a now-marriage problem. It’s a ME problem. And frankly, that’s hard to take. But I have the power to mature, and figure this thing out, before it’s too late – before Jeff gets fed up and finally DOES walk away, even though he assures me over and over that he’s not a “quitter” and that he won’t abandon me, which is my biggest fear. That’s probably at the heart of everything, right there: my insecurity/biggest fear of being abandoned. So why the HELL do I act like an Evil Bitch just testing and pushing someone I supposedly love to the BRINK??!.

I was asking a friend the other day, a friend who admitted she used to struggle with anger too, for advice, tips, insight; and she said to me something along the lines of, “All I know is that when I used to get angry, it was self-pity turned outward.” And that really hit home for me; that really stuck with me. And it made sense too, since I had been wallowing in self-pity.

I started a book. It’s called, “Freeing Yourself from Anxiety: 4 Simple Steps to Overcome Worry and Create the Life You Want” and it’s by Tamar E. Chansky. Here is the link on Amazon. I’m only 40% of the way through, and I started it last Thursday, but already it is hitting home for me. Already, it has given me more concrete tips, strategies, ideas to try and experiment with than my counselor has ever suggested. Which by the way, I think I am going to stop seeing because well, what I just said: She doesn’t actually give any SUGGESTIONS on how to MAKE A CHANGE. I want to go back, after I’m done, and re-read the book and take notes and then post an actual more comprehensive review. Well no, I want to post a cliff-notes version in case anyone else is struggling. In short, the author gives different ways of thinking about negative thoughts, and brings about different images you can think to yourself, which really helps me; I guess I am a visual person. I’m going to try out the ones that “speak” to me and then narrow it down to the ones that really work. But in general, the tip is to not IGNORE or PUSH AWAY the negative thoughts (which I could never do) but to hear them, then REFUTE them. Or break them down. One of the visuals the author gives is to think of smaller and smaller boxes. i.e. The Evil Bitch in my head says “Your life is a disaster and you can’t do anything right” – that’s a big box. It’s covering up everything else. It’s taking over. Break it down. “No, my life is not a disaster, but this morning was because I woke up late, skipped my work out, and then my car wouldn’t start, so obviously the whole day is ruined.” Then a smaller box: “No, the whole day is not ruined because Jeff is coming to jump your car and to take it to the auto place to replace the battery and now you get to go out to lunch with him!” Etc. Do you see what I mean? This is just one visualization.

Speaking off Jeff and losing your shit. He lost his shit (not at me, but at Ethan/Marcy) yesterday. And because he lost his shit, I remained perfectly calm. Which is a trait of mine: If someone else is panicking, I am usually the calm one. If no one else is panicking, I take it on for everyone, “LOL.” Anyway, I felt bad for him. Saturday was his birthday and both Marcy and Ethan forgot about it (even though I reminded Ethan on Wednesday and even though Marcy turns her birthday into a ‘celebration month’). Friday night Ethan spent the night at a friend’s house and Jeff planned to go golfing. (He didn’t end up golfing but did something else with friends, while Sophie and I saw “The Sound of Music” at the Fox with Grandma and Papa and OMIG the show was AMAZING!!! We all loved it!!!). Then Saturday morning, Jeff’s birthday, I had a hair appointment and Sophie and Jeff went to pick up Ethan and that’s when we found out Ethan was sick (allergy stuff). I went to help my aunt move; saw my cousin; Sophie played with my niece; we came back home. Jeff told Sophie it was okay if she wanted to have a friend over and Sophie ended up spending the night at a friend’s house. Ethan had started to feel better in the afternoon and had a friend over, but by 7pm the poor kid was almost falling asleep so Jeff took the friend home. In the meantime, Jeff had barbequed and made us a great dinner, and I had brought home the cookie cake (Sophie’s request) that my parents had purchased for Jeff. So, even though we did things separately on Saturday, and Saturday evening, it was still a nice, relaxing day (aside from the moving boxes part bc moving is never relaxing but really it wasn’t that bad at all) and evening.

Then Sunday morning came and it all went to hell for Jeff. Ethan’s friend texted him to come over and Jeff said “No, you’re sick, you need to rest” and Ethan pushed back and then Marcy called and was freaking out about Ethan’s illness and wanted to take him to urgent care and THEN over to his friend’s house. Yes, that’s right. She wanted to take Ethan to urgent care and then to a friend’s house. I was downstairs doing laundry this whole time when I heard Jeff yelling on the phone and then yelling at Ethan and I came upstairs and was DETERMINED to keep my damn mouth shut and we ended up eating breakfast together and I made not one comment on the situation and Jeff’s feelings are hurt (bc of Ethan) and he’s still depressed about it. On the other hand, I feel he can stand up to Marcy by saying, “It’s my day, it’s my birthday weekend, I didn’t see him Friday, I can take him to urgent care and then NO, he’ll stay home and rest with me.” But he didn’t do that and doesn’t do that and I ask him why and don’t really get an answer and my assessment is that he just gets sick of constantly arguing with them, constantly fighting for his time with Ethan and I think mostly in this case he felt Ethan didn’t want to hang out with him, which hurt his feelings and then he was just like “Fuck him.”

So then Jeff went to take Kylie for a long walk around the lake to blow off steam, which was smart, and then he went to watch the Blues game with friends and didn’t come home until after 8 which is something I could have totally lost my shit about (or something I would have lost my shit about on a different day) but instead I felt bad for him and wanted him to have a good birthday and besides Sophie had her friend over and we went to this thing put on by the school district and everyone had a good day, the end.

I just have to get my meds figured out.
And pray that I get through the week without losing my shit.
And use the strategies I’ve read so far in the book.


Sorry for rambling.

Monday, April 18, 2016

I Am a Miserable Person…

…and I deserve to die.

I don’t want to kill myself or anything, I just want to…not be here anymore. I just want peace. I don’t want to screw up any more relationships. I don’t want to burden my family. I don’t want to leave Sophie, but I’ll screw her up more by staying here than by leaving. Although, she is a lovely, lovely person so I must have done something right so far.

Yesterday we went to the Cardinal’s game because Sophie’s choir was performing (10 seconds of fame, LOL) and my parents went too and our seats were in the sun and it was hot and I was cranky and I was hungover because the night before Jeff & I went to see Mumford & Sons and well basically I ruined the game for everyone. Well, not for Ethan and Sophie; they had fun, but I ruined the experience for Jeff and my parents, just like I ruin everything.

Do you know that I’m in an abusive relationship? WITH MYSELF. Yes, I’m talking about the bully in my head. She is so fucking goddamn mean. I can’t get her out. I didn’t run yesterday either.

Typically in the morning I feel great. It’s as the day goes on that I feel crappier and crappier. But not this morning. This morning I woke up feeling the exact same as last night. And you know what’s frustrating? I can’t cry. Literally. Like, it just won’t happen for me and I feel like if I could, it would be a big relief. The only way I can cry is to watch a sad movie. I feel like if I could cry, it would make Jeff more sympathetic and less annoyed. He wants to help me but he doesn’t know how. Shit, I don’t even know how to help myself. I get the blues every night. I also drink alcohol at night, which is a depressant, and also something I’m not supposed to do because of my anti-depressant/anti-anxiety pill, so I’m sure there is a big connection there. Usually I watch the clock and can’t wait until it hits 5 so I can have a glass of wine. “Just wait until after Sophie goes to bed, then just have two glasses and then go to bed,” my friend says. Yeah except she doesn’t have a problem with alcohol. Plain Jane has been writing about AA – it has transformed her, it seems, and I liked her before, all snarky and sarcastic, but I like her now too, all reflective and trying to be a better person. She said she used to look at the clock and wait for the time where she could drink. Maybe I am an alcoholic. Maybe I should go to AA. Maybe I want to go to AA so that I can feel like I have somewhere to belong, because I have never been so lonely in my life. Well, that’s not true. I’ve been lonely plenty of times, but I’m really, really lonely now. I mean, I wouldn’t FAKE being an alcoholic just to go to AA and try to make friends. But by some definitions, I could definitely be considered an alcoholic. I definitely turn to alcohol to cope which probably makes me LESS able to cope. I feel like as the day goes on I start sinking. Sinking deeper and deeper. By the time I put Sophie to bed, I’m sullen. Not always, but lately.

Jeff asked for my mom’s advice at the game when I stepped away and she said I’ve always been like this and that she used to just ignore me when I get like “that.” “That” being negative and miserable and ruining everything for everybody. So I came in last night and Jeff was already lying in bed watching TV (Which keeps me up every. Single. Night.) and he asked what was wrong and I said nothing even though the bully in my head kept saying, “You are a miserable person, and you deserve to die,” over and over and over again, like a broken record. And I said that aloud, I said to Jeff, “I am a miserable person and I deserve to die,” and he said, “Mmmm.” And then he told me he asked my mom for advice and she said to ignore me. So that’s just great. That will help things a lot, won’t it? Well no wonder he wants to ignore me, I’m fucking annoying. And miserable to be around.

This morning, Jeff asked me if I felt better and I said no. He suggested that I see a doctor; he thinks my medicine is no longer working. My primary care prescribes it for me because when I went to see a psychiatrist, she just kept wanting to add more and more drugs on top of what I’m taking, which royally screwed me up and I don’t need a different drug, I need to talk, to cry, to scream, to shout, before I drown. So, I made an appointment with the counselor I was seeing before that I stopped going to because things got better and I had nothing to talk about anymore. But then things got bad and I didn’t go back to her, and now things are bad and maybe she can help; maybe she can’t. That appointment is on Thursday.


I don’t know why I can’t just be happy. I don’t know why I can’t turn it around. I don’t know why I can’t dig myself out of the well. I don’t know why I can’t cry. I don’t know how to make Jeff understand. I don’t know why I can’t shake it off. I don’t know why I can’t get that goddamn evil bully out of my head.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

“Step” isn’t Real

Ethan & Jeff were arguing on the phone last night and for some reason, even though Jeff was talking to Ethan on Ethan’s phone, it was more like a conference call because Miss Marcy was chiming in left and right in the background. Literally, it started with Ethan asking if he could go to a friend’s house Saturday night and then Marcy chimes in and says, “You never let Ethan spend time with his friends on your weekends” and then the next thing you know, Ethan is saying, “Yeah, dad, let me spend time with my friends.” First of all, that’s bullshit because the kids typically have friends over every single Friday night. And WHY THE HELL is Marcy egging him on like that? WTF? And why the HELL is she even involved AT ALL considering it doesn’t concern her and is not affecting her plans? OMIG I feel sorry for Ethan’s future wife; Marcy is going to be the MOTHER IN LAW FROM HELL.

For the record, Jeff prefers Ethan’s friends to spend the night here because then he is at least here, you know? Jeff gets to see him, even though of course Ethan and his friend end up going off by themselves (as Sophie and her friends do too). And he would only say “no” if we already had other plans. (And usually Ethan – and Marcy – can talk him into anything).

So there was THAT conversation and then a second conversation going on which was that Ethan was invited by a friend to the Cardinals game on Sunday. Well first of all Jeff was already pissed off because Marcy called him at work in the middle of the afternoon and gave the same argument I just outlined and was pressuring Jeff for an answer NOWNOWNOW as if this was truly a time-sensitive decision of utmost importance (It was Tuesday. The game is Sunday). So Jeff dutifully called back later that evening to talk about it with Ethan. And once again Marcy was in the background chiming in and Jeff said that Ethan couldn’t go to the game because we already had tickets as a family (Sophie’s school choir is performing) and even “your Grandparents are coming” and that’s when Marcy shouts from the background, “STEP-grand parents. Not real grandparents.” Now let me tell you that Jeff did NOT want to tell me this because he knew it would hurt my feelings and PISS ME OFF, and it did both. It’s actually a really hurtful thing to say and totally unfair and unjustified. My parents are two of the most generous people I know and have showered Ethan with love, affection and gifts from the day they met him. They couldn’t be happier that Ethan is in our lives. PLUS, MARCY HAS A STEP-DAD. Actually, both her step-dad AND biological father have similar traits to my step-dad and biological father, which is trippy. So the couple she calls Ethan’s grandparents consist of HER step-dad and her mother. Her dad is separate, like my biological father is separate from “Grandma & Papa” or “my parents.”

In the end, Ethan is going to a friend’s house Saturday night (which is fine because Jeff & I are going to see Mumford & Sons anyway), but he “has” to come to the game with us on Sunday.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my relationship with Ethan. Sorry, this could be a separate post but I’m on a roll now. Plus I’m lazy. So anyway, Sophie mentioned to me once that “you and Ethan haven’t really bonded.” And that is true. And I think the ship has sailed, sadly. I don’t want to be negative like that but now he is only and all about his friends, like a teen (even though he’s not yet a teen) (though he is a tween and I guess that’s when it starts, yes I remember, it wasn’t too long ago for me; I remember ditching my mom when I got a “better offer” I shudder now thinking how I must have hurt mom’s feelings but she let me go with my friends anyway and didn’t hold it against me; I get it because it DOES feel nice to be invited and it DOES feel nice to be included; I’m nearly 40 years old and still crave that; I’ve given up on several friends after inviting and inviting and never getting them to extend a single invitation themselves, only getting rejections)
Wait, where was I?
Oh, yeah.
So anyway, I just think that my own feelings that make me think Ethan doesn’t like me or care about me comes across and maybe that DOES make him not like me because he equally thinks I don’t like him, and it’s a vicious circle, do you get what I’m saying? Because I remember so many times in school (and afterward) coming home to my mom saying, “So and so HATES me, I mean I don’t get it; I don’t know what I did to her, but I can just tell by the way she LOOKS at me that she does NOT like me” and my mom was like well has she ever said anything mean to you? No. Then how do you know? Gosh mom, I just know, okay? And then one day me and that girl are put into a group project together for history or something and all of the sudden we discover “No I thought YOU didn’t like me so I was just like, whatever and I didn’t really know what to say to you because I already thought you didn’t like me” and then thankfully we can laugh at it and move past it and yes this is a true story and yes I know it doesn’t always work out that way (it didn’t always work out that way for me either, trust me, but once in a while it did).

So my POINT (does she have one? Is she manic? She seems manic today? Did she eat too much sugar?) [Answer: no] – my point is that I will try to make an extra effort to show Ethan affection and to let him know I think he’s a great kid and to tell him I love him.

WHY is it so hard sometimes to just act with love and kindness instead of hate and fear? WHY? WHY am I 40 years old and I still need to practice how to BE NICE TO PEOPLE I SUPPOSEDLY (and TRULY DO) LOVE, like my husband, parents, and step-son? WHY? WHY am I so reactionary to my husband when I would never be that way to a co-worker? (Today, anyway. I have in the past).

Well, at least I know what NOT to do with Ethan: pepper him with questions like his mom. Meddle too much in his business with his friends. MAYBE, hope of all hopes, MAYBE when he REALLY gets into girls, he will ask me for advice. Because if he asks his mom, she’ll have it on Facebook and she’ll call the girls parents and be like, “My son likes your daughter and she better like him back or else you have to deal with me!!!”

PS – I think Jeff totally knows about this blog – I don’t think he READS it, but I think he knows it exists because yesterday he said to me, “I don’t want our personal business all over the Internet. Not on Facebook, not anywhere. Do you understand?” So that’s why I took my last post down. It was raw, anyway. It was honest, but it was raw. And it didn’t really matter because only one person, one of my besties, asked me about it or wrote to me about it. So anyway, I’m still wacko but I had a good run this morning and that helps. And the weather is supposed to be GORGEOUS here for the rest of the week and that helps too. And I’ve thought about just blogging but not publishing, i.e. Doing a journal without the online part. Which would just be a normal journal, dumbass (*she says to herself*). Because if MARCY found this? OOOOOHH Shit. She’d try to sue me! So, maybe I shouldn’t? I don’t know. I haven’t decided yet. Clearly.


PPS – I’m not re-reading this so it may not even make sense (*Do you ever??*)

Thursday, March 31, 2016

El Greco is Yucko

So there was only one not so great moment of our trip. Our flights out of Jamaica were on Sunday just before noon; not too early. But Ochi is about 2h away from the Montego Bay airport and you need to be there EARLY for international flights, ESPECIALLY during spring break week, so that would mean we would have to get to the airport before 10am, which would mean we would have to leave Ochi by 8am, which would mean we would have to be up between 6 or7am. Well, we didn’t want to do that. So early on, we decided to book one night at a hotel near the MoBay airport. It was a smart decision, but our rooms were gross.

Quite frankly, Summar & Pascal’s room was a bit better than ours – just a BIT, and I was thankful for that. At least their room didn’t smell or have a stain on the bed. The room I shared with Jeff had a stain on the comforter, and then we pulled that back and there was a stain on the flat sheet, we pulled that back, and there was a stain on the fitted sheet. So totally completely gross. It’s a wonder (and relief) that we didn’t get bed bugs. Our room smelled musty and moldy; there was only air conditioning in the bedroom and not even a TV. The refrigerator was semi-clean on the inside but dirty on the outside; there wasn’t even a coffee maker present. If I had to stay there more than one night, I would have re-booked. I could barely handle the one night we were there, and I’m not even that picky when it comes to hotels – honest!!!

We booked this through hotels.com and it has mixed reviews but overall 3 ½ stars; plus it’s CHEAP (but not cheap enough!!!) [see link here]
So here are the photos of the rooms on hotels.com:
Bedroom:


Living:
Bath:

Here are the REAL photos:
Bedroom:



Living:



Bath:



GROSS.




The grounds were okay and the restaurant we ate at twice (once for lunch when we arrived and once for the free breakfast which was decent, but simple) offered FABULOUS views of Doctors Cove beach down below:



We could see the planes come in and take off.


But there was also this HUGE ugly concrete condominium building right next to our place that partially obstructed the view. It was also what we went through to take the elevator down to street level in order to get to the beach. It’s called “MoBay Club.” I would NOT recommend staying there, by the looks of it. Even though on hotels.com, it doesn’t look too bad: (See here, here and here). We talked to a lady in the elevator, who was staying at MoBay Club, who asked us how our rooms at El Greco were and we said “eh.” And she said, “Yeah, over here they aren’t much better.” [see ugly concrete building on left]

You guys: From the restaurant, we could see onto people’s balconies of the condo. And we saw a guy sleeping on his mattress, sleeping on the balcony. And then he got up and we saw that there was a giant hole in the mattress. Like, it wasn’t even a mattress at all; it was just a shell. We asked the taxi driver who took us to the airport about it and he basically said, “yeah, nice people don’t stay there.” He said a lot of druggies stay there. People who need a cheap place to crash.


I wrote a review on El Greco for hotels.com but I don’t see it up there yet. What’s up with that?? Hopefully they publish it as a warning to others. Oh, they did publish it on tripadvisor.

The views though, they were amazing.