Posts Tagged life
Well… I feel rather dumb for complaining about things right now, but then again I kind of have to purge it. I have my health, which somehow managed to avoid the death flu and several stomach bugs, I have a great kid who will be going to an advanced art program this summer. My depression has not, so far, kicked into gear. However, I feel like I’m just strong enough to keep that below a crust… for now.
I even have a landlord who tried to give me his rent back when I told him I’d lost my job and said he’d support me getting moved if that is what I felt I needed to do.
End of March, not long after my fifth anniversary, I came into work expecting to have the same soul-sucking experience that is has been over 90% of the time I’ve been there. I’d been training a new manager on how to do everything I did (plotting for a smooth exit), most of which fell back to me as they were getting overwhelmed. They helped field some of the calls and emails coming in, but now we had two of us drowning rather than just me.
But I’ve been there the longest. And I work for a company that epitomizes every single article I’ve ever read about toxic environments. I get no information, no communication, but then am reprimanded when my responses to those outside are “too vague” and not “resolution-driven.” It’s really no wonder that the company itself has had to change names over the course of “twenty years” it likes to brag its been in business. By law, you have to shut down when you report a loss too many years in a row.
The VP… again, not my superior… but is the right-hand to one of the owners….calls me into a conference room around lunch. Everyone is gone and the only other person there is the HR manager.
The writing is on the wall.
“Huh, am I being let go?”
I’m being told yes, and they ask if they need to go over why. I say “I don’t see the point,” and go through the list of where to find anything they might need, forward my phone to the new manager, pack my things in a very small bag (all while being offered a large box several times and professing I don’t need it). I tell them its not like I’m going to disappear so if they can’t find something, just contact me.
It was so surreal.
I’ve never been fired.
I hate this place, but I busted my ass for over five years, and now… fired?
I get in my car and take one last look at the building I feel like I have wasted a chunk of my life on and realize… I NEVER have to come back here…
I realize I’m smiling about this idea.
I realize that I’m so stubborn and have been such a closet optimist that this shithole might actually get better that this might have been just what I needed to leave and make the changes I’ve wanted to make.
I don’t even unfriend the VP on facebook, though she does get moved to the restricted group.
I talk it over with Spawn and let them know what happened and we talk about moving… like… now.
Thirteen years of life to clean out, toss, donate, sell… and so so much. Every time I think we might have gotten through one room, I find yet another box, stash of papers etc.
I would even be grateful if that was the most stressful part.
Yes, they are paying me an additional month and told me to file for unemployment (which I’ve yet to see, so apparently I did something wrong). I socked away my tax refund rather than pay anything off or blow it and I have a 401k and a money market investment account I can pull from if I feel like buying a house… a modest house, but a house nonetheless.
But I don’t feel ok.
I feel on the edge of freaking out.
Every time I’ve ever moved, I’ve usually had a friend or family to stay with until I got settled. And this time, I do have a cousin in the area, but neither of us are the type to share space unless we have to… holidays and that sort of thing. Three days is the expiration.
I’m sure the wife if dodging me when I’m up there for interviews so I don’t ask to move in with them for awhile. But the truth is, I’d live in my car and lie about it before I’d even ask.
It killed me to even tell them I was out of work. They are the pair with which I feel like I’m being graded whenever I’m around them and to ask for advice…. was an intensely hard thing for me to do. They know the area, they might have tips and places I would not think to look. And my cousin, did have contacts at a couple of the staffing agencies, both of which has sadly done nothing for me.
I’m also prideful as hell. Every time I’ve been through something stressful: divorce, poverty, a death of someone close to me, I shut out the world and maybe talk about it once I’ve resolved it.
But when you have a kid at stake, you have to put on that face of adulting as though you know what the fuck you’re doing when in truth, we’re all still those kids inside and figuring shit out only when we fuck it up. And when you have a kid at stake and their well-being, you get help wherever you think it might happen no matter how much of a prick your pride tells you to be instead.
I know… I know, logically, we will be fine. It’s been 3 weeks, I’ve submitted to over 90 openings, been in one 3 hour interview doing something I’ve never done before, but was eager over the prospect of learning something new, in spite of the long hours. They won’t decide until the 15th of next month, so I’d prefer not to wait. I’ve had a few other promising phone interviews, but its just not happening as fast as I would like it.
I’m really fucking good at what I do, and when I’m not, I’m very independent about figuring it out. I own my mistakes, I’m as honest as I can be within professional constraints. Hire me, dammit!
But then you also start house hunting, and they tell you to get pre-approved, but then they tell you you won’t qualify if you’re not employed… a friend advised just getting up there in the first cheap postage stamp I could rent, and then start looking and this way I would be available for interviews… which sounds great!… until I look at the daily cost. It’s HUGE and its like NO ONE wants to give you a deal for maybe a month. They are hell bent on locking you in for a year or more.
I want as much as possible to buy a real house.
Spawn wants a real house.
I want a real house.
This is where Spawn wants to finish school.
I don’t have much time before Spawn realizes that living with their parent is just not the way they want to do it forever. So before that period, I want them to have the house I’ve never been able to offer so they can decorate and do and make it, into everything they ever dreamed. I want that too.
But first, I want work… or I want both… or I want to not have to worry about both…I don’t know.
What if I’m just not enough for any of this? The last thing I want is my stress to become Spawn’s stress. I wish I knew what to do…
I believe all of us go through various stages of our lives where we look up and suddenly think, “I HATE my life right now.”
I did that just before I got a divorce. I did the same when I hated the job and the town I lived in and just found out I was going to be a parent and moved a couple thousand miles back.
I had the same when Spawn was a few years old and my career was… well, really fucking boring and leaving me strapped. It was mindless, repetitive, and just when I was done and updating my resume, I received a call from a former boss who wanted to lure to me their current company. Not only would I be using more of my brain, it held a significant pay raise.
It was great too, for a while. But one of my co-workers was as mercurial as they come and I was often walking on eggshells. The work itself was great and I was learning a ton, but the environment… not so much. However, a friendly buyout that turned hostile takeover nixed that job for all of us. The best time I had there was when the mercurial one jumped ship early on and the rest of us just didn’t give a shit anymore.
I landed this job right as I was ending that one. The work itself is a mostly mindless again, but the pay, on paper, is better. What I get to take home though, is significantly less than it was at my last job and although I know the benefits are a part of that, I didn’t think they were that big of a chunk.
We’re given no authority over our own position, but then they complain that no one takes initiative. Neither owner can keep their hands out of the cookie jar when things are good, and don’t hesitate to jump your shit when they aren’t. Hell, the CFO’s mom just died last week and one of the owners commented to her yesterday “What the hell is wrong with you, you look like your dog died?” She broke down so badly she had to go home.
Right now, things aren’t so great and its all to do with that fact that when we’re in our busy profitable season, the owners couldn’t buy new toys fast enough, despite my boss continually telling them we would need to sock away what we could for the lean season. They assume no one has their grand vision, so any counsel is ignored.
This is also when I’m told my communication needs work. I’m the connection the outside world comes to when they want information and when things aren’t going so well, that communication increases by several fold. It means I have to come in and choose whether I’m going to do my job or just sit there and get back to people and I do balance both. But the bottom line is I’m never going to be able to make someone happy if I can’t give them what they were promised and that’s what they want me to do.
So I hate my job. I hate where I live. I hate that I hate both so much that I’m both restless and uninspired to do even the little things. I hate the debt I hold for a degree that has proven nothing but worthless and I feel that it will inhibit everything else I do for the rest of my life.
I want to move, I want to have a cafe, on the side of a cliff with a view to the ocean and I want it too fucking cold to see even a single surfer unless they are batshit insane.
But for not, I would settle for moving to the area where I hope my kid’s future school is and get a job that lets me take home the amount I was promised, or at least a significantly bigger portion than current.
I want to get just a little ahead instead of struggling so far behind.
I want to be inspired.
I want to be challenged mentally.
I feel like a corpse in motion.
I’m trying desperately to catch up with all the items I’ve missed, I have been simply incapable of sitting down for even ten minutes and reading anything. I don’t know why.
Antsy, irritable might all begin to describe me, but mostly I just wanted to cut off everything. I lost my phone, it went dead for days at a time. I worked like an automaton and treated people much the same. I came home with only thoughts of hunger, then exhaustion.
I moved one day to the next with checklists in my head, no love or desire for anything.
I would say that under normal circumstances this would be the period when I would slide into the abyss of depression for a bit, go back on the meds, work the steps that pull me back out of it. Like accepting every 8th invitation whether I want to or not, for example, which is the only reason I had any interaction with the Yankee outside of work, pleasant as the experience was to my surprise.
I suppose having a kid is kind of a motivator for me to push away the darkness more strongly than I might otherwise. Considering we only have one another, we talk daily, we discuss everything, it tends to keep me more grounded and tethered to something. I realize this doesn’t work for everyone and I’m certainly not belittling that in any way when family has no effect on your darkness when it comes to call, but my kid is very much my totem.
In moments when I would otherwise not be able to stop it from pulling me under, I have the half-pint who reminds me why I’m not done fighting today. Maybe tomorrow. Or, maybe the day after.
For my G-uno, I was the one who brought the dysfunctional in-laws into my marriage. I never knew what a family could be like until I met my ex’s family. I’m still very connected to them, just as I’m very disconnected from my own. It is extremely painful to not be loved and accepted within your own family and to know that in every subtext of how they speak to you.
To be able to walk away from that, know them to be the poisonous element and still have faith in your own self as being a good person and not seeing yourself through their eyes, takes a strength a person just shouldn’t have to bear with people supposedly under the title of “loved ones.” My made family, the family I built from my teens on, G-uno and BFG very much included, shaped a lot of who I am today, gave me the strength to fight against a very twisted guardian and their brood.
We feel compelled to try to make and fix things. You and I especially like to fix. Maybe it is a Gemini thing.
But I will never be able to fix the person my gran made me out to be to their family, a spoiled and greedy orphan never satisfied with anything received and working poor gran’s fingers to the bone demanding more. This spilled over to my aunt and uncles and poisoned the mind of my cousin and his wife. They will always have that haughty smugness when I spend time with them that I don’t measure up enough to have been “gran’s favorite”.
I already knew that. I spent a great amount of effort trying not to be, repeatedly kicking that fucking pedestal anytime I saw it coming closer. To be in gran’s good graces would mean I was like them. That was the last thing I ever wanted to be.
I had an epiphany recently. I knew I married another version of gran, so I could have the same bullshit fights with different outcomes and I had to do a lot of soul searching to overcome that. But it went further than that. My ex manipulated me to be geographically isolated. Gran, being the manipulation master they were, managed to do it emotionally, mentally. They made sure I had no one in my family who saw me as I was. No one to confide in. No one. Except them.
When this hit me, I kind of wanted to dig gran up and just beat the hell out of them. It hurt, but it was their own selfishness that motivated every diabolical thing they did. They destroyed their own family, caused so much internal fighting and baseless hate that those of us generations later just want nothing to do with any of them, or one another, save for a small few.
So when a person, such as yourself, who has had nothing but selfless goals calls a lost cause a lost cause, why would you feel this in any way your fault? To be able to fix them, you’d have to think like they do, and in turn understand them, and take a risk of turning into that yourself. I couldn’t risk that, I try to carve that ability out of myself much in the way you battle the Kraken.
There is a point when self-preservation has to kick in and you have to give it up and escape. You don’t call it a bad thing if you’re not able to fight a bear with brass knuckles, its a fucking bear. You’re thankful you survived.
I hate the way hospitals smell. The energy that comes from everyone inside them permeates through every pore of my body. From the moment you enter your own personal space shrinks as the everyone else’s struggles to make room for theirs. I think it’s the intensity of all that emotion under one consolidated space. I think it’s what my own personal torture chamber would be like.
The elevator was way to small, and it smelt like stale air. It seem to be creeping towards the third floor almost as though it felt my dread. When the doors finally opened the strange nurse breathed a sigh of relief. We had managed to ride up three floors without even making eye contact. She almost trampled another nurse as she made her escape. Never realizing that her energy had been swallowed by mine.
I had prepared myself on the car ride over. There would be no sadness, no negativity, I would not make this beautiful 33 year old woman hold the weight of my sorrow with her cancer ridden body. She has carried far too much for far too long. My mother had warned me of how frail she has become. Her already slender Asian frame had been beaten down by both her disease, and her treatment. She has not been able to withstand food, or liquids for almost two weeks now. Blood flows from her abdomen like water from a slow streaming faucet.
Our mother’s are like sister’s. Alove built from the kind of friendship few others ever experience. We regard each other as chosen family, and even when there is nothing we can do for one another we stay together. We are like the support beam that keeps your home from collapsing. She smiles as I enter her room forging through her pain to make a fuss over the flowers I have for her. Her grace only makes me love her more. I hide my emotions for her as well I regard this visit as if it’s a temporary problem that simply requires some time.
This is strength beyond all boundaries, and respect without limits. We talked about our families. She is in agony, but never says that she is. Instead she says that she’s tired, and relays to me that she is getting the best care. Then in a brief moment of fear she tells me that she is dying. I know in this moment she is grasping for my strength. It was a moment I knew would come. It was my dread that filled the elevator, and permeated through the nurse causing her to run away when the doors opened.
So I took her tiny hand, looked deeply into her fearful eyes, and said” I work with the dying everyday. You know this, and you are not dying now.” I could feel her energy change immediately. Her body had swallowed mine. She smiled, and said “okay I will fight.” I smiled back staring deeply into her eyes. Then her mother entered the room, and saw her daughter smiling. I told her I was leaving, and that I would be back soon. Her mother reached for me, holding me as only a mother can hold you. The energy in that moment kept us all from collapsing.
Schnookums got back in town from their dad’s. Apparently, only for the weekend though and then its off to grandma’s. I used to feel bad that Spawn didn’t have all this extended family to visit and become close to, but then I hear of shit like this and realize I’m glad I don’t have to share because fuck that noise. Had one or both of Spawn’s grandmothers been alive, I would probably barely see the child.
Once again, mom and her brood of three flew in, chatted for a little while and deposited Schnookums into our care. I asked up front if it was ok if they ran a few errands with us. I was told that was fine, but to please limit them to only one soft drink as they felt the caffeine might worsen the seizures. I was conned into two the last time, so when we both looked over at Schnookums they just silently nodded in agreement like a villain who got off scot free.
It started off as a silent breakfast, apparently the hyper-interactive side had not been able to present itself in Schnookums for a while, so they were adjusting to be around us again. My mind and ears started wandering over to the geritol table beside us where they were discussing some trip with a friend by the name of Richard apparently.
Then I leaned over to Spawn where Schnookums could hear and whispered, “they’re talking about Dick.”
Both kids erupt into snorts.
Then we all kind of tuned into the geritol squad where they went on about having several good pictures of “Dick” and how they had copies made of those and passed them around.
Needless to say, we were in tears for a good twenty minutes or so.
Schnookums:”This is the best breakfast ever.”
And the floodgates of chatter opened once more.
Spawn and I played rock, paper, scissors to see if we would be going to the music store (I had needs) or the art store first (Spawn has been commissioned to paint a picture for a co-worker with a new house). I won and Schnookums got a lesson in local music stores and how awesome they could be. They picked a couple of cd’s themselves even, one of which was My Chemical Romance. I’m not a fan, mostly because I’ve only heard blurbs of a couple songs and it really didn’t pique my interest too much, but when Schnookums found it and got excited, I leaned over to see what it was and said “you know the lead singer writes comics, right?”
Schnookums:”Whoa, no way! Really?”
Schnookums and Spawn are currently writing a comic. In fact, Spawn is currently storyboarding Schnookums’ story. So this was like finding out your idol is your idol twice-over.
We went all over the store, Spawn almost physically dragging me out when they saw the stack of cd’s I’d accumulated. It has been too long since I’ve been and I have time to make up for. I even placed an order for items they didn’t have, something I tend to do more than I like to admit. Schnookums was having a great time, and I told them they need to show their mom this place when they got a chance.
I decided on a classic as the first song when we got in the car, a truly enriching cd to play. One both educational as well as entertaining, one that epitomized the youth of my era.
The first track? Smack My Bitch Up by the Prodigy, of course.
(BTW, probably NSFW, I’ve not seen the video, so be warned)
The art store always sucks me into an infinite vortex of possibilities. Schnookums asked if they could run to the bathroom. I gave a vague direction of where they were usually located and they were off. Spawn went to scout out canvases. I wandered a little, but found the two checking canvases in the back of the store. I asked Schnookums if they found the bathroom, only to be told they didn’t need to go anymore. I’m worried that a backed up bladder is going to somehow bring on a seizure or something only to be told:
Schnookums:”Actually, I just wanted to look around.”
me:”Why didn’t you just say so?”
Apparently, this is how Schnookums gets away from mom and brood when they want some solo time.
Schnookums found out quick that in our dynamic, I’m the one who usually wanders off to who knows where, at one point Spawn demanding that I stay nearby.
me:”But I found furry skull pillows! I need these!”
Spawn:”No you don’t!”
me:”Then you can pay for your own crap.”
Spawn:”I would but I forgot my wallet”
I was told to turn the Prodigy cd down on the way home and the kids once again played video games when we arrived. Schnookums created a character that was based loosely on our fatass cat named Munchkinsquishytush or similar. They ran it around at first and asked other players “tell me I’m cute.”
Before we were due to meet Schnookums, I had already tried to install a few games on my computer, ones they could play together, mostly online. Of course as soon as I went to run them, most wanted to do a five hour update or some bullshit, so that idea was blown out of the water before it had a chance. Those two never minded though.
Oh yeah, my belated birthday gift to myself was a gaming computer. It’s red and glows. Spawn is jealous. They can suck it.
Somewhere during their reverie, the heat and over exertion of the puny a/c’s in our shitty little house kept tripping the breaker. I don’t know what fucking electrical idiot decided to put over half the house on one circuit, but if I ever meet him, I’ll rip his dick off and make him eat it.
I’m only a little angry, I promise.
So of course, our computers are on that circuit, which means we can’t even get more than one AC to run and stay running, as soon as we flipped the 2nd, the breaker trips again… and again… and again. It’s a very muggy 102 outside at the time. We’re hating life.
Spawn and I did a little testing and find out there are about two or three outlets NOT on the one damn circuit but nowhere near our desk. So, another trip out to Lowe’s where I grossly overestimate the length needed and get the 100 yd one, “just in case.” But, it solved our problem and kept us cool and going.
While we were out, I asked if they were hungry (it’s been hours since breakfast by this time) to which I got a resounding “yes!”. Again, I introduce Schnookums to yet another local favorite, a burger joint that looks like a warehouse from the outside and only has one small sign in the back parking lot, behind a tree. You find it by word of mouth only.
And for the folks who have been following my diet quest, yes this was a high calorie day for me. The next was protein shakes and a bag of salad mix to even it out. By high, meaning I had a bacon spinach omelet and a piece of rye for breakfast, a cheese burger with no bread, with a side salad for dinner. No shakes, unsweetened tea and water. I was kind of pained from the amount actually, but so good.
Schnookums opted for a ghost chili burger. They lived to regret it. They ended up having to eat their burger with a knife and fork like i was doing once we scraped as much as the cheese off as we could.
I was glad this time Spawn was a bit past the brooding silent observation they had the first time I met Schnookums. I wasn’t sure if it was irritation we were getting along or just that initial hesitation that Spawn can get when a new element is in their territory. Spawn adores their BFF a lot for example, but only likes to be around them in limited doses. I can tell when they have had enough of even me as they will don earphones and find a corner to have quiet time.
Schnookums asked me to tell them when we got sick of them, but I never responded. They melded into our world pretty well so I really didn’t have my usual amount of exhausted overstimulation either. Maybe I’m getting a thick skin to it. Like last time, it was their mom who finally decided they were coming to get them.
Schnookums has a chromebook that has been inoperable for a while, so I had a rescue thumbdrive ready this time. I also put a bug in mom’s ear that a gaming machine could be had for less than a laptop from the right spot. Then showed them the right spot. Apparently, mom was just as aggravated with the uncle who didn’t follow through as much as Schnookums was. Schnookums was promised usage of the laptop mom didn’t use, and Schnookums and Spawn arranged to try to play together later.
“Nothing is secure but life,
TRANSITION, the energizing
spirit…People wish to be
settled; only so far as they
are unsettled is there any
hope for them.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
So the quest in gastric bypass came to an abrupt halt, at least for now. My doc was on board with idea and just said, “get with your insurance and find out what we need to do.”
My insurance said “Ha hahahah, Nope! Have a nice day!”
Not giving up, but I don’t exactly have 20k+ to spend. My insurance is through work and apparently the only justification they feel people would want this kind of surgery is because they lay around eating cheeseburgers all day.
They offer a discount for Jenny Craig, though! ….What bullshit. I’ve never understood why in hell people pay money to learn a different numbering system than the one you can do for free. Is it for the oddly colored pedometers or the gimmicky foodstuffs?
It was depressing. I wanted off the roller coaster, and this seemed the best way to make sure I would get off and stay off.
When I was diagnosed, I had an A1C of 8.5 and a sugar level of 235. It freaked me out. My normal blood sugar, since a child, usually lingered around 80. I had dizzy spells a lot because it would suddenly drop. Since the diagnoses, it was 7.3 in January and I’m still waiting for the latest now. I’m headed in the right direction, but it is sooooo sloooooooow.
So while I’m having the tete a tete with my insurance and/or considering supplemental insurance of some sort (or hey, a new job), I had the thought of… what if I ate what a post-op patient would eat, or something similar? I log my progress, and if things still aren’t where they should be, that would at least put some due diligence down on paper and through blood tests. If it actually kind of short-circuited my system into finally behaving normally, I wouldn’t have a problem with that either.
I hate the counting again, I hated it from the start, it took up so much of my time. But from what I can tell, I read up on one study that essentially put diabetes patients on a 800 calorie diet of 3 nutritional shakes (meh) at 600 calories and 200 calories of vegetables for 8 weeks and for many, it knocked out the diabetes.
Sure, its boring but who cares. It’s certainly easier to count than homemade recipes were and this is a start.
The only thing causing me stress is coffee. I like cream and sugar in my coffee, not a lot of options there. So it sounds like I will have nix that too. I’ve been drinking coffee since I was 10, it will be hard as a junkie. It may be decaf, but its always coffee.
Of course, some in the study went back to old and bad habits, but the majority managed to eliminate the diabetes and its baggage, for good by forcing the body to burn fat deposits in the pancreas. The study was limited to those who’d only been diagnosed in four years or less, but I remember Grand a lot when I think of old dogs and some new tricks.
It’s drastic as hell, but I’m there. I’m at drastic. I’m all over drastic. Hell, this is the first time I’ve been able to get my brain to even completely engage in any sort of real action or thought process to tackling this bitch. I’ve been in a mental fog so long, its jarring how much I’ve probably missed just from not being able to mentally process things as well as I used to. Does diabetes do this too? I don’t remember that in the list.
I even mentioned it to a diabetic buddy of mine to get their thoughts and they were onboard to trying it with me. Social eating problem solved!
They actually had been logging their food, put more salads on the menu, added a lot more veg, cut out a lot of starch, took it to their doc and their A1C had gone up since their last visit. Their doc just flat out didn’t believe them and came short of calling them a liar when they tried to show them their log. They had gone from hopeful to heartbroken in seconds. They have no interest in surgery but are definitely at the desperate and drastic stage too.
If by any change some of you are struggling, or know someone struggling and looking for drastic, here’s some links. They are just a drop in the bucket of what I’ve read, but they seemed to be the two most pointed with information that isn’t so “over the head” of us laymen. I have a limit of how much medicalese I can understand and this was all pretty digestible (pun intended):