Taking a Break with Clutter Kitty

Ozzy is apparently above the clutter today. Perched on a bin he supervises and dozes off in between, while B organizes a bunch of stuff from a big chest and other boxes.  Usually Oz is right in the middle of the clutter somewhere but there’s not much room so he chose his spot strategically. I think as long as that spot is close to B, Ozzy is a happy kitty.

 

{I have more to share about my story and what was behind my apprehension to get so close in helping my siblings care for my father during his illness. It’s already pretty clear if you’ve read the previous two posts, Because of Our Past and Betrayal is a Mother.

But there is more that includes some shame of my own and brings up other memories too. I just thought I’d take a bit of a break with present day so you can see how peaceful it is at the moment. As much as I complain about B, he is an overall good person. And of course the kitty is really cute.}

Bad Day Bad Life

I woke up this morning with the thought that my life was stolen from me. Everyrthing that’s happened before has led me to this point.

I hate to do this because there’s nothing I can about what’s already happened but it’s so difficult to fell motivated to lift myself out of this because I feel so hopeless.

Yesterday I had another emotional flashback over something B did. I flew off the handle once again and once again it was the same old pattern. I yelled, he sat with his eyes closed, indicating it was too loud for his head and ears and after I calmed down I apologized.

And after I apologized he said, “I should know better.”  Just like a good little abuse victim, he blames himself.

Last week I showed him a video by Richard Grannon where at the end he talks about how a significant other can help, can deal, can cope. In fact before that I had B and I had a conversation and in that conversation I told him to please set boundaries. This is exactly what Richard said.

I told B exactly what to say. “I understand you’re upset/angry but I’m not going to have this conversation until you calm down.”

I pointed out how that line draws a boundary for himself, but lets me know that he’s open to conversation, just not while be disrespected.

Well, he didn’t do it.

I’ve approached him with these ideas before as well.  I mean, I know I’m responsible for my behavior, which is why I have sought for so long for help and finally getting it. But it doesn’t get fixed over night. And the fact is, I need his help.

But he won’t help, or isn’t capable of it. So I’m alone in this, even though I live with someone. And besides that, I’ve only proven to myself once again that it’s a waste of time having these conversations with him.

It’s lonelier living with someone who can’t get involved and help with such a severe problem than it is living alone.

I was thinking about how sick we are as I did my breakfast dishes and thought, one reason for it is that there are no consequences. No consequences for me when I start the yelling and berating. And none for him when he continues with his apathy and lack of care and incapability of communication.

As soon as I ask him how he feels about something he clams up and says he doesn’t know.

We went through a period of time where he wasn’t paying certain bills and I found out incidentally because I happened to be looking for something in the file box where they were kept. He’d gone months making his debt worse and saying NOTHING to me.

That’s worthy of getting the fuck out and never coming back. But did I do that? Nope.

No emotion, no communication, no presence. I can’t even go to sleep when I want because I’m afraid he’ll burn the place down.

I feel so trapped.

Trapped

trapped by drowningI hope others had a better holiday season than I did. I’ve been miserable and feel so fuckin’ trapped I can’t stand myself. In addition I’ve been so angry at Mr. B as well.

Mr. B (in case I haven’t explained things properly) is a man who I’m dependent on. Yup I said it. I’m a damn loser. When we first moved in here together, I had a full time job. But I left it because it was toxic.

After a couple months I started working for a pet sitting company, another job I wasn’t happy in and was actually taken advantage of by my boss and sexually harassed by her pig husband.  I felt trapped in that job after that happened and it took me a few months to finally decide to tell her what he’d done. She didn’t believed me, but I was no longer trapped in that job.

I have felt trapped in pretty much every job I’ve ever had because I never enjoyed any of them. And I believe that much of that had to do with what was going on within me more that it had to do with the job.

After I simultaneously quit and was let go over the phone with my now ex boss, I set out to find something else I could do and in between, worked for another pet sitting company.  I later found out they were doing something I feel was unethical.

When I first started with them, we agreed on an hourly rate. I would call in at the beginning of the day so they knew when I started and again at the end of the day so they knew when I was finished. I’m guessing this was so they could build trust because I also had a time sheet that I wrote my hours on.

After about a week, one of the owners asked me why it was taking me so long to finish my day. I was confused. I said that my timing was actually pretty good and explained to her that I was staying a half hour for each visit and my drive time was about ten minutes between each stop.  It was then I was ‘enlightened’ to the way they did things.

“No no no. Each visit should only be 20 minutes and then it should take you 10 minutes to get the next client’s house.”

In the business owners’ minds, the visit added up to a half hour for the sitter because they were counting drive time…which in most cases didn’t take longer than 10 minutes. This way, since they were paying by the hour, they could cut costs. It’s just my guess though, that in doing it this way, it kept their payroll down.

They were lying to their clients. But as I indicate before, I did not know this going in.

People leave 9 to 5s and the rat race to pet sit and dog walk because it’s supposed to be a more relaxing way to make a living.  I was not only disappointed because it meant less pay for me, but also more hurrying at each client’s house, making the job more stressful.

My previous boss sucked in some ways as I’ve illustrated one big one. But when I went out and about my day, she left me to it. I didn’t have to call her when I started or when I finished. I kept track of everything on a sheet she’d email me and drop it off to her and leave it in a big ol’ flower pot outside her house.  Since she paid me by the visit, I didn’t have to worry about the time, although I was pretty consistent most of the time with keeping on schedule. But if something happened that made it necessary for me to take longer at a client’s house (things like needing to clean up vomit or diarrhea, or comfort a spooked dog, tend to a wound) I didn’t have to stress about taking ‘too long.’ I’d simply tell her what happened and that was that. It was no skin off her wallet anyway.

Being rushed in this way by the second pet sitting company wasn’t comfortable for me. I had gotten quite comfortable in the way the previous boss had done things and in fact it was a much more ethical and honest way as well as allowed for the sitter/walker to relax on the job much more.

I have gotten off topic somewhat. Having to have a job though has always made me feel trapped because I never liked any of them. But yes, I have a habit of rambling off topic because I free associate.

What I want to say is that I’ve gotten myself into a situation where I’m absolutely miserable despite the kindness of the man I live with.

There’s some resentment because there’s no sense of partnership. But then, that’s my own fault isn’t it? Looking for or pushing for some partner type situation when it’s just not available from where I’m trying to get it from.

At this point, now that I know I have C-PTSD, I understand a lot more and I’ve spent time talking to him about it as well. But it seems he forgets. Certainly nothing changes.

The biggest problem lately has been actions that cause hyper-vigilance. And when this happens, I feel like I’ve been sabotaged. Like it’s done on purpose. And I don’t understand after having explained and talked to him over and over about PTSD and what the symptoms are and even reacting to things he’s done, he still.does.not.get.it.

And I don’t get how he doesn’t get it.

He claims he forgets. He claims he doesn’t think about it, he says he’s not doing it deliberately. But to me it translates as, “If this is happening because he forgets, he must not care that much.”

I’ve asked him at least three times to read about it. But he hasn’t.

And I am tired of who I am around him now too, because what I’m talking about above is,  he’s done or said something to trigger me, I rage (he can’t get a word in to defend himself) and after I’m done, he acts ashamed. Then I feel like shit. Even if I don’t rage and speak angrily, (like tonight) I still feel like shit.

I feel sabotaged from any progress and it feels worse than if some stranger did it in public because that stranger doesn’t know. I get sick of going into a room feeling calm and walking out of it with heart palpitations, exhausted, angry, stressed out so bad I want to get in my car, drive away and NEVER come back here.

Tonight I was writing out a plan for myself in a journal, organizing my thoughts, which has been difficult for the last I don’t know how many years.  Things I want to do, things that need doing. I’m waiting for SS (disability) but with no income, things are tough. So I want to start doing things to take care of myself physically and emotionally as well as start something that could lead to an income. And at the very least get myself well enough to get some kind of job.

Right now, if it wasn’t for Mr. B, I’d be homeless. This is a dangerous, tightrope without a net kind of situation which just adds to the stress and hyper-vigilance as well.

I had a plan to get right back to my journal/planning and organizing my thoughts right after making a smoothie. But it turns out to be a break I should not have taken. Instead I’m writing this post instead of continuing with what I’d started earlier, because the anger just saps my focus and concentration.  Keep reading to find out what took place in the kitchen.

When I have a set back, I feel much of the time it’s caused by Mr. B (as far as PTSD symptoms are concerned).

I feel like I take 10 steps back when his actions effect me in such a way I become startled and it activates the hyper-vigilance…after I’ve maybe taken a step forward. At this rate, with this dynamic, how can I heal?

I hate to blame. I’ve been really conscious of not doing that and have been working on taking responsibility. My having PTSD is by no means his fault. But our dynamic has become so toxic, it is contributing to keeping me ill.

Last week, I avoided him in the evening in the kitchen and was out and cleaned up even before he got home. This was the decision based on a blow up the weekend before.

This weekend, I stayed holed up in my room for the most part. But then we had it out over a repeated conversation, a slight change of plan on his part and no communication. The no communication thing has been a problem since I can remember and a big trigger for me. It’s what’s caused a lot of distance between us for a long time.

Tonight, things felt a bit more relaxed. He was home early, in the kitchen making himself something to eat and I went down to make a smoothie. I do dishes as I go, when I prep stuff to eat, and there was also a glass container he put in the sink to soak. It had had oatmeal in it that we were trying to decide if it was still good or not. Things were light. It felt good. He decided the oatmeal was fine and put it all in a pot to cook and eat as part of his dinner.

Then I went to pick up the glass container soaking, in order to wash it. Jokingly, he said in urgency, “Don’t touch it!”

Now if you don’t have PTSD, or if you’re not hyper-vigilant, this can be funny and there was a time I would have thought absolutely nothing of this, laughed about what he’d done and move on. However, a lot of the symptoms I have now are either more intense or new because of relatively recent events that has triggered the trauma from childhood even more.

So this was not funny to me. At first, I jumped a little and I just simply didn’t laugh. I was hoping to be able to leave it alone, keep my mouth shut about it, make my smoothie and get out of the kitchen. But I could feel the anger building. He’d done this as a joke on Christmas morning too. I had walked down to the kitchen and he was doing dishes. I knocked on the door jam so he knew I was there and so as not to startle him. This has happened more than once and when he’s startled it effects me too, making me jump. After I’d already started talking to him about what I went down there for, he decided to be funny and he said, “Oh I forgot…” and then jumped and acted startled.

I jumped out of my skin. It startled the hell out of me. I threw a bottle cap across the kitchen I’d been holding and screamed WTF? Then turned and went up to my room. Slammed the door to release the anger and sat on the floor and did some deep breathing.

So tonight, him doing this so soon after Christmas and my hyper-vigilant reaction to something similar, I couldn’t hold back. I didn’t rage, but I was angry and it was in my voice. I again, went through why this effects me, how it effects me, why I’m pissed off…AGAIN.

I am at a loss.  I’ve asked him to read about it. Tonight I mentioned finding an online support group for people who live with people with PTSD. But I don’t hold out much hope.  The only thing I can come up with in order to minimize this bullshit, is to get in and out of the kitchen before he gets home. I will have to figure something else out on the weekends.

Our timing has never been good, out of step and out of synch and it’s not getting any better. If I don’t want to be in the same room with him, it is likely I will have to actually ask him to leave or to let me know when he’s finished. I’m seriously sick of taking the chance of making myself worse in this situation.

If he isn’t doing this deliberately, this is a man who doesn’t listen, doesn’t learn from mistakes and definitely doesn’t get it. I can’t force him to read about it. I can’t make him join a support group. I can merely suggest and then he’s on his own. However, he’s made some things pretty clear already.

I think indirectly in some ways, maybe I’m struggling to get closer or wishing he was someone I could get closer to, in the midst of all this chaos. I need support and he just stays static. It’s like he’s there to use as a life preserver (an inanimate object) but he isn’t actively reaching out to help in any way.

It would be nice to have someone “push” me out the door to take a walk. Someone to make us dinner once in awhile. I’m not difficult to please, a simple spaghetti dinner and sauce from a jar is enough for me.  (This is something I long for even without PTSD.) I have given up trying to cook for the two of us. Not that he didn’t appreciate it, but I just feel like I’m struggling to help myself. If it works out at times and there are leftovers, like in the case of cooking a pot of rice or pasta, then fine. But I don’t have the organization and my motivation isn’t consistent to make meals for the two of us every night now.

Someone who initiates communication about different things and doesn’t just assume I would know. Someone who likes to light the fireplace. We have one and it hasn’t been touched in all the years we’ve lived here.

Someone who ‘gets me.’I find myself having to explain my trains of thought and jokes to him. So irritating. In all the years we’ve lived together, I feel like he doesn’t know me.

Even someone who knows what I need even before I do sometimes. After living together for 12 years, this is not so far fetched. I know couples like this. Oh but, that’s right, we’re not a couple.

I feel like if he could help me through this, give me the support I so desperately need and STOP sabotaging me, I could heal enough to start helping him financially again.

Thing is, I’m so sick of being trapped here, I would leave if I could.

Bender and Resentment

cannacolaSo I’ve been on a bender. A bender of marijuana smoking for a few weeks.  Or is it just a couple? Honestly I can’t remember. I got a bunch and just kept smoking til it was gone. Well, actually I threw some crumbs away at the end. But it wasn’t much and it certainly wasn’t before the damage was done.

I’m detoxing now, but I’m agitated and crabby. Not only because of the chemical reaction cannabis has on my body and brain, (although that’s some of it) but also because it stalls any progress for myself in life, in healing and I basically check out for the duration. The time goes wasted.

The resentment that’s already there is even more intense. Resentment. I feel it toward Mr. B, despite the fact I’m SUPPOSED to feel grateful. And I feel that too, but sometimes I can’t bear to be around him. Sometimes my mood changes immediately upon his walking through a door, into a room I’m in. Sometimes, I can’t wait to get away from him and I wish I could just pack my shit and leave.

But, I can’t. Well I could, if I wanted to live outside or in my car.  I depend on him. He pays it all, well most of it anyway. He pays the rent and all the bills that go with a house. I’m a mooch. But I have food stamps. So there’s that.

Thing is, he doesn’t eat most of the food I get because he’s at work most of the time. He eats take out although he keeps it as cheap as he can.However, when I’m busy dulling my pain, I also lose any motivation to prepare healthy food and not only am I binging on weed, but I’m binging on junk food too. So if I could get my shit together and not be so self-centered, I could at least provide dinner for both of us.

But that won’t keep him from eating take out during the day and sweet junk food for breakfast.  It’s probably what’s doing the damage to his short term memory, which gets on my nerves. Probably should have compassion, but the resentment tends to get in the way of that, in addition to the fear of knowing we are both getting older.

I’ve done this to myself though. The pot is an escape and sabotages any sort of progress made previously. I continually keep myself in this place of dependence because I have this need to dull the pain. And then I blame him for it. (That’s what resentment is, right?)

Not right, not logical, but there it is. Should I deny it? No matter how twisted it may be, it is how I feel. I know the anger I feel is heavier right now because of the time I just wasted, AGAIN. And I’m actually angry at me, not him. But he’s an easier target.

He is who he is, and no, if I didn’t depend on him I would have been gone a long time ago.

We were once a couple, a long time ago, but haven’t been for a long time. He is still there for me anyway. Maybe it’s because of guilt that he doesn’t throw me out. Maybe it’s because he’s a push-over (for lack of a better word) that he doesn’t tell me to get a job or get the hell out. Maybe he’s got compassion for me and knows I’ve been trying to get disability benefits.

Thing is, we had a short conversation once and he told me he thinks that the pending case is holding me back from really putting the effort to find work. And you know? I agree. I’m “afraid” to make money, for fear I won’t get approved. And I’m afraid that as soon as I make one dime I will need to pay for health insurance leaving me with no money for anything else. Obamacare.

That being said, that doesn’t mean I don’t feel I qualify for disability benefits. I have PTSD from childhood abuse. I suffer from depression and anxiety. I am worried about my reactions to other people’s behaviors or the lack of my ability to stick up for myself in certain situations, possibly making the job another toxic situation.

But I also feel trapped presently in my situation.

I think if the tables were turned, I’d have kicked him to the curb a long time ago if he didn’t find himself employed in some way. I’m sure I would not have kept my mouth shut about it the way he does, if he just sat home on the computer all day, reading and/or watching videos, not getting anything of any meaning accomplished, being unproductive.

I think I also resent him because he isn’t who I want or what I want in a man. And saying that, I think, “Who do I think I am? Because I’m sure not the woman any man would want.”

And I know that sounds like I want a rescuer, a knight in shining armor. But I don’t think that’s all of it. Given my history and upbringing, that could be, probably is part of it. But there’s more I’m sure.

I’m a woman, so maybe I really did want to be in a traditional role of taking care of a home and raising kids, while the man went to work, preferably ran his OWN business and earned the living.

However, that doesn’t mean that I wanted to be owned, controlled or treated like some second class citizen. It means that I wanted to be a partner of someone who has the same values as me. Me doing my part and him doing his.

Instead I was too afraid because of what I saw in my parents’ relationship and marriage. I certainly didn’t want that toxic dysfunction and I was convinced that it would be that way. So I ran from it.

My values weren’t even a thought. They got lost before I even could develop them and understand what a value was. My life became about running from and dodging pain.

I dated unavailable men, pushed them away while simultaneously pulling them back in. Most of them, were high emotion, so it stands to reason that I end up with someone (Mr B) who has almost none. I needed a break I suppose.

However, there was an affair for a couple years, which was an emotional roller coaster ride and in the end triggered the PTSD I already unknowingly had.

So here I am, at 50, with no direction and no career, not even a job. No husband and no kids. I was not only afraid to raise kids because I feared I’d screw them up and abuse them the way my father did me, but I was afraid of the physical pain of giving birth. So I steered clear.

PTSD, depression, anxiety and no clue where to go or take it from here. And I have to ask, “Why even bother now?”

Here I am living with man I don’t love, who has no ambition, working for a company who won’t pay him what he is truly worth. A company he has been loyal to for over 30 years and they pay him a pittance.

He isn’t likely to get much of a raise whether he asks for one or not, and since he’s not big on communication or talking, chances are good he won’t ask anyway.

Then there’s the living situation and the house. He pays rent to his sister. And it’s a decent deal. But he doesn’t generally talk to her about problems that arise with the house because he’s afraid it will turn into a conversation about us getting out or raising the rent. All the times he’s had any conversation about the house and repairs, it’s been because I’ve said something…more than once.

Despite the fact that we are being kicked out because she’s selling, he still is apprehensive to talk to her about repairs. We have a shower that is now filling up like a bathtub. It has given us issues since we’ve moved in. We’ve had it snaked and plunged by plumbers. Mr. B has done his own plunging and clearing it and it continues to be a problem.  But instead of getting the landlord (his sister) on it, he insists on trying the Drano again.

I also wonder if he just thinks we should live with it since we’ll only be here another few months. I say, “Bullshit,” to that.

We’ll be moving in a few months. But we’ve been here for over 12 years and it was always a fight that turned me into a nag whenever something needed repair or attention.  It wasn’t appropriate for me to go to the landlord because she is his family.

He doesn’t like to ask for help and my annoyance with this was triggered this morning when he had his hands full of something and needed to open the freezer door. Instead of asking for me to open it for him, he has this need to do it himself. Granted, this time, he put the thing down he was holding to open the door. But I’ve watched him from across the room, balance stuff in both hands/arms, while he struggles to open the fridge door. It’s annoying.

Moving boxes of things for the yard sale we recently had, he’d pile boxes so high in his arms, he couldn’t see over them, risking a nasty accident. He hits his head all the time because he doesn’t watch what he’s doing. He told me once that he does it at work all the time because he’s always in a hurry. UGH!

Well, there won’t be any hurrying anymore if you’re passed out on the floor. God, I feel like I’m talking to a child sometimes. When you bend down under something, it stands to reason it will still be there when you get up and you’ll need to dodge it to keep from hitting your head. I don’t understand this at all and it is a source of irritation for me.

One morning, years ago, his need to make it out to the porch in one trip with his breakfast put our cat in danger.

I used to take a dog in, sort of a boarding situation, although I didn’t keep the dog in a cage. I got paid pretty good money for it, which is why I did it.  But we needed to have our cat stay next door with Mr. B’s mother. We always cleared it with her before saying yes to taking the dog, and she always let our cat stay with her. She loved animals and no longer had pets of her own, so, she said, it was a treat for her.

Our cat as an indoor/outdoor cat would still go outside when he would stay with her and come back over to hang out on our porch. One morning, as I sat with the dog in the living room, our cat was out on our porch and right at the door. He was meowing because he wanted treats.

Mr. B wanted to eat breakfast on the porch, enjoy the whether and keep our cat company.

I’ll give Mr. B this: The likelihood of the cat running into the house was minimal. He doesn’t like to come in usually if the weather is nice, for fear we won’t let him back out. HOWEVER: the dog who was dangerous to cats was right inside the door while Mr. B was struggling to get out the door as he struggled to balance plate, bowl and mug of hot tea in his hands.

I was holding the collar of the dog, but there is no way I would have been able to hold onto her (the dog) if the cat decided to come in while Mr. B held the door open for the extended amount of time he needed to, in order to get out the door with too much shit in his hands.

I asked him to please do it in two trips and despite his knowing that the dog would not hesitate to attack and kill the cat if he came inside, Mr. B stubbornly refused.

Nothing devastating happened, but I still get furious when I think about this incident. This is a man who is almost 60 and STILL insists on playing with proverbial fire, making the same stupid mistakes that children learn from and his refusal to ask for help when it would make sense to do so, goes right up my ass.

I know. Look who’s talking. I am by no means perfect and I almost want to say I have no right to feel angry at him or resentful. But feelings aren’t right or wrong, right? They just are. Emotions aren’t logical. (My anger and fury about taking the chance with our cats life though, yeah, I gotta right to that one and have no qualms about it.)

Still, I’m responsible for me and if I want and need something else, it’s my responsibility to go get it for myself, not expect him to give it to me. I know this.

Now that we’re both getting older however, and he in particular is starting to show signs of aging as far as his memory is concerned, (although it might help if he stopped hitting his frickin’ head and stopped eating McDonald’s) I feel obligated to stay, till the end, take care of him, since he’s taken care of me for so long.

resentment

Toxic and Looking for the Numb

Feeling numbToxic again.

The want is stronger than the ‘can.’

Just because I want to write doesn’t mean I can.

I feel stuck. The shit is in there but won’t come out.

Haha sounds like I’m talking about obstructive bowels and sometimes that happens. Correlation no doubt. Mind and body always connect.

My intention was to plow through all the hurt, all the proof of absence of love. The family toxicity is something necessary for me to work through, write about, feel the emotions it brings up. I start and even get some decent traction.

Not to get pity or even feel sorry for myself, but as a way of peeling off the layers of damage caused by my parents and later my siblings. So that I can be rid of the effects and heal. So I can find MY OWN damn voice and be the me underneath all the crud laid upon me.

I start.

But then I reach for something to dull or numb what I feel as a result of digging up the memories.

And then I get further stuck because I’m numb and then later angry at myself.

More waste, more wasted life, more of my life wasted.

I’m a failure and the thought of getting back on track feels necessary while at the same time overwhelming. I’ve been here before. I’ve done this before. The same ritual. Time to throw out the temptations. But then there’s only so much temptation I can get rid of since it’s not all mine to throw away.

I can’t throw out the pastries and cakes Mr. B brings home. My determination must be stronger and that can be difficult. Sometimes my resolve, dissolves.

The more I dig, the more the pain grows. I am so used to my habit of numbing or running, it’s almost mechanical.

I’m so alone. I’ve asked for support and to stop bringing the junk food home. But he won’t. Besides, as much as it would be nice to have such support, he isn’t responsible for my healing. I get into dark places at times and feel like he purposely sabotages me, and who knows, maybe that’s true. But I don’t think so..at least not in a conscious way.

I think he has his own pain, and yeah, perhaps he likes me where I am. It contributes to keep him in his own comfy place. But that’s not for me to control. It might suck, but the only person keeping me down now, is me.

I need to find a way to work through this shit. Stop nodding back off to sleep. Stop keeping myself small. Stop giving into my old habits.

Living in a Horror Movie

The man raps on my bedroom door.

Struggles with a door that sticks.

The door opens and I see a figure, a shadow of the man I used to know.

Bent and small.

Resentful, irritated and annoyed I twist my neck to look at him

He holds a flannel sheet we used as a table cloth to cover a small table for the yard sale

Almost 13 years and he still needs to ask where things go

I hate this about him, about us.

It’s a tell. We never really lived together. Not in the real sense of togetherness.

I feel the resentment most in such scenarios. All those years gone. Never to get back.

After the encounter I fell regret, guilt and shame. And somewhat lonely.

I stayed out of need.
And got comfortable.
Way too comfortable.
Wasted much time and clung to a parent, possibly an uncle or maybe an older sibling I never had.

He’s so small now, like he’s been swallowed up.

I feel like a monster, so angry and ruining his life as much as my own.

I mourn for both of us.

Because we both could’ve done better and those opportunities are long gone. The full faced dude, from 20 years ago is but a stranger.  That guy is gone. What’s left is an old man who still works like he’s 30. No rest and no time.

I hang on like a parasite, wanting to do something but not clear on what to do. I want to change…everything.

Bad Day and Birthday Card from the Mother

Today is/was my 50th birthday. Pretty significant birthday and it was harder this year than it’s been the last couple years without my family.

Its My BirthdayMy mother has sent me a card each year though. They’ve always come a day or two before the actual day and this year it didn’t.

I felt hurt that she hadn’t sent a card. But the last couple years I sort of wished she hadn’t sent one. The conflict is difficult.

This morning the hurt really caught up to me and I was so agitated I took it out on Mr. B. I realized what I was doing though and apologized.

But then we ended up in another misunderstanding, which turned into an argument and then I broke down a little.

We settled everything though, before he left for something he had to go do this afternoon and when he got back he brought the mail in. When I went downstairs I saw two cards sitting on the coffee table and the one on top was from my mother.

I was excited (and apprehensive at the same time) and I thought, “She remembered.” But that was a misfired thought process because…well…of course she’d remember.

I opened the card and read and felt stunned. She had pasted some poetic phrase inside the card that eluded to forgiveness and no longer being angry. It was basically meant to say that I should forgive whatever I’m angry about.

This made me angry and sad and I felt like I was back at square one grieving her absence all over again. It was a raw kind of hurt. I cried, hard. It felt good to let it out like that. But there was frustration in those tears too, because she so painfully and obviously doesn’t get it.

She is asking me to forgive without apologizing. She is asking me to let go of anger without even understanding what it’s about.

It’s tempting to respond with a hand written letter because she also wrote a note under the ‘punch line’ of the card itself. Stating something about how she must have gone wrong somewhere in motherhood. Indicating that she has not a clue that I’m hurt by the manipulation, triangulation and betrayal I last experienced in my involvement with her.

But I’ve been through that. The explaining of things that I was hurt about. Not these specific incidents of betrayal but  I’ve explained verbally on the phone plenty, to just have it ignored and minimized. Even the parts she claimed to understand were later disregarded.

Besides, she should know what the fuck she did.

So why? Why should I explain this to her? For one thing, she’s not even asking me to. She’s just telling me I should forgive. And for another, similar shit’s been explained already, so it only stands to reason, if it was disregarded then and continues to be, it won’t get through now either.

I don’t feel like this shit is in my court. The burden of forgiveness isn’t on me at this point. The apology needs to come first and then even after that, time and proven action needs to happen before true forgiveness can be finalized.

I don’t think she understands that forgiveness for such hurtful offenses, is a lengthy process. But if she doesn’t understand that, I don’t really think I should be the one to explain it, especially since she’s not asking for an explanation.

How dare she blatantly tell me to forgive in such a manipulative, emotion provoking way, without even the acknowledgement of her behavior.

Happy fuckin’ birthday to me.

But on a lighter note.

And I really need to add this, because even though it was a rough day, it ended well.

After I cried it out and Mr. B and I escaped into some YT videos, we went out to a quiet little Chinese restaurant for a low key birthday celebration. When we got back, I got a little tough on myself and made a comment about me ‘getting weepy.’

Mr. B said, “Getting weepy? Dealing with the BS your mom wrote? It’s understandable why you’d be so upset.” I’m paraphrasing. He said it in more eloquent way but I am not remembering his exact words at the moment. It was nice to be understood.

After he said that, I realized I was putting myself down, minimizing my own emotion and the pain I feel. So I talked a bit more about the message in the card my mom sent and the way I feel about it and why. I was ruminating really, telling Mr. B, but getting straight in my own head. I’m feeling supported though, something I really needed today.

Apology and Resolution

sorry buttercupMr. B did something yesterday that I got angry about. It wasn’t resolved yesterday for a few different reasons and I wanted to talk about it this morning. So I approached him calmly and let him know I needed to talk about something that was bothering me.

He was receptive. He heard me. He was even remorseful. Then he apologized.

Afterward, I felt the resolution immediately. A feeling of relief washed over me.

I’m not hanging on to it as if trying to make it not happen. I’m not ruminating in anger about how much of a jerk he is.  I’ve done that in the past about various things and various people.

Two reasons: 1). Lack of resolution and 2). Wanting that other person to change their behavior from here on out. Especially if the person isn’t understanding or empathetic about where I’m coming from.

If I felt the need to resolve such a thing in this way with a family member, before doing so, having the intention, I would be sweating, shaking, afraid of the reaction of whichever family member I felt the need to resolve things with. The resolution in this case was that I wanted and needed an apology.

Most likely, my sister would have pulled something out from history and attacked me for it, pointing a finger and screaming about how, “You did… and another thing, you are….”

My brother would minimize and talk about how my worrying and holding onto things would eventually give me an ulcer or cancer.

My mom would say something like, sounding closer to a whine, “Can’t we just have a light conversation without you having to resolve some issue. Why can’t you just call me and say, “How are you mom?”   (As if that never fuckin’ happened?)

They think that resolution isn’t important. I won’t ever change that line of thinking in them nor the behaviors that demonstrate that fact. And my feeling won’t change, that resolution is important in some situations. It’s also important to give it when I screw up as well.

Sometimes instead of working so hard at trying to change others, you just have to remove yourself from the equation.

I am feeling grateful to and for Mr. B. ❤