Playing With Fire Again! REALLY???

If my adrenals don’t get a fucking break I’m never going to recover.  I can’t leave and right now I am so fucking angry it’s more than uncomfortable.

I get angry all the time actually, but a lot of it is about shit that doesn’t matter or is truly futile because it’s about something that will NEVER change. I hate being trapped here. I hate living with someone I don’t trust to learn from previous mistakes, someone who doesn’t pay attention to some of the important shit.  I don’t feel safe.

So just a little back story: In the past, B had burnt a pot after walking away from a tiny bit of water he put on to heat up for tea. And a couple other times he forgot about toast he was making in a toaster oven, one of those times resulting in the toast actually catching fire!

So now at this apartment we now live in, we have a gas stove. I love gas to cook with. I really do. But I also know you need to be fucking careful when you cook with anything.

There are these pieces of round steel that go on top of the part where the fire comes out and they are removable. And if not put back right, (a fairly new discovery for me) the burner does not work. So when I turned the knob today to cook some quinoa, all I got was gas.

As I began to turn it off, the fire suddenly came on and it came out toward me. Scared the shit out of me.  At this point I didn’t realize that piece was on wrong. I just noticed something that looked wet on it. Probably butter from me cooking eggs this morning.

Well, B tried to clean it off by taking it to the sink and cleaning it off with the dish rag. And then when he put it back, he didn’t put it back right. So when I went to use the stove again…well…I already told you what happened.

The reason I realized that piece wasn’t on right and was the reason the fire didn’t go on, is because the exact same issue had happened before. In fact B was right next to me when we had the problem before.

I lost it. I yelled about it and couldn’t stop. I am really sucking at the DBT skills. It was the perfect opportunity for me to walk the fuck away, go outside or into my room and calm down first and THEN go back and talk to him about it. Tell him in a calm way how scared that makes me, which would also be less berating. And I did berate him for not learning from mistakes.

So not only am I angry at him for being careless, not putting that piece of the burner back on right, but also pissed at myself for not catching myself and working some DBT skill.

How the fuck am I supposed to stop myself when I feel the flooding of the threat of danger and then in turn anger? I talked to my therapist about it and she gave me specific things to do, but I can’t even get to the part where I’m supposed to STOP!

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

More Than Just Sibling Rivalry

In my last post I wrote of an example of the lack of my own privacy as a teen. But that stage was set long before that. It can be asked “Why would a small child, prior to the age of 12 really need privacy?” But privacy isn’t just a matter of someone knocking before opening a bedroom door.

My brother and sister started young, taking the liberty entering my bedroom whenever I wasn’t home.

My Brother

When he was a bit older,  (this started when he was 10 and I was 13) my brother would use my stereo.This would piss me off when I’d come home and find him in there. So I’d run up, go in my room and say in a short and curt voice, “Get out.” Sometimes I’d say, “Get out faggot.”
He’d stop what he was doing, gather up all his belongs and quietly leave. I’d just shut the door behind him with no remorse for what I’d just said or how I just treated him.

Makes me want a redo. I feel sad for both of those kids. (My brother and me).
I’m angry at my parents who set us up in certain ways to act like this and even for me to treat him like this. I believed it was normal to be nasty to your brother, even call him names. But now, I know better. I’m angry and sad that my parents didn’t teach us about boundaries and how to respect each other and each others belongings and privacy while we were growing up.

I’m ashamed of my behavior while at the same time feel victimized by my parents in all of this.

My treatment of him makes me feel like I deserved his rage attacks later in our adult life.

When it comes to my brother and me and these types of interactions, I so wish I could go back, knowing what I know now. To have that awareness so that I can be kinder. I think it would change so much about our relationship probably, and also how I feel about myself.

I try to remember I was a product of the toxic and chaotic environment that was my family but it doesn’t make me feel any better about how I treated him or the way things turned out.

My Sister

When she was just a toddler (3 years old) and I was about 9, my sister always wanted to play with my gerbils. One day, while I was at school and she was unsupervised, she dragged a chair to my bedroom door in the hallway, stood on it and flipped the eye-hook lock that was meant to keep my younger siblings out of my room and the gerbils safe from the large family dog.

She of course used no precaution to keep the dog out when she entered, so when she took the lid off and took a gerbil out of the aquarium cage they lived in, it jumped onto the floor and the dog, instinctually stomped on it. Gerbil, dead on impact.

When I got home from school that day, just after I walked through the front door, I could see my mother and siblings sitting on the sofa with somber looks on their faces. My mom was the one to tell me the news. I don’t remember my immediate reaction.

I do remember however, how I felt during the preparation of the burial of this pet. We all kept walking back and forth from the basement to the back yard getting tools to dig up dirt for the grave and make a cross. I remember I was in so much emotional pain. It was overwhelming and a raging anger had built up during all of this walking back and forth. The family dog was right there as well, right along with us. The grief was also overbearing.

At the time I don’t think I was aware that I was angry at my mother for letting my sister invade my privacy that day and many other days before that. I was angry at my sister for causing the death of my beloved little pet. It was her fault this cute little gerbil was dead!

But even without being aware, when I think back on it now, I did know this, deep down I knew it was my mother’s fault. But to show anger toward my mother, to rage at my mother for making this happen, would surely mean abandonment for me.

So instead I got angry at the dog for delivering the deadly blow. I know even more deeply now than I did then, that it wasn’t his fault. But my little nine year old body needed an outlet for all the rage that had built up.

I’m ashamed that I smacked my dog as hard as I could with my little hand, while I tearfully raged, calling him a bad dog. And even then, he continued to walk beside us all, as we walked back and forth in preparation of a funeral for a rodent.

In response to my smacking the dog, my mom said, “I’ve already done that” in a somber and regretful tone.

What I really wanted to do was rage at my mother for not being a mother, for not stopping my sister from going into my room in the first place. I wanted to rage at my sister too. How dare they cause this unnecessary and untimely death to happen.

But I didn’t dare. Not only did I not have the words or understand my feelings of rage and anger at them, to rage at them, would surely mean a certain death for me.

The gerbil incident was one of the most painful events of my life as a child. The loss itself felt unbearable. But in addition to that, I wasn’t able and didn’t feel safe to direct my anger and rage toward the people who actually deserved it.

I’m angry that the opportunity for healthy relationships was stolen from me and my my siblings by not teaching us that all emotions are healthy and OK and that we weren’t nurtured and guided through those emotions to help us understand them as well as how to handle them.