I made it through the past two days and I'm not sure how I managed that. Last night I went to bed not long after I got home. It ticks me off that I went to work last night when the store was so slow I could have been cancelled. This is a poor use of payroll dollars and that's the kind of thing that is unacceptable to me. The woman I was working with told me that she was going to talk to a manager about leaving early. I could feel my anger rise when she was talking. I told her I couldn't stay to close because I had to pick up my daughter, she said that management wouldn't mind not having someone for the last half hour and I thought to myself; this is who was promoted to be the assistant manager of the department? She left early on Sunday and that bothered me too. If you're going to crack down on others for not following the rules you better be sure you're following them to the exact letter yourself.
Last night I saw a friend of mine. I've known her for almost twenty years, but we've never really been close. She was talking to one of the cashiers about her trip into the city, I laughed when she said it was a good thing she wasn't a smoker because she'd have been chain smoking while she was stuck in traffic. She has a tendency to be dramatic, it was a fun conversation until he said that he could never live in the city. Whatever he said after that was lost on me, all of a sudden my feelings were hurt and since I had no idea why I was mad at him even though he hadn't done anything wrong. I felt bad and then I couldn't control the edge in my voice, I wanted to leave, but I didn't want to feel like I was running away from a situation that I knew was probably just me being overly sensitive so I stayed and then that didn't seem like the smart thing to do either.
My ankle hurt, my stomach hurt, the top of my foot started hurting. I placed the order that needed to be in before the 15th and I had planned on getting some cleaning done, but I didn't get very far with that either. I couldn't believe the lengths the woman I was working with was going to just to get out of work she didn't want to do. It was so astonishing I was incredulous. This morning I was angry when I woke up, I like my unicorn friend, sometimes I feel like I love her, but she is inconsistent and that is very scary to me. Inconsistency makes me feel unsafe. My mom is inconsistent and it's dreadful. My dad wasn't the warmest person ever, more on that later if I get to it, but my mom's words and actions don't match and I go to great lengths to protect myself from that type of danger.
After dropping Jill off at school I realized I hadn't gone on a drive in a while. I turned right instead of left, and ended up driving around for much longer than I had intended. I drove past the old house that had been a library when we lived on that block. The new library is right across the street from where I went to school for the last half of my grade school career. My dad took me to a basketball tournament that nobody else in the family went to, it was just me and him. Later on my mom took me to a restaurant where the rest of the team was celebrating. One of the girls on our team had typically been nice to me although I didn't know her well. When I met her brother I was intrigued by him. He was a year older than I was, the memories are so clear, it's like this was yesterday.
We ended up going out for a while and, writing about this is very hard, today is the day to write about hard things apparently. I remember him giving me a call and telling me he was going to pick me up to go snowmobiling. I love to be kissed in the cold, maybe it goes back to those days and times. During the summer we sat on the bank of a stream watching the water go by while surrounded by the tall grass. His mom was my softball coach and she had a reputation for being a complete bitch, but she was always nice to me, maybe because of him. One day she was at home and told me he wasn't back from running yet. When he came in he was dripping with sweat, his mom told him to go shower, but I thought that was so sexy. Years later I ran into his sister at a wedding, she told me he had been in a terrible accident, it hurts to know that he'll never go running, snowmobiling, or climb down the bank to sit by that stream again.
Another winter kissing memory is when a guy and I walked down to the park across from the grade school. I was in high school, he was in college. We had gotten into it on several occasions. He annoyed me and I think I got on his nerves. I'm not sure why we ended up agreeing to a walk, but when we crossed the icy ball diamond and sat down in the dugout together, I knew something between us had changed. From that point on those sensations were connected with the ballpark and they've never really gone away. Today I walked down to see the bridge before I realized I couldn't get there from the access point I had chosen. I took a picture anyways, thinking that coating of ice was a good analogy or metaphor for some things I had been thinking about.
I've been thinking about that Tuesday conversation I overheard, about the lake, privacy, fishing, seclusion, money, the way his voice flowed when he was talking, and a couple of other things. The other night I had this great conversation with my manager at work. Under a lot of my anger is very deep hurt. This guy isn't for me and that makes me sad because I love him. I'm not in love with him, this is hard to explain. I feel safe, understood, and loved when he's around. He doesn't have to say or do anything, I just feel it. When my friend told me he was emotionally unavailable and feared commitment, I disagreed because his emotions are available to me and I'm surprised she doesn't use her gift of knowing what other people are feeling to try and understand him better. My hunch is she wants him to change and I wouldn't commit to someone like that either. I will change on my own because I want to, not because I fear lack of conformance to your standards.
I don't have a problem talking to him. We don't have regular conversations, neither of us are very verbal people and maybe that doesn't make sense to people like her because we are talking a lot. Last night I read something I didn't write, but felt like I could have. In the past I've felt like I have a lot of anger issues that need to be addressed. The article did an uncanny job of unpacking how I felt, how I deal with others, the low levels of seething rage I feel like I have to compress and surpress. It discussed the two types of door slams and I found myself nodding in agreement as I went along. It was so spot on I found myself laughing once I picked my phone back up again. My daughter kissed my forehead when she came home, she's affectionate that way and I just love that about her. Those soft and spontaneous expressions mean a great deal to me when they come from people I love.
Today I don't want to go to therapy. I'm afraid I'm going to start crying or say something I shouldn't. I feel used and I hate that feeling. Why does she feel like she deserves someone that special when she hasn't put in the effort I have to be a better person? I think I made a mistake by going back there and now I have to try and figure out what a better course of action would be. As luck would have it my main guy is off on Wednesdays which is one of the days I generally have off. I could request to work with someone else, but then I'm revealing something about myself that I don't want others to know or see. This is the kind of thing I absolutely hate. For as much as I love problem solving, I genuinely dislike drama and will try hard to minimize and avoid it.
One of the guys I work with is very carefree, fun, and talkative. When we were talking about not being liked by management he said something very interesting, I wish I could remember his exact words, but I was so surprised by his insight that I was mulling that over while he kept going. He's very intelligent and his mind moves at warp speed so talking to him is a challenge for my brain since I think very differently than he does. He's a perpetual source of optimism, I wish I worked more often with him, I need that kind of sunshine in my life. Today things seem like crystal or prisms. White light goes in and a rainbow comes out, I feel like I have done a ton of work and it got me into a mess I don't really know how to get out of easily or cleanly.
The other day my friend sent me a short video clip about how some people in your life are like the leaves of a tree, some are like branches, and there are a very few who are the roots that ground and feed you. The analogy worked for me, but I have one of my own. People get written into the stories of my life; some are a word or two, maybe a sentence, a paragraph, a chapter, or possibly a supporting character. I want to focus on the main characters without getting distracted by people who seem interesting, but don't have a long term or lasting impact on my life. One of the qualities I love in my PT is the focus he has. If I could learn to love myself and be more disciplined, my life would be more like the good parts of his and I think that's what I want from him. He has a recipe for a certain type of success and I want to get a copy because that's what he's being paid to do.
I am not being paid to do the things he's asking me to do, but for now, I feel like I can give him some of what he wants because I am grateful to him. I like the emotional scales to be balanced. If I give you a gift I don't expect anything in return, not even a thank you. Once it leaves my hands you can burn it, toss it, regift it, my hold on it has been released. It doesn't require you to get me anything in return, there are no strings attached, no expectations, and you receiving a gift creates no obligations on your part. I give when I feel moved to do so because the time, the person, and the present feel right. If it doesn't feel right, I tend not to do it which is why I'm a terrific gift giver throughout the year and have trouble with birthdays and holidays. I can't give a gift just because you have a birthday or it's Christmas. It has to feel right and I may not feel like I have the right thing on the day that the calendar thinks I should.
Last night I read a thread on what to buy people like me. Reading these things is sometimes helpful, like in the case of the article on how I get angry. Hot and cold anger make a ton of sense to me. Nobody should get too worried if I flare up, they should fear the layers of ice that start to chill inside of me. I came very close to closing the door on a couple people last night, maybe I still will, I liked how the article went into predictable and unpredictable anger, I have moods like everyone else, I can see how I've contributed to issues and problems in my own life and in the lives of others. I don't want people to feel like I'm some sort of puzzle they have to figure out, most of the time I just want to be left alone when I'm in that kind of mood.
I think in the past I felt like other people could help me more than they really can. It's up to me to solve my problems, I can't depend on emotional support from others, especially people who are inconsistent. The gift giving article basically said, don't bother unless you know exactly what I want and even then you're unlikely to get the response that you want. The subtitle of the article was Imperfect Robots, I really don't like being called robotic, the whole thread was very off putting, I am imperfect and I know it, but I have a lot of really good qualities too. I accept others for who they are, all I want is that same type of acceptance from them. Challenge my behavior, don't try to tell me that I need color correcting concealer to hide the red in my face or that I need to grow out my hair, ditch my baseball caps, or start wearing mascara. I do not have time for that crap and I don't want to do anything that's going to draw more attention to me and my face.
I don't like it when I feel like people can read my emotions or sense how I am feeling. Telling me to smile makes me think that the only thing you want is sex and as soon as I hear that you want a picture of me, we are probably through. My face is mine, I'll smile when I have something to smile about or see people who make me happy. I detest artificial smiles and fraudulent feelings. I want the truth about how you are feeling and if you can't deliver that, I'm fine with you sharing what you can in whatever way you are able. Telling other people to smile is a control mechanism to me. It invalidates their feelings and emotions and I can't stand that either. People should be able to feel their feelings without fear of condemnation, guilt, shame, etc..., I'm often tempted to tell people exactly what I'm thinking, but I know that most people don't want that level of honesty from me since I have a hard time with delivering true statements in an empathetic manner.
Sometimes it feels like the more effort I put into trying to explain myself to others, the less they understand who I really am. I feel like a battery that needs to be charged, too many people drain my resources and then I have next to nothing left for myself. I have to find more activities, interests, and people who sustain me. I need people to believe in me, those who can see my future the way that I can see theirs. I need someone to feel like they are responsible to me for certain things the way I feel responsible for others. I invested in some of the wrong people and now I'm angry that the energy I expended didn't net me what I thought it was going to, I'm very tired today, but it isn't the kind of tired a nap is going to fix. I'm emotionally drained.
Telling everyone to shut up or fuck off is a poor strategy, burning bridges is fun until you realize you left yourself on an emotional island with no way back to the mainland. I think people would be surprised to hear how many times a day I feel like saying those things to people. I need a healthy way to manage stress and I'm hoping that going back to PT will remind me of how much better I am when I have an exercise plan to follow. Yesterday Jane sent me a text that told me she felt loved when I was thinking of her, I had sent her a text saying I didn't feel like I was doing a very good job of making her feel loved. Things are getting better with the girls and that's a very good feeling. Their dad sent me a text that I'm still processing. If you read what I've written you know about my vacation adventures and how scared I am of a repeat.
Their dad asked if I would be interested in going on a vacation with them, when I said that I would he came back with a budget for me. I'm so scared of this. It feels wrong to accept that kind of money from him even though I know he is doing it because for all of our combined flaws we are both exceedingly generous people. I know that I am getting this money because he feels bad about vacations that we took before and after we were married. Today I drove out to a place where I met him after we had gotten divorced. There were helicopters in the shop, he had asked me to drop off cabling for him, he gave me money for my time and wear and tear on my vehicle. I took my youngest and I felt guilty about how much he gave me for what hadn't seemed like much of an inconvenience at all.
I think part of the problem is vacations are so much work for me. There's the stress of figuring out food and the fear of getting sick, I've gone on so many trips where someone has ended up in the emergency department or been ruined by a more minor illness. It isn't fun for me to do these kinds of things, it's layers of more work than I would have at home and what's the point of sitting on the beach when you spent hours preparing food and you're responsible for everything anyways? I want to go on vacation with someone who will hand me safe food, let me do what I want, and not have to deal with the moods of other people. Taking my kids on a trip is something I've done so often in the past it doesn't feel like a vacation to me. I know I have hangups around this issue, for once in my life I want to go somewhere and have someone wait on me hand and foot. I don't want to tour anything or see sights, I just want to rest and sleep.
I'm going to make a list of things that I think would make my life better. I would rather have someone come over to clean than money to go on vacation. Going on a trip with two teenagers who like to sit and stare at screens while making minimal attempts at conversation is not my idea of a good time. I would have another driver if my daughter gets her license before then, but there's a layer of vigilance that accompanies you as the parent of a recently licensed driver you don't have when there's someone more experienced behind the wheel. I'm not in a bad mood, I'm just overwhelmed. Nothing seems exciting or interesting. I'm bored with this lack of routine and food seems like such a complicated problem I don't even know where to start. But I know that I just have to do things imperfectly, and I will figure things out as I go.
It feels so selfish to be complaining about money I'm being given for a trip, but he owes me thousands of dollars from the accident and no amount of money for a vacation is going to give me back the car I loved or the measure of safety I lost once it was gone and I found out that he lied to me about my auto insurance coverage. I've forgiven him, but the debt is real and the two are not equivalents. It would make me much happier to get a check that I could send to the attorney and maybe I will have that dialogue with him. Here's a case where my emotions are so strong that I feel like we're going to fight about this issue and I hate fighting with him. I can't say that I will never get into another relationship with someone else who has the same personality that I do, but it is an instant and automatic red flag when I run into these men. Side note - I have zero tolerance for drunk people and will write about the Florida wedding when I get a chance.
My life is good and I want to take a moment to reflect on tough things I did. I moved when I didn't want to, I took a leap of faith and decided not to pursue a job I could have had. I faced feelings I don't like and put myself in uncomfortable situations because the only way out is through. I've refused to compromise my principles at work. I've taken advantage of the things my friends have to offer like legal advice and shared that with others. I've made myself more vulnerable in front of my children, I let my therapist go when she was flaky and now she's coming back to me. I didn't give someone a gift when I wanted to and that was the right thing to do although it didn't seem like it at the time. I showed up at a time when someone else was hurting and got to see inside some of their walls when I least expected it.
I took a walk when it was cold, I have a game plan in my head. I can put it down on paper. I can find ways to declutter further regardless of what my family thinks about where I live. For now this is my space and I am done with the junk lying around. I need some help and I can find people who will help me with things that I find difficult to do. I'm going to buy myself some Christmas and birthday presents and not feel bad about that since I'm the only person who knows what I really want and need. Receiving gifts makes me feel like I have to drum up an appropriate emotion and I can't do that when I'm put on the spot. I'm a spontaneous gift giver and I hope people understand that for me it truly is more blessed to give than it is to receive. Spend time with me doing things I like if you want to give me something really special. I understand that most people don't love sports the way that I do, but I don't see why there can't be some measure of compromise.
This is why it is so hard for me to get along with my mom. I should go camping with her, but she shouldn't have to sit at a sporting event with me. I wouldn't ever invite her anyways, that type of nervous energy wears on me fast, I want someone who will sit there quietly and take in the atmosphere. I don't want to hear about how boring baseball is, it's fine if you don't understand the rules or the strategy, I'm happy to explain what I can, but going to games is a special sort of experience for me and if you intentionally ruin it I will have a great dea of intentional hatred for you. I am there to watch the game. I don't mind talking to others while it's being played, but that is not the time to bring up any deep or heavy subjects because I want to immerse myself in what I find to be a very peaceful and centering environment.
When you are critical of my hat, my sunglasses, or what I wear, you are discounting all the thought processes that went into those choices. I am a relentless self improver and I am almost always judging and weighing my options. I don't have an unlimited amount of money and I have to follow the dress code at work. Telling me that I need to color my hair or wear makeup makes me feel like you think I should hide who I really am. I wonder if it ever occurs to these people that I don't really care what other people are thinking. I've been called smoking hot, and I've gotten dumped because I don't look enough like Meg Ryan. If my looks are your barometer, you are operating on a very superficial level and you are not the kind of person I need in my life. I believe in skin care and that starts within, it's what you put into your mouth that matters most, the thoughts you think, what you do for others, that's what makes people truly beautiful.
I've had enough introspection for a while. Today I feel cold and distrustful of others. I feel like I dumped the bag and revealed things that didn't add value to anyone else's life and subtracted from my own. I'm still mourning the loss of my car. I almost got into an accident when my car wouldn't respond while I was driving on the ramp. Supposedly my tires are good and my mechanic just did a bunch of work on my suspension. I wish I could fall in love with someone more practical, but it's almost always the theoretical types who drive a wedge into my heart no matter how tightly I try to keep it under wraps. I feel like I'm rambling and that's not a very positive feeling either. I'm not looking forward to PT today, but I will envision it going well and practice being optimistic because I know I'm in a mood today.
Until next time,
P.S. My friend was telling me about the beach down in Florida, it brought back memories of taking the girls when it was just them and me. I still remember hanging out in the Whole Foods parking lot eating fresh fruit with them, and now it feels like I'm going to start crying at the library in front of all these regulars that I wish didn't know me...
Here is my interpretation of a conversation at work last night:
Her: "My allergies are really acting up today. I'm going to go talk to <Manager> to see if I can leave early."
Me (inwardly seething and livid, outwardly trying to act calmer than I feel, furious at her for being manipulative, mad at myself for not seeing this coming): "I can't stay late tonight. I have to pick up Jill."
Her: "Well, they won't mind if we don't have coverage for half an hour, especially with this weather."
Me (if the weather is so bad why the fuck didn't you call and tell me it was slow and I didn't have to come in at all? Oh, right, because you want to leave early and you are so much more important than this department and everyone else): "Talk to management and see what they say."
Her: "By the way, <Vendor> dropped off some samples for us, feel free to go through the bag."
Me (remembering the bag had been there on Tuesday): "Has everyone else gone through it already?"
Her: "Yes, the only thing I want is a liquid fish oil for my mom." She searches through the bag and finds what she wants. "This is the only thing I really want. My mom needs a liquid fish oil."
Me (by now I've recognized that her telling me about the bag was a way for her to make sure she got what she wanted. I wait for her to go through it and give her space while she's being critical of everything else she doesn't want. I grab a bottle and put it in my drawer recognizing that I need to get out of there fast. I tell her that the paper by the carrer oils needs changing, that gives me a reason to leave the department, get the paper, and gives me a task I can do by myself. The rest of the night goes on like this. Everything seems strategic and calculated. We're playing a game where she's trying to avoid work and responsibility, and I'm trying to protect myself from her without erupting into a volcanic rage where I point out her flaws and explain why I think she should instantly lose her job after she formally apologizes to me, my boss, and everyone else who works there. Can't wait to hear what my therapist advises...)
I sent my sister a 'Happy Thursday' text and she asked if I had seen her post. I almost never go on Facebook so I'm glad she mentioned it was there. She told me she had posted it to my wall and felt like I would enjoy it. I'm still at the library, but I saw the video clip titled 'How to be a Minimalist' and told her that yes, I felt very loved...