Me: "Do you want to die?"
Her (crying): "Honestly, I'm sorry, I do. I would never take my own life. It's just, I feel like I can't go on anymore. I'm the world's biggest fucking baby. I hate it, I hate myself. Last night I had all these nightmares about my teeth falling out, they started bleeding, they were ground down to nubs, then they fell out, I feel like I should go to work and then I think, there's no fucking way. If it was just me I could handle it, but I have to pull my shit together and be strong for him. He can't handle it when I'm a mess."
Me: "That's what he signed up for when he married you. That's what love is. It's not hearts and flowers and sex and romance, sure it's some of that, but when you really get down to it, love is an action verb. That means if you're in a wheelchair, or you end up in a home, or you die at a very young age, he's going to be right there beside you, holding your hand, fighting with you, being with you. That's what love really is, at least that's what it is to me. So many people say the words, how many of those people are actually doing things that nobody else wants to do? Presents, flowers, those are the easy things. Love is a fight. You have to push aside your ego and ask yourself, what can I do for this other person today, right now, with what I have? And sometimes the answer is, I can give this person an opportunity to take care of me because I'm no longer able to care for myself. Six weeks after I got divorced I fractured my fibula falling down the stairs. I drove stick so I asked him if I could trade cars with him for a while, and he agreed. That was a loving thing to do because we weren't even married anymore. You don't have to be in love to love someone else. Seriously. You would do the same for him if your situations were reversed, wouldn't you?"
Her: "I need to get out of my fucking head. Thank you for listening and taking the time to talk to me. I go on these Facebook groups and read, this one woman is in pain 24/7, she never leaves the house, I feel bad for her then I think, God, what if that happens to me?"
Me: "What if it does? Go there. Get behind the fear. What is at the root of all of this? You can't even think worst case scenario because there's always a way to make it worse."
Her: "You're right. I've been fearful my whole life. I talk to my mom, she's always my go to person, but she's just like I am. I tell her things and then she gets down too. We're too much alike. I need a kick in the ass."
Me: "You've been doing that to yourself your whole life. Take some time and just let yourself be. This, whatever you're going through, it's going to be worth it. God always has a plan, he always has a reason for sending us pain and suffering. We don't always know what it is, but he's not doing it to be mean or cruel to us. Maybe this is going to strengthen your marriage, or put you in touch with your creative side, maybe you'll get really into volunteer work, or charitable fund raising, there's always something you can do. You're so incredibly beautiful and gifted, why are you afraid to show the world how amazing you are?"
Her: "Shit, I can't even get out of bed in the morning anymore. I wake up and I just lay there and then I think, what's the point? I just want to say fuck it, and, when you were telling me how you used to drive past that bridge, that's what I worry about. I would never do it, but I think, shit, it would be so much easier if I was just dead. I'm not doing anything with my life the way it is now. These fucking reactions, you have food allergies and intolerances, you know how it is. Today I was so stressed out, I haven't eaten processed food since June. I grabbed a box of Wheat Thins out of the pantry and I ate the whole damn box in one sitting because I was so anxious. I don't even have words to describe it, the anxiety, it consumes me, it engulfs me, I don't know what I'm supposed to do, or where I'm going to go, I've got nothing Jessica. Absolutely nothing."
Her (angry): "You should have heard her the other day, she said 'my spices are in, I have to go fill them', I called her on it too, 'Your spices, excuse me?'"
Me (sarcastic): "I thought about asking for the spices back, who knows how many guys in produce I'd be sleeping with if I went back to ordering them."
Her (laughing): "That's the funniest thing I've heard in a long time. I needed that laugh."
Me (to a male employee who is shopping): "Hey, those days are over, you don't have to sell your body to the night." When he was done checking out he was at the service desk with my friend who said that he gave really good hugs. I told her my feelings were hurt and then she said that I did too, but I teased her and said that I saw how it was, then I told another woman we work with that she and I were no longer friends based on this recent hugging incident. Then he gave me a super big hug that was really nice and it made up for a lot of other crap that went down at work today.
Him: "Do you need a bag, or (whatever he said next I didn't catch because he speaks quietly, I don't hear well out of my left ear, and there was a lot of other background noise)."
Me: "Yes, I washed my green bag and forgot to grab it when it was dry. I'm just killing trees over here (I have a deja vu moment and wonder if I really have said this in the past)."
Her (mock outrage): "How dare you work here and pretend to care about the environment!" She finishes ringing me up and then she feels bad because she printed a receipt for me. I went through a phase where I wanted receipts with cash purchases and this got very confusing for everyone, including me. I managed to fit everything into my striped bag so I didn't need another bag after all, I told her that the bags we had saved made up for her printing the receipt. She's super fun and very sweet. It's like she never has a bad day ever. I just love working with her.
Me: "Hi, can you please call <Customer> and help her with the app?"
Her: "What kind of a problem is she having?"
Me: "I don't know. Here's her name and number."
Her (super snotty): "She didn't say what kind of a problem she's having?"
Me: "No, we're really busy down here. Thanks for getting back to her." Click. Later on my friend told me that the woman who sits next to her got an earful about what a bitch I am. This is the kind of thing that happens at work routinely and I really don't care who thinks I'm a bitch if asking people to do the jobs that they were hired to do is bitchy. It makes a lot more sense to have the marketing manager who is sitting on her rear end in front of the computer to get back to this woman than one of the cashiers who is needed to get people through the line in a timely fashion.
Him: "How about I just make your juice and have someone come and get money from you later?"
Me: "Do you want me to leave cash?"
Him: "No, I'll have someone get it from you when they get in, whenever that will be, I don't know." He never does make me my juice, but I'm giving him a pass because I know they were short staffed. It does make me wonder how the cafe is run. I hear a lot of complaints, from other employees and customers. It's crappy work for low pay, I don't blame people for leaving and am amazed that some of the people who are still there have managed to stick around. One of the dishwashers quit and then came back which surprised me. I really like her because she works hard and tries to teach me Spanish whenever I see her. It's a good reminder that I'm privileged to have been born to parents who speak English as their primary language. I remember when my next youngest sister came back from Europe after living there for a year and she had a lot of trouble trying to get back into the routine of speaking English again. We made fun of her which probably wasn't very kind. All three of her children are bilingual which is cool, I always wished I would have done more with languages since I typically did well when I took those classes. I could still get back into it, but I feel very unmotivated to actually do it.
When I was on break with my friend she said that she noticed the marketing person was sitting at a table that was right around the corner from where we had been sitting. She said she thought that was on purpose and I agree. I haven't gotten along with marketing or bookkeeping since I realized how little they do, how ineffective they are when they do actually do something, and how greedy they are when there's anything free to be had, and how much trouble they make for us in our department even though I know we're not alone there. Today a woman in pricing that I really like came down to talk to me about margins on a product that are on an end cap. For some reason that I can't fathom we let one of the sales reps place orders for certain companies. He loads us up with products because he earns a commission on those sales. We had redone the end cap and he threw a fit and had us redo it so it was easier for him to order products and I'm still annoyed with that because the other woman and I had a much better vision and a cleaner, clearer, easier to shop display. Also, since when do reps get to tell us how to shelve and display products? I can't stand him and the pricing coordinator agreed that he's a prick. He used to get our employee discount and I'm glad someone put a stop to that nonsense.
After work I drove around for a while, I felt like I might start crying, I was just exhausted from the ridiculousness at work. Since my boss called in I called her to see if there were any orders we needed to place. Normally I wouldn't have done that, but she had been out last week and I wanted to touch base with her in case something urgently needed to be done. One of the really annoying things at work is how deliveries are managed in back. We're supposed to have a spot under the window and our boxes never get put there. We had this arrangement in place because last year two shippers went missing, and both times the boxes had signatures. There's a camera in back, but nobody knows when the products were taken so they're not going to sit and watch video that goes back that long. We don't get any communication about when our orders arrive. The grocery manager doesn't want us hanging around in back which I understand, but then please tell us when we have boxes sitting back there. We're supposed to watch the sales floor and magically know when we have things in back to put away, she was in a mood today, she yelled at me for talking to a guy in the cafe when all I had done was ask if the spices sitting on the rack were his, or ours.
My friend said that she went up and talked to the front end about sweeping up the salt that was in the entryway which I felt was a good use of labor dollars because all you need is one person to come in, skid across the salt scattered on the floor, and hurt themselves by slipping and falling. They refuse to put a broom and dustpan by the coffee beans and that drives me crazy too, mostly because this is an accident waiting to happen and people are too cheap to prevent someone like me from carrying a bunch of boxes, not seeing an errant coffee bean, and slipping on that. The spice area gets really slippery too and that's even more dangerous since it's typically a very fine film of powder that you can't really see. This company spends money on stupid things and refuses to proactively address other issues like sweeping which has never made any sense to me. I was in the cafe area when a woman slipped and fell on a rainy day. To be fair to us she was wearing shoes that had no tread, but she didn't see it that way, and we could have been sued for something like that. She landed pretty hard on her elbow, the floors are concrete and can be very slick. I'm actually surprised we don't have more accidents.
I need to think of a better way to decompress after work. I used to pack two things to eat and I want to get back to that. I need some time to just sit and chill out after I punch out. By then I'm peopled out even if I wasn't working for very long. I actually got quite a bit done today which is usually a good feeling, but since most of it was work others hadn't done, that was annoying. I asked for help and my unicorn friend came over, but then I got stuck in back and then she went to help this little old lady who is in her nineties shop. I don't mind things like that since I know this woman is probably lonely and I think that's a smart use of people skills, but it really set me behind even further. A woman wanted a product that could have been part of the shipment I was unpacking, but wasn't. My friend pulled a bunch of products out of the box and stacked them randomly on the desk which isn't what I would have done, but whatever. I need to get better about making grocery lists and sticking to them. I was at work so I told myself to buy food, then my brain was so fried I couldn't think of what to buy or what I had at home.
I don't know why this is such a challenge for me. I work at a grocery store, you'd think this would be a snap, but it's a real challenge and then I feel stupid for not having a list, and angry with myself when I come home with things I didn't intend to buy, or forgot the few things I really needed. I'm super visual so unless something crosses my line of vision, I don't remember that I need it unless there's a miraculous event where my brain comes up with it while I'm at work. I just hate this about myself. I feel like I should be able to get off of work, go shopping, and go home, but that isn't how my brain works. I'm not really a meal person so I have a very hard time thinking while I'm shopping. I would be so happy if I could fall in love with some guy who says, hey, this is what we're having for supper tonight, please buy the following things. People at work probably think I'm the biggest idiot, I can only do one thing at a time so I can either talk to someone, or pay for my purchases. I like talking to the people I work with, but then it totally distracts me from what I'm doing and since I have zero ability to multi-task it takes me forever to get out of there which makes me feel inefficient.
Today a woman who works in produce gave me some spiralized vegetables. I forgot about them until the very last minute, needed a bag, went downstairs to get one, and instead of just shopping which would have been the smar thing to do I went out to my car to put those away and then came back in again. It's like I can only think far into the future, or deal with the exact moment I'm in at the time. I seem to lack the ability to tell myself - hey, you're going to want to eat a meal tomorrow, if you cook food now, you can eat it later. This sounds so obvious I can't even believe I'm having to admit this to others, people make fun of me for waking up at four in the morning, but if I don't, I guess it takes me several hours to figure out how to get out the door with something of a game plan in the morning. Once I come home from work, I'm done. I want to relax, and that's not the way life usually works. I had planned to go to the art studio with my friend, but then she asked if we could go tomorrow since her mom was worried about her tires and wanted her to get home which I understand. It was disappointing, but now I have something to look forward to after PT tomorrow.
My mom, two of my sisters, and my niece have birthdays within a one month span. I have ideas for my middle sister and my niece, and nothing for my next youngest sister. She's not expecting anything, but even I know it's not cool to bring a present for one sister and skip the other at a joint birthday party. They're getting together on the 27th and of course I asked off for the 26th since that's my sister's actual birthday. I probably should have asked what the plan was, but I'm leery of things like that since my family frequently changes plans and I wanted the out if I needed it. I really don't want to go, maybe I just won't, but I'm feeling a bit guilty since I skipped out on close family Christmas, extended family Christmas, and my birthday. Maybe someday I'll be better able to just deal with the people I'm related to, but it doesn't seem like that will happen anytime soon. I don't have to make anything for my sister, but that's kind of been the theme lately. Maybe she wouldn't care and I'm just thinking too much about this, I can always give her an IOU and do something for her later.
I think part of my problem is going to her house. A lot of people have way too much furniture and art for me. I'm not trying to be critical of anyone else's taste, it's just too much for me and she's especially bad. I literally feel claustrophobic at her place. There's so much going on, there's not much room to walk, this is another one of those things that I wish I could change about myself. Sometimes I'm great at just blocking things, other times I can see every single particle of each thing and then my head feels like it's going to explode while people around me are chit chatting like they can't feel whatever it is that I am. I totally buy into the feng shui principles because to me, that's just good design. I have some issues at my place, I need someone to come over and help me work through these things. Maybe I'll pull some of my books out and get back into them. Or maybe I'll just let it ride for now because sometimes you just have to live with life's limitations. I know things can be better and more efficient, I also know I can get crazy into organizing. There's a balance there, I just have to find it.
Even though listening to my friend was upsetting, I'm glad we had a chance to talk. I think she's getting to the heart of what's bothering her, she's been going to a therapist she likes. I can't help but think that some of what she's going through and dealing with has a psychological or emotional connection rather than a strictly physical origin. I could be wrong, regardless, it's not very encouraging when you hear a friend tell you that they have no will to live. I think she's totally cool, she doesn't have a lot of friends, and I don't think she opens up to very many people either. Today my friend from work told me that the owner of the company told her that he hasn't seen one of his daughters in years. She said he had tears in his eyes when he said that and she told him there's only so much you can do when someone else rejects you. I've complained about him a lot, rightly so in most cases, but I did feel bad for him because I've been on both ends of that. It's hurtful when your child wants little or nothing to do with you and I've read up on this because I can see either side clearly and nobody wins in cases like that.
I had a weird moment at work when I realized that one of the women I work with is a lot like my mom. She told me that she hinted to her husband that she wanted him to make chili, then she was mad that he hadn't made it when she got home. He asked what they were having and she ended up ordering pizza for everyone rather than making the chili. I think she's either a full blown or borderline workaholic. She's good at what she does, but there's a rigidity about her that makes me wonder if she's going to have more health issues than she does now further down the line. Today she said her stomach wasn't feeling very good. She was away for the weekend, she's told me she has digestive issues, a lot of people at work do. Working in my department is cool because I learn about a lot of different products and how they can be used. I don't agree with everything we sell, but I love learning about most things. I bought a nutrition book that I thought I would read more, now I want the one on herbs because I order from one of the companies and I've been really impressed with several of their products that I've tried.
My friend told me that the guy who was gone for a while is rumored to have spent time at a mental hospital and I would believe that if it's true. I don't care one way or the other. People need that kind of help and I'm glad it's available to them when they go. Even though I hope I don't have to go back, I have some very good memories and feelings associated with my time there. I was extremely fortunate to have gone when I did or my children may not have a mother today. I think that's one reason my friend opened up to me, she tries to act like she's fine, but I can tell she's very unfine and that concerns me. I think we had a breakthrough of sorts today. I got home, took out a game we have, and all of a sudden I had all sorts of new art ideas. I spent some time Googling different things. I'm glad I didn't buy those things for my bathroom because I may want to do something different. I've been into the color pink lately and was thinking that I could do pink and black in my bathroom instead of black and red which seems too harsh first thing in the morning.
I wanted to do something fun and interesting in there. The only painting I have is small, I have a picture in my bedroom that I really like and I'm glad I kept it even though I almost got rid of it when I moved. I'm still sad that I got rid of that orchid book I bought for my friend. That was a move I regret because that vision was neat and now I can see how refusing to spend the money on beauty was silly of me. I'm always impressed with people who are in touch with their feminine side whether they are male, or female. I like flowers, but I tend to like them more when they're attached to plants. Picking them seems wrong to me and I may try and get at what's behind that someday. Sometimes I listen to love songs, but they always seem abstract to me, I can't really attach people to them which is strange to me because sometimes there are people in my life who have music I associate with them. If it's music I've heard or associate with baseball I can connect that with a ball leaving the park, or other event, but I can't listen to that music and say, I feel love for someone in my life when I listen to it. Then I wonder about my friend who tells me that she can do that. Is this a mystical super power, or are we just two different people?
My friend jokes about The Romance Coach idea, but I'm beginning to take the idea very seriously because I think I could really use a person like that in my life. She's saying that the things this guy is doing are abnormal, and they make perfect sense to me so that's got me thinking, if I would do what he does, and have, does that mean I'm also abnormal? She's led a sheltered life, but I've also had enough conversations with other women to know that they see the world of men very differently than I do. Maybe this is just me, but I don't understand how women can walk around and not be curious. They're surprised that I'm looking and I'm surprised that they're not. Maybe it's because I tend to start at the ground level and work my way up instead of starting at the top and working my way down, but I have no idea how some women can just skip over the area below the belt buckle without analyzing or contemplating because this is one of the most fabulous things about being a woman in my opinion. This is where power comes from, it's exciting, intriguing, erotic, and I've never understood why women complain when men make adjustments unless he's the arrogant asshole or creeper type.
I know that there are women, and probably some men, who don't enjoy giving head, I'm not here to try and convert anyone, but this is another thing I don't get because this is one of the few times when you have someone totally under your power if that's what you want. I'm not into domination and submission, I am into making others feel as good as I do and oral sex is just another way to say - hey, I love you, let me do something really nice for both of us. It's convenient when you don't have time to get down and dirty the way you'd really like, I personally get very turned on doing this for others, mostly because of his reaction and feedback which I really appreciate. Getting it depends on who is doing the giving. I've had guys who are incredible and those who couldn't seem to figure it out no matter what I did to try and explain or demonstrate it to them. I think that's because in the past I was after different things than I am now. I like to divide people up into givers, and takers. I prefer the givers. One of the cues I look for is to see if someone can anticipate what someone else may want or need. I automatically give those guys higher marks than others because if you can serve someone out of bed, you should have very little trouble in it.
I think that's why I was bothered when one of the women I work with was telling my friend that her husband doesn't get her hints. I finally told her that it doesn't sound like he's the type who can pick up on subtle clues and she might have better luck if she starts spelling things out for him since this current style of communication doesn't appear to be working very well. I think a lot of women go through what I did, you hear that you can get pregnant and you can pick up all sorts of nastiness from someone else, they don't teach you how to talk to someone else about what you need and you aren't encouraged to try and communicate if you're dissatisfied. You have no education on what an orgasm is supposed to feel like, nobody explains the difference between natural moisture of a mucous membrane and signs of sexual arousal, I have these types of conversations with my daughters because I think they should be able to tell a guy when he's manhandling their breast without feeling like they did something wrong for owning female equipment. The mechanics of sex aren't terribly complicated, the nuances are endlessly fascinating to me and I wish sexual education covered more of what sex can be rather than just covering how terrible you are if you want it.
Another thing that bothers me is how friends of mine will make comments like - all men are pigs, or - all the good ones are taken, or - I don't know how so and so can get a boyfriend when I'm single, or - all they want is sex. Sometimes I joke around with my guy friends and pretend to put down men, but in general I think I have a lot of respect for most men, and probably more than I do for most women. I think a lot of men are scared, confused, and want to be loving partners without being subjected to tired stereotypes. Some men are pigs, many of the good ones are taken, lots of people have girlfriends and boyfriends, and if you don't maybe the problem is you and not them, and I personally hope that men want sex because I'm in trouble if they don't. Now I'm resorting to something of a stereotype, but sometimes I feel like I work with a lot of women and gay men, and I can't always tell if women are just being friendly, or they want something more than just frienship from me. For a while we had a cashier who was so incredibly in touch with herself, it was just beautiful. She was gorgeous, at least I thought she was, she was my friend that would talk about things like this with me and I really miss her now that she's gone.
I don't like it when people can't get out of the victim role. I did that in the past because I didn't see how my limiting beliefs were holding me back, boy am I glad I figured some of those insecurities out which isn't to say that I don't still have a few of my own. Half of these people can't seem to tell the difference between people who are friendly and people who are flirting. That's another thing I don't get. My friend's mom told her that this guy was probably just interested in her as a friend, she's never met the guy, he's exhibited what I would call classic signs of being interested, she friend zoned him after a woman we work with told him that she had a crush on him, but sure, he just wanted to be her friend. Give me a break. I've been friend zoned and I've had guys friend zone themselves, but rarely have I come across people who are that clueless when it comes to romantic relationships. Even with my friends, and I get that others may not have these types of conversations, but we talk about sex even if we both know it's never going to happen. I have boundaries, and I'll go pretty far as long as everything is theoretical and not complicated by untidy emotions.
There are male friends of mine who never hear those kinds of conversations because I know that they like me and want to go out with me, what I say and who I say it to depends on who I'm talking to and what sort of a relationship we have. It doesn't really have anything to do with the topic of conversation, it has everything to do with his response or how he brings up the subject. I once had a friend make a blowjob comment that hit me the wrong way and I've never talked about sex with him since. He crossed a line and it wasn't the sex act itself, it was his attitude that I didn't like. I have people who ask me why I don't go out with him, all I can say is I know it wouldn't work. He's super romantic, I'm not. There are other pretty major differences, we're friends. I'd even call us close to a certain extent, we rely on each other for rides when our vehicles are in the shop, he drinks way more than I'm comfortable with, I don't care for his friends, there's too much in the way even if I typically have a lot of fun with him when we do go out which is about 3 or 4 times a year. He's a boob guy, those comments are fine because I know he's not talking about me in particular, I have a line and whenever he crosses it or gets close I shut down that conversation.
My therapist doesn't think that men and women can be friends, but I disagree. If people don't understand where the line is, I won't go there with them. I'm not here to get people off for free, if I'm talking sex with you it's because we've gotten to a point where we've defined the relationship and I'm confident and comfortable with where we're at with each other. I once had someone laugh pretty hard because I said that the people I talk about sex with are never the people getting it from me, I don't know what she thought that was so funny, but she had tears coming out of her eyes after I said that. We were sitting outside on her porch, she told me her husband had told her something about me and she said I was the type of woman who could handle a compliment about that particular part of my body without freaking out and thinking that he wanted to sleep with me. She's very open and direct and I really like that about her. She has a great sex life even if I would never do even half of what she and her husband do, I'm just not into the super kinky stuff and I'm totally fine with that. I like the mental part of it which is why I always fall so hard for the phenomenal flirts. 90% of it takes place in my head until we're actually in bed, or some other private place, together.
I've now stayed up much later than I had intended, I was tired at 6:30 and now I'm wishing I had gone to bed much earlier, but I'm glad I was there for a friend who needed me.
Until next time,