Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Daily Prompt: I Can’t Stay Mad at You

Do you hold grudges, or do you believe in forgive and forget?

forgiveness destroying heart

 

I don’t fit under either of the two cute little categories that WP decided on when they put out today’s Daily Prompt.  I bet most of you don’t either.  Rarely can we apply ourselves, as humans, toward reacting in the very same way to a specific comment or act, or even an unspecific comment or act.  So much of how we react depends upon the person in question, and also, if the act was perpetrated against us, or another person.  Because of this, I’m going to focus on one person for the purposes of this post.

Growing up, I saw very little of my father, the one I refer to on this blog as “Dad.”  My biological father.  I think he tried the best he could to love me when I was young, but he wasn’t able to be consistent.  You really must be consistent with young children, especially if you are a parent.  So, not showing up to pick me up for the weekend, cancelling plans at the last minute, not remembering my birthday, being passed out drunk when my sister and I were over for Christmas (just tiny little kids, at that).  Thirty-two years later, I have forgiven him for all of that.  The anger and the hurt and the even sometimes, hatred, fell away when I realized that, by being angry with him, by holding that grudge, I wasn’t allowing myself to move forward.

So I forgave, I found compassion.  But I didn’t forget.  Thinking about those times still makes me sick to my stomach, and even now, when he is running a few minutes late, I’m convinced he’s not coming.  So no, never forget.  But I forgive…over and over and over.  So much that others in my life question why I do.  He became much better about things around ten years ago when he married my stepmother, but he has regular lapses in the behavior you would expect from a father.

He acts like an ass, he says something judgmental, it appears that he does not have the feelings and emotions of a human being.  All those years of hurt come back, and I feel like I’m six years old again, looking out the living room window for the car that would never show up.  I don’t hold a grudge, but there’s a big part of my heart that remembers, can’t forget.

I realized not long ago, that sometimes I will have to tell my dad how to act.  For years, he would never call, but I would check in with him a few times a week.  I finally told him how much this bothered me, that he could never be bothered to give me a ring and I felt like I was doing all the legwork in this relationship.  As Dad often gets, he was baffled.  Had no idea.

I’m telling you, Dad does not have the normal emotional make-up of a human being.  He can be very distant and he goes through phases where it seems like he’d just as soon throw you in front of traffic than give you a hug or talk about the weather.  And maybe it’s this lack of humanity in him that makes me forgive him over and over.  I truly believe it’s possible that he just can’t help it.  His love, however inadequate at times, is the best it is ever going to be.  His follow-through sucks sometimes, but it’s getting better.

I think his wife helps him with that a lot.  Actually, I know  she does.  I don’t know how many times he has acted truly cruel, and then called back an hour later to say he has talked it over with his wife, and realizes now that he was very wrong.  She’s good for him, keeping him honest and accountable.  I don’t know if I’ve ever thanked her for that, for making my dad a better man, but I should.

After this last rough patch, we hand lunch today.  It went really well.  He was in a good mood and was chatty and told me how great I looked and how proud he is of me for all I am doing with work and taking care of DSB, and that’s how it should be.  It isn’t always, and I had to go a one month span without seeing him seemingly to prove a point, but we’re back on course again.  All is forgiven.  Again.

So DSB and the Queen and all my other supporters out there can keep shaking their head, knowing it’s only a matter of time until the next go-round.  Me, I’m going to embrace the fact that he’s my dad and he’s still on the planet and I’m going to keep forgiving every dumb thing he does.  Because I truly do think he’s oblivious, and I truly do believe he’s sorry when he hurts my feelings.

quote-forgiveness-is-a-promise-not-a-feeling-when-you-forgive-other-people

 

Nicotine-Craving-Induced Blah Blah Blah — Beware

I finally convinced DSB to go to Thanksgiving today.  In direct defiance of some of the posts I have written, I flat-out begged.  It was just too important for him to be there, to me.  He went and didn’t have a bad time, but said he paid particular attention to the way my family treats each other and saw things he didn’t like.

My mom being bossed around by me and my sisters.  My mom’s advice being discounted and thrown away.  My stepdad making fun of the way Mom looked.  The lack of help in the kitchen department from my stepdad and myself.  The demand that the Big Dawg be the first to eat.

All true.  All shamefully true, and if I could have it back, I would do it differently.  My brain is operating on a funny wavelength, born out of nicotine withdrawal and the disappearance of my steady comfort and escape route, my forays out into the cold to smoke “real quick.”  I didn’t have any such breaks today, save for one, when I went and puffed on my e-cig while DSB smoked a “real” cigarette.

I didn’t have anything to hide behind and it was painful.  I wanted to do more but felt tied to my chair, sitting on my hands.  I wanted to give more, but I didn’t feel anything within me to give.  I was spent and the entire day went that way.

My sister and her husband ended up staying a good while into the evening; whereas, I hauled ass about an hour after dinner was done.  I couldn’t wait to get home and watch a  Grimm marathon and maybe eat a little pie and be in a place where I didn’t have to pretend so much.  And then DSB and I started fighting.

And we fought and we fought.  And he threatened to leave and I threatened to kick him out and it was altogether horrible.  I don’t know that we have mended that fence yet, but no one is leaving.  As of yet.  DSB has little tolerance for my nicotine-deprived moodiness and I have little tolerance for his holier than thou approach to the holidays.  It is an ugly time of year for us.

For the past few days, things have been sliding downhill with DSB.  We have argued more than we have said kind things, and it is wearing on me.  I know it is wearing on him, too.  I know it is the quitting smoking, and even how that has affected him.  I asked him to smoke outside and it is quite cold out.  He doesn’t feel he should have to do that and, really, I feel bad asking him to.

We made an arrangement today that the only place in the house where people can smoke is the dining room, where there are many windows that can be opened, a ceiling fan, and a lot of space.  I think this will work out well, too, for when QoB comes over because this is generally where we will hang out and then I won’t have to ask her to smoke outside, too.

I didn’t think this was going to be that complicated.  I was just going to quit and that was going to be that.  This hasn’t been just that and I am constantly revamping how I am doing things, hopefully for the better.  I am just ready to be rid of cigarettes for good and I can’t stand smoking one anymore.  I know this because I tried.  And no, I’m not resetting my quit counter for a couple puffs of a cigarette, although the Cig Nazis in my support forum would say I should.  I’m just not, and that’s that.

I know all of these posts lately have been about cigarettes and I do hope I’m not boring my three readers to death with all of this, but it is important to me and this blog is, like I’ve said a million times, for my benefit.  If I wanted to blog about the migration pattern of flamingos (which is actually quite interesting) for the next decade, then I will.

I hope DSB and I can come through this and be okay.  I hope I haven’t offended my mom too much with being the apparent brat that I was today, and I do hope I’ll get to see my sister again before she pops out that baby.  I love her to death, but am always just so uncomfortable around her, to the point that it is painful.  And now she is doing something I can’t do, having a baby, and it almost kills me inside to see her round happy belly.

Don’t get me wrong, because I am  happy for my sister and her husband and my soon-to-be nephew, but I can’t say it doesn’t hurt that this will never happen to me.  And I’ve accepted that as a part of my life.  I had to or it would have killed me.  Literally.

Oh the tremendous emotions I am rolling on today.  I have been up since 4:00 a.m., hoping to end the fight that got started last night with DSB, and have been up and alert ever since, just hoping for some peace.  He went to bed really early and I’m left to wander around and to my own devices.  I have ordered two books from the library, so maybe it’s time to just go snuggle in bed and read a good book.

Three days, 10 hours, 24 minutes and 5 seconds. 206 cigarettes not smoked, saving $26.16. Life saved: 17 hours, 10 minutes.

Everything Changes

Things sure are a lot different than they were one year ago, six months ago, three months ago, one month ago.  Mostly different in good ways, although I suppose there are some drawbacks (which I can’t think of right now, so maybe not).  Timing is funny sometimes.  I received an email from an online friend telling me that “inquiring minds want to know!” and my therapist told me today that I needed to blog again.  I’m sure it’s also something that QoB has also been wanting to say.  So, here I am, all bright and shiny and scrubbed up, ready to put myself back out there.

I seem to have this fear of being happy, having been unhappy for so many long periods in my life.  I am trying this out, this new life that hard work and luck and self-realization and mindfulness has brought to me.  It worries me when I feel good.  I think I might be getting manic, and the bottom will fall out.  I worry about that every day.  Every day, there is a part of me that thinks, “Maybe this is all a fluke and the shit is getting ready to fly.”  It is very difficult to get away from this way of thinking.  I am working on it, and part of that is all of the work I have been doing on self-acceptance lately.

Does self-acceptance come from self-love or does self-love come from self-acceptance?  It’s complicated, all twisted together.  I have been treating myself increasingly better each day since Dr. Love left for greener pastures in February.  At first I was angry, shocked, lost, upset.  I took every phone call or text message as a sign we might get back together.  Over time, I realized that I really didn’t want to get back together, wasn’t sure I even wanted to talk to him anymore, and it was a relief that those two and a half years were over.  Such a relief.

That sense of relief has increased even more in the past month or so.  Moving up North has been the best thing for me.  I love my new house and am working on making it mine.  Are there things I want to still do?  Of course, but that is what I am hoping will keep me going this winter…projects.  I always do better when I have a mission.  Living closer to family and friends has made things easier to access people who love me and care about me, and has made me feel like less of a visitor in my own life, if that makes any sense.  I feel like I am at homeHere in my house, in my heart, deep down inside, I am home.  It is a comforting feeling and, when I look back upon past years of my life, I think that is what I have been looking for all along.  To feel at home within myself.

I have been able to go to therapy less often lately.  I am now down to every three weeks and it is very manageable.  The really great thing is that I have a therapist that would find time for me in a quick second if things started feeling bad, or if I just needed to talk something through.  I feel intensely grateful for this.  Intensely grateful that this person is a part of my life.

I saw QoB today and it really hit me how much she means to me.  Sometimes I can take her for granted, or be dismissive in my own head.  But she is always always always there for me, whatever it is.  She takes care of me when I need it, and lets me do my thing when that is what needs to happen.  She is never anything but loving and she is also my best friend.  I don’t think that is weird, to have your mom be your best friend.  We do it in a healthy way and I think that, more than anything, she is the person who has helped me come to where I am.  I think we count on each other for certain things and I think that’s ok.  It has taken a long time for me to realize that.  I am glad I have finally come around.  People on the outside don’t get it, but we make it work.

I have all of this peace and love inside me, and I feel like I am a dramatically more friendly person than I was even one year ago.  I get along better with people at work, always have a smile for people, and do my best to always be positive with the staff and offenders I work with at the facility.  I think overall I feel like I am a “good person,” whatever that means.  I genuinely care about other people and I think that can be a unique thing after working for over ten years in a helping field.  There is negativity all around, and I try to just let it fall down around me.  Sure, it bothers me, but I can’t let all of the BS drag me down into the mire.  Sometimes I find that I need to take what most everyone says with a grain of salt and just use the parts that apply to me that are healthy and sane.  Sometimes not much is left, once you take out the unhealthy and the crazy, but some sweet pearls of wisdom are still out there to be had and I sift through sand to find them.

Bruce Springsteen, Secret Garden

 

 

Ooey-Gooey Delicious Vacationess

That’s right, I am off work for the next FIVE days.  I would say that I hardly know what to do with all of that time, but you’d better believe, I’ve got big plans.  Today it’s the dentist, grooming for the Kizz, and haircut for me.  Add a trip to Sam’s for the shop and it’s a day.  Saturday is my nephew’s birthday party, and I’m gonna have to get out and buy that huge, super-powered water gun so I can follow the tradition of the marshmallow gun that I gave him for Christmas.  Bet his parents just LOVE me.

Things in RosieSmrtiePants-land have been getting steadily better.  It seems that my headaches are getting figured out.  Tooth pain = massive headaches.  I also think that all of the work stress makes it even worse, hence the vacation.  I need to recoup and relax for awhile.  I haven’t taken any time off for over a year, where I wasn’t either sick or going to the doctor.  It’s gonna be NICE.  Too bad the weather doesn’t look like it’s going to cooperate very well, but I have plenty of “inside” things to do.

I’m still taking Cymbalta regularly and I really think that makes a lot of the difference.  I have been able to steadily decrease my Klonopin dose and am now only taking 1mg at night.  There for awhile, I was having to take a little bit PRN, and I so HATE doing that.  Yes, it makes me feel better, but I don’t want to end up addicted.  Which is really altogether ridiculous, considering how little I take and how infrequently I take a PRN.  Sometimes it’s just the thought of…aghhh, one more pill to take.  Anyone who takes meds reguarly can relate to that, I do believe.

This past weekend was lovely, minus the severe weather.  We had QoB and Big Dog’s 25th anniversary party and it was a smashing success.  I think everyone had a great time and the best couple I have ever had the pleasure of knowing enjoyed themselves, as well.  It was really great to see people that we haven’t seen in quite some time, but was not so fun to drive 70mph trying to out-run a storm.  Let’s just say that I had such a hard time doing so, because I was taught to drive sloooowwwly out at the lake, that someone had to hop in my car at a stop sign and tell me to “put yer foot on it, girl!!”  Good times…I am probably going to be teased about that for the rest of my natural life.  Someone might even bring it up at my funeral 70 years from now…that’s how hilarious everyone thought it was, after the danger had passed, of course!

I went back to church last Sunday for the first time since the week before Easter.  I have been avoiding it like the plague, mostly due to headaches, social phobia, and my stalker.  I am really glad I went back, and realized that I had sooo missed it.  I just feel so clean and hopeful and fresh after I go.  Like maybe all my sins have been washed away (at least temporarily).  Hmmm…I think that is why a lot of people go to church…for the minty fresh feeling.  🙂

After church, I went and visited my Grandma for the first time since Christmas.  That is a relationship that I have historically had a really hard time with.  When Grandpa died, I spent a lot of time being angry that it wasn’t Grandma that died and my Grandpa was still here.  I held onto that idea, taking every misstep and bit of obnoxiousness from my Grandma as adding fuel to that particular fire.  I have really been praying for patience and forgiveness and understanding, and am hoping that I am getting over that hump.  Realizing that Grandma is in her last few months of life made me wake up.  We had a really good visit and it was like being around the Grandma that baked cookies with us, although I remember her more as related to Grandpa, as it seems like my sister was always with my Grandma and I was always with Grandpa.  But, she was like the old Grandma.  No, not down on her knees scrubbing the kitchen floor three times a day, but the Grandma that cared and wasn’t hateful.  Not like the Grandma that always said, “Your grandpa loves you,” without telling me that she loved me, too.  I am really coming to a point that I realized that she did the best she could with the emotional intelligence that she had gained (and lost) over her years.  I am grateful to God for giving me a good visit with Grandma, because she does have many bad days and I could have very easily come to her on one of those days where she wasn’t talking.  She has pretty much stopped eating and drinking, and hospice has been called in.  At least now I can say that I am making an effort to have her in my life, instead of really blocking her out.

On a more uplifting note, please do enjoy  Three Little Birds by Bob Marley.  This is my theme song for my vacation.  🙂

Permission to Abort Operation Anxiety

Today has been a week of realizing and, eventually, accepting that my general anxiety level has risen to ridiculous levels over the past few weeks.  For a little while, around the time that Sondra started getting sick I started having a lot of problems with depression — lack of motivation, feelings of hopelessness, extreme sadness, problems with food/eating, extreme moodiness and irritation, so on and so on.  Of course I couldn’t just accept it as that, as some situational issues going on — I had to wallow and moan about how life was just so AWFUL. 

As that depression started to lift, my anxiety became more noticeable, at least to other people.  To Dr. Love, especially, because he’s the one who has to deal with my not-exactly-rare erratic behavior day in and day out.  I’m not proud or happy to say that I really get bossy, controlling, and mean with him when I’m anxious.  I work all day long and, if I come home and there are a couple of dishes in the sink, or some project isn’t done, I’ll go off.  If it isn’t apparent to me that he’s been busy all day doing different things, I get irrational. 

Little things set me off.  I have an obsession/compulsion about the bed being made, in EXACTLY the “right” way, all of the dishes being done and put away, the kitchen being spotless, clothes put away in closets in dressers, the living room devoid of clutter.  When I’m in my right mind, and even sometimes when I’m in the moment, I know that all of these little things aren’t super-important in the grand scheme of life, and I’m usually a little bit (sometimes a lot) embarrassed by the time I’m done throwing my temper tantrum. 

And sometimes I’ll just come home in a mood and I will sit and pick things to death.  It can get really obscene sometimes — I will sit and obsess about Dr. Love possibly leaving me or not loving me or not being attracted to me and it is a very slippery slope in my mind until it is to the point that I’m asking him ridiculous questions like, “Do you ever think about breaking up with me?”  This really pisses him off to no end and he really doesn’t like it when I go on and on about how his parents hate me, especially when I go into such detail about certain instances that I am SURE prove just how much they dislike me.  He usually ends up walking away when I start really getting into this “no one loves me, everyone is going to leave me, everyone hates me” topic matter, just because he can’t deal with how irrational I am being.  I can’t really blame him, although it really REALLY pisses me off at the time.  The problem is that, in that very moment, he can’t stop my bad behavior.  Only I can. 

Basically, my anxiety can lead to some very intense moments and I consider myself extremely lucky that Dr. Love takes these situations and generally turns them around, not getting angry or holding a grudge.  He’s really good about trying to make me laugh and get my mind off things by acting silly or distracting me with something else.  Unfortunately, there have been many days where nothing can snap me out of it.

As I said, I have been thinking a lot the past week about my ridiculous anxiety level and have decided that I really need to do something pro-active about it.  I had therapy with Goddess of Mindfulness today and we talked about what I could do to feel less anxious.  I pinpointed that my anxiety really gets ramped up after I get off work and this is when I’m most likely to go home and blow up.

During times of less anxiety, I spent a lot of time sitting on my back porch, meditating and doing mindfulness exercises.  I don’t do that anymore.  At all.  During that time, I also cooked a healthy dinner almost every night, whereas most nights now it’s just whatever I can microwave.  I’m tired of coming home from work, getting pissed off at Dr. Love, yelling at him, then eating something out of the microwave and watching TV for the rest of the night to block out (usually ineffective) how anxious I am feeling.  It’s no wonder I don’t sleep well, when I’ve been revved all evening.

As a response to fear about losing Dr. Love, I have it in my head that we have to spend every second together and I realize now that is not the case.  Dr. Love gets his “me” time while I am at work, and I come home to him every night and weekend, never having even a moment where he’s not around.  This is completely not his fault, but mine. 

I don’t take any time to meditate, practice mindfulness, cook, exercise, paint my toenails, or anything else that would make me feel good.  I’m (wrongly) driven to sit by his side, even if we’re not doing anything and are just staring at the TV together (which doesn’t usually happen because he gets tired of watching). 

I talked with him about it last night and he agrees that I need to be taking time out to do things for myself to feel better, to feel good.  When I talked with Goddess of Mindfulness about it this morning, she suggested that I need to find a way to relax at the end of the day.  When I was doing my best, I was in a routine of coming home, going for a walk, cooking dinner, and then maybe watching about an hour of TV or spending some time on the computer. 

When I come home now, my anxiety is at an unreal level and I’m so overwhelmed.  GoM suggested that, as soon as I get home, I go sit out on the porch and listen to some mindfulness exercises on CD.  She gave me a few suggestions of ones to try out and a workbook also that may be helpful.  I’m going to Amazon later tonight and will give them a try and report back, if they’re any good. 

My hope is that, with beginning to relax myself through meditation and mindfulness the moment I get home, I will have a less anxious evening and will be more amenable to cooking, exercising, blogging, LIVING.  Fingers crossed.

So this song is repetitive, but the lyrics (comments) get stuck in my head and I’m always singing it to Dr. Love.  Enjoy. 

Plain White T’s, 1 2 3 4

Brain Dump

For the final 118 minutes of today, Saturday, the 27th of December, year of our Lord 2008, I am going to not care about what anyone thinks of me.  I have spent far too much time today consumed by it.  I am also not going to worry about that which I cannot change, which I spend hour upon hour obsessing about, on a daily basis. 

I have never been diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder.  Have I, at times, often even, felt unbearably-crawling-out-of-my-skin anxious?  Hell yes.  I’m trying not to work myself up to that point right at this very moment.  It has been explained to me that these feelings of anxiety are merely a symptom of PTSD, that the racing thoughts and obsessive thinking are only signs of my bipolar disorder.  That’s fine.  I don’t want another label.  Spare me. 

I have been given tools through DBT that enable me to work through my anxiety, to live with lower levels of it.  I distract myself with music, blogging, reading, talking on the phone, cleaning.  I self-soothe by taking a shower, painting my toenails, eating something I don’t eat often, playing with my hair, petting my dog. 

When I can’t distract or self-soothe my way out of it, I problem-solve.  What can I do to remedy the situation that has me obsessively thinking thinking THINKING?  In general, I end up calling the source of my anxiety (if the source is a person) and apologizing or clarifying something I had said earlier.  I spend entirely too much time thinking that I have said something wrong, done something wrong, made someone mad.

The funny thing is that I behave as if I don’t care what anyone thinks.  I say what I’m thinking, always.  To a fault.  I put this blog address up on Facebook and invite every soul I went to high school with into my brain.  At work, I don’t feel the need to really censor myself, although I generally tone down my personality a bit.  People at work think I’m “bubbly.”  That word was actually said.  By more than one person.  Oh, and “friendly.”  People at my old job thought I was a hardass bitch.  As QoB points out, funny that when I hated my job, people disliked me and now that I like my job, people seem to really like me.

But I would like to think that something at my core has changed.  That I have become a friendlier, less crazy-ex-girlfriend, more mellow person.  I know that I feel like a friendlier, less crazy person. 

Something that I have discovered about myself recently is that I am bitterly judgemental.  Mostly of myself, sometimes of other people.  Sometimes I shock myself by the thoughts I have when I say them out loud.  Then, I look around to make sure nobody heard.  Kind of like when Grandma calls the waitstaff at the nursing home “colored” and you glance around to make sure nobody noticed. 

All of this poison, mostly self-directed, in my head can’t be good for me.  For awhile, I was doing a pretty good job at releasing it, but now it’s as if my aura is blocked and I am turning purple.  That may sound stupid to some people, sometimes it sounds stupid to me, but it’s something I believe.  So here I am, on my blog, releasing my poison, so that I can go back to that pleasant fuzzy peach color that hints at sunshine or even the cool, calm seafoam green that I painted all over my bathroom walls.

This is what I have been missing.  The dumping grounds for my mind.  This post may not make much sense, but it sure made me feel better.  It’s good to be home.

I don’t blog about it much, or ever, but I feel a spiritual connection with someone higher through music.  The YouTube for today makes me feel clean again, after I have rolled around in the grime of my mind all day.

Alison Krauss, Down to the River to Pray

The Bitch Inside of Me

When Curly Fat started at the agency, I judged her based upon a few short conversations.  I got my panties in a bunch because she pointed out my short-comings with eating and smoking.  I wanted her to mind her own business and just work.  I also judged her, what with her tongue ring and love of tattooed men. 

This pretty much my M.O. whenever I meet someone new.  I see everything negative about the person, and don’t take the time to get to know them.  In a snap judgement, I dismissed CF as someone that I did not want to get to know or even speak to.  It was the bitch inside of me talking. 

This doesn’t happen very often, and I certainly have thought twice about putting it in writing, but I WAS WRONG.  After my vow to be nicer and not shut people out, I gave CF another chance.  I started to actually talk to her, to get to know her, to not just be the bitch that I usually am. 

This actually made sense, because most people do not like me when they first meet me (“you were scary” or “you’re intimidating” or “you were rude,” etc.).  I hate that and here I was doing the same thing to CF, not really giving her a chance. 

So after a few days of careful work-related conversations, I decided that possibly I was wrong.  CF is SMART and she just KNOWS shit that no one else seems to know.  She is an excellent judge of character and she is just TOUGH.  There is nothing I enjoy more than someone who is like me.  🙂

As a preface to what I am about to say, I should explain —

I am all about the job-match, not just placing someone anywhere for the sake of them being employed.  Because, really, that’s what we’re supposed to do…it exponentially increases the chances that someone will stay at a job long-term and that’s what this is really all about. 

That, and knowing that your client is HAPPY and EXCITED to go to work, not dreading every minute of it or being in a job that they don’t understand how to do or that makes them anxious.

That’s what makes you feel like you’ve done something awesome, and it lets me sleep at night, knowing that I’ve done the right thing, instead of playing the numbers game that my agency plays. 

Back to CF…

She was in the office yesterday when I was meeting with one of my drug-addicted felons, who was expressing extreme discouragement with her job search.  We have been working at placing her somewhere where she can use her exceptional artistic abilities, because that’s what she really wants to do, but she informed me that she is really desperate for a job and thinks she should go work fast-food, the last-ditch job of anyone looking for employment. 

Instead of giving in like ALL of my co-workers would have done and helping her get a job at McDonald’s, I talked with her about her other strengths and barriers to employment, hoping that we would discover something that would be a good JOB MATCH, and not just find a job for the sake of having one. 

Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand a client’s (and a case manager’s) desire to be employed immediately, but that is not my job and that’s not how it is supposed to work.  I am basically the only one on the team that sees it that way.  The agency plays the numbers game and it’s all about how many jobs you get your clients and what your employment percentage is.  It’s not about doing what is best for the client — for them to find happiness and fulfillment in a job. 

This, of course, makes me somewhat unpopular among my colleagues.  My attitude is that they can sit on it. 

I digress.  After my appointment with my drug-addicted felon, CF began talking to me about federal programs that she knew of that she had even USED before that assist exactly this population (drug-addicted felons) and sounded completely awesome.  She said that she would look into it, because these were programs that I had never heard of, and I didn’t know why.

At closing time yesterday, CF came into the office to pick up her briefcase and whatnot.  I was there talking to a case manager and I quickly wrapped up that conversation so I could talk to CF. 

 We ended up talking for over two hours and only left when we realized that the cleaning crew had already cleaned the entire building and was leaving the building.  It was an awesome conversation and I think that my clients are really going to benefit from the partnership that CF and I plan on developing. 

There ARE federal programs out there to help my drug-addicted felons…they are just not being used for whatever reason.  CF and I are going to get to the bottom of it and start placing people in good job matches like crazy.  I’m pretty excited.

Watch out Barbie…two superstars are on the rise and your parking-lot attendant positions that you job develop with your big boobs and long blonde hair will look like shit once we start placing people in the best job matches THIS TEAM HAS EVER SEEN. 

By the way, I’m changing Curly Fat’s name to Curly Snap, because that’s how I feel when I’m talking to her…

“Hey girl.  You go girl.  Snap snap snap!”

Dear Grandma

I don’t know what to say to you that will make you feel better, and that hurts me.  I feel like I have all of this training and useless knowledge about how to help someone who is depressed, and it doesn’t apply.  I feel like there is more I should be doing, and I know there is. 

I don’t come visit, because I can’t stand to look at you.  I am afraid I will cry in front of you and scare you.  I am afraid I will say the wrong thing.  I am afraid to see you because I saw Grandpa the day before he died and if I come see you, you might die too. 

I know you are giving up.  You offered one of your most prized possessions to me — Sparky’s duck toy that Kizzie loves so much.  I know you would never give that away if you were still going to try and get better. 

Every time I talk to you, I try hard to sound as if things are normal, as if life is going on and everything is great.  I talk about the mundane events in my life like they are exciting.  I don’t know if this makes you feel better, but it makes me feel like I am giving you something. 

I know I wasn’t always nice to you growing up, and it is painful for me to remember.  I know that I can’t change what I have done or said, and I don’t remember doing anything particularly atrocious, but I know that I have hurt your feelings more than once.  For that, I am sorry.  I wish I could take it back, but I can’t. 

Most vividly, I remember when I was in grade school or maybe junior high and it was the evening of a Halloween party I was going to at Sara H.’s house.  I don’t remember what I said to you, but I know I said something that made you cry.  At the time, my only worry was DH finding out and yelling at me.  I am sorry for making you cry.

When you moved into the assisted living, I did my best to avoid you.  It seemed like we had nothing to say to each other and I didn’t want to deal with you, living like you were.  It seemed as if you went from super-human, making cookies and cinnamon rolls and scrubbing the floor on your hands and knees, to using a walker and not being able to drink liquids or eat without choking.  I didn’t understand and I didn’t want to. 

Over time, I accepted that you were older, and then Grandpa moved in across the street.  That made it easier to visit you, because for some reason I always wanted to see Grandpa.  He made me feel good and he did all the talking.  That was the difference between you two. 

When I was growing up and up until the day he died, you always threw into conversation, “You know your Grandpa loves you.”  Mom always thought that was your way of telling me that you loved me too.  It wasn’t until after Grandpa had been gone awhile that you told me that YOU loved me.  Sometimes you still lapse and talk about how much Grandpa loved me. 

I know that when you die, I am going to feel guilty that I didn’t visit more often, didn’t make more of an effort, ignored you, failed you, made you cry, didn’t pay attention to your feelings.  This may not be how you perceive it, but I feel like our relationship has always been strained…that only Grandpa loved me and you were second in line. 

I am not going to be able to bring myself to give you this letter, namely because I know it would upset you.  I am posting it because I want other people to know that it is okay to be angry or feel guilty or feel unloved.  It is okay to have a hard time interacting with someone who has given up on life and is waiting to die.  I have to think it is okay, or I couldn’t bear the guilt, so it must be okay. 

I don’t want to lose all touch with reality when you go.  I want to remember the few good memories I have with you, and not dwell on the fact that I wish Grandpa were still around instead of you.  I know that is a horrible thing to say, but it is true.  I don’t feel like you really love me and I don’t really think you are capable of making me feel so.  Deep down I am sure that you do.  It is most likely even your belief that you make me feel loved.  But you can’t.  That is not your fault.  It is who you are. 

And I am who I am.  That is why I am writing this letter to you today.  To tell you I’m sorry I can’t make you feel better, to express regret over things I shouldn’t have said or things I should have done, to tell you I’m sorry that I don’t visit more often, that I have pushed you to the back of my mind for years. 

Mom said it gets easier to accept aging and dying as one gets older.  Unfortunately I do not think I will have that luxury in your case.  I am not wishing for you to die…I wish for you to feel happy, to remember a good time, to have a moment of clarity and know you are loved by many. 

 And no, Grandma, you’re not bothering me.  Keep calling. 

 Love

Rose

Making Amends

I spent most of Tuesday evening with my panties in a bunch, thinking about how irritated I was with Curly Fat.  I don’t enjoy conflict and the thought of trying to ignore her for, um, I dunno, the rest of the time I work at the agency seemed overwhelming.

After giving it a great deal of thought, I decided to confront her on Wednesday.  She told me that she hasn’t been feeling well lately and that she has been grouchy.  I told her that she was pissing me off.  She apologized and I decided to give her another chance.  Because I’m NICE. 

I also had a nice chat with Veggie yesterday.  I was in my office, filing paperwork, and he came to the door.  I said, “What?” which of course was not very nice and friendly.  I didn’t mean it in a bad way, I was just busy.  He, of course, walked away.

I sighed to myself and thought, “Damn, Rose.  Why are you such a bitch?”  So, I went down the hallway to chat with him.  He was really just looking for someone to talk to.  His divorce was finalized a couple of days ago and his ex-wife has been giving him a hard time about visitation, even though Veggie has residential custody. 

So, I listened, nodded my head a lot, and asked questions about what was going on.  We talked for almost 30 minutes and at the end, I really felt bad for him.  He may not be very good at his job, but he is a nice guy and it seems like he is going through a very rough time.  I can relate with personal life spilling into work life, so I am giving him another chance. 

Sometimes it’s just too much work to be constantly irritated with everyone.  What do the alcoholics say?  Live and let live.  A huge slogan/cliche, but I think they have a point.  Holding resentment causes you nothing but an unhappy heart. 

I will strive to be friendlier and more forgiving of others’ actions and words.  I will attempt to be friendly.  I will apologize for any rude behavior on my part (because Lord knows, I can’t just break that habit overnight).  I have become exhausted with being emotionally unavailable and pushing the world away. 

It’s just too much work. 

The Skinny on Curly Fat

Today, I will strive to be productive, as I was a lazy-ass yesterday.  I worked about a half day and then came home and slept because I only had about four hours of sleep the night before.  Of course, this caused me to get up this morning at 3:30, so I will need to not take a nap today and stay up until at least 9:00 to get back on schedule.

I knew that the bball trip would mess up my sleep schedule, and that it would be compounded by the fact that the time changed over the weekend.  At least I’m an expert on sleep and I know how to get myself back on track.

I see Goddess of Mindfulness this weekend and I’m looking forward to it, as I have some important issues to talk about.  Also, just going always makes me feel more in control and like I am actually doing something about the small problems that life brings. 

It seems that I have finally pulled out of my funk (fingers crossed).  I’m pretty sure it has everything to do with a) four days off from work and b) sunshine and warm weather.  I always go through a rough time from about mid-January to early March and then usually snap out of it. 

I know I’m relieved to be feeling better, and I’m sure that Malcom and my family are relieved as well.  I’ve made it through another winter.  YAY!

I was so pissed yesterday, I thought about writing a blog called “Curly Fat Must Die.”  This woman is driving me crazy.  She’s a know-it-all and gives unsolicited advice about things that she shouldn’t even go there with, considering that she barely knows me.  That and she’s a hypocrite. 

She has subtly criticized my weight and smoking habits several times and it came about yesterday that she really went there, which makes no sense considering she probably weighs more than I do and is about a foot shorter and she smokes. 

I briefly said something about quitting smoking, to which she said something about how I always talk about quitting smoking and losing weight but I don’t do anything about it.  I almost slammed her fat ass to the ground lost it, but I collected myself and we had the following short conversation:

Me:  I don’t even know why I talk to you.

CF:  Because I’m the only other person in this office.

I vow to be cordial but never again make conversation or make any reference to anything about my personal life, or ask her anything about her personal life for that matter.  There will be no more, “Hi, how’s it going?” or “Man, I slept like crap last night.”

I will answer any question she has that is work-related in as perfunctory a manner as I can and other than that I will ignore her.  I plan on using the phrase, “That is none of your business” as often as possible. 

Basically, CF is going to receive the silent treatment, because otherwise I might go off my healthy eating plan and eat a bag of Skittles to keep myself from punching her in the face I may just let her know exactly how I feel, and then I might get fired. 

And I don’t want to do that.  Because as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t want to live under the bridge and feed my dog horse meat.