Choosing To Not Give In

It seems that I have had a string of not-so-great days.  It is odd, because my stress should actually be decreasing, instead of skyrocketing.  I now have hot water, a working septic, and central air conditioning…which I hadn’t had for about a month.  Those little “daily tasks” which were made so difficult by lack of those things, have been made much easier, but my mood has begun to plummet into darkish places, and I’m running in place, trying to stop that downward trend.

In other news that should be reducing my stress level, QoB has decided to stay put right where she’s at, no moving hours away, and one would think THAT would make me feel better.  It doesn’t.  To further decrease my stress level, we don’t have to move into a rental, but she is finding a house that we can afford to buy and I have great credit, such to the point that I can get a mortgage in my name.  Her goal is for us to save money from the point we are paying out right now, in the new place, and still own.  So, it sounds perfect, does it not?  It sounds like all of my really big, fat, ugly stress problems should be gone, doesn’t it?

I know.  Shit.  That’s just not the case.  If anything, my anxiety is more pronounced, and I hate to say this, but my mood is going downhill.  Towards depressed, with increasing agitation and annoyance and irritation and flustery-blustery-yuck.  I don’t want to see anyone, talk to anyone, deal with anyone.  I am able to handle LarBear and the dogs, and that’s about it, other than brief interludes here and there.

I have no desire to do anything for the 4th of July, and if I were going to be frank about it, I’d say that, really, actually, I can’t stand the 4th of July.  Everyone drinking, small fires and explosions everywhere, I hate being outside in the dark, heck, I don’t like being away from home when it is dark outside.  I am afraid of the dark, at 34 years old.  The whole holiday seems entirely too much about alcohol and blowing things up and eating picnic food.  No, thanks.  I am officially done pretending that I like anything about the 4th of July celebrations.  I don’t even want a freaking sparkler or those poppers that you throw on the ground.

In trying to pinpoint where this increase in depressive symptoms, anxiety, and irritability comes from, I have made little progress.  I talked about it with my therapist today, and we think it could just be a cute little bipolar cycle.  Ya know, bipolar, making it’s rounds, duck-duck-duck-GOOSE!  The fact that changes are ahead doesn’t help, but at least they are more manageable changes than what they were going to be.  I mean, yes, LB and I will be moving, but the circumstances are better.  Other than that, much else stays the same.

So, like I said at the beginning, a few bad days does not make a bad life, and a few bad days doesn’t even make a bad episode.  I’m a few days away from this being an actual episode, and maybe I can calm it with enough DBT and Klonopin and ice cream, that it keeps from becoming an actual episode.  I certainly hope so.  I think, what is most disappointing to me, is that I almost had myself convinced that I had this disease whupped, as in, permanently, as in recovery = permanence.

I will keep choosing, every minute if necessary, to not have this rule my life:

 

 

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The Biggest Gift I Could Receive from Divorcing Parents

I have been doing better here lately, there is no doubt about that.  Unfortunately, over the last week or so, I have started to do things like, a) not be able to sleep or b) cry uncontrollably for hours on end, and c) deal with suicidal ideation.  The sleep has been better in the past three days and I am hoping it stays that way because that just makes it all the more difficult.

Holiday times have always been important in my immediate family.  There have always been big lunches and dinners and the tallest Christmas tree that can be found and cookie baking and house decorating and prepping recipes and menus for days on end.  I mean, they were huge for us.  This year has been a stark reminder of just how upside-down life is right now.

For one thing, there is no QoB and Big Dawg.  They won’t even talk to each other, nevertheless see each other.  I mean, I guess I should have seen this coming, but they absolutely hate each other, if the words they say are true.  Words that I am pretty sure I don’t want to listen to but end up hearing all the (fucking) time anyway.

I don’t think they understand how devastating that is, to your child, to disparage your soon-to-be ex-husband or ex-wife in front of said child.  No matter that this child is 33 years old and Ab is 32.  There was all this drama in the beginning and then they were both adamant that I be kept out of it.

It is slowly creeping back in.  I understand (not really) that they can’t stand each other, but they both need to keep the shitty remarks, comments, insults, etc out of my face.  And its not one doing it more than the other, although Mom is trying harder not to do it around me.  But as with anything, you inadvertently get either of them on a roll, and it’s all downhill (for me) from there.  No one wants to bash their mom or their dad.  If the parents want to, then they need to call a friend or find a therapist.  Actually, they could both use a therapist at this point, and that is me being generous, because they both really needed one long ago.

So what am I to do?  Well, the correct answer should be — support your parents while they are going through this hard time.  And you know, I can still in a lot of ways, but in some ways I can’t.  At different times, they are so upset that they can’t even be in the same room with me, nevertheless talk with me or even text over the phone.  Ok then, there goes two major supporters.  The two peop;le that have been there for me all my fucking life, now as if they have disappeared off the face of the Earth at times.

And that’s not to say they don’t try, because they do.  But they are both in such a bad place, both so unhappy, angry, anxious, stressed, heartbroken that they aren’t always able to be there and I really do get that.

Frankly, I can’t handle this level of stress in my life.  Even when they keep it to themselves, which is definitely not all the time, I am just barely making it.  I am letting household duties fall by the wayside, I am not practicing my DBT skills well or often enough, and all I want to do is distract, distract, distract.  In fact, I have pretty much distracted since August of this year, right before my birthday, when things really started getting ugly.

So, no, I don’t want my parents to get back together.  I want them to TRY to heal instead of being stubborn and thinking they can do everything on their own.  I want them to take the advice they would give me in the same situation.  I want there to be more common sense and less anger.  Maybe even a bit of being polite — I do see a tiny bit of it from both parties.

But more than anything, I really don’t want to hear anymore negative speeches, from one about the other.  No more snide remarks, comments, jokes.  I am your daughter, and I deserve that much respect.

By Next Thanksgiving, I Will Be Thankful For…

Made it through Turkey Day by the skin of my teeth.  If you have to wonder about that one, check back through the last few posts, and I’ll also give a recap.  DSB and I arguing.  Day Five of quitting smoking.  Ungrateful children at Mom’s Thanksgiving.  Dad and therapist stoking the fires of mine and DSB’s arguments.  Much angst about all sorts of things, really.  Anything that could be angsted over, was, again and again.

And now we’re done, right?  I mean, like until next year.  All of this familial stress and jonesing for a smoke and self-doubt in the brain and people influencing you to pick fights with your significant other…it’s all done for this year, right?  Well, I wish it was, and maybe part of it can be, if we just work at it a little bit.

I have never been one for New Years Eve resolutions, and I’m not going to start this year.  What I am going to do is start a new list…a list of everything I hope to be thankful for by Thanksgiving 2014.  This list, of course, is not all-inclusive, but it covers the big ones.  And to you naysayers out there who say I should be thankful for what I have, well, I am.  Thankful, that is.  I am thankful also that I can dream and hope for a bigger, brighter future, which is what this list is all about.

In no particular order, I give you the “By Next Thanksgiving (2014), I’ll be thankful for…”

1) A brand new addition to our family.  My sister and husband are having a little boy and the entire family is ecstatic.

2) Newer and deeper understanding of DSB, that I hope to gain through mind control, bribery, and long and meaningful chats.

3) An improved relationship with my mother, in that she stops calling me her kitchen bitch, and I stop running home when she makes me feel like a child.

4) One year smoke free.  Can you imagine what the stats would be like?

5) A stellar Christmas 2013.  Whoo-boy, did you see the tree that Rose put up?! Zowwwiie!

6) The ability to walk at least 3 miles, starting in short stretches.

7) The health and happiness of the pups, especially watching over Rascal not getting heartworms again and Kizzie’s bum leg and skin allergies.  Hey, here’s to being thankful on Thanksgiving 2014 that Kizzie’s skin allergies have been figured out and we can stop feeding her Zyrtec to no avail.

8) Being able and trusted to take care of my nephew, on my own, for at least one hour.

9) DSB being smoke-free.  A girl can dream, right?

10) Domestic bliss, in that my house helps me along the way as I clean it.  Lovely hope and dream.

I Won’t Ask You

Time has passed, almost two years.  In that two years, I have been selfish.  I have put my needs and wants before yours, and, as I start to feel better, I can see how unfair I have been.  How much you have had to sacrifice.  Sacrificing your time, sometimes even sacrificing your values and what you stand for.  Sometimes…who am I kidding, it’s been often and you haven’t complained.

In fact you rarely complain, and when you do it is because something completely egregious has come about.  And even then you complain quietly and you don’t do anything about it because you don’t want anyone to get upset.  I don’t want you to have to do that anymore.

You have been my biggest champion in all causes.  You have always believed in me, especially when I didn’t believe in myself.  You have calmed me on so many occasions, with just a few simple words and a hug.  You have made my life infinitely better, just by being in it.  You are the one that is always there, at the end of the day, when life has done it’s worst or it’s best, celebrating with me or talking me through tears.  That has been you.

I don’t give you enough credit.  You are the strongest person I know and I love you with an intensity I have never experienced.  I have not treated you the way you deserve to be treated.  I have loved you, but I have not listened to you, and I definitely have not heard the words that go unsaid.  The words that I think you want me to hear but won’t say out loud.

The “happy” Rose wants to do more for you.  I want to give you more happiness in life, more joy.  I want to take away your heartache and feed you hope.  I am not the only person who lacks hope.  You have hope for me, and so I can have hope for you.  You believe things can be different for me, and I believe things can be different for you.  I know that we, us, as one, are content.  I think, if I was as kind and loving to you, as you are to me, that we could be more than content, as us.

I have decided, starting now, that I am going to try and be less selfish.  I know you hate holidays, and this year I am not going to beg you to come to Thanksgiving and Christmas.  You hate it and you’re uncomfortable.  I get that and I saw that last year, and last year apparently I was just an ass and didn’t do anything about it.

This year, those are your decisions.  Whatever you decide, I am fine with.  I am done with putting you in uncomfortable positions.  I won’t ask you to join me, but know that you are welcome if you would like to come.  I won’t ask you to join me at my friend’s “welcome home” festivity, but know that I would like it if you would come.

You don’t ask me to do anything that would make me uncomfortable and I need to respect you and do the same.  So, from now on, I won’t ask you.  The choices are up to you.

 

The Unexcitable Birthday Boy

DSB and I vary in many different respects, but one of our more glaring differences is in the “excitability” department.  I get excited by many things, by dogs being silly, by a new hair tie, a new shirt, DSB taking the trash to the road, mashed potatoes for dinner.  DSB gets excited about nothing, and I mean nothing.  A cool new power tool for his shop gets you a smile, possibly.  Country fried steak for dinner gets you a big thank-you, but no excitement.  I honestly think he could win the lottery and just say, “Hey, that’s cool,” and move onto welding the next piece of fence.  He just doesn’t get excited.

And he gets the opposite of excited around holidays, including his own birthday.  I don’t know how many times I’ve heard, “It’s just another day,” during the weeks leading up, as QoB and I try to make dinner plans and figure out what cake he wants.  In the end, we wrangled out of him that he would most enjoy a fish-fry, but would not commit on a cake, giving my mom two options, “so she can do whatever is best for her.”

DSB’s birthday is tomorrow and he will be the big 4-2.  It’s not that he’s worried about getting older, because I know he’s not, it’s that he doesn’t want anyone making a big deal or going out of their way for him.  He likes to go out of his way for other people, but feels awkward when someone does it for him, because that’s just how he was raised and also that is how his life has been over the years.  DSB is not accustomed to people making a fuss over him, and I live in a family of fussers.

I don’t have a lot of money, but I do know how to find a bargain.  There is a discount hardware store in town, and I knew that $50 would go a long, long way.  I also know, from listening to DSB talk about work, that there are a lot of smaller items that he is needing.  Armed with my calculator, a coupon, and a little bit of money on my debit card, I headed out to wage battle with the unwashed masses at the always-packed Harbor Freight.

After grabbing a cart, I headed straight for the screwdriver/hammer/etc aisle.  I have been in the store many times with DSB, so I luckily know where most everything is at.  What I wasn’t prepared for, is just how many different sets of screwdrivers there were.  Picking up each package and holding it right before my nose so I could see, I scrutinized a wall of screwdriver sets that would put Home Depot to shame.  Finally selecting what I thought was the best product for the price, I moved on.

I knew DSB really needed a no-bounce hammer because Mom stole his.  What I ran into, again, is that there was a large variety to choose from.  I put one in the cart, looked at it, put it back.  Put another one in the cart, looked at it, put it back, until finally I found one that I thought replaced the one he had before.

This continued on throughout the store.  Standing in awe in front of massive displays of any kind of tool you can imagine, picking each one up, pondering, considering.  I was in Harbor Freight for over an hour.  That might be a new record, considering it’s not an exactly huge place.

DSB ended up with a screwdriver set, pliers set, no-bounce hammer, two metal C-clamps, utility scissors, large container of bungee cords, and (mostly for my benefit) a huge tub of Goop hand cleaner.  I was excited, I was thrilled.  I only went over my budget by ten dollars, I got some amazing deals, and I was positive DSB was going to like all of my selections.

When I got out to the parking lot, I texted him and said, “Get ready to open some presents.  Soon!”  I know it’s silly, but I was so excited that I couldn’t wait for tomorrow and I was literally foisting these packages on him as soon as I pulled up the driveway to the garage where he works.  I’m happy to say that he had a big grin on his face and gave me a tight hug and a sweet kiss.

I told him the story of my shopping spree, about my indecision in just which set of screwdrivers to pick and the amazing assortment of no-bounce hammers, and I had him laughing so hard that tears were coming out the corners of his eyes.  So, excitable, no.  Easily pleased and amused?  Yes!