Oh Kids Say the Darndest Things…

Actual exchange with Tessa (aka Beanlet) in the car today:

– Is Jack (the dog) a girl or a boy?

– Boy.

– Does he have a penis or a vagina?

– A penis.
– He needs to have sex with a girl dog.

– No, he had surgery so he can’t have sex. Remember?

– My dad had a little surgery but he can still have sex…

I couldn’t make up comedy this good! Remember this is all in sign language in front of her “stepdad” who’s driving. LMAO


An Open Letter

The last time I saw you I felt regret and guilt. But also, I missed you. And I hated myself for it. And then you stayed in touch for a week or two and we video chatted.

And then you went to North Carolina and reconnected with that psycho chick. I sent you a message once on FB and you humiliated me in response. I know you probably didn’t intend to, but you were right and I was ashamed of myself.

I haven’t heard from you since.

And you not only ignored me, but you ignored my Beanlet.

You were welcome here for those 3 weeks and you would have been welcome longer. Because no matter how much it may damage me, I can’t turn my back on family. I told you then that you would always be welcome. And you are welcome now. I wouldn’t ever close my door to someone so important to Jack.

But I’m terrified.

I’m terrified of the feelings we expressed to each other when you were here before. And I’m terrified of the shame I felt the last time we communicated. I’m terrified of the conflict that existed between me and Jack when you were here before (and in the week or two after you left).

But I hear you’re coming back. Kind of a last resort it seems like. A week from Monday Jack tells me. I haven’t heard from you in months.

I don’t know what is going to happen when I see you in person again. Will we hug? Will it be awkward? Will I need to overcompensate on the affection with Jack to hold myself back? Will we be able to go back to the friendly brother-sister thing we had going on before all of the bullshit?

At least I’ll be starting school at the end of the month so I will be gone for most of the day most of the time. We won’t have hours alone together this time around.

But your presence will still change things.

You have this Alpha Male thing going on where you hold yourself differently with strangers, crowd us and act like the man of the house. The testosterone levels surrounding me go through the roof. The dynamic changes and you and Jack square off way more often than I want to see.

I’m scared. I don’t want to express to you how ashamed and guilty I am. I don’t want to tell you about the terror I feel thinking about having you in my home again. But I also don’t want you to come into this house not knowing how I feel and where I’m at.

I love Jack. I love the life Jack & I are building together. The uber-alpha-male thing you bring into our little bubble changes everything. Last time, it caused problems. It didn’t before that, but those visits were visits with defined ends. And this one is even more open-ended than the last one. But I remember how I felt when we talked that one day. I remember how it felt to feel sexy and attractive enough for you to want me. I remember the fun of the playful flirting and the intensity of some of those conversations. Part of me wants to feel those things again. But I’m terrified too.

And I’m angry.

Angry at the way we all mattered so much for awhile and then you disappeared and stopped caring. Didn’t call, didn’t text, didn’t email. Didn’t answer my daughter’s call.

Out of sight, out of mind? Maybe…

But it hurt me. It wasn’t so much the direct slap in my face, as much as it was the slap to Jack and to Beanlet. They care about you too. I can think of a million reasons you didn’t want to stay in touch with me, but my daughter?

Terrified and angry. And you arrive a week from tomorrow.

What am I going to do?


Wow! My house is clean! And I might have a future after all!!!

So I guess this is what mania might feel like. Or maybe a mixed episode. But it’s not negative. Well, the negative thoughts are there, but the activity level has gone through the roof! Damn, I’m fucking exhausted. But I’m trying to hang on a little bit longer so I don’t wake up at some asinine hour in the *alleged* morning. (I am not convinced that 3am should be considered morning. Nor should 5am for that matter. Maybe 6, but that’s borderline. It is dark out, it is night… end of rant)

So in the last week or so, I have enrolled for massage therapy school, cleaned my entire fucking house (well except the basement but that’s a monster for like a 3 week project with man help), stayed connected with my closest friends, AND made a fucking awesome cover for my Kindle.

On a very slightly longer timeline, I’ve finished 2 books and started a 3rd. Read two magazines (CHECK OUT One Story in the Amazon Kindle Store! It’s one short story by a different author each month! Followed by a brief interview with the author. LOVED this month!), helped to plan my boss’s wife’s funeral and perform in it last minute, I’ve joined the Worship Committee at church which is all about planning the Sunday service (unfortunately The Doll Ladies are on Worship but I’m going to try to work with them kindly).

But massage school — of course everyone wants to hear about massage school. I was talking to my 16-year-old-BFF and her boyfriend who we’ll call Fezzik because he’s huge. Not like Andre the Giant huge. Like Native American big dude huge. He’s half native/half Mexican actually. Awesome guy! He’s got the patience of a saint with W, which is a HUGE help to Jack and I when we need to get things done or just have a break from W’s sometimes often manic behavior.

Anyway, Fezzik and I decided to enroll in massage therapy school together. We got student loans to pay for it and classes start November 28! I’m super excited…

Things are on the upswing…


Daylight Approaches

It’s a little lighter today. The last few days really.

About fucking time.

I went into the hole again. The hole of crippling depression and debilitating anxiety. Not sure how long I was there but I estimate the downslide started about six weeks ago.

I hit bottom again. Hard. I think I heard an audible *thud* more than once.

Then I ran out of my trusty Effexxor for a couple of days.

AARGH

Crippling pit – approaching

*THUD*

Apparently this hole had a yet further bottom to fall to.

Motherfucking-lying-piece-of-shit-emotional-hole.

Sometimes it feels like a hole that’s deeper even than emotions. Like there’s something fundamentally missing deep inside me – not sure I believe in the “soul” as a reality, but it’s as good a word as any for what I imagine. A hole in my soul.

I found my way back to church yesterday. I’d been avoiding it for several weeks after some drama and humiliation went down.

But it felt good.

And in the evening I went to my women’s group. Where I was greeted with hugs from the most awesome inter-generational group of women I’ve ever known.

I came home to more drama. Jack and W had had a fight. A justifiable one given the afternoon but still — it’s not a fun thing to come home to.

But we worked through it — the 3 of us together.

And that felt good.

I reported to my women’s group during check-in last night that I think I’m on the upswing from this episode of depression.

And it’s true. I am.

There is daylight on the horizon…


Turnaround

I turned a corner this week. Tuesday afternoon. I had had a series of very bad days. (yes, I’m echoing Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day)

I had cried in the morning. I don’t remember why. Jack had gone out to run some errands and they were taking WAY longer than either of us had expected them to. I was upset and Beanlet was bored. I wanted to crawl into a hole.

I had a to-do list in my brain. I had even prioritized it and made a logical order of tasks.

But I couldn’t bring myself to get my ass of the couch to actually start DOING anything.

I was waiting for people to initiate chats with me on FB. That’s how sad I was. And that activity was not improving anything since the people I did talk to were kind but I was disgusted even typing how I was feeling. I didn’t want to read it. How could I expect anyone else to?

I’m not sure how the light switch got flipped, but it did. I just got sick of feeling that way, sick of wallowing in it, sick of whining and complaining and not doing anything.

I got up, went upstairs, made the bed, folded the laundry, started more laundry. I did the dishes. All of them.

Jack got home to me working my ass off. But at least lighter. Feeling a little better.

That night I felt good. Not great, but good.

And Jack appreciated my effort and saw the change in my mood. And said so.

I feel a little better. A little more in control. And that feels good. I just have to remember to keep it up and keep trying.

Happiness doesn’t always feel happy.

Action is always better than inaction.

Just gotta back that up with action…


Empathy, Perfectionism & the Big H

Have you ever noticed how you can kind of divide your life into eras? Like that was my “I’m too cool for makeup” era. Or that was my “skirts everyday” era. Well this seems to be my “learning to be kind to myself, battling perfectionism & researching happiness” era.

Seriously.

Part of it is by choice. I have been working on my Happiness research project lately. I’ve read several books (The Happiness Project, Happy for No Reason, Happiness Hypothesis, The Gifts of Imperfection).

But really, all of these books in some way tackle perfectionism and empathy. And FlyLady addresses them too – especially perfectionism.

So I’ve been thinking about these things a lot.

Then, today, I read Aunt Becky‘s post on Band Back Together (aka BB2G). She started a mission this year called the Bring Back the Happiness World Tour. I swear this topic is stalking me right now. Anyway, today, she declared February to be Empathy Month.

So here I am. 7 months late. Oh well… I’m trying…

To me, empathy and perfectionism are both so intertwined. And both are such a big part of happiness – my overall theme this year.

I’m an over-empathizer. I’m the type who can’t watch an episode of Friends without cringing in embarrasment for one of the characters. When someone describes how they felt I feel it too. Some people in the past have called me hyper-sensitive. One of my favorite compliments I’ve ever received was from a professor in college who said to me “You have such an enormous heart. But with that comes an enormous capacity for heartbreak.” Which I guess says a lot about me that I even took that as a compliment. But I did and I still do cherish the description of me.

So how does that tie in to perfectionism? A couple of ways actually:

Well, because I feel shitty everytime someone around me feels shitty, I absolutely HATE causing anyone to feel shitty. So I go around trying to prevent causing anyone any kind of unpleasant emotion. It doesn’t always work. Hell, it hardly ever works. But I really do fear causing other people pain.

So I try to be *perfect* in my dealings with other people.

I know, laugh it up.

The thing is, the few times I’ve tried to stand up for myself without regard for others’ feelings or to stop taking responsibility for things that aren’t my fault I’ve offended someone I cared about.

Experience is a powerful teacher.

So really, I’m trying to find a middle ground. Where I show my empathy for others and honor their feelings WHILE saying what I need to say.

I’m not going to be perfect. I will screw up. And that’s okay. Because the books all tell me one thing for sure:

Striving for happiness will always make you at least a little bit happier.

And I need all the help I can get these days…

 

Next time: Self-empathy…seriously it’s a thing…


Yee Haw tiny leprechaun

Yes, he's chained down.

There were a few of these along the routes we walked.

Jack concluded that the only possibility was that drunken leprechauns had tied up their tiny horses to look for a place to pee and then gotten lost on the way back. Definitely what happened.

Seriously

Not sure where this leprechaun went off to, but I'm sure it was important