Hilarious that i don’t know the difference.
I’m home sick for the second day in a row, which is unheard-of for me.
Of course, because I am the eldest child in an alcoholic family, and because I have exactly two sick/vacation days left before November, although I’m doing a spectacularly shitty job, I’m working from home as best I can in this state.
“This state” is horribly ill from GI issues that I am fairly certain are brought about by anxiety, and a crushing dread and panic attack that seems to end only for brief periods of time and then come crashing down again.
My kids and their dad are gone; my partner is working. I am all alone except for two dogs, one of whom seems to be losing his mind in ways that are particularly upsetting to me. Whenever I try to spend time with friends outside of the house I am guaranteed to come home to a dog who has either done yet more damage to our door in his panic or who is DRENCHED in drool from freaking out and flailing in a crate, so the entire time I’m gone I’m anxious and distracted. The thought of leaving this dog in a crate all day while I’m at work for 9 hours is impossible to contemplate, but so is more damage to our ancient house.
Yes; he is just a dog. This is not an impossible situation. But as a friend of mine just pointed out, asking an otherwise unencumbered person who is carrying just one plate to carry another is one thing; they can just grab the other plate. But asking a person who is holding one plate by balancing it on a pole on her forehead while riding a unicycle to take another plate is another thing altogether.
And this is what I’ve been doing emotionally, I think, and asking me to calmly torture the dog is one plate too many today.
My shrink thinks I’ve been triggered by isolation and too much responsibility (I have taken on more freelance work than I am actually able to handle, I fear, on top of my day job — because we do not have enough money to cover our basic expenses, and on top of the dog there’s another one visiting [whom I demanded, by the way, because I adore her] and a lizard with expensive and strange food needs).
As a child, I was isolated.
I was constantly surrounded by my family and had no privacy, but we were isolated. Physically (we lived in the middle of nowhere starting at age 11 for me), but also emotionally: not only did I stay locked up inside myself, but we as a family were better than everyone else; they didn’t understand us. We must keep to ourselves. There is no one here to hear you scream. There is no one close enough for you to turn to and say: my mother just nearly killed me with a cast iron skillet, or: my parents left me home alone for three days to take care of the kids and the farm and I’m sleeping with a loaded, unlocked shotgun to save us all from rapists. Is that unusual?
As a child, I was responsible for everyone.
I was fiscally responsible; I handed over all of my paychecks to my mother not only when we were very poor but also when my dad was making plenty of money. She also regularly raided my checking account when I was a student living elsewhere and didn’t care if my rent was due. I believed her that the law required me to have my account linked to my parent’s, and she continued to steal from me until the day that the nice lady at the bank told me it wasn’t true and opened a checking account just for me, giving me the most sympathetic and angry-on-my-behalf look ever. “Most kids with bank accounts linked have parents putting money IN them,” she said, looking over my history. “That is not the direction this money is going.” She also suggested leaving the current money I had in the old one so my mother would not get suspicious. She was smart. She understood people like my mom.
Thank god for that bank lady.
Oh geez this is rambling. Anyway, having to take on too much freelance because we aren’t making enough with my full time job and my co parent’s part-time job is making me feel economically exploited and really trapped and panicky.
As a child, I was responsible for everyone else’s feelings. My mom’s, in particular.
The memory I’ve been processing and not writing about for weeks sounds like no big deal: taking dance class with my mother.
But when you were a wonderful, hardworking dancer with a true gift and your mother was a middle-aged narcissist who used to fancy herself a contender (she wasn’t) and who sees herself as competing for male attention from her daughters and dance class is all in leotards — it’s a whole can of putrid, slimy worms.
She felt shamed and stupid for having gotten out of shape (ballet is some serious shit, you guys), and she kept glaring hatefully at me as she got more and more tired and sloppy.
I, stupid kid that I was, was working very hard to show how much I’d improved, thinking she’s be proud of me. Pushing myself; looking over at her and smiling, Delighted that I was better than her, like all fucking kids are delighted to be better at things than their parents. Hoping she’d be pleased to see how good I was.
ha ha ha ha ha
She was angry at me for ‘gloating’ and ‘showing off’ and ‘rubbing it in [her] face.’ She then went on to lecture me afterward about what a great dancer she’d have been (she wouldn’t have; I’ve seen photos of her dancing. She had absolutely no idea what to do with her feet and hands and didn’t even understand turnout.) if she’d stuck with it and (cue endless refrain) not had kids.
I wasn’t just being good at something and wanting a parent to be pleased; I was a nasty mean little gloating showoff and it was my fault my mom had hurt feelings and felt competitive with me.
So although I did not cause the foster dog to have separation anxiety, the fact that he does and that it seems to be getting worse (we’re probably feeding off of one another) is stabbing me right in the heart.
So I am sitting at home instead of at work, feeling horribly irresponsible and crazy, poking ineffectually at the copy for a web site and rushing repeatedly to the bathroom to do horrible things.
Am I taking care of myself? Am I going nuts and about to lose my job?
Only time will tell.