Monday, November 19, 2007

I heard her complain, often and loudly

Today I dragged myself into work by 9:20 a.m. At approximately 9:35 a.m. I blew my nose. A big chunk came out; nothing new there, at least not since surgery almost a month ago now. Then watery fluid came pouring out of my right nostril, down onto my desk and onto the floor. With visions of a ruptured sinus and cerebrospinal fluid leak, I called J. for a ride, called my otolaryngologist’s office and started crying when she told me they didn’t have any doctors in the office at that time (what the fuck?) In a semi-hysterical state on the way to the car, I said “Well, do I go to the emergency room or what, because I’m sick and I’m scared and I need someone to look at me so you tell me where to go.” She sent me to the ER since my oto was there anyway in surgery, and he could see me in between cases.

Alas, no cerebrospinal fluid leak—but a CT showed that the fucking infection I’ve been fighting since the week after surgery is still there. It is now apparently invisible to the naked eye, since my oto thought everything looked good on Friday and again today when he looked before the CT. So is it in my bones now or what? I have to ask on Wednesday when I go back for my next follow-up. I got an IV infusion of antibiotics and a prescription for yet another one to take over the next week.

In the last two months, I’ve been on Amoxicillin for an unrelated respiratory infection; Levaquin for the sinus infection that broke the camel’s back and sent me to surgery; Ancef during surgery; Cephalexin prophylactically for the week after surgery; Augmentin for a week for the post-surgical infection, which I finished last Thursday; Rocephin today in the IV, and now Bactrim. As well as methylprednisolone prescribed last Friday for inflammation. And hydrocodone for pain, which I’m trying to limit but did take again today. Strangely, I still haven’t really lost faith in my doctor. I feel like his actions and recommendations have been rational and appropriate given the symptoms I’ve been exhibiting—they just aren’t helping so far. So I’m sticking with him, for now anyway.

I spent most of the six hours we were at the ER in tears. I am so, so very tired. We had to reschedule our marriage counseling appointment this afternoon, and we needed it. J. did come through pretty well at the hospital today, a real sacrifice for him I know since missing work is about his number one pet peeve. I feel like I’m trying to save my sanity, my health and my marriage all at once, and failing at all to various degrees.

I’ve been ordered off work for the rest of the week, which is only three days because of Thanksgiving. I have to give credit where it’s due and report that my Mom and Dad happily and cheerfully took Bubba on Sunday to Monday to give us a break, and then today volunteered to keep him over another night, which they are. So all I have to do tonight is rest…and for once, I just can’t. I’m lonely, but J. had to go back to work for the remaining two hours of the day, and then volunteer for a reception his workplace was hosting for a local athletic team. He is picking me up dinner on the way home so I guess I shouldn’t complain, but I sort of wish he would have just stayed home. Even though we don’t talk anyway. So scratch that. I don’t know what I wanted. Just to feel better, I guess.

I struggle with blaming myself for my bad health, but you know, I'm so tired of it all that I'm not even going to do the blame game. It's pointless. As Best Friend Tingle would say, it is what it is. I'm sick a lot. I've always been like this. What sucks is that I don't really have the mental stamina to deal with it. I've specifically instructed my loved ones that if I died from some kind of painful disease they are to make it known that I complained every chance I got. I hate it when i read about how "She had XYZ Most Horrible Painful Disease in the World but she never once complained." I mean, let's be real, people. Being sick sucks. And I complain about it, a lot, in real life and--so lucky for you--here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

There are some good things in my life, too

I’ve been struggling with the fear that I’m alienating my few readers by posting things that are so damn depressing. Then, I remembered what I wrote when I started blogging again about how I really just had to blog for myself, not for anyone else, so I’m getting over it. It’s hard to remember, sometimes, that it’s not really about whether or not people are reading it—it’s more important that I’m getting it out. That said, I do appreciate those of you who still stop by, and I want you to know I’m reading your blogs even if I’m not commenting. I’m working up to it, I promise.

I stayed home sick again today. Called the doctor, talked to his nurse, who told me to “try to get up and around a little bit more to get your strength back” and to take Excedrin Migraine for my headaches. They just don’t get it. I’ve had enough bad infections in my life to know that there’s something going on. The exhaustion I am feeling is beyond just normal recovery. It is time for what my boss calls a “come to Jesus” meeting with my doc on Friday when I have my appointment.

I do want to write something a little more upbeat tonight, if for no other reason than to make myself feel better. First, the highlight of my day was talking to LilCherie, who called me on her way home from therapy. Lately I have been struck by what a lifeline LilCherie is for me. She is like a part of my body and my soul. I can’t imagine life without her. We met each other in second grade, so that was like what, 30 years ago? We became “best friends” in sixth grade, 24 years ago or something like that, and except for a brief two-year stint in college when we were stupid, we’ve been sharing laughter, secrets and tears ever since.

How lucky I am, not only to have her friendship, but to be able to see her at least once a week on our Girls’ Nights. I bitch about J. a lot here, but I have to say that a lot of husbands wouldn’t be so accommodating of that, and I am grateful. He knows my time with LilCherie is sacred and life-giving to me.

If LilCherie was my only friend, I’d still feel rich and blessed. But I have another soulmate: Tingle. Remember that cruel bitch Fate I was talking about yesterday? Well, she also brought me Tingle, right when I needed her the most. Tingle understands me in ways that nobody else can. She and I are so alike it is frightening at times, difficult at times, but mostly, reassuring and comforting.

I hate it that she is all the way in Cleveland, but one of the joys of our friendship is that even if our almost-nightly phone conversations consist mostly of “I’m tired” and “Me too,” there is never that awkward space between us that can happen in long-distance relationships. She is coming to see us later this month, to participate in our annual Pre-Holiday Girls’ Night celebration, and I am so excited to see her. I appreciate so much her efforts to visit and I hope she feels the same way about me. After this visit, I hope that the entire Depressionista clan can head out there, maybe in January if we have decent weather.

J. and I had our second marriage counseling session yesterday. Most of the hour was spent with me crying about my postpartum depression after having Bubba, but it was good to get it out. I think J. and I have isolated that time as when things really started falling apart for us. Yes, we had problems before, but it seems like that is when the anger really came down on us: he was angry and confused about my inability to be the mother he thought I would be, and I was angry and confused by his seemingly uncaring attitude toward it all. It was like that was just the final straw that made us give up, in a way, and we haven’t really had time to do any repair work on it, so here we are.

I think we both feel a little more hopeful just having started counseling. It’s not like the therapist is really doing anything spectacular…it’s more that we are just finally devoting an hour each week to talking about “the issues.” I told J. that I’m not sure we really even need counseling, per se, but rather just the time to talk about the big stuff. He wisely said that while I may be right, unless we are paying for it and actually going somewhere where we have to focus on that stuff, we just won’t do it, so it is good we are going. I agree. I think there is hope.

Another thing I realized after talking yesterday about that time when Bubba was an infant is how far I have come with him. I am truly enjoying being his mother right now. Things that others might take for granted, like missing their kid during the day or looking forward to seeing him at night, are somewhat new to me, as sad as that is to say. He is fun! He has such an amazing imagination right now, and we spend lots of time playing with pretend bunnies and baby Garys (the snail from SpongeBob). The funniest things come out of his mouth: last night, I told him I was going to make dinner, so I went and got things started in the kitchen and came out to find him already sitting at his little table in the living room (we are up and down with the “eating as a family” thing). He said, “Get back out there, Mama.” I looked at him, puzzled by what he meant, so he say, “Get back out in the kitchen and cook, Mommy.” It just cracked me up. Anyway, I’m grateful that at last, this parenthood thing is fun, and even more glad that Bubba and me seem to have a really strong, loving relationship right now—something I was afraid would never happen.

There are many things I have to be grateful for. It's hard to see them sometimes through a fog of pain and depression, but they are there, and I'm trying to remember that.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


My life is not that bad.

My marriage is not that bad. Just bad enough to make me feel miserable, but not so bad that there’s a definable reason to call it quits, like abuse or alcoholism or anything like that.

My job is not that bad. Just bad enough to make me feel like my soul is dead, but not so bad that I can afford to sacrifice the benefits, flexibility and decent pay.

My health is not that bad. Just bad enough to keep me in pain most of the time, just bad enough to keep me from enjoying almost anything, just bad enough to keep me struggling to get to work for at least six hours a day, but not bad enough to get disability or a leave of absence.

I am struggling. I can barely get to work in the morning. Each day I struggle with myself about whether or not I can justify calling in sick yet again. It’s a combination of feeling like shit with my sinus pain, and depression from being in pain all the time and hating my job and not being satisfied in my marriage. I have not been sleeping well at night, even though I feel exhausted all day, and I don’t know if that’s because of the depression or because I force myself to make it through the day without taking a pain pill because I don’t want to get addicted and then finally, at 6 or 7 p.m., with my headache and facial pain in full swing, I take one so that I can at least deal with my three-year-old, and then I feel decent for a few hours so I take advantage of it and stay up later than I should. And then I wake up sluggish and tired and feeling like crap and the whole cycle starts over again.

I feel ungrateful for hating my job so much. It is a good job, a cushy job. I write articles for newsletters at a university. It’s pretty much brainless work, and generally there’s not much, if any, stress that goes along with it. I spend a good deal of the time here surfing the ‘net because I’m so painfully unmotivated to write yet another profile or story about the latest administrative changes or grant that’s been awarded. I’m left alone to do my stuff. I get paid more than my work is worth. I get more vacation and sick time than 90 percent of the working population. And yet every day, my soul cries out to me in protest. I can actually hear the words in my head: “You have to find a way out of this! This isn’t what your life is meant to be! You can’t stand this much longer! There’s got to be something else you can do!” And then I think about the benefits, and the subsidy I get for the university-owned daycare that Bubba goes to, and I realize I am stuck here, and I die a little more inside.

As I write this, I realize that much of the same could be said about my relationship with J. The two situations are more similar than I really realized before this moment. I am unmotivated, tired from the trying and the constant disappointments. I hear the same kinds of phrases in my head: “You have to find a way out of this! You need to leave. You need to realize it’s hopeless.” And then I think about how much debt we have and how difficult it would be to divide it and where would I live and how would we deal with custody arrangements. I think about how J. is really not that bad. He doesn’t drink, he holds a job, he doesn’t hit me or Bubba. Or I look at J. when he’s sleeping and my heart gets warm with the memory of how he used to be happy most of the time and how he made me laugh and I think of how much I want to work things out. Either way, I feel stuck here, too.

And that’s when I start thinking about jumping in the car and driving, just driving. Leaving all of it behind. But I can’t leave my Bubba. I have trapped myself in my own web of mediocrity without even trying (kind of ironic, isn’t it?) Is it a life full of “safe” choices that's brought me here? I look back on some of the decisions I’ve made and I see a pattern: I will study English because I’m not good at math. I will major in journalism because I have to earn a living. I will marry J. because who else would want to be with me, and this might be my only chance for any kind of love. I will work at this shitty job or that shitty job, because I have to get experience so I can get a better job (that I still hate). I have to, I have to, I have to. Rational. Practical.

The only big life decision that I can’t (or maybe don’t want to) put into the pattern is the decision to have children. I still haven’t figured out exactly why I did it…not sure if it was a response to a biological urge, or if it was because we’d been married for seven years and we were “supposed to,” or if I felt it was my duty as a woman, or if the more difficult it became to achieve it the more I wanted it. Probably all of those things. I strangely don’t remember much about really wanting to be a mother. I remember wanting a child, but not really thinking about being a mother. I never really looked too far beyond the mental image I had of contentedly nursing my newborn in the rocking chair, like something out of a commercial.

Sometimes I think maybe it’s time to stop the rationality, the practicality, the have to-s. To just say fuck it, quit my job, leave my husband, and start over. Try just having faith in the universe or whatever to carry me along and keep me afloat. As tantalizing as this is for a moment, I think about how royally the universe has screwed me over so far and I know this is a pipedream.

Fate hands some people in this world everything they could want or need. For others, fate’s hands are empty again and again, and they scrabble for a kernel of corn and a drink of water and watch their children starve. For the vast majority of us, though, it isn’t so black and white. I believe – and maybe this is where I’ve gone wrong all these years – that we have to play active part in steering our lives. I don’t have faith that if I just let go of the wheel, things will be okay. Maybe that lack of faith is the problem in my life…or maybe it’s what keeps me from being a homeless drunk. Who knows?

I don’t trust myself anymore.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

In This Post, I Reveal My Real First Name

I called my sister tonight just to say hello. It was a pretty mundane conversation for the most part. Then, in typical fashion for my family, it all went to hell in about 20 seconds. Despite all my whining on here, I must have done some kind of healing or had some kind of personality development since I left home because it seems like the older I get, the more obviously dysfunctional the rest of my family is. I mean, I am too, but at least I'm aware of it!!!

Anyway, I was telling her about how much fun Bubba is right now, how incredibly cute he is and how much I'm enjoying it. I related to her about how when we get home from work/daycare, he says "I wanna cuddle you," and we sit on the couch and watch a DVD and love on each other. He'll say "You love me Mama?" and I'll smile and say "I love you SO much!" and then he'll say "I love you too Mama!" with a big smile on his face; sometimes he'll reach is hand up and stroke my cheek. It's enchanting and magical and it's like a big huge reward for all the struggling I've had in the past three years learning how to be somewhat comfortable with motherhood and learning how to enjoy my child rather than pretty much hating the whole thing.

Her response was this: "Oh my god, Sue, don't make him into a wuss! He's gonna be such a mama's boy!" This really pissed me off. Here I am, trying to relate something positive (at last) about my experience as a mother and she just stomps on it. Nevertheless, I tried to be rational so I said, "It's taken me so long finally enjoy something about having a kid and I'm going to revel in it and enjoy it as much as I can." She said she just thought it was "weird." I asked why, and I'm sure at this point she realized she'd pissed me off, so she said she didn't know and that she was afraid of saying the wrong thing. I tried to get off the phone but she said she didn't want us to get off the phone with me being mad. I told her I wasn't mad, just felt defeated. In all honesty, I didn't want it to be a big deal because I've learned from experience that it's just not worth it in my family. So I told her I was having a hard week and that it wasn't a big deal and let's just stop talking about it. We talked about some other stuff and got off the phone with our usual "I love yous."

My sister and I have a complicated relationship (do all sisters?) She's eight years older than me and very bossy. She's an elementary school teacher and her husband is very passive so she pretty much runs the show at work and at home and it spill over into every other relationship as well. I don't think she means to hurt people; I think she's just so used to pushing everyone around that she doesn't have a filter there that the rest of us do. I also recognize the occasional bitchy, uncalled-for comment as a family trait. Christ, I did it to LilCherie last night. Still, I at least TRY to rein it in.

Obligatory Disclaimer To Address My Guilt Issues: I love my sister dearly, and in many ways she's like another mother, which is comforting at times but difficult at others. I can say that she's always been there for me, with one exception that I'll talk about some other time, and she's incredibly loyal. Generally, she's really a good person.

Like the rest of my family, and myself although I 'm working on it, she has a unique ability to turn anything upside down and inside out to make it negative, or to point out the worst possible aspect of anything you share with her. I doubt she even realizes she's doing it.

The other day I went back to my hometown, where she lives as do my mom and dad, and we were talking at dinner about Bubba's sleep issues (one of us pretty much has to sleep with him in order for any of us to get any rest). She starts going on about how "He's three years old. He's old enough to be sleeping by himself. What's he going to do when he starts getting invited to people's houses for sleepovers?" I said something about how that was a long ways off and hopefully we'd have made some progress by then; right now we're just trying to relax about it and wait awhile until he's a little developmentally older and we're a little more ready to deal with it.

At some point in the conversation she makes sure to remind us all (as if we weren't there at the time) about how her girls never had any sleep issues. They both slept through the night at six weeks (they honestly really did) and they never had to sleep with them. That helps a lot! Thanks, Sis!

I am naturally a very open, honest person and I kind of like to just let things be out in the open. I guess that's why I have to keep learning the lesson over and over and over again to never discuss anything that's important or meaningful with any of my family members. But in my defense, I shared the Bubba cuddling story with her because I thought it was charming and sweet. It never even occurred to me that she could spin it negatively.

Personally, I think it's healthy that Bubba and I are able to be that lovey-dovey with one another and I hope that it is evidence that Bubba will grow up to be a little more in touch with his emotions than his father and most other men are. I love it and Bubba loves it so that's enough for me, but I'm curious...what do you guys think? Do you think it's "weird"?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I'm such a Debbie Downer.

I have to say that I am really touched by everyone's supportive comments on my last post, especially after my being gone for months and sinking into lurkdom on everyone else's blogs. This is the part of blogging that I really enjoy. I guess I shouldn't be so surprised, because in a way, this is what brought me and Best Friend Tingle together--not blogging, but sharing our experiences on the SHARE message boards. Still, I appreciate it very much. Thank you!

It is so interesting to hear about everyone else's experiences. I was really intrigued, Aurelia, about your comment that people with ADD need their therapists to tell them what to do, but that if the spouse does that, it backfires. This struck me close to home because this is where a lot of stress in our relationship comes from--me asking J. to do something and him not doing it and then us fighting about it. Right now he is on Adderall, a fairly high dose I think. It doesn't seem to calm him down, however--I feel like it's made him more aggressive. He would disagree with me. He's seeing a therapist who specializes in adult ADD and we've heard good reports from several different people who have been treated by him...but I don't really know what they are working on in therapy because he "doesn't want to share." For all I know, J.'s spending his time there complaining about how stressed out he is at work or something.

Thrice, I go back and forth between thinking that therapy is really something that can help and then feeling like it's a con-job. I did have that thought today as I was sitting there listening to the therapist talk about how it's not surprising that J. doesn't do much around the house since in his "family of origin" the house was always a shithole. I sat there thinking "yeah, but we've been fighting about this for 14 years this point, his 'forgetting' to do anything I ask him to do around the house can't be blamed on his mother." I mean, I'm not expecting miracles--I just want him to take the fucking laundry to the basement. I would like to think that if it's a choice between hauling the laundry and saving the marriage or playing PlayStation, he'd do the laundry, but so far, that hasn't been the case.

After meeting with the therapist today, I'm still kind of neutral. I think she was fine, if a little bit touchy-feely for my tastes. More importantly, J. liked her and felt comfortable there, and I think that's a bigger hurdle to have cleared. Today's session was pretty much the get-acquainted appointment where we tell her our long tale of woe, which generally takes about the full hour. I suppose next week we'll get into the nitty gritty.

This last few weeks has been such a struggle. I have had a headache almost every day since my sinus surgery two weeks ago, and this week they seem worse. Not worse like I have an infection or a complication, just worse in that I feel more aware of my sinuses themselves and there's pain that's probably a normal part of the healing process but still severely limits my ability to function. Anyway, I felt like crap tonight and of course, tonight is J.'s softball night, but to give credit where credit is due, he went to the game, called me to check how I was feeling, and came home immediately afterward instead of going out with the guys. And didn't even guilt-trip me about it. That was nice. Still, it adds to that feeling of failure I've been carrying around lately.

Then while he was getting Bubba to sleep I talked to Best Friend LilCherie on the phone, sucking her into my vortex of pain and making an unintentional yet bitchy nonetheless comment about her husband. I apologized to her but still feel like I want to make a public acknowledgment of it and tell her again that I am sorry and that I appreciate how she's stuck by me through all my shit and how she lets things slide when I'm in this mode. She's a true friend in every sense of the word.

Wow, this is so uplifting, isn't it? I do have a happy post planned for sometime soon about how much I am really enjoying my kid right now, so it won't all be gloom and doom forever, I promise!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Marriage counseling again.

So much for NaBloPoMo, huh? I briefly thought about back-dating some posts but then decided to just say fuck it. Still, in the spirit of it, I'm going to at least try to post more often.

Tomorrow J. and I have an appointment with a new marriage counselor. We tried counseling a couple of years ago, and for various reasons it didn’t work out. I decided we needed to give it at least one more go before calling it quits, and he agreed.

I don’t even know how to begin to explain the deadness, the emptiness, and the anger that seems to define our relationship. Those who have known us for a long time will note that we’ve always had conflict in our relationship, and that’s true. Since high school we’ve been fighting and making up and fighting and making up. The difference is that back then, there was genuine affection between us during the good times, and we made real efforts to stop doing the things that pissed the other one off. Now, the “good” times are when we are pretty much ignoring each other but not actively pissed, or maybe sharing a joke or some small talk. It doesn’t go beyond that—there’s no intimacy, no cameraderie…it’s just not loving.

Sometimes it feels very much like we are coworkers, and our job is Bubba. I almost added “and the house” but I am the only one who does any housework, so I guess that’s my job alone. J. has generally been a very loving and involved dad, but lately I’ve noticed that even that seems to be sliding. Maybe it’s because I feel I’m doing a better job at being a mother, so now I notice his shortcomings as a father. I don’t know. J. is very good about taking Bubba out to the park, out to the mall to ride the carousel, things like that. But at home, he rarely does any kind of play with him that requires effort or attention. Usually they sit and watch cartoons together.

Every night, J. has to be reminded to brush Bubba’s teeth and give him his medicine. When I had my sinus surgery, Bubba didn’t get a bath all week because J. just couldn’t be bothered and I was too sick. He got one the day before I went for surgery and got his next one on the first day I was even semi-functional again. This morning, Bubba had to go potty and J. was in the shower. J. had locked the bathroom door because he didn’t want Bubba to open the door and possibly expose J. to my parents, who come out on Mondays to watch Bubba. Like that’s even a big deal anyway—it’s not like they’d be looking, you know?

Anyway, I went to take Bubba into the bathroom and encountered the locked door. Bubba was rattling the door pretty frantically trying to get in. “Bubba has to go potty,” I called into the bathroom. “Goddammit!!!” J. yelled. Then, in response to Bubba’s rattling, he yelled “Stop it!” so harshly I figured he was talking to me. “Bubba’s doing it,” I called back. “I know, I wanted him to stop,” he replied. I was really taken aback that he would yell at Bubba like that for something as innocent as that. It worries me to think of what it would be like if we were divorced. What would Bubba do when he visited Daddy? Just sit in front of TV all the time? Would I have to call every night to make sure he got his teeth brushed and his medicine taken and got bathed once in awhile? Would J. yell at him like that every time he was grumpy and tired from playing PlayStation until 2:30 in the morning (which is almost every night)?

What really got me motivated to make the counseling appointment was the love letter. On Oct. 14, I wrote J. a love letter. It was a page-and-a-half long, and I sent it through the mail for him because in the past he’d complained about never getting good mail. I started the letter out with the sentence “Warning: This is a love letter.”

Now, as mentioned above, I’ve not been really feeling the love lately, but the night I wrote this I was feeling optimistic and trying to count my blessings. This letter was my way of reaching out and trying to get things on the right track again. I sent it to him on Tuesday, and it arrived at our house on Wednesday.

He opened it right away, read the first sentence, smiled, then said he’d read it later. Sounded reasonable, since he’d just gotten home from work and was still in his work clothes and Bubba was being demanding, etc. But three days later, it was still where he’d left it. I picked it up and put it with my stuff. Two days after that, he noticed it was missing and asked for it back. At first I said no, but then I decided to try to be a better person than that, to try to be compassionate, etc., so I handed him back the letter and said “Even though it hurt my feelings that you haven’t read this yet, I still want you to have it because I still feel these things for you.” I handed it to him as he was playing Guitar Hero (he paused it for me—how sweet).

Two weeks go by. I hear nothing about the letter. J. spends his evenings spending hours playing Guitar Hero or indulging in his latest obsession with crossword puzzles. So finally I ask him one night, “Did you ever read that letter I gave you?”

Nope. He hadn’t read it. He knew he was in deep shit because he actually uttered the words “I’m sorry” but then told me he’d just forgotten it was there. I asked him where it was because I wanted it back for good this time. He wouldn’t tell me, so I started rifling through his stuff, for some reason thinking maybe it had actually made it all the way back to his nightstand or something. Finally, angrily, he went and got the letter—off the kitchen counter—and handed it to me, snarling at me that I should “cut him some slack” because it had been a “crazy couple of weeks” with his bad cold and my sinus surgery.

When I pointed out that he’d had plenty of time to play games or do crosswords, he didn’t say anything. Then I asked him how he would feel if he’d given me a present and I just left it on the counter unopened for two weeks. “That’s not the same thing,” he said. “This wasn’t a present.” That hurt me quite a bit, because I really do consider a love letter to be a gift, and one that’s way better than a popcorn popper. “Just because I didn’t go out and buy it at a store?” I replied. “Well, it wasn’t in a box, wrapped up in paper and with a bow on it,” he said. It just seems so cold and heartless and insulting to me. It seems like he really just doesn’t give a shit about me or us.

This weekend we went to LilCherie’s annual Halloween party, which is always a blast and which we always really get into. We’ve gone for 12 years or something like that and only missed one; we’ve had some awesome costumes. This year I decided to be Britney Spears, and had a hilarious costume that I’d spent a lot of time getting ready. J. didn’t know what to be, so I came up with some ideas and he picked one. While I was recovering from surgery, and still feeling pretty crappy, I went out and got him all the stuff he needed for his costume, going to three or four different stores and shelling out probably $30 to $40 bucks.

Saturday came around and by Saturday afternoon, J. was acting kind of mopey. When I asked what the problem was, he said he’d been invited to too many things that night, none of which he’d told me about. Apparently, another friend was having a party, and his sister was having a little get-together. I told him, nicely, to do whatever he wanted to do, to just be happy. He decided he would drop me off at LilCherie’s, go to his sister’s for awhile, then come back to the party. When he dropped me off at 4:30 p.m. he said, “I’ll be back in a little while.”

Somewhere around 11 p.m. he came back to the party, only I didn’t know it because I was in another room of the house and J. didn’t even bother to find me to say hello. He just went straight down to the basement so he could play PlayStation with some of the guys. I didn’t even know he was there until 12:30 or 1 a.m., and by that time I’d taken off my costume. He never even got to see me in it. And he never even took his costume out of the bag. Later on, I just said to him, “I wish you could have seen me in my costume. It was kick-ass.” He said, “Well, you can show me later.” I declined.

I don’t know what’s going on. He seems so uncaring and distant. He sits outside of work and smokes for half an hour before coming home, so he doesn’t get home now most days until 6:20 p.m. or so. We don’t have sex at all, haven’t for months. We don’t sleep in the same room. Our friends notice he’s moody. My parents think we should get divorced and are actively starting to get angry at how he treats me and how he doesn’t do jack shit around the house. I can’t hold it together much longer.

Some of you might be thinking, “It sounds like he’s depressed.” He is, I’m sure. We both are. He’s on antidepressants, and recently, got diagnosed with ADD so he’s also on meds for that, which, in my opinion, have just made things worse. He feels they are helping, though, so he won’t quit them. He does go to therapy sporadically, but “doesn’t feel like sharing” what he is working on. Maybe that’s because all he talked about with his previous counselor, whom he saw for about a year, was current events, movies, and music. Gee, I wonder why it didn’t help anything?

So that’s the story of why we’re going to marriage counseling. If this counselor can’t get to the bottom of things, then I really think it’s over. It’s just hard to make the move to actually get divorced. I wrote in my journal the other day that it's like doing CPR on someone who is clearly dead: You don't know if the very next breath you give might be the one that saves the life, so you don't know when to quit, but in the end, you're still stuck with a corpse. I am afraid of what my life will be like financially because we have a lot of debt, and I’m afraid of how it might screw Bubba up. But I think this situation could screw him up too, and I know I can’t live the rest of my life like this.

Today I walked back from lunch and it just hit me what a mess my life is. I hate my job, my marriage is essentially ending three years after we finally managed to bring a kid into the mess, I’m depressed and old and fat and my sinuses hurt and I’m in debt. How did I get here? I can’t believe I’ve failed so spectacularly. I have always tried to do the right thing and make the right decisions, and this is where I end up. It feels very overwhelming right now, like I’m buried under a pile of shit and I can only claw my way out turd by turd.

So how was your day?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Nov. 1: What Kind of a Parent Am I?

Tertia had an interesting meme/questionnaire on her site a couple days ago that I wanted to do, but since I got into so much trouble there the last time I posted, I'm going to just copy and paste here with my answers. As Tertia said on her blog, if you have kids, let me know what kind of a parent you are; if you don't have kids but hope to, let me know what kind of a parent you hope to be.

I would never:
Have another child. Does that count? If not, here's another: Hit or humiliate my son.

I always:
Tell him I love him and hug and kiss him about a million times a day.

I got an easy ride when it came to:
Potty training: it only took a week and wasn't that bad.

The part I dislike most about parenting is:
The constant worry and anxiety and guilt about everything related to my son and how I parent him; the comparison game with other parents; bedtime battles and middle-of-the-night wakings; never knowing whether you're doing the right thing or not; seeing all the bad parts of my mother come out in me when Bubba pisses me off.

The part I love most about parenting is:
Hugs, kisses, cuddling, hearing Bubba say "I love you," all the hilarious things he does every day.

My terrible parenting secret is:
Am I only allowed one? Probably would be that I smoked when I was pregnant. I will NEVER stop feeling bad about that one. There's also the time I left him alone in the car when I ran in to get a prescription. He was sick, sleeping, cool outside, and I knew it would only take about 60 second. Still, I used to say I'd never do that.

I would describe my approach to discipline as:
Good intentions, not so great on the follow-through. I give in too often when he cries because1) I hate it when he's sad and 2) I have a very low threshold for crying/tantrums.

My worst parenting habit:
Again, just one? Parking him in front of his DVDs to clean the house, take a shower, and smoke on the porch. God, I sound trashy!

The one thing I am really proud of is:
How hard I have worked to overcome postpartum depression, not be so angry, and be more in control when Bubba has a meltdown, and, going hand-in-hand with that, how Bubba and I have a really good, close relationship now.

I probably am too lenient when it comes to:
Letting him watch TV, letting him sleep with J. or me, and letting him eat sugary stuff.

I hope my kids inherit my:
Ability to feel and express emotion (I know, he's a's a long shot); empathy; willingness to be wacky sometimes.

I hope my kids don’t inherit my:
Mental health issues--the inability to be happy no matter what.

I love that my kids are:
Genuinely and intentionally funny--he's a little comedian and I love it; generally sweet and loving; social with other kids and adults.

The thing I miss most about my pre-mom days is:
The ability to be completely irresponsible sometimes. There's never really a "day off" because even when they're with someone else you trust, you still worry about him, think about him, talk about him, miss him.

Motherhood is:
Indescribable, in every sense of that word--the good, the bad, the ugly.


Okay, I did it. I signed up for the NaBloPoMo thing where you have to blog every day for the month of November or they cut your head off. No, really, it's one of those trendy blog-world things, but hell, I felt like doing it so there. I thought it might be good motivation to do it. We'll see if life allows it to happen!