Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I'm gonna get my ass kicked lovingly....

...if I don't post something to let you know I'm okay! I'm sorry, that was really rude. I am actually doing...well! Even, dare I say it, happy? Yes, at times I'm feeling happy! I've spent some time away from the Internet almost entirely, partly because work was actually busy so I couldn't surf all day and then when I did think about blogging, it just didn't happen for whatever reason. I actually haven't even opened my email for two weeks. It wasn't intentional, but I think the Internet vacation has been good for my psychically. But I'm not saying I'm not going to blog anymore. And I'm not even saying I'm not going to bitch and blog either. But right now I'm kinda thinking I might try to make this more of a positive experience rather than a forum for my prolonged temper tantrums. We'll see how it goes. We'll PBE it (play it by ear--LilCherie came up with this acronym-expression and I just think it's fabulous so I'm trying to spread it around).

So that's a little update, and I will see you when the juices start flowing again!

karmagirl, you are so sweet to worry about me and I love you and I hope I get to see you again soon!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Today on Oh Well...: It's a PITY PARTY!!!!!

So when you're already feeling suicidal, it's not a great idea to read the journal from when you lost the baby. FYI.

Oh, I'm sure I won't do it. I'm sure my inner voice of guilt will prevent me from checking out, you know, because of Bubba. But oh, why didn't I do it then? What in god's name kept me from chucking it all then? I cannot believe the pain of that. I mean, I remember it, but to see it all in such stark realness, such present-tense agony, is shocking even to me. Please don't try to encourage me by telling me that if I made it through that, I can make it through anything. I am deeply immersed in my own little pity party right now, so don't ruin it!

I have been working with my therapist for two years to try to change my "life sucks" viewpoint, and I've even felt at times that I've been getting there, but tonight I look at my life and think about what a fucking mess it is. What a fucked-up, pitiful conglomeration of tragedy, boredom and pettiness. What, exactly, is the goddamn point?

I am an unfortunate combination of selfishness and bad luck. I don't get what I want. Period. That's the major life-lesson for Depressionista. I wanted a husband who loved me; I got one who yelled at me today for leaving one dirty dish in the sink. I wanted a job that was fufilling; I got one where I have to write meaningless promotional material for the institution that killed my baby. I wanted a baby and my baby died. I wanted to experience motherhood and motherhood has been one fucked-up mental challenge from the day I got pregnant with Bubba. I want to kill myself; I can't, because I've already procreated and I can't do that to him, sweet little innocent Bubba. He's going to have to suffer from all of my mental shit and all of J.'s stupidity and moodiness. I can't even fully enjoy my depression because it feels so self-centered.

I'm sure my depression/suicidalness is wearing on everyone. In fact, I'm sure that before long, even my closest friends will stop feeling concern because they know I won't do it. Sometimes I feel like I should just do a half-hearted attempt, you know, just for the attention. Just to up the ante a little bit. Keep 'em coming back for more. Maybe get a break for awhile. Maybe get to leave my fucked-up mess of a life for a few days. Then come back to one that's even more fucked-up messy. Because everything I do just makes it that way--more messy, more ugly, more painful.

I'm closing comments here because I don't feel like I deserve people's compassion right now.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Breaking News: Reports Confirm Virus Unable to Thwart Girl's Night

When Depressionista woke up from her four-hour nap on Saturday, she wasn't sure she even wanted to know if LilCherie had called or not.

"I pretty much figured Girls' Night was a lost cause," Depressionista said. "When my husband told me she'd called, I hesitated to even call back. I just didn't want the dream to die. But I knew that somehow, I had to find the courage to do it."

The call started out as most calls do--an exchange of pleasantries, updates on what each woman was doing at the moment. Neither seemed ready to broach the topic of whether or not the sinister virus at LilCherie's home had indeed ended what little hope was left for a Girls' Night that evening.

"I didn't want to ask, because I was afraid to hear the answer," Depressionista said. "I thought LilCherie sounded rather perky, but she often enjoys spending time with her family so I figured maybe she was okay with no Girls' Night. But then she asked me if J. had told me anything about their call earlier, and that's when I started to think maybe, just maybe..."

At 4:26 p.m., LilCherie confirmed that Girls' Night was a go. According to LilCherie, the D-Man was still feverish but his symptoms were being well-managed with ibuprofen, and Big R had recovered enough to be able to handle the next 17 hours on his own.

"I just couldn't believe it," Depressionista said. "I was so excited I squealed. After I calmed down, I got myself together and quickly got into gear to begin the preparations for the evening. I still had a shower to take, coffee to make, and also had to put in some kid duty to limit any guilt later on. I was so happy I even let J. take a nap while I waited for LilCherie to get here!"

LilCherie arrived at approximately 6 p.m. The two women laughed easily as they played with Depressionista's son while her husband finished his slumber. It was as if there had never even been a question about whether or not the evening would happen.

"I can't believe we did it," Depressionista said.

"Yep," LilCherie replied. "We pulled off another Girls' Night."

Their shared laughter floated through the air like bubbles in the wind as they reminisced about all the times it almost didn't happen. There were the Girls' Nights after sinus surgery, strep throat and a tonsillectomy; the blizzard a couple years ago that Depressionista weathered on the way to LilCherie's; and of course, who could forget the ice storm last November that LilCherie and PioneerGirl drove through to attend the Girls' Night Christmas 2007 Extravaganza?

"You know, we really shouldn't even worry," Depressionista said. "We're like the postal service. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays us from the swift completion of our appointed rounds."

"Amen," LilCherie replied. "Amen."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

In the Shadow of Sinister Virus, Two Women Struggle to Save Girls' Night

When LilCherie's husband, Big R, came home Tuesday night, March 11, she thought nothing of his slightly nasal voice, sniffles here and there and his general malaise.

Tonight, however, on the eve of what is supposed to be Girls' Night with her friend Depressionista, she looks back with the knowledge that only time could bring.

"I was so naive," she said, shaking her head. "I thought it was just a little cold. Little did I know that it would become a full-fledged, weekend-plan-threatening flu."

By Wednesday morning, Big R's condition had worsened to the point that he had to call in sick to work. When Thursday morning arrived with little improvement in her husband's condition, LilCherie began to worry about the days ahead.

"Depressionista and I had planned to get together tomorrow night for Girls' Night. When Big R called in sick again on Thursday, I started getting a bad feeling about it," LilCherie said. "I still didn't want to say anything to Depressionista. I didn't want to worry her needlessly."

Things seemed to be looking up by this morning. Big R had started to feel a little better the night before and was able to go to work. The D-Man, the couple's son, was just as chipper as ever--in fact, he'd even gotten sent to the principal's office the day before for an unusual display of rebelliousness.

A phone call at 3:45 p.m. this afternoon, however, shattered the fragile bubble of LilCherie's optimism. It was a call from the D-Man's school, and it would change the odds for a successful Girls' Night that weekend dramatically.

"The school nurse said he was crying, and that he said he didn't feel good and he 'hurt all over,'" LilCherie recalled. "I knew right then that the D-Man had it. It was a nightmare. I just couldn't believe this was happening--not to us."

Soon after the call, LilCherie decided it was time to break the news to Depressionista.

"I was so glad I got her voicemail," LilCherie said. "I didn't want to hear the anguish in her voice when I told her that the probability of Girls' Night had just gone way down. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being Girls' Night not happening at all, I probably started out the week at a 9. After Big R got sick it went down a few points, but it was up again this morning. When I got that call from the D-Man's school, though, it went all the way down to 3 or 4."

The D-Man came home with a fever and the chills, but after just one dose of ibuprofen he was almost back to normal by bedtime. That, coupled with the fact that LilCherie thought she was getting the virus Thursday but felt better by Friday, made it difficult to predict how the weekend might go. Complicating matters even further, she had her period, which made accurate interpretation of her body's signals almost impossible.

Riddled with uncertainty, LilCherie and Depressionista spoke to each other on the phone late this evening, trying to reassure one another in the face of the unknown.

"He seemed a lot better after he got some ibuprofen," LilCherie told her. "I'm not sure what will happen. I think we should PBE it [Play It By Ear]." She hung up the phone with a look of resolve and resignation.

"She took it well," LilCherie said. "I expected her to demand me to rate the chances of a Girls' Night from 1 to 10, but she didn't. In fact, she reassured me that whatever happened, it would be okay. Somehow, I'm at peace with it all. If Girls' Night is meant to happen tomorrow night--if it really is God's will--it will happen."

Check back for updates on this developing story.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ripped From the Headlines...

Click on the photos for more....

Something that made me laugh:













Wow....that tour seemed like SO much longer
than three hours, man...What did you say Gilligan?




Something that made me feel old:

Tom Hulce today....















....and back in the Oh Yeah,
You Can Rock Me Amadeus days.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The straight poop

Hi everyone! I've been meaning to post for days but every time I get on the computer I end up getting completely absorbed in other people's blogs or weird stuff like this or this. Thanks, Cobblestone, for checking in, because it lit the small fire under my ass that was necessary to get me to write. For future reference: If you don't see me around for awhile that probably means that things are actually semi-okay in my life, because always seem to blog out my pain more than my happiness. Which is something I want to change...we'll see!

Also, thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments on my last post, and when I'm a little more somber, I'd like to delve into that discussion again. It's a good one, I think.

All kinds of things have been swirling around in my head to share with you. And then I forget them when I sit down to write, so forgive me if this feels very scattered.

Current Events
The hubbub about Gov. Spitzer. If he was using federal money to get off, okay, that's a problem. But from the little I've seen and read, the tone is one of shock and outrage that he slept with a prostitute. What? A man cheating on his wife? A politician involved with prostitutes? Is this even news anymore?

Today on "The Today Show," I caught a bit of Meredith Vieira interviewing Dr. Laura Schlesinger, along with two other "experts," about the scandal. Dr. Laura was vigorously supporting her stance that if women don't make their men "feel important and valued," they should not be surprised when their man "looks elsewhere to fill those needs." Hmmm. My first thought on this was to imagine what it must be like to live with the kind of man who would go to a prostitute to "fill his needs." My second thought was...is this 1958???

One of the other "experts" (I would include a name here but for the life of me I can't find a damn thing on The Today Show website) talked about Spitzer's "high cheekbones and large forehead" or something being a sign of high testosterone which makes him more susceptible to infidelity. So...it's either his wife or his hormones. It couldn't be that he's just an asshole now, could it? What a joke.

The lady who power-washed her two-year-old at the car wash. Sickening. I have spent the last several days trying to dodge this horrifying footage.

Salvia Divinorum becoming illegal, touted as "the new marijuana." Time to stock up, ladies. I don't see a problem with the old marijuana, let alone the new, but if it's good enough to be outlawed, I better get some socked away. I continue to be astounded at how American government continues to focus on issues that are non-issues while ignoring or bungling things that really matter to people, like the economy, war, health care.

I struggle with the reasoning behind taking away every means of mental escape from the masses--except alcohol and TV (neither of which are as fun as pot and hallucinogenics). I don't have a theory about how alcohol has managed to stay under the radar in this age of banning everything fun, but the TV issue is an easy one: it's a great way to force feed fear, which keeps people worrying about things that don't matter so that they won't rise up to change what does matter. Maybe this is why people are so much more violent and angry toward one another now? Heh, that's going to be my theory from now on. "Give us the pot and no one gets hurt!" No wonder we all need Zoloft and Xanax...which are, of course, okay because they help Big Pharma keep turning its wheels.

Here's an idea--why not just have the pharmaceutical companies take over the manufacture and distribution of the MJ, the 'shrooms, the salvia and all the other fun stuff? I'd be willing to pay a little more to have it legally, and besides, in a few years I'm sure psychiatrists would find a way to make it legitimate enough that my insurance company would foot most of the bill. Imagine that--going to the pharmacy and paying your $10 copay for your dime bag! Oh cruel dreams, you taunt me!

Breast Health. First, let me say I'm all for it. Second, I get a little uncomfortable when I hear commercials on TV about vitamins that promote "breast health," or when I see the headline I saw on CNN today, "Keeping your breasts healthy at every age." There is one reason this bothers me, and it's not because I am ashamed of the word or the appendages or anything like that. I am pissed about the double standard. I want to see a commercial for a men's vitamin that promotes "testicular health." I want to see a headline on CNN that says "Keeping your penis health at every age." Why don't we? Aren't men's testicles and peni as important as our breasts?

I think the media in general still trades on the sensationalism of talking about breasts. They've been used to sell everything else, why not use them to sell vitamins and news and cancer research fund drives? Hmm. Maybe I'm looking at it the wrong way. Maybe I should just stand in awe of the power of the female breast--I mean, look how much it can do!!!

A final unrelated note: I was just involved in a shit-standoff in my Safe Haven work bathroom in the basement. I walk into an empty bathroom, empty my bladder and am just about ready to drop my load when another lady walks in and parks herself in the stall next door. I decide to hold off, hoping she's just going to pee and leave, but she pees and then....nothing. Neither of us are making a sound. Finally, I decide to abort mission and suck it back in to hopefully get some privacy elsewhere. I hate that!! Once again, I wish for a ShitStall 3. This leads me (as most things do) to Poop Stories. Since I have some new readers, I'll put out the call again--care to share your all-time favorite poop stories? If so, I'd love to read them!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

PostMortem

It's 5:30 a.m., J. and LilCherie is asleep and Bubba is spending the
weekend at my sister's, so I'm up reading blogs. I read this post by charmedgirl and thought, wow, she's really going to try again so soon! Then I realized that it's been six months since she had P@ige, and thought about how six months after I lost my daughter, I had already failed one IUI and seven months later, I would be pregnant with my son.

Then I read this post by C. It's so raw, and so full of longing that it made my heart ache in such a familiar way. Being there came rushing back to me, and made me consider being here.

"We got so lucky with Bubba," I said to J. today in the car on the way to the antique show. "I always feel weird saying we got lucky."

"Me too," J. says. "I always feel like I'm tempting fate to take him away."

"Oh wow," I say. "I always feel like, 'how can I even say I'm lucky when one of my kids is dead?'"

At the antique show, I saw a family Bible inscribed with the names of twins, Louis and Victoria, born on the 25th of a long-ago September. Louis lived 10 days; Victoria lived 15 years. Someone lived long enough after they died to write it in the book.

"Hey, come over here," J. motions to me. I come over to look and he points out a postcard-sized black-and-white postmortem photograph of a little boy, probably about five years old, resplendent in his best knickers and jacket and laid out on the family bed.
The photos "were life-affirming rather than creepy and macabre, as most people think of them today," said Jack Kabrud, director and curator of the Hennepin History Museum. Its exhibit on the topic is called "A Semblance of Life: The Art and Culture of the Post Mortem Photograph," with about 50 photos from the 1850s to as late as the 1940s.

"These photos were the final gift to the survivors," Kabrud said. "It was something they could hold."

The Art of the Postmortem Photo
by Peg Meier
The Minneapolis Star Tribune, Nov. 4, 2005


Later, at home, I walk down the hall and then stop for a moment.
Something's bothering me, what is it? Oh, the door to Bubba's room is closed. How long that door stayed closed, waiting for hope.

I open it part of the way, until it feels less dangerous.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Question

Do you ever read someone's blog, see that they are entrenched in a major case of denial about a big life issue that will probably hurt them in the end, and you really want to challenge it by leaving a comment? Do you? Or do you just let them enjoy the denial while it lasts?

I have this question about a blog I just found not long ago (not anyone who has ever commented here, so don't get paranoid!)

Edited to Add: I meant to write this earlier and I forgot. If I am the blogger that you recognize this denial and/or other self-destructive thought patterns in, PLEASE feel free to leave me a real comment on it! Like Charmedgirl, I want to hear it all, no censorship please! Okay. Glad to get that out of the way!

Responses to the responses, and thanks!

Wow. You guys are amazing! Thanks so much for taking the time to take the test and sharing your scores with me. It actually does help somehow, although again I can't really define why. Maybe I needed some kind of confirmation that I really do have some kind of problem? Maybe I wanted to see that it really isn't normal to feel this way? I don't know. But thanks just the same! I want to respond to a few of the comments--I always feel like I might as well do it in another post rather than in the comment thread, hope you don't mind.

Cobblestone: After reading your comment I did a little net search on Goldberg's Depression Test, it looks like it's a real test developed by a real psychiatrist but I'm sure some companies who peddle antidepressants use it to their advantage.

Anonymous: I am so, so sorry you lost your daughter Erin, and I admire your ability to stay standing. Thanks for coming here and for taking the test for me. I hope things continue to get less painful for you as time goes on.

Thrice: I'm on 225 mg of Effexor and 50mg of Zoloft. Are you on meds currently? Are they helping?

Karmagirl: If you don't think you're depressed, just go with that! Don't let the test get you down for crying out loud! Thanks for the good person comment, you are so sweet!

Meredith: I had no problem reading that you were a 4! I am glad for you, although I stand in utter amazement. I really don't think that I could ever get to a 4, and that's not my depression talking. I mean, I don't think it's in my personal psychological/genetic makeup to be able to get to a 4. I don't think I've ever, in my life, been at a 4. Wow. Good job!

Melissa and Cate: Ditto the above for your scores of 6 and 12, respectively! Holy cow! Good job.
And Melissa, I usually see the therapist every week on Tuesday, although this week I had to cancel because I had two other appointments that day that couldn't be put off. And I really like your advice that "it may seem pointless, but pretend as if it's not." Thank you for suggesting that, because that seems like something I can do!

LilCherie: 37, huh? That puts you just into the "moderate to severe" category. I don't think of you as depressed, but then again, I'm pretty narcissistic these days. Fodder for discussion tomorrow!

Charmedgirl: First, impressive that you scored a 20. That's really good. I'm proud of you. Second, your comment made a lot of sense to me. I'm definitely not going to stop therapy or go off the meds or anything, and I'm going to keep working with the psychiatrist, but I think you get to the heart of matter here. I've been thinking the last couple of days that no pill is going to make my job more interesting or fulfilling; no pill is going to make my marriage more satisfying; and no pill is going to make me enjoy all the "have-to's" in my life.

An interesting and I think related issue that I've been working on in therapy is that when my therapist asks me what I enjoy doing, or what I would like to do if I felt better, or what makes me happy....I come up with a total fucking blank. Is it any wonder that I'm sad? And you know, it's kind of scary to even try to think about it because I'm afraid there isn't anything there. That there isn't anything that will fulfill me. Logically, I know (or think I know) that that can't be the case...but the possibility of it scares me because if that's true then there really won't be much reason to keep going, you know? So I think that's why I put off thinking about it.

Last night I went home and went to bed until the guys came home. Then I really tried to rally and got up for awhile, but went down again at 7:30. I slept through until this morning, and do feel better today. It helps that it's Friday, and that my sister is taking Bubba tonight and tomorrow night and my mom and dad are taking him Sunday night, so we will get a whole weekend to ourselves. It also helps that J. has been really kind and understanding this week. He's done a few things around the house on his own, and taken care of Bubba quite a bit, including actually playing with him and not just watching TV. Last night I guess they worked on making a cardboard Millenium Falcon. J. also actually came into my room last night while I was still awake and laid down and talked to me, asked me how I was feeling, seemed actually concerned. I don't know exactly why he's being nicer, but it's helping things at our house quite a bit. He even got us tickets to go to an antique sale tomorrow, almost like a "date."

So today, so far, is better. Thanks again to everyone who commented.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Why?

Well, I had a couple good days at least.

Everything seems so pointless that it's hard to even write post because I keep asking myself the question, "Why?"

Why do you want to hear about how depressed I am? I guess it really doesn't matter, right? I mean, it's a blog, you can read it if you want or click away if you want.

I see my psychiatrist on Monday. I don't think she can help me. I am pretty much losing faith in the psychiatric profession. It seems that most of the people who become therapists do it because they are fucked up themselves (case in point--I've even thought about it as a possible career!) All the psychiatrists I've seen seem to do the same thing--make me spill all of my deepest, darkest thoughts about why my life sucks and how messed up I am and then suggest a pill or a medication adjustment that doesn't work. It used to work, for awhile. Not anymore. These people have years and years of training and yet it's like they flail around in the dark, throwing pills at people randomly. I mean, I feel like I could do the same exact thing without any training. Let's try Effexor this time. Wait a couple months. Not working? Add in some Zoloft. Still not working? Up the dosage a little. Still not working? Well, let's wean off the Effexor and try the Cymbalta. It never seems to work....it never seems to end.

I almost feel.....uninterested in seeing the psychiatrist again. Again, that question, "Why?" Why go if it doesn't help? What else can she offer except more drugs that don't do anything?

I took this test today and got a score of 79. A score of 54 or higher indicates severe depression--I think the highest you can get is 90. A score of 79 while I'm on Effexor and Zoloft and seeing a therapist and in the first half (i.e. the "better" half) of my cycle. Will you guys do me a favor, if you don't mind revealing? Could you all take it and let me know what scores you get? For a reason I can't define, I feel like it would be a good way to sort of put my own stuff into context.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

For Tingle's Boss

My friend Tingle gave me and LilCherie an important job for our last Girls' Night. She asked us to come up with activities that her boss and her boss' daughter could do while recovering from a broken leg (boss) and a broken pelvis (daughter). Here's what we came up with! (Be sure to click on the photos for more information!)

Rent laptops and look at porn.
Cultivate a Chia Pet. ("I have been on this couch since that thing was bald!")
Watch seasons one and two of "Weeds."
Learn a new language!
Look at pretty sparkly things.
Shrinky Dinks and suncatchers! (Note: Need an assistant to do the baking)
Eat lots of Oreos.
Learn how to play the recorder.
Do a huge splatter painting (so they can just throw the paint at the canvas).
Have a babyfood tasting.
Have theme days like "Mexican Day" where they can work on piƱatas, eat salsa, chips and tacos, and drink sangria.
Grow out their toenails.
Finger paint.
Make nippleprints.
Learn to identify different cuts of meat.
Build a model.
Make cool things out of Sculpey.
Learn to be a cobbler.
Start a blog!
Start their memoirs.
Puzzles.
Learn how to create a crossword puzzle.
Call us. Just call us!
Call 1-800 numbers and order samples and catalogs for other people.
Explore their genealogy.
Sleep.
Become wine, cheese, or beef stick connoisseurs.
Watch Court TV.
Write a soap opera.
Learn sign language.
Do projects like typing, organizing things, rewriting recipes, etc. for other people.

Decorate Easter eggs!
Organize a charity drive. Use the computer and Paypal and have people sponsor them by pledging $5 for every day that they are immobile.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Light

I feel human again! Since I last talked to you I:
-Went to the oto, got antibiotics for yet another infection (definitely going for second opinion April 1).
-Actually started using my inhaler thing that's supposed to help me with the cough that is from the sinus drainage.
-Made appointment with ob/gyn for annual exam/hormone discussion/endometrial ablation discussion. Appointment is March 7, not bad.
-Really cleaned my house.
-Played with Bubba.
-Did laundry.
-Had Girl's Night with LilCherie and karmagirl (So fun! Thanks for hosting me, ladies!)
-Sent my husband flowers and jelly beans. I know, you are probably thinking "What the fuck are you doing???" Well....he was depressed last week too, and I felt sorry for him, and I wanted to cheer him up. He appreciated it. It was a nice thing to do. What can I say? I'm a pushover.
-Arranged for my sister to take Bubba next weekend, weather permitting.
-Had a pleasant discussion with my mother. She revealed that in her research on depression (i.e., reading the book I mentioned earlier), she has begun recognizing some of the same stuff in herself and especially in her mother! This is a huge breakthrough in my mother's Great Wall of Denial. I hope it will help her and me.

Aurelia commented on one of my earlier posts that I need to get on the pill. I really think that suggestion has a lot of validity, and I will discuss it with my ob. I took it for a long time when I was younger and didn't have any problems with it...but now only I'm 37 and I smoke. And I know myself well enough to know that I am not going to quit smoking anytime soon, just ain't gonna happen. But I'll ask the doctor about risks/options. I mean, I guess I need to figure out if it's more likely that I'll have a stroke while on the pill, or kill myself/ruin my life from the depression I suffer when not on it? I'm also curious as to whether there's something else screwy going on that's fucking up my hormones that maybe could be fixed to solve the problem. We'll see. But it's pretty amazing how by period day three I'm 80 percent better than the day/week/two weeks before.

I have other stuff I want to blog about but I'm hungry and my pizza is done so, you know, I have my priorities. And I probably should get to the store because tomorrow we are supposed to get ice pellets, then freezing rain, then rain, then 4 to 8 inches of snow. On top of the four feet of snow and ice that we already have. At least it's over freezing today so some of it is melting before we get dumped on again. I can't complain enough about how much this winter has sucked....but right now it's sunny and warm and it's nice to smoke on the porch. What more could I want? (ha ha).

Friday, February 22, 2008

Playing Tag

CharmedGirl tagged me, which always makes me feel loved, so thanks! Here's the deal:

1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Post the rules.
3) Share six non-important things / habits / quirks about yourself.
4) Tag at least three people.
5) Be sure the people you tagged KNOW you tagged them by commenting what you did.

1. Food Weirdness: I segregate all my Lucky Charms while I eat them. I go for all the oat shapes first, so that at the end of the bowl I have a several yummy spoonfuls made up almost entirely of charms. I also do this with popcorn, saving the big, puffy, cloud-like kernels for last. Then I nibble off anything that's hard so that at the end, I have one handful of completely hull-free popcorn that melts in my mouth. When I was a kid, I used to personify my pancakes. When I ate the second-to-last piece of pancake, I would tell the lone piece left on my plate, who was surely lonely and scared, that it was okay, soon it would be with all of it's pancake friends in my stomach.

2. Every so often (right now, in fact) I decide to grow my toenails out. Not to be pretty, oh god no--in fact, just the opposite. I want to see how long I can stand the grossness and also enjoy disgusting my inner circle who is subjected to viewing the nails. The last time I did this, we had a ceremonial toenail-cutting during a Girls' Weekend at the cabin.

3. Once, after a Girls' Night at LilCherie's in which she forced me to watch titillating films from the 60s, I was so desperate to get off that I snuggled up to her electric shiatsu chair massager. It didn't quite work, but the frontal action was so exquisite that I bought my own the very next day. Now I keep an emergency vibe at her house for just such a situation. Always be prepared!

4. Occasionally, just for fun, I will fart loudly in a public place (usually Walgreens) to embarrass not only myself, but whoever is with me (usually it's LilCherie or Tingle). What can I say, I enjoy fart humor. And embarrassing people.

5. A local grocery store chain has special parking spaces at some of it's locations that are "Reserved for new or expectant mothers." It has a little stork on it and everything. When I was TTC, they irritated me, but after losing Hope they enraged me. Since then I have made it a personal mission to always park in this spot if it is available. Since I'm fat, it works out well--all I have to do is arch my back a bit and I can pass, if I feel like it. Otherwise, I just walk normally and send out the "I dare you," vibe to the universe. In some small way, it feels very satisfying.

6. I am somewhat obsessed with serial killers. I just find it fascinating and scary and it's kind of always been a fear of mine so I guess it's natural that I would want to learn more about it. My area of specialization would have to be Ted Bundy, because after reading "The Stranger Beside Me" by Ann Rule, I was hooked. This personal quirk freaked Tingle out quite a bit because, for some reason, this came up during her first visit to my house...and moments later, J., for some reason I don't remember, decided to show her and her hubby his grandfather's meat cleaver that had been passed down to him and was hanging in our basement. And she's still my friend. That's love, folks!

Alright....well, I hope after reading all that, you'll still come back! Now I'm going to tag Complicated Mama, Melissa, and Thrice.

Thanks, Charmy, for the fun topic. It was a great diversion!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Oh, poor little me!

First, I want to say thanks to everyone and to let you know that your nonjudgmental support means so much to me. I made it through the day (and night) last night, feeling a little better today, especially after writing the dump below. I also want everyone to know that if necessary, I will go to the ER. I'm not there yet, but if I do, I will do it, even though I know, like Charmed said, that it could affect custody stuff. I look at it this way: in the event of a divorce, it would be better for Bubba to have me around and healthy, even if I didn't have primary custody, than it would be for him to have to deal with the after-effects of his mother committing suicide. But anyway...thanks again so much.

Okay...onward. The rest of this post is going to be a major mind-dump of narcissistic bitching about everything. You've been warned.

I was up until 4 a.m. Then I awoke for the 7:45 a.m. scramble that my husband is doing to try to get his own depressed self and Bubba out the door. Bubba wants a cuddle, so I'm cuddling him for a brief moment, and he tells me that "I don't want to go to school. Joe and Hans hit me yesterday. Joe says I'm not his friend." He had already mentioned this to me last night as well. I asked Bubba if he was afraid to go to school and he said yes. So I relay this to J., who says he will bring it up with the teacher. He called me later and said her explanation was "Yeah, yesterday was kind of a crazy day and we'll keep a closer eye on it." J. is calling right now to make an appointment for our meeting with the teachers. Yay.

Then I called my boss. That went well. We talked about maybe reducing my hours for awhile instead of a full leave, which I think makes sense because I don't want to fall off the face of the earth and down into this hole forever, and I think I could handle some work if I knew I also had some time to just...recover, I guess. Anyway, I'm going to take the rest of the week off, try to figure out what to do, and go back Monday.

Then I called my parents. I need to put a big sign up on my wall that says, "If you are feeling depressed, DO NOT CALL YOUR PARENTS." I called them today, mostly because I had worked up my nerve to ask if they could take Bubba for the weekend. I started off telling them I wasn't doing so well and that I was trying to figure out what do about work, etc. My mother starts telling me that if I lose my job I'm "really going to have problems."

"What are you going to do if you don't go to work? Just sit around being miserable?" she says. Then the crying starts. "We need to find something or someone who is going to make you better. You're too young to spend your whole life feeling miserable." She tells me she thinks maybe I need to "go somewhere" to get better, and that she will come with me or pay for it or whatever. She tells me she's even thought about "that place on Dr. Phil where they're always sending people." (Even in my depression, I think this is kinda funny...) "There has to be something I can do to make you better," she says, almost sobbing on the phone. This goes on, with my dad getting on the phone making comments like "If work was fun, they'd call it a hobby" and "It's a state of mind." My mother tells me about how hard this is for them. My mother wonders aloud if I "enjoy being depressed." They both want to know "what's causing it."

The end result for me, in my narcissistic daze, is the following:
*I feel like I am ruining not only my life and my kid's life, but also my parents'.
*I feel bad for causing them so much pain.
*I feel like a failure because I can't just get it together.
*I feel like my parents blame me even though they say they don't.
*I feel like a huge burden on everyone who cares about me.
*I feel like I should just try really hard to conceal this from them from now on, make them believe that I am better, and never confide in them about this again.

I told them that the biggest thing they could do to help me would be to do some research on what depression really is, because I want them to understand that it's not like I choose to be nonfunctional, it just is. It's not like there's some magic pill or magic therapist or whatever that's going to make it all go away. It reminds me very much of when I was grieving Hope and six months out, they told me that I had to get things together or I was going to lose my job and my marriage and that it was time to move on and get better. Like I had control over that. Anyway. My mother says she bought a book called "Undoing Depression" so that she could try to help me undo it, I guess. I told them that I would appreciate it if they wouldn't outline all the ways I'm ruining my life when I call them. I told them that sometimes I just need someone to listen, you know? I'm sure they don't get it. I said at one point that it would help if they took Bubba this weekend but then I said I was afraid to ask because I felt like they were mad at me and the conversation turned to them telling me they weren't mad at me and the Bubba thing was never addressed again...so it looks like that's a no go.

Look, I know that my parents love me and they don't understand and they are doing the best they can...but JESUS CHRIST. How do I keep forgetting that every time I call them with a problem, it becomes their problem that I feel bad about causing?

In the aftermath of the phone call, I am blowing my nose, and suddenly a bunch of fluid pours out of my right nostril. By now I know that it's a cyst in my sinus, because this is like the third time it's happened. So that's what was causing all my pain, maybe there's also an infection causing it to form, I don't know. I called my doctor's office. The phone rang about 10 times before someone answered. I say I need to speak with my doctor's nurse. "Well, they're in clinic in Xtown today," she says. "Okay, then what's the number there?" I ask. "Well, they don't take calls there," she says. "Okay," I say, clearly bitchy by now, "then I need to speak with someone else's nurse." At this point I have to give her my name, which is probably flagged with a huge skull and crossbones at the front desk or something, and tell her what is going on. I give her a terse history ("I had surgery in October, I had infections until January, I think I have another one and a cyst in my right sinus just ruptured.") Someone Else's Nurse calls me back (she's actually pleasant) and miraculously, my doctor has an opening tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. "Someone must have cancelled," she tells me. I think "cyst" and "rupture" were the words that got some action.

Then I called LilCherie's oto, in the town that's 40 min. away, and got an appointment for April 1. I'm going to get my records/scans and take them up there and get a second opinion and see if he can help me. I figure that if I've been having problems this long, I'll probably still be having problems in another month's time, so that should work out alright.

And I'm supposed to go to the dentist today at 4 p.m. to have them start working on fixing my bite, which is completely fucked up because I'm grinding the hell out of my teeth. Still haven't figured out if I'll go or if I'll have to come up with some excuse to get out of it.

Here's what keeps going around in my head. "You are causing problems for everyone who loves you. You are making your life worse by not dealing with it. You are so selfish to be so self-absorbed. Your life is not that bad, why are you such a wuss? Just deal with it!" Hmmm. Pretty much what I got from my parents. Believe it or not, I never really made that connection before. Ahhh, therapy by blogging. It's pretty amazing.

Oh, and I got my period yesterday, so today I'm dealing with Aunt Flo's Second-Day Hemorrhage.

In spite of it all, I am actually feeling a little better today. I'm feeling like I need to and possibly can make a plan to try to get better. It's all very confusing, but what comes to mind right now are the following (in no particular order). It all sounds very ambitious, but really I'm just brainstorming right now, so I'm not ruling anything out.

*See psychiatrist as soon as she's back in town (on vacation now, of course).
*Tell psychiatrist I need some major and immediate help, and that if she can't provide that she needs to send me to someone who can. Ask if it would be helpful to have therapy with her as well as med management.
*Get appointment with ob/gyn. Discuss period-related depression issues, ask about testing my hormone levels or other diagnostics to see if we can find a physiological problem, talk about endometrial ablation.
*Figure out reduced work hours schedule.
*Arrange a short break from everything--i.e., go away by myself for four or five days, spend the money even though I don't have it to give myself some pampering and some respite and some distance from everything that's bearing down on me.
*Look into some alternative therapies like acupuncture, reiki, herbal supplements, whatever. Just doing something else to feel proactive would be helpful I think.
*Try, really really try, to start getting some exercise, any exercise. I know better than to expect that I will be getting up at 5 a.m. to go running or anything, but I need to move my body.
*On the same token, I need to pay some more attention to my nutrition.
*Commit to marriage counseling. The counselor we were referred to has no openings, so I need to talk to J. about finding someone else, even if we have to pick someone out of the phone book. I'm still going to talk to the lawyer on Monday, but right now I don't trust myself very much, and I don't want to make big, life-altering decisions in this frame of mind. This might sound naive and stupid after everything I've written here, but what I really want is for this marriage to work and for us to both be happy--so that's what I should be working toward.
*Look for ways that I can do something meaningful with my life. I think a big part of my dissatisfaction with my job is that it is so pointless and doesn't help anyone or mean anything in the big picture of life. Man, I wish J.'s grandma would just die already so we could get a little money to go back to school or something! She's 98 fucking years old! (I am terrible.)

I'm thinking about actually writing this all down in a calendar book, actually scheduling them in small steps, like "Feb. 27: Call acupuncturist and make appointment" or "Feb. 28: Look into options for getaway" or whatever.

Whew. I do feel better. For anyone who made it this far, I thank you. For everyone reading, commenting, thinking about me...I thank you. Very much.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Dark

My life is falling apart and I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do. I can't work. I emailed my boss today and I'm going to talk to her about a leave of absence, which will mean I will have to ask my parents to help me financially, but it's getting to the point where I can't ever make it in for a full week and even when I'm there I can't get much done.

Last night J. came home depressed himself, because he had some disappointing career news that I can't say anything else about, but he wanted to go to bed and I did the big sigh and then said okay, which really means no, so he stayed up and put Bubba to bed and then just went silently into his own bed and went to sleep. Then he got up and did all the Bubba care this morning to get out of the house by 8 a.m. I am such a complete loser. I go on and on about what a jerk J. is here, but I am just as bad. I sent J. an email half an hour ago asking him if he could get out of work a couple hours early and come home and talk to me. He hasn't responded so he either doesn't want to, can't, or hasn't gotten around to reading my note yet.

I think I have a sinus infection, and I called the doctor's office today and they didn't have an opening until next Tuesday. Next fucking Tuesday. This, after we struggled for almost three months, from October to the beginning of January, to get rid of the post-surgical infections. This, after my doctor told me, "If you have ANY inkling that you are getting another infection, call right away." I said to the receptionist, "So I have to wait a week to be seen for a sinus infection?" The receptionist confirmed this. I said, "Just forget it," and hung up on her. But I still have the sinus infection, the only other option in town is the U of WKWKYKBYSOUM. I may have to go to another town 40 minutes away if I switch. I should probably call my doctor back and demand to talk to his nurse, but fuck, I don't care enough. It's weird wanting to die but still worrying about your sinuses. I guess I just don't want any more pain. Ya know?

WHY is this so bad right now? WHY is my brain so screwed up and WHY isn't anything helping? I almost want to say...in fact, I will say that I am worse mentally than I was after Hope died. At least then I could make it in to work most days. At least then I knew why I was in such pain. At least then I didn't have another little life depending on me to be "okay." At least then, people knew and were understanding of why I was screwed up.

After Hope died, I did therapy, meds, got massages from a lady who helped me "talk" to my baby and told me about my auras, saw a shamanic healer, wrote in my journal, reached out for support from my friends and got involved in a support group message board which is where I found Tingle. I remember then thinking "I am doing EVERYTHING I possibly can to get better, and it's not working." That's how I feel right now. I wish it was a physical problem. I wish it was something I could point to, that people could see, so that I wouldn't have to just feel like a loser.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I made the call

Right now I feel like this is the best outlet for all this stuff because often I am either too tired or depressed to talk to my friends about it or I feel like I don't want to always have it be all about me all the time so I don't want to go on about it, even though they never make me feel bad about it. Anyway. Expect lots of gut-spilling for awhile.

I called my lawyer friend and set up a consultation with her for next Monday. She said initially that she doesn't think there is any kind of conflict of interest. The whole thing makes me feel anxious and sick inside. I feel like a failure. I had the most ridiculous thought this afternoon about how crappy our class reunion in 2009 will be if J. and I are divorced and we have to face everyone who knew us back in the early days of our "romance." No, I don't have to go, and no, I don't care what these people think....but there's a part of me that feels really ashamed about all of this, a part of me that doesn't want the world to know that my marriage is this bad. But on the other hand, here I am blogging about it.

Anyway. I took a first step. We'll see where it goes.

Advice?

Maybe somebody out there knows the answer to this question. I am trying to find a divorce attorney because the one I was going to go to is unavailable. I used to work with a woman who left to earn her law degree. I would call myself a distant friend of hers--you know, the occasional email, she took care of my cat once when we were out of town, we used to get together once a year or so but haven't for at least two years now. She is now an attorney who handles divorce. I was thinking about at least having a consultation with her, but I want to know if our previous relationship would be some kind of conflict of interest? I know nothing about this stuff.

Today, when J. was talking about how he needed money for something because he had accidentally left his ATM card in a machine and it got eaten, I said "Well, don't you have a checkbook?" And he shook his head no. I asked why not and he told me that he had been forced to close his account last May because it had been overdrawn too many times (he works for a bank and they have rules about that kind of thing). I asked why he had never told me and he said, "Well, it's not causing a problem, is it?" My name was on that account--neither one of us had gotten around to taking it off. I know, stupid. J. tells me it won't affect anything negatively for me. I'm not too concerned about it, but I feel....troubled by the whole thing.

I'm also troubled because there's a part of me that feels sorry for J. I really feel that divorce is the right thing to do, but on the other hand I worry that J. doesn't have much money, his parents are both dead and his friends network is pretty superficial...I worry that he will do something terrible like kill himself or something. I've taken care of J. for a long time and it makes me sad, in a way, that he won't have anyone to do it after I'm gone. I know, he should be taking care of himself....still I feel bad. Those of you who have been through this--did you deal with any similar feelings or fears about your ex?

One of the reasons this is so difficult is that there are parts of J. that I still love, and I still care about him. But I think I'm coming to realize that those feelings don't mean that it is best for us to stay married.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Yep, it's time.

Everyone who posted...you are right. You so are right. I re-read my post today and it has crystallized. I feel that every time I realize that I really need to get out, it brings me one step closer to actually doing it, if that makes sense. Each time I realize it, then "give it another try," my resolve deepens just a little bit.

I am going to call a lawyer on Monday, the one that came recommended to me from one of the people I trust most in this world. I've already had the free consultation with her--did that a couple of years ago. I'll try to find that file and look it over again, but regardless, I'm calling the lawyer, explaining my situation, and start working on a real plan. I know lawyers are expensive, and I might end up broke at the end of it all, but I think I still have enough room on my card to pay for it now. I know my family will help me when I need it. I know I have friends who will support me as much as they can. I know that if worse comes to worst, I can declare bankruptcy or call a credit counseling place or something and get things under control again. I won't be in any worse shape, really, than I am now.

I think I'm going to hold off on any more divorce talk with J. until I see the lawyer. I might need to sit tight for awhile and try to get some things figured out--I'll see what she says. There are some things I need to do that will alert J. to what I'm doing: I need to get into our lockbox and I need to have my name taken off his bank account, which only he uses at this point. I also need to get documentation of our home equity loan. This is difficult because J. works at the bank where all this stuff is, so I'm just going to have to do it and let the chips fall where they may. Oh well.

Last week I looked through all my bank statements back to September (my account is at a different bank!) and wrote down in a notebook how much money J. had given me from each of his paychecks over the past six months. There were many "nothing" entries. I also started writing down when J. forgets Bubba's medicine or does something else equally stupid, when I buy groceries/medicine/gas/other necessities for the house and especially for Bubba, when he is gone working late/seeing friends, when I bathe Bubba, put him to bed, take him to the doctor, stay home sick with him, that kind of stuff, so that I can better prove, if necessary, that I am providing most of Bubba's financial support and a large part of his care at home.

Melissa, you asked what happened at my psych appointment. Basically, she added some Zoloft to my Effexor. I go back in about two weeks and at that point, if I'm still feeling nonfunctional, then we will talk about Prozac or mood stabilizers, which have a lot of shitty side effects so I hope the Zoloft works. I went in looking like hell, a huge breakout on my face and no makeup, unshowered, unkempt, and then when I got there I was all fidgety and almost paranoid and really nervous...and then I cried of course. It couldn't be much more obvious that I am on the edge. I'm not sure what else I expect her to do...but somehow, it doesn't really feel like enough. I've been on the Zoloft/Effex. combo since that day, last Monday. Not really feeling any difference yet.

I got out of the house tonight and came down to LilCherie's, which has been a great break, although I don't want to go to sleep (it's 4:15 a.m.) because I know when I get up I have to go back there.

I just feel so sorry for Bubba. I know that it's probably better in the long run for us to get divorced now and spare him the years of angst/bitterness/coldness between us, but man, it's going to be so confusing and scary and awful for him. And it will be that way for me when he has to be with his dad. I would love words of encouragement here from anyone with kids who has gone through divorce to let me know that it will all be okay. At least I know J. isn't violent or malicious toward Bubba in ANY way and that he loves him with all his heart, so what I'd most have to worry about is that Bubba won't get bathed, may not get his medicine (which shouldn't be life-threatening) and will spend the entire time watching stuff on TV that's inappropriate for his age. It could be worse. But it breaks my heart that we will be hurting Bubba in this way.

I really never imagined that our relationship would fall apart AFTER we were lucky enough to have a living child. I never would have imagined that the absence of crisis would mean the end of our relationship. I never would have imagined that trying to live in normalcy would be the challenge that we'd be unable to meet.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Fuck it all

I am going crazy.
It's scary.

Last night: Woke up at 10:30 to coughing-to-the-point of vomiting child. Got him calmed down, nebulized, and back to bed but I was worried so I slept with him, waking up each time he coughed.

This morning: Woke up, did all the morning shit, got Bubba dressed and ready for school, drove J. to work so that I could have the car to take Bubba to his 10:30 doctor's appointment. When I climbed into the driver's seat I noticed the gas tank was far down into the red. "Thanks for leaving me some gas," I call to J. as he gets his stuff out of the car. He shuts the door and leaves, not saying anything.

Get Bubba to school and am at my desk by 8:40 or so. Finish work project in time to go get Bubba from school and take him to doctor. Doctor can't hear anything wrong with Bubba's lungs, but since the neb worked last night she prescribes an inhaler and spacer that we can use that will hopefully ease the coughing while he sleeps and also take less time/effort to give him, because Bubba doesn't like the neb so much.

Stop at gas station on way back from doctor's office. Cannot get gas cap off. This is an issue that's been going on for about a year, and about a year ago I asked J. to get it fixed. Since then, there have been occasional mentions of this problem, but no action. I wrestle with this thing for 10 minutes. Call J. to see if there's anything else I can try. He has no suggestions. I tell him that if I can't get it off I will call him back and he will have to get a ride to gas station so that he can get it off because I can't go any further without gas, especially with Bubba in the car.

Another five minutes and I get the thing off. Fill car with gas. Take Bubba, who has fallen to sleep in the car by now, back to school. Go to pharmacy to drop off Bubba's prescriptions. Pick up lunch to go and then pick up J. because he wants the car to go to the library over his lunch hour. He takes me back to work. The stress of the whole damn day pretty much has me in overdrive, and by 1:30 or so I'm starting to have the panicky anxiety set in.

At 3:45 I hear wailing on Bubba's daycare's playground below my office. I look out the window and see Bubba crying. He walks over to the teacher, explains something and points, she talks to him and he wanders back to a sled where some kids are playing. The teachers are standing there talking to one another. Bubba gets on the empty seat of a two-person sled, and is promptly shoved off, twice, face-first into the snow. No action from the teachers. Nothing, even though Bubba is seriously crying.

I truck it down to the daycare and take a minute to peer through the door to the playground before making my presence known. I see the teachers still standing there. Then I see one of them rush over to Bubba, at which point I go out to see what the situation is. I am seriously pissed. I call for them to bring Bubba over to me since I have crappy shoes on.

"Joe...pushed....me...off...the...sled," Bubba tells me in between hysterical cries, coughs and gags. I tell the teacher what I saw and that I was concerned that nobody was handling the situation. The teacher backpedals, saying that Bubba had been pretty much crying since he woke up from his nap 45 minutes earlier and that the incident she just took care of was the first one that period (which I know is false because I saw it evolving). I was so upset I was shaking and could barely speak myself. I reiterated that I was concerned and then scooped up Bubba and went in to get his stuff for the day. I ran into the lead teacher in his room and told her the same story, and she pretty much told me the same story that the other one had, you know, that my kid is sick or crabby and THAT's what was causing the problem, not the other kid or the negligent teachers. I am paying them $950 a month. This is the premier center in our entire town/area. The teacher/child ratio in Bubba's room is 1:4. They should be able to make sure my kid doesn't get shoved into the snow, especially after my child alerted them that there was an issue. The kid that shoved him is alternately Bubba's best friend and worst enemy. I know their relationship is difficult, and the teachers know it too. So wouldn't you think they'd pay special attention when they are playing together to make sure nobody gets hurt?

We always tell Bubba that if he's having a problem with another kid, he should go tell a teacher rather than hit or act out. I saw that that's exactly what he did, and the teacher did nothing. That makes me feel like I failed him.

I will be setting up a conference to talk to his teachers about this. Anyway.

I take Bubba up to my office and call J. to come get us (he has the car so he could go to the library, remember). I wait 15 minutes or so then go down to meet J., who is wandering around looking for us at the daycare (he can't call me because he hasn't gotten a new cell phone yet...another bone of contention since he hasn't had one since September and it causes a lot of problems). We get in the car and talk about the incident. I am shaking, sick to my stomach, crying but trying to hide it from Bubba, in the midst of a full-blown panic attack. It's 4:15 p.m. on the day that J. is technically supposed to get off of work at 3:45 p.m.

"Please tell me you're not going back to work," I say to him.
"I have to. I didn't shut anything down or anything and I have stuff I have to do."
"But isn't this your early release day?" I ask.
"Well, it just didn't work out that way today."

Nevermind that I spent three hours of the morning with Bubba/doctor/pharmacy, and now I'm leaving an hour early due to the playground incident. Let's not let that infringe on J.'s day at all.

So we get home, J. finds the time to get Bubba settled before racing back to work for another hour. I take an anxiety pill and vent, rather crazily and panicked, to LilCherie while Bubba watches a movie. J. gets home at 5:45 p.m., 15 minutes before the pharmacy closes. I give him a blank check so he can run up and get Bubba's meds (and mine, which I also had refilled). You see, he couldn't pick them up on the way home because he has no fucking money, even though he never gave me one dime from his last paycheck.

He gets home and I go lay down. I only intended it to be for a couple minutes, but the pill conks me out. I wake up at 11:30 to Bubba coughing and throwing up in his bedroom. J. is in there trying to get Bubba calmed down enough to take a neb treatment. Did J. think to give Bubba a neb treatment before bedtime? Nope. Did J. take the new spacer out of the soapy water I'd put it in to let it dry so we could use it? Nope. Did J. wake me up before Bubba's bedtime to get the spacer and inhaler together and give it to Bubba? Nope. Bubba coughed and threw up for about 15 minutes before he could calm down enough to have the neb, then had to watch a movie for awhile to settle back down for bed. Meanwhile, I'm starving since I missed dinner, and because I am the only one who buys groceries, and I haven't gone for a few days, there's not a damn thing in the house to eat, so I go to the store at midnight and buy $140-worth of food.

And here I am now, sitting in the living room, listening to Bubba's terrible cough and stressing out about it. I haven't eaten anything yet because I'm going back and forth between nausea and hunger and it seems like so much of an effort and nothing sounds especially good.

I hate my life, oh my god I hate it so fucking much. I am trapped. I can't live like this and maintain my sanity. I can't check into a hospital because I can't leave Bubba in the care of my worthless husband. I can't kill myself because of the same reason. Fuck.

Don't feel like you have to comment. I know it's getting old.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Scenes From a Chinese Restaurant

Is that the name of a Billy Joel song?

Today I was eating lunch at a small family-run Chinese restaurant smack in the middle of our college town. I really like this place. The food is really good, you get a ton of food for $5, and the family obviously works really hard at what they do--the same six or so people are ALWAYS working. The lady at the register is one of those really cute old Asian ladies. She can barely speak English and she is so sweet. Anyway, during the lunch hour at this place, the line backs up to the door, but I'd gotten there late so it was pretty calm.

As I was eating my Shrimp With Broccoli Lunch Special, I became aware of a very annoying college-aged girl and her friend sitting behind me. She had one of those whiny, privileged voices. "I, like, just had to eat some, like, crackers before coming here because I was, like, so hungry," she droned. My Delta-Delta-Deltadar was immediately on high alert.

Suddenly, the nasalization was punctuated with a dramatic, "Oh my god!"
"What?" her heretofore mostly silent friend gasped.
"I am so done with this meal," she says. "Look. There's, like, a hair in my food."
"Oh my god," friend says.
"I am like, just so done with this food," she says. "Hello, I am like, so done with this."

A few minutes later I see her marching up to the front of the restaurant, one hand holding the hirsute meal as far from her body as possible, the other planted squarely on her hip. After flirting with some guy she knew who happened to be getting takeout, she confronted the old lady. "There's, like, a hair in my food," she says.

Old Lady bends over and looks, then looks more closely.
"Oh, so sorry," Old Lady says and takes the food away. "You want something else?"
"No, I can't eat anything now," she says.
"We give you a refund," Old Lady says. The girl doesn't even respond, just takes the money and turns around. As she marched victoriously back to her table, I, like, so wanted to, like, just ask her, like, which sorority she like, belonged to, only, like, in a really, like, bitchy voice.

She sat down and started telling her friend about how the old lady had dared offer a different meal and how she just was not going to eat anything for god-knows-how-long because of the hair. While I listened to this, I watched the young guys flipping vegetables over the hot woks, the young, frazzled-looking woman delivering the food to everyone in the restaurant, and the old lady, moving slowly behind the counter where she stood on her feet for hours at a time. I had flashes of what I imagined sorority girl's life to be like and compared it against what I imagined the restaurant family's life to be like.

And I, like, so hoped that the girl, like, tripped on like, a huge patch of ice on the sidewalk and like, totally ruined the nosejob that Daddy, like, totally funded for her 16th birthday along with her, like, totally sweet Uggs.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

So that I remember

I just got back from a great therapy appointment. We "went into my heart" and did kind of a meditation thing (it's called The Remembrance in Sufism) and I felt like things really balanced out for me. I feel expansive and hopeful again. I want to get some of this down so that it won't fade into oblivion. It felt like important stuff.

The amazing thing about all this is that my therapist guided me into my heart, but I came up with all this shit on my own! Is that mind-blowing or what?

On the Topic of Anger
Bubba and I are learning about anger together (some background--Bubba has had some outbursts lately like scratching a kid at school, hitting J., and generally just acting out his anger in inappropriate ways).

It is amazing and wonderful and more than a coincidence that Bubba's process of learning about anger is happening simultaneously with mine.

He is a guide to me in this process, leading me toward the lessons I need to learn. For instance...

...In trying to teach Bubba how to deal with anger in a healthy way, I realize that I don't know how to do it....

....Because I was never taught how to do it....

....Because my parents were never taught how to do it...

....And on and on.

And what I'm doing by recognizing it and at least trying to change it is something that probably hasn't been done in generations of my family.

And that is important and good.

And it will not be a flawless process.

And Bubba will learn something from watching that process.

Rather than be "scarred for life," maybe he will learn the importance of trying, the importance of being merciful with oneself when he makes mistakes, how much his mother loved him for working so hard to fix something so that he wouldn't have to carry all of it's brokenness with him forever.

And maybe he'll pass that down to his children, and the process can start to go in the opposite direction.

Bubba's comment last Friday was not just about my anger toward him when he frustrates me. It was about the anger I have toward J. but more about the anger I have toward myself, toward my "troll," toward my skewed vision that life is terrible. And that anger shows on my face, even when it's not directed at Bubba. And he notices it. That's a big lesson, and I am really, truly grateful for it right now.

On the Topic of Mercy and Compassion for Myself
What makes me feel best in this life is doing kind things for other people...

...and that is connected, in some way I have yet to explore, with my difficulty in doing anything kind for myself.

We brainstormed on some ways that I might be able to strengthen my "real" self, or what I simply call "the good voice." (It probably needs a better name since the "bad" voice is called the troll. Although my therapist helped me see that the troll isn't really bad, because it is bringing up the stuff I need to "clear." Anyway, if you have a good idea for a name for the good voice, let me know!) Here is what I came up with for some first steps in being more kind to myself.

1. When I do something nice for someone else, take a moment and let it reflect back on me, like a mirror. Let myself feel proud and good that I have eased someone else's life, no matter how small of an act it was. Let that good feeling seep into my heart for a little bit.

2. Write down some things that I love about myself on some notecards. Some ideas that come to mind are good things I've done for others, traits I admire about myself, creative ideas I've had, accomplishments, etc. I'll take other suggestions if you have them. Then, when the troll starts yelling in my ear, just take one out and read it. It can't hurt, and maybe it can help.

3. On the same note, write myself a love letter. (Perfect for Valentine's Day!)

4. When I do something kind for someone else, "match it" by doing something kind for myself. As I told my therapist, it doesn't necessarily have to be some huge involved thing like getting a massage because I opened the door for someone. It could be something like just allowing myself to feel good about it. Open for feedback here, too, on simple ways to be kind for myself (a list here would be a good tool for me). And I'll just put it out there that I don't like baths. But there must be other ways I can be kind to myself. I just normally don't spend a lot of time thinking about it so it seems a little foreign.

As I read this, the troll tells me that it sounds like I think I'm a real Mother Teresa here, a real Good Samaritan. The good voice is telling the troll that I don't think that, but that I do have a lot of compassion for (most of) my fellow women, men, children and other living beings, so why not build on that strength?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

A better day today

First I want to say thank you again for your comments and for reading.

It's hard to write an update about last night because I feel like I keep writing the same thing over and over again, the cycle just goes forward. J. and I talked, fought, then reconciled again almost out of exhaustion more than anything. I went to bed at 7:30 a.m. this morning and slept until 1:30 p.m.

Somewhere around 5 a.m. I saw some notes on the table that J. had written following our discussion about the house and the stuff that needs to get done, the money situation, all of that. The notes kind of touched me--they seemed to be reminders for himself. I'll write them here:

Note #1
-Recycling
-Clean out garage
-Organize and go through stuff in basement
-Clean out car
-Scrape ice

Note #2
1. Laundry
a. Haul to basement
b. Sort
c. Wash, dry and fold, deliver all clothes
d. Not enough for full load, use hamper

2. Trash
a. Empty all wastebaskets
b. Remove big bag to garage or receptacle

3. Dishes
a. Do all non-dishwasher dishes
b. Drain and put away
c. Load and wash when full
d. Load or leave when not full

4. Toys
a. Put away

5. Flat spots [this is in reference to trying to keep some of the flat surfaces in our home clutter-free]
a. Put clutter in its rightful place
b. Clean up your own mess

6. Vacuum
a. Living room, hallway and bedrooms

Note #3

Sell CDs
Sell movies
Sell books

I wrote my own note and put it on top of those telling him that the lists touched me and that the unprompted effort touched me. So that was last night.

Today has been a good day, actually. I woke up and went to LilCherie's to bring her son back to our house so she and her hubby could get a break. She had a tonsillectomy on Tuesday and her hubby's had a cold all week so I thought it would be a good thing to do.

Having both the kids here today was great! J. seemed to really enjoy playing with them and roughhousing with them. I felt like tonight J. and I were really working as a team, and it's been a long time since I felt like that. He was really helpful with the boys and good-natured about it. It is amazing how much mental energy it takes with two rowdy boys, though. Wow, I couldn't do it all the time. It isn't so much the actual caretaking, because LilCherie's son (she needs to come up with a nickname for him so I can use it here) is six and pretty self-sufficient. It's more of the loudness of the kids going nuts with the toys and also worrying that they are going to hurt themselves because they get so wound up. LilCherie's son is just hilarious, and of course Bubba thinks everything he does is just the greatest thing ever. LilCherie's son thinks Bubba's imitating him is rather annoying, but he's also totally sweet toward Bubba when he gets hurt or needs help. It's really like they are brothers.

I've thought a lot today about Bubba's comment last night. It's hard for me to figure out if his comment was fallout from the potty incident a couple weeks ago or if I'm really that crabby with him or if it's because I've been so depressed and angry at life and J. lately and I probably walk around the house looking angry. I guess it doesn't really matter--obviously Bubba's picking up on it and I so do not want that to happen. So I'm trying to look at his comment as a gift, although a difficult one to accept. I thought about it several times today when Bubba was trying my patience and it jolted me back to calmness. I also found myself putting a smile on my face more today than I normally do, which I think is probably good for everyone.

Friday, February 08, 2008

More of the same--Updated

I called in sick to work again today.

I made an appointment with my psych for Monday to talk about how my depression is uncontrolled. That is the word that came to me today, and that is how I'm going to describe it to her. Uncontrolled. I feel like the antidepressant I'm on is doing nothing--but then, I don't know how bad it would be if I wasn't taking it, right?

I don't know how much is my mental illness and how much is my marriage.

I got the name of another marriage counselor from my therapist. I told her what we were looking for and she recommended this guy, and to be truthful, I was kind of glad it was a guy because I think that might work better for J. and hopefully he won't be so fucking sappy. I know I'm making assumptions here, but sometimes they're right. I gave J. the name and number and asked him to make the appointment since his schedule is always so busy.

I spent the day cleaning the house, which was a disaster even though J. had just had two days off (he went to a concert Wednesday night that was 2 hours away so apparently, that was worth two days off, even though he had to go back to work Tuesday night, leaving me alone with Bubba again, to finish up all the work he had to do). I packed up all his books, CDs, DVDs, and other crap that is always just stacked around the house in disarray and dumped it in a big box and set it on his bed. I know he'll be pissed, because I've disrupted his "organization" method...but my answer is going to be that if I have to clean the house, I'm cleaning it my way. If he doesn't like it, then he can find a place to put this crap so I don't have to look at it all the time. In an admittedly immature move, I also dumped all of his clean laundry into a basket without folding it and put it on his bed as well. I know that's petty, but it made me feel better at the time. Wow, not folding his laundry! What a bold move there! Jesus. I am pathetic.

I called J. and asked him to take Bubba out to dinner tonight because I don't want to deal with either of them. Really, I don't want to deal with anything.

I'm thinking about starting another blog just to bitch about my marriage, because I worry that people will just get really sick of reading about how my life sucks and I never do anything about it. Then I worry that if I did that, I wouldn't have anything to write here. What do you think? Is this getting just too fucking depressing to read?

Updated to add: Tonight when J. and Bubba got home, I did my best to be "okay" and volunteered to do Bubba's bedtime. Bubba and I were reading a book about emotions. We got to the "angry" page which shows a little cartoon face all red and angry, and Bubba said, "That look like you, mommy. I don't like that page." I lost it, I really lost it. I couldn't talk. I started shaking. I choked out the last two pages then told Bubba my tummy hurt a little bit so I was going to have his Daddy come in. I haven't gone to bed at all tonight; it's 5:30 a.m. I'm just shaken. I'm so disappointed in myself.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Today's Musings

Today I learned that...
Two pieces of cheesy garlic bread are not enough.

I'm done fuckin' around with those generic, cheaper brands of frozen garlic bread. If it's not Pepperidge Farm Garlic Texas Toas then it's not worth it.

It's not a good idea to broil your second set of cheesy garlic bread Texas Toasts on "hi" without watching them or setting a timer.

While you're fucked up.

And your husband is just about there in terms of getting the 3-year-old asleep.

When the smoke alarm goes off.


Things I Feel Compelled to Share With You Tonight
The thought of LilCherie, in the Grumpy Pants I made her for her birthday, standing in the snowy parking lot of the hospital this morning after finding out that her surgeon was snowed in in another city and would not be able to perform her tonsillectomy, kicking her car in anger, really makes me laugh. Now that she's accepted it, I mean. I really felt bad for her at the time. But I still wish her husband could have secretly videotaped it for me.

I read the Lunchables® post over at A Little Pregnant and it really pissed me off. But I was too much of a chickenshit to post a dissenting view, because Julie is blog royalty and I didn't figure it was really worth it. Of course now that I'm putting this on my own blog it's "out there." Oh, jeez, what are we supposed to do? It's already out there! Call the cops! It's already out there! (Random movie quote -- do you know which one it's from?) But I was excited to see that Patty from Monday Changed Everything stuck up for herself. If you read her blog you'll see that she has a good excuse. I just feed my child crap because I'm lazy and depressed.

I'm half-afraid that I'm dying of cancer because I haven't felt like eating much lately, I'm really tired, and I have several unaccounted for bruises on my upper thighs (and one on my forearm). Of course, the appetite and fatigue could be attributed to the depression, even though I'm usually a "fat depressive" (I just made that term up. Impressive, huh?). And I guess the bruises could be from beating my fists against my legs in hopeless frustration, right?

I found out tonight that when trying to disinfect a light green throw rug after a dollop of your child's almost-diarrheal poo drops on it, a bleach-based cleanser should not be your first choice. There is now a five-inch circle of my throw rug that's the same shade as Greg Brady's hair in the episode where he buys the hair tonic from Oliver. Or, baby-ate-carrots-shit orange. I couldn't have just thrown it in the washer because you know, I was just too lazy and depressed.

I'm reading a great book right now called "Mommies Who Drink," by Brett Paesel. When reading books like this, I momentarily think to myself, "I could write this well! I could be this funny! Why am I not a published, successful author?" Then I remember, oh yeah. I'm too lazy and depressed.

I'm thinking of changing the name of my blog to "Lazy and Depressed." Do you think that would pull in the readers or what? Sadly, I would be all about a blog named that. I should do a blog search...maybe it's already out there?

Today's Aha! Moment

I think I've come to a realization about how men--or at least J.--think, and why it causes a problem in relationships. I think he is mentally incapable of moving past the first most-likely outcome of an action or comment. Here are a couple examples, including the correct "Mom thought" as well:

J.'s first thought: Bubba is thirsty.
Most likely outcome: I'll give him some milk, then he won't be thirsty anymore.
Mom thought: But Bubba has to drink four ounces of juice laced with laxative so that he won't have a hard poop because is his holding his poops in and we are trying to get him to go without the hysterical drama and causing Mommy to have to take one of her anxiety pills. So, I'll give him the laxa-juice now and then milk later.

J.'s first thought: I want to make Bubba laugh, so I'll put some Toobers and Zots® (I'm lovin' that symbol tonight, by the way) up my nose and pretend they are boogers.
Most likely outcome: Bubba will laugh. Job done!
Mom thought: Bubba will think it's great, then put them up his nose, and then put other things up his nose, and then we'll be in the emergency room at 3 a.m. while some poor staff physician fishes pus-covered gravel from our child's infected nose. So maybe we'd better not model putting stuff up our noses as appropriate behavior for our 3-year-old.

J.'s first thought: It's time for Bubba to go to bed, so I'm putting him to bed.
Most likely outcome: Bubba will go to bed.
Mom thought: It's time for Bubba to go to bed, so we better get him his allergy medicine because if he doesn't get it he will be stuffy and he already has a cough; fill and turn on the humidifier because of the aforementioned cough; see if he has to go potty one more time so that he doesn't wet the bed; and bring in a glass of water and the toothpaste so we can brush his teeth.

I think you get what I mean here.

And now I guess it's also perfectly clear why, when I was having a spiral last week and told J. I felt like I was turning into my mother--the ultimate killjoy-- J.'s. answer was a sobering, "Yep."