A Long Two and a Half Weeks

Yes, yes, I’m aware I suck at updating. On April 12th I had surgery and I’ve been a little all over the place since then. So when I’m bad about updating under normal circumstances, I flat out suck when I’m not feeling well and under a steady stream of pain medications.

Things haven’t changed a bit. Actually Mom just interrupted my blogging with her steps clicking down the hall, wrenching open my door without a single knock, and muttering, “Asshat’s here,” as a warning not to leave my room. Well, you know, she used his actual name, but for the purposes of this blog, and my own petty soul – Asshat.

Last week Mom and I got into an enormous screaming match that resulted in both of us crying. I’m certainly not blameless, like I said some mean stuff, but never in my life has my mother yelled at me like that. It was awful. We both felt really rotten over it afterward. She told me it was my fault we’re so tight on money, that Asshat’s $1200 a month hurt her, to which I responded that I’ve told her since the night of the fight I would do anything to help with finances and she’s time and time again turned me down. She said it wasn’t like my writing jobs were real jobs anyway. I think she felt bad about that one as soon as it was out of her mouth.

Right now I’m writing articles for two companies, academic papers for another, and doing an editing internship for a publishing house, but the work is erratic – some ad hoc and other bids I have to place. I’ve been scouring job boards for remote full-time opportunities, but until then I am doing what I can. And I know it’s not a lot. I’m struggling with the bills I have (not to mention a vacation Big is making me go on in June), so I can’t help but feel her slip of the tongue was more her actual thoughts than something mean spat out to hurt me.

We apologized and things are semi-normal, but with my anxiety, I can’t help but be paranoid that this is how everyone sees me – a worthless person with a fake job. On my particularly bad nights, which have been a lot lately, I can’t help but agree with them. It’s gotten so bad, I’ve wondered whether I should ask them to up my Celexa dosage from 20mg to 40mg. If I wasn’t worried about picking smoking back up, I’d honestly would have been drinking a bit lately to take the edge off. That sounds pathetic, doesn’t it?

I’ve debated on whether or not I wanted to mention this, but it’s eating me alive, so I’m just going to be out with it. Mr. Beetle is on vacation…with his wife. I hate it. I hate every bit of it. I just don’t know what to think. He’s seriously the one thread keeping me tied together, the one thing keeping me from falling apart. When I found out I cried, which made him cry. He said he didn’t want to go, that he was dreading it, and it may make me stupid, but I believe him.

It’s like…I don’t want to be a fool. And I know I’m probably going to end up in that role. But I’m in such a bad place mentally that I can’t bear to be cut off from my one ally. And it’s not like in a manipulative “you can only count on me” sort of way. Mr. Beetle is, despite what you might think, a really great guy. He treats me better than any other guy I’ve been with and, Christ, I’ve been engaged. I believe him when he says he wants out of his marriage and is going to end it – and I can see for myself that he’s non-confrontational, how that is slowing things up. I mean, he’s met my fucking mom. He came to my house like five or six times in the past weeks following my surgery, driving over an hour each way. Granted, yes, he’s not going about leaving his marriage in a good way and I’m just as guilty of contributing to that. But that’s honestly the one red flag there is about him and to hear him tell it, she’s caused a lot of emotional abuse. I know he’s dealt with some issues – he’s called me crying. He’s got crap self-esteem, even worse than mine which is saying something. And so, again, it may make me foolish, but I believe him.

I’m not even so upset about him being with his wife on vacation as I am about not having him close – not being able to call him or see him. I feel like my support system has vanished for the week. He senses it too, without even being told. He goes out on the beach around six every morning to call me and manages to slip in another two or three calls through the day. Just so I know I’m not alone. A bad person, maybe. But not alone.

Mom and Asshat are leaving in the morning for vacation, so I have the house to myself for a few days. While I once would have found the idea relaxing, now it’s a bit depressing. I don’t know, I’ve just been having a hard time lately.

I graduate next week, so that’s exciting. It’s been a long trip (took twice as long as it should have between two transfers, five majors, two semesters off for internships, and dropping out twice due to depression). I fixed it, though. I’ll walk across that stage with a 4.0, member of two honor societies, seven time President’s List member, and recipient of the Outstanding Student Award. Maybe one day I’ll lay out the narrative of how fucked my college experience has been. If anyone is the poster child of being able to fix fuck-ups with miraculous turnaround, it’s me.

Sorry. As you can probably tell, I’m not in the best mood. It’s not even that anything in particular is wrong, but rather that I just feel weird. It’s some place between anxiety and normal. I told Mom earlier I wasn’t sad, but felt I was going to burst into tears all the same. If I hadn’t have just passed my nine-month mark of no smoking, I surely would have been sucking down two packs a day with how I’ve been feeling. It’s been hard. I’ve wanted to smoke a lot lately. Mr. Beetle gets mad when I don’t tell him I’ve been craving. He likes to talk me through it, make sure I’m okay. He hates that I hold in the urges and suffer a bit.

Anyway, I think that’s enough for now. Trying to get back on a regular schedule. Mine has gotten all out of whack, but Big and Mr. Beetle think it’s an important strategy to curbing my anxiety and general crazy. Who knows?

Good night and until next time,

Dee

When You Realize You Don’t Like Your Parents Anymore

Has anyone else had this moment? Is this normal? I feel like the more I look into it, the more it seems to be a mid-20’s rite of passage. I realized yesterday, with great amounts of bitterness and guilt, that I no longer like my parents.

As shitty as it makes me sound, it was still a hard pill to swallow. My parents that I idolized as a child – my beautiful mom and nerdy father – were never actually quite the people I saw them as. All I see now are glaring faults and flaws which, I know in my heart of hearts, only makes them human. But somehow it feels like I can’t pardon their shortness in my expectations and I can’t escape knowing that makes me a bad person.

I often wonder had they not been divorced whether I would have seen these sides of them I don’t like. The divorce is not a reason I hold against them, but everything comes back to it. Many of these issues of dislike come from their chosen partners. Mom’s still with asshat (if you missed that post, he and I were in a fist fight back in January after he refused to leave when Mom kicked him out). Dad married a complete witch and is the reason I moved out to live with Mom in the first place.

Dad has also changed a lot. Not to open the post up to politics, but to use it as an example, he raised me very liberally. Though I don’t vote on party, but person and principle, I would still say I strongly lean left on most issues. Dad was, too, until he married his wife who is highly conservative. And then he changed. And not only did he change, but he mocks me for being liberal now. When I went on vacation with them in November (days after the election), they both thought it was good fun to turn on Fox News every night as loud as they could stand it. When I would put my headphones in to concentrate on homework, his wife would just laugh and laugh. My father was never like that growing up. He always valued my opinion, even when it differed from his and from that I was taught the same. But now I’m seeing he has some rather deep-seeded issues with his late father that have caused some major self-esteem damage. My dad is a chameleon – he changes who his is to suit the company he holds. In a way I feel sorry for him, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling bitter.

Mom has always been emotionally neglectful, but it wasn’t as obvious until I live an hour away from the rest of our family with only her. Not to mention she’s still dating the man who physically fought me, has driven a wedge between her children/grandchildren and her, and literally has zero appealing qualities. It’s funny because she told Middle on the phone the other day that she loves him, but she told me in the car that she’s never loved anyone. Big, Middle, and I don’t think she really loves us, either – not in the way a mother should. I’m not just saying this to say it, but I really think there’s something wrong with her that stops her from making an emotional connection for us. And don’t get me wrong, she was not a bad mom. We never wanted for anything except attention. She can’t handle crying or emotion. When I was in the beginning stages of the breakdown last summer, I broke down and started sobbing on the back deck one night. Mom just said, “Sorry, babe,” and went inside to watch TV. Anytime I’ve ever needed to talk, she pulls away. Middle and I even had a game once to see who could keep her on the phone for longer than two minutes. It wasn’t a game we scored in very often.

I hope I’m not the only person who has gone through this. It makes me feel like an absolute monster, really. I don’t want to dislike my family. But also, like…I don’t know. I’d kind of like to live five states away again. I was alone for my birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year, and it was honestly the most peaceful holiday season I’ve ever had.

Have any of you gone through this realization that you don’t like your parents or family? How do you cope with it? The guilt is eating at me. I’m stuck between wanting to live my life my way and my strong sense of family.

Dee

Five Nights at Dee’s

Although my life isn’t quite as frightening as Five Nights at Freddy’s, I feel like I can definitely give it a run for its money.

So here we are on evening number five being home alone. The first three nights Mom was working evenings at the hospital, yesterday she stayed at Asshat’s new shit apartment and today (while at a school function for my oldest niece) she tells me she’s staying at Asshat’s again.

Listen, I’m not one of those clingy dependent kids that can’t stand being alone. But right now I’m in a bad funk. I mean, not even a funk – call a spade a spade – I’m in a bout of depression. I think it’s just going to take some time to get used to this Celexa.

Anyway, Mom knows I’m having a hard time. I actually talked to her on the first night she worked the hospital. I was crying and told her it was depressed and difficult to be alone in the evenings. You would think that would make her worried or something, but she’s not. I don’t know, I try not to be so selfish about it, but there’s a lot of issues with my mom. Not only with me, but with my two older sisters as well.

I’m closer with my mom than my sisters and I think that has caused a bit of jealousy on their part toward me. I think the difference in relationship is due to the age difference – my oldest sister is 17 years older than me and my middle sister is 14 years older. Coming into Mom’s later life made a difference because she was already established with her career and also my dad was her second marriage and treat’s me a lot better than Big and Middle’s dad treated them. Mom, though…there’s just something wrong with her? I don’t know. She’s hilarious. Unintentionally hilarious, which I think is the best sort. But she’s just…emotionally detached. Her mom, my granny, was the same way Big and Middle say. I was fairly young when she died, so I didn’t really grasp that detachment out of her yet.

I distinctly remember feeling very depressed as a teenager and trying to talk to Mom about it. Instead of listening or letting me talk about it, she paid me $20 to leave the house. I don’t know why I keep letting myself get upset over her. I guess I just want her – just once – to set other things aside for me, especially at a time when I’m struggling. Or for god’s sake, at least have the decency not to stay at Asshat’s apartment for two nights in a row when you know I’m struggling. Like that isn’t a lot to ask for.

I don’t know. I’ve had a lot of reflection on my relationship with my parents the past two days. On Thursday, my best friend’s biological father was found dead from heroin overdose. My best friend was adopted by his capital-d Dad when we were quite young, but still I think he held on to hope that his lowercase-d dad would patch things up with him and turn his life around. The last time he talked to his dad, they were supposed to meet up. His dad never showed up. Understandably, he’s quite conflicted.

It just made me reflect on the relationship I have with my parents. I guess I’ve just come to the realization that they’re my parents. And they’ll always be my parents. They’re just human and sometimes make hurtful decisions, but they still made me and for the most part made sure I was taken care of. I’m fat enough to prove they fed me. I’m not an alcoholic, I’m not a drug addict, and I’m only on 10mg of Celexa, so they did an okay job.

But also I’m an adult. And realizing that and the freedom that comes with that helps me to know I can distance myself if I need to. It would take a lot for my to completely cut a family member out and we’re not talking anything near as drastic, but like…I think I need distance for a healthy brain. I think I would feel better being alone if it was self-inflicted and I was living alone rather than living with someone else and feeling forgotten.

I feel silly for saying that. Silly and childish. But that’s the reality of how I feel.

Dee