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

Midnight Update

Sorry I missed updating last week. I got my first assignment for the editing internship, which happened to be a full manuscript. The book was non-fiction and absolutely the worst thing I’ve ever read, but I can’t say much else. I powered through the work and turned it back in.

I’m exhausted. Besides dealing with that edit, I had a big week of homework last week and continued looking for jobs. I found one which is full-time (with some amazing benefits) and applied for it, but they were looking for someone with a bit more experience, I think. I figured it didn’t hurt to try. Put in for two more freelance gigs, but nothing yet.

Last week I did my first assignment for WritersDepartment, which admittedly ended up being a bit of a fiasco, but I got it done and there is $15 waiting in my account. I’ve been assigned another project, but I have like two weeks to get it done.

Saw Mr. Beetle tonight. I actually cried in front of him when he dropped me off. I’m a nervous wreck, I’m having a procedure done Wednesday and have to have twilight sleep done. I’ve never had any sort of thing like that. You could tell he felt bad I was so nervous, but now I feel like an idiot for letting him see me cry. I have a complex about people seeing me! When I was little and would cry, Dad would tell me it was the ugliest face he’d ever seen. It was to try and make me laugh (complete good intentions, my dad is not a cruel person), but still to this day that’s what goes through my head whenever I well up.

Tomorrow I’m going to book the cruise with Big. I’ve got to get up somewhat early to head down there (she lives an hour away). After that we’re taking my youngest niece to play Pokemon Go and then I’m going to record the next episode of my podcast I have with my best friend.

There sure has been a lot going on lately. I feel like I’ll never catch up. Mom says life is always like that. I’ve kept obsessive to-do lists for the past few years and she told me I would never reach the end of it because there is always at least one more thing to be done. I just want to rest. I miss childhood when I wasn’t concerned at all and could just relax.

Sleep well, everyone.

Dee

PS: I’ve lost 8 lbs. in the last week! Back on low-carb/high protein!

Great News!

My first article for Constant Content was rejected! ūüėČ

It actually wasn’t that big of a deal at all. They wanted me to¬†change “earth” to “Earth” (whoops) and reformat another sentence, which in all fairness did read kind of funky on a second glance. Resubmitted and awaiting approval!

Okay, but the real great news – had my interview yesterday for WritersDepartment and was offered a freelance position! That’s geared more toward academic writing (with some business), so I haven’t logged in yet because this weekend I’m going to Dad’s for the holiday. Happy St. Pat’s, by the way!

Even better news? Last night I checked my email and was also offered an editing internship with a publishing house. Guys, I am on FIRE right now. It’s only $50 stipends per edit and lasting 3-6 months, but the experience is what is most important there.

A week ago today, I woke up utterly unemployed. Today I now have two freelance writing gigs and I’m an editing intern for a publishing house.

If you ever wondered how boring I really am in real life, I celebrated this news with a new computer chair and a large Sprite from Wendy’s. I did start my low-carb diet on Monday, but I’ve only half-assed it so far. I mean, other than the Sprite yesterday (and maybe a few Girl Scout cookies…), I did well! In all fairness, I only ever half-ass my diet the first week or two. You know, I’ve got to get used to it! XD

I probably won’t update this weekend as I’ll be out of town and swamped with homework. It’s my last term – that’s what I have to keep telling myself. I just want to be done! And besides that I have to create a schedule for myself to start next week! Ah, this is all so exciting! I hope I get money rolling in soon! Especially since Big is wanting to take a cruise in June!

Oh man, that just made me think of taxes…anyone doing freelance writing or otherwise self-employed? How do you deal with taxes?

Dee

A Good Weekend

I know it’s been a few days, but that’s because I was out of town visiting my dad. Friday, though, I woke up to some good news! Constant Content accepted me as a writer! And WritersDepartment scheduled a phone interview with me!

Both of these are freelance, remote positions. And I’m not sure about WritersDepartment, but I can tell you for sure Constant Content is not something that’s sustainable for full-time income. I’m sure there are a few people who can make a living out of it, but it’s kind of like eBay, I think. Some people can throw themselves at it and live fully from it, but most people just do it for passive income.

Basically through Constant Content, you write articles and blog posts. You can either write about whatever you want or you can fill requests that buyers have submitted. Did I mention you set your own prices? Most articles are 500-600 words and cost about $50. Granted, you only make 65% of the total cost and then you have to figure in your taxes, but you can price accordingly. Some articles even go for over $100.

WritersDepartment is geared more toward academic editing. Not sure of the pay rates yet, but I have a mock interview with my career advisor on Tuesday and actual phone interview on Thursday. Fingers crossed!

Those two emails pretty much set the tone for the weekend. I spent the day chatting it up with strangers at an auction, got my homework finished early, and got a bit of the long term shopping list taken care of.

I submitted my first article to Content Creator and want to wait until it gets the green light before jumping in. I like to test the waters first, make sure I know how everything works.

Letgo and Facebook groups have not been helping me move any of my stockpile. I might try craigslist, but not sure. If anyone had any luck with certain sites, let me know. A lot of the stuff I have is specialty/collector and – as we’re from a tiny town – I think those might do better listed online. I’ll be checking out eBay shortly.

Anyone have any recommendations? A lot of what I have to sell are shoes and clothes brand new with the tags still on them. Other that that I have tons of movies, book, and misc. household items.

Speaking of which, is it too early to start packing things into boxes for future moving? Or too ridiculous that I have a checklist app for when moving? This is besides not even having enough money to even let my eyes land on an apartment, much less rent one. Still, it’s such a pretty thought I can’t help it.

Very tired today, took some sleeping meds. Until next time, loves.

Dee

Real Actual Meltdown

I’ve not posted and I apologize. I know I mentioned before that I don’t usually do the whole blogging thing, so it’s hard enough getting into the habit of writing on here, but also I had a legitimate meltdown. Like I know I joke that I was having a meltdown, but I had a real honest to god meltdown.

Let me set the scene. My anxiety has already been at an all-time high since I quit smoking last July (in one week it’ll be my seven month anniversary!!). Add on top of that the stress of senior undergraduate courses, leaving my job, and dealing with my mom’s asshat boyfriend.

And that latter thing is what finally pushed me over the edge. In my absolute defense, I’ve dealt with seven years of emotional and verbal abuse out of the prick and the quickest way to push my temper over the edge is talking down to one of my family members.

Well, he did. My best friend was coming up to stay the night on a Thursday and Mom and I told him we were going to clean out the guest room so there would be somewhere for my friend to sleep (since his junk was piled so high in the guest room it seriously looked like a dump).¬† Cue him flipping out because he didn’t want us breaking his stuff and also just-exactly-how-long-will-her-friend-be-here because it was his mattress in the guest room and he didn’t want someone sleeping on his mattress when his grandsons were supposed to come over on Saturday and where would they sleep?

Seriously. This is how fucking ridiculous he is.

Mom had enough and told him she wanted him to get his stuff and get out. So she and I went to dinner while he got his stuff, took our time so we wouldn’t run into him at home and when we got home…he was sitting in the recliner watching basketball. Mom instantly sent me back to my room because she knew there had been some serious pressure mounting between the two of us. So there I was…25 years old and sent to my bedroom.

Well, my bedroom doorway I should say. He couldn’t see me from my door but Mom could and she kept shooting me warning glances to close my door.

Sorry. Not gonna happen.

“I want you out of my house,” she said.

“I don’t care,” he replied.

I could feel my blood boiling from the doorway of my bedroom. Mom knew and shot me another warning look. I managed to stay still until I heard his cocky voice say to my mother, “You need to quit running that mouth.”

I honestly swear I had no control over my feet. Buddy, I flew out there. It got nasty. There was lots of name calling being tossed around, which led to him being in my face, which led to me…sort of…pushing him. And possibly punching him in the face.

He punched back. Then it was all over the place. He grabbed me and tried to throw me through the sliding glass door. We were all over each other and my mother just sat and watched, occasionally yelling for us to stop but otherwise not getting close to us.

At one point he punched the side of my head and my glasses went flying. I held my hands up behind me and said to stop while I tried to kick them out of the way. That may seem silly, but I’ve got horrible eyesight and when you only know where one pair of glasses is and they’re on the ground about to be stomped to pieces, you’d be quick to stop, too.

While I was distracted he punched me in the mouth, tackled me to the ground, and had my fingers bent back so far I remember thinking he was going to break them. I don’t mention that to try and sway the argument in my favor – like, I completely own that I was the first person to push him and accept all subsequent violence from him following that – but merely I mention it because that’s how the fight ended. After some nasty words spat in my face, he stood up, went to the bedroom, grabbed some clothes and was gone (after stopping at my bedroom door and trying to hug me because he knew he’d fucked up).

That was mid-January. Mom said she didn’t know what she was going to do without him and completely turned it around on me. Even called all her friends and told them the story of how I flipped out and started a fight with him, but has conveniently left out that she was trying to kick him out and he was being an ass about it in the first place.

The two weeks following the fight were, quite possibly, the worst of my life. My anxiety had already been high enough and that was just what it needed to push me over the edge. Just in the first week following, I dropped 10 lbs. I was extremely depressed, disappointed that I’d let him get the best of me and feeling a sense of betrayal that my mom would make me look worse in order to make herself look better because she is still seeing him.

I ended up going to the doctor who did not necessarily diagnose me, but believes in my self-diagnosis of High Functioning Anxiety Disorder, which is just a fancy way of saying I have horrible anxiety all the time, but I’m really good at hiding it. Usually by the time people notice something is wrong, it’s really wrong. So he put me on 10mg/day of Celexa (well, the generic) and I go for my month check-up this coming Friday. Depending on how he thinks I’m doing, he might adjust it to a higher dose or keep it steady, but I will say I have felt a lot better just knowing it is in my system.

As I mentioned, Mom is still seeing asshat and part of me is having¬†a hard time forgiving her for that. I hate to say that because she’s my mom, but like, you know, I could have gotten arrested trying to get him out of the house for her, have cried and begged her several times since not to get back with him, and yet I’ve just been blown off for dinner plans again so she can go meet him.

So, where does that leave me? Medicated, for one, but in life I’m kind of at the end of this chapter, I think. I have been seeing Mr. Beetle, who is still quite adamant that his marriage is ending and honestly I haven’t had the courage to bring it up to him or press the issue further. The end of April is the deadline I set for myself. If he hasn’t done anything by then, I’ll confront him about it. God, I dread it already, I hope he hurries up. Part of me feels bad for seeing him, but it’s just dinner once or twice a week and on the understanding that he is estranged from his wife. It’s a very thin line to walk – I want to give him the benefit of the doubt because my parents were separated for four years and dating other people while they were married, but also I know how people can be and don’t want to be made a fool.

Needless to say, that’s all a mess. Currently looking to relocate to Columbus because, honestly, I don’t want to damage my relationship with my mother any worse than it is already. A few nights after the fight I ended up having to talk to a crisis line because I thought I might actually hurt myself. They recommended I leave the situation if Mom stayed with him because he had obviously been causing me great mental anguish for a long time and I wasn’t going to heal if he was still in my life in any capacity. I told Mom as much in a letter I taped to her door (sadly it had gotten so bad that I had to write in all caps at the top of the letter that it wasn’t a suicide note). I told her that she would always be my mother no matter what, but that I would have to distance myself from her if she continued seeing David. And she did.

Like, I feel ridiculous because I’m 25 and certainly not a child, but that is actual betrayal. It hurts, bad. It seems dramatic to say it this way, but she chose a man over her kid. And I know I’m not alone in thinking that way – I’ve been somewhat estranged from both of my older sisters for the past few months and even both of them are on my side. My oldest sister doesn’t have anything to do with Mom’s boyfriend and hasn’t for a long time – her sons, my nephews, have refused to even come up to our house for close to two years because they hate him so much. So she knows firsthand.

I don’t know. I have a career meeting on the phone here in about 20 minutes from my college about work placement, so hopefully they’ll get me on the right track. I looked at apartments last week in the Columbus area, just to get an idea of price range. Basically I’ll need $15/hr fulltime or $2000 a month-ish to be able to swing living alone. I’m hoping graduating in May with my BA will help me.

2017 has already proven itself to be a year of great change. Here’s to hoping it starts changing for the better.

Dee

First Day of Unemployment

Here’s how it happened:

I knew months ago that it was coming to this. I’d gotten a transfer from a small branch to a more busy location last November and thought I was escaping what had become a miserable living,but little did I know I was jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. It seemed my (now ex-)manager always had one person to pick on. And I was that person.

There was not a thing I could do right. And not to sound snotty (as I’m perfectly aware I was no perfect employee), but I was pretty good at my job. Civil service suited me well and I’m good with the public. My manager, on the other hand, was not. There is a line of work meant for her somewhere, but working with the public is not her thing. She regularly approached patrons with absolute sass, pointed looks, and once (not kidding) I saw her raise her palm to someone’s face so they would be quiet.

Imagine how she could be to her employees if she was like that to patrons. Now imagine how terrible it would be to be her particular favorite. For months I said nothing. It wasn’t until the beginning of this past summer that a coworker finally whispered to me, “How do you smile through it?”

It wasn’t just me. I wasn’t being overly sensitive (having anxiety I tell myself often the problem is me). Someone else had seen. No matter how much I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening, I couldn’t keep my manager from her own actions. By the end of the summer the rest of my coworkers (seven in my building, one sub) had made comments to me. They wanted to know how I kept my mouth shut, they begged me to go to HR, they wondered why she was so verbal with me and not the others.

At this point, I had been taking my lunches in my car so I could cry. I would be on my drive home from work and already anxious to go in the next day. Even at home I stopped leaving my bedroom because I couldn’t concentrate on anything anyway, not even a small conversation. I lived for my days off which slowly become just as bad because my homework was slipping and those were catch-up days.

July 19th was the day it was decided. I sat in my car on lunch, chain-smoking and trying not to cry from the latest snide comment. I was done. Completely and totally done. I pulled the notebook from my purse and started running the numbers. If I cancelled my gym membership (which, let’s be honest, was not being used) and paid off my credit cards, it was doable…if I quit smoking. Cigarettes made up a big portion of my budget (roughly $200 a month). Let me put it this way so you understand how desperate I was feeling – I started smoking young and had smoked a pack a day for ten years…and it was no question. I called the quit line (1-800-QUIT-NOW, it’s free) right then, while on my lunch. It was settled – they would provide patches and I was quitting the following Tuesday.

The coaching sessions with the quit line were quite candid. No, I was not quitting for health. I was quitting so I could quit my job. I really think that was all that got me through it. As of today, I’m on day 73 tobacco-free.

Everything went great for three weeks until my piece of garbage car bit the dust and, ta-da, I had to finance a new one. Slight damper in my plans. But I would not be discouraged…I was getting the hell out of my job. I reworked my finances and got it to a manageable balance. I live and eat at home and get enough money on the side to pay for my car and Netflix, so I’m golden. There’s not going to be any eating out, but I’ve got a safe car, instant show streaming, and still able to quit my job.

So, I did. Yesterday was my last day and, honestly, I don’t think I’ll regret it. I’ve got money to last me through May, so right now I plan on taking a few weeks off to just veg out and realign my life. I plan on participating in NaNoWriMo this year and having two books of a new series finished by the year’s end, so I can throw them up on Kindle Direct and hopefully bring in a little more pocket money.

There is also the option of going on to get my MA next fall, but that’s for another post and another huge issue (debt).

So that’s my background. That’s a large reason why I had a minor meltdown and left my job. I don’t plan on many posts being this lengthy, but the first few will probably be to build a foundation. God, I don’t even know if anyone will read any of this, but if you do – thank you. Thanks for taking the time to read, I’ll try my best to be worthy of your time.

Dee