I am away for the weekend with the people I work with. We are doing a cancer walk/run/bike ride this weekend. I walked the 5K today and I must say that I was pretty rough with my hip out of place and the blisters forming on my feet. But I did finish, which was really nice. But now I’m sitting in my hotel room alone. The rest of our team is in the adjoining room, laughing and talking together. I feel very out of place. I’m not sure why. I’m not shy. But this happens to me all too often. I feel on the outside of the group. I feel uncomfortable. I don’t know.
Last night after having such a bad day with my husband and working, I stopped and said a prayer. I asked God to please be with me and my husband and family and help us to deal with me working and to help me with my job. I’m not sure exactly what time I did this, although I know it was after I had written my last post.
Before he got to work, my husband called me just to tell me he loved me. And while it’s not completely unusual for him to call me on his way to work, he always has a something for me to do or something he forgot. Last night the call was simply to say “I Love You.” God was already at work in my life.
This morning I got up at 5:30 to begin working on the call offs for today. I filled two empty shifts on the within three phone calls. After many calls last night and yesterday, I have to say that once again God was working in my life. When my husband got home from work he apologized to me for yesterday and told me he also wants to apologize to our daughter for snapping at her. Now this is a man who does know how to apologize when he is wrong, but nothing has changed since yesterday and I was in fact working and on the phone when he came in this morning.
I know some people will ask how I can believe in God after all the bad things and abuse I have been through in my life. But I have to say that without God, I don’t know how I would have survived all of those things. I know that when I was being molested and couldn’t cry, God was beside me weeping for what I was going through. I know growing up with my mom’s drug abuse and alcoholism that I had a good chance of being an addict as well. But I’m not. I know that God had a hand in allowing me to see clearly how destructive my mother’s actions were and are, although he is bringing hope on that front as well.
Through the power of free will and choice, we are allowed to make our own mistakes and sometimes suffer for the choices of others. But being the most loving of parents, it doesn’t matter what we do God still loves us and is with us.
Some days I wonder if life is even worth the effort. I feel so useless and worthless right now. Some of that has to do with the difficult day I’ve had with work. I’ve had trouble filling several shifts and even though I’ve done everything I can right now, it’s hard for me to sit here and wait for the phone to ring with a callback.
The biggest problem right now is my husband and his lack of support. We are having financial trouble right now, who isn’t?, and even though I’m working and bringing in money we’re still struggling. It doesn’t help that I am working from home (even though that is supposed to be a good thing). There is a lot of stress being responsible for the entire business, who is showing up for work at what time with which client. I have to deal with call offs and added shifts and any other problems that come my way. Saturdays have been very busy the past few weeks as well. We are nearing the end of summer and people are busy and on vacation so they’re not answering their phones and they aren’t returning my messages. To sum it up, frustration and stress. And having these things at home is a lot harder than I imagined it would be.
I can’t leave the office at five and not worry about anything until the next day. If there is an emergency at 2 am, then I have to get up and deal with it. If I have to sit on the phone for 16 hours trying to fill shifts, then that’s what I have to do. My children have been fantastic about all of this. They play together in the morning and help me out by getting their own clothes and getting dressed. My daughter has even been pitching in with lunch a little, even if it is just microwaving pizza rolls. The problem comes when my husband gets up.
He is upset by the debt that’s racking up. I understand that, I am upset and worried about it as well. That’s one of the reasons I need to work. Last week he told me he would rather I go to work for 8 hours a day than what I’m doing now. Except when I do leave the house to work, usually only four to six hours, he’s upset because I’m not home when he’s awake. The truth is, he’s rather I didn’t work and he didn’t have to pitch in and pick up some of the slack. For instance, I started dinner tonight but he had to finish it. Honestly, he did most of the cooking. Of course, it was just hamburgers and french fries, but he still prepared it. But it made him angry.
It’s very difficult to be on call and fill shifts and talk to clients when he’s glaring at me or yelling at the kids or making nasty comments about how this job isn’t worth it in the background. Before I started this job, before I even applied for this job, I talked to him about it and told him that I would need his support and encouragement to be able to do it. I think he is surprised that when you have a job that you have to work from home, you still have to work. I told him tonight that I would go in Monday and quit and he told me to quit if I wanted to, but not to blame him for it. I don’t want to quit. I like this job. I think I’m halfway good at it. It allows me to be home with my kids and volunteer at school and do all those things that are important to them and me. But I can’t take the emotional beating that he’s putting me and the kids through every weekend.
I’m just so tired. I feel like crying, but I know that won’t do any good. I know his pride is hurting and he’s angry because of it (although he would never admit it), but I can’t take being his emotional punching bag. I just want to go to sleep and never wake up.
I’m in a dark place right now. Everything is catching up with me. I am okay though. I am not suicidal. I am not going to hurt myself. This poem is just something that had to come out.
In A Dark Place
It’s in my head
It’s in my mind
I push it away
Out of sight
I play the game
Follow the rules
Feel like I’ll never win
I’ll always lose
Smile on my face
No one understand
I can’t finish this race
I’m mental, unstable
Disturbed and insane
Can’t stand myself
Can’t hide from the pain
That can’t break free
I can never escape
What’s inside of me
Darkness eats me
Day after day
To collect his pay
My mom was released from mental health on Monday. I talked to her for a few minutes on Monday, she still seemed a bit high strung. I talked to her again today. I thought of calling her yesterday, but honestly, I was afraid to call her and find her drunk or still hostile towards me for having her committed. My own fragile mental health took priority for once.
I bit the bullet today though. I called her while I was making dinner. I didn’t leave a long window of talk time. I wanted her to know that I love her and I care about what happens to her, but I wanted to let myself a way out if she was drinking or mean. To my surprise, she sounded better than she has in months. She sincerely apologized for what she put us through and acknowledged that she was out of control. Her apology wasn’t one of those self-pity, whiny “I’m sorry I’m such a fuck up” apologies. It stunned me. Then she told me how they adjusted her medication and that she realizes that vodka is her monster and when she puts that monster in her body it comes out one way or another. She hasn’t totally given up the idea of drinking yet, which disappoints me. But she told me that she no longer wants to drink any liquor or even beer. She thinks she will try a glass of wine once in a while, but not for a while because she doesn’t trust herself to go into a liquor store.
I think these are all positive steps. Maybe after years of alcoholism she has finally hit a turning point. It’s a shame she only had to try to cut her throat to get there… In any event, I feel positive about all of this, but I keep reminding myself to be realistic. She has many times said she’s going to cut back on drinking or she’s going to get clean or any number of other things and then fallen right back into the same patterns. The only thing I can say is that it took my cousin being killed in a car accident to catapult her into getting off drugs, maybe an actual suicide attempt will catapult her onto the sobriety wagon.
What a long title for the post! LOL But its appropriate none-the-less.
Last Thursday when I arrived home after committing my mother to mental health because she attempted suicide, I felt drained. Drained isn’t even a strong enough word. I felt beaten down. Like most people with bi-polar disorder and depression and most people who have been through sexual and emotional abuse, I have considered suicide. In fact, I will say that it’s never far from my thoughts. When I was having trouble with my medication not too long ago I caught myself staring at my kitchen knives and wondering if it would hurt if I sliced open a vein. I thank God every day that the sound of my children playing video games or fighting 15 feet away kept me from finding out. But my mother, being bi-polar, an alcoholic, and an abuse victim (many times over), does not have the in your face reasons to prevent her suicide. So, with vodka courage, she held a knife to her throat.
I understand the urge, almost a need, to end the seemingly endless pain that is life sometimes. I understand the desperation to escape the feelings of worthlessness. And on Thursday night, when my husband was leaving for work and he asked me if I was okay and would “all be right in his world tomorrow” I could only give him a blank stare and tell him I was fine. In a way, I thank him. He made me angry with his comment, as if “his” world is the only one that counts. But at least I felt something, instead of blinding numbness.
I sat here on my couch, in front of my laptop for a while. I listened to my phone ring, but I didn’t answer. And then I picked up a bookmark that I purchased at the end of May on a day trip with my kids to some local caves. It’s one of those ones with the penny that has a shape cut out of it. This penny has a cross on it, and the bookmark one of my favorite writings: “Footprints In The Sand.” I know it by heart, but I sat here and read it anyway. As I read, I could feel myself getting lighter and lighter. By the time I got to the end, I knew I was being carried through this very difficult time and I knew I would be okay. I prayed to God for strength all through Friday and he provided it. When my mother called me screaming, I made it through. When it was time to go collect my work for the weekend, I made it through. When I was taking call-offs and emergencies (and there weren’t many), I made it through.
And now I know what I want my next tattoo to be. I want something symbolic of “Footprints in the Sand.” My tattoo artist thinks I have lost my mind. If any of my wonderfully creative friends out here in internet land has any ideas, I am open to suggestions. This has to be just right.