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Author Archives: Unrequited Life

Meh, guilt post.

Wow, it’s been a while…I suck at this ‘routine’ posting shit. Probably why my dream of being paid to write will never come to fruition, but I digress. I think I’m here today because I feel guilty. I’ve invested so much time, energy and tears into this damn blog, I feel neglectful after a while without posting. Why? I mean, it is an inanimate object, not needing food or water, but somehow I feel as if I’ve let this poor little blog down by not posting for so long. Hmm, I really dunno. Maybe it’s because I was raised Catholic, and Catholics feel guilty over just about anything. Maybe it’s because it affords me the opportunity to do something that I LOVE to do – write – but because I don’t think I’m any good at it, it simply reminds me that I try too hard. Maybe I just like to share my story in an act of self-inflicted therapy or maybe I hope that it shows a side of depression that a lot of people don’t know about, but should… Eh. It’s probably just the Catholic guilt.

There used to be a time where I would turn to this site to get the shit that was filling up my head, out. Discuss the pain and grief I was feeling without being judged or told “You should just be able to deal with it.” Finding some release in writing it down, chronicling it in a way, in the hope that one day I could look back and think “It really was that bad.” I know that sounds morbid, but as anyone who has suffered with depression knows, there is a relief found by being able to say those words. First, it disproves our memory and gives you some perspective over what you remember versus what actually was. My personal memory turned a lot of scenarios into me being the victim but the things I chose to write about on here never changed their story. It proves you have been through worse, and you’re still sitting here today. It shows that you ARE made of stronger stuff than many think, and it is a way to identify past feelings and experiences without having to relive them. Because reliving is hard. Too hard.

From January 2009 through July of 2012, I attended therapy with a wonderful woman who helped me understand myself better than what I had learned during the 20 some odd years of life I had at that point. She taught me many things but one of the biggest ones, I think, was how to let shit go. Like, seriously, LET. IT. GO. Stop thinking about it, stop saying “Well, I really am over it, but it just makes me so {insert descriptive emotion here}!” because that means you are NOT over that shit, at all.   And that’s not letting go – that’s dwelling, and dwelling was another HUGE issue for me. I’d run scenarios over in my head 50 ways to Sunday and come up with every plausible way a situation could play out, then dwell on the worst one that I could dream up, cycling myself into a feeling of uselessness and just general awfulness, adding to my already depressed mood and well, let’s just say it sucked. I’d tell myself that I traumatized myself for good reason, so that I could “be prepared” for anything that came my way, but the truth is, I think I caused myself MORE stress trying to plan for everything than I do now but just letting it be. Be whatever it’s going to be, just let it be and turn into what it will be. Allowing things to happen tales way less energy to get through and I’ve made it through several situations of just letting things BE at this point, and have always found the other side without an issue. And since I didn’t dwell on it until my eyes burned, I had more energy left to enjoy life a little bit. Somewhere between all of that, I think I kinda stopped being depressed all the time. I still have days where I feel shitty and sad and then I have portions of days where it starts out bad, but I flip from that to happy, because I would rather be happy. I don’t dwell on feeling depressed and, dude it’s kinda cool, all of a sudden someone can make you laugh, and you feel a little bit better. Some days, it doesn’t work, but some days it does…

So yeah, guilt. Maybe I felt guilty to leave a post on this blog because I’m not the depressed, anxious, scared, scarred person I was when I started it and when I spent so many nights crying over my keyboard as I typed a post. I feel untrue to the pages found before this. Somehow I feel like this blog wants me to be a hot mess and it won’t accept me any other way. But maybe that’s just the crazy talking…maybe it’s really about sharing this part of my life with people so that someone, somewhere may see this thing for what it is and find some hope, or some solace in the fact that they are not alone. Maybe me sharing all of this with essentially anyone who somehow comes by this page, is just what was meant to be.

 

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I’m going to hell, but it’s ok

Like most people I know, I do not like death. I ACCEPT death for what it is, and I know it’s this awful, inevitable end we must all face, but I absolutely do not like it and wish to avoid dealing with it at all costs. My Uncle died in 2006 and my boyfriend’s grandmother passed away in February of 2013 – I kind of prided myself on the fact that I had avoided funerals and viewings for that entire span of my life. Everyone handles it differently, no one handles it well, and I, frankly, don’t want to handle it at all. Death is still such an unknown to us, which I think is my true fear. It’s not the end of life, it’s the “Well, what the hell happens NOW?!” situation. I feel like that is why we wrap ourselves in these traditions of a mass, and last rites and an entombment – the dead don’t care what happens to their bodies and they probably don’t even know what’s going on after they leave them. These rituals only try to bring comfort to those of us left here, but they don’t ever really answer questions or tell us what is REALLY happening out there or make me feel like my spirit or my essence or my ‘being’ won’t end up being less than nothing after it vacates this meat suit.

My morbid thought process today is due to the fact that my step-grandmother passed away on Saturday. I’ve been a part of her family for something like, 24 years now, so it’s not like we didn’t know each other well and I am sad that she’s passed on, but I’m not overwhelmingly upset or going through the 5 stages of grief over it. I saw her several times a year and always sat down to chat when we were at an event together. She accepted me and my sister pretty easily into the family when other members did not. She was always honest, a great cook and prided herself on her family and how her home was decorated. I have many memories of her, from the Christmas morning brunches, to the shoe themed bathroom, and I truly don’t think she ever said a mean word to me. I will remember her fondly and I am thankful to have known her, but I selfishly feel like I should be less involved in this whole situation than I am. I mean, I’ve been asked, and out of catholic guilt and respect agreed, to do a reading at the mass on Saturday, assuming of course that the bible I may read from doesn’t spontaneously burst into flames as I approach. Now, Ma had 5 children – each child is married and all have 2 or more of their own, except the youngest who has one child, but that STILL amounts to a heaping pile of children and grandchildren….and yet, the non-biological step granddaughter is doing a reading at the mass?! Are there going to be THAT many readings or something?! I mean, shit. For reals?

Now, you can see where the crazy really comes in and the guilt goes through the roof – I cannot get past the fact that I will be spending approximately 8 hours at viewings and another 2-3 at the funeral itself this weekend, MY weekend, away from my overwhelmingly frustrating means of paying bills, AKA my job, and I am even scheming on how to get out of at least an hour or two. My job has me so stressed out right now that I look forward to a day off in the same way a kid looks forward to Christmas. My weekends are precious to me – this whole working for a living thing SUCKS – so losing a weekend to something like death is just about the last thing on my To Do list and almost as much fun as waxing my hoo-ha. And yet I think, this woman has just shuffled off the mortal coil and here I am worried about spending my day off of work at viewings. She no longer has a choice on what to spend her weekends doing and here I am feeling resentful at spending ONE of mine honoring her life. Shit, I’m going to hell.

 

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Complacency Kills

Today I got a little reality check cashed that I wasn’t expecting.

I thought I was doing so well with my depression and my coping issues for months and months and months now. I’m no longer on antidepressants, my therapist released me from ongoing therapy, and my life has been on quite the upswing. But today was proof that even when everything seems to be going right, shit can still creep up on you and flip you ass over tin cups.

I work with a girl who frustrates me to the point that I have become obsessed with everything she does wrong, just to shake my head, tsk-tsk in her direction and say things like “I don’t know how she still has a job”  behind her back. Her lack of work, while I bust my ass, and the way I feel that management has allowed her behavior with no consequence, straight up makes me resentful. You see, I have a job where I do what I’m supposed to do, my manager and I sit down every couple of weeks to go over my case load, and unless someone starts jumping up and down in the meantime, I’m pretty much left to my own devices otherwise, and expected to just do my job. This girl I work with takes advantage of our freedom and often spends more time during the day texting or surfing the internet than she does actually WORKING and I’ve become too concerned with what she does, or doesn’t do, each day that I’ve been making snide comments to fellow coworkers. Apparently others have heard my comments and went to my manager about them, thus resulting in a call today. I can be an awful bitch at times, for sure, and heaven help those who get on my bad side as I can say some nasty stuff with proper motivation – and you best believe that this girl gives me proper motivation. Through all of this, I have not lost control of my caseload and I do not have issues with unhappy or neglected clients, but I have certainly delved into the zone of negativity which is a place I strove for a very long time to climb out of. It’s a place I haven’t been in a while, and slipping back into it was so easy, it kind of scares me.

I feel a lot of shame, too. Shame for being so petty about this girl, shame for being naive enough to think that management had no clue of her shenanigans, and shame that I made my manager waste some of her precious time just to tell me that I needed to get a grip. I can’t believe that I’ve forgotten where I was when I started this blog years ago – miserable, negative, hating everything, feeling nothing and being just plain depressed and anxious – and how long and hard I struggled and cried and learned and fought and what I implemented in an attempt to change all of that. And here, I have allowed one co-worker, in a matter of a few months, to ruin that for me and start to take away what I worked SO HARD to obtain.

My manager was ultimately right, and I thanked her for bringing this to my attention. Sometimes, it’s hard to see how extreme a situation has become until an outsider points it out. I promised her that I would let it all go, and starting tomorrow, i intend to do just that. I’m going to let go of the resentment, let go of the shame and let go of the negativity – I don’t want to be that person again because at this point in my life, I have too much to lose.

 

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Continuing the trend

My father is the most negative human being that I know. He actually used to be angrier, or at least used to show his anger more, but as he’s gotten older, the anger has turned from cussing and throwing and breaking shit, to just being a downright bummer.

My birthday was a few weeks ago, and when I called my dad to thank him for the birthday card and check that he mailed to me, we ended up having a relatively decent 35 minute conversation about how my life was going good, how work was going good and how I didn’t really have a lot to complain about. I’d venture to say that his ability to withhold the negative peaks at around 36 minutes, though, because we quickly went from HAPPY HAPPY to “Just be glad you have a job because if you didn’t, you’d have a hell of a time finding one right now.” and “You should be better at saving your money” and “Well, I gave you that 6 months ago – you haven’t done it yet?” Thank you dad, for ruining whatever high I had on life by inserting your usual bit of negatively slanted realism. Can’t I just be happy for a frickin’ minute, here?!

Most people who do that to me usually get thanked for dropping the Bummer Bomb in some snide, sarcastic way, but my dad is not most people. He is the poster child for emotional suppression and avoidance, so if I were to bring it up, he’d just get angry and most likely say something like, WELL, IT”S TRUE ISN’T IT? To which I can’t really argue, but there is a thing called TACT that he seems to lack. In fact, his need to end on a sour note seems almost purposeful to an extent – there was nothing in our conversation that could have segued him into how suck-tastic the world is or how terrible the weather is or how awful the state of the economy is. He just started hating on shit with no prompting. Yeah, I get it, sometimes shit sucks, but if all you do is dwell on the negative, everything becomes ABOUT the negative and I’ve worked really hard to get my thinking out of that downward spiral pattern. And this, my friends, is the long winded version of why I don’t talk to my father very often and when I do, it’s in very short bursts. Gotta get out before the negativity sets in.

 
 

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Daddy Issues

I’m going off of memory here because I’m lazy and don’t like to incorporate research (BLECK) into blogging, but I believe it was Freud, and Oedipus, that theorized our first loves are our opposing sex parent when we are babies and young children. Little boys love their mothers and little girls love their fathers truer and deeper than they think they’ll ever love anyone else, and the reaction of said parent is more important to how we shape our views of ourselves than I, and most people I’d wager, ever realize. Whether this is true or not, I can’t tell you, but I know for me, my father and our relationship has proven to be the catalyst for most of my crazy issues as an adult.

My parents divorced when I was about 5, and most of the memories that I have of the time before are not so peachy. Lots of yelling, lots of fighting and lots of pissed off dad. His anger was scary, he’d yell and scream and throw shit, and as a 5 and less year old kid, I had a decision to make – be afraid of my own father, or try to do things that didn’t make him angry. Queue the emergence of my brilliant wit. I learned quickly that when dad was laughing, he wasn’t yelling and the choice for me was obvious – I wanted a laughy dad, not a screamy one. Besides, a couple of hits on the ass with a wooden spoon would have even made Jesus renounce his religion, if it had happened to him as a three year old.

Flash forward to my adult life and the main lesson that that little girl learned – do whatever it takes to avoid confrontation and make sure everyone is happy in order to avoid chaos and fear. To this day, I make jokes in tense situations to avoid the anger or sadness that may present itself otherwise. Laughter beat out dads anger, but the laughter was just masking my fear, not displacing it. Don’t get me wrong, I love laughing and having a good time, but I pushed myself into being that way as a child because it was a way better option than being screamed at and cracked over the ass with a wooden spoon by my dad because I spilled some milk on the kitchen floor. Remember – 5 years old and less….

Our relationship as adults is less of a relationship and more of a requirement. He expects me to honor and obey, and forgive him when he tells me that depression is something I should be able to handle myself, and that it’s ‘stupid’ that I am on antidepressants. He wants me to go out of my way for him and give him the unconditional love that he’s never given me. He wants me to yearn for his affection that he withholds like it’s the last jar of peanut butter on earth. Yet, despite all of that, I still try to make him happy. I still try to be uplifting and funny and I still try to be that little girl who he used to get so much enjoyment out of  – but as an adult, it’s harder for me to suppress the fact that I’ve never felt my dad loved me for who I am, only for the laughter I could create. I’ve always felt he loved me just because I could make him not be angry, and that isn’t the unconditional love that a child needs from their father. It’s made me derive my self worth through how I can make others feel – if I can’t make people turn that frown upside down, then I’m worthless. If I can’t solve a problem for someone, I’m a piece of shit, and so on and so on.  I want him to be happy, I want him to enjoy life, but every time that I try to bring that to him, he shoots me down. He makes sure every conversation ends with a ‘reality check’, which leaves me feeling like the world is terrible and not worth being a part of. He’s so resistant to letting go of his negativity and constant belittling that he makes no effort to ease our strained relationship, despite the fact that he is acutely aware that it exists. And that makes me sad for him, and sad for me because there is so much more to this thing called life than just hating on it and bitching about the bad shit that happens to us all sometimes. I want to have a relationship with my father that is healthy and loving and where I feel he accepts me and that I am good enough to be called his daughter, but I’m realizing through age and therapy that that just isn’t going to happen. He’s always going to think I could do more, or be better, or thinner or prettier or a harder worker, but not in an encouraging kind of way, more like a ‘you are not good enough’ one.

Tonight in my therapy session, I realized that my dads happiness is not my responsibility, and it’s OK that that makes me sad. I cannot live my life for him, and I cannot allow him to drag me down when I find something to be positive about. I love my dad, and I always will, but I don’t LOVE my dad, and I wish that I could.

 

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Dial up the crazy

It almost feels funny to type this, as it’s been almost a year and a half since I’ve used this word, but, I have a ‘boyfriend’. He’s wonderful, I like him a lot, he does all the things I think a good boyfriend should, and I hope that I get to keep calling him my boyfriend for a very long time. With all that said, however, my crazy still manages to poke holes in what could otherwise be a completely normal relationship, and in times like these, I write.

I live in southern Pennsylvania, (southern enough that I rarely admit to the PA residency except when trying to prove that I drive the farthest to work when compared to anyone else), and for those who don’t know, Maryland and Virginia (along with many other states that i have no reason for mentioning here…) got hit with a helluva storm the last weekend in June, with 80 MPH winds, hail, monsoon volume rains and excessive lightening. There are people to this day that are still without power due to the storm damage, and my boyfriend works in Maryland, for one of the companies that’s out and about replacing some of the telephone poles that were broken, cutting up trees that were splintered and generally trying to fix some of the shit that got jacked up. Since he and I have about an hour and 15 minutes worth of distance between us, his long hours and 7 day a week shifts have taken a toll on my emotional stability the last 2 weekends, as I’ve seen him for a fraction of the amount of time that we PREFER to see each other. See, I intentionally typed “we prefer” to try to outsmart the crazy, but the crazy is uber smart, and it sees through my thinly veiled attempts with little to no effort. The small amount of time that we HAVE been able to see each other isn’t exactly the same sort of QT that I’m used to spending with him, either, as he’s exhausted, a mere fraction of his usual awesome personality, and I swear – dude falls asleep LESS THAN 5 minutes after his head hits the pillow – I don’t think a narcoleptic could top that. So this weekend, I ate dinner with him and his family, then we watched a movie, I got to sleep in his arms, and then got up at 5 am and drove home as he went to work. I’m not complaining, because I wasn’t exactly living la vida refreshed either, but as soon as I give my brain a moment to wander, it immediately jumps to him distancing himself from me for some yet to be discovered reason. Or for some reason that I may have thought of but dismissed, or for some reason that I may never even think of because there’s probably not even a reason in existence at this point. Logically, I know what sheer exhaustion can do to a person and that this is his true reason for being less than all over my grill as of late. Yet my crazy expects him to be bright eyed and bushy tailed, utilizing every second I am within his vision to adore and fawn over me, despite the fact that he’s worked no less than 10 hours per day, for the last 10+ days straight, and he’s already doing about all he can just to stay awake and spend a few hours of face to face time with me. I am interpreting his exhaustion for disinterest, and this is where I inevitably lose my sub-par grip and sob into a pillow for a few hours. Queue the red, puffy eyes I’ll have for the next 2 days.

I must feel safe with my boyfriend, though, because instead of bottling it up and becoming aloof, I’ve opened up and explained these feelings to him, and god love this man, he consoled me and assured me and managed to quell my concerns in just a few words. In past relationships, I would have been told “That’s stupid, why do you feel that way?” and it would end up being an entire discussion about my feelings and why they are dumb, his lack thereof, and I would still never feel that acceptance or understanding that I longed for. Despite the fact that I want to talk about my feelings, I don’t feel the need to make an entire presentation out of it – I want to say my piece, have him reply, and move on. Then I want to reiterate his reply in my head to make myself feel better whenever crazy girl sneaks in and tries to overwhelm the awesome that I have created. Seriously, I know that these crazy thoughts are crazy things that only crazy people make up, but I literally CANNOT help them from seeping into my brain and once they are there, the only way to make them go away is to say them out loud and gain affirmation for their complete idiocy, or their legitimacy.

One huge thing I’ve wanted in a boyfriend is someone who would actually listen to what I say, and HEAR me when I say it. I don’t need it fixed, that’s on me, I just need a man to understand that I have feelings (I know, you’re thinking ‘You’re a chick – DUH you have feelings’ but wait, explanation on this to follow) and be OK with hearing them out-loud. Too many men seem to completely suppress, or downright forget that chicks have feelings, and need to express them to get over them, and firsthand I can say this has created more than several issues with me and men in the past. This one guy I dated told me that I wasn’t ALLOWED to tell him when I was disappointed. His reasoning was that he didn’t like making plans anyway, so when plans fell through, I wasn’t allowed to be disappointed because it was something I used against him to make him feel badly. Not badly enough to NOT break plans or to even TRY to not break plans, just bad enough that he didn’t want to hear about it. I feel that you don’t get to know a person if you’re always just putting on a show, so I want to be honest and try to share who I am in my entirety. All the world is a stage, but even the stage hand gets to know the REAL person playing the part, and I want to be with someone who knows all of me, not just the stuff that’s lollipops and gummi bears. Long winded reason # 47 why my boyfriend is awesome.

 

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Sometimes, hindsight sucks

Today I let a little crazy out. My man and I had this wonderful weekend together full of awesome people, literal fireworks and tons of Q.T. and I almost fucked it all up in about 5 minutes time, just as he was leaving. At least, that’s what I thought until he proved me wrong.

My past still seeps through into my present at times, and while most of my past is what has made me who I am today, ergo, I am thankful for it, there are plenty of things from my past which benefit no one, no how, no way. Mainly, this is regarding my previous dating encounters, as those are still the my biggest hurdles of insecurity in life. However, I think anyone with a pulse can agree that past relationships all have their double-edged swords. On one sharp side, I’ve learned from the mistakes I’ve made and I have managed to stop picking men who have issues with commitment or emotion or who hate their mothers or anyone with a womb, but the other side of the slice is that those ‘learning experiences’ jack you up so much emotionally that when shit happens which triggers memories, before you know it, you’re sobbing hysterically into a sofa pillow cushion wondering why in the hell you don’t just magically become the crazy cat lady now and save yourself the anguish of WAITING for it to happen.

Despite the fact that I sipped copious amounts of crazy juice this afternoon, lost my shit for a minute or thirty, and even shed a few tears (but don’t tell anyone), instead of spinning wheels away from crazy town faster than a Delorian, my man was so worried about MY feelings that he stuck around and talked through things with me until I felt better, even though that meant his time table was pushed back and he got home later than wanted/expected for his stupid early 5:30a Monday morning. He was more interested in making sure he and I were copacetic than anyone I’ve ever been in a relationship with and I could not express to him, or you, how incredibly amazing and wonderful that is if I sat here until my ass and fingers went numb, using a thesaurus to select any and all words related to AWESOME in three to five different languages. His concern for my feelings eased my worries faster than an ice cube melts in hell, yet on top of that pile of awesome, just to assure me more so that all the amazing things he said earlier were incredibly true, he called me on his way home under the veil of being lost, just to make sure that I was OK. Seriously, the man knows his way home by now, and I generally am anti-lying, but I’m OK with this particular guise.

I am so happy that lately, people are remarking upon how happy I look, even when I’m not talking about him and I, and even when they have no idea that my man even exists. And ya know what, I’m not even gonna pull the “I don’t know how I got so lucky” card because dammit, therapy has taught me that I deserve some fricking happiness at this point in my life and I’m finally starting to believe it. I’ve been with terrible men, I’ve been with men that just weren’t a good fit for me for one reason or twenty, and everything in between, and I may sound like a selfish asshole when I say this – but I DESERVE someone who appreciates me, crazy and all, and who gives as much of a shit about what I think and feel as I do about what he thinks and feels. And I truly think I’ve found him, especially after today.

 

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