Inexplicable Explanation

 

These past few weeks, I’ve been finding myself becoming increasingly more of a sap over small things.  Or suddenly struck with fear or dread over something I see on the television.  I watched Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. I am a horse lover, so I like the movie, but I cried the entire time.  That’s not normal.  I cried when a man was kind and caring to a woman on a television show.  And I start thinking, “Wow, I’m emotional with no explanation.” But there’s always an explanation.  I just have yet to find it.  Or want to find it.  Normally it’s the latter.
I had not been putting much thought into it until it refused to be ignored the past two days – over the weekend, when I was laid up in bed from a herniated disc in my neck.  I’m going on month 5 of this, and after a long week, I had planned on having no plans over the weekend.  Apparently, my emotional self, and all the other “selves” that come with that, took advantage of this time.
Perhaps I have been avoiding them.  Even neglecting them.  Or perhaps I’ve downright abandoned them lately.  I think I’ve had to.  I’ve had stress lately…I think I’ve lost time once or twice.  My memory has been downright shitty.
And now I’m crying at animated movies narrated by Matt Damon from 2002.
How the fuck did I get myself here?
I keep thinking, “Yeah, you’re good…You don’t need therapy anymore.  Besides, what else can she help you with? Clearly, you’ve made your decision.  Clearly, you think you can handle having contact with your father while still living near your mother who works long distance for your father.  Clearly, you think that’s the only way forward right now, so clearly, that’s the way forward.”
Clearly.
Have you ever gotten yourself so screwed over in a position….Financially, mentally, emotionally….That you just can’t find a way out?
That’s where I am.  It will be years before I dig myself out of the hole I’m in.  I’m working on it.  I’m trying to explore possible escape routes.  But it appears I will have to suck it up and take the long way out.
I sure hope my life is worth it. Good thing I’ve got this new semicolon tattoo on my ankle to keep me sane.
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The Holiday Paradox

It all boils down to the holidays, doesn’t it? The entire year seems to culminate around the holidays, as if this time of year is a test of what you’ve done since last year.

The words, songs, feelings, and traditions that surround us during these times put forth expectations of what we all should be doing and even how we should feel. And it’s the fairy tale, story-book versions of these holiday gatherings that ruin it for the rest of us.

So here’s a hypothetical situation (but probably applies to some families). The picture is of a large family, several young children, maybe even one on the way. The adults have been successful in their lives and are settling down as their children are growing their own family. They are kind to one another, share collective laughs over silly uncle Larry who can’t ever tell between the twins, and reminisce about something funny that someone did when they were a kid.  They sit comfortably and reflect on their lives and life choices. There may be some regret buried in there, some guilt and maybe even a bit of shame, but all in all, this family gathering for the holidays is something to be longed for.

Here’s a different family. As in many, this family’s holiday involves a great deal of traveling and preparation, both mental and physical, and everyone gears up for getting together with brothers, sisters, and cousins that haven’t been mentioned in ages. There are old tensions that arise during these gatherings, petty fights over how to cook the turkey and maybe one or two blow up fights about some long-standing issue between family members. A few compare each other’s life successes to the other. Everyone quiets down for dinner, and the matriarch of the family asks everyone to say something they’re thankful for and, perhaps, take a moment to remember those who couldn’t be there.

As with that family, every family has issues at the holidays. History and stories and movies all tell us that our holiday gatherings are supposed to be like the first family. But it’s just not realistic for the vast majority.

Let’s delve into another situation. Troubles with the family started long ago, so the mother and daughter left the family to get away from its toxicity. The daughter nearly had to drag the mother out because she was being weighed down so heavily from all of her baggage. The daughter’s baggage was heavy as well, but she had learned how to function with it.

So the mother and daughter get ready for Thanksgiving, cooking dinner from instant mashed potatoes, steamed corn, and a pre-cooked turkey. Can’t forgot the canned cranberry sauce. They sit and eat in silence, both quietly thinking about how they’re grateful to not have to deal with a toxic family, but they also hate that it leaves them with no one but themselves.

But at least they have each other.

Except, when the only other person, the only other family in the room is a near constant trigger of all that toxicity that they tried to escape, the daughter wonders if she has done the right thing. It’s exhausting for her to simply be around her mother, even though she loves her. She tries to convince herself that this is better for her, which it is, but she senses that her mother partially blames her for the isolation they are experiencing today, and that no matter how hard it was to get out of that toxic family, her mother would prefer that over no family at all.

So is it better to be healthier and alone or unhealthy but surrounded by family? I think many of us, if not most of us, would prefer the first family, but let’s be realistic, right? Would I prefer to be part of the second family, with seemingly tangible tensions, but yet still surrounded by loved ones? I do not know.

Regardless, the holidays are tough. Let the month of triggers commence. Happy Holidays, everyone… I hope we can all find some sense of peace this season, even just for a moment, amidst all the chaos.

Stressed

Yeah, bottom line is that I’m stressed.

I moved last weekend in the middle of a snowstorm. Slid backward down the icy driveway into a ditch, carried a couch up said half mile driveway, yeah. Getting yelled at by parents and students at work for things I didn’t even do doesn’t help. Next month I have to take a mandatory month off from work with no pay. I may have gotten my mother fired from her job with my father. My father is trying to turn “his” family against me. Not to mention, because of the holidays and my poor planning skills, I was essentially off of my meds for nearly two weeks, so things look pretty bleak right now.

I do love my new place, but things are so stressful right now that I just can’t enjoy it. I wish I could talk to T. Even for just a few minutes. 15 days down, 12 to go.

Work tomorrow is going to be insane. Just one more day until I can take a deep breath, at least for a couple days.