- It’s my 5th pandemic “staycation,” and…I’m over it. I have been productive, which is a word that I do not like to associate with vacations. I filed my taxes today, completed a consulting gig, worked on a baby blanket and ate some leftovers. Yesterday, I exchanged a pair of sneakers at New Balance, because I prefer to go during the week when there are no crowds. I stopped off at Lidl to pick up a few things and swung by Michaels because I needed another skein of yard for this blanket’s border. Yeah, this vacation is uber exciting…#sarcasm.
- Hope, Yappy, and I will be going to see my parentals on Friday for the Easter holiday. I booked us a hotel room downtown where we will order room service, cuddle Yappy and enjoy a change of scenery. I hope to take Hope to the museum and run around the city ordering takeout from my favorite hometown joints.
- I think I’ve made the decision that Hope and I will take a real vacation this summer. I think we’ll go to the Caribbean where I can get nice dark bronzy brown, drink from sun up to well past sundown and snooze a lot under the umbrella. I want swimsuit tan lines and a tan line from that resort bracelet that gets you an endless supply of fresh towels and booze. As much as I want an adventure trip, I am still skittish about moving around too much–I think a vacation where I lay on the beach for a week is in order.
- Hope never really got up today. It makes me sad. Yesterday we went to see a movie. Only 6 folks were in the theater–Side note: first movie in more than a year. It was weird. We skipped the snacks because we couldn’t justify taking our masks off for popcorn. Just seemed silly. Anyway, we got takeout after the movie and it was great to see Hope out, about, and engaged. It was a reminder that she’s in there, trying to figure out how to beat the darkness back. I’m guessing it was probably exhausting being up and out. Figures that she would sleep even more today. if there’s no rain tomorrow, I might see if I can lure her out with a game of tennis outback.
- It’s hard to find things to engage Hope. She’s just not at a place where she can put her own plan together. I’ve offered to get her a tutor so she can continue her Chinese and Korean lessons. I’ve told her about places that are hiring. I’ve suggested that she look into a free online class just to create some structure. I suggest a lot, and I get frustrated a lot because I keeping thinking and Hoping that one day she will be at a place in her development and healing where she might chase down a lead. Each week, especially during lockdown, I’m reminded that she’s just not there. I desperately wish I could help her in a more meaningful concrete way, but the reality is that other than supporting her and keeping her safe is my role. The heavy work of healing is her job at this point. I respect that, but I still wish there was something I could do.
- A few months ago, I bought Yappy a set of FluentPet AAC buttons. The goal is to train Yappy to press buttons with recorded words so he can communicate with me (if he wants). This is another lockdown situation in which I watched too many dog and cat videos on instagram for too many days. A couple of weeks ago, I finally opened that box and set up his first button, “Outside.” We’re on week 3 of me making a big deal out of saying OUTSIDE and pressing the button and then going out with him. He hasn’t yet intentionally hit the button, but he is vocalizing a bit more–which is a real change because Yappy just doesn’t vocalize much at all—, and he gets excited when I push the button. I know he knows the word; it’s just a matter of seeing if he decides to tell me he wants to go outside. Stay tuned.
- I’ve had a couple of more sedentary weeks. It happens, but I’m trying to get back into my moving rhythm. I wasn’t taking as many work breaks to move around; I didn’t play as much music. I didn’t get on the treadmill as much. I don’t worry about it too much in the grand scheme of things but I also don’t want the lack of movement to become a bad habit. I like it when I’m more active. Several months ago I started jumping rope, only to realize I”m just horrible at it. Folks online talking about how you can stay fit by jumping rope–Hmmmph! I stumbled repeatedly. I bought several different jump ropes because clearly, the problem was the rope. #sideeye. Eventually, I ended up with this super cheap jump rope that has a counter–that was my game changer. I am finally up to jumping 200 a day. A long-term goal is to get to 1,000.
- Yep, still eating cake every day. I’m convinced that cake heals me at night. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
- I’m thinking about buying roller skates because, at 48, I have a death wish. This is why I need to quick social media. Stupid videos and subsequent ads got me making all kinds of bad decisions. Just some of the things I’ve recently looked into as a result of social media ads: roller skates, boxed cold brew delivery (this is totally worth it, btw), CBD bath bombs, other kinds of bath fizzies, hoopless hula hoops, dog toothbrushes, workout clothes with resistance bands sewn in them. Anyway, back to the skates, I enjoyed roller skating (she says totally forgetting about the couple of times she went skating in the last 10 years and nearly ended up in a body cast–ok, a minor exaggeration. Adults look so cool on those things in the videos. I already know I’m going to end up being one of those “How it started/How it’s going” memes.
- I got my second vaccine on Saturday. What a relief. I know that it doesn’t prevent me from spreading it or getting it, but just knowing that I would survive it…that’s a lot. I mentioned earlier that Hope and I are going to see my parents; we haven’t seen them since July of last year when we went for a few hours and sat mostly on the deck in the back yard. I’m so excited to see them; this is by far the longest that I have gone without seeing them in person. I miss them. Hope is super excited to see them as well. She saw them in October when she spent a few days with them. While we had a nice quiet holiday season here, Hope really missed seeing family over Christmas. She’s looking forward to having that time with them. So am I!
Tag Archives: Wellbeing
Ten Things on Wednesday: 3/31/21
I’m a Mess Right Now
Before I even get into this post, I anticipate that it will be a hot mess of rants, rambles, emotional meltdowns and frustrations. It might resonate with your own hot mess of feelings. It might be just the thing you shouldn’t be reading if you are one of those cheery, obsessively positive people. So…gauge yourselves accordingly.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about trauma during this pandemic.
I’ve also been thinking about coping.
I feel like I’m experiencing a lot of the former and not doing terribly well on the latter.
Two weeks ago tomorrow I began experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. For a week I dealt with irritating but mild symptoms. I was tired a lot, but unless there was a dramatic change in symptoms, I knew would be fine.
I turned the corner last weekend and physically felt great, despite still not having much of an appetite, all week. I dove back into work, which frankly is insane right now. Work has stressed me out, pissed me off, triggered so much anxiety, cursing and just full-blown emotional meltdowns that I just wash my face, put on my pjs and get in my bed shortly after I close my laptop. #depressionmuch?
And then, yesterday afternoon the sore throat returned. By 9pm I was coughing again and by 11pm my anxiety was in full bloom which only made me feel worse. I have no idea what this means other than abject terror about what’s next on this journey. I do know it probably means that my quarantine will get extended when I was so close to breaking free. I mean, I was just going to go to the Target, but still.
I’m a bit of a mess and overcome by constant waves of emotion.
Grief is a big one. I just keep cycling through the stages, sometimes even daily. Despite being externally low key these days, inside I’m at a level 10 just about 24/7. I’m probably tired from resisting the urge to populate every sentence I utter out loud with multiple f-bombs.
The quarantine has been especially challenging. I don’t always have the energy to connect outside of work hours with anyone—so no virtual happy hours these two weeks. Hope is hit or miss with her caretaking and engagement—she is ensconced in her room and only comes out for food or bio breaks. She will go to the store. She finally unpacked the rest of her college stuff from the car after I quietly, through gritted teeth raged that I’ve been asking her to do this for WEEKS. Yappy seems terrified to walk with her now. She grabs the leash and he runs to hide under the bed; I know there’s a story there. This has meant that despite my quarantine, I have had to suit up and take Yappy out ever so often to alleviate his anxiety and make sure he gets the opportunity to poop.
Cooking still falls to me.
Cleaning still falls to me.
I’m overwhelmed by everything and underwhelmed by the world’s response. I took off today because I was going to snap if I had to participate in one more Zoom call that should have been an email. I’m tired of expectations that I always be on camera. I’m tired that there isn’t a real, authentic acknowledgement that this ish is traumatic, and not just regular traumatic like “Do you remember where you were on 9-11?” No, this is like the year 2020 seems to be a never-ending cluster-f*ck…the whole gotdamn year. Yesterday I got up and took a walk (via YT video) because a series of back and forth emails in which I insisted that I could not help with a project (a boundary) resulted in a final passive aggressive email from my colleague. This was before 10am.
I’m over it.
I’m not motivated to do much of anything but find new cocktails to craft (I’ll be trying a Matcha Mule today). I bought yarn, I have downloaded patterns. I can’t even get myself to cast on stitches or to think about a project and I usually find knitting to be incredibly soothing. I have watched very little of the trending shows and movies everyone is writing about. I keep watching Law and Order, a couple of animal shows, and other stuff I’ve seen a million times. I just long to know what’s already coming—so I rewatch stuff I’ve already watched.
I’m a mess and I know it. I don’t even know how not to be a mess right now. I’m sad, mad, worried, sick, sick and tired, frustrated, confined, bored yet overextended at work and the thing that is seriously effing me up the most?
Some folks are trying to normalize this experience. This shit is not normal. And while I understand that it is the “new normal” and that normal as we once knew it is gone; I’m grieving *my* normal hard right now, so stop reframing this shit. I am not hearing it right now. STFU.
I’m beyond miserable, and there’s levels to my misery.
And then I feel guilty because, in the grand scheme of things I’m fine, Hope and Yappy are fine. My family is safe, sound and fine. There are so many people who are economically devastated in the midst of the mind f*ck this all is. I’m not experiencing that, thankfully, but I can’t even imagine having that burden too. It reminds me of the privilege I have despite everything.
So, yeah, just add woke guilt on top of the emotional dumpster fire that I am right now.
So this chilly Friday morning, I’m going to make me some coffee, put some Baileys in it, cut off several chunks of the bread I made yesterday, get in my favorite spot on the couch and sulk while watching L&O marathons on various channels and filling in with back episodes on Hulu for hours when I can’t find a broadcast episode. I will call my doctor to discuss the reappearance of symptoms and what it means for my quarantine, testing and over all health. I will snooze my work accounts—no I will not hop on your zoom for a few minutes. Let me lone!
Today will be for self-care in the form of tv watching, wallowing, carb loading, cannabis consumption and trying to get my mind right. I might even order takeout on a *Friday* (Thursday is takeout day at Casa d’ABM).
How are y’all?
FML: Travel Version
Today I struggled. And by struggle I mean…wanted to strangle Grammy and Hope at different times and for different reasons.
I love traveling with my mom. It’s easy. She’s easy going, we love on each other and it’s just epic. We sometimes even cry together because the time together is so special. This trip has had all that but Hope is with us and that’s changed our dynamic. Hope is an attention hog, and I tend to dote on my mom when we travel. I’ve tried to mete out the doting, but I rarely get dedicated time with Grammy so I’m sure she’s winning the doting war.
Then, despite showing epic growth this summer and in the last few weeks, in the matter of a few short days Hope has regressed into some of her worst behaviors. She’s annoying with a bit of a smart mouth.
Emotionally demanding, and then, as we arrived in Switzerland, again had to go through the absurd routine of being *shocked* that the country has insects. Why didn’t I warn her?
Yeah, she has a phobia. Yes, I know that there’s components of phobias that are completely unrelated to reason, but Hope has turned the ancillary showmanship around her bug phobia into a high artform.
In the last couple of days her behavior has been quietly grating on my nerves…and I’m not the only one.
So by the time we arrived at the airport today, I’d survived Grammy’s worry that the car service wouldn’t pick us up at the hotel and Hope’s lollygagging in getting ready because she was up until the wee hours watching Kdramas in the dark. By the time we got through security and got Hope something to eat and made her do some of her required school reading, my shoulders were finally starting to relax. Grammy starts talking about how different Hope is from my sisters and me, and I get defensive. This is really the first time she’s seen Hope’s true colors up close and personal. Stuff that I understand now, stuff that I let go, stuff that I think is a parking lot problem when I only die on mountain style problems, just baffles Grammy. I get it, but I also know how to parent this kid (even when I want to strangle her), and I can’t parent her the way I was parented. It’s not better or worse, just radically different.
I briefly raised my voice, and then I lost my four day fight to hold back tears. I didn’t sob, but I did cry. Grammy pulled back and said she got it. I know she doesn’t totally get it, but I appreciated that she does on an intellectual level at least.
Then I felt like a failure for not managing to keep it together and disrupting our trip with this exchange. I ended up apologizing and trying to make it right later.
I get us to our AirBnB. It’s a charming apartment. It’s huge, everyone has their own space (precisely why I chose it). I find us food nearby. I manage Hope’s latest bug phobia drama and hand her a couple of Ativan. I video chat my dad and my sister. During my call with my sister, Hope declares that she’s not having a good time, and she wants to go home. Stunned, I abruptly end the call and began sobbing.
I’m exhausted, the airport meltdown took something out of me and then I was wedged into a seat with a dude who wafted funk with every move. (Bless the French and their apparent hatred for quality deodorants.) Just yesterday we went and saw all the stuff in the Apesh&t video at the Louvre, and it was epic. Today, in typical 13 year old in a 17 year old chronological body, Hope declared her teen angst misery, and I, completely depleted and fed up, skidded into the spin and claimed the dramatic southern woman wailing part in the tableau.
Seriously, the trip of a lifetime and misery abounds. Can’t I just get 10 days drama free? Please?
I adore Hope. There is little I won’t do for her, but don’t get it twisted, parenting her is hard. It’s exhausting. Sometimes it’s downright withering.
And sometimes on days like today, after having given Grammy a lecture on the need to have different kinds of expectations for my daughter, I heap on a serving of hypocrite to my parenting dish because for the life of me, I have no idea why I would think that Hope would really love/appreciate a trip to France and Switzerland. She barely appreciates when I pick up a nail polish that I think she will like or make sure that her special Korean ramen is in the house.
It’s not that she’s not thankful for some stuff, it’s just like…some of the things are so far beyond that she’s not sure how to handle them, so she doesn’t handle them well. It’s like she can’t process it in her operating system She’s not handling this trip well, which means we’re not handling this trip well. And I wish she would step up, because I know she can but just won’t, so I blame myself because I know what her default setting is: chaos. When in doubt, cause chaos, because for her, that’s something she understands.
After I got myself together, I told her that I am sorry that she is not having a good time. I do not regret bringing her, but I got the message that this isn’t her thing so I will be sure to extend an invite, but not assume she’s interested in going on these kinds of trips in the future.
I had hoped that after our Grecian adventure earlier this year that she would have got the travel bug, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. That’s ok. It’s not for everyone. I know that she will have these memories–however she frames them–and I’m glad for it.
As for me, I’m heading to my conference tomorrow and I’m looking forward to interacting with non-relatives for a few hours. I’m looking forward to just getting into a zone where I know I do good work, where I can learn, where I can just feel like I am seen and perceived as successful.
Quiet as kept, I’m looking forward to seeing the city, but I will also look forward to going home, seeing and cuddling Yappy, settling into my empty nest routine and going out with my new bae.
I’ve got 5 days though to get through without killing anyone. Prayers, if you’re into that kind of thing.
When I returned from taking Yappy for our early morning walk this morning, I seriously contemplated taking the day off. Then I remembered some things that I needed to do that seemed kind of important, and I set about to just continue on my morning routine.
I packed lunches, prepared breakfast, washed up the dishes, engaged in a bit of sniping with Hope about the continued state of disarray that is her room. I gave Yappy some benadryll in hopes that it would help his worsening separation anxiety. I showered, dressed and did hair and makeup.
I found myself well ahead of schedule and so I ran the vacuum in my bedroom and in the kitchen to clean up the crumbs that Yappy seemed disinterested in noshing.
I still just wanted to get back in bed and pull the covers over my head.
I’m just worn down and over it.
Yesterday I had to rush to Hope’s school because the nurse said she was so sick she was considering calling the paramedics. I get there to see all the signs of one of my daughter’s “spells” including the unrelated limp that accompanies her stomach ache. (#stomachboneconnectedtothelegbone) Over the years we’ve become frequent fliers at the local urgent care thanks to these spells. I don’t doubt that Hope actually feels pain and discomfort, and yes, I have to take every episode seriously. But I also know how this plays out 99.999% of the time. So I rush to the urgent care, where they quickly refer us to the local children’s ER (the usual nurse practitioner who sees us wasn’t there…#newbies). So, I rush her to the children’s ER about 30 minutes away and by the time she’s on the gurney, she’s made her usual miraculous recovery. I kid you not, Hope stammered and told the nurse that her pain level was a 1.
The nurse looked at me, and I tried to keep my irritation to myself and said, “I’m glad you are feeling better.”
And I was sincere since I genuinely believe my daughter feels the pain. I also kind of wanted to scream because I’m fully cognizant of what triggered all of this.
I wish I could say I was shocked. I’m not and I haven’t been the last 20 times this has happened.
Onset of earth shattering abdominal pain that surely must mean death is imminent. Mom comes running. Mom rushes her to the ER because this is serious and needs immediate medical attention. Mom is awash with worry and if she’s not, she performs worry adequately and on cue. A flurry of professionals scurry around to triage and get answers to the questions of life. Tests are run. CT scans and MRIs are scheduled. Hope is wheeled around on stretcher with head lolling back so that orderly double check to make sure she hasn’t lost consciousness. IVs are placed. As quickly as the episode began, it vanishes. The attention is lavished and soaked up like a sponge. All is right with the world with no findings in any of the tests. Hope declares that she has no idea why this keeps happening to her; it’s so weird. Like good cast members we all nod sympathetically in agreement. It is so weird. We are referred for follow up (including mental health referrals) , and we are sent on our merry way.
And so this morning I found myself going through a more reasonable routine, and even though I did it, I just was so over it. I rallied though and got in my car, turned on the Waze app and started to head into the office. 5 minutes in Waze announced that there was a new 23 minute backup, and it would take me more than an hour to get to work. I sat in it for 30 minutes as the traffic only worsened, and then I had the opportunity to finally turn around.
And I did.
Still I thought about just taking a different route to work. I balanced my work things to do with my own need to just have some time to get myself together.
I won; work lost.
I quickly dictated an email to the office that I was taking a personal day.
Today, I will sit in the quiet. I will not look at Hope’s room. I will walk Yappy. I will finish a trashy novel I’ve been reading. I might got get a pedicure and my brows waxed. I will drink a cup of matcha. I will let my brain rest since my TBI symptoms have been worsening and making me feel like ish lately. I will go to the parenting support group tonight.
I will just sit and rest because I really need to. Despite my robust travel schedule, I don’t do much respite. It feels weird to admit needing respite when I travel so much, but those trips are work and I’m usually pulling long hours. I might be away from home, but I’m not resting.
So today, I will rest and take care of me.
And I might do it tomorrow too because I need it.
Nine Months Later
I’ve been on the road ever since Hope and I returned from #thebestspringbreak ever. It has been kind of grueling and I know that it’s been hard for my daughter. She’s a great sport when it comes to my job; I know that Hope is not thrilled that I travel so much (neither am I half the time), but she knows that it is just the way things are.
This month’s travel connected me with colleagues and friends who I deeply care about so there’s been lots of bar time catching up, thinking about new collaborations and debriefing on the workshops we ran or sat in on. I love my work, but it’s these times when I’m super energized—hanging out with cool, creative souls whose work dovetails with mine and who like to work together to change the world. Bar time makes the whole ordeal of preparing content, schlepping to the airport and being away from my family worth it.
This weekend, I participated in a leadership workshop in which I was asked to consider a number of questions about my life that I realized needed further examination. I found myself listing incidents that positioned me or push/dragged me to the next level of personal development. I did this exercise last fall in a colleague’s workshop, but I guess I was still in the thick of things and didn’t have the perspective I do now.
I started thinking about last year’s car accident and my head injury and what these last 9 months have been like.
I started thinking about how the injury blossomed; it took more than a week for most of the symptoms to emerge. I started thinking about all the weird things that seem different after the accident. I never had dry eyes before. I still occasionally experience aphasia and some short term memory issues. I get tired more easily than I used to when I’m doing more brain work. My feel for numbers eventually came back and I’m comfortable with my research and data analysis and can spout off my findings but something still feels just off 9 months later.
Ironically I don’t have a word to better describe “feeling off.” It just doesn’t come quite as easy as it did before.
Normally I dive in and research a lot about what is going on neurologically with Hope. I want to understand the science behind what she’s experiencing and struggling with and why. In 9 months I have never done that with my brain injury. It’s like getting that info makes it real, concrete, and maybe semi-permanent. I’m not sure I want to know if the rest of my life will really be reflected in a pre-post accident way. I’m not sure I want to know a lot about how post-concussion syndrome comes back a year post accident. I’m not sure I want to fully know what I’m dealing with.
So, I just don’t deal with it. #surpriseme
My attorneys aren’t thrilled with my refusal to really understand the nature of my injuries. That’s ok, I’m not thrilled that I found myself having to sue the other party. The suit isn’t frivolous; I have real impact and expenses, but the suit just makes things linger around for who knows how long—much like my symptoms and in the words of Hope, “Can we just not?”
I was asked this weekend about why I didn’t tell people about the accident and my injury. It’s not shame or worry. It’s just…I wanted to move on. I wanted to push through. I wanted to get back in control after going through a period that seemed really uncertain. I’m a control freak. I wanted to push my brain (including the rest it needed) to get its ish together.
I didn’t want to accept that the accident would redefine me in any way. Nine months later, I can admit that it was a turning point. Life after a brain injury is different. It just is. I’m ok; I’m still sharp, and I feel like most of my black girl magic is back, but it’s not the same.
I am different, and it’s a pretty fair guess that things will never be what they were before I was hit in the 3rd Street tunnel on my way to work.
This is my life post-trauma.
Last night I was turning this fact over in my tired brain, and I thought about Hope’s experiences with trauma. I started thinking what I learned about her when we were first matched and what I’ve learned about her life since. I thought about how my own avoidance of emotionally dealing with my ONE injury stacked up against Hope’s reluctant work on her multiple moments of trauma.
I remain in awe of her. She’s done some remarkable work in these last few years. I know she’s healthier for it, but I know that that stuff is still there, that the effects just linger and reemerge periodically.
Hope was sharing with me recently how she had shared her life story with someone recently and how it made her feel—seemingly a bit numb. I considered how hard I have worked to avoid dealing with the emotional part of my injuries and how week after week, I take Hope to therapy to wrestle with her memories of trauma. It’s incredibly hard work.
I know she struggles with it. I know she sometimes hates going to therapy to talk about her pain. I see it in her eyes. I hear it in her voice. And yet, she never fights me about going. She goes, and she engages. She does the work.
I asked her recently about how it felt to go to therapy. She shrugged, said it was easier than it used to be. I asked her if she thought it helped. She sighed and nodded her head.
I go to therapy as well, but I haven’t spent much time working on what it feels like to be affected by a brain injury. I haven’t done that work. Other than a couple of sessions during the worst of my symptoms, I just haven’t talked about it. It’s been easier not to.
I suppose I owe it to myself and to Hope to go wrestle with the baggage I acquired 9 months ago. I can’t say I’m looking forward to doing this work, but Hope is right: it gets better.
Controlled Cry Breaks
While reveling in the knowledge that Hope is coming to visit in a month, Grammy triggered a meltdown. This sandwich generation stuff is some mess; I’ll tell you that.
I sent off a happy email to my immediate family about Hope being in town for Thanksgiving. I knew Grammy would hit the roof since she’s traveling to see my younger sister, Sister M, for the holiday. She called and wailed about how she was going to miss it, and she wanted to come on this day and that day and she could stay three days and do stuff and on and on and blah and blah and blah!
Whoooooooaaaaa! Stop Grammy. Slow your roll.
All I could think of was No. No. No. No. No. No. Did I say no? Did you hear me say no? No, you can’t stay 3 days, and heck no you can’t stay here.
And then the tears started on both sides. I was so overwhelmed. She was firing off questions that I either didn’t have an answer for or didn’t want to answer, and she just was out of control. And my inability and unwillingness to answer some questions somehow got twisted around to make me feel like an inadequate mom.
Then she announced that I had two people to consider: the tween and the senior.
I grew a small backbone and replied, no I only have to look out for the tween; she is the highest priority. Grammy, you are not the priority. You are not a priority right now. I love you but you are not the priority. You are grown and can take care of yourself.
Sobbing. Gnashing of teeth.
Grammy is so excited, so excited. I’m so excited that she’s excited. But I need a chill pill. In the middle of the busy workday I was clearing my schedule for a two week vacation that will be great, but will not be restful, fielding text messages about a bridesmaid’s dress that I didn’t know about but that I need to go order in two weeks, feeling like crap because this week is turning out to be not dissertation productive, having a consulting opportunity fall in my lap that I know I can’t take because I’m stretched too thin as it is, scheduling painting quotes, and responding to sweet emails from friends and family who want to know what to get Hope as welcome gift… Grammy’s hissy fit about not being welcome to visit Hope in the first 24 hours of her arrival was too damn much for me to deal with.
And the answer was still no.
The security shields went up, and I got snappy. Then I felt guilty. Then I apologized, because well, Grammy is my mom. I adore my mom; I can’t disrespect my mom. I want her to be excited, but I need someone to actually care about me at this very moment.
I am falling apart. This week I feel like I’m barely functioning. My emotions can run the gamut in the span of about 15 minutes. I’m exhausted. I’m getting over a sinus infection. I feel like I can’t seem to do anything right and in the midst of all the joy, all the happiness, all the hulabaloo, only a handful of people are asking me how I’m doing, I mean, really doing and managing and coping. The truth is that this week is not so great. People care and want to be so helpful, but I’m feeling like very few folks are looking past all the excitement and seeing me in what is really feeling like an incredibly fragile state.
Much like Hope, the emotion that I feel at the center of all of this is anger. I’m angry about melting down. I’m angry about not being productive. I’m angry that this sinus infection is still bugging me. I’m angry that I keep forgetting to schedule my mammogram. I’m angry that The Furry One still needs a bath and I can’t manage to muster the energy to do it. I’m angry that as a fixer I can’t fix one damn thing that’s going on right now. I’m angry that Hope’s angry (that’s a doozy right there). I’m angry that work is so demanding at the moment. I’m angry that my dissertation director hasn’t emailed me back about the 10 pages I sent him nearly 3 weeks ago. I’m angry that one of my dissertation subjects now thinks we’re buddies and keeps calling me on my cell phone. I’m angry that the paint quotes are all pushing $600 for one measly room. I’m angry that the stress has triggered a physical pain response that exhausts me more than all the other crap in this stupid paragraph.
I feel like the most productive thing I’ve managed to do this week is cry for about 2-3 minutes of every hour that I’m awake. Yeah, I’ve got the controlled cry (feel it, cry it out, wipe tears, get back to the grind) down to a science. I have no idea why I even bother with makeup in the morning. I do at least wear waterproof mascara.
It is one of the happiest times of my life, and I am literally furious 98% of the time. Oh there’s a bunch of other emotions in there too, but if I had to characterize the emotions by color, I’m seeing shades of red most of the time. It almost feels primal.
After the second Grammy/ABM meltdown of the day, I told my mom, I don’t need Grammy right now. I need my mommy. I need a hug. A there, there it’s going to be ok. I need a chicken casserole, and a pedicure. I need a day without questions that ultimately make me feel like an invisible, but somehow still schnitty, new parent. I need a day to watch Netflix and drink cocoa in my PJs. I need some nurturing. I need someone to plan things for me for the next couple of weeks so I can collect myself. I need someone to ask me how I’m doing and really, really mean it and not judge me when I say I’m really, really not doing ok.
Maybe she heard me. Probably not. My attitude and outlook is not the best this week.
Time for a controlled cry break, a shower and some coffee. Time to get this hump day going.