It’s been nearly a week since I wrote here because I’ve just had too much swirling around in my head to make sense of any of it. Last week my father called my husband again and left another voicemail. This time it was to say that he was bringing my nephew up to his other grandparents for Thanksgiving (they live 2 hours from me and he has to pass through on the way there). He wanted to know if we could meet for lunch “so my nephew could see me”. I was immediately torn. It’s been over 6 months. Other issues came up for me. On one hand, I think he’s somewhat of a fool to ask when he has shown no sign of missing me, being sorry, or willingness to change. On the other, I almost want the opportunity to give him a piece of my mind in person. I was having a lot of trouble with this and I asked my husband to call and find out if his return trip was an option (because he had suggested a day we both have to work and I definitely need my husband there if I do this) and what my nephew wanted for his birthday. They played phone tag and it became apparent that my father is hiding the calls from my sister. I’m not sure how to explain how much or why that hurts. Except that the fight in March that led to this involved him choosing my sister. He watched her physically and verbally hurt me and stood there refusing to speak up though I begged him to. I feel like that’s the way my whole life has gone. I’ve always had to fight for the smallest bit of attention and it just hurts too much to feel like I was never wanted and it hurts now to think about being somewhere I’m not wanted. I’ve developed a defensive mechanism – I need people to come to me, I can’t reach out because I can’t handle more rejection. It’s destroying all kinds of relationships in my life. Anyway, my father finally called at a normal time of day and wasn’t able to give my husband any details about his travel plans other than a sob story about having to stay in a motel over Thanksgiving because he couldn’t make the drive up and back and up and back again so close. The truth is, he should have given up driving a while back and it scares me for him to be driving my nephew around every day. The truth is, my sister should be taking care of her own child. And yet one sob story that’s left on the voicemail every time is that “neither daughter is speaking to me”. What can I say? My sister has walked all over everyone her entire life and he refuses to stand up to her or to make her stand on her own two feet. They live together and he pays all the bills and provides all of the child care while she verbally abuses him day in and day out. I finally accepted that I can’t make either of them change a long time ago. I guess I had harbored some hope that walking out of my father’s live might be a tiny wake up call but I was wrong.
Combined with the stress the whole situation with my father brings, my husband and I were struggling too. He can be inconsiderate sometimes but there is one disagreement we have that never seems to stop. He cannot help around the house and he cannot pick up after himself. I wake up every day to a dirty house and it stresses me out. I know that I’m sensitive to it and I’ve tried explaining it to him. He always promises to do better but he never follows through for more than a day. He can’t seem to grasp that it makes me feel like he doesn’t care about me because he clearly doesn’t care about something that is important to me.
On Sunday things were starting to boil over. My husband asked me what was wrong and I told him I didn’t want to talk about it. I said this because I knew my bad mood was not all his fault and I was trying to move past it. He insisted on pushing me over and over again until it devolved into a fight. He just couldn’t give me a moment’s space and I ended up saying I didn’t want to go out with him that evening because I didn’t want to be around him. Later in the afternoon I asked him what he wanted to do and he blew me off. Normally I would have apologized and kissed his a$$ and made everything better but he’s been so irritable lately and he never apologizes, he never makes the first move to resolve a fight and I was frustrated and tired of feeling like I was the only one who wanted to fix things. So we stayed home. Later as we started bickering again he made it clear that he had really wanted to go and he was really mad about not going. I felt/feel horrible. I feel like I ruin everything for us. I fought off tears for hours before going to bed. This morning I woke up depressed. All I wanted was to reach out for him, to find some comfort, but I didn’t because I know he’s still mad. And I’m still fighting the tears.
Between the situation with my father, the situation with my husband, the ending of a long term friendship last week, and a stressful period at work, I just feel lost. I don’t know where I am or where I’m going. Unfortunately when the depression comes barreling in like this, I don’t necessarily care. I feel like staying lost.
My father called and left a voice mail on my husband’s phone last week and it has been bugging me ever since. All it said was “everything’s okay here, hope you guys are doing okay.” Pretty benign, right? I haven’t spoken to him since March 24th. I sent him a letter explaining why I had to walk away and the events of that day being the last straw for me and I received a couple of short letters from him. Never once has he said he was sorry or that he missed me or that anything could possibly be different. There is no willingness on his part whatsoever to fix things. I’m angry and I’m hurt. I think it’s obvious why I’m hurt by my father acting this way and I’ve talked about it several times here. But I didn’t realize I was so angry. Why doesn’t he care about me or how much he’s hurt me? Why doesn’t he miss me? I feel like I’m throwing a big temper tantrum but there’s no one listening. I don’t know how to let go of this so that I can move on.
On Tuesday I was talking about how I lashed out at a friend over email. Well his next email was worse, it felt like a personal attack on one hand but also a prime example of what I have been telling him I don’t like about our friendship on the other. I gave myself over two hours before I responded. And then I was brutally honest with my thoughts. I’ve felt for over 6 months that this friendship was coming to an end and I was ready to be done. We’ve both changed and in very different directions. I’ve even told him several times over the last few months how I felt and I didn’t know why we were still friends. That sounds harsh but I said it a little bit nicer. My brutal honestly made up for months of putting everything as nicely as possible. He chose to take something very personal and throw it back in my face. It confirmed to me that I was doing the right thing. I think I only held on so long because I don’t have very many friends and he is one of only two that I knew prior to my mother dying. I have to quit holding on to the past. It’s not like he ever even met her and we weren’t close yet when she died. He made a point then of dropping off a deli tray but only when he knew that no one would be there. I think I still resent that, that he couldn’t show more support than that. The other thing I really resent was a big letdown. We had just moved back and were staying an hour and a half from here but I had finally found a job here and he said I could sleep on his couch until I had the money to get an apartment. Then the day before I am to begin work, he calls and says I can’t stay there the first few nights because he has other company. I lost my trust then and I bounced around for a couple weeks before finding a room to sublet. He never could understand why it bothered me so much. The last few years we’ve seen each other less and less. He’s only met my husband twice in the 7 years we’ve been together. I finally realized that regardless of having been friends for that long, it wasn’t a healthy relationship. Sometimes it was even toxic. I can’t say that I don’t feel a void in my life but I don’t miss him either. I just miss having more people to talk to I think.
I talked to my therapist at yesterday’s appointment and she said something that really resonated with me. I’m going through a lot of changing and growing and it’s a lot like an earthquake. Things like this will happen the same way tremors and aftershocks happen. I have to be prepared for it and make my choices thoughtfully so that I don’t do something I regret. I’m glad I took a couple of hours to make such a big decision and I don’t regret it.
One of my new office mates that I know I’m cool with is out yesterday and today. The other, who I knew would be a small issue, is working my nerves already. She talks to herself all day long and then sometimes she actually expects me to answer instead of answering herself. I can’t tell the difference, she uses the same voice for everything. It takes her 5 minutes to say something that might take anyone else 1 minute because she has to stare at the ceiling in deep thought between her words. And then rephrase what she said just to make sure. The extra phone lines have not been moved yet and she kept picking up the phone while I was on it earlier trying to get someone to come give us some help mapping networks. She also tends to take advantage of anyone she can to do grunt work for her. I was warned about that when I took this job and, so far, have managed to stick to my own work. I will have to set the precedent all over again now that we’re sharing space. I don’t mind helping a coworker at all but she is the type who will ask you to sharpen her pencils for her (fortunately that happened to someone other than me). I think we’ll be fine once we settle in, it’s just a trying week here.
Unfortunately all of this has made me grumpy and I’m being snappy with friends instead of supportive. I usually am just honest with them but I don’t feel like I can be when I feel this way because I have a tendency to be more mean than honest. I just don’t have the energy to deal sometimes. I know, I’m a horrible friend. I try to be as supportive as I can but I often feel like I give more than I get and then I get tired of trying so hard. This is why I have so few friends now. And I avoid making new ones. I know I don’t have the capacity to be a good friend right now, I can’t even take care of myself. Most days I am just too worn down to care about myself so extending that to others just isn’t possible right now. I hope it will be someday though.
I’m looking forward to therapy Thursday. Not that it will be a necessarily positive session but a needed one. Truly, I probably need to go much more often than I do. The two nightmares I posted on here have been the absolute worst but it seems I’m having smaller scale nightmares most nights now and I’m exhausted. When I’m exhausted, I eat more and get even grumpier. I’m more emotional and snap easier. Like I just did with a friend on email. I read what he said and anger and disgust just overwhelmed me. I lashed out and hit send without thinking twice. Granted, when I feel this way, it often takes me hours to think twice.
Today I finally got fully moved into my new “corner”. I ended up having to move all of the computer equipment myself so my back is tight and throbbing. I had hoped to avoid this and take as few muscle relaxers as possible. Now, if my boss had told me I would be moving back when she decided instead of waiting until the last possible minute, this wouldn’t have been an issue. Now that I’m in here, I realize I will be spending tomorrow cleaning. It’s so dusty! I’m suddenly congested and my eyes are watering but it appears to only be the dust so it’s fixable. My office-mate is not here today or tomorrow so I have a little time to settle in on my own. Mexican food was provided for lunch so now I’m dealing with heartburn and upset stomach as well. So let’s review: felt pretty good this morning. Currently: back is throbbing, head is aching, nose is running, chest burns and stomach is doing somersaults. If ever there was a time I wish I could call in sick without getting in trouble!
So how do I know my boss decided I was moving well before she told me? We were in the main office last Thursday and she mentions that she had ordered the new chair especially for me since I was moving back. Well the orders take a least a week, then the chair has to be put together, and it had already been sitting there for several days and no one had said anything. I have one other problem with this chair. She ordered the “big & tall” chair. While I appreciate her trying to be thoughtful, it’s huge compared to the others so it’s embarrassing. I wasn’t having any problems with the others either. I’m kind of insulted and yet I don’t really understand why since obviously my weight is no secret. I guess maybe if she had said something first? I just don’t know. I made a point to thank her this morning to see what she would say (and because I really do appreciate the thought behind it) and she was very pleasant but just a little awkward. Oh well, life goes on and I see my therapist later this week.
Yesterday afternoon I was told I would be giving up my office today and moving back into the pit to make room for a new administrator. The “pit” is the main office. It has 4 desks and currently 3 women, one of whom is my supervisor. I call them the mean girls club. I think that they are mentally stuck in high school and they’re the girls in the clique that whisper behind everyone’s backs. I sat out there when I first took this job and at first it was okay. Then they got comfortable with me. They’re loud and obnoxious and catty. Then came a conversation on instant messenger about another coworker that escalated to my supervisor jokingly saying she wished this other coworker would die. There is also a problem with the layout. The last desk simply doesn’t fit so the chair is in a walkway. There is no privacy, no personal space, and you’re constantly bumped into. This was a particularly difficult situation for me since I am already very self conscious of my weight and felt like I was in the way. I told my supervisor and our department administrator (the decision maker) that I was very distracted and unproductive in that environment. Within days we had a plan for me to move into an office once a doctor moved. They warned me that when we ran out of space I might have to give it up.
The problem is that over the course of the months I’ve had this office, I’ve developed such a problem with these women. I’m nice to them and they are polite to me. But they were unhappy I didn’t want to be part of the club and they made it obvious. One of them doesn’t even look at me or say hello. They “forget” to include me in department lunches. I watch them have their whispered conversations and disappear for hours at a time together. When the department administrator told me I had to move back in there, I said okay. I said I could deal with it. What choice did I have? I walked back to my office and it hit me and I cried. I fought the tears for nearly two hours while emailing friends and my husband. I feared for my mental health and I simply can’t afford to leave this job. I would find another job, but the job market here is still bleak.
Finally I sent a message to the one friend I have in this department and we took a 15 minute walk and talked about it. She brainstormed ideas with me and we came up with some potential options that I may have been blinded to if I had stayed in that place of mental turmoil. I was nervous about approaching the administrator but then I happened to run into her in the bathroom. I kept it casual and just made the suggestion that I move in with another coworker. Now, the girls here really don’t like this coworker and can’t understand voluntarily being around her. I’ll take some grief for that. But, if I can’t have my own office, I feel it’s the lesser of two evils. Truthfully, she’s not that bad. And we won’t be face to face, it’s an L-shaped office and she’s in the short section and I’m at the far end of the long section. She also works 10-7 while I work 8-5 and she’s out and about quite a bit. I will have to share the long side of the L with a part-timer but he’s a friendly, quiet guy who also chose to work in there rather than in the pit so I have no hesitation about sharing space with him.
It’s not perfect. But it’s tolerable and will keep me here in my job. It will keep me from dreading coming to work every day. I’m disappointed in my initial reaction but glad I recovered in a matter of hours. I’ve mentioned this to my therapist but we haven’t had time to delve into the issue of why I react so strongly to everything. Maybe next week we should take some time to explore it.
I’ve been so confused, no wonder I can’t lose weight! Two of my close friends are both getting healthy by giving up pop, making slightly better food choices, and exercising. I’ve had doctors telling me not to worry about exercise but to overhaul my diet, doctors telling me I should be a vegetarian, doctors telling me to cut sodium 100% out of my diet, doctors telling me to pay for a weight loss treatment center I can’t afford and one doctor telling me to make better choices and exercise every day even if it’s for just 10 minutes. That one doctor that believes in moderation and exercise? She’s my psychiatrist!
It makes perfect sense. I know from experience that exercise makes me feel better and feeling better helps me make better choices. It was just so hard to ignore all of the other doctors that should know better. I was on the verge of overhauling my diet again. I stopped and remembered how many times I have done exactly that and it has backfired every time. I will make some improvements to my diet including lowering my sodium, adding more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, and monitoring my portions better.
The last thing I truly focused on health-wise was stopping the binge eating. I would say that at this point, it is 90% gone. I can’t eat the quantity I used to even if I wanted to and I’m finding it easier to distract myself in the evenings. I know it helps that, through therapy, I am feeling my emotions rather than stuffing them in my mouth. The one weak area I seem to still have is when I’m tired. It took two months which felt like a long time but it’s breaking two decades of a bad habit!
I also know that exercise can help me sleep better and I need to use my light therapy again with the season changing. I shouldn’t have waited this long! I hardly see any daylight before work now and only about an hour afterwards. I’m sure it would help if I could get out of this basement office some during the day too!
So here’s my next steps: 1) use the light in the mornings, 2) work exercise back into my life.
I have a friend willing to go to the gym after work with me so I want to make that happen at least 3 days per week to start and build up from there. And days that I don’t go to the gym I need to spend at least 10 minutes on the treadmill at home. I also need to make a point to take my dog for a short walk when I get home. She doesn’t like the outdoors much and runs back in the house as quick as she can but it will do us both good to get some fresh air even if it’s already dark some days.