Lost and Found

Now that things have calmed down a little and I’m more level headed, allow me to give you a little context for my recent explosion.

Monday morning I was sent a group text by Gia about getting together for a summer hangout time, since all four of us were home/in the state (we have a mutual friend who’s going to school in Arizona right now). Along the way of deciding dates and such, I made a simple, polite request for Gia to clean her apartment because of my health issues (allergies, mostly). I even included a remark that my allergies had been getting worse and that anything from animal hair to dust to pollen was aggravating my sinuses. And I knew firsthand that I wouldn’t enjoy myself if I had to spend most of the weekend with an ice pack to my face. Here’s where the first of the sparks fly.

Gia’s first response was half-heartedly sincere, but she had to point out that she ALWAYS tries to clean her place before guests arrive. Note the key word “tries.” Then she added that she’ll shave her cats and hire a maid service, and not to be surprised if her cats magically had all their hair back come the weekend we had settled on. If you can’t tell, this was heavy sarcasm. First off, the fact that she had to point out that she always tries to clean her place annoyed me because it’s a lie, unless cleaning house doesn’t include dishes or taking out the recyclables. Second, I can take a joke, but the sarcasm regarding her cats and a maid service was not only unnecessary but also showed me her true unwillingness to take my request seriously. For those of you who’ve had sinus infections or have allergies and no medication seems to offer relief, it’s no fun having your face hurt and not being able to do anything about it.

In any case, I ignored the sarcasm because I know that’s how her personality is. Next came the discussion of who would pick up who, what routes to take, etc. and after much discussion and a period of silence, I decided to make an executive decision: to have Jerad pick me up late afternoon that Friday so we could go up to Gia’s, and Gia could pick up our other friend around the time he was done with work. Well, earlier Gia had mentioned that she could get off work at noon and in my executive decision, I mentioned that she could use that extra time to clean her apartment before getting our other friend, not in a mean sort of way. I just know she’s busy with a full time job and she’s very tired after work and I understand that sometimes you just don’t have the energy to do something. Plus I’ve heard her mention to me several times she “ran out of time” or “didn’t have the energy” to clean the place up. So my suggestion to use the afternoon to clean was meant to be helpful, not hurtful.

Gia takes it as hurtful and responds with a photo that said, “Bitch, don’t tell me what to do,” and that I am not ok with her place and if the other two can think of a better place to meet, that would be great. To which I responded that I just wouldn’t come if she was going to be that way about a simple request. It should also be noted that I’ve been having an anxiety attack for about an hour and both of my parents have seen it and been trying to council and console me.

The next day Gia sends a message to all of us to “disregard and cancel all plans made yesterday. I forgot I had babysitting duties that weekend.” My first thought: Are you fucking kidding me? You triggered an anxiety attack on me for nothing?! And of course, this is where I snapped and deleted her from all my emails, my phone, and my social media. And then the narcissistic manipulator comes out and sends me a long text the following morning with this great sob story about how I’m immature for taking her off my social media and that I’m not the only one with medical issues; how this could’ve been resolved by a little self awareness and we could’ve talked it out like mature adults. But the way she wrote it makes it sound like she’s the victim, the only one with hurt feelings, and she pulled Jerad into it by saying something along the lines of having to mention her own health issues because “a little birdy whom apparently speaks for you had to lecture me since you apparently do not comprehend sarcasm anymore.”

I mentioned before that I recognized her sarcasm and ignored it. However, the fact that she blatantly attacked Jerad for no reason really irritated me. First of all I’m sure he wasn’t actually lecturing her. He’s too nice a guy for that. And second, I didn’t ask him to speak for me. He did that all himself, for which I thanked him in genuine appreciation for because sometimes it’s hard for me to speak at all, especially during an attack. I’m glad he wanted to be an advocate for me.

Since receiving this long text, I have not responded or risen to meet her challenge. I’ve had several long internal thoughts of writing a revenge letter or something about karma being a bitch, but up until now, I haven’t written anything down. It should also be noted that she pulled this same kind of thing when we were living together and having all the tension. She messaged me a big long spiel about everything we were both feeling at the time and when I responded via the messenger that I felt the exact same way, her retort, in all caps, was “And yet no words!” I don’t remember what else she put with that but I was hysterical and bawling my eyes out because I was desperate to end the fighting and once I calmed myself down enough, I managed to go out to the living room by her and apologize, even though I wasn’t the only one at fault. (I never got an apology from her.)

So I know where this trap goes and although I may have lost a 10 year friendship, I’ve found something more important. Confidence, self respect, and freedom from my tormentor. Being that this year is meant to be about taking care of myself and finding new things about myself, letting go of this abusive friendship is refreshing and freeing, and I feel so much lighter now that it’s finally over. It might’ve been messy and volatile, but it’s done and over with, and that’s what matters. No one has the right to bring you down and make you out to be the bad guy when you’ve done nothing wrong, though I will admit I wasn’t perfect either and things could’ve been handled better. But your reaction to a situation shows what kind of person you are, and if you need to walk away before things explode, to avoid getting burned, then don’t be afraid to walk away. Some things just aren’t worth it.

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Life of an Adult

Whatever happened to making simple, uncomplicated plans?

Oh that’s right. We became adults with jobs, and with that great responsibility came an inability to decide on anything without first thinking and overthinking all the possible outcomes. Plus having to ask off the necessary time just to be able to even plan something.

My “circle” of friends used to be able to make easy decisions and plans regarding a meet-up time. We would meet at someone’s dorm at a specific time, do something like go out to eat, and then come back and veg out or play video games or whatever. Even on days when some of us were working, we would go hang out where the person was working.

Now, we can’t even agree on a mode of transportation for how to get to the “central” hangout spot (which is Gia’s apartment and is generally disgusting), or a time to be there. We’ve been going back and forth for half an hour about when to leave, which route to take, who’s driving, how many vehicles will be taken, etc., etc. and all this going in circles is making me sick and tense and just downright annoyed. Why does being an adult make you so wishy-washy? At least when I’m contemplating and overthinking a situation, it’s because of my anxiety and fear is beating out reason with a hammer. Plus the weekend suggested was supposed to be the start of a two week endeavor with Jared, who wanted to hang out with me and do a Legend of Zelda series run by chronology (play all the Zelda games in his possession in the order they were first released), and now that’s been pushed back by those two weekend days.

And on top of that, when I asked politely if Gia could clean her apartment because of my allergies (which is more or less true and a genuine concern for me), I received a semi-genuine response (I think) and two sarcastic ones indicating she would shave her cats and hire a maid service, and to not be surprised if her cats magically had all their fur back by the time we visited. Not only is this an unnecessary response to someone who has been having some serious and constant issues with their sinuses this year, but it’s also not even funny. You think I would’ve asked if I wasn’t genuinely concerned about spending the weekend with an ice pack on my face because my sinuses hurt so much I can’t focus on anything but getting relief?

Now I’ve been told that this is what a narcissist would do/say, and I’m really starting to believe it. Every time Gia says she’s going to clean the apartment, she doesn’t and I end up grossed out by the stack of dirty dishes, scattering of cat toys, and pile of laundry that’s visible from the bathroom, but still disgusting nonetheless. I’m feeling like I need to take a shower already and this “gathering” isn’t for another two weeks. I was actually “done” with the conversation 10 minutes in because I was so exhausted. I’m the youngest of the group and right now, I’m feeling like the only adult here.

Breaking Point

I’m at a very low point right now. Even though I have a lot to be grateful for, I’m feeling like parts of myself are being chipped away and it’s frightening. I’ve been an emotional wreck all day and am having to fight very hard to keep from rushing to the store to buy something I don’t even just because it’s on sale. I even took an hour and a half drive with no destination in mind just to try and calm down. It didn’t help, but I was mostly ok while I was out driving so I guess there’s that. I feel like I’ve reached my breaking point, and quite possibly my limit.

Like I told my best friend this morning, I’m sick of all the work related emails, which have doubled in the past few months. I’m sick of coming away from both emails and conference calls feeling more scolded than uplifted and encouraged. I was actually upset last night by an email that felt like a personal attack and it’s still bothering me now. I know it shouldn’t, but it read like I was being scolded for doing my fucking job. And this is happening a lot more often lately. Not because I’m doing a bad job, but because I miss one or two tiny little things. I understand they want perfection every time, but no one’s perfect no matter how hard they may try, and I’m a perfectionist so I understand and struggle with that daily.

I’ve been struggling to concentrate all day, all week, possibly all year even…that’s how bad it’s gotten. I’ve been on the verge of an anxiety attack and have even had small bursts of uninhibited crying, like releases of emotion just washing over me to give me some kind of release from all this stress. I’m caught between this vortex of opposing energies, between wanting to do everything and nothing all at once, which will lead to nothing getting done at all. I don’t even know how I’m putting together coherent thoughts right now. The only solace I have right now is my music, my best friend, and being alone.

I’m beyond exhausted. Mentally, physically, emotionally…it doesn’t help that we had relatives over last night who stayed until midnight and I was trying to sleep, having gone to bed at 11:30 to try and calm down after reading that stupid email shortly beforehand. I have such terrible eye strain that I need to alternate between my two pairs of glasses on a daily basis now, and the only way to really rest my eyes is to sleep or do absolutely nothing but stare at the ceiling. I’ve tried doing my other hobbies without my glasses and the only way that works, and it’s not a given every time, is if I haven’t already been wearing them all day for work. And even though my headaches have mostly gone away now, I still feel like I can’t catch a break. I know people say it has to get worse before it can get better, but I feel like my switch is stuck in the “worse” position and it’ll never get better.

Pre-Midlife Crisis

The reason this is titled the way it is, is because I’m not old enough to be having a midlife crisis, but I imagine this is what it would feel like anyway. Earlier I was trying to take a nap and after half an hour of limited shut-eye, I had a disturbing revelation, though not one I haven’t thought about before, but this time it felt as honest and true as anything I’ve ever felt.

I don’t want to be at my current job for the rest of my life.

If the last year and a half have taught me anything, it’s that I love editing and correcting people’s grammar, but it’s been nothing but a rollercoaster, and not the fun kind either. This has been the kind of rollercoaster that jerks you around and makes you want to vomit at every turn. Not for the first time, I thought, god, I’m bored with this tediousness. The same crap day in and day out, never knowing what to expect in the morning work-wise, and not getting paid enough for some of the bullshit I have to deal with. It’s exhausting. I just don’t feel like I can do it anymore.

More of the people I like working with have already left or are leaving soon and I’m down to maybe three people I actually like to work with because we communicate better than the new people. We’re being sent regular emails about how to improve our “efficiency” or new changes to something, even though we just changed it a few weeks ago. Most recently, we got a harsh email about a spelling mistake in one of our forms, and what’s ironic about that, the person who sent it, as the head of our department, made an error in the first sentence of his email. Ridiculous, right?

I’m not sure how much longer I can suck it up and deal with this nonsense. But I also don’t want to lose my only source of income and I don’t know how my family will take the news. I’m not even sure they will support me if I decide to leave.

Easter Musings

Happy Easter to all of you! Sorry it’s been a while. I just recently went off of the birth control I started because it was giving me migraines and I basically lost a week’s worth of time to them, and I’m still trying to get back to feeling more normal and am not likely to get there until at least next week because my dad has vacation this week. I’m foreseeing a lot of time in this back room sitting at my newish desk with the door closed trying to enjoy my solitude.

Normally  I enjoy holidays because my family is pretty close-knit, but today was just draining. I don’t know if it was just the chaos of getting dinner ready, which I’m not normally a part of, or if I’m still adjusting to my own hormones again, but I am exhausted. I spent a few hours in the basement trying to finish my stupid game so I can actually move on to one I like and I’m still not where I want to be, so I’ll probably be playing that all this week too. I think once I get past the stress of feeling behind schedule with this gaming challenge, even though I’m still a little ahead, I’ll start to feel more relaxed. Although having steady workflow would definitely help too.

The past six weeks, I’ve only had one full work week, and since I only work about 25 hours a week, that’s pretty sad. It’s throwing off my whole schedule and making me seriously consider looking for a different job that can give me more consistent hours. And I love my job, I love what I do, I like a small group of people I work with, but after being promised to have more consistent work coming in, as opposed to this super busy, super slow roller coaster when we were bought out, I’m feeling seriously let down that we now can barely get a full week’s hours in.

And to show just how slow and intermittent we’ve been, I finished crocheting two hats and I finished my first ever sewing project in the last two weeks. The one hat I did in three days between our “busy” hours. I even started a blanket, which I then had to rip out because it was WAY too long, and am now currently on the third row of a significantly smaller blanket with the same ripple pattern. I decided to try and help my mom with her project list by creating my own and so far, I’ve gone through three of them in the past few weeks because we’ve been so slow at work. And I have to admit, even though she didn’t get any of the projects on her list done this past week while she was on vacation, she did get several smaller projects done with the help of her sisters, and I’m proud of her for that.

Aside from this blog post, which was kind of spur of the moment because I needed to clear my head a little and I did want to write something, the only writing I’ve done lately is daily to-do lists and filling out my weekly schedule. There’s been too much chaos to focus on anything, and that could be from the anxiety. Even growing up and going through middle and high school, I had issues with writing when people were around. I especially didn’t like having to write on command for my creative writing classes. It’s gotten better, the writing with people around, but I still need to be in a quiet place by myself and then left alone. Like now. I’m sitting in the back, media room with the door closed and music playing quietly in the background, which is allowing me to focus on this entry and slowly complete my weekly schedule.

I hope all of you had a happy Easter with your families and until next time, don’t be afraid to be yourself and do what makes you happy. Especially when you need to calm yourself and focus your thoughts just to get through the next few minutes.

Back to Normal

**Possible Trigger Warning. Please read with caution.**

This past week has been a bit nightmarish for me, partly because both of my parents were home on vacation, there wasn’t a lot to do at work, and I wasn’t feeling all that great from Thursday through today (I’m still a little under the weather, but functioning more normally). One of the oh so fun advantages of having a dust allergy is when you play in the dust for spring cleaning, your sinuses flare up for several days. And in my case, literally nothing helps the pain in my face go away, and the one time I tried to take painkillers, I ended up throwing them back up five minutes later because the nausea was so bad. Though I did feel better after that…On top of all this, I’ve been overly lethargic and sleepy and lacking all energy to do much of anything, and I haven’t been able to figure out why, though right now I’m feeling more like myself. It’s possible it was the disruption in my usual schedule, which is the most likely trigger, and this past week got me really thinking on what my unique anxiety related triggers are.

First and foremost, as much as I love them to death, my parents can both be triggers, especially if they are together. For me, their energies can clash, which puts a lot of strain on my mental state. Dad is generally more laidback, calm, and likes to watch tv a lot, but at a volume that is louder than I usually prefer. Mom can be kind of all over the place and chaotic, trying to do half a dozen things all at once and then getting more agitated when she hasn’t gotten any of them done. Having them both together can be like standing in a hurricane of energy with no protection and I found myself more often than not looking for solitude to refocus and re-energize myself. That being said, on any given day, I can be either one of those similar energies. I’ll have days where I want to be super productive and get lots of things done, and then I’ll have days where I just want to lay down and catch up on whatever shows I have recorded.

Second has got to be work, and sometimes lack thereof. For a work from home job, you wouldn’t think it would be all that stressful, but at times it really is. We have deadlines to meet, quality standards to meet in specific time limits, etc.  And when there’s a lack of work, it really upsets my schedule, because I can’t just assume nothing is going to come in during the day. I have to leave my schedule open so I can check periodically through the day for any work that comes through. Like today. I’ll be checking periodically throughout the day. And last July, work was the cause of my two worst anxiety attacks, because they happened within 12 hours of each other, which had never happened before, and has not happened since. The only thing that really helps here is, when there’s no work, to find something to occupy my time, like crocheting, video games, reading, writing, etc. And when there’s a lot of work, it helps to take mini breaks throughout the day not only to give my eyes a rest, but also my mind.

The rest of my triggers are more situational and less all-encompassing. Like large crowds, which I tend to avoid if I can, though doing chores like grocery shopping can be a bit overwhelming if I don’t have a plan for it (like listening to music while I shop). Other triggers can include loud noises (especially if I’ve been sitting in silence or quiet music all day), being around people I don’t know, being around loud and extremely abrasive people, any kind of change to my schedule (not just work related, but things like an impromptu lunch date or unexpected visitors), being around a former abuser (Gia), making phone calls, doctor visits, and pretty much anything that makes me feel pressured to do something or be someone I’m not.

The calming “antidotes” for each of these situations are as varied as the situations themselves. Stuff like phone calls and doctor visits, the best way to get over the anxiety is just to go through with it, which I know doesn’t always work for everyone. However, with phone calls, I generally keep them under three minutes. Journaling and listening to music are my biggest forms of therapy, because I can listen to my soothing (or not so soothing) music and write down everything I’m thinking, just to get it out of my head and stop myself from circling back on it and obsessing over it. Video games are another great form of stress relief for me, as is having my best friend to talk to.

So as this week starts with my parents going back to work, I’m looking forward to going back to a more normal daily routine and less stress on this happy hermit. ❤

My First Sewing Project…Ugh

Part of this blog is about describing my own personal “reinvention” and part of reinventing myself is finding new things that I enjoy and not things I enjoyed because other people around me enjoyed them. One of the things I’ve wanted to learn how to do is sew and make my own costumes, because I’m kind of a tricky size and I don’t trust clothes made by other people because I don’t know how they’ll fit once I get them. So I wanted to learn to sew my own clothes just to be able to see how they fit as I’m making them, and then I can make my own adjustments. So the other day, I mentioned in a previous post about how I was playing with my “new” sewing machine, which was a rejected item for my grandma who decided she didn’t want it after the return date had passed. My mom and I spent about 45 minutes just learning where everything was on the machine, how to thread it, etc. and just how to change the style of stitches.

My mom had come to me a few days ago with a small, easy project for me to do as my first sewing project and as a birthday gift for my best friend’s daughter. So yesterday I had quite the adventure. First off, I decided to go to the mall to spend some time before popping in on this supposed journaling “class” my mom had told me about (which actually turned out not to be a class, but rather a hands-on demonstration to showcase fancy paper and glitter gel pens). Anyway, one of my stops in the mall was the Disney store to look around, maybe buy some birthday gifts for my adopted niece…The cell service in the store is spotty, so I had to keep walking around while I was texting my best friend asking different questions about what was available in the store. I probably spent half an hour in there just walking around kind of slowly, holding a bag of dolls and waiting for responses in the spotty service. Doing this made me feel a bit like a creeper, because I don’t have a kid that I could’ve brought in with me, like all the other parents were, and I was just taking laps around the store.

Eventually I made my purchases and was on my way to the store where my mom works to check out this “class” she had told me about. When I got there I was a little disappointed to see that the journaling stuff was just on a table at the front of the store with stickers, pens, and other random things. And then, my mom told me, “Why don’t you go find some fabric for your first sewing project?” Which is a little girl’s skirt for my best friend’s daughter. Ok, not a big deal. I wandered over to the kids fabric section and started looking around for stuff this girl likes, like My Little Pony and Shopkins. After a lap, I found the perfect fabric: Shopkins with rainbows, since her favorite color is all of them. I take it back to my mom and she tells me to go find a second piece…

By this point, I’m already tired from walking around the mall. My feet and back hurt. But I nod and smile and look around. The only problem is, even for a small store, there are TONS of fabric options and all I know is what fabrics not to match with the one I chose, like no fleece or flannel, etc. I spent the next 15 to 20 minutes walking around trying to find something to match, but I didn’t like anything I found. It was either too dark or too light, or just not right for the fabric. And after my experience in the Disney store, my anxiety was already pretty high. So now I’m even more overwhelmed and scared I’m not going to find a matching fabric, and my inner monologue was on a continuous loop of, “I just want to go home. Let’s go home.”

After 20 minutes, I go back to my mom with this look of disappointment on my face, desperately trying not to show her or anyone else how panicked and desperate I feel inside. She’s talking to this lady, another customer, who then suggested I take a strip of each color of the rainbow and sew them together. I really wanted to tell this person, “You know what, lady? I’ve played with my sewing machine for all of 20 minutes just learning my stitches, and 45 minutes just trying to learn the ins and outs of it, like threading the damn thing. This is too much work for me.” Of course, I’m cranky and tired and overwhelmed and I hold my tongue. When I tell my mom I couldn’t find anything and I don’t want to do this strip idea, she suggests this type of ribbon, which I had to ask the other manager, who I actually like and like to bother because it’s funny, where to find this ribbon. I finally find the ribbon and start looking through what’s there and I find the perfect one. It’s Shopkins themed and it fits with the fabric I picked out. It’s perfect.

I take both items back to my mom, having now been in the store 45 minutes just doing laps again, and she asks if I want her to get it cut later or if I want to get it cut now and pay for it myself. And now, I’m mentally exhausted. My back really hurts and I need to go home. So I tell her I’ll put it back behind the counter for her to do later, which I do, and then I went home and spent my day in the basement gaming just to calm myself down.

She comes home later that night and says she forgot the ribbon I had picked out. -_- I was very upset about that, even though I didn’t show it. After all that work and effort I had put into finding something for this project, she forgets one of the pieces. Needless to say, this was not a good start to what could potentially be a great new hobby and experiences like this make me not want to start anything new. One of the drawbacks of being a perfectionist is I don’t like to make mistakes, even when it’s something I’ve never done before. And I need things explained to me like you would a child, and in a visual way, since I’m a visual learner. In any case, having all of this information thrown at me and being surrounded by a thousand choices was way more overwhelming than I thought it would be and I’m almost not looking forward to making this skirt.