Tag Archives: struggle

Today was like…

…an emotional roller coaster. It’s Father’s Day, and I usually spend the whole day pretty sad missing, and thinking about, my dad and everything he’s missed out on, and everything I missed out on. But today was different. In fact, I didn’t get sad or teary until about an hour ago. I had other things on my mind. 

For the past few days I have been anxiously waiting for a childhood friend, Nicole, to make it to Vegas so I could drive down and see her. We met in 6th grade. We went to school together and were best friends, hanging out every chance we had. We bonded over the loss of our fathers, and our tough/harsh maternal figures, and NKOTB (what were we thinking?!?)…our lives were very similar back then, with some minor differences. The summer between 9th and 10th grade my family moved out of state. I hated my mom for making us move away (I had no concept of financial hardships at the time) and I vowed that I would make her so miserable that she would send me back “home”. Little did I know how devastating our move was to Nicole. We were inseparable, until our move separated us. We returned to our hometown for a visit the following summer. I don’t remember how long we were in town, but it wasn’t long enough. I was able to get in a visit with Nicole, and wanted to go back every year to visit her. Neither of us knew that we would not see each other again for 25 years. 

We lost contact after that visit. Many years passed and my mom contacted me to let me know that a letter had arrived at the family home for me from Nicole. I got the letter a few days later and responded. We wrote back and forth for a while, and talked on the phone occasionally…and then life happened. We lost contact again. I would occasionally look for her on Facebook, but didn’t have any luck. Just a few years ago she sent me a friend request. Life kept us both pretty busy, but we were better about keeping up with each other through Facebook. Our lives had taken parallel paths, both of us having many similar experiences, even our ex’s share the same first name (yes, I think all men that I have encountered with that first name have been asshats). We are both in a better place. 

I was so stressed out about seeing her today, the first time in 25 years, and I have changed a lot, I guessed that she did too. What if we don’t recognize each other? Which is kinda dumb because we see each other’s pictures on Facebook. What if she doesn’t like me anymore? What if I don’t like her anymore? What if we have nothing to talk about? J and I arrived at her hotel and she was coming down to meet us. As soon as we saw each other we smiled and hugged. It was so great to see her face light up, and I was put at ease. I couldn’t see myself, but I think I lit up too. We walked around trying to find a place to eat and talk. When we finally found a place we started talking like we were picking up where we left off. J said she heard Nicole say things and she thought to herself “That’s exactly what mom would say.”, and she’s right, it was what I would say. We talked about our kids and how both B and J were named after her. We talked about family and struggles and blessings and progress and church. An amazing visit, and the food was good too. We had to say goodbye too soon, but we both agreed to not go so long before seeing each other again. 

As J and I drove home I was replaying the visit and past things people have said to me about every friend I made after her. I have had some real doozies. I have picked some “real winners”. I suddenly came to the realization that I had never had a friend as true, loyal, reliable, understanding, compassionate…the list goes on…as she was to me. In every relationship there is some give and some take. For the majority of relationships I have had, there has always been more giving on my part and more taking on theirs, but not with Nicole. I think we both gave back as much, if not more, than we took. I cannot think of another friend who has been that way with me. 

Forward to an hour ago when I started texting my brothers to tell them happy Father’s Day, since I was traveling, catching up with Nicole, and having dinner with Jay and J, and by the time I got the chance to call the boys, it was too late. I got more emotional as I wrote each text. I made sure to let them know how much I look to up to each of them. I am sad that I don’t have the close relationships with them that I wish I had, and the ones I feel close to, I struggle with because of my emotional hurt. I have to find a healthy way to release grudges and hurts so I can move past the hurts. I miss my dad. I remember being a daddy’s girl. Maybe I remember right, and maybe I don’t, but I remember his love for me. I’m heartbroken, grateful and happy this Father’s Day. Happy Father’s Day to the many men in my life, present and past, who have had a positive impact on my life and the woman I’ve become. 

Life changes. Experiences change us. We change. Friends come and go from our lives. True friends may leave our lives, but reconnect as if no time has passed. True friends are selfless and love you for being you. I’m lucky enough to have one. 

“Why Do You Have To Be…

…such a fucking bitch?” That’s what hear muttered from the other side of the bathroom door. This after I stated a problem, looking for some acknowledgement, but instead got arguments. So I state the problem again, hoping it will be heard this time. Only to hear that question muttered outside the bathroom door. The stated problem was minor, but the issue of him being checked out and missing the majority of what I say, has been a long time issue. I, of course, confronted him on the question he had just asked, and was met with nothing but denial. Yesterday, I sat on the couch where he usually sits. There were loose staples on the couch and I asked where they all came from (even with a big butt, sitting on staples hurts). His response….I don’t know. More denial. I used the car to go across town (which he usually drives) and found a bunch of loose staples. I know they didn’t come from me, or from our daughter who doesn’t drive, so why were they in the cubby in the handle of the drivers side door? Only he knows, but he’s not saying. I asked him why he didn’t tell me they came from him when I asked about the staples in the conversation the night before. He said “Did you ask me about that yesterday? I don’t remember.” A five minute conversation…erased from memory. And I’m the bitch? 

He’s checked out, and I want out. How can I make ends meet without him? Right now we are nothing more than roommates, attached to each other by a legal document that costs more than I can afford to pay to have it removed. He pays the big bills, and I only make enough to cover my bills, with a little left to put towards the main ones. I don’t make enough. As hard as I’m trying to change that, it doesn’t feel like it will change any time soon. I feel like I will forever be stuck in that catch 22 where I make too much money to get the help I need, and too little money to make it on my own. 

There is a daily struggle to not let my situation consume me. Every work day, I drag myself out of bed and paste on the best smile I can muster and leave my house wishing that I didn’t have to come back to the same shitty situation. It has been a tough 13 (soon to be 14) years. We started out so good. How did we end up here? Marriage isn’t easy, and for the majority of us, we’re lying if we say it is. Things that didn’t use to bother me absolutely annoy the hell out of me now. If anything is to change with this relationship, I am going to have to change it. Whether I choose to work it out, or walk out…something’s got to change!

We’ve been adjusting…

…to a new family dynamic over the past few weeks. T left for a “visit” with mom, and now lives with her parents, R is being homeschooled while we wait for the court date to arrive (where hopefully Jay will be granted shared custody). For a boy who probably never enjoyed school, homeschool is a big struggle. The classes don’t fit his needs and testing for an IEP takes time. We see the frustration building in him as he tries to complete his daily lessons. We try to reassure him that all we want is for him to try his best. If he does that, then we don’t care about grades. At this point it’s just about learning better study habits and work ethics. 

Work has become more difficult and stressful for me. I need my job. I love working with the kids (most of the time), and I’m learning so many great skills that are helping me at home. The drama at work brings back bad memories of high school though. I feel like I’m a pretty good employee. I work hard, am self motivated, I know what my bosses want from me, and I try to live up to their expectations. I’ve only worked for my boss around 2 months longer than the others I work with. My boss and I being the newcomers, I knew there would some issues, but I didn’t know how many. I’m requested by others, which I love, because that means I’m doing something right. My boss trusts me to do my job without wasting time or being on my phone. I see a need, and I do my part to fill it. It’s simply common sense in my mind. My coworkers all feel jealous and have made their jealousy known to myself, my boss, her boss, and others…many others. I don’t feel like I’m getting special treatment, but they see it differently. I’m given extra responsibilities based on my work ethics, and because I ask for them. My coworkers don’t see this. I feel like I’m always under a microscope with them. I’ve learned a lot of great techniques from my coworkers. I try to show appreciation to them for helping me when I need it. 

I have certain lines I won’t cross on the job. I will not be behind a partition alone with a child, and I won’t go into the boys bathroom, because in my line of work lies are often told by children as a means to control the situation. I’ve had children threaten to tell their parents that I hit them, called them names, said they stupid, etc. My response to these threats? “Please do!” I can safely respond this way because I have witnesses to attest to the untruthfulness of these claims. 

I had a recent incident that involved a young man going into the boys bathroom by himself. After he had been in there for quite some time, I knocked on the door, pulled the door open enough for my voice to be heard inside, and asked the boy if he needed help. He indicated he was on the toilet and didn’t need help. After another bit of time passed I asked a male employee to go check on the boy. He said the boy was on the toilet but completely undressed from the waist down. I thought to myself “Great! Now how am I supposed to handle this?”

With my boss waiting with me in the hallway we decided it was time to have another male employee clear the bathroom so I could go in and help the boy. When I finally got the all clear I got a look from the male employee that said “brace yourself!”, and I went in with the employee and found the boy had been waist and elbow deep in urinal and toilet water. His clothes were soaked and I was the one that would have to clean him up. Over an hour of him kicking and screaming through the cleanup process. I was exhausted, missed my lunch break by over an hour, and I felt like I couldn’t get myself clean enough. I told my boss that I was leaving the boy with her so I could take a timeout. The loudest thought in my head after that incident was “If they’re still jealous of me after this, then I’ll gladly go get one of them to handle any future situations that are similar to this one.” 

The environment I’m working in is becoming more and more unbearable as my coworkers hostility towards me grows, I’ve decided it’s time to put a stop to it. I’ve conferred with my boss, and am scheduling a meeting with her boss. None of my coworkers should be concerned about days that I have scheduled off, what my work schedule is, what my assignments are, or what I do during my lunch break; after all, I’m not concerned about theirs. I don’t clock in early, and I dont sit around on the clock. I have to stay late more often than not, and it’s not by my choice. I don’t always get to enjoy a full lunch break, and I go to work regardless of how big my migraine is, or how crappy I feel (unless I’m contagious). Not my coworkers though. 

I am doing my best to show up to work everyday with a smile on my face, leave worries of home outside of work, and be involved and engaged while I’m on the clock. It is difficult, but not impossible. 

Update: My patience at work is beginning to pay off. Staffing changes were made and it was made clear to everyone involved that it is only because of my boss and myself that we have the program available to help the kids, because of the 2 of us we have a strong foundation on which to build. Things are looking up, although we are still seriously understaffed. 

I have been struggling…

…to find reasons to continue fighting for my happiness, my family, my children, and even myself. Stress has been high, and it feels like I’m slowly drowning in an ocean of everyone else’s problems and issues. I want to be stress free, feel pure joy, and be completely at peace with myself. I would love to feel it forever. I would be satisfied to feel it for a moment.

I have one friend that I can talk to about my struggles. Ok, I have more than one friend I can talk to, but I have only one or two who I trust to listen without judgement and be honest in their thoughts, and unbiased in their suggestions. Today I asked him for his thoughts on my recent struggles: S moving back in; Jay thinking S may have finally hit rock bottom, and realizing he hasn’t; learning that S is likely schizophrenic and suffers from delusions; learning that R will be leaving his facility and moving in with us full time in a week; feelings of confusion and hopelessness; health issues; etc. As I poured my heart out in a string of emotional texts, he read them without saying a word until I had finished saying my peace. His first reply had me in tears. He said “I’m so sorry you feel this way. But there are tons of people that love and cherish you.” I was caught off guard. I’m not sure what I expected him to say, but that last sentence was nowhere on my list of potential replies.

“…tons of people that love and cherish you.” Tons? Love? Cherish? Wow! Those words hit me hard. They got me thinking. Why do so many people “love and cherish” me? I’m not sure I know. I’m sure that people love that I fight for them, maybe they love that I fight against them (you never know, right?). I am easily taken advantage of, although much less so than I used to be. It might be that I can be extremely passionate. I don’t think I’m all that memorable, but I also have a hard time remembering other people, sometimes even the important people; it could be that my negative view of myself tells me I’m not worthy of being remembered. I am pretty hard on myself. I do have high expectations of myself. I have a serious stubborn streak that won’t let me quit. I have been able to reach some pretty big goals. I have found varied measures of success. I tend to go “all in” with people. I give them the benefit of the doubt, but when they let me down, or hurt the ones I love, I take it hard. I hold grudges. I can forgive, but don’t forget. Things qualities can’t be why people feel such strong feelings for me.

I have some people that I “love and cherish”. I know why I “love and cherish” them. I don’t think it’s the same reasons people feel that way about me, but I could be wrong. Some of the reasons I love and cherish them are because they are: genuine with me, honest, and supportive; they make me feel safe when I’m with them. They seem to care about me as much as I care about them. Feeling emotionally secure and physically safe are so important to me. I never again want to experience the abuse, neglect, and constant fear that I used to. These people that I “love and cherish” protect me, or at least make me feel protected. 

I may never know why I have so many admirers because I’m too embarrassed to ask. My friend texting those words to me had a profound impact on my stress level and emotions. I must find a way to love and cherish myself, and to let others know that I love and cherish them. Hopefully it will make a positive difference for them also.