Warrior Princess

October 27, 2006

Toil and Trouble

Filed under: Marriage, Office Hell, Things Can Always Get Worse, Uncategorized — ggirl @ 3:12 pm

“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.” ~ Bertrand Russell
My mood has cleared today.  Sometimes you just have to wait it out.  I used to have a two-day turnaround on depression, but it’s definitely not something I can always count on.  No matter how long it takes, fighting it only seems to make it more entrenched.  I’ve learned to just let the depression stay as long as it needs to, but lately that feels a little scary to me.
I’m bogged down with this project I’ve been working on.  For two days I’ve tried to understand what the software makers are trying to tell me (via the Help menu) and for two days I’ve been completely clueless.  I could have sworn I took some tests that indicated I’m an intelligent person.  If that’s so, why the hell can’t I figure this out?

I’ve finished the first half and everyone is happy with the results.  The second half has always been the most critical for me and not because it would make everyone’s my co-workers’ lives easier.  I mean, that’s a good thing, but the really crucial issue is my ability to beat the software into submission.  I enjoy doing this so I should be good at it, right?  Yes, that’s what I thought, too.

I printed out some of the help  topics and took them home with me last night.  I thought maybe being in a different environment and not sitting in front of the computer might be more productive.  If I’m in front of the computer, I can’t stop myself from experimenting.  Sometimes you just have to leave the computer alone while you figure out what to do with the stupid thing.  That was pointless.  As I read and made notes, I could tell that my comprehension skills were  deficient.  I decided to stop and work on it again today.

It’s a beautiful day here.  The sun is shining again, which always has a profound effect on my mood.  My little squirrel friends should be out and about, but I don’t see any of them.  It’s a little chillier than it has been (that would be in the 80’s) and they’re usually energized by the coolness.  It’s also Perky Puppy weather, so I imagine my dogs will keep me busy when I get home.

Hubby’s been busy with a project all week, but I’m making him apply for a job I’m fairly certain he can get.  This employer is so desperate they won’t care that he hasn’t had a regular job in 20 years.  I talked to him earlier this morning and he told me he was working on the online application.  Hubby having a job would go a long way towards improving my general outlook on things.

All I have to do now is get through the rest of the day.  What then?  Well, all I’ll have to do is get through the weekeend.

October 26, 2006

Inner Dark

“The thought of suicide is a powerful solace:  my means of it one gets through many a bad night.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
This year I’ve been having more difficulty than usual getting through the anniversary of my father’s suicide.  I’ve been having flashbacks of anguish which never really goes away.  It just lurks in the recesses of my brain, ready to manifest spontaneously.

Nuclear winter.  For months after his death, that internal voice we all have that chatters away about everything went suddenly silent.  “What was it that I used to think about,” I wondered.  Even if I could find something to think about, my brain refused to hold onto it.  I learned to live with the silence.  It distorted my sense of time.  We’d go out to eat and, before the food got there, it already felt like we’d been there for hours.  Absence of inner commentary didn’t make me bored; I was too traumatized for that.  The pain was so intense that sometimes it was all I could do to get through the next 60 seconds.
My therapist and I think that the anniversary is particularly difficult this year because of my own inner darkness.  I’ve known since I was a child my emotional nightfall that calls me to give up the fight .  I understand the black hole my father was drawn into because I’ve been stranded in that vortex myself.  I’m there now and have been for months.

The only good thing that came from my father’s death is the certainty that I will never check out while there are still people around who care for me.   Nonetheless, I find myself using the same coping mechanism: “All I have to do is get through the next five minutes or the next hour or the next day.”  It’s not a productive way to manage one’s life.  This moment is the only moment I have.  Counting down the time until my interior despondency lifts causes me to miss this moment.

I only just started noticing I’d returned to emotional countdown methods.  Feeling is absent.  Nothing is worth doing.  I go home every night and read “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” so that I can remember there’s meaning in my suffering, that everything is illusory–even my pain.  We all suffer.  It’s in the nature of being on this earth.  And who better to endure it than I?  I’ve had lots and lots of practice.

I can empathize with my father.  I just have to find a different outcome.  On the anniversary of his death, I’d wish him to know that I’m sorry.  I’m sorry he had such a dreadful life that resulted in him inflicting enormous damage to the people in his life, especially his daughter.  I’m sorry I wasn’t able to save him, even though I know the only person who can save you is yourself.  I’d wish my father to know that I’m using his gift to make me stronger and more capable of enduring these dark hours.  I’d wish my father to know that I thank him for that gift, that I love him and that I forgive him.

October 13, 2006

Horse of a Different Color

Filed under: Blogroll, Marriage, Things Can Always Get Worse, Uncategorized — ggirl @ 2:55 pm

“One is not born a woman, one becomes one.” ~ Simone de Beauvoir

Hubby had the dishes done at lunch and dinner.  His, not mine, that is.  As I noted before, I always do my dishes immediately after use.  He cleaned out the refrigerator.  He offered to pick up a prescription for me.  Yay for him!  Now if only he would get a job.

Have I mentioned I took a test on the BBC science page which purports to help you determine where your thought processes fall along a gender continuum?  You know, women are traditionally better than men at some things and vice versa.  I ended up exactly in the middle.  An androgynous thinker…must have something to do with all those boy toys my dad gave me when I was a little girl.  My friends got dolls and I got helicopters.  Hey, with my dad you just played with whatever you got and didn’t complain.  That’s probably why it’s always been so abundantly clear to me that gender lies along a continuum.   Maybe I should be grateful to my dad for that.

In fact, I’ve had a couple of therapists ask me if I had any gender confusion.  No.  I’ve never wished to be anything other that what I am.   I’ve never wondered if I should have been a boy.
I’m just hard to categorize for many reasons, my bizarre upbringing notwithstanding.  I think that’s one of the reasons people have difficulty understanding me.  I’m not like everyone else.  None of us are, really.  We’re each unique dazzling manifestations of God’s infinite creativity.  If only we could all always see each other that way…what a gift that would be.

When I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs Personality Tests, I always end up being sort of evenly split between thinking/feeling and perceiving/judging, although I clearly have a preference for  judging .  There’s no question that I’m an introvert…I scored very high on that scale, but I’m able to act like an extravert.  Many people who don’t know me that well actually think I am an extravert.  I’m also highly intuitive.

I’m different, alright.  I’m not always willing to admit that; I long to be uncomplicated.  It just seems like life would be a lot easier sometimes, though certainly not as interesting.

The work project calls.  It’s been a challenging week for work.  I guess I’ll go be challenged some more.

Just in case you’d like to take these tests, here are the links:

The BBC Sex ID test:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sex/index_cookie.shtml

Myers-Briggs Personality Test: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes1.htm

Breast cancer awareness month:

http://www.planetcancer.org/html/index.php

A site specifically for young people with cancer of all types.

October 12, 2006

Husbands are like Orangutangs

Filed under: Uncategorized — ggirl @ 4:24 pm
“The majority of husbands remind me of an orangutang trying to play the violin.” ~ Honore de Balzac

We’ve been eating dinner in shifts at my house.  Wolf is too out of control for us to eat at the same time.  I generally end up sitting beside Hubby at the dining table, distracting Wolf’s attention with lots of pets.  Occasionally, he gnaws on my arm.  After Hubby finishes, I ususallyput some peanut butter in Wolf’s Kong and toss it into his crate.  When he trots in for one of his most favorite foods in the world, I close the crate door and he makes himself happy for a while, trying to figure out how to get the peanut butter out of the magic hole in the Kong.  I eat in relative peace.

On Tuesday, I didn’t eat enough during the day and, by the time Hubby was ready for dinner, I was starving.  I had started to shake a little.  The crate thing wasn’t working with Wolf, so I took him outside and tried to eat my sandwich while holding onto Wolf.  I decided I won’t be doing that again.

Yesterday, I sat on the floor, as ususal,  and waited while Hubby read the newspaper and ate his dinner.  When he was finished, I got Wolf’s Kong ready and tossed it in his crate. Unfortunately, Wolf finished before I did and started crying.  I mean loud, high-pitched, relentless crying.  I could see Hubby in the other room in front of the computer, holding his fingers in his ears.  I ignored them both and continued to eat.

After a few minutes, Hubby came into the dining room and stood in front of me, fingers in ears.”I have to eat.” I was more than a little exasperated. “I can’t hold Wolf and eat.”

Hubby went over to the crate and let Wolf out.  Wolf immediately went into hyper mode, jumping up on Hubby and trying to chew on his arm.  Instead of having the puppy cry, I was then having to listen to my husband screech, yell and curse the little guy.  He gives me yet another annoyed look because I was still eating and not rescuing him from the dog.  I ignored him and finished my dinner.

I have a real thing about having the dishes done before bedtime.  For me, it’s disheartening and disgusting to wake up in the morning and have to face a sink with dirty dishes.  I’ve shared that info with my husband many times.  Late last night when it became apparent that Hubby wasn’t going to do the dishes, I went into the kitchen and washed them.  When I came back, I sat down on the sofa next to him and said,

“Thanks for doing the dishes, ggirl.”  I said it with a smile on my face and in a teasing tone of voice.

“Well, I think I do the dishes as much as you do, ” he said.”Yes, you do them more than I do.  They’re your dishes.  I always wash dishes immediately after I use them.”  It’s not so much a matter of discipline as it is just my personality type, INT/FJ.

He didn’t respond.  I could see he was reviewing recent history in the hopes of refuting my assertion.  Well, of course he couldn’t.  “You know, I don’t mind doing the dishes every once in a while.”  And, in fact, I don’t.

“But you know, I’ve got this huge project at work that’s very intellectually taxing.  Then I come home and have virtually all of the responsibility for taking care of Wolf.  I’m really tired a lot.”  I was just waiting for him to comment that I was the one who wanted the dog.  When he says it (and he will at some point), my response  is not going to be friendly.  I’ve dealt with the consequences of many decisions he’s made without my support or, sometimes, without even consulting me.  He’d be well advised to not travel down that path.

“You know, I’ve been thinking lately that you don’t seem very grateful for all of the things I’ve made possible in your life.” Like being able to write a book or being able to participate in theatrical events.  The list is endless really.  Twenty years of me working and him doing exactly as he pleases.  I was working up steam.

“I just wish you would, every once in a while, ask me if there’s anything you can do for me.”  You’d have to be deaf to not hear the pain in my voice.  I didn’t mean to sound pained; I just wasn’t able to effectively filter it all out. Still no comment from my husband.  When I related the story to my mom, she said, “Well what could he say?”  I don’t know.  Thank you?  I’m sorry?  I’m an inconsiderate, self-centered man?

It was getting to be my bedtime and I was wrapping things up.

“It’s part of why I’m so depressed.  And why I feel so hopeless about my life.”  With that, I stood up and went into the kitchen to get Wolf’s Kong ready.  I shut him in the crate, came back to the living room where Hubby was still sitting on the sofa and told him it was time for me to go to bed.  I finished turning out the lights and we hugged before he went upstairs.

My mom came over this morning and let the dogs out.  Wolf and Sheba immediately started noisy Husky play in the backyard while I continued to get ready for work.  They woke Hubby up, apparently.  He came downstairs and let them in.  Wolf, of course, went nuts.  He started jumping up and Hubby started yelling and cursing.  My mom ignored him.I don’t have time in the mornings to rescue Hubby from the dog.  I went about my business. I could hear him trying to get the leashes on the two dogs to take them for a walk.  I have no idea why.  Sheba does her bathroom business in the backyard, as does Wolf.  I guess he was looking forward to another opportunity to yell and curse.

When I got out of the bathroom, my mom had let the dogs out again.  I could hear Hubby in the kitchen, opening the ibuprofen bottle.  Great.  Before I left for work, I went upstairs to say goodbye. Hubby had deposited himself back in bed.

“Do you have a headache?”  Just inquiring, you know.

“No, I couldn’t get to sleep last night,” he said.

I passed up the opportunity to point out to him the many times I’ve been unable to get enough sleep but somehow made it to work anyway.

“Well I hope you feel better.  I’ll see you in a little while.”  I hugged him and went to work.

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