Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Childhood issues

You know, with this assault of childhood memories, I now completely understand why I dislike my birthday and holidays. I had no answer for people who asked, and now that I know, I can smile and say it's just not my thing. I may even get to a point where I don't wince when people say "Happy Birthday." Not today, but someday.

To be honest, I think I'm doing exceptionally great for the insanely fun things I started at Christmas in order to make it fun for my family who I love so much. YAY for that!! It's a very cool moment for me when I can say, "Hey! Look what I did! I turned a negative into a positive! I'm kinda proud of myself!"

-- Besides, the kids LOVE it, and playing silly games is completely worth the effort that all of us big kids do to pull it off. It's FUN! - And Rob, who thinks it's crazy to do such elaborate things, gets into it and plays right along even though I think he'd rather do the sit around the tree and open everything all at once that most people do.

I'm just gonna give myself a pat on the back right now for the Christmas thing. I couldn't do it alone, but it was my idea to start with and that's a big deal. It won't matter later, but right now it does.

I doubt I will ever be a party planner, and that's ok. That's why the Lord blessed me with great friends and family. That stuff makes them happy, and I am super happy watching them play as they organize and set things up.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Job Experiment

Did my first 5 hours of work today. And I learned a few things:

A - keep a xanex in my pocket instead of hiding in my purse so I don't have to wait for break to take it.

B - My interpretation of front to back is NOT the same as normal people.

C - My anxiety was not triggered at all by the people in the store, but by doing an entire go-back rack backwards. And then a screaming baby. I sang to myself as I tried to convince my brain that the Ross way is the Ross way, not my way.

D - I really enjoy interacting with the customers. I like smiling at people and eliciting a smile in response. The high traffic due to back-to-school wasn't nearly as overwhelming as I thought it might be.

E - I tire really easily. After 5 hours on my feet, I am covered in sweat and am exhausted.

So work? So far I feel like I can do it. Can I do it without my anti-anxiety pill? No. Definitely need that. Glad I have it when I need it.

 My way of sorting things is weird. I know that now. Who knew? Not me.

I grew up playing Pinochle. So I sort: Ace, King, Queen, Jack, Nine. Descending order, just like that. And because the lowest number is at the right, the right is then the front, and I move from right to left as I put things in order.

The poor lady training me was convinced she wasn't explaining things right. She did fabulous. I have to retrain my brain that the left side of the rack is the front, even though it's at the back of the fitting area. And when they refer to things being "behind" the sign on the rack, they mean to the right of it, not the left. Soooo strange to me, but ok. I have to put my back against the wall and look down the rack so my brain processes Front here. Back there. Behind the sign from this angle is truly behind it.

This is probably good thinking exercise for me. Currently frustrating and hard, but good for me, nonetheless. At least all of my coworkers are awesome and friendly and happy to answer all of my questions.

I think it's because it was my first day on the floor that I am wired, nervous and feel like crying. But I managed to keep all of that under control at work. I was able to let that out after I was in my van and driving home.

My kids are awesome. The rain was awesome. Being able to stand out in the rain and enjoy the puddles in my bare feet was a FABULOUS way of helping disperse the nervous energy.

When I got home, the kids could see I was trying not to have a complete breakdown. Mina, bless her sweet heart, made me fried eggs on toast. And oh my goodness, the few housework chores I'd asked them to do, DONE, by the time I got home. How awesome is that??? I couldn't even find the right words to tell the kids how proud I was of them, and how absolutely pleasing it was to find the three things on the check-off list done. I wish I had something super cool to reward them with, but hugs and kisses will have to suffice today. Awesome children.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Oh, the joys of processing old memories

There are some things that just shouldn't be shared publicly.

Stuff I'm dealing with now is stuff *I'm* holding onto and am learning how to let go of. Sometimes things that happen during childhood come back full force, and there's nothing I can do but feel it, acknowledge it, and attempt to process it as I am able. Paralyzing as it may feel.

Publicly shaming someone else does nothing but cause more harm. And if nothing else, I can at least show that much respect. Besides, trust me, if it were something jail-worthy, ooooooh that would have been taken care of, because I won't protect that.

I'm angry, yes, but I don't need to be spiteful. The anger is just a stage and I'll get through it. It's yucky and I don't want to hang onto it, but it's currently in the front of my brain, so ... it is what it is. If you find me curled up feeling all sobby and broken, it's part of this phase. But please don't think I'm a victim or consider myself one. I'm not.

I not only survived, but I came out of my trials of youth stubborn, quick to learn, and determined not to give up. And extremely grateful for the people who were there.

 Stuff that is this old is possible to let go of. I can; I will; but I am not the quickest of learners when it comes to emotional crap. However, like the job and trying to learn how to deal with my anxiety by facing it, I'm pretty sure I can do this, too.

Cuz seriously... who wants to define themselves by old yuck? Not me. I'm ME now. And while I'm far from perfect, definitely had my years where I was not the greatest of parents, and struggle with mental illness that is hard to handle some days, I'm still here. I have raised some bright, beautiful children, I have had very successful careers, and very successful school experiences.

So I can do this. -- Some days the depression tries to convince me that I can't. Somedays old emotions pop up and say, "but you're not loveable because of blah blah blah." Yeah, it's a struggle. But today, today I can see a lot of the good, how I overcame and became stronger because of the blah blah blah.

I still have a long way to go. But that's ok. I'm not close to the cliff edge currently. This may be paralyzing and hard to deal with some days, but hard is hard is hard. Life never promised to be easy.

I have a lot to be grateful for. And I believe that as I write through these memories and process them, that I will be able to find something that I learned from each of the experiences.

 TMI? Perhaps. But it's life according to Chris, and this much I felt like I needed to share.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sigh. Everyone has issues. I just realized I don't like mine.

The last few days/week I've felt paralyzed by overwhelming memories from my childhood. Along with the accompanying anger, resentment, and hurt that I honestly thought I'd let go and forgiven.

Today I found an article that talks about learning how to let that go with "start by doing this" instructions. Now that I have a starting point, I see a light at the end of the tunnel. I am so tired of this baggage. My chemical imbalances don't need that extra fuel to add to the depression's fire.

aaaaand, this is probably another one of those TMI posts, but dangit... I feel like my brain has just shut down regardless of how hard I'm trying to move forward and be creative and be me. So this is where I am today. Sobby, reliving past gunk that I'm sure my friends and immediate family are sick of hearing about, and attempting to control my temper, my frustration with not knowing how to let go of this, and that desperate fear that maybe I'm the same way.

Uck. I shouldn't be talking about this one on FB. I don't want to point fingers and do the shaming, blaming thing. I'm the one holding on, it's on me to let go. I'm a big girl with my big girl panties dammit, I can do this.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Love Languages

I have a friend who is a therapist. He was talking to me vaguely about a married couple who did not speak the same love language and how he was assigning them homework to practice learning the other's language.


So I came home and mentioned it to my daughter. Oh yeah, she knew all about love languages. She'd had to take the test in her CE Life Roles class in high school. She knew her language and what she needed from others to have a working relationship.

Cool beans.

So the hubster and I took the test. My primary love language is touch. His primary love language is Acts of Service. Which is cool, since we both also speak those languages.

After we learned our primary languages, I was able to figure out why he freaked out so much when the kids had to be asked more than once to do chores. He was interpreting that as an "I don't love you enough to do it."  And he realized that a quick hug a day was not nearly good enough for me. A 30 second hug, and maybe an arm around or a hand hold once in a while was much better for my state of mind.

There are two of the languages I don't speak at all: the gifts one. receiving? giving? Gifts is not a big deal to me; I don't much care about them one way or another. The second language that I don't speak is Time Spent. That one makes me shudder and cringe.

My brother and I were on the phone the other day and he mentioned that his language was also touch, but his wife's was Time Spent. I immediately thought, AAAAHH!!  I would not, not, not be able to handle it if my husband had that one.

I love hanging out with friends once in a while, and I don't mind doing the family game night thing. But that's doing the time spent without thinking about it, and without it being hard.

But sitting and talking to my partner because they NEED me to spend time with them? Just for the sake of being there?? Um. I would kill my husband if he were that needy.

Now, that being said, I have a daughter whose love language is time spent. I don't feel like she's needy at all. If she needs time with me, she comes and sits near me and starts a conversation. It doesn't feel like she's leeching my energy, we just discuss stuff.

The note here is that *she* makes the effort to spend that time. Probably because she knows it would never occur to me to do that in the first place.

The whole "Hey, do you want to talk for a bit?" is the dumbest question I can think of being asked.

Talk about what? Because sometimes no, I don't feel like talking. That question makes me nervous and suspicious.

On the other hand "Hey, mom, let me tell you about my day." Or "Hey mom, I have a question." Or me saying, "You look upset, sweety, what happened?"  Those I can do willingly and without issue.

Usually I'm doing something else at the time my daughter comes to find me, so my attention is divided between what she's saying and what I'm doing. This works for both of us unless I hear something that needs my full and complete attention. Then she wins, hands down. Because daughter.

It feels like girl-talk. I can do girl talk with my daughters because I'm their mom, you know?

However, as a married couple, the hubster and I discuss kids, bills, dreams, goals, (the latter two in short spurts) and once in a while have an "i'm feeling this way, how are you feeling about this?" but not often. Because if I talk about something for too long and too deep, he retreats into his "nothing box."

Which is understandable, because once I start talking it's pretty darn hard to make me stop.

Which is why I have girl friends. I can do Time Spent with them just fine because it's not like I think about it when we're hanging out. But to talk to my husband for that length of time about all the different subjects we girls bounce around? Um... no. In fact, I'm pretty sure he'd stop listening after about five minutes.

I just... wow. I cannot fathom the amount of work and patience it would take to have a marital relationship with someone who needed Time Spent. Pretty sure we'd be divorced by now.

I guess that makes me selfish. And I guess that's why I didn't marry into that. I am too lazy make a conscious effort to learn that particular language to make my marriage work, and I'm so glad I don't have to.

We did have fun on our road trip to Phoenix. But I mostly read out loud to him, so...

Anyway, massive respect to those who not only speak the language, but those who willingly learn it to make things work.

In my opinion, that's got to be the hardest love language.