Friday, July 18, 2014

The Beat Goes On...

…and we keep marching.  Right now, my feet feel heavy, but I'm slogging through.

As most of you know, my work situation is not ideal. Not bad, but it's certainly a crazymaker.  For many years, I was the only one in my office.  Now, I have a very active boss and one coworker in the trenches with me, but she does contribute to the crazymaking.

Recently, we started yet another search to find more help. We were not in a position where we had to hire, but another set of hands and expert eyes would be nice.  The thing about my coworker is that, even though she has the title, she really has little experience or expertise doing what we do.  She has no devotion to it.  "We are a team of two," my boss said to me, one day, meaning she and I are in this for the long haul…and us alone.

She was proved very right yesterday, when that coworker handed in her two-week notice.  We don't have enough time to conclude that search by then, so for awhile it's going to be just me in the trenches.  We had plenty of work and stress already, but it just doubled on me.  That search will now have to hire two people, and it's now a must hire.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for someone good…and not like past searches have ended up.

So, that's how the day started.  Here's how it ended:

My dad has cancer.

Due to some alarming symptoms, the doctor had a scan done yesterday.  It revealed a mass, but they don't believe it's the primary mass.  They believe it's metastasized from elsewhere.  Next week, they go looking for the rest of it.  So, until then, we don't know how bad it is or what to do.

For now, we wait.  I don't wait well.

The thing is that my mother is falling apart, but only when my dad isn't looking.  "I'll need you to get me through this," she said to me.  This morning, my sister is texting me about it, so I feel her leaning on me as well.  I haven't told my kids yet, but I know I have to be there for them.

I just hope I'm strong enough to stay on my own feet and prop up everyone else in the process.  I'm not totally sure that I am, but I might have to find it.  From somewhere.  i don't know where yet, but somewhere.

I want to fall apart, too, but I just can't.  The vibration of it makes my head hum.  Loudly.

In the meantime, I'm thankful for my dear bloke in Britain.  He's far away, and our communications have their limitations, but I'm thankful for even the tiniest outlet.  Is it selfish of me to look so forward to October, when I can run away and hide from this world for a few days?

It's fourteen weeks away.  Not that I'm counting….

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Thought-provoking post on Tumblr

The other day, I saw this post on Tumblr:

It made me think of the process I went through recently, that brought me to the point of removing Jacob from my life.  Heck, I broke the links I had with him, and then literally had to MAKE him break them from his end of things.  I have to wonder why he was so attached to looking down on me.  His insistence on believing negative things about me, when he had evidence to the contrary, is symptomatic of someone who has that need in their life, to force someone else down.  To chop of another's head to make themselves look tall, as the song goes.

Although he wasn't directly abusive to me, he did force upon me a lesser view of who I am.  I disliked all the time I spent alone after our breakup, which made me cling to the friendship, as it were.  Still, that aloneness gave me clarity.  Through his "friendship," I gained insight into the life I had been living.  As I gained distance, I could see the lies, the manipulations, the staggering selfishness, and the negative twist to the role he insisted I take in the relationship.  Through his moodiness and self-absorbed habits, the message was communicated to me that I was lesser and that I deserved rudeness, mistreatment, and to be ignored.

After receiving this message day in and day out, I started to believe it was all I deserved.  I tried to model the treatment I would have preferred, instead of risking a confrontation, but I suppose you have to notice someone other than yourself to pick up on such cues.  That was never going to happen.  It explains why every little kindness he bestowed on me meant so much - it was a rarity that I took as assurance that I really did mean something, so I tolerated even more bad behavior.

And this is why my teenager was worried about me staying in this relationship long term.  What would I come to accept as time went on?  She was already seeing me tiptoe around his temperament, to avoid confrontations and unpleasantness.

Looking back, the manipulativeness was masterful.  And it continued into our "friendship."  If I spoke up for myself, I was told I felt that way because I couldn't be happy for him.  This was even after I congratulated him on his engagement - which I learned about the same was 900 other "friends" did on Tumblr.  The double standard is amazing and appalling all at once, especially given that I was still accepting it.  I still thought I deserved to be treated that way, on some level.

Being alone actually did me a favor.  It gave me the space to let the fog clear.  To remember who I was and am.  To see who I was expected to be and to decide that it wasn't respectful of me.  I learned to stand up for myself again.

My brain is being re-trained.  I'm being offered love in a way that carries no expectation and no demands.  That says, "I love you for who you really are and all that's made you."  I don't have to tiptoe anymore.  My walk can be confident again, without the fear of someone emotionally punishing me for it.  I don't have repercussions for being capable and knowledgeable.

I have to keep my eyes open and not let anyone take it from me again.

And this "me" is a much better example for my daughter, of how a strong woman really is and should be.  I've accepted a lesser version of myself for long enough now.  That version doesn't exist - and I won't believe it does again.

I need to remember that, and keep telling myself that, and not be trapped again.