An Emotional Week

This week has been emotional for me.  It’s been tough and I’ve been struggling with how to be a friend while trying to make sure I protect myself at the same time.

First of all, my girlfriend whose husband got laid off last month, lost her own job this week.  Long story short, she made a not-so-smart move, but had a boss that was looking for any reason to fire her.  They have two young children and have zero income now.  And since her and I have talked so much about finances, I know they are basically a paycheck-to-paycheck family.  When she called to tell me what happened, I felt sick to my stomach, because I immediately began to spin, thinking how they are going to pay for their mortgage, bills, food?  What happens when they don’t have insurance and one of them gets sick?

Had lunch with another girlfriend this week and she’s staying at her mom’s this weekend with her two children, in an attempt to give her husband a wake up call.  They recently had their 5 year anniversary and he didn’t even get her a card.  And in the past month, he got drunk and told her “he needed a break” and has stopped wearing his wedding ring.  She fought back tears telling me what was going on and I really felt for her, as she kept saying, “I just want someone to tell me what to do.”  Add to that, her mom thinks she somehow contributed to their marriage problems since she lived with them for awhile.  In the midst of dealing with her own emotions, she feels obligated to soothe and reassure her mother.  Then she has another friend telling her to be careful what you wish for, because she might find something worse out there than what she already has.  Not exactly encouraging words for someone who really needs them.

Then on Friday, I checked in on a colleague, whose aunt was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.  The initial diagnosis came two months ago, and she was hospitalized this week with breathing problems.  The cancer has been pretty aggressive, and her lungs are now filled with tumors, in addition to her spine, other organs, etc.  They put her on hospice.  My heart was breaking as my colleague told me how her aunt was heavily medicated, but when she would wake up, would yell “Help me!” to those in her room.  Even now, typing these words out, my heart feels so heavy for their family.  It’s both a blessing and a curse to be there as someone is dying.  I know as I watched my dad die from cancer.  On one hand, you are thankful for the time and opportunity to say goodbye.  On the other, every time you leave, the worry is that it’ll be the last time you see them.  Same thing with going to bed that night, even if you’re there.  You wonder, “Is this the last goodbye?  Will they be here when I wake up?”  Then there’s the dread waking up the next morning, as you wait to discover if they are still of this earth or not.

I’ve tried to offer as much support to my girlfriends as I can, and I worry for each of them because I love them so much.  The hard part about this though is the feeling of helplessness.  I can’t get jobs for my one girlfriend, or help financially support them in any meaningful way.  I can’t repair my other girlfriend’s marriage to prevent a divorce.  And as much as I’d love to, I can’t wave a magic wand to make my colleague’s aunt’s cancer go away.  It’s hard to watch your friends going through difficult times.

But I’ve also been thinking to myself, “Is this what our future holds?  Are we prepared if one (or both) of us loses a job?  Are we going to end up as a divorced statistic sometime in the future?  Are we doing all we can to stay healthy?”  We had a job layoff in 2016 (me!) and managed that one OK.  But the divorce and cancer parts?  I can’t say we are immune to either situation.  We’ve had our fair share of problems ourselves and I have a history of cancer in my family.

If I can name one positive, this week has been a reminder to me to be grateful. Thankful for what we have, and that at the moment, we aren’t going through a crises of our own.  Life is hard, and the moments without struggle are fleeting.

 

Running Away…for Girls Night Out

I’m running away tonight.  At least that’s how I feel right now.  I can’t get out of the house fast enough.  I’m meeting a friend/former colleague for dinner tonight and am so geeked to finally catch up with her!  We have a lot in common and have similar life situations, and find ourselves chatting up every topic under the sun.

I feel furiously angry at the moment, and I’m sitting alone in our bedroom while husband has the kiddo at the playground, trying to process my fucking rage.  He was on a business trip this past week.  Left last Sunday, and he got home Friday night around 6PM…just in time for him to change into the costume I laid out for him for a friend’s birthday / Halloween party.  I’ve managed the household by myself this entire week, which included 2 days of offsite workshops for MY job, which resulted in 3 hour round trip commutes those 2 days (the norm is less than an hour).

He’s been gone all week, barely got home in time for us to head out the door and go somewhere else.  He’s had to do none of the work related to our family.  No uninterrupted sleep because the kiddo woke up crying or the dog decided to make you his pillow at 3AM.  No litany of chores to do before even walking out the door to go to work.  Then heading into a job that is so ambiguously vague and with a boss who doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing, just to up the anxiety and frustration levels I was already feeling at home.  I sobbed Tuesday morning before work, because I was tired and felt like I was running on fumes, and was trying to figure out how mentally I was going to make it through another shitty day.

We had a great time last night, but I feel like it all dissolved this morning.  Our child woke up at 5:30AM.  When I saw the monitor, she already had her bedroom light on and had toys out and was playing.  No going back to sleep for mom.  My hubby ended up sleeping until almost 9AM.  This afternoon he left 20 minutes before she woke up from her nap (both her and I were asleep), and was gone almost 2 hours running errands all by himself.

He couldn’t figure out why I didn’t want to take our kid and the dog for a walk by myself, without him.  I suggested a family walk and he agreed, but then said he had to poop.  I sighed in frustration, because the family walk would have to wait until his leisurely shit was done.  He jumped down my throat about how he can’t even take a poop without me getting pissed.

It’s not that.  It’s not the poop itself, it’s the cumulative pile of shit.  It’s the build up of frustration of me having no one to tap out to all week, and then continuing more of the same over the weekend.  When I thought it’d be my turn to get a break.  When I thought him coming home would bring some kind of relief.

What I really wanted was for him to say, “Let me get up with her since you’ve been holding down the fort all week.”  All I heard was his snoring beside me as I got out of bed.  All I wanted was for him to ask, “How can I help you unwind after this week?”  All I wanted for him was to think of me and how he could help relieve some of my frustration or irritation.  What I wanted is a little bit of the reprieve he had this week, being on his own.  I wanted a little bit of equality.

So yes, I’m totally fucking running away tonight.  Even got my running shoes on.

Pick Myself Up

We are at the park. It’s a beautiful day. I feel incapable of joy. Or any positive emotion. I want to cry, almost all the time. I know my husband is frustrated with me. I see how he looks at me, disgusted at times. He’s even referred to me “poor you” when he’s really angry with me. I know I’m impacting him. I don’t sleep very well at night. I look around at all these happy families and think, “Why can’t that be me?”  The tears spill down my cheeks. Even my dog isn’t sitting by me. He’d much rather explore the park. 

Every day feels like an uphill climb for me. I’m not just on the struggle bus; I’m driving that bitch. Have been for awhile. 

I’m in therapy. Work out regularly. Keep a gratitude journal. Eat right. Try to get enough sleep. Am trying to find a psychiatrist to get me on a medication that may help. This sadness overwhelms all my efforts. I hate feeling this way. 

I want something different for my life, my legacy. I don’t want this endless trail of sadness to follow me. Yet I don’t know how to pick myself up. 

Strike Three

Strike Three

Well it’s Friday night and I’m waiting for people to show up at a Meetup event I’m hosting. Half an hour past the start time there are exactly zero attendees here. Just me.  This is the third Meetup and even though people have RSVP’d to events no one has shown up at any of my events. Meetup flakes 3, Erin 0. 

*Waves from the table for one while sweeping the tears out of her eyes*

It’s been a really emotionally shitty week and this makes me feel so loser-y. I feel like crying because sometimes this trying to make new friends shit is hard. But!  In an effort to try to reframe things in a more positive light.    Let’s see how this goes…let me count the ways

  1. I’m enjoying a Thai boba tea on a beautiful night 
  2. I am getting some time by myself
  3. I get to enjoy some artsy-farts stuff 
  4. Dinner tonight is being made for me versus me making it for others
  5. I get to take a leisurely stroll outside 
  6. I am attempting to relax and chill
  7. I am getting some good people watching in

And if these people don’t want to meet me then fuck them!  They are missing out getting to know a funny, reliable, sometimes emotional friend. Their loss. 


Me enjoying my Thai boba tea. Alone.  And that’s ok. 

Perfect Timing

Perfect timing for my daughter to get sick. 2-1/2 weeks into a new job. With no manager or director right now. Sigh. Tuesday night we were up half the night with her because she wasn’t feeling well. Poor peanut, I know this is not her fault but shit. What awful timing!  

Yesterday I stayed home from work with her. I tried to do some work when she napped but also wanted to make sure I took good care of her. I was able to still attend a conference call because the husband came home from work. I felt so incredibly guilty when I was working and not taking care of V, and then felt guilty when I was with her and not attending to my work. It’s incredibly exhausting to feel like an octopus juggling all these balls in the air. And the sad fact?  By trying to spread myself so thin I’m not doing any of these things well. At all. 

Last night she still had almost a 103 fever. I felt so bad for her because I knew she was miserable. Poor baby. Even though she woke up with no fever this morning, I still wanted to keep her home for another day. 

Which meant another morning of trying to juggle. Then rushing off to work for an afternoon filled with meetings and trainings. Sigh. These are days that I wish I could clone myself. 

This Morning’s Drama

My morning started off by me dropping and shattering a coffee mug, coffee splattering all over the floor and my dress. Guess I didn’t really want to wear that outfit today.   Husband left for the gym so I was left to wrangle the toddler to get her ready for school. 

First she didn’t want to leave the house and was scream crying. Then I tried to coax her with tablet. It turned off so she started crying again. We get to school and she didn’t want to give the tablet up. She screams at me. Out of frustration she throws the tablet so I take it and put it away. More screaming and crying. I tell her it’s time to go to school and she tries to slap me and physically fights me when I try to take her out of her car seat. I back off and try telling her again it’s time for school. She’s shaking her head and hollering “Noooooooo!” at me. I try again to get her out of seat and I have to hold on to her carefully as she is flailing and fighting me all the way. We walk into the building and she throws her milk, where it promptly spills all over the floor. 

I take her to classroom for drop off. She wants nothing to do with me. I kiss her goodbye and as I walk out of the room, I feel the tears welling up. I quickly walk out and get in my car and lock the door. 

I lay my head on the steering wheel and sobbed uncontrollably. It’s barely 7:30 and I’m already emotionally and physically exhausted. Now it’s time for me to buck up and head into week 3 of my new job, where I will face an entire day of not knowing what-the-fuck-I’m-doing, adding to the incompetence and ineptitude I already feel. 

I feel so badly about how things went down with my daughter. I feel completely at a loss on how to deal with her when she’s like this. And then I feel like a terrible mother when I lose my patience with her. I vaccilate between trying to understand what she may be going through and thinking “I don’t have time for this fucking shit.”  

Here I sit at the office, working on a server outage I know nothing about, praying I don’t dissolve into tears at work.  Keep your fingers crossed for me. 

Meeting New Friends

I’ve written before that I’ve struggled to find my tribe of women mom friends.  Since moving to Atlanta, most of our friends don’t have children.  In an effort to make new friends, I’ve tried creating my own meetup group.  Out of the 4-5 meetups I’ve hosted, I’ve had exactly zero people show up (womp womp).  Despite feeling like a loser, I’m still trying to put myself out there.

I recently heard about an app called Peanut, that helps to connects moms.  The advertisement was during a parenting podcast that I really enjoyed, so I thought…why not give it a try?  It’s basically tinder dating to find mom friends.  You swipe one way if you like the person and swipe the other if you don’t.  I’ve been looking at it, and connected with a few moms through the app, but nothing had led to any kind of substantial communication so far.  And then, it happened!  I had a mom reach out to say hi and we hit it off!

It was great to chat back and forth with her, because it made me feel happy to have someone with similar struggles (i.e. hiding under the crib to look at your iPhone while your darling falls asleep, or dealing with a kiddo meltdown).  Our online rapport and banter had been so much fun, that we decided to meet up for a coffee date this weekend.

I was nervous and excited to meet this new potential mom friend.  What if our online chemistry didn’t translate in real life?  What if we didn’t jive or the conversation was awkward and weird?   What if she thinks I’m a total weirdo (and not in a good way)?!?  Finding new friends, even platonic ones, comes with all the same kind of worries of dating!

I worried all for naught, because we hit it off immediately.  When I found her, she immediately reached out to hug me.  I loved this, because I’m a huge hugger too!  She reminded me a lot of a good friend from Los Angeles.  In some ways, she talked very similarly to my friend that it threw me for a loop at first.  We sat down at a table outside and talked for two hours straight.   We had such easy conversation and my cheeks hurt from laughing and smiling.  I didn’t want to leave, but I also didn’t want to overstay my welcome either.  We made plans to meet up again soon, next time bringing our daughters with.

There have been lots of new things lately.  New job, new approach to my same old problems, new dynamic in my relationship, new way of trying to view myself.  I’m hoping that today is the start of a another new thing.  A new friendship with a kindred spirit.