This is my blog, and it is dangerous. Do you think I want to die like this?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Empathy (personality flaw #2)

Yes, I'm feely.   And you ... you're thinky.  You're so much better than me - thinking all your thoughts about rational and logical things without so much as a stray thought about how those thoughts make you feel.

So yeah, I'm emotional.  I don't always behave or make decisions emotionally, but I have a very hard time ignoring my emotions, or anyone else's for that matter.  And that makes it hard to not feel responsible for someone else's bad mood.  Not so much responsible in that it's my fault, but responsible because I'm now feeling the same way they are, and I can't stop feeling that way until I get them to stop feeling that way. 

It blows, because people who are in bad moods are in no mood to put up with me trying to prod them out of their mood.  Which brings me to a related issue, which is that I can't stand when people are angry with me - and I can always, always tell when they are. 

I am unfortunately cursed with being able to read the emotional state of other people within seconds (in person, not online - calm down).  It has it's uses, certainly - but for the most part, it's a giant pain in the ass. 

The other part of my empathy flaw is that I will feel empathy for fictional characters in fictional situations.  I know, retarded.  Some part of my brain tells me that even though this person and situation isn't real, these things happen to people all the time and right now someone, somewhere, is going through an equivalent  situation - and I start to feel really terrible for them and I have to cry.  But then I start to feel unbelieveably lame for being affected by something that isn't happening to me, and isn't even happening - really - in front of me.  And now I feel bad about two things.

So, I spend a lot of energy trying to ignore and stuff down my emotions as well as everyone else's.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Suffering and Stress (personality flaw #1)

I'm terrible at dealing with both - the worst.  The worst, Jerry!

Obviously, no one really enjoys suffering, but I think I'm particularly crap at dealing with it.  Some people deal with suffering by quietly putting their heads down and getting on with it.  My dad was like that. I'm most definitely not.

And when I say "suffering", I don't just mean things like having chronic pain and fatigue - and I'm definitely not talking about real suffering, like having cancer or losing one of your children.  I fall the hell apart when we have a power outtage for less than two hours.  Or when I have to get up early, paired with the upheaval of our entire weekend routine to drag my family to the in-laws for a short visit.  I don't like admitting it, but it's the truth.  It's not that I'm unaware of how ridiculous my reactions and/or behavior are, it's just that in the moment I'm unable to access sanity. 

A lot of people say they work better under stress.  I crack, completely and almost immediately.  If the stress also involves physical pain, or sleep deprivation I go bat-fuck ass-nuts over feet and get to shouting and tossing anything within reach.  If it ever happened near a table, I'm sure I'd Jersey Housewife the thing while grunting nonsense words.  Just the anticipation of a stressful situation sends me into an anxiety attack which produces nothing but the purest, pharmaceutical-grade rage available.  

I'm sure someone will have a perfectly reasonable solution for this problem (such as, "calm down") which I'll put into use immediately.  Thank god you were here to change my life for me.
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Friday, September 24, 2010


Taking my two kids anywhere is a monumental task for me.  It's half of the reason I don't take them grocery shopping with me.  The other half is that I'm actually considerate about the possibility of it being a pain in someone else's ass to deal with my kids when they're already trying to do a chore.  But that's a whole 'nother story.

So, having to take the kids to my in-laws on the weekend is not the convenient fun it might sound like.  First of all, we're on a night shift, so we have to get up early on the weekend to fit with their schedule.  Then there's all the planning that goes into it: gathering diaper bag stuff, food and drink for the kids, giving the kids baths before work the day before because there won't be time on Saturday when we're getting up early, taking a shower myself late the night before and going to bed with wet hair, installing a new carseat, also late the night before because it's too hot to do it during the day (when I'd much rather be vegging on the couch after taking care of the kids all day) because I just found out literally days before that we were going ... and on and on.

It's your basic upheaval.  It affects the kid's naps, our sleep - it rips a hole in our entire schedule and weekend.

But, Nico - you just moved into a new, bigger apartment and worked so hard to make it look nice enough for visitors ... plus, they haven't seen your place yet.  Why don't they just come visit you?

I'm glad you asked.  It's because they have a new pool.  Mind you, not-a one of us is going to swim in the pool, and both my husband and I have seen pools before in our lives.  But there's no possible way we could just view a picture of this pool, and then have them drag their two, non-child-having asses here.  It's unfuckingthinkable!

All this stress, just to look at a fucking pool.  You've got to be kidding me. 

My secondary complaint is that they invariably serve food that I have to literally choke down to be polite.  I wouldn't find this nearly so annoying if my own mother didn't make such a huge effort to only serve what my husband likes to eat, on the rare occasions we get to go visit my family.

Edit:  It was a pleasant enough visit - but as predicted, it threw everything into a tailspin.  The boys were miserable from having their naps and meals screwed up, I felt like a truck hit me and still had to go grocery shopping.  As an extra treat, the grocery store was being rearranged, so 35% of the merchandise was moved around, but all the signs were in the same places.  Then, my watermelon rolled under some asshole's car.  You know you want my life!
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Seasonal Decor (who has the energy?)

Not me.  No way.

But I admire those who do.  This is just another example of how I don't feel like everyone else.  My mother once exclaimed, "You're so unconventional!"  Or maybe it was "non-traditional".  I can't even remember what it was specifically in reference to, but I can almost positively assert that the reason behind the lack of tradition was pure lack of motivation, and not a desire to be a giant, walking quirk.  Despite the fact that's precisely what I end up being most of the time.

At some point when my kids are old enough to notice, I'll have to do it up for Christmas, at the very least.  I have a box full of ornaments sitting in my closet, just waiting for me to "get my tree on". (gag)  It's not that I don't like the idea of decorating for the season - I grew up with it - it's just that I know myself too well.  If I somehow manage to muster up the energy to get the crap up in time for the particular holiday, I will invariably not have the energy to get it down properly. 

The word "properly" is necessary because I can't just tear it down and shove it in a box, all crazy business.  If I wanted that, I'd just have my husband do it.  He can cram things indiscriminately into places that make not a whit of sense like he's getting paid to do it.  I'd need the time, energy and motivation to organize the decorations back into the box, or it's just not getting done.  Which is why I never pull them out of the box in the first damned place.

Life would be so much easier if I didn't get the twitches from disorganization.   
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Sometimes I feel like I'm surrounded by meat heads.  Considering that my primary social outlet is Facebook, I shouldn't be even a little surprised that I am assaulted daily by boneheadedness.  If I allowed myself to behave like a sociopath, I could completely avoid the bobbleheads, but I'd probably also chase away the few people who actually make it worthwhile to deal with the aggravation.

The other day, I added one of those worthwhile people to my friends list - someone whose blog I'd read and enjoyed that winter I had the pregnancy insomnia that had only allowed me an average of two hours of sleep a night.  I'm not one of those people who feels the pressing need to announce every dreary detail of my day through status updates, but I did foolishly mention my excitement over having added BC Woods. 

No, he's not wildly famous, and he's certainly no Robert Pattinson - but Robert Pattinson has done absolutely zip to make my life easier or more enjoyable, so fuck if I care about when the other people on my friends list post his photos or prattle on about him and his movies.  I don't care, but I also don't make a point of telling them that.

But mere minutes after posting my status update, one of those aforementioned bobbleheads actually had the temerity to reply with: "Who???"  Are you kidding me, lady?  Completely ignoring the fact that Google exists and is available free of charge to anyone capable of taking the time to reply to a Facebook status update - it is impossible to not be boggled insane by the rudeness of posting something like that when I'd just said that he was on my friends list now.  He happens to be a human and posseses the ability to read.  Granted, I could see where he wouldn't register in what passes for her brain, due to not being a pair of overpriced sunglasses, a fictional vampire, or a god-forsaken picture of herself, but for the love of all that makes any sense, if you don't care, don't care without bugging me about it.

As an aside, when I joked - through clenched fingers - about whether or not she had considered using Google, her reply was that she was on her cellphone.  Well, pin a rose on your nose, you're just too busy to live.  But not too busy to bother to ask, "Who???"

Well, I'll tell you who.  He's a guy who writes stories - and he could take just one of those stories, print it out on a piece of cheap copier paper, feed it through a shredder, place the paper ribbons into a bowl of excrement, mix it up and punch it carelessly into an intestinal casing, and that shit sausage would still have more value than the half dozen pointless status updates you fart out every single day on Facebook.  Okay?  That's who he is. 

Now can I get the fuck on with my day without any more goddamned retarded questions, please?
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I'm Sick and Tired, Okay? (obstacle #3)

If you knew me, you'd know that my entire life revolves around the possibility of getting sick or running out of energy.  Boo-hoo, I know.  Don't worry, I don't plan on listing my symptoms, I find the subject just as boring as you do. 

But I can't get around the fact that having chronic fatigue and pain has a huge impact on my life, completely separate from just dealing with the symptoms.  It's been going on so long, I can't be certain what's even normal anymore.  When I observe other women's lives it seems as though they're able to get a lot more done, with a lot less turmoil and stress. 

It would be easy to label me as unmotivated or lazy.  I'm sure many have.  I am easily overwhelmed.  I've been sick and tired so long, it's hard to separate where the physical symptoms end and the mental fatigue begins.  Could I even be "normal" at this point, even if all the physical obstacles were removed?  Have the past 14 years re-wired my brain? 

This one feels phoned in.  And boring.  Not enough sleep last night.  Send coffee.
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Monday, September 20, 2010


I can't get my brain to stop skipping because some of the parts of my blog layout are disappearing seconds after clicking to view my blog posts, making them difficult to read.  So I can't write a new post because I'm bouncing back and forth between, "who do I have to smack to get it to show up properly again?" and "should I waste my time dicking around with a different layout altogether?"

Ahh ... it's all part of my adorable inability to ever let anything go.  I'm so good at this.
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Sunday, September 19, 2010

An Interlude with Bunny

Let's take a (short) break from me bitching about my problems to talk about my friend Bunny Walker.  I wouldn't call her my bestie, only because I'm a grown woman and not desperately trying to appear as though I'm still in my 20s.  But I would call her my best friend, and I've known her since I was young enough to use a term like bestie without a hint of irony or enraging anyone else my age.

I have two children, and Bunny just had her first.  Recently I'd mentioned to her in an e-mail that I'd been feeling depressed.  I say depressed because I can't think of a more appropriate term for not being able to handle my shit, being angry all the time and sometimes bursting into tears about it.  Chronically pained?  Irritable Face Syndrome?  Fuck if I know.

Anyhoo, she wrote back saying how she didn't know what was going on with me anymore because the past year had been all about her, and how she never thinks to ask people questions and just assumes people will tell her what they want her to know.

I agree.  People will tell you what they want you to know.  Really, if you're over the age of 25 and expect your friends to ask you several questions to draw you out and get to the heart of your problems for you, then you should be paying them.  Also, you're passive-aggressive and nobody has the patience for you.

As for the past year being all about her - duh.  I'm not going to get all sentimental and gooshy about pregnancy and motherhood, but it is such a monumental change that it's impossible to not get self-focused and caught up in it.  I also wonder if she was thinking about my two pregnancies, which were virtually back-to-back, and how when she'd call me I didn't necessarily yap my head off about stretch marks, heartburn and birth plans the whole time.  I didn't - or at least I tried not to - because at that point in Bunny Walker's life, pregnancy and motherhood just weren't relevant to her interests. 

But when she got pregnant, I was the perfect audience.  What are you eating, what books are you reading, tell me all about the size of your ankles.  I wonder if this is why it could have seemed to her as though it was off-balance, when it really wasn't. 

Just so you know, Bunny, I didn't think you were being too self-absorbed, or ignoring my hidden, silent cries for help.  I just wasn't talking about it.  When you call, we laugh.  A lot.  I didn't want to ruin that by being boring and making everything about me and how poorly I handle just about everything that everyone else seems to be able to do without making a big fuss about it.  So we laugh instead - sometimes about how much I suck.  It was probably better for me anyway. 

So, I'm a big, fat fucking wreck.  I fail a million times before noon and I don't even get up until 1pm.  I'm isolated and don't have any friends within arm's reach - except for my husband, who's probably just as sick of me as I am, but is too nice of a guy to complain or kick me when I'm down.  I'm not the mother I wanted to be, and half the time I'm jealous that it seems as though you're definitely going to be way better at it than I am, and the other half being so proud of you I could fucking cry.  When I'm not hating everyone else, I'm hating myself.  But none of my problems mean that I don't want to hear about yours.  I've been a screeching mess this whole time, I just now started being really honest about it, and talking about it.

See, I told you that it wouldn't be long before we'd get back to what I'm bitching about.
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I'm a Delicate Flower (obstacle #2)

Are you easily irritated?  You couldn't possibly be as easily irritated as I am.  I'm annoyed you'd even think so.  And don't interrupt me.

I get headaches and migraines ridiculously easily.  Are you wearing a heavily scented lotion, some funky smelling gunk in your hair, or way too much perfume and it's hot out?  Does the crap you're wearing have a "complex" smell?  Do you have one of those disgusting plug-in air fresheners, or God forbid, one of those contraptions that shoots stink out of it?  Is the smell of vanilla involved in any way?  Thanks, I have a headache now.  Also, you smell like shit.

Am I watching the tv from any angle except straight on?  Did the height of the tv change by two inches?  Is that bulb 20 watts brighter?  Did you move the lamp?  Sunny out with no sunglasses?  Storm front coming in?  Headache.

I'm also sensitive to noises.  I get angry when I hear a "sharp" sound repeatedly, like one person clapping, or slamming a cabinet door.  If I'm startled by a loud noise, waves go through my field of vision, and I get a rush of adrenaline that gives me the sensation of of electric needles shooting to the tips of my fingers.  I'm especially cheerful after that happens, especially if someone did it on purpose.  Some mental health professionals would call it a symptom of PTSD.  I call it the reason you shouldn't sneak up behind me, that's why you got cut.

Other loud noises, such as a baby crying or someone talking with a loud or shrill tone of voice causes the sound and sensation of popping and crackling in my right ear.  If it's just the right frequency, I hear static that's almost louder than the noise itself.  I also have a constant, unrelenting ringing in my ear, that's at least two tones, feels as though it's coming from behind me on the right side, and get insanely loud when I'm in complete silence.

Obviously, I'm a giggle to be around.

Have I mentioned that I have sensitive skin, and will freak out on you if you poke or scratch me?  Let's wrestle - or better yet, get me to exercise with you - take me jogging.  I don't get ridiculous injuries, and I promise I won't bitch about getting shin splints for six months afterward.

You know you want to be my friend.  I'm fun, dammit! 

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Night Shift (obstacle #1)

Everyone likes torture, right?  Yeah, me too.  That's why I'm on a night shift schedule.  Well, it's not really my schedule, it's my husband's, and I technically don't have to be on it - but what with being a glutton for punishment, and not being at all skilled at figuring out the lesser of two evils, I do it voluntarily.

It's just one of those things you have to explain to people over and over and over again.  Not that they remember five minutes later.  It's a pain in the ass for making appointments or plans. 

No matter how many times we explained our schedule to my father-in-law, he'd still call out of the blue (and last minute) to say he's in town and do we want to meet for brunch?  I can't figure out if he really just kept forgetting, or actually thought that we'd cheerfully get up four hours early to eat a meal because it was convenient for him.

Before we had kids, the schedule was inconvenient, but I could be flexible about when I slept to deal with inflexible scheduling with doctors and hours of operation.  Now that we have children, not matching up with the rest of the world can be anxiety attack-inducing.  I have no tolerance for sleep-deprivation, whatsoever.  Over the long term, things start getting broken.

But why can't you and the kids be on a normal schedule while your husband works nights?

Several reasons.  Did you think you had the answer to my problems?  You're so cute.  Now get out of my face, daywalker. 
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

In the Beginning ...

My sister said I should find an outlet for my anger.  Mind you, this is the same sister who punched a hole in my bedroom wall because she got a bad grade, but that just might make her an expert on the subject. 

It's definite I should make some effort to deal with it before I end up sentenced to anger management because I popped somebody in the nose for blocking my path while absent-mindedly milling around, yapping absolute garbage into their cell phone at Target.

It's just my particular way of dealing with anxiety.  Some people hyperventilate, I vent my spleen all over someone's face.

So, as the blog title suggests, expect complaints.  I have plenty to go around.
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