Sunday, September 18, 2011

...And The Batteries Break Me

You are about to read a very self-loathing, pity-party.  Beware.  You have been warned.  Feel free to skip this post!

Have you ever had one of those days?  The kind that every little thing just sets you off?  With anger?  Annoyance?  Frustration?  Sadness?  Stress?  Get the point?

Yeah, well, I had one of those days.  Yesterday.  It wasn't necessarily the day, but  I lost it.  And over what?  A package of batteries.  That's right.  I purchased a $12 package of batteries, and I must have left them in the cart.  SOB!  The day started off not as early as they have been lately.  Rowe woke me around 6:15.  I was okay with that because one of my mentors was going to be on TV and I wanted to watch her interview.  So, that was fine.  But, soon everything went downhill. The rest of the day wasn't actually THAT horrible, but I'm just on edge ALL the time right now, and the smallest of things just set me off!  What made me feel crappy and guilty from the start is that I made plans to do something fun with the kids earlier in the week, and those plans fell through.  Not that bad, but I still planned something else fun for the kids.  I was going to take them to a free event in Joliet with face painting and boat rides.  However, my selfishness got the best of me.  My mom invited me to lunch, and I decided to take the kids first, then go to lunch.  The event wasn't at the place I thought, so instead of trying to drive around to find it, I thought I'd take the kids after lunch.  The event was only from 11-3 and by the time my mom and I went to lunch it was already almost 1:30, and I figured out where the event was, which was a 20 minute drive, so I said forget it.  Disappointment #2 for the kids.  Then later it came out that I don't plan to get the kids new Halloween costumes.  Why?  Because they tend to be expensive, we don't have the money, we can get creative for cheap, and their costumes from last year still fit.  Disappointment #3.  Way to go, Mom!  We get home, I realize I lost the batteries and I just burst into tears (after looking for them for over an hour).  Kate proceeds to say "Is this all we get for Halloween this year?" The batteries were for a Halloween decoration outside.  I snapped.  I was so frustrated...with myself for being selfish about the day, for losing the damn batteries, and for being in this situation still...poor and stressed.  Due to Peter's schedule at work this past week, I have been solo every day and night except Monday when I worked and Friday when I had dinner meeting.  I have felt like a single parent; cooking, cleaning, and bathing all four kids, putting them all to bed, trying to read to everyone before bed and help with homework.  It's been a tough juggling routine.  In the moment I tend to be okay with it, but now and then I just, well, I'm exhausted.  Charlie or Rowe have me up usually around 5, and I go non-stop until close to 9:30pm.  Although I will admit that I get about two full hours of downtime during the week when Charlie and Rowe have an overlapping nap.  During this time is when I straighten up the house, vacuum, do the dishes and laundry.  But, it's quiet.  I guess over the past year, things have hit me off and on, in waves of fear, anger, stress, frustration.  Yet there have been days where I don't even think of our situation; things will be fine, I will feel at ease and relaxed, and things won't feel so overwhelming like the world is swallowing us whole.

Now, let me interrupt this complaint-fest, pity-party with the fact that things have been stressful the past 13 months.  We've had so much help from family and friends, without which we would seriously be homeless and bankrupt.  I cannot extend my gratitude and appreciation to those enough...from the smallest thing of buying me a coffee to paying a bill.  We are so fortunate to be surround by the most amazing loved ones! However, that doesn't alleviate all of the stress.  It truly doesn't.  And it makes me feel guilty that it doesn't, that I'm still stressed, on edge, cranky and on the verge of tears.  But, just writing this out does help, and so on that note, I am going to write my b*tch list; all the things that are just getting to me the past 13 months:
  • Applying to over 100 jobs with only two interviews, one job offer
  • Peter applying for over 100 jobs with only two interviews, two job offers
  • Peter losing two jobs in less than 8 months
  • Being on food stamps
  • Being on All Kids
  • Being on WIC
  • My camera broke
  • Our washing machine broke
  • Three different DVD players broke
  • Finishing grad school with a 4.0 and not even getting to walk across the stage (due to my procrastination and downright laziness) or have a party
  • Not being able to celebrate our 10 year anniversary the way we wanted, or Peter's birthday.
  • Fearing the future
  • Resenting the past
  • Feeling judged by others (when using any of the government assistance programs)
  • Our debt, that we managed to build quickly!
  • Being a single parent (this has just been this past week, but it's enough for me to really feel its effects)
  • Not feeling connected to Peter.  Now, keep in mind that this feeling is just this week, as we have stayed close and connected throughout this whole process, but when he works every night until after 10 and he gets home and I'm falling asleep, it's hard to feel connected.  We rarely saw one another or talked this week, and it's going to be the same next week.
  • Katie's attitude and anger when she doesn't get exactly what she wants ("you can have a snack but at the table"--she throws a fit because she wants a snack in the family room.  You can still see the TVs from the dining table).
  • Delaney getting sassy...this started the second week of school.
  • Clients that don't show up
  • Small paychecks
  • Asking family for financial help
  • Getting up early and going to bed late--yes, I have control over the latter, but I need some awake downtime in my house
  • Poor time  management...I have so much to do and I sit around
  • Messy house...I'll clean it, and it'll look great, and within two hours, it looks like I never touched it!
  • Thinking about moving
  • The fact that Peter didn't just lose a job, but his career...he LOVED working where he did for 5 years, and he truly saw himself there for the duration of his working life; retiring from there in 30 more years...
  • My ever-increasing lack of motivation
  • Never-ending laundry
  • My disorganized house
  • My weight
  • Feeling ungrateful
  • Feeling alone
  • Being angry
  • Mood swings
  • Guilt
  • Feeling like a bad mother
  • Feeling like a bad wife
  • Exhaustion
  • My clothes
  • Hearing any of the following:
    • Things will get better
    • This too shall pass
    • It is what it is
No offense, but in my current state of mind and situation, none of those are helpful.  Because you know what?  It's NOT passing, I KNOW it is what it is, and things MAY NOT get better.  In fact, they might even get worse.  We could lose our house, go bankrupt, or both, or other things I refuse to verbalize.  It's like being at a funeral of a loved one and hearing "They're in a better place now."  I don't buy that.  I want the people here, with me.  Now if they are old or in a lot of pain, I will take "They are no longer in pain." because that part is true.  But a better place?  Not really, not according to my belief system.  But, to give those people who say those things, I know their hearts and thoughts are in the right place, trying to be helpful and soothing, so I am not rude or disrespectful, and, to be honest, I don't even know what would be helpful or soothing right now.  A few of my very close friends have been just that, and I don't know exactly what or how they do it, but they do.  For that, I love you!!!  And, you know who you are! xoxo

Okay.  I think I've been on the pity-coaster enough for now.  I've been holding this in for so long, I was due to explode.  I am grateful to my husband-who deals with my mood swings, provides me with laughter and love, and keeps his head up so high through all of this, for our family-who have helped on financial and emotional levels, for our friends-who keep our lives fun, for my kids-that despite how much I can get frustrated, I love them with all my heart and they are handling things very well despite all the "no" they might hear.  And, lastly, to the government--for putting in place programs like SNAP, WIC, and All Kids so my family can survive, eat, and have health care. For those who are against those programs, you must never have needed them, and I hope you never do.  People may take advantage of the system, but I don't know why anyone would want to live this way, not to mention the hoops you have to jump through to get assistance...

Signing off from this pity-party...
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have never been in your situation, but we did have some hard financial times right after buying this house. We didn't get to the point of applying for public aid, but we were afraid we'd lose the house. There is no getting around it: being broke sucks. It SUCKS! People like to give the whole "money isn't everything, there's more to life than money, money won't make you happy...blah blah blah" speech, and while it's all true, it doesn't change the fact that being without money is one of the worst feelings there is. It's stressful and scary. So don't feel bad that the batteries broke you. :) And don't feel bad about venting.


PS. I have a bumble bee costume Rowe could borrow, if you're interested!