I Think I Need to Throw a Pity Party and Invite All My Friends

More and more, I feel like my life is spinning crazily out of control and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it.

My job sucks and is a dead end job. There. I said it out loud! I desperately need to get into something else soon because this thang ain’t even paying the grocery bills anymore, but *sigh* there’s all that unpaid vacation time coming up that I desperately need in order to get things done that need doing. I feel like I’m moving much more slowly than I used to. I sometimes feel like the world is in fast forward while I’m stuck in slow motion.

Mom is painfully thin now and hardly eats anything. She says she’s just not hungry. I need to go up to her house over Christmas vacation and help her clear out the clothes that she is getting rid of because they’re now all too big and help her put her house in order. She’s giving me all of her painting supplies and beloved paint brushes because painting, her former passion, is just too hard to do. Her extensive flower gardens are gone now, as is her garden that she used to be so proud of. She’s so tired. Now she wants me to come pull up the shrubberies that are dying because of the deep drought. I didn’t know she couldn’t drag the water hose out to water them. She never told me until I wondered aloud why her landscaping was dying. She’s gotten way, way worse since school started. How could I have missed it? My mom is slipping away, and I’ve been so busy with job and home responsibilities and finances that I have been oblivious to the changes. Perhaps I’ve just been ignoring the changes hoping that they would go away.

She’s been telling my obliquely all along that she doesn’t have much time left. Her affairs are in order. Her headstone is in place in the cemetary. She told me that she probably wouldn’t outlive my stepdad, who is a complete invalid that needs her constant care.

We sat out on her front porch just rocking in the breeze on Thanksgiving afternoon and reminiscing about times past. I felt relaxed and peaceful for the first time in a long time. We talked about the carpentry shop where I worked during high school, and she urged me to go ahead and quit my job and go back into business for myself. She went inside to check on my stepdad, and while she was inside, SwampMan told me that it isn’t that he dislikes my family, he just wanted to spend the rest of the day with me. So we took our leave and headed back home, where I fed the livestock and SwampMan watched movies that I don’t like and that he knows I don’t like. Nothing says Thanksgiving like people chopping off each other’s limbs with swords and axes with fake blood spraying everywhere followed by the Godfather.

It’s 1:30 a.m., and I’ve been pacing the floor trying to decide what to do for 5 hours now. Back and forth, stop at the computer, type a sentence, stand back up, pace back and forth. My heart is telling me to drop everything because family comes first. My head is telling me that property taxes are due (about $4,000 this year), property insurance is due, we need a new roof, and we need a new A/C and heat system. Children need Christmas presents. We can’t really afford it with my underemployment, and we damn sure can’t afford it if I walk off my job. Hyperventilation. Pace.

I am depressed. Maybe I need to pay somebody to come kick my ass so I’ll get really pissed off and snap the hell out of it. Probably most of my problem is that I’ve cut out my prescription medicines that allow me to sleep at night because my prescription costs have doubled, my fuel costs have increased, my grocery costs have gone way up, my feed costs have gone way up, but my pay has decreased. I went to get my prescriptions, was told the cost, and didn’t have enough money in the bank to cover them. We’ll probably owe more federal taxes, too. We did last year. Dang. I’m going to need some really kickass antidepressants.

SwampMan would be totally pissed off if he found that I was saving money by cutting my prescriptions. He would say “it isn’t my money, it’s OUR money” and that I should ask for it when I need it, but I can’t. I’m an adult. I should be self sufficient. Now it’s 2:30 a.m.

My whole problem is that I can’t ask for help from anybody. I am incapable of even praying for help with my problems, but I can ask for (or even demand!) divine intervention for others. Strange. Am I even a real believer or not? If I am, what do I believe in? Seventeen steps into the dining room. Pivot. Seventeen steps back to the computer. I need a better-paying job. Pivot and walk 30 steps into the living room and back to the computer. If I have a better-paying job, I’d be working longer hours and would have even less time available for family. Pivot and walk the long way around again.

Guess I’m not going to solve anything tonight. Maybe things will be brighter in the morning. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be all strong again and have my perpetual smile pasted firmly in place. Maybe everything will work out. Maybe I’ll get enough sleep in the 3 hours left before the alarm goes off if I go to sleep right now.

6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    kae said,

    Hi Swampie.
    Tomorrow is another day.

    Platitude, I know.

    I don’t have any other soothing words for you.

  2. 2

    kcduffy said,

    I don’t have soothing words, either. But maybe some things to think about?

    First of all, you’re right – we aren’t moving as easy and quick as we used to. It’s a FACT. I used to clean this house top to bottom in 5-6 hours. Now it takes 3+ hours for one room. Except the bathroom, which is half that.

    Second, you’re also right about “ignoring” what’s been going on with your Mom. Losing our mothers is probably the toughest thing anyone will have to do. I almost wrote “toughest thing for women” but it’s awful on the guys, too, just different. I probably won’t see my mom again because my sister has disowned us. I know next to nothing about how she is (I send a card, she sends one back…sometimes I hear something from my cousin because HER mom told her). I know she’s put on some weight and has a cat. The idea of losing her completely is something I try not to think about.

    I don’t know what your prescriptions are, but since they make life more bearable (sleep is necessary to decent mental health), I would suggest you talk with SwampMan and have him auto-pay you enough to cover it. Every month. Takes the embarrassment out of ‘asking for money’ like we’re some sort of schoolchild wanting a pretty new pair of socks. I still hate asking for money. HATE it. But he’s the one who brings in the paycheck so I feel like everything I might want should come out of the grocery allowance. Since the computer is already here, it’s my only real ‘hobby.’ I can’t afford a real one, because the ones I’d like to do cost some cash now and again. Besides, I’m usually too tired or don’t see well enough to do any hobby stuff when I have “free” time. For health stuff, I’m learning to let my brain work instead of my Ego.

    As far as the ‘self-sufficient adult’ goes, that phrase sounds more like a petulant teenager than a grown-up woman who’s married to a grown-up man. Marriage makes us a TEAM, a whole unit. Your Bible will tell you that. Stop letting your Ego get in the way of the health of your marriage.

    I do not pray for things. Or even outcomes. I tell God what’s on my mind and in my heart, then ask for the strength to do what He puts in front of me every day. And then I tell Him thank you for all the beautiful people in my life, and ask Him to help them, too. My ego is such that staying out of the way & keeping my mouth shut is often the best thing for me to do.

    My heart is heavy today, anyway, and your post has brought me to tears, Swampie. So I’m gonna go have a cup of coffee and ask God to give strength to ALL “my people” to do what they must in service to Him.

    Sure you don’t wanna come over for turkey tomorrow? It’s gonna be good food, even if the mood may be somber? You are welcome, any time.

  3. 3

    no2liberals said,

    Gird your loins, Swampie.
    I buried my Mom six years ago yesterday.
    You still have time to spend with her as she slips away. Not eating, not being hungry, is a signal.
    I’m not saying all of your other concerns don’t matter, but when it comes to the one and only Mom you are going to have, spending what remaining time she has with her family is VERY important.
    Believe me, you will beat yourself bloody with a knotted plow line when she goes, even if you do everything you can for her.
    I speak from experience.

  4. 4

    swampie said,

    I can get really whiny in the early morning hours, can’t I? Well, at least putting my thoughts down (whiny as they were) helped me to look at the big picture. Yeah, my mom is going to need help. Lots of it. Yeah, we need more money. I’m not going to be able to get and hold a better-paying job that requires 100 hours plus per week and boundless enthusiasm because there are days that I will need to be in Georgia. I will, however, need to continue to hold a job of some sort. I need to cut back the amounts of money I spend on supplies at school. I need to cut back on spending on feed. We were going to be cutting way back on poultry this weekend (putting many of them in the freezer) but we’re working on the truck instead. I had hoped that we would get some rain for the pasture yesterday and save the sheep, but we didn’t get a drop. Dang.

    Thanks for the invite (turkey therapy! Woohooo, my favorite kind!), but I’m spending today (and tomorrow too, maybe!) helping SwampMan get his truck going again. We hope. As long as that sucker ain’t running, I’m a trustee charged with running back and forth to the parts store, finding and delivering tools, cranking the engine, and shutting up and not asking stupid questions like “Why is that thing on fire? Is it supposed to be on fire? You want me to get the fire extinguisher or…” “WOULD YOU SHUT UP AND LET ME THINK HERE?” We remain clueless (well, I’m perpetually clueless mechanically anyway, so no big change) as to what the real problem is, but we’re rapidly running out of things that it isn’t!

    SwampMan said we were going back to the beginning and starting all over again. I wanted to start with an exorcism to remove the evil demons from the engine, but we don’t know any Catholic priests. And I’m not sure whether the Pope would okay casting demons out of a GM product on account of they may be a tool of Satan and it wouldn’t work. So I asked “what’s the beginning?” “DAMNIT SWAMPIE!” Oh, durn. No questions. I forgot.

    • 5

      kcduffy said,

      I don’t know any Catholic priests anymore, but my best friend lights a candle for my friends when I ask, so consider the saints on your side today.

      Cutting spending is what I expect my government and myself to do when cash is tight. As my government DOESN’T do, I alter the Want/ Need list depending on cash flow.

      No2liberals got it right about Mom – Duffy spent his whole pre-deployment leave with his mom in 2002, she died 3 days after he got back, just days before he was supposed to deploy. I won’t get even the chance you have, so do it as much as you can. You’ll always think you should’ve done more, but you can only do what you can with what you have, and she expects nothing more from you.

      Give SwampMan all the help he needs. My time as gopher also included running drinks and making sure the man eats – well.

      Now, I’m gonna go bake some brownies…thanks for the talk.

  5. 6

    Croc Hunter said,

    I lost both of my parents within a 8 month period a few years back. Family is a very important. Do I regret not spending more time with mom? Yes very much. I regret more not getting to know my dad more than I did. Money plays a big part of our lives, especially when a person’s parents live more than 12 hours away and in different parts of the country.

    N2L is right on. That plow line hurts like a#@%^!! A person needs to take care of the home front also and make sure that the other half of the team has everything they need.

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