Mom’s Anxiety

I work with my mom. It’s kind of nice, but it’s also kind of awful.

It’s not awful for the reasons that other people I’ve known hate working with family, which is usually that they wanna do work one way and the parent wants it done another, and ‘omg my dad/mom isn’t respecting my abilities as an adult’ blah blah blah. No, my work experience came with totally different trials and tribulations. I was always held to a higher standard than other employees, because my mom never wanted anyone to say that I had it easy. So, she made it ten times harder; I think she was hoping I’d quit. I was never allowed to file a complaint about another employee, because that could be see as an act of nepotism. So, I just had to grin and bear it, even when people made my life a living hell. More than once I looked for other jobs because I wasn’t allowed to file complaints and I wasn’t sure I could stand to come to work another day. Fortunately, those people eventually left. She never even wanted me to work there, and for the first few years she treated me like I didn’t belong at all. Instead of backing off, though, I felt like I had to prove her wrong… and now I’m her second in command.

The biggest problem with working with my mother is that my entire life I’ve been going to work with her. She couldn’t get a sitter for most of my childhood, so when I was sick, or there was a day off from school, I ended up at work with my mom. She always put me to work, too. When I was a kid, she’d give me simple work to do, like putting stuff in order alphabetically or numerically, since I was at work with her anyways. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I realized how much time she really spent at work, because when I was old enough to come home and lock the door behind me (at all of age 10) I spent a lot of time alone. That only lasted for about six years, at which point I could drive and started going to work after school… and… well I just never stopped coming to work.

During that six years where I spend a lot of time alone I watched a lot of PBS, learned to cook, and spent my evenings pretending not to notice my mother was wiped out and depressed. There was a stretch where she changed jobs every single year for like five years, and I wasn’t sure she was gonna make it through that, because she’d just come home and cry. There was when she worked at a multi-franchise store, all the terrible bosses that berated her, and the time she got let go because a company bought her store and brought in their own people. What I learned from watching my mother was that A, work was awful, 2, no matter how you feel you go to work because money is more important than happiness or health, and D, there’s nothing that a person can’t get through, even if they don’t come out better on the other side.

Part of why I wanted to prove that I could do everything she threw at me was because I felt like she needed help at work. The downside to that is that now I go to work with her everyday, do a lot of things to help, and she still goes home exhausted and depressed. God forbid anything unexpected or accidental happens: my mother’s anxiety has grown so much over the years I don’t honestly know how she functions. She’s just always in a panic… so I try to field the stress for her, at the expense of my own happiness… which she fights me on, tooth and nail, all the time.

This week, my mother is on vacation. It’s a staycation and she’s trying to do a bunch of work on her house. This morning I got a panicked phone call from her where she was looking at something from home and realized she missed something and now she’s in a panic and how could she be so stupid and how will she fix it and… She’s not having a good vacation anyways, because she’s perpetually mad at her body for being fat and getting old and not doing what she wants it to do. Now she’s already stressing over next week when she’s back.

I want to move to Oregon. Yes, I have a good friend there that I’d like to be closer to, and yes, I’d like to live somewhere mostly devoid of snow, but mostly I want to move somewhere that I can get a job and take care of my mother. She doesn’t want that. She stresses about if she can keep going to work, and how much money she can pull from social security, versus how much she’d get if she waited longer. She’s tried to get me to move back home to the south because it’s cheap and there’s “family” down there, so when she dies I’m not alone. She worries about everything and won’t let me just take care of her. I guess she fancies she’s not old enough for me to need to do that yet, but emotionally she’s like 197. Someone should take care of her.

I don’t know what to do about my mom. I don’t know what to do about me.

Hell of a pair we make… an older woman with major depression and a bipolar kid stuck in a bad mood for about two years now. Something has to change… even if I have to drag her, kicking and screaming to a place where things could be better.

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Side Effects

It’s 3am and I’m awake for two reasons… 1, I had to Pee but 2, Abilify fucks with your dreams.

The weekend was weird for me and side effects. 

Friday night I went to karaoke. Does Abilify interact with alcohol? Absolutely, but not like I thought it would. Usually you end up being a lightweight and acting a fool when you try to drink on new drugs. This was not the case, I was just very social. Literally, I didn’t feel drunk at all….  until I was driving home and became aware VERY QUICKLYt that my reaction time was WAY slow… I made it home okay, since the bar was close to home, but in the future if I plan on drinking, it’s worth taking a Lyft. 
Also, as an aside, David2, Bird, and I got invited to an orgy before we left the bar. That’s fun. We all fled… stranger orgies are bad.

Saturday I thought I was dying. In retrospect, a few things probably contributed to this. A, I drank the night before. I didn’t have a hangover the next day, but I’m definitely considering that drinking might elicit more side effects than I previously thought it would. 2, I didn’t take my pill at night. I missed it because I was too busy trying to go out, so I took it in the morning. There is something to be said for what you sleep through when you take meds at night. D, I panicked. Panic always just makes shit worse.

So I go to see War for the Planet of the Apes with Mothership, and I can barely eat. I’ve developed this thing where I am full most of the time, but I get hungry more often. That’s not a listed side effect but it’s a new thing. Then, I get a heart palpitations. That’s a listed side effect, but it’s a terrifying one. I hate that feeling, and when it got coupled with a hot flash and intestinal distress, it’s a spooky side effect that made me think I was potentially having a heart attack. I got dizzy, and upset, and mom ended up having to drive us home.

Mom baffles me. As long as I can remember, if I’m feeling bad, she is meh about it. When I had a kidney stone that sent me to the ER, she took her time getting ready to take me to the ER. She was more concerned about whether I smelled like Jager than the crippling pain I was in. Likewise, when I told her I thought I might be having a heart attack because my heart was racing so bad, she just asked why. To which I quiteangrily said, BECAUSE MY HEART IS RACING AND EVERYTHING IS BAD. I love my mother, and sometimes her eerie calm is handy, like when I had gallstones and was so panicked and pained that all I could do was walk clockwise in a circle and writhe, but in general, her tendency to act unfeeling is unsettling, at best. I’ve begun to wonder if she’s really JUST depressed, or if she, like dad and I, has a mood or personality disorder. She could be histrionic… 

Anyways, she got me home and I spent the rest of the day trying to cool off and recover. That meant I was up late, though, so I filled the time with FFXV again. I also started War of the Worlds before bed. Being able to read again is nice.

Sunday was better. I was up early and got in some gaming time. Mostly I just hung out, but I’m real task oriented. I like to DO things that I was previously unable to do. I got some drawing in, and only suffered one hot flash. I went to mom’s and we watched two episodes of Twin Peaks, and ordered pizza. Before bed I also finished the 15th Oz book. There are 25 of them, but I am stopping here, because that’s how far my collection goes. It was an ok day.

But the dreams. I had been really concerned about the dreams, anyways, because when I was on Risperdol I had awful nightmares, but I’m not having nightmares. My dreams are just real involved. It’s like my cognitive processes don’t shut down at all when I sleep now, so it just runs scenarios over and over, trying to determine the best outcome. I’ve quit my job seven times tonight in my dreams. None end well.

Well, it’s 4am now, and I wanna catch my last hour of sleep. But yeah, I’m not sure what to make of Abilify. I contacted my doc to see what she thinks, but again, she’s a Kaiser doc! And I really don’t think she cares if I die or get better.

Mothership

I’m abnormally close to my mother. Not in a gross way, just in an uncommon way.

After my dad left, things were bad. We were broke. People kept breaking into our house. She lost her job. All kinds of shit just rained down on us from the sky like some cataclysmic plague sent by god. Things got worse and worse, to the point that my mother was selling off our possessions on the side of the road to make ends meet. I even setup my own little stand, at 2 years old, and sold my toys, but I remember it feeling like some kind of game than something dire. Things were bad, really bad, but my mother is the kind of person that made shit work. I never knew things were so bad until I got older.

Things got a little better later. Mom somehow managed to afford my tuition for private school, and a little duplex home. I had a happy childhood, really, but eventually things were bad again. We were strapped.

We moved to another state so that she could get a job and we could have a better life where we didn’t sell all our things to strangers or cut corners on anything and everything. It was a rough start. I remember that we lived in a motel room for a while. That didn’t bother me so much, because after my dad left I started sleeping with her anyways. We eventually found an apartment, but it wasn’t in a good part of town, so I wasn’t allowed to play outside. Instead, I got the master bedroom so I had room to play inside.

Things got better, but not without consequence. Mom finally made enough money to buy a really real house, but landing the sale nearly killed her. Then the overtime she had to work to pay for the house nearly killed her. Also, taking me out of private school nearly killed her. She felt incredibly guilty about the fact that I became a latch-key kid and spent tons of time alone. She’s spent most of my life feeling guilty. Guilty for picking the wrong dad, for not being able to make time, for working too much, for not providing enough, for this, and that, this thing over here…

When I turned seventeen and graduated from high school, she helped me buy the house next door to her, as it was a foreclosure and I kept threatening to move up where the druggies lived: it was all I could afford. The house she’d bought was far too small for me and her to co-habitate (not a word, btw)… At a puny 750 sq ft, we just tripped over each other and got under each other’s skin. We tried to make the house nice, but it never really got there. While it was the most economic thing she ever did for me, I’m not always sure it was our best choice.

I had a house, so I filled it. I filled it with things and pets, and at one point people. In recent years, what was a thing to fill was just became something to hold me back from doing anything. I have too many things. I have too many pets. Somehow I ended up with no people, though. No room for them with all those things and pets.

I never felt like I could move. Moving four dogs and a cat is daunting. Going through all my shit and getting rid of a bunch of it is daunting. More than anything, if I left, I’d leave my mother alone. Most people don’t think twice about that kind of thing, but my mother is single with no family in the state. Really, no family in the world, as the family doesn’t really stay in touch. Her sister is worthless and doesn’t even call to check on her. Mom does have an uncle around her age that checks in on her, but I don’t think she’d like to hang out with him ALL the time.

So leaving would literally leave her here alone. What if something were to happen? It would be my fault. I wouldn’t be here to do anything for her.

But what do you do when you’re not happy?

It’s not a recent thing, but I feel like whenever I talk, my mother gets mad at me. She doesn’t like when I explain thing. She doesn’t like when I tell her fun facts. She seems happier when I don’t know, like she just wants to say something without having things explained to her. It makes me feel like shit, to be honest. I don’t know how to be another way, but my nature seems to irritate her. She’s always accusing me of being agitated just because I’m explanatory and saying I’m getting upset, but I only get upset when I try to tell her something and she just goes, “I dunno.” I AM TELLING YOU. NOW YOU KNOW. WHY DO YOU NOT LISTEN TO ME?!

I’m not sure what to do when I think I’d be better mentally if I were away from her, but can’t bring myself to leave her here alone…

Palm Sunday Miracle

Okay, it’s not a miracle, but I’m super excited about my mother buying me a new computer. She got me an Acer All-In-One… just like… cuz I’ve been looking at computers for months… It’s so nice… I’m in love with it.

My mom is the best.

Today is a much better day than yesterday.
Yesterday morning at 730 my mom called me and I thought she was dying. She wasn’t, but we HAD to get her to a doctor. She’s had a respiratory infection for like a month. Since we’re on Kaiser, though, we couldn’t go to the doctor… I ended up running her to an Urgent Care center… about 20 minutes away. Not really convenient, but we got in pretty quick.

The doctor, a gentleman that I think came from Africa (he had non-specific accent and was very dark), had a fantastic bedside manner, and was very concerned this had been going on so long. So, he gave her a Z pack and prednisone. She was so much better this morning.

After we left the doctor we got breakfast and then saw Power Rangers! I still want to be the yellow ranger. Then we went to Gordman’s because she wanted to walk around… and I had spent the morning thinking she was dying, so I was down for whatever. She bought me a blanket pal, and a weird egg with feet, and some socks. It was a good time.

Today she called to ask me if I wanted Joe’s Crab Shack for lunch. So, we went to Joe’s Crab Shack for lunch. I’d mentioned I’d like her to come look at All-In-Ones with me today, because I was once again looking at what was on the market, but I found one I like and she got it for me. I dunno why, but I love it. Now, I just gotta get the Creative Cloud and get to work. I really hope I can get back in the groove of graphic design, now.

I see my doctor for my depression tomorrow. It’s been an ordeal to reach this point. On Friday, they called me and wanted to say that I couldn’t see her because I have Kaiser. I was like, no… cuz I’m just going to give you money. Money for services. That’s all we’re doing. And like, ugh. It was a whole ordeal and I had to argue with like 7 people. I just hope she can help me… I’m so tired of being tired and sad.

Also, Friday David 2 and I went to the Car Show. It was actually a lot of fun.
We’ve been watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, so we just went back to his place afterward and watched that… drank some wine. It was a good night out!

It was nice to have a pretty good weekend. I hope the week is also this good.

Best to bed.

TTYL.

Dan & Phil Tour!

So I took my mom with me to see Dan & Phil in Denver, because I have no friends and didn’t wanna go alone…. And like… I love DanIsNotOnFire and AmazingPhil…
She didn’t get it… But like…

A, I’m 27… so she laughed at me for being at a thing that was mostly filled with teen girls…. fair. Totes fair.
2, She laughed at me for being so excited about something that was mostly filled with teen girls… also pretty fair. (I do not usually relate on anything with teenage girls… even when I was one…)
D, After the show she was like, “You are an ex-goth that listens to that heavy metal crap, watches gory ass horror movies, and curses like every sentence… isn’t this a little TAME for you? Why are we here?”

Yes, mom. Dan and Phil are very clean-cut, tame, and generally adorable… I have varied interests, just like you taught me to.

What did you think I was taking you to?
A Gwar concert?
You wanna go to a Gwar concert with me, Mom?
We can come home covered in fake blood (maybe real blood), fake piss (maybe real piss), and really real bruises.
Wouldn’t that be fun to take my 61 year old folk-music loving mother to?
I bet she’d enjoy that.

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The show was totally G-Rated… and totally cute. I definitely didn’t understand all the teen girls screaming like they were being murdered, though. Like… teen girls have a lot of emotions… and I understand none of them. It reminded Mothership of the time she took me to an NSYNC concert, and everyone, including the grown women, just SCREAMED LIKE THEY WERE BEING MURDERED the entire time. I dunno why it happens… I don’t do that…

My mom is so weird, though… cuz she already knows I have a broad taste in stuff. In all stuff. I’m an art geek. I listen to ALL KINDS of music. I read. I love movies. I play video games. I like going out. I like staying in. I like black, but sometimes I can be interested in something pink… Like… she knows.

She also knows that if I were gonna take her to something, I’d warn her first. Like, I’d love to take her to a Marilyn Manson or Rob Zombie concert… Slipknot is coming with Manson to the Pepsi Center… and I totes wish I had funds to get tickets… cuz that shit would be hilarious and awesome. Back in the day, Mom was always like, “I bet under those masks Slipknot is just a bunch of pizza faced nerdy kids… you’re worshipping nerd kids…” So… taking her to a Slipknot concert would be HILARIOUS.

Anyways… NOT A DEPRESSING ENTRY TODAY! WOO!

I Finally Did Something REALLY Stupid

When other people talk about high school or college, there are typical stories. There’s the time Bobby drank so much he blacked out and disappeared and wandered back into town the next morning after waking up in the woods. There’s the time Murphy did a little too much coke and ended up in the ER. There’s the time Miranda drank so much she jumped off the roof into the pool and everyone thought she was gonna drown. There’s the time Stephanie drank so much that her friends took her to the ER, but they were all wasted so instead of doing the RIGHT thing, they pulled up to the ER, threw her out of the car, honked the horn, sped off, and hoped for the best.

I don’t have these stories. Historically I’m just not that person. I can drink a lot, but at worst I tend to go home. I don’t do any drugs. I’ve never almost died from alcohol intake. I’m boring.

Saturday was a good day. I got up to take Bdo to the vet for a pre-dental exam, and Kyrie tagged along so they cold recheck her eye. Friday morning, you see, she couldn’t open it. I took the day off work and took her to the vet. They couldn’t tell what was wrong so they gave me an antibiotic, pain killers, and steroid eye drops to reduce swelling. Saturday they rechecked it and there’s no object in it, or any scratches. Somehow, even with her deep-set chow chow eyes, she managed to hit it so hard on something it bruised the eye and made her 3rd eyelid (did you know dogs have 3 eyelids?! fascinating.) swell up. She’s doing fine now, though.

Also that morning, I had received texts from D2. He wanted to know if I was going to the show tonight. It would be the first time he’d see his old band play without him. They got a new keyboardist and he wanted to show support… but not alone, because it’s still kinda shit he had to leave the band, ya know? So I agreed to go and planned on being there early to grab a ticket.

In the meantime, Mom and I went to see Krampus. It was gold. It’s not scary, but it’s funny, fast-paced, and has a good story. I’m really hoping that they capitalize on the merchandising for it. I want a Krampus bell… and potentially a small collection of his evil toy minions. I really enjoyed it.

When we got home I cleaned the garage. It was already pretty clean, but I rearranged stuff so that I could fit my car in it. It’s been years since the Jeep fit in the garage. So I was super stoked.

I got ready to go out. It was a steam punk band headlining, so I threw on my favorite outfit, which is a LOT of black and white stripes, with some boots, and headed out. Parking was a nightmare. I got there early and I still couldn’t find anywhere to park. Damn the Bluebird district. It’s wretched. Everything is marked residential parking only. Still, I finally found a place pretty far from the venue, and ended up walking with some other random concert-goers. I would figure out walking back alone later.

Got a ticket, said hello to the bands, had a drink (1). Talked to some people, D2 showed up with his boyfriend we all did a shot (2). Saw the first two bands play. Guy I gave a cigarette to outside bought me a drink (3). Went outside with D2 and Co to smoke. BLACKOUT.

I vaguely remember sitting in an ambulance. I kept apologizing to the EMTs and telling them how stupid this was, because this isn’t how they should be spending their valuable time.

I vaguely remember talking to the officer at the ER a few times. I can’t tell you what was said, but a lot of it is me saying something and him ignoring me. Which is fair.

Then I woke up and my mom was holding my hand. She looked really concerned. I didn’t know what was going on. I babbled. And when I was acting more coherent she was allowed to take me home.

I’d thrown up on myself at some point in the night. I didn’t remember doing that, or anything other than going outside with D2 & Co. One of the people I was with said that I’d seemed a little tipsy, and then got very drunk in like a minute in a half and hit the ground. She and her son were concerned about me, but all she could do was panic…

A fireman showed up from somewhere, and called my mom on my cell, but she was too far out for them to wait for her to get there, so they called an ambulance. Then wherever they put my phone called her again and all she could hear was me screaming and losing my mind. She was, of course, worried beyond all belief. Then the line went dead and no one called her for a while.

I guess I kept trying to call her from the hospital, and failed. She called me back, though, and the nurse on call answered to tell her where I was.

I don’t remember her getting there. I just remember the look of worry. I remember I told her a few times that this wasn’t me, and I cried a lot. Then she took me home.

I’m wracked with guilt. My mom wasn’t mad. She just took me home, let me in my house and said she’d take me back to my car in the morning. She’s just glad I’m okay, and on the way home I kept trying to apologize and she said, “You don’t even know the stupid crap I did when I was your age. I’m just glad you’re okay and no one got hurt.” Literally, in that moment she essentially said she’d done worse and that it was fine. That’s killing me.

I feel like she should be mad. Yeah, I’m 27 years old and I totally an adult, but because of me she had to get up in the dead of night, worry the whole way to a hospital she’s never been to before, and get me. While those who were with me maintain that I didn’t do anything reckless or wrong, and that I was probably drugged somehow, even though I watched the bartender make the drink that guy bought me, I FEEL TERRIBLE. I feel like I should be punished somehow or something… It’s just… whack.

Sunday I woke up, took a shower, and mom took me to my car after she drank her coffee. She still wasn’t mad. I went to work, but couldn’t get a whole lot done because I couldn’t write anything. My whole being was weird and shaky and every so often I would move my head and get dizzy… so I went home. I brought mom Chipotle, and then told her I was going home to sleep, because I still felt wrong. I called her, even though she lives next door to me, like 5 times that afternoon. She still wasn’t mad. Everything was still okay. Tomorrow would be better.

So this morning I got up, took Bdo in for his dental, and drove to work.

I’m better, I guess. I’m still feeling like I did something wrong, even though I prolly didn’t. Won’t be drinking when I go out for a while, though… maybe one beer if it comes in a bottle and I can watch them open it.