Saturday, April 9, 2011

How to process

So a friend of mine died this week. She was the mother of my neighbors who at times were toxic and she knew it, but she loved them all the same. I would go out to her and her husband's house at night after all the grandkids and kids had all left and we would sit either out by the fire or on the back patio, just the three of us having great conversations. She looked rough on the outside but she was as sweet as could be with me. I connected with the two of them on a real friendship level that most 33 years old can't connect with 60 year olds, but I did. She had her problems as most people do but she was always so kind to me. She would tell me that when her husband and I would spend time together he was a better person and she enjoyed me coming to visit.

She had many, many medical problems and fought for a good long time, but sadly she lost the fight. I'm not sure how to process it right now because I have been disconnected from the family since I moved and actually a little before then and I feel bad I never got a chance to stop in and say hi any of my last trips home, and I feel bad because I can't make it back for the funeral so in situations like this I'm never quite sure how to get closure, how to process it. I learned about her death this morning through a facebook post oddly enough, and being disconnected a bit from the situation it's like it didn't happen.

It probably doesn't make a lot of sense, but I feel bad I can't be there for Robin or speak with him, he's not one for phone conversations. I think I need to send a card and stop by next time I'm in town, my heart is breaking but it is a weird situation that I guess I can't fully explain. I'm just sad she's gone. She's better off now, she's not fighting anymore, but I am sad. I will miss her, that is for sure.

God bless you Claudia. You will be missed.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I am afraid

In many situations in life people can track back certain times in their life where some of their fears come from. I know where my claustrophobia comes from, I got trapped in a compartment in the back of our old station wagon and was trapped in there for 10 minutes before my parents were able to figure out what happened, safely pull over and get me out of there. I still cringe at the memory.

But recently I'm realizing just how many things I'm afraid of and I can't help but wonder where it came from. I can't trace it back and I can't remember where some of these things developed from. Why for instance did it take me 6 months of living in my first place in Michigan before I went into the video store to rent movies? I would drive by all the time but it took me 6 months to walk in and get my membership to rent movies. Why did it take me 10 minutes of circling the Chinese restaurant before I got the courage to walk inside and order my food. What exactly do I think is going to happen? Why does it take so much to convince me, and yet I can walk into any movie theater by myself and see a show without fear?

Why am I so overwhelmed in panic at the thought of walking into a dealership to look at new cars? What am I afraid of? Why is it I can just walk into any new store and look around and shop but the thought of walking into a crowded room full of strangers terrifies me? I just don't understand it sometimes.

I don't remember always being like this, well I guess if I really think about it I really do. Even as a child I didn't want to do anything alone, I didn't want to go anywhere alone, I didn't want to try new things alone, and I guess that's still the case today. I can be so independent and yet being alone terrifies me. I aggravate myself so much at times.

I just wish I knew how to give myself the confidence to do these things by myself right away instead of worrying about it and having to build up enough courage to move my foot. Sometimes it's a few extra turns around a parking lot and sometimes it's months before I make myself do something. I just wish I could just get over it already. I'm 33 freaking years old, I need to start acting like it, at least when it comes to these simple matters.

Maybe acknowledging these things is the first step. I guess, I don't know.

So I've been trying to figure out what it is I'm just so afraid of. It might be easier if there was just one situation, but there are so many. What happened to me?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Letting the crazy out.

So it keeps being brought to my attention that it's o.k. to let the crazy out on here. The problem with that is I'm still afraid of falling into old habits. Old habits you may question? When I was a younger lad I wore my heart on my sleeve, if I was having a bad day or any kind of issue I let everyone aware of it. Well as time went on people grew tired of that because let's face it, in those teenage years of life there isn't much good, it's all doom and gloom and even I got tired of it. So I started keeping it to myself.

I like to be put together, for the most part at the time of doing this it was more for the sake of those around me. It's weird because I started doing it because no matter what was happening in my life it wasn't as bad as theirs, or they would always turn the conversation to them, how it made them feel and how I was neglecting the friendship because I had problems that didn't involve them in some way. Yes I knew a lot of toxic people back then, and well most of my life. Ask my sister, she can tell you all about it because it would drive her crazy to listen to me talk about what was happening with my "friends".

So I started to keep it together and just fall apart on the inside. Which I thought worked well, I just dealt with my own issues on my own by myself. It's the way I've worked for so long that I sometimes have a hard time getting past it. I also have read my blog posts and let's be honest there were several years in there that even I got tired of reading, it was the same old crap time and time again. So I started to keep it all in my head again. The bad part about much of this is the fact that during most of this time I kept some pretty dark secrets, I was going through some pretty major stuff in my head and was falling apart at the seams. Few saw it, but many thought it. It got to a point that it started to show on the outside, how I treated others, how I treated myself and so on and so forth. I know it wasn't healthy, I know it's still not healthy but some habits die hard.

Where was I going with this? Oh yes, this past month. I haven't spoken about much of anything that's been running around in my head either because of timing issues, pride issues or just a lack of caring about myself. It was around the time of the interview for my new job when it all started. Interviews really are hard on me, I have to find enough strength and confidence to sell myself to someone enough that they want to hire me. That in itself can be such a huge chore and take quite a toll on my emotional well being. The nerves and the stress are enough to put me back on zanex. I thought it would get better after I heard I got the job, but it didn't.

Once I learned I got the job I started to lose control of schedule. I had no idea of a starting date until three days before and I didn't know anything after that. I was in constant turmoil over my schedule, I told everyone how easy I was and how I was going with the flow but deep inside I was losing my mind, but I was also trying to calm myself at the same time so I tried harder to push those thoughts away. Well as the end got closer of my old job another trend started, people started to email me and come see me and tell me how much they would miss me. A normal person would feel loved and be thankful, but me? My response was this: Why?

I could not get it through my head that people would actually miss me, I hardly spoke to anyone and didn't feel I had any time to build any kind of relationships with these people and yet they went out of their way to tell me they would miss me? Seriously? What was wrong with these people, why would anyone miss me? I realized that night that some serious issues with myself were rearing their ugly heads in full force. I started to really become my worst enemy, even more than before.

I was heading for a complete melt down in my head, I could see it coming, but I pushed it away and lived on the surface. I deflected affection, I deflected all emotions towards me. I also picked up on my self image issues. I stopped looking in mirrors again, I stopped seeing anything buy my hair to fix it every morning. I repulsed myself and couldn't stand the thought of anything good about it. Why did this new company want me? Why would people miss me? No one could love me, No one will ever love me. I went back in forth in my mind because I knew people loved me. There was a small voice in my head telling me all the positive things I know in my heart to be true, but my mind was more powerful.

It was about that time that it would be pointless to share any of this with anyone because I knew no matter what anyone said I couldn't listen to it, I couldn't accept anything anyone would have to say about the situation. Hell for most of the last month I couldn't quite verbalize what it was that was happening inside and I still have no explanations but apparently I have words now. I would like to say that was it and I'm better now, but it kept going.

Even after a trip to my parents and everyone hugging me and telling me how much they miss me and how proud they are of me and all the positive reinforcement one person could get, I couldn't accept it. Instead I stayed inside at my parents, didn't go visit anyone because I just couldn't bring myself to do it, why would anyone want to see me? At that point my mind turned towards my family and how horrendous it would be for me to come out and how quickly they will turn on me and I would no longer be a part of any family and I would die alone because no one could love this hideous wreck of a person. I decided to live up the family time while I still had it because in a fraction of a moment it will all be taken from me.

Wow, that was hard to write out.

So anyway I put on the front, the image to start my new job. It was new day, a new beginning I was going to swallow it all down and push through to the other side. Well going downtown to the main office for orientation was not easy. Downtown is all suit and ties and all business and very intimidating and I started my craziness all over again. I did some breathing exercises in my car so I could get out of it and get to my orientation. I held it together well and got through orientation trying to make some awkward conversation with people who all seemed to be hitting it off together and I felt like I was outside looking in.

It didn't help much that it was pretty disorganized and there was not a lot of communication, but I got through it and then headed off back to the building I used to work at for the second part of the day. Well on the drive over my car started to act funny, I've had some cars in my time so I knew what funny was. I started to get angry, then I got nervous and then I knew I was headed towards panic mode. I managed to get the car to a safe parking lot at work so at least I knew I could finish the day of work, but I sat there in the car for two hours trying to figure out what to do.

I thank God for sitting with me and keeping me calm and reminding me what amazing people I know here. God got me through the first 45 minutes of that sit and then Bethany called and kept me from falling off the ledge. I was reminded that the car situation would work out. The funny part is that while I was close to the ledge I knew I wouldn't fall off of it because of the people I knew and loved and to be honest there was so much other stuff running around in my head at that time I couldn't devote my full attention to the situation.

For awhile everything else just drifted away as I asked, accepted and received help to get the car towed back to this neck of the woods and figure out that it's probably not fixable and I would have to start shopping for a new car. Seemed easy enough, my tax refund was on it's way and I'm at a position I could finally afford a car payment again. Not the best timing but doable. Well this is where everything finally hit. I have never shopped for a car without my father or my brother with me calling the shots. Car decisions have always been pretty easy, one dealership in town, a salesman my family has dealt with for 30 years, etc... I was no faced with shopping for a car all by myself.

I was driving around in different car lots completely overwhelmed by the situation. The financial decision, the product decision, etc... I was so lost and being quickly buried by this mound of grownupness, responsibility and indecision I had to put the car in park and completely broke down, asking out loud to myself I guess what to do next? I was at that moment just a complete mess, everything came to a head and burst out of me.

Since then things have been returning to somewhat normal in my head. I am still a bit overwhelmed with car shopping and the decisions I need to make, but after I went into the first place by myself it didn't seem so bad. As far as image is concerned, that too has started to get better, it just seems like everything is returning to the level of "normalcy" it was before.

I hate writing this stuff because I feel like it's going to make people feel like I don't trust them when I do. I just have a hard time verbalizing and letting go of things. Sometimes people know there is something wrong but I can't tell them because sometimes I just don't know, or sometimes I do know and I just can't let it out. I don't know why for sure, a part of it is because I don't want anyone to think I'm unhappy here, or that I am somehow unhappy with my life because I do love my life, I love where I am, I just have some old baggage to sort through.

So there you have it. Craziness. It is not to say that I didn't have some great moments to truly appreciate during this time because lots of good happened this month that I did appreciate. Goodness that helped ease the craziness if even for a moment, or a day, or a weekend. Goodness that saw me through. I just had some craziness in my head I refused to acknowledge until it forced me to.

There are a few other posts I need to finish that were started during this craziness, but they will come in time.

March Good things

Yes I know it's late, get over it. ;)

March 1: a day of Pushing Daisies and relaxation.

March 2: Survived my first day back at work after a long weekend.

March 3: quality conversation at family night.

March 4: Fell in love with my hair today, wow, that was pretty gay.

March 5: Had a great night with the roommate. Home and Garden Show, liquor store, and dinner in Newport!

March 6: Felt really productive today with some cleaning and organizing.

March 7: Today I found the strength to not let the crazy out.

March 8: Mexican night with the roommate and Matthew!

March 9: Dinner with the boys and a quiet night at home.

March 10: Was offered a new job!!

March 11: I accepted the new job offer!

March 12: Had a good drive back to my parents house and quality bonding time with them.

March 13: Attended a benefit for some dear friends of mine and raised a great deal of money for them in their time of need.

March 14: A day with the parents and then a drive home, always happy to visit, but always happy to come home.

March 15: My last Tuesday off and while I was pretty productive I enjoyed the day off.

March 16: Thankful for people that love me more than I think I deserve to be loved.

March 17: 1 more day, 1 more day, 1 more day.

March 18: Today I took my last bank phone call. Did you hear that? It was the choir of angels singing!

March 19: Is this what Saturday's are supposed to feel like? I like it. First Saturday off since January 1.

March 20: Sometimes I just need a good church service to refresh me.

March 21: First day of the new job. Car problems but it got me to a safe place before it died.

March 22: Thanks to some awesome friends I got the car towed to the shop.

March 23: Remembered what it was like to not hate work.

March 24: 1 more day until the boys are in town!

March 25: The boys got into town and much hilarity ensued tonight. I thank God for the friends I have.

March 26: Did some shopping with the boys today and a great dinner too!

March 27: Dinner with the roomie and dishwasher shopping and finished a project!

March 28: I enjoyed work tonight. Did I seriously just type that?

March 29: The last night of quiet in the house before chaos, good chaos but chaos non the less.

March 30: Roomies friends came into town and much laughter was had.

March 31: Started to get a pretty good idea of where to begin my car shopping.