Follow by Email

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Voices

I hear voices in my head.

Not the kind that scare people and require heavy duty psychotics.  Let's not give the mentally ill a bad name by associating me with them, m'kay?  More of an internalized dialogue that carries on between some facet of my psyche and society.  And different facets of my psyche with other aspects of my psyche.  Let's face it, my brand of crazy would not be complete unless I was fighting a losing battle against myself, amiright?

The constant ebb and flow of my day to day life is fraught with examples of all the ways I have failed, at least in my mind.  Today was a perfect example.  I  had to work a bit later than usual due to some glitches with a hospitalization.  Alexis also had an extra dance class for competition because they like to see how much they can make me twitch there with last minute changes to the schedule.  I was running late.  Plus, the original plan of me bringing her dance stuff with me so I had it when I picked her up from my in-laws (due to Elizabeth having a planned after school activity and therefore not being there to get her sister off the bus) fell through because Elizabeth's activity fell through.  None of this was in my control.  Or really, anyone's control for that matter.  It's life.  Changes happen.  She got to dance, and actually on time.  (Barely on time, but still on time.)  She was even fed before hand.

I appeared cool and collected while dropping her off, but in my head is a litany of sins the voices are screaming at me.

If you were a better therapist, you would have gotten that client out the door sooner.

If you were more organized, you would not have had to worry about the dance clothes and she could have gotten dressed at home.

If you were better at managing your money, you could be a stay at home mom and be able to run your children around whenever and where ever.

If you were a better mom and if you really loved your child, you would not feel that you had to be rushed.

Over and over in my head.  Constantly belittling myself.  Constantly second guessing my decisions.  Never being good enough.  Always critical.

I am fully aware that it is illogical.  I am educated enough in therapy to know how to address that negative self-talk.  And yet, I constantly do it to myself, and sometimes to challenge it is exhausting.

You play board games with your family?  We don't do that.  I must not be dedicated to my family.

You get up at 4 AM to exercise?  I am not disciplined enough to do that.  I must be lazy.

You stay at work till 9 PM to finish your paperwork?  I won't do that.  I must be a bad employee.

 You are planning on buying a new house and going on vacation?  I can't afford that.  I must suck at managing finances.

You are going to send your child to a private school?  There aren't any around here.  I must be selfish because of where I choose to live.

You and your BFF are going to a concert together?  I barely find time to have coffee with my friend who lives around the block.  I must be a bad friend.
 
Around and around.  Not all from my internal voices.  Some from society, telling me that I need to compare myself to others and always be found lacking.  I am not thin enough, blond enough, pretty enough.  My job is scorned as weak women's work.  I am not tiger mom enough.  Hell, I don't think I qualify as a kitten mom.  I am awful as a wife because I am difficult to live with.  I am a horrible friend because I barely make time to hang out.

All at once, everything feels as though it is crashing down.  The voices are screaming at me. Most days, I can control them.  I reason that I am not superwoman; that other people's lives are filled with struggles as well; that I am keeping it together.

Just because I don't read to my children as often as others does not make me a bad mom.  Just because we have to hurry to dance does not mean I am a crappy therapist.  Just because I don't exercise at godforsaken hours of the morning does not mean I am lazy.

I am more than the sum of the epithets that my psyche throws at me.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Defenses

Getting a cold is a lot like being in denial that you have an addiction.   One tends to use a lot of defense mechanisms to attempt to convince oneself that in fact, one is not getting sick despite all evidence to the contrary.

In the early stages, one usually starts out with outright denial.  Nope, not getting sick.  This sore throat is because of dry air.  Boogers?  Must be something dusty making my allergies flare up (not allergic to dust, but hey whatevs...)  Cough?  Swallowed wrong.  Headache?  Thanks, kids.  Keep screaming.

Projection can rear it's ugly head.  "I am not sick, but holy hell you look like crap".  You can intellectualize your cold.  "This is a virus.  I can't take any medications for it.  It has to resolve on its own."   You can rationalize it to death (well not literally.  If you did that, you would get better since the virus would die...) "I must be getting sick because I am so stressed".

You then move on to regression.  You want to curl up under the covers and cry for your Mommy.  You want to whine and be cranky.  You want to be tucked into bed for a nap and spoon fed chicken noodle soup.  Essentially, you regress back to your two year old self.

Next comes the anger.  "GODDAMMIT!  We have immunizations for everything else; why not the cold!"  "I want something to fucking make me feel better RIGHT NOW!"  "Curse my great idea to have children who will go to the cesspool of germs otherwise known as school and bring back all kinds of communicable diseases!"

You get to the point where you can't remember what it felt like to be healthy.  You become firmly convinced that you will never get well again, and slowly resign yourself to the fact that you will be miserable for the rest of your life.  You frantically consult Dr. Google hoping against hope that a cure will magically appear.  Life revolves around the color of your boogers and the debate over whether you will need an antibiotic or not.

You decide that this must be bad karma for things done wrong in a previous life and resolve to go forth and sin no more.  Just when you think that you are just going to die....you get better.

Unless you are me and are taking medications to suppress your immune system.  Then secondary infections take one look at you and think "Free buffet!  All you can eat!"

Friday, January 4, 2013

Maximus

I hate that fucking dog.

I only consented to him in a moment of weakness.  That and I have a complete inability to say no to my family's reasonable requests and at the time, it seemed a reasonable request.  Perhaps I should consider getting evaluated for early dementia because my reasoning skills were really off that day.  (And for the record ELIZABETH (since I know you are reading this) a kitten is NOT a reasonable request (I have learned my lesson...(thank Charles for that one)) and I am perfectly capable of saying HELL NO to a kitten (and I wonder how many parenthetical statements I can include here (and we all know that being the extreme OCD person that I am I am going to go back and count every single fucking parenthesis (several times) to make sure they are all accounted for (and now I also have to keep typing to make sure I don't end this with a preposition because if I did the world will surely catch on fire))).)

Ahem.  Anyways.  I was thinking back to Alexis as a toddler (complete compliance with parental directives) and Spartacus as a puppy (you have a treat?  I'll do whatever the fuck you want, including and not limited to the doggie version of Gangham Style while simultaneously humping Katy Perry's leg).  I completely failed to take into consideration both the idea that the dog could have sub par intelligence and the fact that Charlie may or may not be getting command hallucinations for mischief from Beelzebub himself.

Maximus, was he human, would most likely qualify for some kind of MR/DD services.  He just doesn't fucking get it.  Or anything, really.  He lacks the ability to, say, find his way out from under a blanket.  Or listen to any command.  In his defense, I was not able to work with him the way I did the other two.  Back then, I only had two children, and in my defense, adding Charlie to that mix was similar to adding colicky triplets.  Plus I am now working full time.  But honest to God, there are some things that training can't fix and Maximus's brand of stupid is one of them.

He thinks that he is a goddamned lap dog.  I know people laughingly say that about their big dogs, but seriously, at least those other dogs get off your lap when you push on them.  He just flops over and falls right where he is.  It is like parts of his brain just spontaneously stop working.  Plus he doesn't get a hint.  I tell him to go away and to lay down and not 30 seconds later he is back, wagging his tail and being all, "Love me, love me!" At least the other two dogs will go lie down and make moon eyes across the room at me, which I can and do ignore. I really feel as though I am the abuser in this relationship because the fucker just keeps coming back for more...of course it doesn't help that I inevitably give in and pet the furry little bastard because I am a soft hearted fool.

Huh.  Maybe he is not as stupid as I thought he was.  I'll bet that little fucker is plotting with Charlie to overthrow me in my sleep at some point.  Either that or the two of them practice making me melt together, as well as laugh their asses off at how I feel badly later on when they are being assholes for mentally calling them assholes.