There have been a few interesting twists and turns of events in the past few days. I just haven't had the energy to think about them, only react in real-time.

So Tuesday was kind of a sad day, with this giant wall of "shoulds" looming over me that I felt in no way equipped to fight. I felt trapped by my body and my health problems, trapped by my financial situation, trapped by my living situation (more on that in a minute), like I was failing as an employee and a productive member of society, and just generally defeated.

See, it's one thing when the Should Monster (who bears a striking resemblance to the Cookie Monster) is stridently insisting upon one particular Should. It's a whole 'nother ball of wax when it feels like a veritable tidal wave of Should is bearing down upon you, and you can't pick out one particular thing to combat.

I can't be too hard on myself, though, because truly, I'm still learning how to pull out my tools and deal with this stuff. I'm not going to get it perfectly the first time, or every time for that matter. So I forgive myself for not immediately bouncing up and away from the sadness and the Shoulds and the defeated attitude.

Wednesday, I had my last session with my counselor. It was a good one, and I realized something interesting towards the end, beyond the things I already know. Like, I know that the Should Monster is handing me a load of crap and I need to stand up to it, and self-affirmations will help a ton in this regard; that I am afraid of either living up to or acknowledging and owning my awesomeness, because then I feel like I have to perform at this super-high level all the time and that just kind of sets me up for failure and disappointment, so it's better and easier to just put myself down all the time and operate under the premise of "I'm messed up, I'm sick, I'm so screwed up" all the time.

I learned that I perform in spurts. Seriously. This is how I operate best. Rather than having to be operating or performing at a certain level all the time (think 9-5 job, 5 days a week), I am way more productive and don't have meltdowns when I have a spurt of awesome (however long that lasts) and then can retreat into non-productive mode. Think artist, or wedding planner, or somesuch. Musician. Trapeze artist. Writer. Whatever. Being "on" all the time doesn't work for me. And realizing that is super freeing and empowering. Like, just realizing how I operate is... cool. Part of what's been such a downer about the struggle with work is that I "SHOULD" be able to do that 9-5 thing and make it work and get over myself and just survive, right? Dude, I'm just not wired that way. Even if I weren't sick, I would still hate it and get burnt out. Which I have. Again and again. And being frustrated by it because I couldn't understand what was going on.

I also realized that I tend to live so much in the present that it's hard for me to see past this moment. I know it's a little weird, because I have struggles with being fully present in the moment, but let me explain... It's like, whatever is happening now is how things will be forever. If I'm happy now, I will always be happy. If I'm sad now, I will always be sad. If I'm in a place of limbo (which I am), things will never change and it will always be like this and I've failed. If I'm succeeding, it will always be like this... and when it changes, I'm devastated. Destroyed. Because I must have done something wrong, or else it would have always been like that.

I have a hard time understanding on a very fundamental level the ebb and flow of life, the changing, and the fact that whatever is happening now... will not be this way forever.

Maybe it comes from the type of childhood I lived. When things are crazy and dysfunctional, you're not thinking of the future. You're reacting to right now, and this is all there is. "Right now" is your world, because you never, ever know how things are going to change in three seconds. They could stay the same (Daddy's happy. Good. He's been happy all afternoon. Good.), or they could change in the blink of an eye. (Daddy was happy, but then I made a noise and annoyed him and now he's really mad and I'm being punished and he'll be in a bad mood the rest of the night.) The present moment is your world.

So. Interesting things.

But I am learning, and growing, and learning how to wield my tools with yet more proficiency. I was sad about things ending with my counselor, but I'm grateful for all she taught me and showed me. It was really a good little phase, and I know I'll always remember her fondly.

So then I've been fighting Food Stamps for two weeks, 'cause they're playing these stupid games with me. They called me for my interview a couple of times during the time when I specifically wrote down that I was unavailable, and when I (finally!) got a hold of them again, they said they'd put me back on the call list. Days later, when I haven't heard anything, I call back and find out that they never actually put me back on the list. That happened several times. Finally, yesterday, I decided to go down there after school. It was the first day that my schedule allowed me to, so I figured I'd take advantage of it. Plus they'd pissed me off the day before. After another round of calling me during unavailable hours, my calling them and them promising to call me back that day, I called them just before closing and got put on hold... for over twenty minutes. Then they hung up on me and wouldn't answer the phone anymore. (Did I mention this isn't the first time they've put me on hold and then hung up on me?) I was ticked.

As I'm walking up the sidewalk to the Food Stamp building's front doors, my phone rings. It's them, and they're calling for my interview. So I talk to the lady while I'm standing in front of the building! Hah! Long story short? I don't qualify for Food Stamps, because I'm a student and I'm working less than twenty hours a week.

Now, let me get this straight.

You won't help me because I'm in a position where I need help?

Right. Because, the lady explains, food stamps are meant to be a supplement, not the sole source of support.

Yeah, okay, so supplement me. I don't need to be fully supported. If you only knew how I'd been scraping by...! I can make it with your supplement. I'm not asking for welfare, here.

So I explained that I'm physically incapable of working 20+ hours a week while in school, but it makes no difference.

The door is closed in my face.

So I did what any normal woman would do... I went to my car and I cried. Because I don't know how I'm going to survive. Food stamps are out, disability isn't an option at this point... work is a mess right now anyway, but I'm doing all I can there... I'm out of options, and the only thing I can do at this point is live off of my credit card.

So I cried.

Then I called my mom. And she sympathized, but had no ideas for me, except that C should be supporting me.

I've heard that from people before, and I disagree.

It's not that he won't help me out if I ask, because he will. He's proven it, and he's blatantly stated that he won't let me go hungry. That's great. But, though we are engaged... I am not his financial responsibility. I didn't move in with him so that he would take care of me. We never, ever agreed to that, and I refuse to place a burden of responsibility on him that doesn't belong there. Just like if I moved back in with Gramma and Grampa, it wouldn't be their responsibility to take care of me, just because I'm living with them, just because I'm their granddaughter. It doesn't work like that. So I guess I get a little up in arms when people question C's moral integrity for not "taking care" of me while I'm in my dire straits here, because it's like judging him for failing to do a job that's not his. You know?

So I thought about it all day, and I finally decided to bite the bullet. Unfortunately for me, I didn't even think of the fact that I'd had all day to mull it over and C had just gotten home from work and needed some time to decompress, because I just hit him with it right after he walked in the door! I apologized later-- it was thoughtless of me, and rude. He accepted the apology and told me it was fine. Whew.

Now, we've had several "serious" conversations the past few days. There was Tuesday, when I broke down crying because I felt like a failure. (He maintains that I'm not.) Then there was Wednesday, when I had realized from Tuesday's conversation about having space of my own and feeling like a hangers-on that it's really, really important to me that a.) I know that when the house is purchased that it's our house and not just his, and b.) it's really important to me that after we're married we have our own place and space (i.e. no roommates). That was a good convo, and it went well. And, yes, it will be OUR home, OUR house, not just his. It's hard for me to feel that way now, because he's the one putting all the finances toward it... but when we're married, we're partners. Equals. His house, my house. (Right now, in the bachelor apartment, my stuff is kind of socked away in convenient locations because I came along last. He was already settled, and so was S, so it's their place, it feels... I just happen to live here.) And I'll be the one decorating it and cleaning it and all that, so I think I will feel more ownership. Right now is just a weird time of trying to fit myself into convenient little gaps.

I explained what happened with the food stamps, and C was sympathetic. He was very upset on my behalf when they were being so frustrating, so I knew he'd understand my disappointment at being turned down. So then I told him how I went and cried, and then I just asked him... I asked him if he'd be willing to support me until I can graduate and get a job. I know it's bad timing, what with trying to save for a house, but I'm trying my best and I'm doing all that I can, but I'm stuck in this weird limbo and falling between the cracks and I just don't know what else to do.

He asked how much I thought I'd need a week, and then he kissed the top of my head after I told him, "Sorry." He said that he knows I'm trying my best, and that means a lot to him. It's not like I'm just sitting back and doing nothing. So I asked for $200 a month. That will cover gas and should cover most basic food. I will continue to work and go to school... none of that will change. I'm just getting some help from my sugar daddy :) He says he knows what he can afford, and he's told me before that it's not like I'm a gold-digger. I hate to ask him to do this for me, but... I can't see any other way at this point.

It was funny-- I had texted him during the day that I wanted to make Rice Krispies treats, but he doesn't get the texts until he picks up his phone from the weapons locker at the end of his shift. So he's walking out the door with some other guy, and his phone goes off. When he sees it's from me, he's like, "Uh-oh, that's never good..." So he opens it and reads, "I want to make Rice Krispies treats...", and he's like, "I can deal with that. I can very, very much deal with that!" LOL He told me the story when he got home.

So we traipsed off to Wally World to get the ingredients, and while we were there, do you know what he got me?!??!

A neon/fluorescent sweater! Like the one I used to have in high school! (Actually, he's the one who bought the first one for me, while we were up at Ren Fair the year it was super cold and rainy.) I wore that thing to death, and finally got rid of it at SOULS, because I learned that you weren't supposed to draw attention to yourself with your clothes... and neon is definitely attention garnering. In the years since, I've regretted getting rid of it, since I figured I'd never have an opportunity to own one again.

I thought wrong!

You should see this baby in the sunlight. It'll sear your retinas right off :D

So. That has been my past few days. What an adventure. *sigh*

And what a good guy I've found.

Thank you, God, for my fiance.

And with that... I'm off to make the promised RK treats.

1 thoughts:

  • Jolene | November 16, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Funny... Will and I were just talking about finances the other day. I hope to blog a little about it. Basically, we were trying to estimate what sort of financial burden I would be on him if we were married while I'm in school and not working. He thinks its doable. We would just have to be frugal.

    Don't feel bad asking for help when you need it. You're not a lazy bum. I have the same problem as you, where I feel HORRIBLE if I'm relying on someone to feed and clothe me. I empathize with you.

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