Overloaded, overwhelmed and on overdrive

Fair warning, this is a very long post, so if you don’t have time or enough focus to read it all the way through, no worries. I understand.

Deep breath. Breathe in and exhale. I think I need to do much more of that.

Jerry was supposed to get back on the truck and head out today.  That didn’t happen.  What did happen though, was he finally earned his Hazmat endorsement.  So, YAY for that.  Other good news is that Jerry followed through with  his plans for meeting with another pastor from another church community we’ve been involved with off and on for many years.

His co-driver may not be getting back on the truck, which will mean he will go solo and have a ten cent per mile drop in pay until he gets a new co-driver.  We can’t afford that.  The company has set up the situation that is essentially running both of these men into the ground financially and effectively setting his co-driver up to fail.  It absolutely doesn’t make any kind of business sense.  He wanted to discuss the situation with me.  I basically told him there isn’t anything we can do to change it or affect it.  We are just going to have to trust God to work this out and carry us through, regardless of what his co-driver decides to do or not do tomorrow.  As far as I am concerned, he needs to get back on the truck and deal with whatever happens and just keep working for this company until he lines something else up.  However, I’m done riding the emotional roller coaster of is he or isn’t he going to keep his job.  I’ve stated my position but, ultimately it is his decision.

I just know I need to find a way to keep doing the things I need to do for my own well-being whether he’s home or not.  I use him as my excuse and my reason to bail on my own needs.  He has been my own personal scapegoat and the figurehead of blame for my self-neglect and self-abuse.  I have been on a continual “binge” since he came home this time and have not gone swimming for the past three days.  Oh yeah, I had actually started exercising and going swimming every day since the weekend we had the 100 degree weather two weekends ago.  It’s supposed to be in the 100’s again over the next couple of days. Not looking forward to that.

I did find out that Luna gets to be enrolled in the Home Based Head Start Program and isn’t going to completely go without services.  This means that I will actually follow through on what I said I would do in response to comments on my posts about the administrative decisions to remove all three teachers from her classroom three weeks prior to school ending (here & here).  So, next year I will participate in the Policy Council and in any relevant committee I can.  We also have an intake for getting her re-involved with the Volunteer’s of America Family Relief Nursery.  This is a program where she will be able to get picked up and attend a developmentally appropriate setting two times a week with other children for social interaction, developmental assessment and monitoring, and engagement.  It is an abuse prevention program geared toward giving overly stressed parents with limited resources and supports some respite and connect to other services and community resources.  We also attended our intake at the children and family counselling services program that was recommended by her school psychologist in our meetings, since I’ve been meeting with her over the past couple of months.  Jerry was able to attend and participate in that intake and will be included in the work we do when he’s home.  So, it looks like we are getting some good things in place to help us provided what Luna needs for her growth and development and so that I am not as overwhelmed with dealing with everything “on my own.”

Over the past few months, I have been feeling more and more overwhelmed with the relationship difficulties between me and all the important people in my life.  The day before Jerry came home this time, LaLa informed me that I may have signed up to be in an abusive relationship, but she didn’t and she wasn’t going to have anything to do with him.  Which basically translates into her not having any interactions with me when he’s home.  Marco, informed me a few months ago that the people he lived with during the last year and a half of high school and since January this year, have been going through the process to formally he adopt him as an adult.  Last month the paperwork was filed.  The periodic references to how wonderful and loved his parents are in social media is getting harder and harder for me to not react to.  In the meantime, I have come to the conclusion that Jerry has undiagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder.

Parenting Luna and trying to be available and at least semi-functional in each of these other relationships, while barely managing the roller coaster cycles of depression, anxiety, and fibromyalgia and with almost no “real” relationships with anyone else, means I constantly feel like I’m suffocating and drowning.  I do have a few friends who I will touch base with occasionally.  But it is so hard for me to think or focus on actually “relating” to them and be involved and interested in what’s going on in their worlds, when I absolutely know that’s what needs to happen in friendships.  I try to ask and listen and care, but find it difficult to track and concentrate.  I frequently approach them and others with the intention of not “going there” and going into any kind of detail about the things I’m dealing with, because once I start, I can’t seem to stop and invariably wind up in tears and just gushing everything out to anyone who shows the slightest bit of interest and caring.

I had a phone conversation with the pastor of a church that Jerry and I have been trying to integrate with over the past couple of years.  It’s a church plant and I think the people there are phenomenal and wonderful people who are genuinely caring and sincere.  However, I haven’t really been able to truly connect and establish relationships with any of them to any effective degree.  Some factors include transportation and geographic issues, but mostly it’s because I find it difficult to just reach out to them in between meeting times and I’ve had such difficulty with my depression and fibromyalgia symptoms that I generally don’t go when it’s just Luna and me.  The fact that none of them call, text, or fb message me or show any inclination to do so when I have talked to them when we see each other.  There have been a couple of times when tentative plans to call or get together have been discussed but not followed up by either them or me.

The pastor basically asked me if I sabotage those efforts myself.  He wanted to know what my expectations of the people in the church were. I’m at the point where I don’t expect anything of anyone really.  I know that the level of issues that Jerry and I have are overwhelming for the average lay person and that we need professional help.  I also know that I’m at my limit and just trying to be present and show up in my life takes everything I have, so I don’t have much of anything to give to anyone more.  So, if I can’t reciprocate in the investment of time, energy, and caring in building new relationships with new people, how can I expect new people to do that for me and in my life?  From the outside looking in, we need and want so much and are not showing up and participating or engaging in the many opportunities for “community” and outreach that are presented by this church and others we’ve tried to be part of over the years.  It appears that we just want to take and aren’t willing to give back.

He counseled me that just genuinely and sincerely asking someone else about what’s going on in their lives without winding up bringing the conversation back around to myself, my life, and my woes would go a long way to building relationships.  I tried to explain that I do try and I have often gone with the intention and plan to not dump my problems onto others and then it happens anyway.  He wanted to know if I knew or understood why that was, if it was a compulsion or what.  I told him it was like bringing someone who had been dying of starvation and thirst into a banquet hall full of food and beverage and asking them to restrain themselves from gorging and making themselves sick with taking in too much food and liquid too soon.  He didn’t get it.

I told him that I’ve had so little experience with consistent and sincere kindness and caring for the majority of my life that when faced with someone who sincerely asks me how I am or how things are, I no longer have the capacity to hold back on it, if I ever did.  His response was that since I’ve never really had good relationships with people, I don’t know how to be in relationships and so I sabotage them, or something along those lines.  He was trying to be honest, encouraging, supportive, and genuine in his questioning and feedback.  I tried to do the same.  By the end of the phone call, I felt like this was just another place and group of people that I and my life, it’s obligations, realities of both physical and mental health issues, and my own limitations don’t fit in with.

I just hope that some day soon, someone in my world will just show up in my life and be able to see that I’m giving everything I’ve got just to get through each moment of each day and that I’m doing everything I know how to grow, change, improve and make a difference in my life and in the lives of the people I care about and let that be enough.

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6 comments

  1. Just being here is a way to connect with people. I think it’s impossible to interact with someone and not tell them something about what’s going on in your life. I also think there’s some truth to what your pastor said. I’ve got a friend who tends to overburden me with her problems because she really doesn’t have anyone else to vent to; unfortunately, it makes me less inclined to talk with her. What I think the pastor failed to do was try to give you some concrete strategies to deal with it. I’m no expert, so I’m not sure I can offer any helpful advice. I also think you’re doing a pretty good job at dealing with some of the really difficult situations you’ve been in.

    Keep pushing through this, Kina. I know you’re going to come out the other side stronger.

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  2. “I just know I need to find a way to keep doing the things I need to do for my own well-being” you said it yourself at the beginning of your post. Maybe the someone who needs to turn up is you taking care of you? Looking after your wellbeing is not selfish. You can’t take care of anyone else if you don’t take care of you first. Reflect on what you need right now for you, then find ways to slowly bring that in to your life, one step at a time. Even if you only have 10 minutes for you each day of quality self care that is better than none. Be good to you, you deserve it!

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    1. Kama,
      Thank you for reading and commenting. What I meant was that I needed to be able to have someone outside of me show up and just support and acknowledge that I am doing what I can and need to do without trying to analyze, evaluate, and judge my efforts and attempts to engage. Someone to reflect back to me that where I am at and what I am doing is enough in this moment and time and to acknowledge and validate that yes, I am doing what I am able to instead of trying to tell me, no matter how well intentioned or well meant, that there is more for me to be doing better, differently, or giving.

      I am in the process of growing and changing. I have been in the process for a long time. There are many things that I am working through and navigating and all of it is complicated and difficult. Dealing with the medical and biochemical realities of untreated depression and fibromyalgia both exacerbate and are exacerbated by these other things.

      The fact that I take the time to write a blog post or put myself out here is me doing something to take care of me.

      God, the Universe, or whatever you want to call it actually showed up and gave me to answer to that “prayer” request.

      I got an unexpected phone call from the best friend I’ve never met who I’ve been online and phone friends with since 2006. We’ve spent the last several hours touching base and talking about all kinds of things and harsh realities in both our lives, as well as the lighter issues.

      Being able to engage with her on this level and in these ways reminded me that I do have true friendships and actual relationships that are healthy and mutually beneficial and am not a complete loser at this critical interpersonal skill.

      Thank you again for taking the time and making the effort to connect. I appreciate it.

      Be well,
      Kina

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