Jerry has a job! Woohoo! Yippee-skippy!
After the series of frustrating events since September 19th, when Jerry was told he didn’t have the local driving job he had just quit his long-haul trucking job for the day before, he has a job. In the grand scheme of things, it really wasn’t that long that he went without a job, exactly a month, since he got to go in and sign the paperwork for the new job on Wednesday, October 17th.
The biggest concern we have right now is making sure we have access to a functional vehicle to ensure he can get to and from work. There’s all kinds of drama around that issue right now, that I won’t go into, because I’m determined to focus on the good in this post.
In terms of survival in our society, the fact he has a job seems like it is the best news. However, that’s just icing on my cake today.
The real good news is that I seem to be stabilizing and actually making progress I can identify in dealing with my emotional issues and my co-dependency tendencies.
In the midst of all this good news and the good cheer we had going as a result of it, there was a distinctive crash.
Jerry’s mom gave us some gas money and we went out to her house to pick it up. She’s in the middle of losing her house because she couldn’t afford to keep up the mortgages after Jerry’s dad died at the end of February. She’s packing up things and has already gotten rid of a lot of things. This is difficult for Jerry to see all of this. He hasn’t had the time and opportunity to really grieve the loss of his dad. Then he sees everything gone or changing. On top of that, his mom has been in the hospital herself a few times recently. For us to go over there, needing her help financially, instead of him being able to help her and give back a little for everything he’s received, is hard on him. He doesn’t really express any of this. I don’t think he knows how.
Instead, he gets tense, short-tempered, and easily frustrated ~ more so than usual, and that’s saying something.
While we were there, Luna went to play with the kitties. One of the cats acts like he’s stuffed. He lets her do anything and everything without protest or painful reaction to her exuberant hugs and suffocating pressure. The other cat is more frail and has a small wailing whimper that indicates Luna has been a little too rough with her. Repeated efforts on our part to tell and instruct Luna on appropriate touch, during the infrequent visits, have yielded little result and Luna wound up “in trouble.” She wouldn’t listen, didn’t move, and continued lavishing her attention on the cat that couldn’t handle it. Finally, Jerry, gave her a single swat on her padded bottom and sent her into the living room to sit down.
Immediately, she came running to me, wailing with tears running, and attached herself to me. At first I tried to get her to sit on the floor in front of me, But she was quite resistant and was climbing up on me to get hugs, loves and comfort. So, I had her stand against my leg and spoke to her calmly and soothingly about what she had done. Then I sat her on my leg while she started calming a bit.
Jerry’s mom said something to me about thinking I needed to make Luna sit down. In the past, I would have been very offended and internally p.o.’d that she felt it was okay to tell me what I needed to do to discipline my daughter. Today, it just kind of rolled off me. Since Luna still wasn’t really listening or responding to me, I had her go over to her dad, who did the exact same thing I had done, and he spoke calmly and lovingly to her, even though he was frustrated and upset that she hadn’t listened and had wound up hurting the cat. Yay us!
Afterward, we left and went to the nearest gas station to fill up the tank only to discover the one and only gas cap key was missing.
Oh crap! On Friday, my son had stopped by to follow through on something and wound up talking his way into driving our vehicle to get him home and to meet up with a friend, while I rode along and we finally had an opportunity to talk through some things. Jerry was against it and initially said, “No.” However, Marco talked me into talking Jerry into allowing it. Part of the agreement was that he would put a few dollars into the gas tank. I remember giving the key to him to give to the attendant, but have no idea what happened after that.
Immediately Jerry’s ire was ignited. He started ranting about how he hates the fact that he can’t say no without getting an argument from me and my kids. He was justifiably upset. In order to put fuel in the tank, without the key, he will have to break the cap and purchase a replacement with the little bit of money we have to make sure there’s enough gas in the tank until he gets his first paycheck. However, this incident triggered all the years of frustration that every, single time he tried to say no, he was argued with and had his position undermined. And so, his road ranting increased and his bad mood carried through into the rest of the evening. Nit-picking and trying to pick a fight with me over inconsequential stuff.
The victory in all of this was the fact that throughout most of it, I didn’t feel the need to soothe or fix his feelings. I didn’t feel the internal snideness and go through the mental monologue detailing how ridiculous and counter-productive he was being. I responded to his statements, reasonably, one time only, if they needed a response and left it at that. I identified what my part of the problem(s) was and took responsibility, but I didn’t send myself into emotional oblivion over his disturbance. I let his stuff, be his stuff.
I focused on my stuff and let myself have my feelings and actually experienced them, moved through them, and eventually went to sleep.
It wasn’t perfect, but it was better and the process is about progress, not perfection, right?