I have(n’t) Got This

I guess that I should have known something was up with me. I reset my alarm 5x this morning. From 5, 5:15, 6, 6:30, 7 and finally 7:30. Got up because I had to be at work for 9. And I still have not made my bed. I made coffee took my meds and jumped into the shower. I figured that it was a little bit of the hormones acting up and who knows, maybe tomorrow this will all just seem like a torturous nightmare. I ate breakfast text my good mornings and headed off to work.
I found out that insurance was not going to top up my pay. That with my going back to work 6 hours a day next week, it was considered to be a full return to work. Which means I now have to go back full time much sooner that I thought. For the next two weeks (beginning April 30th) I will work 6 hours and use my holiday time to top me up. 20 hours of holiday time used. And than back full time on May 14th.
I feel completely alienated. Neither staff nor other supervisors seem happy that I am back. And I am feeling it. I am excluded from conversations so I keep myself busy. Yet today it really hit home. Not that I want them inside my real life but I have to work with these people and not a one (I lie one has made me feel that she is glad I am back) has made me feel like I am welcome. I have been fine with it while I am only working 4 hours because it is so easy to go in and leave.
Going in for 8 hours is a totally different story. My boss and I have not even sat down to discuss what I am going to be doing.
After getting the news today, I sucked it up. I plastered a smile on my face and went about my morning. Keeping myself busy, helping customers. Than I went for my break and sent a message to K. Told her what was going to happen and began to cry. Well not cry, but my eyes were leaking. I sucked it up and went upstairs to make sure that I did not look like I had been crying. Than back to work and finished off my shift.
Now though, I cannot stop crying. I do not know that I can do this. I realize that I have no choice in the matter at this point because the company that has been paying for my benefits, is not the company we are now with. So I would have to reapply and I have not been paying into these benefits long enough. I would give anything right now to have someone who would just hold me and let me cry.
I do not know that I am strong enough to withstand this.
I admit that on the way home from the city I wanted to stop and get wine. Right now I want to numb myself so I do not feel afraid. So alone. I won’t because I have more pride in myself than that. I have come this far. And I will be damned if I am going to let a job pull me under. Make me doubt everything that I have worked so hard for.
Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow I will suck it up and plaster a smile on my face. I will pretend that all is well. I will not allow these people to get under my skin. I will not give away my power.
I am a strong and wonderful woman. I am smart. I am beautiful. I am confident. And fuck man, I have got this shit!
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Obsession

**Found picture on Internet**
I am a passing shadow
seen from the corner of your eye
ignored.
You pretend not to see me
when I am standing in front of you.
Loving you
dreading you
wishing that you would hold me tight.
I feel you
do you feel me?
Loving
reaching
hating
leaving
cannot let go
do not deny…..
Nothing can batter
nothing can bruise
only arms twined
lips touching
hearts beating
love so true.
I can see it why can’t you?

Dream

Tears escape
traveling over pale cheeks
lost within this
yet unable to discern why?
Days have been good.
Very very good.
When I feel like this,
lethargic
unable to exercise
I begin to fear.
Fear that after all my hard work
I am falling
back to the beginnng of my time.
That this lovely dream
that I have built
is exactly that,
a dream that I will awaken from.
©Jay-lyn Doerksen
March 15/17

Conquering Queen

Yesterday I received a text from the Ex indicating that his S.O. (significant other) was not working and that T could stay the night there. At first I was annoyed. I think I erased my text two before coming up with ‘Whatever T would like is fine with me.’ The reason that I put the choice in T’s hands is that this is his dad’s week with him. So he would see him before work last night and before school this morning. The first time in a long time. And I already knew what the answer would be. I did not hear back so text the Ex after awhile to check on T’s response.  And he said yes, he wanted to stay at his dad’s.
When I saw that single word response to my text my heart ached and I stifled a sob.
Even though the Ex and me share custody of T I have become use to having him here every night. We have a routine. And I get to see him every single day. So not seeing him last night was a kick in the pants. I had planned to see him. I was waiting to hear about his day. Now I had to reorganize my thoughts. Tears welled in my eyes, and there was pain. I decided that I would do the dishes thinking that if I had something to concentrate on it would not pain me so much.
As I stood at the sink, tears overcame me. My eyesight blurred and I gave into the sadness for a minute. And than I did what I do best now I talked to myself.
‘Jay you can feel sad but you need to get use to this. You need to get use to having one week where you are not going to have T. You won’t see him. This is normal. You have become greedy given that you are seeing him every day. Obviously he is going to want to stay at his dad’s, after all it is his week with him.’
I am not saying that I was feeling 100% better but I calmed down. And by the time that I was done the dishes and back on the couch, I had settled. I had come to peace with myself. Or so I thought.
Today as I am exercising I am looking at myself and critically. I am not liking what I see. There are small tweaks here and there that I could make. Where I was a year ago to where I am today is a huge difference. I am not drinking. I am not taking pills. I am working out. I am writing. But today I was not being nice to myself. I looked the wrong way at myself and decided that that was it, no more pizza. No more sweets. I text a friend and said over and over that I knew my thoughts were insane.
And as we text I realize I was being hypercritical of myself. Subconsciously something was at work and I think that I have figured it out.
I was sad yesterday and even though I did not consciously think it, I wondered what I had done wrong. Why did T not want to come spend the night here? Where had I failed that he would stay at his dad’s even when his dad is not home?  I had no control in that situation at all because I had given it all over to T and his decsion.
And my feelings were hurt. I really had thought that T was going to want to come and spend the night here with me. And because I could not admit that to myself the highly critical freak me rose to the occassion. I pushed down what I was feeling. I had cried but I did not say outloud  that I was hurt. Because that was wrong. I should not feel that way.
I am allowed to have feelings. In acknowledging this the critic in me, who was trying to skew my thinking and pull me back into an obsession with my body image, has been kicked to the curb.
This is a huge step for me. Admitting I am allowed to have feelings. Admitting that yes, I was hurt that T chose to stay at his dad’s last night but I understand why he made that choice. T is going to hurt me over and over again. That is what children do. The broader world at large does not exist for them. They are the center of their world and the immediate family is in their orbit. I will never tell T about how much it hurt. I did feel like he was picking his dad over me.
And he was because it is his dad’s week with him.  Just like he would chose to come home to me if this was my week.
Once more T has taught me a lesson. And in doing so he has helped me. I have a body image problem that I am acknowledging for the first time ever. I realized this because I stuffed the emotions down and than looked at myself for little things that I could criticize and than concentrate on fixing. That I could control. Perfect. Nothing is perfect, least of all me. And slowly but surely, all those parts of me, the ones that are not healthy, are becoming absorbed within me.
I saw very quickly what I was doing. This did not take me a week to figure out, a month, hell it did not even take me 24 hours to realize what I was doing and put an end to it. Each time I catch myself exhibiting behaviour that can trip me up I conquer it. That is not to say that it will not appear elsewhere but it is the catching it that is important here. Once caught I can change the way that I think and slowly but surely eliminate the behaviours that can harm me.

Afraid to Fall

As I was showering this morning I began to have a small anxiety attack. As I am right now. I am thinking about returning to work. I need to figure out how not to start this. I am fretting. I should not be because I have worked really hard to imbue the thought of ‘Do not worry about what you cannot control. Do not think that you can perdict what others are going to say or do. Stop worrying Jay-lyn.’ And I try. I am hoping that writing this out is going to help me.
The same thing happened yesterday. I began thinking, predicting what was going to happen when I return to work. And when I was driving T to M’s for a weekend sleep over. I am not sure really which one caused me more anxiety. Work or the cloverleafs on and off the perimeter.  I do know that I need to stop doing this. I will be fine when I return. I will be able to impose my new reality on the world at large. Maybe that is what it is. I am fearing that I am not going to be strong enough.
Lately there has been a lot of little nudges in the brain about buying wine. I have been able to shut them down. But I fear that when I am out working and dealing with the public that I will fail. That I will end up listening to that voice, rather than the one that says to me:
Jay you are a beautiful strong woman who has her shit together. You no longer need to hide behind alcohol and drugs. You have faced a larger fear than returning to work will be. You have faced what asshole has done to you. You accept that your brain is protecting you and with the withdrawal of the self-medicating it is letting the good memories back. You have come a long way. You wrote a letter and sent it. Content just to have sent it. Nothing more. That was a huge fear. You submitted one of your poems. You are writing again. Jay you do not need to be afraid to return to work. Calm. Breathe. It is okay to accept that there is fear. Your job has really been about 40% of yourself and you are pushing it down to 10%. You will continue to do a good job at whatever job they have you doing. T. Mom. Bro and Family. Your girlfriends. Those are the important things. Being present in your life. Not willing it away. Stop aging T and enjoy him as he is. You are a wonderful woman Jay-lyn Anne and you do not have to be afraid alone any longer.’
I just made myself cry. I am going to print that out and tape it to my bathroom mirror so that I see that every day. That is the voice that is reasonable. That makes sense.  The one that I have to learn is the one who protects me and guides me in the right direction. The scared one, the fear monger is the one that is being ousted. I imagine that if this were a fantasy novel this is the one last stab made by evil to triumph. But good will come to being and grow into the paladins required.
I have saved myself. I need to remember that. And every once in awhile I need to give myself a small pep talk. To reopen my eyes to the woman I am becoming. Not the one who is being sloughed off like the skin of a snake. And that is kinda like the evil concept. Old me, the one who hid rather than face her problems is fading. Leaving behind a raw new me. Who is afraid that she still yet may fall.

Mixed Bag

I have learned a lot in the last month.
I am still learning.
I am changing.
I am becoming braver.
I am being honest. With myself and others.
I am responsible for my feelings and reactions.
I am working very hard to slow down and think before I speak when I become annoyed with T or for that matter, anybody. This is hard as it is a habit/learned trait that I must consciously break. I will have to carry this technique over into the work place.
I am present. Working very hard to not plan. To not fret over the things that I cannot control.
I am looking after me. No more of this shit putting everyone else first as though they are more important than I am. I will not do that anymore. I do not need to bend over backwards to make people like me.
I am a wonderful woman with a wicked sense of humor, smart as hell and damn sexy. I will not allow anyone to undermine the foundation that I am building beneath me.
My definition of projecting:  Reading a statement and because of something that you fear within yourself, you color a person’s response/words to you with that fear.
Ex. I was explaining to a friend something that I had noticed she had a bad habit of doing. We are intensely honest with one another. After I was done she  thanked me with an exclamation point. I know how dare she be excited and show it with an exclamation point because yes I helped her. Yet I fear that I am going to annoy her because of all my advice and experience. But than I stopped myself and realized what I was doing. I was projecting my fear into her typed words and thought she was being sarcastic. She was not being sarcastic at all. Once I realized that and changed my mind set the fear was gone just like that. Bye bye.
I am learning that once you can recognize what you are doing, you being to pick up on it when you are doing it. Once you are aware that you are doing it you can change how you think, feel and respond. Once you begin twigging to when you start projecting and figure out why, you conquer that fear.
I am a mixed bag of thoughts and ideas.

Lessons Learned

This was a week of lessons for both myself and T. I think too that it has been a hard week for him as the amount of time the Ex has spent with him has been minimal. I cannot even work up anger. I am resigned. I am sad for T. I cannot make him change. I cannot make him see the young man who is growing up right in front of our eyes. T is playing Farming Simulator as I sit here typing this.

I was excited because I am able to listen to my music on my notebook while writing and also watch T play Farming Simulator. I believe I have explained before? Long story short you build up a farm. People create maps and you go farm. Drive around. It is a popular game judging by the amount of Youtube videos I have been subjected to. At the moment I am sitting here with our shared headphones on (the ones that cover the whole ear not inserted buds that would be gross) listening to Florida Georgia Line. Basically I load the entire album and start at the beginning. Today may be the first time in a long time that I get through the very long list.

We had two rather comedic episodes that left me gasping for air I was laughing so hard.

Yesterday morning I was about to wash the bathroom floor and asked T if he wanted to go use the bathroom before I did. He said yes. As he is climbing down his ladder I stand there  and tell him he is not to pee on the floor, the seat, the side, nowhere but into the toilet as I had just finished cleaning it. As a matter of fact, I suggested that he straddle the toilet and push it down to pee straight in. With hand pantomimes. T stared at me in absolute horror and as I turned away informed me that that was the absolute worst advice ever. And if I had one I would totally understand why. I giggled again typing this up.

Later in the day as I was driving him to the Ex’s for his night with him T was muttering away about what an absolute boring evening it was going to be. That none of his friends could come over. It was going to be dad, grandpa and grandma. I

I am trying something new. We are all programmed to notice the negative, the absurd, in other people’s pain. We mock others to make ourselves feel better about our own selves. When T and me had our long conversation the other week I told him that we needed to change. That we needed to look for the positive no matter how hard it is going to be. And it is going to be hard. I mock others. I make fun of them to others. I am no saint as I told K and P. It is a habit, a trait, who knows but it needs to be changed. Now the other day when I dropped T off at school I mocked the bright color of one of his classmate’s snowsuit. I tried to recover by saying at the very least we would not lose him in a snowstorm. Told him that he was not to make fun of the boy to which he emphatically told me he would never. I told him I was sorry. That I should never have made a comment and about a child’s snowsuit nonetheless.

So back to T and me, driving to the Ex’s. Grandma and grandpa are visiting. T is going to be bored. I suggest that he could hang out with grandma. And glanced over to see him looking at me like this. Yes I pulled over and took this picture. Mom, he leans forward his arm on the back of the seat, that male posture when they want to tell you something really important in the car, Grandma is old. And she is annoying. The laughter escaped me and I tried to stifle it. I looked at T and explained to him that grandma really loved him. That she wanted to spend time with him. As he is muttering away, frowny face on, arms crossed. That was when I learned something new about T.

I suggested (I am great for suggesting things) that he might want to spend some time with grandma because she would not be around forever. And he said no that was not true. Um yes, unfortunately we all die someday. Nope, we get another life. I looked over at T and said you think after we die we get a different life. Yep. So you believe in reincarnation. Yeah like having past lives and all that. We get to be together in the next life too. There are times when T reminds me how so very special he is. He also believes that had he been born a girl, the Ex and me would have still been his/her parents. The life would have been the same just pink. He expanded my mind right there.

Today he was annoyed that I had picked him up from his friend’s so early. Had thought that he was going to be staying there until 5 p.m. He was angry with me and refusing to talk. So I thanked him. I could have argued until I was blue in the face with him about his attitude but again I am trying different things to find what works for us. I want to stop that cycle I have seen myself falling into. But no, I thanked him. And waited. Finally he asked for what.

I told that I had taken his suggestion and had started writing a story the night before. Wanted to know what it was about so I gave him a quick a synopsis. Explained that what had started off as a short story about one thing had morphed into something else totally different. My main character had a story to tell we were just figuring it out. I thanked him again and he said you are welcome. I felt it was a small victory and we chatted and laughed all the way home.

Once home with chores taken care of I went to grab the headphones and T was loading his game. Asked where the headphones were. As if I didn’t know, he had taken them into his room one day watching Youtube and left them in there. He fought with me. Told me I had taken them and put them somewhere and it was not his fault that I could not remember. I took the remote for the XBox and sat down on the couch explaining that he could have the remote back once he checked his room.

He argued with me and I kept my cool. I did not yell. I did not let my temper get the best of me. I spoke calmly and repeated that he would get the remote once he had gone to look for the headphones. Finally I said that if he was sure they were not there could he please just humor me and go take a look. Stood in the door and said looked. Uh-uh get up there and look.

I heard him climb up into his bed and silence. After a few moments I got up and double checked the table and counter just in case I was being a hardass for something I had in fact done. I stood watching him from the doorway as he climbed down and threw the headphones at me. I think he thought I was going to crow and say I told you so. Or some form of that. Instead I said thank you I really appreciate that you looked for them. Warned him I might sing and was that okay? I was informed that it was most definitely not cool to sing out loud. I made no promises. He giggled.

I need to be his example. I cannot expect him to act one way and for me to act another. I will slip. I am sure that I will make a mocking comment about someone, and snort giggle when reading memes on FB again I am no saint. But I will actively work to do this. For both of us. And in a world full of negatives looking for the positive is hard. And that is when I learned my second lesson.

What I do now is easy. I am in my home. Being a good example is not hard when I am not interacting with others for extended time periods. I will be going back to work. I will be around toxic people who are going to attempt to shame me. Those who are going to judge me. Not celebrating with me as I recover from this bout of depression. That I am emerging a better stronger woman. And it is going to be hard to not to give in. To not laugh at that little aside about a coworker. A dis about an employee. An irate customer. Being tired. I could come up with a thousand reasons why I slipped back and forget what I was doing this for in the first place.

Yes in part this is a step in my mental health and realizing that I was following a cycle that my father got from his mother. I was yelling at T and several times during the week I cut myself off from phrases he said. I need to break it here and now. But this is for Tember. Our children are our future, and I want to encourage T to see the good first before having to process the bad.