I feel like a little mouse trapped in the corner of the room by a huge, hungry cat. I feel like I did when I was a little girl and I heard the front door open at 3 am when my dad came stumbling home from the pup, dead drunk. I feel like I’m about to get grounded or in trouble for something that I can’t defend against. I feel like no one will believe me when I tell. I feel like no one will care, even if they do believe me.
Mike writes that he’s glad I’m having a bad week too so he doesn’t have to feel so alone in his. I’m not glad I’m having a bad week. I feel like all of the gains I have made over the last five years are slipping away from me faster than I can run. I was doing SO well guys. I had therapy all under control and I worked through so many painful memories and issues…I faced up to what I really was and I made positive changes; I learned to be thankful for things I had forgotten were important. I learned to love myself more than I ever have.
I got the depression under control. I stopped having flashbacks and panic attacks. I learned to manage the anxiety without medication. I was strong enough to go find help for all of this plus started looking into what was wrong with my back. That was hard….getting that done, particularly since the outcome was just “your spine is fucked and you’ll be in pain for the rest of your life. Oh, and it will get progressively worse as you go, as a bonus.” So. I learned to manage the pain. I learned how to believe in myself as a mother and effectively loved and raised my disabled son while advocating for him like a mama lion without alienating all of the people he has to work with in the school system. I stood up firm and cut ties with my toxic family and never looked back. I kept working full time, didn’t let the past affect my present…. I managed to get my life back on track. And now, I’m looking narcolepsy dead in the eyes and I’m TRYING so hard to overcome it but it keeps winning…keeps pushing me back. I was still okay though, with all of that, until the bosses started in on me and the failure and self-worth fears overcame me and now I feel like I’m right back where I started?
Was it all just an illusion? Did I never really have control? Did I never really overcome any of it? Did I just employ a stubborn sense of denial and a handful of dissociative tricks to avoid dealing with it all while thinking I was dealing with it all? I can’t tell you how gutting that thought is. I very nearly fainted when I just wrote that…the reality of it all spinning my head.
I just want to be free of this. I just want to be a normal, functioning human being. I want to be able to let people into my house. The water company had to come into my house the other night to install a new meter that they can read remotely so they can start charging water use in real time. Dayne was home and dealt with the guy who was quick and pleasant enough. I thought I was fine, holed up in my room with the door closed (and barricaded) but just after he left I fell apart. I got in the shower to hide my freak out but the panic was thudding in my chest and I felt like I couldn’t breathe for the longest time. I want to be able to not do that. Please. I just don’t know how.
I’m sitting here in my office now, terrified that everything is coming undone.
Need to focus on something positive. Now. Going to hide in the locker room and look at pics of Colt’s birthday like Cassie suggested. That should help. He always helps me focus.
My head is pounding. I went home early yesterday because I just couldn’t do it for one more second (without sobbing in my office with its exposing windowed walls) so I begged off at about 1:00. My head was screaming with pain. My neck gets out of control when the stress goes up – the muscles are generally locked in place because my spine is so badly degenerated through my cervical spine that my body compensates and tries to protect it. The locked muscles squeeze the vertebra and the nerves that are trapped get even more crushed and the pain skyrockets. Once the pain goes up I get more tense and it starts to feel like I can’t get any blood to my brain … then the headache begins and it gets worse and worse until I start to sweat and vomit, shaking on the floor with both hands clamped to my head, unstoppable tears flowing . When I cry, something inside my head seems to swell and the headache reaches new highs…sometimes I black out, it gets so bad. So. That’s about where I was headed when I decided to leave yesterday. Also, the stress caused an instant crash….I was totally exhausted and my body started going into sleep/shut down mode. Eyelids wouldn’t stay open, dreams started flickering on the edges of my mind…I started seeing double images, one real, one not….couldn’t stay focused on conscious thoughts. A friend drove home behind me, just to be safe (she’s retired and offered to help should I ever need it) and I pulled into my drive way and rested my head against the steering wheel for a moment. My friend drove off with a wave and the next thing I remember is waking up with my face all mashed into the hole on my steering wheel. I stumbled out of my car, looking drunk….(oh my what will the neighbours think?) and clumsily opened the front door. I kept locking the deadbolt and unlocking the door then locking the door and unlocking the deadbolt. *Sigh* I finally got into my house and I fell onto the couch, shoes on, bag over my shoulder, and that was me until 2 am when I woke and moved to the bed.
I woke up so tired.
I dreamed I was working on a cruise ship that had been taken over by pirates. I was wearing a pair of super tight jeans and a pair of impossibly high high heels (that I freaking loved). My boss, the bitchy one from real life, was there and kept telling me I wasn’t allowed to wear jeans while I was working but because the customers seemed to like it so much, she was letting me away with it. I snuck into a bathroom and found a stash of fancy, gourmet chocolate in a cupboard and started to gorge myself on it, the entire time berating myself because I knew the skinny jeans wouldn’t fit after I was done.
Anyway. My head is killing me and I’m drop dead tired and now I’m even more behind at work. I don’t want to be here. I want to sleep. I want to cry.
Hahaha….oooh fml. I just thought I’d maybe try my family doc to see if she’s had a change of heart and is willing to treat me for the narcolepsy SHE told me she thinks I have before the study in December. I just can’t deal with all of this at once. The pain, the headaches, the exhaustion, the work stress, the everything else stress….and Colt goes back to school in less than two weeks. How am I going to manage that change for him while I’m barely able to hold onto what I currently have going? So…called the doc.
“Okay Grainne, let’s get you in for….Sept 17th? Would that work for you?”
Wait what? I can’t get into see my family doc for a fifteen fucking minute appointment until the 17th of September?! That’s nearly a month away. :S Honestly?
Damnit. I’m so tired of all this struggling and fighting to end up nowhere.
I’m going to work my ass off today and try as hard as I can to get a bit caught up here and then I’m going to go home and drink wine until I pass out, be it 530 or midnight. If I can beat the exhaustion, I might have half a chance of having a dreamless sleep for the first few hours, at least. Alcohol makes me more tired. Caffeine makes me more tired. Sugar does nothing at all. Food doesn’t help even though I’m eating a very clean diet designed to feed my body and produce energy. Sleep doesn’t help, rest doesn’t help, ignoring it doesn’t help, fighting it doesn’t help. I guess I’m out of options today. Might as well…what? Keep existing. It’s all I can think of to do.
(Thank you, my wonderful friends, for all the love and support over the last few days. I really, really appreciate having you guys in my life. Just losing the balancing act between good and bad just now. Will find my way back to more productive living one of these days. I hope.) xx
This morning I was met in my office but a few staff members who brought me flowers and wanted to know if I was okay. I didn’t say anything yesterday to anyone about how rotten my day was, I didn’t have to….they all know. The group wanted to let me know that the boss (the aggressive one) has been complaining about me to them, or rather, complaining openly about me in their staff office (one large room with about 60 staff stations and meeting space). She’s making offhand comments like “Grainne better actually book this meeting or she’s going to be in huge trouble…” and crap like that. I think I already wrote about her stupid bbq poster but to recap, she sent me a document to print and post in the staff room. I had not posted it because, quite frankly, it was not the highest priority item on my list that day and I was trying to catch up on so much else….another staff member had printed it, however, so I though the matter was resolved. The boss went into the office, which was full at the time, and declared:
“Grainne was supposed to print that flyer!”
Someone was kind enough to point out the copy on the wall.
“Well yes, but that one is ripped.” Was the response.
Apparently she’s been doing that a lot. How unprofessional. She’s rather well known for that sort of petty behaviour so it comes as no surprise to me or anyone else, but it really eats at me, that kind of bullying. She’s trying to sway people to her side so she can feel justified in treating me like shit…my father was good at this game too.
So. I printed up the policy. Her behaviour falls directly into the bullying category which is against the employment standards act and human rights along with a direct breach of company policy. I know I only have two options at this point – I have to either back down and just put up with it, work as many hours as I physically can and get everything done while kissing her arse on a minute-to-minute basis or I have to stand up and fight. (Flight! Flight! Cries my every PTSD influenced instinct). Damn it.
It’s something about me that does this. Somehow, I fuck things up and bring this behaviour out in people. I had a hard time with my last two bosses as well…one was a complete jack ass and the other had a god complex so huge he could barely stand to refer to himself as human. He actually liked me until the courier messed up and didn’t get a poster presentation to him in time for a talk he was giving in Florida one year. It was because the courier missed the customs pick up but….he got so mad at me that he never really worked with me again…just pretended I didn’t exist and moved offices to another campus (picked up a new contract as well which afforded him a second assistant whom he favoured. Just dropped me like an unsavory ex. Can’t even begin to explain what that did to my abandonment and self-worth issues).
But really, why do I piss these people off so much? Why can’t I just deliver what they expect? It drives me nuts, thinking on it and trying to sort through it all. I know, on one hand, that it isn’t all me but how is it that I just keep finding these bosses? Coincidence? Karma? What have I done wrong? I’ve been VERY clear about how overwhelming this work load is and have tried several times to rework processes but they keep ending up angry that I’m not getting “X” done. “X”, by the way, becomes whatever it is they have decided to focus on that day. Sometimes it’s meeting that didn’t get booked and sometimes it comes out of left field entirely. Yesterday, there was a hissy fit because a piece of equipment used by I don’t know which service appeared without a biomed screening sticker on it. Firstly, I didn’t even know what the equipment was, secondly, there are assistants in the programs who monitor and maintain this stuff….or so I thought. I was told, in an angry little diatribe, that the girl who used to do this job ordered, received, processed and inventoried all of the equipment. All of it. Why I can’t manage it is becoming a problem.
The problem, really, is that I’m not working 60 hours a week. I would do, if they’d pay me for it, but my time after 37.5 hours is free. I’m exhausted all the time, I’m trying to manage this fucking back pain without meds that make me more tired, and two bosses who are triggering my every sore spot in ptsd-land. I’m starting to feel hopeless and depression is looming quietly in the corner.
Stress leave is starting to look like a good idea. Sadly, suicide is also equally appealing today. Eternal sleep is so alluring. If I wasn’t a mom, I’d have been gone a long time ago, I think.
I don’t think I’ve written about this much in the past few years but I have a fantasy I find so comforting and fall back to often in times like these. I miss my mom so much….the dead one, and sometimes I imagine myself digging into the ground where she is buried, cracking open the casket she rests in and crawling in next to her. When I was little, I would imagine using her ribcage to hide in so it could protect me. I would let the casket close and imagine the sound of the dirt as it rained down into the grave, sealing me in. It still puts me to sleep some nights.
I wonder, often, what my life might have been like had my parents not died. I don’t like to think on it too long or I start to get angry at all the things I’ve missed out on. So much. Then again, I’ve learned so much by taking this route. Sadly, on days like today, it all feels pretty fucking useless despite it all. When I think of the fight I’ve used to get to here and then I put it against how I’m feeling today, I can’t even see the point of it all.
Just sitting here. Sitting here. This morning, before 800, the outwardly aggressive boss tore into me about a series of things that have nothing to do with me. Someone used the wrong weekend sheet, someone didn’t enter their stats for one day correctly, someone didn’t put the call back info in the right mailbox. I haven’t made a flow chart indicating the flow of equipment repair, I didn’t print her stupid bbq flier soon enough and the one I did print got ripped. Ripped…she’s pissed at me because the fucking piece of paper got ripped. The other boss was standing in line waiting to ask me if I’d finished this order and that spreadsheet and the report I was asked to do and did I get all the interviews set up and payroll corrected?
I have four more days to get two weeks work in because I have to take TWO days off to cover a gap the sitter left with her vacation. Two days. I will be coming directly back into my two busiest audits – compensation and statistics and will only have one day to complete each. They usually take me three days to complete if I work overtime (for free) and ignore everything else. I’ve had to do that last week because of payroll so I’m a week behind there…then a million things came up they wanted me to do so I got more behind. This week I’m scrambling to get ahead so I’m not fucked when I come back after my two day vacation, so….one more week behind. The week I return I’ll be swamped, so there’s the third week. You see how this is going? No matter what I do I’m fucked. I’m doing the job of so many people it’s impossible to do the work simply based on bulk alone. You can’t do that much in 50 hours….I mean, forget the 37.5 I’m paid for.
Worst part? The bosses are angry and hostile and feeling like I’m not performing effectively. Then, they get together and natter each other into a frenzy of Grainne-hate which just slays my confidence and then I end up where I am now, sitting in the ladies locker room in tears.
Last night I dreamed that I was with a bunch of friends (the folks who follow me around in dreams) and I decided to break into someone’s backyard (and house) and throw a pool party in their pool. It seemed a great idea until I actually got things going….the guests were noisy and everyone was drinking and getting a bit rowdy. I was afraid the neighbours were going to call the cops so I tried to quiet them down a bit. Then I started to worry that the owners of the house might come home and I was petrified of being caught. I regretted that pool party so much but I couldn’t get anyone to leave once it began.
Then…I dreamed I was heading to work in the morning. (Dream work, not real work) I was riding a bike in the snow and the tires kept slipping so I was having to concentrate on my balance more than usual. I looked up part way through my journey and was stunned to realize where I was…I had somehow ended up at my mom’s house and I was passing right by it. I checked the time quickly and realized with a thud of horror that it was exactly the time she always left in the morning. I really didn’t want to run into her. I carried on and came to a steep hill that I used to love to ride my bike down as a kid and let myself go a bit faster but the snow kept me cautious. I ended up having to stop completely to avoid hitting a pedestrian who was trying to get through the snow ahead of me and, as she turned to apologize for slowing me down, I realized it was my mom. I froze and waited for her to recognize me but she didn’t. She looked me right in the face and mumbled her apology for being in the way and then turned as if talking to a stranger. It hurt, weirdly. I got to the train/bus station and hid behind a crowd of people, waiting for her bus to arrive and leave before I boarded mine, not wanting to have another chance to make eye contact with her again.
I woke up remembering how she didn’t even recognize my voice when her and my dad called a few months ago. It’s only been five years or so…if that. (Or maybe more, I don’t think about it and can’t really grasp the passage of time between that time of my life and this one). Anyway. It made me feel like shit.
Then, I get to work and find this waiting for me. I feel so low. I am mad that these people can make me feel this way and I’m miserable at the same time. I’m finding it hard to convince myself to start busting my ass to get all this work done right now. No one will care anyway, as long as there’s anything else outstanding.
I’m really tired too. I want to sleep and I want to hide. One is due to disordered sleep cycles and the other a lack of will to work through this. I don’t understand though….as hard as I try and as much as I put in, I never seem to win. (not true, I know, but it feels that way today. I feel chewed up and spat out).
This morning Dayne’s father woke us up at 5 am for no reason other than he’s pissed at Dayne for not talking to him. Mind you, he’s an asshole and stays out of contact for years until he decides he wants something from us or just wants to put Dayne down so he can feel better about himself somehow. *sigh* Anyway. I woke from a dream that has seriously stuck with me. Going to write it out here just for the sake of it.
I was in an area of my dream city that I’ve visited many times but never lived in. There is a house there that I used to go to all the time because there is a bedroom inside that I desperately want to sleep in. I don’t know why it’s so safe and comforting but the family who lives there does not like to find me curled up in their spare bedroom so I am forever getting kicked out. lol…imagine that!
So this area of town is very city subdivision in nature, most of the houses being one of three styles the builders offered when it was first constructed. Every garage is the same with the same little ineffective windows at the top, the fencing is identical and the single tree planted at the end of each lot mirrors the next, all immature and sparse. The streets run parallel in a perfect grid and four highways form the outer square, leading off to different towns and cities.
There was a man loose in the neighbourhood who was on a rampage. He was angry like I’ve never seen anyone angry before and his wild hair and wild eyes warned of danger from any vantage point I took. He had something to do with me but I didn’t know how….first, I thought he was my father but quickly dismissed that idea. He was close to me though, somehow, and it although I didn’t have any control or influence over his actions, I somehow felt like they had something to do with me in a not-so-distant way. I watched over him as he began his rampage across the homes and people of the several block radius that I could see from where I stood.
The first house he approached was a corner lot that had property on three sides. They had a lovely glass greenhouse set up at the side and I could see healthy green plants inside. He ran….sprinted, really, up to that greenhouse with a crowbar in his hand and gave a swing that instantly shattered three panes of class which rained down razor sharp crystal raindrops into the lawn surrounding. He walked through the hole he had made and smashed his way through the other side as well. Upon reaching the house he tossed his crowbar aside and, digging his long discoloured fingernails into the sliding screen door at the back patio entrance to the house, he ripped it free and walked inside, chest and arms flexed, veins straining through his skin from neck to waist visible even through his cotton shirt. I moved from where I stood to follow him and watched as he flipped the solid wood kitchen table upside down with a single motion and swiped all the small appliances from the counter top of the clean, modern kitchen he found himself in. He picked up a chair and swung it at the wall, breaking it into many pieces and leaving a great gash in the drywall, dust filling the air in violent swirls behind the swing. He roared a wordless cry and charged into the next room, swiping family photographs from the walls on both sides of the short hallway, and I heard a terrible commotion kick up before I had moved in close enough to see what was going on.
In the living room there was a nice looking elderly couple sitting frozen with fear in their matching easy-chairs while what looked like infomercials played on the television across the room. The woman had been knitting but had dropped her work, one needle in the air, when the intruder burst into their home.
“I’m going to rip you limb from limb!” He bellowed with a tone so menacing it gave me goose bumps.
Without a second of hesitation he launched forward and toppled the side table next to the man and then grabbed him by his shirt which balled up in his giant fist. He picked the frail old man up with one arm and shook him so violently I heard his bones snap and break. His wife, too shocked to scream, just sat there and watched. The crazed man began ripping the elderly man’s clothing off and didn’t stop when he had stripped him naked, but continued clawing and tearing until he had managed to completely skin his victim alive. By the time he was finished, the eviscerated corpse only resembled a pile of meat and organs as it dropped to the floor. Then he turned to the woman who, finally, found the energy to try to run. She stood but he was on her before she could take a step. He jumped on top of her and I watched her crumple under his weight. It looked like he was trying to eat her from his posture and motion but I soon realized that he was just head butting her in the face, over and over, until her head was nothing but a bloody, pulpy mess. I was sickened beyond words but knew there was nothing I could do for these people. After the poor woman was dead he left her where she was and spun around the room tearing it to shreds. The couch cushions gave way to his claws immediately and fluff filled the air, most of which had streaks of blood from his hands and body, picked up while he mangled his victims.
We moved. He went out the front door, leaving it wide open, and directly across the street where he didn’t even break pace as he smashed through a bay window three feet above the ground. I heard a woman scream before I saw him grab her by the hair. He swung her in a full circle like a pitcher warming up his pitching arm, and her limbs crashed off the ceiling and floor as she screamed. The television was on and set to a children’s show but I didn’t see any kids around; I was so thankful for that. This woman’s house was trashed just like the last although her death was faster and far less gruesome.
We traveled through the house and onto the next where a blind man lived with his aging service dog. The dog seemed to know what was happening and he lay down at the intruders feet, resigned to his fate, it seemed. He brutally beat the poor animal to death and then turned on the blind man, suddenly silent and stealthy. For some reason, he wanted the attack to be a surprise, which only made him seem more of monster to me. I yelled out and warned the blind man, so he could prepare somehow, and he turned in my direction and thanked me moments before he was stabbed all the way through his torso with two brass fireplace tools from his own hearth. I watched until he stopped breathing, feeling that someone should.
This carried on for many, many houses and there were so many deaths I nearly stopped reacting to them emotionally. The destruction left in the wake of this horrible path was absolute; vehicles left in mangled strips of twisted metal and plastic, lawns torn up and gardens decimated, every window in every house broken and left with jagged shards dangling and sometimes letting go on their own to crash to the ground below. The roofs were torn wide open and some were aflame; walls were bulldozed into rubble, furniture in pieces and scattered everywhere as if a tornado had just swept through and destroyed everything standing. My view of the town pulled back as if on a helicopter and I was able to survey the town from above. The wreckage was heart breaking…nothing seemed to have survived; not a building, plant, animal or human.
Zooming back down to street level, I followed the sound of chaos to once again catch up with the crazed man. As I wandered up and town the street and through the broken, blood soaked homes, I came upon a woman who was standing in her kitchen looking dazed. She filled a kettle with water and set it on the broken stove, turned on the gas and then went to find a cup that wasn’t shattered.
“I’m just trying to make some tea.” She said, looking directly at the place where the ceiling should have been.
“Don’t you see what’s happened?” I asked her, even though she hadn’t been speaking to me.
“I don’t know what you mean. I just wanted a cup of tea….” she answered and wandered to another part of the house.
I could still hear the killer roaring and smashing things in the distance so I knew he wasn’t far. I left her house and went down the street where I saw another flash of movement inside a broken building. This time it was a man who was sitting in his bedroom, everything around him was broken and there was a water pipe spraying water across the room as he lay on his bed, half propped up by a soggy pillow. He was trying to read a newspaper but it kept getting soaked with water and the pages stuck together and turned see-through.
“Are you okay?” I asked, quietly tapping on the wall so I didn’t startle him.
“What the hell are you doing in my bedroom?!” he asked in a loud voice.
I backed away and continued through the neighbourhood, tracking the angry sounds and collapsing buildings. The noise grew louder and suddenly stopped as I caught a glimpse of the crazed man standing outside the last house he had decimated.
“What is wrong with the people who are still alive?” I asked, knowing somehow that he would have the answer. “Why don’t the react to the destruction around them?”
He looked at me and took a breath, his chest still heaving from the exertion and adrenaline coursing through his veins.
“They are the ones who can’t see past their own reality. They don’t see what is around them because they refuse to…they don’t want to see the truth.”
I was taken by that statement. It didn’t seem possible to me that they could not see what was so plainly around them. They just couldn’t allow themselves to suffer? They couldn’t face the fear and loss of things and people and animals around them? It didn’t make sense…but there it was…people just wandering in a daze as if they couldn’t see what was right in front of them.
If that’s not an allegory for today’s society I don’t know what is. Ha…or maybe it’s one for my life and state of mind, rather. I’m looking for a new job. I’m really sad to leave this role because there are so many good people here. I love the staff and they really like and appreciate me too….it’s just too toxic with the leadership. It’s so unfortunate that two people can ruin something so good. I’m not going to pass up opportunities for change though…that would be stupid. I’m going to allow myself the option of finding something better. I know I can’t do this for another 20 years and expect to come out happy and healthy on the other side. Life is just too short and too precious to waste this much time, energy and anxiety on a job. It’s just a job too…not a ‘career’…nothing more than a paycheque, really, so I figure that if it’s just the means to enjoy the rest of my life, it shouldn’t be the thing that drives me emotionally. Right? Right. I’ve made contact with a surgeon I used to work with and really like….I know his secretary will be retiring soon. I was also contacted by an office that I worked with in my last job and the regional coordinator is set to retire next fall…if nothing else, I’m definitely applying for that one…I have a very good chance of getting it and it comes with full benefits and pension, just like this job does. That’s all I need. The stress, I can do without.
For now, I’m finding work to be a stressful place to be. It makes me feel so triggered and anxious, depressed and unsure. I’m going to work on letting those things go.
Haha…mind you, school starts again in a few weeks. That will be a stress returned. *sigh* Cycle cycle cycle. I want off this treadmill but for Colt, I’ll stay engaged. If I could just stop sleeping and reaming such terrible nightmares this would all be so much easier. I think.
No call from the cancellation list from the sleep clinic yet. I’m going to bug them again and remind them that I’m a great candidate for a last minute call in. Fine line between being a pain and keeping yourself on the radar.
Right. I’ve wasted an hour of my day already. Time to get some work done. *Deep breath* aaaaand GO!
I have been terrible about posting my six o’clock shot for the last two weeks (ahem, or so). I decided to make it up with a few pics from work.
This week, one of the docs brought me sunflowers (She is such a sweetheart. Saw I was having a hard week with the bosses and wanted to brighten my day).
One of the therapists gave me some beautiful little flowers from her garden as well. I have a little money tree from the quieter of the two bosses from last year and another plant from another staff member living in my office too, so it was looking quite lovely in there yesterday.