Struggle.

I seem to be constantly going through the motions lately. Nothing is as it seems. If I seem to feel like maybe I’m treading water, something else comes over in an attempt to drown me. I’m able to continue to tread water, but when will it finally be the time where I can just say, “all right, I’m done,” and just fucking drown already? When do I finally get to say “enough is enough?” Why is it always that things have to come to a complete and utter fucking head where I flip my fucking shit before shit gets fucking done? And why is it that I’m the only one adult enough to even recognize the shit that needs to be done?

I’m just so fucking tired of struggling. I know I’ve bitched about it enough, but I feel like that is all I fucking do nowadays. It’s a struggle to get up. It’s a struggle to get my kid to school. It’s a struggle to go into the work place. It’s a struggle to come home [in one piece]. It’s a struggle to have a partner that fucking does shit without me having to fucking nag at him 20 fucking times. It’s a struggle to just exist most days.

I’m kind of tired of it all.

“Remember How We Were, We Really Were, Before This Disaster Came and Tore Us All Apart.”

I should have known these walls would cave in
I should have never left my heart there on the line

Hurricane by Theory of a Deadman

I think one of the worst things that we do when our lives blow up is all of the remonstrating we have with ourselves after the fact. You’re practically writhing on a roasting spit from hell, turned over and over again by no one but yourself. And in that moment, while you’re torturing yourself with all of the things you could have done to prevent the flaming destruction of your life, you are very, very busy forgetting a key factor. And that key factor is that hindsight is 20/20. So, it’s easy to go back through and see where you screwed up, inventorying all of the wrongs you committed in an effort to figure out where it all went wrong. The problem is that you may not actually be at fault for that destruction, but a bystander as your life goes down in flames. Even if that’s the case, it doesn’t really matter because you’re still too busy, categorizing your fuck-ups while watching girly romantic movies (for women, anyway), ugly sobbing into your pint of Coffee Coffee, Buzz Buzz Buzz.

I’ve thought long and hard over the course of the last few days. In my more rational and clear-thinking moments, of which there are precious few, I know that I am not the cause of this. I know that there is nothing I could have said, nothing I could have done that would prevent TH from needing to “run away.” And in effect, that is precisely what he has done. As he has made it clear to me, he never said he wanted to end things. He never said he didn’t want to be a part of my life or our son’s life. He just needed to put everything on hold while he sorted out his thoughts and emotions (an indefinite hold). While I can understand that desire on the most basic of levels, it doesn’t mean that the facts aren’t the same. He still walked out of the house and is living in his parents’ basement. He has still made both my life and my son’s life harder because he is not here. And he has broken my trust at the most fundamental levels because now, if we do get back together and attempt to live happily ever after, I will always worry that he will “run away” again when things get too difficult.

I completely understand the whole needing to “run away” thing. I most people do. I honestly believe that every person gets to a point where they are entirely fed up with everything and need to take some time for themselves. However, the problem I have with how he went about it is that most peoples’ ideas of running away do not mean walking out on your family. It means that you go to another room. It means you ask your spouse for time alone while you mull things over. It means that you go for a Sunday drive and admire the scenery for a while. It means you walk around the mall. It means you go out to lunch by yourself. It means a lot of different things, none of which equate to actually moving out of your homestead and leaving your family members in the lurch.

In those rational, logical moments, I remind myself that he is very young. While only five years actually separate us on the physical age level, in the realm of emotional maturity, we are vastly beyond each other. I am only his second relationship in his entire life. And in the course of that relationship, we have had a lot more downs than we have had ups. We have had a lot of pain filled changes in the last six years, not all of them horrible, and it’s a lot for someone who has never been in a long-term relationship prior to me to handle. In those moments, I can compassionately understand where he is coming from and in a way, I can forgive him for what he has done to us. I don’t like it. I don’t agree with it. In fact, I still want to punch him in the face because of this. However, I can understand and even sympathize because he is young and he doesn’t know any better.

Even though I can see where he is coming from, even though I can kind of understand it, I still end up feeling like my heart has been broken. I still end up listening to really depressing music, like I was when I was 16 and my then-boyfriend broke up with me for no apparent reason. I remember that week of our being broken up like it was yesterday. I was depressed. I didn’t shower. I didn’t eat. I didn’t sleep. I didn’t do anything but lie blankly in my bed or my mother’s bed and just stare at the walls. Sometimes, to take my mind off of the pain, I would read a book or twenty. And then we got back together and the heart-break subsided until months later. I literally feel like I need to be doing the same thing all over again, only instead, I have to be a mom and do all the things moms do so I can’t really wallow.

And that kind of pisses me off a little because it shows that I’m the more responsible person here.

When I’m done being rational and being angry, then I end up wallowing in the mire of guilt that continues to plague me. As I said above, there is nothing worse in an emotional upheaval of this level than the recriminations you pass on yourself. I’ve sat around for hours, just mulling over how I could have prevented this from happening to myself and to my son. I will do the laundry and there I am, wallowing in guilt. I will cook some dinner and there I am, wallowing in guilt. I’ve been wallowing in the guilt, trying to figure out where I went wrong. I must have screwed up somewhere, right?

I’m not very demonstrative in my affections. I used to be, but as the years past, I haven’t been. I find it easier to keep people at arm’s length because then it won’t hurt so badly when they fuck you over. (Ha. Ha. Ha.) The thing is that I’ve been trying to be a lot nicer to TH lately (the last six months or so). I haven’t been demonstrative of my feefees or anything, but I’ve been saying kinder things to him. It’s a physical prod a lot of the times and stuff just spews out of my mouth that is nicer than I normally am. About a month ago, I told everyone he was a very good father and a good boyfriend. A while back, I told everyone that he is awesome. These are some things, but I wonder if my failure was in not telling him that, specifically? He was there when I said those things, but they weren’t to his face, so perhaps there is my failing?

However, TH suffers from excessively awful bad self-esteem. I honestly don’t know what caused it or why it started. It really doesn’t matter what the cause of his bad self-image is because I can’t fix it. No matter what I say, who I say it to, and when I say it, he will always feel like he is a poor substitute or that he doesn’t measure up to anyone else in his life. I have extremely poor self-esteem, myself. I understand how it is, but either you contend with the negative feelings about yourself and deal with them as they come, or you ignore them completely. No matter what I say, how I say it, when I say it, where I say, or what I’m saying, if he doesn’t deal with his self-esteem issues, then it’s going to continue to cause a problem for him. I could metaphorically make him to be the walking on water type of guy – not that I would – and it really wouldn’t matter. Whatever lies at the core of his poor self-image is a monster he has to fight on his own.

I can’t fight it for him.

Another ongoing issue is that he has a very hard time of letting things go. In all the instances he provided where he felt that I didn’t care about him, they were all very old occurrences. I’ve thought about this some and while those instances could have helped to feed the self-esteem beast eating apart his insides, However, I honestly wonder if those items he mentioned were his attempt at grasping at straws. I honestly worry that this self-esteem thing, this feeling like I don’t need him or want him thing, is all just a very big cover.

I’ve thought about this for a while and it doesn’t necessarily track. I don’t deny that TH has bad self-esteem or that I am not overly demonstrative in how I feel about him. I do not deny that I could have done better, though I know that I wouldn’t have done any better if given the chance. I wonder, honestly, if the core issue is the asexuality thing. It’s a big bite to swallow for any man, whether they are a normal hormonally charged twenty-five year old or not. The prospect of possible never having sex ever again is something that most people, most normal people, would find impossible to fathom, much less to live with. And I can’t help but wonder if the lack of sex is why he feels like he’s not an integral part of my life. Apparently, emotional connections are all fine and dandy, but it is the physical connection that means the most.

Obviously, I’ve had sex with TH. We have a child together. However, the fact remains that sex holds little to no interest to me at present and I honestly do not know how long this will last. I have to assume it’s a forever thing just to be on the safe side. I can’t get someone’s hopes up with an indefinite unknown hanging in the balance. And I can’t help but think that societal norms regarding sex are being played out here. Someone – not me – equates sex with love and tenderness and happiness. Someone else – definitely me – equates sex with a biological need to reproduce and equates love, tenderness and happiness with the emotional connection two people can have. Society, however, has this ridiculous need to obsess over sex and how it is part and parcel to a relationship.

In some cases, that is the case.

However, when it comes to an asexual, that is definitely not the case.

I just worry that the actual reason for all of this heartbreak is that I can love someone, unconditionally, without sex complicating matters. I don’t need to feel someone in a physical way in order to know that I love them, cherish them, and enjoy their company. I don’t need that in any context to make me feel better about myself. Sure, when I am interested, the sex is pretty darn awesome. But that doesn’t mean I need it in order to feel like a human being. I don’t need it to complete me. And maybe TH does because that’s who he is as a person. And if that’s the case then, you know, things will either be completely over, as I think will be the case, or he’ll realize that an emotional connection is more important than a physical one. And things might work out for the better.

I would like to hope, but my hope button is broken.

I’m caught in a hurricane
I’m leaving here dead or alive
And I know that I’d be willing to feel the pain
If it got me to the other side
Cause I only hurt
Oh, hurricane
Yeah I can feel it hurt
Oh, hurricane

“All Those Fairy Tales Are Full of Shit.”

You can’t expect me to be fine,
I don’t expect you to care
I know I’ve said it before
But all of our bridges burned down.

Payphone by Maroon 5

One of the things that I hate most about being human is running the long gamut of emotions that any one person can. I really despise having to feel things outside of the positive emotions. However, I know that humans are one of those complex creatures, so we kind of have to run the gamut now and again. I would much prefer to not bother with some of the other emotional responses humans can go through, but again, I know that I have no choice. That doesn’t mean I have to particularly like it.

Last night, before I went to bed, I was blissfully numb. I say blissfully because it didn’t matter what I thought of because it didn’t impact me on an emotional level. I went to sleep completely numb to everything that was going on around me. I think this is probably how humans start to deal with the emotional gamut. When we’re shocked out of the status quo of our lives, we go into this sort of numbing embrace. And that numbing embrace is one of those things that I particularly like. I’ve been numb a lot lately, trying to process everything that’s been going on in my personal life, and I find it much easier to handle whatever it is going on in my life when I’m in that particular stage.

I find it easier to look at things logically. I also find it easier to decide what the correct emotional response will be. Chances are, if I’m blowing up at someone, it’s not because I just enjoy flying off the handle. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t actually enjoy making other people feel like shit. Honestly, if I’m flying off the handle, it’s probably because I went through a long or short period of “numbness,” looked over the entirety of the situation, and chose the appropriate [in my eyes] emotional response. If there’s something I got from the horror fest that was my married life to my ex-husband, it was the ability to go into a numbing time-out and pick what appropriate emotional response would come out next. (And that was actually kind of important when married to a control freak.)

However, in this situation, I’m not able to stay in that numb phase. I can’t just plunk myself down and remain there. I can do so – prepare myself, so to speak – if and when I’m discussing the situation with the people I care to share it with. However, I can’t stay there. I keep waffling between being emotional numb inside, in an effort to choose the correct emotional response, to heartbroken to furious. And no matter how much I try to tell myself that the heartbroken and the furious are not emotional responses that I have chosen for myself, I still feel them anyway.

At about four thirty this morning, I woke up irrationally angry. And by “irrational,” I mean that I seriously considered throwing things out on the front of the house and see how quickly TH’s video game collection disappears. And by “irrational,” I mean that I seriously considered the idea of breaking his Xbox (all of them). And by “irrational,” I mean that I seriously considered walking over there and punching him in the face. I was not at my best. I had been having dreams about work in a definite effort to escape from the other dreams that could have manifested, which pisses me off because I’m at work all the time anyway. And it pisses me off because I was doing the great art of escapism in my dreams. The worst part about being irrationally angry is that it sets your adrenaline pumping with all of the angry, nasty things you want to say and then you can’t fall asleep again… even though you really should because you have a five-year-old who is a practiced steamroller and may not let you nap later.

I was up for two fucking hours being irrationally angry. I thought about all of the fun things I need to get going for this weekend. The absolute most fun part will be the disseminating of our lives together between the two of us, which is what originally made me so irrationally angry. I get to go through all the things we bought together, for each other, and put them all in a place together so that he can pick his shit up at some point. And do you know how much shit you accumulate when you’ve been together for nearly seven years? Yeah, that’s a lot of shit.

Gee, I wonder why I got so angry.

After a while, even irrational anger, fury, and rage have to take a break. And I was able to fall back to sleep after a while.

And when I woke up to my beautiful little man’s face, I felt nothing but heartbreak. I felt nothing but sorrow at the fact that I have to walk alone now. I felt nothing but sorrow at the fact that I am truly and honestly following in my mother’s footsteps. (Could going back to Texas be too far behind?) I didn’t even have the energy to get angry again. I just felt nothing but anguish. I felt anguish as I bundle up my son to go get milk for his breakfast. I felt nothing but anguish as we raced up the steps and out of the rain with our gallon of milk. I felt nothing but anguish at the thought of all the cleaning I need to do today. I felt nothing more than crying, but I won’t because I don’t know how to handle my son’s questions when he finds me crying.

I’ve thought about my sadness. I’ve thought about it and why I feel that way. My friends have all told me that it was for the best. And in a way, yes that’s true. I don’t hold with TH’s little brother’s fucked up decisions to stay with his crazy girlfriend because they have a kid together. I think my sorrow stems from the fact that I get to be another asexual statistic. I get to be yet another asexual person who loved someone who couldn’t love them back.

And now I have to agree with Maroon 5.

If “Happy Ever After” did exist,
I would still be holding you like this
All those fairy tales are full of shit
One more fucking love song, I’ll be sick.

A Year in Review (Better Late Than Never).

I have been debating about this entry for a while. I haven’t really wanted to write over here, actually. I’ve been told that all I do is “complain.” Even though I have a little caveat on the side bar that clearly indicates that is the point in this entire blog, I’ve been keeping myself away even though I’ve been at near-explosive levels of irritation and rage in the last month alone. I’ve also been accused of using this blog to belittle and angst at people. Again, I have to point out that it clearly states on the side bar that if you don’t like what I have to say here then don’t fucking read it. With that, let’s talk about this passed year.

There is no other way to put it: 2012 sucked for me.

For almost the entire year, minus the month of November, I have been unemployed. Most people would assume that being unemployed would be “fun.” I’ve heard people discuss the whole unemployment thing like it was a game. “A bit of time off to get your head in order and then you find a job.” The reality is that unemployment is extremely boring and beyond terrifying. For months on end, you are endlessly hunting for something to replace the last position you had, at a similar pay rate and with similar hours, only to find that there are twenty people in line with you for the same position for the same reasons. And invariably, you don’t get the job and you’re left angry, depressed, and beyond upset at the callousness of your situation.

It may take a while but the “joy” of having some time away from work is quickly replaced with nothing but negative emotions that you have to try to constructively get rid of, otherwise you’re bound for depression town with no way out. Medication is all well and good, but to remove yourself wholly from the depression, you have to get out of the situation causing said depression. How do you do that when 7% to 9% of the entire country is in similar boats? There is, unfortunately, no quick fix for these situations, either. The government keeps going on about how they’re “fixing it,” but the reality is that most of the unemployment numbers are as low as they are because people have lost their benefits and are no longer eligible for any sort of assistance outside of state welfare programs.

I bet if anyone stopped to look at the numbers of welfare programs, state by state, we’d see the reality of the unemployment numbers. I wrote about this in October or so, in which I wrote about my frustration and angst. I was lucky, unlike a lot of people in that situation. A job opened up with the temp agency I had been “working for” since August and I was able to actually take it. For a glorious month, I knew where the money to pay my bills was coming from. But then, the unemployed thing happened all over again, only that time, I wasn’t eligible for state unemployment benefits.

What has made our situation all the more devastating is this fiscal cliff shit that has been going around and around. I watched as the unemployment aid that TH was receiving completely dried up. That’s right; for the last half of December and thus far into January, TH has not had any unemployment benefits either. In all honesty, I think unemployment for construction workers, painters, and other trades should be calibrated differently than other workers but they aren’t. So, we have been literally living entirely off of what is left in my savings account. It got us through Christmas; it got us through no state aid in health insurance, food stamps, or cash assistance. Every now and again, I think ruefully of being denied Head Start funding for my son and wonder, if things had been this dire in August, would we have gotten more help?

Throughout the entirety of 2012, I have felt very much as though a large round mill stone has been around my neck in one form or another. Aside from constantly going to interviews – success; someone wants to talk to me about my qualifications – I have had more rejection E-mails than I can count. All of that has really added up to fray up my confidence. I’m not exactly the most self-confident person in the world, so in either receiving the “thanks, but no thanks” E-mails or no responses at all… it’s added up. I’ve constantly felt as though I am completely inadequate, unable to take care of my family, and just a complete failure in every sense of the word.

What really irritates me about this whole situation is that I have only, ever, applied to jobs that I felt I was qualified for. Occasionally, on a whim, I would fill out for jobs I had no business looking into. Mostly, I’ve been looking in the customer service sector since I know that job backwards and forwards. And for the most part, I’ve been informed that since I don’t have a college education, I can’t possibly get the job. Since customer service really has no business being a college course, I’ve been at a complete low ebb, flowing from anger and irritation to depression and inadequacy.

In early December, I loss a childhood friend who was very dear to me. I’ve written of this friend before. She was “BFTX.” Since she started her path into Christianity, I’ve been waiting for the inevitable fall out that would happen between us. I am distinctly pagan, specifically polytheistic, in my practices. I’ve known that there would come a time when I would lash out or she would. I tried very diligently in giving her advice regarding her “darker moments” and I had tried very hard to maintain a friendship that was slowly falling away into a crumbling heap mess. I won’t get into the specifics, if I ever will. But, the loss of my childhood friend because of a difference in religion really hit me square, center over my heart.

I always thought that our friendship would slog through every possible hook that could be thrown our way. We past through hell, ten times over, together and we managed to come out, not whole, but at least relatively safe on the other side. We stopped talking to one another quite a few times since we started our friendship at eleven, but no matter what, we’ve always managed to pass through the sinkholes and come out all right. In this one, however, I don’t really think that could possibly happen. She’s since blocked me on Facebook after claiming to have apologized for being a bit of a jerk regarding our differences in opinions. Since the words, “I’m sorry I was a dick,” have not reached me, I don’t consider anything she has had to say on the matter properly closed.

I have yet to heal from this loss, in all honesty. It still tweaks at me in ways that I cannot convey. When it comes to soul mates, you just think, Forever and ever, but that’s not always the truth of it. There must be reasons why we are constantly searching for the soul mates. And even sometimes, it doesn’t really matter what the situations are… maybe you find them and maybe you don’t. That doesn’t mean that you’ll be with them forever. Fairy tales have passed out of this world for a reason and reality is a lot of things from happiness to pain. In this particular instance, pain is what I’m learning and what I will, hopefully, one day be able to recover from.

In the mean time.

This past year has been literally awful in so many different ways. I’ve felt, very often, misunderstood, unwelcome, disliked, and unqualified for various reasons. I have felt like a complete failure in religion, friendships, family life, and on a personal level. I have felt as though everything was going to fall down around my shoulders and without my being able to fix it. I think after time goes by and I move further away from this past year, I’ll hopefully be able to look at it more subjectively than I have in this entry. Right now, I simply can’t. There has been too much heartache and too much pain for me to look for all the good things that have happened. Good things have happened in various ways, but the overwhelming feeling of 2012 has been a complete nadir.

As everyone else in my situation has said, or people giving advice to me have said, it can only go up from here.

The Reality of the Unemployment Situation.

I called a friend of mine up in a panic today on my way home from submitting applications and feeling true despair at the totality of my situation. She told me that I wasn’t allowed to panic. We would brain storm about things later together. And then she said to me, “Just don’t panic; you can go on Don’t Panic, but you can’t actually panic.” So, here I am.

Yesterday, I received the news that I knew was coming from the office of unemployment. I was no longer eligible for unemployment benefits and now, I have to become a “welfare bear” in the hopes that my family and I can survive the harsh reality of our situation. I cried. There’s no other words for what my reaction was. I just cried. I cried and I cried and I cried. And I can’t help but wonder how many other people are in my situation, crying their eyes out as they try to find something that allows them to survive in a country that has “no jobs” and is itching to cut the very benefits that will keep people like us alive? I can’t help but be angry at the situation – it sucks – but in reality, I feel very betrayed and disenchanted with everything this country is supposed to stand for.

We hear the politicians talk about how unemployment rates are lower than they were. All right, yes. I’m sure the rates are lower, but the only reason is because people have passed their extended benefits and are no longer eligible, whether they are employed or not. The break down isn’t discussed. You just hear this magic number (I believe it’s 7.8%) touted about and everyone pats each other on the back. “Look what we did! The unemployment rate is down!” But how many of the people who have fallen from unemployment are still looking? How many of those people are living off of state aid in an effort to stay with a roof over their heads and food on the table? I seriously doubt I’m the only person in the entire country facing this crisis.

Did you know they did away with the third tier benefit? And that’s probably the real reason why the unemployment rate is so low.

When you’re filing for unemployment or are living off of the state assistance programs, they actually make you go and take classes at your “local career center.” This is a euphemism for a dark, shadowy place of imprisonment that has absolutely no desire to help you find a job. They tell you about the classes they have and they tell you about using their computers and they update their job postings every day! These are half-truths and outright lies. For example, I have applied for the same job three times via their resource list that cut off hiring in August. In August. (I keep applying because by the time I get that low on the list, I’m drunk with typing and thinking.) Their computers need to be signed up for days in advance, but that’s no big deal. And the classes? They’re typing 101 and they’re how to write a resume 101 and all the next levels to these classes. How are they supposed to get you a job?

Why not have a class about what to wear to an interview? How about a class on proper E-mail etiquette when you’re fishing for a second interview? What about a class on how not to feel like a complete fuck up and loser while you’re going through this crisis? Why not offer counseling services for your mental and emotional well-being instead of all of these “skill set” classes? For the most part, I have to assume that they get enough students for the classes. And I have to assume that they are well received by the local and federal governments because the local career centers are still getting aid at the state and federal levels. So, obviously, this is all well and good in the eyes of politicians who don’t understand what it’s like to have to worry about where the next meal is coming from and what’s more important: gas in your car or toilet paper for your ass.

I am so angry and frustrated all the time. I hate feeling this way. I really feel very similarly to how it was just before MEH and I officially broke it off. I am angry. I am frustrated. I am hurt. I am bewildered. I am scared. And always the same advice from friends and family, “when the doors closes, a window opens.” What they forget to tell you is that you didn’t bring a flashlight, the window is probably a thousand miles down some tight corridor, and you have to find it in the pitch blackness of reality. I hate that phrase right now almost as much as I hate the phrase, “have some hope.” Have some fucking hope?

Everything is wrong and evil and stupid and I am so fucking angry. I am beyond angry. I want to hurt that company so badly. I want to stick it to them. I want their pens to dry up; their computers to be attacked by viruses; their questionable fucking practices investigated on a state level; and I want them all to suffer. I want everyone who threw me under the boss and everyone who still works there and everyone who kisses ass over there to hurt and be angry and know what it’s like to be thrown under the bus after nearly two years of committed service. I want every single one of them to know what it’s like to get interview after interview that lead to nowhere. I want every single one of those selfish twats to see me crying as I panic and worry and have anxiety attacks about how I can’t possibly raise or take care of my family.

And I hate feeling this way.

I’ve worked a very long and hard time to gain adequate control over my emotions. I’ve probably taken that control a little too far, to the point where crying actually physically hurts sometimes because I just… don’t. But I prefer to be in complete control over my emotions instead of being the insane raging beast that I used to be. I much prefer this to that, in all honesty. And the fact that I am always angry, hurt, bewildered, scared, anxious, and panicking drives me fucking insane. All of this drives me fucking insane.

The politicians who think they’re doing a good job.

The people who think they can give advice when they really don’t know the situation well enough to give me advice.

The people who offer me the same old platitudes.

The people who aren’t around to watch me suffer.

The people who did this to me.

I am so fucking insane with rage that all I want to do is shake someone or something all the time. (I suddenly understand BFMA’s intense desire to throw shoes at a door whenever she gets upset on such a better level now.) I don’t do this. I scrub the counters. I scrub the toilet and the bathtub. I do load after load of laundry. I sit down and I fill out endless applications. I sit and I fret, but I don’t shake anyone or anything. I don’t throw shoes at a door. I end up crying instead and have panic attacks.

This is the reality of unemployment, people.

Keep that in mind, too, when you vote on November 6th.

P.S. In case it’s not clear, this isn’t some random “VOTE FOR ROMNEY” ad or anything. Romney can eat a bowl of dicks. I lived in MA when he was governor and he was next to useless. His stance on things like Planned Parenthood, abortion, and his belief that his “business savvy” make him ideal of president are laughable. What I’m saying is DON’T VOTE REPUBLICAN.

Yet Another Week of Feeling Like a Loser.

Note: I’m just venting, so I really don’t want to know if I hurt your feelings.

I put it off as much as I can. But, I know that sometimes, something is going to happen that means I have to call the people in charge, so I try not to put it off too long. I find myself sulking and depressed whenever I click on the link. It gets to the point where I just don’t want to. I keep telling myself, this week, I’ll have the job I need and want, whenever I click the unemployment link. But, you know, each week I apply, I still don’t have a job. And I still feel like the world’s worst loser in the shittiest lottery contest known to mankind.

And whenever I talk about it with other people, employed people, they tell me lots of things that are meant to make me buck up and get on the horse. They’ll remind me that the entire nation is going through a shit time with employment thing. They’ll remind me that I just have to have hope. They’ll tell me that I did pass down some jobs since I’ve been hunting for one. They’ll tell me to suck it up, grow thicker skin, just keep at it. They give me loads of advice. I appreciate the fact that they’re still willing to give me advice when I get so very, very, very low about this job hunting thing. The fact that I haven’t scared them off with my depression regarding my unemployment is an amazing thing. However, I have to say? There are lots of days where the advice fucking sucks.

I don’t really give two shits about how the rest of the country is fairing. Just because I, logically, know that I’m not the only asshole in the entire state going through this at this moment in time doesn’t make it any easier. I’m not going to reach out to Unemployed Jane Doe and Unemployed Joe Blow and commiserate over a bunch of beers. I’m not going to sit around and join some forum for unemployed assholes. I’m not going to do any of those things, so why keep reminding me that this is a country-wide pandemic? Again, I have to say that just because I consciously know that the rest of the world is fucked economically and that like 8% of the whole country is also unemployed, like me, and probably not even for “terrific” reasons like myself, that doesn’t make it any easier. I’ve mentioned this in my religious blog and I’ve said this to my friends: MY PROBLEMS; MY MISERY; MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYONE ELSE.

It’s not that I’m trying to be an asshole with that statement but just because we know that someone else is going through similar situations doesn’t mean that it will impact how we feel. It doesn’t mean that we’ll magically get better. It doesn’t mean that we’ll end up feeling better about the entire situation. When it comes to our depression, our misery, and our pain, there is nothing greater than our own misery. This is intrinsically true with teenagers – I’m thinking of a certain lady who reads this with a teenage daughter. And it doesn’t make any difference later on in life. The misery we experience is the only misery that matters because it’s the only kind we can feel. Sure, we might feel sympathy or empathy for people going through a similar experience to our own. We might be able to understand another person on the same level because of the similar experiences, but just because Person One and Person Two have gone through similar experiences doesn’t mean it’s a bonding experience. It doesn’t mean that things are going to look brighter tomorrow. It just means that they’ve both been shit on in similar situations. But the core concept is still the same: the misery of Person One is more important than the one of Person Two, and vice versa.

I know in this economy that passing down of a job is pretty taboo. How could I dare to have standards? But it’s not really that. Some of the jobs that I’ve talked about have all had issues with scheduling. In effect, they’re at night. I guess I’m biased or stupid here, but I want to be able to raise my child. In one of the instances, TH’s mom told me that if we had to do sleep overs for R over at her house so that I could work late, then we’d do it. I appreciate the offer. I appreciate everyone’s offers of assistance. But, call me a bad person for wanting to raise my child. Call me a horrible asshole for wanting to be there with him, at night, feeding him dinner and arguing about whether he’s taking a bath. I guess I’m just a bad person for wanting to be his mother and not letting other people raise him. Sure, right now, TH is out of work. So, I could go back to work and I could work nights. But I remember those days at Greed, Inc. Before I became a manager, I worked second shift and I never saw my child. Or, if I did see him, I was too tired to do much more than the basics. That seems wrong and horrible. It impacted me relationship with my son and it impacted my self-worth because everyone under the sun was doing the raising and I was just some background noise.

It’s really different being unemployed when you have a child.

But, I think the worst is when people tell me to have hope. They tell me to buck up, chin up, keep on keepin’ on. I understand the viewpoint. And yes, I am still doing that. I’m still going around and doing the applications, sending out the resumes, sending out scouting letters and all of that lovely stuff. I’m on the websites that I use to job hunt between three and eight hours a day, depending [on whether things have been updated or not]. I light my candles. I pray before I send out these things. I hope. I have faith. I constantly tell myself that this will be the week that a job comes my way. I have all of those things, but you know, sometimes I just have dark points. I cry and I rage and I feel like my worth is in the negative range. It’s not because I don’t do the praying and the faith-ing and the hoping. It’s just hard. It’s so hard to maintain a one hundred percent positive outlook when everything always seems so bleak.

It’s just hard.

And today, I got to file for unemployment again. In the next two weeks, I’ll have to sign up for another extension, and I think it’s the final one. And I have to hope that something comes my way sooner or later. I’m at the point where DD and its minimum wage is looking appealing because, maybe, I can go in for the six in the morning shift. But is even that worth it? Is going back to work at minimum wage worth it if I’m not sure I can pay all of my bills and rent and maintain a good household and keep on keepin’ on? I make more on unemployment than I would working a minimum wage job, but it’s starting to look appealing because I’m almost desperate.

And I hate the feeling of desperation.

I just want to raise my kid. I just want to make enough money to live. I just want to be able to succeed somewhere. I just want things to look positive for once. But it’s hard because, at least four times week, I’m too busy feelin’ like a loser.

That Old Sinking Feeling.

I’m running. I’m running so hard and so fast, the pain in my chest is a burn. There are sharp shoots down my ribs and into my side. It’s more of a life-saving sprint. Ahead of me, is the cliff face. It’s ahead of me and I know that running towards it as though I’m trying to save my life will only end disastrously but I keep running forward. The cliff face is more like a great, tall brick wall. It is endless. It is my everything. I cannot see beyond this unforgiving face in front of me. Instead of mortar and bricks or rocky parapets where eagles nest, there are thorns and bones and knives and railroad spikes. I’m running so fast and so hard that I couldn’t stop in time even if I wanted to. I see the wall in front of me. I see it there, blocking my everything. I see it and I know that I have to veer just slightly to survive, but I find myself running so hard and so fast that tears leak out of my eyes. And those tears aren’t just for the inevitability that I face; the blah drone of forever bleakly laid out before me. Those tears are because I know I can’t stop myself.

Have you ever just looked around yourself and felt that old sinking feeling? They talk about it in books all the time. They usually talk about that feel in some poetic moment when the hero or heroine meets up with Mr Evil Inc. It’s that moment in the book when they know that something beyond horrible and frightening looms up before them, either in a moment of hopeless foreboding or seconds before they watch inevitable death. The authors all talk about that gut-sink and you instantly know what it feels like. You may not have had a moment like that in your life, but if the writer is good enough, then you know. If they do their job with just enough here and just enough there, then you can feel the gut-sink the second the hero or heroine does. It’s that moment, seconds before the Big Bad places a hand upon their shoulders or they walk into a room where their lover lays dead. Everyone who has ever read a book knows what I’m talking about.

But, the writers forget to mention that there are really two types of feelings here. It’s the moment of gut instinct where your gut drops out from beneath you because it cannot handle the surfeit knowledge of what is to come. That’s the one you read about in the horror novels that Stephen King writes or John Saul writes or Anne Rice writes. It’s all that stuff when your gut is intrinsically tied into your survival rate and if your stomach is powerful enough, you can live just another day. But they forget to mention that there is a cousin to this feeling and that is the heart-sink.

It’s that moment when you see an endless eternity of boredom or unchanging sameness come over you. It’s a moment kind of like deja vü. It’s there and then, the fleeting vertigo is gone. Instead of vertigo, though, you feel your heart drop in your chest just like your stomach can when you’re forced to listen to your instincts. It’s that moment when you look around and see that unchanging sameness all around you. That no matter what goals you have or what you do differently, it will always be eternally and boringly the same. The view won’t change. The circumstances aren’t going to be different. The way that things move and flow in your life will eternally be the same. And you’re stuck, like a vampire out of Dracula, in this same eternity. Instead of picking up sexy chicks to turn because you’re bored, you stick it out in the vain hope that something will let up and that something will change. That the circumstances will be hit with the fairy godmother’s magic wand and everything will be, mercifully, changed.

I had that heart-sink, you guys. I’ve had it before and I’m sure I’ll have it again. It’s the cycles. They’re breaking me. The same cycles. The same problems. The same issues. The same tears. Everything is just the same, the same, the same. I know that I have to change it. I know that I have to break the cycle. But it seems like the cycles go in larger spurts now. What was once almost a weekly thing is now a monthly thing. I know that it’s coming and I always think that if I can just do something a little different everything with revert to a state that I can handle regularly. But, instead, I see the futility ahead of me. I see the same lights and the same venue and the same arguments and the same goals. I see them all spread ahead of me like a buffet table and I see only the same choices over and over again.

Aerosmith is famous for putting this into vocals that matter. And I just can’t take anymore. And I’m gonna break. Something’s gotta give. Ain’t that the truth? Unfortunately, while I can turn to them and say, “Yeah, I got that. I can dig it, man,” I can safely assure anyone who is hoping otherwise that they don’t have the answers anymore than I do. All they have is a pretty little song and more money than I could hope to count in my lifetime and probably too much if we added you in the mix. No answers. Just a nice little song that can keep you groovin’ for a while. (Can you tell I’ve been on a Stephen King kick lately? Can you dig, man?) All the songs like that don’t have the magic wands inherent in them either. Don’t bother looking – I’ve already checked. No dice. No quick fix.

So, what happens when I run into that wall, that cliff face I keep talking about?

I guess we may just find out.

Let’s Talk About Sex (TW).

One of the serious issues that drives me nuts about my relationship with TH is that the only time it is functional is during one of the [few] periods where we’re having sex regularly. I am a sex camel. Give me a week’s worth and then I’m good for four to six months. (TH jokes that we have sex whenever the weather changes.) Without the ability to be that intimate with one another, our relationship is little more than two people sharing a house with a kid in the mix. So, it’s not really much of anything during those periods. He gets snarky and I get bitchy. I know how to fix it when that happens but I just… can’t.

I always try to explain it away. “It’s not you; it’s me.” This is one of those catch-all bullshit phrases that really don’t mean much of anything in relation to the ending of a relationship. However, in this case, it really is the case. Someone once suggested that my lack of sex with TH was due to not being sexually attracted to him. However, the same thing happened when I was with MEH and I know that being sexually attracted to him was never the case. And while I’ve daydreamed about some of the sexier males out there on the silver screens, I couldn’t dream of ever having legitimate-not-fantasy sex with these people. But in regards to both MEH and TH, they have to put up with my bullshit and really… what else is there to call it but bullshit?

It’s not you; it’s me.

I don’t know how to explain it away, either, to make people understand what it is that’s going on with me when these dry spells happen. A lot of people just assume that by not having sex, you’re making a conscious decision to refrain from doing so. If it’s with someone who I’m not with, that I don’t love, and things along those lines then yes. It is a conscious decision refraining myself from doing so. However, in these two particular cases, it’s not even like a flash back issue. It’s just… I can’t do it. I just cannot bring myself to tear down the barriers I put up. I suppose this could be an issue with trust. Or, it could just be a lingering feeling that having sex is “wrong” or “dirty” because of the assaults that have happened to me. I’m, in all honesty, not really sure what it is that prevents me from doing so or being willing to do so. I just… can’t.

What really tears is all apart is the fact that I know how things can be between TH and I. He is really very good and wonderful for me. He is understanding. He is full of advice. And while he comes off as a snot about things like religion or friendships or things of that nature, he really just uses it as a prickly way to throw people off. I know how he works and I know that it works well for me. When we’re having a good time together, I can talk to him about anything. I always knew that I could talk to him about anything. He just does all the right things. If I need to cry, then he let’s me snot and slobber all over him. If I need to talk, he listens and offers his point-of-view on various subjects. And while a lot of people see him as “a kid,” he’s really full of such kick ass and wonderful advice. He’s so much older than he looks or is physically. When I can just run up to him and give him a kiss and not feel the stomach flop in fear or pain or nausea or whatever it is, then things are good. But for the most part, I’m not there.

I know this is one of those issues that sexual assault victims go through. I know that each person is different. For the most part, I can handle lots of reminders about what happened to me. I can say the words to describe what happened to me. I can say the names of the people who hurt me so tragically. I can openly admit to what it’s cost me. But, when it comes to sex, I just can’t do it. I cannot get past my own issues to see that it’s natural and not dirty or disgusting or wrong or shameful. I just can’t. And this breaks me heart because maybe I’ll always be this way.

And TH is so patient. He’s so much more patient about it than MEH ever was or could be. He doesn’t go out and find other girls to fuck behind my back. He doesn’t make me feel like I am broken or wrong. He doesn’t push or irritate me with questions. He doesn’t try to flout his manhood around like that’s going to get me into bed. He doesn’t push or force or anything. He’s so wonderful about it and here I am.

Broken.

I’m Not Good at Decision-Making.

One of the things that I’m not overly good at is making big, huge, life-shattering decisions. I dither. I hem and haw. I’m not the kind of person who flies by the seat of her pants, which is funny. I used to be that kind of person, more than I can possibly say. If you ask my mom, that’s how I lived my life up until moving back up north with TH, TS, and starting “over.” However, I’ve learned the lesson often enough for it to actually stick: look to the facts. Unfortunately, my biggest issue with looking to the facts is the fact that I look at so many fucking possibilities that I lose my shit over all of the big, huge possibilities. I end up losing my shit so much that I end up in a crying jag, overly depressed, so depressed that getting up from the couch is a major process, and nothing ends up getting done. Unfortunately, I’m at the point where I have to make a decision and nothing is easy. And honestly, all choices are pretty much shit on top of shit.

One of the things that worried me the most about my ex-landlady selling the property was the possibility of a rent increase. In our area, all of the tenants are paying shit in comparison. I’m not sure about my upstairs neighbors (since I don’t know them, don’t want to know them, and am in the middle of a parking space war presently) but my immediate neighbor next door pays $450/month for her one bedroom… that she’s rarely in. She claims she can’t afford a rent increase and I know that I can’t either. I’m paying $600/month for a “two bedroom.” Note the quotations here. As the [new] landlord commented when he brought me notice that he was going to do a rent increase, we’re really living in a 1.5 bedroom. By legal standards, my son’s room isn’t even a room because there is no closet in that room. So, paying $700 for this place is a huge, hard, big pill to swallow.

It’s not worth that much.

The other issue that comes up and that I’ve refrained from blogging about due to shame is that we suffer from a severe bed bug issue. When I first discovered the black markings on my box spring, I had a hissy fit because I thought mold was growing in my bedroom. When we were living in TH’s parents’ basement, the bedroom we were using was incredibly moist. Mold grew all over everything in that room. I had to throw away pictures that I cherished because of the mold problem. I had to toss out the black leather jacket my mom got me when I was 17/18 because of the mold problem. (Also, it didn’t fit but I was keeping it for “the day I got skinny.” Funny, right?) I started spritzing the bed with one of my organic lemon cleaners because that cleared up the mold issue in the first place. About two months later, I realized that it was worse… and flipped to TH about it. “Honey! The mold is back!” He went into our room and looked things over and said, “That’s not mold.”

We did a lot of research and it was pretty clear, from the get-go, what the problem was. I ignored it. I didn’t think about it. I had about eight crying jags the first month we realized we had bed bugs. I felt guilty. I felt dirty. I felt disgusting. I lurked on a bunch of bed bug related forums, trying to come to terms with what was going on and figuring a way to fix it. I called Terminix, myself, even though I should have called the landlady instead. The reason I didn’t call her is because I honestly felt that she would have evicted us for “bring the infestation.” The thing is that TH and I are pretty sure that one of the upstairs neighbors was responsible for the infestation and after they moved out, the bugs that were still alive slowly but surely came downstairs to where we were. There was a good six month time span where our family was the only family living in the complex. My next door neighbor was pretty much stopping in to get away from helping out her ailing mother about once a week, so we were the only food source for the bugs.

So, we never told the landlady. I have no doubt in my head that the woman would have evicted us, blamed us. And I’m almost positive she wouldn’t have done anything about it, either. And I also can’t help but notice that when the pest control officer who had to do the inspection prior to the selling of the house… He only checked out the basement. When they said that a pest control officer was coming in to look, I was overjoyed. I didn’t have to open my mouth about the problem. But, he only checked the basement, even though the bed bug infestation along the eastern seaboard is along pandemic proportions. (I’m not fucking joking. I’ve been watching the news. There are libraries that are having the issue.) There was a mattress downstairs for months upon months after everyone moved out, leaving my family the only ones in this house. It was still down there up until a few days before the inspection process began. I can’t help but notice that the guy only went in the basement… and the mattress was gone before that.

With the rent increase hanging over our heads, TH is at his breaking point with this. He’s been having severe issues in regards to the bed bug problem anyway. He hardly sleeps. I understand this. I go through phases like this myself until exhaustion overtakes me. I lay awake at night, crying and worried that I’m a horrible, dirty person. I also felt that by opening my mouth to my ex-landlady, I was asking for whatever happened to us. One of the things that I’ve been debating with the new landlord is telling him about the bed bug infestation. He doesn’t seem like an asshole (rent increase or otherwise). And I think he’d do something about it. He wouldn’t be happy, but I think he’d fix the problem instead of blaming us and evicting us. (Illegal though that is, I’ve been reading a lot of horror stories of tenants who are blamed for the infestation and the courts uphold the eviction process. It’s fucked. It’s all fucked.) But with the rent increase, TH is blowing his stack.

When I called him to tell him about it, he instantly shut down. He went into “angry” mode. That was it. I told him that the landlord was offering us a deal. He’d knock between $50 – $75 a month if we mowed the lawn for him and shoveled the walks in the winter time. I think the deal is a good one. Since he’s bought the place, I’ve been on the lookout for a new place, but there aren’t any. In our price range, there is nothing and there is nothing. I used to get huge lists all the time whenever I would look on Craigslist when I was still working last summer. Now? I’m lucky if I get 10 hits in the last month in our price range. So, when I told TH about the deal, he said, “Well, I’m going to have to say ‘no’ to that. He can fix the place up before I start doing shit.” And he just completely shut down. He was intolerant to anything I had to say on the matter. I was getting frustrated so I hung up on him after telling him that when he wanted to discuss it, he could call me.

He ended up coming over and we “talked.” Yes, that’s a euphemism for yelled.

He said that he wasn’t going to pay a red cent extra to this landlord until the bed bug problem was fixed. He also made me feel guilty for never having said anything. I think he forgets that he was the person who cautioned me when I wanted to tell the landlady in the first place! The entire time people were looking at the place, he could have said something. He didn’t. It’s like I’m the adult here so I have to make the decision. But when I did go to make that decision, he told me to be cautious with this because we were liable to be kicked out for no reason whatsoever. And while that’s not a good reason to have to put up with this bullshit for pretty fucking close to a year now (we figured out our issue some time last summer, I believe), it’s something that has stuck with me. So have all of those awful stories from tenants who were treated like they had the plague because they told the landlord what was going on, as they should have. I’m haunted by all the people who have said, “They only came to spray at my place, but there’s an entire complex; couldn’t they come back in?” Or the people who said, “And now I’m looking for a place because I’ve been evicted for something that isn’t my fault.” Haunted. Haunted.

This whole situation sucks.

This whole apartment sucks.

I’m living in a tiny ass apartment, trying to raise my family on an income that doesn’t work. I know what to do – go back to work – but I have to wait until BFMA is back to normal. I keep knowing what my goals are and then watching them get pushed further and further back. I want to rage. I want to cry. I want to make a decision, but I don’t know what is in our best interest.

At this point, I see things as having various possibilities, which I’ll list.

1. We can take the deal and have a roof over our heads, with only about a $25 – $50 increase.
2. We can try to find a new place, though prospects are few and far between.
3. We can stop paying rent and get evicted.
4. We can take the deal, have a roof over our heads, tell him about the bug problem, and see what happens.

TH pointed out to me when we were “talking” about things that there was no way we would be out on the streets if we got kicked out of here. I just kind of looked at him and every moment of living in his parents’ basement rushed over me. I told him that as selfish as it sounded, I couldn’t go back to living there again. I just… no. I was so miserable and angry there. I’m still pretty miserable and angry but I’m more able to handle both of those emotions in a positive and constructive manner than I was when I was living there. I told him that I just couldn’t do that and he just stared at me like I was crazy. It was at that point that he demanded our landlord’s phone number. “I’ll call him and tell him about the fucking bed bugs! He won’t get a damn thing from us extra until it’s taken care of!” I refused this request, which is when he left. I told him that he’s so busy feeling and reacting to the news that he would be a complete asshole to our landlord. I told him that he had to stop and he had to think and he had to act with purpose.

He sat staring off into space for about 10 minutes before he left after I said that.

So, this whole situation sucks such monkey balls. The sweatiest. All I want to do is cry.

Soul Mates Aren’t What You Think.

Now and then I think of when we were together
Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
Told myself that you were right for me

One of the shittiest things about my life is that the person who shares my soul lives over two thousand miles away. I know most people, when you think about soul mates, you start thinking about significant others. If that’s the case, then BFTX and I are meant to be together when our significant others kick it because we’re soul mates. We shared lots of things as teenagers. We were there for some of the most horrific experiences of our lives. There were laughter, tears, hugs, and chocolate. There was so much that we couldn’t have said – even now, to this day – about one another to each other. And it’s not like either one of us really has to say those things, either. We both know that we’re soul mates. That we share bits of ourselves together that we never asked for back because, hey. Why bother? It’s the best way to be as close to your soul mate as you can without living nearby.

You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end, always the end

I’m so used to being without her near me that it feels like things are almost normal. That’s not really true, but some days, I don’t even realize that she’s not walking beside me anymore and hasn’t for many years. I can sense her sometimes when things are really shitty. When I’m feeling so horrifically depressed and I can’t quite figure out why, I tend to realize that this is BFTX’s soul talking to my soul. They’re sharing things that neither of us can say out loud or in Emails or in text messages or in private messages or whatever. For whatever reason, we’re so used to walking solo, with the other so far away, that our first inclination isn’t to run to each other anymore. Sometimes, that really hurts. And sometimes, I just figure it is what it is. I’ll turn to her if and when I need her. She’ll turn to me if and when she needs me. But the thing is… our souls talk. They know even if we don’t. We’re so used to the status quo, as soul mates, that neither one of us realizes that we’re downright addicted to the way things are. Hell, honestly? If things were to go back to the way they were before high school ended, I don’t know if we could handle it. I don’t know if we’d be able to change our ways.

Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

I have people I can talk to whenever I feel low. I don’t think it’s the same for BFTX. It’s hard to connect with people for both of us, to let in a level of trust that we just don’t have. But I’m the lucky one because I can turn to people who are not my lifemate. I can tell them, “I feel this way and here’s why.” It can be about BFTX or it can be about whatever is going on in my life. My soul still connects with hers. My soul still feels whatever hers does. The connection is still there and it probably still will. That doesn’t mean that sometimes, some days, whenever I think about her, it’s like I lost the love of my life. Or like I lost the child I was destined to have. I can’t even explain it because all of these instances are poor planning when I think about the ache BFTX can raise in me. Whenever I say “I miss you” to her, I’m really saying so many hundreds of thousands of little things and I hope her soul responds in kind.