I know I’ve been absent since my pregnancy announcement and Q&A posts. Truth? While I’ve been busy, I’ve also been preoccupied.
Steve is gone for his AT (Annual Training). You know those National Guard commercials you hear: “one weekend a month, two weeks a year.” This is his “two weeks” that somehow transformed into three weeks as soon as he arrived to his training locale. If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you’re up to speed on the fact that he has NO cell signal, so I’ve had a cumulative 3 minutes on the phone with him in the last week (from borrowing friends’ phones). It’s been difficult for me, as my tweets show, because we had plans for that third week. Plans HERE, not 7 hours away. And I’ve had to scrap them. I thought we had two weeks together left, but now it’s down to one week (including his training days in town).
During the day, I’m fine. I play with Dublin on the floor or lay in bed (bed rest! woooo!) and feel fine about not hearing from Steve. But then every night, as Dublin prepares for bed and I’m faced with the loneliness that is night and my bed without my husband, I lose it. It’s hitting me that we have a week left together until October/November 2011 and I don’t know how I’m going to handle it.
I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated all the texts, phone calls, emails, twitter mentions, comments on this here blog. It’s meant so much that you all believe in me.
I know the worst is still to come, when I give my husband his last hug and kiss until next fall. But it’s reassuring that I have this space to vent and have people that actually come here, listen and care about my family. Thank you all for bearing with me.
Yes, I’m still here, don’t you fret!
Tonight I consumed my fair share of G&Ts with dinner before switching to beer (Coors Light, which shouldn’t even count) and decided that video blogging was my most brilliant idea EVER!
So here, witness my ADD and slurred speech. You’re welcome.
Edited to add: OH MY GRACIOUS. If you don’t believe me when I say these spiders are gross and scary, read this webpage. GAHHHHH!
Whenever my husband gets a new gadget (in this story’s case, his cell phone), he likes to set up “special” new passwords and such. He’s done this with our SOLE ATM/Debit cards (ahem, we have four of them), too, some random number pattern that he thinks sounds cool.
I KNOW. And no, he never, ever remembers the combo, which is super convenient when you have a screaming, teething baby, wailing in your cart and four hundred disgruntled, homicidal customers behind you in line at the grocery store checkout.
Anyway, his cell phone has the option to set up a connect-the-dot password. It’s a box of 16 dots and you can connect them however you want. He had a simple one, that he showed me (a prerequisite for him), so it was fine. Until he got bored at work today and changed the stupid combination, thereby locking both of us out of his phone.
The only other option for him to log into his phone is to sign in with his MOTO Blur account, but guess what? HE CAN’T REMEMBER THAT PASSWORD, EITHER. We’ve tried all of our default passwords, but he quietly admitted that he thinks he added extra numbers. And he’s not sure he even wrote his email address wrong. Why? “Because I was in a hurry.”
And HE wonders why I need my crazy pills.
I feel like all I do is whine this month, but honestly? I kind of thought that when 2010 and I sat down for a wee chat, we agreed that S/he would KICK ASS in the most awesome way, but apparently S/he interpreted that as to KICK MY ASS instead.
I forget that not all my readers are my twitter friends (psst…why not?), so I’ll do a quick run down of everything going on.
-My mother in law is unable to come and watch D while we go on that weekend Army retreat, so basically, we’re NOT going.
-I received a long-awaited cashiers check from my tenant for first and last month’s rent plus deposit. Because our primary bank is not anywhere near here, we paid overnight shipping, so the check would deposit asap and we’d be able to have money in our account after already spending it before. Well, overnight delivery took six days and my bank LOST my cashiers check before “finding it” and telling me they were withholding the funds for…..FORTY DAYS. Because that’s how long it takes to clear a cashiers check nowadays I guess.
-The following day, our property manager announced that due to the noise level (he didn’t say my baby, but we’ve received warnings about my baby’s middle-of-the-night cries and overall loud baby business), we were being evicted. And he said we had to be out in two days.
-Did I mention, I started weaning myself off my too-expensive Crazy meds this week? Perhaps I should I have thought that out better.
-After a series of phone calls with some important people, we were given until the end of the month. Which is fine, because we only selected this too-expensive place due to its proximity to the bus stop for Steve’s former job, meaning – we do not need to be paying this much anymore. So now we’re able to terminate our lease and find an apartment for half, or even a third of this price.
-My bank then DEBITED (TOOK OUT) the amount of the check (that has yet to be deposited) FROM our account, instead of CREDITING it to us. Meaning we were overdrawn THOUSANDS of dollars. And not a single teller could explain WHY.
The Plus Sides?
-We have now switched to USAA for our banking, since we already receive great service from them (hello, $28/month for car insurance? YES PLEASE!).
-I’ve lost five pounds in five days! YES.
-While I wanted to continue to my role as stay-at-home mom, it’s obvious that we’ll need two breadwinners to get back on our feet. This is good in that while I didn’t want to put D in day care, he will finally have some other social interaction outside of Steve and I – aka the only people he’s been around in two months.
-Like I said, we are able to get out of our crazy expensive lease and move into a similarly-sized, incredibly cheaper apartment. It probably won’t have a 24-hour fitness center or pool, but we’ll be saving money. Which is awesome when, you know, you don’t have an income.
-We also don’t have to live above our grumpy-ass neighbors anymore. They’ve banged on their ceiling (our floor) when I was up with my crying, teething boy at 3 AM (mind you, I was caring for our kid above their LIVING ROOM, not bedroom, so they were likely already awake). I also don’t have cigarette smoke coming from their balcony into my apartment anymore. BONUS!
For the first time since…ever, I utilized Google Reader’s “Mark All Read” option and I’m really sorry! I’ll get back on the reading and commenting wagon again, I just need to pack up my entire house, again, for the second time in 6 months.
The last thing in the world I like doing is airing my dirty laundry in a public manner. But my heart has been heavy for the past two months and I really need some sort of talk-therapy.
There is a distinct strain on my marriage. Nothing too dramatic, but a strain that shouldn’t have impacted our very young marriage, not this soon or so hard. It’s no secret that we’ve had financial problems and if anything can breed stress in a relationship, it is MONEY.
Thankfully, Steve and I have handled the stress, the strain, relatively okay, apart from all the “you drive me crazy!” comments (made by me, FYI). But the combination of my increasing health issues, our unpaid bills and Steve’s impending deployment has been a bit difficult to deal with, to put it mildly.
Let me admit something to you right now. Steve and I? We don’t have friends here. At all. Sure, he has his Army buddies, but he doesn’t seem them outside of the armory. We have family in town, family that has ignored my emails and voicemails and did I mention, we’re broke? All of this explains why I’ve left this apartment twice since November and each time was to grocery shop. That’s embarrassing to admit, how much of a hermit I’ve become, by default more than anything.
This is STIFLING. And I’m harboring so much bitterness in my heart towards the family that lives just up the road who pretend we don’t exist, when the family Steve and I both have in Vermont miss us terribly. I draft emails to my mom (among those I miss so much) nearly daily, all venting, “I don’t understand what I’ve done wrong, how someone can be this selfish.” (Followed by a billion “FUCK”s and “DEPRESSING”s.)
Living in Idaho has been immensely lonely. My crazy pills can only do so much. They can’t heal the pain of rejection from the immediate family nearby, or replace all the family and friends I miss to the depths of my soul. I don’t handle things of this nature well.
The Army does this thing, when deployments are imminent, for couples called Strong Bonds. It’s an all-expense paid weekend retreat at a nice hotel, with a bunch of relationship-strengthening activities. Obviously, kids aren’t part of the picture. The one for Steve’s unit is next month.
My first thought was, “wow, how perfect would that be?” But then I remembered, we have no one, NO ONE, who could take Dublin for two nights.
Thankfully, my mother-in-law, who lives in Vermont, offered to fly here to watch Dublin. It’s pretty sad that my mother-in-law can tell, just over phone conversation, that we need this weekend to ourselves, right? It’s also pretty sad that a family member has to drop several hundred dollars and fly across the country just so Steve and I can go on a date.
I don’t know how to tie this up neatly. This post was more or less a mad jumble of everything I’m feeling, not cohesive or coherent. I’m sorry to continue my Debbie Downer posts, but I can’t keep writing anything here without getting this all off my heart, my mind.
Comments are closed mostly because I feel lame, writing this. My email is always open. And thanks for sticking around, mucking through my melancholy.
Sometimes, no matter how hard things are in our personal lives, we need to understand that others are going through times that are even more trying.
I’m not sure who said that exactly, but it’s a quote that has run through my mind since we found out Stephen had lost his job.
I could lament how difficult things are, how panicked I feel every moment of the day. How I sobbed while washing dishes by hand this afternoon – this is not how I imagined our Christmas to be. This is not how I imagined our lives to begin when we first decided to move here.
Not all is lost, not all is broken. I have a son who brings me immeasurable joy, who’s very smile ignites my own. A son who is completely healthy, happy, and is probably the most easy-going baby I’ve ever encountered. This little person of mine is the reason I keep going, the reason I stop with the self-pitying and wipe the tears from my face.
And I have a husband, a husband who holds me wordlessly, each time I lose my shit all over the place. A husband who loves me when I don’t fold the laundry or put on makeup for well over a week. A husband who looks at me randomly throughout the day and says, “Have I told you that I love you yet today?” Even though he knows he has, several times.
I have friends who answer my call at 3 in the morning when I have an anxiety attack, friends who tell me it WILL be okay, I am strong and I WILL get through this, as I’ve conquered every challenge before. Friends who call me a few times throughout the day and tell me exactly what I need to hear.
I have the best family in the world. Biological, adopted, step, in-laws…they are all there to support me, albeit far away. The family I cried and cried and cried over leaving when we packed up our little car to move out west. The family that was there through every hospitalization during my pregnancy, who serviced our home’s furnace and dumped gallons of fuel in our tank so we wouldn’t freeze last winter as our monthly heating bill climbed to $600.
And I have all of you. I can’t even begin to tell you how incredible you all are. Tonight as I sat on the couch with Stephen, I told him that the Internet was hands-down the most amazing thing ever, even more amazing than BACON. YOU all are amazing. Between the @ replies, the direct messages, Facebook wall posts or emails, it has meant so, so much. I cried from your words, your jokes and all the love you’ve poured into my little family.
We’ve lost our income with Stephen’s job, yes, but that income can’t buy, as cliched as it is, all that love. And I am thankful, SO thankful, more thankful than I’ve been in quite some time, to have been surrounded with such loving, compassionate people.
Two years ago, I was in a horrible relationship and the distance to my family was measured in tension, not miles. I didn’t know a single person from the Internet, in real life or even through email. I was working 70 hours a week and could afford some of the finer, materialistic things in life but I was empty, unhappy.
So while things are tough and I might cry to the Internet too frequently, I am not alone. There are people in this world more deserving of all your thoughts and prayers and I feel so blessed to have yours. Thank you.
1. I had a CAT scan done on Friday. For my body, though with my recent blog posts and tweets, you’d think it was my head that needed a scan, right? Anyway. I don’t know about you all, but I definitely THRIVE with guidance. So, Mr. CAT Scan Technician, perhaps you could have offered up some guidance while I laid there on that bed, going back and forth through that machine? Mentioning that I needed to have my arms above my head during the process would have been handy. (Oh, helllllo, Insurance Company! Hope you don’t mind those bonus scans in my bill! Wheeee!) Also, if you could have mentioend that towards the end, the machine goes BAM WHOOOOZE BING BANG BADDDDDDDDDUMMMMMM BANG BANG POOOOOF! Well, what I’m saying is: if you could have mentioned that tidbit about the machine sounding like it was about to explode into a billion tiny pieces all over the room, while I’m halfway through it, I would have been grateful, instead of losing my shit all over the place -hello panic attack! And screaming. The screaming could have been avoided, as the paranoid, near-death experience. Thanks!
2. Also on Friday, immediately following the CAT scan, I had an ultrasound done. If you’re a woman and you’ve ever had one done, I’m talking about the INTERNAL ultrasound. Oh, YES. So my ultrasound tech is very brusque with me and kind of doesn’t give me clear directions (hello, perhaps there’s a relation to the CAT scan tech?) and tells me to get undressed, wrapping myself in a sheet. Which in all actuality is a giant paper towel that RIPS at the slightest movement on that stupid bed. Tech leaves while I undress and I am wondering why she needs me fully naked, when I know she’s only doing an internal. Anyway, I sit on that bed for fifteen minutes, completely naked, wrapped in the paper towel that is full of rips and she comes back in, only to bark, “PUT YOUR CLOTHES ON! I DON’T WANT TO SEE YOU NAKED!” Well same goes lady, but like I said – a little direction would have been nice! So I put my clothes on, only to find out she meant to go PANTLESS.
3. Continuing on with this technician, she has ME insert the stupid giant wand and then does some Star Wars Lightsaber action up in my business, barking still, “I just need to check out your ovaries!” “This doesn’t hurt that bad!” and “You need to lie still while I wriggle this around you.” Lady, I’m having this ultrasound done because I am IN PAIN, in THAT AREA. A little tact and more gentle maneuvering would be helpful, thanks! And I’m not exaggerating with the lightsaber action. She had TWO HANDS on the other end and was biting on her lower lip as she yanked the damned thing around.
4. What is SPAM? It looks like condensed cat food to me. I’ve never tried it in my life, though Steve swears by it. Does it need to be cooked? It looks…so…raw? I don’t know what the deal about SPAM is, but I NEED TO KNOW.
5. How do you mommies feed your babies when they get to that VERY WRIGGLY stage? I mean, I hold onto Dublin on the couch while I give him his bottle, but he is SO HEAVY and SO LONG and just a generally very big baby, he’s hard to hold and feed. Plus, he loves to use his feet as leverage to arch his back up and wriggle himself into a new position, covering the both of us in formula. Really, how am I supposed to feed him? Mommy fail!
6. I kind of feel like a failure of an adult asking the following question. What is the deal with Tylenol and Motrin? Is it, take one or the other? Or can you take both at the same time? I don’t understand! What is the difference between acetaminophen and ibuprofen? I know I could google this, but I’m asking you people instead.
7. Come after me with pitchforks all you’d like, but I can’t help it. There is something very skeezy about Mario Lopez.
They hand you a prescription for pills that have a little V and they tell you that you’re not alone, that this is very common. They warn you of its addictive properties and of its side effects, but you’re so absorbed in OMG, COMA, DEATH, that you forget the reason you’re told you need them.
But even though they say you’re not alone, they say that many people unknowingly suffer from anxiety, social or otherwise, you feel completely, embarrassingly alone. Because that’s exactly how you prefer to live: alone.
They don’t tell you that even while taking the pills, you are so uncomfortable at your father’s wedding, so terrified of sitting at the family table, that you hide in the bathroom for most of the reception. Or that you routinely cancel doctor appointments, terrified of having to discuss your problems with strangers. You know you have a very mild case, but you can’t imagine it being any worse, any more crippling, than it is.
They don’t tell you that people will be completely insensitive, will misjudge your anxiety as shyness or something equally untrue. You won’t be prepared to go through your pregnancy, never meeting with the same doctor twice, and have a complete stranger delivering your baby, despite your anxiety. And that you will ask to be discharged less than 12 hours after you’ve given birth, still light-headed and weak, but suffering from something akin to severe stage fright every time a new nurse or doctor checks in on you.
The pills they give you are not safe for your baby, so you’ll go through your entire pregnancy without medication, terrified of strangers walking up to you, touching your expanding stomach and asking when you’re due. You’ll try to ignore the cold sweat and speeding heart rate, but it’s no use.
They don’t prepare you for your lame, mumbling explanations of “I have anxiety” to people who don’t understand. When all you really want to do is meet new people, make new friends, you cannot. It’s an ache you can’t imagine, to feel that lonely. You want people to look at you like you’re not crazy, like you’re not a ticking time bomb.
And before it gets better, your anxiety develops into full blown general anxiety. The kind of anxiety that will cause you to call your husband every single hour while he’s at work, to make sure he is okay, because you are terrified that something will happen and BAM, he’ll lose his job and then where will you live and he’ll probably have to join the Army full-time and be deployed ALL THE TIME and then you’ll never ever see him and Dublin will suffer and so on. So you will stay up, under the guise of cleaning your house, until his shift ends at 7 in the morning, calling to check in on him, even though he insists he’s okay.
The kind of anxiety where every trip in the car, your whole system is on high-alert, while riding in the passenger seat. You’ll grip your seat so hard that eventually, you tear the upholstery. And when it snows and the roads are slick – FORGET IT. Your anxiety will induce numerous asthma attacks and you’ll go through inhalers faster than your pharmacist can fill them. And your husband, while patient, is trying not to snap at you for your constant exclamations of “BE CAREFUL!” “WATCH OUT!” and other unnecessary instructions. Or that you will ask your doctor for tranquilizers when you embark on a move across country. Or that it will take double the time necessary to ride that distance in the passenger seat.
You’ll spend the first week of your son’s life attached to him, not letting him leave your arms. You’ll spend the first night at home from the hospital, in hysterics, scared to death that something will happen to him if you go to sleep. So you’ll stay awake with a movie you’re not watching on the television and stare at him breathing in and out. And that first night turns into two nights, then three. You’re a zombie throughout the day, too scared to nap while he is. But he’s still breathing and you feel comforted. Exhausted, but comforted.
If your husband is late from work, or from a guys’ night, your mind tricks you into believing that he’s leaving you, that he doesn’t want you anymore. You feel a lot of abandonment, when ironically, you’re the one abandoning people first.
The line between anxiety and paranoia is so blurred that you don’t know what your disorder is half of the time.
You develop irrational fears of so many things. Airports, grocery stores, weddings, work functions, fitness centers… All because you think something bad will happen there or worse, you’ll be judged. The anticipation of engaging in any of those things is enough to make you crazy. Your palms start to sweat and your stomach does constant flip flops and you feel like throwing up and crying.
So you blog and you tweet because it’s easier to be judged when you’re not physically witnessing the expression of those judging you. And deep down, secretly, you hope that someone can relate.
I’m really good at making a resolution and initiating all the start up details. Especially when it comes to losing weight. But I’m bad, no, I’m atrocious at the follow-through.
I bought the weight watchers membership, I bought the 30-Day Shred, sanitized my yoga mat and acquired simple weights.
And so far, I’ve kept track of points for one day, have done the Shred once and haven’t even taken my handweights out of their packaging.
It started on Thursday. See, I purchased Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred back in, uh, MARCH, when I was pregnant and round and full of, “oh! I will get back into my clothes NO PROBLEM!” and “it’s not THAT hard to lose weight!” And I let it sit there, on my tv stand, gathering dust until three months later, when we started packing up to move to Idaho. Yes, I got rid of my nearly brand new Yankee Candles, my dining room table and 2 month old living room set, but I kept the Shred and threw my yoga mat into the car as an after thought, vowing to implement them once I arrived to Idaho.
Two months after that, we flew back to Vermont and got married. And I’m sharing the following photo, to reiterate my point. (Btw, the woman in the middle is my mom, she officiated our wedding – cool, right?)
I was ten weeks postpartum, but I looked pregnant and bloated and really, the thing I regret about my wedding day is that I felt FAT. And the feeling fat overshadowed some of my excitement and frankly, that kind of bums me out.
And, do you want to laugh? Because I just found this photo from the wedding after-party on my Flickr:
But back to the fat. There are other photos – I still haven’t seen my professional photos, it’s been almost 3 months – like these (sorry for the side boobage):
That I prefer, but still, I feel overwhelmingly large, especially next to my slender husband. And since that photo, I’ve lost some of the bloat but none of the weight.
In fact, since I wrote this post, I’ve managed to gain five pounds. I can blame it on the stress of trying to find a tenant for a property 3,000 miles away, or how busy I am taking care of Dublin, but really? I’m on here, commenting on other’s blogs, updating my Facebook status with unimportant details or tweeting about something that no one, including myself, really cares about.
What I’m saying is that in all reality, I DO have the time to take better care of my body, but I’m not. And I don’t know what to do to change this, or how to better motivate myself from this point.