For the last 2 weeks it has been a battle with my clothes. An open all out war to be honest.
J and I scored free tickets to see Coldplay a couple weeks back and I was so excited for a free date night. I got home in my cotton dress and cardigan from work (woot casual Friday) and I started trying to figure out what to wear to the show. I hated everything. Everything was either worn or frumpy. I didn’t have any shoes that I wanted to wear and was in no position for an emergency trip to DSW. I sat on the floor in our bedroom in a ball freaking out because I had no idea what to wear.
This last weekend I didn’t fair much better when I tried to find something to wear to our favorite restaurant and then a hip hop show in the park. Nothing in my closet really said “south Minneapolis foodie and local hip hop.” For one I would be underdressed and overdressed for the other. I begrudgingly ended up in a black shirt, jeans and sandals and brought a hoodie with for later. J on the other hand looked amazing as usual in a sport coat, and sneakers.
Then on Sunday we had to make an emergency trip to Trader Joes and once again I was in my sweatpants. I realized that I had been living in left over college clothes and sweatpants for a little bit too long and J was noticing. I started wondering when I stopped wearing real clothes and decided it was ok to just live in sweatpants. I used to get dressed up all the time. J asked me during all this why I didn’t dress like when I was trying to bed him. I didn’t have a really good answer for him besides my work clothes are so binding and I’m exhausted when I get home. I don’t feel like wasting cute clothes to sit around the house.
It all goes to my underlying feelings of not being pretty enough or good enough and all that stupid shit. Its sad that I don’t have the motivation to wear heels anymore – this used to be daily. I don’t know where I gave up. Or when money got too tight for me to feel ok about buying new clothes and looking good. I haven’t felt pretty for a long time. I feel like my body has gone to hell, I’m constantly squishy, and my skin went to shit when I went off BC. In there I lost my motivation. Then I’m too tired to work out when I get home and the vicious cycle continues. After I got mono in college I was down to 120 lbs. I’m 20 lbs heavier than that now and I feel sick about my body. I’m regretting the lemon cake I had earlier that was supposed to be part of my lunch. I’m scared to eat because I feel like it will just get worse.
I pinkie swore J that I would not put on sweatpants until 8 p.m. every day for the next week – getting out of them on weekends TBD. Even a cotton skirt is better than sweatpants. I’ve done my hair 2 days in a row now which is also a vast improvement. I’m trying to avoid the ponytail since it’s a symptom of the greater self image problem and laziness. I’ve been sucking a lot on the previous life overhaul goals so here’s hoping this helps get me back on track. I’m in a deep rut.
The money situation isn’t going to get much better any time soon. But I do need to try to keep anything but sweatpants on my lower half.
I’m pretty sure every woman trying to have a baby thinks about this and whether than can even get pregnant. The latter I’m not horribly worried about since in my family you just basically have to think about sex and oops there you go. I do occasionally worry about how it will all time out and what events I will be missing over the next year due to pregnancy woes and birth/sleep deprivation but that is for another time. Every time we have mini-J I am constantly evaluating my ability to be a mom. Now this is probably not the best, most objective place to test my mothering skills but its what I have. I fully recognize that I am not his mom, I don’t want to be “mom,” and that I just want to be his Alicia. However, it is very difficult to not evaluate your patience levels, your general involvement in life and whether you are doing all the projects, baking, etc. that you wanted to do when you dreamed about being a mom. 9 times out of 10 I feel like I am not living up to the image I had in my head. That is completely my fault 1) for judging myself WAY too harshly and 2) for perhaps not being AS involved as I would like/should be. I see my cousin/baby sister with her stepdaughters and my heart breaks a little bit because I want that kind of relationship. Its different there because they have primary physical custody where we have about 40-45%. She gets to tuck them in 6 out of 7 nights of the week, 2 nights every other weekend. Its a different dynamic and not a fair one to judge against. Girls are also very different from boys. Her girls snuggled up with me the night I met them, mini-J used to do that when he was little but as he has grown he does it less and less. There is really nothing that can take away from those times where he does curl up with me to watch a movie to play his DS. That’s the good stuff.
Sunday morning when I made a delicious “clean out the fridge” breakfast, mini-J and J sat down eagerly and started chowing down on eggs with turkey, cheese and green onions and hash browns. It was only when mini-J asked what was in the eggs and we told him did he instantly refuse to eat more (though 5 seconds prior to disclosure he told me it was delicious). I wanted to curl up and cry. I hate when I make a meal that is refused or even mildly disliked. I take it as a personal affront. J made him finish his breakfast but in that timeframe I let this seemingly small challenge ruin my morning and I declared myself a poor step-mom. Then as he was bouncing off the walls and my frustration grew I continued to wonder what I would do with my own child who IS with us 100%. Would I be as frustrated? Would my desire to curl up in a ball be even worse? Would I feel even MORE like a lackluster specimen of motherhood?
I think this is just part of parenting but I don’t completely know. I think a good chunk of it has to do with the fact that I am the step-mom to a boy who is only with us part of the time. These odds are not in my favor. I am 4th on the totem pole of awesomeness below biological parents and all men since he is at that age. I’m sure my biological child will love me and I will be just fine. Thankfully J thinks I’m a great step-mom and will be an awesome mom. I hope that mini-J looks back at his childhood with us fondly and not like we totally sucked (though I’m sure for a period of time he will feel that way). He’s been through quite a bit for a 7 year old. In the mean time I have to remember to do my best and not judge myself because I am my own worst enemy. This has been proven time and time again.
Family is what you make it. I determined a long time ago that I have “relatives” and then I have my “family.” These are not interchangeable terms. I have friends who I would consider more family than the people I am connected to by blood. Blood is not thicker than water. We cannot pick our relatives but we can pick our family. I’m trying to remember this as I’m continually hurt by people that I wanted to be my family. I am constantly shocked by the disparate ways in which my family and J’s family treat us. One is very supportive while the other has excluded us for our political beliefs, lifestyle choices and different thoughts. One seems to want the best for us and is doing everything they can to help us achieve our goals, while the other chooses to not be a part of our lives when they live so close. Even within my family I’m shocked by the fact that I never even hear from those that live the closest but considering they have never shown interest in my life I shouldn’t be really surprised.
I worry, and J tells me not to, that when we have a baby that most of our family won’t care and won’t take any interest. I have constantly sought to marry into a family that was more stable than mine, more supportive, more interested in my little family, and it seems to have utterly failed. It hurts every day. I am sick of feeling like we have somehow failed our family. Like they don’t want as much for us as our siblings. Pushing a blue collar job that he is going to hate does nothing even if it makes a lot of money. Houses that are shitty don’t help us find a home. Excluding us from family events because we aren’t the same religion just pushes us farther away. Dirty looks and changing the subject when I’m talking doesn’t make me want to come to functions we are invited to. I’m just feeling so isolated lately. I don’t know how to pull myself out of it.
All of these thoughts of family and what it means really started coming up in June. We had a lot of weddings to attend and so it was all around us. Then I missed my period. Up to that point, J and I had thought we would not have a child of our own and that we would just be content with mini-J. We were going to be those cool unattached married adults who could do whatever they wanted. I was on the pill, taking it like I should, and then it happened. There I stood. And in that moment of thinking I was possibly pregnant the desire for a baby flooded my entire existence. I took a test and it came up negative. I wasn’t sure what to think. Was I too early? I started having really bad stomach problems, sleeping issues, everything that one would expect when pregnant. I went to the doctor and she confirmed I was not having a baby. Both our hearts broke a little that day. Everywhere around me all I see is babies and baby related things. Its like the world got invaded. Not in a good or bad way but I’m just very conscious of it.
After that we decided that we would at least open the door to having a baby. Everyone else around us was having babies too. J’s sister, our friends J&A, my cousin. This last month was the first month we were trying. I got the app on my phone. I kept track of things and got off my birth control. We made a concerted effort to get down when we needed to. Yesterday I went to a Twins game and all I wanted was a beer, but knowing that I could be pregnant I chose the water instead. I couldn’t be drinking in front of my co-workers and interns to announce to them in a couple weeks that I was pregnant. It would just make me feel way too bad on so many levels.
Then today my period came. Right on schedule. I kept trying to tell myself it wouldn’t come and we would be pregnant right away. I was wrong and now I am sad. I shouldn’t be sad because we tried for one month. Most people it take a couple tries. I just got excited. We have talked about names and have something we like for both a boy and a girl though J is convinced it will be a boy. Today I don’t want to hear about babies and breastfeeding and day care and everything else. While all of this has been going on we have been battling mini-J’s mother over her exorbitant child care costs that she decided to incur without our consent or knowledge. She makes me not want to have a baby because I feel like she controls enough of our finances. A baby of my own will only make it worse. There will never be enough money though.
I don’t know how to feel about babies and motherhood and family right now. All feel like a giant disappointment to me today. I shouldn’t make rash decisions about major life events. Its hard to not want to give up on all of it today. Now I just feel like I am rambling.
All I have wanted to do today is throw things away. Maybe I’m doing some sort of weird nesting thing but I just want to throw everything away. I tricked Mini-J into cleaning his room this morning and sorting his toys into “keep,” “throw,” and “donate.” It actually worked and we got his room clean. Maybe watching Mary Poppins yesterday made me channel some Spoonful of Sugar magic.
Then I started going through closets. Every single freaking one of them. I reorganized them and decided it was time to get rid of the roller blades i haven’t used in 2 years. I got rid of clothes that have holes, stuff I don’t wear and jewelry that reminded me of being 22 again. After 4 hours of work – its a pretty small apartment and we don’t have that much stuff – I’m done. But I don’t feel better. I still feel like I have too much stuff. Or that the stuff I have is just old and broken and I want to not feel like I have college furniture anymore. The more I get rid of now is less I have to move into a house, if we ever find one. I hate this apartment with the fire of a thousand suns. The homes I like are too expensive, and the ones in our price range just feel dated and yucky.
I found batteries, money, highlighters, other random school supplies, baking stuff I forgot about and a mango slicer. I still feel so cluttered. I still feel panicked with toys in the living room. I can’t figure out anything else to throw away because the rest does actually serve a purpose. Its not like I’m getting rid of the bread maker, crock pot, bamboo supplies or my mixer. Let’s be reasonable here. I feel better but just not good yet.
I have to stop making excuses. I have enough time in my day to get things done. There is no reason I can’t keep my apartment clean, scrub the bathrooms more often, make a decent meal and get myself in shape. Being complacent is what has gotten me here and it needs to pretty much end. We have pretty much everything we want in life and are working on the last little things. I have come to terms with the fact that my student loans – all $154,000 of them – aren’t going to get paid off any time soon and all I can do is pay what I can each money and do my best. Somewhere I still believe in the American dream. Somewhere I still believe that I can have a home and a child and a career. This is where I would ask if I’m batshit crazy but I’m trying to stop that since my therapist said its really counterproductive. We have the money for a down payment, now we just need to find a home. We are trying to have a baby, just waiting for it to happen and not pushing the issue. In the mean time I’m going to make some new rules for myself, hold myself accountable and get things where I want them to be. I want to be the person I want my baby to be before I have my baby.
So here goes…
1. I will stop chewing my lip and nails – these are just nasty habits born out of anxiousness
2. Take 15 minutes every night and tidy up the apartment – seriously I’m 28 years old
3. Do physical activity for at least 30 minutes 3 times per week (4 is ideal) – if I’m going to be a vessel for life I don’t want to be a fat vessel
4. Blog and or work on my book 1 hour per week.
5. Talk like an adult – I need to stop dropping the word fuck so easily and the phrase “fuck you” when I don’t really mean it.
6. Keep in touch better with my friends and not punk out. Make plans and see people. Stop being so isolated.
I think this is a good list to start. I don’t want to overwhelm myself with new projects and rules. I just want to be a better me.
I’ve always been nerdy about anniversaries. Like every other high school girl I counted the weeks, months I was with a boy. Now they mean so much more. One year ago today I dropped J off at treatment. It was cold, way too much snow and 1:53 a.m. I remember watching the deer as we drove up the road in the middle of the Minnesota woods. As I left, I sobbed the whole way home. I slept in my jeans for 3 hours, got up and went to work like normal, then I drove back up to drop off his things. In 28 days it will be the anniversary of him coming home, and five years since B died. Its a horribly conflicted day for me. But today I am going to be happy, bring home tortes and celebrate a good anniversary. Tomorrow we will eat steak and celebrate again. To watch J and mini-J reading together last night reminded me that its all worth it in the end, and life is truly amazing, even if absolutely crazy. What a difference a year can make.
Filed under addiction, hope
Seriously I’m not sure when this is actually going to stop. I fell asleep about 7:30 last night because I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. I woke up about midnight. J was snoring but nothing terrible. Eventually I went out to the couch to read. At least then I feel like I’m accomplishing something. I woke up again when J’s alarm went off at 4 for him to get up for work. Then I just stayed up. On the plus side I did get zucchini bread and oatmeal made. On the negative side I am exhausted. I drank my standard coffee and am hoping for the best. I was also naughty and took a Diet Coke this morning for lunch. I’ve been so good about getting off the stuff even though J’s blood is like half DC.
This has been going on for so long now that I pretty much expect to be in a sleep deprived haze for most of the day. Some days are better than others. Sunday night I slept for like 11 hours. Just up on and off. The worst part is I know this runs in my family, and I don’t want to take the drugs that will just completely knock me out. Those scare me.
I know its partly stress. Not having a permanent job is really starting to take its toll. I’ve been looking for 18 months now. Technically we are both employed and we make good money, but there is a doom hanging over me that at any point both our jobs could be gone. There is no reason we should struggle financially, we both make a good middle class wage, but I still seem to worry constantly. Our bills don’t leave much wiggle room. We are stuck in that group that can’t get approved for a loan for a house because our debt to income ratio is too high (thanks fucking student loans) but to get a decent apartment costs an arm, leg, and a promise of a first born child. Thanks for squeezing the middle class landlords. Appreciate it. (Please note that is dripping with sarcasm). So I worry. That might also be genetic along with the insomnia.
Today, in between the stacks of crap on my desk, I think I’m going to make a list of ways to make myself happier/less freaking out, and hopefully thereby find a way to end the insomnia. A year and a half is getting a bit excessive. It makes the anxiety start to spin out of control. I can feel it building like a wave about to rush over me, waiting for it to take me out. I’m anxious because I’m not sleeping, and I’m not sleeping because I’m anxious. Circles suck. Even the “Cute of the Day” calendar with an adorable kitten is not helping my mood today. If I’m able to fight my body I should really run tonight, but then I worry my body will revolt there too and create even more anxiety. Oh paralyzing anxiety you have reared your ugly head again.