Tag Archive: freakout


First big depressive breakdown I’ve had in… quite a while, I think.  I’m sure I didn’t think to chronicle them all here or I’d go back and check.  But I can’t remember the last time I cried so hard or gnashed my teeth so much, straining to burst out of myself because being myself felt so unbearable.

I know I’ve been in kind of a dip lately, the last month or so I’d say.  But this is something of a troubling development.  It makes me afraid to trust myself, afraid to trust any progress I might have made or might make down the road.  Because what if it all culminates in another degrading fit of wailing, simultaneous self-pity and self-loathing.

I should have trusted my judgement and just gone home when I initially thought of it.  But this frame of mind isn’t really conducive to good choices.  I guess I was already too far gone, I don’t know.

But in the interest of getting back on the horse, so to speak, I am going to start making myself meditate again.  As with most things, my meditation has kind of petered out, and so any chance I might have had for real awareness of what was going on in my mind was probably minimized to the point of impossibility.

I do feel sorry for myself.

But as I awoke this day feeling at least moderately refreshed I find myself believing that I can probably survive another day, another week, another year.  I just have to take it at my own pace, pay attention to what my mind and body are saying and Do. Not. Overdo it.

Must not be disheartened.  Must have hope.  Must move forward.

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The last 36 hours

Had brunch with NM.  It’s funny, maybe it was just getting stuck in football game traffic, but about halfway there I was thinking, “man, I don’t really wanna do this.”  When I got there I was feeling pretty cool, probably feeling wounded by the no-shows Saturday night.  He was not nearly apologetic enough for my taste.  I admit I slipped into a little passive-aggressiveness.  And the man TALKS, let me tell you.  It’s funny, I was totally into him for a few weeks, even up to a few days ago, but listening to him talk over brunch was downright painful.  I appreciate a talker, but he just fills every moment, and I don’t have time to slip in if there does happen to be a break.  Funny how I didn’t seem to mind at first.

Anyway, we walked around the neighborhood for a while after that, then as we were about to get into our respective cars he started: “I don’t want to seem like a total jerk…”  (sidenote: it’s not jerky to be honest vis a vis a prospective relationship) so I said, “Go for it.”  He continued “I don’t really see any longevity in this…” To which I agreed emphatically.  I really, really had to pee or we could have chatted longer about how it wouldn’t work to drag it out any longer.  But yeah, after brunch and after-brunch conversation, I was also pretty much done.  As soon as he said it a light sort of went off in my head like “Bingo.”

This doesn’t mean that my subconscious didn’t process it like any other rejection.  I got home completely exhausted and promptly fell into bed, which is what I do when I’m unable/unwilling to process something just yet.  Ended up staying there the rest of the evening and through the night, then got up for work as normal this morning.

Here’s when it got crappy.  Halfway through my commute I started to feel what I hadn’t let myself feel on Sunday afternoon.  The combination of being stood up by my one friend and this guy on Saturday, plus the perceived rejection on Sunday, brought home all those feelings of unworthiness and abandonment that I probably should have seen coming but didn’t.  I guess I thought since I’d done such a good job dealing with things on Saturday night, I was through.  But no, here it came.  I spent the first 2 hours at work sniffling and shedding tears, going back and forth between doing my regular Monday work routine and feeling completely worthless and unqualified to do my job, unloved and unlovable.  In desperation I sent my therapist an e-mail about how hurt I felt about having been stood up by my friends on Saturday night.  Not expecting any therapy back, I just couldn’t think of anyone else to share that with.

I ultimately asked my boss if I could leave at noon.  I wasn’t crying anymore by that point, but I also wasn’t getting much work done.  I came home, cried some, carved my pumpkins, cried some more, read another chapter of “The Untethered Soul,” lay down and talked to myself, closed my eyes for a bit.  Then I got up and took a shower (my shoulders are sore from the sun salutations… chataranga kicks my ass), got dressed, made some coffee (I finally got around to getting myself a French Press), repotted some plants and here I am.  Not feeling 100%, but not feeling awful.

One thing that came up when I was talking to myself was the memory of getting lost at the mall when I was 3.  I wondered if my intense fear of abandonment/rejection stems from that occasion or others like it.  It seems likely enough.  Alone, helpless, surrounded by a bunch of adults I didn’t know (trying to find out who I belong to), trying to weigh the likelihood that I could make it home on foot if I tried (it was about a mile from the mall to our house).  It’s pretty amazing to think that my intense reactions to rejection at age 30 could all stem from that one event 27 years ago.  I’ll have to remember to see what Mom thinks about that, and hopefully remember to mention it to my therapist when I see her next month.  Anyway, continuing to feel better as I type.  Thankfully.

Taking breaths

I got up at about 8 this morning because the cats were whining to be fed and I had to pee.  Went back to bed immediately after, reveling in the warmth and comfort of the bedclothes.

Sometime in the hour that followed I began having the most horrible dream.

It was so surreal it’s difficult to organize and describe.  I was making plans with [someone- either my mom or co-worker or both] to visit my dad at Christmas[? it was wintery].  He lived in Ohio or some other midwestern state.  I think it was Ohio even if it was located slightly further south and west than it really is.  It was time to go and I wasn’t even sure if I was driving or flying.  I was packing and looking for things and needed a shower but there wasn’t time.  Then, mid-way to the airport, I realized I had paint all over my scalp.  I had been painting [a] ceiling and, looking in the mirror, it was like really heavy dandruff all on my scalp, but blue paint.  I could sort of peel it off in strips, but I really needed to shower to get rid of it all.  So I went [home, which was sort of like a trailer park or refugee camp].  There were these little boys – maybe 8-11 years old – who were coming in to the house.  The locks didn’t really function, the doors were that hollow plywood/particleboard and they didn’t really even latch.  But I was desperate to keep these kids out of our house.  It was so stressful.  Trying to hold the door closed only to have one open up a door I thought I had shut firmly.  They were clearly accustomed to making themselves at home and weren’t about to stop.  I did finally get back to the bathroom and that door, at least, kept them out.  I drew a bath and washed my hair, hoping I was getting all the paint off.

Then somehow I ended up with a few people in a gym somewhere.  We were at a card table about to play some game of cards I was not familiar with.  Some of the cards had been bent or folded in the corners for reasons unknown.  The dealer was to my right, and I got the impression he was about to explain how the game was played.  I wasn’t sure why we were there because I really needed to get back to the airport.  A couple cops showed up and I guess we were doing something illegal because they seemed to be looking for us.  All I could think was that I hadn’t done anything [that I knew of] and I just really needed to get going.  I had probably missed my flight but it was only a 4-5 hour drive and I had to get there [to see dad and his girlfriend].

At some point there was a news article online about my dad having been gunned down outside his home.  My dad had been murdered.  It was like something out of Fargo, I could see the house or barn, the flannel red & black, the snow light under the awning.  I did some more searching online just to get a second opinion.  My dad…. murdered.  I started to cry, and that’s when I woke up.

It was a little after 9.  I got up and pulled my yoga pants out of the dryer.  I put the kettle on.  I really don’t feel like going to yoga this morning.  I feel like crumpling into a little ball back in bed.  There are some very clear interpretable images in this dream.  I am determined to pick it apart and use it to help me feel better.  If I’m not going to yoga, I will at least help myself understand where the stress, pain and grief of this dream is coming from.  My tea is steeping.

It is absolutely beautiful outside today.  Mild, even a little cool this morning.  Sunshine and breeze streaming through my open windows.

On to the dream.

The anxiety, feeling rushed, is almost certainly a reflection of the anxiety I have been feeling the last few weeks and in anticipation of the next few weeks.  I just want to take things one event at a time, and find myself having to plan for several all coming back-to-back.  In the dream, I just wanted to close out the world so I could take a shower, have a moment of peace.  I’m not sure what the little boys represented.  They were mischievous, but either didn’t know or didn’t care that they were doing wrong in insisting in entering someone else’s space.  But my home, the structure that is supposed to keep out all but the invited, was not solidly built.  The doors didn’t even latch properly.  This suggests that the house must represent myself.  I am trying to keep something[s] out, I feel they don’t belong here.  Not when I have so many other things I need to do.

If I had caught my flight and made it to Ohio, would I have seen dad before he died?  Would I have been killed too?  Or would we have gone somewhere and have missed the killer[s] entirely.  I don’t know.  Maybe the plane would have crashed.  The point is that in the midst of my frantically rushing and yet not actually attempting to get to the place I was supposedly frantically trying to get to (attending the card game instead), the entire purpose of my frantic rushing was lost.  What this suggests to me is that I need to remember to breathe.  To take what is in front of me and not panic about the rest.  With everything going on in the atheist group, I’m finding it more and more difficult to do that.  I have a rash on my chin that mom suggested was probably brought on by stress.  And she’s probably right.  In trying to accommodate all these “obligations” (as I see them) I am running myself down, not giving myself the care, nurture and attention I need.  I am becoming depressed, my sink full of dishes, clean laundry piled on the chair in the living room for probably a month now.  I feel out-of-control and so am asserting control over one of the few things I can: my household.  By neglecting it.

Poor, dear m E.  I want to brush my teeth, change out of this shirt that smells like mildew, take my drugs and maybe fold some laundry.  So I think I will.  After breathing for a few.

Fumbling

I really don’t feel like writing at all but I realize this is the kind of thing that I’m actually supposed to be blogging about.  (that is, inasmuch as I’m “supposed” to be blogging about anything at all… it’s all me-driven, anyway)

One thing I hate more than anything else is being unable to pretend in public.  If I’m so miserable that I can’t even pretend to be ok for a couple hours, things are much, much worse than they’ve been in a while.

I went to a small gathering at my mom’s house this evening, went straight there after work.  My sister and her family are in town for a reunion of sorts (old friends, I believe) and mom was hosting the sister’s husband’s parents & brother & cousin so the sister & fam wouldn’t have to go out of their way to visit each subgroup individually.  So I said I’d drop in.  Okay.  After about an hour I’m pretty much ready to go.  I’ve figured out that I’m not going to get any one-on-one time with my sister or brother-in-law, there are kids running wild, yelling and slamming doors, my brother-in-law’s mother is too flaky to be believed and I can’t bring myself to give a damn about any of them.

But I can’t leave.  This is one of these fucked up things that is really hard to explain to anyone who isn’t me or my brain.  I didn’t have the energy, or maybe the courage, to speak up and make myself the center of attention just because I was leaving.  Especially because I haven’t been participating very enthusiastically in the conversation so I feel like I know they know that I’m fucked up, and I hate that more than just about anything else in the world.  I hate being surrounded by confident, successful, functional people when I’m struggling just to hold it together for those couple hours.  To bring attention to myself in such a situation is absolutely out of the question.  And yet staying is also misery.

But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  I didn’t have enough chutzpah (sp?) or something to pull it together long enough to say, “Well, I’m going to get going now” and force the entire conversation to stop while the sister and brother-in-law wrest themselves from their seats to give their poor sister m E a hug before she heads off, not because of any particular bond they share but because she’s your sister and that’s what you do.

So I stayed until everyone left, almost broke down – okay, really did start to break down – in front of mom, had no words to explain it and got the hell out of there.  Paused once in the car to yell and sob for a bit.

Once home, I deleted my friends list and deactivated my facebook.  I think I look too much to facebook for some sense of connection to others even though I know I will not get that kind of fulfillment there.  Which frustrates and depresses me, and yet I keep going back.  So I figure if it’s deactivated, I’m much less likely to go back for more.

My eyes burn.  Time to brush teeth and go the hell to bed.

Downswing

I know that I’ve been headed in that direction over the last couple weeks, but it’s really been building since Wednesday.  I had one of those mini crying spells earlier today — not the good, cathartic kind, just the kind where my breathing gets all gaspy and the tears burn my eyes but I can’t sob like I need to get it out of my system.  Then, since I have learned that making food usually helps me feel a little better, I found a recipe for whole wheat crackers in one of my cookbooks and made them.  And I did feel a little better.  I think it’s the fact that 1) it forces me to focus on something and 2) it provides that instant gratification that I’ve always been a sucker for.  Maybe they’ll get better as they age, but the crackers really aren’t that great.  Not crisp enough.  I’m going to try a different recipe next time.

So Wednesday was an atheist meeting and I was moody, impatient and really unsympathetic to the guy running the meeting.  In my defense, he goes on and on about things that really have nothing to do with the group and even when they do have to do with the group he gives us all kinds of backstory and details that no one needs to know which makes the meetings run at least 50% longer than they should.  In short, brevity is just not his thing.  I felt bad about it but I was in too crummy a mood to stick around and try to explain my thoughts.  Besides, at his age you’d think he’d’ve figured out how to edit himself a bit, and since he hasn’t, I’m really not holding out much hope.

Saturday I went to this pay-what-you-can outdoor yoga class in the park.  I had never been before and I was a little anxious because I get anxious about shit like that.  But it looked like only 8 people had RSVP’d (including the instructor) so I thought I could handle it.  I got there a few minutes late (having to run by the ATM to get cash so I could actually pay-what-I-could) and they had already started and there were at least twice as many people as I had seen on the RSVP list.  I tried to explain to my mom how I felt when I saw that.  I was immediately consumed by social anxiety, fear, dread, unworthiness, I nearly broke down and cried right there.  But I did make myself keep going.  I “womaned up” so to speak, rolled out my mat and joined in, following along as best I could.  It was good, and I give myself credit for going ahead and doing it, and I intend to go back every Saturday insofar as my schedule allows it.  But I keep wondering about that feeling.  I guess I just haven’t forced myself out of my comfort zone in a long time, and I’ve been feeling fragile enough that it was a bigger deal than I ever imagined it would be.

I hope to get back to meditating in the mornings… maybe that will help keep me in better touch with whatever it is that’s going on within me right now.

Anxiety

Dear Anxiety,

I hate you.

Love,

m E

 

I feel like shite today.  Like my circuits are overloaded I can’t. slow down enough to catch my breath.  I feel like I need an immediate vacation from myself.

Shower revelations

I finally admitted to myself while in the shower tonight that I have not completely come to terms with the business of SMF.

What I keep going back to is that I tried very hard to accommodate where he said he was… not wanting a defined relationship or whatever.  I didn’t ask for anything.  So when he has the nerve to say “I can tell we just wouldn’t work out for each other” I want to say, how the hell do you know??  You didn’t do a thing, did you.  You didn’t go out of your way on my account, you didn’t compromise anything — if that’s what you’re looking for, someone who will be exactly what you think you want and allow you to remain completely unchanged, an island unto yourself, then you’re absolutely right, it would never have worked out.

What bothers me so much about SMF is that, for all that he can muster pretty sentences when he chooses to, I feel like the whole time he really didn’t give a damn.  I know he was preoccupied with other things, but sunovabitch, even friends give a damn about each other.  As a fuckbuddy, I allowed myself to be less than a friend, less valuable, less than a person, less than equal.  And for that the blame lies with me as much as with him — he enabled it, allowed it, kept fucking me.  And of course it was fun when it happened.  But that last time, when it was just fucking, barely a “hello” —

I know this is a valuable experience and that I can only grow from it.  But the fact is that I hurt.  I hurt because I feel devalued, I feel used (whether I was or not), I feel like I let myself be used and devalued, lied to myself to keep it going.  And I feel like he lied, too, whether he intended to or not.  I’m still not satisfied with his answer — “why would you go out on a date with someone if you’re not interested in dating” — his response was that they were kind of different.  But what if?

I don’t know.  I feel like a fool, I really do.  And what galls me is that he has this smug way of talking to me — e-mailing, texting, whatever — that implies that he knows me, he knows what’s going on with me, what I’m struggling with.  You don’t know me, man.  And you certainly don’t have the right to treat me like you do.  Fuck.  Anger and hurt!  And fat and disgusting and when was the last time I brushed my teeth? Exercised?  Shame.  A bit of self-loathing slipped in.

Don’t tell me “it didn’t work out” — there never was any “it” and if you really think there was you don’t know the first thing about me.  And that’s a goddamn fact.

Crying

I am so frustrated about all this bullshit I’m sitting here crying.  And I don’t even know why!!  I’m just so goddamn ANGRY at all these stupid sons-o-bitches who think that “let’s hang out” is a sufficient invitation for a date.  Call me old-fashioned, but IT’S NOT.  I hate these stupid guessing games!  If people would just SAY what they GODDAMN MEAN rather than leaving others to infer, I wouldn’t feel like a freaking IDIOT every time I realize my new “friend” thinks we’re on a date.  FUCK YOU ALL.  I’m serious, I am so pissed off at this whole mess and all the fucking lemmings who follow along with it as though it’s not completely STUPID.

I mean, is it my fault for not knowing the secret code?  I was a freaking social inept until just a few years ago, but somehow was I supposed to pick up on it anyway??  Fucking christ.

Seriously.  How do I manage to go on dates without realizing they are dates?!

I feel like I’m missing something, like maybe there’s this secret language people use where it sounds like normal English but the words mean “I’m attracted to you and I would like for us to go out on a date together.”  Heaven forbid anyone actually come out and say that!

This happened to me 3x in college, almost back-to-back: 3 different guys asked me out in such a casual way I didn’t realize that’s what they were saying. So after all that, when SMF invited me out for beers, I thought, aha, I will be smart and find out what this means before I agree to go.  And it turned out we were kind of on the same page, that it was not intended to be a date.  So I thought, “success!”  So then along comes NF, who friends me on fb – we have some mutual friends and are both on the atheist group’s fb page, so I assume some combination thereof is how he found me.  He comes out to one of the atheist social gatherings where I am greeting people at the door and greets me with a hug and proceeds to monopolize me for a while.  I guess I should have realized RIGHT THEN that I was probably the only reason he came out that night and that that most likely meant he’s interested in me.  Hindsight, eh.

I have to acknowledge here that probably a great deal of the problem is that I don’t want to have to deal with situations like that — how do you tell someone you’re not interested? — so I think I just pretend not to notice.  And then I wind up here going “what the faaahhhck, how did I not notice that??”  *sigh*

I like him, but I’m not physically or romantically attracted to him.  I’m not saying it couldn’t happen, but not now.  I tried to articulate that, leaving out the part about not being physically or romantically attracted to him, this evening.  We hung out and watched movies at his place and during a lull he brought it up.  “We’ve gone out a couple times… are we ‘dating’?”  At which point it smacked me in the face.  Ohhhh.  We were “going out?”  I thought we were “hanging out.”  Why didn’t I ask for clarification like I did with SMF???  It worked so nicely that time!!

Lessons for the future. @_@;;;;;

Evolution

I exchanged a few e-mails with V about the situation with SMF.  His whole history (as best I know it), my experience at the beginning and where we stand now.  Just looking for some perspective, words of wisdom, strength, something.  Her responses were so helpful to me.  Pragmatic but sensitive, she helped me step back from deep within the situation to examine the facts.  Ever since then I have felt so much less burdened by the whole thing.  I still think about him a great deal, but it is much more casual, not as weighted down by the unease and uncertainty, the desire for stability that I have felt previously (see the post before this one!).

I feel much more comfortably that we are friends. We are new friends, who really only became acquainted about 6 weeks ago.  It is not rational to expect that he will come to me with all his problems, lean on me the way I somehow hoped he would.  Would I do that with a friend whom I only met 6 weeks ago? Certainly not.  I would go to my oldest, closest and most trusted friends, which is what he is doing when it comes to the problems he is facing.  That is as it should be.

We are also physically attracted to each other.  We like to cuddle, make out and have sex when time allows.  It’s fun!

He’s now ramping up to start a child custody lawsuit against his ex — he requested equal custody, she counter-proposed 1.5 days per week for him.  I can only imagine the time and energy (not to mention $$) this process will demand from him.

It’s kind of good, now that I think about it, that things are the way they are.  It’s forcing us to take things slow, where I was so excited, so eager to jump headfirst into total commitment.  This way we can actually get to know each other, truly become good friends (if that’s what happens) before deciding to date or cohabitate or any of that mess.  It’s protecting us from my impulsive ass is what it’s doing.

So yay.  It feels so good to not feel shitty!