January 28th, 2018

I was sitting at work on Friday dreading the weekend. It’s not because of having nothing to do or being bored. It’s because I have an obligation to my daughter to take her shopping for her semi-formal dress and it’s coming up fast…next weekend fast. My second job is prohibiting a lot including dress shopping with my daughter, doing her hair and makeup, time with my kids and husband, my writing, and a side project I started but cannot find the time to work on.

I picked up what I had decided my last check that afternoon. I prepared a speech as to why I’m quitting with no notice and before I could say anything my manager told me that there was another party and I would not have help. This has happened more than once and when I do have another bartender on duty with me she is incompetent. So I’m left with doing the work of two bartenders plus running up and down the stairs carrying two cases of beer at a time or to change a keg because my other bartender doesn’t want too. I left angry.

I woke up yesterday morning to my daughter asking when I’m taking her dress shopping and what the budget would be. I already had groceries shopping to do and I promised my son that he could go and get the toy he earned for doing his share of the chores. But with everything that I had to do yesterday, my daughter would feel rushed trying to find her perfect dress for a magical night and to have my son grab any old toy not teaching him the value of money and the decisions he makes. I already had to run to my day job for a couple of hours to work on some software so I had to also factor in that time as well. So, I texted my manager (because that is the only way he contacts me) and quit. 6 messages later he got the hint.

The rest of the day I had mild panic attacks. This was something new, something I have been doing for years, a third income that I provided to my family and the unknown. I was able to be distracted by the fun I was having with my kids and the time we spent together. Also something I haven’t been able to do in 3 years.

So, here I am enjoying my coffee and enjoying writing. I’m waiting for February’s writing prompts to come out and for the kids to wake up so I can make breakfast. I keep reminding myself that it’s going to be fine, we are going to be fine. My time is worth more than $60 a day and my body is getting too old to do that kind of work anymore.

January 25th, 2018

Work

Today’s mantra, “I love my job, I love my job, violence is unacceptable.” I know that sounded bad but it was a really bad day at work yesterday. These are the thoughts I had after I had a helicopter employee treat me like his personal mule and he’s the only that deserved to have work completed. There are literally 7 other people (with his same title) that need work done. This isn’t including the ones that need help with other art. Thoughts:

  • I’m not a good person, I don’t pretend to be.
  • Please let me do what I know – my job.
  • I have been working in these programs for over 7 years, in this job for over two, please go away so I can do my job!
  • Please don’t patronize me.
  • I can see through your BS!
  • Compliments get you now where.
  • Policy is within 24hrs for artwork…this is only hour 5.
  • You want me to work faster? Have them send the jersey for me to replicate.
  • Why are you in here again!
  • I NEED CARBS!
  • Why are you in here AGAIN!!!!
  • I NEED A CIGARETTE!
    (This is said out loud) I will have it finished for you at the end of the day.
    Having project done-emailed an edit-he isn’t confident with what he’s asking-asks someone else…
  • You should have listened to me the first time.

So I haven’t had a cigarette since the 14th but with the anxiety it was almost too much. I went into an anxiety attack and needed to take a ½ a Xanax. I get here this morning and the day was going great until I received and email from this employee needing and edit and I felt my chest tighten. Completed the edits and now I sit here and wait. I am aware of people, their mannerisms, and how they speak. He is a brow beater but does it in such a manipulative way that they don’t see it. There are 3 other women that have been treated like this and see him for what he is. I’m really hoping he doesn’t last long with all the mistakes that he is making and money he’s costing the company. Please let this day go by without an encounter with him.

6 Word Story Day 23

Now I know that this is something that almost everyone has been from time to time. Most of my problem is learning to say, ‘NO’ or ‘When I get to it.’ This is kind of difficult at work but I do spread myself thin. But it feels like that word has gotten me no where before.


Prompt Word: Over-tasked

Ringing, dinging inbox, “Please?” I can’t.

6 Word Story 22

This is something that I feel I haven’t been for a while and I would like to achieve. I know that there is a lot of practice and knowing that is involved. But, what do you do when you feel like you don’t have the time? Is there such a thing as ‘baby steps’ for this? There is people that can do this when they are stressed but I tend to go into full on panic mode.


Prompt Word: Centered

Inhale, slow. Exhale, slow. It’s ok.

6 Word Day 20

No explanation needed. I’m sure the noise of your own family needing dinner will ring true with this one. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could throw a bag of family chow on the table with glasses of water and call it dinner?


Prompt Word: Ding!

Impatient, starving family… DING! Silencing salvation.

6 Word Day 17

The stress of doing everything in a modern society sucks…especially when you are raising a millennial minded teen. The usual ‘raising teen’ horrors are fine but adding the mentality of entitlement takes the cake. I’m constantly on top of that attitude. Then throw in work and trying to write. Don’t get me started or even ask what personal projects I have completed lately. Feeling less than super.


Prompt Word: The Juggler

Work, family, creativity, mind…stressed mother.

August 15th, 2017

Busy Bee

Let’s just say that I’m busier at home than at work today. I literally blew through all the work that came to my desk in no time. I’m surprised what use to take me hours to complete, now only takes me at most 30 minutes from start to finish. This would also include the spreadsheet that I fill out and digitally filing the .AI files in the appropriate folders.

I got a message from my daughter today that my son wasn’t feeling good. This only meant that he has caught the stomach bug that has been going around and my house is now ground zero and quarantined from guests. Mainly other kids though because I’m not a social butterfly and appreciate my quiet space and solitude with my family. This helps with any stress that could trigger an anxiety attack. I’m trailing off…I clocked out and headed straight for the store. I wanted to get a bag of taters to make my go to meal (tater hash), soup, juices, and an activity book for my son. My husband and always try to do a little something that will bring a little bit of comfort when they aren’t feeling like their usual hellion-selves.

I came home and remembered that I needed to pick up my son’s class packet that gives us his teacher’s name, supply list, and forms to fill out. Instead of freaking out, I started chopping ingredients and my husband volunteered as the ‘errand running’ tribute and left to deal with the school office mayhem. While dinner started cooking I took Clover outside for a short session of training. She did well until she heard kids screaming somewhere in the distance and she lost all focus. I brought her back in the house and continued to work with her a little longer. I started my computer up to do some writing and while this thing revved up I went through pictures of our cave outing and chose a few to upload. I stirred dinner, started writing this journal entry and reminded my daughter to work with Dublin and his clicker. As I wrote, I also created some distractions for Dublin and now I’m going to wrap this up, serve dinner, and write about our cave visit. IF my son feels well enough to give me the time needed to complete that. —-sigh

8 Mile Learning Experience

The Trail of Learning

I had a brilliant idea to take our family hiking on my day off to include our fur babies. We purchased $300 worth of gear that we would need. We purchased a new hiking pack that could hold everything we would need for us and the dogs, portable water dishes, and we wanted to get bug spray since the mosquitoes in our area could literally carry us off. There seems to be a shortage of repellent in our area and I had to sprint to he one area of the store no one was really looking…by the mouse traps! Success! My prize of three cans and six towelettes was quite a prize. We got granola bars, water for all of us including he dogs, stuff for pita sandwiches, chips, and new harnesses.

Our goal was to leave at 8 am but since I worked until bar time the night before, 8:30 am was when when we were able to head out. Not bad. We were all excited about the trail until my 7 year old decided he wasn’t going to have it. I felt like the worst mom in the world and I had the most horrible idea ever. That’s when I realized that was my C-PTSD rearing its ugly head and I don’t have to cater to my sons every wish. We stopped for a break and had our trail mix bars and water for the dogs and it was a great refresher. The dogs enjoyed laying in the shade and rolling around in the dirt and gravel. We called, ‘TIME’ and we packed the pack up, threw our trash in the designated area of the bag and reapplied bug spray. We headed off with a belligerent 7 year old in tote.

We must of hiked for another couple of miles (we were all guessing how far we went as there wasn’t a mile marker ANYWHERE in sight) when we stopped for lunch. Everyone was kinda of hangry and the stop was warranted. The dogs had water and their dog food (topped with chicken livers) then lounged in the sun as we prepared smoked turkey pita sandwiches with salad, Italian dressing, with all the veggies and cheddar cheese. We had some Lays tater chips (the ones that come in a tube) and plenty of water. I only wish we had packed pickles. After we were done, we bagged up the trash and pack and off we went. My son was unbearable at this point so we decided to head home.

We all got to the vehicles and just literally flopped down in them with the heat just swallowing us up and we drove towards the house with the windows down. This was due to the distance from the starting point of the trail to the house didn’t allow enough time for the AC to be fully ready to cool. We rushed inside and just laid around like slugs, dogs included. I had planned on grilling out but we opted to just go out to dinner. We discussed my son’s grounding rules (that he earned on his own) and what to do next time-like purchase more bug spray. That’s when we learned that we actually hiked 8.5 miles! We decided that my son and dogs go on short hikes and the girls, my husband and myself go on the long hikes. We planned out what things to pack and what not to pack. We also learned that we each should have a pack and not all one pack being toted by my husband…lawd help is aching back.

There is something that I learned though. I am missing time with my husband and kids. I miss the smell of the outside air full of fresh green scents of leaves and grass. I have missed the crunch of my shoes against a trail and the satisfying sounds of completing a goal. I felt free like when I was a little girl running through the woods and have now found a way to get that feeling again.

So I am armed with a small list of odds and ends to purchase and have been looking for new trails to hike.

May 22nd, 2017 PART 3

Meat and Matters and Questionable Acts-part 3

I woke up Sunday morning kind of late after closing the bar at 2 am that morning. Exhausted was an understatement. Not only do I need to close the bar on Saturdays but I have to open the bar at 10 am Sunday morning. I still had to shop for the veggies, sides, and rolls so yes, I was panicked that I would be late. I was running around the house like a mad woman basically racing the clock. My husband said that he would go with me so he could help me open the bar and then help with the meat raffle. I come running out the bathroom because I heard a holler from the living room in my husband’s voice. He was sitting on the couch holding his foot. I learned that he was putting on his jeans when his toenail caught on the inside and ripped half way off. I’m not a squeamish person so the blood didn’t bother me. What bothered me was the fact that my husband was hurting and I had to bandage him up. This meant that I would be late but knew and understood my priorities. Yes, I was annoyed that he didn’t cut his toenails when I told him to and I was going to be late but he needed comfort and bandaging more than I needed to open the bar on time.

I managed to make it to the store and did all my shopping in 10 minutes, this combined with me speeding (yes, I have a lead foot and Sunday the speed limits were just a suggestion) I was able to make it to work on time. I was met by the bar manager nervously getting my chores done. I asked her what was wrong and I could see relief starting to come over her like a wave. She was able to vent to me so many things and situations that she has on her mind that it was no wonder she was their early. Or maybe she was seeing if I would arrive on time but I would like to think that it was because she needed to get a way and get a lot off her chest. I listened and offered advice where needed during her rant otherwise just lent an ear and a hug. She promised that she would be there to help tend bar if needed and participate in our 2nd meat raffle and 1st ever sign-in.

Throughout the morning I watched the clock, took care of customers, listened to problems or what someone was going to do for the rest of the day. As it got closer to 1 pm I got nervous. Ticket purchase started at 1 pm and drawing for the meat raffle at 2 pm, then the bloody mary raffle basket, then the sign in. Hardly anyone was showing up that said that would show up. Slowly they started coming in and it was the patrons that cared and didn’t want to see the raffle or me fail but also raise money for the widow and kids left behind because of cancer.

We had so much fun. Everyone quickly learned that little me has a mighty voice when needed. Bar dice was played, stories were swapped and drinks were purchased. In the end, the bar had a decent Sunday drawer (Sundays are our slowest days of the week and this is why I chose this day) but we managed to raise over $700 for the family! I cried from the overwhelming support that these patrons showed. We all know money is tight and it took a lot for them to spend what they could part with. Every little bit helps when a loved one passes and I hope that this little bit that we were able to raise helps in some way.

So here it is: Do you ever participate in a fundraiser for the family who has suffered a loss? Why or why not? I would love to hear your thoughts and answers.

May 15th, 2017

Quick Week With Even Quicker Life Lessons

Last week really put my multitasking parenting skills to the test. All I wanted to do was write but in my life my family always comes first (and I wouldn’t have it any other way). Monday consisted of a sick little guy and a call into work. As a mom it makes one feel so helpless when the pain can’t be taken away by two hands. Having to be forced to watch and only try to make my boy comfortable was as horrible as it sounds. I decided to make it a mommy and son day including his favorite lunch of grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup. Then it was an evening concert for my oldest daughter’s choir. My husband took over making our son comfortable so I can attend a spring event that she has been practicing for months preparing her solo. She did great and looked awesome in a dress that she picked out without fighting her aunt and I.

The sadness slapped everyone in the face as we got home. Eating the take out leftovers from earlier my youngest daughter spit her food across the table, started crying, and making urgent phone calls. I asked her what was wrong. In the smallest almost non-audible whimper, ‘John killed himself.’ I changed his name as this grieving family is already receiving enough attention (negative and positive) throughout our Podunk, full of rednecks, town. My daughter would stick up for him as he came out as gay and even was asked to a dance before his death by another boy. The bullying both in person and through social media commenced. He decided on a permanent solution that I felt could have been a temporary situation if the school and parents had stepped in to discipline the bully children. My daughter was beside herself. She said that he would always reach out when his life was rough and she always had sound advice to give. She soon realized there will be no more late night calls, no more Snap Chats, no more Facebook meme wars, no more lunches together or walks to the park. No more him. My heart broke for her, I couldn’t take away the pain or help her find clarity in her mist of confusion. After many conversations throughout the week, she decided that she will NOT attend the memorial. She did not want to have a memory of him laying in a casket. She wanted to keep the memories of him laughing, helping others, playing outside, and dancing with the boy that asked him to the dance and the huge smile he had on his face under the sparkly Christmas lights in the gym. I’m proud of her for her decision and even more proud that she doesn’t have regrets.

Tuesday, another concert attend but this time for my grieving youngest daughter. It was a sorrowful band sitting in their chairs behind black stands as one of their own will no longer play. I’m proud of all of them for going on with brave faces. Wednesday, more conversations with my daughter and another box of tissues. A dinner date with a friend that I really didn’t want to go but already agreed without thinking that I do not have an easy out. I have friends but choose not to hangout with them. Doing this promises less anxiety and less awkward conversations that I would later play over and over in my head because I usually feel like I said or did something wrong and negative thoughts set in. Thursday was another dinner but this time with my pseudo daughter. She had to rush back from Florida due to the fact that no one would rent to her with having a pit bull. I hate bullshit stereotyping. I own two pits that are absolute babies. Before dinner with her I did have to run around shopping for items for the bar’s Mother’s Day raffle basket and drop that off at the bar to rush back JUST in time to meet her in my driveway. We ALL actually laughed and had a good time. My daughter said that she felt bad afterwards for being happy and I had to explain to her that it was OK to laugh, smile, eat, talk, and be happy. Friday, it was me going to both jobs and a call from my husband letting me know that he received a 3 day suspension. I didn’t freak out! I know! I think the medication is helping a great deal. Before my prescriptions I would have lost my shit and took out my stress and worries on him. That doesn’t help anyone. Saturday, errands, bike ride, and work. Sunday, Mother’s day. Breakfast (not on bed because I woke up early. I have no idea why) from the hands of my husband and no smoke alarms, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (let’s just say the price of movies, popcorn, and soda, is HIGHWAY FREAKING ROBBERY!and catching up on some much needed rest.

And now we are at Monday. Same old same old at my day job although I did enjoy the two older women that have been trying to get me fired admit that they were wrong to the supervisors and myself. Petty, you bet. Two years of this has made me hate waking up every morning and going to work. Two years of beating myself up. Two years of believing that I was not as good as I thought I was. These two women are friends so their opinion of me was just fuel for both of them to keep being the office bullies (yes, adults have them too).

I’m hoping for a less eventful week. I hope my daughter’s pain is less each day. I hope the family of the young boy will make peace with what is happening now and has happened. They are in my thoughts. Now I wonder do I stay home with my children and enroll them in an online school? I can’t shelter them from everything all the time. It hurts seeing them hurt and trying to find the words that will help with their grief. I was able to put into words some advice as suicidal thoughts have crept in my mind but the thought of my children helped me pull through.

If anyone you know or you yourself feel that there is no other but suicide please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 of visit the website. There is help, and the most courageous act you can do is seek it out.

A Dark Time – Breakdown

In my other posts through my Journal entries it seems like my husband and I have a perfect relationship but that’s not entirely true. There are plenty of unpleasant times specially with me having C-PTSD. There is a difference between this and PTSD but I’m not going into to much medical terminology as this is not meant to be a medical blog by no means. It’s for me to express myself through writing (which I’m also in the middle of adding to a story I started and posting in first draft format).

My husband and I had a huge falling out because of my mental breakdown. He just accepted a new position at work that causes long hours during the week and almost every Saturday away. For me, naturally, I thought that he was cheating or seeing someone else because of the lack of intimacy and time together. All of these thoughts in my head combined with him not being around and feeling like he had to walk on egg shells around me (hardly talking included) was the perfect recipe for me to have complete mental breakdown.

The night I told him to leave and he actually did was (I didn’t know at the time) EXACTLY what I needed. I know you’re thinking, ‘she’s nuts! Why would her husband leaving be something that she needed?!’. In my state of mind feeling lost, hopeless, just a nobody, failure, and why should I even be here on this earth, I found clarity through fog. I had a friend that literally talked me off the ledge and gave me the incentive to call the doctor. Of course, here a patient needs a referral to the mental health clinic and my family doctor didn’t have any appointments available. This sent me over the edge but the receptionist asked me to come in ASAP and they would fit me in regardless as it was an emergency. Right away I was asked what was happening. I was fidgeting, crying, BP was through the roof along with my heart rate. I was immediately placed on medication which helped. Over the next week I was feeling better and finally was able to ask my husband if we could talk. Long story short-he came home. I told him it was going to be difficult but I will try as long as he did. This lasted a week. The incident started over something as simple as choosing somewhere to eat for breakfast. I couldn’t decide. I wanted him to make the decision and asked him to choose as we would go anywhere he wanted. He couldn’t decide and that threw me into a panic attack. I calmed down after taking my medication and when we got home I needed to paint.

I had no inspiration or motivation but I needed to do something to take my mind off of feeling like a failure. I wanted something dark but light at the same time. Something that was positive in it’s own way. I put paint to canvas and ended up with a mass of black, white, and grey and decided to find something online. Something that I didn’t have to really think about or stress over and ended up at YouTube. There was a woman, Jane, doing acrylic tutorials and found one that had a girl walking through a raining dark city but light in the direction she was walking. It only took me 30 minutes to complete BUT it was 30 minutes of therapy that I needed. I was able to control my breathing that helped calm me down. It kept my mind in one place focusing on the task at hand. It helped get a brush back in my hand and even work with new tools. Jane’s tutorial helped me accomplish more than just a painting. I encourage you to look through her tutorials and possibly find a new hobby.

Painting and writing has helped me cope with certain things and has helped my husband notice my ticks and triggers to offer advice and comfort. Jane, I’m sure without her knowledge, is helping me in more ways than just painting.

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