Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Things I Must Learn - Now...

The top of the list: how to say NO. Practice with me here. No. No. No. No.

Let's use it in a sentence. No, I will not create a new committee for x, y, & z. No, I will not make everything my personal responsibility. No, I will not proofread everyone's marketing strat plans. No, I will not always drive to your location. No, I will not... No, I will not...

Whew. I feel progress already.

I've been in a position where I feel no progress in life. I've been there for about 6 months. I know full well by this point that it's because I take on too much. Actually, I don't take on too much, I take on EVERYTHING. And I must stop this madness. Right now.

I'm not acheiving my goals at normal pace and in normal fashion. I hate myself for this lack of acheivement. I beat myself up for it daily. All I know is how to be an overacheiver and be a head and shoulders above all competition. Anything other than that causes severe guilt and self destructive thoughts and feelings.

I really think this is caused by childhood experience. When I was young, the only time my mother really paid serious attention to me was when I was doing something five years beyond the capability of a kid my age. The only time I got any really positive feedback from my dear overworked dad was when I had a stellar report card or tested at a genius IQ.

So I won spelling bees and kicked ass however I could. Until I got a little older, and school was soooo boring and I began to not care if my parents talked to me or not. (The stage that every live breathing child goes through in that pre teen era of life.) At this point, with the school systems aimed at underacheivers and learning disabled kids, I just didn't really give a rat's ass. I did what I had to just to get by and finish. I had way too much responsibility for a kid in junior high and then high school. My junior and senior years were spent working two jobs, and most of it wasn't for money so much as it was to escape other responsibilities that I had prematurely and just couldn't handle. I seriously hated life in the latter half of high school, and there was no good reason for it. I was decent looking, talented, smart, and should have had the whole world in the palm of my hands. Instead, my hands were full with tasks that should have belonged to others. Life slipped away at light speed. There were no social events. No parties. No important life experiences. No fun. Those should have been the best years of life - but they were very much the worst. Worse than even the days of imprisonment in bad marriage.

Yeah, sure, I know kids in third world countries have to work 18 hour days at age 12 and so on. (Which is also crap.) But at least youngsters putting in serious work efforts in other places besides my life get a sense of acceptance for just being an individual person.

I get that from my grandmother, my grandfather, my father, and my best friend. That's it. I don't even feel it from my Mocha. I think he likes me in great part because of the package deal. I hate that. It's been going on my whole life.

My ex husband literally told people that he loved that I was so much more than just a pretty face. I had great income potential. Not exactly what you hope to hear from someone who is supposed to be in love with your very essence of being. He wasn't kidding either. He was ferocious when I got layed off.

I just feel so much that if I ever stopped doing everything that everyone admires, nobody would accept me at all anymore. I'd just die alone. If I didn't run six committees and save the world on a daily basis, ending up exhausted and unhappy, nobody would see much in me. I used to be a really fun person just to be around. I was funny and energetic and lively. Now I feel like an empty shell. I get more tired every day. Some days I really seriously think I can't possibly live for too many more years on this downward spiralling path. I will just die of exhaustion.

This morning for example. Got up at 6. Stomach in knots. Got ready and ran out the door at 7. Stopped for bagels for 8 am meeting. They didn't take AmEx. Dammit. Rounded up meeting members and got going around 8:20. Tried to keep group focused on tasks at hand instead of side discussion about construction equipment and God only knows what else. Got good stuff to happen at the meeting. Not without way more effort than I had in me to give. Then on to a company wide meeting on financials right after. Focus. Stay focused. Too tired to think, but stay focused. Got out of there, headed to my desk for the first time despite being at work for three hours, and I just don't even know where to begin. I didn't mention that I had to step out of my 8 am meeting twice with severe diarrhea and stomach cramps that would kill a small animal for sure. The pain alone would stop it dead in its tracks. All from stress. So I get back to my desk, settle in, try to decide what to work on first, and I decide to call Mocha to hear his voice and relax a little before tackling a project. He is out of work right now. Laid off from a job he loved, so I know it's really hard for him. He's been at home for two months. He depends on me to do everything for resumes and cover letters, and I have literally no time to give to the effort. If I were him, I'd have researched and hired a head hunter by now, but no, he waits for me to get around to anything and everything that needs to be done. So I say hello to Mocha, and get the distinct impression that he's sitting on his bloomin ass. Anger swells throughout my soul. My whole life force propels forward with the directive to scream at him to get off his lazy ass and make life better for both of us. At least pick up after yourself. There are weeds to pull, bushes to trim, dusting to do, bathrooms to clean, dishes to wash, floors to sweep and wash, and I could literally go on forever. And ever. But the instinct to scream at him to get off his ass is thwarted by my conscience and sense of logic. I know he feels bad. He's not in a great place right now. And even more importantly, the logic is unmistakeable. Screaming at him doesn't help anything. He gets pissy and defensive. I don't even feel any sense of relief afterwards.

While I'm on task of getting some baggage off my chest and out into the world so I can let go of it, I hate that I'm always faced with all of this expectation but given no reasonable means to make anything come to fruition.

My parents insisted that I do well in school, but loaded me with 50 lbs. of other responsibility and never even did so much as made sure I had a place to study.
My parents insisted I go to college, but never paid for so much as a pencil.
My ex husband expected me to make a six digit salary as soon as possible, but didn't want me to go to class and bitched forever about what tuition cost. Then, if I would surrender in exhaustion from his whining and complaining and stay home, he would be disappointed if I didn't do well.
Will people in my life ever realize that I have two hands? And, if I'm going to do something, it's gonna have to get done my way within the boundaries of reality and the laws of nature? Two hands!

Right now I'm supposed to be excelling immensely at work and I'm stuck in a rut. I'm so tired and sick I could die. This is the first time in my life I've felt this bad.

I'm growing some strength to say no when I'm supposed to and fight back. I am no longer the path of least resistance to get something done. Let one more motherf-er dump shit on me. And God forbid that man still be on the couch when I get home tonight.

Well, now that I've taken an entire spontaneous lunch hour to rant, I should get back to all that has caused the need to rant.


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