Working Hard. Trying to Go Easy on Myself.

I’ve been on the job for two weeks. That first week was really rough and now I feel embarrassed by how panicked I was. I fear that they are all wondering what they’ve gotten into with me.

To be fair, while my trainer was very patient, she didn’t teach me in a sequential manner so I was forced to figure that out on my own. She was really eager to begin learning her own new job. I’ve got the gist of the job now, although I’ll be fine tuning it for months.

I am pretty sure I’m overreacting, which is my way. I wish I could see my therapist, but I doubt I’ll ever get to see her again. I’m not about to ask for time off for that.

The truth is I’m just so oversensitive and hard on myself, and it can be very annoying for others to be around, as I’m sure you can relate by how I write here. These are deep family of origin issues having to do with insecurity and lack of confidence. After all, I feel I actually did learn the job quite quickly.

The director seems to like me and I feel now that my deer in the headlights fear has subsided, that my co-workers will remember why they liked me enough to hire me. I have to keep telling myself that.

This has been challenging, to set my alarm every day at 6am — to function at work even though I’m not sleeping enough. In my early days as an office worker I was a receptionist and I really disliked it, although I was good at it. I don’t like to be the one running for the phone while others are doing what they want to do. But I decided months ago that if I got work I would remove my ego from the equation and that is what I’m trying to do. I have to become self sufficient.

I tried to communicate with my husband this week, to see if he’d meet me at the courthouse to get our divorce started. He was twitchy about it and lied to me — I feel bad for him for being such a liar when the truth would work just as easily. I texted him that I could do it on my own and have him served and he said how dare I talk about something as insulting as having him served.

I’m going to start the divorce next week come hell or high water in fact the sooner the better because I’m fearful he’ll ask me to delay it. He’s having difficulty in his citizenship case. He’s having to prove where he was and what he did for the last three years and guess what? Those years of not contributing to society, living off of me, having nothing, not even an income tax return or a cable bill in his name to show for it — it’s all coming back to haunt him. It’s as though my guardian Uncle Sam Angel is serving him some karma.

My father says good — that whatever ill comes to him it is what he deserves and more.

But I feel sorry for him because his life is so pathetic.

I wonder if he ever stops and considers that all his problems are because of decisions he made — no one else, just him. Does he stop to think how he didn’t contribute to our living expenses? No, he is only aware that he’s been asked for information that he is unable to provide, therefore it must be stupid and unnecessary.

I don’t know what will happen. It’s not like they’ll ask him to leave the country. He’s here legally. He’ll just have to postpone citizenship until he can prove he can take care of himself. And to be completely honest, he can’t unless he finds another chump like me. He is very industrious so I believe he can and will find her.

That is why I want to start the divorce and get it to a point of no return so that he can’t ask me to postpone it or do him some kind of favor. If I say no, he says I’m selfish and unreasonable. How ridiculous is that? And why do I care what he thinks of me? Why would I feel any loyalty towards him or that I “owe” him anything at all?

For so long I didn’t want to piss him off because of the court case and even now I’m hesitant to do so because all my furniture is in his house. Here I am feeling sorry for him, but if I walked into his apartment and saw that he is actually cohabiting with his 27 year old girlfriend, I’d stop feeling sorry for him fast. That was the good part about reading his email — it kept me really pissed at him. But I stopped reading his email as of Lent and as much as I am tempted to see what he’s buying and planning and how he’s trying to cheat on the woman he cheated on me with, I will refrain.

It’s beneath me and it hurts me, so I won’t.

It’s interesting to me that I’ve only missed two Sundays at church since November. One for being out of town, and one when I was sick. I look forward to it so much. And now, as I berate myself for being so high strung last week I just turn to God and ask for some relief. Just asking usually distracts me enough and I find myself thinking, ‘for god’s sake, give yourself a break.’

When I stand, sit, and kneel at church and read, sing, and recite I believe what I am saying and it feels real to me. I wanted to believe for so long, but I had been with people who thought it was silly and I’m grateful to have God and my church in my life. Last Saturday I was there from 8am to 11:30am, chopping, cooking, serving, and cleaning up at the Saturday breakfast for the homeless. It is a very surreal experience because the people we see are the ones that are too high or too mentally ill, or both, to go to the Mission and have a warm bed and three square meals a day.

So I looked into the various eyes and toothless faces of 300 very poor or homeless last Saturday and it certainly puts things into perspective. Even though we fill their plates very high, they sneak back in line for seconds and horde stuff and fill their belongings with extra food. Who can blame them.

Some seem grateful, most are just living in hell and are hungry. The woman who runs it asked me if I had a waffle iron and I told her my mother did. She said she wants to make them waffles in the coming weeks. She’s awesome.

Then I saw her in church the next day during the “peace” part and instead of shaking my hand, she hugged me. I felt like I was being appreciated and that I belonged. It felt really good. I’m so glad I had the time to volunteer there and get to know some folks.

There’s another woman who is about my age. She has a partner but he doesn’t go to church, and she has an adult daughter like me. We’ve promised to sit next to one another at the upcoming Cinco de Mayo dinner and I think it’ll be good for me to be sitting down and eating and socializing rather than doing all the cooking and cleaning up.

It’s taken me a while, but I’m finding like minded people. I’m hopeful that things will keep moving along.

I saw an add on Craigslist for a one bedroom, one bath in a really great part of town for only $650. My parents went with me tonight after work to meet the landlord. She immediately told me that she’s probably already rented it. So I just turned and walked out. The place smelled like mildew. Her ad stating “new floors, new windows, and new appliances” must have been written ten years ago. There was nothing new in that place.

So I’ll keep looking. I’ll probably end up in a large complex, and that’s okay too. To be honest I’m fearful about whether I can afford to live on my own.

It is pretty amazing that except for several hundred dollars that I blew when I got the settlement money, I haven’t gone wild buying stuff. I did give quite a bit of it to my daughter and my parents, so I’m worried about how to make the rest of it last.

I got paid today and I haven’t even stopped to look at how much money I got for five days of work. They had to mail me my check because the first one is not direct deposited, so I haven’t even seen it!

I went to the mall for a little bit tonight to try to find an outfit or two. I hate how I’m dressing lately. I seem to be showing cleavage and I really do not like that. I didn’t see anything I liked, however. Because I’ve gained back so much weight.

I’m so tired and looking forward to having NOTHING to do tomorrow. I sure hope I can sleep in just a little! I feel with a little rest I won’t feel quite so down on myself.

As always, thanks for being here.


7 responses to “Working Hard. Trying to Go Easy on Myself.

  1. ML,
    It is so nice to hear that the second week of work was more comfortable. I know you are a capable and intelligent person, so you would get the hang of the new job.
    Being oversensitive and hard on oneself… I can totally relate to that. In my life, it seems that I go through bouts of feeling this way. I had a nearly two decade run of being able to keep the oversensitive and self flagellation at bay (the past 4 years not so much). Hopefully as your future becomes more clear, you will have less and less of those feelings, because you deserve a peaceful life.
    As far as your husband, from here, it looks like the karma bus is headed his way… this is ALL his own making and I am so very aware of all the “help” you tried to give him year after year until he had almost destroyed you. Being such a sensitive and compassionate person, it is understandable you have some sympathy for his situation, but it is his own creation.
    Since there is nothing you need from him except for your furniture, I hope you start the divorce proceedings yourself. It will hurt, but look at all the self discovery you have made as of lately… this will be another step forward into your self sufficient future.
    You are in my thoughts and your story is a wonderful inspiration for others trying to make positive changes in their lives.
    I will be here on my couch with my laptop cheering and supporting you from cyber space as I try my best to rebuild my own life.
    Thank you Moving Liquid!

  2. ENM, you are so kind, thank you. I prayed yesterday at church about it. As I was going through the line to say goodbye to the priests one of them asked me how the job was going. I said, “I was just praying about it because I’m so nervous. I’m being really hard on myself.” He said, “Allow yourself to be human.”

    I think it’s sad that for whatever reason I hold myself to an impossible standard. I spoke to my daughter last night and she said she’s the same. I feel bad that I’ve passed this trait along. I’m going to try really hard this week to remind myself at every turn that I new to this job and can’t be expected to know it all. And take a lot of deep, slow breaths.

    So I really wish I were a better example of a person rebuilding their life!

    I slept on my parent’s couch for months before this room became available and it’s a really hard way to live. I commiserate with you. I saw you have parrots (three of them?). They are fascinating birds to me. How old are they?

    Thanks so much for your encouragement.


  3. Unrealistic expectations for oneself….. I hear you! I have this idea in my head… I could accord work peers, family, friends and even my x wasband realistic expectations, BUT for me, well that is another story and if I do not meet those expectations, I am so hard on myself.
    This brings a couple things to mind
    1. What is it about me that I deserve this kind of abuse which is eroding my self confidence?
    2. There have been people in my life who have been so manipulative that they have actually lowered my realistic expectations of them to the point where my relationship with them became parasitic (my x is at the top of the list).
    So maybe this is part of the learning curve, to have balance with expectations. I don’t think you passed that behavior on to your daughter, I think it is more of a skill intelligent people use to better themselves, but somehow the process becomes compulsive and self abusive. Just my armchair opinion…
    My birds… the Quaker will be 14 years old July 11 and the ecclectus will be 13 (I think…) on November 16. They have both been with me since they were very young hatchlings. They both have very different personalities. I think I would be lost without their odd companionship!

    Oh, yes you are doing it (rebuilding a life). After all you have been through, this is amazing to see you take one step after another into self sufficiency. That is all one can do… Look at how much things have changed in so short a period of time.

    • ENM, it’s good to know I’m not the only one who is ridiculously hard on myself. Today my supervisor brought it up and I said, “I know, it’s awful. But it seems to be behind me now.” And today was much more relaxing and I’m realizing I already know 95% of the job. I wish so much that I hadn’t verbalized all that fear and panic! Grrr…. Anyway, they see that I’ve relaxed and they seem happy with me.

      I had a Gray Cheeked Parakeet many years ago. They used to call them Pocket Parrots. Evidently they brought a ton of them into the country and then found breeding them to be difficult. I had to give it away because I was not supposed to have a pet and I got turned in to management for it. But I loved him! And he loved to go in the shower with me.
      How long will your birds live?
      Thanks again for all your support and encouragement.

  4. Quakers live 25-30 years and ecclectus average 30 but some have lived into their 50’s. Sorry you had to re home your bird. Much of the decision of moving out of my mother’s home includes my birds who are quite loud for evening flocking. Just an instinct that can not be modified, oh well. I do not think I will be able to live in the same building with others and the noises.
    Maybe we should take a page from my birds. They only worry about not being acknowledged or missing out on food being served to humans. Can you imagine the relief we would get thinking like a bird. I think they have some shame and guilt, but not for long, it is just off to some other distraction.
    What a concept!
    You inspired me to get a beach sticker next week and at the very least float around in the salt water. I have a beach less than 75 feet from the front door here, but there is a boat yard and I do not like the chemicals in the water. I am also looking for a kayak, so when I can not sleep, I can peacefully paddle along the water here, clear my head and burn off some of this nervous energy.
    Have a stress less work week!

  5. Glad your feeling better about your job. Those feelings of being hard on yourself will fade as you continue to be successful at work and in life. It doesn’t seem as though you’ve had many supporters in your life so its no surprise you have a hard time being your own cheerleader. Try to treat yourself as you would treat a friend in the same situation. What would you tell your friend when she expressed her doubts and concerns and feelings of inadequacy about her new job?
    I wish I could find a church that felt like home…

    • Cynthia, I will heed your words — I do think I deserve the same kindness that I give to others! This week so far has been amazing and everything is falling into place — I feel unbelievably lucky. I just got back from the Cinco de Mayo event at my church and feel so loved and appreciated there too. Cynthia it seems like there were powers much greater than myself steering me to my job and to my church. I wish you could find a church home that is as lovely. Take care, my friend and thanks as always for your words of encouragement. xox

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