Saturday, February 2, 2013

TdJ: Wanting to Escape or Kvetchy Tune But I Can't Dance to It

If I didn't know better - and I do, so I know it is true - I  would think I was a broken record.  I AM a broken record.  The song is called, "My Life Sucks and I Want Out."

So instead of playing the broken record.... Since it is a Saturday, and I had planned to try to take a day off from the demands of others, I want to explore instead ways I CAN escape, if only for a moment.

Cooking.  Last night I made couscous with saffron and chives, vegetables in a garlic butter sauce and tofu Korma.  Chloe was out with friends, but Tim acted like I had fed him dog shit.  He shoved the food around on his plate, and before even sitting down to take the first bite, said, "I'm not going to eat that shit."  Never mind that I had to clean the kitchen before I even started cooking (and I have not cooked since last Sunday, so none of it was my mess).  Never mind that I had worked 13 hours yesterday alone (I know, it was a short day for me).  Never mind that I am the only one who has been buying the food for the household since 2010. Never mind he hadn't even tasted yet.  Never mind that he could have gone down around the corner to the men's homeless shelter to eat if he doesn't like what I serve.

The thing that really bothered me is that I let him take away the enjoyment I had in cooking a healthy, balanced meal.  Not too many of these get cooked in my house unless I am the one doing it.  And I really do love to cook.  I just let him take me from a small moment of enjoyment in my long, shitty day of working to support him and my children, and make me bitter and hateful and miserable.  And then I let his actions make me sit there and try to choke down my healthy food past a lump of hate in my throat.

I know that alcoholics are incapable of feeling gratitude and that asking an alcoholic for love/support/acceptance is like going to the hardware store for a loaf of bread.  I know that expecting - even for a second - that an alcoholic could meet any emotional need I have is setting myself up for disappointment and failure.  YET I still let it make me angry.

In this situation, I let him short-circuit my escape.  It's almost as if my greatest need can be answered by an emotion-Tardis (for all you Dr Who fans out there), and he - and others - keep fucking with the wiring and software.

I mistakenly thought that someone would have gratitude that after 13 hours of working to support everyone, an hour of cleaning up after everyone and cooking, that I was making them dinner.  My grave error.  My fault for having an expectation for gratitude, or at least acceptance  (and quiet).  

Another escape I love is reading.  I don't get to do it near enough.  When all my other responsibilities at work, home and with the kids are done, there is nothing left of my energy to do it.  I am going to try to read a book that I have not gotten past the introduction for two weeks because of work.

Interruptions also keep me from my escape of reading.  I get interrupted to be asked to perform repugnant tasks, answer work calls, answer other calls, fork over money for cigarettes for the alcoholic/canned dog food for the dog/social life (movies, dinner with friends, etc.) for the 17 year old/school events for the 7 year old/reminders that my bills are all due and shut off of utilities from my mother (who cannot fathom why I can't take care of a household of 5, work 65-90 hours a week, and financially support it all on a salary that comes out to minimum wage when you do the math), or look at something on facebook with a laptop thrust in my face.

I have been able to afford 2 massages in the last 10 years.  But I love it.  It really helps the fibromyalgia, and if I could get massage regularly I think I would feel better.

Al-Anon meetings.
I try to get to as many as I can.  It's hard, because they are at 6:30PM on weeknights and usually I am still going strong at work at 6:30PM, especially if I started work any later than 4AM.  (My days are scheduled where I try to do paperwork, emails and scheduling between 4AM and 7AM, take calls and work in office or in the 10 counties our company spans now from 7AM to 7PM, and then do emails and paperwork from 7PM to 10PM or 12AM.)
Sometimes I feel like I am dragging a 1000 pound ball and chain with me up those stairs and then trying to saw through the chain for a hour in the meeting.  Sometimes a few links fall off, but the weight is never entirely gone.  It is lighter for a little while - sometimes hours, sometimes just a few minutes, depending on what text messages, emails and phone calls my phone has received during that hour while I was trying to escape.  Most of them include a chastisement or haranguing for not being immediately available when the caller or inquirer contacted me.

It's funny how everyone thinks every desire they have is a royal emergency.  It's also funny that most of their desires are simply desires to not do what they should or what is their responsibility to do.

Many days I feel like I am surrounded by people who are simply looking to dump their tasks on me, and that my main task is to say, "Grow up and take responsibility for yourself.  It IS your job to do your job, or to get a job, and support yourself."

Simply mystifying for a person like me with an overdeveloped sense of responsibility.

Which is why I want to escape.  Which is what I want to escape from.

I can escape.  Just for a moment.  If I want the moments to be longer, I let others wait.  I don't let their opinions uproot what I know to be true.  I don't even give a moment's attention to stupid comments like I heard last night: "Junk food is a matter of opinion."   I know in my common-sense, non-alcoholic heart and brain that junk food like snacks and fast food or greasy empty carbs are not a matter or opinion, it's just what the alcoholic wants to eat.  I don't worry about other's desires - they are CERTAINLY not concerned ONE IOTA with my mine.  I let other people take care of themselves.  There are resources out there for them.

Don't like what I have to offer?  Go elsewhere.

And then, and only then, will I have time to breathe and take care of myself.

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