Exit stage left

Today I was dragging my ass. I think I took a catnap in front of my computer at work this morning. I almost called in. I’m glad I didn’t; 15 people came to my group today – the LARGEST turnout ever. Either people have nothing better to do as winter draws near, or people actually enjoy coming to group.

All I ate were carbs and it felt like it; my kingdom for a fucking salad or raw vegetable. Thanks to my severely low paycheck, grocery day is two weeks off. Looks like we’re sticking to carbs for now. Blech.

Awkward silence countdown: day 3 or something childish. I hope she’s not counting on me for an apology. I said what I meant; I always do. I love her, but I am burnt out. At work and at home there’s a constant push/pull; my candle is being burned at both ends. When I say no as a means of self-preservation, I get nothing but guilt and attitude. My priorities are not her priorities, which I’ve noticed she finds very inconvenient, frustrating, and plain wrong.

I’ve found the dishes can wait. I haven’t seen my husband all day.

The clothes can wait; I haven’t changed out of my work clothes into regular clothes yet.

Rearranging and cleaning the fridge can wait; I haven’t used the bathroom since 7:45 in the morning – it’s 6pm. (Not to mention that she’s retired and home all day… Sets my head spinning.)

I’m trying to set boundaries, but because of the enmeshment issues we had when I was younger, it seems more difficult. I find it easier to detach from her completely than to draw a line in the sand but I’m not sure how healthy that is. I preach to my patients about boundary setting on a daily basis, but the waters get muddy when applying some of the same ideas to my own life – this one in particular.

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“Moderation? Sipping, not gulping.”

That’s an actual quote I said to my mother this morning. She and I have been at each other’s throats for 2 days.

Couple that with the stress from work the past 2 weeks… It’s been a great November.

It’s not the patients or my co-workers that have been stressing me out – administration is full of shit and has many of us considering leaving the company. The only reason I stay now is for my patients. My supervisor, the most supportive and professional person I’ve ever met – quit with 2 weeks notice. One of the counselors I’d just started to work with also quit; they left the day after my supervisor.

I cried. I sat in my car and cried.

Administration said they will not be making any adjustments to the way they handle business (no pay bonus, no overtime, no extra staff members, no pay raises) – only raising their expectations of us (higher productivity ratios, higher caseloads, more paperwork) with punitive consequences if they are not followed.

I work from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 at night, several of those hours without compensation.

I made a reminder call to a patient for an appointment last week; THE PATIENT told me to go home – they don’t need a “crazier counselor than I am. Why are you still at the office?”

I agree, but if they want a counselor at all, I need to keep my ass planted in that seat until the job is done.

My cousin, an MBA, suggested I search for last year’s tax forms filed by my company, as they’re public record (non-profit). I was sickened to find that the head honchos, the ones that work us like dogs and pay us a pittance, make $110,000+ a year with 5-figure UNTAXED bonuses.

Every day now I find myself becoming more jaded and bitter about my company and it’s spilling into much of what I do. I fucking hate it.

Between that and the dynamics between me and my mother, I’ve hit the ceiling and formed a hole in it.

I come home each day While at work, I’m inundated with several texts and emails about various things – mostly relating to money and how much I owe (followed by another email asking if I’d like to attend a concert, shopping trip, etc. within the near future). Upon arriving home, I’m swarmed with a list of tasks that need completing within the next, well, now goddamnit – usually before I’ve been given a chance to decompress from the work day.

Dinner consists of storytime: where my mother regales me and my husband with tales of her numerous physical ailments and how each afflicted her throughout the day. Sometimes I find myself interjecting my tales of administration bullshit to break the sounds of the dragging cross against the tile floor.

She then takes to ringing her bell, pointing and asking for various objects to be moved left of center – no, left of center, oh let me show you – as she moves them to the right and rolling her eyes at our inability to perform the simplest of tasks.

Yesterday was no exception. I was critiqued yelled at for my inability to print out a set of coupons (later proven to be unnecessary, but that’s besides the point).

I just didn’t have it in me to put up with her shit. Due to an abundance of previously mentioned bullshit and my lack of printer toner, I went off.

“What else did you send me that was of such vital importance, hmm?”
“I can’t remember!” (She has “mild cognitive impairment.”)
“Then it wasn’t that important! No need to send me all those emails and texts!”
“Some days I can’t remember your name!”
“Good! Then you’ll stop asking me to do shit all the time!” (Yes. I separate work and home very well now. A little too well.)

The constant digs, comments and now demands – at home and work – are enough. I can’t won’t deal with this. It has gotten to the point where I’ve started having a glass of wine after work – something I’ve never done. This weekend, a bottle. Didn’t appreciate my mother’s commentary regarding my late aunt/namesake: “Don’t take after your namesake; that stuff was her demise.” My response? “Don’t make me want to.”

Dramatic? Sure. Truth? Not far off. …I’ve justified this by asking my husband, who’s had past issues with alcohol abuse (not dependence), if I’m pushing it. He says I’ll be ok because I’m already asking (I’m always hyperaware and hyperafraid).

Sigh.

The Witch

Borderline,
Dead inside.
I don’t mind,
Falling to pieces.

Count me in, violent
Let’s begin, feeding the sickness.
How do I simplify,
Dislocate – the enemy’s on the way.

Show me what it’s like
To dream in black and white,

So I can leave this world tonight.

Full of fear,
Ever clear.
I’ll be here,
Fighting forever.
Curious,
Venomous,
You’ll find me
Climbing to heaven.
Never mind,
Turn back time.
You’ll be fine – I will get left behind.

Show me what it’s like
To dream in black and white,
So I can leave this world tonight.

Holding on too tight.
Breathe the breath of life,

So I can leave this world behind.

It only hurts just once.
They’re only broken bones.
Hide the hate inside.

Show me what it’s like
To dream in black and white,
So I can leave this world tonight.

Holding on too tight.
Breathe the breath of life,
So I can leave this world behind.

Unknown Soldier – Breaking Benjamin, emphasis added