Thursday, August 06, 2009
Too many people that I know in real life read my blog. It always surprises me when I find out that someone I know in real life has been reading this, because in all honesty, I don't think I'm all that interesting. I'm a stay at home mom who likes to do crafts. Yay me. I don't really mind, for the most part, because I'm a pretty open person and don't really keep secrets. It's just that sometimes, there are things I want to get off my chest and I kind of feel weird sharing some things with people I barely know, if that makes sense. However, the whole reason I keep a blog is as a kind of therapeutic journal for myself, which is why you will probably never see ads here. That means I need to ask myself, is it worthwhile to have a journal where you have to censor yourself?
I'm going to say no. I'm also going to say that I'm not going to make this blog private, or start a new one, or give up on it. What I am going to do is just ask that if you do see me in real life, and not just on the internets, please pretend that you never read this (or stop reading now, I guess) because I'm just really having a bad day and I have some things I need to get off my chest.
I go through life and try to present myself as a happy person. I truly believe that as humans, we consciously make the decision to be happy. If you were to meet me and spend time with me, you would probably never know a lot of the crap that I battle with inside my own head to be that happy, goofy person. I've got plenty that I could decide to be miserable about, both in my present life as well as my past, but I choose to not let those things get me down. I've mentioned before on here that I have OCD. That means I have a clinical diagnosis, from several doctors, and have previously been medicated for the condition. It's not like how some people say they are OCD because they don't like when a picture is hanging crooked on a wall. I wish!
I also have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, depression, and generalized anxiety disorder. When I am stressed, my body revolts and finds all sorts of fun ways to torture me. I don't sleep, I get strange rashes (including shingles last year, blah), my menstrual cycle gets wonky (once it disappeared all together), I get twitchy, I get migraines... you get the idea. It's bad.
The reason I mention it is because for the past month, I'm starting to notice a few of these things showing up in my life. It started with the insomnia. Either I don't get sleepy at all, and end up staying awake until four or five in the morning, or I get so tired I crash but can only sleep for a few hours at a time. I'm constantly tired and cranky. I've also started to feel like I have constant heartburn, only it's concentrated in my stomach area. Of course, after three weeks straight of this, I'm paranoid that I'm getting an ulcer, which I am sure isn't helping matters any. The very first thing though, now that I think about it, was the tingling in my right arm. From my shoulder down to my palm, sometimes my arm will tingle like it's falling asleep for about 30 seconds at a time. I searched that symptom on WebMD, and one of the very first things on the list that would cause that was GAD.
So what's the deal? Well, let's see. I'm about to turn 32 in twelve days. What do I have to show for it? I'm broke, there's no food in the house, not even milk, I have no job (honestly, not that I want one right now), I'm overweight (strange, considering lack of food), my husband and I aren't getting along, and there seems to be no end to the problems in sight, at least not in the near future. The mention of my scrapbooks in yesterdays post has made that be heavy on my mind today, which in turn reminds me of all the people who have let me down and how alone I feel a lot of the time. I feel old and dumpy and like I should just have a caption over my head that says EPIC FAIL.
I guess the biggest thing is the money. You know, people tell you that having a baby is expensive. You have to buy diapers and formula, along with a crib and all that other baby gear. You have to take them to the doctor, so there are all those copays. It adds up!
Well, people are right. The thing is though, if those things were the only things we had to worry about it, we'd be so golden. We waited to have a baby until we were in our thirties so that we would be in a place where we could handle those types of expenses. I'm the only person in my immediate family that wasn't a parent at sixteen. Heck, even out of my cousins I waited the longest to have a kid, and I'm the oldest out of us all! I wanted to be responsible. When I got pregnant, we planned it out, we both had jobs, we had health insurance. Life was good and the timing was as right as it was ever going to be. All the credit cards were even paid off so we were ready!
Here's the thing though - we were stupid. We thought, we've got health insurance, so we're covered! The deductible has been met and paid. We paid the fee they told us we'd need to pay when we were admitted to the hospital. Sure, it made that month a bit tight as far as our budget (that's a lot of money, yo) but it's paid and we're DONE.
But we weren't. Not by a long shot.
We didn't know that our insurance company was going to start rejecting claims on teensy technicalities left and right. We didn't know that they'd reject coverage for a large portion of what my OBGYN charged for miscellaneous in office tests. We didn't know that the pediatrician in the hospital had his own private practice on the side and would bill us through that. Did I mention he isn't one of the providers for our insurance? We didn't know that we would find ourselves, nine months after the baby was born, still thousands of dollars in medical debt with potentially even more on the horizon because some charges are still in dispute between the hospital, the insurance company, and my husband's employer.
We've been paying a large sum of money every month toward our debt. I'm talking, a sum of money that's greater than our car payment for the FREAKING BRAND NEW SUV we bought last year. You know, before we knew how this was going to break us financially. It wouldn't be as bad if I was working and we didn't have to take all the baby stuff into consideration, but the fact of the matter is that I'm not, and we're living on just one income, and we're not making it here anymore. We still owe more than we've paid.
I don't go anywhere. I sit at home all day, every day, because I don't want to waste the gas. I skip all the playgroup meetups where they go somewhere that charges a fee, or that involve going out for lunch or coffee afterwards. Lately, I've even been skipping the potlucks, because we barely have enough money to feed ourselves, let alone to make something to feed others. We've been living off of $2 frozen meals from the grocery store because it's cheap and easy and leaves more money to buy the good stuff for the baby. The other night I seriously found myself freaking out because I was out of tampons and was worried that we wouldn't have enough money to buy more. I've also had that worry about bath soap and coming up here soon, toilet paper. Invitations to go out are met with panic, and followed by despair. Can we do this? No, we cannot. Again.
We're broke. Seriously, seriously, broke due to these medical bills.
Of course, I sit here and I feel like it's my own stupid fault. I was the one who told my husband it was time to have a baby. I was the one who went off the birth control pills. I was the one who got pregnant. I feel like Jen Lancaster with her Prada bag at the unemployment office sometimes - I'm running around with a freaking Gucci diaper bag and Chanel eyeglasses when there's no milk in the fridge. I try to remind myself that these things that we have were bought responsibly, without incurring debt, way back when we had money and that we worked hard for them, but that doesn't always make it okay.
I'm not saying that I regret having the baby. Please God don't think that. I love this child, more than life itself. None of this is his fault; I don't blame him for a thing. He's a baby and he didn't ask for any of this. Sheesh. So this is another thing I feel guilty for, because sometimes it does sound like I'm blaming the baby.
I'm just tired. I'm tired of everything. Sometimes, when I'm in the car, I'll get this sudden urge to just open the door and fall out. That's it. No drama, no jumping, no tears. Just open the door and roll to the side in one swift motion. Other days it will be just turning the wheel to the side, just a little, but sharply enough that I go either into oncoming traffic or off the overpass. They're sudden, these urges, and as quickly as the fleeting urge as run across my mind the thought that I can't has followed. For one, I'm a big sissy and don't deal well with pain. For two, I grew up without a father, and as hard as that was, I can only imagine that growing up without a mother would be even worse. I don't want to do that to my son. Therefore, I would never, ever do it.
Before you freak out, I don't think that I'm technically suicidal. These are compulsions, the C part of OCD, and I've learned that they're a symptom. That was actually a relief to learn, because I've had them for ages, only more often and stronger in times of stress. Obviously. And, like I said, I'd never act on them. That's not to say that I've never found myself praying to just not be anymore. To just evaporate - to cease existing, to cease feeling pain.
I'm crying a lot lately. I'm having meltdowns. I'm more than likely depressed again - can you blame me? Yes, I know people are going to tell me to "go get help" but I'm going to just tell you now that isn't going to happen, because help costs money. Sure, they have outreach programs and free stuff blah blah blah but those are for people who are poor because they have low income jobs, or for students, or for homeless people. I'm in that lucky demographic who has enough household income that I don't qualify for such things but can't afford them on my own.
I've done everything I can think of to save money. We use homemade cleaners. Cloth diapers. I clip coupons. Sold stuff on ebay. I've given up on my beauty supplies one by one as they run out. We don't go out. Hell, I have a gift card I got last year for my birthday that I still haven't used because it will only cover a portion of the dinner for two and we can't afford the rest! My birthday is coming up here again and there will be no cake, no presents, no party, no dinner. It will just be another miserable day in my miserable experience, spent wondering what I'll have to cut out this month because there just isn't enough money to go around.
Do I want people to pity me? No! If you see me out and about, I'll probably be acting like nothing is wrong, and everything is okay, and laughing at things like normal. But when I'm home, and it's just us, well, it's hard. It's hard knowing that the next paycheck is going to be gone before it gets here. And the next one. And the one after that. It's hard knowing that our income tax refund for next year is already gone too, just like the one from this year was, all to medical bills. It's hard knowing that we can't go places, or do things like we used to do before. It's hard trying to hide it all and pretend that everything is okay! We're fine! Really!
And yes, I know at least I have a roof over my head. And at least I have my health. And my family's health. And at least we have a nice car with a/c that actually works to drive. And at least we can afford those crappy $2 frozen dinners because that means we're not starving. I know that I have a lot to be grateful for, and believe me, I am. I'm grateful for everything that I have and I thank God literally EVERY DAY for them. It's just that those things don't make the other things any easier, and the guilt of feeling such tremendous stress when I don't have to go to work and I do get to sleep in every day and I do have so much also makes it worse.
I'm a fucking mess, yo. And I'm tired of it. I'm tired of crying, I'm tired of not being able to sleep, I'm tired of frozen dinners with the fruit sloshed into the entree and I'm tired of being at home all the time and I'm tired of feeling so freaking pathetic and ashamed of myself all the time and most of all, I'm tired of not having hope that it's going to get better anytime soon, because it's not. I just want it to be better but I don't know how to fix it.
Well meaning people will be like, get a job then, but that's not an option when you have no skills and no degree and the best paying job you can get will only leave you earning about $3 an hour after you pay for daycare. My husband's hours are so irregular that a part time job isn't an option either, as he never gets home at the same time.
People are always telling me how talented I am, and how I could get a job doing this, or selling that, but I can't! I know they mean well, but it just frustrates the hell out of me! Yes, I know Photoshop and I have an eye for graphic design. No, no one is going to hire me to do that because I have no experience and no degree. Yes, I can apply eye makeup. No, MAC is not going to give my dumpy ass a job based on the goofing off I do with my tranny friends. Yes, I'm organized and a quick learner. No, no one is going to hire me because they're taking my word for it. Yes, I can decorate a cake. No, no one is going to hire me as a "professional" full time because I'm slow and really not as good as people think I am. Yes, I can make cute jewelry. No, no one is going to want to buy it. I tried Etsy and that was yet another giant failure. I'm good at a lot of things and great at nothing.
I just feel hopeless, and guilty for not being able to suck it up. I want to curl into a ball and go to sleep because you can't FEEL or WORRY or CRY when you're asleep. You don't get angry or frustrated or have to deal with rage when you're asleep. You're just asleep, and everything is fine.
I just want things to be fine again.
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