Friday, June 03, 2005

Insomnia

Well, I can't sleep.

I've gotten so much done today, but I feel like I'm fighting against an avalanche. And my ambition seems to have deserted me. Much to my boss' chagrin, I left work at 1 today (doctor's orders). He had me there until 7 pm the night before, so I didn't feel so guilty about leaving. And I worked until 8 besides, and then picked it back up at midnight just to make myself stop THINKING about all of it.

I have an 8-hour roundtrip drive to our other office with the head of human resources, who is a lovely person, but kind of intimidating in her niceness and perfection. I'm such a catty bitch and I'm sure she'll think I'm insane. Plus, I'm skipping my boss' latest marketing and sales strategy meeting. It's going to reflect badly that I'm not there (although I truly NEED to be at the other office) but I can't say I'm not sorry to rehash the same damned tired topic and make more lists and schedules and priorities. Fuck planning.

I feel like my frustration with the foot, work, relationships, my future is turning into panic. I'm so restless that I want to prowl around, release some tension, but I can't. So my frickin heart starts pounding and I want to cry or yell or do SOME thing, but I can't. A.S. is asleep now, and I had to hobble into the bathroom and sob quietly so I wouldn't wake him up. I'm sure he'd be nice and comforting, but I feel like some uninteresting sort of vampire, bleeding him of the will to care.

Also, my mom and I had a BIIIIG fight yesterday and I'm still down in the dumps about it. We’ve been getting along really well for the last two weeks, but Wednesday morning she was being unexpectedly very very emotional, and I was extremely tired and incoherent from not being able to sleep all night. Not a great recipe. I like to think that we hashed out some things.

She kept wanting to leave and blowing up and saying stuff like, "I just can't do anything right," etc, but I persevered and wouldn't let her leave and kept saying, "That's not very helpful and it's not true anyway."

For instance, at one point she was saying something about how neither of my parents ever know when I'm going to be accepting/enthusiastic or bored/irritated about their ideas, and she didn't know why they ever bothered asking me to do anything. And I know what she's referring to, and this one issue is ridiculously stupid but will never cease. And I said, "Generally, when you call me at 7 a.m. on a weekend, I'm not going to like it. It doesn't have anything to do with you or the idea or whether I love you or not. I just don't like anything at all at 7:00 because I’m sleeping."

(and I WOULD turn my phone off, but my cell is my only phone, and she'll leave 16 messages and I'll be convinced someone is dying...)

And that sent her off on another weeping tangent about something irrational, like how I don't love her. And I said I did, even at 7:00—although it made me really mad. And she said I don't treat my friends that way, and I said, "Well, my friends don't call me at 7 a.m." and she said something horrible like, "Well, your father and will try and treat you more like a friend than family then."

Honestly, sometimes it's like talking to a wall.

Anyway, I said she didn't have to go to such extremes and that that was a terrible thing to say and that it was just an example of how sometimes she seemed like she was pushing my buttons deliberately, because as my mother, having observed my habits and behavior for 28 years, she ought to know that I don’t like being woken up. And she said she never realized I wasn’t a morning person.

I chose to ignore that.

I promise you, I was really TRYING. Trying to be honest, yet kind, and as patient as I know how to be. And I said that it was kind of a matter of respecting people as individuals. What I meant by bringing my friends into the discussion was to say that I wouldn’t be any nicer to them at 7 than I was to my family, but that my friends seem to have grasped that morning is just not a good time to call me, and so they wait until later. So why was it so hard for my own mother to respect my personality and differences and try to communicate with me more effectively? If she has a great idea and wants me to like it, why not wait until 10 and give me a chance to respond like a normal person? We had talked that into the ground, so she started weeping about something new.

Then we talked about why I’m so surly when she’s just trying to help. And that was harder. But I said that sometimes when I really needed help (like laundry or rides to the doctor) and asked for it, she snaps at me, and I feel bad for asking too much of her. And then she does other things that I don’t ask for and don’t need, like rearranging my closet and folding my underpants. And I said that refolding all my clothes didn’t make me mad exactly, but it's an example of something that usually pisses me off. And I thought it was a little weird. She seemed completely flabbergasted that I didn’t think it was rude for her to walk in and ignore a pile of something sitting around. So I said that I really appreciated all her help and that I would have starved to death over the last few weeks and wallowed in my own squalor and dirty sheets with no clean pj’s, and that the things I really needed help with, I asked for. If some pile of junk was actually bothering me, I asked her to fix it. If it didn’t bother me, I probably wouldn’t ask and I wouldn’t think it was rude of her to leave it. Some of her busy work stuff just makes me nervous.

That made her mad and she went off on a tangent about never helping me again, but I kept trying to work it out. We finally ended the conversation with me saying it was okay for her not to come over and clean and move things and flutter around (I didn’t say flutter) and ask me if I needed 500 things, but just to come over and sit and talk to me about stuff. She tried to take that into the realm of “You never think I have anything interesting to say,” but I kind of nipped it in the bud by saying, “I appreciate you just being here more than any of the meals or laundry or errands.” Hopefully Mom and I are going to get along a little better, although I have slim hope that everything will be perfect.

So we talked, and I'm going to try to be more understanding and listen more. Not to be pessimistic, but I kind of doubt she's going to do anything differently long term. We've been having this same discussion, although in perhaps louder tones, since I was about eight. Her martyrdrom drives me crazy, but perhaps it's me criticizing what I hate most in myself.

Wow.

2 comments:

Alexandrialeigh said...

Hang in there, Jemima. I'm having a bout of 'what the hell is wrong with me and why am I so angry all of the time?' too, and I think a lot of it has to do with being independent. You and I both value our independence -- and even though we may know how (and do) ask for help when we need it, that doesn't mean we like it. Especially when it's been forced upon us.

And we've both gone through a LOT of changes over the past few months, which probably contributes a lot, too.

Marcheline said...

I wonder if this is a national event, this being angry and criticizing ourselves thing. I'm going through the same shit. Hmmmm... wonder if they're putting something besides hormones into them chickens....

In any case, Jem, I have the same conversations with my mom, only they're long distance, NC to NY, and they involve a lot of guilt trips about why I'm not on a plane every weekend coming to visit, since I can fly for free.

Oh, and then there's the part where she picks out houses for my husband and I to "buy".... and when I expressed my displeasure with that idea, she snaps "it's nicer than the street YOU live on!"

Ouch.

I hate those conversations.