Woke up in a funk, then I decided to do things a little differently

It’s a choice

So, I woke up at 6, after getting, oh, about 6-1/2 hours of sleep. Not great. I’m still thrown off by the overnight work on Fri/Sat night. Ugh.

And I had to get some things done, that I had neglected for … oh, months.

And I was in a funk about my spouse always snapping at my heels about every little thing. It’s like living with a bee constantly buzzing around my head, sometimes. You know, how you’re sitting there, relaxing and enjoying a sandwich, and then this bee shows up and starts buzzing around you, trying to get a bite of your sandwich, and you don’t want to get stung, but you can’t get rid of the bee… and you try to ignore it, and you try to make space for it, and you try to not be bothered… but it’s still there, buzzing around… buzzing… buzzing…

That’s how it was, pretty much all weekend with my spouse. Aside from a few times when we were able to just sit and be and enjoy each other’s company, it was pretty much of a drain. Constant complaining. Constant worrying. Constant coming up with more things that need to be done — that I need to do.

Holy crap, was it tiresome. And all I wanted to do, was get away. Just leave. Put all this behind me. The constant complaining, the moaning, the worrying, the fretting. Oh my God, when will it ever end?

And it occurs to me that I really don’t want to live this way. I can’t spend the next 25 years of my life marinating in someone else’s misery. No way, no how. Every time my spouse starts to complain and bitch and get all dramatic, it has the same effect on me that someone lighting up a cigarette does. I used to smoke, 25 years ago. I know and hang out with smokers. But I can’t stand the smell of cigarettes, when I can’t get away from them. And that’s what it’s like, every time my spouse starts to complain and find fault and pick at every little thing.

Like they’re chain-smoking. And I’m getting a lung full of 2nd-hand smoke.

I think I’ll buy a pack of cigarettes, and every time they start up, I’ll just light one. They hate cigarette smoke — about as much as I hate their constant complaining and whining and blaming. So, to give them a taste of what it’s like for me, I’ll step outside and light up a cigarette whenever they start to complain and find fault and vent — basically throwing up emotionally all over me.

There’s a reason I have a constant headache. And it generally gets worse, whenever my spouse is around.

I think I need a shield. Or full body armor.

So, this morning as I was trying to get things done — and my spouse was yelling at me for being to loud and waking them up (I get clumsy when I’m tired and out of it, and I bump around a lot), the thought occurred to me that I could just walk away. I don’t have to stay in this situation. I could carry on elsewhere, on my own, and I could be very happy alone. I’m the one who does most of the work in this relationship; they’re pretty much freeloading on me. So, stepping away and just living my life without someone draining the life force from me would be a welcome change.

It would be so nice to just have some peace. It really would. And I’m at the point now, with my birthday just around the corner, where I can’t figure out why I stay around, to get dished the same helping of neediness and negativity, every waking hour.

I’m not staying because I have to. I’ve stayed for 24 years because I’ve wanted to. But I want to less and less, with each passing day.

I do all the work, and they sit back and enjoy the ride.

Am I missing out on all the good that’s possible for me, because of some misguided loyalty to a person who just uses me, day in and day out, and then tries to make up for it by setting up a nice birthday for me? It doesn’t make sense.

So, what do I do?

I don’t really want to leave. It crosses my mind. I don’t have a spouse. I have a dependent. A ward. And I’m sick and tired of it.

Then again, this is a terrible time to make any decisions. My birthday is right around the corner, and that’s messing with my head. I also want to keep things stable for the next while and enjoy my time away, next weekend. My work projects are coming together, and that’s feeling good. I’ve also realized that I really don’t want to leave my current job. If the people I’m talking to actually offer me a buttload of money and benefits that make it all worth it, of course I’ll consider it. I might even do it. But I don’t have to leave. I’m good where I am, and I can stay here for the duration of my contract till the end of next March and be good with it.

The main thing is, I need to adjust my own attitude and how I relate to the rest of the world. If my spouse is miserable, that’s their business, not mine. I don’t have to get dragged down by it, and I don’t have to let myself be tainted by their negativity. I can live in a completely different world and leave them to theirs, without needing to turn our lives upside-down. If I did go, where would I go? What would I do? I like where I live, and unless I moved out of the country, I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather live.

So, enough of the burden that I take on, myself. Enough of that. I have a choice about how I will live my life and think about things. And I choose to be happy and stay the course. If my spouse chooses to join me, then fine. But I’m not choosing to join them in their abject misery. I know what it’s about — it’s because of their upbringing. I did not have that degree of abuse and neglect in my life as a child, so why should I experience life the same way they do? We both know how to deal with panic/anxiety — why should I suffer because I’m the only one who’s making the effort to use the tools?

I work hard to keep positive and  productive, but they can’t seem to be bothered.

It’s not fair to me. And it’s not realistic at all.

Happiness is a choice, and today it’s my choice. My spouse can do what they please, and they can live as they choose. It’s literally killing them in front of me, which is incredibly painful to watch. (And it’s probably a big driver behind me wanting to leave – so I don’t have to watch them in the final stages of their mental/physical breakdown/demise.)

As for me… I’m going to live.

End of subject.


Getting There

The road most traveled

Of all the challenges that burn me, time and again, getting started on what I’m supposed to do, is by far the most persistent, and the most problematic. In fact, even as I type this, I’m not starting what I’m supposed to be doing tonight.

Rebellion. Resistance.

I want my time to myself. I want my life back. I don’t want to have to devote my time and energy to other people’s business. I want to have my own thing going.

Resistance. Rebellion.

I don’t want to have to do laundry. I don’t want to have to work late. I don’t want to have to register my car before the end of the month. I don’t want to have to watch what I eat.

I want to sit around and eat pie and drink coffee and watch Seven Samurai over and over and over, till I know all the words by heart – in Japanese.

I don’t waaaaaanna have to answer to anyone else, anytime, anywhere, any-how. Boo f*ckin’ hoo.

Thing is, people pay me to part with my time and my autonomy. They pay me to do things for them that they can’t do for themselves. They compensate me for my sacrifices, and they make me a part of their little tribe, in exchange for my almost-mad eagerness to dive in, pitch in, and Make It Better.

I once heard that Lady Gaga sometimes wakes up in the morning and she doesn’t know how she can get out of bed. Then she thinks, “But I’m Lady Gaga!” and lo and behold, she’s UP.

Get up, Trinity. Get UP.

Now, I’m no Lady Gaga (what a sight that would be). And that Trinity chick would probably snap me in two if she came across me in the Matrix. But I get what they’re saying. We create these personas of ourselves. And we become their agents, their servants. We become the minions of our invented selves. And that’s alright. We all do it. No shame in that — unless, of course, you craft a truly shameful persona for yourself (Jared Loughner comes to mind).

We all have our schtick. We all have some personality we project into the world — a collection of habits and characteristics that suit us and work, on a certain level.We become Survivors. We make ourselves Victims. We become Rebels. We turn ourselves into Martyrs. We serve the gods of the facades we parade before us in the world, as though that were truly US.

The other night I stumbled upon a PBS special about the Stonewall Uprising in New York City — the start of the modern gay rights movement in 1969. One more thing to be grateful for: that I was not a homosexual male living in the 1960’s, when police officers were making appearances at schools, warning children away from “choosing a homosexual lifestyle” because WE WILL FIND YOU. YOU CANNOT HIDE. WE WILL FIND YOU.

Lord, but it must have sucked, to sit in a classroom in school, having this bespectacled, pompous, white, heterosexual male preaching at you about how you should not “choose” something you already knew you were… and had known since you were, oh, about six… and looking forward to a life of hounding and serial incarcerations.

How happy I am to live when we live… in this Very Different World.

But I cannot help but think about the effect that messages like “Don’t be a queer” and “We will get you” would have on someone’s persona… their perceived place in the world. I cannot help but think about the queers and Gypsies and Jews and kids born different, whom the Nazis singled out for extermination. I cannot help but think about the rape and incest and molestation survivors who have to piece together their lives from the shattered pieces of what was once whole. I cannot help but think about the left-handed “sinister” people of the once-upon-a-time world who were literally considered evil, if they were not right-handed. I cannot help but think about all the people who have been on the wrong side of “right” — whether by choice or biology or accident or fate — and what that wrong-ness made of their own personas.

I wonder if it made/makes them tougher, smarter, meaner… different than how they would be, if they were more like everyone else, without those unnameable or unspeakable hidden aspects of themselves.

I wonder if my history of TBIs and all that I’ve been through as a result — whether it was the names and the insults rained down on my head by an impatient, disgusted, verbally aggressive father… or my mother’s tight-lipped disapproval that simmered a long-suffering while, until she just couldn’t take my shit anymore and grabbed me in a vice grip, digging her claws into me to get me to “be-have“… or the kids who hounded me and made my life a living hell for the duration of 5th and 7th grades (different schools, same types of rat-bastard kids)… or all those people who loved me so much, until they found out that their imagined version of me wasn’t very real at all, and it was all my fault for letting them down..

What-ever. Bottom line is, this is my life. And despite all my whining, I do get to do what I want with it. I get to decide for myself how I carry myself in the world. I get to decide how I interact with others. I get to decide how I walk through life, if I smile and shrug, or if I start swinging. I get to say how much of my time I spend on what, knowing what the consequences will be — for good or ill.

I get to pick and choose how I handle things — if I bitch out the woman on the phone, who screwed up my car registration form, or if I stay cool and just explain that by the time the mail gets delivered to me with her corrected form enclosed, it will be too late for me to re-register my car in the lawful timeframe. It’s up to me, whether I blame her for the problem, or if I remember that I’m the one who waited till the very last friggin’ minute before contacting the insurance company for that blasted form.

My life. My choices. I get to choose where I want to go. And I’m getting there.

Time to get back to work.

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