February 16, 2004


I'm stuck.


People who survive being caught in an avalanche say it feels like they're buried in concrete. They can't even move a finger.
That's metaphorically how I've been for some time now, emotionally and functionally.

I've often written here about things I want to do, should do, need to do.
I don't DO much at all.
A bit of household stuff, some interacting with my kids, once a week bowling.
Some TV, some internet, lots of solitaire.
I'm tired. And hurting inside.
It's a physical hurt even though it has an emotional cause. Kind of a combination of pressure and nausea.
Any extra request by anyone feels like too much.
I know the reason I'm tired is because of the emotional energy it costs me just to keep it together.
Knowing that keeps me from worrying about physical ailments but doesn't ease the burden otherwise.

I want to organize my house and keep it cleaner.
I want to get a part time job and also try freelance writing.
I want to get a LIFE of some sort outside of my house, whether in work, volunteer work, interest courses - all of which I've done at some time in my life.

But I don't.

And what's more I seem to be sabotaging my own efforts to do so.

Besides just NOT doing things, I set myself up for failure.
The job at the bank, for instance.
Maybe I should have known that standing on my feet for hours on end, having to make nice to a cranky public, wouldn't suit me, physically or mentally.
I am just not a people person.
Furthermore I had tendinitis in both legs before I took the job and could barely walk out of there at night.
Did I not see trouble coming?
Not consciously, really I didn't.
So I'm left wondering about my own inadequacies.

Same thing with the tax class and subsequent job application.
I found out about halfway through the class that the job would involve direct contact with the public and that the pay was inadequate.
I chose to continue with the class (which was fine, I enjoyed it and learned from it) AND with the job application.
To see if I "could" - not really figuring that I could.
Built in rejection.
But then when I did qualify, I turned it down, leaving me to wonder again, what is up with me. I guess if I had taken the job and been dissatisfied, I'd end up in the same situation.
Setting myself up in vicious circles that go nowhere.

I do this in my personal life as well.
Settle for unsatisfying often superficial correspondences with mostly married men and don't give myself the slightest opportunity to meet someone appropriate.
Not that I'd know what to do with him anyway, right now, in this frame of mind.

A few weeks ago, one of those correspondents mentioned, as an aside, that he knew I had "abandonment" issues.
I have issues galore but never thought of abandonment as one of them. After all, I am usually the abandoner.
I left my boyfriends before they had a chance to leave me; I left school; I left my old job to stay home and raise kids; I eventually left my role as wife.
And the two aforementioned jobs.

Looks like a pattern.

Of course my parents never dumped me in a basket on anyone's doorstep or threw me out of the house but I've written here many times about problems with my mother that persist to this day, 22 years after her death.
Her death.
Of a curable form of cancer, neglected for years and years.

No such problems with my fatherů well not the same kind of problems. I would have liked to have been closer to him but only achieved some of that once he became ill.
Up to then he allotted me and my family about an hour a week.
During the six months he was in town.
He tolerated our visits to Florida, which must have been hard for him given the active kids, but I felt somehow he kept me at arms' length.
One day when he was recovering from surgery, about a year before he died, he asked me whether my leaving school thirty years previously was done in some way to punish him.
I reassured him that it wasn't. It was depression. I think he was satisfied with that, but imagine him carrying around that concept so long.
I can just hear my mother's voice in his head.
If SHE couldn't be close with me, HE sure wasn't going to, either.

So after mulling this over I finally looked up "abandonment", came up with this web page, and found myself in there.
I know it's pop psychology (complete with a link to Oprah) but it all made sense.

And it's become clear that this is more than I can handle alone.
For some reason I seem to think I SHOULD be able to handle everything alone, from emotional issues to practical ones.
But that's clearly not the case.
I've contacted a local psychologist who can begin to see me in March if I so choose; I have another line of inquiry to pursue next week but either way I can't go on like this.


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