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Life Goes On (was Oh Well?) Part 3

Old 03-18-2021, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by courage2 View Post
I go into work every day now -- staying home depresses me, as I've learned many times during periods of unemployment, and I can walk to work, & have a campus almost unto myself. But my social anxiety jumps just thinking of the return of everyone else. Oddly, working remotely hasn't helped with anxiety -- maybe it's actually worse. I loathe seeing and listening to myself during the constant zoom meetings, classes, and on videos. I don't like the way I look and sound, and keep apologizing for what I say, and how I say it.
I'm glad you understand. I think if I were close enough to work, I might walk in some days, but even during quiet times it's a 30 minute drive + a 10 minute walk there. It would be worth it for home/work separation, but it's totally not worth the commute. I've been working via Zoom (prior to that Adobe) for around eight years now. I remember feeling that self-consciousness as well, but it's pretty much gone now. If that gives you any hope.

Your words about armor interest me, O. A lot of getting sober was about getting rid of all the armor. A relief, for sure, but also incredibly raw, exposed, naked -- all that. Maybe what I wrote above about anxiety has something to do with that? Not sure what. Maybe anxiety is what happens to me when I don't drink but also don't accept my self.
Yes, I think maybe that's what happens to me too. Maybe drinking helped me to tolerate everything around me by blacking it out out on the regular. Certainly the major challenge for me thus far is getting accustomed to all of that "around me" stuff. 'Maybe anxiety is what happens to me when I don't drink but also don't accept myself' sounds so true. But it seems to me that anxiety preceded my drinking by a long shot, so I think I can drop the 'don't drink' condition. Anxiety is what happens to me when I don't accept something within myself.

Hmm! Thanks for that.
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Old 03-22-2021, 09:01 AM
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Told my boss on Friday that I was going to seek a "Reasonable Accommodation" so that I can be permitted to work from home permanently. She said, "I absolutely support that for you - well, for anyone on our team. But I know that Exec Director is really wanting us all back in the office." So I sent boss the paperwork and she formally informed me of receipt and directed me to schedule a meeting with Occupational Health.

So I called Occupational Health and they said to fill out some more paperwork, so I did. Then they called to inform me that I need a note from my doctor because they can't just go on my say-so. (Well, ok, but you didn't tell me I needed that... anyhow, ok.) So I have a message in with my primary to ask her for said note. Which I'm fairly confident she will provide. So I'm not nervous about that. But I am anxious about this whole thing; just hoping it will work out in my favor (whatever that is, right?).

Middlest asked me yesterday why I said something sarcastic to her. I told her I was just joking around and that I try hard not to do that with people not in my family because they wouldn't know I was joking. She responded that it confuses her so she was just wondering why. Which left me speechless for a bit. After a few minutes, I went to find her and said, "I think I do that because I'm looking for intimacy - the kind where it's comfortable to rib each other. And she said, "Not everyone understands that (like my boyfriend) and you might hurt their feelings." I said, "I know, I'm sorry. You asked me why, so I wanted to just let you know why."

And then I went away and cried a little bit and forced myself to not go back and ask her "Is everything ok?" (Do you love me, are you ok with me, are we going to be alright.... you know, all of the things that swirl in my mind.)

And this morning, I reminded myself that it's going to be a long Long time before she is comfortable with me again.
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Old 03-23-2021, 06:45 PM
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O, one of my sisters is really hard on my mom. I wish she would forgive and celebrate her for the amazing mothering she DID do. It was 10% crap but 90% amazing and, always, always, 100% love. I wish your middlest would do the same.
You're trying. You've opened your home. You're giving back, and back, and back. I'd be a bit resentful, I think, were I you.

I also wish (hope) they let you work from home. In my organization they have been very liberal in letting people do it and I honestly think it has changed lives. It's not for everyone, obviously. But if productivity isn't affected... I mean... why not?
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Old 03-24-2021, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Obladi View Post

And this morning, I reminded myself that it's going to be a long Long time before she is comfortable with me again.
Hi O, feel free to tell me to bugger off, but I haven't read previous entries which summarise the situation with your daughter - any chance of a synopsis?!
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Old 03-27-2021, 10:41 AM
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Hey Briansy,

I have three grown daughters. I always thought that middlest and I were closest to each other when she was growing up, and as she got older that feeling only grew. Along with that, though, grew the tiniest nagging sensation that our relationship was tinged with a transactional nature. As I was going through my own private nightmare with drinking ramping up during the girls' teenage years, I did start wondering if she'd continue being so "close" and put up with my nonsense if I at some point didn't give her what she wanted, which I pretty much always did - within reason (sort of). She grew into being my caretaker in many ways, but eventually moved across the country, in large part because she couldn't stand the drinking. Broke my heart in some ways, but I was glad for her to have that separation. We still talked, she still visited several times/year. She would get very upset with me when I'd have a drinking crisis, but always continued to speak with me.

Until this last time. When I was in rehab last year, she flew home, visited with me, and took care of things around the house. Same as she ever would, you know? But then came a day when she went a step too far with what she asked of me and I drew a firm boundary. I believe she didn't speak with me for three months, which was obviously heartbreaking. When she finally did, it was because she and her boyfriend wanted to stay with me "for a few months" until they saved up a bit more for a down payment for a home. This was the middle of last year, so ... that didn't happen. I mean, they moved into my house, but of course there is no down payment.

The one time I brought up her long silent treatment was before I agreed to her moving in. I told her that was unacceptable, extremely hurtful, and I absolutely could not live that way for any period of time if she was in the house. I made it clear that I would ask her to find new accommodations if that happened - with anyone. She and her boyfriend could not do that to each other, and she absolutely could not do it to me. She said, "Yeah, I understand. I don't even remember what I was so angry with you about." (!!)

So now I have a couple of affable roommates. They sometimes don't keep up with things that I asked of them before they moved in, but it's pretty much ok. However, having a roommate instead of a daughter is tough for me. I have to remember who she is and how she is and that there is a lot of stuff she keeps on the inside. Just like her mom. But unlike her mom, at least so far in her short life, she's not inclined to speak about those inside things - especially with me. Even more so after all we went through. So it's not exactly like walking on eggshells, but maybe like treading carefully on ice. As long as I remember it's slippery around here, it's ok, but if I forget to be careful I sometimes say something that offends (?) her and she uses that as some sort of teachable moment.

Which is kind of offensive, right? But she doesn't know what I've learned this past year because we don't talk about it. Because when I have tried to bring up myself and my feelings, she's basically corrected me - as if I don't know anything about people or how the world works. Or about how I function (or don't) within that world. So mostly I try not to let stuff show around her. But I still say things that rub her the wrong way. Which is understandable, too. God knows what landmines I've laid out there and don't even know about.

And that, believe it or not, is the Cliff's Notes version.
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Old 03-27-2021, 10:59 AM
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Said daughter is paying for her keep by painting the interior of the house, which comes with the bonus of her ambition to rip out the carpet and replace it with faux wood (laminate). She finished the main part of my bedroom the other day, so it came time for me to clean out my walk-in closet. Which was my "bar" for years. Even often after no one else lived here, I often still hid the vodka - and stuffed the black bags in back of the dresser in there. There was also a box in there that contained memorabilia of some sort - which sort I didn't even know.

I'd already been through to pull out of those black bags when I got home last year, and the girls had done a good job of finding and disposing of any bottles that may have been in there. But that box - I don't even know what my problem was about it. Though now that I'm writing about it, I think it may somehow relate to that conceptual box I "put" in the way back of my closet that is related to past abuse I can not/will not confront or "deal with." Because the last two times I started drinking were related in some form or fashion to addressing that "dealing."

I pulled half of the stuff out of there and the rest this morning. Middlest has asked me several times, "What's up," and I've given her just a quick, "Dealing with that closet is really challenging for me." The first time she asked this morning, I told her I needed her to sit with me while I went through that box. And she did. And it was fine - she helped me to decide what to keep and what to throw out. Several hours afterward, she asked me again what was up (How could she not know how this would stick with me like this? Because she doesn't know me, not really.) I said, "It's sort of like I just cleaned out the closet of a person who has died. Which I suppose I did. But it still shook me."

And now she's in there, ripping up the carpet and I'm glad that's happening.

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Old 03-27-2021, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Obladi View Post
Hey Briansy,

I have three grown daughters. I always thought that middlest and I were closest to each other when she was growing up, and as she got older that feeling only grew. Along with that, though, grew the tiniest nagging sensation that our relationship was tinged with a transactional nature. As I was going through my own private nightmare with drinking ramping up during the girls' teenage years, I did start wondering if she'd continue being so "close" and put up with my nonsense if I at some point didn't give her what she wanted, which I pretty much always did - within reason (sort of). She grew into being my caretaker in many ways, but eventually moved across the country, in large part because she couldn't stand the drinking. Broke my heart in some ways, but I was glad for her to have that separation. We still talked, she still visited several times/year. She would get very upset with me when I'd have a drinking crisis, but always continued to speak with me.

Until this last time. When I was in rehab last year, she flew home, visited with me, and took care of things around the house. Same as she ever would, you know? But then came a day when she went a step too far with what she asked of me and I drew a firm boundary. I believe she didn't speak with me for three months, which was obviously heartbreaking. When she finally did, it was because she and her boyfriend wanted to stay with me "for a few months" until they saved up a bit more for a down payment for a home. This was the middle of last year, so ... that didn't happen. I mean, they moved into my house, but of course there is no down payment.

The one time I brought up her long silent treatment was before I agreed to her moving in. I told her that was unacceptable, extremely hurtful, and I absolutely could not live that way for any period of time if she was in the house. I made it clear that I would ask her to find new accommodations if that happened - with anyone. She and her boyfriend could not do that to each other, and she absolutely could not do it to me. She said, "Yeah, I understand. I don't even remember what I was so angry with you about." (!!)

So now I have a couple of affable roommates. They sometimes don't keep up with things that I asked of them before they moved in, but it's pretty much ok. However, having a roommate instead of a daughter is tough for me. I have to remember who she is and how she is and that there is a lot of stuff she keeps on the inside. Just like her mom. But unlike her mom, at least so far in her short life, she's not inclined to speak about those inside things - especially with me. Even more so after all we went through. So it's not exactly like walking on eggshells, but maybe like treading carefully on ice. As long as I remember it's slippery around here, it's ok, but if I forget to be careful I sometimes say something that offends (?) her and she uses that as some sort of teachable moment.

Which is kind of offensive, right? But she doesn't know what I've learned this past year because we don't talk about it. Because when I have tried to bring up myself and my feelings, she's basically corrected me - as if I don't know anything about people or how the world works. Or about how I function (or don't) within that world. So mostly I try not to let stuff show around her. But I still say things that rub her the wrong way. Which is understandable, too. God knows what landmines I've laid out there and don't even know about.

And that, believe it or not, is the Cliff's Notes version.
Oh man. What can I say to that except: noted. Are you sure you can handle effectively being patronised to that extent? It doesn't sound like a healthy situation to me but you can't just compartmentalize your own flesh and blood the way you can with friendships of relationships that have turned toxic.

Well, from a very casual / far distance you seem to me to have your head firmly screwed on. And things can only improve if you're not providing any ammunition for any issues to develop by going off the rails? And so you'll be on firmer ground in really spelling out those aspects of the dynamic that are unacceptable? So now you're kinda biding your time til you get there?
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Old 03-27-2021, 01:41 PM
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As you know, my eldest and I have similar issues. They had it hard friend, at least mine did. After six years, she still blames me does not trust me completely and I get it. X
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Old 03-27-2021, 02:09 PM
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I was moved by your story. It sounded like progress and healing to me. So much we can't know about a loved one's inner world or lived experience. Nor can they fully understand us. It's bittersweet. It seems like you've been incredibly patient and careful with your daughter. She is where she's at and probably wise beyond her years in some ways. You have worked hard on yourself in the past year. I admire your journey.
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Old 03-27-2021, 02:41 PM
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🤗 O, Tats.
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Old 03-28-2021, 01:12 AM
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Hmm, reading the subsequent responses, I fear mine may have been a touch on the negative side. I guess if I ever have kids and get to experience that dynamic, my views on such things might have a bit more validity!
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Old 03-28-2021, 05:43 AM
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No worries, Briansy. I didn't take your response as negative; I thought you were being compassionate, thinking about how that stuff must feel for me. And also curious about how this might all be fixed. One of the things I've learned over this past year or thereabouts is that I don't always get to control how my "stuff" is resolved. The only thing I can control is my own decisions and how I respond to dynamics that are unsettling - that "dis-ease" I sometimes write about. I'm still figuring out what's happening in this relationship, but at least 50% of that is unknown because I can only guess where middlest is coming from. The best I can do is keep an eye on my boundaries and try my best to understand where her boundaries are as well. Sometimes (maybe always?) that's how it goes when you love a person unconditionally. I am confident in my belief that she loves me unconditionally as well, but understand that doesn't translate into never being hurt or suffering from how I've hurt her. Or the reverse. How it feels is just something I have to take somewhere else until/unless she and I eventually have some Real conversations about Things That Matter.

Like Drops says, there's a lot of damage there. It takes time to heal, and perhaps even more time to trust.

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Old 03-28-2021, 07:48 AM
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I never really thought about it before, but my own experience both as a child and as a mother is that there is a degree of conditionality from the child to the parent, but IMO, none from the mother to the child.
In my case, for example, I loved my mom, but it was not unconditional in the same sense as my love for my children, and I think it was the same for her with us and her mom.
And I also think its the same with the girls and me. I love them unconditionally. They love me, and take a lot of my bad, but I would not say unconditionally or at least not in the same sense. And that is more with the eldest than the youngest.
You can see that when your parents hurt your children -- you may love your parents, but if they hurt your children....
Funny that. I do not think unconditional love is a natural part of the human condition except for the saints among us -- if someone hurts us or our kids, kills our cat, should we keep loving them in the same way. Maybe we should but we don't, or at least I don't, except my children...
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Old 03-28-2021, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Dropsie View Post
I never really thought about it before, but my own experience both as a child and as a mother is that there is a degree of conditionality from the child to the parent, but IMO, none from the mother to the child.
In my case, for example, I loved my mom, but it was not unconditional in the same sense as my love for my children, and I think it was the same for her with us and her mom.
And I also think its the same with the girls and me. I love them unconditionally. They love me, and take a lot of my bad, but I would not say unconditionally or at least not in the same sense. And that is more with the eldest than the youngest.
You can see that when your parents hurt your children -- you may love your parents, but if they hurt your children....
Funny that. I do not think unconditional love is a natural part of the human condition except for the saints among us -- if someone hurts us or our kids, kills our cat, should we keep loving them in the same way. Maybe we should but we don't, or at least I don't, except my children...
Fascinating post, Dropsie.
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Old 03-28-2021, 10:52 AM
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And now for something totally different -- go Seminoles (challenge to Briansy -- what am I on about??)
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Old 03-28-2021, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Dropsie View Post
And now for something totally different -- go Seminoles (challenge to Briansy -- what am I on about??)
Well, it's not football (American) season so I'm gonna say this is college basketball of some description?
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Old 03-28-2021, 01:41 PM
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You got it -- March madness, finals of college basketball, 64 teams, knock-out. My alma mater, Florida State Seminoles are in the last 16 teams, they play tonight. Go 'noles.
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Old 03-28-2021, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Dropsie View Post
You got it -- March madness, finals of college basketball, 64 teams, knock-out. My alma mater, Florida State Seminoles are in the last 16 teams, they play tonight. Go 'noles.
Wow, I was gonna say Florida too. Pure guess. Well done me.
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Old 03-29-2021, 03:10 AM
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They lost badly. Actually FSU did not show up. Bummer, but the better team (Michigan) certainly won. Wiped the court with FSU as we say.
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Old 03-29-2021, 02:38 PM
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I'm sorry for your wilted pom-poms, Drops.

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