Hi there, I”m back, though on a different day…it’s been a bit of a week…
It’s been one, LOOONG week, let me tell you. Not the worst of weeks, but I could certainly have done with better. My anxiety level has been really high this week and life just keeps seeming to throw those curve balls, and even though I try to anticipate them, things still upset me quickly…
You see, I’m a worrier. I have been for just about ever since I can remember. I had pretty good reason, at least I thought so. Things were, lets say, pretty tumultuous in my family when I was a kid. I could never be really sure how things were going to go from day to day. Looking back, I would absolutely go as far as to say that my mother suffered from depression, I know my father did. She got pregnant with me in high school, and admitted that it was mostly because she didn’t get along with her mother, and hoped that having a baby would get her out of the house and make things better for her. Well, if how she was when I was a kid was any indicator, it didn’t get much better. I also know for a fact that she never sought treatment for how she felt, but it was always pretty obvious to me that my mother wasn’t happy. She told me all the time. Pretty often after I’d done something wrong, selfish, stupid, idiotic…something a typical child would do… Thus began all my anxiety, worrying, anticipating. I played alone most of the time, drawing and reading lots, they were quiet activities where I didn’t have to talk. Even when I played with dolls, the conversations were in my head, so I didn’t make a sound. We moved around a lot before I went to first grade, so I never had friends, which was good, I wouldn’t have been able to play anyway.
I spent my childhood all the way through my teenage years worrying. I would want to do something, let’s say, go play with my friend two door down. First, I’d figure out how my mother was doing that day, then weigh the pros and cons of just asking, and most often, would decide against it. “No” wasn’t the worst thing she could, or even did say. Once I went to first grade, things got a bit better– I got to go to school, see people, and not every decision had to be weighed so carefully, and I even got to talk to folks without worrying that just the act of speaking was wrong. It sometimes did me a bit of a disservice, though. My first day of first grade my mother was called to the school. I”d picked up the book we were to read for the whole year, a Dick and Jane reader, opened it up to the middle and began to read out loud to a group of kids… I could read, quite well, and that was weird. While it was a good thing, at least I thought so, my mother demanded to know why I had to be a show off and stand out. I ended up going down the hall during reading class to be with the 3rd graders. It didn’t really impress her. Every day on the way home I worried about what I was in store for when I got home…usually went straight to my room to do homework until dinner.
That’s pretty much how things went for me as a kid. Mother was unpredictable, so I avoided her. The parents had my sister when I was 5, they thought it would make things better. They weren’t better. Well, not for me. My sister seemed to make my mother happier, so things were a bit better, but now I had to do care-taking , and sharing toys that my sister promptly ruined. Mother blamed me for wanting such crappy toys. I was blamed for my sister’s messes, for her noisiness, and any of her bad behavior. I began to anticipate what she’d want to do, and how it would affect me, and tried to placate my sister, just so I wouldn’t get yelled at.
Luckily, I had my paternal grandparents, I think they’re what saved me. I spent summers with them happily being a kid. talking, laughing and playing. We went to museums, art galleries, the beach, the park…I enjoyed every minute there, until the week I’d before I’d have to go home. which I spent trying to calm myself down and return to the kid I was. That made them sad, I had always wished I could live with them, but I obviously couldn’t ask, and when they did, I didn’t get to see them the next summer. That was my punishment for wanting a good life. Also, I sometimes forgot myself when I returned home, and acted like I was still back with my grandparents. They usually got a call telling them they let me “get wild” and I needed to be corrected. Spending time with my grandparents allowed me to develop my own personality, and I was, and still am, quite a smart-ass. That definitely didn’t serve me well. I didn’t always seem to have control of when I’d let stuff slip out, which didn’t bother my grandparents, they fostered it, it meant that I was smart…it kept me on restriction from going outside, watching tv or listening to the radio, and even from my precious books once my mother realized the real punishment came when she denied me reading.
It’s hard to go from a life of constantly weighing every action, everything I said, every breath, to not, which is why I’m still a worrier. I’ve been unemployed, so I worry I’ll never get a job since there are way more qualified people who will work for less. I worry when life is good, that something will go wrong. I worry that if I spend money on a few necessities that there will be an emergency that needs to be taken care of, but I bought underwear and deodorant. Once, when I was in elementary school, I was late being dropped off by my friend’s mom because of traffic. I got an earful from my mother about how she thought I had been raped, murdered, and dumped naked in a field with my entrails strewn everywhere. Yea, really way out there, not sane, or normal, and not what a kid should ever have to hear. And since then, besides over-thinking every decision, I always went to the worst possible outcome for every situation. I figured that at the very least, I could be prepared for the worst to happen. Sadly, still today, if something goes wrong, my brain jumps to the bad things that could happen. If my husband is late coming home, maybe he was in an accident. When I lost my job I just knew we’d be homeless and he’d stop loving me. Hell, as I write this I just know you all will think I’m batshit crazy, a freaking basket case, and none of you will talk to me again. Or that you’ll pity me, treat me differently because I’m mental.
Through it all, I’ve found solace through my art. It’s the one thing that lets me be completely present. Very little quiets my mind like putting on a horror movie and picking up yarn and a hook or needles. My glasses off, work close to my face, creepy horror movie music in the background, I usually find peace quickly. I think it’s why I get a bit sad at the end of a project. I worry, for half a second, that I won’t have another one to work on, and my peace will be gone. Which is why my “things I want to make” list is so long. In my eternal busy-ness, I find the peace I can’t get otherwise. In keeping busy, I can quiet my mind, and less of the negative filters through. I know that’s not how things are supposed to work, but it’s definitely how it works for me. Also, my husband tells me, usually while I’m crying , that everything is going to be alright… I love that. Even though they’re just words, when he speaks them, I believe them. I can’t tell myself everything will be ok…I never believe me. Even though things are alright, I’m not dead and naked in a field with my entrails out, I still can’t believe me when I try to tell myself it will be ok.
Wow…this has to be the most depressing post you’ll read all week. Sorry about that. And I won’t hold it against any of you if you never read my blog or talk to me on facebook again. It’s ok… I’ve never been brave, or strong, but this felt necessary to put out there, hopefully a bit healing. I feel lighter than I have in days. I’ve also cried, which usually helps. So if you take anything from this, please, don’t YOU worry, everything will somehow be ok. I have it on good authority from my husband, and he’s right, though things seem a bit dark, everything still is ok.