I have many things going on right now, so why do I feel as if I’m going nowhere, and fast? As I mentioned yesterday, I have a new blogging gig. In addition, I have my mom’s magnum opus to type (around 250 pages), and another editing job on the backburner. In addition, I’m blogging every day. I have tentatively stepped back into the realm of fiction, and I intend to get my fiction blog up and running sometime soon.
So, what’s the problem? I am burnt out. My emotional reservations are low, and I don’t know how to shore them up. My sis-in-law is neurotic, controlling, and the unhappiest person I know. Whenever I am around her, I am overwhelmed by the negative sensory input that I receive.
My mom and I went to my bro’s today to celebrate my nephew’s third birthday (and cake. Cake IS NOT a lie). I didn’t get the chance to snooze before we went, so I was already thin in the protective shield area. If I am up and rested, I can shrug off my SIL’s constant sniping. When I feel the way I did today, however, I just can’t deal with it.
It doesn’t help that it reminds me of being around my father when I was young. His big weapon was his silent treatment. He would sit in a recliner in stony silence, and the rest of us would have to tiptoe around him lest we sent him further into a tizzy. I never knew what would set him off and what would finally snap him out of it.
It is the same with my SIL, and today, I just suddenly reached the point of “I’ve fucking had it up to here!” That happened about two hours after arriving. At that point, I shut down my emotions. I flatlined. I emptied myself out the best I could and went numb. My mom and I planned on leaving before dinner, but my brother suggested we go out. There was so much eagerness in his voice, we couldn’t say no. After dinner, everyone but me decided it would be great to go for a walk outside as the area is basically a gated community with mini-golf, paddleboats, etc. I kept falling further and further into myself. I was crazy tired out of my mind because my niece refused to let me nap at the house. She said it was bad manners to fall asleep at their house because I was there to entertain them. No matter what I said, she wouldn’t let me sleep.
I hit bottom as we walked around the gated community (ok, there wasn’t an actual gate, but there might as well be). I walked away from everyone else, and it was all I could do not to scream. For a brief moment, I thought, “This isn’t fucking worth it. Life isn’t worth it.” Somewhere, deep inside of me, I was appalled at the thought. Unfortunately, that spark of life was wrapped in layers and layers of cotton, and I only dimly felt it.
How did I reach that point where it took all my wherewithal to put one foot in front of the other? If I were to be honest, it started before Mom and I even went to my bro’s. My aura was very fragile at that point, and I didn’t want to go. If it hadn’t been for the fact that it was my nephew’s birthday, I would have bailed. I was already dead tired and feeling vulnerable. There was no way my immune system could withstand an attack.
I get pissed off that I tamp down my personality so completely around my SIL. She makes mountains out of every molehill, and it’s often easier just to nod and say nothing than to get into it with her, be it about Jesus (he was NOT born in December), manners (mine are pretty damn good, thank you very much), or just about anything else. We all tiptoe around her because she can be so damn unpleasant (whether she has reason to be or not).
My mom asked what would happen if I got in my SIL’s face, and I was taken aback. I thought it was likely that she would break down and cry because I don’t think she realizes how mean she sounds all the time. It’s the tone of voice, not necessarily the words. Such as, I was saying I got the last cone (for ice cream) at the buffet tonight. In a haughty voice, she said, “Did you tell them? It’s like when you’re a guest in someone’s home, and you use the last piece of toilet paper.”
First of all, I had told them earlier that they were out of cones, and the server said she would get someone on it. When I went up for my ice cream, there was only two cones in the dispenser. Second, it’s not my fucking job to inform them when they run out of something. Third, I’m not her fucking child. I mean, she shouldn’t even talk to her kids that way, but she especially has no authority over me.
There was a jazz band warming up, and my brother’s family went over and sat down. I had reached my limit. I told my mom I had to go. I did. My body was defenseless, as was my soul. I finally got my mom to leave. I drove home, and I was still numb.
I am angriest at myself, though, because I regress into my childlike state when I am in the midst of unrelenting negativity. I can’t think; I can’t erect my defenses; I can’t bolster my waning emotional reserves; I am totally vulnerable and open to assault.
I need to learn that I am an adult now. I am not that powerless, scared little girl who didn’t know how to deal with the angry, narcisstic, inappropriate boundaries man who was her father. I have to find a way to realize that I can deal with my SIL even if she explodes at me. My mom, who’s more optimistic than I am, even believes that it’ll wake my SIL up if I get in her face. I don’t know about that, but in the end, it’s not really about her, anyway. As usual, on this blog, it’s all about me.