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03 August 2010 @ 08:31 pm
Why am I a single parent to other people's children?  
WARNING: The following is a rant Meredith will probably feel incredibly guilty about later. If I don't get this out somehwere, I'm going to strangle myself just to get a little piece and quiet. Please don't think horribly of me.


What the f*ck does it take to get a little peace? I spend 40 hours a week listening the the most purile, immature drivel coming out of the phone-- "Oh, you have to give me more credit because I *need* this 3k Channel handbag (even though my credit score is in the tiolet", "How *dare* you hold my card for the five dollar minimum payment! I'll pay you whenever I feel like it, and remove that latefee while you're at it". Blah, blah, cosumerism to the point of zealous religious conversion. I smile ('remember, associates, the auditors can hear the smile in your voice'), I apologize and take ownership for everything from other store associates being rude to customer's "not receiving their statements" (yeah, right). That's fine, that's okay, it's something I get paid to do. I thank God every day I have a good job.

Ten hours of this straight, for four days. I have three days off. During these days I do laundry, I mediate sisterly disputes, I make sure everyone is fed (I don't cook, but I provide food), I rub aching backs, dispendse medicine for migraines, make sure my little cousin gets up for work on time. I listen to my brother complain about his work, my nieces complain about each other, and LC complain about the entire universe. I do this because it's part of who I am. Good sister, good daughter, good surrogate mother. Jewish filial piety at it's best. I love my family, I do. And I know I rely on them as well-- I am, after all, an outsider second only to LC.

ONE night a week-- just one goddamn night!-- I ask to be left alone. I get everyone settled in for their TV shows, see LC off to his girlfriend's house, tip toe around so my brother can get an early night in. All I want is one night to watch my Asian horror movies, read, draw, and maybe get a little writing done.

Nope, sorry, NOT happening. For the entire summer, I think I've successfully managed MAYBE three Tuesday evenings without a huge argument erupting, having to clean up something that's been broken, or getting into a stressful money discussion with my brother. (Yes, I know we don't have money to fix the upstairs tiolet. I'm sorry! Talking about it constantly is not going to magically make it appear! All we can do is put a little money aside from each paycheck and get it fixed when we've finally accumulated the funds.)

I am so *taught* from listening to him perseverate on this subject (he's been on and off it since 2 pm) that I feel like my heart and lungs are in a pressure cooker. I have a migraine starting.

And, already, I feel guilty for saying/typing these things. I should just plod onward, with good grace.

*fists hands in hair*
Obviously, I am a bad person. ;_;
-Meredith




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Emotional Temperature: bitchybitchy
 
 
 
Amberminttown1 on August 4th, 2010 12:54 am (UTC)
You are not a bad person. Not by any stretch of the imagination. There's absolutely nothing wrong with feeling this way, or with expecting to have that time for yourself. I hope things quiet with fall, at least with the girls' not being around as many hours. It's unfair that you don't have space and time to call your own, and money stress is always terrible, and oh, Meredith. You are so amazing and wonderful and don't always see that, but I do. <3 It's not only okay, but actually healthy, to have these more selfish (or, actually, self-preserving) thoughts and impulses. I only wish you actually had the opportunity to indulge them more. You deserve it.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: kayleegarnettrees on August 19th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
There's absolutely nothing wrong with feeling this way, or with expecting to have that time for yourself.

Thank you so much for saying this. Sometimes I just need to hear it, and it makes the situation seem more reasonable. *hugs* You're so sweet to me. And you're right-- sometimes it is an instinct for self-preservation. Things have settled down a little bit, thank god, and I'm hoping to get the school year off to a great start for all three girls. ^__^

*hugs again*
-Meredith
Amber: the 4400 | kyle/shawnminttown1 on September 14th, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC)
It's been a while. How are you?

I posted some music you may like. http://minttown1.livejournal.com/1073499.html
disco_floozy: elizadisco_floozy on August 4th, 2010 01:45 am (UTC)
I agree: You are NOT a bad person in the slightest. One night is not asking too much at all and not getting it more consistently than you have IS a problem. minttown1 is right again - these are self-preserving thoughts and impulses. Everyone needs time and space to unwind and you are not getting yours.

Is there a friends house you could go to on tuesday nights? Someone who wouldn't mind you sitting in their living room and taking a much deserved break? Or perhaps there is a coffee shop or diner nearby? You know, one of those mom and pop places that don't care if you stay forever as long as you order a cup of coffee and a slice of pie? I used to use a local restaurant for just that reason. I know you say money is tight but a slice of quiet is so vitally important, it may be worth the indulgence.

Have you tried talking to you brother about how you feel overwhelmed and would like to designate tuesday evenings "Meredith Self Peace Time" to re-energize you? I don't know him but I can't imagine he'd be opposed to one evening of you taking a step back and out. If he doesn't already have such a time for himself, tell him that if he steps up on for you on tuesdays, you'll take care of the girls and LC (which you already do) on like thursdays or something. Maybe if you approach the subject like "We've both been stressed lately, I have a plan to help with that. What do you think about..." then explain to the girls and LC that tuesdays belong to Meredith and anything that happens that you need help with must go to your brother and him alone and that thursdays belong to brother but Meredith is available.

I'm sorry about your migraine and I hope you reach a solution soon that lets you breath. *hug*
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: violetgarnettrees on August 19th, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
First off, I wanted to thank you for the kind words, and for the birthday wishes! *hugs tight* Sometimes I just need to hear from people outside the whirlwind of the situation... then feelings that seem unreasonable in the heat of the moment become things I can own and work on.

I have talked to my brother-- he was very obliging the week of my birthday, and so was everyone else. He's still worrying at the money issue like a dog with an old shoe, and making suggestions only makes him short-tempered. He doesn't seem to understand the fact that we may have to 'borrow' the money from a few different savings pots. The sum total is not going to magically appear on the kitchen table one day.

He's actually going to Columbus for a teaching workshop this weekend. Going out of town always seems to bring home to him that he wouldn't have anyone to take care of the girls without me... so, definitely more reasonable at the moment. I'm hoping that once school starts we'll all have our own lives going again and won't be stepping on each other's toes.

*hugs back* Talking to you always seems to help. Thank you.
-Meredith
kittenmommykittenmommy on August 4th, 2010 02:39 am (UTC)

And, already, I feel guilty for saying/typing these things. I should just plod onward, with good grace.

No. You're their loved one, not their doormat. You deserve your space and some time to yourself! *hugs*
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: darla_drugarnettrees on August 19th, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
You're their loved one, not their doormat.

*grins* Wait, you mean it's not the same thing? ^_~

This is what I get for growing up in a family full of passive-agressive women. I've got the agression down, but not that saintly guilt trip that seems to work so well for everyone else. *rolls eyes at herself*

Thanks for making me smile!
-Meredith
kittenmommykittenmommy on August 19th, 2010 05:08 pm (UTC)

You're welcome! :D
Lazulilazzchan on August 4th, 2010 02:41 am (UTC)
You are not a bad person at all; you're terribly overwhelmed and overworked and you need to have some "YOU" time completely, without the worry of someone ruining for you.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: darla_dru3garnettrees on August 19th, 2010 04:04 pm (UTC)
*hugs tightly* Thank you. You're always such an understanding soul. ^_^
-Meredith
excentric397excentric397 on August 4th, 2010 06:44 pm (UTC)
(Yes, I know we don't have money to fix the upstairs tiolet. I'm sorry! Talking about it constantly is not going to magically make it appear! All we can do is put a little money aside from each paycheck and get it fixed when we've finally accumulated the funds.)

Have you tried just calmly saying this to him, turning around, and going to your room? People can only walk on you if you lie down. People can only verbally abuse/overwhelm you if you stand there and listen to it. You are entitled to your space, your life, your time alone. But you have to take it. One thing I've learned is that I cannot change anyone else's behaviour, but I CAN change how I let it affect me. I can choose to remove myself from a stressful situation, for one thing. None of this makes you a bad person. If you don't take care of yourself first, emotionally as well as physically, you will have nothing left for anyone else who needs you. Good luck.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: teamgarnettrees on August 19th, 2010 05:43 pm (UTC)
I do walk away, quite often in fact. And you're right, it stops the cycle for a little while. Unfortunately, these aren't arguements in the sense of angry words being exchanged-- this is exposure to my brother's inner monologue as he perseverates on things. That's the problem in a family with a tendancy towards obsessive personalities. I can get a twenty minute break, but the minute we sit down for dinner, or enter the same room to watch tv, or start a conversation on a completely different subject, he'll swing back towards it again. I worry about these things too, but staying on my med and following my doctor's advice keeping me from falling prey to my OCD. My brother thinks meds are a crutch.

One thing I've learned is that I cannot change anyone else's behaviour, but I CAN change how I let it affect me.
That's good advice. I'm a very up-front, blunt person-- except when it comes to my family. In that case, it's like someone hits a button marked 'AVOID-COMPROMISE-REPRESS'.

Thanks so much for all your kindness and advice!
-Meredith
excentric397excentric397 on August 19th, 2010 07:19 pm (UTC)

Earplugs? Seriously, I hope you find a workable solution. Stress eats away at you and makes even the simplest things overwhelming, as I'm sure you already know. Good luck.
alex_annnalex_annn on August 6th, 2010 05:18 am (UTC)
Hey hon, I am sorry that you are feeling so stressed. I know how you feel. I am the one most of my friends come to as well and I often feel guilty when they piss me off. I don't think you are a bad person, just a frustrated one. Better to blow off steam here, that's what it's for. Remember, your feelings don't make you good or bad, it's how you react. It sounds to me like you react with love and understanding.

PS. I miss your story. No rush, I will be there to read it when it is ready, I just wanted you to know.
Meredith Bronwen Mallory: partnersgarnettrees on August 19th, 2010 05:47 pm (UTC)
I am the one most of my friends come to as well and I often feel guilty when they piss me off.
That makes sense-- you have a very kind and giving personality and it comes through very clearly, even on the 'net. I think people that give tend to be taken advantage of, often not deliberately, but because their very nature draws people to them. I'm not a very giving person myself... it's just the roll I've fallen into. I try hard to be there when others need me. It's just that I sometimes need the comfort of solitude, instead of a crowd around me. ^_^

Thank you so much for being sweet and listening!

PS. I miss your story. No rush, I will be there to read it when it is ready, I just wanted you to know.
Ask, and ye shall receive. ^_~
-Meredith