27 March 2008

self pity, part one trillion

I cried in the car all the way home tonight. It's true that I only live 3.5 miles from work, but there are a lot of stop lights. I just turned Superdrag up really loud (I hate listening to myself sob, I sound so undignified) and just wailed. It felt pretty great, apart from when I almost didn't notice there was a fire truck behind me with its sirens on because the car stereo and I were making so much noise together. The flashing lights were a good tipoff though. For some reason I feel really safe in the car, it tends to be where I cry and it's where I am likeliest to have a panic attack. (I don't know for sure about the frequency of my panic attacks in the car vs. in other locations, I've never actually kept track and run the numbers. Even I am not that self-obsessed or that much of a stats wonk.)

Rationally I know that I'm actually most likely to die an unnatural death when I'm in my car, but that doesn't translate to the part of me that really digs that I can fine-tune the car's temperature and turn up music as loud as I want without pissing off coworkers or neighbors; it's also SO unlikely that anyone else on the road will notice I'm losing my shit. Not many people look past the windshield at the person driving, you get your cues from turn signals and the car's position on the road. So it's an awesome place to be alone. Plus, perfect excuse not to answer the phone! Apart from the inherent unsafety of being on the road during a crying jag or a panic attack (yes, I'll pull over if I get that upset), it's perfect.

Not that I have any more reason to cry today than any other day, except that it's Thursday, which is usually the hardest day of the week for me - I'm so exhausted on thursdays and I can't keep reminding myself that at least it's Friday.

This week hasn't been that different than any other recent weeks - the unpacking work that's yet to be done still looms hugely, Dave has midterms (okay, that's a little extra stress but it's not like I'm the one taking the tests) and I had a Wednesday evening commitment (not yoga, grrr) that got me home at 11, which happened to be exactly the same time that Dave got home from class.

When I did get home last night, there were FOUR separate piles of cat puke to clean up, and Dave had already cleaned up after Zoe earlier in the day when she barfed on the bed five minutes before he needed to leave the house. What is with that timing, anyway? It's like they hold it in until it's least convenient and then puke on the soft furnishings. Or Zoe does, anyway, and I'm lucky - I guess - that she's the less frequent offender in the barf arena.

Quite apart from the ick of cleaning up, which at this point I'm pretty inured to, it's upsetting because it means that the medication for one of them isn't working. If I knew which one was puking all the time, I would be a little less worried but they tend to yak when I'm not home or when I'm asleep. I guess that's not that surprising since I spend my limited time at home either sleeping, cleaning up cat barf, cleaning normal stuff, or cooking. In about that order, too.

But it would be really helpful if I knew which one was upchucking all the time, because then I would know which one to bring to the vet. Could be Zoe's diabetes OR Interim's IBS; I think the ralpher is probably Inty, but I'm kind of dreading that vet visit because the next step for her is exploratory surgery so they can ascertain that she does, indeed, have IBS. And surgery = expensive. Could be Zoe, though, because we're having trouble getting her blood sugar consistently stable (which I've heard, via Dr Internet, is common with cats.) Either way it fucking sucks.

So wow, several paragraphs about cat effluvia. I guess it was kind of on my mind. I also clean most of it up, since Dave works full time and goes to nursing school half time, so he gets a pass on most of the housework (he would by default anyway, he's here even less than I am.) As I mentioned above, he's got midterms this week and boy are they making him into an asshole. I totally get that A) working your way through school is tough no matter what, B) because he's so stressed his back is in spasm again and therefore he's in constant severe pain, and C) midterms are extra fun. Can't wait 'til finals! They are happening the week before we get married. W00t! Anyway, I feel that these are understandable, forgivable reasons for temporary displays of assholery but at the same time it's no fun for me to constantly cheerlead for someone who's angry and anxious and pretty down and who therefore remembers less frequently than of yore to ask how my day was. Also it's not like we SEE each other very much, so maybe he wants to know how my day has been but forgets to ask during the rare 15 minute intervals when he's actually conscious and in the same room as me. (I'm positive that if you asked him, he would tell you how it's really hard for him - which it is - and he's doing the best he can - which he is - and maybe he would have a separate rant about what a jerk I am. That's okay, that's how relationships ARE sometimes, I think.)

But hey, everyone tells me, school is temporary, right, and then it'll be done and he'll be a nurse and things will be better. True but three years is a long time for a "temporary" situation to go on, and it feels like forever when you're in the middle of it.

And also I have residual anxiety over the "this is temporary while we build our future", since that was the line my first husband fed me for years until I finally realised that he wasn't doing anything to make the temporary workaholism go away. (If that's what he was really doing on all those late nights and it probably really was.) So I told my ex that things had to change because I was miserable NOW and had been for a long time and no changes were forthcoming and I left. And then I was pretty much like, fuck that plan, life is too short to be miserable in the present for the sake of an intangible future. Which I still think is true. But also I think Dave should go to nursing school and get his degree. And rationally I know that the school situation is actually different from persistent workaholism, and actually does have a built-in stopping point. But it's hard not to feel like I've been here before, and it ended badly.

Seriously, though, I shouldn't bag on my ex for working so damn much since I seem to be doing more of that lately myself. After I left my job at a marketing agency*, where I was super-overloaded with work, I swore not to put in ten or twelve hour days regularly again, that it just wasn't worth it. But! There have been shakeups at work, and I've got a new boss, who is only temporary but who I need to prove myself to. And actually temporary new boss is doing a really great job managing the team, which I am super ultra happy about, which means I am ending up putting in more hours because I'm really excited about the work I'm doing. And Dave isn't home anyway, so why not stay until 7? There's only cat barf waiting for me at home.

So to sum up, all this unhappiness is temporary and a direct by-product of the hard work Dave and I are doing to build our careers. So I am sucking it up, which is why I'm ranting here and not, like, telling Dave in a heavy tone that "we need to talk" or calling anyone who will take my calls to cry and rant and whine about how fucking hard I have it. But sucking it up kind of sucks, and it wears on you after a while, and this is a good place to vent. And rants from unhappy people with fucked up lives usually make the best blog reading/comedians/musicians.

Anyway. Off to cook risotto, which does involve stirring at the stove for 40 minutes but it's a comforting one-pot dish, and I rarely fuck it up, so it meets tonight's needs. I'm thinking about having a glass of wine with it (you know ... it's the risotto that needs the wine, not me, but as long as it's opened) but I'm a little worried that would lead to a migraine, since I have basically stopped drinking. Maybe if I drink a lot of water and stick to a single glass it'll be okay. Stupid vascular headaches. Ima risk it, though. Go me and my small life!

*I've learned since that heavy workloads are typical in an agency, for a variety of reasons. It sucks if you're good at your job, because along with a lot of very flattering and seductive praise and attention and possibly promotions and raises you're given all the problem accounts to "work your magic on", e.g. overdeliver on sales's overpromises to a disgruntled client that someone else has already angered. The other reward at an agency for doing good work is more work, and bigger accounts - you are the star so they bring you in on all the biggest and most important pitches and then the client, once they've signed the contract, naturally think they'll be working with you, which adds another client to your already too-long roster. I'm sure not all agencies are run like that, but it's common in the industry. There's a lot to like about being part of an in-house team.


Lisa said...

Sucking it up does suck, and it drains. But whaddaya gonna do? I guess.

I've emailed you some hypoallergenic cat food recipes that our vet gave me for Mr. Bonkers and his alleged Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Not like you need one more creature to cook for, but it's the least (literally) I can do.

Hang in there.

Rooie said...

Hey, I actually have what might be some useful information!

Gizmo was horking up a lot (related to his kidnet decline, I think) and the vet told us to give him half a regular Pepcid AC (or a quarter of a extra strength one) before dinner. And no more barf! Well, not completely no more because he is, after all, a cat. With kidney disease. But still...so much less barf!

Rooie said...

Uh...that should, of course, be "kidney decline," not "kidnet."

Cara deBeer said...

I'm totally going to try that. I think Inty just gets a sour stomach after a while.