Tag Archives: sister

Dude, I’m not that deaf.

I do have some hearing loss in my left ear (driving for years with your window down (no a/c) and going in excess of the 70mph speed limit’ll do that to you), and for whatever reason I struggle to understand people when they are in front of me, and I often read their lips a lot for cues, but shit people say from my side or behind me? I hear and understand every. single. word.

Thanksgiving was rough this year. I made a truly amazing dinner for my clients at work but primarily with no help, and was on my feet for 10+ hours doing it. I am already stressed out due to various work stressors- a toxic environment from my bosses who expect absolute compliance and give no room for error, fire people in a hot second and then call them idiots when they really just didn’t jive for whatever reason, where I am salaried but have been told that it is expected I work more than 40 hours/week and “that’s why you’re salaried, so you can work extra” which, um, no? Pretty sure that’s actually wage theft, or at the very least, rude. Where my going to HR and bringing up that something was particularly triggering to me during a meeting somehow was turned into a performance review where my job was threatened. Where I’m afraid to say or do anything out of line, and I just hide in my building, and run my program… which is being evaluated by CARF to determine if I will be certified next week. No pressure at all.

I was originally planning to go to my parents’ house after work on Wednesday, but I was so emotionally and physically wiped out I couldn’t even. We were going to do a 5K the next morning, and I had to be up by 6:30 to get there in time. Last year my stepdad bet my mom $50 that I wouldn’t do it, and physical fitness is an obsession in my family, and I have never measured up or been found worthy in that domain. I was so anxious and stressed out I didn’t fall asleep until 4 am, so obviously I slept right through my alarm. I then decided not to go to Thanksgiving either. I was so triggered and anxious, I was a mess. I ended up calling off work FMLA on Friday, and still feel guilty about it.

So this brings us to today- Saturday. My mom started the tradition of going and cutting down our own tree after she remarried, for just us- my brother, sister, mom and I, so every year we go out the weekend after Thanksgiving to cut down a tree. I was feeling up to people by then, so I came out to participate.

I know I can be a know-it-all sometimes, really. And I didn’t hear everything that was said, due to multiple tractors, chainsaws, and various other machines being used to trim, shake, and bundle trees being brought in, but after a random comment about how emu tastes like ham and how I know that (my Renaissance Faire in Ohio, sells “turkey legs” but they’re actually emu) and a mild disagreement that this was actually the case, but I am pretty confident in this fact, as turkey generally does not taste like ham, and turkey legs aren’t that HUGE, and it’s something of an open secret among the Faire folk.

As I was climbing down off the wagon, helping my nephew so he didn’t fall, I heard my mom say “..it’s like the Disney-Pixar thing.” Earlier in the day there had been a conversation in the car about Diney and Disney-Pixar being two separate elements, and their movies are totally different, so I had been clarifying who made “Inside Out,” Pixar or Disney. So I guess someone asked mom about me being, well, me, and needing to be right or clarifying things or whatever, and it was just… said like that. It hurt, but I didn’t say anything, partly because I wasn’t sure who had asked the initial question (pretty sure it was my brother-in-law) and I wasn’t sure what the initial question *was* though there aren’t too many possibilities, given the answer.

I avoided people for two days and texted my sister to see if mom was mad at me, after I was only able to give monosyllabic answers when my sister called to see if I was coming to Thanksgiving. (Pretty sure the entire conversation on my side consisted of five words. “Are you coming?” “No.” “Really?” “Yes.” “Are you okay?” “Not really.” “Okay, well, try to come to cut trees on Saturday, okay?” “Sure.”) I have been very anxious about if people are mad at me, if they are disappointed, walking on eggshells to try to survive, and I finally started to let my guard down again and then… that. A reminder that I can be a know-it-all and we’re just going to whisper it behind her back.

Except I’m not deaf back there.

I’m not sure if feelings were trying to be spared or what, but I was so upset. I wandered off for a while and cried, avoiding people and bonding with a very friendly, very patient draft horse in the petting zoo area of the farm. I just shrugged and pretended it didn’t happen when it was time to go, and tried to go back to normal, but I was right back on those damn eggshells.

Thankfully I have one more day to avoid people. Next week is CARF and I imagine I’ll be a disaster next weekend as well, and then I have to make Christmas happen for my residents and I’m sure I’ll end up doing that all on my own, too. :/


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Exercise, or something like it

I had a moment of great stupidity earlier this weekend. I was signed up to run (*cough*walk*cough*) in the Grand Rapids Color Run with my mom and sister. I was positive it was later this month, so I was planning to get all the gear I needed this weekend- I was going to find a suitable sports bra if it killed me (do I seriously need to wear six of the damn things to keep everything under control? Why don’t they make ’em strong enough to withstand the forces of my mighty breasts?) and some shorts of some kind to wear.

Yeah, no, it was the 1st.

I found this out sometime around midnight on the 31st. So I was vastly unprepared, and my foot isn’t completely healed (I was diagnosed with acute tendonitis in my right foot like, two months ago, and it still isn’t really working right. My doctor just ordered some x-rays to see if maybe there’s a stress fracture going on or something.) I felt really stupid and struggled with that for a bit, but I finally just shrugged it off and went to bed. My mom and sister both told me later that it was a VERY well attended thing, and they were glad I didn’t come because they did not think I would’ve done well with the crowds. I think I’ll stick with smaller 5ks from here on out, like the Turkey Trot we did last Thanksgiving. I’m ok with coming in dead last, but I don’t want to be suffocated by other people in doing so.

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What a difference a week makes

This time last week, I was falling apart. I was at my wit’s end, and desperate for a job, anything, even part-time, that paid better so I can finally begin the process of escape. Last Monday I saw an email from one of my many, many job recommendation programs, for a case management position nearby at a substance abuse residential program, and they did not require a license or master’s degree. I applied for it, hopeful.

Tuesday, I got a call inviting me in for an interview on Thursday. I didn’t work until 3:20 so we scheduled an interview at 11:30. I met with the woman who’d called me, the other case manager, and another woman whose job eludes me. We had an amazing conversation and it was the best interview I’ve ever had.

Friday morning, my phone rang at 9:30. I was getting ready for work, so I wasn’t able to answer it, but I called right back as soon as I was on my way to work. It was the woman who’d scheduled the interview with me, wanting to discuss the job. I had to leave a message and said I’d call back on my break, which is usually around 2:00. I called as soon as I got on break, and was offered the job. She told me that she was sad that it was only part time, but given my extensive experience with all kinds of things, especially the CARF certification process and chart auditing, she was definitely looking for some help in that department, and they’d been discussing other things I could do to make it full-time for me. It might not all be at the amazeballs $15.68 pay rate, but it’d be full time and I could escape Wendy’s. She said she’d called my manager from my first case management job, and the former coworker I’d trained there, who then got me the job at the second agency, and she said both had given me glowing reviews. But she’d called them AFTER she called me initially to offer me the job, so she had already made her decision before the good reviews cemented it.

I was very nearly in tears, and jumping around for joy. I called both of my references and thanked them for giving me good recommendations, as well as my mom, who was with my sister. Both were at the hotel they were staying at (they were on the other side of the state, as my sister is looking to move there, and so they were checking out apartments, after she had an interview on Friday for a job there.) Both were evidently jumping on the bed, and I was on speaker phone, so I have no idea how much any of us understood of the conversation, other than being giddy with joy.

To think, a week ago I wanted to give up, and now I got my birthday wish in the eleventh hour- a professional job.

Best. Birthday present. EVER.

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I guess I should do a year-in-review type post.

Basically… 2013 sucked. I broke up with my boyfriend of almost a year, I lost my job, I spent months and months in a depressive fugue, and had to have most of my cat’s teeth removed. I had to move back in with my parents and have my beloved Chihiro fostered out, where she still is after eight goddamn months because I can’t seem to get my shit together and find a job. My brother’s wife left him, taking the older boy who was hers but not my brother’s and dumping him on his paternal grandparents in Arizona, and thus my brother and his son ended up moving in to my parents’ house as well. I ran out of unemployment and started working part-time minimum wage, which saw to the end of my car insurance and the present state of “making payments on a car that’s been hanging out in the driveway for six months, and doing a lot of walking.” I don’t have enough money to buy anything for myself other than my medication, and even doing that involves a lot of robbing Peter to pay Paul. I’m paying what bills I HAVE to pay, perpetually a half-payment behind on Artoo, and doing my best to get at least to where I can see the sky again from under car debt, college debt, medical debt, cat medical debt, and money I owe to the IRS (which I haven’t filed last year on yet, because I owe over a thousand dollars due to having to cash out my 401K to live on, and there is no way in hell I can pay a thousand dollars on top of the other thousands I owe everywhere else. I’ll file for however many years I have to when it’ll come out even or I’m in a position to pay what I owe.) I’m still looking for a job, though I admit my game’s been pretty weak through the holidays because who the hell is hiring during the holidays?

There were some good points, though. I am finally, FINALLY through the multi-year hell of a major depressive cycle, after I don’t even know how many ER visits at this point. Somewhere in the ballpark of a half-dozen over two years, I think. It’s marvelous to wake up and realize I’m not depressed. Stressed, yes, but I no longer have been going to the automatic suicidal ideas when something isn’t going right. Not working, and then doing manual labor, seems to have given my brain the rest it needed to chill the fuck out. Being here with my parents, brother and nephew has been difficult on all parties, but something about the experience has helped, at least so far as the “I’m not really responsible for much other than cleaning and cooking occasionally” element is concerned. Being on umemployment was freeing. I got to go to my family’s upper peninsula cabin twice, when I hadn’t made it in the six years beforehand, and I got kidnapped to TFCon by a friend, which was my first convention in three years. I’ve been teaching myself American Sign Language, and I’ve been getting to spend a lot of time with my two-year-old nephew, which has been nice. I got to go to the Michigan Renaissance Festival once, which made missing my dear Ohio Renaissance Festival hurt a bit less, and I got to spend time with some friends I don’t see much due to them living in Michigan.

And then we rang in Christmas with an ice storm, and I rang in the new year with god-knows-what that is likely bronchitis, so now I’ve missed about forty hours of work in three weeks. *facepalm* I’ve got a 10% off sale going on in my shop. The code is ICESTORM. I swear I will get things shipped, I just turned around after setting up the sale and got hit with this nasty illness, so I’ve not been doing much other than lying in bed, hacking up a lung and living on a steady diet of cough drops and ibuprofen, acetaminophen, benedryl, sudafed, and an expectorant. Whoo, my life is thrilling.

I have made about 18 bracelets and have at least six more on my immediate list, though more might come, depending on when I run out of memory wire. I’m hoping to finish those up and get pictures tomorrow so I can get things up for sale. I’m waiting on charms for two commissions, as the mail has gotten a bit awful due to the horrible weather. We got about 16 inches of snow initially, then the wind started, and we got even more snow because why the hell not, and yeah. Climate change deniers are welcome to kiss my (very cold) ample derriere.

I miss Cincinnati like nothing I’ve ever missed before. It’s a physical ache. I think about it constantly, and how much I miss all of the things I used to be able to do. I miss my sister and I miss my best friend and I miss my cat and I miss my friends and I miss my entire life down there. Now that I’m back to looking for jobs, I’ll be looking in Cincinnati again as well, though I’m also looking in Indianapolis, and on the west side of Michigan, where things seem to be doing better, economy-wise. (Likely because they weren’t as dependent on the auto industry as eastern Michigan had been.) What would be nice would be finding something localish so I could stay at home, finish paying off a good chunk of debt, get new furniture to replace the stuff that was thrown away, and get back into my own apartment. Cincinnati might have to wait simply by necessity of getting things back together again. Alternately, finding a job and getting a roommate down in Cincinnati might not be a horrible thing, though having had the same roommate for ten years makes it hard to imagine finding someone to live with who wasn’t also my best friend.

I’m looking forward to 2014, because seriously, it can only go up from here.

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So, so tired

The holidays are exhausting. I have no money to buy gifts; what money I had to get stuff to make presents was from the commission I had from my mom to make jewelry for my sisters and myself for Christmas. I bought what was needed to make stuff for my nieces and nephew, and to make my brother a hat and scarf, which he already has, because it’s cold and he didn’t have those things. Other than that, everyone’s just getting a card.

I hate not being able to make things for everyone like I usually do, though I’m finding myself of two minds about it anyway; I pour so much of myself into what I make, and my family is generally “Oh, that’s pretty,” and that’s the end of it. My mom is the one who’s the best about it, as she wears pretty much only jewelry my stepdad buys for her, or I make for her. (And on one occasion, jewelry my stepdad bought that I then modified for her.) My sister, on the other hand, won’t wear anything but silk or pashmina scarves, and doesn’t really wear jewelry, or any of the other things I make. I have completely run out of ideas for her. My brother, on the other hand, is enjoying the hell out of his new hat, along with his 1-Up Mushroom hat and Yoda hat I’ve made for him on previous occasions, and he is looking forward to the Minion hat I am making for my nephew. Six of one, half dozen of the other, I guess.

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As if third wheel wasn’t bad enough, try being fifth wheel for a while

So my sister and her now-husband returned from their honeymoon in Ireland laaaaate Thursday night/Friday morning, and were here for a few days to just rest before heading back down to Cincinnati on Sunday. It was great to see them, and they’re so very happy, but it’s hard not to feel a bit maudlin about it. I wasn’t necessarily jealous, but it’s hard to watch them be so very couple-y and lovey on each other, and have their ducks so nicely in a row, where here I am, functionally homeless, my cat, who is very much my family, in another state, and still unemployed, with no hope in sight. Anywhere we went, it was my parents, my sister and her husband, and me, so it was two couples plus their awkward fifth wheel. I wanted to cry periodically throughout the weekend, and I wasn’t sleeping well, as they took the fan from my room as my sister’s husband can’t sleep without a fan and had not slept well their entire trip.

Of course, I can’t sleep without a fan, either, so I had trouble sleeping the entire weekend, not falling asleep until very late and then sleeping most of the morning, and getting left behind for various outings. On Sunday morning I didn’t actually fall asleep until somewhere around 8 AM after repeatedly getting up to read, or make some jewelry, and finally talking to my mom at the wee hours of morning. I talked with her about how I was feeling, and she agreed that it was hard to not compare yourself, and she didn’t make a big deal about it as I was afraid she was going to, so that was reassuring. We talked about bills, too, and about how I want to get my debt resolved. Mom explained that as far as bankruptcy court is concerned, medical debt is at the bottom of the list, so while it’s good that I want to get those bills paid, I need to stop stretching myself so thin to pay everything and just worry about them one at a time. I don’t want to get sent to collections, but I’m unemployed right now, so I don’t know what else to do.

I did apply at the bank on Friday, and the job is unfortunately part-time, but it did give me a couple ideas for additional places to look for employment in town. Looking online turned up a few jobs but I will continue to go hand out my resume in person while dressed to the nines and hope it lands me something. At least the heatwave broke and it’s not hot as hell outside; on Friday I was in a pantsuit and I drove the four blocks to the bank simply so I didn’t melt into a puddle on the way.

I’ll be heading to Canada for TFCon on Thursday, now. I had been thinking about Wednesday but I remembered I have group, and I missed it last week due to being on nephew duty, so I really need to go. My family has the cabin the week after, but three of my nieces and my nephew will be up there, so I’m not sure I’ll go up when I get back from Canada. I’ve already been to the cabin once this year, and my family has another week in August where only my oldest niece would be going. As much as I want to see my nephew experience the cabin for the first time, I don’t think being around four kids all under the age of five for most of a week will do very much for my mental health. I also really need to be looking for work.

I’m getting scared, but there are options. I can always go to Wendy’s, or I can do temp work, as much as that makes me twitchy and nervous, and if I can land at least part-time at a higher wage, it’ll help. Mom wants me to put my name on lists for sliding-scale apartments, which makes sense, as I could end up in this spot all over again, so I hopefully would be able to retain my apartment even if I lose a job again in the future.

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Finally getting some things done

So we *finally* switched my phone over to my parents’ plan, so now it is $15/month instead of $70, though I will still have to find $200 somewhere plus the charges for this past month to give to T-Mobile. I really would rather not, but enh. At least I still have my phone number.

The guy at Verizon asked if I was looking for a job when I said something about “at least I don’t have to change my number on my resume” and he said that the bank in town- that is about four blocks from my house- is looking for two tellers, as his girlfriend works there and was just promoted, vacating a spot. He recommended I go there in professional dress with my resume and see what I can do.

Definitely will be doing that, for sure. I’ve never worked at a bank, but I was a cashier for 7 years. I know my way around a til, at least, and I was very good at what I did. My drawer was usually perfect or very nearly so, even after five, six hours of nonstop craziness. A bank is a little more sedate and won’t require me to make change quite so fast, so I’m sure I could do well. 🙂

(Also, pennies and foreign change are my FAVORITE. I have jars.)

My mom and stepdad had a conversation about how much better I’m doing, as when I first got here, there was no way anybody would’ve been comfortable with me having my nephew all day like I did Tuesday. I can feel it, too. I’m less depressed and more motivated (though I still take every opportunity to sleep that is presented.) I’m starting to keep a more normal sleep schedule, and am getting out to do things. I’ve been making jewelry like crazy, though I’m presently in sanding hell and still have about a hundred charms to go. :/

My sister and her husband will be getting back from their honeymoon to Ireland late Thursday night, and coming here for a few days before returning to Cincinnati. I definitely short sheeted my sister’s bed. I feel no guilt and really that’s the only reason I’m still up- waiting to hear the squawking about it.

I am sort of evil when left to my own devices.

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