At some point yesterday, I think I checked out. I'm not sure how else to put it. I took a nap yesterday afternoon, right as the kids were all getting up from their naps, and I had some intense dreams and when I woke up, I just didn't want to have to deal with the kids or my sisters or my parents.
I think my patience is exhausted. It's just too much to have to keep my patience with my older sister, and at the same time stay pleasant with the kids, and attempt to be helpful to my parents. Over the summer, we took a trip out to Iowa for a family reunion type thing, which included both sisters, my sister's (then) husband, and the three kids. Any trip we've ever taken as a family, just the five of us, has been mostly disastrous and I can easily lay the blame on my older sister and my dad. When one of them gets upset for any reason, the addition of the other one is like adding gasoline to a fire. For the most part, the trip to Iowa was okay, and any problems that occurred were between my older sister and her husband. However, I got very frustrated because my sisters and my mom (and my dad would almost always tag along) would take multiple (read: probably about 20 total) smoke breaks throughout the day, and because I don't smoke, I was the one left with all three kids. In the hotel, at my aunt's house, at my grandmother's house, in the car on the road when we'd stop to eat, everywhere. I love those kids to death, and if anything ever happened, I'd take them on as though they were my own, but given that my sisters and my parents were physically available and there, being left with the kids 20-something times each day was unacceptable.
I felt that way a lot this weekend, too. I got really tired of being the one left inside the house with the three kids. I try really hard to be gracious all the time, but I think I must have run out of grace because I just wanted to scream at my parents and my sisters for not giving a second thought to my wants and needs instead of only thinking of their own.
I gave a lot of thought to addiction this weekend. I've often said that I have a predilection towards alcoholism because it's in my genes. I've had weeks or months at a time where I've had at least one alcoholic beverage every day, but I always quit after about three drinks. I hate how I feel after being intoxicated, and so I tend to not get too far drunk because I'm always wary of having to feel that way later. I rarely drink to get drunk, I drink because it calms and quiets my busy brain and perhaps to feel some sense of control. So because I guess I am averse to addiction, I have a very hard time comprehending it. I guess the closest feeling I ever have to being addicted to something is sleep. I get very upset and frustrated when my parents or my sisters indulge in their addictions - pot and cigarettes - especially when it leaves me in a lurch, or when they allocate money towards paying for pot or cigarettes when the money could go towards payments on their credit cards so we'll stop getting incessant phone calls to the house from creditors, or towards the mortgage payment for the house, or towards anything but what it ends up going towards.
I know that I can't control other people's actions - that's something that I struggle with on a daily basis, especially being stuck in the situation I'm stuck in. I feel so completely out of control and helpless. I feel like no matter what I do, or don't do, it's the wrong thing. I want to get out of here so badly, but I am trapped. I'm financially chained to this hell for another couple of months at least, and I don't know if I can stick it out. I'm tired of listening to my sister yell at her kids, I'm tired of not being able to find solace in my own home, I'm tired of watching my parents enable my sister, I'm tired of listening to my parents complain about not having any money, and I am most tired of not being able to do anything to change any of it.
It's times like this that I wish I had some kind of addiction with which I could temporarily escape this feeling of absolute helplessness. I have nothing, and because I am who I am, I'm not likely to just up and leave the house to feel better; Phoenix doesn't deserve to be left here and there aren't many places I can take him with me. So I figure that if he has to be stuck here, so do I. It's not fair for me to leave him. I'm very perturbed because he's so sensitive to the whole atmosphere of the house, and my sister gets so agitated so easily, that he gets very visibly upset and there's just about nothing I can do about that, either. And when my sister gets agitated, my dad gets agitated, and then the whole feeling of the house changes to that of frustration and tension.
I'm tired of being so affected by all of this, and I'm tired of having to fight it off. Right now, this very minute, I'm allowing it to sort of take over, because I'm in a safe place and I'm just exhausted from fighting it off every second of every day. I know that it's just a feeling, and it's temporary, and it will go away, and as long as I focus on that aspect of it, I will be okay. I need help, I just don't know where or how to get it.