Monday, January 24, 2011

Ravaged Character

I feel like I'm going to throw up.  I am a wreck.  I'm not sure if I'm a nervous wreck, or just a wreck, but I am not feeling okay.  I feel like the amount of stress I am under due to my family and living situations is literally starting to flatten me against the earth.  I have no appetite, and I feel like I'm losing weight by the minute.  I know that stress is a major cause of unplanned weight-loss, and I love the idea of losing weight without having to go to the gym or manage my diet, so I'll admit to having some pleasure with the stress.  It's sick, I know.  But I can admit to it, so I have to own it.

Let's start with reason #1 for my nerves:  Phoenix.  I worry about him more than I worry about myself.  I don't want him stressed out.  I know exactly how he will act if I leave him in an unfamiliar place for too long.  The entire weekend I ruminated on where I'd be leaving him today.  It's not that I don't trust Tiffany or her family with him, it's just that he worries and it's needless.  I don't want him to think that I'm leaving him someplace, never to return again.  He's a very smart dog but he's a very nervous dog.  I wrestled with where I would be leaving him while I was at work today for three straight days.  I finally settled on taking him to my parents house before work this morning, so he could spend the day there.  If nothing else, he'll be comfortable.  Lately my dad has been working from home, and is there all day long, but this week he's teaching and won't be at home during the day.  My mom works all day on Mondays and Tuesdays and then Wednesday mornings, so she will be able to hang out with him on Thursday this week.  Tomorrow I'll probably still leave him at the house with my older sister.  My main concern is that he is comfortable.  The more time we spend at Tiffany's house, the more comfortable he'll be there, but I don't want to push him too hard too fast.

Last night, I made the decision to leave Phoenix with Tiffany while I met EMT friend for drinks, and I started crying when I left the house.  Just like a mommy leaving her new baby for the first time, or leaving her kid at daycare for the first time.  The anticipation is almost always worse than the actual act.  Nonetheless I cried.  On top of that, I was already upset over leaving him, but I also realized I needed to get in touch with my family about my decision to just have them pay the ticket and forget about it instead of having my sister go to jail, and when I called the house, my dad answered the phone and he sounded angry.  I know from talking to my little sister, who'd spoken to my older sister twice yesterday that my dad was upset, but we didn't know if it was because of the whole speeding ticket thing, or because of everything that happened on Saturday evening.  Either way, I told him what my decision was and the whole conversation lasted probably all of 20 seconds.  Knowing he is still upset managed to upset me even more, and I cried about halfway into Boulder.

Reason #2 for my nerves: This whole fucked up situation with my sister getting a speeding ticket and telling the cop she was me.  The payment for the ticket is due today.  I had ten days from the date of the letter to resolve the matter and the letter was dated January 14th.  I've been back and forth trying to decide what to do about the whole thing, and as much as I want my sister to have to spend time in jail so she can see that there really are consequences to the stupid shit she does, I can't in good conscience take her away from her kids.  It's not necessarily her time with the kids I'm concerned for, it's the time that the kids get to spend away from their dad and his parents, with whom they live.  They get a lot of really terrific stimulation at my parents house, in the form of one-on-one interaction with all of us, and they have tons of great toys and my parents are always buying them more, and they get read to, and they have educational toys as well as craft time and baking cookies and cakes.  They're not just plopped down in front of the TV or the computer all day, they're forced to interact with everyone and play, and we all fear that for simplicity's sake, they are in front of a TV or the computer a good part of their days with their dad.  The bottom line is that I care for the kids.  Which is exactly what my parents care about and that is why they're supporting my sister despite everything she's put us all through. 

I stupidly did not read the letter from the Town of Superior in it's entirety and only discovered this morning that the money that needs to be paid for the ticket must be in the form of cash or a cashier's check.  They won't accept a credit card or personal check.  This really screws with the entire situation because both of my parents are at work, and I am at work, which leaves my sister who is at home without a vehicle.  I figured that I could probably take advantage of my sister's "guilt" over the whole thing and have her figure out a way to get the money to the right place by 5pm today, and I was right.  She's taking the bus into Boulder to come and get my car, which she will use to drive over to my mom's work, get the money (probably a check she will have to cash), and take it over to the Superior Courthouse or wherever it's supposed to go.  I feel terrible that she has to take the bus to get into Boulder.  Terrible.  Like, on the verge of tears guilty awful.  Even though none of this is my fault.

Reason #3 for my nerves: My moving out has created an enormous amount of tension between me and my parents.  When I dropped off Phoenix this morning, both my parents were really excited to see him, but my dad was still really kind of cold with me.  My mom was fine.  I explained to them that I just wasn't comfortable leaving Phoenix there for 10 hours right away, which I'm not.  At the same time, I don't want to hurt Tiffany's feelings or make her feel like I don't trust her, because that's not the thing at all.  It's my knowledge of my puppy's quirks and trying to make it so he doesn't have any reason to be freaking out and possibly destroying things.  Especially after I've talked him up and showed everyone how great he is when I'm around.  But back to the tension with my parents - I don't like it and I don't know when it is going to go away.  I don't know if my dad is still mad from Saturday night, or if it's something new, or if it's my indecisiveness about what to do with the speeding ticket thing, or what.

Reason #4 for my nerves: I feel like an intruder at Tiffany's.  I don't want to be in the way, or monopolize the TV or the couch or the bathroom, and I don't want anyone to end up hating me because I was in the way (I'm talking about her kids, not Tiff.  She and I are pretty solid I think.).  I think I'll feel enormously better once I get paid next week and I can afford to buy my own food and other things, but I hate feeling like I'm living off of them right now.  I'm trying to pretend I'm just a house guest, visiting for a week, like when I stayed at Former Besty's house in Washington.  I'm just having a hard time with it.  What I do like is that even though she has kids, they're much more quiet than my nephews.  They haven't waken me up yet (I'm already awake because I can't sleep because I'm so stressed).  I feel like I have my independence, I can come and go whenever I want and not have to worry about when I'll be back or who I'll be inconveniencing by being gone.

So that's where I am today.  In my mind.  Not great.  I feel like I'm being stretched beyond my breaking point, although I have yet to break.  Crying helps - a little here and a little there - but it's not any kind of solution.  Also, I'm exhausted because I'm not sleeping well at all.  I wish I could just hit pause on life and get enough sleep and have enough down time so that I'm ready to handle whatever obstacle will inevitably come next.  That's not an option, though so I need to do the best I can to just do the best I can and that's all.  Having some extra money coming will help, but that's not for at least another week.

Ugh.  Watching Conan isn't even helping today.

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