Rambling & more
Irritability? I got some. Blessings? An abundance. I want to live in the blessings, like sitting in the middle of a field of tulips, enjoying each gorgeous color. That’s not working for me presently. AAAAAAaaaaargh!!! I do have positive things happening in my life and will share them but first I have to unload a big pile of shit that’s covering my joy.
Particularly, I’m grieving having our home to ourselves. Last September, my mother-in-law moved into our basement after her husband died and she had nowhere to go. That came with and continues to create stress for me, which I must learn to manage. I’m not going into details because my husband reads my blog sometimes. Suffice to say, I wish she didn’t live with us. She really can’t afford anything else and she’s in. Recently, she bought some cupboards to be installed in the family room, now her residence. Sink to follow. This is a great asset to our home value, I know, having a wet bar there. Nonetheless, this was the point of no return for me. I knew then she is here to stay. She’s 78 and in good health aside from arthritis.
Even with my mother-in-law moved in, the house was pretty quiet. Not since my 23-year-old son moved in with us for a life reset. He and I get along well sometimes but other times he goes off on tangents or begins arguing with me. He speaks to me disrespectfully in tone and words along the way. When he first moved back in, I kept everything to myself and pretended to listen when I had no idea what he was talking about. He’s getting his shit together – got a good job, paid all his tickets, and he’s getting car insurance today. So, I am not keeping thoughts to myself. This is not the mother-son relationship from when he was 19 and got out on his own. He’s an adult, so I don’t want to be the sacrificing, organizing, explaining, worrying mom anymore. I’m done with that. He simultaneously talks to me disrespectfully, which he did not do even as a teenager, while also coming to me as his mom. If he was respectful, I’d be right there with him. I’m not going to hang out and listen to anyone who crosses boundaries. I blew up today, using the F word, and clearly expressing my position. We’ll see. Ugh.
The counselor I’ve been talking with for a year-and-a-half completely FAILED me a couple weeks ago, ffs. The session began by me letting her know I wanted to talk about something very important to me. I don’t think I’ve done that during our entire therapeutic relationship. That should’ve caught her attention, along with the first couple of times I stopped laying out what was concerning me to ask her what she was doing, because as I spoke she was looking down, side-to-side, appearing to be typing after I specifically asked her not to take notes for this. Next, as she continued to look down, I heard clicking. “What are you doing???” I thought she said, “Clearing my email.” Oh, Lordy. Having been a counselor, I told her I couldn’t believe the way she was behaving and hung up. She managed to insert, “I didn’t say I was clearing my email. I was cleaning my fingernails,” as if that made any difference. I left her a voice message two days later indicating I would make the next appointment if she was prepared to address how she behaved. I also explained that it wasn’t important to me whether she was messing around with emails or her fingernails. I told her to cancel if she wasn’t open to discussing her shortcomings in our last. (paraphrasing)
Tuesday, I got the text to confirm for Wednesday. I did. Lordy, Lordy. I started by telling her what she’d done that had been problematic to me. She started in with, “It’s important to you to feel safe,” or “You need to feel like I’m not distracted.” I am not ashamed to say I let her have it, without raising my voice. “No, you’re not turning this back on me. You! You! how did YOU contribute to blowing up the therapeutic relationship we built for a year-and-a-half, leading me to feel like I could get so vulnerable?” Then, I was quiet, waiting for her to explain herself. The minutes of silence as she seemed to consider stretched and ended with, “I don’t know,” to every question I asked. “What would you have done differently?” “Why did I feel like you were distracted?” etc.
I’d given her a chance. I thought she’d come with the goods, especially after I gave her the voice mail heads up. Well, I supervised student teachers for a few years, asking what they felt good about and what, if anything, didn’t go as planned. Then, I’d break it down, giving much positive reinforcement but also discussing actions or words they needed to address. I’d given my counselor ample opportunity to reflect on the previous breakdown, with poor response, so I started on the review and evaluation, step by step as the total fail had occurred. I can’t tell you how many times I pleaded her to not be a robot-counselor with programmed responses and the inability to talk about themselves as part of the process. I called bullshit. I called for her to be human. Finally, finally, finally, she told me she’d been thinking about it since it occurred. She took responsibility for her shortcomings. Praise be!
At the conclusion of our session, I told her this would be a week-by-week decision but I was willing to see what she’s got, telling her I wanted her to come to our next appointment with ideas about how to repair or rebuild a therapeutic relationship that’s blown up. I finished by saying, “I won’t be bringing any ideas.” Two days from now will be the first time we meet since. I know it sounds counterintuitive but I was energized by the encounter. I was able to use my counseling, teaching, and supervising skills after being unemployed from anything in my profession for nine years now. It felt good, and that’s how I’m going to approach our exchanges, deciding at any time to be done. Lordy!
And I try to focus on the goodness in my life, here and now. I had my little bathroom from 1978 updated to my spa and it’s wonderful. The bedroom is happening now. My husband and I realized how important it is to my wellness that we make my space a beautiful suite. For the first time in my life, I’m getting a bedroom set! Woot woot! Artwork that had been set aside during deadline remodel has been put up on our bedroom walls and I purchased a beautiful oil painting I’d admired online for more than a year. It wasn’t expensive; it’s a mass production picture. I don’t care. This one is mine. The new furniture arrives at the end of May and I’m so excited! I saved some decor items I like to consider later.
I sit or lie on my bed and look at the beautiful painting and ironwork pieces with a smile on my face. Lovely that being alone or with my husband in my bedroom is my restful, happy place.
p.s. Worn out and didn’t proofread. Really needed to vent. Thank you.