Saturday, May 10, 2008

Why is May Always so Hard?

Someone asked me in my comments if I'm OK. The east answer is no. I'm not OK. I mean I am fine physically. I'm alive and I walk and talk and eat and sleep. But I'm not OK. I want to die. I want to cease living. I want to not hurt so much anymore. I want to be a better person for Bob and for myself and it seems I cannot get better.

I almost just closed this blog rather than post anymore. I didn't want to write about what's been going on. It's hard to put into words what I am feeling and it's hard to write it without it sounding like a whining teenager mooning about life at 15. Still, writing helps me. It helps me sort things out. It helps me gain perspective. It helps me to feel better. So here I am writing about the suck that is life right now. I hope it helps me feel better because I'm about full up with pain and depression right now and could use some good news.

So the fire happened a little over 2 weeks ago. We lived in a hotel for 1 whole week. We had to buy a bunch of stuff because never having gone through something like this, we gave almost everything to the clothing restoration people and didn't think about needing towels, hot pads, washclothes, work shoes, underwear, socks, and a shower curtain. I did submit it all on our insurance claim and we will be reimbursed but it took a huge chunk of our already tight budget to do it.

We found out on the Monday after the fire that the building vents were getting cleaned. The fire happened on a Thursday. Why weren't the vents all cleaned on Friday? Who knows. Instead, smoky, sooty air circulated throughout our building for 4 days before the vents were cleaned. Not only that but the vent directly outside our apartment has not been cleaned at all. We mentioned it every day once we returned from the hotel to the apartment. We heard apologies and excuses and nothing was done. Whenever we would leave the apartment we could smell the smoky air smoldering just outside our place. It even crept into our apartment. We just had it cleaned and now it was smelling because of the vent. This week I was talking to our insurance claim rep and I mentioned the vent. She asked questions and ended up calling out apartment manager. The apartment manager showed up at our door a couple of hours later with the fire marshal in tow. Bob said they looked around and left. The next day the vent cover was replaced but it's clear the vent has still not been cleaned. There is still a strong smoky odor coming from the vent and it still smells in our hallway and subsequently our apartment entryway. Gah.

Tomorrow is mothers day and I am having a dreadful time of it. Bob casually asked if I wanted to go to church and I about bit his head off saying, "NO!" He asked why and I reminded him of the day. He apologized and left the room. Poor guy. I'm really having a hard time with the not conceiving/being a mother thing and don't know quite what to do about it right now.

In addition to my feelings of failure and inadequacy about not being a mother things at work have taken a terrible turn making me feel even more failurific and despondent. The first full day back at the office after we moved from the hotel back into our apartment, my boss called me into her office and out of the blue issued me a formal written warning for poor job performance. I was embarrassed and devastated. I still am. This makes job hunting within the company harder because I now have to disclose this to whomever chooses to interview me. I can spin it that where I am isn't a good fit and my skill set is better suited to the job I'm interviewing for but it's so competitive out there. If a manager has a choice between 25 candidates without job performance issues and me, who do you think they will choose?

The written warning has also negatively affected my motivation and work ethic. I cry every morning upon waking. I get home, make dinner, clean up, and go to bed. I loathe my job and my place at the office. I heard back from one of the jobs I interviewed for and they hired someone with 4 years of property and casualty experience. I have not heard back from the other job I interviewed for even though last week was supposed to be the deadline for hearing back. I even emailed the manager a light note asking if he found someone to fill his position yet. I didn't hear back. I can only imagine that he spoke to my manager and she mentioned the written warning to him.

All of this makes me wonder what in the hell I'm doing with my life. How have I messed things up so badly? I make barely enough to keep up afloat and it seems moving up is not in the cards right now. I can't quit because our healthcare comes from this job. I wish to God they would just fire me so at least I can collect unemployment. My life is a drudgery. A toiling, horrible dead end and I see no way to change it right now without putting Bob's health in jeopardy. How did I get here? I had such good hopes, dreams, and intentions. I wanted things to be better for us and instead I just end up making things worse.

So no. I'm not OK. I'm stuck. I want to change. I want things to be different, better, greater but I am afraid to move because of all the bad stuff that's happened lately. And yet I also think that I can't change because of me. That I mess up everything. I make things worse. I can't do anything right. Despite my best efforts at work, I've been written up for poor performance. Despite applying and interviewing for jobs left and right, I've not been hired out of the department I'm in now. Despite graduating from college I'm no closer to knowing what I want to do with my life or how to find a job in the Communications field. (Actually, what I want to do with my life is what I've always wanted to do. That's never changed but our circumstances have and I can't be a stay at home mom to a passel of kiddos.) Despite medical intervention and our best efforts, we've been unable to conceive. It may be the age of my eggs. It may be Bob's swimmers. Yet somehow I can't help but feel like a complete failure in my inability to conceive and bear a child. That may be my biggest hurt in all of this after all. No matter what, if everything else were fine and dandy, I cannot conceive and bear a child. I'm not OK and I don't know how to get better.


Kathy said...

I know how badly you want to be a mom. Have you ever thought about adopting an older child? Someone who would need you as much as you need him or her? I don't mean to be harsh. But we have best friends who only wanted to conceive a child of their own. And still, to this day, feel terrible for not having a family. I think of all the people I know who've adopted, and they're right where they want to be. And if Bob's illness keeps you from adopting a baby? (I have no idea) I can't imagine that it would block adopting an older child in need. I'm pretty sure your God would be very happy with this.

Laura said...

I'm so sorry things are so tough right now. I don't have your same issues, as I do have kids, but I have others -- make a good salary and yet because of a stupid choice we made (buying a second house we didn't really need, couldn't sell the first), we're going to be filing for bankruptcy any day. My husband doesn't have Bob's issues, but he does have major depression and an anxiety disorder that prevents him from working, at least for now. I don't tell you all of this to say my problems are just the same as yours, but just that everyone, no matter how happy they look to you, have issues and problems. We look happy from the outside looking in too, but we're going through a lot now and our family and friends have no clue. When I'm feeling down I think about what I do have that I'm grateful for, and that, as REM said in one song, Everybody Hurts. It makes it easier to go through it when I know I have company, even if their issues are different than mine. Sorry for the ramble - it's been a long time since you've posted about the fertility treatments, are you done with that? If you're not, I'd keep trying, but if in your heart you know you are done with that, I'd try adoption too - at least check out some informational sites on it, go to some meetings, etc.

Dawn said...

{{{hugs}}}..... I am so sorry you are feeling this way right now. I have no words of wisdom for you, but please know you do have people here who care... even though we have never met in person before. I'll be keeping you and Bob in my thoughts and prayers.....

Joan65 said...

Amy, You have your share of hard times lately. I can't imagine how horrible it must feel to have your apartment complex on fire. You have made it through, you and Bob and the kitties, and I know you are grateful for that. I think you might still be feeling the let down after your college graduation. I felt lost when I graduated. I was also in a dead end job. I eventually got laid off from that job and moved on.

I know what it's like to work at a place you hate. I did that last year, and I was quite miserable and even sick a lot too. But I look back on that experience, and I'm amazed at how much I accomplished.

You have a lot on your plate being the breadwinner of your family. Is there any kind of work Bob could do at home? Perhaps you and Bob could start your own business at home to supplement your salary. Just a thought!

I am praying for happier days for you and Bob. It was mean for your supervisor to give you such a letter at this difficult time in your life. You are a smart woman -- I just know good times are ahead for you and Bob. I hope you will continue with your blog. I appreciate your sharing your life.

Natalie said...

I know how you are feeling - some similiar issues, not exactly the same - but I feel like everyday I get up, put on a mask and go about work, errands, etc. I feel that no one can possibly understand that under that mask that I wear for the outside world - is someone who feels like a loser. I am not sure what to do either, I feel very stuck. I literally take it one day and sometimes one hour at a time to get through a job that I hate but am stuck in for now. It is hard. I am so with you and my heart goes out to you. It is really hard when you don't feel like you have lots of options or control over things. I just turned 40 last September and this is not how I imagnined it would be. Hang in there Amy - there are people out there who do understand and sometimes you have just got to hang on to that. You aren't alone. Doesn't make you necessarily feel better. But you aren't alone.

Mary said...

I had a horrible job once, where things suddenly came at me out of left field. I left that job in 1987, and I still regularly have nightmares about it.

I hope you can find something else, or work something else out. There is nothing worth being so miserable every day.

Hugs to you.