Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I'm not having a particularly good day today. And it's only 11:30 in the morning.

On one hand, it's nice to be at home with my youngest. She goes to day camp two days a week. The rest of the time, including most of my weekend time, she's with me. Partner's oh-so-important side projects seem to take up a lot of his time, leaving me with the bulk of child care responsibilities. And this child does not amuse herself. She's a verbal processor (as is previously mentioned partner) who constantly needs to be entertained.

My time to myself is squeezed into two precious days a week. In those two days, I still have my day to day - the laundry, the front lawn, the bathrooms, the floors, the cooking, and often the after-dinner clean up. I get an hour, may be two hours to actually sit and be with myself.

And then there's the eighteen-year old, who lives on her own, but hasn't quite figured out how to be independent. She wants a ride here. She needs a ride there. Boyfriend works nights and needs rides at odd hours, when he can't get a bus. All well and good, but there are days when I wake up and think "enough is enough." Today was one of those days.

And so, while I was driving her to work, because she slept in and then the bus went by her or something, I told her that she needed to find a way to be more independent. That I was not going to be available to give her rides whenever she needed them. That I had very little time to myself and I was feeling a tremendous amount of pressure from different directions. Something needs to change.

She cried. She wailed. She told me that I was being unfair because I promised to help her out whenever she needed it, whatever that meant. I do not actually recall saying that. She'd had a really bad weekend (and she did) and the last thing she needed today was a lecture from me, because they always made her feel bad.

Said daughter exited the car crying.

And called home twenty minutes later to tell me that she'd been sent home from work because she couldn't calm down and could I please not lecture her while I'm driving her to work because it makes me feel bad.

Okay, then.

Oh, and can I still drive her to her job interview at four o'clock?

I'd better not make her cry. Or else she won't get a full time job and she'll move back home and I'll have to give up the only space in the house that's really mine, and I'll go completely and totally insane, in a slow and decent fashion as befits a middle-aged woman.

So I'm in the laundry room and the partner comes in and says "Give me a hug,' whereupon he takes one. And I say "Oh, all right." And he says "What, don't you want one?"

Not really. But no one asked me.

And then I start to tell him about my frustrations, that I have no time to myself, and about the daughter, yadda yadda.

"Well" he interrupts me," there is one area that you can control. You can stop giving M rides here, there and everywhere."

I know this. I've just spent time and energy explaining this to her and then defending my position. I tell him that I already know this, that I'm feeling upset and I just need someone to talk to.

"Well. if you don't want to hear my advice, then maybe you should just stop talking. You're not a very pleasant person to be around when you are feeling these pressures."

"Well, I'm just venting."

"If you're going to vent, then I just wont be around you anymore."

Whereupon, he leaves the room and goes downstairs. He works at home in the basement.

Message: There is no room in my life for me to feel, and I'm an idiot for thinking that anyone might want to hear what I have to say.

When did my life stop becoming about me? Why is it that the only value I seem to have is what I can bring to the others in my life?

I listen to him rant and vent all the time. He's depressed, he doesn't like his job, he goes on and on about things that really don't interest me at all. I listen because I care about him and I want to hear what he has to say. Unfortunately I am not being afforded the same consideration.

I feel very small and alone today.

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