Jump to content

Open Club  ·  79 members  ·  Free



Recommended Posts

Ten Years After


It's been 10 years since I had my work-related mental meltdown.


Today I will go to work at an office job that I like well enough, but don't particularly care about or have "passion" for because it pays the bills and they treat me reasonably well. Already today, I have told a VO client that I'm not going to lower the rate I quoted because the rate I quoted was fair & reasonable and my talent & experience & time deserve to be decently compensated.


I don't know that these are actions and attitudes I would've seen from me 10 years ago. Definitely a change. The people who create BS language would probably call it "achieving work/life balance." I say why give 100% when you can get by just fine giving 75% (or less)?


"You can't keep bailing me out," he said, unprompted the other day. I was a little surprised to hear that, but part of me was going, "I'm glad you realize that's what's been happening. Next step is doing something about it."


Clearly, I woke up this morning with my head in a very strange space. I will blame the 10 year anniversary of the work-related crash. Despite all the therapy I have had regarding that episode and that place, I can still stir up some anger about the whole thing. Maybe I always will. At the same time, I can also say that's probably the only thing that would've blasted me out of there anyway...because of that whole "having passion for work" thing. It's probably the only thing that would've been able to change my thoughts about work and employers and jobs and working for other people. So, in the larger scheme of things good came of it. However, thinking back to the actual crash....I still get angry. For all the screaming and crying and cursing I have done with 4 different therapists about this over the last ten years, it still makes me angry. For all the "validation" that I was in a highly dysfunctional and insane situation with people who didn't give a about me--just what I could do for them....it still makes me angry.


I do things differently now because of what happened then. I'm completely convinced that doing things differently was one of several factors that played into being budget cut back in 2008. I mean, really, when you've been told you have to eliminate jobs, and you've got your choice to keep a compliant person who "loves" their job and will do whatever laundry list of tasks you ask them to do to keep it....and someone who has an idea of how much effort they're going to give and won't give more without being compensated, who is going to get asked to leave? No duh. The difficult one is going.


The older I get, the more "difficult" I've gotten. I have developed some very definite ideas about what I will/will not do and what works/doesn't work for me. I got those ideas mostly through trying to be things I'm not.


Eh, whatever. A lot of stray thoughts and free-floating angst this morning...and I'm just about out of time for piddling around with them.


Off to face whatever today brings.


Happy (?) ten year anniversary to me.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...
  • Replies 1.2k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Must We?


Earlier this week, someone at the office gig realized we were not playing Christmas music. Then they changed the channel on the satellite music receiver to the all-holiday station. We're into, like, day 3 of Christmas music at the office gig and I'm ready for it to be over. The first day was pretty rough. We have the speaker turned down as far as possible, but since the music and pages all go through the same system, we have to have it at a somewhat audible level.


Some songs bother me more than others. The worst are the ones that were part of the ill-fated Christmas music programming that contributed to my crash 10 years ago. I'm NOT trying to remember/think of this stuff, but when one of those songs comes up the reaction bypasses logic and reason and just goes to some hyper-reactive, emotional part of my being. I get teary when I hear one of those off-beat gems I threw into the mix that were not on the corporate-approved list of about 4 dozen titles. It pretty much sucks.


I don't expect this time of year will ever be a cakewalk, but I'm hoping this one is a little rougher simply because it's a significant anniversary (10 years) of the original event.


I was thinking about it the other day, and I realized there have been what I would consider 2 significant, defining events in my life: 1. When my parents went careening off the crazy train and I had to remove them from my life and 2 the work meltdown that was kicked off by the last-straw Christmas programming debacle. These events happened within the same 5 year time span. When I think of other events and challenges, they seem to pale in comparison to these two. Even the stormy 5 years with the pretty alcoholic boy is secondary to drop-kicking my parents outta my life, and losing it over Christmas programming.


How does that compare to other people's Significant Events? I kinda wonder how pathetic mine are in comparison. Not like I was diagnosed with a terminal illness or had a child die or a loved one be murdered or something like that. Mine can be summed up to this: I finally said "No more" to a couple of people who had been a few bubbles off plumb my entire life and I allowed a company to try working me to death because I had some f'd up ideas about being passionate about what one does for a living. Jeez, I mean, I'm kind of a wimp if you look at it that way. Whaaah, my parents are crazy. Whaaah, I don't know how to set boundaries and say "Take this job and shove it."


Part of me is going, "Oh, , just get over your bad self and get on with it...."


Yeah, that seems like the sanest course of action, really. Get over it.

Link to comment

4 Weeks Later....


My gallbladder surgery was 4 weeks ago. It now tops the list as "the easiest surgery I ever had." It also goes on the list of "surgeries that fixed the problem they were supposed to fix." That list actually includes all of the surgeries I've had. Given some of the things I've read online, I wonder if that means I've been incredibly lucky, or chose to have surgeries at appropriate times with realistic expectations, or if (as I suspect) the only people who go on and on about their procedures are the ones who had things go wrong and/or who had unrealistic expectations. The people who had things go right and had realistic expectations are off living their lives. Probably a little bit of all of the above.


There's been a lot of experimentation in the last 4 weeks...testing the limits of my altered digestive system. So far, no surprises and no unpleasant results. Basically, things work like they used to when I was younger and didn't have gallstones making editorial comments about what I chose to consume. I no longer feel like I'm spinning a roulette wheel every time I eat. (Hmmm...will I or won't have an attack...?) That is good.


In other news, it looks like my husband has secured a job. All the paperwork is done and a start date has been set. It's not until after the holidays, so by the time he goes back to work, it will have been solid 4 months of unemployment. The Universe seems to have done a lot of shouting at him about where he's gone off track in that time. Maybe he'll listen, maybe he won't. That is not for me to decide. It is for me to sit back and observe if/how his actions and choices play out after this...and make decisions for myself based on what I observe.


A week from today, the Christmas malarky will be mostly over. 2 weeks from today, the entire Holiday Season will be done for another year. Given how quickly the 4 weeks since surgery have passed, I'm pretty sure I can hang on until this oh-so-annoyingly-festive-forced-gaiety-season will be over.

Link to comment

Re-Writing The Classics


Oh, what (corporate name of Dysfunction Junction) did was frightful

But life now is so delightful

And since it was long ago

Let it go, let it go, let it go!


It just sorta popped into my head yesterday while having dinner with a couple friends and being subjected to non-stop holiday favorites at the restaurant.

Link to comment

What's The Point?


Big, big pocket of anger about the debt, unemployment, financial stuff. Been thrashing about in it for the last couple days. It is taking every shred of self-control to not go off on him. I don't have to go to the office gig today, and am seriously considering telling him to go find something to do outside of the house for several hours...without me. That is, if he ever decides to get out of bed.


I don't get it. There's one more week before he starts his new job and now everything has irritated me to levels I have not witnessed before. I mean, I'm seriously, deeply, amazingly, mind-numbingly furious....and have been for about 2 days now. Even the Warcrack isn't distracting me.


I keep inching toward the idea of therapy. Started poking around online, researching. Can't decide if it makes more sense to start with a new therapist or go back to the last one I was seeing.


My head feels like it's going to explode.

Link to comment

In The Long Run, You Can't Hang On To Both


So, as part of this 4 month odyssey of unemployment (complete with managing to mess up his unemployment benefits for the last 6 weeks), my husband has taken to doing a lot of ruminating...then discussing it with me in more detail than I really need to hear. I'm not a therapist. Even if I was, I couldn't be *his* therapist. The other day he started sharing some stuff that, frankly, I didn't need to hear.


Throughout this whole financial ordeal, I have been very careful with my words. I know there are things I've felt and things I wanted to say, that, if I actually spoke out loud to him would create more problems/damage than the temporary relief expressing them would bring. That's what therapists are for. To talk about the crap that you need to talk about, but can't talk about to specific individuals because the damage or repercussions of saying these things would be damaging to the larger goal.


My husband doesn't know or doesn't understand that distinction. I'm left to deal with fallout. And what I think comes down to this - Really? After covering all the household bills for 2.5 months, and ALL the bills (including his child support and credit cards) for the last 6 weeks, you have the nerve to say THAT to me? I won't argue the fact that he has an absolute right to feel whatever way he feels. However, he doesn't need to express it in the thoughtless way he did...or express it to me AT ALL for that matter. Seriously.


My immature, knee-jerk reaction is to say, "Fine. That's the way you feel, you don't need to live here anymore. I mean, if that's the way you feel, you shouldn't want me to be footing your bills. So buh-bye and don't let the door hit you on the way out." But I bite my tongue and keep my irritation to myself. Because I understand that there are things that shouldn't be expressed to certain people, or in certain venues or in certain ways. If you do, there is a risk to cause irreparable damage. If your goal was to cause irreparable damage, you certainly took a step in the right direction with those remarks.


So, in essence, here is the choice both of us are faced with: We/I can choose to hang on to the anger/resentment/bitterness or We/I can choose to hang on to the relationship. Because I don't think you can hang on to both over the long haul. For a while, maybe...but eventually, a choice needs to be made between the two. I can't make that decision for him, I can only make it for myself. I'm just not sure how long I give myself to make that decision. It has been almost 6 months since I pulled the credit report that revealed his massive amount of credit card debt. Do I give it another 6 months? Another year? Seems silly to pull another credit report to check for progress since he's been unemployed & treading water for 4 out of the last 6 months. I don't think pulling a current credit report will provide any useful information, given his lack of income for most of that time.


"Fine," I want to say, "if we are trotting out the ghosts of grievances past, why don't we talk about when I was unemployed & under-employed for 2 years. It was awesome of you to pitch in and help with making house payments, buying groceries, paying for car insurance...oh, wait, that's right....you didn't do any of that. I was supposed to figure out how to make that all work on about 50% of what I was making." And to my everlasting credit, I did. I F'N DID. Not you, not "we"....I DID.


So, maybe, before you spout off about the thoughts in your head, you'd best look at all the things I have done for you that have been to your benefit, and think about extending some understanding and compassion my direction instead of your ire....because I think my supply of understanding and compassion for you is starting to run a little low.

Link to comment

Y'know What? No.


There was something I didn't like about this client/project from the start. But, I told myself I was being stupid and I should take the work and just do it. Halfway into the project, the client turned out to be every bit as irritating, clueless, and crazy-making as my gut was trying to tell me. One day it was "read it like this," the next it was "no, read it like that." The capper was when I was told I was speeding up my pace, and I went back to a demo I cut and my actual read of the same section was 4 seconds longer than my audition....I had actually slowed down my pace on the actual read, and had solid proof of it.


That's when I quit. I don't like putting myself into no-win situations, and this was going to be one of them. Don't tell me I sound great, then start nitpicking what I've done for vague reasons.....and get all ass-kissy when I start getting frustrated with you. Don't send me multiple versions of the script, then act like it's my fault when I've lost track of which one you actually want me to record. Don't blame me for not hitting the target when you can't even define what it is you're looking for. It's BS. I put in, like a day and a half of recording and editing time on this when I got fed up. That doesn't even count the time I was being asked to do things that weren't in the scope of "recording and editing audio"....which is what I do. I'm not a copy editor, copy writer nor was it my job to figure out how to translate visual portions of the project to an audio-only format.


When I walked, I felt like a huge weight had been taken off my shoulders. It had only been a couple weeks, but the long and too-detailed emails that didn't cover what I really needed to know....the too-long phone calls that failed to convey what the client was hearing in their head....the fact that the client has never done this type of project before and seemed to expect me to figure out portions of it for them. Aaargh. Bad ju-ju.


When you hire a professional, you need to trust that they know what they are doing, then get out of their way and let them do it. If you don't trust them to get the job done, don't hire them. I didn't tell the surgeon how to remove my gallbladder - what instruments he should use, how long it should take, what temperature the OR should be (and when they wheeled me in there for surgery it was freakin' cold). Nope, I went and met with the surgeon, talked about what needed to be done, agreed to hire him do it, and then got the $! out of his way and let him do the thing he's been trained to do.


Because there's a few things this client didn't get about me: Money is not a primary motivator for me. They even dangled this carrot in front of me "if this turns out well, there will be more projects in the future." Uh, but they'd be projects where I'd have to work with you and I'm not finding that to be an enjoyable experience. Not much of an enticement, really. Client also didn't get that I have a full time gig. I know I'm gonna get a paycheck on a regular basis whether I complete their project or not. So, I can afford to put a greater value on "I'd prefer to work with people who don't irritate the bejeebus out of me" than someone who doesn't have a full time day job.


Client also didn't figure out they're dealing with someone who has a life philosophy that could be summed up by saying, "I'll burn that bridge when I get to it."


So, no, it wasn't some sort of diva-fit that could be appeased by a bunch of ass-kissing...really, that just irritated me more (how dumb and vain do you think I am??)....as did the email where the client was insisting on talking (again). I'm like, "uh...there's nothing to talk about here. I'm done."


Why is it some people think that if they say a bunch of (supposedly) nice things about you after they've managed to piss you off, it somehow makes up for the irritating stuff they did? No, it doesn't make up for or change the fact that I find you really, really annoying...and now you're just annoying me further by kissing my ass. All it's making me want to do is find a way to not have to deal with you anymore as quickly as possible. In this case, that meant removing myself from the situation entirely.


It was a pretty sizeable project $$ wise. Will I miss the money? Maybe...but probably not. Even with as sizeable as it was, it wasn't enough to put up with the other stuff I've been putting up with the last couple weeks. Something else will come along. I have a set of regular clients who I like working with, and they generally come through with something for me before I'm in a "financial need" position.


A few months ago, I had someone ask me to audition for a project. Potentially, a pretty high profile gig. But I turned it down because when I talked to the project's producer I couldn't get a clear idea of what they were looking for. It occurs to me now that it was probably because THEY didn't know what they were looking for. Well...actually....that's not even right. They had some idea of what they wanted because I was asked if I could sound like (insert name of another female VO talent here). To which my reply was, "Uh, if you want someone who sounds like (name of other female VO talent), why don't you hire her?" Oh, wait! I know why -- because (name of other female VO talent) will probably want more money than you think I will, right? Wow. Way to insult me. Really makes me want to do work for you.


Yeah, took a pass on that one, too. Saved myself a lot of grief. Had a similar gut feeling about this client from the start. I shoulda listened to it. It would've saved me the time I put in over the last couple weeks starting to work on the project and trying to convince myself it would be ok.....

Link to comment

Y'know What? No. Part Deux.


So, this is the new thought that has cropped up in my head the last couple days.


I don't want to clean up your mess.


I've had some hefty credit card debt in my life, and I paid it all off. I've already done all that. I don't want to clean up your mess, too.


But the problem is, there is no way for me to completely wash my hands of it, either. At the very least, I will get stuck footing the bill for some or all of your living expenses while you dig yourself out. Or, I will get stuck with hassle and expense of divorcing your ass if I really need to remove myself from the situation.


There is no way I can't NOT end up getting stuck with at least some of the clean up. And that pisses me off. Even more than I already was.


Given that running through my head, I was already in a not-so-great mood when I went to the day job. That was further exacerbated by trying to appease a very persistent employee, which ended up in an hour long phone call with the owner about the very structure of the department I reluctantly oversee. Then, shortly after that finished, it was a totally annoying call from a vendor basically telling us how they were going to screw us over and how it was really going to be beneficial. To which I called BS and he didn't really have an answer for except to agree.


After that, I said I felt a migraine coming on and left. I'd basically been sitting at my desk sorta crying all day anyway (and not really succeeding) before the actual work stuff happened, so it was really just icing on the cake.


One bright (?) spot, I did finally stumble upon the website of a counselor who seemed like she might be a good fit. Emailed her the basics of why I was looking for a counselor. Her reply started off with "What a stressful situation," and I kinda lost it when I read that. So busy trying to be Pollyanna and find a way to make it work and convince myself that it's not all that bad, that I find it hard to acknowledge what a f'n difficult situation it really is.


No, no....I can handle it!! I am strong!! I am smart!! I will find a way around this!! I have dealt with worse!!


But part of me really doesn't want to and doesn't think I should have to. Part of me wants to throw the monthly bills at him (along with the rest of things it takes to run the household) and say, "There. You figure it. I'm tired of figuring it out. You make it work."


Yeah, YOU figure it out. Stop expecting me to.


He started his new job this week, and so far, it's like nothing's changed. He started working.....and I've been the one to plan/prep dinners for the week, load/run/unload the dishwasher, and so on. Just like when he was working before....when his attitude was "I worked all day today, I shouldn't have to lift a finger to do anything else because I worked" coupled with "It's my day off, I shouldn't have to do anything because it's my day off."


I have started to wonder if I can really afford to have a spouse. The more I see, the more I think my boat analogy from a few months back might be valid.


When I got home (about 2 hours early) I had a passing thought about shutting the garage door and just letting my car run. Then I thought about how poorly insulated our garage is and thought all I'd be doing is wasting half a tank of gas and freezing my ass off at the same time. I shut off the car and came inside. Cried some more, talked to my cat, ate a bunch of cheese and now I'm sitting here typing.


Y'know, I've had a couple mental meltdowns in my life, and this is kinda feeling like the beginning of another one.


That's not good. At all.

Link to comment

Thar She Blows


After he got home, for the first time since I learned about the debt, I went off on him.


So the odd part is this - everything I said from "I don't want to clean up your mess" to "it's like having a boat" to "where was my support when I got fired in 2008" to "the last 5 years I've been busting my ass working a full time job and growing my freelance business and you've been undermining it"....all of it....he'd already thought it all to himself.


Well, except the boat analogy. That one he hadn't come up with. But he doesn't use humor exactly the same way I do.


It didn't turn into a fight. It was actually a productive conversation. I still feel like crap about the whole thing and the BS that went on at work yesterday. I mean, I wasn't expecting to be in this job as long as I have. I thought I'd be in a place with freelance income and with his income to be able to transition to full time freelance by now. So, really, anything even slightly unpleasant that crops up at the office gig sends me into a tailspin because the voiceover diva in me is going, "I'm not even supposed to be here anymore!" I don't know why I can't get past the $20-25k a year barrier on freelance income. (And, no, it's not because I walk away from $600-800 gigs like I did last week....I'll have you know that's only the second time I fired a client and the first time I did it in the middle of a project.) The first time I fired a client, I never did any work for them because we could never agree on a rate in the first place.


I know there are some people who are trying to do freelance VO work who don't do as well as I have (and can't figure out how I manage to do that much). So, I do understand that I have accomplished something that a lot of people don't or can't or don't want to put in the effort to do. But, I do not want the lifestyle that living on that amount of income would mean. I do not want to live like a broke college student anymore. That was fine in my 20s....and even into my 30s (a little), but not anymore. I'm past that living in a cheap one room apartment, using milk crates as furniture, $20 for two weeks of groceries game sort of lifestyle. I mean, I learned a lot from doing that and I wouldn't trade that time for anything in the world, but I don't want to live in that time for the rest of my life.


And that's why I'm still going forward with pursuing therapy. Because one of the other things we talked about last night was my realization that I can hang on to the anger, or I can hang on to the relationship, but I can't hang on to both in the long run. He thought that was a pretty profound realization not only for myself, but him as well.


I think that's a factor in why a lot of people end up breaking up when confronted with big stuff like this. They may not *want* to hang on to the anger, but they don't know how to let it go and/or don't want to do the work to let it go....or they want to keep hanging on to a little of it and keep bringing up the Ghosts of Grievances Past. In the end, I think it's easier to wade through a break up and start off with a clean slate than it is to walk through the minefield of absolutely justifiable anger and choosing to let it go.


But I haven't necessarily chosen the easier of my options in this life, have I? Why should I expect that to change now?

Link to comment

Message From Your Brain


The last 2 times I have slept, I have had dreams featuring a couple significant people...Mr. Good Hair and the boy from the violet spring. Pleasant dreams I didn't want to leave, but still I wonder why my brain is bringing them around right now.


I suppose it's better than waking up screaming, but still....

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Talk To The Parrot


So, I've had 2 visits to the new therapist. She has a parrot that sorta hangs out in the office. If a client is weirded out by birds, the parrot can be put in another room in the building. I used to have birds, so the parrot doesn't bother me a bit. In a way, it's kinda nice having it there.


2 visits in, it's hard to tell where this round of therapy is going...and it's too early to tell if it's "helping." But I know how it works...you go, you talk, and after some time passes, things sorta work themselves out. So, I'll continue to go talk to the parrot.

Link to comment

Stuff No One Tells You


Some stuff that came up with the new therapist and stuff I was thinking about after those appointments. In a relationship of any appreciable length, there will likely be some good things, some very good things, some not-so-great-things, and some really f'd up things that would be potential reasons to split. In looking at the things that happen that would be potential reason to split, I start to wonder what makes the difference? Why do some people (maybe even most people) in that situation split and some people don't?


And as I sat there, with the therapist and the parrot, something started to come together in my head. Leaving (especially if you're not married) can be easier. I mean, I'm not the one who racked up the credit card debt and created a financial mess...but I'm the one who is in therapy. And in therapy, you will typically confront things about yourself that maybe aren't very complimentary or flattering or that require you to change something you're not doing very well. I pick my poison...I can put myself through the (sometimes) hell that is therapy or I can put myself through the (presumed, based on the visit to a lawyer a couple years ago) hell of getting divorced. I've been through therapy hell before...it usually turns out well after you get done mucking around in your crap. I've seen other people go through divorce hell and consulted with that lawyer about the process a couple years ago...the outcome of that is unclear...but even if it ultimately turns out well, the initial phases of it seem to me to be more uncontrolled, unproductive and uncertain mucking around in crap than the most grueling therapy.


I think I'm (for the moment) kind of over the whiny "I don't want to clean up your mess" phase. It dawned on me that I will be stuck with some portion of this clean up no matter what I do - If I stay, at the very least I end up footing the bill for some of his living expenses, even if I never pay one cent to his creditors. If I leave, I end up paying the costs and dealing with the various inconveniences of that. Even if I keel over dead, he will still get my life insurance money and likely use that to pay things off. So, I'm on the f'n hook in some way, shape or form....NO MATTER WHAT I DO. Awesome. So, if that's case (and it is), there's not a whole lot of point in whining, is there? Stamping my foot and shaking my head and yelling, "It's not fair!" isn't going to get any of this resolved. It's not going to change any of it. But I suppose it did need to be expressed and acknowledged. So, yeah, part of me feels that way but that part is not allowed to drive the bus. She's gonna throw her tantrum, wear herself out, then go sit in the back with her blankie and her binky and doze off while the more level headed adults figure out what we're gonna do.


So the next sullen child I find myself looking to confront is the gloomy woe-is-me emo kid. The one who looked at me doing the full time job and me trying to build the freelance business and him undermining the whole thing, and wondered why am I working so hard? Doing some periodic bookkeeping in preparation for taxes, and it has come to my attention that my freelance VO work has dropped way, way off. Where I was making $1500-2000 a month pretty consistently, now I'm struggling to clear half of that. I did not renew my subscription at v123 when it expired, so I'm not auditioning for anything new....and I kinda skipped over my quarterly direct mail to my mailing list. Basically, I'm not pushing to market myself as hard as I used to a year or two or more ago, and that is really starting to show up in the amount of projects I'm not doing. This month, for example, most days, there's not any VO stuff I need to do after I get home from the day job....and the little emo kid is going, "Good. You shouldn't have to bust your ass at two jobs while he does one (or none in the case of 4 months being unemployed)." Because, honestly, it's kinda nice to have that time to myself. Not so nice when I go to pay the bills, but to be able to come home from the office gig (especially if it's been one of those "I wasn't planning on being here this long!" kind of days) and not have to go crank out a stack of scripts and have time to myself...that I could get used to.


I was looking back at entries from about 2 years ago...when I started having panic attacks...and I was reading what my daily schedule was like -- 7 or 8 hours at the day job, then home to record and edit whatever projects came in or auditions I wanted to do, up late doing that, then up early the next morning to finish up whatever VO work I was too tired to complete the night before, then off to the day job to start the whole thing over. But I did it with the sense I was working towards something....that if I kept up that pace long enough, I could leave the day job sooner rather than later. That sense...that belief...appears to have vanished...and it seems like that was my main motivation for pushing that hard.


The reality is, unless and until his financial gets straightened out, I'm not going to be able to leave the day job. I'm just not. I am stuck at it for the foreseeable future through no real fault of my own. So little emo kid goes, "what's the point of pushing yourself...he's certainly not." Oh, sure, *now* he's talking about getting a 2nd part time job to make some more money to move this process along. But that is falling into the category of "I'll believe it when I see it" for me. During one argument some time ago (before I knew about the debt), he got in my face, screaming at me about what did I want him to do....get another job and work all the time...when all I had suggested was maybe not having our finances so separated. There are also a few other incidents where it seemed to me that he had opportunities to work more/make more, and he would talk about doing them, but when time came to actually bust ass and do them....it never happened. I sometimes think I have made life too comfortable for him, being the little worker bee that I am, and always managing financial stuff so he could have things he wanted (even if it was just to keep him from being Captain Asshat....like when I bought the TV and bluray player....and then spent an entire session with new-agey therapist expressing some surprise that these things were now in my living room...). Maybe I should've started trotting out the phrase, "I don't have any money" in response to his various requests sooner than 6 weeks ago.


In my desire to buy peace and keep Captain Asshat at bay, I created a f'n monster...so perhaps there is a reason I can't be off the hook for clean up. I didn't rack up the bills, but this stuff doesn't happen in a vacuum. My desire to avoid conflict likely helped that hole get as deep as it did. Every financial discussion I tried to start was shut down quickly in part due to my desire to avoid conflict instead of pushing forward and calling BS. It was a strategy that worked when I was a kid dealing with my mother....stay quiet, get small, keep your head down, show no emotion lest you feed the beast. Feed the beast, you give her more fuel and she rages on. Cut off the fuel and she blows out quickly. However, in my present reality, staying quiet, getting small, and keeping my head down allowed him to keep digging the hole, unchecked, for years. Years. All that time I was so busy with a full time job and starting a business also kept me distracted from really noticing what he was doing. I remember talking about it with my new-agey therapist...the fact that he was acting like someone who was hiding something...but I decided I had "more important" things to deal with. Full time job, VO work, emotional affair with some jerk from a video game.....yeah....anything to keep from dealing with his tantrums and getting my head bit off when I'd make some feeble attempt to address it.


Because here's another thing they don't tell you...you always have to watch your own back to a certain degree. Even with a person you're supposed to be able to trust.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Just Do It, Already!


"It" being renew my v123 subscription and start auditioning for work again. I got my bonus check. It is enough to cover about 80% of the subscription fee, and I have the other $40-some to cover the rest.


Seriously, I need to get over it and just start lining up freelance work again. Enough with the boo-hoo-ing about having to work So Hard. Suck it up and deal with it. You'd have to do it if you were single, too. I mean, the day job wouldn't be enough to pay all the bills if you were single, so you'd be chasing after freelance work either way.


I hate it when I catch myself playing the martyr card. I really do.

Link to comment

...And Then


So, after a good round of kicking myself in the rear, I renewed my v123 subscription in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday.


That day I heard from 3 of my regular clients....one with a 15 minute elearning course, one with a 2 minute sales presentation, and the 3rd with some lesson audio for an online school...I found 4 things to audition for on v123 and heard back from one of the auditions that my demo will be presented to the final client for approval...then I got 2 direct invitations to audition for 2 other projects. It's astounding what can happen when I stop feeling sorry for myself and start doing stuff I should be doing .


Then, I hit the wall of anger. I have to say, I haven't run into it in a few weeks. It's only been 3 sessions, but I think therapy is helping with that. But lest I started thinking it was gone...oh, no, no. When I'm a little too tired and have had to deal with my limit of Life's Little Annoyances and I get thrown some curve ball....it's zero to pissed off in 1.3 seconds. Like, f'rinstance, when he called all excited to tell me that some company wants to interview him for a $19/hour work-from-home job doing call center support work. This, after he's done nothing but exclaim how much he likes the job he started last month in part because it's NOT anything related with a call center. I don't know if this was some application that was still floating out there from when he was still looking for a job or what. Given how he is, I don't think he'd like working from home. We're talking about someone who can't stand to be at home all day on his days off...he has to get out of the house for a while. We're also talking about someone who enjoys socializing with co-workers he likes....to the point that he will go do stuff with them outside of work and keep in touch with some after they no longer work together. Meanwhile, my goal for the last, oh, 6 years has been to get to the point where I could work from home. So, yeah, I got pissed off....even though it's just an interview and there's no guarantee he'll be offered the job. All he is focusing on is the $19/hour...and there's so much more to a job than the pay. Because if the work and/or the work environment isn't a good fit, the money doesn't make up for that. Miserable and miserable with money are both undesirable outcomes in my book. Not to mention when he is unhappy with his job/work environment, he has a history of taking that out on the nearest convenient target (me). Oh, sure, he got better at NOT doing that as time went on, but the memory of it still lingers. Then, he wants to babble on and on about the opportunity even after I've indicated I can't talk about it right now.


So, yeah, the wall of anger is definitely still there...and I'll run right into it when I get pushed that one stressor over the edge. Last night, as I smashed right into the wall, I wondered if all this effort is worth it. Would it be easier to be done with this and move on alone....not have to figure out a way to deal with this in some sort of productive, constructive manner that would make it possible/palatable to stay.... As I stare in the freezer trying to figure out what to do about dinner again tonight, I wonder if I will ever get to experience someone taking care of me for anything more than a short period of time only when it's howlingly apparent that it needs to be done (like, immediately after surgery....and even then, that wasn't enough of a cue for the Alcoholic....).


What do I do with all of this?

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

A Life I Don't Recognize


It's been a very, very long time since I last went a-wandering through my old journals. Like, the old, old journals...the handwritten ones that are put away in a stack of boxes in a closet old.


Went back to 20 years ago now...1994...and it's a life I don't recognize. I'd wonder if it was mine if it wasn't in my handwriting. Not only do I not recognize it...there are good chunks of it that I don't really remember. Going by what I wrote at the time, I thought these were Big, Hairy, Important Things at the time. 20 years later and I don't remember them...and I read my own scrawl and wonder why I ever thought it was important.


Hey, 29-year-old me -- Don't love your job that much. It'll bite you in the ass, hard...and won't leave you with anything to show for it but a sore ass and teeth marks. Hey, 29-year-old me -- Don't get so wound up over various males and their flakiness...they're not worth your time. The ones who are worth your time won't be flaky or wishy-washy. Hey, 29-year-old me -- You shoulda been more concerned about the financial stuff and not about the stuff you *thought* was important. Hey, 29-year-old me -- You sorely over-estimated your importance to the overall picture.


I find it lamentable how much time I spent making myself miserable, choosing thoughts that made me miserable, choosing to focus on things that made me miserable, choosing courses of action that made me miserable, letting people in my life who made me miserable back then. Am I still doing that now? I seemed to have the idea that being miserable was some indicator that I was "deeper" and "more intense" than the people who surrounded me at that time. But, really, looking back, I think all I was doing was making myself more miserable and then blaming the world for it.


I went into those boxes looking for something. I didn't find what I was looking for, but I found ^ that instead. I'm guessing that was what I really needed to find (although I'm not sure why). 20 years ago, as I approached my 30th birthday, I thought I was oh-so-deep, so wise, so much more and "too much" for the males I encountered.....and now, as I approach my 50th birthday, I can see what a pretentious baby I was back then. I had to skip around a lot. Even I couldn't take my former self's rumination in large doses. How the hell did I expect anyone around me to handle it back then?


Mostly, I wanted to go back in time and tell 29-year-old me to get the hell over herself.

Link to comment

Get Over It Or GTFO


As I was waking up this morning, that phrase popped into my head. Certainly, I'm saying it to myself. But who I really want to say it to is my husband.


He's being weird (again)...he avoids sleeping because he'll either lie there awake or he'll fall asleep and have what he says are weird and disturbing dreams that wake him up again. I went downstairs the other day to scoop out the basement litter box and there's a punching bag hanging from the basement ceiling. When I asked about it he said it was his "therapy." Then proceeded to tell me that he couldn't just go talk to a stranger about stuff like I do. I didn't even ask where the money to buy this gym item came from. Not sure I wanted to know. But he tells me he sold an old gaming system and the multitude of games that went with it. It was old enough and in good enough condition to be "vintage" and desirable to those who collect such things. He took it to a game and comic book shop, used part of the money to buy the punching bag and put the rest in the shared checking account. I suppose that's progress (?). In any event, I used it to pay the cable bill. Because, well, someone had to.


I'm curious, but I also know what sort of crap churned up the last time I asked, so I don't ask. It's not my job to be his therapist. I bite my tongue but there are a couple things that I want to say: "Oh, so, you can't go out and buy stuff to distract you from your crap, so now you have to find a way to deal with it." And, as mentioned before, "Get over it or GTFO." These are things I have said to myself...in the past and the GTFO one is being said to myself currently. But I think they're probably the sorts of conclusions one has to reach on their own. Coming from someone else, they probably don't go over real well.


I have heard and read stories of other people who were married to someone who racked up a large amount of debt behind their back. Most of the stories end in divorce. I'm not sure how or if that applies to me. I mean, I haven't exactly done what most people do all the time, after all. I do know this: my tolerance for him not dealing with his crap (or dealing with it in dysfunctional ways) isn't real high. You want to hang on to your grudges? That's your choice. But you have to know that I don't think you can hang on to the resentment and the relationship over the long haul. You choose one...and in doing that you have to let the other go. I'm choosing to let the resentment go...and I think I'm making progress. It occurs to me that the driving force in choosing to let the resentment go isn't about keeping the relationship with him, it's about creating a better relationship with myself. Resentment doesn't feel good. It doesn't make me feel good, and it doesn't draw things and people into my orbit that make me feel good. Hanging on to resentment changes the way I experience the world....and not in a good way. I don't want that.


Which leads to this...do I want to deal with having to be around his resentment? No, I don't. Not if it's going to be a permanent feature of his life. Not if he's going to try to hang on to his resentment and the relationship. You don't get to have both. And if you don't choose one or the other, I will (eventually) make that choice for you. Because someone has to.

Link to comment

I Guess It's Progress


One of the thoughts I've had lately goes along the lines of financial infidelity being a tougher thing to deal with than sexual infidelity. Maybe it's just me, but when you screw around behind my back with monetary stuff, that gets to where my sense of security lies. I'm not a very materialistic person in terms of wanting "things" or wanting to impress others by having nice things, but I do value money for the options it gives me. More money = more options. More options = more freedom. That's basically it for me.


Sexual and/or emotional infidelity hurts, but taking away my options/freedom by poor financial decisions (repeatedly) hurts more. I also think it is harder to bounce back from losing options/freedom than finding out your SO is screwing someone else. Is it forgivable? Is it a wise thing to forgive? I mean, on one level, it has to be forgiven because I'm not into harming myself by holding grudges and resentments. On the other hand, is it the smartest option to allow the person who screwed you over financially to still be part of your life? You can forgive people for wronging you, but allowing them continued access to you/your life is a completely separate issue. I mean, I forgave my parents for that whole debacle, but I also cut them out of my life after those accusations of stealing from them some 15 years ago.


In the last, oh, month or so, it's started to dawn on me that I can think about these things without running into that wall of anger all the time. I can actually think about the finer points of it all and not feel like I'm just looking for more reasons to get pissed off about it.


I don't have any answers to these questions about forgiveness and the wisdom of allowing someone who threatens your security/options/freedom to still be part of your life....but I suppose it's enough I can think about these things without wanting to fly into some murderous rage....

Link to comment

Same Old Story x2


I ran into someone I sorta know. Not a friend. We don't know each other that well. Making chit chat she asked why I wasn't (doing activity where we met) for the next session. I made a vague remark about 4 out of the last 6 months my husband was out of work, and when he did find a job, it didn't pay as much as his old job. So she wanted to talk about that.


I didn't. So I thought maybe going TMI on her would shut her up, since we barely know each other. I said, "Yeah, when he was let go....that was when he figured it was time to tell me about the credit card balance he'd been hiding." (ok, ok....so it's not actually how it happened, but I was just trying to get her to shut up and let me go.)


That didn't work. Seems that her ex-husband did a similar rack-up-5-figure-credit-card-debt thing to her. She said she was pulling his credit report every month to monitor him the last year or so they were together. He wasn't changing his ways, so she left.


But I still wasn't off the hook.


Then she tells me about a friend of hers who caught her husband doing the same damn thing -- big credit card debt, having bills sent to his mother's address so his wife wouldn't find out. Her friend took an interesting approach to it. She got a lawyer that charged a flat fee for a divorce, paid it, and told her husband they were getting divorced, but she wasn't leaving and nothing in their current living situation was changing. She'd give him 3 years to get his financial together, and if he did, she'd remarry him. If he didn't, we'll they'd already be divorced, so she'd just pack up her stuff and leave him. After 3 years, he didn't get his crap together, so she gathered up her crap and left, already divorced.


I am not the first person this has happened to. On an intellectual level, I knew that. With the Internet, how could I *not* know that? But it's a different level of knowing when people you interact with in real life (even if you're not terribly close to them) tell you that they went through something similar.


Still, I can't help but notice every one of these stories ends up with a split.

Link to comment



Tired of taking care of all the bills. Tired of having to make all the decisions. Tired of busting my ass and not making any progress.


Tired. Bone-weary, soul-crushingly tired.


It'd be different if I was single and had to do all this. I mean, if I was single and doing all this, there wouldn't be someone who's supposed to be on the same side sabotaging my efforts.


I dunno. In some ways, I don't feel like putting forth any effort because I wonder what the point is. Work that hard and start having the audacity to think you're making some progress or even getting ahead....and meanwhile your efforts have all been undermined the whole time. The. Whole. F'n. Time.


I wonder why I should bother...

Link to comment


Given the right set of circumstances, each and every one of us is perfectly capable of throwing someone under the bus. Doesn't matter who they are in your life - child, parent, spouse, lover, friend, family...in the right set of circumstances, they'd sell you out and in the right set of circumstances, you'd do the same to them. When push comes to shove, self-preservation wins nearly all the time.


While there are stories and examples of people acting in a selfless & altruistic manner, I look around my own life and the lives of people around me, and I realize that those stories and examples are the exception rather than the rule.


The odds are heavily on the side of self-preservation.

Link to comment

And Then It Occurred To Me...

Still, I can't help but notice every one of these stories ends up with a split.


Yup. Every one of them. Then I realized that choosing to stay and work through it also makes me feel like I might be a pathetic loser and/or complete idiot for not doing what other people confronted with a similar situation did.

Link to comment


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Create New...