Ranked and Reviewed yet Forgotten

My emotions have been all over the place.  My friend Lulu wrote a wonderful piece on ultradian cycling.  Perhaps I am ultradian cycling? I don’t know.  My mind is everywhere and no where.  I am excitable one minute, sad and sedate the next.  Usually cloaked in fear.  What am I afraid of?  Everything. Nothing. The inevitable.  The unknown.  The known.

My last paycheck is Friday.  No one has called me about returning the company laptop or for an exit interview of any kind.  Maybe they are just going to forget about me?  My name will be quietly removed from the organization chart, my email address frozen, my badge rendered useless.  Forgotten, forgotten… I’ve been forgotten and ignored for the past 10 months.  You would think that if they are so anxious to be rid of me, then they would want to schedule an exit interview and get all their stuff back.

Why did I take the company laptop home with me?  Well, we all do when we expect to be working from home.  I expected myself to work from home.  I wanted to keep in touch with what was going on at work.  I was angry and didn’t want to take leave.  I like working.  I didn’t like who I had to work with, and half of my job sucked, but the other half was awesome.  Amazingly cool things to discover and be a part of.  Customers I will miss. People I will miss.

When I left, I didn’t realize the extent of the damage done to my wrist.  I didn’t know that I wasn’t going to be able to work from home.  I honestly and truly thought I would call in for conference calls.  Until I found out that I shouldn’t be doing that.  I had planned to check emails.  But my supervisor put out the word that I was not to be emailed.  Silence falls.

I stopped checking my email.  I stopped caring as I slid into depression, spiraling downward along my own path to darkness.  Meanwhile, work went on.  Emails, company announcements, reorganization.  FMLA (3 months) ran out.  I was replaced.  Now they no longer have a position for me.  I’m dismissed.

Now that I’ve been fixed – physically and mentally – I’m dismissed.  Oh, and they chopped my bonus by 20% too indicating that I was ranked in the bottom 10% of the pool on my performance review.  How could they even rate me?  I was in the office for only 5 months, only two of those did I have a performance agreement for.  How can you accomplish any long-term goal in two months?  The last conversation with my supervisor was positive – about how things were getting better.  And then…

Forgotten except for the paperwork.  Called a liar for sticking up for myself.  Filing for Worker’s Comp.  All the things you should never ever do in the corporate world.  Big companies are very different than small companies.  Both suck in their own way.

Maybe I should have told them I am bipolar.  Maybe I could have fought for discrimination.  No, those things never work.  Big companies with big lawyers win.  Little companies with palms to grease, win.  People like us, lose.

I don’t know when they will call me in to return the laptop, to return the library books, to return the SecureID.  It’s kind of like a divorce. You know it’s coming, it’s just a matter of when will the paperwork filed and it becomes final?

Just waiting in limbo…

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

100th post

It’s been nine months from my first post until now. Long enough to have a baby. And this blog is my baby. A special place where I can vent, I can laugh, I can cry, and I can know that some of you are listening, laughing and crying with me. From 1 follower to 37 followers. And I cherish every single one of you.

My first few posts were often ones of anger. I don’t regret them, but it shows where I was emotionally at that time. Since then, I have dipped into depression, and it was only through this blog that I was able to watch my emotional spiral. I discovered that my darkest hell had a name: dysphoric mania.

I found a doctor I can rely on and a useful therapist. And I found you. This amazingly supportive community. Where you more about me than most of my real life friends. They may know my name, but you know my struggles, my triumphs, my innermost thoughts and feelings.

Thank you for reading my blog. I wouldn’t keep writing it if you weren’t. And I wouldn’t have seen so much of myself if not through your eyes.

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Life, Death and Love

I was originally planning to write another post about my slide back into depression, but then I watched last week’s Desperate Housewives episode. I find the show to be absurd yet entertaining most of the time, but occasionally there is an episode that touches you.  This was one such episode.

In case you don’t watch the series, here is the basic idea: four housewives who are best friends and neighbors share every triviality and tribulation of their lives.  The husbands are key secondary characters, and one of them is shot and killed in the previous episode. The episode I watched was the one that involves his funeral and how each housewife has dealt with the men in their life.  But what struck me about it is the impact that death has on our life.

As you may know, I lost my fur-child Goldie a week ago.  The pain of loss was refreshed today as I read the well-meaning condolence cards from our vet and the emergency animal clinic we took her to.  I remember as she lay there on her side panting, all I wanted to do was pet her and tell her how much I loved her.  I knew she wouldn’t make it to the vet in time but DH wanted to try.  It made him feel better to try.  I just wanted her to know how much I loved her because I wasn’t sure it was always clear.  So many times she got pushed aside because she wasn’t as demanding as the other cats.  She was quiet and kept to herself unless she wanted something.  How many times did I kick her off the desk, the chair, or the bed because I was doing something else instead of taking five minutes to pet her?

I lost my mother two years ago.  I didn’t say anything at the funeral.  I didn’t have anything to say.  I had been mourning her loss for years (she had Alzheimer’s) so I felt pretty numb about it by that time.  My mother and I still have many unresolved issues, issues that can’t be fixed now, issues that couldn’t even have been fixed before she became ill.  I did promise her at the funeral that I would forgive her someday.  The only thing that I hope she knew before she forgot me altogether was that I loved her.  Despite everything she put me through, she was still my mother, and I loved her.

My dad turns 83 this week.  There is a difficult past between us, but most of it has been worked through during the years.  I know now that he is proud of me, and he only pressured me to do well in school because he thought it was how he could make sure I succeeded.  He couldn’t have known that it would backfire.  That I would internalize every criticism and generate a sense of inadequacy.   He doesn’t know that I’m bipolar or that those genes most likely come from his side of the family.  They didn’t know those things back then.  My dad was an accountant and a steel worker, not a scientist, and “the web” as we know it didn’t exist back then.  He did what he thought was best.

Dad knows I love him.  Sometimes we don’t talk for weeks, and then I start to worry about him, but he swore to me that if he were ever to be in trouble, he would call me.  He sends me the most lovely cards, but gets upset if I do things for him. I know that someday I’ll have to go on without him too, although I hope that day is a long time away.

And I tell DH every day how much I love him.  I can’t imagine my life without him.  I don’t want to imagine my life without him.  My husband is the kindest person you will ever meet.  He takes care of me, even when I don’t or can’t reciprocate.  He takes care of the animals even though most of them think they belong to me.  I can’t think of enough wonderful things to say about him, even if he does irritate me sometimes – there’s still no one else I would rather be with.  Without him, my life would be empty, lonely, and pointless. So I worry on nights like this when he has to work late then commute 50 miles home.  I love him more than words can say.  He is my soulmate.

I’m not really sure where this post was going other than a simple TV show prompted me to think about the loved ones in my life.  The ones I love and the ones I have loved.  Always make sure the ones you love know that they are loved, be they human or not.  You never know what the future will bring and you’ll want them to know how much they are loved before you can’t tell them anymore.

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Gymnastics Outing

A friend of mine, Lea, invited me to join her in attending her daughter’s gymnastics tournament yesterday.  Her daughter Lynn is 8, with a dead-beat dad, and no one to attend her tournaments except mom.  (Grandma can’t see well enough.)  I agreed to go, especially since Lea insisted that I needed to “get out of the house”.  We had a great time, except that the uncomfortable folding chairs really did a number on my back. 😦

I’ve never been to a gymnastics tournament (unless you count watching the Olympics on TV) so this was a new experience for me.  I brought my camera and I was able to get some great shots and video of Lynn performing her practice and final performances.  She is such a sweet kid and very grown up for her age.  She likes hanging out with me too, which is especially sweet to me, because I don’t have kids.

So we made a day of it.  We had fast food for lunch (yuck) because time was short.  After the three hour tournament, we went shopping.  Lea is a real shopper and she talked me into buying this incredibly adorable hat (for the grand prince of $4.99!) and I got some shoes and household things at TJMaxx.  Retail therapy at it’s best.  But I didn’t go overboard like I normally would because I am starting to be very conscious of money and my limited supply of it.  (Some days I still can’t believe that I am about to be unemployed.)

New hat!

Then we had dinner at Red Robin.

Now that was an adventure all on its own.  The wait staff was terrible.  I’ll start here.  We get seated, and Lea slips on a squashed lemon rind on the floor.  Fortunately, she didn’t fall.  Our waiter acted all confused and upset that we expected it to be cleaned up.  I told him no lemon in my water.  I got lemon.  I was never asked if I wanted more water throughout the entire meal.  It took two waiters and ten minutes to bring me butter for my broccoli and we never got our extra napkins.  When he brings our tickets, Lea’s is over charged and he drops mine on my bread (I’m still eating at this point).  When he comes back, he picks up Lea’s card to run it and stands there hovering, waiting for me to pull out my card, while I am putting my leftovers into a to-go box. Instead of offering to come back, he just stood there. He probably didn’t want to bothered making an extra trip, but a waiter should never rush a customer into paying!  I finally told him that I intended to pay in cash (which I did) and he could go.

The food tasted OK but the prices are way higher than they need to be.  Lynn and I got essentially the same meal – hers was the kids version and mine was the adult version.  When they brought out our plates, ours were nearly identical: the same amount of mac & cheese and the same amount of broccoli.  Seriously?  And I’m paying twice the price?

Now for the real kicker: cleanliness – or lack there of.  The customers at the table across from us had a toddler with them, who threw food all over the floor.  It was never cleaned up.  There was mushy food and a small crayon just under the table where anyone could slip on it just like Lea had on the lemon peel.  Never cleaned up.  To make matters worse, I watched our waiter as he flicked a stray ice cube onto the floor.  Another slippery mess.  That restaurant is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Despite the dinner fiasco (I never want to go to Red Robin again) I had a great day.  Lea insisted that I stay away from the ice cream place and not to be depressed for the rest of the evening.  The latter was more difficult than the former, but I spent the night catching up with some shows on my DVR.  I felt that staying offline was a better option for me.

So all in all, it was a good Saturday for me.  I hope you had a good one too! 🙂

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Taking a “Day Off”

Technically, one could say I’ve been taking a day off for the past 10 months.  But today, it’s from the job hunt.  I just don’t have it in me today.  DH just tells me to do one thing each day (usually I do more) but today I feel drained and depressed.  My chances of getting an internal job at this point are almost zero.  I sent my resume to my former manager (now retired) who liked me very much and is going to check around for me (inside and outside my company).  My career really went downhill once she retired.  How is it that I do so poorly with changes in management?

I’m sliding into depression again, and I don’t think medication is going to help me this time.  I’m sleeping long hours, but they aren’t restful.  I fall asleep on the couch at least once a week.  I don’t go to bed until midnight, but then we haven’t been eating dinner until 8 or even 9pm.  (Damn time change!)  I need my meds to kick in order to sleep.  I feel stressed out all the time.  I play way too many video games.  (Arm is fixed, I can play on my own now.)  DH is still having health problems, but he’s not telling me about them.  I worry about him but I don’t know what to do.  He’s a grown man, I can’t force him to go to a doctor.

Back to the job hunt topic… I don’t know where to begin.  I’ve been thinking of a career change, maybe something that doesn’t include a lab.  But who is going to hire me?  Everyone wants an experienced person unless you’re working in Walmart. (No way is that happening!)  Besides, Walmart doesn’t hire people like me.  I would be considered “overqualified” and not willing to stay with the company. Imagine that!

Went to Lowes and returned the excess tile and other parts we didn’t use from the remodel. I got $172 back.  That’s a couple weeks worth of groceries.  I can’t believe we have to pinch pennies again, and gas is upwards of $3.50 a gallon.  Which means, fewer trips to ‘the city’ and around town even though my car gets 30mpg.  I don’t know what to do anymore.  Unemployment is going to drive me insane.

Ah well, I wish I had something better to talk about so I don’t just bore and depress you all.  I’ll think of something good soon.  I have my 100th post coming up!  I have to write something special for that.  Let me put my thinking cap on…

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Flood

This isn’t about a true flood with 16″ of water or anything, but it is about my house and even an inch of water is too much in my opinion.  We live in a ranch house on a concrete slab foundation so there isn’t a basement or crawl space to fill up with water.  Our backyard is sloped, and during a heavy rainfall the water runs like a river along the side of the house.  Whatever genius designed this house, made the back patio slightly sloped as well, so that the water pools at the back door and along the back of the house.

At first we thought it was just because we didn’t keep the gutters clean enough.  So when it happened last night, DH suited up in his rain gear and went out back to check.  Gutters clean, water everywhere.  Mostly seeping through the back door.  Some of it seeps through other places too, but mostly it’s the back door.  The previous owners had landscaped the backyard so the water would run around the house, but we’ve gotten such harsh storms since we’ve lived here that I think all their landscaping has washed away.  If we continue to live here, we will probably invest in French drains, but I don’t even know if that would work.  Personally, I would like to flatten out the back yard and put in a retaining wall. But that might get washed away too.  Who knows?

I really don’t know how much more of this I can take.  Between my job, Goldie, and now the flood… I know I’m strong, but there are limits. I’m feeling overwhelmed. I feel like there is chaos in my mind, but not a manic kind of chaos.  Everything is mixed up: self-loathing & self-punishment, fear, stress, frustration and a weird sort of calm (stability?) or perhaps that’s just resignation. All swirling together.  Wanting to get out and leave my mind blank. Quiet. Peaceful.

I keep thinking I could have done better at this job, I could have been a better cat-parent, I could have been looking for a job these past 10 months, etc.  But really, could I?  If you’ve been following this blog for a while, then you probably noticed that my early blogs contain a lot of pain and anger.  That’s no place to be when looking for a new job.  Right now, I just want someone to tell me what to do.  I’m lost and I feel like my mind is exploding, the emotions and synapses bouncing off the walls of this thick skull of mine.

My mind is not racing like mania, as I might expect from being in this situation.  I’m mildly depressed, but not severely.  Again, surprised.  My medications must be working, as expensive as they are ($1500 for Geodon without having met a deductible for a 3-month script).  I’ve met my deductible for the year now, I wonder if that starts over now with COBRA?  Boy, would that suck.

I’m trying to stock-pile my medications now while I know I still have insurance.  I’ve got 3-6months on most things.  Some of them are cheap even without insurance (like blood pressure) so I will be OK on that.  It’s my estrogen (will probably have to switch to a pill), Lyrica, and Geodon that are going to kill me over the coming year.  Geodon is now generic, but not much cheaper than the brand name, and won’t be for a while.

If any of you are religious, please say a prayer for me.  I’m afraid my life may require more strength than I have.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Goldie

We lost one of our fur children last night.  It was about 8:30pm and I was sitting at the computer, when I heard a noise and looked over to see her lying on her side panting.  Cats don’t pant.  We called the after hours number but the nearest emergency clinic that was open was an hour away.  We quickly put on our shoes, put her in the carrier (which she still had the strength to resist) and started driving.

I could just barely hear her panting.  I kept talking to her.  Then we heard an angry meow and rattle of the cage.  I knew.  I just knew.  I still kept talking to her, praying she would be OK, but a part of me already knew she was gone.  We got to the clinic and went inside.  They took her back and examined her but we were right, she was gone.

We took her to our vet today.  He said that she probably had a heart attack.  Nothing we could have done to help her.  We said our goodbyes and left her with them.  They will cremate her and scatter her ashes at the Pet Cemetery where Luna is.  Maybe they can play together in the afterlife.

Now that I have told you about her death, let me tell you about her life.  Goldie was a fighter, a scrapper, and she didn’t give up easily.  She wasn’t demanding very often, but when she wanted to be petted, she wasn’t leaving until you petted her.  Tenacious to the the core.

We walked into a PetSmart one day and there was a lady standing near the door with a shopping cart full of kittens she was trying to give away.  She had found them in a plastic bag in a dumpster, taken them to a vet to get patched up, de-wormed, de-fleaed, etc.  She asked if we wanted a kitten and I said no.  But this little orange tabby had jumped out of the cart and run towards me.  She sat at my feet and meowed.  I told DH to pick her up and give her back.  I didn’t have time for a kitten in my life right now; I was working on my thesis.  But a little while later, the lady found us in the store and she was holding Goldie.  I always wanted a cat I could hold.  And so I held her – I was so done for.  The little brat knew that was how to get me too because I could never pick her up again.

We brought her home to meet Princess, DH’s cat.  They sniffed each other, Princess hissed then Goldie hissed back.  She could hold her own.  It would be OK.  They didn’t interact much together but they didn’t fight either.

Goldie would sleep on my lap while I was typing my thesis.  One time, she slipped off and used her claws to try to break her fall.  I was wearing shorts at the time. Ouch.

We also had hamsters.  One day, we went to clean out the hamster cage (a fish tank) and we turned around to find Goldie sitting in the fish tank looking for all the world like she was pretending to be a hamster.  Meanwhile, Sunshine the hamster was desperately trying to climb out of the tank, to escape ‘the thing that will eat me.’  But Goldie had no desire to touch the hamster.  She never attacked them when they got loose, she never hurt them, but she did like the fish tank: See! I’m a hamster too!

Goldie was also very territorial too, once we had her spayed.  Any cat that came near the sliding glass door was in for it.  She would growl and hiss and attack the door to try to shoo them off.  After we bought our first house, we thought briefly of letting her be an indoor/outdoor cat, but then we decided against it.  We weren’t afraid for her so much as we were afraid for the rest of the neighborhood.  Good thing too, because she would fly into these beserker rages when other cats came around.  If her attention was suddenly drawn into the the house, she would attack anything on sight – typically Princess.  One night, a neighbor cat (who liked to torment her by sitting outside the back door) had her so riled up that she turned on me.  She shredded a pair of jeans and my leg before I could get her shut into a room by herself.  Within a few minutes, she had calmed down and started meowing to be let out.  She stayed in there for a few hours.  I was pretty upset.

Goldie was not happy when we brought two more cats into the house, but she got used to them and eventually became friends with Luna.  They would play “chase the red bug” together.  They would sit on opposite sides of the room and when the red bug (laser pointer) came towards one of them, say Goldie, she would chase it, but when the bug went to the other part of the room, she would stop and wait for her turn while Luna chased it.  Now they are both gone but their ashes will be scattered in the same pet cemetery.  Perhaps they can play together once more.

Goldie was 14 years old. She lived a good life for a cat.  She was finicky, particular, and utterly devoted to me.  Part Maine Coon, she chose me when she jumped out of that shopping cart and bonded to me quite quickly.  She was always a happy cat, trotting around the house with her tail up.  She would give you the cold shoulder when she was mad, but it wouldn’t last long.  She had a loud purr, loved the sunshine, and even chased a ball in her youth.  She was a great companion and I will miss her dearly.

She fought illness in life and even fought death.  Her last meow was one of anger, not of fear.  As DH said, “Her last meow was a brave angry cry at death, and a warning to the afterlife that a fighting cat was coming.”

Sleep well, my furry angel, and play in the sun to your heart’s content.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.