Frustrated Today

I’m frustrated.  I don’t even know where to begin.  It’s not like something big happened.  It’s the stress of a lot of little things.  And it probably doesn’t help that I haven’t been writing this blog.  This is my stress reliever.  But since I don’t want to burden anyone with my ‘poor, poor, pitiful me’ bit, I just don’t write.  It seems like I have to have something worth writing about.  And right now, all I’ve got is stress.  Why can’t they make a pill for stress?  They’ve got one for everything else.

So what am I so stressed about?  Well, DH is not here this week.  His mom paid for his ticket to come home for a week.  I leave on Saturday for a conference.  We overlapped our trips intentionally so that we wouldn’t have to kennel the dog as long.  Maybe that was a mistake.  It’s one thing to have DH spend a week away from me, it’s another when that week is right before I leave for my own trip.  I always get stressed out before I go on a trip.  I always have – at least I have for a long time.  It’s gotten worse over the years.  But travel anxiety spiked since 2009 when I we went on weekend trip and came home to find my cat had died.  That horrible memory is burned in my brain.  She was under the guest bed and DH saw her first.  When I looked under the bed I started screaming.  I don’t handle things like that very well.

So I think part of my problem when I travel is that episode is running through my subconscious, even though I have no reason to expect it to happen again.  But my travel stress dates back long before then – it just got worse after Luna’s passing.  Identifying that experience as part of my problem has helped a little, but I’m worked up already.  Worrying about packing, about how to apply for jobs when I’m not even home, making sure my resume is available, I have to make out business contact cards, taking the dog to the vet for his shots before he goes to the kennel.  Oh, and my debit card was declined today.  Probably because I didn’t have any money in my account.

Tomorrow I see my pdoc in the morning and I get my hair cut in the afternoon.  I’ve got to get it colored so I don’t look so old, because ageism is upon me.  I fly back Thursday night, unless the place I phone interviewed for wants me to come out for a face-to-face interview.  Then I will have to go directly from the conference to there for Friday, then back home.  Thinking about the “just in case” is freaking me out. I have to pack for an extra day “just in case”.

I have to start doing laundry for this trip too.  All my work clothes that have been mothballed for a year have to come out of their corner of the closet and be re-washed. I have dishes that will need to be done (can’t leave them for the few days before DH gets home) and calculating lunch and dinner is complicated for me.  I don’t want left-overs sitting in the fridge.  I’ve got to pack breakfast food (in the form of protein bars) because the hotel is one that doesn’t offer a free breakfast.  (Fortunately, I got the student hotel rate, but there’s no student rate on food.)  I have to pack all 11 (or is it 12?) medications for this trip.  I wanted a smaller pillbox, but I haven’t got time to go to Walmart to look for one.  Or maybe I do.  I don’t know.

Aren’t I supposed to be looking for a job???

And that’s a fruitless endeavor too.  Yesterday, today… nothing there.  Nothing.  If I was an IT person, I would have it made.  (At least locally.)  If I had managerial experience, that would open some doors.  If I had specialized in anything other than what I did, I would be in a better position.  This conference is about the only place to find a job in my specialty.  And we still have to exclude anything that requires a security clearance.

So…. yeah, I am so frustrated right now that I want to cry.  (I also had therapy today, which is emotional for me these days.)  So many things to do, but my list only has 4 on it because I can’t even articulate them in my head.  (Although this post is turning into a pretty good to-do list.)  Anyway, I guess the first thing on my list is to go make dinner.

Wish me luck! (and sanity!) 😉


© 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.

Security Clearance

Security Clearance. A death knell for any mentally ill person seeking a job requiring one.

How many good jobs have I had to pass over because I can’t obtain and maintain a security clearance? Several. I just passed another one today. It eliminates any job related to the Department of Defense (DoD) and many Department of Energy (DOE) jobs which are places I could find work. Eliminate Boeing, Lockheed Martin, or any of the other companies with big DoD research projects. Reject some of the government labs, like Sandia or Los Alamos National Lab. I can’t even work in a simple position if it has anything to do with defense.

The mentally ill do have stability issues and are a security risk for projects requiring high level security clearances. I understand that. I’m just frustrated is all. Frustrated that I was born with this genetic pre-disposition that blossomed into something that taxes me daily.  Frustrated that on top of all that it limits my employability.  Even if I had never been diagnosed, it would probably come out in the mental health exams.  It’s a necessary discrimination.

But what would happen if companies found a loophole such that they could discriminate against you legally?  Disability discrimination cases are rarely won.  If I had told my last employer about my bipolar, I probably would have been out of a job sooner than now.  As it is, given that my FMLA ran out and they couldn’t find a place for me that I was qualified for when I returned, it’s nearly disability discrimination. I was discriminated against by my co-workers while my arm was injured, but I didn’t know that there was a statue of limitations on disability claims.  At this point, I have no legal recourse; I was told as much by a lawyer.  I was laid off from a previous job because of health reasons (I was recovering from a severe mania) and sued them unsuccessfully.  Oh yes, companies are tricky, and if they can get away with it, they will.  It’s why they employ such expensive lawyers.

But I digress.  My point was simply to express my frustration in the job hunt.  A job hunt that is already difficult enough with my background and education level, soon to be made more difficult by my age. It’s discouraging to be disqualified for jobs because of my mental health.

 

© 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.

Remodeling: Day 3

OK, I started this post this morning when I was tired, frustrated, and had just dropped the kitties off at the kennel.  Things have changed dramatically since then, so I am re-writing this now that I am calmer and some things have been resolved.  The problem we have been having is with tile.  Because the counters are going to be custom and unique works of art, we have to pick tile to go with the counters or at least what the counters will be most like. We went to the local tile store yesterday, and while they have a huge selection, it’s actually difficult to find something that works. Marble would have been $9/ sq. ft.  The travertine was nice and would have gone but they only make it in 4×4.  They had some larger sizes but not in the same color.  Doing 4×4 tiles would have made everything infinitely more complicated but I was determined because I don’t like the look of the larger tile.  DH & I were fighting over tile with both of us getting very frustrated and upset.  We took a break, took the dog to the dog park and ate lunch.  Tempers receded.

There’s no Home Depot in this town, and the local tile store has a buy by the box and no-returns policy.  They also have to order most things.  So we ended up back at Lowe’s.  We lucked out in that one of the flooring experts helped us pick out grout, tile, and even design our tile layout.  Best of all, our tile guys happened to come by Lowe’s while we were working out the design and joined in the discussion.  The lady at Lowe’s had taken a multi-tile background piece that had been torn and she cut it for us so we could actually see the layout.  Then the tile guys were there to see it too – how fortunate!  🙂

New tile layout

(Sorry for the crooked picture.)

They make a 12×12 version of the tile as well that we can use in the living room.  It will tie the two rooms together subtly, which is nice because it’s sort of an open-concept design.  (I can watch TV while doing dishes, for example.) So finally we agree on a tile!  Thank goodness because I am SO sick of this decision making crap.

The workman made some headway on the countertops and hearth.  He had to spend a lot of time laying down plastic and cardboard to protect everything.  But I would rather have them do that than to spill on my current carpet or tile.  These guys are good – they even clean up after themselves!  Cross your fingers that this tile business is behind us (except for writing the check) and we just have to have faith that the rest of it will work out as planned.  I cannot wait to see the finished product!

The most heart-breaking thing today was taking the cats to the kennel.  We had forgotten Goldie’s medicine, so we had to stop back there later in the day.  Saxon was just sitting in his kennel, cowering on the ledge (built-in loft).  He looked so wretched, staring out the window at me.  It broke my heart.  I sent a straw in for him to play with, but I doubt he will. (He loves straws.)  The kennel gave the cats deluxe accommodations: double rooms and cat beds.  In part because Princess was sleeping in her litter box.  (They use shredded paper for the litter boxes.  Never seen that before.)

That pretty much sums up today.  Going out to have dinner soon – we can’t cook anymore (no stove & no pots/pans/dishes/etc.)  It’s going to be a long week in the food department.  It’s going to be a long week, period.  I can’t wait until I have my kitchen back, and more importantly, my kitties home again.

Freak Out

OK, so I haven’t been blogging much lately.  Lots of things going on, and yet, nothing going on.  Same as usual.  I guess.  Well, not exactly.

I’ve been having freak-outs lately (as in 3 in the last 3 days).  It’s never been this bad.  DH says it’s like I was before the diagnosis.  So why isn’t this damn anti-psychotic working???  Or maybe it is, but it’s not treating my freak-outs.  They may be related to depression.  I thought I was over the depression because I was feeling better last week.  I found out that Geodon does act like an anti-depressant because it inhibits serotonin & norepinephrine reuptake, so I thought it was working.  But maybe it’s just not enough.  This week I am back to the same old thing: procrastination, self-recrimination, and a general sense of no self-worth.

Then there are the freak-outs.

WARNING:  I am not suicidal, but there is a discussion about suicide below, so if this bothers you, then abort now!

Now, to explain the freak out.  It’s somewhat complicated and difficult to put into words, but I will try.  DH & I were at the mall.  He wanted to look for new sneakers.  He pointed to the store he was going to look in.  I wanted to look somewhere else first but then I would meet him in that store.  When I went to meet him, he wasn’t in that store.  I called his cell.  He didn’t answer.  I was so angry all of a sudden that I wanted to throw the damn phone down a level, where it would land (coincidentally) in front of the Apple store.  Fortunately, a small bit of logic remained in my clouded mind and I was able to refrain from destroying a $300 phone.  When I finally found him in a different store (we disagree as to which store he had pointed to) I was a snarling, rabid thing.

Last night, we had some kind of disagreement, and I was off reaching for knives and threatening to slit my wrists.  The night before, I stormed out of the house saying that I was planning to go “play in traffic”.  Mind you, I was perfectly fine when I saw the psychiatrist Monday morning.  I had had about 4 or 5 consecutive days of “normalcy”.    I don’t know what prompted this disaster.

How can I describe a freak out?  It’s like there is something inside you that when triggered you just lose it.  You become a wild, mad thing.  It feels as if all of your synapses are firing at once, but none of them in the correct direction.  You can’t slam the door hard enough, you want to crush what is in your hand, scream, cry, rage, slam, punch, kick – you name it – anything to release the energy that is built up inside you.   When it’s over, you feel drained and no longer taut like a bow string about to break.

A lot of times, these outbursts involve suicide threats.  Am I really suicidal?  I don’t think so.  Could I do myself harm in one of these states?  Quite possibly.  This is where you tell me to go to the hospital, right?  It wouldn’t be worth it; by the time I got checked in, it would be over.  These states are very short-lived, typically less than an hour.  Today’s freak-out for example, was only about 10-15mins.

So, I know I have to call my doctor’s office, but I really don’t know what to say.  I’m freaking out, just doesn’t quite seem to cut it.  And how do you explain the situation to a nurse/receptionist in 10 words or less?  I’m at a loss.  But I need something. NOW.

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123). 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.

You don’t understand

You don’t understand why I get so upset.

You don’t understand why everything must be just so.

You don’t understand why I ask you to do this or to do that.

You don’t understand why lose my temper over something that seems trivial.

You don’t understand why all the little things build up and boil over inside my brain.

Churning and burning until I

EXPLODE

Slam the door

Pull my hair

Scream

Cry

You don’t understand how I’m hurting inside.

And I have no control.

You don’t understand.

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123). 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.

15 Minutes of Fury

I know it’s supposed to be 15 minutes of fame, but that isn’t my life.  Also, I’m sure that my fury will last longer than 15 minutes.  However, it apparently takes less than 15 minutes of access to my work email to set me off.

It’s like this… my former boss (now colleague) is a narcissist. We will call him Dr. B.  Dr. B and I have a bit of a history.  We worked really well together for the 1-1.5yrs because I was new and still learning. Once I started to get good at my job, and didn’t run to him every second of the day (consequently, not listening for hours on end to his repetitive stories about how he’s been wronged over the past 20 years), he started to be less supportive of me.  I wrote a report and originally had him as a co-author.  However, the other co-author told me to take both names off the report.  So I did that.  BIG MISTAKE.  Dr. B hasn’t been the same to me since. He refused to even look at the report for over a year.  He told upper management that he intentionally set it aside because his name wasn’t on it.  He never once asked me why (although I did tell him why) his name wasn’t on it, and I offered to add it back if he thought it was appropriate.  The other co-author, who is much higher ranked and respected in the company than Dr. B, called him and apologized profusely for 20 minutes saying that it was his fault that Dr. B’s name was left off because of bad advice he gave me.  Once I had the second co-author’s approval, I put both names on the report. It took Dr. B two more months to review it, and he added two more people to it (because they did some work on the same materials at some point in time that had no impact on this work) and made revisions that don’t even make sense.  Then he has the nerve to ask me why the report hasn’t been published.

Fast forward to the 15 minutes I spent checking my email today. I found out via a circuitous route that in my absence, Dr. B and the new girl have written a report on a project that Dr. B and I started a year and a half ago. We did the ground work and I have the dated notes in my research notebook.  (Unfortunately not witnessed because I didn’t know that sort of thing needed to be done, and at that time I still trusted Dr. B to have scientific integrity.)  I set up the instrument to collect the data for the method – until Dr. B stepped in and changed it because I am so obviously incompetent. Since I was never on the distribution list for this report, I can only conclude that my name is not on it and my input is not wanted.  One could argue that since I am not in the office due to my short term disability (STD) they didn’t want to trouble me or wait for my return.  But Dr. B has no problem sending me emails when he wants something.  You also might say, well, perhaps your name is on it and you just don’t know it, but I rather doubt it.  This is the same man who has taken every opportunity to publicly discredit me in the past year.

Backstabbing, lying, hypocrite.

 

© Manic Monday (manicmonday123). 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.