Something’s got to give

I don’t remember when I bought those old PJ bottoms– sometime before Victoria’s Secret stopped making things in simple, pretty, feminine, flannel– so, at least a decade, because they’re also sized extra-large.

Suffice it to say, as I was hauling the vacuum around the house at 8 or so this morning, cleaning up the pine needles from the tree I finally had time to take down, something about some way I bent was too much– not the girth, because I’d kept hiking them up– but the mere fact of the motion, and they gave way at the seam.

Really gave way, too, flapping in the breeze and all that metaphorical jive.

I finished what I was doing, first, because I had a robe on, over, and my dad was studiously ignoring the fact that I was doing all the hard work downstairs by pretending to be engrossed in the paper online, upstairs, but then, eventually, I made it upstairs and took a look at the rent.

They weren’t really reparable, and the only thing to do was ball them up and throw them away.  The house is already eaves-deep in dust rags.  (Every time I throw out more unearthed piles, I find even more, even more vintage ones.)

The whole time I was untrimming the tree and dragging it out to the back for hacking apart to lay on the beds, I was fuming– maybe the steam contributed to the seams’ loosening.  Because how can you not hear someone taking a tree through two rooms and the front door?

I don’t handle my anger well, and humiliatingly, I’m an angry crier.  I hate it.  I have been so stressed out with the nonstop at work and a few petty things that aren’t anything to get worked up about except that I’m feeling amplified by all my personal stuff– and my personal stuff looms large right now, because my father is being a fucking toddler about the fact that he has to follow rules about food and take care of himself.  Every time my back’s turned, he’s trying to eat himself into his grave with something sugar or salt– or being a bully about my taking the T and then yelling at ME about the damned traffic when I try to pacify him by letting him drive.

I can’t get in a word edgewise about work, can’t vent about something or share something about my day, either, without getting a lecture: the fact that I work for a hippie-dippie Fortune 100 company with an entirely different business culture where, by and large, I can say what I think and share what I feel does not compute.  Therefore, I must be wrong, and I must be lectured.

It’s made me be more and more silent at “home”, because the temptation to say “You know, I’m starting to think the only time I’ll get a word in edgewise is after you’re dead” is awfully strong.  Add to that the fact that he doesn’t listen, can’t fucking hear, and isn’t paying attention more than half the damned time, and I want to move out even though he needs me more than he has.  And is being as gracious about my presence here as a velociraptor.

I’d planned on taking a vacation this week– a little mid week trip to the Berkshires for some slow-poke art museum and craft shop poking around, some writing, lots of sleeping in, and lots of cheap eats– and then things slammed back into high gear at the same time that my backup decided she’d had enough of the job, and where I’d had a hiring freeze now I had 18 people to hire and NO ONE WAS DOING THEIR JOB INTERVIEWING THE PEOPLE I’D SCREENED.

Enter, pants ripping.  Cue me deciding, all teary eyed and ready to crawl back into bed (yes, I am on my meds) that maybe I’d better not go on my vacation at all, a feeling of creeping dread I’d been having all day yesterday, too, during the extra work I put in to get more screenings done because left to their own devices, bless them, my team leaders are horrible judges of candidates and everyone they hired during my last stint out of the store have ALL, to a one, been fired for sucking.

I actually went so far as to call in to talk to one of my nominal bosses about not going because there was too much to do– I’ve been feeling like (warranted or not) I’m behind the eight ball and that I just don’t jive with anyone there, and he didn’t precisely sing kumbaya but he did at least give lipservice to my vacation being deserved and to sitting down tomorrow to put together a specific task list of what had to get done while I was away so that things didn’t slip.  The fact that I’m feeling isolated and stressed of course has NOTHING to do with the fact that I’m overworked.  The fact that I work with adults who don’t do my particular job as well as I do doesn’t change the fact that– they are adults, and if they screw it up by hiring someone I said was iffy, or not waiting until I come back (because goddamn, they’ve been sitting on their thumbs all this time, anyway), well, it’s not like I haven’t been working my ass off and it’s not like I haven’t been trying.

I think that when I come back I need to sit down and ask for feedback and see if there are places I need to refocus– with 300 team members, I’m always spinning my wheels and sometimes I just need to say no and put things off some, delegate more, and remember– I hit the ground running in August and haven’t stopped since.  I need to stop taking care of everyone else, even if it’s only for three fucking days.  Because I’m ready to rip, too, and I am not in a place to accept feedback and refocus, because I’m strained at the seams on my own.

Now I just need to find a way to tell my dad I’m leaving town for three days without him losing his shit.  Or not crying when he does, anyway.

He taught me to cook; if he wants to eat crap while I’m gone and then not understand why he feels like shit, I need to let him.  Because he does not want to learn, and I’m exhausted of beating my head bloody on the wall of his stupid self-disconnect.

I don’t want to work myself into that disconnect, myself, ever again.  I need to go, before I can’t ever come back.  I need to go, so I want to come back.


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