Monday, January 13, 2014

The 11th Commandment

No, isn't Ronald Reagan's "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican."

It's not even "Thou shalt not get caught."  At least not where I live.

No, living in my parent's house, the 11th Commandment was "Thou shalt not whine", which later morphed into "Thou shalt be responsible" as we grew older. Note how the latter contains the provisions of "If you're whining, you aren't being responsible for your situation or feelings -- if you hate things so much, fix them instead of whining about it"  as well as "Be self sufficient."

I'm trying very hard not to break the 11th any more than it's already been broken. (The self-sufficiency thing went out the window almost a decade ago.) I'm trying to suck it up and be a good soldier, but between the weather (and the allergies/headaches that go along with that), my chronic mid-month depressive cycle, and my #&$!*ing family, it's becoming increasingly difficult to stay motivated and on-target.

My parents have started fighting about television now. The goddamn boob tube. Apparently there isn't enough stress and misery in their lives, so now they're going to bitch and fight and have temper tantrums over who gets to watch what, and when. Because apparently it's important to argue over entertainment now.

Honestly,  they should have gotten a divorce about 20 years ago, but by the time I was out of the house and in college they had gotten to the point where it was less work just to become fractious roommates where dad brought in money and mom kept the house than it was to get divorced and move out. This way, they get to keep the illusion of being a "proper" family. Oh, the shit I could tell you about my parents...

If I'm being totally honest, these people never should have gotten married in the first place. And yes, I realize this means that the "me" who I am today wouldn't exist. At this point, I'm fine with that, as I think that theoretical me would be a lot healthier and happier.

Dad's never forgiven me for not being his perfect little clone, going into the military, and being an officer with a house, a spouse, 2.5 kids and at least one combat deployment. "Disappointment" is pretty much the order of the day. I've talked about him before, and there's no love lost anymore on either side things. We basically have a working relationship and that's it.

Mom... well, when she isn't over-reacting by screaming and yelling and saying vile shit over rather inconsequential shit, she's basically clinging to me for companionship because I at least talk to her and treat her as a person rather than a live-in maid and cook. Which is not too bad, because despite all her flaws I still love her, but this kind of emotional manipulation (whether it be intentional or not) makes it difficult, if not impossible, for me to get away.

And then there's me. I'm too smart for my own good, in that I see busywork for what it is, and I refuse to tolerate bullshit or play office politics. I also have a smart mouth, a quick temper and no real self-censorship when I get riled up. As a result, I've been fired from every job I've ever held.

I don't do well with roommates for the same reason (look, I admit it, I am a difficult bitch to live with, being moody and territorial), but on the few occasions I've lived alone my depression has gotten the better of me and I've gone from living alone to feeling alone to "nobody loves me" to "why should anyone love me" to "I don't deserve love anyway" and by that point I'm sick and malnourished because I haven't been taking care of myself -- after all, why should I care about myself when no one else does? -- and that's when things get so bad I have to move back in with my family, because for all their fucking faults I know that they, at least, are obligated by biological imperative to take care of me when I can't (or won't) take care of myself.

To quote Gravity Kills, "I've built this perfect little hellhole." I hate my situation, but I am financially and emotionally unable to leave. I'm fully appreciative of the irony involved in putting myself in a place that I can't leave yet don't want to be in.

If you've ever wondered why I've often seemed so desperate to find someone to love and who would love me back... well, now you know. I'm looking for emotional rescue, hoping that someone will want me and love me enough to choose me to be with them forever. Not because they have to, not because they're obligated to, but because they want me. And then that makes me feel like a pathetic loser, because instead of fixing my situation, I'm waiting to be rescued like a dog in a kennel.

I'm tired of being caught between two warring factions.

I'm tired of not having the courage to improve my situation.

I'm tired of playing the go-between and peacemaker.

But I don't have the strength to change any of this. I feel like I have no options for self-rescue.

Some days, I just want to leave loaded pistols within arms reach of them when they're yelling at each other.

And then I realize what I just thought, and I hate myself for wishing them dead just because I'm weak.

Well, that pretty much obliterates my "no whining" goal. Some days, I can't even be strong enough to shut up and soldier on.

Comments of sympathy, while welcome, aren't required. I think I wrote this just so that I would have something to show for today, and to forestall the usual  "I didn't write yesterday, no need to write today, whoops there goes a week of not writing anything" pattern. And, of course, to get it off my chest in the hopes of some cathartic relief.

Welcome to my brain. It's dark in here, and you may be eaten by a grue.


  1. Happy as the holidays are, January sucks.

  2. If you want, you can have my Combat Deployments, if I could remove them from my memory that would be AWESOME!

  3. well Erin maybe its time to take your strenghts and figure out how to make money of of them. you are a good writer and with out seeing your traffic numbers you seem to have a strong readership and you have the ability to engage your audience and get other bloggers to repost your stuff so you clearly have some tallents you just need to figure out how to exploit for pay.

  4. What EVER gave you the idea that the December holidays were happy for me.

  5. Is it possible to maybe compromise by setting up house in a tiny house or trailer in the back yard? Then you'd be close by when your mom needs you, she'd be able to check on you to make sure you're not wasting away in a depressive cycle, and you'd have your own private space to escape to where you're better able to set boundaries. You can usually find pretty great deals on used RVs and campers on Craigslist.

  6. Can't afford it, can't afford it, can't afford it.

    Also, there's no place to put it anyway. Back yard is cramped and is used as a dog run and mom's garden.

    I can't even hide in my room, because it's tiny, with shitty lighting and poor internet access (it shuts off every time someone uses the microwave or the cordless phone), and the dogs still scratch at my door for me to come out and play.

  7. well if you ever want an obnoxios stranger to "help" you just let me know. :)

  8. I had a really crappy day. That just put it in perspective.

  9. It was sarcasm. Hence the "... even worse."

  10. I would choose the word empathy instead of sympathy, but that's me, I'm not going to tell you how to think. I was the glue for keeping my family together for a few years, so I partially understand your rant. An unrelated question, what's a grue?

  11. "The grue is a sinister, lurking presence in the dark places of the earth. Its favorite diet is adventurers, but its insatiable appetite is tempered by its fear of light. No grue has ever been seen by the light of day, and few have survived its fearsome jaws to tell the tale." --

  12. I feel for you, seriously. Hang in there. Play with the dog. At least the dog gives honest affection, untempered by any 'bad' motivations.

    Life changes. Be ready to jump on the upswing, when it comes by. I'd help if I knew how.


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