Monday, September 15, 2008

Where'd I go? I miss me so . . .

After what seemed like years of job hunting (okay it was really two weeks) I started at a new restaurant last week. It is an organic restaurant in a green building, which is pretty cool. The food is AWESOME! I know this because they feed the crew at the end of each shift (lunch & supper shifts). I like the people I'm working with (so far). They seem just about as nutty as I am. Plus?! I am in the middle of the age spectrum for the servers there! Apparently experience counts there, not looks or age. None of the servers are the "typical" twenty-somethings, which makes me feel good. I've agreed to work as the lunch hostess and an evening server until they can work me into the server rotation more. While that's not the ideal, they very graciously bumped up my hostess wage to make it more tempting to stay until they can get me more server shifts. So this week I'll hostess Tuesday through Friday, train for the last night as a server on Wednesday, and work my first server shift on Saturday night. We'll see how it goes. I like it so far, except that I had to run out on Friday and purchase a pair of Skechers for Work (Skechers brand) because I was in pain! I can't wear my Shoes for Crews shoes here because they are not black and I can't wait the week or more that it would take for me to get a new pair through the mail. A couple of the gals at work wear Skechers for Work and love them. We'll see. I love my Shoes for Crews shoes and am going to order a black dressy pair as soon as I get a little ahead financially.

Anime and Action have fit right in and made friends quickly here while Actress is struggling. Part of it is her attitude. She hates everything here and seems to be determined to be miserable. She wants to return to our former town and school. I can understand that. She was popular and an "it" girl there. Here she must start over. She's also unhappy with the new family situation and is attempting to but heads with Mr. Irony. She wants to be in control of everything. She complains about everything. I'm trying hard to be patient. I moved to a new school at her age and it was so incredibly hard. So hard and so bad, my mother tells me, that I've blocked an entire TWO YEARS from my memory. I have NO memories of 5th or 6th grade. So I can understand how hard this is for her. But my almost 11 year old has turned into a moody bratty teenager (mood swings) and I just don't know how to help her through this. She's choosing to make herself miserable most of the time and it is affecting everyone in this house.

I feel lost because I just don't know what to do here. I've unpacked about as much as I can, as many things left are things that need to stay boxed until we remodel the basement and there's actually somewhere to put them. There's not a lot I can go out and do as I'm broke currently. I don't feel like reading and have been reluctant to write. I'm insecure over a situation that I know I shouldn't be insecure over but it's there just the same. I'm not sure if I should write about it here as sometimes Mr. Irony reads my posts and I'm just not sure I'm ready to discuss this with him yet.

I've been having a hard time this past week. I feel lost and somewhat adrift, insecure and unsure. Part of me just wants to hide out and cry because even though I have a plan (sort of, it kind of hinges on being actually accepted to nursing school next fall) I still feel like I don't know what I'm doing. Like I'm drifting through life. I realize that my life has been so consistently inconsistent over the last several years (okay basically all of my adult life) that having some consistency and normalcy feels strange to me now. It is somewhat disconcerting to look at my new home and think that this is where I plan to be for the next 11 years (when Action graduates from high school).

I've been realizing how I've dropped the ball with my kids. They are slobs, have no understanding of putting things away, don't do what they're told without having to be yelled at, and generally treat me like a doormat. I guess because I have been a doormat. I've been realizing how I well and truly gave up on myself and became Mr. Ex's doormat and thus, everyone else's in turn. He treated me with very little respect the last several years of our marriage and I just shut up and took it. I convinced myself I was supporting him in his goals when really I was just trying to not be noticed so that things would be calm . . . no waves. I reacted by being passive-aggressive. Now I see my children treating me the same way and I'm trying to break the cycle. It is hard, though, very hard. They think I'm being mean when I'm not. I'm trying to teach them to be responsible. See, they aren't this way with everyone, just basically me. When they are at other people's house or school I get complimented on what great kids they are, what good manners they have, how kind they can be. At home? Those children disappear.

I remember the me of my late teens and early twenties. I was kick-ass, people! I set goals regularly and I accomplished them! I had a circle of friends. I debated with others and spoke my opinions. I stood my ground. I was fun and interesting and not afraid to let people know it. Now? Now I'm just trying to get by, unnoticed, am scared of speaking my opinion because I'm scared I'll sound stupid. I don't accomplish much and feel pretty "meh" about most things. I want the old me back, but an improved old me, as I've had so many experiences over the last 19 years that make me even more interesting and knowledgeable than before. The question is . . . how do I get there?

There's a song by Fort Minor that, although the video deals with deployed soldiers, the lyrics make me think about the last 15 years of my life. Where'd I go? Where'd my world go? Did I really give up everything to schedule my life around someone else's desires, waiting for them to decide they wanted to be with our family? I want me back and I want the will back to not subjugate my dreams and hopes to someone elses.


9 comments:

ErinSlick said...

I know exactly how you feel. I have no tried and true answers, but I do know this. Recognizing how you feel about your current lot in life is huge. Seriously. It's really hard to see the forest for the trees sometimes and I'm confident that you'll pull through. I think you're kick ass and am sending you all the positive karma I can muster that you'll figure out how to get back there! = )

Shania said...

You're in my head again! I know from the trying not to get noticed. I think now that you know she's missing, you'll get her back.

The Modern Gal said...

It seems you're on the right path to getting back to where you want to be. The stability should help. Instead of thinking 'what next' or having to worry about putting your life with Mr. Ex behind you, you can focus on you and your relationship with your kids.

Emily said...

I hear you... I agree with Shania that now you've noticed her missing you'll fight like hell to get her back.

As far as the kids and disrespecting you goes - my sister went through this and in the end sat the kids down and had a frank talk with them - explaining how she felt and asking them how they would feel if she always ignored them. It really helped turn things around...

As far as Actress goes - I've been there and it hurts and is scary. Do you know any other girls her age in the area? Are there any groups she could join?

Thinking of you...

Vanessa said...

Identifying the problem is the first step towards fixing it. You are on the right path, just keep working at it. It didn't get this way all at once and can't be fixed all at once either. With determination it CAN be fixed though!

ifmusicbe said...

Oh honeypie, you'll get there. It's traumatic for everyone, but i have faith that you will make it through and actress will soon settle into school.

just give yourself time to work out what needs doing before you try and do it.

mrsb said...

Try taking a small step at a time with the kids. What one thing do you want them to do the most? Talk more respectively to you? Take that one goal, and work on it for a month. Trying to change everything at once will be a recipe for disaster. Work on one thing at a time, being consistent and trying to have patience with them.

We actually went through a couple of years of family therapy to learn that skill, lol!

Diane said...

Everyone will adjust just fine. Don't worry about it and I bet you find things fall into place on their own.

Queen of no man's land said...

You hang in there, this too will pass. You've battled through worse in your life and you will battle through this too...I'm pulling for you and with you...