Maybe…If I Try?

The problem

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     I’ve been thinking a lot about our shitty financial situation and how little I’ve been able to contribute.  I feel so much blame for things being the way they are.  It wasn’t just my stroke that put us here, but also my shitty life planning skills.  I love Kasper, but I’m too honest and realistic to deny the fact I hooked up with a “loser.”  He’s never had any goals, truly put in work for anything, or showed initiative, gumption, or care for anything that required any kind of labor– including the labor of effort.  He does what I view as pretending to try, both of us knowing it’s always for show.  When I was working, I assumed I would be the responsible one: the one always thinking about how many hours she can squeeze out of her job, sacrificing personal items so the house can have what it needs, and sacrificing time with her family so they can have everything they need and want.  I always assumed I’d be the one planning, earning, and spending.  I was okay with this because, like my mom, putting in the hard work at an “easy job” was so much better than failing at trying to be successful.  So, I accepted Kasper and his way of avoiding life because it kind of aligned with my own ideology.

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     In all honesty, I probably could get a job.  The question is whether or not I’d be able to keep it; or, how long would I be put up with before I’m finally fired?  Doing things with one hand isn’t really as difficult as one might think once you get accustomed to it and learn how to work with it.  It’s this other arm.  It gets in my way; like, a lot.  The other day, I was sitting at the house PC browsing for Christmas gift prices; I’m not sure how it happened, but my left hand got stuck to the underside of the chair.  My fingers had curled up around something under the desk chair!  I got so anxious about being stuck that it tightened my grip and turned my elbow so I basically locked myself in…

     I have more than a “limp.”  Limping is no big deal, I’ve worked with people with limps before.  It’s not just the limp, however; it’s the speed, the hip pain, the knee locks, the supination of the foot, the teetering while standing still, and the overall frustration of remembering how to walk: back straight, chin out, don’t hitch the hip, don’t let your knee lock, keep your arm in, eyes forward but also monitor your space for careless folk. You see, my “limp” is a full mind and body battle with every step.

     I’m unreliable and undependable because of chronic migraines, chronic fatigue, chronic pain, spasticity and joint stiffness/aches.  I’m easily confused by numbers, columns, time, letters that don’t make words, basic written instructions, directions (e.g, I never know which side of the building the street is on).  I’m emotionally unstable; there is literally no telling how I will react to anything.  I may cry, I may yell, I may laugh– I’m sorry you crashed into a brick wall. I promise my uncontrollable laughter is not because I find your car loss funny; it’s just my mind being impossible…again.  It could seriously go either way with me.giphy

I’m going to learn to drive

     I have anxiety, the kind that’s more negative thinking and heart palpitations than it is hyperventilating and shaking.  I’ve had it all my life; it makes it difficult to go out in public, and having this acquired set of disabilities has helped me feed the anxiety I learned to silently starve throughout my late teens and most of my twenties.  I eventually had to get a job (I was 19) and the anxiety just kind of melted away on its own after a while.  I was still damn awkward but I was out there meeting people, smiling at strangers, and soon, walking into stores with my chin out and head high, striding confidently to get what I needed, pay, and leave.  I keep thinking I can do this again– that a job will help me be who I want to be, with disabilities and all.  But it doesn’t work like that.  Everything is a process.

     I have to regain independence.  I never learned how to drive.  I was scared, for one; and two, Stilla got all the driving lessons from the parents.  Mom took me to a graveyard once but I got her escort stuck on a tree root crossing the graveyards narrow dirt road. She tried again 2 years later.  I almost drove into a ditch because she forgot to tell me the power steering went out until I tried to turn a corner and the truck kept going forward.  There were a couple friends that tried but one had a “hoopty” and was difficult for me to manage. The other had a truck.  We were in a parking lot, during the one time I tried snorting meth.  I almost drove into a light pole but managed to do some sort of master reverse maneuvering thing which was pretty awesome…

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Picture it brown and imagine it squeak and squeal with every bump it hits

     Learning to drive won’t magically give me a job, “cure” my anxiety, or do anything else I’d rather not work hard to accomplish, but it might provide me with a renewed sense of independence.  I can no longer walk where I want to go and taking the city bus, despite it being an affordable option, is something that really ruffles the feathers of my anxiety.  There’s a lot to consider that sound like excuses but in my head are perfectly sane reasons to avoid the bus altogether.  I would really love to go to a store and actually look at what I want to look at rather than always considering how much time of Kasper’s I’m stealing from him. I feel this will help us both a lot.

It’s time to be for real

     I want to trust Kasper to get a better job, to accept more hours, to do what needs to be done without laying the guilt on me, but I don’t think he’s capable.  There’s a reason I “wore the pants” before the stroke.  There’s a reason he’s still at the same shitty job with the same shitty hours while I’m biting my nails down to nothing.  I can’t use my thumb right now because I bit the nail so short it exposed too much thumb skin…ew.  I feel if I learn to drive, Kasper will be forced to run out of excuses.  I can take myself to my own appointments.  I can worry about the kids’ school schedules while he worries about getting a better work schedule.  I can do the grocery shopping while he’s at work (I’ll find a way to get groceries in the house on my own).  I feel like he’s using me as an excuse to not grow up while telling me how he’s ready to grow up.  Dude is almost 40….daenerys-targaryen-gif-1-06222015

     So, if I get my license, which I’m told I can totally drive with one hand without a special needs vehicle, then I’ll relieve some of Kasper’s burden while gaining independence.  I’m hoping this independence will help me learn to function with my anxiety once again and help me get a job.  Maybe functioning outside of my house and contributing to it will help with my depression.  Maybe weakening my depression will strengthen our household…

Maybe I’m putting too much stock into maybe’s…

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