Somedays I wish I could sort out all the sh*t on my 12 things list ……

I struggle with life a bit. Who am I kidding? I struggle with life a lot.

And this year has been a bit epic for me.  So many things did not go as planned, so many things got totally out of control.   Mainly in my head.  Then in my life.

I seem to have got a handle on my obsessive compulsive stroke panic and anxiety stuff  – which had totally overtaken my life this year.

Can you say freak out?

I can’t say whether it was an “attack” or a series of “attacks” or an “episode.”  It has been pretty hellish.  Like a roller coaster, but without the aid of tracks and a seat belt.

Either way it left me shattered and clinging on to reality though clenched teeth, and bleeding finger nails.

Now?  I am not best, but I am better than I was.  My grasp is tentative at best, but I really do feel as if I am at least aiming in the right direction.

I am seeing a psychologist who specialises in cognitive behavioural therapy.  I also see a psychiatrist who keeps me medicated up to my gills.  I believe this will reduce as my coping mechanism kicks in.

CBT is really hard work.

It is much easier to lie on the couch and blame my mother and life, but CBT really holds a mirror/magnifying glass up to your stuff and makes you questions every aspect.

It doesn’t deal with the “past” it deals with “today” and what you are doing “today” and how you can alter your thought processes about “today.”

It is not a quick fix.  It is not as simplem as I am suggesting here.  Dr CBT is pretty good, and I try to see him every week.

The longer the gaps between my visits, the further I notice I drift off into the abyss.  Yes, a somewhat co-dependant relationship if there ever was one.

It is a bit alarming as you drill down to the root cause of stuff, and sometimes you realise, that actually you are a bit sad and stupid, when you sort of thought you were a bit awesome.

There are many things I need to let go or change – and these are some of them:

1.  Internet and Social Media Dependence.  I have spent much too much time trying to find validation in cyberspace, when in reality, I need to find it with me first before I can even think of standing in cyberspace.  I have been the instigator, and in some cases the victim of so much crap.  It makes me all shaky and sweaty just thinking about it.  Having bad judgement and trying to operate in cyber space has not been a great combination. <palm slap with hand>.  Right now I am pretty much off most/all social media, and lurk around only really on my blog.

2. It is not always my responsibility.  I can live life without it being “if I do not do it, no one will” mentality or “it happened because I did or did not do something”.  So what if no one does it?  So what if you stand back and let it happen? So what?  Leave it.  It is not always your problem to fix it.  You cannot fix the world. Right now you are stuggling to button your shirt, leave the world’s probelms to someone else.

3. I am not as important as I think I am.  When I walk in to a room, people do not actually stop what they are doing and look at me and make a judgement.  Really I am not that important to them.  No one gives a shit.  Even those who do make a judgement – really does it matter, and really in a group how many people are there that truly judge you negatively?  And how many people think about the stuff I do or say as much as I think they do.  Trust me, hardly anyone.  No one gives a fig.  Except you.

4. Name the emotion and deal with it individually.  I paint my fears with a big brush.  I paint all my crap with a big brush.  Much easier to have a blanket description and then sit and tremble in the corner.  I can’t do that because it makes me feel anxious.  I don’t want do that because I am afraid.  Does it really make you feel anxious only, or are there other emotions there? Well, actually yes, I am nervous, I am a bit anxious, I am scared and I am afraid. Okay, so that is four different emotions, let’s work through each of those instead of thinking that it is all anxiety.  Makes it easier if you break something down to work through it.  See what each emotion is about, and deal with it.  A bit like eating an elephant ……

5.  Stop putting pressure on yourself to always feel a certain way.  I feel I am meant to always enjoy being with my children.  So when I am with them, and I am not enjoying it, then I feel guilty and I start a bit of self-flagellation because I should love it.  And that is pretty much the cycle for a lot of things. I need to stop telling myself I “should feel anything” and just feel it as it is, and accept it.  Not just about my kids, about so many aspects of my life.  Stop dictating to yourself you are meant to be or feel a certain way.  Who decides this?  Why are you dictating to yourself.  Stop!

6.  You cannot change anyone, so deal with it.  It drive me crazy when so-and-so does such-and-such. It drives me totally off my rocker.  Ask yourself, can you change them?  Generally the answer is no.  If they do it all the time, then accept that it is the way they do things.  Having a shit fit every time, is only making you more insane.  Does it really matter that so-and-so does such-and-such?  Really?  Like in the bigger scheme of things?  Probably not so much.  Well, then do not get so worked up by it, as you cannot change it and you have no influence.

7.  If you don’t like something or don’t want to do something, why do you force yourself to do it?  Well that one is sort of self-explanatory.

8.  What is the worst that can happen? Really if you say something and someone feels bad, can you control how they feel or what they think?  No, so why constantly bereit yourself.  So what if it happens that way, so what?  Is it really that bad? No.  Do you consciously set out to hurt people?  No.  Can you control what people feel or think?  No.  Then stop sitting there taking responsibility for it.

9.  Spend more time in the present and less time in the “what if it does happen” future and “oh god it happened like this last time, I am sure it will happen like this now” past.  Just BE. Just BE.  You are missing out on so much running around in your head.  Sit in the sun, sip your wine, smell the lavendar.  That is all.  Feel the sun on your face.

10.  Stop having this insane dialogue with yourself over every possible issue.  It’s done.  It’s over.  You do not have to relive the conversation over and over again and persecute yourself.  You can’t go back.  You can’t do it differently.

11.  Why judge yourself in the worse possible light?  You cannot actually be as sh*t as you think you are.  Really, you can’t.  More people like you and more people understand you than you think.  Stop being so harsh on yourself.

12.  Just let life live.  Don’t plan so much.  Don’t run it over and over in your head so much.  Stop with the fkn lists.  Don’t try to predict so much.  Don’t try to work in every possible eventuality.  It’s life, it happens, and then you adjust.  It just is.

13.  Drink less wi…….. actually no, stop at 12. 13 is such an unlucky number.

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So how are you? And other polite conversations …..

As is customary, most people start a conversation with how are you.

The problem is I battle to reply in the customary: “I am fine, how are you?”

I am not “fine” so tend to say: “I am okay, not great, but okay.  Better than I was a month or two ago….. but okay.”

And then the person looks awkward, and I shuffle my feet.  And then I drawl “Any the wayyyyy ….. ” to sort of act as an ice-breaker.

Never works.  But I repeat this action none the less.

I am still seeing my psychologist guy.  I am not making a great deal of progress. I start these things with such gusto, and then I realise that they are so much work, and then my shine reduces slightly.  And I slump on the couch a bit more.

At the moment I feel part of things, but not.  I do not seem to have the resources to take part whole heartedly in anything.  At the moment breathing; going to work, attempting to appear vaguely “normal” takes all my energy.

So I feel pretty much like the “third person” to my life at the moment.

Not ideal.  No, sadly not.

My medication is probably not “quite right” but I am also reluctant to mess around with them right now.  There is just too much going on, and I do not want to atttempt and adjustment right now.

My physical symtoms include:  a little shake (of my hands) that gets worse as the day progresses; I yawn so much that my jaw gets sore; I am not “lie on the bed and sleep” tired, but I just cannot stop yawning and feeling fatigued; I feel like I am over there, but the other me is over here, so it is a bit disorientating.

I take some stuff to make me go to sleep at night.  I take some stuff to keep me asleep at night.  Works well.

The problem is if our house got hit with a tornado, I would go quietly in my sleep.

Kennith has been less happy with the fact that if the kids wake up, I am so dead to the world, that he always has to deal with it.  I think he is also concerned that in the event of a fire, he will be carrying three children, and a semi-conscious wife out the door.

My appetite has gone for a bit of a ball. I am seriously just not that interested in food.

I do love food though.  I am even partial to a bit of McDonalds which is actually the perfect meal.  By the time my brain has clicked that I am eating, the meal is finished.

So pretty much it is over before my brain can tell me that it is does not want food.  Works well. Or doesn’t.

Any the wayyyyy (see how that works) …….. so it is not all great, but it is okay.  Kennith is presently winning awards for “the most patient and enduring spouse.”

The mania of extreme panic and anxiety has passed — to a large degree (and I use the term mania very loosely as I am not manic).

I am still a bit wired, so I find when I do something that requires concentration for any length of time, I walk away feeling very frazzled and more shaky.

The small things are not as overwhelming as they were.

I spend less time doubting myself, and in obsessive destructive behaviour or thought processes.

I spend a bunch less time on the internet.

I am still avoiding a lot of the forums and blogs I used to troll.  I don’t have the energy to take on other people’s issues, and also the “urge” to interact much.  So I have missed where everyone is and what everyone is doing.

I sleep at night.

Earlier this morning my friend Judith asked me: “Are you back in the saddle?”

I replied: “Well I am in the saddle, but the horse appears to have fled …. So I am sort of kicking my heels in the dust going giddy-up ….. fake it til you make it they say!”

And that is pretty much how it is with me.

So how are you?

Dude, seriously who stole my car keys?

I am starting to wonder/believe that maybe we create our own karma.

I refused to read The Secrets and now instead of opening myself up and attracting all the positive energy in the universe, I appear to be attracting goats and trolls.

We can philosophise another day how we create our own fate and if you send out negative thoughts, negative things will happen to you.

Listen Karma – I am depressed, I only have negative thoughts!  If you can get the fkn happy fairies to come over and sprinkle happy dust on me, I will take a bit of that.

I will even snort it or put it in a vein or consider a suppository if you think that will work better and faster.

Today was yet another classic day in “the fk up that is my week.”

Busy day.  I had to get two kids to a party – separate parties, in different places at the same time.  I had a shoot to do this afternoon, and I really was not feeling the happiness and the enthusiasm one needs to be able to carry this off.

It also meant I had to interact with people and there would be a house full of people I do not know. Loud kids screaming and me feeling anxious and panicky.  Can anyway say trigger?

I was not going to cancel, but felt quite reluctant to face it this afternoon.

I woke up – and tackled the day, because I am a bloody trooper – and because my kids wake up at 6am on a Saturday, no matter what time you put them to sleep.

I started to sense the day might not go to plan when Connor started using the blanket I was trying to cover myself with, as I sipped my first cup of tea, as a fishing net.

He took it off me and was trying to throw it across the bed to mimic the action of a fisherman casting a net. (This is while Isabelle and Georgia were fighting over a Winnie the Pooh book that neither of them have shown an interest in since ….. birth!)

I suggest to Connor that really, mommy has not had her Xanax and Zoloft yet, so maybe take this “fishing net” malarky somewhere else. (I can totally get on board with play acting fishing nets. I am such a cool mom I can roll with almost anything.  But the blanket was meant to be covering me and keeping me warm.  Instead I am getting gusts of ice cold air everytime the “net was cast” and the corner either flicked me in the eye or knocked my tea mug.  Just not Ayoba no matter how you look at it.)

He nods at me in understanding and does it next to my bed (instead of over the bed).  Throwing the blanket that WAS covering me as a fishing net to show he can “cast a net!”

I am wondering why I do not walk around with an intravenous drip of Chenin Planc.  I really do not know.  My own will power astounds me most days.

I swear to the universe, I am in a series of Fawlty Towers and I am officially the Spanish waiter Manuel standing around going: “Iz thiz yur bal, keh?”

Anyway.

Got Connor off to the party he was going to.

Got Georgia to her one. Granted Georgia wanted to dress in her ballet outfit.  It was like minus 10.  I eventually gave up and let her wear what ever the hell she wanted – I did insist she wore her pink flower gumboots, as I thought it made the outfit totally rock!!

I really am past fighting with Georgia.  Really!  Right now I am doing the “path of least resistance…”

I drop Georgia off at her party – which is such a fabulous little party.  Her BFF Cara was turning 6.  Her mom had invited 6 kids (or there abouts) and instead catered for the mommies and the almost single dad.

10am and I was served champagne and little eats.  I was not going to stay, really I was going to drop and run.

Then I met Dorothy and Andrew and I probably had the most interesting conversation that I have ever had a kid’s birthday party. It felt like a cool adult party with interesting people. I could have laid down on the couch and totally abused Cara’s mom’s hospitality all day.

But I needed to run.

I had arranged to fetch them at about 13h30 as I knew I was going to be running late.

I do what I need to do at home – then I think okay, I have 20 minutes to drink some tea and I will read a chapter of my book and fly out again.

I do that.

But I fall asleep – like coma asleep.

I get woken by the father who is hosting the party Connor is at saying: “erm, when will you be fetching your kid EXACTLY!” (when he actually means “why the fk have you not fetched your child, we are sick to death of kids, and the fact that yours has hung around for an hour longer than the invite stipulated is actually rude and really annoying, but thanks for the great book you bought my son, it was fabulous and beautifully wrapped!)

I rush out like a lunatic.

I forget all Georgia’s sleep over stuff at home.

Fetch Connor, realise sh*t I have to go back home to fetch all Georgia’s stuff.

Fetch Georgia’s stuff, grab Georgia, throw them in the car to high tail it to my sister-in-law as I need to get to the shoot by 15h00 and it is already 14h30.  Georgia is sleeping over there and Connor is going to “visit” (read lie on the couch and play his Nintendo game) until I have finished at the shoot.

Connor drops the birthday cake that he was given on the car floor.  Georgia is talking about …. gawd I do not know.  Connor is screaming for a tissue and acting like the “cake on the floor” is attacking his foot.

It is cake, guy, seriously calm the hang down already!

I am desperately in a rush – and keep looking at the “please fill me up with petrol light” which has stopped flashing and now just sits there wanly in red.

I am driving – but still trying to maintain the speed limit.  I am highly stressed (you think?)

Drop Connor and Georgia off at SIL – Georgia is going to sleep over. I will fetch Connor after the shoot and him and I can go and have a quick dinner and do valuable mom-and-son bonding time.

(Isabelle by the way is asleep and Fortunate is babysitting, in the event you were wondering where child number 3 was in this plot.)

Throw kids out of car at SIL.  Drive like a maniac to shoot address.

Realise I have forgotten my diary at home!  Fkn hell – I recall the address but not the house number.  I drive with growing anxiety still staring at the “little red light of petrol” and I get a small dose of good karma as birthday party people have put balloons outside their house.

Fan.frnk.tastic.  Found house. Whoop-whoop things are finally going my way.

I throw myself out of the car and run in to the house looking like a rabid dog who desperately needs a vet visit, and a shot of what ever puts a family dog to sleep humanely.

It was truly a lovely party.  It was a boy’s first birthday and I have never ever seen a party with this much effort put in to it.

The family was there and I think there were 60 – 80 adults.  The nicest people I have probably ever met.  I had so much fun, and their happiness actually rubbed off on me.  Really really lovely people.

Anyway, shoot-shoot-shoot, good day, okay 17h30 I need to go.

I start to look for my car keys.

I start to frantically scratch for my car keys.

I start to throw the contents of my bag out on the lounge floor while astonished guests look on.

Party comes to a stop while everyone helps me look for my car keys.

I cannot find car keys.  No idea, they could be stolen …. I could have sold them for CRACK I don’t know …. I just do not have keys for my car.  Car outside their house.  Connor in Durbanville.  My house somewhere else.

Please mommy can I go home now.  (that is what the voices are saying in my head at this point)

Total Fail.

Eventually the only option is that one of them give me a lift home.

I am slightly/very embarrassed as instead of slipping out quietly like a professional service provider, the last hour was all about me and everyone finding my keys.  They were even lifting up the jumping castle as options.

I get dropped off at home.

I have now spent 2 – 3 hours searching for my spare set.

I either do not have a spare set OR I was not listening when Kennith told me where they are OR I have no idea where they are OR They are in the safe, which Kennith has a key to.

Have I mentioned Kennith is in Utah?

I find out that VW will charge me R3000.00 for one key – but I need to get the car to them.  Which is tricky considering it is in Kraaifontein and my keys are on planet fuck-knows-where!

I could not get Connor home so he has had to sleep over.  He has no sleep over stuff, and I was really looking forward to an hour of just him and I time.

I have torn this house apart looking for my spare key.  Without success.  I did however find an unopened box of Nuzak (which I accussed the pharmacist of not giving me … whoops my bad, and some Cataflam, and a flash drive I thought I had lost.

But zip on the car key front.  My car is still in Kraaifontein.  I have I mentioned Kennith is away and he wrote his car off on Monday?

Public Service Announcement:  Go and find your spare car keys NOW.  Put them in your underwear drawer at the back – now you will know where they are, no matter what happens.  Tell your partner/husband/wife/neighbour/sane person that is where you keep your spare set of car keys in the event you have an epic day and can’t find them.  I already checked my underwear drawer twice, it is not there.

I survived today …. tomorrow though is a different story

Well, that day is over.

I survived, though granted I am still trying to pull shrapnel out of my arse.

I can honestly say I had a total catastrophe/paranoid/worse case scenario/I might just lock myself in the grocery cupboard few hours.

Nothing changed.  Time just moved forward.  I calmed down. A bit.

Kennith is away. He is in Utah – we have spoken about him maybe seeing if he can pick up a second wife.  I am not quite cutting it right now, and I am now convinced that a second wife might not be all that bad.

At the moment I can only see the perks, though I must insist on my own bathroom – that is really where I draw the line.

I can call her my sister-wife.  It will be fine.  Kennith says he has not been actively looking but he will try if it important to me.

Georgia is officially trying to drive me further to insanity.  Today I told Connor that he is officially the “good one” because Georgia has been co-opted to being the “child who does not listen.”

On that note.

I decided to treat the kids to a healthy McDonalds dinner.  They like McDonalds.  Sure it dumps about a ton of crap into the landfill every day, but they can serve a burger and fries like no one’s business.

I ordered, we sat down.  Isabelle went berserk.

I am seldom embarrassed by my kids in public.  Isabelle officially made me embarrassed at McDonalds – and you must realise to be embarrassed at McDonalds must be impressive.

The problem with a two-year old who cannot/does not/chooses not to talk is that you have no idea why they have tears coming out of their eyes, and snot bubbles being issued from their nose whilst they are frantically pointing in a general direction and screaming.

After you have played the game “pick up everything and pass it to her and she smacks it away and screams louder” I finally twigged she wanted a cool drink she could hold, with her own straw.

Like her brother and her sister had.

I want to be very clear on this point, that the system of elimination to get to this particular result was quite wide and included (but is not limited to) : chips, a McDonalds toy, an old McNugget on the floor, Connor’s school jacket, my phone, my wallet, the McDonalds tray, the little white dish that holds the tomato sauce….

I gave Connor R20.00 sent him to the counter and said “just buy a cool drink quickly.”

Isabelle stopped crying.

I sat there and wondered exactly who was training who in this equation.  How has a two-year old managed to whip my arse so well with such skill, and not using any language what so ever?

On the drive home she wanted the cool drink.

I gave it to her.

She dropped it.

I tried to drive and simultaneously dive behind my seat (whilst still strapped in and driving the car) to grab the now spilling creme soda it so it would not spill more over my already dirty car – I do have some pride you know!

I took my foot of the brake.  The car lunged forward into a road.  Fortunately there was no traffic.  I screamed at Connor to help me.  He tried to lean into the back behind the driver’s chair without taking his seatbelt off.

Isabelle is screaming like her leg is being chewed off.

Georgia is singing about fairies in rain coats.

I am staring through the windscreen wondering why I have been forsaken in this manner, and then quickly trying to calculate how much time I have until bed time.

Retrieve cool drink.

Put it in drinks holder in front of car.

Isabelle screamed the entire drive home.

I am so looking forward to this day being over … though inevitably it means tomorrow has to start.

Saturday I have two birthday parties to attend, and one birthday party to photograph in the afternoon.

Me + happy screaming children + balloons + flammable liquid = not a probable good combination.

I am exhausted right now.  I need to go and wrap presents and make happy birthday cards for tomorrow morning.  I know I want to leave it to tomorrow morning but that will just be chaos.

<note to self, ask pill doctor to relook at my script, really not working on so many levels>

I love Epic Fail Moments … and I seem to be doing them regularly ….

Okay so what do we know about me.

1.  I have three kids, I am not your run of the mill mom.

2.  I work, and I work because I enjoy it and to remain sane – I do not think I could be a stay at home mom.

3.  I suffer from chronic depression, anxiety and panic disorder, possibly with a light touch of OCD or even Tourette’s thrown in for good measure.  I also have a social phobia – and added to that a touch of what you could call sensory sensitivity i.e. too much sound, light, noise, touch sets off a few triggers.

4.  I am scary honest even when I do not want to be.

5.  I drink way too much tea and wine.

6.  I would walk a mile for a bag of Chuckles.  (I am lying, I might walk to the end of my drive way, but it is still a very far way).

7. I abhor smiley face icons.

Great so we know that.  Nothing new there.  Just checking we are all on the same page.

I really do not mind who reads my blog.

Really.

Okay, I prefer it if my mom did not read my blog.  But anyone else, be my guest.  It is a public forum, knock yourself out.

I get countless emails and messages from “moms who struggle” to say thanks for saying what they think and feel, and for saying it out loud.  I blog because it makes me feel a bit more “normal” each day – but it is nice to not be the only person who “struggles” with stuff.

I have commented that I enjoy my job, and the people are great, and blah blah blah pancakes.

But the physical closeness of people and the amount of noise has had me making regular visits to a psychiatrist and a psychologist and basically had me shut up at home because I am “afraid” of being at work.

Slightly career limiting move …. you think?

Because it is setting off panic and anxiety attacks, I can only spend so long crying in the toilets, before people start wondering if I have a bowel problem or a urinary tract infection that needs to be addressed.

Recently there was an office shift and a staff member got moved next to me.  She is lovely and sweet and all of those things.  If my mother sat next to me it would set me off.  It unfortunately escalated “my situation” and I spent a bit more time in the toilet cubicle and started dipping a bit more frequently in my “lunch box of pharmaceutical approved medication” which is all not ideal.

I struggle if my kids are close to me, too much of them near me and I start to shake, rattle and roll. <yes, it is loads of fun to be me, I am a ton of fun at parties and get togethers>

I posted a note about this a little while ago.

You know that mantra “You never know who reads your blog!

Well, bottom line is you don’t.

And I don’t really consider it too much else I might not say anything, or I might start censoring what I say and then I might as well write for …. You Magazine.

So far, all okay.

But then someone at work reads my blog.  Someone forwards it to someone else who forwarded it to someone else.  All who work 2 metres from me.

And it was off ….. like …. I don’t know what goes off?

So now not only do a few dozen (I am being modest) people in cyber space know that I am a full on whack job – but now a few hundred people in my office complex know that I am full on crazy as well, and making judgements accordingly. <sigh>.

I know there should be a bright side here, but I am seriously not able to find one.  I will wait for Natasha to find a way to politely comment, as sometimes she does manage to say it quite like it is and can make me snort even in the face of full on disaster.

The irony is I spoke to HR and asked her to keep it confidential, because I like to give the impression that I am mildly sane, it prevents the goats from getting afraid and scattering.  Work has actually been great in understanding I am having a “bit of trouble.”

You really cannot actually write a better fail moment than this one.

I would like to say “hi” to all of you from my office who might be reading this, and really you should not be spending company resources reading non-company related material during office hours. 

It is strictly prohibited and frowned upon.  I can also check the URL/ISP details so know who you are.  (I can’t, really, so don’t panic.)

To those who are not from my office, but know me – this is what I would call an epic fail moment, or …….. no, it’s just an epic fail moment, of which I had several this year.

On the upside I have sleeping pills.  I am weighing up whether one or twenty-seven is a good number for this evening.

No, really I am fine.  This is not some tragic cry for help. I am not quite throw myself off a ledge yet, but I have developed a wonderful case of catastrophe and panic going on – as we speak.

If you are crazy and you know it, and mildly to extremely embarrassed clap your hands!!

Clap clap!  You know the rest of the song, so I will leave it to you …….

Car accidents and anxiety attacks ….

Monday was a bit of a right off, for all the reasons that would be good reasons when you start the day with a schedule 5 sleeping tablet.

Can’t really comment more on that one.

I slept until about 1pm and then had an appointment to get to, and the rest of the day was the usual blur of fetching and carrying kids and eating toast.

I met my (not so new) new psychiatrist and he gave me a new brown pharmacy bag of medication.  I was
not overly emotionally committed to the first bag, so I am okay with change.

I am still getting used to new side effects, so a few more is not really going to change my world right now.  But let’s see how that fares.

I decided that I needed a Mental Health Day on Tuesday – and asked Kennith if he could please stop and get bread on the way home and also take the kids to school on Tuesday morning as I could then hide under my duvet for a bit longer.

He said yes he would get bread, yes he would take the kids to school.

I thought, great.

Made some tea, stared at my reflection in the kitchen window.

Phone rang again – Kennith.

My first thought was “Seriously can you not go to the shop and make a decision without having to ask me three questions.  You have an MBA, work the bread aisle out!”

I answer the phone: ‘Yesssssss” I drawl, slightly irritated.

Kennith – with the background sound of traffic…”I have been in a car accident…”

Me – I felt my adrenal glands compress and push adrenaline through my blood.

I felt my hippocampus start screaming.  I felt my heart start to beat a bit faster to allow my lungs more oxygen to allow for the anxiety attack that was coming….. I thought about my kids and which one was dead.  Which one was injured, and if one of them was dead, who I would “be able to deal” with better.

I thought of my tea and that I might not be able to drink it.   I thought that I probably will not be able to function moving forward.  I might need to go and live with my mom.  I probably will never recover.  Teh entire universe suddenly became me-my cup of tea-my reflection in the kitchen window-and Kennith’s voice on the phone.

I started to realise that Kennith’s voice was still talking ….as he had not paused for breath from his first statement to his second…”I am fine, the car is damaged, I am fine!”

I knew I had just put the kids in bed.  I know logically they could not be in the car with Kennith.  I had just put them into bed – myself!

However that did not stop my brain from telling my brain  that my kids were possibly dead on the N1.

I had already worked out a loose funeral plan and what I might wear.

Kennith repeated: “I am fine, I can’t drive me car.  I need you to come and fetch me, I am at ……
and can you arrange a tow truck …. call DAL’S …….they are really good ….I am fine!”

I got my bag, asked Pepe to watch the kids.

I stopped and looked in each of their rooms  to make sure they were there and unharmed and had were really not in the car with Kennith.

I went to fetch Kennith next to the N1.

Kennith was/is fine.

Kennith’s car is not.

DAL’s tow service sent over a truck to pick the car up.  I had to phone my friend David to help me make the call, as I could not even remember Kennith’s cell phone number at that  point, let alone arrange a tow truck.

Kennith filled in the forms on the side of the N1.

I stared blankly at the road.

DAL’s took the car, in a very efficient and friendly manner.

Kennith got into my car and I drove us home.  I stared rather blankly out the window as I drove us home.  We had to stop for milk (and chocolate spread).

I am traumatised.

It is Kennith’s accident and I am traumatised.

Kennith’s neck is a bit sore and he really should go to a  chiropractor.  I think he might need a trauma counsellor – I am not being flippant.  I think he is very shaken —  I really think he needs to speak to someone.

That someone cannot be me.

I took a sleeping pill on Monday night – I woke up at 4am on Tuesday morning and stared at the ceiling worrying about every possible permutation of what “could have been..”

Tuesday I did not go to work.. I took a mental health day …I need a mental health week.

I can’t actually sit with Kennith and talk to him about the trauma and the effect of the “car accident” on him and how he saw his life flash before his eyes because I am ….

I am angry.

I am scared.

I am disappointed.

I am afraid.

I am petrified.

I am terrified.

I am panicked.

I am anxious.

I can’t help him with the oxygen bag in the plane, as for fk  sake I can’t get mine on, and the plane is nose diving at a bit of a rate.

I woke up this morning just before 5am and stared at the ceiling and worried some more (that is with a schedule 5 sleeping tablet).

Kennith needs support, and I can barely stand …….  I can’t help him because I can’t help myself right now.

Mugshot Monday …..

Today can only be described as an epic fail day.

I wake up, get the kids ready for school, prep myself for work, make tea and coffee, collect Isabelle put her in bed with some milk.

I sit down on the edge of my bed with my “clear lunch box” of medication.

I carefully read what I must take, the dosage and when.  I read them each day, even though I “know” what I should take and in what order.  It’s my little “thing” I do.

I throw them out in my hand and down them with my first sip of tea.

Good.

Me 1: Er, I seem to recall a blue pill in that handful, that looked like Stillnox (sleeping pill).  Was there a sleeping pill that has just gone down the hatch?”

Me 2: “Shit … shit ….. shit.  Check lunch box to see if pill is missing!”

Me 1: “There was definitely a blue pill in that handful.  It is 07h15 and I have just taken a sleeping tablet….shit!”

I phone Kennith and tell him.

He laughs, and laughs some more.

I say, it is fine.  I will get dressed and go to work and take it easy.

Kennith asks if I am crazy?  Considering the circumstances a bit insensitive and well, rhetoric actually.

Kennith then tells me to drop the kids off at school, head home and sleep.

I phone my work colleague to explain my predicament.  I work her up with my call.  Eventually I had to end the conversation because she would/could not stop laughing and I only had few moments of “being awake” left to me and could no longer listen to her raucous cackling in my ear.

I hustled kids into the car.

Drove really slowly.  Hugged the white dotted line the entire time.  Checked and rechecked the robot colours before going or stopping.

Kids got to school fine.

I found myself on two separate grass verges on the way home.

I probably should have got someone else to drive kids to school, it was not my best safe-parenting decision of the day.

However good decision-making & me have been estranged for some time.

I did make it home.  Fell in to bed and slept.

I had to set my alarm as I had a new psychiatrist’s appointment.

I liked the fact that I explained to him that I mixed up my meds and took a sleeping pill this morning, and he totally took that in his stride!

I might like this guy.

Saving myself one script at a time ….

I saw my brand new shiny therapist/psychiatrist on Monday.

I was very glad to find her in an emergency, and well, I was having an emergency. July was just not going to be good enough to wait for the other guy, so I kicked him to the curb, as you do with psychiatrists.

Being me, by Saturday I thought I felt better (that was after I had made the appointment.)

By Sunday I thought I was miraculously healed, so did not really need to see a doctor, and was totally over-reacting by making this appointment.  I mean, really!  Of course I am fine.  Never been better, in actual fact.

I usually get instantly cured the minute I sit in a doctor’s waiting room, and alway feel a bit sheepish going inside to tell them I am ill, when really I am fine, really, and I am sorry to be wasting your time, and try to leave as quickly as I can.

Then Connor chewed pork rind in my ear on Sunday afternoon, and I went a bit postal.

I was really glad I had Monday’s appointment scheduled.  Really glad, as I felt I had been hanging on by what ever you hang on with when your nails have been pulled from your finger nail beds.  Bloody stumps I would hazard a guess.

If you have not been to a therapist before, I won’t bore you with too much detail.

The short of it is that you spend an hour sitting around talking about yourself, while someone writes furiously and goes “uh huh” quite a bit.  Almost like a first date, just you pay by the hour here and no one is buying you drinks, to get you in the mood.

It is inevitable that you will cry – a great deal – even when you chew the inside of your lip to stop yourself crying.

I tend to find reasons why not to like someone.  That way all I have to do is to wait until I find “the thing” and then I can go “see, I knew I did not like you…”

I found it hard not to like Dr D even if just a little bit.  Not because she was not adorably cute or brilliant, I found her sincere and familiar, and human.  And well, just real …

She reminded me of a person who I chat to on a forum (and who I have met in real life) who goes by the avatar, Lo**F – which was strange, but oddly familiar.

A few strange things occured in the hour.

Strange #1

I was talking about something else totally, and out of the blue she goes “When did your father die?”

I stopped talking as I think I was talking about lemon meringue pie ior something, and I said “You know that is a bit out of left field right?”

And she said “Yes it was…” and then smiled and repeated the question: “So when did your father die?”

I told her the year, and she sort of looked at me, smiled slightly and carried on writing whilst I continued to tell her about Lemon Meringue pie.

Strange #2

She asked me something and I explained my religious belief system and my sense of spirituality.

Both of which I can summarise politely as being somewhat “barren and lacking in an anchor” at this stage in my life.

She stopped me and said “you are making me very anxious right now…”

I looked at her and I said: “You know I am the patient and you are the doctor.  I am panicky and anxious, and well …. it is not helping that you are getting anxious …. it is not helping me.  You know that right?”

Dr D: “Yes, but you are making me anxious, and I needed to take a breath before you carried on to centre myself and to reduce my anxiety that you are causing in me.”

Okay ….

Strange #3

She asked me if I would like on the doctor’s bed thing – I was sitting in the leather wing backed chair at the time.

I asked why and she said she wanted to help me relax and try to panic less.  I told her lying on a bed behind a screen in a stranger’s office was not going to make me panic less or relax.

I asked her what  exactly she was going to be doing while I was lying there.

She said she was not going to touch me.  But was going to put her hands above me, to assist me and transfer some of her calm energy to me (or something like that.) – I think she said Reiki.  I asked if it mattered whether I believed in what she was doing, or whether it was okay I just lay there with my eyes closed.

She suggested it might help if I believed her, but lying there was fine too.

I said that she was making me deeply sceptical about this entire process, but if she wanted me to have a 5 minute lie down on her table, then that was fine, as long as she did not physically touch me and I could leave my shoes on.

I lay on the bed, closed my eyes, listened to my heart racing and the rather LOUD ticking of the wall clock. I did not get calmer or more relaxed, but that might have been because the receptionist kept buzzing through that her next appointment had arrived.

Our time together came to an end.

We had spoken at length that I was not a fan of medication and had “gone it alone” for some time, and at about the time that she was congratulating on my “not taking medication” stand point.

I interrupted her (as I knew she had another appointment waiting) and said: “But today is not that day.  I need a script, and I want a script today – I can come again and we can chat again another day.  But today I need a script!  I don’t care what you put on the script actually, as long as it reduces my anxiety and panic, as long as it makes me sleep through the night.”

Strange #4

She is writing out the script and goes, in a sort of by-the-by voice “Are you suicidal?”

I look at her, well, like she is crazy actually, and I go “The right answer is no, right?”  She hands me my script (granted only with enough meds for two weeks) and I skipped to the chemist.

No doubt I will be seeing her soon.

My Big Black Dog …..

I know you want to talk about the colour of babies poo and what my kids are eating for breakfast, but unfortunately that is not what we are doing today.

Today is “Talk about my Depression and find a Therapist Day.”

Unofficial day of course, but I figure if enough of us get behind it we can have it declared a public holiday with the requisite president’s speech and youth parade at Soccer City.

I know that I am fortunate to be living in an age where we can talk about depression and medication with only a certain measure of shame and embarrassment.

I know there are folks who are embarrassed to admit that they pop the odd Prozac or shoot back a handful of Zoloft with their glass of wine, but I am not them folks.

I spent much of my teens and twenties realising that I was clearly certifiable insane and just wondering how long I could keep this secret until someone found out.  I did not realise I was depressed.  I did realise I was a very sad girl with some happy moments, but I accepted this as being “just the way things are.”

When I had Connor my wheels well and truly came off, then I really got afraid.  Of me.  For me.

I thought THEY would find out and take him away from me.  I became (more) paranoid and anxious and when something happened, it was not that he was going to get hurt, it was that he was going to die.  He was never going to get lost at the mall, he was going to be stolen.  (To be honest I have not outgrown that, I have just learnt to play it down.  Kennith insists I remain in reality as much as possible.)

Initially I did not really tell anyone about my little internal battle with my black dog of depression.  I really do not bring it up as a key part of conversation, it is a bit of a buzz killer I am afraid.

It is much easier to tell people who ask you “How are you?” to answer “I am fine….” because any deviation from this “party line” does make people feel a bit uncomfortable and then the conversation gets awkward.

People say ‘depression’  in a whisper like the way your grandparents say “cancer.”

Unfortunately the most common reaction from Joe Public when they hear the term ‘depression’ is to go “aw, sorry you are feeling a bit blue, I am sure tomorrow you will wake up and feel happy.’

Sweet but misguided.  Actually a bit annoying, but one smiles and nods, and sometimes waves as you flee the scene.

I did feel that admitting to it and if I ticked the block for “mental disorder” on the form (depression = mental illness/disorder on most forms) that it might be a problem for me when I changed medical aids.  It also might be a hinderance if I wanted to qualify as a pilot or apply to be a meals-on-wheels lady.

At some point I realised, agh, sod it, pilots are over rated and meals-on-wheels declined my application any way.

The thing that burns my arse about depression, is I barely understand it.  It is something about the chemicals in your brain being out of whack – for what ever reason, and the result is that you cannot actually “decide to be happy and then you will be …”  You seem to lack the chemicals to keep you or make you happy or smile or have a “normal” reaction.

Being me is not fun, not for me, and not for my family and for most people who know me.

Being happy is a chore, so right now I aim to be mildly content.  Mildly content is  a bit of an aim high achievement at the moment.

I am going for sort of content, some of the time.

I do however have faking content down pat, but the mask does slip off quite regularly, and some times I do not give a sh*t about keeping it up. (this week is that week)

My mate told me about a reference in Marian Keyes Newsletter about depression where she describes it as:-

“Wave after wave of black agony has been rolling up from my gut and bursting in my head and I’ve been powerless to stop it. I’ve heard people describe depression as feeling like they’re living behind glass, of being
numb and unable to experience anything, but for me, it has been totally different. It has been like being poisoned, it’s felt like my brain is squirting out terrible, black, toxic chemicals that poison any good thoughts. I’m well aware that I have an enviable life and there are bound to be people who think, “What the hell has she got to be depressed about?” But whatever has been wrong with me isn’t fixable by an attitude shift. Believe me I’ve tried (Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, gratitude lists…)”

That is probably the most apt description I have read for some time.

I am at that point – and granted I have been here for a bit, where I no longer care about the how and the what, I just want it to go away.  I want to be happy people.  Okay I do not want to be happy people.  Happy people (and clowns) scare me a bit.

I want to just be mildly content people who appear mildly content for the majority of the day.

I do not want to feel like I am carrying the world’s sh*t around with me.

What I want to do today (and for the last two weeks or so) is curl up in a ball  and then sob some more – which is fabulous, because I am not even sure exactly what I am sad about.

If I am done crying then I want to sleep – because sleep is about as close to feeling dead as you can get.  And that right now is quite an attractive feeling.  (sorry no fairies and unicorn stories for you today – insert sad smiley face icon here)

Unfortunately in my neck of the woods, pity parties are not really catered for.

I get up, put on my furry slippers, my grubby blue bathrobe, get kids ready, get myself ready, drag myself to work, try to really try to be productive, and then go home, get kids into bed, and find the quickest way I can get into bed and fall asleep.

And tomorrow repeat the cycle.

Last night on the drive home, I considered if I had a wee little car accident it might get me 3 – 8 days lying in a hospital bed and drinking luke warm milky tea and sleeping.

Then I thought with my luck, the car would be totalled and I would walk away totally unscathed and then have explain why I am a tosser driver, and well there is the insurance excess to consider and …..  lots of logistics, so maybe that was not my best idea of the day.

Just too complicated, and way too many things that could go wrong on that one.

It really is about as much fun as it sounds, really – I am not leaving out any of the really cool parts here.

I have made an appointment with a doctor who specialises in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

I plan to arrive with a list of issues and ask if he can make them each go away individually with what ever he does.  I clearly have no idea how it works, but right now I would pay for shinola if it made some of my sh&t go away.

I also think I am kidding myself – but delusions are part of it I guess.

I have also made an appointment with a pill doctor who has a large white script that he can write my name on in big block letters and write something along the lines of  Wellbutrin, Lexapro, Ambien, Valium or what ever else they are dishing out now a days …. I really do not care at this point.

The first appoinment I could get was in August!!  AUGUST? August!  “B&tch, do you realise how close I am to going off my frink’n head over here!!” …… The receptionist did not quite get my sense of humour and did not take to my tone of voice ….. or being called a bitch ….. …. but did bump me up to the 12 July and kept telling me how lucky I was ….. repeatedly.

Yep, I am feeling pretty darn lucky right now.

Sorry there is nothing funny on this post today.  Not feeling so funny today.

But that does lead me to the fact that you might need a bit of upliftment after this rather somber and (excuse the term) depressing post.

I seldom come across depression jokes, but I saw a few recently that made me snort a little bit:-

Q What’s good about depression?
A You always have your funeral planned in advance,

Q  What’s an advantage to Major Depression?
A  You never have to make your bed, since you’re always in it.

I was depressed last night so I called Lifeline. They’ve got a call center in Pakistan. I told them I was suicidal. They got all excited and asked if I could drive a truck.

Okay, that’s all I got ………………

(Illustrations credited to Matthew Johnstone)

Brothers and sisters …. sibling rivalry …

My kids are pushing me to where I am considering opening a bottle of wine before going to work in the morning ….

It is the constant fighting and the bitching about nothing that is doing my head in.  One stupid argument at a time.

I can deal with three kids (albeit if only some of the time).

I can deal with one kid crapping in their pants, one kid messing glue and cellotape all over the house and the other kid lying on the couch playing DS when he is in his jammies at 2pm and has not brushed his teeth.

I can deal with all of that.

I cannot deal with them fighting about sh&t!

We can say that because I am in a bit of a depressive episode, everything pisses me off.  Yes we can say that, but kids fighting pisses me off whether I need medication or not.

This morning was a bit of a rush, with the usual morning stuff.

I especially enjoyed the part where I told Georgia more than six times to get dressed – I was in her room sitting on her bed watching her not listen to me.

The only reason she did not get a slap across the back of her head was because it was her birthday. (And because child services regularly reads this blog).  Now even that I take with a sigh, and a pinch of “she will grow up out of it …..maybe”

Eventually I gave up and sat and dressed her myself, but that was fine.

I put breakfast out for Connor and Georgia.

Both kids decide they did not want milk in their cereal and wanted to eat it dry.  No worries, I put the milk in a cup.

I have no problem with them eating their cereal and milk separately – I figure it will get mixed in their tummies.
As long as I do not have to listen to them crunching dry cereal in my ear, then we are all a-ok in my book with what ever method they want to go about taking in their cereal and calcium.  It is fine, really, fine!

I head to have a shower and sort myself out.

I issue firm instructions for them to finish breakfast and to go and brush teeth.

Georgia gets a special instruction not to mess toothpaste on herself.  It is not uncommon for me to have to change her shirt and wash her face, and parts of her hair after a tooth brushing exercise.

I am in the shower and it sounds like two small kids throwing their combined body weight against the door – well, because that is exactly what they were doing.

I get out the shower, open the door, in a rather aggressive and very frustrated manner.

Me still dripping wet, with clumps of conditioner adhered to my congealed locks and scream “WHAT now?  What crap are you two fighting about NOW!”  (my good mother skills have been a bit absent as of late)

I said something of that ilk at any rate.

I had conditioner spilling down my face and dripping into my right eye.  I also did not grab a towel, so both kids were exposed to the full fright of an overweight full-grown woman-who-has-not-seen-sun-in-about-five-years with a recent brazilian wax!

Suffice to say, they will be thinking twice before interrupting me in the shower again (and the university fund has now been flagged for their future therapy fund).

Connor tells me that Georgia spat on his sleeve.

I have seen Georgia spit, that girl gets absolutely no range.  The logical assumption was that his sleeve would have had to be trying to cover her mouth – and she simply dribbled on him – though, granted with gusto.

I scream at both of them.

I warn them that they had better get sorted and go and finish showering – I am effing and blinding under my breath at this point.  Slam bathroom door and nearly slip on my recently waxed arse as I make my way back to the shower (as I have left water puddles all the way through the bathroom….)

I get out the shower for the second time – sort of shampoo free at this point.

I think, you know what ever is in my hair can stay in, really I have lost any dignity I might have possessed anyway. I am so far past caring about my personal appearance right now, it is all a bit alarming.

Isabelle is crying, I fetch her, change her bum, get her a warm milk bottle, lie her down, and then attempt to find clothing to get dressed in for work.

I am trying to get dressed, I know Georgia is in the 15th minute of brushing her teeth – which means that odds are she has not actually got the brush into her mouth at this point.

I hear a scream and shouting.

I sigh.

I look towards the heavens for help and strength, and nothing is forth coming.

I squeeze into my now-too-tight-granny panties.

Georgia comes into the room and is screaming as she has toothpaste across the front of her pink jacket.

I notice the partial remaining lump of toothpaste on her toothbrush which still has not made it into her mouth, and decide to let that issue pass.

Connor is behind her defending himself at a rate of 350 words per minute and at a very loud pitch – which only tells me he has done something very wrong and by speaking loud and fast he hopes he will be able to drown out any sense or the possibility of me arguing back.

I assess the situation.

And the facts are:

Connor has taken his bathrobe belt and has gone into the bathroom where his sister is trying to brush her teeth (or not in this case), has stood and spun the robe belt around – clearly hitting everything in the range of the belt – including his sister, the toothpaste and the toothbrush.

There is toothpaste splattered everywhere – including on his sister and her jacket.

God’s truth – seriously!!!

I know there is the old adage about not being sent more than you can deal with.  Here is an announcement: I have more than I can deal with. Stop sending me trials and tribulations!!!  Really.

I mean where and why does my son think this is a great idea – he is meant to be really bright.  We just saw his report card, he scored well.

Of course I go off like a cyclone! No TV, no DS, no electricity for the day, gone!  Everything.  I might have insinuated he will sleep in the kennel outside as well, but don’t quote me on that one.

I get in the car and I ask Connor if there was another room in the house that he could have gone to stand and swing his bathrobe cord around – because clearly he had an itch that had to be attended to, and who am I to stand in the way of a young boy who is dabbling in experiments with his grey bath robe?

He said sure, but he did not realize he would hit Georgia.

Really – in a bathroom, swinging a cord that is probably about 1 metre long off the end of your outstretched arm – you did not imagine this would hit your sister?

No, he says.

I say really? (dripping in sarcasm)

He goes, no really!

I challenge him.

Tonight we go into the bathroom and I swing the cord around, I will bend my arm, to counter the size difference between him and I. He can stand by the basin, and if I hit him with the cord, he loses a DS/Television day each time I make contact.  We can keep it up for 5 minutes and see how it fares.

Anyway then I went on a full-fledged saliva-spurting non-sensical mother-driving-wildly-whilst-gesticulating rant and lament about this constant fighting between them.

I really hoped I hit it home this morning, because I am really over did it a bit.

I indicated that soon I was going to start implementing my “all for one” theory of punishment.

If one person misbehaves and starts antagonizing the other and I walk into the scene and there is “he did this …” “she did that…. “ going on, then they both get punished as I am officially over refereeing this lot.

Dear Villlage Chief

I know it takes a village to raise a child, but for fk sake can someone from the village come over from 06h00 – 08h00 and then from 16h00 – 19h30 and show me how it is done?

Yours in hope

Reluctant Mom

The bitch is back ….granted she never actually left …

On Tuesday morning I made a full confession to My Good Egg that I was struggling with what can only be politely described as a “bout of depression” of the EPIC PROPORTION.

I feel a lot like one of those fine bone china tea cups that are being rocked on the saucer, with all the hot tea spilling out.  At any moment the tea-cup is going to fall over, spill out over of the edge of the saucer and break into a million little pieces.

<side bar: I am the tea-cup in this analogy.>

I was very anxious and stressed around the girl’s birthday party.  I totally lost my mind about picking out paper plates and serviettes. EVEN at the time, I knew this was not important in the bigger picture.

Well my rational mind knew that, but where the rest of my mind lives, rational is too scared to go.

I was freaking out – and when Kennith bought the “fairy” ones and I wanted the “princess” ones I still ran around to two more stores (after the easy 6 I had been to) seeing if I could still find princess ones.

When I start making these kind of heavy decisions about throw-away tableware, then you know it is time for Valium and a padded room.

I have been aware of it for some time, and then I thought, okay, well maybe you are just in a bad mood.  This, if I must be truthful, is a bit more than just a bad mood.

I am in the downward slide down the rabbit hole of a depressiive episode.  I am desperately grabbing at dirt as I slide down in my little blue dress with the big white bow on the back.

I spoke to My Good Egg this morning as I was sure that the only option was to get a script of Zoloft or something similar.  I seldom discuss “my ebbs’ with Kennith as he knows when they are occurring and gives me the necessary space to move through them, and I usualy move through them.

But I am not moving through this one.  And I feel like I am being swallowed alive.  I am not coping.  I cannot cope.

I had a good cry – actually it was not a good cry,it was a snot sob which I dripped on to Kennith’s work shirt.

I have a cache of (totally misguided and inappropriate) anger, rage and spite bubbling under the surface  – no idea where it comes from.  It is not directed at anyone or anything, and spares no one.  I mean really, what the hell have I got to be angry about??

I feel persecuted – “they” are watching me and “they” are out to get me. I have absolutely no idea who “they” are.  But I feel aggressive if someone starts asking me for something. (My job requires people to ask me for things all day, you can imagine how that is going.)

I have learnt to manage my depressive episodes better as the years have gone by (this however is not a good example of that statement).

The (not so) funny thing about depression ebbs is when I am in them, I believe in my heart of hearts that they will never end.

I am frazzled, I am further down than I have been in what seems like an age, and I am not coping.

I am actually spinning out of control.

We are going away for the long (it’s only a long weekend if you take Friday off work) weekend to the most divine place – I call it my “waiting to exhale” place.

When we get there, I sit and look out over the hills and hear the cows going “mooooo” and the wine in my glass catches the light over the valley.  I let out a breath that I feel I have been holding for what feels like forever.

The part that stresses me, is in my present “state,” I am bound to do or say something to alienate someone if not everyone this weekend.

It is not “if” it will occur, it is merely a case of “when” it occurs.

With that in mind I decided that the best course of action, was to just tell our friends so that they could prepare (and allow them the opportunity to arm) themselves for the weekend:

Morning Folks!!

I am in the throes of a full scale  depressive episode – of what  can only be described of EPIC PROPORTIONS.

This particular bout is characterized by my inability to follow a conversation, my overriding urge to start talking about the most awkward things possible, my inability to take social cues, an urge to alienate people by offending them, and the fact that my brain is not able to process what you say versus what I hear, and a few other
delicious issues ……ah the fun I am having.

No, this is not an opening line to a joke, this is unfortunately where I am right now.

It has been going on for several weeks, but this week is total “wheels fkn falling off stuff” so this email is a warning/word of caution that odds are I will try to find something to say or do this weekend that is bound to piss you off/alienate you/wonder if you can find a spade to kill me with/look at me and wonder how long you will need to count before you just slap me ….. you know that sort of stuff.

There is a good chance I might incite all these feelings in you simultaneously, and odds are I might have already.

I am seriously freaking out, and Kennith and I have discussed possible ‘action strategies’ to get me through my present ‘spell’ – I suggested Zoloft, lots of wine and a cliff, he suggested a few other options.

We are trying his options in the short-term, however I reserve the right to use mine.

So, please try not to be (permanently) offended by my actions/what falls out of my mouth this weekend/Tourette’s Syndrome – I am trying my best to keep it under control, but it is rather epic and a bit out of hand right now, so just warning you that
what I say or do right now (no matter how bizarre it might seem, and I can
always promise you bizarre) is not a personal attack on you in any way, and I
am a total twat, and and and …….

I am also not suggesting that this is a “free get out of jail card” for me, as I also need to take responsibility for my actions/what I say, but if you can please just keep this in mind while you watch me having a total senseless rant, usually in the kitchen, in my blue grubby bathrobe, with a wine glass in my right hand and a child on my left hip
……..

Okay, so when you pack your groceries, please pack some Valium (for you) and maybe some forgiveness fairy dust for me.

Xxx

PS: I am drafting letters of apology now that I will just send off on Monday morning, so I will leave them in my draft tray now.

The Life of Georgia ….. Part one

I really should stop the Reluctant Mom blog and create a new one called the “Life of Georgia Blog.”

I could fill reams of gumph about her and the strange things she does all day.  Kennith is working hard at convincing me that she is destined to be a “creative” and I need to give her some latitude.

My concern is that if she cannot get through Grade 1, I doubt even the creative industry is going to be keen on her unless we seriously get in touch with “normal!”

This week alone (besides the usual stuff that happens with her):

Event one:

Last night she was arguing loudly with the invisible police on the telephone – like heckling them – the phone in this case was the hand held shower head in a bath.  Judging by her tone and the change in her voice, I was convinced she was “hearing” the invisible police arguing back?

I mean seriously who argues with the police in the bath?

Event two:

Kennith asked her what she wants for her birthday, so she said make-up. 

Kennith said that make up is YUCH and she must think of something else.  She asked for a tattoo on her arse instead. 

SHE IS TURNING SIX!

Event three:

Monday I fetch her from school –she is playing and has only one boot on.  The other boot is in her bag.  It cannot be comfortable to walk around in one shoe, and a boot at that. 

Driving home I stop at a dam I had seen and wanted to see if we could take a quick look around and go back there on the weekend. 

We stop, we get out, Georgia starts running around the dam – one foot barefoot, one foot still in a boot! 

Surely a sane child would go, hhmmmm this feels a bit odd, let me take the other shoe off!  Surely!

Event four:

On Monday I fetch Georgia from school – I took Isabelle along for the drive, and as Isabelle’s safety chair was in Kennith’s car, I put Isabelle into Georgia safety chair, which is more of a booster seat. 

Seems easy enough.

 I get to the school to fetch Georgia.  She is excited that her sister is in the car, as she adores her sister.

I buckle Isabelle into the safety seat, and Georgia goes ape sh*t – but like totally totally ape.  Full scale tantrum of epic proportion.  It is as if I am ripping her leg off through her nostril!  It went on and on, and escalated rather than started to simmer down.

My level of patience for a tantrum is limited to about 32 seconds, on a good day, 8 seconds on most other days. 

So I leave the school, Isabelle in safety seat, Georgia buckled in a normal seat and Georgia is going totally “postal.” 

I pull over, slam on anchors, RIP Georgia out of the car, I hear Connor go “uh-oh!” 

What I wanted to do is throw her on the sidewalk and scream at her to “just walk the fek home!” what I did instead as tell her that she had two choices. 

1.  Get in the car now, stop screaming and do not even dare cry. 

2.  We reverse and I put her back at the school door step.  I will then phone her father who will have to leave work early to fetch her and she will get a hiding when he gets there. 

Pick one, option one or option two, but I am done with the screaming!  Done!    She opted for option one – clever girl!

Event five:

Georgia has a karate grading coming up.  She tells me it is going to be on Wednesday. 

I correct her and tell her it will be on the 21 May on a Saturday as the notice says. 

She tells me again it is going to be on Wednesday.

I explain that I have a letter and the grading is at the DoJo and will be at 21 May, which is a Saturday and around two weeks away.  We will all go, and we are very excited about being part of her grading.  On a Saturday.  One the 21st.  Not on Wednesday.

She tells me again that the grading is this Wednesday.

I sigh – quite deeply and with a certain measure of despondency.  I explain again that it is on the 21st which is a Saturday and it is about a week away.

Again she tells me that it is this Wednesday.

I talk through my teeth: “Georgia it is on the 21st which is a Saturday, really I have a letter, it is in about a week, it is not this Wednesday.”

She tells me it is this Wednesday.

I go off pop!

I am not sure she believes me about the 21st, but I do think she has learnt that mom really does not want to hear about “this Wednesday” again.

Event six:

Georgia makes up her own school work and homework.  She has zero interest in learning the A B C’s and all of that stuff. 

She however has an entire written language that she is rather proficient in.  Any the who.

She tells me that she has homework to do.  I say no worries; do it later after you have had dinner and a bath, okay?  She says okay.

For whatever reason she did not “do homework” – so she is crying in her bed and telling me to switch on the light – it is about 9pm – so she can do her imaginary homework!

I convinced her that if she woke up early for school tomorrow then she could sit at her desk and catch up on her homework then.  She was not happy about the suggestion, but it did stop the crying.

You do understand we are crying about imaginary homework!

Okay, so that is this week’s strange.  I have excluded the other reams of strange that go on pretty much all the time in our neck of the woods.

Someone suggested you are never given more than you can deal with, I am not so sure.

Deeply embarrassed and shamed …

So bookclub has had a few issues for me for a bit.  Small stuff really, but it has been niggling at me.  I felt I would feel better addressing the issues and resolving them, because they were niggling me.

Good plan.

Not a good plan when you feel a bit emotional, and have had about 3 glasses too many, and then decide to address something that really should be a one-on-one problem solving exercise, and decide instead to do it in front of the entire group.

I am mortified that I am such a total douche-bag!

There I sat and I vented and emotionally vomited in front of 7 rather startled looking people.

I really would love to say that I carried it off with aplomb and made my point succinctly – but unfortunately the opposite is true.

I totally offended anyone who breathed.

I went off like a deranged lunatic, and I managed to alienate everyone in the room – and at the time I had no idea what the hell I was doing, but felt, at the time, that I knew exactly what I was doing – and quite vindicated in my stand point (at the time).

However retrospect is a wonder in itself – and when I had time to calm “the f&ck down” – as I like to say – I was able to look back and realize the absolute devastation I had caused and more importantly  “what the hell was I thinking”.

What a total f*ck up – total.

So Thursday morning had me feeling so embarrassed and shamed – not ashamed, but SHAMED.   I was mortified that I had sat and felt that what I was saying was correct and appropriate, and justified. 

My brain, and my mouth, and my logic had disengaged totally, and I am so embarrassed.

Fabulous.

Not.

So there we are – I have managed in one foul swoop to become a total tosser (listen I always was, but I managed to sort of keep it mildly under wraps until now). 

Yesterday I felt more terrible that I have in a very long time.

I know the thing we would tell our kids is “go and apologise, and say you are sorry, and there is nothing more you can do …”

Hmm, good advise.

I have apologized for my outburst, but it is a bit like it has been said and it can’t be unsaid, so I sort of slink away very embarrassed.

Today I feel a little bit better – not absolutely better  – but at least I do not feel so ill as I did yesterday.  

Do you realize that you can actually feel violently physical ill from embarrassment and shame? I managed to feel that way the whole of yesterday – I was shaking and had a few crying jags just for fun!

Then I went to lie on my bed, not to sleep, but to close my eyes in the hope I might be swallowed up by the earth …. unfortunately it did not happen, no matter how hard you wish it – and I opened my eyes and it was still me staring back at me.

I still feel crap, and horrible, and embarrassed and shamed.

I f&cked up on a monumental scale, and that it can’t be undone –but there it is.

On the other side of rather unfortunate week I have also managed to:

  1. Lose my wedding ring – and I cannot locate it, and I am actually very upset and worried and upset.
  2. I mentioned before that I am attending a 7 week intensive work shop/group work – and for 2 hours a week I get to cry and unpack some stuff that I have been resisting for a long time with a group of similar minded girls.
  3. Watching the “La Viva V.ulv.a” DVD had a profound effect on me.  It has made me question how I view myself, why I view myself as I do – and as importantly what messages I am passing on to my daughters.  I feel that there has been this mental shift ….and it has left me feeling very uncomfortable and at the same time forcing me to relook at myself….which is not keeping me in my happy (and ignorant) space.
  4. I have realized – rather uncomfortably – that I have got exceedingly judgmental person and am really hating that quality about myself.  At the same time am a bit stuck as to how to make me “less judgmental.”
  5. I was wondering if I could find a support group for Alcoholics Anonymous (who still drink) who specialize in Verbal Diarrhea with a minor in Shame and Embarrassment.  I am looking for that sort of support group, so if you can recommend anything, please let me know.
  6. I feel emotionally exhausted and just drained at the moment – and I do not know what I need to remedy me.
  7. And I am still a total douche bag!

Why didn’t anyone tell me?

I have this friend who I love dearly – she really is one of my best friends.

There is about a 7 year age difference between us – she is younger than me.  We get on like a house on fire, and she makes me laugh so much that it makes my soul smile.  She is one of the most beautiful and vibrant people I know.

She got married about four years ago and had a baby recently.

I recall chatting to her when she was pregnant.  There were several moments where I really wanted to “bring her down” and discuss the “someone should tell you the reality of pregnancy, birth and the thereafter…” but I felt she was so happy and optimistic, and maybe it would be different for her …. maybe. 

I decided to leave it, and only tell her something if she asked specifically.

She knew I chatted on forums and she knew I wrote a blog because I found all things motherhood a challenge. For me it was lonely and I did not really have someone who was telling me the “real stuff” or again maybe I was not listening.

At the time my biggest lament was “why did no one tell me that it was going to be like this….”

But that being said,  I was not going to be a downer on someone else’s rather happy parade. 

If they are all excited and optimistic about it, and prefer not to hear, then I am quite happy to smile pleasantly and let them remain happy.

She kept saying “I know it will be hard but thousands of women do it and I will be fine…”

And though I really felt I wanted to put my hand up and go “I really need to tell you what you are letting yourself in for ..” I resisted and instead opted  to take the high road and say little or nothing. 

<I really had to chew the inside of my cheek, as saying nothing is not part of my natural makeup.>

Fekn hell.

She had a natural birth that included screaming, tearing, baby getting stuck at the shoulder, baby being suctioned, OBGYN screaming (screaming) I NEED HELP HERE, OGBYN doing purl-plain-purl-plain to put her back together again, and and and …. (listen, I think she is a super hero for making it through, really, I might have stood up and said “Okay that is about as far as I am going here – someone give me gas or general anasthetic, and someone get this frikkn baby out …. because I am done!!”)

When I visited her later on “birth day” she had that far-away look like when someone sees something horrific.  It was as if she had survived something huge, but had seen the dark side and was now had a haunted look about her.

But we laughed and I patted her hand, and listened to her talk about her going home and how that was going to be …and I patted her hand a bit more, because she did not appear to be worried.

Again I felt an overriding urge to go “er…….” but I didn’t.  She seemed happy, she seemed confident, and that was enough to keep me quiet, and for hells sake she had just been through Hades.

She got home and unfortunately that is really where the fun started.

Baby is struggling to latch, she is stressed and upset and clearly not sleeping, and is making nearly daily trips to the clinic – I really really feel sorry for her.  When I speak to her I can feel her pain, and I want to cry with her.

Why can I feel her pain?  Because I was there.

And so were most (if not all) first time mothers. 

We have lived that hell of arriving home with your new born.   You are about 5km from that Linus blanket that is the nurses red button, and suddenly that sleepy little fresh smelling baby is screaming and you do not have a clue how to cope.  You are hormonally overloaded, your body is exhausted and nothing is working like it says it will in the books.

Nothing.

She is trying to breastfeed and its fkn difficult and it is not working.  But she has all this pressure that she must and she is weeping and wondering if it makes her a bad mother if she does not breastfeed!

Oh my heavens, my heart bleeds for her. I wish I could tell her that it will be better tomorrow, but we all know that first 6 – 8 weeks is like a slow ride to Danté’s hell without coins to pay the ferryman to get out of it.

And then she says: “Why did no one tell me that it was going to be like this…?” with a sort of hysterical note in her voice.

I love this girl – I really do!!

The short answer is, no one tells you because no one listens.

Everyone thinks that they are going to have this miracle pregnancy and this “soft light and roses” birth, followed by  the new little family skipping off into the sunset.  It is all going to be heaven and soft milky baby burps from here on in.

As sorry as I do feel for her – and I do – part of me smiles – not because I am a mean person – and quite possibly because I am – but because sh&t we all go through this, and I remember it, not fondly, I just remember it.

<but I do hope for her that this 6 weeks passes quickly, she regains her sanity and that this is a small bump on her road with her new baby …. I really do>

Gawd help you if you try to tell a pregnant first time mom about the “big bad world” because she will raise her perfectly plucked eyebrow and place her left hand – so you can see the glint of her wedding ring –  gently onto her perfect bump, and tell you in no uncertain terms that you are sorely mistaken, she has this under control.

And that is why when I see a really happy pregnant first time mom, I smile, take a really large sip of my Chenin Blanc, lean over and go: “So how’s it all going?” with a slightly evil glint in my eye.

Why am I screaming if no one is listening ……

Okay so Saturday was like any other night, we had 9 friends over for dinner and I had three kids going bezerk!

To correct myself, I had two kids going bezerk.

I had one kid who went downstairs and realized the safest place was to sit in the tv room and play Nintendo – that child has a special place in my heart and was definitely my favourite child on Saturday night.

Georgia has reached that stage, where we are at that point where we have no more tools to use to discipline her.

We had a fairly empty toolbox when we started parenting, but right now, we have run out of ideas and the tool box is empty (unless I pick it up and just starting hitting myself repeatedly over the head with it – which might end up giving me more results).

How it goes is Connor is the good, sensitive and conscientious one.   Georgia would follow Connor’s lead.  That way we had to discipline one, and the other one followed sort of obediently after.

It was a wonderful arrangement.

It is a bit like getting a dog, and house training and obedience training the one dog.

Given, you expend huge sums of energy on the training, but you do it, you do it well and it is done.  You then get a second dog and the first dog trains the other one by association – a winner recipe for lazy dog owners.

Swap out “first dog” with Connor and “second dog” with Georgia and “dog owners” with parents and you have got our little arrangement.  Sweet, when it works.

Until. It doesn’t.

Kennith and I have always congratulated ourselves (gloated actually) on what brilliant parents we are.  Our kids are obedient (relatively), we can take our kids out with us (to most places) and generally ours is a fairly easy household – it is controlled chaos but our kids listen and the screaming is kept to an acceptable level (as long as mom has Chuckles and wine).

Or.  So we thought.

Georgia turned five last year and it was as if a little slither of defiance opened up in her.  That window has since started to grow and grow and the glass pane has fallen out, so it is no longer a window as much as it is a gaping hole!

With Connor we had time out, which worked really well.  Even the threat of time out would work.  We could take tv-time away, take computer-time away, and we could take Nintendo-time away – or we could threaten to.

The thing with Connor is the mere hint of threat is enough to curb his behavior.

We also use a system of counting to get results i.e. “I am counting to three, if you are still lying here when I get to three, you will get a hiding/beaten/never be allowed out again/leave what ever fits!”

Before “one” is even out of your mouth Connor is gone.

Fabulous.

Enter Georgia.

She does not respond to threats.  You can threaten to take television/Barbie/her princess dress/custard or what ever away from her, she sort of looks at you like “and then what will you do?”

If you threaten to give her a hiding, she seems to think it over before actually doing anything.

If you threaten to …. actually it does not matter what you threaten she just has zero reaction.  She does not care what you take away or what you threaten to throw away, she does not give a continental fig.

I count to three, and if she is being a smart ar&e she sometimes adds “four” when I get to “three” – which as mad as I it makes me, I still find really funny.  That girl has got real edge to her!

It is not like she is openly defiant.  But you can see on her face that what ever your threat is, it is just not doing the trick.

A bit like if your boss said: “Okay if you do not get to work on time, I will be cancelling all future enemas ….. I really mean it this time!!”  Wouldn’t exactly change you getting their much earlier would it?

Georgia is about the same.

On Saturday I had told her probably five times to get into the bath.  I had told her three times and screamed at her twice – I was busy cooking and just wanted her in the bath.

She did not want to bath and decided it was too early for bath time.  I see she is not in the bath, and then I get really cross – so I go looking for her.

I find her hiding under the sink  in the bathroom. (I was more cross because I had gone into the bathroom twice and had not seen her hiding there).

I did what any rational mother would do when they have lost the plot.  I took off my right slip-slop, sat on the toilet seat, pulled said child over my lap and give her three slaps with the “plakkie” on her bum!!

Then screamed: ”Now get in the bath, or I am coming back in here with the left one!”

Listen it is not a moment I am proud of, but we can talk about the right and wrong of smacking children at a later stage.

So Georgia is balling.  She gets undressed and gets in the bath …. I hear her saying something and crying, so I head back.

She goes – through snot and tears: “Is it washing hair day, because I don’t have a clip for my hair?”

I go, yes washing hair day, she goes, okay and starts laughing while she wets her hair.

My hiding was totally lost on her.  I think I was more traumatised by the experience.

I then sat (in calm Super Nanny style) and asked if she understood why she got a hiding.  She said “yes, because I was not listening” and then we spoke about that, and I went off feeling a bit crap to carry on cooking.

Georgia gets out the bath and then comes to make a picnic in the middle of the kitchen – where I am trying to cook – for the 9 guests.  She is totally ignoring me telling her repeatedly not to make the picnic in the kitchen – I remind her that she has just had a smack for not listening.

Still picnic’ing.

I mean seriously how far over the edge is this child trying to push me?

I pick up blanket and picnic stuff and throw it down the passage – I seriously seriously gave up even trying to look composed at this point.  The child does not listen – she does not even try to act like she does – and I am exhausted trying to find a way for her to hear me.

I am out of ideas.

I plan to take her for a hearing test in the next month, because seriously, the only possible reason is that she is stone deaf.  Because I am out of other ideas.

Nanny steals baby …. and other scenarios I keep myself awake with ….

Remember that pasta advert a few years back, when the woman pulls the little Italian woman out of the cupboard and then she whips up a pasta extravaganza (Fattis and Monis I think) and prepares everything.

When she is complete, the woman (hostess) enters the kitchen gives her a wry wink, and shuffles her back into the cupboard where the mops and detergent live.

Then the hostess then takes out the prepared food to the adoring guests,and laps up the praise as it appears she did it all.

That is pretty much how I would like my nanny to be – always there, and always available, working magic behind the scenes.

But as we cannot make Pepe legally live in a cupboard, and possibly because she is not an Italian woman from an advert.  Pepe also takes leave each year (those pesky basic conditions of employment rear their ugly head again much to the inconvenience to the white madam).

Just a bit of background, I work a full day and so does Kennith.  Isabelle stays at home with Pepe and our two older kids get home around 16h00 from school – and then the dinner/bath/evening fighting starts. 

If I did not have a Pepe, odds are I would not be able to work a full day, and then my kids would be stuck at aftercare/creche until 6pm on most nights.  I understand that for many working moms this is the only way it can be, but I have the benefit of working and still geting kids home to be at home for the late afternoon/evening without the chaos.

The only reason my household functions is because I have a Pepe – and I give daily thanks that I have someone like her making it possible to do what I need to do (without me having to drink more to cope).

At the mere mention that Pepe needs to go on leave throws me into an absolute f&nnie flap – and this year was no exception.  Usually she goes in December/January but this year she opted to go in March.

Of course that made December/January brilliant – us off to work, kids at home, and clothes that were magically packed away, and dishes that miraculously washed themselves.  It was all fabulous and a totally heady experience!  I was drunk with how divine it was.  I congratulated myself daily on how fantastic my lot in life was.

Fast forward to March and I am now in the midst of what can only be described as a mini/major (it fluctuates depending on the time of the day) nervous breakdown.

I went through an agency, interviewed three ladies, regretted one who was just too timid, and looked at the other two candidates a bit further.

I did references, and thought about it long and hard.  I brought the both women in for a trial for 3 days each so I could get a better sense of them, and have them living in my space.  I decided to go with the one lady – let’s call her nanny F for now.

Other lady nanny J was brilliant, but I thought nanny F was a better fit, but I might be keeping nanny J in my cupboard for weekends.

So nanny F started yesterday and Pepe left on her month leave last night.  It was as if when Pepe walked out the door hell broke loose.

The kids were fighting.  Isabelle was crying and clinging to my leg.  \Georgia was screaming (SCREAMING) that her pieces  of torn out paper she had torn up yesterday were missing.

It was totally fekn chaos!

And then I realized this was going to be my month forward – it was as if I had been given  a  glimpse, a snap shot,  of what was coming my way for the next 30 days. 

If Pepe was there she would have known what to do and the situation would not have escalated. 

Nanny F took one look at the situation and decided that ironing might be a good thing to be doing right now.  (tip, it wasn’t!)

I poured myself some wine, put Isabelle who had snot on her upper lip, on my hip and then proceeded to attend to Georgia who was officially have a po** collapse (I must thank my friend Natalie Black for that wonderful term – I do not use it often, but when you see a p.c. then you know that is the only phrase that is going to work)

I went over to nanny F and explained to her that when she hears kids screaming it would really help me, if she stopped ironing (which I do appreciate, as I do not iron) and rather attend to the screaming child.  I might have used a slightly disdainful voice when I explained this, but I was pretty tense.

Then I got really exasperated that I actually had to explain that problem…..and started to doubt that maybe I had not made the best decision on bringing nanny F into the fold.

Georgia continued to go totally ape sh*t – I continued to try to sooth her – Isabelle cries if Georgia cries, so the entire situation was really not pleasant.  I was trying not to scream (because inside the voices were) but I tried to use the soothing mother voice, though, to be honest I was really one step away from having a po** collapse of my own.

All this whilst Connor is playing a computer game featuring fish.  What he loves to do,  more than anything,  is whilst I am in the midst of a total family drama he  pop his head in – usually in mid-sentence and says something like:  “Mom, I just caught a Blue tang surgeonfish – it’s great, you know what they eat?”

To which I need to then ask: “No, my boy what do they eat?”

And so the exchange goes.

Please bear in mind I have no interest at all in what a Blue tang surgeonfish eats, that the sailfish is the fastest fish in the sea, and that the South American marbled hatchetfish are the only fish that can achieve powered flight.  I really have little regard for this information, but in our house if you plan on having any conversation with Connor, then this is sort of where the subject matter is going to be heading.

While all hell is breaking loose, I need to also compose myself for fish banter with Connor.

So I sort out Georgia’s dilemma, sooth Isabelle’s crying – which has escalated as I think she has realized I am getting a bit irked with nanny F.

Nanny F then walks in and shows me that the iron’s cord is burnt through – and she can no longer use it. 

I think wow, you have been here about 2 hours and we are already one appliance down…. Kennith is going to flip his lid.  I already start imagining the exchange as he sees the iron, and he will say something like: “Man, how did this happen?  She really needs to be more careful with the iron, you need to speak to her or she will break everything!”

Of course I will stand there, get annoyed as I would be thinking: “Or you could take three steps and then lean over and speak to her yourself!”

<Kennith’s defense he actually did not say any of these things, he just said, well we need a new iron and we need it quickly…..>

So all of this mania is going on, I finally get kids aimed towards bed, and I head towards bed myself.  I fall into bed rather than climb in with any sense of style or decorum.

<I had an optom yesterday as I have managed – through various levels of stupidity – to scratch my cornea on my right eyeball -normal words cannot accurately describe my discomfort>

My eyes are tired, my head hurts, I am irritable, my nerves are frayed and I am already exhausted and the month has not even started yet.   I am already predicting the chaos and starting to work through the various scenarios in my head and every possible permutation that may occur and what I will be doing when it does/might occur.

I fall asleep and then wake up at it is 12:10am and I lie there and start to worry.

I think I have made an awful mistake, and I am entrusting (with possibly my favourite child at the moment) to what really is a complete stranger.

I start creating an entire scenario of how this is going to play out, and all my scenarios end with me wearing sack cloth, crying with ash on my head, as I pull my hair out and plead with the not-so-friendly-police-constable to: “please just find my child, please find my child!”

All while they are looking at me with their little note books and small stubby pencils (in my mental picture they are in the blue uniforms from the mid 1980’s) and they are saying – in a very Afrikaans accent: “But lady what did you really know about this woman, when you decided to leave your child with her?”

So that kept me busy (in my head) until just before 5am.

This morning I woke up – feeling pretty grim, the acid in my stomach had already burnt a hole through to my arse.

I lingered and dawdled and left rather reluctantly this morning, and had no choice but to leave my little monkey with nanny F!

I literally sms’d everyone in my contact list and asked if they would please please please come by the house today and this week just to make sure nanny F had not absconded with my child.

I am in a total state today!  Total fekn state!

<please do not tell me it is going to be alright, as that is not going to help at all ……. I have already phoned her 6 times this morning, and yes things do appear alright, but how do I really know, for sure?>

I have managed to get hold of Judith who said she would make a plan and go over to the house and spend some time there.  I can’t tell you how much I am absolutely loving Judith right now!!! 

I told the guy at work about why I am so stressed, he looks at me – and in a very helpful tone says: “If something happens do you have any recourse with the agency?” Excellent question. 

Not an excellent question when I am thinking that nanny F has already sold my child for muti!!!

Sunday was Chinese-water-torture Night

 

Basically the way the game is played, is that you are a little more stressed/exhausted than usual.  You are trying to get kids ready for bed, all the time while keeping an eye on the digital clock above the oven, as it flashes the minutes in large red letters.

Digital letters have never looked so alluring and sexy!

I know it is bad karma to wish for time to pass.  But when you are wanting kids in bed, and some time to yourself that does not involve the word “mommy” being used in a whiny voice, poo that is not yours and spilt milk, the minutes they cannot move fast enough.

I love that clock – I shout BINGO as soon as it says 19h30 (I shout it inside my head, I do not want to make the kids think I am any stranger than I already am)!

If your kids are young you can shout it earlier depending on when you have decided that  “Fek I have had enough of this, and these munchkins can go to right sleep now before I kill them!!”  So time is flexible at this point.

Older kids can tell time so once they are around 6 thistechnique of bending time gets more tricky. Unfortunately you only need one who can tell the time to spoil the entire thing for everyone.  This reason should be motivation enough for not training kids to tell time until they are about 11 or 15!

 Yes, you can set the clocks forward, but odds are you will forget as soon as kids are in bed, and you have finished the second bottle of wine, and then you are pretty stuffed the next day as you are then never on time for anything!  It’s a good idea but lacks in application.

Background:  Kennith had been away for a week, and two weekends.  Added to that I started a new job on Monday.  The kids started of a new school year.   Isabelle was having a reaction to the 18 month jabs I had done for her last week.  I get anxious when Kennith is away  – like really!  Combination = total stressed out me.

Sunday afternoon Kennith got home.  We did dinner and then started aiming the kids to bed.  There was the usual chaos.  Georgia was being Georgia.  I was at the juncture where our three child family was about to become a two child family with the mom at Polsmoor.

Got kids into thier beds – I might have thrown them a bit….but I aimed them towards where there were pillows and a duvet, so that must count for something.

I am doing stuff, Kennith is lying on the bed with his iPhone – one of the kids cries/needs a bum wipe or something – Kennith chirps “just because I am home doesn’t mean I am on child duty right?” 

What do you think I am thinking right now?  It’s not “I heart you” right now, that is for free.  He has been away for two weekends.  I don’t care where he was, he wasn’t here and that counts as a holiday in my book.

I got in to bed around 23h30 and fell asleep after less than a paragraph of my book. 

Isabelle started to moan, and I thought I would leave her and she would settle and then everyone would be asleep.  Happy days.

Then I listened and thought, well I should just go in and check on her to make sure her leg is not caught in the cot bars, or she has poo’d so much her nappy is leaking it all over her cot bedding – both of which has occurred.  So guilt got me out of bed, and I went down the passage to check on her.

If I settle her, she will go to sleep and then I can sleep, and that was my motivation and I figured, I do this one and we are sorted.  Right?  Not so much.

I go and settle her and head back to bed.  As I start to doze, I hear her moan again.

Again I think, should I leave her to sort it out or should I go in and just make sure she is fine, so she can go to sleep and I can enter Nirvana?

I go in and settle her.  She is sort of half sleeping half awake, and moaning, which is not a good sign.  But I pat her, cover her with a blanket, and exit the room.

The same process then repeats itself about five more times until about 1am.  By around this point I have lost what ever was left of my sense of humour.

Just after 1am, Kennith hears her for the first time, jumps out of bed, stumbles down the passage, comforts her and falls back into bed.

I decided to lie there and let him, I should have stopped him as I had just done that, but I figured he could get this one, I would get the next dozen or so.

The balance of Monday morning  was the exact same routine, over and over again until around 5am.

At that point she escalated the moaning to screaming.  I was past caring for her or being concerned for her at this point.  I was trying to work out how many Voyager miles it would take for me to go to China.  Not because I wanted to specifically go to China, I just did not want to be here anymore.

Kennith woke up, I suggested we fetch Isabelle and put her in our bed.  He said no.

Only because I was so sleep deprived at this point, I was past reasoning, and hoped/fantasized/seen once in a movie, that a couple slept with their baby in the bed.

Kennith said no, and was about to launch into a lecture about the evils of children sleeping in their parents bed, and the bad example it sets, and global warming and why Kim Kardashian is a great person to follow on Twitter.

I switched off (from him – I could still hear Isabelle clearly), rolled on my side, and continued to tighten the jaw muscles to see if I could actually snap off a molar.

Kennith woke up, he suggested we fetch Isabelle and put her in our bed.  I said that is a great idea.  He fetched her.

She did however continue to moan and thrash around the bed, and kick me and stick her fingers in my eye.  Fabulous if this is your thing, not so good if you are hoping for a slither of sleep.

Kennith managed to go back to sleep, albeit for a few minutes.

I would like to say that I was really happy for him, as he has been travelling and had been away, and really needed sleep.  But I was slightly less than charitable in my thoughts.

Isabelle continued to moan and be up for most-likely-to-be-packed-in-a-cardboard-box-and-given-to-gypseys.

This went on all morning  – of the little bit that was left.

Eventually  I picked her up, put her in the passage and called loudly/screamed down the passage: “Pepe, please come and get her, else I am going to do something with her that I am going to regret!” 

It sounded nicer that what I was thinking which was: “Pepe, come and get this fekn child!”  But I know Pepe knows Child Services telephone number so I am careful what I say around her some times.

Pepe fetched Isabelle.

I had a shower.  I dressed.  Fortunately my wardrobe is jean pant with a shirt and black shoes, so that often does not take much brain power.  Tried to drink a cup of tea which tasted like crap – because my taste buds were not functioning.

It felt like a sheep and peed in my eyes.  Why a sheep?  I don’t know, it just felt like livestock has been urinating in my eyes, and sheep just seemed the most likely to get up to that sort of nonsense.

Shuttled kids into the car.  Said good bye to Pepe and Isabelle and then tried to get through the next 10 hours feeling like dog crap on a pair of grasshopper shoes.  It was a very long day, and all I could think about was sleeping.

I seriously do not know how mothers function who do this for several days at a trot.  I often hear from moms who have not had a full night sleep since Julius did woodwork, and I am totally flabbergasted at how they function.

One night of this and I was ready to say or do anything just to get some sleep.  Yes, it was me on the grassy knoll –  it was me, now leave me alone and let me sleep.

I still do not know what was wrong with Isabelle.  For fear of repeating the same routine last night I packed her in her cot with a healthy dose of Nurofen for kids.   

I slept like the dead last night, and woke up this morning feeling a lot saner than yesterday, and almost refreshed.   Isabelle also looks like she is back to her chipper self.  Monkey!

Some days are for living. Others are for getting through.

I hope everyone had a good holiday season with friends and family, and where ever you were when the clock changed to 2011.

I trust it was in a happy place, or at the very least spent with a reasonably good bottle of wine in what would pass as your moderately pleasant place.

I have been neglecting my blog duties in the last month, and for that I am slightly embarrased.

I have found that for the first time in a very long time that I just have not felt like blogging – which is odd, as I really do enjoy this blogging malarkey.

I do think November and December have offered me one too many challenges and I have struggled to bounce back from.

My natural tendency is to throw myself to the floor and weep: “why we, why me?” And this month it seemed allowed so many opportunities to do just that.

I feel like one of those blow-up-balloon-figurines (kids kind versus sexual ones you purchase from Adult World), with water in the base that children get so they can punch the crap out of them.

The figure bounces back and bounces back, until it eventually springs a leak and the water starts to get sort of yucky.  Eventually the blow up figurine is thrown into the bag of the wendy house and left there to gather dust while the air sort of “eep-eeps” out of it.

Not a bad simile for how I have felt these last two months.

I have felt “blech” and a bit too drained to do anything other than wallow in my self-pity.

The entire work situation has been on the forefront of my mind, and I also did not want to ‘emotionally puke’ about it here, so though it is all I wanted to talk about – as it was all I was thinking about – I also did not want to initiate a blow-by-blow update here.

But here is a basic update on where I am right now:-

My retrenchment: That is still in the process, but the process does appear to be coming to it’s end.

My company did revert back with a revised offer to look at a reduced salary position.

However this was after telling me in a meeting that I was retrenched, and then announcing to the entire sales/estimating and others that I was retrenched before the issue had actually been finalised.

So yes in terms of procedure, that did suck a bit, but let’s not hold grudges, sometimes the best laid plans do not go to plan.

Since then I counter-offered and suggested if they were going to cut my salary then I would like my working hours should be cut as well.

That went down like a lead balloon, but hey, if you don’t ask you don’t get.  And in this case, even if you do ask, you still do not get.

Then they counter-offered, and I went “mmm, that does not sound right” and at a certain point I realized “I am done” – it is actually time to go now.

I was (am) really disappointment, and though everyone said “don’t take it personally” of course I took it personally.  This retrenchment personally affected ME personally.

As things stand now, I have asked to depart at the company’s soonest convenience.  But that being said, I do not wish to burn my bridges there because all things were good prior to the ‘pack your bags and fek off” meeting, and have had an MD who I will think fondly of for all time, as he is and has been a really good guy to me.

I am in the process  of doing  a hand-over with the person who will be taking over my responsibilities.  I plan to leave my place-of-employment this Friday.

The humour is I am doing a hand over for a person I shortlisted when we were interviewing to expand the department.  So in theory I hired my replacement without even being aware of it – fabulous!

The issue right now is that I just don’t want to be at my company any more.  I do feel slighted.  I do feel rejected. And I do feel hurt about the entire process.  I feel a bit like the ugly step-cousin who has gate crashed the Xmas party.

We can argue for hours about how I need to “wear my big girl pant” and take it on the chin.  But you know, fek that! I actually don’t have to.  And that is the bonus of wearing “big girl panties” I can decide how this is going to play out and I can decide how I feel about something.

I just want to say that this process hit me for a total six.

There I was sitting happily working along.  Obviously having the occasional little bitch and whine about work, but I had no inclination of going anywhere, and though everything wasn’t “coming up roses” I was fine to just keep on keeping on.

Then the retrenchment meeting came, and I was left reeling.

Then there were the negotiation and I realized; what exactly are we negotiating about?  Me staying at a company that chose not to keep me?

Thanks, but I can find the door myself.

Kennith has been a good egg during this entire process.  He showed me support and solutions when I just saw black emptiness.  So he gets another star on the good egg chart – that boy is nearly on his way to owning a BMX!

The issue with my mom: That has not been totally resolved however we have since been in contact via sms.  Kennith, myself and kids stopped by to see my mom and my stepfather on the 27th December.

It was good.  I hope that we can move forward and things can revert back to what-passes-for-normal-in-most-families.  But I do hope that things get better/go back to what there were/not be as awkward as they are now.

I realized how long it had been for them since they last saw Isabelle and it made me sad that they had already missed out on so much of her development.  My mom and my stepfather hold such a close relationship with Connor and Georgia, and I would really hate for our issues to cloud their relationship with Isabelle and Georgia and Connor.

Depression: November and December have reduced to me to a pitiful mess of sobbing and anxiety. I have chewed the inside of my cheeks something hellish, and have been totally self-absorbed in my own anxiety and stress.

I wish I lost weight when stressed.

Unfortunately I tend to drink more than would be considered healthy, and then snack without being aware of what is being thrown in to my mouth.  I also tend to just want to sleep and sleep and …. sleep … and when I am not sleeping I am trying to work out when I can be sleeping again.

Kennith has been great and given me the space to wallow and not tried to push too much on me.

I just want to point out here that he made the entire Xmas lunch himself.  I sort of slothed through, set the table and then ate.  I did not peel one potato or stuff one chicken – it was bliss!

My therapist did suggest that I was in a depressive episode and that I should consider medication to just help me stabilize the situation a bit better.

But with all good therapists she proceeded to say something to me, which was the right thing at the right time, and it felt like a cloud had shifted off my horizon.  So with her guidance, and Kennith’s support I really feel much better and have decided to skip the need for meds right now.

Kids and School Holidays: Not my best time.  I get really stressed when it is time for us and the kids to float around our house and I do look around in fear that something is going to go horribly wrong.

I often worry that there is a bit of Andrea Yates in me, the part without the obsessive religious fervour.

But it was not so bad this year.

I also realized the reason it was not so bad this year was because our maid/nanny/right hand lady Pepe opted not to take her annual leave over Xmas/New Year.  I can’t tell you how divine it has been having her about while while we and our three kids wreck havoc!

She will take leave in March.  I understand that all that is happening is that the pain is being delayed.  Of course now I stare up at the ceiling at night wondering what I am going to do in March!

Over December we spent a lot of time around the pool and the kids have found jumping in the pool and who can make the biggest splash the easiest way to burn off energy.

All this whilst I sit under the gazebo and sip my wine, and try to smile affectionately as someone screams “Mommy, look at me, look at me!”.

The joy of giving: Connor received a Nintendo DS for his birthday (I am sure you wonder how exactly that is good for me, but wait, it actually is very good).

I am not a big game-fan, but this thing has made me clap my hands in glee quite a few times.  Instead of having Connor walking around me whining for me to entertain him, Connor has gone on to develop a close and what I hope is a lasting relationship with Luigi and Mario, as well as someone called Princess Peach (Super Mario Brothers and Mario Cart DS).

We can have another post about the evils of putting kids in front of the television or a computer game, so that the moms like me can lie on the couch and read.  But for all it’s evils, damn, I am a fan of the little game consol!

Christmas Day: Always get a bit stressed about this and always tend to spend too much time with my hand up a chicken’s bum.

We had Kennith’s mom over for lunch and it really was pleasant and just so low-stress it was divine.

New Years: We unfortunately did not have a baby sitter, and I was loathe to drive anywhere with the kids or to leave them with someone who we barely knew who was advertising themselves at R120.00 an hour.

We tried to find a babysitter and when all failed, we opted to accept we would be Johnny-no-mates at home this year.

We put on our best attire and headed to the Spur – Patrick served us, it was great, it was just us and about a dozen other people at the Spur – lovely for us, shite for the staff.

After we had eaten our body weight in chicken wings and ice-cream, we headed home and watched the A-Team on our new Blue-Ray thingy-ma-jig.  It was brilliant with the surround sound.

I would not have thought I would enjoy the A-Team, but I clearly had not given them a chance.  It was brilliant – cars ramping and exploding, thousands of bullets being fired, and barely any one dying!

Enjoyed it thoroughly – actually it was better than the television series!

Kids went to bed, Kennith fell asleep on the couch and I watched Sherlock Holmes – another fabulous movie.

Midnight approached. I woke Kennith up.  We stumbled out on to our stoep to watch the fireworks – we can see the mountain and a large section of Cape Town from our house.

We congratulated ourselves on a job well done and went inside.  It was great, might do a few more like that in the coming years.

So that is where we are on this third day of January two thousand and eleven.

Quick recap:

  • I headed back to work today to train the person who will be taking over from me – it’s a very strange situation.
  • Kennith is still on leave and he will need to go and buy stationery and school supplies this week, which usually costs us the equivalent of a heart and lung machine.
  • Isabelle is now 18 months, and for all purposes is a happy and healthy toddler.  Concerns: she does not use any words, none.  She still eats pureed food.  I feed her only vegetables and fruit, no meat.  More because once you flick them on to meat, it is like changing your grandfather’s nappy.
  • There has been no news on my missing dog, and that still makes me very sad, and sometimes I have a little cry when I am on the toilet (because sometimes it is the only place I can be alone).

Okay so that is my little catch up.

I am hoping my brain kicks into gear soon.  Apologies, as it really has been out to lunch for quite some time, and I can hardly string a sentence together, let alone do a decent blog post, so please be patient with me until I find my mojo again.

Contrary to popular belief, I have not off’ed myself with a broken wine bottle, I am here, I am fine, I just need to get my shit together, and remember why I put on clean underwear in the morning.

I am a turd ….

Clearly I have had a really crappy week!

By the time I get home from my fun at work, I am exhausted.  Not yawn exhausted but my-nerves-are-frayed exhausted.

I arrive home to be assaulted by dust and dirt and usually a contractor who has not arrived to finish what is supposed to be finished.  Which then is an indicator that what ever was going to take x time will now take x+1 day times. (Hey I did HG Algebra I will have you know …. until I dropped to SG, because if I kept up HG, I would never pass Standard 10)

I am not exactly on a go-faster-contractor-go-faster clock or anything, but I do want the contractors to finish so they can spend less time with my family, and well, more time with theirs.  (I could say I want them to fek off and leave me alone, but I was trying to find a more diplomatic way of putting it, as someone recently suggested I might not have the cleanest mouth for a blogger …. with children.)

My patience level is at an all time low, and my ability to interact with people is on the decline.

The kids have not been more (or less) difficult than normal.  The problem is that by the time I have them herded into the car, and I have pulled out of the respective school parking lots, an argument has ensued between the two of them.

This is all standard practice in our drives home.  I can usually switch off a bit, as my brain goes out for a little mental walk about, whilst they bicker about what ever it is that they are bickering about that day.  I am however feeling a little tense and the car drives home feel like agony and an eternity.

This week, I am a little low on resources and this week, I am a bit low on everything including my ability to “act normal” when a normal situation occurs.

I get home and count the minutes until everyone goes to bed, so I can just fall down and go “thank fek I survived another day!”

On Thursday morning Connor was looking for his school shorts.  He asked me where they were.  I responded by getting really angry at him and telling him that he needs to get his things together in the evening and not leave it until the morning and I was blah-blah-blah lecture blah-blah-blah vent.

(My berating him for asking me where they were, did take longer than if I had just told him where they were – I subsequently noted this point!)

Connor then decided he would go and look in the spare room for his shorts.

Problem is that because of the window-framer guys, the kids are bunking together and Isabelle is sleeping in the spare room and not in her room, because there is too much dust and dirt in her room.

Connor walks in to the spare room – Isabelle wakes up, and then starts calling for me.  He solves the problem by leaving the room, and closing the door, which of course (strangely enough) does not make Isabelle lie down and go back to sleep again.

The problem is now I need to stop preparing myself for work.  Go pick her up, change nappy, get bottle, settle her while I am trying to get breakfast for Connor and Georgia, and strain my tea bag in my tea cup –which I desperately need.

My usual routine, is to try to get ready and then go and pick her up out of her cot.

It just makes the morning a bit less complicated, and sort of ensures that I have taken some consideration with my wardrobe – like my shoes matching for instance and I got my bra facing the correct way – I aim just for the small things.

I got annoyed with Connor – and then I screamed at him through clenched teeth: “What the hell is wrong with you! I told you to use your shorts from yesterday, you have now woken up Isabelle! What the hell is wrong with you!

I was really angry, and I was not angry with him, I was angry with the situation I found myself in.

I was angry with my fekn company. I was angry that they did not value me enough to make an alternate plan.

I was angry that I was standing in my shortie jammies in the middle of the kitchen at 6am, and I already had grit and grime under my bare feet.

I was angry that I would not get 10 minutes to drink my tea while I prepare myself mentally to face this day.

I was angry that I had to go to work and continue to act like a mature person when all I wanted to do was curl into a ball and have a good cry.

I was angry that my financial situation is so precarious – though Kennith assures me that it is not.  I am angry that I will now be more of a strain on our financial position, rather than in a position to get us into a better financial position.  I was angry that now I will be more of a burden on Kennith.

I was angry that I had eaten all the damn cupcakes and the bag of Chuckles.

I was angry that there is now this issue with my mother, and I do not know how to resolve it.  I am angry that there is just too much stuff to deal with.

I WAS ANGRY, and I took it out on my eight year old child because he went to look for his school shorts in the room where the washing is kept, and it would make sense that that is where it is.

I feel like such a turd!  Because I was using my anger to have a go at him.  Because his feeling bad, somehow made me feel better (victorious) for about 3 seconds, and then I just felt like a total total turd!

I fetched Isabelle, changed her bum, warmed her bottle, gave her a cuddle while I tried to drink my tea and not mess  any of it on her (to avoid any rush visits to the burn unit at Medi Clinic).

I got dressed, herded the kids in the car and then drove to school while I alternated patting Connor on the head, and resting my hand on his leg (in a non suggestive manner), because I felt like such a stupid horrible f*kwit.

Friday followed, and when I fetched Connor I explained that I was not having the best day in the best week, in the best month, and that I was really horrible to him the day before.

It was not about him, he did nothing wrong.  I was just angry and stupid and was mean to him – and I was really sorry. (I sniffed back a little chunky tear as well)

Connor said: “It’s okay mom, I understand!”

Which of course forced me to explain why it was not okay that I was horrible to him.  But that I loved him and I was still a turd!

Connor likes bum humour, it cheers him up no end.

I would like Kennith to come home now, so this turd can hand over the imaginary reins of my life to him.

(This post was written on Friday, and I only posted it now, so Kennith is back, which is great.)

Nothing sucks like November ….

I can officially say that November 2010 sucks.

Not like little-tadpoles-sucking-off-the-dead-skin-between-your-toes sort of suck, but total m*ther*cker sort of suck!

The month started with my mother reading my recent blog post, and let’s just say the results are not good.  Nope, pretty bad all around to put it mildly.

Of course we can argue that there was a little psychology at play, as why did I post such a personal post on my blog if I did not want her to read it?

And I may well suggest that the post was more about me and it was on MY blog, and not meant as a passive-aggressive note to her.  I also sort of hoped she would not read it as she is often too busy, and maybe would have skipped that one.

What ever the psychology or explanation, it is done, she read my post.  There is now a certain amount of fall out from that – as you can well surmise.

So what was initially an emotionally puking post, has now turned into a rather larger issue that needs to be dealt with.

If I felt bad before, well that can’t hold a candle to how bad I feel now.  I have not quite been disowned, but let’s say I am outside of the “circle of trust.”

Coming on the back of that, is meeting with my new therapist.  She is lovely and very results-driven, and she wears really sparkly shoes (no, really she does)!

She pushes for decisions, and for me to confront difficult issues in a manner that I have not really experienced before.

Therapists love to chat and chat and chat some more (R825.00 an hour is really great motivation to keep a conversation going).  This one loves to chat, and then cuts to the chase and pushes me to make a plan to move on.

Quite liking her approach – and as said, she is results and task driven, so she is not really wanting me to sit with me on a couch for the next 12 months chatting about life.

That has been really good, and it has helped me see things in a different light and I think also really helped with dealing with some of my relationship issues, as well as seeing how things in my past bear a direct link to how I am reacting to something now.

One of the things she has helped me to address is the way I deal with money.  This also feeds into the way we, as a couple, deal with our finances and how we relate to each other when it comes to money.

It really is powerful stuff – in one session there was more progress with her than I have had in months with other therapists.

(To not detract from the work I have done with other therapists, part of it might be that I am in a different “place” now and maybe  more ready/able to move forward on issues now than I was five years ago.)

My financial position is quite dire – “quite” being the understatement in that sentence.  I really want to say f*cking dire, but I do not think that language would be appropriate.

I have been hiding this from Kennith with a very advanced system of smoke and mirrors.  To cut a long story short, if I was a company I would be in liquidation and as the CEO I might have either run off to the Caymans or putting a sawn-off shot-gun between my teeth.

I am also not “able” to ask for help.

The result is I have been limping along for some time and not letting Kennith know.  He has not been given the opportunity to assist me, as he has not had any idea how bad the situation was.  And I was growing angrier with him each month, because he was not helping me (because he did not know, you get how this cycle is working?)

Each month has got progressively worse for me financially, and I have really been stressed about both the money (and my lack of it) and the deceit.

I find it really hard work to hide things from Kennith, not because he is so awfully clever at figuring things out. But because I have to constantly bite my tongue and not blurt out sh*t that is running around inside my head!

But therapy has helped me out enormously.

Though the financial issue is not a thing of the past, Kennith and I were able to have a reasonable discussion that did not result in me crying in the kitchen – as is often the place of many of my tears and usually signals our past discussions regarding money/finance and related issues.

In addition to the above,  we are renovating our house – part of the house. Having builders and dust, and jackhammers is stressful in anyone’s world.

It has been going on for about six weeks, and I am at that point where I am a little over it.  Every day I get home and the house looks like it was in the siege of Beirut.  There is dust and grit everywhere and I am actually sick of it – like pop another Zoloft sick of it!

I can see the bigger picture that it will be lovely when done.

It is going to be so incredible that we are going to fall on our knees and thank our project manager/builder guy profusely, but right now,  I really want everyone with cement, a wheelbarrow and any other tool to actually just bugger off, and clean up as they go!

(You understand I want them to finish the job and then bugger off.  Buggering off with a half complete job will of course be the thing to tip me right over the edge. Hence I want them to finish TODAY already –  the reality is that we are in for another two weeks minimum.)

Building besides being messy stressful, is also money stressful.  You start to think that you have spent too much money that you actually did not have in the first place. You also start these projects and think well we will just paint the house, next thing you are knocking down walls, putting up electric gates, moving the braai area, changing the stoep, taking out window frames.

So what started as a simple little paint job has turned into an Extreme Home Makeover!

Kennith is stressed because there is this constant outflow of cash.

I am stressed because he is stressed and then I start to panic, because if he is stressing about money, then there is a chance that we will not be able to afford wine on the grocery list, and then I start to panic a bit more!

Last week one of the builders left the side gate open, so my 10 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier ran away.

I only found out three hours later as I was at my daughter’s concert and no one noticed she was out as the builder (good on you) had just closed the gate after she had bolted and not told anyone.

By the time I knew, she could have been in Port Nolloth already.  She runs pretty fast when she gets her head down, even for a chubby girl.

I have contacted all the necessary.

Some great people have helped me in circulating news about her, but right now it has been a week and no sign of her, and I am fearing the worst.  She is micro-chipped but does not wear a collar (as she would have strangled herself a dozen times) – so the only way she can be traced back to me is if someone takes her into a vet.

I am worried what could have happened to her  I am worried what someone is doing with her.  I am worried she might be hungry or cold, or hungry and cold and hurt!

I feel terribly guilty that I did not take more care and shoot the guy who left the gate open before he left the gate open, so he did not leave the gate open, so I would not have to shoot him!

Then when I felt that possibly November could not actually get much worse – what with being disowned, my dog running away, my dire financial situation being unveiled and the end of my phantom pregnancy, I get called into a meeting earlier this week.

I am always suspicious.

And that is the end of the sentence.

I am always suspicious.

I have sensed for the last two months that all is not right over here in the world of where I work, there is just something going on.

For the last month I have felt a definite shift and it has not been a good one.  I did not know what was going on, but I knew something was and it was leaving me feeling uneasy and skittish.

Of course in my paranoia, everything is about me.  I did something wrong.  I stole the petty-cash. I have been downloading porn.  I have been using too much milk in my tea.  I have been surfing the internet during work hours. (okay that one is true!)

Anyway I get called into a meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

Tip:  If the HR person is ever cc’d on an email where you are asked to attend a meeting, start packing your stuff into a brown box BEFORE the meeting.

To cut a long story short, I was retrenched!

Yes, I too was horrified, probably a bit more than you right now.

It took a lot for me not to throw myself against the leg of the director and scream “why me, why me, I promise to behave, I promise to be good, why me….?”

In the scene in my head I did just that, which made me have a rather disconcerting look on my face as I tried to continue with the meeting in a very adult manner.

It is very hard to act like an adult, and look like you are taking it firmly on the chin when actually you want to scream and drizzle like an eight year old, and cry uncontrollably until you throw up on the board room table.

I sat there attempting to look very demure and mature.

But with all things it was not all about me, there are a number of other staff who are being retrenched.

And though one should take comfort that we “are all in this together” and stand around singing “someone`s sleeping, lord, kumbaya, oh, lord, kumbaya” the reality is that at the end of January I will not have a paycheck, and so will 16 or so of my fellow work mates.

Add that to the stress of my already precarious financial situation, the gazillion rand we are throwing at the renovating, and the wedding we had to pay for this year and the fact that we were still recovering from last year’s maternity leave/four months unemployment, let’s just say it is all just well a little stressful and this retrenchment thing blows chunks!

So all in all you can see how I can use the phrase November sucks like a m*therf*cker!