Jan 21 2006

Stifled. Isolated. Crazy?

Published by at 1:54 am under amy's head

I’m home from my night at Bunko, and I feel so strange. You’ll have to forgive this post, I am sure it will be very disjointed and weird. I know I’m not the best writer on the best of days, so when I get all introspective and self-examining, it’s more like I just have to vomit the thoughts running through my head onto the page so that they’re out there to pick and sift through and maybe get to the bottom of my weird neuroses.

I actually came home, wandered through the house, climbed into bed and lay there for 15 minutes before getting up and coming into my office to write this. I kept composing this entry in my head and finally I could tell I wasn’t going to sleep until I purged it out of my head by actually writing.

Of course now that I’m here I don’t know what to write.

I sailed home from work in fine spirits, picked up Ethan, we stopped at Lowes, then called up James and we all met up at IHOP for an impromptu dinner out with the family. It was nice. We only take the kids to a few restaurants, and pancakes are always good to go.

As my bunko night approached though, my spirits kind of seemed to fade, though I’m not really sure why. I walked over with a couple of my neighbors, and as other women in the neighborhood arrived and we all stood around drinking and chatting and catching up, I just felt more and more isolated. I don’t really understand why. I stood there listening, and tears began welling up in my eyes that I couldn’t explain, I just didn’t understand what I was feeling and why. I feel so disconnected from these women, but there was no real reason for it. I think a part of me was jealous for some reason, but it was hard to even put my finger on that. I had to excuse myself to find the bathroom and get a grip on whatever weirdness was possessing me. I stared into the mirror, not particularly liking what I saw, splashed water on my face and went back out.

The women in my neighborhood are great. It’s not like I cannot relate to them, because I do. Some work, some stay home, we all live in one of three different model houses in our development, so there is a lot of exclaiming about what one person did with THAT room and oh gee, I never would have thought to put the couch there, etc. All except one woman has children, I think they’re all even under the age of 10, with maybe one exception. More than half of us have small children, and two of the ladies are pregnant and due in the spring.

I’m not sure what to write now. Just keep writing, just keep typing in letters and words and something else will come. It will come.

Sometimes I feel unable to do anything. For example, the things I might do in the house when I am all by myself, is totally different than what I would do if James is in the house. It’s totally different than what I would do if I was home with the kids by myself, or if James is in the house. Last weekend, James took Ethan with him on a trip to Whole Foods and he kept puttering around the house doing things and just wouldn’t get out the door. For some reason I had to have them gone before I could do the things I wanted to do, cleaning up the kitchen and family room, etc. I’m writing this and I can hear how totally crazy this sounds, but it doesn’t happen very often.

Sometimes I think my mental health is hinged on my hormone levels. At one time years ago, I used Depo Provera for birth control and it wasn’t until I went off it did I realize that it made me totally crazy. I would have some dramatic emotional breakdown every few weeks, and this stifling, can’t-do-what-i-want-to-do-if-someone’s-in-the-house thing was huge. I would relish a few hours alone in our duplex (where we lived at the time, pre-children) and the things I would do would range to just reading a book, cleaning the apartment or some part of it, or just watching tv of fooling around on the computer.

Do I view myself through James’ eyes in my head? Is that it? Is that why I could only do certain things, maybe what I thought he wanted me to do, or what I thought I should do when he was there, and when he wasn’t, I was free to do what I really wanted to do? Am I viewing myself through other peoples eyes? James is just the most obvious example. I really am asking here. I have no answers.

In that kitchen tonight I felt a weird jealousy. I’ve felt it in the past.. I’m jealous that I can’t seem to find a close friend among my neighbors. It would be nice to have a girlfriend who is close by. In fact, I think that is why I love this webspace so much. It’s like confiding in a very close, dear friend, and I feel like I’m missing that in my life. When I think about it, I don’t think I’ve actually had a close girlfriend since I lived with my old college roomate in Atlanta. That was over ten years ago. I have friends, but we have kids, they don’t. We live out in the sticks, they don’t. We still talk, but not extremely regularly. I don’t think I’ve actually had a super close friend from this stage of my life. Adulthood? Womanhood? Married with children but still doesn’t feel like a grown-up-hood? Maybe I feel like I don’t know how. I think insecure could describe my feelings standing in that kitchen tonight, though I generally consider myself a very secure person. It felt lonely, and it was strange.

This stifling thing is not so overbearing that I can’t overcome it. And I did, tonight. I forced myself to start talking and listening and joining in, and soon it faded away, and I was happy. I had fun tonight. I laughed and drank and told silly stories and commiserated about houses and jobs and kids and husbands. But when I walked home, I felt overcome once again. Again, I just don’t understand why. I think a part of it is that I always feel as if I’m walking into the perfect home. Perfectly clean, perfectly decorated, perfect food, perfect furniture, and I always feel as if my home is anything but. And then it goes back to that stifling frozen I can’t do anything feeling.. even though I know I can. And I also know that our hostess probably cleaned her ass off all day preparing for tonight, and that no one is perfect.

I went back to work at the beginning of last fall (2005), but before that I stayed home with my kids since my oldest was 7 months old. He is 3 1/2 now. At the end of the summer, I think it’s safe to say I was in a serious funk. Depression? It’s a clinical term, and I don’t know if I could safely use it for me because honestly, I’m not sure exactly what it entails. I was definitely depressed in the way that it is used everyday, nonclinically. I was definitely not happy. Not happy with my life, not happy with how I felt waking up each day, not happy with the feelings of isolation. Not happy. Not happy to the point where I discussed with James that maybe I should talk to a doctor. Going back to work was a necessity, financially, but it also relieved so many of those feelings. Just the excitement of getting up with purpose and going somewhere with adults to converse with and accomplishing tasks throughout the day and knowing I do GOOD work helped me immensely. Maybe it is because that excitement of being back at work is fading away now that some of these “not happy” feelings are returning to me.

It’s 1:30 in the morning, and I can’t help feeling all overwrought and emotional and weird and I can’t even really explain why. It’s time to splash water on my face, get a grip and get over it. Writing this has been a big help, but I don’t know if I will post it. It’s definitely the furthest into personal-land that I’ve ever gone in this web space. I definitely don’t mind strangers reading it (I mean, hello, they’re strangers, what do I care?) but I’m not sure how I feel about my friends reading it. I know they will sympathize, even comfort me, and I’m not sure I even want that. This is just my rambling to help rid me of the feelings, and while I could probably stand, even welcome some commiserating, if they feel that way, I don’t know if I could take anything more. If I do post this, and if I actually know you, let’s just pretend you didn’t read it, ok? Ok. I’ll probably change my mind on this.. you know, TOMORROW, but for now it’s just too close to home.
I’m posting this. I’m not even reading it through before I do so, like I usually do. It’s going up, and I’m going to bed, and tomorrow, I think I’ll be glad I did.

And if I’m not, then it probably won’t be here for you to read.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Stifled. Isolated. Crazy?”

  1. chrison 23 Jan 2006 at 12:58 pm

    hey – noone ever said sanity felt good ):

  2. […] This is directly from the article, and at first glance, I feel like saying, “A-DUH!” This seems like a no brainer, I mean, in high school, in college, in LIFE, I’ve known certain type of girls/women who seem to identify themselves by the relationship they are in, when really what they should do is stand on their own two feet and determine who they are first, be OK in their own skin, LOVE and accept themselves as they are, BEFORE getting into a relationship. If you have to depend on some man for acceptance, then you’re in trouble. I don’t think I’ve seen this specific trait in men, but that’s just because the symptoms in women are so easy to spot to me. Maybe it is common for men, I just couldn’t say. So a part of me is saying, ‘Hello, everyone knows that,’ but another part of me knows that sometimes this need to be grown-up, be responsible seems to possess me in a stifling vise-like clamp of inaction, and I shouldn’t be throwing all these handy stones when obviously there is something going on in my noggin that I cannot seem to face straight on. […]