Who Cares? If Anyone Did, I'd Never Know.

Today is my liquids and laxatives day before the surgery!  Yay, I've been so looking forward to this day!  Kidding, of course.  When I went shopping yesterday for things on the list that I could have, one of them was jello.  I've always hated jello, but that was the most substantial thing I could eat.  I didn't want to make it myself, it's that disgusting to me, so I found some in the deli and bought it.  I had to make sure there wasn't any milk product in it because it did seem like there was whipped cream or something mixed in, but the ingredients sounded horrible!  I mean, it's just jello!  What are those chemical sounding names - like 40 or 50 in jello??  This is why I don't trust what I eat unless I make it myself!

So I got up this morning, scooped up some of this jello into a bowl, and after the first bite, I realized my mistake.  Just because I couldn't eat anything else didn't mean I would suddenly be able to eat jello.  No, I still hated it and it's still sitting on the end table next to me where I try and take a bite now and again, but even the dog won't eat it.  Why would he - it's jello.  Bananas mixed in would have helped, but that would defeat the purpose of a liquid diet.

I had a pretty bad day yesterday.  Very, very emotional.  At one point, I was so low, I was wondering if I should beg God to just take me during the surgery, it would be so simple and it would appear so logical, people die during surgery all the time.  Not that God would do it just because I asked, I used to beg God to take my life constantly and it never happened.  But when you ask God something, you wonder if it might actually happen just because you ask.  I know, it's a selfish thing to want, but when you're THAT low, you think there's no one who would care that you were gone, and if there was, that they would be better off without you anyway, even if they didn't realize it in the short term. 

I tried to shake it off, and Mark called on his way home but he could tell I was pretty down.  When he got home, I found he had stopped and bought flowers - very happy flowers, bright colors, to cheer me up.  Incredibly sweet, sometimes I don't feel like anyone really cares - okay, actually most of the time, and it was a very kind gesture. 

I still haven't told anyone that knows me - except my husband - about my surgery.  I was going through old emails because it hit me all of a sudden that the woman that took me in when I was a teenager that is acting very standoffish and not replying to my emails except when I send an email out of concern for her, she gives excuses about not replying that I know to be untrue, never asks me how I am.  She says things like she has been unwell, yet she posts things on facebook regularly. Do you have to be well to send a short email, and if you can type on facebook, can't you type a few words in a reply in an email to someone you care about?  I know this sounds so petty, but it just seems like it is her overall attitude towards me, all about herself and her problems, but doesn't care about how I am at all.

I read through them, and I am always asking her how she is, her health, her well being, what is she doing, all kinds of questions, interested about her in general.  I talk very little about myself, which I know seems unbelievable to anyone reading this blog, but I don't share much about myself with people that isn't trivial.  I could only find one instance where she asked me a question about myself.  One time she asked me how I liked Chicago.  That was it.  One time she said she hadn't replied to one of my emails because she had been visiting her daughter to help her move.  Interesting, because her daughter lived about the same distance that I had and she had misunderstood my invitation to visit me one time in Chicago to mean visiting me where I lived in Texas, and told me her car wouldn't make it.  Then, I invited her to Chicago, told her I would pay for a rental car for her to get to the airport, buy her plane tickets, drive her to the place where her mother was buried that she hasn't been to in decades...nothing.  Not even a thanks but no thanks, and yes, she got the email because she responded to it...eventually, talking about herself.

So...with this surgery coming up tomorrow, it's really made me think about who is important in my life, and who really just doesn't give a damn.  I wanted to tell her, of all the people in the world, to share with her my fears, but...deep down I know she doesn't want to know, she doesn't care, she doesn't want to hear it.  If she did, she would ask me how I am, she would care about my well-being, but she never asks.  I know there are people I might share this with that would possibly at least act concerned, I just choose not to tell them, not to bother them.  But with her, she's always told me to CALL her mother, she tried to get me to label her as my mother on facebook, I would just never do it, I'm not sure what my hesitation was.  She certainly seemed to care more about my well-being than my own mother had, at least when I was 16.  But now?  I've been thinking and thinking FOR MONTHS what her deal is, and for YEARS, DECADES what her daughter's deal is, and I give up.  I'm tired of trying to please them, to cater to them.  Of course I've felt like I've owed them so much for taking me out of a bad situation, like maybe everything, but I'm now 44 years old, I lived there for two years.  That was 26 years ago, we've grown apart, none of us are even remotely alike anymore.

So...yes, I know this is dumb and childish, and they will probably cackle about it, make some comments about my personality, but I unfriended them on facebook.  Every time I saw something in my news feed from them it annoyed me more and more, and yes, I considered just removing them from my newsfeed like I have other people that annoy me, but I wanted something more symbolic to myself, not necessarily just sending a message to them. 

Mark wonders why I have to do this - why I feel the need to "cut people out of my life".  Why not just go on with my life and forget about people altogether?  Move on?  Not that he doesn't mind if I cut them out of my life - he can't stand them, and not from anything I've said, but because he met them when we first started dating and has always said they have horrible personalities.  Yes, they do, but...I've always felt I could never repay them for helping me, so I overlooked their personalities.  And...I don't know the answer to his question.  In a non-facebook world, sure, I could do that, there would be nothing "symbolic" to do, I suppose moving her email address to spam could be symbolic which I am still considering.  I don't expect to be asked an explanation, I don't expect anyone to care.  To notice?  Yes, it will be noticed, I have no doubt about that.  I am sure both mother and daughter don't understand how their lives are what they are, and mine is what it is.  I'm sure they think I'm living the high life when I came from such horrible circumstances that they offered to take me in, so how did I get to where I am while they are where they are, when no doubt they believe they are "better" than I am.  They probably think it's not fair, I have no idea.

The thing is...like I said, no one even cares to sincerely ASK me how I am.  I'm definitely not one who wears my heart on my sleeve and tells people my troubles, not at all.  I keep them to myself, so I could see where someone would think I have no troubles, no problems, maybe a seemingly perfect life, I have no idea what people think.  But because people don't ask and because I don't volunteer, they have no idea.  Do I ask how other people are?  Yes, all the time.  And I sincerely care.  Maybe I do this BECAUSE I know that it is extremely rare that someone will ask how I am, and maybe it's because people assume that I don't have anything wrong.  I am happy in public, I joke, I smile, I laugh, I try to make others feel good, there is probably no reason for anyone to think there is anything wrong with me, but a sincere "how are you" once in awhile from someone would be appreciated.

Yesterday when I was so very down, I did remember a time when someone asked me if something was wrong.  So bizarre when you remember *a* time when someone asks you if something is wrong.  But it was at the worst possible time!  It was before I went into the hospital for....here I am again questioning what I was.  Suicidal?  What does that mean?  That you have a plan on how to do it and a time and place?  Or that you beg God to take your life every second, you know how you would take it yourself, but you haven't mustered the courage to do it just yet, but you want to more than anything in the world and thinking of ending your life is the only thing that comforts you?  Well, I was the second one, so...whatever that is, that's what I was.  So...I went to lunch with a big group of coworkers and when you're THAT depressed, you try to act normal but you can't remember how you used to act when you felt "normal".  I think someone made a joke and I might have pretended to laugh, and someone that I probably had let get close to me all of sudden asked, in front of everyone, what was wrong with me.  I said nothing was wrong, but she wouldn't let it go.  She kept asking and asking and asking until it became uncomfortable to the point of other people telling her I was fine and to just leave me alone.  Now had she waited until we were alone and said something like "I've noticed you seem a little down, is everything okay?", I might have shared a bit with her.  No, I would never have told her the truth, I wouldn't have told a single person on earth at that time, but I would have told her that yes, she was right, I wasn't feeling like myself and was down or something.  Not in front of a whole group from work, though.   

I remember in my 20's I went to counseling for a long time - individual and group, several rounds of group therapy.  I had an awesome therapist who told me I had big fears of intimacy and abandonment.  All of this time I had always considered them opposites, how strange to be afraid of two things that were completely opposing.  Then it recently hit me - no, they really aren't.  Maybe that's my whole problem.  I'm afraid of getting close to people because they will abandon me, I guess that is what she was trying to say.  And it's true, I've realized I don't let people in, there's virtually no one I'm close to besides my husband, I share hardly anything with anyone, yet am always asking about themselves, always concerned about them, and they will tell me intimate detail that always surprise me when people open up so quickly.  Then I feel this bond that is pretty scary and I'm not sure what to do with it.  I certainly don't reciprocate the sharing which maybe you're supposed to do.  I might share something that doesn't really mean much to me - like being in an abusive relationship with an ex-boyfriend I lived with that led to jail time, a protective order, etc.  I don't find that to be terribly revealing, it's happened to a lot of women and I think more awareness of it needs to be out there so more women will get help.  But that's in the PAST, so maybe some are thinking - why aren't you that way about mental illness - tell people about being bipolar?  Because I did something about my abusive relationship, it's something I've accomplished, it's in my past, I've triumphed from it.  My mental illness?  I still have that affliction, the stigma is still there, I will be judged on that, not on who I was yesterday, but who I am today, and not that I've changed and am now stronger. 

Ugh, the nurse from the hospital just called and we went over EVERYTHING in my medical history.  I thought I was so healthy, maybe I'm really falling apart.  Good news - she was very excited about my BMI!  It's 20 she told me.  I wish I could say I was as happy as she sounded.  I did reach my goal weight this morning - 125.  Well, 125.7, so does that count?  I guess not, I need to lose that 0.7 to stay true to my goal.  I suppose, with the percentages I see of overweight and obese in America, maybe she hears the majority of people are overweight or obese that she talks to every day, I don't know, didn't seem like much to celebrate although - sure, go back two years in my blog and you'll see me lamenting over my weight and arguments I've had with my doctor about medications that caused me to gain weight.  Therapist visits where my husband wanted me to lose weight and how devastated I felt.  But now...I worked very hard and it just doesn't seem like a big deal. 

Back to disgusting jello and whatever else.  I guess I'll be writing again either tomorrow before surgery or....after.


Kristy said...

It is horrible to feel so down. It sounds like that lady that helped you out at 16 is a very toxic self centered individual. That your better off without. Maybe, your grieving a sense of family. Anyway, I really hope you the best about your surgery and you will be great afterward. I also think you should be real proud of your weight loss. It is very very hard. If your not proud , I'm proud for you.

jenji said...

Good luck with your surgery!

When a friend of mine had a hysterectomy I got her a cake that said "Happy Uterus" and brought it to the hospital. Tell your husband to get on it. :)



ps my friend recovered well and has no complications.

KansasSunflower said...

Kristy - interesting thought - "grieving a sense of family". Yes, that may be it! Thank you SO MUCH for your kind words and support, it really means so much to me! And about the weight loss - can you believe I *gained* a pound on my laxatives/liquids diet yesterday? Ha! That's what I get for weighing two days in a row. It's nice to have support, thank you again. : )

KansasSunflower said...

Jenji - oh my gosh, my husband could bring any kind of cake, it could say "You Whore!" and I would gladly take it and eat it all up at this point! : ) That was incredibly nice of you to take to your friend, she must have been very, very touched! Relieving to hear she had no complications, love, love, love to hear those stories!!! : )

jenji said...

I think Kristy may be right, that you may be grieving a sense of family.

You know, I can understand where you're coming from with some of your points. And seeing as you're "in it" so to speak and I'm an outsider I hope that you will recognize--as I finally did some time ago--that sometimes one can find the answers they need by simply re-reading their own writing.

I've read about this woman you speak of and her daughter. You've clearly stated how disrespectful and dismissive they are. They're clearly passive-aggressive people. And to put it bluntly: toxic relationships have no place in a bipolar life, or any other life for that matter. Yes, they took you in when you were young. But, honestly? That's really not all that riveting. I mean, to you it may seem that way bc it was a better situation than you were in, but really, it's not all that uncommon. What IS uncommon is the passive-aggressive way you have been treated since tangling yourself in their dysfunction. It appears you really went from one dysfunction to another. Any adult woman who asks a child (even once they're an adult) to call her "Mother" when she is in fact not her Mother is a self-serving, narcissistic infant. That is not a healthy thing to ask another human being to do; that is not a healthy boundary for a teenager who is coming out of an unstable environment. It's confusing and it appears it has stayed with you and continues to confuse you.

In my opinion you don't owe them anything. I know many people who have taken in their child's friends due to dysfunction in another house and I have never heard such disrespect, dismissiveness and disregard when it comes to their stories. So, good for you in shutting your FB down in that respect. I actually did that with a good friend of mine. Well, I didn't un-friend, I just blocked her from my timeline bc seeing her posts reminded me of my hurt feelings. I thought she was a good friend for many, many years and in an albeit dysfunctional sense she sort of was, but then as I got older I realized she was very passive-aggressive, dismissive and occasionally belittling, albeit under the guise of humor. to be con't too many characters...

jenji said...

...She was inconsistent, she either idolized me or belittled me and I never knew what I was going to get. I was often walking on eggshells. I just realized one day nothing good came of our friendship. Nothing of value in that friendship and I'm too old and I've worked too long on myself to essentially deal with abuse now. And that's what it was, abuse. And after I realized no good came of our friendship, I realized that I tolerated her for so long because I was unconsciously repeating a relationship that I grew up with--an abusive one. I didn't know I was "in it" bc it was comfortable to me--dysfunction was familiar and so I didn't take conscious note of it. Not to mention I was clinging to nostalgia of the friendship and not the reality of the dysfunction. You took to them after having come from another dysfunctional relationship, you didn't know one should be treated with more respect and boundaries. You were a kid. And as an adult, you are still hurt and trying to figure out why this "Mother" figure has essentially abandoned you. You were never hers to abandon. I should think you have a certain emptiness when it comes to a parental figure and perhaps you're just trying to desperately fill that hole with this woman and giving her chance after chance to essentially love you to no avail. I should think that perhaps you might make more progress with some more therapy to figure out a way to come to peace with that emptiness and be okay with being alone when it comes to that mother figure in your life instead of throwing up flare after flare to this woman time and time again, which essentially are saying "hey, I'm right here! Abuse, negate, neglect, dismiss and guilt me some more!" Perhaps think of yourself as an alcoholic and this woman as the whiskey and therein stay away from anything to do with her.

As for my friend of the past, I have the best friends in the world and I only met her about 8 years ago. My true friends, those that have always been there for me, would never, ever say the things she has said to me. And as your husband sees the dysfunction in how they treat(ed) you, my friends and family saw the dysfunction in how she treated me. No one cared for her. And finally, I saw it. I re-read my journals as if I were an outsider and all I could think was: jenji, this woman's an asshole and toxic to your emotional environment-- no more. Read your writing as if it was someone else's story. I bet you'd be driven to say to that person "you don't deserve this disrespect or manipulation, be done with this mess."

Be kind to yourself.


KansasSunflower said...

Wow Jenji, you totally "get me". You are so right, and it is so empowering and gives me such a feeling of freedom to read your words! I totally do not understand why I am rejected again and again my mother type figures, what in the hell is wrong with me? What is it that I do? You're right, perhaps I should be therapy bound (again). But even when I go to therapy, I'm all too aware they are only hearing my side of the story, if they heard THEIR side, maybe it would change their opinion? Although what their side would be, I have no clue. Do you think the friend you had that you removed from your newsfeed in facebook was jealous of you? I can't think of any other reason that people act the way they do.

jenji said...

I don't think she was jealous of me, no. I think she has her own issues that make her embrace her passive-aggressive self defense mechanism and frankly, she's like this to a lot of people, not just me. Then again, I've seen her act the complete opposite with others. In the end, the only concern I had was with how I was being treated.

I tried for quite some time to try and figure out what her problem could possibly be, which I finally realized that in doing so I (and in essence, she) was still victimizing me. So really, I don't care what her problem is. That's the key. There's no point in going to therapy and pursuing WhY they may be treating you this way. There's no point in trying to figure out what you did or didn't do wrong or what is or isn't wrong with them; all of that is a victim mentality. Embrace yourself, who you are, your own worth and be done with them, no assumptions or questions answered. That's what makes breaking up so to speak with a dysfunctional relationship so difficult, it's open-ended. There's no proper closure, but with dysfunction there are no reasonable rules to be upheld because it is inherently an unreasonable relationship.

Does that make sense?

It takes a lot of self-discipline to tend to one's own boundaries and fight one's own intrusive thoughts, but one can do it if one puts one's mind to it. There's freedom in letting it go.


KansasSunflower said...

Jenji - Yes. Makes PERFECT sense. And you're right, wondering over and over what I did is like her doing those things to me again and again - I'm not ready to say I was "victimized" by her and her daughter but, I certainly don't understand why they treated me or dismissed me the way they did. But, it doesn't matter, and you are right. I did the EXACT thing with Mark's sister! We would go to counseling, I would say why does she doe this, why does she do that, and finally the counselor would say "It doesn't matter!" She told me to lower my expectations with my relationship with her and move on, to forget about her. Not to even expect a relationship at all, why did I HAVE to have one? I had never considered that. It was such a relief! You know, I need to get over this whole "why does this person to this to me" thing. I've been doing that a lot lately!

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