My Back Continues to Trouble Me

I was hoping to take the dog to the dog park today, but there wasn’t an empty one, so we ended up walking a trail.

Well, really, we ended up walking a little bit of the trail and then standing around waiting to see if my back was going to stop troubling me enough so that I could get home.  I about couldn’t even get in the car; it hurt so bad.

My dad, of course, didn’t believe me.

And then decided it was just psychosomatic.

The thing is, I believe it’s psychosomatic, too.  It still hurts.

I would say that the visit is not going well.  I already fought with the Butcher who announced, at the beginning of dinner, that he doesn’t eat off my dishes if he can help it because I don’t clean them to his satisfaction.

America, there is crayon wax over every single one of my glasses.  I, myself, don’t have an art that requires melting crayons all over shit.  So, really, when he wanted to talk about how dirty my glasses were, with his fucking wax all over them, I about lost it.

I about lost it again when I realized that, even after I’d admired my parents’ new van and said hello to everyone only to be ignored, my dad was seriously going to sit on the couch while I finished cooking and complain about how he shouldn’t even bother to come visit me because I don’t care enough if he’s there or not to even greet him.

I am trying to decide if he acts that way just to reestablish that he is the boss or if it’s intended to be an act of aggression or if he just hates me and can’t bring himself to realize it.

I don’t know.  I don’t guess it matters.

I took this week off, but I think I’m going to have to go on on Thursday and Friday.

I’m just livid pissed at everyone.

And, you know, I realized that I never feel more alone than I do when my family is all together.

I should talk to my therapist about this, but it makes me feel like a traitor.

It’s fucked up.  I know it’s fucked up and I don’t seem to see my way out of it.  And now, it’s going to manifest itself in me physically.

That’s just great.

On the upside, this may be the year we don’t have to discuss what a fat, unloveable bossy bitch I am, since they brought down shit-tons of food.

The other thing, while I’m complaining, that just irritates the shit out of me is how my mom always tries to commiserate about how bad my dad’s behavior is.  She’ll like roll her eyes or give you knowing looks.

Like that means something?

Whatever.

Ha, you know, it’s funny.  Just admitting that I’m miserably mad at them makes me feel better.

I just thought this stuff would be easier as I got older, but instead, it seems to come in waves.  Sometimes it’s just fine; they’re just fine; and I’m happy to see them and they’re happy to see me and it seems like we might find ways of being with each other that don’t cause each other so much pain and discomfort.

And other times, it’s like we talked about–that blast furnace of fucked-up-ness you should not open full force on people, like we have to stand in the heat of that in order for…

I don’t know.

I just feel like there’s this gaping hole in my family and no matter how much of your good stuff you throw into it, it never fills.  And I feel like everyone, myself included, expects me to toss more and more in and that, when I don’t, I’m failing as a human being.

Here’s the thing: I don’t want to be unhappy.  I look around my family and I see a bunch of people who are, most of the time, unhappy.  And I don’t want that.  More than anything, I don’t want that.

So, when they’re around, I feel really torn because, on the one hand, I still desperately want their approval.  I want to be trusted and valued and cared for and to feel safe with them.  And I feel this overwhelming compulsion to try and figure out and then do whatever it takes to get that from them.

But that way, I think, leads only to misery.  The things they do, the things they think they should do, make them mostly unhappy.

So, some part of me–my back, this time, apparently–undermines me in order to save me.

I appreciate that, body, I do.

I just wish it didn’t require so much pain.

12 thoughts on “My Back Continues to Trouble Me

  1. I had a bad case of psychosomatica last year. My doctor wrote me a prescription for some pills with the brand name of Plaziboh or something like that. I felt a lot better.

    I hope you do, too!

  2. On the one hand, that all sucks. On another hand, it sounds like you’re getting a different perspective on some things, which is always good. Instead of going in to work, come over here Friday and I will show you how to make the magical potato dish.

  3. NM, you tell me a time and I will be there. Well, and you may need to resend me directions, as I am a lousy rememberer of how to get to people’s houses.

    But heck yes!

  4. You know the old line, “If you want to appear thin, hang around people who are fatter than you are”? I don’t think that works with unhappiness. Drat!

  5. Weren’t you just talking about believing what you see over and over again?

    nm is coming close to what I was going to suggest. Make other plans at Christmastime. Take a trip to a friend’s house in another state and make merry in the season. Let Butcher entertain and explain why the glasses aren’t clean or let him travel his moley ass on up to the ancestral manse by bus (you will, of course, be using your car). You can socialize together at a less emotionally freighted time — Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday or the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots or something.

    Stop saying yes to being used. The hard fact is that it’s not going to get you the beloved daughter prize — whatever it is that you want and need is not what your parents are capable of giving you (though please don’t miss the other gifts they give just because they aren’t exactly what you’re looking for). The endless effort to please is not going to work. Please yourself. You know what that will take and you have been given the means to accomplish it. And once they know that you aren’t going to fill in that hole for them, they might go forth and do likewise.

    I stayed in my own home this Christmas. I sent flowers. I called. I will be visiting after New Year’s, after the hoopla and impossible expectations are diminished. I had a fantastic time for the first time in years and as it turns out, my mom liked it better with less company and less stress as well. She gets more visits over a longer period with fewer people each time and that is making her happy.

  6. “…anniversary of the Stonewall Riots or something…”

    bridgett, you are a jewel of the internet.

    B – this is excellent advice. I also spent Christmas apart from my parents (with a built-in excuse), and it was wonderful.

    You just don’t need this worry and stress.

  7. Definitely what Bridgett said. And do whatever you have to do to let go of wanting the approval of these people. It won’t be easy, but it will be an unending source of joy once you get there — I’m speaking from experience on this one.

  8. Funny. Your post resonates with the way I have felt this and every Holiday spent with family for the past, hell, I can’t remember how many years. I feel alone when with them. I feel like my mom hates me and will say & do anything to make me feel as miserable as possible. Not sure if you recall last years Thanksgiving day episode that ended with me in tears (as usual) much like this years Xmas eve did…. but she’s been a royal fucking bitch to me for ever….. the worst part, in the turn of a second, she behaves as if she never said a nasty word to me. Fucked up for sure.

    So, I feel you. Maybe next year we (and the (I’m certain) 1000’s of others who feel the same way) should meet for a big, ol’ gathering somewhere where family can’t find us.

    Hoping the new year is good to you. You truly deserve it.

  9. B, I need to figure out my schedule (i.e. how late I’ll be sleeping that morning … everything flows from that). I’ll e-mail you about time and directions in a little bit.

  10. I think it’s just hard when your values and what you hold dear turns out to be different than what is important to your family members. My mother and siblings value monetary success above all. I don’t have that and it doesn’t bother me in my life (in fact it’s my choice) but when I am with them I feel like a big fat failure.

    I have to remind myself that whatever I am feeling in those family moments is not real, it’s just a response to the situation I am in. I am trying to just accept them as they are even if they do not do the same for me.

    At least the year is almost over and we all have a fresh, shiny new year to contemplate.

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