Thursday, January 27, 2011

Incredibly stupid, yes, I know.

I had a scary encounter the other day while driving.  Now, to preface this story, I am an admitted aggressive driver.  I have a very hard time controlling the rage that simmers beneath the surface on good days.  Drive like an idiot, I will be the one to LET YOU KNOW.  Not proud of it, just honest.  There's something to be said for honesty, right?  RIGHT?

I was out running a few errands with Cam.  We were going ot hit the bank, then hop over to Babies R Us.  While we were cruising on down the freeway, I realized I needed to get over for my exit.  I am a little OCD about mirror checking, so I noticed a big SUV coming up in that lane, but I had plenty of time and room to make it.  Except ASSHOLE decides to speed up.  So as I am coming over, I hear horns, but that little speck in my brain that turns the rage on heard: BITCH, STAY IN YOUR LANE OR ELSE.

Oh no he didn't.  When I look over incredulously, this ass is on his cellphone, which is against the law where we live, and one of my top five pet peeves*.  I flip him the bird, as I am wont to do, and slam on my brakes to make the lane make the exit.  I continue behind him for a few seconds, when he gets over to let me pass.  It's here I had the first pangs of road rage guilt:  maybe I did over-react.  Then I look in the rear-view and notice Cam has stopped babbling and is staring from her mirror to mine, effectively staring me down.  Now who's the asshole??

I continue around a few turns when I realize I see the same car still behind me.  My hackles go up, so I decided to pull into the shopping center, and circle around.  Something nobody would do unless they were totally following me.  Yup, he follows.  SO I stop the car and put it in park, effectively DARING him to come up to me.  He does nothing, so I grab my cellphone, and storm off to confront him.  Fucker wouldn't roll his window down, just sat there making faces at me while STILL ON HIS CELLPHONE.  I told him through his rolled up window he needed to cease and desist (pretty sure I channeled a cop???) or I was calling the cops.  Made another face at me, which is tantamount to shaking the pretty red cape at an already pissed bull.  So I called 911.

After I gave the nice dispatch lady my info my adrenaline must have stopped surging.  Guilt, shame, and WHAT WERE YOU THINKING, DUMBASS??? wash over me.  I called Rob to let him know that he might have to pick Cam up at the jail.  Because I don't just think what could possibly happen, I project the worse possible thing.  Pretty Rob was just glad I didn't call to tell him I wrecked Doris (the car).  He stayed unbelievably calm for a man whose wife tried to physically confront a possibly deranged man while his baby daughter sat in the car.  Another reason I love this man and am glad I was so drunk on my wedding day that I didn't run screaming from the commitment.

The cops show up, three squad cars.  One blocking me in, and two on him.  I hop out, tell the truth about my involvement, but also point out several times that asshole was breaking the law by being on his cellphone!  I am also ready for him to at the very least verbally abuse me for my stupidity.  He just stares impassionately, until I get to the point when I tell him "I really should have just stayed in the car, I am certifiably crazy for getting out of the car...".  The cop cuts me off to say no, it wasn't my fault, the crazy one is the GROWN MAN WHO FEELS THE NEED TO INTIMIDATE A WOMAN.  He was pissed, and I was incredibly relieved that my ass would not be sitting in prison.

The other two cops come up and the one I was talking to says: "Here's what's going to happen, you will drive away, we will keep him here until we feel it's safe."

 I continued on to BRU, thinking it imprudent to go to the bank, since we were about 20 feet from it, didn't want to push my luck.  When I got home, I posted on FB about it, and got about 20 people telling me how stupid I was.  And that's after I mentioned in the post I know how stupid I was, so thanks everyone for letting me know!  My favorite cousin immediately writes back to say: "Your mother is going to kill you."  And then another: "Rob is going to kill you."  Well, that got me to thinking why didn't Rob get pissed?  I mean, in this one instance he would have been right.  So I stewed on that for a bit.  Cam back a few hours later to see that Mom had posted this gem: "what were you thinking, even I would be afraid to confront a stupid asshole".  I immediately called bullshit on Mom, because WHERE DO YOU THINK I LEARNED IT???  My mother still scares me, all five foot nothing of her.  I am pretty sure road rage was invented by her.

Lesson learned?  Nope.  Therapist entertained?  You betcha.  So now we get to explore my rage issues.  Natural personality trait?   Sleep deprivation because of insomnia?  Something "off with my brain"?  Pretty sure it's "all of the above" because I am aware of the rage, and HATE that I have it.  When I feel myself starting to berate another driver, I calmly try to remind myself that they are people too, and blah, blah, blah.  Most of the time it works, but the times it doesn't....yikes.

I WANT to be a kinder, gentler JC, but what about my street cred?  ;)  Jokes aside, I do think my outside does not match my inside very well, so I will be working on that.  I still maintain that guy is a gigantic asshole, but I wish him peace and love.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Not a resolution, but a commitment.

I have been sober for around 3.5 years now.  When I first started going to AA meetings, I was extremely reluctant.  I know that I was very misinformed, and had so many preconceived notions of what AA was all about, and none of them accurate or flattering to the program.  My involvement has never been what anyone familiar with the program would call, consistent or good.  In the first year, I would go to a few meetings a week, but then started to really slack off.  I was lucky to make it to one meeting a week.  And always the same meetings.  I live in an area that is fortunate to have so many meetings in so many locations, but I am nothing if not a creature of complete habit, and loathe anything new.  Oh yeah, and rooms full of people freak me out, make me incredibly shy.

In the last year it has started to bother me that my program is less than stellar.  The excuses I can make are that I see a therapist, I am a VERY self-aware person, and that I am one of those alcoholics whose compulsion "has been lifted".  My therapist has urged me from the beginning to  throw myself into the program, and probably feels like strangling the ever-living shit out of me for not doing so. 

What started this nagging feeling that I am not doing enough is a mixture of happenings and feelings.  To explain, I will have to go back to almost two years ago.  I promise, I will get to m original point, bear with me.  In February 2009 my Dad, who had a history of heart problems, had another heart attack and was in the hospital for 7.5 weeks before he died.  It was horrific, drawn out, and life-altering for me.  He was my step-father, but I had known him since before I can ever remember meeting him, so he was my Dad, my Pop, and I loved him so very much.  He was a drinker too, and that drinking killed him.  Some other factors were involved as well, but he used drinking like many alcoholics do: to run away from painful emotions and feelings. 

While Pop was in the hospital I was laid off from my job in the IT field.  It was a job I did well and it paid well, and would have kept doing, but I had no passion for it at all, and was kind of relieved when my boss called me into her office to give me the news.  It was also a relief because I could spend all the time I wanted at the hospital with my Mom and Dad.  After Pop died, Rob and I decided to do one more try at IVF, so we put my job search on hold again.  When that didn't work, we started paper work for an adoption.  That left me with time on my hands to job search, and to contemplate what the hell I wanted to do.

Since I am a veteran of the Navy, I had the GI Bill, and it had been burning a hole in my pocket for several years.  One day I was job searching when I came across a community college catalog, and saw an information session scheduled for careers in the health-social work fields.  Eureka!  Addictions counseling was it, my new "calling".  I threw myself into the program, and earned a certificate within 10 months.  In the mean time, we were shocked, seriously SHOCKED, when we got a call about a little baby girl already born.  We had only been in the pool at our agency for not even two months.  We were told a one to three year wait.  So, I took a full load (5 classes) and an internship, buckling down to take my mind off of the wait.  Life waits for no one, so while I was ass-deep in school we welcomed Cam home.  Those first four months were crazy, and really, just a blur.

Before Cam, my goal had been to go straight into the master's program for a degree in social work.  Over this past summer I worked through a LOT of anxiety over whether or not I should start my masters when my real priority right now should be Cam.  The relief was immediate, but wrought with guilt.  My GI Bill expires in 2012.  Sigh.

Since the summer I have been a full-time SAHM.  Something I thought I would never, ever enjoy.  And to some degree I don't.  I am finding that I need the mental stimulation that comes from work.  I cannot even begin to catalog all the ways in which being home with Cam has enriched my life, and fulfilled me in ways I never expected, but still...I need to get out of this house, for my sake, and hers. 

Okay, so now I will try to tie that all in with why I am so guilt-ridden over my shitty AA patronage.  My lack of involvement was shattered last summer, when out of the blue I was asked to chair my favorite meeting.  Gulp.  The first year?  I barely spoke, because I was too worried that my scattered ADHD brain would leave listeners wondering if they should call the local mental facility to come get me.  When I did speak, of course, I always felt better, so I was trying my hand at speaking at each meeting when I was put on the spot.  I am absolutely no good at being surprised or being gracious about how I cannot do something, I am also a very shitty liar. So I agreed to chair that meeting, and I am glad I did it.  Seven months later, it makes sure my ass is in a seat at that meeting each week, otherwise, I am not sure how involved with AA I would be right now.  Saturday is usually the only meeting I make nowadays.

Okay, here it is, my big, guilty, shameful secret:  I never got a sponsor, or worked the steps.  The steps aren't the problem, I feel I have a pretty good grasp of them, so working them is not the least bit scary to me.  I have found that most people are reluctant about doing the steps, but find it easy to get a sponsor.  Nothing I do is ever the easy way.  

 So, the guilt I feel is really coming to a head with the fact that I am about to start working with addicts.  And if there is any hard fact you can hold on to with addicts:  addicts can spot a fake a thousand miles away.  My feet are to the fire now.  Back in the fall I sat next to a woman at a meeting that I finally thought to myself "I can work with her, she won't make me want to choke a bitch!".  In true JC fashion, I let the moment pass, didn't ask her after that meeting.  Spent the next month going to that meeting hoping to see her again (daily meeting, so that was a bump in my meeting schedule, for shiz), but never did. 

So I am making this commitment to myself: before the winter is up, I will have a damn sponsor.  It's taken me four years of therapy to reveal that I don't trust women very much.  So the thought of having to check-in with, and maintain a working/friendly relationship with someone has me scared shitless.  The ironic part, if you haven't already worked this out:  this counselor has trouble trusting people, BUT has no problem telling the world her personal business.  My therapist really does earn every penny of that fee.  I hope I am one tenth as helpful to my clients, as she has been to me.

Friday, January 21, 2011

This little human blows me away.

Cam is now an upright member of society.  The kid walks now.  It's been months of cruising the walls, furniture, our legs. This monring I came down to find Rob gushing that our little baby is now proving that she is a baby human.  :)

Now if I could just get an action picture or some video...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Some days...

I think the milestones are great.  Love seeing Cam master something new.  Other days I love nap time.  Today is one of those days.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Of course she does it for him.

Cam took twelve long steps today!

This stay-at-home-mom was with her ALL day (as noted int he job description, yo).  Rob comes home, I take the opportunity to go to the bathroom (by myself!) and clean a cloth diaper.

"HONEY!!!  Come here!!!"

I am standing at the sink, gloves on, dripping diaper....stuff.  Can't exactly run out to see.  By the time I get out there, he is breathless with joy.  "Our child walks!  Wooooooooo!"

I call bullshit on your timing Cam.  Complete bullshit.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Old Lady Alert

I just emailed LL Bean's customer service, because they stopped carrying the fleece socks I love. I would kinda feel ashamed, but they told me those are WINTER items, and they are selling Spring stuff now. WTF???!!!! THERE IS SNOW ON THE GROUND IN 49 STATES.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

More firsts, but not the kind you'd really want.

Cam has sustained two injuries this week.  First, while Rob was making breakfast for Cam, he heard a thud.  He came out to find Cam sitting back up, not crying, but a welt under her left eye.  Since he gets up with her every morning, I didn't notice it until we were sitting in play group.  It's almost a shiner, but not quite.

Then today.  Poor child was sitting happily on the floor after lunch.  I was trying to roll the highchair back into it's spot, when I nudged Cam with my foot.  NUDGED.  She was in the process of going from sit to crawl, when all of the sudden she started screaming bloody murder.  And then I saw the blood.  Holy cow, my baby child was bleeding!!  Picked her up to comfort her, and got a look-see:  seems her bottom two teeth split her bottom lip.  The kid has big, luscious beautiful lips, and now I have marred them.  The overwhelming guilt as my baby sat whimpering and chewing on a cold washcloth.  She calmed very quickly, but every time I look at her lip I feel just awful. 

 It's a good thing those social worker visits are over with.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Agency woker pisses me off.

I get a call from our adoption agency today.  I have always had nothing but good things to say about them, wonderful experience, wonderful social workers, yada yada yada. 

Let me go back a few months.  We have received one, ONE precious letter from Cam's fmom, N.  That was a few months ago.  A call from our placement social worker preceded the letter, letting us know it was coming, and that it was emotionally charged.  She talked to Rob for about 15 minutes or so, walking him through the pitfalls that could arise from such a letter.  nice, very much appreciated.

Last month another call, this time from the social worker who met us at the hospital to take custody of Cam.  She was wondering if the latest update I had done was meant to have pictures attached, like all the others I have sent.  Yup, my bad.  Took the opportunity to ask her if it would be cool if I sent an ornament and actual picture for N., wondering how N. would get it.  She told me that N. had asked to have all updates and correspondence sent to here directly from the agency to her home address.

Back to today.  Agency worker in charge of sending updates calls me.  First time we have spoken, exchanged an email or two, but that's it.  She sounded irritated at the outset of the call.  Cam was kind of hollering in the background, and S., the worker, kind of snottily asks if it's a good time.  Let me also preface this by saying my heart lurches any time I see the agency number come up on my phone.  I associate that number with GOOD things.  Like a placement of a real-live baby or precious first letter from first mom.  So I was ignoring all things unpleasant and waiting like a dog for my treat to be delivered.

S. starts off telling me what our agreement was (letters and pictures every six months), then asks if this is what I see on my paperwork.  Um, no, holding the phone and wrangling a baby, don't have time to dig for some fucking paperwork...get to the good part lady!  I say, sure, sounds about right, but not absolutely sure.  Still waiting, spill it!  She let's an uncomfortable silence brew, and I don't help her.  She plows ahead and says "well you've been sending updates and pics every month....." 

Me: "Yes."
S.: more silence..."okaaaaaay.......well, sometimes people do that, then realize they can't keep up with it."

Still wondering when she is going to jump to the part where they heard back from N., getting weary of her weird silence. 

Me: "uh huh"
S: "well, usually people back off after the first year"

More silence, this time I see what she is hinting at.  She wants me to say that I will stick to that "agreement".  Fuck that.  We want an open adoption, so I reach out and I have a right to send her as much crap as I want to.  I also realize that there is no "good stuff" from this call, and am getting sad.  And annoyed.  I let that silence crash around her some more.  I am not going to make this easy.

S:  "Well, do you have any questions?"  sounding perplexed and a little annoyed herself.
Me:  "Well, N asked for all updates to be sent to her, right?  That's what L told me."
S:  "Yes.  She had the option to call us and find out if updates are here, then pick them up, or for us to just mail it to her directly when we get things."
Me:  "Okay, good."

At this point, I am done talking, and I suppose S figures this too, because she wraps it up by awkwardly saying "I guess that's it, thanks."  Asshole.  I was sad when I got off the phone.  Cam had crawled over to me, smiling.  I had been hoping for another letter, or something after I sent the holiday stuff.  Looking at Cam it broke my heart a little.

So I went to the forums, and posited a few questions.  Mainly wondering if I had lost it, or was that a weird call?  To what end was the worker trying to get?  Right away I got a few wise answers, as usual.  Chalk it up to good old-fashioned laziness.  Now, with a few hours distance and some feedback, I can see that worker was just trying to get me to lay off the updates.  So now I am good an angry.  It's a good thing it's after business hours.  Unless Rob talks me down, I am thinking a phone call to our old SW is called for.  It's making me question whether ALL the stuff I send is making it to N, and really, how the hell would I KNOW???