Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Today is one of those curl up in my favorite comfy chair on the front porch with a giant pitcher of tea and watch the fog float over the bay while I cry my eyes out kinda days. (And yes, I do mean a pitcher, not just a glass, because today a simple glass just won't do.)

There a million different things running through my head, so I'll try to work some of them out as easily as I can. This might get a bit lengthy. Don't say I didn't warn you. 

Growing up, I was happiest running through fields on my horses and making pretty things. Painting. Drawing. Clay. Sticks. Flowers. Whatever I could get my hands on and fashion into something pretty. I even had a scholarship to art school (Savannah College of Art and Design, to be specific), but I ended up not going. One of my favorite things to do was make drawings and cards for my dad. No matter how old I got, or how silly the pictures were, he loved them. He still has most of them saved in a box in his dresser. When I started getting into painting, I did a picture of some hummingbirds for my mom. I don't remember if it was Mother's Day or her birthday. I worked my ass off on that thing, and her response was a simple, "Oh, that's nice." I can't say that her enthusiasm matched mine...not by a long shot. And that was the last time I ever drew, painted, or in any way created anything for another person.

Actually, I take that back. I painted a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote on a river rock when my cousin Thomas died, and I anonymously put it by his headstone. To this day, no one else knows where it came from. But anywho!

When Bryan and I started dating, the sunshine he brought back into my life during such a hard struggle with my divorce and being in a new place helped to spark those creative juices in me. I used to draw little stick figure pictures for him and write stupid little notes with my markers and leave them in his car. He thought it was hilarious that I was that childish, but he thought it was cute.

Over the last several months, I've been itching to be creative again. Because creating makes me happy. Because being happy makes me feel pretty. And Lord knows I need both with this constant struggle to not succumb to this nasty depression after losing my babies. When we moved into this new place, I got huge empty walls begging to be filled with something pretty. I decided that I wanted our bedroom to be decorated with us. All the other stuff can go in the rest of the house, but since that is our space, I wanted it to be covered in our pictures.

He cleaned his wallet out and left a huge pile of old ticket stubs on the table. Movies. Concerts. A ballet. Simple little reminders that he held onto from our first year of dating. Rather than just throwing them in a scrapbook that I know I will never get around to working on or finishing, I wanted to do something with them. So I made this with a map of Florida (where we met), some pictures of favorites dates or memorable events, and his ticket stubs:

I was a little disappointed that the glue I used soaked through the ticket stubs causing dark splotches, but otherwise I was pretty excited about it. Bryan said I'm an idiot. He later said he was just teasing me for being "so corny", but it hurt pretty bad. And I'm back to not wanting to make pretty things again.

Work stresses me out. It frustrates me. It pisses me off. It makes me wonder if falling off Deception Pass bridge would be a better, less stressful, less painful day. (I'm not thinking about seriously doing it, just so we're clear.) I vented about some of it a couple weeks ago, so some of you may have an idea of some of the things that get to me. My boss read it and tried to talk to me about it, trying to make it a little better for me. But that only goes so far.

I work with another female in the shop. One thing I've learned about females in the Navy is that they always think they have something to prove. And most times they automatically don't like you when you're new because you're a female. No other reason than that. You are a female, therefore you are "competition", even if there's nothing to compete about. It's annoying as hell, and it puts a lot of strain on the work center at times.

I came into the shop as an E5. But I was new to the job. And new to the command. So the majority of the shop doesn't see me as a senior E5, or even as an E5 at all. They see someone that hasn't put in the same time they have, so that makes me still the "new guy", no matter how long I've been there. And it means people get pissed when they have to go do bullshit jobs that they "put their time in for and shouldn't have to do anymore." Since the boss said he doesn't expect me to do some of those jobs, because of being a senior E5, somehow that has been taken as him placing me on a ridiculous pedestal.

I can generally brush off the negativity. But during the last week, people are getting mad about this stuff and instead of trying to talk to me or tell me they have a problem, they are running to the acting Lead Supervisor about it while the boss is on leave. So this morning I got lectured about how I'm not pulling my weight in the shop, how I'm sending my guys out to do bullshit jobs and carry the brunt of the workload, and how I'm building resentment on my shift because of it. All because the one job that I did with someone last night took almost as long as the shit load of tiny jobs they were doing, and we spent the rest of the night catching up the passdown log and recording the jobs as being done.

Regardless of what the problem was, the fact that no one on my shift could say something to me about it bothers me. I like to keep things within our shift when we can. Something like that should have been. There was no reason one of them couldn't have tried talking to me if they felt that way. Instead, they had to say something to someone else, giving the impression that I don't do anything during the night, and I had to be lectured about it. That makes me feel aboutthisbig. That makes me feel like I can't do my job. That makes me feel oh so very inadequate.

Most of this started with a plane wash that someone else didn't want to do. A plane was that I am allergic to. A plane wash that I was told I wouldn't be doing unless we were desperate for people. The last plane wash I did scarred my face. When I get hot or flush, like when I get out of the shower or when I laugh so hard my face turns kinda pink/red, that spot turns a bright burning red. So naturally, getting upset about all of this made that spot turn red, which upset me even more. Which also reminded me that I found out I was pregnant the day after that wash. Which reminded me that the only reason I would even be considered for a wash now is because I'm not pregnant anymore. Which reminded me that I'm not even supposed to be in this shop, or this command, anymore, but I'm still here because my baby is not here.

I have felt like I've been carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders all week. I have wanted to crawl into a dark hole somewhere. I have wanted to do anything but be awake, be around people, be at work. I feel like I'm upset over something stupid, that isn't worth worrying about. But if it upsets me this badly, how can it really be that stupid? Why can't I be strong enough to not let things get to me so much? Why can't I defend myself instead of wanting to hole up and cry? Why can't I just let it roll off my back and be happy about the good things? Why can't I grasp that I don't need other people to validate my value, my knowledge, my image, my anything?

Why am I still sitting out here crying?


αуℓα said...

i just don't have any words.

you are carrying around SO MUCH. so much hurt and stress. i don't know how you are doing it, but i think you're braver than you're giving yourself credit for.

i'm mad at your mom and husband for stifling the creative part of you. i think there is healing when you allow yourself to make art, no matter what it is. there is some sort of release.

when matt deployed the first time, i stayed up almost all night a few nights into the deployment, painting a shitty tree on our cheap table with my leftover acrylic paints from a college class. i didn't care for how it turned out, but it was SO therapeutic for me. i don't know why, exactly, but it felt good.

are you allowed to explore any options for antidepressants? i only ask because i've been on zoloft for 5 days and i feel like a different person. i don't know if you're comfortable with using medicine like that or not, but i thought i'd mention it to you. i'm sure you saw it on my blog.

thinking of you. :] i saw the fog this morning too; shades of grey. i guess summer really is ending? :[

αуℓα said...

so i guess my first sentence was a lie.

i have many words!


Catherine W said...

I thought the map you made for Bryan was lovely. Really sweet. I'm sorry he teased you about it, I can see that would have brought back the memories of your mom and the hummingbird painting. That made me sad, that she didn't encourage you more. I'm glad that your dad treasured all your drawings and cards. You obviously have a talent and its a shame that you didn't get to take up that opportunity of the scholarship.

Have you seen the still life 365 website, it's a place for artworks created by parents who have lost a child? There are some beautiful pieces, perhaps you might consider contributing some artwork there?

Sorry that work is so complicated, that sounds like a difficult situation to be in. It is horrible to be made to feel inadequate. And that plane wash bringing back so many memories.

Please don't feel as though you aren't being strong enough or feeling as though you are getting upset over something stupid. I think that grief can wear down your resilience so that small situations that you would normally brush off become far more difficult to deal with? It can leave you feeling so vulnerable and defenceless that even a tiny thing can be upsetting.

Hoping for better days ahead for you x

Post a Comment