What a dream

I’m at the hospital to see my doctor. It’s an emergency. I’m afraid something is wrong with my baby.

This is my 3rd time doing IVF, and the first two times I miscarried. They both started with the same symptoms, one of which I have now: a bit of light spotting.

I get called in to a room and lie down. There are a LOT of people there. My normal female doctor, an older male doctor who is consulting, nurses, and oh crap that really hot young guy is staying??? I’m scared of this, I’m afraid he’s a doctor and will want to touch me and my body will react and…

My usually doctor starts asking me questions. She wants to run a few tests first. Ok fine. So I’m lying back and answering her questions while getting poked and prodded (no, really, the tests just seem to involve poking and pressing on me in different places). The young doc is still there, but he hasn’t said anything, they haven’t introduced him, and they haven’t done anything invasive in front of him. I realize this means he is a med student, and that they will have to ask my permission if he is to stay for any real exams. Ok, good, I can just say no and avoid an embarrassing situation.

But also, there’s something about him that’s a bit creepy that I didn’t pick up on right away. The way he is so quiet (really, why isn’t anyone talking to him?), the way he stares, almost leers, the way the older male doc is just telling him what to fill out on his practice chart… Something’s not right, and I think my doc knows it, but can’t do anyway.

I’m moved, somehow. Same bed, but different location. Did I pass out? Did they put me out? Why can’t I remember? I don’t know where I am, and I’m starting to panic even more, because now I’m scared I’m about to lose this baby in a strange place and it could have all been prevented.

I lean up and look around. There’s lots of other beds, all in a line. It looks like we’re in a giant RV. There’s a counter on the front wall, like you see at the deli. It’s on 47. The young doc is up front, below the counter, doing something I can’t see. He doesn’t know I’m awake. He leaves, and I roll out of bed, determined to get somewhere safe. This guy kidnaps pregnant women, I’m sure of it.

I get outside and realize I’m still IN the hospital, somehow. It really was a giant line of RVs. They’re all welded together, winding through this hallway or wing or wherever I am. They take up entire door ways, so I can’t get out of this section. Except I see there’s a door to the outside! I peek out that, and see another door close by that I can go back in and I will know where I am. Neither the older or younger doc are in sight, so I make a break for it.

Turns out I only thought I knew where I was going. Part of this building is a school, a school that I attended a number of years ago. I’m wandering (jogging) through corridors trying to find something familiar, trying to dodge all the new students rushing towards lunch. I find the cafeteria (NOT by following the hungry students) after recognizing a familiar hallway. I find my doctor and am talking to her. She’s not surprised by much of what I tell her, but she doesn’t have much authority to do anything. She’s suspected something is up for some time now, but she didn’t have any proof.

Then, unrelated, I spy one of my friends (coworkers? First she is Kristen from work, then she is Patsy from hs) who comes over to talk. She asks if I know the sex of the baby yet, she knows it’s close to the time to find out. I say no, because I don’t want to jinx or curse this one, I don’t want to get close and then have it taken away.

Annnnnnd then my neighbor snowblowing wakes me up.

Taking down the tree

I took down the Christmas decorations today, and I was… Really sad. This is the first year I’ve ever tried to figure this out. But every year, I always procrastinate and try to avoid doing it. But then I feel silly and do it anyway, and I always feel *something*.

On December 23, I was flipping through my “on this day” on Facebook, and I found a post I forgot about. It just said, “I love you mom, I miss you.” And I realized that I forgot it was my mom’s birthday.

My mom died 21 years ago yesterday.

Last year, I went NC with my MiL. A woman who I hated for trying to BE my mother, at least that’s what it felt like. I didn’t acknowledge that for a long time. It took therapy for that realization to come out.

I think Christmas is actually a really sad time for me.

Bollocks.

Work nonsense. My experience with a new (micro)manager.

Aight, I got some shit to work out, so I’m gonna be a bit rambly and ranty, and this’ll probably be kinda long. So feel free to skip this one if you want…

As per my update post a few posts ago, I got side-graded at work about 3 months ago. As part of the dept restructure, I got a new manager, P. P is new to being a manager. Previously, we have worked together as equals. He has also trained me on some stuff, but again, we’ve only ever been coworkers, never manager-supervisee. So this is a new experience for both of us.

Quick aside. The past year or so, he has slowly been getting on my nerves. He’s one of those people that does or says things just to get a rise out of people because it’s funny, only it’s not actually funny, and it takes snapping at him to get him to realize he’s gone too far. So, I wasn’t excited for this change for this reason, too.

This transition has been difficult for a few reasons. One of which being that it wasn’t well planned out. Or planned out at all. P, my ex-manager M, and myself were told to make lists of our tasks and figure out how to reshuffle them amongst ourselves. I made a list. We went over it, and a few small and insignificant things moved away from me. But due to new people, I haven’t been able to move more. Neither of them made lists of any substance. Maybe a half dozen tasks between the two. And… None of those have moved either. We’ve all been stuck in a strange state of limbo for 3 months, and it’s a bit frustrating.

In light of this shuffling, P approached me earlier this week and asked if I could take over creating payroll imports. This was originally loosely slated for January, but coworker E has been struggling with time management, so I sympathetically said I could give it a shot. I know how to make imports, they’re easy, and I have better Excel knowledge, so I figured I could pick them up pretty easily. I did 4 out of 6. The 4 super easy ones. The last two are much bigger and will require some finagling due to the info we get from HR. So I sent P and email towards the end of the day, asking when they needed to be done by, and I could work on them from home over the weekend if I needed. I was told “they should only take 1-1.5 hrs each, so no need to work overtime this weekend.”

Now, let me back up a bit. When I was working under M, I had blanket approval to work up to 4 hours of overtime per week as needed. Now, I never took more than 2-3, frequently less than 1. So I never took advantage of this offer and padded my time or anything. We also had a very … Hands off relationship. By that, I mean M let me be almost 100% autonomous, with only a handful of times where I was told specific things were priorities OR I asked for help prioritizing my work. He trusted that I knew what needed to be done and to manage my time appropriately. Which was great! I can do that! I love doing that! I was never questioned on what I was working on, or asked often for status updates. So it was perfect, because M is pretty much the anti-micromanager in the extreme. He has never liked hovering, and I hate being hovered over, so honestly it was pretty great. (Yes, he could be incredibly frustrating at times, I’m not trying to pretend that wasn’t the case. But it was frustrating because I needed him to do specific things, not because he managed me poorly.)

Back to the relative present. Sometime last week, P came over and told me that if I need to work OT, to let him know how much. Er, ok. Great. I have a habit of taking 15 or 30 min here or there at the beginning or end of the day, just to get a head start or finish something, and now I’m a bit afraid that I’m going to get inquisitioned about this… But, ok. I understand this thinking. Maybe I can work with it.

So… Thus the reason I asked about working over the weekend! Otherwise I would’ve just packed up my shit and not given it a second thought.

I was trying to do the responsible thing and ask permission to work what I felt was justified OT, and got told no. Super. Frustrated. Feeling way too controlled.

Next week, when we lose a day and a half because of the holiday, and I’m neck deep in client reporting and year end chaos, I’m afraid I’m going to get asked why these imports aren’t done, and my retort is going to be snarky. I tried to get them done when I knew I had time, and now I don’t have time so they aren’t going to get done. Too bad.

I was talking about all of this with hubs tonight, and he said it sounds like I need to have a talk with dept head A about all of this. I mentioned I wanted to give P a chance to figure things out on his own, but hubs said it’s better for him to learn sooner that either his management style sucks, or at least that he needs to learn different styles for different people. I’m concerned that any conversation I have with A is going to come across and whiny. I’m also concerned that, knowing A, he won’t actually DO anything about it. So I’ll just be talking at him for nothing. I mean, I know it’ll be good to get it out there, regardless if A says anything to P or not. Because it’ll be out there and I’ll be able to say “I tried!” I just…. I was really scared this summer when I talked to HR about M, and then separately when A asked me specifics about M, I was completely honest rather than glossing over. I knew those were good things to do, but it was something I’ve never done before. I’ve always just tried to get along with people, keep my head down, and push through, at least with my own managers. Coworkers and people in other departments, not so much. But yeah, new experiences. And I’m faced with doing the same thing again.

I need to game plan how I’m going to talk to A. I need specific examples. And I need to do this over the weekend, so I can be prepared on Monday and get all… Ok get the first initial burst of emotion … Out of my system ahead of time, so I don’t break down in A’s office and look less credible.

Christmas our way

It’s Christmas Eve, and so far the holiday has been quite excellent!

Husband’s girlfriend came over today and we three exchanged gifts, so there would not be awkward tomorrow with FiL coming over and having no gifts for us, or us gifts for him. (But I ran out and got a card, gift card, and giant bag of m&ms just because.)

Us girls got earrings 🙂 sparkly! And I’m very excited for my (very dorky) Jurassic Park sweatshirt! And we introduced hgf to “little weiners”. You take the little hillshire farms mini weiners, roll a bit of Pillsbury crescent roll around them, bake, and dunk in sauce of your choosing. I like ketchup. They are a Christmas snack tradition.

I’m a little afraid, though, which is really why I’m writing. Apparently FiL just called. He is on his way over to “deliver all our Christmas gifts” from… MiL. I’m trying to keep the good time I’ve had so far today in mind, and I’m going to try not to let whatever shitty passive aggressive behavior this is get me down.

But there’s still tomorrow! We will be having hgf, FiL, and possibly one of hubs friends over for dinner. Which will consist of smokey ham, sweet potatoes, mac n cheese, rolls, and I still have some leftover cookies for dessert. Oh, and we will make the rest of the weiners as an appetizer, and I have a pepperoni & cheese plate, and a fruit plate. So yeah. Christmas is shaping up to be good this year!

Update: Christmas is SUPER cancelled

Found out some new info. FiL called back hubs while he was out. Apparently MiL was visiting FiL (for maybe the 4th time this year) when all this went down. Which explains why she got on his work computer, at least a bit more. If they were home, she probably would just have been on hers. Also, she left her wedding ring with him. So… Yeah. This might actually be really serious this time.

I hope it is serious. This hurts to watch, even from far away. FiL doesn’t deserve to get yanked around like he has been, but also MiL doesn’t deserve to be lied to. No matter what they’ve brought on themselves. It feels like they either don’t care or are actively trying to hurt each other.

Christmas is cancelled. Again.

Hi, y’all. I received some news today that I figured I should pass on. Christmas has been cancelled this year.

Ok, perhaps I should clarify. My MiL has decided to cancel her Christmas festivities again this year, and be a grumpy curmudgeon home (somewhat) alone.

See, last year Christmas was cancelled because she got butt-dialed while her husband was out to dinner with a woman. And it was a huge big fucking drama-fest that, since we are both still NC with her, I was glad we weren’t really going to try to play nice this year and break NC. But this year, the occasional updates from FiL have so far not indicated that anything is really amiss. That she is more than willing to put up the happy facade and have her Christmas Day open house with friends & extended family.

Except today, when we were in the car and hubs got a text that basically said “call me” from FiL. So he calls, and it’s on speaker so I overheard the conversation. MiL discovered that he has been going on dating websites, and decided that means he is going to replace her. So, Christmas is cancelled again.

Look, I know there’s a lot to unpack here. So I’m going to try to speak to the few points that jump out at me.

First off, serves him right she found out and jumped down his throat. Their relationship for YEARS has suffered because they don’t communicate. I’m not faulting him for trying to find somebody, anybody, to make a connection with, emotional, physical, or other. But he knows that she is a paranoid and controlling snoop, and he knows last year’s holidays blew up because he tried unsuccessfully to hide stuff from her. And he tried to do it anyway.

(And for a quick sidebar, he knows about our poly relationship. He knows that the only reason this has worked out so far and not blown up in everybody’s face is that we’ve tried really, really hard to be better at communicating. And he knows we’re happy. So… He has solutions to his problem, but he hasn’t changed his actions. Anyway…)

On the flip side, I feel bad. Because you can go online and meet people and develop friendships. And those don’t harm your marriage. Sometimes they help! But having friends isn’t a bad thing. Having someone to talk to isn’t a bad thing. It’s toxic for one person to expect to be the sole source of their spouses support. (Especially when they aren’t supportive and don’t communicate, but I digress…)

So this was a Big Deal conversation for one important aspect: this is the first time I have heard FiL speak of being the one to initiate divorce. Last year, she threatened him with divorce. It’s always been her that has threatened him. Or it’s always been hubs to bring it up in conversation. Like, “you’re miserable, why don’t you two just get a divorce?” And they talked about it for a while, the pros and cons of it. Hubs also mentioned maybe they just agree to separate. She gets an allowance basically, he takes over the bills, and they lead their own lives. It saves the hassle of going through the messy process, which we both see as something she would be spiteful during and try to drag out and make as painful for him as possible.

But he’s afraid of “being alone”. And while I understand that concept because I was terrified of that myself at one point, he kind of already is alone. He works three states away, comes home only some weekends, and they fight every single time they’re together. Ok, maybe if he was in an accident and hurt, or fell seriously ill, she would drop everything and go help him. But… Would she? And even if she would, is that reason enough to make himself miserable 95% of the time? He has given her a year to get her shit together and prove she wants this relationship, but she hasn’t. She is just as distrustful if not more so, just as controlling, and just as melodramatic as she has been for the past however many years. She has made almost no effort to try to spend more time with him, other than making demands of his time when he does come home. And ok, maybe she doesn’t want to move, I get that feeling. But see, I’ve told my husband that. And I have a reason to stay: I have a job that I am good at and will likely keep for years. And when I do hate my job, I have friends at work that help me through the hard times. She has family that is just as tired of her drama as everyone else, and would pretend to be sad if she moved away, but would still talk a bit on social media, which is pretty much all they do now.

So, someone that thinks making concessions is an inconvenience and something that can be used as blackmail later down the line, and who picks fights constantly. How would getting rid of all that be a bad thing?

It’s a generational thing. I know this. And I’ll probably feel different in 30 years, when I’m much closer to dying (probably) than I am now. But… I just can’t see staying in a shitty situation that I hate just because I’m supposed to be married. And no, religion doesn’t play into this at all. At least I’m very confident it doesn’t.

Anyway. Christmas is now a true unknown, because I’ve got a FiL who doesn’t want to go to his home, and a significant other who has two dying grandmother’s and sick small humans. And I don’t want to say, “no, y’all can’t come over because 5 months ago I said I want to have Christmas with just my husband this year.” I don’t care. This year sucks for them and I want them to not be alone and sad if I can. Fuck it. I am not that selfish.

Happy weird holidays

So. Lots of stuff has happened since I’ve been here last. Big stuff. Still married. Still not talking to MIL. Got a new friend kinda in my life. Got a side-grade at work. Still in therapy. So let’s talk about some of this stuff!

Still married. I know that might not seem like it’s a “big stuff” but it is. Because now there’s some new bits going on. A couple years ago, hubs & I had a big fight. Mini-separation. Back together. And then… In the late summer, he springs this “I have feelings for this other woman and we talked and I think we should try this polyamory thing.” And this was so, so weird for me. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking it. If it’s your thing, go for it. But I never seriously considered it for me & my husband. Me if I was in a different place? Maybe, I dunno. But with what we’d been through and all the unspoken stuff, I just assumed we were gonna be a stereotypical white bread suburban monogamous couple.

So I had a lot of thinking to do. And we are sliding into it. Very, very slowly. I know the chick. We’ve hung out solo a couple times. The three of us have hung out a few times. And they hug and cuddle and give non-mouth kisses (forehead, cheek). And I’m… Ok with it. She is a nice person, and this whole experience from separation to now has brought out some good things in husband. So we are just going forward and seeing how things play out. One day at a time kind of mentality.

Which brings me to the weird holiday bit. According to S (the third person, the other chick, my husband’s girlfriend, … not sure what to call her) he is part of her family, and by extension then so am I. So… We are both invited to Christmas celebration with her biofamily.

And I have NO IDEA how I feel about this.

Christmas was never my favorite. My biofamily kinda sucked. My grandma was a racist bigot. My younger cousins were spoiled rotten, and not in a good sense. And when I went NC with my dad 7+ years ago, my older cousin called me for 2 days straight trying to get me to start talking to my dad again. So I haven’t talked to anybody I’m related to by blood for more than 7 years at a minimum. When I met hubs family, they seemed so much better. Turns out, though, they’re just as dysfunctional, if not more so. Last year we just had Christmas by ourselves, and FIL came over for a couple hours. Which was nice and drama free!

But faced with another year like that… I kinda panicked. I thought about how everyone else is having nice dinners and gift exchanges with people they at least kind of like. And I thought about how maybe it would be nice to be around people. So, I dunno, maybe I’m gonna spend Christmas surrounded by strangers…

Anyway. Side-grade at work. Basically, they tried to force me into a position I didn’t want, and when I expressly told them I didn’t want it despite the shiny paper they were trying to distract me with, the whole structure got upended and I got shuffled over to a new niche. Which, hey, I still got more money, so I’m not going to complain TOO much. But in this shuffling, coworker M was supposed to take over some of my responsibilities. And hasn’t. I was specifically told by the controller that he thought I was picking up too much slack for M in the old structure, and that this new structure would help prevent that.

Except it hasn’t…

I spent 3 hours this afternoon alternating between 10 minutes of my work and 10 minutes of helping M with this frakking STUPID software software transition (that he is supposed to be the project manager for). Which, ok, fine. We have a deadline. Shit needs to get done. But I have deadlines, too! And I am not having a good time trying to balance these deadlines and am getting flack for it.

So, side-grade not going super great.

And it’s getting close to bedtime. And I think this is enough revelation for one night. Thanks for letting me vent, and congrats on getting to the end 🙂

Unfriended

Seems like I only write here when I’ve got something I need to work out. Oh well, at least I do write a bit.

So at some point in time over the past couple of weeks, my mother in law unfriended me over in FB land. To me, this is just the final nail in the coffin of our relationship. And how relieving it is!

This has been a long time coming, I think. I’ve been waiting for something like this for the past 6 months or so, and kind of been thinking it would happen for even a year before that. I really did hope that the whole blow up between her and her husband and all of the fallout from that would help her realize what an unrealistic expectation she had of people. I knew it would take time, and I was willing to be patient and simply unfollow her for the time being. Basically, I didn’t want to do the “cut and run” thing, because I didn’t believe it would help anything. I don’t know if anything, short of succumbing to her every whim, would have helped. And that is certainly not an acceptable solution.

I have a lot of feelings right now. One is relief. I wasn’t the one to pull the trigger, so it’s not my fault. Another is a bit of anxiety. Like I’m writing about her, is she writing about me? What does she have to say? I’m tremendously curious to know what she REALLY thinks, because I know if it was anything bad, she wouldn’t say it to my face. I guess curiousity, as well. And of course, I’m concerned about what’s going on with my father in law as well. He stopped over last weekend, and from what I got from hubs, he was saying she’s gone even more loco than she was before.

Also, I’m feeling a bit morally superior right now, whether that’s right or wrong. I tried. Really. But it was just so difficult for so long, that I got tired and gave up. But I didn’t call it quits. I was willing to give her time and space. And maybe I should have reached out to check in and see how things were going. So perhaps I should lose a rung or two for that. But… Look, I had to think about my mental health, and she was causing it to suffer severely. I shouldn’t feel bad about that, right?

And regardless of whatever I’m feeling, I’m talking to some friends right now and they’re making me laugh. So it’s not the end of the world. The sun will rise tomorrow, and I will go about my life pretty much the same as I have the past few months. And that’s ok.

Mother’s Day

I wasn’t sure what to expect out of mother’s day this year. I mean, it’s always a bit weird for me, but usually nothing too crazy. A bit of anxiety, a bit of jealousy, and then we’re done.

Last year was the first year in a while that I had many strong feelings about the holiday. And, it looks like that was a one-off.

This year there was a bit of jealousy. Some of those PostSecret posts got to me. There was a bit of anxiety, as I wonder if this is finally the day I will be confronted by one or both of the in-laws.

But I think what happened was that last year, I sensed what was coming between us. Some kind of sixth sense, a gut feeling, however you want to put it. And this year, now that things are more out in the open, it’s not so bad. (As I was typing that, I heard a car pulling up and about had a heart attack thinking that confrontation was coming. Nope. Neighbors. So, maybe what I just typed wasn’t entirely accurate…)

Either way, I’m feeling much more blasé this year, which is a welcome feeling.

Death

Warning: Real talk inc.

Monday morning I came into work and found out one of my coworkers, M, lost his nephew in a car accident over the weekend. Just a kid, 20 years old, car vs tree. Could have happened to anybody.

I was not prepared for (1) how this would effect my coworker, and (2) how knowledge of this kid’s death, and knowledge of how it was affecting M, would in turn effect me.

Someone said, “it’s just M’s nephew, it’s not like it was someone closer.” And while I get that, I think it was an incredibly (unconsciously, perhaps) judgemental thing to say. It doesn’t matter what the relation was, what matters is that he was hurting.

I got talked into going to the funeral today. I wasn’t going to go, I didn’t know the kid. But the way it was explained to me, and what I really understood when I was there, was that it wasn’t about our (non-existent) relationship to the deceased. We were there to show support and compassion for those who were mourning their loss.

I’ve been to 5 funerals so far in my life. This was my first one as a real adult, and the first one that I didn’t know the deceased. I think that’s why I didn’t understand the support thing until today. I’ve always been a mourner.

But the text we received from M… This is why I’m glad I went. “You guys are awesome! You really are. Thank you with all my heart. I mean it!”

Yes, today was extremely difficult for me. I went through such a range of emotions in only a couple hours. Scared of going, nervous anticipation, anxiety from all the people, sadness and happiness from hearing people speak, anxiety about what to say to the family, the release of finally leaving… And then the rest of the day to process everything that happened. But I would go through it all again if it helps someone feel even a little bit better during this difficult time.

Because I really don’t know what they’re going through. Any of the family. His parents, his siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents… The friends, I have an inkling. I went through that. But to know someone since they were born, to watch literally their entire life, 20 years, and then they’re gone… Kids aren’t supposed to die first, and I finally have just the beginnings of an idea why that is so hard.

I’ll never understand completely what that is like, I don’t think. I’m planning on remaining childless. Neither of us have siblings. And my friends my own age, they aren’t having kids, or at least aren’t planning on it, so I doubt I’d be a surrogate aunt. I get why it’s sad, but I don’t think I’ll truly understand it. Most people shouldn’t.

I talked a lot about this in therapy today. And I talked about how I don’t remember hardly anything of my mother’s funeral, or my grandparent’s. And what a different perspective I have now on the whole business…

I can’t imagine any of the family will be even close to ok for a very long time. But I do hope today was helpful for them. The memories people shared were really moving. I know they touched a lot of other people, too.

My thoughts go out to them. Please send yours along, too.