I have been having one of those fall back months. You know, one of those months where it seems all the cards stack against you and all that hard work you put into your new mindset is set against you to fail. I rrreeeeaaaallllyyyyy struggled this month to stay on the right track. I’ve been fighting my depression worse than it was in the winter despite all the extra vitamin D I’ve been getting from the summer sun. Some days the depression has won me over to the dark side. I’ve had a few days here and there where I’ve done the bare minimum for everyone else and the only thing I could manage to do for myself was turn on my phone and watch one of my old time favorite shows, E.R.
Now that I am in a new place mentally I have also found other things about myself or my family’s situation that really needs my attention and correction. It’s been hard to face such demons, demons you thought you’d left behind only to find out it affected your situation so much so that you now have to fix it, or else. On top of that, it’s one of our busier months with my kiddos and activities. We’ve got birthdays and Father’s Day and Volleyball camp, playdates, camping, and sleep overs. It’s been a rush. I’m thankful for the wind down right now because to be honest, I just wanted to take my kids to the pool. I wanted them to wear off some of that pent up energy that has been wasting away with all the gloomy weather we’ve had this summer. I want them to just have some care free time so I can sit and think and enjoy it with them. We’ve even given the big girls some “big girl time” by allowing them to stay at the pool until close and then walk home. It’s been a relief to have them be able to walk home. It actually helps me! And before you judge me on allowing my older kids to walk home from the pool, I want to remind you, I live in a very small town. Yes, I know abductions happen even in small towns. Half the kids in our town have been walking to the pool on their own since they were 7 years old. It was very much the same for myself. I was allowed to walk or ride my bike to the pool. My children are so much older than I was and these other kids who have been walking to the pool on their own for quite some time. So, to have them walk to and from was a huge deal for me. It’s nice to be able to give them some freedom so I’m not screwing up dinner or having to wake a little up from a nap just to go get the girls from the pool. All the lifeguards also know my kids. A lot of the people who live down the road between the pool and our house also know our children. We’ve got somewhat of a village and at least my kids only have one swimming pool suit and towel (so if they are abducted, I’ll know what they were wearing and carrying). It’s certainly a risk this day in age, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take considering having four kiddos. And no worries, sometimes I stay at the pool until close as well. It’s not an every day thing.
Yet, during the times of chaos I have found myself in situations where it triggered a lot of old habits and horrible feelings. I’ve managed to get through them, but not without taking a few days to have a pity party. First, it was the storm. I’m not just talking your run of the mill thunderstorm, I’m talking about a storm that dropped hail as if it snowed and a lot of it was like watching a ton of golf balls bounce all over your yard. We got two inches of hail that night. No, not just two inches in diameter hail, I mean hail that kept coming and stacked two inches in height when all was said and done. There was a lot of damage. We just changed our insurance to a new company and I thought, good God, they are going to kick us off already! And what a hassle it was before, but now!? Now we have to get through the claims only to be left high and dry and find another new company to carry home insurance with? Ugh! Turns out, it wasn’t too bad. The pickup had quite a bit of damage and thankfully, we own that vehicle so the money we got for it was simply to buy it back and get a salvage title for. The only major thing wrong with it too is that the side mirrors are busted, same with the husband’s work car. The van, well, you can see all of the dents. Poor thing looks terrible when you really look at it, but it too was totaled and needs a salvage title. It’s not worth fixing to be honest so at least that loan gets paid off. The house, however, had the worst damage. Gutters need repaired, we need a new roof, some new windows, and the siding is questionable just yet. Depends on it’s cost. Thankfully it’s steel siding so there’s no real harm there. And the poor camper got totaled as well. The cover to the air conditioner is demolished and wound up all over the street! As well as the light covers to ever single light on that thing. The vent cover to the refrigerator was also annihilated. It leaked for a few days until we got that fixed. We want to keep it so we only asked for the money to cover the damages. Our neighbors brand new camper was worse! That poor thing sat in the perfect spot to just completely get destroyed. All of this worked out well in the end though. We are two less payments to pay for in our budget so it really helps us out (when the checks get there any way).
Then the week of the my daughter’s volleyball camp… that was a doozy. They never called parents to tell them of the location change. Most of us were running around like a chicken with our heads cut off and then reprimanded when we got to the new location for being late. Sorry folks, but I don’t think that’s my fault when you don’t even leave a note on the door at the old location and we are scrambling trying to find someone to ask where it had been moved. Sure, had we been an hour earlier I’m sure you would have told us. Things went smooth until her last day of camp when the scrimmages were to happen. Again, no phone call to the parents. Our older children had been moved to a new location for the scrimmages. I got there when they said it was going to start and I couldn’t find half the girls nor the head coach for the camp. I started asking around where they were and most of those parents had no idea as their children were right there, where everyone was suppose to be. The head coach finally came back after an hour and a half so I asked him. They were at a new location. Before I even got a chance to ask him and I sat there, panicking, I called my husband crying. I can’t find her, she’s probably skipped camp and no one noticed so she’s freely walking around town with some kid I don’t approve of, no one knows where the rest of the kids are, it’s weird, why can’t we be told of this stuff when we pick our kids up, why aren’t they communicating with the parents!? That isn’t even everything that crossed my mind. When I found out they had moved to a new location I got to watch the very last of her scrimmage. My husband left the two younger kids with me so he could finish mowing and when we sat down to listen to them thank the kids for joining and get their shirts for participation, I left my two younger kiddos to play on my phone and the tablet. I wanted them to be quiet since we could barely hear the coach in that particular gym. And I shit you not, at the very end of it, the head coach says to the parents, “I’m so glad you joined and found real priorities unlike that mother over there with her children on their ipads and iphones.”
I couldn’t believe the words that came out of that man’s mouth. I couldn’t believe he would be so childish to single out one mother who has multiple children there, trying to keep them respectfully quiet so we can hear his speech! Seriously!? You can’t even communicate with the parents about location changes so we know where the hell our children are and you’re sitting there judging me for having my two younger children being entertained quietly so you can speak words of judgement to me and single me out in front of a gym filled with people!? I was shocked, I was appalled, I was mad, and I was sad all at the same time. I felt like I was a kid in school, as I always had been singled out in front of groups of people all of the time back then. I was beyond embarrassed but I really couldn’t do anything about it. I’m a respectful person. I don’t single people out, I try not to argue, in most cases I would say he’s right, but after all week I had been bringing them with me and have kept them entertained without electronics and now, now I am to be made an example of!? Is it just me or the one time you do something out of character, someone always notices and absolutely has to point that out!? Seriously, every. single. time.
Then today happened. I took my kids to the pool. Big kids went to the big pool while me and the littles went to the baby pool. I brought toys, even bought some new ones as my five year old is figuring out the diving toys and is finally, actually swimming. We are sharing all of our toys with all of the other little kids there. One guy there brought his daughter. He sat next to us at the tables, kept apologizing for his daughter wanting to hog the toys. I told him it wasn’t a big deal, we’ll just get them to take turns. It worked just fine. Once my kiddos got the hang of sharing I got out of the pool and put on some tanning lotion that had 10 SPF because I forgot the sunscreen in the bag the big girls had. I could feel myself burning so I just kept lathering the tanning lotion in an attempt to keep myself from burning.
So this guy, I knew I had seen him before. His voice sounded very familiar and I asked him if he usually wears glasses. He said yes. And I said, do you work at Walmart in the sporting goods section? He said yes. And conversation was easy after that. He sure did spark up a lot about work and where he’s from, or at least where he moved back here from. He talked a lot. He talked about his ex and their situation with their daughter. He talked about being 40 and loads of other things. I mostly just listened because let’s get real, I’m married and this day in age it seems to not matter to some people as to whether or not you’re married, there’s no respect for that so they carry on and sometimes go too far with their conversations, so much so that they find it ok to try and “hook” up with you. I didn’t want to lead this guy on so talking wasn’t going to be my strong suit. This lady, right here, does not engage when the situation is seemingly going that way. This guy was getting far too personal for my own liking any way. So I sat there and I listened, patiently. He finally asked a question I could answer about where I used to work. And that was when I tried like the dickens to bolt the heck out of there.
When I had mentioned being a lunch lady, he totally did that whole, high pitched “Oh!” Then the aha, “Oh.” Then the disappointed, “oooohhhh…” It was as if he realized we really couldn’t talk about it and yet he still had to tell me his friend he had been seeing on and off since he moved back runs that kitchen. I asked him her name and he was like, “yep.” And me being me, I was already far too quiet the entire time, sometimes trying to avoid the certain conversations he’d strike up by going and messing around with my kiddos, but I got even more awkward. He kept talking about her and trying to explain her while I walked around, gathered our toys, and told the girls we had to go (thankfully my girls were really ready to go. They were tired of sharing their toys, they were getting cranky, they were just tired and ready to go). So I did that thing, much like they do in the movies, where I cut him off mid sentence, I told him very politely that I wasn’t paying attention to time, we had to go, it was nice to meet him, and then I bolted.
The girls and I rinsed off in the showers, we went to the big pool to tell the big girls goodbye, and when I turned the corner he was freaking waiting for us! My heart dropped to my stomach. I really reeeeeaaalllllyyyyy did not want to engage in any more conversation with this guy. He is the guy dating the boss who fired me for telling her not to get in my personal space, the gal who put her hand in my youngest’s face and pushed her off to the side, the gal who was so harassing to me that I needed to put in a two weeks notice since the other bosses did nothing about it. Thank God for sunglasses because I did the BIGGEST eye roll I’ve ever done in my life! All I could do was begin to walk my girls down the steps while he followed me to my van where he just had to ask me my name. When I replied yes, he just then had to tell me, “I’m sorry if I made you run. It’s hard explaining her to other people and it’s hard to hear how she treats people at work. I’ve heard it all, believe me, but I must say you are definitely not at all who she depicted you to be. She made you sound like some sort of drug addict mom who would call in for random people on the street. She said other things as well but seeing you today and a few others from that kitchen who are not as she has described them has left me to need to tell you that I think you’re not at all who she said you were. I feel awful that I have allowed her to speak about people in this way. You’re a great mom and I’m sorry I made that judgement call.”
What does one even respond with with that kind of a statement? I don’t even know what to make of it. Did he enjoy my company too much, so much so he felt the need to try and continue it some more, like, as if to pick me up even though I’m married? Or does he really feel that guilty and has been noticing that she maybe the problem and not the people she has described? Either way, I got my kids into the car, turned on the AC, he’s still standing there, all I could do was put my hand on my car door handle, put my head down at the ground, took a deep breath, and said, “In my experience, people tell me things about other people as a means to get me on their side. Perhaps that’s what she’s doing with you. It was nice to meet you but my little one’s need some quiet time now. Have a good day.” We took off, we get home and I hear my phone ding from a notification on facebook messenger. When I look at it!? It was him again!! I don’t even know what to make of this guy. I don’t know what to make of this situation but it has officially earned him a block on facebook because I don’t even want to deal with it, period. He has no idea what she took from me and it wouldn’t be fair to him for me to spill those beans onto his lap. And if he’s starting to realize she’s not who she says she is then I want zero part of that. I think it’s time for a therapy session for myself because that situation drug up a lot of emotions and feelings and thoughts that I wish not to put on myself because none of that was even remotely ok with me.
And now you can tell why I’m such an awkward person. I know I can handle situations like the one above so much better. I know I’m capable. I don’t know exactly what makes me freeze other than it’s just that uncomfortable. But like I said, I live in a small town where we were bound to run into one another at some point. I suppose it would have been easier had it been that I had seen her with him and I clearly won’t engage in any sorts of conversation then. But what is easy isn’t always right, right?
Now, now that it’s all over, I am now thinking about ways in which I could have better handled the situation. I think about other things I could have said instead of appearing to be so rude and awkward and run like hell when things get weird. Is it just me or was it weird!? And, hence why I made the comment about needing to go to therapy over this. It could have been simple but in my mind it wasn’t… it was almost unreal. And of course, the way I acted probably made it very clear to him that I want nothing to do with that situation or her in general. It sparked up those terrible feelings she gave me and how angry I got over the situation so my body and mind just could not get in tune with each other. God, just explaining all of this makes me feel awkward!
Also, I’ve had this post sitting on my computer for a few weeks. I have since had a continuance of rough and/or awkward situations. My therapy session was also cancelled and rescheduled and I can’t help but feel like I’m holding a million things inside even though I’m writing here about it and in my journal and talking with my husband about them. It still feels pretty heavy on my mind and heart but that’s mostly because there will surely be even more things happen and it will all just add up. It will add up to those moments where I have a breakdown. I just keep telling myself in the mean time that I can still and am still breathing and living, they aren’t big things, just awkward things and soon enough I’ll be word vomiting getting it all out there and I will find the guidance I’m looking for. I will find the tangibility and the knowledge to gracefully exit those situations. My husband knows me well enough to help, but he’s more standoff-ish, meaning, he would have outted a lot sooner than I did. And while it helps me to know I’m not crazy for thinking it was such an awkward encounter, but it doesn’t help when he tells me how he’d deal with the situation. Lol, he’s certainly not a fan of role play that doesn’t take place in a sexual way (please imagine thousands of laugh-cry emoji’s here).