Apparently, I’m full of Love.

I went to therapy.  As I had been told many times, I was met by a genuinely warm and happy older man, who made something that is generally uncomfortable and painful for me, much less so.  I am sure there are other therapists in the area who would work well for me, but truly, I’m glad that I stuck to my guns and was insistent on seeing Dr. Wolcott.  Interestingly, despite being fairly convinced that my life and marriage were falling apart, Dr. Wolcott thought otherwise.  Apparently, I am full of love.  However, instead of showing this love in some healthy, well-mannered way, I will go to the ends of the earth to rescue you from whatever problem you have.  This may be not having enough time to do chores around the house, to, in the case of friends (looking at you Mr. ENFP), dropping whatever is actually bothering me, to help you rescue your relationship.  Myself is never first.  Now, how we are going to fix that is beyond me.  I assume that is why you actually continue going to therapy.  But, the root of the problem is simple.  I am a fixer of all the problems.  And by golly, if you have a problem, I will fix it.  It’s very classic INTJ really.  We see above the whole situation and can hone in and take care of it.  And I do so excellently.  I do it at work.  I do it at home.  I do it socially.  If there is a problem, I have a solution, and chances are it’ll be good and effective.  So that’s what we’re going to work on.  Also interestingly enough, Mr. ENFP was quite aware of this (pre therapy), so when I called him flabbergasted at the latest misgiving of my husband, he let me vent all of my frustrations prior to telling me that his girlfriend had likely ended their relationship.  True to form, I immediately put my frustrations aside, and helped come up with a grand gesture in hopes of reconciling, which he dutifully followed.  True to form, they reconciled.  See.  Fixer.  It also speaks volumes that he’s sensitive to this, and spawns many many levels of questions that will have to wait quite some time, as he is in Europe for the next two weeks.

Also interestingly, the root of so many of my problems may not be my husband, but instead, my dad.  When we started going on these trips to Houston, I was supposed to essentially be a taxi driver.  I had to make sure he was where he needed to be, but the rest was up to my dad.  Now, I manage it all.  I book the hotel.  I figure out what we’ll do when we’re in Houston (although admittedly, it’s what I want to do, not what we want to do).  I find out and catalog where he needs to be when, and whether he can have food prior to whatever procedure he is having, and if he cannot, how far in advance he has to stop eating.  I keep up with where we need to be, and whether this is something that is a firm appointment, or soft arrival (i.e., labs are soft arrival.  As long as they’re done before the procedure that follows, who cares).  Pretty well, my dad just has the procedure done to him. I am 100% responsible for the rest.

Despite all of this fix-it ability, there is one relationship at work that is seriously suffering.  In the firm I work at, offices line the exterior walls with cubes on the inside.  It’s all open, and unfortunately the area is particularly live.  We have a younger, inexperienced, secretary who is an ESFJ (universally, this personally rubs me the most wrong, except for maybe my ISTP brother), and a member of the mean/pretty girl clique.  Why we still have these things past high school just boggles me.  In any case, a lot of the firm thinks she is delightful, which if you are in a position of authority, she is.  However, she’s dumb as a brick, and has zero desire to learn more, and is lazy.  I kid you not, she has said several times “I’m smart enough.”  That statement right there is why we can never be friends.  Unfortunately, my boss and her boss do a lot of work together, which means our work overlaps a great bit.  She is now 3 cubes down, which has helped us some, but not enough.  Today’s drama – she complained to HR about me using speaker phone.  Specifically, I used it twice.  Once, I dialed a long distance phone number and then picked it up after dialing.  The other time, I was on the phone with HER boss trying to edit something with HER boss.  So, the HR guy comes to me in his passive-lets-all-be-friends way, which I detest, and tells me how I can’t use speakerphone.  I immediately then email her boss that anytime she wants to edit something, I need to come to her or she needs to come to me.  We will see how this goes.  I detest office politics, but if what I’m doing isn’t wrong, you damn well better believe I will fight back.  I hear her cough, vape, and type all day with her fake fingernails on the keyboard, and never say a word.  Maybe that should change.

More therapy Tuesday.  Thank God it’s Friday.

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Full disclosure, I’m on steroids

I woke up miserably ill NYE.  Ok, that’s an exaggeration.  I woke up with a scratchy throat that was the downhill slide to miserably ill by the end of NYE.  I had my spa day courtesy of my boss, and the longer it went, the worse I felt.  After being convinced that surely I had the flu (it’s been going around the office), I holed up in my bedroom for two days.  After not being surrounded by sickness around me, and not having tons of fever, my husband and I trotted off to the local urgent care facility where my flu test indeed came up negative.  They loaded me up with a celestone-like (nobody actually gives you real celestone anymore) shot, a prescription for antibiotics for my raging ear infection and probable sinus infection, and a prescription for prednisone to keep me going when the shot wears out tomorrow.  This place only sees me when I’ve got an ear/sinus infection.  I think they saw me with a severe severe (IV bag of fluids severe) stomach bug once.  But pretty well everything else, I go to my regular MD who works weird hours, on a schedule.

Some people get angry on steroids.  Not me.  I get hot.  Really hot.  Like if I move, my head and scalp start to sweat hot.  It’s 24 outside, and I did wear a coat to work today out of good measure, but frankly, I think I could have walked around in shorts and been fine.  I also get sensitive, and emotional.  The nurse asked me about my weight as she was taking vitals (who at the doctor’s office ASKS someone their weight?), and with my husband there, I shimied and shyed, so we weighed me, in the hall.  I came back in, and after the nurse left, he quoted my weight back to me.  He knew.  It’s something I’ve been uncomfortable with post baby.  There’s this whole change that happens to you after you have a child, and you can weigh exactly what you did before having that child, and wear the same, if not smaller, clothes than before you had that child, and it’s never good enough.  There’s a shape change, and some stretch marks (although the nice thing about being a red head is they’re white, I’m white, you have to know what you’re looking for), and it rocks you to your soul.  But, he’s just there, loving me.  Knowing everything about me.

My husband really has carried the bag the past few days.  Two of three nights, he’s moved to the couch because of my mouth breathing snoring (which will hopefully cease tonight).  He has taken care of our son 100% without complaint while I moved from couch to bed, bed to couch.  Last night, buzzing around on steroids, I resumed my motherly ways, and took up bed/bathtime duties (I’m pretty sure it’s the first time in three days that the toddler’s teeth were brushed), and everything seemed to click again.  I baked cookies.  With celestone highs, there seems to always be cookies.

About an hour before bed I was hot.  Miserably so.  It was in the 20s (this is Louisiana.  This is HIGHLY HIGHLY unusual for us) outside, and our inside was 66, but I was sitting in the middle of our bed watching TV in a bra and underwear with the fan on, glistening of sweat.  I walked into the kitchen to start the dishwasher sans clothes, when my husband said, that I should get a celestone shot everyday.  That is real love.  Love that you can have a red nose, no makeup and stringy hair, walk around in your underwear and glasses, and still be found attractive by your husband with zero sucking in.

I do a lot for our little family, but I have no doubt that I am not the easiest person to live with.  I’m particular and temperamental, and have been trying to find myself in this new way for about a year now.  But one thing remains utterly constant – my husband just loves me.

Don’t expect much sappiness from me for the future.  The steroids will be gone in 5 days.  But for today, I’m basking in the glow of love.  And lots of sinus drugs.

Leaves, feelings, and tears, or lack there of (hopefully)

My dad’s MRI is today.  Initially, I hadn’t been too nervous about it, other than it puts us one step closer to Friday.  I called to say good morning, and my mom answered, as he was already having the MRI done.  She and I talked for a bit.  He’s not doing well.  He’s exhausted all of the time.  His appetite is only so-so, and this is from someone who has always had a true LOVE of food.  I’ve never been one who has been particularly negative about him having cancer, even Stage IV terminal lung cancer.  He’s beaten an incredible amount of odds, and until recently, has not been dying.  I firmly believe he is dying.  His skin is starting to sag.  His color is the classic grey of a cancer patient.  His eyes that once had this intense fire behind them look tired and slow.  The more I share this feeling of impending death, the heavier it feels.  Initially, there was not a sting of tears, or the catch in the throat that warns of their coming.  But now, as I write this, and sit with the fact that my father is very likely dying, and dying sooner than later, I feel the classic catch in the throat of incoming tears.

I hate crying.  There’s probably nothing I hate more.  I hate crying in private.  I loathe crying in public.  For me, there is no worse experience than crying in public.  It is torture at its finest.  To me, it’s not a sign of weakness, but for someone who is in control always, it’s the paramount of lack of control.  Oddly, it doesn’t bother me when others cry in public.  I’ve always handled other’s emotions reasonably well.  My own, not so much.

Mr. ENFP and I resumed our happy light banter last night, just in time for me to dump a heavy text message of impending death on him this morning. I don’t know that there’s a friendship of which I am more grateful.  I realize to a lot of people that it may look wholly inappropriate, but I have no idea how I would survive all of this without him.  When a parent dies of cancer, it’s a unique experience.  People around you may feel sorry for you, or sad, but they can’t really relate until they’ve been there.  He’s been there.  He lets me hang out in my realism of impending doom while reminding me to take pictures of my son and father together.  He is comfortable with my outbursts of tears that seem to always happen on the phone with him despite my open discomfort with it.  He is also comfortable with the fact that I’m horribly uncomfortable about crying.  My husband is wonderful.  He has shifted into gentle caring mode, and is aware of what is coming.  But, he has never lost anyone to cancer.  He has only recently lost his grandparents.  The perspective that’s given is different.

I’ve never looked at relationships as what you get from one another.  There is a lot of both give and receive within our relationship.  My husband loves me, comforts me, shares our happiness, holds the bag when necessary, offers unyielding support for all of the great things I want to do, but mostly, he just loves.  With Mr. ENFP, we push each other.  He encourages me, as I do him.  I anchor him, he lifts me off the ground.  Yesterday, there was no text exchange until mid afternoon, which is exceedingly unusual for us.  When we spoke last night, I let him know I had a question that I wanted to ask, because the conversation would never get there.  He replied that he wondered how long I’d been sitting on it, and I told him only since mid afternoon.  I asked him point blank if he ever worried about me, to which he replied yes, that he’d actually been a little worried that morning.  I let him know that I didn’t have anything to say then, to which he said was ok and fine.  I let him know that I let things sit for a while, and then finally did have something to say, or feel ready to talk, or whatever was going through my mind at that moment, so I did.  He said I’d almost met his threshold.  He’d hoped I’d get plugged into work and not be worried or sad, which is what I did.  He hasn’t told the girlfriend of our upcoming visit.  We speak daily, or almost daily, and we do text daily.  She knows I’m very present.  I am not sure she knows the extent of my presence.  Admittedly, it makes me sit back and look at him as if he’s trying to convince himself that something isn’t there, when it most obviously is.  He spoke Saturday of piles of leaves that could be equated to feelings that would touch each other, maybe blend together, and I just can’t help but think he was speaking of himself as well, especially when he has not told the girlfriend of our upcoming visit, which we’ve been planning for weeks.

No matter what, I’m grateful for a great friend, and a great husband who clearly both have my back in all of this.  I’m grateful for four additional years I’ve gotten with my dad that I didn’t think I’d get.  I hope this isn’t the end.