Lovely stress

I’ve had a long relationship with stress in my life. Most recently, today, apparently my car decided to stall while my fiance was on the way home. Its fate is unknown as of yet. We are supposed to move into a new place on December 1st, and not having a car is going to make things very difficult for us. My stomach is in knots and I feel dizzy.

But this is not an unfamiliar feeling. I’ve struggled with stress my whole life. I even remember it as a child, that sickening feeling in my stomach, the inability to shut down the racing thoughts in my head. I don’t always remember specific instances, but I remember the feeling.

I clearly remember lying in bed in an old apartment of mine, facing eviction, unable to sleep because I couldn’t stop worrying about what I would do, where I would go, what would happen to me. I ended up practically homeless, living in an unheated camper trailer in the driveway of my ex’s parent’s house. Like the Mary and Joseph in the Bible, there was “no room in the inn”, so we were relegated to the trailer. In Pennsylvania, it gets bitterly cold in the winter. I had to resort to only bathing once a week, because peeling off all the layers for a few minutes just to pull them back on was such a chore. I dreaded sleeping at night, when it really got cold. I pulled on as many layers as I could, including a hat, and pulled the blankets over my head to conserve as much heat as possible, though I was still chilled throughout the night. Going to the bathroom was a real experience, as there was no running water or working toilet in the trailer, so I’d have to pull on boots and my winter coat and carefully traverse an icy driveway to climb two flights of stairs in the house just to get to the closest bathroom.

Even the duplex trailer we managed to nab and move into, there was still issues there. My ex was a pillhead, and as such he usually squandered his check on pills, giving little regard to our bills. Our electric bill got so ridiculous, we had to be put on a payment plan. There was several times the landlord had to come knocking about rent, and he was far from a gentle man. The vibe he gave off was gruff and unfriendly, and sometimes scary. There were times that I simply dodged into our bathroom or our bedroom (where he couldn’t see in) when I noticed him walking towards our trailer. He wasn’t always coming to us, but when he did, I would ignore his knocking, because I didn’t like dealing with him, especially when I always got the wrath that should have been directed at my ex.

I also remember, in that duplex trailer, we only had one car for most of the time we lived there, and my ex used it to get to work. After that car was totaled, he hitched a ride with friends, but it still put me in the position of being absolutely alone all day. A lot of times, he would go get stuff with his friends after work. Sometimes he would be home quickly, but a lot of times I was waiting for him long into the night with absolutely nobody there, nobody to talk to, nothing to do except watch TV (when the cable was on…our neighbor allowed us to hook into his cable for a small fee each month, but my ex was not faithful on any kind of bills). It drove me up the walls, especially when there was no cable. He was my only real human contact, and I felt abandoned most of the time. Alone with my thoughts and feelings, which tended to overwhelm me. I was living there when I lost all faith in the Christian religion after being coldly rebuffed by a pastor that I personally knew. I’m sure he doesn’t know this, but his refusal to help a member out by simply giving them a ride when they had no other options sent them into a downward spiral that resulted in leaving the Christian faith. I could go on about this, but I won’t. Not on this post at least.

Back on topic, a familiar bolt of panic shot through me when my brother messaged me on facebook and told me that his new boyfriend (of less than a month at that time) was going to be moving in and fiance and I had to move out by December 1st. I remember I actually cried because of the short timeline (this was the end of September) and the fact that not a lot becomes available in Minnesota in the winter because people generally don’t like to have to deal with ice and snow when trying to move. Of course, my brother is oblivious to many things, and I’m sure he thought nothing of it. But I think of these things. Hell, it seems I think of every little thing, and I panicked. I cried. I hyperventilated for a minute. All kinds of cuss words ran through my head. But my fiance was my rock. He assured me we would find a place and that I would never have to go back to the kinds of situations I’ve been in.

And he was right. We found a place, and despite a couple of miscommunications and missteps, we have the place secured. And then this happens with the car. Always something, it seems, that seems to be the theme of my life. I can’t seem to have anything good happen in my life without something happening to interfere or deflate it. I try to not let things get to me, I try really hard. But I’m a worry-wart by nature (thanks, Grandma) and with an anxiety disorder stemming from PTSD, I have physical issues that is difficult to deal with without proper medication. But, because of various circumstances that I don’t feel like going into right now, I can’t get what I need to help. So, I just flounder here and there and go on as best I can. My heart is still in my stomach as I await to hear the fate of my car. I can only hope and pray to the gods that everything will be okay.

 

ETA: Fiance made it back to the car and it started and he was able to get it home. We are hopeful he’ll be able to pick me up tonight as I’m not really dressed to walk over half a mile in the cold and snow to the bus stop. I swear, if it’s not one thing it’s another. My life can’t be going good for too long! Damnit, Loki, gimme a break!

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2 thoughts on “Lovely stress

  1. A couple of things come to mind here. First, I’m really sorry to hear about your car breaking down at this point, when it is going to be sorely needed. And I am also sorry that you lived for so long (or even at all) under the conditions you endured with your ex. If it helps any, all the stress you go through now will at some point just be a part of your history. You will look back on it – not necessarily with a smile on your face, but you will look back on it. Somehow you and your fiance will make it through this and move forward. Despair, though a valid reaction, has the effect of blinding you to any possibilities that come up, and it saps the energy you might need to seize those possibilities. That everything good that comes your way is followed by something bad is one way to look at it: you can also change the order around, as this kind of observation is truly based on perspective. The stress you feel now, the challenge(s) you face: you are facing this with someone at your side who loves you and won’t leave you to face fate (angry landlords included) alone. Although I have a pretty strong relationship with gods and spirits, I tend to not lean on them for intervention when it comes to life’s challenges. When I was born, the gods made sure I had the strength I needed to come through my life under my own power. When challenges come my way, I look at them as an opportunity to show myself (and the gods) how far I’ve come in being able to use that strength.

    There is a quote from a favorite author that comes to mind. Ernest Thompson Seton, who in many ways influenced the original Scouting program in the US, wrote a book called, “Biography of a Grizzly.” In this book, he describes the trials and tribulations of a grizzly cub, orphaned due to his mother and siblings being shot, as he grows into adulthood and eventually succumbs to old age. It’s a great book, in my opinion, if for no other reason than this line of wisdom: “The All-mother never fails to offer to her own, twin cups, one gall, and one of balm. Little or much they may drink, but equally of each.” You’ve had much hardship in your life: this is often seen as a deficit, especially by modern society; but from a natural perspective, it only shows how strong you truly are.

    Rather than close this with the love, light and lollipops closing that would seem almost typical in some Pagan blogs (“I’ll pray to 32 gods, bark like a dog, and turn in a circle 100 times for you to win in the lottery”), I’ll simply wish you and your fiance the best of luck in making use of any opportunities that come your way, and strength in each other. My wife and I once sold nearly all we owned, and arrived in our current country with no more than four suitcases and a sick cat. We didn’t have a home of our own at the time, and neither of us had a job. That was a little over ten years ago, and the cat’s still alive, and has a boyfriend that she only likes half the time. You can get through this. If there’s anything I can do, other than post verbose comments in your blog, let me know!

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    1. Thank you. 🙂 I’m a little calmer today. Still irritated and stressed, but calmer and feeling a little bit better. The radiator fan in the car isn’t working (and there’s a million other problems with it) so it’s pretty unusable right now. We’re busing it for now until we can figure out what to do.

      Despair was usually my default when stressful issues came up. I try really hard to stay away from that, because, while natural, it can be toxic. I remind myself of the good things in my life. I’m (relatively) healthy. I have a loving fiance and a beautiful cat-child. I have a place to live, and will have a place to live come December 1st. Both fiance and I have jobs. Really, we have a leg up on a lot of people, sad as that is (as I’ve been on the other side of that). It’s just extremely frustrating to see well-laid plans go kaput. I realize that part of life is accepting these challenges, using them to educate oneself, and move on. A part of what stunted me is the Christian idea that “god won’t give us more than we can handle” which I called bullshit on a long time ago, because it is bullshit. A year after becoming technically homeless, I had a mental breakdown. Obviously, I couldn’t handle it. Their god is a mean god. That or he was too stupid to see the pressure was too much. Either way, not a god I want to follow and trust in for eternal security. 😛

      The book you described sounds really interesting. I hadn’t heard of it before, but I’ll have to check Amazon. I’m sure they have a copy for kindle I can download to my phone app, once everything gets settled and I get a few extra bucks. I’m always up for reading. 🙂

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