Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Warning: Self Indulgent Moping Below

I’ve been feeling very cut off lately. I know that part of it is the extra days I worked on the few weeks, then going to night shift. Part of it is that Thug Girl has gone over to another crew, and I don’t get my Fresh Meat until Monday morning. And part of it is that I’ve been sick, and that has consequences, like people avoiding me like the plague and me not being able to take my antidepressants. That’s a biggie, right there. I always seem to get mopey when I’ve been off my meds for a few days. Either that or really, really pissed off about, well, everything.

But that’s not all of it. There’s a lot of more contributing to this feeling or isolation, and I really need to explore it. And that means blogging about it. Ahh, gotta love the free therapy.

Another big chunk of my feelings of isolation come from the continuing tension between my family and me. Ever since the brouhaha back in the summer, I just don’t feel comfortable around them. Not because I’m still mad, since I’ve let it go. But I know they see me differently now, and I can’t shake the feeling that they don’t like what they see very much. This is supported by the lack of contact around birthday time. I usually get a card or two from the family. This year all I got was a message on my answering machine and an e-mail a couple of days later. Christmas wasn’t much better, even if we did go out there on Christmas day. They just don’t know how to relate to me anymore. Especially Dad. And I understand that. I don’t really even blame them. I just wish it weren’t so.

On top of that are my friends, who seem to be slowly slipping away. All of them.

Take Philoman, for example. Ever since he got married, he’s been drifting inexorably away. I’m pretty sure it’s because his wife doesn’t like me or the rest of my friends, although he denies it every time I try to bring it up. I wish he’d just go ahead and admit it, to himself and me, so we could work around it. I don’t have to be friends with his wife, although I’d like to be. She’s a perfectly nice woman. Philoman tells me that she “just needs to get to know me”. But then they never do anything with us, so she has no opportunity to “get to know me”. I’m in a Catch-22 there. She doesn’t really want anything to do with me and he can’t seem to admit that about his wife. Add in the fact that their baby is due any day now, and I don’t know if I’ll get to see Philoman outside of work at all this year.

Then there are my fundy friends, assuming you could even call them friends anymore, since they pretty much refuse to talk to me. I’ll admit I said some rough things about them, and I’m sorry that I did. I was angry, and it came out harshly. But, dammit, they hurt me a lot with their insensitivity, and they aren’t any better now. Their idea of a gesture to try to fix things was to buy me a new copy of the books they sold off on eBay in the first place, as if the actual books were the important thing about my beef with ‘em. I would have rather had them just admit that they had done something wrong, say “I’m sorry” and move the fuck on! I was willing to do that on the part of my actions, and still am. Unfortunately, they don’t seem capable of any of that, so I guess they’re pretty much out of the picture permanently. That’s sad, I suppose, but not surprising. Apparently, I intimidated at least one of them, and that’s no way to feel about a friend. You should at least approach equality in those kinds of relationships, or else they’re not friendships, but leader/follower relationships. I tend to gravitate towards the front of groups, but I don’t have to be in charge of everything or everybody all the time.

And then there are my “boring friends”. I knew that when Amberle’s family moved into the area that things would change, but it seems that ever since Ranson and Amberle bought their own place, I never see them anymore, and when I do, it always follows the same formula: arrive, spend approximately 1 hour playing with their 2 year old, spend approximately 1 hour eating and gossiping about the latest exploits of Amberle’s sister(s) and/or mother while trying to get the 2 year old to eat, spend approximately 1 more hour playing with the 2 year old while simultaneously talking geek-stuff with Ranson, wait approximately ½ hour while they put the 2 year old to bed, spend next hour playing a game while listening to the 2 year old try to entice one of us to get him out of his room, then we go home. Lather, rinse, repeat. And that’s when I can actually arrange time with them, which seems to be getting more and more rare. I was off for almost three solid weeks at Christmas time, and spent approximately 2 hours with them during that entire time. I didn’t even see them, or much of anyone else, on my birthday. They had other plans, although they did graciously invite me to join them. I appreciated that, but opted out. I didn’t want to intrude.

That leaves Aradia and her family. Her sister lives in Colorado, so we only see her about once every couple of years. Her parents are back in WV, so we only see them about three times a year. Her brother and his family live locally, and I see them quite a bit, but arranging work schedules is always a bitch, so it’s usually just a couple of hours every few weeks or so. And Aradia herself, well, when I actually get to spend time with her, she’s either working on school stuff or stressing about her dad. I understand both, and don’t want to intrude on the former and need to help her with the latter.

So, my life right now goes something like this: earn paycheck, do housework, blog for therapy, play five-year-old computer games. Like I said: lather, rinse, repeat.


Anonymous Amberle said...

Ok. As such as you prefaced with the whole disclaimer warning this was self-indulgent moping, I'm not going to yell at you. I am, however, going to remind you that we tried to find a way to do something with you for your birthday, and not only were our suggestions declined, you could not or did not counteroffer. I was going to make you a cake dammit. We tried not to push ourselves on you guys as you were both physically, and apparently mentally, exhausted. And did it occur to you that perhaps we're a bit tired of the rut as well? Got any ideas how to get out of it? We'd be glad to hear'em. Ranson's about to drive me buggy. I know he feels guilty about trying to do something with you every weekend you're off, but if we miss one, bam! It's been a month since we've seen each other. I know you were off 3 weeks at Christmas. We weren't. And you didn't call us. I love you, but stop moping in corners and waiting for others to seek you out. Pick up the damn phone sometime. Very rarely do we turn down an invitation.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Amberle said...

I will concede that the last few sentences could be construed as yelling or at least stern finger shaking.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Coralius said...

Heh. You're funny, Amberle. I knew that of all the people who would read this post, you'd be the one most upset about it.

As to my birthday, well, you had plans, and I didn't want to intrude. I wasn't going to "counteroffer" anything when you'd already made arrangements to spend time with family, although I do appreciate the thought that you were going to make cake. Aradia gave me some cookies, though, so it was cool.

You're right about Christmas, though. I could have been a bit more forthcoming then.

As to me picking up a phone, well, you're right about that, too. But for me to pick up and go do something isn't that big a deal, as long as I've had my medication and I'm not zonked from work. And that's relatively rare. Although my work schedule has been pretty rough lately, as I indicated earlier. I know that that's the bulk of what's keeping me apart. That's why I said that first. Everything else is just niggling little details.

It just seems to me that it's a lot more complicated for those of you out there with kids, so I try not to be pushy. I was pushy for years, and it got me more headache than fun times. I'm trying to be better now. After all, I hope to one day count myself amongst those of you who have all those childly complications, and will probably want the same considerations when it's my turn.

I wasn't criticizing anyone for anything. Quite the opposite, actually. I completely understand why things are the way they are, and accept them. I don't like them, necessarily, but I accept them. I don't think you can fault me for missing you, though.

As to a solution, well, I don't have one. If I did, I would have already put it into action. I'm open to suggestions. I could pick up the phone and pester you every day, but it's just not my way. I'm not "plugged in" enough to your life anymore to know what kind of time you have, and frankly, I'd feel silly by asking. I know it's not rational, but it's true, nonetheless.

11:09 PM  
Blogger Ranson said...

On that note, you want to get together sometime Saturday or Sunday? I'll be watching the game come 6:30 Sunday, buy if you want to come over fairly early either day, there's plenty of gaming/talking/funnage to be had.

Also, the plans with family thing isn't a big deal, as you are family you schmuck. Those folks would like to see you, too, and I often need a geek outlet when I'm around certain members, or my nerves begin to grate.

I was telling Amberle last night: sure, we're working a lot, you in particular, but from late November to your birthday, everyone gets tied up. We travel through three different states over half the available weekends in that time period, you have your own extened family obligations which may or may not fall at conflicting times, and everyone is wholly stressed out one way or another.

That period of extended travel and familial obligation is now over, so we can get back to local wants and needs. Friend, you're never intruding to ask to do something, or call and come over. If you are, we'll tell you when you ask. More often than not, we need a break from crap, too. Particularly me, as our wives generally see each other once a week, at least. Thus, our "friend time" is more limited, we lament the lack of it more, and we are more intense about it when it happens. So we don't live five minutes away anymore. Such is life. We can do more, we just have to try.

8:04 AM  
Blogger Ranson said...

Also, I'm fairly sure we can let munchkin play with nana for much of the weekend.

9:03 AM  
Blogger Coralius said...

Hehe, speaking of Munchkins, I just finished Son Of A Witch this morning. It was good, but pretty typical fair, right up until the first homosexual encounter. That was kinda screwy, no pun intended.

Anywho, munchkins with nana is not necessary, but a valid option, I suppose. I'm certainly not asking for it. I like munchkins. ( this now his net-name???)

As to Ranson's earlier comments, you folks need to remember that this is therapy, not recrimination. You've both made valid points, that I know are true, but are hard to act on at one in the morning while working. I was just exorcising a few demons, not crying out for help. Crying in my metaphorical beer, maybe, but not crying out for help.

Oh, and game night is on me, boys and girls. Big Ass TV and surround sound will allow us to hear the bones grind right before they snap. The outlaws have already asked if they could come over. I don't see why the rest of the gang can't join in. Hell, I'll buy the beer. And the root beer, for those on a no-alcohol diet. Heck, I'll even buy the metaphorical root beer, with easy twist-off caps. We can even turn the living room into a "munchkin safe zone" and let 'em all wander free-range for a while.

Wow, I need some sleep, don't I? Good night / morning / day / evening / whatever.

10:11 AM  
Blogger Ranson said...

Well, I've always sort of liked "Lord Destructicus", and that's how he's referred to on my forums. I'll discuss things with the wifely one about this weekend. A Saturday (perhaps Elder God-oriented?) off from the tot, plus a Sunday party that we don't have to arrange (but will surely contribute to) might make for a restful weekend.

Try and get Philo over for footballery, too. Even if they aren't interested in the game, there are always commercials and impending babyness to discuss.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Coralius said...

I'm not sure I can actually call him "Lord Destructicus" yet. He's not been all that destructive, especially for a two year old.

I'll try with Philo, but don't count on it. The baby is actually due next week, and I imagine she's laired up like a broody....hen. Plus, I just found out she's allergic to cats! I never knew.

2:38 PM  

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