Thursday, November 22, 2007

A lovely work day...NOT!

I often wonder where I fit in, in my family, at work, and life in general. It's not in a 'poor me, nobody likes me', but rather a feeling that sometimes it wouldn't matter if I was there or not. I know that's not the case with my daughters, they need me as much as I need them.
At work, I've sort of developed or created my own position there. There are the lawyers, the assistants, and me. There are 3 lawyers and 2 assistants. The assistants were friends before they started to work together at our firm. Part of the problem is that my 'space' is in the back. Not really out of the way, but more separate than the other people. I don't hear the conversations and jokes that occur with the others. Most of the time, I don't really care. I've got my own work to do and I'm not distracted by other people talking.
There is one assistant, 'A', who I'm not totally fond of, and I think the feeling is mutual. We tolerate each other, and help each other when we need to. Because the 2 assistants ('A' and 'K')are friends, conversations often get hushed when I walk up to them. 'K' is pregnant and has about 3 weeks left at work. 'A' very recently got engaged. For the most part, we keep our personal lives just that, personal. We know basic stuff about each other, but it's not a gossipy kind of place at all. I like that because I really dislike work gossip. Today there were a couple of times that I asked a question and basically got a 'none of your business' response in a very rude tone. That really pissed me off. Seems like everyone else knows and all I did was ask a confirmation question. I went back to my desk, did some work. I had to go get some stuff and had to see 'A', the one who said it to me. She did apologize, but it was more of a 'sorry I snapped' than anything else. By that point, I was too pissed off to care. I started to say something, god forbid I ask a question there, but I stopped. I have learned not to be impulsive with the things I want to say. Shortly thereafter, I heard whispers going on. Pissed me off even more. As I am technically finished work at 3:15 and it was 3:30, I decided it was best for everyone if I left. I put some stuff in a bag to take home, and just walked out of there. Felt good, just leaving. By tomorrow, things will calm down. But, I have learned, once again, not to ask questions. If I'm to know something, 'they' will tell me. Some things are just not worth the time or effort to stress over.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Why do I live here?

My ex, Scott, and I, moved to BC in 1996. At the time, we were moving there to start a new life, which we did. We got married, had 2 beautiful daughters, a house, and 2 dogs. The whole time we were there, my mother, at least once a week, would let me know how much she missed me and wanted us (me) to move back to Toronto. I loved our life in BC, for the most part. It's a beautiful province and the people are different (in a good way). I made life-long friends there, some of which I think of and miss every day. Anyway, when our married finally ended, moving back to Toronto seemed like a good idea. My mom was always saying things like 'if you lived here, I could help you out more'; 'I miss the girls'; 'we could open a business together'; 'we would get to know each other more', etc. You get the idea...move back and life would be great. As it was, Scott was very verbally abusive towards me, so when the marriage ended and the idea of moving closer to my family sounded good. The girls and I live next to my sister and my mother is 10 minutes away. There are good and bad things about it. We're in a semi-detached home, so we always have to be quiet because my sister's family is quiet. We have dinner together every Sunday night, it's been like that for many years. Most often, that's the only time I see my sister and my mother. My sister is the most private person I know. She doesn't talk about anything of substance. I talk to my mother a couple of times a week, but life is busy. She's always saying how she wants to spend more time with the girls, take them out, and be with them. There's a catch, though...it's only on her time. I've asked her a couple of times to babysit while I go out. Most times she can't as she's busy. I'm thrilled that my mother, 68 years old, has a much better social life than I have. She has a companion and they do everything together. They are exactly like a married couple in love, except they don't live together and he's gay.
This year in particular, things are very busy for me. I'm working full time, and I always have the girls, except every other weekend. I'm also active in my AA groups, but they are noon meetings so I do that during the day. I'm the VP of the daycare Board of Directors. The girls are both in programs (Martial Arts, Brownies, the usual school stuff). I rarely go out, even the weekends I don't have the girls. I don't isolate, but I also don't go out during the week.
When I got the schedule for the daycare Board meetings, I told my mother and asked her if there were any nights she had free, she could spend extra time with the girls (the meetings are once per month) . I know this Tues there's a meeting and she's with the girls.
I was asked to speak at another AA meeting. My neighbour, Eric, goes to different meetings, he goes at night. I was bugging him that he didn't come to hear me last week (it went very well, by the way!). He said next time he Chairs his meeting, he's going to ask me to speak. When you chair a meeting, you run the meeting...get the people who read, get a speaker, and run the meeting. So, he asked me last night if I would speak at his meeting Dec 6, it's a Thurs. I called my mother and asked her if she was available to babysit that night. She freaked at me. Really. She said she doesn't have time at night, she's very busy, and she is NOT here to babysit my kids while I go out. She really reamed me out. Well. That was a lot in a short conversation. I told Eric that I would speak, but I have to get a sitter. I started to get upset at my mother. Yes, I know she has a life, she's not a babysitter. However, to my defense, she's always telling me she wants to spend more time with the girls. Since they are at school during the day, it leaves the night for her to spend time with them. What happened to 'if you lived here...'? I rarely ask my mother for anything, often if I do I get the same response...'I can't afford it' or 'I'm busy that night'. I haven't asked her for anything material in more than a year. I was very upset by her reaction and vowed that I won't ask her again to babysit. She can see the girls once a week, since that's the time that everyone has put aside for dinner.
She ended up calling me back to apologise. I didn't hear my phone, but she left a messge telling me she was sorry. I didn't call her back, so of course she called me back. I was still upset, but told her it was fine, I would get a sitter.
The more I thought about it, the more upset I got about it. Why did I move back to a city I disliked? I hate the weather, there's too many people, no mountains, and just too busy for me. It's also not as safe as Maple Ridge, where we lived in BC. The reason we moved back was to be closer to my family. Well, we are a lot closer to my family, but it doesn't seem to make any difference. I actually talked to my sister and my mother more when I lived in BC. I know at some point we have to move from this house, probably at the end of the school year. I was going to try to stay in this area, but realistically, it's not my first choice. It's close to work, and the school is great, but there are other good schools out of the city. I can worry about the job once we decide on a place to live.
My mother called me again this morning. She apologised again. She said that I'm a good person who only does good thing for other people and I didn't deserve to be talked to that way. She said some of what I was thinking. We moved her so we could see each other more. We don't. She said that she's going to make more of an effort to spend more time with the girls. That doesn't mean that I want her to babysit all the time. I know it's going to be a long time, if ever, that I ask her to babysit, but I don't think she'll be as rough with me. I also told her that speaking at an AA meeting is important, and I was going to do it anyway. I was asking her first if she was available to spend time with the girls, not to use her as a babysitter.
One of the main differences now that I'm in AA is that now I can let things go once they happen. I don't have a resentment because of the way she yelled at me. I'm not moping and thinking that I'm going to move far away. It's over and done with, for me at least.
We still have to wait to see if she is available for Dec 6, the original reason I called her. Funny how that just dissapears when other stuff happens.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Me? A speaker???

I was asked to speak at my Mon noon meeting. I've been on the committee for a few months, becoming active in the group. I'm secretary there, means I stand at the front and say the announcements and hand out chips to those who have earned them (first year of sobriaty, 1/3/6/9 months, plus a chip for anyone who has a desire to quite for the day).
Beth, a woman who has been in the program the same lengh of time as me, has asked me to speak at this meeting. I knew the time was coming when I'd be asked, just didn't know when it would be. Being asked to speak is a fairly big deal. It means that you go the the front of the room and share your story, your experience, strength, and hope with fellow alcoholics. There's usually about 50 people or so at this meeting. Since it's the first time I am speaking and sharing my story, I'm a tad bit nervous about it. What could I possibly say that may help someone else? I don't really know what the answer is, but I'm going to give it my best. I have learned so much from other people sharing, it's really what AA is all about. I know one thing I really want to say: the alcoholism really is a disease, and it's not something you can help doing. It doesn't mean that you are a weak person, it means that you are sick and need help. I've learned over time that AA meetings are my 'medicine'. I have a thyroid problem, I've been on suppliments for years. It's a sickness. In that respect, AA cannot cure me, but it can maintain me.
Wish me luck tomorrow. I think I'll be okay as long as I speak from the heart.