Long weekend

Middle of a long weekend. Some things are better, some other things seem worse. Life goes on.

My last post was about loneliness. So about half of that turned out to be true. The friend with the mental health issues indeed has not contacted me for many weeks. Maybe she is dropping me as a friend. I could call her, and I likely will in a few more weeks. Usually she called me – she had to be in the mood to talk, so mostly, I’d wait for her to call. She is fragile, and I know the way she has handled other people who have said things she found hurtful has been to drop them. So we’ll see.

The other friend though, that I’d thought had found new friends so no longer needed me….OK, we’ve been out together twice since my post, and may see each other again tomorrow. So I was too pessimistic about her. When she phoned me, I brought up our last meeting, where she and her friend didn’t seem to want to hang out with me. She said that wasn’t true at all, however, they had waited for me for a while, and so were ready to go home sooner than I was. So I was half right, there was a problem, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought. So I do jump to negative conclusions sometimes.

This friend of mine, E, is an extremely competent individual, with a very good job and an advanced degree. We actually get along best when she runs into some kind of emotionally painful issue. I can listen for a long time, and I don’t judge. I try not to give advice, though, OK, I do give some. Anyway, I feel closer to her when she has issues. Last night we spent time on a patio drinking wine and talking, and it was pretty nice. She thanked me for listening.

So I am feeling a bit more socially connected than I had been. I do miss Ron. He’s back next week, so I’ll see him Thursday. Since my panicky emails of two weeks ago, I haven’t contacted him. He’d offered a check in call if I wanted it for this week, but I didn’t set one up with him. I had the feeling that that might just stir up feelings, and it would be more comfortable to just have no contact.

I had a bad week work-wise. I had a problem at work two weeks ago, which I wrote about here, which a week later came back to haunt me. This terrible manager spoke to me in an angry way every single day last week about this same stupid problem, which I could do nothing about anyway, as I didn’t have the document back. I hated her so so much. This does sound juvenile, but I think she triggers the kid part of me.

On the day I finally got this document back, in order to make the changes she wanted, I had to deal with one of the directors there. She complained about me to him so loudly, the whole department heard about it. I was sitting at my cubicle furious, since this was entirely unjust.

So the next day, Friday, is her last day before a two week vacation. So she pulls me into a meeting room, says I haven’t been looking too happy lately (duh – because you are attacking me every day and I can’t take it), what’s wrong. I buy some time by saying I haven’t thought about how to put this. She launches into speech. She is concerned that my contract is ending and she wants to proceed to get me in there full time. What? Then why treat me like this??

I tell her I didn’t appreciate how she handled things about this documentation mistake this past week (which was mostly caused by her, though I don’t say that). That I don’t function well once she comes over and freaks out. When this problem first came to light, I’d been working all day trying to get a complicated document ready really fast, as it was behind schedule, and that once she came over yelling, my mind just blanked out.

The interesting thing about her is she is not perturbed when I tell her negative things about herself. She says yeah, she should try and be a calmer person, her boyfriend tells her the same. Well – good luck with changing your entire personality (I don’t say this). But I do say I need her to try and approach me in a calmer way.

So after our talk, where she has said things like she was the person who fought to hire me, over doubts of her boss and my predecessor….Who knows. Kind of bizarre. But she’s positioning herself as my big ally at work.

I felt better after our meeting. Which is confusing, because I had just been certain that I would not continue with this job. Then I felt better, after talking to her, though I know nothing will likely change. The thing is, I deeply do not want to start somewhere else again right now. It is so hard to learn a new job, a new body of knowledge, all new people. I’ve done it every six months now for a few years, and I feel I cannot do it anymore.

However. I’ve been deeply frustrated and angry at this job. I takes me so long to recover.

I don’t know what to do. She hasn’t officially offered it to me yet, so I haven’t had to commit. She’s just strongly indicated she wants me in it.

I can’t seem to figure out what i want to do.

Tonight I talked to my son. He’s been completely disabled by what we thought were allergies for a few years now. He’s feeling worse again he said. I got exasperated with him on the phone – he doesn’t seem willing to help himself at all, to look for any treatments at all. I don’t know.

I just now looked up multiple chemical sensitivities, which might be what’s wrong with him. There doesn’t seem to be much you can do for them.

He’s always been all about avoidance, and not about trying to get his body into better health. I always felt that he should look for something that would help his body not be so reactive. That does work with my allergies. However, for MCS, as this is called, that doesn’t seem to be done.

No one has officially diagnosed him with anything. He never was doing terribly well, to tell the truth, so the whole thing is mystifying. It’s not like he had a normal life and was stricken down.

I got angry on the phone, but the truth is, I feel so helpless. I don’t know how to help. He feels if we could set him up outside of the city somewhere, if he was away from polluted city air, he would feel better, and would be able to get a job. He has no training or experience in anything, so it would be some kind of service job I suppose. I have no confidence he would feel better, that he would take care of himself, or that he would be able to get a job. But that is his vision. Somehow, get someone to give him money so he can move out of the city, then his problems will be solved.

I do feel despair when I try to engage with this. I don’t know what’s psychological and what’s physical. It’s been years, without a diagnosis and with no progress at all.

He was always extremely difficult, he picked his father and not me, and has many of his father’s beliefs. His father’s beliefs are not very workable as far as I’m concerned. I don’t know. Maybe it is all physical. Maybe it’s all psychological. The fact is I don’t know how to help him. He doesn’t have so much as a diagnosis – the medical system has not been helpful in the least.

I’m going to try not to dwell on this sorrow. I should try and go to see him tomorrow. He won’t get on public transportation to come to me for dinner, so I must drive up to my parents’ and take him out for a meal. It’s difficult.


  1. I was thinking about you, so its strange you should post at this precise moment. When I’m low, I completely isolate, and my friends get upset because I’m not letting them in, but I don’t want to be a burden so I continue avoiding them, thinking that when I get better, I’ll make it up to them. They end up frustrated though. So maybe its more about me protecting myself then protecting them. I don’t know, but either way, I figure people will come and go and I shouldn’t take it personally. Perhaps your friend thinks like me. Plus days just seem to roll into one and time passes, its easy to forget then the last conversation was. As for your son, he’s responsible for himself, you shouldn’t give yourself a hard time. Only he can help himself. I’m sorry work is rough at the moment. Be good to get into the new job. Take care, x

    • Ellen said:

      It could be, that my friend is low and is isolating….Just a coincidence.

      Your kids remain your kids, even when they are grown. It’s really hard to see my son disabled. It’s true though, he has to help himself somehow.

      Thank you Penny

  2. I think it’s important, the insights you’ve made regarding your friends. In terms of the MCS, my fiancĂ© has this.

    Not only do I completely understand the frustration from a care giver perspective but it is so hard to sympathize cause you often can’t see it. Also, depending on the person, it can be used as an excuse.

    What helped us is hypoallergenic everything in the house – pillows, pillowcases, mattress cover, etc. As well as air conditioning, cleaning constantly, and non chemical cleaning tools. He has a neti pot and a regimen of vitamins and antihistamines – and he doesn’t drink. He also gets allergy shots and has a really good allergist. It’s been a long road but has been manageable if we are vigilant. And it’s slowly getting better. Hopefully some of those suggestions may help.

    • Ellen said:

      Wow, interesting your fiance has MCS. I’d barely heard of it before. Does he have an official diagnosis? My son doesn’t, but this seems to fit. Doctors have really been of no help. My son rinses his sinuses also, and sometimes uses anti-histamines. The allergist he saw said he didn’t test positive for allergies, despite having some obvious sinus-type problems. The way he’s dealing with it is to avoid everything – more and more things seem to be a trigger for him. But he says he only feels good in a Starbucks in the neighbourhood, with no carpets and not much in it. I don’t know. He is entirely disabled by whatever it is, and it’s really frustrating and just frightening, because we don’t know what it is, and my son is not very co-operative in trying to get help.

      Good to know your fiance is getting better and having enough of a life to be engaged! Thank you Paper.

  3. I’m sorry. This seem like so much to deal with. I hate you struggle so much with that job. I do hope it gets better.

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks DID. Well, the job improved – my boss is away for two weeks’ vacation, and I feel much better! And I feel somewhat less lonely also. Cheers.

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