Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Nothing Left. Face Down in the Mud. Empty.

I am scraping the bottom.

I feel as though I have drained every ounce of... everything that I have. I have no new ideas. I have nothing left to give. There is nothing left in my tank. My account is in negatives. I am empty.

It seems as though the entire world has been telling me that I'm not good enough. For anything. And the harder I try, the worse it gets.

Lord knows I'm not perfect. FAR from it. But I'm trying. I've been trying. For soooooooooo long. This pit bull might just be on her last legs. Exhausted. In every way.

I'm not giving up. Don't think that. It's just... I don't know what to do. So what do you do when you don't know what to do?

Ya'll know some of the issues Jason & I have had in the past. And if you've been following for long you know that one of the approaches that I took is realizing that I have no control over him and all I can do is try to be a better wife / mother / person myself. I only have control over me.

So for nearly nine months now I have been trying to be that better person. A better wife to Jason. A better mother to Jena. And so on and so forth, but those being the top two things. I'm not perfect, but I have tried. Oh, how I have tried. And I think I've made great strides. Perfect yet? Nope. Never will be. Better? I think so.

I've been working so freaking hard. Made tough decisions. Stuck it out. Saw a counselor. Dug into God's Word. Read books. Prayed. Did the homework (literally - I had assignments to do). I worked.

I re-evaluated my priorities. What was I willing to do? not do? etc. I gave in on some issues. Stood my ground on others.

Jason has admitted himself that in some ways I am a completely different person than he thought I was. In a good way. In ways that he says, and has expressed repeatedly, are of utmost importance to him in our marriage. Which is why those were the areas I focused on to begin with.

And yet... it's still not good enough. He says it is. But... then finds something else to complain about. He says he's happy. But... then acts in ways that a happy husband just does not. At least not in my eyes.

I worked to become a better mother. Gave up community activities so I could spend more time with Jena. I'm definitely not the perfect mom. Oh, far, far from it. But I try. I try so hard. She's my world, you know. But she just seems... so unhappy with me. She cries so much. Always begging me to spend more time with her, which I just can't. We fight daily. She hits me. Kicks me. Throws toys at me.

And it seems like everyone around me tells me how my parenting is wrong. Everyone. All I know is that I make decisions based on what I believe is best for her, what my brain tells me will work out best for her in the long run. But... apparently I'm doing it wrong.

And to add insult to injury, multiple family members have begun telling me that Jena doesn't actually miss me when I drop her off at daycare. She's just "pushing my buttons", manipulating me to get her way. I think I understand what they're trying to say, but do they have any idea that they basically just told me that Jena... well, that she doesn't love you at all, Jodi, she's just playing with you.

Man, that hurts.

And... at work.

So, I got hired on, right? But my job responsibilities changed very little. Added one new item, but that item I was told would increase my workload by 20-30%. Fine. Well, shortly before I got hired on, my boss got rotated to a new group, and I got a new boss. We're still doing the dance, figuring out our working relationship, but... grr.
He is constantly on my case. I mean, I am darn good at my job. Really am. Perfect? No. But really darn good. Walk-on-water reviews for 6+ years. Other divisions benchmarking my work to take back to their divisions. I'm good, I tell ya.

And... he has admitted to me on numerous occasions that he has no idea what I do, knows nothing about administrative items (budget, website, staffing, etc).

But... he is on my case. About stupid stuff. About big stuff. About everything. Apparently my freaking inbox isn't good enough. Seriously. Like, the inbox on my desk. That my team members, including him, have been successfully using for almost seven years. It's not "apparent" enough. Really? The standard issue inbox, hanging in the standard cubicle position, labelled "inbox" - really?!? I tell ya... stupid stuff.
And... it's not just him! The general manager, who I've always had a good working relationship with, is suddenly nitpicking on everything!
They also made me change my previously agreed upon work schedule, so I can no longer drop Jena off for preschool (left the hallway & cried after that little meeting).

So, I talk to a couple of managers whom I trust and they tell me that because I was hired on, I'm being "watched". Basically, we know you've been here over six years, but now you have to prove that you deserved it. Bullsh*t I tell ya!
So,  I think fine. I'll bust my butt. I'll turn out even better projects. Do whatever they ask. At least put on the appearance that work is my priority (because in reality it will never come before family).

So... is it helping? NO! In fact, last week I worked two hours of overtime. Two measly hours. I actually thought my boss would be pleased. Working on all these projects, putting in the time, twice last week I was the last one to leave the office. Happy boss, right? Nope. Today he told me that they frown on "unneeded overtime" and if I work any (ie. 15 minutes or more) of overtime, I need to send him an email detailing exactly what projects I was working on and why the overtime was needed.

WTHeck?!? Um... how 'bout the fact that you explained to me that my new responsibilities increase my workload by 20-30%? And since I was previously working 37-40 hours a week... it's simple math. How 'bout that? Can I put that down as an explanation?

Oh, and if you're wondering about my time blogging / on message boards / surfing the net, etc. Well, I also have already gotten a talking to about how I'm still "non-exempt" so legally I have to take my breaks. They are not optional, and they will be enforced, so stop skipping them. Although I'm sure being seen taking a break is also perceived as not being dedicated, something else I was told is a perception of me around the office.

So, it seems lose-lose to me. Your workload has INCREASED. You MUST take all of your breaks. We DON'T WANT you to work overtime.

Ridiculous. I feel like I'm being hazed. Been here nearly seven years and I'm being hazed. Geez!


Wow. This post got long.

But basically, I guess you can see where it's coming in on all sides. There's more, but those are the three biggies in a nutshell. It just seems like no one is happy with me. Including me. I'm not happy with me either. But I'm at such a loss.

I know I can improve, in all these areas, but I've just reached a place where I don't know what else to do.

Maybe they're just bad situations, and there is no right answer. Maybe there is a right answer, but I'm so drained I can't see it. Lying flat on your face in the mud sometimes makes it hard to see what's standing right in front of you. I get that. But it doesn't help me to see it.

I know I suck. I'm horrible. I get it. I'm inadequate. I can't do anything right. But I try. Lord, I try.

Sometimes I wonder if it really is all me. If I just really am that screwed up. Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I really am just that bad, that I just really do mess everything up, just by being there.

But, Lord, I hope not.

Because if it turns out that everything really is just all my fault, that everyone really would just be much happier without me because I've just screwed everything up so badly, well... I just don't think I could tolerate that at all. That... might drive me to quit.


Candace said...

I have known you since we were 5 years old and I can tell you something right now... YOU DO NOT SUCK!!!! I love you friend and hope I want you to know... I am here for you.

areyoukiddingme said...

You should go read this...

Re: Firegirl - I used to believe that my daughter (who, when things change at daycare, cries and cries when I leave her) didn't care if I were there or not. But then, she started staying home with my husband a few days a week, and he said "You know, she does actually miss you when you're not here." She also tells me that she will miss me when I'm at work now. I believe her, rather than those who tell me that she's fine once I leave. Yeah, she stops crying, but she does miss me. So, I would bet that FireGirl misses you too.

Sounds like you're having a really rough patch - hold on, ride it out, and change will come.

Steph{anie} said...

I don't even have words for this except to say that I know how you feel. Maybe not in the same ways, but I identify with that feeling of being inadequate. I'm actually looking into EAP at work to deal with that. Know that I'm praying for you and know that despite what you may feel, you're more than adequate! Hugs!!

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