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Archive for March, 2020

During this time of extreme social distancing, social media is being flooded with memes and quotes about how important is it to be physically distant, but to work to not be “emotionally” distant.

I get that. We are social creatures, this is going to be very hard for even the most strict introverts.  We are not used to being trapped in our homes, unable to even go to work, grab a coffee, or go to the library.

I consider myself a “social introvert”, meaning… I can function in public and visit with small groups of people fairly comfortably, but I must be able to retreat into my home in the evenings to recoup and restore.  I have only 2 people I actually spend time with outside of work, my best friend/coworker, and my fiance. (who doesn’t live with me)

My reasons for my small circle may be explained with the introvert term, but it also helps to add that I am the mother of a special needs, critically ill, teenager.

My son is my world.  He is the most important thing in my life, and his health and safety during this pandemic are foremost in my mind every waking hour and even some dozy ones.  He has been declared “medically fragile” by his primary care doctor who ordered us to shelter in place.

So now not only am I in isolation with a sullen, scared, hurting teen boy, but I have also lost my daily routine and daily contact with my best friend and fiance’.

As an introvert, I should be rejoicing, but you see, I am also an introvert with depression, PTSD, anxiety and panic disorder.  So staying home to protect my son right now is GREAT with me… really it is… but it’s also terribly scary, lonely and depressing.  I also have to hide so much of myself from my son, I can’t let him see how worried and anxious I really am, because then he begins to question if he will even live through this or not.

I tried to reach out to my friend a couple of times for some comfort and reassurance, but all I have gotten back are flippant nonanswers and sarcasm about my fears. When our boss threatened my job over my taking FMLA to stay home with my son, my friend saw it as a joke. She feels this COVID-19 is no big deal and wants to go back to work despite all the warnings,

I get it that shes antigovernment and hates her life being governed by others, shes a true Vermont girl… What I don’t get, is that shes forgetting 6 years of knowing me, knowing my son, knowing our situation at a very intimate level and dismissing me like I am just someone she sees at the post office on occasion.

So what does this do to my anxious brain? It makes me doubt myself, It makes me start to withdraw deeper into myself, and it creates a wall there in my mind.. it makes me deem her an unsafe person… and that is not what I ever wanted to do.

But that’s me.  That’s my mind.  What do I really need to do?  Stop worrying about her and just do what I need to keep my son safe. She isn’t the one in charge of his care and health… I AM. I am the only one that can care for my son right now in a way that will help protect him from this very contagious and very real disease.

In the end, either she will become a believer or she will gloat about how right she was in it not being a big deal.  Either way… she has lost the confidence and love I had for her… and that makes me truly sad.

 

 

 

 

 

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Depressed

Lately, though, he’d just been tired in general. Tired of people. Tired of books and TV and the nightly news and songs on the radio he’d heard years before and hadn’t liked much in the first place. He was tired of his clothes and tired of his hair and tired of other people’s clothes and other people’s hair. He was tired of wishing things made sense. He’d gotten to a point where he was pretty sure he’d heard everything anyone had to say on any given subject and so it seemed he spent his days listening to old recordings of things that hadn’t seemed fresh the first time he’d heard them.
Maybe he was simply tired of life, of the absolute effort it took to get up every goddamned morning and walk out with into the same fucking day with only slight variations in the weather and food.
He wondered if this was what clinical depression felt like, a total numbness, a weary lack of hope.

Dennis Lehane, Mystic River

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Unlocked

He broke me tonight. He completely broke me, and he doesn’t even know it.
It was really a small comment, and it wasn’t really aimed at me intentionally… but the effect it had on me was gut wrenching. I needed to cry, I know I did… to get it out to feel something, the numbness was starting to suffocate me. But… now that I’ve started I fear I might not stop, and if I don’t shut the door on these thoughts, I fear I may say something damaging to him. Oh how I wanted to scream at him though… god damn it I want to scream and yell and cuss and spew venom at everything.

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