punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Sick Day for Layoff Season

Sick today. My stomach hasn't been so good since this weekend, and because I have been on call, I haven't been able to catch up with my sleep as much as I would have liked. This morning I woke up with a clogged chest and a sour stomach. The stomach is okay now, possibly because of weirdly good news.

I still have a job.

They had the "big layoffs" today. I am just glad it's over. So glad. It was hanging over our heads like the Sword of Damocles. Our team lost no one, our group lost one guy, and our whole department only lost 2% of the workforce, which I suspect was probably people labeled as "needs a firin', wait fer next layoff." I was glad I was sick today, too, because they I could avoid the drama.

My chest is still heavy and hard to breathe, but clearing due to some tea Sawa left and some blueberry drops (I think). The weather is depressing, but my SAD has been, like last year, surprisingly light so far, so the occasional spell isn't as bad. Last night I wanted to be unconscious, and again, I am glad I don't drink. Work is stressful, but now that I don't have this, "Who cares, I could be fired any day now..." hanging over my head, I can probably tackle my work with a new earnest fervor.

Last night, I felt that I hadn't had such a crushing depression is so long, I had the strength to analyze the situation with better clarity. I have always known depression was anger, but it was interesting to see how the curve worked. I have always pictured in my mind that my depression was anger that bent in upon itself, like a parabola. When I was a teen, I was so abused by me environment, that I felt depression was a better form of control than anger. Whenever I got angry, my brain misfired. This is embarrassing. All my wit and coordination drain from my brain like a ruptured boiler, spilling all over the place and mixing everything up. The mere presence of my father, for instance, has this effect; I become a gibbering idiot. Anger has its roots deep in fear, and while I haven't seen him for 6 years or so, I believe that if my father were to walk into my den right now, I'd resort to that bitchy 11 year old, saying random crazy things that had my father nodding in satisfaction that, yes, his son was a useless moron. Everywhere I went, the angrier I got, the more damaging the backlash was. I have always admired people who can be angry AND witty at the same time. My writings have all kinds of clever sayings I wish I had the nerve to say:

"I usually refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person," said Julie, pushing her hair aside. "However, in your case, I feel that if no one in this room knows what a moron you actually are, that I have done a great disservice to Mankind."

"Say what you will, Julie. But I hardly expect people to listen to the chocolate-stained mouth of a little girl," replied Displeasia, who was still bitter the author gave her such a cheap personifier for a name.

"I wasn't finished," said Julie, rising from her chair. In a move that shocked everyone at the party, she actually put the two liter bottle of Mountain Dew she had been nursing all evening and rose from the oversized armchair that had all but dwarfed her. Julie's face was bottom-lit from the glare of a small fountain in the middle of the buffet table, casting an evil shadow into her eyes. "And when I am finished, you spineless creature, you will know it by the applause, because in the years I have known you, I have always known you were too stupid to realize you had lost an argument."

The room was silent. There was a long pause, interrupted by a nervous cough.

"I... I think your impertinence is the kind of thing--"

"I rest my case. You are a buffoon, Lady Displeasia. Your moth-eaten ideas are foul with the stench of a bitter life of should-haves and what-could-have-beens. From the dried husk of a soul that rattles inside your rib cage, only wisps of smoke rise to exit between your yellowed teeth, passing off words as symbols of intelligent thought that fool no one. No one here, no one anywhere. Your only attraction is your vast wealth, of which you did not earn a dime, but gained through the death of foundling husbands still suckling the teats of their elderly mothers, and you were just handy to take over from their maternal corpses to pump the milk of your attention to men who would always stay little boys. And if one of those man-childs should rise against you, you crushed their little spirits with the cruel hatred of what you think the world owes you until they died from the weight of their own crushing neuroses. You are a vampire of wealth and prestige, Queen of the Shallows and a lady who is only as deep as the papery skin that adorns her ragged face."

I totally wish I could say comebacks like that.

But I usually go, "Oh yeah? Well, you... you such are jerk bitch!" Yeah. Real smooth. And then I would get only angrier while the other kids laughed at me. The next logical step was to keep my rage silent, and turn the anger inwards where it did terrible damage. To minimize the pain, I opted to keep the depression on a constant slow simmer, instead of letting it cool from time to time until it exploded from a sudden heat. This probably saved my life, because my suicidal rages were pretty sparse, and rather diffused by the level of constant boo-hooing.

I was too depressed to kill myself. That seems funny to me right now, but it's true!

So, because of this... rather odd choice of behavior (and when I run all the scenarios in my head, it still seems like the best choice of all of the possible ones), I limped through my teen years in a dark haze, so when things really got bad, like my mother's suicide, I was able to deal better. It just seemed normal to me. Horror was my normal life.

But then I left my home, left McLean behind, and it all changed. My old way of thinking was no longer a useful shield, but a wall blocking out the sun. But I couldn't just change because Cheryl told me to cheer up, no, I had to do it piece by piece, bit by bit. The last 18 years, I have been tugging at the threads that make up this tangle, and trying to weave a better cloth of my life, so to speak.

You know what really helped? The fact the world didn't care.

Let me explain this. See, as bad as my life was, I kept getting "advice" from my elders that my teen years were my BEST years, and that any horrors I felt now would seem puny compared to being an adult. So, in my mind, things were only bound to get worse. God damn, why live at all? Of course, I didn't know that many of these adults were bitter, and probably DID have petty complaints as a teen, like zits, being stood up for a date, or losing the homecoming game. The truth is, the real world is NOT a clique, and if you're in one you hate, you can always move. Start a new life somewhere else. Over and over. You're pretty much responsible for your own actions, which was not like high school at all. You had no choice, you say there, and you took it. My father always said that everyone was out to get me, and that he was the only one that cared about me, and he didn't even like me. Gee, thanks. But he was so wrong about things, that I realized that if he said it, it probably wasn't true at all! And so far, so good.

So for 18 years, I have been trying to nibble away at my depression, turn some of my philosophies around like tuning pegs, and become a real person. Memories were my biggest asset and drawback here. Like last night, even though I am almost over my father, I had another fantasy bout of what I would have liked to say to him during all those times he abused me and I just stuttered and stammered. I was feeling pretty sick, so my defenses were low. I tried to sleep, but my mind and body wanted to be awake and suffering. There was a chest cold, asthma, sour stomach, migraines, and depression all banging off each other like ping pong balls in a trash can, making a terrible racket.

When I woke up this morning, I didn't want to get up. I hadn't slept well, I got paged at 3:30am, and I had this overwhelming sense of dread and doom. Turns out, this time I was right, and the layoffs were today. I didn't want to miss it, because I have this fear they'll lay me off, and I'll find out the next day when they tossed all my stuff out. But I did get to miss the shock, people being unable to work, and all the psychodrama that accompanies a layoff (although, truthfully, only one guy on our floor got let go, so it wasn't like we were in a building where different areas had different mood swings).

Some things happen for a reason.

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000679.html
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