…and trying to sort out why. At this point, I’m pretty sure it’s mostly because of two things — but I’m not sure how much of each.
It seems to have started around last Thursday. That’s the first evening that I remember having trouble sleeping. Friday my wife snapped at me for tossing and turning so much (tempers were very frayed on that trip, and I don’t blame her for it). Saturday and Sunday… I don’t even remember how much sleep I got, but I know I was up late and in to work by 7. Yesterday I only got a few hours of sleep — from around 2:30 to 6, and last night was worse, from about 2 am to 5.
On top of that, during the day I’ve been working at an almost manic pace. I think just so I’m too busy to fall asleep — but when I do get an opportunity for a nap I can’t take it. (I worked through my llunch hour, which is why I feel justified in taking the time to write about this, now.)
It’s a mess.
Anyway, on to the why of it.
The big thing that happened Thursday was that it was our first day away from grandma. I feel like a horrible person just saying that, but the fact is that the trip before then was extremely anxiety making. Everyone was upset, and we were all cramped together so we couldn’t even get away from each other unless we’d taken a rest stop break.
So I think some of this — a lot of it, really == is a reaction to getting out of that rather toxic environment. Because once the major stressor creating that environment wasn’t there, I stopped being able to sleep.
I know, I know;It doesn’t quite make sense that I should start acting like I’m breaking down after the stressor is gone. But what I think happened is that I’d been holding myself together because there was no real escape from the stress. So once it left, I had a whole backlog of it to deal with.
Which leads into how I deal with stress: by freaking out about time scarcity and not getting enough done.
See, that ‘vacation’ by and large sucked. I won’t say it didn’t have some fun points, or good points — but by and large, I don’t think anyone spent more of it happy than upset. Which sucks in a personal sense, because that means I’ve come out of it with two impressions, neither of which is terribly rational.
First impression: I screwed up somehow. I clearly wasn’t doing a good enough job of providing a buffer between people or there wouldn’t have been so much upset. I didn’t do as much driving as I’d intended to, I couldn’t shoulder enough of the financial burden to keep grandma from being snappish about the prices of food, gas, or hotel rooms (seriously, did she not think about the cost of this trip at all?). I wasn’t providing enough emotional support to my wife, wasn’t stoic enough to be unaffected by everyone else’s moods, wasn’t brave enough to stand up for myself when I was repeatedly misgendered.
I really should have said something when grandma told me that I “would always be (my masculine birth name here)” as far as she was concerned — as though that were a complement, because ‘who I was’ was so great. Except, of course, that I am who I was. Who I am hasn’t changed — the only thing that has is how I present myself to the people around me. (And even then, not always, because I’m afraid of not passing and I’m scared of how strangers might react.)
Oh, and now I’m not a fucked up, depressed, paranoid, high strung, borderline suicidal fatalist with a superiority complex pretending to be someone she isn’t.
Honestly, if I knew me then and knew me now and somehow thought I were two different people, I’d like the me of now better.
Okay, so, anyway. Impression one: I messed up, and it’s all my fault. Because by definition if I’d done ‘good enough’ at whatever it was I did wrong instead, it would have been good enough to accomplish what I did not achieve as it is. Which is to say: people would’ve been happy.
Which leads into impression two: Last week and much of the time I spent building up to it has been a waste. The amount of good that came out of last week’s trip does not, in my mind, outweigh the amount of negativity and upset we suffered through. The amount of not writing I did last week… Well, there’s nothing good about not writing. But if that had been just a ‘normal’ week instead, that amount of not writing wouldn’t have happened, and I would have about a week in the buffer instead of one and a half chapters, one of which posts tomorrow.
I don’t like it when I plan for something and it doesn’t come to pass. I mean, I’m decent about it if it’s something I try that doesn’t succeed. And I’m better about it if whatever ‘the plan’ was is swapped for something categorically similar — planned on doing the dishes, but need to run laundry first? Okay, swapping chores for chores I can deal with.
Swapping all of the time I spent working overtime to pay for the next step in my transition for a week of everyone being unhappy? No. Not categorically equivalent, thank you very much. But, it is what it is and it’s in the past so it is — at this point in my timeline — immutable. But that means I feel like I have to make up for that time — which I can’t do with my current resources.
I’m sorry, but I have no way to make an extra week come into existence. I might do a little better at earning back some of the funds that were spent, but that just makes the time scarcity crunch worse because I cannot turn one hour into two. Let alone all the hours that, emotionally at least, have gone down the drain.
So, there you have it. I overstressed, and I never did develop good coping methods for dealing with that. So I don’t know what exactly to do about it, but at least now I have a decent grasp of why I’ve been acting like this. So I guess, hopefully, I can try to talk myself down from the next manic surge of ‘must accomplish something, must sacrifice sleep to gain time!’ (The sleep one is particularly bullshitish. Being tired makes me far less productive than the extra time would make up for.)
Anyway, that’s what’s going on in the life of an Eren. Thanks for bearing with me, and sorry it wasn’t more entertaining.