Cardiogirl 19 percent body fat 100 percent fun


a very tangled web


Oh how quickly I went from on top of the world to frazzled and spent. My New and Improved Shiny Blue Ambien CR didn't really do very well Sunday night (or last night for that matter) after two nights of a stellar performance. So I was tired and irritable on Monday. That afternoon on the phone with my brother, Jack, I basically lost it. I'll get to that story in a minute. Before I talked to Jack I did realize (with some amount of surprise) that I am experiencing more anxiety.

Again, the upside here is that I have lost a couple of pounds -- perhaps the equivalent of a small kitten with big paws (4 lbs). However, I should have realized what that meant. Ever since I had three children I have had to struggle to maintain and/or lose weight. Nowadays, the only time I do lose weight is when I am anxious.

It's sort of like the "check engine" light coming on in the car -- it's an indicator of a problem.

So my engine is giving me trouble and I'd love to just trade it in to the dealer and own a new engine, but unfortunately life doesn't work like that.

Experiencing depression makes me feel extremely vulnerable, unhealthy and weak. Jesus didn't pop a Xanax in the Garden of Gethsemane before his crucifixion. I guess the question should be: would Jesus have taken a Xanax had it been offered to him?

Just this week at Mass I was praying after Communion asking God to make me aware of the help He is offering me. Perhaps He is offering medication right now as a crutch. However, I wonder if that's me justifying my actions. Doesn't an alcoholic say the same thing? God is offering me alcohol to help smooth the edges right now. I'll stop when things get better.

Okay, here's the abridged version of my phone conversation with my brother Jack. Also known as "The Last Straw."

I was talking to Jack on Monday and he asked me to send an e-mail to three of my sisters as well as myself from Jack. (Jack is confined to a hospital bed in his house with MS and cannot do much besides talk. He might as well be paralyzed because he cannot sit upright, cannot coordinate his arms or hands to use them and cannot move his legs. I talk to him every day Monday through Friday at 1:30 pm for about an hour.) He wanted to chastise all of us for "attempting to kill" his father. Yes, that was a direct quote and yes, that would be the father that Jack and I share.

(Before I go further, let me intervene and say it turns out my dad is okay, but Jack didn't start out with that information.) I had no idea what he was talking about and immediately started to worry about my father. Is he in the hospital? Did he have a stroke? What's going on? Frequently, my family keeps information from me because I cry. Yes, that is heinous and I am working on that. But my point is that it is completely valid to assume that one of my parents might be in a coma in the hospital and I would be the last to find out because I have been dubbed "too sensitive" in this family.

My dad is okay today but he did not attend Mass on Sunday because he was feeling really bad. He was stumbling about, dizzy, couldn't keep his balance and was falling into his easy chair. He knew he could not help my mother at church feeling like that so they did not go to Mass. It takes a lot to make my dad miss Mass. So Jack's wife called my dad to ask why he missed Mass. That was the story she got.

This is when I lost it and started to raise my voice at Jack. And, unfortunately, I started to cry, which is the kiss of death in my family. I told Jack I did not appreciate him saying that I am trying to kill my father by bringing unhealthy food into the house. I told him I have not been sleeping for the last three weeks and I cannot talk to him anymore. I also let him know this is about ME, not him. I was not in the right mood to let this stuff roll off my back and I was very angry. I also told him, "I am hanging up now. Good bye."

That was my attempt to break the cycle in this family of people randomly hanging up on other people without announcing it first. I wrote about that saga here, if you're interested in the back story. I have asked everyone in my family to tell me when they are going to hang up on me, so I am not attempting to speak to dead air. In turn, I try to lead by example so I felt that I had not abruptly hung up on Jack, as I announced it before I did it.

Of course this has sent shockwaves through the family because Cardiogirl usually sucks it up and says nothing. Or, at the worst, she cries. But for Cardiogirl to say she is angry AND to cry, the world must be imploding upon itself. My sister Claire and my mom and dad were at my brother's house when this happened. So instead of giving me space, I got a bunch of phone calls after that conversation.

My sister Kate also sent me a heads up e-mail last night. Tomorrow (Wednesday), Claire is going to show my father the furious e-mail I sent to Caroline regarding my mom's ER visit last week. If you need a recap on the event that prompted the e-mail, that's over here. So my attempt to spare my father's feelings by eliminating him from the e-mail distribution list was for naught.

And, as usual, my dad is going to be on my back about me speaking my mind to Caroline. He is going to go into the old song and dance about how I am supposed to remain silent and "be the bigger person" because we all know Caroline is so incredibly smart (a genius, really) that she just doesn't have any common sense. So we should let her walk all over us and ask for more please with a big smile.

I am telling you right now, if Caroline opens her mouth to get on my back I am going to go against the advice of my therapist and I will tell the entire family what kind of man Caroline has chosen for her husband. I am so sick and tired of keeping their dirty secret. If you need the back story on that saga, you can read about it here and here.


2007-08-28 at 7:16 a.m.

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