Krissie: Mean to Me

Photo on 2013-01-22 at 09.23 You know, I miss being here every day. Lani and Jenny had a Come-to-Jesus with me and told me I was wallowing, which I was, so we revamped Refab, but I miss coming here every day. Of course, I’m not as down as I was (hallelujah!) which helps. Then again, I’m with Jenny, so that helps too.
Anyway, I need to pop in more often. The reason I wanted to start this was to keep me honest in my efforts to reclaim my magnificence, and just tap-dancing in, doing a number and tap-dancing out is a bore.
So — here’s the deal. The eating isn’t going so well.
Well, fuck it, it’s going better. I’m not eating sweets or succumbing to dessert. Yesterday I had salad and an orange for lunch, an Applebees 550 and under dinner (though we’re getting sick of Applebees) and a breakfast bar for breakfast. Alas, too many goldfish, but hey, that’s really pretty damned good.
Why are we always so mean to ourselves? Even I, who professes to adore myself, can beat myself up with regularity.
Is it human nature, or our culture? Why can’t I be as loving and supportive to myself as I am to my sisters? Well, I do know all the deepest, darkest places in my own heart, so maybe that’s part of it. I know my own failures and weaknesses, my mistakes and every hurtful thing I ever did. Now, most of those hurtful things, close to 100% of them, were accidental. Which doesn’t make me a saint. (Though I always wanted to be one. Seriously.) It’s just that hurting people makes me unhappy. It’s simply self-preservation.
See, that’s me being mean to myself again. I don’t know if I can come up with an answer to that. Except try to catch myself when I do it.
Anyway, I’ve been down here since Friday, and there has been much merriment. I’m doing my best to facilitate Cruisie (notice I don’t say help) in her efforts to get into her house, so we watch tv and crochet and laugh and shop and eat and laugh. She goes off to paint, I nap or work on my novella or deal with the massive and expensive hackery that was done on my website, curse their evil souls. Today I take Jenny to get a shot in the eye (shudder) and then we’ll come home and snuggle down. Before that, though, she’ll paint and and I’ll work
But back to the beginning of today’s post. It’s hard to be depressed and not wallow. Hard to grieve and not mope. Hard to smack yourself upside the head … there’s me being mean again … and say “get over it.”
Maybe that’s why people grieve in private and hide their depression. But you know, I’ve never been particularly discreet or private (who knew?). It’s hard to tell when you cross the line. I was watching Joe Biden yesterday, and the sheer exuberance for life that he has, and remembered that he lost a wife and a young child. Those things can scar a person for life. But they don’t have to.
There must be some middle ground, of examining things openly and honestly, accepting things, and moving on.
Maybe some day I’ll learn.
I’ll take photos today (no, not of the shot in the eye) so you can see what it’s like around here. Cold and snowy and very beautiful. Yes, I said beautiful and it’s NJ. Then again, I grew up in Princeton, which is beautiful as well.
And I will be absolutely lovely to myself. Or there’ll be hell to pay.

71 thoughts on “Krissie: Mean to Me

  1. I think that beating ourselves up thing is societal. Though I’ve yet to make it to Europe, I’ve heard they aren’t as hard on themselves over there. Women in France and Italy seem to have a confidence regardless of their dress size. I’d like that kind of confidence.

    We like seeing you every day so I don’t think you’ll get too many detractors on this. Keep laughing and can’t wait to see the pictures.

    Oh, and where did the polka dots go??

  2. Amy says:

    I’ve found that the best way to stop being mean to myself was to begin with the voices in my head. Every time I thought “Way to go, genius” or called myself names in my head, I would physically stop, reframe the thought, and replace it with a kinder name. I no longer call myself dumbass even in my own head; my mental names have been replaced with “doll” or “baby girl.”

    This may sound like so much psychobabble, but it absolutely works. It took some work to catch myself in the act and reframe my mental speech, but it eventually became habit. And from there, I found it so much easier to extend the kindness to myself I’d give to others.

  3. Jane F says:

    I’ve really missed your daily posts and the honesty that came with it. For some reason, I always found them the most helpful and reassuring part of refab.

    If you want to come back to daily posts, I’m all for it. We can work on not wallowing together.

  4. Librarian Betty says:

    “It’s hard to be depressed and not wallow. Hard to grieve and not mope. Hard to smack yourself upside the head … there’s me being mean again … and say “get over it.””

    I want to believe that there’s a time for everything in life. I mean, it’s not all going to be roses, you know? Without the dark, there is no light blah blah blah. Yeah, that’s directed at me, not at you. I’m struggling here.

    My beloved cat died three weeks ago—he was 13 years old and I thought he’d be with me for a lot longer. I feel cheated, I’m angry at myself for not feeding him better food (and I thought I was feeding him good food), and I’m lonely that he’s gone. He was my buddy. People say “get another cat” but I’m not ready. I will be in time but not now. I still hear him chirping at me to wake up in the mornings and it breaks my heart that he’s not there.

    My 6 year relationship with my guy has reached the end of its rope. We’re in the final stages of the parting of ways although it’s all unspoken. Basically, we just don’t see each other, I’m not a priority in his life the way his job is, and I don’t see it changing. He’s never met my son. He’s not there for me and I deserve someone who has time. I’ve seen him once in the past month when we had coffee. That’s it. He’s too busy. And he took full credit on a joint project we worked on over the summer. Can I say that bugged me?

    Don’t get me started about work because I hate my job. Teaching in New York State right now is a joke. Everything I do is reduced to a statistically derived number, they add the numbers up at the end of the year and assign me a value. That value determines how good a teacher I am (and whether I have a job next year). Big giant WTF. I’m a human being, not a number value. There’s nothing in there about how well I listen when kids have a problem not related to academics, there’s nothing in there about my flexibility in working with others when the others are lazy and dump their kids in the library for me, and there’s nothing in there about being a librarian as opposed to a classroom teacher. Square peg, round hole=story of my life!

    Krissie, I apologize that I just hijacked your thread and maybe I shouldn’t put this out there but I’ve held it all in for so long and it’s just spewing out of me (yes, like the stomach flu, why do you ask?!). You’re right though about wondering where it stops being grief and starts being moping. I feel like I should be grateful I have a job, my own home not dependent on a relationship with some guy, and that I had 13 wonderful years with my pet but, you know, some days it feels like it’s all gone to shit and no matter what I do, this is what I get.

      • Maine Betty says:

        Yikes, that’s a lot of loss. But don’t worry, that was not a spew, it was just a review of the facts.

        I don’t think I like your boyfriend.

        So sorry about your loss, without the comfort of the company of my cat, I know that many of the rude facts of life would be even harsher. My girlie is 12, so I know she’s ‘senior’, but I hope for as much time as she’s happy living. One day you’ll be ready.

        • Librarian Betty says:

          The boyfriend’s not a bad guy but he is quite possibly one of the most “stuck” people I know. It has been difficult arriving at the conclusion though that his “stuckness” is not my problem to solve. *sigh* I can’t fix him and it’s about time I stopped trying.

    • Jennifer.nennifer says:

      So sorry about your cat; people who don’t have pets just don’t understand.

      I think this community is happy to have you let it out to us. Sometimes life just sucks, no matter what one “should” be grateful for. May the universe send you light and clarity and new opportunities.

    • So sorry about your cat. When my ‘buddy’ left me it was 6 months before I could look at another cat. It’s not that I haven’t always had cats through my life, he was just ‘special’. But in time you will feel better and want some new friends. I have three making me crazy these days. But you have to let it happen in its own time. {{{HUGS}}}

      The boyfriend’s gotta go. You definitely deserve better.

      As for your ‘worth’ as a librarian, it’s too bad the parents can’t count on your behalf. I know our school librarian and the absolute crap she has to put up with. I’ve helped her at the school a time or two and both my kids spent most of their study halls working in the library. Oooh, the stories. All the powers that be should be required to spend a week in your shoes. They have absolutely no idea how much work you do in any given day. And that’s without helping the kids out with what they need, academic or other. Many {{{HUGS}}} your way.

    • Amie says:

      So sorry for the kitty loss!! And, don’t be angry at yourself about food. I’m sure he had a wonderful life with you. And, feral and actual wild cats are scavengers – trust me, they eat tons better with people then they ever would on their own.

      And, I think you deserve more from a life partner, so I think you should close that door. And, I would be pissed if someone who is supposed to be with me took full credit for something we did together – #@*$&)(*&#()!!

    • Cindy says:

      I’m sorry for the loss of your cat. That made me cry. I can’t even imagine losing my beloved dog, Bill. He curls up with me on the couch every single night, and we watch crap TV, or Doctor Who, or whatever catches my eye. I can’t even imagine your pain. ((((( hugs )))))

      Your boyfriend sounds like an ass, so, good riddance. But I’m sure like everything else in life, it’s easier said than done.

      And so sorry that your job sucks. I hope your year turns around.

    • H says:

      There are days you know intellectually that the good things are true, and then there are days when you FEEL the good things are true. Does that make sense? And for me, anyway, those days don’t always overlap. Hope venting helped, and that some new good stuff comes your way this week. 🙂

    • I agree. Sometimes you have to let it out. And it’s not like being grateful is all or nothing. You can be grateful for what you have at some times and be frustrated at what you don’t at others — or feel both at the same time. I think living all the time in only one of those states can be problematic — noting only the negative is not realistic and can lead to a wallowing and general dissatisfaction that makes life worse, not better. But despite having much to be glad of, we can also feel that there is more we need. Allowing ourselves to recognize that provides the motivation for change. Besides, sometimes a good vent is just the release one needs to get up and going again.

    • Librarian Betty says:

      You know, I worried all the way to work that I had pressed the “submit comment” button in haste and questioned the wisdom of having posted but, when I got back here a few hours ago, the kindness and understanding I found waiting erased all my doubts. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    • Jill says:

      LB, I am sorry about the loss of your fur baby 🙁

      It bothers me that you have been in a relationship for 6 years and the man has not met your son.

  5. Speaking as a European, I think we’re even worse than you lot, if anything. Possibly different round the Mediterranean – also different religious roots: Catholic rather than Protestant. But I suspect it’s religion + culture that does it – I’ve heard enough mention of ‘Catholic guilt’, even if I’ve only got first-hand experience of the Protestant variety.

      • Thanks, Jane. I was wondering if France and Italy were exceptions or the norm. I’ll get there someday to see for myself. 🙂

        I’m a cradle Catholic, though I escaped the cradle several years ago. That guilt thing is harder to escape.

        • Oh, yeah. Church of England: left when I was 17. But the Jesuits were right (‘Give me a child until he is seven . . . ‘). And it’s not just guilt: ‘I am not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under Thy table . . . ‘ Plus of course, it was all Eve’s fault.

          • Makes me laugh! I was raised Catholic, too. Even after many decades of being out of the church there are moments where I realize, you can take the girl (ahem!) out of the church, but you can’t take the church out of the girl.

          • Micki says:

            I think a great deal of it has to do with the kind of people who get held up in the press and in books. (-: They don’t tend to put depressive, guilt-ridden people who are stuckin their lives in the newspaper (or on the internet) — unless they get unstuck rather spectacularly. (-: It would be wonderful if we could say, “I’m Swedish, so I’m guilt-free.” But I don’t think it necessarily works that way. Guilt manifests in many shapes and forms . . . .

  6. Mama_Abbie says:

    Krissie, your title made me laugh. I “heard” it in my daughter’s voice as she used to say it all the time in a fake small little sad voice whenever her boyfriend or one of our exchange students teased her.

    Glad that you a Jenny are having fun and supporting each other and so sorry that your web-site got hacked. Grrrr…there has to be a special circle in hell for folks that get their jollies by hacking web-sites.

  7. Wouldn’t it be nice if it was all wine, roses and chocolate but it’s not. Crap happens. The problem comes when we can’t shake it off, which is hard to do with depression as I well know.

    I’ve been thinking about this. Things are still basically crap with my husband, but most of the time I’m happy within myself. (must be the meds.) So why is it that I can be pretty happy even thought things are not? I wish I knew.

    • Amie says:

      I think it is a response based on your personality and being “human”. Many people can find contentedness, even in crappy or miserable conditions. I know there were a few years in my marriage where I just went day by day with how I felt about our relationship – many days were I just kept to myself and basically had minimal contact with him. I was able to find contentedness in that situation. Thank goodness we have moved beyond that and are now closer than we were before, but I know that makes us an exception, not the norm. I think the best thing that happened was we separated for 4 months in 2011. Made us both appreciate each other so much more – and gave us a much needed break from each other 🙂

  8. Lois says:

    I miss your daily posts too Krissie.
    I have spent quite a bit of time wallowing in grief and depression myself. I feel like I am in a different place with it but it has really changed me. I am a very different person than I was before all the loss. This caused a sort of meltdown for me while was out of town. I was doubting myself and certainly my ability to pursue my career. After lots of soul searching and listening to several excellent speakers, I feel better. I feel like I can except this new me – I don’t know her very well yet but I’m going to work on that.

    Have a wonderful time with Jenny!

  9. Everything changes us in some way, and the transition isn’t always pretty. I can’t blame you for wallowing: I spent a very long time drowning in grief after my mom died. These things happen.

    I hope you are truly feeling better. We want to give you support and props and everything else. So come when you want and say what you want. And if you start to wallow, I’m sure your sisters will talk to you again.

    It’s always good to see you here.

  10. Kim G. says:

    I think that there is tremendous pressure to feel bad about ourselves if we are overweight. Our problem is visible to the world, many are judging us, and the hateful comments never stop. We are lazy, we are a drain on the health care system (although many of us have no health issues), and we are stupid. We are told over and over again that we are failures because we can’t just watch what we eat. Despite numerous studies to the contrary, people still think that it’s only about the number of calories that we consume.

    And we face this food demon 3 times a day, 7 days a week. We may be achieving great things in our aspects of our lives, but we are still judged by our weight. In light of all of this, it’s no wonder that you are hard on yourself. But you are more than the sum total of your weight, and I hope that you can treat yourself more kindly. Food is not a moral issue. You are not Hitler because you struggle with food. At least that’s what I tell myself on the darkest days.

  11. Love the new hairstyle. That’s the length you should always wear. Very flattering.

    I was mean to myself yesterday when sending promo emails to friends about the coming release of my books. I felt like I was writing a medical disclaimer: might cause dyspepsia, anal leakage, or gout. I caught these negative comments and deleted them but it happened more than once. Why is it I can promote every man and his dog but not myself?

    Anyway last night I watched Downton Abbey and madly scribbled down a line that Violet (Dowager Countess of Grantham) said: “Don’t be defeatist, it’s very middle class.” She (Maggie Smith) of course had that wonderful haughty expression as she said the words and it made me grin.

  12. Jennifer.nennifer says:

    Your open and honest sharing is always valuable.

    So what is the difference in activity where one is wallowing? I can be wallowing even if I keep it to myself, so that’s not part of the definition. It’s not exploration of self, though it has a superficial resemblance. And how does one catch oneself either from wallowing or being mean? Can we have something like this for a topic for the day? Unless I am the only one interested. I think I would be even MORE fabulous if I was clearer on this.

  13. Office Wench Cherry says:

    Love the Dowager Countess quotation, that made me laugh.

    I know what you mean about the line between genuine feeling and moping/wallowing/feeling sorry for yourself. I’m facing that line now too. I’m so damn tired, work is so stressful and I’m just about ready to take a sledgehammer to my right leg to get out of driving here (kidding) but I’ve got to keep going. I want to take some time off but I can’t. People need me to do my job. I need to do my job to get paid. I need to put on my big girl panties and deal but all I want to do is take a nap. So, on the one side are genuine problems and on the other is a whiny child feeling sorry for herself.

    It would help too if it would stop effing snowing. In the past week we’ve had about 8″ of snow and there’s another 3-4 in the forecast. It’s the price we pay for living in north central Alberta, I know but, geez, will ya just quit already???

  14. So glad you and Jenny are having fun. And absolutely no pics of eye shots. Just eeeew.

    I would like more posts from you. I think your struggles and successes help others to deal with their own. However, if it is contributing negatively to your life then set a limit. I think the concept of middle ground could be further explored. What is it? And how do we find it? It seems that for alot of us, we keep swinging from one extreme to another.

    Anyhoo, glad you’re feeling better and looking forward to the pics!

  15. Krissie, we’ve always got your back here at ReFab, so feel free to tell us whatever needs unburdening. We will be here with virtual tea and words of comfort and always hugs and support. That support is something I’ve come to depend on here–bless you all, Refabbers!

    Still fighting the pain in my foot–spent about half an hour this morning crying over it and feeling like a large blob of icky. But friends came by and got me out for a couple of hours–really helped to let the sun shine on my face. Came home just now and am taking a pain pill and a nap, even though there is editing that needs doing. I got a lot done yesterday and I simply don’t have it in me today. Well…maybe later, but right now Vicoden and sleep sounds just about right.

  16. Mitchiewitch says:

    Kate – the best piece of assvice a friend’s therapist (who she saw after her father’s death in her 33rd year of a difficult marriage) gave her was to decide whether she was better off remaining in the marriage or getting out of it. To consider everything on the pro & con sides; emotional, spiritual, physical & financial issues as well as impact on other immediate family members, but to base her final decision on her own needs. The thing is it took her a year to make that decision (live separately while going to couples’ counseling) and having the pros & cons down on paper really helped her see things clearly because she was able to see how things changed and/or didn’t during that time. Maybe this technique could work for you.

  17. Chris S. says:

    Grief is a big, complex tangle of emotions: sorrow, regret, anger, confusion. It’s not simple, and neither is its progress. There isn’t a ‘Finish Grief’ box to tick off. You must allow yourself to feel what you need to feel.

    That said, wallowing isn’t about need, but want. We can tell the difference in other people; we can usually tell in ourselves.

    Also, I’m with Robin: please no eye/needle pictures.

  18. Cindy says:

    I’ve been somewhat nicer to myself. But life is starting to pile up. I have a uterine fibroids that is 8cm x 6cm, so my belly is pretty big right now. It also doesn’t help that I’m eating like a pig, and I have no self control. So…I’m kind of in this self-denial zone right now. I feel bad about my appearance, but I’m doing nothing about it. I just avoid the mirror. I’m allowing a lot of responsibilities pile up, and I’m pretending they’re not there. Blergh!

    • Cindy, sorry about the fibroid. Hope that is taken care of soon. Other than that I can relate to everything you wrote here. I’m avoiding getting on the scale because I’ll want to cry, but I can see it in the mirror. I can see what I’m doing. I can also see the mess around my house and know that I need to organize stuff, but I keep ignoring it.

      Not sure how to get myself motivated in these areas. Blergh is right!

      • Cindy says:

        I know…I can’t get myself motivated. I keep doing all the wrong things, baking, cooking mac and cheese from scratch, you name it. Jeeze!

        • Oh babe. I hope you can get rid of that thing soon. And go to PT to restabilize your core once it’s gone. The biggest one (of 20+) I had removed was 11.5 x 8 cm and it took a year to begin to get my hip bones even again. On the bright side in the meanwhile, you’ve got homemade mac and cheese!

          • Cindy says:

            I hope you are here to answer this. Did you get a hysterectomy or an embolization? I’m trying to figure out the best treatment. The last OB/GYN gave zero info. She just said “you don’t want surgery,” in the meantime I can barely sit without my legs going numb. My periods are SO painful. And I look pregnant.

          • Jill says:

            Been where you are . You do want surgery for the fibroids. Mine were a long time ago and there are more efficient surgical procedures now.

  19. I’ll take photos today (no, not of the shot in the eye) so you can see what it’s like around here. Cold and snowy and very beautiful. Yes, I said beautiful and it’s NJ. Then again, I grew up in Princeton, which is beautiful as well.

    Thank you for sticking up for my home state. Most of New Jersey is quite beautiful. They didn’t nickname it the Garden State for nothing. I hate it when I tell people that I’m from Jersey and they commiserate. Even thought I live in the Florida Keys, I love it up home and will always have Jersey shore sand in my sandals.

    And I will be absolutely lovely to myself. Or there’ll be hell to pay.

    Stinkin’ thinkin’ doesn’t do you any good, Krissie, so it’s important to be lovely to yourself. I’m a fan of being able to look clearly at ourselves and our issues while reducing the number of times we beat ourselves up for the issues. Sometimes it’s a balancing act.

    It’s good to have friends and sisters who can help us check the status of our own reality. After my Mom died, I didn’t realize how much I was still wallowing 18 months later. I’m glad some good friends gently brought it to my attention that I was letting my pain and grief adversely affect all areas of my life. This helped me to look at myself and condition with more objectivity. It didn’t mean that I grieved less, but it kept me from letting the grief trash parts of my life that needed to stay whole. I learned that grief has its place but I could put a boundary on it so that my whole life didn’t dissolve into wallowing.

    • Kieran says:

      Damn right Jersey rocks. I lived there for a couple years, and it was gorgeous. People don’t know what they’re talking about when they put it down.

      • I grew up in Jersey. There were so many places there were just beautiful. I’m out in Colorado now and it’s a wonderful place to live — but every fall I still miss the beautiful colors I grew up with. I remember collecting leaves and ironing them between pieces of wax paper to “preserve” them. Not that it did. I loved collecting them though.

  20. My galpals and I met up for a come to cheesus meeting on Sunday. Woo boy did stuff come out for all three of us.

    Best bit? We ran into my friend K’s friend who was very inspiring. Inspiring? Why? Third time blessed in love. She didn’t let the first two (horrid) times make her withdraw from life. She kept on trying.

  21. Catherine says:

    My self check question is… Is it helpful? This question tends to stop me spiraling into harsh self criticism, over long wallowing, perfectionist tendencies, and fear.

    Usually I check whatever is gnawing at me and look to see if there is clash somewhere in my inner and outer worlds and my values. It may take me a little while to work out where the disturbance in the force is coming from… But I’m ok with that. I like a considered approach.

    Then I try to work out where I may be able change either my actions and or attitude. I use …is it helpful, throughout this process. This is how I’ve found my middle ground.

  22. Catherine says:

    Oh I think I need to mention that I think wallow time is highly individual. For me a wallow is just part of larger change cycle and can be helpful as such. Everyone’s timing at getting out of wallow mode is individual to their situation and life experiences though. At least that’s what I’ve observed…

  23. KellyR says:

    Now I have the Crowded House song “Mean to Me” running through my head. Not a bad thing. Neil Finn has been my imaginary boyfriend since I was 14.

  24. I never thought of what you were doing as wallowing. I thought of it as fighting. Anyway, I thought your honesty was moving and profound. I like to hear (read?) your voice, whatever you have to say.

  25. I’m sorry about your cat, Librarian Betty. When the cat I had for years died, I cried when I walked by the pet food section at the store. How silly is that?

    I’ve been following and lurking mainly for awhile and it sounds like your eating is way better! You didn’t even mention diet cokes. I love Princeton too:)

  26. Kieran says:

    Krissie, I miss you, too. You’re so completely lovable. I miss my daily Krissie fix. I wish you were doing My Net Diary. Are you? I am again. Sigh. I have never lost more than five pounds at a time in my life, even though I know scientifically up and down exactly how to do it. I hate being deprived, which is why THIS time, I’m getting on the elliptical at home every chance I get so I can keep having my chocolate. The best thing about My Net Diary is that it tells me exactly how many calories I’ve fallen short of my daily goal. Like today I was 156 calories short at 6 pm. So what did I do? I watched Downton Abbey for 156 calories–in fact, I stayed on for 200!

    • Krissie says:

      I need to face up to things and do My Net Diary again. I deserve to feel better, physically, and being thinner makes me feel better. (See, I avoided self-battering talk very well).

  27. I miss the daily updates, too, although not so much since Krissie is here now (YAY). But I think that what we say and write influences how we feel, and posting every day about the awful things that were happening to her and how awful she felt was reinforcing how awful she felt. Honesty is good, but sometimes you get stuck in a loop. So we broke the loop. She can come back in any time she wants–it’s her blog–but if she gets stuck in a loop again, Lani and I will take steps.

    Unless it’s a giggle loop.

  28. Micki says:

    A teacher gave me a very new-agey book about osteopathy (bottom line: it’s good for you, but don’t try it at home, leave it to the professionals). He talks about the way we fall into patterns, and tend to reinforce them. In a very basic way, I think he’s right — however, it’s not always right to say, because A is always thinking she is sick, she actually can’t get well. It certainly doesn’t *hurt* to change a thinking pattern from “I am very ill” to “I am going to get better” — but wishing doesn’t always make it so.

    If it’s helpful for you to be here everyday, I think you should be here (missed you!). But, if you feel it’s dragging you down to be here everyday with no good news, then you shouldn’t be here (sad, but you gotta do what you gotta do).

    It’s good to mix up the patterns once in awhile. (-: Giggle loop!

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