Well That Break Went A Little Long, Eh?

So, it’s been a while, eh Sunshine?

The last time we talked, I was all scared and freaked out in my new store. Let me tell you, that store is the best thing to happen to me in a long time.

Remember I was talking about the “parking lot people”? We have a pretty steady rotation of men who sporadically stand in the parking lot and either ask for money or ask someone to buy them booze (those ones are banned from the store). Well, on of the previously-banned asked permission to shop again from my manager and started cleaning our parking lot in return. Months later, he’s banned again (he is a very long story that you will hear lots more of), but he’s also one of my favourite people in the world at the moment. Lil ‘ole me, who was shaking in my steel-toed booties at the thought of dealing with downtown people, went out and befriended a piano playing homeless meth addict.

For real. Like, seriously.

For the sake of his anonymity, I’ll just call him Strength (anyone who’s met him know why). We’ve gone out on coffee dates, taken some long walks together, I bring him snacks and socks, and he’s come to my other job to play piano for me.

Oh ya, that reminds me: I got a second job.

Late in the summer, I had testing and an interview with our public library system. I came home afterwards, called my mother and spent an hour telling her how it was a lost cause. The job was for an on-call supply person to fill in at all of the library branches in the city. There I was with limited availability thanks to my customer service job, no car, and a reliance on a laughable public transit system.

Well, they loved me. I mean, who wouldn’t? I somehow got hired and wound up in a training group of eight with a guy I went to University with. He’s like the love child of Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Chandler Bing from F*R*I*E*N*D*S, but much more charming. Made for an interesting week of training.

So I’ve been mainly picking up shifts at the library closest to the store I work at. Sometimes on his more lucid days (meth is one hell of a drug, kids), Strength will stop by the library for a private piano concert and to walk me back to the store. Other days, while walking between the jobs, I will randomly run into him while he hunts diamonds and data mines. We try and make plans, but his memory is so far gone that he forgets to meet me at work an hour after I remind him to. I was actually surprised the one day when he remembered to meet me for breakfast so I could take him out for a drive in my car.

I did mention that I bought a car, right?

She’s a little green lemon….I mean, a 2005 Pontiac Pursuit. I haven’t even given her a proper name yet, since she pisses me off so much. Looking back now, I know I got royally screwed by the dealer I bought her from. There’s a recall on her power steering system that was never attended to, which causes me to lose power steering randomly at low speeds. There’s also an issue with the transmission filter being clogged because her transmission fluid has never been flushed and the filter has never been changed. This causes the traction control to turn itself off and the transmission to slip from time to time.

It’s quite terrifying, really.

Let’s see, it there anything I missed? Little Sketchpad McCaffrey turned out to be a boy. Things with the Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend have been falling apart faster than the Trump cabinet. I’ve been volunteering again, wandering around and talking to homeless people and bringing them sandwiches and granola bars. Annoying Roommate is still uber annoying.

I think that’s everything.

Well, hopefully in this new year I’ll be better able to make time to write again. I’ve been working on a few things here and there in notebooks, but nothing too serious. I’ll try to update here more, get some of my twirly brain commotion onto the interwebs.

Until then, stay classy Sunshine!

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A Very Late Update, with More to Come Soon

Hello, lovelies!

Yes, it’s been about a month and a half since my last update. I have had a lot going on in 2018 and came to realize that I was using this blog more as a personal diary than as what I had intended it for: a tool or resource to help others learn from my mistakes and experiences.

Yes, some good came of that. I was able to open up quite a bit about my anxiety, and about the issues I’ve had involving alcohol in my life. Those are huge things for me and really helped me grow as a person. Also, I got a few emails (which I chose to keep to myself and not post here) from others going through similar experiences with alcoholic partners and family members. Still, this seemed more LiveJournal than ProfessionalWiter’sBlog. So, while I took the time to adjust to my new store, I imposed a blog-hiatus on myself: no writing, no note-taking, no pre-planning at all. I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo to help get this blog back on track, but I’m still unsure as to my participation in it.

So what has been happening in my life lately?

My new store is quite a bit rougher than the old one. We have “parking lot people” who beg for change and a few have actually grabbed people and demanded money. So there’s that to deal with.

Also, have a lot more shoplifting. No one likes doing the reports and camera work so I could spend a whole day catching up on that if I could. We have banned more people for stealing in the 6 or so weeks I’ve been at this store than we did the entire almost 4 years at my last store. And some of them are so brazen. Just the other day one walked in and just started loading up her backpack. When the assistant manager caught her, she dumped everything and started receiting legal jargon at him about how he couldn’t call the police on her because she technically hadn’t stolen yet (which would be true, if we didn’t have her on camera stealing a few times in the past week, and if she were not permenantly banned from the store). She’s been through the system enough that some stores know her by name.

There’s also a lot more people with different addiction issues. We have a very heavy meth user who tried to attack our security staff one day, who keeps trying to come in. He scares the hell out of me. The other people with these issues are mostly fine, but this guy almost put his fist through a plate-glass window because I refused him service once. I am actually terrified some nights that I’m going to be attacked by one of the people we refuse or ban from the store.

I do have a former coworker I had a crush on working with me now. I will freely admit that physically, this man is perfect. I mean, his ass should be framed and hung up in the Louvre because it is a damn work of art. Working with him again, though, the crush isn’t there anymore. We can still tease each other back and forth, but I know that the two of us are a horrible match. It’s fun now having him around because we get along great and he’s a great person in general. Now that we both have pets, every shift pretty much starts with the sharing of pet pictures.

I’ve taken a lot more sick days at this store in the last 6 weeks than I usually take in a year. I usually take maybe two a year. Today was my third day since moving to this store, after already taking one before the move there. I took two days off one week because this store is horrible for my anxiety, and I was puking more than I was eating for a while. I needed a few days to get my strength back and keep some food in me. I had my first full-blown, laying on the floor in hysterics, screaming and crying and shaking, totally scary panic attack since my last year of University. Usually, it’s more of the jittery, pukey, head constantly spinning and heart racing feeling I get, and that I’m able to somehow deal with. But this time, I just went over the edge. It scared the hell out of the Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend, who had no clue how to help. His first instinct was to hold me, but that’s pretty much the opposite of what I needed. I let him try to help, though, and got myself calmed down a bit. Later that week, though, when I still hadn’t completely come down, I had to take two days off. I just told the boss I was having stomache issues.

Also, I’m not as forthcoming with my anxiety issues with my coworkers here as I was at my other store. My former assistant manager moved to this store the week after me, and he knows a bit about my issues. But I don’t talk about them freely like I did before. There just seems to be so much more judgement, and gossip, and back-talking that I don’t feel comfortable speaking up. That was a big reason why I didn’t update here: I knew I could talk freely on here, but needed to become comfortable in my daily life with it again too. After renaming my group chat with my former work fam to “Fam Squad”, and sharing in the misery with them, I realize now that there are too many trust issues in my store for me to be open. I don’t have the bond with my coworkers that I did before. I’m much more guarded about sharing information about pretty much anything with anyone but three coworkers I knew before moving here.

To top all of this off, I took another sick day Wednesday. My wrist has been bothering me due to the increase in use. Remember, I was bumped back to 4 hours a week. That means I got roughly 175 customers a week, or 700 a month. At my new store, I’m getting closer to 10,000 customers a month, which means more time on the scanning gun. This is in addition to my new duties scanning the store (with a gun that uses the same motions), The increased strain has left me with the beginnings of a repetitive stress injury. How did I find this out? A bird flew in through an open door at home. While trying to corral cats and shoo the bird, I fell on my already sore wrist and sprained it. Took a day off work, went to a clinic, and am now medicating with wine because the doctor knows I’ll listen to my body and what I need to do rather than drag myself halfway across town to a series of different medical appointments over a series of months. If I have any further issues, I’m more than welcome to come back and see him. But he didn’t give me papers for work, or a prescription.

My wrist has been ok so far today. I practically destroyed it at work last night, so I’m surprised I’m not in more pain. To top everything off, we have a new District Manager who is changing everything about every store, and is passing down new motion study procedures to all of our larger stores from her bosses. Somehow it’s supposed to take us only 10 minutes to fully scan and put away a skid of product, even though most stores are short handed and some have only one person working the load at a time.  And then they wonder why so many of us are getting injured………

Of course, this has all been on top of everything else that comes with life. The apprently accepting Bowser Kitten has fully embraced his new baby sister Baby Sketchpad McCaffrey. The two are pretty damn adordable together now. He’s a bit protective of her at times, and she’s a hyperactive accident waiting to happen. It’s a match made in heaven.

We had some family issues to deal with for a while, and had the Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend’s father stay with us a few nights so AAB could help him out the following morning. That really took a toll on AAB, but baby kitten snuggles have been helping a lot. I have some new work possibilities coming up, and have been thinking about doing some more schooling if none of those pan out.

So with this all off of my chest, I’m hoping to get back to this blog’s original purpose: to give people to knowledges, resources, tools, and advice that they generally aren’t given to make important decisions, create better habits, and live the best life they can. Yes, I will update about myself and my life from time to time, but not at the rate I was recently. I want this blog to be more of a help to others than glorified LiveJournal.

And with that, Sunshine, I bid you adieu for the day. One of my former coworkers gets married tomorrow, and I have a lot of beauty crap to do today before work to get ready for the party tomorrow. AAB and I will be heading out there with my WorkBFF and her fiancee, and we’ll all be reunited with the FamSquad for the day. Now, go out there and enjoy the day!

“You’re Lucky I’m Not Beating You”

It was yet another fun-filled night with the Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend. Everything had started innocently enough earlier in the day. I did my taxes online, and he was wondering if I could do his this weekend for him. Of course, I agreed to, but said I had some ‘non-monetary fees’ he had to agree to first: for two whole weeks, Monday to Friday, no hard liquor and no drinking during the day or before work.

Now, for most people, this would be a very simple thing. But a year ago, AAB was doing all those things to the extreme. He was drinking heavily during working hours, drinking as soon as he woke up in the morning, and continuing on until he went to bed at night. He was beyond broke, spending every last dime on alcohol. But a year ago, he went to go “dry out” and to start getting his life together. He swore to me that there would be no more morning booze, no more day drinking during work hours, and no more hard liquor. Every night after work, he would buy two or three beers or coolers from the store I work at, and he was fine. Over time, a few of the rules were bent a little bit. Every Saturday when he’s done work for the week he picks up a 26 of whiskey. And when he has a really really rough day at work, he will very occasionally pick up a half-mickey of whiskey for the evening.

In January, I caught him with a cooler at 6:30am while he was getting ready for work. He swore that it was a one-time thing until I caught him again a few days later. He swore that he only started doing that when I was working my 6am shift for the holidays since he was up so early with me every day. Then I caught him going to other liquor stores, trying to hide what he was buying from me so that I wouldn’t know he was buying whiskey. He was once again hiding booze around the house, trying to drink behind my back. I would go to pull the Tide-scented Bowser Kitten out of his laundry basket, only to have a half-empty mickey of whiskey fall out at my feet. What I thought was more than 8 months of him doing so well with his quasi-sobriety was crumbling before my eyes.

So when I saw the opportunity present itself, I made my two-week proposal to him. He kept saying that he needed to get back on track, and he wanted to dry out a bit. I figured this would be the perfect opportunity for him to do so. Instead, he told me he couldn’t do it. He’s fine giving up the hard liquor during the week, and not drinking during work hours. But he refused to agree not to drink in the morning because apparently he’s been doing that since he went to dry-out a year ago. He’s been doing this for a year, all the while he’s been swearing to me that he wasn’t doing it. He was lying to my face for an entire year.

And that’s where the fight began. He argued that it really isn’t a big deal that he’s been doing this because he’s been functioning just fine every day. I have no right to be mad at him for lying to me about it because he was only lying to me to protect me from his drinking. I tried to tell him that I was embarrassed and pissed off because I had spent the last year believing in him and trusting him, only to find out I was a fool and he was doing this behind my back. That’s where the real gems started flowing from his mouth.

“Hun, that’s why I lied. I hide things from you, so you won’t be embarrassed about me hiding things from you”

 

“You’re only upset because you’re a woman. Women take things to heart. Guys say shit, and then they’re jsut over it and can be buds. You’re just too girly.”

 

“I didn’t mean [insert mean personal comment] when I said it. I just say shit like that because I know it hurts you. I don’t mean it, I just want to hurt you.”

He went on like that the entire time we were cooking dinner, and well into eating dinner. He picked on my self-esteem, my work schedule, my job, and even my eyesight at one point. Every time I tried to make a point or ask a question, he would talk over me. He would raise his voice over me again and again, and then flip out when I raised my voice to try and be heard. I told him time and time again that the drinking itself wasn’t the issue right now. I understand that he is an alcoholic, and we agreed to a maintenance program as opposed to complete abstinence. If one small cooler in the morning is what he needs, either physically or psychologically, then that’s something we can work around. It was the constant lying and the smug way he rubbed it in my face that he had gotten away with it for so long that was the real issue.

Now, as I always say, I am by no means a perfect person or a perfect girlfriend. I’m sure there are things I said wrong, or things I should have said that I didn’t. I shouldn’t have raised my voice as often as I did, especially since I was doing so out of sheer frustration. And I shouldn’t have let him get to me so badly. But he said one thing that, no matter what I said or did wrong last night, he had no right to say.

“Look, it’s just a drink. Why are we fighting? I mean, you’re lucky I’m not beating or slapping you around. Just let it go, consider yourself lucky.”

He looked me in the eye and said the words “you’re lucky I’m not beating you”. Seriously, he said that, meant that, and honestly thought I should be happy with his lies because things could always be worse.

And I didn’t just stand up and leave him right then and there.

I feel horrible today. I feel like the biggest hypocrite in the world. I have spent years telling friends that if a man ever talks to you that way, you leave his ass. It doesn’t matter if you love him, he obviously doesn’t love you. But here I am, sitting at my desk in our shared bedroom, where I’m going to have to sleep next to him tonight because I’m not strong enough to leave him.

Right now I don’t know what I’m going to do. I know he would never actually hit me. He’s never thrown a real punch in his life, and we both know that I’m strong enough to more than defend myself against him. When we first started dating he wanted me to slap him for some reason; he thought it would be funny. When I refused, he slapped me across the face. I slapped him back, and then lifted him up over my shoulders and walked him to the door. I told him then that he was being drunk and stupid, so I wasn’t making him leave. But if he ever raised a hand to me again, I would have no problem dumping his ass on the porch and locking him out. And now here I am, doing absolutely nothing about last night.

I know it was somewhat the booze talking. We have these fights all the time though, and they’re just getting worse. He seems to think this is normal, that after every fight things will just go back to normal. He thinks he can say and do whatever he wants, and in the end, we’ll just be together no matter what.

After last night, though, I don’t know how much of this I can take.