Today I slept in and woke up to find that someone I've long admired on Twitter followed me. I'm always curious as to how people discover others, sometimes it's through a mutual aquaintance, but I don't know how or why this particular exchange was triggered. Another funny thing happened, a couple of them actually. A guy I've followed despite hating football and Star Trek followed me back after I made a comment in response to a tweet of his where he admitted he couldn't have been more wrong about something. I gave a shout out to a follower who is not native to California and he tweeted back that I made his day. Whether that was nice manners on his part, or a genuine response, it made me feel better to read that. I gave another friend of mine a shout out and he replied with over the top flattery that made me laugh.
What I'm really doing here is trying to understand where the lines are on places such as this and Twitter. At what point is writing good and tweeting a way to meet new people who open my world and when are these things harmful and potentially dangerous? The other day something happened that made me wonder about my image and my avatar on Twitter. I dislike pictures of myself because sometimes I feel like people are following that instead of the content and I am that content, but something about it still seems unsavory. I have the ability to put my face on the internet, but if you're following me or tweeting at me because you feel like I may at some point put out or titilate you, I'd rather not have you as a follower. That being said I am sometimes flirtacious and suggestive so I can see where I may have given the impression that I'm available and actively pursuing extracurricular activities.
I've had some time to think about what I wrote the other day. I needed to get it out and for some reason just writing it and keeping it in my drafts seems as if I haven't fully confronted those demons. I was in my oldest daughter's room putting a pair of socks away, which I shouldn't do for her, but I found a tub of half-eaten frosting, half a bag of Combos, a pack of gum, and a plastic container of pink and white Tic-tacs. While I was wracking my brain to figure out where she could have gotten money for those purchases I remembered that my mother-in-law had just sent the girls Halloween cards with ten dollars as her way of reminding the girls that she cares about them. At the time I was ecstatic to see money instead of the candy and other treats she normally sends that tend to be very hit or miss with the girls. I thought the money would be nice for them to spend on whatever, but didn't anticipate this.
My first reaction was rage. I was furious that she had offered to watch the neighbor kids so she could take her bike down to the gas station and stock up on treats for herself and possibly her sister. When things like this happen I go into this mode where I literally want to do drastic physical harm to her the way that my parents did to us kids when we pulled similar pranks. My anger towards her is so extreme it feels like hatred to me. The idea that she's voluntarily putting things she's allergic to into her body scares me for her future, and I almost, but not quite, wish that something horrible would happen so she would get the message that food allergies are to be taken seriously, and death via anaphylaxis may well be a less traumatic event than something like cancer or osteoporosis. People will celiac disease also have an increased risk of miscarriage, and that's a sucky thing that I hope she doesn't have to deal with, but people who play with fire are often badly burned.
I think I'm upset because I feel like my daughter shouldn't be doing these things and I feel like a bad parent when I make these discoveries. While I'm not going to win any mom of the year awards, I'm doing some things that are helping me deal with this anger. I'm learning new parenting skills by reading books, listening to audio from the Love and Logic advocates, and talking things over with people that I consider mentors. Several years ago I attended a health and wellness conference where I listened to an MD explain that your children will eventually return to the healthier lifestyle you've been trying to advocate, but this is more of a power struggle than a food issue so I'm doubting that his reasurrance is valid here. I hope it is, but I can't control either of my kids and on a fundamental level that bothers me too. I hate feeling like my kids have no moral compass and feel like that's my fault to a certain extent too.
Today I can't get to the deeper feelings. They were there yesterday, but today I'm mostly numb. I'm tired of being married to someone that doesn't have the same value system I do. In almost every way you can enumerate I have been far from a spouse who loves, supports, and builds up their mate, and I don't have any excuses for that either. I feel like I was given an hour glass when I was born, and I'm standing there with a baseball bat watching the grains of sand fall to the lower level. I could smash it, but then my time would be over all at once, and I'd have a bunch of sand flying everywhere which may not be the worst metaphor for how I'm feeling now. It's a beautiful day and I'm sitting inside stewing instead of getting out and cherishing these vital rays of sun. Soon it will be winter and I used to really like that, but now it reminds me that more of me is going to hurt and last year was so brutal I'm scared of what this year has in store for us.
When I walked into the living room my youngest was standing on top of the couch dancing and laughing. I'm sure I did similar things as a kid, but I'm having a hard time remembering that type of youthful optimism and free flowing movement. I hate being depressed so I told my therapist that I wanted to ramp up the counseling. It will be a budget drain, but feeling like this isn't good for anyone. I feel worthless and useless. I'm a social drain at home, and my family deserves better as do I. I'm going to go through the people I follow on Twitter and get really honest with myself about whether I'm following them because they increase the quality of my social interactions, or I'm afraid of hurting their feelings by unfollowing them. I also want to get past the idea that I can't unfollow people because they have a certain prestige attached to their name. That sort of shallow character isn't what I want to be known for and I have to start by admitting that's why I follow those people to myself.
I don't feel better about writing this, but I think it's important to not let another opportunity to get things out pass me by. Habits are formed because people do them even when they don't feel as if they're necessary or helping in the moment. This moment is all we have. Nothing is guaranteed, tomorrow may never come. When I spoke with the MD I met last Tuesday she gave me some encouragement. I can work with people to get a better schedule and to be more consistent with things like journaling so I can look back on a long line of logs about whatever day it was and feel proud of that accomplishment. There were many times when I wanted to leave this place for good. Today I'm glad I stuck with it and overcame people who were unkind or bullied me. I want to be more disciplined, and this can be a small step forward.