Post #3: School’s Out! For Real This Time! (6/21/17) *this post contains language that is NSFW

So, it’s been a minute since I’ve logged on here. Well, if I’m being realistic, I’ve logged on quite a bit, but I’ve yet to actually publish a post for a while. I keep starting entries and not finishing them, or finishing them and not publishing them. After re-reading them, I’ve found I often decided they just weren’t interesting or helpful, and I just wasn’t nuts about them. But now my head feels clearer because I’m officially finished with classes until the fall. The past few days I’ve been relaxing, trying to find another job, but relaxing as well. However, about less than a week ago, I was anything but relaxed. In fact I felt more stressed than I had been in a few months. The reason for this stress? It can be boiled down to one simple phrase : car trouble.

You see, I drive a sixteen year old car that was handed down to me from my dad. This car has had quite a few issues, the worst of which being it’s tendency to get overheated, which when added to my bad habit of not checking my gauges, does not make for a good combination. On this particular day, however, I was about to drive for longer than I usually do, and on the highway, at that. I was helping an older friend paint the inside of her and her fiance’s new house (I LOVE painting houses) and she lives maybe 20 – 25 ish minutes away? On top of that I had also already picked up my prescription and picked up my best friend (aforementioned older friend’s younger sister) from work, swung by her house to pick up another friend (their youngest sister) and stopped by my house to change clothes AND went through a drive through to get some food. Now, during all of this, I was checking my gauges. Everything was fine. However I must have not been checking enough the closer we got to our destination (the house to be painted), as right when I pulled into my spot to park, steam was pouring out from under the hood of my car. Again, this wasn’t terribly unusual. In fact I had coolers of water inside my car for that very reason. We got out, went inside to paint, and let the car cool. I hadn’t called my parents to tell them, because I knew what to do, and thought that calling them would just frustrate them. So we waited a few hours, which in the past, was more than enough, and my car’s hood was still hot. Can’t pour in water if it’s still hot. So I thought, maybe it’s time to call mom. I also noticed that there was a trail of fluid behind the car that started right as we pulled in. ‘Maybe,’ I thought, ‘I hit something and it aggravated the puncture that was causing my car to overheat which is why it seemed to happen so suddenly.’ So I called my mom and told her what had happened and my hypothesis. She then told my father who said that that wasn’t possible. Some time passes and there’s a phone call with my father where he sounds very irritated and tells me to wait longer and do what I’ve already done. Mind you at this point, I’m a bit upset because in my mind he’s speaking to me as if I didn’t already try to let the car cool to pour in water. My mom talks to me and asks me if I hit something and keeps asking me, I keep saying no until I finally get upset and yell. ‘I didn’t hit anything, but I know why she’s asking.’ I thought to myself. ‘You’ve damaged two of the cars before and you didn’t tell her and dad right away, why wouldn’t she think you hit something, you idiot.’ I get teary eyed and tell her “no” again. Then, things get worse. My father asks me about the guages and we talk and he decides to drive out to where I am so we can switch cars. When they get these my dad seems very irritated (which, mind you is understandable considering there’s going to have to be another repair on the car) and it turns out that there was a misunderstanding between he and I about trouble with the gauges. He open the hood and starts pouring water in and I can tell he’s angry. He’s silent. My mom stands next to me, and thoughts about how I’ve screwed up again start flooding my mind. I had been keeping my composure so well. I kept telling myself not to cry. I bit down on my lower lip and clenched my fist, but soon enough tears were welling up. When my mother looked at me and asked what was wrong I started taking harsh, shallow breathes trying to calm down. “Nothing” I kept saying, over and over and over. She wasn’t falling for it. No one would. She asked me again and I erupted into a mess of tears. “I can’t do anything right.” She asked me what I meant and I just unloaded. “I fucked up my car, I fuck up at work, I fuck up at home. I can’t do anything right.” My mom asks me why in the world I would say that. How did I fuck up at work? (Keep in mind I work for my father) “I didn’t know how to type up a certain type of paper yesterday and he just got mad at me like I was supposed to know!  I’m just an idiot, I’m dumb and I’m a fuck up and I can’t do anything right. I know it’s not true but that’s what it feels like. I’ve felt like this for so long, especially when it comes to him and I’m tired of it. I’m tired of feeling this way. It feels like he holds onto things I messed up YEARS ago when I was a kid, and he doesn’t let it go. How am I supposed to grow as a person if he keeps doing that?” She didn’t know what to say. So she talked about how he snapped at her too, she was trying to relate but it wasn’t helping. Not in the state of mind I was in. After a few minutes of more crying, my dad finished the car. My mother and him drove it home. I sat on the porch of the house for 10 minutes and sobbed, my friends texted to ask if I needed help with the car, they didn’t know it was over. Perfect. I didn’t want to ruin the night so that should buy me time to calm down and make it look like I wasn’t crying. A few minutes later I get a text from my mom. My car was running really rough. At this point I couldn’t remember if I knew that already or not. If it had already been happening and I meant to mention it or if it just started that day. I still can’t remember. That sometimes happens when I get really stressed about something, the lines and time start getting blurred and I can’t remember anymore. To make matters worse, my mom texts me again and tells me she saw me going fast through the neighborhood and not to drive like that again. “I don’t want this to upset you, but….” is how it started. I wanted to text her back and tell her that it wasn’t the right time for her to tell me that but I didn’t have the energy to be angry with another parent. And she was right, and she was worried, and she was just being a mom. The next day my dad remarked how my car was running rough and how he, “couldn’t believe that I didn’t notice it.” right before he shut the door to go to work. I didn’t get a word in. I felt like he had decided that the car not working was my fault. So I cry again, this time in front of my mom AND my brother. I hate crying in front of my brother. He leaves the room. My mom sits down and remarks how her dad was the same way, difficult. He was a good man, and my father IS  a good man, a good person. But, he is difficult. I told my mom that I understood that she was trying to help but that I couldn’t handle it at the moment, as I had started crying again. I said that I was very sorry, but I just couldn’t handle it right then. We had a long talk later. I just slowed down and told her how I felt, and she explained that my parents had been under a lot of financial stress lately. That she wasn’t excusing his behavior, but that he wasn’t angry at me, just angry. And that he wasn’t dealing well with me growing up and about to move out (to my school apartments). That, although it didn’t make it right, it wasn’t anything that I did to make him angry, but that he never learned how to deal with that frustration. And to try not to take it personally.

Although this didn’t magically make everything better, it did bring my mother and I closer, and I think she understands me a bit better now. I think she’s beginning to understand that I sometimes get distressed very easily when I’m put into certain situations and start tearing myself apart. Which I think scared her, and I think she had a hard time admitting it to herself, that I might indeed have a few “issues” (I wish I had a better word) but that I was trying to be better. I also learned how to deal with my father better as well. And lately, we’ve gotten along much better.

I learned that I can be too hard on myself, and that sometimes that’s a product of other people’s image of me, or even what I THINK their image of me is, and that regardless of anything, I need to overcome that.

I am an Insecure Nerd, and I am signing off for the day. Thanks, and make sure to visit your local library.

6/21/2017, 1:35 PM

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