Open House: Another Personal Hell

My children started the new school year today. Yesterday I took the day off from work to stay home with them, not only to save on insane childcare costs, but also to have one last day of fun with them before they go back to school.
We had a great day. We went swimming and had a great time. Then in the evening, we went to the open house at their school so they could meet their teachers.
The kids’ father pointed out that he doesn’t know why I put myself through these things. He doesn’t think it’s necessary to go to the open house. They’ll find out who their teachers are on their first day, it’s a waste of time and energy.
Part of my anxiety is over-preparing for EVERYTHING. I’m that person who obsessively researches every single aspect when buying a new car; who makes lists and starts preparing months in advance when planning a vacation.
So when it comes time for the kids to start school each year, I buy all the school supplies, I sort it out into items that go into each of their b…

My Fear of the Cub Scouts

I am terrified of my children’s extracurricular activities. I’m torn because on one hand, I want them to socialize more than I did when I was in school. I want them to participate and build friendships and learn skills. Unfortunately, that involves me socializing, and that has kept me from signing them up for quite a bit.
When my 6-year-old son said he wanted to join Cub Scouts, there was no question in my mind that I would let him. Yes, I was filled with every possible “what-if” scenario, but I knew this was something I had to let him do.
My son is a smaller version of me. He’s incredibly shy and has many of my anxieties. I know Cub Scouts teaches so many good life skills and this would be a wonderful opportunity for him to form friendships. So, I sucked up my anxieties and signed him up.
I’ve been fortunate that his father or my boyfriend have been able to take him to most of the events. Last weekend, I failed him. It was the family campout weekend, and I just couldn’t bring mys…

Dating gives everyone anxiety, right?

A few weeks ago, I was bored. I claim to be an introvert, but I often feel the need to chat with people to occupy myself. I recently had a conversation about the possibility that I’m just a really shy and anxious extrovert. Is that a thing?
So, I was bored and decided I wanted to chat with some new people, so I activated my dormant OK Cupid account. I was sure to mention on my profile that I was primarily interested in conversation, but was open to that leading to more. I mentioned my love of Stephen King and Doctor Who, and that immediately asking for sex will get you blocked.
A handful of people messaged me (I hear the experience is quite different if you are male) and I responded to each of them, quickly weeding out those who immediately started asking for sex – did they not read the part about conversation, or do they just not care?! Probably both. People can be pigs.
This process brings out zero anxiety. I’m hiding safely behind the internet and have no problem telling people…

I Need a Content Warning for All. The. News.

I used to have the news playing in the background in the mornings while I got ready for work. I would half pay attention while getting dressed, but mostly I was listening for traffic updates for my trek to Cincinnati through miles of highway traffic. I eventually had to stop this morning ritual because stories about mothers murdering their children and people being assaulted in their homes became too much for me and my anxiety to bear. I won’t even get into what news of President Cheetoface McTwitterThumbs does to my anxiety.
Who am I kidding, yes I will.
I love horror movies. The more it fucks with your head and makes you see monsters in the shadows, the better. But nothing scares me more than children in peril. I’ve heard A Quiet Place is masterful, but there’s no way I could watch it – it’s nothing but children in peril. Sadly, that’s what the news has become. There are stories about mothers drowning their children in the bathtub, children being kidnapped from their front yards,…

Rooming with Friends is Anxiety-Inducing

I don’t live with friends well. If it’s a significant other, it’s fine. But living with friends in a purely roommate situation has never gone well for me.
When my husband left me, I was terrified of living on my own. I’d lived in a two-income household for decades and knew I couldn’t afford to support myself on my own. A good friend offered for me and the kids to move in with her. I thought it was the perfect situation – she had two spare rooms, the house was close to my parents, and she and I had always gotten along famously. She was also going through a split-up, so we could support one another during this time. Best of all, my portion of rent and utilities was very affordable.
It started off great – she let me pick the paint color for my bedroom. She helped me move in. I wasn’t allowed to bring my cat because she already had two cats and didn’t want to cause problems with them, and I conceded to this. I didn’t like it, but I understood.
The weeks I didn’t have my kids, it was g…

Woman's Best Friend

Within the past week, I came frighteningly close to saying “fuck it all” and becoming a recluse. I’d been fighting with my boyfriend and got into an argument with my best friend (because why piss off only one person, when you can piss off everyone close to you?!)
I sat in my house, all alone, thinking without these two people in my life, I would probably never go out. Then I thought fine. Maybe that’s for the best. I could just stay in my crappy little house with my cat and Netflix forever until I die. Then my cat would eat me.
Yeah, I get morbid, I know.
I worked through my problems and made up with the two people I’m closest to. All is well.
Then I decided to get a dog.
I’ve been thinking about it for months. I’ve always loved dogs and had a Jack Russell, Libby, that died tragically at age 14. She was my baby. She was with me through three marriages, countless illnesses & diagnoses, depression, and panic attacks.
I’m sure you’ve heard of pets being used as emotional suppo…

History does not always repeat

I’ve had quite a few really toxic, bad relationships. It’s hard to truly let go of the feelings you experience during those relationships – especially the fear that it’ll happen again. Sometimes, without even realizing you’re doing it, you look for signs of past relationship downfalls in current relationships. Sometimes this behavior can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I have been dating my current partner for quite a while. We very rarely fight. When we do, it doesn’t last more than a day.
Except for this time.
This time, it lasted for a solid week. I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty of what started it, but it’s a topic that’s come up in my previous relationships – especially the toxic ones I mentioned. I’ve spent the past week sure that this guy was just like the others, despite so much evidence to the contrary.
I feel it is important to point out that most of our arguing was over text message. I know this is a bad idea. Why did I continue arguing over text when I kn…