How completely unproductive is sulking? Yet here I am, a grown woman, 47 years old, sulking in my bedroom because my mommy is disrespecting me again. This time it escalated like this:
– 9am. I am in my pajamas, reading blogs on the computer in the dining room.
– My mother is going to the stable for her daily dressage lesson. She asks me to wash the floors and clean the bathrooms.
– I respond that I will do it at noon, after “my quiet time”, the hours I get to blog while she is out.
– She gets pissed and snotty with me. I don’t know why.
– Then I get upset. “Why do you get upset with me for reading? What is wrong with reading?”
– Then she says I should go live somewhere else.
– Then I take a Xanax because I start to panic.
– My mood is ruined for the day and I feel very unloved.
– I can’t write anymore. I look at videos of Israel on YouTube and listen to Israeli music.
– After an hour or so, I realize that I have to start mopping the floors. I do a nice job.
– Mom comes home, pretends nothing happened, and says the floors look so clean.
Repeat the next day, the next day, the next day.
I can see that she measures my worth as a human being by the work that I do, and presently, I am unemployed. It irritates her to no end to see me relaxing, not because she thinks I am lazy, but because she thinks I am nothing. I get the impression that she thinks I have no worth as a human being because I am momentarily unemployed. How American of her. I used to hold these same beliefs (which I learned from her) that I am only as good as my income; but then I moved to Israel, where I lived in poverty and had to redefine my self-worth according to something other than income. In Israel, I was a new immigrant who had sub-standard language skills. I mopped the floors and cleaned the toilets in a factory for about $5.50 an hour. I didn’t feel inferior because I was a cleaning lady. Cleaning ladies are respected in Israel. Many workers used to thank me for providing a pleasant work environment. Who wants to use a toilet that smells like urine or a shower that is moldy? My Israeli coworkers were very good to me, especially since I did not know how to clean when I first arrived. I had to learn everything. I also developed obliques from mopping and an actual waist. I have two university degrees and a professional license, and that is what I did to survive in Israel. I’m not lazy. Well, I am kinda lazy – but I have worked all my life and I would certainly have gone to work today if I only had a job!
I have not had one day of income since I left Israel 11 months ago. I have had interviews galore and offers that fizzled out, but no actual employment – AND I REFUSE TO FEEL BADLY ABOUT THIS. In truth, this is a philosophical war. As a faithful Jew, I believe that all my parnassa comes from Hashem or, in English, all my income comes directly from God. I will get a job when God gives me one, and not before. I have done my part: kept my professional licenses current, took my CEU classes, filled out applications, mailed out resumes and cover letters, asked friends for employment, applied for part-time jobs, applied for jobs paying one-third of my previous American salary, interviewed at the pet store even… I was open to almost any job… but Hashem hasn’t given me one. There is always a reason for every trial, and I just have to be patient and to keep applying for jobs; but I refuse to define myself as worthless because I am unemployed.
In the same vein, she has made comments about my blogging because I don’t get paid for it. I told her that “I am a writer”. I have already self-published one book that has sold about 300 copies and this blog is generating my second book. It is forming in my head even now. I intend to eventually make money from writing; BUT I do not define my value by money. (which is a good thing because I don’t have any) I pointed out to her that she rides every day, training herself and her horse to compete. Clearly she can see that it has value even if she doesn’t get paid for her efforts? I mean, whose womb did I come out of? Where did I get this family that is so blind to ME? Why are they so disrespectful?
Eventually, I will get a crappy job, be right back on the hamster wheel, working my shift to pay my car note so I can work my shift. Fuck me!!!
These are the days that I want to numb myself with alcohol and drugs. Ideally, I’d turn off all the noise in my brain with sex. Attack my mate and screw out all my aggressions in a sweaty bedroom-wrestling-match. Hmm. Too bad I don’t have a mate. I really need a hobby…
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