My life has begun giving me the vapors; only instead of swooning, fluttering my hand to face, and relying on laudanum, I’m jonesing for a fight.
Gone is the woman I thought I was, the woman who pretty much could roll with anything life threw her way and still maintain her emotional equilibrium. In her place is this neurotic, high-strung, volatile woman, who wants to get into fights with her bank because her browser is missing a cookie that will enable online banking to occur.
I mean, come on.
In the larger scheme of things, the fact that Safari tosses a cookie or two isn’t really all the important. And, yeah, the fact that the New Mexico Taxation Department still hasn’t resolved the problem of my not owing gross tax receipts from 2008 is annoying, but it’s not critical.
I used to be able to triage.
When the kids were little, they came first. No questions asked. A baby’s cries in the middle of the night will always–always always always–take precedence over an adult’s desire for sleep. That’s just how it goes.
But now it’s more complicated.
Now I’m juggling the needs of a mentally ill husband, whose needs sometimes–but not always–take precedence over mine, and the needs of my two adult children, whose needs, like those of my husband, sometimes–but not always–take precedence over mine.
Here’s the rub:
I appear to be hardwired to put everyone’s needs over my own. Most of the time, I don’t even realize I’m doing it. And then all of a sudden, like today, I find myself so crabby, I’m completely unreasonable, and all I really want to do is get into a fight with somebody. If I were driving, I’d be shrieking at people, giving them the finger. Good thing I’m not driving. Instead, I’m just simmering with an all-over irritation that is spilling out inappropriately.
Take the bank, for example.
I do all my banking online. Normally, everything is smooth as can be. Normally, I log on to my account, and I am instantly connected: I can see the balance of my checking and savings account, pay bills, and all the rest. Occasionally–and I do mean occasionally–I log on and get what’s known as “The Log-In Extra Security Screen,” in which I am asked to provide an extra security code that the bank will either email or text me.
This morning I refused.
This morning, when I was asked whether the security code should be emailed or texted, I said neither worked, so then I was asked my security questions, and for whatever reason–maybe it’s age–I couldn’t provide the right answers. (Good God, I do remember my high school, its mascot, and the street I grew up on. I know I remember, so why were my answers wrong?)
So now, what the old Maureen would have done is figure, okay, go ahead and let the bank email the security code. Not this new, peculiar Maureen. I just got angrier, tried logging in again and then tried logging in on Chrome.
So I wasted 10 minutes–not much in the larger scheme of things–trying not to do what the bank was asking me to do, trying not to do the only thing that would enable me to get on the online banking site.
Finally, I relented.
The bank sent me the security code. I logged on, then got the bank on the secured chat line and semi-complained about why I was getting the Extra Security Log-in Screen. Even as I was getting angrier and angrier, I had a sneaking suspicion that it wasn’t the bank that was bugging the crap out of me, it was my life.
As I already explained, I’m pretty much hardwired to put everyone else’s needs before mine, and unless I make a conscious effort not to do that, I end up drained. And when I am drained, I end up unbearably crabby and unreasonable.
I end up jonesing for a fight.
And wanting to fight doesn’t help anyone, least of all me. So my mantra for the day:
And maybe then my life will stop giving me the vapors.