Thursday, November 9, 2017

Fighting together

Yesterday was pretty shitty. Following spending the morning crying my eyes out during the enrollment termination meeting, I spent midmorning reviewing the course I'm helping with (the graduate students are being buttheads, but the thought on how to address said buttheadedness has revealed polar opposite viewpoints). I ended the day with another rejection letter (not the position I'm interviewing for on Monday), leaving me feeling extremely deflated.

None of that was helpful to Grey when he walked through the door and announced that work is fucking with him again. He's frustrated as they continue to give him stellar reviews, but then dick with him about his contract. They did this a few months ago, hemming and hawing his employment status and only got things together when they got word another company was interested in hiring him (this lead to more infighting when it also became apparent that each group leader wanted him on their project, meaning he was booked up 200%, which has since been rectified). He's been feeling like the dirty secret in this relationship with them sending signals they aren't interested in truly committing. So coming home on the heels of a shitty news combined with more shitty news didn't combine for a great evening.

One of the things Grey and I have been struggling with is how to fight together. Part of this comes with feeling safe to vent frustrations with one another, but being frustrated by more negative news that adds to the frustrations. The additional part is just being so exhausted. Our careers haven't been stable in a very long time and the training we've received never truly prepared us for what we're both facing now. The mental gymnastics we both do for our careers is exhausting in and of itself, never mind throwing in all the recent drama with daycare and our housing

The thing is, I also know that when we fight together, we're a pretty amazing force. I've lost count of the examples I can give you where we've tackled a problem together resulting in an outcome that exceeds expectations (if not frightens the offending party). We're pretty damn awesome at playing to each other's strengths, covering for the weakness or struggles and building towards what we want. It's just a matter of setting the stage, giving us both time to plan and assess. And not feeling attacked or undermined.

That’s the part that messing with us: setting the stage. Identifying what we both want and strategizing each of our roles in order to get to that end goal. Because as of late, there’s been way too much to navigate. With the daycare, it’s buying time until we can firm up enrollment at the new schools. With housing, it’s deciding if our landlord is moving fast enough vs deciding to find a new place (though we did learn she has violated the lease). And with our careers it’s a matter of figuring out what we’re each willing to live with. Each of these is a project in and of itself.

So we’re trying. Often unsuccessfully, but still getting back on that horse. Because the only other option is to fight one another. And frankly, that would be the worst fight of all.


  1. I'm sorry you're going through all this. (I've just caught up on your last few blogposts). But yes, I'm glad that you're not fighting each other. It is so easy to do, when you're feeling stressed. I know I take things out on my husband if I'm feeling stressed. So, good for you. Pat yourselves on the back, and feel a little bit proud. You deserve it.

  2. I get this. When you're living amid unpredictability in the e biggest areas of your life -- work, kids, living space -- there is no margin, no reserves to call on when something new upsets the apple cart. I'm glad you are intentionally deciding to stay on the same side of issues.

  3. So much to deal with here. I can imagine that you and Grey together are a force to be reckoned with. Living with so much stress day to day has got to be exhausting. I'm glad that so far you are managing it without turning on each other -- when I am stressed and frustrated I can vent and be loud and angry and sometimes Bryce doesn't get that I'm not mad at him, I'm just mad. BUT, we have a great rule -- only one person can be crazy at a time. If we sense that we're both heading to crazytown, one of us usually figures out to dial it back so the other person can get the crazy out without it amplifying. It works. I hope you can find a way to be a consolidated fighting team through all this mess, apart and together. Jeezum, what a month.


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