Digital Nomadcy

This is my dream. I dream of living the life of a digital nomad. Seeing the world, experiencing cultures, learning languages, and having a truly remarkable life. 

Of course, like most Americans, I am drowning in student loans. My only hope is to continue to work for a governmental agency or a nonprofit. I am searching, but finding jobs like that is extremely difficult. 

The other concern is Munchkin. In ninth grade, I was in my tenth school.  I was not raised in the military, which I understand provides a lot more support for moving kids. 

Growing up, I was a painfully shy introvert, struggling with anxiety and depression. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t anxious or depressed – the first anxiety attack I remember was at kindergarten graduation. Being raised in a Southern Baptist family, the solution presented to me was prayer and when it didn’t work (gasp!), I was scolded for not having a strong enough faith. 

The studies on nonmilitary introverts who moved frequently as a child show these children grow into adults with no self-esteem, inability to have fulfilling relationships, general loneliness, and they even die at a fairly early age. Aside from the fact that I am still alive, I am the poster child for this study’s results. (I am commenting about the actual study, but here is an article about it: http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2010/06/moving-well-being.aspx)

I am terrified of having Munchkin suffer like I have. I fear her being all alone as an adult with zero support and the horrible loneliness I suffer every day. 

I know that she is an extrovert. I know that the studies show different results for extroverts with this background. I know the world is different now. Say what you will about social media, but kids that bounce around now have a way to stay in touch and to be less alone. 

Do I work towards getting rid of everything and taking my daughter around the world? Or do I try to keep her in a more traditional life than the one I had?

If I don’t find a way to do this, I am terrified of her first DWB and her first active shooter lockdown.  Do I traumatize her emotionally with moving or put her at risk of being black in Murika.

Superpowers

Internet: What superpower do you wish you had?


Normal People: I want to fly. I want to be invisible. I want to teleport.


Me: I want to be able to stop crying on command.

What Anxiety is Like

All I can say is that I hope you have people with a lot of compassion in your life if you have anxiety.


It sounds so pedestrian. Oh, you are feeling a little anxious? Take a deep breath and move on.


Ha!


Anxiety manifests for different people in different ways. For me? Yes, there is panic. Blinding, irrational panic. There is also a huge dose of self loathing and a great deal of rage. The rage stems from frustration and desperation. Humiliation rides along just for shits and giggles.


What really makes it better? Being confronted by someone with privilege who feels superior to you and talks down to you. Factor in being constantly pushed to the outskirts of a primary social group and depression comes charging in to aid anxiety.


The twin swords of depression and anxiety make simple tasks like breathing nearly insurmountable.
I have craved love, support, and understanding my entire life. Even with therapy, medication, and life experience, I remain alone. This just confirms the depression’s opinion that I am all alone, because I am – and have always been – unloveable.


At this point in my life, I realize that it is too late for me. I will always be alone. Statistically, I will die pretty young.

All I ask is that if you know someone with depression or anxiety, that you have some patience and understanding. Especially, if they don’t seem to need or want it. And hug them. Please. I can’t tell you how many times a day I just wish someone would hug me.


I wish no one else ever had to feel like this.


Why not?

Brain: Stop that!

Me: I’m just dreaming.

Brain: No, you are planning. Stop it now!

Me: Wouldn’t it be amazing? I’ll pay off my law degree in five years, and then I could do it.

Brain: Stop it!

Me: Look at the pretty pictures!

Brain: No! And where the hell is Dubrovnik?!

Me: Croatia!

Brain: Oh, hell. We are moving to Croatia aren’t we?

Effing Cat

2:30 AM

I am awakened as Agatha cleans the inside of my left nostril. I wake up, come to terms with what is happening, extract myself from the grooming, and gently place the cat on the floor.

2:46 AM

Agatha bites my chin. Hard. There is blood. I shriek and dump cat on the floor. Fall back asleep holding Kleenex to my chin.

2:58 AM

I have rolled to my stomach. The sleep shirt has ridden up. Agatha licks, then bites the crevice where my thigh and buttock meet. I jackknife up, an impressive feat for someone lying on their stomach. I toss the cat off the bed.

3:08 AM

Agatha cleans the inside of my ear. I bolt upright in bed, which somehow offends the cat. She jumps off the bed, assumes an undignified position and begins to clean her behind.

3:14 AM

Agatha drapes herself across my face. Her chest rests on my ear and she purrs with the loudness and vibration of an outboard motor. Her stomach covers my mouth and nose, cutting off my oxygen. As hypoxia sets in, so does realization.

“Agatha, can you see the bottom of your food bowl?”

It takes me a minute to realize the cat is not going to respond. Not sure if the cognitive delay is due to oxygen deprivation or the fact that it is 3:14 in the freaking morning.

I get up, stumble to the food bowl, and see a dime-sized silver area in the middle of the bowl. I shake the bowl, effectively covering the small silver circle with food.

The cat deigns to sit down and eat. I stagger back to bed.

Effing cat.

Deep Questions

Boss: What’s the kind of hamburger you eat on a bun?

Me: …

Boss:You know what I’m talking about.

Me: …

Boss: Sloppy Joes!!!

Me: …

Realities of Special Needs

Munchkin: Is that where I scratched you?

Me: Yes, Baby.

Munchkin: Is that where I bruised you?

Me: It’s okay, Baby.

Munchkin: But bruises and scratches hurt. *bursts into tears* I don’t want you to hurt. I’m so sorry, Mommy!

Me: It’s okay, Baby. I love you.

Munchkin: *sobs uncontrollably* I’m sorry, Mommy. I’m sorry!

And this is why unsolicited advice such as “just pop her” and “don’t let her control you” is so damaging. Munchkin can’t help herself in her flares. It would be like trying to smack diabetes out of a child.

Saturday Night!

Single People with Social Lives: 7:30 pm. I suppose we could start considering what are plans are for tonight…

Married People: It’s 7:30 pm. Time to start debating omg what we are going to watch tonight…

Me: HOLY HELL! Munchkin is in bed!!!! I am getting some sleep, STAT!

Munchkin: *screams at the top of her lungs*

Me: Dammit.

Grown Ups

The daycare sent home a piece of construction paper with “when I grow up, I want to be…” written on it.

Brain: She is too young for this. You don’t even know what you want to be.

Me: What the hell. Munchkin, what do you want to be when you grow up?

Munchkin: *screws up face in thought* I want to be a vegetable.

Me: A vegetable?

Munchkin: Yes. And a mirror!

Me: Okay. Good talk.

Brain: At least she has dreams…

Private Parts

Munchkin, who recently turned four, has a weekly OT appointment. I sit in the waiting room. This week I was summoned back to speak with the OT.

OT: I don’t know how to tell you this.

Me:…

OT: Munchkin needed to use the bathroom, so I took her.

Me: Okay…

OT: She went into the bathroom, closed the door, and pulled her pants and panties down.

Me: Okay…

OT (flushes beet red): Instead of using the potty, she opened the door, exposed herself to everyone in the hallway, and yelled, “Look at my vulva!”

Brain: Don’t laugh! Don’t laugh!

Me: I see.

OT: I can’t believe she knew that word. Have you discussed keeping private parts private?

Brain: Don’t laugh! Don’t laugh!

Me: Yes. She knows private parts are private. We focus on where things are appropriate, such as her bedroom or bathroom. It is important to me that she isn’t ashamed.

OT: I agree! I know she is young, but I wanted you to know. Maybe you could address the appropriate locations with her again.

Me: Technically, she was in the bathroom.

OT: …