Sandra Gibbons

Sandra Gibbons

lives in beautiful Northwest Arkansas. She writes about parenthood, lessons learned, and creating moments of happiness.

Life as of Late

A lot of times, I feel as if I have absolutely nothing and yet everything in common with my family, but most times I feel like the universe is testing me—well, Always testing me.

I know everybody has their own problems… their own obstacles and life challenges, but the past few weeks have been so incredibly trying for me—Spiritually, emotionally, and logically, which has led to physical exhaustion. I have trouble falling asleep, and when I do sleep, it’s not energizing at all. I can’t even recall having any dreams lately, which sucks because I get a lot of inspiration from them. I think last week I averaged about 4-4.5 hours of sleep per night, which is half of what I had been getting. I just feel odd and out of touch like I’m just shuffling along all day, everyday. I can barely keep my eyes open at work even when being spoken to, and I’m finding it difficult to focus on anything at all. I can’t read—I fall asleep writing or studying… I have no energy to game or watch anything longer than an hour, and when I try to nap, I just toss and turn and get frustrated. It’s almost like insomnia. I need to pinpoint what exactly is eating away at me, but I’m certain that it’s a complex combination of things. I’m so very drained.

But back to explaining my opening sentiment—Six days ago the little sister, Dichi, officially moved back to NWA. I had been trying to reason with her the past 5-6 years on why she should move back around the family, and finally, it happened. I’m trying to help her as much as I can financially for the legal side of everything, and emotionally for the whole life transition in general, but it’s proving to be really challenging. As little girls, our personalities clashed to the extreme, and all of that is making a grand return in the present. I just always feel like the adult in my family—the parent figure. I’m always the one trying to bring everyone together and resolve conflict; I’m always the one trying to initiate relational healing and understanding, and I’m just tired of it. I feel like my energy is being siphoned from my body, and it’s leaving me feeling empty and bitchy—just at a total loss. Mom never answers my calls or texts, and she’s consistently in a bad mood—I understand she has her own worries, but damn. It’s like she’s in her own world doing her own thing. Meanwhile I’m reaching my wit’s end with living at home with my pop. I’ve been observing his eating habits and daily routines around the house, which by the way, are both in dire need of improvement. He’s stubborn and doesn’t listen to anything I try to tell him, so I give up. Anytime I have a conversation with anyone in my family, apart from Taylor who I seldom get to see, it ends up pissing me off and stressing me out. No one wants to take what I say to heart, and no one realizes how hard I’m trying to bring everyone together. I’m trying to be patient, and I’m trying to be sympathetic and understanding, but it’s all wearing me down. This is why I feel like I have nothing in common with my family. Whereas they all choose to ignore problems until they eventually blow up in their faces, I will sit and worry and dwell on how I can try to prevent that from happening; whereas everything is the end of the world to them, I try my damnedest to clear my head at the end of the night and make a great deal of effort to start fresh the next morning—To let go of the things I have no control over… to find some sort of balance to my life. Whereas they all blow up screaming and cussing and then five seconds later act like shit is resolved, I can’t simply forget about the verbal explosion—It honestly kills me. It’s so hard to let negative things go and move forward when they constantly come back around and hit me in the face. The counterpart to these differences is the simple fact that my life will never be a cake walk—just like for the rest of my family. Everything is a struggle, and I need to learn to accept that, I guess.

I had such high hopes for this past weekend. With Dichi being back home, I planned on having a sisterly night out for Saturday—just Dichi, Taylor, and myself. Friday night, Dichi expressed how stressed out she was, so the two of us decided to have a chill, non-crazy night out on Dickson. All we wanted to do was find a decent bar to sit down in and have a couple of drinks and just talk and relax. From the moment we set foot in the first bar, all she did was complain about the music and people and the environment, and the more she drank, the more belligerent she became. She lectured me and scolded me for two hours on what a cold, detached person I was. She accused me of not caring about a single person in life, and said that I was a stone-hearted narcissist who conformed too much to society, and that I had no sense of self. I apparently don’t know how to interact with people, not just limited to my parents, and I’m completely off base with my perception on all things. Oh, and I have severe self-confidence issues. None of this is what I wanted to hear or have to deal with Friday night. On top of that, a guy friend of mine was out at another bar, and when my sister met him, she spoke to him like he was a sleaze… a fake, untrustworthy person with nothing but bad motives in mind. I was completely embarrassed. I was embarrassed that she nearly started a fight with a random girl in the bar; I was embarrassed she was shouting all of my family and personal issues in public. I was just humiliated. But understand this: my little sister is not a bad person. She’s not. But her bitterness and resentment toward events in our past dictate every thought and word she utters in the present. It breaks my heart, and I don’t know how I can help her. After she decided to leave and do other stuff that night, I drove home and sat in the driveway bawling my eyes out for an hour. I will never understand how my good intentions backfire, shredding the entirety of my heart.

Saturday night, Dichi canceled plans with Taylor and I to do other stuff. Since there would be no sisterly reunion, I invited Tay over and we drank wine while I did her makeup and fixed her hair and updated her on my non-happening life. Then I took her to dinner where we had some Stellas, and then after receiving a text from a friend, we headed out to Dickson for an easy night out. The lightning was spectacular and beautiful and Fayetteville was flooded, but we didn’t care. We just wanted to be around people and get lost in the music and crowd. We spoke and tried to keep everything light-hearted, but Baby Sister suggested I be selfish for a change and stop worrying about helping people. Of everything said to me recently, that just meant a lot to me and recalling her advice makes me so emotional. What is wrong with me.

Then on Easter Sunday, I awoke to Dichi in hysterics over the phone. She was having car problems and needed me to drive her down to Conway and back to pick up TJ. Thirty minutes into the car ride, she realizes that she forgot something, and she had me turn back around to get it. Paired with that delay, our flaring tempers made for a miserable road trip, and by 6pm that evening, I was finally home and doing laundry and getting stuff ready for a brand new work week. Happy Easter from the Gibbons family. I’m out of ideas on teaching my sister to be calm and not get worked up about things she has no control over. I tried telling her about the Law of Attraction, but she thinks it’s a bunch of bullshit and wouldn’t listen. I love her to death, but I don’t know why I give a fuck sometimes. But I will keep trying.

But to rewind from Friday and the events of Easter weekend, Thursday was my first Speak with Impact and Motivation class. Talk about a total train wreck. I can only describe the experience as an epic game over with no save file to load. All we had to do in class was introduce ourselves, talk about our favorite candy bar and why, and explain what we hoped to accomplish from taking the course. I’m not sure why I had the meltdown that I did, but I suspect it had to do with the following… To start, I made an ass out of myself just walking into the classroom. When I first entered the room, I didn’t recognize half of the faces in there, so my initial reaction was that I just walked in on a meeting in progress—so I darted back out of the room and waited. After watching people I recognized from orientation go into the room, I realized that was in fact my speech class, so sheepishly, I went back in. I sat in the back and people turned around asking why I had walked out—only I misheard them. For over two months now, my head has had a lot of sinus pressure, and as a result of that, my hearing is significantly diminished. I thought they were introducing themselves to me… so I introduced myself back. They laughed and said that wasn’t what they were saying, so I immediately got red and defensive and explained the whole sinus thing—So embarrassing moment #2. A few people volunteered to stand in front of class and give their speeches, I had planned on volunteering after a couple more people went, but as you’d have it, one of the three facilitators in there asked me to go. In just introducing myself to the class, I was tongue-tied and self-conscious and stumbling around everywhere. I became aware of how frequently I was saying “um,” and I totally blanked out on what the speech was supposed to be about. When I remembered I was supposed to talk about my favorite candy, I blurted out “Kit Kat,” and blanked out again. Then I had flashbacks of 4th grade when I hid under my desk after being called on to present my science fair project, and then 6th grade when I peed my pants after being asked to talk about what I did over summer vacation. My heart was pounding and my skin felt like it was on fire and I just kept looking at everyone’s faces in the first row and how stone-faced they all were, which made me even more anxious—I felt like passing out. I kept having to turn away to try and gain some kind of composure, and then I would turn back around to face the class and apologize… I just kept spinning around and around before I finally started crying and walked out of the room. It was absolutely horrible, and I have no idea how I’m supposed to face those people again after humiliating myself.

So that’s life right now. I’m really, REALLY stressed out and I’m struggling to keep my thoughts in check. I’ve been drinking too much, and I’m finding way too much comfort in being faded. It seems to be the only solace I’m finding and I’m not sure what to do about that. I’m trying to reach out to people and expand my circle of friends… to somehow escape from the confines of my mind, but it’s hard. I try to act chipper and supportive for people—to take a smiling photo… but I feel like I could come apart at any moment. There’s just this enormous gaping feeling inside of me and I feel like I’m falling into darkness. I have so much more to vent and release about myself, but seeing how long this post is makes me sick. WTF, Sandra.

The Blue Rose

#TBT