To begin with, I have a problem with impulse purchases. This is what’s gotten me into the financial ruin and huge debt that prevent me from bettering my living situation. I’m working on it, in various ways including therapy. Mom (at least apparently) thinks very badly of me for this, and to a certain extent I don’t blame her at all. But — and I freely admit it’s not her job to be my therapist, especially when I have an actual therapist — she never offers any support in my efforts to mend this flaw in myself. She only offers negativity.

I’m out of duloxetine, the medication that keeps my fibromyalgia pain to an often-tolerable level. I don’t have the money to refill my prescription at this time. Today is my second day without it, and therefore my second day of ridiculous levels of pain, dizziness, and an apparent need to sleep as if I’m hibernating. I have not mentioned this to my parents, because I just don’t have the energy to face their (mostly mom’s) negativity in regard to my lack of funds. It’s bad enough to face her negativity relating to my lack of going out to work.

Yesterday, when I was half-asleep, I awakened enough to hear my mother say bitterly, upstairs, “Here’s another package for the girl who has all the money.” And, OK, I let ‘girl’ as a description of myself slide just a little when it’s coming from my parents, but it still bothers me. Then, mom, you have no idea what’s in that package; it could damn well be something I really need. But at least she didn’t actually say this to me.

That afternoon, when I’d dragged myself out of bed, I took a shower, and a desperate hunger was growing upon me. I was craving meat specifically, and I noticed that my entire body looked pale in the mirror. I didn’t even do my post-shower routine before going upstairs and looking for some meat that wasn’t beef (because I don’t eat beef except occasionally in small amounts). I found some turkey burgers and rejoiced, and set the oven to heating up. While that was going, I went in to where mom was sitting at her computer working on stuff, and asked if I looked pale. She had me step more fully into the direct light and said I maybe did a little.

I mentioned that my entire body had looked pale in the mirror, and that I was craving meat, and she said, “Maybe it’s because you’ve been sitting around so much and not getting any circulation.” Her tone was only slightly disapproving in this case.

“Well, I’ve been out working the last few days,” I said.

“Yeah, but what about the last eight hours?” she asked.

I explained that I was hibernating all morning. I don’t actually remember what she said in response, so it couldn’t have been that bad.

But the initial statement. I just… This isn’t nearly as bad as some other mom episodes, but for a casual exchange, it was still pretty bad. Why can’t I come out of a casual exchange with my mom without feeling belittled and resentful? I’ma try to unpack why it bothered me so much.

I do better psychologically when I keep to a routine. Lately, I’ve been getting up between 8:00 and 9:00 mostly. Then I spend my before-work time (usually after ACNH) writing, and my after-work time drawing until bedtime around midnight. Work is usually from around 16:00-22:00. (Obviously this routine only works on days when I feel well enough to work and am not hibernating.) So, yeah, I spend a decent amount of my day seated.

But “sitting around” is different from “sitting at a computer working on stuff.” And that she worded it that way spoke immediate disapproval of my regular activities, whatever she assumes those are, in her wisdom. (This is just a part of her general lack of support for all my creative endeavors.) Also, I do this every day, so why would one particular day make any difference in how pale I am or that I’m craving meat all of a sudden? Of course she didn’t know the real reason for that condition, but I didn’t ask for a reason — I asked whether she thought I looked pale, really just to make sure I wasn’t imagining things.

I sound so petty again. I get to writing this shit down, and it suddenly doesn’t seem like it should really make that much difference to me. But there’s almost always this assumption that I’m a lazy time-waster, this lack of empathy for a fellow sufferer of chronic pain and other weird symptoms. I guess what I really mean is that these are microaggressions, and microaggressions so often sound petty when you get right down to it. But the systemic problem is huge and seemingly impossible to deal with.

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