I'm not exhausted. I'm not even particularly tired. I wake naturally around 8 am every day and it's already completely light out and instead of thinking, "Hooray! I'm awake! It's time to meet the day!" I think "No. No no no no no no no no no no no" in the manner of that internet cat. Remember that cat?
I don't want to call this depression because in the grand scheme of things, it's not that bad. I do get up eventually, and I go about my day and I try to get things done (never as many things as I hope to, but that's another story). Things are fine. I'm just a bit bummed. Worried, you might say.
I'm working on my shop as much as I can. You know my shop? Will & Bequeath, my little vintage retail business? Yeah, that. But I'm worried about it.
The things people tell you about starting your own business are true. It's a shit load of work. There's always more you could be doing, more you should be doing, and if, like me, you have no employees and have to do everything yourself, and if, like me, you tend to set overly-high standards, every day is like a mountain you keep failing to successfully climb.
Even though my shop is small, a huge amont goes in to the listing of each item for sale. For each individual item, I have to do the following:
6) Photo Edit
7) Describe in Charming Copy
8) List for Sale Online Using My SUPER Powered Web Design Skills (Not)
9) Promote on Social Media
and if the item sells...
Plus, you know, there's all the other crap that goes along with the day to day running of the business - maintaining the website, doing the accounting/paperwork, answering emails, trying to come up with and run promotions, being nice to all the people who have questions, regardless of if the questions are silly, etc. (etc. etc. etc.). Sometimes the load feels a bit ridiculous.
All that said, I love the shop. The shop makes me happy. It's still very small-time and I've made an effort not to invest too much money into it, because I want it to grow slowly and be sustainable and reasonable and considering all that, it's basically a success. It's making money. Just a little and I'm not paying myself for my time or anything, but I'm in the black.
That's right, kids, I basically have a successful venture on my hands! HOORAY, right!?
My biological family, on the other hand, specifically my parents, is essentially completely shitty to me, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In regards to the store, they've had exactly one thing to say: "It's not a real job. Why don't you get a real job?"
That's it. No kind words about how the photos look. No congratulations on unexpected sales. No kudos about anything whatsoever. Certainly none of the help or support a normal family might provide in a situation like this. Just criticism. Constant, insulting criticism.
But who cares if my parents are less than supportive right? Who cares what they think? I try not to, I promise. They've always been like this, they're never going to stop being like this. Abuse in the form of a lifetime of agressions and micro-aggressions is a fun family fact ranging back generations and I'm not stupid so I know this is the way it is, the way it was and the way it always will be. Yet, for some reason, some combination of socialization and biology, I do care. I can't seem to stop caring, try as I might. And as a result, every single time they needle me about how worthless or unsuccessful or lazy I am (or, historically, about my looks, natch), I feel like absolute shit.
When my company closed and I was laid off last year and my father declared "Good! Now maybe you'll get a real job" I felt like shit. When my mother calls to ask what I do all day (which she does, practically every week) I feel like shit. I don't want to feel like shit, I just can't seem to help it. It sucks. It's shitty.
And I worry about what this negativity has done and continues to do to me.
“Emotional abuse is like brainwashing. It systematically wears away at the victim’s self-confidence, sense of self-worth, trust in his or her perceptions, and self-concept. Whether it is by constant berating and belittling, by intimidation, or under guise of “guidance” or teaching, the results are similar. Eventually, the recipient loses all sense of self and all remnants of personal value. The primary effects of emotional abuse are depression, lack of motivation, confusion, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, low self-esteem, feelings of failure or worthlessness, feelings of hopelessness, self-blame, and self-destructiveness.” - Beverly Engle
On some occasions, I'm effectively able to shake all this crap off, but not always. Sometimes, the familial negativity seeps in. That's what happened most recently. That's why I've been spending the last few weeks sleeping and not updating the store in any meaningful way. My father repeated, several times over the course of an evening, that I didn't have a job. Nothing new there. Nothing I hadn't heard before. Yet it infected me. His mean little needling crawled inside and settled in and started whispering at me and ever since I've been thinking stuff like this:
Maybe I'm stupid to do this. The store will probably fail. I'm basically worthless, so everything I do is likely to be worthless too. I should probably get some sort of 'real' job. They're probably right about that. It would be safer. If I was smart and not so full of myself, that's what I would do. And if I hate the job, so what? Hating jobs is part of life. I should be grateful to have a job at all considering who I am. I'm completely full of garbage. I'm a garbage person.
Look - I even wrote about it! That's a healing thing, right? RIGHT. Riiiiiiight.
Anyway, that's what's going on in garbage town.
Love you guys. Sorry for overusing references to poop in this post. Crap and shit are just such descriptive words!