Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ho Ho Hum for the Holidays - My 11 Month Update

This month I'm pretty sure I've been crazier than ever. This is just proof to me that the holidays are a force to be reckoned with. An intense sense of loneliness has been building for the entire month culminating in a massive argument between hubby and I. My nerves and emotions just can't take any more. It's not all his fault because there are a lot of things going on that he has no control over and can't fix that added to the stress. The sad part is he has to deal with in and sometimes I truly feel sorry for him. I would never lose control of myself in the US like I have here.

Things really got bad when we came back from Delhi. Before leaving for Delhi I had started to feel the fight or flight instincts that come with the stress and lonely emotions I've been feeling. While in Delhi things didn't go so well and then the pain in my legs, hip and back from being hit just added to my frustrations. Both of us being down I didn't get to leave the house from Sunday through Thursday and that Friday I lost my dang mind. I started off the day determined to find something to do on Friday evening and being mature and rational about it all. Then hubby came home from work and I got dressed to go out for a walk because that's what I decided I wanted. When he asked me what I was doing changing clothes that's when I lost it. I was shocked but what came out of my mouth was "I'm getting dressed because with or without you I'm getting out of this house tonight." At least there was no foul language at that point but then I kept going about how I can't tolerate sitting in this room one more day and how he leaves the house every day and blah blah blah you get the idea. I started crying by the second sentence (I'm certain from the intense emotional roller coaster I'm on). After coming home I rearranged the terrace and blasted my iPod for all the neighbors. My reasoning was there was a jagrata (spelling?) starting on the next day and since they could blast music then so could I. It's India after all, blasting music is an almost daily occurrence so I doubt I even stood out.

He took me out to dinner and we talked a little. There was another gori/desi couple at the same restaurant but I couldn't spy enough to be sure they were approachable and in the end chickened out on introducing myself. I wasn't 100% sure they were a couple and they were on their cell phones a lot while at the table so I chose not to make a fool out of myself by going up to them and asking directly. Yeah....I know I should have taken the chance. I did however have some fun with a rather cute young man in the restaurant. It was his birthday and I'm guessing he was turning 3. He, unlike many other small children, wasn't afraid of me and he came over to play lol. I waived at him (from 2 foot away) and he smiled the biggest smile and we kept playing like that for a few. He never said a word to me so maybe he was a little scared but we kept waiving and smiling and giggling together so it was fun.

Saturday I was again excessively sad and I spent most of the day crying alone in my room. Hubby took me out again when he got home. Sunday we went out shopping again. the sadness was still intense and I can't shake it. I had cried myself to sleep every night since Wednesday and I just lost it. I'm calling it an argument because i don't know what else to call it but it was really more like me having a mental breakdown and actually voicing everything that was bothering me. It wasn't all nice though because I told poor hubby to STFU more than once when he tried to talk over me. I normally try to be respectful and take into account his point of view but that's just not working any longer. He's in denial about a lot of things and on other things he has no way of knowing if I don't tell him and I just needed him to be quiet and listen so I could get all this off my chest. By the end of it I was starting to wonder if I knew what I was talking about or if I had really gone crazy.

We did get to a resolution on a few things during that conversation - one of which I will be posting about tomorrow. Now I just have to see where things go from here but I know Monday morning I wasn't feeling a whole lot better. I just feel like for every step forward I take there are 10 steps taken back away from me. I do not want to spend my life fighting and struggling for survival. It is torture to a non-confrontational individual to be forced to do so on a daily basis.

That's another thing I've noticed. The words coming out of my mouth and sticking in my mind this month are a lot harsher than normal. I rarely if ever used such intense and extreme words in my life before coming here and most of them are not foul language terms. Of course, I rarely used foul language before India as well. I only used it when I was extremely upset or stressed out and now I stay in those 2 categories almost all the time so I'm using way too much foul language and I just don't like the sound of it coming out of my mouth. I want to calm down but it's just not happening.

Thank God I'm still level headed enough to realize what the real problems in my life are and to be able to at least start the conversation off rationally. I can't confront the source of some of the problems which is what my therapist would recommend. That just complicates things but is a reality I must face.

I decorated for Christmas - a lot. I do feel the holiday spirit but the happiness and love for the season is overshadowed by the sadness I'm feeling. I am pretty sure I won't be buying gifts for anyone but hubby in this house this year and that means there won't be any midnight ransacking of the gift boxes. I also can't seem to get myself in the mood to listen to much Christmas music though I do try. I've watched a few Christmas movies and I have mixed feelings about those too but hubby is sure enjoying learning about how crazy Americans go with their Christmas decorations. Already we have enough Christmas lights in our room, including a decorated tree, that we don't have to turn on the actual lights at night and you can still read a book. The door to our room is surrounded by a second Christmas tree, tinsel and more lights and I'm not done yet. In addition to all that we still have up the Diwali decorations. I got an American style bedset and fixed up the bed too so with all that it's feeling a lot more cozy in my room these days.

I have made a little progress in that I am not getting as stressed out by the dirt and differences in lifestyle here. I think I've just gotten used to some things and now I don't worry too much about them. Like the dirt. The seemingly never ending construction that is going on around here that just winds up as black crud on my skin, up my nose and under my fingernails. Of course that all could be helped along by the fact I'm covering more of my body with the winter clothes and socks and such so it's just not getting on me as bad but I need to see it as me adjusting better right now. I've also finally found some things that make me feel (at least temporarily) more content in my surroundings. And so I leave you with the great words I saw on a t-shirt recently

"Whoever said money can't buy happiness didn't know how to shop!"


  1. ((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))

    Trapped into a house or not, the holiday season is always the hardest, the holidays is for comfort, fun and family, and as an expat you are taken out of your comfort zone big time.
    It does get better years after years, and yes decorating has therapeutic effect. I recommend you buy home decoration magazines and get your dose of Christmas there, I know it works for me, my current favourite not just for Christmas is Good Homes India, lifts your spirit right up :) And the same publishing house has now BBC Good Food India, got to love all the easy recipes in there, I just bought it this month, and already am hooked, all the ingredients are available in India, some a bit thougher as they are avaialbe in big supermarkets and gourmet shop, but still there, oh and now I don't remember the site, but there is an ad going around on Facebook for a Indian based gourmet online shopping store, you can find loads of goodies there, delivered at your door step :) If I ever see the link again I'll share it, I don't need to shop for these things online, because I live in an area where there are enough stores selling stuff like that. That should help you solve some food issues.

  2. Ok here I found the link in my browser's history :)
    Gorumet food online shopping here you come :

  3. Thank you! Holidays really can suck big time when you're away from home and feel so out of place. I have tons of decorations up now, just waiting for my camera to be fixed (again) so I can shoot some pics. I'll look for the magazines but even reading material is difficult to find here. I've been to a couple of small book stores and they mostly have school books and HyperCity doesn't carry but a few magazines. I've been looking for some good reading material anyway because I just can't look at a computer screen to read but so much and I'm on here enough already with work.

  4. Hypercity should have GoodHomes, that's where I found it the first time I bought it last year in Navi Mumbai, Not sure about Good Food it's a new one. Otherwise if you go to a big enough bookstore in mall you should get magazines, Crossword seem to be in Amritsar (just googled) not idea if it is near your place or is easy to go to but here is the address if you don't know the store already, they have a nice selection of magazines in their stores:

    Once you know which magazines you like you could also ask the newspaper agency that delivers to your place to see if they can deliver your magazines as well, I used to rely on the newspaper guy when I was living in Chennai to get Cosmopolitan and Femina delivered when I was avid readers of these two, and last year in Navi Mumbai it was Mother&Baby that I got delivered, that one was tricky because it's thougher to find everywhere but he managed to get it for me every month. Worth trying.

    Good Homes also has a nice facebook page where they organize cool contests and post pictures, I won a couple of things there over the months, here is the link, now with Christmas around the corner they had a few contests going in this month:

  5. I hope you're not making up the things you're writing here. It sounds like a bomb is going to explode any minute messing up everything. IMO india and you are incompatible. I suggest you take a break. Pack up and leave for familiar pastures for recreational purposes.

  6. Crossroads is inside of HyperCity here. They have a magazine rack about 4 foot wide and 3 foot tall lol. The rest is books but I will be checking. Usually they only have fashion magazines and such, nothing good the few times I checked. I sit in Crossroads regularly and check out cookbooks and such though so I will see what I can find. Thanks!

  7. Nope, not making any of it up. Most everything I post here are the ramblings of a confused mind going through culture shock and some major adjustments. There is a lot that I struggle with adjusting to the life here because it is drastically different than the US. (Which is why I wrote that break up letter to India a while back lol.) I do have plans for a trip home, just timing it right so that I can maximize everything. Right now is not the time to go with holiday's, snow and the inevitable airline delays that occur through the end of January at the very least. I don't want to spend half my trip sleeping on airport floors waiting for them to reschedule my flight, etc. etc.

  8. I am definitively recognising things 100 % ----- she is NOT making up !! 

  9. It is a hard thing here sometimes yes to make a husband
    LISTEN ------


    One thing I think your family- in- lw is Christian , tha t
    should make it at least a bit easier ? I don’ t really know – being now Hindu
    is no “ problem factor “ hard to say  

    Christmas once notices nor practices anywhere around my
    place anyway

    It seems your mother – in – lw doesn’ t


    forbid to you Christmas decorations .

  10. you are at least more lucky this food is allowed to ENTER your house !!! 

  11. yes holiday season is hard also for those not trapped in a house -- and I am happy she has independent choice for her food , no strict rules imposed

  12. so cheer up girl there exists much worse -------- does Rohit listen better now ? chinup girl

  13. so your family are Hindus open to Christian culture -- true , it isn' t about X-Mas in Europe neither anynore so not having seen it 20 years in THAT sense no big deal //////// and  the rest of your answer yeterday sound very poditive as well I must say ------------ my parentw - in- lw don' t even allow my husband to alter / paint / move furniture / ....change anyting in the old house ( wall - chunks falling etc ) so it isn' t bad again ---- chinup girl !!!!

  14. Now that's scary. I hadn't thought about it that way and you're right. I've brought some things into the house they never ate before. (I even served them tuna once and Rohit told them it was chicken!) It could be much worse.

  15. Yeah, there are some rules but it's for foods I didn't eat before. I hadn't had beef in years before coming here and I would eat pork in India after seeing these pigs lol.

  16. Oh man, he's so stubborn - just like me. We will get there though, it just takes time.

  17. does that sound familiar again ... chinup girl