Am I retired or lazy?

English: the lazy barnstar. created to award m...

English: the lazy barnstar. created to award myself for having the largest number of unfinished projects 😛 Français : L’étoile de la paresse. Créée pour me récompenser moi-même d’avoir le plus grand nombre de projets inachevés 😛 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Because of PTSD I am no longer able to work.  I’m not on disability as of now.  I just don’t work.  Some people may say, “wow, I wish I didn’t have to work!”  I may feel the same way if I was at normal retirement age, but I’m not.  I’m 42.  I’m not supposed to be retired for another 20 to 30 years.

 

I meet a lot of new people with my wife’s work.  The small talk almost always goes to “what do you do?”.  And I always struggle now to answer that question.  My first instinct is to say I’m retired and then go into a long explanation of my path so that they know that I’m not just lazy and don’t want to work.  I know on the surface that it’s really nobodies business.  But i’ve worked in some capacity as long as I can remember.  As a child my work ethic was one of the only ways to get approval.  It was best when I could work myself to the point of being sick in the summer heat.  I was really praised then for working so hard.  Sleeping in was frowned upon and usually met with a list of things that I needed to do.

 

I guess I learned that punishing myself through work was a way to earn approval.  And so I did.  But now I have no choice.  The way the conversation sounds in my head is this: “Hi Brodie, what do you do for a living?” Me: “I sit at home and let my wife carry me because I’m too lazy to work and too weak to overcome PTSD. Nice to meet you. ”

 

Conciously, I know that if I sat down with that person and told them what I have seen and done in my life, they would probably say “Good lord! How are you even still alive?!?”  But, I’m still battling with the thought that I haven’t done enough yet.  I haven’t paid enough yet.  I haven’t been punished enough yet for my perceived shortcomings, whether real or imagined.

 

I don’t really know how to overcome this problem yet.  Maybe I’ll just go take a nap.

 

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One comment on “Am I retired or lazy?

  1. Brodie, I get the same feelings. I’ve worked full time since I was about 10yrs old (after dad died). Now, when people ask I just say that I’m proud to be a retired stay-home wife as it allows me to work on my writing, art, and volunteering. But, like you, I do get a lot of the “you’re just lazy” bull from those who haven’t been there.

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