Once Bitten…..

There is a scripture that talks about a child being able to put his hand in the den of asps and not be harmed.  This of course is Isaiah divining the peaceable kingdom to come.  I know we aren’t living in the time of peace and harmony so why do I still stick my hand out to be bit every time I talk to Mom?  She is convinced that I truly do not earn my keep, at least not the $12.33 an hour I’m supposed to work for her.  I’m working from home today and she’s already planned blood draw and then her social worker is coming over which will more than use up the allotted time I’m supposed to work per day to “earn my money”  but it’s not cleaning house, it’s not doing her laundry, it’s not feeding her birds, it’s not slaving for her.  She wants unconditional love, unconditional devotion, and unconditional willingness to be kicked in the gut when she needs someone to hurt as much as she does so she has the illusion of control and doesn’t feel alone.  Where I want to hurt myself in those situations she wants to hurt other people.

I know that, I’ve know that she’s angry and scared and is having problems adjusting to the inevitable.  I know this then why is it it hurts and tears at me when she says things like “Well, it’s not like you’re earning your money.  I could probably cut your hours back so K can work full time”.  I know she needs and wants to keep me on “the payroll” because she’s afraid that if I didn’t need my medical so desperately, I would quit her and leave her alone to die.  I think that’s what she has always expected her whole life, that she would die alone because her family doesn’t love her, that she is unlovable.  She’s convinced herself her parents and siblings hated her, and if even half of what she has told me is true, it is probably the root cause of all this, her husbands have abused her, cheated on her (or so her expanding memory keeps telling her), her grandkids (except for one) hate her and she doesn’t know why, I’m only here for the money and benefits.  I can’t seem to change her mind on that.

The bright side to all of this is the medications are working.  I know they are because I’m not ranting about her, knowing that if I keep going on and on about how I do my job would send me into an emotional maelstrom and I would dwell on it for hours if not days.  I might still pick it up from time to try to figure out what do but I’m able to divert my thoughts when I realize I’m starting to spin before I’m out of control.  Amazing what happens when you take your pills every day.

The angry person that I am wants to tell her what she can do with her $12.33 and comprehensive benefits and put them somewhere the sun doesn’t shine.  But honestly I couldn’t afford to pay for COBRA and also lose the pittance of a paycheck that I get from my second job.  Heaven knows I’m not able to afford everything else with my first job.  Pushing the anger aside I’ve been able to think clearly enough and realize that going without medical is no longer an option in the US, and ways have been provided to help those of us who can’t make their ends meet.  So, what this means to me is that I don’t have to work for her any more, I can be her daughter, do what I am emotionally and physically able to do for her and take back the control I need for my own sanity.  I know, I know, control is an illusion, no one has control.  Despite that, I need to protect myself as much as possible as she starts to deal with her own end-of-life issues I want to be there with her and I want to help her and prepare her but not at the expense of my own sanity.  If anyone is going to drive me over the crazy cliff it will be me.  I am the mistress of my own fate.

So this gives me a whole new list of things to do:

  1. Contact Covered California for help in figuring out the system (done)
  2. Get the cost of COBRA
  3. Sign up for VHP but not on Medi-Cal.
    • Medi-Cal patients are treated differently than VHP participants.
  4. Assign my hours over to K and then quit my job as Mom’s “caregiver” and then start taking care of her as her daughter.

I doubt she’ll stop trying to hurt me, but at least she might have to think twice because I’m not getting paid to be her personal walking and talking Damnit Doll.

The Best Laid Plans…….

Okay, here’s the sitch with not going to school this semester.

After Mom’s little tirades and big tirades about how I wasn’t earning my keep, how everyone keeps a 40 hour a week job and comes home and cooks dinner, does a load of laundry or two and then cleans and picks up after themselves……then swinging over to I’ll be too scared with you sleeping in a camp site with a knife for protection, they’ll just take it away from you and slice you open.  They enjoy stuff like that…..You don’t care about me.  I’m afraid I’m going to die alone and even with you here, you can’t even be helpful to me for that…..  I’m going to stop now, my head is starting to hurt.  Even with all her blustering I was set on going to school.  I figured if I could work from home on Thursday, my sister coming in the evening to take care of her I could skip the traffic and nap before class and then with chemical aids like 5 hr. energy and soda I should be able to stay awake on the way home and not have to stay at the state park.  Easy peasy.  She wasn’t going to talk me out of going to school because she was scared.  I was kind of looking forward to being that close to the beach to hear it in the morning when I got up.

I talked to my bestest friend in the world and she just simply said “There are too many moving parts to that plan to work well,” and I realized she was right.  I think if she said the exact same thing as what my Mom said I probably would have listened to her.  Yes, that sounds like an immature reaction on my end, but I know my BFF wants what’s best for me whereas my Mom just wants whats best for her, so I don’t trust any of her advise.  I realize that is part of her narcissism, and I know in some ways she can’t control it.  She has to realize something is wrong with herself before she can start changing, and she will never see the error of her ways.  So after more thought and prayer and thinking as to what I could do to move my plans forward if I didn’t attend school.

So here’s the plan:

  1. I pay for my Continuing Education Credits
  2. I study and pass the test
  3. I pay the money and fill out the form
  4. I get my certificate back

With my certificate in hand by January, I will be able to look for a blood letting job and sign up for the online course for medical terminology and put on my resume that I know my education wasn’t very accredited but I am going to an accredited college that will teach me the right stuff, and by being so proactive in my education it will make me look like a good egg.  Everyone wants good eggs, bad eggs smell to high heaven, and even if you get rid of them their odor lingers for days/weeks/months to come.

One thing I found out while researching state parks for California.  They have a special pass for the disabled.  You pay $2.50 for the form processing and then you get 1/2 off your cost for camping and day use of the park.  I looked at there definition of “disability” and depression is one of them.  I realize that as things are getting better for me in that arena I will need to apply for it soon while I’m still in this maelstrom of emotions.  I want to start camping.  Glamping for longer times in the wilderness, but camping for weekends anyway.  I can afford that, it might be all that I will be able to afford for vacations in my life so I might as well embrace it now and get the stuff that I want and need for the wilderness experience.

Control is an Illusion

I know this. I’m not stupid. Yet to gain the serenity promised in the SERENITY PRAYER I need to exert the kind of control over my life that I’ve never really wanted before. I need to become a machine. I need to make a list, check it twice, and then methodically, mechanistically go through each one with the promise there will be sleep at the end. It doesn’t help that my goal of coming off the anti-depressants isn’t working as well as I’d hope and staying in bed hiding among the varied dreamscapes I find there is all I want to do.

The lack of meds, the lack of control over the type of control I want in my life and the anger that’s welling up in me for having to have to shut down a goodly portion of my emotional life again in favor of sanity is making me want to take back the realization of March 2013: my name is Pamela and I’m a compulsive overeater. Maybe I’m not. (Anyone else catch the compulsively long run-on sentence?)

I am. I know I am. And try as one might you can’t unknown something without a fairly major stroke. It’s just right now it seems like one more thing on my over crowded to-do list.

Mom Was Wrong – Finally

Okay, so she’s not nearly as right as she thinks she is and far more times than I give her credit for. Mom mad a prediction for my last birthday…..I would be dead. Obviously I’m not because I don’t think wifi or smart phones would be allowed in the space between death and judgement, so she is WRONG. I know it’s petty to take such pleasure in that statement.

However, it’s not like I’ve stood still for this past year. Though it took me 9 months to join OA and I’ve just now started exercising I am making strides. I’ve reduced my meds and it looks as though I’ve gone down as far as I can on my Lexapro I’m hoping exercise (crap) will take care of it and I’ve heard yoga is a good drug replacement too. Again it comes back to caring enough to making myself a priority….I know all this I’m not totally feeling it right now. That’s suppose to come as I work The Steps. And again that goes back to caring enough to make myself a priority. Just like a dog chasing its tail; these are the days of my life.

It’s All About Me……

Everyone has a favorite word or phrase.  Lately my word has been anachronistic and my favorite phrase is “It’s all about me,”  Which, really, it is.  I’m aware of the narcissistic vein that runs through my family line, have been for decades.  And I realize I struggle against that tide of self-interest on a daily basis.  It’s a bit like trying to paddle upstream with anvils as your oars.  I don’t always make a lot of headway, but it keeps me anchored when I’m too tired to row any longer. As long as I struggle to keep ahead of it, the better off I feel I am.

I bring this up because I heard a comment on Sherlock (BBC version) that I liked….”I’m not a psychopath I’m a high functioning sociopath.  Do your research,”  I have been called a sociopath before, never bothered to look up the definition because the person that called me one was just projecting and was mean-spirited child at the time. There are ten questions on the Urban Dictionary that I took, and it turns out I’m just a touch of one, but I think everyone can be everything (unless they are truly stuck in a diagnosis and can’t pry their way out with meds of EST). So, no I ‘m not a sociopath. I have a conscious, I don’t take pleasure in making people cry, I can have an acid tongue, but I use it jovially instead of as a jousting lance.

I have been known to tell people they can’t do something because I don’t like the way it will effect me, but I don’t require them to keep that in mind when they make their decisions. If they don’t want to hear me whine they should do it because my whining can make dogs ears bleed.

Of course blogging is sort of a self-fulfilled sociopathic exercise in me. I’ve said things here that I felt at the time and now I’m sorry I put them in writing. Not enough to take them down, but I am ashamed at some of the things I’ve called some of my family members, I might do some redacting to take out bits, but not the whole, so they won’t get hurt if they should read it…..I don’t know. I guess I’ll have to figure out how it’ll truly affect me either way.

Oh, and for a general update on me…..I’m down 15mg on my Lexapro and 20mg on my Buspar…..and I haven’t unraveled yet. True it’s only been two days on the Lexapro so I’m still floating at a larger dose, but still, I’m working both sides of the program….getting drug free and trying to work the 12 steps…..it’s exhausting, but I’m feeling better all the way around. I cringe at the amount of work that is left to be done, but I will do it. I’m the only one who can because, well, it’s all about me.

Playing in Traffic

Just when I think things are going well the urge to go play in traffic and/or the compulsion to play Death-By-Chocolate reasserts it’s self into my consciousness. What’s really frustrating is I’ve made the decision to go down another step on the Lexapro and now because of these ugly specters I’m second guessing my recovery in general and abstract. I’m still going to reduce, of course. I won’t know that I’ll unravel unless I start pulling at the threads holding me together. I can always go back up if I find myself standing in the middle of the street.

Revenge Is A Dish Best Served With Whipped Cream

Okay, a rather long title.  I’m still flying a little bit on the cheese cake(s) from my celebratory vengeance expedition at the local mall.  Perhaps I should say that revenge is best dished up with a credit card and someone elses money.  It goes back to the whole “I’m really ashamed of the way you present yourself.” and “I don’t want you to embarrass me” crap that I got from my sister today and my mother on Saturday.  So,  went shopping to buy clothes to wear to work with my sister.  Despite the fact that I got a great deal on the clothes, like saving over $200 on the majority of it, I used the money I’m supposed to pay my sister with.  Can’t have both, money and a sister that doesn’t embarass you.  Pick one.  I do have to say, retail therapy is VERY effective.

I did something I can’t believe I did but I have absolutely no regret on and that was buying a purse that is all leather, that fits all my writing paraphernalia and is just elegantly understated and is so not the tattered bag I’ve been carrying around with me because it fit everything I needed to carry around.  It’s sitting here next to me and the smell of the leather is soooooo nice.

So, let’s address the issues at hand.  First of all, I got angry and went shopping.  Everyone I talked to about how I had been so mightily abused agreed with me, even though I looked horrible, dirty shirt and torn jeans and tennis shoes, everyone agreed that was just out-of-bounds for anyone to say to another person, especially a family member.  But the sting of the anger that I normally would have been fussing at before, even though I’m off my anti-anxiety pills briefly due to supply, has me feeling more empathy for Cyndi and even understanding that she thinks it’s okay.  I’m trying to get beyond the crap our childhood has mired us in, she’s happy as a clam up to her nose in it.  She is hurting me because she is hurting and doesn’t realize it, and I can’t hate her for that.  And I’m going to keep trying to maintain that attitude.

So, the clothes, socks, pj bottoms, purse, make-up, face care and make-up brushes are my ways of compensating myself for the slight by giving Mom and C what they want, me to not shame them in public.  Of course, this doesn’t mean I won’t wear the dirty shirt and the torn jeans when we’re out as a family.  I’m not going to stop who I am because it offends their narrow interpretation of what the world should look like in order to be accepted.  They can just bite me if they think  I’m ever going to be like them.  The one thing I am keeping is my Mickey Mouse watch.  They can pry that off my cold dead wrist before I’ll give that up.

I love my purse.

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