Fourth Blogoversary: March 25th

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Strange fate. Why God, or the universe, or a great nothingness conspires or throws events at random to some and misses others. The Wheel of Fortune keeps spinning. Some folks buy a vowel while others go bankrupt.

There was a blurb on the news yesterday: A fire at my old apartment complex. Then it announced the address. My building. I asked my friend to drive me ‘round the hood. I wanted to see if it was their apartment since their apartment was in the same building as the apartment I shared with my mother. Ye Old Shitville Ghetto Apartment Complex looked the same as ever: dilapidated, half-assed put together, just all that charm of a coastal town sunk into hell. Home sweet home. Roachy, bedbuggy, home. Mom and I lived 9 relatively happy years here. Four Years ago yesterday, March 25, 2010 I started my blog there. In 2011 my mother was taken to the hospital from there never to return again.

It wasn’t their apartment that caught fire, that is, my ex-roommates. Not the man who I miss to this day. My mother’s cook book is still on their shelf, and whatever else I gave them or they kept as theirs did not catch alight in some Waiting to Exhale diva style fashion. I’m glad they’re safe, and I hear they’re moving far away in about a week. 

No, there was the apartment my mother and I shared gutted by fire. So far they say “cause undetermined,” but I’d bet the house (pun intended) that it was shitty wiring. First that wiring was older than I am, I’m pretty certain, secondly if I remember correctly, sometimes it did act funky.
If it was a malfunction in the wiring or appliances, and had my mother lived, I’m certain we would still live there and it would be us left with nothing. Did God deliberately spare us that fate? Why?

In my more philosophical mode, I think, “Did my mother die at 68 to be spared going downhill physically, possibly ending up an oxygen-bound invalid like her mother or near blind from macular degeneration like her father? Did God cut my mother a break, or was he being cruel? My mother’s illness was two weeks total, only one day of which was  in the hospital. Also God knew that as long as my mom lived, my OCD would’ve been at her side trying to keep her alive. I’d never have lived alone were she still alive. I’d be too afraid she’d die. And now our apartment is charred. My mother’s essence burned out of the walls it feels like to me. Would we have died in the fire? Did God kill my mother to protect us from a worse fate? Why didn’t He just stop the fire in the first place and spared whoever lived there.? Ugh, I just don’t get it. Maybe my not being there was just the luck of the draw, and numerous calamities are about to befall me. Stay tuned!

 

Lady Lue Hullabaloo

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I am by nature timid and go to crazy lengths to avoid confrontation.  A week ago was no exception. Marinating in the words of a woman made a jalapeño  stew  that my brain soaked in and began to boil .  In other words,  I was peeved.

 

Bestie asked me to act as a buffer between her and her worker. This woman is supposed to help her cook,  clean, take her shopping, and junk. I keep trying to recall the name of this job or even the acronym, so I just call the woman Bestie’s RSVP Worker.  Wait, I remember now. She’s my friend’s PCA: Personal Care Assistant. Why is that so hard to remember? Could be my advanced years or all the pot I smoked with my ex-roommate, or I’m just  lousy at remembering anything.

 

So this woman,  Lady Lue is a PCA, which  must mean Personal Complaints Assistant. The fine art of complaining was something in which she excelled. Whether it was her family, other clients of hers, or how miserable her life was in general, Lady  Lue wanted Bestie to know in detail. Everyone loves martyrs, right?

 

 

 

Perhaps if it remained only a matter  of complaining, Bestie might have handled it. There were other things though, such as her temper, her nagging, and hurrying my friend. Plus there was the issue of a quilt  that only materialized after my friend mentioned it to one of Lady Lue’s superiors.

 

The final straw however came the day she took Bestie to the laundromat, hurried her along, resented when my friend spoke to people she knew as Lady Lue hustled my friend’s stuff out of the machine.

 

“Come on, let’s go, I’ve got to get to my hair appointment!” Lady Lue demanded. When they got back to my friend’s house, and Bestie asked her to make her bed as she is physically disabled, Lady Lue’s reply was “ I don’t have time now. I’ll come back later today if I can.” Lady Lue didn’t return, and while leaving she called her hair dresser.  “I’m running late, can you just dye it, and I’ll wash it out at home?”

 

My friend, disturbed by all of this, ended up going back to the laundromat to retrieve things left behind. This all made her tell someone about Lady Lue’s conduct. Then Tuesday she was supposed to come see Bestie again, and my friend was so afraid of a confrontation that I stayed all day for a Lady Lue who never showed in the first place. Lady Lue’s supervisor assured my friend she would do what’s expected until she could be replaced. Not exactly.

 

Friday came. I rolled out of bed, half asleep, too tired to really give a damn what I looked like. I dreaded meeting Lady Lue. The tales I’d heard of her superior bitchitude made me wary, plus I had seen her lackluster job at stuff too: dishes with food debris still on them and a dirty cat litter box scooper thrown in the kitchen sink. Look, I’m probably the nastiest person in this complex, but the cat scooper in the kitchen sink? Seriously?

 

I answered the door at my friend’s house and there she stood.  Lady Lue: A woman dressed in a leopard print coat, her page-boy hair dyed shoe polish black. I introduced myself in the friendliest manner of which I am capable, a saccharin sweet voice that secretly means ‘go to hell’ in Southern.

 

“How nice to meet you! I just woke up this morning and decided I’d pop in and see what my friend was up to today like I sometimes do, “ I said to deter Lady Lue  from thinking I was strategically placed there. It was as though I’d been snorting Pixie Sticks in preparation for this meeting.

 

 “What a nice jacket!” exclaimed Lady Lue, which secretly means ‘go to hell’ in New Yorkese.  Now when I first found that jacket at a dumpster circa 1996, yes I’d have agreed with her, “Nice jacket. Someone fat musta lost weight or died. Oh well, my gain!”  Eighteen years later, the denim is fraying at the edges in a grungy tribute to a bygone era. As Kurt Cobain used to sing, Come as You Are.

 

She set my jacket aside, sat down and became all business.  “Did you do your laundry this week?” My friend hadn’t  and it was that broad’s DUTY TO DO IT. “But,” said Bestie pointedly, Lisa helped me make my beds.” Oh snap. I am useful as well as decorative.

 

 

 

Lady Lue asked something in New Yorkese.  Are you brafjfa answpa lipt?”

 

“I’m sorry, I’m not sure what that is?”

 

“Lent is something some Christians do that they give up   40 days until Easter,” Lady Lue announced in a tone I didn’t like, though it might have been my imagination. Are you saying I ain’t a good Christian, bitch?

 

“ Ohhh Lent, yes I know what Lent is. I misunderstood you. Unfortunately I either forget or am not good enough at keeping it.” Bestie remained silent due to the fact that she’s Apostolic Pentecostal and they aren’t so keen on rituals. Besides, that question is kind of tacky, like if I hauled out  and asked, “Surely you must be hitting menopause by now?”

 

The next thing Lady Lue did I’m 99% percent sure was to put me in my place for being there. It was insulting no matter how you slice it, and shows this woman doesn’t believe all people deserve dignity just as much as her stuck up ass does.

 

You must be one of Lena’s friends.”

 

I’m sorry, I don’t think I know a Lena,” I said confused.

 

“Oh you don’t get services?”

 

“No.” You c___t, I’m thinking to myself. You f’ing bitch. She’s saying you’re retarded, Lisa. That you’re a mental case and ride the short bus just like every other freaking person thinks of you. It was like every single slight I ever received by the many people who thought I was below average intellectually came and punched me. The guy who tried to sic the mentally challenged guy on me romantically just to be funny. People talking about me, but not addressing me. The man who told me, “Everyone thinks you’re kinda slow, but not me.” The woman who came up to me after my mother died and asked if I needed a nurse. Being in that home for two months. I filled with anger, I didn’t trust  myself not to tell her she was an f’ing bitch. I wanted to die of mortification.

 

“No, she gets services, but not through your company,” said Bestie Oh well, another attempt at pretending to be normal thwarted, but at least it shut that B up.

 

 

 

Now that she had  wiped the floor with my delicate little psyche, Lady Lue proceeded to sweep the floor in the kitchen, and not bother mopping it though Bestie had asked her to.

 

 

 

“My supervisor will call you next week ,” she said, and with that left my friend shaking and my brain boiling in

 

Margaret Hamilton as the Witch in the 1939 fil...

“I’ll get you, my pretty, and your mentally ill friend too.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

jalapeño stew.

PS< Happy St. Patrick’s Day

 

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Happy New Year!

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At the beginning of each new year, at 12:00 AM sharp, I declare psychological warfare on myself. This will be the year of PERFECT ME. NO MISTAKES. NO PISSING OFF, ANNOYING, OR UPSETTING ANYONE IN GOD’S CREATION.

This lasted until January 3rd this time when I missed my appointment at the therapist. I  got winded on my new bike about five minutes from leaving my apartment, gave up, tried to  catch a ride while annoying my friend in the process due to how late I was, and ended up cancelling. My therapist wasn’t upset because she is part of  a place that caters to “special people,” and we miss from time to time. She tried to calm me down because I was in batshit crazy mode by the time I called, the first mistake of the year does that to me. Were my mother able to communicate from beyond, she’d tell you this part of me she doesn’t miss at all. She might even say, “See, sepsis has it’s good points.” Almost every fight my Mom and I had in later years was due to  my rage at my lacking perfection. Sigh.

On the 5th was the worst mistake yet of year 2014. An epic fail of motherhood. I’ve had a new kitten since October. My nurse gave her to me because she knew I’d take care of her for life, because my Oscar is still missing, and she needed to pawn the kitten off on someone.  Among my kitten’s many bad habits is jumping in the refrigerator every time I open it, and I always see her. I’ve even said to her, “Lil Mooky, I guess you never saw that episode of Punky Brewster when that girl got stuck in a refrigerator, huh?”

This time, though, I didn’t see Lil Mooky jump in the fridge with the salad dressing I put inside. I went to play video games when I heard a small meow that became frantic. “Mooky!” I screamed and opened the fridge and there she was crouching on the second shelf.  I tried to get her, but she jumped out herself. Not a second later, she was off chasing Dondee as usual. She seemed not a spec traumatized, unlike myself. 

This was taken when Mooky was a tiny baby staring at Dondee

This was taken when Mooky was a tiny baby staring at Dondee. Yes, my shades no longer “shade”

Lil Mooky’s real name is Mirielle,  but she’s more of a Lil Mooky than a Parisian miss. I got her Lil Mooky  ghetto name from this song:

Fate

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Added to my regrettable poetry, this humble offering. My mother would have been 71 today, I sometimes find myself thinking on her birthday, that it isn’t fair she’s dead. I know, just look in a cemetery at all the young folks who croaked, but one can’t help how you feel sometimes.

Whoever said life’s not fair is right.

Trying to stay above water,

not give up the fight.

But the water is murky,

Try as we might,

some of us slip out of sight.

Left to our fate,

no one sees our plight.

Garden Variety

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Photo credit: schnappischnap)

When I  was younger, particularly before I became medicated, my OCD was garden variety. Blasphemous phrases in the tulips, fear of becoming homicidal pushing up in the daisies, infectious blood in the bleeding hearts.

But the roses in my OCD garden kept my mother. All the years I spent worrying about something happening to my mother, hyper vigilant, trying to evade her mortality, yet in the end she died just the same.

Nowadays my garden variety case  of OCD has died for the most part and is  mulch for another monster, a weed that began years ago.

Now  my mind is a courthouse. Not a Florida courthouse where you can get off for the darndest things, more like “kill ‘em all or make ‘em wear pink” Arizona. The judge in my head is merciless and ready to throw the book.

My crime is my inferiority complex. I want to measure up to the rest of the world and I fail. My judge hates my frailty. I pray and pray that I can  measure up to normal people, but I keep making mistakes everyday. I keep making people mad. I keep making myself mad. My judge asks me, “What use are you to anyone?”

“Dunno. I take care of my cats.”

I know the truth. If I died tomorrow, no one would be inconsolable. The one person who needed me is ashes in a plastic box. People loved my mother. I was just her quiet daughter, the one folks assumed was ‘slow.’

In a way not being needed is liberating. Being around  people tends to remind me of my faults. I like being around people, but I don’t like seeing the various ways that I fail. I sometimes feel like a leper around humans. I mean well, but as that drag queen I used to live with said, ‘you’re a boil on my ass that I just can’t lance.” Ah, but everyday that boil survives on her own, makes the sun shine where the sun don’t shine.

On a positive note, my eyes are healthy (apart from being blind as a bat without my glasses). I bet it’s been over 10 years since my last eye examination. I was afraid they’d find macular degeneration in my eyes since it runs in the family.

I once had my glasses adjusted at that office while my friend was there getting new glasses. The attendant remembered me because of my award-winning personality….and the super glue prominent on my left lens.

Guest Post: Common Myths about OCD

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By Lisa Pitts

Common Myths about OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder affects a huge number of people. Approximately 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children in the United States suffer with OCD, to varying degrees of severity. As most of us know, OCD is an obsession based compulsion to engage in ritualistic behavior, often to the detriment of the sufferer. It can cause a huge strain on the lives of those with it, and those around them. Whilst many sufferers and spokespeople are more vocal about the condition than ever before, stigma and misconceptions still surround OCD. So let’s dispel a few of them…

Myth: “I wash my hands X times per day, I have OCD!”

There is a huge difference between OCD and someone who just likes to have clean hands. Whilst obsessive hand washing is certainly one variation of OCD, it goes far beyond just having meticulous personal hygiene. When I suffered from OCD I didn’t just wash my hands because I wanted them to be clean, I washed them because I needed them to be clean – as if my life depended on it. If my hands weren’t clean, everything would go on hold until they were. OCD by its nature makes you think irrationally. If it doesn’t seem like the end of world if you don’t get the opportunity to wash your hands as much as you’d like, then chances are you don’t have OCD of the hand washing variety.

Myth: OCD is all about cleanliness and hygiene

This is one of the biggest misconceptions about OCD. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is ritualistic behavior that can extend to every area of life imaginable, in many ways. The main subcategories of OCD include (but are not limited to) washing and cleanliness, checking, repeating, ordering & arranging, and mental rituals. As such, even the simplest of day-to-day activities can become ritualized by a sufferer. For example, closing a door – the simplest of tasks for most people, but back when I suffered with OCD closing my bedroom door used to take me about a minute. When I closed it, I had to do so with my right finger pushed up against the right hand corner of the top panel. From there, I had to press the door 16 times to make sure it was shut – with four second intervals in-between each push.  This was because 16 was my lucky number, and four when squared was also my lucky number. If I didn’t do this, I believed with every part of my being that something terrible would happen – I’d tell myself if I didn’t do it that my mother would fall terminally ill, that my home would be destroyed, or that I would have bad luck for the rest of my life. Even though part of me knew it was irrational, I wasn’t prepared to take that chance. The urge was so overwhelming to perform this ritual, that performing it felt like a release. Peace would be restored, and I could continue on with my life – or what life I had with OCD.

Whilst numeric rituals are common in those with OCD, the condition can involve anything, be it objects, people or places. What defines it as OCD, is the overwhelming compulsion to do or think. The severity can be minor or major, and it comes packaged in a variety of ways – not just cleanliness.

Myth: OCD is developed during childhood

Whilst OCD can certainly develop within childhood (usually from the ages of 8 – 12 years), the average onset for most people is around the late teens or early twenties; though it can occur anytime. Therefore it’s not necessarily something caused by a traumatic childhood, or growing up in a broken home. Whilst the causes of OCD aren’t crystal clear, research suggests that a combination of genetics, serotonin levels within the brain, and environmental factors can all play a part.

Myth: OCD is a women’s condition

This isn’t true, OCD occurs within both genders equally.

Myth: OCD can’t be cured

Whilst there isn’t a specific cure for OCD, it doesn’t mean that the condition can’t be cured by various treatments. Whilst there are currently no tests to determine OCD, a diagnosis is made after a doctor/patient interview. From there, various treatments and therapies are available, but the one the National Institute of Mental Health and Harvard Medical School both recommend is CBT – aka, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It’s also possible that an individual can recover on their own, whether consciously or not. For me, I simply decided that I would no longer have my life ruled by OCD and worked hard for years to break the irrational thought patterns. For those who don’t see that as an option however, help is out there – OCD can most definitely be cured.

Pepper to Taste

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Ever since my old therapist chucked me due to new Medicaid restrictions, I have a  new therapist named Pepper. It isn’t a pseudonym, her name really is Pepper. I have no idea what her last name is, just that she’s a therapist. I just liked her when I met her during an intake interview and asked if she was taking new clients. So voila. When I think of Pepper, I think of that doll by Ideal from the 1960s. Pepper the doll had red hair. Pepper the therapist has red hair. In fact, if Pepper the doll had an age progression photo done to age her into her late 50s, she could be Pepper the therapist.

ImagePepper

But let me digress a bit. So new Medicaid restrictions were causing dumping of us ghetto/trailer folk all round. The first to fall was my eye doctor. People on Medicaid apparently do not have eyes. They literally cut all coverage for eye exams, glasses, etc. Well OK.  Next was my dentist. Due to the fire hoops all Medicaid providers must jump through, my dentist dropped all Medicaid folks. Then my therapist dropped Medicaid for the same reason. “I’m just not going to play their game,” said she. I don’t blame her. My psychiatrist, though, was the most emotional about it. Her eyes got watery as she said she really cared about her Medicaid patients, and would do her best to try and keep us. She told me before that she  felt an obligation to my  late mother to make sure I’m OK. Well, OK.

My psychiatrist was determined to find the loophole in the needle that was in the haystack to keep her Medicaid patients. I sometimes wonder if it was the specter of my mother urging her on, though I’m sure she has other far  more likeable patients than me. My mother was the likeable one. The shrink should know, because I drug my mother in with me every time. When I came in the first time after my mom died, she thought my mother must just be parking the car. Awkward. I always had been    intimidated by my psychiatrist, she who wielded the power to diagnose my crazy ass on a whim. My shy, awkward ways, my lack of smiling all made her wonder if I had Asperger’s.  I think she later figured what I believe to be true, my lowwwwwwww self-esteem and fear of doing the wrong thing is the culprit. I get social cues, so next diagnosis please.

Dependent personality disorder. Oh swell. I might buy it and I might not buy it. I’d be more apt to believe it if I didn’t do so well on my own, and for the most part want to be alone. But my past is my past. When my mother was alive I depended fully upon her. When I was with he whom I called my Soul Bro, I thoroughly depended on him to the point of sustaining  emotional abuse. Why do I still see him as the great love of my life? I must be a head case.  I’d rather not be dependentocdbloggergirl.wordpress.com, thanks.

 

And back to Pepper. Pepper is great. Pepper is awesome. I even try to take her advice sometimes. Whereas my former therapist mainly did talk therapy, Pepper is big on cognitive behavior therapy, mindfulness, and shit. I preferred talking and my therapist giving me insight, but OK. She is trying to give me coping skills, assertiveness skills, and learn not to obsess on doing everything to please everyone. Learn how to breathe all mindfully,  be aware of other things going on around you. Cool. Sometimes, however, I must refrain from mumbling, “Lady, are you for real?” Such as the Kitty Cat Exercise.

 

Yes, the Kitty Cat Exercise. One day, I showed up in her office flushed from a hurried walk from my apartment, a good little jaunt. I either missed the bus or didn’t have the fare, and I was late. I apologized profusely, though I am the type who will be late to my own funeral.

Seeing my state, Pepper asked me what my favorite type of water was that I liked to visit.

“A pool” said I, so the idea of me thinking of ocean water and hearing the waves was out of the question, I guess.

“Well, what is your favorite sound?”

“There is nothing nicer to me than the sound of a cat purring.”

This Pepper could work with, so she had me relax, turned on a ‘relaxing sounds’ app on her smart phone, set to purr mode. Then she cut the light in her office out and had me imagine a long-haired grey cat with a bit of white on her nose and me stroking her fur.

I tried to do the exercise, but my mind decided to be a smartass as usual.

That cat sounds like it’s on a respirator.

Then the cat I pictured became Nyan Cat, the animated cat with a pop tart body.

“>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH2-TGUlwu4&w=448&h=252&hd=1]

When the exercise was over, Pepper suggested I find such an app so I can do this on my lonesome. I said, “Yes, that sounds like a good idea.” Or I could just go home and pet my cats, same results.

 

One last thing though, and I don’t want to be maudlin, but I had the most bizarre dream. It is in my dreams that I remember I once had a mother, and that my memories of her and my life before she died are my memories.

I dreamed that my former roommates invited me back to live with them when I wished for $250.00,  but I still had my own apartment. Things had not changed though, they were both insulting me and I felt a constant threat of making them mad, or being thrown out of Faux Bro’s life which I was paying to be in. Philippe was with me. If you remember, Phil was the cat they wanted to keep as their own, the other two my nurse had to retrieve from the pound.

Then I found myself at the McDonald’s down the street, a place I had gone to get away from that oppressive environment sometimes during the final days. And there sitting waiting for me was my mother, my dead mother, which I kindly reminded her of her state. “Mom, this is a dream. You’re dead. You can’t really be here. Please stay.”

At the end of the dream, I venture back to my own apartment with Phillipe in my arms. 

 

Thanks for reading and I’m sorry I haven’t been around here or at your blogs, will do  better. XOXO

My Third Blogoversary!

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A wake of turkey vultures, roosting in a tree ...

A wake of majestic turkey vultures, roosting in a tree in Mountain View, California, waiting for new blog posts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Strangely enough,
March 25th will mark my third blogoversary. Time flies when you type five words a minute. Picture it, I a callow youth of  32, rose in my cheeks  and tortured genius illuminating my eyes, typing my first words! Oh how the muses danced, the angels wept, and the majestic turkey vultures soared! Three years, still here. In case you missed those 3 years, let me summarize:

Lisa, the OCDbloggergirl, lives with her mother and 3 cats. Lisa has OCD and is getting into fights with her mom, mainly because Lisa cannot be the perfect person Lisa wants to be and this pisses her off. Poor mom. The years are swallowed up with Lisa writing, Lisa getting published by online journals ( reprints of blog entries, mainly). Lisa’s writing improves. She thinks “Hey why don’t I get my own website, maybe I’ll get rich or at least be able to have a meowing cat widget!” Life is swell. Then Fate says, “Hey why don’t I let your mom die of complications from pneumonia, that would be a plot twist!” Life sucks. Some social worker says Lisa might have to go to a group home if she can’t find somewhere to go on her SSI check.  Lisa would rather die than be separated from her cats now that there’s no one else. Neighbors step in and she and the cats go live there. Life is very good again and Lisa finds her Soul Mate in her gay neighbor (Dumb, OCDbloggergirl. You get what ‘gay’ means, right?) But gay friend and jealous partner are kinda messed up themselves and who was wrong? Who was right? Who was fucked over? I think Lisa was, but maybe they were, but maybe she was, but then …All the lies and uncertainty make Lisa do something to herself, she ends up in the hospital. Then she ends up in hell…er a nursing home for two months, until her roommates cave and let her dumb ass back in for a nominal hike in rent (475.00 instead of 240.00). Life is teetering from good to bad back and forth. The man she loves, Gay Romeo, likes to lie, and has stopped taking his medicines. He forgets he cares about  Lisa altogether, but she is saved from hell by a program. Lisa now has her own apartment for the first time in her life, and they all lived happily ever after maybe. She hopes that now her blog will stop being a total buzz kill.

I guess you could say I am at a good place now. Well, almost. Oscar, my grey and black tabby is missing now for over a month. I remain hopeful he will return, just as my Phillipe did 9 years ago when my mother and I moved into our old apartment. Phillipe was cooped up 2 weeks before we opened the door and let him go outside. He didn’t come home for 2 and a half months. Came home though, and no worse for wear. I suspect someone took him in and he finally got away, which I suppose happened to Oscar too. I think a good post would be to tell the stories of my 3 cats one day. For those of you who pray, please pray Oscar comes home. Thanks.

But yeah. Good place. Now. I am happy for the most part. There is a strange sort of freedom to being alone in the world. I find my life worth living, even if only for my cats, and the occasional ‘rescue mission’ for Bestie, who is a bit of an anxious lass. I don’t have to be useful to anyone anymore, and that’s freedom in a way. When I was with the roommates, my use was measured in my finances I guess. When I was with my friend I  knew from way back, all he wanted was a batch o’ my snatch. When I went to that ‘home,’ almost everyone wanted me for one reason or another. Eh God, vultures. I am better off on my own having my own adventures and my own  life. Hanging out with Bestie, my friend of 20 years, basically  fulfills my social life, that and my online life. Soul brothers are merely mythological creatures, unicorns. I miss my unicorn though (we even watched My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic together, sigh).

And now, not to be all Jodi Arias stalky or anything, but I did have someone drive me by ye olde home place, just to see if the members of the She-Male Lisa Haters Club had indeed left town as they said they would in March. Part of me prayed that they were gone, that seeing an empty apartment would cure me of my feelings for The Unicorn nee Soul Bro. But neighhhhhhhh, the signs that they were still there abounded. First, the plants that I gave him from my mother were still there. The chair that once was mine was still there, as no doubt the rest of the lawn furniture that he felt was his due (I would have left that chair for him anyway, the way I had left half of my hard candy for him). There is a yellow truck out in front. I wonder if it’s his. He always wanted a yellow vehicle. If it is, the straits they said they were in due to me must have eased into gentler waters.

But the doubts are ever present in my mind. Is it because of  me that they aren’t gone to fulfill his dream in DC? Is he sick? Or, like so many other things, was living there just another of his stories? Once, The Partner told me that I was a boil on his butt that he just can’t lance. Well, I was lanced wasn’t I? Shouldn’t they be happily ever after now, and shouldn’t I, like a normal person, stop giving a fuck about The Unicorn? Somewhere over the rainbowwwwwwww….

I am happy now. I am almost at peace. I must put them out of my mind. I am eternally grateful that he was there when my mother died, but that chapter of my life must close. That way I can truly be happy, That and finding Oscar. Where the hell are you, Oscar?

PS, other fun incidentals. Remember for a time I foolishly flirted with having a self-hosted site? Well when I hung up the towel there at ocdbloggergirl dot com and let my domain expire, guess what happened? I thought maybe some other blogger might buy it, but I doubted it. Nope. Ocdbloggergirl dot com didn’t even become a Canadian pharmacy. Cough. It became…cough…a porn site. A porn site boasting Polish lesbians. I’m not joking,  And as Paul Harvey used to say…”now you know the rest of the story.”

End of a Series That I Started Over a Year Ago…What Happened to My Mom and Me Part IV

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In case  you missed it:

http://ocdbloggergirl.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/what-happened-to-my-mom-and-me-part-i/

http://ocdbloggergirl.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/what-happened-to-my-mom-and-me-part-ii/

http://ocdbloggergirl.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/what-happened-to-my-mom-and-me-part-iii/

I try again on that red phone and this time we are allowed into the ICU. The third time is the charm. My mom is in room 14. The doctor I met in the ER asks me questions, the one with a European accent and wonderful bedside manner. 

“We  can keep the antibiotic drips going, which may let her live for a little while longer, but I’ve rarely seen anyone get better this far along. But it’s your decision.”

“How much difference would there be in time if I take her off the drips?” I ask.

“It’s hard to say. She could last a few hours or a few days.”

“But it’s near impossible for her to get better?”

“Less than a 1% chance, but if you say to keep going, we will keep pumping her with antibiotics and doing all we can.”

“I need to think about it a bit.”

He asks me about taking extraordinary measures to keep my mother alive, but I know my answer already. “No, my mother wouldn’t want that if she would be brain-dead. I’m certain I don’t want you to resuscitate and she’s told me before she wouldn’t want it.” Break my mother’s ribs so that she can be a dead woman breathing? No. NO.                                                           

“I don’t know if in her condition any of her organs could be used, but if they can, I want them to be donated. My mother wouldn’t mind. She had ‘organ donor’ on her driver’s license. It would be nice to know my mom hadn’t died completely in vain.”

They are going to do some other procedures to my mother, so Bestie and I go out to the waiting room again.  Bestie is on the phone with her mom and telling her about my indecision in keeping Mama on the antibiotics. And of course Bestie’s mom wants to give me her sage advice in the matter. I politely listen.

“She’s your mom. You can’t give up on her.”

“Yes, you’re probably right,” I reply. 

“What kind of insurance does your mother have?”

“Just Medicare.”

“Well, you know with people without anything but Medicare, they try to do as little as they can with them and get them out of there.”

I tell the doctor that he should keep the drips going just in case. Afterall, they are also keeping her on pain meds and sedation just in case. I probably would’ve made this decision anyway without the intervention of my bestie’s dear Mama, but…

I have to ask, though. How do you ask such a question without giving offense? “Um, I don’t believe this of course, you’ve all been so wonderful, but…my friend’s mother is a bit of a cynic, and she told me y’all don’t do everything for Medicare patients because of their insurance. Is there any truth in this?”

The doctor’s answer was no. “In fact, this is a teaching hospital, and most of the patients that come here don’t have any insurance at all, so we do everything we can for all our patients.”

Cool deal.

I decide to go home for some sleep. I am assured that the nurse would call me should my mother take a turn in the night. A nurse is attending my mom’s IV and I remark to him, This must be one depressing job.”

“It can be.”

“How much of the people who come in here live?”

“About 50 %.”

It is 10 pm when Bestie and I head home and I collapse into bed. I know no more until about 4 am when the phone rings.

“You might want to come now. She’s taken a turn for the worse,” says the doctor.

“Hearing the phone at this time of the night doesn’t give me a warm and fuzzy feeling,” says Bestie. She was sleeping on the couch and we go to the hospital in the quiet of the ear morning. This time I don’t have to  wait when I pick up the red phone. I tell Bestie that I want some time with my mother alone at times, but would check on her in 20 minutes because my friend is an anxious soul too. 

I tell my mother that I would understand if she has to go, that I would be fine, but if she could, please stay.  I make myself not beg her to stay for the sake that if she can hear me, I don’t want her last thoughts to be worry over me not being OK without her.

I see the chaplain when offered. He is a young Episcopalian and we pray together. I like him so much I take his number in case I need someone to preach a funeral (my mom and I hadn’t been to church in a number of years). I even end up asking  him if he thought my mom would be OK if cremated. My grandmother didn’t believe in cremation and I suddenly felt  the need for reassurance from a man of God. “God is bigger than that”, was his answer. My mother felt cremation was fine and to rid myself of the ashes in the sea was what she wanted.

I even saw an old high school friend and he was a nurse there. Small world. The last time I’d seen him he was a server at one of those steakhouses where they think it’s a good idea to use roadkill as decor. I guess the road to the original Texas Roadhouse was fraught with many an animal.

Shortly before 8 am, September 13, 2011 my mother took her last breath. I couldn’t restrain my tears now. She was gone and I held it together as well as I could to not upset her. I tried to calm myself again for the Bestie to not upset her more than she was. Who was that woman that shoved anxiety ridden Lisa into a corner and took her place in my body those two days? It wasn’t the me who had dreaded this day for years and went to extremes to prevent her death. It was the  Lisa that only comes out when I’m drowning and that Lisa swims.

 

 

 

OCD Book Review: I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands by J.J. Keeler

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An awesome 5 star read!

Recently, I received an email from TLC Book Tours asking me if I would review a memoir by a fellow OCD sufferer. Of course I said yes, because I love books, memoirs, and the word “free.” I am so glad I did, because I ended up reading the best book on OCD I ever read. The book is I Hardly Ever Ever Wash My Hands: The Other Side of OCD by J.J. Keeler. It was as though the author ran a spinal tap to my soul and drained out my own experiences with OCD. If you suffer from OCD, you might get the same jolt of recognition from I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands as I did. This book is also invaluable to those who ‘suffer’ a friend or family member with OCD. One receives a candid look into the mind of  an OCD sufferer and the horrors we often suffer in silence day by day. Fortunately, the book isn’t a dark abyss of misery either. J.J. Keeler has a brilliant sense of humor that shines through the book’s heavy subject matter and shows that we aren’t just a bundle of nervous buzz kills, that we can indeed be ‘normal’ on the outside, that we can be fun, and we are good people. Really, this is a book anyone can enjoy and learn from, an entertaining summer read that shines a light on the fact that no one is ‘perfectly normal.’

I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands is not a memoir about the pop culture OCD sufferer, the meticulously clean germ phobe who keeps everything in its place. When a friend suggests to her that she may have OCD, the author responds with, “but I hardly ever wash my hands.” I had a similar reaction when I was diagnosed. I remember saying to my shrink, “but I don’t compulsively wash my hands or flip light switches over and over.” It’s all here in the book, the truth about how OCD messes with the mind. I could identify with the author from page 1. I used to “catch” AIDS all the time too and was afraid of being pricked by a wayward needle in the grass. When Keeler describes being afraid that her teddy bear had a bomb inside, I could recall my own teddy incident. Except mine was an orange squirrel. I was convinced it was full of drugs that would either kill me or get me thrown in prison. Afraid of stabbing someone just because one sees a knife and being filled with terrifying images of hurting people? I’ve been there before. Ritualized praying, I still have the T-shirt for that one. 

J.J. Keeler

J.J. Keeler also shows us how some phobias are normal, that not everything is our OCD. She also addresses what to do if you are just realizing you might have OCD. She reminds us that those who pontificate on how “it’s all in our head and we don’t need medicine or therapy” don’t have a clue. It’s really difficult dealing with people who think they know everything about our issues,

English: Teddy bear Français : Ours en peluche

and just this reminder from Keeler is extremely comforting. We are able to see through Keeler that OCD isn’t curable, but one can live a life not dictated by our mental illness. The most important point of I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands, however, is seeing that we are not alone. 

Here is a link to other blog reviews for this book. http://tlcbooktours.com/2012/05/j-j-keeler-author-of-i-hardly-ever-wash-my-hands-on-tour-july-2012/

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