Ocdbloggergirl's Blog: OCD, Life, and Other Misunderstandings

More Mental Malaise, Less Donald Trump

Princess Rubenesque’s Adventures Downtown — April 30, 2010

Princess Rubenesque’s Adventures Downtown

(Started Apr 12, bothered to finish today. Yay, I’m caught up!)

I intended on going to the parade Saturday morning, but awoke flustered and despairing of getting there on time, so I fell back on the couch and watched the thing on TV.  I was angry at myself for not going…I always go. It was so cool that our local hero was the parade marshal. Such a small, normal looking woman and God only knows how many people she saved when she took that guy down. She once was a police officer at a local beach where nothing happens and now look at her…people around the world know what she did. I bet she wishes it never happened though since she can only walk a bit now. I will reiterate though she is mega cool.

Saturday evening my mother and I went downtown to see the fireworks. We walked 6 blocks to the river, but it was a lovely evening and a pleasant walk in the historic district.  At night sometimes one can see inside their lovely homes, the painted or wallpapered rooms with their  pretentious chandeliers and antique furnishings. The other joy is all the people observing one can  get in, like the actively hallucinating guy who walked past us giving consolation to someone we couldn’t see. With the advent of bluetooth technology it can be difficult to tell if someone is nuts, but this guy’s jerky movements made insanity  a certainty. “He wouldn’t give us any money,” he told his invisible friend, then said, “Don’t worry about him though, man.”

The fireworks were beautiful and I think we had the best view we ever had, sitting in our fold-out chairs in clear view of where they were  shot off.  Then we went to the Chinese take-out for some soup. This joint gave birth to the term “seedy.” There’s always interesting people there. Someone opened the door to yell to a patron that their mutual pal is in jail, but she already knew and was cross but seemed to not view it as being as newsworthy as her friends did.

Soup is a rather ritual-oriented meal, especially the robust hot and sour they serve at Seedy China.  The soup is spicy hot and would not do for the average Anglo to gulp down, but it is the best I’ve ever tasted. In case you aren’t fortunate enough to know how to eat a pint of soup the proper way, allow me to school you on the perfect and essential way. You can thank me later for this vital skill.

Please recall, gentle reader, we did not grow up in a sty and must act accordingly. Unfold your napkin and set it in your lap (if you are lucky like me your stomach is one  large flap and if utilized properly, can act as a ‘paperweight’ for the napkin in your lap).  Take your spoon and begin. Begin from the left and take  sips until you’ve taken a sip by dipping your spoon, working vertically until you’re at the right side of the bowl.  Then put a few of those crisp noodles, at least 3 of them since you really prefer things in 3’s.  Eat the noodles in your soup. Now repeat the entire ritual until you’re done, and if you’re good at it, people won’t even realize you have a ‘strategy’ for eating.

Downtown’s most prevalent establishments open at night are bars, bars, and then bars.  You have to be careful down there because girls have got into trouble, but if you aren’t alone you’re pretty safe, especially if it isn’t really late at night.  So when the drunk chaps rolled up to the red light, two cars of them, I wasn’t worried for my physical safety.

“HEY BITCH!  LOOK HERE! YOU’RE FAT!”

Oh. How. Original. I’m sensible enough not to reply or look at them. As they drive away, to preserve my dignity, I mutter, “Fucking assholes.” But I seriously felt very little. I wasn’t aware of being angry or sad. But then I had one of my bad thoughts, the kind that are very disturbing to someone with OCD. My mind conjured an image of  those guys in an awful car crash, the kind with glass everywhere  and the cars crushed like soda cans. Which immediately upset me because I didn’t want the little bastards to die or be injured and I hoped they got home okay. Then I started to worry. A thought is just a thought, but I don’t like the thought at all. I started worrying as though the thought of them being killed would come true, though I knew I was being stupid.

What if the thought means you want them to crash?  I asked myself. No, and you know you don’t want any harm worse than a hangover tomorrow to happen to them, Lisa, I replied in my mind. But the awful thought of those guys dying lodged into my mind, and I sought reassurance from my mom.

“I wish you could worry about something. No, you don’t want them to crash or die,” Mom said. I really exasperate her sometimes, but I eventually realized she was right. If I really wanted something to happen to them, I would not be worried about it or if I wished it I would know I wished it. Fair enough.

And far as I know, the two cars of  drunken idiots made it home safe and sound that night. All’s well that ends well.

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The Dying Swan; or, “That Ain’t Ebola is It?” — April 29, 2010

The Dying Swan; or, “That Ain’t Ebola is It?”

(This short post  was started March 31, then set aside , only to be finished today. Besides, I could not bear to not finish it when I liked the title so much).

Once upon a time (like yesterday),  I took a look in the bathroom mirror and my eyes were red, particularly my right eye. Not like  bloodshot-been-opening-my-eyes-too-long-underwater-someone-been-on-a-drunk-red,  much weirder.  A horizontal line seemed to divide my eye in half in the middle,  reddish at the bottom half and normal white on top.

I looked into the eyes of death.

Or something…

My mind began to conjure up what symptom of my imminent death was this.

I had mostly given up my of several years’ obsession with the idea of contracting  AIDS by bizarre means not pertaining to intercourse or needles, so scratch that one for now.

Cancer?  Maybe that’s it, I thought. I always swam in outdoor pools without goggles  due to my high tolerance for chlorine, and I loved looking at the sun’s rays dancing on the pool’s bottom.

So I ask my mother, a retired nurse, what dread disease is this one?

What malady is about to dispatch me, to nail the lid of my coffin, strike me down in the prime of my life?

“Pollen,” said Mother.

 

 

 

The Various Trials of Nervous Nelly, from a Visit with her Therapist to Nearly Being Locked in a Cemetary Overnight — April 27, 2010

The Various Trials of Nervous Nelly, from a Visit with her Therapist to Nearly Being Locked in a Cemetary Overnight

(This post was started April 16 and only finished today, the 27th. Segments, Lisa. You must learn to write in small segments. )

Dear most appreciated blog reader,

Regarding my “Can’t Say No” post, I have yet to be hauled away for the crimes of Little Hippie /Fundamentalist  Woman, so perhaps she wasn’t a criminal after all and just  a gal who really needed to write an email or two. I have a vivid, abominable  imagination.  So for now we must file this worry away and send our neurotic heroine Nelly on to other fabulous adventures, like chasing windmills and shit.

It’s Wednesday and I’m late as always to my therapist. I can’t for the life of me be on time for anything. One day I will be late to my own funeral, you just wait and see.  Assuming I don’t die penniless and bereft of friends and family, I will be cleaned and dressed sans my rituals and won’t try to do 3 or 4 things at the same time. Then, since you can’t take it with you when you go, I won’t be searching frantically for whatever the ‘it’ is of the day that I wanted to take. So who knows? I might make it on time for my funeral sometime in the  future (hopefully the distant future), but as it stands I won’t to the therapist. And the ‘it’ that I need to take with me is my fucking purse, which I forget at home, and helpfully  remember 15 minutes down the road. We debate on returning for the purse. I didn’t pay my Medicaid co-pay the last time because it was the end of the month and money was mega tight in March, but to  let the payment go twice in a row is positively horrifying to me, especially since now I can pay for it just fine.

Nervous Nelly here is a dependent personality if ever there was one. I can’t bear the thought of telling the sweet, non-threatening receptionist to ‘put it on my tab.’  I can say hi warmly, flash something akin to  a smile, politely answer questions, set up an appointment, pay, and wish her a good day each time I see her, all the while  avoiding eye contact as much as I can. But the words, “I’m really sorry, but I forgot my purse at home. Could I please pay you next time?” like someone climbing Mt. Everest to me. Not impossible, but who wants to be so high up in the atmosphere you can barely breathe?  Not I. Hellll no.

“If I have to not pay my $3.00 twice in a row, will you please tell her,” I beg my mother.

Ok, seeing this in print is really showing how stupid this is. Oh, man. There is inside this woman, me, a little girl who never grew up and she wants her mommy.  She fights with adult me, who is a bit of an old lady.  So this perhaps is why I don’t ever quite fit in, can’t be 32…I can have the emotional maturity of a 6 year-old and sometimes  I’m 62 (I am so screwed).

What clenches the purse-fetching debate is the gas tank is almost on empty and we will need to get gas pretty soon. I feel my frustration scale about to go through the roof. I hate messing up, hate it. I regard forgetting  my purse as some terrible flaw in my character, a sign that I’m a total fool. How disgusting. How ridiculous. How abnormal. How imperfect! The little things in life get me, as I’ve told you before,  and this little thing has sent me into a rage at myself. I covertly pinch my arm hard trying to get a grip. I tell myself under my breath what exactly I am. “Stupid, worthless piece of shit.”

Ok, let me step back a sec. That’s embarrassing to relate, dear reader. I wouldn’t say that to anyone else or pinch anyone but myself.  I am my own worst enemy.  In situations like these I don’t just dislike myself, I loathe myself. I don’t hate other people and seldom get really mad at others. Guess I save it all for myself. I hope you don’t think I’m crazy. I don’t hear voices, see things, or think I’m Joan of Arc. I know it’s  totally irrational and yet I can’t seem to stop.

Ok, intermission over. Back to the story.

Back at the apartment, I grab my purse, all the time berating myself.  I pop an ativan (those are only for emergencies and I deem this fit an emergency) and back out I go.  At the therapist’s, I go in with extra apprehension for being almost 15 minutes late.  I am supposed to meet the eyes of my therapist, but I’m ashamed for being late, and ever since my antidepressants  seemed to start failing me ( a couple of months now), I can’t make the effort for her or anyone. I’m ashamed and afraid for being.

I have an implicit trust in my therapist and can tell her anything. I knew her when I was 15 and in a group for teens with various problems. I saw another therapist one on one in those days, but my current therapist was one of the leaders of the group, and to be honest, I liked her much more than him.  My male therapist, besides the fact he was a man  and I distrust men, I felt was too critical of me. He wanted to change my personality and I felt he secretly didn’t like me much. But I can thank him for many things, one is I knew where to go when I needed help again, my current therapist. Another, is I met my best friend of 17 years there and half the time she’s more neurotic than I am, though hers is more from her life experiences and not an anxiety disorder. Yet another is that I learned that no matter how bad things are, there’s someone who is in a far worse situation than I am. You never know what someone is going through or what made someone become who she/he is , and it is vital to realize and be compassionate. I wonder what happened to those kids. Did that girl who kept a knife under her bed for when she decided to make another suicide attempt live to adulthood? I hope she is alive and well, the poor thing was only 14, and no child deserves such unhappiness. My best friend and I were the poster girls for good mental health compared to the overwhelming majority of those kids.  So awful.

But anyway….

My therapist says I must stop beating myself up for simple mistakes. NO ONE IS PERFECT. FORGETTING STUFF IS NORMAL. It’s hard for me to not try to do things just right, though, because I’ve done this in one form or another since about the age of 6.  She tells me to continue going for walks everyday. Besides being good excercise, she thinks if I’m out among people I will become less nervous around others. I’m just so afraid of making an ass out of myself , of committing the great social blunder of 2010, and I feel they’re thinking about how I look.

Lastly, my therapist tells me to remember to do more stuff that will make me more independent. I am peaceful as I hand my money over to the receptionist. She tries to schedule my next appointment still in April, but I say best make it May since it’s getting toward the end of the month and money is tight. To which the receptionist answered, “If you ever need to see her, it’s ok to wait until later to pay.”

Note to self: Lisa Ann B., you’re an idiot.


It is Thursday, a beautiful spring day in the southeastern coastal town where I live. The flowers have burst forth. Spring’s trademark is stamped everywhere. Dogwoods, other flowering trees, and  azaleas are exploding with color. There is no more beautiful time of the year as when the azaleas pop out, but don’t blink too much because within two weeks they will have wilted away until the next year. All this renewal of life freed from the clutches of  winter by Mother Nature makes me want to…..makes me want to plant a garden? No! ……Makes me want to go to the cemetary!

Well, this is not just any cemetary. This one goes back to antebellum days. I don’t actually like to think about those times (except for the beautiful Scarlet O’Hara dresses)  because I hate to think of the atrocities done to slaves . But I mega dig Victoriana. And anyway it’s  not so much the graves that  attract one to the cemetary, it’s the azaleas. The azaleas are everywhere  in the background of the monument-like graves of  the élite families of our town.

In fact, this cemetary, and the two others next to it, give a glimpse of society from around the Civil War to the present. The azalea-ridden cemetary with its monumental graves is a  memorial to what wealth will buy. It’s rich, white, and prestigious. Filled with people with interesting lives and even more interesting deaths.  Just a few:

The Sea Captain’s daughter who gave up the ghost while far away from home, so they nailed a chair down inside a barrel.  Then they tied her mortal remains to the chair and filled the barrel with liquor. When back home, they buried her still in the barrel. If that keg is made of wood, I bet she is no longer pickled. If it is metal, maybe she’s down there still sitting in her chair if it hasn’t rusted away (which somehow is even more creepy to me than her just being bones).  And to add to the sorrowful tale is that 4 months after his daughter died, the sea captain’s  son washed overboard and drowned. Now talk about your bad luck!

The Confederate spy who  put her bag of  gold  coins (royalties from her memoir) around her neck so she wouldn’t lose them when the boat she was on capsized. Unfortunately she didn’t lose her gold when her lifeboat flipped and she was weighed down and finis.

The volunteer fireman who was buried with his dog. The man and dog died together when he was pinned down in a fire and rather than leaving his master, the dog remained with him  and perished too while trying to drag his master to safety.


Next to Rich White Cemetery is the  African-American Cemetery, historical in its own merit because people were buried there since the days of slavery too. In the Black Cemetery, the socio-economic barriers that permeate the Rich White Cemetery do not seem to exist much. The poor people are differentiated by the quality, flourish, and size of stone on their graves. The Black Cemetery is kept up in a minimal way, the grass cut almost everywhere, the dirt path bumpy and hard to pass through but passable.  The edges of the cemetery are what screams lack of care. These parts of the cemetery have grown up with grass and brambles, with stones just peaking out showing someone is buried there. These are the people gone and long since forgotten. Shame on our city, when this graveyard is a part of our history as vital as Rich White Cemetery! I consider our coastal southern town fairly progressive, but some things are hidden just underneath the surface in our turbulent past. The city that I live in had a violent race riot in the  1970s and even a coup d’état in 1890s by overthrowing the majority black government in our city.

The third cemetery,  separated by the African-American Cemetery from its richer peer, is Poor to Middle Class White Cemetery. Well kept, small but dignified, it’s better cared for than her black neighbor, but not nearly as interesting.

Now, after that impromptu treatise on race relations, back to the story!

So we’re looking at the flowers and eerie beauty of Rich White Cemetery and getting a tad lost, because this cemetery has planted folks here for around 160 years and some of them have huge monuments, mausoleums,  and whatever it took to be funereal chic  in the Victorian era. Apparently, the good people of Rich White Cemetery in their good sense, believe a decent cemetery should expel all living patrons by 5pm sharp regardless of time of year.  But the fun part is locking the gates without a glimpse for suckers who failed to read closing time upon entering. I wasn’t too concerned, though, since I  had my cell phone, not to say that would be too fun a call to make to the cops. I suggest we walk around, that surely somewhere remained unlocked, especially since I saw a not-so-paranormal-looking couple  just a few minutes ago walking.

Two gates locked, we’re padlocked in Perdition. We  keep walking until a third gate. This one looks a tad different and I walk up to it, a side entrance and the damn thing opens like the pearly gates to Glory.  Mama walks back to our ghetto fabulous classic 1994 Mazda MPV, me waiting so no one locks this gate on us.  I look at this gorgeous azalea I remember from last year, a dark red-purple flower about the size of a common magenta azalea but much darker, so awesome. I take a peep at the graves near the gate, all the while keeping my eye on said gate. No one, not St. Peter, not the devil, not a grounds keeper, is gonna lock that damn gate without me at least screaming loud enough to wake the dead.

Safely delivered from captivity, we go downtown to have a look at the teabagger rally, I mean the Tea Party,  that has gone on all day. We listen to Sean Hannity on the radio waxing rhapsodic about the noble Tea Party activists nationwide and Reagan this, Reagan that. Every time I listen to Hannity, I tend to think if he could dig up Reagan and marry him he would, anti-gay marriage or no.

So the noble tea folk are down at the federal courthouse at the river. Good for them, I suppose, since the joy of being American is the ability to protest for what you believe.  It’s WASP Party 2010 downtown and rather fun to look at as long as you recall everyone is entitled to believe as they like, that is until I see this one woman and I have my What the Flying Fuck?! moment of the day. She has this sign, “Obama, Go Back to Kenya. I Will Buy the Plane Ticket!”  Now, I could be wrong, but to me it sounds like some racist saying no more than “Go back to Africa.”  Sure, I get the whole Birther rumor popular among some people. But honestly? Honestly. Could Obama be from Kenya and a closet Muslim? Could I be an Ethiopian albino  and  a closet Hare Krishna? Anything is possible, but probable? Um no.  She has a right to her opinion and I have the right to think she’s plumb ignorant with a limited touch on reality.

Went to the Shrink and Found Out My Life Stinks, but Decide to Live It Anyhow — April 20, 2010

Went to the Shrink and Found Out My Life Stinks, but Decide to Live It Anyhow

Went to the doctor and guess what he told me, guess what he told me? He said, “Girl you gotta try to have fun no matter what you do,”  but he’s a fool….

-Sinead O’Conner

I am disheartened. Totally, completely disheartened. My anxiety has really been getting to me for about a month and the social anxiety is kicking me in the stomach. I can barely articulate it. I’m intimidated by my psychiatrist, little and unthreatening, but I’m afraid of saying too much. Something that will make her say go to the doctor. Something that will make her say, “Tsk, tsk. Sick little puppy.” I am afraid of her receptionist, a hateful British woman who demands payment before services rendered, as though she expects me to try to sneak out without paying, as though she’s saying, White trash.

” I think I need my meds adjusted”  I say. But I’m already on the maximum dose for Luvox, 300 mg., and she doesn’t want to increase the drug more. I understand this, but I hoped she would be able to let me take more or something.

She asks me if the Wellbutrin could be making me more nervous. I say no fast. The Wellbutrin keeps me from being ‘spayed’ by the Luvox. You might ask why would a  woman who couldn’t give it away at San Quentin would want to feel erotic feelings. Doesn’t it just remind me that I’m not desirable?  Well, I have a secret boyfriend. B.o.b. is down for anything when I like as long as I keep him supplied with 2 AA batteries. Doc Johnson introduced us at Spencer’s in the mall for $12.95  and  I won’t give him up!  

 That’s too much information. Let’s move on.

The psychiatrist asks if  I feel hopelessness. Not always but often.

How’s my mood? I was really depressed for a while, but it’s better now. While I’m not exactly ecstatic, I’m ok.

“Any suicidal thoughts?” She asks me this twice during the 15 minute session.

“No.” But I wouldn’t tell you if I did even though I like you.

Suicide is something I wouldn’t do, I know. I will wish I’m dead at times or that my sorry self was never born, but to actually act on these thoughts isn’t something I’m keen on doing. I do have some hope somewhere, I just misplace it sometimes. I want to live if only to spite Ms. Pink Pig, and I want to live just in case I surprise myself  and find a purpose.  Plus I’m not that selfish and I analyze the reasons I HAVE TO live.  My mother would be devastated, because she and I have not gone more than 24 hours without at least talking to each other on the phone.  She’s fairly dependent on me in her own way. We are symbiotic.

My soul father (my favorite professor in college), not my biological dad who is dead and I never knew, would be sorry if I exited the stage even though we seldom see each other. He’s a sensitive person and I’m sure it would bother him a lot.

My best friend might need me. She has a huge circle of friends, but still, she might need me.

Someone else I know or am friends with might be sad or need me.  At least I hope that I might be needed by someone.

It’s unfair to throw my life away when so many young people who die too soon from illness or misadventure didn’t have the chance to grow old.

What if the evil God that I learned about in kindergarten is how it all really is and I’m banished to eternal damnation? I doubt it’s really how it is, but my early beliefs are still hidden in my psyche somewhere and I’m awaiting punishment.  It is totally against normal human nature to destroy oneself, so how would a just God banish to hell someone not thinking straight?

Even if I killed myself all neatly, pills so that I seem only asleep, wouldn’t that still weird someone out to find me even if I’m unknown to that person?  Or worse, what if  no one found me and my mom never knew what happened to me?

Even cremation is expensive. I’d hate to cost a lot.

Etc. & so forth…so no, suicide is something I won’t do.

The psychiatrist tells me to keep taking Ativan as needed, to eat regularly since my mood worsens when I’m hungry, and work on my anxiety with my therapist.

“See you in two months,” she says cheerfully.

I’m depressed. I’m angry. And where is the hopelessness? Oh yay, there it is!

“I’m going to be like this forever,” I tell my mother. All the anxiety. All the timidity. All the anger for not being perfect or at least normal.  I am nothing. Forever.

You can do this, Lisa. You HAVE TO do this. You can’t be this way forever. You have to will yourself out of this. I tell myself I will do better.  You will look people in the eye at least once per interaction. You’re a person too, no less than they are, simply for being a human you are no less of a person.  All people have worth, even you, Lisa.

I decide I will try to  be  as optimistic as Candide after I have a nap with one of my cats.

  

I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say No — April 14, 2010

I’m Just a Girl Who Can’t Say No

As the title suggests, I can’t say no even when I would very much like to say hell no. I am sitting at the library, minding my own business, when a woman approaches me. She is short, skinny, wears a long skirt, has a scarf on her head, has a look between a fundamentalist Christian and a hippie, and just generally has that look of a poor soul.

“Excuse me, do you have a library card?” she asks. It doesn’t occur to me to lie to her as I warily say yes. “Can I use it to get on the computer and finish a letter I was writing?”

No way.

“Well yes sure,” I answer, scanning the room for my mom in hope of her guidance.

I envision all the illegal things she could do with my account.

What if she’s a predator and I get blamed for it?

What if she’s committing credit card fraud and I get blamed for it?

What if she’s a hacker and I get blamed for it?

What if she’s threatening people and I get blamed for it?

What if she’s about to take over the world and I get blamed for it?

What if?

What if?

What if my head explodes from worry?

But I hate to offend others or not help them, especially when asked. Later she comes back and I have to use my card again to print out her work.  I really want to cop a look as it prints,  but I am mindful that that would be rude, so I will never know. I think I stole 35 cents from her, though, which is now on my library card (and conscience) because she inserted a dollar in there and I think her copies only cost 65 cents. I guess the only ethical  thing to do is hope I see her again sometime when I have change.  Boy, I annoy the shit out of  myself. Lucky most of this sort of stuff I can hide in my head. It isn’t even that I fear punishment for short-changing someone, it’s just that nervy feeling that I’ve done someone or something wrong.

I think since I’m writing about library cards and offending people I will tell two incidents from when I was back in college earning the Fries-with-That degree.  Now Downtown, where the community college is, is Homeless Central and the bum population all knew I was good for a dollar or two (I just sorta look like the kind of person who will not tell someone to get a job or to f off). I always was of the mind you shouldn’t be mean to them, that most of them are mentally ill, what if no one would help you out, and that if they ask for it? It would be unkind to say no even if all they were going to do is get drunk or weren’t even homeless.  Yes, I am a sucker.

Anyway, a man I hadn’t seen before approached me, said he just got out of jail, and talked me out of a couple of dollars. He wanted me to shake his hand. No problem except his hand had many cuts, not scratches, big ass open wounds.  Blood of the human variety is perfectly horrifying to me and hurting someone’s feelings is perfectly horrifying to me, so I was totally at a loss. Quick decision made and fast as lightning  I tap the tip of my fingers at the part of his  palm that seemed the least bloody for one second tops, but was certain I had HIV for the next few years. Being an avoidant sort more than a hypochondriac, in I worry I have a dread  disease but really, really don’t want to know for fear I couldn’t take the news. My best friend, however, says if I had anything, it would have showed up several years later in my blood cell count the last time I consented to a general blood test 4 years ago (I have only been to gynecologists twice in my life….the first time I screamed, the second time I was only silently horrified….I will go again if I ever become sexually active and the way that is going I’ll probably be 50).

As for library cards, there was the time I nearly didn’t graduate due to my college library card. It was 2003. Time for math, time for math. I think I was about 26, old enough to know better.  Seriously, when God handed out common  sense, yours truly was absent. My therapist is kinder. She says I have common sense, I’m just naïve.  Truth told, I’m a naïve dumbass, albeit a well-meaning naïve dumbass.

I was in the school library and as I was about to check out, a girl I didn’t know approached me. She didn’t have a library card, had a paper due the very next day, and begged me to check out a book for her.

It only gets worse from here. Dumbass.

I told her sure with only the slightest apprehension. She said she could show me her driver’s license.

Now what did I say? It’s pure Dumbassian. Someone please cut down these trees so I can get a good view of the forest dumb.

“Oh, don’t worry about it.  I trust you.”  I imagine this is where that girl probably heard the rattling inside my head, pretty hollow in there. Did I tell you I was a DUMBASS?  I will reiterate it now, lest you forget:

D-U-M-B-A-S-S!!!!!

So the weeks rolled by and I got a letter from the school library. It would seem that girl hadn’t returned the life-or-death-necessary book and with fines I owed my institution of higher learning $50.00 I sure as hell didn’t have. I had to pay up or they wouldn’t graduate me. Fuck an A!

May this be a lesson to you, Lisa Ann B. Just because you wouldn’t do something like that doesn’t mean everyone wouldn’t do it. Noted.

A few months went by and my brain filed the incident under “experience,” the 50 bucks and diploma under “Things to Do When I Can Afford It,” and the state of my intellectual prowess under “Dumbass.” I went and got the mail, and voilà, there’s my diploma. Apparently the girl brought the book back a few months late and either paid the overdues or my favorite professor got them to  forgive the fines because he had tried before to get me forgiven altogether. Perhaps I am the first person to graduate college and not even know it.  Life is funny that way.

Black as Night

Lisa vs. Ms. Pinkpig — April 8, 2010

Lisa vs. Ms. Pinkpig

“Amazing part is someone Like Steven Hawking does not let his Disability limit him yet Book let’s her fake disability limit her to live a complete and full life. Go figure(she makes excuses) and on that note, I’m off to bed.”  

Recall, gentle reader, that I have frequented a chatroom for 4 years or more, so we chatters know each other in some capacity, and during all that time I have known Ms. Pinkpig. I will call her Ms. Pinkpig because to say her  screen name or real name would be rude. Ms. Pinkpig has a rotten disposition, a disposition worthy of a sow or some other barnyard animal, and the Pepto Bismal color of her font mirrors the sweetness of her words. The above quote was directed at me tonight by her (people often call me “Book” in there, the beginning of my screen name).   

What did she mean you might ask? Why did the words make me burst into tears? Because her words are true to a point. But only to  a point. I have to remind myself that this is the same woman who finds tragedies that befall fellow chat members funny and diverting. I thank God I don’t dislike anyone that much. Once upon a time, she even wrote something poking fun at a fellow member’s son falling out of a second story window and being severely injured. So I’m talking about someone with a few glitches in her personality.   

And yet I cried. Not the first time. To be so well cushioned in body, my skin is remarkably thin. Anyway, what she meant is this:  

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is not a disability.  It is a fake reason to be on disability. My anxiety disorder is just an excuse and I’m just a lazy bum.   

First off, OCD is very real and for some people it can be debilitating. My anxiety disorder affects me in all sorts of ways she’ll never know and adding to it my social anxiety, it makes me into quite a mental midget cocktail.   

I did try to get a job a few times, went to the unemployment office, and went to vocational rehab. The man at the unemployment office said I needed to seem more confident, make eye contact. This just made me more anxious and made my wish to disappear all the more palatable.  

The woman at vocational rehab didn’t care. She wanted me to clean up elderly people for a living and I am really disgusted by bodily functions, though I do love older people. I decided perhaps I could will myself into it and was resigned to my would-be career. But the VR woman was so rude on the phone I ended up crying and never going back.  

You may think “excuses, excuses” but I did try.  

So I applied for Social Security. The psychologist was very kind who evaluated me, told my mother and I that I would be able to get disability, but might have to try more than once. He was right, but I got approved the second time I submitted the form because a paralegal helped us.   

And so here I am, 32 years-old, a virgin with no life. Of course, I have my diversions. I love swimming, walking, reading, writing, drawing, and doing a tiny bit of eBay. But on days like today when someone cuts me to the core, I get to thinking how little my life means. I might as well as taken my Associate in Arts (aka college transfer, aka “Would you like fries with that?”) degree and flushed it down the toilet. Buh-bye!  

The last time I saw my therapist, I mentioned  Ms. Pinkpig and a couple of the sowish things she said to me. Ms. Pinkpig had managed to type out with her cloven hooves a couple of things I mulled in my head for a while, such a dear swine she is. First, she said my mom wishes she could put me in a group home. Then the  worst thing Ms. Pinkpig said was she wouldn’t be sorry if I died, that I would be one less tax payer burden. And I thought and  thought and thought.  

I wondered why my life was spared when bad things happen everyday to people who might have done something that made a difference. All those people who died too young by accident, sickness, murder, or suicide. I even think back to highschool. There was this beautiful boy, 19 I think, and it was his senior year. From my observations, he seemed happy. He and some of the other guys would sing the theme from The Love Boat when the teacher wasn’t around just to make everyone laugh. Then one day he monoxided himself because his girlfriend was carrying another guy’s baby, from what I heard (I doubt it was just one thing, but no doubt that sure iced the cake).   

Then I think about another boy. I didn’t hear about him until a few years after highschool. This girl and I were talking in drawing class. Upon hearing what highschool I went to, she asked me if I knew one of her best friends, So-&-So.  “Yes, I knew So-&-So. He was the kid who smiled a lot and turned red when he laughed,” I said.   

And he died. I was totally shocked. Somehow he ran into a tractor-trailer. I hope it was an instant death. But man, how unfair is that! He was so happy all the time. Probably would have made something of himself, and if not, it wouldn’t matter much, because he had joi d’vivre. Shit.  

Why them? Why wasn’t it me who rammed into a tractor-trailer? Why when I was 7 and we got into that car accident in the Datsun my grandpa was in the passenger seat? If he hadn’t been visiting us I likely would have been in the passenger seat and not in the backseat just shaken. We never wore our seatbelts in those days. The impact of the other car caused my grandpa’s head  to go through the windshield, so that there was an indentation out of shattered glass. Imagine if it had been a little girl there. I’d have been dead or mangled.    

Before that, I am 4. I crawl around the Florida room and I see a capsule on the step down there. Blue and  clear with white pellets inside. I picked it up. “Do you eat the outside?” I thought. I pulled the capsule apart and the contents spilled into my hand. I ate them. It seems to me to taste a tad like mint, not strong.  

 I don’t remember the rest. I think I just fell asleep or passed out , either way I was none the worse for wear. My mom, years later, thinks it was probably one of my grandpa’s blood thinners and that I’m lucky. I guess I could have died then too, especially since no one knew what I had done.  

Maybe I am supposed to be here. Maybe there is a reason for my life and it will one day fall into my lap when I least expect it. As they say, where there’s life there’s hope.  

  

The Lesson

 

  

In Which Nervous Nelly is Allowed to Leave the Guilty Party for a Bit — April 6, 2010

In Which Nervous Nelly is Allowed to Leave the Guilty Party for a Bit

Funny how things happen as though they are answers to your life’s questions. If you are actually reading this and also read my last post, you might be so good as to remember my last post trying to accuse myself of letting bad things happen without stepping in to somehow help. Tonight I got a glimpse to what I actually would do. While I can’t say I actually made any difference, I can at least say I did do something and I’m not as big a douche as I feared.  But let me tell you the story.

Earlier this evening, i had another one of my fits of conscience, allowing my social anxiety to override what I wanted to do. I was in a restaurant restroom  and as I was about to leave, one of the waitresses came in and she seemed to be on a crying jag. I was too afraid to look more than a second for fear of being thought of as staring. Hopefully she just had allergies or a cold. I wanted so bad to ask her if she was ok and if I could do something for her. I at least wanted to say hi, an acknowledgement that I saw her somehow, and I couldn’t move my mouth. Instead I hurried outside.

Later, I am sitting in the living room with my mother just a livin’ when I hear Woman-Across-the-Hall screaming, “HELP ME! SOMEBODY HELP ME!”

Up from the couch and I spring out the door. There is Woman and she says her son’s having a seizure. I ask if she called 911 and she says she had tried but couldn’t get them, so I say I’ll call. So back into the apartment go I and cry out to my mom that Dude is having a seizure, she hadn’t heard Woman screaming, probably asleep in the recliner. So Mom goes over and I call from our phone. It rings 5 or 6 times before I fear I haven’t dialed the number right, so I hang up and call again. That old Public Enemy song is going through my head, “911 is a Joke.” Finally, someone answers (I guess holiday Friday nights are busy nights). I tell her about Dude having a seizure and the apartment number, at first forgetting to tell more of the address. She asks me if he’s conscious and if he’s ever had a seizure before, so I tell her to please hold on. It’s hard to get answers from Woman because she is in a state of total panic, bless her, but after asking loudly everyone I got that he was still seizing, and yes, he had a seizure before. Sure enough, there he was seizing to beat the band next to an overturned chair. My mom was a nurse for 30 something years and had the presence of mind to turn Dude on his side and fend off someone’s old-fashioned remedy of sticking a pen in his mouth.

 Back I go, and then the dispatcher tells me to tell them to just move stuff out of his way, not to force anything into his mouth, and make sure he can breathe. She said I could call back on my cell if I wanted over there but I tell her I will just wait for the ambulance.

By now many of the neighbors have come over to see why Woman is jumping up and down and screaming for help.  A young woman is calling 911 too. I tell everyone the paramedics are on the way.  Now I see he’s up and sitting in a chair. The seizing is over, let the spewing all over the carpet begin. Woman is still in hysterics, but is wiping her son off with a towel. He is disoriented and no doubt frightened from his vomiting, his mother’s ministrations and wailing, and the many eyes looking at him. Woman’s cell phone rings and I ask if I should answer it. Not really getting an answer, I take the initiative. Someone asks for Woman and I ask if she might call him back. So the guy asks if she was able to get 911, that he had called. I tell him yes, that the paramedics are on the way.

After I hang up, I see Dude has got up and is repeating for people to leave him alone. He shakes his mom loose from him, my mom tries to gently take his arm and he shakes her loose too.  “Mom,” I venture as if I know anything, “Let him go.  He’ll be fine in here.” My reasoning is that he’s better off in his home than wandering outside at night addled, plus I fear he will fight my mom if confused.

He locks himself in the bathroom, not the ideal place for a dude apt to seize, but what can ya do? Besides, his mama is still in something like a fit herself, still repeatedly crying out for help and asking, “Oh, why won’t they come?” over and  over, still jumping up and down to the point I almost expect her to begin clucking for good measure.

Then Woman’s other son, the one who looks a bit off, shows up and heads back toward the bathroom.  Woman has eased down to  the hall floor outside the apartment. If it were me I’d have left her sitting there due to her hysterics, hoping she would calm down, but some Samaritan helps her up. Now we hear the sirens and Mom suggests I go out and meet them so they go to the right place. Out I go, fat girl running,  and a fire truck rolls up. I’m about to show the men where to go when I see the would-be patient coming outside, his mom tailing him. “It’s that gentleman there,” I say, pointing. Somehow they wrangle in the wobbly patient and everyone goes inside the building. At the door to the apartment, once the principal characters and paramedics are inside and we are looking in, A-Bit-Off comes to the door, says “We got it from here, thanks,” and closes all of us outside.

Dismissed!

All of us neighbors head for our prospective apartments. Once my mom and I are in our home I head to the sink. While in Woman’s apartment I accidently touched a wet  wash rag hanging on a chair at the dining room table. I fear that it was used in cleaning up Dude’s chunks, though Mother assures me it was only used to wipe the poor soul’s forehead.  But I imagine spew particles clinging to that wash cloth. What if that spew has a disease like HIV hid in it? I think. Though I remembered reading vomit doesn’t  have the disease  in significant amounts unless there is visible blood, I decide to take no chances. I wash my hands altogether 4 times, alternating between soap and dishwashing liquid.

Out damn spot! Out I say! Mom stops me though as I look for the Clorox spray because I imagine it’s worth the sting on my hands to be certain of not getting a puke-born pathogen, but Mom assures me I’m ok. Guess I’m pretty “off” too in my way, huh? I’m usually not that much of a germ phobe, though. Usually. 

At least I can reassure myself I won’t let something bad happen to someone if I can help it. Bravo and bully for me, but I am relieved.

(Post started Good Friday….finished Mediocre Monday.)

 

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