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.
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.
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.
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
Well, Mr. Lennon, funny you should ask, because I’ll tell you if you have the time. The world didn’t end and you’re still dead, so I reckon you got all the time in the world, right? It really depends on what you mean by “done.” “Done” like What I did for Christmas, or done in general?
Another year over and a new one’s just begun.
I know, right? Ho hum, seems like it should still be 2011 or something. It’s like I paused myself, yet the world went on without me. How the hell did I turn 35? I’m the same age my mom was when she had me. I suppose there’s still hope that somewhere out there, there’s a neurotic alcoholic husband for me too. I think I’d not be a good mom, so it’s probably a good thing my biological clock isn’t a Timex. I can just take care of myself and my cats. Why would I want a pissing, crapping, crying kid who’d open my Barbie dolls’ boxes? But I digress, what have I done? Nothing and everything! I have my own apartment, a first for me. I’m a late bloomer, you know. Well, more like I was weeded out of the garden, cast into a mulch pile, and re-rooted myself. But hey, I bloomed.
If my mom hadn’t died and my gay guy crush hadn’t gone rabid and threw me out, I’d still be living with someone now. I’d still depend on that man’s approval just to get by. I saw my gay guy crush as a gay guy god even as he grew mean. But oh, Mr. Lennon, if you ever saw him smile or heard him laugh, you’d see what I mean. I thought he was my Soul Bro, but sadly, he became my Faux Bro. I wanted to be with him until the day I died. Sigh, I guess I drank the grape kool-aid. Too bad I didn’t do much of his housework though or paid the back rent I owed.
Mr. Lennon, I know you’re all ‘money ain’t shit,’Kumbaya, and what not, but I’m still torn. I really didn’t pay about $200.00 in rent. I pawned my computer and gave them $80.00 and then I gave them $10.00, so if I really do owe them that money, it would be $110.00. But here’s where it all gets trickier than a truck stop hooker. I gave them money whenever asked. I took them out to dinner at about $70.00 for the three of us, gave them $65.00 to go out with when The Prick The Partner was upset about having skin cancer on his face (but they did give a lot back I think) and gave them $100.00 to fix the air conditioner in their van. The air conditioner wasn’t fixable though. But I got a lot of free meals and rides before I began having to pay for all my stuff, and cat food. And then it gets even more messed up. They wanted $100.00 a month after I moved out to pay for what they paid for: pot, food, etc. And Faux Bro said if he factored in expenses going back to when I first moved in it would be double the amount, somewhere in the $2000.00 region. That part casts suspicion on the whole thing. I must have been had somewhere in the equation, but they seemed so adamant that I owed them and that I was the advantage taker in the mix. Plus it seems that I broke everything I touched. It makes my brain hurt, and everyone says I don’t owe them jack.
I messed up:
A wine glass of sentimental value.
They say I broke a remote control (but I don’t recall it)
I made a couple of his keys on his laptop stick.
I lost and/or damaged a couple of books, one was damaged, plus I think a cat vomited on a couple others.
I tripped several times on the PlayStation 3 cords, causing the part where the player connects the controller to short out. I replaced his PlayStation 2 when it stopped working.
I think he wanted to say I messed up the controllers on the Sega Genesis, but I think it was how they stored it.
I played a game on his IPod and it erased everything
An app I asked to be installed on the PS3 erased all the game data.
I lost a set of keys.
Wow, no wonder they hate me. Good thing all I have to break is my own now. Jinxed people should be mandated to have their own apartments, where they can lock themselves in and not be a nuisance, you know? I guess I’m still haunted by Gays of Christmas Past (Too bad Logo no longer airs gay-themed shows, because that would be a kick-ass name for a Christmas special). I wasn’t intending to talk this much on this, but…
My life is different now in a good way. I have a one bedroom apartment, a lot bigger than the rooms at the old complex. I’ve literally stuffed both closets in the living room and bedroom with all the random crap from my storage unit. I’m about to get a hide-a-bed couch for the living room and that will be a vast improvement than the deflated airbed I’ve been chillaxin’ on since late September.A nice woman on Freecycle gave me a TV and random odds and ends that I truly appreciate. I could have more by now, but I can’t stand my social worker, so I avoid her at all costs. My decor is a mix of minimalist and très clutter. BUT WHO GIVES A FLYING F, because IT’S MINE! There’s nothing like living exactly as one wants, without fear of being verbally annihilated or thrown out. When I was with Soul Bro, I forgot how much I liked being alone. I wanted to be with him all the time until he just popped. There’s always going to be a part of me that wants to be with him, and a part of me who thinks it’s all my fault.
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?”
“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.”
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.
(I was supposed to publish this months ago, but then my mom died and I forgot about it. Someone wanted to guest post so she could add a link. Anyway, very sorry)
Famous People and OCD
OCD—Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a mental anxiety disorder that causes the sufferer to have an intrusive thought process. They experience feelings of anxiety, worry, fear and discomfort if certain things are not done in a certain way. There are many angles to this illness and despite attitudes, OCD has become a genuine medical problem. People who experience excessive OCD may feel embarrassed about their problem and feel alone and isolated. OCD can also keep people from moving forward in their lives.
However, it may surprise many people to know that OCD doesn’t just affect the ordinary, average Joe or Josephine in the street. There are a whole string of famous people who have been known to suffer from OCD. People who you think have their lives perfectly mapped out, are rich, famous, have everything they could possibly want and need and yet still suffer from this serious condition.
Who we Know has OCD
Charles Darwin had an OCD compulsion, although in those days it was not nearly as understood as it is today. Even now, celebrities and movie stars are admitting to having some form of OCD and it is no longer a matter of shame. David Beckham recently admitted that he has a compulsion to put everything in its place. When he puts cans in the fridge he has to line them up neatly and if there is an extra can left over, he puts it away in a cupboard. He also said everything has to be in a straight line or in pairs. This is not an uncommon occurrence actually. Many people prefer things to be paired up, especially shoes. Many people like straight lines, but, the difference is, when it begins to interfere with your life and take over anything other obligation. That’s when it becomes obsessive and a problem.
Those who watch Deal Or No Deal with Howie Mandel—U.S.A version—will be aware that he has admitted having OCD. Howie Mandel doesn’t like to shake people’s hands and his compulsion is to wash excessively. Donald Trump, that most famous of entrepreneurs also has OCD, as does, Jessica Alba, Charlie Sheen, Leonardo DiCaprio and Dr Samuel Johnson, the man who created the dictionary.
Historically, OCD is very young in terms of name and diagnosis. Along with illnesses like ADHD and ADD, these mental issues have only recently been given stage space in the medical arena. Prior to the 1980’s medical science was still in its infancy, despite the leaps forward in treatment of many other recognized illnesses. However, diseases of the mind still remain a huge mystery and it is with that comes more shame than admitting that someone has a physical illness. People used to feel that illnesses of the mind were so misunderstood, that patients with unexplained conditions would inevitably end up in an asylum. With the dispensing of those institutions, we can now allow people with minor compulsions to feel they are still part of the big society and not feel so isolated.
I’m back home, but along with the clothes I quickly grabbed, I brought back more baggage than an airport in December. It’s getting better than it was when I got here, and I’m starting to feel happy more and uneasy less. But the uneasiness isn’t gone, the feeling that I’m merely a transient or at least a guest doesn’t go away. The day my mother died was the day I became displaced in a world where I belong nowhere. Before my mother left, I knew my place. She needed me from the day she realized she was pregnant as I told you long ago. My mother’s great love broke up with her, her two best friends died, and when her 6 month married life ended there I was. Even a therapist I once had told my mom that he didn’t know what would have happened to her if she hadn’t had me.
So where does that leave me today? Every person has a reason for being alive, but some of us find it harder than others to discover that reason. I suppose there’s a reason for me being here too. I’m not certain of much anymore. I don’t know who loves me or if I’m just one misstep away from finding myself alone in the world again. Yesterday, I went back to my therapist for the first time since I tried to play my swan song, and she was less than happy to see me.
“If they threw you out, what are you doing back there?”
“Soul Bro was able to convince The Partner to let me back,” I replied. She listened to my fears, to everything I could cram into 50 minutes. There’s a lot I just can’t say for fear of losing my Soul Bro, and looking back at my reasoning for trying to kill myself, I don’t ever want to risk losing him. I love him that much and am that terrified of being alone (this blog has gotten 10 shades more creeeeepy with this last paragraph. My bad). I am an orphan, a mental midgety one at that, and I don’t have relatives at all. Well, none that care whether I live or die, they made that more or less clear when I told them my mother was dead. Oh well, they were just cousins. Second cousins. I’ll get into that some other time.
I shouldn’t be admitting this junk, but I told my therapist stuff I’d never venture to say aloud (please don’t hate me, Bro, should you read this). I’m not saying he lies a bit, but he stretches the truth until that bitch screams, to make himself look better occasionally. I think. Maybe it’s me being paranoid.
I think he got mad at me for begging to come home and not being “proactive” enough in trying to be independent, so he did the worst thing anyone could do to me. I think he decided he was done with me until I was back on my feet, so he put most of my stuff in my storage unit (including my mother’s ashes), and took two of my three cats to the pound. I was able to get them out because my home health nurse saved them and they’re living with her for now…Soul Bro says I can ask to bring them home in June if The Partner agrees. My nurse told me the story they told the pound that their owner died in September and they had lived in a barn in a rural county.
Soul Bro told me on the phone that my three cats had been picked up by the pound with some strays and that he had mistaken the feelings he had for my mom with the feelings he had for me. Of course several days later he repented, because he is a good person. Perhaps it was a bipolar thing, but it was obvious whoever that other guy had been was gone.
I never told this to anyone, but if I had the opportunity to do it, I’d have tried to kill myself again. When I first came to Window Licker Hall, Millie, a middle aged perpetual cutter/suicidal woman told me if I really wanted to leave the rest home she had half a bottle of pain pills. I told her then, no thanks. Around the time my Soul Bro said he had cared for my mom, but me not so much, Millie came back from a few weeks vacation at a mental intstitution. I was frantic and asked her if she still had the pills. No, she didn’t. And so I was saved again. Now I know regardless what happens, no matter how low I get, I can’t kill myself. I promised my Soul Brother I wouldn’t ever again and I was never so serious in my life. He’s had enough shit to last ten lifetimes (and at least one day of Lifetime Television programming).
Yes, my therapist ain’t happy, but I am. My Soul Bro is the joy and light of my life. To me he is a gay god, almost perfect. He keeps me laughing, except when I worry I’ll mess up. I imagine him thinking awful things about me. If anything goes missing I imagine him thinking I stole whatever it is. I fear he’ll think I’m on drugs, and I worry that I will never be what everyone expects of me. If I mess up in the slightess way the lack of perfection drives me crazy. One day I messed up and used the bathroom and bathed with his cell phone there. He accused me of taking it and even said that a lot of stuff went missing while I lived there before. I had to swear on my mom’s ashes that I hadn’t touched it. I forgive, but I don’t forget. I could say my theory on who stole stuff, but I will refrain from naming anyone. Soul Bro realized he was wrong and wrote out a note saying I couldn’t be thrown out for any reason, but I think some of the power belongs with The Partner, so who knows? All i can say is I ain’t a thief.
One last confession paragraph before I stop, I now pay about twice what I paid in rent the last time, but I’d pay more to be with my Soul Bro. My therapist thinks I’m being hosed and I don’t care! I think it was The Partner who came up with the sum. The only thing really marring my happiness is not having my cats, which makes me not want to face the plastic box holding my mother. I don’t think I can remove her from the storage unit until I get them back.
If my nurse hadn’t rescued Dondee, the pound would have killed my Mom’s
About a week ago, I went with my friend on our second solo dining experience. You know who I mean, the one who likes showing affection with his tongue as the Continentals do. As I have said before, this guy has the distinct honor of being my first date and my first French kiss. My life before my mother’s death was a bit uneventful in its solitude.
I’ve known this guy off and on since third grade and have off and on liked him since about the fourth grade. When he gave me the surprise kiss and even more surprising tongue, I thought, Hey for the first time someone I could like likes me back! Winning!
This last excursion began with Mexican food, and I have a big steak. We both have a touch of Habanero sauce, a green pepper sauce that is hot as hell. We have blue margaritas, another new experience that are tasty for alcohol. The drink goes to my head and before long I’m exclaiming, “Oh shit!” – at what, I don’t quite recollect, but I have enough of my wits to feel a hint of embarrassment. Neither am I so buzzed that the running commentary in my head doesn’t play. Why is he interested in me?, I keep asking myself. I’m so shy, my conversation isn’t funny or fascinating, and I am less than average in looks. Could he have liked me all this time and waited for a proper time to act on it?
We are home and I know he will try to kiss me again when we get to the door. I try to suppress my giddiness on the way. “Come here,” he says, just as he did before, like he’s going to give me a hug. This time I know his modis and am preparing myself. I’m going to kiss him back this time or die trying.
Now we’re going to count down all the first times in this one…
I manage to tuck my tongue under his in his mouth and leave it there for a couple of seconds, all necessary and proper. When I retreat to my tongue’s natural station, I say “Heh, well at least this time I got my tongue in too.”
I find myself relieved when his tongue returns to my mouth in a way which needs no reciprocation from me. It is a kind dispensation of heaven for a socially anxious woman to have a kiss with a guy whose tongue would be the envy of the Geico Gecko. And herein comes another first, he’s copping a feel of my breasts. Cupping them and pressing me against him, and then, he caresses my bottom – another first. I want to discern whether his pole is raised to attention, but short of grabbing him or applying continuous pressure with my pelvis, which I don’t have the balls to do in either case, I decide I must not look either. It’s as though he’s trying to lift me. “Um, I’m rather heavy and we’re practically making babies in the hall.”
His solution is to pull me under the stairway conveniently next to the fire extinguisher lest we get too hot. More kissing with his tongue. Oh look here, he’s nibbling on my ear. A first! And there he is kissing my neck, another first! I dare to look into his eyes once or twice and he indeed looks as though he actually wants to have me, devour me even.
Then he asks that question every gal dreams of hearing: “Do you have a ‘fuck buddy,’ Lisa?”
“Um no…I’m still a virgin.”
“I have a couple of them.”
“Who are they?” I ask, thinking GERMS!
“Nevermind about that,” he says. “Do you want to be my ‘fuck buddy?'”
I am not aroused because I’m too shy to be aroused being pressed against the wall. So that’s why he’s interested. Oh.
I actually think about it. I’m 34 years-old and my flower is wilted and gathering dust. I say that I might let him have dessert one day as long as he has protection to keep from having a Junior running around. I am giddy and want to hurry off lest Wilt Chamberlain here tries to gain entry when a neighbor might walk by.
I’m excited and happy that I am desired, the margarita still numbing my senses. I tell Soul Bro and we are giggly. It’s after I wake in the night that the tears come. I thought he had feelings for me. Nah, he just needed another fuck buddy to go with his harem. Waaaah!
The next day I talk to Soul Bro, crying even though we are having a bowl. I want to divest myself of my virtue, but by someone who doesn’t love me? I don’t want to die a virgin. I don’t want to die alone. I mail him with a “when and where,” but several hours later seeing that he hasn’t responded, I write, “Nevermind, I’m chicken.” I hope he will write back, but he doesn’t. Feeling my impending old age and ultimate death, plus the fact that I want Wilt in my life whatever way, I make another bid on Facebook, declaring “Fuck it. I’m tired of being a virgin.” That gets an answer and he agrees to Friday night.
Taking my best girlfriend’s advice, as well as my therapist’s, and casting it to the wind, I am ready for my virtue to die. My girlfriend tried to convince me I’m not worthless and that I will meet someone someday. Noted, but life is such a damn transient thing, and unless I start hanging out with mutes, I will be at a disadvantage in the dating world. My therapist also had similar objections, plus the whole ‘fuck buddy’ thing being crass. Yeah. But I am resolved.
Then Team OCD decides to ruin any chance of me ever getting any. Ugh.
My Soul Brother has made me up nicely – eyeliner, sparkly eyeshadow, and everything…when I get the call. Wilt’s tire blew out on the way to buy condoms and he will have to cancel. “I’ll get it fixed first thing in the morning,” he says.
I decide to ask him then the questions I felt must be asked before I let anyone into where no man’s ever gone before.
Perhaps if I had left it at “Do you have any STD’s?” this story would have a happy ending. But no. I ask him if he has a medical encyclopedia’s worth of diseases, even if he has sores near his genitals.
Oops. Apparently, that’s not a turn on. But it get’s worse.
“I know we’re not in a relationship or anything, but you won’t just drop me one day, right, or try to break my heart?”
AND, help us all…
“Maybe my mom is telling us we shouldn’t be doing this.”
Needless to say, he cancels the next day and says he’ll call in a couple of weeks. Let’s hope he calls before the world ends on December 21st.
How do I tell you about the worst thing that could ever happen to me? If it weren’t for the three cats I am blessed with I would want to be with my mother right now. I don’t want to live anymore. I want my mom to pull me into her arms and take me with her, but I can’t. She wants me to keep loving our cats, to live. I don’t want to be alone. How do I ever recover? I feel like I will never ever be happy again. How can I be happy when everything reminds me of my mom? How can anything not remind me of her, even when I was away from home I called her twice a day!
I thought we had longer, Mom. You were only 68! Everytime I’d say “life insurance,” you’d say you had no intention of dying yet, that everything would work out just fine for me when you died. That I’d be ready, but i’m not ready at all! No one will ever love me the way you did or understand me like you did. I’ll never love anyone like I love you, Mom. How am I going to stay in my home? How am I going to live on 674.00 a month?
I vomited this morning while trying to clean the house. I don’t thin;k I’m sick…I have a social worker coming this afternoon, I.Have.To.Stay.Alive. And so many people are being kind to me. People are good. I will have to tell you the whole story, the good, bad, and the ugly. Sometime. It is too fresh.
It is a full day on my usually empty dance ticket. I, Lisa, professional mental health seeker, have the joy of seeing both my therapist and my shrink. Rolling out of bed, nicking my legs shaving, and dressing in my new Family Dollar ensemble, I get to my therapy session at 10 am. As I suck on a starlight mint, we go over my myriad of “issues.”
“I went to see an art house film called The Smurfs in 3-D this past weekend, and went to the library before the film. This was the first film I ever saw in 3-D and I thoroughly enjoyed it,” I say as my therapist inspects the little book she caught me reading while I waited for her. She admits to never having seen a 3-D flick, and I praise the medium, that one can almost catch a bird flying out of the screen. “Though I don’t think The Smurfs would be your cup of tea.” I then bemoan the cruel truth that kids’ movies would be great except that kids actually come too.
“What is your comfort level standing in a line at the movie theater?”
“Well,” I answer,” not bad really. Crowds don’t bother me, individual interaction does. I can even ask for movie tickets, as long as I have the money so the person will have a reason to tolerate me.” I show her my latest acquisitions in my quest to get all the McDonald’s Smurf Happy Meal toys, the Baker and Brainy (I happened to have them stuffed into the labyrinth that is my purse). I then tell her that I’m too childish, too child-like, but the therapist likes who I am because she’s known me since I was 15 and because she gets money to like me -but honestly, I think she likes me anyway.
“It’s normal to be enthused about something you collect. My mom collected a particular pattern of carnival glass and was very excited when she found a piece at a secondhand shop,” my therapist assures me.
“I have to see the psychiatrist today. I’m not looking forward to it.”
At some point in the session, my therapist says, “but you feel comfortable talking to me, right?”
“Yes, but you don’t poke me with a fork.” One therapist thought I was sexually abused and my psychiatrist feels I have the ways of an “abuse victim.” Once my psychiatrist threw out there one time that maybe I had Aspberger’s syndrome since my social anxiety wasn’t getting better and it’s a struggle to look people in the eye (I’m very self-conscious).
“I’d have to research it more,” I remember the psychiatrist saying. “But I have a lot of empathy. I thought they didn’t,” was my defense. I did not show how upset I was to have a new diagnosis until I was outside and started crying and fussing at my mother. (No one thinks I have Aspberger’s, though, and the psychiatrist never mentioned it again, so it must have been a passing fancy for her too. Let’s just face it, Shrink, I’m f****d and you can randomly flip through your DSM IV and diagnose me with whatever is on the page, but there ain’t no fixing me, not really. But with that cheery thought, let’s continue ).
“I’m thinking about asking her about Abilify,” I tell my therapist. “She’s talked a couple of times of putting me on an antipsychotic in the hopes it would help with the OCD and everything, but I’ve been afraid of getting tardive dyskinesia. Do you have any patients on it with OCD?”
My therapist is looking far into her memory and comes up with 75% of the folks she saw with OCD who are chomping on the Abilify say it helped them, 25% said no it didn’t, and if she remembers right, 10% got off due to side effects.
I imagine people who’ve been on Haldol for years, the excessive drool foaming from their mouths. I imagine lactating. But have mercy on me, I’m so tired of not being what I yearn for the most: Ideal. Everyday I feel I’m not doing things just right and some days it throws me into a rage. I take three times as long as anyone else to do anything. I’m more depressed than I was and I feel as though I have few redeeming qualities. I begin to hope that my shrink knows that I will dramatically change from my lifetime membership at “Camp Clucky.”
Yes, yes, Lisa. We get you suck, life sucks, everything sucks. Blah, blah, boo-hoo. Get on with the story.
My mother and I are having a spot of lunch and I’m trying to look up Abilify just to make sure I want to try this, but my mobile phone’s battery dies on me. I try to recall the latestAbilify commercial. Cartoon woman literally weighed down by her depression and falling into the “hole” of the depression. Then her kindly looking doctor helps her out of the hole and prescribes her Abilify. Some side effects, what were they? Happy family having a picnic. Happy. “Resulting in coma or death.” What? I don’t remember, must’ve been really rare. Still at happy picnic, even Depression Hole sits nearby. Everyone is at the picnic having such a nice time. I want to be at that picnic, so perfect! “Depression used to define me, then I added Abilify.” Ah, how nice. I’ll just ask my doctor all about it.
When I’m in Dr. Shrink’s office, I have my $3.00 ready to throw at the receptionist before she can ask, because I always get the sense she thinks I’ll run off without paying. It’s the rule of the house, yes, but I can’t help see it as a slight towards all psychiatric cases (power to the people!). I don’t think the receptionist likes my mother and I much. I can imagine her thinking “Sod it all, here comes that rubbish. If I wanted to deal with folks on the dole, I’d have stayed in Merry Old England, wouldn’t I?” Even before Dr. Shrink took Medicaid, though, and I had to somehow hack up $75.00 for my 15 minutes, I don’t believe the receptionist liked us much. It may be in my head, and I don’t seem much different from the others in the waiting room: they mainly look depressed, maybe a couple now and then look mildly apes**t. I’ve been with a friend to Mental Health before and they look worse and more interesting. I remember some young woman, obviously in a manic state, talking on her cell, “Friday night I tried to kill myself but they gave me some lithium and I feelsoo much better now!” I wonder if everyone is still getting help since our genius state thought it was a good idea to close the county mental health and the mental hospital to “privatize it.”
I tell Dr. Shrink my decision. She tells me to avoid grapefruit juice (which I already do since I am on Luvox) and to watch for slowed down movements, that tardive dyskinesiawon’t happen suddenly if it happens at all. Two milligrams, not a big dose at al,l and come back at the end of the month( to see if I’m still alive). Ok, great I can do this!
This might fix me.
Or not. Twenty minutes after taking my first cockroach shaped and colored Abilify stuff starts to happen. I am me but I don’t feel like I’m really here. So I’m not at the picnic yet I guess. My thoughts are my thoughts but I feel strangely like I’m not thinking. OK weird. I rush to look at the guide that comes with my prescription then augment it with the internet. Sometime during all of this I start feeling angry, really angry. Smack myself angry, yay!
Apparently on Abilify, I could develop diabetes, go into a coma, and croak, but hey, I won’t be depressed anymore! Since I’m already fat and haven’t checked my blood sugar in ages, I’m not a happy fat camper.
Stay out of the sun and don’t get overheated…What the frostbite? Am I going to turn into a gremlin?
Weight gain! Do I need to say why I might not like this?
Abilify and Wellbutrin should be used with caution because it might lower one’s seizure threshold. Well that would be a different experience! Might lower my immunity…that should be a hit with someone deathly afraid of going to the doctor.
I try to sleep. I can’t, just as I fall asleep, I feel like I can’t swallow and jerk back awake. I sleep an hour to fly awake and feel angry. Repeat this 2 or 3 times in the night. It feels great!
The next 48 hours are interesting. I’m angry at everything and when my best friend annoys me by what I perceive as lectures instead of swallowing it, I tell her off over and over. I can’t help myself! Freedom such as the ability to tell off your best friend over stupid stuff is not a freedom a social phobe like me wants.
Today I returned to my psychiatrist. “I’m doing OK, but I had to stop the Abilify. After one dose I knew I couldn’t take it. If I had done thorough research I wouldn’t have tried it anyway because I’m afraid of getting diabetes.”
“Yes well,”Dr. Shrink replies, “if you look on the internet, getting diabetes from Abilifyseems as common as getting the jitters.”
True, but I feel I should be more concerned due to the fact I’m overweight.”
Later I visit with my professor from college, the one who I named my oldest cat after in tribute. The college is only a couple of blocks from my psychiatrist’s office. We talk various things and then I talk about how awful I sometimes was when on meds that opened my mouth so that I’d say whatever I wanted back when I was in his science classes.
“Don’t ever feel sorry about the things you say unless you hurt someone’s feelings, and I don’t remember you ever being mean to anyone.”
“Well no, but I’d say anything and I cringe at the thought now.”
(Flashback: pointing at a faux skeleton in class and saying, “Look he’s got a boner!” Flashback: among the things I inherited from my grandmother, one was her old lady bright red lipstick. My reply to the comments I got when I wore it, “Hey, this was a really popular color in the 1940s.” I was shy then too, but accepted as the oddity that I was and I’ve always liked making people laugh. In many classes I was near silent anyway, but not my science teacher’s class. It’s a pity he isn’t my real father)
You learn to have patience says my professor at some point in our conversation. ” I guess you have had worse than me as long as you’ve been doing this,” I stammer.
“At least you aren’t an ax murderer. That would be worse.”
“Have you actually had murderers in your classes?”
“Two of them. One the cops chased into the mountains and he was killed.”
So the Abiify didn’t help me become the person I want to be, not close, but, the moral of this story is, no matter what I do, hey, at least I’m not an ax murderer!
PS: Abilify has helped many people, it could help you too. Sometimes the risk is worth the gain. As my pharmacist said, “Line 100 people up, and two would have the same reaction as you did.” Besides, my body’s wired different anyway. I was the 1/10000 of Paxil patients who lost her period on Paxil (happened on Effexor too!). Soon as I stopped, flowed like the red sea. With that, I bid you adieu.