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

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Guest Post: Common Myths about OCD — July 10, 2013

Guest Post: Common Myths about OCD

 

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.

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Pepper to Taste — June 20, 2013

Pepper to Taste

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.

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

One Year Ago Today — February 9, 2013

One Year Ago Today

Ape
Ape (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Me a year ago.

One year ago today I was a different woman than I am now. When I looked at my future, I saw nothing. Nothing alone, nothing without him by my side.

One year ago today, my paranoia came crashing down on me and I could barely breathe under its weight, let alone climb out from under it.

One year ago today, the lies became too much, the truth too clear, and the fear unbearable. It was the fear that did it, the fear that my soul mate was as unreal as his words, that imaginary friends are mirages that disappear.

One year ago today, I checked his ears for the cartoon character earbuds I gave him for Christmas. If he’s wearing them, maybe he’s not mad at me. My obsession: checking for signs of discord. Perusing his body for gifts in quick glances. He wears one of my gifts, maybe he is happy with me. The earbuds are there! He smiles at me, he talks happily to his dogs. There isn’t anything in the intonation of his voice hiding ire or sadness. Perhaps all is well. Or not.

One year ago today, he returned from walking the dogs and went into his room, pugs too. The door closed, me shut out.  Me alone and the social worker coming. He was there with me before when she came, supportive, saying what needed to be said. I knock. No answer. Anger? Is he angry at me? Alone. Will I be  alone forever? Scared, and the social worker is coming. And the letter he wrote is on the stove for her. Angry? Is that why he left me alone? So scared of him not loving me anymore. Or is he hiding? Does hiding mean he is guilty of something? No. He’s mad at me. Or is he a liar? The  letter is partly a lie, making him a liar. Can a liar still be your soul mate? He lies sometimes, it means nothing. It means he doesn’t care. No it doesn’t. He has problems, but he loves me like a sister. He wouldn’t hurt me. Oh God, is he angry at me? What will become of me if I’m without him?

One year ago today, there was a knock on my their door. This is not my home, but a place where I stay at the mercy of the queens kings inside. No, my soul mate is merciful, even if his truth is not always truthful. But here is the social worker and there is the letter. She is not happy. She is angry at him. I am scared and try again to knock at my dearest friend’s bedroom door. I am crying. He must be angry. No, you dumbass, he’s avoiding a confrontation. No, he’s mad at me, he doesn’t really love me. Oh God!

One year ago today, my social worker read the letter penned in  my dear one’s artistic script:

750.00 dollars I owed them for paying my mother’s final expenses (I had thought I owed $550.00…but what do I know)

40.00 for a light bill (odd, because I thought the $240.00 I paid a month in rent included my share of everything).

35.00 for a late fee (strange, because I hadn’t been late in giving my share).

PAID IN FULL.

One year ago today, my social worker said loudly enough for my soul mate to hear through the door, “He sat here and said that they would wait until you were back on your feet to pay them back!”

And I told her about the netbook I got too, because of my soul mate’s partner forcing me to take back the laptop I got with my social security check and give him that money or I would have to “get the fuck out of his house,” adding tenderly as he menaced me that I was a bitch and a whore (though he knew I was a virgin). All the while letting me know that his lover acted differently when I was around, that even his dogs did too)

Just don’t let it happen again, admonished my social worker.

One year ago today, I told my social worker a story I was told about my soul mate’s partner. “He’s very mean. He was more worried about a friend of his getting blood on the seats of his van than that she slit her wrists…and when he left her at the hospital, he wouldn’t stay with her.”

One year ago today, I was left alone and I knocked again on dear friend’s door. No answer.

Crash!

That morning, one year ago today, I didn’t wake up saying to myself, “I guess I’ll pencil in committing suicide today.” But it wasn’t a spur of the moment decision either. I went to bed early many nights too depressed to face the partner of my beloved, he who had a way of making me feel like less than dirt. Secretly my death wish had waxed and waned since the day my mother died. Now, five months later, I reached my cliff. Before that day, though it was a thought, slightly researched.  I had researched a while before if one was unfortunate enough to survive death by ativan, ones vital organs may not fail. And so I decided, What have I got to lose now? The only person who really needed me was dead, everyone else would easily get over my loss.

I decided on Russian Roulette Pill and OCD style because I sort of wanted to keep living if my dear one didn’t dislike me now. I wrote a note proclaiming my love in a style mistakable as sisterly love to my soul mate, enjoining him to please take care of my cats and that this wasn’t his fault.

I tucked the note under me in case I decided to stop, and began. One pill. Count to 300. My  friend still hasn’t come out of his room. I take another and count to 300. Another and around this time I pass out. When I awaken, the door is open! I stumble in and ask if I can come in. He gave his ascent. I remember asking if he was mad at me and that was when he noticed I was doped. “Oh no! he exclaimed angrily. “That will get you thrown out in a matter of days.”

Was I afraid? No, peacefully, I stumbled back out of the room, decided what the hell, and down the gullet the rest of my Ativan went. How many did I take? My guess is maybe 7 or 9. When I woke up again sleeping next to Babee Dondee my littlest cat, my soul brother said with an edge in his voice “Good morning, or evening actually.” I can’t remember if he asked me to call my friend to get me or if I took the initiative, pobably the former.

My best friend told me Soul Bro answered the door, called to me that my friend was here, and promptly went back to playing a video game. There’s the love. As I left though, I recall handing him my suicide note.

I stayed in the ER several hours though I recall little of it, they mainly just monitored my idiot ass, my heart dipping down into the 60s. If one might die simply from judgemental lapses I’d have been a goner.

I was given the option of “voluntarily” being admitted or getting a judge to commit me. It was around 4am a nd  I was finally sobering up a bit. I bid adieu to my best friend who had stayed through the whole ordeal, was carted off in a wheelchair by a surly cop and began a 10 day vacation locked away in a psych ward. Ten days because no one wanted my sorry ass and I ended up in a faraway nursing home for 2 months. It was the worst two months of my life, though I absolutely LOVED my stay in the psych ward. It was pretty fun and I met some great folks. I’d do it again if it didn’t entail trying to kill myself and making all my friends tell me they don’t want my crazy self and sending me away to the home. Not fun.

One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest — May 17, 2012

One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched in the 1975 film.
Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched in the 1975 film. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But anywho, I have another page from the notebook journal I kept while I was at Window Licker Hall. This I wrote sometime in mid March.
Nurses
The nurses here are of every sort. On weekdays we have a surly head nurse with a facial expression resembling Louise Fletcher’s. Nurse Ratchet is always polite to me, but to others not so much. One morning after playing bingo for 75 cents (the price of a soda in the drink machines here), an elderly man fell backwards in his chair, hitting the sharp edges of another chair. I ran and got Nurse Ratched and her solution was to yell at him to get up. This made my blood boil.
There are the kind, caring nurses who help folks like me not feel so alone. My favorite nurse gave me a dollar for a drink, and another time let me use her cell phone to call Soul Bro to beg him to take me back…no dice. I am a leper now, or maybe I bear an invisible scarlet letter: ‘S’ for suicidal.
There’s a couple of nurses who look and act like “trash.” They obviously became nurses  for the cash, and if they could get away with it, they’d ignore us altogether.
And then there’s Princess. Princess is generally a nice person until someone crosses her. That’s what one resident did over a pill she didn’t want to take because it was broke in two. Yelling ensued. “Either take it or don’t, or I’ll throw it away!”
“You can’t throw my pill away! If you do, I’ll make sure you pay for it.” Then yell, yell, yell.
“How unprofessional,” I said to my roomie’s semi-boyfriend as we watched.
Then my best-friend at Window Licker Hall, Nowheresville, USA, wanted a tylenol with her other pain meds, and when she couldn’t have it, she and Princess also got into it. Like sands through the hour-glass, so are the Days of Our Lives.
Once my best-friend got done having it out with Princess, she yelled to me, “She’s a bitch!”
“Yeah,” I replied.
“She’s a black bitch!”
“We don’t have to bring race into it.”
Meanwhile, Princess is still royally pissed and screams, “You all belong in Grape, every one of you!” Until then, I wasn’t angry, but when she said that, I felt my rage building. If you live in this state, you likely know that Grape is a long term psychiatric hospital. Since I pride myself in considering me an overall sane soul, to be lumped into one category  with the nuts and ‘special’ people is just enough digging  into my insecurities.
My best-friend, the Tylenol bereft one, says Princess only meant the white people should go to Grape, because she doesn’t like us. Well, break me a cracker. My friend has been here 7 years (7 years! I’d prefer self-emulsion), ao she’s been an observer of Princess’ ways. I feel, however, a touch of racial bias on the part of my friend in her belief. Like I said before, Princess is always nice to me, but I do anything to keep anyone from being mad at me. I just can’t take anger now. Anyway, how I get the feeling it wasn’t Princess’ dislike of the pigment challenged of us, is because the first woman Princess got into a fight with was a hateful African-American woman with legs so swollen she looks like a balloon in Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. I must humbly surmise, then, that Princess meant the lot of us should get on the short bus to ride from our rest home in Nowheresville to the loony bin in Crazyboro, USA regardless of race or ethnicity. It’s the American way.
My roommate, however, wasn’t miffed, because she’s already been there, done that with Grape.
***************************
In retrospect, Nurse Ratchet wasn’t a bad person at all. By the time I left Window Licker Hall I loved her because she offered to take my cats when they were thrown in the pound, even though she had a Rottweiller and it wouldn’t have been the best idea (it was appreciated all the same).
I heard bad things about my favorite nurse, though I believe she is an overall good person.
Lastly, I still think Princess wasn’t a racist. She hated us equally that night.
******************************
Bonus
Recently I transferred all the unique posts from ocdbloggergirl.com. Each post, I’ll point you to a post I wrote months ago on my other blog in case you missed it and want to see.
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Old Blog Exclusive: My Weekend — July 18, 2011

Old Blog Exclusive: My Weekend

Cover of "WordPress For Dummies"
Cover of 'WordPress For Dummies', Dummy

Since I want to continue writing here too, here are my thoughts on the weekend.

I am a jumpy sort of lass. I humiliate myself with a screech when my friend suddenly falls against me when sitting next to me. My friend tells me I suffer from “hyper vigilance.” And?

The same day, my mother runs the leftovers home so that the pizza won’t spoil, but she seems to take a while returning to the book store where she deposited my friend and me (Hey, fun quiz! Is the word ‘me’ correct or is it ‘I’? Not like I don’t know or anything, just seeing if y’all are alert!). I begin to assume my mom’s met an unfortunate end, of course, so I call home. Mom’s alive! Yay! Apparently, Philippe had jumped onto the counter and began begging for more canned cat food as he  does several times a day, so that helped delay my mom. My friend lectures me about being independent. Hey, my mom’s more or less my only family member and after she actually gives up the ghost I’ll be alone.  Which means I’ll die a cat lady or a bag lady or something.

Now that I know my mom is still among the living, I grab up the 800 page WordPress for Dummies monstrosity I’d been trying to absorb in 10 minutes or less, plus a dollar bin book on writing fiction and head for the counter. I know my mom wouldn’t approve me buying the $35.00  Wordpress book, on our credit card to boot, better to buy it and ‘fess up later in the evening (I have to confess stuff to my mom, a compulsion). I feel safe buying it now that my mom wasn’t dead, because in the back of my semi-sane mind, I think that had I not known my mom was alive and I bought the book, it would somehow kill off my mom as punishment.  Where are the men in white coats, right?  

My friend continues on the “independence” talk and my mom returns.

The next day my friend and I play Rummy at her house and I win. We watch Real Stories of the ER as we play and some guy has a cockroach stuck in his ear and the little f****r was biting the mans eardrum. This results in me going into labor and giving birth to a new phobia. 

 I help shampoo her computer room’s carpet, a new experience for me. I think a mixture of being tired and the Fabuloso we used on the carpet gave me a headache. We watch some of Gremlins. The channel the movie is on suggests the film may not be suitable for kids under 7. That movie scared me to death when I was the mature age of 7.  I think they edited a bit of the splatter in the blender  and microwave as the mother killed a couple of the gremlins in household appliances. I couldn’t bear killing something in a microwave, even a murderous Gremlin. Funny though, I have had  terrible visuals of putting a cat in the microwave. I have no desire to do such a thing, but the thought of it happening is enough to make me worried. When you have OCD, it’s vital to learn that harm obsessions are just thoughts that pass through the minds of kind people. Luckily for me I worry more about causing emotional harm to people than physical harm. At any given moment I’m afraid someone is mad or have hurt feelings because of me. 

I go to bed on my friend’s futon, the one you have to sit on carefully or one of the armrests falls off. I have a dream that may inspire a poem.

When I get home, Casey Anthony has already gone into hiding. My mom thinks wherever she is now, her attorney is boinking her. I hope not for his sleazy ass’ sake. There’s  a part of me that feels bad for Casey simply because so many people want her to die a horrible death. I believe God will make her pay on this earth. Being so hated will be a prison in itself  because she won’t be partying much. I doubt her sociopathic mind can fathom all the consequences of being notorious. I can’t believe Jesus would want people shouting “Kill her!” or even denying her a table at a restaurant. I smell a Casey Anthony post coming one day to my new site.

Winning! The Blogoversary Edition Vol. 1 (Excerpts from my first year) — March 28, 2011

Winning! The Blogoversary Edition Vol. 1 (Excerpts from my first year)

Happy Pictures, Images and Photos
Yay! My First Blogoversary! (March 25th, but who's counting?)

I was going to post this on March 25th to commemorate my first year of blogging, but my friend invited me over to hang out, so I guess I’ll do it today. I will list some links and excerpts from the past year that I favored. This is a chance to reminisce or to brush up on my ADHD-style masterpieces. Pay attention. There will be a test!

Here is an excerpt from my very first post, March 25,2010:

In Which Nervous Nelly Explains How OCD Thinking Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

I worry about murderers, carjackers, rapists, etc. causing harm to my mother and sometimes to myself, but mainly to my mother when we are apart. Look at the news, awful things happen ALL THE TIME. But when something awful could have actually happened I was calm and I handled it.

Ok, so 3 or 4 years ago we tried out a newly opened Chinese buffet. It was later in the afternoon,  just past lunchtime, so there was only a couple other patrons and they were in another section of the restaurant (this was before  the state made smokers into lepers and my mom could still smoke inside). We were eating, the food was good too, which makes this all the greater a tragedy .  Suddenly, one could hear yelling in the kitchen.  It kept up steady and seemed to stay in the kitchen, so I felt confident  in my safety at grabbing something else. Oh what to get, what to get. Soup? Or a couple of those slivers of cake?

Oh, the possibilities! Oh…….. oh …….oh shit!

The shit had now officially hit the fan.  The argument spilled out near where I happened was, no further than 12 feet. A man was  surrounded by 3 guys and 2 women, and boy,  was he ever pissed.  It was a good thing I don’t speak Chinese,  but some things are universal,  a psychotic rage is distinguishable from someone mildly miffed that he burned the General Tso’s chicken. Psycho Cook then took a soup bowl and smashed it on the floor, but this must have not been cathartic enough, for he soon lunged at another cook.  I remained unnoticed and began to deliberate what to do. I wasn’t panicked I remember, a little nervous and disconcerted, but panicking? No, not really. Would someone else have totally freaked out? I’m not sure . Perhaps they would have the common sense to be scared, not just a little frightened. So I weighed my options, a little list in my brain:

A:) Every woman for herself, haul ass out the door and hope your mother will follow.  But I would never leave my mother if  if any harm could come to her, so scratch that.

B:) Run past the offending party back to my mother. Run, fat girl, run!!! No, that didn’t seem sensible either. Let  the lunging crouching tiger become  aware of  Hidden Dragon here? Not a good idea in my estimation.

C.) Act normal (or fake it in my case since  I ain’t never been normal, just seen the brochure once or twice). Yes this is the best idea. If  I ignore whatever the screaming, striking  cook is doing and act like an unconcerned customer I might have more of  a chance at not attracting the ire of  this poor guy.  Time to not be too particular, so I grab a bit of orange and start back, walking as far away from Psycho Cook ‘n pals as I dared. One of the waitresses sat at the table with my mom kind of hiding out.  The waitress said to us, “I hate Chinese people. All they do is fight.” ( disclaimer: She was Chinese or Malaysian herself, so she could say that I guess). She proceeded to tell us the story of  the restaurant. Appears a few guys got the idea of opening a restaurant together. Too bad that among the angry lot,  one was totally insane and off his meds.  Happens in the best of restaurants.

Meanwhile, the fray  moved more towards the kitchen and another waitress came over. “We got to go now! He threatening to kill people.”

Ever the scrupulous idiot that i am I tried to give them money fast, but they said not to worry about it. Fair enough, but I did manage to give the waitress 10 bucks at least and wouldn’t  take it  back.  This all happened really fast.  One or two of the men stayed with the wigged out chef and everyone else made for the door. When outside several people got into one car and left. The other patrons had already left before hell broke loose.

Safely away my mother and I were like “well…that was….different.”

Princess Rubenesque’s Adventures Downtown

April 30, 2010

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 actaccordingly. 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.

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

April 29, 2011

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

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.

Unfortunately, it seems I favor quite a few excerpts from my first 2 months. I know these aren’t literary masterpieces, but they were my first efforts. I think I got better at not rambling so much as I went on. I hope those of you who weren’t here from the first like this, and my first dear readers like “Lisa in Review.”

Do y’all like this and should I continue this base self-aggrandizement? Am I just being redundant?

Upcoming junk

  • I gotta do a book review on a book I got from bloggingforbooks.org. Hey, I was like, “Eh, what the hell? Free book! (I enjoyed it too, but don’t worry I’m not becoming a book blogger except every now and then).
  • Retrieve my stupid political post from Rejectionville and post it here. It’s a moot point now anyway, but whatever.
  • Finish my damn Christmas Post (once I get my netbook back from the pawn shop).
  • Do more OCD; less tangenty, boringy stuff.
  • Still want to write more of my memoirs, thrill a minute.
  • Answer my comments much faster.

I love you all and thank you for everything. Y’all don’t even know how much you mean to me and how you’ve helped me,

Lisa

PS, If anyone dislikes this color let me know or even the font.

Hoarders: Invasion of The Evil Cable Clowns Edition — February 25, 2011

Hoarders: Invasion of The Evil Cable Clowns Edition

An amateur clown
"We're here to help!" Image via Wikipedia

Strange few days indeed. With the usual thoughtfulness of the management of Shitzville Apartments, a photocopy of a note written in marker appeared on everyone’s doors saying that new cable lines would be installed starting that day. With no other explanation at hand, Mom called the manager. Yes. Starting that day. No, no free cable (fuck!), just re-wiring. No, won’t have to move anything (you’ve never been in our apartment have you?) Oh, you put in a work order a couple of weeks ago and maintenance never came? I’ll put another one in (gee, that’s big of you).

We learn from our friendly neighborhood informant that the cable company would have installed the lines, but the management wouldn’t let them. Instead they got Clowns-R-Us to install it cheaper.


Soon we also learn from one of the Clowns-R-Us men that yes, the next day, they will invade the living room and bedrooms of everyone. Said clown drilled a hole in our ceiling at the side nearest the door, and dangled three thick cable cords down into our apartment suitable for braiding. One might say, “Oh that’s going to be so tacky dangling those cords down by the ceiling,” but considering the area commonly used for putting one’s dining table instead has many overflowing boxes of junk about shoulder-high, I don’t think we have much of a foot to stand on with the Tacky Police.

Hoarder
Alternative interior design; or, how to remain single and singular


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My bedroom is chaos. My desktop computer is usable, my bed with the 1970s (vintage!) mattress is sleepable, the first couple of drawers on my chest are get-attable, but other than that: Screwed! My doll collection is on the walls and wherever else the packages have landed, boxes and boxes of books everywhere. This ain’t gonna cut it, so I know I must cut some of the books loose not vital to my own reading, collecting, or casual ebaying.

hoarding dolls
Corner of the author's bedroom.

collyer brothers
The coveted Collyer Brothers' Housekeeping Seal of Approval

 

This is probably what is going to stop me from becoming famous on reality TV. I sort of hoard, but I have yet to attain the Collyer Brothers’ Housekeeping Seal of Approval. I just don’t hoard anything weird (well, that’s subjective) or gross. I have no urge to keep milk cartons (though I believe I can see their logic in doing so -“Hey, I can use this plastic milk carton for Kool-Aid, and when I die, you can use it to keep my ashes in it instead of an urn!”). I sure as hell ain’t keeping milk past the expiration date. Though I’m fat as all get out, I’m a very picky eater. As for the nastiness factor, I can’t stand roaches and we seldom have them, but if I see one, it puts me off eating in the house the rest of the day. Fun fact though: I feel guilty if I kill one, though I’m perfectly OK with their murder by the exterminator or Mom. Our home is dusty, smokey, and now and then you get a scent of eau d’ chat because Oscar has “territory issues.” But, hey, the kitchen and bathroom are clean.

hoarders logo
Almost famous.

I’ve actually seen places that were the epitome nasty. Once I went in someone’s trailer and saw so many roaches, hundreds! Crawling everywhere, not scattering in a way that made me think they were aware of their victory over the pitiful souls living there. It was an obsessive-compulsive’s worst nightmare. Shit, it was anyone’s worst nightmare…anyone, that is, but the people who lived there.

At this very apartment complex I’ve seen a couple of apartments that had blackened counters and bathrooms once the people moved. Also, at our old house, the guy who bought it really doesn’t give a flip. Got an extra fridge? It’ll look great in your front yard among other debris and old cars is his motto. I’m sure our old neighbors hate us for letting Asshat buy our home for 20k paid in installments that often were late. What upsets me  is the plants he deliberately killed. Azaleas and hydrangeas deliberately cut down and killed -I know they didn’t feel it logically, but mentally it upsets me ( I’m not even much of a tree-hugger or a gardener). I hope my mom’s tiger lilies and daffodils still come up just to spite him. I’mthough sure he murdered my dead grandfather’s rose bush, though heaven knows what horror is in the backyard now since he made a makeshift a tarp and wooden board privacy fence over the wired fence as soon as he moved in. At least our Sanford and Son Syndrome was mainly inside. Tsk tsk!

Days go by. No Clowns-R-Us return to finish. If they don’t come back soon, I am going to braid that damn cable! Various panels are off the hall’s ceiling. One fascinates my mom and I in particular because it appears to go all the way through the floor to the second story hall. W.T.F? Neither did the clowns appear to approach their task too tenderly, for paint and wood chips had come off too.

There are two possible explanations for Clowns-R-Us’ disappearance. Someone else started playing “Send in the Clowns” somewhere.

Or…

Too many people started cursing out the clowns, and knowing some of the folks living here, probably threatening to rip off their slap happy noses. Not all of us are docile sheep like my mother and I, though I sometimes wonder if we acted more like we were raised in a barn, we would get on a bit better in life.

Seriously, who wants clowns drilling a hole big enough for 3 thick cords to drop down, with a little extra room too for something to crawl in. The intention, then is to run said thick cords under the carpet into the living room and bedrooms. It would be enough to throw Mother Teresa into a rage. Talk about taking one’s lumps in a literal sense!

But ah to getting rid of stuff! So many books I found that did not have my life blood within them! I wouldn’t have parted with them though if they went to the trash. I give away just fine…throw away, not so much. Some went to the laundry room on a table where people throw their freebies and Watchtowers. Others I put by the dumpster (not in, that’s vital). I also put a porcelain doll on top of one box of books and someone took the books, but threw the doll away. Someone would have wanted her. Affrontedand wished I’d kept her. She was down ar the very bottom of the dumpster, the yuckiest part. There, in dumpster diver hell, I would only fetch out a real baby, or something REALLY awesome.

Pre-Publishing Update:

They came! Around 8-ish in the morning…too bad for me I had gone to bed at 4am. Half-asleep, I stumbled to the door. “Is it too early?” asked the head maintenance man, who accompanied a clown.

Yeah, come back in 6 hours. “No, just let me warn my mother.” Mom was bathing. Luckily I was semi-presentable. My hair was aiming for the sky and I had to hide my nightguard in my pocket (I grind my teeth), but I was dressed!

It doesn’t even look as bad as our informant led us to believe. The day before the maintenance man came and I have new outlets because half of them had stopped working. We have a new garbage disposal and the leaky faucets leak a little bit less. Shitzville wasn’t built in a day. The man who did it is the only one of the three who really does much. As he worked, he got a call telling him to fix someone’s closet rack who had been waiting three weeks.

The maintenance man told us it would have cost 45k to knock out sheet rock and install the cable if the cable company had done it. I can understand why Slumlord Millionaire wouldn’t want to pay that high of a price and it would be tons more disruptive. It isn’t nearly as bad as our informant made us believe.

ghetto cord
Ghetto cable:s not so bad.

I think I almost have my Christmas post ready…just in time for the March rush, too.

All of this was supposed to be a short update and intro to this poem. The best layed plans…


Life of a Compulsive Collector

 

I

There is a picture of me,

not yet age three.

Basket over my head.

How cute!

Look closer.

Toys surround me.

A slight hint of chaos

in a picture’s confines.

 

II

I have always liked things.

Small girl at yard sales,

accompanying Mama to the flea.

Grab bags filled with trinkets,

grocery store vending machines.

Nothing that cost too much,

second-hand toys and plastic rings.

 

III

Granddad pushing me in a stroller.

We go to the schoolhouse when class is over.

The middle school kids are careless.

Pencils to find and seek,

an Easter egg hunt so to speak.

All passed our inspection –

From nubs up to their erasers,

to chew marked, or almost new.

Bathed in the bathroom sink,

sharpened by pocket knife too.

 

IV

I grow older.

Mom has a menagerie of plants,

six fish tanks,

and a better job.

Barbies, Lady Lovely Locks, and She-Ra

kept court with

Jem (the doll that looked more like a Him).

At around age ten,

I make a plan:

I’ll always love toys

no matter how old I am.

At 33 I’ve kept that promise,

unfortunately with an addendum or two.

Books ancient to relatively new,

Cassette tapes I bought in my teens.

Boxes of stuff to sell and keep.

33 years to fill a hole in me,

hard to put away or set free.




Hoarders: A Hoarder’s After Christmas Christmas Tree Special Videolog — January 15, 2011
An Anxious Girlhood: A Poem of Irrational Fears — January 4, 2011

An Anxious Girlhood: A Poem of Irrational Fears

As a little girl, I had no idea I was mentally ill. I just thought I was of below average intelligence and different. My mother even saw a patient or two at Mental Health with OCD, never thinking I was one too. I think by at least 8, I knew on some level the frightening thoughts weren’t real, but then I would think, “but what if my fears are real?” Anyway, enjoy and please let me know what you think. I know it isn’t my best effort.

 

 

At the age of 3, I look longingly at the sea.

The wet sand is quicksand ready to swallow up me.

 

At age 6, the devil might come up when I flush.

I learn this truth from a teenager,

and teens are like adults,

they never lie.

 

At age 7, everything I eat will cause me to choke to death,

and if not that,

I will die of a heart attack.

 

At age 8, I just know the former owners of  our car were drug dealers

who left their stash hidden inside so we’d go to jail.

The other shoe will somehow drop without fail,

and I’ll be locked up, no bail.

And I am afraid my grandparents will die,

or maybe I’m already dead?

These notions just won’t leave my head.

 

At age 13, I’m afraid of everyone my own age,

so as a hermit I try to fade away.

I think in unwanted blasphemies and ask myself is red the color of the devil?

 

At age 14, I worry that thoughts can cause action,

s and if I’m not careful I will cause people and animals  to die.

I’m afraid of men.

 

At age 15, I think my mom is going to die.

The man she’s dating will kill her somehow I’m sure .

Maybe he’s a rapist, a murderer, or just a bad driver.

I will be left to my grandmother and nothing I ever do will be good enough.

I will be alone.

I’m finally driven into therapy.

 

At age 17, I’m diagnosed with OCD.

Mom had said I’d one day grow out of worrying,

but no, my worries grew with me.

 

Submitted to http://thursdaypoetsrallypoetry.wordpress.com

Three Christmas Poems: Depressing, Controversial, and Semi-Festive — December 17, 2010

Three Christmas Poems: Depressing, Controversial, and Semi-Festive

 

Hi everyone,

Combining http://magpietales.blogspot.com and http://thursdaypoetsrallypoetry.wordpress.com/ this week. The first poem is right depressing, so if you’re already in a depressed mode you might wish to skip it because it’s pretty dark. The second poem deals with the so-called “War on Christmas,” and I don’t mean to be sacrilegious. The third is my favorite poem, a slice of that tasty ghetto/trailer park-style pie some of y’all seem to like…Anywho, enjoy and comment, trash it, or ask questions about it as you may.

 

A Very Depressing Christmas Poem: Nola Leigh’s Christmas

Mary and Jesus


Nola Leigh, age 43, virtuous virginity.

It is Christmas Eve and she is alone,

She can’t bear to go home.

The Madonna in Sorrow
Madonna in Sorrow Image via Wikipedia

All of her relatives are dead,

So she goes to the church instead.

Open door but no one here,

She looks to the window and sits at the rear,

Thin stain glass, the virgin and her baby as before in the past.

Mary is benevolent, Jesus is sad in his innocence, looking even then for divine penitence.

Nola Leigh, 43, virtuous virginity.

Mother Mary, where were you 40 years ago,

When Nola Leigh needed you so?

Sweet Jesus, did you not see your young servant in desperate need?

While you were in the glass, Nola Leigh just had no chance.

But that’s all in the past.

Nola Leigh, 43, virtuous virginity.

 




A Very Controversial Christmas  Poem: Merry Holidays, Jesus!

 

Is it just me or is the whole "War on Christmas" thing stupid on either side?

 

Dear Jesus,

I think you should know, some of your Father’s creations are a little slow.

Or is it me who’s a bit dense? I’m not sure, but all this to me makes little sense.

It all has to do with a little word called ‘Christmas.’

Apparently there is a war on the word. Have you in heaven heard?

Being a mortal, this I can’t understand,

Did you actually make the demand

to nick-pick on a word not even invented when you walked this earth?

When you were old enough to say it, did you cry out “Merry Christmas!”in Aramaic?

Do you spend time between listening to prayers despairing, perhaps even swearing, that ‘Xmas’ does not bear your last name?

Or are you in on the joke that the Greeks often use the ‘X’ as the abbreviation of Christ?

Is it really a vice to say “Happy Holidays!” a couple of times a year?

Or do you say, “Your inclusiveness should fry with you in the lake of hell?”

Is it bad for me to say “Merry Christmas” too?

Truthfully, Jesus, I’m all in a stew,

so I guess I’ll leave it up to you.

War on Christmas

 

 

A Semi-Festive Christmas Poem: Our Christmas Tree

 

 

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

 

 

Oh Christmas tree, lovely Christmas tree!

Chopped down in a forest of plastic at a Chinese factory.

That year, 1987, was the first year your blessed bough  hung before us,

Joy to the World and the rest of the chorus.

That first year, do you recall?

We broke your stand and had to nail you to the wall,

tied with festive utilitarian string,

A live tree stand for a metal trunk is an interesting thing.

We Wish You a Merry Christmas and colored lights

Trying to put you up is liable to yoke a fight.

Complicated, lopsided, daring you to fall,

Well, we said, at least you’re tall.

Jingle Bells, dust, and left over tree icing,

Damn I wish it were spring and gifts weren’t so high in the pricing.

But I love your ornaments, indeed I do,

Even if you look like you were decorated by monkeys in the zoo.

Martha Stewart would cry if she saw this tree where ‘Taste’ goes to die,

But two ornaments per limb here means pleasures double,

Memories good and bad, triumph over trouble.

Gold garland and silver star, thoughts happy  do not  tacky mar.

 

 

Merry. Christmas.

 

 

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