Archive | August 2021

Concerned a Little Late

I was talking to my mother. She took me out for my birthday and she is worried about my oldest brother. He won’t stop drinking or smoking and everyone is very concerned. He has stated that it’s too late to do anything about it. I told her he was likely right. What I was thinking was, “Seriously? Now you’re concerned? Is this a joke?”

You have to understand: I sounded the warning bells four decades ago. You know, back when something constructive could actually have been done about the situation. My brother is now in his early 60s. I doubt he will make it to seventy. My mom is pushing eighty. And now she is worried sick about him. This is the same person that put me in the ER and then was going to leave me there. Wow.

I. Give. Up.

The Weather is Stuck!

I have never seen this. There have always been warm fronts, cold fronts, wet spells, dry spells, etc. But it always kept moving. This is new. Every time I look at the weather map, I see stationary fronts, fronts that don’t move.

This has been a very funky summer: hot and wet. Usually, hot means dry. Not this year. I keep figuring that this has got to be good for some crops, but I don’t know which ones. It has been very tropical this summer. Michigan, tropical. How many different kinds of wrong can something be at the same time? It has been downright steamy. It is like breathing soup. Blech. Just nasty. I feel really sorry for people with COPD and other breathing issues. This has to be hard on them.

Part of my philosophy in life has always been that movement is normal, a sign of life. It is when things get stuck that you get problems. If something isn’t moving, you might poke it with a stick, to see if it responds. If it doesn’t, you might want to check for a pulse. Now the weather isn’t moving: not a good sign.

Meanwhile, the earth is on fire! Not an exaggeration. The western US is ablaze. As is Greece. And…(wait for it) so is Siberia. Largest fire on the planet. And it’s messing with the weather everywhere. What could be next? I have no idea. I’m not sure I even want to know.

My Only Priority

As all of you know, my main problem in life has always been my crippling shame. No doubt. Whatever I did seemed wrong. Every mistake, remembered forever. I grew up abused with the word “inappropriate,” as if my family had cornered the market on civility. It reached a point where I could no longer move forward, backward, left, right, up, or down. I could get all the education in the world and still have no will to live.

Now my only priority is learning to love myself. There is nothing more important. Nothing else even comes a close second. Even if I cannot change my life instantly or get my act together at a rate that I can approve of, nothing else matters. It would be nice, of course, to have at least my own unconditional approval, but, for now, accepting my lack of self-acceptance feels like progress.

What’s tripping my issues are the after-effects of the accident. Dealing with the insurance companies. Seeing doctors. That kind of thing. And the fact that my parents were ready to simply leave me at the hospital without transportation. My true rage is reserved for my ever-abandoning parents. They can have all the sentimental feelings in the world for me, but their love is worthless if I have to beg for a ride home from the hospital after they almost killed me. Seeing the truth has been horrendously painful, but the truth is now obvious.

I need to re-parent myself. Beating myself up accomplishes nothing, no matter how habitual it may be. This is exhausting, but self-love is the only worthwhile goal. Nothing else in my life works until I get this up and running.

Whom Do I Hate?

I have spent most of my life hating myself and dealing with crippling shame.

The flip side has been not having a clue as to who I even am.

How can I hate someone I don’t know (even if that mystery person is myself)? How does that work? “I hate you, whoever the heck you are!” Huh?

I am at a point in my psychoanalysis where I am seeing very deeply that my real fury is at my parents, like when they were completely willing to leave me at the hospital after almost killing me. Their lack of concern for my wellbeing is profound. I am on my own and always have been. My brothers and I raised ourselves, with mixed results at best, and total clusterf**k lives at worst. We are older now and the results have not been pretty. We did what we knew. When we knew better, we did better–often dealing with the disapproval of perpetually immature parents. I reached a point where if my parents approved of something I did that I seriously questioned the wisdom of proceeding in that direction.

My basic problem is that I adapted so perfectly as a child to my parents’ expectations, all of which were dysfunctional. They were so amazed at how easy to manage I was. Of course. I tried very hard not be a bother. I succeeded for the most part. I internalized their disapproval of my real self. I hated myself and self-mutilated. I was perfectly adapted to their dysfunction. Greeeeaaaat. I have no family legacy I would ever want to inflict on a next generation.

The best decision I ever made was to not have children. I knew how miserable I was and never wanted to be responsible for creating anyone who felt the way I did. Even in middle school, I thought of myself as the Harry Truman of birth control: the buck stops here. This ends now. I never wanted kids and knew that from the beginning of my reproductive years. Marrying a man with the Huntington gene only solidified my knowing and resolve. People ask me if I ever secretly wanted a baby. Nope. Never. Not for a nanosecond.

Now I am past the half-century mark, still having no clue as to who I am and mysteriously hating this unknown being. I see now the ridiculousness of hating someone I don’t know–even myself.

Consequences of the Crash

The theme is anger.

I was still at the hospital. It was 2:30 in the morning. I had not made it home from work. I had just finished the end of the ER visit. I am injured. I called the various taxi companies I found on my phone, with no answer. I called, gulp, my parents for a ride home. Given the fact that they are the ones that landed me in the ER in the first place, this was no small feat. I was seriously swallowing my pride to do so, humbling myself.

My dad says, “Call a cab.” Gee, why hadn’t I thought of that! Seriously?! They were going to leave me there!

I explained as nicely as I could that I had already tried that approach. Eventually, they did come and get me, with Dad behind the wheel, thank goodness. Dad was a professional trucker. He had a possible cracked rib and could not lie down anyhow. I do not know if they have seen a doctor since the crash.

I talked to my friend Sherri. I told her what happened. She has a son in his early thirties. I remember him being born in 1988 or 1989. She asked if my parents had stayed with me in the ER. No. She said that if it had been her son, she would have made certain he at least had a ride home. I think this might be how normal-ish families operate. Care. Concern. She also stated that I could have called her and she would have gotten me. My other friends said the same thing.

Part of me is just being petulant. At the ER, the doc asked me who my primary care doctor was. When I gave him the name, he was like, “He died a few months ago.” My doctor is dead. This day just keeps getting better and better. Honestly, this is what I get for last seeing a physician 5 years ago. The last time I went was because I thought I might be moving Barry and myself to West Virginia because WVU has a Huntington Disease Society of America accredited neurology department and I was less than impressed with MSU’s at that point. I figured I should at least get a check up before I leave Michigan. I feel like saying, “Look what you made me do. Now I have to go get and see a doctor!” I now have a new-patient appointment on the 25th at the same practice with someone else.

The bruising is almost gone, but I now have tissue ridges. I assume it is internal scarring. My abdominal fat is what stopped me from having a nicked bowel.

I don’t think my parents are deliberately evil or anything like that. It’s just all about them. That’s all. First, they could have killed me. Then, when I am still stranded at Sparrow Hospital and have yet to get home from work, they are ready to just leave me there. The difference between now and my childhood is that today I can speak up for myself. My parents see me as an almost ideal child because I did not complain much as a kid. I was angry alright, but I aimed my anger at myself, tearing off my fingernails and toenails. I hated myself. I am still dealing with these issues to this day.

Someday, they are going to be sick and in a nursing home or hospital. I’ll decide at that point whether or not it is convenient for me to visit them. This is not about revenge. This is about priorities. I don’t think I have ever been a top priority for them and it is hard for me to think of a reason they should be at the top of my list now. Honor goes both ways. I have never experienced it and am uninterested in learning about it now. I wash my hands of them. I so give up.

The “next” day, Wednesday, Chuck’s Garage called to say my vehicle was fixed. Once again, I called the cab companies and no one answered. The lack of response was due to the cab companies going belly-up rather than the fact that I had previously attempted to call at 2:30 a.m. Unwilling to call my parents and not knowing when or if the cab companies would get back with me, I walked all the way to pick up my car. Talking to my cat-owning friend later, she said she was actually on my end of town when I needed that particular ride. Once again, I missed my chance for normal human assistance. Asking for help is not second nature to me. It just does not occur to me. People marvel at how “independent” I am. As if I ever had a choice.

The next time I need anything, I will call on my friends. And I forgot about Uber completely and they are probably why there are no longer any taxis in Lansing.

It is a new world. It is as if everything has changed while, simultaneously, absolutely nothing has changed. Or ever will.