Thursday, September 5, 2013

#ROW80 4TH QTR - WEDNESDAY CHECK IN – RUMINATIONS AND REGRETS



It crept up so easily, just so goddamned quickly. Assumptions. Judgments. These things always start as small frustrations towards ridiculously simple situations; opening jars, or dropping that same fork one too many times and then build, rather like an addiction. Then, it becomes impatience with people and their idiocies. I truly believe, even when I'm not feeling so crotchety, that a well-placed tongue-lashing delivered to an uncaring, or incompetent individual, besides being cathartic, may allow the person receiving the tongue-lashing more time to think and act, so as to not repeat that error. Although doubtful, I also make no claim to be the Miss Manners of the Nebraska Avenue set; it's a tough crowd, and not generally known for logic. 

More than likely, this is part of the same disease that at times torments me so. Call it depression, bipolar, Asperger, legacy of alcoholic and co-dependent parents; label it anyway you want and apply lipstick. It's still a pig and a pain. The last few weeks have been absolute hell. Trying to get the depression medication approved, and it being (still) tossed as a football via fax machine, from Pharmacy, to Doctor, to Drug Company, to Insurance and so on and so forth.

For now, the Primodone is working, but it is a case of too much, or is it? I have received some rather iffy blood analysis (high platelet counts 7888, BUN is too high, eosinophils are high – I've been out of the country a lot, and that's to be expected. Blah Blah. I have had higher platelet counts; in the 150,000 range, after having 2 perforated ulcers bleed, but that was taken care of. I've been sleeping lots. I mean, 12 hours and 14 hours at a time and it is worrisome. I also have a date with a pulmonary specialist on Friday, and I know that is not going to go well. I smoked for almost 30 years, and although I quit 3 years ago, I'm dealing with continual lung infections, asthma, emphysema, COPD and all the other crap that goes along with abusing my respiratory system.

I actually did a system rebuild over the weekend which took me about 16 hours and was a total nightmare, but got it done. So, for a while there, I could actually feel like a viable human being again, with some purpose, other than catering to JC. And JC needs to start trying to do things for himself; I really should not baby him, but it's hard. It is hard. How do you set limits on someone who has been so badly treated their entire life? How do you set those limits and not hurt someone's feelings. JC is sensitive and he can be needy. Who isn't? He's never had much and when he did work for everything and was married, she not only divorced him, she set him up and had him sent away; to prison and took all his assets. There. I've said it. Anyone who knows him understands that this is one injustice that cannot be borne. How do you give back a man 9 years of his life? How does that man, once released, ever learn to trust anyone again?

After his bad fall, I knew he was going to have issues with confidence about walking. He's much, much better, but he doesn't want to use a cane. I don't mind. I had to learn to walk again and I still have my walker. But still. He needs to start doing things for himself, and God bless him, he is. So, I feel so much better about that. He keeps Mama with him (she went to him, first) and he is content with spoiling her and talking to her. She follows him about and he is just so tickled by that. JC thought no one or no creature would ever care about him, ever again, when he was sent away. This is not true. A friend of his in Ohio, stood by him and they cackle and laugh on the phone like 2 old biddies. I am so grateful for that. He has friends here, who know he has a past (really, who doesn't) and appreciate him and look up to him.

But, last week, just mentioning in passing, he said, “I wish I could have a little dog.” I almost came undone. I've been crying off and on over that ever since. Just a simple request and it unhinged me. I've been a nightmare out in public. Last week, I was trying to get on the bus with groceries, back pack, cane and wearing my glasses. The driver didn't lower the bus. I clambered up somehow, and ran my bus pass through the thingy and said, “You could have lowered the bus for me. Didn't you see how burdened down I was?” He kinda smirked and said, “Ya haveta ask?” I took a deep breath, and said, “Since when did we have to ask?” “Oh, you're always supposed ta ask.” I cocked my head and said “Really? So, using that logic, does a wheelchair patient have to ask, or is he just supposed to levitate to get on the bus? YOU are not at my beck and call, and if you had 2 functioning brain cells to rub together, they might come up with some logic and do YOUR job, which is to kneel the bus, if you see a disabled person trying to get on the bus!”

This asshole was chewing on a toothpick and he almost swallowed it; I wish he had. But, something happened today and this goes back to what I said, earlier. “It crept up so easily, just so goddamned quickly” Tonight, I was at the grocery store late; it was already dark, and I am not usually that late. I was done picking up our meds and some food and had called a cab. There was this black guy who was talking to people as they were coming in and out of the store and he seemed either high or drunk. When I'm by myself, I'm really defensive, for a good reason. First off, in that neighborhood, you can show no weakness of any kind. I can summon a whole lot of crazy and hostile in 1 microsecond. So, this guy says to me, “Are you blind?” pointing at my stick and glasses. Insta-hostile kicked in; holding out my cane, I said, “What does this look like? Shit!” He says, now kind of intimidated, “I dunno.” I said, “That's right, you don't know.”

Now, we're having kind of a Mexican standoff. Some guy was going into the store and I snagged him and said, “would you mind waiting here with my groceries, just for a minute? I'll be right back.” The man agreed and I went back into the store and got one of the head cashiers and told him about this guy. He said, “It's okay, it's okay.” I noticed a couple in the express line kind of giving me dirty looks, but thought nothing of it at the time.


The head cashier and I went out and he saw the guy and he says to my everlasting shame, “oh, he's harmless. He's homeless, he sleeps underneath the underpass.” I told the head cashier that I had been homeless and couldn't he be helped? The cashier just shrugged. I asked him if there was anything I could to for the man. The cashier said no, and he had to get back to work. The couple who gave me the dirty looks came out and the homeless man tagged along after him. I feel terrible. I apologized, and explained that I had been homeless once, too. But I don't know that it registered. 

I was still waiting for my cab and another man came up to me and asked me about my blindness and I told him. Then I started to tell him about the homeless man, and then, I started to cry. I feel like all the sins of the world are on my shoulders for that one unkindness. You see, I used to be like that and I worked so hard to not be like that. Because I know what it is to be homeless, a pariah, unwanted and living a marginal existence. I never want to go back there again. Being poor doesn't mean not caring, judging, being envious, or loveless. I'm fine with being poor, but I need that compassion, love and non-judgmental acceptance that is all our due. I have always felt that I did more harm in my life than I did good. Or just wasn't good enough, or just fill in the blank. This is my last chance at redemption through grace; I must remember the love, kindness and compassion and generosity that have been shown to me and pass that on, because without it, I am nothing.
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