18 May 2007

Old Friends

I'm stunned. My old friends I wrote about recently have found themselves at a terrible crossroads. Old Friend B. will have charges filed against her today in connection with the allegation that she offered one of her students a good grade in exchange for some act of violence against her daughter's boyfriend. I read that moments ago in her local newspaper.

That's all I know. I'm heartbroken and baffled. My husband believes this is a "world class rush to judgment." Sadly, I'm not certain that's the case. I have, indeed, known charges to be filed against people who turn out to be not guilty. No question about that. It seems unlikely to me that someone would be arrested based only on the word of a disgruntled student, though.

Old Friend B. is not a stupid woman. I can't imagine that she would make such an offer. It's ridiculous. There are so many things in jeopardy. I'm afraid she may choose to commit suicide. As a suicide survivor, I'm pretty regularly worried about that whenever something goes profoundly wrong in people's lives. Especially people I know.

So much damage has already been done. I pray that she will find the strength to get through this, no matter what the truth may be.

I don't even know what to say.

17 May 2007

Pat The Oncology Nurse

It's 4:29 here now, so this will be a short, venting kind of post. I got a call from my oncology nurse this morning, telling me we need to reschedule my appointment with my oncologist. We agreed on 11:00 (same day as scheduled); she advised me that I'd need to do lab stuff an hour earlier than previously scheduled (that was originally scheduled for 11:00).

That sounded odd to me because the whole point of going there is to review blood work with my oncologist and I assure you the lab would never have results to my doctor within an hour. I decided to check my personal page at their website and, lo and behold, Pat (the oncology nurse) got it wrong again.

My lab work appointment is scheduled for 8:45 a.m. and I'm going to see the nurse-practitioner at 11:30. I wonder if I should feel comforted that they're not making me see the doctor. That's probably too much to hope for.

Pat. I'm sure she's extremely competent somehow. Unfortunately, my experiences with her have been less than satisfactory. She's ditzy. When I was having sores in my mouth and on my hands because of the chemo, I called Pat and explained my symptoms (as they told me I should). She asked me in a vague tone of voice whether I was doing prescribed oral hygiene. Oh God yes. Believe me, you will do anything to try to get rid of those.

As things got worse over the weekend, I called my oncologist. He immediately called me back and prescribed antibiotics to prevent the sores from getting infected. Had I depended on Pat, I would have had twice the problem--and infection and the sores. My immune system was almost completely shut down by the chemo, so an infection would have been difficult to overcome.

I really try hard to respect and value Pat The Oncology Nurse. If only she'd give me more reason.

AT&T: Still Clueless After All These Years

Feeling a bit ragged around the edges today. Flashbacks will do that.

I answered a random direct line (that goes to someone's office, but I don't know whose) this morning and it was a recording from our good friends at AT&T. They said a repair person would be here on Friday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. to address our telephone problems. The recording said I should stay on the line if that time wasn't convenient.

I stayed on the line. God help me. A woman answered and I recounted the message, as an explanation of why we were having the conversation. She wanted to know the phone number. It's a line that goes directly to someone's office; I have absolutely no idea what that number is and no way for me to find out--at least any time soon. Now if she had an hour or so, I could probably figure it out. They called me. Why should I have to know what the number is?

"Well, what's your name?" she asked.

I told her my name and spelled it for her. I asked her if it wouldn't be more helpful to know the company's name. She reluctantly took it down while I spelled that to her. Address? Can do. Gave that to her, then she asks me what I want!

I said," I'm responding to the repair call so they know that there won't be anyone here after 4:00 on Friday." I thought maybe they wouldn't wish to waste their time coming if no one is going to be here. God help me.

The clueless (and quite lovely, I'm sure) AT&T woman informed me that the number I gave her was a residential number. I pointed out to her that I was having the conversation with her from an office. I reminded her that they called me. She said she'd have to transfer me to the commercial repair folks. She wanted me to hang on and put me on hold.

Now I ask you, why in hell would I want to hold on just so I could go through the whole annoying conversation with some other clueless (but quite lovely, I'm sure) AT&T representative? That's right; there is no reason whatsoever. So I hung up.

If they show up to repair the phones on Friday at 6:30 p.m., I guess someone else in the office will have to explain to them again on Monday that we're only here until 4:00. I'm so glad to have AT&T in charge once again. Their middle name is "Customer Service," you know.

16 May 2007

Flashback Rage

Important note: If you are a survivor of child or spousal abuse, please know this post may trigger flashbacks.

Today is my father's birthday. He would be 72, had he not committed suicide 9 years ago (10 in October). I chose to cope by occupying my mind with frivolities. Then I went home for my afternoon rest. I knew today's episode of Dr. Phil would most certainly cause me to have flashbacks and yet I watched, anyway. I've learned to be disciplined about what I see or hear, but sometimes I'm unable to look away. The show was about a woman who has three children. Her parents called Child Protective Services because they were afraid that he would not only kill or injure their daughter, but perhaps their grandchildren.

Despite the fact that her husband has hit her, choked her, held her with a knife to her throat, stepped on her head, among other outrages, despite the fact that her children saw these attacks, she chose to take her children back to live with her husband. In defiance of an order of protection. At least one of her children has been injured by the man and at least one of her children was injured while trying to protect her mom.

Anyone who has read the early archives knows that my father was terrifying. (Note: not all archives have been published on this site after being transferred from another site.) He assaulted my mother on a regular basis until he found other women to assault after he had moved them into our house while my mom and I still lived there. My father assaulted me. (Note that I do not use the words "domestic abuse" or "child abuse." I think those are ridiculous phrases, demeaning to the people who live through them.)

I was terrified of him for years. Maybe I was always terrified of him, but there came a time after I was an adult, when I stood up to my father. Terror is the word I keep using. Terror is the word I mean. My father was a pedophile and used me as bait. My father subjected me to sexual abuse of such an unusual nature that I was well into my thirties before I even recognized that it was abuse. He did not protect me from his brother, who sexually abused me in more typical ways. I could write forever and not be able to catalog the offenses of which my father was guilty.

After my father killed himself, I went through about five years of feeling sorry for him. He had a tough childhood, filled with abuse. He was mentally ill. He was most certainly chronically psychotic for most of my life. I found it difficult to separate out the things he was in control of and the things he had no control over. This is why I view every situation as complex. I grew up with extraordinary complexity. It can be a safe haven, a means of avoiding the frightful truth.

Five years after his death, I began to finally experience my own rage. At first, it was rage that he had chosen to leave this world in such a devastating manner. I was enraged that he chose to shoot himself nine days before my birthday. It was still all about the dying.

These days, I'm still enraged. Now it's about my entire life. It's about the long, long shadow his violence still casts in my life. There was never a time when I was innocent, never a time when I didn't know violence up close and personal. I can't begin to say how angry it makes me and how profoundly sad it makes me for the child I was, the woman I am now.

This is my birthday card to you, dad. Wherever you are, may you understand fully what you did and what harm it caused. Happy birthday.

15 May 2007

Old Friend Update

OFL called Hubby today to tell him OFB hasn't been home in 3 days. She's at a female friend's house. Okay.

I asked Hubby if OFL is furious. Hubby says he seems to just be waiting to see what happens. So no, he's not angry.

I'd be furious. I'd be enraged. Wouldn't you?


Fatigue is different than being tired. I'm fatigued. Very.

My mom and I had dinner with Owner and Owner's wife last night.

Saw my psychiatrist earlier in the day. I was late. That stresses me out. These days, if you wish to be on time, you just have to camp out the night before. There is way too much construction going on in this town. It's free-floating construction. Just when I think I've found alternative routes, they randomly move the construction projects so they're in my way, specifically. It may be a conspiracy.

Psychiatrist and I are eliminating more medication. Little by little. That makes me happy.

I'd love to tell you more, but I'm too fatigued. I should be better by tomorrow (she said with her fingers crossed).