Friday, September 9, 2011

From Forlorn Frequencies

The clouds to the north look ominous. It rained sporadically last night during my ride home from De Kalb, though my drums didn't get wet (thank you, sweet, succulent Jesus). I love that vintage Rogers kit more than my brother appreciates, and we argue back and forth about who gets custody of it worse than my ex-husband and I about Luke, and it's worth a veritable fortune. We got her home safely, that's all that matters. She'll rock it out on Sunday. My hand worked last night playing some crappy music in front of TOC and my critical brother, who out-drummed me by a mile, mildly embarrassing me, but what the fuck ever. Steve rearranged the kit so I was unfamiliar with what was where, and I had a song to play in mind, but I fucked it up. I told TOC I'm much better playing WITH my band, and that he'd just have to come and see me for me to prove it.

I was so proud of Luke yesterday morning. He had about 1,000 things to accomplish before we headed off to school, including packing for Daddy's for the weekend, finding his lunch bag so I could make his lunch, finding his black hoodie, sprucing up his hair for picture day (I made him look rockin'), eating breakfast, filling out his lunch menu for the next 2 weeks, brushing his teeth, getting his Scout uniform together and the extra underwear his father asked me to send along (Jesus, Craig. A sock/underwear shortage at your house? Go out and buy a couple of packages on your own, you moron!) Leaving the house, he had to carry all of this stuff, with my help, including his giant posterboard project all about himself that we worked on for 3 days. Got him off to school on time, listened to "Rock n Roll All Nite" by KISS to rev up our morning, and bid him farewell until Sunday. Came home to get ready for work, only to find the Scout uniform and underwear on his bed. Crap. Arranged for Grandma B (the nuttier of the two) to pick it up after school. Meh, it all worked out in the end.

You have no idea how much I worry about screwing up my kid. He's got bipolar,depression and addiction on my side, and depression on Dad's side. He looks like Craig but his personality is exactly like mine, which has both good and bad points. Despite losing 30 lbs, he still has a complex about his weight and thinks he's ugly, when objectively he's very cute. He likes guns. A lot. Craig said he has exhibited the ideology of killing people, though he's never expressed that to me. My opinion is that he's a relatively typical 11-year old boy in that regard, but Craig is alarmed. He suggested a psych evaluation. Luke is used to psychology enough where I don't think he'd be spooked by an appointment with a shrink, so I'll give heed to his father's advice and look into it. For now, he's deathly afraid of alcohol and drugs, thank God. He appreciates my crazy and lives with it, sensitive (most times) to my fragile personality, though prone to calling me out when I am cranky. I love and adore that child fiercely, and want him to grow up to be a mentally healthy, well-adjusted man. A Machiavellian task, for sure. We'll leave it up to God, I guess.

(Whoa, I better smoke again. It's getting windy.)

I was on Estazolam by 9am yesterday, my nerves were so frazzled already. The morning with Luke + the notion of a dauntingly busy work day + the trip with TOC had me violently shaking my legs at my desk and tapping out drum beats with my fingers on my desk (how annoying to my co-workers must THAT have been?). At least I was relegated to answering the phones (which are nuts) and taking the patients into the exam rooms to take their vitals, so I didn't have to work the frantic front desk, which gives me epic anxiety attacks that my supervisor, in her unique simpleton way, doesn't grasp. Hello reasonable accommodation for the disabled!

My best patient was a sweet older woman who came in for a Coumadin check and said she was there for a "prick test." I told her, "That's the story of my life, sister." The Prick Test. (The title of my upcoming memoir.) Apologies to my other patients suffering from fall allergies. I cleaned out the Claritin from the sample closet. I can't sneeze anymore and this perpetual nose-running is torture. Go buy your own, I'm on Public Aid!

Followed Estazolam #1 with #2 at noon, then #3 at 4pm, and I was functional and on top of my game, but still shaky and nervous. I'm not sure why. I'm instructed to use them twice a day, but whatever. I take 2mg at bedtime, which I did in the car at 9pm and was ready to end my day at 10:30pm when I got home from De Kalb.

The ride with TOC was a lot of fun. We enjoy one another's company very much. He certainly is a little chatterbox, as am I. I don't know if some of that is nerve-generated or if we really just want to pack a lot of conversation into the precious alone time with which we are favored. The range of subjects we talk about is vast and all very interesting, and we typically don't talk about work. We like to talk about music, socio-political dogmas, fun shit we do, and me being a junkie. Personality-wise, we're quite similar with likened senses of humor. One of the things I love the most about him is his genuine laugh, which always makes me smile when I hear it, whether it's overheard in the office or when we're together. The clouds let up and we saw some blinding but beautiful sun the closer we edged to corn country.

He had me look at a picture book his friend made him whose family went with he and his family to Michigan this summer. It was admittedly lovely, looked like a lot of fun, and his daughters are all very beautiful girls. Still, I found the photos a tad unsettling. He didn't, as usual, say anything about his wife, who still remains a nameless figure in our conversations (he always refers to her as "she" or "her" or at best, "my wife"). I know literally nothing about their personal relationship, other than he says she doesn't mind him having female friends. [Raises eyebrows] He has told me nothing about what SHE knows about ME and how I fit into his life, and I can't muster the balls to broach the subject.

I also chickened out calling him out on a lot of the bullshit he fed me when we met at a bar a while back to talk about our relationship, when I laid a bunch of heavy shit on the table and he refused to look at me or respond to me and sat nervously playing with a drinking straw. I believe his complicated attraction to me and the draw of my uniqueness causes him a lot of internal conflict sometimes. Among the issues that are still unresolved...I so wanted to say, at the bar, when he accused ME of being the one who initiates and enjoys our physical affection with one another, that that was a total projection cop-out. He said he's "really not the affectionate type," while persisting to say with regularity "Hug me." I say it too, admittedly, but it's a two way street, snookums. The fact remains...he kissed me a while ago. On the lips. Briefly. Being a guy, he'd probably reckon it away as me looking up at him with my puppy dog eyes, and it being what I wanted him to do, but come on. That took balls.

I have a lot of male friends that I kiss and hug a lot. Some are married, some are not. I've shared beds with men I'm not in romantic relationships with, with no impropriety involved. Love equals affection. I'm particularly close to another married man, physically and emotionally, who TOC has met. He's very interested in this man, which is not surprising, because he's an amazing human being and like my twin. He's been one of my best friends for years. HIS wife knows about our relationship and she respects my role in his life and I hers, though it's a bit difficult when she calls me his "girlfriend." Whatever you want to label it, babe, it is what it is. I've been fortunate, through my life experience, to help him and show him love in ways that she cannot, through no fault of her own.

I love TOC and he loves me. I'm a big believer in showing it if you feel it and I'm just a huggy bear. True, there is a line that cannot be crossed, but we're nowhere near that at this juncture. Alas, another nerve-wracking conversation for another day. I told him he has to spend time with me in early October when my mom is going on vacation and Luke will be gone for like 5 days because I have to work. I'm also employing a lot of girlfriend time into this span, but I want TOC to take me out. So we'll save that rant. I'll bring him a drinking straw to maneuver with his fiddlesticks just for good measure. He said "Hug me" when we parted last night, so I did, and gave him a kiss on the cheek, thanking him for helping me out, and told him as usual that I loved him. Goodnight.

TOC really liked my brother, who is just a mensch. He had dinner from Panera waiting for us when we got to his house, refused me paying for it, and we got to catch up for a while, TOC chatting Steve's head off, because he's just a friendly dude. So is Steve. My brother totally lucked out in the Miklasz gene pool. He's never been addicted to anything, he's not mentally ill, he plays drums like a machine, and is stable and generally happy, though he has his human moments. He's a good husband, a good dad, a good Christian and just generally a swell guy. We're alike in a lot of ways, and totally different in others. I love him to death.

My brother raised the same question to TOC that my other friend did, which was a more polite way of saying,"Who is this guy to you?" Steve said, "So you guys work together?" and we said yes. I said, "And he's also my cardiologist." TOC said he's also my mom's cardiologist and that he's taking care of our family. I said, "We work together, he's my cardiologist and my friend." I deliberately left out the Tatus/father figure component of our relationship out of respect to how my brother feels about our biological father. I'm not sure Steve would understand. Hell, I'll ask him on Sunday when I see him again when I drum.

Separately, if our mother threatens to throw me into rehab for my anorexia one more time, I'll shoot myself. I have what the doctors label as "conditional" or "situational" anorexia, not a full-blown eating disorder like she thinks I have. I eat very little, because eating hurts. It causes me epigastric pain. My bowels are a mess. Still, I managed to eat an entire salad and an apple for dinner at my brother's house last night, and my brother and TOC both praised me for eating as much as I did. My mom fails to understand that positive reinforcement for when I DO eat is much more constructive than talking about my son standing over my grave when I die of starvation. I can't seem to crack the 115 lb. mark. Back down to 112. My mom says my abusive ex-boyfriend is gone, and I should "get over" my anorexia. True, but she doesn't understand the results of PTSD and it's residual toll on the body. That facet of my mental illness lodged itself in my GI tract physically,and the specialists don't know quite what to do about it yet. I keep plugging along without starving, and apart from having to continually buy smaller clothing and being freezing cold all the time, I'm not in THAT bad of shape. I told my mom that threatening me is futile. She said, "I'm not threatening you. I'm threatening you." Yeah, makes perfect sense. I'm sorry, but I wear heroin chic without the heroin and still manage to look cute enough. Deal.

I fully realize this blog post is a non-linear, almost pre-medicated bipolar strand of nonsense. I just have a lot on my plate and mind. Off for another relaxing acupuncture.

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