Saturday, June 23, 2012

Never Curse Boz Scaggs Aloud in Your Car!


Today was extremely frustrating and taxing.

First of all, there was getting Luke to De Kalb where he's spending the weekend at my brother's house. Ma ha to drive, because of the threat at of me having hypoglycemic attacks on the road. Consequently, we took my mom's car and she drove through clusterfucks of congested road construction. Got Luke settled and my family went for some lunch. Came home to turn around and get in my car to go to Swedish Covenant in the city for therapy, my last full session with Erin before we "terminate' and I'm assigned a new grad student.

In De Kalb, Steve wanted to show his new motorcycle, a Honda crotch rocker that can go 125 mph. Like I said before, if he can be accused of anything, he's just a thrill-seeker who enjoys a good adrenaline rush. . My mom thinks this gets him high, a point I had to diffuse the whole way home. Ma thinks Steve is clinically, pathologically obsessed with thrill-seeking and adrenaline rushes. True, he's a daredevil, but mostly he does his stuff for fun. I emphasized to my mom that Steve's behavior, which she might interpret as extreme, is quite normal for a man of 44 years, who just divorced his wife, and that motorcyling isn't sufficient cause to clinically diagnose him with any particular disorder, unlike the late Aunt Fran, who was the paranoid schizophrenic in our family, which, on my mom's side, helps to explain why ALL of the females, statistically, suffer an exhaustive laundry list of mental illnesses, from depression to bipolar, schizophrenia, & substance abuse (on both sides of her family). 

(As per another blog entry, I hold the record in the family, in terms of the number of in clinical diagnoses per person.)

I had band tonight, where I forewarned the group that I was manic AND depressive, and that I was having some trouble concentrating, which they at least understood. 

My mind is still hypomanic, the depressive episode starting to lift. Luke's not home to "assist me." My therapist , as well as my friend from church, a young woman who had a bipolar mom, who raised herself because of her mom's incapacitation, each had a unique twist that enlightened me about my mental illness. (Her mom died from pneumonia and sepsis, after being taken to the hospital because she was a bipolar who was tanked on massive amounts of pain killers, and had Crohn's Disease. My friend's grandma is also bipolar, and is one of my FB friends. I can always tell when she's rapid cycling in mania, for she'll literally post or like or comment on every single thing on my page.  Like me, my friend's mom was addicted to narcotics and her mental health issues were self-medicated. After her mom's death, my friend and her sister were put in the care of an aunt and uncle.  Her last lucid memory of her mom was of her being delusional, and stuck her hand in big pot of stew, not realizing it was hot. She sat down on the couch, she lapsed into a coma from which she'd never recover. Then the sepsis set in, the primary cause of death, and passed away soon thereafter.)

Meanwhile, my mom and I got into a shouting match about being a threat to myself when I fall asleep outside at night, for example, and not letting her get any rest because I'm up so late, clanking around. (I had taken my laptop outside to write at 9:30 pm, but was shuffled back inside when my mom blew up at me.)  Well, it is my brain.  I might be physically exhausted but the mind perceives that as perfectly sane and there's SO much to do! My mom accused me of being a "little bitch" and said, "Don't you know your disease affects ALL of us? Do you even care what happens to ME?" she asked me. She assumed I purely don't care about HER, which is SO not true. (Because everything is about her, not me or Luke.) 

Of course I do, and Luke too, and as I said in the last blog, when symptomatic, I can be a real handful. I was overly apologetic about my illness interfering with the family dynamic and environment, but my mom was just hyper-pissed at me. (One of her habits is assigning blame to someone or something, consistently. So her not being able to sleep is directly my "fault." It's some kind of cognitive behavior mechanism/negative schema, which I haven't identified yet.)  I realize the strain my symptoms leave on my family but again, my mom's argument is "You're so smart. You're so intelligent. Can't you just behave normally and go to bed when you're supposed to?" My therapist had an idea. She said to set my alarm clock at night for whenever I want to go to bed, and when it goes off, go to bed. I think that's a practical solution, but perhaps too simplistic. We'll try it tonight.

Still in all, the task of modifying my symptoms when I'm acutely sick is extremely difficult. It's like asking someone with bronchitis, "If you're smart, can't you just decide you'll stop coughing?" It's a PHYSICAL ailment as much as a psychological one, which again, goes back to the misunderstanding and stigma of mental illness. 

Anyway, coming home from therapy at Swedish Covenant, I was in a better mood though I was listening to a CD in the car and simply couldn't tolerate hearing "Lido Shuffle" by Boz Scaggs one more time. So I said aloud in the car, "Oh, shut up, Boz Scaggs!" and hit fast forward. 

Boz Scaggs must have heard me somewhere and exacted his karmic revenge. After therapy, I stopped at Osco to pick up a couple of Rx's. For one thing, I was behind a woman who's ass crack was so overtly sticking out of her too-small shorts that I took out my phone, attempting to get a picture of it, but her like 5-year old son came running up who offered to hold my bottle of window washer fluid for me, whereupon I had to hide said camera phone away from mom, though I had every aspiration of posting the picture of her ass crack on every social media site to which I belong. The pharmacist noticed it as she walked away, and we had more than a few jollies out of the whole thing.

When I got into the car, I couldn't help but notice that the "H" on the temperature gauge had gone up REALLY high, though the car started and ran. I immediately put the A/C on, knowing that helps cool the engine, and I thought it was a fluke. The temperature gauge continued to escalate, though I made it home into my alley parking spot amid beeping and a red light flashing and the H firmly in the RED ZONE. When I stopped the car, billows of white smoke trickled out of the hood. I was, yes, praying that I'd make it home safely, and I did. 

My mechanic said not to try and drive it to the station until Saturday morning, so that the car could cool down, so that's the plan. After I parked the car, I could see a definite puddle from a leak that looked like it sprayed the undercarriage of the front of the car (which I can see since my, uh, bumper fell off a few years ago). The liquid was a clear/rusty, sort of greasy substance. The mechanic seems to think a hose (be that of the radiator, or wherever) broke, which if that's the case, is ok news to manage. I was texting Pastor Dave, who knows a lot about cars, and he said anti-freeze that's never been flushed can often look that color as opposed to the neon green it is when it's new. I have no idea if the car's EVER had it's anti-freeze flushed. (Not particularly car savvy--I go like 6 months between oil changes, though per Dave's recommendation, I AM getting my tires rotated too.) 

A stroke of luck? We took my mom's car to De Kalb today to take Luke to my brother's house . Had it been in my car, we could still be stranded on I-88 somewhere waiting for a tow truck.  (Yes, I prayed to Jesus in this instance, not Krishna, though I do know of a Hindu temple OFF of I-88.)

The moral of the story? NEVER take the name of Boz Scaggs in vain aloud while driving your car. He exacts his revenge (PS-he's still alive, FYI) insidiously and quickly. It's the sad, sad truth. The dirty lowdown.


It is indeed the radiator of my car, which needs to be replaced because it exploded. And the temperature gauge. And fluids, labor, parts, oil change, tire rotation, etc. I'm also having them investigate the clicky noise I hear when I turn the steering wheel, which has been going on for like a year, that I never had looked at. So far, it's not a major catastrophe, though I need my mom's help in paying for the damn car, which I feel guilty asking for, given how pissed she is at me in the first place. But what else can I do? At least Pastor Dave had a clue as to what was wrong, having fixed cars in the Army. I had texted Guy Friend about it and he totally blew me off, while Best male friend thought the same thing I did..that it was all because I cursed Boz Scaggs.

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