Psycho-Babble 2000 Thread 317622

Shown: posts 1 to 14 of 14. This is the beginning of the thread.


Apres moi, le deluge...

Posted by Racer on February 25, 2004, at 16:26:25

Man, you guys would not believe what an overwhelming couple of days it's been. Being me, I can either whine helplessly, or give what seems to be to be wonderfully insightful advice to everyone else, but I can't seem to communicate in that middle ground. This post is an experiment in expressing myself between the two extremes. Please critique as you will, and excuse any errors by remembering my lack of practice.

Lately I've had a lot of turmoil in my life, as well as in my treatment. It's part of my disorder that I always blame myself for everything (really sorry about the GWB getting into office part, everyone), and think that I have to do everything for myself. Then, because that's so overwhelming, I berate myself for "malingering" and not being able to do it all, while being overwhelmed by the impossible standards I feel as if I have to live up to. So, we're on the same page now, right? You're still with me?

Monday and Tuesday I did good things, which I want to share with the people who have provided such good support to me for so long. Monday, after leaving multiple messages for the pdoc with no response, I wrote him a letter and mailed it. Short, to the point, just "this med change didn't work, here's what I'm doing for now -- until I hear from you and we can make a longer term fix. By the way, since I've left multiple messages, how are *you* going to address the problem of communication?" Pat myself on the head, especially since it was all quite polite.

Yesterday, five days after my first call for help, the person who's supposed to be my main point-of-contact with this agency finally returned my call. Her CYA attitude sent me over the edge. I almost asked my husband to call and ask for a change in POC person for me, came this close, but I didn't have to. He offered to make the call for me. Great guy, worth all the trouble I went to in marrying him. Worth it doubled. Today, when the guy returned his call, I felt well enough -- because I'd been able to accept my husband's offer, and experience the support behind it -- to take the call. (Hubby was out at the time.) I told this man that my calls weren't returned, that when they were returned it was even worse, and that I needed a new case manager. I also asked for and got direct reassurance from him. I asked him if it seemed reasonable to him to be dissatisfied by the pattern of these experiences, and he said yes. He also said that he tries to train his people that returning calls is the number one priority. I said that I was reassured enough by his listening and taking me seriously that it was quite all right for it to take a couple of weeks to make it all happen, he said he'd make sure it was done within a week.

There. How'd I do for a first time out? Telling you something I've done that was hard for me, but that I managed to do, without either whining or pounding you over the head with it? Do I get a lollipop?


Re: Apres moi, le deluge... Racer

Posted by noa on February 25, 2004, at 16:38:47

In reply to Apres moi, le deluge..., posted by Racer on February 25, 2004, at 16:26:25

Way to Go! Very assertive and good self advocacy. Yes, it IS reasonable to be upset that they don't return your calls. Place responsibility where it belongs.

I'm so glad you spoke up. And kudos to your hubby for the supportive action and readiness to act.

You are in a BIG transition with this therapist change. Hang in there. It might be rough for a while because this kind of transition is rough. But it DOESN'T have to mean it's all falling apart again.


Re: Apres moi, le deluge...

Posted by allisonm on February 25, 2004, at 17:46:05

In reply to Apres moi, le deluge..., posted by Racer on February 25, 2004, at 16:26:25

Tres bien!
Brava! Bravo!
Good Job, Racer!!
Yay for that hubby of yours, too!
I'm glad.

I know things aren't worked out just yet, but you've made a good stab at it. These things count in the long run...

I don't have any lollipops. How 'bout a root beer barrel?


No root beer, how's about some ginger beer?

Posted by Racer on February 25, 2004, at 19:35:39

In reply to Re: Apres moi, le deluge..., posted by allisonm on February 25, 2004, at 17:46:05

Thanks to both of you! I'll toast myself with a bottle of Stewart's Ginger Beer -- best remedy for upset stomach I know.

Thanks again for the AttaGirl! It means so much to me.


Re: Apres moi, le deluge...

Posted by coral on February 26, 2004, at 4:31:29

In reply to Apres moi, le deluge..., posted by Racer on February 25, 2004, at 16:26:25

Dear Racer,

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cyber-lollipop for you ! Wish I knew how to make one :(

Job well done!



I know this is totally selfish on my part coral

Posted by Racer on February 26, 2004, at 11:02:38

In reply to Re: Apres moi, le deluge..., posted by coral on February 26, 2004, at 4:31:29

I'm really happy you were here to see this, and to cheer me on. Thank you.

How've you been? It's always good to see your name here.


Re: I know this is totally selfish on my part

Posted by coral on February 26, 2004, at 11:32:23

In reply to I know this is totally selfish on my part coral, posted by Racer on February 26, 2004, at 11:02:38

Dear Racer,

Thank you. I'm still romping about w/family problems and house projects that are both chaotic. I'd gone back into therapy a few months ago for some "polishing" and, thank God. Given all that crap that's happened and is happening, the therapy has been crucial in keeping me this side of the black hole. I've started on Zoloft as a prophylactic, with the lovely electrical storms - but they'll pass.

Norman Rockwell was a sadist!

I'm very proud of your progress....CONGRATULATIONS again!



You're absolutely right! coral

Posted by Racer on February 26, 2004, at 14:37:21

In reply to Re: I know this is totally selfish on my part, posted by coral on February 26, 2004, at 11:32:23

Norman Rockwell was a sadist.

(For a quick chuckle, when I met my new therapist to be for our ten minute intro, I showed her the book I was reading, "Tragically, I Was An Only Twin", and her second words -- after "Yes, Peter Cook was a genius" -- were "I'd bet he had a diagnosis!" As if you have to have a diagnosible condition in order to be screwed up!)

I'm so glad you checked in here while your moon is in the sign of ICK! I'm glad you're in therapy, because I know how much it helps in supporting me during crises, and hope you're getting some support at home, as well. You've certainly got mine.

(And I forget if I mentioned it, but my husband actually held out his hand the other day -- and it made so much right, AllOfASudden. He offered to call the agency that's treating me, and ask them to change my case manager. Just offering it made the difference, and that he followed through was unspeakable helpful. Gave me that one tiny push I needed, because hubby wasn't home when the call was returned, and -- because he'd given me that hand to help me stay upright -- I could handle the call myself. I didn't feel as if I could make the call -- although, you know I would have anyway -- but having that help was immeasurably good. That's the scenic route to, "Hey, Coral, it's a Good Thing to ask for help and accept it when it's offered." I hope you're doing that.)



Re: You're absolutely right!

Posted by coral on February 26, 2004, at 17:07:09

In reply to You're absolutely right! coral, posted by Racer on February 26, 2004, at 14:37:21

Dear Racer,

Yes, I have outstanding support. My WH is there, every step of the way, with a bit of understandable teeth-gnashing.

I'm truly delighted that your WH is learning how to "be there" more for you. Please know that it was truly a learning process for my WH and me. In fact, as a result of The Major Depression, we separated and I'd filed for divorce. Neither one of us understood how to handle it and preserve our relationship. Thank God that's not a battle we'll have to face again. We have the infrequent bump but handle them so well now. I know that if he wasn't solidly in my corner, I'd be running down the street, screaming like a banshee, just a few feet ahead of the men in white coats.



Thank you! coral

Posted by Racer on February 26, 2004, at 18:02:37

In reply to Re: You're absolutely right!, posted by coral on February 26, 2004, at 17:07:09

I can't express how much that post absolutely resounded for me. Thank you, from every part of my heart.

My WH is trying so hard, and through counseling we're doing a lot better with one another. Ironically, a lot of our problems have to do with him trying to take care of me in ways that actually make it harder for me. Dontcha love those conundrums? We're working now on the "we can be equal partners" part, and I'm learning to express things to him -- even though it's sort of weird to be saying things like, "Asking you to push the shopping cart so that I can put my Costco card away is really hard for me. It's progress that I've done it" -- and he's trying to process all that, while still giving me room to contribute. It is a difficult situation for us both, but you probably empathize with me when I say it means the world and more to me right now.

I'm so glad you're doing well with your husband during this crazy time. Ask me sometime about why my mother hasn't spoken to her brother for over 20 years, and you'll find out how much I empathize with you now!


Re: Thank you!

Posted by coral on February 27, 2004, at 16:45:39

In reply to Thank you! coral, posted by Racer on February 26, 2004, at 18:02:37

Okay, dearest Racer,

I'm asking.... why hasn't your mom spoken to her brother in 20 years??? :)

Navigating relationships is flat-out exhausting. For me, there's the positive energy of building/strengthening our marriage (when I don't want to hit him with a fluff bat!) which returns the same, and then. . . . slowly, she turns,... there's the negative energy of dealing with the other family issues which is draining. It started in December and will go on for a few more months, - best estimate.

I mentioned I went back on Zoloft as a prophylactic. The side effects are far more noticeable to me -- electrical brain storms, drying out, eyeballs in sand, sensitivity to bright light. My method of handling them --- why, poaching on the couch with an ice pack, of course. It's day five and they're beginning to subside but it's stressed my WH. I suspect it's reminescent of TMD (The Major Depression). However, despite the side effects, I'm noticing my brain is not obsessing (which was one of the driving forces to resuming Zoloft). So, I'm balancing expressing the positive aspects of the Zoloft w/hiding out waiting for the se's to subside.





You sure you wanna hear this? coral

Posted by Racer on February 27, 2004, at 23:10:56

In reply to Re: Thank you!, posted by coral on February 27, 2004, at 16:45:39

It's such a long story, going back to the 60s, but my uncle's wife -- familiarly known as The Wicked Witch of The West, since they're here in California -- is a social climber, and that's kinda what started it. Let's see....

First off, she grew up in a trailer park, which is perfectly fine, but then she married my uncle and disowned her parents, because she didn't want to be "trailer trash" like them. That's bad enough, because the only thing my family really has going on the positive side all the way through to the core is loyalty. Anyway, after disowning her parents, she started nagging my uncle up the social chain, which is also fine. Then, one summer, my other aunt's son stayed with them. His father was black, and not married to my aunt. Guess what happened? He was maybe 4 or 5, and after a few days, she declared that he was too bad an influence on her children for her to take care of him for the summer. Mind you, my mother and aunt were in Europe at the time, and didn't know any of this. So, WWOTW sends my tiny cousin to my grandparents on a bus, alone.

That just the stage set, by the way.

Fast forward a decade. My grandparents are close to the end of their lives, and my aunt steps in tto take care of them. No sign of her big brother. No help from that side of the family. Grandpa dies, not having seen his son for years, and Grandma is very, very sick. This sickness lasts 3 years, during which my aunt keeps a home for herself, her son and her mother, with a full time job, and as much help as my mother and I could offer. Mind you, my mother had her own issues with her mother, so most of our support came from me. (That's also where I learned to correspond, by the way. When I wasn't there to take care of my beloved Grandma, I wrote her long letters everyday.) My uncle, during this time, never visited, never sent his kids to see her, and was generally off in his own little fairyland. The last year of her life, he did call her one evening. Seems he was a little short, couldn't keep his children in their private schools without financial help. (Full professor, international reputation, high salary, working wife.) Never mind that my cousin and I had to do what we could with a public education, never mind that he hadn't called her once in three years to say, "Mom, I love you," never mind that he really needed to pay those tuitions because at least one of his children *refused* to live at home rather than at boarding school, the criminality of this telephone call was the day that he made it: her birthday! He didn't acknowledge it in any way, he just called for money.

Flip a few more pages on that calendar. Grandma has died. My beloved aunt is so gracious that she extends an invitation to these people to come to the funeral, and enter her house. That, my friends, is a very, very gracious gesture. TWWOTW was her genuinely dreadful self. Funeral scene: my uncle, sniffling and snorting in tears -- without the sense to get a hankie or tissue! My aunt and I were sitting together, several rows ahead of him, and she finally got up, stalked back to him, and thrust a box of tissue into his hands. Later, in trying to settle my grandmother's estate, my uncle waffled and then decided NOT to abdicate his role as executor in favor of my aunt. The result? The fees to the attorney, with whom my grandmother believed TWWOTW was having an affair, ate up several years worth of the annuity my grandmother had set up for her children. My uncle also neglected to sign papers that would have settled -- after 15 years -- my greatgrandfather's estate. That, of course, was of no little inconvenience to many people. (Including Bloomingdale's on Lexington in NYC, but that's another story.)

Since then, my mother has not made any moves to be in touch with him. (Oh, I'm leaving reams out of this, by the way, including but not limited to the time TWWOTW stood at her front door saying I could not come in because I was such a bad influence on her children. See a pattern forming? By the way, yes, she'd been informed that I would be there.) My uncle probably doesn't notice that he has no family, but I know that my mother does notice his utter failure in the human race, and I know that it does hurt her. Hell, it hurts me. I remember the stunned look on his face when I, at about 7, was found standing on his kitchen counter getting down the box of MilkBones to feed them to my cousin, about 4! He's a very odd man, probably deeply disturbed, but he was a part of my childhood, and is now no part of my life. And he took with him my cousins, who are virtual strangers to me as well.

So, there's a long version of an old story that never rings sweetly. Whatever you do, remember that, no matter what happens, we're here, and we've heard worse.


Re: You sure you wanna hear this?

Posted by coral on February 28, 2004, at 12:44:39

In reply to You sure you wanna hear this? coral, posted by Racer on February 27, 2004, at 23:10:56

Good grief, Racer,

What a lifetime of experiences. I'm so sorry you've had to through them.

We're presently in the makings of one of those stories that the next generation will relate as "Can you believe . . ."

As I'm getting more and more involved,(out of necessity), I find I'm having to untangle messes that should've been cleared up, let alone ever happened.




Ginger for me! :-) (nm) Racer

Posted by allisonm on February 28, 2004, at 14:44:43

In reply to No root beer, how's about some ginger beer?, posted by Racer on February 25, 2004, at 19:35:39

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