Monday, February 15, 2010

What's Been Going On

My parents packed the RV up yesterday and left to head up to the Carolina mountains with the intention of seeing some snow. I think they're going to get their wish, although I've had terrible mental images of them careening off an icy cliff in that bus. Let's hope they're ok driving in inclement weather conditions. My friend Carina is with them, because she's going up to see her sister, who lives in that area. Carina said if she dies in the bus that I can have all of her clothes and this is a good thing because the girl has some serious outfits. She's far fancier than I am and the same size, so that's something positive that will come out of the deaths of my entire family. I can wear Gucci to the funeral, which would make my mother proud.

The Eyebrow People left on Friday and went back to Frozen River Land, so that's good, but I have a feeling they'll be back soon enough, pregnant Jasmine and all.

In other news, the Amy Winehouse of our family escaped from rehab last week and we've all been pretty upset and disappointed. Another patient there called up her dealer to come pick them up and within minutes, she was out of there and headed back home and once she got there her family pretty much had a giant enabling party.

Addicts are manipulators. They are masters at it. I don't get how they manage to put so many people under their spell - people who know very clearly that these individuals are addicts and people who have seen the addicts at their worst. Yet still, they manage to believe their lies. I do not get it and it's painful and frustrating to watch. Our little addict decided to call everyone in the family and trash talk our family and say that we put her in a hell hole and that it's a cult. They abused her there. They were mean to her. They told her she is a bad mother and a bad wife. SHE IS. The ridiculous thing is that the whole family knows she is a train wreck, has seen her at her worst, has been victimized by her theft and abuse, has seen her literally endanger the life of a severely disabled child in the family and STILL they believe and side with her and say "How could they put her in a place like that?" So now, everyone else on my mom's side of the family is mad at us, including my grandmother who refuses to believe the addict is an addict. The addict's own husband, who begged us to come help her, is now saying that he doesn't think she ever really had a problem and it was wrong to put her in a place with crackheads and junkies and it was cruel and that now she has post traumatic stress disorder from it (which is a great excuse to get some more pills by the way). So great. And you know what's the saddest part? This is a pretty common story.

My aunt and uncle (Bella's parents) were here Saturday. They got in from a cruise and had several hours before their plane back to Millpond left, so I picked them up and took them to lunch, where we discussed Chastity's wedding. They think she's pregnant and that she's doing this whole thing because her younger sister Charity got married last July and was pregnant by September.

Chastity called me last night. I think she reads this blog. I really do. I don't know how she would have found it, but I have sensed on many occasions that she's reading and knows its me. I've seen her town on my site meter a few times, but it's a big place and I can't be sure. The reason I think she's reading is because she's called me before after certain posts and sort of vaguely referenced them. For instance, last night she called me to ask me to read at her wedding. I told her I'd think about it. Then we got into a conversation about how much easier the wedding is without her mother. She brought it up. She said her mother would have controlled and complained about everything and insisted on too many complicated conditions. But then she started talking about how her mom wasn't as bad as I think and that, yes, her mother was obsessive and controlling and had a very all or nothing attitude about everything, that she was still a good person.

"She really was a good person. You have to understand that. She meant well."

I don't know if I believe that, but I'm glad that Chastity is able to have some good memories of her.

Then Chastity and I had a very enlightening conversation about why her mother was a religious fanatic and Chastity, who is extremely articulate and still possesses that weird self awareness, was able to explain it to me in a way that I could finally understand.

"She had no identity without it."

The church gave her a sense of belonging and a set of hard and fast rules to live by so she didn't have to think. It was who she was. It also gave her a community because she had never been the kind of girl who made friends easily. It helped her to not be lonely. That's what being a mother did for her too. Motherhood also gave her an identity and I never realized that Louise, I guess, didn't really have a sense of who she was and needed all this other stuff, all of these other fringe beliefs and fads and ideologies to believe in because she was unable to come up with her own ideas and her own beliefs and because she was utterly incapable of understanding nuance and grey areas. She was attracted to extremes because they shut out other possibilities and her mind couldn't handle other possibilities.

I think this is really key to understanding a lot of people. I had no idea, until I wrote about my experiences, that so many of us had lived with or known or had relatives who were religious fanatics. This fanaticism can really hurt people and so many of you have been wounded by it in some way too. It's really sad, but I think a way to overcoming the hurt is to understand what was going on behind it all. Understanding Louise a little more has helped me to be able to feel compassion for her and to not see her as the two dimensional evil stepmother, so I was really grateful for the conversation Chastity and I had last night. And I don't care if she's secretly reading this or not.

Besides that, my husband has been sick for going on three weeks now and he will not get his stubborn ass to the doctor. The problem is that his best friend is a gyno and he just asks him to check him out and write him prescriptions because he doesn't want to go to the doctor and pay our $35 co-pay. I know that's what it is, although he denies it. So my husband's gyno gave him some cough medicine and a Z-pack, but it didn't work and then he said that he thought husband had pneumonia, which he shrugged off and has totally ignored. And by the way, my husband's best friend is NOT my ob/gyn because eww, how weird would that be? In case you were wondering and I kind of hope you weren't. I do have him look at my blood work results on occasion and I've been known to call him up when I've sworn I had pancreatic cancer, ALS, brain tumors, Hodgkins Disease and multiple myeloma. He's good at talking me down from the ledge. At Christmas I became convinced I was having a lupus flare and was going to have kidney failure and die before New Years and he was able to assure me, correctly, that I had a virus. But anyway, my husband has been sick for three weeks and is ignoring his friend's advice. I don't know what to do. He's sleeping all the time which is very out of the ordinary for him. He's normally a hummingbird of constant motion. He's also coughing up blood. Not good.

"But if I die," he said, "Then you can sell all our stuff, take our savings and go live in Paris."

Which means that if my parents and friend die on the bus on an icy road and my husband dies of pneumonia, that I'll be living in Paris AND wearing Gucci.

But I'd rather have my family and continue to wear Merona.


rabrab said...

Hon, if he's coughing up blood, you pack your husband into the car whether he wants to go or not, and haul his sick butt to the doctor's office, because that is not something he's going to just "get better" from.

Unknown said...

Yeah, I'm pretty sure this is one those times that what he wants to do is not an option anymore. And whatever you have to do to get him to the doctor (manipulation, force, guilt, etc) is fair game.

MtnMama said...

The first winter my ex-husband and I were together, he got pneumonia (that's what I suspect your husband has) and refused to go see a doctor. When I was finally able to haul his butt in, because he was so sick he could no longer resist, the doctor CHASTISED me severely for waiting so long.
Hope it goes better for you.

JoeinVegas said...

Sorry the folks are gone - they seem like such fun people.
And yes, kick hubby's butt and drive him down there

Unknown said...

I agree with rabrab. It's not just the regular cold or flu if he's coughing up blood. Take him to a doctor (not gyno) ASAP! Use force if necessary.

Living said...

def get him to a doc... even if you have to knock him upside his head and drag him there...

sadi said...

I agree, get him to the doc, pronto. No doc, no nookie. That might work.

Good luck, I hope he feels better soon.

Sinclair said...

Remind hubby how lucky he is to have health insurance and that $35 copay still beats what many Americans without insurance have to pay.

Nah, I couldn't give crap to my honey if he was sick. Just dress him and tell him you are in the mood to go out. I know it is not good to lie to hubby but if you were coughing up blood he'd taken you to the doctor long time ago.

On the evil stepmother you wrote: "She had no identity without it." I've seen in many cases how procreation and religious fanaticism go hand-in-hand. How pathetic.

kerry said...

Yeah, coughing up blood isn't "nothing" and husband needs to get in to a doc. I don't like them either, but sometimes you just need 'em.

Interesting insight about Louise. I know fanatics are generally people who don't feel competant to make their own decisions, and can't handle nuance, but I hadn't thought about the identity bit.

I also think this identity crisis stuff is one reason some women have babies. They don't have to think about it for 20 years. Then they hit 40, kid moves out, and they have that empty nest thing. Then if you're my aunt, you have another baby to put it off again.

Good wishes to your parents driving in the nasty stuff! I hope they have a good trip.

Heather said...

I'm sorry to hear about your escapee Amy Winehouse, and I'm hoping she will decide to return on her own soon. In the meantime, try not to drive anywhere with her. And for sure take your husband to the doctor even if you have to lie and tell him you are taking him for donuts.

Rich said...

I have seen my share of drug addicts, and religious nuts, and addicts who find god and become religious nuts. (Effectively replacing one addiction with another). We took my neighbor in because her boyfriend was a piece of shit and she had no other place, and she was a good person till she got around the wrong people and ended up on drugs. She left one day and didn't return. I took care of her children for almost a year with no assistance from any agency, until I just couldn't do it any more (Financially), and their grandmother had to take them. I seriously should blog about it.

Anonymous said...

You know, this religious discussion and story sharing has been a real *blessing* for me (pardon the pun).

I lived in Fort Lauderdale with my then husband (now ex). One day he came home looking like he had one up on me (what I have since started referring to as the 'born again' look). Being as I wasn't about to compete with Jesus I did what any sinner would do - hauled ass.

His mom wasn't quite so lucky. After refusing to walk into the water at the beach to be baptized, his mom, good catholic that she was, got treated to an impromptu swim as he drove off the intercoastal bridge to baptize her. He got Baker Acted for that one. Mom rolled the window down during the dive and got out safely.

He would say "God talked to me. He wants us to stay together." I would say, "next time don't be such an asshole and score the lottery numbers."


Funny now but the whole ordeal traumatized me badly.


Anonymous said...

Hi, been a lurker for a while and decided I had to comment today. Right now my mom is dying of lung cancer and alcoholism. We have been told to prepare ourselves and that she has less than a month. On the first day at the hospital, I asked her to please, please, please stop the manipulations and just be honest with not only her care team but her family as well. She hasn't stopped and like you said, despite everyone knowing her history and that she is a manipulator, they are believing her and I have been turned into the horrible, mean daughter who "forced" her to say she wanted hospice care instead of any treatment and she is "scared" of me. The manipulative fun just doesn't stop, even when she is dying.

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