Saturday, July 24, 2004

I've got no choice

I have to take a trip.  On the one hand, I want to; on the other hand, I am worried.  What if the plane crashes?  What if something bad happens here while I am gone?  It has me very nervous.  I wish I could just forget about it, just know everything is fine, but I just can't.  How do people do it?  And I'm worried that I won't have brought proper clothes, or I will have forgotten something, or, as absolutely cornball as it sounds, that no one will like me or talk to me, or something.  And I'm so worried about the baggage retrieval system they've got at Heathrow.  :-)  Sorry.  Had to throw that in there.  But I am.  I am not as outgoing as I seem.  Or as brave.  Frankly, I suck.  And I'm sleepy.  And when given the opportunity, I've recently discovered that I whine a lot.  This is not a trait that I like.  But I can't help the fact that I am nervous.  I really am.  My Mom just got a check-up and they said her health is fine.  She's had health problems in the past, serious ones.  But I worry that something will happen to her while I am gone, or will happen to me, and I won't be able to help her.  That really scares me.  My son-friend is back unemployed, and I worry that he won't have enough to eat or something...I will see if I have enough money to give him like $100 or something while I am gone.  I will be gone for five days, so that might not be enough.  I'll have to think about it when I am less tired, like tomorrow.  If I am careful and don't spend much on my trip, and just watch for the next few weeks until my tuition is due, I could do like $200 maybe.  I am very nervous about this trip...I hope it goes ok. 

     As much as I feel dread about leaving, it's probably hard to believe that I actually cherish the thought of "getting away".  To be on vacation or something somewhere, with everything at home taken care of, nothing to worry about...  Actually, I'd love to be snowed in at a motel for a few days.  Maybe with someone.  If he were easy to get along with (not as in agrees with me, but as in no yelling or hitting) and liked to talk.  And didn't mind being quiet sometimes, and letting me watch movies on TV.   :-)  I am so out of the loop movie-wise, it isn't even funny.  I mean like literally haven't been to a movie in forever.  And he would have to not make fun of me for wanting to watch movies on TV, and wouldn't object to holding me occasionally.   :-)  I know...I'm dreaming.   I guess I'll be back in a week, I hope. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Stuff, things, and other stuff.

Like I have time to figure out how to make a new paragraph on this thing...sigh. I'm trying to figure out how to load this ripoff version of PowerPoint, because I can't afford the real PP. All the technical writers in the world, take heed: if you can break stuff down into Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, it would be muchly appreciated. Though, in truth, the real version of PP might come with easy-to-understand instructions. Maybe that's why they get The Big Bucks, and there's some guy who got maybe an 8 on the SATs writing for the ripoff companies.  I dunno.  Or I could just be plain stupid, there' s always that possibility.  I have a project due.  Sometimes it just seems like everyone else in the world has some life instruction manual that like, I wasn't packaged with.  Everyone else knows how to get these stupid programs to work, what kind of a presentation to set up, just everything.  Whatever.  I'm just scared.  I have to travel soon, and I'm taking that excuse to kvetch about everything.  And I doubly dislike it when (certain) people try to be so judgemental about me...oh, I don't know.  Some people just like to criticize everything.  I have one of those in my class.  Anything I can do, she can do better, and she made sure everyone got that message on my last presentation.  I wish she'd get her ass over here and create this stupid thing for me.  I figure that, if I have all my facts straight and understandable, that's what counts.  But in the class critique part, she complains that I had too many colors.  Whatever.  I like colors.  They are pretty.  Plus I had my topics grouped by color.  Not that it matters.  I just said, "ok, thank you".  I'll do this one in black and white.  :-)  Which is probably easier for me, since I'm not doing this one on one of the school computers, and I'm not even sure I could get it all colorful anyway.  And I still can't figure out how to start a new paragraph on this dumbo blog.  I am so fricking stupid.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Hyphenated Friends


    Today was supposed to be a fairly good day.  It didn't work out that way, though.  A friend of mine (and I don't mean "friend" as in I'm sleeping with them, I mean friend as in "they might as well be related to you 'cos you care about them, and even if you didn't, they keep turning up like a bad penny, so you'd just better learn to love 'em, 'cos what's the point in fighting it?") lost his job today (after one whole day), because he had an absence seizure at work.  I know; they are supposed to be controlled by medication, but his aren't, and since he's unemployed and has no insurance, it's not like he can go to a neurologist right now.  And so this means that I have to keep lending money.  "Why do you have to lend money," you might ask.  I have to because, if I don't, I'll feel guilty.  He's not well-off right now.  And I don't mean that like, he'll be eating Ramen noodles for weeks if I don't, I mean that like, he'll get evicted and be homeless and not able to afford his medications, and will have more seizures and probably die.  He might as well be my son; I feel that guilty.  Stuff like this keeps me awake at night.  Well, this along with everything else.  Most of the time all at once.  Enough so that some nights I actually can't sleep, and can't stop crying.  The crying stuff is usually because I'm just lonely.  I don't have any real friends, like any that are nearby and I get to see all the time.  The couple of real friends I have are right now long-distance friends, and I'm sure they've got better things to do than hear about my all-too-involved crap.  I have a bunch of what I call "hyphenated friends".  They are school-friends, or work-friends, or acquaintance-friends, or like the guy above, my son-friend.  I can't really talk to him, because first off, I'd just worry him, and make him have a seizure or something.  Secondly, he wouldn't understand.  I don't mean that like he's stupid, I just think that, between the seizures and all of the medications he's on, his brain is pretty pickled.  Back when he had insurance, and before they found out he was allergic to it, they started him on Dilantin, and it worked great--he actually started being able to reason better about his life and things--it was like this haze just lifted.  Plus, it stopped the seizures.  But then he started swelling up and got a rash, and had to stop taking it.  Now he's on a huge dose of Tegretol and Depakote, they don't stop the seizures completely, and as of late he hasn't been able to get either the time-release Tegretol or the Depakote (too expensive) and had to be switched to Depakene, because it's cheaper.  So now he has absence seizures a lot.  And it's like this evil little circle where he could get help probably, but he would have to have insurance to afford it, and he can't get insurance because he can't get a job that provides it because he keeps having seizures.  And I can't afford to buy all of these medicines--the brand name ones--because they're (1) massively expensive and (2) not totally working anyway.  The months that I was paying for them, he was still having seizures and it was still interfering with getting a job with insurance, so for now he's going to some clinic that has discounted drugs for people with low incomes, but they don't have many of the brand-name drugs, or whatever, hence the switch from Depakote to Depakene, which works even less, if that's possible.  At least for him, it appears to work less; I'm sure it works for some people.  I don't understand why it's so hard to get help.  The one neurologist he had just started going to when he lost his last job (that he'd had for like, five years) was very optimistic about getting his medications straightened out, but then he lost his job.  There's only so much I can learn about medications and stuff, and this is not exactly my forte in the first place; I mean, I'm in school, and I figure I'm smart enough, but I'm not a neurologist.  I do a lot of research online about it, but the doctor he's seeing that is charging him a discount is a GP, and it's unreasonable to think he's going to be able to manage something like this without some kind of recommendation from a specialist about what kinds of drugs to prescribe for what kinds of seizures, stuff like that.  He's willing to help, he's just not really able to.  I understand and am ok with that.  But you'd think there'd be somewhere, you know?  And this isn't even half the story.  But the bottom line is, my son-friend has his own row to hoe, wouldn't understand, would just get upset, and couldn't do anything anyway.   He's a friend, and closer than most, but a hyphenated friend nonetheless.  And that also goes for my family, what little I have left, that is; they've got their own problems, and Things just work better when I'm helping them.  They're not able to help me.  I go to school full-time and work two part-time jobs, plus taking care of two people in a full-time way, and others in a part-time way.  I just want some time for me.  And when I say that (well, me is the only person I say it to), it sounds so damn selfish.  It sounds selfish, and whiny, and I'm disgusted with myself for feeling that way, but at the same time, it's the truth.  I want to have a hobby or something, to be able to go places for vacation, to see stuff before I die.  I really, really do.  I want to not have to be so serious all of the time.  I want to not have to remember everyone's life and medical history, and I want to not have to always be working on twenty different things at once.  I want to get married.  To maybe have kids.  I want to not cry so much.  So when a hyphenated friend says, "Hi!  How're you?", you say, "Great!  How about you?", and then listen to them.  You don't want to say something like, "I'm not doing well at all; in fact, I was just leaving to go Plath the bejeezus out of myself, but then it occurred to me that I have too many responsibilities to do that, so you could probably say that, right now, my mood actually transcends absolute despair, and I'm trying like hell to not break out in tears right this very second."  Yep--that'd probably be a good way to lose a hyphenated friend.  When we talk--my hyphenated friends and me--we talk about them, mostly.  I don't really talk to people about me.  One thing I've noticed is that they don't notice.  I think it's because of some kind of transference-thing (I mean that in the therapeutic sense).  I'm a good listener, I can't help but remember a lot of what they tell me, I'm very good at asking questions, and I'm neutral-looking; I'm not gorgeous, and I'm not a beast.  In actuality, I don't mind.  Talking to them gives me at least temporary companionship, and often, it's very funny; if they would rather have a distracting conversation, I'm good at jokes and stuff.  Not at telling jokes per se, but at making them.  I remember anecdotes forever, too.  Sometimes, if I have a lot bothering me, I can't remember every last detail, but in that case I just make up better details, and the story's funnier.  I like making people feel better.  And I guess that's why they like me, if only in a hyphenated way.                                                                                                                                                                                 Don't worry, by the way.  I'm not going to Plath the bejeezus out of myself.  Sometimes it seems like a really good idea, but I have too much to do, and too much I want to do if I ever can.  I do sometimes wish that I could clone myself about a hundred times, and let the clones go to work for me, to school for me, work on this project, that deadline, take that test, care for Persons A, B, C,...,XXX, YYY, ZZZ...  Let them do all the work and give all the money away and have nothing, and in the meantime, I would go get a manicure and pedicure, a massage, get my hair done, go shopping, maybe go out on a date with someone, get to travel to some really neat place like the Baltimore Aquarium, come home and sleep for a week straight, and then go Plath the bejeezus out of myself.  Ok, I wouldn't do it even then, because I'd feel guilty over leaving all those clones stuck with all that crap.  Truth is, I couldn't even duck out.  I'd let them go have fun.  This guilt-thing sucks.  Plus, I don't think I could relax enough to get a massage.  Oh, well.   I have to think up something for my friend to do as far as getting a job.  I understand he's depressed.  But this is one of those situations that isn't going to get any better with time.  There are some times when, if you stop, you'll drown.  I should know; I have one of those lives.      I've always been worried over talking like this, because I feel like I just sound whiny.  I don't mean to.  If you met me, you'd never in a million years guess I was this whiny.  I guess I'm just nervous over criticism, or what people will think.  But what does it matter.  No one will probably even read this, anyway.