What Goes UpNovember 11, 2009 at 6:29 PM | Posted in Journal | 1 Comment
We sat in her room–her, her mother, and me–and I got re-acquainted with my ex. Yay?
Being divorced has made The Storm all thoughtful and sensitive and introspective. She is now the all-knowing seer and matriarch, kind and gentle and wise.
Except I’m not buying it. I know her. And, as it turns out, I still know how to set her off.
We were talking–or they were talking and I was listening–and Miranda would ask questions and Linda would patiently impart wisdom. It seems that our son Mitchell has ADD, and is both bipolar and psychotic. Either psychotic doesn’t mean what I think it means, or he has been over-diagnosed, and the latter I find more likely. Miranda had asked about it because she seemed surprised to find that Mitchell has ADD. Duh. I can tell. One thing about being diagnosed with it, not to mention the reading I’ve done about it, gives me some insight…kind of a "I can spot my own kind" kind of thing.
Miranda herself is bipolar, and the two kids come by it honestly. Hell, all four of them do. Melissa is medicated and Michael ought to be. The Storm is bat-shit crazy, and HER mother was a psychotic and a pathological liar, and besides being bipolar she probably had a multiple personality disorder. And no, I’m not exaggerating one bit.
Miranda also has some anxiety issues, which Mitchell does and so does their mother. The Storm has anxiety and depression. She said she is bipolar, to which I would respond, "Really? Just the two?" It’s just a joke and not really true. She doesn’t even have the two. She just has the one. She has a constant depression with very few peaks and more than enough valleys. Add to that a heaping helping of anger issues and bring to a roiling boil. Stir occasionally.
The Storm tried to say that she had ADD, because when she cleans house she is in the middle of several projects and forgets what she is doing and has to make a list to stay on track. That’s when I said, "That’s not ADD; you’re just old and can’t remember shit."
Silence. Miranda giggled, then stopped. Linda held her mouth shut tightly for a good two minutes and didn’t say a thing. Let me tell you, it was fucking awesome. I don’t care; like I said, I can spot my own, usually. And she’s not one of them. She has a hell of a lot of problems, but ADD isn’t one of them. Miranda doesn’t really have it either, although I would want add the caveat of "not yet" because it could always present itself later. Linda did her best "I’m holding my tongue to keep from saying something bad" that she does in lieu of self-control.
But she cheapened it so much that I didn’t tell her that yes, I have it, and yes, I’ve been to the doctor about it. I have it, not you. I am the one who will drift away or even out-right WALK away in the middle of a conversation. But maybe it’s not ADD. Maybe everyone is just boring and I’m rude.
Oh well–whatever. Nevermind.
Oh, two other things happened. Let me either wander off course or get straight to the point, depending on which you think is right. They filled Miranda’s script for pain pills, and brought it to us. And they wanted 10 bucks to pay for it, right then. My only regret was that I didn’t have my benefits card on me, so I just handed her the debit card.
Linda bitched the whole time. They shouldn’t have just filled it. She can get prescriptions filled at Walmart for 4 dollars. They should have offered us the choice instead of automatically taking care of it. Blah blah blah, on and on, she didn’t stop. I gave the woman my card, she ran it, she gave me a slip to sign, she handed over the drugs and she left, and the whole time Linda was bitching. They *should* have done this. They *should* have done that. First of all, I’m paying for it, so shut your fucking pie hole. Secondly, passive aggressive doesn’t work. If you REALLY want to do something about it, THIS is what you must say: "Excuse me, miss, but can we just instead fill this our self at a pharmacy of our choosing?" Ask the nurse DIRECTLY, instead of indirectly bitching for 10 goddamn minutes. What is you fucking point? If you have a fucking point, make the fucking point! And I fucking paid for the goddamn script, so really, what is your mother fucking point? Jesus, shut up already.
What was the other thing? Oh yeah, the form.
Miranda’s post-op instructions just as a matter of covering their ass mentions smoking and second hand smoke. Again, The Storm rises. She can’t smoke in the building at work, she can’t smoke in restaurants, and soon she won’t be able to smoke in her car. She’ll be damned if they will stop her from smoking in her own home. Both the nurse and the doctor had experience dealing with insane people. They sympathized and understood and said don’t worry about it; it’s just a standard line on the form. But she wouldn’t let it go. She has no self-control, so she kept muttering under her breath about it.
Oh, yeah, she kept going. Christ.
You know–I write this knowing full well that my new sweetheart Detroit will probably read this, even though she has slacked off significantly and doesn’t seem to care so much about what I write so I have to make it interesting for her even though some of this but not all of this I have told her before.
Having said that: when we first got together–when I left my wife for this new life and new person–I of course had doubts. It was a hard thing to do but ultimately prevailing was my desire to get out my marriage.
But the doubts: Was it the right thing? Am I giving up too soon? Shouldn’t I try to make it work? Couldn’t we work out our problems and get back together? Should I stay or should I go? Time and distance–it’s been three years since we split up–have given me clarity and perspective. Monday I spent more time with my ex than I had in three years. Aside from the fact that there were still things I couldn’t tell her (it’s my life and none of her business, but I still can’t tell her things because it will set her off and I have learned–she has taught me–to keep things from her), the other thing was I just couldn’t stand her. She still couldn’t let go of anything, she still bitched needlessly about things that were none of her concern, she still took things personally that were NOT about her, and she was still self-righteous and sanctimonious and completely humorless.
Speaking of humorless, she had a comment about me doing stand up. In the world she lives in, she had been trying to get me to do it for years, she said. But then when I left, that’s when I do it? I’m an asshole. *She* was the one who told me, "You’re not as funny as you think you are." In her mind, this is encouragement. What I should have said was, "Nothing was funny until I left."
Back to the point, or to further meander…
Miranda has anxiety, and she is a worrier. Like the anger control and depression, she comes by this honestly, either genetically passed from her mother or learned. From her mother. She has a friend whom she worries about doing something bad (read: start having sex young, at age 13) and Linda was trying to counsel her about it. I did manage to get in a few words, like she can be a good influence on her friend, instead of the friend being a bad influence on her.
Linda, of course has always been way to open and honest with the kids for my comfort. She freely admits how having kids at a young age ruined her life and ended her childhood early. That’s all well and good but she also casually tosses around my early drug use as a cautionary tale as well. If it keeps the kids off of drugs, fine, but I don’t need *all* the details out there.
I do know that more of the details than I am comfortable with about our break up are out there–and you’ve seen this blog, you’ve read it–I let it all out. But she goes over the line. Maybe because it’s only the details that make me look bad, and the 19 years off hell I went through are conveniently glossed over as "we had some good times, some bad times."
Well, what’s my point in all this? That’s a really good question–what the hell is my point?
My point is, Linda is so ready to use whatever diagnoses she can as a crutch, as an excuse for not…being rational: I can’t calm down, so I have anger issues. I can’t find my keys, I must have ADD. I’m an unbearable bitch to live with, I must be bipolar.
As for me, I straddle the median between denial and acceptance. I know that–or at least I feel that–ADD is over-diagnosed in this country. Maybe I do have it but I can still (mostly) function. Maybe I don’t have it but it sure does explain a lot. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck and has a short attention span, chances are it’s ADDD–Attention deficit duck disorder.