January 23, 2008

Update etc

Well, I had a talk with Dr O vis a vis my manuscript and my vacillating back-and-forth decisions to publish and then not to, my wildly and rapidly changing feelings about both the book and myself (hating it and then by extension myself, naturally) and I came to the conclusion that -- Well, it's more complicated than something I myself decided, but basically Dr O told me that instead of trying to figure out whether I was the OTAM or not, whether I was evil and abhorrent to the world, whether my book was lousy because I was fundamentally a lousy person, it was better that I train myself "not to go there." In fact, she said, I should start practicing to tell myself, "I will not pursue that avenue of thinking, it is purposeless and only gets me into trouble...etc" but start myself thinking about something else, if I can't reverse the thinking itself, then distracting myself with irrelevancies to the moment. At least, if I need to, I can start doing jewelry or turn on the Comedy Channel, as Lynnie has always suggested. ANYTHING but let myself go down the road of letting myself feel guilty and tearing myself to shreds...

I know, I know, but I AM guilty and evil, the voice in me cries. "How dare I let myself off the hook? I don't deserve t not feel bad about myself!" Well, I suppose that's where I have to trust Dr O, and the past, where allowing myself to indulge in such darkness has only led bigtime to trouble...But it is soooo hard to let go of the bad thoughts, the conviction that I am in fact the OTAM, the evil soul that I know in my heart of hearts that I am. In truth, I may not be letting go of that conviction at all, so much as not indulging the rumination on it, not allowing myself to "go there" or think about it, or contemplate the ramifications of it, should it be true. I need to say, So what? to such thoughts, and let them pass through me like cosmic dust, like the neutrinos we are bombarded with every day and never even know it. After all, if I can ignore such break-through obsessive self-flagellations, isn't that almost as good as denying their truth altogether? Well, perhaps not, but it is gonna have to do, as it is as good as it can get. I know I cannot get to the point of saying that I am NOT fundamentally evil...But I can let go of the ruminating obsession with it, the repeating it like an incantation, as if I really needed to hear it over and over...

I couldn't look at Elissa the nurse or Dr O today, too hard, too scary. Hard to look at Josephine on the way home too as I felt shell shocked and paranoid. But by the time I arrived back at my apartment, I had calmed down, esp after a PRN, and was able to enjoy lunch with my old publicist, and to make eye contact with her with relative ease...However, the night nurse, S, I have trouble with her. I used to like her and she gives a decent injection every week, but...I believe she is the one who stole my silver necklace with the pink teardrop, the first necklace I made wholly out of sterling silver. I dunno why I think this, only that she seems like the sort of person who would do so...she looks it, sounds it, smells like it almost. (Though I have a terrible sense of smell, in this case it does feel like smell.) I just feel like she is the one. One moment it was there, on the black felt I photographed it on, and the next minute it was gone...and I don't know where it is. I haven't found it in two weeks, despite a good joint cleaning of the apartment with Josephine just two days ago.

Tonight I tested her, by just talking about the lost necklace, casually, as if I really didn't have any idea where it had gone to, to see her reaction. Unfortunately, I didn't make eye contact, so I don't really know her reaction, or had a hard time truly gauging it. She didn't react too strongly, but then she could have been avoiding it, and she only made a passing comment as she left: I hope you find what you are looking for. Also, before she left, she said, You seem down tonight. But that was all, then she just up and walked out...Weird, but I wasn't down, just testing her veracity and intent on that, so I wasn't very jolly and cheerful, which is what she is used to with me!

Now for the big "news" which is really a culmination of "olds": I have cut off any and all contact with Karen (and by extension, since he is her lackey, Gary as well). This was not my intention at the start of the week, or at the end of last week, until Joe informed me that "because of what happened" two Sundays ago, Karen and Gary quit their jobs, driving me to visit him. Now, one, 2 Sundays ago, Karen had blown up at me for wanting to visit Joe twice in a row, something I knew she would not allow, but that I had a right to desire, since she went 3-5 times in a row some weeks...But also, she yelled that we had to go on Sunday because I had forced her to rearrange her schedule, which she knew perfectly well was an outright lie. She knew as well as i did that she'd changed the schedule herself, having a doctor's appointment that interfered with her driving me on my usual day. (and to explain: whoever drives me got $25 a ride and used MY car, MY gas...That was the arrangement Karen wrangled out of Joe, without any input or agreement from me...that was simply what she wanted and what she got, and I had to put up with it, or I got no ride...I cannot drive there myself, not for 30 minutes, I'd fall asleep and/ or get double vision within 10min.)

Anyhow, it was clear that Karen had decided to punish me for simply wanting to visit Joe on Sunday, and then on Monday, my usual day, because she had decided she could in fact go on Monday after all (and so she weas planning to visit then, instead of me!). And the punishment was to deprive not only ME of visiting Joe, but Joe of a visit from me. She'd fixed it so well that even Gary had agreed not to drive me, though he had no reason whatsoever not to, except for his tendency to kowtow to Karen...Well, that I would not stand still for. That was my limit. I told Joe that I'd had it, that whatever Karen had said about Sunday, she had lied, as usual. And that if he wanted me to visit, he would have to arrange another driver, because I would not be accepting any further rides from Karen or Gary, even when they decided to "take me back" as they assuredly would, when they once again needed the extra cash.

As it turned out, my friend and housekeeping buddy Josephine said she would take the job, and though it meant I would arrive at the hospital as early as 10:30 when 12pm was visiting hour, it freed me from depending on Karen, and for that I rejoiced. Karen has a way of trying to make people dependent on her, like Joe and Gary and then me...She almost had me, and once she did, she would have done what she has done with Joe, forced me to obey her and do her bidding, buy her things or meals, do for her, or else...and she would have various punishments or restrictions, various things withheld from me that I needed, if I failed to do so, just as she does with Joe and Gary. Joe, of course, can't object, and so she uses his credit cards with impunity, and essentially controls his life. Gary acquiesces to her demands, apparently feeling that either he can find no other friends, or perhaps that she, who claims handicapped status every time she has to do something she doesn't want to (like bring up her groceries from the car, something she is entirely capable of doing, since she does it when shopping with me) actually needs him. But in fact I know that he resents her greed and her me-first self-centeredness that has her calling him at any hour of the night, or demanding that he go down to her car and get her groceries, 20 two liter bottles of diet pepsi usually, because she is too lazy to bother to make the 2-3 trips involved with her cart. It wouldn't occur to her to NOT buy 20 bottles at one time, to avoid forcing him to do this, no. And it wouldn't occur to her to offer to pay him, or to do it herself, or help him or any such thing. No, she gets home, locks the car and calls him on her cell phone as she walks towards the building: "Gary? Can you come down here and get my groceries? They are going to wilt in the sun! (Freeze in the cold...whatever)"

Gary may resent it, and I have noticed the microexpressions of rage cross his face before his usually docile demeanor returns, but he does nothing about it but continue to obey her. So he has made his choice and it is to stay with her, joined at the hip. Which means that because I took back all my keys from Karen, car key and apartment key, I asked for his back as well (I definitely do not feel comfortable with their having even emergency access to my place any more.) But it also means that he has deprived himself of any extra income he might have earned, all in his obedience to Karen's invoking his loyalty. Too bad for him, but as I said, he has made his choice, and it is to stick with Karen, liar and unethical, immoral person as she may be.

One further example of this lack of ethics, lack of morals really, is as follows: Karen bought several baskets to decorate her bedroom many months ago, back when Joe was still living here, and she was starting to redo her rooms...She lived with them, used them, for all this time (6-9 months) though she cleverly never removed the tags, and saved the sales slips...apparently for just this eventuality: she recently decided that she wanted to re-redecorate, and that these baskets did not go with her new colors. So, what did she do? Yeah, she decided to bring them back and get new ones. Why? Well, she reasoned, no one would be hurt, and she didn't want to pay for others when she could simply exchange these.

Now, maybe that doesn't sound so immoral to you guys, but it struck me as emblematic of the difficulties I have with her. My first reaction was: but you have used them! You can't return goods that you have used for 9 months, no matter how well you have treated them. You have enjoyed them and used them and if you want others, you need to GIVE these away to someone else and purchase others, not just trick the store into believing you want to exchange baskets you just bought (she wouldn't need a sales slip to do that). I was simply appalled. But I am often appalled by Karen's manipulations, as much as by her outright lies, and the calm way in which she justifies each one. And she does, she has a clearly stated reason she can give to rationalize away every single one, so that none of them suddenly somehow seem so terrible afterwards. But always they do seem so initially, and I want to hang onto that first impression, as I think that feeling of shock is important, a measure of just how ethically compromised her behavior truly is...I may come around to seeing how she thinks, and granting that Okay, it's not so terrible, when you put it that way, but in truth I value much more my pristine reaction of shock, that first reaction to immorality and lack of ethics that tells me Karen is, fundamentally, deceptive and as she proved time and again, a liar.

Okay, okay, I am going on and on about this and you have gotten the point, I am sure. In any event, she is one "friend" I am well shed of and will not miss. I still have Lynn and Joe, and have Josephine and Leila, Lynn's sister, though I do not know how long she will be remaining inthe area...I also do not worry about loneliness, as I love solitude and actually rather resent having to see people as much as I have had to this past year. I used to go out only once a week, and I loved staying in, not seeing anyone. But this past year, what a whirlwind of activity! I do not like it at all. These past several days, with the press demands over my head, I have also stayed home most of the time, and it has likewise been great. I have gotten much more done, and enjoyed my time alone. I will miss being alone when I have to get back to being Miss Social Butterfly once again...I hate that, but it seems it has to be done.

I wanted to upload some jewelry pix here, but I fear it is getting too late and I must take my Xyrem and sleep. So I will wait till a later date and try to do it then. I need to learn about Ebay and how to sell there. I dunno how else I can do so...and earn just a little extra, not for much more than to feed and nourish and replenish the hobby itself, though it would be nice to have some spending money too. If anyone has any tips or advice, do let me know in the comments section or by email, address above.


PS My eyes are doing their usual wonky thing that no one seems to be able to figure out or take seriously. It is so distressing that it impedes my reading, and hence my proofreading with any comfort. It has been a trial to write as much as I already have and to go back to proofread it all again would take more stamina than I have. Forgive me, please, for all the typos I suspect you must have found there.

Posted by pamwagg at January 23, 2008 10:29 PM | TrackBack


Pammy dear,

I READ your blog. I do not search hungrily for typos over which I might chortle in delight. I firmly believe that if your ET does no editing, it is highly unlikely that anyone else does. N'est pas?
With love for my far from evil PPP, <Perkless (sigh)

Posted by: Paula Kirkpatrick at January 25, 2008 01:00 AM

Hi Pam, I am a well-wisher who found your blog after reading your book quite a while back. My daughter has an illness in the schizophrenia family (so far psychosis NOS) and is on Abilify. Anyhow, she experiences what we call "the eye thing" and I wonder if it is like your "wonky" eye problem. It usually happens late in the day/early evening and she says it's like she sees too much information so she can't look at people's faces/can't read. Also feels her eyes being pulled upward to the horizon or top of someone's head. VEry debilitating but sleep usually makes it disappear. Is this familiar in any way? Appreciate any input here because we are stumped. Psychiatrist does not know what it is and suggested an eye doctor which we are going to do, but my gut tells me it's either the sz or the Abilify.

By the way, the jewelry is quite beautiful!

Posted by: Joy at January 24, 2008 09:18 AM

Post a comment

Please enter this code to enable your comment -
Remember Me?