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Thoughts Of Suicide

Confession: March 24th was going to be the end for me. Months with no car, pain, painful treatments, meds screwed up, isolated, low on cash...

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Mom's "Diagnosis"

Every time I take my mother to the supermarket, it's an adventure. She'll call out of the blue and expect me to drop everything I'm doing simply because she is my biological mother. My previous blog entries show that my mother and I really don't like each other but we tend to spend a little bit of time together out of some sick "moral obligation." I feel sorry for her at times and she believes even though she never raised me, I am still supposed to 'serve her' so off we go.
I had begun to notice a mental decline in my mother. She'd call and when I answered, she'd ask to speak to me. She would tell me of these images appearing on her living room walls at night. Every time we went to the market, she could neither push the shopping cart down the aisle nor recognize any of the items on the store shelves. She couldn't read her own hand-written grocery list and at times seemed to be asking my permission before putting anything in the cart. Something was wrong. I had this nagging suspicion. I began to listen to my gut instinct. Was it Dementia? The first stages of Alzheimer's Disease? Nope. Something worse. She has "S.H."
Last week, I spoke to her doctor's office nurse and told them her symptoms. "That certainly is a sudden change." the nurse said. Then I began to understand. As bad as what I was thinking sounded, it would explain everything. So I made her an appointment then put a plan in place.
The day of her doctor's appointment, I asked an aunt of mine to call and check on Mom for me. I told her I was concerned.
"She seems fine to me." she reported.
Then I called and asked my mother if she needed anything from the store before we went to the doctor. She said she did so I told her to go ahead, make a grocery list and I'd be right over but then I said, "But don't pull any of that crap you pulled the last time or I'll have to tell your doctor."
"Okay." She said and hung up.
We got to the store and I said, "You go on ahead, I have to go back to the car." She proceeded to get a cart and head down the first aisle of the store. I didn't go to the car, I basically hid and watched my mother shop as independently as you or I would. Suddenly, the woman who couldn't identify a box of Raisin Bran with me by her side was reading labels and comparing prices on her own. I waited until she got to the checkout counter (which she could never seem to find with me) and stood beside her. Suddenly, she couldn't open her purse, find her money etc. I was onto something. I just turned to her, told her I'd be waiting in the car and walked away. She proceeded to buy her groceries, walk over to a separate counter, buy cigarettes then come outside and put her groceries in my car.
Later at the doctor's office, I went in the exam room with my mother. I ordinarily didn't do that but today, I was on a mission. I spoke privately to her doctor in the hallway after her exam.
"Why is my mother unable to shop when I'm with her but is fine on her own?" I asked.
The doctor just smiled at me and said, "Dyane, you're mom has one of the oldest conditions in existence. She has 'strategic helplessness.' "  A-ha!!! Gotcha!

Friday, January 17, 2014

'Ads' Suspended--Gone But Not Forgotten

I was blogging along, minding my own business when I started noticing the ads on the blog sites I'd visit. Ads, ads, everywhere. I didn't have any. Why not? What did 'they' know that I didn't? Was I missing out on something? I did some research and thought everything I read sounded harmless enough so I decided to have ads on my blog. Why not? Sell, sell, sell! That's the name of the game! Go forth and make a nickel or two. I followed all the tips about 'increasing traffic' and using social media looking forward to 'raking in that dollar.'
I noticed a little increase in my pageviews from time to time but nothing major. I started feeling like I had put on my big girl panties and entered the business world. Yea me! WooWoo!
Today I got the news---I had been suspended for 'invalid activity.' WHAT? I've never been suspended from anything in my life. No inquiry, no 'exit interview'--just judged and executed. What is 'invalid activity'? Sure, I read everything about the do's and don'ts of advertising/hosting ads before I signed up but they are simple and clear. Nothing to be misunderstood. So how does something like that happen? I hadn't checked any of my own ads and nobody I know has a blog or is interested in such things to be frank but something looked wrong somewhere in Cyberville and I got the ax! I'll never get that $12.22 total I made the last couple of months---there goes my home in the Hamptons!
I felt a bit silly 'filing an appeal' but it had to be done for no other reason than my self-esteem. I'm used to being in control of everything I do and "if there is a problem, yo, I'll solve it..." ala Vanilla Ice etc. I knew for certain was that I hadn't done anything to violate policy but in my mind I could see  HAL the Computer blocking my re-entry. Surely this 'wrong' would be made 'right' and I wouldn't be on the outside looking in with my nose against the glass. Alas, I have indeed been banished.
There strangest thing to me was how clean and final the cut was. Maybe if it had been face-to-face or by telephone, I could have been informed as to what exactly had happened that required the suspension...pled my case...been given another chance. "Throw myself on the mercy of the court." But that's where we are now. Impersonal and final. Business not personal. Dollars not 'Sense.'
Judged and executed.
I lived and learned.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

I Caught My Pastor Cheating!

 Last Tuesday, I met my old college friend in her hometown instead of having her come to me. Quick little trip, friends reuniting--dinner at a swanky restaurant. We met in the parking lot, went in, were seated and started catching up. I began looking around admiring our surroundings when I saw them being escorted to their table. It was kind of cute to see the man gently pat the fanny of his date as they walked to their table...they'd probably just started seeing each other. But the guy suddenly seemed  familiar to me. How did I know this guy? OMG!
     "Lisa," I said, "you know the saying 'it's a small world,' right?"
     "Sure." she replied.
     "My pastor is here."
     "The woman he is with isn't his wife." I said.
     "Okay. It's probably his sister or his mother."
     "Well, my pastor's mother passed away a few years ago and he doesn't have a sister."
     "And, they are kissing."
     "Then I guess you just caught your pastor cheating!"
I kept thinking of Bogart in 'Casablanca' saying "of all the...why did he have to walk into mine?" Or something like that. Was it him? Was I sure? I mean, it wasn't like I went to church every Sunday. I had never done more than shook his hand in the reception line and I tend to sit towards the back of the church. Maybe I was mistaken. I had to be wrong. Please God, let me be wrong. Then almost on cue, I heard the woman laugh and say his name. Unfortunately, my pastor has a very distinctive name. No doubt about it. It was him.
What do I do now? Go over to his table and 'let him know that I know'? Expose his obvious affair with righteous indignation and wait for the lightning to strike? Maybe I could drop a note in next Sunday's collection plate that reads, 'I know what you did last Tuesday.'
It's not really any of my business, right? So he preaches Bible principles and talks about sin Sundays and Wednesdays. This was a Tuesday. Maybe this was an 'off-day.' Surely, there's a perfectly logical explanation for him to be kissing this woman, stroking her hair and patting her bottom. Don't all pastors do that?
I decided to do nothing. I'm not going back to that church, of course but other than that, I'm going to forget what I saw. Yes, the image of  Rev. ******'s hand on that redhead's butt seems burned in my memory but maybe I can "pray that day away." What do you think?


Friday, January 10, 2014

Bye Bye, Love

We met because I lost my ride at my friend's 'Sweet Sixteen' party.  I was stranded in the lobby of the hotel because my friend had just driven off in the brand new Z28 Camaro her parents had given her. Sitting in that lobby across from me were two guys that had also been at the gathering. One cute, one not. Guess which one spoke to me?
As it turned out, the three of us knew some of the same people and the conversation went by quickly. "Cutie's" name was Alan. He was already out of high school, working at a grocery store and we had a lot of things in common. We talked to each other like we were old friends.  After a while, Alan said,"Don't take this the wrong way but do you need a ride home?"
     "Well, kind of "I said.
     "Would you let me drive you?"
     "I don't know."
     "How 'bout this. You call home and ask if it'd be ok for me to bring you home, then I'll talk to them and hopefully, they'll see that I'm trustworthy. If they say it's ok to take you home, then we'll go." he said. Twenty minutes later, I was riding in a 1968 Mustang with my knight in shining armor...and his sidekick. Ten minutes later, I arrived safely home almost hand-delivered to my grandmother.
As a teenage girl, the entire thing went through my head the rest of the night. Oh No! He didn't ask my phone number! Maybe he didn't like me? He acted like he did. He must've liked me. He was so nice and so cute! What was a girl to do?
 I decided I'd send him a 'Thank You' note. He had 'rescued' me, right? The least I could do was send him a letter! But how? My teenage mind decided that since I knew his first and last name and where he lived (a very, very small town) all I'd have to do is address the envelope with that information. So a letter with my contact info was sent in a blue envelope sealed with a kiss along with a prayer...four days later, he called.
We were together four years. After my high school graduation, I went to nursing school so to think our relationship would last forever was unrealistic but I decided that with his brains, Alan should go to college, too. I got him interested in an orderly position in my hospital and ultimately, he became a radiologic technologist who landed a job with a firm providing this service all across the country. Our lives (and loves) went in different directions.
Through the years, my grandmother kept up with his life and periodically, gave me updates. She thought we'd end up together. She found out through his mother that he'd be doing X-rays at a local physician's office a few years ago and tricked me into taking her. The only thing more stunning than when we met again face-to-face was the smug look on my grandmother's face as she admired her own handiwork.
A few months ago, Alan committed suicide in the garage of his brother's home. No one knows why and it doesn't matter. Memories do. A song he used to sing to me has a different meaning for me now.
                                                         He'd sing, "Bye Bye Love."