How Life Sucks Now

Not a hopeful title, but real.

I want to be a writer, a teller of tales based on actual facts. No lies for me! Had a lifetime of those, and lies damage the lives of those lied to and about.

I will continue to write about Dad. Too many happy memories are because of him. And if recounting her behavior is part of that it’s cathartic. Exorcising the demons, if you will.

Now to exorcise, and accept, the demons of today. Namely, life with the aftereffects of stroke.

I have been seen in the ER 3 times in 6 weeks. I have 3 neurological referrals and 1 from my current PCP. Paperwork and rote acceptance of scripts made it impossible for me to affect a reasonable and acceptable response on the phone calls.. Gee, if humans just listened and thought beyond the script! You know, thought like humans – not automatons! Situation has been resolved with plenty of phone calls, bitching and I can now be scheduled to actually see a neurologist. Geez Louise what a pain. Or simply FUCK!!! This is not NC17 rated folks.

I was seen in ER last night – again – and my friend Myrna took me because I didn’t want to kill anyone while driving the 5.8 miles to Valley Care ER. Or call an ambulance cause those fuckers are expensive. In by 6 pm, out by 10:30 pm, not too bad. Had blood work, EKG, Cat-scan, an bag of IV and I was advised to go home, rest, and make an appointment with a neurologist within the next 3 days. Hence, the rigmarole with insurance. He’s not covered, call here. You have to call back Sept 1, I can’t schedule you until then. Your PCP needs to see you for her to process a referral. OMG! Are you serious! I saw an ER doctor and I have to make another appointment to verify I need a neurologist when I already have 3 including one from her??

You know, next time a nurse asks me if I want to kill myself I’m tempted to say yes just to get a doctor who can get me to someone who will figure me out. SHIT! I am seeking medical help not the quickest way to ease my perpetual frustration with the medical profession. (Via euthanasia)

I received a call this afternoon from a person who is handing referrals. After I interrupted her enough and told her “let me finish!” I was able to explain I had handled the issue that kept them from handling it. They had to call to verify, but it can move forward now since they had already been notified. Twits. Listen, You may learn something.

I have barely enough money to live on, thanks to General Assistance from Alameda County and CalFresh (food stamps). $ 500 a month, $200 strictly for food, and certainly not “fast food”. The $300 in General Assistance pays for my car insurance (it’s AAA and I’ve been a member for 20+ years, there are cheaper, but better? Nope), my cell phone (Verizon – I like “coverage”) and tank of gas, maybe 1 1/2. A little bit left for I don’t know, toilet paper, Jack in the Box, soap, shampoo, laundry. Not the movies. Not shopping, Not anything “fun”. And certainly not rent for keeping my things. That would be $595 a month, not counting current late fees.

I could get a job. Sure. I’ll get right on that. But wait….I can’t do what I used to do and certainly, not 40 hours a week from 8-5. My mental capacity has bee ruined. Part of my brain is dead. I don’t know “how to” anymore. But your resume says….. That was before a devastating lucanar stroke changed and diminished me.

Dad did this amazing thing when I was little. We went grocery shopping and he would say. “The total will be around $51.75” or something. That never included tax, but did include produce. This was amazing to my young mind, until I figured out he was keeping a running total in his head of a full shopping cart of the family’s food needs. I wanted to be impress Dad that I could do it too, so I started to keep my own total. I told him when we got to the checker (leaned over and whispered, I think it will be…) and he stated his belief, and he was $1 off and I was $2. I was happy I had made a close total, and he said “not bad! Keep it up!” And I did. He eventually asked me what I thought it was, made me say it out load for the checker to hear, then gave his own total. We were never the same, but we were close to the total, usually produce threw me off more. Then, one day, I gave my total and he said nothing. I was perturbed, but knew better than to show it. I was 3 cents off! Holy crap! Mine was the narrowest margin ever, and I was 13! When we got the receipt, Dad noted the total on it and folded it and put it in his wallet. I asked him why. “You were closest to the actual total. I want to remember this day, because you bested me.” That was a very proud day for me. Knowing I had made Dad proud and it wasn’t just a grade.

We kept up our private competition until Dad died, or more succinctly our last trip to the grocery store November 2001. I still did it until I had my own stroke in November 2016. To stay as sharp as Dad and it was a happy ritual. I often hoped for a child who would want to do it too, and not because he/she was eager to please, but because it was fun to compete with the older set! Didn’t happen. And with the stroke, that “skill” went away. I can’t add more than a few numbers without using a pencil and paper. I keep trying, but I just cry now. That Pseudo-Bulbar Affect is a nuisance. Subtraction without a calculator doesn’t work. Multiplication either. Percentages become fractions causing much head slapping and mutterances of “Idiot” before I can get to the number. And I’m a Finance Specialist, with Assistant Controller, Operations Manager, Vice President of Operations and Director of Finance on my resume. I can’t do that, the finer points, for 40 hours a week from 8-5, so good luck finding a job! I would fail miserably, if I could physically manage to get to work and remain cogent, functional and awake by noon Friday. Or even noon Wednesday.

Yesterday, I tried to deal with the insurance debacle. and after 4 phone calls, I was so exhausted I had to lay down. I woke 1 1/2 hours late feeling worse, confused, barely able to think clearly, but enough so to ask Myrna to take me to the hospital. There is something wrong with me, because I feel like I am dying. And I don’t want to. I really don’t want to. There is so much I have to do to insure no one is treated as dismissively as I was by the medical staff that was charged to take care of me after my stroke.

Not like the doctor who asked me if I wanted to have another aneurysm by not taking a drug that made my retinopathy worse. Like having eye hemorrhages was enjoyable. Having routine quasi-lobotomies via eye injections was fun. (Excellent Optometrist – I never feel it, just see it, feel the pressure of it.) I had a stroke – my head was never cracked open. No doctor ever told me I had an aneurysm. Know something I don’t? Refer me to a neurologist then. No? You’re the “expert”, I guess. You never even said what kind of stroke I had. I just knew it was lucanar from the ER doctor who treated me, my speech therapist had to explain what that meant – 8 months after the stroke.

I’m bitching. Sorry. I may have some reasons to be bitter after a year and a half of persistent ignorance and apathy. I am hoping that will change now that I have new insurance through another County. Hell, they approved general assistance. If I had more than $50 in my bank account, the other County would deny me. I had enough to live on, supposedly. And people wonder why homelessness is such as issue. I know why it is in Contra Costa County.

They have medical practitioners who lie about their clients, even have them arrested and taken away on a 5150 for not actually doing anything. Have the Fire Department send a bill for the ambulance because Contra Costa won’t pay for that when it’s a violent incident by a patient against county workers. Don’t investigate – patients lie. How sweet and justifiable. I have PTSD now. The police and their “ranger” took my arms and “controlled” me until I was strapped to a gurney for transport. The Policewoman never said a word on what reason I was being restrained. I didn’t know until a psychologist informed me that I had supposedly hit, or tried to hit, my nurse practitioner, and her friend/associate informed County I was “grandiose and delusional”. I was released within hours because they found I wasn’t a threat or a harm to others. Then more stuff happened when I got to Alameda at midnight, including passing out due to exhaustion, leaving a garage door open and my car door open with the keys on the roof. Nothing was taken and I started “dreaming” again (I hadn’t since the stroke). Well, nightmares returned, especially of Mom beating me. Maybe that is why I “resisted arrest”, besides having no idea what I had done, just like with Mom.

I was so emotionally distraught after this event, having gone to Brentwood for my appointment, transported to Martinez on a 5150, having to take a taxi back to Brentwood, and driving back to the home I was housesitting in Alameda. And I had started my day at the house I was living at in Brentwood, packing and removing my belongings because my “Friends” wanted me out as they were selling the house supposedly and I was impeding on their (her) happiness. That is another tedious story. Let’s just say the “her” is nuts and a selfish bitch who doesn’t know anything about a stroke, it’s impact or what it does to a person, other than it had a “negative’ impact on her and I had to go. They are still in that house. I drove by there last week and they were in their front yard. Happy, Amanda? You got rid of me and your problems. Being friends with you was among the stupidest decisions I ever made, and thinking we could be business partner? It’s all yours now. I hope you fail astronomically. Two weeks after the stroke you ask if I want to continue? I could barely walk a straight line and could barely speak, but I cried too much for you and I was a potential trigger. So much for being your “big sister”. I never questioned your parenting (I could have), you were so paranoid over everything, even my Facebook posts. I couldn’t have my own opinion if it didn’t match yours? Controlling much? Many of your thoughts disgusted me and I never wrote about any of them and mentioned you, did I? I did your laundry and put it away as a way to say thank you for living there, and you ask me where your skirt and your husbands.boxers are? Where would they be other than where they were intended to be once washed? You criticize your daughter that she didn’t clean the bathroom to your standards…what standards? A plastic bag is the trash bucket for the house hanging from a hook in the kitchen, and you complain it isn’t clean enough? When you were at my house, where I had plenty of trashcans, I went around after you and picked up after you, even empty Dr. Pepper bottles. Did I say anything? Your house is a perpetual pig sty and you dare to comment about neatness? Accuse me of doing something with a polyester skirt I wouldn’t be caught dead in? And what would I do with male boxers? Moonlight as a transvestite? Where is my Rowenta iron by the way? Never could find it after you took it out of the laundry room. Or the yardage counter. I received $140 for my investment, time and energy. How much did I spend? I took back a few items you didn’t care about, and you got tons of my stuff when I moved for your “studio”, though I traded 3 months of cell coverage for the white shelving that you used, and some was destroyed or just gotten rid of. Just like gifts to your children, don’t want that anymore and who was it from? Off to Goodwill or trash. It’s just stuff, after all.

There are other episodes over the last year with other friends that has made this entire experience more than depressing. I’m vomiting words, because if it could happen it happens to me.

I am not lying. I have witnesses to actual events or gave emotional statements immediately following with proof of what had happened. And some people actually saw that behavior from them. I have been through too much and I didn’t cause it, just a victim of it. And I hate being a victim! Especially a victim to someone’s mental instability.

I need help….not agencies that can’t help. I need a neurologist to diagnose and help me, not lipservice from a idiot with a medical license. Talking is still hard for me, some days worse than others like yesterday. Some days I can write eloquently, or in a similar style that I used to but not consistently but it’s better than speaking.

I need financial help and ideas for jobs that I can try to do. A research assistance, for example. I can do that! I did plenty of research on stroke, enough to write an extensive paper on. And I have done it before for personnel manuals, startups. business manuals, product development. I’m a bibliophile. I can research anything from correct and valid resources. Not just the Internets. I did an application for Barnes & Noble for a Book Seller, they needed one at my local store, but I’ve heard nothing. I have completed applications for many jobs and positions, but they want a full time commitment and that is something I cannot guarantee, or really even try without needing to lie or end up in the ER or have a hospital stay

I don’t want to loose what I have worked for and many well loved memories and past endeavors, decades of heritage and ancestors. It would be like setting fire to my past and doing nothing. I don’t have much else. Family I barely know far away. A few trusted and loved friends. But is it enough to want to continue to live? No, it isn’t. It isn’t enough. Life is too miserable when you are alone and don’t have the ability or means to do anything. Or just the will.

Thank you for reading this. I wrote it and it made me happy to complete it. You have to take the small victories when you have them.

https://www.gofundme.com/wants-to-live&rcid=r01-153397110751-a09cf352a5ba4bee&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w

Open Letter to Dad on his 99th Birthday

Hey Pop –

You tolerated that name, but you preferred Papa. You were Papa when we were alone or in Norwegian mode, but you were always Dad regardless, even Daddy. A pretty awesome Dad too. I just wish you had been truthful. I wouldn’t have stopped loving you. Mom on the other hand…….

I still miss you, especially today. I enjoyed this day more than my birthday! You figured that out, I know. Dad’s special day and Mom couldn’t screw with it. Ever. She did enough in every other aspect of your life, didn’t she? Hell, she took your life, even if she had dementia. She had to lie about everything with anyone just to get her way. She had to be right, even if it harmed others. Or herself. She almost finished me twice. She got you, though, with help from your PCP who had dementia. You listened to him since your cardiologist was on his sabbatical which he had delayed for your surgery and recovery? You listened to him and Mom instead of the man who assured you at least another 10 years of life? What he couldn’t do for his own father, and you threw that away because Mom didn’t want you addicted to drugs like coumaden? Since when had Mom gone to medical school and become a cardiologist? Or become an actual nurse, not just a CNA? What the fuck did she know? I almost died from a penicillin reaction, because no one in her family had that allergy. She was a malignant narcissist. It cost you your life! But, you warned me, she wasn’t well. No, you knew she had the first stages of Alzheimer’s Dementia and she would need me. Why? Because you knew without the coumaden your heart might stop? An exit plan because you couldn’t deal with anymore of her bullshit and keeping things private, even from medical professionals? When was she locked up in a psychiatric facility? She kept harping “they” wouldn’t lock her up AGAIN. That wasn’t during my lifetime, but sometime  before. Before you? Uncle John knew, didn’t he? Took that to the grave with him. He bailed his little sister out of too much shit, especially when she lived in Denmark. She left home when she was 19 and never went back if she could avoid it. Her family didn’t know her either. Not like we did.

You always said there was nothing we could do to change her, but why live with that year after year? Was she THAT good. She told me stories when you were gone. Sick shit a daughter should never hear out of her mother’s mouth. Can’t bleach my brain! I should be so lucky to have a caring and attentive man like you! Bleh!

God she was sick and disgusting. Even blamed me for trying to steal you. Uhuh. Yeah, that sick fucking Bitch. I did take care of her, just as you feared. Even with 25+ years warning, it was worse than you figured. And you left! That was where she went. Dying was leaving. How could you do that?! Honestly? What took you so long?

Yes, I know she was sick. You warned me, not just the Narcissism, but she got Alzheimer’s and that nasty crap she always did ramped up like she was on steroids. But, her family just did the typical crap. Now some of them bitch because I’m speaking ill of the dead. As if we could have said anything and if she had found out? Hell hath no fury than a narcissist having her reality restored to actual time. They didn’t know her like we did. She left them before she became the heartless, self serving malicious narcissist we knew and had to love. But your family knew her. Thank God she wasn’t Karstan’s stepmother. Poor guy wouldn’t have made it out if his teens before she ruined his life, and fighting her on two fronts would have killed you sooner. I doubt you would have made it to 70.

Remember your birthday when we went on the MSV Hawaiian Chieftain? That was so cool, Or that time we went on the USS Jeremiah O’Brien and we all got a lesson on calls from the Bridge to the Engine Room. Even the Docent thought you should be one, you knew more than he did. Or that Harbor Cruise and Mom stayed below deck so her hair wouldn’t get icky. Just like ’85 on the way to Halsa. We relived that moment. And we had a good laugh again. Didn’t get the same reaction from the crew the 2nd time, but I still recall the dignity and respect they showed a Captain. You always had the bearing, even when the Bars were retired. She put the kabash on that, didn’t she.

Being on ships with you, that was always the best. Being near or in the water holds so many memories. Not with Mom, just you. All those days at the beach or going to the docks or walking on the decks of the Hawaiian Chieftain or the Christian Radich, I’m speechless, though my heart and mind are full with happiness.  Your moments of peace were here haranguing had no effect.

I’m sorry Daddy that I couldn’t help you in the end. I knew she was sick, I just didn’t realize how bad. You enabled that for too many years. Hell, she stabbed me with my own scissors! Called the Cops because I was so sick of it. But, her lousy doctors wouldn’t believe she was as bad as I tried to tell them BECAUSE SHE DENIED IT of course. She assumed her “I don’t speak English so good, I’m a foreigner” bullshit and it still gave her what she wanted. Didn’t tolerate it in my teens and I was sick to death of it after 30 years. No, it was funny how stupid people were! Yeah, haha. I fucking hated that shit. And in self preservation mode, she disowned me and said I wasn’t her daughter. She tore up the adoption papers, she said, when she realized I wasn’t “right”! She also hit the nurses when they wouldn’t get her a taxi she could jump out of when they got to the freeway  and were going fast. She had a urinary tract infection and we were at the ER. Oh, what a fun Saturday night that was! Not like tonight 4 years ago (only 4?) when she grabbed the wheel and tried to crash us into oncoming traffic coming home from Hemet and a good steak dinner and remembrances of you. She’d forgotten and that was my fault. Worthy of the death penalty in her mind.

Being clueless on the language didn’t work in Norway, did it? Couldn’t fake an English accent or be so dumb she forgot her native language. She forgot enough on the phone though.

I didn’t mean to yack so much about her. I detest what she did to you and your family and her family said nothing! Did nothing. Can’t even get it through their thick Northern Brains what it did to us. Why did we come back after 6 months. Most expensive vacation EVER. Mom lived her episode of the Rich & Famous. You never recovered financially, did you? Mom had access to shopping malls again. How vapid did she have to become before you’d leave her?

She did know what she was doing Dad. I told you that for years. No, no, you would tell me, she’s not that bad, just difficult. Difficult? Really? She fucked up your life, made you stop taking the one drug your cardiologist said you couldn’t stop or die, hell, she threw out my meds and I started having my own mini-strokes! I just didn’t notice until I had the big one that pretty much stole my life. She was gone then. Figures. I was busy taking a care of her, I didn’t have any time left for me.

You should have let me stay here in ’85, Dad. I would have made it. Your pipe dream of returning home and regaining the dignity she stripped from you cost too much and I don’t mean just your pension. Jesus, you were 68! You should have been able to retire, but keeping her stocked in trips to the store cost too much. Shit, you died broke and I had to take care of her! Never stopped until she died, and that stupid punk Freddie (that apple didn’t fall far from the tree and it was just as rotten) claimed I stole from Mom.

We’ve put up with too much over the year’s for the sake of her family. I’m talking to the Anderson’s again Dad. Arvid still remembers your stories from when he was young. And I’ve gotten to know Karstan, at least what we can through the Internet. Times are different. You could keep your secrets – in the 1890’s. I got a Christmas Card from Roar. Your sister hasn’t been well. Boy, does Karstan take after you! It’s a little scary. Why was it so important that we not know each other? Just because of Mom? Why the fuck was she so special that we didn’t matter at all? It couldn’t have been that good. You still had to deal with her attitude. Or her emotional breakdowns fabricated from whole cloth for your benefit and to get what she had to have.

I can never forgive Mom for how she treated your family. She wanted me to treat Kevin’s family the same way, but I refused to ever act like her. Besides, I loved Sharon like the mother I never had. I would never dismiss her just because she wasn’t “family”, but an in-law. You were dead and we weren’t notifying your family because they didn’t care about you? I knew that was as fake as her blonde hair dye re-applied every 6 weeks since 1965. That still eats at me, she threw out all your correspondence during Hospice, your notebooks, your phone numbers and addresses of relatives, but I was just lucky to have you and Karstan didn’t because of her and her reality. She felt threatened by your ex-wife and son. How pathetic is that? That made her a real woman? Yeah, a whorish home-wrecker. Bow-chicka-bow.

I know you two had a daughter in 1963. Is that when you all concocted this scenario? You were too old to adopt in Norway, so you came here? It was easy to find a cute little kid here, a war veteran and a ship’s captain wanting to console his wife after the death of your daughter and your wife’s unfortunate history of miscarriages or stillbirths? She’s listed as a housewife on the revised birth certificate. If she was a trained nurse, why not list that? She claimed the education and standing consistently.

She had a DNC in 69? I can’t forget Mom’s trip to the hospital. She used “DNC” as the procedure she had to get. Could a 4 year old remember that? She remembers your homecoming after you last trip as Captain! You looked pretty sharp in your regular uniform, dropping your duffle just inside the door and giving Mom a huge hug. I remember laughing and you swinging me up so I could hug you as well. I don’t recall the dress uniform, but I’ve still got the bars from that coat. That was 1968, right? Mom had that DNC at Kaiser and that was before I broke my leg at 5. Amazing what we remember from childhood. And that was before Rocky, my first Elkie. He was such a sweet dog. Why I got Heidi and Fen. Some memories need repeating.

I’m not doing so good Dad. You’d be disappointed and I hate that. I still excel at beating myself up. I’ve almost given up, Dad. It’s been too much for too damn long. I should have walked away when you died, but I stayed because I promised you I would. I would take care of her and I did for another 13 years though it ruined my life and left me with nothing. She was fine with that. After all, she took care of you when you and you left, she had no one to take care of her – even though I moved almost 400 miles and divorced my husband to take care of her, but why did I have to live with her? Why not live next door? When she needed something, she could have me take her where she needed to go and of course I would work, but close by so she wouldn’t have to wait while in pain/confusion/heat/bored/annoyance. You know, not like last time when they wouldn’t interrupt a meeting to let me know she was on the phone. The last straw and the first to go on the layoff. Yay! She never respected my work or me. I was there to do her bidding, to be seen and heard as directed at her convenience, regardless of the time or weather. Did you know I had the ability to change the weather? I could have been rich!

Fuck her. You weren’t there anymore. The beatings started back up again. 1992 to 2012 – a decent run with no violence. We shared a roof again so I had no rights, no privacy, no say-so what-so-ever. But I was older and had dealt with enough assholes over the years, she didn’t intimidate me anymore. At least I can say I never hit her – oh I was tempted, but I feared being unable to stop. I grabbed her forearms, just as I had in 82. Pushed her up against the wall and yelled in her face she WOULD NOT DO THAT AGAIN! You saw one episode when she beat me on the head and kept slapping my face, and you just about lost your shit completely. And that was before the headon collision. You were so pissed at her! OMG the argument you guys had! And she thought I would go with her? Man, she believed her own lies that completely. You fucking beat your daughter and call an 11 year old a whore because she was 10 minutes late by your estimation getting home from school because her teacher asked her to stop by before classroom heading home and she had a note for you, and she will go with you because you’re the better parent? Since when?

Dad, why didn’t you divorce her crazy ass? It would’ve been #3, so? We could’ve been happier and you could have lived a few more years doing things you enjoyed – not just taking her out to eat and shop for Lancome shit, shoes at Nordstrom, or go to Hallmark for the upteenth time. Shit, you could have had some money in the bank and no credit card debt. I took care of that, refinanced the house, paid off the car and set her up with a savings plan and put her on a Goddamned budget and made her stick to it, just like you did with me. She did know how to pay the bills, thank you for listening to me and getting her to do that. She did like her plastic though. Visa her friend in any weather or mood.

I don’t know why I’m doing this. I miss our talks so much. That was the hardest part when I moved up here, no more breakfasts while Mom got her hair done every Saturday morning. I could tell you anything- well almost. You were still Dad after all. I could talk to you about almost anything. You were so different than Mom, it always came back to her and how I disappointed her, failed to do it her way. You never did that. A raised eyebrow (they needed more regular trimming BTW), my name grumbled under your breadth, a query if Chris had anything to do with it, the usual stuff. What I’d read over the last week. Any new music I liked. What I thought about the latest political headline. What were the voting issues and had I been paying attention. The usual stuff for us with a ManU update. I had that with you, never Mom. A hug when I didn’t do as well as I wanted on a test. Or when I had a bad day at work. Or when Mom was on my ass for some made up thing – you gave me the “Look” and I smiled. We had that. Just a knowing look could bring a smile to my face over anything. You may have adopted me, but I was your daughter, body, soul and spirit. You said I had the heart of a Viking and I’m still trying to….

but I’m failing Dad. I can’t work. The stroke stripped my ability to do math like we did. Who needs a calculator? We have our brains! Not so much anymore. I can’t add like we used to. You’d beat me if we went to the liquor store, because that grocery bill addition would have me in a puddle of tears on aisle 6. Subtraction makes me so confused. And percentages? Forget about it. I was beating my head the other day trying to figure out 20% of 20. I had to do grade school math and come at it two ways before I got to 4. Explanation shorter than the time it took to do the actual math. I was a Finance Professional, not anymore.

The one who counseled other’s in how to get a job, can’t get one herself because she doesn’t remember how it’s done. Her writing is shit. She can’t sign her full name without making a mistake. She can’t write numbers down without transposing some. Her former eloquence when speaking has taken flight through the nearest window, and her diction isn’t too hot either. Can’t get a job at Barnes & Noble, or remember story arcs of my favorite books, all of them. That workaholic I used to be is gone and I can barely read for an hour without having to take a break to give my brain a rest. It gets tried really fast. And I still don’t have an answer in what is wrong and how much of my brain died. I’ll see a specialist though, once the paperwork has incubated for a month. Well, they can book an appointment on after Sept. 1st.

I want to fight. Not let THEM win. I’m just so tired, Dad, and what’s the point anyway? I don’t have anyone. Kevin didn’t steal from me as Mom routinely asked every 3 months, just 20 years of my life, and any lasting hope for kids though he can have them now, I paid for the wedding and divorce, though he left me because I treated him badly. Huh? I paid the entrance and exit fee (can’t remember who paid for the license in Reno, I handled every other thing as his Administrative Assistant – God that got old), but he left me? We won’t revisit the Antoine thing, but when she accused me of running him off because I disappointed him, I could have ripped her head off. And I shouldn’t ever marry again because I have nothing to offer and I’m barren. I wasn’t when I was young, just didn’t have a man willing to tell a doctor “hey, I think there’s something wrong with my plumbing! Let me show you!” Fuck, if you pee like you’re 80 when you’re half of that, take him by the hand and go to a restroom and demonstrate. Then you’re hale and hearty, but “it” doesn’t feel the same, can’t risk getting the wife pregnant because she’s too old and forget about adoption because you never know what you’re gonna get. Well, your in-laws didn’t do so bad. You married what they got, dumb fuck. She still hasn’t forgotten she was 3rd or 4th on your priority list and she wasnt sexually attractive to you. It just gets better and better. I won’t mention the porn he downloaded on the computers and they had viruses. 70’s porn.

Sorry. Still do tangents. Some habits never die, like smoking cigarettes. They really pissed Mom off. LOL Can’t imagine what she did to you when you smoked. Kevin tried guilt tripping me about being old and him pushing me in a wheelchair because I had emphysema. He wouldn’t stay home with me when I slept walked my head into the vanity and had to get 13 stitches at 2:00 in the morning. Remember that? Weeks later, you guys came for a visit and the bruising recovery of two black eyes were now puce green and trailing down to my neck. The brace has been removed from my left leg. I couldn’t see or walk that morning, but he went to work because there was an attendance competition – which he lost because of me and calling in late for that morning. Darn he lost a free vacation day! I lost 3 sick days because my Boss sent me home because I looked like I was a car accident victim. And I was to think he’d push a wheelchair? As long as there was nothing going on that he had an interest in, sure. Maybe.

Remember all the visits to the ER? You were with me when they cut off my cast on my left leg. I thought that guy was going to cut off my leg and how I screamed! You calmed me down. Or when Bill called you at work and told you about that penicillinlreaction and how Mom didn’t handle it. Another time you threatened to leave and take me with you. Or did you want her to leave? One way or the other, she wouldn’t be our problem anymore.

Lack of sleep has brought some clarity. If I concentrate really hard, I can still hear your voice in my head. Your chuckle. Your rich baritone singing Bing or some old Irish favorite. I can’t remember the lullabies you sang to me. The stroke stole those. I could never recall what Mom sang. I’m sure she did, but all I remember is her tucking me in so securely I couldn’t move.

She had me recite the Lord’s Prayer in Norwegian. The only Norwegian she taught me, and it was pretty much repeat these noises. You translated and then sang. You taught me. You always did.

I could keep writing, but you know, I’ve gotta wrap this up. Happy birthday Dad. I’ll raise one to you as usual with supper. Skol!

When Childhood Isn’t Fun or Easy

I was adopted. It happens, thankfully, for children whose biological parents can’t “be” there for various reasons. People aren’t perfect, but some intentionally try to be and screw everything up for everyone else.

At least that’s how I view it given my situation.

My father – my adopted father – was awesome. The best. I wasn’t aware of his personal costs, but they were his decisions, influenced by his role as enabler and peace maker. My “mother” was another matter entirely. I’ll refer to her as Gunn. It’s an abbreviation of her first name. She made our lives hell and she enjoyed it, because that was what she was entitled to. At least in her mind. There were a ton of issues when it came to what was appropriate in “her mind”. And that changed based on things she had read (paper or National Enquirer), seen (TV or the news), and heard (neighbors, her few friends, commercials). Gunn wasn’t a Rhodes Scholar – not even close. More like a country bumpkin with a narrow uneducated world view. She claimed to be a nurse, but she was little more than a nurse’s assistant. Until her dying day, she claimed to be  nurse. I knew plenty and why that was a lie. She had proved throughout my life she was anything BUT a nurse.

Children can tell when people lie, even their “parents”, and she told some big ones until Alzheimer’s Dementia took a strong hold of her. She still kept it up in order to “save” herself. Dad was dead by then and she was responsible for that. I am to blame too, because I knew she was capable of anything except death. How wrong I was. How naive.

I still thought well of her. Even loved my “mom”. She didn’t deserve that emotion. What she craved was pity and to always be “right”. Loyalty and deference. She wasn’t a queen and I certainly wasn’t her servant. She would have preferred that. To have complete reign over me. Dad was different and showed me how insidious her rules were and how to be independent and morally correct. How NOT to be like her. One of the last things he told me was that she was “sick”. He warned me, even though it was too late for him. It took a few years to understand what he meant by “sick”. I was powerless against the narcissistic succubi she would fully become.

Childhood should be remembered for the family vacations, excursions, summer breaks and family get-togethers. Not arguments, fights, beatings. Those aren’t “memories” a person should have. Certainly not the type of relationship between a mother and daughter. Certainly not the type of memories a daughter should have well into her 40’s and 50’s. And certainly not the hatred and lies taken as fact by her family who lived 7,500 miles away. A cousin named Freddy becomes a craven and despicable being with written words and he is lauded for writing it so well by her youngest sister. If being a desperate liar is a family trait, he is the king of this generation. Long live the King! Gunn’s reign continues, craven and Godless. I doubt Grandpa would have liked this, as he was a Godly man.

Having been adopted by a person with Narcissistic Personality Disorder – untreated, undiagnosed and unmedicated, sucks donkey balls. There is no polite way of saying it. She was also paranoid, which didn’t help anything. It just made it harder living a normal life around her. Everything was her private business, even Dad’s death. She wasn’t going to bother contacting his family due to them not caring about him in her opinion. She hated in-laws, the theory of in-laws, and most specifically any family connected to her by marriage to anyone she wasn’t directly biologically connected to. I heard this and saw it for years. With her in-laws and sadly my ex-husbands family. She did not accept them as “family”. Better to lie about how she felt when confronted. The thing is, actions speak louder than words especially with a barely educated “know-everything” like her.

Reminds me of Trump and his “base”, the new “Know Nothing” party. Turn a blind eye and march to his tune. Gunn would have loved him! Besides, he’s rich and famous!  Champagne wishes and caviar dreams in the words of Robin Leach. God, Gunn loved that show! Ivanka and Trump were on that show quite a bit back then, before his affair and Tiffany. How things haven’t changed. He’s 71 and his son Baron is 11. Melania is getting kinda long in the tooth and may not be a “10” on his list anymore. Who would want to marry him, except for his money and “fame”. Old fart. Like you know anything that hasn’t been spoon feed via TV, or specifically Fox News. Or Putin. #PutinsPuppet

My apologies for going off on a tangent. Narcissists do that to me. Or martyrs. If you’ve ever been in a relationship with one, you will realize it’s almost as bad a being with a narcissist. They are still self-involved, just not as poisonous. But if they preach their religion as a reason, yet they don’t follow the tenants of the faith, it feels almost the same. Same self-indulgent bullshit.

The memories are hard to take most of the time. They are all mostly shaded by words and actions that often repulsed me, left me wondering how can anyone go through life with so much discontent, so much hatred or lack of empathy or refusal to accept how other humans are. It is often that I think back to how Gunn was, how Dad’s dealt with it realistically or logically. Logic was that one thing we shared most. A foreign thing to Gunn, along with reality. Empathy was the one thing my Ex lacked in spades. Gunn just blamed.

She blamed her sister-in-law for her brother’s death. He was supposedly “healthy” when he married her. She bore him 3 children, whom he loved very much. I doubt he planned for his death when he died, but he only had one lung due to tuberculosis he contracted in the Nazi work camps of WWII. It probably was in the back of his mind when he married, but he desired a normal life. He was happy and had his own family to love. He had a good life and saw to his children’s future. She was in her late 30’s when he died and found another man to love, which she married and gave him 2 sons. He was happy too. Lucky woman to have 2 men who loved her so much and gave her children. Gunn said lots of crap about her. Always putting forth the fact that her sister-in-law had killed her brother. Two-faced bitch. Welcomed her with open arms and spoke ill of her as soon as she was gone.

Another sister who had lost her young husband at a young age with 3 small sons. Inoperable brain tumor stole his life. She eventually fell in love with and married again and had another son. That husband was a rake. My Dad took him to task for his words and actions, especially with me and Gunn there having to listen to that man’s blather, slurs and misogyny. I’m sorry to say, that was Freddy’s father, but the apple didn’t fall far from that tree. Being a bully who assumes he’s right, well, because it’s him, Dad would have an issue with the son as well if he spoke of women as the father did. Dad was an Officer and a Gentleman in the Navy fashion. Gutorm was a sailor with a lady in every port, at least that’s how he spoke. Wink wink, nudge nudge. Dad didn’t like that, especially such talk in front of his wife and young daughter. Reality is hard to accept Freddy, especially when you’re wrong and it sucks.

Or her own younger brother and his alcoholism. An addiction and, very sadly for everyone, a disease. Gunn thought he was weak, a shame upon his parents and to his own wife and children. Gunn blamed his wife, her sister-in-law, when she left him and returned to her parents home with her kids. She left because of his drinking and it’s impact on his family. That without them, he would realize they were more important than the alcohol. She was right. She did what she had to to save her family. Gunn never understood this, blamed her sister-in-law for her brother’s drinking. Because no one in the family could be addicted to something! Alcohol, cigarettes, nasal spray. They were better than that! Yeah, I call bullshit on that Gunn! Addiction has nothing to do with heredity. Has nothing to do with how you were raised. Heredity can play a part, but there is no guarantee. Kind of like the last and most insidious belief. How did that nasal spray treat you? Ate your nasal passages? You couldn’t use it anymore per the doctor? Your habit had permanently harmed you? As a nurse, wouldn’t you have questioned that? Oh yeah, the doctor didn’t know what he was taking about. He learned nothing in medical school. You learned everything. Wear was that again? Hmmm, did you say something? No? Just silence and withering looks? How typical.

I have a cousin, the only child of Gunn’s older sister. I wanted  her to be my mother. She was good and loving and taught me so much, including how to cook! I still use some of the recipes she taught me. None were written, just fond memories that I could duplicate with a lot of trail and error and ultimate success.  She was such a good soul, and her husband. Salt of the earth, so to speak. She loved her son, his wife, and their two boys I fondly remembered from our trips to see the family. Two very good boys. Still are. I was proud to call them all cousins – Dad and Mom and the boys. The father, Gunn’s nephew, even tried to help me learn Norwegian. I still have the books he gave me by Knut Hamsun. I have read them in sections over the years. A cherished part of my library.

Gunn didn’t read books, even to me as a child. Reading ruined your eyes, and made you dumb as a post as well when avoided due to vanity. She hated how much I read, the amount of time I took in bookstores, the amount of money I spent on books as opposed to makeup and clothes. I wanted to enrich my mind, not catch a guy who had but one thing on his mind. We were as different as a cool alpine lake and a raging forest fire driven by gasoline and dry tinder. Guess which one was me?

My cousin had a good job and was well educated. His wife was as well, but she developed lung cancer and had to have a lung removed. On a weekend getaway, she caught a chill and developed pneumonia. Their sons weren’t that old when she passed. It saddened me so much to realize she was gone. I felt so raw for my cousin. He had loved her so much. And those poor boys! It affected all of us.

My cousins oldest son was a little different from the rest of us. He was more like an uncle of his mother’s. I didn’t see it as anything to discuss or make a big deal out of. He was just being him. Gunn’s family, her sister’s, had another view. At least what I heard from her. Her sister still loved her grandson, even if he was Gay. My first thought was, cool, let that rainbow flag fly! Gunn’s opinion was an old one and vile. It was wrong, that was it. It was against God and not normal and how could her shame his father and grandmother that way. Really, Mom?  Like it’s a freakin’ choice? Who the Hell are you to sit in judgement? It’s that Uncle, he turned the boy. There’s a secret handshake? There is initiation? It’s so exclusive and special that only certain people can join? They make a choice to be set aside? Explain this to me? It’s just wrong. How could he do that to his grandmother?

Gunn’s feelings on the topic of homosexuality was from the dark ages. AIDs was a God given curse for their unnatural acts. Gunn had patients at the convalescent home she worked for, the husband was a hemophiliac and had gotten AIDs through a blood transfusion and had infected his wife. They were both in the home because they were both dying. Gunn was scared that she would get it. It was still early on in the AIDs epidemic, but enough was known that you couldn’t get it through casual contact.  She was an ignorant bitch who didn’t pay attention to real news reports from real hospitals and organizations that knew what they were reporting. Like the CDC, or medical journals. No, the National Enquirer wrote the truth! Bah!! That man had sex with another man and killed his wife. Way to go, Gunn! Make a victim feel even more guilty for having a medical issue that shouldn’t have had anything to do with his wife if they had only tested the blood for AIDs. They started doing that within a year of hemophiliacs contracting AIDs, or anyone needing a blood transfusion. She often just made me physically ill with her hatred of things she wouldn’t understand.

Or when my friend Damon became Hostess with the Mostest at my Dad’s memorial service and all the little old ladies fell in love with him as he freshened their coffee or removed their plates. How Gunn gushed over him, even forgot for a short time he was one of “them”. Dad had gotten over it, because he was my friend and he knew how much I hated their comments, especially Gunn’s in general.

I had a brother-in-law through my first marriage who was gay, exiled from Kuwait due to his AIDs status, escorted by armed guards to the airport and placed on a plane bound for London with nothing, all his interests and money confiscated by the authorities for “endangering” the public. Me and Ex#1 acquired AZT and sent it through a family member who worked for an international airline so Eli could hopefully live a little longer. Eli died on October 31, 1988. A part of me died with him and my hatred for the religious bigots here in the US started burning brightly. Every time I defended the rights of LGBTQ, I did it for Eli. I walked in the first AIDs walk in L.A. because of him, and every time I walk in San Francisco his face still shines brightly with each step I take. He and his partner Danny. Your brother was an asshole, Eli, and I wish  you were still alive. The wrong brother left too soon.

Gunn was worried that I would “get it”. She worried when their sister Gladys came to visit us with her daughter. She never understood that illness, never wanted to. It just happened to Gay people because they were wrong, they were deviants. She still thought that when the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. I was in the Castro celebrating with thousands of strangers. It felt like such a wrong had finally been righted! Love who you want. Be who you are. Enjoy life and all it’s up’s and down’s. Get married and eventually get divorced. Have kids and screw them up. Try to be perfect and fail miserably.  Join the rest of society!

I fear what will happen under the Trump regime. It doesn’t look good – for LGBTQ or women or anyone not rich or simply blue collar. He’s screwing the country with chaos and lies.

Sorry – bad juju again.

Damon got married after that. I went to their wedding with my soon to be ex – I was the estranged wife. Such a happy day with so many smiling faces. Eli would have loved to experience that. My 2nd cousin is in a relationship and I believe he is happy. His partner seems to be a good match. I am happy for him. I am still saddened by what his great aunt’s and grandmother thought of his “lifestyle”. Granted, I just heard what Gunn said, but even if some is partially true – well, fuck them old bitches. Who the fuck are they? And if I hear one more person claim they weren’t around it and aren’t used to it, get over yourself. The folks who are just trying to live don’t owe you anything and aren’t impacting your daily existence, ok? Stop making them the reason for your issues. You’re just scapegoating your own irritation with a life that didn’t turn out like your 12-year old plan had laid out. Oops, sorry loser.

Adoption doesn’t always turn out all that bad, but if you insist on lying and denying the truth, not telling the child he/she was chosen above all others, when they find out it won’t be pretty. What were you ashamed of? What did the child do wrong? What had her/his biological parents done that was so wrong? There are many questions that shouldn’t be part of the story of their lives. Honesty, though it may hurt or be uncomfortable, is best. Facing reality is best. Not ostracizing family, especially a son, because  he’s the result of a prior marriage you were instrumental in ending, definitely not! Getting your family to “back you up” on everything, even lying about the adoption, fuck y’all. If she lied to you, welcome to the club, but saying I’m speaking ill of the dead and not telling you EVERY INSTANCE SHE WAS FUCKING CRAZY THROUGHOUT MY LIFE, we didn’t have the kind of relationship, did we?

We didn’t have that kind of relationship on anything. Did you know I miscarried a child? Did you know that Husband #1 took pictures of you sunbathing braless on the patio when you were here for our wedding? Did Gunn tell you I filed for divorce twice and PAID FOR BOTH OF THEM? Or did she tell you that they left me? They used me? That the first one was still sleeping with that skank of an ex-wife and gave me chlamydia? “Poor Venke. She can’t keep a husband!” She told me I shouldn’t marry again because I don’t know how to treat a man like he wants. Hell, she accused me of trying to “steal” Dad sexually.  She was sick as fuck! I moved to Northern California to get away from her and her sickness! And I dealt with her crap for 49 years. I should have left in my 20’s and never looked back, but I couldn’t because of Dad. I never regretted my decision until after he died and she expected too much from me for nothing.  I took care of her crazy ass for 15 years and did you all ever help? Fuck no. I didn’t tell you? She fucking beat me if she even thought I had possibly mentioned her a little unfavorably. I didn’t want her stabbing me with a knife while I slept. She stabbed me with scissors just because her “programs” weren’t on. I couldn’t just leave her and not be criminally charged with abusing a senior. She fucked me over.

I learned not to trust men because of what Dad taught me, not the articles you so carefully cut out from the newspapers when I was 13. I learned not to trust an open can or bottle from tales he told me, not the articles or rants on how I was whorish Gunn. He  instilled the thought of losing control, or having my personal control taken away from me.  It happened once over a Diet Coke can on a bright, sunny afternoon with a crew that I had come to know, and one person realized I was alone and could be taken advantage of, and he did. I was raped and he ended up beaten nearly to death by that same crew when he became boastful and they figured out what he had done. Did I tell you Gunn? Of course not. You would have said I deserved what had happened. I was a whore and that’s what happens. You had told me often enough, since I was 13. You weren’t a mother. You were barely human. You sniffed me every time I came home, for weed, for alcohol, for sex. You were a mental case and I had to put up with it because I couldn’t get a job that would pay me sufficiently to support my living on my own. And you never wanted that, did you? I hated you, but I still took care of you to honor Dad. You had to have a keeper, and you were stuck with me.

Having a child to take care of you when you get old is the wrong reason to have a child. Or a science experiment to see what your DNA would look like when mixed together. Even just joking about it is wrong. I’m bitter for a good reason. Being married to someone shooting blanks and didn’t have corrective surgery until he’s 42 (and I’m a year older than him) and then denying any hope of adopting because he’s worried we’ll get a “defective” child is so self-serving and selfish, is it any wonder I filed for divorce? Hell, I paid for the wedding, the rings, nearly everything we owned worth anything, why not pay for the wedding so he couldn’t claim he couldn’t afford it? It isn’t like he put up a whisper of a protest. Maybe tithing for his temple, or group, or whatever you call it, would be impacted. I couldn’t have cared less. His religion was more important than our marriage. I hope they are very happy together.

As children, we have hopes and dreams what our life will be like. I just wanted a life without Gunn. I have it now, with so much bitterness brought on by her. The reason for my stroke was lack of medical care due to taking care of her and being cut off after my divorce. Riverside County screwed up my MediCal and dropped me. I have no one to blame. It was my responsibility. She did throw out my medications, but I was going home and could get a job and have insurance again and if I kept to my diet plan, could keep the diabetes under control.  It was a good plan for a year, but I was burning the candle at both ends and occasionally ignoring the Plan. That hypertension thing became an issue, and so it happened. I wasn’t paying close attention to my health. Other people depended on me and I didn’t want to let them down. Stupid me had the stroke and it was intentional in one person’s fractured mind. I was stealing her glory. Well…..fuck you Amanda. It wasn’t about you, but that’s what you claimed. Heartless bitch. You ended up being like Gunn. Go figure.

Childhood should be fun and easy. I want it back so I can try again. Just without Gunn. I’ll take Dad. He was the best part of my childhood. Him and the dogs. And that sense of love with every look, every word, every action. I don’t have such memories of Gunn. Just all the times I got hit and accused of wrong doing. I wasn’t Miss Goody Two-shoes, but I wasn’t the whore she accused me of being either. She was just to damn stupid to understand there is a difference.

 

 

 

 

I Will Go Down Fighting

I saw my therapist today, Pam. She’s a great MDT counselor. I may loose her due to “changing” counties. Even though it’s MediCal, she works for Contra Costa Health Plan. Bleh! Like I care now. Bureaucratic hogwash. I need to find out from Alameda, when they get my file. I could loose Jessica, my Pathology Therapist. Great, start from scratch. The last year doesn’t matter. At least to paper pushers.

For me not to be “homeless” anymore, they’ll want my paperwork, my bank records, and they’ll see monthly fees for storage units. Not $600, but getting there. If I can afford that, why can’t I afford a room? An apartment? Because, an apartment costs more than that, and electricity, and water, and garbage, and maybe internet. For low income housing, I need a job. That is a big problem. I don’t know what I can do anymore. And my resume goes against me now. A former Assistant Controller wanting to work at Barnes & Noble?  A Project Manager wanting to be a clerk? I know I’m making a big deal out of it, but I used to run HR, hired and fired people, surveyed resumes and made recommendations. Hell, I taught a class at a JC for those entering or re-entering the job market. I know!

I have to find a job, part time (I think, I don’t know how well I can handle it), and hope and pray I don’t screw up and get fired. Why do I have to? To live like a human being. To have money for gas for my car, car insurance, a cell phone, and my storage units. To hopefully qualify for low-income housing so I don’t have to pay for storage units anymore. I can salvage a semblance of a normal life, while still pursuing my Social Security claim and lawsuits against those cretins of medical care. Maybe I can prove I can’t work anymore in my field? Maybe.

I got a request for a signature for medical records by the person investigating my claim against the Nurse Practitioner who had me 5150’d. That’s progress. She will pay, that craven dishonest human.

More changes, more issues for me to deal with.

If you read this, please donate to GoFundMe. $10 helps a lot. I pay my debts to secure my future. Please help do that.

https://www.gofundme.com/wants-to-live&rcid=r01-153006701715-96a52efb25e44eec&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w

What We Are Not

Taking a break from the self-pity campaign and turning my ire towards the Nation. More specifically – what we are not.

We are not a Chritian Nation: We have a preacher’s daughter as a Presidential Press Secretary (close enough) who publicly accepts and promotes a lying President who has not a scrap of compassion, empathy or civility in his skin sack. A President in his former “life” cheated on all three of his wives, divorced two, would date his own daughter if she wasn’t his (Ivanka not Tiffany), rips breast-feeding babies from their mothers and charges those mothers with a felony, bullies people who don’t like him, makes fun of disabled people, and constantly promotes his lies as being the only truth, when published reports and history contradict him.  How many sins does he commit on a daily basis? Not even going to touch on his misogyny or racism, because it is so obvious if you’re not a sycophant. Exactly how much of Jesus’ teachings is he against or blatantly ignoring? What does the GOP stand for now? Government Obstruction Period? Gonna Obliterate/Ostracize Poorness? Good Ol’ Pricks (sorry ladies)?

We are not the Land of the Free or home of the Brave: Ask any person who served in the military, if taking a knee is rude or dismissive during the singing of the National Anthem? But any who do at a FOOOTBALL GAME are disrespectful? They’re SOB’s and should be FIRED? How Draft  Delayer Bone-Spurs? I can’t serve, my tootsies hurt whaaaa. I’ve got bone spurs, lardass, and I would have served if my Nation needed me, Mr. TV Ratings Douchebag. I never watched you because you suck. Is that un-American now? You make shit up as you go along and we accept it as manna from Heaven? Pleath! You’re looking more like a fascist dictator Donnie. Where’s your military getup? Maybe you could have an all girl Secret Service, kinda like Muammar Gaddafi? But, as long as we all love you, like North Koreans love their Dear Leader, we’ll be fine. For the next 10 minutes until you’re distracted by the next shiny object.

We are not a Law and Order Country: How many minorities are shot down by police with their “hands up”?  How many are beaten when in police custody? How many are in jail with bails they can’t afford to pay? How many are imprisoned for years on minor drug charges?  Or false charges? How many go free because of their position, friends, contacts or wealth?  How many children have lost their lives? How many haven’t seen justice over untested Rape Kits? Didn’t supply enough evidence? Didn’t come forward in a timely fashion? Didn’t speak up because they were scared of a powerful man? Or simply because they weren’t the right color? We allow hate groups to rally due to the 1st Amendment and we allow people to die for it too, but do we seek justice for crimes and deeds done by White Supremacists? Neo-Nazi’s? White people who hate non-White’s? The President thinks he’s walking a narrow, thin line between the factions, but he isn’t. That “both sides have good people” bullshit says plenty about him, but does he speak for the nation? Why should he? He didn’t “win” the presidency on his own.

Lady Liberty needs an *:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Yeah, it needs an asterisk.

*Except: Those from sh*t hole countries; crossed our borders illegally; Muslim, or considered Muslim; poor; will be poor; uneducated; don’t speak English; from a war-torn country; are people WE don’t like.

You may think I wrong, but I am often assumed to be foreign because of my first name. Nothing else but a first name if they see it. I’m bi-lingual but I don’t speak Spanish. Huh? How could I be bilingual then? It means speaking two languages, not English and Spanish exclusively. I speak English and Norwegian – English because I was born here and Norwegian because my adopted parents were born over there. But I speak English really good. Fancy that, I speak English proficiently and I went through the public school system.  And I read, wish some of those folks did.

I was pulled over one time in Los Angeles, the city I was born in. My truck matched a descriptor of someone that had robed a liquor store. Someone wearing a baseball cap and a sweatshirt. I was wearing that, except my blonde pony tail was through the hole in the back and I was wearing a jacket. Reds lights were flashing in my rear view mirror, so I pulled over. I was heading towards the freeway on-ramp after leaving a friend’s house, but I did something. Police officers with guns drawn came around my little Mitsubishi pickup and I just kept my hands on the wheel. An officer yelled I should get out with my hands up and get down on the ground. “What did I do, officer?” I yelled back. Some conversation between officers for a moment, and he repeated his statement again and added a “NOW”. I complied, exited the truck, but did not lay down in the muck, because it was raining.  I heard the other officer say, “It’s a girl, Steve. Doesn’t match the APB.” The yelling cop, in a perfect snit, wanted my driver’s license, so I reached back into the truck and got my wallet from my purse, slowly, since his gun was still pointed at me. This happened a few years ago, I wouldn’t risk it now. I removed my license and he finally lowered his gun and took it. After reading it over, he asked for my Green Card. “I don’t have one”. He looked at me with disgust, “Why? You illegal?” Never having been asked that question – ever – I said, “Why would you think that? I was born here, within 25 miles on this exact location, do I have to show proof?” His partner had come over, gun in it’s holster, and tried talking to “Steve”, but Steve didn’t want to hear it. “You should have your passport or birth certificate on you, if you’re legal. How are we supposed to know? Not with that name!” His partner apologized and grabbed his arm and coaxed him back to the squad car. Another officer made apologies and explained what had happened. I was free to leave.

And I did and went to the local police station, Rampart Division, and filed a complaint against that officer. I was young and thin and cute and didn’t look anything like the male Hispanic in his 30’s. Hell, I wasn’t even 30 then. But that’s the memory I have of LAPD. Thank God I wasn’t black. Just a white privileged 20-something.  I’m so sick of that phrase, but I see those who are everyday, along with the Blacks, Asians and Latins who think they are better than me. Why are they better? Because they are not me and my “color”. I hate racism. It’s evil and ugly and solves nothing.

And we are devolving as humans. How is the current discourse continuing our evolution? We bicker and have wars of words on Twitter, Facebook, our social media du jour. And our President stands as an example with his Twitter following. His words that devisive, factually incoherent, and so many lies. Trumplandia. We should get used to that. That will be our new name if he has anything to do with it. Trump in huge golden letters on the White House. Just another Trump Tower. Pity there is no model match in Russia. Don Jr. couldn’t get it together and he’s been trying for years? Or was that Donnie? Or some other flunkie, such as Manafort. 17 indictments Don, but Russian Collusion is fake news. I’m nostalgic for Nixon. He was so believable when he said,”I’m not a crook!”

Going to Die Because I don’t Matter Anymore

Not a great subject, but nonetheless true.

My fundraiser on Facebook has $204 and I can’t figure out how to transfer that to me.  More time wasted in the Internet and phone calls to useless people who don’t know the complete answer. It worked in February with the same information, but that was February.  Facebook has changed. It had to.

My bank account is  in the negative. I have $30 dollars left on my EBT (Food stamps) until it’s reloaded on  7/5. I have no money for gas, my car insurance, my cell phone or my storage rent. In less than a month, I really won’t matter anymore.

This will be in reverse chronological order, accept for the last three days. It’s easier for my brain and I will try to be brief, because some of it is painful to remember. I will be updating. When I am finished, I will type so. First names only will be used, or an initial for a last name, to protect many from derision and hatred, others due to their generosity and kindness. The reader can be left to decide as they see fit. I live with the truth. No lies from me. I had plenty of those throughout my life. I hate liars, especially one very dead liar.

Yesterday, I spent hours on the phone, called so many agencies I lost track. My frustration and blood pressure just rising, I concluded that round until Tuesday. I had to request to transfer to Alameda County from Contra Costa County because CCC did nothing except administer my food stamps (Cal Fresh) and MediCal, which was a joke. Changed appointments because the doctor wasn’t doing clinic that day or other thing that was convenient for them and inconvenient for me. Or change an appointment booked months in advance and didn’t tell me there was a difference in entry after 5 pm. I missed that appointment. It wouldn’t have mattered. That doctor was cold and wooden. I have depression and we need to deal with that. Had she looked at my endless list of prescriptions, she would have seen I take one daily.

Let’s just drug her up until she’s unable to protest. Why diagnosis her, or what’s wrong with her brain? She isn’t smart enough to understand those complicated medical terms. What a waste of my time. That needy cretin on the government dole. Where does she think she is? Canada? Blah! Socialism. My mind comes up with doom and gloom a lot lately. Depression or blatant dismissal? I walked out on her. First time I’ve  time I have ever done that. I have always had a deep respect for doctors. She was a robot. There was no respect, just dealing with another appointment. That was Wednesday. I saw my therapist a least. We talk about my depression. Why wouldn’t I be? No one ever wants to find out what is wrong with my brain.

After that depressing instance with that destroyer of hope, I decided to search out another source recommended I by my friend Wy, a place called Axis. It’s part of Alliance (Alameda health group) I found out. I couldn’t get an appointment until after the 4th. Pleth. I would go to the emergency room, but not Contra Costa. ValleyCare in Pleasanton was the closest choice on Garmin so I took myself there

The nurse I encountered after check in was another disbelieving, but the doctor was not! Dr. Sabin, I think, or close enough. She listened, what a change. She heard me, my pain and confusion and the loss I was feeling. Depression is part of stroke, but she went through my box of pills and saw the mood stabilizer I was on and every other prescription and commented I was taking a lot. I know. I have to swallow them all and not choke or have one end up in a lung. How I eat about a meal a day out of necessity because I have no appetite or sense of thirst. She asked me if I produce saliva. No one has asked me that. I do, but I can go for hours, 16 so far, without drinking anything. But, I have to take pills and they don’t go down without water. Too dry, they’ll get stuck in my throat. I know when I need to drink, my mouth is dry and gummy and needs re-wetting. Something new I figured out today. No one has thought to ask me before.

That doctor caused me to think about a lot of things and what has and hasn’t happened. I need a professionals help and knowledge and it wasn’t something I was getting for the stroke, just everything else sort of. She ordered a CT scan of my head and neck, my neck hasn’t been considered in years, though it was important with the stroke. A key player, if you will. And I discovered that this was a Stanford University Medical Facility. Thank God, an organization that strives to provide patients with good resources so they can thrive and survive. I had a measure more in hope for the first time in almost 19 months. Good health care does make a difference.

After 7 hours I was released to return “home”. I saw a Social Worker who gave me numbers and information for housing. I was given the name of a neurologist Dr. Sabin had met and thought would be a good match. I was given a prescription for Aspirin and advised to have my medications reviewed due to chronic conditions, not stroke recovery. The CT scan was “clear” for anything new, but that would be discussed with a neurologist. But to return if anything changed or I became worse. I had the feeling they cared. That was amazing and what I needed.

I slept well Thursday night and without melatonin, my sleep aide since the stroke. Woke up early, at 8, and started my day. I decided to take my friends Wy’s advice and make a few phone calls. First, to a Social Security Advocate. Lordy, but that was interesting.il

I had come across a group in Minnesota who would help you file for Social Security. They did, but not much more. Wy had told me when she hired an Advocate, they coordinated her doctor’s appointments, got the correct paperwork directly from the medical providers to insure Social Security had a proper file to make an educated decision.  These people in Minnesota did nothing but send me stuff that needed to be completed like a Medical Source Screening or something. I had given them all the providers names and addresses, but I still had to get hem completed properly. Yeah, Contra Costa didn’t do that and this firm PDSL knew that, but did they say anything? Of course not. They couldn’t even keep track if whether they had called me or I had called them and when. For the record, I called them three times as much as they called me.

I wanted to fire them, but this woman I spoke with Friday told me how to do that and what they would do if I decided to hire them. What any advocate would do. I have to request they exit my case and send me the paperwork. That way, I can hire another attorney and they can take their place with no loss of time or position for me. Now we’re cooking with gas!

Their number has been saved in my contacts. I know who to call.

I then called PDSL and after being transferred to a few different people, I told them I wanted to exit out of our agreement, I wanted a letter and my file and how long would it take? I stayed on message, even with the questions. I repeatedly asked her when I would receive the exit letter, by email and regular mail. Within 5 business days? Yes to both? She was sure, otherwise I would report them to the appropriate authorities and write anyone who would be interested in the story.  Companies do hate bad press. She stuck with her assurances. I backed it up with an email.

Next – Contra Costa County and MediCal. That took longer by 4 hours.

The menu of choices and the voice prompts are endless and take 6:41 minutes to get through before you get to the right department. I sat on hold for a while, decided against that and left a request for a call back since I was 23rd in line. I went to fill the aspirin prescription, waited while it was filled, and they still hadn’t called back. It has been an hour. I called again, went through the prompts and was back on hold and I got disconnected. Call again, but I ended up with Spanish speaking, so I called back again and sat and waited in my car with the phone plugged into the charger. This time I was 32nd in line. I waited listened to every interruption that my call was important and they would get to me an quickly as possible. Uh-huh.

Contra Costa Health Plan person finally comes on the line. I inform her I want my coverage to be transferred to Alameda. Why? Oh honey. Why did you ask? For the first time since the stroke, my eloquent poison tongue came back to me. For any who know me, I politely and pointedly cut a grown man down without profanity or a voice of scorn until he was crying. A top producer who had called one of my loan processors a “cunt”. She didn’t deserve that, and either did this employee deserve the same disgust I had for him but it was close, especially when she gave me offices in Solano County. “I’m sorry, I may not have said it distinctly enough for you to understand. I said I was in Liv-er-more, not Fair-field. I can understand the confusion.” Oops, I’m sorry, I thought I heard Solano. Yeah, that sounds just like Alameda.

You know what else? They’re behind in their paperwork. I found that out when I asked how long take. 2 months. What! It’s one electronically, and it takes two months? Have they restarted the Pony Express via Alaska? That’s when I was told about their delay in paperwork. How does Contra Costa get anything done? Do they need to hire competent, educated workers for the jobs? Not by what I have experienced.

On Tuesday, I have an Ombudsman for Social Services I have to call. To make sure she did it and I can use services in Alameda. She did something in the system to make it known that I have a mailbox in Brentwood BECAUSE I AM HOMELESS. Something I couldn’t get anyone else to do. It’s factually correct and why would I want that?

***************************

I went to bed at 1 am something, slept fitfully, went to the bathroom 3 times and on the 4th trip pee’d myself, drank less than 8 oz. of water throughout my 14 hour sleep journey, had nightmares and finally got up at 5 pm to take my med’s and eat something  – a banana and 2 Keebler Elfwiches. Hey, it’s food and my blood sugar was at 89. It got me thinking on my little smoke excursion. Yes, I smoke. Used a credit card yesterday to charge 2 packs.

I have CalFresh/Food stamps/ EBT a month and that affords me $6.15 a day in 31-day month of food. When you are homeless, and you can’t buy prepared food or a microwave meal, that means going to the grocery store everyday to get fresh food. Fruit will last a few days if it’s not too hot, bread won’t mold that quickly unless it’s hot – like a car, cheese, yogurt, luncheon meat – a few days if it’s cold, but not cold enough so you die. And a diabetic trying to maintain her blood sugar? Hardly.

You could use Ramen – not exactly a nutritious source of calories. You need water and a microwave and just ignore the sodium and carbohydrates. All food that is bad for you is cheap. Does Panera or ToGo’s take EBT? Not that I’ve seen. Either does Dominoes or Jack in the Box, so I guess they’re equally bad.

And because my friend didn’t want to see me homeless, I have a place to sleep, use a bathroom and prepare food. I even get to partake in meals. Gee, what a concept. Breaking bread with a less fortunate. Where is a food kitchen? Does a homeless shelter provide more than one meal at a specific hour? If you couldn’t sleep, do you still have to leave at a certain time? So many questions and so few answers and I can’t handle all that. A person can barely handle it without part of their brain being dead. I’m thinking of it now, and I have  no pressure on me, someone asking questions and requiring short, concise answers. I end up crying in frustration and they end up frustrated and ignoring me since I’m taking so long and it must not be that important to me if   I’m just going to be emotional and wanting pity. You know that look when you’ve seen it enough times. I’ve seen it too much, and heard the requests to calm down with it.

I don’t know what else to do and I’m loosing everything. I want to live but that’s getting harder to do without accepting I will have nothing but my miserable life such as it is.

I propose the same question I did in a Facebook post from March – I would rather wrap my car around an isolated light pole than be harassed in my car, raped or killed because someone thinks I have something they want. At least it is my choice and no one else is harmed. No one should suffer because of me.

https://www.gofundme.com/wants-to-live&rcid=r01-152978358798-6be9cfcbb40b4730&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w

This Cynical World of Apathy and Derision

I had dreams and hopes and aspirations……now I have known.

This world has changed since I was a child. It has grown and gotten bigger and more technologically advanced, while people starve and die and those who have nothing are ignored and have to accept there lot. There are deserving of life because they weren’t born into opportunity, or they are lazy and won’t try. How does a child of 3, ripped from it’s parents learn to be self-sustaining when adults put them in a cage because it’s parents came to a place that is thought to be safe treats them like animals because their parents aren’t white, speak English and are treated like criminals because they are brown? Poor? Desperate? Just want to survive?

I don’t want to be part of that evil. I don’t want to see dictators being treated as civilized people of importance, fawned over when they have killed thousands, beheaded or poisoned family to archive greatness. And I certainly don’t want a “president” to promote a good-will campaign for someone like that. The puppet to another dictator who kills his appointments to maintain his authority. A no-nothing predator media whore who lies every time he speaks.

What this world has come to is miraculous. What individuals have achieved like Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ronald Wayne, Larry Ellison, George Lucas, even an old icon like Walt Disney. There are so many others, giants in our world such as Warren Buffet. Odd. Trump isn’t named. What has he down except be rich and repeatedly failed in business. Has a big mouth, but carries a little fly swatter. Two-bit mafia attorneys who sue when the boss says so. Even a Keebler elf who needs to return to his tree knothole and bake cookies. Note torment children while making Grimm’s fairy tales come alive.

Many are quick to rescue a sweet pooch if neglected in a yard, in a car, or just roaming with th a chain hanging from it’s neck, but a human wandering aimlessly, holding a cup, pushing a cart with perceived trash, unwashed and smelly we walk by with obvious distaste. I didn’t for many years, since I saw the same faces, even knew a few names after time. I brought them small care packages, food, even money when I got paid. The had nothing. I had a safe place to sleep, people who cared, a job and hot food when I wanted it, even choices. I was wealthy compared to them. Sleeping in door ways with spare clothes as a blanket. There arm as a pillow. I could sleep on a bed with a pillow, sheets and a blanket and never have to consider being harassed by a stranger to move. I was so lucky, something they wouldn’t know. I had empathy. Too many haven’t an inkling.

You have to see them, speak to them. know their name to start to appreciate the suffering we force of them. And we do. All the agencies created to help them, some can’t negotiate the system. It isn’t because they don’t want to. It’s because in our zeal to make it “easier”, we have made it harder, more diversified, that some people don’t have the strength to attempt to climb that sheer cliff wall.

I know. That is what it is like for me now.

Food stamps – go here.  Public assistance – do there. Housing assistance – over there. Not approved by Social Security, you’re expected to work so do there. You have more than $50. you aren’t poor enough to receive aid. Here’s a list of charities, call them. Go on the internet and search. What if you don’t have a phone? What if you don’t have internet access? Go to a public library. Where is one located? How do I get there? Which bus line? How do I pay the fare?

It’s not like you can go to one place and receive help. If there is, I haven’t come across one. I haven’t been to San Francisco, they might have something, but they have a huge homeless issue. Have for  years. Can’t go to San Fran without encountering a panhandler. I won’t do that, because I physically can’t without being hit by a car. Besides, they’re used to being ignored. Or harassed by the police.

That’s why it’s so depressing. There is no hope. There is no reason TO hope.

I live, but does anyone in a public service job care? I had a social worker assigned to me, she secured appointments for therapists, but nothing that provided me a way to public assistance of any kind. Sent me lists with phone numbers for places to live, but a person who could qualify me for that? Nope. It is disheartening, especially when you here from others their waiting list is two years. Two years to get on the list!

There are those who soldier on, keep trying or give up. Too many die or are killed – men because they say something to defend themselves and are killed because they are weak  or old and a nuisance, a drain on society, or women are raped and left for dead just because they are women and have nothing but a hole where a man can take his “pleasure” by force. Unless she’s “ugly” and just a blight on society. Hahahaha Stupid bitch. Like she needed to live!

Our society. Where human life means nothing, especially to those who have nothing but wanting to live. But “you’re” doing nothing to deserve it. There are people who can help. You just need to go there and ask.

Circular argument. Absolute failure. No resolution. Death is your constant companion.

I am dying, slowly and tortuously.  I am broke and out of money. I have 3/4 of a tank and probably enough for one more in the bank and I have 4 appointments this week and that will be over 300 miles of driving. Nothing I can do I have spent it as frugally as I could. I have spent it in food that Food Stamps won’t cover. Nothing fun, nothing for “enjoyment”, nothing to just help me forget for a few minutes.

I don’t go onto Facebook much anymore. I can’t. I see too many friends enjoying their lives and I don’t want to be petty and small minded like Gunn (my adopted mother). I won’t be like her. But it still hurts to know they are off having fun and all I can think about is the money they are spending and what it would mean if I had a tiny fraction. Even friends who are traveling through the ancient ruins and sharing their travel log of pictures -someone who hasn’t directly contacted me for what I believe is a litany of falsehoods by other people, I simply don’t exist. “She’ll be fine. She’s done it before.”

I was myself before. Not just a shell of who I used to be because of the stroke.

Many people I know have tried to help me. $50 here, $40 there, $100 from relatives of my Dad, a $100 from a few more, $500 from Diana until she freaked out and demanded that I leave her home 2 days after I started to move in and it cost me $700 to rent a motel room because Myrna wasn’t ready for me and I ended up going to the ER because I thought I was having another stroke or a heart attack. No, just a old issue in a brand new form.

Reduce more, go to the storage units and squeeze more stuff in. In fleeing D’s place, I “lost” 4 pairs of shoes including a pair of Nike’s and a pair of Merrell’s, That’s $200+ to replace. Bad feet, bone spurs, bad arches – good supportive shoes so I don’t ache after 15 minutes. And my knitting bag with projects and a notions box it took years to put together and a set of needles – $500+ at least. They may have been stolen while the garage door was open. She blamed me, that’s why I had to leave. I don’r know how it got open. It was closed at 4 pm when I left for storage and I never went back out. I had the garage door opener, so it was my fault. I put them in danger. Ok, but it wasn’t intentional or anything I was aware of, but it was my fault.Because I’m reckless and thoughtless? No. I’m, disabled and part of my brain is dead. Sorry. I can’t fix that or get over it. It is beyond my reach. I don’t even know where to start.

My friend Claudia was a Godsend. She donated $2000 to GoFundMe. Why I had money for a motel room. I called Contra Costa for shelter space and got nothing but phone numbers to call. I wasn’t on the street so it wasn’t an immediate need. $700 went to a motel in Livermore, where I ate food in my cooler before it spoiled, slept, and drove out to storage several times to make room where there was none. I spent days just sleeping. My brain isn’t capable of handling stress and it shuts down, and my body with it. Maybe that’s I feel I’m dying. I need so much sleep.

It’s taken me two days to write this little piece of brain vomit. I start. I stop. I’m going to bed. Again.