Just a pig inside a human body

TW: RAPE, SEXUAL ASSAULT

[My State’s] Penal Code Section XXX.XXX et seq.

Sexual Assault (generally): Sexual assault is defined as any form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent and/or obtained through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation, or coercion.

I need this to be crystal.

ANY form of unwanted sexual contact obtained without consent and/or obtained through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation, or coercion.

Ok.  It’s about to get bumpy in here, folks so hang tight for just a while.  I promise to be more gentle with you than he was they were with me.  I’m going to start with the most painful first.  As the #metoo movement continues on, I find myself becoming more and more angry and it more and more difficult to stay quiet.  When I say “angry,” I’m not pissed about the movement – quite the opposite.  It’s time for us to stand up and speak out.  I’m all for that.  I’m angry at something completely different.  I’m angry that there needs to be a movement at all.  I’m angry that there are so many of us.  I’m angry that there are still so many women, even after Dr. Ford’s testimony, have the chutzpah to discredit what was so clearly a re-telling of a trauma.

Don’t.  Don’t make any of this about politics.  Don’t make any of this about religion.  This is about my body.  This about the right I have to walk down the street and not feel like someone else has the perceived right to assault me because they have a dick and it’s Tuesday, OK?  I am mad as hell.  I am mad because I, my mother, my sister, my sister-in-law, my best friend, my other best friend, and countless other women AND MEN on this blue ball have been FORCED, INTIMIDATED, or COERCED into unwanted sexual contact.

This week was hard for me.  I was trying to reconnect more with my Dad and there was this undercurrent of #metoo all over the news from the Kavanaugh Scandal.  I went out to eat with my stepmother (not my choice) and we got to talking about random stuff and the subject of college came up.  I told her that going to my particular alma mater wasn’t all that rosy (despite the brochures and reputation), as I was molested on my first night on campus and raped my sophomore year.  This was the response I received:

Why didn’t you call me?  Did you tell your father?  He would have done something.  I would have kicked him in the nuts.  He wouldn’t have been too powerful for me.

I want to know.  I really want to know how someone who’s never been in my particular position, in my skin can tell me exactly what they would have done?  That’s childish.  And thank you.  That’s how you respond to a survivor.  You respond by telling me exactly what you would have done, implying that what I did was wrong.  That’s victim-blaming and victim-shaming.  How goddamn dare you.  And let me know when you can take a 200-something-pound, all muscle, 6-foot-something guy down with your pants and underwear around your ankles.  Yeah, let’s see you high kick like that.  Did we forget he was fresh the eff out?  Parole?  Armed and effing dangerous?  OK?  People love to talk a big game like that doesn’t scare them until they are actually in that situation, then they turn into Bill Paxton in True Lies.  It’s bullshit.

And let’s be clear.  I did tell my father – a year after it happened.  You know what he did?  Nothing.  Not a motherfucking thing.  I expected what every girl expects her father to do in those situations – kill him or pay someone to do it for him.  My Dad didn’t do any of these things.  Instead, he played “inquisitioner” and asked me a bunch of questions – I can only guess to surmise whether or not I was full of beans.  We never talked about it again after the night I sat him down to talk about it.

Later on in the week my husband and I were out to dinner and my Dad called.  I answered the phone to make sure everything was OK.  He started talking to me about random stuff and then segued into talking about Bill Cosby.  Here we fucking go.

I don’t understand these women.  They took the money from him, that’s tantamount to getting paid for sex.  They got their money, why come back, 30 years later and ruin his career?  They already got the money – move on already!  You got what you wanted!  If a guy answers his door in his bathrobe and gives you a pill, you know what he’s after – don’t be naive.  If you didn’t want it, you should have just come back when he was fully dressed.  

Then he goes on about Stormy Daniels, but I’m just not in the fucking mood – OK?  The Bill Cosby stuff was so enough.  He said about 10 minutes more, but no.  I hung up the phone and my husband could just tell the conversation did not go well.

How the fuck do you have that kind of conversation with your child?  Your daughter?  Knowing she’s a survivor?  Knowing your other daughter was molested?  How the hell can you talk about taking too long to report sexual assault when your youngest NEVER reported?  She stopped speaking to me when I spilled the tea 20 years later.  I actually told campus police that John was stalking me and they said there was nothing they could do.  Why in the hell would I go to the REAL police once campus police basically told me “uhhh we’re going to let this guy come and stalk you after he raped you for months, isolated you from your friends and family and stealthed* you, giving you an STD.”

…But no.  You should always come forward, right?  You won’t be treated like the criminal.  Like when I was on the couch that night I told you I was raped and I got asked everything except HIS SSN?  Or when campus police told me that in a building that required key card access they couldn’t protect me, so I had to move off campus and further isolate myself from my friends?

I had to take my white board off my door that year.  He kept writing horrible things on it – calling me a “bitch,” “whore,” “slut,” “fuck you.”  I changed the name on my door so he thought I’d moved but it didn’t work.  None of my friends knew.  My mother didn’t even know and she was my best friend.  She knew something was wrong, but didn’t know what.  I flunked everything that semester and my clothes got way bigger – I was eating more, but mostly I just didn’t want anyone to see me.  I bought XL everything and would hide inside my hoodies.  I wanted to disappear.

After he’d leave, I’d run to the community bathroom with my tray of soaps and turn on the hot water.  No cold.  I would let the steaming, burning hot water scald me between my legs.  Burn away the shame.  Burn away the layer of skin he touched.  I’d stand there until I felt nothing but numbness between them and the tears ran down my face.  This would happen sometimes three times a week for the better part of 3 months.

He’d lean over my face after using my toothpaste and sing about his minty breath.  I can’t smell toothpaste mint without getting sick to my stomach.

But, I asked for this pain, right, Dad?

I cried to my Mom the other day about this.  The stories on the news, all of this is fucking triggering.  You know what she said to me?

I’m so sorry, honey.  I’m sorry.

Because there’s nothing else to say.  It’s already happened to me, to her, my sister, sister-in-law, best friend, other best friend and countless others.  That should say something – that I could throw a dart and hit someone who’s been assaulted.  It’s not about teaching our boys and girls to be safer.  It’s about teaching people not to fucking rape and assault others.  It’s about consent and respect.

 

*stealthing – non-consensual condom removal

Advertisements

Hush/just stop/there’s nothing you can do or say

How do you stop being angry? When the reminders of your anger are shoved in your face?

I shouldn’t be here.

I shouldn’t be dealing with this shit.

I’m stuck in this house and it makes me angry. I was able to pay my half of the rent; my husband couldn’t. We moved back in with my mother. I freaked out so bad I couldn’t move any of our stuff in. It was years ago that I had the opportunity to go to a local graduate school to get my Master’s and disenrolled. I enrolled to a much more expensive, Big 10 school 1.5 hours away to get away from my mother. Our relationship had become so toxic I felt I had no choice. Now I was being forced to move back in with her after the loss of my child. Fucking great. We’re still here 5 years later and the relationship between her and I continues to deteriorate.

Now that I’m unable to work because I’ve fallen off the tuna truck, I’ve left my finances in his hands. And I can barely look him in the face without becoming angry. A part of me is so fucking angry that he was so fucking selfish. If he’d committed to something, anything besides 18 things other than what he thought he wanted I wouldn’t feel obligated to go back to work before I’m ready. A degree. A trade. A job that led to a career. Fucking anything.

But alas here I go, back to work despite the fact that the meds have caused permanent damage to my kidneys and they will be taking me off them and starting me on something else. Probably sending me back before we know whether or not I’m stable at this point because we need the money. I don’t have a choice anymore. We need the money to move out of here for good.

Talking out of both sides of their mouths. My mother says not to go back to work until I’m well, but has her fucking hand out asking for money every 5 minutes. Husband says the same thing, tells me he’ll take care of and pay for everything. He says he’ll get a second job to help support us while I recoup yet he talks about falling asleep while driving home, can’t sleep because he works midnights and sleeps through date nights. Yeah, I see that second job going real well. I’d be collecting his social security after he dies if he gets a second job. I can’t have that.

The clownery is real. I know you can’t fix the past, but I don’t know how to move past this anger. It stares me in the face when I wake up and when I go to bed. I know he’s trying to fix it. He’s the absolute perfect man in every other aspect.

The only solution is to pick myself up by my proverbial bootstraps and go back to work even if it kills me (like it tried to before). I’ll fix this myself.

Like I always do.

Y’know, one day, one of these years I’d like for someone to say they’ll “handle it” and mean it. And by “mean it,” I mean have a plan and resources by which to handle it. Saying that you’ve “got this” isn’t actually having it. There’s no security there. I fear failure. My overarching need to control will kick in and I will fix it.

Like I always do.

The problem is that I’m getting tired of being the one to fix things. I feel like some days I’m hanging on by a thread and I’m yelling out for help but people just keep walking by. They stare me dead in the face while walking right by.

I don’t need to be

What’s the point of anything anymore? Why do I write in here at all? Just to hear the sound of my own voice I suppose.

I ended up back in the hospital and now face losing my job.

Am I ready to work again? No. Do I need to work? Yes. But I’m terrified to go back in any capacity. My moods aren’t stable and for once I’m 100% compliant with my medication. I vacillate between stable, numb and moderately suicidal – an improvement according to my psychiatrist.

How the fuck is having my husband hide the mags of his gun under his side of the bed, having nightmares of me killing myself and waking up in a panic a fucking improvement exactly? Oh, I see. Because I’m not manic anymore my mood swings aren’t a major concern. Not like I was ever truly manic to begin with. Let’s be very fucking clear, people – I experience hypomania. Not full on mania. Totally different.

Right now I’ve lost the ability to give any fucks. I don’t care about anything anymore. I don’t care about life, I don’t care about death, I don’t care about you – the same as you don’t care about me. I. Don’t. Care. I’ve tried to explain to my husband – who probably wishes he’d choked on the phrase “I want you to share everything with me; we shouldn’t have secrets” – if for some reason I was in a severe car accident and a call to the authorities was the difference between saving my life and not, the call would never be made. Because I don’t care enough at this point to make the effort to go out of my way to survive however have no thoughts or plans to harm myself at this time (let’s be clear with each other, shall we?). I don’t take the meds, I end up in the hospital. I take the meds, still feel like absolute shit. What fucking incentive do I have to continue to work towards wellness here? Absolutely none.

I went to lunch with my mom and my favorite uncle. He knows about what’s going on and has been hospitalized himself. He asked me how I was doing. I told him: “You ever step in dog shit? Ever try to shake it off the bottom of your shoe but it just doesn’t come off – it’s just stuck there no matter how hard you shake? I feel like that piece of shit.” He just stared at me, no words. What can you honestly say to that? Nothing. I feel like a car windshield under a power line most days recently.

I know I need to go back to work because I need the money. My husband says it will be okay and he’ll take care of us, but that’s a hard sell. He falls asleep while he’s driving home. He falls asleep while we’re having date night. He falls asleep while we’re watching tv. He’s exercising almost daily to lose weight. He’s going to school online. He’s working full time graveyard shift. He’s breaking his back and without my income, we’ll have maybe 100 whole dollars at the end of the month – you know for incidentals like doctor’s bills and, you know, food.

So I have to work no matter how unstable I am. But then I get fed this bullshit line: “you have to take care of you, Alison. Your health comes first.” Bullshit. You know it doesn’t. My mother doesn’t give a shit – she wants my money. Always has her goddamned hand out. She asked me for gas money the other night because her car isn’t as economical as mine and we were on a family outing. A family outing! I told her to get bent and a non-Luxury car that takes regular. The night before I went to the hospital I told her I only didn’t feel like dying when I was at work because my mind was occupied; the minute I’d step in the house I’d want to die. She told me it would behoove me to go work – I’d feel better eventually. [But, like, a bitch has to come home sometime though, right? And be in my own thoughts? The ones that wanted me to die? Does that not worry her? No? Ok.]. No one gives a good goddamn.

So I repeat: what’s the point? I don’t think there is one. So why bother.

I will dance so freely/holding onto nothing

*TRIGGER WARNING* *SUICIDE*

It’s been a while. I seem to take a break from here when I’m doing well and come back when I’m doing either fair to middling or poorly. Today I’m not doing well at all. I did it again; I went off my meds. I was toying with the dosages; I was doing well with taking them every other day and then it spiraled into ever few days. I went on vacation to Las Vegas with the husband – our first vacation alone – and with all the sightseeing for the 2 weeks we were there, I think I took my daytime dose maybe 3 times. By the time I got home I was slowly slipping into a manic phase.

I was unstoppably horny. I was eating candy like none other. I was restless and couldn’t just sit still. I was loud and mean. I said some of the most cutting things – just no inner monologue. I couldn’t take it anymore. On Friday night I started taking my meds again.

Saturday afternoon I woke up groggy as hell. My nighttime meds have a way of knocking me out cold. I woke up and I was not just feeling lethargic but utterly drained, as though the floor had sucked out my energy, had swallowed my soul. My affect was blunted – I lost all emotion in my voice and face except pain and I could hear it and feel it. It hurt to try and smile. I knew I’d plummeted into my deep hole of depression.

I was crawling around in the dark, trying to find a ladder but it wasn’t there. My husband noticed immediately and threw me a rope to climb out, but the only thing I could think to do was end the pain with it. I was tired of climbing. I am tired of climbing. I’m tired of the calloused palms, I’m tired of the burning hands, I’m tired of the fiberglass feeling you get in your fingers after you’re done swinging on the rope, I’m tired of looking up and seeing how much farther I have to go.

I’m. Just. Plain. Tired.

I’m tired of begging for the rope. I’m sick of needing one at all. I’m afraid for my daughters – that one day they, too, will need one because of me. This pain is fucking real and I’m tired of swinging. I want it to stop.

What do you do when you want to use the only escape route you have to end it all? Knowing you don’t really want it, but you feel painted into a sick and twisted corner? Like you’ve no options left?

I’ve stopped seeing the forest for the trees. There is no big picture for me anymore. I’m hanging on by a spider’s thread. I keep seeing my husband remarried with children of his own – a chance to start a new, normal life with someone who doesn’t have all these complications. Someone who will treat him the way he’s always deserved to be treated. I see him finally making strides to be the best in his field – something I hindered these past 10 years because of my anxiety and insecurities. With me out of the way, there is no telling how far he could go.

My father and siblings wouldn’t ever notice I was gone – they don’t give a shit that I’m here. My mother’s early-onset dementia is progressing slowly; she’ll forget it all over time. This hellish creature inside me would finally be put to rest and I could be free. They could all be free from my ups, downs and all arounds.

I am not doing any good here. Needless carbon dioxide. Usurper of oxygen. Waste of space. Full seat on the train. My mother and husband keep saying I can’t leave my husband here but I can’t hear them. I don’t hear them. All I can hear is the depression telling me I’m not fit to be here and all I can see is this interminable fog.

I came to work last night and this morning – both jobs. I’m trying to stay out of the hospital. I’m taking my meds again as directed and I’m trying to stay supervised. I don’t want to be here anymore but I’m trying not to go back to the funny farm either. It’s either stay at home with all my artillery or keep my mind busy while I wait for the meds to work. Staying in the hospital while they treat me like I’m sub-human away from my family while my psychiatrist is on vacation isn’t going to help me. I need my bed, my dog, my phone and my family. I’m trying my damnedest at home not to act on my thoughts and I’m being watched like a hawk. The minute I’m not safe I know they’ll throw me in my car and drive me to the ER without my consent; they’ve done it before.

I’ll be OK; one way or another I guess.

Without you everything falls apart

In 12 years of marriage, he’s never looked at me that way before.

Ever.

I’m not going to go into extraordinary detail here, but we were horizontal and that’s when I saw his face. His eyes were gentle and dark and they never stopped looking at mine. His face was calm and relaxed.

Look, my dad writes for a living – I don’t – I can’t describe his face. But he’s never looked at me the way he did last night. Like he was admiring me. Like he was in awe of… something. I don’t know.

It made zero sense. We’ve clearly been here before. In that very position, literally hundreds of times. After 12 years, you’ve seen my face before. You’ve seen my body. You’ve seen them change – for better or worse.

What the fuck are you glaring at?!

I actually got uncomfortable. I had to close my eyes and focus on the task at hand. There was stuff that needed accomplishing if we were ever going to get some sleep.

Why was that the first place I went? Why couldn’t I enjoy the adoration and, what looked like, love that was going on there? I’m fucking broken, y’all. Bro. Ken.

When it was over, I asked him what that was all about. ‘Cause I’ve never seen that face before and I just spent 30 minutes watching it out of the corner of my eye and it started to wig me the fuck out. I saw what looked like pure, unadulterated, unequivocal love.

I didn’t get that look on our wedding day.
I didn’t get that look when I told him I was carrying his child. Why did I get it right then? While we’re going at it like rabbits? What the what? What gives?

He tells me he doesn’t say it enough. That he loves me more than life. That I’m gorgeous. That he truly appreciates me and he’s sorry for not saying it more.

And everything else in the world disappeared, if just for those few brief moments. Everything I thought I was, who I thought the world needed me to be, how I thought it saw me and everything else that fell in between just melted away. All I gave a damn about right then was being in his arms, breathing his air – his scent, for as long as I could. Everything in my life feels like it’s so wildly out of control right now. But this.

Him. Him and I. Us. The only solid ground I’ve ever had.

It’s hard for someone who’s learned to trust no one to open their eyes and be loved. He’s the only person I trust – but I still can’t look him in the eyes. Not like that.

The eyes are a scary fucking place, y’all. Have you ever seen a textbook antisocial personality disorder? I have. I’ve worked with them before – all ages – and the one thing they all have in common is empty eyes. It’s like pools of black ink with nothing in them. No spark, no light. I don’t look in people’s eyes much anymore unless I have to. I know – it’s considered rude and people consider you untrustworthy if you don’t, but I’ve seen scary things in people’s eyes. I don’t like the emotional vampirism that comes with eye contact.

So I closed my eyes and felt him love me. I love him more than life – the same as he loves me. I just watch him sleep; there’s no pressure there.

Breaking guitars

Sigh. I’m very, very tired. I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m irritated with disappointed in the hubs, I guess. And I can’t seem to shake it off like I normally would. For the first time in a long time, I don’t want to talk to him. I don’t really want to be around him. I can’t explain why. It doesn’t feel good; it doesn’t feel natural and I don’t like myself for it.

I don’t like that I’m held to a higher standard than his father. I don’t like that I get yelled at for being callous and cold and mean when his father has been this way for decades. A father isn’t supposed to treat their child this way. A wife isn’t supposed to treat their husband that way either – I’m aware – but what makes it so easy to jump down my throat and not his?

[Because he won’t change, Alice. Hubs has tried. The man has an untreated severe mental illness, more severe than you.]

I uninvited my own mother from our wedding for him. My mother – who’s been my rock and best friend all my life, not at the most important event in my life because she disapproved of my now-husband. His father disinherits him because he hates me, says we need to divorce because I’m mentally unstable (pot meet effing kettle), tried to fuck my mother and hubs meets with him for lunch every fucking week like nothing’s the matter. What. The. Fuck.

[Don’t do that. Don’t make him choose because you chose. He never asked you to choose between him and your mother; you just did it. His mother’s gone. He’s probably clinging to the hope that one day his father will come around. Plus, hubs said there was no indication the man wasn’t going to disinherit him for just existing. The man has always resented hubs for merely breathing. You’re more than likely the scapegoat – even your father, Alice, said as much. The man is trying his damnedest to split you apart. Don’t let him succeed.]

Sigh. Why can’t I accept that he’s not like me? We know what I would have done well before now in this situation.

[Not many people are like you, dear. And you’re not like him. It took decades for you to forgive your father, decades for you to see your grandmother as she really was and decades for you to accept and respect your mother. Don’t expect to forget the man and what he’s trying to do to your family in 48 hours. But remember hubs is doing what he can for you and your family today.]

…God. Damn. I’m right.

I’m right. He’s doing his best. It’s not my way, but that’s okay. It has to be. What else can I do? None of this is within my control. I think that’s why I’m so angry about it.

I was telling my new psychologist (yeah, I went back to therapy. Mistakes in the process of being made I’m sure) that that’s why I’m such a perfectionist. I need to have control over everything. I don’t have control – a lot of the time – over my mood swings, libido, etc. so I overcompensate by attempting to control the situations – and sometimes people – around me. A lot of the time it works. Some of the time it doesn’t but by trying to control my environment I can control the trajectory of my life (or so I think). When someone or something comes around and is resistant to my ideas or the environment doesn’t adapt to my comfort zone it throws me for a loop. I get anxious, depressed, despondent followed by irritable and indignant.

Selfish, right? Not when you consider my background. It comes from a lifetime of unreliable behavior demonstrated by my superiors. Now that I’m older, if I can exercise any amount of control it eliminates the need for others entirely, thus ensuring there is someone I can always depend on: me. Who else is there but me? I rarely let me down.

In this particular situation I felt let down by the hubs. I felt like he wasn’t defending me. Like the only way to defend/stick up for me was my way. He says he always stands up for me, tries to explain my situation to the man however the man doesn’t believe in mental illness. (Yeah, that explains a whole lot. Explains why someone with a clear alcohol problem and obvious sxs of schizophrenia isn’t seeking treatment but that’s not my fucking problem. Whatever. I digress.). I don’t care if the man believes in fairies, okay? I cared that hubs doesn’t care enough to say, “Hey, believe what you want. I know the truth. Stay ignorant. You don’t like her? Fine. She’s tried to make peace with you but you’re too stubborn to care. So we’re gonna drop it entirely. Leave her name out of your mouth because we’re all over this shit. We’re staying together and plan on having kids. You can be a part of that or not. Having nothing to do with her precludes you from having anything to do with our children however so think long and hard about how long you want to keep this up. It’s a shame that you can’t let go [of something that never actually happened] out of a sense of pride or principle. Grow up.”

Too much? He could word it much nicer than that! I would have been much meaner, actually. He said if he tried to be more direct with him, it would probably end with them severing their relationship. If being direct and upfront about your feelings with your parent causes them to cut you off, it’s their loss and not yours. Holding all of that inside out of fear of losing the [tenuous] connection with your parent is sad. Having to walk on eggshells just to maintain a relationship with an unstable parent because they’re your only surviving parent is tragic.

[The same could be said for having to walk on eggshells to maintain a relationship with an unstable wife.]

Ouch. Touché.

Yes, both of my parents are living.
No, I don’t understand what it’s like, clearly, to lose a parent.
No, if my mother leaves this Earth first I will not cling to my emotionally unavailable father for parent-ship. He’s not available at the moment. I’ll leave a message and he’ll get back to me like he always has. And that’s the truth of it. And that’s okay. I have other family to lean on – namely my hubs (if he hasn’t divorced me for his goddamned father by then), our possible kids and a plethora of friends I deem close enough to be considered my family.

…Once I leave inpatient psychiatric treatment because losing her will send me off the reservation.

Same if I lose him. #codependent

Sigh. In the words of my father – the wise man that he is: fuck it.

Where the dogs of society howl

Lots going on.  Mainly feeling lost.  I’m still on FMLA per my psychiatrist.  I’ve been off all this month and won’t be going back until next month.  I’m having a hard time keeping my medications down and we’re not sure why.  My moods are cycling rapidly and I’m thinking it’s because they aren’t being absorbed properly since the surgery.  I’m worried about having all this time off, how it’s going to affect my job.  It gets more interesting: I have an interview for another job next week.

I reached out to a friend of mine regarding a possible job opportunity in a private practice setting.  I was doing some research and found that working midnights with bipolar disorder is a no-no.  Apparently most people working midnights – mainly those in the healthcare field like nurses – with bipolar disorder have circadian rhythm issues, leading to shift-work disorder (which I’ve been diagnosed with).  This triggers mania and many times, hospitalization.  Sound like anyone we know?!  

So I got freaked, reached out to a friend and asked if she knew of any job opportunities.  She reached out to her boss who reviewed my resume and offered me an interview.  I miss doing therapy.  I remember my old supervisor said to me ages ago while I was in training after graduate school and doing therapy in an underprivilaged area with substance abuse clients.  I was burning out hard, between the clients and the administration I couldn’t seem to meet anyone’s expectations of me and wanted to quit doing therapy altogether.  I told him that I wanted to work in a hospital doing intake assessments and case management to take a break.  I said that it would be “one and done” – I’d never see the people again after they left; no need to build rapport and no need to terminate; they couldn’t accuse me of abandoning them if I’ve known them for 20 minutes.  He told me that I was an excellent therapist and working in a hospital setting was “a waste of my talent.”

He burned out too and moved out of state.

I didn’t listen and got a job doing assessments.  The population I work with tend to abuse the system.  I often see the same faces – sometimes 3 times a week.  I’ve had some people discharge because they tell me they are not suicidal, turn around in the parking lot and walk directly back into the hospital stating they are suicidal and homicidal and want 3 sandwiches.  The record turnaround is 7 minutes – I actually counted.  It is rare that I assess someone that actually needs help.  I got into this profession to help people.  Will I have better luck doing so in private practice?  I think so.  I think I will because people are paying to be there.  Sounds messed up, but it’s true.  This is your “managed” care/health system at work, USA.  I have “managed” in quotes because there is nothing manageable about it and you, my dear reader, know it.  I’d be ignoring the system by leaving, but I’m not single-handedly going to overhaul the health care and mental health system – I know that.  Contrary to popular belief by many recent graduates in my field, you cannot change the world.  You can only make a dent.

Here’s where my trepidation lies.  I would have to file quarterly and withhold my own taxes.  What a pain in the ass.  I’d also have to go on the exchange for health insurance.  God please no.  Right now every doctor I work with is in network because they all work for my employer LOL.  If I go on the exchange, there’s no guarantee they take that insurance and I’d have to pay astronomical premiums.  It would take several weeks to build a caseload and get paneled with insurance companies, which means I would not be paid by the patients or insurances for those weeks.  Weeks.  Flipping WEEKS, man.  I’m torn.  Do I liquidate my house fund to pay my bills while I’m not paid for those few weeks – if I’m even offered the job?  Do I leave my awesome co-workers because I hate the population I work with?  The population, the crushing rules of administration and low wages are what keep me from wanting to stay are my job.  I know once I get a full caseload as a private practitioner I could rake in double what I’m making now, but I’m afraid.

I’m terrified.  What if I’m not good enough?  What if I fall on my face?  What if I messed up my taxes?  What if my clients don’t like me and I end up without anyone and I’m broke?  My psychiatrist told me it takes a while to build a caseload too.  How do I work both jobs to cover my butt?  Work midnights and days?  I freaking can’t.

And Mom’s going into surgery.  They said it’s going to last 8 hours and due to the definite blood loss, she had to sign a waiver permitting them to give her a blood transfusion.  So I’ve been scared about that.  Lately her voice has been irritating me for some reason and I’ve been blocking out most of what she says, but I think it’s me being irritable because of my mood cycling.  I apologized to her if I had been short or curt with her and explained I had been tuning her out.  I told her I’m scared shitless about her surgery next week.  I wish she didn’t need it.  She’s going to lose 20% functionality of her back in all directions.  She seems excited she’ll never have to load the dishwasher again.  Lucky.  Not the way I would want to avoid that chore, but still lucky.  I’m just scared – I keep telling myself not to tune her out.  Not to put this bed vibe out there in the Universe, but if her being annoying is the last thing you ever hear her say, hear it anyway.  I try to remember that and listen to her give me instructions about how to feed her fakakta fish.