Random Musings From My Sickbed


I get really emotional when I get sick.  Because I have an undiagnosed autoimmune disorder, I am, despite my best efforts to be as healthy as possible, sick from January through March.  A recovering alcoholic, I was sick so rarely when I drank-I suppose the alcohol pretty much protected me from any bacteria that would dare enter my system.  At first I thought I was suffering from a “backlog” of grief, very common in recovering addicts.  They even hand out a pamphlet describing it in rehab.  It is a full page of gloom and doom, guaranteed to make you a paranoid mess.  I mean, you already are a paranoid freak of nature; but who’s keeping score?

Anyhouser, I am sick in this bed, fighting the son of a bitch who sent me here.  I loathe him.  He is one mother fucker and hard, if not impossible, to recuperate from.  This is the culmination of being sick,  with a horrible cold, for three weeks.  I have spent a myriad of sick days in my bed.  When I worked full time, then part-time due to my PTSD, I was sick so often I couldn’t keep a job.  Low on self esteem, I became extremely depressed and would languish in depression and darkness.  It takes so much to get me to this place, for I hold on to, with a vice like grip, the notion that I don’t work now (technically, I am a starving artist) which means that I can rise at 6:30 a.m. and still be working on my projects (house, cats, dog, dinner, groceries, my bridal line of vintage vases, photography, poetry and marriage) at 3:30.  I am not giving myself any credit, au contraire.  Sadly, it is my obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety that drive me; that and good old fashioned Irish Catholic Guilt.

Maybe you are familiar with this syndrome.  It begins when, as a small child, you are taught that God is a very strict and frightening man, coupled with the idea that almost everything you do (ride your bike in the street, tell a white lie, paint yourself white as my sister was fond of doing) will send you straight to HELL.  I am telling you that I was the child who was afraid of stepping on the crack, ’cause brother you KNEW it would break your mother’s back.  My earliest memory of my madness was in kindergarten, when I was held back pending Summer School because I couldn’t skip.

“I am a loser.  Who the hell gets held back in kindergarten?  What if I never, EVER learn to skip?  What if my friends (invisible, I had none) found out, what if…..” Then the nauseatingly embarrassing day when Mrs. Hoffmaster took you out to the playground (praise GOD no one else was around) and taught you, mercilessly, how to skip.  SERIOUSLY?  That was the start of a young life that was plagued by bullying, shame, self-denial and exceedingly low self esteem.

I remember being teased for being heavy, hell, I was heavy.  I weigh now a little bit less than I did in the fourth grade, and that is another story for another day.  Anorexia, Bulimia and Exercise Anorexia plagued me for all of my life, and at 55, well, I hope to soon learn that I am good enough to eat more than once a day.   I digress, about the Irish Catholic Guilt; indigenous to suburbia, any home in which the surname begins Mac or Mc , and areas highly populated with Italians.

I give to you a short list of principles involved in terrorizing your children:

  1.  When your child is confirmed, make sure that she attends all 2,000 classes necessary to earn her Catholicism.
  2. Install in your children the notion that until they go to Confession (a pant- shitting notion  if there ever was one) they risk the chance of going to HELL.
  3. CCD is an absolute necessity.  (We used to go to St. Augustine’s in the quaint little town of Bridgeport, Pennsylvania.)  It is absolutely irrelevant when your daughter catches a nun beating your brother, upside the head, because he waved to you from the movie line.
  4. When your son/daughter go in to adolescence, develop a healthy fear in them when it comes to their sexuality.  Whatever you do, don’t explain “the act”- they’ll want to hear that from one of their brain damaged friends.
  5. Allow your teens to think that kissing is actually a form of “rape.”  This will serve to keep her pristine until the approximate age of 16, when she will go absolute ape shit over any boy that looks her way.
  6. If for any reason, any reason whatsoever your find your son and daughter together in a room with a closed door:  scream at them with abandon, ask “What the hell are you two doing up there anyway?”  Insinuate that this is in no way appropriate.  Try to help out with the ensuing psychiatrist bills.

Lastly, I would like to encourage all parents, young and old alike, to cry out “Jesus, Christ, Mary and Joseph” in the shrillest and most terrifying way, ensuring their FEAR OF ALL THINGS-for eternity.~




Reflections on Inauguration Day

dscf8037 Today, January 20, 2017 will be the first, ever, Inauguration Day where I will sit beside the television and watch every single moment.  I have so many mixed emotions, fears and hopes: that we, as a nation, can heal against insurmountable odds.  I am anxious, this is a very dangerous day for a man who has incited such passion in us; for better or worse.  I worry that Isis will rear its ugly head, or that there will be riots and even more people will be hurt.

Two hours later:

I am a flaming heart liberal and staunch conservative who voted for Donald J. Trump.  I will also tell you that I helped to vote Barack Obama in, not twice, but once.  I worked for a family (I am a CNA) who listened to Rush Limbaugh each and EVERY day at volume 76 on the Bose.   I wouldn’t have dared change the station, and indeed there were many, many days in the beginning that I wanted to.  Actually, what I really wanted was to run, screaming, from the mobile home: He was a strict, obnoxious and often abusive man.  I only stayed because my PTSD had made it impossible to hold down a job with a company, and I could only work a week before I would come down with the latest, stress-induced illness.

I regress, back to this momentous day!  I have completed my viewing of the live Inauguration and I would like to make an observation, or five.

It was amazing to see The Donald make nice with Nancy Polose, the amount of former preseidents who attended, the way the First Lady composed herself (although I did sense a bit of terror behind her eyes, which I attribute to the seriousness of the many threats hurled at her husband and family.)  She looked stunning and despite what people say, I like her.  She will be a fashionista the likes of which the White House hasn’t seen since Jacqueline Kennedy-and what an ethereal beauty she is, such class and nobility.

I thought Hillary Clinton looked beautiful, and showed true dignity, and I do not like this woman; if only for a moment our nation appeared to come together, put their bitterness and prejudices aside.  I cried when Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalyn walked in to take their seats.  I cried when Barack left the Oval Office for the last time, and  I cried when he shook Trump’s hand.  I wept when our new president took his oath of office.  I know deep in my heart that this is just a formality, he’d just as soon put a knife in Trump’s back, to be sure.  Michelle and Barack Obama showed such class, such diplomacy throughout this entire transition.  So, even if just for a moment, the world seems brighter.  The pomp and circumstance, the history making moment(s) of this day are mind blowing.  The little nuances of change that come with this new administration give some hope, and terrify others.  And I blame one entity and one entity only:  the horribly misinformed, libelous and lying media. 

I have lost people whom I thought were friends, whom I thought understood how my heart and mind worked.  The brutal intolerance of a party who screams for tolerance is a dichotomy that leaves me shaking my head, at a loss for words, saddened beyond belief.  As I sit here now, with my husband, I am watching a thousand or so people rioting in Washington, D.C.  They are throwing rocks at police officers, and taunting them to come forward, while they aim their phones and cameras as if to say, “Go ahead, make my day.”

This is only the beginning.  We are headed for a roller coaster of a ride over the next few days, months and possibly years.  I think the reason I was so emotional through the Inauguration is this:  the fight, the work, the stamina and balls it took for that team to win this election, purportedly for “the people” at a time when our taxes have increased to the point of making us choose between pet food and human food.  Spoiler Alert:  the pet food is first and foremost.  I have watched my husband bust his proverbial ass in a field that first took his commission, then his bonuses, and now turns their back  on him each year when it is time for a raise.  He has sold millions and millions of dollars for this unnamed company.  We cannot afford a libel suit, but let’s just say he sells lumber and appliances for a company that is a household word.  Not Home Depot.  Not Unclaimed Freight or Walmart.  Ok, I give, it begins with the letter “L.”

What I want to say is:  Really?  In a world where love “reigns supreme,” where hippies just like you and me pray and pray for World Peace, and where, as a country we are the UNITED States of America: frankly, I am going to go with hope.  Whether you are a democrat, republican, independent or don’t vote at all, we have one thing in common: we ALL need to calm down, reassess, take our collective feet out of  our  collective asses and practice tolerance.  We are not each other’s enemies.  I hope we can all agree that President Trump needs to make serious, necessary changes in a politically corrupt and dangerous Washington.  I pray we can learn to love one another, before it’s way too late.