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:
- When your child is confirmed, make sure that she attends all 2,000 classes necessary to earn her Catholicism.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.~