Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Another day passes

I woke up at 9am after being up until after 1am grading papers.  I hastily brushed my teeth and washed my face and answered 15 emails from students.  I'll spare  you the details.  

Then I went to visit Headologist Bootstraps, who had not seen me since early July.  When I saw her last, I explained to her that I was going to be traveling for Africa for three weeks and that afterwards, I would be spending 2 weeks with my father, so she prescribed enough medication for me to last three months.  Dandy.  But we all know what happened in the interim.  My dad died on July 23rd.  I didn't get to go to Africa and I lost the $7000 I had spent (foolishly, I know, I know) on the trip.  Then I spent another $1500 to get to the funeral and back, and if you remember correctly, the entire show was a disgrace and caused profound embarrassment to me, my brother and my sister and my sister in-law.  We were literally driven out of the house by my step-mother's children.  If we had not left as early as we had, there would have been a brawl in the driveway.  Aren't we a classy bunch?  Well.  We used to be.  Back before the calamity that is my father's second wife entered our lives. 

Then there came the news that my father disinherited his children entirely and that he expected us, his natural children, to treat Erika as we would our own mother.  So not happening - for any price.  So she is a very, very wealthy widow and me, my brother, and my sister are all left with nothing but a stack of bills that would drive most people into bankruptcy - all money spent as a direct result of our father's illness.  

When you can relate this information in ten sentences or less and render your psychiatrist absolutely speechless - with her mouth hanging open - and you can see the utter disgust and shock in her face?  Well, it's gratifying.  It let's Nina know that Nina is not over-reacting or making too much of death, grief, and ultimately, the treachery of people we expected to love us and protect us the very most. 

Headologist Bootstraps, for all her dimness about my situation, had to finally admit that any normal person would react to such life circumstances as these with some anxiety and some sadnesss and some anger.  So she refilled all my meds and gave me some weird ass prescription for some weird ass B vitamin supplement that is supposedly helpful with depression.   I told her that if I could just get through 6 months without anything truly horrible coming my way, none of this medical intervention would be necessary.  I have no idea if I am right, but I suspect I am.  I never was this screwed up until my life got utterly screwed up.  I can't tell chicken from egg from chicken as far as that goes.  

After my visit with Headologist Bootstraps, I came home and feverishly graded more papers that were long overdue.   Then I answer 20 more student emails.  Then I hastily boarded the bus down to the house of my friend Newsy's parents, where I will be living starting next week.  With great relief, I discovered that her mom and I are simpatico enough that we can understand each other and work together.  She gave me some instructions on what to do to start clearing out the basement, and I was able to work on it for several hours before returning home and feel as if I accomplished a little something.  I will go back there on Monday and continue working.  

My friend Newsy's dad is such a lovely man that just to be around him gives me enormous comfort.  He is 76, and several years ago he suffered an injury that left him without the use of his legs and only partial use of his arms.  He is mostly in bed and for most people, this would seem a terrible life.  Not to him, it seems.  Every time I enter the house, he smiles at me and offers me his opinions on the news and charms me with his stories.  Sometimes he tells me how beautiful I am.  Sometimes he tells me when I move in, he wants me to sit with him.  It's a betrayal of my own dad to say it, but I sort of wish he were my dad, since he treats me as if I am special and I so very need that right now.  

So now it is 9 and I have more work to do before the day is done.   Tomorrow will be similarly busy, and I have to teach tomorrow night and all day Friday.  This weekend, I hope to finally get out to NJ to see Buzz, Leta, and Liam, all of whom I have not laid eyes on since the funeral.  It has been too busy, and frankly, my emotional state has been too erratic for a visit out there.  Even though they are family, I have to have myself in order if I am to go out there, if for no other reason than for the sake of sparing Liam contact with an emotionally unstable person.   the poor kid is only three and a half and most of his life, his parents and his Nina have been acting all normal and nice and hiding from him the horror show that has been our lives since my dad was married.  Has he suffered?  It is hard to say.  We have protected him as best we can, but if you believe that bees and dogs can smell fear... you might also believe that a toddler can smell heartbreak even when no one says one word about it.  

Goodnight, dear people.  I'll say something more tomorrow.  


Tracy Lynn said...

Good night.

Kate P said...

That's a lot of student e-mails and papers. You've got a prize (visiting with you family) at the end of it.

I'm glad the doctor is taking care of you and the peeps at your new place are cool. You are in my thoughts & prayers!

sybil law said...

I can just imagine how gratifying it must be to render your psych speechless!!!
And good to know that you're not overreacting to the horrible circumstances, too.
Have a good night, sleep well, and enjoy your weekend!
(Oh and my opinion? The 3 year old will be good. They do pick up on things, but it sounds like he's surrounded by love in general.)

Catherine said...

As sorry as I am that you're leaving your home, I'm glad that the one you get to go to is this one.
I'm excited for you to see your bro and his family. Yes, children know stuff, but when they are loved and know they are safe, they feel free to file it away in their 'adult stuff' box and just mainly ignore it let it be. That is their privilege and they use it.

You've got so much work, holy cow man. I hope you're in for some good rest soon.

catherine said...

Hi, me again, forgot to leave my little blog link. I should probably just erase my Blogger ID so I quit forgetting that. sigh.

ingrid said...

thinking of you nina. wishing you only good things.

Avitable said...

Sometimes I read your blog and wish I could just give you a big old hug.

Finn said...

Sometimes when a door closes, God will open a window. I think your new housemates are that window. You'll have the time and space you need to get your center back.

Meanwhile, I truly believe in better living through chemistry... when it's needed. xo

P said...

This post made me tear up. I think this new experience will be healing for you. You need to be around people who cherish you.

Maggie said...

You know, aside from us here virtually cherishing you. I think the new house will be the awesome, and you need and deserve it and will grow while you're there.

I also completely agree that making the headologist's jaw drop is crazy gratifying.

ByJane said...

I once moved my shrink to tears with a recitation of my younger self. It really confirmed that I was not nuts, that bad stuff had happened to me, and that I'd survived.