As I mentioned in the previous post, I started therapy again three weeks ago. I’m seeing her on Wednesdays. This Wednesday will be my fourth session.

********

The second session I had with Brunet Young was just as productive as the first, but the third surprised me. Did I actually say all that? Yes, yes you did P. At ‘a girl!

It’s a good thing when you know what you’re getting yourself into when starting therapy. The same could not be said when I first went to see a counselor after my monumental mental meltdown in 2008. I had no idea what to expect then; I even walked out, or rolled out, of a therapist’s office in frustration in 2009. But this time… I have goals this time!

I came into therapy just as desperate, but more ready than ever. I know my borderline personality disorder (BPD) diagnosis, I’m more sure of the bipolar tendencies if the psychiatrist is right, and I’ve learned some basic dialectical behavioral skills training from Ex-Young Therapist as well as core training in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

I’m barely driving out of hell, but I have a tank full of gas, me thinks. That’s hope for ya.

********

On the second session, much like the first, we went over major areas of my life that need working on. I asked Brunet Young if she could tell me what it was she remembered about my history from the consultation team so I could fill in the rest as best I could.

I told her things like, “the overdose from two months ago was not my first, but definitely the worst” and “I have a history of abuse, though my views on it change. I mean, you have to understand our culture is different. But, it’s a fine line no?” I told her about my mother’s past suicidal tendencies, her upbringing, her sister’s (my aunt’s) suicide and so on. She already knew about my immigration situation, my medical problems, my tendency toward isolation, and my body image issues, so I didn’t have to go into that with her.

We talked a lot about how Monkey Man’s recent and sudden death has affected me, how I  was drugged up with him much of the time we were together (off and on), but how I always tried to get him to stop drinking. We discussed ways in which I can work up my courage to call his step-mom and/or dad to ask about the toxicology report results again.

On and on we went. I couldn’t believe myself.

Towards the end of the session, she did something I was so thankful for. She asked me to write a list of issues I thought I hadn’t had a chance to go over with Ex-Young Therapist.

********

My dad had taken me that second day and, on the way out, he said something that bothered me a little.

“She’s not good like the Ex-Young Therapist is she?”

“Why?” I asked.

“Well, she didn’t say hi to me as kindly as the other one.”

After the initial frustration this remark induced, a light bulb lit up in my head! Aha! I have to discuss this with Brunet Young, not this in particular, but my dad. I have to discuss how I think some of my black and white thinking patterns about myself lead back to his black and white thinking. I didn’t get into depth discussing my dad much with Ex-Young Therapist. I did a little, but more toward the end, or just when issues arose. In fact, because we focused so much on me learning DBT skills,  the therapy process and focus remained on present problems and not past, “unresolved” problems.

********

Last Wednesday, I decided to take the bus for our third session. It was better for all of us. My dad didn’t have gas money and I wanted the liberty of no off-handed comments.

It was an hour and a half bus ride; I have to take two buses and the MetroRail downtown but that’s a hell of a lot better than waiting on ole MetroLift’s shifty ass.

I arrived on time and with my homework assignment completed.

Here is my list of “past problems” I didn’t get to discuss with Ex-Young Therapist. And I added a bonus for Brunet Young. I added some therapy goals–totally my idea.

****

I’m on a roll. I’m telling you. Here’s what I wrote down for her:

Goals for Therapy

*Manage Panic attacks and chronic pain

*Reduce suicidal and self-injurious impulses/actions/urges and manage the thoughts better. (No more overdosing!)

*Increase support network
-> continue rebuilding relationship with brother
-> get into that DBT group at BT (keep calling! don’t desist!)
-> get involved again in community organizing/activist orgs.

****

* Interpersonal effectiveness -> review
* Distress tolerance -> review and continue practice!
* Develope a more consistent daily ruitine to include: writing/blogging, sketching, watching Lynda.com tutorials, planing, swimming/yoga, playing ukulele again, and getting a job after filing the immigration papers!
-> remember to do one thing at a time
-> break down into smaller chunks
-> plan ways to reduce stressful situations, not increase or worsen them

* Continue healthy eating / no binging
* Work on self-validation
* Work on healthier ways to deal with complicated grief
-> Monkey Man L’s death and guilt about death
-> hearing loss

* Ask about/look into other methods such as IFS (Internal Family Systems) and Schema Mode therapies.

****

Past Problems

* Mother’s verbal and physical abuse (I really hate the way I wrote this one because, honestly, I feel closer to my mother than my father and I love them both very much, even when they piss me off. And my mom’s changed for the better after getting help herself.)

* Dad’s continued invalidation and overbearing tendencies (not to mention the fact that I still have to depend on him financially)

* Medical Trauma (e.g. still need to deal with jaw incident and set up a date for surgery, continued nerve pain, decreased bone density, past accidents that led to ER, prolonged stays at hospital during childhood; loads of surgeries)

* Sexuality and validation issues (e.g. what happened with Dusty and Emily)

*Repetetive compulsion with alcohol and drugs (mainly alcohol and self-harm)

* Maladaptive core beliefs (e.g. I am not a “good” person, I’m “a burden,” etc.)

********

Yep, so that’s what I have so far. We went over this list I wrote, which she said was very good. I think it’s a good starting point too. And since I was able to write it out, it helped when she asked to explain what I meant by “sexuality and validation issues”. That’s when I brought up Sir Dusty and a lot of other things I may or may not mention here. Man, it was hard work!

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July 21, 2012

My dad has been having trouble paying the rent. And our internet is going to get cut off today. Programming will be suspended until further notice!

I’m still trying to get that job back with the help of Mansie. (It would be contract work kind of hush hush for now since I’m still undocumented.) Let’s hope this immigration thing works out so I can work.

But I’m afraid that if I’m ever actually legally able to work, my mind-fuckery will ruin it and I’ll self sabotage again. And I won’t be able to handle it.

I’m trying to be like The Little Engine that Could. Any of yall seen it?

Mouse love xoxo

…of old-school Latin pop music from P’s palette. First it was my guilty pleasure, Gloria Trevi (see previous post), and now I bring to you a pop, power-ballad by Amanda Miguel who sings like a howling cat (if cats could howl).

“El Me Mintio/He Lied to Me”. This, along with Trevi’s “Dr. Psiquiatra” will be my unofficial “Borderline Girl Song(s)” for the week. hahah! Don’t you just love that 80s big hair!?

********

So, I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve been texting back and forth with this fella that’s in his late thirties to early forties–probably forty-two at most. I met him a few years back through my BPD-Friend-I-Keep-At-A-Close-Distance. I’m going to call her Ryden since we both love the pop surrealist painter Mark Ryden.

Anway, I met him because of her and he became a mutual friend. He is clearly into me but I always ignored and doubted the fact, especially since he was married. He divorced his wife not long ago though. And about two, maybe three weeks ago the texts started rolling in. They eventually became sexual. He’s a nice fella, I think. I’m always doubting people though. He’s a drummer too. He’s shy and I kind of like that. I also like that he speaks Spanish like I do. I guess what I mean is I like that we’re both immigrants, only he came here way before I did. He has a good taste in music, but that means nothing really. There are a lot of things I like about him, I suppose.

Then I start to think I got ahead of myself. You’re being impulsive P! Getting with this dude may open a can of worms!

I mean, I don’t think I would normally go for him, though I’m not sure. He knew how to get to me–through humor. He turned me on by being funny about it! Dammit, I can’t help that I like clowns (not the scary ones). There’s just one thing: He’s a heavy drinker. I definitely don’t like that.

****

I know I’m vulnerable right now. I also know that I don’t ever want to be involved with an alcoholic again, even if it’s just a non-committed thing. (God, I hate saying that.) He’s heavy too, overweight. I don’t mind much about a fella’s weight or how a fella looks, but it does count for something–mainly lifestyle–and besides, I do have my limits or standards I suppose… and it’s best the guy not be heavy because I’m… I’m… I’m tiny! It’s just seems a bit weird when…you know…but then again, I’m weird. And… I mean, it’s not like I’m planning to date this person. I’m not.

But…

The texting has gotten more consistent and intense. I’m waking up to texts like “morning gorgeous” or “morning love” or “how are you love?” or “q haces amor? como estas?” and I kinda like it but I hate that I like it. I prefer older men anyway, but I don’t care to be doted on or do I? Not now. No. No. I’m afraid I’ll grow tired of the attention or I’ll get fearful of attachment and run–or roll since I can’t run.

I’d rather be the asshole in any relationship-type situation because I often think I’m no good. Wait, why am I even starting to call this a relationship-type situation?

I just don’t know what I’m doing.

********

Yesterday, I met my brother’s girlfriend’s family. We watched fireworks for Fourth Of July. I couldn’t help but to think of Monkey Man L and that year we watched fireworks with A.F. in Victoria. It hit me hard when I got dropped off back at home. He’s really no longer here is he?

********

And I haven’t seen the nerdy mechanical engineer, aka bearded boy at the gym since that Saturday. I haven’t begun therapy either after lasts weeks ordeal with the MetroLift. This week it was my fault though, I thought she’d said Wednesday at 2:30 then I realized Wednesday was a holiday. I slept most of the day today avoiding everything, so I didn’t call the office to see what the date really was or check up on the mix-up. Yesterday,  my dad was taking me to my appointment (which I realized I didn’t have anyway) and started nagging when I said I’d left the phone. We had just pulled out of the driveway when I said that and he went on about how, “You should plan things!” and “You SHOULD be organized!”

I’d planned yesterday’s events since last week! I tried, but it didn’t work out and I didn’t triple check. Sorry. At the risk of sounding like an ungrateful child–I tried but it got to me–I just told him not to take me anywhere and to just let me get off the car because I wasn’t going to have it that day.

I long for independence.

Longing is a good sign of wanting to live eh? Yeah, it sort of is.

********

I’ve been meditating out of the water as well as in it. That has been my prayer.

********

My jaw pain from the metal plate that’s sticking out–oh right, I haven’t told that story yet–has been hurting again. I keep feeling like grabbing a chainsaw and hacking my entire jaw out.

********

Mansie came by on Monday so we could write a proposal and I could get that job back as a contracted worker, but…

I don’t know what I’m doing.

Wednesday

June 20, 2012

TODAY has been a good day. I woke up feeling like death, like my blood pressure was low and I would faint and vomit, but all went well at the end of the day. I haven’t been bombarded by suicidal thoughts, I went swimming for an hour, AND I designed a “50th Wedding Anniversary” invitation card for one of my dad’s clients!

I don’t like making invitation cards for his clients. They always want to muddy up the card by adding all their kids’ names (and they’re hispanic guys, so you know that’s usually a lot) and fifty Hail Mary’s and Thanks-Be-To-Jesus prayers on there. Seriously, just invite people! It’s an invitation card! Give them the time, place and date and maybe throw in a “thank you” or “thanks to our kids for putting up with us” or “thank god we’re still married after fifty years; it’s a miracle”. That’s it! I’m proud of being Latina, but damn some of these old-school Catholic country-latino folks’ ways get on my nerves!

It’s tacky and embarrassing guys! You’re messing up my design with all this other mess! But we need the money to pay the light bill, so I did it. I just did it and if felt good just getting it done despite the anxiety. I did it in just three hours too! That’s a feat for me. I’m all “spaced-out” half the time.

****

Perfectionism and the Anxious Neurotic

One thing I had to learn from my Ex-Young Therapist is that I need to just get things done without obssessing, especially when the time calls for it! I’m a perfectionist, and despite what I was told about employers loving it when you say you’re a perfectionist, I can tell you perfectionism–I mean hardcore perfectionism–is torture! It is self-sabotage and self-harm at its finest!

A perfectionist mentality maximizes your anxiety, and if you’re mental like me, that’s a lot of anxiety, which leads to less productivity because you end up lying in the ground all catatonic-like thinking you’re having a heart attack or an aneurysm, which makes you not want to do anything anymore. “I can’t do anything right because I can’t do anything perfect!” Mouse says. Well, no shit Mouse.

So today, I set aside my perfectionism, and instead of  trying to make the card look really good, I just tried to make it “somewhat good”. And I got it done! It’s not for me anyway! It’s not my pet project, my baby, my ultimate design. It’s a damn invitation card for country folks!

****

Drugs Once Again

I took this picture bellow. It’s a picture of my current “meds” , which reminds me of the argument I had with Mr. Mackey last night. He kept telling me to remember about the drugs and alcohol and I said, “I got it, geez. Am I boozin’ right now? NO! There are wine, vodka and whiskey bottles in the kitchen and I’m not even touching any of it. You don’t have to keep telling me!”

Then I got angry.

“Hold up Mr. Mackey, just hold up a second. If drugs are so bad, why do these licensed doctors give me so many?! I know Mr. Mackey. I know they’re the tested and approved drugs and all that, but why did the psychiatrist want to ADD Risperdal to the mix when I told her about the weeks after the overdose? I mean on top of everything Mr. Mackey?! Hmmm? I said no to her Mr. Mackey. I said no. I mean, I was barely getting off the Wellbutrin then and I know, I should’ve told her, but you can’t even contact her! You have to ‘go to the emergency room’ if you think one of these drugs is killing you or if you think you’re gonna kill yourself. And that emergency room is filled with like a hundred and fifty people despite the maximum capacity being a hundred. And some of those hundred and fifty are wounded with blood and guts and whatnot! But anyway, I said, ‘I just… I think I need to go to the hospital, but maybe not right now. Uhhh, no, no. I’m not right now. I’m not going to overdose again. I’m not sure. I mean, yes right now I’m ok. I’m sure I’m not going to try right now, this very minute, but I’ve been flipping so much. I just don’t want another drug is what I mean.’ So that’s what I said to her Mr. Mackey. I was being my own advocate, I think. Is that decision mmmmmmmkay? Is my decision to stay on what I’m on mmmmmkay? I don’t know. I really don’t Mr. Mackey. Mmmmmmkay, now what do you think?”

Mr. Mackey left, didn’t even answer, just blinked with dumbfounded eyes and floated off. Poof. Flew out of my bedroom window, high above my roof with his big balloon head.

“Mr. Mackey?”

********

Sometimes I do think that since I started the Fluoxetin/Prozac–became a part of Prozac nation a month and a half ago–the “depressive symptoms” have improved, well some of them. I don’t even know what I mean by that. That’s how ambiguous these things are. I mean, I have more energy overall, I think. I can get out of bed much easier, but that’s still not easy you still wake up feeling hopeless, having panic attacks and feeling nauseated.

The Wellbutrin could’ve been doing a better job. Doesn’t that name sound funny, like it’ll make you “well”. Then again, I’ve just been bat-shit-crazy  bouncing off the walls going from the depths of hell to the highs of heaven in ways I can’t even describe. I have energy like I’m on crack! I hardly have an appetite. And I’m not sure I like that saying “bat-shit-crazy”. Bats aren’t shitty and they’re not crazy because don’t have such a complex psyche as we do, unless there’s something we don’t know about them and they’re secretly plotting to take us down.

But anyway, how would I be able to measure the efficacy of the “meds” since I don’t get to talk to the psychiatrist until the end of July? And besides, she never does any proper evaluations or anything. Plus, summer has come along! And my body almost always reacts kindly to the Sun or vise versa. And my mom got a janitorial job at a local gym, so I’ve been able to swim more regularly there. Here’s the thing, I was bouncing off the walls five-six-seven weeks ago to the point where I was going to put myself inpatient at one of those horrid state hospital wards. I’ve made it thus far though. The ride’s been bumpy, Himalayas bumpy, but I’m here.

I’m still feeling generally unstable though, so I don’t know. I’m scared.

Shit, considering how this year’s been thus far, considering I still don’t know how Monkey Man L–one of the closest persons to me ever–died and I haven’t been able to let that go, considering the increment of my feelings of worthlessness, considering the immigra–well you get it–considering all that and more, I think I’ve gotten a handle on it as much as I can. And though my anxiety is still sky-high most of the day everyday (hell, it seems to be worse), I think I’m alright today guys!

I’m chip-chip-chip-chipper! haha.

I currently weight 46 pounds, that’s roughly 21 kilos. Here’s a list of the drugs I’m on:

  1. 40mg Fluoxetine/Prozac – A fairly potent Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor. Those are the white caps with the little dashed lines. The reason why I have two different kind is because one is a 10mg (I was initially on 20mg, then the psych decided to up it to 40, so I now have the 20mg. It all adds up).
  2. 400mg Carbamazepine/Tegretol – These are the little round yellowish-beige colored pills with the orange circle in the middle. They were initially for the neurological pain I started experiencing two years ago after I got the Bell’s Palsy for the second time and for he third time in January of this year. Oh, snapples! I never got to writing my Bell’s Palsy Part II did I? Hell, I think I’ve promised too many “Part II’s”. I need to stop doing that. Oh get this though. Carbamazepine is an anti-convulsant, so it helps reduce epileptic seizures, yet it’s used for neuropathic pain which is what I have on my face, BUT… BUT… get this: It’s also used as a mood stabilizer! So, it’s of label use is for bipolar disorder. Am I getting a “two for one deal” here. It doesn’t seem so. It seems like this shit my be making my moods flail around and flagellate my soul more?!  (You can read Bell’s Palsy: Don’t Fight It, Just Be Part 1 here)
  3. Drisderol LF 50MU – That’s the green one. This one is actually for the Osteogenesis Imperfecta-OI (aka Brittle Bone Disease, er, Condition). It’s actually a new drug that doctors are trying on patients with Osteoperosis, which I also have due to the OI, but they said it should help. It’s essentially just high absorption vitamin D.The genetecist and the orthopedic doctors discovered that my bone density has gotten even lower since I broke my arm in February. Got, it’s been five months already! We’re already halfway through the year. Anyway, Drisderol is what I take only on Wednesdays: “One capsule by mouth once weekly for three months, then twice a month for three more months.” Wednesdays are the days I designated for the Drisderol.
  4. I ran out of Caltrate and fish-oils but I’m still taking B-12.
Meds

Wednesday’s drugs, mmmkay.

addendum: Oh at the pool today, two old ladies asked my mom how old I am. I was in front of her. Really? I know I’m tiny and use a wheelchair, but I’m not mentally retarded or deaf, well, I’ slightly deaf and mental, but still, ASK ME, DIRECTLY! I used to get really upset when this happened but now I only get mildly upset. Sigh. Ignorance is everywhere.

addendum 2: Speaking of Bell’s Palsy, I got the strangest search term today — “Fiona Apple Bell’s Palsy”. Weird. I don’t think she’s ever had Bell’s Palsy but then I wouldn’t know, would I? Oh well, at least I didn’t get anything about a “hairy Hulk” or “girly Avengers”!

Much love from me and the Mouse, or just twice the love from me, a much more chipper Mouse!


********

What?! Did you think that I was done complaining? Oh no, no, no. Please. Those two posts were only my warm-up.

****

So I look down at the book C had slipped on Mansie’s desk for me, “Slavery by Lisa Kristine“. It’s a lovely book–gorgeous photographs. But it’s pretty sad, and by now, my chest is thumping faster, faster than little thumper in Bambi, like a sub-woofer speaker in a low-rider. I mean it is THUMPING! It’s shaking my ribs all up! I had thought I’d maxed out my anxiety at C’s office, but apparently being there in that dark office by myself is only making my smallness more apparent, the darkness just amplifies and the glowing halo behind me seems out of reach.

I look at the window behind me; it’s such a sunny day. I get a text from Mansie, she asks if I can call her after 1:30 instead. At this point, I’m growing increasingly light headed, my breathing gets heavy so I’m sitting there doing my mindfulness and distress tolerance breathing exercise, the only one I’ve manage to master and I go down a little. I figure I better go pee, but the restrooms upstairs aren’t fit for a wheelchair. Sure, I can walk to the stall from my wheelchair like I have before, but I don’t want anything to make me anymore irate. Besides, I need an excuse to get out of sight.

So I’m downstairs in the lobby pacing in my chair after I find a restroom which unfortunately was locked. I’m pacing. I’m breathing in deeply, I’m breathing out slowly. Breathing in deeply, breathing out slowly. 

I’m flushed. I’m heaving. I’m having hot flashes like a woman in menopause; I’m having cold flashes like a bikini model in an ice cold beach; I’m having flashes and shakes in a  hallelujah-I’ve-been-touched-by-Jesus-but-I’m-really-just-having-a-stroke-in-a-pentacostal-church fashion. It’s a good thing the downstairs lobby is a ghost town because if anybody takes one look, they’ll see a disheveled mouse twitching and heaving and mumbling and rolling to and fro in an electric wheelchair.

I call my dad and tell him what just happened. I ask him for advise but he merely says, “I don’t know what to tell you. You know I don’t have an opinion in these things.” That’s his default phrase these days. I know why he says that. It’s basically a defense he’s built in after all of my “explosions” in he past. He doesn’t want to risk saying something that will trigger me, so he says nothing. I tell him I love him and head back upstairs, but not after trying the New Male Therapist and leave a message thanking her for getting me that DBT group. “I still haven’t gotten the letter though… and…” Of course, I sound quivery and like I’m getting ready to cry. So I head back upstairs before I do.

I’m breathing in deeply, I’m breathing out slowly. Breathing in deeply, breathing out slowly. Iiiiiin two-three-four. Ooooout two-three-four. I’m rolling across shiny tile floor, I am pushing the elevator button. Elevator lights up, door opens. I am feeling anxious; I am going in. I am mindful of my surrounding. I am mindful of my actions. I am mindful of my feelings… My feelings are just feelings passing through me like leaves floating across a river… I am…

****

This is where I decide to get on WordPress and Sailor becomes my night in shinning armor, helps me see things a little more balanced, more clearly. Thank you Sailor! See, I tell myself much of what you said Sailor, but it just makes more sense seeing the way you wrote it, having it come from someone else. I guess I need too much reassurance sometimes. But it’s a good thing you said what you said.  And I’ll say it again, you guys, my mental, very mental and only-averagely-mental bloggies are like a first response team.

****

What else? Well, I take D’s picture because by the time I head back up she’s there waiting. I have a good, though rushed and anxious conversation with her and eventually head back downstairs to wait on the MetroLift.

While I’m down there, I call Mansie and we both devise a plan! It’s excellent, or the best we can think of.

Wanna know what it is?

Well… I can’t say!

mehehehe

****

I’m out in the hot sun thirty minutes and damn MetroLift is nowhere to be seen. For a split second I think I see it, but it flashes in front of me like a ghost. Only I’m the one that feels like a ghost, all the people coming in and out of the building and I’m melting into the white light.

****

Fourty minutes later I’m calling the MetroLift dispatch service for the third time and again they’re telling me the cab should be there within ten minutes.

****

I’m on the side of the road, trying to see if the cab has missed it’s turn. Nope, that’s not it. It’s just another damn SUV. By now, I’m hoping a car hits me.

****

I’m on hold with the dispatch. I saw the cab pass me by, but on the OTHER street, not on the street I’m on. “Can you tell them I’m on the Over-Fuckin-Here-Entrance not in the Over-Fuckin-There-Entrance please?” I try not to be angry. It’s not the dispatcher’s fault, but by now I’m in tears.

****

I get home and take my straps off, you know all those straps they put you in. And driver lady says, “hey, please don’t take your straps off”. I’m looking like I’m about to turn into She-Hulk but I maintain. I’m cool.

“Sorry. Didn’t mean to…”

********

And today? Well, today I saw the immigration lawyer! Just one; the other was in a conference. I forgot to bring originals and all this other stuff. But, but, here it goes… I went swimming! I did eight laps in thirty minutes. I’m still having withdrawals from my third day of not watching Battlestar Galactica.

****

Oh no, this blog is becoming what I promised myself it wouldn’t become– a damn journal!

*le mouse sigh*

Read “P Gets Fired On Her Second Day of Work Part 1”

********

“So what’s your offer?” C clasps his hands.

I’m fuckin’ stumped! I mean stumped. This man really wants to hire me and doesn’t even know he can’t!

****

When I called the lawyer on Friday to ask him for advise on the internship, he reminded me that I’m not hirable. I know this dear lawyer. I just wanted to know if taking the internship would affect my process later and he went on with the sh-peel:  “You’re not authorized to work P, but *coughs* I can’t say you shouldn’t *coughs* or that I wouldn’t *coughs* in your shoes. And no, it I haven’t seen that affect negatively on the humanitarian parole or your I-130 but it may in case of deferred action. And I’ve seen work places get raided by immigration officials plenty of times. And you’re not authorized to work.”

I’d called the lawyer to ask him if filling out a W-9 (contract/independent worker) for tax purposes would affect my “humanitarian parole” proceedings, proceedings we haven’t even begun. He said they shouldn’t. He said it shouldn’t affect anything except maybe the “deferred action”. That’s when you get called in court before a judge and the judge has “discretionary decision,” so basically if he has his panties up too tight and is cranky that his wife left him or some other personal shit, he can swing his gavel and have me DEPORTED!

********

Here’s a quick rundown.

I need a Social Security number to work. I do not have one nor can I obtain one. There is no magic line I can just get on. I only have an IRS number which in my case is really an “ITIN” number and it is what I was going to take a risk using for the internship because as an intern I wasn’t going to be on the “payroll” so the risk of getting raided was very low. I am as the lawyer bluntly put it, “not authorized to work”.

My parents became permanent legal residents last year. It’s a long fuckin’ story, so stay tuned! I’m currently filling the I-130 which is the “petition for family relative”. It costs $420 which isn’t too bad compared to the price of the other forms I’ll have to send in later. I’m having my mom petition me because the lawyer said moms are better in the eyes of the law or some shit like that. ha! Ay, I do love my crazy mami though. The crazy little nutcase didn’t fall far from the crazy-nut tree in this case.

Anyway, my mom is petitioning for me, but because I am an “single adult child” I am not an “immediate relative” nor priority. I am what they call B2 or B3 relative or something similar. So, my wait time is longer–7 to 9 years to be exact. Let me say that again, my wait time is SEVEN to NINE years. NINE FUCKIN YEARS!

I arrived in the U.S. in August of 1990. I’m twenty-six now. You do the math. Yeah, I sure as hell don’t want to be in my mid-to-late thirties before I can even BEGIN my career life. People with Osteogenesis Imperfecta have a shorter life expectancy, let alone all the damage I’ve already done to myself! Ok. Just blowing steam. Phew.

Chill P. Chill. Remember Sailor’s sweet words. Remember to breath. You’re getting yourself worked up.

End of quick rundown.

********

“Fourteen? Fourteen what? An hour?” he asks. I had zoned out and must have looked a bit terrified or terrifying. I was staring behind him out of the window.

I wonder if I jump from

“Uh, yes, an hour. Fourteen an hour. But that’s my minimum and since I don’t know what yall’s budget is, I’m putting it very low. Normally, I’d say seventeen dollars an hour would be my minimum. I uhhh… I think I’d be best to do this by the project. I normally charge by the project.”  I reply indefinitely. I feel like an idiot. I’m scratching my thigh under the table. I really want him to hire me, but I have no idea if what I just said was too low or too high. I suspect it was too low, way low for my level of skill, but I roll with it and pretend I knew what I was offering all along.

I’ve never been hired on salary. And I have no way of knowing if what I offered was a safe bet. Actually, I do. I’ll do a google search. Fuck, I’ve never even held a real job! I used to complain about this to my Ex-Young Therapist and she would remind me to remind myself of how much I had already accomplished despite my limitations. “Sure, you don’t have a job like so-and-so and you’re not married and have a kid like your other friend what-chu-ma-call-her. But didn’t you finish college? Aren’t you trying to work despite being held back legally? What else can we list?” And MENTALLY! I want to add. She had a point, but in the long run, I always ended up feeling like shit.

It’s moments like these where I feel very small, like baby, like a little adult baby. Hell, I’m the size of one, I can just crawl in a crib and cry. The adult baby that I am. I don’t even know what to tell a potential employer who can’t hire me anyway what I want for in a salary.

“Good. Well, like I said, I just have to figure out if we can move some funds over so you can start with the C-4 team–”

“I mean even if it’s just part time really…” I interrupt. At this point I think my nerves are noticeable. There’s that other awkward silence I created.

“So tell me more about yourself?” he asks, taking me by surprise.

“Ummm. As in what I do? What I’d like to do for your guys?” I stumble. By now I’m really mashing in those nails in my thigh.

“Yes, that too.”

I decide not to tell him that I’m a “filthy little illegal immigrant he can’t hire” anyway so why bother. I tell him about my passion for film and documentary filmmaking.  We end the discussion with our idea about the video blogs or b-logs I’d talked about with Mansie and using them as monthly educational segments. Then I tell him the reason why I’d brought in my camera today was because I’d already scheduled to take a photo of D for the brochure.

“Is D here?”

“No, I’m waiting for her. She said she’d be here in half an hour and I don’t get picked up by MetroLift until two,” I say.

He leads me into Mansie’s office and asks if I’d be alright working there while I waited for D. Then he hands me this book to look over while I wait.

“I think you’ll like her. She’s a great photojournalist. This one is about labor slavery and she’s opened a fund from the proceeds of the book. Alright, I have to go to a meeting.” He leaves me alone in the room.

I look at the book he’d handed me: “Slavery by Lisa Kristine”. I want to cry. These are the kind of jobs I prefer. Working with people who make an effort at changing social ills, making a fuckin’ difference in the community. Ugh.

I pick up my cell phone and text Mansie: “I got the news from C. Can I call you in ten minutes?”

I finished it! The first one.  Now I have the other one to do. It’s been taking me forever to do things.

So here’s where Mouse and P fuck up. (I’m angry at Mouse at the moment so we are NOT one).

About a week and a half, two weeks ago. More or less, I don’t know. Anyway, sometime before or after my incident, I’d applied for a job Mansietold me about. Now if you know, I cannot work legally in the States, so let’s keep this hush hush. It’s a temporary paid internship so they may not bother with the paperwork as much as they normally would with a “real job”. But it pays and it revolves around things I can do well, like writing and designing and other multimedia stuff.

So I guess sometime on Wednesday (so three days ago), the hiring guy emails me and asks if I can meet Friday morning for an interview! But guess what? Mouse is too busy fuckin crying and playing ping pong in my cerebellum and cerebral cortex with the Pretty Little Demons. Those little fuckers have been playing pranks on and fuckin’ with my lymbic system again–my lizard brain, my amygdala. One of those in particular has me overeating again.

Anyway, I didn’t get actually see and read guy’s email until FRIDAY. I saw my psychiatrist, FINALLY, on Thursday but went home and slept all day. It turns out I’m fighting a cold because everyone in this house is sick and how can my immune defenses take full charge when I’m on all these psychiatric drugs and when the PLDs (that’s Pretty Little Demons) are in managing things so much?

Well, I got nervous as all hell. I emailed the guy back and apologized for having “overlooked” or “missing” his email (I don’t remember which term I used, it took me forever to decide). Then I said, I would be very glad and willing to meet with him for an interview next week at the soonest, at his convenience and whatnot.

The guy has not replied. 😦 And I’m getting nervous, nervous, nervous. I kinda want him not to reply and then I again, I REALLY need this money. I have no source of income right now and my parents need a break, they’re… blegh. I’m not going to talk about them after my recent battle with the blog. Oh that’s another thing. I’ve been fighting this blog too. Only I never feed it as much as Dear Dotty does. My blog is like a snake, it gets stuffed with one mouse for weeks and has to digest that shit slowly. I’m just trying to figure out whether to nuke this blog completely, split it into three–one private, one poetry and one open–or just step away for a while or just write poems while I figure this out  (I’ll need an intervention too pull out of here though. You guys got a hold ‘a me).

Anyway, I suspect Mansie, friend who’s “hookin’ me up,”  is talking to hiring guy to give me a push on the job, errr, internship. Thank you lady! MUAH. But here’s the thing. Considering the upped suicidality (I hate that word), I don’t know how I’d handle ANY job, even if this job is only ten to twenty hours a week.

****

This is where I get to my second fuck-up.

Remember that I do photo restorations once in a blue moon? Well, the one I had from last month was incomplete, then I got that other one I wrote about the day I had to make a deal right after getting out of bed. Well, this first one was from a guy my dad “helps out” sometimes–another one of those wannabe photographers. Anyway, this other wannabe photographer asked me if I could do a restoration for a friend of his. I’d said yes and offered it up for one hundred bucks. (I’m GIVING MY WORK AWAY!) The guy’s friend said eighty so I settled on eighty bucks (that’s 51 pounds for you Brits).

So the week before last, this wannabe photographer calls and asks me if he can come over to pick it up. I say how about another day since I wasn’t done with it. I told him to call me back anytime the following week and I’d have it ready in his hands. Well, fuck me, I went crazy that week and nearly went voluntary at one of  those scary general hospital psych units.

Last night he calls me, says he’s coming over. And I start with the anxiety. I start to panic. Heart thumps-and-a-thumps. Oh no, I haven’t finished it yet! How do I tell him I don’t have it ready like I’d promised because I nearly offed myself the Sunday before last?

The guy wasn’t happy but I managed to tell him I’d have it ready this morning. And voila! 

DONE. FUCKIN’ DONE! WHEW.

(Click to view them in gallery form.)

If you notice, I didn’t do a great job on the nose and left cheek. I’m not too proud of this one, but fuck, for 80 bucks only, I wasn’t going to go all out. Besides, I had to rush in the end. The starting bid on this should really be $300. BUT Costco will do it for only $30. SAMS CLUB which is owned by WALMART will do it for $25. You know what they do? They send it to some kids in China and have them do the work, pay them $5 bucks and print it for .10 cents. They then get 20 to 35 dollars in profit. Meanwhile, the poor Chinese/Indian/Colombian kid gets 5 bucks (he can’t even get a living with that) and I have to struggle to get a decent pay.

****

The guy said he was going to call me this morning to come over and pick it up. Well, he hasn’t called and it’s already noon here. Meh. It’s done! 🙂

Yesterday, though, my mom said, “Why do you take jobs if you can’t complete them?” And I had to brush it off.

Funny thing is I heard her voice this morning, long before the alarm rang: “P! P! Wake up! Wake up!”. Then I heard the door slam. Turns out it was just me hearing things in dream mode, knowing I had to get the fuck up and finish this things.

Sigh. If I do get a reply from this other guy, how am I going to handle working ten to twenty hours a week if I can’t even handle doing this one photograph in a three and a half weeks time? If I feel I still sometimes feel I need to be committed? Also, won’t the MIGRA get me? I feel immigration is reading this and waiting to charge!

Oh and FUCK Walmart!

Shhhhh. Don’t tell the Walmart peoples and the immigration peoples I’m still here, please bloggies, don’t.

*disappears ninja style*

Life is beautiful, it’s precious, it’s [insert other euphemism]. It is the only one we know we’ll get. So why waste it? Why throw it away?

Sure, there are tsunamis that claw over, killing hundreds of people and hurricanes and tornadoes and earthquakes all leaving ravage in their wake; there’s disease and famine, and worst of all, the man-made stuff–if you don’t count some of the natural disaster stuff being partially an effect of some of the man made stuff.

But still, why throw it away?

I have often wondered “How does one get to that point?” of taking your own life, of constantly being bombarded by thoughts of suicide. I wonder about this, even when I myself have been there countless times. So I can only imagine how incomprehensible it maybe for someone who’s never dealt with chronic depression and chronic thoughts of suicide like I have.

I say take this as a trigger warning, please: I will refer to suicide a lot in this post. Read the rest of this entry »