Archive for the ‘Disorders’ Category
If you’ve been following this story, you will be glad to hear that the Window Treatment issue has been sorted out.
We are getting blinds in fake wood that looks really real, ordered from a fantastic Persian lady who also showed me curtains with little Japanese guys in boats that would cost $2,000 for one room! It was a huge relief to get the window decision behind us.
We disagreed about the couch placement in the living room and got people to come over and render judgements and help move stuff around. When I told my psychiatrist about the couch dispute, he shared that he and his wife had a couch dispute a few days earlier, with one of them using the phrase “over my dead body.”
I have not been moved to say “over my dead body” so far, but I did start writing a song called “I’ve got a bridge and I’m gonna jump off it.” We live a couple of short blocks from a park that overlooks the ocean, with a steep drop that I can’t look at without the thought of jumping. If I jumped, it would have to be a sure-fire fatality. It would have to be several stories high and I would have to be more despondent that I am at this moment.
No one likes to hear me talk about death. Death is with me every single day, as a heartache and and a fantasy solution. My niece came to visit and was happy to talk about death, which was a delightful surprise. She had given the subject plenty of thought. I confided that my husband once got angry when he told me he wanted a coffin burial and I asked what he wanted to wear for the occasion. She responded, “Probably because he has too many choices,” referring to his collection of 94 shirts.
In any case, I can’t die before I get the pink toilet I so richly deserve.
We walked into a plumbing shop after finding that the tile shop was closed. There, I asked if they had a pink toilet, and the girl told me Sorry, pink toilets are a thing of the past. Armed with my knew Toilet Knowledge, I said smugly, “No, Gerber still makes them.” She went to her office to look this up on her computer, and I heard her exclaim “Unbelievable!”
I felt wonderful, more informed about toilets that an actual toilet girl! She took me to a hallway decorated with toilet seats in every color ever manufactured. She was a genuine Toilet Enthusiast. She pointed out a color called ‘Merlot,’ a deep wine color, almost like Chanel Rouge Noir, and noted that it’s the hardest color to find. We discussed the wide variety of green hued toilet seats.
The Toilet Girl ordered a pink toilet for me. Did you know that the seat comes in both wood and plastic?
I want to be best friends with the Toilet Girl and talk about toilets until the end of time, or until I get a Tile Guy to bond with.
We are packing our shit and preparing to leave our house, the house where nobody likes to throw anything away.
I like the idea of a fresh start, in terms of starting over in a clean empty house and pretending that we’ll learn to not pile things on every available surface. We’ll want to keep things tidy because we’ll be motivated by the nice empty canvass of the nice empty house.
But still, I am trying. I’m giving shit away and getting rid of stuff I can live without. So I started getting rid of old books, the kind that are really yellowed with tiny print and smell really musty. Eventually, I had boxes of books to take to the thrift store.
I realized that now when someone visits me, they won’t know I was once smart. They won’t have any idea of how well-read I am! Most of the fiction I bought over the years was in the form of cheap paperbacks, with a few rare exceptions when I felt justified in splurging on a hardback edition. I packed up dozens of wonderful moldy books that I would still recommend to anyone who likes to read.
All that Balzac, Zola, Bronte sisters, Goethe, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Nabokov, Iris Murdoch, Hermann Hesse, Tolstoy, Fitzgerald, Doris Lessing, Camus, all those great books that helped me to understand human nature while escaping the awfulness of being me.
If you know you’re not going to read those yellowed pages again, why should you keep them? Do people keep enormous ‘libraries’ of books just to remind themselves how much they’ve read? Or because books are too sacred to throw away? I really don’t know the answer. I will still have tons of books that are in good shape, because they’re newer or because they’re big art books made from high quality paper.
But people who meet me now will think I’m some idiot who just reads dictionaries and books about street gangs and mental disorders.
Meanwhile, my mind is now preoccupied with stuff I’ve never thought about in my entire life. Toilet seats! Kitchen cabinets! Media consoles! Wicker porch chairs!
It’s pathetic, these new preoccupations. We even discovered this TV channel where ALL THEY DO is buy houses, knock down walls, and argue about tile! It’s a whole new world, a world I never thought I’d relate to.
And it’s brought me and my husband a new kind of intimacy as we mock those losers who always talk about ‘natural light’ and always, always manage to say the word ‘granite.’
I’m sad to say that Pico is gone, as you might have predicted. Life seemed so miserable for him.
I will blame myself for making the call, because I don’t know how long he would have lasted, despite the chronic pain and cognitive issues.
I miss him terribly but I’m not traumatized, because it seems like I’m already stuck with permanent PTSD that time won’t budge.
However! I am still capable of being dismayed.
I fucked up my back when I had to carry Pico inside from the backyard. He was only 40 pounds but I managed to lift him improperly.
So after whimpering (i.e. screaming) about my back for two weeks, I went to the doctor. The first blow was when she measured my height. I am supposed to be 5′ 6″ but now I measured 5′ 4 1/2″ for a loss of one and a half inches of valuable height!
Fuck me! I can’t believe this, even though I know that age and shitty bones lead to shrinking. What next? A dowager’s hump? I’ll probably go bald and whatever else is available to elderly women. I had to have ex-rays of my back, which revealed a degenerating spine or something that sounded like that. All those years of weightlifting, for nothing.
I’m going to get physical therapy for my back, but for now I have two new prescriptions plus a bottle of Pico’s narcotic pain-killers.
To further drive home the old age thing, my husband and I were talking about TV hosts and we couldn’t remember Larry King’s last name. It was a moment of shared horror as our eyes met and we silently acknowledged that our brains have turned to mush.
Trying to retrieve Larry King’s last name was like gazing into an infinite black hole where a memory bank used to be. I hate Larry King now. I would say He’s dead to me, except now I’ll probably remember him as a symbol of senility, both his and mine.
Years ago, I read a book called ‘The Sibling Bond‘ after reading an enthusiastic review somewhere. I remember its theories and insights as uniquely thought-provoking. Now, it’s all just depressing.
The sibling bond is like no other relationship. It is fraught with everything under the sun – issues of identity, intimacy, security, fairness, all woven together in a complex knotted mess.
I’m calling it a mess because I’ve had a major falling out with my sister, the sister I grew up with, the sister who was half of what my mom called “You Two Brats.”
In healthy families, children’s roles and identities are not fixed at birth or rigidly imposed early in life. In other families, however, parents fuse their children, treating them as if they were the same. The children are lumped together, treated as if they were each other’s twin despite differences in age, stage, sex and temperament. The children can become fused in their minds, because they are fused in their parents minds.
Sibling bonds will become intense when, as children, the siblings have had plentiful access, contact, AND have been deprived of reliable parental care.
I remember myself as an anxious, fearful child who looked to my sister for warmth and companionship. She was two years older, husky and athletic. I was skinny and clumsy and still can’t ride a bicycle. We ate together, bathed together, were punished together and rewarded together. When we fought and I tried to get our mother’s attention, she would scream, “You two fight it out!”
I gave up on the hope that my mother would intervene and protect me. So when my sister devised tortures to try out on me, I learned to accept my fate. The worst came at bath-time. My sister would take my cotton undershirt and hold it under the hot water tap until steam came off it. Then, I would have to put it on. It hurt and I cried but there was no escape.
The other bath-time torture was the wet bar of soap: She would order me to choose whether I wanted it “in the eye or in the mouth.” I remember the panicky brain work of making the choice. The choice was always wrong, naturally.
My sister had a huge problem with being copied. She became enraged if she perceived any copying. If I drew with a blue crayon, it might be construed as copying. She made up a thing to yell when she started to do something, meaning it was her idea and could not be copied. When she decided I had copied her, there was ‘slavery.’ It was actually called slavery.
Did everyone grow up this way? I really have no idea. But I loved my sister, because she was all I had. We made up a private language that we could speak a mile a minute. She taught me how to shave my legs. We both had to smoke our father’s cigar when he picked us up for Divorced dad dinners in expensive restaurants. We both had to endure his criticism of our hair and our teeth, and his self-congratulatory appraisal of his latest girlfriend.
Once, my sister was determined to get even with some guy for something, and the only way she could do it was to sleep with someone. I tried every argument to change her mind. When she announced that she planned to pick a stranger off the street, I told her to just use my former lover, a compliant stoner. She fucked him alright. She fucked him for around six months. At some point, I begged her to stop, but she wouldn’t. She told me that she wasn’t through getting even.
It was still a choice of the eye or the mouth, but without the choice factor.
We spent years of our lives, fused together or enraged at each other. We used to rely on each other to be what we called a Reality Guarantor, to compare our experiences or point of view. It was so reassuring. Whatever I might be worried about, she swore that it was nothing serious, it would go away or never happen or that she had it too and it wasn’t cancer.
Now we have crossed a line. Too many grievances have been aired. I see her as pathologically competitive and sadistic. She has rewritten my history, casting me as the villain in pieces where I was once the clear victim. Maybe it’s better to be the villain. The truth doesn’t matter to her, and I am the truth police, as everyone knows.
According to her, I’m the devil himself. “You think your shit don’t stink?” she shouted at me over the phone. Who even talks like that? Who are we, Mob Wives? Shouldn’t she at least say ‘doesn’t stink’?
If you live in the US and watch TV, you have been bombarded with commercials touting drugs for low testosterone. Never mind that doctors agree only a small proportion of men – about 0.5% – need testosterone therapy.
The ads are funny at first, then it might occur to you that a lot of money is being made by pharmaceutical companies preying on mens insecurities. Not only that, but they are pathologizing the aging process. But of course it gets worse.
High testosterone levels increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and death by 30%. Averse effects of testosterone drugs are creating a whole new class of lawsuit. But those constant ads keep nagging that if you just feel kind of icky, kind of grumpy and apathetic, IT COULD BE LOW T!!!
So I went to the website Is it Low T and took the quiz. I had a strong feeling, no, really an absolute conviction that I would test positive for Low T. Here is my score, where I lied about my erections because I wasn’t sure how to answer.
As you can see, I’m in big trouble. I’m not even a man and I have fucking Low T!
When I was a weight-lifter, in another lifetime, many of the guys at my gym were huge pro bodybuilders. At certain points in their ‘training cycle,’ they would bulk up by taking steroids and pure testosterone. You could tell which ones were using, because they were easily enraged and prone to acne breakouts on their backs and shoulders. Their feeling was obviously, Anything for bigger muscles.
Now, men are urged to raise their testosterone levels if they’re feeling sad or tired or don’t always feel like having sex. Look at that poor suffering couple above. He looks around 20 but awwwww, he can’t get it up. She’s not helping with that awful white bra. Is she a nursing mother or something? Anyway, this image comes from an article about Low T. I wish she would just masturbate and leave him alone.
Here is a chart showing the rise in testosterone prescribing between 2000 and 2010:
I don’t know about you, but I see plenty of repercussions. Angry, acne-ridden men who want to fuck all the time when they’re not dropping dead of a heart attack. I’m just not into it. If you or your sad and apathetic husband still see more testosterone as the answer to you problems, bookmark this ad:
As I write this, we still don’t know what caused the death of poor Peaches Geldof but we are human, most of us, so we feel the tragedy. For me, it was yet another trigger, a blast of PTSD, complete with unwanted images of her dead body, what position she was in, wondering how her family will live through this. Looking at pictures of her adorable babies, reading her loving descriptions of them, struggling with the very idea of deliberately leaving them.
She is none of my business but I refreshed my google search for news, every few hours. Just like I did with L’Wren Scott. How dare these people leave their loved ones, how dare they leave strangers like me to wonder in horror at the big hole they left, to feel like the last page of a book was torn out before we could know how it ended.
I wish I could stop taking it personally but such is my PTSD or Complicated Grief or whatever pathology can be assigned to my condition.
In the days leading up to Max’s birthday, I was more anxious than I realized. I had a fight with my sister over plans for his birthday dinner. Weeks have passed but she still won’t talk to me.
In the days following his birthday, I felt better. I could feel him inside me, not like a dark companion this time but like part of my heart, myself, a good part. I felt lighter, I guess.
But nope, I was not really okay. I sent a curt email in the middle of the night to a close friend’s husband, who knew Max. In the morning, the friend emailed me, hysterically blaming me for destroying the husband and being a monster.
Stung at being the monster in someone else’s narrative, I debated this in escalating emails that resulted in her blocking me both on facebook and in real life gmail. Now I am officially a monster who would dare to make someone feel uncomfortable about Max’s suicide. And I have lost a friend. Maybe they would like to file a restraining order.
I have already suffered the shock of a restraining order! The fiance who refused to talk to me filed a restraining order, citing a fear for her life. It did not pan out, obviously, but it is the post post-modern way of telling someone to shut up or else.
If I could file a restraining order against myself, I would. I would accuse me of torturing myself when I least expect it, with waves of anger, remorse, and morbid preoccupations. I could make me stay 100 yards away from myself and my place of employment.
Meanwhile, one of my facebook friends, needless to say a complete stranger, told me that she was depressed today, more than usual, and wants me to call her. She has a physical handicap and that must be hard. I don’t want to take this on but I will, because even though I’m a monster in real life, on facebook I’m still a nice and compassionate person. For now, anyway.
I’m not happy with mine either, and here’s why: The model above.
Just look at how skinny those legs are! Hmph, bad photoshopping, right? That’s what I told myself. But then, I accidentally started a video, and the skinny legs marched toward me confidently, even though their owner looks like a polio victim.
Now, we all know that our culture has screwed up our body image, and we know intellectually that legs this skinny aren’t desirable (or for most of us, attainable.) But after seeing enough images of bone-thin models, a normal-sized woman looks hefty. Hefty and meaty. Hefty and meaty and unworthy.
How are we supposed to even know what a normal leg looks like? Personally, I only wear shorts at home, no matter how hot it gets. I may have run out in shorts to walk the dog, but in general, I don’t want to impose my legs on innocent bystanders. I wear a size 4, which is fairly small, but no way will I get my legs out and submit them to judgement. And I’m not thrilled about my lack of a waist.
No matter how many magazines print sanctimonious, preachy articles about eating disorders and the pressure to be unnaturally thin, these images aren’t going anywhere. A couple of beautiful plump models will appear every so often, as if to prove there’s no bias in the fashion industry. But the ideal of a size-nothing body remains entrenched.
If you have a daughter, your work is cut out for you. Not only do you have all those pop singers writhing around like desperate prostitutes, you still have these fucking legs to deal with.
Poor Tragic Fashion boy!
I came across this picture and it brought back a whole era – the era in my life when blogging and fashion were exciting and full of adventure. I was genuinely fascinated by characters like Sea of Shoes and Tragic Fashion Boy.
Now, life has lost its luster, and my priorities have certainly changed. But it makes me sad to see these photos of Charles Guislain, who is now around 20, and still the object of male lust on various websites. God only knows what he has experienced in the last few years.
I see he is working as a photographer. I hope he’s happy with his choices. I hope he’s decided to eat more.
Oddly enough, today someone reminded me about Daphne Guinness, another character I once found interesting. In a new interview, she revealed that she dresses “intuitively.”
I don’t care about her any more but I still love words. What does she mean by dressing intuitively? Is it possible to dress oneself counter-intuitively?
Let me know what you think.
Yesterday, I was bitching about my hair on facebook, and a friend passed on her mother’s advice about spending too much time at the mirror.
I couldn’t even imagine my own mother giving me any advice, although she did warn me not to have ‘intercourse’ after I started coming home at 3:AM. She was pretty useless in the advice department. She didn’t prepare me for anything except a conviction that I would never, ever, grow up to be like her.
Look at her body language in this picture. She holds me like I’m a time bomb or some infectious agent. And me, I look away anxiously, maybe at someone less scary.
It is pointless to blame your crazy mom for all your shortcomings, and yet. Getting over a crazy mom is a tall order.
An interesting school of psychology maintains that Adverse Childhood Experiences can represent trauma that doesn’t just ‘go away.’ Having a crazy mom is an ACE; enough ACE’s and you are screwed, unless other factors were present to create some resilience. You can get your ACE score here.
“The CDC’s Adverse Childhood Experiences Study uncovered a stunning link between childhood trauma and the chronic diseases people develop as adults, as well as social and emotional problems.This includes heart disease, lung cancer, diabetes and many autoimmune diseases, as well as depression, violence, being a victim of violence, and suicide.”
Bummer! On the one hand, you now have an excuse for being dysfunctional. On the other, it is awful to reflect on your childhood helplessness, or on your own failings as a mother.