Thursday, August 15, 2013. As far as I am concerned I am not an ordinary person. I have found that if a person is not super-rich or famous in some way on some level other ordinary people are not prepared through their socialization history to process the information that would let them know every other person around them who they come into contact with might not be – well – ordinary like people evidently like to recognize themselves (and others) as being.
That seems a kind of oxymoron to me or perhaps even a paradox. In a culture that seems to pride its national-self on being one-of-a-kind, uniquely as different as they are “independent,” and somehow unlike one another in their originality, at the same time our strangled sense of uniqueness does not allow us to be “so much” like someone else. How can we have it both ways? How can we be “alike” at the same time we wish to consider ourselves so uniquely special?
How does that work in our cultural mind that we can be uniquely and independently the same – at the same time we view ourselves as being identically EQUAL?
Equality does not mean the same! Do we understand this fact?
I ponder these questions after having spent several extremely distressful hours today tracking down some very important information that I need to know before I move from one state to another. I need to know how my $104 per month medicare premium is being paid, by whom, and if “someone” will pay it once I leave Arizona and move to North Dakota. I need to know if this change process is automatic or if it is something I will have to stimulate – and if I do need to “do something” exactly what do I do – where – with whom – to make this changeover happen (assuming it is possible).
I telephoned an agency on Monday that as far as I could tell has something to do with how my $104 is being paid currently. Of course I am very grateful that there is some program somewhere that somehow pays it now. But once I move? I left a polite and detailed telephone message with “the right person” on Monday requesting a return call — which of course I never received.
Fortunately I live in a small enough town’s area that it was possible to drive hither and yon today trying to track down the woman I left that message with. Offices have moved and splintered. She was certainly not sitting at her big desk where I anticipated finding her. But i DID find her.
I so needed the information I – well – needed from her that I did not bring up the point that insult was added to extreme anxiety disorder insult (to my body, nervous system, emotions and brain) by her neglect in doing the right professional thing in returning my call and saving me this ridiculous tale-chasing. When I found her she did not look particularly busy. Of course she assured me she was “just in the next moment” going to pick up the receiver of her office telephone and call me.
As time went by I discovered that this woman was at least very patient, very kind and very eager to help me solve my problem. She did not at first know the answers to my questions but she figured it out. I am grateful.
The rest of what happened was in no way her fault. Was it the fault of my psychotic abusive Borderline Personality Disordered mother who hated and severely traumatized me from the moment I was born? Was it the fault of her terrible disease? Was it the fault of people who did not see what she was doing to me and the harm she caused? It certainly is not MY fault that the longer I sat there listening to this woman try to explain to me the convoluted process that are required to change all that relates to my disability payments and to my insurance by stress shifted to extreme distress – to terror at “threat to life” and to sheer panic that I could not regulate or down-regulate or re-regulate.
I could not understand language. Words fled until either nothing but sheer force of emotional distress overcame me – or a deadly inner silence within which not one thought in words could come in or go out of my mouth — or stay in my mind in the middle.
My stomach churned and then it ached and then the pain in my gut took nearly all of my attention as I became dizzy and nauseous. What fun! When did I approach the threshold of panic?
A long long LONG time ago. As I sat there my body remembered that infant terror and panic and would not let me forget. It didn’t matter that my actual life was not under any threat at all. It mattered that my “anxiety disorder” chooses its own time and place for taking over the helm of my life. I am my body’s captive. It is the captain of my life – any time when something of dire importance demands my mental acuity. Acuity? That is a stretch of the word!
There are many “adult” technicalities to moving that nobody can take care of but me. I need an advocate! I need another mind, a calm hearted person to be there with and for me as I try to wend my way through the complexities – as they seem to me – of moving myself from here to 1,800 miles away there. This is why I gave myself 2 1/2 months to get through this move. I need time to come home to my place of safety, quiet and sanctuary to calm down and regroup — before I have to tackle some other small part of this moving process.
I am forever grateful, as I have written about on the blog several times, that the worst of my anxiety difficulties did not appear until after the cancer battle I fought 5 1/2 years ago. But I often think that if I had known what that stress and those drugs were going to do to me in the long run I would never have fought that cancer — to end up — what?
I cannot process information in verbal form in ordinary ways. My mother’s screaming, raging, violent and violating abuse began against me long long before verbal language had become a part of my reality. Her abuse interfered with and interrupted all normal, natural, ordinary language gaining processes an infant is supposed to go through. Sound and words are separated in my brain. If I am under stress/duress and anxiety ensues I cannot hear or understand words that are being spoken to me. My mind goes – yes – blank. At those times my own body seems to be my enemy, not my protector.
I am challenging myself with this move probably past what is reasonable. It is necessary for me in my life to not be here anymore past mid-October – because I need to be THERE 1.800 miles away where my daughters and my grandbabies are. I know I am tough. I know I am able to marshal great determination to succeed over great odds. I also know that I am no longer able to ignore what I must have ignored all of my adulthood until the cancer found me.
I must think without words. Ordinary people are not accustomed to being in communication with a person like me. This is not easy!
If I were to stay here I would die of isolation, loneliness and boredom. I know I won’t die through making myself go through what has to happen to make this move happen. I know what lies ahead of me at the other end of this process will be very good for me. Meanwhile – if I can’t think in words when I need to – I will just have to suffer through that. Notes are written – folders are filled with facts – and sooner or later this information will find its way into my life changes – with or without me. I WILL find people who care enough to help me. I will.
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