Well, I’m going to the dentist tomorrow. I think it’s been too long, and I don’t want to have dental problems in Prague, even though my handy guidebook taught me how to know when your Prague dentist is yelling, “Wait, come back! I’m not done with your teeth!” which is probably good to know. HA HA HA! Like, help, I must escape this scary foreign dentist! I know, I’ll run for it!
I’ve been working hard in the garage every day to clean it and get the dirty, damp boxes out there cut into cardboard scraps for recycling, and I might wind up having to spend all of my earnings on dentistry. How much of a bummer is that?! But since I will have some extra coin, that was another reason that it seemed like a good time to go.
And they’re going to take X-rays. Those are always expensive.
I hope they don’t get upset about the state of my teeth. In good news, I use a water flosser which I load not with water, but orange mouthwash (alcohol-based). That stuff sees germs and kills them dead, and at high pressure, too! In bad news, I only bother to use it once or twice a week.
Now I’m anticipatory. And it’s hard to drive out there and back because it’s not in my part of town. I always have to print out the MapQuest directions. For all I know, my new car has… what’s it called? oh yeah, GPS… but I have no idea how it works. However, I don’t have BlackBird with me. My brother is still driving her.
I’ll have to drive my dad’s old clunker. In good news, it will be available tomorrow morning. Oh, hey, ask how old his car is! “How old is his car, Meg?” Thank you for asking. His car is so old that when you push the button to roll up the window, it boldly goes up, hits the top of the window casing, and then ricochets off of it, shooting down about an inch or so. So the windows can’t be closed all the way. [Makes face.] If you try, it just goes thump, thump, thump, thump, thump. Now that’s old.
It’s too bad. I miss BlackBird. My brother borrowed her before I could break her in. She’s a wonderful car! I hope my brother doesn’t just decide to keep her. [Eyeroll.]
I’m worried about my sister. Word on the street indicates that she’s having a nervous breakdown. This is bad. She has a daughter who’ll be two in late November, and she’s pregnant with child #2. I think the issue is that she went off her antidepressant due to the pregnancy.
If I were to become pregnant (most likely via divine conception), my unborn child would have to be medicated right along with me. But Seroquel (one of my four drugs) is the trippiest stuff ever! That would be one happy, goofy baby. And that’s the best kind of baby, am I right?
I honestly wish my sister would go back on the drug. She has a tendency to be abusive (toward me, historically), and I don’t want her to become a child abuser. The thought of that really upsets me. It’s why I’ve refused to meet her daughter, Li’l Sweetmeats. I want to shake some sense into her doctor and say, “You don’t know what you’re doing by depriving her of her antidepressant. She could become abusive now, and that can never be undone.” But fortunately for all involved (I assume), I don’t know who my sister’s doctor is, so my hands are tied.
At any rate, with all of this going down, I’m really glad for the timing of my upcoming vacay. Whatever happens with my sister going crazy and becoming abusive, I won’t be here to even hear about it, much less to see it. Interestingly, it was when I was last in Prague that Li’l Sweets was born in late November, 2019.
I sense that my sister is following in my mother’s footprints. My mom always pushed herself to the max to do more than she was capable of. Gotta have that third kid to save the marriage! (Like that ever works?) Gotta maintain the gardens, work full-time, do this, do that, and on and on and on. So now, along a similar vein, we have my sister having a second kid without the benefit of antidepressants. It just seems ill-advised.
I appreciate that she thinks it’s best for her unborn child to be medication-free. But… in this instance, it makes me gravely concerned. What about her already-alive child? And if she thinks her stress levels will go down once the second baby comes… [Facepalm.]
Also, why’s depression (assuming that’s my sister’s diagnosis–it was news to me that she takes antidepressants) considered to be an almost imaginary mental illness? Like, “Oh, you’re just depressed? You can live without your meds. No huge deal.” It’s the same way with anxiety. “Oh, you’re just anxious? Deal with it. Whatever.” But as soon as the mental illness wafts into bipolar or schizophrenic territory, it’s taken seriously. People with depression and/or anxiety don’t deserve that sort of disregard shown for their illness(es).
Like, I was in this low-grade cult that could better be described as a meditation study group that was very cultlike. During my first involvement with them, as a young adult, I was taking an antidepressant but had more serious mental health issues that simply hadn’t been diagnosed. The cult’s attitude was, “Please. People pop antidepressants like candy for every little hiccup,” and they used peer pressure to get me to go off the drug.
About ten years later, I got involved with them again. This time I was schizophrenic and bipolar and obsessive, etc., etc. They didn’t say a thing about me going off my meds. Maybe they were concerned about liability…? [Shrug.] I mean, they still discussed being med-free, but they didn’t put any pressure on me.
The cult leader at that time, the second time, was Rory, a young man who had bipolar condition since age thirteen or fourteen. He was unmedicated and treated his bipolar with meditation, not medication. Why medicate when you can meditate? And all that.
But he seemed to be falling apart at the seams. I was in my early thirties and he was in his early- or mid-twenties. I had maternal feelings toward him. I tried to gently point out that he was a bit… unstable, as it were, but he apparently didn’t believe me. This was what he said, though: “It’s my fault. I created the bipolar condition because, as a teenager, I craved drama.”
“Mm-hmm,” I said. “I think that’s true of every thirteen-year-old alive, Rory. It’s a developmental thing,” I said.
“No, you’re wrong. I created the illness.”
That was what the cult had him thinking. Ugh.
The cult leaders (Rory’s higher-ups) had it out for me because I have this odd tendency to think for myself, which is discouraged in cults. They told Rory to push me away and get rid of me. So I was at the school one night (a small house in a nearby neighborhood) when Rory accosted me for putting my legal name on a form instead of my birthname. A heated argument ensued.
“The form clearly asks for your birthname,” he yelled.
“I don’t like my birthname. I like my legal name.”
“You’ve been disrespectful! How dare you!” Rory seemed unhinged. “You made us think that this was your birthname, when in fact, it was not!”
“Well, now you know the truth.”
“This form has to be properly filled out,” he insisted, “Or you won’t get another past-life reading.”
I refused to budge.
[I’m shaking my head and rolling my eyes.] I didn’t know yet that he’d been told to get rid of me. I was actually worried about him, despite how attacked I felt, so I called his higher-up, Mary, and told her how concerned I was. She seemed unmoved.
Mary was a scary lady. She was always telling me that my ego was resisting. As if that’s a bad thing?! The ego can be problematic in the sense that you don’t want pride or conceit to take over. However, the notion that we should disconnect from our ego identities is preposterous and sort of scary. We’re humans. We should embrace who we are, not try to rid ourselves of our own uniqueness and become mindless sycophants.
I was still worried about Rory, so I did something that, to this day, I’m not sure was the right thing to do. I wrote a letter to his parents in Illinois and explained the situation, describing Rory as a charismatic young cult leader. Within days, they called for Rory, got him returned to Illinois, and gave him a pretend graduation from the cult so he could feel accomplished.
(While that may sound like a patronizing thing for his parents to do, here’s the problem: the cult had a tendency to keep pushing students back to the earlier levels. Like, you’d work to get to level 100, for example, and they’d decide you needed to go back to level 5. Many people, Rory included, deserved to graduate but weren’t allowed to.)
You know what would be great? A cult that’s not controlling.
Oh, right, I was talking about my sister and antidepressants. Huh.