I went to the school shindig yesterday. It was awkward and as usual, poorly organized, as they tried to have students guide groups of people through the tiny building. I soldiered through it, bored out of my mind, of course, because well, I just got bored writing about being bored. The joy of ADD and how it makes you think about ten things at the same time thus whatever you are doing is boring…
The first part was dull. But the moment they took us to the second grade class where Spook was…She saw me and her face lit up and she just put her hand over her heart to tell me how much it meant that I had come…I teared up a bit. PMS. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. But that one moment kind of made it worthwhile.
What was brutal was the Leadership assembly in the tiny gym (max 458 people at any time, do the math of five grades, 24 students times two classes, plus all family members, you know why they have to have tour groups to control the crowding and fire safety laws). I got a seat and was painfully aware, not for the first time, no one sat by me even though two chairs were empty. Not that it hurt my feelings, just like, the weirdest thing I have going on is wearing a black shirt with black pants and black shoes, I’m not in a spiked bikini and clown shoes stamped ‘ebola infected’. Whatever.
What got WEIRD was when I inadvertently coughed (ya know that sinus drainage tickle in your throat that makes you cough involuntarily?) and they were showing some low volume video of a teacher emoting about how the leadership meetings have made the kids better people…well these two girls from sixth grade were in front of me and they glared not just daggers, but machetes at me. Like I had coughed on purpose to be rude. I mumbled sorry and figured that was that.
NOPE. For twenty five minutes of the assembly those same two girls kept looking at me, and I wasn’t sure if I had something on my face (even checked my purse mirror) or if I was on fire or something. Because I was in a chair behind them, they were on the floor facing the action, and still, they kept looking back at me. I wasn’t coughing, I smelled nice, I was minding my own damned business…But they kept staring. And of course, 20 plus years of therapy has some cognitive behavior bullshit thing stomping my brain, telling me because I was bullied in school I am imagining things, making it up. I wanted to believe that, truly. But by the tenth time someone literally turns in their seat and cranes their neck to stare…THEY ARE INDEED STARING.
Now bipolar PMS-y me had the first instinct of, “I wanna fuck kick you, you little brats.” Except that wasn’t the B word I was thinking and yeah, I’m mean, get over it. But then because of all the therapy I have had and because I knew at 14 what I still know at 44…I got to thinking, “In this denim and flannel town, I’m probably the most exotic thing they’ve seen their entire lives…They probably admire me or at least hate me for being different and I hate them for being the same.”
I ignored them, but subconsciously, my anxiety and discomfort were already off and running. I got one of my stress stomach aches, the ones that feel like my stomach acids are burning through to my spine. And all I could think was let this be over soon, I need to go home and drink cold milk, that’s all that will make it stop.
When it was over and they sent the kids back to class to fetch their bags and stuff, I fled outdoors and sat on a bench, willing my stomach to stop boiling. It didn’t work.The doctors and counselors are ignorant. They may have book smarts and experience and their methods but for some of us…those methods simply do not apply. We are not special, we do not expect the DSM to be rewritten for our rare exceptions to the rule..We just want them to acknowledge one size does not fit all.
The price of seeing my kid smile with joy to see me? Six hours of stomach agony followed by such a disheveled mental state I couldn’t write or watch a TV show or hell, even pick something to watch. Even when my stomach and nerves settled, my mental state was upended and YES, I tried all the therapy tricks to talk myself out of it.
Fortunately a good night’s sleep put me back into a less sucky mental space, but it’s not saying much because today I have the menstrual dypshoria weepy urges and the cramps that sear right to my spine. Yay.
Ya wanna know the kicker? My kid was happy to see me but afterward she told me I embarrassed her.
So worth the agony, right?
Is it wrong for me to hope she’s chemically imbalanced and not just a lousy person like her sperm donor?
Yeah, yeah, Morgue, some things should never be spoken aloud, that is awful.
I’ll give a fuck or two when my spine isn’t being devoured by ovary oompa loompas.