So we've somewhat settled in a bit here, Nigel and I - he's not hiding from the rest of the cats and I have resigned myself to house elf duty unless I want to live in a mass of cat hair and dirty dishes.
Now this is not to say that we're going to be on Hoarders anytime soon - but with 12 indoor cats that's a lot of hair. It really aggravates my allergies and asthma. And three adults and 12 cats eat some food. But dammit, I'm not fucking Cinderella anymore. My mum insisted that "there are no gendered jobs now" - my ass.
The cat lady (my Dad) expects to be waited on - food cooked, plate prepared, house cleaned - because he's busy taking care of his cats. My Mum does the cooking - guess who does the cleaning up? It's not Dad or the cats. There was a vague team effort Saturday evening - but I was still cleaning long after both of them had given up because I was grossed out by all the dust and hair on everything. (The irony? Mum owned a cleaning company for years.) I only allow Nigel in my room and have my own bathroom I keep the door closed on. I expect to clean those, I use them.
I moved here to get help because I couldn't take the depression and the escalating autism behaviours and aural hallucinations. My Mum and I have had several clashes that invariably involve her both acknowledging that I was diagnosed as autistic as a child - and that I am not sick. Just plain - not sick. Nothing wrong with me. Except that whole depression and autism thing.
She claims we saw people to deal with my "problems" when I was 10-12 years old - bullshit. I did not see any therapists or have any kind of regular medical attention beyond check ups and sports fitness requirements - my role in the family aside from Cinderella was "the healthy one" - my brother has had diabetes since infancy. But in her mind we had whole family therapy sessions - I just didn't know they were therapy "because they don't tell children that they are in therapy." ???
While my short term memory may be swiss cheese with shit on top, my long term - and particularly those miserable years - are pretty clear. Violent horrible teachers, close friend dying, fighting to get MYSELF in the TAG program just to get away from said violent horrible teachers once a week - but no marching down to the base for therapy sessions. And I never saw a civilian doctor until I moved away from home. We lived off base at that post. Dad was gone 10 months out of the year doing sneaky-Pete shit for who knows what government agency. I remember them quite well - and they sucked. They didn't involve friendly chats with anyone at the Army hospital. Or anywhere else.
Therapy sessions for a "disturbed child" would "ruin my father's career" as any military family member from the 70s - early 80s will tell you. It was bad enough being the sibling of a diabetic - I've had so many Glucose Tolerance Tests I have permanent blood draw scars in my elbows and shudder when medical vampires praise my veins.
I was hyperlexic, shy, SUPER anxious, late talker but full sentences, a rocker/stimmer before BIRTH - and learned very quickly that there was no room for my issues when shot boy came along. I pick up languages like other people pick up bad habits. Right now I'm irritating and confounding them with learning Korean. Because I can.
My brother and I get along alright now, other than the whole BIRTHER thing - which we have agreed not to talk about. Again. But I learned to be silent. To not flap or flail or melt down unless I lost control - and then it was in my room. To try not to be "too weird." To pretend I was someone else, in the hopes of pleasing people who pretty much didn't see me.
The latest thing has been to decide I need to get a job. Any job. NOW. While getting a job is part of the eventual plan - sorting out my ongoing SSDI issues kind of puts a crimp in that - I filed because I can't work, being too messed up with depression and flailing, literalism at the worst possible times, inability to cope with certain pressures and emotional outbursts - hello, autism, it's me, Mortifyd.
And the other stuff like the constant music and birds and invisible people talking to me. I don't have visual hallucinations, just aural ones - and always have. I've learned to ignore them when in public and try not to talk back too loudly in private and it mostly works for me - they aren't telling me to do anything, just making conversation for the most part. And if I can recreate the music with this software I'm working with, I'll give Skrillex a run for his money. Or yours, if you like that kind of thing.
But that doesn't matter to them - and it shouldn't stop me from getting a job because there is nothing wrong with me - I just need to pull myself up and "get over it." Education? Worthless and expensive. I just need to stop being lazy and work hard. Nevermind the clear pattern of work fails directly for the last 20 years associated with my poorly treated depression and total lack of treatment or knowledge of an actual autism diagnosis as a child. I'm not self diagnosing - I'm discovering what they knew all along and assumed I would "grow out of" because I had the good sense not to melt down publicly as a child because I didn't care for being hit. I have a strong sense of self preservation.
Or the fact that I am still becoming accustomed to being "comfortable" rather than on the edge of survival. I've learned how to sleep in a stationary bed. I shower every day because Mum got mad I missed a day and had "dirty hair." I put that in quotes as there have been times on the boat I went months without bathing. Dirty is relative. I have new clothes that aren't rags and fit. I got a haircut. They are going to register and plate my car because you have to have one here. Nevermind there is a bus that comes to the end of the street - "our kind" don't use public transit here it seems. I've been "hippiefied" by living in Oregon, apparently. Remember, these are FOXbots.
Now, they clearly do love me, they have spent a lot of money trying to help me sort things out: dealing with the car, dealing with the boat and the Port while here, clothing, food, higher bills with a third person, tolerating my refusal to not be Jewish in their presence - they ARE trying. And that other thing. We don't talk about it, other than some very awkward personal questions about my genitals by Mum shortly after I arrived. But they are trying there too - I try not to flinch at my birth name when it comes out - they stumble over pronouns but correct themselves without prompting - and there have been no serious screw ups in front of other people. They get points for that. They do, and they deserve them.
I would benefit from some therapy. Probably cognitive therapy because I have some deeply ingrained screwed up thinking patterns that I simply can't rewrite on my own - I've been trying 20 years. Part of that mess is a deeply held belief they don't actually love me in a giving sense, but an obligatory sense because it's hard to get rid of a kid once the Army knows you have one - without screwing up Dad's career. (Are you seeing a pattern here?)
Between that being constantly reinforced by clear preference for my brother and the bizarre obsession over my completely non-existent dating and sex life - hell yeah I left home at 17. I had graduated. I got a job. I had to be free to try and get an education - I just didn't know that I needed support to do that - and failed that too. I had no idea how to manage college and no idea who to ask or what to even ask FOR. Now I have a lot of loans and no degree, like many other people. No tax returns for me.
But now that I am back home - things are a bit awkward. When they start in on the questions - why didn't you have enough money to take care of the car. Why did you move onto a tiny boat. Why did your wife leave you and go back to her other husband. Why did she have another husband. Why didn't you get more or better jobs. Why can't you translate a flair for languages into a multimillion dollar career without credentials or training. Why don't you know where every piece of paper is for the last 20 years like organised people. How come you don't have many friends. Why are you a night owl. Why don't you have any money. Why are you using SNAP to buy food you want. Do you think we can't afford food. Why are you so fat. Why don't you have any possessions of value. Why do you want to go back to that boat. Why do you want to sail anywhere when you should live here close to us forever. Why do you think your life is yours.
I feel completely overwhelmed and freaked out because it just starts the whole spiral of "they really can't stand you and feel sorry for you and are embarrassed you are theirs" and so forth and I flail. Because it's always a massive string of questions like that, not just one or two - and when I hit "I don't know" as my answer - that is IT. I don't know anymore after that, and repeatedly asking will just cause a melt down. Particularly when they do it - another aspect of the leaving at 17.
If you think I can be a sarcastic dick, you should meet my Mum. She's the pro at twisting the knife. She's never been a patient woman and has, in that Southern way, decided to selectively forget her depression issues while raising us - and refuses to acknowledge they would have had any effect on us. My brother and I talked about that over Christmas, along with the List of Topics To Avoid With Dad. Which is pretty much everything other than cars, Army and cats. The cat lady is honestly more concerned about his cats than anything else. I'm not kidding. He runs around after them, worries constantly over the state of their health, if someone doesn't run up at feeding time then it's a crisis. His whole life is the cats. I'm 13th fiddle to felines, including my own. Politics must be avoided at all costs. Because OMG FOXbots.
I try to explain, to use my words, to reassure them I know I have thinking disorders, that I WANT help for the issues and I am NOT blaming them. To my Mum it doesn't matter, she had to tough it out having two kids and I'm a selfish person with none. It's all about HER. It's also possible I inherited a fair amount of things from both of them that simply didn't combine well in me - these genes need to stop here. But OMG babies. Because one failed marriage isn't enough for her - not if kids could be involved.
The cat lady is an entirely black/white thinker. There is no grey. He blames everything on Agent Orange. Diabetes, freak child - it's all Agent Orange causing genetic fails - he could be right - but it doesn't matter why, only that it IS. In some ways he adapts better than she does, he doesn't understand and doesn't have to - it's my business other than the needing help and a job yesterday part. But thinking is not high on his list of positive attributes, obedience is. Whether it's from being military, or simply a natural trait enhanced by 27 years in - I don't know. But it's black/white and cats in his universe.
Just trying to figure out how to see a doctor without insurance is a nightmare - "oh my friend saw this guy and he was great and she was in a hospital and maybe you should be too" - but her friend had cadillac medical insurance. I have none. Mum gets frustrated at the rules and the limitations and the TIME everything takes when you are uninsured and no one wants to treat you for free. The reality of poverty in the 21st century is a shock - but in no way will liberal her up.
Mum: Well, we can take you to the ER.
Me: I'm not suicidal or going to kill you - that won't work.
Mum: Oh. Well, how about you get a minimum wage job or three ($7.25 an hour in progressive Louisiana) and maybe one of them will have useless insurance you can't really afford. (She really DID say "or three")
Me: It won't cover mental health generally - and prohibitively expensive on $7.25 an hour. There are exceptions, but not likely flipping burgers or stirring gumbo.
Mum: Oh. Well, make SSDI go faster.
Me: And how do I do that, exactly?
Mum: Well, you just DO. You're the Obama fan in the house.
SO....yeah. I'm not really asking for anything, just venting a little about how weird it all is to deal with living at home at 43 because I'm a societal failure and need help - and having a hard time getting access.
Unless you DO have advice on how to make SSDI go faster, or magically get medical insurance in Louisiana - by all means, I'm taking that advice.
I'm just not sick enough.