So I retained a lawyer for my SSDI case. Maybe I'll get an appeal hearing in a year. But according to the lawyer, I have a 50 - 60 percent chance of winning this time.
This is a diary about living in an unhealthy environment as a mentally ill person in a red state. Because that's pretty much what my life is all about now.
And I brought my parents a brochure on schizophrenia from my doctor's office.
More below the dooblydoo.
I don't really understand all the legal stuff except it takes a long time. On the plus side, there are 3 new SSDI judges here that are "liberal" according to my lawyer - and because I am in treatment and have a serious mental illness - I actually have a semi decent chance when they get around to me. But that could be - oh, May of next year if I'm lucky.
As usual my parents flipped out because I retained a lawyer - they assumed they were on the hook for the bill - because in their minds I'm 5. Took 45 minutes to get Mum to understand that since she didn't sign anything, she's not responsible. Then I got lectured for being willing to pay one of I do get the SSDI - like he should work for free or something. ColCatLady is just irritated I might be here longer than January - I think they are ready to see me go and not come back. They seem to think they get a do over from when I was 17 because I came back - and I'm 43, I have boundaries and I am too tired and trying to get better, I don't have time for that bullshit.
Mum flipped out on me this week and did the usual "you're just faking it trying to get that sweet sweet free gubmint money" routine. Because if she doesn't understand it and it's not easy then it's not real and just there to irritate her - because she is the centre of the universe. Then of course she changed the subject to my dear sweet brother who is "really sick" because I'm not. Basically he's not doing so well in VoldeMart manager training because he's a flaming asshole. Imagine that.
That's just how she works. I told her to fuck off. She went and snitched to ColCatLady I was OMG MEEN to her. Because she's 5. I'm not allowed to tell her to fuck off anymore or he will old man shake with rage at me. Or something. It turns out that what she REALLY wanted was for me to clean up the kitchen and make dinner a couple times a week. She can't just say that - too easy. Instead she throws these random mean girl temper tantrums where she accuses me of faking being sick to take advantage of them - because I just LOVE being in the guest bedroom in a swamp instead of my own home taking care of myself.
While the meds don't work for some of the other things, the do keep me from feeling much strong emotion - so I can just look at her while she throws her hissy fit trying to get me angry. It's like watching an only child try and blame someone else for breaking the lamp. The more I don't get angry the more she screams and accuses me of whatever POX spews says about mentally ill and unemployed people. But the threats don't matter - I just don't care enough to bother feeling anything - and she ends up looking like a frothing batshit insane person with shifty eyes until I get tired of it and go back to my room. Calling the police at this point would not work to her advantage, I would simply do the concerned son routine about my older "scatterbrained" mum who gets worked up a bit too easily. I wouldn't be the one looking crazy and she knows it - so that threat is no longer effective.
I saw my new therapist today. I don't think I like her very much. While the last one was a bit too passive, this one is too... not aggressive per se, but just doesn't seem to listen much. I'm supposed to make goals and whatnot - and going home - not one of them as far as she's concerned. But then she didn't give me any direction on what she considers an appropriate goal either - so it was pretty frustrating. She was surprised that I couldn't get free care in Oregon - I guess she just assumed that blue states offer everything to everyone for free, it was a little weird. I think she wants to hospitalize me - and I'm not really down with that.
She isn't interested in my delusions, or my family life, I don't really know what she's interested in, frankly. I do have a "family" appointment in late August or early September with my psychiatrist to help them understand better - the way the system works they only give you the closest appointment date - like meds or therapist, and I only see the psychiatrist once every couple of months, so he's not on my calendar yet, though I'm on his. Weird.
I got one of those cheesy brochures with the line drawings "About Schizophrenia" or some crap that goes over the basics - what it is, what it's not, how the symptoms can manifest with examples, it's not her fault, etc. and brought it home - and told Mum that my doctor sent it to her. Nothing like a little authority to make her take something more seriously. She read it in the kitchen while I made dinner and thought it was very informative and helpful. Because it says it's not her fault - which is what she is really afraid of in the end.
I do get kind of frustrated about how easily people throw out accusations of schizophrenia as a "joke" - not just here but in general society - and how many misconceptions there are about it. The old "split level head" crap, (different disorder) the assumption of violence, (more likely to die violently or suffer violence as a result of diagnosis than cause it) or that we must be unaware that we are sick - not true at all.
I know that there are things I believe and think that are the result of my illness. I know I have to take medication the rest of my life to manage most of my symptoms - and that they may never be completely managed. In some cases I just have to find ways to live with them. But they interfere with my life to the point now that I can't function - and that's why I sought treatment - I've been living with them since I was 12 or 13. I just can't hide it as well as I could before. It's a real issue. It's a real disease - like cancer or lupus or diabetes - it's not something to crack jokes about or use as shorthand for "I don't agree with that person."
I don't know what the weekend holds - I have no real plans other than a trip to the library. Maybe try making a few things for my Etsy shop, which is just sitting there at this point not even getting views. I was thinking some Doctor Who themed Judaica - mezuzzah covers, maybe a TARDIS havdalah set, something fun. I kind of hope they have my old desk in storage - I need workspace in my room. Trying to balance things on the bed just doesn't work very well. I have some pieces made I need to finish - like the picture frames - and get some fridge magnets made as well. I just don't have the energy to deal with it all without workspace that's usable.
I'm beginning to think it's the "diet" catfood Nigel may be allergic to - he only started pulling his hair out after that began and seems to be eating less of it - like he doesn't want it. ColCatLady gives him wet food twice a day, so he's not starving, but he's a little thinner than I think he should be. So I'm going to switch out his private bowl with regular catfood (purchased for the ferals outside) and stop giving him the diet food and see if that helps. He still gets regular flea treatment and deworming from me monthly - and he doesn't have signs of fleas - Mum assumes it's a flea allergy because we had a dog once that was allergic to fleas.
That's just how her mind works. Kind of like I should go outside and tan despite having precancerous spots on my nose because I could tan easily as a child and she thinks I will look "healthier" with a tan. There's just no sense of change possible in her universe. Which kind of explains why they just assume they can force me to be 17 again and pretend I never left. I'm just not very cooperative. Boundaries are a real bitch when you don't expect them I guess.
I'm supposed to go back to visit my friend in August - not sure I'm going to yet. Aside from the alcohol and the discomfort with my illness - it's a long hot drive and sucks up my allowance for gas money - and took me 2 days to recover from the trip and the social anxiety. I might try and find other things to spend that on that are more... fulfilling. Like fabric for garb or new TARDIS curtains for my room - I hate the granny curtains that are in here. Or a proper uniform for my taekwondo class.
I asked my Mum for a sonic screwdriver for my birthday (August 27, if you care) and she got all mad - I'm "too old for toys," I should only have practical gifts apparently. Screw that. I have socks and tee shirts and shorts and hoodies, I want a fucking sonic screwdriver. It's not like I can ask for C4, guns or bullet proofing for my car because I'm all into Burn Notice now. Well, I could, but I don't think I would get any of it. OTOH, bullet proofing material isn't all that expensive really - I may bulletproof the boat when I get home just for fun. After I put in the insulating paint that blocks heat signatures. Which isn't all that expensive either. Sometimes paranoia is actually FUN.