Tone is absent

For the record, I thought “Ha, ha, ha, no” was hilarious. Pam said it was really sad. Oh. Whoops. This is why I have no future as a funny writer. I think it is pretty funny how out of commission I am for sex. (For the record, my ankle only hurts when I’m sitting cross-legged and my foot is pushed sideways. It no longer hurts when I’m sitting in a chair or when I’m walking. Some improvement!)

I went to the grocery store with a FODMAPS shopping list and sauntered through Whole Paycheck practically kicking my heels together. I have so many new options!!! Nothing like extreme deprivation to make you think mild deprivation is awesome. (That’s a for-real-studied-phenomena. If you really get to thinking your life sucks. Take a deprivation vacation and you’ll think your life is awesome when you go back to it.) FODMAPS allows many types of cheeses and low-lactose yogurt and raw milk is probably fine so it barely feels like dairy restriction. No cream cheese or sour cream. Big whoop.

It also helps that Whole Paycheck can accommodate any weird food limitation/need so I was reminded that if you are rich you can eat no matter how annoying your body is. I constantly have feelings about that. I’ve been talking to a lot of the moms in the home school group about body-issues. Many have issues in the same league as mine even if they aren’t exactly the same and… they just can’t afford to follow what they know is “appropriate” for their body. They literally cannot buy the food.

I am so lucky at this stage of my life. My privilege comes from Noah. And I didn’t earn it. And I’m not better than anyone else. And I don’t deserve it more than anyone. I just have it.

I don’t know how to live with it. I mean, I’m living with it. But I don’t know how to be… sensitive? Appropriate? Not an asshole? I don’t know. I don’t have rich people skills.

Rich people and poor people talk about money differently. Not long ago I was talking to one of the wealthier moms and she mentioned that she was interested in buying a set of camping dishes like the set we had. I told her, “How funny because I think I’m getting rid of the set we have because it is too hard to pack due to size–want it?” She offered to pay me.

When poor people hand stuff to their friends, it is rare to expect payment (unless someone starts out saying “I want to sell ____” the expectation is that when you hand stuff off… you hand it off) but with wealthier people I notice that they often offer to pay for things. They want to feel less beholden.

I give things to friends a lot. I donate a lot of things. I don’t do a lot of reselling my stuff any more. Partially because I feel like a leech. I could extract money from the women around me when I have extra stuff, but most of the stuff came to me for free. I have plenty of money and extra. Why should I sell things under those circumstances? It seems… like the reason people hate rich white people. I have extra. I don’t need to wring pennies from people for my cast-off stuff.

But if I needed the money more I’d have no shame about selling stuff. I did it when Noah made a lot less money and there was more of a gap in the budget.

I just… I’m in a weird position and I don’t know how to handle it. I feel awkward when people give me a break financially. Last night the server didn’t charge me extra for the gluten free bread even though she was supposed to. I pointed it out to her. The guy on the Christmas tree lot undercharged me and I pointed it out to him. People are always shocked when I say, “Hey. You undercharged me. This is supposed to be +$10 and you didn’t get what you are supposed to get. Here.” Often they try hard to talk me out of giving them the additional money.

I don’t want to take from people. I don’t need the charity any more. Save your charitable impulses for someone who needs it, they will be along soon. I’m glad you want to be nice and all. If you don’t want me to pay for mine, can I pay for the next persons so you can let them have the benefit?

I owe the world something. I leapfrogged up the ladder so hard and so far that I need to not be selfish about landing where I land. I don’t need to act “deserving”. I need to be humble. Pride means it all goes away. I am so influenced by all the time I spent reading the Bible. (I’ve read that bastard cover to cover. Many parts of it I read many times.)

I spend time talking about the people in my life. I talk to my shrink, my other friends, Noah… I talk about the people in my life. I talk about my feelings and what my behavior should be. I’m not a huge fan of the golden rule (treat others as you want to be treated) I like the platinum rule (treat others as they want to be treated) but that takes a lot of thinking and work and making mistakes and trying other tactics. It takes processing.

One of my friends said something interesting to me about a situation I’m struggling with. She said, “Maybe she needs to not think about the road not taken. Maybe she needs to forget that they exist.” That was kind of startling for me. I… I’m not capable of not thinking about the road not taken. I’m completely fucking obsessed. I’m always in the mode of preparing for additional options. Other people… they don’t work that way.

Lots of people get through their days by putting their heads down and not acknowledging that there are other options possible. That’s how they endure.

I’m sort of vaguely aware of this. I have book learnin’ that tells me this is so. I think it is so fucking weird. But I try to understand people. I try to understand why this works so well for people. I don’t get it. I really don’t. But whether I get it or not, I can clearly see that it is the coping method of choice for many people. Oh. Yeah, that’s probably part of what is going on in that situation over there. Yeah, I would be quite distressing under those circumstances. Whoops. Crap.

I had a different conversation with a different friend about how we can manage our interesting overlapping PTSD triggers. I like treating these things like they matter and will take work. That way I don’t just hurt someone and then tell them to go away when we have overlapping issues.

Today I have lots of babysitting time and no ability to do outside work. I think today is a day for me to work on getting my book out to publishers. I have eight hours of babysitting today (in split shifts with more than one person) so I should be able to get some work done. That will be exciting. I haven’t made book progress in many months. I completely stalled.

Other than book stuff I can’t think of much I have to do today. The storm cancels out the majority of the tasks sitting here waiting for me. (There are many things I need to do… most of them are outside. Like putting together the travel trailer. I bought it then got really sick and haven’t had the physical strength to go move around the huge pieces of metal alone. I’ll get back to it. Damnit.)

I have made contact with a nutritionist who was recommended by a friend. She’s in Chico. She gave me contact information for people in Oakland and Berkeley. Someday some interesting people will move to Fremont. That day hasn’t come yet. Well… I’m here…

Another friend passed along contact information for a doctor who could help me out with fecal transplant, I just have to get to Portland, Oregon. (I do that pretty regularly.)

Being rich changes things. “Just suffer” isn’t really the same sort of situation. I have options that exist in the world. There are more things to try… if you have time and money. It feels crazy to me.

I want to talk to a nutritionist because I don’t really understand what the symptoms of having specific food problems look like. I was told yesterday that if dairy doesn’t give me horrible smelling gas I almost certainly don’t have dairy problems and I should reintroduce it to give myself more variety. (The person who said this has been to college for a medical degree so I’m less snotty about her telling me her opinion on this sort of thing than I could be.)

Why do I go back and forth between believing people with medical degrees more and hating them so much? Because it feels like they have the knowledge to help me it is just whether or not they think I am actually worth thinking about. I’m a hard puzzle. I’m work to figure out. They went to school to help them learn how to figure out puzzles like me. Most of them have decided that I’m too much trouble and I should be silenced. “Just eat more cereal” is a silencing sort of answer.

When someone tries everything they can think of and it all fails… I don’t get mad in the same way. I’m sad, but grateful they tried. I understand that different methods work for different people. I’m ok with the knowledge that some of the things I try will fail. I’m not ok with the feeling that the doctors don’t care very much and aren’t willing to try very hard. When someone isn’t willing to try very hard I hate them and hate them and hate them and hate them. I hate them with all the fury I normally reserve for my mother and father.

Because they don’t love me enough to try. Big theme.

My needs are too big. So they just aren’t worth trying to meet. Ok.

I have several tabs open on my Chrome screen for doctors I will call in January. That’s when I get my new insurance information. My neighbor has had a nightmarish journey over the past few years on her journey to a diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis. Her husband said she found a great gastroenterologist in town and I’m going to try talking to the woman. Worth a try. I’ll talk to the nutritionist in Chico (and hell, maybe the one in San Diego my other friend recommended). I’ll talk to the poop-transplant-doctor in Portland.

Because that is what privilege gives you. The ability to pay for the time of professionals. Sometimes it feels crazy.

I am very grateful that I get to keep trying things. That is such an unbelievable gift. That is hope all wrapped up in a shiny wrapping with a string.

I got to wake up and eat a cheese stick this morning. There is still hope.

4 thoughts on “Tone is absent

  1. inflectionpoint

    I am so glad you have other options for doctors and medical stuff.

    If it helps any, it’s not just you. My friend J spent a long time looking for a doctor (and an insurance group) that would treat her with respect as if she was a person who was capable of thought. Because most of the medical professionals she met in the context of doctors and hospitals treated her like a stupid machine cog that wasn’t capable of thought, let alone of meaningful self reporting. It sucked.

    I get really sad about this, because the folks I know who have studied medicine are actually very thoughtful and helpful when met outside the context of their workplaces. That’s messed up.

  2. WendyP

    I was reading about fecal transplants recently and was just wondering if you’d be interested in the article. FWIW, it was in a recent issue of The New Yorker.

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