Sep 13, 2008
There are some
things that are just Wrong:
The war in Iraq.
Moving back in
with your parents when you’re well past the age of consent.
You may well
shiver! I can feel the collective
shudder of horror from here. Just be glad it’s me and not you.
that’s right. I had to move back in
with the ‘rents.
Only the direst
crisis could have prompted me to take this drastic action (and in fairness,
only incontrovertible proof that I was on the point of death could have
persuaded them to agree to it) -- things became pretty bad.
How bad? I got down to about 95 pounds (I’m 5’5”
tall) and was utterly incapable of taking care of myself. Ay carumba:
that neurological follow up that was promised? It never really happened, not for months and months. In the meantime, I was medicated to the
teeth and well beyond it, lost tonnes of weight and what was left of my mind
and finally, when I couldn’t stand it anymore, I went off my meds.
the columns to the contrary, turned out to be the smartest thing I ever
did. The dosage was way over the top
and I was too frail and freaked out to leave the apartment to get my levels
checked on any sort of regular basis.
If you will recall, this stuff is also marketed for morbid obesity – it
works by completely suppressing your appetite and making the food you force yourself
to eat taste like crap. Left to my own
devices, I don’t think I would have survived for more than another month or
two. I was starving to death without
being remotely hungry.
We won’t even go
into my state of mind. Off the frigging
hook. The neurology resident at the
E.R. simply looked up topamax in his CPS and gave me the maximum non-fatal dose
and sent me on my merry way. Which
turned out to be not so merry at all.
In fact it was pretty fucking grim, calibrated as it was for someone who
had been roughly 20 pounds heavier, so I’d been overdosing for quite a
while. Yikes, quite unpleasant. I don’t know what I would have done without
my girls here at HBI. They saved my
life, quite literally.
substandard medical care, folks: make
sure this doesn’t happen to you. It was
living hell and I wished myself dead most of the time.
But I’m much
I left Toronto
at the end of July and spent the first few weeks of August sleeping the topamax
out of my system – I guess detoxing would be the most accurate word for
it. I gained a bit of weight but I’m
still pretty greyhoundish: I thought I
was about 108 but I just hopped onto the scale and I’m back down to 103 now,
which I find disgustingly thin for my frame.
The fact that by society’s standards, I’m the ideal is absolutely sickening. My thighs at their widest measure 16 inches
around. My waist is 23”.
We’ll just have
a moment of silence for my boobs.
It’s GROSS. I can’t sleep on my stomach anymore because
the pressure of my hipbones jutting into the mattress is uncomfortable.
Job one is
packing on the weight: even another 10
pounds would be heaven sent. I have to
sit on cushions because it’s too uncomfortable to sit directly on chairs. You’d think it would be easy to gain weight
but it’s not: I think I’ve messed up my
This is really
the least of my worries: it’ll come
back in time. It bloody well
better. Nothing I have fits. The only
way I can keep my underwear on is if I stand like a gunslinger –
it just slides to the floor otherwise.
Now normally you’d think this would be a convenient state of affairs for
a single girl looking for a date, but apparently there’s not much of a market
for bony, haggard chicks around these parts.
These days, the only guys who give me the eye are pedophiles and
Still, I got my
brain back and I’m on the mend. I’ve
got much to be thankful for in that respect and I am thankful. That was a very scary experience and I’m
glad it’s over. And I’m A-OK for
sanity, after 6 months of alternating between this
and all points between. Not fun for me
and even less of a thrill for the bitches who hang around here. But these girls? They had my back. For
quite a while there, I had no idea if I was going to wake up as Our Lady of the
Camellias or Lizzie Borden – or even if I was going to wake up at all. Natalie, Fabulana and Instigatrix leapt into
the breach as superb ad hoc butterfly net wranglers and talked me down off many
I seriously Lost
My Shit courtesy of Ortho-McNeil pharmaceuticals and a very negligent
neurologist who just Couldn’t Be Bothered.
So I moved back
home to get better.
This is a whole
new kind of surreal. I’m sure my mother
loves me – grudgingly – but I’m equally convinced that every night she falls to
her knees, raises her eyes to Heaven and in a bewildered voice beseechingly
asks “Dear Lord, why did you smite me with this changeling?”
with my mother has always been incendiary.
I guess the best way to describe it would be metaphorically: take two rabid Rottweilers, put them in a
bag, and mix well. Rinse and
repeat. That about sums it up. It ain’t pretty. We’re both touchy and territorial. And if you think I’m a drama queen, let me assure
you that my father’s DNA diluted the gene.
My mother is a
complete control freak. Complete. Her spices are arranged alphabetically, the
toilet paper is folded over the roll in a certain way – NO DEVIATIONS ALLOWED!
– all the shoes are lined up, she freaks out if the towels aren’t perfectly aligned on the towel bar after you
shower (I’m not even exaggerating) and the house is pristine. Every day is
regimented with military precision – you literally could set your watch by
her. She’s like a Stepford Wife with a
severe case of O.C.D. and a side of Pod People -- and that’s putting it
It should therefore
come as no shock at all that I rebelled against it big time.
entire days obsessively scrubbing and scouring her already immaculate home and
as a result, her house is clean enough to perform impromptu surgery in any
location at the drop of a hat. When I
cook for my dad (which I try to do often because the woman is appalling in the
kitchen: we may as well all be eating dirt), she’s right behind me AS I’M
COOKING with the bleach “sterilizing” everything. Whereas with me, well, if
left to my own devices, my apartments tend to take on the character of medieval
villages in fairly short order. (This
is why God made cleaning ladies. For
slatterns like me.)
Speaking of God,
my Catholic mother and I don’t see eye to eye on the question of religion
either. She was going to be a nun but
she contracted tuberculosis and they wouldn’t allow her in (gotta love the
Micks, eh?) but in her heart, she’s a Bride of Christ through and through.
I was inculcated
in the Faith from the moment I first drew breath (it explains much, doesn’t
it?), though every time I get the opportunity to officially note my religion
(usually on hospital admission forms), I always describe myself as a
And ooh, I’m
VERY outspoken about how much I hate the Catholic Church – I do it on purpose
to bug her. I wised up to what a scam
the church was running years ago, but man:
when they get you young, they’ve got you for life. Guilt still rules me and she knows it. I’m *still* Catholic through and through and
there’s not a thing I can do about it – except be as blasphemous as fuck. I used to get more of a thrill out of it but
she doesn’t rise to the bait like she used to – every once in a while, though,
I can get her.
She’ll exhort me
to pray and tell me that there are many other people in the world who are far
worse off than I am. I know this, but the *saintly* tone in which she
points it out irritates the hell out of me.
“Think of all
the poor suffering people starving to death in Africa,” she said the other day
when I complained of feeling unwell.
“Give yourself to Jesus.”
“I did – but now
He never calls.”
I got her good
one year with a Christmas card – she assured me I was going to burn in hell for
it (well where else would I see any of my colleagues?)
lovely desert scene with a star rising over a manger. From within that manger a
single voice rang out in the night with a resounding “It’s a girl!”
I brought the
This has also
caused some strife, though I have to say that the cats and my dad are having a
whale of a time. My mom? Not so much.
I actually have
some sympathy for her in this regard.
it: Ivan is the spawn of Satan. Ivan has spent 6 blissful years
basically doing whatever the hell he wants. Generally, what he wants to
do involves walking on the counters, jumping on top of the stove, opening the
fridge, getting into the cupboards, sharpening his claws on the furniture,
rifling through any drawers he can open, shredding toilet paper, climbing
curtains and knocking glass ornaments off cabinets. During dinner last
night, he leapt up onto the dinner table almost landing in the middle of the
mashed potatoes and causing my mother to have a meltdown.
Discipline and Ivan are completely
incompatible concepts and I conceded defeat about 2 weeks after I got him. He runs the show, we both know it and by
admitting it right off the bat, life is much less stressful. It’s the Natural Order of Things. If you try to mess with the Natural Order of
Things, shoes tend to get crapped in.
My mother does not understand this and is
losing it Big Time. Having this cat around is not helping her frame of
mind. Even before Ivan arrived, she
was already so far gone, she’ll be back in a minute.
At first, she tried to reason with
him. It didn't work.
Next she tried appealing to the better angels of his nature. Since that
cat is rotten to the core, this was a bit of a non-starter.
She's moved on to screaming at both of us. I've told her I'll get a water
gun (which is really the only thing he responds to) but she's forbidden it on
the grounds that it will leave water marks everywhere.
Ivan quickly became known as "that goddamn cat of yours" and the two
of them have since become embroiled in a campaign of guerrilla warfare as
intense and hostile as any heated international conflict. One day a few
weeks ago, in the early morning hours, he knocked her glass barometer off the
wall unit in the dining room and it smashed into a million pieces. By the
time she came charging into my bedroom, Ivan was curled up beside me, the very
picture of innocence. He even managed to do a convincing impression of
being woken from a deep sleep.
He loves to explore cupboards: that's his thing. He knows how to
open just about ever cupboard ever invented. Undaunted by heights or
small spaces, this cat could scale Everest or squeeze into mouse holes if there
were a cupboard at the end of the journey.
My mother's cupboards are SACROSANCT. They are carefully lined and the
liners are changed weekly. Each dish/pot/cup/whatever is carefully
wrapped -- you can see where I get my OCD tendencies from, though it's a real
shame that the anal housework thing didn't rub off. In any event, Ivan
finds it delightful fun to rip the cupboard liners out stealthily in the night
and leave them shredded on the floor for my mother to find with an outraged
shriek in the morning.
He’s no dope
either. He jumps into my dad’s lap and
rolls over to display his belly. He
purrs and drools and then reaches up a paw and tenderly strokes my dad’s cheek.
Nestled securely in my dad’s lap, he gives my mother the feline equivalent of a
raspberry, knowing perfectly well that my mom considers my dad her Lord and
Master and since my dad loves Ivan, by claiming sanctuary, Ivan has rendered
himself safe from the skinning and boiling that would otherwise be awaiting
him. My dad has a HUGE soft spot for him and is apparently completely
taken in by Ivan's fake purrs and Bambi eyes.
I dare not laugh while my mother, thwarted,
stands just out of range and hisses "Just you wait."
I feel kind of sorry for her, having spent 6 years at the mercy of this feline,
and having hissed those very words at him on countless occasions myself.
He is EVIL and insultingly, yawns in her face and ingratiatingly rubs against
my dad's hand while she glares and threatens him with violence.
Several nights ago right before bed, I was drawn to the living room by the
sound of a furious commotion. Upon my
arrival I saw my mother chasing Ivan in circles around the living room table,
having apparently caught him in the act of clawing at her hideous orange
couch. Personally, I think shredding this couch is a public service, but
she appears to be attached to the damn thing. Still he's got youth and
agility on his side and the sight of the pair of them racing around the living
room caused me to absolutely double over, while she roared, "Get this
goddamn cat of yours out of here before I wring his neck!"
Ivan clearly thought this was great fun and in addition to running rings around
her, added a few insouciant pirouettes off the dining room table, increasing
her fury to apoplectic levels. The sight of me helpless with laughter
didn't improve her mood and the fact that I was so incoherent with mirth that I
couldn't even speak rendered her so angry that her face turned all red and she
could do nothing but splutter.
He'll get the "fuck" out of her before long: you just
watch. I've never heard her say it
before, but I bet you anything he drives her to it.
I'm actually quite enjoying this. For sheer entertainment value, it's
pretty hard to beat. My money is on Ivan to emerge as the eventual victor
in this fray.
Life with the
Till next time,