Saturday, April 7, 2018

My Life in 1990 (Part 5)

More excerpts from my teenage diaries....




My 5th book is now 179 pages. It's getting a little better. I'm sure it's not as good as Welantin's Mascot.  Of the people who read all 3 books, they like that one best. Cindy didn't like The Brown Box. I don't like Cindy. Not because of her not liking The Brown Box, but for other reasons. (11/11/90)

I'm wondering what I'm referring to with the three books. I think, by that time, I had written five—Kristen's Diary. Thoughts, Amanda's Dreams, Welantin's Mascot, and The Brown Box.  

I'm going by both my own memories of those years and what I'm reading in my diary.

I guess I was keeping two of those novels at home—not giving them to anyone to read.

I am reading a great book called Dandelion Wine. I read it before in 10th grade. It is very very good. (11/15/90)  Wow. I really need to reread that book!  I was planning to do an all female-author year after I finish reading Stephen King's Dark Tower stuff.  Maybe I'll need to make an exception for Dandelion Wine.

The enemy. The person who you ran from in your day dreams. The monster. The person the hero tried to save you from. It took on so many horrible faces. Ms. Boyer. Mr. Peterson. Faceless People. Evil. Jennifer L. and her sidekick Randi.

But now we run, we hide from the family. For they are the monsters.

Not supportive, trying to pull you away from something you love.

"All you do is write. Come watch TV with us."

"Can't you read my books, Daddy? All my friends read it. They love it."

"I'm busy. Put it in the bathroom."

We have toilet paper for that, Dad. Can't you use the charmin?"

Is that all you care about? You are so selfish while your sister is dying.

Are you in a bad mood?  Should we get the shovel?

Why should we go back to Atlanta? You are selfish.

We've identified the enemies, sad as it is. 

But who are the heroes.

And most ironically, isn't it funny that I love the enemy.

Just a few laughs can erase all the bad, bring us together.... (11/20/90). 

I ramble on and on....

I empathize with most of those feelings there. The only place I see myself as being unfair is the bit about my dad and the bathroom!  He reads while sitting on the toilet, so obviously he was trying to say he'd read my book while he was in the bathroom. 

As for my sister dying.  As far as I know...and I think I'm fairly medically-intelligent, there were two times where my sister's life was in critical danger.  One was when the injury first happened and the next 48 hours or so after that. Another is when the brain pressure in her head kept increasing and she needed emergency surgery.

Well...now that I think of it, there were other times where she had infections and doctors didn't know what was going on. Or something like that. Her life might have been in more danger then.

I think most of the time, though, it was not about whether my sister would live or die, but whether she'd awaken enough to be a functional person. Would she walk again? Talk? Read? Complain? Have her old desires to lay out in the sun and get a tan?

There were times that I had issues with my dad and tried to air my grievances. At one point, he tried to divert things by saying something like, You're ganging up on me while your sister is dying.

This is one of the reasons why one of my huge pet-peeves is people using someone else's health problem, or death, as an excuse or manipulation tool. 

Of course parents with a severely injured child are going to be stressed and upset. But there's a way to express this without exaggerating a bad-enough-situation and not trying to divert attention from your own behavior by scaring and shaming your other child. 

And what if my sister really had been dying? Because siblings DO die sometimes. Would I not be allowed or entitled to have anger at my parents? Would I not be entitled to having wishes, fears, and emotions that were not related to my sister's situation?  

I celebrated my birthday today. Melissa got me fortune cookies!! It was a big joke between us. I laughed so hard I literally cried.  (11/23/90).  I'm not sure if I should trust the "literally" or not.  Probably not.

I don't remember the gift or the joke between us, but I'm glad we had something like that to share.  I think Dawn's accident brought us closer.

I was just thinking about the Muppets Jim Henson special (probably because I'm listening to the Muppet Caper tape).

Anyway, at the end, of the program, the "new" Kermit appeared it was an awful sight. 

There was something terribly wrong with the frog. Not just his voice but his body too.

Melissa noticed it also.

Kermit was bloated. He looked sick. Isn't that funny? A sick bloated puppet.

It was like the frog was on cortisone. In a horrible way it reminds me of Pet Sematary. Church came back, fatter, bloated.  (11/27/90)

Here's a video of what I was talking about.  I'm not sure I can see the bloating anymore. But it's probably because in the last 28 years, I've become more accustomed to the new Kermit. Although I think I remember that they got rid of that Kermit. I guess we're on Kermit #3 now.  

I am so depressed. I am so depressed. Everything seems to dark. It seems like the world is ending. This talk of earthquakes and war and Armageddon is bothering me a lot. 

I hate school. I just wish. Well, I wish a lot of things.

I used to love God but now these stupid Nashvillians are making me afraid of him. I want to love him but they say he hates me because I'm not a Christian. 

I hope this dark day will pass like all the others. There is just so much to worry about.

I need a psychologist but by the time I get one I'll probably be better. (11/24/90). 

I think that was me trying to adjust to living in The Bible Belt. 

I think that's the first time I've seen psychologists mentioned in my diaries. I had experiences with the field, but I think I tried to keep it secret from my diary. 

I was sent to a psychiatrist in 9th grade, when I was mourning too strongly for a dead actress.  He seemed very uninterested in listening to my problems and very keen on using drugs to fix me.  He was a huge fan of lithium. He not only wanted to use it to fix me but had ideas that it could fix some of our relatives as well.  

I went on Lithium. I'm not sure how long I took it. Weeks? Months? One day my mom remarked that my mood was better; the drugs must be working. I told her I had stopped taking them. And I think she didn't push the issue.

Although I might have later learned that you're not supposed to abruptly stop Lithium.  

Oh well....

Anyway, that experience turned me against psychiatry. And I still am against it for the most part. My most recent crusade is to get rid of psychiatry and let neurologists and psychologists deal with mental, emotional, and behavioral issues. Why in the world do we need TWO types of doctors to deal with the brain?

Well, I'll shut up and save the rest of that rant for a future post.  

At some point, in my high school years, I went to a psychologist. I remember her being very nice, and I felt liked by her. I had been interested in abnormal psychology, and I think she encouraged me to study psychology in college. So I'm thinking maybe I saw her in my senior year...after I wrote the entry. Or maybe it was earlier, in Atlanta? I'm really not sure.

The only problem I had with that particular treatment is the group therapy. I remember feeling that my problems were small compared to the other patients. I felt my role was to be supportive towards the other teens, and I think I failed to get enough support for myself.  In some ways, it was probably therapeutic, because having that role probably boosted my self-esteem.  But I think I might have needed more than that.

Today I reread the end of It. It is the saddest thing. Makes me cry just thinking about it. You know, Stephen King is better writing about love and friendship than he is at writing scary stuff. (12/3/90).

Well, today is a Friday. Another one of my Fridays. Went to the mall movie with Jean...I saw that movie Mermaids. It reminded me too much of myself. It was good, though. (12/14/90)

Jean is one of the few people I remember from my Nashville days.  I ended up liking the school. Leaving Atlanta turned out less of a tragedy than I expected. But if I was wanting to Google someone's name from that school, Jean's would be the only one I'd remember.

I think I would have remembered Derek by his behavior, but I don't think I would have remembered his name.

I can sort of picture this girl with long black hair. But I don't remember her name.

Then I remember Melanie, but I think it's because her mom worked with my dad. Their family is still mentioned in conversation, every so often.  

Wait! I know someone else I'd remember. Scott A.  I did see him mentioned in the diary, but even without that, I think I probably would have remembered him.

Well, my parents have given me the worst Chanukah presents this year. Instead of giving me what I wanted, they give me stuff I told them not to get. I am not complaining about money, like saying I wanted diamonds and instead got rhinestone. I'm talking about Dad who has no taste whatsoever, going out and buying me shit and then proudly saying "I picked it out myself".  (12/17/90)

Yikes. That was bitchy of me.

I think I've always been picky about gifts. I want things that show people know me, understand me, recognize my interests, etc.  

I'm not sure what my dad bought that I hated so much.

Here is some example of his (my dad's) craziness. 

One day at the pool, he gets this sly look on his face and starts saying things like "What if mom was in an accident and died?"

Today at dinner, he started to brag about the doctor might diagnose him with fatal cancer. He wants to die.

When he had to get his check up he says things like, "Don't want to scare you but they warned me 30% of people who this this check up immediately get put into the hospital. Will you visit me if they do?

Next at an airport (the small one) Dad had a big suitcase and a little briefcase. Dad made me carry the brief case even though it was much heavier because it would give him a bad image if people saw his daughter carrying a big suitcase.

One time I got in this conflict with Tim because we were complaining about our parents, and he pulled the "at least" bullshit tactic so he could push the point that HIS family issues were worse than mine.  The discussion was about parents saying things to scare their kids—the seeming desire to get their kids to worry about them. I remembered my dad doing things like that, but I don't think I could think of any examples. 

I'm glad my past self kept records. Thank you, past Dina! You are helping me feel validated. I'm grateful to you.  

Just as note. I still have issues with my dad. But I think he is more mentally healthy now than he was back then.  

He's more likely to try to reassure us when it comes to his health rather than scare us.