Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Ridiculous and Totally Inappropriate Sense of Hope

I am home after Daylight Savings so there is still tons of golden Southern California sunlight flooding the yards, asphalt, sidewalks, my girls hair, skin, eyes. Mr. Curry has taken Ever Elizabeth on a stroller ride. Lola is on her scooter down the pretty little condo paths with her friends, Dakota is with hordes of giggling girls and Ian is at his other home. Everything brighter is easier. Since we moved into this place a feeling of unreality has settled inside of me and will not be shaken. Dissociation is the word associated with multiple personality disorders. Or sleep deprivation. Guess which one I have? I float inside of myself as things happen. Even flavors are muted- things I normally crave fall flat when I stuff them in my mouth. The long winter is ending and inside of that ending is a small capsule of time I have swallowed and inside of that is me, screaming, like Dorothy in the Wicked Witches' magic bubble. Mr. Curry is unfolding from his long illness and to see the hazel in his eyes fill with the light of his mind again makes me feel more alive than I have in months. I cope without him but it is a hard coping. It is a rigid and robotic thing but it is safe and good for my children, the routines, the outings, the nights with movies and snacks. The explanations again of why Daddy is so sad. We are poor so this means Mr. Curry sees a state sponsored person for his magic blue pills, and Mr. Curry has Bipolar which is terrifically hard to treat correctly so this means that he is often prescribed things that are so completely and totally wrong and ridiculously dangerous for him to take that I want to bang my head into a smoothly cocked wall of the low income housing next to where we live.  I do research all the time and read about the blue pills and which go together and which do not and just last week the nurse practitioner looked on her I-Phone and told my dear husband that he should stop taking magic blue pill X which kept him better for longer than any other thing ever has and instead he should take magic blue pill XX which has no indication at ALL based on research that it will do anything for him but make him much worse and go right back to being very sick. I have to go tell her this in a way that will not insult her I-Phone powers so that she will do as I ask and give him his old pill back. Our entire life could be in her hands and she might not care very much. Sometimes I feel we are RIGHT NEXT TO everything that could help but like a magic glass castle we cannot touch the food and the medicine and the therapist and the things that would make us better.

 Mr. Curry and I found an amazing therapist who would see us for $75 which is a very good deal, and we went to see him and Dakota stood tall and lanky and charmingly awkward with Ever in the waiting room and watched her so Mr. Curry and I could go into this man's office and tell him where we are broken, and could he help? And I think he could, only we just yesterday received notice that I have to pay childcare for Ever at my work which I had not been asked to pay before and now we are royally and truly fucked and the first thing I thought when I heard this news was Would it really be so bad to live in Kentucky?  because I have this idea that if we lived somewhere that we could actually afford to live, we might not be miserably crawling out of each day wondering how we are going to feed and care for our children properly that day, and the next, and so forth. Mr. Curry is looking for a weekend job and I think I will have to drop Ever's insurance at my work because otherwise we cannot pay our bills and rent because we simply do not have enough money coming in to pay that and childcare. 

This is why I think "dissociation" might be a proper coping tool for poor people like us. I don't feel very much lately but I have to keep on. That's what they always tell poor people. Don't give up! they say very cheerfully. What else can you really tell someone, what other option do we have, but it rankles to hear it when they are shouting it from podiums with their sweaty intellectual arguments and hidden tax deductions. Fuck them anyway.

I hear music in the car and I think of Mr. Curry's eyes and his hands on me and how he tells me he loves me like he is thirsty and I am water and I think of our four children and their beautiful bodies moving in this world and their spirits so well loved and I know that I have everything.  I also know that medications and insurance and these kinds of things that us poor people are so obsessed with talking about have the power to ruin our lives. If my husband takes the wrong magic pill because a psychiatrist should be evaluating him but instead an I-Phone is, that could ruin our lives. If he got sick enough badly enough he could end up hospitalized or leaving me or forcing me to leave him. All I can do is work full time and that is not full time enough.

still i hear the music and i think of mr. curry's eyes and how i remember him at seventeen watching me behind his long bangs and our children and i feel a ridiculous and totally inappropriate sense of hope. and that will do for now.
SJ said...

I grew up in Kentucky. I'm sure you didn't mean that in a derogatory way...but, no...it wouldn't be so bad. I had to leave for work, but would raise my children there if I could, rocked in the mountains and my family. Nowhere is perfect, I guess.

Leslie said...

Oh, Maggie. I feel your pain because I share it. My husband suffers from chronic depression and other things. We are uninsured because he's self-employed. His medicines are over $500 a month. We aren't poor but we can't afford that. I need to fill out about 10 patient assistance forms in my spare time. We've been lucky to find a practitioner who is good and reasonable and concerned, but we've had plenty who were none of those things, like the one who left my husband without a supply of medication, suffering withdrawal, and got angry when I tracked him down at his "real" office--not the one where he saw people on TennCare. And now my son is bipolar, and not properly medicated, and he won't go back to the psychiatrist, and he won't see a therapist because it will be in his opinion a waste of his time . . . I'm praying for you. We just keep going on because we have to, right?

Lindsay said...

If you lived here, I would watch Ever for you for free <3 It's not sunny all the time and the chinooks give me migraines, but healthcare is covered and we have a great view of the Rocky mountains. We're praying for you and your family.

Annie said...

I wish I had more than empty words to give you, but you've said them yourself- and you are right- give yourself that totally ridiculous hope- so long as there is love and sunshine and children. I hope, hope, it all works out for you, and for Mr. Curry, and that somehow that nurse practictioner will hear you, and that somehow, your work can see the way to keep you and not charge for Ever's care. Thinking of you, and hoping.

Elizabeth said...

If you don't have hope, you have nothing. Keep on hoping.

Cetta said...

It's so difficult, these choices we are forced to make. Insurance or groceries? It's ridiculous that our children - at least - aren't automatically covered by good, FREE, health insurance. I've often thought that maybe I should just get divorced, because at least them we'd get Medicaid. It's ridiculous that we even have to think about these things.

Best to you guys. All you can do is keep moving forward. And believing it will get better. I think that's all we can do.

Petit fleur said...


I am so in tune with what you are saying about the pills. We have an HMO which pays for part of your meds but ONLY if you get the generic. My actual anti D pills have changed about 3 times and I'm super sensitive to it. They say that all the pills are the same, just made by different companies, but it istn't so. There are differences. I have had this feeling that my current medication has not been working for months, but do not know the name of the manufacturer that made the last pills that did work... and we are moving across the country in a month! Nice.

Getting back to you. You are blessed by a great many things, among them your instincts and your ability to assess a situation and recognize what you need to do... and you are creative. You will be fine when you talk to the lady about the blue pills. You will say what needs saying and you will soften her to your way of thinking.

Enjoy what you can. Better days are coming.

Catherine said...

Yes, it would be easier in Kentucky or any other place where you can find housing that is not any where nearly as expensive as you have to pay. I, too, live in a high housing cost area, and that nut makes it hard to make ends meet. We make much more money here, but after the extra costs are taken out, it isn't that much more. Where I used to live in western PA, one can find a nice house, in a good area for under $100K, and still commute to a city. No can do or even come close here. So yes, there is a huge luxury tax you pay right off the top for the privilege of living where you do.

Maggie May said...

SJ i'm glad you liked it xo

Leslie I am so sorry about your son. There are loopholes..is your son underage? You can make him go. If not, if he is sick enough, you might be able to get control in order to help him.

Lindsay you are so sweet. I couldn't leave my baby though! That's why she comes with me :)

Annie I know...you are such a good soul.

Elizabeth what else? xo

Cetta yes..xo

Petit- can I have that in writing!? Just kidding. Kind of. ;)

Catherine yup cost of living..but we have family here, and the cost of living without them would be high, emotionally and financially- they spend a lot of time with our kiddos and we never pay for babysitting.

Bethany said...

I love your writing.
I'm sorry things are so darn difficult.
You are a light.

bron @ baby space said...

what elizabeth said.
I'm glad you're still hoping. loving your writing as always :)

Nova Bradfield said...

I feel like an idiot when the paycheck runs out before the pile of bills. And it happens for me every time and I feel like I kind of suffer in silence and it's my secret. It's one of the things people would prefer we not talk about. I feel like I always do my melting down in the grocery store. I walk around with my list and try to keep the total down and I put stuff back and the music is always so sad. And we have a new baby coming and when I remember that we have to find money for his daycare I feel like I should panic, but I am too tired to panic. And I want to grab the people I know and ask them how they are doing it. How do they make ends meet and make it look so easy and have non-tattered clothes? How? I'm sorry you are poor. But I'm glad you wrote this. For me. Because today it felt like you wrote this for me.

starrlife said...

Hey Maggie- sounds so hard, wish I could visit and give some support or just give you a hug! xo best I can do- frustrating. I do want to ask if Mr C has tried/considered Lithium - a natural salt as a mood stabilizer. By far it is the most effective on out of the bunch (in my 30 yrs of psych experience). It's not for everyone's bodies but that is true for all things we ingest isn't it?
Love and more hope piled oncnture

krista said...

sometimes i think all hope is ridiculous and totally inappropriate. but then i think of course it is. how could it not be? you inspire me, lady. to remember that life is sometimes a pain in the ass but that ridiculous sense of hope is sometimes more than enough.

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