Tuesday, October 6, 2009


About half way through therapy yesterday, my shrink observed that I seemed irritable. Normally, I'm not a bit irritable because irritable is not theatrical. My feelings are theatrical so that I'm in thoroughly miserable, deliriously happy, totally fucking pissed off, etc. Sometimes I'm cranky because I'm tired or hungry - neutral, ordinary feelings go along with ordinary states of being. Generally irritable, where everyone I come into contact with becomes a burr under my saddle, is rare.

Since I was at therapy and talking with my shrink, nobody thought to look for a simple, obvious explanation. At therapy, you can nearly always find a connection to your mother. My therapist is of the opinion that I'm minimizing my anger at my mother for being a generally withholding individual. If my mother were more reliably generous, I could easily have turned to my family to pay my very large, outstanding therapy bill. When a person minimizes his/her anger, or intellectualizes his/her feelings in order to minimize the impact, it makes a person irritable, depressed, anxious, etc. My therapist did not suggest that I confront my mother or anything ridiculous like that. There's no reason for me to confront my mother to get the several thousand dollars I owe my therapist because The Man from San Antone will shortly be sending a cash infusion.

I would find this whole situation entertaining except that I'm the one who owes the money. Further, when I suggested that one way I could manage my current expenses on my current income was to drop down to one session per week, my therapist said what she always says - the reason I'm stable is because I come to therapy twice a week. If I were paying her regularly, I would definitely think that was financially motivated bullshit. Since I haven't paid her in months, I'm sure she honestly believes that her intervention is keeping me stable.

Last year when I was thinking about dropping down to one session per week, my mother pointed out that in some Christian denominations, the local preachers switch to new parishes every four years or so because after four years, the congregation has heard pretty much everything that preacher has to say. The same could apply to shrinks.

When I was on all the meds, I agreed that I needed to be in therapy twice a week because clearly I wasn't stable or I wouldn't be on all the meds. A lot of people take psychopharmaceuticals and don't go to therapy at all which in my view is irresponsible. The point of the meds is to coat your feelings so that they aren't overwhelming and you can actually deal with your issues (aka: bullshit, mishigas). Getting off the meds was a long process filled with mood swings and emotional outbursts which required continuous monitoring. However, I've been off all the meds for months and months now, and my emotional state has been within normal parameters for someone who had mastered the art of "Drama Queen" by kindergarten and went on to staggering emotional heights.

That I was irritable because I'm PMSing never entered anyone's mind.

This cycle is a bit different because I'm not on The Pill at the moment. I've been on it pretty much full time since Bradley recommended I get on the Pill when we met as Freshman at North Texas State University in Denton. It was a good idea. I went off The Pill to have Velvet and then when I was around forty for some years because I was concerned the Pill contributed to my depression. I was also taking a handful of medication at the time and thought one less pill was a good idea. Interestingly, as soon as Buzz Kill was in charge of birth control we practically stopped having sex all together. It's not that he didn't want to have sex. He would go for it, I'd ask if he had a condom, he hadn't gotten any, therefore nobody got any. We went around and around like this for ages.

I can't even remember when I went back on The Pill. Maybe after the fire when I thought Buzz Kill and I might be able to salvage our marriage.

**Note** On Memorial Day Weekend in 2003, our GE dishwasher spontaneously combusted. The event threw every dysfunction in our marriage starkly into the open because it's hard to sweep anything under the rug when the rug had to be sent out for industrial strength cleaning to remove smoke and soot. As it happened, in the ensuing legal action, Buzz Kill tried to claim this very rug was worth $25,000. He got the fellow from whom we bought said rug in Delhi to provide an appraisal stating that the rug was indeed valued at $25,000 - but anyone who has ever looked at Oriental Carpets knows that these rugs are outrageously marked up so stores can put them on sale for 75% off. Even at 75% off retail, merchants make a butt load of money. The fucking rugs are made by eight year olds in rural India, for crying out loud. I don't think we paid $1400 for it in the first place, but that didn't stop Buzz Kill from claiming we lost $25,000 on this rug. When GE's insurance adjuster toured our smoky apartment, he glanced at the list, looked around the apartment and said, "What Rug?" Indeed there was no rug in sight since it was at the dang cleaners. When the case finally got before the judge, we got zero for said rug and Buzz Kill looked like the turd he was. As it happened, I know none of this information first hand because when GE's insurance team came to the apartment, Buzz Kill made me wait in the laundry room in the basement of our building because he said I would undoubtedly make a random comment that would damage our case. I was furious but complied quietly, thinking he could fuck up this show all by himself. Which he did.

For a time, I believed Buzz Kill and I would find a way through the marital dysfunctions and be a relatively happy couple. That beautiful dream lasted about four months and must be when I got back on The Pill.

I stayed on The Pill during this time of No Man in my life because I'm a happier camper when I'm on The Pill. The Pill evens out my hormones - so does Evening Primrose Oil, as a matter of fact which I take religiously - so I don't get hormonally induced mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats or any of those other perimenopausal symptoms. Perhaps I'm not even in perimenopause given that my mother didn't experience The Change until she was 53, but everyone knows perimenopause can start when a woman is about 35 and last for decades. Jane Brody said it in the New York Times.

Further, when I'm on The Pill, I know my period will start at 10:30 on a Thursday and that it will be so incredibly light I barely notice it. No cramps and not a single blemish on my chinny chin chin. Some women suffer on The Pill, but for me The Pill relieves every inconvenience associated with "The Curse" so that it is no wonder that Conservative Christian Right Wing Republican Straight White American Males are secretly trying to take it away from women. My mother fully believes the Christians who picket abortion clinics ultimately want to make The Pill illegal so that women will be stuck at home raising kids again.

Don't get me wrong: I loved being a Stay At Home mom for years and years. But it was my choice to have Velvet exactly when I had him. If I'd have been pregnant at 18 and had to drop out of college because of morning sickness, life would have been very different.

I'm pretty sure Conservative Christians would march pregnant "welfare moms" to abortion clinics in droves if they could get away with it. The goal is to populate the world with more Crackers. Like we need more damn Crackers in this country.

I've taken care of my PMS with the traditional steak and chocolate cake remedy. If the PMS worsens, I'll use my own remedy of Valium, Pinot Noir, Ibuprofen and Weed with whatever dose and frequency seem necessary at the time.

For the record, I never use any substance besides Ibuprofen when I'm taking care of other people's children. With Velvet, however, a little relaxation therapy can be enormously beneficial - and of course, as a Menopausal Stoner, I always recommend weed for anyone who still likes to smoke it. I wish it came in vending machines.


Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

In honor of the rug, you should call him "Buzz Kilim!"

I was at one time started on Effexor, but I quit it. the shrink asked me why i'd quit 'em, and i told 'em I'd discovered it interfered with my "enjoyment' of my weed. I could quit one or the other, so I quit the effexor. The docs said nobody'd ever told 'em dat before...I am now a confirmed "self-medicator": if whiskey, dogs, and weed won't work, then I'm done for...

Gail said...

Hi Trish-

Oh decisions - decisions. I like your combo of stabalizing products. I like wine, yup, wine........
and the rug story? hysterical. :-) Except the part where you were tucked away in the basement laundry room.
Love you


Anonymous said...


OMG we were separated at birth, your writing is awesome. I am a fellow self medicating (420, Paxil and Margarita's) menopausal crone.

Please stop by my blog when you get a chance, I would love to hear from you!

420 Smooches,


Jaliya said...

Oh, you! :-D I laughed all the way through this entry. I think it's 'cause I woke this morning to a period ... after five months! I feel thrilled about this :-D

The wind is WILD here today. Capital-F Fall!

As my little brother would say, "Stay weird ... Stay wired!"


Mr. Charleston said...

Hey, wait a minute! I was with you until the Cracker part. Being a 7th generation Cracker myself, I resemble that remark! But I'll just fire up a bowl and forget about it.

PENolan said...

Gail, the laundry room isn't so bad and I've been able to hold the incident against BK since 2003.

Mr. Charlestown, I'm pretty sure you're not a full blooded Cracker as defined in my Yom Kippur post regarding Crackers, but smoke 'em if you've got 'em.

Muffy - nice to meet you! I'm from Houston too.
Jaliya - we apparently have the same wind blowing things around here too. Love it except for the litter swirling in urban dust devils on the sidewalks.
Woody - the whisky, dogs and weed seem to be working for you most days.

Liberality said...

My mother fully believes the Christians who picket abortion clinics ultimately want to make The Pill illegal so that women will be stuck at home raising kids again.

Your momma is right! Keep your head above water there dear and everything gonna turn out to be okay.

PENolan said...

Thanks, Lib
It usually does. I'll try to remember to breathe.

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