Adulting

Pretty much me looking at my bank account.

Growing up, I always assumed there were greater dangers I’d face, like quicksand or aliens. Now that I’m ‘Adulting’, I’m basically fighting with myself to make ends meet. The irony of it all is that I dug this hole I’m in, simply by having manic spending episodes. I’d buy, buy, buy, then I’d look at my account and see all my money had gone bye, bye, bye (N’SYNC: Don’t sue me… wait… they’re not a band anymore).  I don’t mean to complain, I actually am in a good place, and that’s pretty much why I’m posting this!

After years of debt, I’m happy to say: I’m still in debt…. but less of a debt…. like, I’m able to get Emily the help she needs while treating her to the things she deserves. Everything I do, all the money I save (loosely used word here) and spend is to make her more comfortable. The fact of it all is, I’m preparing surprise Christmas things for her (gifts), because her aesthetic is 100% Christmas (very pastel and happy). Even though we have our darkness, she never likes to put hers too far out there. But her darkness isn’t like mine.

All the bad in me is front and center due to me being bipolar. All of hers is pretty much tucked away, hurting her. Prime example is the whole thing with her Wicked-Witch (Bitch) Step-mom, who hates me and wants to see Emily hurt by me so that everyone will agree with her that I’m evil and manipulative… yeah. Emily, in her own words, said she, “Feel(s) sorry for her” and doesn’t hate her. I, of course, have a polar opposite view, and am vehemently happy to hear that her step-mom is crying in her car a lot and very unhappy now-a-days.

Where was I going with this? Oh, wait, yeah, the darkness thing.

I’ve recently been able to afford to get Emily things she wants and needs. I’m even working more often to find the right doctors for Emily, seeing as her current group is threatening to lower her dose of Oxy! Her primary care doctor said that there’s a law now where her dose would have to go down by 25%, in order for her to even keep getting the only medicine that helps her. There is a law out, though, saying that they are to limit the daily dose to an equivalent of 100mg of Morphine. We’ve been fighting to get her off of the Oxy and onto something long acting, but her doctor repeatedly, politely refused, and pretty much made her feel bad about asking. One doctor even said, in something of a dark-joking manner, that she prescribed her something that didn’t work to make her more grateful for the limited dose she gets now!

Now, let me clarify: Her step-mom is not her doctor… though, cumulatively, her treatment team shares certain traits with the aforementioned evil. Keeping this short, and failing, the update here is that we’re working on getting Emily better help, I’m able to afford better things for her, and I am more hopeful for her than I have been in a long time.

There remain great trials to be handled, but I feel hope for her, for us.

~Tim

Advertisements

Marijuana Laws And The People Who Suffer

I’ve been quiet a lot again… Emily’s going to get on Methadone soon and she’s worried that it won’t work… we’re both worried.

Something I’ve wanted to talk about for a while is marijuana. For some people, it’s a touchy subject, but for me, for us, it’s important. Marijuana should be legal in Pennsylvania and open to people with chronic pain, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and so on. I made this video on our youtube channel, ‘calmly’ lashing out at where we live and our legislators for remaining aloof on the issue.

For those of you who don’t know: Pennsylvania allows medical marijuana, but for a very narrow group. I want to take her to the marijuana doctor to see if they’ll accept her, but it’s $200, and we’re struggling. Please watch, and thank you for caring/tolerating me.

~Tim

P.S. I thought the title was funny, but, I know, it makes no sense… and I curse A LOT in the video… sorry.

Working for Verizon Wireless

I know it’s been far too long since either of us has posted on our blog, and to anyone who is reading this and cares: I apologize. Emily has not been finding the right treatment for her illness and I have been without a job for a while, except in February I started working for a hospital as IT Support! It’s an awesome job, and one which involves me doing what I’ve always wanted to do, ever since I went to school to study IT programming. But I digress; I’m here to talk about something I don’t think I’ve really talked much about, and that’s what it was like for me when I used to work for Verizon Wireless.

It’s a huge company, and one which pays well to do one thing: Sell. I only worked there for 6 months, 1 of which I was in training outside of the store I was to work in, so really 5 months. If you’ve ever worked retail, and I’ve discussed this, you know the deep down hatred you feel/felt going to work. But Verizon Wireless is a special monster to me, because, though I’ve spent most of my life working retail, Verizon Wireless taught me that everyone is a mark and there are core rules to this:

The Rules:

  1. No one should leave the store with less than $150 in merchandise. Should they: you are a weak person and unworthy of the job
  2. Everyone is a potential new line, because everyone (whether they know it or not) always has the need for MORE
  3. Verizon Wireless is the best network, no matter what you hear
  4. We are not sales people, we are leaders, bringing people to a better life, and one which benefits all parties

These ‘Rules’ may seem basic, and expected, but how they were used will always leave a dead place in my heart.

Sell, Sell, Sell: The Time I Went Against My Own Morals

I had a manger, his name was Nick. He was short, with greased back black hair, and the demeanor of a rat, except he was able to make older woman love him. Nick used to be the top sales person in the region, until they brought him on as a manager, thinking he could teach others how he made these sales. ‘Lucky’ for me, I ended being something of a project to him. I hate Nick, I hated Nick, and this story will make you hate Nick.

One night, we were about 2 hours from closing and Nick, myself, and a few others were working. The night had been okay, relatively slow, but we had a few new lines and our sales were on the lower end of good. I was set to take the next customer, and Nick was always watching over me, because I had weak numbers. So, in walk an older woman with her daughter, and I chip up, thinking, “Maybe she’s getting her daughter a new phone?” Then the customer walks in, the person at the door leads them too me, I had on my best smile, and then I saw their faces and my smile faded slightly: They had been crying.

I started by asking how I might be able to help them, “…on this fine night” (it was actually after it had snowed, so everything was a plowed mess outside). The older woman began to talk, but faded without saying anything, so her daughter explained to me that her father had just died (the mother stifled a cry when she said this) and, with a slightly weak voice, they needed to disconnect his line.

I kind of stood there, slightly disappointed, but overall filled with sadness for how there two looked, and the state they were in. I started playing with my tablet, looking into disconnecting a line, but the line was only 6 months in, and disconnecting required a manager’s approval.

Nick, like a vulture, came over to me as I was headed to the back to see if any other manager was still in. Nope. He asked what was going on and I explained. By the time I was done you’d think I’d told him that he’d just won the lottery by the expression on his face. I remember the next words quite well, he said, “Tim, when people are in high emotions they’re more willing to buy things; this is AWESOME!” He then lead me out to the people (the second he turned he put on a fake expression of grief, almost as if he were mocking theirs, and proceeded to talk to the people.

The mother and daughter, soon were tearing up, I felt awful and tried consoling them. Nick told them that disconnecting the line would be no problem, and how sorry he was for their loss. Then, he quickly turned into a different person. While typing in the approval to disconnect the line, eyes on the tablet, he began talking to them about how, with the line gone and the money to be saved, maybe tablets would make sense (since, at the time, a phone line was $40 per month and a tablet line was only $10). In his snake like words, ones which I still don’t remember, he convinced them that they needed 2 tablets and cases, along with screen protectors and anything else they might need, “…because, I know it’s hard now, but these things will help you, even distract you, from all that’s going on.” I was stunned, but he was doing all of this under my sign in information, so it was going to be my sale.

I nodded dumbly, agreeing with Nick and even backing him in certain instances.

The mother and daughter left that night, still weak and sad, but with bags full of tablets, accessories, and enough money to make my days sales put me in great standing. I went home that night and slept soundly, but within a month I quit, because of Nick.

This was not the only instance of anything like this happening, but this was my experience working there, and how I know Verizon Wireless stores work.

So if you’re ever in the need of anything tech or phone related, go to Best Buy or, better yet, do it online. The coercion and greed that drives companies is normal, and this story isn’t unique.

 

~Tim

“Who am I?” asked the mirror

 

Down The Rabbit Hole

My depression has been running deeper lately and I can’t seem to put a stopper on it. I feel like it’s because we live in Bloomsburg, surrounded by people who hate us, with Emily’s family.

Darren (Emily’s dad) is never supportive of Emily to the degree she deserves. He hates us being together, is never proud of her, and acts more like a semi-friend to her than anything.  Then there’s Jenn (Emily’s Evil step-mother). Jenn treats Darren, Aubrey (Emily’s Sister), (and especially) Emily and I like we’re shit. She’s an alcoholic, ignorant, and angry all of the time. Sometimes I think of Jenn and begin to clench my fists and grind my teeth. Emily has even told me she wants Darren to leave Jenn. If I were to express who the biggest problem in this whole thing is, I’d have to point to Jenn. Last time I talked to Darren, even he said, ‘Jenn is the type of person to hold a grudge for 30-years.’

Living in the same town as these people is enough to drive my depression deeper, but it doesn’t end there. Jenn and Darren have a lot of friends (mainly because Jenn has a huge white-trash family and Darren is a somewhat-musician) and all of their friends, when they see Emily and I, look at us with disgust of outright ignore us. One recent instance of this was when Kara (Darren’s 1st cousin he cheated on Sandra (Emily’s mom) with) saw me in a grocery store and gave me a look that made me feel like I killed her family, then curtly turned into a lane and hid there for a bit. I went and got Emily and told her this and she went with me to the lane. When Kara saw us together she said ‘Hi.’ with no emotion and walked off and out of our lives.

Emily takes this stuff better than me; I’m guessing because she’s been surrounded by these people her whole life and never felt like her father was close to her and truly never liked Jenn. Emily’s told me before that I came into the picture and seemed like her only chance at happiness. That felt sad for some reason, but now I get it.

~Tim

Dreams of silent sheep

dreams

Although I generally don’t like talking about my dreams, I feel like looking back on them sometimes. Dreams are the writing on the walls of the brain spoken back to us. We hear them, we see them, and we try to interpret them. I genuinely believe that no interpretation of a dream is wrong, so long as that interpretation isn’t aiming to be wrong. But what are the dreams I have? The dreams of a person with no foresight or interest in knowing the future; what are my dreams?

My dreams come at me like a heavy flood, in which I drown in them. I gasp for air as the images of my past, strangely familiar faces, and scenarios I’ve never experienced was over me. My latest dreams included: Emily’s death, a tangible string connecting all parts of my life, my abstract home with doors that lock to open, and a crisis of the existential nature. My dreams are subtle as a slap to the face. I often wake up momentarily distraught or sad. When I was really young I remember waking up happy. What ever happened to that? Does growing up take that away from us?

I’ve dreamt about pleasures that were within grasp, but my mind willed to not to achieve them. All too often I dream about loss. Loss within a dream is real, because when I wake up I know that loss is still there. My body is a cage, and my mind is the sight between the bars.

This stream of consciousness is a nightly occurrence, and, although it sounds hellish, I can’t wait to get back to sleep some nights.

~Tim

Working Retail

robot

Modern retail work is probably the least rewarding experience most people will have to face. The pay is pathetic, the customers, generally, seem to be incapable of thinking logically, and you (the retail employee) are at fault for the prices and decisions the company makes. When I hear “Paper or plastic?” I shutter. There are two sides to retail, though, that many people fail to face: the customer and the employee.

The Customer is, from the employee’s perspective, a juvenile idiot who hasn’t learned basic math and doesn’t take responsibility for their own decisions. They are not an enemy, but an obstacle that must be overcome. When I worked in a grocery store as a cashier, every customer I met made me angry, no matter how friendly they were. Being bipolar also added a little flare to the experience since I always had the same pattern: If I started the day happy, it would end miserably, or vice versa. But no matter what, work consisted of being unhappy.

The Employee is, from the customer’s perspective, a miserable jerk won’t go anywhere in life because they can’t seem to learn the most fundamental principals to function in society. They are someone the customer tries to get along with, but their dead eyes and robotic responses make the experience unenjoyable every time. Their sole purpose in life, it seems, is to be a cog in a huge emotionless machine, which grinds away at their soul.

However, the fact of the matter is that both parties suck. The retail world is one which doesn’t support progress and seems to prosper in making sales at the cost of humanity. Whenever I go shopping I try to be enjoyable and pleasant, but all too often I realize I am the generic customer.

~Tim