I believed in one thing, and one thing above all, most of my life. I believed in karma.
I thought that if you treated people well, and asked for nothing in return, you would end up with a lot.
Oh, magical thinking, I should have known better.
I was gifted much in life. There is so much I have to be thankful for and I am–some resources, a paid off house near the beach, wonderful family, and friends.
Priceless. That’s all priceless.
I worked very hard at both my writing, and have been trying to help an invisible (that becomes more visible with age) disability (nonverbal learning disorder–NLD) become better known.
My writing and blogging was going places, and there was no feeling as good as people enjoying my work. This was back in the blogging stone age–2004–2008.
Not that people paid for my work but it was read. Then I became caught up in politics–the Bush era—I could see the way the country was going despite and including the eight years President Obama was stymied at every turn.
I didn’t want to blog about politics but people kept asking. Not because I’m brilliant but because I have an ability (honed by years of work experience) to make difficult concepts read simply.
I began to realize that something was missing in my communication with some individuals. It couldn’t have been their fault; it had to have been mine.
Long story short—that led to me having myself diagnosed with nonverbal learning disorder. I’m one of the rare people with it who, while I’m a very good writer, and when younger tried to write rather than speak when having difficulties with people, communicates better in person.
“The internet knows no nuances,” and lord I need nuances.
I have been blogging for almost fourteen years and in that time have seen many people who (forgive me for saying this) are maybe less talented than I am with “less important” things to say make it as I grew older and older.
I don’t want to be a bitter person. There is nothing attractive about bitterness.
I am riddled with self-doubt.
Does anybody really care about my life in the 1970’s and ’80’s?
Those magical years when I might have had a disability but also could work non-stop, go out, fall in love, meet incredible people, miss a lot of signals so it wasn’t even as incredible as it could have been.
I see the missed signals now, and that makes me sad.
My father and I were very close and would meet at last once a week for lunch and/or dinner. He would tell me that I was beautiful. That I was exceptionally bright. That except for my taste in men, I was, (he had to admit), a great person with many interests. My father loved a good conversationalist and I was one.
He would also tell me that I was sloppy. That I could have easily had better jobs (though I liked mine). That I didn’t dress well–until he found out his friends who “knew these things,” thought I dressed incredibly well. My taste, in house furnishings and things, was horrible–until his friends told him how great my taste was.
I tried believing the good things he said but real me believed the bad. I felt like a person who couldn’t do anything right.
Gradually I began to understand his weak spots and insecurities. One day we took a walk, and he told me how wonderful I was, and how sorry he was for all the things he had said throughout my life.
I let him sweat it, and didn’t tell him how I had forgiven him several years earlier.
But the damage was done. I’m not saying that he alone was the cause. That would be too easy. Unfair to a man who tried harder than any person I have ever met to be a good person. Maybe I take after him in even more ways than I had thought.
He died suddenly several months later. Fortunately, he knew how much I loved and liked him. But maybe my good karma dissolved because the day of the walk I didn’t stop him from talking. I didn’t say: “I know you did the best you could, and your worst was better than many other people’s best.”
My mother died a decade later. I miss both my parents more than I should.
I’m angry at myself for refusing to understand the importance of coupledom. There was a time in my life when I could fall into lust at will.
That ended in my late 30’s. I decided I had too many problems and didn’t want to inflict my problems on others.
I decided that I had great friendships and a Golden Girl life would be perfect.
Actually, it might be but the women I thought were going to be my Rose, Dorothy, Blanche, and even Sophia have dispersed. Though I was the one to leave first.
I became a licensed clinical social worker as I wanted to help people. Gradually I began to understand my own problems. That was good as nobody else did.
Then came the blogging years. My friends called my vacations “changes of work scenery.” Yes, I worked 52 weeks a year, all day—and paid for the opportunity.
I’m not asking for pity. I’m responsible for my own life. That’s one thing I have always understood.
What I didn’t understand was the concept of settling.
There were many nice men who wanted to know me throughout the years. Either they weren’t exciting enough or I thought I would inflict problems or…..
As I grow older I realize you need a partner as much for companionship as anything else. And now that I have some health problems it would be great if I didn’t always have to be my own advocate. There are times I want to crawl into a hole.
I had a violent stomach flu last week. Instead of resting I had to call medical offices with legitimate concerns–and call and call and call because nobody called back.
I don’t want to be that patient. The one everybody hates or worse makes fun of. I couldn’t help but think that if I had a child or a significant other make the calls for me I would have been taken more seriously.
I couldn’t help thinking this because I worked in the medical profession, and would be horrified by how many medical professionals treated people poorly who advocated for themselves.
I was the medical professional the others would make fun of or hate because I would insist on spending more than 30 seconds talking about a patient who didn’t have family.
Family made all the difference.
People without spouses and/or children tend to be in worse health or die earlier. It’s said that’s because we don’t take care of ourselves as well as married people and that might true to a point.
Where are the studies that compare how people with significant others are treated, by the medical profession, compared to single people? I’ve never seen one.
But where are the studies that compare how people with significant others are treated, by the medical profession, compared to single people? I’ve never seen one.
I’m thinking of going back north or to South Florida because I know that while singles aren’t generally treated with the respect that married people are, medical offices still return their calls in a more timely manner.
I’m thinking that I’ve always treated people well, and deserve to be treated well myself–karma. Or even if I didn’t I still deserve to have my calls returned.
I’m thinking that it’s me. That something about me makes people take me less seriously, and think “what does it matter if she gets sicker?” That the NLD which really didn’t bother me much during my 20’s to 50’s is back with a vengeance, and kicking me triply hard in the tuchus.
That the NLD which really didn’t bother me much during my 20’s to 50’s is back with a vengeance, and kicking me triply hard in the tuchus.
I’m thinking that I want a great older age, and won’t settle for anything less.
I was one of the first people to write about adult NLD. I will be the first to write about older age and NLD.
So please don’t ask me to be your friend or to be your child’s friend. Don’t ask me to help you. I spent many years answering emails, talking, trying and usually failing to help people rather than focusing on my own life.
Karma might come, rear its ugly head, and say: “Pia you are a selfish bitch who should have learned from Mother Teresa.”
But I’m neither Catholic nor a saint. I need to focus on me. My health. And I would like to go on vacations that don’t entail working. I would like to finally figure out a way to put my writings in order and get that book together.
I want a book for several reasons: I’ve always dreamed of a great book deal (not something I expect but the fantasy is wonderful).
People never say “oh look at all the people she’s helped; look at how much she’s done.” They say: “she doesn’t have a book out. Can’t complete anything. Who the f–k does she think she is?”
People don’t feel that they can email, message, whatever, a “published” author and ask for free help (much of the time). They respect a “published” author’s time. Though a lot less time and effort might have gone into that book than I have put into my articles and posts.
More than anything I want to feel that I have accomplished something with my life. Something important. Something that can kick my Karma into high gear.