Solving one mystery and landing in the middle of Drama
Entry 01/12/2013 08:43:20 PM – Mentat 676
As it turns out the problems that I was going through as I had talked about from the last entry had in fact been caused by the development of an inner ear infection. Some of the virus was already there, but I believe that I had exacerbated it by trying to clean out the excessive ear wax build up and instead of cleaning it out, ended up forcing the ear to be shut by it. It was sort of like getting water in the ear canal, except with it being ear wax. So instead of clearing out like it should have, I ended up blocking it up and causing the virus already there to infect. And so for the last week, I’ve been having suffering through the louder than usual tinnitus along with a more than healthy amount of dizziness and vertigo whenever I was standing up for long periods of time (well, longer than an hour and a half).
Oh, I’m not a stranger to inner ear infections… I’ve gotten a total of three of them in my life (including this one), although the last two were in my left ear and not my right. So I knew what I was looking forward to when this one hit. *knock on wood* And like the last times, I didn’t suffer from the nausea that comes from the vertigo and vomit my lungs up. However this time, I didn’t go through the usual warning signs of the tinnitus getting louder the closer I got to getting dizzy (or in the case of the last one, dizzier). No, instead I had the same sort of dizziness that I associate to having low sugar. This made it damned confusing for me as I would start reacting as though my sugar was too low and I needed to have something to eat… I could’ve waited for the feelings as though I were in a fugue state, except that by the time I reach that, I’m also dangerously close to fainting from too low a blood sugar level. So instead, I had to meter out when I ate and what, and hoped that the dizziness I was going through was from the infection and not from my hypoglycemia, which isn’t too bad when I’m at home laying down and reading, or sitting up and watching something on the computer. But it’s quite another issue when I’m trying to work yesterday for the half-day and the dizziness was coming in waves at times.
Heh, not fun, let me tell you.
I was fortunate in that my landlord and boss is a sympathetic soul and after explaining everything to him, he allowed me to take most of the week out to recuperate. Good thing too, given that this isn’t a desk-duty sort of job and that heavy labor, heavy equipment and having to stay on my feet was going to take its toll on me in no time flat. As I had learned when I went into work yesterday for ¾ of the day and ended up only being able to work ½ of it. Because let me tell you, I had pushed myself a bit too hard yesterday and ended up being dizzy and incapable to standing (without going through vertigo) for the remainder of the day. Waking up this morning, I’ve found that my hearing in my right ear being almost fully restored and the tinnitus practically gone. I haven’t tried standing for more than 90 minutes yet — as I don’t want to push it — but am hopeful given that next week we’re going to be under the gun for finishing parts of the projects at the garage.
As this lovely trip through pain and dizziness was starting Friday’ish night (when I felt like I had water in my ear), I was heading out for a mass dinner with the family at The Lodge (as I also mentioned in the last entry). What a Charlie-Foxtrot that turned into! The meal itself wasn’t so bad, and most of the sitting was all right.. It was the ending that turned into a wonderful drama catastrophe. Now… to set this dysfunctional mess up, I have to admit something to the viewing public: my uncle (mother’s youngest brother), is a drugged up mess. He’s had a history of drug addiction (I think he mentioned heroin, and I know his addiction to pot) that had given him a right scare about 20 – 25 years ago, and after a failed marriage he had come back from the West Coast to the East to clean himself up. He did pretty well — enough that whatever issues and animosity we had between the two of us when I came out of the closet so many years ago (he called me some pretty bad things, including pedophile) we worked out. But things in recent years began to reappear. It was like history repeating itself, but instead of him getting involved in the illegal drugs, he went the path of prescription abuse. Some of it I might be able to excuse… My uncle’s showing the signs of serious and severe Rheumatoid Arthritis. And let’s face it — years of drug abuse also takes its toll as well and there’s pain attached to that as well.
But the thing is that in recent years he’s added marijuana back into the mix.
I know from witnessing others that mixing illegal and prescription drugs is bad. The effects are often catastrophic. A couple of holidays ago, my aunt (his wife) brought it up to me that my uncles was getting “stupider”. That the mix of the prescription medications and pot has been making him, slower… more loopy… Not all there…. She had I discussed on what she could do to get him to stop. I told her what I knew, and what she might have to do in order to get him to stop. I remember confronting him on one of the holidays, imploring him that if he’s going to mix illegal and prescription medications to at least talk to his doctor and let him straighten it out.
Of course, nothing happened… He refused to listen to advice.
It took a couple of more years but my aunt decided it was time for him to move out. They were separated around Thanksgiving 2012. He moved out to a relative’s house in the North Providence and continued his merry way of mixing prescription and illegal drugs.
So, come last Friday during the meal. We were pretty much on our best behavior. My uncle and aunt (his sister) had been at odds for a number of months — not talking and/or avoiding each other. It had something to do with my aunt’s kvetching and getting into his business about the illegal drugs that he’s been doing — and him retaliating by pushing her out of his life. Heh, the amusing thing about watching the two of them that night was that they’re so much alike: from the passive-aggressive way they would go at each other, to the way that they would then ignore each other over the simplest things. I couldn’t tell whether it was going to turn ugly between the two of them, or if it was going to just be a bit of tension and then them going their separate way.
Uncle got to go to the bathroom and then looked for the waitress, before coming back to the table. There was something different about him. It didn’t dawn on me what had changed about him until after the “festivities”. As my aunt and mother were finishing up their dessert (they were the only ones that wanted it, the rest of us were full), my uncle announces that he had paid the bill. He then started talking shit about how he’s thinking about moving and that when he does no one’s going to find him.
Now the men of my family are big drama queens. They don’t admit it… They never will even when it’s staring them in the face. While I have no problems admitting that I am, when it comes to running away, the only time I might be overly dramatic involves dealing with someone I’m attracted to. The rest of my family, I just go: not a word other than telling them what the new address is going to be and how to reach me. The rest of my family however — they’ll do it with the family and do so, so spectacularly that it comes off completely unbelievable. To make matters worse is that when they do it — it’s hard to tell whether they’re being truthful or just trying to get a rise out of people. And even when they are truthful, they eventually return, often with their tails between their legs and in complete denial of the drama they caused when they made their dramatic exit.
And this night was my uncle’s dramatic attempt…
I sat there listening to my family trying to convince him not to do it. Convincing him to keep in touch. And my uncle being the ass was trying to foist off on everyone that he didn’t need them and that he would just leave never to be heard again.
I wasn’t buying it for a couple of reasons. When it comes to computers they always come looking for me. I might keep the secret of whatever they want kept discrete, but they always come looking for me to talk about it. So I made a comment that when it comes to computers he’ll come looking for me.
That’s when it turned ugly. My uncle starts dropping the F-bombs loud enough for the whole of the restaurant to hear. He’s trying to make a direct attack at my snide comment as though it was a personal attack against him (and not the bullshit story that he was trying to spin).
After my mother and aunt calm him down enough to stop swearing so loudly that the entire restaurant continued to hear him, he then storms out of the place. But not without dropping another F bomb at my mother’s husband Bob, for sticking up for me. That was queue for the rest of the family to give it up and get the hell out of the restaurant. It was like the bomb was dropped in the middle of the restaurant and the lot of us were running for the bunkers. But not without a little inner-family bickering along the way… And this time between my aunt and mother before we drove off for the night.
Replaying the difference between my uncle before he headed back to the bathroom and after on the way home in the car with my mother and her husband, it was apparent that he was in the bathroom just long enough to have done something. He was high by the time he came back to the table. It was that high that gave him the courage to pull the drama that he did, and it was the paranoia that made him snap when I didn’t buy into it. The personality change was too 180 degrees to be anything but illegal drugs.
About 10 minutes out from the restaurant, he tries calling me. Seeing his name on the caller ID, I knew that the pissy way he was leaving he was trying to take a last swing at me for my comment about him needing me to help him, and how he was trying to prove how much he didn’t. I decided not to answer the call and let it go to voicemail. There was no way I was going to allow him to drag me down into the hell of his delusion and paranoia.
When the phone told me that there was voicemail after a long quiet, I called it and deleted the message without listening to it. I knew how vicious and pissy his message would probably be, and there’s no way in hell I would put up with it even in passing. This is something best left to silence rather than confrontation, as confrontation would only get ugly.
I made a couple of comments about it to my mother and her husband, and both Bob and I are convinced this bullshit was drug-fueled. I called it a night, took a walk home to let the cold calm me down.
I haven’t heard from him in the last week. I suspect that I’m not going to be hearing from him for a while. As a precaution I have put his number to block because I simply can’t be assed to deal with more of his passive-aggressive bullshit on how he turned on me.
I did get a call from my aunt yesterday of her asking me what I had said to set my uncle off. I told her the exactly what I said to my mother when she asked me the same thing I told my mother… That when it came to computer problems, they all would eventually give me a call to bail them out of whatever problems they were having with their PCs. After all, how can you go wrong when I will answer the call quickly, and more often times than naught: cheaply. After all, how can you go wrong when I usually charge no more than a beer and a couple of slices of pizza?
So as I’m sitting here watching the end of some cheesy movie, I realize that my uncle’s going to need to fall farther before he realizes that he’s repeating the same mistakes that he made 20, 30, and 40 years ago. Whether he’ll bounce back from this or not, I don’t know. And while my family will try to play the role of the hard-ass and push him out, when push comes to shove we’ll all work out our differences and forgive… We might not forget, but we’ll forgive and move on. Until then — the dysfunction will continue and the stress with the family will be pulled taught to the point of breaking.
Well that’s it for the time being. Off to watch another movie and then crash for the night. Until the next time.