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-Personal blog for Janika Banks.
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Thursday, March 23, 2017

part of some geneticist's plan


In case anyone thinks disability is an easy road to a free ride, I'd like for you to know that in the last ten-ish years I've been through bankruptcy, a disability hearing that emotionally shredded me after years of trying to be strong and hiding my problems, lawsuit from an insurance company that lasted for months, continual threat of lawsuit from a series of collection agencies that refuse to recognize correctly followed protocols for debt relief, illegal garnishment without recompense, and continuing multiple daily phone calls meant to harass me into a payment plan on interest I don't legally owe (the payment plan wouldn't even touch principal before I die, so this is lifelong debt entrapment).

I have lived with this daily for the entire time you guys have seen me public. I am so used to it that I barely even mention it once or twice a year, and almost never complain about it. My lawyer says no one can do anything unless I answer a phone and allow them to bully me, so I don't answer the phone. I have missed important calls because of this. So many different numbers call me for collections now that I can't trust anything even within my area code. Thanks to internet, I've been able to trace these numbers to real addresses. If you have an empty house or apartment in your neighborhood that never seems to have anyone coming and going, it's probably a property used to legitimize a landline so it will come up as a real person. I know a lot about how badly Americans are legally harassed because I've lived it for a long time. This is the modern answer to illegal search and seize, taxation without representation, and locking people up in the poorhouse until debts are paid, except now it's done covertly so it looks 'nice'. You get to keep living in your home, but that's about it.

The reason this is coming up is because I am finally digging out. For so long we lived under threat of audits from so many directions that I just kept shoving everything into sacks. Today I shredded sackloads of EOBs, formal letters and notices, and bank statements going back at least 7 years. I'll keep last year, but after everything I've been through, I'm pretty sure every bit of that is recoverable since my life has been dredged up very thoroughly at least 4 times.

I glance at them as I shred. I think things like wow, that was 2 years before Bunny, or wow, that was the year Bunny was born. Everything that has gone through my hands today has this new point of view.

Bunny might be seeing me more. My house has been upside down for many years. It was upside down before she was born 3 1/2 years ago, and over the last 3 years has been flipped like a pancake, mixed around like little hurricanes, and frapped into forgotten corners. Everything in my house is very mobile, even if it's in stasis in a sack. And there are many sacks.

You can't keep moving sacks around in a house with a very energetic 3 year old. She's old enough now to get into closets and drawers, and I'm old enough now that 1- I can't keep up and stop her, 2- I'm actually too tired to care, 3- and we'll never recover if I don't do this NOW.

So I am purging my house. Lotta memories in these sacks. That was the year I came under lawsuit right on top of my first big anaphylactic reaction (cashews) (within an hour of med rescue I was getting phone calls). That was the year I was on daily steroid just to breathe for 9 months. That was the year a baby came early 5 days after my surgery and then I had a baby at my house. That was the year before her pregnancy and I had to be crashed off 2 hormones and wore heart monitors off and on for weeks, and I felt like such a mess that I was terrified I would really die this time without knowing what happened to everyone out there.

Since I came back out public, I have quietly super stalked people I knew from elementary and high school, jobs, fandoms, and even random people that stuck in my mind for some reason. I have very thoroughly tracked a number of people down to make sure they're ok. I didn't really talk to any of them, but I can see they're ok.

I am such a broken person. But I'm ok, too. I wanted to be ok, and I've worked very hard to be ok. Today I am letting go of the past. I'm done with that part of my puzzle. I've worked through a lot of stuff and I've reached a place where I feel like I've said out loud what I needed to say.

I've been blaming the January medication dose fail for what I've been feeling as this spring comes on. My psychiatrist thought maybe a neuropsych eval would be in order. Today my psychologist said it's not a good time. Scores are permanent and I'm currently transitory. He reminded me I have a history of disappearing after big blitzes. He talked to me about pacing myself. I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around what that means. But he's right, I'm right at that edge, aren't I? Not really disappearing, but gone nonetheless.

My pace has been fight or flight for so long that learning how to slow down has been arduous. I grew up working very hard, survived a really bad accident without medical aid or even a single pain pill, faked being well enough to get a degree, hold jobs, and raise a family, and then I hit that wall so hard. And I couldn't get up for awhile. I disappeared. Stuff happened, I made a decision to make a solid commitment to be 'out' for people who love me (I've been known to not answer a phone or see anyone for 3 months straight), and along the way I also made the decision to enjoy being who I am, who other people are, and if I can't be in the thick of it, at least stay on the edges and watch. But somewhere along that way, I lost myself again, Pinky had to save me, and now I'm in a new place not sure what to do with myself. Funny that my physical therapy team has also been on my case to pace myself, slow down, stop powering through.

I've mentioned I'm a high risk person in every conceivable way. I've been able to share things in blog posts I couldn't share with my own family or even my psychologist, who has known me for a very long time. My new year's resolution was for more #transparency, but then stuff blew apart again and now I'm wondering, Ok, just how transparent do I get? Just as when I first started blogging publicly and had to make decisions about content, audience, and direction, I'm seeing all new decisions I need to make about what kind of forward progress I will be sharing. I definitely don't want to be a drag, but I also hate sugarcoating. I loathe being a whiner, but I feel dumb trying to laugh stuff off sometimes. My anger can be too consuming, my sarcasm offends even me, and when all else fails I dissolve into dirty limericks. You guys have no idea what I am truly capable of. You know what one of my fave things to do is? Twist porn up into vaudeville. But that gets old really super fast, draws the wrong crowd, and then I'm peeling the rowdies off. And besides, no one ever really gets why I mock. The whole point is that I mock and the art itself gets bypassed for snark.

I'm not sure how often I'll be checking in, but the daily discipline thing has stopped. I have the discipline, obviously. But like my psychologist said, I wasn't pacing myself. I ran hard and fast against a clock, driven by a past that nearly took me down, and that part is over. The worst really is finally over, hopefully for awhile. I'd like to enjoy a few things.

Like my house! It's about time I made this MY house. I still have no idea if we'll wind up having to sell it if Scott's work sells, but for now, I'm the one who lives here the most, and I need to make it more user friendly to bouncy Bunny. Time to dredge the past up and put it into the shredder. I want my bedroom back.

IF my plan works, I'll be paying everything off, but I'm taking myself off the racetrack. It has been so long since I've been able to sit and *enjoy* something because of all the neverending pain, I am really enjoying minecraft. I am finally able to sit longer than 20 minutes at a time. I still have to rotate my activities and I still have a hard time, but a year ago I was excusing myself from shared play constantly, and this year I'm not. I can't even tell ya how wonderful it is to be able to sit at a table and hang out with someone for awhile. And guys, that is NOT an invitation to everyone to jump on, ok? I can handle one thing at a time. I'll get to projects when I can, and I do have a line of people asking me to do stuff. I love all of you and I wish I could be more than one of me to do it all. I feel very blessed and loved that people actually still ask me to check stuff out and do stuff, and I apologize that I can't jump on some of it.

But I am still here. 💗

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