I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
July 15, 2017 - 3:02 p.m.
I should start tagging entries with things like: #livemusic #politics #idiotstory. If I did this entry would get: #anxiety #therapy.
I should add #procrastination, it's been at least 20 minutes since I wrote that first sentence. I saw I had a Facebook message and didn't get off Facebook till now. Word automatically capitalizes Facebook, when did that happen? Now on to my harrowing tale.
I'll start with two days ago; I was going to mention this in yesterday's entry but thought it too inconsequential. I bought milk at CVS and went to pay with my debit card. The cashier was not very good. I took my card out to run it through the machine and she says, enter your phone number. I look, there is no place for my phone number. I told her. She then said, "just go ahead." Huh I ran my card. It asked for my PIN and then for my number. I put it in. Not much happened after that. She just stood there. Then she said, "you have to pay." Huh? I just paid. I said "what?" "You have to pay." Then said run my card again? I thought maybe I misentered my phone number. I ran it again, this time it didn't ask for my number. She said, "you have to pay." I said, "you mean cash?" "You have to pay." What we had here was failure to communicate. Finally, I got that my card was rejected. I had just checked my balance, that shouldn't have happened. I only had $4 on me and it cost $2.75. I paid with cash and went home. I figured that something had happened with my phone number and that she could not express that. She didn't even know how to say that the card was declined let alone why. I thought of calling my bank but decided it wasn't worth it. I checked my balance and saw I had enough to cover it and let it go.
Yesterday I had therapy. I take two buses to the Fordham MetroNorth station where I catch the train to Harrison. I have my routine. I buy the ticket on my phone while I'm on the second bus. I went to do it. You are way ahead of me. The card was declined. Now I called the bank. I wanted to get this taken care of before I boarded the train. Remember I had only $1 and change on me. The train is only $2 but that was more than I had and I did have to get home.
Time out. I need to catch some of My Gentle Readers up. You might think you know how bad the anxiety was but if you don't know my backstory you don't. I was going to therapy to treat my anxiety. One of the central triggers is money and specifically banking transactions. I couldn't even deposit my pay checks. I know you don't get that. My therapists and psychiatrists have never heard of that happening either. Every time I go to an ATM or use my card I'm afraid it won't work. So here it was not working in a situation that I needed it immediately. Now you are in the right mind set.
I called the bank on the moving bus. I got the message, "All our representatives are busy the expected wait is over ten minutes." I waited, what else could I do? I put in my earbuds and read the Times. A rep finally answered. I explained what was wrong. She pulled up my account. After I verified my last deposit so she'd know it was me she asked, "did you use your card at mrmrmrmrm" The bus was so loud I couldn't make it out. After three attempts and forcing the buds deep in my ear I made out it was "Jersey sub shop." I asked when, it was two days before. I knew I wasn't in Jersey so it wasn't me. Then she asked about a sushi place. I do not eat sushi. She told me that someone was using my card fraudulently so they canceled the card. I told her that I needed it ASAP. She went to ask a supervisor what she could do and … and … the call was dropped. Arrgghh! I called back. "… the expected wait is over 10 minutes. I stayed on. By now I was at the train station. The train came. I boarded without a ticket or enough money to buy one. I counted on explaining to the conductor what happened. Train conductors tend to be very nice. I stayed on hold and went back to reading the Times. The call was dropped again. Two seconds later the conductor asked for my ticket. Imagine the anxiety if that were you and multiply by ten. The one thing helping is that I know I'm very good in these situations. People believe me. I come across as honest. I explained the situation. The conductor asked if I had a dollar. I said yes. He took it! I told you conductors are nice. He made an effort to be helpful and reassuring. Whew.
I get to Harrison, and wait for the bus that takes me to the hospital. Once I'm on the bus I call the bank again; "… expected waiting time is over ten minutes." I had a half an hour until my appointment. I couldn't even flirt with my favorite receptionist as I was on hold.
I sat and waited for my therapist and continued to read the Times while on hold. Finally, someone answers. I explained the situation. She was ahead of the other representative as I explained why my card didn't work; she got right to asking her supervisor. She knew what the other one didn't know, that the supervisor could temporarily reactivate my card while I got money out of the ATM. I was put on hold again. Finally, at 2:45 exactly when my appointment was to start she got back on and told me that I could take out the money but I had to be on the phone with her. That meant I had to do it then. Where is the ATM? At the other end of the hospital of course, the furthers point from where I was. She told me that I didn't have to rush; I told her that I did as I had an appointment. I got to the machine and took out my money; unfortunately, there was a fee too. But I had cash. I thanked her and raced back to my therapist's office. The door was still closed so I went to sit down. She called for me just as I was sitting; perfect timing. Whew.
There went everything else I wanted to talk about, I had to discuss this. She said she was proud of me that most people would find this anxiety producing and I had handled it. I was proud of myself too. I then had time to discuss a few other things. My sessions with her are always productive.
Therapy was not quite enough to deal with all this. I had half an hour to kill waiting for my train so I went to Dunkin' Donuts. I was very disappointed that they were out of the summer special, s'mores donut. I had a chocolate glazed. It helped. Chocolate is my psych med of choice.
The next problem was getting a new debit card. TD Bank doesn't have a branch in Harrison or New Rochelle. I had to go back to Fordham. The train station is at one end of the campus and the bank at the other. It's a big campus. It was not raining hard so I didn't really mind. I like to walk.
TD has the best customer service. That was good as getting the new card would trigger my anxiety too. It was not terrible. The therapy is helping. The improper charges the first rep told me about were not on my record. They must have already been removed. That was good. I went through every charge the last three months and there was only one, for 99¢ that seemed wrong. She got rid of that one. I got my new card. I now have one with a chip; I find that exciting. Hey I'm a geek.
I don't have real plans for today but I have to go to the train station to refill my MetroCard now that I have a working debit card. I also have to get eggs so I'll go shopping. It's a nice day I really should do more. Anyone know anything fun and free that I can do tonight? Anyone want to hang out?
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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