I guess I fell asleep, because the next thing I knew it was 4:30 pm and Stephanie was gently trying to wake me up. My parents had called and wanted to stop by-not what either of us needed. Stephanie was all sorry that she couldn’t say no to my mom. There is no saying no to my mom, she would never hear it or listen to it.
“Corey, you parents want to bring over dinner. Is there something you would prefer.?”
“No, I don’t want them coming, and they know this and do it anyway.” I said.
“I know sweetie, in their defense I think they are really scared, and don’t know what else to do for you.”
“They could start by respecting my wishes. This stuff makes me lose weight too. Too much stress.”
“I know sweetie, but they are waiting to hear from us about dinner. Should I tell them Indian?”
“That’s fine I will eat some brown rice.”
I got out from my perfectly comfortable place in the bed. I headed towards the bathroom, and Stephanie asked me if I felt alright? “Yes, why?” I asked. ‘You just seem really unsteady. It is probably me.” I continued into the bathroom and I washed my face, and brushed my teeth. I thought about jumping into the shower. I didn’t want to get all undressed, and then be cold. I knew a shower would perk me up though, so I decided to jump in for a minute. I turned on the towel warmers, and the heat lamps, and yelled out to Stephanie I was going to be a minute. I heard her say something about going downstairs.
I went to step into the shower, and knew then it wasn’t a good idea. I wanted to just back out, but I was so cold I needed the hot water to warm me up. I finally got in, and I kept inching up the temp lever so it got a bit hotter and hotter. I stayed in for as long as it took me to wash my hair, scrub my body, and wash my face with my cleaning machine. I reluctantly shut off the water, and stepped out of the shower and grabbed my big towel off the heating rack. It felt so good, I just wish it had been even warmer. I quickly dried off, did my hair, moisturized my face and body and realized I hadn’t brought clean clothes with me into the shower. I went out into the tundra of the bedroom and grabbed a pair of fleece pajama bottoms, fleece top, fleece hoodie, and a pair of my extra warm socks.
“How you doing up there?”
“Fine, I am just about done.”
“I called you parents and they will pick up India at Shalimar in Portsmouth on there way here. Camie and Bella are coming too.”
“Bella is coming?”
“Yes, sweetie, Bella is coming. So you better turn that mood around because they are on their way now. They wanted to see you without your parents being here.”
“What time are my parents coming?”
“They were just calling to order the food, and then they are picking it up and headed straight for you.”
“No, Bella,” I said. “They are coming for Bella, which is just fine by me. I will be down in a minute.”
I decided with Bella and Camie coming to put on real clothes. I was starting to get that anxious “I have to be on tonight” feeling. I would make it through dinner, and then my mom, Stephanie and Camie (my ex-wife) would talk. My dad, Bella and I would be messing with the computers, TV, and my dad would try to have an annoying conversation about programming in the open source software Linux. This is how it always went.
I was finally dressed, and feeling a bit warmer. I went into the bathroom, and I looked at my face. Certainly looked better than before the shower. I don’t wear make-up but I do have bronzer. I put some on, and then headed for the stairs. I took a deep breath and started down the stairs. I had just gone into the study where Stephanie was reading a magazine, when the doorbell rang, and “Mommy we are here,” bellowed up to the first level. Camie hated my place because of all the stairs. You walk into a foyer in my front hall, and are immediately greeted with a set of stairs to get to the first floor.
“Gosh I cant wait for you to move to the beach house,” puffed Camie.
Oh it isn’t that bad, you never even go any further usually than this. However tonight we might have to go up to the living room on the second floor. “Can we please just try to stay here?” replied Camie.
Bella gave me the biggest hug and at least a million kisses. I closed my eyes, and told myself not to forget this moment. Also, I had done right to leave Walden, I was home with my family before the holidays, rather than rotting away in the recesses of the hallways of Walden.
“How are you feeling Mommy?”
“Now that you are here I feel all better! I feel pretty good. Guess what I had last night for dinner?”
“A taco bowl from Chipotle!”
“Mommy and you didn’t take me?”
“Bella I went to the mall to see Santa. I don’t think you would want to be anywhere near there.”
“Santa? Why did you go to see Santa?”
“I had a lot of things to tell me, especially about you!”
“Corey, did you really go to the mall to see the Santa guy?” inquired Camie.
“Camie it is Santa, not the Santa guy and yes I did. I didn’t get to see him because he left at 7 pm, so I went and saw him first thing this morning”
“You are running yourself ragged. I can see it. I don’t think we talk about going to see Santa with Marie,” (my mom).
“Oh yeah I guess I agree!”
“How are you doing, REALLY? I came early to get the version that I can cross-reference with Stephanie and its for your mother.”
“I am not doing great, body or head-wise honestly. I los three pounds on the scale this morning. My parents dragged us out to four grocery stores, and then made me go out to lunch.”
“Then you went back out to see your Santa? Not being very smart Corey.”
“Camie, going to see Santa was something I needed to do for me, so it was good. I didn’t need to be dragged out to four grocery stores and taken out to lunch.”
“Mommy, you made it up another 3 levels on Candy crush? Do you know if anybody else is this high?”
“Bella I think only other people who play on the internet are that high. I am really stuck. Play with it, or play another game. Do you want to do Google Draw. You can print out your masterpiece.”
The doorbell rings again. “Hello!” says my mom. I know she is so happy right now and wants to just be in this moment and forget all the real issues. I don’t blame her, but her coming into my place, stresses me out. She stresses me out, just being her. I feel awful but its true.
“Hello,” says my dad.
“Boy these stairs are hard, you really need to be careful,” states my mom.
“Mom, you and Camie both complain about the stairs, they are part of the design. I love it, and when I am up on the top floor, I am away from the entire world.”
“OK Marie, are we ready to eat.?”
“Just a minute Frank. Is there a way you want to do this? Should we put everything out on the counters?”
“Sure,” says Stephanie. I will get the plates and silverware.”
My mom opens one of the bags of boxes of food, and says, They gave us paper plates and utensils.”
Camie immediately pipes in, “Lets use those Marie, if that is okay with you.”
“Fine,” says my dad ready to eat, and avoid this night just like I want to.
“Bella honey, can Grammie fix you a plate? We got lots of meatless dishes just for you.”
“Sure, Grammie, that would be great.”
“I will just give you some of everything you can eat, then you can come back and get more.”
I started to feel sick, really sick. I caught Stephanie’s eye, and she knew I wasn’t okay. I told everyone I would be right back, and went into the bathroom. I felt as though if I ate, my hip bones would not jut out anymore. I took down my pants, and checked that all my bones were sticking out. I was getting sweaty, and worried about a panic attack. I swear I only get them at family events. No amount of medication or mixing of alcohol helps them either. Believe me, I have tried it all. I splashed water on my face, and headed out.
“Are you OK,” my mom asked with a concerned look.
“I am okay, but before I eat this food, I have to have a yogurt. They coat my stomach.”
“Please don’t tell me you are not eating regular food? We really need things to be better and for you to feel better,” whispered my mom.
“Just let me have my yogurt and I will eat some food. Remember my stomach is tiny, so it doesn’t hold a lot. You can ask Stephanie how many times a day I eat something small.”
“Can we eat in the living room and watch the Polar Express, Mommy?
“That’s fine with me, is everyone else okay with that?”
“Fine,” said everyone in unison.
God love Bella, we got to eat in front of the TV and not have to talk. Finally a break. I tried eating my yogurt but my throat felt tight. Just a sign of anxiety. I was overcome with both happiness and sadness. I was so happy to be home with Bella, but I felt so crappy I wondered how long I could hold out. I got up again, and this time my mom was on me.
“Where are you going.?”
“Why, do you need something, mom/”
“I am just wondering why you are leaving us when we all came to be together.”
“Mom, my stomach has bad cramps, I am not trying to spoil anything. I was going to get myself heating pads”
“Okay, Corey. Hope you feel better.”
I went into the bathroom and grabbed three heating pads, and decided to take a Xanax. I didn’t want to, but I was not managing my mom well, and both Stephanie and Camie really weren’t helping me out. I took the Xanax and felt instant relief. I went down to the kitchen and got out a very small bowl. I put some brown rice,, and a tich of vegetables and curry, I added a couple more vegetables. I took a bite and it was really good. I heading back upstairs, and yelled, “Does anyone need anything?” No answers, so I made my way to the living room. I sat with Bella, who climbed in between my legs. She was already 65 inches tall, with long arms and legs like myself. I wasn’t sure who should be sitting on who.
“Mommy, may you help me get some more to eat?”
“Sure,” I smiled.
“Bella, what one do you like the best?” asked my mom. I like two of them a lot. I can show you after. Can we please pause the movie?” asked Bella,
I laughed inside really hard. Not only were my parents watching a movie Bella has watched 20 times before, now it was paused so just to slow everything right down. We got Bella her food, and more to drink. I was scared to eat my food, which I am sure my mother had noticed in the small bowl. WE headed up the stairs and my dad immediately put back on the movie.
“Is that all you are eating?” cautiously asked my mom.
“It is what I am starting with. I told you my stomach has shrunk to nothing”
We finished eating and the movie was over. I was so grateful to Bella for so many reasons, but she really knew somehow what I needed. The movie ended, and I realized I hadn’t eaten my food. I sat on the leather chair, and slowing and carefully began to eat my food. My mom sat with me.
“I didn’t mean not to eat it,” I said. “I just got lost in the movie.”
“Bella seemed really happy tonight. I think she is so relieved you are home,” said my mother quietly.
“Yes I have sadly worried her and everyone else too long.”
“Your father and I would like you to agree to go see Dr. Carter for a check in tomorrow.”
“We don’t want you to lose to much before the holidays, and think it should have been set up anyways.”
“Fine, whatever. Did you already make an appointment for me?”
‘No, but she can see you at 10:30, I just have to confirm it with the emergency line. You are okay with this?”
“What choice to I have? Piss you and dad off, so you think that things aren’t going to be different?”
“You are getting slick mom, I will give you that. I will be at Dr. Carter’s tomorrow.”
“Do you want us to pick you up?”
“No Stephanie will take me. Are you saying that because you don’t think I will show up?”
“No Corey, not at all.”
“Okay well I really don’t feel good, and right now I am going to say good night to Bella, and then do what I need to feel better.”
We got up in silence and headed to the stairs. We got down there and everyone was eating some ice cream we had bought for Bella.
“Mommy will you have a bite?”
“Sure my Phenom, make a big one.”
Bella scooped out half the bowl, everyone laughed, except me. I ate it all, and of course needed to get some more for Bella. It was well after nine pm and I gave Stephanie one of my looks. Camie saw it, and mouthed, Are you okay? I shock my head no. Everyone put on their gear, and my parents left first, very pleased with themselves.
“What is going on?” asked Camie.
“They set up a doctor’s appointment for me tomorrow. They say it is to keep me out of danger and healthy through the holidays.”
“Corey, I am sorry. Your mom is unbelievable. There are no words to describe her. Are you worried about the appointment?”
“Well yeah I am, as I just lost three pounds since yesterday. I know I wont get sent back to Walden, it really just sucks big time.”
“Corey, what time is your appointment at,” asked Stephanie.
“So that gives me time to make you some pancakes, with veggie bacon.
“Thank you sweetie that is so kind of you!”
Bella and Camie got ready to leave, and not a minute to soon, as a screaming stomach attack was invading me instantly. “I love you Bella, big hug and two kisses.” “I love you most Mommy. Will I see you tomorrow? Probably I just need to work out with Mimi,”(my ex-wife).
“Goodnight my Phenom. Sweet dreams to you! Thank you Camie for coming by, it means a lot you know.” Off they left, and Stephanie and I just hugged. I didn’t need to use words with her, she got me through and through.
“Ready for bed?” asked Stephanie.
“I got to figure out what is up with my stomach. My mood was getting sadder, and I was worried about my appointment in the morning. We shut down the house, and headed up the stairs. I needed something more than just heating packs. I had a prescription I had never taken, that was for emergencies when my stomach was revolting. I went to find it, and took the bottle back to the bedroom.
“Is that the emergency medication? asked Stephanie.
“Yes I need to take it.” I could feel the tears from pain coming on. I sat up took out a pill, and drank it with some power-aide. I hoped and prayed it would work. I hurt so much I started to think it might be my appendix. I was a nervous wreck about my appointment tomorrow, and wondered what Dr. Carter would say. Stephanie was just too sweet, she was making a list of all the food I had eaten since I had gotten home. The medication made me sleepy, and I laid up close to Stephanie. All this worry, and stress, was exactly what I didn’t need. I tried to think of something positive. Tonight I spent with my family. I began to cry, I hurt so much, I asked Stephanie for some more heating pads. I rolled up into a ball.
I am so fucked up in both my body and my head. What will happen tomorrow? Am I okay physically. I am so scared, and I keep it all inside, fearing if I tell anyone, it might just prove to me true.
BORN THIS WAY-2016