That’s Why I Want You There…

“That’s why I want you there,” he said. “You’re unpredictable, and that can be the difference between success and failure. Most people make decisions in anger, fear, love, or obligation. You make decisions to irritate people.” ―Kim Harrison

This never ceases to amuse me.

Cleansing The Silent Anger

Over the past year, a lot has changed for me. Wonderful things, many wonderful opportunities. Amazing things which I’ve kept quiet about because I firmly believe in not feeding my own ego. I take a victorious moment and then I might share it with my nearest and dearest (Not always.), but I don’t make a big deal out of anything I have worked hard for. Probably because I am a realist; I know how quickly something can go awry, and how easily one can be left with nothing. Also, bragging genuinely isn’t my style. It repulses me.

As I’ve suffered and struggled these past few weeks health-wise, I’ve made some important decisions. I have chosen to do a social media cleanse, to the best of my ability. I refuse to be the person with her phone in her hand constantly throughout each day. Unless it’s work e-mail, it can wait. Hell, most work e-mails were on hold this week until early Friday morning, and if I haven’t answered something, that means I have not seen it. I’ve changed e-mail addresses and would prefer to keep my work and personal life separate.

Social media is mind-numbing and has become an unhealthy habit (for me). During last weekend’s blizzard, I spoke only to two people, and a third briefly checked in after the storm was over and clean-up was stressful. Eventually, I turned my phone off and went to sleep. I took care of ME, and only me. For someone who isn’t selfish, shutting everything down was difficult, but necessary. By Monday, I almost felt cleansed and free, but things quickly escalated and once again, I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone who did not fully understand where I am coming from. Sometimes people say, “I’m sorry you’re going through this.”, but ultimately the rest of their behavior is clear; they don’t actually care about what you’re dealing with at all. They’re just being polite-ish for the sake of civilized politeness. Most people would not pick up on that shift, but I do. You’ve got to be careful talking to me because I pick up on everything.

Due to my fiercely transparent honesty, I have faced antisemitism and hateful harassment, which extended to death threats. This has been going on since May of last year, when Hamas chose to attack Israel from Gaza. People accused me of being part of a terrorist and apartheid regime. None of these things take place in Israel. It is the most diverse country in the entirety of the Middle East. Alas, new levels, new devils. 😒 It appears many people don’t realize they can be arrested and prosecuted for online hate speech and harassment, and can absolutely have charges pressed against them for death threats. Each threat can mean jail-time, so don’t feel comfortable hating on people publicly. Maybe take it down a hundred notches and read a book or something to distract yourself. Yes, I’m being hella sarcastic.

The threats were such that I took my About page down temporarily then, and again when things started up for a second time weeks ago. I have not seen a single person on WordPress state that any of this is wrong, or let me know where they stand on this subject. I have received zero solidarity from my fellow writers, except for those who are also Jewish. The silence is deafening. The excuses are absurd. Last time I checked, it was 2022. Stand for something or fuck off with your anti-racism bullshit, which is precisely what I said it is, BULLSHIT. It’s selective racism. It is a choice. Google it; I’ve written about it before.

For the past week, Whoopi Goldberg made headlines with some incredibly ignorant remarks regarding race and the Holocaust, resulting in a two-week suspension from The View. She’s worth sixty million dollars, has a distinctly Jewish surname which she chose to take on when her career began (“To get ahead, because Jews have more success in Hollywood.” Seriously?! That statement is untrue.), but she’s going to tell Jews the Holocaust was about white people versus white people, which basically states that racism only occurs between black and white people. She could not be further from the truth if she tried, and other comments she’s made are resurfacing, as well.

I’m kind of numb to the stupidity of this ignorance, especially as a lifelong fan who is genuinely ashamed of her. Let me be honest here; my black, Jewish, and Christian friends are calling for her to be fired. Others want her to be educated. Yad Vashem has reached out to her. The View itself is carrying on like nothing was said; which I find even more despicable. Is this the 2022 Jews have to face? I don’t fucking think so. I adamantly refuse. If you are going to speak about any subject that is sensitive and affects millions of people, at least do your homework before opening your mouth. Most especially when you are well aware of how much Jews have been singled out as targets with the past two years being the worst amounts of hate crimes against Jews since before the Holocaust. Let that sink in.

Cancel culture being what it is, I don’t want fake apologies. I want educated, intelligent, well thought-out apologies if you’re going to be that stupid. I’m baffled by the special treatment aspect of a two week suspension. Really? Two weeks where she is paid and can basically take a vacation? That’s her “punishment”? Not dissimilar to the way Nick Cannon was treated when he also made far more despicable remarks. He was fired, made amends, and was handed his job back. Let me be clear; there’s racism involved in both moves because if a blonde, blue-eyed Republican tore the Holocaust apart on national television, they would be fired immediately. There would be zero hesitation involved, so to hear ABC staffers questioning why she wasn’t fired; yes, there’s a double-standard. If I went on any kind of anti-tangent in an attempt to dictate my way of seeing things in such a manner, not only would I lose my reputation, but I’d be attacked far worse than that. So yes, it’s absolutely about racism at the end of the day, and it makes me ill.

Yeah, it was a heavy month. I am justifiably angry. As such, the social media break is necessary and I’m putting other things into priority status during said break. I’ll be around. I will write again, but I need some time. I feel like this is relatively self-explanatory. It isn’t black and white; this is the grey area.

copyright © 2022 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark. Written work by author may not be shared or posted anywhere without express written consent from the author. Excerpts and quotes from author material also requires consent.

The Importance of Doctor/Patient Trust

Today, I received multiple messages from my treating hospital with information I had never sought out because it was off-limits. However, they are now one of the first hospitals in the country to allow patients to view all of our medical records, respond to comments made by anyone who has treated us, and request corrections to the records themselves. This would not be a big deal, under normal circumstances. I’ve already had that level of access and would have to continually roll my eyes, be frustrated with the lies in the file, and ignore the ignorance and stupidity I was dealing with. Until today, when my psychiatric notes were revealed. I read one note from this week, scanned over it three times, and had to calm myself down because I contemplated breaking my doctor’s hands. Pissed is NOT what I felt at all. Worse, he is one of the people who knows me better than others, so I had a hard time swallowing the bullshit.

It took me leaving, and subsequently deleting, nearly ten messages before I was able to calm down enough to say, “I’m not sure if you have been made aware of the fact that I can now see your psych notes. We need to discuss this because I now feel I will have to edit 90% of what I say to you, and that is NOT how we’ve worked to establish trust as doctor and patient, not once from the first day I sat in your office. I’ve always trusted you, and you have always assured me your notes were clinical; yet THESE NOTES WERE PERSONAL. Without correction, they will follow me for the rest of my life. This needs to be addressed. You know precisely what I have been through with doctors writing their perceptions of me, as opposed to the facts I am spelling out, so we don’t need to talk about it next week, but it must be addressed at my next appointment.” I felt like I left the most honest, professional message I could, under the circumstances, and I changed my tone of voice so that he understood how this made me feel and how it would effect me moving forward.

For example, if I say, “I’m a mess.”, I don’t expect to see my doctor put that into clinical notes as the header of our discussion. Really?! Under typical conditions, I can only see we have discussed depression, trauma, PTSD, anxiety, suicidal ideation, etc. I’m using those topics as an example, not as facts. But to read my words twisted slightly to make me seem like a much different person. it retraumatized me from my previous medical trauma, and immediately made me want to say to him, “Are you OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND?! How stupid can you be?

Here’s what many people don’t understand about psychiatric notes; they can be subpoenaed in ANY court case. They can be used against you. One improperly written note can be twisted legally into something it isn’t. This has happened to me before; TWICE. He knows this. He knows it has deeply affected my life to terrible degrees, which is why I reacted as I did. I will, one hundred percent, be going through every damn note he writes from now on, and requesting our private discussions be removed from the medical record. They don’t belong there, especially since he processed this as “psychotherapy notes and ten minutes discussing medication”. We actually discussed medication for under five minutes total, with him saying he’d give it some thought and call me in a few days. I missed his call, and he’s damn lucky I did, because I’m not sure I’d be able to have controlled the tone of my voice or the aggression in what I was saying.

I used to wonder how he kept all of his patients lives straight, because his recollections are as precise as my own, until one day, I saw a notebook on his desk at the start of my session, and it’s one of a few he has on me. It’s a nice, leather bound notebook. The kind I’d journal in, and it is filled with his private notes on me. Lord only knows what’s in there! Yet, the actual medical record had way too much private info on me for him to claim he, “keeps it strictly clinical”. I am going to force corrections from 2017 right up until this past week. If he thinks I won’t go over it all with a fine tooth comb, then he’s forgotten the woman who first walked into his office, and declared herself, “A pretty mess.” I have been assured I looked like I was going on a date, but that nothing about what I’ve been through or said could ever be covered up with concealer and properly blended eyeshadow. At my second appointment, I tore him a new asshole for referring to my pulled together appearance as, “a mask” (after he ended the appointment by saying he was leaving in five weeks.), and he admitted I was right and he was wrong. He earned my respect by being a down-to-earth human-being who saw me as a human-being, and didn’t treat me like another annoying mental health patient who doesn’t respond well to medication. But this? This is a deal breaker. It violates everything I hold dear, and now I feel like my entire medical record needs to be turned over to me for review. If I seem like I’m calm, trust me, I’ve got fangs and I’m not afraid to claw those records apart. And I will absolutely hire a lawyer to get the personal information, which is not necessary for such records, completely omitted. He does not want to test me on this.

When my appointments were cancelled due to quarantine last March, it took me three months to get on board with Telehealth. Initially, I felt like other people needed the appointments more than I did. I had weekly appointments for months before I was forced to go down to twice a month. Before agreeing to these appointments, I kept asking myself, “Am I just a pain in the ass patient, am I a challenge for this doctor, will I ever feel better, or am I going to have to look for someone else?” I strongly considered a new psychiatrist because I was confused about how laid back and comfortable our communication is. It has always felt comfortable, human, and safe. It doesn’t feel that way now. In fact, I feel betrayed beyond words, and I wonder how much will require correction.

In this particular moment, I probably need to hear him out first, and then decide if I still want to break his hands. Of all the people I have met as psychiatrists and therapists throughout my mental health care journey, he is the first I have trusted the most. He’s also the first who isn’t completely afraid of me, but probably should be right now.

He won’t hear my message until Monday, and that’s fine. It gives me a few days to cook, read, maybe get in some yoga, do some psychic work, and remind myself that even though he’s taller than I am, I can still knock him out, and by that, I have to say that my message should be enough to make him see reason. As honest as I’ve been here, I will be ten times more honest with him because he needs to know what those notes did and can do.

Anytime there has been an issue between us, he has been good about hearing me out and fixing the problem. On that level, I should consider this before getting upset, but I couldn’t help reading through it and thinking, “Is this how you perceive me?” Because if it is, then there’s a bigger problem underneath it all and that won’t fly with me one bit.

In my message, I made it abundantly clear I might be undermining and/or underestimating my coping mechanisms going into the month of May (If you know, you know. If you don’t, you’ll see what I write next month or you can go through the previous years’ of work. It’s a rough time for me. Period.). I had said, “I don’t think I’ll make it through the month unmedicated.”, and he wants to revisit this discussion because he’s concerned about side effects, even though I suggested a medication I am extremely familiar with. I said this mostly because he will be away next month, during the worst of what I’ll be dealing with and that’s never a good feeling when I have to relive one of the worst months of my life, despite the fact that I have his permission to have him paged no matter what, and also have his personal cell phone number in case of emergencies.

The level of my trauma is a terrible loop and if I block things out, they can (and will) come up out of nowhere and throw me down a metaphorical flight of stairs. It cycles the trauma over and over again, and as he and I discussed this week, “We can’t medicate trauma.” Maybe one day, in the future, this will be possible, but for now, it isn’t. Not being about to help trauma victims and survivors is something the mental health community fails at deeply; in my personal experience.

I wanted him to know I wasn’t demanding the medication, and that I will defer to his guidance, but he also knows I agree to disagree with him a lot. And I do so respectfully. I might be upset, but that’s because this is a relationship I highly value. I’ve felt blessed that someone cared enough to have my back, and today, I felt stabbed in it by the one person who should know better because this is someone who, long before Covid, is the person I spent the most time talking to about the heaviest shit in my life. I will wait to see how this is handled on Monday, and next month when we speak at length. But I’m not going to lie; I am now contemplating dialing my appointments back to once a month and not being anywhere near as forthcoming as usual. As a direct result, I will be searching for a full-time therapist because clearly, if personal things are going to end up in the record, then he is not following proper procedure under the psychotherapy terms and conditions, where every note truly IS clinical and boring as hell.

***On the plus side, the notes state I’m ten years younger than I am, so that’s something he can keep on record. 😉 I’m maintaining the whole reverse aging thing. The fact that a specialist told me this week, “You’re young. You don’t need ANY cosmetic enhancements. There’s not a single wrinkle or mark on your face, and this has not changed since the day I met you.” These are the small things that make me smile while I am going through internal and mental HELL. Last weekend, I stopped into a liquor store to pick up wine and a few other items (I am craving Pina Coladas like nobody’s business! It’s odd. I’m not much of a drinker. I feel like quarantine turned me into a maniac I don’t always recognize.). The second I asked for two small bottles of Jack Daniels (for a recipe I love, but one that is very time consuming and doesn’t require more than a few ounces of JD. I think it calls for a few tablespoons, but I usually eyeball it.), was the moment when, not even realizing I’m behind a mask and sunglasses, the cashier asked to see identification. I could have been anyone. She couldn’t tell my height, eye color, NOTHING. Legally, they have to ask and I always offer, but it amused me. Like I said, these are the small things that make me smile.***

I hope everyone looks into their own medical records for this very reason. Don’t hesitate. Once I calm down, I’ll be tearing through mine like a starving vampire. It’s a good thing I’ve already fired most of the doctors who are in my chart, because they can’t fight me when I ask for something to be removed. It is my legal right. I’d hate to have to do the same with this doctor, so here’s hoping everything gets straightened out. I’d like to think that maybe this situation was a slip on his part, but I won’t ever make excuses for him, and he knows that.

It would be a shame for him to be on vacation with no hands. 😉 I have zero shame in being mean. After all, this involves my life. I should be fully involved in what is written about me, and so should you.

copyright © 2021 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Positively Honest

I would love to sit down and write hearts and flowers nonsensical prose, but right now, it isn’t where I am. Also, if I ever DO write anything remotely like that, please send men in white coats to do a psych eval.

Life is crazy at the moment. My primary care doctor is leaving, so even though I will be handed off to another physician during the remainder of Covid (Someone to authorize three of my prescriptions a month and handle a few referrals.), I will still need to find a new doctor for post-Covid care. 😦 This sounds like no big deal, but could take 6-18 months in total. I’m talking from experience. It will be my fourth primary care doctor, too. If you’ve been lucky enough to never have to change doctors, kudos to you, but I have lived in many different places and in each place, I’ve needed a new doctor. In Massachusetts, primary care physicians aren’t very good, so this should explain why I am extremely nauseated at the idea of a fourth one since moving here.

I’ve been dealing with self-induced stress, because I am always in fight or flight mode. It’s not a good place to be, but it’s how you survive, sometimes with (or without) lasting damage. I am doing my best to pull myself out of the quick sand. I’ve asked no one for help, nor have I discussed this with anyone. My independent streak about many things is taller than I am, but at the end of the day, no one else can credit themselves for digging me out of my own pain and suffering.

I’ve made some important decisions over the past six months. “Invest in yourself” is the best advice I can offer up to anyone, at any stage of their life, and I am proud of myself for following through on this, and continuing to make investments as I move forward. A few more steps and I’ll be sharing a whole new venture with all of you. One I know will be better at maintaining connection. 🙂

In the past year, I’ve realized connection, in all forms, is quite important to me. I can’t express enough disgust at those who’ve not even bothered to check in or ask if I’m okay. That’s doing less than the bare minimum in a friendship, and I don’t need friends like that. I am not a surface level friend in any way, shape, or form. I like depth, partly because I can talk about anything, but have no patience for small talk. I catch myself tuning out the second the subject matter isn’t of a higher level. It’s sad, really, because far too many people prefer to stay surface level. It’s boring.

When all of this craziness began last year, I reached out to everyone I consider a close friend or family member, and I included a few people I’m not the least bit close with anymore, because it doesn’t mean I’ve stopped caring. It was disheartening to watch, as the year came and went, very few people remain connected. It must be nice to live in your own bubble and not care about anyone else (Yes, that’s sarcasm.). I can’t relate to that kind of behavior because, as a writer, I live inside my head, but I do come out to check on those in my world. I don’t pretend I’m too busy or that a text or a few lines of an e-mail is too much work for me to fit into my day. That would be bullshit. I can track how much time I spend promoting on social media, and I can always reduce that time, or multitask.

I am learning that it’s perfectly okay to move on without closure. I am learning how to do this because I don’t aim to come off as a bitch. It isn’t who I am, but am I ending friendships which, if you follow the Marie Kondo philosophy, aren’t bringing me joy? HELL YES. Especially if there’s nothing to hold onto.

Friendship, and all relationships, are built on a foundation. If both of the people involved aren’t doing the work, why should one person alone carry all the weight? They shouldn’t. I will not allow myself to feel guilty for cutting people off. Clearly, no one cares enough to even realize they’ve been cut off, so it goes.

I have to thank all of the new subscribers. It is such a joy to reach out to you and realize I AM connecting with a broader audience. I appreciate all of you. Every time I log in and see new subscribers, I feel proud of what I’ve been doing with this site. Many readers have been with me for YEARS, and I feel blessed knowing I still keep you reading. I’m never 100% sure why, but I do feel that people relate, and therefore, they connect to the things I talk about.

Of late, my time has been spent in rewrites. I am trying to complete a novel for sale. Not because I have to, but because I want to establish growth. I read plenty of fiction (The darker, the better.), but writing it is different. My entire career has been based on truth, and I feel confident in the things I have written which have made an impact on others. I’m not good when boxed into one category, because I know I can do more than that.

I remember, quite vividly, shredding years and years of fiction before I moved away from home. If I think back to those days, I remember trying to develop compelling characters. It was, quite frankly, a never-ending story that I eventually saw for what it was. Thus, the shredding. Coming out of that experience shuddering, and embarrassed, I knew any fictional work I might do in the future would have to grab the attention of the reader immediately. I’ve already got editors breathing down my neck for this novel, so I’ve thrown myself head first into rewriting and developing the characters into multifaceted jewels.

I am confident in how the process is going. Instinctively, I know when something is working and when it is not. I trust my own judgment. Someone recently told me that because I trust my judgment, I don’t seek approval from others. They were accurate in this assessment. I will only ask questions if I’m unsure about something, and this rarely pertains to what I write. I write specific material, but I know a lot of my personality shines through. Sarcasm, humor, and wit, can all be involved in serious subjects. If you lose those things, you lose the individual voice.

Other things are happening, too. I am looking at almost all of it as positive. Sometimes, things occur and I am reminded of my strengths and how much I can achieve. Those are good moments, but we all have to take a step back at times and remind ourselves to achieve without feeding the ego, the superego, or the Id. I have watched people, over the past few years, truly feed their superego and it is such an immense turnoff. I choose not to say anything to them because you can’t talk someone down from that level. It slowly becomes a disease and I’m not trained to deal with everyone’s disease-feeding. Factor in that we all know someone who has reached this level of narcissistic behavior, and they now feel free to share their hideousness with the world. Over time, it is shown for the cancer on society it truly is. Add in closet racists and it’s very easy to see why many people choose to fully back away from society at large.

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead. Mine involves some stress. I am meeting a new doctor this week (a specialist) and have had the appointment for five months. Before I got an appointment, I waited eight months just to get the phone call! Here’s hoping it goes off without a hitch. Fingers crossed.

Boker Tov,

copyright © 2021 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Written work by author may not be shared or posted anywhere without express written consent from the author. Excerpts and quotes from the material also require consent. This authors’ work and personal photos are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws. Further protection is under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Numb Dismay

It’s hard not to be angry and numb today as an #American. I’ve seen a lot of ugly, racist comments made, all under the guise of, “If those people had been…” Just stop. I don’t want to see ANYONE shot, choked, tear-gassed, or harmed because of one psychotic person who bought an election in this country. The hatred is alive and well without his encouragement. The white supremacy needs to stop, and people who are wholly white need to stop their bullshit, because a lot of it comes off hateful, even if you mean well.

This morning, some white privileged pig told me (and the several million people I represent as an American Jew) to leave this country, “for my own safety”, and proceeded to made assumptions regarding how I vote. To be perfectly blunt; Fuck you. I will take up arms and I will fight back against all forms of hate, including someone telling me I’d be safer somewhere else. REALLY? Where?! “Go back to Israel.” Are you fucking kidding me with this shit?

🌏 My family, like many others, helped build this young country with their bare hands. Half of the things you admire in New York City were physically built by my Great-Grandfather, an immigrant who worked until the day he died, and my Great-Uncles, only one of whom was not born here. No one gets to tell me I’m lesser than everyone else because I’m #Jewish. Nor does anyone get to make assumptions about which way I vote, because unlike many people, I’ve been voting since I was legally allowed to do so. I was raised to know my voice has meaning. I’m tired of the assumptions based solely on my skin color and where I reside.
Let’s see how the transition from racist AF “President” who can’t stop playing golf on taxpayers dollars, to seemingly laid back, sane President goes. It’s NOT always red versus blue, or vice versa. It’s about HUMANITY. This country seems to have forgotten its history, and the future is on shaky ground. I’m hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst. More importantly, we’re fighting a #GlobalPandemic. It’s not a hoax. It’s not going to be gone the second you’re vaccinated. These are facts. Today, try to be a lot more civilized than you might feel. You’re not alone.