My sister in law is one.
In fact, I think she has munchausen's by proxy.... both her kids are *always* ill with the most obscure and, of course, dire illnesses.
never ending doctor's visits.
for herself as well.
Every other month she's finding a lump, bump, spot, developing a scratchy throat, getting flushed, feeling fatigued... and it's always a HORRIBLE TRAGIC ILLNESS that she's just going to be strong for, but talk about constantly. She'll deny that she wants sympathy, but just can't keep that keening edge out of her voice.
It's a good thing my brother has free medical or they'd be gaddamned bankrupt.
I really cannot stand hypochondriacs.
And this is totally off topic, but I was reading Geeks by Jon Katz, about Jesse and Eric and how they got the hell out of Idaho and into a real life via the internet and also about the larger and more important issue of geek life, what it is, and who they are, and the impact they've had on the world.
In the course of its writing the shooting at Columbine went down and Jesse told Katz that they would blame the geeks. And sure enough, that night it was all over the place.
It's odd reading about that in a book.
I felt so attacked then. I knew I was who they were talking about. Weird, isolated kids.. the ones who didn't fit in... the ones who wore black, played doom, lived on the net... the ones who got ridiculed and picked on because they just didn't... fit.
I was that kid.
I still am. I still feel that. I still know where that invisible line sits. I know that I'm on the other side of it. I still feel okay with it. I still feel the need to define myself in some ways as BEING on the other side of that line. It's where I've always been.
I felt so utterly... saddened. I felt so incredibly reduced and misunderstood. Not because I was being defined wrongly... I was used to that... But because I was being defined as a threat worldwide. Instead of just being able to slide easily into the shifting background... all of a sudden me and so many people I've known were set in stark contrast. I know a lot of people have gone through a period where they feel different. It's usually puberty and it usually passes. But mine never passed and it started before puberty. I've known I was one of these people since I was able to look around and discern how lives went for other people.
I had a really fucked up childhood. I lived in a climate of silence and lies. You don't talk about what goes on in the house with anyone who is outside of the house. That was rule number one. Rule number two was that you will leave in fear every day of your life because that's what we offer here. Fear of screwing up, fear of stepping out of line, fear of random, free floating hostility, fear of hands in the night, fear of hoarse whispers, coarse hands, fear of everything that you are in and of. Fear of the things that most people grow up associating with safety and care.
That's nothing special or exceptional. It's been many people's reality. And most of them felt just as attacked as I did when the mass media and every cochroach pundit under the sun and under the rocks slithered out to condemn us and the things that made us feel whole and good and FOR ONCE! safe.
On the other hand.... it made all the normal people feel safer... knowing with NO DOUBTS who the enemy was.... they'd always known... but wow.. to have it said on national tv, over and over and over, by so many of those faces that told them the empirical truth everyday.... that must have been a comforting, good, wonderful thing for them to cling to.
I read about it today... normal looking as all hell.... no one would pick me out as a freak anymore. no one would think I was anything other than just like them...
I read about it today and I still feel attacked. I still feel that defensive surge.. and I still feel scared that I live in a world that made me this way and that that world is just as happy to swallow me whole with no apologies.
It makes me angry.
It makes me so utterly fucking enraged. It makes me so sad. It just reaffirms that I'm still, at heart, isolated and reaching and different in a way that few people seem to understand.