As you know, my life rarely goes as planned. In ways, this is exciting. In others, it’s a pain in the ass. We are currently in “pain in the ass.”

The newest is related to one of my last posts. I had just talked to my attorney, faxed the settlement papers for my 5-year, 2-month old case regarding my assault on December 7, 2007.  He had told me to cancel all doctors’ appointments after that date, that I would have to pay for my prescriptions and any medical care, and that my permanent disability checks would no longer show up bi-weekly.  As has happened so many times in the last five years, it seems I “misunderstood” this information and he “never would have told me these things,” along with the fact that I would have my checks by February 3, or they would be liable for interest and penalties.  I like to think of myself as a fairly intelligent person who processes and retains information, but had gotten to the point of writing down all information from our phone conversations. Even with the written back-up, he insisted I had “misunderstood.”

The reality is that I a) cancelled all my doctors’ appointments, including one that would have finally replaced the tooth that was destroyed in the assault, and which Medicare won’t cover, b) assumed checks has ceased, and c) expected to pay for my prescriptions after the January 3 date.  I was counting the days until February 3, when I could finally go on with my life without ever having to talk to attorneys or workers’ comp representatives again, and I could move out of California if I should so choose.

Silly me.

On January 20 I went to pick up my prescriptions to find there was no charge. They were covered.  I freaked out and called Abbi (still use her address as my permanent address because I never know where I’m going to be), and she was still getting the permanent disability checks.  Then, I called my attorney’s office.  Of course, he was off at a 4-day seminar. His assistant looked into my file to find that no “order” ha been filed and that no settlement existed.  And realized that if I hadn’t gone to pick up my prescriptions, I would have been calling my attorney on February 3 to find out where my checks were, only to find that they hadn’t checked up on my case since sending it to opposing counsel.

My attorney finally got back to me 7 days later. He had expected opposing counsel to sign the papers, get a judge to sign off on the agreement, and file the order.  Do his job for him.  That hadn’t happened, but again, he had no clue. After making a couple of phone calls he discovered the other attorney didn’t get around to signing the agreement until after I called to check on the case. The other guy finally signed the papers on January 21. More “fiddle-farting” ensued, and the case was finally taken to the judge and assigned an order on February 5. Now, my checks should be here by March 5. In that time, I could have gone to my pain management doctor and gotten the tooth replaced. Now, it won’t happen.

After that final conversation, my head went directly up my butt without passing Go or collecting $200.  As a matter of fact, I found that somewhere along the line I had lost a $10,000 voucher to purchase new computer equipment and pay for classes, and the $5000 we had asked for to replace the tooth Medicare wouldn’t cover.

With no one locally to talk to, meet for a drink, kick me in the rear (thus, removing my head from its new position), I sank into a very deep hole. And have been there ever since. Once again, I was alone and impotent.

Moving around over the last 6 years, my Bay area friends have slipped from ‘friend’ to ‘acquaintenance’ to ‘I used to know her’ status. And they’re too far away to meet for drinks anyway. The other friends who could have supported me were in Las Vegas, Salt Lake City/Houston, and Oklahoma City. Abbi’s boyfriend has moved here from Australia, her LA Dollhouse is doing really well, and she’s started another business.  I understand why Abbi can’t drop everything and be here in 45 minutes (to two hours, depending on traffic). Meanwhile, I have to be cheery, supportive and mommy-esque for my new 17 girls…..which does help when it’s happening.

So…..the nights of sleep I was finally getting stopped, and I’d reverted to lying on the couch all day watching NCIS or Criminal Minds marathons — neither uplifting.

Last week I got mad at myself and while out running errands, purchased a pair of walking shoes. My old ones were about 7 and 6 years old, respectively, and had worn out their usefulness. I also decided I was tired of being afraid of everything and decided to paint my living room, which was the most disguesting, depressive shade of dark grey/blue paint I’ve ever seen. I made myself get up on a ladder and do the painting myself — fighting my fear of falling and re-injuring my neck or back.  Two walls down, several to go. It’s a lot slower going…used to be able to paint a couple of rooms by myself in a day, and this time it took almost two days to paint two walls. I’ll start again after this ptome is finished. I’m also planning a couple of vacations. I’ve offered to send Abbi and Brett away for her birthday in March, but haven’t heard back from her. If she doesn’t give me a destination pretty quickly, I’ll spend the money on myself. This morning, I put on my big-girl panties and new walking shoes and trodded the .02 miles up and .02 miles back to get iced tea at the closest fast food place.  Yesterday, I went through a stack of papers and addressed some long-ignored issues. It’s a start.

My biggest problem is that I’m freaking lonely. I almost went to the California Writers’ Conference in San Diego this weekend, but didn’t think I was ready for four days of human contact with (mostly) people I don’t know. However, next week I’ll go online and join Southern California Writers, and maybe Sisters in Crime. I’ll rejoin my sorority’s national alumnae association and look for a local chapter. I’ve got to make myself leave the house and take steps to restart my life, no matter how painful.  Thoughts for how to begin the rewrite of the thriller an agent is interested in are floating through my mine, and I need to reread the original to remind myself of back-story. He’s one of the best agents in the country, and the fact that he was so interested in my project the first time, he took his time to send me a lengthy hand-written letter telling me what he liked, how strong my writing was, and what I could do to improve it. Then, he put it in his business envelope and added a real stamp. Agents don’t do that anymore — it’s 2″ rejection form slips of paper in self-addressed envelopes or e-mails.  The bottom line is that I’m not sure whether I’m afraid of failure or success. Guess it’s time to find out.

So, now I need to climb the ladder again and get some more wall-space painted and furniture back in place so my newest “home” starts to form. I still haven’t unpacked the suitcase from my “world tour,” and my bathing suit is in there. The ocean is calling.

The newest version of my check should be here by March 5. I’m not holding my breath or counting down days anymore. It will arrive when it arrives. And I’ll be glad to get it. And I’ll be pissed at the things that should have been in it that my attorney gave away. But it will be over. Before that date, I plan on taking steps to begin the transition into my new life, wherever that leads.

Meanwhile, I’d love to hear the phone ring, so call if you get the chance.  If you’re close, I’d love to meet you for a drink and some laughter. And if you don’t watch out, once again you’ll be in jeapordy of having me show up on your doorstep. What I would have given to be in Myrtle Beach yesterday for the snow — to play on the beach and make sand angels with snow falling. Catch snow flakes on my tongue. Hell. I even want to learn to cry again. Maybe if laughing finds its way into my life, crying will follow.

So as usual, you’re going on an adventure with me. Wish you were here. I could use company with people who care.

I know — I promised an update on Sophie and a blog on Pie Night. They’re coming. I need to get my blog back up and running, too. But felt this should come first.

Until next time, please take care of yourself.  Far away or close, you’re important to me.