So tell me, what did YOU do on your summer vacation, Keith……(part 1)

Remember that question? You used to hear that a lot a back to school time.  Everyone wanting to catch up with their friend who they didn’t see over the summer, see who had the best vacation or the funniest story or whatever.  Well, this is me doing that – sort of.

I haven’t blogged in 5 months here.  Part of it was me, part of it was my job situation, and part of it was motivating myself. I had days where I wanted to write about stuff, but thought “who’d want to read about that? You’re just going to ramble…..” so I didn’t get up here to the Cave and sit down and write.  This changed a bit a few weeks back. I was talking to a friend about writing fiction or creative writing stuff.  I didn’t do anything with it, but two weeks ago in therapy I told my therapist I was “going to write all of this down, so I don’t forget the details.  Maybe I’ll write a book about this process someday”.  She smiled at the idea and talked about the therapeutic value to that idea.  I listened, and listened, and while I listened I planned.  I tend to dream big, so I thought about how cool it would be to write a book, get published and make a ton of money, maybe do an Oprah show or something…… 🙂

Anyhow, the first morning I had the chance to act on this motivation was September 12th.  I sat down to write out my own narrative account of what my life has been like since my panic attack.  I thought that would be a good jumping off point, and give me a chance to work in my past adventures in mental health – while considering what that history means for me now, and more importantly moving forward into my future.  (Sounds good, huh?)  That first morning I roughly budgeted 2 hours to write, and got going – totally without any outlines or anything. I had some dates that I needed to pin down some happenings, but that was it.  Ninety minutes later I had 1300 words.  I don’t know if that’s fast or whatever, but all that covered was an “introduction paragraph” (mostly to organize my thoughts) and the actual panic attack. That was it.  I was a bit surprised that I got that much out of an event that only took a total of 5 minutes.  Writing ALL of it down could get to be quite the epic tome…….(not really).

Point is, some things that could have been half formed blog posts here (the one’s I was worried about writing/not motivated to write) will probably end up in that document instead.  At least for now.


Ok. So.  This summer went by quick for me, in a way.  One of the reasons I was not “encouraged” to blog about this topic was (in part) given to me by my employer. I was never told not to talk or write about my employers part of the process, but I was cautioned to remember that for as long as I was working there (even if it was only on paper) I could, in theory, get into trouble for what I might write.  In an effort to ease everyone’s mind, I took some time away form this forum.  Remember: My last post was in April or something, and I wrote that I thought I had about 10 more days till I’d see a resolution of my employment status.


Fast forward (or rewind from today) from that post to September 12th, 2013.  I finally received in the mail my official “Letter of Separation of Employment” from Comcast, my now former employer.  I was free to write or say what I chose.  And I want to re-iterate something:  I have NOTHING negative to say about Comcast. They handled this (often painful for me) process wonderfully, and did everything they could to accommodate my needs and restrictions. The process is supposed to take 3 months. They extended me to almost a year to try to work this out.  I owe them a debt of gratitude, and sincerely mean it when I say I will miss a lot about working for that company.


So I got the letter, and was relieved. I’d been expecting it for awhile. I’d been called on July 26th and told what was coming.  I remember telling my caseworker it was good they got me on Friday to tell me, because that Monday (the 28th) we were leaving for a week in Cancun with my in laws and some of their family.  So either way, I was going to relax the week after getting the “bad” news, and re asses when I got back into the country.


(Oh, I didn’t mention Cancun yet?  My wife and I got to go to Cancun for a week this summer!  We got to spend some time in the sun with my in laws, my sister in law, and her Uncle, Aunt and cousins from LA. It was a great chance for me to get to know the LA family, since I haven’t seen much of them these past 5-6 years.  Not to mention a HUGE change for my wife and I.  Our ideal vacation is a quit week at Myrtle Beach.  This was VEEEERRRRYYYY different from that, let me tell you!)


So I was excited and nervous from the get go. There were some things about the trip right off the bat that had me a little worked up relating to money and the like, but I was able to put those things away for the most part, and concentrate on the fun times that were ahead of me.  I’ve never been out of the county other than the Bahamas, so the idea of traveling to Mexico was exciting.  My in laws are a globe trottiing-frequent-flying bunch, so maybe some of my excitement came off as a bit childish.  I noticed that, or at least thought I did.  So what.  I was enjoying watching planes take off and land – old hat for them, not as much for me.


So we got on the plane and left for Mexico.  I only have one comment regarding the plane flight that is germane to this conversation, and has any affect on my mental health.  Ok, maybe two.

  1. Small planes give me the heebie-jeebie’s.  That’s not anyone’s fault at all. That’s just me not having flown more than 4 times before.  I’m not sure I’ll ever really like it, but whatever.
  2. I am very, very defensive about my wife and her comfort and well being. If something happens that I even perceive to be a threat or an insult, I tend to shoot straight into a towering rage, and am not really reasonable about it. If you mess with my wife, I very much want to hurt you.  I very infrequently act on those impulses, but they are definitely real.  Even if the threat isn’t real.  (Paranoia is something we’re working on).  It’s not flattering, but it is a fact that I have some anger related issues, and they manifest in those situations.

So, to keep it short, we were on a small plane, and there was a seating discrepancy that lead to some discomfort, and an embarrassing exchange between a flight attendant, my mother in law, and 2 patrons.  It’s hard to keep things quiet in a flying MTA buss, so I don’t blame anyone at all.  It got as fixed as it could on that plane.  However, since the alarm bells started going of in my head, I spend the flight a bit tense.  And, glaring at a fellow passenger or 3.  Sue me. Like I said, I don’t act on things like this much, but I do remember them, Rinky Dink Airlines, Inc!

When we arrived the hotel was AWESOME.  The damned thing was a monument.  You could see it from EVERYWHERE.  It is called the Rui Palace Hotel in Cancun.  If you go to Cancun, stay there if you can.  You will not regret it.

Ok folks.  It’s 2:00 in the morning, so I’ll have to post Part 2 of this summer spanning blog post from Hell tomorrow. 

Good night, and dreams!