I was listening to my iPod last night and a Tori Amos song came on. My knowledge of Tori Amos’s oeuvre does not extend beyond Little Earthquakes. I bought that album on cassette back in the day…whenever that was. I still think it’s a pretty good album, although I only opted to download about half the songs on MP3. Yeah, I’m almost 40 and I’m still listening to this crap. (Well, technically, I am listening to it again, rather than still, but you know what I mean. Or probably you don’t, which is why it’s good I clarified.) I’m not proud. I feel silly, though. Musically this album still appeals to me, but it also gets on my nerves because lyrically it is mostly a train wreck. Not that I require pop song lyrics to be all deep and poetical, but it just annoys me when songwriters think they’re being all deep and poetical when they’re really just being obscure and random.
I think that on Little Earthquakes Tori Amos is occasionally clever, but mostly veers from overwrought to gratuitously provocative to just plain dumbass. Take the following (from “Girl”):
And in the doorway
They stay and laugh
As violins fill with water
Screams from the bluebells
Can’t make them go away
What the hell does that even mean? IT DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING. And that’s an excerpt that makes some vague syntactical sense. The rest of the song is just random images strung together in a manner that rapes grammar of its meaning.
Like Tori Amos, I am a white girl with strong feelings tonight.
Actually, I am without strong feelings. If I were twenty years younger, Tori Amos might make me want to start cutting myself just to remind me that I was alive.
No, man, I’m totally messing with you. Get a hold, I didn’t mean any of it. I’m just running out of blog fodder.
Or rather, I don’t want to blog about what’s really bothering me right now, which is that Princess Zurg is going off the deep end, and I’m not sure I can deal. (Wow, I seem to be a prisoner of lame language tonight. I think I’m just going to go with it.) She was doing so well for the last couple years, and now she’s refusing to go to her classes, turning on her friends and saying she has no reason to live. Yeah, I know. Mercy, you don’t have to tell me. That’s what this post is going to be about.
Twelve was absolutely, positively the worst year of my life. And believe you me, gentle readers, I’ve had some doozies. You couldn’t pay me to do any of it again, but twelve sticks out as The Year Life Really Started Sucking Vigorously. Thirteen was a freaking picnic in comparison, and thirteen wasn’t that great, I promise you. You probably don’t need me to tell you. So, yes, I know what PZ is going through, exactly, but I find that knowledge to be not exactly helpful because I seem to be having empathy fatigue. No, more like post-traumatic stress disorder.
I lived through twelve. I’ve lived through all the other years since then, too. I don’t want to live through it again, but this is what sucks about having children: You get to live it all over again. Yay! /end irony
I wish I could just transfer my almost-40 perspective onto my daughter’s brain, but it doesn’t work that way. God designed twelve to suck for some higher purpose I know not, and I don’t think there’s anything I, as a parent, can do about it. So I just get frustrated. I have about as much patience for her ovary-informed madness as I do for Tori Amos’s lyrics. I want to metaphorically slap her like Cher does to Nicolas Cage in Moonstruck and say, “Snap out of it!” but I realize that is largely because I’ve worked hard to become almost-40-years-old, and I’ll be damned if I have to relive twelve vicariously and not even have the dignity of controlling the destiny of the twelve-year-old in question. That’s why I’m seeking professional help.
As many of you already know, PZ has had a very rocky school career. She spent part of fourth grade and all of fifth grade in a clinical day treatment program, where she excelled. She was able to mainstream into her neighborhood school in sixth grade. We hooked her up with a private counselor to ease the transition, but she did really well. So well that the private counselor didn’t really see the point of continuing the counseling, and so I said, “Okay,” and he closed her file last summer.
Now (as I sort of feared when the counselor told me he was inclined to close her file, but mainly because I knew my PZ history and earned some right to paranoia), she has backslid. Or maybe she just slid straight forward, full-throttle, into the hellmouth of adolescence. (Can you tell I just finished watching seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? “Hellmouth” is going to be my go-to metaphor for some time to come, I’m afraid. I am also, apparently, being unduly influenced by overwrought Tori Amos music, but at least my sentences are parsable. Is “parsable” a word? My spell-check says no, but my Inner White Girl With Strong Feelings says yes.) She is clearly grappling with depression…stuff. She needs to go back into counseling, and possibly needs to have her pharmaceutical supports re-examined.
I don’t want to take her back to her previous counselor, no offense to him. He was a nice man, but I asked PZ, and she said she would prefer to have a female counselor this time. It has proven to be surprisingly difficult to find female counselors on our side of Portland who a) treat twelve-year-olds, b) are covered by our insurance and c) are taking new patients. The names the insurance company gave me were dead ends. I solicited recommendations on the Facebook–because I’m totally into violating my daughter’s privacy that way, and also, I was desperate–and I’m working through those. A friend of mine highly recommended this PMHNP she’s been sending her own kids to. I would really like to get an appointment with this woman because a) she’s supposed to be a great counselor, b) she has experience working with Aspies and c) she can prescribe medication, so I wouldn’t have to go through the trouble of finding a new psychiatrist, too. (Currently, PZ’s pediatrician signs her prescriptions because she’s been taking the same dose for the last three years.)
So that would be ideal, but naturally, because it is ideal, it is not working out for me. Specifically, she is not returning my phone calls, which is annoying. I mean, she could be on vacation, I guess, but a) January is a weird time to go on vacation and b) most health-care professionals who go on vacation tend to leave messages on their voice mail to that effect, so that potential clients, or rather, potential clients’ mothers don’t have to wonder if the health-care professional is just ignoring them or pointedly ignoring them or if there’s something wrong with them and that’s why they’re being ignored because they never actually got over being twelve and at 40 they’re just pretending that they have it somewhat together and they don’t take things like this personally. So, yeah, this avenue isn’t boding well. I gave it a week, but now I’m going to have to move on dot org.
(Not literally move on dot org, of course–that would be crazy. It’s just an expression. But back to my story.)
Actually, I think my story is over. For tonight, anyway. Tomorrow is a holiday. All the kids have been studying Dr. King this month, and Girlfriend is especially looking forward to this holiday, so I feel like I should bake a cake or something. Maybe do some more cupcake diversity training. I think that is our tradition. (I worked extra-hard to find that link for you, so I hope you click on it. Unless you remember the post without being reminded, in which case, kudos. That was five years ago. I’m surprised I remember it.) After tomorrow, it will be business as usual, and I will resume my quest to find professional help for my twelve-year-old. Now I am just typing to hear my keys clack. Gentle readers, adieu.