Daily Prompt: Sad but true

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Sixteen years ago (give or take a few months) after the birth of my son I was in serious need of losing some weight. My weight loss was slow….but I was watching what I ate and going to the gym but I hit a plateau after a while. As frustrating as that was…..I still trudged on but at times fell weakness to the good old Quarter Pounder with cheese or Snicker bar (damn chocolate).

One afternoon, the kids and I went to my parents house to go on a pontoon ride around the lake….. the kids gathered up front, my mom sat in her usual spot, my sister found a spot next to my kids and I claimed the seat in the back, behind the driver’s seat. My dad started up the boat ….but nothing happened, he started it up again, the motor strained.

My dad got up and made his way to the back of the boat…..without hesitation he said “Jolene why don’t you go sit upfront, your weighing down the boat”. His comment stung….at the time I was too hurt to say anything. What I wanted to do was call him an ass and make reference to his beer belly…..but I grabbed my towel and made my way to the front of the boat.

What was keeping the boat from moving was a bunch of weeds stuck in the propeller, but do you think he apologized? …… no

I did end up losing a lot of weight….but the unhealthy way, which was taking double the amount of Phentermine and not eating, but the judgmental words of my father haunted me.

 

To see what others wrote click here : Daily Prompt, Sad but true

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Life is too short ~

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We’ve all seen this saying, we probably have said it once or twice to a friend in need and maybe we shouted it out to a former lover. We may have read it on a page of some self-help book or heard our pastor give a sermon on holding onto the past. We may have even been on the receiving end of that statement a few times. God knows I have.

Yes, I do believe that life is too short to sweat the small stuff ….. like, wearing two different colored socks, missing your flight, being a dollar short in the drive-thru of your favorite fast food joint and I agree there is a time to just move forward and let the past just stay in the past…..

BUT, there are exceptions to this ……  there are times that the only way to move forward is to deal with it head on. I believe that “some” people use this expression as an easy way out; a way for them not to have to deal with the pain that they have caused other people. They don’t want to face the hard cold fact that they have something to do with the nightmares and constant inner struggle someone has gone through for the past thirty something years. …..and by “someone” I mean me and the delusional “someone” is none other than mommy dearest.

“Life is too short to dwell on the past” she wrote today.

Maybe for you…..you’re seventy, I have a good fifty years still ahead of me… I thought.. as I ripped a twizzler out of its bag and began chomping on it, I was irritated. Leave it to her to turn a blind eye on the crap that she pulled. Years of manipulation, years of guilt trips, years of seeing her throw temper tantrums on her bed because “life isn’t fair”, years of head games…..fucked up head games. Fine, you want to be in denial, you want to sweep things under the rug and pretend nothing happened….Fine live your life that way, but I won’t. I want to be healthy, I want to rid myself of the ghosts that have haunted me for years, I want to be strong and finally be proud of myself, I want to ………………..hear you say “you fucked up” and acknowledge that you didn’t love me like a mother should….but that will never happen because you want to turn a blinds eye, pretend it never happened.

Yes, let’s pretend that you never played favorites……let’s pretend I never heard my father say “it’s our choice who we choose to love”…let’s pretend that you never ignored me while I was pregnant with my first child and thought that God was punishing YOU! ….let’s pretend that after I was there for you while you were dealing with your mothers sudden death that you didn’t become your icy self once you went back home. I remember that night when you opened up to me, how you wished your mother had loved you. You were hurt because she considered her neighbor more of a daughter than you…….I sat there night after night listening. I thought we had a mother daughter break through. You cried, you made me feel sorry for you, you yearned for her love, you told me you wished she would have been more of a mother to you. That night I expressed my feelings about us, I thought you listened…… I was wrong……so wrong. Remember when Andrea had a change of heart and wasn’t going to go into the military, and you turned on her…….who did you call?? You called me…….for the first time I got to see what it was like to be your favorite, for a week and a half I got to feel what my sister felt. We went places, did things, laughed and cooked together. “You need to talk to your sister” you asked. I did…..the day my sister decided to go through with her decision and continue on with the military was the day you changed. I was again an outsider looking in. Let’s pretend you never called me a bitch in front of your home, let’s pretend you never told a family friend that I was a failure and no amount of praying will help me, let’s pretend how when I wanted to be hugged by my mother all I got was a fake “I’m too busy” embrace, it wasn’t even an embrace. Why even bother to hug me now??

You were the reason why you weren’t invited to the wedding……………it was your hurtful words that you said to our family friend not only once, not twice but a few times about me that finally was enough for me.  You can go ahead and live your life as you do and I will live mine. I will know that I HAVE stopped the cycle that you and your mother started. I will know that when my kids were growing up they knew I loved them UNCONDITIONALLY. …….they know of their mothers’ love, something I only experienced the first five years of my life.

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Mommy Dearest and I ~ somethings never change

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Something strange happened yesterday, my mother “friend requested” me on Facebook. For me, this is strange because she’s been on Facebook since 2008; it took her six years to decide that I was worthy enough to be one of her “friends”. Granted, from 2008-2011 I could careless, I think I even blocked her from time to time….it wasn’t until I “thought” things were getting better between us that I friended her….nothing….I waited…for months i waited…..still nothing. I requested again, I knew she had been on Facebook because she commented on my sisters’ timeline, she was ignoring me. It wasn’t until last year that I found out some horrible things she had said about me to a friend;  I felt duped, played and overall stupid. I let her in, I believed her sincerity, I believed she cared….but after the things I found out, I vowed to never fall for that again. Then the whole birthday debacle happened earlier this year when my parents both acted like little children and didn’t call to wish me happy birthday because they thought I didn’t want to have anything to do with them because I never gave them my new number”……What new number??? Point is they never tried….they never called.

I knew that instead of investing tears and anger on my mother, I remembered the “tools” a previous therapist told me to do when it came to my parents and after having a moment in the bathroom, crying…..I walked out of there feeling better.

I’ve seen my parents since then, at my oldest daughters graduation……it wasn’t as awful as I thought. I bit my tongue and stayed pleasant. She gave me a present (a religious book,a card that had her handprint in it (bizarre) and my grandmothers necklace which she claims I’ve always wanted…no, that wasn’t me) which I didn’t open till later and before we said good-bye she pulled me aside and said “I love you, I really do”…..it was not sincere, it was as if she was trying to convince herself. I told her nicely that we weren’t going to get into this now. She said ok. Don’t get me wrong, if I saw love and sincerity in her eyes then I would believe her, but she wasn’t fooling anyone….plus this was the first time she met my husband so she had to “look good”.

The last time we spoke was a few weeks ago when I had to call to get some information…..I wanted my sister to call and get the information for me. This would elevate the dread that I felt, but I remembered the words my therapist told me “They are just people, NOT your parents. They will never be the parents your sister has; they are incapable of loving you, they have been toxic to you. You need to see yourself as an orphan to move forward. You will never get their approval, you need to stop trying to seek it, you will never measure up to their expectations. Once you realize this you can move forward in your life”, she was right……I picked up the phone. “Hi Dad, it’s me I need to get some information from you…….” We talked briefly and then I heard HER, she grabbed the phone. I had to repeat what I just told my dad and she gave me the information that I needed……she wanted to chit chat but I told her I was at work. “Hey Jolene….I love you, I really do….ok? I love you”.   She fails in sincerity, again I didn’t buy it. I didn’t buy it when she would “hug” me for show because there was no love in those hugs, just coldness…just like coldness I sensed in her tone..you can tell when someone is being fake….it was an act, like I said “for show”.  I feel that she’s just doing this because well, she’s in her seventies and may have a good 10-15 good years left….and wants to clear her conscious.

So, imagine my surprise when I got the Facebook request. I could decline it like she has done time and time again to me, but I’m not her. I accepted. I looked at her timeline and noticed that she had recently broke her hand…..details of her fall and “feel sorry for me” posts lined the page in front of me. I called my sister and asked about it…”yeah she fell, she thought she sprained it but didn’t get it checked  for about a week…then she got mad at me because I didn’t call all week to check on her”….wow, typical….I didn’t miss my mother’s “feel sorry for me”  plea’s or attempts to make you feel guilty.

“I told her that I called her Monday and that it was Saturday”. My sister said.

“Well, it’s not like she had surgery or was in the hospital for some illness, she broke her hand”

“Yeah your right, Dads probably waiting on her hand and foot…she also said that she can’t text or FB much because she can’t type”

“ She was on Facebook just now…….and I don’t think Dads waiting on her , he’s probably at the bar drinking because he can’t handle the orders, but he may just be telling her that she has a perfectly good hand that still works and to use that”

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Leave it to me to have a “nightmare” about my mother regarding what took place yesterday.

We (my dad, my mom and I) were back in California, driving around the town that we used to live in. My father was speeding through red lights not giving a care who may be coming in the other direction. I am yelling at him that he is being reckless and then all of a sudden I’m unleashing all my hurt and pain that I have felt to my mother regarding us. Things I’ve only spoken to my therapist about. The abandonment that I felt growing up, seeing her love my sister but pushed me aside, choosing her ….. always. This dream went on and on…..but as I spoke, she never looked at me, her back to me never once acknowledging me……come to think of it. My father and mother never acknowledged that I was in the backseat.

~ dreams….I guess I really haven’t truly dealt with things. I’ve just managed to push it deep down in my subconscious.

What do Will Smith, John Stamos and tighty whities have in common??…..well, they are all mentioned in this post..so read on!

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As the older sibling I pretty much got blamed for things that either got broken, misplaced or when something wasn’t done to my parents liking….I also unbeknownst to me, was my sisters purse-keeper/purse-sitter/purse-detector.

My sister had a habit of losing her purse and I am not saying she lost it once a year, this was an ongoing thing. She would forget it in a dressing room, restaurant booth, at the mall, at the neighbor’s house, at school…..mind you she wasn’t a teenager when all this was going on she was in grade school. I really don’t know what my sister carried in her purse but all I know is when her purse would go MIA, I had to track it down. “Jolene do you know where Maries purse is?”, I would always hear. …and my answer would always be, no…because at that time in my life my sister was just a pain in my rear end, she only served one purpose and that was to  intercept my progress report or report card before my parents got their hands on it.

When I was fourteen I remember sitting in the den with my best friend watching Full House, when my sister started crying because she couldn’t find her purse. My mom screamed down from upstairs  and asked if I knew where her purse was, I of course said “no”….I was then told to look for it. Really?? I have a friend over and we are  drooling over watching John Stamos (uncle Jessie on Full House). My sister continued her fit, this time my mother yells again that I need to look for her purse. Frustrated, I yelled back “I didn’t lose it so why should I have to find her stupid purse, if it’s so important maybe she should put it where she can find it”.

imagesWhat happened next is so embedded in my memory that I wish Will Smith would use his little doodad from Men in Black and erase that part of my memory. I heard yelling come from upstairs and then I see my father stomp down the stairs in his tighty whities, he told me to come on over to him…..he then proceeded to shove me up against the wall (a police move I assume), put his hand under my chin and yelled in my face “You WILL help your sister find her purse or else you will see my belt, do you hear me?”….of course I said yes, I just wanted him to go back upstairs and put some clothes on…the sight of him in his tighty whities was just horrifying…plus my best friend was scarred for life after witnessing all this. Seriously, tighty whities need to be worn by little boys not grown adults!!

Come to think of it, I don’t even know if we ever found her stupid purse…..really what does a nine-year old carry in a purse anyways? a membership to the Care Bear fan club and some cherry lip balm?

 

 

Mama Kats Prompt : 3.) Tell us about something you got in trouble for that you didn’t actually do

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“I’ll show you” …from average teen to wild child

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A brat? Yes….rebellious I wasn’t but I wanted to make a point. The point being that mommy and daddy dearest needed loosen their parental reins just a bit  and if they were going to categorize me as a “partier, alcoholic and a wild child” then why not just jump right into what they thought me to be. Right??  Now, I assume they got this stupid assumption of me when I was 15, my room covered in NKOTB posters and from time to time I listened to INXS and Guns and Roses.

Now…..I was still that silly teenage girl who cried at the drop of a hat when she saw Joey,Donnie,Danny,Jordan and John  on T.V but I guess because I also listened to the hair /rockish type of bands I was now in their heads, out of control “ wild child” and I do remember the first time that I came home from hanging out with friends and told to come straight to my father’s room to “have a talk” next thing I know he’s giving me a sobriety test. Ok, I wasn’t the type to hit their bar cabinet and drink some vodka and fill it up with water….I may have taken a few sips of a wine cooler but back in the day I thought that  was daring. It wasn’t until after the uncalled sobriety test and lecture that I thought “heck I must be missing out”; there was nothing that I could do to prove to my parents that I wasn’t what they thought me to be. I had already been thrown into the “bad child” category a long time ago.

It was sophomore year and my best friend and I were just at our wits end with our parents. Of course “they didn’t understand” or wanted to understand what we were going through. I guess that’s why Jenny and I gravitated towards one another just because our parents refused to let us have some sort of life….a teenage life, but her and I had that LABEL of “bad child”.  Due to this label bestowed on us we jumped right in….we started to ditch school and sneak out of the house to discover what we were being held captive of. Most of the time we snuck over to each other’s homes and watched VHS movies or episodes of Jerry Springer….nothing too wild and crazy. This was our way of “showing them”…..but in “showing them” our grades dropped and notices came home and of course our parents “talked” and realized that we had been ditching classes. So the call was made and Jenny and I were no longer  to have the same class schedules or hang out together.

We weren’t going to HAVE that and we were really going to SHOW them!!  So around midnight I jumped the back fence and met up with Jenny and her boyfriend. We all stayed in a hotel room just going over “our plan” for this new independence. In a way I think we wanted our parents to “see what they were missing” to come together and realize that we weren’t BAD we just wanted this label to be taken off and their actions led us to where we were at…..which was in a seedy motel room. Morning came and I knew by this time my father would have had reported to his cop friends that his daughter and friend went missing, I could only imagine my mother just putting on this crying act for everyone to see “ohhhh how could the Lord do this to me?” She always blamed the Lord for any hardship done to her…..including my pregnancy (but that’s another story).

For a couple of days we just roamed our local streets, the Laundromat being our safe haven. We would just sit and think about what we had done and what we were going to do. We decided later that evening to call the Runaway hotline and get some advice and as we were dialing the number we heard “Hey girls!” As we turned around we noticed it was her father. He didn’t seem all that upset, unlike the wrath that was to come when I got home. He reached for his brick sized phone and called Jenny’s mom (they were separated). At this time her mother and step father were at my home and from what we were told my mother let out a huge cry “we found them we found them!!” Hmmmm no you didn’t Jenny’s dad found us, I thought. He then told them that he was going to take us out to eat but that was quickly changed and we had to come home ASAP. Her father shrugged and said a few words to us but I don’t recall it being a lecture, if I remember right he seemed to understand our rebellious act.

As we entered the house we were told to go directly to the table where there was a plate of bread and two glasses of water. “wow” ok…..my dad was REALLY playing his role as cop!! Did this scare us? No I remember us talking about this later on and thinking it was hilarious. We sat through their lecture, accusations, name calling and sentence …Jenny was told that she was going to go live with her father in Los Angeles and I was grounded for eternity which was nothing different from before. The following week I was taken to a gynecologist to make sure that I was still a virgin…..and then later to a therapist who spent the following hour calling me a whore and a nuisance to society.

I often ask myself if I had to do it all over again would I? Probably not because it didn’t change my parents perception of me. Nothing I could have done before my adventure or after would make them see me the way they saw my sister. She was the IT child, not me. …..and it took me until my late 30’s to realize that I need to stop trying to seek acknowledgement from my parents.  What I learned from all this though was that  I would not label my children in any negative way…… “Troubled”, “bad child”, “waste of a human”, are titles that should never be bestowed on a child.

I have kept my word and although THEY have come to me on many occasions and asked “I’m your favorite huh?”….I smile and say “You are my favorite son (only have one), You are my favorite 19 year old girl, You are my favorite 21 year old!!” ……. They all have great qualities about them; yes we have had our ups and downs but who doesn’t?  It’s just how we come out of it that makes our relationship stronger.

Time to come clean

OK, I admit it…..I did it, but I couldn’t resist this yellow and green box packed with vibrant colors!!  While I was contemplating my plan to make this box my own I could only imagine what amazing creations I could make.  I looked down the aisle…..no one, so I grabbed the box of Crayola crayons and stuffed it into my Strawberry Shortcake purse.

Now mind you, I didn’t go for the tiny 8 pack. I went for the box of 24!!! Maybe it was the built-in sharpener in the back of the box that sold me but if was going to do this I was going to go big!! after I concealed my treasure, I ran back to my mother and continued our trip to the grocery store.

When we got home I quickly went to my room and took out MY box of crayons, opened them up and stared on in amazement at all the in tacked crayons because the crayons in my crayon box were broken, wrappers taken off or just plain…………..used.  As I was in the middle of creating my newest masterpiece my mother came in my room looked at the box of crayons and asked “where did you get those?” Crap, I didn’t plan out an alibi at all………..so the only thing my 7-year-old pony tailed self could come up with is that it was a party favor from a party we had at school for a classmates birthday. Now, maybe if I would have thrown in a name, my story may have been believable…but she wasn’t buying it. So she brought me to the kitchen table with evidence in tow and had my father proceed with the interrogation. Geez, you would have thought he would have gone a little easy on me considering I was only 7 yrs old and not some of his REAL criminals he arrested earlier that day,  but he got the truth out of me…..even my crocodile tears didn’t save me.

I seriously thought that was it. I told the truth so give me back the crayons. No such luck!! My mom grabbed me and the stolen box of crayola crayons and took me back to the store where I had to confess my thievery to the manager. Yeah, I had to endure a lengthy talk about right and wrong all the while I thought to myself “dude you need to steal some gum your breath stinks”.

I went home that night empty-handed and was sent straight to my room……………grounded of course.

So now that I confessed…..what did you steal?

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Weekly Writing Challenge : I remember

“Wake up, put your shoes on…hurry”  my mother was obviously annoyed, I could see it in her face the way her left eyebrow would rise up when she was upset. I grabbed a blanket and followed her out to the car. It was eerily dark and cold  “Mom where are we going?” …she didn’t answer she just drove in silence. I looked out the window, confused…..what time was it? I looked at the clock, 1:35 am….where were we going at this time of night?

I woke up when I felt the car come to a halt, I looked around and noticed we were in a parking lot. I heard my mom mumble under her breath as she stared into the restaurant window. I followed her gaze ….there was my dad sitting at a table with a few of his work colleagues looking like they were having a great time…..a lady approached the table handing my dad a beer and proceeded to sit down right beside him. “You’re going to grandmas tonight”.  She drove out of the parking lot not saying one word. What I couldn’t understand was why was the blonde lady who I often saw at my dads softball games there and why was she sitting so close to him?

DP CHALLENGE : I remember

Daily Prompt: Ballerina, Fireman, Movie Star

When I was 7 I aimed small…..really small….for whatever reason I wanted to be a frog. Maybe I admired the free spirit of this small green creature; but as time went on I became fascinated by the job that this one woman held. I watched in awe how she would handle every situation that came to her with grace. Yeah, there were times she got herself in some sticky situations with Stefano, then there was that Devil possession, several romantic relationships, and we can’t forget the serial killer story line…..but when she wasn’t all tangled up in happenings of Salem, she portrayed herself as the go to psychiatrist helping others with their problems, giving them solutions that of course made everything better!!

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“That’s what I want to be when I grow up” I said to my mom.  “You want to be a soap opera star?” she replied. “No I want to give people advice and tell them what to do”, I knew I would be great!!  “Maybe you should be a lawyer, you like to argue your case all the time” my mother replied….never once turning her head away from the television set.

As years went on it was in the back of my mind that this was what I was going to do, I was going to be the best psychiatrist San Fernando Valley, Ca ever saw!! …needless to say, God had a different plan for me. I became a mother at 17, wife at 18 and life as I knew it changed and my dream to become a psychiatrist was no longer a priority I now had a family to tend to.

I still offer advice,  listen intently to those that just need to vent and I lend a shoulder when it’s needed, but I do this because I’m a friend. I’ve sat on quite a few therapist couches in the day to absorb the lessons, advice and books that they wanted me to read as “homework”…..sometimes these books were more helpful than they were……but now I find myself in the medical field but not as a Doctor or a Nurse but as a Patient Advocate; I couldn’t ask for a better job!!

Click here to read others Daily Prompt: Ballerina Fireman Astronaut Movie Star

The best advice my father gave me ……was there one?

As I catch up on my blog surfing, I was a bit touched by all those “Ode’s to dad”….. loving poems, letters to dad, blogs on the best advice dad gave me, collage of pictures of the blogger and his/her father, it really warmed my heart and I felt a bit taken back by all the adoring tributes to Dear Old Dad.

Hmmm…..could I recall some loving advice my father gave me?  Let me think, besides the “you make the bed you lie in” which was told to me when I was fourteen; I guess that was his version of the “sex talk”….worked wonders dad!! Hahaha….. or when he nicknamed me “bubble butt” maybe that was his way of telling me to knock it off with those hamburgers and french fries……or maybe it was when he told me that I would be better off sitting in the front of the boat rather than the back because I was weighing the boat down was his loving way of saying“Bubble butt it’s time for you to go on a diet”.  

Our father and daughter time consisted of him taking me fishing but told me that I couldn’t talk  or play around because I would scare the fishes away “Jolene will you be quiet and stop talking you are going to scare off the fishes”………and yes I believed my father, why wouldn’t I?  It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties when I was  in a boat fishing with my son and a guy I was dating. He was yapping it up with my son, splashing his hands in the water, making A LOT of noise…this began to irritate me, because the fish weren’t biting therefore he was scaring the fish away. “John will you knock it off you are making too much noise, the fish are going to hear you”………RIGHT THEN I heard myself , RIGHT THEN I realized how stupid that sounded. John laughed a good while and then I realized all those daddy and daughter moments weren’t as special as I thought……he conjured up a little white lie just to keep me from talking.

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Think before you speak ……For me, this is hard to do!!!

I grew up in “The Valley” of Southern California; as a child I didn’t know much about prejudice…..like most kids we learn from our parents and in some cases we learn from friends or the streets…..and in this case I learned what you are about to read from the “streets” aka my neighborhood, I kinda knew right from wrong but at the age of 6 I still hadn’t learned the consequences of “think before you speak”……I’m still having a hard time with that one, but I’m learning.

I remember making my mother furious one afternoon. I was outside swimming in the spa when my mother told me that I had to get out because my father was bringing some people by to work on the yard. I knew exactly what she meant by “some people”. See my father would go down to San Franando road and pick up a few Hispanics that were looking for work, he would do this ever so often when he had some major things to do in the yard………………….I was mad because my spa time was being interrupted and you don’t ever want to bother a 6yr old girl who was having a grand time with her Barbies. Well, I told my mom that I wasn’t getting out and of course we went back and forth until she  pulled the “I’m going to get your father” card, that’s when I said “Why don’t they just go back where they came from!” my mothers faced turned stone cold “what did you say?” she was now pulling me out of the water, “I SAID they should go back to where they came from” meanwhile trying to grab all my barbies… “well then that means your grandmother and I would have to go and you will be without family” …..confused I said “you and grandma aren’t MEXICAN MEXICAN we are mixed!! They are dirty”…..(now before I upset anyone, this was when I was 6, I know better now). My mother glared at me, she proceeded to tell me that she wasn’t going to talk to me and I was to answer to my father. She ignored me for a week….no joke.

Instead of pulling me to the side and explaining prejudice to me, she ignored me……this was just a glimpse of how my mother handled things….but that’s another story. As an adult I am more aware of prejudices especially in the field that I work. It bothers me and in some cases if I am out and about I will speak up if I hear someone speak ill towards another. Today I was left irritated and dumbfounded by a phone call I received requesting a list of Medicaid doctors from the person on the other end of the phone. I told the man that I didn’t have a list but all he would need to do was go online or look through a phonebook. I did try to give him a number of a clinic that I knew accepted Medicaid and his response was “I don’t want those camel jockeys touching me”….silence….if there ever was a time to hold my tongue and think before I spoke, this was it. I took a deep breath and said “excuse me sir that wasn’t very nice, that clinic has very professional physicians that tend to Medicaid patients like yourself and as you may know there aren’t many doctors offices that accept Medicaid in this area”……next thing I heard was …..click…..

After venting to a co-worker her reply was “it’s the backwoods type of thinking ,you will get that a lot here”

Great……….