A long-ass week of small wins and massive heartbreak
Friday, Nov. 12, 2021 - 8:16 pm.

Last weekend passed by and I skipped an entry. I'm not very good at remembering what I did last week without a lot of effort. Suffice to say that the highlight was that I got a 3rd dose of the vaccine!

That joy was short-lived, however, because Andrew couldn't get the dose. His date of the 2nd dose was wrong in the database. We got it together on June 6th, but the records showed he got it on the 7th, and people who got it on June 7th onwards, the 3rd dose was available this week.

I took a seat in the waiting room after getting the vaccine, and then I saw him walk by on his way to the exit right as my phone rang. He told me what happened and my heart broke for him. It sounds dramatic, but I felt like I'd left him behind. I would've preferred that we both got vaccinated at the same time, instead of just me getting it.

This week we had "a thing" almost every day of the week, stuff that was supposed to happen that involved us as a couple, and that would make us feel like we'd had a small victory. The week felt horribly long and exhausting, though.

On Monday, I managed to settle dates with both the pension agency in my home country, and the consulate here, to do the paperwork to get my money I earned for my pension scheme when I lived there. Andrew and I will take a day trip to the capital on December 1st. I have to deliver my documents in person to the consulate (reminder: it's 800 kms away), but we miss traveling, and traveling together, so he'll come along. We'll take a plane to the capital in the morning, then take another one home in the evening.

On Tuesday, we got a new TV. I could've done without it, but Andrew's wanted it for so long. And yeah, OK, it's huge and it's pretty cool.

On Wednesday, Andrew finally got his 3rd dose. Sigh with relief.

On Thursday, we didn't have anything scheduled, but some things happened. More on that below.

Friday, today, I had the test to get my driver's license here. I took it a few hours ago.

I failed it.

The evaluator said I almost made it. I could see myself making so many tiny mistakes while I was driving, and indeed, they amounted to me failing. It makes me want to cry, I feel very incompetent and frustrated, even a bit angry. I've been driving for 18 years.

I guess what bothers me the most is all the time that I'll continue to spend on this. First, going to the city centre again to make yet another appointment for the test (third time, as the first time they sent me home because not all the car's paperwork were on paper), and then waiting days or weeks for it, and then going through the whole thing again.

*cries a little bit*

The week has also been a bit rough because of the news in my home country: over 20 murders per day yesterday, and so many people disappearing, and so many mass graves being found. Government propaganda says none of that is true and people like my parents believe it. The government newspaper even printed a cartoon making fun of people who believe that people are disappearing. It's all so revolting and it makes me scared for everyone there, especially my friends and family, and for myself when I go there in December.

Then, my dad had another of his "episodes" this week. Now I can say these episodes look exactly like neuroleptic malignant syndrome (I searched geriatric journals!). Then, talking to my siblings about this, I learned that he'd announced four days ago that he'd been feeling like "it was gonna happen". He announced it on the same day my mom told him she was going to have lunch with her brother and sister (declared enemies by my father)...in four days.

Lo and behold, the day before the lunch, he fell ill (insert all the neuroleptic malignant syndrome symptoms here) and so my mom cancelled the lunch. Out of guilt, out of a deeply genuine and twisted belief that she, as a wife, must endure anything and everything from her husband, and must take care of him. So instead of getting out of the house for a nice meal with her family, she stayed home cleaning my dad who soils himself, most likely on purpose. I can't begin to explain how much cruelty she has suffered from him throughout their 50+ years together, and even worse now during two years of lockdown.

It pains me to say this, but it's the truth: I want my father dead. I want my mom to be free, to have her life back, to live her last year enslaved by a hurtful, manipulative and intentionally useless narcissist.

One last sad thing: one of the few friends that remain from my school years was scammed. Years ago, when I was still in uni, I wrote here about how I'd take her out with her baby for lunch, a coffee, or just a breath of fresh air, as she'd ended up having to quit her law career to be a stay-at-home mom.

We've kept in touch since then, and while we were arranging a catch-up for this week, she told me she had a little project to invite me to. I suspected something fishy.

In our video call, it took her like 20 minutes to tell me the idea, going over and over the same ideas that were very flaky and utterly suspicious. I knew right away it was a scam, right from the start when she said "this is not a pyramid scheme". I went online to search for the scheme after we hung up, and I found her recruitment speech to me line by line.

Part of me thought I should've said something to her during our call, just stop her on her tracks and tell her what she'd gotten herself into. Or send her the page about the scam. But she already gave away her money, a thousand plus USD, and I know your mind will hang on to anything to justify that parting with all that money was a good choice. I'm not above falling for shit myself, but I think I'm a bit better equipped to exercise caution.

It really breaks my heart because I know she needs the income and more than that, her independence. She's the wife of a diplomat (her high school sweetheart and also my classmate in school) in another country. The visa system is so crap for her as a spouse, and she's been tasked with raising their two girls since the first one was born almost 14 years ago, that it's been years since she's been able to do her own thing.

She's very busy, her schedule is hectic, looking after her family and doing some things here and there. But she can't get a job with her visa and so she has no money of her own. She gets the salary from her husband (which also doesn't account for him having a family) and manages it for the household, and that's it.

Me, I was prepared to say no to her, and thankfully I said it bluntly. She still turned my "no" into a "not yet", but whatever. Andrew, ever with sensible advice on how to talk to people, told me I could wait a couple of days and then text her, tell her I remain not interested in partaking in this, but that I read about what she told me, and that she should keep her eyes open for any red flags. Warning her without warning her.

It's too late, anyway. She's not getting her money back, let alone the thousands and thousands of dollars that result from having all the other very feminist and empowered women putting their money in the middle of the circle(?). I suspect that deep down she knows all this.

I'm so tired, sad, heartbroken from writing this entry. This week really felt like it would be a week of wins. It was, you know, I appreciate the things that went well. But then yesterday happened, when I read the bloody news from my homeland, when I talked to my scammed friend, when I learned about my mom's cancelled lunch with her siblings because she lives with a monster. And then the driver's test that I failed today.

I'm just gonna call it a day and get into bed. Stay safe.

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