Part of my indignity of the whole thing was when I finally got to the doctor, they said I had some serious infection, my mother never apologized. It was always this, "You got me this time..." kind of attitude, and then the usual footnote I always got when it came to medical stuff, "And DON'T tell your father you have to stay home from school."
Don't tell your father.
We didn't tell my father anything. It was like my mom and I had this secret world under the nose of the Gestapo, like the characters from "Hogan's Heroes," and there were certain things you NEVER told him. One of the BIG ones was anything medical related. My father thought all medical professionals everywhere were all snake-oil charlatans. He never went for checkups or anything, and attributed his great health to the fact he ignored colds, never stopped for the flu, healed his own cuts, and never went to the doctor or hospitals. His big thing was that doctors only existed for ONE purpose, and that was to get you hooked on drugs while charging you huge quantities of money. When my acne was really bad, he laughed that I thought "magical balms and salves" would solve the problem, and compared it to Jack trading his cow for magic beans. I wish I had the guts to point out that Jack ended up rich because of that, but I knew better than to point out flaws in his logic. And my acne scars were a result of "being dirty." Kate told me her dermatologist told her that washing your face too much was just as bad, but I was really obsessive about it, and I think I scrubbed my face 4 times a day.
Luckily, I didn't get sick very much. I ignored all the minor snuffles and sneezes, and nodded when I was told my asthma was "dramatic" and all I had was "hay fever." The "rule" was if my fever was over 101, I was allowed to stay home from school. Or if I threw up, and had evidence, so I had to do the Technicolor yawn and get my mother's approval I could stay home. It was insane. And if my mother was drunk, I had to go because I couldn't call myself in sick to school. Having a nurse send me home would have been worse because my mother would be drunk, or they'd try my father's number, and he'd become FURIOUS, and tell the nurse he grew up in a rough side of Chicago, and school was a privilege, and not a right, and... well, is it any wonder when they took my dad to trial in 1985 for child abuse, they had an unlimited amount of witnesses and testimonials to draw from? And they didn't even need it all, because my dad represented himself in court, and damned himself the moment he opened his mouth.
But you can imagine with all this behind me, every time I get sick, and not just cold-sick, but like seriously sick... I am filled with guilt and dread? Normally, I can suppress all the old feelings with logic, like, "Oh, he was insane. It's not you, he doesn't care, he probably still thinks you faked everything if he did, and he's obviously wrong, and ..." all the logical talk I have put into place since I was a teen to try and not kill myself with guilt. But when I am weak and sick, I revert back to that scared little kid shivering under 3 blankets, dreading my father barging into my room and finding out I stayed home from school. That I am bothering people.
That me being sick teeters on the edge of ruining everything.
Like my birthday party... :(