It's 3:55am in the morning, and I can't sleep. Slept about 3 hours last nite, none so far tonite. Cool Hand Luke is on, and altho I've seen it 22 gazillion times, I'm watching it AGAIN.
There's a stupid drama going on that I keep forgetting to blog about, and it's seriously putting a crimp in my moving plans because of finances.
About two months ago, I was stopped by a policeman in Rexburg. He stopped me because I didn't have the registration sticker on my license plates. Which are supposed to be renewed in December. As in LAST December. I was so surprised, but remembered almost instantly what had happened last December to cause me to forget the tags. (My son and daughter-in-law blew up). He asked for my driver's license, registration, proof of insurance. I handed him the driver's license, didn't have the registration, and knew that the proof of insurance card had been sitting in a pile at home for some time, waiting for me to put it back in the glove box, and somehow I didn't, and I probably threw it away by mistake. I can see in my mind's eye - that would be something I would do, forgetting the little card in the pile and tossing it.
He went back to his car/radio for a few minutes, while I blew my brain away with being amazed that I'd gone 10 months without tags, and hadn't got caught till then. When I am stressed, I lose my memory. Hence, last December, which sent me into a 3 month spiral of depression, the last thing on my mind was those tags.
Mr. Cop came back and informed me that my license has been suspended since....
June of 2003. TWO THOUSAND AND THREE, PEOPLE!!!
I was so shocked, the cop almost laughed at me and do think he felt bad, cause it was so obvious that I was truly shocked. I looked over at my aide, Hella, and asked her what the hell was going on in 2003 to cause me such a thing as not having my driving license. She very helpfully said she didn't know me back then. I was fighting back tears at the thought of how completely blank my mind was in regards to this issue, and trying to hide the tears from the cop cause I mean really - how cliche. I don't get nervous about cops, so I wasn't upset about being stopped - just stunned at my lack of memory. I stammered and said I had no idea what was going on, and had no excuses to even try out on him. Hella spoke up and told him I have MS and have memory problems, and if I could have kicked her under the table, I would have, but she was sitting in the passenger seat of my car, so there was no table, dammit. I told him I'd get it figured out, please let me drive home, etc. He gave me a ticket for no license, and no insurance. He left out the registration tags, and the fact that I wasn't wearing a seat belt.
Knowing I didn't have a drivers license, suddenly I was a nervous wreck driving, as if I'd suddenly lost all the driving skills I'd had perfectly fine for the past 10 months. But home I got, and I started looking at my medical records. Over the next few days, my mother and sister yammered questions as to what, why, when and where, and I had no clue. As I gradually remembered and/or found out, the new knowledge wouldn't connect with other facts, etc., so I still remained stupid, not putting two and two together.
Seems I got a ticket in the summer of 2003 for not having tags, or insurance back then either, and I didn't pay the ticket, or renew the license. Next question would naturally be ... why? The only thing I could come up with was that the pain was extreme in 2003, because I wasn't on disability yet, so I wasn't getting the pain meds yet and my brain was fried. In my mind - a feeble excuse. Many nights later, it dawned on me that reason I didn't have insurance or tags was because I was down to working 3 hours a day, cooking for mentally handicapped adults for about 4 months, while I was waiting for Disability to come thru. My roommate had lost her job, and she had 3 teenagers. I was supporting a family of 4 on an income of $18.00 a day. My tags were due in June, because that was when I still had the car that got attacked by hail. So... I'm thinking I couldn't afford to renew my insurance, or tags..... maybe? Duh.
At some point, I did renew my insurance, because .... I remembered? Hell, I don't know. I probably got letters, or phone calls from my agent, and that's why it got taken care of. So. When I called my agent (after this most recent ticket) to ask him to send me another copy of my proof of insurance so I could show the judge that I do have insurance, naturally he asked me if I got a ticket. I told him yes, I did, for not having a driving license. He said uh oh oh. And said he couldn' t do that, and canceled me right then and there. My sister had said you don't have to have a license in order to get insurance, and at first I agreed with her, until I remembered... nuh uh, you do to have to have a license, because the agent had just proved it to me. Like I said - nothing connected for the longest time.
When I went to court on the ticket, I had to sign a paper which told me I acknowledged the fact that I was considered "under arrest", and promised to be a good girl until my court date, etc. I certainly hadn't woke up that morning expecting to put myself under arrest - life is an interesting learning experience, isn't it? So during court, I learned that not having a drivers license is really a BAD thing, and that I should probably get a lawyer, etc. The judge offered to let me have a pre-trial conference at a later date, which would give me time to apply for a public defender, blah blah blah, and I agreed, and he reminded that I would still be considered "under arrest" until the time of my sentencing, and could I be a good girl till then. Yes, I could, and I left, and promptly forgot most of what he had said, except for the pre-trial date - I did remember that. Applying for a public defender? Forgot. Filled out the paperwork? Done. Turned it in? Nope. Walked out of the building with it.
I think subconsciously I was going to punish myself by not having a lawyer or public defender because I couldn't live with my excuse... MS. It galled me to think so, to say so, and I didn't want to say the words "I forgot cause I have MS" as if it were an excuse. "I didn't take care of this cause I have MS". Sickening.
After doing all the research, and knowing how my mind works with the MS - I am 100% sure that MS is the reason why I had no memory of this. Putting the pieces together was fairly easy, because of my medical and disability records - I had quit my well paying job that I loved, even tho I had to quit because of a hateful boss, and taken a part-time cooking job for 3 hours a day while I waited for my Disability. After 3 months, my new boss was threatening that if I couldn't add another hour to my day, she would have to get someone else who could. I had taken the job with the understanding that my health came first and my supervisor encouraged me to rest, take breaks, stay home if I wasn't up to it, etc. I rarely missed a day, but I would take 2-3 breaks during my shift, but never put more than 3 hours a day on my time card. It was agreed on that I would teach the residents some kitchen skills in lieu of me actually doing alot of the physical labor, such as sweeping, and mopping. Cooking, and serving meals for 20-30 people each day, and doing the dishes was all I could manage in 3 hours, so it worked out well to teach the residents to do the rest.
However, it seems the head boss didn't agree with the job description my supervisor had given me, so we were haggling over 3 vs 4 hours a day thing, and me knowing in my heart that I couldn't last that long each day, nor could I do the sweeping and mopping too - I was that weak and exhausted. I think the stress of having to quit a job that I LOVED (as assistant director of senior center), with the hellacious boss, and going to a minimum wage cook job, and hanging on to it by the fingernails... and applying for disability, knowing that the average wait for that to come in was about 2 years.... I think it was a year long flare-up. My counselor, who worked for the mental health agency I was cooking for - got me the job, for fear that I would sink into depression if I didn't find some work - the reason I was going to counseling was because I couldn't fathom not being able to work because I had MS. It was a very bad year.
So yes, I can see how I'd be stressed. And knowing how stressed I get if there's two people talking in the room, or when a cashier is saying $52.56 please, and my brain is hearing 520.65 and I don't HAVE that much, oh god what am I going to do....
You get the idea.
It was a mistake to tell my mother and sister about the License Fiasco, because they stressed over it more than I did. I have the luxury of forgetting, so nervous I wasn't, for the most part. I was nervous about having to use MS as the explanation at my pre-trial, so I was resigned/shamed more than anything - ready to meet my fate, so be it. My mother drove me to the pre-trial, and when my name was called, she asked if she could come up with me, because of the stress/memory and we thought it would be a good thing if she heard what was being said too. If I was to go to jail, that fact would have shut my ears and brain down, so she was needed to hear which jail I would be going to. But the prosecuting attorney said she couldn't sit with me, and he and I proceeded to wrangle. I had the medical records of my dx, the dx from the counselor regarding my cognitive problems, with the 2003 dates that coincided with whole incident. My plan was to just say that it was very embarrassing to me to admit that I had MS, and it was so bad that I could not remember back then, and have mercy on me, and oh, I'm very poor and it would take me 3-4 months to save up to get past ticket paid and for the reinstatement fee for the driver's license, and whatever he was going to add for the last ticket, etc.
This was a fine line to walk, because if I was using MS as the reason, and it was so bad that I could forget such a huge issue... well, then maybe I shouldn't have a driver's license at all.... !!!
Anyways, the guy was quite kind, and when I said my mother wanted to sit up with me cause of my memory, he asked her to come up, and I was embarrassed and got tears in my eyes for real, cause it was embarrassing having to have my mommy come up and I'm almost 50 years old for hells sake. He said he'd drop the no insurance charges, if I'd plead guilty to the no license. I said yes! Since the judge wasn't there, I am to be sentenced later on in the month, and it won't be jail, it'll be a fine to pay.
So far, I'm looking at 150.50 (minus the 50.00 I've already paid) for the ticket of June 2003, 65.00 to get the driver's license reinstated, whatever new insurance will cost, and whatever the judge fines me for the October 2006 ticket, and that court date is November 21st.
Sounds just about right for the amount needed for a U-Haul, huh?
If it weren't for this, I'd be keeping the appointment at the San Francisco Housing Authority this coming Tuesday. By driving! Down there! Without a license!
But but but... if I moved down there, I wouldn't NEED a damn driver's license.
That is all.