nervous breakdown

All posts tagged nervous breakdown

Bunny Lake is Missing

Published November 30, 2012 by Sandee

I have to watch Bunny Lake is Missing again.  I’m not getting something.

You’re having an incestuous relationship with your brother with whom you live.  Your kid goes missing.  This brother never liked that she existed because she comes between the two of you.  Some guy got you pregnant and you never married him — in the 1960s (movie version).  Scandal!

Anyway, how did you not know that your brother was an insane psychopath all these years when you finally discover that he kidnapped your kid and hid her in the trunk of the car?  Did he have a nervous break-down after working as a journalist?  How does someone so insane hold down a job like this?  Oh wait.  That’s a stupid question isn’t it?

Mama why’s the lady wearing a crown?

Published August 20, 2012 by Sandee

“Mona, don’t, worry about your work,” says Vincent, the Director of Visitor Services.

Mona screams, “But Bobbi will be upset!”  Vincent stands a foot away from Mona’s desk with the blanket from the nurse’s office.  He steps toward her slowly.  His eyes narrow.  He imagines approaching a wild animal and calms himself.  Wild animals smell fear.

“Please Mona!”  He says.  The Personal Director, Maria, finally comes.

“Maybe it would be better if you…”  He thrusts the blanket at her.  Mona is partially obscured by the desk, which has a high shelf extending vertically from the edge.

Museum visitors swarm, whispering, peering around him, looking at Mona.  He radios back-up security.  People herd their children away.  Maria index fingers him over as she backs away Mona.

“Let’s wait.  We don’t want to make this worse,” she said, thinking of course it would be Mona.

She was drunk Tuesday, and had a fight with Winston on Thursday.  They should have sent her somewhere then.  There would have to be from this point on, some written protocol.  She’s a good employee, but, too many problems — that guy who left, the cancer scare, her mother dying…  Two years ago they took a collection to pay her rent.  Poor thing – how much could one person take.  But Maria thinks, She’s a mess, spilling her guts all over the place – really!  A person needs to take control of their own life. 

“You’re right.  We should wait,” says Vincent, looking at Mona behind the reception desk, which functions as a customer service desk at the museum.

Mona staples papers, placing them in the stapler on the desk and banging the top.  It echos like gunshots.  She does this several times then adjusts the tiara on her head.

A boy says, “Mama why’s the lady wearing a crown?  She looks like that statue we saw at the other museum.  But the statue wasn’t wearing a crown.”

“Well…she’s a performance artist.”

“What’s that?”

“Artists who perform — artistically — c’mon honey let’s go see the paintings upstairs.”

“No mama I wanna watch the lady.”

Mona stands up and grabs a pink file at the end of the desk.  A cluster of well-dressed middle-aged women gasp.  Mona addresses them.

“Hope you enjoy your visit.  Let me know if I can help you in any way.”  The women waddle quickly to the elevator bank.  Shrugging, Mona sits behind the desk again.

Sirens wail outside.  Vincent and Maria jog to the entrance of the museum.  They address the three EMT workers entering the museum.

“She’s over there,” says Vincent sadly.

“Is she on drugs?  Is she trying to hurt herself or anyone else,” says the taller one.

“No she’s just naked,” Maria says nearly whispering.

Corporate Sheet Cake

Published April 23, 2012 by Sandee


Dawn of the millennium, 1999:  my nervous breakdown manifests itself as clinical anger.  I smear on war paint and get on the A train.  Beware the person who opens a newspaper too wide into my space, who sits next to me and bangs me with their elbow while searching for gum, who rests a bag on a seat while the train is crowded…

Flowing with the stream I’m a fucking human lemming on 42nd Street.  GOD FORBID I walk west while everyone walks east — these gray-suited motherfuckers would knock me down!

I get to the corporate hell-hole without a bruise, without running into co-workers on the way demanding exhausting talk.  I don’t like a lot of the people here.  Most are aggressive, game-playing, conniving, shit-eating grinners – back-stabbing, pus-filled goons.  They keep the system going in circles with great numbers of casualties all over the world.  Consciousness doesn’t negate my complicity, as I purchase the shoes made in Chinese factories, consume the items that require the going elsewhere and sucking out resources and labor for this never-ending demand of we who seek great distraction for the cost of a gaping hole filled with Zoloft.  Ahhhh, but what soothes a mind heavy with routine and knowledge?  A call from Martin Lemmon’s secretary Gabby on the 57th floor – “Sandee, let everyone know there’s cake left over from the meeting in conference room B.”


Published April 14, 2012 by Sandee


In one hour I’m taking a sleeping pill.  For those who glaze over when they read – I’m taking JUST ONE pill – this isn’t a suicide note.  I don’t want to but if I don’t sleep tonight I’m going to have a nervous breakdown.  My sleeping has been irregular for a bit and I know I’ll get a grip on it but for now since I’m working again, I have to make sure to get a good night’s sleep. Today was miserable because I slept only three or so hours and I had to go to work.  On little sleep everyone is ugly, mean, and out to get me.  Besides I made a poor decision not to wear a belt so my pants were hanging down on my ass, so I was very uncomfortable all day.  I had a long shirt on so one couldn’t get a good look at my butt crack.

Oh I know exactly what it is.  I don’t want to go to sleep because I have unfinished business.  It only takes some psychological tweaking on my part, but the process takes too long. So I have the pills just in case of an emergency.  They are a last resort.

I’m pumping this out at the last minute just so that I keep it moving.  This blog has provided a great outlet for me and I crack me up (especially what I wrote about Mrs. Flynn and Royal Dansk Danish Butter Cookies), if not anyone else – hey, that’s the way it should be.  Though I’m getting what I consider to be a good amount of hits on my blog.  If only these same people would go out and buy my book, but that’s another story.  Oh yes, and my sister’s my number one fan – love her to death!  I had some meatier things to say but I’m too tired to flesh them out – get it – “flesh them out” – hahahahaha – told you I cracked me up!  So.  I’m off.  Have a goodnight, and I’ll talk to you later…

The Sword-chinned bitch who will hopefully get some Zs…

Royal Dansk Danish Butter Cookies

Published April 11, 2012 by Sandee

Kindergarten, 1967. Mrs. Simon was my first teacher. Back then, the baby classes had pianos so the teachers could play in accompaniment to Ring Around the Rosies and the Mexican Hat Dance. I was four years old and the only black kid in the class but most of us didn’t know the full extent of race yet. Well, I didn’t know. Later I found out what it was to be black and I was happy about it. It was the sixties. James Brown sang, “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud.”My parents were pretty happy about being black too, even though my mother is light. We had a lot of white friends. My dad was an artist.  There aren’t many black people doing that kind of work. The people I met at my dad’s studio and the ones we visited were interesting and cool people that he smoked refer with.

I liked my Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Simon. I remember her like yesterday – short, slightly jowly with cropped blonde hair. She was kind and played a mean Mexican Hat Dance. I also learned this song in her class:

Once there was an apple tree,

standing still as still can be.

Me me me me me me me.

Do you like my song?

The classroom was bright with all of our artwork hanging up, and with pictures of the alphabet and numbers. We took naps and had milk and cookies. During the breaks, Mrs. Simon would go in the hall and talk to Mrs. Rebison, the teacher of the other kindergarten class. I wish we had breaks like that as adults at work, only thing you wouldn’t drink milk, it would be vodka, gin, or you could pop Ativan. We could drink and drug until we passed out for our ‘naps’. Or we could have sex breaks to relieve work tension. We’d email our requests for sex partners to personnel a week in advance.  I know who I’d choose… Oh, but this isn’t a perfect world.

And who better to illustrate that than my 2nd grade teacher, poor, weird Mrs. Flynn.  Who let that crazy bitch into the school!?   Yes, the bitch was a mental case.  If you touched her, she’d yell, “Don’t touch me!  Don’t ever touch me!”  She was a dumpy woman with a big square head, red hair, and very pale skin.  She kept always on her desk a tin of Royal Dansk Danish Butter Cookies, which she never offered to us kids.  I loved Royal Dansk Danish Butter Cookies, and would eye them covetously, fantasizing about a day when she would change her non-sharing ways.  She ate them anytime she wanted, right in front of us – the buttery pretzel shaped ones, with chunky sugar granules on them.  Her piggish face reminds me of the Nazi female prison commander from the movie “Seven Beauties”.

One day she told us that we weren’t going to practice spelling, or numbers or any of that shit.  Instead she commanded us to run around in circles in the classroom – that’s right, just run around.  Some of the boys took to it immediately and ran around like maniacs, banging into tables, chairs, and into each other, falling down all over the place.  By the end they were all red-faced, sweaty, and ripped up.  And Mrs. Flynn from behind her desk screamed, “Don’t stop, run, run – keep running, yeah!”  She then went back to reading the paper and eating butter cookies.  A few girls ran with abandon as well, their little skirts hiked up in friction around their tights, but I remember the circle of us who just sat there, scared — Martin, Michelle and maybe a couple of others.  A couple of those kids were crying because they knew that this was not normal and that Mrs. Flynn had lost her marbles, and that she was an adult and what were we supposed to do now.  I didn’t cry but sat there staring, freaked.  What a crazy scene!

I think about those stupid kids today, the ones who just ran around enjoying it.  Are these the ones who grew up to take advantage of the moment, to live life to the fullest?  The bungee jumpers, parachuters, and Polar Bear Club members?  Or maybe they’re in prison.  I think I heard that Mrs. Flynn found out that she had a brain tumor.  I think she had just found out and had a nervous breakdown the day she told us to run around.  But still I mean come on! Why take it out on little kids?  But the poor thing probably had a weird time of it with life in general, what with her aversion to being touched and to sharing her Royal Dansk Danish Butter Cookies.

There was Miss Gruenwald in the 3rd grade.  I imagine her being one of the first to change from Miss to Ms.  She was the quintessential early-seventies, modern woman.  The feel I get is that she was around twenty-four years old.  She had long, brown, nineteen seventies hair parted down the middle.  She wore mini skirts and spoke the same foreign language with the teacher across the hall while they smoked cigarettes.  I think it was an Eastern European language.  The other teacher wasn’t as attractive as she was but she had the same kind of hair and dressed similarly.

After elementary school I had Miss Dick in junior high.  What a place to have a name like that?  Miss Dick was my cooking teacher.  The class had stove and sink units and smelled absolutely lovely, like something was always baking.  I looked forward to this class.  Miss Dick made us examine our plates for cracks.  Cracks caught bacteria, Miss Dick had told us, and we should throw any plates with them away.  I always remember that when I look at a cracked plate today but I still eat on it.  A few of the kids would yell her name out emphatically, trying to start shit, but it didn’t work because she was a cupcake of a woman.  She had good manners and a sweet way with children.  Plus, she was pretty and explained how to make oatmeal cookies in a very nice voice.  I felt sorry for her with that name.  Being a junior high school teacher with that name could be a hazard.  These classes harbor fledgling sophomoric humorists.  She should have changed her name to Miss Richard.

There was Miss Di Pierro with the bad breath, and Miss Carboni who stood real straight with her arms stiff at her sides while she sniffed up through her nose for a long time before teaching Greek mythology.  Miss Carboni wore pants mostly.  And Mr. Levy had Tourette’s Syndrome, but the children didn’t know what it was back then.

There are a couple of others that I could add to the list of ones who stick out more to me.  But these are the main ones.  I can’t say any of them gave me anything that I carry with me now except for some fond and kooky memories.

Who are some of your favorite teachers? What strange classroom memories do you have?