Sunday, September 02, 2007
Nisht vat fun der boim haut gefalen dos appela.

(The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.)

So my dad is bi-polar, right? Well he's been crazy manic lately.

This morning, for example: he called at 8:30am (5:30am his time). It was a non-stop stream-of-consciousness monologue. He went on and on over the practical joke he played on his buddy yesterday (he called him up posing as a Citibank employee, giving him a trumped up story about his credit card). Yep, that's funny, Dad. Then he decides he's going to play his oldies rock-n-roll CD for me realllllly loud. "DAD, isn't it 5:30am by you?" "Oh yeah. My wife's gonna kill me. She's sleeping in the other room. Hey, you know your father's a meshuggener. We're cut from the same cloth! You've got a crazy streak in you, too."

That's technically correct: He's bi-polar and I have an anxiety disorder. But only one of us is crazy, and it's NOT ME.

I'm going to New York next weekend. I usually go erev rosh hashana - to celebrate my birthday, see friends, visit my Rebbe's kever. I decided I was going to visit my aunt and uncle in Jersey on Sunday. That's my dad's sister and brother-in-law. I made arrangements with my aunt about a month ago. Well, when my father found out, he decided he's going to meet me in New York.

Uh oh.

I've been having mixed feelings about this since he informed me. My dad is hard to manage even when he's on an even keel. He's like an 11 year old in a 64 year old body. I can just imagine meeting him at JFK.

Then there's the fact that this is MY vacation! When I go to Crown Heights, I like to run around, visit my friends, etc. I don't like having to be responsible for another person. So there's mild frustration over that. But then I thought, I can't afford this trip anyway. Maybe he'll pay for cabs and train fare. That makes me feel guilty.

Another aspect is the fact that he's manic right now. Will he be like this in Crown Heights? Will I have to introduce my crazy father to all of Kingston Avenue? Will he regale our shabbos hosts with his practical joke stories?

And there's more - sometimes after a manic swing he'll get very depressed. What if he bails out on the trip? He's done that before.

After we got off the phone today I thought, "Maybe I should tell him he needs to see his psychiatrist." I don't know if that's an appropriate thing to say. I also don't think my intentions are pure. Is it fair to tell him to see his doctor just so I can feel comfortable around him?

I just want him to be normal when I meet up with him in New York. I feel like I can't deal with him otherwise. I'm selfish. I admit it.


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My Photo Name: Fancy Schmancy Anxiety Maven
Location: Chutz l'aretz - Outside of Brooklyn

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