Thursday, November 6, 2008

Authority Issues? Who, Me?

I was pulled over by a Chandler police officer today, driving north on Arizona Avenue toward the San Tan 202 Freeway. I had just flicked a glob of frosting from the middle of a donut out my window. Granted, I did not need to be eating [another] donut on my way home from work today. Granted wiping it inside the donut box would have been a better idea, in hindsight, but flicking a substance out the window that would be melted, evaporated or distributed on the tires of Chandler drivers by morning seemed a neater way to go.

It took me forever to find my registration/insurance. I knew I had put it in a little plastic sleeve , but couldn't find it at first, and did not hurry at all because he would not tell me what "the problem was" until after I delivered the requested documents.

He asked what I had thrown from the vehicle. Frosting. I flicked frosting. Yes, I know it's illegal to throw things from a vehicle...but this was not litter, per se, it was not long for that pavement, as I explained above. I asked him if he pulled over people who threw cigarette butts from their cars. He said, yes, he did, and had in fact arrested people for that very thing before. I thanked him for that. (he said he had originally thought that I had flicked a butt). The thank you may have well been what saved me from a ticket for the busted tail light that shows white light. Big No-No, I know, just like it was last year and the previous 5 or 6 years that it has been busted. I'll put more damn red tape on it. I was actually surprised when he neither gave me a ticket, nor a warning, nor a repair order, nor even the "I'm not going to ticket you this time..." speech.

Nevertheless, as soon as he left, the tears came. I cried for a minute there at the side of the road, and then cried off and on all the way home. Yep. For NOT getting a ticket.

At some point during the drive home I ran the silent dialog through my head about the world giving me a freaking break after all I had cancer gosh darn it!! Because, yes, that is hopefully the suckiest thing I will ever go through. The came the thought "I had CANCER", and I started crying about that. Why do I still cry, 2 1/2 years after diagnosis, about having had cancer?

"Well", said the sometimes rational and insightful part of my brain, "cancer invaded and abused my body." The policeman made me feel helpless at the hands of an authority figure. Cancer made me feel helpless at the hands of an invader. Helpless in the hands of authority or an aggressor is an age-old issue with me. That's why I still cry about cancer. My sweet Doctor was my rescuer, my protector, throughout treatment. Yes, doctors are usually authority figures, but he never did any of the unpleasant things to me directly. Another reason I'm sure that I was so attached to him.

But y'know darn it, sometimes you NEED to cry anyway. If you are stressed and never let it out, it builds up in your muscles and your body and things go awry, and backs hurt, shoulders are in knots, and your body doesn't process toxins well enough and some rogue cell decides to go terrorist on you and next thing you know you find a lump.

I should cry more. Not because of an encounter with authority, but just as a matter of cleansing and release. I'm afraid to call my son's teacher back tonight, whose class my son is failing, because I know I will cry, and that poor man isn't tasked with listening to me cry. I should see a therapist; a luxury I cannot really afford, but I obviously have a lot of stress lately.

And it was only frosting for Pete's sake! I'm just sayin'...