June 2, 2010

Hiding: Day 46 -- Torment

Tried to stick it out as long as I could without pharmaceuticals, but reached the breaking point. Weighed the risks. It's a no-brainer. The family/marriage/and-or-I will not survive without it. Appointment is made.


I really just want to be medicated out of my mind. I wish I could be euthanized, actually. This wad of feeling -- rational or irrational or f***-whatever -- causes excruciating pain, like a cancerous tumor, and I wish I could scrape it out with a scalpel.

I want to be left alone to suffer. I don't want anyone looking at me or observing me or evaluating me or judging me. I don't want to lie here while everyone condemns me for my demons. I want to be alone so they can torment me and I can react to them without someone else watching me writhe, pointing out all the ways I'm affecting THEM and how I'm making THEM feel, how miserable I'm making THEIR lives.

That's the hardest thing to bear. And the greatest impossibility is for me to get away from it.


It's a countdown until my OB appointment. He wants to go with me. I'm less than pleased with the idea. We are not a happy couple going to our first well-baby appointment with dewy eyes and excitement. I'd exclude him so I can go about this in a cold, clinical way, alone. That would be better than trying to go about it like normal people yet have it end up cold and clinical anyway. That would count as a failure for two. Alone, it's simply an objective.

But it wouldn't be fair to him to leave him out, or to ask he not go. He'd allow me to go alone.

Hell, he might not even want to go. Wouldn't that be a bitter twist.

An entire week until my appointment with the neuropsychiatric nurse practitioner. That's like having an appointment with God. Not really, but it feels like I'm going to see a divine healer. That's the appointment I'm REALLY looking forward to.

So I will languish in bed for another 44.75 hours until I go to see the OB. And another 7 days and 18 hours until I see the head shrinker. I intend to spend every hour of it in bed, if I can.

What do I do with the time? Alternate between fits of crying, heavy naps induced by 2 T of NyQuil, passive sessions playing cards on the iPhone (which is the only time I'm relatively calm), and an occasional hot bath.

Nothing to eat. I have no appetite anyway, but I had chicken strips from Papa John's yesterday and pizza and ice cream today. That very well may be all I eat today.

If I could have anything, it would be soup. Soup, soup, soup. Potato soup, chicken noodle, vegetable beef, won ton min, udon. Hot liquid to fill me up and calm me down. That's what I'd have.

And I have to figure out how the kids will eat next week. I won't be cooking. I should ask them.


...and this is how Dad must've felt. The last time I saw him, I walked into the house, and he called us to the back bedroom. I found him sitting in nothing but a tie-back hospital gown, watching TV from the edge of a bare mattress on the floor. He'd obviously been there for days -- weeks, maybe, as I've now discovered firsthand how that is not only possible, but likely.

Now that I think about it, his eyesight had probably gotten so bad by then, he HAD to have the TV so near to him so he could see what was on it.

I think he'd been sitting there for so long, because it took an enormous effort for him to get up to walk into the next bedroom. I don't even remember why he got up now, but I recorded those few moments on video. I don't know why I was recording that day, but it was the last recording ever made of him.

At one point, and I only noticed this going back and seeing the video again years later, it seemed he was trying to hide behind the doorway, and then putting silly things up to the camera, maybe to draw our attention to anything but himself. He was embarrassed. I didn't know it at the time. I know that now.

Laying here in bed yet another day, it suddenly struck me -- I'm in my same pajamas, hidden away under the covers, surrounded by chaos and clutter, isolated from everyone else in the family, all at once wounded, furious, agonized, despondent, humiliated, ashamed, desperate, and yet utterly hopeless, waiting and wishing an end would come, maybe wash me away in my sleep.


I feel I should seize the moment to mention Cleo (feline). She has been my nurse for the past two months. She hasn't left my side, day and night. As a matter of fact, she curls up at the top of my head, on my pillow, like a 20-pound fur hat.

When I'm sleeping, she sleeps, too, and is as still as a stuffed animal. When I wake up, she feels me stir, and she comes close to my face to inspect me.

Sometimes, after I've been sitting here in silence and I bellow out to tell the kids to quiet down, she rushes to me as if to quiet me.

Her presence is calming and reassuring. She asks nothing of me, makes no demands. She is perfectly self-sufficient.

And even if she is vigilant and nurturing, she is never coddling or suffocating or needy. She keeps the distance she, too, requires, so we can both rest in our own spaces.

I pity Piko, even if he does irritate me to no end. He wants so badly to take care of me the way Cleo does, but his constant chewing on his hide drives me to utter distraction. I cannot tolerate it. So he's banished from the bedroom until I am well.


It makes my head spin how his steps --whether they're meant to inflict pain or not, whether they're in some way immoral or not -- bring about such agony and turmoil for me.

The mere fact he says things like, "You need anything?", "You know I love you, right?", "I never want you to hurt; I never want to do anything to hurt you"...those things seem like mockery to me. I honestly, genuinely feel down to my very core that he's mocking me, patronizing me, placating me, throwing me a bone so I'll sit down and shut up.

I feel totally powerless. I can say nothing against him. I can insinuate he's responsible for nothing.

And if I'm wrong, he's right about everything, and I'm sick and selfish and pretending to be a victim.

No wonder there is so much hatred in my heart right now. Someone is responsible. Someone must be hated.


And it's about time again to medicate myself to oblivion. At least in the only mild, generic way I have available.

I don't like the way NyQuil makes my lungs feel heavy and makes it hard to breathe. But the guarantee of sleep is worth it.


My brain is seriously misfiring. Or strange things are going on, a kind of upward pressure that's forcing up long lost, painful memories, like when Aunty and Uncle drove all the way from Dallas to "repossess" the bug and Dad's ukulele on "moral grounds" because I left Ex. Retribution. Punishment. Because they felt entitled to mete it out.

And yet, years later, Aunty would tip morality on a sliding scale for another particular situation of which I was a casualty -- but all's fair in love and war, right?

I remember Uncle calling Miner a "bum" to his face and ordering him off of his property, and I pushed the bug alone and pregnant out of his yard.

And I remember again, years later, after Dad died and we were all gathered in his house. I'd just given premature birth to Bunny a week earlier (and probably less than that) and Aunty and F****** took to slapping each other in the hallway, and I couldn't stand the desecration or the stress, and I stepped between them, still weak and bleeding from labor.

And later, in the kitchen, Uncle told me he loved me, and he shook Miner's hand, establishing redemption and peace. And forgiveness.

Love should be linear, growing or fading through time according to the purifications of the season. Forgiveness should function the same way.

But my head won't allow redemption to follow anything. The past is a flat line stretching back through memory, and every painful moment swells up like a raw, throbbing welt yanking me back to relive the trauma and reclaim the guilt and the punishment.

They are inexhaustible. When one memory has lashed me from head to toe, another comes and takes its place. And there are so, so many.

No comments:

Post a Comment