As I write this, I’ve been debating on whether to post it or not. It’s straying from my Hip blog but hey my blog, I make the rules.
What I probably need is about 3 hours solid with a therapist and a hug. Maybe a chocolate chip cookie and a xanax-laced coffee while we’re at it.
I hadn’t gotten through my petulant grieving over being told I was born with some crap that has caused more pain than I can verbalize. Anyone who has had any kind of chronic pain probably understands. Chronic pain does more than hurt your body, it demoralizes you, it kills your spirit, it takes away your energy and spirit. My God I miss the old me, the me from 5 years ago. Or maybe I wasn’t all that fantastic as I have elevated myself in my head, but I’m pretty sure I was.
Or I prefer to think that.
Of course, if I was that awesome then I probably would have been married by now and had a few kids. But I’m going to try not to think about that.
Anyway, I had just gotten off the metro last Monday at L’Enfant when I suddenly was aware that over the sounds of the podcast I was listening to was the Star Wars Imperial March ringing on my phone. Oops, forgot to put it on vibrate before leaving for work. It was my dad.
I’ve long labored under the (mostly correct) assumption that early morning phone calls and text messages are bad news. And this was the worst. He told me my sister had died. I stood there in the entrance to the building I pass through after exiting the metro just staring at the Starbucks sign and trying to grasp what he’d said. He asked me to come to their house and I turned around, got back on the metro. I used my blackberry to make calls and e-mail as much as the signals would allow so I could deal with people at work I had meetings with on Monday. Last week was meeting-filled and project-task filled for me.
I texted one of my closest friends because I had to tell someone I knew. I e-mailed my ex boyfriend. I was absolutely desperate to talk to someone. I hadn’t fully taken in what I’d just been told but I needed to feel connected. By the time I got to my parents house, I knew everything was ok, I’d do like I always do: act and be strong.
Dad was stoic, mom was crying. One of our neighbors was there to support them. There were multiple police officers at the house, taking reports, asking questions, taking pictures. A funeral home was called to remove my sister. Later last Monday, dad and I went to make arrangements for her. Dad was silent most of the time and who could blame him? I made decisions, signed my name to everything and prepared to tell my nephew and niece when they arrived home from school that day. My nephew has 2 therapists that come to the house and they were called…they’re professionals and we hoped they’d be able to somehow lend mental assistance. How do you tell a 7 year old her mom is gone?
The kids…they surprisingly didn’t cry. They were hugged and held. We answered questions ‘are you sure?’ ‘how come you didn’t get me from school so I could make sure you didn’t make a mistake?’ and then we continued with the day. I was using the phone in my parents room when my niece came and laid in bed next to where I was sitting. “I’m really sad mom died. I’m crying on the inside and have been for a while”
I assured her it was ok to cry on the outside, and do it as much as she needed. I wasn’t ready for tears; I was in the mentality that no one could see me show emotion. I wish I had cried, maybe she would have too. But my default is to NOT show emotion on my face when dealing with something highly vulnerable or tense. We’re probably all like that to some degree at least.
My best friend came up from North Carolina; I was overwhelmed by support from friends and family. E-mails, texts, phone calls etc. I’m a lucky person to have that. Some people don’t and I truly recognize it.
The memorial for my sister was surprisingly busy. We had planned on just having something very small. I told the funeral director I needed the kids to have closure but my parents friends (and some of mine…though I told most not to come since it was a small thing anyway) filled the place. The morning of it, my parents told me they couldn’t be the strong ones and I assured them I was doing that. It’s always my job. I was raised to be strong but empathetic; Act first, then reflect. My parents were taking it deep, obviously.
My sister and I have never been close. We had a shitty relationship. She was (for some reason) jealous of me for as far back as I remember. I hated how she acted; her behavior but I still loved her. And I don’t intend to speak ill of the dead but I’ve twittered, facebooked, blogged about her behavior for years so it’s certainly out there.
I suspected it would be after everything settled that I’d fall apart. And this weekend it did. I stayed in pajamas except when a former friend of mine and her husband dragged me out to dinner. She is very close to my mom. We had a falling out years ago so I stopped dealing with her. I was kind of glad to be dragged out of the house, although I know my company was horrible. They were really good to me.
I haven’t been able to sleep well; I’ve spent most of my time crying. And I know a lot of it is because my little sister died. I didn’t answer her last text messages or phone calls. I wasn’t nice to her. I should have been nicer when we were kids. Maybe something I said or did when we were little kids made her the way she was?
And because I’m grieving over her, it’s opened a floodgates of everything else I’m worried about. The lives she left behind (she didn’t commit suicide, it wasn’t intentional). The empty place in my parents hearts. The mommy –less kids. The fear that I can’t ever have a weak moment in my life because I have to be strong for everyone (don’t try to tell me I don’t, that’s not how irrational worries work) and I have to be super crazy healthy to outlive everyone and take care of them. The fucked up hips (I’m sure I can find a surgeon who will do them, but now I’m terrified to go under anesthesia), the lonely no one can fix (why the fuck did I talk to my ex? Or for that matter, any of the guys I dated who contacted me after finding out?), and while I’m a mess now (and let’s face it, have been for all of 2012) that doesn’t mean I don’t WANT someone to love me. Just means I haven’t been able to get there. Or find the right person at the right time. Like I said, I miss me 5 years ago. Maybe even 6 years ago (when I was ok not being loved…or faked it to myself that it was). The wonder about what my insides look like (don’t laugh…seriously. I’ve been on so much different crap over the years for my back (and hips) that I wonder if it’s messed up my organs).
And my hip popped out of socket this morning. Yea. Just what I need.
I could go on, but why bother? Most of that is irrational crap that will work its way out. But for now, I’m just going to be thankful I have an office with a door so I can cry. And do all communication via text or e-mail. Could barely speak to my mom this morning and looking at the picture of my niece on my desk makes me cry. I’d rather die a hundred deaths than have her ever have to feel this way.
There are millions of people with far worse troubles and far more sorrow, grief, heartbreak in their lives. Don’t know how they deal with it. I hurt and I’m numb at the same time. Not even sure how that works.
I thought maybe getting this all out would help. I hope it does because this is it – I’m not going to linger on this anymore, I have to make this my last day of feeling sorry for myself.