Yesterday was Mother's Day. I would like to note that I am extremely grateful for my mother and all the mother figures in my life. I love them all dearly.
My kids gave me the sweetest and funniest gifts. I love that my two youngest wanted to sit in my lap and hug on me all day. My 16yo made pancakes several times. My two oldest sent me some long and beautiful texts.
--bit of a self-pity party, so read on at your own risk--
I couldn't find the happy, though.
I called my mother last night to wish her a Happy Mother's Day, and wow, that conversation took an odd turn.
I made sure she knew that my brother had recovered ok from his appendicitis, that she'd gotten my original message that he was in the hospital and about to have surgery. And as we were discussing that, somehow it came up that she didn't know I'd had appendicitis six years ago.
Well, she knew. Everyone around me knew. And I burst into tears over it.
Six years ago on the 4th of July I had my very first major surgery. Not only did they remove my appendix, but they fixed a belly-button hernia I hadn't known about and also removed an ovarian cyst.
I was convinced after that experience that I would rather die than have any other surgery again, ever. Not because of my experience in the hospital, but because of my experience recovering.
I've had a surgery since then, but it wasn't without trepidation.
I wish I hadn't talked about my appendicitis last night because now it's all I can think about. I need to let go of it, but all the hurt, frustration, anger, and pain welled right back up. It's a victim, martyr, I'm-so-picked-on kind of memory thing, but it's nearly a tangible mess of emotion oozing around my chest and I don't know how to get rid of it except to type it out.
I guess I had a hard time enjoying Mother's Day yesterday because I couldn't drag my head out of the past to see and feel what was happening in the now.
Six years ago was an emotionally traumatic time for our whole family, period. We'd had to move out of our house, moved in on top of someone else's stuff for a few months, and then found our current home to rent. Before we moved in, the girls and I spent a couple of weeks painting and scrubbing.
As a family of eight, we have a lot of stuff. I'm sure you can imagine. Ten days after moving in there were still so many boxes filling the main floor that we had small paths to get from bedrooms to bathroom to kitchen. Seating was limited to the basement or the bedrooms as I tried to get through box by box.
The hubster was angry at renting and was determined to hate this house because it wasn't our house. Well, we were all extremely angry at the circumstances that caused us to lose our home. So we were trying to get settled both emotionally and physically. It wasn't an easy process, which was why it was slow going unpacking. That and the fact that I was afraid I'd unpack only to have to pack up and move again.
K. That was the state of my house and family when I got sick.
When I came home from the hospital, I was in insane amounts of pain. I don't do narcotics well - they make me sick. Taking them for recovery of abdominal surgery made dry-heaving/puking unbearable, so I didn't take them at all.
The first and foremost issue for me was PAIN. Massive amounts of pain.
Second issue would be needing to rest and recoup from having surgery in the first place.
Now add five kids living at home, the youngest of whom was 1 1/2, the oldest being 15. And also consider the meals, laundry, and kid wrangling that accompanies the having of children. Being the mom, these were all things I worried and stressed over, but couldn't do, er do well so that I wouldn't undo/ruin the mesh they'd woven in or whatever it was they did to fix the hernia.
Everyone heard "Appendectomy" and assumed I was fine, just needing rest. No one heard "Hernia"
My big kids, when I asked them to please play with the little ones, to feed them, to spend time at home to help them out, just hung out on my bed. The hubster, dealing with his own frustrations and issues, didn't feel much like cooking or doing anything but going to his job and coming home.
The religious community we had moved into was completely unlike the one we'd just left. I pretty much felt ignored after someone showed up, came into my bedroom and said hi, and said, "Well, if you need anything, let me know." and left. Just left.
I had a list on the whiteboard of what was needed and/or wanted. I was curled up on my bed in pain, and she'd walked in, handed me a list of my assigned visiting duties, and left.
no family, no friends, no new neighbors, no religious community, no meal assistance. The big kids/hubster didn't help, and I could hardly function, but still HAD to function because no one else could/would.
After the four or five weeks it took me to be comfortable walking and to safely lift things again, I bounced right back to normal. I unpacked my house, cleaned it, organized it, made it livable and habitable while I went about doing all the other things that I loved doing.
Life went on.
I suppose that's what you call a character building experience.
It's one of those experiences that still makes me cry when I think about it, feeling all alone and uncared for, frustrated that even the people living under the same roof with me couldn't/wouldn't lift a finger to help each other out.
I'm still not sure how to handle this bundle of emotions now that I've pulled it out and looked at it. I don't like that it's still there, fermenting.
I want to re-write it. I want the neighbors I'd had in my old neighborhood to do their thing and bring me a stack of frozen meals to thaw and cook each night, show up randomly and take my kids, let me sleep for a couple of hours without worrying about where my toddlers were and what they were getting into. Someone showing up and saying "Hey, let me help you because I love you." I think that's what it boils down to. When I needed someone the most, I wasn't worth helping.
This is my waaah, waaaah, pity poor me story that I haven't yet figured out how to turn into something I can smile over, learn from, or at least accept as a part of my life. It's currently a part of my life that I resent, am bitter about, and try very hard to bury deep and forget.
So yeah, melancholy. I feel meh. I reopened that wound when I started discussing it with my mom yesterday and now it wants me to look at it and face it.
I don't want to. I want it to go back to being forgotten and buried in the sewers of my psyche.