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a passionate repentance

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may God stand
img src="http://images.quizilla.com/R/Ruri-chan/1056293396_Ahope.JPG" border="0" alt="You represent... hope.">
You represent... hope.
You're quite a daydreamer and can be a hopeless
romantic. You enjoy being creative and don't
mind being alone at times. You have goals, and
know what you want in life... even if they are
a little far fetched.


What feeling do you represent?
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For which I very likely will be de-friended by all the 'cool' people. Have at, my lovelies.


Somehow and somewhere, there is a book, and I am in it. It's a book about living, in various ways and disguises, and I am probably pictured (In a three color glossy spread, with captions and arrows under all the pictures.)there under "How Not To Do It."

I used to think that I was handling things so well. Splendid self-deception by the way, I recommend it to anyone who has enough spare time, a couple of grand, and at least three or four friends to run through.

I was hugely, incredibly, vastly pissed off. When I was a little kid I used to carve up the furniture with table knives. I'd chip away at it, until it looked like the dining room had been overrun with giant hamsters.

I also ate. I couldn't drink. I couldn't do drugs. I couldn't control anything about what happened to me at any time, whether it was to put on braces, or go to school or whether or not I would have surgery. I could control what I ate. So I ate, and I ground my teeth and I fought my sisters like mad.

I guess all of this part of my life could be summed up quickly. I got old enough to reach things, so I became a thief. I got caught. I learned that lies could entertain and deflect and delay, so I became a habitual liar. I got caught. I decided that I would lose myself in fantasy, and I did. I got caught. I experimented with sex (not enough to learn anything, just enough to get caught, and scare myself stupid.)

I have a positive genius for getting caught.

I went from eating too much, after a while, to eating nothing at all. Anorexia and bulimia meant that I was really thin for the first time in my whole life. I was also losing hair, but eh. Small price to pay, right? It drove my mother crazy, but by then I was out of the house and there really wasn't a whole lot she could do about it.

And then I developed what was probably a bad case of bronchitis. I coughed and coughed until at last I coughed and something *gave* inside. Not a good feeling at all, I can assure you. I tried to see my doctor (My general practitioner) but he was probably out golfing or something. He had a simple cough remedy proscribed. During the year that I spent deciding whether or not you could be too rich or too thin, my stomach began to swell. At first I thought I was pregnant, but er..there were no other changes. So.

When I ended up being unable to sleep because I couldn't lie down without coughing, and I couldn't breathe, I stormed the doctor's office. This was after three phone calls. He ordered a chest x-ray, and discovered that my chest cavity was filling up with fluid, effectively collapsing one lung and compromising the other one. There was also a shadow in my abdomen.

He wanted to admit me. I didn't want to go. I hadn't survived so long just so I could volunteer to go back in. No way. I tried to cry, but my lips turned blue, and I couldn't get the air.

I caved.

I determined that it was going to be on MY terms this time. I wouldn't let them take my clothes or my shoes. They wanted me to lie down on the gurney, and I sat up. When they tapped me to draw the fluid from my chest, I still wouldn't let them take my clothes, though there was blood on them. I yelled like hell though. It hurt. And I was done cooperating. I was paying these people. They could put up with me, damn it.

I wouldn't let them do anything to me without a second opinion. When they wanted to use acid to adhere the pleural sac to my chest wall (thereby preventing more fluid from filling my chest) I refused. I wanted a second opinion. And a third.

It eventually was diagnosed as a tear in the lymph system..my chest was filling up with lymphatic fluid as quickly as it was emptied. They did imaging of me and discovered that I had a twenty three pound tumor in my gut. They took it out--but not before they wanted me to sign a form authorizing them to do a hysterectomy if they needed to.

I signed it, but I cried.

I learned later that they didn't do a hysterectomy. They took the tumor, and they put me on a machine to keep my chest cavity clear. I ended up with tubes in my chest to feed me, because the veins in my hands and arms are too small.

I remember thinking, when they first brought me in.."I am dying."

And all that first night, while they worked on me, I thought "I am dying and I'm so afraid."

There was a lady who had some sort of breathing difficulty in the bed next to mine. She didn't talk to me..it probably was too much effort. But I remember listening to the hiss of her nebulizer, and the whish of the oxygen in the canula I wore, and thinking "This is what breathing is like. Remember it."

They say that you go through five stages before you die. I don't remember all of them, but I do remember bargaining. I asked God to let me see the sun come up. It was a long long sleepless night, with the walls striped sodium-orange from the street lamps and the blue-white flickers of the heliopad landing lights on the building my window faced. I thought surely that somewhere along the way I'd get tired and I'd forget my fear long enough to sleep.

It doesn't work that way.

It was still the most wonderful sunrise. Lilacs and blues, and palest pinks, all playing on the wall of the building. I couldn't see the sky but I watched the light rise from the ruins of the dark, and I was so glad. I thanked God that I'd been able to see the sun come up. I drank some water, and I savored the taste.

I never had any NDE's. No tunnels, no lights, no nearest-and-dearest coming up to ask me what I was doing there. Only this near-life experience. It'd be nice if I could have said that I never took anything about life for granted again, but it wouldn't be true.

I know that that moment, though..was the time that I promised myself that if I survived, I'd find a way to excise the anger. And stop trying to find new and inventive ways to commit suicide.

I've gone backwards and forwards on that. Gone through therapy and made some friends, some *good* friends. I've lost some friends too. I miss them.

I'd never dared to *tell*, before. I always thought that God the Cosmic Accountant took points away if you made a melodrama of your life. Because He'd know it was a melodrama. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along. Move along.

I don't know if by telling I've actually exorcised this demon. Maybe I've just stirred the pot good and hard. Time will tell. It's out though. It's out and I can't take it back or pretend it didn't happen. If you've read this much, you have my sincere sympathies. And my thanks. It wasn't really written to get applause, but to make sure that I couldn't take it back and hide it. Thanks for putting up with me this far. I'm improving, I hope. I'm definitely a program already in progress, though.
  • What sort of friend would I be if I looked away from you simply for telling the truth?

    It's not melodrama. It's fact. It's truth. It's What Happened™. It's there, behind you, part of what made you the woman who's writing all this down, and denying it is not the way to make it better.

    It's not going to go away. That's not what excising is about, and you and I both know it- perhaps a little better than some, I don't know. But the point is not to forget...

    The point is just to move beyond. The point is to look at everything you don't want to look at, frankly and appraisingly and unafraid and say "Yes. This happened, and it happened to me, and it no longer has the power to make me hide from it."

    And when we do that, we can move away. It'll still be there, but it won't be everything. It'll just be fact. History. What was, not what is.

    What is, is this: you are complex and sometimes angry and sometimes sorrowful and sometimes happy; you are incredibly giving and often very wise, and you are someone about whom I have come to care as a good friend to have.

    You can have that, if you want, if it will do any good at all. Like a talisman. I have a few of them. I figure it's good to share.
    • It is beautiful, and rare and precious. And graceful, much like it's giver. Thank you. I will treat it like the treasure it is.
  • Do you know how much I love you, from far away, distant? I do. I do love you, and I probably always will, because you are willing to live *your* life, on *your* terms. Because you can *see* your life for what it is--and it is beautiful. Truly.
  • Friends don't look away from the truth. Friends respect it, cherish it as the treasure it is, tuck it away and help you protect it as long as you need to.

    Rain
    A quote on my monitor says, "A good friend will come and bail you out of jail... but a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, 'Damn... that was fun!' "
  • Don't you know that all the 'cool' people are severely overrated?
  • I don't understand. :-/ Why would your 'cool' friends desert you for telling about your past - where you came from and how you got *here*?
    If anybody suggested to me they were disappointed because *their* view was tarnished I'd say,"Stiff. That's your problem."
    Thanks for the insights. I hope the people around you realised your behaviour arose from being pissed off. You had every reason to be. Most adults cut kids a lot of slack if they know the reasons behind the behaviour.
    We had an 11 yr old at school whose mother was a prostitute. She worried about her, and whether her Mum would survive each night. Her behaviour was definitely odd, but we accepted it and gave her a lot of leeway.
  • Isn't the defining moment of any teen angst movie the part where the plucky heroine realizes that she doesn't care what the cool kids think anymore? So celebrate that you survived, that you bargained, that you learned. You could not be joyous if you didn't know what sorrow was. You could not be awesome if you had not at one point or other been awful, too!

    From way up here in the cheap seats, the story of your life is an amazing adventure, and... well... adventures are by their nature uncomfortable and unpleasant while they're going on.

    Love.

    You.
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