Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Looking for the Right

Let's go over a list of the things that have happened to me these past few months, shall we?

  • My house was robbed.
  • I went in for surgery, and after waiting for no less than three hours, I was told to go home and come back in a week.
  • I went in the following week, and actually had a surgery, in which they removed a cyst the size of a tangerine - a cyst so big that it matched my friggin' uterus in size - from my ovary.
  • I went in for my follow up appointment, wherein my doctor told me that my pap was abnormal, and that I would need to come back for a biopsy as soon as possible.
  • I went for the biopsy and learned that I would not be able to wear tampons on my vacation to Mexico.
  • In Mexico, I was treated to a splendid outbreak of sun-poisoning.
  • Once back from Mexico, I discovered that the abnormal pap was due to pre-cancerous cells growing on my cervix.
  • Does my boyfriend ever want to marry me? This question was posed, and answered, though not with the answer I was hoping for.
  • Another surgery, in which they removed the pre-cancerous cells from my cervix via an electric loop or sorts.
  • My boyfriend advises me we will be married. In fourteen years.
  • I could not use pads during the period that came a week after my second surgery.
  • My cat died.

I'd say I'm pretty much done with the drama. I really feel like I've gone through my fair share of shit recently. It all began to unravel with my annual exam in June, and the downward spiral has yet to come to a halt. Even a screeching one would be welcome at this point.

Even though they may be considered silly to some, going through a mess of trials makes you sort of step back and evaluate your life. You know, what have I done that was so horrible that all of this came down on me?

I'm superstitious, so I look at ways I've jinxed myself. I've talked about the ovarian cysts before flippantly, like they weren't serious, even though I've had two of them rupture inside of me already. I read an article about cervical cancer in the waiting room of my gynecologist's office. I wore wedding dresses - full-on dress and veil and shoes - for a bridal company for many years during my teens. I didn't put much stock in the sadness of a friend who'd just put her dog to sleep.

But I convince myself that it's not superstition that's brought me here. I mean, if I take a step back and look - really look - at myself, I can see myself as horrible. So horrible that of course I'd get a round of bad luck. I'll think of me, and the stupid things I've done. I'll forget about the good things I do, my good intentions and my good nature. And I think of the worst...

There have been times that I've talked about people behind their backs, that I've watched my phone ring with calls from my mother, my friends, and let it ring, choosing myself and silence over them. I don't give enough time to my family, and I don't give enough time to the friends who mean most to me. I've been selfish and ungrateful. I've been demanding and, at the same time, neglected people. I've expected a lot from the people in my life, but couldn't be bothered to give back.

Is that it? I mean, could I really be that bad? Have I done something so horrible, so shameful, that God or whomever hovers above us has decided to teach me a lesson?

And there's the other thing. Religion and I have never exactly been tight. And I've made it a point not to just start praying when things go down the shitter. But maybe that's what all this testing is? I can almost hear God above me, his or her voice booming through the clouds: "Just pray, Laurie. Just pray once, accept that you're not the one in control of everything, and I'll make it stop. Just once littler prayer, that's all I ask for." Should I be going to church? Should I be asking for help? Forgiveness? What?

And, worse, I think part of me likes it. The surgeries, the shit luck, the tragedy. Because it gives me an excuse to be sad, to be angry. To cry without reason, to be in a bad mood, to sequester myself in my bedroom, letting the phone ring, letting plans go unmade, letting in no one but my boyfriend. And not even him sometimes. All of it, the word "cancer," death of a loved one (felines count), the scars on my belly, they all give me a damn good excuse to shut down, to not call people back, to not go out. "Sorry I didn't call you back. I've got a lot on my mind..." And I can run through my litany of ailments. And who's going to argue with that?

But it's a slippery slope, because my patience starts to wear thin. If you only know me from here, you wouldn't know that I don't make it a habit to complain - unless it's to my mom. In my day to day life, I quickly glaze over my problems, then just let other people talk about theirs, since that's what they want anyway. I feel like some my friends aren't all that interested in what's going on with me. They'd rather have me around to hear their problems; I'm a good listener. Plus, droning on about my emotional maladies makes me feel weak and boring. Suddenly, I'm the person I can't stand, bitching all the time about things are are really of no substance.

But, this - The recent health problems, violations of my home, my marriage quandary, the passing of a friend of 20 years - they give me the right to talk, to complain. And when I do, I still feel like people don't care. I feel like a whiner, a worrier, someone seeking pity. And maybe that's partly true. But I notice that people disregard what I have to say, shrug off my worry and sadness with a casual "It happens all the time," and I'm supposed to be okay with that. So my patience wears thin for friends that I've listened to for years, who now have to ante up and do some listening of their own, but won't.

And I do some spiraling of my own. Into convincing myself that, but for a very select few, I'm all alone. And I forget to remember that I have an incredible mother, who is there for me no matter what. A boyfriend who actually loves me for who I am, without makeup and heels, who doesn't love me any less when I'm bandaged, sick in bed, and wearing a pad. I have a father who would do anything for me; a man who never calls out of sick for work when he's actually sick, but called out to wait at the hospital when I was having surgery. A little brother who makes me laugh like no one else in this world can, who, underneath his hard and tough exterior, is sweet and kind and always wants to do the right thing. All four of them are there for me, will take care of me if I'd actually admit I need it. I forget about those things, and focus on the negative.

And maybe that's why things have gone so out of control in my life; Me, always focusing on the wrong.

Maybe it's time for some right.


Melina said...

I care...and I think you're allowed to whine as much as you want! I hope this was the downslope and now you're on the rise again.

reddirtroad said...

I care too, Laurie. We all go through times like these, but it's your character that is becoming strengthened. That's the Right. Even with everything going on or that has gone on... YOU are alright.

The Editter said...

It's not what life throws at you, it's how you deal with it. Having been through surgery 3 x myself, escaped from the tsunami, been accused of child abuse and having a miscarriage I am firmly of the belief that these things are not to do with how horrible you are! What it's done for me is make me is feel totally secure and happy in my now boring life. I've really relaxed about the possibility of never getting married or having a baby, I've got a wonderful partner, a gorgeous wee boy, a lovely home and fabulous friends (cos you sure know who they are when you've been through shit!) Stay strong!

Liz said...

I am listening :) Actually we all are, the ones that return to you blog every day. We are here.

Serra said...

Just hugging you, because what I have to say doesn't matter, except that I hope things get better

Kristi said...

I'm still here laurie.....I have sympathy and understanding for the spiral as I am in one myself.

I'm thinking of you

Anonymous said...

Hang in there. It's obvious your readers care about you. Hopefully all the bad will be behind you really soon. Take care of yourself and get chin up!

Laurie said...

Thanks guys. There's not really much else I can say besides that. You all mean the world to me.

Jasika said...

Laurie, I so needed this right now. I got into a huge fight last night because "everything always makes me so angry that he doesnt want to even talk to me". I wish I could focus on all of the right things, and I thought I was.

You have had so so so so much going on and you have every right to complain. Just breathe and take a step back. See who you have become and the things you have learned because of it.

steph said...

I love this post! I find it so inspiring that you are still looking for the positive. You are still looking for how you can change it for yourself. That is an amazing quality. Life is tough. For everyone. It is less about what happens to you and more about how you handle it. You have a following...so we all see how special you are!

Melissa Lewis said...

hey, just wanted to make sure you're doing ok..you haven't posted in a long time. i hope things are better than they have been. :)

Melissa (tkbs)