Thursday, August 12, 2010

Checking In, Dialing In, Ordering In,

How do I deal with situations I can’t deal with? I asked my therapist this the other day and she didn’t have an answer. I want my money back. I mean, if she can’t answer every question and magically make everything better, then what good is she? $150 to anyone who can give me an answer to that question.

On my mind lately is the big C word: China. And there is another C word on my mind, but let’s start with China.

My niece and nephew are leaving for China on Sunday and I am just not dealing with it well. I knew this week would be hard, but I am finding it little more arduous than anticipated. Sort of a sucker punch, even though I knew it was coming. My mind can’t stop racing. There is no stopping point, no safe thought process that doesn’t meander right . Every thought leads to They Are Leaving. And I just feel like I am splashing around, trying to get anyone’s attention and looking for life rings, for land, for a freeking sand bar at least. And then I get angry with myself because God knows I can never deal with any emotional trauma on my own, which makes me feel weak.

I may not be dealing with some current turmoil well, but at least I can deal with historical issues much better than I did before the girls were born. It’s not like strands of my tangled, awful, bad, sad and painful memories were just plucked out of our head for all of time, in some sort of a science fiction way. I just think I have gotten a tad better with accepting things that have happened. Making peace with things I can’t change. Accepting things for how they are, or were, as the case may be. So I can look back, analyze something and pick it apart and try to pull out the lesson, and leave the rest of the mess there. Emotional evolution. And while I am sometimes guilty of the whole Woe Is Me attitude or getting lost in some negative thoughts, I think in general I am embracing the concept that it is okay to look back, but not to stare. It’s like staring at the sun: Nothing good can come from it and you may burn your retina.

So I know I will be better when this is in my rear view mirror. I just need Sunday to come, and go, the plane to land safely halfway around the world, and then look around and pick up the pieces. But right now I am stuck in a fugue. I worry how it will be possible to maintain a relationship with a five-year-old and seven-year-old from so far away. Skype with a 12-hour time difference will have its challenges. I worry that they will forget me. I worry that we won’t have the chance to create new memories. When I stop thinking about myself, I worry about how my pint-size family members will deal with such a culture shock. And then I think about my girls, who will be missing out on growing up with cousins around them. Worry worry worry. There is no peace in my mind or heart right now.

And then when my brain is saturated with all this, I start thinking about the fact that I have most of the symptoms of uterine cancer. Bombshell! At least two of the three most common symptoms. And here I am thinking dealing with this move was gonna be hard. Yes, good times over here. I feel like I am being tested, because I am always quick to say to others that old chestnut about as long as you and the people you know are healthy, then everything will be okay. Well, life might be serving up a different and difficult lesson for me. Of course, most of these health-scare situations turn out just fine, but right now my overtaxed brain is thinking the worse. I told Nicole if I die, I changed my mind and I want to have a huge funeral/memorial. I want people wailing in corners, shaking their fists at the sky and screaming how it is not fair. People giving speeches about how much I will be missed. I will make everyone wear orange, because it is sometimes my favorite color. And I like thinking about how everyone would be running around looking for orange clothes. And then I’ll look at the room from above (below?) and it will be like staring at the sun again.

So that is my current state of mind. When I stop thinking about China, I think about cancer. When I stop thinking about cancer, I think about China. Then I take a couple Advil and start the cycle all over again. I hope my next post isn’t so doom and gloom.


Molly said...

There is no way in hell that those kids are going to forget you.

And I HIGHLY DOUBT you have cancer.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Molly....they will not forget you. You will find a way to keep in touch, with the internet and snail mail...not to mention Skype there is a way...because there is a will.

As far as the Cancer....Cancer Sucks and it's has NO place in your body/life. So you take control, find out what's going on and kick it's f*ing ass.

You have the power!!!!

Shereen said...

You are embedded in all those kids' knowledge of what family is, and so are your babies. You exist in a place that is almost deeper than memory for them. You're part of their worldview.

My daughter lives at a distance from her cousins; sees them only very occasionally on Skype, and sees them once a year in person. But we talk about them all the time, keeping knowledge of them alive. And then when they see each other, it's like no time has passed, and it's also so special and new. They share a bedroom, and stay up telling stories and giggling till midnight, and just love each other. And their memory of each other will, I firmly believe, be tinged with the magic of each one of those meetings, partially because they're so anticipated each time. After all, nobody forgets Christmas, right? And that only happens once a year.

K J and the kids said...

I know I know I know.....2 other C words are the answer to your question. Chocolate and Checking out. That is how you deal.
I take most major credit cards and have a paypal account as well.

Just think. You will be able to let your children experience another country. and with experienced tour guides. Maybe one of them will even intern over seas one summer because they can conveniently stay at their cousins houses.
MAYBE the kids will come to NY to live with their Aunts....better yet.
I have a feeling they will end up right back where they started eventually.
Lots of hugs and support from long distance and online :)

Shelli said...

up the lexapro dosage, babe. Welcome to my world of health anxiety.

We MUST get together soon, you know, so we can compare fatal diseases that we both have.

And then reassure one another that modern medicine is far superior to that of our ancestors, with much higher rates of recovery.

teeveezed said...

I don't see any of my cousins, and it's not because they live in China.

It will all be fine, you'll just have to set up a blog for them and post lots of pics etc, and they can do the same for you.

Rebecca said...

I have noticed that when I feel really, really stressed & out of control, I get a lot of unusual symptoms & a LOT of worry about them. (Sometimes I get eating disorder type issues, and I swear that is just another manifestation of the same issue. Anyway.) I wonder if maybe you might have the same sort of thing going on, given how much change is happening and how it is fairly major. It is somehow simple to focus on something concrete to worry about (ie. a health scare) when everything else is in such a whirlwind. Just a thought. I, too, highly doubt you have uterine cancer. The symptoms are really vague. (I would know! I have "had" it myself in the past!) Plus you are totally in the wrong demographic.

Anyway that is just something I thought I would mention. I definitely, definitely have more health scares and mysterious symptoms when my life is in greater turmoil. I bet this isn't uncommon.

Kerry Lynn said...

I can't even imagine how sad it was for you to say goodbye to your family. I was welling up thinking of the moment.

Hope said...

You will get through this because you have 2 little miracles that see you as the center of their world. Breath in, breath out, and one foot in front of the other... sun comes up, then it goes down, and you've made it through another day.

As for symptoms, uterine cancer is known for being "silent", with very vague symptoms... bloating, dull pain, irregular period, fatigue. These symptoms also mirror stress! Please, please, please don't read into vague symptoms. Stay away from webmd & all other websites. Make an appointment, and keep it. Check with reliable relatives to see if there is a family history, get the genetic testing done, if it makes you feel better.

Remember that your girls are little psychic sponges, and they sense your feelings & emotions. Think positive, stay calm & keep yourself busy.

Trust that the sun will continue to rise, because Avery & Maddie need to trust in that too.