Tuesday, April 29, 2008

'The Man' Tales - Back Inside

Before getting on with this post, I would like to thank Deborah over at Dnd and Lisa Marie over at Lisa's Chaos for the awards they so generously bestowed on me. Thank you both for thinking of me when handing these out. I have posted them on my sidebar with pride once more!

I would also like to thank Crazycath for pointing me towards the correct terminology for the electric shock treatment that was given on the ward. When I wrote the post I couldn't think of the correct terminology - I could only remember that I was threatened repeatedly with shock treatment. Crazycath has it correctly when she told me that it was ECT - or Electroconvulsive Therapy - that was administered on the ward. The IV connections that the patients had in their arms allowed for easy administering of anesthesia instead of having to start an IV every couple of days. I know that my aunt did not have this kind of shock treatment during her early days as my uncle told me in detail of watching her being given shock treatment while she was awake. I have no idea - and really who would - if all that shock therapy contributed to her brain tumour, all I know is that it certainly changed her.

For anyone who is interested in ECT - I am including this link to Wikepedia's description of it.






When I returned to the hall I felt an immediate peace and was glad to be back where it was safe from the outside world. I can’t say what my fears of the outside world were, and even today I can’t exactly say, but I have been affected by this experience and still deal with it daily. I don’t often leave the safety of the barn except to do things with which I am familiar. But that is getting ahead of myself once more.

After I had been back on the ward for a week and my medications had been adjusted and I had grown accustomed to my new room, my doctor decided it was time to deal with the problem of my mother. When he first suggested this I cried and cowered in my chair, shrieking that I couldn’t. He took his time with the issue and eventually called my mother during one of our morning sessions. He got the response I knew he would get and was not pleased at all with the conversation. My mother knew I was in the hospital from the staff that came to visit. She also knew that she wasn’t allowed to visit or call me in the hospital. My fear of my mother was so great that I needed extra medication every time she was mentioned.

My doctor and mother met in his office without me. When he told me he was planning this I was almost uncontrollable. I paced and wrung my hands, wept and worried myself to the point of throwing up. I was wild-eyed and frantic. When he told me the meeting had finally taken place, I sat frozen to my chair, afraid that I was going to be turned over to her or chastised by him for something in my past. I felt like a small child and that I had been bad.

When he told me that she had at first been cold and trying to stare him down, I thought I would wet my pants like a little girl. I knew that look and those tactics. But they had eventually talked and I looked at my doctor with eyes as big as saucers and thought how brave and smart he must be to face my mother and come out the winner.

I was given the task of writing a letter to my mother. In this letter I was to tell her all the things she had done that upset me or hurt and how I felt about her. I worked at this letter for two weeks and when I was done I presented it to the doctor. When he told me I was to give it to my mother, I was terrified! There was no way I could show her how she made me feel and I tucked it away in the bottom of my nightstand.

Then he asked me to write a letter to anyone I could think of that had hurt me and that I couldn’t deal with. I wrote a letter to my younger sister. When I was finished, I presented it again to the doctor for his review. We took those two letters and worked on the problems I had written about. Eventually I learned a lot about myself from them and about the people who affected me the most.

One afternoon, shortly after visiting hours began, my mother appeared in the doorway of my room. I had been in the hospital for six months and had not seen her for the entire time. I looked up and saw her standing there, looking the same as she always did, except for the look on her face. Her eyes were sad and full of tears and I stared at her, speechless. She came into the room and sat beside me on my bed and put her arm around my shoulder and hugged me. I cried hysterically to the point where I had an asthma attack. While I fumbled with my inhaler, my mother went and found a nurse and they gave me some fast-acting medication for my anxiety. Mom sat beside me, holding my hand until the tears finally stopped and I was able to take a normal breath again. When I had quieted enough to be able to hear, she said “I’m sorry”. I leaned into her, unable to speak, yet somehow safe once more.

24 comments:

Potty Mummy said...

Finally. Finally.

Mima said...

I'm so glad to hear that the problems with your Mum were sorted out, and I really hope that it has continued well to the present. I had difficulties with my Mum at one point, something that we have now got sorted out, and I am so glad. When things are going horribly wrong for me, the one place that I want to be is tucked up in her arms - you're right, it just feels safe! (Even though I know she can't fix stuff for me!!)

All credit to you for sorting through the problems though, that must have been a really difficult thing to do, and must have taken a load of bravery, something that you don't really give yourself credit for - but you should. Digging through things that have been brewing for ages is an awful soul wrenching experience, and it takes real guts and hard work to get to the other side.

Anonymous said...

Aims, that was an unexpected turn. But I'm glad for it. I know writing those letters back then helped you. And writing about all this now is still helping you. A release of sorts. I hope you are happy and doing well. Margie

softinthehead said...

Thank goodness! i hope that brought some peace to you both.

Daryl E said...

So did the doctor show her the letter? Whatever brought her to show you compassion I hope it lasted.

Daryl

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Dear Aims, sorry I have been absent for so long, but pleased to have come back just as you were able to face your Mother - or she was able to face you! How brave you were; I understand how you felt safe - after all, and however awful they are, we only get one mother! Love and thoughts, Margot xx

lisa marie said...

Your story just at a hard phase for me so I have been reading silently. *hugs*

San said...

I wasn't expecting that, AIMS. It seems miraculous!

Mean Mom said...

How wonderful that moment must have been when your mother finally said 'sorry'. I do hope that things got better and better, after that!

My mother had ECT and has never felt like the same person, since. She feels that her brain was damaged, in some way. I must read up about it.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Thank god for some closure and acknowledgment from her.

But what a way to get it.

dawn said...

Another good post and you know just where to end off. How wonderful that must have been at that moment.

Carolyn said...

Wow. Hear me exhale. As others have said, what a suprise to get an apology from your mother. Unbelieveable. I have no other words...

I Beatrice said...

That was a tremendous breakthrough! And some credit must be given to your mother I guess, for having the courage to face up to herself, and say sorry.

As parents, we all do the best we can, without tuition or prior experience. And I'm sure it's often hopelessly inadequate - especially in the eyes of our offspring.

Everything pales into insignificance though, when viewed against the horrors of the case that has just been uncovered in Austria! That story simply defies belief.

The Lehners in France said...

Aims, your writing was unbelievable. I could feel the pressure and the tension when your mum arrived. It's very hard for people to say sorry and for some reason more so the closer the relationship. Why I don't know. That hug must have been so powerful. I bet you felt like you'd done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson after it. LOL Debs x

aims said...

Potty Mum - After a lifetime - yes.

Mima - I've been reading how wonderful your days are with your Mum and it makes me smile for you.

Margie - Writing does seem to be the best thing for me. It all helps - thanks for noticing that.

SITH - It really did.

Daryl - Actually he didn't - but more on that later.

Margot - Mothers are incredibly special no matter what. The word alone says so much.

Lisa - I understand. Absolutely no problem - hugs back to you.

San - I wasn't expecting it either! It changed my world once more.

Mean Mom - Reading about your own mother made my heart ache. I don't think they know enough about this stuff and its consequences. What a scary world where we hand over our bodies to another 'body' and let them do what they want with it.

RC - Absolutely correct! What a way to get it...the expense...

Dawn - Apart from all the crying it was a moment I'll never forget.

Carolyn - A huge surprise - I never dreamed it would happen. It must have been hard for her to come to that point.

Dearest B - What is going on in Austria makes me want to run and hide - or - get a gun and shoot the bastard! Beyond horrible! Those poor poor people!

Debs - I think I was in a state of shock for some time!

Breezy said...

Hi Aims I keep dashing in to speed read what's happening (which is a shame really as it doesn't do justice to your writing)so felt I had to let you know I am still here with you to the joyous (I hope) end

Maggie May said...

Well I am glad that she did this & I really hope that she meant it.
I really was not expecting this twist to the tale at all. I am gobsmacked!

Stinking Billy said...

aims, baby, If this tale true story doesn't hook a book publisher I'll be a Dutchman! (Sorry, sweet irene)

It is so-o-o-o-o good!

Living the Dream said...

Sorry is the hardest word to say in our language isn't it, but thank God she did

Metamorphic Sweet Wood Irene said...

I don't know if this is good. All she has to say is that she is sorry and that's it, problem solved? No, no, no. Aims went through hell here, her mother hasn't yet! Look at where Aims ended up, for God's sake. Mothers can destroy their daughters. My mother nearly destroyed me and I nearly destroyed my daughter. The mother of Aims does not get off that easy.

travelling, but not in love said...

Aims, it's an amazing life you describe in your man tales - happy, sad, joyous, desperate, glorious, awful - so many extremes of emotion run all through your blog, I'm stunned that you manage to type it at all!

But I'm really pleased that you do. And I'm pleased that D and Cid are with you through all this - so far, at least...

Swearing Mother said...

Aims, what a lot you've been through. And what huge progress has been made.

Joy T. said...

Such simple words...I'm sorry. More people should say those words and this world would be a much better place. Well that's what I think any way and on some small planet far far away...I count :o)

:-Daryl said...

Totally off topic but I wanted to answer your question about The Knickerbocker Hotel and the Crash of '29 ... Vincent Astor, the son of John Jacob Astor IV (who went down with the Titanic in 1912), announced he would close the hotel in 1921. There’s no clear story on exactly why he shuttered the Knickerbocker a mere 15 years after opening, though some speculate that Prohibition and its impact on the hotel’s bar business could have played a role. Or maybe it was simply that, at a time when the world was just coming off a major war, not enough people were in the mood for luxury suites and a gold dinner service.

So no leapers off the rooftop due to losing it all in the Crash of '29 ...

:-Daryl