Thank you to everyone who has and is voting for me on The Best of Blogs. There has been such an overwhelming response and I am absolutely amazed! Thank you all - you have brought a huge smile to my face with your votes. And now on with the story.
I spent the next three years sleeping.
That is a long time to sleep your life away, but I couldn’t help it. Not only was I so medicated that I was tired all the time, but I was able to hide from the world when I was asleep. It was easier without the hospital routines of sessions with the doctor, sessions with the group, sessions in the pool. And without a routine or nurses to insist I get out of bed and do these things – I slept.
D would come home and wake me up when it was time for supper. Cid learned to call in the evening when D would hear the phone ringing and hand it over to me. Otherwise I slept right through it. Mom would call in the morning and gently suggest I try to do something with my day. I would agree with her and promise to try – but then I would be overwhelmed with the day looming over my head – and sleep.
I did manage to make it to the doctor’s appointments three times a week. Mom would come and help me get dressed into something nice and she would drive me into the big city and wait for me while I went in for my 20 minutes. Sometimes she came in with me and the doctor would talk to both of us. We didn’t talk about the past but about the present and how to deal with my everyday life. Mom would hold my hand as I sat and wept while the doctor stared at us. The dark circles under his eyes bothered me and he was good at staring and waiting until I said something. I would feel guilty about my life and spew out anything that came to my mind. Inevitably he would write another prescription and pat me on the back as I left the office. Like a meek lamb I would agree to be good and not hurt myself. Then we would repeat the whole thing again in two days.
Cid came every weekend. He would arrive Friday night and sit beside me and hold my hand to keep me from wringing them. We would watch tv and D and Cid would chat while my eyes leaked all over my face. Sometimes I would start sobbing over something on tv and be unable to stop. I would wring my hands and rock with the sobs, not caring if I drooled down my shirt while I wailed with my mouth wide open. Cid would wrap his arms around me while D would find the pills that calmed me within minutes. Then I would sit and sniffle for the rest of the evening, Cid and D flanking me and just being patient with me.
On Saturday mornings Cid would wait for me to get up and we would sit in the kitchen and he would read articles out of the newspaper to me while D slept. In the afternoons Cid always insisted that I should get out of the house and we would go for a ride into the country. We had a favorite place where we could get out and walk and there weren’t many people around. I was able to manage familiar things, but I was terrified of strangers and the unknown. I would cower behind the people I was with, sobbing and shaking, unable to move on. Cid and D always told me I was safe and that they were taking care of me when we left the house. Then on Sunday evenings Cid would drive back to Edmonton and call me when he got home to tell me he loved me.
After watching me sleep for three years, Mom came up with a plan to get me out of the house more. She would come in the mornings and help me pick out clothes and then take me to the store. She made up a place for me to sleep in the backroom and told me it was alright for me to do that – at least I was out of the house. So I went to the store and slept. Eventually I started noticing the business again and I would sit and watch was going on in the showroom through the camera’s monitor.
One day I went out into the mall without thinking and without telling my mother. I thought I would walk down to the food court and get something to eat. I managed to get 5 stores away from ours and froze. I was unable to go forward and unable to go back. I stepped as close to a wall as I could and stood there sobbing, my face pressed against the brick. It took me over half an hour to make my way back. I kept my face pressed against the wall and sidestepped along. When I got to our own store I went in and stood with my face pressed against the coats, sobbing. When my mother found me I started shrieking and she took me home and put me to bed. She apologized over and over again for not noticing that I had gone out of the store and made me promise never to do that again without her.
One Friday Cid called and asked me if we would stay at the store until he arrived on his way through to see his mother. Mom didn’t have a problem with that and when he arrived he asked her if he could take me out into the mall for a few minutes. I was terrified and stood crying, my face pressed against his chest. He wrapped his arms around me and told me he had something important to tell me. I knew he had not been feeling well, and had been peeing blood for a long time. He told me he was going in for an operation and that they would be removing a kidney. We stood holding each other and both of us cried. He had never had surgery and he was scared of such a major operation. I could hardly bear to see him leave that evening, but I knew he had to tell his mother. We clung together for a long time until he took a deep breath and told me he had to get going as it was getting late. Our hands refused to unclasp, but eventually they slipped apart – our fingertips touching for a brief moment before he was gone into the night.