Tuesday, May 20, 2008

'The Man' Tales - Housebound

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


Daryl said...

Oh aims ... clearly you made a choice but I cant imagine how ... both men are so good to you and for you.


softinthehead said...

OMG aims I hope your life turns the corner soon, so much unhappiness for so long....can we see the light at the end of the tunnel yet? I agree with daryl - not too many people go through life without two such great friends.

softinthehead said...

PS : too many metaphors there - also I meant "with two such great friends". :)

Maggie May said...

It seems there is no end to your torment. How much can a person go through?
Hope it is going to work out for you soon!

Lane said...

Those men were angels. The support you had was incredible but they knew you were worth it. And your mum is still rock solid with her help.
But now Cid. I'm really hoping nothing bad is going to happen to him Aims. I've always had a soft spot for Cid.

Mean Mom said...

3 years of sleeping? Surely, more coud have been done by your doctor, to help you?

I'm so sorry that you had to go through all of that.

Stinking Billy said...

aims, I've probably said this before, but there is only one word for your suffering, and that is 'harrowing'.

GoneBackSouth said...

They sound like wonderful people.

Carolyn said...

Three years? Certainly a long time to sleep. I agree with Mean Mom. Surely the doctors could have been more proactive with your care? Gosh. What do I know? It's all so difficult. I'm just pleased to see your mother being strong for you, and of course, Cid and D. I'm sure you've often wondered where you would be without them.

Something else, Aims. As you know, I started late reading your blog. I still wish I had countless hours in the day to go back and read everything. Unfortunately I don't! Grrr. Could you perhaps direct me to the posts where Cid and D first enter the picture? I'd love to get a clearer idea of your relationships with them from the start.

Either that, or hurry up and get a book published so I can read your story in bed (without scowls from my family for spending too much time in front of the computer).

Take care... and I'm voting for you!

I Beatrice said...

This is terrible news!

Cid's illness, I mean - he certainly didn't deserve that!

Please tell us he comes through it safely? And that it perhaps proves to be the turning-point required for your recovery too?

Nora said...

I feel like crying myself when I read that. I lived a similar life to yours. Wasted whole years on being nothing but sick, that's all I was. I guess there was nothing that could be done about it, but wait for it to be over, like a big wound healing. Did you also feel as if you had been in a terrible car accident and were badly wounded all over? As if I had been scarred and crippled and disfigured. Oh, the horror of it.

Anonymous said...

Aims, you always touch my heart. You leave me speechless. I hope CID turned out ok. Margie

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

It's almost impossible to imagine just how bad things were for you. I cannot bring myself to put myself in your position and for so long. It's amazing to see how your mother finally rallied to your care. What brought about this change of heart?

Astonishing story and my God did you come through it so well to be able to tell it to us.

merry weather said...

That seems to have been a very tough time for you and your Cid and D. I can't imagine how scary and endless it must have felt.

Sometimes therapy just doesn't work well. I'm very interested in Neuro Linguistic Programming where people are taught to bypass negative thinking, instead of being encouraged to work through it - this can be cruel I think - in your case to be left crying for three years seems like a torture. Maybe NLP can be more effective. Not sure.

Looking forward to reading how things resolved for you Aims.

aims said...

Daryl - I agree entirely with you.

SITH - I was so lucky to have these two in my life during that time.

Maggie - It continues yet for a while - but it does - eventually - turn the corner.

Lane - I know you have a soft spot for Cid - who wouldn't?

Mean Mom - That's just it isn't it? Why didn't they do something for me instead of just letting me sleep?

Billy - Harrowing is a good word. I think I'll keep it.

Gonebacksouth - Wonderful indeed. Sigh...

Carolyn - See your email - luckily you have a link on your blog.

Dearest B - It was shocking news to get when I was so sick. And why Cid? Again it comes down to doctors not doing there job properly. I could get into our wonderful health system but I won't because for the most part it is great. It is just some doctors are crap. That's all there is to it.

Nora - Yes - I did feel like I was damaged and bruised. I use to wander around and wonder what had happened to me. I knew when I wrote this that you would be able to associate with it. I'm glad we are both on the other side of it now for the most part.

Margie - Thank you for your kind words. I will continue with Cid's story in my next post.

Breezy said...

Aims Cid D your Mum they were all absolutely amazing through this. It's like all that care and love you gave to everyone earlier without receiving any thanks is all coming back to you just when you truly need it.

Now moving swiftly on to happier times? . . .

Oh I do hope Cid came through!

travelling, but not in love said...

Well I hope you end up with a nice 'arrangement' with Cid and D - sounds like they became friends after all, and they both seem to love you hugely.

John-Michael said...

Your mention of three years brought a recollection that I had closeted away ... and I sit here now realizing that it was indeed three years that I lost in my own personal detour from living. I had completely deleted any awareness of that fact until just now. And I am sharing with you in a sense of ... void. You have captured me entirely!

Lovingly with You ...

dawn said...

Oh how terrible to be stuck in the mall with such fear but you eventually made it back to your store on your own. It is so sad you were going through that and then Cid had such bad news for you too. That must have been pretty scary for him to share it with you at that time.

Milla said...

(just to let you know I've been and voted). All the best xx

Anonymous said...

Hi Aims,
I wonder if those 3 years were really wasted? After such a traumatic time, perhaps you needed to physically rest for so long to allow your mind to heal? Doctors seem to know so little about mental health that often they view a non-slip-back as a progression towards normality.

I hope Cid comes out ok.

Anonymous said...

I am soooo confused here
Been away for awhile.
I thought you were writing a novel. Now reading these comments - looks like it slipped over to reality?
I wanted to ask about something - now I don't like to in case it is really about you.
Something doesn't hang together here, but if it's about your life and you were slipping in and out of reality, guess that explains it. I don't get the 3 years sleeping thing - and your Mom - but if this is a different story from the one about child abuse... OMG - I should just shut up now.
be back later

The Lehners in France said...

Aims, Three years! D, Cid and your Mum were there for you all that time. You must feel like you owe it to them to get through this. I hope writing this does not set you back, but makes you realise how lucky you were to have come through the other side. Keep the hand cream handy. Love Debs x

aims said...

MOB - I'm not sure what brought about Mom's change of heart - but I sure am grateful it happened.

Merry - I've not heard of NLP but I am going to look it up and read about it. Thank you!

Breezy - The support I had from those three was just terrific. I'm so thankful for them.

TBNIL - Friends indeed - thank goodness!

JM - That is amazing that I would bring back a forgotten episode. I hope you can deal with it in peace JM.

Dawn - What amazes me is that no-one in that mall full of shoppers offered to help me. How cold and cruel the world is.

Milla - Thank you hon!

Melanie - A very good point. And yes - they sure don't know much about mental health. Sad that they say they do....

Susie - I am writing a book about the abuse I endured throughout my life. What you are reading right now is how that abuse caused me to have a mental breakdown. It is all true - unfortunately. I put in some excerpts from the book - what I have written so far anyway - and when I ran out of book quotes (I haven't got to this point in the book) I just kept going with the story. If you have any questions - you can ask here or email me.

Debs - I think writing this is helping in some way. Thanks for your concern and yes - I have the hand cream right here on my desk.

bichonpawz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bichonpawz said...

Oh my aims....you never, ever cease to amaze me. So glad that you had these strong and wonderful people around you. I'm so glad you came through it all and are able to share your story. My heart goes out to you. I understand how terrifying some of those experiences are. Oh, also wanted to let you know that I am still voting!!!

Mima said...

I'm on catch up and reading in the correct order!! Three years is a very long time not to be getting the proper help for you to take steps towards a more normal life, and to have Cid, D and your Mum, you were really lucky.