Everyone is a good liar from one hundred feet away.
It wasn’t a big lie. In fact, it was a tiny one I’m sure everyone has told some time, if not quite often, over the course of their lives. A friend, who happened to spot me standing, looking about at the gathered folks at the event, mimed “You okay?” to me. I gave a head nod. Yes, I was okay.
Except, really, I wasn’t. I didn’t want to admit this to my friend or to myself, but I wasn’t.
Everyday I actively forget I will die. I actively forget the people in my life will die.
Someday, my friends will be dead. Someday, my family will be dead. At that moment, only a few hours til the end of my event, I was trying to not remember that one day my mother will be dead.
My Mom is sick.
I got the call Friday afternoon, after I’d checked into the hotel, put away all my clothes, lined up my shoes, and rested naked on my bed contemplating my weekend. I was taking a shower when my Mom initially phoned. I called her back, towel around my middle, thinking this would be just a check in.
And then I learned she was in the hospital. She had been suffering chest pains and shortness of breath. They admitted her, but didn’t know yet what the problem was.
Thank whatever creator there is my mother was on the phone talking with me because when I heard chest pain and shortness of breath my mind jumped to heart attack and other no-good-very-bad thoughts.
And I was in DC. And my car was not. And my Winter Fire had just started.
I told her where I was (“at an event in DC”), and she told me it was okay. She told me to stay. She had had visitors, family and friends by to see her. She told me not to worry, something that was of course impossible.
I asked her to text me that night before she went to sleep, and every night til I could see her. She did. I talked to her the next day, and she texted me again that evening.
My Mom’s diagnosis is a blood clot, which had originated in her leg, but had traveled to her lungs. She’s now on blood thinners, and may well be on them for the rest of her life. She has a history of a clot in her past, caused by birth control and a sedentary job as well as lifestyle. But they do not know why she got this clot.
The icing on the shitty cake came Sunday night. My Mom is also now a diabetic.
For almost the entirety of my weekend, I pushed my emotions aside. I created a box, shoved all the feelings into that box, and scooted it to the edge of my periphery. Each time I thought the feelings might jump out in front, friends were there to distract me. I had amazing scenes and awesome friends time with so many people at the event. But my friends didn’t realize they were doing this for me.
Even as I am working with Doc, it is still so hard for me to talk about my emotions. I have this idea that revealing my not-fun feelings places undue burden on those I care about. I have to be the rock, the one others lean on for comfort and care, to the detriment of my own emotional health.
When I learned my mother was now diabetic (in her before bed text message Sunday night), I made my way back to my room, hoping it would be empty. It was not. My event roommate was there.
I could not hold the box at bay anymore. I cried. My roommate rubbed my back and comforted me.
I ended up going back downstairs, not knowing how I would spend my last few hours of my event. I walked around. I watched pinches of scenes here and there. And then my friend mimed their question.
And, almost as soon as I answered it, I realized I was lying. I took my ass to bed, knowing that I needed to take care of me. I didn’t need to suck every last once out of my kinky time. I needed to cuddle up with my stuffed turtle and sleep.
Today’s therapy session was obviously centered around this new development and my emotional wall to the world. While waiting for the session to start, I came to the realization that I needed to at least tell my roommates what was going on. Doc concurred, saying it would be good for me as both an exercise and an emotional release.
After therapy I saw my mother. She looked like she always does, minus her makeup. Aside from the IV in her arm, you wouldn’t know anything was wrong. I stayed with her for about four hours. We talked, first about what the doctors had told her, and then about nothing important, as you do when someone is in the hospital.
I walked away this evening feeling less scared. But all during my kinky fun, just outside my periphery, I was terrified. That she would die. That I wouldn’t be there. That I was a horrible person for staying. That I was making a mistake. That I needed to rush to be at her side. That I was a horrible daughter. None of which is true.
When I arrived home tonight, the house was empty. I flipped through NetFlix, trying to find something funny, my self-prescribed medicine whenever life brings me down. As my roommates filtered in for the evening, I told them each about my mother’s current state. Everyone was comforting, and the world did not end.
I have to keep reminding myself of Doc’s lessons. I am baby stepping my way to being a more emotionally open and secure person. Each time I’ve let people in has been a good experience, even though I predicted it would not be so. Baby steps.
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