I can only imagine what some of you might be thinking, especially those who only get information from here and no where else, or those of you who know one simple truth, things have to be weird for me NOT to be doing something I really enjoy, and that's writing.
Things have been weird, things have been hard to navigate, and consequently my head is in a place I am not familiar with. In fact, it's still so scattered, still so all over the map, that I don't know how easily I can craft THE piece of writing that will sort of weave a tale and get everyone up to speed on where where we are.
So instead, I am just going to randomly share some things, with no plan for structure or storytelling, I'm just going to write a list of what's eating at me right now and see what happens. In cases like these, where you have some things blocking you in the head, it's the only way to go.
1. Been sick. Me, that is. Thankfully no one else has picked up the cold I have, which started to tickle at me on Thursday and attacked me fully on Friday and into today. Though I will say this. MAN OH MAN is a cold easier to deal with than the old days when cigarettes and I used to be partners. Coming up on a year now of no smoking, and the way my body processes things like a cold is so totally different it's like night and day.
2. A member of Jen's family has been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I am not going to reveal who unless I have permission, but we've all known for a while, couple of months in fact, and not being able to talk about how it affects us and how we feel and navigate our lives is not helping. It's very hard, on everyone, and it sucks. I can't express enough how much I hate Cancer. Hate, hate, hate.
3. I know the power of positive thinking is important, but why does it seem to me that everyone I know, in some way, is having a shitty year? Is it just my perception of life affecting my viewpoint or is it really just a bad year? I know very few people who I would look at and say...'Now HE is a happy guy/girl!' Why is that? Is it the filter I use because of what is going on around me, or is something really off about this year in general?
4. My son Bennett had brain surgery about 4 weeks ago. He hasn't had a seizure since August 28th. I should be shouting this from the rooftops and celebrating how great this really is. And yet I find myself embarrassed to go on the old message boards I used to go to, I find myself feeling horrible beyond belief to bitch about anything with Bennett while I see and hear my friends who still have not achieved any seizure freedom. Their pain is so real. Though they would be the first to tell me, and have, that I should not feel this way.
5. Consequently, as a result of that brain surgery, I was expecting Bennett to amaze me, like a circus monkey or something. I figured he would be all kinds of progressive and cool with learning this and learning that and doing new and amazing things. That isn't happening. He doesn't mimic the way I think he should, he doesn't act in ways I thought he was supposed to. Maybe his mind will never snap back, maybe it will just take time, and maybe I am Mr. Asshole of the Universe for having any expectations at all right now. I just don't know what to feel about it, and it's been weird for me. Then there's that guilt thing...he doesn't have seizures any more, but that's not enough for me. Selfish or just wanting the best for my kid? He's going forward by mere inches, and I want yards. This makes me feel like a jackass a lot of the time.
6. I don't know how to wrap my head around this whole brain cancer thing. Am I supposed to go down that road now? Because I am avoiding it like the plague. And since I am not really going out to try to find boards and stuff about that and possible outcomes and I am seemingly ignoring the fact that he had a very rare brain cancer just removed...what does this say about me?
Is it fear, or just a reluctance to face The Truth? What the hell is keeping me from actually opening that door? Is it going to take a return of the tumor for me to enter that world? That world is a frightening place, but not necessarily less or more frightening than the world of epilepsy and Infantile Spasms. Am I a coward for avoiding this or is there some other thing at work in my life that is somehow forcing me to back away in fear?
7. Why do I have such an anger toward anything related to God lately? I've witnessed things that, in the old days, I would consider miraculous. Hell, I have a few stories I could tell you that the devout would say 'WOW, if THAT isn't the hand of God I don't know what is!' I used to believe that too. Why am I so quick today to turn away from it, to wallow in anger about it...to refuse to acknowledge the divine, when I used to be able to do so rather easily?
8. In the last week of July, my wife and I conceived a third baby. When we finally found out, in late August, we were blown away. When her period was late we attributed it to the surgery stress, but then she took some EPT's and got the positive results. During the first week of September she proceeded to take 5 more tests, all positive, while waiting for an appoinment with her OBGYN to get final confirmation.
It was beyond belief in many ways, the ONE time in maybe four months of the most stressful time in our collective universes we actually found time to be a couple resulted in a conception. This, too, like many other things this summer, has been kept under wraps, not to be revealed publicly until we had absolute confirmation and enough 'time had passed' to feel comfortable announcing to the world that we were pregnant.
Total shock gave way to acceptance gave way to embracing the idea. We started picking out names, daring to dream that maybe we'd have a girl, something both of us admitted we've always wanted. Those dreams turned the wrong way when around a week or so ago when she began to severely cramp, she began to spot bleed, and then she began to have more than just blood being released from her body. A visit to the OBGYN this past week only gives us a half an answer, but this Tuesday we find out for good something we both already really know. We lost this one.
Stress...stress is such a powerful thing on the human body. That's what I figure happened here. The stress of the surgery compounded by everything else put too much pressure on Jen and her body decided that this was not the time. We've come to some terms with that, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't affect me harder than I expected.
I found myself viewing it the way Sgt. Mike Horvath (Tom Sizemore) thought about Saving Private Ryan. He said 'I don't know. Part of me thinks the kid's right. He asks what he's done to deserve this. He wants to stay here, fine. Let's leave him and go home. But then another part of me thinks, what if by some miracle we stay, then actually make it out of here. Someday we might look back on this and decide that saving Private Ryan was the one decent thing we were able to pull out of this whole godawful, shitty mess.'
I had started to think along those lines, that this was something pure to take out of 2009. Which of course then makes the guilt over not being as gleeful about the lack of seizures and still focusing on the severe delays Bennett has all the more powerful. But the other thing is just not really being able to figure out how I am supposed to feel about this miscarriage. It's another thing I wasn't prepared for and I don't know how to process the emotions about it.
So there ya go.
There's my list of what's got my panties in a bunch right now.
So glad to have it off my chest.
But this is my thing really, this mental battle over so many things...what I should and should not be grateful for, how guilty I feel, how filtered my vision has become, how negative I often feel. It's an inner turmoil that I don't expect to find answers to very easily. NOR do I expect them in any of your comments. Maybe there AREN'T any real answers, ya know? But, since I at least got some of it out of me finally, maybe I can go back to some regular writing again. Who knows?
One of my best friends says that I am the Master of the Un-Related Segue, and that I totally agree with. So while this post has a lot of shit to digest, for you AND me, let us not forget that it is Sunday, and the Ravens play Cleveland today at home. I expect the Ravens to be 3-0 when they go to Foxborough next Sunday to play the Pats.
Hey...it is Sunday, after all. I'd be remiss if I did not mention that. :)