Bullet points, because who has time to write out entire posts?
- I am still without a contract or a letter of invitation for this online course I’m meant to be teaching this summer, and it is really stressing me out. It’s not the fault of my Chair, who has been tirelessly advocating on my behalf, but somewhere higher up things have stalled. I have to trust that my Chair will see it through, but the start of the course is now less than a month away. It makes an enormous (like over $50,000 difference with two sections) to our finances over the next year for me to get it, because it’s not just the money they pay me for teaching the course, but also how it affects what the university owes me on maternity leave and how much I am eligible for from EI. So I am trying not to fret, but I really wish I had a piece of paper right now.
- I saw the psychiatrist again on Monday. She sure figured me out: “Often it’s the case that very intellectual people try to manage grief in a logical, contained, academic way. They usually compartmentalize so they can function. Eventually it always comes out. The postpartum period is a very vulnerable time, and I want you to have resources in place because all of this is going to come out eventually and it will probably be when the baby is born.”
- She is recommending a combination of talk therapy and CBT. Mindfulness is likely to feature prominently.
- I knew she was going to say that.
- I am not sure I can get out of my mind and into my body.
- My Dad is an extremely unusual case. The last time the lead doctor at the rehab centre had a C2 fracture was well over a decade ago because (as he said) they usually die or they’re not mentally cognizant. My psychiatrist was also shocked to hear that my Dad has no brain damage and can talk all day long on the ventilator because her experience had been that such patients are usually in a vegetative state. My Dad is alive (probably) because he was incredibly fit and strong before the accident and (definitely) because there were two Canadian doctors from my city on the beach at the time of the accident who did CPR immediately. Dad never had any oxygen deprivation and, as a result, no brain damage.
- I told my Dad I was glad he didn’t die on the beach. Then I realized that was probably a pretty selfish thing to say. I think he understood what I meant. I’m not sure he’s glad he didn’t die on the beach.
- I am having a hard time with my Dad’s state of mind, not only because I don’t want to lose him, but also because if it were me, I would take the chair in a heartbeat if it meant I would be there while my kids grew up. But I live in my mind (see above). Dad is probably alive because he lived so much in his body. He’s facing a different level of loss. Plus his kids are already grown up.
- My stepfather’s pathology report came back. The cancer was not in his lymph nodes (very good news). Need to wait to see what the oncologists think before we know next steps, but I’m sure it’s going to involve cancer and/or radiation, and he is just so weak now.
- My sisters and I had a Google hangout last week. Thank all the gods for them. We are all coping, more or less. We are all functioning, more or less. We don’t get to see each other as much as we would like (or need to) because we’ve organized to try to have one of us with my Dad as much as possible (case in point: the Google hangout emerged when we realized there was not a single day between last week and the middle of May where all three of us would be home). But I know they are there, and I know they get how I am feeling because they feel it too.
- My cat’s ashes are on a bookshelf. We’re waiting for it to warm up a bit more and then we’re going to bury her under our tree in our front garden. I keep looking for her when I come home. I hear her footsteps on the floorboards at night. The other cat really is clingier (which is saying something given how glued she is to me normally).
- Last June I wrote a post about being the adult, where being the adult largely involved cleaning up vomit and dead birds. I know better now. Being the adult means getting up every day and somehow managing to get through the day, even when all you want to do is stay in bed, read, and cry. It means you do your job and you parent your child and you put one foot in front of the other, even when — especially when — you don’t want to. It means you don’t have anyone else to whom you can hand the responsibility and the grief and the anxiety and the fear, and trust that they will look after you. The person who still gets to cry for “Mummy” in the night is your son, and you’re the one who makes things better. When you cry at night, there’s no one who can make things better for you.
- Fuck, being the adult sucks right now.
- We have 55 crocuses open in our garden. Why did I count them? Because precisely TWO of them are yellow. “Mixed blooms” my ass.
- Yes, I am still annoyed about the uneven colour ratio of my crocuses, even with everything else that is going on. Sometimes it’s the little things (because you can’t face the big things).