Canada

It’s a polar vortex as I’m sure you’re aware. I’ve braved the bitter bitter shattering cold every day, waiting until mid-day to go for my outing. Getting out consistently lifts my mood. I layer – long johns, wool sweater with turtleneck, large scarf, very large furry Russian grandma type hat. Got the hat last year but never used it, so I thought it was a wasted purchase. Nope. It’s enabled me to leave my house these last days in fact.

But I’ve done little else. Today I’d planned on two activities and chickened out of both. Kind of due to the cold and dark, but also due to my difficulties going to social events. The cold adds the last overwhelming reason not to go out, and it’s the straw. So I’ve been home alone for days which sucks a bit. I get lonely and wishing a lot for some company.

Tomorrow it is to warm up some by afternoon. At least it won’t be dangerous to have skin exposed for more than ten minutes, if not exactly comfortable. Sigh.

I went to therapy last week. Ron looked a lot more rested than before the holiday, when he looked pretty much shattered. I’d actually wondered after the session if someone had died. Somehow it came up, and I commented that I didn’t think he’d tell me if someone died, but he said he would. He’d just been struggling to get over being ill.

We talked about my Christmas. Also I’d gotten very ill boxing day. I spoke about that for a longer time than I usually devote to topics. It felt very satisfying to just tell the story, and Ron seemed happy to listen. In my life, no one has the patience to listen to stories. I guess that’s who I’ve surrounded myself with – people who are uncomfortable with narrative for some reason. As if telling the story of something isn’t worth their time, they must get on to the next important task.

Anyway. I believe we have a deep almost biological need to speak our stories, to tell what’s happened to us. Not even just huge events, but things that are important to us. It’s not a waste of time to speak or to listen.

Boxing day I spent seven hours in the ER. I’d woken with a painful abdomen, which proceeded to get worse throughout the day. I realized mid-morning I had to call someone with pain this bad. First I called a friend, asking her to look my symptoms up on the internet. I thought at that time maybe it was severe gas and she looked up remedies for me.

A few hours later the pain was so bad I could barely walk, and because my back was also hurting, I couldn’t lie down. So perched on the edge of my bed, I reached out to my brother, who really came through for me. He went with me to the ER by taxi and stayed a while. They did various tests, and at the end of my stay, they’d diagnosed a bladder infection.

There was a moment in the ER. The pain became very bad, and I was sitting with everyone else, waiting, starting to groan aloud. So I asked for something for the pain. They gave me morphine! And I was allowed to lie down on a cot. The sweet relief when the morphine went into effect in indescribable. Like peace after great war. After that, my stay in the ER became fine, and I left at end of day with a prescription.

Next day, the pain came back. I phoned my ex. He came over and just stayed with me, and that helped in itself. Such a relief to have someone there as I couldn’t really move, it hurt too much.

And finally, next morning, the anti-biotic kicked in and the pain receded. Wow.

Now it’s come back a bit, very mild, but I think I’ll get it checked out with my doctor. I’ve had cancer, and they did a scan in the ER which came back negative, but still. I’d like some explanation of what is hurting.

Anyhow.

Interesting to me how the pain became more bearable as soon as a friend was there – maybe twenty percent easier to bear.

So I told Ron this story, and various other things about Christmas.

The sessions are quite adult. It’s good maybe to stay adult and discuss things. Take the space to take on board what Ron has to say about things.

I am having some parts issues which I brought up at the end. The trick for me is not switching completely, but still hearing what the part wants and taking care of it. Even talking about this, I start to slip into a more childish way of talking, but never quite go over that line and switch completely.

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8 comments
  1. DV said:

    Feeling listened to is one of the best things.

  2. It is really important to have people listen even to our small stories. In this day and age of fast and instant, the art of listening to that which is not considered important is getting lost. All of the little stories make up who we are.

  3. ellen, that sounds utterly miserable. I am glad you will get it checked out though with your gp. it sounds like there might be more going on. i’m glad you feel a little better though.

  4. I’m sorry you are feeling sick. Wow that is powerful that you can stay adult and let the parts have their say. Seems to me your parts are starting to trust you to listen to them. Cheering for you. You are amazing. I agree, someone to share hard times is comforting. Hugs.

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