Monday, July 14, 2008

Sleepless night

Please bear with me. In the past others have said, and I have agreed with them, that I have some pretty good coping skills. And so now I'm just coping. A big part of my ability to cope with what life hands me is the ability to verbalize that crap in some place or another. Yeah, I'll be calling Thrive tomorrow to set up an appointment but in the meantime I need to get some sleep so that I can go into work tomorrow so I'm just going to put it all down here so that hopefully my mind can shut off long enough for some more sleep. And I may be doing this some more over the coming weeks because I just can't dump this stuff on my family. This is how I stay sane. Most of them are in worse shape than I am.

I guess it all starts with sleep. The relatives to whom I spoke on Saturday and Sunday said that they had a hard time sleeping on Friday night. I didn't. When I finally got home and was talking to my hairdresser, she said that I needed to go out. So I hung up the phone, cleaned myself up a little bit and headed out for the evening. I got to the pub and told my bartender to keep the drinks flowing. While the end of the evening was a bit hazy -- although I do remember my temporary insanity in speaking to Sports Guy cordially -- what I remember most is that once I returned home, I slept a solid eight or so hours. Now most of y'all might not think this is anything monumental but most nights I only sleep four to six hours. Hell. I can even function on three hours if necessary. And on Saturday night -- OK morning as it was around 2:30 am -- I managed to sleep through some guy ringing all the buzzers trying to find me. One of my neighbors dealt with him and from his description of the guy, I would guess it was Random Boy. One of my other neighbors who had been awakened by the guy, who told me about it all on Sunday, said that her first thought was to see if I was up but then she changed her mind after she remembered the kind of weekend I was having. She decided that I needed the sleep.

And so I have been sleeping at night for the first time in a long time -- except for tonight. And taking naps in the day. I'm not really a nap person but after a few conversations, all I can think about is going to sleep. I worry about going to work in the morning. I know that I will want to take a nap but won't be able to.

Sleep has been good but it's the waking up that sucks. When I wake up, I think of all the things I want to do, all the things that I want to say to people. And my aunt is always on that list. Because we used to talk on a near daily basis. While she was a major bitch at times, she was still a part of my support system when things were bad. Over this weekend, I have come to realize just how much a part of my daily life she was.

Sunday night I went to dinner at my mom's house. I thought that it was going to be this hideous event but then the hyperventilating started and my mom said, "If you want to tell me about it, you can." So between gasps, I told her about all the stuff in my head at that moment. She agreed with me that I should ask one of my aunts by marriage to write the obituary. She would do an excellent job of it. And then my mother and I cried together.

When my grandmother died, it hurt. It just didn't seem to hurt as much as this does. But my mother explained. We had time to prepare for my grandmother's death but not for this. Yes, my aunt's cancer was more than likely terminal but she was still active. She was supposed to be alive for a little longer. We had plans -- plans that we had made over the last week, in fact.

We are waiting for the results from the coroner. (The hospital determined that there had to be an autopsy.) When the doctor spoke to us on Friday, I felt like he was trying to do damage control. And then the coroner called my dad's cousin this weekend with some questions. There is a possibility that the hospital screwed up and that she could still be here. And there is a part of me that is so angry in the middle of the pain. If this is true, they robbed us of time with her.

I'm trying hard not to think of this though. I am the caretaker, the one who holds things together when everyone else is falling apart. I have always hidden most of my pain from them in the past. This time things have changed. This time they're worried that the pain may be too much for me. It almost is. To say that I feel like the rug has been pulled out from underneath me would be an understatement. But I want to live; I want to be here. And I keep telling myself that one day I will wake up and realize that it doesn't hurt as much. Until then I just hope for sleep.

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