Tuesday, December 12, 2017

"This is Us" in our Moments "it's Kinda Complicated.'!The Day I had a Mini Break Down /meltdown in the Bookstore. But this Post is Mainly About Marriage ( And...Chronic Illness Humour? Maybe.)

My husband said he felt like Jack in this quote below from our current favourite TV series "This is Us." We tear up and relate to aspects of every episode. Jack loves his wife, like my husband loves me;
 "I just keep thinking about my wife and how I just want to get home to her, hang out with her, make sure she is ok. Which is crazy, because she's at her absolute worst right now. I mean, like, exorcist level bad. BUt I still don't want to escape her, or my future vomiting, crap riddled kids. I just, I want more time with them. I want to freeze time with them, so that I can get a little bit more."

My husband called me on his way home from work, "How you doing babe?" And I replied, "I don't know yet...I'm writing a blog post right now and I'm sure once I am done, my post will tell both you and I what my current state is." And he laughed.

I am sure I make quite a picture at the moment. I have my sunglasses on because of eye dilation and  I am sitting with Dill pickle chips on my right and M and M Caramels on my left. My fingers are rapidly typing on the keyboard and occasionally the clickety clack stops while I take another bite of food that surely isn't adding to my current conundrum but feels pretty darn good at the moment.

I kind of lost it today...and since my mini public breakdown I have made only poor decisions. The day started out ok. Therapy was excellent and my doctor and I discussed ways to make my gut biome better ( which I am currently sabotaging with junk food but I shall start tomorrow. Most people say that and don't mean it. I always mean it if I say it.) But tonight? Tonight I am eating the junk I usually only consume a few times a year... You know what? While I'm at it, I'm gonna tell my husband to pick up a gluten free pizza from the health food store. It is one of those nights.

I admit it. I felt the meltdown coming on a few weeks ago. Then I stepped on the scale last week and found out I hadn't lost a pound despite my 1200 calorie (feels like) starvation mode and everyday exercise for 8 weeks. My therapist brain stormed with me because he said that should not be happening, and he seemed to think it stems from my lack of probiotics in my system and fermented foods and less veggies than I should be consuming. Who knows? Despite my lack in an array in veggies, I otherwise eat healthy. I have food logs to prove it and I never cheat because that would be cheating myself! And when I do go off the health wagon, I will readily admit it...like tonight because tonight I give up...or I AM giving up for this evening that is.

My teeth have been worked on since August. I had to go to physiotherapy for my jaw because of all my dental work. I have a paranoia of eating and breaking a tooth. Since my last appointment a few weeks ago, I still can not chew on my one side. They can't figure out why but it feels like the few times I cracked my teeth. Searing pain happens with just a crumb on that side. This time they can't find the crack ( it could possibly be embedded in a filling but due to my extensive dental work they do not wish to go digging at the moment.) Every time I open my mouth I hurt. Each time I take a bite, I am reminded of my unresolved dental issues. My team has been amazing, but I am still here in this position, frustrated.

Add to that the current news from my Hematologist, my two month insomnia, and a few other unpleasant physical symptoms (some extremely frustrating and devastating that I will not speak of here) and I was already on the edge of that cliff of self failure. It's that precipice where one more step has a person falling into a wallowing abyss of, "Why can't I get it together? WHY do I try so hard to be healthy and end up this way? WHY??? WHY is it so much harder for me than my lucky peers?" But I stepped back from that cliff and gave myself a pep talk. I was doing good. I knew I had it good. People in my extended family are dealing with so much! Cmon' self! I can handle this right?

Then came today. I went for a routine eye dilatation exam. I was already feeling upset about my deeper wrinkles, pre-maturing grey hair, and other body issues that have resurfaced from my body falling apart. With chronic illness I have always struggled with feeling WAY older than my time. After thirty, aging speeds up a bit but my rate feels accelerated times ten. I have been proactive about this - finding moisturizers, creams, vitamins, minerals and dying my hair fun colours all the time to make up for the lack of my own body. But sometimes a girl feels down about it all. Especially a semi vain girl like me. I know I am not some beauty queen but I like to have a little bit of 'pretty' in my mix. I'll admit, it's a weakness of mine...

SO anyway, I tell him my right eye has been blurry and at night has trouble focusing. He says I have 20/20 vision with my glasses and very good vision without but he looks closely...and THEN, "hmmmm interesting... I shouldn't be surprised because often I end up saying at each appointment that you are too young to have what you have, but today seals the deal. You have a cataract. Normally these only happen to people on certain medications ( ones I am not on) or sometimes it is genetic but mostly it's a sign of aging although you are still too young for that.." And my brain latched on to "aging." It echoed in my head like a cartoon cavern. I'm sure my voice sounded horrified as I asked, "Will it go away?" To which he replied, "NO but the good news is, it is on your side and not in the direct vision. Maybe it could stay this same size for years and we will not have to do anything about it. If it grows you will have to have cataract surgery. Then you will see fine." CATARACT surgery! I'm in my early thirties. My grandmother had cataract surgery...and that is why her one eye often looks glinty.

My eyes are the one aspect of myself I absolutely love. They are grey but sometimes green or blue. They look witchy and have a weird depth. I often get compliments on them. I don't want my lens taken out and replaced with a piece of plastic. I already have the deep eye wrinkles and weird lines around my chipmunk cheeks because of my ridiculously huge grin. I already deal with skin pigmentation above my lip that looks like a stash and hair growth and hair loss and silver hairs. Of course my eyes have to rebel against me too. Of course.

There were many other moments leading up to my mini lose it session...like when I grabbed for my cell phone on the bedside table and a sliver which felt like the size of Texas lodged under my nail bed. I had a thick piece of particle board UNDER my nail, straight down, that I could not get out so I had to wait for my husband. It was SO painful. That was from grabbing my cell phone. Then I was telling my mother about my daughter having strep again when I choked on my own saliva and couldn't catch a proper breath for a good ten minutes. Then I scratched my GOOD eye with my make up bristle because I didn't blink in time. I WISH I was making this stuff up. I get clumsy when I am stressed.

But it all culminated to a moment when I found myself in our local bookstore, squinting at prices and asking the manager to read me prices and tell me colours as my eyes were the size of a Beenie Boos'. I had sunglasses on but still...She was busy but I had her helping me instead. Then I picked a furniture piece that has been on my "get list" forever but I could never splurge on, and I bought it. With my husband's bonus. Without even talking to him. WHILE I blabbed to her about my doctor not giving me fabulous news, but I didn't go into specifics so I am sure she thought I was dying, because she rubbed my arm sympathetically and murmured my name. In the back of my mind I knew I should probably do damage control and tell her I was having a mini nervous breakdown and things are not as bad as they sound, but honestly the world was literally blurry and my mind was also. SO I nodded, paid and said enough socially awkward phrases to make my teen daughter pull me away saying, "You are adorable...you crack me up mom and awwww my poor girl but maybe ....maybe we should go...On the plus side I think they really like you and think you are quirky and amusing." I couldn't really see on the drive home properly. The sunglasses helped but the world was wide and fuzzy...In hindsight I probably shouldn't have been driving. Things could have gone so much worse and I am lucky they did not.

On my way home my daughter put the phone on speaker to my husband. I yelled, "Um honey I am sorry. I am weak and I suck. ( I had already called him before about the cataract details freaking out to which he had a good chuckle and called me his 'little Anomaly.') I am afraid I just cracked up a bit at the bookstore. I might have said some weird things. But worst off, I spent your bonus. I am old and senile before my time, I am losing my looks AND I spent your money. I SUCK. " To which he started laughing boisterously which only spurred me on to say, "And it's a piece of furniture I have been wanting for awhile but we really could live without and I was going to use that money so wisely but something inside me just cracked because IT"S ALL DOWN HILL FROM HERE HON!" At that moment my voice turned into a hysterical yell and his laugh got even louder which made me smile a bit while I was hyperventilating ( at this point I was at my destination.) I talked over his laughter and phrases like, "Babe it's fine and oh honey I love you and you deserve all the happiness..." until what he was saying pushed it's way to the front of my hysterical brain. In the midst of, "I FAILED you. I am a big fat failure who spends your money recklessly and is becoming old before her time and will die and leave you alone to explore the big world in freedom...wait? What did you just say? I DESERVE all the happiness? I deserve this furniture? Why? Aren't you mad at me?" To which he soothingly laughed, "Babe, You DO deserve it. I don't know how you manage to be the anomaly that you are and if I didn't see it...but sweets you were there for me during my darkest hours. You have given more than you take and you deserve so much more. I'm not upset about the furniture. We will figure it out. I am glad you got something out of your day my love."

In that moment, my perspective came crashing back. I realized I have everything....but I am still keeping the book ladder. I walked with my purchase into my house and stared at it for awhile in my hallway. I reached out and touched the shelves, and soaked up the colour. I decided I would put it in it's place later. I sat down with the M and M's and chips we had in the back of the pantry, for such a time as this, and opened my computer to hash out the swirling thoughts and moments of the day. And that catches us up to now.

Phew. That feels better. Getting it all out there. Probably my quickest post to date, and I am sure it is quirkier than most of my writing due to my heightened emotional state, but it feels right. I am not better. I am not confident that I will be less of a mess tomorrow...but I DO know I am loved. My children keep hugging me and asking to see my eyes because I look like their Stuffies. They snapped a few photos with my sunglasses off, which I have not yet seen without blurry eyes, but if they are not too bad I will post one here. My husband just walked in the door with Pizza, and we have episodes of "This is Us" to binge watch. I think tonight is looking up. Maybe. I dunno but my stomach is slightly hurting from the junk and I suddenly feel exhausted.

At least I got a shelf out of the day, along with a purging of pent up emotions, and the knowledge that my husband and children have my back. I think that is something good. My health is kinda complicated in a devastating way sometimes, but so is my love with HIM in a more glorious sort of way...and I think that keeps me as balanced as I can be within the quirkiness of whom I am.

*"Some call it crazy, but I call it unique. I say you couldn't replicate it on a video screen. And I overheard them saying that we got a disease. But I only got you, and you only got me. There's a moment when I'm smiling, and I'm shiny, and gold. Or a bad, bad feeling creeping in my bones. And I like it that way, 'cause I'm weak in the knees. But when it's not half-amazing, well, it kinda looks bleak. Yeah, I only got you.And you only got me...I go from elevated,To downright devastated
(Oh, oh) We're going in, and out, but, baby, now we're all alright. We have our ups, and downs, but, baby, now we're all alright. We're burning hot, and cold, there's no mistaking, all alright. (Oh, oh). It's kinda complicated. There's a dictionary page dedicated to us. It says some days we're gonna shine, and some days we'll rust. But they left out the meaning, didn't give it a name. 'Cause they couldn't find a word for our kind of insane.Yeah, I only got you. And you only got me. No, I just can't explain it. So let me paraphrase it. It's kinda complicated. We're going in, and out, but, baby, now we're all alright. We have our ups, and downs, but, baby, now we're all alright. We're burning hot, and cold, there's no mistaking, all alright (Oh, oh) It's kinda complicated. It's kinda complicated. Simple, so antiquated (Oh, oh) I got a quick, quick fix, called a bottle of wine. I know we're pretty complex, it ain't always a breeze. Yeah, I only got youI got from frustrated. To feeling liberated.We're kinda complicated. We're going in, and out, but, baby, now we're all alright. We have our ups, and downs, but, baby, now we're all alright. We're burning hot, and cold, there's no mistaking, all alright. We're kinda complicated."- Scott Hellman Lyrics.
* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0VFVim2j1E


Ashe Skyler said...

Ow, ow, ow, ow on the splinter! OW!

I am a complete weirdo on emotions. I say if a mood is coming, it's better to get it out than bottle it up and suppress it, 'cause then it'll get sneaky and really bite ye in the bum when ya least expect it. Even the ones that make us feel all shallow and vain and icky. (I, a no-frills tomboy, bought a $1 lipstick of dark red recently. I often put it on just before a shower and enjoy being the menacing goth girl in the mirror. It makes me feel better on bad days.)

S said...

I know its complicated. I am sorry to hear about the ups and downs that you are going through. I have not watched "This is Us", thanks for writing such good reviews on that. I will see if it is available in Amazon Prime in our country.
I want to talk about something off topic, about aspie/NT marriage. One of my closest friends is getting divorced. Actually its her husband who wants a divorce after 12 years of marriage. I am 100 per cent sure she has undiagnosed autism.. Her husband is neurotypical and I can't help her because she stays in a different city and also because she has been hiding information about herself,her family,her hubby (since we became friends, she's been like that)but I am devastated by this recent development. I wish I was with her in the same city ( as we used to live in the same city before ) and help her in difficult times. I also gave her a book to read (the one you gifted me-Aspergirls by Rudy Simone, remember ?) Well, she identified with the ENTIRE book. Anyways, although I am talking something unrelated to your post yet I had to write about it because she must be feeling so much (with autism and other health issues...she has many health issues, more than me and she also has a child). We need to empower woman/people who have autism/aspergers because often they feel lost and blame themselves for everything that goes wrong. I am trying to figure out myself how to empower her and help her IF or after her divorce goes through. Hope you write a post soon on how to empower women in the autistic spectrum, more particularly focusing on aspie /NT marriages.

Kmarie A. said...

Ashe: Yup. My finger still burns. I get the torture reference now.
It is probably better to get it out. LOL so you dont have meltdowns in your local bookstore! Oh i have a lot that make me feel shallow, vain and icky! Ha ha. LOL nice on the lipstick! Sometimes you gotta have those moments! Pull a Gilmore Girls and buy one that is called Vicious Trollop just for fun:)

S; Yes it truly is. You would LOVE This is Us. It is on amazon prime here... so is that cute kids show called "Just Add Magic" ( it took a few episodes but then I was more addicted than my kids! Lol. I love kid shows) Anyway, Def watch This is Us. My new favourite.

Hmmmm that is a good idea for a post on that...its not really off topic because I think this post was more about marriage than meltdown ( or perhaps both equally:) I am so sorry to hear that. Divorce is often very very hard. Esp for Autistics because they can not often verbalize their feelings or understand why this is happening. Aspergirls is such a good book. If she identified with the entire book than we can safely say she is a female autistic. I thought everyone would relate to the book because I did, but most of my friends didn't relate to it like I did except my autistic friends...so that is a pretty good indicator.
Health issues complicate everything and adding a child to the mix is downright devastating. You are right- they do feel lost. And the partner is baffled too because if the person doesnt know they are autistic that can cause many issues in a marriage too...Hmmmm, I have written posts on my older blog a lot on aspie/ NT marriage when my husband and I found out I was autistic...and that was one of the times our marriage went through hell with both of us adjusting (him realizing my issues were forever and not going to be magically fixed someday with my oddities and me just adjusting to ME!) For awhile he was doubting if he could be married to me. It hurt a lot. But we read a lot of books together and articles and he began to understand me and I began to understand myself- which is KEY. He read Aspergirls too and saw me in it...and then the thing he thought was hardest about me is now often the aspect he loves MOST about me. It took awhile but he often surprises me with what he loves about me- often its my flaws and disabilities that make me unique. Sometimes we still dont catch our fights that are about differences till later and its not all rainbows but I can honestly say that now its a moot point in our marriage...but it wasn't always and I DO recall how hard it was at first. Some guys do not wish to stick around for the tough stuff. Or gals. My husband says that was one of the closest calls of his life that he would have regretted forever. I will try to think on how I could help...Im not sure...Ill let you know if I write that post and thanks for thinking of me. In the meantime - she is lucky to have a friend like you and you are doing a lot.

S said...

Thank you for listening to me and also for giving me feedback. Also thank you for sharing the complicated aspects of your marriage with me.
My friend had an "arranged marriage". I mean, it is a marriage where two people do not fall in love with each other before marriage but where the match or relationship is "fixed" by respective families a few months /days before marriage. It happens mostly in India and south Asian countries. Therefore, unlike you or me, marriage was more tougher for them. Anyways, I am really happy for you and your husband for making your marriage work in the long run. I am really happy because I am a highly idealistic person and I want to see everlasting relationships in spite of all odds !! In her case, things are different and ignorance about autism is also causing a major confusion (for both of them but more for her because of the "gender/patriarchy " issue - I mean as a woman, she is expected to perform "different " roles, mostly some "inferior/subjugated" roles according to the cultural expectations and on top of that, her "autism" which she does not know much about (she has only read the book as I have mentioned above in my comments). On top of that, her failing health and mental problems is also adding to the issue. So, I thought that if I could empower her with more knowledge and compassion ...I have read somewhere that genetically inherited disorders/traits become more pronounced as we age and mental health also deteriorates with age in the ASD...which is happening with her...she is not that high functioning either...but even if so, I can feel she is suffering very much. Maybe some awareness or knowledge might help. Ok, I will read your earlier posts on Aspie -NT marriages. Thank you for that. Let me see what I can do.

Kmarie A. said...

S: Well that is tricky...definitely. Though I also hear good things of arranged marriages too...I guess it would depend. My husband and I were sort of set up/ arranged and we would not have had our story without someone orchestrating. I am an highly idealistic person and like to see that too.
It is hard when you do not know WHY you are different...And the cultural expectations are archaic and no fun. She is lucky she has you to empower her. Yes we can regress as we age in regards to executive functioning and sensory overload. I hope she can find a path that suits her situation. xoxo