During my Share Your World response, I mentioned elaborating on it could be worse …
My daddy used to say that often. More specifically he’d say no harm done, it could’ve been worse. Usually after we spilled our milk or some other minor upset. I heard that my whole life & was comforted by that sentiment. Years later, in therapy, I was counseled that even if things could be worse, my pain was valid. I was told this isn’t a contest on who had the most pain or that only certain pain rose to a level of attention. I was encouraged to feel bad. No more pretending that everything was sunshine and rainbows. And I get that too.
My attitude shifted to one of hostility almost. My new found, I matter!!! Who gives a fuck if you have pain too because my pain! well my pain! takes center stage you mo-fo’s. I’m sure there’s a happy medium in there somewhere. As we know though, lil Jilly usually only works in extremes. These days, despite that counsel, I’m back to no harm done, it could’ve been worse. I feel this way even when things are very very crappy. And I’m not being condescending about having less pain than anyone else. All I’m doing is controlling my reaction to what hurts me. And damn, do I get hurt easily.
Whew! What a proselytizer I am!
Okay, here’s the real deal. I went for the pain management consultation where I saw that I didn’t have it that bad. Then shortly after that, we visited MoMo in the nursing home. That is what really made me realize how much worse things could be. I took that thought and ran with it knowing I’d write about the experience which thankfully I could escape. These women were locked into a dormitory type setting, infantilized, & in some cases did not have a clue what was going on in the world around them.
A huge calendar with activities & bright decor in the common room with Laverne and Shirley playing on a big screen TV couldn’t cover the truth. Infirmed with no other options, some without family. Society, what do we have to say for ourselves? Lock them up & throw away the key? My plea is guilty! In a perfect world, MoMo would be at home. With us! God help me, I never thought I would have said that with all the shit that woman gave me over the years. The guilt that none of us can provide the care she needs is overwhelming. Stress & guilt are going to be the end of our PoPo.
Things were downright pitiful. If you could just picture it. PoPo finding her in the room full of people, rolling up to her in his walker, turned around sat down, facing her in her wheelchair knees to knees, foreheads touching. I miss you! I found you, just like the first time I saw you when we were in the 5th grade! MoMo “You came to take me home?” PoPo “Not today but maybe next week.”
Though we were at the same place at the same time, B saw something different than me. As we stood by the window to allow the lovebirds more alone time, I said “we’ve got to fucking break her out of here”. My realistic husband, B extraordinaire says, “Jill you’re overreacting.” Well ya, have you not met me yet? I only overreact. I went on through hushed almost whispers “I’m fucking flying to Switzerland. Going to Soylent Green myself out of here if I ever get like this one day.” B though says, “this is exactly what mom needs right now.” He also said if he ever has to go into a nursing home, he won’t make a fuss. And of course he won’t, he never complains. He believes things are not perfect but they are as they should be.
Ta-ta for now. Not sure where to put this surplus of feelings. But for now I’ve said enough.
As always, more to come.