Monday, 7 July 2008

Shopping as Therapy

This wasn't how it was supposed to be, Universe! Things are sometimes so terrible they are simply hilarious. Reminds me of the time just after my dads suicide, when I was all dorky and 16. My sisters and I bonded suddenly and very closely after that, trapped in a hell only mania could relieve us from. We would laugh hysterically at everything .... the car rolling backwards down the driveway, nearly crashing into the house .... the psycho cat who would wait and pounce, scratching the shit out of us when we would least expect it .... other peoples misfortunes. All terribly hilarious. I remember that sometimes I would be laughing so hard because something was so very funny, and then I would be inexplicably crying and would have to leave the room. I'd end up sobbing in my bedroom, low, awful crying, realising that actually, nothing was funny, everything was just really, really fucked and terrible .... even though our family was one of the most dysfunctional on the planet, it had just been blown apart by death, and that was deeply sad. My brother was never the same. Ever ever ever.

I'm slowly but surely coming to terms with the fact that tumours have been growing in my husbands stomach and chest. Seven weeks ago today, Monkey was born. I still remember the exact moment when he was pulled from my tummy .... new life, the baby I had dreamt of for years ... and yet, how bittersweet. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

That means that eight weeks ago this Wednesday, we found out Mr TC was much sicker than we could have dreamt. It feels like he has been gone since that day. I miss him. He is not the same, and I wonder if he ever will be. I know I won't.

We had a great weekend. My sister Rex and her husband were UNREAL, cooking curries and minding Tiger and helping me with Monkey. They have two of the most amazing children, it was a pleasure to be there. Rex and I scooted down to the big massive shopping centre, I haven't been shopping since I was pregnant. We walked in the doors, and I opened my arms out. "Ahhhhhhhh, I'm home." Rex is a great shopping buddy, just cruising, browsing, getting coffee when we wanted. Shopping for some new bottles for Monkey, a U2 song came on. "Little sister/Don't you worry 'bout a thing today/I know that everything is not ok .." I used to hate being a little sister. Now it's one of my biggest blessings.

I found a photo the other day of me graduating rehab, surrounded by my peers. I showed Mr TC, pointing at people and giving him a commentary. "Dead, using, using, jail, relapsed, dead, dead, jail ..... ooooh, there's me! I made it! Shit! Why did I make it?"

He just shrugged. "Someone had to." Addiction runs on both sides ... he made it too. Now he just has to make i through this. He HAS TO.

So, again - the longest post, with not much description of what Monkey is up to. The condensed version ..... sleeping, waking, crying, feeding, pooping. General baby activities. Keeping mummy on her toes ... keeping mummy distracted and busy, which is probably a blessing.

Here are some pics of our Sydney sojourn. I bought Monkey his first hoodie - I LOVE hoodies ...

Rex and her hubbie took their new boat out on a maiden voyage. Tiger loved it ...

The beautiful Rex, with Tiger, and the back of her cute little guyo (he's 3, loves the Muppets, and tells Rex to "Call me 'Psgetti, mum." ...

Rexs daughter, who is nearly 5 - and will be a famous artist. She is AMAZING. SO vague and floaty, just like her Auntie Topcat ....

That's it. I wasn't on the boat - I was back at their house, googling random crap, blog surfing, just goofing off. Utter bliss. They walked in the door 2 hours later, Rex was like, "Haven't you even had a shower!?" I was SO busted.


Wordgirl said...

I know I've mentioned how beautiful I think YOU are -- but have I mentioned your writing? I love to read what you write -- and feel as if I'm just there -- and maybe its because I feel so connected to the experiences you write about.

I'm so glad you had some place to go to where they could take care of you -- your family is just beautiful TC -- I wish I could tell you how often I think of you -- (but then you might think I"m crazy:) )

That first part? About the manic laughing and crying? God, how I get it. The grief was so deep -- and then I'd sit, hollowed out -- and the anger -- and later I'd discover drinking.

And how it feels to be free of it -- though still, sometimes, there's that buzzing deep inside, faint but there -- I never thought of it that way until just now --but like Jason being steered onto the rocks where the sirens are -- and then I take a deep breath and I remember.

My love Topcat, thinking of you -- hoping you take a bit of the peace you've found away and bring it home with you when you go.



dee said...

Days like that...goofing around in a quiet house, doing whatever, no one calling for your attention...bliss. Glad you were able to get a bit of that in.

And while it was wonderful that you found an old dear friend, I'm sorry to hear that she's appears to be using again.

You are so incredibly strong dear lady. That is just one example. Always remember that, as I think you do.

Almamay said...

Hey TC. I'm glad you had a good break. Sounds like a blast. It must have been hard seeing your rehab friend. I've had something similar happen with my psych hospital friends. It feels like being shown a mirror of what I could have been if I hadn't worked as hard when it was required or cried as hard and been as emotionally exposed when I hurt.

I'm sorry I wasn't able to comment on your last post. When my Mom was ill and then dying I would visit her and visit friends as well. People were horrified when I left my Mom when she was ill but I need some space so when I was with her I could be a good daughter. I think my Mom appreciated the space as well. Being ill isn't easy and some quiet time is very necessary. I'm sure your meetings are reminding you but you can't help anybody else unless you look after yourself.

Stacie said...

I just wanted to tell you that I am so very glad that you made it! So very glad, my dear, so very glad.

Oh, and I am going to go check out Tee's blog in a bit. We're like a vacuum, this blogoshpere. We keep sucking people in! :-)

Much love to you...

tobacco brunette said...

God damn, woman. You deserved an escape and I'm so glad you have a loving and supportive - not to mention goooood lookin' - family to turn to.

Not that Mr. TC sounds terribly open to any of this, what with the whole denial thing going on, but are their support services at the hospital available to help you all grapple with this situation? When I was a kid I was diagnosed with cancer and had a really scary prognosis. It impacted everyone in my family, obviously, and totally messed up the dynamics of all the relationships: my parents' marriage, my siblings and how they related to me (jealousy - messed up, right? but normal), my siblings and how they felt about my parents (abandoned), etc. As you know, it just completely fucks everything.

I know my family relied heavily on the hospital's counseling services (thought my dad was a super reluctant participant), particularly during my chemo and surgeries, but for years to come. I even recall my grandparents and aunts and uncles participating at times.

Just a perspective from someone who sorta, kinda has been there, but not as an adult and definitely not as an adult mothering a newborn so really what the hell do I know? If it's helpful, great. If not, tell me to shove it.


Caba said...

I can't imagine how surreal it must have been for you to run into your old roommate. And sad. And wow, just weird. I'm so glad you made it.

I can't imagine how much you are going through right now, but I just wanted you to know that I sending super hugs from over here in New Jersey. Oh, and I want to kiss that mushy Monkey face ... what a doll!

Now I'm going to see if your sis is as good a read as you are!

Gemini Girl said...

oh tc- you tell me I'm candid but you are the one who blows me away. Itc ould have been you- but guess what- it's not. You made it through, you are stronger than you will ever know. You will make it through whatever life has planned for you. Just look at those ;ott;e men who will always love you.

Gemini Girl said...

I meant to write: look at those little men who will always love you.

Geohde said...

TC, so very glad you DID make it.

Very glad indeed,