I was sitting and thinking last night. About Dar. I've known her 6 years. I thought and thought and tried to remember. I think the only time she has ever asked how I was doing, was the week after Fred died.
I was in my recliner and had snoozed off. I heard the door open and there she was. I didn't know her very well at the time, but she stepped inside and said, "I was just checking to see if you are all right." I said, "I'm fine. Just taking a little nap." and she left.
Not at any time, when she comes through my door, does she ever ask about me or my family or anybody. It is always, all about her. Her whole world revolves only around her and her needs, her pain, her---whatever. That's all she thinks about.
The first words out of her mouth when she walks in are, "I need to talk. I need you to calm me down."
Yesterday she was going on and on about the treatments and therapies she CAN'T take, because they take her back to a time when she was abused. So, I asked, "Did your husbands (4) ever beat up on you? Did they ever try to kill you? Were your parents abusive to you?"
"No. But there was emotional abuse."
"My Dear," I said, "both of my husbands beat me. My second one tried to kill me twice. My father slapped me around and called me "stupid" from the time I was five. Now, if I can get over all that, I don't see why you can't."
"It's just different with me," she said.
Oh, of course it is because you are such a rare and unusual person., with such intricate maladies.
"I've been given black eyes and had my nose broken, yet I don't get hysterical when someone puts their hand up by my face. I was rear ended, push into the oncoming lane of traffic and front ended, and then T-boned by another car. I don't have PTSD about driving. "
I guess I get so mad at her that I tell my story to try and best her and show her she isn't any worse off?
"Well, you're just lucky."
"No, I'm not. I sought help to get over it. I put it in the back of my mind and tried not to think about it. You keep all those thoughts active in your mind all the time. You have trust issues and control issues."
"Well, why don't I? I've been through the same or worse than you. I accept the reality of it all, know I can't do one thing to control or change what happened, but can change my thinking by the way I react to it. I choose to let go and let God and move forward."
"I don't know," she said. "I can't. I guess I am just unique in my way of thinking. They told me at physical therapy that I am a special case. They've never seen anything like me before."
Oh Sister--you aren't unique, or special. You are selfish, self centered, over dramatic and paranoid. Go help someone else, volunteer, think of someone else for awhile and the pain will lessen.
"All of these people are trying to help you and yet, you won't do half of what they want to try."
"Nothing seems to help."
"It's going to take a long time, Kiddo."
"I just want the pain to go away."
"Of course. A lot of that has to do with your mind--your thinking."
"I had a doctor tell me that, a few months ago. He's nuts! The pain is very real! Why would anyone in their right mind keep the pain active in their mind?"
My question exactly.
"I just want it to go away so I can go back to work."
"I want to go back to work."
"Okay..now let's think about that. You've told me that you have to take your Dad with you, or he gets nervous being alone. How are you going to be away from home for eight hours? What is he going to do all alone?"
"You're seventy-five years old. You don't need the money. You can't stand for more than ten minutes, they won't let you sit at your job. You certainly can't stock shelves with your bad right arm..."
"But, I need the social interaction."
"Get a volunteer job then."
"I had thought I would try and volunteer at the hospital, in the nursery, rocking newborns."
"That would be great! Just one thing. The hospitals here don't have delivery or nurseries. That means you would have to drive thirty miles to St. Joes--expressway driving. You can barely drive to Brighton to physical therapy, four miles away, without getting a panic attack."
"I never thought of that."
"You and your Dad could go to the Senior Center once a week. You would both meet new people. He'd be the hit of the place at ninety-six and as active as he is."
"Hm-mm....I don't know."
"Well, get involved in church again. You said you liked that new church you were going to last year. Start going again and get involved in what is going on there. Take your Dad."
"He's an Agnostic. He wouldn't want to go."
"Maybe, if he tried it, he might enjoy being around all the people. No one is going to drag him down the aisle to the altar."
She laughed. "They'd suffer if they tried."
"I'm just trying to think of things that YOU could do...for YOURSELF...to take your mind off the pain and make YOU feel better."
"If I felt better, Dad and I could take a few trips. I know how to drive up to my brother's. We could go to Indianapolis and visit the grand kids. I know how to get there."
"That would be great! I just hate to see every minute of every hour of every day...your whole mind, body and soul are consumed with the constant thinking about your pain. I'd hate to see you make a career out of being the victim."
That was our 90 minute conversation, while she sat and had her muscles stimulated. HAH!
Am I too harsh with some of my words to her?