Saturday, December 28, 2013

Tonight as I'm feeling nasty, brutish, and unfortunately not short

I think I'm angry.  I'm not even sure what I feel any more but this might be somewhat angry.

SO many people have done so much for our whole family in the last few weeks.  I can't describe the degree to which I'm grateful to everyone for all of it (well, I don't seem to be able to describe much emotionally right now, do I?).  People have sent huge, delicious meals for the whole family; people have organized all of that; people out of town have sent meals.  It's so very much appreciated and so needed and I cry every time I think about it and how many incredible people have helped.

Why am I angry?  Because even with all this giving, which has done so much to fill our hearts and our stomachs, there's still emptiness in me.  Everyone around me is doing so much good, going so far out of their way to help and support us.  Yet still things are in turmoil.  The two more disabled and difficult kids are still home and still have nothing and we still have to deal with them minute-by-minute.  The other older daughter is still hospitalized indefinitely based on her needs and there's no real sign of medical improvement.  And yes, I'm still so very deeply depressed.

Just to be clear, I'M NOT ANGRY AT THE WONDERFUL PEOPLE AROUND ME!  Every thing everyone has done is, so appreciated by me.  I really didn't ever imagine so much help could come to us, and I appreciate every single thing.  It's this anger at the universe that remains.  Why?  Why? Why? With so many people trying to right wrongs and trying to help, why is there this pain, this depth of need not met, this lack of social services, these needs?  If it's me, why am I so very needy?  If it's not me, I don't even know what questions to ask.
I messed up on keeping track of my medications, and have to go two nights without the prescription medicine I usually take nightly to help me calm my thoughts.  This probably wouldn't have been too bad except that two nights before I ran out I already started having insomnia, keeping me awake until about 4 AM.  I really am trying not to self-medicate with alcohol or anything like that.  So I'm angry, and depressed, and stressed, and under-medicated (entirely my own fault, it's just that in all the chaos and with the effects of depression making me even more disorganized than usual, I forgot that last weekend I saw I would run out during the week).   But I'm that much MORE agitated given this.

Poor kids are feeling the effects of all the stress.  I've really, really, really made what feels like a super-human effort to not show my stress in front of them as much as possible (yeah, I'm not so good at that). But in the last 3 days, poor little 6 year old has dissolved 3 times into sobbing over nothings.  She's closest to her sister who's in the hospital 90 minutes away, and I know it's really hurting her.  Hopefully tomorrow she is going to go visit at the hospital, but I don't know if that's really going to make things better or worse.  And F is definitely in a really bad place now, he's very angry at the world.

I just read a very good book about the need for collaboration between human medicine and veterinary research (not animal research for the purpose of human medicine, but the body of existing veterinary knowledge and research).  Veterinarians have always known of the existence of "capture myopathy," especially cardiomyopathy.  In essence, situational circumstances which cause emotional stress cause critical physical damage, especially to the muscles, and particularly to heart muscles.  The simple act of fearing capture (imminent or imagined) is enough to cause animals to simply die of heart attack.  The mechanisms of how this works on a cellular level are pretty well understood.  But human cardiologists never consulted their veterinary equivalents, and so psychological-stress-induced illness research in humans is in its infancy.  We all know sudden surprise or stress can cause human medical disruption from fainting to heart attack, but no one bothered to acknowledge and research the pathways, the risks, and the ubiquity of the problem.  In reality, it's very clear.  Constant stress causes constant body damage, both chronic and acute; stress is perceived by the mind without conscious choice by the individual (it's not a personal failing to feel stressed); and stress can kill either indirectly or directly.  Yet the treatment for humans sick with stress is to tell them to be more mindful (as if stress is under personal control), that it's their cognitive choice to respond negatively.  Worse yet, when an individual or a family group is in overwhelmingly stressful circumstances, neither medical practitioners to whom this is explained nor social agencies supposedly charged with helping this act to remediate the stress.

As usual, I've been knitting compulsively through all of this.  I can't figure out if I like or hate this.  The problem is I love the dark yarn, but don't feel much affection for the light one. I think in the long run, the effect will be good, but it's this lingering dislike of a yarn that's skewing my feeling for the piece.  But I'm so brain-disturbed that I can't knit anything except this pattern right now.  This I can work zombie-style, relentlessly, thoughtlessly, emotion-free, without effort.  That's all I can manage.

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