I'm a mentally ill person raising another mentally ill person. With chickens.

Archive for May, 2011

On Hoarders and my hysterectomy

So I had surgery on May 3.  The surgery wasn’t like a huge surprise or anything.  I knew if I went to the OB/GYN that I’d have a hysterectomy within the year.  It was a little faster than I expected but the procedure was a long time coming.  I’d actually scheduled it once before with this doctor and once before with another doctor (THAT time was way exciting–I ended up pregnant instead) so I had dealt with all the “say good-bye to your womanhood” type feelings a couple of times already.  And honestly the first time I was too young to realize the loss and the second time I was devastated and ended up with a miracle baby (and yes I know she is a miracle even though that idea makes me a tad uncomfortable) so this time I was mentally prepared for something that at this point I don’t exactly consider a loss anymore.  My uterus and my right ovary were broken and I was done using them, so losing them wasn’t really sad at this point in my life.  I WISH I could say losing them wasn’t painful, but that would be a big fat lie.  OMG!  Surgery was May 3rd and I am just now am starting to get around mostly normally.  I still can’t get up or sit down or bend over without it hurting and getting my daughter ready for her dance recital this past week had me calling the doctor for more meds.  I thought everything was exhausting before, but this is just ridiculous. I haven’t wanted to do anything but sit in the recliner and watch TV for the past 3 weeks.  I haven’t even tried to knit, I’ve read nothing but “brain candy” (no offence Charlaine Harris, I love you to pieces, and I wish my brain could be satisfied on just your words) and I’ve barely talked to anyone.  I’ve made a couple of VERY taxing attempts to shop with my friend the last two Fridays, but they have unfortunately not left me wanting more.  I’m starting to be concerned that this convalescence has left me alone in my own head (and with the TV) a bit too much.

The person I’ve felt most connected to in the past 3 weeks was a woman on the show Hoarding:Buried Alive  on TLC.  Weird, right?  This is what she said that got my attention:  “I’ve always felt the only thing I couldn’t manage was a household.”.  I actually rewound the TV and listened to her say it again, because I couldn’t believe somebody else felt the same way–much less a 50-year-old woman I’d never met and probably would never meet.  I’ve never felt like a household was something I could keep up with, but I’ve never really been daunted by much else.  I always ALWAYS knew I was going to need a partner when it came to staying on top of things like dishes and laundry.  Even in highschool I’d get marks for my tiny half of a room not being clean (and I was continually surprised by those marks, because I always thought things were fine), and my college room– my goodness, that was always a state and a cause of all kinds of roommate troubles.  I thought when I married my first husband–who I was such good friends with–that when we moved in together I’d have a partner and if I did some things he’d do somethings and the mess would be easier to contain.  What is it they say about the best laid plans?  That quickly deteriorated into the blame game: “You should” “No, YOU should” which of course meant nothing got done but shouting and then shouting led to violence and then I wasn’t married to him anymore.

I moved from living with him to living with husband of almost sixteen years now, and while this one wasn’t very friendly, he was very neat and very capable.  He rescued me and took me somewhere safe and made sure there was food on the table; he helped me get a car; he helped me move my stuff; he charmed the pants off my parents; me made my ex sign the divorce.  So what if hanging out with me was a job he left to his roommates?  He’d spend time with me when it was just the two of us right?  Or when we moved to the next town, or the next one, or when the baby came, or we moved again, or when we owned our own home, or when the next baby came, or when we moved AGAIN, or when???????????

Karen, the lady on the hoarding show, would just shut the door on her mess and go on with her life like the mess wasn’t there and I think that’s the other reason why I identified with her so much.  I do that with the physical mess (I literally just don’t see it) and with the relationship mess.  I just shut the door on both of them and go on like they aren’t there.  And for the most part this has worked.  Somehow the necessary stuff always gets taken care of.  I’ve had a lot of time to look around and open doors the past few months while I’ve been ill more often than not and  I think maybe I’ve been shutting the door and pretending the mess isn’t there for too long and now I’m at the point– in my relationshipat least, not in my house–where I’m being threatened with condemnation if I don’t get it cleaned up.  And like all hoarders, I really have no idea where to start.