Today has been one of those slow tedious days where you just feel like banging your head against a wall. It certainly hasn’t been a bad day, just monotonous. I was also reminded today of how long it’s been since I was able to spend meaningful time with other humans, and it just makes me feel dead inside.
I am someone who doesn’t like to “feel” my feelings. I like to remain as busy and active as possible, which feeds my positivity. As long as I am flowing quickly from one thing to another, I remain happy and carefree, able to spread joy and love to everyone. The side effect of this is that I end up not dealing with feelings, and I often ignore the rough ones entirely.
Today, being a slow tedious sort of a day, really slowed me mentally to a crawl. When this happens, it means I start moving my mental state from “thinking” to “feeling”. Most of the time, this ends up bringing on sadness, pain, and depression that just lives somewhere inside.
I finally finished work for the day and went to the kitchen to clean up and then start on dinner. I put on an episode of The West Wing to distract me as I often do, and there was a character that had to have surgery. She was intubated and wrote on a piece of paper “I’m scared”. This immediately hit me really hard.
The last time I dealt with someone in a hospital who said “I’m scared”, I deflected those feelings and tried to remain positive, and push us both forward. Past the emotions.
That didn’t really work though, because she went into a coma very soon after and I never spoke to her again. It was my mom that said she was scared. I couldn’t deal with it and I…I dismissed her feelings to satisfy my own. I shouldn’t have done that. I should have sat there and listened. I should have let her feel those emotions and release them to me. I should have allowed myself to be scared right alongside her.
Instead, I pushed those emotions aside and and pretended that everything was going to be fine. I told her she was in a hospital. She’s already being taken care of in the best way possible, and it’s going to be just fine. I told her I was going to go home for a bit, have dinner, and come back.
I changed my mind and decided I would come back to the hospital the next morning instead of making multiple trips back and forth. I told myself that I needed to take an evening to myself. I had been in the hospital with her constantly for months and I just needed a night alone.
I showed up the next morning to find her bed empty, being stripped bare. Nobody from the hospital had informed me, but she had gone into a coma and was moved to the ICU.
She was scared.
I never spoke to her again.
I know I shouldn’t feel guilty. I know I did so much for her. I know I gave of myself to her day after day while she was sick. But I will never shake the feeling that I didn’t do enough. I try so hard to bury these emotions only for them to make themselves known when I am least expecting it. This is why I move so fast and jump from one thing to another. I don’t want to feel these emotions.
But through all of this, I hope I have learned from this. If seeing those words on a TV show can make me stop and feel, I hope I am able to be a better person for the next person in my life who utters the words “I’m scared.” I hope I am there for them, and I hope I stop and listen. I don’t want to dismiss anyone in a moment like that again. I don’t want to be a let down to them, and I don’t want to hurt someone due to my lack of feeling.
I guess you could say I’m scared too.