Now That I'm Someone Else

LIfe and loves of the bubble bath queen

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Butt in the air- but I love you!

I’m not good under pressure, during crisis, in times of trouble. When people need me, really need me, I joke, I poke fun, I pretend it’s all good, nothing bad is really going to happen. Mary freaking Sunshine, as one of my sisters so sweetly called me.

It’s a defense mechanism. If I can laugh, and make someone else laugh, especially someone who is hurting or scared, then it will really be ok. After all, we couldn’t laugh if it wasn’t, right?

All my life I’ve hidden from what is wrong. If you stick your head in the sand, the bad stuff will sail right over you and never even notice you there with your butt in the air.

This only works when the bad stuff that is going to happen applies to someone else, when it applies to me, I stress, obsess, make myself sick. I try to think of the absolute worse thing that could happen, I actually start planning for that possibility so that when the doctor, or who ever says, oh wait, this is dyfocus of the blowhole, not cancer, then I’m hugely relieved, I even feel a little silly for getting everyone so worked up.

That’s what happened with my hysterectomy. They said the “C” word and I shut down. I knew I was gonna die, no need to have surgery, I’m gonna die anyway. Oh well, at least I’ll die with all my parts. Tree begged me to have the surgery, I stubbornly refused, until she wouldn’t stop crying and then I agreed. Still I made plans to die, I knew I was gonna die. I spoke with an attorney about the care and keeping of Mo after I was gone, where would she live, who would take care of her, who would get my insurance money, all of that, I had in place, because I was going to die.

Obviously, I didn’t die, and after the surgery I felt silly for being so melodramatic.

But when other people in my life are sick, I refuse to even say the words. When they thought Tree had thyroid cancer, our kids were five. She called crying, she didn’t want to die, she wanted to see Little Boy Ugly grow up, she didn’t want to lose her hair- and there it was, my in. I absolutely was not going to talk about dying, but I would talk about drawing her eyebrows on and painting daisies on her head. Hair didn’t matter, she was gonna live forever.

Then someone I love was diagnosed with MS. She called, crying, telling me all the things that could happen. I couldn’t wrap my brain around it, she was gonna live forever. So I made her laugh.

“What exactly did the doctor say?”

“He said the results are back and I have MS.”

“He said MS? Not multiple sclerosis?”

“That’s what MS means.” She is trying to be patient with her thick headed friend.

“Well, maybe this time it means, masturbates selfishly, or manually stimulated, or …..”

After a couple seconds of stunned silence, she laughed, through the tears we both laughed. And it helped us get things in perspective.

Now someone else I love is sick. Lupus. Fortunately it is the mild skin type, it’s still a chronic disease and a life long diagnosis. So I do what I can. Buy lots of sunscreen, argue with her stubborn ass about staying out of the sun and tanning beds. And make lots of jokes, it’s what I do.

It’s out of love, although that can be hard to see, I love so strongly I can’t imagine life without these people so I stick my head in the sand and love them the best I can, by making fun of them.

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