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Be proud pf me. I didn't completely lose it with the saccharinely sweet ICU nurse. I simply told her that I found her manner condescending, and while I am sure most people find her manner comforting and soothing, I found it not helpful. She stared at me.MiL stared at me. I have concluded I need to regard this as another planet and many Southerners to be alien life forms. If I think of it that way, maybe I won't get so utterly miserable with being treated like Aunt Pittypat. They are tryoing to be nice, but in a way that I found maddening.

I am still seething over the tech and the fact that her indifference and complete lack of apology to a man facing cardiac surgery in 36 hours. I got a glimpse her and saw her nametag. I thanked everyone else at the nurse's station, who have been, at worst, good at their jobs and mostly very kind and understanding, how good they had been. I walked past her restraining an impulse to shriek at her like a banshee (hey, my family HAS a banshee; that may be the job I choose in the next lifetime because I have a shitload of primal screaming to do) " Were you TRYING to kil my husband or are you just much of an ass and that incompetent?"  My personal feeling is she should find a job doing something where she isn't dealing with people going through crises and whoa ren;'t dependent on her doing her job correctly in order to survive.  However, I figured  I'd just go home and cry myself to sleep instead. Night terrors are back in full force. I wake up several times a night during 5-6 hours I get which means the  my sleep cycle is so disturbed as to be useless.

HOUSE RULES

1. I don't give a tinker's damn how YOU would have handled it so  bloody much better, how YOU would be Perfect and Wonderful and Rational and not Hysterical (translation an angry woman actually daring to show that anger and to be EMOTIONAL when her life is in tatters which apparently some see as bad taste).  You don't know how you would handle it because as far as I can see, the people who felt called upon to lecture have NEVER walked this path and have no clue what it feels like. So don't lecture me. This is has been Irishwitch's terrible, bad, awful no-good day. If you don't know the reference go to your library's children's room and look up Judith Viorst.  

2. I am still angry at the tech. I will likely always see the name "Nikea" and want to scream and throw things. The same way I hope that the nurse who reported us to social services (the social worker filed a complaint against her for filing a false report, so some of it probably cost er job, as it should have) will have her karmic debt increased for unkindness and making a horrible situation worse. I am not vengeful, but some people are bigoted and bring that to their jobs and should not be in certain fields.   More to the point I have learned every time I complg.  Most people don't complain. I see it as my duty to all the others who didn't have the intestinal fortitude to file the complaint. I figure my husband complained for then toher peopel that tech chsoe to ignore. Sometimes, despite the fact that some people think must never express anger, anger is the only rational response--and it gives you enough energy to keep going--especially when the person you are angry was n=both horribly rude and incompetent to boot (and could have killed my husband with her indifference). NOBODY else behaved that unprofessionally or that obnoxiously and didn't even bother to apologize.

3/ I fyou don't like me, keep it too yourself. You don't have to. You are entitled to your opinion--but you are not entitled to express it in my diary.  DBAD and remember be you are a guest in my husband's hospital room, and if you wouldn't have the unmitigated gall to say it to   his face when's back where he could your ass (verbally, and he's a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, and he has an amazingly intricate vocabulary with a reah gift for poetic flaw; he can outcuss Ian MacShane as Al Swearingen in HBO's old show DEADWOOD), please don't say it here.  I also realize that some people cannot handle an agry woman--I am a witch, not a lady and I amnot here to live up to your expectation. I am not perfect--and the ones  handing  me "good advice" aren't either. Don't want that sort of advice that demands perfection of me. I am am watching my life fall apart for the second time.

3. I am past the three warning state. You get one. I am fragile. I am in pain and I am so fucking scared to my toes that I am doing well to type coherent sentences.  If you have never faced that, you don't have a clue. So your "advice" comes from ignorance and a need, aparently, to feel superior to me. The last thing my hsuband said to me  last night was "You can feel however  you want. And, for me, tell them to STFU.  You are entitled to cry, to scream, to call the universe names. " He's right, you're worng--but you take his advice. Got talk to each other in kosmail and leave me out of it. I am here. I can read these discussions ofmy personality my problems, my coping mechanisms. I didn't lsoe the ability to read. ANd I have a high enough IQ to find these comments extremely insulting. Yeah, I hate the SOuth. I have spent ten miserable years here. My husband gew up here. HE has hated it his entire life.  You don't ahve to agree. But this place has been very horrible for both of us. His family try but we might as well be Martian, and I have to deal with their way of handling thigns--which is not mine at all--and I HAVE to be  polite to them. YOU I owe nothing.

4. If you can't be kind, BEGONE.

It's worse news today.

It was quintuple bypass. His heart is wek and has been damaged. HE may (operative word MAY) improve with the surgery but no guarantees.  He had apparently had multiple heart attacks with no symptoms till the last one, and his diabetes is advanced.  My MiL thinks he should just "let go of the past"---you CANNOT forget the past when you are still living with those memories of dead children and killing a 16 year old terrorist. It haunts you. He still has nightmares where he wakes up screaming or sobbing. I love his mother but The Power of Positive Thinking doesn't work for everyone. Her solution sounds so good--but she doesn't get it. She isn't hgelpful sometimes.

I got so angey today and had to walk away. I left them in the prayer garden and went inside, crying my eyes out. She and Amy chose to leave me there and go get lunch. I sat there wondering if they'd bother to come back so I could go home. I didn't have enough money for a cab that distance.  The only good thing that happened that day was the result of Mother Goddess int he form of a slightly plus-sized beautiful African AMerican Pentecostal preacher who's a chaplain Angels and Earth Mothers sometimes  come in the oddest packages.

She saw me crying silently (as I learned to do when Tim died per my father's orders) and stopped. And this woman took me in her arms and held me. SHe told me I could be as angry and as in pain as I needed te and I wasn't here to meet anyone's expectations and that Ben was right: the important thing was to be honest and authentic even if soem people didn't like it.  She said I didn't have to be perfect.  And she took me and led me to a place none of us had ever noticed, a garden with well, it would be a triskel, except this had 4 waving lines and there are benches and no one goes there.  I held her hand and cried.  And she held me and was accepting and caring. I got her name. I want Ben to meet her.  I was really  in despair at the bad news--and I am expected to be calm and collected and sweet. I don't feel sweet. But I m a pretty sure Barbara  saved my life or at least my sanity,. I don'[t how Ben will handle a woman who reminds me of Oprah (whom I have adored since the early 70s when she was a reporter on my favorite News cast in Baltimore--she was so damned REAL, and she was just kind and I found her realness and honesty beautiful).

But my terror has not subsided. He won't be back in the room tomorrow--may not be till Wednesday. I have no idea when he will be home. They're keeping him heavily sedatedtill at least tomorrow. All I could was touch his hand.  He din't look as bad as I'd feared--his skin wasn't gray. But  I hate being treated like a morn by a nurse (women here seem to fiund that comfortung and feel reassuredl I always wonder what the hell they aren't telling me and why they are talking to me like I have an IQ of 30 isntead of a grown woman; MiL adored her. I just wanted to scream)

I wont' go tomorrow. No point. He won't know I am there, and if he's in th ICU I will encounter the Condescending  Nurse, and Mil WIll be angry at me (she never ADMITS she disapproves of me,  but her insistence on offering the kind of advice that doesn't work with someone with the kind of memories he deals shows she really doesn't understand him at all--and I am a Rubik's Cube to her without the rules. I am blazingly angry (I want to punch Deity in the mouth about now) and terrified and I am not capable of pretending I am just fine when I am falling apart. It is a culture clash of MAMMOTH proportions. The only person who gets it and gets me and doesn't think I must behave like a Perfect Southern Lady (the only I ever identified with was Mary Chesnut, and MiL wouldn't have approved of her either because she spoke her mind, found slavery offensive to God and man, and  found her peer group about as pleasant as I do.   I am also dead tired of meeting other  people's expectations.  I tried to do it for years with my father, and he still called ma whore (his Alzheimer's was not that advanced so I really can't blame it on dementia), has always found fault with my looks, the men I loved (neither rich nor important enough to met his desired notion of a husband), and has always regarded me as just too odd for words.   At 64 it is about time to stop playing those games. I am who I am, I am not a bad person (hell I have been a damned good one or at least tried to be in a blunt Irish way, and frankly, Scarlett, I don't give a damn or a hydro-electrric plant either (old Carol Burnett show ref). I loathe Scarlett O'Hara.

Time to go feed cats and I ma gonna watch The Blacklist and watch James Spader (loved that man since forever; balding and at far mroe than his ideal voice, she still has that wonderful voice and th e most kissable mouth except for my husband). I am gonna tryu to get more than 5 hours of interrupted sleep, and pull mysel;f together. I need a break from my MiL befopre I say soemthign unforgivable. It huts my heart that  loves me but really doesn't like me all that much--because I am too different. SHe is a wonderful woman, but somtimes I just want someone who lets me be me without having to live upo to theier ideal of how I SHOULD be,.

I may be back later, I may not. I just want this to be over. I wnt my husband home and working on recovery, not ying like corpse unmoving,unable to feel my touch.  I knew how bad he would look, I expected tha, but the news was so much worse. He will likely live--but he may not do most of the thins he loves.  And, to quote the old rock song, "We gotta get out of this place?If it';s the last thing we ever do" because it is killing his body and my soul. Apparently crying my heart abn=nd beig angry and wanting so desperately for someone other than a total stranger to GET ME is impossible. And honest to Goddess, I am gonna save my pennies and buy the statue this beautiful older African Priestess in white robes lifting her arms to the sky that, for some reason has always been how I have seen the Wise WOman (I prefer that over "Crone"). It'll take me awhile, but in honor of Barbara she will stand on my altar. I will bring her to meet Ben but I'll prepare him  for her visit. I just know that her love, her kindness, her genuine goodness to a complete stranger are Goddess to me from now on,. ANd she wasn't afraid of my anger, my pain or my emotions. Barbara, I love yuou and you may have saved, if not my life, my sanity--and you one of the msot beautiful ladies I have ever met.

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