So I’m sure you all have missed me for the past month or so and have been dying to know about what I’ve been doing. Unfortunately, most of it hasn’t been that exciting. The greater part of that time has been spent in bed, being depressed. The highlights of those periods have mostly been my panicky suicidal moments and my moments of extreme physical pain, which I thought were digestive/stomach issues, perhaps a hiatal hernia like my mom and uncle have.
Of course there have been romantic/sexual ups and downs. I started what I thought would be a nice “sex in a box” relationship with a shy lesbian female friend of mine, thinking I made my lack of intentions clear, only to find that I hadn’t, that I had made her feel used, and that I’m apparently treating sex “like a man does.” (Thanks Mon Parrain.) I was very sorry about the way it ended and in hurting her, though we are still friends and she has found a great new girlfriend just recently, for which I’m very happy because she does deserve a good girlfriend. I just thought I could be around to fuck until she found that.
I fell hard and fast for a whole family who live 2.5 hours away only to find that, once the depression set in again, my overwhelming desire to lose myself in what they wanted and needed was almost just as self-destructive as my only other desire at that time, to end my own life. So, as much as I hated doing it and being a complete coward about it, I begged Mon Parrain into getting me out of the situation before I did more harm to myself. He hated having to step in the way he did also because he never wanted to dictate my life, or any one’s life, but, as he felt I was a grave danger to myself, he did it. While I may not have agreed with his methods, he did do what I asked of him in the best way possible.
But of course my romantic life hasn’t been all doom and gloom. I spent a wonderful weekend with a wonderful young man who seemed to accept all my weirdness, has plenty of his own, and has made it his goal when we are together to make me laugh and smile. Also, seemingly without any special effort, he makes me feel safe and wanted when I am with him, hell, even sometimes when I am not with him, and that is a very rare thing. Initially, he started out as a conquest. This cute, slender but muscular army boy who was a friend of a friend and the only straight boy in a tiny bar full of only gay men. Though I got his number and we kissed, I was sure he’d forget about me as soon as he returned to the nearby college town where he lives and sobered up. I waited 3 days to call him. The first thing he asked me when I called though was when I was going to come kidnap him for a weekend with me in the Big City. As he looks much younger than he is and also younger than I am, I spent the weeks in between our first meeting and the first weekend we both had free for me to kidnap him, I took to calling him Boy Toy (BT) to all my friends. That will forever be his pseudonym on this blog as well. But what I thought would be a casual weekend of fucking became something more. I knew early on I was in trouble. He is a huge Buffy fan and on our way out to this posh shopping mall, we listened to the Buffy musical soundtrack. It was all over when he fulfilled my secret wish to sing “I’ll Never Tell” as the duet it is in the episode, with me as Anya and him as Xander. But there’s always a catch right? He deploys for Iraq in January and will be spending months before that at the mobilization site, getting ready to deploy. So, I’m trying to look forward to a year (or more) of sending him cartons of Newports, DVDs I think he’ll like, pictures of me, and loving letters. He says he wants to try to date exclusively as soon as he comes back. I guess we’ll have to see if he still feels that way when he returns and if I think I can be faithful then. But he’s such a sweet guy, there are times when I want to run because I fear hurting him. When I expressed this to Mon Parrain, he had a wonderful comeback. “Ava, you have the most perfect opportunity to leave the campsite better than you found it here. You can give this guy, who you really do like, a great time before he leaves and, then, with very little effort on your part, you can greatly improve his experience over there with your care packages and letters and constant reminders of his home, of all the love people back in the States have for him.. Even if nothing comes of the two of you when he returns, you will have been able to make his life that much better while he’s gone.” Considering how much BT has helped make me feel better, it warms my heart to think that I might be able to return the favor.
Another plus in this crazy time is that I’ve realized the amazing friend that I have in Mon Parrain. He is the one who did the dirty work with the family I loved despite his distaste for having to take over any aspect of my life. He has kept in almost constant contact with me despite a demanding work schedule and preparing for and having a baby during this period. When I was at my lowest point, it was really his genuine worry and fear for my safety that make me seek out a more intensive treatment option, though that didn’t work out quite as either of us had planned. They put me on a 72 hour voluntary hold when all I really wanted was to try to switch my meds, see the prescribing doctor more regularly so that if something went wrong I didn’t have to wait months to get it fixed, and perhaps go into an outpatient program. But it was his encouragement that made me stick to being there, to participating in the groups, and to aggressively seeking out the treatment I knew I needed. He also made dozens of fruitless calls to try to talk to me, despite the anarchic phone system. He continuously worked to make me laugh and also pushed me to get back to my writing, especially this story that I’ve been working on in my head since the summer because it intrigues him so much. Several times recently he’s told me that he thinks what makes our relationship so special, at least for him, is that he finally feels like he’s found someone he doesn’t have to lie to, that he can tell me anything and I won’t run away or be disgusted. I’m also smart enough to know what things are said in confidence and what things aren’t, without having to be specifically told. And, in all actuality, I’m not usually shocked by most of what he says. And I’ve found that in him as well. Though he seems to think that I can be the person that no one has to lie to for everyone, few have taken that offer. In talking about other lovers who’s honesty I’m questioning, he’s often said, “But s/he does know that you are the ONE person that s/he doesn’t have to lie to, right?” Apparently, only Mon Parrain feels that way about me, but I’m working hard to make it more universal.
But the biggest, most dramatic think to happen to me was---SURGERY. The short of the story is that I got surgery to have my gallbladder removed last Saturday and it seems to have taken care of all of my stomach problems and my acid reflux issues. Now, for the longer version: Until this semester, I did not have health insurance. A few weeks ago I started the tedious process of student health clinic visits and referral visits, etc, but nothing really happened until I went to the emergency room late Thursday night. While I was in the hospital for my depression, the generalized pain around my ribs had gotten worse and worse, but they weren’t equipped to help me. They also chalked it up to either being a hypochondriac or anxiety. Once in the ER, the doctor pushed on my stomach and the only part that drew howls of pain was when he pushed just below my right ribs. He referred me to get an ultrasound in the morning because they didn’t have a tech on duty that late at night. Friday, instead of getting the ultrasound, my mom and I spent the whole day trying to convince the student health clinic to give us a referral for the ultrasound (which was required by the health insurance company), while I lay at home in bed, writhing in pain, despite the lovely drugs they gave me. Fortunately, one of the ultrasound techs took pity on me and agreed to make an early morning appointment for Saturday, but that meant no food, drink, or drugs after midnight the night before. I was in serious pain by the time I got there Saturday morning for the ultrasound, but he was quick about it and I read his diagnosis over his shoulder. “Gall stones. Thickening of the gallbladder wall.”
Now, my mother had warned me that usually, even if it is a problem with your gallbladder, you have to wait weeks or even months to schedule a surgery. Not me. The tech took us to the ER, so it must have looked pretty bad. When the ER doctor came gave me a choice between surgery today or…well, I don’t really know what the other choice was because I told him to cut me open then and take care of it.
So Saturday I had laproscopic surgery to have my gallbladder removed. I went home Sunday afternoon. The surgeon said that I would have gone home Saturday but there was some drainage he was worried about, so he kept me overnight. There are two small incisions just below my ribs, one larger spot where the drain was, and my belly button is kinda messed up and bruised (because that’s where they pulled out my gallbladder) I’m sore, though less with each day, and I have to hold my stomach when I laugh or cough or sneeze. But this surgery has made me feel 100x better.
As soon as the surgery was over, I noticed that the weird pouchy roll that I’d developed around my middle during the past few months was suddenly gone. And I doubt they did any free liposuction so it must have just been swelling and bloating that never went away until the gallbladder did. The deep dark circles under my eyes that wouldn’t go away no matter how much sleep I got were also gone. So was the weird acne that had been plaguing me all summer. Even the acid reflux seems to have gone away. I never would have guessed that an organ you can just as easily live without and that you can take out so easily could cause so many problems for so long. In fact, I’m beginning to wonder if a great deal of my very recent depression and suicidal-ness was not due in some part to the toxicity my body was no doubt experiencing from my mal-functioning gallbladder and/or my body’s inability to properly process my meds. I guess I’ll never know.
What I do know is that I feel so much better. As much as my still recovering body will allow, I plan on getting back to my life, making right things I let go when I was depressed, getting things back on track, and, hopefully, getting ready to return to school next semester. Unfortunately, I was so stuck in my depression that I chose not to go to class or work so I’ve ruined this semester of school and lost my amazing job. But there’s always next semester and I might be able to grovel, re-apply, and get my job back next semester as well.
So look forward to hering more from me. Sorry for the extended absence.