I know what I need to say but my world crumples and implodes each time I go to generate the words I need, to such an extent that my fingers are left hovering uselessly over the keyboard, unable to manage even a “Dear Dr…” ASSHOLE! Dr. ASSHOLE! This is the other problem; with each attempt anger bubbles from nowhere, re-inflating my empty mind, holding up the crumbling structure of myself and in doing so overcoming the (until then) overwhelming despair, hopelessness, fear and futility which swirl together in my brain with each attempt to start the email.
But anger, as it turns out, is eventually just as destructive as hopelessness, and this time my mind explodes instead of imploding. It is harder to gather the pieces of me then, harder to rebuild the calm illusion of coping. But I do.
The information I need to send is in my brain – the transmitting device is functional. But when I try to get my fingers to act on this information, instead of the sensation of movement and the feel of keyboard keys underneath my fingertips, all they send back is an error message: CANNOT CONNECT TO SERVER. I cannot organise thoughts into words and so I cannot type those words onto the screen before me. And then the implosion and the explosion happen at the same time and cancel each other out beautifully but not without any pain. And so I give the illusion of being ok with what I am doing but I am freaking out.
Basically, I just keep freaking out.
At just an email. The appointment that results from this email will be the complete opposite of fun. This is the doctor who refused to get involved or take any responsibility in making even a plan on how to evade the grim reaper a week ago, and who for a long time refused to try anything to help me because he seemed to see no point in intervening in my
little long battle with the grim reaper and his boss.
I don’t want to put my life in his hands. I do not want someone so apathetic and unpredictable to have the say over how hard we try or what we try to improve my quality of life. I do not want him to have so much power over my life, to tell me what to do and give me no options other than his – who gave him such power? Who does he think he is to treat me like a child and change his mind like the wind? I do not like needing or depending on people because (as he so beautifully reinforced last week) I know they will let me down when I need them most. And yet, in sending this email, I am admitting that I need him. I am asking for his help, arranging the urgent appointment he told me to organise as soon as I was discharged from hospital in Norfolk. Grovelling. And the thing is, I’m not even desperate for his help. I don’t want to roll over like a submissive puppy and play right into his hands. I want him to respect me and to work with me. I want him to want to help me, not to shy away from the responsibility when things get a little more complex.
My mind runs through so many possible outcomes and previous experiences at the thought of emailing him and his team, that I almost cry then, overwhelmed by the lose-lose-lose-lose-lose-lose-lose-lose-lose-lose-potentially-break-even situation I am about to dive headfirst into if I ever hit send.
Cynicism and mistrust are survival mechanisms innately woven into the fabric of a human being. The environment that human being is exposed to dictates to what extent these behaviours are expressed. Unfortunately I have been through things which make mistrust replace love and cynicism replace reassurance. I live on these feelings, these behaviours. They are me. They are learned. And, like an animal, I have been a thousand times bitten, and am as a result two thousand times shy. He played upon that mistrust, he multiplied it. And now I have to find a way to overcome it, to overcome my own primitive, protective instincts and send a simple email.
And pathetically, I can’t do it.
I cannot connect to server.
But at some point I will, because there’s no way but through all of this, even if I hate every second. Time will drag me kicking and screaming to whatever awfulness is about to arise.
But I will not depend. I will never let down my guard. I feel alone in dealing with my health hiccups and oddly I now want it to stay that way – the only person I trust with my life right now is myself. I am the only person I can reliably depend on to always want to try. I have the intelligence and the scientific knowledge to manipulate my medications and calculate how much to push into my veins. Everyone’s bridges ere burned by the actions and attitudes of last week and I fully intend to tear down any attempts to rebuild them. Right now, I am kind of like an animal – vulnerable, scared, trapped… And the only thing I know to do in response to that is to fight – to lash out and defend what is left of me, to jump at every noise, to be on edge, to hide and lick my wounds until they start to heal and keep out of sight of anything that may prey on my weakness. When animals are wounded they lash out. Right now I’m no different to a wounded dog or a jumpy meerkat or… Whatever. Sending that email goes against every instinct I have right now. And yet, I have got as far as “Dear Dr (I type his actual name, deciding that it is now a synonym for arsehole).
While I’m at it, I may be cheeky and message my diabetic nurse to ask for a new insulin pump… Because why not, eh? Something good has to come from the terror of contacting medical professionals.