Thursday, May 31, 2007

That feeling of isolation

Sometimes, it just hits you, that feeling that no one listens or understands. While I know that's not true, sometimes it feels like it. It's when it's the people you think are closest to you, seem the most distant.

Yesterday, I had a conversation with my sister, and I exited the conversation feeling so slighted. During the hospital stays in January and February I felt very alone. I was two hours away from everybody, and their lives went on while I cared for a crying, in pain baby who endured more pokes and stabs than I would have been able to. It was hard.

My sister, I thought, had some insight into that. We've discussed it, I've tried to convey some of the stuff that went on and how I felt. I got off the phone yesterday feeling like I've never been heard. As if I've been talking to myself.

It's not all about me and how I feel. She and I have conversations about her and her frustrations, feelings, etc.

Yesterday, though, she was talking about her youngest and being concerned he might have adenoid problems. She said she couldn't put him through a surgery for his tonsils because she did that with her oldest, and it was so hard. I responded that my view on surgery is a bit skewed (I certainly don't advocate surgery unless it is needed, but the Big Dealness of it hasn't lessened exactly, but certain surgeries seem like bigger deals than others, if that makes sense), and that's all the further I got. She responded, "Just IMAGINE seeing your baby in pain! Imagine yourself having the sorest throat ever and imagine seeing your baby go through that."

I could not even respond to that. It's not like she's just some person of the street who heard our story for the first time and perhaps forgot some of the details. It's not like she's even an acquaintance who knows us and of our story. She's my SISTER. I talk to her almost every day.

Can I possibly imagine, can I, what it's like to see my baby go through pain? Can I? He had four neurosurgeries in the span of one month, and my sense of normal is a bit skewed. I held my poor little baby down for I.V. lines to be placed, for blood to be drawn, for shunt taps to be done, and I watched him go off to surgery after being informed of all the risks time after time.

Having tonsils removed is scary. I don't want my nephews to go through that either, but if they have to, they have to, right? I tend to be pragmatic about our situation and not fly into a tither every time he's had surgery, so I'm not going to be overwhelmingly dramatic at the thought of a "potential" surgery that may or may not occur. It doesn't mean I don't care, it doesn't mean it isn't a big deal, but when your son's brain has been tampered with as much as mine has your perception tends to be a bit different.

I wasn't trying to minimalize her situation, and honestly, I didn't say a whole lot. I pretty much kept my mouth shut other than to say as far as surgeries go, her older son's did go really well, with no complications, and that if she did have to go through it again, she would know what to expect.

I'm not sure exactly why she thinks I can't imagine what it would be like to see my child recover from surgery. Am I being overly sensitive or was she insensitive?

*sigh* It's just one of those days. I'll move on and get over it.


Amanda said...

Sometimes I feel like I'm shouting into the wind...

But I have to say, I've never experienced something like what you posted about.

Wow. It's family, so I'll contain myself, but... wow.

Rural Felicity said...

Hi, Amanda!

Thanks for stopping by.

Yeah, my sister can be one of the most caring people, but she gets majorly tripped up by her self-centeredness.

Family dynamics can be sooooooo fun. :)

Penny L. Richards said...

Fantasy response: "Yes, I think I can imagine that. No, wait, I'm not imagining it, exactly, I'm ... REMEMBERING IT."


Rural Felicity said...

Hi, Penny! Great fantasy response. :) I felt stunned and didn't say anything. Partly because I think I would have said too much.