I can’t tell you how many times I have said to myself hang on until you can get home and cry. I was brought up not to cry in front of people, not my family particularly, but certainly the outside. I have tried to live my life, especially when confronting obstacles and difficult situations, with style and grace. It’s like a mantra for me. Big girls don’t cry. I have said “Style and Grace” every time I have been let go on a job. I use it all the time, most recently in the situations I have been confronting on my job. Okay lately, I also take a bubble bath the night before potentially contentious meetings with Not Soap Radio – Bathing with Sharks.
I am getting tired of all of this. I am hanging on.
So, I was not supposed to cry. I didn’t receive my diploma on graduation day. This was huge. Additionally, I never thought I would get married or have a wedding so this was going to be my day. I was tapped on the shoulder and told I wasn’t graduating as we started the processional. No one understood why I didn’t have my usual smile. As we dispersed and I saw my parents, I started to cry. My mother slapped me and covered my eyes with huge dark glasses. I was out of work for ages and got a job. I went in to have lunch with the owner. He told me I didn’t have one; he had changed his mind. Yes, here it comes another smack and dark glasses. My husband was arrested and in jail right after my father died and I couldn’t get him out, I sobbed on my sister-in-law till I wet her clothes. Came home and started to sob. My mother looked at me and said ” I thought I raised a grown up”. And no, of course I didn’t cry when my parents died. I gave both eulogies, no tears. This comes at enormous cost. Yes, I cry, I gush rivers, just not publicly. When I was diagnosed, no tears. When the first physician’s assistant said “I think you have MS” I sobbed in the parking lot, not in front of her. Maybe three times since 2008.
I am tired of holding on.
I had a meeting with the other ugly stepsister (work) three weeks ago. I thought I was being let go. Stood outside and repeated Style and Grace, style and grace. Summoned my grandmother’s spirit. Walked into the room with my head held high and SMILED. Bathing with sharks.
So, this week:
I find out on my birthday that my health insurance company is closing. Do you know how many years I had to wait to get covered for this drug? It truly helps me walk longer and better. If you saw me on the street you wouldn’t think so but it is better. My new normal. What happens with new insurance? Scared.
Next, I return to work and one of the ugly stepsisters wants a meeting with me to discuss what I do. This is the woman that I reported to briefly. I was like coyote ugly trying to chew my leg off when I was working with her. So, once again we go through “What do you do, how do you do it?” And she is going to have someone who uses the word “wordsmith” to write something for me! I can read the handwriting on the wall.
Husband has had a slip or several so I am back to being tense when I get home. No real safe haven.
I had an appointment to discuss possible options yesterday. Between the two meetings I literally couldn’t walk and was collapsing, bent over.
Today, I still felt still weak. Lots of training, walking, meetings. Ran into guy who brought me back to this place. He’s been trying to save my job. Calls me into a room so I thought I was finally getting the move and recognition. NOT!! My agent who handles my billing is going out of business. No one else wants to take me on. Essentially, this means I am out. What do I do? Go back to my desk and frigging smile! Ok so I contact the trifecta- my doctor, lawyer, accountant. In addition to my smile, I am known as a survivor. Keep on murmuring style and grace. My body is channeling all the stress and I lurch to the train. They change the track and the escalator and elevator are broken. Nearly fell going upstairs. I do make it to the car. My whole plan this afternoon was to get home like a pigeon and cry. I started to cry close to home on the phone with my husband. His response? “Don’t be such a girl”.
No tears but my stress pattern is reverting to two I had years ago. I used to have pre-fainting – pre hyposyncopia (sp). I turn grey and my eyeballs roll up in my head but I don’t faint. Later years, I got palpitations. Tonight both. I know it’s holding the anger and the tears. Now with this condition it goes through my body.
And tomorrow – style and grace.