My life this last little while has felt a bit roller-coaster-ish. There’s been a bunch of good stuff, holidays, this guy I’ve been chatting with, generally seeing old friends.
But yesterday was rough on me. Really rough.
I went to see Cheryl yesterday. She’s been diagnosed with terminal bone cancer (in her spine, and spreading). She was in hospital after having an operation to strengthen her leg bones so she can keep walking. Cheryl has always been a dynamic, selfless, no-nonsense person who says “bring it on” when a problem crops up, she rarely talked about the past and always looked forward. She’s been a tower of strength and sensibility for her friends and family. Seeing this dynamic strength swallowed up in the hopelessness and frailty of her situation was so incredibly hard. She knows she can’t really look forward, because the future holds pain and suffering for her, so she lives in the moment. Unfortunately, the moment isn’t much better. I heard the word “agony” more times than I want to think about yesterday from her, and I’ve never heard her complain about anything before, ever (well, the occasional child trouble, but you know). I left there, reached out for a little support, and had probably ten to fifteen minutes of intermittent sobbing, after which I felt a bit better.
That would have been rough enough, but then at dinner…
I found out that one of the people I’m staying with knows this guy I’m going to call Scumbag. Scumbag was married to the sister (M) of pretty much my best friend on the planet (A). I view A’s family as my family too. My friend who knew Scumbag years ago wondered why he hadn’t seen him around for a while until recently and then never with M. I told him that he’d been imprisoned on charges of child molestation – his own and children of one of my best friend’s other sisters (K). This was unsurprisingly devastating to the family when it happened and is only just starting to recede in terms of constant impact on their lives – and so the topic turned to child molestation! Ungh! I had a hard enough time just saying that Scumbag had been imprisoned – this was a topic I didn’t really want to talk about, but really couldn’t figure out how to say “Guys, I can’t deal with this tonight.” I should have just said that. But I shut up and just felt mildly nauseated instead.
I wish I’d been more assertive last night. I will be if I’m ever in a similar situation again.
On a positive note, I have a nice, attractive man calling me “Babe”!