A New Battle

Being in a cast is not good for me. It interrupts my healthy flow of chi, blocks all my chakras, whatever. I am convinced that when the technician wrapped my arm, the first layer was not cotton, it was a semi-solidified form of rage. Because, truly, I am feeling more rage now than is natural, and I believe the best explanation is that it's seeping into my bloodstream through my arm. (Or maybe it's because I chose a black cast instead of hot pink?) I do not want to make this a list of things I am raging at, because, like any fire, rage only gets worse by feeding it. Once I start listing the things that make me angry, it quickly escalates from my immediate family (my 2 year old doesn't hold still for me to change his poopy diaper left-handed), to people I know (apparently, Nate Oman found my fall fairly comical), to regional, national, and, given enough time to fuel my ever-growing fire with enough self-pity and anger, I can come up with injustices done to me on a global scale. No, really, I can. I'm quite talented at self-pity, once I get going. So, I have to STOP THE MADNESS! Because changing diapers and wrestling an octopus into clothing made for humans isn't going to get any easier until I have the use of two hands back, which won't be for another 5 weeks. And 5 more weeks of insisting on how hard this is isn't going to be fun for anybody to listen to, especially not my DH or my kids. It is hard. Harder than it should be, in my opinion, and I have reason to complain. But so do a lot of people, and complaining isn't helping. I can see that it's fairly toxic to my family. Because, as we all know, if mama ain't happy, nobody's happy - and if Daddy ain't happy, nobody cares. So, I'm trying to dial down the rage. I know, as mothers, that we have all had to fight the self-pity demon at certain times in our lives. Any good visualizations? Any tips? Share the victory stories!!!! Because although I believe I am currently winning the battle, I could lose the war at any time. Also, I would like to remind Nate that "Fools mock, but they shall mourn....."


Blogger Julie M. Smith said...

I think breaking both of Nate Oman's wrists would make you feel a lot better.

1/06/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Dear Wiz,
I think you (you meaning all of us) have to get to a point of seeing life from a more long-term perspective. Remember being pregnant and thinking those last few weeks would NEVER end, and then it was over? This wrist thing is going to be over so soon.
My view is that life is mortality/imperfection. For example, when my firstborn was in NICU for a week, and then my second was in NICU for two weeks, and then the year after that I was in hospital for 2 weeks, you could say we've had a stretch of physical imperfection being abundantly clear.

Why are we surprised when imperfection happens? Or more accurately, when mortality in all its unpleasantness happens to us? So, I guess I am advocating radical acceptance. For me, it is very helpful to just accept that in mortality things happen; I don't take it personally. Rather than seeing something as a test, why not see it is a condition of mortality and probably God had nothing to do with it. (That being said, I do believe in Divine Intervention; however, if there were too much Intervention there would be no room for faith, dang it!)
The other thing that is helpful for me in coping with all kinds of unpleasantness is, and I know this sounds weird, is that the Earth continues to spin at a steady rate. That no matter how much I don't want to give a talk in Sacrament, I know that this time two days from now it will be over, and there is nothing I can do to make it go faster or, thankfully, slower. I guess that falls into the acceptance category.

The only thing we have control over is your attitude towards the time passing.

I hope this hasn't sounded too lecture-y, and if it doesn't help, you always have JMS's idea about a hex on N.O. ;) Hang in there!

1/06/2006 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger Mo Mommy said...

elizabeth has a good point(as does julie!)in saying this isn't big in the long term. It sure does affect how you care for your family and yourself in the short term though. I think perhaps you are going to have to let some things slide for a while. Make easy meals, even in the *gasp* microwave. Give the kids 2 baths a week instead of every other day. Kick the toys into the kids' room instead of picking them all up and organizing them. You get the idea.
I recently got sick, very sick. When released from the hospital I tried to jump back in and do everything just like I always had. I,too, became very angry when it didn't get done, mostly at my own inability to do what I thought I should, but my frustration ended up affecting my family. And when they got more frustrated, I got even MORE frustrated at their frustration, and it just escalated from there. It took me a few days to realize that I had to let some things slide in order to get ANYTHING done. So I did laundry one day and nothing else. Cleaned the kitchen one day and nothing else. I did one major chore a day but nothing else, except for diapers and food, for 2 weeks. It was hard on my little ego, but seriously necessary for my health and sanity.
I also went to visit my in laws for a week so they could take care of my hellions while I recuperated. I highly advocate that solution!
Good luck, we're all rooting for you!!

1/07/2006 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Kage said...

Hi. I have anger. A lot of it. It might be from just living in an angry town...there are a lot of us here in NYC. I have a great life and nothing to complain about, but the complaints/anger/rage set in. I tell myself..."If only I could just drink one teensy tiny glass of wine...I would feel much better" Oh well.
So... my newest technique to calm the rage (that usually manifests itself in speaking/yelling to my children) is to whisper instead of yell. I find that it gets the attention of my child more....maybe because it's a change in the norm....maybe b/c it sounds like the still small voice (probably not)...but there is a little something you can try. WHISPER: "Don't wiggle while I change your poopy diaper...PLEASE"

1/07/2006 02:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Ooh, I love kage's technique, and use it myself. My other one is whistling. When I start whistling, that makes it very clear to the little people in my house that the conversation is over. It works two ways in that it signals to me, and to the kiddos that the conversation is over. If I start talking again, the issue is still up for debate (No, you can not have more fruit snacks for the umteenth time because.....). The other part is that it keeps me from speaking, letting fly all the snarky stuff I want to say in that moment.
I don't know if whistling will stop the rage, but maybe if you whistled a great song (you know, anything early 80s) you could distract yourself from it for a couple minutes?

1/07/2006 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Kage said...

Yes anything WH...whisper, whistle, whittle (once your cast is off), whip, whirl, whish, whiten, whiz (oh so appropriate for you), whoop, whoosh, wham, whang, whif, whimper, whatever whacks your whimsy! Or look up all these words in the New American Webster Handy College Dictionary. Just don't go whoring.

1/07/2006 08:21:00 PM  
Blogger The Wiz said...

I would also like to add, for the record, that Nate felt REALLY bad for mocking me once he found out I was hurt. So I guess he did mourn.....

1/07/2006 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger Mo Mommy said...

Kage, Quite the impressive comment. I loves me some alliteration!! You showed a dedication to commenting that sets the bar pretty high for the rest of us. Kudos! *golf clap*

1/08/2006 03:24:00 AM  
Blogger Liesl said...

No big tips on handling rage (except chocoloate).

I do have a tip on changing a squirmy baby without both hands. FEET! Yes, ladies, I sometimes hold my toddler onto the floor by putting my feet on her upper arms. She can't move and then I can change her without her running away or smearing yuckiness everywhere. I should add that I change diapers on the floor, not a changing table. (wouldn't that be a fun picture: me atop the changing table with both feet on her arms and my hands managing the diapering)

1/10/2006 11:10:00 AM  

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