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Oct 6, 2008

The Cake Mix That we Call Life

Dear Everyone,

Hi....I am back!!

I am currently hating Crohn's: it is so random and I hate the medication and everything thing else it entails: so far I have had 1 colonoscopy, 1 CT scan, and 1 ultrasound: and I am about to have another colonoscopy. I hate it because it leaves me not in control of something I still consider (to a point) my one area of absolute control. And yes, people, I am well aware I cannot control my own body: infertility has taught me that. I just like to think I have control! Ummm...that could be an entire blog entry in and of itself. It could be titled “Jo and the everlasting fight to have control” or “Jo and the war of control”. For me the issue of control is not so much the people around me and outside events, it more about my ability to control my physical and emotional reactions to them. When I was in high school, I excelled at this. I was very talented at hiding the truth of my family and presenting a front to the world. It was always about not crying, not getting upset, not getting too close to anyone. I can't remember a single time in high school where I mourned what was happening in my family. Personally, I think this was my survival mechanism. Now however, I don't have that “need” there: I don't live in an abusive situation anymore: I don't need to present a front. But at times, the urge returns to me. It is like I need that fence of perfection and anything less than that is unacceptable. I don't need it so often as I used too but, there are moments, where I do care too much about what people think, instead of going with my gut. This has meant that recently, I have withdrawn from a lot of people I care very much about: I have just been feeling very overwhelmed with a lot of stuff I don't feel very comfortable talking about and is very hard for me to even talk about without even getting upset. The silly thing is that it is a single, littlest event last year that I guess has affected me the most: or maybe it has just released the floodgates. Whatever it is, I still mourn and feel deeply sad about it, so anyways. The truth is that it took me a full year to to allow myself to recognize that it had happened. But that's me for you: I do prefer denial. And yes, I do choose to keep the actual event a relative secret, even now. It may even stay that way, for a really long time. I know some people that read this won't understand why, but this is kind of a sacred part of my life now: and I think it best that I keep it that way, at least for now. And lets face it, I am usually so honest and blunt on here anyways, it's not like I have any secrets usually!

I watched a program on 4 Corners/ ABC last night about fistula patients (A fistula is a hole between the vagina and the rectum/bladder (or both) that appears during long labour (longer than 2 days: and the baby usually dies): in women that are undernourished, or under developed) . It made me very sad: these women have truly terrible lives. There was this 17 yr old on there, who had it, and she talked about losing her baby after like a week? of labour so calmly, so acceptingly. She had become an outcast, and had so many terrible things happen to her, but yet she was so calm. She even talked about wanting to die and commit suicide calmly. I don't know if I could have been so calm in her shoes. I would have ran about screaming and crying, and would have lost it completely. I am no wonder-woman, and yes, I am a complete wuss!!

Justin's mum asked me the other day whether I had ever made a mistake, or would change something about my life. I said that looking back “no”. I have no regrets. Everything I have ever done has been a lesson. It hasn't always been a good one, but all the choices I have made have taught me something: that is no such thing as a mistake: only lessons. And some of my lessons have been quite painful, and they have stung a lot. I struggle with Justin's parents sometimes, because they like to try to 'help' Justin (and I) by guiding us away from what they would term “mistakes”. Yes, they do it because they care, but ultimately it only leads to expectations instead of work and reality. Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate their help, but to me there is a fine line between help and spoiling: and sometimes I think they spoil when help isn't needed and when it is needed, be really negative about it....

We finally got around to telling Justin's parents about the fostering. They did not respond well. They were full of “you shouldn't do this until your 30 and married and have kids” (which I did expect)... And then they said some really weird things as well, basically insinuating that these kids are beyond help and that it was a waste of time (which I didn't expect). Umm...I must admit that upset me a lot. I think they forgot that these kids have a very similar background to my own. Essentially they were inferring that people (eg us) should give up on these kids because they were beyond help and that it's all too hard because apparently we are too young and inexperienced etc, etc. That hurt because if people had said that it was all too hard to help me and had given up on me, I wouldn't be where I am today. And re: the experience comment: well for starters I have been there in those kids shoes, and it isn't a nice place. I think I can truly help those young ones in the age group I have already specified. I have said to the foster care people that I would feel very uncomfortable having an older child because of the ramifications (eg. a child that is too old to be our biological child: I for one think it would be very strange if I started to run around town with a 10 yr old: it just wouldn't “fit”) and the behavioral and emotional problems. Justin and I are both very aware that this isn't going to be an easy, or smooth process. In saying that, we have postponed it till the beginning of next year/the end of this, simply because of my health problems...As soon as I am on a stable medication regime, we will continue in the process: and we look forward to the challenges it will bring!

But anyways....
I hope the length of this discussion has thrilled Chris & Co :-)

And I would like to give a big shout out to my family, friends and fellow bloggers who have such a huge support: I love you all!



Doctor Dark said...

Hello Jo, I see you've vanquished the bills ;-P,

First up, when you describe your body as being your one area of absolute control, I can't help but be intrigued -- after all, the common stereotype of the culture studies student is that they're neo-hippies obsessed with the conditions of their bodies. I'm not one such stereotype, but I think you'd be interested in the work of Kristeva/Christeva (I'm not sure if I'm spelling the name correctly) and the concept of abjection (abjection being the substances that are ejected from our bodies, this includes children I think). Abjection is a concept that is discussed with interest in relation to women because of childbirth... I hope I'm not being insensitive, but I thought you might find it an interesting idea.

I agree with you on every experience life gives us being a lesson -- you ever get the feeling that life/the universe/everything is trying to tell you something? I do recurringly. And life for you has been a succession of challenges, but you seem to do it pretty well. :->

Happy second comeback entry! :-P

Sassy said...

I'm so sorry the Crohn's is giving you so much trouble. I hope you can get a good balance with your medication soon. It must be incredibly frustrating.

I know what you mean about losing control of your body. It's really hard to deal with your physical self not listening to the rest of you.

And you do get people saying really weird things about fostering and foster kids. But we found that even the most offensive people were great after they actually met Miss J. I think often they just don't know enough and they fill in the gaps with ridiculous ideas that there are really now basis for. So while I can understand you being really hurt by what people say, just remember how ignorant they are and you will show them later how wrong they are.

After reading your post it struck me that you seem to be really hurting at the moment. So I'm wondering if you've considered having some counseling to deal with everything that is going on for you right now. You certainly have a lot on your plate and it can really help to talk to a professional who can give you some more insight and help you process things. Just a thought.

Take care.

Lidia said...

Hey Jo!

I can see now why you wrote your last entry about life. And like Chris said, I'm also interested about what you said about control. Control seems to me to be one of the reasons behind why people get anorexia or bulimia - they want to control at least one thing in their lives. But i know you're a strong person and you can definitely get through Crohns - especially with your new family that you are on the brink of getting...

Which leads me to the thing Justin's parents said. I think that you guys will be great foster parents, probably better than other people. It'll be hard but I know you can do it! If you've got a passion for it it will work out!



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