Monday, November 15, 2010

"all helpful urges should be circumvented" or, Selfishness.

My grandma has cancer. It has returned after a full mastectomy 20 years ago. I love my mom very much, but (let's be honest) my grandma raised me. It was grandma who took me in as a kid and tried to understand me, who wrapped my bloody feet after ballet every night, who stayed up with me when I had insomnia, who signed my report cards, who helped me when I got pregnant, who is taking care of B right now. She has been through more than I will probably ever comprehend, and she's sacrificed so much for me, my family, total strangers, anyone in need. I have never met anyone more willing to give selflessly of themselves without asking questions, and more quick to downplay her own needs. She is fearless. But I am not. I'm scared. And right now, when she should be allowed to take what support and concern is offered to her, she is trying to protect me (of all people!) from being worried or upset by this.

I can hardly stand how self absorbed all of this is, but here's the truth:

When I got back from AMIA I had a humiliating, crushing incident. I will never be affected by him like I used to be but I admit I did get involved again. He moved to the city, came to my school, took my job. I was still in love, fresh off of his visit to Hawaii... and after three years, avoiding it was all but impossible. But like every breakup we've had, this one was sudden, cold and unforgiving. Not only had I not healed from it yet that night, but I thought we had reconnected. I misunderstood? So I ran up to him when I saw him on the street -- my old friend, my love. What happened next was the inevitable heartbreak I should have seen coming. I don't remember ever feeling so betrayed and disrespected. The reality of the situation set in slowly as I saw his face, realized who he was with, his words echoed through the crowd at Astor Place. I wanted to melt into the ground, disappear. I walked away feeling as though I had been punched in the stomach. Had I not had a shoulder to cry on that night, I don't know how I would have made it home. I felt paralyzed. And so has been the rest of my week.

The grad school workload crushing me, the headaches, the sleep not coming, my B being so far away... and him. In memories, in songs, in absence, in disbelief. It's different than before. I am very much alive, surging with feelings that I can't process. Anger pulsing through my veins, interrupted by waves of calm, introspective thought and occasional moments of relentless pain. Friday was a painful day. The question nagged of how someone who loved me could say those things, care so little, be so cold... and on and on. I had a brutal migraine. I was standing on the street near Washington Square Park when a (clearly crazy) man walked past me, grabbed my hair in his fist and pulled it as hard as he could. That was it. I sat and cried, assuming I had finally put so many bad vibes into the universe with my stupid decisions and melancholy that I had driven it to outwardly attacking me.

ME. There's that word.

The news of my grandma has settled heavy on my heart. I don't know what's going to happen next, except that I am going to get to Texas as soon as I can to help her. What I do know is that I need to reevaluate my priorities. I am acutely aware of how self absorbed I am. I dwell on someone who has zero concern for me or my family. I dwell on how that relationship reflects on me, on all of these irrelevant feelings and useless anger. I spend a lot of time sitting lately, procrastinating, moping. I waste time and misdirect my love and attention. I let disconnected events ruin my day to the point of public tears. I blog and blog. I've thought that one over quite a bit and I think it's important. I want to have this record of the good, the bad and the everything. But if I'm doing the right things, focusing on what's really important, maybe in retrospect this 3am post will mean something.

Please keep my grandma in your thoughts and prayers.

Her name is Cindy and she is one in a million.


  1. I'm SO sorry. I can't even imagine what you're going through right now. You know I'll be praying. I love you and I'm here anytime you need someone to talk to.

  2. I just found your blog, so I almost feel like a stranger writing this to you, but sometimes the words of a strnager are exactly what you need...

    Praying for you, sending you warm vibes, and know that you are wonderful.

  3. I'm sending good thoughts your way for both your grandma and you <3

  4. is there anything i can do? ill be thinking of you ok :) you are one of a kind too.

  5. You're grandma is in my prayers. You sister, are always in my thoughts and prayers. I still look up to you so much. I guess I just always have. You'll get through it Britt, let the Joneses know what they can do.

  6. i loved everything about this. and about you.

    let's get together. soon, yes. finally, yes?

  7. I love you Britt. I love grandma. And I love this post. You are so very brave. I can't wait to hug you and grandma soon. Sending love, always.