Monday, January 16, 2006

The one where I vomit in my mouth a little...

Today is my great-grandmother's eighty fifth birthday. Crazy huh? That I have a living (and relatively young) great grandmother? She's starting to become more easily confused, and it broke my heart to speak to Granny today - because she was convinced that I had forgotten her birthday.

She gets confused and tends to mix up my stories with my friends, my mom, her friends, etc. It's all so complicated for Granny now to sort out. But she remembered to ask if there was any baby news. Sigh. No... no Gran, there's no baby news. She remembers to ask EVERY SINGLE GOD FORSAKEN TIME I ever talk to her. Oh - but she said, "there is! Lots of wonderful baby news. Everyone's having a baby it seems but you."

Um. thanks. I have two cousins (a brother and sister), neither of whom I'm particularly close too - both of whom have been married around four or five years. I should have seen it coming, I guess. He's a few months younger than me, and he and his wife had been trying for awhile and had two early miscarriages. His sister is about two years younger than us, and has been married a little longer.

They are both pregnant and due within a few weeks of each other. I'm happy for them, honestly. I think they will both make great parents. I'm just devastated that yet another example has hit close to home to remind me that I'm fucked up. I'm broken. I can't have kids and it kills me.

If it wasn't for the fact that she was so incredibly old, and fragile I would have flipped out when she told me that at least they're finally having babies since it seems you're incapable of it. All sorts of women have babies all the time, I don't know what the problem is with you two.

Gah. I started bawling on the phone and told her that I didn't want to talk about it. I've explained to her that we can't. I've explained the treatments, the tests, the heartache of waiting for so long.

It'll be so nice, to finally have a baby around, she said. I've waited so long for you to have a baby, and you're never going to.

Yum, that was the delicious taste of bile rising in the back of my throat.

I tried to change the subject, and when that didn't work, I hung up.

24 Comments:

At 7:30 PM, Blogger daysgoby said...

Sometimes, family is so hard, isn't it? The casual cruelness of strangers is so much more easy to brush aside...

I'm sorry, April.

 
At 8:20 PM, Blogger Kellie said...

I'm sorry that you had to go through that, April. As daysbogy said, family cruelity is so much harder :(

 
At 10:23 PM, Blogger PortLairge said...

I'm so sorry. Can it be that she is so confused she doesn't know she is being hurtful? That doesn't make it any easier really, does it?

 
At 7:36 AM, Blogger Lindy said...

Guilting by the elderly is the worst. My grandmother is terrible about that and the humiliation continues as she has announced to the extended family that my current (all too new) pregnancy is probably her last chance to see a girl come into the family. Nice.

 
At 8:26 AM, Blogger Cricket said...

The elders. I don't know what to say. You're so special to her that it cuts through all formalities, literally cuts. I will admit to minimizing parental and grandparental influence so as to preserve my psyche and not become roadkill. It is so hard and you handled it the very best you could.

 
At 8:48 AM, Blogger Blue said...

Ouch. Just ouch.

 
At 10:05 AM, Blogger DD said...

What else could you do but discontinue the conversation? It's hard to deal with the expectation of where you should get the most support - the family - and find out that sometimes it's where you get the least.

 
At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Jenn said...

Gee. Thanks, grandma. I'm sorry, that had to be hard.

 
At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Alexa said...

How horrible. I am so sorry you had to endure that.

 
At 11:28 AM, Anonymous mm said...

How awful. You're amazingly forgiving for being able to get through that much of the conversation. I couldn't do it.

 
At 11:50 AM, Blogger Nico said...

Oh. My. G0d. Yeah, yeah, she's your great-grandmother, and she's sick, but still - what bitchy things to say!!! I know that Alzheimer's screws with your brain and your ability to tell what is okay to say and what is not - I am so sorry that you caught the brunt of that.

 
At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Molly said...

Ouch. That just totally sucks more than I can say.

Let's concentrate on your new house, shall we? Your new HOUSE!

 
At 12:25 PM, Blogger Vacant Uterus said...

Ugh, I'm so sorry, April. Just so sorry. *hugs*

 
At 12:36 PM, Blogger Just another Jenny said...

I am so sorry. It is awful when you can't even get upset with her because she doesn't understand.

 
At 1:30 PM, Blogger twirl said...

Ouch. I'm sorry. That must have been very difficult, and no amount of knowing where it came from really helps, does it?

Wishing you a better day today...

 
At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Delurking long enough to say that even though I can't feel you pain, I hurt for you.

 
At 3:17 PM, Blogger Tendaironi said...

Yeah that had to have stung a little. I am going through the same thing with my 95 soon to be 96 year old grandma. They have no impulse control and say whatever crosses their minds like little kids. Only they have a bigger vocabulary. My grandma is white and I am black, so you can imagine what she says now, can't you? When she talks to me like that, I just remind myself that she is old and this is not the grandma who really loved me. Oh and that she is not going to live much longer and I would regret any rash actions or statements if she died that night. If I can give myself shots I can handle her.

 
At 7:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, no! That's so awful that I'm actually resorting to one of my unfortunate coping devices... giggling even though it's really really not funny! I'm so sorry she's said these hurtful things...

 
At 9:17 PM, Blogger deanna said...

oh, good lord.....you poor thing....I can hardly believe you're still in one piece after a conversation like that. I'm so sorry, hon.... *hugs*

 
At 1:04 PM, Blogger DinosaurD said...

I can't imagine how you must have felt. I'm so sorry that you had to hear all of that.
There is no way that your great aunt would have said those things if she weren't struggling mentally (if she had been that kind of person, you wouldn't still care enough to stay in touch with her).
Is it any consolation to know that your child would have appparently meant more to her than your cousins'? Probably not, but I do think she loved you a lot (at least at one time).
I know when I looked after my Grandmother as she deteriorated mentally, I eventually became "the girl". It wasn't much different then indentured servitude (only I did it willingly).
I hope you don't have anymore conversations that hurt you so much but she is probably not capable of filtering her thoughts (even at your expense).
Please take care,
DinoD

 
At 3:21 PM, Anonymous wessel said...

OMG, I am so sorry that you had to hear that. Well, look, you just have to simply put it down to her mental condition and realize that that wasn't HER talking. Though I think if I saw those words scribbled on a bathroom wall, they would still hurt. So it almost doesn't matter how much you try to rationalize it.

Gd, it's like a bad nightmare. Just another reason not to answer the phone for a while.

 
At 4:21 PM, Blogger Liz said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through that...I know how painful it was.

 
At 7:34 PM, Blogger chris said...

You have a lot more grace than I do.

 
At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Lori said...

I'm so sorry - that must've been incredibly painful to hear.

 

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