Tuesday, March 03, 2009

In Space No One Can Hear You Scream

I was in Denver over the weekend for my niece's birthday. Driving home on Sunday I was feeling emotionally ragged. Part of this was because I have not been getting enough sleep. My dog Kate has reached the point where the time between her brain telling her she has to empty her bowels and her body actually doing so can sometimes be less than thirty seconds. She is also getting up several times in the night to pace. Since we cannot tell "I need to get outside" pacing from "I am pacing for no reason" pacing my husband and I take turns letting her out. I have not have an uninterrupted night of sleep in weeks.

Then there is roller coaster ride we are on with Kate and her health in general. Whenever she starts doing badly we know that she may not pull out of it. We know her kidneys are getting worse because her breath sometimes smells of urine, which is a sign that waste products in the blood are not being completely filtered out by her kidneys. The wait for what is coming has been very stressful.

Some of feeling the way I did was caused by being around too many people over the weekend. Although being in Denver is wonderful at the same time it is exhausting for me. Here in my little town everything moves at a slower pace and people are generally relaxed. In Denver everything speeds up and people tend to be stressed out. Unfortunately, I sometimes tap into all this chaotic energy. First I feel antsy then like a steam cooker under too much pressure. This I could handle if underneath it all wasn't a feeling of great sadness and weariness.

Anyway, I was driving across the eastern plains feeling emotionally raw and wanting to cry. When I tried to I could not. Trying to do so only made me feel more tired and under more pressure. The pressure was so great I thought about pulling over and slamming my head against the steering wheel a few times. Then I thought why not scream. No one would hear. I was out in the middle of nowhere speeding along in my own little cocoon of steel. I could not be any more alone at that moment than if I had been in outer space. But I was afraid to do it. It was stupid. It was foolish. It was scary. Letting go like that was scary but I knew that my being scared to do so was really the best reason for me to do it at all.

I took a deep breath and screamed. The sound that came out of me startled me and at the same time thrilled me. I was surprised by how loud I had screamed and by how exhilarated I felt doing so. I also felt as if some of the pressure I was under had been released. I decided to scream again and took another deep breath. This time I screamed even louder and longer. The pressure was gone but the need to cry was still there so I screamed one more time. I felt better still and sat for a few minutes in the following silence. I was feeling good, almost at peace. I wondered if I should scream one more time. What the hell, it couldn't hurt. I screamed. That last scream was almost overkill but I could feel the last bit of sadness blow away while I was in the middle of it. I was tired but in a good way- like the way you feel after strenuous manual labor. Tired but with a feeling of accomplishment at a job well done.

Sometimes, a woman's got to do what a woman's got to do.

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