Wednesday, April 7

Nothing prepares us for our 'Real Lives'.

When I was young, I would vaguely think of my future life, or my Real Life, I suppose. The teenage years seemed somewhat vague, and largely unrelated to what Real Life would be, later on in my life.

I did not have a clear picture of what the Real Life would entail.
I think my actual Real Life was so different to anything I would, or could, have imagined, much of it has been a huge surprise.

I was going to be a Nurse, and nothing disuaded me. Until I went Nursing. Several things changed my mind. Not least the Geriatric Ward. I was sorry for the old folks, but I think it takes a special type of person to nurse the Elderly, who may have lost, or be losing, their marbles. On the other end of that scale, if I could have just been an Obstetrics Nurse, I would have been deliriously happy. It was Not to Be, back in the day.

A new path, was not so much chosen, as happened. The great education of Life began. An Education I frequently protested, but Life had other ideas, and little old me, did not really matter. You know the scenario, Mind Over Matter. Life did not mind, and I did not matter!

My experiences with Mothers of the current boyfriends, certainly never prepared me for the eventual Mother in Hell Law I ended up having, I might have been tempted to run a mile from Gom, & everything to do with him, and his family, had I been lucky enough to have been gifted with second sight.

It does seem curious to me, that every mother of the beau of the day, as far as possible, liked me, and I, invariably, liked them right back. Alright, there were several I did not get to meet, being as they lived in other countries. However all the ones I met, and knew, were very nice friendly mothers, who seemed to regard me as an acceptable future DIL. Or friend at least.

Just for a momentary change of pace, do you think this might be a hand... or a foot...??

The Spirit of the Tree, begging for mercy? Begging to get out?

Easter weekend brought many (un)pleasant memories of my MIL. Though she is gone now, and I should be able to move on, I am constantly reminded of her, in little gestures and mannerisms of Gom.
I know it is unfair of me to resent these unconscious little things. However, I need to unload this cr^p, or it will eat me up.
I know it is not Gom's fault he reminds me of his mother. (Probably the happiest period of our marriage was when she overstepped the boundaries completely, and I banned her from my home, for about 5 years. I had several years of peace and harmony.) Had she been another person, I may have felt a rush of affection, on seeing reminders. The ugly truth is, I feel an irritated anger, & feel I possibly need counselling to deal with such thoughts. Or a large Voodoo Doll?? haha.
Here is a photo of the Apron in Action! This young man loves to cook, and he is giving the apron a good workout.

The resultant stew, cooked in the slow cooker was declared a delicious success!

Here 'we' ( his lovely mother & I) are at the Blowhole. I was glad to see my blue top did not get splattered with food, but if you look closely, there appears to be some small animal attached to my bottom lip!
A friendly stranger offered to take our pic, so L offered her camera. People are generally friendly and very obliging on trips like this.
Today's little adventure was not a pleasant experience for me. 
Yes, I know, here I go, flitting off the track again.  
I had to go for a Stress test  for my heart, having had a small 'episode', as they seem to be now known, about 8 weeks ago.    

Finally, after several cancellations- not mine- today was the day. It was hot, humid & very sticky. Ugly weather for anything...just breathing felt stressful!
Off goes Meggie, in her most loose, comfortable, cool!!,  clothes    
On arrival, I walked the 2.5 k to the center. OK I exaggerate, but it was the length of the block, almost!
I fervently hoped there was aircon, as I cannot stand exercise of any vigourous nature, nor can I breath in humid weather. 

ShockNo 1. I was required to strip to the waist- well shirt off, at least. This caused me some embarrassment, since I wore my most clapped & worn out bra- well they advised wearing comfortable clothing! Who could wear a new tidy bra?? They hurt like H#ll don't they??

So here I am, after being led out through an open Breezeway, to the now converted Double Garage Space which is to be the Stress Testing Zone. WHA???
I am sandpapered, vigourously, in various spots,  then have some several studs fitted to my person, which will be used to attach various monitor wires to be hooked up to machines. 
So here I stand in my partially naked state, waiting to meet the Doctor. He Introduces himself, trying not to look  too keenly at my partially undressed state. I would not want to gaze upon it either! 
I am instructed to lie on a bed for my 'resting heart rate' to be recorded. I am then further hooked up to wires, & studs, and told to mount the walking machine.
I might venture to say here, my heart is filled with dread. Such devices strike a primeval loathing within my being, & I immediately panic.
My blood pressure is taken. It is abnormally low, for me. The fear factor, I guarantee!!

Then they turn the walking torture  machine on. My legs resist the urge to fly out from under my body, backwards! I am instructed to take long slow strides. WTF, who can take slow strides on this hideous contraption?? I eventually 'Get the Stride' they tell me. 
Then as I struggle to breath, they, being the nurse and the Doctor, tell me they are stepping the speed and gradient up. 
I sweat like some navvy, and I gasp for breath, telling them, I cannot stand this heat, so they obligingly turn on a PEDESTAL FAN??? WTF?? What ever happened to aircon?? 
Finally the sweat on the handle bars begins to drip, I am so miserable I call for a halt! After all, I can barely breath, & I feel bloody minded, & hostile. 
Meantime blood pressure has been taken several times, and it is higher higher. 
I am released from torture.
I am led to a chair, where I gasp & heave.

Then I am told, "Well we didn't manage to get your heart rate up, so the Cardiologist may want more tests"
Over my dead body! I will not be going back for more, & would rather be dead~!

If it is heart-rate increase they want to measure, just come around here when I am trying to find previously available objects. GRRRR.

I know the signs are, Gom might well precede me. Some small signals tell me this may not be so.
He is on a diet in preparation for his big tests, so we are hoping we will get some answers to some of his problems.

Our Easter was filled with Joy. We had family, and friends, and we enjoyed our company.
I had a call from a friend, Overseas, who would love to come to stay, so we look forward to that.
We also look forward to Overseas friends who are currently in OZ who may come to stay too.

Our Daylight Saving has ceased- for once it was the same weekend as NZ. I find I am ready for the sleep-in.

I don't know if this will work. I may have to start just suggesting music again.
This, if it posts, I love!
Jean Michel Jarre.



Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Enjoyed reading your long post. You need to get more positive things in your life and bury the negative your MIL. Counseling isn't a bad idea. Get rid of the anger or it will shorten your life. Good counseling can be liberating.....from personal; experience.

fifi said...

Oh poor you on the treadmill. Horible.

i think it perfectly acceptable to hate someones guts,
especially a mother in law. Some people put so much energy into being horrid .

I hate my sister in law. She's a vile psychopath and if she burst into flames I would not put her out, no i would not. Nasty mean person.

But I dont waste a second thinking about her at all. I dont let her steal my peace, i just pretend she doesnt exist.

Thimbleanna said...

Isn't it amazing how much of our lives are planning and how much is chance? My life isn't really what I imagined when I was young -- it's probably better, but definitely not what I imagined. I do find my hubs reminding me of his mother more and more as he gets older -- of course, it's the irritating traits that do the reminding. Sorry about the stress test - hopefully you won't have to go through that again!

persiflage said...

The stress test sounds ghastly. Let's hope they can think of other ways to monitor your heart and health.
As for the MIL, the voodoo doll sounds much more fun. Although I did find counselling helpful, but at present am tempted, evil wretch that I am, to seek out a voodoo doll. I could get two, one for you and one for me. We could co-ordinate pin sticking routines....I was going to add, it can't do any harm, but if not, there is not much fun to it. eh?
I too am waiting for my Real Life to start. I think what I really want is autonomy.

marigold jam said...

I have come to the conclusion that Life is what happens whilst we are planning how it will turn out! Mine is not what I imagined either but then how can we imagine what it will be like when we haven't anything to go by - if you know what I mean?! I certainly wouldn't let your MIL spoil your life now - though it's easier said than done I dare say. I was lucky mine was not too bad at all and my husband doesn't seem to take after her at all though he gets more like his dad the older he gets!

I think ACCEPTANCE is the answer to life's problemswhich cannot be solved simple but not easy to do. Counselling is helpful though it doesn't give you any answers just lets you talk your problems through which you are doing via the blog. We are all here rooting for you and wishing we could help. Take note of some of those sayings you sent to me earlier!!

Jane x

Pat@BPM said...

I had a problematic MIL, the second time around. The first one was a delight. She was the grandmother of my children. That marriage ended after 20 years.

My second MIL passed, in 1994. She passed some awful things on to her sons, beginning in early life (playing one against another type things) least her oldest is a good 'un...he's mine, thank goodness.:-) There was a tad bit of work to do, but all is well, now. Just shaking my head at some of the memories! Life has not always been rosey for the folks at the Back Porch. We are stronger because of the lessons learned, from childhood to present.

My mother had the chemical stress test in her later years. I've always thought that would be better than walking that contraption!!

ancient one said...

You are so right about Real Life not being what we thought. My daughter and I were talking about that yesterday. She said she tended to think "in the future I will" and it finally dawned on her.. today is the future ..Live this day. And really that is all we're promised.. is this day!

As far as the trying to get past the things we see in others that we don't like, I try to imagine that person as a child and try to treat them as I would a child. Kind and tender.

And again just to tell you that life is never what we thought, as I was typing this comment, I was interupted by a phone call with sad news.

I have decided that my new moto is going to be "ADJUST and TRUST"..
Do what I can and Trust GOD with the rest.

Sorry about how uncomfortable your stress test was. You take care of Meggie as well as GOM. (((hugs)))

Molly said...

Wise words from Ancient One! I didn't have problems with my mother-in-law, may she rest in well-deserved peace, so much as with my Father-in-Law, who is a pill, to put it mildly! What is scary is when I see his father showing up in the OC. Then I warn him, because his father makes him crazy too!!
Hope they can find better ways to monitor your heart! Wishing you and GOM improved health.....

Molly said...

Wise words from Ancient One! I didn't have problems with my mother-in-law, may she rest in well-deserved peace, so much as with my Father-in-Law, who is a pill, to put it mildly! What is scary is when I see his father showing up in the OC. Then I warn him, because his father makes him crazy too!!
Hope they can find better ways to monitor your heart! Wishing you and GOM improved health.....

Kathy's Klothesline said...

After the childbirth years you think you are finished exposing your self to the medical world and find that it has only begun! You have my sympathy.

I know exactly what you mean about the little unconscious gestures that reming you of your MIL. I sometimes stare at my husband and wonder who he is. He looks more and more like his mother. She was always pleasant and I love her in a distant sort of way. My sister-in-law keeps her pretty much isolated from us ........ we don't have money like we did in previous years and are pretty much considered useless. Therapy might be a good idea. My daughter just underwnet some therapy to help her cope with some events in her past. She is so much happier now.

Glad you enjoyed Easter with family. I did, too!

quiltmom said...

My dear Meggie,
I can relate to this post- sometimes you think that life is going to be one way and it is not that way at all.

Hope you have recouped from your stress test and that life's stresses become fewer.

Loved the photo of you and your DIL.
Be well,my friend,

Sending you a big cyber hug,

Warty Mammal said...

I'm bemused by the title of this post. I just finished reading an Ann Tyler book, "When We Were Grownups," in which the main character seems to spend a good portion of the book exploring whether she's been living her "real life" or not.

You've lived and endured and as near as I can tell, are a remarkable person. Your M-I-L, from some of the stories you've told, was quite a pill. Moving on from some of that, or processing it, has to be a challenge.

Nice shot at the Blowhole. You're looking good. I hope the ticker is doing well. Sounds like the stress test had its humiliating aspects, but I doubt most doctors could care less about our wearing clapped out bras and the like. They see bodies, bodies, bodies all day, the same way we see dishes, dishes, dishes or laundry, laundry, laundry. After awhile it has to get to be a blur. Scrape and wash. Walk and test. No matter how we feel about someone seeing our skivies, it's kind of impersonal.

When I squinted so it was blurry, I got a definite foot skeleton vibe from that tree.

The Sagittarian said...

Oh so much time is wasted on reacting to things we can't change isn't it! That stress test sounds stressful alright...
Glad you're up and about blogging.

Pauline said...

This better be real life because I don't want to have to go through it all again if this is just a rehearsal!

Isn't that stress test stressful? You'd think they'd come up with something better...

Glad your Easter was joyful. Glad your MIL is gone. Glad you post your thoughts like this - I find myself nodding my head in agreement.

Anonymous said...

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Jo said...

I understand completely about the MIL. Mine was unbelievable. But she was a sweet as honey to everyone else. Go figure!

I hope GOM is doing okay. Keep us posted.



~Sheila~ said...

It's my FIL that is a pip...92 and always looking for an argument, miserable old so and so. No love lost there,but we don't visit anymore, so I count my blessings...until hubby says or does something and sounds or looks just like him. Ye gods..!
Sorry to hear about the stress test, they are awful. I had one some time back and thought I was going to die.
Don't you think some of these tests and treatments are worse than what ails you..?
Hope everything is okay though, and GOM is doing alright..
big hugs

Tanya said...

I once had a medical checkup that sounds like yours heart monitor test. Come to think of it, it was such a horrendous experience I've never had another and that has been at least 5 years ago. Doctors are ruining my health.

Lucy said...

Stress testing certainly sounds stressful!

I think I partly went into my first, VERY short-lived marriage because I liked his mother so much and wanted her for my mother-in-law! He turned out to be a hopeless drunk and she was really rather a wimp who wouldn't face up to it. As you say, life is what happens... I don't know what you do when youir nearest and dearest remind you of people you can't stand.

I've been to that blowhole with my brother! We had great fish and chips there, and there were beautiful pelicans which sat around the fish and chip shop.

Ulrike said...

This was such a moving post, Meggie.

I can totally understand how traces of the nasty cow MIL in GOM can send you nutty. Suggestions by others about counselling are probably wise, but I'd probably go the voodoo doll myself, even though she's no longer around. Therapeutic.

Nice photo at Blowhole :-)

Funny how medical check-ups so often make you feel worse rather than better, hey.

Jerry said...

aaarrgh -- I remember my last stress test, and I think I have to have another one in a year or so. I dread it. I think I wrote something about it at the time...I need to try and dig that out.

Caroline said...

Wow, that was quite some post! Had to read it aloud to the rest of the family as they were wondering what I was giggling so much over. Here's hoping that you never have to take a stress test again!
With love Caroline x
Hey Jerry? Sorry to hear that you to go through one too.

Angie said...

Go for the voodoo doll! :) As for your heart tests, honey, I've been there and done that---absolutely wretched!! I do hope you are feeling better, back to your feisty beautiful self (BTW the picture of you is great!!). :) Hugs, dear friend.