Today your friendly EBL will explore her reaction to crisis. It’s edge-of-the-seat, hold-onto-the-safety-rails, keep-all-extremities-inside-the-blog kind of stuff. Woo!
According to my mother’s newspaper everything is a crisis. The weather, the latest health scare, immigration, scroungers. Sometimes she gets scared by it. I feel pretty cross about the newspapers for doing this. Sometimes I feel like telling her the paper has gone bust and buying her Woman’s Weekly instead.
Sigoth and I have an understanding. In a joint crisis, and I’m not talking about rheumatic arthritis here, one of us deals and the other falls apart. We don’t discuss it, it just happens. These kinds of crisis mostly have receded to the past and tend to involve Offspringses puking or otherwise extruding from orifices like the gushing waters of the Congo as seen on David Attenborough’s Africa this week. I will not digress on the natural wonders of bioluminescent fungi, mother snakes or David Attenborough himself. Or the ninja wildlife cameramen of the BBC.
So back to vomiting Offspring…either I would clear them up while Sigoth retched in the bathroom, or he would deal with the “other end” while I retched in the bathroom.
These are not major crises, but the everyday code reds of parenting, all part of the fun. What does not kill you makes you stronger, in this case at least.
I’m good with deaths. I know that makes me sound a bit creepy, but I can cover them quite well. All the paperwork, all the routines. I’m a fixer. I can put the grief on hold and sort things out. There’s the initial shock of course, when everything goes buzzy and distant, and I feel cold and shivery. Voices come from a long way away. Then things come back into focus and I get on with it.
I’m good with serious illness. When my mother was mistakenly sent home from hospital I dealt with it, sat in the A&E all night until they found her a bed, then went straight back into work to sort out the computer upgrade. I didn’t even have a cup of tea, but I did have several mugs of espresso. The guy working with me also kept me company espresso-wise and ended up hospitalised for dehydration. I have a serious caffeine addiction.
I’m good with potential emergencies, like fire alarms and so on. I am the one organising people to get up and leave, find the way out, counting the heads of the group I was with, reporting to the fire warden.
I’m not good with my own emergencies. I can’t be ill or weak. It’s against the rules. A couple of years ago a fell down on rocks and smashed open my head. Much blood – scalps are a bit prone to gushing like the good old Congo. It was incredibly frustrating not to be able to organise everything. I became agitated and irritable, because no one did what I said. Admittedly it may not have been coherent, and may have suggested I was capable of walking several miles back home to get a nice cup of tea and would everyone stop fussing. As it was I needed help getting up and into the ambulance.
The only time I actually panic is when there is no crisis. I panic when I’m depressed or on anti-depressants which trigger panic attacks. When I’m depressed I imagine a crisis, such as Sigoth and the Offspringses all being dead or dying, and then I panic. Sigoth has to calm me down and explain that it is not real. I don’t always believe him, at least not straight away.
What I can’t do is the easier stuff. I can’t decide whether I want a thing green or blue. I can’t choose which flavour of ice cream. I can decide how to sort out a project or computer installation that is going wrong.
EBL may be your blogger of choice in a crisis, but don’t stress her out over the small stuff.