..in this family.
I have a recent realization. Thanks to Brooke Burkes. In an interview with Ladie’s Home Journal, Brooke said ” I am just as important as everyone else in this family” . She has a point. When I read that line, I told myself that I need to be the next Brooke. Haha.
Last Wednesday, I found myself crying the whole day. Actually, as soon as Nurse Jaypee, told Aki to take care of himself, I suddenly felt like crying. Maybe because I have been faking courage for several days. I can not show Aki that I am dying inside seeing him sick with a dextrose. The only time I had to have an IV was when I gave birth. Prior to that I was never confined in a hospital. I felt soooo guilty. It did no help that I was not exactly the best person to care for my boy as I just came from a 3-day flu.
I am normally a panicky person but when we got the postive dengue results up to the family picture we had outside Aki’s room before we left the hospital, I was surprisingly calm. I cry at the slightlest emotion, positive or negative. When Aki was in the hospital, I did not consciously hold back the tear. There were no tears. I tried to keep the mood inside the hospital room light and cheery.
However, as soon as we said good bye to the nurses, I started feeling overwhelmed. I should be happy but I was not. I cried a bit when we reached the parking lot. My oh so sweet husband started mocking me. He is sweet in his own annoying way. So after that short dramafest, no more tears again. I still was sad but not sad enough to cry.
It was when I returned to work that I got flooded with emotions. I felt guilty, overwhelmed, helpless, unappreciated, sad , pity for myself, you name it. I know I am stressed when I wake up at 3AM and can not stop thinking. That was the case since we left the hospital. I felt guilty for leaving Aki. If I were the one who sends him to school everyday, I would be able to tell him which potentially sick classmates to avoid. Or maybe, I could ensure that he always has anti mosquito lotion on him. As expected, I had hundreds of emails, 500 of them not including the announcements. I wanted to go home early but that was impossible, I felt guilty for the work that I passed on to Rosie. I felt terrible for not making sure that everything was taken cared of while I was on leave. Even if I could, I did not check my office emails while we were in the hospital because I did not want any additional stress. If I only did a quick scan, maybe there would be less follow ups. I was a walking emotional wreck. I felt like I were a terrible mother and even a worse employee. I tried to avoid anyone who might ask how I was. But when my kumarseng Ebbie cornered me and asked me to tell her what happened in the almost two weeks that I was out, hala! I cried and cried and cried. I think I cried inconsolably for 1.5 hour. I cried so much that I could not breathe anymore. Maybe that was just what I needed, a no-holds-bar good cry. I felt better, not good but still better, after that emo moment.
I was still crying come Thursday but I was able to look at things more objectively. The email that made me lose sleep the night before was not as irate-sounding as I thought it was. And buried amongst the hundred emails, I found an email from one of our senior directors, telling me he wishes that my son gets well soon (EC, I am so touched!). Aki was back at school. Except for the small wound on his hand due to the IV, he showed no sign of being sick for 10 days.
In the middle of all that crying, I realized one thing. I really am just as important as anyone else in my family.
I spent almost an hour comparing the nutrition facts of each kiddie multivitamin in the drugstore but guess who only takes her vitamins when she feels like she’s about to get sick?
I try to schedule as many playdates for Aki but guess who has not talked to her college friends for months?
I strictly follow Aki’s bedtime routine of packing away-reading a book- toothbrush-prayer but guess who has forgotten all about her evening beauty regimen new years resolution?
I have been teaching Aki how to pray but when was the last time that I really prayed?
I complain that my husband spends too much time practicing his jujitsu moves ( 3-5 hours on Saturday and also on Sunday), but maybe, that is just what I need. I need to find something that would help me destress. Gardening, decluttering and cooking relaxes me but they leave me feeling that there is another project be it a pack of seeds that I need to plant, a corner that I need to clean or a recipe that I said I will try but can’t find, that I need to work on. Actually, what I really want and need is to learn how to clear my head. I am the type who has already played ten scenes in my head while I walk to the toilet. I also want to learn how to sleep even when I am not sleepy. One of my least favorite parts of my day is my 1-2 hour commute. If only I could learn how to sleep while I am in the shuttle, that would be like an extra half day sleep in a week. Or maybe, I should find an advocacy that I will be passionate about.
Bottom line is, I need to take care of myself, physically and emotionally.I am Aki’s only mummy and Franky’s only wife. I need to love me more.
Oh yes, this post has been sitting in my draft folder for 2 months.