10 February 2009

Agoraphobia Does Not Become Me

Today's the birthday of the brother who was in the Army reserves. I sent a card but didn't call; I am both afraid of and too angry to call any of my brothers right now.

So I spent the day as an agoraphobic might. At the college in which I teach, it's not always the same day as it is in the rest of the world. So, while it was a Tuesday at home, it was Thursday at work. The majority of classes at the college meet two days a week: Tuesday/Thursday or Monday/Wednesday. However, my Tuesday class meets only on that day. So, for my students--and me--there was no class today.

The university of which my college is a part also observed Thursday today. That meant that I didn't get to be a student today.

That's all probably just as well. Yesterday, people who saw me on campus said that I looked tired, angry or sad, or some combination thereof. Indeed, I was all of the above. So today I was feeling inclined not to deal with people. That means I got to play the part of the reclusive writer/scholar--or at least use that ruse to be agoraphobic.

Actually, I did some non-blog writing and work on the hip-hop course I'm teaching. Both made me feel that at least I accomplished something, which made me a little happier. Hopefully, I'll be more ready to face the world tomorrow.

My mother might be the only member of my family who has any idea of how vulnerable I am. Well, maybe the brother who just disassociated himself from me knows that sometimes I feel as if a layer of skin has been stripped away from me and is exploiting that. Of course he wants me to feel hurt. Maybe that's how he's trying to keep me from doing the surgery. That, and isolating me from the rest of the family, or trying to do that.

Even though she seems to understand how I feel, I think my mother is too upset to be as supportive as she has been. I'm starting to wonder whether she'll accompany me to the hospital after all. I'm almost entirely sure that my father isn't going with me: My brother has seen to that. And he's no doubt wishing that my mother hadn't promised to support me in the ways she has. On top of everything, she and everyone else in the family is blaming me for breaking up the family they like to pretend was more idyllic than it actually was.

I really did, and still do, appreciate the efforts some people in the family made for me. Nothing in my life ever made me feel better than my mother's promise that she and my father would accompany me to the hospital. And I was happy that until the holidays, my brother and I were speaking to each other without the rancor that marked so much of our earlier dealings with each other. Now, in losing those things, I feel as if I'm being crushed in a vise.

Yes, the doctors warned me that the hormones would make me more sensitive. And so would the prospect of surgery, my therapist advised me. Well, I experienced some of the joy of that, so I guess I have to go through the downside, I guess.

Tomorrow I'll have to go to classes. And maybe I'll try to get in a session of electrolysis. Agoraphobia does not become me.

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